Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Udi's Gluten Free in Georgia!

From Carol Hinton, Branch Manager of the Middle Georgia GIG:
Udi's Bread has arrived in Middle Georgia!
For those of you who have tried Udi's bread elsewhere or have read about it online, you can now find it in Middle Georgia.  I visited Yvonne's on Vineville today to find both Udi's white bread and Udi's whole grain bread in the freezer section.  They also had Udi's muffins.
I also visited Mia's off Vineville and found Udi's muffins as well.  I would expect them to have the bread in the near future.
If you haven't tried Udi's you will be surprised at how good it is.  It does not need to be toasted and stays fresh on the counter for several days.
If you visit either store to purchase Udi's, let them know where you heard about it.
Middle Georgia GIG
Much love, Ging

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Giveaway from My Blog Spark and Yoplait Greek Yogurt!

I love Greek yogurt -- all kinds, any kind -- so I was delighted to see a new brand on the market -- Yoplait Greek Yogurt.
(Go to this spot to get a free coupon to try out this new Yoplait yogurt!)

In fact, just last week, I was instructing Randy on the wisdom of choosing a non-fat Greek yogurt instead of a watered-down nonfat house brand.  I love the richness, creaminess, and body of Greek yogurt. I often use it instead of sour cream.

Here's the scoop on Yoplait's new product:

With 12 grams of protein -- twice that found in leading yogurts-- new Yoplait Greek nourishes from the inside out. Available in four delicious flavors, Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla and Plain, the brand’s newest offering has a unique thick and creamy texture with the unmatched taste expected of Yoplait.

My Blog Spark and Yoplait have offered me the opportunity to offer YOU a chance to enjoy some Yoplait Greek Yogurt and Nourish your inner Goddess. That's right -- we all need a little nourishment, don't we? They are providing the following fabulous gift for one lucky reader of my blogs. (This link is cross posted on my sister blog.

To celebrate its new Greek yogurt and to encourage women to nourish their inner goddess, Yoplait has teamed up with actress Izabella Miko, who plays Greek Goddess Athena in the epic adventure new Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ film “Clash of the Titans,” in theatres April 2 in 3D. 

Now, here's all you have to do to win this Spark!

Simply put your name and your email in a comment below, and tell me your favorite recipe using Yoplait Greek Yogurt. I will use the randomizer to pick one lucky winner on Tuesday, April 6 at 9 p.m. est. I will email you for your mailing information (so if you leave out that email, you won't get to win...). And Yoplait will send you TWO free coupons and a Goddess Pack!

Please remember that Yoplait is made by a company that labels gluten -- and it is a yogurt that many gluten-free people feel comfortable eating. Please read labels if you are gluten free!

Much love, and good luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

P.F. Chang's Launches Expanded Gluten-Free Menu

P.F. Chang's Launches Expanded Gluten-Free Menu: "PRESS RELEASE: SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--P.F. Chang's Chi..."
But in truth, Much ado about nothing.

I know several of my GF blogger buddies have been about excited about this, so Randy and I went to P.F. Chang's in Tampa at Westshore Plaza to try the beef entrees. I did this with trepedation, mind you. I've been glutened severely at P.F. Chang's and Pei Wei on my last three occasions (I know, why go back?) But I wanted Mongolian Beef. I miss it.

Randy had the Sichuan Spicy Beef. We weren't sure 1. that is was beef; 2. that it had been seasoned at all; and 3. that the cook had a clue. It was like chewing a paper towel roll.

Mongolian beef? Tough and stringy. Only three pieces were soft and crunchy. The sauce was over salted.

SO we complained to our sorry excuse for a server (another story) and finally flagged down the manager. No one cared. They took one entree off the check (as they should have).

Our sorry excuse for a server offered me a fortune cookie at the end with the words, "I don't know what gluten free means, so I don't know if you can eat this."

I hear more and more from GF diners who say their experiences at P.F. Chang's is very spotty -- sometimes GF, sometimes not, riddled with error when the crowd is large. I have a solution for that. The one I should have imposed last week.

I won't go back. Ever. Again.

Much love,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Norlander's Gluten-Free Sauces!

At a Twitter party a month or so ago, I won some Norlander's Original Gluten-Free Teriyaki and Mesquite sauces. These new gluten-free sauces are gaining a national reputation -- especially the Teriyaki Sauce, which is a huge step above the usually available gf teriyaki brand.

I had a wonderful discussion on the phone with Michael Norlander, who owns the company with his wife Tina. They're really a wonderful couple, and I think their product is pretty special in our gluten-free world. They've sent their regular products (the beef jerky) into outer space on the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station. They've got a regular line, too.

Here's their story, from their website:

Tina and Michael Norlander continue the family tradition of providing quality products that enhance just about any food. Michael’s father originally developed the family’s first Teriyaki marinade recipe in the 1960's. Friends and neighbors always enjoyed the food the Norlander’s prepared using their special marinade. By modifying and reducing it into a concentrate, Michael made the family's teriyaki recipe his own. Michael later developed the Norlander’s Original Mesquite Sauce & Marinade Concentrate. The Mesquite Sauce provides a western Mesquite smoke flavor and has been a winner from the start.

They have developed their regular and gluten-free Teriyaki and Mesquite gourmet sauces and marinades to bring a new taste and experience to their customers. Either flavor can be used as a sauce or marinade on beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, wild game, pastas, vegetables, beans and rice. Their sauces can also be poured straight from the bottle onto foods like hamburgers, ribs, and steak. They welcome you to try their products and hope you enjoy them as much as they do.

But this line is special. It is made just for us!

With grilling season coming in strong now as Spring is Springing, I wanted to share with you a couple of ways I used these sauces successfully.

One of my favorite recipes ever (and, might I say, perfect for the Easter/Palm Sunday dinner table) is

Freakin' Awesome Tropical Chicken
(Recipe from Jen, adapted by Ging)

Serves 12-16:

8 lbs. cut up chicken (or 4 pounds boneless, skinless breasts)
*Ging note: If I were doing this in the oven for a potluck again, I would use boneless, skinless thighs. They will hold better. I also think this would be FA with boneless pork chops!
1 Cup Norlander's GF Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup prepared mustard (I used French's and Dijon, mixed)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple with juice
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I used ginger juice)
-these were my additions-
2 T. Chinese Chili Sauce (optional)
Six cloves fresh garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Marinate chicken in mixture (ziplock bag/fridge) for at least 4-6 hours. (I did mine overnight with no ill effects).
Outside directions: Drain the marinated chicken into a bowl through a colander, reserving marinade, and grill on your favorite grill til done. A nice addition -- sliced fresh pineapple, grilled on the side.

Rainy-day Indoor Preparation: Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken and about half the marinade (try to keep the pineapple and garlic part) in roaster-type pan – the chicken should nearly be covered with the marinade, but not quite). Bake until done -- it took me about 75 minutes in a convection oven.)

For both: BOIL to a hard boil and slightly reduce the remaining sauce with garlic and pineapple. Use it as a sauce.

Wonderful with grilled or roasted fresh asparagus and fluffy white or brown rice.

Super Easy Mesquite Ribeye

Honestly, folks, I did this beautiful saucy steak in a toaster oven! Season one side with the spices and herbs of your choice -- I use salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, and some Tony Chachere's seasoning.

Put the steak under the broil and cook for 9 minutes. Brush Norlander's GF Mesquite Sauce on both sides and turn and cook the second side for about 5 minutes for medium.

Let sit for 10 minutes and then devour. It tastes like it was cooked out on a mesquite fired grill!


I really can't wait to try these recipes on the Norlander's site. I don't know anyone who makes a GF garlic chip, but I think Mary's Gone Crackers Onion Crackers are a great addition, broken up just a little bit,

And we're going to have the dip the weekend while watching the college basketball finals.

And then, when I get the Big Green Egg back in Georgia, well, this is sure to be a staple in our grilling sauce repetoire! (Don't know if we'll use the BGE this week on Spring Break, but it might come home with me. Who knows?)

There is one thing about Norlander's GF sauce that might be a drawback for you -- I think in the effort of full disclosure I should mention that both use a GF Soy Sauce that contains corn syrup. Michael and I talked about that, actually. And while I feel it's important we all know the ingredients, it clearly didn't stop me from using it in moderation.

And using it again soon, I shall. I wish Michael and Tina and the cool ship from Norlander's Original all the best.

Much love, and let's get grilling!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Purely Elizabeth Mixes are Purely Divine!

Oh the places I could go with the Purely.... analogy....

Purely Delicious.
Purely Healthy.
Purely Unique.
Purely Decadent.

I have to add Purely Elizabeth to the list of the most innovative gluten-free products out there. They are simply -- Purely -- amazing. They're wheat, gluten, dairy and sugar free, with a healthy mix that includes great flours and nutritious #gf seeds.

It's taken me far too long to get this post up, and for that I apologize. I hate that I've kept from spreading the good word about this incredibly delicious product. But you can order then for a great flat-rate shipping fee. And I know you'll enjoy them!

This is not what I'd call a mainstream gluten-free product mix though. That's a good thing, in this case, because it's incredibly high in fiber and low in sugar additives. So for someone with Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance and Diabetes, this is an awesome product to use.

Of the three mixes provided me by Purely Elizabeth, the two I found most different and intriguing were the Pancake Mix and the Ultimate Cacao Muffin Mix.

Here's the info on the Ultimate Carob Muffins:

And here's the back of the bag.

I include this to show one thing several people have mentioned about this product: it requires you to add a lot of ingredients yourself -- not just an egg and water, for instance. But that's OK. These aren't your average muffins -- they're really an artisanal muffin, of the highest quality. And you can adapt the additives to make it more special (for instance, I wish I'd added carob chips and used Chocolate Unsweetened Almond Milk in them...and a little more agave. But I ran out of agave as I was making these).

They're wonderful. I have to go easy on them because of all the seeds (because of my gastroparesis). But they're lovely.

