A Spotlight on Natural Grocers

Natural Grocers has been in business since 1955. They are a family company that has been built on great intent and integrity. From the beginning they established a foundation they refer to as the Five Founding Principles.

1- Nutritional Education  – 2 – Highest Quality Products – 3- Affordable Pricing – 4 – Commitment to Community – 5 – Commitment to Employees

Founded in 1955 by Margaret and Philip Isely with $200 and a dream that everyone should be able to afford health food and a healthy lifestyle. Margaret struggled with chronic health problems and the ability to afford the healthy foods and supplements she needed. Above all odds NG has expanded to more than 90 stores.

A few days ago I found myself across the street from my local NG store. I hadn’t been in there in a while and I had some free time so I decided to really take my time and walk the store.  I walked every isle slowly, taking it all in.

Some of the product I saw when doing my safari. You may already know of these finds of mine but I thought I’d share.

Mostess Mini- Cupcakes by: Better Bites. Vegan, Kosher, Gluten free – free of top 8 allergens.

Refrigerator case.

Hail Merry Tarts – Gluten free, Vegan, Kosher & Non – GMO.

Refrigerator case.

The best tasting organic peanut butter in the world and delicately place it into the highest quality, organic and fair-trade chocolate available.

Epic Bars – EPIC Bar, the original meat, fruit, and nut bar, is a savory high protein snack. Each bar is rich in protein, low in sugar, gluten free, grain free, and absent of both soy and dairy. Live EPIC, Eat EPIC!

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork – From natural pork: humanely raised on sustainable U.S. farms. Never given antibiotics or added hormones – ever. All vegetarian feeds. Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.

Meat case.

Teton Waters Junior Franks -Great for appetizers. No Nitrates, Not Preserved, No Hormones, No Antibiotics, No Feed Lot, Gluten free, No sugar, No MSG.

Meat case.

Pararuba cake bites – Gluten free, Low glycemic, High in fiber.

In freezer case.

Ian’s Corn Dogs – Popcorn Turkey Corndogs combine antibiotic and hormone free mini turkey hot dogs with a crispy batter. Delicious  – enjoy without the wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts, and soy!

Freezer case.

Applegate Corn Dogs on a stick. Grass-fed Beef, No Nitrates, Gluten free, Casein free, Humanely Raised Meat.

Freezer case.

Against the Grain Baguettes – Original & Rosemary are crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and full of flavor like traditional French bread. Celiac-owned family business committed to baking gluten free products using the natural properties of real foods.

Freezer case.

Delicious Gluten free Buns. 100% Plant based, Eggs free.

Freezer case.

Premier Japan – Hoisin sauce. Sweet Asian Sauce for dipping and grilling – Gluten free, Organic

Ian’s Rosemary Garlic Croutons. These croutons perfect atop Caesar salad or soup, they make a scrumptious (and addictive) snack right out of the bag! No Milk/Casein free, No Peanuts or tree nuts, No Soy, No Wheat/Gluten, Non-GMO.

The largest assortment of Gluten free baking and cooking flours & mixes I’ve ever seen!!

I’ve seen the Glutino  Gluten free pretzels lots of places but  these Salted Caramel Covered variety was a first for me.

Pacific Organic Cream based condensed soups – Great as a base for soups, casseroles and sauces.

The next two are perfect for the Holidays.

Pacific Gluten free Stuffing Mix & Imagine Gluten free Roasted Turkey Gravy.







Mini Corn Dog Muffins – Not just for kids!!

Well, it’s State Fair time here in Texas and it got me to thinking of the famous Corny dogs sold there. While I’m not really a fan of those greasy fried dogs on a stick, this version is a little bite more for my taste. Mini Corn Dog Muffins! A fun simple recipe for an occasion. Easily made gluten-free, too!

If you have a favorite cornbread recipe you can use that and adapt it for the muffins here. Or do as I do – take the easy way out and use a Gluten free mix. I used this one from Martha White. Pre-heat oven to 375′. Prepare per package instructions. *NOTE – my package said 400′ but I think that’s to hot for these tiny guys.

This will make apx. 1 1/2 dozen mini dogs.
My mini muffin pan is a mini size LOL!! Most of the mini pans hold three dozen muffins. If I were going to make this for example a buffet party, I would take a trip to Walmart and pick up the larger size.
Use your favorite Gluten free hot dog or vegan dog.Cut dogs into bite size pieces. I used three dogs for my 1 1/2 muffins.
Spray cooking oil spray into the pan. Use a Tablespoon measurer to load the batter in the pan. Fill up 1/2-3/4 full.
Insert the dog pieces in the batter. Make sure the rounded ends are flat side down or they will roll. Believe me I – I watched them fall over and then had to dig them out.
Bake for 13-15 min. Until coked thru and just turning brown. Hint- they are small so you don’t want to over cook them and dry them out.

Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. And then use a butter knife to gently remove from the pan.

Serve with spicy mustard  or your favorite dipping sauce.

After completely cooled, you can store these for a day or two in an air tight container and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Oven Fried Chicken Strips (Fingers)

Make the crispiest chicken fingers you’ll ever make using Gluten free panko breadcrumbs. They are Japanese breadcrumbs and are bigger than normal breadcrumbs which = more crunch, compensating for not deep frying. They’ll be ready in just minutes!

I rarely deep fry. I hate the mess. I feel like it’s a “waste” of oil (unless I make deep fried goodness again shortly thereafter – which is unlikely), plus I am a klutz so I have a fear of deep frying. And it’s just not healthy.


Oreida Tator tots take the same cooking temp., so for a fast fix side dish – pop some in the oven (directions on side of package).



  • 2 T. Water
  • 4 T. Ranch dressing (Gluten free)
  • 1 Cup Plain or Italian style Gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesean cheese
  • 1 Pkg. Chicken breast (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • Olive oil spray


  1. Pound chicken slightly at thicker end to make uniform thickness.

  2. Cut chicken in to pieces a little thicker and longer as a finger. If they are too thin they will dry out during cooking.

  3. Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

  4. In a shallow dish, beat ranch dressing and water. In second shallow dish, mix bread crumbs and cheese. Dip into water/ranch mixture, shake off excess, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet.  Spray slightly with spray olive oil.

  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown.

  6. Serve with Ranch dressing or favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes


If you can not find Italian style bread crumbs add 2 T. of mixed Italian seasoning to the plain bread crumbs if desired.

The chicken can be cut ahead of time and stored in a zip lock bag.

***Kinnikinnick & Ian's both make GF panko crumbs. Ian's makes an Italian style version, however it is not as easy to find. Most stores seem to carry the Kinnikinnck.


Sub out Dijon mustard for the ranch, use plain panko crumbs and trade the cheese for sweetened coconut flakes. Serve with honey mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.