LandingPageButtons-family

Snack out loud Crunchy Bean Snacks

 

1LandingPageButton-snack

This fall Snack Out Loud released a full like of  Crunchy Bean Snacks, a first of its kind, irresistible savory snack with a raucous crunch, made from the unpretentious pinto bean. These tasty start with one of the world’s most abundant and nutrient-dense superfoods – beans – then roasts and seasons them to crunchy perfection. Crunchy Bean Snacks are the perfect alternative to nuts because they contain the same amount of protein per gram as almonds. with half the calories and fat.

71fFKmIWtBL._SL1500_

Available in five mouthwatering flavors, Crunchy Bean Snacks are also non-GMO, gluten free, soy free,  nut free, and vegetarian making them a safe and allergen friendly choice. Three flavors – Sea Salt, Smoky Chipotle BBQ, and Tomato Basil – are vegan.

LandingPageButtons-family

Flavors:

  • Jalapeno Cheddar – The first bite tastes like sharp cheddar, and then POW! there’s the undeniable jalaepno  heat.
  • Ranch – A twist on the classic flavor; it’s creamy, smooth and infused with just the right amount of zesty herbs.
  • Sea Salt- Simple and super satisfying. It’s tasty and irresistibly crunchy with a touch of sunflower oil and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Smoky Chipotle BBQ – Starts out a bit sweet, then the smoke rolls over your tongue and leaves you with a slight chipotle taste. It’s BBQ bliss with a side of smoky paprika.
  • Tomato Basil – This perfect flavor combination tastes like a slice of Italian bruschetta.

Crunchy Bean Snacks are available in two sizes: Snack size (1.2 oz.) or Family size (6 oz.), and can be purchased online at Amazon.com or Abe’s Market.

Crunchy Bean Snacks are great for taking on a hike, adding to a lunch box, or having handy at your desk for an afternoon snack that’s loaded with protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

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

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 10.33.46 AM

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole made with Allens Italian Green Beans

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 10.33.46 AMPreparing your Favorite Holiday Traditions with Vegetables
A Quick and Easy Guide to Holiday Cooking with Delicious Green beans

When the thought of the holidays comes to mind, many people immediately jump to gifts, decorations, and shopping. But what brings most people together is a holiday feast with family and friends. More than 80% of Americans use canned vegetables to help prepare meals around the holiday season. The average number of canned food items used each week is five; just imagine how many are used to make a holiday meal. Eight in 10 Americans don’t go a week without cooking with canned vegetables. In an effort to help Americans eat better, and healthier, the key is to keep a variety of new flavors alive in each dish prepared for your table.

The American consumer is ever changing, and eating healthy is at the top of their shopping list. Especially when a new diet plan is lingering in the minds of consumers fearful of gaining weight. As a result of the calorie-loaded dinner dishes and sugary desserts of the holiday season; it is assumed the average person gains between five and 10 pounds during the holidays. Brands like Allens are leading the way to feeding the world through great-tasting, affordable, and high-quality vegetable recipes like an Italian Green Bean Casserole that never leaves you with a guilty feeling, even after that second helping.

Americans continue to enjoy the endless benefits of canned goods packed at the peak of freshness. But around the holidays, staying true to family traditions is important, especially at the dinner table. One way it to use healthy ingredients like canned vegetables packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed to promote good health, without substituting the tradition behind the recipes. Being a family-owned business, Allens is committed to providing families with the freshest vegetables and staying true to family traditions for generations to come.AllensItalianGreenBeans[1]

“Maintaining a sense of family, especially around the holidays, is an important asset for everyone at Allens,” said David Brown, Vice President of Retail Sales for Allens. “We all agree that food is one of the things that bring us together. That’s why we make it a priority to provide our consumers with the freshest, best quality vegetables possible.”

It is likely most Americans will keep true to their traditional holiday meals, but they are beginning to think bigger about nutrition and the ingredients they use. Allens Italian Green Bean Casserole is a dish that makes an appearance on most holiday tables, with savory green beans in a creamy casserole that’s topped with crunchy French fried onions. But the traditional recipe is not gluten free, so I’ve adapted Allen’s recipe so everyone at this years holiday meal can enjoy it.

