And the winner is……

Thank you to all who entered my Heartland Pasta Giveaway! Are you ready to see if you won? I won’t drag this out any longer. Here are the lucky winners:

Here are your random numbers:

15 3 14 6 25
Timestamp: 2010-10-29 22:21:03 UTC

Matt
October 24th, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I tweeted!

Kim Buckton
October 24th, 2010 at 7:49 pm
I like you on FB already!

Sarah
October 25th, 2010 at 1:53 pm
I would make spaghetti and meatsauce for my son, one of his favorite dishes for sure!

sandra
October 25th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
I would make good ole spaghetti

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}
October 26th, 2010 at 12:43 pm
I Like Gluten-free is Life on Facebook

Congrats to all of you!! Please email me at kim@glutenfreeislife.com with your mailing information so I can get your prizes in the mail. :)

Didn’t win this time? Enter my Old El Paso Giveaway – it ends Sunday at midnight!

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Stay tuned next week for my review of the 23rd Annual Celiac Conference. I am so excited to meet new friends & some others that I chat with online all the time but have never met in person.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Ole’! Old El Paso Giveaway

A few weeks back I was contacted by MyBlogSpark to host a giveaway! MyBlogSpark is partnering with Old El Paso to celebrate “family taco night”. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you are well aware that tacos/Mexican pizzas are a hit in our house. Jon declared tacos as his favorite meal and gets upset when they don’t show up on the menu at least once a week.

Old El Paso makes a whole line of products, many of which are gluten-free, that are perfect to help bring a quick & easy taco night together for your family. So easy, get the kids involved in helping cook dinner! We usually use ground turkey as our meat of choice, but chopped chicken breast or lentils work great, too! The kids choose their own toppings and make their own creations. Hannah prefers her tacos in a bowl or in Mexican pizza form with no ground meat. She will eat chicken, but on the side. One reason I like making tacos is that it allows me to make only one thing for dinner instead of multiple meals. Even though each person may choose a different method of delivery, they are all using the same foods. Much simpler than preparing multiple meals. I know a lot of people get concerned about the sodium content of this stuff, as I know I do. I usually only use 1/3 of the package per pound of meat to cut down on some of the sodium or I purchase the “40% Lower Sodium” version.

Want to add a new twist to your taco night? Try out one of these 2 recipes from Old El Paso:

Tarantula Tacos

Fish Tacos (Simply sub gluten-free fish sticks to make this recipe gluten-free)

Here are some suggestions from MyBlogSpark to keep the family laughing at the dinner table:

Have some fun with El Tacodor™, the world’s only Family Taco Night Game. With El Tacodor, your family can share a special night at home by challenging one another to quick fire trivia, wordplay and pantomime. Visit www.ElTacodor.com today to download instructions, a score card, and a challenge sheet for even more fun on Family Taco Night!

Click here for a coupons for $.60 off any 2 Old El Paso products.

Now for the fun part! One lucky reader will win and Old El Paso “family taco night” prize pack which includes a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase your taco fixings. How cool!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which night you and your family would designate as “family taco night”. That is it! If you would like to earn additional chances to win, please feel free to complete one or more of the following and leave a comment for each one you complete. This part is not required to win, it will just increase your chances!

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. “Like” Gluten-Free is Life on Facebook.

3. Tweet about this giveaway making sure to include “@kbouldin” and “#myblogspark”

4. Share on your blog or Facebook page and then post a link.

The contest will run until Sunday at midnight. Good luck!!!

***The products I received, the coupon and the prize package were all provided courtesy of MyBlogSpark & Old El Paso.

Weekly Menu Plan: October 25, 2010

I am happy to report that I actually stuck to my menu plan for 4 nights last week! Any progress is progress, right? I also made more of a conscious effort to take the meats out that I need in advance, as meat that is still frozen is sure to derail my plans and send me right to BJ’s Brewhouse or Pei Wei.

Can you believe next week is Halloween already? I am excited because I love to see all the kids dress up. I am not looking forward to the start of Christmas songs on the radio in the next week or all of the crazy decorations in the stores. I have seen some stores already putting their stuff up! I love the holidays, I just feel like they lose some of their appeal and meaning with decorations for the season being up for 2 months out of the year.

Sunday – Filet mignon (A & I; Rotisserie for the kids), baked potatoes, broccoli & salad

Monday – BBQ chicken breast, sweet potato hashbrowns, asparagus & salad

Tuesday – Baked Ziti, steamed green beans & salad

Wednesday – Breakfast for dinner

Thursday – Soft tacos, black beans, corn & salad

Friday – Pizza, roasted vegetables and salad

Saturday – Leftovers

Baked Goods

PB Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Bagels

Week in Review

Check out my review on Tasty Bite products. Great convenient items to have on hand.

I reviewed Triumph’s new Restaurant Guide.

Check out my giveaway for a chance to win Heartland Gluten-Free Pasta!

Enjoy Life has a new Gluten-Free Survival Guide.

Glutino joins Kinnikinnick with a gluten-free donut.

Boulder Canyon has some new awesome flavors in their line-up.

Gluten-free dining at Carrabba’s.

Enter here to win a 1-year subscription to Delight Gluten-Free magazine.

Raisin Rack is holding a Holiday Sampling.

Pei Wei simplifies carry out orders.

Hope you all have a great week!! Make sure to check back Thursday for another give way! Ay carumba! (<—That is a hint 😉 )

Product Review & Giveaway: Heartland Pasta

Heartland Pasta is another gluten-free pasta on the gluten-free market. The pasta is made from corn & rice and matches the color, flavor, texture and performance of “regular” pasta. The pasta comes in 3 different shapes – penne, fusilli and spaghetti.

I received a sample package of the Heartland Spaghetti and used it for our “pasta with marinara” dinner the other night. The kids raved about the pasta. It cooked quickly and didn’t have any odd texture or flavor. The pasta was not sticky in the least like I have found with some other gluten-free pastas. I was able to save the leftover pasta in the fridge, reheat and you would have never been able to tell had I not known.

Heartland makes regular, gluten-filled pasta in addition to gluten-free pasta. I know what you are all thinking, what about cross-contamination? This is the information taken directly from the Heartland website:

On the Heartland Gluten Free package, there’s a statement, “Processed in a facility that uses wheat and egg.” I am allergic to wheat, is this product safe for me to eat?

We follow the proposed rule in the Federal Register (72 FR 7295) that tests for gluten at the 20ppm level. While we do not have dedicated equipment for our Gluten Free pasta, we have a very detailed protocol in place to prevent cross contamination to ensure safety for consumption. Before we produce any Gluten Free pasta, a thorough cleaning of all equipment and surfaces occurs. In addition, several swab tests are done of primary surfaces to ensure the cleaning was done properly and safe to produce the Gluten Free pasta. The gluten level of the product is also verified to ensure that it does not exceed 20 ppm.

Where can Heartland Gluten-Free Pasta be found? Check the product locator to see if you can find it close to you. Can’t find it by you? No worries, I am partnering with Heartland Pasta to give away 5 sample packages to 5 lucky readers! Are you excited? Here is what you have to do to enter:

Mandatory:

1. Leave a comment telling me what you would make with your Heartland Gluten-Free Pasta

Bonus Entries – 1 extra entry per comment

2. Follow me on Twitter

3. “Like” Gluten-free is Life on Facebook

4. Blog about this contest & link back OR Tweet including @kbouldin

Good luck! The contest will end Wednesday at midnight!

I will leave you now with a recipe from Heartland.

Gluten-free Spaghetti with Peppers & Sausage

Ingredients:
12 oz. Heartland Gluten Free Spaghetti
20 oz. sweet lean Italian turkey sausage links, cooked and sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans of Italian-style tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, optional
Fresh basil leaves to garnish, optional

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and cooked sausage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or to desired consistency.

Serve over hot pasta. Sprinkle with cheese and garnish with basil, if desired.

***I received the samples mentioned in this post and for this giveaway courtesy of Heartland Pasta. The views in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Book Review: Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide

A couple of weeks back I received a complimentary copy of Triumph Dining’s 5th Edition of their Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. I have an earlier version that I purchased shortly after I started the gluten-free diet, but seeing that it was over 4 years ago, it was time for an update. In that first year, the guide came in extremely useful, especially during road trips.

The 5th Edition has been updated to include menus for 120 National & Regional Chains and 6,500 restaurants for all 50 states. In addition to restaurant locations and menus, the guide also includes tips on navigating menus, communicating with the staff and a dining out checklist.

The menus all have dates of when the information was confirmed and most have phone numbers if you are interested in contacting them yourself to follow up. I think it is important to remember that this is just what it says – a “guide”. Always ask for the most current information before ordering and even follow that up with asking questions to make sure the staff is aware of what they are doing. Triumph also makes dining cards to help educate the staff to let them know what is safe & unsafe for us to eat. I always have these in my purse in case dining at a restaurant that doesn’t have a gluten-free menu is unavoidable.

I want to also point out that I found a discrepancy in at least one of the menus. In the guide, Triumph states that the Asian Chopped Chicken Salad at Pei Wei Asian Diner should be ordered without lime vinaigrette. This is not the case on the Pei Wei gluten-free menu posted on their website. I thought that maybe a change had been made recently, as I have been eating that dressing there for several years with no adverse reaction, but that is not the case. I think that this just goes to show that you need to double check your information when dining out with any kind of special diet due to Celiac Disease or food allergies & intolerances. It is also possible that a restaurant may change suppliers or manufacturers and therefore a product or menu item may no longer be gluten-free.

In addition to the Restaurant Guide, Triumph also has The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide. This guide includes over 30,000 brand-name and store-brand gluten-free grocery items. The book is color coded, making it easy to menu plan and find your favorite items easily.

All of Triumph’s products can be purchased on their website. If you are interested in saving some money, consider ordering the “Combo Pack” for only $49.95. This pack includes both books and the dining cards – a savings of almost $13.00! This would make a great holiday gift or care package for those newly diagnosed or college students that may be struggling with the diet while away at school.

To keep up on all of the hottest information, makes sure to read Triumph’s Blog, and follow them on Twitter.

I want to send out a “Thank You” to the wonderful folks at Triumph for the Dining Guide – it will be put to good use! I am considering sending it to the parents of Jon’s friends where he hangs out. The kids rotate houses every weekend and sending this guide along with him may simplify things a bit for them all.

Review: Tasty Bite Products

Believe it or not, I have not had a lot of experience with Indian food in my 37 years. I think I was always scared that I wouldn’t like it and prior to starting the gluten-free diet, I wasn’t very adventurous in trying new foods. I knew what I liked & stuck with those foods. In September I received some samples of Tasty Bite products that I have been working through over the past month or so. At first I was a little leary, but I quickly brushed that feeling away and decided to keep an open mind. Boy, am I glad that I did!! I have to tell you that I was a complete moron for not sampling Indian food before.

When glancing at the Tasty Bite gluten-free product list, I was amazed! There are so many different dishes, sauces & rices to choose from. As you can see, I was sent a nice variety of products to sample.

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The rices were nice because they take only 90 seconds in the microwave to cook. This has been very helpful with our hectic schedule lately. I love chickpeas and the Chunky Chickpeas did not disappoint. I did add some roasted vegetables to the bowl to help bulk it up.

The Madras Lentils were not only great over the basmati rice, but in a corn tortilla as a taco, too! I love the convenience of these items without all of the added crap that some convenience products have in them.

