Boston Restaurant Review: Wagamama’s Gluten Free Menu Options

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 9.24.14 AMWagamama, the Japanese-inspired casual dining restaurant, known for its famed noodle dishes, as well as flavorful rice dishes, and fresh fruit juices, offers a variety of gluten free and healthy menu options. Wagamama combines fresh and nutritious food with friendly service and value for your money.

I recently had lunch at the Faneuil Hall location with my friend Becca. (The 3 other locations are Prudential Center, Harvard Square, and Lynnfield.)

The servers are trained to help with any dietary questions you may have. While many of the dishes use ingredients that contain gluten, they can modify some recipes to remove or replace those ingredients.  Each restaurant location offers a nutritional and dietary guide, listing the ingredients and allergens of each dish, including eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, etc.

Gluten Free Menu Options include:

Raw Salad
Seaweed Salad
Itame Curry (rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup topped with chicken or tofu, vegetables, and garnished with cilantro and lime)
Yasai Cha Han (stir-fried brown rice with tofu, squash, egg, snow peas, sweet corn, mushrooms, and scallions and served with a side portion of miso soup)
Yaki Soba (teppan-fried rice noodles with chicken, shrimp, egg, beansprouts, peppers, red onions, scallions, mushrooms, garlic, and sesame seeds)
Yasai Yaki Soba (with rice noodles)
Chili men (stir-fried chicken or tofu, zucchini, red onions, peppers, mushrooms and snow peas in a spicy tomato chili men sauce served over rice noodles)
Chicken Ramen (ramen noodles replaced with rice noodles)
Moyashi Soba (rice noodles in a vegetable soup topped with tofu and vegetables)

Wagamama prides itself on the quality and speed of its service and dishes are prepared immediately, ensuring they arrive at the table freshly cooked. Although this means dishes may be delivered at different time, the Wagamama philosophy is: don’t wait—just dig in and share!

And that is exactly what we did. Becca and I started with the edamame appetizer, served with your choice of either salt or chili and garlic salt. We chose the later, which was a bit spicy but delicious nonetheless.IMG_5980

We also shared the seaweed salad with a ‘special’ gluten free sauce. I will say that their seaweed salad is by far the best I’ve ever had and the first seaweed salad I’ve had in a long long time.


For my entrée I ordered the Chicken Ramen. The gluten free version is completely different from the menu description. The description says “Noodles in a chicken and pork soup topped with grilled chicken breast and baby spinach, garnished with menma and scallions.” The dish is made gluten free by replacing the ramen with rice noodles. Our server informed me that the chicken would be bland (Even though she was right, I don’t think servers should ever use the word “bland”).  I ordered it anyways because I wanted soup. It was fine, but she was right, it was bland. The chicken had no flavor, but the broth did, and the ample portion size was filling! IMG_5982

Besides the “bland” chicken, I am still a fan of Wagamama with its reasonably prices, great portions, and gluten free selections.  They are very willing to customize dishes for all allergens and it’s very reassuring that the manager brings out the gluten free— and all other allergen— items. Wagamama is the perfect place to grab a quick and healthy lunch or dinner.

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Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Wagamama on Urbanspoon


Product Review: Shirataki Skinny Noodles // Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Skinny Noodles Shirataki are low calorie, low carb, gluten free, and soy free, pasta and rice alternatives. Available in five varieties—spaghetti, angel hair, spinach fettuccine, macaroni, and “rice”— Skinny Noodles are made from a root native to Asia called konnyaku or konjac yams.


Can it be true? Is there really a low calorie, gluten free, and guilt free pasta out there for those us who can’t eat gluten (or try to avoid carbs)?

Well yes there is! When my packaged arrived I checked the calorie count on the back and amazingly all five shirataki items contain 0-15 calories, 0 fat, 0 net carbs, and 3-4 grams dietary fiber per serving. In addition to being gluten free and soy free, Skinny Noodles are also vegan, Kosher, and have zero cholesterol.

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Skinny Noodles Shirataki Macaroni Nutritional Info

The noodles are made from konjac. Our bodies extracts no nutrition from these noodles at all. So nutrition-wise there’s nothing here for you except fiber. But if you are craving pasta or stir-fried noodles without the guilt then this is a great choice.

One of the things you will first notice about Skinny Noodles is that they are packaged in a gel-like liquid. When I first opened my package of Skinny Noodles there was an odd smell. The ocean-like scent comes from a combination of konnyaku and the natural alkaline water used to keep Skinny Noodles and “Rice” fresh and shelf-stable. The scent does not mean there is anything wrong with the products; so don’t worry. Once you drain and rinse the noodles the scent disappears completely and leaves behind no funny taste.


