Sunday, June 30, 2013

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods Sampler Review and UDI-Q

I was so excited when Udi's contacted me a few weeks ago inviting me to participate in a UDI-Q. They sent me this amazing sampler box of their products two weeks ago. I was in gluten free heaven when I opened this package! I hosted a UDI-Q (get the play on BBQ?!) with family last weekend to get our honest opinions on Udi's Gluten Free Burger Buns and Hot Dog Buns.

There were six family members at our cookout, and five were gluten free. My husband was the odd-ball out this time with a gluten bun while the rest of us enjoyed our Udi’s gluten free buns. We absolutely stuffed ourselves as we wanted to try everything. We had my husband’s famous burgers, brats, chicken sausage, grilled peppers and onions, grilled mushrooms and onions, Mom’s homemade cucumber pickles, little smokies, and cauliflower. For dessert, we had Udi’s Chocolate Chip cookies, Udi’s Snickerdoodle cookies, and Grilled Peaches with Honey and French Vanilla Ice Cream.
All of the food was great and the Udi’s buns were well-liked by all. More of our honest opinions are below. As if the UDI-Q wasn’t enough, I sent home plenty of food with everyone and coupons for free Udi’s products of their choice. Thank you, Udi’s for making this cookout a gluten free success!

Here’s a recap of everything Udi’s sent me and my opinions of everything I’ve had a chance to try. I’ll post more over the next few months as I get a chance to try everything. As you know, I've posted about my love for Udi's and reviews of their products many times in the past, which I've also linked up below.
Buns: Whole Grain Hamburger, Classic Hamburger, and Classic Hotdog

I first tried the Classic Hamburger Buns and Classic Hotdog Buns in 2011 when they first came out. I was so excited for buns, but was a little disappointed as they seemed like too much bun for me. I think part of this was the bun, but part of it was also me not being used to eating a bun. Now, I love the Hamburger Buns – both Whole Grain and Classic. My trick to enjoying a full bun is to butter the bun and grill it to serve it toasted. I also put a saucy and juicy burger on top, which helps avoid what I perceive as “too much bun.” Everyone at the cookout enjoyed both varieties of the hamburger buns.

While the Hotdog Buns are great, a few of us at the cookout thought they were too thick – which makes it dry to eat. I compared the gluten-free hotdog bun to a gluten hotdog bun, and Udi’s buns are noticeably thicker. The flavor is still fantastic, and I’ll keep enjoying these buns.

 Cookies: Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles, and Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites

I have a major sweet tooth, so I was excited to try Udi’s gluten free cookies for the first time. My family and I all loved the Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle cookies at our UDI-Q. They were soft and chewy, with no funky gluten-free aftertaste. They definitely taste As Good As Gluten – like the gluten versions of the cookies. I even found my husband sneaking Snickerdoodle cookies. They were so good, not even he could resist! I haven’t tried the Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites yet, but they look decadent.

 Pizza Crust

Udi’s Pizza Crust was one of the first gluten free products I reviewed when I started my blog back in October 2010. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the crust, so I was excited to try it again. I made a Caprese Pizza by drizzling extra virgin olive oil on the crust then topping with pesto, fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and basil. I cooked according to the package directions. This pizza turned out great. The flavors were fresh and the crust was crunchy. Yum!

 Muffins: Blueberry and Double Vanilla

I first tried Udi’s Blueberry Muffins 2 years ago. I absolutely loved it and it still tastes just as good as I remember – sweet with a slightly springy/airy texture. I’ve never had a Double Vanilla muffin before, so this was a new muffin variety for me. The Double Vanilla muffin is delicious, but a little on the dry side for me. This was no problem as I enjoyed with a glass of milk. After my first muffin, I thought it would be great as a base for strawberry shortcake. My husband must have read my mind because he ended up making the dessert below – Fruit Salad Muffin Sundae. It’s the perfect use for this sweet Double Vanilla muffin that reminded me of pound cake. All he did was slice an Udi’s Double Vanilla muffin in half, top with a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream and a homemade fruit salad. Delicious!

Bread: White Sandwich Bread, Millet-Chia Sandwich Bread

I love Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread and have been using it for years to make all kinds of sandwich varieties including grilled cheeses (Apple Cheddar, Jalapeno Cheddar, Patty Melts, and Pizza Grilled Cheese), PB&J, and lunch-meat sandwiches. I’ve tried the White Sandwich Bread before and love it just as much as I love my preferred variety – Whole Grain. I haven’t had a chance to try the Millet-Chia, but am looking forward to it.

Plain Tortillas: Small and Large

I had no idea that Udi’s had gluten-free flour tortillas. I’ve come to love corn tortillas over the years, but definitely miss a flour tortilla every once in a while. I’m so excited to try these tortillas and will let you know what yummy fillings I put inside.

