Posts tagged ‘free stuff’

Gluten-Free Tailgating (Plus a Giveaway!)

Congratulations Ashley Pelley and Schmidty! You are the winners of our Thai Kitchen gluten-free giveaway. Please email with your mailing address to claim your prize.

When I think of tailgating food, most of it is, well, gluteny. For a morning game, it’s donuts and bagels. In the afternoon, the list consists of burger & buns, hoagies, and soft pretzels. Then there’s the beer, the cups that always seem to get mixed up, and the one friend who insists on touching everything while taking bites of his sandwich. It certainly doesn’t make it easy if you need to be gluten-free.

When Thai Kitchen contacted us about doing a fall campaign, it was the perfect opportunity to create a Gluten-Free Tailgating Guide to help everyone make going to a game less stress and more fun.


Tailgating on a very cold day.

I’ll be honest, Whitney and I racked our brains for a few days while creating this guide. Sure, there were the usual food safety tips, like keeping meats and dairy in a cooler. But avoiding cross-contamination? That required some crafty thinking.

Gluten-Free Tailgating Guide

Our Gluten-Free Tailgating Guide

The guide is now posted in the Thai Kitchen Gluten-Free Recipe Box on our website. It even has a recipe for Curry Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa, because if you volunteer to make the burgers (Warning: some people put breadcrumbs in their burger mix), you might as well impress the crowd.

Gluten-Free Giveaway!

We had such an overwhelming response to last week’s Thai Kitchen Gluten-Free Giveaway that I was thrilled to host another round. This week, we’re giving away the Thai Kitchen products needed to make Curry Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa and Chicken Satay Skewers – another gluten-free recipe that’s great for the game. Here’s what you can win:

  • Coconut Milk (for Chicken Satay Skewers)
  • Fish Sauce (for Chicken Satay Skewers)
  • Red Curry Paste (for Chicken Satay Skewers and Curry Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa)
  • Peanut Satay Sauce (for Chicken Satay Skewers)
  • Sweet Red Chili Sauce (for Curry Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa)
  • 2 Thai Kitchen chip clips
  • 2 Thai Kitchen pot holders
  • Thai Kitchen coupons
  • Tailgating Recipes

To enter, leave a comment sharing your best gluten-free tailgating tip. (We know how resourceful you all are!) We’ll randomly select 2 winners and announce them right here on Friday afternoon.


October 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm 14 comments

Adventures In Gluten-Free Cooking

Whitney Conquers The Kitchen Thanks To Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Rice Mixes

When I volunteered to create my very own original gluten-free recipe using one of Zatarain’s fabulous gluten-free rice mixes, there were a few raised eyebrows among the NFCA staff.

For one thing, I don’t eat gluten-free – at least not at home (the office is a different story). Secondly, I am not a cook. A great eater? For sure. But completely inept when it comes to anything related to the kitchen!

While I only recently learned that many of their products were gluten-free, I have been using Zatarain’s products for years. So with experience in my back pocket, I confidently accepted the challenge!

Ingredients for Zatarain's gluten-free dinner

Ingredients gathered. I'm ready to cook!

What I’ve always loved about Zatarain’s is that their products are incredibly versatile, and fit seamlessly into a variety of cuisines and dishes. For my foree into gluten-free cooking, I chose to stick to a New Orleans theme because I love spicy food – specifically Cajun chicken.

What’s also great about Zatarain’s is that you can get creative with their products. For instance, I chose Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Dirty Rice Mix, which calls for beef in the preparation instructions. But instead of beef, I added black beans – it worked like a charm and was just as delicious!

Whitney’s Cajun Chicken Tenders with Zatarain’s Dirty Rice

Serves 2-4


  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenders (12 tenders in a pack)
  • 1 box Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Dirty Rice Mix
  • Black Beans (1 can, strained)
  • Onion (2, chopped)
  • Green Pepper (2, chopped)
  • Gluten-free Cajun or Creole Seasoning Mix
  • Olive Oil


To make chicken:

1. Empty Gluten-Free Cajun/Creole Seasoning Mix onto a small plate.

2. Brush tenders (both sides) lightly with olive oil, then coat in seasoning mix and place onto non stick or sprayed sauté pan.

3. Cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked all the way through and seasoning appears charred or blackened.

4. Place a paper towel onto a separate ‘finished’ place. Once tenders are cooked, place them onto the ‘finished’ plate and set aside.

Gluten-Free Cajun Blackened Chicken

Gluten-free Cajun chicken

To make rice:

1. Follow Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Dirty Rice Mix instructions for preparation, located on the back of the box. However, neglect instructions that call for ground meat – prepare without.

2. When rice is completely reduced and prepared, add beans.

Gluten-Free Dirty Rice with Black Beans

Black beans - an inexpensive way to jazz up gluten-free Dirty Rice.

Bringing it all together:

1. After chicken tenders are removed/set aside, add olive oil to the pan and sauté peppers and onions until tender (you can also use a separate, clean pan for this step).

2. Plate rice, chicken and veggies and voila – a healthy, spicy, New Orleans inspired dinner in under 45 minutes!

Gluten-Free Zatarain's meal

The money shot!


*Ready to try your hand at a New Orleans-style meal? Enter NFCA’s “Jazz Up Your Day Gluten-Free Giveaway” by answering the daily question on NFCA’s Facebook page. Each day, a winner will be selected to receive a prize pack of Zatarain’s gluten-free rice mixes. Runs through Friday, July 15.

July 14, 2011 at 9:43 am 2 comments

Blue Diamond Gluten-Free Giveaway Winners

Thank you to all who shared their gluten-free 4th of July plans and why Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips would make a delicious addition. We were impressed by your enthusiasm…and your social calendars!

Now, on the winners. Congratulations to the following fans:

  • Jessica: I’m so excited to try these new chips! Our 4th of July plans are similar to most holidays – food, fun and family – and I love providing a gluten free feast to a bunch of gluten eaters who never know the difference!
  • Lauren Bloom: Love the crackers, can’t wait to try to chips! They will be great with hummus!
  • glutenfreesteve: Right now, planning a cookout and these would be great to make bruschetta topping to put on!
  • K. Eve Thompson: Our family is going to be having a bbq and birthday party with friends. Snacks are a must -especially when there’s lots of gluten intolerant and celiac attendees!
  • melissadishes: We are heading down to the river, these would be a great snack for me to take along and enjoy while everyone else is eating pretzels, chips, and crackers. May even share 😉

To claim your free bags of Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips, email Please include your mailing address. When the Baked Nut Chips arrive, do a happy dance and shoot us an email to let us know your favorite flavor.

For those who didn’t win, watch NFCA’s Gluten-Free Hot Products blog next week (June 27-July 1) for another chance to win free Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips. You can also take advantage of the free resources and gluten-free recipes found at

And of course, you can always pick up your own bag of Baked Nut Chips. Visit Blue Diamond’s product locator to find a store near you.

June 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Chip, Chip Hooray for Gluten-Free (Plus, a Giveaway!)

One of the best things about holidays is having an excuse to celebrate at the office. From my first day in the workforce, I always looked forward to ‘food days,’ when everyone brought in snacks and swapped recipes for their famous cakes, casseroles, and crumbles.

When I started at NFCA, I quickly realized that ‘food days’ aren’t so easy among the gluten-free.  At the NFCA office, we default to gluten-free so everyone can participate in celebrations.  But at other offices, and parties in general, gluten eaters may be less welcoming to the idea.

Fortunately, one thing I’ve found to be universally pleasing among celiac and non-celiac crowds are gluten-free chips. Here’s why:

  • They’re portable. For party purposes, there’s nothing better than tossing a bag in your tote. If you’ve ever tried to stack cupcakes without messing up the icing, you know how valuable that can be.
  • They’re versatile. Depending on whether they’re packed with flavor or just dusted with salt, you can eat them right out of the bag, dunk them in a gluten-free dip, or crumble them on top of a salad.
  • They’re gluten-free, but not obviously so. They look like chips, they taste like chips, and they often are chips that just happen to be gluten-free. I’ve never heard someone say “This chip tastes gluten-free,” and few will be able to pass up a taste.

