Archive for January, 2011

Friday Favorite: Moo Moo’s Poblano Chick (Pea) Patties

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I was so excited to find these new frozen entrees at my local supermarket. Made with 100% natural ingredients, these vegetarian entrees also offer many gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options.

What attracted me to these entrees, made by Moo Moo’s Vegetarian Cuisine, are the fresh, not so typical varieties such as Polenta Florentine, Black Bean Cakes & Mango Salsa, and my favorite, Poblano Chick(Pea) Patties.

The Poblano Chick(Pea) Patties are a perfect lunch or dinner choice. The Chickpea patties are moist, flavorful and packed with tons on protein (there are 9 grams of protein per serving). The chick(pea) patties are really, really good. I have to admit though I was skeptical to try them at first, but I loved them after the first bite!  They are made with chickpeas, brown rice, chili onions and roasted poblano & bell peppers – a delicious combo. This entree is also gluten-free and vegan.

There are two chickpea patties per serving / package that are served over a side of Roasted Corn Salsa, that is fresh, crisp and flavorful. One 9-ounce package is considered one-serving – and it is a nice, big, filling and hearty portion…which I loved, especially since this entree is THAT good!

Oh… the best part? One serving is only 230 calories and only 3 grams of fat. No guilt in eating this goodness.

Moo Moo’s Poblano Chick(pea) Patties take the honors of being this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe for their good taste, good ingredients and good portions! Cheers Moo-Moo’s!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Bakery on Main Soft & Chewy Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

If you love a soft & chewy granola bar, but haven’t been able to find one since being on a gluten-free (as well as dairy and casein-free) diet… you are now in luck!
The folks over at Bakery on Main have just introduced a new, chewy and just for you granola bar!

These soft & chewy bars come in three flavors: the traditional and all-time-favorite, Peanut Butter & Jelly; the decadent and rich, Chocolate Almond; and the cozy and comfortable, Apple Cinnamon.

And, lucky for us, as well as being certified gluten, dairy & casein free these bars are also free of GMOs, trans fat and cholesterol.

What makes these new granola bars so soft & chewy is the perfect combination of whole grains such as certified gluten-free oats, amaranth & quinoa… all baked to chewy perfection! These bars are great for an on-the-go gluten-free breakfast or snack.

These bars are so new and fresh-out-of-the-oven, that they’re currently only available for purchase on the Bakery on Main website. And if the softness & chewiness of these bars isn’t enough to tempt you, Bakery On Main is offering, for a limited time only, FREE SHIPPING on your entire order when you order any of the Soft & Chewy Granola Bars!

Plus, for the next two week’s WIN-It-Wednesdays on, the great folks over at Bakery on Main have graciously offered 6 (Yes, SIX!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members a prize pack that contains three 5-count boxes of the new Soft & Chewy Granola Bars (one of each flavor). This is 15 bars total per prize!

How can you win?


Reply to this blog post and tell us why you are lucky… In life, in love, in looking at the little things – just share with us any reason at all on why you are one lucky gal or guy! (Me? I’m lucky to have such great family and friends, a job that I love and the ability to be able to find such beauty in all the snow we’ve been hit with this winter!)

There are also TWO chances to WIN one of these WIN-It-Wednesday prizes. One is between Wednesday, January 26th and Tuesday, February 1st  (12 Midnight EST) and the second is between Wednesday, February 2st and Tuesday, February 8th (12 Midnight EST). Three winners will randomly be selected each week. So make sure you respond two times to this post!

Good Luck, Always look at life from the bright & lucky side… and as always,

Be Free!

Looking for Good Gluten-Free Food at a Discount? Kinnikinnick Opens On-Line Clearance Section!

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

When I was a little girl my Mom used to take me and my sisters on her weekly trip to the Wonderbread Bakery Outlet Store to stock up on breads, English muffins and the occasional box of Twinkies, Suzy Q’s, or (my all-time favorite) Ho-Ho’s.  Even though I was just a very little girl the site of the huge white building covered in primary colored polka-dots and the smell of bread once inside is still vivid in my mind. Every visit created a sort of circus-like fun environment… full of deals and deliciousness.

But since being diagnosed with celiac disease and being on a gluten-free diet, the hopes of ever visiting an Outlet store that sells yummy breads and sweets has been a distant past. That is why I was so very, very excited when I stumbled upon the newly opened on-line Clearance Center on the Kinnikinnick website.

According to the Kinnikinnick blog, “Throughout the year, we often find ourselves with what is known as “short dated” and “run end” product. Short dated product is product that is still is within its best before date, but too close to the date for us to sell to our distributors. Run End products are partial cases left over at the end of a product batch. We end up with a freezer-full of odds and ends. Our solution is to offer these cases to our direct customers at a minimum 25% discount.”

Yeah for celiacs everywhere looking for a good deal!

Also, it is important to note that many of the Kinnikinnick items are not only gluten-free, but also free of nuts, dairy, and eggs. The Kinnikinnick website clearly marks each products allergens.

Although there are some terms & conditions to be aware of when buying off the Clearance Center (i.e. product sold by the case only and items are sold while quantities last) there are some great deals to be found. When I last looked there were some favorites in this clearance center, including Cinnamon Sugar Waffles, as well as Fudge KinniTOOS Crème Cookies both available at a substantial discount.

Welcome again to the deals and deliciousness!

Friday Favorite: Progresso Soups

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Since being diagnosed with celiac disease and on a gluten-free diet, I haven’t even reached for canned soup. I just figured that most of the mainstream soups found in my grocer’s soup aisle were packed with gluten.

But leave it to Progresso, which by the way means progress in Italian, to lead the way in producing and marketing gluten-free canned soups.

To see the bold words “Gluten-Free” on Progresso Rich & Hearty New England Clam Chowder was joy. And after stopping and checking out all the soup labels I discovered many of the Progresso Soups are gluten free, including my favorite, Rich & Hearty Chicken Corn Chowder. (For a complete listing of all gluten-free Progresso Soups click here and scroll to the Progresso icon on the left).

Progresso Soup’s parent company is General Mills, which is one of the mainstream companies out there that have been offering more and more gluten-free selections in their product line-up. Other gluten-free offerings from General Mills include: Betty Crocker gluten-free baking mixes, Chex cereals and also Gluten-Free Bisquick.

Progresso Gluten-Free Soups are this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite for being the progressive leader in gluten-free mainstream soup items found at a fair-price in most grocery stores across the country.  Cheers Progresso Soups!… Cheer’s General Mills!

Friday Favorite: Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers are the perfect blend of crunch and flavor. Available in 4 flavors Original, Roasted Garlic, Toasted Onion and my favorite, Rosemary & Olive Oil, these crackers are the perfect by the handful as a snack, or served with your favorite game day dip & cheese tray.

Crunchmaster crackers are packed with a blend of pure rice, sesame, quinoa, flax and amaranth seeds and other natural ingredients – all baked to gluten-free perfection.

These crackers are also all-natural, low in sodium and saturated fat, free of cholesterol and Trans-fat and also certified as gluten-free.

Found in most supermarkets and club stores, Crunchmaster crackers are full of crunch and flavor… and this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite.

WIN-It-Wednesday: Double the Prizes! Livefreeda Gluten-Free Meal Plan Contest PLUS Free Product Giveaways!

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Do you often wish you could just click your heels and fill your cabinets with a month’s worth of gluten-free meals… dinners, lunches, breakfasts, desserts and snacks? Now, thanks to Livefreeda all you need to do is click your mouse and have some of the best gluten-free products, arrive at your door!

No fuss… No trouble… No running from market to market to gather up all my favorite gluten-free brands.

The LiveFreeda 28-day gluten-free meal kit is packed with the best gluten-free foods out there… including many of my favorite brands. Brands that have been BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorites including:  Udi’s bread and bagels, Van’s Waffles, Glutenfreeda Burritos, Kettle Cuisine Soups & Chili, Nature’s Path Cereal, Organic Bistro Meals and Pamela’s Cheesecakes To name just a few.

Breakfast, lunches, dinners, desserts and snacks that I love… for about $13 per day… Shipping included!

And with no measuring, mixing or cooking required – LiveFreeda is great for kids in dorm rooms, school or office lunches and traveling.

After hearing about this new gluten-free meal plan, I thought about how great it would have been if Livefreeda was around when I had first gotten diagnosed with celiac disease. But in actuality, Livefreeda is a good, convenient way to get gluten-free foods for anyone. I plan on ordering a package myself and have it shipped to my family’s house that lives out of state next time I visit for an extended stay. No more searching for my favorite gluten-free foods while on vacation!

This week’s WIN-It-Wednesday is a Double-WIN!

First off, make sure you register to win one of the 30 (YES… THIRTY!) 28-day Livefreeda Gluten-Free Meal packages.  Each of these packages is a $400 value! Remember you must log onto the Livefreeda Contest site in order to enter to win one of these fantastic thirty prizes!

The second way to WIN is right here on BeFreeForMe! Respond to this post and tell us your thoughts on the LiveFreeda Meal Kits and why they’d be perfect for you! Several LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will win one of the prize packs sponsored by the manufacturers of products included in the Livefreeda meal kits. This prize will include an assortment of freebies… product, coupon and giveaways! There are TWO Chances to WIN one of these several prizes! One is between Wednesday, January 12th  and Tuesday, January 18th and the second is between Wednesday, January 19th and Tuesday, January 25th. So make sure you respond two times to this post!

Good Luck, Live Free(da)… and as always,

Be Free!

Ask Shelley Case: Taking Control of Your Gluten-Free Diet… and Weight!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Question: Since getting diagnosed with celiac disease, I feel like I’ve been buying and eating “anything and everything” as long as it is gluten-free! Now that it’s the New Year, I need some tips for getting back on track and take some control over my diet, especially since I have gained unwanted extra pounds. Do you have ideas for healthy gluten-free eating?

The gluten-free market is booming which is good news for those with celiac disease.  A growing number of gluten-free products ranging from breads, cereals, pasta, crackers, cakes, cookies, snack bars, soups, sauces, ready-to-eat entrees, mixes and other items are available in grocery and health food stores, wholesale outlets and even online. But people often gain too much weight because they only focus on the gluten-free status of items and do not pay attention to nutrition and meal planning. Just like gluten-containing products, not all “gluten-free” items are necessarily healthy options. Here are some of suggestions and resources for starting out the New Year on the right gluten-free track!

Plan Ahead: Planning your menu a week (or even a few days) ahead will help you select the right things to eat, and help control unnecessary or “binge type” eating.

Keep Nutrition on the Front Burner: The USDA MyPyramid and Canada’s Food Guide are practical tools to help you make healthy food choices. I have adapted these guides for the gluten-free diet to get you started. Check out this article for more information.

Watch Your Portions: Make sure that you read the back of all packaging labels so you know what “one portion” size is. Don’t be fooled! One portion could indeed be a ½ of a bagel. Being aware of portion control is a good step to manage your calorie intake.  Here’s a great portion control tool from WebMD. Although not all the items are gluten-free, it visually compares food items to commonly recognized items such as a deck of cards, light bulb, baseball or computer mouse.

Eat Breakfast: Skipping breakfast leads to overeating later in the day – often at dinner and in the evening when you are usually less active which is double trouble!  For gluten-free breakfast ideas see

Fill up on Fruits & Veggies: Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Many are low in calories so you can fill up at meals and snacks with these healthy foods. Check out this link for tips on using fruits and vegetables to help manage your weight.

