Archive for October, 2011

Friday Favorite: Mini PopsAir Popped Sorghum Grain

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

For those of you that love popped corn you are going to LOVE this week’s Friday Favorite… Mini Pops Air Popped Sorghum Grain … which is similar to a popcorn – but far, far better!

Mini Pops is air-Popped sorghum grain. When this gluten-free grain is exposed to high heat, the water inside the center of each grain heats up and expands causing the grain to explode… just like popcorn. But unlike popcorn, Mini Pops do not have a hull – those aggravating little buggers that get stuck in teeth and your gums!

Mini Pops are fun to eat and delicious too. Just like popcorn, Mini Pops comes in several flavors including Baby White Cheddar, Cutie Carmel Clusters, Hot & Chilly Chili, Itsy Bitsy Chili Cheese, Itty Bitty Butter, Nano Pepper & Herb, Petite Plain, plus my favorite Subatomic Sea Salt.

If you’re not familiar with sorghum it is fifth most harvested cereal grain in the world. Compared to corn it also has less calories, fat and sodium.

Not only are Mini Pops gluten-free, they are also made in a nut-free facility and free of pesticides or genetic modification.

All these popping good reasons are why this week’s Friday Favorite goes to Mini Pops Air Popped Sorghum Grain! Congratulations!

Halloween Gluten-Free Candy List 2011

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I love Halloween. What a perfect time for a kid – you can dress up to be whatever your little heart desires, troll the neighborhood with your best friends & siblings after dark, and collect a bounty of candy to boot. But when you put the gluten-free diet and food allergies into the mix, the treats collected can often become a trick.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had many members asking for a gluten-free (or a dairy-free, nut-free, casein-free) Halloween Candy List. So to make things easy for everyone I have found a few websites that list the most popular Halloween Candy and their gluten-free / dairy-free / nut-free / casein-free status.

Please note that some of the lists include candy that is made on the same lines as wheat or other allergens – so use your judgment if this candy should be consumed by your child (or… admit it…. by YOU!)

As always… read all ingredient labels and if you have any questions, call the manufacturer direct!

Here are the lists that I found: – Gluten-free & Allergen-free lists – Gluten-free candy list; Canadian and US lists – Gluten-free candy list – Dairy-Free Halloween Candy List
Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board – Has a Peanut/Tree Nut free list; a gluten-free list and a gluten & casein-free list.

Be Free! Peace Out (Yes… I am the hippie in the upper right corner of the photo!)  And a Safe & Happy Halloween to ALL!

Friday Favorite: Sheffa Snack Mix

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Sometimes snacks deserve to be a little sassy. Being a sweet snacking gal can get pretty boring sometimes – and there’s nothing like a little zip to pick up afternoon snack time.

That is why I love the Sheffa Snack Mixes. I’ve been a fan of Sheffa ever since I discovered them a couple years back. They’re the type of snack that you wish you had more of once you get to the bottom of the bag.

Sheffa Snack Mixes are just absolutely delicious and unlike any other savory snack I have ever, ever had. In a (good!) way though, this snack is reminiscent of the “oh-so-unhealthy-pretzel-peanut-corn-chip” snack mixes that are served in glass tumblers at bars across the country. BUT… Sheffa Snack Mixes are a gluten-free version that is also far more healthier, tastier and made with only healthy “good for you”  ingredients.  In fact the tagline for Sheffa is “The Best Earth Can Offer”. My favorite variety is the Zesty Snack Mix, made with Crispy chickpea noodles, roasted corn, and toasted seeds that is seasoned to savory perfection.

The other varieties of Sheffa Snacks  are: Spicy (that dishes out a kick of chili), Tasty (with toasted nuts, seeds, and legumes mixed with sweet raisins, tropical fruits, and a hint of chili) & Sweet (featuring coconut-covered roasted almonds and soy nuts mixed with tangy cranberries, sweet papaya and pineapple).

Savory, sassy and one-of-a-kind… this week’s Friday Favorite goes to Sheffa Snacks. Congratulations on being heads above others in the gluten-free snack category!

Want to Buy? Check out these links from (Bonus: FREE Shipping on orders over $25.00!)
Sheffa Zesty Snack Mix, 6-ounces (Pack of 3)
Sheffa Spicy Snack Mix, 6-Ounce (Pack of 3)
Sheffa Sweet Snack Mix, 7-ounces (Pack of 3)

WIN-It-Wednesday: Quick-Fix Gluten Free Cookbook by Robert M. Landolphi

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

This WIN-It-Wednesday contest on is sponsored by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Robert M. Landolphi.

