Monday, December 15, 2008

Quick Quip: Muncha Muncha Muncha On Envirokidz Gorilla Munch

Savannah’s Natural Food Store- Brighter Day Natural Foods- recently had a 30th Birthday Party which included a marvelous tasting fair. I love going to events like this when I know there will be gluten-free goodies for me to munch on so I don’t have to eat before I go! I happily took any of the free-samples that were gluten-free home to try whenever the snack bug took over. Some of the samples I had tried before but one that was new to be was the Envirokidz Organic Gorilla Munch. I do not have children and have graduated from child-like cereals but I thought I would give it a try.

Envirokidz Organic is a division of Nature’s Path and their focus is on organic foods- not gluten free food. Don’t fret though, many of their products are gluten free including “Amazon Frosted Flakes”, “Gorilla Munch” (similar to KIX), “Koala Krisp” (similar to Rice Krispies), “Leapin Lemurs: Peanut Butter and Chocolate” and “Peanut Butter Panda Puffs”. How fun are those names? What I think is so cool is that they offer a line of products that gluten-free kids can eat and still have fun with, learn about endangered animals and safely enjoy. Also 1% of all sales are donated to endangered species, habitat conservation and environmental education for kids.

So they have fun cereal names appealing to kids, they have organic and gluten free food and they give back to the “greater good” but does their food taste good to adults? Honestly, its not all that shabby! The Gorilla Munch is made or organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice and sea salt making it nice and simple. The use of the cane juice makes the cereal sweet but not disgustingly sweet like many of the children’s cereals on the market. My only complaint was that the “munches” stick to your teeth a bit. Other than that- this is a great option for both kids and parents to enjoy- and give back with!

Gluten Free Maven Tip of the Day:
Check each Envirokidz product to ensure it is gluten-free since it is not a gluten-free only company

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rice Chex is now Gluten- Free!

One of the most difficult things about being a celiac, gluten-free and/or wheat-free is the inability to get “mainstream” food. I have to shop at at least two, usually three, different markets to get the “basics” and don’t even get me started on the cost of a gluten – free diet. My roommate Cameron will come home with almost the same one-bag of groceries as I do- pasta, vegetables, rice, some canned goods from our local grocery store and have a receipt for $20. I will have the same amount of goods with a receipt for almost $60. It is next to impossible to find any recipes for gluten-free foods on websites like and restaurants catering to us are rarely reviewed in the New York Times. But as Bob Dylan crooned long ago “times they are a changing”.The “mainstream” food community is starting to catch on that those of us with food allergies are not only a profitable group but a passionate, loyal and tightly woven one.

I frequently have conversations with gluten gluttons where they make statements like “oh well at Whole Foods they have like a whole row of shelves for you guys so you get a lot of food” or “what about Rice Krispies? That doesn’t have wheat – so easy to eat like you have to”. Yes, Whole Foods does a phenomenal job at stocking gluten-free foods but look around you get a whole store to linger and taste your way through- I get a few shelves. And Rice Krispies is one of many American cereals, which despite the name, includes wheat in the ingredient list.
Happily though mainstream food manufacturers, publications and the like are starting to pick up on the gluten-free lifestyle. My friend Amy chatted me the other day saying “Chex Mix is Gluten Free now!” I checked out the claim today at the grocery store. Of course Wheat Chex is not gluten- free and the Corn Chex cereal as a barley coating, but, Rice Chex proudly boasts on their side panel “Rice Chex cereal is now Gluten-Free”. They even have a page on their website with gluten- free recipes. This is a great resource for those who are not gluten-free but are having a party with gluten-free guests. Thank you General Mills for putting this out there and helping awareness!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gluten- Free Baker makes Cincinatti Newspaper!

This is a fabulous article about a gluten- free entrepeneur and living a gluten- free life. I love that newspapers and media are starting to pay more attention to us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quick Quip: Marys Gone Crackers!

