RW Garcia Tortilla Chips: Review, Giveaway and GF Recipes

I first became a fan of RW Garcia when I spotted their red & green holiday chips in Wegmans a few years ago. They looked too good to pass up, so I brought them home and the entire bag disappeared quite quickly. Since they’re only available around the holidays, each year we stock up and enjoy a good 5+ bags of them, between eating them at home and bringing them (along with dips) to parties for festive and gourmet-tasting dipping chips.

Recently I contacted RW Garcia, who sent me a box of bags to sample and review, since at the time they weren’t available locally, other than the holiday chips. Our favorites were the MixtBags: sturdy, thick, solid, hearty triangles without holes or bubbles. We enjoyed the yellow & blue chips and the yellow & red chips equally. They held up flawlessly while scooping beef bowls and chicken bowls (a go-to meal of ours — recipe below/photo directly below). Another thing I like about their triangles is that they aren’t too wide where you have to maneuver them into the corners of your mouth 🙂  They fit perfectly!We also tried a few varieties of their “Dippers”. These were a bit thinner than the triangles, and were longer rectangular shapes, perfect for dipping. These were a little more fun for my girls to dip into hummus and taco dips, and my girls liked the “3 seed Veggie” flavor the best. When your kids try these, remember to show them how to not “double dip!”  😉

The other two flavors we tried we a little too sophisticated for my kids, but I, myself, really enjoyed them. They were not flavors I would see myself choosing in a store, but it was fun to have the chance to try them and expand my flavor horizons. The “curry and mango” flavor was a nice combination of Indian and Mexican flavors: a bit spicy with a hint of mango. I especially enjoyed the “Himalayan pink salt & tellicherry cracked pepper” chips  as they had a really savory, rich, gourmet taste, which ended up being the perfect match for my feta artichoke dip. (photo directly below, and recipe below)

Overall, RW Garcia chips have a certain gourmet taste and heartiness we haven’t found in other tortilla chips. They are definitely our first choice of dippers to accompany so many of our favorite recipes (taco dip shown directly below) which I am sharing below…

In addition, RW Garcia’s website is proud to state the following about their chips:

  • We use only certified non GMO corn
  • Our oils contain no trans fats
  • Our organic corn is certified from seed to milling
  • Our spices are non-irradiated and free of artificial ingredients
  • All of our products are wheat and gluten free

As promised, here are some of our favorite gluten free recipes that require dipping chips:

Mexican Bowls (our homemade version of a Chipotle bowl from many years ago)
Basically this recipe is Mexican ingredients all mixed up together and eaten with tortilla chips. There’s no right amount to put in of anything—just keep adding stuff and mixing til it tastes right. Reheats well too.
Basic “Bean Bowl” Ingredients:
• 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
• 1 can corn
• 1 can black beans, if desired
• salsa to taste
• extra diced, fresh tomatoes if desired
• sour cream to taste
• shredded mexican cheese to taste
• lime juice to taste, if desired
• chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
• chopped avocados, if desired
To make a “Chicken Bowl”, add grilled, diced chicken to basic ingredients (with or without GF taco seasoning) -OR-
To make a “Beef Bowl”, add cooked, ground beef mixed with GF taco seasoning
Mix together all ingredients and heat up in microwave. Put into individual bowls and scoop up the mixture with GF tortilla chips.

Hot Feta Artichoke Dip
• 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
• 6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
• 1 cup mayo
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients and spoon into 9″ pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with chopped tomato and green onions if desired. Serve with GF tortilla chips.

Aunt Barb’s Famous Taco Dip
• 1 pkg cream cheeze, 8 oz.
• 1 container (16 oz) sour cream
• GF taco sauce
• lettuce, in thin, short strips (also good without)
• 2-3 tomatoes, diced
• cheddar cheese
Soften cream cheese and mix together with sour cream. Spread mixture onto bottom of 13×9 pan. Top with other ingredients working in layers. Serve w/ tortilla chips. If you want a thinner cream cheese/sour cream layer, just split it between a 13x9pan and a 9″ pie plate and top both dips separately.

You can find these and more of our favorite family recipes at this link where you can download a free, printable-by-page PDF.

And now for the giveaway:  One random winner will win five bags of RW Garcia tortilla chips, as shown in this photo:

To enter, please leave a comment below, letting me know which of our favorite recipes you will be trying if you are the winner of these fabulous chips (or link to your favorite online recipe).  Please include your answer in your comment in order to be entered…I won’t count entries that show this post wasn’t read completely.

Giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Then the winner has 24 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new name will be chosen. U.S. and Canadian residents only please. Thanks for your understanding…

Disclaimer: RW Garcia sent me a box of bags of chips to try for this review. Half of the bags in that box were set aside by me for this giveaway. In return I only promised an honest review and was not compensated in any other way. Opinions are my daughters’ and my own.

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School Presentations Help Teach Classmates About Celiac Disease

When a new school year rolls around, how do you make things as easy as possible for your g-free kid? How do you make peers and a new teacher understand why your child has to be on a special diet?  It is helpful for a child if people are understanding and sympathetic (in a positive way) of why he or she is on a restricted diet and not able to eat certain birthday treats that are sent in, etc.  One option is to write and send everyone letters and lists and hope that they read and understand everything you’re alerting them to. A better option is to get right in there yourself — with a simple classroom presentation — and teach them what Celiac and the gluten-free diet are all about. That is what Erin A. did for her daughter, Eilea, and we both hope that her positive experience provides inspiration for more parents to follow suit.

Erin is one of those stand-out Moms I have met online — through g-free kid’s website, Facebook page and by email. Erin first got in touch with me when she sent in her daughter’s photo for the g-free kids’ online photo album, and one of the things she mentioned was a classroom presentation she was putting together. I could already tell she was an amazing advocate for her gluten-free kid, so I asked her to let me know how it went. I hope you enjoy her summary and photos below. She writes:

“My daughter and I were first inspired by the “Super Celiac costume that you created for your daughter, Morgan, last Halloween. I made a similar costume for my daughter, Eilea, who enjoyed choosing her favorite colors of material and gemstones to decorate the costume with. She also wore one of the Tribandz awareness bracelets to complete her ensemble.

I then took it a step further and decided to make a presentation to my daughter’s first grade class, to let them know a little about Celiac and being gluten free. As I was thinking about what to do, I realized that most of the information that Eilea and I wanted to share with the kids was included in the children’s book, “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” so I decided to make it the focus of our presentation.

I first got in touch with my daughter’s teacher to arrange the presentation date and time. (A presentation like this might take all of 15 minutes, give or take, so it should be easy enough to fit it in).  When it came time to make the presentation, Eilea was excused from class for a few minutes so I could help her put her costume on over her school uniform.  Eilea then waited in the hall until I gave her the signal to come in.

I went back into the classroom and helped the teacher gather the kids around for the presentation.  I pretended to wonder where Eilea was, then decided to start without her, welcoming the kids and thanking them for letting us share this information.  Eilea came in the room then and I said, “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPER CELIAC GIRL!!”

Eilea came to sit next to me and we proceeded to read, “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” together to the class.  (The book is written with a dialogue so that a parent can read their lines and a child can read theirs, too, if you wish to read it aloud together.)

When we finished the book, we answered any questions the kids had and helped explain some of the things in the book.  Everyone particularly liked the part where the grass being flattened down is like the villi in her intestines.

Super Celiac Girl then served some gluten-free snacks to her classmates and teacher.  Everyone was able to enjoy a small Dixie cup full of Snyder’s GF Pretzels, Annie’s GF Snickerdoodle Bunny Snacks and Annie’s GF Chocolate and Vanilla Bunny Snacks.  The snacks got rave reviews, especially the Snyder’s pretzels.

I also created a handout for the kids to read over and bring home to share with their parents about Celiac disease and being gluten free, which Eilea proudly handed out to her classmates.

The presentation was a hit, Eilea felt so special being the center of attention, and her peers and teacher learned a lot about Celiac and the gluten-free diet through the book, our Q&A session and the handout. It was totally worthwhile.

We hope that we’ve been able to help spread awareness about Celiac and the gluten-free diet. This year I also plan to give all of her teachers a letter explaining her diet and the need for diligence in keeping her snacks safe.  She’s very good about not eating something questionable but we can use all the help we can get.  I’m planning on leaving a box of non-refrigerated GF snacks that can be left in the classroom for those unexpected treat days.  I also plan to communicate with the teacher in order to get a list of birthdays and planned celebrations so that we can be ready with treats when they’re needed.”

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Many thanks to Erin for sharing her experience. Please comment below if you have done something similar for/with your g-free kid — or if this gives you just the push you needed to get out there for the first time and do it yourself!  🙂  You can do it, and your child will thank you for it!

As we like to say,
“Celiac disease isn’t contagious, but awareness is. Please help spread it!”

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Please note:  As a mom of a daughter with Celiac and another daughter with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) I also believe that helping spread awareness of the latter condition is equally as important as Celiac. Just because your g-free kid is GF for reasons other than Celiac doesn’t mean you couldn’t hold a presentation like the one above. There are a number of other children’s books (that don’t focus on Celiac disease) that you could use instead. The most important thing is that you are helping those around your g-free kid to better understand why he or she is on a special diet. I will continue to try to fill this website with helpful resources that will allow you to do just that. Thanks for the support.