Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Pure Market Express November 30, 2010

Pure Market Express is a relatively new raw food company. instead of serving it in a restaurant, like Ecopolitan, they make pre-packaged raw food meals.

I’d had some samplings of their food at a co-op’s gluten-free tasting sometime last year, and was immediately in love with the jalapeno poppers. they’re jalapenos, with the insides removed and oils rinsed off, then filled with a raw nut “cheese” and pieces of  eggplant “bacon”. they weren’t at all strong tasting~ surprisingly the jalapeno itself tasted more like a green pepper. they were so good that I could’ve eaten the whole tray.

I tried a few meals from sold at the co-op after that, and that’s when I fell in love with the lasagna. they have a pesto twist in it that literally makes me unable to stop eating it until I’ve finished it off completely.

and recently, I decided to order the Weekly Menu from them online, which allows a person to choose from several items in each category. this is a great way to get an assortment to try. so far my new favorites from this order are the donut holes (comprised mostly of brazil nuts), the banana cream pie, and the chocolate cheesecake. of the other entrees, some I enjoyed, some not as much, but overall my favorite is still the lasagna!!

other choices they offer on their website are sampler packages, such as the “cheese” and dessert samplers. there are a few other package deals to choose from as well. also, they have platter-sized portions for entertaining. I’m sure I’ll order some donut holes and lasagna for a party at some point! and if you enjoy wine tastings, but are vegan or raw or simply have dairy allergies, the crackers and artisanal “cheeses” could be of interest to you.

as I’ve alluded to, there are several ways to order their food. the first option is delivery, which is a flat $10 for orders over $50.  I’m not exactly sure what their delivery area is, but I believe that it used to be a 7-state surrounding area and was later expanded to most of the country. but I’m not certain on that. you may want to call them and ask about the specifics if you’re interested.

the second option is to pick up your order from their store, which is in the suburb of Chaska, which is south and west of the Minneapolis / St Paul metro. this option is free of charge. and even better, if you place a large order, like the Weekly Menu, they will allow you to pick it up in pieces, so you don’t feel rushed to eat it all as quickly as possibly (although the meals seem to be meant to last a week, in general). per their instruction, I just left in the comments which items I wanted to pick up immediately, and then emailed them each time I wanted to pick more of it up.

the third option is to buy the packaged meals at a Fresh & Natural grocery store in the metro area (Plymouth, Shoreview, or Hudson). this is a great option because you can try just one or two things, without having to load up, pay for shipping, or go all the way to Chaska.

their products are certified gluten-free and of course are dairy-free (as they’re vegan). I hope you’re able to find some favorites as well!  …I just love the creativity that raw foodists have in preparing their dishes!


Madwoman Foods Closed November 19, 2010

Filed under: .Bakeries,News — rebeccagf @ 8:57 pm

for those of you who don’t already know, Madwoman Foods closed down earlier this month. Madwoman Foods was dedicated to making low-glycemic foods, and made lots of GFCF goodies. I believe they were a peanut-free bakery as well, which was also important to many people. they will be missed!

it’s been a sad year for gluten-free bakeries, as Cooqi also had to shut its doors months ago.

we should all try and support our last remaining local gluten-free bakery, Bittersweet Bakery, to ensure that we keep it around! if you haven’t tried their chocolate cherry muffins or their cakes/ cupcakes, you’ll love them!! and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pre-order some gluten-free stuffing cubes and gluten-free pumpkin pies. their products are available at their bakery (in Eagan), in many local co-ops, and for order through Coborns Delivers.

thank you to Madwoman Foods for all of your years of service to the gluten-free community!


My Gluten-Free Thanksgiving 2010 November 15, 2010

last year, I wrote a post full of info about gluten-free Thanksgivings. this year I thought I’d write about what my menu will be:

1. the turkey~ there are several mainstream brands to choose from. (here is a good listing of gluten-free turkeys) however, I’m ordering a natural one from my local co-op. it will be free of (gluten), antibiotics, growth hormones, and preservers.

2. stuffing~ if you have a local gluten-free bakery, such as Bittersweet Bakery in Eagan, MN, you can simply buy gluten-free stuffing cubes (call ahead and pre-order if you plan to do this!) otherwise, you can buy or bake GF bread, cube it, and then either lightly toast it, put it through a dehydrator, or just leave it out for a day to get slightly stale. then you can use your old family favorite stuffing recipes!

3. mashed potatoes~ this is an easy one.  mashed potatoes are my very favorite part of Thanksgiving. no real substitutions needed, as my ingredients are just potatoes, butter, and milk (or non-dairy versions thereof).

4. gravy~ we will make it as usual, with either corn starch or a gluten-free flour for thickening, instead of wheat flour. (I will buy a box or two of Imagine Foods’ GF turkey gravy, in case we run low on the original)

5. corn~ again, not much of a hassle, if any. our family favorite is to mix a can of cream corn (consult a grocery guide for GF brands, we use HyVee) with a can of regular corn.

6. green bean casserole~ an Upper Midwest classic. I found this great recipe for a version that can easily be made gluten-free (and dairy-free) basically by substituting regular bread crumbs for GF ones, and it looks much lighter and healthier too. I can’t wait to try it! if you prefer, there are several brands now who make gluten-free cream of mushroom soup (consult a grocery guide for specifics).

7. sweet potatoes~ these shouldn’t be too much of a challenge either. I wanted to share the fantastic recipe that I found online for a sweet potato crunch (the pecans are the crunch)~ it was probably the best sweet potatoes had ever tasted to me when I made this the first time, and I highly recommend it. (if you have dairy allergies, you can make your own evaporated milk by combining equal amounts of coconut milk and rice milk, warming to just under a boil, and waiting until half of it evaporates off. this will come in handy for the pumpkin pie as well.)

8. honey-glazed carrots~ this is a new favorite of mine. there are many, many recipes out there besides the link I included, and as long as its fairly standard, they shouldn’t even need adapting to be gluten-free.

9.  dinner rolls~ I tried to get ahold of some French Meadow dinner rolls, which are the best I’ve had by far. (Victoria’s in Rochester serves these to their gluten-free guests) but it’s proved to be more difficult than I was led to believe. they sell them only to restaurants, but I was told that any local place that carries FM products would be able to order me a case. that has not proven to be true though. I’d encourage anyone interested to call the French Meadow bakery (NOT the restaurant) and request that they sell them in stores. anyway, since this seems to be a dead-end, at least for this year, I will probably make a batch of fresh, homemade gluten-free dinner rolls. I’m sure they’ll be great, but definitely more work!

10. pumpkin pie~ the classic! the inside doesn’t really need to be amended, unless you can’t have dairy. if this is the case, see the recipe for evaporated non-dairy “milk” above in the sweet potato section. for the crust, I’ll probably use a recipe from one of my gluten-free cookbooks. you could make it simpler by making one simply by mashing GF graham cracker crumbles (from Kinnikinnick) or crumbled GF cookies, mixed with butter, into the pie pan, and then adding the insides on top.

I’m excited for my gluten-free Thanksgiving, and I hope that you enjoy yours!!