Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ian's French Bread Pizza - welcome back to grade school!

Welcome back to another wheat-, gluten-, casein-, milk-, egg-, and nut-free entrée by Ians!

I was hungry for pizza today, but Amy's have been hit-or-miss for me lately (anyone else noticing a strange aftertaste from their pizzas?), and I have to drive 45 minutes away for the nearest Glutino feta & spinach ones, so I decided to try Ian's "pizza boat" French Bread Pizza.

I have to say first that you get two pizzas the size of your hand. Well, my hand. They're tiny! Perfect for kids, but for adults they're more of a $5 snack than a meal.

But they're pretty good; even the soy "cheeze" doesn't disappoint! (Apologies to you dairy-free people; soy cheese sounds just WRONG, but I've learned over the past year that it is in fact delicious. I get it now.)

I suggest keeping the pizzas in the oven for longer than the suggested time; I put them in for 20 minutes and wound up sticking them back in for another five. At that point the crust was still nice and crunchy, the insides soft, and the "cheeze," well, as melted as "cheeze" can be. I'm not left craving another one, but in a pinch, they're a great hand-held snack, and I'll bet kids love them.

I give Ian's French Bread Pizza a B-. I'm not gonna make them sit indoors through recess, but I'm not going to give them a star sticker either.

Now, if they start selling just the French bread, I'll be all over it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wellshire Farms update!

Hey, Wellshire Farms put up a great response to the itty bit of gluten that's been found in their Dino Bites (scroll down to "Quality Control"). Best explanation:

"Our Wellshire products are tested at a level of 200 ppm or less, which is equivalent to 99.98% gluten free. The FDA is now considering a new proposal that would reduce the amount of gluten to be 20 ppm or to 99.998% gluten free. This will be difficult to achieve as wheat and other grains can become cross contaminated from growth in the fields, or milling in the combines. It becomes very, very difficult if not impossible to control."

Now that ain't bad. Let's hope they can do it!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wellshire Farms: gluten-free LOSER

Boooo, hisssss.

I just received an e-mail from Celiac Chicks regarding Wellshire Farms. Unbeknownst to me, they've been under fire for fraud. Apparently their "gluten-free" foods aren't entirely gluten-free.

Now, I've got a milder case of Celiac than most, so trying their (admittedly delicious) chicken bites a few months ago didn't make me blow up like a balloon. Lucky me. A lot of other people have had reactions, and the Chicago Tribune had the bites tested at a lab to find that they did in fact have traces of gluten in them. Bummer for us, because holy hell are they tasty... perhaps because they have a little gluten in them?

Regardless, please do not encourage Wellshire Farms by sending them your money. When you're craving a little chicken nugget bliss, stick with Bell & Evans or Ian's.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ian's Fish Sticks!

I hadn't had fish sticks in at least 10 years before tonight. I've been pretty impressed with Ian's foods, so although my budget's been too tight to spend extra dough trying new gluten-free foods, on my last visit to the Common Market in Frederick I splurged on fish sticks.

"I splurged on fish sticks." Wow, my life has gotten exciting.

I ate the whole $4-5ish box of 'em tonight, and they were SUPERB! Better by far than the fish sticks I grew up on! They're breaded with a cornmeal base over very little more than fish (pollock) and a little garlic, which is perfect. The box boasts that these fish sticks are also free of casein, milk, eggs, nuts, and soy. But yeah, obviously not meat, 'cause they're fish sticks.

The shape of these sticks is slightly flattened, which creates the perfect texture. I baked them at the max time to be safe, and they were just right (a little on the crunchy side, which I like). Not soggy and not too fishy, but very fresh all the same. Perfect for dipping in ketchup or mustard.

BUYER BEWARE!! Ian's does have a gluten-packed version of most of their GF foods (including these), so MAKE SURE you see the "gluten-free" notice on the box before you buy them! I have at least three Amy's Mac & Cheese boxes in my fridge that I'll never be able to eat because I failed to read the box. So if you know someone who's not GF and likes mac & cheese, send them my way, please.