Posts Tagged ‘gluten free’

Recipes and Tips for Kid-Friendly, Allergy-free Lunches

Monday, August 18th, 2014

As seen in iVillage
: See full article here.

Need some tips for gluten and allergen free lunches?  Here are some “out of the lunchbox” ideas.

Parents with children that have severe food allergies can especially feel challenged by the morning lunch prep routine– easy options for lunch seem limited.   Without advance planning, the morning rush can make your head spin. Here are some easy ideas to help overcome those mental blocks that we can face during the hectic, rush around mornings.  The tips below are all geared towards the gluten-free and allergy-friendly lunchbox but really anyone can add these ideas to their lunch prep repertoire.

1. Plan and prepare in advance

As much as possible, prepare at least part of lunch the night before, while you are preparing dinner.  If you are making a salad for dinner, make an extra salad for your child’s lunch.  If you are preparing pasta, make an extra serving and re-warm in the morning.  Soups, pastas, risottos all make great lunch box options.

-Wash and chop a plethora of fresh veggies and place in air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Use what you need as you go.

-Make and freeze larger batches of items such as gluten-free granola bars and home-made gluten-free cookies.

-Purchase handy lunch containers, a thermos and a large enough lunch box to fit everything.


2.  Think outside of the regular sandwich

The challenge with gluten-free sandwiches is, of course, the bread. It often crumbles, doesn’t taste good, has holes in it, is expensive, etc.  A great way to prepare sandwiches on gluten-free bread is by using a panini maker or sandwich press.  The flavor and texture of purchased gluten-free bread is enhanced by toasting or grilling.



Turkey Pesto Panini:

2 slices whole grain gluten-free bread such as Rudi’s

2-3 turkey slices, nitrate free, try organic brand like Applegate Farm

1 slice cheddar, Monterey Jack or Provolone Cheese, or Daiya dairy free cheese

Sliced tomato or avocado

Pesto sauce for the adventurous kids

Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, place your first bread piece, then add nitrate free turkey, a cheese slice or Daiya Cheese Shreds (our favorite!)  add optional sliced tomato or avocado, then another cheese slice, and top with second slice of bread, for the adventurous kids, pesto sauce can be spread on the top piece of bread.  Cook as instructed.  Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper.  While the Panini will not stay hot until lunchtime, it still tastes great.

Almond Butter, Jam and Fruit Panini: Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, spread one piece of bread with almond butter, the other with low sugar, organic jam, place first bread piece, thinly sliced apples or bananas, place other piece of bread on top.  Cook as instructed.  Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper.

Waffle sandwiches: Try The Pure Pantry Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking mix to make waffles on the weekend.  Make extra a freeze.  In the morning, lightly toast two waffles, spread with nut butter and organic jam or cream cheese and jam.  Try turkey slices or ham with swiss cheese or Daiya Mozzarella to create a “Montecristo” type of sandwich. 

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches: appearance is everything to some kids.  Create cute cut-out finger sandwiches with large shaped cookie cutters.

3.Make a Hot Lunch

Not a lover of the gluten-free bread choices out there?  Think outside the sandwich, and get into thermoses!

This Bento box type thermos provides great versitility:

Thermos Meals

Again, planning ahead pays off in the morning.  Left overs make great lunches the next day.  Soups, stews, pastas, risottos, are all easily reheated and packed into a thermos.

Soups: What can be more satisfying that a nice homemade cup of soup?  Here are a few ideas:

White Bean Oregano Chili: A family favorite in our home. A large pot can be made on the weekend and doled out during the week.  Accompany with organic corn chips or gluten-free corn muffins.

Asian Noodle Soups: gluten-free rice noodle packaged soups with added veggies are a perfect, quick hot meal to take to school.


Pasta Salad: gluten-free fusilli pasta tossed with chopped celery, cooked broccoli, shredded carrots, diced black olives, and 1 tablespoon Balsamic salad dressing. 

Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballsmake a big batch for dinner, then warm and serve it up for lunch the next day.

Mac and Cheese – Dairy based or Dairy-Free with peas or broccoli. 

BBQ Chicken:

Left over BBQ’d chicken: My son’s favorite.  Barbeque extra chicken legs or thighs, pair them up with coleslaw or a side salad.

