BLAKE’S GLUTEN-FREE CHICKEN POT PIE & SHEPHERDS PIE
With the fall season, the gluten-freer’s thoughts turn to comfort foods—which usually mean soups, hearty stews, pot pies, mac and cheese and heaping dishes of pasta.
This is also, as it turns out, one of the most challenging categories in the gluten-free realm. Most of the hot comfort foods contain noodles or crusts of some kind, and substitutions are not easily made.
Enter Blake’s All Natural, an 80-year old family firm that was acquired by ConAgra in May 2015. Most of the line is conventional, but there’s a GF version of their most popular item, Chicken Pot Pie; as well as Shepherds Pie, which is naturally GF (the crust is made from mashed potatoes instead of grain).
I tasted their Chicken Pot Pie in a bit of a fever, recalling happy afternoons spent at my Gram’s where my favorite treat was classic pot pie. Grandmas know what makes a child’s heart go pitter patter. Hence my bar for Chicken Pot Pie is quite high, attached as it is to golden memories.
Blake’s did not let me down. You can taste the quality and the care.
The filling is delicious! You can taste the distinct flavors, yet also appreciate the blended sauce and the good crust, which is the hallmark of a top pot pie. There was a little too much sauce for my liking (not atypical in store-bought pot pies), but I relished the classic pot pie flavor.
There are no chemicals, no antibiotics, no wheat. Bonus: The pot pie is also microwavable
The brand makes both all-natural and organic products. With the gluten-free pot pie, the vegetables and crust are organic. The chicken is not, although it is natural (antibiotic free), and quite tasty!
I was surprised that I actually preferred the cornmeal crust variety of the two options. The brown rice crust was a bit sweet and shortbread-y (I prefer buttermilk-y/salty flavor notes), whereas the cornmeal crust was hearty, had better body and just enough salt.
Next I tried the Shepherds Pie, made with organic corn and organic mashed potatoes.
As with the pot pie, the veggies are organic but the beef is not. (Although organic meat is important to many, it would raise the price beyond where enough consumers are flexible. Hence the balance between organic and natural ingredients.) The beef was perfectly spiced and tasted of a high quality, so I added points back for flavor. I liked it even better than the pot pie.
My recommendation: Absolutely give Blake’s a try! Their products are great cool- and cold-weather comfort food options, a great convenience when you don’t have time to make your own. That goes for the “regular” line, too.
You can also send a GF gift box, containing four gluten-free pot pies and four shepherds pies.
Discover more at BlakesAllNatural.com.
This year, the new GF treat is Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp, the first flavor of Lucy’s new brownie line to hit shelves. It’s made with chocolate chips, 72% dark chocolate chunks and cocoa powder (comprising the “triple chocolate”), plus Madagascar vanilla.
A cross between a chewy brownie and a crunchy cookie, Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp is a symphony of deep, rich chocolate flavor. A serving size of three crisps contains just 100 calories.
As with all Lucy’s products, Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp is allergy friendly: no gluten or wheat, dairy milk, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts or tree nuts.
There are three types of chocolate in Lucy’s Triple Brownie Crisp. Photo courtesy Dr. Lucy.
The line is also Non-GMO Project Verified, certified vegan, and certified kosher (pareve) by Star K.
Brownie Crisp is currently available in a 4.5-ounce pouch size and a 1.25-ounce grab ‘n go individual bag.
Continued thanks to Lucy’s founder and chairman, Dr. Lucy Gibney, for showing that allergen-free can also be delicious. Discover more at DrLucys.com.