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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Real Simple Does the Testing for You!

Real Simple tested the best granolas--and GlutenFreeda's Raisin Almond Honey came out on top as the best GF Granola! 

Product #1: 

Best Gluten-Free

Glutenfreeda Raisin Almond Honey
A delicious nut-studded mix made by hand in a gluten-free facility. Bonus: The single-serve bags are easy to toss into a lunch box or a gym tote.
To buy: $6.50 for 10.5 ounces.

Yes--you can have matza balls (ish)

Website: http://networkedblogs.com/fCZEY

Well, you won't be able to bentsch on this (as the primary ingredient is quinoa and none of the of the 5 species of grain are present), but it's worth an experiment.

Disclaimer: I haven't tried this. You can see more reviews on GlutenFreeda's website, but I am excited to know that there are gf recipes out there for matzah balls! Pesach-get ready! 

SO HAPPY TO HAVE QUINOA PASTA


So happy to have Quinoa Pasta
Quinoa Elbow Pasta from the Quinoa Corporation

Company: The Quinoa Corporation
Hekscher: Star-K (parve)
Other Information: Certified organic and non-GMO, and products are made in completely gluten-free facilities

A celiac-Jewess advised that quinoa pastas were far better than rice pastas—and boy was she right! After having a rice pasta that turned to dust in my mouth, I was happy to find quinoa pasta (or, rather, happy that my mother got some for me!)

Pros: This pasta tastes normal and was delicious! It didn’t turn to sawdust in my mouth, and I enjoyed putting several types of sauce (marinara, garlic spaghetti sauce, and tamari) on it. I even had a bunch of this pasta for Shabbot. The best part was that (when spending Shabbot with non-GF people) my pasta didn’t look or taste “weird.” And it springy, much like regular pasta. 

Health: “A good source for people with wheat and gluten related food allergies as well as senior and diabetic diets (because it is low on the glycemic index).” (According to the book ‘Eat Yourself Slim’ by Michel Montignac.)

Cons: I wouldn’t eat this pasta alone (something I would seldom have done with glutenous pasta, either.) I have not tested it with butter, or “futter” yet, but tested it with a number of sauces and was very impressed. The quinoa pastas also contain corn, so anyone with a corn allergy should stay away.

Verdict: This is a great, healthy product that is easy on a gluten-intolerant stomach. I’d give it an A, and more important, was able to ask my grandmother for her chop suey recipe again!
Bonus: The Quinoa Corporation’s website has a lot of information, including recipes! 

A Chicken Recipe I (almost) Inhaled


This is actually, seriously, one of the BEST recipes I've ever had. I practically inhaled it, then ate a bunch more! This recipe was given to by Rabbi Mike Schultz, who is the chaplain at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel--who we were lucky enough to spend a Shabbot with! This is his mother's recipe. 

GF Alert: PLEASE make sure that your ketchup is gluten-free. 

Mrs. Schultz’s Chicken with Barbecue Rice

3 lb chicken in pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup lemon juice
 2 Tbsp brown sugar
 2 Tbsp vinegar
 salt
 3/4 cup raw rice
 3 Tbsp olive oil


Brown chicken on both sides in about 3 Tbsp oil.
Remove to a baking dish. 
Pour off all but about 1 Tbsp oil. Saute onion, salt. 
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. 
Pour over chicken and bake covered (with foil) one hour at 350.


Easy, Delicious, Healthy Real Simple Magazine Recipe

I made this recipe even before I went Gluten Free. I happen to love making chicken recipes, because they're easy to work with. As a bonus, this recipe has readily available ingredients and is totally gf (just check your orange juice!)

Website: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-avocado-orange-salad-10000000633424/index.html

Kashrut: Please remember to use red wine vinegar from a reliable hekscher, as it is derived from red wine! I used Heinz red wine vinegar, with an OU hekscher. Also, if you can, make your own orange--it will taste MUCH better!


Chicken, Avocado, and Orange Salad

Chicken, Avocado, and Orange Salad
Maura McEvoy
Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 15m
Total Time: 30m
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 (5-ounce) packages mixed salad greens, such as Bibb and radicchio, or romaine blend
  • 1 firm, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Directions
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper until well blended.
2. Cook the chicken breasts in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
3. Remove the chicken and cool 5 minutes on a cutting board before slicing into long strips.
4. Transfer the warm sliced chicken to a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. With a sharp knife, remove the orange peel and white pith from the oranges. Slice crosswise into thin rounds.
6. In a large bowl, toss the onion and lettuce with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide between bowls and top the salads with the chicken, oranges, and avocado slices.
Tip
Upgrade this salad by adding chopped slices of cooked bacon or pancetta.
Nutritional Information
Calories 432; Calories From Fat 264; Fat 30g; Sat Fat 4g; Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 326mg; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 18g; Sugar 9g; Fiber 6g; Iron 2mg; Calcium 53mg

Check out this no-cook, healthy, kosher recipe!


Check out this recipe from Real Simple Magazine. (I get their daily recipes--all of which look delicious, but NOT all of which are dairy-free, gluten-free, and kosher. Some can be substituted, but sadly man cannot.) Fortunately, this one is all of the above--just remember to get gluten-free (and dairy free) tortilla chips, and you'er on you're way!) 

Here is the link: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cool-southwestern-salad-00000000000662/index.html?xid=dailyrecnews-08-31-2011

The GF Kosher Chef's Cooking Tip: Make this on parve equipment--as citrus fruits are considered harif by some rabbis. 

Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado

Cool southwestern salad with corn and avocado
Con Poulos
Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 20m
Total Time: 20m
Ingredients
  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cut from 1 to 2 ears, or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (which you CANNOT find in Israel) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 9-ounce bag tortilla chips
Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, corn, avocados, beans, onion, and cilantro.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
3. Drizzle dressing over the salad and gently toss. Serve with the tortilla chips.
Tip
For a portable meal, wrap the salad in a large burrito or stuff it into a pita. 
Nutritional Information
Calories 565; Fat 37g; Calories From Fat 59%; Sat Fat 5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 643mg; Protein 11g; Carbohydrate 55g; Fiber 14g; Sugar 6g

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Recipe That I LOVE

 Website: http://www.affairsofliving.com/imported-20100106014405/2010/6/29/white-bean-salad-with-peppers-and-herbs-for-a-bride-to-be-gl.html

White Bean Salad with Peppers and Herbs
serves 12 // adapted from this recipe by Jessica Bard
Bright, light, and crunchy, this salad has a wonderful blend of sweet, spicy, and salty flavors, which gets better the longer is sits and marinates. For added color, sub one of the yellow bell peppers with a sweet red, orange, or purple bell pepper.  If you eat cheese, sprinkle with a bit of high-quality crumbled feta for a fun and delicious twist.  This recipe makes a very large batch, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you want a smaller portion. 
4 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or other white bean)
2 red spring onions, finely chopped (or 1/2 small red onion)
3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh spearmint, packed
3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, packed
2 yellow bell peppers, cored and chopped
optional: 1 medium regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1/2 large English cucumber, chopped
3 Tbsp capers, rinsed and patted dry (salt-packed or vinegar packed), coarsely chopped
juice and zest of 1 large lemon OR 1/2-3/4 tsp vitamin C crystals + 1/4 cup water
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes 

Mix together beans, onion, herbs, bell peppers, cucumber (if using) and capers in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and zest, a big glug of olive oil, and stir.  Season to taste with sea salt and red pepper flakes, adding more olive oil if necessary if too dry.  For best flavor let marinate for at least an hour, or better yet, over night, and remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to let warm to room temperature. The flavors are most potent with it is not extremely cold.


(Unfortunately, did not get a picture of it because we ate it on Shabbat) 




The BBQ Is Back On!

Thanks to Udi's, some free time, and a stop at the Butcherie (a kosher grocery store) in Boston, I got my barbeque ON recently.
Kashrut: Udi's products at Scroll-K (a hekscher from Orthodox rabbis in Denver, where Udi's products are made). 
Scroll-K Website: http://www.scrollk.org/
Product Website: https://udisglutenfree.com/products/Buns


My odyssey with meat and bbq It started with a hamburger--ground beef, with onions, garlic, and cilantro that we put in the food processor. I was at friends house that is not shomer-kashrut, so (per usual) we bbqed on aluminum foil. I kept my buns on a special piece of foil, as well, to prevent cross-contamination. The bbqing continued with hot dogs slathered with mustard (how delicious!), and eventually, more hamburgers.

