Magnolia Bakery- Flourless Chocolate Cake

Just like many viewers of the show, I first learned about Magnolia Bakery while watching Sex and the City The show launched the Bakery into the spotlight, and is partially (if not fully) responsible for the cupcake craze that just continues to grow. Yes, Magnolia may have found pop culture fame, but they did so for good reason. They’re baked goods are unreal! When I first sampled some of Magnolia’s baked goods, I was still eating gluten, so I can speak to the quality of both gluten-free and gluten-full items. Everything I have sampled has been incredible. Most recently, I ate the Flourless Chocolate Cake, which is one of the bakery’s gluten-free offerings. I was very impressed with the consistency and flavor of the item. While I miss being able to eat the full line Magnolia offerings, I am very happy knowing there are incredible items available for me to enjoy.

Magnolia Bakery Flourless Chocolate Cake

Magnolia Bakery: https://www.magnoliabakery.com

Glutino Gluten Free Fudge Covered Pretzels

Before I write any further, I have something I must confess. I am a rule breaker. Lucky for me, breaking rules seems to work in my favor. Recently, some friends and I went to see a movie. While everyone else was lined up waiting to purchase their popcorn, ice cream, and other snacks, I was struck by the urge to break a movie theater rule. While there are a lot of movie snacks that are gluten-free, I just wasn’t feeling what the movie theater had to offer. Plus, while I love theater popcorn, I always worry about what cross-contamination may have occurred. The theater I was visiting is located in a mall with a grocery store located in the complex, so a plan was hatched.

One of my friends decided he too needed to break the no outside food in the movie theater rule, and we headed to the grocery store. I really didn’t know what I was looking for as I scanned the aisles. Alas, something caught my eye. I have spent many hours perusing the gluten-free aisle, and while I have seen Glutino products many times before, I had never spotted the Fudge Covered Pretzels. I have always loved chocolate covered pretzels, and have failed (multiple times) while attempting to make my own gluten-free version. I decided to give the Glution version a try. I checked out and stuffed the bag into my oversized purse, so I could be super stealth and sneak them into the theater.

Before opening the bag, I had decided I would only eat a few. I failed. The pretzels were so good that I ate the entire bag over the course of the movie (with just a little help from my friends). I have since repurchased the chocolate covered pretzels, and shared them with my family members who eat gluten. Everyone who has tried them agreed, these are great! They’re so good, I’ve taken to hiding them in the cabinet so that they are there when I want them.

Read more about them on Glutino’s website: http://www.glutino.com/products/chips-crisps-pretzels/pretzels/chocolate-covered-pretzels/

Glutino Fudge Covered Pretzels

Milk Bar Gluten Free B’Day Truffles

This delicious treat came into my life by way of a good friend.  For a recent celebration, my friend was picking up a cake (gluten-full) from Milk Bar.  She wasn’t expecting to stumble upon a gluten-free item, but saw the truffles in the store.  While I wasn’t there myself, the story goes that she asked the associate behind the counter about the Gluten Free B’Day Truffles.  The employee not only recommended the treat, but said that many customers who aren’t gluten-free love them so much that they frequently purchase them over other gluten-full items.  She was sold, and picked up a box of 3 for me.

Milk Bar Gluten Free B’Day Truffles

Later that night as my friends were gathered, the cake was presented, and I was given my special gluten-free dessert.  As I took my first bite I was instantly hooked!  Birthday cake truffles are not something that would typically appeal to me, but after tasting these, I adjusted my thinking.  I immediately raved about the one bite of truffle I had taken, which lead to the story being shared about how much those who eat gluten enjoy them.  This piqued my other friends’ interest, and after some negotiation, I reluctantly cut one of the truffles into pieces to share.  Not surprisingly, my friends were all in agreement, these truffles are great!  The truffles have a soft and delicious cookie dough-like inside with a harder shell on the outside.  The bright sprinkles found throughout not only provide a fun pop of color, but add to the texture.

While I don’t live that close to a Milk Bar, I was excited to learn that the truffles are available for purchase on their website (linked below).  I highly recommend checking them out next time you are in the mood with a sweet gluten-free treat.

https://milkbarstore.com/

BowBeas Gluten Free Cookies

Instagram is an amazing platform that has truly introduced me to some great products.  One of these products is BowBeas Gluten-Free cookies.  These amazing gluten-free cookies are available in three different varieties: Chocolate Chip, Spicy Ginger Snap, and Peanut Butter.  While the cookies are available in some stores, they are also available online.  Being that they are based in Colorado and I am in New York, I had my cookies shipped to me.  They arrived very quickly and perfectly intact.  The Spicy Ginger Snap and Peanut Butter cookies come with 10 in each bag, while the Chocolate Chip cookies are larger, and have 5 in each bag.

