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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Gluten-Free

PRODUCT: Pillsbury Gluten-Free Dough

Happy ever after in the marketplace: a really
good gluten-free pie dough, plus cookie and
pizza options. Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

 

Many of us who are gluten-sensitive have said goodbye to baking, goodbye to homemade pies, pizza…and goodbye to the comfort of an impulsive batch of chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes you just don’t want to do the research or make multiple trips to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients to make exactly what you crave.

Pillsbury’s new line of refrigerated Gluten Free Doughs aims to give back the freedom to bake, to those with gluten or wheat sensitivities. It includes:

  • Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Pillsbury Gluten Free Pie and Pastry Dough
  • Pillsbury Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough
  •  
    The products are available at major retailers nationwide. Look in the refrigerator case; then, indulge your baking whims as often as you like, wherever you like.

     

    The standout is the Pie and Pastry Dough. It is extremely convenient, as well as versatile. Not only can you make a pie for dessert in a pinch, but I sampled a delicious savory samosa made with dough right out of the bin.

    The dough might be a tad sweet for some savory options, but it has a great crispiness and a satisfyingly rich texture—almost like a shortbread—that makes me excited to sample it in an apple hand pie or in a peach cobbler. Pillsbury suggests multiple other uses for the dough, including mini-quiches, pot pies, tarts and tartlets.

     

    I was also pleased to notice that there was no bean-y or bitter aftertaste to the crust, an affliction that hobbles other gluten free flours that shall go un-named.

    The dough is completely pre-prepared and comes in a 15.8-ounce tub, which makes two 9” pie crusts. The suggested retail price, $4.99, is comparable to other gluten free pie crusts and mixes.

    While the product is gluten free, it is not calorie free: The dough contains 250 calories per serving. Ingredients include soybean oil, rice flour, whole sorghum flour and fructose. Additional corn and potato starches make the dough easy to handle and shape, with the help of a little wax paper.

    Ultra-convenient and easily available, we love that it has restored our freedom to bake on impulse.

    —Georgi Page

     

    Dying for a slice of apple pie? You can make it gluten-free with Pillsbury’s new and delicious dough. Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Garden Lites Veggie Muffins

    The producers of our favorite Garden Lites Veggie Soufflés have introduced new Veggie Muffins: a fluffy carrot muffin and a deep chocolate zucchini muffin.

    The all natural Veggie Muffins line is made of 1/3 fresh vegetables. Each muffin is shrink-wrapped for easy portability. Just let the frozen muffins defrost naturally or heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds; you’ll have an extremely moist treat that’s right-sized (not super-sized) at 120 calories per muffin (3 Weight Watchers points).

    The recipe contains eggs, but is dairy free, gluten free, nut free and soy free. The line is certified kosher by Star-K.

  • Carrot Berry Veggie Muffins are made with fresh vegetables plus blueberries, cherries and cranberries.
  • Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffins are very chocolaty, from cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips—so chocolaty that no one will detect the zucchini. They’re great for chocolate cravings or to sneak extra servings of vegetables into resistant loved ones.
  •  

    This moist carrot muffin is a great 120- calorie treat. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Pair Veggie Muffins with coffee or tea for quick breakfast, tuck in with your lunch or for a healthful snack. You can keep them in the office freezer—although you’ll have to disguise them so co-workers don’t polish them off.

    While the muffins don’t have as much veggie content as the larger-portion souffles, each muffin is made from 1/3 fresh vegetables and comprises not quite one daily serving of vegetables. But hey, they’re muffins!

    The yummy muffins are available at select Costco locations and other retailers. Check the store locator for the store nearest you.

    The four-pack will retail for around $4.99, and the Costco 14-pack is a bargain at $9.99.

    Garden Lites calls itself “the delicious vegetable company.” We agree.

    For more information, visit GardenLites.com.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Lucky Spoon Gluten Free Cookies

    A stack of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
    Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Gluten-free artisan bakeries typically pop up when a family member has gluten intolerance. In this case, its husband and co-founder of Lucky Spoon Bakery in Salt Lake City, Jim Schulte.

    Both Jim and wife Pam have MBAs and years of business experience; but Pam also had serious baking skills. So she set out to re-invent gluten-free cookies and muffins that were every bit as tasty as their fully glutenized counterparts.

    Lucky Spoon Bakery has succeeded in changing the way people think about gluten-free baked goods. The products are moist, fresh and delicious.

    “Gluten-free has always been code for ’taste-free’ or ‘you can eat it but you probably won’t like it,’” says Jim. But, as has been proved by other artisan bakers of gluten-free goods, if you spend enough time, money (on the best ingredients) and love, you can produce bread, cakes, cookies, muffins and other products that everybody loves to eat.

     

    To us, the compliment we bestow is, “No one would know it’s gluten free.”

     

    Gluten-Free Cookies

    Instead of wheat flour, the cookies are made with a blend of white rice flour, potato flour and almond meal; plus sugar, butter, eggs, quality chocolate or peanut butter, vanilla and other ingredients of good cookies.