For years, I have been a fan of Chef Rob, his nickname with the gluten-free set. His first cookbook, Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook is a cookbook I tell everyone on a gluten-free diet to buy. It offers up some easy to make adults and kid-friendly gluten-free dishes that are sure to please.

That is why I was so excited when Chef Rob came out with his second gluten-free cookbook, Quick-Fix Gluten Free.

Just like in his first, Rob’s second cookbook offers some new fast and easy recipes that are perfect for a weekday supper with the family (Chubby Chicken Enchiladas; or Crispy Chicken Fingers with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, anyone?), for a holiday get-together with friends where you want to spend more time with your guests than cooking (Grilled Mojo Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Candied Walnuts, are just two that I can’t wait to try) or recipes for your ‘sweet side’ (Chocolate-Expresso Cookies, Chocolate & Banana Bread Pudding and even a recipe for Sugar-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls … yum!). This cookbook is packed with tons of recipes that are easy to prepare and sure to please.

All these reasons are why I am SO excited that Chef Rob Landolphi is sponsoring the next two WIN-It-Wednesdays on Two winners will win a copy of Robert Landolphi’s new cookbook, Quick-Fix Gluten Free.  One (1) winner will be chosen from all entries received before Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST and another winner will be chosen from all entries received between Wednesday, October 26 and Tuesday November 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST. So make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win) and let us know a time saving quick-fix tip or trick that works for you… when shopping, cooking, during housework, at school or work, in the crazy mornings, or in the evenings… anything!  (Me? Lists everywhere keep me on track and on time every day!)

Good luck, remember time is precious… and… as always…
Be Free!

Note: Want to buy Robert Landolphi’s cookbooks? Check out these links on

Gluten Free Everyday Cookbook

Quick-Fix, Gluten Free Cookbook

Friday Favorite: Linwood’s Ground Flaxseed, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame Seed & Goji Berry Superfood!

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

I admit that I was at first doubtful that these gluten-free ground concoctions of Super Foods would taste good. I know that incorporating flaxseeds into your diet is a great way to add nutritional benefits to my gluten-free diet, and I like flaxseeds well enough. But to actually get “excited” about a flaxseed based product seemed really, really far-fetched to me… that is until I tasted the Linwood’s products.

The concept is simple. Linwood’s has developed a line of Super Food containing products that are like no others that are currently in the market. They have done this by blending ground flax seeds with different combinations of other ground super foods for an unbelievably tasty and versatile healthy product.

Some of the gluten-free combinations that they have come up with include: Ground Flaxseed and Goji Berries; Ground Flaxseeds, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds; Ground Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Almonds & Q10; Ground Flaxseeds, Cocoa, Strawberries & Blueberries; and my favorite, Ground Flaxseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds & Goji Berries. Linwood’s also offers Organic Ground Flaxseeds and other products too.

Since getting my hands on a bag of this super Super Food, I have enjoyed it so much sprinkled on the top of my yogurt each morning. It adds a nice crunchy, sweet boost that makes my ho-hum yogurt into oh-yum yogurt. I can’t wait to get my hands on a few more bags so I can experiment with the recipes on the Linwood website, as well as try some of my own gluten-free recipes.

This week’s Friday Favorite goes to Linwood’s Flaxseed Blends for the simple reason of making flaxseeds tasty and … actually FUN! (Yes… it CAN be done!).  Congratulations!

Note: Made in Ireland this product is now available in the USA and should be in stores shortly… ask your stores for it your next visit. Until then I’ll be getting my “Linwood’s flax seed fix” by ordering mine on Here’s the link: Linwoods Sunflower Pumpkin Sesame Flaxseed, 15-Ounce

Ask Shelley Case: Gluten-Free Family Activities for the Fall

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Question: My child was diagnosed with celiac disease a year ago. Over the summer we found it easy to eat gluten-free with all the fresh fruits, vegetables, outdoor picnics & barbeques. Now that fall is here we are struggling to get into the swing of things, not to mention having to deal with Halloween. Any ideas?


Congratulations on the first year of gluten-free living! It has been said that the first year of being gluten-free can often be the toughest. With the change of seasons, there is always a learning curve, as well. Just when you seem to find seasonal gluten-free recipes and dishes that are both gluten-free and delicious – a whole new season of change occurs!