Instead of just snacking on the sweet treats, I decided to set up a “tasting” to try each cookie in one stting (which was really just an excuse to eat more cookies than I should at one time).  Whenever I try a new gluten-free product, I like to get the opinion of a “gluten-full” person to hear their thoughts.  This time, my mom was the lucky winner.  After setting up our cookie plates, we got to work sampling the cookies.

BowBeas Gluten-Free Cookies

My gluten-eating Mom and I agreed, all three cookies were delicious and have their own unique identity.  The Peanut Butter cookie, which was my mom’s favorite, was well balanced with a peanut flavor that was present but not overpowering.  The Spicy Ginger Snap had a very strong flavor that lingered long after the cookie was finished.  The spices were very present without being overwhelming.  My favorite cookie was the Chocolate Chip.  As advertised, this cookie was larger than the other two.  The soft almost cake-like texture was very satisfying, and the flavor was great!  All three cookies held together well without crumbling.

As the company advertises, these cookies had us saying “bye bye gluten, hello flavor!”

To read more about BowBeas, their products, and order some delicious cookies, check out their website: https://bowbeas.com

Galeos Salad Dressing

I first learned about Galeos Dressings from social media and was intrigued by their slogan “one taste and you’re hooked for life”. Upon further investigation, I discovered a line of miso based salad dressings available in a variety of flavors. The company currently offers 6 flavor variations: Miso & Chia Seed Sesame Seed , Miso Caesar , Miso Dijonnaise, Miso Ginger & Wasabi , Miso & Chia Seed Creamy Ranch, and Miso Spicy Southwest. All of the products are both MSG and Gluten-Free. Additionally, all products are advertised as being multi-use serving as dressings, marinades, and dips.

Unfortunately, Galeos is not available in any of my local grocery stores, but they do offer online ordering through both their website and Amazon. Upon reviewing the product’s website, and communicating my order directly with the company, I was surprised with how quickly my dressings arrived. To start, I tried three varieties, the Miso & Chia Sesame Seed, Miso Ginger & Wasabi, and Miso Spicy Southwest. I was excited to try my new dressings, but was not immediately ready to cook with them, or eat enough salad to give each of them a fair taste. I decided to cut up some vegetables, and used Galeos as a dip, giving each of the three varieties I received a try. I was really impressed with the flavors of each dressing. The Sesame & Chia Seed is sweet, while the Ginger & Wasabi has a strong wasabi flavor that is just right without being overpowering. The Miso Spicy Southwest was exactly as advertised, spicy. I definitely felt the heat in this dressing, but the flavor was good. I typically don’t love spicy things, so while I likely won’t continue to use this flavor as a dip or on salads, I will definitely be incorporating it into future recipes that will balance some of the heat.

After sampling the dressings, I started brainstorming uses, and developed three recipes (found below) which really highlight the versatility of the products.


GIVEAWAY ALERT: 

We have partnered with Galeos to give away free sample pouches of dressing to 30 of our followers.  To enter, click on the following link and complete the necessary shipping information: http://www.glutenfreegalsguide.com/galeos/


Galeos Miso & Chia Seed Sesame Seed Dressing

The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide Baked Sesame Chicken and Brown Rice

Miso & Chia Seed Sesame Seed

“Baked Sesame Chicken with Brown Rice”

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 c. Gluten-Free Flour (I used Bob Redmill’s 1 to 1)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 c. Galeos Miso & Chia Seed Sesame Seed Dressing
  • 1/4 c. Sesame Seeds
  • 2 c. Brown Rice
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks.
  3. Add Gluten-Free Flour to a ziplock bag.
  4. Add the chicken to the bag with the flour, seal the bag, and shake the bag until the chicken is fully coated in flour.
  5. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together.
  6. Remove the chicken from the bag and dip in the egg so that each chicken chunk is fully coated.
  7. Place the chicken back into the flour bag, seal, and shake until the chicken is once again fully coated with gluten-free flour.
  8. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  9. Space the chicken out evenly on the cooking sheet, place in the oven, and cook for 18-20 minutes.  (You can check the chicken by cutting one of the chicken pieces in half and making sure the chicken is white on the inside).
  10. While the chicken is baking, cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the packaging.
  11. Once the chicken is done, place a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the Galeos Miso & Chia Seed Sesame Seed Dressing.  Warm the dressing for about a minute, then add the chicken.
  12. Stir the chicken around so that it is fully coated in the “sauce”, and add the sesame seeds.  Stir the chicken so that it is fully coated in the sauce and seeds, then plate with the the brown rice.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

