Archive for May, 2009

Friday Favorite: San-J Wheat Free Soy Sauce

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Basically, I don’t know what I would do without it. I love the stuff. San-J Wheat Free Soy Sauce.

I actually brought a bottle with me to my local Chinese Restaurant when I met a few girlfriends for dinner a few weeks ago. They also gave it a try and decided it tasted just as good as the “regular” soy sauce. So it also has the non-GF seal of approval.

My San-J, as I lovingly call it, turned my steamed broccoli, chicken and white rice into a flavorful Chinese meal, not just a bland, tasteless dish that made me yearn for PuPu platters and potstickers. Before San-J I thought that I would never be able to truly enjoy Chinese food again.

At the end of the evening, I opened my fortune cookie (for the fortune only, not the cookie!) and my fortune was, “Believe it can be done.”

And yes –  Thanks to San-J it can.

WIN-it-Wednesday! Marconi Infused Oils

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

As I mentioned many, many blogs-ago, Marconi Infused Oils are one of my all-time favorite flavor picker-uppers! I use them on everything, from grilled chicken, fish, white rice, and as an all-time stand-by salad dressing on the run (I actually keep one of the small sample pack sizes in my purse)!

Food can be crazy fun because of these infused olive oils!

Being an all-time fan makes it a pleasure for me to pick 7 (yes… SEVEN!) lucky BeFreeForMe members to receive a FREE coupon for a Marconi Oil item of their choice!

I like to use the Basil Infused Oil drizzled over garden fresh tomatoes, basil leaves & goat milk mozzarella. Feel free to share and let the rest of us know how you like to use olive oil in your recipes / cooking too!

To enter to win, just reply to this blog and let me know which Marconi infused oil you would most like to try. 

How easy it that!

Marconi infused oils come in six varieties: 

• Marconi GARLIC Infused Oil
• Marconi BASIL Infused Oil
• Marconi OREGANO Infused Oil
• Marconi ROSEMARY Infused Oil
• Marconi JALAPENO Infused Oil
• Marconi DIPPING Oil

All of the Marconi Oils are manufactured under strict guidelines and regulations, to prevent any cross-contamination.

Once the winners are randomly selected I will email you and confirm your mailing address for the coupon!
Good Luck!

Friday Favorite: Real Foods Corn Thins

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Real Food Corn Thins are a favorite for breakfast, lunch and snacks. If you haven’t experienced them yet, you must give them a try!

They’re everything their name says, plus more! They are made of “real food” – all natural ingredients, and have no artificial colors or preservatives. Plus they are “corn” … and “thin”!

But it is the “thinness” that really makes them a stand-out compared to other “regular” rice cakes!

They are also free of gluten, nut and eggs and some flavors are even soy free and dairy free.

I like them as a bread substitute – smeared with honey, nut butter or topped with tuna fish or cold cuts. 

Check them out at:

Oh, and speaking of thin… they are only 22 calories each!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Erewhon Cereal Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Welcome to the first Win-it-Wednesday Blog!

We all know that breakfast can be tough when you need to eat gluten-free or have food allergies. But  I am one of those people that MUST eat breakfast. If I try to be sneaky and skip it, my stomach starts screaming at me by mid-morning. And since I’ve been told many times over, that breakfast is “the” most important meal of the day, I feel that I get one “important” thing out of the way first thing – just by… eating! =)

Shelley Case mentioned some fantastic breakfast ideas in her “Ask Shelley Case” column on BeFreeForMe last week. Since then, I’ve had tons of members emailing me, asking me what I eat for breakfast.

Well, one of my favorites, especially during busy weekdays is yogurt mixed with cereal. I find that this is a “portable” version of cereal and milk, and allows an easy transport to the office – a cup of yogurt in one hand and a baggy full of cereal in the other. It also gives me a dose of calcium, which my Doc has told me to eat more of.  =)

One of my favorite cereals is Erewhon Gluten-free Brown Rice with Mixed Berries. I can buy it at my “regular” supermarket too which makes it super-convenient. That’s why I was more than thrilled when the folks over at US Mills, the people that manufacturer the Erewhon cereals, contacted the BeFreeForMe offices and asked to conduct a give-away!