Now, when you bring a crowd-pleasing food, there is the risk of cross-contamination. People who can eat gluten may be happy to try your gluten-free chips and dip, but their hands also may be rife with gluten-y crumbs.

Gluten-Free 4th of July Guide

Gluten-free tips for your 4th of July celebration!

To help you keep gluten-free items untainted and make your party an overall blast, we created 4th of July Fun, a new Printable Guide sponsored by Blue Diamond. Available on NFCA’s website, this tip sheet covers all of your party-planning quandaries, from invitations to cross-contamination.

Download 4th of July Fun at

Win Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips!

To get your party started, Blue Diamond is giving away NEW! Baked Nut Chips to 5 lucky winners. These new gluten-free chips are made with whole-grain brown rice and almonds, and they meet all the requirements for a party-appropriate snack. Plus, they’re delicious.

Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips

Get these for free!

Winners will receive a bag of each Baked Nut Chips flavor: Sour Cream & Chive, Sea Salt, and Nacho (that’s 3 bags total!).

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us your 4th of July plans and why free Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips would pump up the party. Winners will be selected randomly and announced on Friday, June 24.

(Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog next week for another chance to win!)


June 22, 2011 at 10:49 am 36 comments

A Sweet Reward for Gluten-Free Fans

While most of our friends had a relaxing week off between Christmas and New Year’s, Whitney, Kristin and I were trucking away at projects planned for 2011. Don’t get us wrong; we love what we do. It’s just that the office, well, it gets stuffy.

gluten-free bakery case

So many gluten-free desserts to choose from!

Fortunately, we learned a few weeks back that Sweet Freedom Bakery, one of Philly’s top gluten-free locales and an Appetite for Awareness participant, would appear in an episode of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” on Dec. 28. Surely, we should swing by to wish them luck, we figured. So, when the big day arrived, off to South Street we went.

Friends, if you ever need a midday pick-me-up, swing by a gluten-free bakery. Don’t do it every day, but give yourself a treat. The air is sweet, the colors are bright and the displays are fabulous.

gluten-free bakery items

Our gluten-free selections.

But what to get? A thumbprint cookie for Kristin and cake balls for Whitney and me, plus a chocolate chip cookie cupcake with chocolate frosting to enjoy during the 9 p.m. show.

We sat down; we ate; and we gushed. The thumbprint cookie tasted just like the traditional ones she used to love. The cake balls? Oh. my. word. Rich chocolate ganache mixed with crumbles of cake, all in the shape of a donut hole. You could pop the whole thing in one bite, but I chose to savor mine. Chocolate therapy, indeed.

gluten-free cupcake and television show

Cupcake for "Cupcake Wars!" on my lovely old TV.

Back at my house, I kicked up my footrest and set my cupcake out as a token of luck for the Food Network battle. (Truth be told, I held off on eating it until the following day. Better to space out the treats than overindulge in one swoop.)

Sweet Freedom duo Allison and Heather had a good showing, making it to the second round of the competition. The judges, in fact, were quite impressed with the flavor and texture of the cupcakes. Gluten-free misnomers, be gone!

Now, just a few weeks later, I’ve come to learn more exciting news from the Sweet Freedom crew. The bakery is celebrating its first birthday this Saturday. And for any Philadelphians reading, they’re giving away free mini cupcakes to the first 100 customers to pop by the shop, starting at noon. A sweet way to say “Thank You!” for the support they’ve received.

Celiac Central quarterly newsletter

Look for Celiac Central Quarterly on the counter!

Sadly, I present this news knowing that I will be heading north for the weekend. However, I do plan to hit up a bakery I’ve been hearing lots of buzz about. Gluten-free dessert will be had, one way or another.

Did you catch Sweet Freedom Bakery on “Cupcake Wars”? What other Food Network shows would you like to see go gluten-free?


January 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

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