4. Get in the greens with salads

 I am proud to say my 3 year old eats salads.  If your children are salad eaters, a whole world opens up for lunch box choices.  It is easy to prepare a chef salad or garden salad with a protein.  For dinner the night before, prepare an extra portion and place in a lunch container.  Put salad dressing in a smaller container.  There are endless options. Here are a couple of ideas:

Chef Salad: top lettuce mixture with slices or turkey,cheese, add hardboiled egg slices, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices.  Place salad dressing in a separate small container.

Greek salad: top lettuce mixture with cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, Greek olives and feta cheese crumbles or Daiya Mozzarella shreds, add sliced grilled chicken if desired.  Place salad dressing in separate small container.

Garden salad with tuna: top lettuce mixture with sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers and any other veggies your child likes. Combine one can tuna with 1 tablespoon Vegenaise (egg free,dairy free mayo) ½ cup diced celery, ½ cup diced pickle, a squeeze of ½ lemon, dash of dill.  Place one scoop of tuna salad on top of greens.  Place salad dressing in a separate small container.

5. Add Some Easy Snacks and Sides:

Trail mix: make your own or purchase.

Yogurt Parfait: Your child’s favorite yogurt or coconut yogurt flavor with a small container of sliced fruit and a container of gluten-free granola to top it off.  Our favorite gluten-free granola is from Healthy Creations.

Home-made Gluten-Free Granola Bars: try this recipe for Cherry-Almond Oat Bars. Make double batches, cut into bars, wrap each bar individually and freeze.  Pull out a ar when needed – it will defrost by snack time.


Home-made allergy-friendly cookies:  Try some fun fall recipes like Pumpkin Pie Bars, or Molasses Ginger Cookies, or an old time favorite, Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip cookies.

Gluten-free Chex Mix: try my Agave-Almond Chex Mix recipe for a great snack to pack for lunch or to bring to a class party.

Pre-packed healthy snacks: Organic Fruit leathers, organic squeezable fruit purees, organic apple sauce are all easy to throw in options.  Gluten-free crackers and cheese, and organic gluten-free corn chips with salsa are also easy to pull together.

Fresh fruit is a staple in every lunch we make.  We always keep apples, oranges, bananas and grapes on hand as a grab and go lunch item or snack.  More fragile fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, we place in small containers.

Fresh veggies and dips: Carrots, celery, red pepper strips are all great with hummus, organic ranch dip, or Edamame Pesto Dip (recipe in “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”).

There are so many options for gluten-free, allergen friendly lunches.  With a little advance planning you can provide healthy, tasty lunch options that will keep your kids well-fed and make your mornings flow smoothly.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Happy Halloween! Pre-Trick-or-Treating Supper

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Halloween can end up being a lot of work, am I right?  Costumes to put together, flashlights to find, decorations to put up, candy to purchase.  And dinner to make on top of all of that?

Here is a simple make-ahead solution so that you can enjoy your little devils a bit more!

Pulled Pork with Apples

In the summer I make this recipe with nectarines or  peaches, as seen in the image here.  For Fall, adding apples is just as scrumptious!

Here is the recipe:

1– 2 1/2 – 3 lb. pork loin roast or pork shoulder roast
2 cups Pomegranate-Chipotle BBQ Sauce or store bought gluten-free BBQ sauce (try Annie’s gluten-free version)
2 Fuji apples, peeled, pit removed, roughly chopped
4  oz. can green chilies, chopped

Place pork shoulder in roasting pan with lid, I love my Le Creuset.  Pour BBQ sauce over top.  Spread apple chunks over pork.  Add chopped green chilies.

Place in center of oven at 325˚ for 60 minutes.  Remove roast from over and turn over, ladle juices on top of meat.  Return to oven for 40 minutes.  Or, place in crock pot on low setting for 4 hours.

Remove roast from oven.  With two forks, pull pork apart and stir pot to combine juices with sauce and meat.  If desired, stir in 2 more tablespoons BBQ sauce before serving.

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Book Review From!

