Archive for October, 2012

WIN-It-Wednesday: Pacific Natural Foods Cranberry Sauces

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Halloween is here! And to me Halloween is the “official” start of the Holiday Season… my favorite season of the year! I love the holidays since they are full of comfort foods, good memories and family get-togethers.

But sometimes those comfort foods end up not being very healthy and are full of things like corn syrup, additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. It’s funny how being gluten or allergen-free awakens you to the ingredient labels of the products that you eat. Since becoming gluten-free I found that I really scrutinize and question every ingredient on the label… not just the ones that contain gluten.

That is why I am a fan of Pacific Natural Food products. I love that they use wholesome, all-natural and organic ingredients. Plus they make it easy for those with food allergies or Celiac disease to easily understand and read their product’s labels. They also have an easy to read chart on their website that lists each of their products allergens. No guessing. No searching. Just simple basic info right at your computer keyboard or Smartphones fingertips.

Pacific Natural Foods makes two varieties of Cranberry Sauce – a jellied and a whole berry – both Thanksgiving holiday favorites.

One of the biggest difference between Pacific Natural Foods Cranberry Sauces and other brands is that there is NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP in the Pacific Natural Brand Cranberry Sauces. The only ingredients in Pacific Naturals Cranberry Sauces are: Organic cranberries, organic cane sugar and water. That’s it.

Pure and simple goodness.

I also like that Pacific Natural Cranberry Sauces come in BPA-free packaging and no can opener is required to open and enjoy.

Buh-bye ridged-tin-can-shaped jelly cranberry sauce! It’s been nice knowing ya… but I’ve found a new saucy holiday favorite. =)

And lucky for all of us at BeFreeForMe and just in time for Thanksgiving, this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday is sponsored by Pacific Natural Foods.

A total of four (4) BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a prize pack that includes one of each of the Jellied and the Whole Cranberry Sauce. Two winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, November 6, 2012  at 11:59 PM EST, and two more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 13 at 11:59 PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times to win!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know your favorite Thanksgiving recipe, memory or tradition. (Me? My favorite Thanksgiving memory is waking up on Thanksgiving Day to the smell of a turkey in the oven and the sounds of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the television).

Good luck, Cherish your memories… and as always,
Be Free!

Keep in touch and join me in following Pacific Natural Foods on Facebook and Twitter!

Want to Buy? Check out these links on
Pacific Natural Foods Organic Sauce, Jellied Cranberry, 15.6 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Pacific Natural Foods Organic Sauce, Whole Berry Cranberry, 15.6 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Friday Favorite: Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

I love making risotto from scratch, but sometimes I just don’t have the time. That is why I reach Lundberg’s Gluten-Free Creamy Parmesan Risotto.

This risotto can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop and can be done in as little as 20 minutes.

This creamy and flavorful rice dish (which is made with Arborio rice, Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses, onion and garlic) it an Italian specialty that has become one of my family’s favorites. Although it can be served as a side-dish, we like it tossed with some fresh grilled chicken strips and served as our main course.

It also comes in other flavors, including some of my favorites – Garlic Primavera, Italian Herb and Butternut Squash.

I also like that that the Lundberg products can be found in most major supermarkets (no running to natural food stores to find it) or on

Convenience, being able to make an Italian dish easily at home, and being a family dinnertime favorite are the reasons why this week’s Friday Favorite on goes to Lundberg Gluten-free Risotto!


Buy now on
Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto, 5.5-Ounce Units (Pack of 12)

Friday Favorite: Oloves

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Oh the love of oloves. These snack packs of perfectly marinated olives are the perfect grab and go nibble. I love them.

At only 50 calories per pack, these olives are full of flavor and do not contain any of the major allergens, or gluten.

They are perfect for travel, lunchboxes, picnics, and an office afternoon snack.

I have only tried the Tasty Mediterranean variety, seasoned with basil & garlic, but Oloves also make a Hot Chili Mama, heated up with habanero peppers, and the Lemony Lover, packed with lemon and garlic.

I tried these Oloves on a flight during recent travel, but you can also find them on

Thanks to Oloves for making this quick, easy, healthy, low calorie and tasty snack. For all these reasons this week’s Friday Favorite is awarded to Oloves. Congrats!

Get Oloves on

Oloves Lemony Lover, pitted green olives with lemon and garlic, 1.1oz X 10 Packages
Oloves HOT CHILLI MAMA, pitted green olives with habanero chilli, 1.1oz X 10 Packages
Oloves Tasty Mediterranean Flavor, Pitted Green Olives with Basil and Garlic, 1.1oz X 12 Packages

Ask Shelley Case: Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Question: Do you have any suggestions on celebrating a safe gluten-free Halloween? How about a gluten-free candy list?

Answer: It’s that time of year again – Time for witches, ghosts, goblins and other scary stuff. And for those that are on a gluten-free diet, many favorite Halloween candies can be added to the list of frightening thing. That is why it is so important that due-diligence and extra caution is given when it comes to deciphering what Halloween candy is a “treat” vs. a “trick”.

