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Fast Food What's New

Papa John’s Gluten-Free Crust Launches Everywhere And Here’s What We Thought

A gluten-free diet can yield many benefits: better digestion, more energy, better cholesterol levels, and healthier weight loss. If we were to go on such a diet, one of the foods we’d miss most would have to be pizza. Thankfully, there’s now a solution to that.

Papa John’s is now serving their Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Crust at their restaurant locations nationwide. The new crust is made from a combination of ancient grains such as Sorghum, Teff, Amaranth, and Quinoa.

We at Foodbeast tried a few slices and here’s our hot take on the new crust.

Constantine:

“The crust isn’t brittle and actually has a decent texture. I’d say it’s the best chain restaurant gluten-free crust, and probably the tastiest I’ve had outside of Italy.”

Ariel:

It tastes better to me than their normal pizzas! The toppings almost stand out more. I could have that once a day and be happy.

Brayden:

I don’t even miss the gluten.

Isai:

The crust tastes like cardboard, but like, good cardboard. The kind of cardboard you don’t mind eating.

Still, if your body really can’t handle gluten, this may not be for you.

Papa John’s mentions that while they employ procedures to prevent contact with gluten, and the crust is prepared in a separate facility, there is always a possibility of the curst being exposed to gluten during the pizza-making process that occurs in the restaurant. Because of this, Papa John’s does not recommend this item for customers with Celiac Disease or severe gluten intolerance.

Overall, not bad though.

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Adventures News Now Trending

Airline Serves Man With Celiac Disease Gluten-Free ‘Meal’ Made Of A Single Banana

Imagine that you have Celiac disease and eating gluten is literally toxic to you. Now imagine you’re on a nine-hour flight. You request a gluten-free breakfast, and get treated to a “meal” consisting of a single banana with a fork, a knife, and a packet of salt.

Kinda insulting, right?

Unfortunately, that’s what happened to All Nippon Airways passenger Martin Pavelka, who was on the second leg of a roughly $1300 flight to Australia when he was offered the sad excuse of a meal. Pavelka, who has Celiac disease, told The Standard that he had gotten a decent dinner on the flight the night before, but the banana breakfast didn’t fill him up for very long.

When he complained about the “meal” to flight attendants, Pavelka said that passengers around him were disrespectfully laughing at him as they enjoyed their full breakfasts of eggs, sausages, bread, mushrooms, and yogurt. What a bunch of jerks.

At least the flight attendants felt bad about it, as they did apologize to him as he was given All Nippon’s gluten-free offering.

The airline itself has since apologized and issued a statement to Telegraph Travel that they would be reviewing their “policy on gluten free options and how they are served” as a result of Pavelka’s experience.

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#foodbeast Hit-Or-Miss Opinion

Should Chefs Decline Requests to Make Modifications to Their Food?

I’m a firm believer that food is art, and chefs are artists. The chef is the one with the vision and they bring it to life, so they have the right to control how their food is served – without modifications if they so choose – regardless of dietary preference or restrictions.

After all, if you were paying a painter to commission a piece of art for your home and you were colorblind, you wouldn’t ask them to omit red and green from their creation… or would you?

There of course can be a conflict between maintaining the integrity of a dish when trying to please a customer. But do all alterations, no matter the size or degree of effort, affect a dish in a drastic way?

I ran into this very issue on a recent trip to Animal, a pretty popular restaurant here in LA. I told the server I couldn’t eat gluten or dairy, which evoked a panicked look I have become pretty accustomed to by now.

I’ve worked at a restaurant. I totally get it. I know how difficult it is to make modifications during a busy dinner service. I also understand how a chef’s signature dish might be slightly different if they prepare it in a way that adheres to my restrictions. But, I didn’t choose to be cursed with a weak digestive system. If I could smite the God that made it this way, I would.

Trust me when I say we gluten-free folk don’t get our jollies from being difficult. We just want to go to the hotspots in town and still feel like a normal human rather than a pariah who probably would have been eliminated from society if natural selection was still a thing.

After 10-15 minutes of waiting, the manager came to my table after meeting with the chef to give me a copy of their menu with notes on what dishes I could eat. Every single item was crossed off except one, because everything contained either gluten or dairy, and they had a strict no modification policy.

Either that, or the $120 bone-in ribeye with half the ingredients (listed as MP) which mysteriously was the only dish they were okay with “modifying” by omission, and also the most expensive on the menu.

It should be mentioned that I would have been able to eat one of the dishes if they just didn’t put the fried shallots on top as a garnish.

