Monday, January 24, 2011

Gluten-Free Tuna Helper and Navigating the Grocery Store

The Recipe: Gluten-Free Tuna Helper
I accidentally recycled the box and forgot to save it for this post. The gist: make the noodles for about 10 minutes, drain, add in tuna and sauce powder, cook for a while, and serve. Really quick and easy dinner *College Cooking Alert*. It wasn't actually made by the hamburger/chicken/tuna helper brand (since I got rid of the box I also forgot the brand) but it worked the same way as the boxes you buy from that brand - i.e. it comes with everything except for the meat, which you buy separately. Goes well with a side of corn.

The Fishy Evidence

My Take on the Bake and the Gluten-Free Grocery List
It was a little salty, although for some reason I got over the saltiness a few bites in and was loving it by the end. I was really excited to find something like the tuna helper in the grocery store, because that means I can buy dinners that will be quick and easy for a rushed evening. Although the tuna helper was the only kind of "helper" box from that brand at Meijer's that I could find, the back of the box showed that the brand also produced gluten-free hamburger and chicken helpers.

Unfortunately, Meijer's does not mark its gluten-free sections of the store. My family found them by accident. (for those of you who don't know what a "Meijer's" is, it's a mega-grocery store that also sells other household items, a mid-western chain founded in Grand Rapids, MI) We found a gluten-free section in the freezer section that has frozen dinners, such as mac n cheese (again with the Hallelujah!), lasagna, and Indian dinners, personal pizzas, large pizzas, pizza dough, bread, and bagels. We found gluten-free baking flour next to wheat flour, a mix of gluten-free flours which we've used to substitute for wheat flour in several recipes. And we found a dry foods section that has gluten-free noodles, cereals, mac n cheese boxes (ditto H!), Quaker flavored rice cakes, veggie chips, crackers, specialty bread mixes, cake mixes, brownie mixes, pizza mixes, and  the tuna helper. So there's definitely stuff out there, it's just hard to find.

If you go to a natural foods store, you're more likely to find gluten-free oatmeal, tamari, quinoa, and special gluten-free flours such as quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum.

So now you know what's out there for celiacs :)

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