Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 Feed

Food Review: Kirkland Supreme Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Kirkland Supreme Cauliflower Crust

Not long ago, I never imagined myself enjoying a pizza with a cauliflower crust, let alone one with zucchini on it.

I've tried cauliflower crusts before, ready-made, frozen pizza products, I even attempted to make my own from scratch.  They were all OK for the most part, but they were never as good as a traditional crust and always had that cauliflower flavor to them.  Not that that's a bad thing, but to me, it's not a flavor I want in my pizza.

It's been a while since I've tried another frozen pizza with a cauliflower crust, so I picked up a box of Kirkland Supreme Cauliflower Crust Pizza when shopping at Costco the other day.

Gluten free crust
11 inch pies, individually wrapped

Gluten-free, the two-pack box of pizzas comes topped with pepperoni, sausage, and roasted veggies including red, yellow, and green peppers, plus mushrooms, onions, the aforementioned zucchini, and a blend of Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

In preparing the pizza, the box instructions recommend putting the pizza directly on the center rack in a 425-degree oven.  I put my little spin on things, using a perforated pizza pan sprayed with olive oil.  In about 20 minutes, dinner was ready!

I love it when healthy tastes good!  This pizza has all the qualities you're looking for in a good supreme pizza, nicely seasoned meats, a sauce with some zest, the roast on the veggies was spot on (even the zucchini!) and the cheese blend was well balanced.  Putting this pizza over the top was that crust.  It had that lightly crispy exterior and the fluffy, flaky interior bite and it had flavor - but NOT cauliflower!  I was pleasantly surprised by the savory goodness of this crust, there's no clue that it's made from cauliflower in the bite. 

cauliflower crust pizza
a nice oven-bake

Costing me $11.99 for two, 19.4-ounce pizzas, I'm giving Kirkland Supreme Cauliflower Crust Pizza 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The taste of the pizza is surprisingly good. The only knock I have is Kirkland is a bit sparse with the portions of pepperoni, sausage, and to a lesser extent cheese, but it's a very good-tasting 11-inch pie.  The price is also reasonable at $5.99 per pizza, not bad and gluten-free.  The best part, you can't tell it's a cauliflower crust.  The Kirkland Supreme Cauliflower Crust Pizza is worthy of a repeat buy.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Pizza Crust Battle - Cauliflower vs. Spaghetti Squash, two gluten free and carb friendly options

Cauliflower Crust
You can't tell it's a cauliflower crust, it's deliciously crispy on the outside, fluffy and flaky on the interior.

Sampling the gluten-free pizza crust at BJ's Brewhouse

BJ's Brewhouse Classic Combo Pizza
A generous portion of toppings, but how is the GF crust?

I recently completed a 30-day gluten-free challenge, eliminating wheat products from the daily menu. It was a very successful challenge, I lost some weight and more importantly, I feel better as a result, with no bloating, gas, or other digestive problems from eating too much gluten. I've maintained the GF diet regimen post-challenge and on a Saturday night for dinner, I met up with a buddy of mine from my military days, Ben, and his wife Kelly.

We decided on BJ's Brewhouse for the evening meal, a place we're all familiar with and enjoy.  BJ's started off as a pizza joint before it became a full-service restaurant and brewhouse.  They may be known for their pizza, but they also crank out some stellar appetizers, tasty burgers, specialty entrees, and mouth-watering pasta dishes.  If you still have room, there's a decadent dessert called Plzookie, with a variety of flavor options to choose from.

When it came time to order and with that pizza joint background in mind, I ordered BJ's Classic Combo Pizza on a gluten-free crust, the toppings being pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, seasoned tomatoes, and BJ's signature five-cheese blend.  I was anxious to sample the gluten-free crust, served up thin and crispy style.  Ben decided on a Hickory Brisket & Bacon Burger with fries, and Kelly opted for Burger Sliders with roasted vegetables.

It took a while for our meals to arrive, and by the time our food came, the crowd had already started to thin out.  The time passing by was no big deal, we were busy with some great conversation, and our server did come out to update us on the status at one point, but when our order did finally arrive, I was given the wrong pizza by another member of the staff.  As I was noting out loud the toppings didn't look right, our server swooped in with the correct pie.

Gluten-free pizza crust
The crust had a nice bake on it, but it was chewy.

In taking that first bite, the robust flavor of the seasoned tomatoes hit me first, followed by the subtle spice of the pepperoni and the juiciness of the plump morsels of Italian sausage.  The cheese had a nice pull, the sauce provided those zesty notes you look for, and the mushrooms were a great compliment, but the crust - the foundation of a pizza pie - was a bit of a disappointment.  A good thin and crispy crust should deliver a nice, savory, cracker-like, slightly crunchy bite on the exterior, yet have a tender, flaky texture on the interior.  Instead of thin and crispy, I got thin and chewy.  Pulling off a good pizza crust with gluten-free dough is a challenge, what I got on this occasion didn't rise to the challenge...  (see what I did there...  "rise" to the challenge...).  The toppings and sauce saved this pizza, the portions were generous and the flavor was there, but the texture of the crust was less-than-stellar.

With the pizza and some lemonade costing a little over $20, I'm going to pass on the gluten-free pizza options next time I visit BJ's Brewhouse, in my humble foodie opinion, it's not worthy of a repeat buy.

Scoring:  The pizza scored 48 out of a possible 63 points, earning a 3-star rating.  Just one more point would have earned 4 stars.  What was otherwise a pretty good pie, was done in by the chewy texture of the crust. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

A slice of GF pizza
Good toppings, good sauce, the crust, not so much...

Located at 7960 E Kellogg Dr N, Wichita, KS 67207, in the Towne East Mall parking lot, this dining experience was not as good as what Ben, Kelly, and I are accustomed to at BJ's Brewhouse.  Our server, while polite, wasn't all that attentive.  She performed most of the obligatory functions, but the follow-ups just weren't there, the little things such as a timely drink refill, and the clearing of dinner plates before dessert arrives.

Related:  Best in Wichita Metro Burger Challenge 2022: How does BJ's Brewhouse rate?

Maintaining a gluten-free diet after the 30-day challenge

A BFD Breakfast
A BFD breakfast of chicken, eggs, and cheese

I recently completed a 30-day gluten-free challenge, eliminating wheat products from the daily menu. It was a very successful challenge, I lost some weight and more importantly, I feel better as a result, with no aches, pains, or digestive problems from eating too much gluten. I've maintained the GF diet regimen, but something else I've added to the routine is a reduction in red meat consumption. I've lowered my intake of beef and pork, replacing those meats with more chicken and fish. 

I counted calories, and tracked protein and carb intake, as well as sodium and sugar numbers during the course of the challenge, the tracking, is now a habit.  I stayed gluten-free by eliminating wheat products from my daily diet, often replacing those items with gluten-free alternatives, but for the most part, I stayed gluten-free by omission.  It wasn't all that tough to do and the cravings for bread, crackers and such were minimal.

This morning's breakfast consisted of a chicken patty, two eggs over easy, and a melt of Mozzarella cheese.  That's a very satisfying breakfast of just 390 calories, packing 32 grams of protein and just 4 grams of carbs.

The diet kind of morphed from being gluten-free, into what I coined the BFD Diet, or Breakfast for Dinner, a.k.a., the Big F'n Deal Diet.  The focus is maintaining a gluten-free regimen, with a high protein, low carb intake.

The primary proteins are sourced from chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese, along with nuts, seeds, and an occasional helping of beans.  Carbs are restricted, the body needs them for fuel, but instead of getting those carbs in the form of wheat, via bread, crackers, and chips, I get all the carbs I need from veggies, fruits, and those nuts, and seeds.

The BFD Diet has been a money saver too.  In addition to the savings from not buying so much beef, I've also seen savings from not buying traditional wheat products such as sliced bread, buns, rolls, pizza crust, crackers, chips, and noodles.  I've replaced some of that with gluten-free alternatives, products that do run higher in price, but my consumption of those carb-loaded foods has dropped dramatically.

The BFD Diet for me, is now my eating habit.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Food Review: Live G Free Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix

Live G Free Pancake & Baking Mix
It's an OK biscuit but lacks flakiness

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and my preference is some kind of meat, egg, and cheese on bread, which can be a biscuit, a tortilla, a croissant roll, heck a hamburger or hot dog bun is fine too.

But going gluten-free back in May kind of put restrictions on that breakfast preference.  Gluten-free bread straight out of the package kind of sucks.  Toasting GF bread is OK, but it's still not as good as a regular wheat product.  Gluten-free tortillas just aren't as good as the real deal, no matter the preparation.  I like cheese wraps and eat them often, especially in keeping the carb count in check, but they don't satisfy a craving for bread.

So today, I sampled Live G Free Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix.

GF Biscuits
Prepared per the box instructions

I prepared the biscuits per the box instructions, baking them for about 14 minutes.  I didn't doctor them up at all for this sampling.  Although baked through, they turned out a bit blonde, not lightly browned on top like in the package photo.  A brushing of garlic butter on the top would have fixed that, but I didn't do so, as part of the "as is" review.  I made bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, in line with my preferred breakfast, and while the biscuits tasted OK, they lack the flakiness of a traditional wheat eat.  To sum up, adequate, but not "YUM!"

