Product: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix – $4.99+
Fluffy pancakes are my favorite kind of pancakes. So, when my friend Jenn told me about Big Lots carrying Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free mixes for a great price ($2.50+), I bought up the lot of them as soon as I could. And, since I had such great luck with Pamela’s Products when it came to gluten-free pancakes, I was really excited to mix up a batch of Bob’s…considering his is a gluten-free name that is trusted years over.
While these pancakes cooked up thick and fluffy, they still seemed quite dense when sliced into. I’ve mixed it quite a few times now, and the batter seems so heavy when I lay it into my pan. It’s strange, because while I do like thick and fluffy pancakes…this just seems the wrong kind of fluffy.
Now, don’t get me wrong…these are good in their own right, but I much preferred the lighter version I whipped up with Pamela’s Products Pancake and Baking Mix. Because, while filling, they really were light and airy. These are quite heavy…so I feel full and then remain feeling full. That’s not how I want to spend the morning, because then I just want to crawl back into bed.
Pancakes are a tricky food, mind you. Everyone likes to eat them a little differently. But I like to have something that will fill me up without making me feel like I just consumed the entire plate. While I stuck with the serving of Bob’s Red Mill pancakes (two 4-inch pancakes), these thick little breakfast cakes were heavier than I am used to when it comes to mixing up pancakes for the morning.
Still, quite good in its own right. Perhaps next time I’ll add a splash more of almond milk and break up the batter a bit more. But I love the way these cook up and fluff up on in the pan. Beautiful pancakes to be sure. But…just not right for me.
I do love that Bob’s Red Mill is such a trusted brand when it comes to gluten-free eating. And I do look forward to trying other mixes and enjoying them. So, while these pancakes didn’t cook up to my standard, I still enjoy eating them. And I’ll mess with the recipe some and see if I can still achieve the fluffiness…but with a lighter texture all around.
Product: Alexia Italian Sauté – $3.29+
I admit it…this was the one potato and vegetable side from Alexia that I wasn’t too sure about. I mean, I liked all the components in it; I just wasn’t exactly sure how it would all come together in the end.
I was with the product at the inclusion of the packet of basil-infused olive oil. That…sounded absolutely delicious to cook the bag of potatoes and various vegetables in. And I was good with roasted red potatoes, spinach, onion, and tomatoes. It was the inclusion of the great northern beans that through me for a loop. And I love beans. As a vegetarian, they are a fantastic source of fat-free protein. Perfect, as I’m also a runner and lean proteins are key to my training. But…how would they work with potatoes? I wasn’t too sure about it.
But I should know by now to trust brands like Alexia. When they cook something up, it’s always a tasty treat. Potatoes and beans actually pair really well. Especially these…when sauteed for 12 minutes in the basil-infused olive oil…the flavors are magnified and every bite is so satisfyingly delicious, you almost wish you had more.
I served this up as a meal, but it, like the other potato and vegetable sides, can be served up for multiple diners as a side dish? But why, when you can savor it as a meal instead. Yeah…it’s that good. This one, surprised me, but in a good way. Sometimes, the foodie in me just needs to trust the product to be good and not automatically assume flavors and textures won’t work together.
Whether you are in search of a nutritious, gluten-free side, a vegetable side-dish, or a vegetarian meal…turn to the sautés from Alexia. Honestly, every one has been full of flavor, easy to prepare, and absolutely pleasing to the palate. And for a gluten-intolerant, vegetarian, these fit right into the meal plan where needed.
Product perfection, bite after potato-y bite!
Product: Amy’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Burrito – $3.79+
A lot of love goes into the foods that Amy’s Kitchen produces and puts out on the grocery store shelves. That’s evident. After all, the business is family-owned business that grew over the years and expanded and soon…Amy’s Kitchen became the nation’s leading natural frozen food brand. Every product that Amy’s Kitchen puts out is vegetarian…but now there are quite a lot of gluten-free options in her line as well.
Which is ideal for this busy, gluten-intolerant vegetarian.
It’s not everyday you find a company that uses natural and organic ingredients in their processed food products. But that’s what makes Amy’s Kitchen stand out from many of the competing brands out there. And it’s one reason (the other being that EVERYTHING I have ever eaten from their line-up of foods has been spectacular) I continue to purchase these products.
So…what does one eat on a busy evening when there is way too much to do, so slaving over the hot stove to create a homemade masterpiece of a meal is not an option? Well…this happened to me recently and my answer was to open of the freezer and pull out Amy’s Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Burrito. My roommate had one of the regular burritos offered in the line-up that is marked as low sodium.
Easy to heat. Just unwrap. Place on plate. Put in microwave. Nuke. Remove from microwave. Enjoy. And while it’s heating up, you can pour yourself a drink or start on a project. Within minutes…dinner is warm and served.
Now, burritos usually aren’t my thing. They are heavy and often way too filling. But the gluten-free burrito from Amy’s Kitchen was just right. Honestly. The gluten-free tortilla was very light, not heavy like most burritos flour tortilla counterparts. With this one being non-dairy (lactose intolerance here!), there was no heavy cheese. It was a light, but filling portion of beans and rice in a mild, tasty, Mexican sauce. And all the ingredients and vegetables and goodness wrapped up inside this light tortilla were organic.
This burrito was mouth-watering delicious. It doesn’t look like much coming out of the microwave, piping hot. It looks a little naked and boring, to be honest. But one bite was all it took to have me hooked. The rice, beans, and vegetables all just come together to create the amazing flavors that burst from this burrito. Trust me, with the mild Mexican sauce, you don’t even miss the cheese. Yes…food can be good without the cheese. This is proof wrapped up in a gluten-free tortilla. I let my roommate have a small taste of mine…and she said she loved it more than the one she was eating. Especially the gluten-free tortilla because it just seemed lighter than the bulkiness of the flour tortilla in her Amy’s Kitchen burrito. GLUTEN-FREE VICTORY!
When prepackaged food can taste this amazing, I don’t feel as bad on busy days just simply digging into my freezer and pulling out something that just needs a bit of a zap in the microwave, or a short sit in a preheated oven. And when food is this nutritious and relatively low in sodium (Amy’s Kitchen does have a low-sodium line, FYI) from the get-go…plus is packed with natural and organic foods, it takes the guilt away from not wanting to cook from scratch. Especially on days you just don’t have the time to do so…or just don’t feel like it. It happens. And now…Amy’s Kitchen is stepping in to help make your quick meals delicious, wholesome, healthy, and in some cases…gluten-free.
Amy’s Kitchen continues to wow me with the products that are put on the shelves. So, if you have yet to try any of them, you’re completely missing out. Don’t let the vegetarian label fool you if you are a carnivore. This just proves that great, pre-made vegetarian meals exist and are good for not just the vegetarians of the world…but the meat-eaters as well.
Go on…let Amy’s Kitchen serve you some amazing food from their delicious line-up. You won’t be disappointed.
Product: Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix – $3.99+
Let’s start with that because it was how this chocolate treasure came into my life. I had joined an online community doing some giveaways during Celiac Awareness Month and won a couple of giveaways. One I knew about. This one, however, arrived as a complete surprise. But, when given gluten-free chocolate…a lady never turns up her nose.
I’ll be honest. I was a bit reluctant to cook the Hodgson Mill gluten-free brownies up. I was so enamored with the Betty Crocker mix, I didn’t think anything could top it. But I was craving chocolate one day…and this was my next gluten-free treat in the pantry to cook up. And so…that’s what I did.
So easy to make. Very few ingredients. Pop it in the oven, and soon my entire apartment smelled of delicious brownie goodness. If these tasted anywhere near as good as they smelled, it would probably be difficult to keep to just one at a time.
Out of the oven to rest and cool. The brownies cooked up amazing. I mean, with a soft crust on the top and everything. The PERFECT brownie just from the looks of it. Once it cooled down enough for me to slice into it without making a mess…I plated up. Because in my world, chocolate is priority.
