Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mac N Cheese Faceoff!

Now that I'm back on dairy, I've dabbled into my old mac n cheese ways. I've tried lots of gluten free pastas throughout my journey and I really like the quinoa blends the best. They have a firm texture and mild taste (some of those brown rice pastas make me want to barf!) So in searching for the best gluten free mac n cheese, I knew I wanted to go with a brand that used quinoa pasta. There's not too many out there and they can be hard to find. My local Whole Foods doesn't carry them so I had to go to the downtown store, which I suppose is a good thing, it's dangerous for me to have mac n cheese too close!

I love Ancient Quinoa Harvest gluten free pastas, I always have a box in my pantry! So naturally when I discovered their mac n cheese, I couldn't wait to try it. First of all, the "little elbow" noodles they describe on their website is all wrong. The noodles are almost penne size, not elbow. 

The "mild" cheese sauce they talk about however, is very true. The packet of cheese is about half the size of your average mac n cheese packet. That, combined with the bigger noodles, leaves you with a very bland bowl of mac n cheese. On the bright side, it's organic and since it's a corn blend pasta, that's very important (corn is the #1 GMO food, always buy organic!). While I love this brand, I do not love their mac n cheese and most likely will not buy it again. Kids would probably like it, but I'm very particular about my mac n cheese!


The other brand I came across (by accident) is Simply Shari's. This caught my eye because it's different than a box, why it's in a resealable bag, I have no idea, but it does definitely stand out. When I bought it, it was on sale for $2.99 which is a very good price when it comes to gluten free pastas. I was nervous about trying it based on my other bad experiences, but I was pleasantly surprised. It has your average size and shape mac n cheese noodle and a strong cheesy, salty sauce. The only thing I recommend with the sauce is that with other natural cheese sauces, they're hard to blend evenly in the noodles, so I like to whisk the powder and milk separately and then mix it into the noodles. Like I said, I'm very serious about my mac n cheese! Simply Shari's also makes pizzas and baked goods. If you don't know of a store that carries the brand, the website has a store order form that you can bring in! They say my Haight Street Whole Foods carries it, but I haven't seen it. I really want to try the pizzas! 

For my next challenge: 

I found this mac n cheese powder at Fresh and Easy. It's just the powder, so you can use any pasta you want! It's a smart idea and I can't wait to try it!

Peace, love and mac n cheese!

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