Posts Tagged ‘Pizza’

Eating GFree at Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

March 20th, 2011
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Puccini's Smiling Teeth Gluten Free Spaghetti & Pizza

Puccini's Smiling Teeth Gluten Free Spaghetti & Pizza

Puccini’s Smiling Teeth is a restaurant that offers gourmet pasta, pizza, and salads. Keep this restaurant in mind when traveling through the midwest as there are locations in several Indiana cities, Indianapolis, Bloomington, West Lafayette to name a few. As well as a couple in Lousiville & Lexington, Kentucky. Of course I have dined at the West Lafayette location, however I believe all locations are now offering a gluten-free pasta and pizza.


The pizza crusts are made by French Meadow Bakery and can be topped with over 40 toppings. See a full list of available toppings on the Puccini’s website, left-hand side of the page. The gfree pasta that is available is made by Ancient Harvest Quinoa, which contains corn and is not a viable option for individuals with both a corn and a wheat intolerance. When ordering your pasta dish, please be aware that you cannot get the spaghetti and meatballs, as the meatballs are made with flour. You also must not order the chicken piccatta, as the sauce is manufactured in a facility where cross contamination might be an issue. Also keep in mind that although there are many varieties of Quinoa pasta available, Puccini’s only offers the gfree spaghetti noodles at this time. So when you order gfree baked ziti, you will get a baked spaghetti. The meat sauce is okay to eat, but do not order anything with meatballs.

When dining at Puccini’s recently, I ordered the chicken alfredo (which came with the spaghetti noodles). I thought the sauce was good, however some of the noodles were stuck together. I know this has happened to me at home when I didn’t stir the gfree pasta regularly while cooking. I think that it also helps to add oil to the water before adding the pasta. The gluten-free pastas cost a dollar extra at Puccini’s. I would like to see them carry the ziti or a spiral shaped pasta along with the spaghetti noodles.

Find a Puccini’s location near you.

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Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza

February 12th, 2011

On my trip to Whole Foods today, I happily picked up the newest product by Against the Grain Gourmet. They are now selling their pizza shells topped with two choices of sauce, a nut-free pesto or a traditional marinara. The pizzas come with cheese only, so if you want pepperoni, sausage or veggies, there is still some assembly required. I picked up the nut-free pesto version and topped the pizza with Bell & Evans Gluten Free grilled chicken.

Bell & Evans has a “No Junk” pledge where they promise that their chickens will be fed an all natural vegetarian diet, with no growth hormones. They also promise not to add any preservatives, artificial flavorings, fillers or extenders. They are also free of hydrogenated oils. Plus they have gluten free products with a breading that my son has no clue is gluten free. I have found that preservatives, artificial flavors, fillers, and gluten can trigger a Fibromyalgia flare-up. So I appreciate the “No Junk” promise, and with Bell & Evans I trust their products.

Against-the-Grain Pesto Pizza fresh out of the box.

Against the Grain Gourmet seems to be another company with similar values to Bell & Evans. The Against the Grain Gourmet pizza box even has a value statement printed on the back.

No one ever said it would be easy going Against the Grain. And no one understands more than we do, the challenges of delivering delicious gluten free products in a world of industrialized food. There was a time when food was hand-crafted at home from simple farm-fresh ingredients and eaten with respect. Somewhere along the way, the people were taken out of food production, and then the real ingredients themselves. Food chemists invented flavor enhancers, dough conditioners, binders, preservatives, and modified basic food starches beyond recognition. Something as sacred as a cheese-topped pizza was transformed from comfort food into a chemistry experiment.

Here at Against the Grain, we sincerely believe that you are what you eat. Our milk comes from a local family farm that bottles the milk less than 24 hours before we receive it. Our eggs are delivered directly from the hens to us by a local family egg farm – you can’t find them any fresher. We use expeller–pressed non-GMO canola oil and low fat mozzarella cheese made from the milk of dairy cows that are routinely veterinarian inspected. Our cheese has no added growth hormones, no anti-caking agents, and is natamycin-free. We never use any binders, dough conditioners, flavor enhancers, stabilizers, or preservatives. In fact, you can pronounce and spell all of our ingredients!

Although this is not an organic product, I appreciate that this value statement closely matches my own personal goals for meeting my nutritional needs. When I went gluten-free, processed foods free almost a year ago, I decided I would no longer purchase products that I felt I needed a chemistry degree to decipher what I was eating. There is so much junk in our grocery stores; almost everything is so highly processed that they actually add nutrients back into products before they are distributed. Of course they have to lace them with preservatives in order to extend the shelf life. Anyway, before I go off on a rant, I appreciate companies like these that are producing real food items that won’t leave you nutritionally deficient. I am a working mom, so unfortunately I do not have large amounts of time to make gluten-free dinners for the family. And there are some nights when I am working late, I need to be able to just throw a pizza in the oven. This product gives me the opportunity to do just that.

