Aug 04

Gourmet Gifter: Delicious Gifts for any Occasion // Plus promo code

Gourmet Gifter makes tasty gift ideas for foodies and lovers of all things gourmet! I love to give unique gifts that I know people will enjoy. For the foodies in my life that often means finding new and unique foods I think they will like. And even for the non-foodies it makes a great gift basket for any occasion.  


I LOVE kettle corn. And Colby’s Kettle Corn Salty Sweet Addiction did not disappoint. Jeremy and I loved this healthy kettle corn popcorn and ate almost the entire bag in a day. It is both salty and sweet and I think anybody would love to receive it as a gift. Not only is it gluten free, but it is 100% natural, low in calories and sodium, a great source of protein, and contains no trans-fat, cholesterol, preservatives or MSG. Colby’s Kettle Corn is made with non-GMO popcorn that is rich in flavor and they use corn oil instead of soy or canola. Every batch is prepared in authentic steel kettles, hand sifted and lightly seasoned by experienced kettlemen. 

PurEarth Meal Replacement Bar: If you need a meal on the go, grab one of these great tasting pineapple meal replacement bars. The PurEarth bars are cold pressed. Nothing is baked, cooked or heated, so none of the nutrients in any of the ingredients are degraded. Made with all natural prebiotic fiber, the bar is easy to digest and did not upset my stomach at all. It made a great breakfast during a particularity busy morning at work last week, and kept me going until lunch. There is no sugar added, which I like. The flavor and sweetness comes from the pineapple. Each bar costs just $3.33 and is packed with wholefoods. 


I brought the Peanut Brittle to work and put it out for my co-workers to share. Needless to say there wasn’t any left for me. I am not a big peanut fan, but if you are I’m sure you will enjoy this salty and sweet brittle just as much as my co-workers did. It is sure to cheer anyone up on a bad day. 

If you were a fan of cheese puffs growing up then you’ll enjoy the Chili Cheese Puffs. These fluffy corn puffs are topped with a blend of cheese and flavorful spices. I normally don’t eat cheese puffs but these were quite tasty and they did not leave my fingers bright orange. They were not as crunchy as I was expecting but the taste made up for the slightly odd texture. 

If you are a New customer you are in luck! When you place your first order of at least $30, Gourmet Gifter is giving you 3 Large bags of Colby’s Kettle Corn ($12 value) for FREE! Use promo code FIRSTORDER at checkout! How awesome is that? 


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.



This entry was posted in gift, Product Review, Snack and tagged , , on 4 August, 2015.

Aug 03

Pedras Water // No Terroir in Tap; Why Water Matters


Can you describe the last bottle of water you drank? Chances are that you didn’t give it much thought, which may have been a great disservice to your dining experience. After all, we consider the terroir, body, and pairing profiles of our wines, why not our waters?

Last month, award-winning water Pedras, together with international water connoisseur Michael Mascha of Fine Waters, hosted the first water comparison tasting in NYC, sampling Pedras, Perrier, Voss Sparkling, and Vichy Catalan at the summer’s Fancy Food Show.


Summer Fancy Food Show 2015

Encouraged to shake their lackadaisical attitudes about the dinner table staple, like myself, many were surprised to learn that gourmet water, like wine, can possess distinct flavors and complex gastronomical properties representative of its terroir:

Pedras water: Taken straight from springs in the Pedras Valley of Portugual, Pedras is naturally effervescent, a characteristic of only 0.5% of the world’s sparkling waters. The small natural bubbles, coupled with a distinctive minerality, enhance the palate and highlight natural flavors of gourmet foods and wines while also aiding digestion.


Pedras is a naturally sparkling water and that has no carbonation added. It is obtained naturally at the source. Other brands naturally carbonated but extract the carbonation and re-carbonate the water or they add carbonation. Being naturally carbonated gives Pedras a unique bubble size which is praised by chefs.

Pedras Water Composition

otal mineralization (mg/L): 2831
pH: 6,1
Silicon Dioxide (SiO2): 64
Bicarbonate (HCO3-): 1983
Cloride (Cl-): 30
Nitrate (NO3-): 0,2
Calcium (Ca2+): 100
Sodium (Na+): 591
Magnesium (Mg2+): 24

Magnesium is important in the formation of proteins and functioning of the nervous system. Sodium that aid in muscle function and balances the amount of ions in the body. Sulfate, responsible for eliminating toxic substances that the body produces. Calcium, which is very important in almost, all the functions performed by cells. Bicarbonate that is present in all organs and presents favorable effect on the digestion. Potassium, accountable for acting on renal function and favoring the balance of the body. And, silica that can reduce the risks of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Pedras has taken several steps to protect the environment. Pedras is committed to reducing their carbon footprint from the moment they bottle the water to the moment you recycle the bottle. They have adopted a sustainable approach to bringing this naturally sparkling water to market, while striving to protect the resources from which their product flows.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in Beverage, Product Review and tagged , on 3 August, 2015.

