Disclosure: Cappello’s and TX Bar Organics provided free pasta and beef products for me to review and also for this giveaway. However, this is not a compensated post and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
I’ve never been shy about sharing my struggle to commit to the gluten free diet after my celiac diagnosis in 2005. There’s something peculiar that clicks in my head when the words “no” and “forever” are expressed in the same sentence. What do you mean no gluten ever again? Does that mean the same thing as “not even a single little crumb for the rest of my life?” Could we perhaps negotiate a “points program” instead, kinda like Weight Watchers®? How about if I “only” eat 2 points worth of gluten each week, that would be okay, right?
Once I was finally able to see (and feel) gluten’s deleterious effects on my health, I assumed my subconscious would naturally absolve this little Sisyphean hiccup of mine. Alas, that wasn’t to be the case. When I was diagnosed with a corn allergy in the fall of 2010, I suddenly HAD to have a corn dog. And I hate corn dogs. Thankfully, I was able to move over to corn free acceptance much faster than I did with gluten. But a few months later, the entire grain elevator dropped out from below me when I was told that my immune system was not playing nicely with ANY grains, gluten free or otherwise. Oh you’ve got to be kidding me!
I’m beginning to think I must have been a grain-fed, feedlot cow in my former life.
I’ve been (mostly) grain free for the past 18 months and I’ve never felt better. My body thrives on this diet (I’m not saying that yours will – we are all unique biochemical snowflakes after all).
Sometimes though, my inner Sisyphus rears it’s ugly head and I succumb to the plate of gluten free pasta. Even when I know that I won’t feel my best for several weeks thereafter. If only there was such a thing as grain free pasta…and no, I’m not talking about zucchini “pasta” or spaghetti squash (which I do enjoy). I’m talking pasta pasta. As in noodle-y pasta, the kind you slurp up between pursed lips.
Cappello’s Grain Free Pasta
Move over rice, there’s a new grain free pasta in town!
And it’s good. Really really good. The texture is just like that of fresh grain-based pasta and it only taste a minute (or less) to cook in a pot of boiling water. A minute!
A bit about Cappello’s from their website:
“Cappello’s is a Colorado-based gourmet food company specializing in high-end gluten free and grain free pasta. Founded in 2011 by friends Stacey Marcellus and Benjamin Frohlichstein, the inspiration for Cappello’s was born out of Stacey and Ben’s desire to create a totally unique food company, to be the best at what they do, and to legitimize their penchant for asking strangers to taste their pasta. Cappello’s mission is simple: provide fresh, uniquely delicious options for gourmet food-lovers, healthy eaters, and people with dietary restrictions.
Our fresh gluten free, grain free fettuccine is carefully hand-crafted to achieve a texture and taste that is unrivaled among traditional pasta. Low on the glycemic index and made primarily from almond flour and egg, Cappello’s fettuccine has a deliciously rich, buttery flavor and silky consistency.
Unlike dry pasta alternatives, our fresh gluten free, grain free fettuccine cooks quickly— a minute or less, depending on your personal preference for bite. Serve the pasta immediately, and watch as your friends dig in—oblivious to the fact that their dish is 100% gluten free. All products are freezable.”
To read more about Cappello’s, click here.
Cappello’s offers three different varieties of FRESH grain free pasta: fettuccine, gnocchi and lasagna. Stacey and Benjamin kindly sent me all 3 varieties and we sampled the fettuccine for this review – I tucked the gnocchi and lasagna away in the freezer until I’m struck by some divine cheese-free inspiration, something other than dairy free pesto. I think the gnocchi would be a fantastic grain free substitute in chicken and dumplings, and the lasagna noodles can easily be cut and used to make ravioli. Imagine, grain free toasted ravioli. Oh my.
Ingredients: almond flour, cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, sea salt.
Price: $39.00 for Four (4) 9-oz. packages of fettuccine. Cost includes custom eco-cooler.
Ingredients: organic potato flakes, water, almond flour, cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, potato starch, sea salt.
Price: $39.00 for Four (4) 12-oz. packages of gnocchi. Cost includes custom eco-cooler.
Ingredients: almond flour, cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, sea salt
Price: $55.00 for Four (4) 12-oz. packages of lasagna. Cost includes custom eco-cooler.
Taste of Each
Not sure which of Cappello’s fresh grain free pastas to try? Be sure to check out their sampler pack!
