Meatless Monday Blog: Gluten Free Bread

Yes yes, we know gluten free living has become trendy but it’s also very real for those suffering with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease.  Celiac Awareness Month is quickly approaching next month so we thought we’d prep by sharing some allergen free goodies! BFree Foods has a dense line of non-GMO gluten free breads, bagels and wraps to ease the stress and limitations of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.

BFree isn’t loafing around when catering to food sensitivities.  Their products are:

  • Egg Free
  • Soy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegan.

And they’re on a roll with their nutrition profiles.

  • BFree has much more fiber than your typical gluten free bread with a shorter list of ingredients.
  • Uniquely, they have a pea protein blend in the mix so you can get your muscle fix.
  • Additionally, their products are low in fat and calories!

Donut you wanna know what they taste like?

Breakfast: BAGEL

Multiseed Bagel and White Bagel

Does the BFree Bagel rise to occasion?  The quinoa and poppy seed crunch on the multi-seed bagel adds a depth of texture and flavor.  We dough know about you, but gluten free bagels were a new odyssey for us.  Although structurally bagel-esque, they lack the chewy texture we clamor for in bagels.  The multi-seed bagel was a bit crumbly and needed to be toasted to hold up to sticky peanut butter.  Our tip: add vegan butter after toasting the bagels to moisten um’ up.

On-the-Go Breakfast: BFree Multiseed Bagel with Almond Butter.

 

Eggs, vegan Daiya pepperjack cheese and BFree Foods white bagel.

 

Lunch Box: LOAVES & BUNS

Brown Seeded Loaf and Soft White Sandwich Loaf

Other gluten free loaves?  Baguette-about um!  These loaves are cut length wise, making them perfect for paninis and tasty for toast.  They are also hole free so your toppings won’t slip through the cracks.  The bread could have a bit more flavor but it’s mild nature makes it suitable for any topping.  The Soft white sandwich bread is perfect for tea parties or any gatherings when you have friends and family members with different allergies.

Tea Time with BFree Foods white loaf spread with Latana (formerly Eat Well Embrace Life) Edamame “Hummus,” cucumbers and dill.

 

BFree Brown Seeded Loaf with pesto, sauteed mushrooms, basil, spinach, sundried tomatoes and Lucrene mozzarella cheese.

White Plain Hot Dog Buns and Brown Seeded Hot Dog Buns

The buns are not your typical hot dog buns but are a great substitute, although easily breakable.  We created vegan banh mi sandwiches with the brown seeded buns for our friends and they loved it!

Vegan banh mi sandwich with Nasoya marinated teriyaki tofu, organic carrot slaw, white and red radishes, lemon vinegrette, jalapeno, cilantro and BFree Brown Seeded Bun.

Dinner: ROLLS

Brown Seeded Rolls and White Rolls

The white rolls mimic a dense ciabatta and make a solid breakfast or dinner sammie holder when toasted.  Get decadent and spread some garlic sea salt coconut ghee on the brown seeded roll before topping!

Vegan BBQ Sandwich with BFree White Rolls, Upton’s BBQ Jackfruit and Local Folks Foods mustard.

Other Products Wheat Loaved to Try (HA!)

We are curious about the sweet potato wraps and the quinoa chia seed and flaxseed wraps.  The only other brand of gluten free wrap we’ve tried was formed from rice flour and the wrap had too stiff of a texture.

Find BFree Foods:

Are you bready to crummmmble with BFree foods?  You can find them in Jewel-Osco in Chicagoland or search for a spot near you here to enjoy bready goodness without the gluten.

Wanna learn more about Celiac Disease and how you can help this May during Celiac Awareness Month? Check out https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/

Infographic_Celiac Disease at a Glance

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brunch Bunch: Prairie Grass Cafe

You know when you ask people where they live, and they say some far off burb’ and you cancel the possibility of visiting?  Well, change your mind if they live in Northbrook and grab some brunch!

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Prairie Grass Cafe, conveniently located right off the expressway, will make you wanna visit your neighbor to the north.  Chef-Owner Sarah Stegner and Chef-Owner George Bumbaris, both formerly of the fancy pants Ritz Carleton, partnered to created a casual environment with local fresh food.  Stegner is also a 2 time winner of the ultra prestigious James Beard award so just think of the awesomeness of experiencing her cuisine without the abominable months’ wait of similar city joints.  Prairie Grass Cafe hosted us one lazy Sunday afternoon to see what all the fuss was about.

Family Friendly

Prairie Grass Cafe was popping with kiddos during Sunday brunch, illustrating its’ kid friendly appeal.  Stegner is a founding member of the Healthy Fare for Kids initiative which encourages restaurants to ditch the junk for children and provide them with nutritional sound menu items.  The brunch menu for kids was comprehensive and our lil’ guest of honor, Monica’s nephew, scarfed down a cheese, fruit and veggie plate.  Prairie Grass was able to work around his allergies with this dish.

