Tres Latin Foods Chicken & Cheese Pupusas

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Preheating the toaster oven.

Well, perhaps my expectations on these are the problem here. When I saw the box, and the description on it, I got excited. Something different, and it appeared to be low carb (compared to everything else, mind you), so woot! But I didn’t read the box carefully enough. If I had, I would have realized that 4 servings in this box would mean each serving was small.  One pupusa per serving. So, no, it’s not a standalone meal. My bad.

What is a pupusa, you ask? Well, it was my first time, and in this case, it is a stuffed corn tortilla (thicker than I’m used to) with seasoned chicken, mozzarella cheese, and beans. There seems to be a wide variety of how thetres-gluten-free-pupusas-2se are prepared, so it could be completely different wherever you live.

You can either cook these in the frying pan or in the oven, so I chose to use the toaster oven. I have to say, the flavor is excellent. The corn shell is crispy on the outside and smooth (sometimes grainy) on the inside. The chicken filling is not shredded, it’s more pulverized, but it is savory. Next, I tried in the frying pan. I mean, fried is always better, right? And it was good that way, too.

I think this would be great as a side or as a snack, but not as a meal. You can learn more about Tres Pupusas (they have 5 different flavors, and some of them are vegetarian-friendly) on their website at http://trespupusas.com/.

RECOMMENDED

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Cooked in the toaster oven.

 

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Good Foods Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

chicken-salad-img_20161128_172455171Thank you, Costco, for this delightful chicken salad. (I found it at Costco, not sure where else it might be available.) It’s chock full of high-quality white meat chicken, and is conveniently packaged into eight single-serving cups so they’re easy to take along on picnics or travel, and there’s no measuring for portions if you’re on a diet. I normally don’t eat food with almonds in it (salicylate sensitivity), but this is too good to pass up. It’s clearly marked on the packaging that it’s gluten-free, too. So yay for that!

The taste? Well, the cranberries are not bitter (they’re prepared with sugar…), and the celery seems slightly pickled – and sweet. I’d definitely consider this on the SWEET side. If you like that kind of thing, then this is for you.

chicken-salad-img_20160821_095444494But, can chicken salad be healthy with all that mayonnaise? Good Foods doesn’t use mayonnaise – they use low-fat Greek yogurt. One four ounce serving-size cup contains 140 calories, 4g fat, 12 carbs, 1g fiber, and 14g of protein. Not too shabby. And, it’s affordable, too. I am pretty sure the last time I purchased it, it went for $9.99 for all 8 servings.

If I know I’m going to have a particularly busy week, I’ll buy a package of these and put them in the fridge so I can grab a quick lunch that is as complicated as putting lettuce on a plate and opening one of these cups. Pretty easy.

RECOMMENDED

 

Blake’s Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

blakes-chicken-pot-pie-gluten-free-img_20160627_084529163_hdrI absolutely love these Blake’s Chicken Pot Pies. OMG so good. I have eaten them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not in the same day, but I absolutely would…). You can tell that it is all natural and it really does taste homemade. What a nice departure from “churned out” tasteless and unsatisfying gluten-free microwave meals. Thank you, Blake’s.

The first thing you’re probably wondering about is the crust. Well, it’s delicious. Really. I’m sure the consistency would be better if this was baked (but in Phoenix during the summer, no way I’m turning on my oven. How about you try it baked and tell me how it is?) However, the crust is still good. The flavor is a little on the sweet side, but it’s not a gritty crust like a lot of places try to pass off on you. It’s more of a pastry crust. Even though there’s no bottom crust, it’s still just the right amount for this pie.

blakes-chicken-pot-pie-gluten-free-img_20160627_085528482The best part is the big chunks of tasty white meat chicken. In fact, it’s a generous amount of chicken considering the size of the pie. And this isn’t fatty nasty chicken. It’s breast meat – and really good breast meat at that. Add to it the skin-on red potatoes, carrots, and peas in a very smooth and delectable sauce and you have a winning combination.