The Bombay Potatoes make a wonderful side dish for chicken or fish. I love the texture combination of the chickpeas & potatoes. Unique and not something I would have considered putting together before trying this dish.

The Jaipur Vegetables were a nice treat! I loved the raisins in this dish. I had this over rice with a salad on the side. Then I decided that I would add the leftovers to my salad the next day and that was equally delicious.

I still have to try the Good Korma Simmer Sauce, Mushroom Takatak, and Punjab Eggplant. I think I will be consulting the recipes page for some inspiration with the last three items. Just looking over that page made my stomach growl!

What I really, really like about these products is the simple ingredient lists, as I touched on above. There are no chemicals, preservatives, or words that you can’t pronounce on the packages. I can’t stress how much I love this. Tasty Bite was launched in 1995 and offers 39 different products, most of them being gluten-free. Each product is clearly labeled if it is gluten-free. Tasty Bite products can be found in stores across the US or ordered online here. There is free shipping on all orders over $65.00. Make sure to check out Tasty Bite on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest news & product info.

Have you tried any items by Tasty Bite? What are your favorites?

**The products in this review were sent to me free of charge. The opinions in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Sunday Again

I sat down to write my menu plan post and looked back at last week’s plan. It was then that I realized that I have been absolutely horrible at following my plan for the past few weeks. Our schedule has been so hectic – hockey, PT for Jon, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, Homecoming…AHHHH!! I sit down on Sundays with these great plans and then end up running around like a crazy woman come dinner time, which has been getting later & later. We went from rarely eating out to eating out for 3 dinners last week. Not only does that get expensive, I feel like I am wasting food when produce goes bad that I purchased to prepare the meals that I planned.

I vow this week to try a little harder. Maybe I can do some prep work ahead of time or use the crockpot more.

Sunday – Burgers and/or leftovers, veggies & salad

Monday – Teriyaki salmon, baked coconut rice (can be made ahead of time), green beans & salad

Tuesday -Spaghetti & meatballs (made in advance), broccoli & salad

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken, baked sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas & salad

Thursday -Breakfast for dinner

Friday -Pizza and salad

Saturday -Leftovers or take out

Baked Goods

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin Cookies or bread

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Weekly Recap

Celiac Awareness

Holiday Baking Company held an open house yesterday

Holiday Baking Company starts online sales

Review: Matt the Miller’s Tavern

Marzetti introduces Greek Yogurt Dips

Product Review: Lifeway Kefir

Review: Lucini Pasta & Contest

NFCA announces latest webinar

Hope you all have a great week!!

Bakery on Main winner

I wanted to thank everyone that entered, tweeted, blogged, etc the Bakery on Main giveaway over the past week. You guys rock!! Now, the moment you have all been waiting for…the winner! And the winner is…

Elissa Mahler`
October 12th, 2010 at 9:52 am
I follow on facebook! Looks yummy!

Congrats Elissa! Please email me your contact information so that I can get it right over to Bakery on Main. They will send your gift package out to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Celiac Awareness – The Products & Coupons

Mambo Sprouts is a wonderful resource for Celiac Awareness. As I blogged about last week, October is Celiac Awareness month. I do whatever I can, whenever I can, to raise awareness for Celiac Disease. I love Mambo Sprouts because in addition to having all kinds of useful information & recipes, they have coupons online available to print and send them out in the mail as well.

Some of the coupons available this month are for great products made by the following companies:

I had the opportunity to review some of these products that I hadn’t sampled before. I will share a brief summary below.

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread- 3 varieties – Original, Multigrain & Cinnamon Raisin. This bread ranks right up there with Udi’s Gluten-Free. I especially love the Cinnamon Raisin Bread for breakfast with a touch of almond & pumpkin butters. Here is a coupon for $1.50 off any Rudi’s Gluten-Free product.

