Quickly Gluten Free

A blog about convenience foods that are gluten free

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Rice Crusted Fish Sticks

Dr. Praeger's Rice Crusted Fish Sticks

Name: Rice Crusted Fish Sticks

Package Description: All Natural, Gluten Free, Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock Fillets

Brand: Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods

Grocer: Target

Price point: $2.64 on clearance, $5.29 regular price

Why I picked it up: GF fish sticks of this quality were worth taking a chance. I got all five boxes that were left on the shelf.

Summary of Preparation: Bake for 11 minutes, then flip and bake another 8.

Initial impression: Crunchy and so rich!

Lasting impression: These are absolutely incredible fish sticks. I don’t say that about many breaded items, but man, these are way more awesome than store-brand regular (wheat coated) ones that you prepare in similar fashion. And my kids love them. The taste of the fish is so flavorful and succulent, way more than I was expecting. I ate about 8 of them (which is half the package), but I was also in my first trimester of pregnancy, so take that with a grain of salt. The size of the stick is about the same as the typical store-brand fish sticks I used to buy for the kids.

Caution, though, the breading tends to come off of the fish if you are hasty with flipping them over. See the below photo where my dear and darling husband used a spatula to do “four at once, honey, it goes quicker—-oops!” We cooked two boxes at once for a family meal in these photos.

imageoopscomplete meal

The fish sticks are the plate on the right. Not all of the contents of two boxes fit on the plate, we were just serving family style for this meal to teach my kids how to serve themselves. The other items on this table are Ole Rida Tater Tots and Live G Free Deluxe Rice Shells and Cheese.

Recommended Accompaniments: Ketchup and tater tots. And a vegetable of your choice. You can’t go wrong with these, really. Salad if you really want one?

Kid friendly: Yes. I gave my kids the intact fish sticks because they are still finger-food eaters, but if you have older kids that use their fork, then they can, of course, eat even the broken up sticks. They gobbled them up with the ketchup.

Repurchase point: Yes. Because I’ve had them, I know they are worth every penny. At $5.29 regular price, you would be paying $0.35 a fish stick, so I got a steal at $0.18 a stick. I’m on the lookout for them every time I got to Target, though it’s unlikely that they will restock them. The “sell by” date was about a year from when I bought them, they were obviously clearance-ing out the item from inventory. The regular store-brand sticks are a $0.08 a stick, though (on BOGO sale), so just keep in mind that “you get what you pay for.”

package instructionsdescriptiondistributor

Deluxe Rice Shells and Cheese (and Rice Pasta and Cheese)

It’s a double post! Two for the price of one today, Happy Fourth of July!

Deluxe Rice Shells and CheeseMac and cheese

Name: Deluxe Rice Shells & Cheese / Deluxe Rice Pasta & Cheese

Package Description: Whole grain brown rice shells (White & brown rice pasta) with a creamy real cheddar cheese sauce

Brand: live G free

Grocer: Aldi (www.aldi.us)

Price point: $1.29 on sale, $1.99 regular price.

Why I picked it up: Looking for a stovetop Mac and Cheese option, I was astonished to see a GF option at this price point. I wanted to see if it lived up to a taste test.

Summary of Preparation: Similar to others–boil water, add mac, cook for 12 minutes (see below), then drain and add contents of cheese sauce packet.

Shells: Prepared dish


Pasta: rice pastaimageimage

Initial impression: Has a mild cheese taste.

Lasting impression: First, just a note about preparation. Be sure that you boil the shells (and the pasta noodle version) for the full 12 minutes. You could even turn off the eye and go to 13 or 14 minutes if you are busy at the sink or something. I tried doing the 10 minutes the first time, and they were chewy. I didn’t want to overook the noodles, but these things are a little thicker than other rice noodles you can get in bulk.

Second, you will love the taste of the sauce. On repeated bites, I found that it was sufficiently cheesy to satisfy my craving for store-brand cheesy mac that I used to get for $1.79/box. Sure, there are other brands (Annie’s comes to mind at $1.99/box at Target) that do a great job, but this selection will not break your grocery budget upon repeated purchase. So, if you have gluten-sensitive kids under the age of 8 or are pregnant… this selection at Aldi will help you stick to your budget. Especially if you get it on a flash sale.

Recommended Accompaniments: I most recently used this as a side dish with dinner of fish sticks and tater tots. We also served salad.

Kid friendly: Yes. If your kids already like shells and cheese from the regular box, then they will like this. Mine ask for seconds all the time.

Repurchase point: Budget-friendly and tasty. Absolutely yes with no reservations.

Shells: life G Free Deluxe Mac and Cheese (back)

Pasta: image



Rice Mac and Cheese


Name: Rice Mac and Cheese

Package Description: Tender gluten free rice noodles in a rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce

Brand: Full Circle

Grocer: Food City

Price point: $2.50 on sale, $3.99 regular price.

Why I picked it up: I have tried other GF options under this label, and I liked them well enough. I figured that this would be an acceptable staple to add to my repertoire of quick lunch meals.

Summary of Preparation: Microwave for 5 minutes, stir, then microwave another minute.

Rice Mac and Cheese

Initial impression: Wow, that is creamy and bland.

Lasting impression: It’s not so bad if you are looking for something that is simply going to fill you up. However, at 640mg of sodium per box serving, I have no idea how it tastes so bland. Where is the salt hiding? I don’t get it. The texture is nice, and the serving size is fine for one person to eat as a main dish for a meal.

Recommended Accompaniments: A vegetable and a fruit would go nicely with it to round out your meal.

Kid friendly: Nope. I shared a portion with my four-year-old for a quick snack. She apparently didn’t like it very much because she only ate about two bites then found another activity. She should have gobbled it down–she loves mac and cheese.

Repurchase point: Yes, for people that just need bland food every once in awhile. And only if it is on sale.



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