Flavor Temptations

            I absolutely love Indian food!  Unfortunately, I’ve always been a little scared of cooking it myself.  There are so many different flavors and spices, I was sure I’d mess it up.  However, finding flavor packs from Flavor Temptations has changed all of that!  This amazing product has truly allowed my family and me to fall in love with Indian Cooking!  

            This product is seriously amazing!  I selected the Chicken Tikka Masala and began counting down for my order to come.  When the package arrived, it contained a card with a picture of the finished product on the front.  The back had a brief cooking overview, nutritional information, and information about Coriander Seeds..  When I opened up the card, I found 5 small bags filled with spices, and the cooking instructions for the dish.  I gathered all of my fresh ingredients which I shopped for earlier in the day, prepped my cooking area, and got to work.  The directions were super easy to follow and the flavor blends made seasoning the dish stress free.  The instructions tell you when and how to add each flavor blend, and the pre-measured bags are labeled with numbers which are listed in the recipe. 

            When I made the Chicken Tikka Masala, I was cooking dinner for my parents.  Based on their reactions, this may be their favorite thing I’ve ever made.  Before we had finished, my mom was asking for the link to order her own flavor packs. My dad enjoyed the meal so much that he immediately asked when I was making it again. 

            After getting to know a little bit more about the company, I learned that all of their products are gluten free and they have many vegan and vegetarian offerings as well.  I became fascinated by the concept of flavor-building (which I read about on the website), and I loved utilizing this technique in my own cooking.  Flavor Temptations uses only clean ingredients and donations are made to food charities for each purchased.  

            I simply cannot say enough wonderful things about Flavor Temptations.  The products will now be a staple in my kitchen, and I am excited to incorporate more Indian food into my home cooking.  

For more information about Flavor Temptations and to order your own flavor packs, check out their website: https://flavortemptations.com

Don’t forget to use promo code GFGALSGUIDE to get 10% off your purchase of $25.00 or more. 

E&Cs Heavenly Hunks

Thanks to Instacart and Costco, I discovered these Heavenly Hunks from E&Cs snacks.   On the packaging, the hunks are described as “ridiculously amazing organic oatmeal dark chocolate” and “baked with real love and & real ingredients”.  Not only are these Hunks certified Gluten-Free, they are also Organic, Non GMO verified, and certified vegan.   

Once I tasted these heavenly hunks, I instantly fell in love.  They are soft, chewy, and have a cookie dough quality.  Each hunk is the perfect sized treat for when you just want a bite or two of sweetness.  While you can definitely taste the oatmeal and the chocolate, the flavors are very well balanced.  I find myself snacking on these throughout the day whenever I am in need of the special sweet treat.  

E&Cs Heavenly Hunks

E&Cs Heavenly Hunks Overview: 

Where I bought them: Costco through Instacart

Package Weight:  New Weight 22oz

Serving Size: 1 Hunk

Servings Per Bag: About 22

Storage: Refrigerate after opening

Certified: Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, Non GMO Verified, Vegan

For more information on E&Cs Heavenly Hunks and other products, check out their website: https://www.eandcssnacks.com

E&Cs Heavenly Hunks

Amy’s Kitchen Cheese Veggie Crust Pizza

Sometimes, you just need pizza.  Today was one of those days where I wanted pizza for lunch, and nothing else would do.  Luckily, I had this Amy’s Kitchen cheese pizza with veggie crust in the freezer.  I had never tried this frozen pizza before and was pleasantly surprised.  I followed the instructions on the box for cooking in a conventional oven, and the crust came out perfectly!  What I was most impressed with was the great flavor and texture of the crust.  When I read it was made from broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potato, I was expecting the crust to have a hearty vegetable flavor and possibly a mushy texture.  While the sweetness of the sweet potato was definitely present, the crust was delicious, and didn’t have that overpowering veggie taste I’ve found with a lot of similar products. After allowing others in my household to taste (all of who eat gluten), we reached a consensus, this pizza is great and will be purchased again.   

Where I bought it: Online delivery through Amazon Fresh

How many servings: 2 servings 

How to store it: In the freezer

How to cook it: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the pizza directly on the rack and cook for 11-13 minutes.  

