Friday, December 16, 2011

GF Friday: Gluten Free & Fabulous, Part One

I absolutely LOVE pasta. I love it. It's second only to bread in the culinary corner of my heart. So far, bread in GF world has been a real disappointment. I always get that GF metallic aftertaste. Yum. 
However, GF pasta is a totally different ball game. It's pretty stinking good! I've found that I can substitute any GF pasta into our favorite recipes without even a slight issue. The only "ouch factor" is the cost. It seems like with all things that are necessary and healthy, the cost its way higher for GF pasta, even though it can't really be any more expensive than regular. I mean, how cheap is rice anyway??? It's pretty stinking cheap.
However, I've found a few brands that don't break the wallet as badly. Generally, I don't endorse Walmart anymore than McDonald's, but in this instance, they're the least expensive and most nation wide. If you live within distance of Horrocks Farm Market, they carry a zillion different types of GF pasta. All three products mentioned today can be purchased from Walmart.
The first, and most versatile is a spaghetti noodle from Heartland. At $2.18/12 oz bag, it is definitely affordable. The corn/rice blend has a slightly different texture from "real pasta" but honestly, it's negligible. Especially at that price! 
The second is a shell pasta from Tinkyada. This one is a bit more at $3.50/16 oz bag but totally worth it. I was skeptical at first, there are several grammatical errors on the back of the bag, plus the bunny looks a *little bit* psychotic. I almost put it back, but am so glad that it came home with us  in the end. We had homemade mac and cheese again FINALLY and it was soooo good. These are made from brown rice, and there really isn't a taste difference at all. 
Lastly, though it isn't a pasta, I have to share about Nut-Thins. I have LOVED this since way before I had to go GF. They are the BEST snack cracker! They are much, much healthier than any cracker on the market and they're fantastic with dip and spreads. You can get pecan or almond and then in assorted flavors (ranch, cheddar cheese, smoked, etc.) ... so stinking good. I eat these by the box. They run between $2.79-$3.50 depending on where you purchase them. 
So that's it for today! I'm painting something for my mother-in-law (shhh) and I need to finish it before we head down to visit them. I also have loads of sewing and cleaning to do. Last word: I've heard of people making their kitchens entirely gluten free, especially where kids are involved, but that's way too costly to me. Our grocery budget would skyrocket if John and I were BOTH eating GF. So, what I do is boil water in two separate pots and cook his pasta in one and mine in the other. I make the sauce/topping/whatever separately and add it to each one when it finishes. 
Yay :) 

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