Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Meal Delivery Service Reviewed

A few weeks ago I reviewed 2 home delivery meal services: Home Chef and Hello Fresh.  After posting my blog about them, a friend gave me a code to try Blue Apron for free.  My family has been very impressed with the other services and for the most part they have been gluten free or gluten friendly for KidX.  Home Chef had a meal this week called Healthy Takeout Bourbon Chicken and I was surprised to find they sent me gluten free soy sauce!  I have many of these staple ingredients on hand in case I have to substitute items to make my meals gluten free but I was really happy they included it because Kid X and Kid R had 2 bowls of dinner that night! So hoping Blue Apron would be as wonderful as the other 2 services, I gave it a try!
First Blue Apron doesn't have as many choices as Home Chef.  They have about 5 meals to choose from.  I did like that they asked me my preferences before (I can't have seafood)  so that automatically excluded any fish or seafood meal that week. I did not like that you can't really choose your meals.  I got three choices of meals picked for me and no mater what combination I tried, it would not let me pick any alternate meals.  I though maybe it was because this was my"free" order, but I couldn't edit any substitute weeks either.  So I waited for my delivery.
While the other 2 services have each meal packed with ingredients together, Blue Apron doesn't.  All the vegetables are just in the box, kind of like you went shopping.  Meats are separate and the ingredients and condiments you need to put the meal together are labeled "knick knacks"  I think as far as packaging, this box was the least likely to make it through hot Texas weather.  My veggies didn't seem to be too cool, they were rather warm for a 60 degree day.  The meats were fine, still cold and frozen. The recipe cards were just over sized pages that weren't in a binder or a nice booklet like the other services. 
The noticeable difference in this service is it's more gourmet.  My meals were Cacciatore-Style Baked Eggs with Lacinato Kale and Parmesan-Garlic Toast, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Endive and Blue Cheese Salad and Korean Tteok and Spice Pork "Ragu."  I also received a card labeled From the Farm with fun facts about Belgian Endive.  I guess for cooks that aren't familiar with more obscure ingredients this is a nice feature.  

Korean Tteok and Spicy Pork "Ragu"

I made The Korean Tteok first.  It appeared to be the one my family would most likely all be able to eat.  I had to keep some of the ground pork aside and make a gluten free version for Kid X, but this meal went over very well.  It was nice to cook with some ingredients I wasn't familiar with like Korean Rice Cakes and Gochujang sauce.  Korean Rice Cakes are pasta like round circular versions of rice noodles and Gochujang sauce is savory and spicy made from fermented soybeans, glutenous rice and red chili.  This was the only dish my family ate together.  The Buffalo Chicken Burgers were good and the salad was tasty with champagne vinaigrette.  But it was breaded and only my husband and I tried it.  Kid R didn't want anything spicy.  The Cacciatore style baked eggs was the weirdest combo.  Basically a big ragu of veggies and sauce with eggs poached in the sauce then baked in the oven.  While it wasn't horrible, it's not something I would eat again and my husband wouldn't even try it.  
For our family, this was the least impressive service.  For being one of the original services I wasn't impressed.  This might be great for two single people or on days when the rest of the family isn't around.  It's not that it's super fancy or time consuming to make, it's just that for a family, I feel it's not the best choice.  I had to separate the ingredients for each meal, and some of the ingredients provided like garlic, onions and mushrooms were way to much for a 2 person serving.  I wasted a lot of ingredients.  My husband hates leftovers and the other two services have been just right for 2 people plus 1-2 kids depending on if both kids can eat the meals.  I did really enjoy the Korean Tteok and I'll be making that again when I take a trip to the Asian Market to get the Rice Cakes!  
So if you are interested in any of these services at a discount, click on my referral links here: Click HERE for Hello Fresh. Click HERE for Home Chef  I currently don't have a link for Blue Apron, it says after a few orders they will give me a link to send people free meals.  But if Blue Apron is your cup of tea, click on any google add and you will find discounts or free meals from them.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Meal Delivery Services