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One small thing for improvement: as there were so many kids, there was no high chair available.  We made due with a booster seat instead thanks to the help of our friendly wait staff but this might not have worked for a littler dude or dudette.

Looking for more than just a meal? Check out “Make Your Own Pizza” Fridays where the toppings come to the table for a more active event for your tots.

Meatless Fare

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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Pancakes can be a ho-hum or over the top in sugar at brunch.  We flipped, however, over Prairie Grass’ fluffy light Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  The citrus flavor measured up to our preferences and added a delicate sparkle to the cakes.  Go for the gusto and add the berry flavorful rasberry sauce and creme anglaise for that WOW effect.  We also sampled the french toast and although it was decent, the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes take the taste award.

Chilaquiles

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The Chilaquiles will make any tummy happy with runny soft fried eggs melting over the top of a hearty pile of cheese, crispy beany tortilla chips, guacamole and pico de gallo.

Egg White Omelette

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The Egg White Omelette is chock b’gawk full of farm fresh eggs, seasonal produce and topped with avocado and pico de gallo.  We added a side of perfectly seasoned crispy potatoes to round out the meal.  This omelette is big enough for 2 people so feel free to split.

Dessert-a-thon

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Prairie Grass Cafe is a dessert lovers’ dream with their bountiful selection of fresh homemade treats.  Chef Sarah spoiled us sweetness with the Coconut Cream Pie (seasonal), Double Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with local berries, and Strawberry crepe with grand mariner sauce.

The standouts were the Coconut Cream Pie and Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee.  Luckily, we had a group of 6 to avoid sugar shock. 🙂

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Chicagoans, if there was ever a reason to meet your suburban friends half-way, this is a reason to venture beyond the borders of our city.  Not feelin’ the brunch buzz?  Get up later for lunch or dinner at your wake up whims.

Meatless Monday: New Laughing Cow Asiago Cheese

Cheese!  The friend of many a vegetarian and, in excess, a possible foe to your caloric intake.  Laughing Cow Brand Spreadable Cheese Wedges can make you giggle in cheesy delight however and ease your cheese anxiety (easy cheesy..hahahaha).

We’ve always been a fan of Laughing Cow cheese.  Their spreadable wedges are portable, low in calories, high in protein and a versitile snackaroo.  One of their newest flavors, asiago, is savory and satisfying when on the go, a quick after work snack or even when hosting a partaaaay.  We received free samples during the launch of the asiago wedge back in January and lightened up our New Years but then bought even more for the Super Bowl.  We decided to create 2 contrasting recipes to showcase 2 sides of the same cheese.

Kate’s Sweet N’ Spicy Wedges

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Crushed Pineapple Slices
  • 1 Jar Jalapeno Jelly
  • 1 12 ounce Jar sliced Jalapenos
  • 1 bag CrunchMaster Multiseed Crackers
  • Laughing Cow Asiago Cheese

Directions

Sooo…this is so easy!  Lay out the Multiseed Crackers crackers on plate.  Use a cheese knife or butter knife to spread 1/4 wedge of cheese (or more if desired) on each cracker.  Spread jalapeno jelly on each cracker.  Garnish each cracker with a piece of pineapple and a slice of jalapeno.  These lil’ crackers got demolished at our NYE gathering so we’re sure you’ll love um.

Monica’s Italiano Caprese Wedges

Ingredients

  • Cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Italian herbs
  • Garlic Sea Salt
  • Whole Black Pepper grinded
  • 360 Whole Foods EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Laughing Cow Asiago Cheese

Directions

Peel open several Laughing Cow Asiago cheese wedges, remove wrapper and set each wedge on a plate.  Sprinkle dried basil leaves, Italian seasoning, garlic, sea salt, and grounded black pepper on each wedge.  Slice cherrry tomatoes in half and wash/pat dry the basil leaves.  Add fresh basil leaves and halves cherry tomatoes to each wedge.

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Laughing Cow Asiago can also be smeared on tortilla chips and turned into breakfast nachos with scrambled eggs and veggies, spread on a bagel with spinach and roasted peppers or whateva’ you like (as T.I. says).  Or try the Pistachio Pear Honey Asiago recipe posted recently for a sweet treat.  Click here to read the recipe.

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Are you team Sweet N’ Spicy or team Italiano?  Do you have any other Laughing Cow Recipes you love?  Offer 9 total flavors, you can #savorthemoment with a different flavor every day!  Find Laughing Cow products at a grocery store near you.

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