Ready to go Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Breakfast at our house can be a in hurry sometimes.  With two kids, its usually some cereal or quick oats trying to hurry the kids out the door to day care. 

However, Amanda found a recipe on the theyummylife.com that really helped with the rush mornings.  It's an Overnight, Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal that is essentially ready for you in the morning.  Just wake up, scoop and eat!

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked gluten free steel-cut oats (We buy Only oats from Bulk Barn)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Directions

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

#yymhelp Alberta has lots to be proud of

I moved to Edmonton from Toronto almost 10 years ago.    It didn't take me long to fit right in to the city of Edmonton and the province of Alberta.  Although to tell you the truth, growing up a Toronto kid, I really never thought of being anywhere else but Toronto, so it still surprises me that I'm here.  But I am here, i'm loving it, and I'm proud to be an Albertan, and so should you.

I came to this province at the tale end of a boom, and have slowly seen the province go through the financial struggles it is currently battling.  It has been a common theme in my news feeds "Company x to lay off y number of employees".  I've had conversations with people from HR, where they've talked to me about the struggle of their decision making process to layoff people "It's not in our company values to do that... but we won't survive another 3 months of in the red if we don't"  These companies don't want to layoff staff.  Especially the oil companies.  They told me "I let them go now, I can't get them back when business picks up".  It was hard to see their struggles that would affect so many lives.

Then on top of the of the slumping economy and layoffs from the oil industry, a fire breaks out in Fort McMurray, the heartland of the oil industry.  The city that had people working to keep the province in prosperity.  A community that has been struggling really hard.  This isn't the first time a city has caught fire since I moved to Alberta.  I remember the devastation that came about when when Slave Lake caught fire.

Over 80,000 people evacuated a city in a remote area of Alberta, with only two ways out.  You either go North, or you go South.  North takes you to the work camps, and South takes you towards Edmonton.  Watching the videos being posted online was terrifying.  I don't know how I would have reacted.  But none the less, people were heading this way, with nothing but what they could grab before hitting the road.  Which probably wasn't much.

The next part is what we should all be proud of as Albertan's.  Nevermind West Jet, Oilers, Flames, Eskies, Labatt Brewery and even the NHL pitching in to help, but people like you and me were helping out.  People that run small businesses just stepping up to the plate.  People that have already been hurting from a slumping economy reached out to help.

Restaurants from around the city like Love Pizza, Earl's, New Asian Village and tonnes more were offering free meals to evacuees.  What made me most proud was the Celiac community stepping up to help the community as well.  I knew of three bakeries that stepped up to the plate;

GF Diner


Kinnikinnick



Celebrate, Gluten Free



There are lots of people that need help and it is the little things like this that make a big difference.  Even if the help was for one day, it is help.

The evacuees are going to be displaced for a long time, and there is lots of help that can be offered.  Not all of it has to be dollar donations, and not all of it has to be buying new products.  I've become to realize that basically everyone knows someone that has been effected.  Two of my co-workers are from Fort McMurray, so it was an instant "Is your family safe?  Is there anything they need?"  It didn't take me long to gather up some kids clothing from others, an extra stroller we had, and tooth brushe and tooth paste to make sure her family had some of the necessities.

Another thing you can do is donate blood at the Canadian Blood Services Clinic in Edmonton beside the University of Alberta Hospital.   Why donate blood? well as the Canadian Blood Services says, "It's in you to give".  The city just grew in population.  Not only that, patients at the healthcare facilities in Fort McMurray were emptied out and brought here.  There is always need of blood, and with an influx of population and what I imagine is over crowding at healthcare facilities here, it will definitely be needed.

GF Pub Night, Gluten Free Mothers Day Brunch and GF Pasta Night at GF Diner in Edmonton

May is Celiac Awareness Month, and who better to support this month than Ted from GF Diner with three great gluten free events in May.

First up, GF Diner will be having a Pub night with live music on May 6 from 7pm to 10pm.  Menu items are 10 bucks each, choose from Chicken bites to green onion cakes, or order a platter!  Can you imagine a full gluten free platter of pub grub? I don't think i've ever seen that before anywhere!

Next up, the more family friendly, Mothers Day Brunch.  On May 8th, GF Diner's kitchen will dedicate itself to its special Mothers Day brunch menu.

Finally, gluten free pasta night, May 13!  For 20 bucks, you get a buffet style pasta meal with baked mac and cheese, Lasagna, Cesar salad and much more.

Check out the posters below and visit www.gfdiner.com for more about GF Diner.




Gluten free Nut free chocolate stuffed oatmeal bars

I tried a new and super easy recipe today and let me tell you....It was delicious!!! I made a couple of modifications of course to accommodate our household (gluten free & nut free) and I think you will definitely like it.

No bake 5 ingredient gluten free nut free chocolate oatmeal bars. How can that be bad? I mean it, this could not possibly be easier. The most challenging part was waiting for it to cool enough to eat.

I adapted the recipe below from How Sweet Eats. Visit the blog at www.howsweeteats.com
Gluten Free Chocolate Stuffed Oatmeal Bars

Yield: makes 16 squares

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (I used gluten free oats)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used WOW butter which is made from soy)

Directions:

Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.

In a saucepan, heat the butter and sugar over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Cook until it's bubbling and let it boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats until completely moistened. Set aside.

Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a bowl. Melt in the microwave (30 seconds at 50% power, stirring after each time) or a double boiler until the chocolate chips are melted.