Sure, there are people who choose a particular lifestyle like gluten-free because they think it’ll make them lose weight, yet all they eat are substitution products like crackers and cookies made from rice flour, which has a higher carb content than wheat thereby negating that whole weight loss plan. People like that ruin dining for those that actually have severe intolerances or allergies.

It’s these people that are instilling doubt in servers and chefs and tainting the restaurant experience for those who have been gluten-free since before it was popular because they have to be. I’d go into detail about what happens to me when I eat gluten, but I don’t want you to barf up your lunch.

But regardless of why someone doesn’t eat something, I would think the point of opening a restaurant is so people from all dietary walks of life can enjoy your food. Of course, I’m not saying every item on the menu should be up for grabs.

It would be a straight-up crime to make a dairy-free fettuccine alfredo or a gluten-free Beef Wellington because the items in question are debatably the most important ingredients of the dish. But in the grand scheme of things, it really would not kill you to cook that chicken piccata in olive oil rather than butter, and I’ve eaten many a steak tartare without bread and enjoyed it just the same.

Part of this is the customer’s responsibility, however. I rarely go to Italian restaurants because most of the things worth eating have gluten or dairy. There’s no way in hell I’d go to Babbo and ask Mario Batali if he can make his pappardelle bolognese gluten-free, because even if his restaurant did serve gluten-free pasta, it would most likely be outsourced instead of made in-house to avoid cross contamination. So in the end it wouldn’t even be a good representation of their food anyways.

All I’m asking for is some common sense:

From the customer – It is not a badge of honor to be a difficult patron. Being high maintenance doesn’t mean you are important or distinguished. Make your server and the chef’s life as easy as possible. If you’ve never worked in the food industry before, chances are you have absolutely no idea how many steps go into making your meal. If you’re pretty sure a dish is like 50% made of stuff you can’t eat, don’t order it.

From the chef – I really do think some rationality should be taken into account in your quest to find the best way to preserve your art and get your message across. If it’s as simple as just leaving one ingredient off the plate, I feel like that is not a ludicrous request. If like 4 of the 6 ingredients are off-limits, obviously tell the customer that dish isn’t going to work out.

The dining experience should be about showcasing your skills and creating a menu that has something accessible to all excited patrons rather than just those who are blessed enough to have a stomach of steel or those willing to endure a night of pure agony.

Because after all, art is meant to be shared… and in the culinary world, tasted.

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Health Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Packaged Food

These Snacks Might Be Able To Replace Traditional Protein Bars

There is a portion of this world that likes to be super active, whether it’s going on a hike, climbing Mt. Everest, or just gettin’ down ‘n dirty in the gym every day. With my 2-3 gentle yoga classes per week and a total lack of stamina when it comes to most anything else, I wouldn’t even dare to place myself within this pristine group of humans, but I appreciate what they do. I like to show my support by being a cheerleader or by taking on the responsibility of making sure everyone gets fed – two things I excel at on a daily basis.

While I may be a gym noob, I do know the most important part of working out is what you eat afterwards to replenish your nutrients. Here’s where Caveman Foods comes in. This company, co-founded by the dude who made Muscle Milk, strives to create delicious snacks packed with protein to give you that perfect post-workout or post-scaling-Mount-Everest fuel.

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Caveman Foods has three main products: Primal Bars, Bites, and Jerky. Most of these snacks are not for the faint of heart, and by faint of heart I mean vegans/vegetarians. All three of these products use chicken meat as their base, which provides for a high protein and low fat snack. However, while they aren’t advertised as much as these baseline products, Caveman Foods does make nutrition bars that are nut-based and meat-free.

Let’s talk about these meat snacks for a second, though. In all honesty, eating meat in this format was a new thing for me. I’m usually an eat-steak-hot-off-the-grill kind of gal, but I found myself getting into this. Here’s my rundown of the products:

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Chicken Bites: These are such a great idea. First of all, they’re portable and bite-sized, which makes everything better in my book. Also, it’s pretty incredible that these have 10 grams of protein per serving. Second of all, they come in interesting flavors, like habanero & green chili, sun dried tomato & kale and applewood smoked BBQ. The BBQ was definitely my favorite, as its smokiness really shined through. The habanero and green chili, on the other hand, was super spicy. I could definitely imagine it being a good pick-me-up after the gym.

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Primal Bars: The primal bars are essentially the chicken bites but in a larger format, except they have 18 grams of protein instead of *just* ten. If you ask me, this format is probably the most efficient way to regain what you lost at the gym. If you’re a fan of fruit flavors with your meat (weird thing to say, but some people aren’t), you’ll definitely be into the sweet cherry flavor. I would say it’s more tangy than sweet, which was a good flavor combo with the chicken. The smoked jalapeño was a winner. What can I say, I love smoked meats. The texture of these bars are somewhat precarious, since the chicken is cooked and then chopped and formed into the bars. It was just a new texture for me since I’ve never eaten anything like this before.

