Reviews

Sunday

Product Review: Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta

Many thanks to the wonderful folks at Barilla for sending me some gluten-free pasta to try in honour of Celiac Awareness month. How kind is that?!

If you are like me and prefer your pasta on the al dente side, you will be a fan of Barilla's gluten-free line. For those who enjoy their pasta with less bite, there are 2 sets of directions on the box - one for al dente and one for a more done texture. The difference in cooking time is literally one minute, but that can make a world of a difference in the kitchen and I appreciate the instruction!




GlutenFreePasta
Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta

So What's It Like?


I really wanted to get a feeling for what Barilla gluten-free pasta truly is, so I was hesitant to add a lot of extra ingredients or make anything with intense flavours. I made a dish with a light, vegetable-based sauce and some fresh crisp peas. Sometimes simple can be better. And in this case, it really is!

The texture is off the charts incredible. It's very close to "normal" gluten filled pasta in structure and mouth feel. I love the little snapping bite you get from following the directions for an al dente dish. As far as taste goes, I thought it was good as well. There is no overpowering hint of anything flavour wise, which some gluten-free pasta brands are notorious for. Barilla uses simple ingredients - a combination of corn and rice flour.

This pasta even holds up after *gasp* reheating leftovers in the microwave a day later! No falling apart or mushiness. Leftover pasta is always a great thing so this is HUGE!

Have you cooked anything up with Barilla gluten-free pasta lately? Share your favourite dish with me!



Review: Pikanik


I was provided with free product for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

Gluten-Free Pancake and Lava Cake Mixes



Meet Pikanik


If you haven't discovered Pikanik, let me introduce you.
 Pikanik is a gluten-free and allergen safe bakery located in South Surrey British Columbia. EVERYTHING is free of gluten, wheat, peanut, tree nut, dairy, soy. Some products are even egg free.


They sell everything from bread, muffins, and cupcakes to pasta, baking mixes, and Vegan caesar salad dressing. For a flat $10.00 rate (on orders $30.00+) Pikanik delivers's from West Vancouver to Abbotsford and some surrounding areas.





Single and Lava'n It Chocolate Lava Cake Desset Mix


Gluten-Free Chocolate Lava Cake


Price: 
$8.95
Makes 6 single servings

Chocolate lava cake is new to me. Well, making it is anyways. Being the avid Food Network viewer that I am, more than a few of these have come across my screen. Watching chefs talk about how fussy and intricate these heavenly cakes are to make was enough for me to leave it to the pros.

So imagine my surprise when a mix for chocolate lava cake shows up at my home. I'll admit that I was a wee bit scared at first. I'd be crazy not to be right? Once I read over the extra ingredients and effort required, I was confidently pleased. All you will need on hand is a little bit of oil, coffee (optional), water and sugar.

The recipe is set up so that you can make individual lava cakes or a big one. I opted to get some use out of my ramekins and make individual ones. Cooking time and temperatures vary from oven to oven so please keep this in mind as you may need to make some adjustments. I had to crank the temperature slightly and leave the lava cake in a little longer. Once you figure out your oven, it's easy peasy. And don't worry, a delicate hand is not required for success.

Taste Test

If you are a chocolate fan, this mix is for you! Lava cake #2 (#1 was taken out too early...whoopsie!) was a wonderland of ooey gooey delicious! As you can see from the above photo, some of it stuck to the ramekin, but hey, it looks super rustic and cute! You can taste a nice sweetness, but you're not left with that overindulgent feeling. Though the cake was slightly dense it was lovely and paired spectacularly with whipped cream and powdered sugar. Next time around, I'm going all out and making an ice cream sundae lava cake! The fun combinations are endless. Especially considering the minimal effort needed to make the lava cakes.



Flippin' Fantastic Flapjacks Pancake Mix


Pancakes

Price: $10.95
Makes 60 pancakes

Silver Dollars, Flapjacks and Hotcakes are just some of the that names pancakes go by. For most people, mornings would not be complete without them. I love to make big batches and freeze them for quick (and sometimes late night) snacks.


