[This review was written by Laura Hanley of G-Free Laura. Watch for more reviews from our enthusiastic taste tester.]
My favorite part of the week is when I get home from work and there’s a box on the porch with my name on it. My second favorite part is when I open that box up and find gluten-free goodies inside. The last box I opened contained Blake’s All Natural Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie and Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie.
I can’t remember the last time I had a chicken pot pie, so you can imagine how excited I was. Also, I’m going to be straight up with you folks – I had never had a shepherd’s pie up until this point, so my taste buds were ready to experience the gloriousness pictured on the front of the box.
Since I was so excited, and it was dinner time, I decided to start the review process right then and there. I took the chicken pot pie out of the box read the cooking instructions.
Once preheated, I put the pie in the oven and set the time for the instructed 30 minutes. I covered the pie with foil while baking, and unfortunately when I took it off, part of the cornbread crust came off right along with it! I don’t know if this is common, but I was very upset that my beautiful meal was tarnished. But, to solve the problem, I simply scraped the piece of cornbread back onto the pie, and put it back in the oven for a remaining 10 minutes (per the instructions).
When the Chicken Pot Pie came out of the oven, I of course announced to my mom, “It’s tiiiime!” and grabbed two sets of silverware, as she often assists me in my review process (a.k.a. she just wants to eat my gluten-free food with me). I took the first bite, and was very impressed with the tenderness of the chicken and taste of the gravy. My mom then tried it and made her signature “mmmhmmm, that’s good” noise. She was really impressed with the cornbread crust, since it has always been one of her favorite types of bread. Blake’s All Natural does a great job at giving us gluten-free’ers a chance to enjoy the corn bread taste everyone knows, loves, and misses.
After eating the rest of the pie, I was very impressed with Blake’s ability to create a chicken pot pie that was hearty, healthy, and gluten-free. It is hard to keep the taste that people want, while keeping the product gluten-free AND healthy. So, after being so impressed with this dish, I was very excited to see what the Shepherd’s Pie would taste like.
A few days later when my tummy started rumbling, and I was looking through the fridge for something to eat, it hit me – I have a ready-made Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie in the freezer! I fetched my pie and checked the cooking instructions. I was very pleased to see that the microwave instructions were a short 3-4 minutes, as when I am hungry I am very impatient. I got a microwave-safe plate out, placed the Shepherd’s Pie on top, entered 3:30, and pressed Start.
When I took the pie out of the microwave, it was very hot and steamy. So I had to let it cool a bit (which was difficult since I regularly burn my tongue due to my impatient nature). I took my first bite and it was the definition of lunchtime bliss.
I’m not a big corn girl, but man, stick it in with organic mashed potatoes and moist ground beef and I’m hooked! My first few bites were sans ketchup, but after that I decided to squirt on some Heinz so I could get some tomato flavor with each bite (as I love, love, love my ketchup). Either way, the Shepherd’s Pie was delicious and filling – perfect for lunchtime!
One of the other great things about the Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie is that it is healthy! The calorie counter in me was pleased to see the entire package was only 240 calories! That means you are able to treat yourself to a microwave meal without feeling the guilt that usually accompanies frozen, ready-made food.
Since Blake’s All Natural sent me two of each pie, I packed the second Shepherd’s Pie for lunch at work the following week. It certainly was a nice break in my gluten-free turkey sandwich monotony! I even had a few jealous stares in the break room as I was enjoying my gluten-free meal.
As for the second Chicken Pot Pie – it’s in my freezer as we speak. But, I am getting kind of hungry after writing this review, so I think I’m going to go bake that right now!
I recommend Blake’s All Natural Gluten-Free products to anyone who likes a good, home-cooked meal! Share your gluten-free love with Blake’s and follow them on Twitter, @BlakesNatural, or visit their website at www.blakesallnatural.com!