Posts Tagged gluten free food review

Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper No Longer Gluten Free

Gluten Free Hamburger HelperThis past Sunday, I posted on my Hold The Gluten Facebook Page that three of the Betty Crocker Hamburger Helpers which are currently gluten free (Cheesy Hashbrown, Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice and Asian Helper Beef Fried Rice) will soon no longer be gluten free.

Dominic Alcocer of General Mills alerted me to this impending change.  According to Dominic,

This is due to a change in manufacturing facilities, and although gluten will not be used as an ingredient in any of the three products, we will no longer be able to guarantee that they will be free from cross-contamination.

Logistically, at the shelf, we are making efforts to minimize overlap and confusion.  You may, however find both gluten-free and gluten containing product on the shelf at the same time while the new product works its way through the distribution system. Our recommendation (which of course you don’t need to be reminded of) is to read the information on the ingredient list. The callout “May Contain Wheat“ will communicate which product has the potential of containing gluten.

While this decision is necessary for the Helpers line of product, it doesn’t change, in any way, General Mills’ overall commitment to the gluten-free community which goes all the way to the top of our organization.   We understand that keeping track of ingredient changes in products is one of the greatest challenges in living gluten freely, and would like to request your help to communicate this change to your readers to maximize awareness and keep the gluten free community informed.

As much as I’m disappointed that Hamburger Helper will no longer be gluten free (the more gluten free mainstream foods, the better), I give General Mills credit for communicating this change via so many avenues.  Even us gluten free “veterans” sometimes tend to grab and go with foods we know are GF (totally guilty!).

If you can’t get enough Gluten Free Hamburger Helper, stock up now!  Just be sure to look for the Gluten Free label!


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Product Review and Giveaway! Shabtai Gourmet

gluten free swiss cake roll

If I wasn’t already married, I would propose to Shabtai Gourmet.  That’s how much I am (crazy obsessed) in love with their Devil’s Food Mini and Regular Swiss Chocolate Rolls.  Holy moly, these desserts are FANTASTIC (yes, I am shouting, they are that good!).  The wondrous Andrew of Shabtai Gourmet recently shared his award-winning mini (aka Yidels) and regular size swiss rolls.  The package arrived on a ho hum Tuesday afternoon.  Upon opening the box of gluten free desserts, that Tuesday became spectacular!  I did cartwheels of joy in my living room.  I danced the jig in the kitchen.  I sang a song about Shabtai’s Yidels (trust me, rhyming with Yidels is not an easy feat).

Finished drooling over these photos?  Two lucky commenters will win a Shabtai Gourmet Sample Pack!  This is a drawing you so want to enter!  Simply leave a comment here on what your favorite gluten free dessert of choice is and you’ll be entered to win a Sample Pack of Shabtai’s delectable gluten free baked goods.  Deadline to enter is Saturday, December 11th.

Some other delectable allergen friendly desserts baked by Shabtai are: Gluten Free Honey Cakes, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cakes, Gluten Free Jelly Rolls, Gluten Free Brownie Bites, Sponge Loaf Cakes & so much more.

shabtai gourmetgluten free yodel


  • Gluten, dairy, peanut, soy, lactose, corn AND casein-free
  • Deliciously moist chocolate sponge cake filled with white creme and covered in dark chocolate (need I say more?)
  • Baked in a dedicated gluten, dairy, peanut, soy, lactose, casein and corn free bakery
  • Kosher


  • I was not able to restrain myself from eating ALL of the Swiss Chocolate Rolls in one day

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Product Review and Giveaway! The Gluten Free Bar

The fab folks at The Gluten Free Bar recently shared their gluten free nutrition bars with me.  As a gluten free vegetarian (well, except for delicious bacon), I am always looking for an easily transportable snack that’s high in nutritional value.  The Gluten Free Bars definitely fit the bill!  Two lucky commenters will win a Gluten Free Bar Sample Pack!  Simply leave a comment here about what you look for in a gluten free bar and you’ll be entered to win Sample Pack of one GFB peanut butter and one GFB peanut butter + chocolate!

