Gluten Free Foods
As I plod forth on my wheat free/gluten free journey I will be trying many new and hopefully delicious gluten free foods. I’ve already tried a few and I was pleasantly surprised, breads and pretzels that actually tasted pretty good. I will be writing reviews as I try new items, and I invite all visitors to leave their own reviews in the comment area, I’ve even included a star rating system for you.
I also have a page of wheat free and gluten free recipes I try/create. You can find my gluten free creations here.
Before going gluten free quesadillas were a fairly routine meal at my home, and since gluten forms the fiber that holds thin doughs together I knew both tortillas and thin crust pizzas were going to be tough to replace. I’ve tried every gluten free tortilla/wrap I could find and Toufayan is by far the best. The best thing I could say about the others is they’re OK. Some had a hard odd texture, others were to thick, while others just crumble and fall apart. Toufayan tortillas are very thin, they are also very flexible, I’m not sure what’s holding them together. So far I’ve only used them in a quesadilla but I’m sure they would hold up perfectly well as a wrap. In fact in the past I’ve had no desire to try the other brands as a wrap, but can’t wait to make a wrap with these. On its own the original wrap has very little flavor, which is fine since the spicy fillings have more than enough. If I was using them as a wrap I would try one of the other two favors, Garden Vegetable or Savory Tomato. The texture of these tortillas is spot on, in fact if I was given them at a restaurant before I went gluten free I never would have noticed. So far I have only found these tortillas at Fairway Market, but the Toufayan website says they are available at most supermarkets. These tortillas come fresh not frozen, but I froze them without any noticeable change. Which is good because the next time I get to Fairway I’m going to buy a few...read more
Udi’s Gluten Free Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Just when I needed a sweet and delicious treat I find one, Udi’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies are yummy. They are not greasy like some store bought soft cookies I’ve tried before. These cookies are soft not crunchy with a toffee like flavor, which I assumed came from some nut by products. I was wrong; these cookies contain no soy or nuts. These cookies are very good when they are compared to a store bought cookie not a homemade or bakery cookie. You can think of them as a much better version of a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie. They’re not cheap about eight cookies for six bucks but they stay soft for a while after being opened, so I always try to keep a tub in the cupboard. I know your all waiting for the rating. I was going to give these cookies a 4 star rating but I knocked it down half a star because before I got a chance to write this review I tried another great cookie by Tate’s Bakery. Could this be my first 5 star...read more
Late July Organic Gluten Free Red Hot Mojo Snack Chips I grabbed these chips the other day and can’t wait to try some of their other flavors. Mojo snack chips are organic tortilla chips with a kick. I like a little spice so these chips were just right for me, they have enough flavor to be eaten alone or work well with salsa. Flavored with jalapenos, red pepper, garlic and sea salt, these chips come off like a nice hearty tortilla chip with a little spicy heat. There is a subtle jalapeno flavor but not strong like other jalapeno flavored chips. They have a full rich texture like a crunchy whole grain corn chip; in fact they contain 18 grams of whole grains per serving. All the flavors are integrated into the chip rather than being a chip with a powdery flavoring sprinkled on top. Mojo Red Hot Snack Chips are Gluten Free Vegan Non GMO Organic Contain no Trans Fat, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives What’s the skinny on the fat? These chips weight in on the fatty side of my 30% of the calories coming from fat rule, with 46 % of their total calories from fat, but they have zero Saturated or Trans fats so I can forgive them. How to calculate the percentage of calories from fat To figure out how many calories come from fat checkout the nutrition facts panel on the back of your food package. Divide the calories from fat by the total calories per serving then multiple by 100. For example if each serving has 60 calories from fat and 130 total calories, divide 60 by 130 which equals .4615… Then multiple by 100 to get 46.15 or roughly 46% It’s Better to Give How about something besides these chips to make you feel all warm inside; Late July Organic donates 10% of the profits to the American Camp Association an organization that offers summer camp scholarships to needy...read more
Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust As I said on the day 11 post of the 30 day wheat free diet I love Pizza, I love it just about any way you can get it. I live in New Jersey and I love the thin east coast style with greasy cheese and a bread like crust, I also love deep dish Chicago style that I first tried while delivering pizzas for Teddy’s a pizzeria owned by a transplanted Chicago pizza man, I love pizzas with funky topping from the California Pizza Kitchen as well as pizzas I grill myself. I even like, notice I didn’t say love frozen pizzas, I’ll always keep one in the freezer for when I’m running around and too busy to make something else. So Far I’ve Been Almost Pizza Free For 11 days, That must be a Record So far I’ve been Wheat Free for about a week and a half, and I’ve only tried one gluten free pizza, Amy’s Frozen Gluten Free Cheese Pizza, not too impressive. I told myself I would keep one in the freezer in case of emergency but I still haven’t bought another. But today… I Finally Found a Decent Gluten Free Pizza It was one