Great Value Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar Cheese Mix

Great Value gluten free mac and cheese Remember the happy-happy joy-joy feeling you got from eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Remember that feeling going bye-bye when you went gluten-free? Well, you can get that feeling back – believe it or not – courtesy of Wal-Mart.

Not kidding.

I’ve tried other gluten-free Mac & Cheese out-of-the-box mixes and they have been just awful. So when this turned out to be good – I was shocked AND happy. Happy-happy joy-joy, even.

Boil 6 cups of water and add their rice pasta. They say on the box 10-12 minutes, and that’s exactly what it was. No “it says 10 minutes but they mean 40” deal. While the pasta’s draining, mix 1/4 cup of milk with an optional 2 tbsp of butter, and then add the powdered cheese sauce mix.

There really weren’t any ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce, and I did not see any soy.

One package contains 2.5 servings of fluorescent orange, cheesy heaven. 260 calories, a boatload of carbs, 460 mg of sodium, and 6 g protein (I wasn’t sure if that included the milk).

Head on over to Wal-Mart and get yourself some of this in their gluten-free section.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for an unhealthy mac & cheese fix. 🙂

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Lobster Classic Chunk Style by Trans-Ocean

IMG_0471 lobster 1Over three years ago, I wrote about Crab Classic Chunk Style by Trans-Ocean. That’s still available, and I’m still buying it. You can usually get a package at Wal-Mart for $2.50 each. And, there are about two servings per 8 ounce package which makes it pretty affordable.

What I recently discovered was that I could get the Lobster version for the same price. Again, like the crab, this product does not claim to be gluten-free. There is no gluten added, however, unlike the flake and leg styles. Those actually say “contains wheat” in the allergens. MAKE CERTAIN you do not buy those styles if you have a gluten or wheat allergy. It’s easy to confuse them as they all look nearly identical.

I prepare the lobster the same way as I do the crab – chop up some celery, add some mayonnaise (I use canola-based mayo), and instead of just stirring, I use a fork and a knife to break it up into smaller chunks. Then I serve it over salad for a healthy, cool, summertime meal. No salad dressing needed. Great for lunch or dinner.

From their website: “Lobster Classic is a premium blend of wild caught, sustainable Alaska Pollock and real lobster meat. The product has a unique, chunky texture and crisp flavor profile that is unlike other surimi seafoods. Use Lobster Classic for delicious lobster salads, hot casseroles and as a dip style appetizer with cocktail sauce. Certified by the American Heart Association, Lobster Classic is low in fat and cholesterol. It is also a source of Omega-3 EPA and DHA, providing 100mg per 3 oz. serving. It’s fully cooked, making it easy to enjoy seafood while helping build a healthy heart at the same time.”

It’s nice to eat something that tastes good that’s good for you. For more information on this product, go to http://www.trans-ocean.com/lc_chunkstyle.html

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Lazy Gluten-Free Chicken Casserole

lazy gluten free casserole IMG_5012web

Little effort; lots of yumminess.

Sometimes you just want something hearty, you know? Something like chicken pot pie, but way less complicated. Well, have I got the recipe for you. Fast, easy, and with food that’s already cooked. I just threw this together sort of capriciously, and certainly did not expect this to taste so good. I’m going to try to recreate it below – but you can’t really go wrong no matter how you do this. Add vegetables if you want. I think celery and onion might be good additions without overpowering the flavor too much.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded or broken up  (or parts of your choice)
  • 2 cups g/f cornbread, loosely crumbled (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 container g/f chicken broth or stock (I used Costco’s brand)
  • Italian-style shredded cheese for garnish (mozzarella, Parmesan, etc. blend)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first three ingredients in 9×9 glass baking dish (I’m sure metal is fine, I used Pyrex). Mix well, with hands. Do not flatten or compact. Pour chicken broth just until you can see it come to the top of the mixture. Sprinkle a thin layer of the cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Turn oven up to 400. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is browning on top. SERVES 4.

The rice and cornbread should have absorbed almost all the chicken broth, making them moist and fluffy. This is hot, hearty comfort food that can be tweaked to your preferred level of moistness. Leftovers can easily be reheated in a bowl – fill bowl with the amount you want, then pour any leftover chicken broth in. Microwave for about 2 minutes on 70%, stir, then an addition 30 – 60 seconds on high for one bowl. It should absorb the additional chicken broth as it sits.

As I said, this recipe was an accident, and was not measured. You may have to experiment a little to get the combination of broth/food that works best for your taste. However – the flavor is just awesome. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Dining at the Ninety Nine

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RESTAURANT:
Ninety Nine Restaurant
149 So. Broadway
Salem, NH 03079
http://www.99restaurants.com/

Well this was a fun evening.  I hadn’t been to a 99 Restaurant in a very long time, and I’ll be honest with you, I was expecting it to be mediocre.  We picked the restaurant because of its convenient proximity to Route 93 in Salem, NH. I didn’t realize at the time that the “Nines” even had a gluten-free menu – one of my friends who met us there told me.  You can see the gluten-free menu on their website – the link is above.

To start, our waitress Connie was patient and gracious over the fact that our party arrived in spurts.  Then, when I asked for a gluten-free menu, she was very responsive.  That always gives me a good feeling.  (On the bill, it even says “allergy alert” next to my meal.) 

The food was served hot and in a timely manner.  And it was really good.  My 16 ounce sirloin tips were marinated and perfectly cooked until they were tender and delicious.  They came with excellent mashed potatoes and broccoli for only $11.99.  There was so much food I couldn’t eat it all.

Everyone at the table enjoyed their food, and Connie was even nice enough to take a photo of our group.   Well done, 99!

Crab Classic Chunk Style by Trans-Ocean

Lunch is the most annoying meal of the day for me.  With the horrible selection of gluten-free breads, sandwiches are not an option.

Seafood salad is also normally not an option as most of the imitation crab products contain wheat.  So, I was glad to discover Crab Classic Chunk Style surimi seafood.  Because it doesn’t say gluten-free on the product, I contacted Trans-Ocean, and their consumer service department replied immediately with this:

“We do not add any gluten containing ingredients to the Lobster Classic Chunk or Crab Classic Chunk formulas.  However, we do not certify these products to be gluten free.  Certification requires specially designed lines which we do not have.  We take all reasonable precautions to avoid cross contamination however we can not eliminate all risk.”

Since I am not that sensitive, that response was good enough for me.  I mixed some canola mayonnaise, light sour cream, chopped celery and a little bit of relish with the Crab Classic to make a delicious seafood salad for lunch.

So, if you are interested in something different for lunch, give Crab Classic a try.  More information on the product, including ingredients is available at:  http://www.trans-ocean.com/cc_chunkstyle.html

Namaste Foods Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

Howdy all,

Sorry I’ve been scarce.  I’ve been writing articles for Celiac-Disease.com.  If you are looking for product suggestions and/or reviews, that site is extremely thorough.

Meanwhile, I’ve tried the Brownie Mix and Spice Cake Mix by Namaste Foods.  They are awesome:  moist, rich, and great flavor.  I didn’t even think the Spice Cake needed the gluten-free cream cheese icing I made.   Check out their website at www.namastefoods.com

That’s my tip for today…eat well!