Taste of Edmonton Gluten Free Options 2015

Taste of Edmonton is just around the corner.  Starting July 16 to July 25, once again you can have gluten free friendly meal choices.

Amanda and I have gone several times over the past years and have been able to enjoy some delicious dishes.

So how do you see what is Celiac friendly?  Visit the Taste of Edmonton menu and click celiac friendly on the filters to the right.  Also look for the Celiac friendly symbol as seen above on the menu.

There does not seem to be as many options yet listed on the website, but as chefs review their menu, hopefully they will indicate more gluten free items. So what are some of the gluten free friendly items listed?
Some tips when attending Taste of Edmonton:
  • I know this may sound inconvenient, but go during off hours.  When things are hopping busy, you are most likely to come across a hectic kitchen that may cross contaminate
  • Ask Ask Ask.  The chefs may not be at their booth, so just keep on asking questions about the food until you get an answer you are comfortable with.
  • Ask Ask Ask more.  Going during off hours when there are less people, you might have a better opportunity to ask the food prep staff to use fresh utensils to serve food to avoid cross contamination.
East safe and have fun! 

Wild Orchid Bistro and their gluten free options - Canmore, AB

We always love it when our readers write in a review for us.  Here is a guest blog post by Cassie from a visit she had to Wild Orchid Bistro in Canmore

If nothing else, I would have given this place 5 stars due to the fact that the menu is 100% Gluten Free. As a celiac, this is basically impossible to find so it was a major treat to know that ANYTHING I ordered was going to be safe to eat.

We started with the Scallop Tempura which was pretty good. Maybe not worth the $12 however keeping in mind that I never get to eat that stuff, I wasn't too picky to pay the higher price. For someone like my husband, without food allergies, this was a little steep for what you get. It was cooked nicely though!For the main, we ordered 4 different rolls. (*Keep in mind they did not offer RAW fish sushi)

  1. Crunchy Salmon Roll - Odd texture with the crunchiness but surprisingly delicious! The salmon is slightly cooked but honestly, I think that made it better, bringing out the flavour. Really loved this one - very fusion!!  ;)
  2. Caterpillar Roll - Very yummy roll with a mild flavour. Especially loved the fresh avocado covering the rolls. 
  3. Atlantic Lobster Roll - If I had to rate between the other rolls, this was probably my least favorite (however still good) due to the cold shredded veggies with the lobster. Flavours didn't combine good enough to make a fantastic flavour though. 
  4. Dynamite Roll - LOVED this one. I can almost never eat Tempura but this tasted sooo good and even my husband (again, no food allergies) felt this tasted like something 'normal' and really like it. Flavours were really nice!

For dessert, I ordered the Coconut Creme Brulee, which I was elated to order because it was also Dairy Free! It tasted really good but I will say that I was a little disappointed because they didn't have the crunchy sugar top (which to me, is a MUST with creme brulee). It was mostly like pudding with some toasted coconut on top. Still tasted good, but not for $8 honestly. Presentation was very well done but price was too steep.

Husband ordered Sticky Toffee Pudding which was good too. For 'health conscious' people, this was great as the menu even says something about being less sweet and a healthier option. I mean, it's still a cake dessert with syrup and ice cream but I think it's just made with 'less sugar' than normal.

Atmosphere was nice, server was good. I would say it was a win for me as a Celiac. Just keep in mind, it is a little more pricey and it is a FUSION restaurant so it's not the classic raw fish sushi type of place.

Only 4 stars due to the price and minor taste dislikes.

I'd recommend giving it a try!

Gluten Free Options at Freshii

I was recently invited to Freshii on Rice Howard Way to try out their gluten free options.

If you are not familiar with Freshii, it is a salad bar.  But I'd probably be doing a disservice to call it just a salad bar, because they have rice bowls and wraps.

Obviously not everything on the menu is gluten free, but each location should have a print off of their nutritional guide for you to flip through.

That will list what items contain gluten.  Freshii also has their allergen guide posted online with their menu in pdf.



 The allergen guide only indicated that there were a couple ready made salad and rice bowls that were gluten free.  But thats okay.  Because as you see above, you can make your own!  And you can make sure it is gluten free.  I tried the Mediterranean and added chicken.  The serving portion is quite decent for a salad.  I was worried about not being filled up eating a salad for dinner, but I was pretty full.




The salad came with olives, roasted red pepper, feta, red onion, feta tomato and lots of yum!  As I said I added chicken, because every salad starts off vegetarian, then you can add your protein after if you want.

Hope you try it!  Be sure to let them know you need it to be gluten free, and ensure they take the proper precautions to avoid any cross contamination.



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Pita Pit now carrying Gluten Free Pita's

Participating Pita Pits are now carrying gluten free pita.  I first received the information from the owner of the Jasper Ave. Pita Pit location and posted it to Facebook.  Scott gave us some good insight on their disclaimer and the product information.

First things first, the pita it seld is made by Aidan's.  Never heard of them before this, but they are a Canadian company located in Toronto.  Yay Pita Pit, finding a locally sourced gluten free pita!




Here is the ingredients, because I know everyone is always curious if there is dairy or other allergen ingredients in it:


So what does an actually made gluten free pita look like?


Umm can't tell the difference eh?

So what sauces and toppings to avoid?
  • BBQ Rib
  • Gyros
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • Sausage (breakfast pitas)
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • And the cookies.
Recipes and ingredients are always changing, so always check if any more toppings or sauces are still gluten free or if maybe a new BBQ sauce was chosen that is gluten free.

Pita Pit's disclaimer is like every other, not recommended for Celiac' because of working conditions of the environment.  Scott had this comment on Facebook about their process, how they try to avoid cross contamination and why he still worries about cross contamination
Just to clarify that we do try do everything we can to stop cross contamination but sadly there is lots of regular pitas around and we can't guarantee it. 
What we do though in order to try our best is change gloves before pulling the pita out of the bag and then place the gluten free pita on one of our papers we wrap the pitas with. We also don't put the pita in the steamer (unless requested) since other regular pitas have been in there. The pita then stays the new wrap paper as it moves across our front table and when at the end we then place it on another new paper to wrap it up.
Scott does go on to say that his wife has a gluten sensitivity and has successfully had their pita's.  Basically to me it sounds like this location over others will understand the harms of cross contamination.

Let us know if you try this!

Pita Pit on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Brewmasters Dinner at Craft Beer Market

The other night, I was privileged enough to attend the Gluten Free Brewmasters Dinner at Craft Beer Market downtown Edmonton . It was excellent! We were seated at a table with all of the Brewmasters and we learned so much about the making of Gluten Free Beer.

For example, there are some companies that make their regular beer and then use enzymes or even separation methods to remove the gluten produced by the barley malt. While other companies opt to use rice malt instead and then produce a gluten free beer. According to the information provided at the event, each of the beers we sampled were able to register at most as less than 10 ppm which enables them to be gluten free.

Here is a visual of the menu and Gluten Free Beer sampling we enjoyed that evening along with some pictures of the food (yum!)


Chicken and Waffles & Brunehaut White

Jamaican Patty & Glutenberg American Pale Ale

Crispy BBQ Short Ribs & Glutenberg India Pale Ale

Forgot to get a picture of dessert but this is the dessert beer (Le Messagere Berry Ale)
To be completely honest,even in my pre gluten free years I was never much of a beer drinker, so unlike others it is not really something that I miss. That being said, I was amazed to hear about the processes and efforts required to provide the Gluten Free community with such a variety of Gluten Free Beer options. I recall when I was first diagnosed Celiac I simply assumed that this meant no more beer for me...ever! I was gravely mistaken and good thing! There are so many different Gluten Free beers out there...just ready to be enjoyed on a hot summers day.

Enjoy the beer and drink responsibly, both for physical safety as well as gluten related safety.

Click to add a blog post for Craft Beer Market on Zomato

New at GF Diner

As you all know by now GF Diner is not just a diner, but they have a shop as well that includes fresh made goods, ready made meals and much more.  GF Diner has a few new items they have introduced a few new items including

Including a new chocolate brownie!


New reformulated cinnamon buns that contain dairy:


Artisan sourdough breads!




GF Diner will also be stocking pita pockets



GF Diner on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Falafel from Today's Parent

Before having kids we never would have thought that a magazine like Today's Parent would have really good recipes.  We always looked online, or food specific magazine.  Well, we've managed to find some gems that are not only tasty but kid friendly, including this falafel recipe with tahini dip.

Ingredients:

  • 1 540 Ml can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (divided)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
Tahini Dip
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Put chickpeas, parsley, garlic, egg and spices in the food processor, and pulse until blended
  3. Keep food processor running and pour in the 4 tsp of olive oil
  4. Then stir in bread crumbs
  5. Make into balls (or flats) and place on lined cookie sheet
  6. We like to brush the falafel with oil before putting into the oven
  7. Place into over for 15 minutes then flip for another 15 or toasty on top.
To make tahini dip, just place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth

M&M Meat Shop Gluten Free Country Style Chicken

If you haven't shopped at M&M Meat Shop yet, you should.  And if you haven't tried their Country Style Chicken yet, you should.


So does that look good or what?  And guess what it tastes and smells amazing too.  I don't think I ever thought i'd see a main stream brand come out with this style of chicken, and now i've seen two, with M&M and Pinty's (for chicken fingers).  We made these bad boys with some french fries and broccoli to make it a nice homey meal.


Catelli Gluten Free Fusilli Pasta With Feta and Spinach

May is Celiac Awareness Month and Catelli is giving away gluten free pasta for a year! wait what?  Ya!  gluten free pasta for a year!  So what should I do first?  Give you contest details or a great recipe we came up with using their pasta?

