Thursday, October 27, 2011

Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease: Post Walk Recap (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1 - Recap of Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease
Pamela's Gluten Free Products

Silver Level Sponsors:

Pamela's - Pamela's had a double table filled with giveaways.  Two-packs of their regular sized cookies, individually wrapped mini-cookies, sample sized mixes, and new for this year: Whenever Bars.  For those who haven't seen them, they are 1.4oz snack bars in Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut, Oat Cranberry Almond, Oat Raisin Walnut, and Oat Blueberry Lemon.  I have three of the four flavors but have only tried the Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut which was quite good.  All are made with GF oats and are both GF and DF.
Glow Gluten Free Cookies

Shoprite - Shoprite had a large booth in the back corner and were sampling some of their products, sharing space with a cook book author, and giving out reusable shopping bags filled with samples.  These included a healthy living magazine (Live Right produced by Shoprite), a guide on living with celiac disease produced with the NFCA, coupon books, Nature's Path WholeO's cereal and a bag of the new Bachman's GF pretzels. 

Glow - Glow makes four flavors of crisp gluten free cookies: Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate, and Ginger Snap.  These are produced in a dedicated GF/DF bakery.  All four were available for sample.

Kettle Cuisine Gluten Free Soups
Kettle Cuisine - Kettle Cuisine was sampling their Angus Beef Steak Chili and Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables.  Since I can't really handle tomatoes I passed, but I did grab a coupon as I do really like their chicken noodle soup.

Soft'n Hearty -They were sampling their Easy Roll Mix which is naturally gluten, soy and dairy free. The mix itself is also egg free but they had made the rolls with egg.  I only eat a small amount of egg and decided to skip these.

Against the Grain - I don't recall seeing them there, and almost every product they make contains dairy so I've never actually tried them.  I just checked their website though and see that they now have two dairy free products as well.

GlutenOut / Agluten – they were selling their products (a line of Italian foods from Italy) but not sampling anything. From what I could see, most of their items contained dairy (ravioli, tiramisu, gnocchi, etc).

Bronze Level Sponsors:

Pure Gluten Free/Vegan Cookies and Snacks
Udi’s - Ah, my favorite GF/DF bread supplier!  I actually ended up skipping their table as I already consume their products (I use their GF/DF hamburger and hot dog buns and make my breakfast sandwiches out of their breads.  I also have their cinnamon raisin bread from time to time and their bagels.).  One quick warning - their cookies contain dairy.  I've previously reviewed a number of their products: Udi's Ancient Grain Breads, Udi's Hotdog Buns, and Udi's Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

Pure - their entire line is gluten free and vegan (and corn, soy and egg free as well!)  They had samples of their product line, the highlight of which was a raspberry thumbprint cookie.  They also have some snacks made from pea flour which were interesting.  They're only in two stores in NJ so far: Organico (495 North Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey, NJ 07446) and Taste of Dawn (192 Main Street, Butler, NJ 07405).
GFL Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pita

Food Should Taste Good - I don't remember seeing them there but Fairway was giving out samples.  They make a great line of GF chips in a dedicated GF factory.  Some of their chips contain dairy including the chocolate and three with 'cheddar' right in the name.  My favorite is their Sweet Potato chip.

GFL Foods – They were at last year's walk as well.  They sell a GF Pita that is really exceptional.  Unfortunately they are a bit expensive (according to their webstore $9 for six).  The only NJ store carrying them so far is DeLiteful Foods (4040 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08619).

Mrs. Green’s Natural Market - This is a great small market in NY (10 locations) and CT (2 locations).  They don't have any NJ locations but some are right over the border.
Gluten Free Naked Nuggets

Delight Gluten Free Magazine - they were giving away free issues of their magazine and taking subscriptions.  I haven't gotten to the sample issue (Fall 2011) that they gave me yet, but I did read another sample issue earlier this year.  A lot of very modern recipes and great photos.

