Bob’s Red Mill Oat Crackers

Bob’s Red Mill Oat Crackers

I love Bob’s Red Mill products, and these were no exception. The crackers were thicker or denser than say Wheat Thins (even though the box says “thin & crisp”) and were delicious with hummus. Not salty like Wheat Thins, just right, and slightly larger. Great for cheese and cold cuts, but you will need to buy a few boxes if entertaining; it’s a small box (8″ x 4.5″ x 2″), and an even smaller bag of crackers inside (says “4 servings” and about “8 in a serving”, meaning 32 crackers in the box) and many of the crackers were broken, that was a disappointment. I found them in the Cracker aisle at Sprout’s for $3.99, not in the gluten-free aisle where I expected them to be.

They come in several flavors, I chose the “classic” flavor. Enjoy!

Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles

Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles

Good & Gather is the home brand of Target food products. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined Target having THE BEST gluten free waffles I’ve ever tasted! Hands down the most flavorful waffles, thick and crunchy. I’ve eaten Vans Gluten Free and Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free, both in various flavors, none as good as the basic Homestyle waffles offered by Target. And the price is less than $2.50 for a box of 8 waffles. Go stock up!

  • Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles
  • NO artificial flavors, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners!
  • NO high fructose corn syrup
  • No synthetic color
  • Certified GF
  • 8 waffles in a package
  • Money back guarantee, so you can’t go wrong!
  • In Target’s freezer section
  • Allergens- contains soy
  • Also states on box that it “contains a bioengineered food product”, though I don’t know which ingredient it is.

I regularly use these waffles for almond butter & jelly sandwiches, egg sandwiches, with syrup, and with sliced bananas. Also great drenched with berries!

As an aside, I see from numerous reviews on the Target site, that many people hate the crunchiness of these waffles. Frankly, I am so tired of mushy, limp GF waffles and tortillas that I would take dry any day! Here’s the link to Target’s waffle page for more reviews.

https://www.target.com/p/gluten-free-homestyle-frozen-waffle-8ct-good-38-gather-8482/-/A-80952978

Red’s GF Chicken, Cilantro and Lime Bowl

Red’s GF Chicken, Cilantro and Lime Bowl

I found this entree at Sprout’s, and because I was alone that night, I bought it to enjoy on my own. It’s been a long time since I’ve purchased a rice bowl, it’s my favorite because of all the fun ingredients- rice, chicken, veggies/beans, and from the picture, I got the impression the chicken was tender and flavorful.

It was easy to microwave for a quick meal. Cut a few 1″ slits in the plastic wrap and pop in the microwave for 4 minutes on high, then let sit for a minute before you stir and enjoy.

I did pause it at the 2-minute mark to stir it for even cooking. I didn’t stir it so much as shake it a bit to mix.

When I removed the plastic wrap, it looked rather bland & dull, not enticing like the entree pictured.

The flavor was real peppery (pepper is the last ingredient on the list), the brown rice mushy not light and fluffy (more similar to oatmeal, soggy and wet), the roasted red bell peppers limp and sad. The chicken flavor was bland, unsavory.

I ate half, mainly focusing on eating the chicken, and debated saving the rest for the next day, I chose to throw the rest away.

Not a product I’d buy again. I think it was on sale for $4.99.

  • Red’s brand
  • 15G protein
  • Gluten free
  • No antibiotics
  • One serving bowl
  • $4.99 on sale at Sprout’s Market
Front of box, the picture of bowl made me look forward to the taste.
Low fat, high protein, good amount of fiber and potassium.

“World’s Best” Mac and Cheese

“World’s Best” Mac and Cheese

I got a text from my daughter-in-law telling me about “the best mac & cheese” they’d ever tasted AND it was gluten-free (they don’t have sensitivities, they just decided to try it out). Happened to be “on sale” for $9.99 (regularly $12.99) at the grocery store she works at.

And for the next few months, they asked if I’d tried it, but each store in my area did not carry the gluten-free product. I finally found it at a Safeway, same price, $9.99 on sale for an 18oz package.

Make sure it bears the orange certified “gluten-free” packaging. It may be sitting next to the regular product.

I haven’t had real mac & cheese in ages! Mainly because I’d been avoiding dairy/cheese (for sensitivity reasons) and only recently added it back into my meals. This was the real deal as far as macaroni & cheese goes- very cheesy, rich, creamy…almost too creamy when it first comes out of the microwave, very soupy sauce. Maybe I just didn’t let it sit long enough after microwaving (it asks you to “let set for up to 2 minutes before serving”). I think this is so the penne pasta absorbs the runny cheesy goodness, as I found the noodles seemed a bit undercooked/firm and dry, not at all tender…at first.

The more I ate, the better it tasted! Soupy with cheese!!! And it left me thinking if I had been alone, I might have eaten the whole package, which at 2.5 servings per package and 14G of *saturated fat* PER SERVING, would be a bit over the top.

The package made 2 meals (one for me and then next day for hubby). My portion was generous and I added parmesan cheese to thicken the soupy sauce. There was still too much sauce at the bottom of the bowl when I was finished with the pasta, so I added a few sliced tomatoes, which didn’t sop up the sauce as much as make it runnier but the tomatoes added a new dimension to the sauce and ideas for next time.

My hubby enjoyed it with some grilled shrimp, and deemed Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese as worthy of another purchase.

$9.99 is a steep price for cheesy noodles, even gluten-free, but in a pinch, if you don’t want or have the time to make it yourself, this is a great alternative and a delicious treat.

Ideas for extending or embellishing the meal-

  • add tomatoes or other veggies for color,
  • add meat or fish,
  • enjoy with a salad,
  • use as a side dish.

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

Certified gluten-free

Frozen food section, you may have to ask for it

Serves 2-4

It’s vegetarian too

Conventional oven or microwave cooking directions

Allergens- contains milk

Mac and Cheese before baking.

2021 Gluten-Free Easter Candy List

2021 Gluten-Free Easter Candy List

VeryWell Fit is a great place to check out lists and articles. I highly recommend you bookmark the site. Here’s their annual Easter candy list.

https://www.verywellfit.com/gluten-free-easter-candy-562450

I love Peeps and they have so many new flavors- Hot Tamales flavor is a new fave, which is powerful in scent, yet mild in taste, even though it says “fierce cinnamon”. Specifically says “gluten-free” on package back. I hope the Easter Bunny brings me a basketful! (Allergen warning says, “may contain milk”.)

Another new delicious treat are Starburst Jumbo Jelly Beans! Bite them in half or enjoy them whole and savor them slowly.

Happy Easter to all! – AFI

Product Review: Ivy’s Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Product Review: Ivy’s Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Ivy's Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Since going gluten-free in August 2013, it’s rare that I eat Chinese food, especially in a restaurant, the chance of the establishment not knowing what I mean when asked whether they have a GF menu is saddening, and we usually walk out hungry. So when I met Ivy of Ivy’s Garden Food, creator of tasty Chinese frozen family meals and self-proclaimed “Chinese Supermom”, at a GF Expo in San Francisco a few years ago, I was thrilled to taste her food. Since then, she has expanded from online orders only to having her meals sold at Safeway stores in the Northern California area, as well as stores in Portland OR.

I had purchased direct from her about a year ago, however, this time, I bought at Safeway to see the difference in freshness. I was not disappointment in my meal, in either freshness, taste, or value.

Currently, Ivy’s Garden Food has 3 delicious frozen meal options – Lemon Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, and Sweet & Sour Chicken, which is the item I tried. The box boasts “simply delicious”, “no preservatives, no MSG”, “made from all-fresh natural* ingredients”, and telling me my meal has “chicken (white meat), pineapple, and green pepper”. I made the meal for my husband & I, however, I did embellish it with added pineapple since I had some in the fridge.

The meal was ample enough for “2” (as stated on the packaging) and we enjoyed it over a bed of Jasmine rice (not included in meal). We extended the ingredients by cutting the chicken in smaller more manageable bites (the chicken pieces are bigger than I expected). The sauce so tangy, yet sweet, the chicken was tender. Oh, my mouth is watering as I type!