Autumn is a time to enjoy some great gluten-free recipes that hinge upon outdoor family activities & fun. So put on that extra sweater, get out for a walk and enjoy the changing colors of the season. Here are some family friendly activities & recipes to enjoy the autumn season gluten-free plus tips for a safe Halloween. Enjoy!

How ‘bout them apples? The fruit that is most associated with the fall and the change of seasons is the apple.  A portable, affordable and healthy snack, there are many different tasty varieties of apples. To find out more about different varieties of apples and their uses, check out this article. Apple picking is also a great family activity that is inexpensive, fun and yielding of fresh fruit. To find an apple orchard near you check out

And after you’ve picked your bag, basket or bushel of apples, make sure you check out these gluten-free apple recipes:

Spiced Apple Cake

Apple-Cinnamon Stuffed Squash

Sweet Onion, Cranberry & Apple Bake It’s the Great Pumpkin! Loaded with dietary fiber, Vitamin A and potassium, pumpkins make a healthy addition to your diet. For a great outdoor activity try pumpkin picking! Find your very own pumpkin patch close to your home on this website.

I love that pumpkin picking also leads into other family activities such as pumpkin carving and recipes such as these pumpkin seeds. No time to carve your own pumpkins? Use canned pumpkin for these Flax Pumpkin Squares and these Pumpkin Nut Muffins.

Tailgate Time! Tailgating is a time to cheer on the home team while enjoying time outside with family & friends. Preparing a gluten-free menu can be an easy game plan if you keep the menu options simple and prepare the foods ahead of time.  Some suggestions for gluten-free tailgating recipes that can be prepared ahead of time include: Sweet & Sticky Chicken Drumsticks, Sesame Chicken Skewers and Red Pepper Hummus.

Boo! Gluten-Free Treats for YOU! Halloween treats can often be laden with a lot of tricks when you are concerned with a gluten-free diet.  Make sure that you review all candy label ingredients prior to allowing your child (or you!) to eat. For those items that contain gluten offer to trade the unsafe candy for pennies, nickels or dimes.

Check out the article and links for safe candy lists at “Wish Craft: Keeping Halloween Gluten & Allergen-Free”.

When attending Halloween parties bring along non-food treats such as decorative pencils, markers, stickers, bouncy balls or other small toys – which are all are great alternatives to sweets.

Friday Favorite: Bakery On Main’s New True Bar

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Bakery on Main’s newest addition to their gluten-free line-up is a product I truly love. The True Bar.

And loving these bars so much has prompted me to add my own thoughts onto the phrase “Nothing to hide” True Bar’s  tagline .

My addition: “Nothing to hide… but SO much to seek.”

These gluten-free bars are made with natural ingredients and are a perfect choice for those seeking out a quick on-the-go snack. True Bars are also also a good source of fiber and Omega 3, made with many low-GI ingredients, non- GMO, dairy and casein free. Low in sodium and with no transfat or cholesterol, these bars are also certified gluten free and Kosher Parve.

Chew, yet crunchy, True Bars come in six fun, interesting and tantalizing flavors: Apricot Almond Chai, Walnut Cappuccino, Fruit & Nut, Hazelnut Chocolate Cherry, Raspberry Chocolate Almond and my personal favorite, Coconut Cashew. Nothing boring about these bars!

So seek them out for yourselves and see why this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe goes to Bakery on Main’s new Truebars!

Note: Enjoy FREE shipping on the Truebar’s for a limited time. Individual bars or by the sleeve of twelve for a 25% saving!

WIN-It-Wednesday: riceworks® Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps & Wild riceworks

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

It’s Wednesday and time for yet another WIN-It-Wednesday! The sponsor of the next two week’s contest is one of my all time favorite snacks… riceworks Brown rice crisps.. and their newest addition… WILD riceworks – a combo of brown and wild rice.

I know by now many of you have had the opportunity to try riceworks® Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, but if you haven’t tried them yet – or if you haven’t tried the new Wild riceworks…  you really need to!

The reason why I love these crisps so much is because they are a cross between a chip and a cracker. Crunchy and salty enough to replace potato chips, yet firm enough to handle any dip, hummus or piece of cheese – these crisps are rice – and they work!

They also come in six yummy flavors… Sea Salt, Sweet Chili, Salsa Fresca, Parmesan, Tangy BBQ and the new MUST TRY variety –  Wild riceworks.

