Four Affordable Gluten-Free Favorites from Trader Joe’s

Since May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I am sharing some of my favorite recipes and pantry staples with you.  I call our city the Grocery Store Mecca of Northern California.  Within a 7 mile radius lies a plethora of organic grocery stores, bulk grocery stores, specialty grocery shops and rumors of more to come! I specifically shop at 5 of these stores weekly  in order to get our favorite picks at the best prices.

When we began shopping gluten-free 6 years ago, I had to order it online. I believe the shipping alone on my first order cost us $45! Thankfully, gluten-free items are becoming mainstream, and we can find many local good bargains. Since I find pleasure in grocery shopping and love the hunt for a bargain, I am passing along some of my favorite affordable gluten-free items.

Shop at Trader Joe’s First

If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood, make it your first stop for gluten-free items. Their fresh produce and flash-frozen vegetables and organic fruits are a great buy. Organic cage free eggs, Greek yogurt and 100% corn tortilla chips are also fabulous buys for your healthy, gluten-free kitchen. I hit up our local Trader Joe’s first when fulfilling my weekly grocery list.

When I compare prices to local grocery stores, these are my top four affordable gluten-free picks from Trader Joe’s:

 

Thai Noodles. My kids always beg for a certain cup of noodles from the grocery store that is packed with MSG. I could go on and on why MSG is banned from our home! This Rice Noodle Soup Bowl is gluten-free, vegan friendly, and only 99 Cents! A competing brand of Thai Noodles costs upwards of $3.

My son who has Celiac Disease often requests a hot lunch like his classmates have at school. I make these in the morning, add chicken or extra vegetables and put them in a hot thermos for his school lunch. The only thing I don’t like about these noodles is the high sodium content! I only use half the enclosed seasoning package or use low-sodium Tamari sauce in its place.

 

Chicken Broth. Chicken Broth is a year round staple in my pantry.  Trader Joe’s Chicken Broth is available organic, free range, and low sodium. Best of all, it is free of MSG and gluten!  Thank you, Trader Joe’s!  You can’t beat the $1.99 sticker price.  Check out their other broths and gluten-free Red Pepper Soup, too.

 

 

Oats. Rolled Oats become an issue for the gluten-intolerant when they are manufactured and packaged in an environment where other glutenous items are present. Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats are manufactured in a gluten-free environment. They are a great healthy staple for baking, breakfast and other creative gluten-free cooking. The size of this package at $3.99 makes it a great buy!

 

Hot Dogs.  The price for gluten-free, preservative free, nitrate free, hot dogs in your mainstream grocery store can be absolutely outrageous!  My kid is like many other American kids who loves to eat hot dogs.  Trader Joe’s supplies their customers with chicken or beef hot dogs that are free of all the nasty stuff.

Not only is it a great product which all my kids enjoy, it only costs $3.99.  Even when other grocery stores have their gluten-free hot dogs on sale, I have never found them at such a great price.

I haven’t mentioned the rice pasta assortments, rice varieties, or nature bars, or Udi’s bread T.J.’s carries. You can look up your local Trader Joe’s online and read up on their gluten-free offerings.  Do you have a favorite gluten-free Trader Joe item? Please tell us about it in the comment box!

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Bacon Jalapeno Appetizers

Whenever I have the opportunity to bring a potluck dish, I like to make goodies which are naturally gluten-free. No fussy gluten-free flours or special products are required, just natural ingredients everyone enjoys. Bacon Jalapeno Appetizers are a big hit!

I tripled this recipe, because I knew half of these goodies wouldn’t make it out the door! The recipe is simple with just 3 ingredients.

Bacon Jalapeno Appetizers

15 jalapeno peppers

2 (15 oz) packages of cream cheese

1 package of bacon

Makes 30 appetizers

Directions: Clean the jalapenos. Cut the stems, slice the jalapenos in half, and scrape out the seeds. (Remember to wear  plastic gloves to protect your hands from the burning oils)

Fill each jalapeno half with 1-2 teaspoons of cream cheese

Cut bacon in half, and wrap 1 half of bacon around each cream cheese filled jalapeno

Secure each appetizer with a toothpick.

Bake at 350. Place on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray for 25 minutes, or until crispy.

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Celebrate with a delicious gluten-free egg dish!

Shirred Eggs

I enjoy cooking delicious food which is naturally gluten-free.  I prefer using all natural ingredients without the use of gluten-free flours.  This way, even those who are not accustomed to gluten-free foods are enjoying the meal with those on the restricted diet.  You will enjoy the benefit of cooking everyone the same food at the same time!

Pass this recipe on to friends and family members who provide meals for you on special occasions.  They will appreciate not having to buy any special gluten-free products because most of the ingredients will already be in their pantry!

Our family first tasted this delicious dish at a conference at Hume Lake Christian Camps.  Everyone around the table raved over the eggs.  The dish was rich and custard-like with the surprise of a perfectly cooked yolk inside.  We couldn’t believe how yummy it was, and how simple the ingredients were.  I couldn’t wait to make it at home.

Ingredients

1/2 t. butter

4 t. heavy whipping cream

4 eggs

freshly ground pepper and salt

2 T grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375.  Place 4 ramekins on a baking sheet.

Coat 4 ramekins with melted butter.

Pour 1 t. heavy whipping cream into each ramekin.

Crack an egg into each ramekin, gently pushing the egg to the center of the dish.

Sprinkle each ramekin with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.  The edges will be set and the center will slightly jiggle.

Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.

For an extra kick we have enjoyed hot Chalula sauce in the cream.  Or you may slip a piece of crisply crumbled bacon on the bottom of the dish before adding the egg.

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