I love having convenient meals, like Ivy’s, available for nights I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking; it’s there in the freezer, and you have the choice of cooking in the oven & stovetop (about 20 minutes), or in the microwave (less than 5 minutes); I always choose the microwave unless it’s cold outside and I want to heat the house a bit more with the oven heat, and then there is no dirty pan as Ivy provides all you need to cook it.

Add chopsticks and we were good to go!

IF, and that’s a big IF, you have any leftovers, be aware that the breading on the chicken will not adhere to the pieces after sitting in the sauce overnight, it blends into the sauce. Frankly, I have no problem with this because the taste is great, even day 2.

Ivy’s Garden Food can be purchased online or at Northern California Safeway stores. Her website is a wealth of information, with tried-and-true GF recipes, and articles on gluten-free living.

*minimally processed; no artificial ingredients.

Top Five Prepackaged GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Top Five Prepackaged GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies! Thank you, GFG!

Gluten Free Gus

A warm cookie for the landscaping guy ;-)

Our best recommendation for  good GF cookies is to make them from scratch. Please try our special recipe which we happily shared for the first time last month: http://glutenfreegus.com/2013/03/19/guss-chocolate-chip-cookies-dog-food-sandwich-solution/; satisfaction guaranteed!

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Nature Valley Granola Bars GF?

Nature Valley Granola Bars GF?

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My son, who isn’t a GF eater, now prefers Clif bars to be added to his lunches, instead of the dry granola bars I now have in abundance in the pantry. So, as I clear out old soon-to-expire food and move it forward in the rotation to use, this bin of Nature Valley granola bars is staring at me. BGF (before gluten-free), I loved these, but I have avoided eating them now because they don’t say GF on them. I did throw out the box months ago, so I only have the info listed on each individual bar to go by, and there is no mention about wheat, although they do have “whole grain oats” which I always question.

Not really wanting to throw them out, I decided to check online for more info about the bars. I found a blog that was helpful and chose to throw out the bars.

3/28/14- Desperate times lead to desperate measures and I was at the hospital on an emergency, having not eaten, I was in a bind, literally about to pass out. I had 2 packages of these granola bars in my purse, I keep them there to hand to a homeless person if they ask for money. I thought twice but needed something to eat and ate one package (2 bars). I feel fine, although I will go prepared next time so I don’t have to be relying on this product.

9/27/21- Updating this page to remove an old link that is not good, and adding a link to The Nature Valley site that now has GF protein bars! Yay!

https://www.naturevalley.com/products/protein-bars/

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

I usually check the ingredients on cans and packaging before I purchase, so I didn’t look at the label before making my enchiladas. Unfortunately, the sauce was poured before I realized that its ingredients, though none showed wheat, did have a “warning” that it “contains: soy and wheat”. From the ingredients themselves (and I did check my “Glutencheck” app), this was not obvious, and rather than dumping my artichoke & chile enchiladas, I cooked and ate them, with the delusional mindset of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”.

Next day, I emailed the distributors, B&G Foods, through their Las Palmas products’ link…

Message: “I am gluten sensitive. The (sauce) can says it contains soy and wheat but I can’t tell from ingredients where the wheat is. Is it processed in a factory with wheat? Because I don’t recognize any ingredients as containing wheat.”

Their response-  “Thank you for your email and interest in one of our products. This Las Palmas sauce contains a wheat ingredient in the “spice” blend used in its formula. As a result the sauce is not gluten free.”

So, I learned a valuable lesson- continue to check labels, even if I purchased it and looked at the ingredients prior to buying…I might have missed something in my rush at the market.

Also, the Las Palmas site, in their FAQs pages, says “Las Palmas Red Chili Sauce, Las Palmas Crushed Tomatillos and Las Palmas Red Enchilada Sauce are all gluten-free.” So next time, I’ll go with the red sauce rather than the green.

Happy eats!

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