DanActive Probiotic Dairy Drink – Gluten-Free Vanilla

DANACTIVE IMG_3868Okay, I made a mistake here. I went into this thinking that, because DanActive is manufactured by Dannon, it would be more like a smoothie than a drink. I figured (sorry, this is kinda like math, here) Dannon = yogurt. Yogurt + probiotic dairy drink = thick, smooth beverage.

WRONG.

Sorry, Dannon, but to me, this is more like the liquid penicillin we used to drink as children back in the dark ages. Except I remember that tasting better.

If you like tangy yogurt, then this will be a breeze for you. But I am a big sissy and like the yogurt that tastes like cream. Yes, every meal should taste like dessert. What’s so wrong with that?

In any case, I tried this because it’s a) probiotic; b) certified gluten-free; and c) it was marked down 50% off.  Yeah, I’m cheap. So sue me. I try all this stuff so you won’t have to. You wanna make that up to me? Tell your friends about this blog. Oh, and buy some of my books.

The family pack I purchased has 8 bottles in it. The normal price (at a small, local Safeway) was $4.49. That’s 56 cents per bottle. Now, this is not a meal replacement by any means. It is more like a supplement. It contains L.Bulgaricus, S.Thermophilus, and “10 billion of its exclusive probiotic culture L.Casei Immunitas which no regular yogurt has” according to the package. I checked my yogurt – that contains L.Casei. It doesn’t say anything about Immunitas. Frankly, that sounds like a disease contracted by political refugees.

Each 3 ounce bottle has 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 11 carbs, and 3 grams of protein.

So, if you want something with a bit of a tang to quiet those between-meal stomach grumblings, this might be for you.

G/F Mac & Cheese Steel Cage Match: SamMills Brand

gluten free mac and cheese IMG_1892

No one said there would be math.

At the WalMart store in Colville, Washington, there is an impressive selection of gluten-free foods in the freezer section – for a non-health food store, anyway. This is where I discovered SamMills the Corn Master’s Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese In a creamy Cheddar Cheese Sauce.

At $2.97 for 8 ounces, vs. Amy’s at $3.58 for 9 ounces, it was worth trying. It is wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and gluten free. Phew!

While I was in the store, I glanced at the cooking instructions. “Cook on high for 3-1/2 minutes” in the microwave. Super easy. Sold.

Then I got it home and went to cook it. That was when I really read the instructions:

Gluten free mac and cheese IMG_1887

  • Cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 minutes
  • Remove film, stir well and cook thoroughly until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

SAY WHAT? No one told me math would be involved. *Sigh*

Seriously, cooking to a certain temperature is my most hated thing. I take this stuff very seriously, and if I can’t get it up to temperature, am I supposed to throw it away? I mean…

Anyway, I finally got it to 165. That was kind of a pain. It didn’t look too bad. And, it had very good flavor. The pasta consistency was similar to slightly undercooked, but I like it that way. I’d much rather have pasta I can sink my teeth into than have mush. So, the SamMills Mac & Cheese was good, but the cooking part was a bit stressful for me and sort of lessened the enjoyment of the dish. For more on SamMills products, go to www.SamMills.eu.

Tune in next time for Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese.

EATING RIGHT Gluten Free Cake Mix – Yellow

eating right yellow cake mix IMG_6666

Not very “yellow” but that’s okay.

Well, this was interesting. I wanted to make a gluten-free spice cake, but Safeway didn’t have any mixes in that flavor. Their new “healthy” EATING RIGHT label offered only yellow cake mix, so around $3.00 per box, I decided to get that and check online to see what spices to add.

I did some searching and found spice information on The Sister’s Cafe:

1 yellow cake mix box
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves

So, I followed the instructions, added the spices, and commenced to mixing. I went with cloves instead of allspice since the birthday boy has an aversion to the latter. Then, my epiphany: wait a minute, why does it say to “grease or spray a 9×9 cake pan”? Shouldn’t it say PANS – like as in plural?

HA HA not. Even though the picture on the front and back of the box show a two-layer cake, the contents of the box are indeed for only one layer. Oops. That’s probably why it was so inexpensive. Doy.

The birthday recipient always expected a two layer cake: more frosting, you know? (By the way, I always use the Martha Stewart recipe for cream cheese frosting. It works out well.) So, I made two fairly shallow round cakes and baked them for a shorter time.

The day of baking, the cake was surprisingly moist and the consistency was excellent for gluten-free. The spices worked out perfectly, even though they were for TWO cake layers, not just one. But, as the days went by, the flavor faded. It was very strange.

Recommended? Sure. But betware – you will need TWO boxes to make a two layer cake.

EATING RIGHT Ham & Cheese Scramble

ham cheese scramble IMG_9902Earlier this week, we wrote about the SMART ONES Cheesy Scramble with Hash Browns. Here is an alternative, brought to you by EATING RIGHT.

Let me start out by saying that nowhere does Eating Right claim that this is gluten-free. But if you look at the ingredients, you will notice wheat is not listed amongst the allergens at the end. Eggs, soy, and milk the only allergens listed. When you see modified corn starch specified and xanthan gum used – those are normally a good indication there will be no gluten. However, if it is not labeled as so, it is never guaranteed.

I got this “EATING RIGHT” breakfast on sale for around $2.00 at the local Safeway.

EATING RIGHT: 220 Calories, 7 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, and 730 mg of sodium. A total of about 5.5 minutes cook time. Very easy.

Compared to:

SMART ONES: 210 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, and 510 mg of sodium. A total of 3 minutes cook time. Very easy.

Flavor? Pretty good. I was definitely happier with the non-red-pepper overpowering flavor. This was quite pleasant until I got to the end where I guess I had missed stirring during the cook time and all the black pepper had accumulated. Wow! Powerful stuff. So, I decided I would try another one, and be more careful about the stirring. Well, thorough stirring spread that black pepper throughout the dish. I will not be doing that again. I prefer crispy hash browns, and these were not, but they were good. The eggs had good flavor and consistency. The ham was a little dried out, but I like mine that way (since I don’t usually eat ham) so it didn’t bother me at all. The flavor was good as well.

All in all, if you’re starting out a busy day, need a decent protein-laden breakfast, and only have a few minutes – this is another way to go.

Smart Ones Cheesy Scramble with Hash Browns

smart ones cheesy scramble IMG_5022Let me start out by saying that nowhere does WeightWatchers claim that this is gluten-free. But if you look at the ingredients, you will notice wheat is not listed amongst the allergens at the end. Eggs and milk the only allergens listed. Xanthan gum is used in the eggs and cheese sauce which is normally a good indication there will be no gluten. However, it is never guaranteed.

I got this “Smart Beginnings” breakfast on sale for $2.50 at the local Safeway. You can probably do better somewhere more traveled.

210 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, and 510 mg of sodium. A total of 3 minutes cook time. Very easy.

Flavor? I thought the potatoes were a little too peppery. Could be the bell peppers, but I’m not sure. I prefer crispy hash browns, and these were not. The eggs, however, had good flavor and consistency. I’m not sure where they get the idea it’s a “cheesy” scramble – I didn’t really notice any cheese sauce.

All in all, if you’re starting out a busy day, need a decent protein-laden breakfast, and only have a few minutes – this is the way to go.

Learn more at http://eatyourbest.com.