Because gluten-free foods can be pricy and a bit hit and miss, I thought I would write a mini-series on gluten-free food reviews so other people who can’t really afford to throw money away but also can’t eat gluten can see what I think of them and maybe if it sounds like something you’d like. These reviews will also include some gluten-free products that may be suitable for vegetarians and vegans (and people who are lactose intolerant).
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the gluten-free foods I have tried have ever tasted as good as the gluten-packed version but that’s too be expected. Today, I review two different brands of pizza and two different brands of pasta.
I should also specify that most of these foods (3/4) are UK-only as the stores they were bought from are UK-only located and I’m really sorry about that. There are some international brands out there that are slightly more expensive that I haven’t tried out yet but I do plan to try in the future.
I will admit that I thought this would not taste good. I think it was the packaging that threw me off. This was, actually, pleasantly surprising. The dough is quite thick and bouncy. The texture, like most gluten-free foods, was quite grainy though. I expected that. It’s got a rather heavy garlic taste to it and, for a garlic lover like me, it’s perfect. If you don’t like garlic very much, I’d give this one a miss. It’s not incredibly chewy but it’s slightly chewier than gluten pizzas have been for me in the past.
Overall, I’d give this a rating of 4/5. I’ve bought this about three times now and pair it up with some sweet chili sauce (which I shouldn’t, really, spicy foods and IBS don’t go together). They also have a spicy chicken version available here but I try to be vegetarian where I can so I have not tried that and, like I said, I can’t really eat much spicy food (that and I don’t really like spicy foods anyway).
This was one of the first gluten-free pizzas I’ve tried but not the most expensive. The base is extremely crumbly, it’s breakable and crunchy and not my cup of tea at all. Before I discovered better options, I had tried this twice and now I know the other better and cheaper options, I would probably never buy this again. This is great for those who can’t eat lactose and want a pizza option and/or don’t mind the crumbly, crunchy base.
As for the toppings, they weren’t awful. It was very tomato-heavy and on my second purchase I just added my own cheese to the top as I felt like there wasn’t enough of it (I’m not even a massive cheese fan, but you need a decent amount on pizza!).
Overall, I’d give this a 3/5 but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tried. I believe they also have a pepperoni version of this but, again, I haven’t tried it as I try to be vegetarian as much as I can.
Tesco Free From Fusilli Pasta (500g)
Now, on to pasta! Neither of these two pastas I’m going to review actually taste anywhere near as good as actual pasta tastes. I will forever be upset about that as pasta used to be one of my absolute favorite foods. I can eat it from time to time, as long as I am prepared for the days, weeks or sometimes months of pain I may experience from eating it afterwards as a consequence. So, as you can imagine, perhaps not worth it.
I actually made this last night in a pasta bake with some vegan sausages from Linda McCartney and it was absolutely delicious. Would be more delicious with actual pasta. This pasta doesn’t really taste of anything. To me, it tastes like flour and its texture is quite grainy but to my boyfriend he didn’t pick up a texture and it tasted like water. I think it was the sauce and the sausage that really gave it a taste. To me, it was kind of like Tofu, if you don’t do something really nice with it, it’s just going to taste of nothing.
Overall, I’d give this a 3/5. I’m going to use up the bag that I have. I also would probably buy more of this in the future as I haven’t found a better option yet. This is only the second pasta I’ve ever tried. The first I’m going to review immediately after this one.
Morrison’s Free From Fusilli (500g)
I had, more or less, the same experience here with this one. I made this a while ago and did use up the whole bag and mainly made this also in pasta bakes. It has the same sort of grainy texture, and doesn’t really taste of anything but flour and water. So again, like Tofu, it’s not really something I’d say you can eat on its own and you’d really need to add something to it for it to have a taste.
Again, this was a 3/5 and I’d probably buy the Tesco version just because it’s cheaper and, where I live, both Tesco and Morrisons are in walking distance between each other so it wouldn’t really be such a huge problem for me personally just to buy from the other store instead for certain products.
So, there you guys go. I hope some fellow UK, gluten-free followers enjoyed this. I plan to make this a regular thing. I’ve been newly diagnosed with IBS and living gluten-free improves my pain quite a lot so I’m trying a lot of new things lately. I also plan to include later on vegan/vegetarian foods that may not be gluten-free but may be of interest to some people.
Until next time, where I review two Amy’s Kitchen gluten-free microwavable meals. Lorna.