For more information, check out Amy’s Kitchen website: https://www.amys.com/

Veggies Made Great Superfood Veggie Cakes

Veggie Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes

I absolutely love these Superfood Veggie Cakes from Veggies Made Great.  I originally discovered them a few years ago at my local Costco and have had a steady stock in my freezer ever since.  These veggie cakes are gluten free, soy free, peanut and tree nut free, and are packed with vegetable goodness.  Each veggie cake is super flavorful with a great frittata texture, and only has 80 calories.  I’ll often add these cakes as a side to lunch or dinner or eat them on their own for a midday snack.  The packaging includes both microwave and oven/toaster instructions.  I have prepared the veggie cakes both ways, with both leading to the same flavorful result.  

Veggies Made Great Superfood Veggie Cakes Overview:

Where I bought them: Costco

How many servings come in the box: 6 servings per container (the Costco box has multiple containers in it)

How to store them: These veggie cakes can be stored in either the refrigerator or the freezer. 

How to cook them: IN THE OVEN- pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place the cake on a baking sheet, and heat for 18 minutes (if frozen) or 12 minutes (if refrigerated).  IN THE MICROWAVE- Heat on high for 45 seconds (if frozen) and 25 seconds (if refrigerated).  

I highly recommend checking these out and giving some of the other products from Garden Lites a try.  

Veggie Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes

For more information on Veggies Made Great Superfood Veggie Bites, check out their website: https://www.veggiesmadegreat.com/veggiecakes/superfood-veggie-cakes

Feel Good Foods- Chicken Sausage Bites

There’s nothing I love more than perusing the aisle of the grocery store and discovering new gluten-free products.  While I’ve been seeing a lot of social media buzz about the Feel Good Foods Uncured Pepperoni Bites, I was surprised to discover they also have a Chicken Sausage variety.  These bites are made with cauliflower crust and stuffed with chicken sausage, broccoli, and asiago cheese.  I have been a big fan of Feel Good Foods for quite some time, and a sausage cheese combination is right up my alley.  Upon spotting them in the grocery store, I had to purchase the bites and give them a try.  Before I discuss how they tasted here are some of the basic details:

Where I bought them: Balducci’s

How many servings come in the box: about 2 servings

How to store them: I purchased the bites in the freezer aisle and kept them in the freezer until I was ready to prepare and eat. 

How to cook them: (per the instructions on the box) Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.

I really enjoyed these chicken sausage snack bites.  They cauliflower crust was nice and crunchy, and the sausage, broccoli, and cheese filling had a great flavor.  I actually prepared these as a quick meal, but would definitely make a smaller quantity for a hearty snack.  Currently, Feel Good Foods makes two other varieties of their cauliflower crust bites: three cheese and the aforementioned uncured pepperoni.  I will definitely be giving the other variations a try, and plan on regularly keeping a box of bites in my freezer. 

Feel Good Foods- Chicken Sausage Bites
Frozen, ready to place in the oven.
Fresh out of the oven.
Ready to eat!

For more information on the Chicken Sausage Bites and other products from Feel Good Foods check out their website: https://feel-good-foods.com

Thanksgiving Items- 2019

With just a few days left until Thanksgiving 2019, I can barely contain my excitement. Seriously!  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I can’t wait until Thursday morning when I wake up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, spend quality time with extended family, and of course, overindulge in an amazing meal that will leave me both completely stuffed and desiring more.  Now before I continue, I need to give credit where credit is due.  As much as I would like to say that I cook Thanksgiving dinner, it is my amazing mother who spends hours in the kitchen.  So moving forward, anytime I say “I” in this post, it probably means “my mom”, but do I try to help when I can.  Of course there are some Thanksgiving standards that are naturally gluten-free, and there is a lot more that goes into the feast than what I’ve listed below, but I wanted to share some of the items I have purchased to help make this the best gluten-free Thanksgiving yet!  Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, and look out for some recipes of my favorite items soon. 

-The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide

Nabisco Good Thins- Parmesan & Garlic

These delicious crackers will play a large role in the hors d’oeuvre portion of Thanksgiving.  Every year, we do a large cheese board along with other dips and spreads.  These delicious gluten-free crackers will be set out for all to enjoy.

Top Seedz Crackers- Sea Salt

If you have not tried these Top Seedz Crackers yet, I highly urge you to do so.  I found them at Whole Foods a few months ago, and have been obsessed ever since.  These will also make their way out during the hors d’ oeuvre part of Thanksgiving, and will be served with a variety of cheeses. 

