I've always enjoyed shopping at Wegmans, especially for meat and specialty items. However, the closest one is 20 minutes from my home, so I don't typically shop there on a weekly basis.
But two exciting things have happened lately:
1.) Wegmans has a new dedicated area for gluten free products -- shelf stable as well as frozen -- in the center of their store. We've been able to find the majority of our favorite brands and products here, which helps reduce the need for shopping at multiple stores to find the gluten free items our family likes.
2.) I've discovered that many of Wegmans' mouth-watering recipes in their Menu magazine are gluten free -- or can very easily be tailored to be gluten free with some simple substitutions. (Menu magazines are mailed free to you when you sign up for a Wegmans shoppers club loyalty card. Their recipes are also available free online.)
As those of you who shop at Wegmans and use their Menu magazine know, their recipes contain many private label products that you can only find at Wegmans -- things like pre-made sauces, marinades, or dressings (one of my favorites is their Lemon and Caper Sauce, which I use as a time-saver to make a very quick Chicken Piccata). Fortunately for people with Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and other food intolerances, the labels on these Wegmans-branded products are typically well marked for all the major allergens.
Are you gluten free? Then look for the yellow circle with a "G" in the middle, indicating the product is gluten free. Lactose free, too? Look for the blue circle with the "L." And there are TEN other "Wellness Keys" flagging everything from Heart Healthy to Vegan. This system saves me tons of time and opens up a whole new range of recipe options in the quarterly Menu magazine.
As with all things in life, meal planning goes a lot more smoothly if you're organized. What I've been doing recently is sitting down with several recent issues of Menu magazine and making my shopping list based on the recipes I've dog-eared. It takes a bit of time, but once I've done my shopping, I have enough food for a couple weeks' worth of meals. I don't find myself running to our local store for as many last-minute items, and meal prep is relatively simple -- with great end results. (You can also browse through recipes, search for specific recipes, and make a shopping list online and using their free mobile app).
So what gluten free meals have I made recently from Menu magazine?
- Chicken Saltimbocca -- All of the 6 ingredients in this recipe are gluten free, with the exception of the Wegmans Pan Searing Flour (which is used in many Wegmans recipes). I simply used King Arthur all purpose Gluten Free Flour instead.
- Lemon-Pepper Shrimp -- This 7-ingredient recipe used many ingredients you probably already have on hand (eggs, cornstarch, vegetable oil) and can be made in about 25 minutes. This recipe is gluten free, as is.
- Organic Rack of Lamb with Pesto & Panko -- This is one of my favorite meals I've made...something I can't wait to make again. I'd never cooked a rack of lamb, and not only was this recipe easy, but it turned out perfectly the first time I made it. And have no fear about the Panko bread crumbs...you can easily substitute gluten free breadcrumbs instead. Kinnikinnick even makes Panko-style gluten free breadcrumbs, which I happened to have on hand. They worked fantastically! (And in fact, I just noticed that they have this "gluten free" version of the lamb recipe up on their website, too, using the same breadcrumbs I used!) The Wegmans Italian Classics Basil Pesto (in a jar) and the popular Wegmans Basting Oil (so versatile they use it in tons of their recipes) are both gluten free and marked as such on the label with a "G."
- Grilled Zucchini with Garlic Cheese Butter -- Delicious. Three ingredients -- all gluten free. You'll love the versatile Garlic Cheese Finishing Butter, one of their many Finishing Butters that are gluten free and a quick way to add tons of flavor to meat or vegetables. Use it on gluten free bread, too, for quick and easy Garlic Bread.
So after a month of trying some fantastic new recipes from Wegmans -- in between some out-of-town trips -- I'm now running low on food. Time to sit down and figure out what I want to fix for my family next...and plan another marathon trip to Wegmans! I'll share more recipes -- and how I adapted them to be gluten free, if they weren't already -- in future posts. Stay tuned, and please feel free to share links to your own favorite Wegmans gluten free recipes. Enjoy!