Gluten Free Options at Social Modern Pub

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Rishi, one of the managing partners of Social Modern Pub contacted me months ago about their gluten free options.  Although we have not had the opportunity to check out Social Modern Pub yet because the birth of Naomi, we got in touch with Paul, their kitchen manager to talk about their gluten free options.

The kitchen manage Paul  tells us
Our gluten free options include wings( butter chicken, pineapple curry, sweet chili ginger, hot, suicide, and most dry spices), spinach and artichoke dip, veggie skins, nachos, all pizzas other than the steak spinach and artichoke pizza (unless given advanced notice so i can make gluten free white pizza sauce), lamb burger, steak sandwich, chicken Italiano, fish tacos, all salads, all home made ice creams, sorbets, and gelato.
They currently make gluten free pizza's with Kinnikinnick's gluten free crust.  Which is always great when restaurants source locally for gluten free products.

It sounds like a great place to grab a bite to eat with some friends.  We recommend calling ahead for this location.  Paul sounded very accommodating to the gluten free diet and expressed more can be made gluten free by phoning ahead.

Click here to check out their menu and be sure to call their kitchen ahead so they can ensure some great gluten free food.

UPDATE:  Paul is no longer the Kitchen Manager at Social Modern Pub.  These accommodations to the gluten free diet may no longer be accurate.  Please let us know about your experience if you visit.

Social Modern Pub on Urbanspoon

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RioVida Gluten Free Bakery in Edmonton's West End

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For Rio Vida  hours of operations and a list of monthly specials, please visit their website at www.riovidaglutenfree.ca
gluten free flatbread pizzas
We had known that RioVida Bakery opened in Edmonton back in the fall of 2012, located at 17515 - 100 Avenue, however we had not yet been in to check it out. The other night while on our way to New Asian Village (west end location) for dinner, we noticed that the "open" sign was still lit at Rio Vida and of course we had to stop in to check it out.

We learned Najah started her bakery in Ed's Gluten Free Store.  However, since Ed's closure in the Summer of 2012, Najah had the opportunity to open up her own gluten free bakery in Edmonton's west end.

gluten free doughnuts
We were welcomed graciously by Najah and she shared with us some of the history of RioVida bakery. She was the co-owner and chef at the Valentino's Restaurant at West Edmonton Mall for many years. When she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance she decided to open a gluten free bakery to start baking fabulous gluten free, allergy sensitive baked goods.

Najah shared a variety of amazing gluten free samples with us and we learned about her production. She explained that she also prepares some egg free products and also some vegan products that are all also gluten free. She takes great care that her gluten free vegan and gluten free egg free products are not cross contaminated with her standard gluten free products by baking those products on separate days.  While eggs and dairy are not issues for me, I was so moved to hear her honesty and openness regarding her views on the importance of keeping this separate to ensure safety.
gluten free muffins

All of Najah's baking is done from scratch, no additives or preservatives. For example, we sampled the most delicious layered sponge cake.The layers were moist and fluffy just like their gluten filled counterparts. The layers of icing were sweetened and coloured with fresh fruit (raspberries) and let's just say... I am ordering one of these fabulous cakes for my next birthday! Wow!

There are a variety of fresh baked gluten free goods along with many frozen to-go options as well such as flat breads, muffins, doughnut, cake, pizza and pies just to name a few.  Najah will also do special orders for parties.

RioVida Bakery
I wish that we would have gone in to Rio Vida Bakery sooner to meet Najah and try her fantastic gluten free delicacies.  Our friend RL was looking for gluten free jelly filled donuts for Chanukah, and we couldn't find anyone in Edmonton that makes them.  Well that is until we went into Rio Vida Bakery.  We will be having a special order for our New Years with some friends.

I really like supporting small businesses and I appreciate the devotion connected with taking on such a venture.  We hope you support local business too.

RioVida on Urbanspoon

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A post about cheese on a gluten free blog? really?

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Yes, really!  Why not a blog post about cheese on a gluten free blog?  We sometimes forget about all the great foods that are naturally gluten free that can be used to compliment meals and cheese is one of these.

So how did this post come about?  Well, the cheese people at Castello contacted me.  They wanted me to right about there cheese. So I said, "Sure!", after all their products are naturally gluten free.  I asked them for a recipe that I can make with some of their cheese, because after all, I have to make this interesting enough for you guys to read right?

Castello gave me a voucher to buy some blue cheese and a recipe for a Fig and Blue Salad.  So I tried out half the salad.  Meaning, by the time I got around to making the salad, I realized I had prunes and but no figs, so I stuck with the focus of making the blue cheese dressing.  Which I was really looking forward too, since I love blue cheese, and have had blue cheese salad dressing on many occasions, but never made my own.

