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Weekly Menu Plan–October 14, 2013

Only 6 days to the Nationwide Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon.  This will be my 4th time running the half and I can’t wait!  There is such an amazing atmosphere and crowd support throughout the entire city during the race.  This is one race that I don’t bother with headphones/music…I simply enjoy the sound of my surroundings which includes runner chatter, cheers from the crowd and bands along the course.

Last year’s race. 

Monday – Burgers, baked steak fries and salad

Tuesday – Turkey tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Take out or leftovers

Thursday – Baked Ziti and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad <—trying out a new crust

Saturday – Chipotle (my pre-long run meal)

Weekly Recap:

Roasted Pumpkin Penne

Syder’s of Hanover gets a new look & adds new gluten-free flavors

SO Delicious brings back Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk

Gluten-Free Living Conference 2014 in Orlando, FL

Simple Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Have a great week!


Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Penne

If you haven’t noticed, the pumpkin craze is just a little crazier this year.  It seems that each and every restaurant is offering some pumpkin drink, baked good or dish…most unsafe for those with Celiac Disease.  Instead of sulking about not being able to enjoy these dishes, take control and make your own fall pumpkin dishes or baked goods at home. 

Beth Hillson (Gluten-Free Makeovers) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1976.  She attended culinary school so that she could understand what questions to ask when dining out…a decision has led to a career making gluten-free food and serving the Celiac community.



In celebration of Celiac Awareness Month (yes…we just celebrated in May, too), Glutino, together with Beth Hillson, have shared this amazing pumpkin recipe below.  I promise you won’t feel like you are missing out on anything once you take your first bite of this dish.

Brown Rice Penne with Roasted Pumpkin, Caramelized Onions, Spinach and Goat Cheese

By Beth Hillson, author, Gluten-Free Makeovers

Serves 6

This recipe is inspired by the array of squash and pumpkin that fills the produce aisle in my local market this time of year, a display that’s reminiscent of a watercolor painting with splashes of vibrant orange, creamy yellow and deep green.  Besides versatility (think roasted, pureed, made into soups or pies), squash is also full of nutrients and fiber, low in calories and very filling.  The biggest challenge is deciding which gourd to use.  This time, I tried sugar pumpkins.  If you are not familiar with these (also known as pie pumpkins), be sure to make the acquaintance.  Unlike the big jack-o-lantern variety, the sweet, tender flesh is great for eating. Roasting brings the flavors up a notch or two, perfect for this flavorful dish.   Adding pasta, spinach and goat cheese makes this as hearty main meal, too.

Roasted Pumpkin

1 small sugar pumpkin (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ -inch cubes (about 4 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, optional

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.  In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin with the remaining ingredients.  Spread over the baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and slightly browned.  Set aside. 

To Make the Pasta

8 ounces Glutino Brown Rice Penne Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 ounces baby spinach

1 large onion, cut into thin wedges and cut in half through the length

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 ½ cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth

Roasted Pumpkin (above)

3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Coarse salt and ground pepper

(1) In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente (about 7 minutes).   Drain pasta, rinse under cold water to prevent it from sticking.  Set aside.

(2) In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the spinach just until wilted.  Remove to serving tray and wipe out the saucepan with a paper towel.

(3) Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add the onion and salt.  Sauté until onion takes on color (about 10 minutes).  Add thyme and broth and simmer 3 minutes.  Add the spinach and the roasted pumpkin and simmer for 1 minute.  Add the penne and bring just to a simmer.  Remove from heat and crumble in the goat cheese and adjust seasonings.  Serve warm.

Note: Sugar pumpkins are members of the gourd family.  Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size, without cracks or soft spots. For peeling, cut off the top and bottom ends, then use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the skin. For tougher skin, make a few more passes with the peeler.

Bon Appetit!

New Look, Same Great Taste and a Bonus

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Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzels have a brand new look!  I did my grocery shopping on Monday this week and I was thoroughly confused when I went to find the pretzels.  The packaging has been totally re-designed, but the pretzels inside taste as good as ever.  I went straight to the Snyder’s of Hanover website to find out more about the new packaging and found out something else, too…new flavors! 

There are two new varieties of Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzels:

  • Hot Buffalo WingIngredients: Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Palm Oil, Water, Cellulose gum, Dextrose, Redhot Sauce (Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), Salt, Baking Powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, mono-calcium phosphate), Soy Lecithin, Yeast, Sodium Diacetate, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Garlic Oil, Soda.
  • Honey Mustard & Onion Ingredients: Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Palm Oil, Tapioca Starch, Dextrose, Sugar, Water, Salt, Cellulose gum, Onion powder, Baking Powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Yeast, Mustard Flour, Modified Cornstarch, Vinegar, Spice and Herb, Vinegar powder, Honey powder, Spice and coloring (contains turmeric), Natural Flavoring, Soda.

All varieties of Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzels are certified gluten-free by the GFCO and are also free of dairy, egg and casein.  Snyder’s Gluten-Free Mini Pretzels are awesome when dipped in spicy brown mustard or peanut butter.  Look for the pretzels in your local grocery store or online

I can’t wait to make Rolo Pretzel Delights with the Mini Pretzels during the holidays.  So good!


Have you tried Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzels?  Do you have a favorite variety?

Tim Horton’s Good & Bad

I love Tim Horton’s coffee.  I love that the lattes and fun drinks on their menu are gluten-free, or were, up until now.  Keeping up with the other popular coffee shops, Tim Horton’s added a trio of fall beverages to their line-up.  The new beverages, Pumpkin Pie Latte, Pumpkin Pie White Mocha and Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate are NOT gluten-free per the gluten-free list.  Such a bummer!