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix

If you haven’t tried this Cornbread Mix, you’re missing out.  My Thanksgiving table usually has two versions of Cornbread: one version containing gluten and one gluten-free.  While I haven’t been able to sample the gluten one to make the comparison myself, I have heard rave reviews from family members every year when they try (and often select) the gluten-free version made with this mix. 

Whole Foods Gluten Free Seasoned Ten Minute Stuffing Mix

While I haven’t tried this product yet, I am anxiously awaiting its appearance on my Thanksgiving plate.  I love stuffing, and it’s probably one of the things I’ve missed most since becoming gluten-free.  While I’m sure this is great on its own, I do plan on adding some apples, onions, pecans, and sausage, replicating my favorite version (my mom’s gluten-full stuffing!). 

Rodelle Turkey Brine

Last year, my mom and I spotted this brine at Costco, saw the gluten-free label, and decided to give it a try.  Well, it was a hit!  Last year’s turkey was one of the best ones in memory, so when we saw it on the shelf during this year’s pre-Thanksgiving shopping trip, we added it to the cart without conversation. 

McCormick Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy Mix

Thanksgiving turkey is not complete without a healthy helping of gravy!  This gravy mix is fantastic, and perfectly compliments any Thanksgiving meal.  For a little bonus home-cooked twist, add some of your turkey drippings to the mix. 

Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

I don’t know about you, but for me, Thanksgiving is not complete without pumpkin pie.  Since becoming gluten-free, I’ve been indulging in a modified version.  Every year, my mom makes a modified, crustless pumpkin pie using Libby’s.  Basically, she makes the pumpkin pie filling, bakes it in a loaf pan, and I still get a version of pumpkin pie on my plate. 

Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is another staple on my Thanksgiving table, and for as long as I can remember; we have used Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce.  Traditionally, my family adds some pineapple and crushed walnuts to really make this dish our own. 

College Inn Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock is a staple in my cooking, and I use it frequently to add flavor and depth to many recipes.  Thanksgiving is no different than my day-to-day cooking in the sense that Chicken Stock will be added to several items.  I usually gravitate towards College Inn, because its readily available in all of my local grocery stores, has a rich and delicious flavor, and of course, it’s gluten-free. 

Nature’s Promise Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs

This is another one of those products that does not stand-alone at Thanksgiving, but is used in so many items.  This year, I will be using these gluten-free panko breadcrumbs in my stuffed mushroom appetizer, and to make a nice crunchy topping for my mashed potatoes and sweet potato dish. 

The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide Thanksgiving Items 2019

Top Seedz Crackers

Top Seedz Crackers- Rosemary

I can’t say no to a free sample.  Okay, I can, but I can’t say no a gluten-free free sample.  Sometimes, my free treat is just a snack and a chance to try something new.  Other times, I discover a great new product that I instantly fall in love with and must buy.  These Top Seedz Crackers fall into the second category.  While shopping in my local Whole Foods, I stumbled upon a tasting of Top Seedz.  I tried both the Sea Salt Crackers and Rosemary Crackers and loved both!  After taking a few minutes to decide, I made the choice to purchase the Rosemary Crackers.   These crackers are super flavorful, with the perfect crunch!  I really enjoy the flavor and texture of the crackers, and have already used the entire container for various snacks and meals.  While these delicious crackers are great on their own, I’ve also had them topped with cheese and as the base of BLT bites (both pictured below!)  If you come across these crackers, make sure you give them a try, and let me know your thoughts! 

-The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide

Top Seedz Crackers- Rosemary with Gouda
Top Seedz Crackers-Rosemary BLT Bites

For more information on Top Seedz check out their website: https://topseedz.com

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell

“Let’s have a make our own pizza night!”  These words were both exciting, and panic evoking.  My friends and I decided to stay in and make our own personal pizzas instead of going out for dinner.  I was excited, but was presented with a problem.  While they would be using gluten-full pizza dough as the base for their meal, what would I use?  I’ve had gluten-free pizza before from several local establishments, but hadn’t explored making my own. 

While I found tons of frozen gluten-free pizzas, I struggled with finding a gluten-free dough.  I did find a few mixes, but didn’t think I’d have the time to first make dough.  After going to 3 grocery stores, I finally found this Against the Grain Gourmet 12” Pizza Shell in the freezer aisle at Whole Foods.  The description included three cheese and gluten free, so I was sold!  I purchased the shell along with all the other toppings to add.  