Jul 31

Gluten Free Bites from The Gluten Free Bar (GFB)


Brought to you by the creators of the Gluten Free Bar, Gluten Free Bites provide the same great tastes and ingredients, just in a smaller, “bite-size” portion. Coated with crisped brown rice, to give you the perfect crunchy-chewy texture that’s signature to the original GFB, these bites are just as good (if not better!) than the full-sized Gluten Free Bars. Plus, they come in re-sealable bags so you can save some for later – if you have the will power…

The GFB bars and bites are made with wholesome, easy-to-understand ingredients like toasted cashews, Virginia peanuts, certified gluten-free oats, crisped brown rice, organic dark chocolate, and dried cranberries. Made in house at the company’s dedicated gluten free facility, the products are chewy and moist on the inside and feature The Gluten Free Bar’s signature lightly toasted crunch on the outside. All of the GFB products are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and casein free. They are also vegan, and Kosher. There are no fillers or additives, and the bars are made with all-natural and GMO-free ingredients, 70% of which are certified organic.

Last month at the Summer Fancy Food Show, The GFB debuted two new flavors that are being added to their Bites lineup, a product that is like a healthy truffle or rum ball! PB&J, made with creamy peanut butter and real dried strawberries, and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut, a decadent dessert full of good-for-you ingredients and protein, are the newest additions. 

These newest flavors join the original Chocolate Cherry Almond, Dark Chocolate Coconut (my personal favorite), Blueberry Almond Crunch, Chocolate Hazelnut and Coconut Cashew. 

With 90-110 calories per 2-bite serving, you will also get 3.5-5 grams of healthy fats, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. And, as opposed to the Gluten Free Bar, which can contain around 17 grams of sugar, there is only 6-9 grams of sugar per 2 bites. Plus the Bites are low in sodium and sweetened with agave nectar, brown rice syrup, and dates instead of added sugar. 


The Gluten Free Bar Coconut Cashew Crunch Bites Nutritional Information

The balls are chewy like the bars, and make for a great post-workout snack or afternoon snack. I’ve also been eating 1 (or 2…or 3…) balls as dessert. The sweetness from the chocolate/coconut/cherries make it perfect for an afternoon sugar craving or post-dinner sweet. And it’s healthier than eating a candy bar. I brought a bag in to share with my office and they were gone within the hour. 

You can purchase The GFB bars and bites online at retail locations across the US, including CVS, GNC and Stop and Shop. 



Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in dairy free, Kosher, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , on 31 July, 2015.

Jul 30

UrthBox- Gluten Free Monthly Subscription Box // promo code

Healthy Snacks Delivered Monthly

Urthbox is a monthly subscription box of healthy new foods, beverages, snacks and more delivered to your door every month. With over 20 options available— classic, gluten free, vegan, and diet— you’ll receive foods that fit your dietary needs; it’s a great way to discover new foods. All products are non-GMO, organic, and all natural.

Starting at just $8.99 a month, Urthbox is a filled with full-size healthy treats. Every month Urthbox helps you discover safe, healthy, and natural products from trustworthy brands that you can purchase at your local stores or at the UrthBox shop.

How it works:

o   Select a box from the Classic, Gluten Free, Vegan or Diet box options.

o   Select a box size:

o   Choose from a one month, three month, or six month subscription. The lower prices apply when you subscribe for multiple months at a time.


Let’s see what was inside the Small July Gluten Free UrthBox:

ips Chips with Protein White Cheddar ($1.92) I’ve had ips chips before.  ips stands for Intelligent Protein Snacks. This snack is crispy, delicious and satisfying with 6 grams of protein per serving, half the fat of regular fried potato chips, and 30% fewer carbs than regular baked potato chips. These  Non-GMO All Natural chips are Pressure Puffed – Never fried. 


Roo’bar Chia & Coconut ($1.65) Has a smooth sweet taste from high quality organic dates and coconut, crispy chia seeds and a drop of refreshing lemon oil. Organic, raw, vegan, non-GMO, what’s not to love? 


