About Tina

Member since 10/2/2013

Comments by Tina:

  • Catelli Gluten Free Pasta
    I've tried a few non-wheat pastas and feel they all lack the same properties that I have come to expect from a pasta: 1. Different al-dente texture. Although this product had a bit more 'chewy-ness' than other gluten-free brands i've tried, there is a noticeable difference. 2. Not as much 'expansion' when cooked. I've come to expect pasta to double in size when cooked, therefore (at least psychologically) I fell I am getting much more food than the package suggests. I found that if I could cooked the same dried portions as non-gluten pasta and I have a smaller meal; which may be healthier in the long term :). 3. Tastes a bit like 'asian' noodles. Since it is rice based, it has properties i normally associate with asian noodles like vermicelli, pho, etc. After the meal, I do feel like I ate a bowl of rice rather than pasta (less bloated, but also less full). I made the pasta with a simple red-wine tomato sauce with some ground pork, veggies with some cheese on top. The dish ended up being like a dish you can get at a Hong Kong cafe (e.g. baked pork-chop on pasta) so not bad in my books but not really italian. So if I don't expect to be too authentic, than the gluten-free pasta is a reasonable choice. I find the price too high for the product. It really should be similar to other rice-like noodles, which is normally in the same price range as wheat pasta.
  • Chia seeds
    I wasn't too sure what to expect with the chia seeds since my only impression of them was to "paste them on a ceramic pet and watch it grow!" I was pleasantly surprised to find out chia seeds would thicken with water and be taste neutral which is exactly something I needed to use up some ground sesame seeds in my fridge. I decided to make a common popular asian dessert which is more like sesame pudding. This dessert normally takes some work as you need to toast up some sesame seed, grind up some rice, add water and force the mixture through a sieve several times before heating it up to thicken the mixture with some sweetener for the pudding. Instead, I tried to mix up the ground roasted sesame seeds with some chia, sweetened condensed milk and some water: sesame pudding in an instant. It didn't turn out too bad, it had a lot of potential. The taste was there but I think blending the chia finer would help. If you grew up with these types of desserts, you could appreciate the ability to whip up these desserts quickly and healthily without having to resort to store-bought packets with questionable fillers. I would definitely like to try chia seed in similar asian desserts (almond, walnut, red bean + coconut ...) for the added health benefits.