Skinny Noodles are super convenient and easy to cook. Simply drain and rinse with warm water, parboil in water for about 2-3 minutes, drain again, and serve with your favorite sauce, broth, or seasoning.

Skinny noodles don’t really taste like anything and really take on the flavors of the dish you make. And with five different shapes, the possibilities are endless. I’ve tried the noodles with pasta and meat sauce, chicken stir fry, and in soup.


Skinny Noodles and Skinny “Rice” shirataki have a shelf life of about 12 months. Unopened packages can be stored at room temperature in a pantry or cupboard, but it’s strongly recommended to store them in the refrigerator for best results. I keep mine in the fridge.

Save 10% off your first order with promo code FIR10.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



Gluten Free Rice Ramen from Lotus Foods

Ramen Noodles. Oh how I’ve missed you. In college you got me through many a late nights studying and cramming for my exams. But when I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance in 2009 I had to stop eating ramen. I knew I would never eat ramen noodles again. Those deliciously, unhealthy, super cheap, readily available, and easy to make noodles were never to be a part of my life again. Or so I thought.

Ramen is no longer out of bounds for those of us on gluten free diets! Lotus Foods, a California based company that specializes in exotic rice, has introduced a rice-based gluten free ramen.

Traditionally, ramen, a Japanese-style noodle, is made from wheat, but Lotus Foods has found a way to make this noddle from rice instead.

The Rice Ramen is:

  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Whole Grain
  • No Sodium
  • Kosher
  • Vegan
  • Low Fat
  • And Ready in 4 minutes!


Rice Ramen is available in three flavors: Forbidden Rice® Ramen; Jade Pearl Rice™ Ramen; and Millet & Brown Rice Ramen. You have a choice of buying individual ramen cakes with savory reduced-sodium miso soup flavor packets to make an instant bowl of nourishing noodle soup, or a package of four ramen noodle cakes packaged together without any flavor packets. The later is great for making your own soup. Try adding shrimp, scallions and sweet onions to vegetable broth to make a satisfying soup, or top ramen noodles with Asian styled stir fried vegetables and chicken.


Not only are the noodles easy to make, and in 4 minutes no less, but they provide a convenient bowl of flavorful and nourishing soup. Lotus Foods Rice Ramen is much healthier than the leading brands of ramen you typically see on store shelves. With less fat and sodium, and more nutritious, they are enjoyable even for those who do not have to avoid gluten.

The Forbidden Rice® Ramen is made from heirloom black rice. In addition to being gluten free, Forbidden Rice® is one of the most nutritious ancient grains, and a good source of antioxidants.

The noodles are very dark purple, almost black in color and have a delicious nutty and earthy flavor. This is one of my favorite varietals of rice.

The broth was a very light white miso with mushrooms and tamari, and 33% less sodium than regular Ramen soups. The rice gave the broth strong purple hues.


The Jade Pearl is a green organic ramen infused with chlorophyll-rich bamboo extract. The main ingredient is Jade Pearl rice. I didn’t know anything about this rice, but according to Lotus Foods,

When cooked, this beautiful jade-colored rice produces the aroma of a bamboo forest, a light vanilla taste, and an explosion of health-giving nutrients. Our Organic Jade Pearl Rice makes an especially pretty plate presentation, sushi, Asian style risotto and dessert pudding.”

The noodles are really interesting with an earthy flavor and great texture.


Millet and brown rice are two if the most nutritious and easily digestible grains. The Millet and Brown Rice Ramen comes with a savory red miso broth packet. The noodles, on their own, have a wholesome nutty taste.

For a complete meal, add your favorite vegetables and proteins to any of the miso soups.

Since 1995, Lotus Foods has been sourcing fair-trade ingredients from small family farmers around the world who are growing rice sustainably and preserving heirloom and specialty rices. The company’s objective is not only to help rice farmers earn a living wage but to bring healthier rice choices to consumers. Lotus Foods line of products include nine organic rice varieties, whole grain rice, heat and eat rice bowls, cookbooks, rice cookers, and more.


The Rice Ramen Miso Soup retails for $2.29 ( 2.8 oz. pouch) or a 10 pack for $19.90. The Rice Ramen noodles retail for $6.59 (10 oz. bag) or $35.54 for a 6 pack. Available online and in most natural food and co-op stores, gourmet/specialty markets, and chain grocery stores. I have seen some of their products at the Whole Foods Charles River Plaza location.