Go for Whole Grains: There are a variety of nutritious gluten-free whole grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, Montina™ (Indian ricegrass), millet, oats (pure, uncontaminated), quinoa, sorghum, rice (black, brown, red) and teff.  These healthy grains contain many nutrients, especially fiber- which is often lacking in the gluten-free diet because many gluten-free products are made from refined starches and flours. For more information about whole grains and how to add them to your gluten-free diet check out

Snack Sensibly: Snacking can be part of a healthy gluten-free diet but you need to choose wisely. Need some nutritious options?  Check out

Short on Time? Nowadays we all seem to be running from here to there. We’re always on the go-go-go! Don’t beat yourself up trying to make all your own gluten-free foods from scratch for every meal.  There are companies who offer a variety of gluten-free mixes and ready-to-eat items that are delicious and nutritious. Check out my book Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide that includes over 3100 gluten-free products from more than 270 companies at

Successful and healthy gluten-free eating takes a little time and planning. But with informed choices, current resources and the motivation to make a new start in the New Year, everyone on a gluten-free diet is able to get back, and stay, on the healthy gluten-free eating track!

Ask Shelley Case is a feature of It is published the second Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Visit Shelley and get more gluten-free tips & info at:

Friday Favorite: Glutino Chicken Pizza with BBQ Sauce

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

There are a lot of frozen gluten free pizzas out there that are good – but they all seem to be the same old bland everyday flavors: 3-Cheese, Pepperoni, Vegetable.


That is why my eyes perked up and my taste buds got going when I saw Glutino’s Gluten-Free Chicken Pizza with BBQ Sauce in my grocers freezer last month.

Made with a crispy (can you say “tastes like the real deal?”) brown rice crust, this pizza is crowded with tasty pieces of white chicken meat, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses and a smoky, yet sweet, BBQ sauce and spices. I was impressed with the abundance of toppings.

Another bonus this pizza is not only packed with calcium, and is a good source of Vitamin A and iron.

I also find it super important to note that this individual sized pizza is a nice sized portion that fills you up. Plus, the serving portion on the package is realistic: it says that one pizza is one serving… which made me smile since it meant I could enjoy the whole entire pie… all by myself… for just 310 calories!

Any way you slice it – variety, flavor, and being able to eat a whole delicious gluten-free pizza for a little over 300 calories are some of the reasons why this week’s BeFreeForMe Friday Favorite goes out to Glutino Food’s Chicken Pizza with BBQ Sauce!

Revelations about My New Year Resolutions

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Let’s face it… this is the time of year that we all start making up lists of the things that we are or are not going to do for the coming year. A list of resolutions that we coulda, woulda and shoulda been doing for the past 12 months, but needed the fresh clean start of a shiny New Year to get the motivation to begin.

In the past most of the resolutions I made were doomed for failure. But this year is going to be different. This year I am actually going to make resolutions that I can keep.

Resolutions that are fated for failure are ones that are typically super specific… I WILL run 4 miles every day; I WILL loose those extra 10 pounds by the first day of summer; I WILL eat only 1600 calories a day; I WILL have lunch with different friends at least once a month; or I WILL save $50 every week.

This year I decided to make my New Year’s resolution ones that are qualitative in nature, and not quantitative. Resolutions that let me enjoy the journey of becoming a healthier and happier person – both physically and mentally. My rule: No menial counting allowed with my resolutions this year.

I figured that by recognizing and then repeating all the little things along the course of the day that make me a better person –  a person that is in good health and more content – all the super-specific aspirations will inevitably and naturally fall right behind.

When I rejoice at a beautiful spring day, I’ll walk a little bit longer to enjoy the day even more; When someone in the office makes a gluten-free birthday cake for a co-worker I’ll join the festivities and enjoy a small slice… calories and all; and when a friend calls me, even on my craziest of days, and asks to go out that night to “catch up” I’ll join her and enjoy every moment.

So this year instead of counting calories, miles, or how much I have saved in the bank, I’ll be counting my blessings and all the little things that make every day of the year as shiny and bright… and promising… as the day before.

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