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

By Becky Berowski

Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Kaplan, Dishin’ with doB

5 23 12 mindbodybeauty thepurepantry image 1 310x442 The Pure PantryFounder of  The Pure Pantry, Elizabeth Kaplan became gluten free when she learned that not only was she diagnosed with celiac disease, but her two children were also sensitive to gluten as well as various other foods.  She began taking family recipes and converting them to gluten-free versions. This soon lead her to develop her own products and recipes to put in the market place making it easier for the rest of us to make the change.

Who: Elizabeth Kaplan of The Pure Pantry

Where:, with stores across the country.

What do you believe is the most important reason to go gluten free?

The most important reason would be severe allergies or gluten intolerance issues. Those with celiac disease, such as me, must adhere to a 100% gluten-free diet.

Should people who don’t have celiac disease go gluten free?

Certainly, there are other reasons to go gluten-free.  Many nutritionists and doctors maintain that a gluten-free diet lowers inflammation in the body. There are also other auto-immune related disorders that improve with a gluten-free diet such as arthritis, diabetes, and psoriasis.

What is your favorite gluten free product?

Besides my own products, I can’t live without Udi’s multigrain gluten-free bread and bagels.

How do you balance being a mom and a business woman?

I am very fortunate to have wonderful and supportive business partners, my mom and husband! I am also fortunate that my children admire what I do and that they look at me as role model. I feel that by balancing work and motherhood I am teaching my children how to have a full and rewarding life.

5 23 12 mingboydbeauty thepurepantry image 2 310x464 The Pure PantryCan people who are gluten free still eat out at restaurants easily?

There is always the risk of cross contamination for those with celiac disease.  It takes a lot of diligence for me to explain exactly what I can and can’t eat, and there are often problems. In general, I stick to grilled veggies, grilled fish or a salad but still have to be careful that the salad dressing or sauce served with my meal is gluten-free, and that my food is prepared in a separate pan with separate utensils. I limit my meals out – thank goodness I like to cook!

What is one beauty product you always keep with you?

Gluten-free lipstick by Ecco Bella.  I also have to use gluten-free shampoo and conditioner and am always trying new products to find the best one.  So far it has been easy!

Any advice for someone just starting a gluten free diet?

At first it seems very daunting to start a new lifestyle, but once you are committed, you will love how you feel!

Elizabeth Kaplan’s cookbook, Fresh From Elizabeth’s Kitchen, that she was gracious enough to send me, has kept me healthy and happy this past week. Also, her chocolate chip cookie mix and whole grain dark chocolate mix have helped me have a quick dessert for all the May babies I’m celebrating this month.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Gluten-free Product Reviews |Food Review 101 Gives The Pure Pantry Products a Thumbs-Up!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012


Product Review from Food Review 101

A while back, we reviewed The Pure Pantry company and their line of gluten-free baking mixes that you actually couldn’t even tell were gluten-free in the first place, which is why we decided to take a look at the other products in their line of gluten-free goodies. “Elizabeth Kaplan, founder and CEO of The Pure Pantry, is a trained teacher and chef. Her appreciation and passion for fine organic foods began at a young age…when Elizabeth was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2002, she was disappointed in the lack of healthy, good tasting, gluten-free products on the market”, which is why she decided to create her own line of gluten-free products that would not only satisfy her, but the masses as well. For this review, we’ll be looking at The Pure Pantry’s line of gluten-free baking mixes–Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, Old Fashioned Pancake and Baking Mix, Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, and their Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix–that we weren’t able to touch on in our first review of The Pure Pantry. For more information on The Pure Pantry, be sure to head to their very informative and aesthetically pleasing web-site. Also, don’t forget to check out the Food Review 101 Facebook page.