Against the Grain Gourmet Gluten Free Pizza Shell

When it was finally time to top my pizza, I went with sauce, shredded mozzarella, a combination of both sweet and hot Italian sausage, peppers and onions (the peppers and onions were sautéed together prior to topping the pizza), and burrata.  I baked my pizza according to the directions on the packaging, and waited in anticipation while it cooked. 

Once I removed my pizza from the oven, plated, cut into slices, and let cool for a few minutes, I finally took a bite.  It was amazing!  As you would expect from a product labeled “three cheese” the crust had a cheesy flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering.  It was crispy, and held together with the large amount of toppings I loaded it with.  Growing up in New York and spending the first 22 years of my life eating gluten, I have sampled countless gluten-full pizzas in my life.  While the Against the Grain crust was not like the traditional doughy gluten-full crusts I’ve tasted, it was still a great option for a gluten-free pizza.  I’ve already repurchased the shell to keep in my freezer for my next make my own pizza adventure. 

For more information on Against the Grain Gourmet’s Products, check out their website: http://againstthegraingourmet.com/gluten-free-breads

Mo’ Pweeze Cupcakes

In my family, dessert is serious business. I grew up with a mom who is a fantastic baker, and in adulthood, my brother discovered his passion, and attended culinary school to become a pastry chef. Family nights have always been full of delicious treats, but have become more difficult for me since becoming gluten-free. Many times, while everyone else is indulging in whatever homemade masterpiece has been produced, I am forced to sit by and watch. My family is always on the lookout for something special for me to eat, which lead to our discovery of Mo’ Pweeze Cupcakes.

Mo’ Pweeze Cupcakes

While shopping at Whole Foods, my mom spotted Mo’ Pweeze cupcakes in the freezer section, and picked them up for my dessert that night, and several nights to follow. The mini cupcakes came in a package of 12 with 3 different varieties: Sani-Bani Vanilla Strawberry, TD’s Choco Raspberry, and Double Vanilla Delight. In addition to being gluten-free, the cupcakes are vegan and allergen-free, being completely free of the top 9 allergens.

Mo’ Pweeze Cupcakes

After snapping some pictures, it was time to put the cupcakes to the taste test, and they were delicious! I loved all three flavors, but especially enjoyed the TD’s Choco Raspberry! According to the bakery’s website, the name Mo’Pweeze came from one of the owners children asking for Mo’ Pweeze (more please) after sampling one of the allergy friendly treats. After trying these cupcakes, I was asking for Mo’ Pweeze as well. I was definitely disappointed when I returned to my local Whole Foods and they were sold out, but will be keeping an eye out for these cupcakes in the future.

Mo’ Pweeze Cupcakes

To learn more about the bakery and their products, check out their website: https://www.mopweezebakery.com

Feel Good Foods Chicken Egg Rolls

I’ve always had a weak spot for Chinese Food. Prior to becoming gluten-free, Chinese was my favorite take-out, with every meal starting with an egg roll. Unfortunately, my love of Chinese Food does not mix well with my gluten-free life. Since becoming gluten-free, one my favorite activities has become scanning the aisles of the grocery store, looking for items to satisfy my cravings, while allowing me to eat without all of the nasty side effects of gluten consumption. On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I discovered Feel Good Foods products, and was immediately drawn to the Chicken Egg Rolls.

After purchasing the egg rolls, I ran home to prepare one for a midday snack. One box comes with 3 egg rolls. I followed the baking directions on the box (there are also instructions for pan frying): Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, place the egg roll(s) on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown 20-24 minutes. The preparation was super easy!

Once I removed my egg roll from the oven, I let it cool for a few minutes and took a bite. Delicious! The crunchy wrapper was filled with chunks of chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions, and ginger. Despite being frozen just a short time earlier, everything tasted fresh, and it completely satisfied my egg roll craving.

Feel Good Foods Chicken Egg Roll

The Chicken Egg Rolls are one of three variations available from Feel Good Foods along with a Vegetable and Shrimp version. Feel Good Foods also has lines of Potstickers, Taquitos, Empanadas, and Meals. I will continue to look out for Feel Good Food products during my gluten-free shopping trips, and will definitely be purchasing the egg rolls again.

For more information on Feel Good Foods check out their website: https://feel-good-foods.com