I have always been a cracker person. I am a huge fan of cheese and crackers- I could probably eat them for every meal just about every day. One Thanksgiving my grandfather’s crazy third wife served us all cheese and crackers for Thanksgiving dinner. Everybody was furious- except for me I was happy as a clam. I again was as happy as a clam when I discovered Mary’s Gone Crackers Crackers. They are no regular lame cracker that needs cheese, dip or some other accompaniment to add flavor. Mary’s crackers easily stand by themselves on the flavor front. They offer their cracker in five flavors including original, caraway, black pepper ( my fav), herb (my #2) and onion. The mix of multiple gluten-free flours and seeds are what make this cracker so wonderful- all of the flavors play off of each other- brown rice, flax seeds, sesame seeds, amaranth, millet, quinoa and more. And- everything is organic- even better!
Mary’s has recently added “Sticks and Twigs” to their line of products – a pretzel like version of their cracker available in chipotle tomato (my fav), sea salt and curry. They are a great snack to throw in your purse or car and have as a quick snack while running errands or when hunger hits.
In my opinion Mary’s Gone Crackers crackers are a must- have in any gluten- free cabinet. Even if you are not gluten-free these crackers are heads and tails above any other cracker I have tasted. Check out ordering information, store locations and more on their website at

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quick Quip: Bakery On Main Granola

When I first found out I had to follow a strict gluten-free diet I was a little bit dense. There were so many foods that I just didn’t realize had gluten in them, gluten derivatives or cross- contamination. So when I would get sick I was very confused to say the least. Granola was one such food. Even when I would read the ingredients label and it “seemed” fine I would get sick- then I would go on the website and see that it was not gluten- free. At least I knew WHY I was getting sick but I was still annoyed. Now I have found one granola that is deliciously gluten free- Bakery On Main Gourmet Naturals.

I was so used to just passing up granola that I didn’t even think to try Bakery On Main, even though it is advertised as “gluten free”, when I used to pass it in the grocery stores in Brooklyn. I was so over granola. But recently my boss sent me a gluten- free gift basket with granola and my fear of granola melted away. Bakery on Main is better than any granola I remember in my gluten days. My favorite Bakery on Main “flavor” is Cranberry Orange Cashew Granola. Their mix of ingredients is dead on- just enough crunchiness and sweetness to fill you up in the morning before you go on your way. Being full after breakfast is always a challenge for me- but not when I have a bowl of this granola. Their base for the granola is corn and rice and their flavors include “Cranberry Orange Cashew”, “Rainforest”, “ Apple Raisin Walnut”, “Maple Cranberry” and “Extreme Fruit and Nut”. Even if you are not gluten- free this is some fabulous granola! Delish!

For a list of Bakery on Main’s gluten free products (which are also casein and dairy free) along with store locations, coupons and recipes check out their website:
Photo from Bakery-On-Main.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Not long before I moved from Brooklyn to Savannah, I was sitting in my doctor’s office getting my asthma checked out and was complaining about these little divots on my tongue. Seeing a doctor in New York City is a whole new trip of crazy to begin with- the most surprising part to me was how they will sit with you in their office and talk about your medical history, why you are there, etc. and then take you into an exam room and then back in the office you go. So, my doctor and I were comfortably sitting in his office chairs talking about these tiny divots (aphthous ulcers) he examined in the exam room and after I replied I had had them for a little over a year he replied in his thick Ghanaian accent “Oh no! That is much, much too long lets fix this!”. My point exactly doc. He decides to check me out for B12 deficiency with a blood test and sent me to the blood lady to drain some blood. I bid my adieu and went off to the blood lady.

About 2 minutes later he comes running into the blood room and said “Lindsey, Lindsey I forgot to tell you!” my heart sunk, I thought for sure I had some rare disease and had about 4 days to live but instead he exclaimed “You have the most beautiful cholesterol I have ever seen in my life!”. Sweet! It is true- beauty is not only skin deep - in my case cholesterol deep as well. It turns out he had never seen anybody with as low of cholesterol as I had and I walked out of his office that day my head just a little higher and my swagger just a littler more swaggin.