If you’ve read our previous reviews of The Pure Pantry, then you know that they have some pretty high standards to live up to, which is why we were really excited to write up our second review on their line of gluten-free baking mixes. The first mix we tried out was the Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, and we actually used the recipe on the back of the package to help guide us to making some really great pancakes. After we combined our mix, egg, milk, and some cooking oil, we headed for the hot stove to make up some gluten-free pancakes. Our pancakes actually turned out quite fluffy and very tasty, and if anyone would be hard-pressed to actually pick these gluten-free pancakes out of a pancake line-up. The best thing about these mixes though, is that you can actually use it for other recipes as well. The package offers up other recipes for waffles, crepes, and muffins, but if those aren’t enough for you, then head to the Pure Pantry web-site for additional ideas. Next, we tried using the Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, but instead of making a daunting chocolate cake, we used the cupcake recipe instead. After we combined our cake mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and hot water, we stuck it in the oven for 350F for 18 minutes. What came out of the oven was a very chocolaty and moist cupcake that would surely please anyone looking to get their chocolate fix. The texture was really great, oddly enough, but the cool thing about these cupcakes is that they’re made from a bunch of really cool flours– quinoa, brown rice, sorghum, and potato starch–that are a lot more beneficial than the standard flour found in other baking mixes. After we tried the first two mixes out, we headed for their Organic All Purpose Baking Mix, and followed their directions for making a gluten-free banana bread. After mixing and baking our bread, we were pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture of this gluten-free bread. The flavor of this bread was nothing but pure banana, while the texture was soft and chewy like the banana bread we used to eat growing up. Lastly, we tried out the Organic Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, and this mix differed just a bit from the buckwheat and flax mix that we talked about first. This mix gave us a much more traditional pancake that a lot of people are more accustomed to, simply because it looked and tasted like a regular pancake that’s packed with gluten. For anyone searching to lower the amount of gluten in their diet, or anyone looking for a healthier pancake mix that will save them time in the morning, we highly recommend you give The Pure Pantry a try. Overall (4 out of 5).   Read More …

Enhanced by Zemanta

Detoxifying Cleanse | Wholeliving 28 Day Challenge

Friday, January 13th, 2012


Cleanse | Detox Your Body, Reduce Inflammation, Heal the Gut


Are you ready to start off the new year with a healthy detoxifying cleanse?  Cleansing the body of toxins, giving the organs a break, letting the gut heal from damage, reducing inflammation in the body, clearing up the skin, getting rid of bad habits, and weight loss are all benefits of cleansing.  I am following the Wholeliving 28-Day Mind and Body Challenge as a guide for my cleanse.  Wholeliving offers wonderful recipes, daily support emails, and weekly menus with delicious recipes.  Here on my blog, I will be writing about my cleanse experience and provide further recipe ideas and commentary.  You can access the Wholeliving Challenge here:

Check back in daily and please chime in on my facebook (Elizabeth Kaplan – Gluten Free) or blog with recipes, ideas, struggles, questions.

Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Book Review By Tina Turbin From!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

In Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen, author Elizabeth Kaplan utilizes her abundance of culinary education credentials and sincere care throughout her cookbook on each and every page to give us a variety of family-friendly gluten-free recipes. You can enjoy her well thought out personal recipes in a box form her own Gluten Free company, The Pure Pantry.

Elizabeth has a flair for developing recipes and cooking. She has a real eye for capturing “the moment”; the book is full of captivating still photography that invites you into her world, her family, and her kitchen.

I was pleasantly surprised at the range of recipes this book offers with a full chapter devoted to one of my favorite meals, breakfast. She presents so many ideas she makes breakfast fun all over again.

I tried out the recipes for Quick Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake, Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup, Asparagus and Leek Risotto, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Warm Caramel Sauce, and they all turned out absolutely delicious!

In my estimation, this book is one of the finest gluten-free cookbooks available. I also can not say enough about a woman who can run a family, run a company and write her own book.

Tina Turbin

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 Steps to “Going Gluten-Free”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

By Elizabeth Kaplan

G-Get a blood test before you go gluten-free.
L-Learn to cook and eat together as a family.
U-Understand what gluten is and where it is found.
T-Take supplements to support your health.
E-Eliminate all gluten from your pantry.
N-Natural Food Stores and Farmers’ Markets are your new BFF’s.
F-Focus on whole foods diet.
R-Read labels.
E-Enjoy eating out, with caution.
E-Embrace the benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle.

Get a blood test before you go gluten-free.
See your health care practitioner before you eliminate gluten completely. A person seeking diagnosis MUST be following a daily diet that contains gluten for at least 4 weeks in order for test results to be accurate. Specific antibody blood tests are the initial step in screening for Celiac disease.  Further testing options can be decided upon with your doctor after the blood test.

Learn to cook.

Our society has become reliant on fast food drive-throughs and take-out joints, and dependent upon packaged and prepared foods for daily sustenance.   According to the National Restaurant Association,  69 percent of adults surveyed said “purchasing meals from restaurants, take-out and delivery places makes it easier for families with children to manage their day-to-day       lives” — not proof that they never cook, but that they would prefer not to.     According to a 2009 CBS News Report, only 17% of families surveyed had home cooked meals together 7 nights a week, and only 23% had home cooked meals 4-5 nights a week.

Convenience comes at a cost.  Serious health issues including rampant type II diabetes, increased heart disease, and obesity are plaguing our society.   When you are gluten-free, stepping back from society’s pull to eat all things convenient is a not only a healthy step for the aforementioned reasons, it is an assurance that your diet will be free of the allergens you must avoid.   Most convenience foods are laden with gluten, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, sodium, and preservatives.   Learning to prepare healthy meals for you and your friends and family will bring the joy of eating back into your family’s life and keep everyone healthy.  Check out The Pure Pantry cooking class schedule here: (link)

Understand what gluten is and where to find it.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  Oats contain gluten through cross contamination.  It is surprising to find out how many food items contain gluten.  In addition to wheat, barley, rye and oats, many food additives contain hidden sources of gluten.

  • Barley Malt
  • Modified food starch
  • Malt Vinegar
  • “Natural” flavorings
  • Packaged mixes and spices
  • Soy sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Vanilla flavoring

Take supplements to repair the damage and support your health.
When you first get your blood panel done you will find out from your health care practitioner if you have deficiencies.  The gut is most likely not able to break down foods appropriately as it is healing from the injury caused by gluten.

Whether you’ve been living with gluten intolerance or celiac disease for a short or long period of time, attention should be paid to healing the lining of your gut as well as boosting your immune system.  Often those with celiac disease have deficiencies in iron, magnesium, calcium and other minerals due to lack of absorption in the gut.  In addition to adding healing foods such as whole/organic/ unprocessed foods, and high-quality fats and oils, talk to your health care practitioner about adding in the following supplements to boost your body’s ability to heal, rebuild and sustain optimal health:  silica, multi-mineral, aloe vera, L-Glutamine, probiotics, and iron if anemic.

Eliminate all gluten from your life.
Time to clean out the pantry!   Remove from your pantry and refrigerator of all items containing wheat, rye or barley and oats.  This includes many breakfast cereals, pancake mixes, cake, cookie mixes, breads, frozen dinners, frozen waffles, salad dressings, soy sauce and anything with soy sauce in it, bar-b-que sauces, marinades, snack foods such as crackers, some chips, protein bars.  A full list of gluten containing foods is available at:

Natural food stores and Farmers’ Markets are your new BFF’s.
Shopping at a traditional grocery store is difficult and frustrating when you are hunting for gluten-free items.  Alternatively, Natural food stores are geared toward accommodating gluten-free shoppers.  Many stores have “gluten-free” shelf tags to help shoppers locate gf options.  Shopping at the Farmer’s Market is a shopping “experience”, an opportunity to reconnect both with the food you eat, and the people who grow it.  See “Farmers’ Market Has Multiple Benefits for Gluten-free Families” blog entry.

Focus on a whole foods diet.

“What can I eat if I can’t eat pasta, bread, donuts, and all my other favorite foods!”   If this is what you are thinking, you are a perfect candidate for the gluten-free diet as you have been focusing on a carb centered diet and most likely not getting the nourishment you need from nature’s bounty.

A healthy gluten-free diet is based on whole gluten free grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and good fats/oils.  Eating whole foods and avoiding packaged foods will keep your diet healthy.


 What are most nutritional food for people with gluten intolerance?


Grains and Flours:


Rice: go for a variety, from brown to wild rice but beware of too much white rice consumption as it spikes blood sugar levels

  • Gluten free pasta: go for the wholegrain varieties
  • Gluten free cereals with flax, buckwheat, brown rice
  • Quinoa: versatile and a complete source of protein
  • Chia seeds: high in antioxidants, fiber and omega-3’s.

