January 2014's Love It- Like It- Leave It

For this month's installment of Love It, Like It, Leave it, I have multiple items to comment on.
Between shopping trips and Christmas gifts, I've been trying quite a few things lately! Unfortunately, I'm a little heavier on the things that I really disliked than the things I liked. Hopefully February, the month of love, will have a better outcome.

For my Love it,

Luna Chocolate Protein Bar- I grabbed one of these at Big Lots the other day. I have heard about their protein bars, but had yet to find one. Please note that ONLY their protein bars are gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised with this bar, as it wasn't overly sweet, and I enjoyed the gluten free crispy crunch of the bar. It has 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. It does have 170 calories, 50 of which are from fat. It's not something to have all the time, but it's great in a pinch and NOT loaded with artificial sweeteners. They come in 7 different flavors.

Udi's Salted Caramel Cashew Cookie- I found these beauties on my trip to Vince and Joe's in the Detroit area. My friend's grandparents really enjoyed them, and they don't even have to eat gluten free! They were soft and chewy, not dried out and crunchy. I can imagine enjoying these dipped in a bit of chocolate as well. These are part of the new Udi's line, including their Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip cookie and Peanut Butter Coconut cookie. They are 120 calories per cookie, 50 of which are from fat. They are made with NON-GMO ingredients with tasty toffee bits. At $5.99 a box, they are definitely a "sometimes" purchase, but definitely worth the splurge.

Silly Yak Buckwheat Bread- This was really amazing, and the rest of the members from my celiac support group agreed. I love buckwheat pancakes and the earthy taste of this whole grain. The Silly Yak Bakery in Wisconsin was nice enough to send samples for our group to try out, and everyone seemed to enjoy everything that they sent us. You can order any of their products online, and they also make dairy free items.

For my Like It, 
Simple Truth GF Animal Crackers- Kroger has now started carrying their own gluten free products, most of which are under the "simple truth" line. (Their pasta is under the regular Kroger name.) They are reminiscent of the Mi-Del Animal crackers, which are also made with arrowroot flour. One HUGE caution. At the store, these animal crackers are next to the NON-GF animal crackers. The bags look identical EXCEPT for a purple lining at the top of the bag (instead of pink) and purple writing. I have already tried to communicate this issue with Kroger and why this is an issue, as my celiac father accidentally started eating the regular ones and therefore "glutening" himself, as he didn't realize Simple Truth makes both gluten free and regular animal crackers. They are pretty tasty, and Kroger often has digital coupons for this product.

Oskri Coconut Dark Chocolate Bar- I received a box of these for Christmas. They taste like a Mounds bar and are certified Halal and Gluten Free.

Tasty Thai- I also received this at Christmas time. My husband and I are big Pad Thai fans. I remember how sad I was when I realized that most soy sauces were not gluten free so that I could no longer go to our favorite Thai restaurant. We have started making it at home when we get an Asian food craving. This was quick and easy to make. I ended up making it with leftover turkey from our Christmas dinner. While it was good, it was a bit spicier than I like. When we have Thai food, I always order "no spice." If you can find this and like your food zippy, this is a good buy. If you like your food with a little less heat, you might like the Taste of Thai Pad Thai sauce. 
Chopsticks up! 

For My Leave it, 

Nogii Bar-
While I'm thankful for what Elizabeth Hasselback has done to bring about celiac awareness, these bars are TERRIBLE. They honestly made me nauseous, so much so that I couldn't even finish the bar. I couldn't even tell you which flavor I tried. I even bought them on a sale price for $1.69, which wasn't a great deal to begin with. I think I'll stick with the Luna Protein bars or a Larabar Alt Bar.

Gluten Free Cracklebred- These were not good. They were pretty tasteless, even though they are flavored. They had a strange aftertaste to them. It was reminiscent of tea...you know, like when you get to the bottom of the cup and it's cooled off a bit and it has a tannin taste. They're not the cheapest thing, so I would suggest just using your favorite crackers.

TruRoots Curry Rice Pilaf - I've tried many of the TruRoots products. I really enjoy their rice, their lentils and their quinoa. I've even bought some of their Qookies (which I have not tried yet.) I was SUPER excited about their curry rice blend, because we love curry. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. My husband and I both agreed that it was definitely something that we would NOT be buying again. I had served this with salmon and a homemade dill sauce, which helped to salvage the curry. (It was great on broccoli too!) Find the dill sauce recipe here.

What are some of the things that you've tried that you have loved? Is there a great new company on the horizon with whom I should connect? Please help me to make the February edition of Love It/ Like It/ Leave it a great one!