Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Gluten-Free Favorites

I've written recently of our ongoing war with the local grocery store that is slowly taking some of our favorites off the shelves. I thought I'd just let you in on what some of our favorites really are. Maybe you too will want to try some. In case I haven't said it before, I am insanely bitchy about gluten-free food. If it doesn't taste like "normal" food, I say so, and it is banned. Except for that bread from the Wedge Co-op the boy says tastes like normal bread. He's just forgotten, I think.

1) Kitchen Basics stock. We use chicken, beef, and vegetable stock from KB, depending on the recipe, at least twice a week. Recipes we use it for include risotto, stir fry dishes, and (duh) soups. This stuff is pretty fabulous. There are other GF stocks out there (Swanson's Organic, for one), but this stuff is way better than any other stocks I've tried. Someone in our household needs to watch her sodium intake and Kitchen Basics regular stock is lower in sodium than the low sodium alternatives at our grocery store. Plus, it's really delicious. Our store rarely has Kitchen Basics, it is up on a high shelf, and it seems to be stocking it fewer and fewer days of the week. But, I have gone to multiple grocery stores in search of this stock and I am a loyal Kitchen Basics fan.

Bread from Anna makes this pumpkin bread mix that is to die for. Most of the gluten-free bread mixes leave me cold, personally. The boy can either take them or leave them. But I crave this. In about July, I got excited about autumn because then I could make this. And the new KitchenAid mixer makes this the easiest thing to put together (some canned pumpkin, eggs, oil, and the mix). The first ingredient in the ingredient list for this product is crystallized honey, if that gives you any ideas as to its absolute deliciousness.

Sadly, we cannot find this mix around these parts. We stock up when we are visiting the in-laws in Iowa. Because suburban Iowa has this Hy-Vee with this selection of GF foods that is unbelievable. But, I digress.

I know I've written about Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal before somewhere on this blog. I love this stuff. We eat it most mornings. It take about 15 minutes for someone (usually the boy) to make. Add some brown sugar, walnuts, craisins, and a splash of milk and you are ready for an awesome meal. Occasionally the boy adds maple syrup instead of brown sugar. It's easy and delicious and corn-based. (We commonly refer to it as "CLM" which stands for corny love mush. That's a lot shorter than the actual name of the product.)

Our local grocery store stopped carrying CLM a few months ago. After a brief scare when we thought that perhaps the good folks at Bob's Red Mill had discontinued the product (they DIDN'T), we found it at one of the fancy grocery stores downtown. Whenever I'm downtown, I simply go to Lund's and buy four or five packages of CLM. But it's super inconvenient that I can't just go to our regular grocery store.

NutThins rule my world. I prefer these crackers to any wheat-based cracker I've ever had. They come in different flavors (we usually get Almond or Pecan). They are perfect for cheese and crackers or dipped in peanut butter. As the person who needs to avoid sodium, these are a special treat for me, but we buy at least two boxes a week for the other person in the house who doesn't need to avoid sodium.

Seriously, people. Go buy some NutThins. They are delicious and you'll never go back to Wheat Thins again.

Our grocery store does stock NutThins. If they stopped doing so, I might have a meltdown. (I would note that the Hy-Vee in suburban Iowa has more flavors of NutThins than does our grocery store, but since our store carries our preferred flavors, I will say no more!)

Bob's Red Mill comes through again with polenta (corn grits). This polenta is quick to make (okay, it takes like 45 minutes, but it's not constant stirring) and can be used in so many recipes, I don't even know where to start.

The boy's favorite is to put a thin layer in a baking dish and cool it. Then brush some olive oil on both sides, broil for four minutes on each side, then put a layer of pasta sauce and cheese on it and bake for 12 minutes. Polenta pizza! (Way better than any actual GF pizza I've ever had!)

I like to do the thin layer in the baking dish and cool it. Then stir fry some mushrooms, onions, and red peppers. Place the stir fry mixture on top of the polenta and bake for four or five minutes. Either way, this is easy to work with and if you make a batch of polenta, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and prepare it in a couple of different recipes.

This is always available at our grocery store, which makes me happy because we eat it a lot and it's super inexpensive!!

I just wanted to thank General Mills one more time for creating a mainstream gluten-free cereal. (Yes, Fruity Pebbles are gluten-free, but, yech!) I don't think the boy has gotten any other cereal since General Mill did the gluten-free reformulation. Maybe someday he will rotate it with another cereal, but right now, Rice Chex is our family favorite.

It does help, I suppose, that we're eating the hot cereal most mornings, so he's not overloaded with Rice Chex. Yay General Mills!! More gluten-free options would be most welcome!!


  1. Don't ask me why I know this, but has a happy little place where you can order Breads from Anna online! A friend of mine sent me the link a long time ago, when we were discussing gluten free foods (It started when I mentioned your blog, I believe) and I kept forgetting to send it to you. So, here you go!

  2. I hate when that happens! I think I have an ability to curse things. If I love it, eventually it stops getting made or carried.

  3. My Mom was supposed to do gluten-free for a while. I think she'd have stuck to it better if she'd known this list!

    Great tips. I'll look for the Nut-thins.

  4. I have never heard of several of those, but I LOVE Nut Thins! :-)


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