Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gluten-Free, Week 1

Well, it's been about a week and a half since we made the switch, and it's going pretty well. Bella was the main concern, as she is already so picky and her scope of acceptable foods is always narrowing. She has proved to still be a bit of a challenge, as foods she liked last week may now be considered revolting. Lunch is an especial challenge since she can't eat her standard peanut butter and honey sandwich. 
Here are some of the GF things in our pantry right now, some of which we have tried and some we have not. It should go without saying that most of these things are prohibitively expensive, but necessary- especially when you are trying to appease a 5-year old.
The verdict on some of these foods.
The Good:
Gluten-Free Bisquick is great! We had pancakes for dinner one night and I thought they were genuinely good, not just a decent stand-in for actual pancakes. Yum.

Gluten-Free Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies- surprisingly good. The 'batter' was weird, so I was uncertain. It's very crumbly, and I had to ball the dough, packing it a bit to put it on the cookie sheet. Once baked, they were pretty good. I froze them, to help with portion control and was later (that night) reminded that I like frozen cookies almost more than fresh. Frozen you couldn't even tell a difference, but I guess a stick of butter for 2 dozen cookies doesn't hurt.

Trader Joes Brownie Mix: Pretty good, but very fudgy. Everything GF tends to be a bit dense, but that's okay in a brownie.

Mi-Del Chocolate Chip Cookies were pretty good in a Chips A Hoy! sort of way.

Glutino crackers were okay. They're kind of like saltines, and at least they're plain. I'm hoping Bella will eat them with peanut butter.

Rice pastas are pretty good. I mean, it's used in asian cuisine all the time. A bit sticky, but still good.
Udi's bagels look awesome, like regular bagels, but we haven't tried them yet.

I've wanted to try quinoa ('keen-wah') for a long time, but also found it prohibitively expensive. Going GF is the push I needed to try it. We made this old favorite recipe of mine, swapping the couscous we usually use for quinoa, 1:1. It was awesome! The only change we had to make was to let it sit for about 1 minutes to let all the water absorb.

The Bad:

Food For Life brown rice bread is awful. Disgusting. Wretched. Dreadful. Before we bought it I asked Timm what his mom ate, and if she liked it. His response was "Well, no one likes it." It is obvious why. Bella however, happily ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich on it and asked for more. So I hid my revolt.

Rice Crackers we got in the asian food section are g-r-o-s-s, gross. They just taste like salt.

I made Miracle Bread using Bob's Red Mill all purpose baking mix and some xanthum gum, and while it was a far cry better than the brick of rice bread we bought at Trader Joe's, I'm still on the fence. The texture is off-putting.  It's just so dense and spongy. Timm however, told me it was the best GF bread he'd ever tasted and wants me to make it a staple. And at around $3.50 or so to make, is much better than the $6 we paid for that other monstrosity.

Well Molly, it looks like you're going to get me shopping at Trader Joe's regularly for once! I've always shied away because I assumed it was too expensive, and Molly was always trying to push me through the door. Not only do they carry hard to find GF products, but their prices on specialty products is better than typical grocery store products.
If you have any product recommendations or GF recipes to share, pass it along!


Susan said...

It looks like you're off to a good start...so glad I encouraged the idea of trying the miracle bread adaptation!

And, for the record, it wasn't bad!

Anonymous said...

Don't know how you feel about the crock pot, but this lady's stuff is all gluten free (or she notes if it isn't!)

I am sure a lot of her recipes could be modified for the non-crock experience :)

I believe that Chex cereal is Gluten free...might make bfast easier. And if you like making Chex Mix, a good after school snack for B!

Good luck!

paws said...

I really like this quinoa salad: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Quinoa-and-Black-Bean-Salad-12245

I think it's gluten free...I'm not really up on all that contains gluten.

PS: We were able to find quinoa at our Costco.

paws said...

I know Corn Chex are gluten free. (It says so right on our box. :)

michelle said...

Looks like a lot of experimentation is in order. Good thing you have a Trader Joe's!

Charlotte said...

I give you huge kudos for making this lifestyle change! Good luck on all your experimentation! Love you.

Anne said...

I am completely obsessed with quinoa these days. I know it's not the cheapest grain, but I buy it in bulk at Costco and I find that it goes a pretty long way. One cup usually makes 4 servings in my house, and the big bag seems to last a while.

I cook it with milk in the morning and top it with fruit (usually bananas) and a titch of honey. So good! Also, I will roast tomatoes, garlic & basil to make a sort of tomato sauce and serve it over quinoa instead of pasta. It's the best.

Good luck!!

Rachelle said...

i went to high school with Kim (hotdiggityblog) and stop by your blog on occasion...so many cute holiday gifts!

Anyways. I'm fairly new to the gluten free life and so glad I finally tried it. Udi's multigrain bread is really good..I've never tried the bagels. Try BioNature GF penne pasta. I made it for friends and no one knew the difference. There are also a few posts on my blog http://www.southboundblueroute.blogspot.com with gluten free recipes and product reviews. Good luck!

Molly Krauss Smith said...

Wow, looks like you're on your way. So glad you're finally patroning TJ's. Be sure to take back anything you don't like for a full refund. They're great like that!

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