Mi-Del Cookies – While I have sampled many of the varieties of the cookies that Mi-Del makes, I had not had the chance to try the S’Mores Cookies in the 90 calorie snack packs. They are mini chocolate graham cookies with marshmallows. I love these cookies! These are great for an after school snack or a light dessert after lunch or dinner. Here is a $.75 off coupon for any Mi-Del product.

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Lundberg Brown Rice Pasta – I have been eating Lundberg rice for years, but had not yet tried their brown rice pasta. The pasta comes in 4 different shapes: spaghetti, penne, elbow & rotini. The pasta has a great texture and is not gritty in the least. Here is a $.75 off coupon for 1 Lundberg product.

Lifeway Kefir – Lifeway makes a variety of products, none of which I had tried up until a few days ago. I was able to sample the Strawberry Low Fat Cultured Milk Smoothie. Not only does this product have a great taste, but lots of health benefits, too! Click here for $1.00 off any 2 Lifeway products. *All of Lifeway’s products are GLUTEN FREE EXCEPT for the Probiotic Wellness Bars. The bars are produced at a different facility separate from where Lifeway Kefir is produced. Therefore there is no nut and gluten contamination to our Kefir products.

Udi’s Gluten Free – You have all heard me sing the praises of Udi’s for a while now. I am a loyal supporter and can’t wait to sample their new products coming out early next year. I can’t get enough of their pizza crust lately! They freeze nicely and can be pulled out to make a quick, healthy meal in a hurry. Click here for a $2.00 off coupon for Udi’s.

Mambo Sprouts has may other coupons available to print right now, too. Some of those gluten-free products include:

  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins
  • Nasoya Tofu
  • San-J Sauces
  • Santa Cruz Peanut Butter
  • R.W. Knudsen Spritzers
  • Florida Crystals
  • Numi Organic Tea

Make sure to check out the awesome recipes section. You can customize your recipe search by diet type and ingredients, too. I love that there are so many gluten-free recipes available. Resources like these, coupled with companies like those spotlighted by Mambo Sprouts, help make life just a little bit easier & much more pleasurable for those with Celiac Disease.

***I would like to thank Mambo Sprouts for the complimentary samples sent to us to review this month. The opinions posted on this blog are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Bakery on Main Holiday Gift Set Review & Giveaway

Bakery on Main makes some of the best gluten-free granola around. A couple weeks back, Christine from Bakery on Main, contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing & giving away one of their new Holiday Gift Set. I love to share new things with you guys, so of course I agreed.

The new Holiday Gift Set includes an eco-friendly reusable tote bag made from 100% recycled materials, and 8 single serving size Bakery on Main premium gluten free granola products, plus a coupon for the recipient to buy the full size of their favorite. If you haven’t tasted this granola, you really should. I love the original versions. The high fiber granolas are good, but not as tasty, in my opinion. The granola bars are great to keep in your purse or bag for emergency snack purposes.

Bakery on Main was founded by Michael Smulders after hearing many Celiac customers complain about the taste of gluten-free options out there. He believed that no one should suffer because of a food intolerance, so made it his mission to make gluten-free food that tasted good. In 2003 Smulders set out to make granola that was safe for those on the gluten-free diet to consume. It took over 2 years to secure gluten-free sources of all of the ingredients and a place to safely make the granola without the risk of cross-contamination.

The Holiday Gift Set is available on the Bakery on Main website for $14.99 plus shipping. What a great deal! This is the perfect gift idea for a friend or loved one who needs to eat gluten-free. It would make a great pick-me-up, college care package or even stocking stuffers!

Want to win one of the gift sets? Today is your lucky day. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which Bakery on Main product is your favorite or which one you would like to try the most. That is it. You can earn extra entries by completing any or all of the items on this list:

1. Follow me on Twitter & leave a comment. +1 entry

2. Follow me on Facebook & leave a comment. +1 entry

3. Tweet or blog about this contest & leave a comment. +1 entry

Giveaway will run until Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at midnight. Good luck!

Thank you Christine & Bakery on Main for the complimentary samples.

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