It has long been engrained in me, along with buying non-fat and low-fat products, to also watch foods that would raise my cholesterol such as butter, eggs, etc. My parents don’t suffer from high cholesterol but watching my cholesterol intake was something I always did and never knew why. Well not anymore! I embrace butter, eggs, cheese, oils and all that good cholesterol-y stuff with a hearty hug. Well maybe not a hearty hug but I let them slip into my diet a lot more frequently than I did before. The two following recipes for potato quiche are perfect examples of my “cholesterol to the wind” attitude I have embraced in the past few months- lucky for me now that I am in the south and everything is cooked in butter, oil and fat. So while the recipes are not cholesterol – free they are naturally gluten free and phenomenally delicious.

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods out there and gluten- free. I love just about everything potato- mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, potato soup and the list can go on and on. That list now includes my potato quiches. I was never a big fan of quiche- I always got sick and thought it was the eggs when in reality it was the gluten in the crust. I frequently think of recipes and how to make new creations as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep at night and for weeks have been pondering a quiche with potato crust. I just kept getting caught up with the baking of the potatoes for the crust. So, I called my mother and asked for her advice and she mentioned a Potatoes Anna dish she used to make. From my mother’s recipe and flipping through cookbooks and online sites the following recipes came to be. What is so awesome about these dishes are there versatility – I eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner… much like the Pennsylvania prayer “Potatoes served at breakfast, At dinner served again; Potatoes served at supper, Forever and Amen!”

So pull up the B-52’s “ My Own Private Idaho” and pay homage to the state that gives us some fabulous gluten free food!

Simple Potato Quiche
4 tbsp butter
4 Idaho Potatoes
6 Eggs
½ can diced tomatoes or 1 large tomato diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper as needed
Diced leftover squash and zucchini (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Melt butter on oven in small sauce pan or in microwave- proof dish in microwave (optional: a couple of dashes of salt)
3) Slice potatoes about 1/8 of an inch thick using sharp knife or mandolin
1) Brush pie pan bottom and side with melted butter and place one layer of potatoes on bottom of pan. Brush top of potatoes with butter and layer additional potatoes over first layer trying to cover all “holes” made by the potatoes. Brush the second layer of potatoes with butter as well.
2) Place potatoes in oven for 15 minutes
3) While potatoes are baking break eggs in medium size bowl and whisk with fork
4) Mix tomatoes (drain if using canned), cheese and squash and zucchini into egg mixture (egg mixture will be very thick). Add pepper (optional)
5) Take potatoes out of the oven and add egg mixture. Add the rest of the potatoes in circular motion on top of egg mixture. Brush remaining butter on top of potatoes.
6) Place potato quiche back in oven for 45 minutes.
7) Let cool for 5-10 minutes and eat alone or with greens salad.
Serves 6 or 1 for a few days

Italian Potato Quiche
3 tbsp butter
2 Idaho Potatoes
¼ small yellow onion diced
2 small off the vine tomatoes diced
3 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 tsp Italian blend spice
1 clove garlic minced or jarred minced garlic (Spice World in produce section of most groceries)
Salt and Pepper as needed Olive Oil as needed

Steps 1-3 same as simple potato quiche

4) Brush 7X5X1.5 pan with butter and place one layer of potato

on bottom. Place in oven.
5) In sauté pan swirl olive oil and sauté onion and garlic on high
(one fork full if using jarred) until onion is translucent. Add
tomatoes and sauté until tender. Place heat on low.
6) Break eggs in bowl and whisk with fork.
7) Add cheese, Italian spices and tomato/onion mixture to eggs. Add Pepper (optional)
8) Take potatoes out of oven and add egg mixture (will be
thick). Add the rest of the potatoes on top of egg mixture and
brush with the rest of the butter.
9) Bake for 30 minutes.
10) Let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

Serves 2 or 1 for 3 meals!

These are two options of many you can make with the potato quiche. The key steps are really 1-3. If you are a pork eater (which I am not) you can add bacon or ham to either of the quiches. You can also make a Spanish quiche sautéing peppers and onions. Your imagination is your “potato” if you will!

And of course the aphthous ulcers were just one more sign of my
celiacs. Go figure!