What's the silliest thing you've done to gluten free food?

I know it is an odd thing to ask, but what is the silliest thing you've done to gluten free food?

On the weekends, I like to make some sort of breakfast meat like sausage, bacon or turkey bacon with waffles or eggs in the morning.  That morning it definitely felt like a bacon morning.  Nice, grease, and crispy.  Yum!


I ran out of bacon!


So what did I do?

Well I certainly didn't dump the bacon grease.  I pulled out the much healthier gluten free turkey bacon we buy from Costco and tossed it right in that bacon fat!

I think a few people had a good laugh about that.

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Why aren't there more dedicated gluten free grocery stores?

I got an email the other week from a local entrepreneur asking me about the gluten free community.  They own a retail shop that has a gluten free selection, but was wondering about the value of expanding that selection further, or even opening up a gluten free stand alone.

I think they were surprised with my answer as I think they may thought I would have just jumped out and said 'OPEN UP A DEDICATED GLUTEN FREE STORE'.  

But I didn't.  

I had a hard time telling someone to take their own money, and invest in a dedicated store here in Edmonton, when so many have failed in the past.  

Why did others fail?  

I'm not sure.  

I was only able to speculate about customers willingness to drive across the city vs. shopping at local grocery store.

I provided examples of stores that do a great job at stocking gluten free items, here in Edmonton that are specialty shops, but not necessarily gluten free:
  • Earth's General Store
  • Ben's Meats & Deli (The owner Dave and his family are almost all Celiac.  He does a good job at filling in the gaps and has freezer items and shelved items imported from Europe (he is Deutsche)
  • Planet Organic (locally founded in Edmonton, and now has grown to a number of locations across Alberta and a couple out of province)
  • Italian Centre Shop - My understanding is Theresa Spinelli, or someone in her family is Celiac and she carries specialty gf products.  Often imported from Italy
  • Never been but Blush Lane carries some gf product
  • Not really independent, but a specialty store none the less, Bulk Barn has a gluten free Aisle, and often has different products not normally carried by everyone.  They have both boxed mixes and some bulk items.  Lots of snacky stuff!
I also reminded them that there are three dedicated bakers with brick and mortar loctaions:
  1. Kinnikinnick Fresh - Their bakery is located in one of their factories, and also doubles as a small gluten free store that offers products not produced by them.  Located close to downtown  10940 120 St NW - Existence for many years!
  2. RioVida Gluten Free Bakery - Najah is the owner, and she is a wonderful lady.  She mainly sells her own baked goods, fresh or frozen. She also does catering.  She is located at 100 Ave and 178 street ish. - Many years been open
  3. Celebrate, Gluten Free - I'm not as familiar with the owners as they do not interact with me on social media.  They have been open for several years as well and to my understanding, sell their own goods.
What I ended up suggesting was to expand their selection with their ear to the ground about what type of products the community wants here in Edmonton!

All they really have to do is follow us and see what people are asking for.  Everyone went kind of crazy when I posted that Celiac and the Beast said that they got Schar Pastry Dough in the states.

We also saw these yummy pastry puffs in Toronto, but not here in Edmonton (we've seen the Katz brand at Sobey's before)

I won't give up who asked me about opening up a store, but I know they follow me, so I know they will see this, read this, and read your comments.  So if you don't agree with me.  Comment and share this post on Facebook.  Let them see that you will shop at a dedicated store, no matter where it is in the city.

Eating Gluten Free at Rostizado for Modern Mexican Cuisine

I first have to say that I can't believe it took us so long to eat at Rostizado because we love their other restaurant Tres Carneles.

While being seated, at the restaurant we were immediately welcomed by co-owner Chris Sills from behind the bar with a friendly smile.  It has been a while since we visited Tres's so glad he remembered us!

Their menu is clearly marked with GF options, which there is plenty of.  With so much to choose from we thought to go with what seemed to be their staple of ordering a platter.  We ordered the platter for two which was only $50, and you got to choose two proteins.  We chose the polo (Chicken) and the puerco (pork), because they are gluten free.  The beef has a soy sauce on it, so it is not gluten free.

Since we were on a date night, we decided to splurge with an extra side of their roasted cauliflower.  Which BTW, we truly didn't need because we weren't aware of how big the actual platter is!

When the platter came out we really didn't know where to start.  Everything looked delicious.  We ended up starting with the chicken, slow roasted and seasoned to perfection!  Then we tried the pork shoulder, a very inexpensive cut of meat elevated to such a delicious bite.  The potatoes we amazing, along with the cucumber salad in the middle. The platter also came with four salsa's and some corn tortilla's.

The roasted cauliflower was so delicious as well.  They have roasted garlic cloves mixed in as well which I loved.  But I know that is not for everyone.

Although we did not order dessert off the menu they do have a flan (like a custard), or a sweet tamales for dessert that sounded delicious.  I'm already a fan of flan!  It is not a dessert you regularly find available in Edmonton.  So it is something I will definitely be ordering next time.

Rostizado - By Tres Carnales Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Adapting recipes to be gluten free can be easy

How often do you see a baking recipe and ask yourself.....

"I wish I could make that recipe?  but it's not gluten free"  :-(

It is time to be adventurous!  You are missing out!  We always try to not let a non-gluten free recipe get in the way.  There are usually ways around it.

Here are two examples.  This carrot and zucchini muffin recipe from Cup Cakes and Kale Chips called for all purpose wheat flour.  Amanda just made the with a 1 to 1 substitute with Kinnikinnick Foods all purpose gluten free flour.

Example number two, I made this frittata/quiche.  But didn't have a crust.  I simply made a potato crust by crushing tator tots on the bottom of the pan.  I checked the ingredients of the McCains tots and they did not contain gluten (but not specifically labelled gluten free), so I felt they were safe to use.

The only tip you need to serve safe gluten free dips

On a recent trip to Toronto we went to our favorite Mediterranean restaurants to have some delicious food.  When we ordered our apps,we found one of the greatest tips you need to serve safe gluten free dips.

At Me Va Me, they offer serving a large plate of crisp romaine lettuce leaves instead of pita and did not charge any extra because it was just lettuce.

So why is this the only tip you need?

  • No cross contamination if everyone is sharing
  • Most restaurants DO carry romaine, while not all carry a gluten free bread, let a lone a gluten free pita. 
  • The romaine lettuce leaves were perfect for scooping and eating
  • We didn't get filled up on carb loaded pita, and got to enjoy the delicous taste of the dips.
  • Finally, lets face it, the lettuce or pita is just a vessel for getting the dip to your mouth because spooning baba ghanouj directly into your mouth is apparently not appropriate (so I've been told) :-(

This is me scooping loads of dip into a big crisp piece of romaine lettuce.  It was delicious and worked so well!

So for any restaurant owner or chef reading this!  Offer some crisp romaine with your dips instead of pita for those that can't digest gluten!  For anyone eating a restaurant that wants some apps and something to dip with, ask for a plate of crisp romaine instead of bread.

Me Va Me Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato