October 22, 2020

Newman’s Own Cauliflower Gluten-Free Pizza

I have tried to walk the gluten-free path for a while now so I was thrilled to see that Newman’s Own (started by actor/philanthropist/car-racer Paul Newman) has come up with a Thin & Crispy Cheese pizza featuring a cauliflower crust that tastes delicious. Wheat and gluten have been supplanted with white rice, brown rice flour, tapioca and corn starches, plus cauliflower and cheese.

The crust hits a good balance of crispiness around the edges and gooey goodness in the center.

I bought the Margherita version with tomatoes, herbs and cheese and then added more vegetables. Whole Foods and Mariano’s are listed as Chicago purveyors of this specialty product. For now, one can buy the cauliflower crust pizza with either plain cheese or a Margherita version.

At the Newman’s Own web site, the company proudly notes they have donated over $550 million since 1982. What a wonderful legacy for a man who was not only a superlative actor, but a humanitarian as well.

Please note that milk, egg and parmesan cheese are ingredients in Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Cheese Pizza, so this is not a product for vegans. Well, ya’ just can’t please everybody, can ya’?


Moso Bag For Odor-free Air

While researching air purifiers online, I was reminded that my sister gave me a Moso bag a while back. What is a Moso bag, you may ask? In short, it is a no-tech cloth bag filled with bamboo charcoal that naturally absorbs odors and freshens the air.

The seller recommends rejuvenating the bag once a month by simply placing it in sunlight. The UV rays naturally clear the pores of the bamboo so your Moso bag can continue cleaning the air for up to two years.

You can place the bag in closets, cars, bathrooms, pet areas, utility rooms or basements. The Moso bag, made of natural linen, is unscented and chemical-free. After two years, you can empty the charcoal bamboo into your garden.

There’s an Amazon Choice deal for 4 Moso bags for $30.95 with free shipping if you are a Prime member.

Related to this cleansing of air through natural means, I would like to hear about any electronic products you have purchased that may be able to zap COVID viruses and other bacteria. Have you found any devices that use UVC light, ozone or HEPA filters to inactivate airborne matter? Please send me any personal anecdotes regarding your research or purchases. I am all ears.

Milkadamia and Macadamia Nuts

After finding out I was allergic to almonds, I needed to find another “milk” to whiten my morning tea. Enter “Milkadamia,” a nut milk made from macadamia nuts. I prefer the unsweetened version which gives a creaminess to hot beverages without the added sugar.

The product copy for “Milkadamia” is a hoot with the phrase “Moo is Moot” above the title. The product bills itself as vegan, dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and carrageenan-free. More clever phrases on the aseptic white and turquoise box include “Savor a superfood smoothie, melt into hot chocolate or bathe like Cleopatra.” That last suggestion is a bit over-the-top.

The indigenous nut to Australia was named by German-Australian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in honor of John Macadam, a Scottish-Australian scientist in 1857. Macadamias have been grown in Hawaii since the 1880s, but South Africa now has become the world’s biggest producer in the past ten years.

Macadamias are 76% fat and quite caloric so easy does it on consumption. Please note that the nuts are toxic to dogs. Humans can enjoy this exotic nut with chocolate, in tarts, cookies and cakes. “Milkadamia” has become my official replacement for “moo juice.”

MicroGreens Take Center Stage

I have written about sprouts and shoots in the past, but I started seeing microgreens in the refrigerated vegetable section at Whole Foods. A little research indicated that microgreens are harvested when they are smaller than “baby greens” but larger than sprouts. Sprouts are harvested with leaves, stems and roots. Microgreens do not contain the root.

Adventuresome chefs have been using microgreens for taste and plate decoration since the 1980s. Health food devotees have recently taken to microgreens in a big way since they add a huge nutritional punch to sandwiches, soups and salads.

I bought a small fresh tray of microgreens that came from Living Greens Farm in Faribault, MN. Their web site brags they use an aeroponics technique that uses 95% less water and 99.5% less land.

Crunchy Sunflower & Radish Microgreens from New Day Farms in Virginia boasts that their products are harvested when phytonutrients are at their highest concentration.

A plastic container of cress also found its way into my shopping cart from a company called Living Water Farms from Strawn, IL. The cress was a good addition to my other fresh-tasting greens. The Living Water Farms web site has great photos depicting the growing process.

Web info on all three companies is included below so you can see if they deliver to your locality. If not, please ask your local grocery stores to carry microgreens.

Aren’t we all looking for food that fortifies our immune system, but also tastes good?




Leypin Selfie Stick/Tripod from Amazon

I was singing for a funeral recently and saw a family member set up a tripod with a phone so she could broadcast the service to friends and family who could not attend. My big question after the ceremony was who made the cell phone stand and where did she get it?

Not surprisingly, she bought the Chinese-made Leypin accessory online from Amazon. I ordered the same thing and the package arrived in two days with the company name Yunteng on the box. Much to my chagrin, the tripod comes disassembled with tiny paper instructions; the parts are plastic and seem very flimsy. Despite those negatives, after some experimentation, I was able to assemble the parts to hold a smart phone for filming. Curiously, I ended up with two extra pieces that I did not use. Another plus is you can fold the tripod and use the holder as a selfie stick.

One note of caution. It was fairly easy to try the bluetooth remote control attached to the tripod to activate my phone’s video-filming. After immediately receiving a SPAM phone call on my iphone, I decided to NEVER use the Bluetooth remote control again.

All in all, I am satisfied with the $25 spent on a gadget that facilitates my ability to make videos and take photos without someone shakily holding the device. Ready for your close-up?

Romanesco Broccoli

I am now a big fan of the chartreuse-colored vegetable called Romanesco Broccoli, a cross between cauliflower and the green stuff Bush #1 did not like. I first encountered this cruciferous vegetable at Whole Foods where the distinctive fractal shape drew my eye.

The dictionary calls the shape of the head a logarithmic spiral. Romanesco Broccoli is no recent hybrid; it’s been grown by the Italians since the 16th century. Whatever it is, Romanesco is a most beautifully architectural vegetable.

The taste is slightly different than either broccoli or cauliflower with a crunchy, delicate nutty flavor. I have tried it raw with dips or steamed it as a side dish; both are delicious. Buon Appetito!