Okay okay, I'll give you contest details and hope you stick around for the recipe.  Between May 4 and May 31, 2015 visit the Catelli Facebook Page to post your favourite pasta recipe in their Gluten Free Pastabilities Challenge.  The three people whose recipes get selected and have the highest number of likes on Catelli’s Facebook page will receive a year’s supply of gluten free pasta, courtesy of Catelli. Catelli will post their official rules and regulations when the contest starts.  One more extra bonus, here is coupon to buy some Catelli Gluten Free Pasta.  You're welcome.  Read about Catelli's gluten free pasta at the end of this post.  Did you know their pasta is made in a dedicated gluten free facility and is certified by the Canadian Celiac Association Gluten Free Certification Program?

Now for my contribution.  We want to share with you a simple pasta recipe that works great with Catelli's gluten free fusilli.  We don't really have a name for it except for Fusilli Pasta with Feta and Spinach.

Gluten Free Pasta with Feta and Spinach

Ingredients:
  • 1 Box of Catelli's gluten free fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 bag of spinach
  • 5 tbsp of butter (or olive oil to substitute)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
  1. Make pasta according to directions in a large pot.  Be sure to salt the water well it really adds good flavour.  Don't add oil to the pasta, because although you may believe it helps the pasta to not stick, it also stops any sauce and flavours from sticking as well.
  2. Drain pasta and add back to pot.  Turn burner to medium or less.
  3. Add butter and garlic and mix in for flavour and allow butter to melt and coat pasta
  4. Add feta and spinach and toss around until spinach turns a nice deep green.  You don't necessarily want to cook down the spinach.  Just make it nice and soft.  It will add volume to your pasta.
Serve in shallow bowls and eat with your favourite gluten free baguette.  Lucky for us in Edmonton, Kinnikinnick Foods has fresh gluten free baguettes available weekly.

About Catelli® Gluten Free pasta
  • Made from a unique four-grain blend of white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa.
  • Available in Spaghetti, Fusilli, Penne and Macaroni (photo attached).
  • Delicious taste, smooth texture.
  • Voted the Best New Gluten Free Pasta by Consumers.*
  • Rated extremely high** by consumers in blind taste tests for taste, texture, colour and appearance.
  • Produced in a dedicated gluten free facility.
  • Certified by the Canadian Celiac Association’s Gluten-Free Certification Program.
  • Made with ingredients that are declared GMO free: white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, monoglycerides (from vegetable/palm oil).
  •  310 calories, 2 grams of fat per serving (85 g) of pasta.
  •  Low in sodium (0 mg), source of fibre (3 g) per serving (85 g) of pasta.
  •  Cholesterol and preservative free.
  •  Easy to digest, with the great taste and texture of regular pasta.
  •  Available at all major retailers across Canada, in the pasta aisle.
  •  Suggested retail price: $2.99

La Oliva Gluten Free Kitchen Celebrates Celiac Awareness Month 2015

La Oliva: Gluten-Free Kitchen is the culmination of a lifelong dream for Edmonton's Alisha Duret.  This May La Oliva: Gluten-Free Kitchen is a new sponsor for our blog.  I was happy to welcome Alisha and her dream aboard as a sponsor because of all the great work she does in Edmonton, including all of the gluten free classes and gluten free pop-up dinners she hosts along with her catering.  Check out La Oliva's event line up for May:

Saturday, May 9th- Gluten free bread making class - 3 hour class- everyone will get to make their own loaf of artisan bread and they will also get to learn how to make wraps, cinnamon buns and english muffins. (SOLD OUT). *More bread making classes will be offered in the Fall.

Sunday, May 10th - Spanish Tapas Dinner- This dinner will include 8 Spanish tapas and 2 desserts, all gluten-free!  For more information or to buy tickets, please visit the link below: Click here to register.

Friday, May 22nd - Date night- Let’s travel to Greece! - This is a unique date night or birthday gift for a friend! Join us in our beautiful commercial kitchen for a 3 hour demonstration style cooking class. You will enjoy four different courses served with wine and will be given the recipes so that you can make the dishes in your own home. Click here for more information or to buy a ticket.

Sunday, June 7th- Gluten-Free Cravings in Sherwood Park (Agora Community Centre)- La Oliva: Gluten-Free Kitchen will have a booth set up at this event and will be sampling some of our baked goods as well as a savoury dish. We will also have breads and pastries for sale.

What else is new? 

La Oliva is also selling several products through SPUD.ca. Click here for a full listing of La Oliva's products on spud.ca.

La Oliva is now selling baked goods through Transcend Coffee and Coffee Bureau. At Transcend, we are offering the following gluten-free treats:

  1. Banana bread (dairy-free, grain-free)
  2. Gladiator cookies (vegan)
  3. Pecan butter tart squares

At Coffee Bureau, we are offering granola bars but will soon have a few more treats to offer.