Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal

IMG_4618 chex oatmeal nutella styleChex, we love you. Gluten-free instant oatmeal is here. Quaker Oats, why didn’t you guys think of this? Sheesh!

In a variety box of Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, you get 2 packets each of 3 flavors: apple cinnamon, maple brown sugar, and plain. It’s super easy to make in the microwave in less than 2 minutes, and each packet comes with a convenient fill-line for milk or water (I always use milk for creamier oatmeal) so you don’t have to dirty a measuring cup.

Great flavor, great consistency, awesome job, Chex!

But now, I bet you’re wondering why Nutella is in the picture. Okay, I’ll tell you. How many kids do you know (young OR old) who like plain oatmeal? That’s one drawback of variety packs of any kind – there’s always one flavor no one wants. Why do they do that? In any case, here’s a quick, easy, and delicious solution to the plain oatmeal issue. When you’re done heating the oatmeal, stir in up to 2 tablespoons (1 serving) of Nutella until it’s thoroughly mixed. You will end up with one delicious bowl of oatmeal! Yes, I know, I’m a genius. You’re welcome.

You can learn more about the most awesome Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal at http://www.chex.com/products/gluten-free-oatmeal-multipack-variety-pack I got mine at WalMart for under $3.00. Enjoy!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Taos Mountain Toasted Coconut Energy Bar

IMG_5705 taos mountain

Sorry, I had to eat some of it. I was hungry!

Yum. As a coconut lover, this bar was great. The main flavor was toasted coconut with what I thought was the occasional date, but oddly it doesn’t actually contain any dates. It is made solely of almonds, coconut, honey, coconut sugar, chia seeds, pure ground vanilla beans, and sea salt. (Just about half of those ingredients are organic.) I’ve had alleged coconut bars in the past made of similar ingredients, and those have been hard as a rock. This Taos Mountain Energy Bar was nice and chewy and left a pleasant toasted coconut taste in my mouth (as opposed to the normal nasty bitter sesame hull taste).

I found this chunk of coconut goodness at a coffee shop for $2.75. I’d normally say ouch over that price, but I really only ate half of it in the first sitting. Try one yourself and decide. It was a lot nicer in flavor and consistency than most gluten-free coconut bars I’ve tried.

You can learn more about Taos Mountain Energy Bars on their website here: http://www.tmebars.com/about-us/our-bars/

 

 

 

KIND Oats & Honey Clusters

144 kind oat and honey granolaThis 11 ounce bag of gluten-free, non-GMO, low glycemic granola was $4.99 (on sale for $4.49) at Safeway. It’s loaded with “super grains” including oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. Ah, the “Q” word. Loved by so many. Me, not so much. I just do not care for the funky, punky taste of quinoa. Nor do I care for the pronunciation of the word. That’s another story, though.

The overall taste of this granola is good. I do not taste any of the toasted coconut mentioned on the front of the package, probably because it is overpowered by the quinoa. Otherwise, I do get the occasional burst of honey flavor. The cereal is very hard, and needs to soak for a while in the yogurt before you eat it unless you want to be crunching on rock-like chunks. My jaw is tired.

So, I can see this being a favorite of health-food folks who enjoy that kind of flavor. Me, not so much. It will get me by until I can get back to WalMart and get the most excellent Van’s Natural Foods Cranberry Almond granola for $3.98.

RECOMMENDED? Eh. It’s a matter of personal taste.

LARABAR Cashew Cookie Bar

IMG_5670 lara bar cashew cookieIn my attempt to eat healthier, I decided to have a LARABAR Cashew Cookie bar instead of a serving of delicious tortilla chips. I wanted something not too sweet, and I figured the saltiness of cashews would do the trick. Eh. The consistency was decent – not the nasty sports bar consistency by any means. The flavor was extremely mild. Occasionally I would get a hint of cashews or dates, but otherwise, it was just a sort of bland but not unpleasant fruitish flavor. Interestingly, there are ONLY two ingredients in this LARABAR: non-gmo cashews and dates. I lucked out and got this on sale for 99 cents.

