Sunday, May 5, 2019

May’s Meeting

Happy May!!  ๐Ÿ˜Š
Hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful weather....especially since the rain is supposed to come back tomorrow!

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting yesterday!  To help get us ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.....Mary made very yummy!  For the enchiladas sauce....she used the recipe from this site Mary!!

Since this is Celiac Awareness Month, Aldi has some new awesome products:

  • Chocolate or Glazed GF Donuts
  • Spinach and Cheese Blend Ravioli 
  • Chicken Florentine Skillet Meal
  • PB & J, Coconut, Dark Chocolate/Coconut Bites
  • GF Linguini and Fettuccine 
  • Seeds & Grains Bread
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns
  • Supreme Cheesecake Sampler
  • Garlic Croutons
  • Empanadas

Speaking of new products....Krusteaz has a couple of new mixes:

  • Cinnamon Swirl Mix
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Confetti Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Susan made us wonderful mini muffins using the Cinnamon Swirl Mix....they were awesome!!

For anyone looking for a protein can try Built Bars.  These use whey protein and contain15 grams of protein but only 4 grams of sugar.  They are also limited ingredients and supposed to taste like a “candy bar”.

There is legislation out there to have drug companies start labeling any gluten containing ingredients and the source of their ingredients for full consistency and transparency.  So hopefully this gets approved and set in place soon!

Mother’s Day right around the can pick up Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix for cake....muffins.  What I love about Pamela’s products are that they are non-GMO and high quality ingredients. You can also find some great recipes directly on her website as well as information regarding all of her products -

Don’t forget....if you are at Fresh Thyme....pick up a container of Ethel’s Baked Goods.  They are right next to the frozen speciality case when you first walk in the door (or so I heard......๐Ÿ˜Š).  They have several different goodies you can pick.  The hard part is trying to decide which one to judgements!!  ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š. You can also order directly from their website.... and then use the code THANKYOU20 and get 20% off your order

We hope everyone has a wonderful month!!

See you in June!!

Meg & Mary

Friday, March 1, 2019

March 2, 2019 Meeting

Caulipower pizza and free swag 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May Meeting Recap

There was a recall on Van’s Gluten Free Waffles – these do contain gluten so if you do buy them, please check to see if they have a best buy date of August 22, 2018 and lot code of A640234710-WL2

So here is the meeting recap for those of you who were not able to attend…… 

I made my yummy recipe for Wendy’s “like a Frosty” smoothie for everyone.  The great thing about this smoothie is that the base of this is frozen bananas…..which because they are bananas cancel out any calories found in the cocoa or maybe hershey syrup that could be added to make it a bit more chocolatey… ……  J

Here is the recipe:

  • ¾ cup of Almond Milk
  • About 15 ice cubes
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/3 of a banana 

*I did make a couple of changes to this for the group – my version uses 3 bananas instead of just only 1/3 and peel/cut the banana to freeze first……makes them so much easier to use.  Using the banana first, I blended those…….adding in 2% milk instead of almond milk as I blended – adjusting to the consistency you want….less milk for more of a “milk-shake” consistency……my version for the group only used about ½ cup so that it was more of a thick shake instead of a smoothie.  You can also add in peanut butter to up the protein or add in other fruit like frozen cherries or strawberries.   

We also discussed the gluten possibilities in Jello Instant Pudding - I had found a couple of posts to questioning whether or not they contain barley.  I went to Jewel and had pulled a couple of boxes and the White Chocolate Pudding mix does list barley as one of the ingredients used for the natural flavoring.  I took it an extra step and used the Gluten Free Scanner on the other flavors - Vanilla, Banana Cream and Pistachio all showed "gluten free" - Chocolate Fudge and Butterscotch came back with "contains/or may contain gluten".  I will reach out to Kraft to see if they can provide any direct verification.  So when I hear back…..I will let everyone know. 


There are a bunch of new products on the market – here is a list of what I found…..

UDIs  - They have some new frozen dinners available

  • Cheese & Spinach Mezzaluna with Artichokes…18oz bag & frozen single serve
  • Buffalo Style Chicken Mac & Cheese…18oz bag
  • Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese with Spinach
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Pesto Tortellini
Dr. Praeger’s

  • Brussel Sprout Cakes – brussels sprouts, potatoes, scallions
  • Egg White & Kale Breakfast Bowl – This contains egg whites, kale, potatoes, onions, peppers topped with cheddar cheese
  • Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Bowl – This contains egg whites, potatoes, black beans, salsa and cheese atop a corn tortilla
  • All American Veggie Burgers – Pea Protein, black beans, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, onions,
  • Fish Taco Bites – Tortilla coated bits of pollock with lime cilantro and jalapeรฑo
  • Potato Puffs – Red, gold, purple, and sweet potatoes shredded into veggie puff 


  • Meatless Meat lovers pizza – meat-free pepperoni and Italian Sausage-style crumbles 

  • Butter Crackers – look like Ritz.  So far I only found these at Target in Shorewood.
Trader Joe’s

  • Thousand Island Dressing
  • Norwegian Crispbread

Enjoy Life

  • Grain & Seed Bars – made with 3 types of sorghum and GF oats
    • Chocolate Marshmallow
    • Banana Caramel
    • Cranberry Orange
    • Maple Sweet Potato 

  • Carrot cake – dairy free cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate cake – topped with fudgy chocolate frosting
Milkadamia – dairy free milk made from Macadamia Nuts

Review of Schaumburg Expo

In April, I went to the expo in Schaumburg – overall it was great….there were lots of companies providing samples and products that could be bought.  It was really crowded but since I went on a Sunday – it wasn’t as crazy.  My biggest complaint is not all of the companies were present and some of those that were – had sold out of products from Saturday’s crowd so that was a big disappointment.  

Here are some information on a couple of companies that were there….. 

Aleia’s – certified GF & non-GMO – they have breadcrumbs, cookies, croutons and stuffing mix.  You can purchase their products at Jewel and Mariano’s as well as directly online.

Lia P Gluten Free – They are a dedicated GF baker offering breads, cakes, desserts and pastries.  The address is 1116 State Street and should open within the next couple of months.

Flipcrepes – They have a restaurant in Chicago in the French Market (131 N. Clinton).  They have very yummy crepe/pancake mixes – Buckwheat & Millet, Original Vanilla….you can also can order online – 

B Nutty – awesome gourmet peanut butter……salted caramel, s’more, toffee to a name a few……can order on QVC or online at 

Maggiano’s – talked to them about how they handle GF in their restaurants – everything is kept separate so they can accommodate people with Celiac.  This is also the same with their catering menu.   

Zen Sweet – sugar substitute….sweetened with monk fruit.  They also have vanilla cake mix, chocolate chip cookie, snickerdoodle cookie, brownie mixes.  You can find these at either Whole Foods or Mariano’s in Naperville or order online at 

Swerve – Another sugar substitute made from ingredients in select fruits and starchy root vegetables, and contains no artificial ingredients - zero-calorie, non-glycemic and safe for those with diabetes – it can brown and caramelize.  Can be purchase at Jewel, Fruitful Yield, Fresh Thyme   

Kiki’s – Has GF deep dish pizza which can be purchased at Jewel. 

Green Chef – meal kit subscription service.  They have GF option….offering $50.00 off your 1st box if you order before May 31st –

Most reliable Restaurant Chains for Gluten Free Dining – Simply Gluten Free Magazine

  • Legal Seafood – all of their fried foods are GF and they have warm GF bread
  • P.F. Chang’s – careful preparation is done…..serves the food on specifically marked plates.  Has GF dessert – chocolate dome…..
  • Bonefish Grill – They have been serving GF for many years also have GF dessert – Macadamia Nut Brownie
  • Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano – GF pizza, pasta Specialties (Pasta Di Mare was listed as a favorite), Chicken Parmesan
  • Burtons Grill – burgers served on GF buns, crab cakes, Lobster Shimp Pasta,
  • California Pizza Kitchen – spent almost a year developing its gluten-free pizza and follows Gluten Intolerance Group protocol to keep gluten free diners safe.  It also recently introduced Cauliflower crust, which is also GF.  Everything is prepared in a separate area of the kitchen with separate ingredients and toppings and baked in a special tin to avoid cross-contamination
  • BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse – gluten free thin crust and has a  GF “Pizooke” chocolate chip dessert which is a deep-dish cookie
  • Outback Steak House -has many GF offerings including their Thunder from Down Under GF Brownie Sundae
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill – had a variety of GF offerings
  • Glory Days Grill – they have a well-trained staff and a variety of GF offerings like Chicken wings, fries, flourless Chocolate Cake
  • Travinia Italian Kitchen – all GF items are marked on the menu
  • Not Your Average Joe’s – Gluten Free bread, several options including carrot cake
  • Wildfire – several options including brunch on the weekend
  • Cooper’s Hawk – several options including Lemon Cheesecake
  • Seasons 52 – several options including GF Flatbread and BBQ meatloaf
  • Pie Five Pizza Co – they have custom, made-from-scratch pizza ready in 5 minutes.  The GF crust is made with Smart Flour – almost all toppings are gluten-free.  The restaurant is not dedicated facility but their staff are well-trained and take many precautions to reduce cross-contamination
  • Burger 21 – fresh burgers with GF buns – fries – milkshakes.  Orders get hand-delivered from the kitchen to confirm they are GF


5 Foods that can boost your mood and make you feel happier

  1. Walnuts/Cashews – 1 ounce of walnuts has 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber and low in carbohydrates (also helps keep you fuller longer as well as stop blood sugar spikes).  They are also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.  Having low levels of magnesium has been linked to increased risk of depression. 
  2. Kale – 1 cup of kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and magnesium and also a good source of fiber.  It is also high in copper, which helps your body create red blood cells and maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune function.  It can also help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.  
  3. Oyster – low in calories and decrease inflammation.  They are also heart-healthy because they are high in omega 3 fatty acids and also improve overall circulation.  They are also a great source of zinc and vitamin B12……which helps our bodies fight off stress and is essential to the part of the brain that regulates mood and memory.  Suggested serving is 10
  4. Coffee - the caffeine in coffee can boost mental focus, alertness and athletic performance.  It can also help protect against Type 2 diabetes and decrease the risk of depression.  Suggested caffeine intake is 300mg – cup of coffee can contain 150mg
  5. Dark Chocolate – this is the biggest mood booster – it provides immediate eating pleasure but it also contains a high percentage of cacao, which has more antioxidant power than many other foods.  Suggested serving is 2-4 small squares



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Joliet Hope Center

511 Oak Leaf Court, Unit A
Joliet, IL 60435

$5.00 annual membership fee and a photo ID is required
Pay attention to expirations dates

Closed Sunday an Monday
Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am to 7:00pm
Wednesday and Friday 9:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm

Friday, May 4, 2018

Green Smoothie

1 Cup Water
1 Cup Kale
1 Cup Spinach
1 1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 Apple
Sliver of  Ginger
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Blend well, drink fresh or freeze in single serving containers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Meeting Notes from Saturday

Happy Spring….at least for these next couple of days!!  I am hoping that maybe the weekend won’t be as cold as they are saying and that we can finally say good-bye to winter!!  J
So we had a great meeting on Saturday – thanks to everyone who was able to come!  Big thanks to Mary and Lana for picking up the Friaco’s for us to enjoy…….that was a great change.  Those of you who are interested – they have “Taco Tuesday’s” and have $1.00 tacos…YUM!
So here is a quick recap to what we had discussed….

• From Canyon House - Shelf Stable GF Bread – Ancient Grain, Country White and Deli White.  Can order on their website and also available at Walmart but they have plans to roll out to other retailers later in 2018.  They are also coming out with Hawaiian bread….hello Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches – I will definitely post that recipe once these are available!!
• Home Free – will launch new Chocolate Mint Mini Cookies (not sure what stores carry - but can order directly from website (
• ParmCrisps – Baked parmesan cheese crackers – you can find this in most stores but I did see them in the deli area in both Jewel & Mariano’s 
• Daiya – Burritos and also Salted Caramel Swirl Frozen Dessert Sticks
• GF Harvest – coming out with a new muffin in a pouch – (oatmeal muffin made in the microwave)
• Lundberg – organic grounded snacks in vanilla chai
• Schar – puff pastry dough (will be dairy free)
• Simple Mills – Soft Baked Cookies – Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut.  They are also have cracker snack packs available.
• MadeGood – soft baked mini cookies
• Envirokidz – Frosted Amazon Flakes – like Frosted Flakes….

Jewel – also has expanded their gf products….now carrying Goodie Girl Cookies (variety of different flavors) – Blake’s Frozen Dinners (Shepherd Pie, Turkey Shepherd Pie, Turkey & Uncurred Bacon Cottage Pie), MadeGood bars, expanded line of Gratify products, PopChips  (Nutter puffs…puffed snack with peanut butter & chocolate), The Good Crisp….like Pringles, expanded line of Pacifica Soups (Rosemary Potato Chowder, Butternut Squash Bisque). 

Company called Glutenostics is now offer home bowel urine tests to test for gluten exposure without a prescription. This will test your stool/urine to determine if you have ingested gluten.  The urine test can be used to check if you had ingested gluten over the past day – the stool can be used more of a monitoring – week, biweek, monthly to detect accumulated gluten exposure.  
One test costs - $22.50 – minimum of 2 tests need to be ordered – they will not send just one.   If you are interested you can order these tests at – use “welcome” to get 25% off your 1st order. 

Here are some blogs that I came across that I thought you might be interested in taking a look at:
• Elana's Pantry ( - her recipes are targeted towards those with food allergies, and she offers simple dishes that are grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free and more.
• Eat Spin Run Repeat ( - this has nutritious recipes, lifestyle advice and workout tips.
• YumUniverse ( - they have over 400 gluten free recipes.  Also, offers a free monthly meal plan & good food cooking tips.
• Gluten-Free Goddess ( - lots of gluten free recipes
• Gluten-Free Girl ( - lots of gluten free recipes
• Angela's Kitchen ( - lots of gluten free recipes including donut holes...YUM!!!
• Life Gluten-Free ( - lots of simple gluten free recipes using only organic and non-GMO ingredients
• Against All Grain (
• Eat, Live + Play ( - focuses on weight loss, blood sugar balance and gluten free recipes
• Gluten Free Recipe Box ( - lots of recipes that all look very yummy
• Gluten-Free Homemaker ( - lots of recipes and will send you weekly meal plans to follow
• Art of Gluten Free Baking ( - lots of recipes and tips

*Can find more gluten free blog links at Academy of Culinary Nutrition (

Here is a list of foods that can have hidden gluten ingredients.  These just show the importance of reading the labels….even on foods that you know have been gluten free before…….ingredients and manufacturing practices can change.  

Pre-shredded Cheese - need to check to make sure the starch that is used as an anti-caking ingredient isn't gluten-containing.
Sour Cream - sometimes gluten is used to make it creamier
Beer/Malted Beverages (wine coolers) - most beer contains wheat and barley 
Hard Cider  For the most part these are gluten free but you should still read the labels to double check…....there are some out there that will use barley for enzymes and flavor.....also, as an FYI - Redd's Apple Ale....this is an ale - not a cider…..  Great source for gluten free options -
Soy Sauce
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Regular Panko Bread Crumbs
Ice Cream - some flavors contain wheat (not just the ones that you expect).  Most of the flavors from Blue Bunny (including Chocolate) contain wheat……they use it as a thickener so it is in their starting product.  
Nuts - cross-contamination issues
Salad Dressing 
Processed Meat
imitation seafood
Condiments - ketchup, mustard, pasta sauces, BBQ Sauce, pre-made marinades - Some seasoning mixes as well.  Baking Powder can also contain wheat - usually consists of 1 part baking soda  1 part starch or flour and 2 parts cream of tartar
Oats - cross-contamination issues
Flavored Potato Chips (Lay's Barbeque Flavored Chips, Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Styled Potato Chips, Pringles (all varieties)
Chewing gum - some companies will use gluten-based powder to keep the gum from sticking to the wrapper.  
Candy - Altoids (I am double checking this…but haven’t heard back from them yet) and Smalls Peppermint Mints contain wheat-based maltodextrin, Hershey Miniatures.....any flavor including those that are considered gluten free in larger sizes.  More complete list can be found on
Restaurant Omelets - pancake batter can be added to make eggs more "fluffy"
Blended/Flavored Coffees - many instant coffees use gluten containing ingredients as a bulking agent.  syrups used for flavoring can be made from malt or barley
Caramel Color - this may or may not contain gluten.  If the caramel color is made in North America it will be likely gluten-free.  Sometimes the origin is not there could be a chance it could contain gluten.

The new superfood is WALNUTS…….eating just an once or two can help give you a healthier gut – they can increase the good gut bacteria (lactobacilli) because of the high fiber content.  They can also help decrease cravings and help keep your blood pressure low even when you are feeling anxious.

Lastly, here is a yummy recipe from Simply Gluten Free Magazine that I thought everyone would like:

• 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
• 1 2/3 cups frozen mixed berries, chopped small
• ¾ cup gluten free granola
• 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Put yogurt, berries, and granola in a bowl and stir to combined.  Spoon the mixture into square silicome ice molds and freeze until set
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until almost all of the chips are melted, about 1 minute.  Stir until smooth and glossy.  Let cool slightly.
Pop the yogurt bites from the molds and dip one side in the cooled, melted chocolate.  Place on a prepared plat or baking sheet and freeze until the chocolate is set.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.  

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Try out Mac's for gluten free food

Macs Country Market
25224 S Reed St
Channahon, IL 60410

Nancy's recipe from April 2018 Meeting


2 cups pretzels - crushed
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 sticks butter - melted
Combine all ingredients and put in 9 x 12 pan. (I buttered the pan)

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
Microwave 15 seconds at a time until melted and smooth
Spread on top and refrigerate