Category Archives: Product Reviews

Amazing Foods For Health Pancakes and Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes and cookies

On a lazy Sunday I decided to do some gluten-free baking. Recently Amazing Foods For Health sent me gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookie mix. While I try not to eat too many carbs and processed foods, after running the Gate River Run I had a few extra calories to spare and my husband absolutely loves oatmeal raisin cookies so I had a willing assistant to help with the taste testing.
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Pancakes

I started the morning with some pancakes. The ingredients were easy and things that I almost always have on hand.  Nothing is more annoying than weird ingredients that I have to make a special trip to the grocery store for. gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

We are dairy-free as well we we used So Delicious almond milk instead of regular milk and added in some extra flax seed for added fiber.gluten free jacksonville so delicous almond milk

The pancakes batter came out thicker than I usually make so I added in some water .gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

I followed the instructions on the box and they still came out pretty thick but they cooked really nicely and were delicious! I paired it with some turkey bacon and a cup of coffee and it was a nice little breakfast!

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I had the mixing bowl out I figured I would go ahead and make the cookies too! Again the ingredients were easy and the only real pre-planning was to leave the butter out to soften.

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

I used Earth Balance instead of regular butter. gluten free jacksonville earth balance
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

While the box stated that it made 30 cookies this batch only made 18 cookies and take note they don’t get much bigger than the size they are when you put on the cookie sheet.  Also they came out a little dry, I may substitute coconut oil instead of the Earth Balance next time so they come out a little more chewy.  But they were delicious and I can honestly say that half of the plate below was gone within 10 minutes!
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

All in all they were both delicious.  I don’t think you would even notice that they are gluten-free.  They cooked easy and tasted so yummy. Looks like the only place to purchase these items in Jacksonville is the Walmart Supercenter on San Pablo Road S.

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Product Review: Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

Recently I was asked to review Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs. Let me first start off by saying I LOVE CORN DOGS! I miss them terribly. I especially miss having one at Suns Baseball games. So when I was asked to review a new brand of gluten-free corn dogs I said yes right away.

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free JacksonvilleThese are the easiest things to prepare. They only need about 40-50 seconds to heat up. Which makes them a great convenience food when you are in a hurry. They recommend you cook them for 40 seconds but I needed to heat them a little longer because it was cool in a few spots.
Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

 

These corn dogs are delicious. They are made with honey but there is a subtle sweetness and the hot dog is not too salty, rubbery or dry. The hot dog is actually chicken which makes them relatively healthy. Each corn dog is only 180 calories and 9 grams of fat. Try one with a little mustard it pairs perfectly with the honey taste in the corn dog.

I shared them with my gluten eating mom and dad. It was one of those cool winter afternoons so we paired it with some home made gluten-free chili. My advice: hide them from your gluten eating family because these babies do not taste like they are gluten-free and they will be gone quick.

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

My dad said: “Tastes like a regular corn dog to me, chewy.”

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs Gluten Free Jacksonville

My mom said: “I like them, I like the consistency. Good flavor. Easy to fix and convenient.”

I am not quite sure where these can be purchased, but once I know I will update this post. I highly recommend these corn dogs based on taste and convenience.

foster farms gluten free corn dogs gluten free jacksonvilleHave you had these before? What are your thoughts?

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Sponsor Post: Naturally Smart Now Sold In (more) Stores

gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert

Our Sponsor, Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert, is continuing to sweeten up the Jacksonville frozen dessert market.  Their founder, Mark Patterson, has really been pounding the pavement.  I see him everywhere.  Usually I run into him at the local coffee shop early in the morning where he is preparing to continue to spread the word about Naturally Smart.  Some places you may have seen Naturally Smart:

1.  At one of the many tastings they have participated in…

gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert

2. Around town in the Naturally-Smart.com van…

gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert

3. At Fresh Market, Winn Dixie, Grassroots Market and Whole Foods….

gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert
gluten free jacksonville naturally smart frozen dessert

4. On the news…

Naturally Smart a healthy alternative to ice cream | Gatorsports.com

The “SMART” Dessert | One Spark

Naturally Smart frozen dessert | News – Home – News4Jax

Smart People Eat Dessert

Jacksonville Business Journal

Jacksonville Magazine

We are very excited for Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert.  It is nice to see a local “passion” succeed.  Have you tried it?  What do you think?  Check out our previous sponsor post on Naturally Smart.

