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Aug 19 2015

Gluten-Free Bento Box Ideas with San-J

Packed lunches don’t have to be boring. They don’t even have to be in a traditional lunch box. Add some excitement to lunch time with these great Gluten-Free Bento Box recipe ideas from San-J and Carol Kicinski. San-J offers a wide variety of Tamari, Shoyu and Cooking Sauces in addition to Miso, Salad Dressings and Crackers. I am sharing a couple of the recipe ideas below, but you can view more recipes on the San-J recipes page.


Beef & Broccoli Salad by Carol Kicinski


  • 1½ cups      Broccoli Florets
  • ¼ pound      Roast Beef, cooked and chopped
  • ½ cup          Carrots, shredded
  • ¼ cup          San-J Mongolian Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Serves: 2


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until crisp tender. Immediately drain and place the broccoli into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Combine the blanched broccoli with the roast beef, carrots, and San-J Mongolian Sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made a day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Asian BBQ Chicken Wraps by Carol Kicinski


  • 3 cups         Chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons  San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, plus more for serving
  • 4 cups         Coleslaw Mix, finely shredded
  • 1/3 cup         Mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons      Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons      Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon      Kosher or Fine Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon      Black Pepper
  • 6 large         Gluten Free Wraps

Serves: 6


Combine chicken with San-J Asian BBQ Sauce. Can be made up to one day ahead, stored covered in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, combine the coleslaw mix with the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Can be made up to one day ahead, store covered in the refrigerator.  Divide the chicken mixture evenly on to the wraps. Divide half of the coleslaw evenly on top of the chicken. Roll the wraps tightly, cut in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Serve the remaining coleslaw in a separate container. Pour some more San-J Asian BBQ Sauce into small covered containers for dipping the roll ups into when eating.

I love that both of the above recipes are dairy-free in addition to gluten-free and can see making both for lunch (or dinner). San-J products are available in stores across the US and online. Don’t forget they also offer their Organic Soy Sauce Tamari in travel packets!

Aug 17 2015

Daiya Adds Cheezy Mac & Cheesecake to Line-Up

Daiya cheese has been around for a few years now. They started with shreds and then moved to slices, blocks and cream cheese-style spreads. They have been expanding their product line over the last year or two and now they are including a brand new gluten-free Cheezy Mac and Cheezecake. Oh, how I miss cheesecake! In addition to being vegan and dairy-free, Daiya products are also free of soy. 


There are three different varieties of Cheezy Mac:

  • Deluxe Cheddar Style
  • Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie
  • Deluxe Alfredo Style

The Cheezy Mac can be made in roughly 10-15 minutes by boiling the pasta and then simply adding the sauce and mixing thoroughly. 

There are four different varieties of Cheezecake:

  • New York Cheezecake
  • Key Lime Cheezecake
  • Chocolate Cheezecake
  • Strawberry Cheezecake

This makes my heart sing! I am excited about finding these new Cheezecakes in our local health food or grocery store. If these products are anything like the other Daiya products, I am sure they are delicious! Have you spotted or tried the Daiya Cheezy Mac or Cheezecake? If so, please share your thoughts!


Aug 14 2015

Review: Cap CIty Fine Diner

A couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to dine at a restaurant that I haven’t tried before. Cap City Fine Diner has been in the Columbus area for 20 years, and I have lived in Columbus for 30 years, yet somehow I managed to miss this gem. Cap City Fine Diner is an artsy and cool diner with an upscale twist and has convenient locations in Grandview and Gahanna. We visited the Grandview location and sat on the patio and enjoyed the fabulous weather and live music. 

The gluten-free menu is fairly extensive with many mouthwatering options. Some of the stand out menu items include:

  • Crispy Fish and Chips (they use Bob’s Red Mill GF flour for the fish and the fries have a dedicated fryer!)
  • Pecan Crusted Pork Chops (served with Cheddar-Chipotle Mashed Potatoes)
  • Philly Cheese Steak (served on a GF bun with fries)
  • Jake’s Famous Reuben (served on a GF bun with fries)

I also avoid dairy, and while they don’t have a menu for that, the server and chef were very helpful in making a safe choice for my meal. I was even treated to a gluten-free roll before my meal! 

