I still don't know what the deal is with kids finding that damn Big Foot thing in Trader Joe's. But I do know they carry cheap gluten free macaroni and cheese. And it's darn tasty. Here are my top five gluten free pics from TJs.
1. Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar
If I were smart and wanted to save gas, I'd buy a case of this stuff so that I wouldn't be running out every week. But no. It's only $1.99, and if I bought more than two boxes at a time, it wouldn't feel as cheap. Compared to Annie's brand of gluten free rice pasta mac & cheese which retails for upwards of $3.59 (!!!) at most other grocers, this is a major steal.
2. Brown Rice Tortilas
Going gluten free means giving up soft, chewy, pliable flour tortillas. I've filled that gaping hole in my life with these rice flour substitutes. Nuke 'em for 30 seconds in the microwave and they're an acceptable alternative--plus they're only $2.69 for a 6-pack. Savor the pleasure of eating a cheap vehicle for cheese + anything else.
3. All-Purpose Baking Flour
I hate gluten free baking. Hate. With a passion. Replace flour one-to-one? Use a store-brand gfree flour mix, xanthan gum or not, potato starch or tapioca based... ugh. Gag me with a measuring cup. I keep this stuff on hand because it's cheap (sensing a theme here?), only $3.99 for 16oz. It makes disappointment taste a little better. (For the record, lots of people bake gluten free things successfully. I am a fine person with many skills. This is not one of them.)
4. Gluten Free Brownie Mix
As much as a hate gluten free baking, I love, love LOVE love gluten free baking mixes. This one? It's a no-fail. I add about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and bake it a little less than the directions recommend. There's no easier or more delicious dessert to serve company. At $3.99, it ain't cheap, but the ease of preparation and the impressiveness of the taste make it worth it. Brownie or cake mixes at other grocers easily cost .50 cents to $1 more.
5. Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
Envirokidz somehow snuck in under the TJ's private brands barrier and sells on their shelves for $2.99 a box. Joe, Amby and I all eat this in the mornings. Unfortunately, Joe now thinks that panda bears are truly called panda puffs. I'm reluctant to correct him.
So, those are my TJ's winners. What are yours? I give an honorable mention to the new Gluten Free Joe-Joe's sandwich cookies. But honestly, I think we gluten free folk may have to concede that no one will ever produce a gfree sandwich cookie that tastes as good as its gluten-full counterpart. Just stick with these and make everyone happy.
Now go find a Christmas gift for your hubby at Moxie Wife.