I made myself using Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts. They are pre-shaped, precooked crusts that come ready for you to put any topping you want on them. I buy these at room temperature at my local Whole Foods but they can be frozen for up to six months. I’ve used them fresh and also frozen and cannot tell the difference. Fresh Food is Better This pizza tastes as good as almost any frozen pizza I’ve tried, but since I make it myself using fresh ingredients I’m sure it must be better for me. Making this pizza takes only a few minute longer than a prebuilt frozen pie. The crust is a little less than a ¼ inch thick so when I use it frozen it always thaws out while I’m putting the toppings on. Speaking of toppings I find myself using tons of fresh vegetables when I make a pie from scratch. I’d say I get two full veggie servings on each pie. (Side Note) I’ve noticed after going wheat free that I’m eating much better without even trying. Since I have to make all my food in advance I’m using better ingredients and a lot more vegetables. These crusts have become my emergency keep in the freezer frozen pizza of choice even through it’s not actually a pizza. So How Do I Rate This Gluten Free Pizza Crust? If I was rating these crusts on their own I would say they’re a pretty good quality pizza crust. They have no off putting flavors and the texture is not crumbly or weird. I’ve never bought a premade pizza crust before but if I did I’m sure it would taste about the same as Idi’s gluten free crusts. These do not compare to a great crust on a fresh made pizza but that’s not what I was expecting. So I’m judging them against frozen pizza crusts. By those criteria they are as good as most normal frozen crusts but not as good as some of the self-raising pizzas on the...read more
Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks This was another product I bought before I decided to go gluten free, and like Udi’s bagels I was again pleasantly surprised. These pretzels while not being the best pretzels I ever tasted were perfectly fine, as a matter of fact if I didn’t know they were gluten free I would have eaten them and thought they were just regular store brand pretzels. Lots of crunch and super fine These pretzels have a pronounced crunch almost like a pop when you bite them but they are not rock hard or difficult to chew. The texture while chewing them is not course at all in fact it is like they are made from super fine flour. I wish they actually had a little courser mouth feel like some of the whole grain pretzels. This may be because the first two ingredients are corn starch and potato starch. Remember Snacks are Called Junk Food for a Reason Like any pretzel these are pretty low fat. They are also milk and casein free, but they do contain soy. Sodium is fairly high 420mg or 18% of your daily value. They also contain no fiber or protein. Like most snack food they are pretty much just empty calories. These pretzels come in sticks and twists, I prefer the sticks, they somehow taste better to me, perhaps it’s because they have more salt on them but it’s easy to knock off if it seems to be too much for you. I plan on using the twists to make gluten free Chex Mix, and when I do I’ll let you know how it comes out. Wheat Belly Hits the Nail on the Head I bought these pretzels while I was reading the book Wheat Belly and I made an interesting discovery. I would sit down late at night to read and thought it would be great to nibble on a gluten free snack, so I opened these pretzel sticks and found I couldn’t stop eating them. Every time I stuck some in my mouth my hand went right back to the bag to grab more. I knew it wasn’t the flavor, I thought they tasted good but not great. I also wasn’t famished so why was I eating like I haven’t eaten in days? Then I turned the page and read how many gluten free snacks use food starches instead of wheat flour and these starches raise your blood sugar even faster than wheat does. As I sat there and read late into the night I was giving myself a great big sugar high. So watch out when you eat these pretzels or other gluten free food as they can have a stronger short term addiction/craving cycle than whole wheat. Just realizing this “craving” is going to happen is enough to stop me from eating half a bag, as I’ve also realized that no matter how many I eat, I never feel...read more
Rienzi Gluten Free Corn and Rice Rigatoni I found this pasta in the regular pasta aisle at my super market. It’s made by Rienzi a traditional pasta company, and because of this I had high hopes, Could this be the pasta I have been looking for? Sadly no. It did have a very nice texture, but I wasn’t a big fan of the flavor. How’s it Look? This pasta looks good, as a matter of fact if it didn’t say gluten free on the box I would have thought it was normal pasta. It has a nice yellow color, not the dull grey of the brown rice pastas I’ve tried lately. How’s it Taste? After cooking this pasta it had a nice springy appearance. Most of the gluten free pastas I’ve tried are very spongy almost mushy. You have to watch your gluten free pasta when you’re cooking it to get an al dente texture, never over cook them. This pasta has a nice texture when I tasted it; as a matter of fact its texture may be the closest to regular pasta that I’ve tried. The flavor on the other hand is not very traditional. It has a very noticeable corn flavor. The more I ate this pasta the more I disliked it. I had it with a red marinara sauce and did not like the combination of corn flavor with red sauce and parmesan cheese. A Certain Place a Certain Dish My wife makes a Tex-Mex Lasagna and I think this pasta would be great in it, and it might not be so bad in a strong pesto sauce. I will try it and let you how it works out, until then I don’t think I’ll buy or use this pasta...read more
Udi’s Gluten Free Soft and Chewy Bagels A bagel made without gluten, come on. Gluten is what makes a bagel, well a bagel. It’s what makes the outside crust tough and chewy, and what makes the inside all soft and stringy. I happened upon this item during the months of procrastination leading up to this diet, and trying it made the decision to go wheat free easier. When I grabbed these bagels from the shelf I thought these are going to be horrible, and that would convince me that giving up wheat and gluten was a crazy idea, but trying them had the exact opposite effect on me. They were pretty goodWhen toasted. Pretty Good but Not Great If you live in the Northeast United States you know what a really good bagel tastes like, and these bagels do not taste like a fresh made bagel shop bagel. They taste like a frozen bagel you would buy at your supermarket. Which by the way they areThese bagels can be found either frozen or fresh. I've tried both and they are very similar. . Toasting Leeds to Boasting I probably wouldn’t be praising these bagels so highly if I didn’t toast them first. I’ve found toasting makes any gluten free bread product better. I’m not sure why this is perhaps it adds a little structure or mouth feel to the bread something that gluten would provide. I use these bagels all the time for sandwiches. I have my breakfast egg sandwiches and hamburgers on them. Just like frozen bagels that contain gluten these bagels have a texture that’s more bread like than bagel like. They lack the dense rich feel of a true bagel. This is a Tough One to Score As I sit here trying to figure out a score to give these Bagels I’m torn. On one hand if I judge them as bagels they don’t warrant a great score since they don’t come close to a bagel shop bagel. On the other hand if I judge them as a bread or roll substitute which is what I use them as they’re pretty darn good. So I’m going to score them three stars, right in the middle. If you’re buying them thinking yum bagels you can move the score down to 2.5 stars, and if you’re looking for a bread alternative you can bump the score up to...read more
Amy’s Gluten Free Cheese Pizza with Rice Crust Amy’s Kitchen products can be found in almost any supermarket in America, but they make so many products you certainly won’t find them all. Amy’s has over a hundred gluten free products, and I plan on trying quite a few. It’s a Crust Thing Pizza dough is made with high gluten flours; this gives the crust its ability to hold together even when stretched very thin. This pizza uses rice flour instead of wheat and as I expected it tasted nothing like a good doughy pizza crust. The crust is thin and I thought when it cooked it would hard like a cracker, but after cooking it was still soft. In the mouth it was crumbly and had a gritty texture like cornstarch. The sauce and cheese is very bland. I doctored up half the pizza with some provolone and parmesan cheese but the pizza was still pretty boring. When I tasted this pizza I thought it’s not great but I’d buy it again, but I’ve been shopping many times since and have never been moved to pick it up. They do make a pizza with spinach and I will give that a try if I see...read more
Vigo Black Beans & Rice I’ve been eating this dish for years, so I was happy to find out that it is gluten free. There is no gluten free claim on the label but I found a list of Vigo products that are gluten free at Celiac.com here. This is an old post so I’ve contacted Vigo myself and created a PDF of Vigo gluten free products here. I’ve made this a lunch time staple for years, but I’m going to have a hard time reviewing it because I’ve been loading it up with chicken, salsa, and quinoa for so long. Here’s my recipe. The good and the bad This rice dish is high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol, but high in sodium. The rice is vitamins enriched. It’s good, but how do you make it more gooderWhat do you mean gooder is not a word? Have you never heard of a do gooder? Someone who steps into a bad situation and makes it gooder? The package suggests topping this dish with olive oil, vinegar and chopped onions. I haven’t tried that but a spoonful of green salsa is delicious. How about some other suggestions thanks to facebook Oil and vinegar with thinly sliced red onion and feta cheese. Andouille sausage. Layering with taco seasoned turkey, sour cream, cheddar cheese and served with corn...read more
Good Natured Selects Baked Multi grain Crisps I found these Chips at a local convenience store. They are by Herr’s Foods and they were on the shelf alongside the regular potato chips and chips. If Herrs stays behind these chips they should be available at most gas stations and convenience stores in the future. So how do they taste Since I bought these crisps in the potato chips aisle and that’s what I was in the mood for I’ll compare them to another baked chip alternative. These crisps fall somewhere between Lays baked Ruffles and a cracker. They have ridges like baked Ruffles but are thicker/heartier. Tuscan Garden Medley – These crisps are flavored with carrot, onion, celery, garlic, tomato and bell pepper, but the onion and celery stand out most. And though I’m not a big fan of celery I would still buy these crisps again. They have two other flavors and I will review them here soon. Ingredients Good Natured Selects are made with all natural ingredients and have no added preservatives. They also contain Flax, poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds which give them a slight nutty flavor. The second item in the ingredient list is potato starch so I feared these chips wouldn’t be fulfilling or that I’d be hungry five minutes later. That’s not the case; they have a good hearty crunch and satisfied my hunger nicely. These crisps are baked and therefore have a decently low fat content 20 calories from fat for a 110 calorie serving. 2.5g fat total, and no saturated fats. They also have 1g fiber and 2 grams of protein per...read more