Saturday, September 21, 2013

Just visting

The previous post focused on vendors from the Garden State who participated in the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, earlier this month in Secaucus. However, a few out-of-towners caught our eye too.

The following vendors are highlighted for two reasons. 1) The products are genuinely good. Some I've even purchased at my local grocery store since sampling them at the Expo. 2) The people were interesting, friendly and seemingly honest.

Cook Simple

Photo/Gluten Free Garden State

Friday, September 20, 2013

Representin' Jersey

I was fortunate to meet many great people at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus, earlier this month. Some were homegrown entrepreneurs. Others came from great distances. All were friendly, informative and offered tastes of delicious gluten-free foods.

The first part of this round-up focuses on the products and people of New Jersey. The second, coming tomorrow, showcases some of those from out of town. 

Photos/Gluten Free Garden State

Friday, September 13, 2013

Educated at the grocery store

In honor of National Celiac Awareness Day, we attended the gluten-free event at Wegmans in Mount Laurel. Once again, I was surprised by what I didn't already know.

This grocery store chain has an abundance of gluten-free products. More impressively is that many of these items are store-brand, so they are less expensive than other brands, but its also a high-quality and diverse line.

The afternoon-evening event offered samples of at least 15 GF products, which were presented in stations adorned with balloons around the store and manned by employees who seemed to know their respective items well. In addition to a taste, shoppers received details about ingredients, nutritional information and where to find the items in the store.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Leaders of the pack

We tasted wonderful things at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, and were excited to find so many new and new-to-us products. Here's a list of 10 foods/beverages, in no particular order, that got us excited.

1. Ravioli by Contes Pasta: I've had these several times in the past, and they're awesome. Full of flavor, the pasta part has a nice texture that's moist without falling apart. I'm a cheese aficionado, so the seasoned ricotta is right up my alley. Sold frozen and heated in the microwave, the ravioli is packaged with tomato gravy. The props for marinara sauce, however, goes to Hoboken Farms, which is perfect for dipping in a piece of their gluten-free bread.

Photo/Gluten Free Garden State

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Expo Hangover, Part 1

The first day of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is in the books, and it was a fabulous one.

Sure, my feet are aching from circling the Expo floor multiple times and I ate way too many samples. But, I met interesting people, was excited by some new gluten-free products and learned a thing or two in the classroom.

My day started off with other bloggers, and it was fun to see people in person who I had only "met" previously through social media. We all were treated to an introduction to Holy Crap cereal before the doors even opened to the public.

One of the first things I did once the Expo started was hit the beer garden. It was less about my love for beer and more about the fact that it was at the back of the convention floor and completely devoid of other people. I got to easily talk to the vendors and sample the wares.

Yes, I was throwing back beer at 9:15 a.m. So, what?! It was for research purposes. You'll thank me later.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Celiacs welcome here

The Wegmans company offers an abundance of gluten-free products for sale, including a comprehensive line of its own store-brand items, so it's natural that it would honor National Celiac Awareness Day.

On Friday, Sept. 13, the Wegmans store in Mount Laurel is hosting a free public event, 3-8 p.m., that highlights the gluten-free products its carries and provide meal ideas to those of us living the GF lifestyle. The evening promises to have available product samples and recipes, as well as snack and lunch ideas for kids going back to school.

We frequently shop at Wegmans stores and regularly purchase store-brand gluten-free items, which tend to be significantly lower in price than other companies' products and are of excellent quality. A bag of pasta, for example, costs $1.79 compared to $3.49 for another brand of equal size. The tastes and textures of the store brands are often better than other brands, too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fruit-filled at your fingertips

We're test running our school day morning routine this week, and getting out the door on time hasn't been easy. I can put together a breakfast meal the night before and simply re-heat in the morning, but it's also a good time to experiment with quick, grab-and-go items.

On the menu this morning were strawberry toaster pastries by Glutino.Think Pop Tarts without the gluten and famous brand name. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this product.

Each Glutino toaster pastry is comparable in size and stomach fulfillment to a Pop Tart, but there is only one for each portion, as opposed to a pair. Glutino's version is more moist than I expected and the fruity filling keeps the pastries mostly intact.Like many gluten-free products, there is some crumbling.

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