Yummy Crispy Crust Pizza GFree!

All I had to do was thaw one of the Bell & Evans chicken breast in the microwave, while the toaster oven was pre-heating to 400 degrees. I sliced up the chicken and threw it on the pizza. I wish I would have sliced up some tomatoes too, but I was being extremely lazy. I put the pizza straight onto my toaster oven rack, and let it cook for just over 12 minutes. I pulled it out of the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. The sauce was delicious and the crust was crunchy, not chewing like the ones that have gelatin in them to make them airy.

This pizza shell has a cheese based dough, so it has a tendency when cooked on a pizza pan to become very flimsy. I haven’t invested in a pizza stone to be dedicated gluten-free yet, so this hasn’t been tested on a pizza stone. I prefer a thin cripsy crust though, so it works perfectly to put it right on the rack and bake. If you like a soft crust, you may have to deal with a flimsy pizza from this shell. The thing I like about this pizza shell, is that it doesn’t taste like rice. Many gluten-free pizzas when you reheat them, the rice crust overpowers everything. This is definitely one of my favorite gluten-free shells, as it reminds me of the stuffed crust pizza I use to love before going gluten-free. As for the pesto sauce on this pizza, I didn’t even notice that it was made from sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. I thought that the sauce had a nice flavor. I would purchase this product again.

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Arni’s Gluten Free Pizza

January 30th, 2011
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Today we went out to lunch with the family at Arni’s, Lafayette Market Square location. My sister-in-law was dining there a week or so ago and saw a table card that they were offering a gluten-free pizza. I was very excited to try it out as I was really missing Arni’s pizza. The crust is made by The Grainless Baker. The crust of course has a rice base, but also has gelatin to give the dough a little bit of air. The herbs in the crust of the pizza, help hide the flavor of the rice. See the full ingredients list by clicking here.

I think the gelatin gives the crust a chewy texture, instead of the crispy crunchy Arni’s crust I remember. However, the gelatin also seems to keep the crust from crumbling apart or sagging from the weight of the toppings. I thought that this is probably as good of a pizza I’m going to get going gluten-free. It definitely beats Monical’s Gfree pizza, hands down. Monical’s pizza doesn’t reheat vary well; It always ends up tasting heavily of rice. I reheated my leftovers from Arni’s in my toaster oven for dinner and it was just as good as it was at lunch. I’ll be back for this I’m sure. Once you finish your pizza, make sure you try the Gluten-Free Caramel Cheesecake! It is delicious.

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Pizza Hut I Loathe You

March 30th, 2010
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Pizza HutI used to love you, but now I loathe you. Oh what I wouldn’t give for just a bite of your pepperoni pan pizza. The delicious crispy buttery crust with bubbly cheese that oozes into your mouth as you close your eyes and take a bite of heaven. One bite would no doubt have me in digestive discomfort for a minimum of three days and make my fibro flare for quite possibly a week. Pizza has always been a comfort food to me, with the Pizza Hut Brand topping my list of favorites.

Yet tomorrow I must cross the threshold of a franchise that use to be my favorite spot to dine-in or carry-out. I will be taking 20 of my sixth grade students on a field trip where after watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid we will head for the lunch buffet. While I am dinning on salad and the homemade french dressing I will be carrying in with me, I will suffer in silence as I smell the garlic and fresh bread. The field trip was obviously planned before I found the fibro gluten connection, otherwise I would not be putting myself into such a tempting situation.

After visiting Pizza Hut’s website today and discovering they pretty much have nothing on their menu (click here for link to allergens chart) except for salad that I can eat, I gave the local restaurant a call to verify what salad dressings I might be able to have. Even though I called at three, the gentleman that I spoke with sounded busy and was frustrated after I asked him to read the ingredients on the cottage cheese and the french dressing.

I thought it would be better to call ahead, rather than try and find out tomorrow I couldn’t have any salad dressing or cottage cheese, not too mention they will be much busier at 1PM. The guy was nice enough to offer to try to top a crust if I brought in my own although he couldn’t guarantee the quality. I might try that another day.

What I really want is for Pizza Hut to join on the gluten-free band wagon. If Monical’s Pizza can offer a gluten-free pizza and gluten-free salad dressings Pizza Hut can too. Don’t make us suffer!

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