 

Galeos Miso Ginger & Wasabi Dressing

The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide Ginger and Wasabi Seared Tuna

Miso Ginger & Wasabi

“Ginger and Wasabi Seared Tuna”

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 lb. Tuna Steak
  • 1/4 c. Galeos Miso Ginger & Wasabi Dressing
  • 1 c. Arugula
  • Olive Oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna steak to preference.
  2. Add the Galeos Miso Ginger & Wasabi Dressing to a ziploc bag.
  3. Add the tuna steak to the bag.
  4. Shake the bag so that the tuna steak is fully coated.
  5. Place the tuna steak in the bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
  6. When ready to cook, add the oil to your frying pan, and let heat over a medium-high flame.
  7. Once the pan is hot, add the tuna steak to the pan, and allow to cook for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds (or until it browns slightly) on each side.
  8. Wash and plate the arugula.
  9. Remove the cooked tuna steak from the pan, plate over the arugula, and dress with additional Galeos Miso Ginger & Wasabi Dressing.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 

Galeos Miso Spicy Southwest Dressing

The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide Open Face Southwest Shrimp Quesadilla

Miso Spicy Southwest

“Open Face Southwest Shrimp Quesadilla”

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium Shrimp
  • 1/4 c. Galeos Miso Spicy Southwest Dressing
  • 1 Gluten-Free Tortilla (I used Mission Gluten-Free Tortillas)
  • 1 1/2 heaping tsp. Onion (finely Chopped)
  • 2 heaping tbsp. Green Bell Pepper (cut into thin 1/4 inch strips)
  • 2 heaping tbsp. Avocado (cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1/4 c. Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tsp. Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • Olive Oil (enough to coat your frying pan)
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Clean and prep the shrimp.
  2. Cut the shrimp into pieces (I evenly split each shrimp into 3 pieces)
  3. Add the Galeos Miso Spicy Southwest Dressing into a Ziploc bag.
  4. Add the shrimp into the bag with the dressing, and shake so that the shrimp are fully coated in dressing.
  5. Set the bag with the dressing and shrimp in the refrigerator, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Chop the onion, pepper, and avocado.
  7. Add the olive oil to a frying pan, and heat over medium heat.
  8. Once the frying pan and oil are hot, add the onions and peppers.
  9. Sauté the onions and peppers for a few minutes until the peppers soften and the onions turn translucent.  Remove the onions and peppers from the flame and set aside.
  10. Once the shrimp have marinated, add olive oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium-high flame.
  11. Once the oil and frying pan are hot, add the shrimp, stir occasionally, and cook for about 4 minutes, until the shrimp are pink.  Remove the shrimp from the flame and set aside.
  12. Spray a clean frying pan with nonstick cooking spray, and lay a tortilla across the pan.  Evenly spread the onion and pepper mixture, avocado, and shrimp.
  13. Sprinkle the cheese ontop of the tortilla and top with cilantro.  Heat the frying pan over medium heat until the cheese melts.
  14. Remove the quesadilla from the flame.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: 

We have partnered with Galeos to give away free sample pouches of dressing to 30 of our followers.  To enter, click on the following link and complete the necessary shipping information: http://www.glutenfreegalsguide.com/galeos/


Galeos Website: https://www.galeoscafe.com

Ian’s Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Nuggets

This may seem like an obvious statement, but going gluten-free has completely changed the way I eat.  Yes, I’ve cut out and replaced my favorite breads, pastas, cakes, and cookies, but I’ve also found myself looking to replace other foods that weren’t previously staples in my diet.  One of these foods in chicken nuggets. 

Chicken nuggets used to be a special treat food.  Yet, knowing I can’t eat them has left a small void in my life.  I have tried a few brands, and been heavily disappointed with the consistency of the breading, or the low quality or artificial taste of the chicken.  After spotting Ian’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets in the frozen food section of my local Target, I decided to give them a try.  

