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.

 

Oscar Mayer Gluten Free Delifresh Honey Smoked Turkey Breast & Recipe

oscar-mayer-deli-fresh-cold-cutsFinally. Cold cuts that actually say they are gluten-free, right on the package. Yay! And keep in mind, I have coldcutslimeophobia. YES, that is a REAL thing! And that means if the cold cuts are the least bit slimy or sweaty or what-have-you, they turn my stomach and then go in the trash. So when I tried this Oscar Mayer Delifresh Honey Smoked Turkey Breast, I was not only pleasantly surprised, but extremely pleased. They’re not filled with gristle or fatty pockets. They have excellent texture and flavor, and they keep in the fridge for a surprisingly long time after you’ve opened them. Much longer than cold cuts you get at the deli counter. Those are usually over the top of my slime-meter within three days.

And the news gets even better. Continue reading

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

 

Cole’s Fine Foods: Gluten-Free Quiche

coles-quicheGooey strings of cheese follow your fork as you break off each piece. Fantastic consistency – not rubbery, sweaty egg like some gluten-free quiches, but more thick and hearty. And that’s even after it sat overnight and I microwaved it for 60 seconds. As you all know by now, I’m not a fan of peppers, but this had just the right amount of red peppers to complement the flavor, so I didn’t even pick them out. I know, crazy, right? And the artichoke hearts added such a lovely flavor.

Unlike so many gluten-free quiches, this one holds together so well (yes, and has a flaky, delicious crust that holds together, too), that you can pick it up with one hand and eat it. I’m amazed. That crust was really awesome. I’d love to try it underneath some pumpkin pie (hint, hint).

Another awesome creation by Cole’s Fine Foods. If you don’t live in Spokane, see if they’ll ship one of these babies to you. You’ll love it.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Blake’s Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie

blakes-shepherds-pie-1Blake’s wins the gluten-free comfort food crown as far as I’m concerned. Their chicken pot pie (which I review later) is amazing, and their shepherd’s pie is hearty, delicious, and oh-so satisfying.

Each forkful is loaded with savory beef, sweet corn, and real potatoes. The flavors complement each other perfectly. If you’re a fan of shepherd’s pie, you’ve got to try this. You can tell they use simple, high-quality ingredients and that makes this dish all the more enjoyable. From their packaging: “Ingredients: potato, cooked ground beef (raised without antibiotics or animal by-products) organic corn, onion, beef stock, natural flavor, whole milk, butter, salt. No artificial ingredients.” What a pleasure. Continue reading

daiya Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Gluten- & Dairy-Free Pizza

daiya-pizza-cooked

After cooking for 15 minutes in a 475 oven.

After tasting the cheese quesadillas daiya offered at the Gluten-free and Allergy Friendly Expo, I had high hopes for their pizza. So, I went out and purchased a Mushroom & Roasted Garlic “with gourmet ingredients” gluten-free pizza. Now, I’m a big fan of dairy, but I have some friends who aren’t, so I figured I’d give this a try to see if it was any good.

At $7.50 for a pizza that, in my humble opinion, offers two servings (they say three on the package, but I beg to differ), I can’t recommend this to people who CAN eat dairy. If you don’t have a dairy restriction, I highly recommend the Sabatasso’s Pizza from Costco. If you don’t have a Costco membership, then I recommend the Freschetta’s Gluten-Free, which you should be able to find anywhere. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of gluten-free pizza.

So, why do I say this? Continue reading

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

Sabatasso’s Gluten Free Pizza from Costco

gluten free costco pizzaWell shut the front door. This Sabatasso’s gluten-free pizza from Costco is unbelievably good. When I lifted the first piece, the gooey cheese clung to the pie from which I pulled it, making that glorious stringy mess like a real, New York-style pizza fresh out of a brick oven. And the taste? Honestly – it tastes just like those awesome glutinous, mondo slices you get at the Costco food bar.

There’s a lot of cheese on this pizza. It’s very filling – so the fact they state 4 servings per pizza is, in fact, accurate. That’s two slices of rich, cheesy pizza. Wow.

Not sure this can get any better? Well, it does. You get not one, but TWO! of these awesome pizzas for around $11.

But wait, there’s more. Continue reading

Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Gluten Free Beef Merlot

gluten free healthy choiceWow. My notes on this one read like this: Skin-on red potatoes very tender. Veggies tasted very fresh and flavorful. Consistency was good. The sauce – not a big fan of wine in food but it was not overbearing and the taste was pleasant. Smaller pieces of meat were very tender.  Larger pieces were a little tough and did have some veins of fat. Good char-broiled flavor.  Thought the basket steaming gimmick may fall flat, but it seems to have worked. Not a fan of the extra container waste, but…

The crazy thing is the nutritional information.

180 calories, 4g fat, 600mg sodium, 20g carbs, 15g protein. That’s a winning combination right there.

The only drawback I see to this is I can imagine those of you who like a good wine sauce would want a big piece of crusty gluten-free bread to sop up the leftovers. That’d blow the Weight Watches PointsPlus Value of 4, I do believe. But I won’t tell if you don’t.

As I write this (April 2015), there are three Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers that are gluten-free. You can read more about them at http://www.healthychoice.com/products/cafe-steamers

RECOMMENDED.

Lean Cuisine Gluten Free Ranchero Braised Beef

gluten free lean cuisine Ranchero Braised BeefWell, I was a little nervous about this one. I was so excited to see a gluten-free Lean Cuisine that I didn’t read the description very well. All I saw was braised beef served with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. I complete read over the spicy red chile sauce and the chipotle in the mashed taters. Oops.

When I opened it after cooking for 3 minutes in order to stir it (per the directions), it was hot as heck. The steam nearly burned my thumb. And, the fumes from the chiles in the meat’s sauce nearly burned my eyes. This wasn’t looking good.

The texture of the meat was actually pretty good. A little bit chewy, but mostly tender and moist. A couple of pieces did actually melt in my mouth. They do have it listed as prime rib in the ingredients, and I won’t argue that. The sauce, however, did set my mouth and lips ablaze. Please remember that I am freakishly sensitive to spicy food, so this probably won’t happen to you. The sweet potatoes were very light and fluffy. They did have a bit of a Southwest bite to them. I’m pretty sure it was the potatoes and not the meat because I took a big spoonful of Nutella in between to stop the burning. Yes, I’m a big sissy. Shut up.

For those of you who are normal and whose mouths won’t be set on fire by this, here are the nutritional details:

250 calories, 6g fat, 30mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 33g carbs, and 15g protein. Not bad.

So, there you have it.

I’m honestly torn on this one – for a microwave dinner, especially a gluten-free one – this is a winner. I just wish it didn’t start a frikkin fire in my mouth. Otherwise, you’d see me filling my freezer with them. This is definitely worth trying – especially for $2.00. That’s just insane. Hopefully Lean Cuisine will come out with some more gluten-free dinners.

RECOMMENDED