March 31, 2010

Gluten Free Bakery Review: Sweet Freedom Bakery

For all of you who complain about the lack of great GF baked goods out there, this entry is for you.  Philadelphia is fortunate to be the home to Sweet Freedom Bakery, the absolute BEST place to get gluten free and vegan baked goods.  It's located at 1424 South Street (between Broad and 15th) and is open 10am to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm on Sunday, and is closed Mondays.

I decided to try them out for the first time a few weeks ago.  I ordered the chocolate chip chocolate cookie sandwich.  It was AMAZING!  Super rich, super gooey and completely delicious.  The great thing about Sweet Freedom Bakery are the options.  Nowhere else in Philadelphia can you find such a mouth-watering array of gluten free baked goodies.  Support our local GF bakeries! Go there and treat yourself! You won't be disappointed:)

Here's their website:  SWEET FREEDOM BAKERY

March 23, 2010

Gluten Free Product Review: Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

I've been a big fan of Bob's Red Mill products since I found out I have Celiac Disease.  They were one of the first companies that offered a wide variety of products I could eat.  Now that GF has gone somewhat mainstream, there are GF food products galore! Some are good, a lot are pretty bad, but Bob's products have always been great and they continue to release new GF products for us all to enjoy.  Recently I acquired a bag of their new "Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Whole Grain Steel Cut Oats".  The bag states: "Dear Customer... Our premium gluten free oats start as pedigreed non-GMO seed planed in oats-only fields. At harvest, Elisa testing verifies their purity. Our dedicated gluten free facility and additional Elisa testing ensure their integrity."

Before trying this, I've never had Steel Cut Oats.  I've always been a huge fan of oatmeal and preferred the slow cooked Quaker Oats that are available in most supermarkets.  The problem is that Quaker Oats do not guarantee freedom from cross-contamination.  For the longest time I didn't even go near oats for fear of getting sick. Oats naturally do not contain the gluten proteins that make those with Celiac so sick, but often fields of oats are planted near wheat fields so the two crops end up mixing a bit resulting in cross-contamination of most oat-products.

I've got to tell you, after my first bite of these steel cut oats, I was in love!  I find the texture awesome and with a little brown sugar and maple syrup, it's the perfect breakfast food.  I highly suggest you try these out for yourself. That is, of course, if you're a big fan of oatmeal like I am:)

March 7, 2010

Aunt Betty's Gluten Free Broccoli Salad

I'm about to share with you the best raw broccoli salad I have ever eaten!  Actually, it's the only raw broccoli salad I have ever eaten, but that's besides the point. This recipe comes from my good friend Cheryl Vermilya. Cheryl and her husband David have been the co-directors of the Town Shop Youth Center for over 35 years!  I attended the center throughout my teen years, and my experiences there were instrumental in shaping who I've become as an adult.  Additionally, the cooking classes that Cheryl organized monthly, truly instilled within me, a love for culinary experimentation.

During our annual New Year's trek to Syracuse to stay with Dave and Cheryl, this dish was prepared as part of a huge, delicious parade of food creations prepared by Cheryl in commemoration of our visit.  Cheryl's aunt, Betty, is the originator of this recipe, so THANKS AUNT BETTY:)  This side dish is simple, fast and yummilicious!  Try not to like it! I dare you:)


  • 1 large bunch of broccoli flowerets (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (minced)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 slices crisp bacon,or facon if you're vegetarian (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup Miraclewhip mayo
  • 3 tbslp sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or regular vinegar)

  1. Mix together the mayo, sugar and vinegar.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except for the bacon) and mix in a large bowl.
  3. Add the bacon and gently mix.
  4. Serve. That's it! Simple huh?
  5. Enjoy:)

March 3, 2010

Gluten Free Potato, Leek and Arugula Soup

Just three weeks away from comps! Yikes!  The weather is still a bit cold and dreary, but signs of spring are popping up all over the place. Just a few days ago I was walking through the woods among yellow blooms and daffodil shoots making their slow pilgrimage to their sun god.  The birds are back in the trees, beginning their Spring songs, and the season's last snow mounds are melting away to reveal fresh growth in the grass beds below.  I love Spring in Philadelphia. Especially during April when all the trees blossom; it's truly a beautiful thing and I look forward to it every year:)

Being that it's still a bit chilly, I thought I'd share yet another yummy soup recipe.  I made this about a week ago and absolutely loved it!  Taste-bud orgasms galore!  Now you can keep this veggie and omit the crumbled bacon, but I highly suggest at least substituting it with some FACON, or something similar, just for the sake of having little crunchies throughout your soup to enjoy.  Also, feel free to add vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Regardless of whether you add crunchies or not, a steaming bowl of this soup is a wonderful thing on a cold, damp day.  Trust me, you'll love it!


  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 leeks, mostly the white parts but a little green too (chopped)
  • 2 medium size potatoes, of any variety (chopped)
  • 4 tblsp butter
  • 3 3/4 cups GF chicken/vegetable stock, or water
  • 2-3 cups arugula (roughly chopped)
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • crumbled bacon, or facon (for topping)

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pan, and add the onion, leeks and potatoes, stirring the whole mixture till everything is coated with melted butter.
  2. Heat until sizzling and then turn heat to low.
  3. Cover the vegetables and cook on low for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the stock or water in and bring to a boil over high heat.  As soon as it's boiling, reduce the heat to low, and keeping it covered, simmer for 20 more minutes.
  5. Remove the cover, and using a large spoon or potato masher with a long handle, carefully mash up the vegetable chunks a bit.  You don't want the soup to be super creamy, but mashing it up a little will make it just creamy enough.
  6. Add the chopped arugula, stir well and cook on low for another 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream, season with S & P to taste, and continue to cook on low until the whole mixture is hot again.
  8. Ladle into bowls and top with a pinch or two of bacon.
  9. Grab your favorite soup spoon and get ready for a tastetastic experience!
Roland Gluten Free All Natural Chicken Soup Base, 23 Servings Per 4 Ounce Jar, 4 Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)Roland Gluten Free All Natural Vegetable Soup Base, 23 Servings Per 4 Ounce Jar, 4 Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)Roland Gluten Free All Natural Beef Soup Base, 23 Servings Per 4 Ounce Jar, 4 Ounce Jars (Pack of 4)


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!