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Jerky: I’ve been eating jerky for as long as I can remember. It was always my dad’s go-to snack whenever we were on the road. Caveman Foods has a pretty dope take on this classic snack. Again, their jerky is made with chicken, which provides you the most protein with the least amount of fat. The texture of this snack is what you’d expect with a good jerky. I was pretty sold on this, especially because I tried the buffalo flavor. I am obsessed with buffalo to the point where you could probably douse anything in buffalo sauce and I will eat it. Please don’t take that as a challenge because I will probably lose.

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Nutrition Bars: Okay, these were LIT. I would eat one of these every single day if I could. These come in almond cashew and maple nut flavors, of which the maple nut was definitely my favorite. This bar kind of tasted like those Nature’s Valley sweet & salty peanut bars but a million times better (and better for you). A lot of nut bars can be difficult to eat because they’re overly chewy or the nuts aren’t roasted and sweetened enough, but there were none of those issues here. Each bite was deliciously chewy and sweet, but not overly so. Totally a home run on this one.

Long story short, Caveman Foods is one of the good guys out there. For those of you with dietary restrictions, most of their products are gluten-free, milk-free, peanut-free, and many are 100% paleo. They also use only all-natural chicken and refuse to put nitrates in any of their products. If you’re looking for the perfect snack to refuel, Caveman Foods has got your back.

 

 

Photos by: Analiese Trimber

Categories
Cravings Packaged Food What's New

Trader Joe’s Is Selling Pre-Made Pizza Crusts

Making pizza at home can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences in the kitchen. You can pick whatever sauces, cheeses, and toppings that fit your flavor palette and create a pie that’s completely your own.

Once you tackle the crust, that is.

If you’re one not to mess with a pizza crust, Trader Joe’s is selling them pre-made to save you some grief in the kitchen. Trader Joe’s Insider posted an image on Instagram featuring a new pizza crust that’ll win over anyone with a gluten allergy.

The new pizza crusts are said to be completely gluten-free and are ready to bake in the oven. Each package comes with two 7.72-oz crusts.

Trader Joe’s has yet to make an official announcement on the product, but it seems you can already find the crusts at select locations.

Personally, we’d love to slap some spicy pepperoni, some creamy Alfredo sauce, and enough anchovy filets to fill the Atlantic Ocean on one of these bad boys. Now that’s a Friday-night pizza.

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Health Restaurants Video

Exploring The Taste: Healthy Junk Serves Up The Best Vegan Comfort Food

Working at Foodbeast for so long, it’s hard to pass up the occasional juicy cheeseburger. However, occasional juicy cheeseburgers tend to add up and next thing you know you’re on your way to morbid obesity. We can’t all have the metabolism of a competitive eater.

In our new series Exploring the Taste, we take a look at this spot in downtown Anaheim called Healthy Junk. The restaurant takes popular comfort foods, like burgers, and recreates them using healthier ingredients. This includes vegan and gluten-free options.

Check out the first episode of Exploring the Taste as we visit Healthy Junk and speak to the owner Lynda Santos.

Categories
Health News Packaged Food What's New

Cheerios Introduces New Pumpkin Spice Flavor

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Cheerios is getting into the spirit of Fall with a new Pumpkin Spice flavor.

Because nothing pairs better with your morning Pumpkin Spice Latte than more pumpkin spice, General Mills released a new Cheerio variation that will be available for those who just can’t get enough pumpkin spice in their diets.

The gluten-free cereal is made from pumpkin puree and a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

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Fellow Foodbeast Molly, an avid fan of Cheerios, had this to say:

It’s not overly pumpkiny.

Customers can find the new cereal in stores mid-August for a limited time. They’ll be available in a 12-oz box for $2.50 or a 21-oz box for $3.99 at participating grocery retailers.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Panera Bread Finally Comes Around To Latest Trend In Food

As the popular war against foods containing gluten rages on, all of the men and women who are legitimately allergic to gluten will now have something to celebrate.

Near the end of October, Panera Bread will unveil their new rosemary focaccia roll in its Michigan branches.

The plan is to eventually feature the roll in all branches nationwide sometime in 2016.

Time to start rootin' for gluten! Time to start rootin’ for gluten!

If you want to eat gluten-free products outside of Panera, you should be able to find plenty of options at your local Whole Foods. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my delicious $3 loaf of Wonderbread. I’m a glutton for gluten and proud of it, dammit.

Image Source: Medical News Today