What are your favorite Udi’s products? I can’t even begin to pick – I’m in love with them all! Thanks again, Udi’s!

Disclaimer: Udi’s provided the product for me to review. However, my review and opinions written above are my own.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hummus Melts with Food for Life Gluten Free English Muffins

Hummus Melts are a quick snack or “meal”on a busy weeknight. Mike was not thrilled by this meal idea as I picked up the ingredients at the store, so I made them one evening when he was gone. To my surprise, it was hearty meal that filled me up and satisfied my taste buds. An even bigger surprise was Mike’s reaction when I made them again a week later for lunch.

Lauren: “Do you want to try the rest of my hummus melt?”

Mike: “No.”

Lauren: “Just try a bite. You can’t say that you don’t like it until you try it.”

Mike: “Ok.” He takes his first bite as I prepare to hear him complain. To my surprise he says, “Wow. That’s good. That’s really good.” He finishes the melt and gives me the thumbs up, “That’s amazing.”

I used Food for life Gluten Free Brown Rice English Muffins – which taste As Good As Gluten (aka like a regular gluten English Muffins). While the recipe calls for homemade hummus and I’ve made Homemade Hummus
before, I now live near an Aldi (side note, is anyone else an Aldi shopper? I’m amazed at their quality selection at low prices – definitely exceeded my pre-conceived notions). They have a good-priced, great tasting hummus. So, I used store-bought hummus for this recipe.

Click here for recipe from {never} homemaker

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Pizza Grilled Cheese is a quick and tasty lunch. It has all of the flavors of pepperoni pizza bundled up into a sandwich. There's only one thing that could make this Pizza Grilled Cheese better - a side of marinara to dip it in.

Pizza Grilled Cheese Ingredients:
·2 slices of gluten free sandwich bread (I used Udi's Whole Grain GF Bread)
·2 tsp butter
·Handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
·6-10 slices of pepperoni

Place mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices on top of one slice of gluten free bread. Top with the other slice of bread and then butter both sides of the sandwich. Place in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip the sandwich and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls are reminiscent of Chipotle’s Burrito Bowls – one our favorites. Cilantro Lime Quinoa replaces Cilantro Lime Rice to add to the nutritional content – and the protein, as this is a vegetarian dish. The seasoned black beans are slightly spice, adding a nice Mexican-inspired flavor. This meal is a trifecta of perfection - quick to prepare (which I love for a busy weeknight), tastes phenomenal, and is healthy!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Black Bean and Corn Baked Potatoes

I love a quick, easy to prepare meal on busy weeknights. This Black Bean and Corn Baked Potatoes recipe is just that. My husband and I had this meal cooked and on the table within 12 minutes. It was delicious and very filling, as neither one of us finished our massive plates of food. This recipe is perfect for “Meatless Mondays” and on busy weeknights when you’d rather be enjoying the weather outside than spending an hour cooking in the kitchen.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauces Review and Giveaway

I was thrilled when a representative from Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauces contacted me to introduce their products and ask if I was interested in trying them by sponsoring a giveaway for my readers. After learning about their products, I was beyond excited to get the package in the mail and start trying Stubb’s Bar-B-Q products.

Now that warm weather has arrived, my husband and I love to grill out for dinner, attend cook-outs with family and friends, and use my husband’s new smoker. As I've mentioned on my blog before, my husband is a condiment-lover. I, on the other hand, have only recently stopped enjoying my plain-Jane foods (burgers, salads, hot dogs – all plain) and now enjoy condiments. But, I'm picky with my condiments. In addition to using gluten free condiments, I prefer to buy condiments that are free of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients. For as much condiments my husband consumes, this is key criteria.

Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q sauces, rubs, and marinades meet and exceed all of my criteria - on ingredients and taste! They are all natural, certified gluten-free, and contain no high fructose corn syrup. Don't worry, they do not lack flavor. Stubb's makes small batch sauces that retain their deep-rooted, authentic Texas tastes and barbecue cook-off credibility. Seriously, how did I not know about a way to add flavor to sandwiches, burgers, and grilled meats, fish, and veggies and avoiding fat, calories, gluten, and artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives that are often found in the condiment aisle? You can find more information on Stubb’s products at the end of this post.


Pictured above is the amazingly delicious and flavorful chicken my husband smoked last weekend for a family cookout. This trio of tender and juicy chicken was prepared using the Chicken Spice Rub on boneless chicken breasts, the Chicken Marinade on a whole chicken, and the Bar-B-Q Spice Rub on boneless chicken breasts. Mike applied the rubs and marinade the day before, and let it marinate overnight before smoking at 225° in an electric smoker for two and half hours.