Following are a few tips and pointers to make you and your family’s Halloween a goblin’ good time!

–    Hidden Gluten Is Scary! When people think of foods that could possibly contain gluten, candy is normally not on the list. That is why so many people are surprised to learn that many candies, such as licorice and caramels, can be packed with wheat. My rule of thumb? Never assume that candy doesn’t contain gluten. Treat all candy like “normal food” and read every single label before eating!

–    Fun-Sized Candies May Not Be Fun! Many food manufacturers use different formulations for different sizes of the same candy. So that jumbo sized candy bar you eat during the year may contain gluten in the fun-sized portion. Again, read every single label before eating!

–    Watch Out Smartie-(Pants)! Depending on what country you live in different candies can be called the same thing. One may contain gluten and the other may not. An example of this is Smarties. In the USA, Smarties are tiny, tart pastel colored candies that are free of gluten, while Smarties in Canada are small candy coated chocolates – that contain gluten. This is why it is so important that when you review a gluten-free candy list you are sure that the list is specific to the country where you live. I love the gluten-free Halloween Candy List that is published, each year, by They have two lists – one candy list for Canada and the other candy list for the USA.

–    Don’t Eat Candy With No Label: Many people like to put candy corn and other small Halloween candies in little, cute bags for party favors or to hand out to Trick or Treaters. This means that there is no ingredient label on the candy. If this happens follow this mantra: No label = Not Able.

–    Other Resources: Check out these other links for more info on enjoying a safe & gluten-free Halloween:

Ask Shelley Case: Gluten-Free Family Activities for the Fall
Wish Craft: Keeping Halloween Gluten and Allergen Free

–    Recipes: Check out these recipes that are healthy and perfect for Halloween festivities:

Quick & Easy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Flax Pumpkin Squares
Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding
Pumpkin Nut Muffins

Ask Shelley Case is a feature of Shelley Case, RD is a Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Visit Shelley and get more gluten-free tips & info at:

WIN-It-Wednesday: Erewhon’s Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

This week’s sponsor for the Win-It-Wednesday on is a new tasty and nutritious gluten-free cereal that has made it’s way into a Whole Food’s Market near you…Erewhon’s Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal.

First off, let me clarify one common misconception about buckwheat: Despite it’s name buckwheat IS free of gluten! Plus, Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal is not only gluten-free, but also free of nuts, dairy and eggs.

Erewhon, which was founded in 1966, has been making gluten-free cereal for years. They’re philosophy is “Simple Ingredients. Simply Made” and their newest addition to their gluten-free cereal line-up also holds true to that philosophy as well. I love the crunchy simplicity of this cereal. When I toss in a handful of raisins, I think it taste just like a healthy version of Raisin Bran. Which is awesome since Raisin Bran was once one of my favorite cereals.

Buckwheat and hemp are both nutrient dense ingredients – so enjoying a bowl of this cereal with milk, using it as a mix-in with yogurt, or even using it as a crunchy-fried-chicken-like coating on chicken (or even fish) are all fabulous ways to get the 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 42 grams of whole grains that each serving of this cereal delivers.

I also like that this cereal is non-GMO project verified, something that is important to me, and has been in the spotlight recently. All of the Erewhon’s gluten-free cereals are also certified by GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group).

In other words, I can feel healthy and good about eating this cereal.

All these simple, healthy and tasty reasons are why I am so happy to have Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal sponsor the next two week’s WIN-It-Wednesdays on

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us a simple thing in life that makes you happy. Me? Two things come to mind… sitting on my front porch enjoying the crisp New England evenings… with no cell phones, computers et al; and my clothesline…. Not only is it simple, but it saves me money and I love the way my clothes smell after drying in the fresh air all day.  =)

A total of SIX (Yes… 6!) BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a prize pack containing two boxes of the new Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp cereal. And for this WIN-It-Wednesday you have THREE (Yes…3!) chances to win! Two (2) winners will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST; Two (2) more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM and, finally, two (2) more winners will be selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, October 31 and November 6 at 11:59 PM. SO make sure that you enter to win three times!

Good luck, Keep things simple… and as always…
Be Free!

P.S. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you download the $1.00 OFF Coupon for the Buckwheat & Hemp cereal!

Check out the awesome Healthy Holiday’s Recipe Contest taking place on the Erewhon’s FaceBook Page! Also, follow them on Twitter for more recipes, tips, savings and more!

Friday Favorite: Bumble Bars

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

If you’re looking for a pure & simple bar that is 1.) Gluten-free 2.) Organic 3.) Dairy-free 4.) Is made with ethically sourced ingredients and is (most importantly) 5.) Delicious – look no further than the Bumble Bar.

This super cool company really cares about sustainability, health and doing business the right-way with the right-people. Giving back and making a difference in this big huge world is important to me… and is important to the folks over at Bumble Bar too. You can read more about the people over at Bumble Bar here (I love reading about and getting to know the people that make the foods I eat, since it gives me that farmer’s-market-local-feel).

