Review: Mina’s Purely Gluten-Free All Baking Mix

I get lots of emails daily that contain recipes.  Some catch my eye, others?  Not so much.  Monday morning the puppy woke me up at 3:30 AM to go outside and play pee and I had a rough time falling back to sleep.  That left me laying in bed reading my email on my iPad.  I came across an email titled “Best Ever Banana Bread”.  How does one ignore that?  Yeah, you don’t.  As I was reading the recipe I realized that I had two bananas on the counter that were past their prime, so perhaps this would be a great way to use them!  I bookmarked the page and came back to it later to see how easy it would be to modify the recipe to be gluten-free. 

Fortunately I only had to make one substitution – the flour – to make the recipe gluten-free.  I used an all-purpose baking mix that already contained guar and xanthan gum, so adding extra wasn’t necessary.  The only other issue I ran into was not having any buttermilk.  I recalled that there was an easy way to fix that, so after Googling, I found that all I had to do was add 1 TBSP of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. 


The recipe I used for inspiration comes from Taste of Home, but isn’t gluten-free as written.  Here is the recipe with the changes I made and notes in italics.

Best Ever Banana Bread

  • 1 3/4 cups flour – I used Mina’s Purely Divine All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar – This can probably be cut down by 1/4 to 1/2 cup for less sweet banana bread
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of buttermilk – see above directions if you don’t have any on hand
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts – I omitted and added 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Heat oven to 325 and grease 9 x 5 inch bread pan

2.  Mix dry ingredients together and set aside

3.  Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients, mix well.

4.  Fold in walnuts or chocolate chips.

5.  Bake for 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This banana bread certainly does live up to its name!  Wow!  The inside is so moist and flavorful, while the outside layer is like a thin, crisp crust.  When I was a child my least favorite part of the banana or pumpkin bread was the crust; not with this bread! 

Mina’s Purely Divine All-Purpose Baking Mix has a combination of gluten-free flours and includes guar and xanthan gums, so the addition of any extra is not necessary.

Ingredients: Organic rice flour, potato flour, organic cassava starch, organic sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, teff flour, xanthan gum, guar gum


The baking mix can be used in recipes in place of non-gluten-free flour. Simply use the same amount of baking mix as you would flour. The baking mix can be purchased directly from Mina’s Purely Divine website. A 1lb. bag is $5.34 and a 5lb. bag is $18.95 or $3.95/lb.



This, my friends, is how you make a cold, rainy Monday better.  Get busy!

**The baking mix used in this recipe/post was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not be influenced by anyone or anything.

The Search is Over… Gluten-Free Pizza

Good gluten-free pizza was once hard to find.  These days options are sprouting up all over the place and we finally don’t have to settle on a mediocre pizza just so we can have pizza.  I have friend that works for Donato’s Pizza that I run with in MIT.  I have been asking her for a while when they were going to start offering a gluten-free pizza with a crust and knew that it was being discussed, but wasn’t sure exactly what would come about.  Donato’s has offered a “No Dough” pizza for as long as I have been gluten-free, but I was never overly fond of it, though Donato’s was once my pizza of choice before I began the gluten-free diet.  Jon used to eat the “No Dough” pizza, but once other local and chain establishments began to serve gluten-free pizza with a crust, it was hard to order the “No Dough” pizza and feel satisfied.

Just last week I got the word that Donato’s had indeed made a gluten-free pizza for their “Take & Bake” line to be carried in Kroger stores.  The regular line has been in Kroger stores for years and now will offer three different gluten-free options.


These flatbreads and pizzas utilize contemporary flavors and simply honest ingredients. We use only rBST-free cheese, as well as nitrate-free and preservative-free ingredients. Simply delicious!



Jane’s Dough, a subsidiary of Donato’s Pizza, mass produces pizza dough and pizza products in the Columbus area.  More about Jane’s Dough:

Named after Jane Grote Abell, Jane’s Dough Foods was established in 2008 to mass produce consistently excellent dough and pizza products. Having recognized that the pizza manufacturing industry was focused on speed first and quality second, the company instead built on its history and culture to deliver better tasting products with quality as the primary concern. Sharing its headquarters with its parent company, Jane’s Dough Foods is growing rapidly as it expands in retail supermarkets, membership clubs, c-stores, food service, and contract packing.

Jane’s Dough contacted me to see if I would be interested in sampling and reviewing the new gluten-free Sonoma Flatbread pizzas.  Of course I jumped at the offer and was thrilled when the package showed up on my doorstep late last week on a particularly stressful day.  At least I could solve my dinner problems easily on that day!