Deadline to enter is Saturday, December 4th.

the gluten free bar


  • Gluten-free, dairy-free and casein-free
  • Excellent source of protein and omega 3
  • Made in a dedicated gluten-free facility
  • Easily transportable
  • Great combination of sweet and crunchy


  • Price point is a bit high.  The cost for a case of 12 bars average $28.00 ($2.33 per bar)

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Giveaway Alert! Bakery On Main Gluten Free Holiday Gift Set

Bakery On Main recently shared some of their granola-y goodness with me.  Want a chance to win one of their Gluten Free Holiday Gift Sets?  Read on!

Give the gift of happy taste buds! This boxed set is the perfect gift for your gluten free friends and family (or even for yourself). Inside you’ll find an eco-friendly reusable Bakery On Main tote bag, 1.5 oz gluten free granola snack packs of our Apple Raisin Walnut, Nutty Cranberry Maple and Extreme Fruit & Nut flavors, 2 oz. Fiber Power gluten free granola snack packs of our Triple Berry and Cinnamon Raisin flavors, and 1.2 oz gluten free granola bars in our Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Maple Nut and Extreme Trail Mix, plus a $0.50 off coupon.

Gluten Free Giveaway! Leave a comment here for a chance to win a Bakery On Main Holiday Gift Set!  Deadline to enter is 10/20/2010.

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Sweet Freedom: Philadelphia’s Gluten Free & Vegan Bakery Review

At the 2009 NFCA Appetite for Awareness event, I had the pleasure of meeting Allison Lubert & Heather Esposito also known as the dynamos behind Sweet Freedom Bakery.  After a wondrous sample of their gluten free cupcakes, I anxiously counted the days till their mid-January 2010 opening in Philadelphia, PA.  Sweet Freedom’s baked goods are not only gluten-free (score!), but vegan (dairy-free, casein-free, egg-free) and without corn, peanuts, and soy.  It was overwhelmingly amazing to walk into a bakery and be able to eat every single item on the menu!  Note to self: restraint is key when visiting Sweet Freedom.

Our venture into Philly started off as any typical day in early 2010…with snow.   Undaunted by the forecast of (sigh, yet another) two feet, we loaded Thing 1 and Thing 2 into the car and headed towards the City of  Brotherly Love.  Once on South Street, we easily found metered parking right in front of the bakery (probably due to the impending blizzard barreling our way).  Having obsessively studied the bakery menu, I was prepared to order.  That was until I stood witness to the rows of muffins, cupcakes, and cobblers calling my name.  Our first selection was a Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich.  I’m not sure what excited the children more, the fact that they were eating a “sandwich” that was actually a cookie or the fact that their Mommy Dearest was (willingly) sharing her gluten free goodies with them.  Yes, I admit, I have a tad bit of difficulty sharing.  Keep in mind that my hubby and kiddos can eat gluten, so I feel totally justified in threatening to administer a karate chop if they venture near my gluten free stash.  But I digress…The Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich ($3.50 single/$38.50 dozen) was utterly fabulous!    

We then moved on to the Magic Bars ($2.75 single/$30.75 dozen).  Oooh, these were good. We barely left room for one chocolate and one vanilla cupcake ($3.50 single/$38.50 dozen) iced to perfection.  Unfortunately, Thing 1 and Thing 2 gobbled the cupcakes up in record time, so the photo opportunity was missed.


  • Delectable vegan baked goods free from gluten, corn, peanuts, and soy.
  • Dedicated gluten-free facility.
  • Fresh baked daily.


  • Pricing.  While I completely understand that the price point for gluten free baking is higher, I felt that $38.50 for a dozen cupcakes seemed excessive.
  • Unless you are lucky enough to find a metered spot, parking in the adjacent lot was pricey ($10.00).

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Gluten Free Blarney Stone Creamy Potato Soup Review

Over this past weekend Snowmageddon occurred.  Here in New Jersey, it snowed a whopping 28.5 inches.  That kind of winter weather calls for three things:  hot chocolate, comfy p.j.’s and a big pot of soup simmering on the stove.  After my diagnosis with celiac disease, I found it hard to find soup mixes or premade varieties without wheat.  No longer could I take a quick trip down the soup aisle in my grocery store and pick up a few cans of Campbell’s soup.  About a year ago, I discovered Fantastic World Foods Simmer Soups.  Their Blarney Stone Creamy Potato soup is “a creamy blend of diced potatoes seasoned with onions and leeks.”  Simply add in milk to their mix and simmer on the stove for 10 minutes.  Inspired by their Baked Potato soup suggestion on the back of the package, we added a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon.