Fudgy. Creamy. Amazing. These blew the Betty Crocker ones away. Honestly, one of the best brownies I have ever tasted. So very moist and soft. And they kept that way as my roommate and I worked our way through it for eight days. Nothing went stale. Nothing got hard. They stayed moist and delicious. No heating up in the microwave necessary. Fall off your fork fantastic. These gluten-free chocolate morals of goodness are, bite-for-bite, loaded with chewy, chocolate flavor.
I will never doubt the wonders of Hodgson Mill products ever again. This is the second one I’ve tried. But this one…by far…has been my ultimate favorite. Chocolate done right in all it’s gluten-free brownie glory. It’s hard to stick to a serving. And…I discovered these are delicious on their own. No need to dress it up with Chocolate Cool Whip or drizzle it with melted dark chocolate. Although…we all indulge a little more every now and again. But…it wasn’t necessary and that was the best part. These brownies are so amazing they can stand on their own. Why dress up perfection?
Hodgson Mill won me over again. Gluten-free never tasted so sweet (or chocolatey).
Product: Liz Lovely Gluten-Free Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies – $3.99
I know…I know. I thought it too. Two 2-inch cookie rounds for $3.99? Are you off your rocker? But cookies are one of those things that seem to win out over price and logic at times when it comes to me. My guilty pleasure is often some variety of cookie, savored slowly, bite-by-bite, while all of the flavors play over my palate.
Naturally…some cookies are better for my foodie tendencies than others.
What I noticed first about Liz Lovely’s cookies when I was in my natural food store…was that they were (OMG!) cookies! Then I spotted that they were vegan (YAY!). And then…some were certified gluten-free (DANCE OF JOY!). Then I spotted the Triple Chocolate Mint variety and my wallet lost out to my tummy rumblies.
Chocolate + Mint + Cookie = WINNING!
So, yes…the cookies are a bit pricey, but they are backed up by their standards and amazing taste. Trust me.
Move over Girl Scouts. If Liz Lovely has anything to say about amazing mint cookies, your Thin Mints are getting a run for their money. Unlike the Girl Scouts offerings, Liz Lovely baked up a delicious vegan and gluten-free cookie that is brownie-licious and satisfying. Honestly, it would be Cookie Monster’s vegan cookie dream. If perfection could be captured in cookie form…the vegan and gluten-free Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies by Liz Lovely would set the bar and hold the standard. Cookie heaven on Earth.
These cookies are chewy and full of dark chocolate flavor. They should be, considering they are a chocolate base with chocolate chips and a chocolate drizzle. But these amazing cookies don’t stop there. No. They get an added bonus with a hint of peppermint oil that just takes them to the next delicious level. Each bite is soft, chewy, and has the perfect balance of dark chocolate and mint. Nothing too overpowering. Absolute cookie perfection.
I never took so long to eat a cookie when I bit into this one. I savored every ounce of flavor, every little bite. Every bit of chocolate was allowed to melt slowly as I savored it down to the last bite. Cookie nirvana.
Do mind the serving size, however. These 2 cookies are good for 4 servings, so you eat half a cookie at a time. Believe me…it’s not easy sticking to that once you have a taste. But these are meant as a treat, so give yourself 4 days of sweet indulgence. More time to savor every little bite.
Whether you gobble down cookies like Cookie Monster, or savor each little nibble to really soak in the flavors, these cookies make a rich, decadent dessert or treat. And, the cake-like consistency will leave you feeling satisfied. Trust me.
I haven’t been able to resist these cookies since finding them. If I am in my natural foods store, one of the gluten-free varieties is coming home with me. So, rest assured, the other flavors will get their time in my blog spotlight. But, with all that said, these have been my favorite vegan and gluten-free offerings from Liz Lovely yet.
Who needs Girl Scout cookies (which I can’t eat anymore anyway)? Tantalize your taste buds with these instead. Trust me. Two cookies well worth the price.
