Thursday, October 09, 2008

Gluten-Free (for you and me) Review: Glutino Frozen Spinach and Feta Pizza

as you may or may not know. i have a gluten intolerance. it seems that they can't tell if it's celiac or not but regardless when i eat wheat i feel tired, cranky, sometimes sick to my stomach and sometimes itchy. the itchiness usually manifests itself on my hands or elbows. i'll save you from the grotesque imagery and just say my elbows get itchy.

anyway, since i have not been eating wheat for just over a year, i've started to seek out all the gluten-free goodness i can get. there are a few really great websites about gluten-free cooking and whatnot and so i figured, why not review some gluten free items for other glu-tards (i was introduced to this word while at the Anusara Gathering last month by yet another gluten-free 'glu-tard' -- not sure if i like that word just yet). i can't believe that there is actually a real definition for this one!!

"Hey, do you want some pasta for dinner?"
"No, sorry, I'm a glutard."
"...what does that mean?"
"It means... I'm glutarded."
"Oh. Okay."
-thank you Urban Dictionary for the context.

now that you are up to speed on what i am talking about, here's my plan in this blog....besides posting a bunch of funny things that i see or obsess about, i thought it would be a great place to review somethings that i pick up at the grocery store under the gluten-free (gf) category. basically, i am limited so whenever i see something that claims to be gluten-free, i usually buy it. in fact, i have had coworkers and friends bring things to me that they've found in the supermarket.

the thing that i miss most is pizza. i don't usually eat cheese either, but i make an exception for things like feta or goat/sheep cheese. so i have been experimenting with the gf pizza options. whole foods has a selection of gluten-free stuff. usually it takes a lot of time to prepare, but i found this frozen pizza on night after work and figured i'd give it a try.

glutino (pronouced by me and my glu-tard friend, emma, as glu-tee-NO!) is one of the more prevalent gluten-free brands that i have seen. at first glance the pizza looked sort of gross. the crust is a rice flour blend and it had feta and spinach on top. judging from the appearance after pulling it out of the freezer i was not impressed (see pic to the left). so i decided to doctor it up. i do this all the time. it's not that i eat pre-made stuff a lot, but when i do, it has to have something that makes it tastier and/or healthier. so i opted to add some cherry tomatoes that i had in the fridge.

the result was pretty tastey. definitely add some tomotoes or olives. i used my trusty pizza pan that allowed for the bottom to get a little crispy. with a rice crust (i've made these from scratch) you need to be careful that they get fully cooked or they are all chewy/rubbery and basically gross. so it's best to spray some olive oil to make sure it gets golden. this brand cooked up pretty evenly. my only complaint is that for the price it was a really small pizza. you can see by the size of the pan compared to the actual pizza. it's definitely not for sharing. that's the unfortunate thing when it comes to being gluten-free. if there's a wheat substitute of any kind, you can bet it will be way more expensive than its glutinous counterpart.

overall, i give this a thumbs up for what it's taste like a gourmet sort of pizza and cooked up pretty quick! crispy, flavorful and it definitely sated my desire for some pizza.

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