Verdict: I give Udi's buns an A! The best part about Udi's products are that you don't feel like a freak while at a barbecque. You don't have to eat your hot dog or hamburger plain. The only downside is that Udi's hot dog and hamburger are not only thick, but also very dense. The solution was simple, I ended up only using 1/2 a bun per burger and hotdog.
Tips: I toasted the buns before eating, which left them with a lovely, crispy flavor.

Udi's (Addictively Delicious) Blueberry Muffins

Udi's Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Kashrut: Scroll-K (Denver Orthodox)

Website: http://udisglutenfree.com/view_product/1019//Blueberry_Muffins

Verdict: A+! These muffins are on the expensive side at $6/four muffins, but they are huge and absolutely delicious. These muffins are great toasted and with futter (i.e. fake butter, or real butter if you have the stomach for it)

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Katz's (GF-DF-NF) Chocolate Chip Cookies





As much as I appreciate GF cookies, these cookies (unfortunately) didn't cut it for me.  I've tried a lot of Katz's products that were absolutely amazing! Unfortunately, these cookies were hard and not flavorful enough. To make them taste better, I slathered them in Earth Balance.. but even that didn't quite do it.


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ALERT!


ALERT-as I found out on Shabbat:
Some things ARE too good to be true--and always double check product labels. After having So Delicious'  coconut 'ice cream' in cookie dough flavor (gluten-free!) I thought I was home free and didn't even bother to check that it was GF. Thank goodness, after having it after a very meaty meal, it was dairy-free.
Remember to be careful out there--it's a glutenous world! 

Aish haTorah's Quinoa Recipe

From the Article "Queen of the Grains" 
Website: http://www.aish.com/f/r/Quinoa_Queen_of_all_Grains.html

Colorful Quinoa Tabbouleh
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa, washed and drained well
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 4 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled if waxed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, washed well and finely minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tbs Eden Ume Plum Vinegar (a salty liquid extracted from Japanese plums available in health food stores)
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 ounces roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Directions
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, cover, reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl and fluff up with a spoon until grain is separated. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly before transferring to a serving bowl. Decorate with some parsley leaves and olives
Preparation 15 minutes
Serves 8
Cooking time 20 minutes

This next recipe looks like it would be a hit for Rosh haShana! 
Quinoa and pomegranate salad
Quinoa is so versatile that it lends itself to sweet or salty recipes. Here it is presented with pomegranate seeds that are now appearing in local markets. Have this recipe in mind when planning your Rosh Hashanah menu. It is easy to make and it is nutritious as it is delicious!
Special note:
 There is coriander also known as cilantro, in this recipe which has a sort of lemony taste. In my experience I found that people have an interesting relationship with this herb; namely either they love it or hate it. People hailing from Mediterranean countries appreciate it’s pungent taste, while those of Eastern European descent are not accostumed to it’s taste. Feel free to use your discretion when making this recipe which is great with it or without it.
Furthermore, mint adds another dimension to the dish. I pluck some mint out of my backyard garden and use it sparingly, not to overpower the dish with the mint flavor.
Ingredients
  •  1 cup (150g) quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • Small handful mint, chopped (optional)
  • Small handful coriander/cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Wash quinoa very thoroughly. Cook according to package instructions (about 20 minutes) adding salt and garlic powder to the cooking water. allow to cool for a few minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Mix the pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, herbs, lime juice and 4 Tbs oil with the quinoa. Serve as is, or as a side dish to fish or chicken.
Recipe extra
Feel free to add chopped dried apricots instead of the pomegranate. Or try adding some broiled shredded chicken.
Preparation 15 minutes
Serves 6



Creamy Quinoa Pudding
 Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups Almond Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp organic sesame tahini
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs corn starch, dissolved in 3 T. cold water
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish
Directions
In a heavy saucepan cook quinoa, Almond milk, and salt until it comes to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add sesame butter and Maple syrup. Mix well. Add corn starch, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add vanilla and spices. Top with your choice of chopped nuts, roasted seeds or fruit and a dash of cinnamon. Decorate with a cinnamon stick. Delicious warm or chilled.
Preparation 5 minutes
Serves 4
Cooking Time 0:25 minutes

Gitta also offers her readers some very interesting (and refreshing) nutritional news about quinoa: 
"Quinoa rates highest in nutritive value amongst the grains. It is the only grain that is considered a full protein, and is a great source of iron, all the B vitamins, phosphorus and fiber, yet quinoa is easy to digest and prepare. "