The flavors have something for everyone… sweet, savory, and salty. Plus they are gluten-free, all natural, have no preservatives or artificial flavors, no trans fats, plus they are vegan and kosher friendly. They taste sinful… but aren’t!

The new Wild riceworks contain all natural whole grain wild & white rice… and has over 12 grams of whole grains per serving. This newest addition to the riceworks family is almost more flatbread-like than the other ricework varieties, so they are perfect for scooping, spreading and stacking your favorite toppings. They also have had a favorable “two-thumbs-up” review from every person I know that has tried them. I encourage you to give them a try!

And if you haven’t done so yet, check out riceworks page on Facebook. They have a great promotion going where folks can “Confess their snacking sins” and get a $1.00 off coupon for a bag of riceworks.

Another nice thing about riceworks® Brown Rice Crisps is that they work with my busy lifestyle. You can find them almost anywhere – Wal-Mart, Super Target, Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and Pathmark, to name just some of the locations.

Needless, I was thrilled when the folks at riceworks® asked to sponsor the prize package for the next two week’s WIN-It-Wednesday. Six winners (three each week) will each win a gift pack containing 6 bags – one of each flavor, including the new Wild riceworks. Three (3) winners will be chosen from all entries received before Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST and another three (3) winners will be chosen from all entries received between Wednesday, October 12 and Tuesday October 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST. So make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win) and let us know your snacking sins (Me? I confess my candy guiltiness… Gummy Bears and caramels!)

Good luck, remember some things (like riceworks) can be sinful but still good for you, and… as always…

Be Free!

Destination Simon Pearce: One of My Favorite Recipes – Mediterranean Lamb Burger with Rosemary Aioli

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

With October finally here the trees are taking on a slow but steady tinted grin in anticipation of an explosive vibrant smile of autumn colors. It’s this time of year that my mind gets wandering to one of my favorite places in the world… Quechee, Vermont.

Nestled in the mountains of Vermont, Quechee is the quintessential New England town. The old Yankee feel, quaint country inns and the covered bridges that are speckled across the country side – infamously making their way into memories of my time spent in the Green Mountain State.

One of my favorite places to visit while in Quechee is Simon Pearce Restaurant and retail store, located on the banks of the Ottauqhuchee River in a renovated former linen mill. The restaurant staff is amazing when it comes to finding gluten-free options on their vast menu offerings – most made with local Vermont products and all served on their own hand-blown glass or pottery. And after dining, visiting the glassblowing and handmade pottery workshops below the restaurant and retail shop is amazing.

And oh, how my heart broke this summer when I watched videos of the raging Ottauqhechee taking over this former mill, as well as the covered bridge leading up to the it – all due to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

But a little over a month later the Simon Pearce Restaurant & retail store is open now.

And although that covered bridge has not yet been replaced – it’s o.k.  New Englanders are use to detours… those unforeseen alternative routes that build spirit and perseverance. The bumpy back road paths that allow history to be woven and make the ultimate destination all the more appreciated.

I am looking forward to taking in the beauty of Vermont this season with a new-found respect. My ultimate destination? The Simon Pearce Restaurant so I can enjoy my all-time favorite meal… Mediterranean Lamb Burger with Rosemary Aioli*. And like the trees covering the majestic Vermont countryside I too will be donning a vibrant smile as I happily ride on those back road paths… one expected bump at a time.

P.S. Want to help the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley? Purchase a Commemorative Barre Tealight made by Simon Pearce and $20 will be donated to the organization. As the Simon Pearce website says… “The Barre Tealight: Graceful, unpretentious, and warm…without being the least bit fragile. Just like the spirit of the people of Vermont.”

* Can’t make it to Vermont this year? Make my all-time Simon Pearce favorite at home.

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers with Rosemary Aioli

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers Ingredients:

2 pounds ground lamb

¼ cup sun-dried tomato (chopped)

¼ cup black olives (chopped)

¼ cup chopped basil

¼ cup (or less) olive oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Rosemary Aioi Ingredients:

2 cups mayonnaise (Check label for allergens)

¼ cup fresh rosemany (finely chopped)

¼ cup fresh garlic minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Use immediately or place in covered storage and refrigerate.

Mix lamb with tomato, olive, basil, olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness.

Place burger on a roll (I use gluten-free) and spread on top a teaspoon or more of the Rosemary Aioli.

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