Product: Nature’s Path Envirokidz Organic Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars – $2.50+
I love a good gluten-free deal. Seriously. Sales. Manager’s Specials. It’s one of the only ways I can afford to test out some of the products that I do. But even more difficult at times is finding healthy gluten-free snacks that aren’t straight out of the produce aisle.
Don’t get me wrong…fresh produce is my favorite thing in this world. I load up on fruits and vegetables religiously and snack often on apples, berries, and certainly bananas. But sometimes the diet needs a bit of a shake-up and finding a gluten-free alternative often leads to cookies or high-calorie snack bars.
Then, on the Manager’s Special table at my local grocery store, I found a pack of Nature’s Path’s gluten-free line of products that are marketed to kids. Envirokidz Organic Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bars…sounded intriguing enough. I like peanut butter. And when I didn’t have my gluten-intolerance, Rice Krispie treats were one of my favorite things in the world. So…this sounded like a good way to change up the afternoon snack. Not to mention, these are relatively healthy, low in calories and fat, and gives this vegetarian a bit of a protein boost from its use of organic peanut butter in the ingredients.
Here’s the good thing about buying products that are marketed towards children. They often taste amazing. Why? Because kids are finicky eaters. They are the biggest food critics out there and will not eat something that doesn’t taste good to them.
I ripped into one of these at work one afternoon when the 3:00 munchies hit hard. And I became hooked immediately. They are soft, chewy, and packed with peanut butter flavor. They have the right amount of sweetness in each bite to counter any cravings for something sweet (and less healthy). Not to mention, they are the perfect amount to act as a snack without ruining my appetite for dinner. Let’s face it…I live to eat and cook, so this was my perfect go-to snack. Who would have thought?
These bars are the perfect size (think granola bar size) to be filling, and easy to transport. They have the crispiness in the initial bite, and the soft, melt-in-your-mouth affect that crispy rice bars should have. And…they are flavored with peanut butter. Salty meets sweet. The best combination ever.
Nature’s Path knew what they were doing when they set out to market and make these delightful treats. Kids will love the animals on the boxes. But they will also love the product that is wrapped up inside. Even better…adults will too. And you don’t need to feel guilty about this little indulgence.
Product: Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts – $5.99+
I was shocked the other day when I wandered into one of my local department store’s gluten-free grocery section and spotted Udi’s gluten-free pizza crusts in the freezer. Shocked. I had only spotted these at Whole Foods in Louisville. Now…they were sitting somewhere local and easily accessible.
FINALLY…somewhere near me had gluten-free pizza crusts!
I just happened to be hungry (broke the cardinal rule of never shopping while hungry) at that moment, so I bought a pack of them (it comes with two) and headed home to cobble together some toppings for dinner.
These pizza crusts were bigger than what I thought, so putting two on the same pan didn’t happen. That’s not a bad thing. Two pans out, oven preheated, I set to work on topping the frozen crust. I am on a tight budget these days, so I had to go with what I had laying around. I brushed each crust with olive oil, then sprinkled with caramalized shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh parsley, non-dairy Mozzarella cheese, and then some herbed goat cheese. Into the oven it went for about 10 minutes. Then a sprinkling of organic spinach, back into the oven for one minute to allow to wilt, back out. Dinner is served.
Aside from a delicious homemade pizza crust at a gluten-free pizzeria in Okemos, Michigan, I had had the gluten-free pizza at BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant, as well as Rudi’s pizza crust (YUM…but not available in stores near me!). But I had heard so many people shout praises over the versatility and delicious flavor of Udi’s pizza crusts. So, I was intrigued and eager to take my first bite.
When I did…I wasn’t disappointed. The flavor is very much like a homemade pizza crust. It’s got a crunch to it from being a thin sheet, however, it is soft to chew. The flavor is, in part, by the use of brown rice flour. It complimented the flavors of my pizza creation, rather than overpower it. Light and delicious. There was no doubt how amazing this product was. And I had heard people talk about making pita chips out of it as well as other great creations, and I can see how that world work…and work well.