Fusion Jerky Turkey Rosemary Citrus ($2.33) Made with thinly sliced turkey breasts that are infused with fresh rosemary and citrus peels. The meat is a soft, deliciously fragrant jerky that has delicious flavor and only 70 calories per serving. 

Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade ($0.94)  This organic lemonade has zero-sugar, naturally-sweetened with stevia, and only 5 calories per serving. It’s not too sweet (I was skeptical because of the stevia) and I really enjoyed my juice box! It is USDA certified organic, non-gmo, vegan, low glycemic index gluten free, and so much healthier than traditional juice boxes loaded with sugar! 


Laiki Crackers ($1.39) I really liked Laiki’s Red Rice Crackers. They contain only three ingredients: red rice, palm oil, and sea salt. I thought they were delicious, crunchy and slightly salty. I like the 100 calorie snack pack size; it’s just enough crackers to satisfy my craving while keeping my portion sizes in check. 


Spiced and Infused Popcorn Bombay Seasoning ($1.15) A unique blend of Savory, Spicy and Tangy Spices make this gluten free, vegan, non-GMO popcorn a one of a kind irresistible snack. It is made with no artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives, MSG or Cholesterol. 


Two Smartypants Gummy Vitamins Adult Complete On-The-Go Packs ($3.06) I love these all-in-one vitamins for adults (they also make them for kids!) This full multivitamin also has Omega 3, Vitamin D3 and B12. I get everything I need in one chewable gummy vitamin. No High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Colors, Sweeteners, Flavors or Preservatives, makes this a better option than other gummy vitamins I’ve seen. The On-The-Go Packs allows for easy traveling; no need to take the entire bottle with you, all you have to do is pack as many packs as you need. 


Sheffa Spicy Mix ($1.45) Protein rich crispy chickpea noodles, roasted corn, and toasted seeds with mixed spices and a healthy kick of chili make this a SPICY snack mix. It is not only gluten free, but also vegan, non-GMO and has no cholesterol or MSG. 


Element Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes ($2.25) Who doesn’t love chocolate? This dark chocolate covered rice cake is both salty and sweet with only 80 calories per 2 crackers and it’s made with all-natural, nonGMO, vegan ingredients. 


Chili’n in the corn Citrus chili-roasted corn ($2.00) This citrus-chili roasted corn is mildly spicy, with a refreshing splash of lip-smacking lemon. A crunchy, fiber-filled, feel good snack for any time of day. *Manufactured on shared equipment in a plant that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat (gluten) and milk products.

Country House Black Sesame Seed + Chia + Flax ($4.50) This low sugar snack is made of black sesame seeds clustered with almonds, peanuts, cashews, chia, organic flaxseed all blended with a touch of honey. The cube size crunch has the appearance of a rich black colorant with visible nuts and seeds. It is made with non-GMO, 100% natural ingredients, and no preservatives, chemicals, colors or artificial flavors added. 

Dude Wipes ($0.37) These Single Flushable Wipes are perfect for traveling, or using after you’ve just eaten a box full of snacks! With Vitamin E and soothing aloe, the hypoallergenic wipes unfold into a huge 44 square inch size. 


RuckPack Sports Energizer Drink ($2.96) can be found on Amazon for a little cheaper than buying directly from RuckPack’s online store. It is a 3oz shot, but we are not what you might expect. It’s not an energy shot loaded with caffeine and powerful stimulants intended to jar your senses into a freakishly wired state. This shot will deliver performance fuels designed to keep you alert, focused, and energized for every battle you might face, whether on the field or in the office. 


INNO Specialty Foods launched a new flavor: Coconut Medley ($3.99) Mixed Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower and chia – sweetened with coconut sugar. This snack is non-GMO, organic, Kosher, and made without preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. 

14 Snacks: Total Value: $27.63

The box also included a $4 off coupon for an online order of Leaf & Love Organic Lemonade, $10 off my next urthbox purchase, $50 off an Office Box, and a 3-month subscription to Salted.  

Try Gluten-Free Snacks with UrthBox Today! Get $10 Off Any Large UrthBox, with code: august10off. Get $50 Off your First Month of an Office Box, with code: julyoffice50off. Get $5 off with code: CRUNCHWEEK

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review

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This entry was posted in Product Review, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged on 30 July, 2015.

Jul 29

Meal Maison: A new way to create quick, easy and healthy gourmet meals

The joy of cooking from scratch can often be challenging and time-consuming but nothing beats a homemade meal you can proudly call your own. Meal Maison feels the same way so they came up with an alternative solution that enables you to create your own variety of quick, easy and healthy meals.