And, of course, there is some cooking advice as well:
"To cook quinoa for a pilaf or salad, you can use water or broth. For your morning cereal, try apple or orange juice. To make the cooked grains fluffier, first rinse and roast them in a dry non-stick pan over medium-low heat, stirring until they become fragrant and pop. In about three minutes, when the popping stops, add the liquid, cover and cook until the quinoa is done, about 15 minutes.
Nature protects each grain of quinoa with a coating of saponin, a bitter, soap-like substance that acts as a natural insect repellent, so it is important to rinse quinoa well before cooking. Unlike other whole grains, the germ — the nutrient-rich middle layer of a grain — covers the entire kernel of quinoa. As quinoa cooks, the germ separates from the kernel, creating little white rings. When you see these rings, you know the grains are fully cooked." 

Thanks Aish! 

Katz's Gluten-Free Oat Challah Rolls

Katz's Gluten-Free Oat Challah Rolls

Kashrut: OU-Parve
Website: http://www.katzglutenfree.com/Oat_Challah_Rolls_Gluten_Free_p/1020.htm

Something I found out about Katz's is that they take portion control quite seriously--the oat challah rolls seemed small, but once I bit into one, I figured out why. They're very dense and not particularly moist. Part of it is that these rolls are, well, parve in the sense they are neutral--neither sweet nor salty, nor particularly tasty. The other part is that, if you are comparing these rolls to regular light, fluffy, challah--you will be disappointed. However, if you accept them for what they are (kind've like a dense muffin) they're not bad.

The Pro's: You can make motzi (if you can tolerate oats.)
The Con: Not the tastiest roll. My fiance suggested that I drench the roll in hummus (how Israeli of him), but I declined and ate a kazayit.

Katz's Gluten-Free Products--Pizza Crust, Challah, Cookies, and More

Katz's Gluten-Free Products
http://www.katzglutenfree.com/

Well, I just got one of Katz's free samples, oat challah rolls, and chocolate chip cookies!

Katz's GF Flat Bread Pizza Crust-
Kashrut: OU-Parve
Website: http://www.katzglutenfree.com/Pizza_Crust_Flat_Bread_Gluten_Free_p/1231.htm
$5.99 for four small pizza crusts--but they were good. They the same as "regular" pizza crusts, but they taste good and you can make a nice parve (mini) pizza with them. The way to make the pizza taste REALLY good is to use high-quality pizza sauce, and throw some vegetables on top. Obviously, if you can eat it---try it with cheese. I just looked in my fridge, and pulled out peppers, broccoli, and some garlic (which I pressed and spread on top of the other vegetables.)
Process: I pre-heated the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees and let my pizzas cook for about 10 minutes (until the crusts turned golden brown.)
Overall, this was very easy and tasty!







Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An A+ for the boom Choco boom Rice Milk Bar from "Enjoy Life"


Product Review: Enjoy Life’s “Boom Choco Boom” Dairy-Free, Rice Milk Bar 
In "milk chocolate" and "dark chocolate"
Superior to Hershey’s!

Kashrut: CRC-Parve (http://www.crcweb.org/)
Other hekschers: Triangle-V Vegan Certification and GF-Gluten-Free Certified

My initial reaction when I first tasted the rice milk bar was, “Why is my mother trying to poison me?! There is no way this is parve!” Well, it turns out that she wasn’t trying to poison me—and the Chicago Rabbinical Council will back her up (the bar is parve), and there is a vegan hekscher.

Pros: These bars do not have any after taste and is delicious. I tried them in milk chocolate and dark chocolate and was thrilled! I didn’t feel deprived while eating them-I felt like I was eating a “regular” chocolate bar. This is definitely not an inferior bar or an inferior chocolate. Consumers won’t be able to tell that it’s a “rice milk” bar.

Cons: I’m not generally a fan of milk chocolate, but for milk-chocolate lovers who must be DF, this is a comparable alternative. A few days later I went out and tried the dark chocolate version and was hugely impressed! Bad news is that this chocolate bar isn’t super-healthy (not in comparison to other chocolate bars, but stand alone.) It has 17 grams of fat, 230 calories, 25 miligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates.

Verdict: If I were grading this chocolate bar, it would get an A for good taste, & parve, GF, and other allergen free! This is definitely a safe food while being a delicious food.
Note About Other Allergens:
Wheat-Free
Dairy-free
Peanut-Free
Tree-nut-free,
Fish-free  & shellfish-free.
Casein-free
Potato-free
Sesame-free
Sulfite-free

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Arrowhead Mills Pancake & Baking Mix

Product: Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten-Free Pancake & Baking Mix
Kashrut: OK-Parve
Other Certifications: USDA Organic
Website: http://www.arrowheadmills.com/category/gluten-free

Main Ingredients: White Rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, (all organic) baking powder, ect.

I made pancakes with this mix--which were delicious. Not only did the flour smell good (a really hiddish), but the pancakes tasted good. The recipe calls for 1 cup of the mix, an egg or eat substitute, "Hain canola oil" (I just used regular canola oil), honey, and 1/4 & 1 tbsp. of soy milk, rice milk, or water (I used water.)
I made most of the pancakes with blueberries, though some were plain for comparison purposes. I also got creative and squirted 1 teaspoon of honey onto one of my pancakes when the batter started bubbling--that pancakes was probably the best!
Overall, I was very impressed with the flavor of Arrowhead Mill's GF pancake mix.
Pros: The pancakes tasted good! They're also easy to make, require relatively few ingredients, & ingredients are easy to find in kosher.
Cons: The pancakes were heavy, and a little bit hard to cut up with a fork alone. I wish that it could have been airier! 

Product Review: Van's Natural Foods Wheat/Gluten Free Flax Waffles

Product: Van's Natural Foods Wheat/Gluten Free Flax Waffles
Kashrut: Kof-K Parve 
Website: http://www.vansfoods.com/The_Goods/#/Waffles

From the outset of finding out that I needed to be gluten and dairy free, I realized that bread products would be difficult to replace--especially the delicious ones. I'm used to my grandmother's homemade pancakes with freshly picked blueberries, smothered in real maple syrup--and the thought of anything else seemed inferior.
While Van's Wheat/Gluten Free Flax Waffles would be nothing to write home about if you weren't gf/df, they're not bad, either. The texture is strange at first, but you quickly adapt--especially once you add other flavors, like fresh fruit, "futter" or real butter, or maple syrup! I'm not a big fan of freeze-dried fruit being put in anything, so I made sure not to get Van's "blueberry" waffles. Instead, I added my own fresh blueberries (obviously, this is seasonal) and real maple syrup. After some serious smothering, Van's Wheat/Gluten Free Flax Waffles were not only edible, they were almost comperable to the "real stuff." Even though Van's isn't something that I would have loved or even looked forward to eating before I was gf, the nice part is that after eating them I have no stomach problems, I don't feel sick, and I don't feel weak. It's a trade-off that I'm willing to make.

Pro's: This product scores high for convenience! While there are longer directions for the microwave and regular oven, I popped the waffles into a toaster--and in 2 minutes, they were golden and ready to go!
Cons: The thing that you will miss compared to "regular" waffles is the the airy-light texture that many glutenous waffles boast. GF foods, it seems, tend to have a heavier, and this product is not light or airy. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Product Review-Riceworks' Wildrice Crisps

Wild RiceWorks: Gourmet Wildrice Crisps 


Kashrut: OU-Parve 

Website: http://www.riceworkssnacks.com/new_index_USA.html
Website features: Recipes, links for celiacs (RiceWorks has been active in celiac awareness), the option to buy snacks online (!!-for those of us in less central geographic areas/markets), nutrition facts, and lots of social media links. On their facebook page, they are featured at the Hadassah Women's Health Fair in Sacramento, CA. Awesome! 


Overview: The nice thing about going GF is that there are still many chip snacks that don't use gluten or have trace amounts of gluten in them, so all is not lost. It is a bit more challenging to find chips that are GF/DF and kosher, though--especially chips with a reliable hekscher. The ricework wild rice crisps were good--but not great. 
Riceworks crisps come in several flavors, including Salsa Fresca, Tangy BBQ, Parmesan, Sea Salt, Sweet Chili, and 'WildRice'. (I'm only reviewing WildRice-you can find out more about them at http://www.riceworkssnacks.com/WRW_Introduction.html) 


Pro's: The chips were good, I definitely enjoyed eating them and they're a quick snack that is very convenient to eat while driving (as I did) or while working on the computer, as they're not messy at all. I spread some guacamole and salsa over the crisps and really enjoyed them
Con's: These crisps tasted a little bit salty, and I found that after eating several of them, my tongue stung a little bit. Perhaps because there 110 mg of sodium/serving (which is about 16 chips.) There is, however, 3 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of protein--not such a bad snack after all. 