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Gluten-Free Made Easy Cook Book Review

gluten free jacksonville gluten free made easy

While I don’t claim to be a book critic I will say this is one book that I’ll be referring to quite a bit. When I was asked to write a review by Christi Silbaugh, author of Mom, What’s for Dinner I must say I was a little skeptical. Living with celiac disease I wondered how could she understand, truly understand, what I would need someone living with Celiac Disease.  But after flipping through the first few pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy I could tell she got it!

Gluten-Free Made Easy is a book for all the gluten-free eaters and health enthusiasts everywhere.  It is formatted very similar to other gluten-free cook books I have seen.  The book helps explain: what is gluten, where is gluten hidden, where do I find gluten ingredients and how can I fit gluten-free into my budget.  In addition there are tips and tricks all through the book such as:

    • on pg 49: “The Batter Barrier: Gluten-free batter is sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner and always different than traditional batter.  It will take time to get accustomed to the texture of gluten-free flours.  For now, trust the recipe.”
    • on pg 145: “The secret to moist fish.  An over cooked fish is a dry fish.  It is best to remove the fish from the oven when it’s jucy and has changed color….  if the fish starts to brown… it is probably overdone.”
    • on page 6: “Try restaurants with a large number of gluten-free dishes such as  Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic cuisines.”

This cookbook is very easy to understand, the directions are simple and many of the ingredients are things I already had around my house. I also like that the recipes don’t rely on hand making everything from scratch with 10-12 different steps. The recipes reference a lot of really good gluten-free products and they seem like great recipes for children on gluten-free diets.gluten free jacksonville potatoes au gratin gluten free made easy

gluten free jacksonville tilapia gluten free made easy

I made the Potatoes Au Gratin (p158) and Dry Rubbed Tilapia (p142). They were DELICIOUS! and I can’t wait to try the Homemade Baked Tater Tots (p73), Italian Sausage Lasagna Cups (p93) and the Cauliflower Pizza Crust (p99).

The pictures are beautiful; at first glance I was immediately hungry. While I love this book I do have a few critiques:

  • The calorie and fat counts are not posted and many of the items seem high in fat and calories.
  • Since many people are gluten-free and dairy-free it would have been nice to include some dairy substitute ideas.
  • It would be nice to see the overall preparation times at the top so people can pick recipes based on time allotted (It took close to 1 and a half hours to prepare the Potatoes Au Gratin).

The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Books and Things. I recommend it for you and your family.

Happy Cooking.

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Naturally Smart Gluten-Free Dessert Tasting

naturally smart gluten free jacksonvilleRecently, in honor of my boyfriend’s birthday, I shared Naturally Smart’s gluten-free frozen dessert with some of my friends.  Unfortunately, because I am gluten-free and dairy-free, I cannot indulge in this gluten-free dessert so I thought I would share some of the comments from others, many of whom are not gluten-free.   Our sponsor provided us with Chocolate and Vanilla (these are their current flavors, other flavors are coming soon).   Each pint holds 4 servings and each serving has 10 grams of protein and only 150 calories. Almost everyone was shocked that there were 10 grams of protein in each serving (that is 40 grams per pint!). After the birthday boy blew out the candles on his glutenous Oreo cake, it was time to pass out the Naturally Smart and see what the crowd thought:

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Tastes like a Fudgesicle you had as a kid but a healthy version”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Why should I stop; it’s so good for you”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Good texture”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Interesting aftertaste”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Guilt free indulgence”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Tastes like a brownie”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Awesome, delicious”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville“Is this expensive? Do they sell this at Publix?”

naturally smart gluten free jacksonville

“The first ingredient is water; it hydrates you!”

Special thanks to our sponsor Naturally Smart for providing us with their frozen dessert.

Where can you buy Naturally Smart you ask? Here is a current list as of February 10, 2014:

Grassroots Market
Whole Foods in Mandarin
BioMax in Atlantic Beach
Dr. Capasso’s Thin Centers in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.