Here’s the scoop:

Five lucky BeFreeForMe members will win the following:

– Three (3) boxes of Erewhon gluten-free cereal of their choice!
– One (1) Patagonia T-Shirt (available in  Adult L, XL & Kids L)!
– Erewhon Coupon Keeper with coupons for $1 off next purchases!

To enter to WIN, just reply to this blog and tell us the three types of Erewhon cereal you would like if you are one of the FIVE lucky winners!

Make sure you reply before 12 midnight EST – Friday, 05-22-09

~ How easy is that! ~

Erewhon gluten-free cereals come in seven yummy varieties:
• Erewhon Gluten Free Crispy Brown Rice *
• Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice with Mixed Berries *
• Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice *
• Erewhon Rice Twice *
• Erewhon Strawberry Crisp Flakes *
• Erewhon Corn Flakes *
• Erewhon Aztec Crunchy Corn & Amaranth *

* UPDATE: ALL gluten-free Erewhon cereals are also dairy-free!  For more allergy info check out the FAQ page of the Erewhon website.

Once the five winners are randomly selected we will email them and ask what size shirt they would like, and also confirm the shipping address!
Good Luck!

Getting Dressed Up: Gluten & Allergen Free Dressings on a Budget!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Let’s face it – getting dressed up makes everything just a little extra special. Today, being a glorious spring day, I decided to wear a sundress that I bought at the end of last season. Although, the dress is not at all fancy or formal, I’ve gotten three compliments about looking nice and asking what the occasion was. All because I kicked the way I dress up a notch or two. 

This got me thinking that “dressing up” can make an ordinary day extraordinary. Just as a fancy vinaigrette dressing with fresh herbs, fine vinegars and oils can make a regular old tossed salad, well… something special too.

In honor of springtime, loving salads, fitting into last year’s sundress and sometimes getting bored with my ordinary stand-by dressings, we decided to feature recipes next week for salad dressings and vinaigrettes. All low-cost alternatives to the store bought stuff.

We look forward to having you visit us daily and enjoy the recipes too. Oh and don’t worry, casual dress is okay.

Friday Favorite: Cabot Cheese

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Cheese, Cheese, I LOVE Cabot Cheese!

Like some people love chocolate – my thing is cheese. I love cheese.

I would never even think about eating a plain ‘ole hamburger, especially since a lot of times, I forgo the roll. Plus, to me most foods are meant to be smothered, melted or complemented by cheese.

And if I’m going to eat cheese – I want good stuff, but at a good price.

That is why one of my favorite cheeses is Cabot Cheese. Made right here in the USA, in New England, in the state of Vermont. Local yum. My favorites are the 50% Reduced Fat Pepperjack (great for recipes) and the Seriously Sharp Cheddar (my favorite snacking cheese). 

All Cabot products are lactose and gluten free too. Check out:

That’s a reason to smile. Say “Cheese”!

Uno Chicago Grill Partners with American Celiac Disease Alliance to Raise $$

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

If you haven’t tried the new gluten-free pizza yet at Uno Chicago Grill, here is a good reason to check it out…  From May 25 through 31 Uno is hosting a Dough Rai$er to benefit the American Celiac Disease Alliance!

If you are interested in participating in this Dough Rai$er, go to and secure a voucher that you can bring to your local Uno location. 20% (yes folks – TWENTY PERCENT!) of sales generated from those who participate will support the ACDA cause!

Another good reason to make a stop at Uno is the debut of their new Veggie Gluten-free Pizza, which now complements the Gluten-Free Cheese and the Pepperoni Pizza offered.

I love the Unos pizza, and thank them for being so pro-active in the celiac community!  Three Cheers for Uno Chicago Grill!

Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Question: I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I’m always in a hurry and need some quick and healthy gluten-free / allergen-free ideas. Help!

