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Thursday, March 21, 2013

CookSimple: Can Gluten Free Chili really be easy and delicious?

I recently received some samples from CookSimple when they discovered we had entered the gluten free world, thanks to babies A and B! I was delighted at the prospect of an easy, healthy weeknight meal. 

Being new to gluten free, I feel I have been doing pretty well in our dinner combinations, without straying too far from our usual menu. For example, one night a week we always had pasta as an easy dinner, and now we just substitute gluten free pasta. Most nights though, we stick to our usual: some kind of meat and a vegetable. Occasionally, we include a starch- so we're not really missing out on too much. 

But the cooksimple products I received all have only one or two ingredients you need to add, and each contain all actual, readable ingredients: spices, beans, etc. I was pleased from the start. 

So last night I made the white bean chili . The box called for me to add shredded chicken, or any meat of my choice. The recommendation was a rotisserie chicken for the easiest option since it is precooked. I chose to use the boneless chicken thighs I had in the freezer. 

via Instagram @mymackey

So yesterday morning, while I waited for the coffee to brew, I threw the thighs in my crockpot with a chopped onion, about 1/2 c of barbecue sauce, and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. By the time I was ready to make dinner, chicken was done and easily shredded with a fork. 

The box calls for you to boil the packet with 4 cups of milk (or water)- I chose milk. 

Then add your meat and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

No, for real.... like, that's it! :) 

this is what you see when you open the box
I was a bit skeptical about the amount in the box. We had 5 of the 6 of us home, so I was unsure that the seemingly tiny box would feed our whole family. Again, a pleasant surprise, was that it fed us last night AND tonight! WOOT WOOT! Any busy mom LOVES leftovers! 

Both nights I served the chili with a simple arugula salad, which I got from a dinner I had with Michelle Collins from the Economical Eater, and my new favorite Ken's Chefs Reserve Creamy Balsamic with Honey salad dressing! YUM! 

I found the chili ended up super creamy, just spicy enough (if you want SUPER spicy- you'll need to add some crushed red pepper, or what we opted for: Hot salsa!), no bizarre "boxed food" aftertaste, and something that I can't wait to make again to put over nachos! There has GOT to be gluten free nachos right???? ;) 

To give you an idea of how it turned out as a family meal: 

Sissy (age 16 and picky ;)) ate it in a tortilla (she is NOT GF) and ate 3 of them! ;) 

Hubby ate 2 bowls... last night AND tonight!

Baby A (age 2 and 1/2) ate hers topped with sour cream and had a second bowl today with lunch with some cubes of cheddar cheese. No weird faces or complaints ;)

Baby B (age 10 months) ate mostly the chicken. squished around the beans. I would say that's pretty age appropriate ;) 

So in conclusion: a wonderful success! This weekend: Tamale Pie  and I can't wait! Stay tuned, because one more review and there will be a GIVEAWAY for you to try your own cooksimple meal! 

Be sure to follow cooksimple on FacebookPinterest and Twitter and tell them NurturingtheNaturalMama sent you! 

You can also get many of the items mentioned here at the NurtureMe Store

Have you tried cooksimple meals? Which is your favorite?

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