Our family has had to go “Gluten Free” as a whole unit, or as a team… but some of our members, are “lactose free”, “dairy free” some are even “casein free”, we even have some “soy free”, “peanut free” and oodles of other allergies…
Here is a little code list JUST for you!
GF = gluten free
CF= Casein free
DF= Dairy Free
EF=Egg Yolk free (yes that is a fun one)
NF= Nut free
PF= Peanut free
~phew! Did you get all that? I barely did… we are still working through it all!
My dad asked me yesterday, what things I buy?
Where do I shop?
And it occured to me.. this is a GREAT topic for a post!
Here is a list of some of our FAVORITE products!
Starting with important things like…ummmm
Glenny’s Gluten free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (yumm!)
Kinnikinnick –K-Toos Chocolate cream filled cookies (like oreos!) GF/CF/EF/
Enjoy Life has many yummy flavors too
Pamela’s offers the opportunity to make wonderful homemade gf cookies with her mix’s
Many a dinner or lunch is made with pasta.. from spaghetti, to lasagna, to a nice pasta salad… having a good pasta to supplement can make or break switching to a gluten free diet. We have found that our favorite brands are these!
Ancient Quiona Harvest…. This one tastes the best.. PLEASE test your pasta before draining the water… sometimes it needs a little longer in that water, a good 2-3 minutes.. sometimes it is perfect according to the directions on the box.. it really depends.. so pay close attention to your timer, and don’t be afraid to taste test… also, add THAT much water! Seems crazy.. but… it isn’t WHEAT!
Our next favorite is mostly a fun treat
Namaste’s “SAY CHEESE”. it is their version of Macaroni and Cheese.. but tastier…the texture is different.. but very tasty! We add seasoned, browned, ground beef.. and sometimes some chopped green onions.. it’s so delicious! The kids love this! (So do we !) It is CF/GF/NF/SF a great quick and easy meal to have on hand for lunch or dinner! This cooks up closer to the actual directions.
More Main Meals
Del Real – (www.delrealfoods.com) makes a delicious chicken tamale that is gf .. we sometimes find this at Costco! I will often make this with some homemade mexican rice and refried beans 🙂
Namaste makes one of the best GF Pizza crust mixs we have found.. THAT is if you like a crunchy cracker like crust…(Which we do!) Chebe also has a nice crust but we didn’t like it as much, we did like their rolls and other products! Very fun to roll in garlic and bake
But when we are in a JAM, and want pizza BAD, but are too sick, too tired, to make it ourselves.. what to we do??? (you KNOW you were wanting to ask this..)
What does one do, when all those pizza’s in the frozen isle look so good, and the ones in the frozen GF section look so .. so … not good?
(nodding in desperation to just KNOW the answer???)
We buy Schar Pizza Crusts ready made… 🙂
We slap on some wonderful sauce (Trader Joes had a great GMO free) and some Turkey Pepperoni from Hormel, (they also have a great turkey sausage crumbles)
Along with some mozzarella… and walla! 🙂 we have got a fast easy pizza…
It’s still not as easy as ordering out..
Or as simple as sticking in a frozen pizza.. but… easier than getting ill from eating something we ought not!
We learned that most soups make us ill… they either have Gluten or MSG… YUCK!
Mostly we make soup from scratch, or sort of from scratch,
By buying Pacific or Kirkland broths, when I don’t have time or energy to make my own bone broths.. But lets be HONEST, sometimes… being the mom of four…
Even THAT isn’t fast enough, and I need lunch NOW!
So for those moments I have found One very fun soup brand .
It is super delicious and fast, it’s Thai Kitchen!
It tastes most like the old beloved Ramen Noodle of my childhood,
which is gluten and MSG galore!
Thai Kitchen is MSG and Gluten FREE!
and simply wonderful!
My favorites are Thai Kitchen Bankock Curry instant rice soup in a package &
Thai Kitchen Thai Ginger Rice Noodle Soup in a bowl
These are great for when we are really feeling yucky, or when we are ON the GO!
Thai Kitchen has many different GF products all worth exploring, you can even just purchase Rice noodles!
Hormel chili (the plain kind) is Gluten free… one person here can’t have it, because of a rare kidney bean allergy.. go figure!
Dinty Moore Beef Stew is Gluten free… shocking but true.. to make it extra fun, add some petite peas, and GMO free corn (found at Trader Joes), a delicious fast and easy supper… from freezer & pantry, it comes together when you just aren’t well enough to be a “from scratch” person
Rice… For Rice we have found Brown, or Jasmine best…. Ours SAYS gluten free… sometimes Rice should be GF but isn’t because of cross contamination at facilities at the plants.. and yes.. it can make you ill.. I was shocked to experience this
Quinoa is a gluten free grain as is Amaranath! These are found in the America’s and are even high in protein!
Oatmeal. SHOULD be gluten free but IS NOT!!!!!!! You must buy a brand that STATES it is GLUTEN FREE on the label.. or you are getting gluten… we buy Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats
Buckwheat IS gluten free
Quinoa flakes – (good for breakfast but GREAT recipe for cookies! We substitute the peanut butter for trader joes sunflower seed butter, and they are amazing!!!)
Enjoy Life- Very Berry Crunch ( a granola)
Enjoy Life – Perky’s Crunch Flax
Enjoy Life – Perky’s Crunch Rice
I love to buy all three of these and blend them together with some buckwheat flakes that I can find at traderjoes.. I don’t know the brand.. makes a great cereal blend! Even just a fun snack to put in a bag
Arrowhead Mills Rice & Shine Hot Cereal – this is wonderful, as is, or mixed with cheese and sausage! Add garlic & salt and it’s better than grits!
Bob’s Red Mill GF Corn Grits
Do you make things?? We do. We make pancakes, cakes, cookies, pizza, brownies… stuff.. yummy stuff..