Manufactured in a Dedicated Gluten Free Facility
All of Cappello’s grain free pasta products are manufactured in a gluten free facility and tested with an ELISA gluten assay to verify the absence of gluten. Please note that ALL of the pastas contain almonds and egg (my little guy Luke, who is allergic to egg whites, is currently re-trialing eggs under doctor supervision so he was only allowed to enjoy 2 noodles…and enjoy them he did!).
Quick note about the xanthan gum used in Cappello’s grain-free pasta (for folks with corn allergies like myself). When I was first diagnosed with my corn allergy in the fall of 2010, I was warned to steer clear of xanthan gum because it can involve corn derivatives in the manufacturing process. Being a celiac, I’ve learned a lot about the many ways of food processing over the years and how it can render some gluten derived foods, technically “gluten free.” Think alcohol and vinegar distilled from gluten grains. If this rule applies to the toxic gluten proteins, could certain processing methods also turn a corn-derived product into a “corn free” product? Seems logical to me but seeing that there isn’t a “National Corn Allergy Association” funding research on the matter, I initially went with the better safe than sorry approach and avoided it altogether. But then my dear friend Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily shared some information about xanthan gum in June of 2011 (originally published on the Celiac Listserv) by gluten free cookbook author, Connie Sarros. Connie explained how xanthan gum is made, the involvement of corn in the manufacturing process and whether or not there is any corn protein in xanthan gum (click the link to read the full note, but as always…talk to your doctor).
Before sampling the pasta, I contacted Benjamin, one of the founders of Cappello’s, and he verified with his xanthan gum source that it is indeed free of corn protein. That being said, you know your body best so if xanthan gum poses an issue for you, Cappello’s grain free pasta may not be an appropriate addition to your diet.
More Reviews of Cappello’s Grain Free Pasta
TX Bar Organics
TX BAR Ranch is located in Northern California, 120 miles north of Sacramento. The beef they sell have spent much, if not all of their lives on a local ranch in Northern California. Their cattle live a completely natural existence as foragers and grazers therefore, the beef from TX Bar Organics is 100% grass fed and grass finished.
If you aren’t aware of the nutritional differences between pasture-raised and feedlot-raised cattle, you may be surprised to learn that pasture-raised beef is not only lower in overall fat (compared to grain-fed beef), but the meat from grass-fed cows has two to four times more Omega-3 fatty acids than their feedlot-raised counterparts.
Think of grass-fed beef as the land form of cold water fish – good news indeed for the salmon-adverse (er, dad). Curious as to why this is? I encourage you to read The Differences Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Beef over at Mark’s Daily Apple, it’s quite fascinating!
Our verdict? TX Bar Organic 100% Grass Fed Beef is delectable, both tender and flavorful. Yes, it’s very tasty beef indeed but it gets even better:
Food For a Cause
TX Bar Organics also believes in giving back through their Food for a Cause program. For every 20 pounds of product sold, they will donate 1 pound of organic grass fed/grass finished beef to needy families. Two weeks ago, they made their first 50-lb drop with the North State Food Bank (click here to learn more).
More Reviews of TX Bar Organics Grass-Fed Beef
Fettuccine with Beef, Kale and Mushrooms
For this review, I did a spin on one of my all time favorite recipes by Giada De Laurentiis, her Penne with Beef and Arugula. Only I subbed the penne with Cappello’s grain free fettuccine, kale for the arugula (which is a bit too spicy for my little guys) and I tossed in a few sauteed Portobello mushrooms at the end. Of course, I also used TX Bar Organics 100% Grass-Fed Beef. Muy Delicioso!
Yes, they genuinely like kale…little freaks, aren’t they?
Would you like the chance to try Cappello’s Grain Free Pasta and TX Bar Organics 100% Grass Fed Beef for FREE?
Well, here’s your chance so pay close attention!
THREE winners will each receive all of the following items:
Sampler package of Cappello’s grain free pasta:
- (1) 9-oz. package Fettuccini
- (1) 12-oz. package Gnocchi
- (1) 12-oz. package Lasagna
Singles 1 Week Package from TX Bar Organics:
- (1) 6-oz Top Sirloin
- (1) 1-lb Tenderloin Tips
- (1) 2-lb Roast
- (2) 1-lb 85% Lean Ground Beef Packages
Please note that this giveaway is open only to legal residents of the lower 48 United States and D.C.
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