Category Archives: GF Product Review

Product Review: Foster Farms Gluten Free Frozen Chicken Options

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NOTE:  I was sent two large packages of items to try and share (Foster Farms GF Chicken Nuggets, Foster Farms GF Chicken Strips, and Foster Farms GF Corn Dogs) in exchange for this review.  And, being the genius I am (ha!), I forgot to take a picture of the GF nuggets or the baked items.  I’m sorry!

FosterFarmsChickenStripsIMG_0049

 

 

 

 

Forever ago and a day, I came home to discover two GIANT boxes on our kitchen table.  They were not hard to see as they honestly covered our entire kitchen table.  It was late (for our girls) and the world was dark outside, but upon opening the boxes, we quickly knew we had to head back out into the night.  You see, the lovely people at Foster Farms had sent the sampler pack that I agreed to try.  Unbeknowest to me, however, was the fact that the sampler pack was actually made up of 4 packages EACH of three items.  FULL size!   We do not have a freezer in our garage and our refrigerator/freezer had just been stocked thanks to payday shopping for the month.

Admittedly, a little panic entered my mind when I tried to figure out how to store/freeze a gross of corn dogs and a dozen packages of nuggets and strips.  Thank goodness my DH was around.  We quickly organized and left the house on “Gluten Free Corn Dog Fairy” runs.  We shared the packages with as many of our gluten free friends as we could find at home.  I even brought some to school to stick in the freezer there for a couple gluten free buddies.

I have to say, I didn’t expect a lot from these gluten free items despite the inviting packaging images.  I’ve tried frozen chicken nuggets or strips before and I didn’t go back.  My daughters – especially the chicken nugget lover – refused to eat the other brands that we’ve tried.  However, the sight of the gluten free corn dog box convinced her that she needed one RIGHT AWAY the next day.  I think she was hoping for breakfast corn dogs, but I capitalized on the 4 year old memory span and put it off until dinner.  (We don’t have much time in the mornings before we have to get out the door.  Breakfast is QUICK!)

After tasting all of the offerings from Foster Farms, I have to say this:  WOW.  We REALLY like these!  Especially the chicken strips.  Even our non-chicken eater in the house will not only request these but she does a happy dance when she hears they are on the menu.  We like them so much that we’ve purchased them a few times since we got this sample package and shared them.  (Dang that no freezer in the garage status…LOL)

I especially want to say something about the breading.  So many gluten free frozen breaded products are either doughy (they don’t crisp up) or they rely heavily on polenta/coarsely ground corn meal to make up the “crunch”.  This breading does NOT do that.  As a result, it is delicious and crunchy – and natural breading like you would make (and like I have made numerous times) at home.

Overall, here are our thoughts about Foster Farms Gluten Free Chicken Strips and Nuggets:

  • delicious, whole chicken.
  • moist and well seasoned.
  • perfect breading
  • super convenient
  • just like mom makes (mom being me here…LOL)
  • versatile

Here are the drawbacks:

  • ummm….my freezer size?

Really – there were no drawbacks for us.  The meat is not chicken paste that has been shaped, etc.  They are great!  So great that I used them for ADULT dinner nights too!  I prepared them as the package required and then have made:

  • chicken parmesan (less baking time as the chicken is precooked)
  • lemon-glazed chicken
  • sweet and sour chicken
  • Thai Sweet Chile glazed chicken in lettuce wraps

 

The corn dogs are yummy too, but a bit on the dry side for me.  My daughter doesn’t think so and I am fairly certain if she could read this, she would be annoyed that I even mentioned it.  (However, she eats everything with a liberal lather of either peanut butter (not these, thank goodness) or ketchup (totally these…LOL).

My friends and colleagues who received sample packages with us have not stopped RAVING about them either.  In fact, a vegetarian friend even commented on how “good and high quality”  the chicken looked.  I had called him to share the product with his daughter who is gluten free.  She and her family – and little person – devoured them as well.

I am certain that a local grocer is now carrying these Foster Farms Gluten Free products because there were so many of us requesting them after this sampling.

If you are a chicken eater, try these if you see them.  I think you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, Foster Farms, for sharing your delicious product with our friends and family!

-Kate and family

Hungry? A GF Coupon Give-away: Jennie O

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GF Turkey Tenderloin Roast

Gobble. Gobble.  (Or so my sister’s Thanksgiving phone calls always begin.  But it’s April and I’m gobbling like a turkey.  While you might be thinking  I’ve gone ’round the bend (almost!), I’m just happy to find a flavorful, speedy GLUTEN FREE dinner staple!

I avoid marinated meats, etc in the meat department for obvious reasons.  But more than once, I’ve checked out the ingredients listed on some Jennie O products.  I have avoided them in the past – if it has things listed that I cannot pronounce and/or do not know for SURE that they be gluten free, I don’t buy it.  Better safe than sorry.  If not for just me, than for the rest of my family who has to suffer through my foggy-brain and other aftereffects (crabby! painful! etc!) with me.

At Thanksgiving, my Love finds a fresh turkey from a local farm.  But throughout the year, I’ve been known to drive my chicken-eating family crazy by subbing in ground turkey for their chicken in several recipes.  And while they say they can “always tell”, I don’t believe them.  It’s all in how you cook it.