IMG 6405

While I couldn’t put butter on it (dairy), I was just happy to be eating bread in a restaurant! I ordered a burger and fries for my meal and thoroughly enjoyed every bite. This is definitely someplace I will be visiting again!

Cap City Fine Diner is part of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which also offers one of our other favorites, Molly Woo’s. If you live in the Columbus area, or are in town visiting, make sure to put Cap City Fine Diner on your list of “must try restaurants.”

Aug 12 2015

Back to School with Jennie-O

Today is the day our kids went back to school. The alarms rang bright and early and the excitement was radiating off of the kids. New clothes, new school supplies, new backpacks, new lunch boxes. Speaking of lunch boxes, let’s chat about some exciting things you can pack for lunch that are to “WOW!” your child(ren).

Jennie-O has a bunch of wonderfully inspiring lunch box ideas on their website. These aren’t your traditional lunches, no sir! These lunches are sure to please even the pickiest eater and they are healthy, to boot!


Turkey Tacos To-Go is simply disassembled turkey tacos. Jennie-O Lean Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey, chips, cheese and salsa. Toss in some berries and you have a well-rounded meal.


Brunch in a Lunch Box will make any kid smile. Use gluten-free mini-pancakes or mini-waffles and pair with Jennie-O Lean Turkey Sausage, yogurt and grapes.


Mediterranean Meatball Bento Box is such a unique idea. Make these Mediterranean Meatballs on a weekend night and pack for a week’s worth of lunches. Pair with veggies and hummus to complete the meal. All of this can be prepared in advance to make it super-easy to grab and go.


Make Ahead Mason Jars. What a brilliant idea! This idea may be more for the older kids or grown-ups. The one on the left is a Easy Strawberry Turkey Bacon Salad make of layers of quinoa, Jennie-O Turkey Bacon, spinach, almonds, sliced strawberries and topped with a lemon poppy seed dressing. The middle one is and Asian Ground Turkey Salad made with Jennie-O Ground Turkey, edamame, mandarin oranges, napa cabbage, cilantro and a ginger-sesame dressing. Last, but not least, the Five-Minute Mediterranean Salad is a no-cook salad that layers chickpeas, cucumber, arugula, feta, tomato and Jennie-O Cracker Pepper Turkey Breast Sticks drizzled with balsamic dressing.

Look for Jennie-O product in grocery stores across the US. What do you pack in the kids’ lunch boxes? What do you pack for your self?

*Special Thanks to Jennie-O for the inspiring recipe ideas, photos and products for sampling.

Aug 10 2015

Summer Snacking with Crunchmaster

Crunchmaster Crackers are among my favorites. They have a great texture and flavor and come in many different varieties. I recently received an email with a bunch of different summer snacking ideas from Crunchmaster. They provided some great ideas to help enjoy the remainder of the summer before all of the kids are back in school.

Crunchmaster Crackers contain no gluten, GMOs, cholesterol, trans fats, artificial flavors or preservatives. There are even some varieties that are dairy-free and vegan.


Summer snacking ideas from Crunchmaster include these nine different cracker toppers:

Blue cheese, black grapes and a thyme sprig


Sun-dried tomato, hummus, finely sliced chives or herb sprig


Thinly sliced ham, sharp yellow cheddar and chive sprigs


Prosciutto wrapped asparagus tip, herbed cheese, sliced chives with Brie and herbs.


Herbed or dilled cream cheese, fresh shrimp, dill sprig


Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, dill


Strawberry slices and brie cheese


Sliced yellow or green apple, cheddar cheese


Grilled (or broiled with balsamic drizzle) asparagus tip, fresh mozzarella and grape tomato


Look for Crunchmaster Crackers in mainstream grocery and health food stores across the US. Click here for a $1.00 off coupon to use towards your next Crunchmaster purchase. What is your favorite Crunchmaster Cracker? How do you like to top it?