Stay tuned for more delicious rice products from Lotus Foods coming soon!

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.



Gluten Free Reivew of Moksa Restaurant, Cambridge MA

Over the summer Jeremy and I attended a fundraising event and won a gift certificate to Moksa Restaurant. Two months later we finally made it there. Located in Central Square in Cambridge, serves Pan-Asian style tapas, brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night drinks.Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 3.26.55 PM

Moksa is simple but chic. The long narrow dinning room has unusual lighting. The lighting shoots down in concentrated bursts, so that your table is either fully lit or left in the darkness. The front lounge, where the bar is located, is nearly as large as the dining room but there are only 3 tables near the front window. In the back there is a nightclub called Naga. Outside seating is also available during the warmer months.

The drink menu is creative and unconventional, in a good way. Uncommon and intriguing combinations such as Junmai Sake, cucumber, lavender, and silver needle tea (Silver Peony, $9) and American Harvest Organic Vodka, Boston Honey and Dry Sherry (Wilbur’s Cup, $10). I opted for the Ratonita ($10), a unique twist on the classic margarita, made with Reposado tequila, agave liqueur, and preserved lemon foam. IMG_4594

The menu is made up of unique small to medium sized dishes that are easily shared like tapas or dim sum. With an assortment of diverse Asian flavors on the menu – Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Korean, Indonesian, etc. – there is plenty to choose from. Gluten free and vegetarian dishes are clearly labeled on the menu.IMG_4590 IMG_4593

We tried a couple of the offerings and were pleasantly surprised with the flavors of each dish. Everything had a unique taste and with the exception of the scallop sushi roll, we really enjoyed all the dishes.

First we tried the tuna summer roll ($7), which is made with a soft rice wrapper, then cut into 6 pieces and finished with a cilantro-lime sauce. The roll was light and refreshing, but the sauce was a bit too heavy on the cilantro.IMG_4600

The edamame ($4) topped with Himalayan sea salt came out next. For the price, it was a very generous portion.IMG_4597

Next we tried the vegetable pakora ($5), a traditional Indian dish made with mashed up vegetables, which are dipped in chickpea flour and then deep-fried and served with tamarind chutney. These were our favorite— simple yet flavorful. The chutney was sweet and sour and a perfect compliment for the pakora.IMG_4595

We really enjoyed the Chicken Pad Thai ($12) with beansprouts, peanuts and lime. We loved the subtle flavors and freshness of this dish. I also liked that the peanuts were put on one side rather than mixed in with the dish.IMG_4596

The Spicy Scallop Roll ($9) was very fishy and had way too much spicy mayonnaise sauce dumped on top.  This was really an avocado roll topped with scallops, spicy mayonnaise, and fish roe. After taking off most of the mayo it was tolerable. Either order the sauce on the side or just skip this roll all together.IMG_4599

All in all the food was good, fresh, and flavorful.  The prices are very reasonable and the portions are perfect for sharing. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and I really appreciated that the gluten free (and vegetarian) options were distinctly marked on the menu.

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Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care

The Healthy Villi Gluten Free Expo 2013 Recap

This past Sunday I attended the New England Gluten Free Expo put on by The Healthy Villi at the Sheraton Hotel in Norwood.Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 8.44.54 PM

We spent the morning strolling and browsing the aisles of dozens of gluten free vendors, sampling gluten free chips, crackers, breads, bagels, pizza, pasta, beer, cupcakes, baked goods, and so much more. I discovered dozens of tasty new foods, like Against the Grain’s gluten free, dairy free, yeast free bread, and Breads by Anna’s gluten, soy, rice, and nut free bread mixes.

We also had the opportunity to purchase some of the items from the vendors and from A New Leaf. In addition to sampling products, six workshops were held throughout the day, including; Eating Out Around the World Gluten Free, Gluten Free Challenges, and Newly Diagnosed Workshop.

Below is a picture recap of some of the many products we tried:

Way Better Tortilla Chips
Way Better Tortilla Chips

Against The Grain makes 2 dairy free products: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels & Vermont Country Rolls
Against The Grain makes 2 dairy free products: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels & Vermont Country Rolls


Number 9 Tortilla chips and salsa

Treat Cupcake Bar makes gluten free cupcakes, as well as dairy free, egg free and soy free
Treat Cupcake Bar makes gluten free cupcakes, as well as dairy free, egg free and soy free

JD's Pizza
JD’s Best Pizza

Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care
Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care

Namaste gluten free mixes. Some are also Yeast Free
Namaste gluten free mixes. Some are also Yeast Free

Breads by Anna: Gluten, Dairy, Potato, Corn, Soy Free!
Best Discovery of the day – Breads by Anna: Gluten, Dairy, Potato, Corn, Soy, and Yeast Free!