The Margherita Pizza ready to go into the oven.  The baking instructions recommend baking directly on the oven rack.  I opted to use a cooling rack that I use for cookies on top of a foil-covered pizza pan because Aaron will place non-gluten-free pizzas on our oven racks.  The pizza was ready in roughly 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees.


After baking


Of course I had to cut the pizza the way Donato’s traditionally slices their pizzas, because how could I not?  I added fresh basil because I am addicted.


The pepperoni pizza sliced and ready to be inhaled.  Are you drooling yet?

I know you have heard it before, but this time I really mean it, this is the best gluten-free pizza we have ever tasted!  I really, really, really mean it!  The search is over!  Yes, there are some other excellent gluten-free pizzas out there in Columbus and across the United States, but having been a huge Donato’s fan before going gluten-free and being able to have a gluten-free version…this is perfection!  Jon oohed and aahed and agreed 100%!  The crust is thin, with a crisp and chewiness that we have missed.

What makes these pizzas even better is the gluten-free certification by the GFCOUdi’s Gluten-Free pizza crusts supply the base, and are larger than the crusts we are used to seeing from Udi’s.  These pizzas serve 4 people each!  Okay, if you have a bigger appetite, maybe only 2 people.  When I eat a pizza made with a store bought Udi’s Gluten Free crust, I typically eat the whole thing.  I only ate half of the Margherita Pizza, though my mouth wanted more.

The Uncured Pepperoni and Margherita pizzas can be found in many Ohio Kroger stores in  “Nature’s Market” (natural and organic / frozen section) starting January 2, 2013. The stores should be set by January 8. They are sold refrigerated and can be kept that way for 24 hours or frozen for use after that and retail for $8.99, which is an amazing deal for a gluten-free pizza of this size!

Do you have a favorite gluten-free pizza?  Have you found anything that rivals your favorite non-gluten-free pizza or are you still looking?  I can finally say that for us, the search is over. 

Editing to add more from the distributor:

Thank you for your feedback! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed them so much! My name is Collin and I work on the sales side of Janes Dough Foods.

The Gluten Free Sonoma line is currently available in the FREEZER section of Kroger’s Nature market.

We are bringing on new local retailers everyday and will do our best to keep everyone informed..

The Anderson’s General Store(s) should have them in as early as this weekend.




*These pizzas were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Weekly Menu Plan–January 28, 2013

Welcome to the last week of January!  Can’t believe that this weekend marks the beginning of February!  I am just ready for the weather to warm up and stay that way.  Just in the 50s or 60s, no humidity.  I am not picky or anything.

Katz Gluten Free has been adding all kinds of new products to their line-up that I am having a hard time keeping track.  Just last week I learned they introduced a Chocolate Cake mix and the next day I see they have also added Carrot Muffins and Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins.  Holy new products, Batman!  I think I need to be placing an order this week to try some of these products out!  I have fallen in love with the plain English Muffin, so I am sure the Cinnamon Raisin is equally as tasty, if not better.


Take a look at what I saw in the grocery store a couple weeks back!  Easter candy!  I am not going to argue, because I love Cadbury Mini Eggs, but it wasn’t even mid-January when I spotted these puppies!

Sunday – Pei Wei

Monday – Turkey Tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Tuesday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Wednesday – Italian grilled chicken, brown rice pasta Alfredo and salad

Thursday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs and salad

Friday – Donato’s Sonoma Flatbread GF Pizza and salas

Saturday – Leftovers

For more gluten-free menu ideas visit Jo-Lynne Shane’s Musings of a Housewife

Week in Review:

Ends today: Rudi’s Gluten-free Help Find “Soft & Fluffy” Tool Kit giveaway

Enter to win a soup starts kit from Pacific Naturals

Review: Van’s Whole Grain Snack Bars

Review: Trader Joe’s Iced Lemon Rounds

Have a great week!

Pacific Natural Foods Soup Starters Giveaway

The weather outside is frightful, which also happens to be perfect soup weather!  Did you know January is National Soup Month?  Soup doesn’t have to take a long time to make, it can be a fairly simple process, especially when using Pacific Natural Foods Soup Starters.


Pacific Natural Foods Soup Starters are gluten-free and come in five different varieties:

Beef Pho – Follow these directions to a simple Pho (noodle soup) at home.

Chicken Pho – Vietnamese noodle soup in less than 20 minutes at home!

Vegetarian Pho – Mushroom broth and spices for those avoiding meat.

Tom Yum – Chicken broth and spices make the base of this soup.

Tortilla – Make the classic soup right in your own home!

All you have to do to make a warm, comforting bowl of soup for lunch or dinner is follow the directions on the side of the box.  Add your choice of proteins and/or other add-ins to complete the dish.  Short and sweet.  Simple.  My kind of meal!  While I enjoyed all three varieties we were sent to sample, the tortilla was my favorite.  I added black beans, rotisserie chicken, corn and avocado on top.