I'll give you the whole recipe they gave me, but I really only tried the dressing.  Which turned out so tasty and really hit the spot.  I think the next time I make chicken wings, or gluten free buffalo chicken fingers, I may have to pull out this recipe as a dipping sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Selection of red coloured lettuce leaves
  • 6 fresh figs
  • 50-75g fresh raspberries
  • 1 pack (125g) Castello Traditional Blue Cheese
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season
Directions:
  1. Make cuts in the figs from the top down as if you were going to quarter them but leave the base intact so they remain whole.  Arrange them in a suitable dish with the salad leaves as a bed, the raspberries scattered among the leaves and half of to three quarters of the cheese crumbled over the salad.
  2. Place the oil, remaining cheese, lemon juice and seasonings in a blender and blitz together until smooth and creamy
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad and store the rest in a jug for additional pouring.
This might make a nice last minute holiday salad for Christmas dinner with the red raspberries and figs!


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Gluten Free Carrot Cake for the holidays- Yum!

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Awhile ago, Abisaac made a comment about how we needed to find a use for the very very large bag of carrots that we had in our fridge. Well, you know me....I opted for a tasty dessert to use some of the carrots we had before they turned soft and bendy. I hate when that happens, ick. Plus, c'mon everyone knows that if you eat a tasty dessert that is loaded with vegetables then it means it is "healthy", right? Everyone I know is always looking for a vegetable filled fabulous desserts to accompany their heavy holiday meals so why not try this one?

I searched online to find gluten free carrot cake options that others had already mastered and came across this one that seemed easy enough for me. I admit I had never seen this website before and I will be sure to go back and read the archives to find more super fantastic recipes to try.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

Cake:
§  1 1/2 cups sugar
§  4 eggs
§  1 cup unsweetened applesauce
§  1/2 cup olive oil
§  2 tsp vanilla extract
§  2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix 
§  2 tsp baking soda
§  2 tsp baking powder
§  2 tsp cinnamon
§  1 tsp salt
§  1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used 1 cup)
§  1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I did not use these because of a family allergy)
§  3 cups grated carrots

Frosting:
§  4 TBSP unsalted butter
§  6 ounces cream cheese
§  1 tsp vanilla extract
§  2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I used 2 cups)

Directions

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease two cake pans or a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside (or line 36 muffin cups). In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and eggs with a mixer. Beat in remaining wet ingredients (oil, applesauce and vanilla) until smooth. In another large bowl, mix together dry ingredients excluding nuts and carrots (gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt). Combine wet and dry ingredients and beat until fully combined. Fold in grated carrots and nuts. Pour cake batter into greased pan(s)/muffin cups. Bake at 350*F for 40-50 minutes (less time for muffins) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Frost cake after it has cooled.
Notes from www.livelaugheat.com
1. The original recipe called for 2 cups sugar but we used less and it was still sweet. It also called for 1 1/2 cups of oil, but we subbed 1 cup applesauce and it was still delicious.
My notes:
1) I only used pecans (family allergy to walnuts) and I also only used 1 cup of icing sugar in my cream cheese frosting because it seemed good with just that much.

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Gluten Free Coconut Chicken Curry & Quinoa

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I walked into the lunch room one day only to walk into this wonderful smell of curry coming from my colleague Shannon's lunch (Shannon also has a Celiac Dog).  So I had to ask what she had and she said it was a Coconut Curry & Quinoa.  So I told her I had to have the recipe for the blog.  I wish there was smell-o-vision for this one, because it smelt great!

This is gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian if you take out the chicken.

Shannon's lunch!  Yes, I invaded her lunch with my cell phone pic
Ingredients
  • Chicken breast (or fish)
  • 1-2 Onions
  • 1-2 Carrots
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 2 handfuls of Spinach
  • 1 cup Quinoa (or brown rice, or lentils)
Curry:
  • Coconut milk (lite) {I didn’t uses lite… and I used a whole can and it turned out great}
  • Curry powder- 2 tbsp
  • Ground Cumin & Coriander – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut oil- 1 tbsp
  • Garlic powder- 1 tsp
  • Sea salt/ pepper to taste
  • Chili pepper – 1-2 tsp
Directions
  1. Combine ingredients for curry mixture in separate bowl.
  2. In pan on medium heat, cook chicken breast with a little water (not required if you have a good non-stick pan).  Add onions and carrots, once chicken has been cooked on both sides. Add curry mixture and remainder of vegetables, spinach last.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes, covered to steam the spinach.
  3. Cook quinoa to package directions.
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Making a Gluten Free Gift Baskets for the Holidays

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Chanukah is mid-way through, so that means you probably dealt out your Chanukah gelt to all of your Jewish friends and now Christmas is nearing and you are probably thinking "Oh my gosh, Christmas is just around the corner and my friend has Celiac Disease so I can't give my standard gift basket of cookies and treats"

Well, don't fret because Winners and Home Sense has a pretty good selection of gluten free goodies that can be made into a gift basket.  In fact, it is a pretty unique selection of goodies that you do not always find everywhere in Edmonton.

So if you are in a bind, here are a couple gluten free gift basket tips and ideas:
  1. Go to your closest Winners/HomeSense.
  2. Go to the gourmet food section, and you will find a good selection of gluten free mixes, salty snacks, and sweet snacks.
  3. Idea 1:
    • Pick out a couple gluten free cupcake or gluten free cake mixes (About $5 each)
    • Pick out one already made cookie package (About $3-5)
    • Go to the kitchen utensils and buy a spatula and maybe a baking dish or cupcake tin (About $15)
    • Go to Dollarama and find a good size basket, stuffing paper and wrapping paper (About $4 total)
    • Now you have a great gluten free baking gift basket at around $30
  4. Idea 2:
    • Pick out a gluten free salty snacks (Maybe two) (Chips $5-7)
    • Pick out a DVD movie at Winners (Under $10)
    • Go to Sherbrooke Liqour and pick up a 4 pack of gluten free beer (About $14)
    • Go to Dollarama and find a good size basket, stuffing paper and wrapping paper (About $4 total)
    • Now you have a great gluten free movie night basket at around $40
Have a great holiday season!

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More Gluten Free Frozen Dinners from Copper Pot Creations

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The last time we wrote about Copper Pot Creations gluten free frozen dinners, was back in 2010 when they were a young company with a great product.  Two years later, they have matured and improved their product.

First off, they matured a lot on their packaging, now boxed and put in a tray like every other frozen meal you would have.  Very slick packaging that stands out if you ask me.  They still offer Bombay Chicken, switched from penne to a sphaghetti Bolognese, chicken cacciatore and both a veggie and meat sheppards pie.

Copper Pot Creations recently sent us a few samples to try out because we had not written about them in so long.  They wanted to show us that they have been working on their products and wanted to make sure we sampled them so we were aware of the changes and improvements.

Amanda and I both sampled two different meals and we used them for what they were meant for, convenience.  We both had one for lunch one day when we didn't have any left overs.  I think we went out for dinner the night before.

I had the Bombay Chicken, which when warmed up at my office, everyone thought was a homemade meal, because it smelled so good wafting out of the kitchen area.  It had great flavour and was well portioned.  It didn't leave me hungry after. Amanda had the meat sheperds pie at home for lunch.  She really liked it, and said it was not watery like another brand of frozen sheperds pie meal we had picked up from Ed's Gluten Free many moons ago.

Great thing is that Save-on-Foods has picked up their product so it is easily accessible across the city. You can also find their product at the Sunterra Market and Gluten Free Mart.


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RL's Gluten Free Birthday Salad

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First things first, we thought we did this post many moons ago when RL first made the Birthday Salad, but apparently we didn't.  I mentioned this salad a few days ago when I spoke about a gluten free potluck we had.

I wish I had a better photo, but its the salad you can't
see in the orange bowl :-)
So why is this called a Birthday Salad?  Well, this was pre Amanda Celiac diagnosis, but her friend RL, has  been gluten free, dairy free, soy free for a long time.  RL also doesn't really like making a big thing about her birthday.  So Amanda decided to get her a thoughtful gift.  She somehow found a birthday card with a recipe on it.  Kind of weird, but a very interesting idea.  RL at that point was not very adventurous when it came to cooking.  In fact, this salad may have been her starting point to start experimenting and trying to cook new things.  Anyways, to ensure that RL made the salad, Amanda went out, bought all the ingredients for this salad, including all the beans, fresh herbs, and vegetables and put it all in a gift basket.  RL was actually really excited to try the salad and loved it.  It wasn't long before RL made the salad for us to try out.

So here is what we really named the Birthday Salad.  But really is a bean salad.

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (540ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (398ml) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (I omitted this)
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro (also omitted)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp each ground cumin and chili powder
  • 1 cup diced avocado
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Serve immediately. As with most dishes containing avocado, this salad tastes best when eaten the day it's made.
  2. Tip: for added "kick", try a chipotle powder.  SInce avocado turns brown very quickly, peel, slice and add it tot he salad just before serving.
  3. makes 4 meal sized servings
  4. per serving: 236 cal.  10 grams total fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 7g protein, 37g crabs, 10.4g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 385mg sodium.
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Original Pancake House in Winnipeg Serves Gluten Free Pancakes

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Now here's something that I never thought I would see for a long while, gluten free pancakes served at a restaurant.  But I guess it was due, since hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza, crepes and pasta are already served gluten free at various restaurants, why not pancakes?

The Original Pancake House in Winnipeg is a local chain breakfast restaurant that of course specializes in pancakes.  They even sell their standard batter in containers because people love their pancakes so much.

Amanda's parents are originally from Winnipeg, and The Original Pancake House was a staple breakfast place for them.  So every time they visit, there is usually a trip there.  Since Amanda's Celiac diagnosis, she has tried to avoid the Pancake House thinking there is not much there for her to eat.

Well, during our last visit, there was no avoiding.  This was her parents honorary visit for Amanda's late grandmother whom loved eating there.  So Amanda figured, at least she'll have an omelette.  But to our surprise, when the menu was opened, they listed that they could serve gluten pancakes and waffles.  There was lots of choice of what was able to be made gluten free.  Click here to out their menu.  All gluten free items are marked with an *.

Amanda tried the Ambrosia Waffle* "Our tasty Belgian Waffle topped with Cream Cheese, Sliced Bananas, and Strawberries".  Which she really enjoyed.  She compared the waffle to the gluten free Bisquick we have bought in the past.  Something she will probably order again or even try to make at home.

Great to know there is a great gluten free breakfast restaurant to go to for our next visit to Winnipeg!

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Greek Options at Yianni's Taverna

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As you already have likely noticed I (way more than Abisaac) have been a bit lacking in the memory department lately. I could blame "baby brain" or lack of sleep or maybe I'll just be honest and say that I seriously just must have forgotten. Either way, it has come to my attention recently that we did not have a post yet about the wonderful Edmonton based family owned restaurant Yianni's Taverna. This is truly a surprise to me because we have eaten there often and always really enjoy everything...the food, the atmosphere, the liveliness of the entire place are all great!

Recently we received an email from the restaurant asking us if we would write a post about the gluten free options available.  Of course we happily agreed to, especially since we've been there numerous times and I always order one particular item, the Briam Ratatouille. I just love it so much, why change when it's always awesome? Now, I am definitely not vegetarian, but I just can't get enough of this lovely flavor filled dish. I admit, I can never finish the whole portion and always take at least half of it home with me, but I just think it's the best! I have even called ahead to ensure they have some before going down to Whyte Avenue to Yianni's restaurant.

So here's the list of completely gluten free foods on their menu followed by the list of things that can be modified to be gluten free friendly.

Items that are completely gluten free include:
  • Prawns Youvetsi
  • Octopus Krasato
  • Dolmades
  • Sikotakia
  • Gigantes
  • Fasolada
  • Horiatiki
  • Briam Ratatouille
  • Garides Barbayiannis
  • Lamb Chops
  • Ribs
  • Kota
  • Garlic Prawns
  • Swordfish
  • Baked Salmon
  • Beef, Chicken, Lamb, and Prawn Souvlaki
Things that can be easily modified....
All of the dips are served with pita, but vegetables are substitutable upon request.Demetris salad without the pita chips is an easy modification.Bouyourdi is served with pita...they can give you some rice instead of the bread.
I must tell you all that I/we were truly touched to hear that a customer informed Yianni's that they use our blog Gluten Free Edmonton as a guide for where to eat (gluten free safely) in Edmonton and as we had not written about this restaurant they were hesitant. Way to go Gluten Free Edmonton (big pat on the back happening over here).
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who reads and enjoys our blog and to those new comers out there, we hope you find it helpful when searching for information, resources, ideas and meal planing tips related to gluten free living.

Yiannis Taverna & Kasbar on Urbanspoon

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More Gluten Free Shopping Info at Safeway

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We know that some of you may have already seen this information, but we wanted to be sure to share it with everyone else out there who may have not yet seen it.

While recently stopping in at our local Safeway for a bus pass and a few odds and ends we found a display with brochures/pamphlets about Gluten Free Living. In it there is a quick outline about Celiac Disease and a bit of information about where to find gluten free products at Safeway.  We were happy to see Safeway continuing to support gltuen free living and educating the gluten free diet as we wrote about a Safeway gluten free brochure two years ago.

I'll be the first to admit that Safeway is not our regular go-to grocery store. This is partially because of price, partially because of location and partially because of selection. I am a person who goes first for price even if it means that I have to go a little bit further out of my neighborhood. We have mentioned a few particular gluten free products we have found at Safeway and we are always pleased to see that grocery stores (especially large ones) are recognizing a need for gluten free sections and increased gluten free product availability.

Their updated brochure talks about Celiac Disease, the gluten free diet and has a list of gluten free products they carry including Bob's Red Mill, Cheecha, Kinnikinnick, Betty Crocker, Blue Diamond, Mary's and Midel.

Where do our readers find their gluten free selection? Which stores offer the best gluten free options? Is price always your key selling feature?

Please let us know, we are always eager to hear from our readers.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Bon Ton Bakery's Carries Gluten Free Baked Goods

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I while back I was contacted by Gerry Semler, the General Manager of Bon Ton Bakery in Edmonton's West End.  He was beginning to see the demand of gluten free baked goods, and wanted to let us know that they were increasing the number of gluten free products they are carrying.

Some of the products are locally sourced like Totally Gluten Free Bakery in Lacombe and Happy Camel here in Edmonton.  Others are your usual suspects like Bakery on Main, and Udi's gluten free breads.

Below is a list of products they are carrying.  Note, like any place to shop, selection can change as new products are introduced into the market etc.
  1. Totally Gluten Free Bakery – Orders from Lacombe are on a bi-weekly basis
    • Breads – White, Multi-Seed, Parmesan Oregano, Cinnamon Swirl, Cinnamon Raisin, Cheese Bread & Stroop Waffles
    • Cookies – Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps & Cinnamon Raisin
  2. Udi’s Gluten Free Foods
    • Breads & Buns – Whole Grain, White Sandwich, Millet-Chia, Omega & Flax Fiber, Classic Hot Dog & Hamburger
  3. Happy Camel Corn Pita
  4. Flamous Falafel Chips
  5. Lucini Salad Dressings and Pasta Sauces
  6. Guy Fieri BBQ Sauces and Salsas
  7. Mrs. McGarrigles Mustards
  8. A Large Selection of Jams, Jellies & Marmalades
  9. Beary Berry Honey Spreads
  10. Daniel’s Belgium Chocolates
  11. The Newget Kompany
  12. Bakery on Main – Granola & Granola Bars
  13. Enjoy Life Cookies
  14. Maninis Bread – Multi-Grain, Peasant, Country Oat, Cinnamon Raisin

Bon Ton Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Meal Options at Simply Supper

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 Kofta's with rice.  We made our chickpea salad and
bought some tzatziki.
This is going to sound like an infomercial for Simply Supper, but truly its not!  First, what is Simply Supper?  In my opinion, it is a place for people that have a lot on a go, and need great tasting, easy to put together meals available.

How it works is that every month Simply Supper has a new menu of just over a dozen meals.  You buy a package of x amount of meals, and Simply Supper does all the prep work for you for the meals you choose.  They source all the food for you, they do all the cutting of the vegetables, make the sauces etc.  The store is setup with stations for each meal, with a list of ingredients you need for it.  You ziplock x amount of chicken, x amount of sauce etc, put it in a bigger ziplock with pre-printed cooking instructions.  Take it all home and freeze it.  The day before you want the meal, you take it out of the freezer to thaw it out to cook the next day.  Typically each meal takes about 20-30 minutes to cook because all the prep work has been done already.

Tandori chicen with rice. 
I'll admit, at first, Amanda and I were totally skeptical about this business model.  We had the mentality that "oh we can just do this at home".

So why did we try it?  Well, it was my employers idea.  Or more of a thoughtful gift they got us after my brother passed away in September.  I don't know but for some reason, when you are mourning a loss, people feed you like crazy.  I guess they don't want you to forget to eat.  My office knew I was in Toronto attending to my family and my brothers affairs for two weeks.  So that meant that when we got home, we would have nothing in our fridge, and no meals prepared.  So quite thoughtfully, they went out to Simply Supper as an office, and packed up a dozen meals for us.

The inside of Simply Supper.  Those are just some of the work stations
Also available, was pop and coffee for those putting
together their mels
My office did their due diligence and asked about gluten free meals, which are all marked on Simply Supper's menu.  They either say IT IS gluten free, IT CAN BE MADE gluten free, or IT IS NOT gluten free.  When you schedule your time to put together your meal (or you can pay a small fee to have them do it for you), you make sure you let them know it is a gluten free meal, and they will tell you to follow the the gluten free guidelines.  Simply Supper, sources gluten free pasta's and gluten free flours etc. when needed.

So how have we found the Simply Supper meals so far?  Fantastic, infact we had gone back to pick up a few more already.  Not only are they easy to make, but they taste amazing too.  So that whole "oh we can just do this at home" shpeal, becomes not as true anymore because Simply Supper knows how to put a good recipe together.  And "doing this at home", certainly takes away the convenience of it all.

Obviously some meals are better than others, but our two favourite meals so far were from the September menu when this was gifted to us.  They were the kofta's (turkish meatballs), and tandori chicken.  You would think these were restaurant meals.  We have also tried the maple chipotle salmon, firecracker chicken, chicken courdon blue with gluten free pasta and a few others.

