February is the month of love, and fittingly I had a lot of gluten free loves this month. Although, most of them did involve Udi's and Glutino in some way...
Udi's Blueberry Muffins - I think I've mentioned before that I am an Udi's ambassador. I had a demo at a store in East Lansing and I was sent their Blueberry Muffins to demo. I had never tried them before, until that day. Oh Yum! They are moist with a sugar crystal topping that is SO good. I've had their Double Chocolate muffins before which are also great. If you haven't tried any of their muffins yet, I HIGHLY suggest doing so. Another great fact- they are dairy, nut and SOY free! They intentionally use "sunflower lecithin" instead of soy lecithin to make these muffins safe for those with soy allergies.
Glutino Vanilla Wafer Cookies - These were also sent for me to do demo, and I tried them for the first time. When I tried this crispy, chocolaty wafer they reminded me of something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then like a lightning bolt, it hit me- Little Debbie Nutty Bars! The crispy crunch wafer reminded me of the crispness of a Nutty Bar, without the peanut butter. I can just imagine dipping these in peanut butter and eating the whole box. I love it when a gluten free product can bring back great childhood memories. Maybe we can start a letter writing campaign and get them to make a peanut butter filled flavor. What do you think?
Erbert & Gerbert's - I had seen Ebert & Gerbert's listed on the Find Me Gluten Free app while in other cities. We sadly don't have one in Flint, but they DO have a location in Mt. Pleasant, MI. I was at Soaring Eagle Waterpark on Valentine's Day, hanging out with my cousins and their kids. After splashing around in the water all day, I worked up quite an appetite. So I quickly drove to Erbert & Gerbert's, a sub sandwich & soup shop, to grab a bite to eat.
What's that you say? A GLUTEN FREE sub? Why yes, it does exist! And not only does it exist, they have a DEDICATED gluten free prep station where they gladly make your choice of sandwich on a "specially-designed six-inch sub roll made by Udi’s." I don't know about you, but I don't know the last time I was able to walk in to a sub shop and order a sandwich like that. It's been at least a decade. I was so happy I told the sandwich artist that he had totally made my Valentine's Day. :)
I ordered the "Narmer" - a turkey breast sandwich with Provolone cheese, avocado, Hellman's Mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce. I have been craving avocado lately, and was totally excited to eat this. I was going to take it to my friend's house and eat it there, but it smelled so good, I ate the whole thing in the car on the way there. So good I couldn't even stop to take a picture of it for you.
I was so happy I could have cried. There's nothing like being able to have great tasting food that makes you feel normal again. Way. To. Go. E&G! I say down with Subway---every city needs an Erbert & Gerbert!
(**Quick note- The diner inside the Waterpark does have gluten free options, including a 12" pizza! )
Herdez Roasted Pasilla Chili Cooking Sauce - Lately it seems like we've been in a culinary rut. We've been cooking and eating the same things for quite some time. While at Kroger the other day, we decided we were in the mood for Mexican food. So we bought some tortillas, some sliced Portabella mushrooms, and looked for a seasoning mix to go with it. I know from my Cecelia's Marketplace book that Herdez salsas are gluten free. From reading the label of this NEW product I couldn't see any gluten ingredients, so I felt it was probably safe. As it turns out, they have a recipe for a stew on their site, using this sauce that states the dish is gluten free. So we're all good!
We only used half of the sauce that night for our mushrooms. It was rich and tasty...and SPICY! While I enjoyed the flavor, I don't think my stomach enjoyed the burn. But if you're a person who loves things kicked up a notch, I think it's a great product to try.
A Spice Above Oven Roasted Garlic dip- I received this dip mix at Christmas as part of my "stocking" from my step-mother. I hadn't used it yet, because we don't usually eat dips for just Brad and I. The recipe calls to mix in 8 oz. of mayonnaise and 8 oz. of sour cream. We had a party to go to, so I just mixed it into a 16 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt.
When I first tasted it, I thought it was terrible. Disgusting actually. So I chose not to take it to the party and just left it in the refrigerator.
A few days later, before throwing it out, I thought I would try it again, just to see if I still didn't like it. The flavors had really mellowed and it was really good. Actually, it was GREAT mixed in with oven roasted vegetables...and pasta....and as a dip for Italian seasoned chicken meatballs. Yum!
I also have a packet of the Tuscan Tomato Basil dip mix as well. I think when I mix this, I will use the 8 oz. of mayonnaise and 8 oz of Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream. I bet it would also be good in pasta. I have all sorts of ideas in my head! I'll have to let you know at a later date how it turns out.....
Aldi GF Chicken Nuggets- I am a gluten free food stalker. I saw these at my local Aldi, and didn't really want to pay the $4.99 price tag. Because lets be honest, chicken nuggets are not a necessity and they're not really healthy. So when I saw them on clearance for $3.99, I snagged them up.
I will be honest, they are quick and easy in the microwave when you're looking for a "protein" source. They are just slightly better cooked in the oven. While they're not awful, I won't be buying them again. The Purdue gluten free chicken nuggets are better, and the best is this recipe for oven fried chicken that is super easy to make. I just use chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken and use crushed Chex instead of the bread crumbs. I also use premixed Ranch dressing (I use Aldi Fat Free Ranch) instead of mixing a packet and sour cream together.
Ronzoni Pasta- First off, I'd like to say that I appreciate that big national brands are trying to create gluten free versions of their regular products. It makes having celiac disease a WHOLE lot easier. But unfortunately the new gluten free penne from Ronzoni falls short. Quite literally, it falls APART. We used it to make a chickpea and cauliflower pasta dish from our new Cook's Country magazine, and it all turned to mush. I will be sticking to Pasta Barilla from now on...especially since Kroger keeps giving me coupons!
So what things have you tried this month that you have LOVED..or feel that we should all LEAVE it alone? I noticed Ian's gluten free onion rings the other day at my local health food store. I'm thinking they'll be on Marchs review. Plus I just snagged a deal on Dellallo's gluten free Gnocchi! Plus I'm still looking for a really great hot cereal. What do you recommend?