Eating on the run in the morning is a challenge for many of us. It’s tempting to skip breakfast and just grab a coffee but you need to fuel your body with healthier choices to stay energized and alert. Here are a few ideas…

• GF toasted bagel, bread or English muffin with nut butter (almond, cashew or peanut) with sliced banana and glass of milk or 100% fruit juice

• Smoothie made with fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt or milk*, spoonful of ground flax, crushed ice and sweetener (honey, sugar, agave or sugar substitute) and a gluten-free muffin or energy bar (see recipe below)

• Frozen GF waffles (e.g., Van’s or Nature’s Path) with cottage cheese, peaches and sprinkled with cinnamon and a dash of syrup

• GF cereal or granola with yogurt or milk* and fresh fruit

• GF hot cereal (e.g., Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal or GF oats** and a spoonful of ground flax) made with water or milk* prepared in the microwave and served with fresh or dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, mangoes)

• Leftover GF pizza warmed in the microwave or eaten cold and a glass of 100% fruit juice


* GF Milk substitutes (almond, potato, rice or soy beverages) can replace milk for those with
   lactose intolerance.

** GF oats available from Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, FarmPure Foods, Gifts of Nature, Gluten-Free Oats). For more information about GF oats see


There are a number of granola, muffin and portable fruit bar recipes that can be pre-made. Here is one of my favorite healthy energy bar recipe detailed below. These energy bars can be stored for a week in an air tight container and can also be individually wrapped and frozen for up to one month.  You can also find more recipes, tips and substitutions along with the nutrition content of the recipes in the Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.


Carrot Apple Energy Bars

1 ¼ cups sorghum flour
½ cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup rice bran
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup non-fat (skim) milk powder
1½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups grated carrots
¾ cup dried fruit mix
½ cup chopped walnuts
Line 13 X 9 inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.

In a large bowl or plastic bag. Combine sorghum flour, amaranth flour, rice bran, ground flaxseed, milk powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well and set a side.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, applesauce and brown sugar until combined.

Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in carrots, dried fruit and nuts.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan; spread to edges with a moist rubber spatula and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 325° F oven for 30—35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack and cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

Yield 18 bars

From Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and reprinted with permission from: The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, Robert Rose Inc., Publisher, 2005;

Note: Ask Shelley Case is a feature of It is published the first Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.

Step Right Up! Gluten-Free Fried Dough Discovered By Mistake!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I discovered an awesome gluten-free fried dough!

No, I didn’t discover it at some carnival stand, amusement park, fair or seaside resort. I found it in my very own kitchen during a “mistake” I made last week while developing a pancake recipe.

What was suppose to be a no-fuss, skillet-less pancake transformed itself into a shiny, disk of bubbling crispy batter. As soon as I opened the oven door, I thought I was in the House of Mirrors… I knew I wasn’t dealing with any ordinary pancake anymore. This darn disk of dough had played a trick on me.

I was in heaven. The buttery balloon-like pockets were screaming for powdered sugar & cinnamon louder than children on a field trip while diving down the rollercoaster’s largest hill.

Check out this recipe yourself. And beware – because you won’t want to share!

Gluten-free Fried Dough

4 tablespoons butter
½ cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup milk
2 eggs
A few dashes of cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the butter in a glass pie plate, and put in the oven until melted. Do not burn!

While butter is melting, whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

Remove pan from oven, and make sure that the melted butter is distributed evenly across the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are crispy and browning.

Remove pan from oven, and remove any butter that has pooled on top of dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cinnamon or granulated sugar.


Cold Stone Creamery: FREE “Like It” Size Ice Cream / Gluten & Allergen Free Listing

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Now here’s something to scream about!

On Sunday, May 10 from noon until 10 PM, my local Cold Stone Creamery will be offering a FREE “Like It” size ice cream (with one mix-in) to all Moms when they visit with their child!

Please note that all stores are not participating in this promotion! So look up your local store by using the Cold Stone Creamery location finder, and call your local store to find out if they are participating in this FREE Ice Cream offer for Mom’s!  

What I like best about Cold Stone Creamery is that they are aware of gluten and food allergies. Check out the chart on their website listing allergens.

Also, if you opt for the mix-ins – It is smart to ask that your ice cream is mixed with CLEAN Spades, and have it mixed in a clean plastic bowl rather than on the mixing stone. For severe allergies, ask to have your ice cream scooped from new ice cream tubs from the back freezer.

Does anyone else know of any good ice cream stores that are aware of allergens in their products? If so, let us know by responding to this post!

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