Bumble Bars come in some great varieties such as Amazing Almond, Chocolate Crisp, Lushus Lemon, Chai Almond and more.

Congratulations to Bumble Bar for making the gluten-free world a pure, simple healthier and tasty place! Thank you!

Friday Favorite: Laurel Hill Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

If you’re looking for a tortilla chip whose flavor goes above and beyond the ho-hum, look no further. Laurel Hill Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips are the chip for you.

I love the sweetness of these chips. They reminded me of crispy thin cinnamon pumpkin wafers. According to the Laurel Hill website, “The flavor comes from the combination of hearty pumpkin puree, nutty roasted pumpkin seeds, and a dash of sweetness from our secret spice blend.”

If Autumn had a flavor is would be these chips!

These chips are gluten-free, nut-free and full of deliciousness – which are the reasons that Laurel Hill Pumpkin Tortilla Chips are this week’s Friday Favorite on


Win-It-Wednesday: Goodbye Gluten Bread

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

If you’re looking to say goodbye to gluten and hello to good tasting bread you’ve got to try Goodbye Gluten, a new gluten-free bread.

Goodbye Gluten Bread is soft (yes… really, really, really soft), not crumbly and tasty to beat. My first bite had me concocting images of grilled cheese sandwiches, French toast, and lunch boxes sandwiches that would make my lunch-time yum-time.

The best part about this bread is that it is found in the real bread aisle in the supermarket. Yes. The REAL BREAD AISLE. Not the frozen food section. I like this since fresh-baked bread belongs in the bread aisle, not the frozen aisle hanging out with the frozen peas, pizzas and popsicles.

This shelf-stable bread comes in two types – Goodbye Gluten White Bread & Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Bread – both are freshly-baked in certified gluten-free bakeries. The breads also carry the Gluten-Free Certification seal from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (

The breads are now just available in the Midwest in retailers such as Giant Eagle, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods, Roundy’s, Kowalski’s, Lunds & Byerly’s, Super One and Hornbachers across the Midwest. But this is just Goodbye Gluten’s first phase of the brands launch. So be on the look out for these delicious breads soon in a store, in the real bread aisle, in a store near you!

All these delicious and non-frozen reasons are why I am so excited that Goodbye Gluten is this WIN-It-Wednesday’s sponsor on

A total of four (4) BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win a prize for this contest. The prize is a loaf of each of two types of the Goodbye Gluten Breads. Two winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and two more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and let us know how you would enjoy this soft, chewy, shelf-stable bread the most. Me? Grilled Cheese the whole way.

Good luck, Goodbye Gluten … and as always,
Be Free!

Keep in touch and join me in following Goodbye Gluten on Facebook!

Vietnamese Noodle Salad: Check out the video!

Monday, October 1st, 2012

O.K. I admit it. I’m addicted.

My addiction? Cooking shows and videos. Maybe it’s the “I-think-I-could-make-that” gumption that overtakes me every time I see a fabulous dish being prepared right before my very eyes on my computer screen or TV; or maybe it’s the lure of exploring new and exciting dishes – recipes that require some ingredient that I haven’t tried before, but have enticed me and have beckoned me to explore in the past.

That’s why I was so excited to review the National Foundation for Celiac Disease Awareness’s Alternative Appetites cooking video that features a likeable & fun personality, Dan Kohler, who triple-confirmed my confidence that I too could make a fabulous dish that even contains a few items that are not on my weekly shopping list.

The Alternative Appetites video shows how to make a Vietnamese Noodle Salad that is made with Thai Kitchen’s new Brown Rice Noodles. The noodles come in three great varieties: Brown Rice, Red Rice, and Purple Rice & Corn.These noodles are great because they cook-up in minutes and are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. I also like the way the noodles come in 4 single serve packs per box. No waste, and perfect for making a noodle side dish or a quick lunch for one. This recipe also features Mirin and Thai Kitchen’s Roasted Chili Paste – two ingredients that I’ve been dying to play around with and try in recipes, but never really knew how to use them.

This recipe is really easy and quick to make. The whole thing was ready in less than 20 minutes which makes it a fantastic weekday dish. And tasty it is too. I loved the way the slight heat of the Thai Kitchen Roasted Chili Paste, mellowed perfectly with the cool chopped cucumber I used to top the salad.

I also love the way this recipe allows you to make it your own. Love carrots? Gotta thing for pea pods? Craving some ginger? No problemo. Grate, slice or chop some up and use as a topping on this salad to make it your own.

This recipe is a keeper, and one you all should try! It got me even further out of my gluten-free cooking comfort zone and has most definitely made its way onto my family’s dinner menu rotation. Thanks NFCA and your Alternative Appetites video series! Also, make sure to check out more Thai Kitchen videos and more blogger reviews here.

BONUS: Want to win some of these Thai Kitchen products? The NFCA is hosting a weekly giveaway now through 10/12/12. Enter to win here!

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