Tag Archive | Mediterranean

Better 4U Sprouted Grain Crust Pizza!

Better 4U Box Ingredients Close Up
All Photos By Gail

You may recall Previously Reading about Better 4U Pizzas here on The Gig, because they are a super delicious, guilt-free way to enjoy pizza conveniently at home. Happily, our friends at Better 4U are keeping us in the loop with all of their new products, as we recently received a shipment of their latest pizza creations with a thin and crispy Sprouted Grain crust!

Like all Better 4U Pizzas, the new Sprouted Grain Pizzas are made entirely with All Natural Ingredients, and that includes everything that goes into making the crust and the sauce, plus all of the delicious toppings. The sprouted grain crusts do contain wheat, however, so they are not ideal for those on a Gluten-free diet.

Bruschetta Style Pizza Box

Better 4U Sprouted Grain Pizzas come in three mouth-watering varietes:

Bruschetta Style: Topped with Mozzarella, Feta Cheese, Tomatoes, Garlic, Olive Oil and Basil

Old World Veggie: Topped with Mozzarella, Feta Cheese, Tomatoes, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Diced Red Peppers and Oregano

and

Mediterranean: Topped with Spinach, Artichokes, Red Onions, Red Pepper, Kalamata Olives, Oregano and Feta

Bruschetta Style Pizza Cooked

Here is the Brushetta Style pizza coming out of a hot oven. It is normal for the crust to be brown like that, so don’t worry that the dark color indicates overdoneness. As expected, the crust is light and crispy but supports the toppings well. With a salad, this is a pefect light summer dinner for two.

Better 4U’s Sprouted Grain crust is a delightful departure from traditional crust – or even their excellent Gluten Free crust offerings – in that it has a distinctive whole grain taste with a delicious nuttiness that I’d compare to 7 Grain toast. Very delicious!

Old World Veggie Pizza Box

Here are some photos of the Old World Veggie Pizza.

Old World Veggie Uncooked

I wanted you to get a good idea of how thin the crust is, thus, this pre-cooked “elevation” photo!
Old World Veggie Cooked

I happened to have a few leftover slices of Pepperoni, so I just threw them on the pizza before popping it into the oven – no harm no foul! Look how yummy and caramelized the onions get and yet the spinach maintains its bright green color, because the pizza cooks so fast. You can almost, as they say, “Taste it with your eyes.”

Better 4U Pizza Nutrition Facts

Indulging in these delcious pizzas is not going to lay waste to your diet plan either. One serving (half a pizza) is just 220 calories for the Old World Veggie and Mediterranean styles, and 230 calories per serving for the thin crust Bruschetta Style variety.

Find out more about Better 4U Sprouted Grain Pizzas and other fine Better 4U products, and locate the store near you that sells them, at This Link!

Better4U Personal 7″ Gluten Free Pizzas!

Better 4U  7-inch-GF-Roasted-Vegetable-Pizza-FrontBetter 4U  7-inch-GF-Pepperoni-Pizza-Front
Roasted Vegetable and Pepperoni are Two of the Varieties Available in a Convenient 7-Inch Size!

Do you like Pizza? I sure do. The only problem I have with pizza is that, if I make a frozen pizza at home, it is a challenge to not eat the entire thing all at once. Because pizza is delicious. So, thank god that Better4U Foods has created a way to save me from myself by expanding its line of healthy convenience foods with the launch of a new personal-sized, 7-inch version of the company’s frozen multigrain gluten-free pizzas. Hallelujah!

Better 4U 7-inch-GF-Cheese-PizzaBetter 4U  7-inch-GF-Mediterranean-Pizza-Front
Four Cheese and Mediterranean Style Pizza Round Out The Selection

Last year, I had the opportunity to Review Better 4U, full sized gluten-free pizzas — which exceeded my expectations for taste and quality — so I was super excited about receiving a selection of the personal pizzas to write about for The Gig. I am happy to report that, as much as I loved my experience last year, it seems that Better 4U has even found a way to improve on their delicious and high-quality gluten-free crust.

