It was in a recent issue of Gluten Free & More that Erica Dermer (aka: Celiac & The Beast) brought to my attention the fact that So Delicious Dairy Free was coming out with a new product. Two (yes…TWO) versions of a boxed mac & cheese.
Gluten free and dairy free…perfect for this girl. I figured it would take an eternity to find in Louisville, but…a couple of weeks ago, it was out on the shelves of the local Whole Foods. So both flavors (Pizza and Cheddar) came home with me. And this week was an ideal week to try one of them as my endless quest to clear out the pantry continues (I know…if I’d stop buying things it would be so much easier!).
I know, I had a vegan mac and cheese on Monday…but who says comfort food can only happen once a week, right? Besides…this was a different mac and cheese. This one came in a box. HAHA! And since today was my (allergen-free) Soft Pretzel Wednesday lunch tradition, and I bought an amazing (allergen-free) Confetti Cupcake from my local bakery, Annie May’s Sweet Café, I figured, why not go for broke? Have some mac & cheese! Thanks to the (not-so-expensive) splurge at Whole Foods…this was possible.
Nothing could be easier to make. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil and pour the noodles in. Allow them to cook for about 8-9 minutes. Drain. Once drained, return noodles to the pot and add in 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk) and 2 tablespoons of a dairy-free buttery spread (I used Earth Balance). Add in the packet of powder-like-cheesy-stuff and stir until mixed well. Serve.
So, my roommate opted to have the Pizza Flavored Mac & Cheese from So Delicious first before the Cheddar. I think she’s having a hankering for pizza. Well, she said it’s because I made “regular” mac & cheese on Monday. Whatever. Regardless, we started off with the odd-flavored one! (That’s odd as in…not a normal flavor you would find). I served it with a slice of vegan garlic bread (from Annie May’s Sweet Café)…and dinner was super-easy, super-quick, and hopefully super-yum!
As far as boxed mac & cheese goes, this ranks up there. I thought the gluten free noodles were amazing. They didn’t get gummy or fall apart. They held up to draining and constant mixing when everything was added in. That really was a high point for me, since so often these boxed gluten-free pastas just fall apart. So…YAY! As for the flavor…it…kind of tastes like pizza. There is a hint of tomato flavor in the sauce, for sure. And the sauce is darker than the orange boxed powder stuff that people are used to eating. It didn’t punch me in the tastebuds and make me think I was eating pizza instead of pasta. Like I said, it had more of a rich tomato flavor than anything. What I did love most, however, was that it didn’t have a weird tangy fake cheese flavor to it. No plastic residue. Nothing that can be such a turn off (for me, anyway) when it comes to vegan cheese products. The sauce was creamy and cheesy (without the cheese!)…and for that I am happy. I think I liked it best when I was scooping it up with my garlic bread though. More powerful flavors there than on its own. That being said, I wasn’t disappointed in the least, and will probably end up keeping a box of the So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese in my pantry for nights where I need something quick and easy…and delicious.
All that being said, let’s talk about what goes into the So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese Pizza Flavor. This product is made up of organic gluten free pasta (organic white rice flour, organic green lentil flour, organic corn flour), algal protein, veggie blend (carrot, tomato), sea salt, natural flavor, coconut oil powder (maltodextrin, organic coconut oil, rice starch, natural flavor), guar gum, pizza seasoning (spices, garlic, salt, onion), mustard (seed), annatto, and lactic acid. This product us Kosher Parve, Certified Gluten Free, and Certified Vegan.
As for nutrition, a serving of the So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese Pizza Flavor is 2.5 ounces (71 grams…or about 1 cup prepared) and there are about 2.5 servings per box. My roommate and I just split it in half. An actual serving (as packaged, not prepared), will give you 260 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 50 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugars, and 10 grams of protein! LOOK at that protein!! It is definitely filling.
No worries…I still ate the cupcake afterwards!
Anyway…while the So Delicious Dairy Free Mac & Cheese Pizza Flavor was a nice way to have a stress-free night of cooking, I still felt that it was lacking somewhat in flavor. That being said, the texture, taste, and creaminess were right up to par…especially for a powder-base. I was impressed and surprised that I liked it that much. And that’s a good thing, for sure. But, I sure was glad I picked up that garlic bread today…
Bottom line…it was good. Not outstanding. But good. And different. I have yet to find another gluten free and/or vegan pizza mac and cheese on the market.