Press half of the oat mixture into the baking dish. Pour the melted chocolate over top, spreading with a spatula. Gently press the remaining oat mixture over top. Let cool completely or refrigerate (I love these cold!) - let sit for a few hours (3 to 3) before slicing.

Gluten Free at Little India Cuisine

We recently tried the gluten-free options at Little India Cuisine on 34 Ave and 92 st.  You can order a la carte off the menu or choose of the buffet.  We wavered over the buffet vs. menu, but ultimately chose the buffet so we can try more options.

There is definitely a cross contamination issue at the buffet, so just be aware of where the human factor issues come to play before deciding. Other than that everything tasted great from the buffet. The staff was knowledable and able to walk Amanda around the buffet and let her know what was okay and what was not okay.  A nice touch was that while we were getting food, the staff went to the salad area and prepared a beautiful and tasty salad for us using all the nice indian flavours from their salad bar.

We tried some of the staples like the korma, butter chicken and pakora.  They also made for us some dosa and what they called a herbed gluten free Naan.



The herbed gluten free naan was really tasty.  The only thing is that they didn't warn us that they put hot chili peppers in the naan so my mouth was on fire at the same time.


We mainly ate the dosa and the papadum to scoop up sauces.

After visiting I did email the owners and offered them some tips for reducing cross contamination issues.  

  • We suggested a dedicated container for pakora vs. samosas.  Otherwise the pakora's would be contaminated
  • We suggested separate tongs for the papadum because they were used to also pick up another item that contained gluten.
Although there were no ill effects from eating there, next time we will probably order a la carte.

Little India Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gluten Free Green Onion Cakes

I recently shared a Facebook post about gluten free green onion cakes available at the Old Strathcona Market in Edmonton and one of our followers Michelle said that she loves to make them from scratch!  I was excited to hear that someone had a recipe and, asked if they would share it with me with a picture for a blog post... and well here it is!  Thank Michelle for this one.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups GF Flour Mix of your choice (preferably a one-for-one mix. I use Bob's Red Milk All Purpose GF Flour Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your gf blend has it already)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for frying)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup of finely chopped green onion
  • sesame oil
  • salt or sea salt for seasoning
Directions:
  • Mix together GF flour mix, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
  • Add one cup of boiling water.  Mix again.
  • Add olive oil and chopped green onion.  Mix well.
  • Shape it into a cylinder.  Divide into the number of cakes you wish to make, and follow the directions below for rolling out and painting with sesame oil.
Rolling:

Shape dough into a round, flatten onto piece of parchment paper, and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Lightly paint the dough with sesame oil.  Salt to taste.  Fold in half.  Lightly paint with sesame oil again.  Fold in half again, but don't paint this time.  Roll out dough lightly, to desired thickness. Don't roll too thin, or you won't get the separation of layers in the cake, and it will become too dense.

Fry in a small bit of oil (a teaspoon or less) in a non-stick pan until golden brown.  Flip and fry the other side until golden as well.  If you want it crispier, add a little oil.  Serve warm or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Brazilian Cheese Balls from RioVida

Have you been to Pampa and tried the gluten free cheese balls?  Well if you have, you want to hop on over to Najah at RioVida Gluten Free Bakery.  Did you know Najah is Brazilian?  So this recipe come naturally to Najah, and therefore, naturally tastes awesome!


If you've never been to RioVida, you need to check it out.  Najah has a plethora of gluten free goodies to try including flatbreads, pizza crusts, donairs, donuts, buns and much much MUCH more.

She keeps a freezer of goodies, but it is good to call in to see what is fresh, or call in a custom order for the week.  Visit her website at www.riovidaglutenfree.ca

If you haven't been to RioVida RioVida Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Millcreek Cafe Gluten Free Breakfast

Have you been to Millcreek Cafe in Bonnie Doon for breakfast or lunch yet?  If not, you should.  They open at 8:30am from Monday to Friday for breakfast and 9am on Saturday and 10am for brunch.

We've been a few times and have had the latkes (potato pancakes) with boursin cheese and lux.  More recently Amanda ventures off and tried their gluten free stuffed french toast with Nutella and strawberry's.  Yum yum yum!  

Yes it tastes just as good as it looks.


Their menu is well marked with the gluten free items (which is just about everything).  Heck they even will make gluten free french toast which is fantastic.  And their gf surcharge is only $1 which is better than most places.

Mill Creek Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wild Garden Gluten Free Snacks

We were recently provided some samples of Wild Garden Mediterranean Foods Snack Box to Go! gluten free treats (note, not all of them are gluten free).  Each snack to go box comes with one squeeze pack of gluten free hummus and one pack of gluten free cracker or chip.

This product is fairly new and not available everywhere yet.  You can find Snack Box to Go at Sobey's locations.  We even saw them recently available at Jugo Juice (those guys are just on the ball).

We really enjoyed these quick snacks.  The hummus tastes like a traditional hummus, very much heavy on the chickpea, lighter on the tahini.  They source 3rd party chips/crackers from other gluten free manufacturers, so you can choose your favourite.


Gluten Free Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus

We tried out Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus on 118 ave for lunch recently. All the meats and sauces are gluten free. They even have a gluten free dessert ice cream pie made with oats (remember unconaminated oats are not for everyone) 

They do have a shared fryer for the fries so the fries might not be for everybody. The food itself was pretty good, and really good value.  The lunch was 10 dollars and it came with fries.  An entree portion is a la carte, it comes with more, and is 9.75, with fries ordered separately.  Gluten free bun is a $1.25 extra, which is reasonable.

Try it out and let us know what you think.





Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato