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Tag: gluten-free (page 1 of 2)

Purely Blissful Goodies to Give Away!

A snack bar that combines dates, agave, apple pieces, cinnamon, almonds, flax meal and a host of other goodies has to be deliciously healthy, wouldn’t you agree? How about one that adds organic peanut butter, sunflower seeds and sea salt to the mix? Yummy. These little bites can serve as an afternoon snack, a tiny treat between meals, a tasty pick-me-up at 3pm, a welcome addition to your kid’s snack box for school… so many scrumptious possibilities.

The nice folks at Pure Bliss Organics have a bag each of Organic Appleachia Apple-Walnut Bites and Organic PB & J Bites to give away to the readers of this blog. All you need to do is comment on this post telling me which one you would like to get and why. Pure Bliss will ship the sweet goodies only within the continental United States; apologies to those of you that reside overseas.



PB & J Bites

PB & J Bites

In addition, readers of this blog can purchase Pure Bliss products at 20% discounted prices. Simply use the coupon code ‘richveg’ while checking out. Each purchase you make will bring a little cha-ching to this blog… Thanks!

Organic Appleachia Apple and Walnut Bites

Organic Appleachia Apple and Walnut Bites

UPDATE: Winners selected… thanks for playing, everyone! Ram and Dixya, I will get in touch with you for your respective mailing addresses. 

Frannie’s Gluten Free Goodies

Frannie's Gluten Free

Frannie’s Gluten Free

A friend introduced me to Frances Shaw via email after sampling her gluten free muffins at a local event. I met Frances a week later and she was sweet enough to bring me a lovely package choc-a-full of muffins! The muffins come in six flavors – chocolate chip, banana, lemon zest, blueberry, zucchini and banana (vegan). I sampled the vegan banana muffin and gave away the others to friends who volunteered to act as tasters. I was amused to see how seriously they took the task… 🙂 Here are the snippets from the conversation.

Lemon Zest
“Zesty without being tart, crumbly texture, mildly flavored and that is good!”

“Dense but not heavy… it feels kinda compacted. There isn’t much blueberry in here!”

“Little bits of zucchini in here. Mildly sweet, I like! Coconut has a toasted flavor and adds to the crunch/crispness.”
“Less gritty than the chocolate chip one, nice flavor, not overly zucchini-y, 4 on 5.”

Chocolate Chip
“The texture is a little mealy. Is there apple sauce in there? This is not a chocolate chip muffin from heaven. Would I buy it? Probably not. But it tastes good. It has a mild sweetness that I like. I am not a fan of the chocolate-coconut combination but this was good.”

P and I sampled the vegan banana muffin. Soft and crumbly, mildly sweet and coconut-y, light and airy… I liked the toasted coconut flavor that blended excellently with the sweet banana.

Here’s Fran’s story.

Frances Shaw

Frances Shaw

“In 2009, due to my own new dietary restrictions, I began baking gluten, dairy and soy free. I had to get creative in the kitchen and began experimenting with different types of flours and milks. One night I came up with the zucchini muffin recipe using my favorite ingredients, which became a huge success with my family and friends – including those with and without food allergies! Wanting to share the experience of enjoying delicious baked goods with others who have food allergies and sensitivities inspired me to begin Frannie’s Gluten Free. We’ve taken the time to not just ensure that our products are gluten free, but healthy in other ways as well. All of our muffins are made from organic fruits and vegetables, as well as using organic eggs that have been raised free of hormones and antibiotics. From there, I went on to develop our other delicious recipes, including our vegan version of the banana muffin, so that there is a variety of flavors for everyone to enjoy.

My favorite kind of muffin varies on the time of day. Zucchini is the perfect morning muffin and chocolate chip is a delicious dessert. I love running and my current favorite after-run snack is a lemon zest muffin. It is so light and refreshing, and the organic coconut and lemon have a very tropical and rewarding taste.

The next step for Frannie’s Gluten Free is continuing to reach out to the gluten free community. I created the muffins’ recipes from medical necessity, so reaching families and children with food allergies is incredibly rewarding. As a company, we are extremely involved in the community. You can find a Frannie’s Gluten Free tent at many local races as well as at food and health events such as Farm RX and the FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) Fair.

For those with a celiac or a gluten sensitivity… if you are sharing your kitchen with products and flours that do contain gluten, be sure to thoroughly clean your workspace and baking equipment to avoid cross contamination. This is also something to keep in mind when dining out. Be sure to ask about the preparation of any gluten free items. Just because a dish on the menu claims to be gluten free does not mean that it has not been cooked with some of the same items used for dishes that contain gluten. Depending upon your level of sensitivity, this can still affect how you feel after your meal. My main tip for other gluten free bakers is to continue experimenting with new ingredients and to enjoy the challenge. You never know when you’re going to come up with a wonderful surprise!”

Roasted Vegetables over Pasta

Today I bring you a plate of fusilli pasta. It is chewy because it is made of brown rice, but also because my darling husband, a gifted cook, made it a little too al dente for my taste. It has a strong whiff of garlic because there is a whole clove nestled in there, lending its roasted flavor to the vegetables. And this is a colorful dish of pasta because it contains golden beets, sweet potato, fennel, carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Oh, did I mention that the vegetables are roasted to golden perfection?

I am a fan of Melissa at The Traveler’s Lunchbox and one of her recipes caught my eye. But I wasn’t in the mood for a creamy pasta sauce. I did want the vegetables nice and roasted, though. So I started with her recipe and made it my own halfway through.

1 carrot
1 head of fennel
1 sweet potato
12 cherry tomatoes
4 golden beets
2 celery sticks
1 clove garlic, medium sized, unpeeled
1 – 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1 – 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
Olive oil

  • Preheat the open to 360 F.
  • Cut up the vegetables into uniform little cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl with garlic, thyme and fennel seeds. Add olive oil and mix/toss thoroughly with clean hands.
  • Spread the vegetables-oil-seasoning mixture on a baking sheet (I needed two) in a single layer.
  • Roast for roughly 40 minutes. Check periodically to ensure that the vegetables or the garlic don’t char or burn.
  • Voila, roasted vegetables are ready! Remove the garlic clove and take off the peel. If you can wish, you can add it back to the vegetables or keep it out.
Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

You can throw them over pasta (like we did), mix them up with quinoa or millet, add to a platter of basmati rice pulao…. make them your own! Keep in mind, the vegetables are not salted, so add salt/pepper accordingly as you use them in your dish.

Roasted Vegetables with Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta

Roasted Vegetables with Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta

Melissa’s recipe mentioned the roasting temperature as 400 F but when I placed the baking sheets in the oven, they began to warp. So I reduced the temperature to 360 F.
I will not use celery for roasting next time. It turns stringy and tough.
Roasted garlic is delicious! It has a burnt sweetness to it that is mild yet memorable.
I enjoyed the soft sweetness of the beets and the sweet potatoes. I know that these are not commonly used pasta ingredients but I think they worked well in this dish.

Liz Lovely’s Gluten Free and Vegan and DIVINE cookies

Oh Liz Lovely… I couldn’t be happier that I get to buy your products, lovingly crafted in verdant Vermont, at my local grocery store, here in Atlanta.

A good cookie is a little piece of heaven. It is the perfect accompaniment to a favorite book, the best ending to a home-cooked meal, an easy way to sign off on a sweet note. But cookies = flour + eggs + dairy and some other ingredients. What is a girl to do if she is cutting back on all three items from her diet? Bid goodbye to cookies, probably. Or make her own! An easier (and may I say, more delicious option) is to buy a packet of Liz Lovely’s. They are giant cookies (one cookie = diameter of my palm and yes, I have a medium-large palm), nicely priced ($3.99 for a 2-pack) and delicious, divine, sweet heaven.

Ginger is a favorite flavor at our home, so the first time I espied a 2-pack of Liz Lovely cookies, I got the Gluten Free Ginger Molasses one. Coated with granulated sugar, soft and crumbly in texture, little bites of crystallized ginger peeking through, subtly sweet due to the molasses… this is a sweet-sharp cookie with bright flavors. You can break a piece (or two) off the huge cookie, eat happily and sit back, contented. Or you could sneak back in and finish the whole cookie, bit by bit… I won’t judge you!

Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookie

Last week, I bought a pack of two Chocolate Fudge Cookies. Ooh, this is a rich and decadent recipe. Each little bite is choc-a-full with nuggets of dark chocolate, silky in texture, assertive flavors… Know what, you won’t be able to eat the whole cookie in a single sitting. Try it, really.

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Glancing through the Liz Lovely website, I saw SO MANY delicious-sounding cookies. Wish the company would bring them ALL to the Peach State. Please, Liz & Dan?