Tag Archives: Gluten-free diet

Gluten Free Bliss at Argo Tea

Argo Tea
(www.joonbug.com)

By Siddhi:

As I’ve mentioned in previous food-related posts, discovering I was gluten-intolerant was definitely a challenging obstacle. With time and exploration, I was able to find several replacements to my staple diet in the form of gluten-free breads, various multigrain approaches to wheat-based meals, and recipes online with substitutions that would allow me to still have a healthy and fulfilling diet. But the one difficulty I just simply couldn’t overcome was finding gluten free desserts that lived up to their original counterparts. Trader Joe’s has been fantastic at stocking their shelves with cookies and baked goods that come close and sometimes even exceed the taste of wheat desserts. But aside from grocery store hunts, finding relatively healthy indulgences for my insatiable sweet tooth has definitely been rather troublesome.

That was until I decide to deviate from my usual Starbucks routine and give Argo Tea a shot, a place that had apparently stolen my roommate’s heart and in the process, all her dining dollars.

Founded in Chicago in 2003, Argo Tea has now spread outside the Windy City to St. Louis, Boston, and of course, New York City. The range of flavors for the teas is astounding in and of itself. Original options from the Hibiscus Apple Chiller and Tea Sangria to Iced Teapuccino and Chocolate Mint and Red Velvet chais provide beverages that suit every mood and occasion. A breakfast tea, snack tea, dessert tea…whatever you feel like, Argo probably has a solution.

Here are the gluten-free options I’ve loved most at Argo Tea:

-Lemon Drop Cookies- Absolutely delicious and chewy lemon cookies iced on the brim and topped off with powdered sugar and lemon zest. I haven’t tasted lemon drop cookies this good anywhere else. And the fact they’re gluten-free is all the more impressive. The chocolate duet and oatmeal raison cookies are also great.

-Tomato Garden Vegetable Salad, Chickpea Salad, Garden Lentil Salad- I never, ever thought packaged salads could taste so farmers market fresh. The chickpea salad is my favorite, and has such distinct flavoring that it feels like it was prepared in a home kitchen. Plus, they’re filling. You can easily make a meal out of one of these salads (or the many panini options if you’re not gluten intolerant) and a drink and dessert.

Overall, this franchise doesn’t feel like a franchise at all. The experience is first class on all levels, and for people who do have special dietary needs, Argo’s sensitivity is admirable.

Check out the Argo Tea menu here for more options:

http://www.argotea.com/menu_food_brochure.shtml

Naked Pizza- A Guiltless Venture for the Taste Buds

Naked Pizza Crust Menu
(http://nakedpizza.biz/)

By Siddhi: 

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in the beginning of the year, the search for gluten-free pizza that tastes and feels like the real deal as opposed to just a bland attempt at reproducing its wheat based counterparts has been a tough quest. Throughout spring semester of college in New York, I searched for a pizza experience that would make me forget that I had a gluten allergy because the food so authentic. I ended up eating at a handful of Italian restaurants that had a Celiac-friendly menu. But it was only when I got back home to Princeton to that I discovered that a franchise that had recently exploded on the health food scene made my gluten-free pizza experience worth every penny.

Founded in New Orleans, Naked Pizza now has 450 locations and markets itself on four key health benefits: digestive health, bone health, weight management, and glycemic response. There are no preservatives or additives in any of the food and the doughs made of over ten different grains capitalize on the nutrient value of the multigrain approach. Every pizza has prebiotics and heat-immune probiotics and promise a high-protein and low-fat alternative to the other pizzas on the commercial food market. Basically, all the scientific terminology aside, it’s the healthiest your pizza can get when you’re not making it at home.

You can choose your pie in one of three sizes (10 inch, 12 inch, or 14 inch) and one of three crust types (the original Ancestral blend made of ten grains with tomato and mozzarella, the skinny version of the Ancestral blend, and the gluten-free crust). Once you’ve chosen your base, you can choose your toppings, including a delicious set of farmers market fresh tasting vegetables. There are also several menu choices pre-customized with toppings that you can decide from. The “cheesy breadsixx” side isn’t gluten-free, but the spinach salad is of course a safe option and rings with the flavor of blush wine vinaigrette and incredible bell peppers.

I am fairly health conscious, and Naked has been one of the only pizza manufacturers to date that doesn’t give me the post-meal feeling of carrying a ton of lead around in my stomach. In fact, even after scarfing down half a pie of Naked, I feel totally refreshed and can go for a long bike ride without feeling any the unpleasant after effects of oil or cheese weighing me down.

Eating pizza tends to be a universally glorious experience when you’re really, really craving it. In a society with an ever-escalating emphasis on eating right, it’s truly a gift to be able to take the guilt out of eating pizza and enjoy it as a healthy meal rather than an indulgence.

To learn more about Naked Pizza and find a franchise near you, visit their site here:

www.nakedpizza.biz