Health and Kashrut Info: 

(found in FAQ section)
Are riceworks totally gluten free?
 We can assure you riceworks is 100% gluten free. We send our samples to an outside lab, which have returned "none detected at a 3ppm level". We rely on good manufacturing practices in our plant and with our suppliers. Although the plants are not gluten free, the lines that are used to manufacture riceworks are. There are only a small number of ingredients that include gluten in our plants. These are well marked, stored separately and used on different lines, and even in different rooms in the plants. After running any allergen containing materials, a full cleaning of the line is completed before moving back to non-allergen products.

 Why do some bags say oat fiber on the ingredient list?
The oat fiber ingredient is a carbohydrate product with all protein and therefore gluten removed. The supplier of this ingredient provided a letter to Shearer's from an independent food safety specialist who assessed the product. The specialist indicated there is no risk of the provocation of celiac disease from ingesting this product. 

(GF Kosher Chef's Opinion/Disclaimer: Some people DO have serious oat sensitivities who are celiacs or Gluten intolerant, even though this company says that they do not pose a "risk of the provocation of celiac disease," I would still check with your doctor. These aren't worth the risk of damaging yourself.) 

Is there Dairy, Casein, Eggs or Peanuts in riceworks?
We do not handle any nuts (peanuts or tree nuts) or eggs in our manufacturing facility. There are no casein or dairy ingredients in any of our current flavors except for Baked Cinnamon and Parmesan & Sundried Tomato. Some dairy ingredients are used in the plant, and some on the same production line. However, there is a full wet wash of equipment after any dairy ingredients are used to avoid cross-contamination.


Product Review-Boulder Canyon Natural Foods

"Boulder Canyon Natural Foods: MultiGrain Puffs: White Cheddar"
Kashrut: OU-D (chalav stam)

Not Pesadik


Both my tester (i.e. mother/guinea pig) and I enjoyed these white cheddar cheese puffs immensely! I accidentally picked them up without realizing that they have dairy in them. 


Pro's: Tasted like REGULAR cheese puffs, there is nothing weird or unusual about these puffs! They taste like regular cheese puffs, and to boot, many delicious cheese puffs aren't kosher. These are-what a nice change! They also stain the hands significantly less than regular cheese puffs, but leave a minimal cornmeal-like grime on your hands. 
Con's: These cheese puffs are dairy-which means I won't be having them again for a long time. They're also chalav stam, for those who don't eat chalav stam. 

Delicious!

Product: Lucy's Cookies- Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Kashrut: Star K- Parve with GF Certification

NOT Pesadik
Egg Free-Dairy-Free-"Allergy Free-VEGAN
Website: http://www.drlucys.com/cookies/chocolateChip


Delicious! I bought these cookies for a vegan friend of mine of a few years ago as shaloch manot--and she raved about them! I bought a pack yesterday, and they were gone in almost 20 minutes (my drive home.)
I loved these cookies--they're a win-win-win, and I think will become a favorite of mine! They have a buttery, cinammony flavor. The texture is not abnormal and these cookies don't crumble into a saw-dust like flavor in your mouth. 


Pro's: Parve, not made on dairy equipment, so appropriate for a meat meal
Con's: The cookie is hard, not soft, moist, or chewie. It was a tad difficult to bite into, but once I bit in-I really enjoyed them. 
Comparison to non-GF Product: I knew that there were some products that would be impossible to replicate when I became kosher, and even more when I became gluten-free. But, compared to other parve cookies on the market, Lucy's is definitely a winner. I remember the first time I bought Stella D'Oro cookies--I was mostly thrilled that they were parve! But, these cookies are much better and much more flavorful, not to mention GF and DF. 