Look for them at the Natural Life Music Festival and OneSpark! And follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@Nat_SmartFD)

Have you tried this dessert yet?  If so, what do you think?

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Goodbye Gluten Wraps

goodbye gluten wraps gluten free jacksonvilleRecently I was asked by the makers of Goodbye Gluten Wraps to try out their plain and multigrain gluten-free wraps.  I usually just purchase corn tortillas to make wraps or tacos since they are usually pretty cheap and easy to find at any store.  However, I guess there are times you need to make a larger wrap and these would come in handy because they are very similar to regular flour tortillas.

goodbye gluten free wraps gluten free jacksonville

Unlike many gluten free baked goods, there is no need to refrigerate.  However, after a few days the tortillas became a little dry and broke apart when I tried to fold them.

goodbye gluten wraps recipe gluten free jacksonville

I decided to make a wrap with ground turkey, some fresh veggies (squash, greens, edamame and tomatoes) with an asian inspired sauce that consisted of a mixture of garlic, olive oil, gluten-free soy sauce, and ginger.

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The outcome was quite delicious, however, you can see where the wrap broke apart a little when it was folded.  The tortilla tastes great so I didn’t mind that it broke apart a bit. I began wrapping with tin foil so it helped the wrap stay together.  Each wrap was 150 calories. That is a little high considering 2 corn tortillas are around 80-90 calories for both.

I also tried the multigrain wrap and it was much less dry and easier to fold.
goodbye gluten multigrain wrapI liked the flavor of both but being able to fold the wrap and hold it in my hand with out it falling apart gave the multigrain flour tortilla an advantage. I didn’t try steaming or heating the wraps in the pan, perhaps that may have helped the plain wrap become a little more malleable. The multigrain tortillas have about 160 calories. Both have great flavor though.

*Update: These wraps can be found at Publix.

Do you have a favorite alternative to bread or tortillas?

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Product Review: J. William Culinary Prepared Meals

I discovered J. William Culinary about two weeks ago when the Chef, Jay, commented on my Facebook post abut Ovinte. I went online to check them out and discovered they make meals in perfect portion sizes and specialize in fresh ingredients. They also have gluten free, dairy free and vegan offerings. I was intrigued and reached out to Jay to see if I could try some of their meals and share with my gluten-free friends. I was pleasantly surprised when they called saying they would deliver 5 meals for me to try.  My boyfriend helped out with the tasting, however, he is the easiest person to cook for. He likes EVERYTHING!

After learning about J. William Culinary I reviewed their website and  Facebook page; I seem to be living in the dark ages. They have been around for months and this is the first I have heard of them. Here is what I know of them from their website and Facebook page:

What They Offer: Wraps, protein bars, and meals for lunch or dinner (chicken, beef, fish, meatballs).

Nutrition: The wraps and protein bar are 240 calories, the fish entrees 300, chicken entrees 440, beef entrees and turkey meatballs 500, and the pork entrees are 480.  They only use lean meats and don’t use dairy, so everything is low fat. Everything is gluten-free except the beef meatballs and wraps. They use no refined sugars, only honey, on occasion.  And, there is no salt added to the meals. Everything is between 35-45 grams of protein, 25-40 grams for carbs, low fat and dairy-free.

Price: Meals range from $4 (protein bars, snacks, wraps) to $10 (Mayport Shrimp). Most are $6.50. They have free delivery to all of Jacksonville within the Duval County Limits, Monday through Friday for orders of $100 or more. For orders of less than $100, there is a $5 delivery charge. The ingredients containing gluten (couscous, bread crumb, wraps) are stored separately from other materials.

Preparation: The meals are fully cooked and vacuum-sealed. They can be microwaved for 2 minutes or simmered in water for 10 minutes to reheat. The meals are typically delivered fresh (unfrozen), but because of the vacuum sealing, they freeze very well. They will remain good in your freezer for at least six months. J. William culinary can arrange for meals to be frozen and left in a cooler for you or they can deliver them to your work.

Menu: The menu changes weekly, typically on Friday. Here is a link to the most recent menu.

