Dinner time is tough. Shea really isn't interested in much meat and has always been a carbo-boy. Well, all that went south with the gluten free diet. One of the hardest things is bread and pasta.
Most gluten free bread is just plain weird but we found a pretty good one. Food for Life Rice Almond Bread. The texture is pretty darn close, is fruit juice sweetened and does taste pretty darn good. Give it a little toasting which improves the texture greatly and then try smearing it with a little Kettle Almond Butter. Pretty yummy and you got yourself a pretty "normal" snack. Kettle has a whole line of nut butters; Cashew, Hazelnut, Almond and, of course, Peanut.
Ok, now the pasta. This has been somewhat of an epic adventure as I have tried every single rice pasta available in hopes of finding one Shea will eat. Basically, I think many of them would be just fine for an adult who likes red sauce and can rationalize the texture difference. But, that just doesn't work as well for a kid especially one who will only eat noodles with butter and a little Parmesan. You know, pretty naked, which leaves the texture difference too glaring to ignore.
Our best luck has been with Corn pasta. A company in Seattle called Ritrovo imports it from Italy and it is quite delicious. The kind we tried was the Riccioli although I see that they have a penne and fusilli as well. The texture holds up very well and the bright yellow color seems to help when it only has butter and parm on it. They also do a Rice Gigli which when cooked looks like little jelly fish or something equally disgusting. They taste good but just look a little too odd for a kid to get excited about.
Last week at the PCC, I found a Quinoa & Corn spaghetti that I am really looking forward to trying. It is made by Ancient Harvest Quinoa. I have high hopes, will try it out and report back. If we could find a spaghetti noodle that got the thumbs up from Shea that would be big help for dinner.
Once again I am greatly impressed and amazed at all the terrific gluten-free products out there or quite recently hitting the market. I have not done any real market research on this but I would bet that Gluten-free products have to be one the real growth markets in the packaged food industry. One way to keep these good products coming is for us consumers to try them, and if you like them, by all means buy them and chat them up. If you find something you like, share the information. And, as always, just send me an e-mail, I would love to welcome any guest bloggers with their own product reviews or interesting recipes to share.
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