Pacific Natural Foods has generously offered to give three lucky readers their own kit to help make the remainder of the cold days ahead a little more pleasant.  All you have to do to enter to win is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below.

In addition to the products mentioned in this post, Pacific Naturals has a wide variety of other gluten-free products. Continue reading

Review: Nike Legend 2.0 Tight Fit Pants

My friends gave me a gift card to Fleet Feet for my birthday, so I was excited to go shop and find something new and fun!  When I normally shop at Fleet Feet it is because I need something, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as wanting something.  I had my eye on a pair of sassy running tights, but have had issues in the past with Nike pants being long enough to cover my ankles, which in the weather we have been having is essential. 

When I began browsing the store, Chelsea came over and showed me the new Nike Legend 2.0 Tight Fit Pants.  The print that caught my eye was a wild zig zag in black, charcoal grey and grey (not shown on the Nike website).  I mentioned my concerns and she insisted I try them on because they were surprisingly long.  In fact, Chelsea was wearing a pair in a solid grey color.  I am so glad that I listened because I have fallen in love with these pants! 


How cool are these?!  You can’t tell because I am sitting down in this picture, and have shoes on, but the pants come down over my heel, even when pulled all the way up!  I was shocked at how long they are!  They are also uber comfortable! I didn’t want to take them off! 

  • Some cool facts about these pants:
  • Made from at least 50% recycled polyester
  • Engineered for superior athletic performance and lower environmental impact
  • Minimum of 10 plastic bottles were recycled to make this pant.

The Nike Legend 2.0 Tight Fit Pants retail for $75.00, but cost much less out of my pocket thanks to my girls – you guys ROCK!

I wore these to core class on Sunday and they stayed put – no falling down or riding up.  I can’t wait until it warms up a little outside (I draw the line at 20-25 degrees if at all possible) so I can wear them for a run!

Have you worn Nike tights? Do you have a favorite running tight?

Don’t forget to enter to win a tool kit to help find Rudi’s Gluten-Free “Soft & Fluffy”!

Review: Van’s Whole Grain Cereals

Van’s Natural Foods has several new products on the market this year.  One of those just happens to be Whole Grain Cereals.  The cereals are free of dairy, egg, corn, high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, GMO oils and are certified gluten-free by the GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization).


At first glace I was thinking that I may have found a replacement for Cinnamon Toast Crunch!  Well, I’ll call this the “grown up” version.  These cereals both have a great flavor and texture without being overly sweet like a typical kids’ cereals.  The Cinnamon Heaven has a great crunch with a subtle cinnamon flavor.  The Honey Nut Crunch also has that same crunch, but with distinct honey flavor.  I am thrilled to see a great-tasting gluten-free cereal hit the market with a higher fiber count!

Cinnamon Heaven – With 17g of nutrient-rich whole grains and 5g of fiber per serving, Van’s new gluten free Cinnamon Heaven cereal is the perfect way to start your morning. So, dip your spoon into a sweet touch of cinnamon and say hello to a whole new, whole grain way to start your mornings. Ingredients: (that we are proud of!) Van’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Blend (Oat, Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa and Amaranth Flours), Cane Sugar, Oat Fiber, Inulin, Invert Cane Sugar, Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cinnamon, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Mixed Tocopherols for Freshness.

Honey Nut Crunch – Van’s NEW gluten free Honey Nut Crunch cereal is packed with 19g of nutrient-rich whole grains and 5g of fiber per serving. Dip your spoon into a sweet hint of honey and say hello to a whole new, whole grain way to start your mornings. Ingredients: (that we are proud of!)  Van’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Blend (Oat, Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa and Amaranth Flours), Cane Sugar, Oat Fiber, Inulin, Invert Cane Sugar, Salt, Honey, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors, Natural Mixed Tocopherols for Freshness.

The cereals retail for $3.99 and should be on the shelves of Wal-Mart, Safeway and Sprouts stores nationwide later this month.  Have you tried the new cereals from Van’s?  What is your favorite gluten-free cold cereal?

*These products were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Don’t forget to enter to win a tool kit to help find Rudi’s Gluten-Free “Soft & Fluffy”!

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Review: Local Roots

Last week ended with yet another birthday celebration, but this time with some running friends.  I firmly believe that you can’t have too many celebrations!  We had planned to celebrate another friend’s birthday the same night, but she was unable to make it at the last minute.  No worries, we still had a wonderful time at a new-to-me place: Local Roots.


I was not the only one attending the dinner that follows the gluten-free diet – my friend Melissa also follows the diet for health reasons.  Melissa has dined at Local Roots many times in the past and raved about their menu selection and service.  A little more about Local Roots:

Local Roots American Cuisine & Spirits is in the heart of historic downtown Powell, providing fresh & flavorful dishes to tempt your taste buds. Local Roots is serving lunch, dinner, homemade desserts & a full array of happy hour fare.

I couldn’t believe the options available once I sat down and started to peruse the menu.  I settled on a roasted vegetable salad for starters and then split the Greek pizza with my friend Melissa.


The salad was filled with roasted beets, potatoes, chopped lettuce and tomatoes.  What a wonderful combination!


The pizza crust was light, crispy and had a great flavor!  We opted to have the red sauce on our Greek Pizza instead of the white sauce.  I loved the combination of flavors!  I will definitely be going back to try some of the other menu items, especially the spaghetti squash!

There weren’t any gluten-free desserts on the menu, but I mentioned the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream parlor across the street as a possibility.  No one really said anything, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. Turns out Melissa baked a gluten-free chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert! It was out of this world!

I am so thankful to have such a wonderful, understanding set of friends who all like to celebrate just as much as I do!  Thanks, ladies!

Don’t forget to enter to win a tool kit to help find Rudi’s Gluten-Free “Soft & Fluffy”!

Review: Katz Gluten Free Glazed Donuts

If there is a gluten-free donut out there that Jon hasn’t tried, I would be shocked.  As soon as we found out that Katz Gluten Free was making Glazed Donuts, I placed an order so that Jon could see how they stacked up to what he remembers glazed donuts to be.


The donuts arrived frozen-ish, so I left them out on the counter knowing they wouldn’t have time to go bad.  (Katz recommends keeping them frozen until ready to eat.)  Jon made fast work of this 6-pack and the other one that came a few days after it.  His first bite and mumblings included, “..chomp…chomp…best…chomp…donut I have ever had!” 

Gluten Free Flour (White Rice, Corn Starch, Tapioca), Water, Sugar, Eggs, Canola Oil, Baking Powder, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Confectionery sugar, Granulated Sugar, Vanilla, Donut Glaze (Confectionery Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Water, Palm Oil, Salt, Vanilla, Agar, Locust Bean Gum).

The donuts are free of dairy, soy and nuts in addition to being gluten-free.  They are $6.99 per package of 6 donuts.  Katz Gluten-Free offers free shipping on orders over $50, so consider stocking up on donuts or trying some of the other tasty products that Katz makes, including a brand new Chocolate Cake Mix!

English Muffins

Blueberry Pie

Donut Holes


Do you have a favorite gluten-free donut?  Have you tried the Katz Gluten Free Glazed Donuts?

Don’t forget to enter to win a tool kit to help find Rudi’s Gluten-Free “Soft & Fluffy”!

Guest Blogger Recipe: Southwestern Fajita Quiche

Southwestern Fajita Quiche

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—it jumpstarts your metabolism and gets your brain ready for the day. But when your breakfasts consist of the same old cereal, bagels or granola bars every morning, it’s easy for the most important meal of your day to turn into the most boring meal of your day.

To keep your body wanting to eat breakfast, experiment with easy breakfast recipes that are a little more interesting than simply a bowl of fruit or cereal. Breakfast foods aren’t limited to cereal bowls; savory options like quiches and frittatas, and even leftovers from dinner the night before, can help get your morning off to a good start. Spend a couple extra minutes at the stove or the oven in the morning—plenty of good, hearty breakfast recipes don’t require hours of time and your body will thank you for the extra effort!

This easy Southwestern Fajita Quiche from Egg Beaters® is an excellent healthy breakfast or quick dinner option. It’s made with egg substitute which are lower in fat and calories than shell eggs, plus it’s filled with onion and two types of peppers. Add corn tortillas and some lean chicken for protein, and you have an easy recipe that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Southwestern Fajita Quiche

Southwestern Fajita Quiche from Egg Beaters®

· PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

· 1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

· 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips (1/2 pepper = about 1/2 cup)

· 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strip (1/2 pepper = about 1/2 cup)

· 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch strips (1 small = about 1/3 cup)

· 1 cup Egg Beaters® Southwestern Style (1 cup = 8 oz)

· 1 cup fat free milk

· 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend (1 cup = 4 oz)

· 4 gluten-free corn tortillas (8 inch)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.

Add the chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in bell peppers and onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Combine Egg Beaters, milk and cumin in a large bowl. Add cheese and mix lightly. Stir in chicken mixture.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Place tortillas in the pie plate to form crust, evenly overlapping each other. Carefully pour Egg Beater mixture into the tortilla crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa and low-fat sour cream, if desired.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Egg Beaters®, a producer of gluten free food products. For more easy recipes made with gluten-free foods from easy breakfasts to low calorie desserts, visit

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