The box I purchased was a family pack, and came with 7 servings (1 serving is 5 chicken nuggets).  The packaging proudly boasts a product containing no wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or soy, making them not just gluten-free, but also very allergy friendly.  In terms of cooking, they were easy to prepare.  I followed the instructions on the box preheating my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, placing the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet, and baking for 14 minutes.  I did line my baking sheet with foil, and spray with my normal nonstick cooking spray.

Ian’s Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Nuggets

Ian’s Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Nuggets

 

What came out of the oven was perfectly cooked chicken nuggets.  Once they cooled enough to eat, I dug in.  The outside breading was crisp, and not soggy like some of the other brands I’ve tried.  There was definitely a corn flavor to the breading, but it paired well with the chicken.  The best part was the chicken inside.  The chicken was real white meat chicken.  There were actual chunks of chicken in the nuggets, and not the processed mush I’ve found in many other products.  

Ian’s Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Nuggets

While chicken nuggets may not have been a staple in my diet before going gluten-free, Ian’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets are now a staple in my freezer.  

 

For more product information, check out the company’s website: http://iansnaturalfoods.com/products/gluten-free-chicken-nuggets-family-pack/

Udi’s Three Cheese Ravioli Skillet Meal

Target can be a very dangerous place.  I usually go in for one specific item, and wind up spending hours browsing the aisles, leaving with a full cart of things I never knew I “needed”.  On a recent trip, I once again found myself aimlessly browsing the aisles, when something caught my attention.  The end of one of the grocery aisle had a large sign saying “gluten-free” and right in the middle of the frozen food case I saw something I’ve been looking for for almost a decade, gluten-free ravioli.

After years of searching, I’ve found some really good gluten-free pastas.  However, I still hadn’t found a ravioli I liked.  This Udi’s version is a single skillet meal complete with sauce.  Upon opening the package, I found several frozen large raviolis and cubes of frozen tomato sauce (see the picture below).  The preparation was super simple.  Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the contents of the bag, and cook covered, stirring occassionally.  After 10 minutes, I had a complete, easy to make, and delicious gluten-free meal.

Udi’s Three Cheese Ravioli Skillet Meal

I was concerned the dish would be soggy, but it wasn’t.  The pasta maintained the desired firmness, and the three cheese filling was great.  The sauce provided a nice light coating, and the sweet tomato flavor balanced perfectly with the cheese filling.  The bag contains two servings, but I only ate one during my first tasting.  The remaining ravioli stored well in the fridge, and microwaved nicely when I ate the second portion the next day.

Udi’s Three Cheese Ravioli Skillet Meal

Udi’s has four different options in their skillet meal category: Three Cheese Ravioli, Ziti & Meatballs, Chicken Parm Penne, and Chicken Penne Alfredo. I plan on keeping a bag of ravioli in my freezer for when I need a quick meal, and will be trying the other meals soon.

Udi’s Website: https://udisglutenfree.com/

Inspired by Happiness Gluten-Free Cakes

This gluten-free cake by Inspired by Happiness is by far the best store bought gluten-free cake I’ve had.  TheDreamin’ of Chocolate cake, described as a dark and white chocolate layer cake, was purchased from my local Balducci’s for a recent celebration (Balducci’s added the congratulatory message shown in the picture).  

Inspired by Happiness Dreamin’ of Chocolate Cake

The chocolate layers were delicious!  The cake itself was super moist, which is a term I am not often able to use with gluten-free baked goods.  The white chocolate mousse layers were perfect, and provided a great compliment to the layer cake.  The packaging describes the top layer of the cake as a decadent ganache, and it is just that.  The label also states, “you won’t believe it’s gluten-free!” which was confirmed by everyone around me lucky enough to steal a taste.  It’s not surprising that this cake did not last long in my house before being completely devoured.  I am definitely adding Inspired by Happiness cakes to the top of my shopping list.  

 

UPDATE 7/16/18

After enjoying the Inspired by Happiness’ Dreamin’ of Chocolate cake so much, I was ecstatic to see a different flavor at my local Balducci’s this past weekend.  I always make sure I check the case where they stock the gluten-free cakes, and the red and white cake with a familiar label immediately caught my eye.  The Dreamin’ of Straweberries White Chocolate Shortcake is described by the company as a “Truly delicious and moist shortcake layered with succulent strawberry fruit filling and the finest Belgian white chocolate mousse.  Topped with real whipped cream and white chocolately drizzle- you won’t believe its gluten-free!”

Again, I found myself very impressed, and full.  Just like the Dreamin’ of Chocolate, the cake layers were moist.  The strawberry filling and white chocolate mousse mixed together very well, and balanced perfectly with the cake layers.  The whipped cream topping provided a great finish for the cake.  Once again, the gluten eaters in my house agreed, this cake did not taste gluten-free.

Inspired by Happiness: http://inspired-by-happiness.com

Pamela’s Products- Extreme Chocolate Simple Bites

Since becoming gluten free, I’ve read a lot of books on the topic.  I am always trying to stay up to date on the latest information, advice, trends, and products available.  One of the brands that I saw mentioned a lot in my reading was Pamela’s Products.  This gluten-free company was founded in 1988 and offers a large range of gluten free and natural products including: cookies, pastas, bars, baking mixes, graham crackers, and more.  

After seeing the brand in a lot of the books I was reading, I was intrigued.  So when I was walking through the aisles of my local grocery store, and saw their products in the gluten free section, I just had to try them.  I am a lover of all things chocolate, so I quickly selected the Extreme Chocolate Simple Bites.  These small cookies are delicious, and the perfect gluten free bite-sized snack!  The chocolate flavor was definitely extreme, and satisfied my intense chocolate craving.  The cookies are crunchy, and don’t crumble like a lot of the other gluten free products I’ve tried.  I will definitely be trying more of Pamela’s Products in the future.  

Pamela’s Products Extreme Chocolate SimpleBites Mini Cookies

Pamela’s Products Website: http://www.pamelasproducts.com

Dang

One of my favorite places is the grocery store. Seriously. I am not the primary shopper in my household, but when I step into a grocery store, I feel an odd sense of intrigue. Maybe this is rooted in my love of eating food, and maybe it’s just my curiosity about different products, but either way, going to the grocery store is always an exciting experience.

On a recent trip, I was looking down my favorite aisle. As I stood below the aisle marker sign displaying the words “gluten free” I was taking in all of the options in front of me. It seems like not long ago, such an aisle did not exist. To find gluten free products, I had to shop at specialty stores. If I was lucky, maybe there was a corner of a shelf that had gluten free products. But now, almost every grocery store has an entire section dedicated just to gluten free items, which usually go along with the “good for you” products. While standing at my local Stop and Shop, scanning the aisle of my favorite section, one product stood out to me.

Dang. Okay, so this was not a single product, but a whole line of brightly colored bags, prominently displaying the name Dang. I’m not going to lie, before I knew what the products were, the name and the packaging caught my eye. I took a closer look, and saw that there were two products available, Coconut Chips and Sticky Rice Chips. The Coconut Chips come in four varieties: Original Recipe, Caramel Sea Salt, Lightly Salted, and Chocolate Sea Salt. The Sticky Rice Chips are available in five varieties: Original Recipe, Sriracha Spice, Coconut, Crunch, Aged Cheddar, and Savory Seaweed. While not all of the flavors were on the shelves of my local Stop and Shop, they are available for purchase on the company’s website, listed below.

Before I discuss the product, I want to take a step back and discuss the name. I did take the time to read the packaging, and the company’s website, and learned that the company is named after the founder’s mother, Dang. They company produces Thai products, which started with the toasted coconut chips. On both the packaging of their products and their website, the company describes themselves with the following poem:

“Dang’s the name of our founders’ mother,

With her recipes like no other.

Foods kept whole for a guilt-free munch,

We’ve raised the bar on the perfect crunch.

A straight snackvention, a flavor ascension,

Delightful morsels that defy convention.

Share with friends? You certainly should.

Guarntee they’ll shout, ‘Dang that’s good!’”

So how were the products? I decided to try the Caramel Sea Salt Coconut Chips and the Original Recipe Sticky Rice Chips. The coconut chips are divine! They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet! I happen to be someone who loves coconut, and these chips did not disappoint. These small bites of goodness have the perfect light crunch. They are both flavorful and light, making it difficult to put the bag down. As for the Sticky Rice Chips, they are unlike anything I’ve ever tasted, in a good way. They too are light and crunchy, but in a completely different way. They have the texture of crunchy puffed rice, with a sweet-rice taste. I absolutely loved these, and once I offered a taste to those around me, the bag lasted mere minutes. I can only sum up my description of these products in one way, “Dang that’s good!”

 

 

 

Dang’s Website: https://dangfoods.com