Naked Nuggets - These are essentially non-breaded chicken nuggets.  I've had them before (and sampled them again at the fair) and they are quite good.  I'm sure being unbreaded they are much healthier.  Maybe if I had kids and was trying to get them to eat better, I would look at these again.  For now however, this big kid wants his chicken nuggets breaded and deep fried!

El’s Kitchen - They were sampling their bagel chips and snack medley.  All of their products are gluten and dairy free (gfdf) and have a nice kick to them (a touch spicy!)  The snack medley is bagel chips, corn chips, pretzels, corn nuts, and potato chips.

Really Great Food Company Gluten Free Mixes
Really Great Food Company - they had a display of their mixes but weren't demo'ing anything.  They have a very wide variety of mixes (wider than any other company I've seen actually).  I've seen them at Corrado's in Wayne, NJ and according to their website they are available at Balance Health Foods (1239 Rt22E, Lebanon, NJ 08833) and The Sunflower Seed (38 Old Hwy 22, Clinton, NJ 08809).

Mary’s Gone Crackers - Mary's Gone Crackers was handing out samples of their chips, cookies, and 'twigs'.  All of their products are vegan and gluten free and due to the number of whole grains and seeds they use quite nutritious. However, again due to the whole grains and seeds they use their products are quite crunchy as well.

Snack Chicks' GF/DF Herb-An Chicks Snacks
Snack Chicks - these are baked chick peas in four flavors - Sweet (cinnamon sugar), Naked (simply salted), Hot (spicy), and Herb-an (garlic and herb).  They're healthy, crunchy and had good flavor - I just don't like chickpeas and couldn't really get over my bias.  If you like chickpeas or seasoned nuts I would highly recommend trying these.

Katz Gluten Free - I highly recommend their products if you can have egg.  They are made in a dedicated Gluten free, dairy free, and nut free facility.  I find that there is just too much egg in their products for me, but if you can have egg, then go for it.  They have a very diverse product line and are making a number of items that no one else is.  I'm seeing their products in more and more places including lots of independent shops as well as some Shoprites and Fairway.

Dream Desserts - this CT only bakery is making dessert bars that are unfortunately made with dairy ingredients.  If you can have dairy and are in CT, I would suggest you try them.  A friend of mine raved about them and they looked really good!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease: Post Walk Recap (Part 1)

What a day!!!  Thank you so much to those who donated!  The final tally isn't in yet, but through the web forms alone (which only about a dozen people used) over $33,000 was raised!

2011 Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease T-Shirt
We were promised 42 vendors but upon arrival we found the number had swelled to 58!  We arrived about 30 minutes before the walk, checked in, put our lime green t-shirts on and headed into the gymnasium to see whomever had set up already.  (See below for the reviews!)

At 10am we headed outside for the walk itself.  There is a choice of two routes (one four miles, the other two) but they run together for the first mile or so.  At the split, the friend I drove up with decided to take the shorter route and I continued on for the four.  I got back around 11:30 - just in time to have missed the day's guest speaker (the guest speech was on cake baking so I didn't really miss out).  That was my only minor issue with the day, I walk very fast but finishing four miles in the 75 minutes between start and speaker wasn't enough time.

Start of the 2011 Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease
Ah, on to the vendors!

I wasn't sure how to order this list.  There were donation levels in supporting the walk and I've decided to list them by those levels:

Gold Level Sponsors:

97lake Sports Cafe and Restaurant - They didn't finish setting up until after the walk but at that point they had trays and trays of Gluten Free (and Dairy Free) chicken wings.  They had a couple of copies of their menu as well but I'm already very familiar with it - Restaurant Review: 97lake, West Harrison, NY.  In talking with the owner I discovered something interesting.  The gluten free beer they serve, Estrella, is made from Barley, Hops, and Rice but they then filter out the gluten and test to below 6ppm. 

Long Island Sound from Along the Walk Route
Fairway Market - Fairway had an extensive setup at the entrance with lots of assorted samples: Andean Dream cookies, Kind Bars, $10 off coupons, etc.  They were also giving out reusable grocery bags (presumably containing samples) but I ended up not getting one (I already had three by the time I got to their table!)

