Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simply Boulder Sauces

I've gotten quite used to making up my own sauces and marinades, but I am happy to see there are more and more gluten free options coming out onto the market. Recently I tried out Nature's Isle, which was focused on tropical flavor blends, and more recently bottles of Simply Boulder sauces came across my porch. Simply Boulder is a company based out of Colorado, and offers products that are certified gluten free through the certification process of the Celiac Sprue Association. The company offers five sauce options, all of which are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, free of corn syrup, and sweetened with agave nectar (some flavors are also soy free).

Over the past month I've been trying out their sauces on various proteins, in all the ways they suggest using them: "marinades, drizzles or dressings; for pasta, salads or sandwiches; and for grilling, baking or broiling." I didn't find any of their flavors to be overpowering, meaning super strong and needing dilution; on the contrary, I found them mildly pleasant. Offering a product that is both a marinade, which should be super concentrated, and a dressing, or basting sauce, that should be more thin and delicate, can be a difficult task. Here is my assessment of each sauce they have to offer:

Coconut Peanut: This would be a great on top of some wide rice noodles, with bits of peanuts, and some vegetables and/or shrimp added in.

Pineapple Ginger: This was my least favorite out of all the flavors. I love ginger chews, but not a huge fan of ginger mixed in with my proteins.

Honey Dijon: This product pretty much tasted just like the honey mustard salad dressing I make from scratch. I marinaded chicken tenders in the sauce, and had previously learned that with the product alone the chicken stuck to the grill, so I added in an extra drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley, just to spice it up a little, and away we went. The sauce gave the chicken a very creamy, but mild flavor, somewhat sweet, somewhat tart. Perfect for slicing up and adding into a salad.

Lemon Pesto: You could easily toss a green salad with this sauce, or use it as a dressing for pasta salad. I like a little bit of a thicker coat for pasta salad, so I mixed the lemon pesto with a little bit of mayo: delicious! A little tangy tart, a little sweet. I absolutely love this flavor!

Truly Teriyaki: I poured about half the 12 oz bottle into a Ziploc of 6 large drumsticks and marinaded them for about 12 hours with no added spices. The sauce gave the skin a great crispy texture and slightly sweet and tangy taste. The marinade only slightly permeated the meat with the flavor of teriyaki. The flavor I did taste was very palatable. On a different cut of meat, or a longer marinading time I'm sure you would get a stronger flavor.

Overall, I rate the products from this company a 3.75 out of 5.

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