The brand of chef-inspired meal foundations – based right here in Queens! – are 100% vegan, gluten free, and consist primarily of fresh par-cooked vegetables, non corn-based oils, organic wine and other real ingredients. They are packaged in resealable pouches for your convenience and immediately frozen (ie. blast-chilled) to preserve their freshness and taste. 

Meal Maison meal foundations are available in 4 distinct flavors:

Asian Veggie Stir Fry: Roasted eggplant, bok choy and onions in sesame oil with garlic, shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, tamari and sake.

Tofu Peanutty: Organic tofu roasted in olive oil, onions and snowpeas tossed in a lemongrass, kaffir lime and peanut-coconut sauce.

Chickpea Potato Curry: Chickpeas roasted in olive oil, onions and red & green peppers, tossed in a sauvignon blanc and curry-paprika potato slurry. 

Mixed Greenery: Roasted kale, swiss chard and baby spinach in olive oil, red & yellow onions, garlic, lemon peel and organic sauvignon blanc.



Every meal foundation provides a reliable combination of flavor, balance and consistency that can be used as the building blocks for any great meal. These foundations let you personalize and great create with your cooking . Each one has about 3 servings, although I did eat almost the entire Chickpea and Potato Curry (over rice) by myself. I like to pair Meal Maisons with rice, pasta or gnocchi. 

I was really impressed with the flavor of each meal, and the freshness! You would never know it was frozen or not homemade. Jeremy had no idea when I made the stir fry, with added tofu, that the base was not actually homemade. 



Each meal has incredible flavor and tastes fresh. You can really tell that these are made with quality ingredients and no fillers, just real food. 

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This entry was posted in Product Review, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian and tagged , , , on 29 July, 2015.

Jul 28

Enjoy Life Foods launches new line of gluten free baking mixes


The baking mixes have finally arrived! I’ve been waiting for this day for months! I have been a big fan of Enjoy Life products for as long as I’ve been gluten free (since 2009), and I am always excited when they come out with new products; I know I won’t be disappointed. So when Enjoy Life Foods told me they would be launching their newest line of making mixes I couldn’t wait to share with you all. And now I finally can! 

The new line of baking mixes includes: brownie mix, pizza crust, all purpose flour, muffin mix, and pancake + waffle mix. 

As always, the new Baking Mixes are certified gluten-free, and free-from the eight most common allergens That means:


They are also certified non-GMO, kosher, halal, and vegan! Enjoy Life baking mixes are delicious, and they’re the first and only gluten-free baking mix line to include probiotics and plant-based protein. Made from ancient grains and free from the top eight allergens, they make baking simple and fun for everyone! Who knew baking could feel so good?

Each Baking Mixes includes a shelf-stable probiotic for immune health! The best part about the probiotic is it only activates under the correct conditions – when it’s exposed to water and heat – so your body gets maximum benefits once it reaches your small intestine. 

They’ve included ancient grains like teff, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa flours so there are 5 grams of protein per serving, to give you that extra oomph and bridge the gap between meals! This way, you don’t have to snack, but if you want to sneak a Snickerdoodle, I totally get it.

The mixes are incredibly EASY to make. All you need is water and oil to make the delicious treats, so it’s simple and cost effective! The mixes are a fresh slate for you to get creative! You can add anything you want, like fresh fruit, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or even my favorite, Enjoy Life Foods Mini Chocolate Chips! You’re free to customize to the fullest! I’m thinking Chocolate Banana Muffins or Berry Jar Muffins. I can’t decide. 


Last night I tried the Brownie Mix. Jeremy did not like it and I think has to do with the mix of flours used. Although these are not the best brownies I’ve had, they were still pretty good, and have way less sugar than your average mix (14 grams vs. 18-20 grams). I found them to be not as sweet, obviously, but I would love to get used to that.

I used the All Purpose Flour to make gluten free pancakes for breakfast over the weekend. I used this recipe with a few variations (no flax seeds, almond milk)   


The Baking Mixes are available now to order online, and they have an awesome promotion going. If you order one Baking Mix, you get a free bag of Mini Chocolate Chips! If you order two, you get a bag of our Mini Chips and Dark Chocolate Morsels. And if you order three mixes, you get a bag of all three of our baking chocolates! Each mix retails for $8.49 and will soon be available in retail locations nationwide. You can also purchase the mixes on Amazon(free shipping for Prime members). 


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review




This entry was posted in Baking, breakfast, brownies, dairy free, dessert, Kosher, Muffins, nut free, pancakes, pizza, Product Review, Soy free, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28 July, 2015.

Jul 27

7-Eleven Launches O!Yum and GO!Smart Premium Lines with Gluten Free Options


7-Eleven embarked on a store-wide effort to ensure the quality of its private brand, 7-Select, meets customers’ needs for both indulgent and better-for-you products without sacrificing premium quality and has added two new  premium lines — 7-Select GO!Smart and 7-Select GO!Yum.

The two lines bring together on-trend flavors, premium ingredients and high-quality foods that have been uniquely developed for America’s on-the-go eating culture. The more decadent or exotic the flavor, the better. Both lines offer customers variety and choice:

Gluten-Free Options:


It’s about time a convenient store has healthier, better-for-you GLUTEN FREE options. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving and needed something to eat but could’t find a single healthy gluten free option. Many thanks to 7-Eleven for the new products. I hope they continue to grow this line and other convenient stores follow in their foot steps. 


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in bar, popcorn, Product Review, Snack and tagged , , , on 27 July, 2015.

Jul 24

Gluten Free Friday Finds

After attending the Summer Fancy Food Show a few weeks ago I have tried so many new and delicious gluten free products. You might recall my posts at the beginning of the month where I shared with you some of the delicious products I sampled. Today I want to highlight a few more awesome Gluten Free Finds I think you all will love!


Umpqua Oats


Umpqua Oats was launched in 2008 by two moms craving a delicious and satisfying alternative to the typical instant oatmeal packets. Umpqua Oats super premium oatmeal is a satisfying, on-the-go breakfast choice for anyone who craves a healthy, delicious and quick meal. 


Umpqua Oats are available in 7 creative flavors. Each one comes in a convenient container that can be used as a bowl. It’s so easy to make. Simply add hot water, cover with lid, wait 3 minutes, stir and enjoy. How simple is that? It’s perfect if you need a quick breakfast as you are running out the door in the morning. 


What makes Umpqua Oats super premium? Well to start, the oats are the highest quality grade A, and only all natural nuts and fruits are used. There are no fillers, preservatives or artificial flavors. The custom milled, unbleached whole rolled oats give it a rich nutty flavor and a lightly chewier texture that is never mushy. The oats consistently test within the acceptable tolerance level for gluten free certification; however, they cannot certify the product as “gluten-free” because it is made in a plant where wheat products are produced. What does this mean? It means that the products could contain trace levels of wheat. 

Oats have a ton of health benefits: Lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, Special antioxidants for heart protection, stabilize blood sugar, and lower risk of diabetes to name a few. They are also packed with fiber, protein and iron. My only issue is the amount of sugar per serving. I find some of the flavors a little too sweet and wish there was just a little less sugar. 

Jackpot flavor nutritional info

Jackpot flavor nutritional info

GH Creator Popcorn


G.H. Cretors—best known for their Chicago Mix, the diabolically addicting combination of caramel corn and cheese corn in the same bag—just introduced a new certified organic line of popcorn, which includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Simply Salted varieties. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil flavor is the first ever popcorn to be wet-popped in EVOO, and the Simply Salted is seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt for a clean, classic treat. The new organic line uses only organic non-GMO popcorn, 100% organic oils, and pure sea salt, which means with each kernel (or handful) you put in your mouth, you’ll only taste wholesome goodness! And just like all G.H. Cretors products, the organic varieties are made completely free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and are non-GMO and certified gluten-free. 

G.H. Cretors’ signature Chicago Mix combines caramel corn and cheese corn in the same bag, offering addictive, simultaneous hits of sweet, salty, crunchy and cheesy. The caramel corn is made the old fashioned way: by hand, in copper kettles. Cane sugar, brown rice syrup (a non-GMO alternative to corn syrup with a lower glycemic impact) and real butter is heated over a flame and then stirred slowly by hand to develop its rich complex flavor and crunch. 

Qrunch Gluten Free Quinoa Burgersfeature-box-products-new

Jeremy and I recently tried QRUNCH Original Burgers and we actually enjoyed them a lot! QRUNCH burgers are completely different from any other veggie burger I’ve tried. Made with a combination of quinoa, millet, organic vegetables and coconut oil, it is 100% gluten free, soy free, corn free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, MSG free, and vegan. They make it so easy for those living with multiple food allergies to have a great tasting and nutrient dense burger.