Schär - They also gave out a reusable grocery bag this one containing a 2-pack of their Baguettes.  They had a mailing list sign up and those who did will be getting a package of Ciabotta rolls in the mail.

EZ Gluten - This company makes individual test strips for testing your food for gluten.  I've seen these before (online) but never ordered them.  The woman at the table demonstrated them and they seem easy enough to use but they cost around $12 each depending on how large your order is.  Their literature says they are sensitive down to 10ppm. 


Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease: Post Walk Recap (Part 2)

Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease: Post Walk Recap (Part 3)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More New Jersey Stores Carrying Gluten Free Foods

I have found a number of additional stores in NJ that carry a good selection of gf/df foods.  Here are the latest:

Local Specialty Stores:

Big Bear Natural Foods – (21 Artic Parkway, Ewing, NJ 08520, 239 North Union Street, Lambertville, NJ, 08530, and #7 Rt 31, Pennington, NJ 08534 (plus two other locations in PA)) – There are three of these stores but I’ve only ever visited the Pennington location. Their brands included: Ancient Harvest, Andean Dream, Bionaturae, Bob's Redmill, Daiya, DeBoles, Dutch County, Ener-G, Envirokids, Glow, Glenny's, Gluten Free Cafe, Gluten Free Pantry, Glutenfreeda, Glutino, Ian's, Jovial, Jo-Sef, King Arthur, Kinnikinnick, Liz Lovely, Lucy's, Mary's Gone Crackers, Namaste, Pamela's, Rudi’s, Schär, Tinkyada Udi's, and Van's. 

Tasting Counter at DeLiteful Foods in Lawrenceville, NJ
DeLiteful Foods – (Glendale Plaza, 4040 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08619) – this could be the most amazing GF store I’ve visited so far. The shop has two rooms, the first when you enter is gluten containing food, and the second (off to the right) is gluten free food. The GF room is bigger and has a bigger selection. The highlight of the GF room is a tasting bar where you can sample a number of GF products before deciding if you want to buy them. The brands I saw when I was there were: 1-2-3 Mixes, Amy's, Ancient Harvest, Andean Dream, Bakery on Main, Bell & Evans, Betty Lou’s, Bi Aglut, Bionaturae, Blue Horizon, Canyon Bakehouse, Celiac Specialties (chocolate donut holes), The Craving Place, DeBoles, Dutch Country, Ener-G, Feel Good Foods, Foods by George, Food Should Taste Good, Gillian's, Glenny's, Gluten Free Cafe, Gluten-Free Naturals, Gluten Free Pantry, Glutino, Ian's, Joans, Jovial, Katz, Kettle Cuisine, Le Veneziane, Lucy's, Mary's Gone Crackers, Mrs, Lepper’s, Namaste, Organic Bistro, Orgran, Pamela's, Rudi’s, Russo’s (cannoli shells), Sam Mills, Schär, Shabtai, Solterra Pizza, Starfish, Sweet Sin, Tinkyada, and Udi's.

Donaldson Farm – (358 Allen Road Hackettstown, NJ 07840) - In addition to lots of fresh (naturally gluten free produce) this farm stand has a small GF section. Their brands include: 1-2-3 Mixes, Amy's, Ancient Harvest, Andean Dream, Arrowhead Mills, Bakery on Main, Bell & Evans, Conte's, Katz, Schär, and Van's.

Grassroots Natural Market – (20 First Ave, Denville, NJ 07834) This was one of the first health food stores I visited after going gluten free. They have a large frozen variety (although most of it is tucked sort of behind the lunch counter). Their brands include: Amy's, Ancient Harvest, Arrowhead Mills, Bakery on Main, Bell & Evans, Bob's Redmill, Daiya, DeBoles, Evol, Ener-G, Envirokids, Foods by George, Gluten Free Pantry, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Liz Lovely, Mary's Gone Crackers, Namaste, Pamela's Mixes, Purely Decadent, Schär, So Delicious, Terra, Tinkyada, Tofutti, Udi's, Van's and Vegan Gourmet. 