New Planet Beer
New Planet Beer


Organic drinks not just for toddlers but adults too.
Organic drinks not just for toddlers but adults too.

Gluten Free Summer Camp.
Gluten Free Summer Camp.

Crunchmaster crackers. Yum!
Crunchmaster crackers. Yum!


*Photos courtesy of Katie Dennis.

Based in Boston, The Healthy Villi is a membership-based, non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide support and education to people with celiac disease and their families.

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Wagamama opens new restaurant in Lynnfield + $25 Gift Card Giveaway

Wagamama, the Japanese-inspired casual dining restaurant is set to open its fourth restaurant in Lynnfield on October 30th. This is Wagamama’s first restaurant opening outside of the city and it’s in the newly opened Marketstreet Lynnfield outdoor shopping center.

The new restaurant will be serving up Wagamama’s famed noodle dishes, as well as its signature bowls of hot ramen, flavorful rice dishes, and fresh fruit juices. Wagamama combines fresh and nutritious food with friendly service and value for money.Tep_ginger chicken udon“We are truly excited to bring Wagamama to Lynnfield as it will be our first suburban location in the U.S., with numerous more to follow,” said Wagamama’s chef operations officer, Frank Peace. “The Market Street Center is perfect for Wagamama’s signature casual dining experience and we hope it will be a great chance for people to stop off at Wagamama, whether it be day or evening, to sample some of our Japanese-inspired cuisine. Our fast, fresh and customizable dishes, such as my personal favorite, chili chicken ramen, are sure to delight!”sd_edamame with chilli

Wagamama offers many gluten free options. While many of their dishes use ingredients that contain gluten, they can modify some recipes to remove or replace those ingredients. Each restaurant location offers a nutritional and dietary guide listing the ingredients and allergens of each dish, including eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, etc. Rice_prawn_raisukareeWagamama prides itself on the quality and speed of its service and dishes are prepared immediately, ensuring they arrive at the table freshly cooked. Although this means dishes may be delivered at different time, the Wagamama philosophy is: don’t wait—just tuck in and share!

One lucky reader will win a $25 Wagamama gift card, valid at any of the four US locations. To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter below to get started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to U.S. Residents only. The giveaway will end on October 24, 2013 at 11:59pm.

Wagamama Marketstreet Lynnfield is located at 1200 Market Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940


Gluten Free Product Review: Goldbaums Natural Food Co.

I recently had the opportunity to try some of Goldbaum’s gluten free products. Goldbaum’s was started by Scott Goldbaum who set out to find the best and tastiest gluten free products for three of his daughters.. After exntensive research and a relentless search, Scott decided to make is own line of gluten free products.

All of Goldbaum’s products are manufactured in a facility that is free of gluten, soy, dairy and nuts. The product line includes Wonder Meals (boxed meals that do not require refrigeration), rice pasta, ice cream cones, crackers, soup accompaniments, popchips, and more. IMG_3632Goldbaums makes 10 varieties of brown rice pasta including penne, spirals, shells, fettuccine, spaghetti, elbow, fusilli, thin cut noodles for soup, medium cut for kugel (a traditional Jewish noodle casserole), and Chow Mein noodles.  IMG_3187 The way you have to cook the noodles is definitely different from any other brown rice pasta I’ve ever made before. To cook, bring the water to a boil, add the noodles, cover, and boil for 3-4 minutes. Then, turn off burner and let sit covered for 15 minutes. I followed the instructions and the noodles were perfectly cooked. They were not undercooked, but rather had a great texture and they even tasted great the next day! The best part was that no one knew they were gluten free—until I told them.IMG_3605

The Chow Mein Noodles were dry and crunchy, good for soups or topping your salad. The taste was a little odd, but a little addictive at the same time. The one thing I didn’t like was the after taste these left in my mouth, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I am still on the fence about this product.

Last but not least, I received some ice cream cones. Man have I missed ice cream cones! The low in calories Sugar cones (light pink box) were sweet and sugary yet only contained 3 grams of sugar and 41 calories per cone. They tasted just as good as the original; very crisp, not overly sweet and great texture.IMG_3186

The ice cream cups (purple box) and lower calorie cones (blue box) tasted and felt like cardboard. I was surprised how one cone could taste so good but another was just awful. Needless to say, I will be sticking with the pink box from now on.IMG_3239

I also tried the original popchips (not included in the sample pack). These light and airy chips are low in fat and full in flavor. I especially liked how crunchy they still were and how they did not make my hands greasy like regular potato chips.