Costing me about $2.50, I'm giving Live G Free Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  Like other gluten-free bread, this is a much more dense product than its traditional wheat counterpart.  I'm not a pancake kind of guy, but I will try that next, but after sampling the biscuits, I have to say this is a borderline repeat buy.  The biscuits are OK, but don't measure up to a good, real deal biscuit.  My guess is the pancakes will share the same traits.

GF Biscuits
Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Food Review: Live G Free Gluten Free White Bread

LiveGFree Gluten Free White Bread
I'm not a fan

I've tried gluten-free bread in the past, and I wasn't impressed.

Today, I sampled Live G Free Gluten Free White Bread.  Live G Free is an Aldi product, offering a full line of GF products, bread, chips, crackers, brownies, pancake mix, etc.  I like their chips and crackers, and their brownies are pretty tasty too.

Live G Free uses a gluten-free flour blend of Tapioca starch, potato starch, brown rice flour, and other ingredients to make their bread.  Given how much I like their other GF products, I had high hopes for the bread, so I broke out a couple of slices from the bag to satisfy a sandwich craving...

My hopes were flattened.  I'm still not impressed with gluten-free bread.  For starters, it's so darn expensive.  At $6.49 for the loaf, that's cost prohibitive for me.  I'd rather go without bread when craving a sandwich, making a meat, cheese & condiment lettuce wrap instead.  The cost alone means I'll pass on buying it again, this brand, or any other I've tried, they're all too expensive.  Gluten-free products in general are priced higher than their traditional wheat counterparts, but bread seems to be especially high.  The brownies, chips, crackers, etc., are all far more reasonably priced.  In addition to the high cost, it's also a very stiff, dry bread compared to the traditional stuff.   In making a sandwich when sampling this bread, the lack of moisture in it could not be offset with mayo and mustard.  It was still a very dry sandwich.

GF bread price
Strike One: GF bread is expensive

It's better when toasted, but that goes for just about any bread when creating a sandwich.  It makes a decent grilled cheese, and tomorrow I'll be making French Toast for breakfast to see how that turns out.  I'm wondering how well this bread will soak up the egg mixture.

Costing me $6.49 for a 20-ounce package (a standard size for a loaf of white bread), I'm giving Live G Free Gluten Free White Wide Pan Bread 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  It's on par with other GF bread I've tried, but that's not saying much.  It's not a good foundation for a sandwich straight out of the package and it flat-out costs too much.  It is NOT worthy of a repeat buy.

GF bread slices
Looks like decent bread, right?

This is the first time I've had sliced bread since going gluten-free May 27.  I was craving a sandwich, but this bread did not satisfy the bread craving.  Round two of sampling was better with the grilled cheese.  I'll post an update with the French Toast.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

a generous portion of mustard & mayo could not compensate for how dry this bread is





Eating Gluten-Free at Doc Green's

Doc Green's in

Out and about running errands on a Happy Monday, my travels took me to Derby in the A.M., so after crossing a few things off my list, I made a stop at Doc Green's for a break and a salad.

Serving the Wichita Metro since 2005, Doc Green's is a town favorite for salads and healthy eating.  Another reason I made Doc Green's a stop, is that the restaurant fits right in with my gluten-free diet.  They have a menu full of GF options, including six salads, three entrees, a soup, and two sides.  Their menu makes it easy to order too, no need to ask questions or worry about ingredients, the menu items are clearly marked GF, so you know it's a dedicated choice.

I went with the Dr. Ranchero on this visit, a HUGE salad of crisp romaine lettuce, featuring bbq grilled chicken, complimented by tomatoes, shredded Cheddar cheese, black beans, sweet corn, crispy tortilla chips, and tossed with ranch dressing.

Dr. Ranchero Salad
A generous portion of tasty chicken

Not only was the salad huge, but the portion of chicken was quite generous.  Juicy and tender, the meat had a nice coverage of bbq sauce, which was a Kansas City style, slightly sweet.  The lettuce was freshly crisp, the tomatoes were perfectly ripe, red, and juicy, and the black beans offered another punch of protein.  The Cheddar wasn't too sharp, nor too mild, a perfect compliment to the bbq sauce, and the sweet corn along with the tortilla chips provided a nice texture bite.  Bringing it all together was the creamy ranch.  The salad was delicious, my only negative and it's only slightly so, is the portion of Cheddar was a bit light.