Believe it or not, I purchased this at Walmart in the gluten-free or healthy eating freezer section (in WA State, and in Phoenix, so it should be available in a Walmart near you). I’ve also found it at Sprouts stores. Sometimes Sprouts will have them on sale for $2.50 each – if you see that sale, stock up!

If you are looking for something hot, hearty, and delicious, this fits the bill. You can read more about Blake’s here.

HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Lean Cuisine Herb Roasted Chicken – GLUTEN FREE

lean cuisine comfort herb roasted chicken gluten free

Click to enlarge

Well, this was surprising. After cooking this meal in Lean Cuisine’s “Comfort” food series for 6.5 minutes on high, I was expecting rubber. Not so.

The chicken was a large piece of white meat breast – and you could even tell by looking at it that’s what it was. The sauce on it was a light, yet savory, cream of mushroom style with real mushrooms in it. I’m not sure where they get “herb roasted.” Maybe it was, but I couldn’t taste them. The mushroom sauce complemented it nicely, so I didn’t miss the herb flavors. The red potatoes in fact had their skin on and were very tender. The broccoli was just a hair overdone (I like it really well cooked anyway, but if you like it crispy, forget about it), and those veggies were inundated with red peppers. Why???

The outside edges of the chicken were a little tough, but it was cooked in a microwave, so what do you expect? The consistency isn’t horrible by any means, but it certainly doesn’t have the pull-apart moistness of a fresh-roasted chicken. But what do you want for $1.88 on sale?

Here are your nutritional statistics:

ONLY 170 calories; 4g fat; 510mg sodium; 18g carbs; 16g protein.

Despite the fact that red peppers were fused via nuking to a couple of the potatoes, this one’s a winner in my book.

RECOMMENDED

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl by EATING RIGHT

chicken teriyaki IMG_2953As teriyaki goes, I thought this Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl by EATING RIGHT was a little light on flavor. With 930 mg of sodium, I anticipated a little more teriyakiness to it. For $2.99 and gluten-free, it’s hard to knock it. The chunks of real white meat chicken are of good consistency.  There were a couple of soybeans, a few water chestnuts, but no other veggies in this bowl. In their defense, I did try this dish one other time and there were a lot more vegetables in it. So, they don’t seem to be very consistent.

Overall, I probably would not purchase this again. It wasn’t “bad” but it wasn’t all that, either. I wouldn’t have purchased it a second time if I hadn’t been lazy and forgotten to write the review the first time.

Gluten-Free Tangy Cashew Chicken Recipe

There are a few choice things that I truly miss since being diagnosed wheat-intolerant:  deep fried foods and Chinese food are at the top of that list.  So when I accidentally made this dish that ended up tasting like restaurant Chinese food – well you better believe we make it a couple of times a month.  Even my non-allergic spouse thoroughly enjoys this one!

One of the great things about this recipe is that you have a lot of flexibility.  If you want to add red peppers, go for it.  The same goes for other Asian-type ingredients like:  water chestnuts, bean sprouts, baby corn, and the like.  Fresh pineapple is a great addition as well.

My kitchen is not a produce stand – I am on a budget.  I use ingredients I tend to keep on hand.  This recipe is great for leftover chicken.  You can use raw if you want.  I find the already cooked chicken absorbs the flavor very well and ends up extremely tender.  This dish is gluten-, wheat- and soy-free.

Tangy Cashew Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic ginger stirfry
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)
  • 1 squirt of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup cashews, broken
  • 2 cups cubed (leftover) chicken
  • Brown or white rice

Start the rice. 

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and put on to steam.

Chop onion.  Melt 1 tbsp butter on medium/low in large frying pan, put onion in.  Cut chicken into bite-size cubes.  As the onions begin to brown, add 2 more tbsp of butter.  Melt.

Add garlic ginger, stir.  Add brown sugar; stir until it’s melted.  Add Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.  Mix well.

Add chicken, stir until coated.  Add coconut and cashew.  Drain broccoli, add to chicken mixture.  Stir.  Turn off burner.

Dish rice onto plates.  Serve chicken atop the rice.  Enjoy!

Makes 2 hefty servings.

 

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