Last weekend while my hubby and I ran our usual errands, we stopped by Walmart to pick up some groceries. Now, I know that a lot of my green and socially-conscious friends will condemn me for saying this, but hey -- I've found Walmart to be one of the more progressive national chains when it comes to gluten free food. Most people already know this, but their Great Value brand is not only extremely cheap, but all of their gluten free products are labelled. It was a godsend in those first few weeks, when I could pick up a bag of gummy bears for my then-fiance without having to worry about hidden sources of gluten.
Anyway, I've been pleasantly surprised to find various items in Walmart like soy flour as well, but I was absolutely floored this past weekend walking through the pasta aisle where I saw boxes of DeBoles gluten free rice pasta! Not only does Walmart carry gluten free pasta, but it was incredibly cheap at $1.57 a box!
(I'll take a minute here to clarify something for my readers who may not follow a gluten free diet. We'd been accustomed to purchasing our gluten free goodies from organic and natural food stores or else the natural food sections of our local supermarkets. And let me tell you, there's no such thing as cheap pasta in those places, it usually runs at least $3 a box -- it's still comparitively a pretty cheap meal, but you can imagine how much the average grocery bill can increase that way).
Anyway, Vince and I had never tried DeBoles gluten free pasta before, and we looked at each other, shrugged, and tossed a package of penne in the cart. What could we lose? If nothing else, we'd get a blog entry out of the deal. I'll admit to being slightly more excited than he was, and almost as soon as we were home and the groceries were unpacked it was time to make dinner.
I cooked the Deboles gluten free pasta according to the directions on the package and was encouraged by the fact that it looked like normal, wheat pasta. I paired it with some doctored Classico four cheese tomato sauce and a "Caesar" salad. It was absolutely amazing. It had the smell, taste, and consistency of regular wheat pasta. We'll definitely be stocking DeBole's pasta in our cupboards from now on, though next time I plan to make some nice gluten free Italian bread to go with it. :)
The final verdict: Phoebe gladly scarfed down our leftovers and quite literally(!) licked her plate clean. She rated DeBoles' gluten free rice penne four paws out of five.
I'm thrilled that Walmart stocks the spaghetti and penne pastas, but DeBole's website lists several other varieties including angel hair and rotini pasta. I would love to see those on the shelves at Walmart as well!
Oh, and the quotes RE: "Caesar" salad? Pre-GF, my husband loved Caesar salad but was never a fan of croutons. I can take or leave croutons myself, and while I avoid the word "diet" like it's a plague, I'm never averse to cutting calories that I'll never miss. Since just lettuce, dressing and cheese by itself would be boring, I usually add sliced cucumber to give the salad a little crunch, and grape tomatoes if they're on hand. Toss with caesar dressing and top with grated parmesan cheese, and voila! "Caesar" salad. :) If you're looking for a decent gluten free caesar salad dressing, I highly recommend Marzetti's Light Caesar Vinniagrette. Yum!