Costing me $16.15 for a delightful salad and water, I'm giving Doc Green's 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  Some of you might be saying, "What, $16 for a salad?"  The price of the salad loaded with all that tasty chicken and black bean protein was $11.95.  I don't feel overcharged for it.  The overcharge was on the Ozarka water, $3.  I can get that same bottle of water at a convenience store for about half that.  The salad was huge, very tasty, and packed with protein.  Check out the stats for this salad:  Calories:  480, Protein:  43 grams, Carbs:  26 grams.  Satisfying, filling, and nutritious, this salad is definitely worthy of a repeat buy.

The Doc Green's visited on this occasion is located at 2307 N Rock Rd #1500, Derby, KS 67037.  I entered the place at 10:36 am, I'm thinking their first customer of the day (who eats salad at 10:30 in the morning, right?).  I was greeted nicely, and my order was taken, prepared, and served up quickly. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 30

Wow, 30 days in already.  My, time flies when you're having diet 'fun'...  Seriously though, I'm not feeling like I'm on some kind of restricted diet with a very short list of menu options.  On the contrary, I've enjoyed the foods I've prepared, sampled, and reviewed and the variety has been excellent.  Most importantly, the omission of wheat products hasn't been all that difficult to do, the cravings for them have been minimal and the gluten-free substitutes for the most part have been tasty. 

Here's the Day 30 menu:

GF Diet Day 30

It was another very low-calorie day and I think my body has become accustomed to it with a focus on protein.  I don't get uncomfortably hungry between meals.  It was also another no-red-meat day, which I'm also finding fairly easy to do, cravings are minimal.  Perhaps feeling better being gluten-free and seeing the weight coming off eclipses a desire for certain foods.  Bonus:  Saving money!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 29, a totally meatless day, oh, and no wheat

Today was a very low-calorie day, but I didn't feel uncomfortably hungry at any point.  I really didn't think much of it and my stomach didn't send out any urgent "feed me" signals.

GF Diet Day 29

The day was meatless, in addition to being gluten-free.  I didn't get near the protein I typically do, but I am very happy with the calorie count and the lack of feeling hungry.

Today was a weigh-in day and I'm pleased to report another 2-pound drop, for a total loss of 8 pounds since starting this diet on May 27.  Eating right, doing some exercise, and not drinking soda or alcohol have led to a consistent 2-pound drop in weight every week.

Being a meatless day, the menu was very budget-friendly.  The most expensive item on the list was the french fries, purchased from a food truck and consumed during a visit to a local greenhouse hosting an event.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

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If you appreciate this cost comparison and want to support more great content on, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 28, a no bread, no wheat, no red meat day!

In addition to not eating any wheat products, today was a no-red-meat day. 

GF Diet Day 28

As I did yesterday, I split what is traditionally a meal together, in this case, salmon over a bed of pasta, into two meals.  I had the salmon for the morning snack (and I was pretty hungry after having just 2 ounces of Colby Jack cheese for breakfast!), and some chickpea pasta tossed in garlic butter and Parmesan for lunch.  The chickpea pasta packs 19 grams of protein per serving!

Back in the day, I used to be a meat 3+ meals a day guy and it was usually red meat.  I love my protein!  So check out the protein count for today, done without eating any red meat.  And overall, the cravings for regular bread, pasta, crackers, and the like have been minimal and when I do have those cravings, GF products or other non-wheat alternatives have addressed the cravings.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Enjoy this post?

If you appreciate this cost comparison and want to support more great content on, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on Twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram


The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 27

Wow, what a high-carb day!  In chasing a craving, I went WAY over my target of fewer than 60 grams of carbs per day and never mind the whopping 830 calories - OMG!  What can I say, it's been a while since I've had hash browns, tater tots, that kind of thing, and hitting the drive-thru at Spangles satisfied that craving.  It's out of my system, for a while anyway.  Treating it like a treat, and not a regular menu item... Eating the chickpea pasta didn't help with the day's carb count either.

Here's the Day 27 menu:

GF Diet Day 27

In tweaking this diet as I go along, I've found it pretty easy to break a meal into two parts.  For example, a normal breakfast back in the day would have been some kind of breakfast sandwich, AND a side of hashbrowns or tots, washing it all down with a cup (OK, two) of Joe.   Today, I split that menu, having the tots for breakfast, and the sausage, egg, and cheese (no biscuit or croissant) for the morning snack.  Portion control, in addition to the elimination of gluten, has helped my body burn fuel more efficiently.

On the day, the calorie count was good and the protein count wasn't bad, a bit low, but not bad.  In addition to supplementing my diet with a daily vitamin, I started drinking lime water (yes, using real lime juice, not the fake stuff ) to get some additional fruit nutrition in.

If you noticed, Ive been making an effort in recent days to reduce my intake of red meat.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Enjoy this post?

If you appreciate this cost comparison and want to support more great content on, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on Twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram