Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are Cheerios going Gluten-Free??

The short answer: it appears so!! A long-time favorite of all ages, and one without a comparable officially gluten-free option, is now entirely transforming their process to produce a gluten-free product. To read more check out the Gluten Dude Blog here: http://glutendude.com/gluten/are-gluten-free-cheerios-safe-for-celiacs/.

Interesting timing as gluten-free rice krispies have been pulled citing "production problems"....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Surf Sweets - Gluten-Free & Organic Treats

If you are anything like me, the appearance of Easter candy shortly after Valentine's Day brings on mixed emotions. On one hand I LOVE candy, on the other I don't love the ingredients in most candy and being gluten-free further limits my choices. Enter Surf Sweets. Organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO candy products!

Surf Sweets offers delicious candy options similar to many popular mainstream candies. Shown above are jelly beans, gummy bears, watermelon rings, and fruit chews (ie. starbursts). The jelly beans come in a delightful variety of flavors, my favorites being the lemonade, pineapple, and mixed berry. These really don't even compare to regular jelly beans in my option. See the ingredients below and TRY to tell me you'd rather eat the other guys.

Surf Sweets Spring Mix Jelly Beans: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (Organic Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Organic Turmeric), Natural Flavors, Confectioner’s Glaze, Carnauba Wax, Organic Sunflower Oil.

The gummy bears are my favorite and don't make me feel awful about eating them. They even have 100% of your daily vitamin C needs and are vegan! Surf Sweets don't contain any of those unnatural food colorings either. The fruit chews are delightfully normal colored and don't appear radio-active. I also tried the peach rings which I have always liked but these were soft and chewy - no broken teeth here.

While Surf Sweets products are gluten-free, they are also free of the top 10 allergens, including dairy, casein, nuts, and soy, which make these great for people with serious food allergies. Many people without allergies, or friends/family with allergies, don't understand the social/emotional impact of food allergies. Halloween and Easter can be ostracizing experiences for children in school if they can't participate the same ways. With Surf Sweets, these holidays no longer have to be a stressful and disappointing experience.

Another thing I love about these packages of candy, is the appropriate amount of product in each little bag. The gummy bears shown below fit comfortably inside a snack-sized bag and keep you from gorging on candy post-Easter or accidentally consuming hundreds of extra calories. Perfect for lunches, party favors, and more!


Surf Sweets are organic, gluten-free, and non GMO. They really are the smart choice for the smart candy consumer. You can find their products in a bunch of convenient locations and their website has a great location finder here: find Surf Sweets near you! If you can't find a retailer you can also buy online. (Just in time for Easter, too!)

On the fence about organic candy? PLEASE read the ingredients of these and the mainstream options and you will be forever convinced. It also helps they are super attractive candies and go so well in my PiP Studio bowls. =)

Click below for a little more information and here for the Surf Sweets story!

Please note, I did receive these products complimentary from Surf Sweets but, as always, the opinions are entirely my own. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

melbourne beach, florida 2015

This winter has been one for the record books, literally. Boston has had a record amount of snow and with that came a record amount of headaches (and back aches). We made a last minute visit to Florida to visit family in March and it was very much needed for mental and emotional rejuvenation. 

We had seven days of 80+ degree weather and 100% sun.

On our second to last day we made the short trip to the ocean for the sunrise. Totally worth it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken featuring San-J Orange Sauce

This is part one in a series of posts on San-J gluten-free soy sauce and cooking sauces!

While I was a student at BU, my favorite meal at the student union was orange chicken. It was delicious in the I-don't-want-to-know-what-is-in-this way, and also completely not gluten-free. Over the years I have seen many an orange chicken dish on restaurant menus and at various dining halls, albeit never gluten-free. I missed that tangy, crunchy, pop-able chicken. When I received the Orange Sauce from San-J I couldn't wait to make an orange chicken dish that was gluten-free AND with recognizable ingredients!

If you haven't tried the San-J sauces or soy sauce before, I highly recommend them. Their soy sauces made by traditional methods, with 100% soy beans and no wheat, resulting in a smoother, less bitter taste and TOTALLY gluten-free! There are also no preservatives which I appreciate as I am super sensitive to MSG and the like. San-J sauces are also excellent with ingredients I trust and flavors that I really enjoy.

Now for the actual recipe, I usually would serve it with a fried rice, or white rice, but I was feeling in more of a noodle mood. There are a bunch of rice noodle options, but I felt most comfortable with the  Thai Kitchen brand as they clearly mark them as gluten-free.

Asian noodles
Two egg whites
Chicken - breasts or thighs will work
Corn starch
San-J Orange Sauce
Vegetable or peanut oil

The noodles even come in individual packages which I really appreciated!

Cut up the chicken into small, bite-sized, pieces. 

Whisk the egg whites with three tablespoons of corn starch until well blended.

Coat the chicken in the egg white mixture and put into a pre-heated pan with a quarter inch of oil. You may also use a deep fryer if you have one!

If not using a fryer, flip the chicken when browned, but be careful as it will splatter!

Cook the noodles per the instructions. For these noodles I brought a pan of water to a boil, put the noodles in, and turned off the heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

It is also probably a good idea to paint your cabinets AND bake cookies while making this orange chicken.. or not.

Once the chicken is done, place the pieces on paper towels to dab some of the oil off and then toss in the sauce until well coated.  I used about a half cup of sauce per batch of chicken as I wanted the noodles to be saucy, too. Pour on top of noodles and serve immediately! I would also recommend serving with a size of edamame for some color on your plate.

I was very happy with how this chicken turned out - it was crunchy and the sauce was perfectly tangy. It was surprisingly easy, mostly owing to the Orange Sauce, and the limited ingredient list.

For more information go to the San-J website. If you are interested in reading more about this orange sauce in particular click here: San-J Orange Sauce and if you are interested in buying any one of their other sauces, check out the promotions and coupons section of their website! I can't wait to try the peanut sauce in some Pad Thai.

Please note, I did receive this product complimentary from San-J but, as always, the opinions are entirely my own.