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.
It seems that the Chicagoland area has many good restaurant choices for GF dining. I recently travelled to Philadelphia, and the restaurants I visited there did not seem to be nearly as well-equipped to serve the GF person. I feel fortunate that there are so many good choices here.
There are also more and more GF prepared foods and mixes. My favorite dishes would be those which are the GF equivalent of foods that I ate and liked before I became gluten free. For instance, if you liked Stouffer’s Turkey Tetrazzini, wouldn’t it be great if Stouffer’s had a GF alternative. I do appreciate the diversity of choices being offered, but wish there were more items that mimicked the non-GF dishes. I was happy, recently, to come across Leo’s Butternut Squash Ravioli.
It comes frozen and a few minutes in boiling water will prepare it for your meal. The package serves two. (I photographed the cooked ravioli with just a pat of melted butter, rather than a sauce, since I didn’t want to obscure the pasta.) It is quite satisfactory – good flavor, and the pasta doesn’t deteriorate while you are eating it. Leo’s has a number of other GF foods. I bought a package of mushroom ravioli, but haven’t prepared it yet.
I found this at Mariano’s – the new one on Highway 22 and Quentin. It is a huge place – calling it a grocery store doesn’t tell the whole story. I’ll do another posting soon about all the great grocery stores that are within a 15- or 20-minute drive from our house. I do miss the convenience of the Dominick’s, especially the great pharmacy staff they had, but the food shopping is much better at a number of other locations.
A few days ago, I participated in a lunch meeting. One of my friends brought muffins from a gluten-free mix she’s discovered. (She’s not gluten free, just a good person that goes out of her way to do good things for friends.) It is the King Arthur gluten free muffin mix, and is very good with chopped apple mixed in with the batter, and topped with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Since my friend introduced me to these muffins a few months ago, I have made them several times. They have wonderful taste, texture and are quite moist. They don’t fall apart as you eat them, as so many gluten free products do.
I have tried using raisins instead of the apples, but the apples do a much better job of infusing flavor into the muffins, and I believe help keep them more moist.
Another option would be to use brown sugar instead of white sugar when mixing with cinnamon for the topping.
People who are not gluten free will also enjoy them. Give them a try – they’re excellent.