A bit higher in calories and fat than the tortillas, I hoped it would curb my in-between-meal snacking needs. I’ll let you know how that goes in about 20 minutes. 😉 Here are the stats:

230 calories; 13g fat; 23g carbs; 6g protein; only 5mg of sodium; 10% daily requirement of iron; and other stuff.

What I really like about some LARABARs is that not only are they gluten free, but they are also soy free. I am not a fan of soy. If you are looking for a something to take with you on a plane or hiking or what-have-you, especially if you can find it for 99 cents, I recommend this LARABAR for convenient on-the-go snacking.

More at www.larabar.com.

Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza

IMG_5561 freschetta burnedHoly flipping pizza, Batman, this is amazing. Freschetta has hit the nail on the head when it comes to making really excellent gluten-free pizza. Wow. The taste is just awesome. And, it has plenty of cheese on it. Ooey, gooey cheese.

I grew up eating pizza in Boston and New York City. So I know what pizza is supposed to taste like. Amy’s is definitely not it. Udi’s is closer, but it’s one of those “good for gluten-free” deals. Freschetta’s tastes like real pizza. The kind the guy flips around in the window. *happy sigh*

I have two minor issues with this pizza.

#1 – You get four servings from the Freschetta pizza – that’s two okay size slices per serving. I don’t think so. This pizza is too good to just stop there. I usually (twice so far) eat three, which reduces it to 3 servings per pizza (at $9.99/pizza). I could probably make it four slices (half the pizza), but I do have some semblance of self control.

#2 – I keep forgetting to put the flipping pan in the oven while it’s preheating. The first time, I completely forgot and ended up with the burnty pizza picture you see above (because I left it in for the 15 minutes instead of 12). The darn pizza STILL tasted awesome. The second time, I remembered AFTER the oven was preheated, so I put the pan in for five minutes and then put the pizza in. Still not enough time – the middle of the pizza stuck to the pan again, but not as badly as the first time.

Sticking to the pan or not, you still cannot beat the taste and consistency of this Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza. I’ve had gluten-free pizza at actual pizza shops, and Freschetta still wins. Yay for us!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

IMG_5787 gluten free freschetta pizza

All But Gluten Chocolate Snack Cakes

IMG_4652 gf ringding compI have seen the face of evil and I live to tell the tale. These All But Gluten Chocolate Snack Cakes are probably the “falling apart” equivalent of RingDings. (I mean, come on, we all know that GLUten means glue. So gluten-free stuff falls apart. A bit. Who cares as long as the consistency is good and it tastes awesome, right?) And my oh my are they good. Like evil good. Like no self control good.

Okay, I don’t normally eat this kind of thing, so maybe that is swaying my opinion here. I was in Safeway in Spokane and I had just bought like 100 cookies to thank the guys at Staples for fixing my computer and I was feeling like the kid who didn’t get picked to play on a team. So when I saw these, I was like “oh hell yeah.” (I know, you didn’t need to know all that, but…)

I thought they were a little light on the cream filling and the cake was just a little on the dry side, but no worries, I am like MacGuyver with Cool Whip. What a treat for dessert or in between meal snacks or like in place of a meal or for breakfast or…  Oops, sorry.

You can read more about these naughty puppies (including nutritional information) here: http://allbutgluten.com/products/all-but-gluten-chocolate-snack-cakes

Highly recommended.

IMG_4656 gf ringding comp

Udi’s Lasagna

IMG_4211 udis lasagnaYUM! Hot, hearty, quick, easy, reasonably priced, and delicious. How can you go wrong with that combination? Udi’s has hit it out of the ballpark with this lasagna. So satisfying. The flavor, consistency, and appearance – all great.

Even though when you take the tray out of the microwave the sauce looks a bit soupy, it’s really not. There’s just enough of it to keep it moist. And the sauce is light and flavorful. Spicy smell while cooking, but not spicy to taste. There’s just enough sausage to give it a hint of a very pleasant kick.

The cheese consistency was good. At 5:45, the cook time was very convenient. While it’s frozen, it may look like it needs more cheese on top, but it really doesn’t.

I don’t know about other gluten-free lasagnas, yet, but for $4.99 a single serving, I’ll be looking for this on sale and will buy a few when that happens. Thank you, Udi’s.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED