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Five Star Marinade, Review and Giveaway!

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)

  • 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!  😀



  1. Jennifer Ingram says

    i love dipping chicken nuggets in honey. Yum! Ranch on baked potatoes is the best too.

  2. Cassandra Wood says

    My favorite weird dipping sauce has to either be hummus on top of M&Ms or my homemade applesauce on GF banana pancakes 🙂

    • Okay Cassandra…I already nominate you for the most bizarre dipping sauce! Seriously, hummus on M&M's? Are you pregnant with quads? 😀

    • Hummus on M&Ms??? Okay, that sounds sooo strange but now I will have to try it sometime. :o)

  3. Cassandra Wood says

    I also liked Five Star Marinade on Facebook!

  4. Alida Nattress says

    Not a weird topping, but certainly one of my favorites – beer grainy mustard. I often make my own because I love experimenting with different flavors, but I enjoy trying others too. Great for nearly any meat prepared a multitude of ways as well as potatoes and some veggies such as broccoli. I like when it has a slight bitterness and slowly grows into a sweetness. Too good!

  5. Following GFMarinade on Twitter

  6. My favorite (weird) dipping sauce would be hot sauce on popcorn 😉

  7. Shared the link of the giveaway on twitter! My accound recently got hacked though so there's a bunch of random tweets following it about work or CNN…ignore those! 🙂

  8. I always need either salsa or ketchup on my scrambled (or over easy) eggs. It's delicious!

  9. BBQ sauce on just about everything…. but now that I'm GF and don't have GF BBQ sauce yet, I saute onions to add moisture and flavor to burgers, etc…. it makes all the difference!

  10. My favorite dunking sauce is Tabasco. I love it so much I carry a small bottle around in my handbag when we travel in case restaurants don't have it. If Blackout salsa didn't require refrigeration, I'd carry it around too!

  11. I follow GFMarinade on Twitter.

  12. Christine says

    Ranch, on most anything poultry or veggie. Ketchup on anything that didn't go with ranch. Now that I'm corn/tomato free, ketchup is out and I've only had time to make Ranch once. 🙁 Coconut aminos has taken over, and while it's good on rice dishes, it's just not the same for everything else. It's be great to have an easy meat marinade to use during these last few weeks of studying for the bar exam!

  13. Christine says

    I liked Five Star Natural Marinade on FB.

  14. I like applesauce and potato chips! 🙂

  15. My favorite dipping sauce is honey with chicken nuggets.

  16. I like Texas Pete hot sauce on just about everything. I dip just about any cooked meat in it or mixed into mashed potatoes.

    We make a dish of cream of mushroom (progresso gf mushroom soup now that we have restrictions) on top of brown rice and chicken breast that is also a favorite around here.

  17. Carrie cheney says

    Our family loves ranch on pizza.

  18. I liked on Facebook.

  19. French fries dipped in ice cream!

  20. Lisa Vance says

    I make a fresh-homemade buttermilk ranch type dressing and use it on everything… I'm definitely addicted.

  21. Lisa Vance says

    I like Five Star Natural Marinade on facebook as lisa.s.vance

  22. Lisa Vance says

    I follow @GFMarinade on twitter as @LisaSVance

  23. Lisa Vance says
  24. I shared this on facebook.

  25. We rarely do fast food, but my son likes to dip french fries in Wendy's chocolate Frosty.

  26. I liked GF Marinde on FB

  27. I am following GFMarinade for twitter

  28. I love rance dressing mixed with Franks Hot Sauce!! creamy and spicy!

  29. follow on twitter as kledford65

  30. I shared link on twitter as kledford65

  31. Okay, I cannot top ANY of the above weird combos! The strangest thing I did was use ketchup on eggs and steak as a kid. I cannot imagine doing that now!

    Question about marinades for veggies … ummm … you marinate veggies with a sauce and coconut oil?? How? I've never marinated anything other than meat.

    Love your blog! Just made your homemade ranch mix (used your spices in Greek Yogurt since we aren't CF … yum!!).

  32. I'm a pretty natural sort of gal, but my son (21) LOVES to smother potato chips with yellow mustard! This same son, when in pre-school, took a hard boiled egg to show and tell; when the teacher asked him why he brought an egg, he said "because I couldn't reach the mustard"!

  33. Mayo with chile peppers as a dipping sauce for cucumbers.

  34. MamaKate says

    Mmmmmm mayo on fries! Ketchup on eggs! BBQ sauce on pretty much everything! For a while I would put BBQ sauce and shredded cheese on my fries and call it 'southern poutine'….it was quite delicious!

  35. I like to use "ranch"(non-dairy)dressing on my potato chips and as a sour cream substitute.

  36. I have not been able to marinade anything successfully due to gluten, corn, dairy, egg allergy so this looks great, hope to win

  37. Liked 5 star marinade on facebook please count another entry

  38. I am Also following them on twitter

  39. shared a link on facebook too, thanks

  40. Betsy Custis says

    Spicy horseradish blended with mayo. I can't have dairy so mayo has become a great substitute.

  41. tweeted about it as well, really hoping to win

  42. yum Heidi, this sounds delicious! I'm trying to think of some weird dipping combo, mayo on fries is good 🙂 & ranch with veggies, of course 😉 but can't really think of a new or exciting or disgusting one, lol….thanks for hosting!

  43. My favorite has always been fried chicken dunked in sour cream and chive dip.

  44. Meredith Wilson says

    I use mayo for EVERYTHING!!!

  45. Meredith Wilson says

    i "like" five star marinade on facebook

  46. Ranch on everything!

  47. I love honey.

  48. I guess I am not a big dipper – I don't really use anything. Lately I have ben making my own marinades for meat and veggies.

  49. I love ketchup on everything. When I was a kid I dipped everything in ketchup even chicken and steak. I pours it on my eggs and even on my tacos. I still love ketchup but now I'm sugar free for a while do it's off limits for now.

  50. french fries with tartar sauce

  51. Elizabeth says

    I don't really have any weird ones. I occasionally dip potatoes into ketchup, but it can't be really sweet ketchup!

  52. Jennifer C says

    I love to melt peanut butter and dip veggies and fruits in it. Chocolate peanut butter is especially tasty. Thanks!

  53. Michelle B says

    Ketchup is my go to condiment, but for meat I prefer their natural flavors with a marinade or some seasoned salt.

  54. My weird dipping sauce is for cauliflower – I mix miracle whip, ketchup, dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce together, to a nice light pink color… and dip raw cauliflower in it! You can barely taste the cauliflower (or any other veggie you dip in it)! It really helped when I found out I had celiac disease and stopped eating almost everything until I learned about going gluten free 😉 Nice site btw!

  55. Does dipping french fries into a milkshake count?

  56. Organic GF Ketchup on eggs….Can't eat eggs without ketchup….

  57. Main thankies for the article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.


  1. […] And now, for the winner of the Five Star Natural Meat Marinade Giveaway! […]