Currently the price structure is:


You Make:Pick Up:Cost per Serving*:
Best deal!!!Terrific Twelve
(4-6 servings)
$325add $35$4.51
Tiny Twelve
(2-3 servings)
$185add $35$5.14
Scrumptious Six
(4-6 servings)
$180add $15$5.00
Skinny Six
(2-3 servings)
$100add $15$5.56


Simply Supper is located at 23rd Ave. and Rabbit Hill Rd.  Hope you enjoy!

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Congratulations to Edmonton's own Kinnikinnick Foods

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Kinnikinnick Foods in Edmonton has had a great week as reported by Global TV Edmonton.  Kinnikinnick recently received a $1 Million investment from the Canadian's Harper federal government through Canada's Economic Action Plan.  This will help Kinnikinnick invest in new equipment and hire more staff in order to keep up with demand.

I guess Kinnikinnick is growing more!  Way to go!  I love to hear Canadian success stories like this.  Kinnikinnick recently presented at the annual general meeting for Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter.  It was great to hear about how Kinnikinnick started as a stand at a farmers market and has now grown to what they are today, one of the largest, and one of the best gluten free bakeries.  Kinnikinnick already holds great market position in Canada and the United States, and looking at overseas markets is certainly not out of the question now.

I'm hoping this investment also helps them to serve the food services industry more so people with Celiac Disease can go out to restaurants and eat safely.

All the best to Kinnikinnick and your future endeavours.  Thank you for making great tasting gluten free products, and serving the Edmonton Celiac community well with a great fresh bakery.  We still think your gluten free cupcakes are the best we have every tasted (and I mean as a cupcake in general).

Click here to watch the news story about Kinnikinnick on Global TV Edmonton

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Gluten Free at Chuck E. Cheese's! Where a kid can be a Celiac kid

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Hip hip hooray for a gluten free menu option at a kid friendly restaurant!  I don't know how this got by me, but I read it on About.com, that Chuck E. Cheese's now has a gluten free pizza available for people with Celiac.

And guess what?  It actually seems pretty safe.  Check E. Cheese says their pizza's are pre made and baked a gluten free facility and shipped packaged up to each restaurant.  They are a individual size gluten free pizza for $5.99 and an individual chocolate cupcake for $1.99.

This is great step for a kid friendly restaurant.  I don't think there are many child friendly places that accommodation a gluten free diet.  I can imagine kids with Celiac Disease no longer have to decline an inviation to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, or now they can even have their own birthday there!  Awesome.

500 locations across the United States and Canada will be offering these gluten free options.

Check out their YouTube video below and click here for more information about Chuck E. Cheese's gluten free options.

It has been confirmed that the Edmonton locations already carry the gluten free pizza and cupcake.  See comments below.



Chuck E. Cheese's (SouthEd Common) on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Dinner with friends, gluten free style

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The other day we had dinner with our Celiac friends.  Which meant, we got to have a gluten free style potluck!  Which meant no worries of cross contamination for Amanda and our other friends with Celiac.

The result?  A great night, with great friends and of course great food.  We have written about potlucks in the past.  But we wrote about hosting a potluck with non-celiac's, but not a strictly gluten free potluck.  So what's the difference?  No worries about cross contamination.  Now that was a big deal for the Celiac's at our house.

Dani put it best when she rushed to the table to start picking at the food first.  She first apologized for barging her way through, because she is so used to doing that at potlucks, because she wants to get to food before any cross contamination.  But guess, there was no need, because everything was gluten free!

So on the featured menu items!

Chicken Shawarma - A la my late brothers haggis and herring
Magic Sauce - A la my late brothers haggis and herring
Quinoa Veggis Dish - A la Sherri from High on Life and Gluten Free
"Birthday Salad" By RL, unfortunately, we thought we wrote about this one, but didn't.  So it will follow later.
Awesome Enchiladas - A vegetarian dish from Monica at Tasty and Gluten Free
Gluten free lemon cupcakes and shortbread jelly cookies - A wonderful dish from the talented Dani

I totally forgot to snap a good shot of the food at the beginning because everyone charged the table so quickly.  The food all looked so good!  And it was.  I recommend all the recipes.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Serving Gluten Free at Wildflower Restaurant and Grill in the Matrix Hotel

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During the Summer I was quoted in an article about the need for more gluten free options at Edmonton festivals.  I called out people to pass on the article to festival organizers to show them the need.  Certainly will help spread the word of Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet.

Shortly after I received an email from a gentlemen named Doug.
...My daughter is 12 and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease at age 7.  Those events were a major setback for us and her, and it has taken us a long time to get fully accustomed to dealing with those issues... 
His alternative was to eat at restaurants instead.  Obviously not his first choice, he would rather be able to take his daughter to the festivals.  Great thing is that he became a great ambassador for gluten free foods at restaurants because he has a stake in the Wildflower Restaurant at the Matrix Hotel in downtown Edmonton.  What does this mean?  It means we have someone that understands the trials and tribulations of the gluten free diet and eating out behind the scenes at a restaurant.  He knows what a gluten free diet means, and he wants the restaurant he has a stake in to accommodate the gluten free diet.  Fantastic!

At Wildflower all sauces, demi glaces, etc. are prepared from scratch.  Because of that they know exactly what the ingredients are on every plate. It is expensive, but it is fine dining. The head Chef is Nathin Bye who recently won the Gold Plate competition and the restaurant has won a number of awards.  The restaurant always does an outstanding job meeting his daughter’s needs.

Know anyone else that has a stake in a restaurant that is willing to write in how they accommodate the gluten free diet?  Have them write us at info@glutenfreeedmonton.com.

Wildflower Grill on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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President's Choice Introduces Gluten Free Bakery to Edmonton Superstores

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Some of the perks of sitting on the board of the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter, is being able to come across information about gluten free launches sooner than other people.  The announcement that PC has introduced a line of gluten free baked goods was one that I was happy to hear about since Amanda and I shop Superstore all the time!

This product launch is being rolled out across Canada and so far has been spotted at the Kingsway Real Canadian Superstore location in downtown Edmonton.  The Presidents Choice products are being put out with the Canadian Celiac Association certification stamp of approval.

The gluten free products being launched are:
  • Gluten free blueberry and chocolate muffins
  • Gluten free loafs
  • Gluten free white bread
  • Gluten free coconut cookies and chocolate chip cookies
  • Gluten free brownies

I do not have any information on who is making their gluten free baked goods, although it has been speculated that O'Doughs is their producer.

Let us know where you see these displays so we can update which stores have rolled out the gluten free PC products


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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It's Movember in Edmonton

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You all know that in September my brother Daniel Saraga of Haggis and Herring recently passed away.  I've struggled to think about how can I tribute my brother.  I never know if I am doing too little or too much.  But I have talked with a few people and know that there is only so much I can do to tribute and remember my brother.  I have two things in mind.  One is private to me and my family.  The other, is to participate in Movember (formerly known as November).

Why Movember?  Well, every year my brother would put away his shaver and grow a mustache.  He was in it to promote men's health.  After all, Movember is not just about raising awareness about prostate cancer, but men's health in general.  And my brother always took care of himself, always went to the doctor when he was ill or felt like something was wrong.

So I thought I would tribute my brother by promoting men's health.  I my self have not been good about going to the doctor.  So I thought, if I am going to participate in Movember, I have to book a complete physical, which is now booked for December.

Here are some stats about how Movember has helped improve men's health in Canada:
  • 90% of participants spent time thinking about improving their health
  • 75% of discussed their health with family, friends or colleagues during Movember
  • 35% understood that their health depends on how well they take care of themselves
  • 66% of participants have had a recent general check-up
  • 48% carried out personal research on men’s health issues during Movember
So, what I am asking for?  First, and most importantly, if you are a dude, book your annual physical   Get yourself checked out because you don't have to wait to get sick to see a doctor.  If your a female, get your loved one to check themselves out.  Secondly, Movember has grown and brought to light men's health, and has done a good job at having men talk about their health and even ensure men start to take care of their own health.  So make a donation on My Mospace, so Movember can continue its campaign for Prostate Cancer Canada, Awareness & Education, Global Action Plan and Canadian Male Health Network.

Click here to make a donation on my MoSpace.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Kay's Delicatessen in Winnipeg Serves it up Gluten Free!

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Recently we were visiting some of my family in Winnipeg, MB and we found ourselves searching for some different gluten free foods to try. Now, I have been to Winnipeg numerous times through out my lifetime, but Abisaac has only now been twice, both times to visit with me.

While we were only in town for a few days and had lots of family gatherings to attend we made sure to stop by two of my favorite gluten free places in Winnipeg. Firstly we stopped for a deli sandwich at Kay's Delicatessen on William Street right near Red River College. I had been there before, but felt the need to show it to Abisaac. They have a large a variety of sandwiches and wraps, smoothies and coffees all of which can be made gluten free.

Though I have no actual factual knowledge regarding Kay's Delicatessen, to me the place looks like it used to be or was based on the old Chinese restaurants I used to go to as a child. The walls and the ceiling are textured in metallic and you place your order at what looks like it was once the hostess position before taking your seat and waiting for your meal to arrive.

