Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

My Gluten Free Favorites 2013 May 8, 2013

Triumph Dining recently came out with their “best of ” gluten free awards, and since it’s been years since I wrote about my favorite things, I thought I’d do an update a la Triumph Dining.



Favorite Pizza Sauce: Davanni’s (Green Mill is my second choice)

Favorite Pasta Sauce: HyVee Traditional

Favorite Enchilada Sauce: HyVee

Favorite Ketchup: Simply Heinz/ Heinz (beware of Organic Heinz though~ it used to contain gluten, not sure about currently)

Favorite Barbecue Sauce: Sweet Baby Ray’s Original

Favorite Mayonnaise: Vegannaise Grapeseed Oil “Mayo” (surprisingly way better and lighter than normal mayo, can’t go back to the regular now! at Whole Foods, Co-ops, etc)

Favorite Soy Sauce: San-J GF Tamari Sauce

Favorite Soup Broth (Beef): Full Flavor Foods packets

Favorite Soup Broth (Chicken, Vegetable): Whole Foods 365 Brand

Favorite Gravy: Full Flavor Foods, second choice is Imagine


Favorite Bacon: Oscar Mayer Sliced Bacon  (Hormel Black Label is my second choice)

Favorite Pepperoni: Hormel

Favorite Hot Dogs: Hebrew National (Beef), second choice is Oscar Mayer (Beef)

Favorite Italian Sausage: Kowalski’s (normal refrigerated store meats)

Favorite Summer Sausage: Johnsonville (Beef)

Favorite Rotisserie Chicken: Kowalski’s, second choice is Whole Foods

Favorite Ham: Costco (very cost-efficient!)

Favorite Deli Meat: Hormel Natural Choice (also Boar’s Head, which is more difficult to find)


Favorite Frozen Potatoes: Ore Ida Crispy Crowns (Whole Foods’ 365 Brand tater tots is my second choice)

Favorite Frozen Snacks: Trader Joes Beef Mini Tacos

Favorite Snacks on the Go: Trader Joe’s nuts and/or dehydrated fruits, second favorite are Lara Bars

Favorite GFCF chocolate chips: Trader Joes (really inexpensive!)



Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (cheapest): Tradar Joes Brown Rice Ziti

Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (tastiest): Bionaturae brand (any style)


Favorite Pizza crust (all purpose): Udi’s pizza crust

Favorite Pizza crust (Italian-style): Venice Bakery (order online)


Favorite Bread (all purpose): Whole Foods brand sandwich bread

Favorite Bread (most sandwiches, grilled cheese, anything requiring soft, fresh bread): Udi’s

Favorite Bread (thick or many toppings): Food For Life Millet Bread

Favorite Bread (splurge): French Meadow

Favorite Bread (dinner rolls): French Meadow (available at select restaurants only right now, like Donatellis and Victorias, not in grocery stores), otherwise Schar ciabatta rolls

Favorite Bread (Italian dipping bread): Venice Bakery’s flatbread (order online), second choice: Canyon Bakehouse’s Foccacia


Favorite Pancakes: homemade with this easy recipe

Favorite Bread Crumbs: Kinnikinnick Panko-Style Bread Crumbs

Favorite Croutons: Gillian’s Garlic Croutons

Favorite Pretzels: Glutino

Favorite Graham Crackers: Kinnikinnick S’Moreables

Favorite Crackers: Yehuda Matzo-Style Squares, Toasted Onion Flavor (available only before Passover, so stock up!)


Favorite Bakery (local): Bittersweet Bakery

Favorite Bakery (order online or on vacation): Babycakes

Favorite Donuts: Kinnikinnick, though I’ve been testing out many more lately!

Favorite Cookies (Baked): Liz Lovely Chocolate Chip Cookies (any of their GF cookies are amazing though!), second favorite is Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle Cookies

Favorite Sandwich Cookies: Kinnikinnick’s Kinnitoos (vanilla) and Josef’s Cinnamon O’s

Favorite Cookie Dough Mix (with no intention of baking): Cherrybrook Kitchen (egg-free)

Favorite Frozen Cookie Dough (with no intention of baking): French Meadow

Favorite GFCF “Ice Cream”: Good Karma Rice Divine brand (any flavor!)

Favorite Raw Food Treats: Pure Market Express (just moved out of MN, but still available online) – I highly recommend the “cinnamon rolls”


Favorite all-around: Pizza Luce (eggs benedict, pizzas, spinach dip, caesar salads)

Favorite Brunch: Pizza Luce

Favorite Seafood: Oceanaire

Favorite Steakhouse: Wildfire

Favorite BBQ: Dickie’s BBQ

Favorite Burgers; Five Guys AND Red Robin (Red Robin has unlimited steak fries and fantastic GF buns, Five Guys has better meat and toppings, state-fair-like fries)

Favorite Soup (Chili): Crumb Deli

Favorite Soup (Variety): Jason’s Deli

Favorite GFCF Pizza: Z Pizza (Pizza Luce and Pizza Ranch’s taco pizza without cheese tie for second)

Favorite Pasta: Victorias (in Rochester)