Now the good news.  You can have a Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroon that is drizzled with chocolate to go alongside of your coffee, tea or selected beverage that is on the gluten-free list. 


Have you tried the Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons?  What is your favorite gluten-free Tim Horton’s drink?

Gluten-Free Notes & Weekly Menu Plan 10/6/2013

The past week has been pretty exciting in the gluten-free world.  First, the news of gluten-free/allergen-friendly  “center of the plate” Child Nutrition (CN) products for the school foodservice industry.  Elevation brands and Slade Gorton come together to launch fish sticks and chicken nuggets that meet the strictest Child Nutrition guidelines.  This makes me smile…simply because being different can be so tough on a child. 

Next up?  California Pizza Kitchen is back in the gluten-free pizza game.  Yep, it seems that they have really taken the time to do this the right way this time around.  I can’t wait to give the new pizza a try and report back to you guys.  CPK is located just 5-10 minutes from our house, so even if we don’t have time to dine out this week, I plan on placing a carry-out order.

You know the ads that get delivered to your house each week?  The ones that hang on the mailbox, get stuffed in the paper and sometimes arrive with the mail on Tuesdays?  Check out the ad I found nestled with the otherwise useless ads this week:


Gluten-free pizza ads…delivery or Take & Bake.  Udi’s Gluten-Free.  Does it get any better?  The Donato’s Take & Bake pizza is pretty spectacular and well worth the $13+ it costs. 

Sunday – Shrimp Scampi, brown rice pasta and salad

Monday – Bourbon Chicken, coconut baked brown rice, broccoli and salad

Tuesday – Easy Enchilada Bake and salad

Wednesday – Leftovers or take-out

Thursday – Grilled chicken tenders, baked steak fries and salad

Friday – CPK take-out

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Halloween is only a few weeks away!  Do you have costumes figured out?  Gluten-free candy on hand?  Make sure to check and double check each candy variety as ingredients and manufacturing processes can change.  This list was updated just recently for 2013 and the Celiac Disease Foundation has a printable list available for 2013 as well. 

Have a great week!


Wordless Wednesday

It’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack……


VZW Voices Final Thoughts + My Favorite

Today is my last day as a Verizon Voices Health & Fitness participant and I wanted to take a moment to share some final thoughts.  First, I want to thank Verizon for such a wonderful experience!  I truly enjoyed being able to try several products that I may have never picked up otherwise. 

The other day I recapped the three devices I have been able to try out over the past 6 months and my favorite device of the 3 would have to be the Motorola Droid Razr HD because of the battery life.  Using an iPhone for the past couple of years and struggling recently with battery life really made me appreciate this.  The Razr HD claims to last 24 hours and while I think that depends on usage, it certainly surpasses the iPhone in that aspect.  If you are someone who is always on the go without access to charge your smart phone, look into the Motorola Droid Razr HD.

A couple of weeks back I was invited to attend a webinar about the new Verizon Edge program.  The new program allows you go get a brand new 4G LTE phone when you want it, without upgrade fees, contracts or down payment.  To find out more about the Verizon Edge program, visit the Verizon website.   This program is perfect for those who love new technology and can’t wait for the next best thing. 

*Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device, FitBit One, Verizon Gift Card, Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the products.

Weekly Menu Plan–September 30, 2013

Here we are…September 30th.  The year has flown by!  The weather in Columbus is just about perfect right now…cool in the mornings and mid-high 70s by the end of the day.  Days like this are meant for spending time outside, whether it’s running or pedaling the Cycle Tavern.

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Tell me that doesn’t look like fun!  We had a blast bar hopping on the pedal bike!  Unfortunately the law in Columbus prohibits alcohol consumption on the pedal bike, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.  We pedaled to 4 different local bars in the Short North area.  I highly recommend this activity if you have the opportunity. 


Monday – Rotisserie chicken, brown rice pasta w/Alfredo and salad

Tuesday – Soft tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs and salad

Thursday – Grilled Italian chicken, coconut baked brown rice, broccoli and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take ou

Weekly Recap

Girl Scouts are rolling out a Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie in select test markets.

Larabar introduces 2 seasonal fall flavors.

Review: Fruit Bliss Health Snacks

Udi’s Gluten-Free to the rescue.

Have a great week!


All Good Things…

All good things must come to and end, right?  My time as a Verizon Health & Fitness Voices blogger/participant is coming to an end next week.  I thought today would be a good time to recap the devices I have been able to try out.

Health and Fitness

It was just about 6 months ago when I received my first package from Verizon Health & Fitness Voices.  I quickly fell in love with the FitBit One and Motorola Droid Razr HD

Hello, Droid!  The Razr HD (my personal favorite device) became my go-to source for music playlists (Pandora) while training my clients at the studio. 

The FitBit One helped me track my activity, day and night.  I learned that I was waking up an awful lot, but still getting plenty of sleep overall. Pretty cool stuff!  I even talked several family members and friends into getting a FitBit One! 

In August I received a second device from Verizon Health & Fitness Voices…a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. 

The Galaxy Tab 2 has some pretty cool features, including 4G service, awesome graphics, Pinterest (gluten-free recipe pinning!) and an app to control your TV/Cable box!  It wasn’t long before Hannah commandeered this tablet to watch Netflix or play Minion Rush. 

*Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device, FitBit One, Verizon Gift Card, Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the products.

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