Location: If you want to pick up your meal at their store, the address is: 2103 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida.  Their phone number is (904) 899-2062.

In the news: http://www.news4jax.com/news/Gourtmet-meals-on-the-go/-/475880/18561440/-/h8hpjuz/-/index.html

The meals I tried included:

Roasted Turkey Breast with Spiced Butternut Squash and Corn Black Bean Salsa

This meal was amazing.  I am a salt addict, but, I held off on adding more salt so I could enjoy the freshness of this dish.  I love squash and it was sweet but not too sweet.  It came with two generous slices of turkey.  It was so tender I didn’t even need a knife.  The salsa added a nice touch and there were green beans for some extra added veggies.  I cooked this for 2 minutes in the microwave after making a small hole at the top. It came out piping hot. I couldn’t believe how much food fit into the plastic packet.

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This is how it came out of the bag.  Seriously.  I did nothing to move the food around.  I cut the top off and I just slid the food out and it looked this good!  This paired nicely with a glass of Vinho Verde, my new favorite spring wine!prepared gluten free meals turkey with corn salsa J. William Culinary

Seared Chicken Breast with Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Spinach Cashew Pesto

The cashew pesto really stole the show.  Normally pesto has cheese in it, however, since his meals are dairy-free this is a vegan alternative to a cheese pesto.  The chicken and sweet potato flavors all worked together so nicely.  I took a nice bite of the chicken, sweet potato and some green beans and the flavors took my breath away.  This was my favorite dish out of the five.
prepared gluten free meals seared chicken breast  J. William Culinary

prepared gluten free meals seared chicken breast  J. William Culinary

Braised Chicken Thighs with Red Potatoes with Lime Garlic Sauce:

I was in a hurry when I needed these.  I had these stored in the freezer and didn’t feel comfortable putting it straight in the microwave so I stuck it in boiling water for about 15 minutes.  It came out great.  This was probably my second favorite.  I loved the chicken.  The flavors were fantastic, I really thought there was going to be a problem with no salt added.  The chicken and potatoes went so well together.

Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of the prepared dish.  But believe me it looked good!!!prepared gluten free meals seared chicken breast  J. William Culinary

Seared Chicken Breast, Spiced Black Beans with Charred Tomato Salsa.

This one I boiled in water too.  Black beans and salsa is my favorite combo. I eat it A LOT! I liked the chicken thighs a bit better; I just really liked the tenderness of the chicken thighs.  I also felt like this was something I could throw together at home.  But it was good, satisfying and a huge portion.  I can’t believe these are 500 calories!prepared gluten free meals seared chicken breast  J. William Culinary

prepared gluten free meals seared chicken breast  J. William Culinary

Slow Cooked Beef with Grilled Vegetables and Smokey Barbecue Sauce.  

This is a meat lover and/or paleo dream.  There were no potatoes or starch ingredients.  Along with the huge chunks of beef there were huge onions, peppers and zucchini.  You definitely need a knife and some floss on hand.  I kinda wish there were a few more vegetables because I felt that it was A LOT of protein. But it was a very lean cut of beef, I didn’t see one bit of fat.  The flavors were delicious.  In the future I may dress it up with some hot sauce.

prepared gluten free meals slow cooked beef  J. William Culinary

This meal was enjoyed during my lunch hour so excuse the disposable plate :).
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The thing I like best about these meals is they are easy, convenient and the type of meals I would spend an hour or so making at night.  The packaging is not bulky and there is not a lot of waste after preparing these meals.  They were super easy to heat up and you really can’t beat the price. The meals I tried, though not positive, should have fallen into the $6.50 range. For something that is made with fresh ingredients and healthy that is not bad at all.

The one major challenge with celiac disease and eating gluten-free is convenience. Chef Jay has made gluten-free/dairy-free food convenient. I especially like that the store is not too far from work so I can stop by for lunch or on the way home.  I am really looking forward to some of their fish meals.

What do you think?  Have you been here before?  What is your favorite convenient gluten-free food?

*this post was written prior to J. William Culinary being a sponsor of our blog.  The opinions expressed here are my own. This blog post was written in April 2013 and J. William Culinary became a sponsor November 2013.

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