Favorite Asian: PF Changs

Favorite Mexican: Rojo (La Casita second, Don Pablos third)

Favorite Salads: Biaggis, second favorite is French Meadow

Favorite Raw Food/ Vegan: Ecopolitan

Favorite Fast Casual: Chipotle

Favorite Mall of America Restaurant: Cadillac Ranch

Most Anticipated (what I think could be a favorite all-around if I finally got there to try it out): Mad Jacks

Favorite Food Destination: Disney World, followed by Las Vegas


Favorite Cookbook: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli & Peter Bronski

Favorite Baking Book: Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Favorite Cookbook Series: Gluten Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman (in particular, her GF Comfort Foods Cookbook)

Favorite Magazine: Living Without

Favorite Blog: Gluten Free on a Shoestring, second favorite is Tartelette (only about half are GF, and are marked as such)

Favorite Local Chef: Angela Litzinger (she does cooking classes locally and has a wonderful blog with recipes and ebooks, all of which are GFCF)

Favorite GF Grocery Guide: Cecelia’s Marketplace


Passover find of the year: Toasted Onion Matzo Squares March 27, 2013

Filed under: Groceries — rebeccagf @ 4:08 pm
Tags: , ,

Although I’m not Jewish, I love Passover season. it’s a great time to find some fun and unique gluten-free foods!

my favorite find this year?  Yehuda brand GF Matzo-Style Squares, Toasted Onion flavor. pair it with some “Dunken Goat” cheese (both found at Whole Foods), and you have some of the best cheese and crackers ever!




Gluten Free Easter (and Passover) Candy March 21, 2013

I haven’t added any new posts in awhile, my apologies. but I did want to share this link for Gluten Free Easter Candy


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!


farmers’ markets July 21, 2010

if you’re interested in buying a variety fresh produce, herbs,  meats, cheeses, flowers, etc, you should start checking out the local farmers’ markets. there are so many that I’m sure to miss several of them, but here’s the list I’ve gathered:

there are several locations of farmers’ markets in Minneapolis. the Lyndale Market is at Lyndale Ave and Glenwood Ave (just north of 394, south  of hwy 55). you can park for free under the I-94 bridge, which is  really nice. it’s open every day during its season, which is April to mid-November, 6am – 1pm. (and then they sell Christmas trees from mid-November through Christmas Eve).

Nicollet Mall Market is open every Thursday during its season, which is from May until mid-November, 6am – 6pm. it runs along Nicollet Mall, spanning from S 5th Street to S 12th Street.

the Mill City Market is also located in Minneapolis. it’s located right by the Guthrie Theater, and is open on Saturdays from 8am-1pm from May until mid-October. Spoonriver sells gluten-free crepes at their crepe stand. also, Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver’s now sell a gluten-free aebelskiver mix at this farmers market (along with other locations).

the Northeast Minneapolis market is open on Saturdays from 9am-1pm, from June through mid-October. one highlight for the celiac crowd here is that one bonus at this market is that The Roving Dish sells gluten-free (and vegan) pancakes and fritters!

the University of Minnesota has a farmers’ market from early July through early October, open on Wednesdays from 11am-2pm. besides fresh vegetables, they have a few drinks and foods to eat, some health services, and even free outdoor concerts during July.

other Minneapolis markets include Calhoun Square, Midtown Farmers’ Market, and IATP Mini Markets.

St Paul has an extensive list of locations, from various places within St Paul, to South Saint Paul, West Saint Paul, Roseville, Inver Grove Heights, Oakdale, Woodbury, Maplewood, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville, Savage, Roseville, Hugo, Andover, and Rosemount. like I said, it’s quite extensive. each of these are open at least one day per week.

another market in St Paul is the Highland Village Farmers’ Market. they run from early June through September, 7:30-11:30am.

also beyond the one listed in the St Paul link, Woodbury has a second market. the other Woodbury Farmers’ Market runs from mid-June through the beginning of October. it’s open on Friday afternoons from 3-7pm on Cooper St & Railroad Ave. there are various special events that they host, such as cooking contests (posted on their websites). they have between 10-15 vendors.

Centennial Lakes Farmers’ Market is new (located in Edina). it’s on Thursday afternoons from 3-7pm, starting in July and going through the end of September. parking is free at many of the adjacent lots. approximately 25 vendors sell their goods at this market.

Eagan Market Fest is held on Wednesdays 4-8pm at the community center, from the end of June through mid-September. they hold a food drive at the market each week, along with various special events. there’s also live music, concessions, children’s activities, etc. you could make quite a day of it!

Bloomington Farmers’ Market is held on Saturdays from 8am-1pm, from mid-June through mid-October. then from mid-November through mid-December indoors. there are around a dozen vendors at this market.

Hopkins has their market on Saturdays from 7:30am-noon, from mid-June through October in their downtown area. downtown Hopkins is a fun place to spend the day shopping (mostly antiques) and grabbing a bite to eat, not to mention their various festivals that occur on various Saturdays. it only has about a dozen vendors, but with these other factors, it can be a fun outting.

Minnetonka’s Farmers’ Market is held on Tuesday from 3-7pm at the civic center. they have 44 vendors, produce, meats, cheeses, canned goods, maple syrup, and many other items.

the New Hope market is held in the KMart parking lot from mid-June through mid-October. it’s on Saturdays from 8am-1pm. there are 50 vendors at this market, so it’s one of the larger ones. they have live entertainment and children’s activities.

Maple Grove has a market at their community center from mid-June to late October. it’s open from 3-7pm through September, and then from 3-6pm in October. this is a large market, with 60 vendors. they have music every market day, along with demos and activities for kids.

there are many, many other farmers’ markets in Minnesota, such as in Rochester, St Cloud, Duluth, Bemidji, etc. the list in that link is non-extensive, so if your city isn’t listed, just try and find your city’s information online.


Vegan Substitution Basics May 3, 2010

for those of you who also have dairy/casein allergies or issues, or anyone considering a vegan lifestyle, here are some basics that may help to get you started…

(and all of the items below are gluten-free as well, though you should always double-check before purchasing or consuming)

butter/ shortening substitutes:
Earth Balance. no need for any more~ it’s great and barely noticeable that it’s a substitute. it’s available at Whole Foods, co-ops, and Trader Joes (though I heard rumor TJ’s may not carry them anymore)

milk substitutes:
rice milk: cheapest at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but available at co-ops and regular grocery stores as well. (my fav for cereal, plus everything’s made of soy, so it’s a nice break)
almond milk: a matter of preference, I know a lot of people who prefer this to rice milk
soy milk: best for baking or mashed potatoes (the regular, not vanilla flavored) because it’s thicker
hemp milk: I haven’t tried it yet, but heard its thicker and good for baking as well.
coconut milk: another great substitute for thicker things, including ice cream.

speaking of ice cream:
Good Karma Rice Divine brand “ice cream” is SO good, and you can’t tell the difference
Madwoman Foods, near 46th and Nicollet makes their own coconut ice cream and sells by the scoop or in freezer containers.
I’ve always thought that the book Lick It by Cathe Olson looks great if you want to try making it yourself.

chocolate chips: Food For Life brand has allergen-free chocolate chips. Whole Foods brand vegan chocolate chips are also dairy-free. Trader Joes also makes vegan chocolate chips, which I believe are made of dark chocolate.

Pizza Luce~ I believe that both their gluten-free and their regular pizza crusts are gluten-free (double-check to be sure), and they have two vegan “cheese” alternatives~ soy cheese (really good, I can never get it to melt like they can, especially good at the St Paul Selby Ave location), or “rinotta” which is made of nuts.

vegan “cheese”:
the cheese substitute they use is Follow Your Heart, Vegan Gourmet line. this is the one that Pizza Luce uses. many dairy-free cheeses still contain casein, which is a milk protein. this one is casein-free and completely vegan. it melts best if you microwave it for at least a portion of the cooking time.

egg substitutes:
if you’re vegan or have egg allergies, you can substitute an egg with either use 1 Tbl ground flaxseed to 3 Tbl water (which will make a goopy substance) or Egg Replacer (by Ener-g brand), depending on the function of the egg. a combination of both substitutes may be necessary.

Ecopolitan is a raw food restaurant, which is completely vegan, and very tasty! Pure Market Express is a new raw food place in town that makes raw food meals and are available for sale at several local co-ops, though not at Whole Foods yet. they also have delivery plans for a 7-state are ($10 fee), and will provide up to an entire week’s meals.

a great website with casein-free (and gluten-free) recipes, which could come in handy, and includes making your own dairy-free yogurt (and from that, cream cheese), dairy-free caramel, a vegan alfredo sauce, etc. is Angela’s Kitchen.

you might also enjoy the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, which has a lot of allergen-free recipes, and many Asian, Indian, and other ethnic recipes as well.

hopefully this helps people get a jump-start on a dairy-free or vegan diet. it’s usually quite easy to make a recipe vegan with the Earth Balance “butter” and milk substitutes. if going completely vegan, the eggs can be a bit trickier, but once you get used to baking egg-free, it should get easier.


General Mills: New Gluten-Free Products April 30, 2010

more gluten-free options are on their way!! as you may have already heard, General Mills will be rolling out some new gluten-free products at the annual CDF conference in Los Angeles on May 15th, 2010, which will be available in stores later this year.

first, they’ve made 3 varieties of gluten-free Hamburger Helper, which will be available mid-July. the three flavors are chicken fried rice, beef fried rice, and cheesy hashbrowns.

they’ve also developed a gluten-free Bisquick, for pancakes and baking. this will be available in stores in the fall.

just make sure you check each box you buy to make sure it’s labeled gluten-free…

thanks to General Mills, for continuing to expand their gluten-free product line~ especially since they’re almost as widely available as their regular (gluten-containing) counter-parts! it’s great to have our diet/lifestyle become more “normalized” through mainstream companies, which also helps to bring costs down. I’m sure that newly diagnosed celiacs, those with busy schedules, as well as those away from home, will find the convenience of these products to be especially helpful!