Udi’s has been smashing it out of the gluten-free ballpark when it comes to their products. That’s one reason I continue to go back to them. They aren’t just consistent, they are consistently good! When you know a product is guaranteed to be delicious, you make more of an effort to find it and buy it.
Gluten-free and craving pizza is no longer a problem. I can easily serve up a slice of gluten-free pizza pie now. The toppings are a mystery. The taste of the crust shouldn’t be.
Restaurant: Wild Eggs, Louisville, Kentucky
Sometimes, a restaurant opens up. You hear a lot about it from people. You read a lot about it in local papers. You keep saying you’re going to try it out. And then one day…you finally do.
And your life is changed.
It has well been established throughout this blog that breakfast food, in my book, always wins. So when a place is called Wild Eggs and the menu is breakfast and brunch items…well, I’m sold!
Wild Eggs turned out to be one of those places my roommate and I made a snap decision to try out as my belated birthday meal. I couldn’t’ choose a place so she suggested we give this place a shot. Why not? So, we headed that way and were greeted with a line out the door and people milling about with buzzers for when they had a table. This is a good sign, because a busy restaurant means it’s a good restaurant. I hopped out of the car to go get on the waiting list, and was told we would have a 20-35 minute wait. Not bad.
Our wait was a chilly one, but it the time flew and soon we found ourselves seated at a table…right near the kitchen, which delighted me because I could look in and see all the cooks and chefs on the line. Yeah…foodie nerd! I know. But it was COOL! Our waitress came out with a pitcher of water, got our drink orders, and left us to look at the menu. When Diet Coke’s arrived, we were ready to order. My roommate went for the Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Scramble, which comes with skillet potatoes and an Everything muffin.
As for me…I went with the Surfer Girl Omelet (made with egg whites only), no sour cream, no Everything muffin, but a side of fruit would be great, and the skillet potatoes. So…what exactly is the Surfer Girl Omelet? In my case, it was fresh spinach, wild mushrooms, tomatoes, cream cheese, and onion folded into egg whites, and topped with pico de gallo, avocado and fresh alfalfa sprouts. It intrigued me when I saw the menu, and everything was safe for me to eat, and it had avocado on it (YUM) so it won.
We had a small wait for our food to arrive (which means it is cooked to order and not just dished out of big pans) but when it did…it all looked amazing. My food did arrive with the muffin and no skillet potatoes…but they were quick to fix this when I pointed it out. My roommate, who fell in love with the Everything muffin, took mine to take home with her to enjoy the following morning. It all worked out in the end.
The food looked mouth-watering good! I mean, it was breakfast art on a plate. I couldn’t wait to dig in. The omelet itself was packed with flavor. I would never have thought that cream cheese would work in an omelet, but it did. And it worked well. SO delicious, especially when combined with the flavors of the egg whites and the vegetables. I topped mine off with a dash of Cholula hot sauce, as always. The heat from the sauce and the cooling nature of the cream cheese couldn’t have been better matched. Epic breakfast win. The skillet potatoes were browned to perfection too. And there were a lot of them. Delicious on their own or with a smear of ketchup, these were soft on the inside but had that bit of crunchiness on the outside. Just what I look for in skillet potatoes. They are cooked up with some onion, which not only added flavor, but a little more crunch. Right on the money. I couldn’t have been more happy.
When my parents came into town to visit and watch me run in Louisville’s Race for the Cure, afterwards we went out to brunch at Wild Eggs, at my insistence, because I wanted to take them somewhere that they can’t get back in Alabama, and where they can enjoy a wonderful meal. My mom, who also has a gluten-intolerance, ordered the Surfer Girl Omelet (as did I…again!) and loved it. My dad tried the Violet You’re Turning Violet pancakes (which are buttermilk pancakes, topped with blueberries, whipped cream, and maple syrup) with a side of bacon. Our waitress talked him down to two pancakes instead of the full three because of the sheer size and fluffiness of them and he even couldn’t finish that. He thanked our waitress profusely for talking him down from three. And my roommate got a little crazy this time around and tried the Creole Omelet (a mix of rock shrimp, andouille sausage, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar jack cheese, topped with a Creole hollandaise sauce (which she LOVED), and served with the skillet potatoes and Everything muffin).
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day…but also my favorite. I love eating at Wild Eggs. As much as I love my local standbys (Toast on Market and Lynn’s Paradise Café), Wild Eggs is sheer atmosphere, paired with great service, and delicious food. I can’t wait to find another reason to go back…and bring along some more people for a delicious brunch treat.
Wild Eggs has three locations in Louisville, Kentucky and one location in Denver, Colorado. So…if you live in the vicinity of one or are just passing through one of the cities…around breakfast/lunch time…do go in and enjoy a filling, delicious meal. And then spread the word about Wild Eggs. It’s food worth bragging about!
Product: Imagine Organic Creamy Potato Leek Soup – $3.99+
This morning…it was officially under 40 degrees outside. Now, it is officially autumn, heading into the bitter cold winter months. And nothing compliments a brisk, chilly day like a warm bowl of soup. Seriously, soup season is upon us!
I love to make soups from scratch, but on a busy weekday, that’s not always feasible. Enter Imagine Natural Creations’ soup line. I have found a wide variety of these at the grocery store (in the natural foods aisle) as well as Big Lots (at a much cheaper price). So, make sure you don’t just head for the soup aisle and give up.
On it’s own, this soup looks like it would be rather bland. It wasn’t. The creamy, rich texture was just perfect for a potato soup. And the seasonings were spot on. Nothing bland about this…but this soup also is low in sodium, so the flavors aren’t coming from added salt and preservatives, but from natural and organic ingredients like the organic onions, organic potatoes, organic leeks, organic garlic, and organic spices.
When I served this soup to my roommate, who is rather picky about food, she looked a bit unimpressed. When she tasted it, she said it had a lot of flavor to it, but it just felt like it was missing something. When I finally sat down with my own bowl of the soup, I could see what she meant. On its own…it’s just a bowl of grayish liquid. Yeah…it looks NOTHING like the image shown on the box. Not surprising, but soup that looks like old dish water isn’t always appealing. The box shows a very creamy, potato-y, soup in a bowl. This was nowhere near as stunning as that image. Yet, while it doesn’t look the most appetizing…it at least tastes amazing. But…she was right…it felt as though something were missing.
The following day, when I cooked the rest of the box up for us for dinner…I did something a little different. I chopped up a couple of organic fingerling potatoes, roasted them in the oven, then added them to the simmering soup on the stove for a couple of minutes. What a difference a little texture makes. While the soup was fantastic before, this just took it to the next level. Adding the roasted potato cuts to the soup not only made it more filling, but it also created a better texture. My roommate enjoyed hers with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.
Soups are a tricky thing. Some like them thin. Some like them chunky. I like them both ways, but there was just something so magical to bulking up the base of this soup. While quite good on its own, Imagine’s Organic Creamy Potato Leek Soup was even better when something to bulk up the soup was added. Give it a try. Put your own spin on it. Or enjoy it on its own. It’s flavorful any way you sip it.
What’s better than a gluten-free Halloween treat for everyone? This is not only adorable…but really delicious too. I should know. I made it last night!
The recipe was supplied by my friends over at Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery. And I now share it with you because anything this cute and epically delicious needs to be made by all of my dear readers!
Time: 5 minutes
- 1 slice of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin or Original bread
- Powdered sugar or coconut flakes
- Candy (the original recipe called for gluten-free candy corn, but I never have liked candy corn, so I used sliced almonds) – Candy Corn, M & M’s (or any nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, gluten-free pretzels, Tootsie Rolls…get creative to suit your taste buds!)
- Butter or butter alternative
Cut the edges off the top of the toast to round the top of the ghost.
Toast the bread.
Spread butter on toasted bread.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Add toppings to complete the ghost.
Not only is this recipe easy, but it is such a fun treat! I mean…how easy is that? I loved it. Kids will love it. You will love it too. And just in time for Halloween!
Toast up some ghostly fun today…and enjoy!