Linda’s Diet Delite – (1049A Raritan Road, Clark, NJ 07066) – I recently visited this shop for the first time. They have fairly diverse offering. Their website states 40% of the shop is gluten free and I certainly believe it! Their brands include: Bakery on Main, Bell & Evans, Bi Aglut, Bob's Redmill, Bread by Anna (this is the only place in NJ I’ve seen these mixes), Celiac Specialties (Crossaints only), Conte's, Dutch Country, Ener-G, Envirokids, Feel Good Food, French Meadow, Foods by George, Glenny's, Gluten Free Pantry, Glutino, Hodgson Mill, Ian's, Katz, Kettle Cuisine, Kind, King Arthur, Kinnikinnick, Le Asolane Pasta (first time I’ve ever seen this pasta from Italy), Le Veneziane, Lillian’s (frozen fish dinners which I’ve never seen elsewhere), Namaste, Pamela's, S'Better, Sam Mills, Schär, Shabtai, Something Good Mixes, Sweet Sin, Tinkyada, Udi's, and Van's.

Water-To-Go (3501 Haddonfield Road, Pennsauken, NJ 08109) – [Please note, this weblink opens a site called Gluten Free Dynasty, I’ve listed this as Water-To-Go as that is what is on the sign out front.] This is the oddest store I’ve ever been in (ok, besides that Pizza parlor/septic tank cleaning company in upstate NY). It is perhaps 2/3’s a furniture store, plus a water bottling shop and a gluten free market. They do however have a wide variety of brands and items, including: 1-2-3 Mixes, Amy's, Bell & Evans, Bi Aglut, Bionaturae, Cherrybrook, Conte's, DeBoles, Ener-G Feel Good Food, Gluten Free Pantry, Glutenfreeda, Glutino, Good Eatz, Joan’s, Jovial, Katz, Kettle Cuisine, Kim and Scott (this is the only place in NJ I’ve seen these pretzels), Kinnikinnick, Le Veneziane, Maxwell’s, Namaste, Pamela's, Rudi’s, Schär, Tinkyada Udi's, and Van's. 

Supermarkets and National Chains:

Fresh Market – (Their only NJ store is 32 Chestnut Ridge Road, Montvale, NJ). This is a smaller upscale grocery. Only their seafood bar clearly listed ingredients (you’ll still need to inquire about cross-contamination). Their brands included: Bell & Evans, Daiya, DeBoles, Ener-G Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate Baking Co., Kind, King Arthur, Mary's Gone Crackers, Organic Bistro, Pamela's, Sam Mills, Terra, Udi's. 

Walmart – The brands I’ve seen here include: Bakery on Main, Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Bob's Redmill,  Envirokids, Glutino, Pamela's, and Tinkyada

Weis Markets – This chain is mostly in the northwest of the state. Their brands include: Amy's, Betty Crocker, Bionaturae, Bob's Redmill, Envirokids, Glutino, Hodgson Mills, Kind, King Arthur, San J, Schär, A Taste of Thai, Tastykake, Udi's, and Van's.  

Don't forget to check out the full list:

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Store List

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Donuts: Product Review (dairy free as well, contain egg)

Kinnikinnick is one of the oldest companies serving the gluten free community. According to their website all of their products are manufactured in facilities that are wheat free, gluten free, peanut free and tree nut free! Almost their entire product line is dairy free but a lot of their items do contain egg.
Kinnikinnick GF/DF Maple Glazed Donuts

Their donuts are one of my favorite gluten free snack items. They’ve come a long way since I first started my gluten free diet when they were sold lumped together in a plastic bag. The donuts are now sold six to a box and come frozen. Twenty – thirty seconds on low in the microwave and you’ve got a delicious warm treat (be careful – too long or too hot and the glazing will melt).