So I haven't posted in a while.  Life has been crazy.  It's mainly because I've been down and out, I had some health issues with my pregnancy and all I wanted to do was rest after work, can you blame me? Then my little Kid Z came early at the beginning of December!  She's so tiny but adorable!  Kid X and Kid R are really excited about their new sister.
When you are expecting, you get so many cool deals.  One deal I got was to try a home delivery meal service.  I figured that I'll be out of some income for a while due to maternity leave and I don't want to drag the new baby out to the store(or 3 kids for that matter!) So I signed up for a free box from Hello Fresh.  I chose the 3 meal 2 person option. It's $69 a week for this option which is about $9.99 per serving. This is typical for what it would cost to go out to eat or have takeout plus way healthier than fast food!  Since Kid X is gluten free, I figured he couldn't try most of the meals so I planned for him to have his own dinner while the rest of us tried the box out.  I was surprised to see that Kid X could enjoy some of these dinners without any modifications and they were clearly labeled in the the instructions "gluten free!"
My free box contained Smokey Turkey and White Chili, Rosemary Basted Steak, and Creamy Orecchiette Pasta.  The Chili and the Steak meals were gluten free but since Kid X is also FODMAP free, he was only able to try the Steak which he LOVED!  These meals were fabulous!  They arrived very fresh, the ingredients were packaged in boxes for each meal and the meats were separate and still frozen.  My favorite was the pasta that week, because that dish included Brussels sprouts which I love!  The next delivery I got included Glazed Teriyaki Chicken, Italian Ciabatta Burgers and Fig and Brie Pizza. My favorite meal was the Pizza, so tasty!
With Hello Fresh you can choose 3,4 or 5 meals each week with either a 2 person or 4 person option.  There is the Classic Box, which I ordered or you can choose from the Vegetarian Option.  The only think lacking with Hello Fresh is the option of more choices.  There are only 5 choices each week and no alternatives.  One of the meals each week is a seafood dish and unfortunately I'm allergic to all forms of seafood(but my family is not and would be happy if I occasionally order some seafood for them!)
Hello Fresh gave me the option to gift 4 people a free box or I can post a link for my friends to get $40 off their first box,  When I posted on social media about this, a friend said to try out a different service and gave me a code for a discount off the service.  So the following week I tried Home Chef.
Since I had a code for $30 off my first box, I chose the 4 meal option for 2 people.  My first box included Pan Seared Pork Chops with Honey Fennel Butter, Skinny Chicken Mozzarella, Wood Fired Barbecue Chicken Pizza and Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak.  All the meals except the pizza were gluten free.  What I also liked about this service is the side dishes! Most meals have amazing sides! When I served the pork chops, both kids tried the swiss chard and the turnip gratin.  Did they eat the chard? No.  They both took one bite and said it was ok. But they loved the turnip gratin!  I never told them what it was, but they both ate their serving!
With Home Chef you have way more options.  You can do a 3,4,5 and more meal option.  The 4 meal option for 2 is $79.60 per week and I was able to feed 2 adults and 2 kids with it.  What I liked about this service other than the generous portions of side dishes was the options each week. There are 10 options of main meals to chose from and add ons!  2 breakfast options and an option for fresh fruit!  Each serving is about $9.95 and the breakfast options vary.  During the holidays they had some special items to order such as cheesecake and New Years Party Trays at various prices, nothing was over $20.  Home Chef's meals were packed in separate bags and the meat was also separate and still frozen.  Home Chef's packing seemed to be more sturdy with more ice packs then Hello Fresh and the package was definitely heavier.  I'm glad last week was warm and close to our summer weather in Texas to make sure these boxes withstand the heat!  And they did!
Each service provided the step by step instructions for each meal.  Hello Fresh sends a small booklet and Home Chef sends a notebook with the pages included to insert in the book.  I was only missing one item from the Hello Fresh Box and it was some Balsamic Vinegar for the Pizza kit.  That's an item I have so I didn't worry about it.  You need to have salt, pepper, butter and olive oil on hand for most meals from each service, but that was it, all the other ingredients are pre portioned so it's super easy to whip up!  Almost all meals can be made in under 35 min.  I'm pretty sure my husband is happy I'm cooking again!  You can pause or cancel your service at anytime. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for my grocery bill and my bill when we either go out or bring home take out.  Since this past week was Christmas and we had some guests that week, I did have take out on 2 different nights that totaled around $65 so I spent almost more on the 2 meals of takeout than the 3-4 meals from this service.  And the meals in my box were way better than the 2 takeout meals of barbecue and pizza!
I have links to both services for you to trial a box for a discounted price.  Both are affiliate links that will give me a discount on my next order.  Hello Fresh seems to have codes or deals for FREE boxes from time to time, but you do not get compensation for those, they are strictly gifts to friends! And I'm thankful for that because who doesn't like free food?  For Hello Fresh: go to and enter this promotional code to receive $40 off your first box:


For Home Chef go to this link and receive $30 off your first box:

Hope you enjoy these services as much as I have!  I do plan on trying out some of the other services as well and I'll post my review of them as soon as I do!  Have a great New Year from Gluten Free Kid X!  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Gluten Away Fall Online Expo

It's that time again!  The Gluten Away Fall Online Expo.  I love these virtual expos.  I can browse recipes, see featured bloggers, get samples and enter drawings!  This falls featured products include: Enjoy Life, Gluten Free and More, Better Batter, Ener-G, Explore Asian, GF Joe, Go Raw, I Heart Keenwah, Pamela's Products, Wicked Good Cupcakes and Yumari!  Check it out!  It goes on until September 7th! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gluten Away Expo

The Gluten Away Expo happens a couple of times a year and it's 100% virtual!  Tons of gluten free giveaways and discounts.  It takes place between May 1st through May 7th so take your time and browse the virtual booths, check out the websites, and enter to win the giveaways!  There is also a link to get wonderful gluten free kits!  I ordered the May Large Kiddie Kit and a single sample of Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix!  
Check out all the cool gluten free goodness here:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest Austin Texas

Wow!  What an event!  Even though I had the entire family there it's hard to keep up with an active 4 year old when you want to keep talking to each vendor about the products!  I had a great time, caught up with some blogger friends and basically had lunch for FREE!  I wish I had taken some pictures to share or post but I really was running through each booth grabbing a sample, coupon or something!  Kid X enjoyed pizza, brownies, cookie dough bites and his favorite booth, the Enjoy Life one!  He was very excited to get samples of his favorite snack bars!

Here are some of the highlights:
Met Vegetarinmamma and scored a wonderful recipe for Raspberry Breakfast Casserole! (I may just make this for dinner this week!) I'm definitely getting her cookbook in the future!  While Kid X may not be able to enjoy it as much as I will (I was vegan before changing our families diet) I can pretty much adapt anything to his needs at this point!
Freedom Foods: Kid X loves the Tropico's rings.  Free from gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame, it's a winner for most allergies and Kid X can enjoy cereal again!
Earth Balance: I know them for their vegan butter and mayo, I had no idea they make popcorn and these wonderful little bites called PB Popps! Vegan, gluten and dairy free peanut butter popcorn! Kid R and Dad loved them!  Kid X doesn't do well with peanuts but I did let him try a bite and her said they were great!
Nogii:  This is a line from Elizabeth Hasselbeck.  I have found the protein bites at costco and put them in Kid X lunch as a sweet treat.  But they make a kid's bar that is like a rice crispy treat!  I'm definitely going to be in search of these at our local stores! Kid X took a sample of every bar they offered! He said," I really love these chocolate bars."
Whole Note Baking Mixes: I can't say I've seen this brand at any local store, but man did they have great waffles and pancakes to sample!  I see they have a pizza crust, crepe mix and several muffin mixes.  So I'll be ordering some of these: I'm really interested in trying the crepe mix!
Way Better Snacks: I recently got some of these snacks in a snack pack from Gluten Away.  So I know these are delicious!  I've tried Sweet chili and Spicy Siracha!  I'm a fan.  My husband really likes them also, so if it's gluten free and he's a fan, it's a WIN!
Smart Flour Foods: An Austin Company, I love their pizza crust!  I usually purchase this as Sprouts, but if you live in Austin, you can get a pizza from Mr. Gatti's  with this crust.  I was also surprised to find that a locally brewery which we are co-op members of, Black Star Co-Op, uses smart flour as well!
Crafted Gluten Free: Another subscription/specialty gluten free box service.  You know I love what Gluten Away is doing, and I am also going to check this one out!  They have an awesome Kids Subscription box full of kid snacks to try!
Brazi Bites: Brazilian Cheese Bread!  I get these often and I love them!  So does Kid X!
Celeste's Natural Kitchen: A local Austin Catering Service, now I can't afford this but she had some amazing paleo pumpkin muffins to try!  I did sign up to win some free meals from her though!  Standard packages start around $300.
Glutino and Udi's: Enough said!  Kid X eats tons of glutino cookies and pretzels.  He even knew what he wanted: honey mustard pretzels.  Udi's has just partnered with pizza hut and we enjoyed a pizza at Kid X's recent birthday party!
Enjoy Life: Kid X's ultimate favorite gluten free snack! Whether it be cookies, snack bars or baking morsels.  I can say he really loves the products!  Enjoy life foods are certified gluten free and free from the top eight food allergens as verified by the Non-GMO project.

There were many booths I rushed by trying to keep up with a 4 year old.  But again many I wanted to go to like last year but didn't get the chance!  A few to mention are local ones, so I can do this anytime like: Austin East Ciders, Blackbird Bakery(her mixes and cookbook are awesome), Sweet Ritual and many more. Red Apple Lipstick is one I seem to always miss: boys have no interest in this!  Next year maybe I'll go both days.  One day for me to go around the booths and the next with Kid X and the family!

The cool T-shirt  picture is a shirt from I'm a Celiac!  Go order one of her cookbooks or how to live gluten free guide books! I have all of them!!  It's a little big but Kid X will grow into it!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gluten Free Sample Kits

A really great thing to do for the picky gluten free kid, is to order a sample kit of products!  There are many different ways to do this: subscription boxes that come monthly, goggling manufacturers and seeing what they might send you to sample, or like I've been doing recently, getting a sample kit of products from Gluten Away!

Ive been following Taylor Miller for awhile on twitter @GlutenAway   He's a teenager living with Celiac Disease.  What struck me is that he is very passionate about health, wellness and nutrition at such a young age.  This gives me so much hope that Kid X will be the same.  He already knows to ask if something has "gwooten" in it and is not easily upset if he can't eat what everyone else is eating.

What I've found so interesting is that for the past few years, Taylor has organized a virtual gluten free expo called Gluten Away Online Expo which occurs a few times a year.  The next dates are April 1st through 7th.  You get Free Admission, there are virtual booths with over 100 gluten free products and huge giveaways!  Some vendors have great recipes posted with ideas on how to use their products. My favorite thing is purchasing a product sample pass that allows you to get samples from vendors shipped to your house!  Just like if you were attending a live event!  I've found products that KidX really enjoys (thanks enjoylife smores bar!) and even some that I won't pick up again!

Kid X is about to celebrate his birthday and we ordered great gluten free cupcakes in a jar from Wicked Good Cupcakes a vendor that was at the virtual expo! So chocolate birthday cake cupcakes are going to be a great surprise!  I usually make his cupcakes, but I've been really busy with my work and essential oil business, so this year, its cupcakes in a jar!

Also for his birthday, my Mom purchased 3 sampler kits from gluten away. The Top 8 Allergen Free Snack Kit(a kit with Enjoy Life cookies and snack bars)  The 16 Bar Sampler Kit( just as it sounds, 16 snack bars from several companies) and The February Sampler Kit (samples of various gluten free products) These samples came in handy for our impromptu road trip for Valentines Day!  I also love being able to put a different snack in Kid X's lunch box everyday!

Thank you Taylor!  It's so nice to see others caring so much and taking the time to educate others on a gluten free lifestyle especially at a young age!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ham: Not Always Gluten Free

I love getting e-mails from  because they have great lists of guides and restaurant menus with gluten free items.  I recently got an e-mail on ham, one of KidX's favorite things. Give him Ham or Bacon and he is in heaven!  (well I think he loves chicken nuggets more) We do go at lengths to purchase certified gluten free ham from companies like Dietz and Watson, or Jones Dairy Farm.  But it's really hard in a local grocery store to find some of these hams.  So check the label and if not, you can always call the manufacturer.  Most hams are inherently gluten free if they don't have a glaze on them, but many are processed in plants that could have cross contamination.  So here are hams on the Gluten Free Ham Listing, one of the listings you can find at Gluten Free Guide HQ!  
Armour Meats
Hams are gluten free, there is cross contamination risks at the processing facility.  Not recommended if you are highly sensitive to gluten.

honey ham
Virginia ham
browned Virginia ham
cooked ham
lite ham
cooked ham and water product
spiced luncheon meat

Boar's Head
All of their meats and cheeses are gluten free.  This is a big list! Some I've never even heard of in my grocery store! 

all natural apple-wood smoked uncured ham
all natural uncured ham
black forest brand boneless smoked ham
bold habanero ham
boneless smoked ham steak
branded deluxe ham (and low sodium version)
Canadian style bacon
cappy brand ham
gourmet pepper brand ham
pesto Parmesan ham
prosciutto do parma
rosemary and sun-dried tomato ham
smoked Virginia ham
sweet slice boneless smoked ham
tavern ham
Virginia brand ham

Bob Evans Grocery
Not my choice by a long shot, but the company says there are two safe varieties they manufacture. 
cubed or diced ham
ham steaks

It's not pork based, but they have gluten free turkey ham! Just a side note, only 2 of their products they manufacture have gluten: meatballs and stuffed frozen turkey. 

turkey ham

Cook's Ham
All of Cook's Hams are gluten free.  This is a really long list with great varieties of ham goodness! I fee like the Buba Gump of Ham typing out this list! 

mini hams
ham medallions
ham chops
ham steaks
breakfast slicked smoked ham
smoked pork chops
original smoked ham
smoked mini pit ham
lean half ham
spiral sliced apple-wood smoked pit ham
hors d'oeuvre ham
carvemaster flat pit ham
premium boneless ham
tradition whole or half boneless ham
semi-boneless ham
skinless shankless hams
steamship ham roast
portioned hams
ham steaks
pork shoulder
smoked pork hocks
smoked ham shanks
smoked pork neckbones
sliced salt pork belly

Dietz and Watson
This company produces certified gluten free ham options! A great option if you can find them in your local stores.

black forest ham
branded cooked ham
all natural uncured classic dinner ham
gourmet lite cooked ham
imported ham
gourmet lite Virginia ham
Virginia baked ham

Hams are gluten free but there is a risk of cross contamination in the processing facility

black forest ham
brown sugar ham
Canadian maple
chopped ham
ham steaks
honey cured 
honey maple
luncheon ham
off the bone ham
smoked pit ham
spiral sliced holiday ham
Virginia baked ham
imported ham
fried ham
reduced sodium ham

Farmland Foods
A very big list as well.  All gluten Free!  I don't think I've ever heard of Bavarian ham! 

bilingual ham and water product
boneless steak ham
honey cured boneless steak ham
cook's ham(30% less sodium version and water products)
sliced ham breakfast
sliced ham chops
honey cured and hickory smoked ham steaks
cook's farmland safeway hams
cook's hickory smoked portion ham
reduced sodium ham steak
farmland Bavarian brand ham
farmland brown sugar
farmland carvemaster flat ham
farmland cooked ham water added
farmland deli ham
farmland julienne ham strips
farmland premium deli
farmland sliced ham
farmland cooked ham with 35% less sodium
farmland country lean brand cooked ham
farmland gold medal brand ham boneless
farmland pit hat
farmland royal danish brand ham
farmland back forest ham
boneless ham steaks
spring hill brand cooked ham

Several ham products and ham deli meat style choices.  

peppered ham
tavern ham
Virginia brand ham
cooked roast pork
imported brand cooked ham
premium cooked ham

Hillshire Farm
AVOID!!  This company doesn't even test for gluten on it's products at this time! 

Holiday Ham
None of their products contain gluten, but they don't test for gluten on their products either.  AVOID!! 

Hormel has many gluten free products.  They do have the potential for cross contamination during processing because they don't test for gluten cross contamination.  However, I have tried the uncured bacon at times when I just have no other choice and Kid X has been ok. 
dublique canned hams
hormel black label canned hams
hormel cure 81 ham and ham steaks
hormel ham patties
hormel back label chopped ham
hormel diced ham, cubed ham, ham steaks
natural choice brown sugar deli ham
natural choice cherry wood smoked ham
natural choice cooked deli ham
natural choice smoked deli ham
jennie-o refrigerated turkey ham
farm john boneless ham
premium tradition brown sugar and honey golden tradition canless honey ham(DON'T USE THE GLAZE PACKET, CONTAINS GLUTEN) 
farmer john bone in hams
farmer john ham steaks original smoked
brown sugar ham
back forest ham
ham roll
honey ham
premium honey ham
smoked ham

Jones Dairy Farm
Jones Dairy Farm has several gluten free options and bacon

all natural cherry hardwood smoked uncured ham slices
ham slices
all natural cherry hardwood smoked uncured ham steaks
dainty hickory smoked ham
whole family cooked ham
bone in fully cooked ham
whole old fashioned hickory smoked ham

Smithfield doesn't have a gluten free list but some ham flavors are gluten free, I won't include them because they can't produce a true gluten free list. 

Wellshire Farms
all of the holiday hams are gluten free(well it's only one on the list)

healthy holiday ham

Of course there are many other companies out there and this list is not 100% comprehensive, just a quick guide to help you at the grocery store to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting glutened!