The outcome was amazing – the flavor was phenomenal and we devoured the chicken. The chicken prepared with the Chicken Rub had flavor notes of honey, mustard, and turmeric. The chicken smoked with the Chicken Marinade was slightly sweet with flavors of citrus, garlic, and a hint of mustard. The Bar-B-Q Rub chicken had a smoky, Paprika flavor. It’s impossible for me to pick my favorite as they were all delicious.

We’re looking forward to trying the rest of the varieties Stubb’s sent me. I’ll be sure to share our recipes with you; I’m confident they will be delicious. I’m excited for grilling/smoking/BBQ season – my husband can enjoy his love of condiments and I can enjoy gluten-free condiments, while resting at ease knowing they are made with healthier ingredients I feel good about eating and serving others.

Just in time for Bar-B-Q season, Stubb’s is giving away three free Stubb’s coupons to one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post with your favorite thing to grill or eat at BBQs. When you enter your comment, please include your email address or a way for me to contact you if you win.

Congratulations, Dana! You are the winner of the Stubb's Bar-B-Q coupon giveaway!

Guidelines: Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (sorry, international friends and readers). Giveaway will close on Monday, June 17. Winner will be notified by email and their name will be updated on this page. Winner has until June 21 to respond, or another winner will be chosen.

Product Overview:
Stubb's Bar-B-Q products are sold in 85% of grocery stores nationwide. Here's a product rundown:

Sauces: The line-up includes Original, Spicy, Hickory Bourbon, Sweet Heat, Smokey Mesquite and Honey Pecan. At an average of 20 calories, 110 mg. of sodium per tablespoon and no high fructose corn syrup (the #1 or #2 ingredient in most bbq sauces), Stubb’s is a healthier option on the condiment aisle with no sacrifice on taste. Stubb’s sauces can be enjoyed throughout the year on sandwiches, as a dipping sauce for proteins, or as a key ingredient in slow cooker creations.

Marinades: From light and tangy Chicken Marinade with brown sugar, onion, garlic and citrus, to zesty Beef Marinade, made with soy, lime, ginger and red pepper, Stubb’s adds interest to everyday cooking whether on the grill, in the skillet or the slow cooker.(Other flavors include Steakhouse and Pork marinades.) Stubb’s Injectable marinades inTexas Butter or Chipotle Butter, which have no fat and just 10 calories per tablespoon, come with their own injector and help create moist, flavorful roasted chicken or turkey, summer briskets, weeknight beef and pork roasts and more.

Rubs: Stubb’s savory spice blends in Bar-B-Q, Pork, Beef, Chicken and Steak can be used to prep meats for the grill or used to boost flavor and add a kick to any dish.

Disclaimer: Stubbs Bar-B-Q provided the product for me to review and is sponsoring the giveaway. However, my review and opinions written above are my own.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

This ugly picture does not do this lasagna justice. I'm sorry; while lasagna is my favorite meal, it's my least favorite to photograph. So, you'll have to take my word for just how delicious this cheesy and flavorful lasgana is.

This Kale and Mushroom Lasagna recipe is based on my Four Cheese Lasagna recipe, substituting mushrooms and kale to make it healthier and vegetarian. Meat lovers, don't worry! My meat-loving husband will attest that you won't miss the meat in this cheesy and hearty lasagna. I prepared myself for looks of disgust at the dinner table after I made this lasagna, but my husband gobbled it down and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna
Inspired by my Four Cheese Lasagna

·1 lb no boil lasagna noodles (I used De Bole's No Boil Gluten Free Rice Lasagna Noodles)       
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·2 - 16oz. containers of baby mushrooms, rinsed, de-stemmed (caps only) and chopped
·16 oz. kale - de-stemmed and chopped
·1 medium onion, chopped
·2 cloves garlic, minced
·1 – 28oz. can tomato sauce   
·1 tsp dried oregano
·1 tsp dried basil
·1 tsp dried cilantro
·16 oz. cottage cheese
·2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
·2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
·2 eggs

Heat olive oil (EVOO) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are softened and brown, about 7 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted. Add tomato sauce (reserving 1 cup) and spices. 

In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and egg. Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 baking dish. Arrange 3 uncooked noodles. Top with cottage cheese mixture, top with 3 noodles, ½ of veggie sauce, 3 noodles, and remaining ½ of veggie sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚ for 45 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. If desired, sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Bake, uncovered, until cheese melts - about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it as it combines one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks (Strawberry Lemonade) with one my favorite adult beverages (Sangria).

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria is sweet and super easy to put together with just 5 ingredients - white wine, frozen lemonade concentrate, rum, strawberries, and lemons. I didn't have any rum, so I used bourbon instead. It still tasted great and we enjoyed it at a cookout, but it was very strong. I'm sure it would have tasted much better with the rum.

Click here for recipe from That's What We Said