Better 4U Cooked Pepperoni Pizza

This is what the Pepperoni Pizza looks like after cooking according to package directions. How gorgeous is that? The crust is crisp, but there is a fluffy, fresh-baked-bread layer between the toppings and the crispness, which is just ideal, as far as I’m concerned. The cheese is fresh and plentiful and the uncured pepperoni cooks up nice and crisp. And this little pizza will satisfy your appetite for just 420 guilt-free calories!

Mediterranean Pizza
Mediterranean Pizza, Fresh Out of the Box!

One evening, a friend of mine  who has a gluten intolerance came over for a night of TV and snacks, so we made the Mediterranean and Roasted Vegetable Pizzas and split them. She was totally won over!

Mediterranean Pizza Cooked and Sliced

I think this looks and tastes as good as any pizza you would buy at your favorite take out place. The only difference is it’s ready to bake when you’re ready to eat it, and it saves you a few bucks. Each 9.5-oz personal pizza has a suggested retail price of $5.99 to $6.99. What a Bargain!

A company-owned, certified gluten-free facility in Ontario produces these personal pizzas, and each pizza contains 15 grams of whole grains. With Four Cheese,  Roasted Vegetable, Pepperoni and Mediterranean varieties to choose from, there is really something for everybody, but If you prefer to make a gluten-free pizza with your desired, unique selection of toppings, Better 4U offers a shelf stable gluten-free pizza crust! For Vegans, there is the dairy free gluten-free Roasted Vegetable pizza as an option.

Find out more about Better 4U Gluten-Free Pizzas and other fine products, and locate a store near you that sells them, at This Link!

Roth Introduces New Flavored Raclette Cheeses!

Roth Mediterranean and 5 Peppercorn Raclettte
All Photos By Gail

Do you like melty cheese? I sure do. You might recall that back in February I attended the Winter Food Fete, where I was introduced to Roth Raclette cheese, and thus began a new love affair with most delicious melty cheese I have ever tasted.

In addition to their original, Montanella Raclette, Roth has introduced three new flavors this Spring, including Mediterranean – with garlic, black olives & sundried tomatoes – Five Peppercorn, and Roasted Garlic. Holy Cows Milk!

Here’s a bit of insight as to why Raclette is such exceptionally delicious cheese: by combining Swiss traditions and the finest Wisconsin milk, Roth creates each flavor variety of Raclette cheese – which is characterized by a firm texture, pale-yellow color and scattered small openings.

Roth Raclette Melting

Roth Raclette has a mildly nutty and distinctive, aromatic flavor that intensifies when heated – which makes Raclette ideal for melting. At Food Fete, Roth Cheese Representatives served samples of the Raclette is its meltiest state, on small rounds of bread after heating it briefly in tiny iron skillets. Seriously, it was cheese heaven.

Roth Mediterranean Raclettte

Obviously, I asked to receive samples to review for the blog, and they were happy to oblige. Over the past weeks I have been especially enjoying the Mediterranean variety, as I find that the addition of Olives and Sundried Tomatoes enhances some of my favorite foods on which I enjoy eating melted l cheese.

Raclette Cheese on English Muffin with Sausage

On a chilly Saturday afternoon I made this lunch of melted Raclette on a toasted English muffin, served alongside a grilled chicken apple sausage. It was the most delicious lunch. You almost cannot do better than this. It follows that Raclette makes insane grilled cheese sandwiches.

Roth Raclette on Pasta

I enjoy eating pasta and it is easy to make at home. Raclette is an ideal substitute for the standard go-to pasta toppers such as mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

Raclette Cheese on Meatballs

Raclette crumbles very well; good to know if you do not feel like washing your cheese grater (hereon.biz electric cheese graters guide can be a useful one). Here are some meatballs I made with sauce and Raclette cheese crumbled on top. Delish!

The bottom line is that Raclette is simply delicious cheese and you surely will be thrilled with its taste and texture should you choose, like me, to just be a cheese purist. If you care to be a bit more adventurous, however, Roth’s website has lots of delicious recipes for cooking with Raclette cheese that you can explore at This Link! Buy Roth Raclette Cheeses online or find a retailer in your are Right Here.