Pamela’s Bread Mix and Flour Blend is super consistent.. good sandwich bread, very sliceable. Lots of great recipes on the bag, and on the website.. gf/cf with option of egg yolk free bread which we make, it’s good!
Pamela’s Pancake mix.. delicious, but NOT casein free.. just GF, but wonderful! With oodles of other things you can make from this, including SUPER cookies!
Hodgson Mills Brownie mix! THE BEST!! Really and truly! The best brownies!
Pamela’s Chocolate cake is one of the VERY best cakes ever!
Pamela’s also makes terrific icings.. not too sweet, just right! And if you use Earths Balance GF CF SF Buttery Spread, you can make it CF SF GF 🙂 that is what we do so our extra sensitive people can indulge in chocolate cake and chocolate brownies! Because… everyone should be allowed amazing yummies!
Now everyone is all about telling me how a certain famous brand is all ON board making gf cake products now.. and I am here to tell you.. they are BAD.. and they are expensive.. because they make ½ the amount the other brands do.. don’t let the size of the box fool you.. read what the product should yield… there are a LOT of super GF products that have been AT this business for a whole lot of years, and they are doing a great job at it.. This new gal in town, has a LOT to learn. And the first things is.. just because we are GF doesn’t mean it has to taste like dog poop. Hopefully THAT brand, will work on their products, and we will see some big strides in the GF market soon.
One HUGE success in the mainstream GF market place is BISQUICK! WAY to go!
Bisquick makes GF pancake mix.. and you can use this for pancake or… (drum roll) muffins, or … IMPOSSIBLE PIE! Yum!
Breads… – We try to bake this.. But Trader Joes has a gf mock Rye, and a gf whole grain, both are good… Schar is EXCELLENT! But expensive, they even have rolls… Kinninnick is super! Deerfields Bakery is a treat, they are in Schaumburg Illinois on Roselle, but sometimes their products are found in whole foods …. There are a few other brands that are ok, but we have found that paying nearly 6 dollars for a small loaf is upsetting, so we rarely buy bread, and try to make it ourselves. We often buy corn tortilla’s to toast in our toaster oven and make sandwiches with these, they are most affordably bought at Aldi.
Now for something VERY important… SNACKS
Wait! How do I do popcorn right if it is casein free?? Ok… I will share the BIG secret with you.. We are stovetop people… We cook our corn in coconut oil, and top with casein free Ghee (not all brands seem to be.. but Ghee done right should be casein free, because the point of it is to pull out the milk protein, and only have the fat left from the butter- often found in the Indian section of the grocery) and sea salt… yummy yummy sea salt!
So there.. easy right???
Tortilla Chips.. so many brands.. just read the lable.. if they are all corn… you mostly are good 🙂 Trader joes has the GF label and they are GMO free !! how fabulous is that????
Then there is the all important… Pretzels!!!
Wylde is good, and crunchy.. but they hurt my teeth a bit… the kids love them
And Glutino is terrific for Pretzels too!
Did you know… that Cheeto’s are GF (they have Msg though L) Doritos are GF
One of the tricks of going gluten free, is learning that we can’t eat like the above all the time… So how do we eat? We eat things like potato’s, broccoli, beans, rice, asparagus, peppers, beef, chicken… we eat more whole foods, we snack on more fruit, more carrots, celery, apples, oranges, walnuts, almonds, whole, and needing to be cracked!
Where do we shop?
Wow that is hard…
Sometimes we can find things at aldi… things like… tortilla chips, and corn tortilla’s to make sandwiches
Trader Joes – they have mini taco’s in the freezer dept, some cookies, some soups (not super, but ok), some chips, and great sauces, along with affordable breads! Inquire with in the store for a complete LIST of all their wonderful GF products, and keep an eye out for more.. they are not put in one special place, but hidden about the store.. (yes.. they are lovely.. and have an ACTUAL list!)
Whole Foods- By far the most expensive, but they are always a treat to visit… they have a great selection, and are a joy to visit, if ONLY for the gourmet feel of this store.. it is rare we visit here, but are glad when we do… it’s a 40 minute drive for us.
Woodmans – by far the BEST selection for Gluten free in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and the best prices! They have a good sized freezer isle as well as a large dry goods isle… NoT to mention the many items scattered through out their store! Woodman’s is a bit like GF heaven… They have cereals, Frozen dinners, frozen pizza’s, oodles of yummies! They are worth a drive… Stock up and don’t worry about rushing back any time soon. It’s all freezer or pantry anyways!
Jewel/Osco– This depends… It really does, if I go to one town, there is a huge selection, if I go to another town, there is NO selection.
Caputo’s – some selection, they have is sectioned off. but way way over priced!
BEST BET for a family, going GF, join a co-op…
We are members of UNFI
we could NOT be happier with them! Simply thrilled… great prices, great service, we might not be able to survive going GF with out this co-op…
perhaps there is a group near you..
if not.. perhaps you should start one
Do you like to shop ONLINE??
I love to shop online…
imagine… a gluten free MALL!
Want to go out to eat? On a date? Traveling? A loved one gluten free perhaps??
Do you need help planning your new Gluten Free diet?
is your family struggling with finances, and need help? Angel food ministries helps families ! And they even have gluten free boxes to help you too!
Making baby food? Want to know how, and what to watch for in case of allergies?
Want to know who’s who in the Gluten free world?
Special People in your life who NEED yummy treats, like candy???
Fun holiday treats JUST around the corner, check out THIS great link!
I hope these were helpful…
As we come across more fun things
More tasty treats
We will share them with you all..
Feel free to email, or post comments of your favorite treats with us 🙂
We always like a good old fashioned recommendation to go with us before we put down that cash to purchase