  • Chocolaty Chip Cookies
  • Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Chocolaty Chip Cookies
  • Simply Sugar Cookies
  •  
    Gluten-Free Muffins

    ?White rice flour and potato flour instead of wheat flour. As with the cookies, sugar, eggs, butter and quality flavorings combine to make moist, tasty muffins:

  • Cinnamony Streusel Muffins
  • Lemonlicious Muffins
  • Totally Maple Pecan Muffins
  • Utterly Almond Muffins
  •  

    Lucky Spoon Bakery is a find for the gluten-free nibbler.Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    To find Lucky Spoon products, check the store locator on the company website.

      

    Comments

    PASSOVER: Start New Traditions With These Recipes

    Passover begins at sunset on Monday, March 25th and continues for seven days. Observant Jews celebrate the first two nights with seders, featuring recipes that have been in their families for generations.

    But how about some 21st-century Passover recipes—if not for a seder, then for the other five days? There are more than 60 modern, creative Passover recipes in a new cookbook, Passover Made Easy. Some of the recipes that are calling out to us:

  • Brisket Eggrolls
  • Citrus Beet Salad with Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken
  • Espresso Macarons with Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream
  • French Roast with Fresh Spice Rub
  • Frozen Lemon Wafer Cake
  • Jalapeño Lime and Ginger Salmon
  • Pecan Pie with Cookie Crust
  • Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
  • Schnitzel Nuggets with Apricot Dipping Sauce
  • Spaghetti Squash Kugel
  • Tortillas with Tomato-Mint Salsa and Guacamole
  • Vegetable Lo Mein
  •  

    There’s plenty of time to pick up a copy and plan for Passover. Photo courtesy Passover Made Easy.

     

    The easy to prepare, sure to please original recipes were developed and tested by best-selling cookbook author Leah Schapira (Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking) and co-founder of CookKosher.com, an online kosher recipe exchange; with Victoria Dwek, managing editor of Whisk, a kosher food magazine.

    Pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift: it’s just $10.87 on Amazon.com. There are fascinating culinary tidbits, useful preparation tips, full-color photos for each dish, step-by-step plating and food styling secrets, and a wine pairings and Seder wine guide.

    As a bonus, all but four of the 60 recipes in the book are gluten-free. And of course, the recipes can be enjoyed all year long. Here’s one recipes from Passover Made Easy to start you off; next week, we’ll publish Matzaroni, the mac-and-cheese alternative:

     

    Eggplant-wrapped chicken, one of the
    modern recipe alternatives. Photo courtesy
    Passover Made Easy.

     

    RECIPE: EGGPLANT WRAPPED CHICKEN

    Ingredients

    Eggplant

  • 1 tall eggplant
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch coarse black pepper
  •  
    Meat Mixture

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound ground meat of choice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •  
    Chiken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch course black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to broil. Grease a baking sheet. Cut eggplant lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick, to get 6 or 7 slices. Reserve remaining eggplant scraps. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes per side, until second side is beginning to brown. The slices should appear as if they were fried. Remove and set aside.

    2. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Peel and finely dice remaining eggplant to obtain ½ cup diced eggplant. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and diced eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

    3. COMBINE onion mixture with ground meat in a small bowl. Season with salt and garlic powder.

    4. SEASON chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into each thigh and roll up to close. Roll an eggplant slice around each stuffed chicken thigh. Place, seam side down and close together, in a baking pan. Cover and bake for 2½ hours.

    Serve with mashed potatoes or your favorite Passover-approved grain,* and your favorite green vegetable, steamed or sauteed lightly with garlic.

    *Grains forbidden during passover include barley and all types of wheat. Grains such as quinoa and rice were not known during biblical times so are not forbidden. Extremely religious people will avoid any grain.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Gourmet Gluten Free Cookies & Truffles

    Gluten-free glory. Photo courtesy Cake |
    Chicago.

     

    While it may not be easy being green, it’s even worse to be gluten-free. When everyone else is enjoying cake and cookies, you’ve got to show restraint.

    Unless you’ve received a box of “defloured” cookies from Cake, an artisan bakery in Chicago.

    A gift box of three delicious cookies will make your gluten-free friend or family member very happy:

  • Chubby Wubby cookies, a delicious sandwich cookie: two bittersweet chocolate cookies studded with bittersweet chocolate chips, filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache
  • Choosy Chocolate Chip Cookies, crisp and buttery and
  • Square None Brownies, studded with bittersweet chocolate chips beneath a crispy, crackly top
  •  

    Glutophobes will grinning from ear to ear.
     
    The deluxe gift box includes:

  • 9 piece against the grain chocolate truffle assortment
  • 6 Choosy Chocolate Chip cookies
  • 4 Chubby Wubby Chocolate Cookies
  • 4 Square None Brownies
  • 10-pieces Square None Loose Ends (chewy brownie edges)
  •  
    Order at Cake-Chicago.com.

    The company also makes delicious cookies with conventional flour.

    See more of our favorite gluten free gourmet foods.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Omission Gluten Free Beer

    Omission beer is gluten-free and delicious. Photo courtesy Omission Beer.

     

    Beer drinkers with gluten sensitivities—or anyone looking to cut back on gluten—have an early holiday gift: Omission Beer.