Background: "When Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations.
With distribution in over 7,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including Whole Foods Market, Starbucks, Stop & Shop, Sprouts Farmers Market and many other fine retailers—Lucy’s availability provides unprecedented access to high quality, tasty treats.
And with lots of high quality and organic ingredients, a low calorie count per serving, 0mg cholesterol, 0gm trans fat and great taste, they’re appealing to customers looking for a natural, healthier diet!" -from Dr. Lucy's website (www.drlucy.com) 



Monday, August 8, 2011

Upcoming Product REviews

Upcoming Product Reviews:

"Boulder Canyon Natural Foods: MultiGrain Puffs: White Cheddar"
Kashrut: OU-D

Lucy's Cookies
Kashrut: Star K- Parve w/GF Certification

Wild RiceWorks: Gourmet Wildrice crisps
Kashrut: OU-Parve 

Product Review

GlutenFreeda
This product is readily available in most supermarkets.
Kashrut: OU-Parve (hekscher is on the back of the product, is small, and is towards the bottom--you may have to take a few more seconds to look for it)

Thus far, I have only tried their 'Maple Raisin with Flax' Instant Oatmeal, which is wheat free and gluten free. I was VERY impressed! It tastes, well, normal--which it should, given that it's made with oats like most other oatmeals. The only difference between GlutenFreeda's oatmeal and the average oatmeal is cross-contamination, GFreeda's oatmeal is made with certified gluten free oats. Delicious! I sprinkled some blueberries on top of the oatmeal, which really brought out the flavor!

WARNING: Many people with gluten sensitivities should not be eating oats. I am gluten-intolerant, and I can eat oats, as long as they are 'pure oats'-i.e. not contaminated by wheat or other glutenous products. Check with your doctor before eating any product with oats, and when it doubt, stay away from oat-y products. 

Product Review

Product Review on GF DF Cereal 

Company: Glutino
Product: Gluten-Free "Berry Sensible Beginnings" - Corn rice flakes with strawberries. 
Kashrut: OU-(Parve)
Main Ingredients: Corn meal, long grain white rice, sugar, freeze dried strawberry slices, salt, soy lechtin, vitamins and minerals, alpha tocoperols, reduced iron, niacinamide, pyrixodine hydrochloride, riboflavin, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12

I genuinely liked this cereal--which was shocking. Unlike a lot of GF "mezonot-like" products, this one actually has the texture of cereal. My complaint is that it is a little bit hard on the teeth (yowzer) and the strawberry slices were a bit awkward, although slightly tasty. Overall, this is a good GF cereal.

The Non-Dairy Milk 
Company: Turtle Mountain's 'So Delicious' Coconut Milk-Vanilla 
Kashrut: Kehilla  Kosher- Parve on made on dairy equipment. http://www.kehillakosher.org/
Other "hekscher:" This product comes with GF-Circle certification, is vegan, is certified that it does not use genetically modified foods!
I ate this cereal with the 'So Delicious' product 'Coconut Milk-Vanlla.' I'm a huge fan of ALL of the 'So Delicious' products that I've tried so far. The company is owned by a frum Jew, Mark Brawerman. All products are parve (although some are made on dairy equipment.)
Disclaimer: I'm someone who generally likes things that are sweet. While I don't love things that sickeningly sweet, my favorite wine is moscato (although my favorite chocolate is dark.) This milk is on the sweet side, and if you're someone who is sensitive to that, it may not be the best product for you or you may want to mix it up with water.

WARNING about Glutino products: Not all Glutino products are kosher. I made this mistake yesterday when I went to the supermarket (Hannaford) and picked up some Glutino crackers that had no hekscher! However, they weren't absolutely amazing (they needed cheese or jelly), so you can live without them. Now, I just have to find someone to give them to. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What Are These Strange New Products Used in GF Foods?

New Products Used in GF Cooking

I recently got Silvana Nardone's "Cooking for Isaiah-- Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals."

Apple Cider Vinegar: I saw this ingredient in many of Nardone's recipes and asked myself, "How can I find that? Will it come in kosher?" The answer is easily! I'm not sure how readily available it is in Israel, but when I stopped by the local Hannaford today, there were several versions. The one that I chose is from "Bragg"-it boasts a variety of certification. It is USDA-Organic, Gluten-Free, has no preservatives, and has a KSA certification.

Kosher: KSA is an abbreviation for Kosher Certification of America. It is a run by a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi, and while the Lubavitch group can be controversial, apple cider vinegar is a fairly basic product. Here is KSA's info: http://www.ksakosher.com/

Xanthan Gum: I had seen this name before on the ingredients list in many, and do be honest, it seemed like a freaky name/chemical. Well, it turns out not to be as creepy as it sounds-- you can get it in Israel apparently (kosher!) and from Bob's Red Mill. I bought some today at a Hannaford store (for $10.00 for the kosher version

Kashrut: Rabbi Avrohon Teichman of http://mykosherla.com/kehilla-kosher/ of Los Angeles, CA.