Like the lava cake mix, this one doesn't require a whole lot of extra ingredients. All you need on hand is oil, eggs, yoghurt, and milk. I replaced the yoghurt with apple sauce and used Almond Milk for our pancakes.


Taste Test

The pancakes turned out pretty great. They flip flawlessly with a spatula which is really important to avoid a muddled mess in the pan. The addition of applesauce added a gorgeous scent and flavour. The pancakes turned out fluffy but slightly thinner than I'm used to. This could be due to my applesauce swap. I really loved that they were not overly sweet and were quite delicious with maple syrup and just a bit of butter. I'm thinking these pancakes would be great for school/work lunches - just spread your favourite jam or nut butter on a pancake and roll it up. Or go wild with a filling of sliced banana and Nutella.


Some Final Notes


  • The packaging of both mixes is resealable. How brilliant and ah-mazing is that?! 


  • Pikanik has a customer appreciation program that earns you a credit with every purchase!

  • Their product selection can be viewed and ordered online here


You can follow and interact with Pikanik on Facebook and Instagram: @pikanikcreations




Monday

Review: Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties




We enjoy a lot of pasta in my home. It's a simple, quick and cost-effective meal. You can't beat the versatility of it - a comforting hot dish in the winter, and a refreshing salad in the summer. Seriously, you've got to appreciate that.


When I was offered the chance to review some gluten-free pasta sauces, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm always eager to try new products and I love sharing reviews with you guys! So what am I reviewing today?


Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties- Marinara, Tomato Basil, and Arribiata.



Trio of Uncle Steve's Italian Specialties



Who Is Uncle Steve?


Uncle Steve aka Steve Schirripa is an Actor, Host, and NYT Best Selling Author. The name sounds familiar, right? You probably know him from Sopranos fame and you can see him currently on Blue Bloods. Full disclosure - I haven't seen either of these shows.

Information About the Sauces


Made with imported Italian organic tomatoes
Gluten Free 
Non-GMO 
Kosher Certified
Dairy Free
Vegan
Paleo Approved
No Added Sugar

How did the Sauces do?


I made a separate meal for each sauce.

  • Tomato Basil Sauce: Vegetarian Penne Rigate
  • Marinara Sauce: Chicken & Rice Stuffed Tomatoes 
  • Arrabiata Sauce: Spicey Meatball Subs

 All 3 sauces smell spectacular!


The Tomato Basil Sauce is thinner than what I'm accustomed to.That being said, the sauce packs some vibrantly impressive flavour. It's nicely tart and slightly sweet, without being too sweet. Overall, I could get used to the delicateness of this sauce as it turns what could be a heavy pasta dish, into lighter fare. Really tasty!
The Arrabiata Sauce is for fans of heat. In fact, "spicy" is very clearly displayed on the label. If you're not a fan of spicy foods, I can't really recommend this particular sauce to you. If you do enjoy some fire in your life, you will appreciate the kick of spice and zest. It has a nice bite that is not at all overpowering, but it does linger on the tongue. I'd like to try this with nachos in the future.
The Marinara Sauce is conveniently versatile! While I used it to fancy up my stuffed tomatoes, the dish ideas are endless. If I had an Italian Nona, this is what she would make. The presence of fresh tomatoes is abundant in the flavour. I love how rich in flavour and hearty this sauce is! I plan on baking some cheese smothered chicken with it in the future.



Where To Find Uncle Steve's Specialties


Fellow Canadians, you can purchase Uncle Steve's products online and they can be shipped anywhere.

For my American friends, the sauces are available in stores across the US. You can find it in major supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Albertsons, Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, health food stores, and mom and pop shops. Plus, you can shop online through Uncle Steve's website through the above link as well.



