December 6, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside - Gluten Free Comfort Food Review

It's finally starting to feel like December in Chicago. The "windy city" is definitely living up to its name. With the blustery cold weather, I've been craving some seriously comfort food. For the past couple of weeks, I've been on a mission to find the perfect pasta meal. I know I should be making my own creamy pasta dishes, and steering clear of the powdered artificial stuff, but it's good to find a quick go-to brand too. Here's what I've tried so far...

Ian's Mac & No Cheese. Now I'm only gluten free and luckily can eat the other top allergens safely. This stuff is wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts and soy free. Geez, what's left?! You'd think it'd taste like nothing, but this brown rice pasta dish is full of flavor! The sauce doesn't taste cheesy; it's more like a cream sauce, but it complements the brown rice pasta quite nicely. I love that it's super quick to make. A couple minutes in the microwave and it's ready to eat. Plus it's the perfect size. I know Ian's Foods are targeted more towards kids, but as an "adult", I can say the little bowl of warm pasta hit the spot and was a satisfying meal.

Namaste Taco Shells Pasta. I've been meaning to try this pasta for awhile. I love Mexican food and "taco pasta" sounded pretty good to me! I love Namaste Foods. Their brownie mix is fantastic and I really enjoyed their Say Cheez pasta. The taco shells mix was brown rice pasta and a taco seasoning packet. All signs were pointing to a good meal, but I was a little disappointed. To be fair, it's partially my fault because when heating up the seasoning mixture, I stepped away and I think it burned a little bit. After I made the pasta and added the seasoning, I found it a little too spicy for me and not very taco-y tasting. I added some cheese, cuz let's face it, cheese makes everything taste better, but I don't think I would try this one again. I do really like the idea, and I might try to recreate a taco pasta dish with my own seasonings.

Mrs. Leeper's Mac & Cheese. Mrs. Leeper's Mac & Cheese is as close as the blue box of Mac & Cheese as you can get in my opinion. Granted, I haven't tried all of the gluten free mac and cheese products out there, but this stuff is pretty darn good. This time around, it was corn pasta and a powdered cheese packet. I added milk and butter and voilĂ , comfort food. It was incredibly cheesy and mighty delicious.

Contes Cheese Ravioli. I've only had ravioli twice in the ten years since I've been gluten free. Both have been in the past few months. The first was from Da Luciano's. They recently started a gluten free shop, and when I was there for the Safe & Sound dinner in September, I picked up a package of frozen ravioli. I nearly died, it was so good. Contes was just as good. 10 minutes total in the microwave was all it took for this little taste of Italy. The tomato sauce was savory and the pasta made from rice flour was delicious. The cheese? *drool* I really want to try the rest of their pastas.

What's your favorite gluten free comfort food or pasta dish?


Chandice said...

These all look delicious! I am a sucker for gluten-free pizza. I love Namaste and a local restaurant, Picazzo's...we are sooo going there when you come! :) Their pizza is divine!!! I am also a huge fan of the gluten-free cinnamon rolls at a local bakery...another place we will visit! :) I need to carb load you before (or after) your race. :)

Carrie said...

Very cute post Betsy!! I do love comfort foods, especially in the fall! I'm with you on Mac and Cheese!OH MY GOSH, I've never seen that Ian's Mac and NO cheese (i'm vegan & GF)... I've gotta find that stuff!! My super fav is mashed potatoes. I swear I could eat it every day! lol... I love your descriptions after each food listed here! Nice job!