You can purchase Goldbaum’s products online or in stores. Every few weeks I see Goldbaum’s products on Groupon Goods. Be sure to check my deals page daily for great new gluten free deals!

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.



Gluten Free Vegetable Lasagna

This delicious Gluten Free Vegetable Lasagna can also be made dairy free by omitting the cheese.IMG_2758

Recipe by Katelyn Dennis


1 Box GF Lasagna Noodles (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna)
8 small mushrooms
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 egg
1 16 oz container of fat free ricotta cheese
Half of one white onion
1 garlic clove
1 zucchini
1 jar gluten free pasta sauce
Shredded Italian cheeses (mozzarella, Parmesan)image-1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles so they are just under al dente (about half way cooked). When done, drain the noodles and set aside.

Chop up the onions, mushrooms, and zucchini.  Sautee onion and garlic for 3 minutes then add in mushrooms and zucchini and cook for about 5 more minutes so the vegetables are about half way cooked.image-2

Mix together egg, ricotta cheese, spinach, salt & pepper in a small bowl. *if not using cheese, add spinach to other vegetablesimage-3

Layer in a baking dish the tomato sauce, noodles, spinach & ricotta filling, tomato sauce, ½ of the vegetables, noodles, spinach & ricotta filling, the rest of the vegetables, noodles, tomato sauce and top with shredded Italian cheeses.image-5image-4

Cook for 40-45 minutes.


Ravioli with Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

‘Tis the season of butternut squash! Yes I knowwwww, last week it was pumpkin, but now I’m moving onto another fall favorite of mine! Of course butternut squash is delicious just baked up with some oil and herbs or cinnamon and brown sugar, but one can only eat so much roasted butternut squash in one week!

Last Sunday I went Sowa Market [again] with my sister and bought Gluten Free Butternut Squash Ravioli’s from Valicenti Organico. I absolutely love their spinach fettuccine! All the pasta is fresh and handmade, and you can tell. I had been wanting to try their ravioli since I first found out they had it. It is not available at the market, BUT if you call the week before they will bring it down for you. Valicenti Organico offers more than 20 varieties of gluten free raviolis, which changes seasonally.

I had leftover roasted butternut squash from earlier this week, which I used to make the sauce. I topped it with sage, fresh sage would have been better but I did not have that in my fridge so the jarred spice had to make due. It came out too thin when I first made it, but I was starving to I ate it anyways. I then added more squash and a splash of milk to make it a little thicker. Ahhh, much better! I also added chunks of butternut squash to the dish as well, because you can never have enough right?


About a 1 to 1 1/2lb butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cubed. Roasted or baked until soft
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth or butternut squash soup from Trader Joe’s (this is what I used in place of broth)
1/4 cup milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
fresh sage for garnish, add to sauce it desired
Butternut Squash or Mushroom Ravioli


Place 1 pound (about 2 coups) cooled, cubed butternut squash in a food processor or blender, along with the onion, broth, milk, garlic, pepper, and salt. Blend until liquidy and smooth. Pour over ravioli, and in remaining cubed butternut squash and top with fresh sage. Out of sage? I’m sure basil would taste great too!

If it’s too runny for your liking, add more squash and try using less milk or broth. You can skip the milk completely if you are lactose in tolerant.

Gluten Free Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

I adopted this recipe from the one I found on Thai Kitchen’swebsite. By the way, Thai Kitchen has some great gluten free products.



This salad was a major hit at my friend Molly’s BBQ over the weekend. It was all eaten! This salad has a great kick to it, but no too spicy. The cucumber gives it a nice refreshing feel and crunchy taste. The hot sauce I used had hints of key lime mango and pomegranate give the chili sauce a nice sweet after taste. Plain hot sauce will work fine too, start with only two tablespoons and add more to suite your taste.
Spicy Lime Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice + 2 Tablespoons
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 – 3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise, sliced thinly
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai basil (I used regular Basil because that is what I grow in my garden)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro  (also fresh from the garden
1. For the Vinaigrette, mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Start with only ¼ cup lime juice and rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and chili sauce. Add more as need to suite your taste. Set aside. 
2. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add rice noodles; cook 5 minutes or until noodles are tender but firm. 
3. Rinse under cold water and  drain well. Place noodles in large bowl and let cool about 5 more minutes. 
4. Add cucumber, carrots, slaw, basil and cilantro and mix well. Mix in the Vinaigrette and toss gently.   
5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors and serve cold or at room temperature.