  • Overall a tasty and hearty gluten-free soup!
  • Reasonably priced at $3.65 for a 7.5 package of soup mix (approximately 6 servings).


  • Do your pricing research!  In doing a search on-line for Simmer Soups, I found that the price point varied greatly by retailer.  For example, if you ordered a 6-pack of Simmer Soups directly from Fantastic World Foods the price is $30.72.  In comparison, if you order the same quantity via, the price is $21.94.

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Gluten Makes Me Grumpy

The latest episode of my Hold The Gluten Podcast is now live!

Episode 32 “Gluten Makes Me Grumpy” Features:

  • Feedback from listeners Scott and Nate about onion rings in the french fry order.
  • Are you attending the Gluten Free Life TV Twitter Party on February 2nd?
  • 2010 Gluten Free Cooking Expo April 17th & 18th in Lisle, IL.
  • Sausage Recall due to salmonella.  1.2 million pounds of sausage recalled!
  • In search of gluten free gravy for my mashed potatoes:  Trader Joe’s GF Turkey Gravy (premade) for $1.49 and Road’s End Organics Golden Gravy Mix & Shitake Mushroom Gravy (mix) both 99 cents.
  • BIG Brown Rice Tortillas from Trader Joe’s – my review.
  • Have you joined the Hold The Gluten fan page on Facebook?
  • Prevention Magazine offers over 4,000 gluten free recipes (keyword search “gluten free”).
  • What do YOU think of this HTG Podcast? Leave your feedback wherever you download this podcast!

Read the blog. Listen to the podcast. Educate yourself.

Rock on Celiacs!

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Trader Joe’s (BIG!) Brown Rice Tortillas

trader joes gluten free rice tortillas

Becoming gluten free prompted many changes in my life.  While it may seem trivial, I was unfairly forced to ingest itty bitty tortillas.  Gone were the days when my dinner description included the words “quesadilla the size of your head”.   Now I know you are asking yourself the (totally valid) question: “Um, hello Maureen, traditional gluten free corn tortillas are six inches in diameter.  That’s not itty bitty, that’s portion control!”  And to answer your question: Sometimes I want a quesadilla the size of Sputnik!  Then  I discovered (BIG!) Brown Rice Tortillas in my local Trader Joe’s refrigerated section.  Before I share with you my humble opinion, I must admit to missing the lilliputian-sized corn tortillas so much that I have returned them to my refrigerator.  Sometimes bigger isn’t always better.  Well, unless we’re speaking about quantities of bacon or chocolate, but that’s another post entirely.


  • BIG BIG BIG tortillas!
  • Works well for quesadillas.
  • Reasonably priced at $2.49 for six 10-inch tortillas (vs $1.50 for ten 6-inch corn tortillas).
  • Do not come frozen (therefore avoiding severing a digit or two while trying to separate a solidified tortilla mass).


  • Very chewy texture.  Borderline rubbery.
  • Not your best option for a wrap-type sandwich (easily broke when folded).

trader joes gluten free tortillas

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Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar is NOT the cheesiest.  Nor will you find Sponge Bob Square Pants, Scooby Doo, or Pokemon-shaped pasta inside the box.  That said, this mac n’ cheese does taste good.  A little doctoring of the cheese portion was needed (I like my pasta happily smothered in cheese sauce), but overall this is a great product to have on hand for a quick meal.



  • Uber-simple to make.  Even a monkey could prepare it!
  • The rice pasta tastes like the “real thing” — no gritty texture.
  • Reasonably priced at $1.99 for 6 ounce package.


  • The cheese portion of the mac n’ cheese was more like watery cheese soup.  It’s very thin and needs to be thickened up with extra cheddar.
  • The box of gluten free mac n’ cheese is 6 ounces.  A traditional glutenous box of mac n’ cheese is 7.5 ounces.  Um, hello, why do gluten intolerant peeps get less?


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