Pera Soho Offers an Elegant Sunday Brunch Experience

Pera Soho Signage Gold
All Photos By Gail

There is a saying that “God is in the details.” Manhattanites can certainly find tasty Sunday brunch specials in any neighborhood on the island, but if you’re looking for delicious food that’s enhanced by subtle details such as fresh flowers on the table, a cup of coffee that includes your own individual French press, or a chill music mix of flamenco and Bossa Nova to soundtrack your meal, then Pera, on Thompson Street in Soho, is a destination to add to your list.

Pera Bar Shot

The brunch menu at Pera offers a mix of Mediterranean dishes and traditional brunch plates. There’s also a prix-fixe that includes a brunch cocktail or fresh juice of your choice, a main plate and coffee or tea for $21. But it’s the little touches that add a civilized feel here in the urban jungle. If it’s a sunny day, opt for a table at one of the spacious, comfy booths at the front of the restaurant in the bar area, which will give you not only a great view of the entire restaurant, but also provides an ideal spot for people watching.

Pera Peach Margarita

It isn’t really brunch without a cocktail, is it? We selected a refreshing Peach Margarita on the rocks (all brunch cocktails are $7) to enjoy sipping as we perused the eclectic menu.

Pera Eggplant Kofte Croquettes

We started with an appetizer of the Eggplant “Kofte” Croquettes ($9). This house specialty consists of ground eggplant balls lightly breaded and deep-fried to resemble something like a fritter stuffed with baba ganoush. The creamy eggplant center is a nice contrast of textures and tastes with the light, crunchy breading. We were also intrigued by the description of the Spicy Muammara with Chickpea Chips ($9). This dish was described to us as being a Roasted Pepper and Walnut Paste flavored with Marinara, which sounds adventurous. Next time!

Pera Pancakes

My dining companion and decided to order one sweet dish and one savory dish and share them. We had been reading about Pera’s White Chocolate Chip Pancakes for weeks and were extremely keen on ordering them, but were disappointed to learn that we had been looking at an outdated menu! As a consolation, we ordered traditional Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberry Butter ($14). We are constantly on a quest to find the perfect pancakes at brunch spots in Manhattan, and these certainly rate for being moist and cake-like, while managing to be completely done in the center (you would not believe how hard it is to find a well-done pancake in Manhattan. Even IHOP can’t get it right).

The three fluffy cakes are served with fresh berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar with maple syrup on the side. Unfortunately, the promised Strawberry Butter did not manage to make it onto the plate, and although we suspected something was “missing,” we were not able to figure out what it was until we had left the restaurant. This was very disappointing, because we suspect that the Strawberry Butter would have elevated this dish to a sublime deliciousness.

Pera Baked Eggs

For our savory choice we selected the Oven-Baked Eggs ($14) served on top of a Green Olive-Studded Parmesan Polenta Cake, with melted Sharp Cheddar and accompanied by a generous amount of tender steamed Kale. There are few healthy foods that are as trending right now as Kale, and this was cooked to perfection, bringing out a sweet taste and eliminating any trace of bitterness. The Baked Eggs dish is easily large enough to share, and we would just offer a reminder that the eggs are served with a runny yolk (think: poached), so if you prefer your eggs well done, be sure to specify that when ordering.

Pera Chicken Sausage

We also added a side of Pera’s House Made Chicken Sausage ($6); a lean and mildly seasoned sausage with a texture that is very similar to traditional Merguez (lamb) sausage. The sausage perfectly complemented both our sweet and savory brunch dishes.

Shortly after 1:00 PM, a house DJ sets up in the bar area to provide her own mix of tunes, which is a nice addition to the atmosphere.

Pera Train Mural
This Cool Mural, Painted by Artist Jamie Heff from a Photograph by Haluk Harman, by covers the Rear Wall of Pera’s Main Dining Room

Pera is spacious establishment with a large, intimate dining room at the rear, a separate private room for parties also located adjacent to the bar and a massive outdoor patio. Once the weather warms up, we can imagine that Pera’s outdoor seating area will be packed, especially on the weekends. We left Pera feeling satisfied, relaxed and ready to enjoy a leisurely post-Brunch stroll and a bit of window-shopping in this beautiful neighborhood.

Pera Soho is Located at 54 Thompson Street, Between Spring and Broome, in NYC. Weekend Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Pera Flower Bouquet