What better way to start 2010 then with a great new product review for a delicious and original gluten-free flatbread.  Yes, that’s right, I said flatbread.  My friend Gluten Free Dee arranged for me to sample the offerings of Sandwich Petals from Raquelita’s Tortillas out of Denver, Colorado.  I truly enjoy having the opportunity to try products from smaller companies that I might not normally come across.  Now, I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive because I was a huge fan of wraps before my Celiac diagnosis.  Sure, I have since moved on to corn tortillas, which are fine and dandy,  but when I see colleagues indulging in the phenomena that is the lunch wrap – I am left longing for the flavored flour tortillas that are now verboten.

Well, I need not have wrap envy any more thanks to Sandwich Petals.  These petal-like shaped flatbreads not only fill my wrap need – they exceed it.  They are chock-full of healthy ingredients that make regular wraps look like plain old Wonder bread without being heavy on the calorie-side as more traditional wraps tend to be.

So what makes Sandwich Petals so unique?  For starters the company uses a proprietary blend of 10 grains, both whole and milled that includes: corn, flax, sesame, buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum, millet, quinoa, teff, and amaranth.  The petals are also high in Omega 3s and fiber, contain Prebiotics (nice), and low glycemic.  They are also dairy-, egg-, nut-, (tree and peanut), shellfish (though a portion of Omega 3s come from fish oil)-, soy-, and wheat-free.

I sampled all three of their varieties: Spinach Garlic Pesto, Chimayo Red Chile, and Agave Grain.  The Spinach Garlic Pesto was up first.  I had some cold cuts left-over from a week full of hardcore entertaining and decided to make myself a petal sandwich.  The petals are best when re-heated which makes them highly pliable but, strange as it seems, I always liked the firmer, unheated tortillas and wraps.  For my sandwich, I simply folded over a petal to break it evenly in half.  I then spread some spicy English horseradish on opposing sides.  I then topped each half with some fresh local cheddar, turkey, and a bit of mesclun greens and married the halves together to make the perfect sized petal sandwich.  Let’s call it the English Rose J.  Now I have to admit, I was not sure if one petal would hold me but it was so filling that one indeed was the perfect size.  The petal itself is wonderfully flavored with the perfect balance of spices.  You can really taste the spinach, garlic, and basil but these flavors do not overpower whatever you decide to fill them with – nice. 

Wanting to get my review out to my readers I would, over the next couple of days, try each variety of petals in a variety of different ways.  Oh, the lengths I go to for my readers.  Next up was the Chimayo Red Chile.  It was a cold day so I thought why not make a hot and spicy quesadilla.  I took a petal and gently heated it in a pan (as instructed) – literally under a minute on a low flame once the pan is warm.  I then added some shredded chicken breast that I mixed with a bit of fresh salsa and placed it on the petal.  I added some shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, place another petal on top, let the cheese melt and viola – the perfect quesadilla.  I served it with some sour cream and was in absolute heaven.  I cut the petal into vertical strips which made for a unique  presentation – no triangles here.  The petal itself was quite flavorful but again, the spices were perfectly balanced so as not to overpower but rather compliment the fillings.

Finally I made my way to the Agave Grain which really is something you have to try yourself in order to understand this flavor.  I was not sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised as it is like a blank canvas just waiting for you to dress it up any way you like.  The subtle sweetness of the agave is paired with the nuttiness of the grains that go into each petal.  The flavor is so complex that you really need to try this one to fully appreciate it.  How did I serve it?  I heated up my petal to make it more pliable, then spread (well piled) on some caramelized onion hummus and rolled away.  I then sliced the petals into pinwheel shaped bites that made for the perfect pre-dinner snack.

Raquelita’s says that these are versatile and they are not kidding.  They even mention using the petals for lasagna which I am totally going to try with the Spinach Garlic Pesto variety in the very near future.  I also think some enchiladas will be making their way into my menu rotation as well.  This is a no fuss, ready to go ingredient that I am so pleased to have found.

I also love, love, love a company that gives a little bit back and each month Raquelita’s Tortillas donates 1% of sales of their Sandwich Petals to gluten free food banks.  What a great cause to get behind and you can know that your purchase is help affecting change for Celiacs – every little bit helps.  For the month of January, Raquelita’s is offering a special on Monday’s from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. MST where Sandwich Petals are BOGO – so you get 2 boxes of 36 Petals for only $25.  That is a fantastic deal and I know when I am ordering.  Just as soon as I work my way through my current inventory – in other words, next Monday.

To keep abreast of all Sandwich Petal happenings and for some great recipe ideas, why not follow them on Twitter or join their fan page on Facebook.

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