Gluten Free Italian Green Bean Casserole

Preparation and Cooking Time:
45 minutes

Ingredients
1 10.75 oz. can Condensed cream of mushroom soup (low fat or fat free can be used; Pacific Foods and Health Valley are gluten free, or make your own)
1/2 cup Milk
1 1/2 tsp. Gluten Free Soy sauce
Pepper to taste
2 14.5 oz. cans Allens Cut Italian Green Beans
1 1/3 cups fried onions

Directions:

For the onions
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons white rice flour
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch and white rice flour. Add onions and mix to coat evenly. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Fry onions until golden brown and crispy. You may want to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan because you don’t want to crowd the pan while frying. Remove onions from oil using a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.

In a 1 1/2-quart casserole, mix together soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, Italian green beans and 2/3 cup onions. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Stir, and then sprinkle remaining onions on top. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until onions are golden.

A perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dinners!

Allens offers a wide variety of canned vegetables that are fresh and healthy for each consumer, making it possible for there to be something for everyone to enjoy. To learn more about or find holiday recipes for your table, like the ones below, visit Allens.com, Facebook.com/AllensVeggies or Pinterest.com/AllensVeggies.

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.

Please take my Gluten Free Dining Out Survey. and help me collect data for research for a future blog post! Thank you & happy Friday!
Click here to take survey

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.21.13 PM

Product Review: Beanitos Gluten Free Bean Chip Review

Beanitos – AMAZING TASTE—POWERFUL NUTRITION

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.21.13 PMBeanitos are an honestly delicious snack made from nutritious beans that are full of fiber and protein. They’re real food, full of crunchy flavor, free of preservatives, and made with only natural non-GMO ingredients.

Beanitos are produced using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). They follow strict guidelines that require the machinery be washed and sanitized before and after each time they make Beanitos. Beanitos’ chips are certified gluten-free, and lab tests are preformed during production to ensure that gluten is not present.

They only source ingredients of the highest quality that have not been genetically modified. Beanitos don’t use any fillers, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives like many other snack foods—they are truly all natural. Also, Beanitos chips contain no trans fat, MSG or cholesterol.Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.20.09 PM

Beanitos are lower in sodium than most snack chips, ranging from only 55 mg to 140 mg per serving. No other snack chip can boast all the healthy nutrition of Beanitos!

As the name suggests, Beaintos are made from beans rather than corn. Corn is used as a filler in many processed foods and provides minimal nutritional value. Food sensitivities to corn are on the rise. Beanitos has eliminated this ingredient all together; creating a healthier vegan chip that is loaded with fiber and complete protein.

Beanitos chips are made from one of three protein-rich beans—white, black, or pinto—and combined with whole grain brown or white rice.

Just one serving of the restaurant-style white bean chips (1 oz. or 12 chips) contain:

  • Full 4 grams complete protein
  • Amazing 6 grams fiber
  • Satisfying 16 grams carbohydrates
  • Only 7 grams fat with NO trans fats
  • NO sugar added
  • Just 140 calories

Chipotle BBQ – had a nice smoky flavor with a touch of spiciness. I was very (pleasantly) surprised by the taste. My coworker said it perfectly, “it’s spicy and smoky. It’s salty, sorta sweet, and has a nice kick all at the same time!”

Nacho Cheese – tasted like a healthy, gluten free version of Doritos. They were very addictive.

Better Cheddar – salty and cheesy, which is not something you find everyday in a chip. The cheese flavor is really light and subtle.

White Bean Restaurant Style – are made with sea salt. They were delicious both on their own and with dips.

Original Black Bean – had great flavor and are great to eat with homemade chili or salsa.

Simply Pinto Bean – This was my favorite. The taste was different from any other chip I’ve ever tried. The chips have a ton of flavor and I could not put them down; I ate almost the entire bag in one sitting!

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 9.39.02 AM

Each of the flavors of Beanitos were crunchy and filling. If you are looking for a healthy snack that still has lots of flavor, these are definitely worth trying.

