Category Archives: Prepared foods

Let’s Give a Shout-out to Trader Joe’s

I’ve been gluten free for about five years now.  Early on, I was trying  different products, and found a number of them very disappointing.  Case in point, gluten free bagels.  The ones that I tried several years ago were so disappointing.  It’s a bit trite to say they tasted like cardboard, but that’s a pretty good description.

I hadn’t tried another GF bagel until just a few days ago.  Encouraged by the description of their bagels in the recent Fearless Flyer, I put bagels on my shopping list and made a trip to Trader Joe’s.  I bought the bagels, cream cheese and lox so I could satisfy a desire that had been unfilled for such a long time.  I also bought avocados, thinking I’d use the bagels for some avocado toast.  (I love avocados.)  54288-gluten-free-plain-bagels.jpg

I lightly toasted the bagel halves and had bagels with lox and cream cheese, and I loved it.   Very satisfying.  So – thank you Trader Joe’s.  You really delivered.

 

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Really Good Potstickers, Gluten Free

Certainly, selection of gluten free foods is getting better and better.  While the offering of frozen prepared meals still seems to lean heavily on ethnic recipes, some of the products are quite successful.  Recently, I have purchased several gluten free “feel good foods” packages, and I am particularly happy with the dumplings – otherwise known as potstickers.  These are available in chicken, pork or vegetable versions.  I have tried both the chicken and the vegetable and would happily buy them again.  They taste like you expect potstickers to taste.   No disappointment.fullsizeoutput_e36

The microwave preparation is quite easy – just pour a half-cup of water into a microwave-safe container, add the dumplings, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 4-5 minutes.  The result is really excellent.
My only criticism of this company’s offerings is that there isn’t a broader selection.  If they do such a good job with potstickers, I wish there were more options.  As it is, they also offer egg rolls, empanadas, taquitos, and Asian meals.
Try them, you’ll like them.

What I’m missing

I was shopping at Mariano’s yesterday.  There is an abundance of choices at this grocery store.  What I’m missing is an offering of gluten-free prepared foods that is satisfying.  I realize that the grocery stores can only offer items that are in the marketplace, but I would hope the choices would be expanded soon.

The freezer case has a variety of Mexican and Indian and other ethnic dishes, usually with a fairly low calorie count.  A hearty spaghetti and meat balls or chili mac has escaped my notice.  I know that there are many gluten free pastas, so I find it surprising that there aren’t more pasta-based dishes.  Lasagnas are usually made with spinach.  Is this because the food manufacturers are trying to provide people who are both gluten free and vegetarian?  I’m guessing there would be a good market for gluten free foods prepared with meat.  Or for people with a heartier appetite.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to attend the next gluten free expo and get some input from the food manufacturers.