Ingredients: Millet Flour, Corn Flour, Almond Flour, Organic Raw Cacao Powder, Flax Seed, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Chia Seed, Aluminum Free Baking Powder, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt

But I found that the most important thing about this muffin mix. I can add agave nectar (if you're keeping score, this is my third pro-agave post in a month). It has no refined sugar.

And it's really yummy. Here's what they looked like out of the oven:

A key test was the one-hour post snack blood sugar reading. There was NO impact on my blood sugar. I love it. I froze the rest and have been parceling them out over time for breakfast. They hold up well out of the freezer (I don't even reheat them when thawed sometimes) but they're best warm and yummy.

I also loved the pancakes I made from the Ultimate Pancake Mix. Like the other mix, I used Almond Milk, Olive Oil, and a free-range egg. But I also used Trader Joe's Maple Agave Syrup in them. Delish. Then I slathered them up and put on more syrup. I made two pancake sandwiches with the leftovers (with butter in the middle) and when I heated them the next morning, they were still light as could be.

Here are the ingredients: Millet Flour, Non-GMO Corn Flour, Organic Coconut Flour, Teff Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Flax Seed, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Chia Seed, Baking Soda, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am sad that I probably won't get to consume these delicious pancakes again, though -- I had an allergic reaction to them, one I didn't expect. They have Teff in them, and I have a weird sensitivity to Teff (and Quinoa, and Buckwheat). So the muffins, which don't contain these, are fine -- but these caused me problems.

But, if you want to make beautiful light, delicious pancakes for a special day, you should try these. They are some of the best pancakes I've EVER tasted -- gluten free or not -- and I think your family will love them.

Thank you, Elizabeth, and much love -- purely and truly!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And the BLISSFUL winners are...

Nathan Rice said...
Oh I had the opportunity to sample Coconut Bliss and loved it! Would enjoy the chance to take that taste further.



Ice Cream Forum said...
Ooh mememe! I have to give a reason... does anyone really need a reason to want ice cream? Ok, the reason is because it's yummy! :)

I used the Random Number generator for the 11 comments. Number 2 was from my friend Kiley at Coconut Bliss, so I took that one out, and then I generated a random list.

The ones picked in order were 9 and then 8.

So let me know how to mail you folks these wonderful Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss coupons!

Much love, Ging

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss•••Plus a giveaway!

Bliss. I love that word, bliss. It makes me feel peaceful. Serene. Blissful

(I had a friend in college named Bliss Kalet. She was awesome. I wonder what happened to her...)

And I feel totally blissful when I have Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss!

I discovered Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss last year on Twitter, and I made a point of buying some at Abbey's food mart in Tampa after I tasted it at the Atlanta GF Vendor Fair. It's not sold near me in Milledgeville, sadly. I have to go to Atlanta or Tampa to find it.

But you know what? Every time I want a cold, delicious, frozen dessert, this is my choice. 

Here's why:  
1.  It's sweetened with agave nectar and made with coconut milk. Before you blow a gasket, it's not the full fat coconut milk that's bad for you -- it's the good kind. And agave nectar is good for diabetics -- it metabolizes in such a way that my blood sugar doesn't spike. And because it's lactose free...I don't get lactose tummy. You know?

2. It naturally gluten free. Of course, that should be my no. 1, but it's kind of obvious, isn't it? I wouldn't eat it if weren't.

3. It is a versatile addition to recipes and desserts. 

•Mint Chai Tea: I made an incredible cup of chai tea a few weeks ago -- put a big scoop (1/2 cup)  of Luna & Larry's Mint Galactica in a large mug. Pour a fresh-brewed pot of Chai tea over it.  Let it slowly melt, sip, stir, enjoy. (I used Teavana's mixture of Macadamia Rooibos Chai (two parts) and Azteca Fire (one part).

Gluten-free Brownie Bliss:  Make your favorite gf (sugar free or agave sweetened) brownies and either 1. cut while warm or 2. warm gently in the microwave.  Top with a BIG scoop (OK, a 1/2 cup)  of your favorite L&L. I think cappuccino is my favorite here...and drizzle with a GF-SF chocolate syrup.  Top with your favorite whipped topping.

Blissful Sammies:  Take your favorite GF cookies (I actually used two Glow Gluten-Free Gingersnaps, which are low sugar and have fiber and  220 calories) -- and put a big scoop (OK, 1/4 cup) of Coconut Bliss Pineapple Coconut (slightly melted) into the middle. Smush and then wrap in foil and refreeze. A Blissful Sandwich! Ginger. Pineapple. Coconut. YUM!

4. It's yummy.  Great flavors, of course -- my favorites change every time I try a new flavor.

So here's the fun, yummy part!  Luna & Larry have given me TWO coupons for free products for the readers of Ging Recommends! If you want to try one, post a comment below and tell me why you should get this wonderful product!  Deadline to post your comment is at midnight March 10. I'll draw randomly from the comments. You don't have to stand on your head, dance, or anything creepy to qualify. 

Much love, and thanks for everything, Luna & Larry!