I had the gluten free Kay's Reuben sandwich and holy moly was it ever awesome! If you know me at all, you'd know that I often choose seemingly basic or easy to make items off a new menu and base my decision about the restaurants abilities to make good foods on those simple/basic items before venturing into the more complex meal choices. Well, that and the more common menu choices also tend to offer me a better ability to guess the carbohydrate content of whatever it is I am eating, thereby making for smooth(er) diabetes management.

The Reuben sandwich was loaded with great corned beef/pastrami and sauerkraut and topped with swiss cheese....perfect! I did not get a chance to ask the folks at Kay's Delicatessen which gluten free bread they used, but I can tell you that it was excellent and it really held up to the sauce in my sandwich.

The staff are very knowledgable about what gluten free actually means and are able to tell you (with ease) which items can or cannot be made to be gluten free. I always appreciate when someone can easily list off what I can or cannot eat without getting a confused look on their face and leaving me wondering if they will actually be able to accomodate my dietary needs or not.

If you find yourself in Winnipeg anytime soon I highly recommend Kay's Delicatessen for a great gluten free dining experience and many sandwich options.

Kay's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Cookies from Hardi Foods in Legal, Alberta

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I received an email a while back from one of our readers Kim that picked up some gluten free cookie mixes made by Hardi Foods in Legal, Alberta.

Here is what Kim had to say:

I recently purchased 3 containers of this G-free, nut free, peanut free, dairy free and egg free (yes free from all of that!) from a place called Hardi Foods Inc. I cannot tell you how amazing the cookies turned out! My 3yr old son has Celiac Disease, just diagnosed by biopsy this spring and finding a good cookie that is not full of junk is very hard. The best part is I don’t have to mix flours and spend a long time prepping and baking. I strongly suggest you contact their office, purchase some to try and see for yourself!... My son absolutely loved these ones as well. They kind of taste like a peanut butter cookie without the peanuts!!
She also provided me with a couple pictures and contact info for Hardi Foods as well:

Attn: Caryll Caruthers
Hardi Foods Inc.,
1-800-961-2470 or locally in Edmonton at 780-961-2111

Check out these cookies made from peabutter and let us know what you think!




Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free vegetables and dessert combined...yum!

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This summer certainly flew by us. Normally we enjoy the farmers markets in and around Edmonton every weekend, but this summer, with a new baby and our entire lives changing (aka: lack of sleep) we only made it out to a couple of the farmers markets. We went to the downtown farmers market once or twice and enjoyed the fresh fruits and veggies and for the last weekend in August we finally made it out the the St. Albert farmers market (my favorite). I think I prefer the St. Albert market because of the size and the variety of vendors they have there. Plus it's just so spacious and grand.

Last summer at the end of the season (though I think it might have even been in October) I took on a new challenge and I tried my hand at canning. Couldn't tell you what prompted me to try this, but I really enjoyed it. It was hard work and the house was steaming with the many large pots of boiling water going on the stove. Those canned (jarred) goods lasted us until this summer, we may even have some of my beets and roasted vegetables in the cold storage downstairs. I should really go check.

This summer however, my hands have been a little bit preoccupied and as such there likely will be no canning/jarring going on in this house. Talk about a safety issue with a little one who needs your attention, eek.

Anyways, the point of my story here is that the farmers markets are loaded with great locally grown produce and other treats and though I was only able to get out to a few markets this summer I do have one super fantastic recipe to share with you all based on my yellow zucchini purchase.

I have written in the past about this fabulous book, Gluten Free on a Shoestring by author Nicole Hunn. I really like that Nicole uses easy to find "regular" ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already. In her book she also explains the costs associated with making the recipes yourself instead of buying the item premade. And in keeping with the whole love of farmers markets and locally grown foods this time I found an online recipe by Nicole for Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. What better way is there to enjoy your farmers market fresh vegetables than to mix them with chocolate chips and make them into a dessert (or breakfast)? C'mon don't pretend you do do that as well.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups of high quality all-purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill gf flour)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 extra large eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 2 standard loaf pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, granulated sugar and brown sugar and whisk combine (working out any lumps in the brown sugar). Set aside the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl small bowl, place the zucchini, eggs, banana, oil and vanilla, and mix to combine well.
  4. Create a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix to combine. The batter will be very wet. In a separate small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with the cornstarch. Pour the chocolate chips and cornstarch into the batter, and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Divide the batter evenly between two prepared loaf pans, and smooth the tops with a wet spatula.
  5. Place the loaf pans in the center of the preheated oven, and bake, rotating once, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean (about 50 minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the loaf pans. Remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice and serve. Leftovers should be wrapped tightly in freezer-safe wrap and frozen until ready to use.
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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