We all are pressed for time — some days more than others, so it is always nice to have a quick gluten-free meal in your back pocket for a day when you only have 10 minutes to cook.  Introducing Hormel’s Refrigerated Entrees. Some are gluten-free and some are not, you have to look at the label closely.

Hormel Pork Roast Refrigerated Entree

Hormel Pork Roast Refrigerated Entree

Gluten-Free Turkey and Pork

Two separate entrees by Hormel (a company based in Minnesota):  Turkey Roast in Seasoned Broth and Pork Roast Au Jus are the two items I purchased about 6 weeks ago at my local store and popped in the freezer.  I waited for one of those days when time was so tight I considered whether eggs were the only choice for a “fast-food menu” in the Leger house.

First I grabbed the turkey.  It was tender, and well seasoned.  It tastes best when you eat it right away.  My husband didn’t get home for about 30 minutes after we ate and he thought it was a little dry.  Then over this last weekend I made the Pork Roast Au Jus  — that was so good.  Again, just enough spices to give it a little kick — and very tender.  We ate both meals with rice or a baked potato and a vegetable.  All were quick and easy to make.

Preparation time and serving

What’s great about these is that they are fully cooked and just need to be reheated.  So if you’ve been keeping them in the refrigerator,  then they say the cook time in the microwave is 4 minutes.  I froze mine and the directions said to double cooking time.  My 8 minute cooking time was accurate and everything was warmed up.

Servings per container say 3.5.  I believe that’s accurate  for a small-average appetite.  Sunday we had the Pork Roast when one daughter was at a friend’s house and my husband wasn’t too hungry.  There was only enough left for Emma to take in her Thermos for lunch the next day (by the way, she said the leftovers were very good.

Read the labels!!!

Clear labeling on Hormel Products

Clear labeling on Hormel Products

Hormel does a great job of labeling items gluten-free.  They are a leader in this area. But I found a bit of a mixed message between their products, their gluten-free list and their website — which is why you should always read the product ingredients.   The two meals we ate had fabulous “gluten-free” labeling right on them.  But today when I went to the Hormel website it was showing that the Pork Roast was no longer gluten free!

My packaging ingredients says:

“Seasoning: (salt, dextrose, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, modified corn starch, caramel color and flavoring), water.”  Below it has it’s gluten-free symbol (see picture at right).

The website ingredient listing says:

* Ingredients: Pork (Seasoned with Water, Sugar, Salt, and Sodium Phosphates. Rubbed with Brown Sugar, Salt, Flavoring [Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Caramel Color], Molasses Powder [Molasses, Wheat Starch, Soy Flour], Spices, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Soybean Oil, Oleoresin of Paprika, Spice Extractives), Barbecue Sauce (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Molasses, Salt, Honey, Soybean Oil, Natural Smoke Flavor, Spices, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Onion Powder, Natural and Artifical Flavors, Mustard Bran, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Turmeric).

* Allergen Info: Soy ingredients present,Wheat ingredients present

Yet the Hormel Gluten-Free product  list ALSO says these two products (plus a few more) are indeed gluten-free.  You can see where it would be confusing.

My recommendation: if you find them, go with the label on the package and try them!  They are worth having around in a pinch!

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