    Gluten is found in many common cereal grains including barley and wheat—typical beer ingredients.

    On a mission to make a great-tasting beer without the gluten, the Omission team used traditional beer ingredients to handcraft the brew. They also developed a proprietary process that removes all the gluten.

    Unlike some earlier gluten-free beers, it contains all of the standard beer ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast. And the aroma and taste will should please just about everyone.

     

  • Omission Lager, brewed in the traditional lager style, is refreshing and crisp, with an ABV of 4.6%.
  • Omission Pale Ale is bold and hoppy American Pale Ale, amber and redolent of Cascade hops. The floral aroma is complimented by caramel malt body, with an ABV of 5.8%.
  •  
    At a recent NIBBLE editorial tasting, it was all thumbs-up for Omission Beer.

    A six-pack or two would make a great gift for a gluten-averse pal.

    Here’s the store locator. Learn more about Omission beer on the company website.

    Brush up on your beer vocabulary in our Beer Glossary.

    Find more of our favorite beers in our Beer Section.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Inka Corn Snack

    Where would we be without Peru, birthplace of corn (maize) [also, the birthplace of peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes]?

    While summer corn has faded from markets, you can get plenty of Inka Corn: a roasted Peruvian corn snack.

    According to the manufacturer, this is the same “imperial snack” that Inka rulers used to reward their warrior heroes.

    If you’ve had CornNuts, the Inka Corn kernels are much larger and less hard on the teeth. And much better tasting.

    The Inka Corn kernels are also much larger than Half Pops—a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week that is air-popped rather than roasted in oil.

    When we first saw Inka Corn at a trade show, an ear of the giant white corn variety (called choclo, Cuzco corn or Peruvian corn) from which it is made was displayed. Peruvian corn looks like a musclebound body builder compared with the relatively slender, small-kerneled ears of the sweet corn grown for America’s tables.

    Made in Peru, Inka Corn kernels are roasted in oil for a delicious light crunch. It is made simply from corn kernels, palm olein* and salt. The ingredients are all natural; there are no trans fats or hydrogenated oils or GMOs.

    Inka Corn is available in Original, Salt & Vinegar and Chile Picante.

     

    Inka Corn: very crunchy and good for you. Note the difference in size of the small ear of Indian corn at the top. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    NUTRITION BONUS

    Corn is a whole grain food. Inka Corn is also dairy free, gluten free, wheat free and vegan.

    Crunch away!

    *Palm olein is the liquid component of palm kernel oil obtained from fractionation, a process used with coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil to produce oils of different viscosities for different purposes.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Angel Food Cake Day

     

    Calling all cake lovers: October 10th is National Angel Food Cake.

    An angel food cake is a light, flourless affair made with sugar, a dozen or so egg whites, cream of tartar (which increases the heat tolerance and volume of the egg whites) plus vanilla or almond extract and salt.

    It is also a gluten-free cake.

    Angel food cake is generally made in a tube pan and served with berries and whipped cream. But Martha Stewart makes a much more elaborate creation, perhaps the best angel food cake recipe concept.

    Watch her prepare it in this video: a two-layer angel food cake filled and iced with whipped cream and berries.

    For a variation, you can substitute banana slices or pineapple for the berries. For a lemony angel food cake, substitute lemon extract for the vanilla/almond extract and add lemon zest to the whipped cream.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite cakes and recipes.

    See all the different cake types in our Cake Glossary.

    Try this recipe for grilled angel food cake.

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Make Homemade Crackers

     

    Impress your family and friends with these homemade crackers.

    This easy recipe produces a gourmet cracker, fragrant with rosemary. Made with almond flour instead of wheat flour, the crackers are also gluten free.

    Serve them with cheese, hummus or other favorite dip or spread, salad or soup.

    Most people don’t think of baking their own crackers. But these tasty bites may just be the start of a creative cracker-baking hobby.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite crackers and bread recipes.

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Garden Lites Vegetable Soufflés

    It’s always exciting to discover a new “favorite food” that’s good for you. When we received a generous shipment of Garden Lites frozen vegetable soufflés from the manufacturer, we liked them.

    But as we ate soufflé after veggie soufflé, we grew to really like them. We became so accustomed to eating one a day as a snack or as part of a light lunch, that we laid in a new supply when the original shipment was exhausted.

    While we relish the vegetable soufflés as casual fare, we wouldn’t hesitate to serve them as a first course at a fancy dinner. Assuming, of course, that we’d be willing to share our stash.

    The soufflés are made in nine varieties: broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, cauliflower, pizza (cauliflower topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella), roasted vegetable (mixed veggies), southwestern (mixed veggies with southwestern seasonings), spinach and zucchini.

    There are also two julienned vegetable dishes that satisfy: zucchini marinara and zucchini portabella.

     

    Our new favorite snack, first course or light lunch. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Each single serve is equivalent to two portions of vegetables. Look in your grocer’s freezer case and bring them home: You’re in for a treat!

    The line is certified kosher.
     
    Read the full review.

    Find more of our favorite vegetable products and recipes.

      

    Comments

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