Now, TWO KEY questions:
1) Does anyone know where to find kosher chestnut flour?
2) Does anyone have any good, TESTED, for oat-flour challah? I need something to make motzi on! I found several recipes when I googled "oat flour challah" on ImaMother (a frummy site for frummy mother's)

A Review of King Arthur's Gluten-Free Bread Mix

King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Mix
Kosher Key: The mix is parve, but optional call for dairy, not appropriate for Pesach, not appropriate for vegans
Hekschers: CRC and GF-Gluten Free Certified
Ingredients: "Blend flour"-rice flour and tapioca starch, potato starch, sugar, emulsifier (with rice starch, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids), salt, xanthan gum.  A packet of yeast comes with the mix, which calls for melted butter OR oil (I used vegetable oil--not knowing how "futter"-fake butter would work), water, and 3 large eggs.

King Arthur has several gluten-free mixes-- about 118 GF mixes! Many can be dairy free or dairy. The mix that I used tonight was not vegan-friendly, it called for eggs and didn't give any suggestions for egg substitutes.
My tester, i.e. non-GF/DF mother, said it was "great!" But, then again, she can go have a regular piece of bread.... 


Tastes a bit like: Kugel/pashtida, it's very dense and not so airy. It tastes a bit potato-y but smells great (I think it's the yeast). I slathered the "bread" with "futter," but it would also work well with jam or chocolate spread.

This is a DON'T lick the bowl desert--I had to rinse my mouth out after I licked the bowl.

Is being shomer-gluten/dairy like becoming kosher?

Is going GF & DF like going kosher?

Most of us didn't grow up staying far, far away from gluten and dairy. I had no idea until a week ago that even holding gluten and dairy products physically pains my body. And, then again, many people didn't grow up keeping kosher, either.

I grew up with neither--eating non-kosher ice cream brands, non-fish gelatin marshmellows, clams in tartar sauce, bacon-lettuce-and no tomato sandwiches. Lucky for me, I never liked cheese burgers, ham, or most shellfish. Giving up the 'forbidden foods' wasn't as taxing for me as it is for some.
And, I still love real bread sandwiches, glutenous doughnuts, bagels with dairy-cream cheese.. the works. They are things that I'm giving up for a reason--I could, of course, continue to eat gluten and dairy, it would probably just kill me. And, if it didn't kill me, it would lead my body to constantly be hurting and working at less than 100%. Same with kashrut, but with a spiritual effect. If you put a shrimp in my mouth, my neshama won't do well with it.

Shomer Kashrut: I started keeping kosher years ago for a number of reasons. My observance of kashrut has grown drastically--from when I didn't know that non-kosher cheese couldn't be eaten to now, when, of course, I can't touch cheese--no matter what the hekscher. I partially started looking into kashrut because someone in my family had experienced an eating disorder and I was trying to process my relationship with food, and partially because I picked up the Torah one day. I read. It said 'no shellfish,' so I quit those. I later learned, from rabbinic sources, that caesar-with-cheese-and-chicken was a no-no, and gave that up, as well. Non-kosher meat became a thing of the past, and I took up vegetarianism because there simply was no kosher meat that I could get access to. Slowly, more of my time become occupied with kashrut thoughts. 'Is this kosher, and to what degree?' 'Which products don't require a kosher-label?'

Similarities: In both cases, I'm deny myself things my tongue craves. I have to constantly remind myself that kashrut builds character, and that what I want (i.e. ice cream right after a burger) is only about what I want--not what I need, and not what my soul needs. It's about planning ahead, you can't go anywhere and just expect to pick up some food, you have to think ahead of time. Want beef? Yup, that will be a minimum 2-hour drive. Want pure oat flour to make bread? Yes, that will be a 30-minute drive. You get over it, and you learn to plan your time better--even if it's not what you'd rather be doing.

However, with keeping kosher (unless you are super-machmir) you can walk into a gas-station while traveling, pick up most sodas, chips, pretzels, and a wide variety of candies, and you're fine. Being gluten-free and dairy-free means that there is very little left to consume in terms of junky fast food. When I had a 2-hour drive the other day, I didn't prepare ahead of time. The only thing that I could find where potato chips, so I picked up a bag and continued on my way.