Visit Uncle Steve's website to learn more. You can also keep up to date by following  along on Twitter @StevenSchirripa @UncleStevesNY 


Disclosure - Samples of the product were provided to me free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Friday

Review: Love with Food Subscription Box


Gluten-free snacks are my weakness. Anything that can fit into my purse or jacket pocket is on my radar. Always. It's part of Celiac survival and a necessary habit. No one wants to be in a situation where they're hungry and safe gluten-free food is simply not available. I've been there a couple of times and it's a fun thief, that's for sure. Although finding safe snacks to carry with me is fairly easy, it's a struggle to find snacks that are not always, well, junk food.


Canada is now part of the Love with Food party


I'm so very happy to share with you that Love with Food has expanded internationally and now ships to over 25 countries. That's right, Canadians can order their very own Love with Food snack subscription box! This is a great way to explore mostly American goodies and brands previously unavailable in the Canadian market. Items curated are not only gluten-free but organic or all-natural, with no artificial junk! Yay for snacking without guilt!




Canadian's can choose from 2 subscription boxes


  • The Deluxe Box, a sampling of 16-20 new surprise snacks starting at $16.50 USD/month,


  • The Gluten-Free Box, a sampling of 10-12 surprise celiac-safe and mostly dairy-free snacks starting at $19.99 USD/month.

If you purchase a subscription through my link, I will receive a small compensation and you will get your very first Love with Food by G-Free Foodie Gluten-Free Box at 25% off. Thank's for supporting Gluten-Free Doll and allowing me to share my gluten-free adventures with you!



Each box comes with a pamphlet that details the items featured for the month. Social media information for the included brands is highlighted as well. I really like this idea! Plus, you will also find a few surprise coupons! Pretty awesome, right?

 My Thoughts



  • They really pack in as many goodies as they possibly can
  • Not only is the curated food on the healthier side, it's extremely flavorful as well
  • A monthly subscription is a time-saving way to enjoy hard to find gluten-free treats without the hassle of store hopping
  • It's a great way to enjoy Celiac safe snacks minus the guilt since everything selected is on the healthier side
  • It won't break the bank. That's right, there are no hidden costs and you can cancel at any time. For me personally, that's pretty comforting because we all have different tastes and expectations
  • You get to sample an ever-changing selection of great products without a big commitment 
  • Variety - there is an array of snacks
  • Travel-friendly, great for car rides, camping and all sorts of adventures away from home


I loved everything in the box, but I certainly do have my favourites. The Luna Protein Berry Greek Yogurt Bar (soo good, guys!) and Pure Growth Organic Popcorn (totally addicting!) were a fantastic change from what I am used to snacking on. 


As someone who travels from time to time, it's important for me to bring along "just in case, safe snacks" so it's pretty convenient that the Love with Food subscription box is full of shelf-stable food. Everything I received is travel-friendly and the only item that requires even minimal effort is the Sorghum Pilaf. It's literally as simple as boiling a pot of water.


lovewithfood

Love with Food gives back


On top of curating ah-mazing gluten-free snacks, Love with Food is a company that gives back. For each box purchased Love With Food will spread goodness by donating a portion of the proceeds to Canadian food banks to help fight world hunger. How great is that?! It gets better - with every American box subscription, a donation is made to American food banks. It warms my heart to see a company giving back to those who need it most. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Love with Food's passion for helping those in need by providing them with a meal.




* Love with Food  provided me with a subscription box to review. As always, all opinions are my own.*


Wednesday

Product Review: Mi & Stu




I recently had the opportunity to sample some gluten-free treats from Mi & Stu. If you reside outside of Quebec, you may not be familiar with this cool little bakery. I think it's time for that to change, don't you? Mi & Stu is located in LaSalle, Quebec and run by the lovely Mimi and Stephanie. You can find their products in select grocery stores, restaurants and on major International Airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, Qatar. It's comforting to know that safe gluten-free food is available when traveling by air.

Mi & Stu is more than just gluten-free. They also avoid using nuts, casein, and whey in their products. This allows those with one or more dietary restrictions to enjoy the products.

On Instagram

© Gluten Free Doll. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.