QRUNCH burgers come in 4 flavors: Original, Spicy Italian, Green Chile, Curry with Lentils, and Saucy Buffalo. The Original is mild and nutty tasting. It has the subtle, nutty taste of quinoa (hence the Q in QRUNCH), the crunchiness of millet, and the goodness of organic vegetables. Because of its subtle flavor, pairs well with virtually anything you’d like on it. Try it with your favorite burger toppings, or place it on top of a salad.  It’s even great for breakfast with an egg on top, and it goes great with nut butters, jellies, honey, and yes, ketchup!


Jeremy prefered the texture of this burger over other veggie burgers I’ve bought in the past. Our only issue is that it fell apart really easily. This is not a big deal, as we simply just ate the burgers with a fork. 

Since QRUNCH Burgers are already cooked, they are super easy to prepare! Keep them frozen until you’re ready to eat.

QRUNCH Burgers are sold in nearly 3,000 grocery stores across the country.

Modern Table Meals


Modern Table Meals is a line of healthy, yummy, and easy to make pasta meal kits! Everything you need is in the bag: bean-based pastas, dried veggies, sauce + seasoning to customize the flavor to your tastes. For many, myself included, cooking dinner on busy weeknights can be a challenge some nights. While it is tough, I don’t want to sacrifice nutrition and quality just to be able to have the convenience of making something from a box, a frozen pizza, or worse, picking up something greasy and unhealthy at a fast food restaurant. This is where Modern Table meals come in. These meals are SO fast and easy to prepare and are full of quality, gluten-free ingredients that make you feel like you are getting a meal made from scratch. The best part? They don’t have a bunch of chemical ridden preservatives and “fake” ingredient. I love that the ingredients are things I know and that the ingredient list is minimal. I also love that the pasta is something different then just the traditional brown rice or corn gluten-free pastas you often find on the market. These lentil and bean pastas are nutrient dense, full of flavor and an excellent addition of fiber in your diet. They are also a great addition of plant based protein with 12-20 grams of protein and 5-7 grams of fiber per serving, and are full of vitamins your body needs.


The 3 gluten free varieties of Modern Table Meals are:


All 3 flavors are vegetarian and the Southwest is vegan. All varieties contain a healthy and protein-rich bean noodle, making it a complete meal even without adding a meat or protein. They contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 

It’s so easy to make! Just rip open the bag, follow the simple instructions for a one-pot meal that is ready in less than 15 minutes. You can add your own twist to each of the 3 yummy Modern Table Meals or enjoy them as they are. 

BOIL pasta and vegetables for 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.



 MIX sauce in a small bowl with 2/3 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil.

 TOSS pasta and vegetables with sauce; let stand for 2 minutes.

 SPRINKLE with seasoning packet as desired–it’s a lot of flavor! Voila! Dinner is served!

 Check out the store locator to find a retailer near you. No stores near you? No fear. They’re online too!

Among Friends

Among Friends baking mixes are made with whole grains and premium better-for-you ingredients, with no starches, fillers or gums. The brand recently converted its entire line of nine mixes to gluten-free, and introduced a new cookie: Darcy’s Delish Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie, a fresh take on the American classic with a crispy edge, soft interior and premium Callebaut chocolate chips. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite and this one is delicious with a great texture and just the right amount of chips. 
Among Friends is celebrating new distribution in Target, Kroger and Publix stores this summer. The brand will be in more than 5,500 stores nationwide by year’s end, which is incredible growth for a company that’s only been on the national scene for a few years. 

The Van Cleve Seafood Company


Bacon-wrapped scallops

The Van Cleve Seafood Co., founded and headquartered in Spotsylvania County, PA, now have its gourmet seafood products in 44 Whole Foods stores on the East Coast. The all-female, family-run business started in 2000 with one seafood shack on Courthouse Road. The Van Cleves have been featured on QVC for their crab pie and will appear again on the channel soon with new products: bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp, both which are gluten free! 

The Van Cleve Seafood Company uses only high quality, sustainable ingredients, and this is the reason Whole Foods Market is putting them into their stores. You can also find The Van Cleve Seafood Company’s products in stores in NY and CT (and other mid-Atlantic states). You can also order the bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp online have them shipped to directly via Fed Ex. 

I don’t normally eat bacon, but the bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp tasted very fresh and are perfect for serving at parties or small gatherings. 

Nocciolata from Rigoni di Asiago

Made with organic ingredients completely free of GMO’s, preservatives, colors, additives, or artificial sweeteners, Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata combines hazelnuts, cocoa and cocoa butter, natural vanilla extract, raw sugar, and skimmed milk for a chocolate-hazelnut spread with undeniably superior flavor and smooth, creamy texture. Unlike other brands, which use palm oil (high in saturated fat and whose cultivation devastates the environment), Nocciolata is made with environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil. It also contains far less sugar than other brands. 


I do not like Nutella so I didn’t think I was going to like this chocolate-hazelnut spread either. But boy was I wrong! Nocciolata tastes real. The quality of ingredients really do make a difference. There is no chemical or artificial taste here. I am now a fan of hazelnut-chocolate spread and have been eating it straight from the jar! 

Plentils from Enjoy Life Foods

I am a big fan of the Enjoy Life Foods brand for many reasons!  They work very hard to produce high quality, tasty food that is free of the top 8 allergens, plus a few more!  I have written other reviews about products from this company including their Chewy Bars, Chocolate Bars, Decadance Bars, and Baking Chocolates.   


Recently, Enjoy Life was kind enough to provide with me four bags of their plentils . What’s a Plentil you ask? Chips with benefits. From ancient times to the present, the lentil has been one of the best sources of plant-based protein and is a staple in diets throughout the world. Enjoy Life has captured the essence of this vital legume’s all-natural goodness and turned it into a unique, protein-packed, crunchy experience. Every Plentils chip bursts with flavor and is a truly tasty “better-for-you” treat.

Plentils are available in 4 flavors: Light Sea Salt, Dill & Sour Cream, Margherita Pizza, and Garlic & Parmesan.


The Light Sea Salt are my favorite. They have a nice crunch and subtle flavor. The Margherita Pizza chips taste like PIZZA! They are also amazing and we ate the entire bag! 


Plentils are made with NO artificial ingredients and have zero sugar per serving, making them much healthier than most potato chips on the market and a great for school lunches or after school snack! 

Enjoy Life Foods products are available at retail locations nationwide. Click here to find a location near you. You can also purchase products online

Skillet’s Line of Pumpkin Ketchups

Skillet’s line of Pumpkin Ketchups include two gluten free flavors: Brown Sugar and Apple Vinegar, and Chipotle. They are sold in 10.5 ounce containers and can be found online as well as at Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market, Sur La Table and other specialty stores throughout the country.

“Skillet began as great local food served out of our 1971 Airstream, and right away we found success with our Bacon Jam Burger; then we had to make the perfect ketchupfor our fries!” states Skillet President Jon Severson. “The Pumpkin Ketchups are the perfect condiment and can be used as dipping sauces, marinades or added to any dish to make the at-home chef look like a pro.

2014_Autumn v1 Pumpkin Ketchup 10oz_web

Skillet Pumpkin Ketchup is a pumpkin based condiment made with fresh pumpkin and spices and are filled with rich vitamins and minerals.  Each flavor has only 15 calories per 1 ounce serving and have a two-year shelf life. The Brown Sugar & Apple Vinegar and Chipotle flavors are also vegetarian and vegan.  These ketchups work great as a sauce for pasta, spread for sandwiches or used simply as ketchup. For recipes inspired by Skillet chef, Nick Novello, visit

Cucina Aurora Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Earlier this month I blogged about  Cucina Aurora’s Infused Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Oil and  Italian rosemary and oregano infused olive oil, both of which have incredible flavor and can take your cooking up a notch. 

Cucina Aurora’s Roasted Garlic Infused Oil is a potent oil, richly infused with the mellow flavor of roasted garlic. Made with granulated roasted garlic for the smoothest flavor possible, combined with just a hint of red pepper to bring out the garlic’s intensity. This powerful oil is perfect for bruschette, salads or just dipping with bread. Use in place of plain olive oil to sauté, fry, or grill fish, meat and veggies or simply toss and enjoy with pasta or rice.

Cucina Aurora infused olive oils are made with all natural ingredients. They are GMO-free, gluten free and vegan. Cucina Aurora does not, never has and never will use artificial ingredients, or preservatives. Please note, although Cucina Aurora does not at this time process any gluten or wheat products, they are not a dedicated or certified gluten free facility.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

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This entry was posted in breakfast, burger, cookie, dairy free, Kosher, organic, pasta, popcorn, Product Review, Sauce, Seafood, Snack, Soy free, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24 July, 2015.

Jul 23



Last month at the Summer Fancy Food Show, Tava Life Provisions announced a line expansion and introduced its premier product – an organic, gourmet, flavored 100% Grass-Fed Pure Spreadable Butter called Tava Ghee – to East Coast Markets. Tava Life Provisions is an organic gourmet food product company based in Los Angeles, California that specializes in flavored ghee. Founder Raquel Tavares Gunsagar built the brand in her own kitchen based on the desire reintegrate lost culinary treasures, powered by incredible flavor and health benefits, into mainstream American diets. Since it’s official launch this March, Tava Life Provisions has grown at an incredible rate and is now sold by top tier gourmet markets and national distribution companies. This nearly unprecedented success has inspired the brand to develop a line expansion of new flavors that will be unveiled later this year.

“Ghee”, otherwise known as pure spreadable butter, is an iconic food staple with a history as rich as its taste. With origins in ancient India, it is used extensively in eastern cooking to promote health. Tava Ghee is made with organic milk from 100% grass-fed cows. Tava Ghee is gluten free, paleo, lactose free, non-GMO, and FODMAP friendly. It is an excellent alternative to butter for those who are lactose intolerant and who want the taste of butter, without the disadvantages of processes margarines. Since all the milk fat is removed from butter, ghee becomes a lactose free product. 


Unlike other oils it is rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid that is great for your overall health and digestion. It increases the metabolism, improves digestion, and is a natural source of pure vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. 


The product is currently available in four flavors:

Due to the popularity these flavors have achieved, Tava Life Provisions is undergoing a line expansion and will be announcing new, delicious flavors later this year!

Aside from its many health benefits, Ghee’s buttery taste makes it an excellent addition to every day cooking oils, is extremely easy to cook with, and delicious simply spread on a piece of toast. When you cook with butter the milk fat burns easily. Cooking with pure ghee, you can cook at high temperatures of 482F, which is well above typical cooking temps of around 392F and above that of most vegetable oils. It is easy to bake with too. No need to soften butter for all those baking recipes anymore. Simply select equal portions of ghee to butter and use for baking with ease. 


Tava Ghee is now sold all over the West Coast at prominent gourmet food markets like Lassens, Good Eggs, and Rainbow Grocery. Come July, the brand will be sold by national grocers such as Earth Fare and Thrive Market. Click here for a complete list of retail and online retail locations. 

Tava Life Provisions is a company that not only makes delicious products, but also carries a message of hope. Currently, Tava Life Provisions donates a portion of its proceeds to Yoga Gives Back, a Los Angeles non-profit whose mission is to empower women through yoga and build sustainable livelihoods for children in India. Tava participates in many local events and aims to bring attention to venerable causes. As the Tava Life Provisions line expands, the company will strive to each community it becomes a part of.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in dairy free, Product Review and tagged , on 23 July, 2015.

Jul 22

Gluten Free Options at Macondo West // West Village



Located alongside sister restaurant, Barraca, Macondo West, a Latino taperia (Latin tapas bar), features is Latino comida de la calle (Latin street food) cuisine from all over the Spanish speaking world. Serving arepas from Venezuela, patatas bravas from Spain, empanadas from Columbia, tacos from Mexico, and juices from Brazil. Jeremy and I love both Spanish and Hispanic food and couldn’t wait to eat here. We loved the lively atmosphere and unique culture.

The waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and which items were gluten free. Surprisingly, many items you wouldn’t think are gluten free are thanks to the separate gluten free fryer they have in the kitchen. 

We shared a few dishes, which were all delicious, with the exception of the empanadas. More about that later.

First we had the Camaron (shrimp) Ceviche with coconut juice, roasted pineapple, and pickled jalapenos. The fruit and citrus juices were incredibly flavorful, yet didn’t overpower the fish. We loved this flavor combination; it was unique and very different from traditional ceviche, and a must try! 


Patatas Bravas are our favorite dish to order in Spain and at Spanish restaurants. Golden crispy potatoes served with a spicy sauce and alioli. 


half eaten patatas bravas

For dinner we shared Carne Con Yuca, hanger steak topped with chimichuri sauce and queso fresco served over yuca fries. The hanger steak was cooked perfectly and was drenched in chimichurri. The sauce was fresh and I could have eaten an entire jar of chimichurri. I wanted more.


We also ordered chicken empanadas because they are Macondo’s signature dish. The empanadas are made from corn and they are not subject to cross contamination in the fryer as the restaurant has two fryers. This was actually the first time we sent a dish back because we did not like it. The empanadas were dripping grease and the chicken was tasteless. These were nothing compared to Empanada Mama, such a disappointment. 


Gluten Free Dinner Menu

Click to add a blog post for Macondo on Zomato

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This entry was posted in Latin American, Mexican, New York City, Restaurant Review, Spanish, West Village and tagged , , , , , on 22 July, 2015.