They are an average to smaller size (not oversized like dunkin donuts) and have a light texture (not too dense). They are available year round in four flavors – Chocolate Dipped, Maple Glazed, Cinnamon Sugar, and Vanilla Glazed. I like to mix it up when I buy a box as all four are really good. (I also have a smaller freezer so I can't keep all four on hand at all times.)

I say "available year round in four flavors" because last year, Kinnikinnick also started offering seasonal donuts through their web store only. (Note: these come fresh not frozen and are in the same plastic tray as the box, just in a clear plastic wrapping and not a box.)

Kinnikinnick GF/DF
Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Their current seasonal donut is a Pumpkin Spice Donuts, available until November 30th. Other past seasonal donuts have included Cinnamon Apple donuts in the late winter (pink frosting for St. Valentine’s Day) and Blueberry Donuts in the spring. There is no hint on their website what they’re planning for 2012 or which if any will return. Seasonal donuts can only be ordered direct from Kinnikinnick here: Kinnikinnick Web Store (You can use this same link for their regular donuts if you can’t find them locally.)

Other gluten free snack/breakfast reviews you may be interested in:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Restaurant Review: Elevation Burger (Montclair, NJ and Moorestown, NJ)

Eating out is tough to do on a gluten free diet, but eating out quickly is even tougher! One of the best new fast food/quick serve restaurants is Elevation Burger.
Elevation Burger on a Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bun
(brought my own) with a side of fries fried in a dedicated fryer

I’ve eaten there a couple of times now and they are very careful. No, they don’t have a gluten free bun for their burgers, but they will wrap them in lettuce or serve without a bun as you want. Their French fries are fried in a dedicated fryer in olive oil. If you’ve never had fries fried in olive oil you are in for a treat! (You'll need to ask about the other items as they don't have an allergen menu online.)

What I especially like (at least at the location in Montclair) was their attention to food allergies/issues. The cashier printed gluten free/dairy free right on my order and receipt. The cook apologized that my food would take a couple minutes extra as he wanted to clean the grill to avoid cross contact with the cheese they used on the cheese burgers! The kitchen is fairly open behind the cash registers so you can even watch them prepare the food.

Now, if they’d just fry a couple of cloves of garlic first to season the olive oil like my grandmother used to do I’d be in heaven.

Other restaurant reviews you may be interested in:

Chipotle Mexican Grill (various locations)

Plum on Park (Montclair, NJ)

qba, a cuban kitchen (Montclair, NJ)

And of course, you should also check out my full List of NJ Restaurants with a Gluten Free Menu and my Nationwide List of Fast Food / Chains with a Gluten Free Menu.

And my list of Gluten Free Fries at Fast Food and other Restaurants.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RP’s Gluten Free Fresh Pasta: Product Review

A short while ago, I noticed that Whole Foods was carrying a line of Fresh Gluten Free pastas from RP’s.  I didn’t buy them at first (I needed to confirm that glucono-delta-lactone was dairy free – it is).  On a recent return trip I decided to try them out. 

RP's Gluten Free Fresh Spinach Fettuccine prepared with
Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers and Black Olives
RP’s makes four types of Fresh GF pasta – Fettuccine, Spinach Fettuccine, Fusilli, and Linguini (although my Whole Foods only has three of them).  I decided I would try the Spinach Fettuccine with black olives, garlic, olive oil and artichoke hearts.

The pasta cooks very quickly, holds up nicely, and has a great texture.  It is definitely has a bit more chew to it than a dried pasta.  The pasta is mostly a mix of brown rice, potato starch and egg.  While I won’t be adopting this brand for day to day pasta usage, it is definitely worth it for a special gluten free occasion or meal.

RP’s website shows that the GF pastas are available at Whole Foods nationwide but I’m sure the selection varies by location.  If you can’t find it locally, you can order it online from the Gluten Free Mall here: RP's Pasta Company Gluten-Free Pasta

If you are missing fresh pasta, then this is the product for you!

Other articles you may be interested in:

Politics, Religions and Which is the Best Gluten Free Pasta

Tomato Free Sauce for Pasta / Spaghetti