This year is quickly becoming my year of all things marinades, rubs, sauces and dressings. Growing up, we relied on salt and condensed soup “gravy” to add flavor and moisture to our meats and veggies (which were often dry and/or mushy and therefore required something to help them go down). Sadly, I was fine with that because I didn’t know any different.
I was always a big fan of dipping my steak in my favorite flavor masker, Ranch dressing (the only thing Ranch does not mask the flavor of is Brussels sprouts). Chicken breasts were smothered in Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup, I drowned my mashed potatoes in A-1 Steak Sauce, Ribs were swimming in BBQ sauce (not necessarily a bad thing, especially since I loved my mom’s homemade BBQ sauce), fish was doused with store bought tartar sauce…you get my point.
Flash forward to 2011, my year of MAJOR dietary overhaulin’ and I have definitely seen the light. Over the past six months, as my diet changed and began to solely consist of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fresh herbs and spices…I had to begin thinking outside the proverbial box. I’ve come to discover that a well prepared steak does not need a flavor masker…possibly a flavor accompaniment like a nice red wine or peppercorn sauce…but not something that drowns out the flavor of the meat and adds just enough lube to help it slide down your throat.
I’ve learned that taking the time to tenderly nurture and infuse the meat with flavor before cooking is definitely the way to go, it’s the kind of stuff that turns ordinary into extraordinary. Vinegar and/or citrus juice are wonderful tenderizers as they help to break down the muscle tissue, leaving behind pure succulence.
Homemade marinades have become my newest passion, they are the perfect tenderizer and I know they are 100% safe for me and my family (no refined sugar, gluten, corn, soy or other genetically modified ingredients for us). As much as I enjoy making marinades and experimenting with different flavor combinations though, there are times when I would just like to have a break and open a bottle of marinade that has the same high standards that I do, and I have found that in Five Star Natural Meat Marinade.
Five Star Marinade Ingredients: Vinegar*, Salt, Spices, Paprika, Garlic
*Red Wine Vinegar (not distilled white) so this marinade is also CORN-FREE!
Disclaimer: While I do occasionally accept complimentary gluten free products to review here on my blog, I will always share my honest opinion (or those of friends and family who sample food products on my behalf), and I will also disclose when I receive a product for free.
I recently received two complimentary bottles of Five Star Marinade from the company’s founder, Burt Amaral (whose late grandmother created the fabulous recipe) and I was thrilled with the quality and outcome that the marinade had on my 4th of July ribs!
Okay, that wasn’t a 100% accurate statement, I was peeved over one thing…I only got one measly (albeit tender and juicy) rib out of 5 full racks, they were g.o.n.e. that fast!
Five Star All Natural Meat (and veggie) Marinade is one of those marinades that make your ribs, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash and even green beans explode with flavor (I tried them all), teasing your taste buds and leave you begging for more. I love the fact that there is no added fat to this marinade, so I can use my fat of choice, coconut oil (when marinating vegetables).
More on Five Star Marinade:
While growing up, holidays were special for many reasons. Getting together with family, good food and lots of laughter. Most meals were potluck, making it easier on those hosting the event. We always had the traditional turkey or ham as a main course, but my Grandmother would provide another meat with her marinade. Everyone loved the flavor so much that often the family dinners would break tradition serving only her meat dish. Little did Grandma know that her marinade was a healthy substitute for sugar or molasses based barbeque sauce.
Grandma is gone now but I have taken the recipe and bottled this great taste for everyone wishing great flavor without the worry of calories, preservatives or fat. The marinade is easy to use and is excellent for barbeque, broiling or baking making it enjoyable all year no matter the weather.
My marinade is just the thing for those on restricted diets such as those on low sodium, sugar free, gluten free or Diabetics.
The following picture is not my own (my picture looked a little silly with just one rib, LOL!), but I wanted to give you a visual and let you know that that Five Star Marinated Ribs were a HUGE hit with my gluten free beer crew!
Ready for some finger lickin’ goodness of your own? You can order Five Star Meat Marinade online for $10.50/bottle (free shipping) and here’s your chance to try some for absolutely FREE!
Burt has kindly offered to give one of my readers the same 2-pack of Five Star Natural Meat Marinade that he sent to me! To enter this giveaway:
Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite (or weirdest) “masking/dipping sauce.”
Mayo on your french fries, perhaps?
Bonus Entry Opportunities (strictly optional, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each task you complete so I can be sure you receive your entitled number of entries)
- ‘Like’ Five Star Natural Marinade on Facebook
- ‘Follow’ GFMarinade on Twitter
- Share the link to this giveaway on Facebook (be sure to tag @ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom in the status update so I know you did this)
- Share the link to this giveaway on Twitter (be sure to include @adventuresgfmom in your tweet so I know you did this)
I will announce the winner on Friday, July 15, 2011, good luck!
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