Most beneficial for individuals with celiac disease:

  • Flax meal- high in Omega 3 fatty acids, protect stomach lining
  • Buckwheat-high in protein, fiber and essential amino acids


Fresh fruits – all varieties
Most beneficial for individuals with celiac disease:

  • Avocado- high in Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Acai Berry and Blueberries- high in antioxidants
  • Pomegranate- potent antioxidant, cancer fighting, brain and heart health

Nuts and seeds:

Almonds and walnuts; pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds
Most beneficial for individuals with celiac disease:

  • Almonds – anti-inflammatory, high in vit E for healthy skin and hair, reduces blood cholesterol


Fresh vegetables – all varieties

Most beneficial:

  • Spinach- for blood, brain and heart health, cancer fighting elements, rich in carotenoids, iron, folic acid
  • Garlic- cancer fighting, intestinal health, infection fighting
  • Tomatoes- cancer fighting agent lycopine, anti-oxidants, carotenoids.
  • Broccoli- high in fiber, high in cancer preventing anti-oxidants, high in calcium


All varieties of beans and lentils; when making from scratch be sure to soak your beans before cooking and add in kombu (a sea vegetable, available in the Asian foods section) to make the bean more digestible and to impart extra minerals.
Most beneficial for individuals with celiac disease

  • Lentils- highest in fiber -15.6 grams of fiber in 1 cup cooked


Organic and/or grass fed meat and poultry, wild caught fish
Beans, lentils and high protein vegetables for vegans/vegetarians
Most beneficial for individuals with celiac disease

  • Wild caught salmon – high in protein, omega fatty acids for brain health

Oils and Fats

Olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, flax oil, borage oil, (Udo’s blend contains gluten – beware)
Most beneficial

  • Olive Oil- cancer fighting, brain health, intestinal health
  • Coconut Oil – contains lauric acid which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut

Dairy (if tolerant)

  • Yogurt with probiotics – promotes intestinal health, reduces inflammation, calcium rich, protein
  • Goat & feta cheeses – high in calcium, easier to digest
  • Coconut milk products

Read Labels.

Many manufacturers are now labeling their products “gluten free,” so look for this on packaging.  Remember to be a vigilant reader because allergen labeling is currently voluntary for manufacturers.  You will find this information under the list of ingredients on a product.  But beware,  just because it is labeled GF doesn’t mean it’s a healthful choice.  And just because it’s labeled gluten-free doesn’t mean you won’t have reactions.  Many gf labeled products are processed in equipment that also processes wheat products.  Cross contamination is often a problem.

Enjoy Eating Out – with Caution.
Thank goodness many restaurants are starting to provide gluten free menu items. You still need to be careful about cross contamination.  Everyone has different levels of sensitivity, but if a restaurant uses the same grill or pans as gluten containing foods, you may feel the effects.    Some tips for eating out:
Search the web for gf restaurants.  There are many sites that help gf diners find a place to eat.
Talk to the waiter.  Ask what the gf options are on the menu.  Many restaurants now have a gf menu and have trained their servers to be aware of special dietary needs.
Make or purchase a dining card that indicates your food allergies – hand this to the food server and ask him/her to show it to the chef.    These are available at:

Embrace the benefits..
You’ll now be a conscious shopper and eater!  Creating a conscious lifestyle is not about deprivation, but rather abundance.  Look at this challenge as an opportunity to nourish yourself with better quality foods than you were previously using in your diet.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Cookbook Reviews | “Gluten Free Living” Magazine Reviews “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Cookbook Review from “Gluten Free Living” Magazine

Family Friendly Products
and Recipes

Whether you are looking for a gluten-free mix or gluten-free recipes, Elizabeth Kaplan can oblige.  Kaplan is the founder of The Pure Pantry, a line of gluten-free baking mixes, as well as a recently published cookbook author with her book, Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen.

Kaplan’s inspiration comes from her own kitchen.  She has celiac disease and all three of her children are gluten-free.  In addition to gluten, various members of her family have allergies or intolerances to dairy, peanuts, soy, eggs, and some beans.  Wanting to provide them with options, Kaplan got to work and created The Pure Pantry.  Her line of mixes includes four organic mixes: Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, Buckwheat Flax Pancake & Baking Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and Organic Sugar Cookie Mix.  She also offers two wholegrain mixes:  Oatmeal Cookie Mix and Dark Chocolate Cake Mix.

Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen continues Kaplan’s mission to create family friendly recipes and dishes that everyone can enjoy. The book, published in January 2011, includes recipes such as Peach Cobbler Muffins, Mojito Chicken with Cilantro Rice, and Blueberry Cheesecake with a Gluten-
Free Graham Cracker Crust. In addition to the recipes, there is a chapter titled “Stocking Your Gluten-Free Pantry,” which includes Kaplan’s recommendations for gluten-free grains and dairy-free ingredients.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Pure Pantry Company Review

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

The Pure Pantry offers mixes that are not only delicious, but good for you, serving as proof that gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, and even sugar-free don’t equal taste-free—quite the contrary!

The Pure Pantry offers a variety of mixes for gluten-free cookies, cakes, and pancakes, and even an all-purpose mix for creating other baked goods such as biscuits, muffins, and breads. The mixes are also versatile. We added tons of nuts to the Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and we loved them. They were not only delicious, but so healthy tasting.

Other mixes include Wholegrain Chocolate Chip Coconut Organic Cookie Mix, Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, Organic Sugar Cookie Mix, and the decadent Wholegrain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, oh so chocolately and full of good-for-you nutrients including protein, antioxidants, and protein from ingredients such as quinoa. The Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix is vegan and free of gluten, sugar, dairy, and casein and remarkable for its versatility. It’s even kosher!

Elizabeth Kaplan, Founder of The Pure Pantry, was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago. Discontent with the poor nutritional value of gluten-free products, Elizabeth put her skills as a trained chef to work to develop great-tasting as well as healthy gluten-free substitutes. The Pure Pantry’s website,, features recipes, an online store, and resources for the gluten-free community. I highly recommend checking out their mixes for your gluten-free baking.

Tina Turbin

Enhanced by Zemanta

Gluten Free Apricot Almond Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Apricot Almond Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust
Gluten-free Crust:
1 package Organic Sugar Cookie Mix from The Pure Pantry*
1/2 cup butter or butter alternative, such as Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup organic, non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum
1 egg
1 teaspoon cold water (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Dairy-free Pastry Cream Filling:
1/3 cup organic raw agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave brand
1 cup coconut milk (canned, not light)
6 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-10 ripe apricots
tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted , optional
Powdered sugar for dusting
*Available at Whole Foods, Sprout’s, and many other fine natural food stores. For store locations:
Prepare pie crust:
Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Place sugar cookie mix, butter and shortening in large mixing bowl.  Blend with pastry blender or fork until mixture is in pea sized bits.  Add egg water and almond extract and blend with pastry blender until dough comes together.  Using your hands, pat dough into a flat disk.  Cover with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove pastry dough from refrigerator.  Prepare a work surface by placing a large sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper down and lightly dust it with rice flour or corn starch.  Dust rolling pin with rice flour or cornstarch as well.  Roll out dough  to 1/4 inch thickness.
Place pie plate or tart pan upside down on top of pastry dough.  Lift parchment paper cup on sides and flip over so pie dough lands in pie place.  Peel away parchment paper.
Trim edges of pie dough and reserve scraps for decorating pie or for making an extra little treat for the chef!
Poke holes in each pastry with a fork so surface has tiny holes throughout.
Decorate edges of pie crust, if desired, using small cookie cutters.
Bake pie crust for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
Prepare pastry cream:
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan or double boiler, combine agave nectar, coconut milk, beaten egg yolks, melted coconut oil and salt.  Whisk together over medium heat until bubbles begin to rise.  Lower heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute.
In a small bowl whisk together two tablespoons of the hot egg/coconut milk mixture with arrowroot.  Add almond extract and stir.  Whisk arrowroot mixture into egg mixture over low heat and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.  Set aside for 2-3 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap touching the top of pastry cream to prevent a film from forming.  Place in refrigerator to cool.
Remove pie crust from oven and let cool completely.  Fill with pastry cream.
Cut apricots into quarters, removing pits.  Arrange apricot quarters on top of pastry cream in concentric circles.  Top with toasted almond slivers and dust with powdered sugar.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow by Email