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.

IMG_5207

Product Review: Tolerant Foods Gluten Free Red Lentil Pasta

Are you ready to hear about a gluten free product so tasty, so unique, so healthy and so rich in protein; you’ll forget about what good old wheat pasta tastes like?

Tolerant Foods brand new single ingredient gluten free pastas is just that. Made from non-GMO organic black beans or red lentils, their rotini, penne, and fettuccine noodles offer off-the-charts nutrition in a bowl of very flavorful pasta.

Tolerant recently send me a box of their red lentil penne to try. But before I get into the review I want to talk a little but more about the product, and why it is so great.Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 10.19.38 AM

Each bowl of Tolerant legume pasta offers a whole lot of protein. The pastas have 400% more protein than any competing product on the market. With 21-22 grams of protein and 13-15 grams of fiber per serving, Tolerant is a powerhouse meal, and will up the nutritional profile of any meal you pair them with.

Each cup of Tolerant legumes equals 1 cup of vegetables, providing you with many vitamins and minerals, and contains only 6 (red lentil) or 10 (black beans) grams of sugar. IMG_5207The red lentil penne tasted different than ‘regular’ pasta; it had a richer flavor, more like whole grain, something I haven’t had in a while!  The pasta was denser than your average gluten free pasta that is made from rice and/or corn. And, it did not get mushy like many other gluten free pastas do. We really enjoyed both the texture and the rich flavor.IMG_5210

The cooking instructions say 8-10 minutes, but we cooked it for 12 minutes and there were a few pieces of penne that did not cook through. This was our only complaint— the pasta did not cook evenly. Some pieces were cooked perfectly while others were still hard. IMG_5208

I highly recommend trying Tolerant’s pastas and I know I will be adding these into my diet. The pastas are a fantastic way to sneak iron, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals into your next gluten free dinner.

Tolerant’s legume pasta is made in a gluten free and nut free facility. Because Tolerant products are made from a single ingredient, they provide an excellent option for people dealing with any of the top 8 food allergies (eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, fish, soy, wheat, and dairy), not just those with Celiac or gluten intolerance. The pastas are also certified kosher and vegan.

You can order Tolerant pasta online here. (Buy in bulk, you will pay less per box if you do that!) I also just got word that Tolerant pasta will soon be available at select Whole Foods locations!

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.

IMG_4990

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Three Bean Kale and Chicken Sausage Soup

This hearty soup warms up chilly nights.IMG_4994

Use any type of canned beans you happen to have on hand, and add rotisserie chicken or Italian sausage for a heftier dish, if you prefer. Or, omit the meat all together for a perfectly satisfying vegetarian dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 7 cups chopped kale
  • 12 ounce package of your favorite gluten free chicken sausage
  • 3 cans (15 ounce) cans no-salt-added beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoesIMG_4990

Directions:

  1. Heat a large stalk pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and fennel and sauté 6 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in 7 cups broth, kale, and sausage. Cook 5 minutes or until kale starts to wilt.
  4. Stir in 2 1/2  cans beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. Put remaining 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 beans in a blender or food processer and process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture to soup.
  6. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.IMG_4991IMG_4992 IMG_4993 IMG_4997
Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 9.42.38 PM

Review: Cook Simple Gluten Free Meals – Healthy Home Cooking Made Simple

cooksimpleI love cooking. But let’s face it, after a long day at work and either a quick trip to the gym or running around town doing errands, who really wants to spend the time and energy to cook a meal? One solution is Cooksimple. Cooksimple offers a line of inexpensive and budget-friendly gluten free meal kits made from all-natural, whole foods and no added sugars.

Cooksimple was founded on the principle that people will eat healthier if doing so is tasty, easy, and accessible. Cooksimple has designed a product line to do just that by removing the largest barrier for most people: the lack of time to cook at home. These meal kits are a breeze to prepare, and are flavorful, satisfying, and inexpensive, all the while delivering superior nutrition.

I recently had the opportunity to try a few products from this line. The instructions were simple, and in under 30 minutes I had a complete meal ready to feed a family of five!  What I truly appreciated about these meal kits is the back of the box. Where it shows clear pictures of the ingredients you’ll need to buy. Also listed, are suggestions for variations and substitutions. Each meal requires you to buy 2-3 extra ingredients, such as ground turkey, canned tomatoes, chicken, shrimp, sausage or tofu. Some of the ingredients (soy sauce, eggs, olive oil, and canned tomatoes) I already had in my pantry, as most people probably do too. All of the meal kits are vegan on their own, and can be prepared with tofu, beans or other vegan meat alternatives to satisfy vegetarian and vegan diets.IMG_2349

Cooksimple meals have a lower sodium content than most boxed meals. This is a huge plus for me, not only for health reasons (too much salt is not good for anyone) but I also because I tend not to like to add much salt to my meals. These meals have about 50% less sodium compared to other boxed meals, and also rank higher in nutritional value and higher in fiber.

Cooksimple is all about making life easier, not weight loss. But it’s clear that they value nutrition and healthy ingredients. Cooksimple is sold in over 3000 stores across the U.S. and the full product line is also available for purchase online for $4.99 each. To find a location near you click here.

There are nine diverse and globally-inspired kits available including Tamale Pie, Cowboy Chili, Asian Burgers, Skillet Lasagna, Cranberry Wild Rice, Punjabi Curry, Tibetan Dal, White Bean Chili, and New Orleans Jambalaya.

tibetan dalThe Tibetan Dal is classic savory Indian dish with aromas of cumin and turmeric, a hint of cilantro, and can be enjoyed as a meal or a special dip. This meal kit only required the addition of canned tomatoes and olive oil – super easy and super flavorful. IMG_2369

My favorite meal kit, by far, is the Asian Burgers. This savory recipe adds an Asian inspired twist to traditional burgers. The box suggests adding ground turkey, soy crumbles or beans. I added a mix of black beans, pinto beans, artichoke hearts and mushrooms which I chopped in a food processor before adding them to the oat and spice mixture of sesame seeds, onion, garlic, ginger, orange peel and sea salt.  The burgers were delicious and moist, and smelled heavenly while cooking. The box also includes a package of rice, which for being ordinary rice, was also exceptionally flavorful.

IMG_2379

The white bean chili was anything but mundane. The spices – chili powder, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic – are strong. Made with pinto, navy and kidney beans, I also added shredded chicken breast. I opted for water, not milk, but I think the milk would have helped cut the intensity of the spices. For a vegetarian dish, add more beans or tofu.wbc

The classic New Orleans Jambalaya was surprisingly lacking in flavor, and I needed to add more of my own spices. I was expecting a spicy dish, but this was just lackluster. Using Andouille sausage will give it the kick it needs to kick the spice factor up a notch. If you use precooked shrimp do not add them until the very end. The shrimp only need a few minutes to cook and if you add them at the beginning, like the directions say, they will be overcooked and too dry.IMG_2364

So how do these meal kits really stack up against other boxed meals?

usethis

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 9.42.38 PM

Stouffers is the highest in calories fat sugar sodium but also high in protein. stouffersSimply Asia noodle bowls are also high in calories and sodium! simplyasia

It isn’t often that I find a gluten free product free of preservatives and additives that is healthy and super tasty! I definitely recommend buying a few boxes of CookSimple™ to keep on hand for those nights that you don’t feel like cooking.

cumin

Bob’s Red Mill Review & GIVEAWAY

I am a big fan of Bob’s Red Mill. Bob’s makes a whole line of gluten free flours; including rice flours, bean flours, teff flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, oat flour and many more. I regularly use Bob’s Red Mill baking mixes and flours, and I love their gluten free oats.Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 10.54.16 AM

For over 30 years, Bob’s has been committed to providing the very best in Gluten Free flours, cereals, baking mixes, and grains. Every product is tested upon delivery, during production and after packaging. To insure the integrity of their gluten free products, Bob’s Red Mill adheres to a standard of no more than 19 parts per million of gluten. Separate machinery and packaging division are used to insure the purity of their products.

Bob’s was kind enough to send me three gluten free products: black bean flour, gluten free cornbread mix, and gluten free oats.IMG_3784

The first thing I made was the cornbread. It wasn’t sweet like Jiffy Mix, but it was certainly was not bitter. It cooked up moist and delicious. The texture was a bit denser and drier than I remember cornbread being, but it still tasted great. I think the recipe (on the back of the bag) just needs a little bit more liquid and the cornbread would be perfect. I made a loaf and a few muffins, which rose quite a bit; I was so surprised! IMG_3933Black Bean Flour is high in protein (8g), dietary fiber (5g) and a good source of iron (10%), magnesium (16%), and phosphorous (16%).

Before today, I had never cooked or baked with black bean flour. I was excited to try something new, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill provides recipe suggestions on the back of the package, and I made the black bean dip. IMG_3785Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Black Bean Flour
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups hot water
  • ½ cup salsa

Recipe:

Whisk black bean flour with cumin, chili powder and salt into the hot water. Stir 1 minute while cooking over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add ½ cup of your favorite salsa or picante sauce. The mixture thickens as it cools. Make sure to stir once every few minutes. Let cool 15 minutes if serving as a dip. Makes 3 cups.

The dip tasted exactly like black beans! Yes, I know it is made with black bean flour, but I wasn’t expecting the flavor to be so strong and tasty. You can also use black bean flour as part of your baking mixes for chocolate cakes and brownies. Try substituting up to 25% in your flour mix to add protein, fiber, and iron.

The organic quinoa Bob’s makes is small-grained quinoa and is pre-rinsed.  This is important because quinoa grows covered with a layer of a bitter substance, that you always need to rinse this off before cooking. But beware! Even though it says it is pre-washed, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash it again. I always rinse my quinoa before cooking, whether it was done already or not.

For those of you unfamiliar with quinoa, it is a nutrient rich grain that was a staple food of the ancient Incas’ diet. Quinoa is a good source of iron, protein, and essential amino acids. Quinoa is actually a seed but is cooked and used like a whole grain. It makes a great substitute for couscous or barley in tabouli. Bob’s Red Mill quinoa is delicious on it’s own and has an earthy flavor.

My favorite quinoa recipe is Quinoa with sautéed apples and Almonds.quinoa apple

Ingredients:
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 3/4 cup chopped onion
– 3/4 cup finely diced carrots
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 cup chicken broth (vegetarian version: vegetable broth)
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 2 cups diced unpeeled apples
– 1/4 cup slivered almonds
– 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

                                                                            Recipe:
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in warm water.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and carrots begin to brown.
Stir in broth, water, quinoa and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
While the quinoa is simmering, in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add the apples, almonds and pepper to quinoa and toss to combine. Serve warm.

This is also great cold over spinach salads!

You can check out my other quinoa recipes here:

Spinach Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almondsquinoacherries

 

Quinoa and Rice Summer Saladquinoasummer

 

Cumin scented Black Rice and Quinoacumin

Now for the Giveaway! One lucky reader will win the same 3 products I received; Cornbread Mix, Black Bean Flour, and Organic Quinoa.

Enter below using the Rafflecopter for a chance to win these delicious Bob’s Red Mill products!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Giveaway ends on August 7, 2013 at 12:00am  EST. Open to U.S. residents only.

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.

photo-8

Katie’s Gluten Free Three Bean Turkey Chili

This recipe is complimentary of my sister Katie, and although I haven’t tried it, if it’s anything like our mom’s (who she learned from) it must be delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground turkey meat
  • 1 package Old El Paso (it is not certified gluten free but does not contain gluten ingredients) or other gluten free chili seasoning packet
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp hot jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • shredded Mexican or monetary jack cheese for the topping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. In a large saucepan, brown onions over medium high heat. Add the chopped green pepper.
  2.  Add ground turkey meat and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3.  Add tomato paste and chilli seasoning packet and mix well. Add the corn, peppers and beans.
  4. Let simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and top with cheese!