Many of my friends have been raving about the delicious meals they have been purchasing at Borrowed Time Meals, a food service establishment in Southaven and Hernando, MS that provides fresh, ready-to-cook dinners that you can just pop in the oven with no prep work. Looking for quick dinner options for busy week nights, I sent a private Facebook message to Borrowed Time Meals to see if gluten free options were available and what precautions they take to avoid cross contamination. I received a prompt reply from John Woods, one of the owners, who shared that he had been receiving requests for gluten free options. We discussed ways to minimize cross contamination and he said he would look into it. Just three days later, I was so excited to receive an email from him announcing gluten free options that were available in the fresh case at the Southaven location that day! He even thanked me for encouraging him to expand to meet the needs of so many in our community that suffer from gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease.
I made a special trip to the Southaven location to check out the new options and came home with Rotel chicken spaghetti, lasagna and Ritz chicken casserole (made with gluten free crackers). Other available options that day were spaghetti, twice-baked potatoes and cream of chicken soup. Everything looked fantastic!
The minute I got home, I preheated the oven to 375°F, covered the disposable pan filled with chicken spaghetti with foil (provided by Borrowed Time Meals), and popped it in the oven for 35 minutes. While it was cooking, I started the laundry and reviewed homework with the kids. When the oven timer went off, I pulled the pan out of the oven and couldn't believe how delicious--and easy it was to make a "home cooked" meal from Borrowed Time Meals! Nathan, my 10-year-old son, actually scraped the pan to make sure he got every bite of it! I just served it with a side salad. Did I mention how easy it was? I was initially concerned with the cost of $9.99 for the dish that serves two, but after thinking about it a bit, I realized that I was already paying that much for a frozen pizza that serve two and doesn't even taste that good. Not one bite of this meal was wasted and it was made fresh that morning with ingredients I can pronounce!
The gluten free lasagna was even better! The rice noodles were the perfect texture, and there was the exact amount of meat sauce and cheese that I would've used if I had made it myself! This entree did take a bit longer to get done than the time listed on the instructions, but it was worth the wait! I served the lasagna with salad, Schar gluten free croissants, gluten free brownies (Live GFree Brownie Mix from Aldi), and Breyer's natural vanilla ice cream. It was absolutely delicious--probably the best lasagna (other than my mom's) that I've ever had, but not having to do any of the prep work or clean up for this meal made it worth every penny!
We weren't as impressed with the Ritz chicken casserole. It smelled really good while it was in the oven, but it wasn't a family favorite. That meal just wasn't our taste. I offered feedback to Mr. Woods on that recipe and he replied that he didn't care for the gluten free crackers he used because they didn't have much flavor and weren't really the right texture. I suggested another cracker that may work better. I think it will be a hit with people who like that type of dish if he finds the right cracker.
I did not get sick after eating any of these meals! I am so happy to have a quick, tasty dinner option close to home that offers gluten free entrees that my whole family enjoys! I can still feed my family a delicious, home-cooked meal and still have time for all of other things a busy, working mom has to do. I am so glad I took the time to ask for gluten free options! I hope this will be a hit with the gf community! Thank you, John Woods and Borrowed Time Meals, for listening to customers and taking action!