On Surfin’ Saturday, I share links from around the web. It’s not always food related and not always blogs. It’s anything I find inspiring or helpful for any part of life. [Read more…] about Surfin’ Saturday- Feb 26, 2011
Archives for February 2011
If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter our Menu Mailer giveaway here. It closes on Wednesday, March 9th at 11:59 PM EST.
I’ve been gluten free for four-and-a-half years now. In that time, I have watched a myriad of products come onto the market. It’s rare that I try a product new to the GF market and am completely disgusted.
Tonight, that happened.
And not only was I disgusted, I was downright mad.
Wednesday, I took the kids for their dental check-up. On the way home, we swung by the store. I was completely excited when I saw Lundberg’s new Brown Rice Couscous. I have a couple of favorite recipes for couscous that I had back when we went gluten-free. I had held on to them, hoping that eventually someone would debut a gluten-free couscous. So I happily grabbed two boxes from the shelf and danced all the way to the check-out line. I planned on making my favorite chicken dish for dinner on Thursday night and the couscous dessert this weekend. It would be a special treat. If the couscous was good, it would be the meal I would request for my birthday coming up shortly.
So, tonight I started making dinner, very excited to once again have a favorite dish available for special occasions. I popped open the box and my heart sank. I took one look at the ‘couscous’ and immediately felt like I had been duped. It’s not really couscous. Couscous is a pasta. This product is nothing more than cracked rice! It’s simply grains of rice that have been cut unto three or four pieces each. I was mad that I had paid so much money for something I could have simply made in my grain mill for a quarter of the cost! It works out to be over $5 a pound!!!
Well, disappointed or not, I decided to go ahead and fix the dish. The couscous is toasted, so it does have the nutty flavor I remember. And the pieces are cut to the right size. So it gets good marks on flavor and mouth-feel. It cooks just like whole rice, so it gets good marks for the ease in fixing it. It also gets good marks for being certified non-GMO. But it gets a big, fat zero from me for value for the cost and false advertising, and that over-rides all of the other considerations. I will not buy this product again, and I have written to the company to express my disgust. Couscous is a pasta, not a cracked grain!
So, I recommend you save your money and run your rice through a grain mill instead. It will be far cheaper and you won’t be supporting a company that is engaging in some false advertising while charging a quadruple price for it!
Disclaimer: I have received no payment or free product in exchange for this review. I have no financial interest in the product or the company.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.
2 Responses to “Product Review- Lundberg Brown Rice Couscous”
1. Tas says:
February 25, 2011 at 03:02 | edit
Maybe they were getting mixed up with burghal which is cracked wheat.
2. KerryAnn Foster says:
February 25, 2011 at 19:35 | edit
That’s possible, Tas, but I sure hope their research department would have better sense! Lundberg is normally a very good company.
This is one of my go-to meals when I am in a great hurry time-wise when I had planned to cook dinner. You know those evenings, where you have some meat thawed and a meal planned, but something comes up that needs your attention instead? I use it when I have time for the oven to do all of the work but I don’t have the time to stand there.
The chicken takes me about 10 minutes to get it in the oven. If I don’t have any leftover rice in the fridge, have one of the kids scrub some potatoes, poke them with a fork, rub with oil and salt them. I place them in a baking dish and put them in the oven when I begin pre-heating it, before I put in the chicken. Check them when the chicken is done, as they might need a few extra minutes.
Then I pull out some leftover veggies or 10 minutes before the chicken comes out of the oven, I saute up some pre-prepared kale and I have a quick meal on the table in less than 20 minutes of hands-on time. Prepare your greens when you get home from the store. Wash them, cut them, dry them thoroughly and roll it all up in some paper towels, sealing it in a ziplock bag. You have a quick side dish whenever you need it.
This past Spring, I joined Herb Mentor and stayed with them for a few months, learning all I could about the use of herbs. One of the tips I picked up is that you can soak an herb in vinegar and use that in your cooking.
I’m always looking for ways to get medicinal herbs into me in ways that don’t resemble forms of torture. I know some of you laugh, but some of herbs I use are especially difficult to get down and I’m the type that can swallow anything. I am totally not picky when it comes to the taste or texture of what I have to swallow, a skill I learned while I was so ill and going through chelation. I found that some of the less palatable root herbs, like dandelion and burdock root, are easily done in vinegar without it becoming a mind-bending flavor.
So I began using the burdock and dandelion vinegars in all sorts of dishes, including uncooked things like my quick honey mustard dip (recipe below). So far, no one has noticed any change in flavors or made any comments. I now soak all of my apple cider vinegar in burdock or dandelion prior to use.
We recently had a day that needed a special breakfast but I was having trouble coming up with the right thing to fix. I started brainstorming out loud with my better half, from across the room. We both buried ourselves into Google on our respective computers, looking for a good recipe to try. The word ‘donut’ fell out. We both smiled. We have had donuts only a couple of times since we went gluten-free. I have purchased the Kinninnick donuts twice from the salvage for special occasions, when we could get a box for $1. But I don’t like to use them often, because they contain ingredients that aren’t real food.
The ingredients in Kinninnick vanilla donuts are
Icing (sugar, water, glucose, vanilla), Sugar, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Water, Whole Eggs, Sweet Rice Flour, Palm Fruit Oil (non hydrogenated), Frutooligosaccharide, Yeast, Pea Protein, Egg Whites, Xanthan Gum, Fruit Concentrate (dextrose, dextrin, fibre), Salt, Rice Bran Extract, Cellulose, KinnActive Baking Powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, pea starch, mono calcium phosphate), Glucono Delta Lactone, Sodium Bicarbonate, Nutmeg
Last time I checked, I wasn’t able to grow lactone or pyropho… pyra…… in my back yard. Yeah. And, for sake of comparison, here’s the ingredients in a Dunkin’ Donut:
Donut: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts, Beta Carotene), Eggs; Crunch Topping: Sugar, Coconut, Yellow Corn Flour, Caramel Color, BHT (antioxidant); Glaze: Sugar, Water, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of the following: Mono and Diglycerides, Agar, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Artificial Flavor; Apple Filling: Water, Sugar Syrup, Corn Syrup, Evaporated Apples, Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% or less of the following: Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Salt, Cinnamon, Malic Acid, Nutmeg.
I don’t think I need to say much about that list, it speaks for itself. And Krispy Kreme won’t even give an ingredient list online that I could find. Just a statement that they don’t use trans-fats in their shortening blend. Ahem.
So I set out to make healthy donuts my kids would love. [Read more…] about Dollars to Donuts
As I stated with my last post on this subject, I fully recognize that some of you have very tight budgets or only have access to mega-marts due to your locations. Others will have the funds and availability to choose the best of the best. Either way, this post isn’t to condemn someone who can’t pick the best of every option, it is to help you make the best decision you can with what you have, where you are.
For the beginning of this series, we will look at your choices in purchasing grains. We will not get into gluten vs gluten-free, whether or not you should eat grains, and the like. If you are currently buying grains, this is to help you decide what is the best option for your budget. This posting is my opinion, and after research, you might come to a different conclusion. If you do, please comment and share what you found and your reasoning. I’m always open to changing my opinion and updating this post if new or different information comes along.