And the turkey roast of days gone by, the ones I remember from my younger days fondly.  The ones that I am CERTAIN they used for “mashed potato and turkey/gravy” at school.  (Yes, I know it grosses some of you out – but really, I love mashed potatoes and that turkey/gravy stuff!)  THOSE days are LONG gone.  The turkey roasts that they sell are NOT gluten free.

So, instead, I look for turkey breasts to roast myself.  Lately, I can only find them in the freezer section. Why, I do not know.  And it’s not too helpful – they take a bit to defrost and quite a bit more time to prepare for dinner.  (And I have dried them out trying to cook them in a slow cooker.  Really – my slow cooker hates me.)

Since the marinated turkey tenderloins were MARINATED, I didn’t give them much notice.  It looked delicious, but I just figured they had gluten in them.  But guess what:  THEY are GLUTEN FREE!  Jennie O has created a list of their gluten free products here for you to peruse.  And their marketing department is helping promote it by offering $5.00 coupons for bloggers to give away.

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<DISCLAIMER:  I was not paid by Jennie O for this review.  I was given 6 $5.00 coupons for a give-away.  This is the only “compensation” for this posting.  I am not keeping any of the coupons for myself.  All are up for the giveaway.>

PS.  Rory says the toy is not up for Give-Away (neither is she).

I love the Applewood Smoked turkey tenderloin.  I can easily prepare it in a dutch oven on the stove top while prepping veggies and fruit for dinner. It cooks quick enough to qualify for a speedy-weekday meal for us.  Since our day starts about 5:00AM and we don’t get home for dinner until 4:45PM or later, food that is easy to prepare and quick is all the rage in our house.  And really?  These tenderloin are perfect.  The girls like how moist they stay.  And the adults like the flavor and versatility.

I’ve used the tenderloin for tacos, just as is (sliced), salad topping, bi-bim-bap meat (rice, veggies, meat, fried egg = topped with spicy sauce (if desired) or as is), turkey-corn soup, Asian peanut salad, Asian Turkey + Mixed cabbage cole slaw, etc.  It’s easy.

Of the products listed on their page, I also tried the “natural” tenderloin.  But to be honest, I was completely put-off by the fact that they add sugar (!!!) to the tenderloin in the marinade.  Really – I didn’t expect it.  It basically listed sugar, baking soda and parsley.  Definitely not a marinade I make at home.  It wasn’t very flavorful for me either and we could taste the sugar.  Not my fave.  The Applewood Smoked version is hands-down the winner between the two.

I really wish Jennie O would put the INGREDIENT list on their web page.  That is a huge missing piece for me.  I know what their products are – but I’m not willing to go buy them until I know what the ingredients are.  It would be great if it was all listed on their page somewhere.  That is the one big missing piece for me on their site.

NOTE:  Jennie O uses allergen testing but is not certified gluten free.  Mainly main stream companies are in the same situation with their gluten free labeling.  Until the Food and Drug Administration passes at GLUTEN FREE LABELING LAW (which is languishing), the label can mean many things.  Shirley of GFEasily posted her comments about this on her page.  And you can always contact the company if you have specific questions or concerns.

AND NOW for the GIVE AWAY RULES:

For each ENTRY, post ONE comment below.  You may receive an “ENTRY” by doing any/all of the following.

Just remember to post a new comment for each – sorry, but it’s the easiest way to track entries!

GIVE AWAY ENDS Friday, April 13, 2012 at midnight.
Winners will be chosen using RANDOM.ORG.
Winners will be contacted via email to obtain mailing addresses for coupons.
Each person may only win one of the six coupons available.
Good luck!

Product Review: NY Style Risotto Chips

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risotto chips

A A long while back (SORRY! I am behind on life!), I received a promotional HUGE box of Risotto Chips from New York Style Brand.  They make pita chips (NOT GF) and a few other products (others are NOT GF either).  However, this product:  the Risotto Chips *are* gluten free – and FABULOUS, I might add.

Made from whole grain brown rice and seasonings, these chips are a great option for dips, parties, etc.  Trust me.  Everyone will be competing for these at the chip/dip bowl.  I know this for a fact as I brought the bunch that were sent to me to a baby shower for a colleague.  They were gone in a heartbeat.  Devoured by toddlers (2 years old), teenagers and adults alike.  They were the perfect accompaniment for the jalapeño-popper dip, pico de gallo and guacamole dips that we had too.

My personal preference is for the Spicy Marinara (not so spicy) because it has a nice kick to it and that kick isn’t so much that I didn’t want to keep eating them.  (Well…maybe that is not such a fabulous waist-line trait…but they are delicious!)  Our second favorite was the parmesan and garlic chips.  These are heavier tasting than the spicy marinara, but still fabulous.  The sea salt chips were preferred by the dip lovers.  I wasn’t such a fan because I didn’t like the added salty flavoring.  (Yes, the other flavors have salt, but the salt is not overpowering to me.)

I hope you get a chance to taste these. Thank you for the taste-box, NY Style, these were great.

~Kate

PS.  I have no affiliation with NY Style Brand and received no compensation (beyond the samples) sent to me for this post.  You can read my buddy Steve’s review of the chips here as well.