Salmon with Mango Salsa

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When we make salmon, we usually make this gluten free roasted red pepper crusted salmon or this gluten free mustard and brown sugar salmon that I have blogged about in the past.

This time, I wanted to try something different, I was feeling a little creative and adventurous from all the Food Network I've been watching.  I know had some some frozen mango chunks from Wal-Mart, and I wanted to use it with the salmon.  So I thought, hmm... on Chopped they usually try to make a salsa to put on a protein.  So I was thinking to try a Mango salsa because it is naturally gluten free. I just didn't know exactly how to put it together, so I used Google as a starting point and saw different variations to work from, that used Mango's, onions, and peppers cilantro and other veggies.


So here's what I came up with that really worked out.

Mango Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped mango (I used the frozen mango you can buy at Wal-Mart and thawed in microwave for 30 seconds.  That also gave some nice juices for the salsa)
  • 1/4 cup tomato
  • 1/4 cup green or red pepper
  • handful of chopped red onion
  • (you can add some cilantro, but Amanda doesn't like cilantro)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs oil

Salmon Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon fillets
  • salt & pepper
  • sliced lemon (or some lemon juice if you don't have)
  • splash of oil


Directions:

  1. Throw all salsa ingredients in bowl, mix and let sit while you prepare the salmon
  2. Place salmon on foil
  3. Season salmon with salt and pepper, place slices of lemon on top and splash of oil.
  4. Wrap salmon and cook in BBQ or oven until just flaky (about 20 minutes)
  5. Remove lemon slices and pile salsa ontop of salmon
I can't see these are exact directions, I kind of winged this recipe, but I'm sure you guys can figure this one out. Don't be afraid to add or leave out ingredients to the salsa to your taste.  That is what I did!

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Easy Gluten Free Thai Meal Found at West Edmonton's Costco

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With a new baby in the house, we know we will not have time to cook as many meals from scratch and wanted to have frozen meals to fill the void.

This gluten free frozen meal was a find at Costco that turned out to be pretty.  The manufacturer Postcard Foods has frozen Red Thai Curry and Yellow Thai Curry meals complete with rice in the freezer section.  They had plenty of taste, and sauce to mix around with the rice.  Both curry sauces have their own uniqueness, with one being more sweet (yellow), and the other a bit more spicy (red).

The meals are not labelled gluten free, but after reviewing the ingredients Amanda and I determined it was safe to eat, so we purchased a box that had 3 of each kind of meal.

Costco is obviously hit and miss when shopping for products, they like to change things up a lot.  So don't look for this product to be around forever.


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Shrimp & Snow Peas with Coconut Curry Sauce

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As you already know I have a love of recipes found within the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks series. I appreciate that the team at America's Test Kitchen outlines their use of "normal", easy to find ingredients as well as their explanations of technique for guarentteed successes in cooking. To me there is nothing more frustrating than attempting to make a recipe that looks awesome (thank you super camera man) and when I make it it turns out looking (and tasting) like crap.

In our experience, thus far, all of our attempts at recipes found within the various America's Test Kitchen cookbooks have proven to be amazing...even when we've had to make minor substitutions to ensure gluten free safety (gluten free flour, soy sauce etc).

Check out this one from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, I promise you'll enjoy the smooth aromatic flavorful disk as much as we did.

Stir-fried Shrimp and Snow Peas with Coconut Curry Sauce
Serves 4

Shrimp:
1 pound extra large shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons low sodium (gluten free) soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry **

Stir-Fry:
3 scallions, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
5 teaspoons canola oil
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into matchsticks
12 ounces snow peas, trimmed
1 recipe Coconut Curry Sauce (sell below)

Coconut Curry Sauce
(makes about 1 cup)
3/4 cup light coconut milk
6 tablespoons low sodium (gluten free) chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1) For the shrimp: Toss the shrimp with the soy sauce and rice wine in a bowl and marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2) For the stir-fry: Combine the scallions, garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon of the oil in a bowl.

3) Heat 2 teaspoons more oil in a 12- inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the shrimp, break up any shrimp that stick together, and cook until lightly browned on all sides, but not fully cooked, about  1 and 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

4) Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet and return to high until simmering. Add the bell peppers and cook until almost crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer.

5) Clear the center of the skillet, add the garlic mixture, and cook, mashing the mixture into the pan, until fragrant, 15-30 seconds. Stir it into the vegetables.

6) Return the shrimp, with any accumulated juice, to the skillet. Whisk the Coconut Curry Sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet. Simmer, tossing constantly until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Serve immediately with rice.

Nutritional breakdown:
Serving size: 1 1/2 cup (not including rice)
Cal: 240, Fat: 10g, Sat Fat: 2g, Chol: 110mg, Carb: 17g, Protein: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sodium: 440mg
** NOTE:

Chinese rice cooking wine is not the same as rice wine vinegar. Rice cooking wine is a rich-flavored liquid made from fermented, glutinous rice and is used for both drinking and cooking. If you cannot find Chinese rice cooking wine, dry sherry is a decedent substitute.

Glutinous rice does not contain gluten, it is simply a word used to describe the sticky, glue-like nature of the particular type of rice.

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What do Celiac Patients in Alberta Health Services eat?

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In the past we have talked about eating gluten free at the University of Alberta hospital.  Not necessarily as a patient, but as a visitor.

On July 6th, 2012, Amanda gave birth to our first child.  This meant that Amanda had quite the experience in  Alberta's healthcare system.  Her experience was specifically at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, but the gluten free eating tips at the hospital I am going to share can probably be related to other hospitals in the Alberta Health Services region such as the University of Alberta Hospital.


So first off, yes, Alberta Health Services does have gluten free meals for its patients.  They have everything from gluten free rice cereal to gluten free bread for you, and full savoury meals (I snuck some of Amanda's dinner and it tasted good, go figure).  So if you are at the Royal Alexandra Hospital or other hospitals they can accommodate your diet.  So here are some tips to ensure you do get your gluten free meals to accommodate your diet for Celiac Disease.

  1. Good healthcare starts with good communication.  This is a mantra from my employer, and is very true.  What does this mean?  It means to Ask, Listen, Talk every step of the away of your care.  Amanda was transferred between several units during the birthing process of our baby girl.  That meant a lot of changing hands of files, and we needed to ask questions, and talk to the nurses and staff about her Celiac Disease.  We wanted to make sure they were on top of her diet as best as possible.
  2. Be prepared that they may not get you the gluten free meals right away.  It took until the next day for them to get Amanda a gluten free meal.  We were not sure why, but I imagine it had something to do with the way Food Services works at the hospital (They serve 30,000 meals a day across the province).  So if you know you are going in, bring some snacks and food for you to get by until they sort out your meals.  If you are going in an emergency, don't bother right away, you obviously have bigger fish to fry, and when the dust settles, you can have someone bring you some food until the hospital gets the gluten free meals setup for you.
  3. Not everyone knows what Alberta Health Services, Food Services can provide.  We were told several different things from different people at the hospital.  One nurse said they could not accommodate the gluten free diet.  But they obviously could! So remind them you require a gluten free diet, and to let food services know, because they will send you a gluten free meal.
Although I hope you never need to go to the hospital for anything bad, I hope that these tips help you out to your next visit into our healthcare system.

Read more about Alberta Health Services, Food Services department.

Have any questions about Alberta Health Services Food Services department?  Email them questions at patientfoodservicesfeedback@albertahealthservices.ca.


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

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Gluten Free Italian Deviled Chicken with Tomato and Eggplant

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This recipe comes from Amanda's ventures into trying something new.  This time she went to the Edmonton Public Library and browsed their cookbooks.  She often take out the gluten free slow cooker cook book, but this time a cookbook called Gluten-Free Italian: Over 150 Irresistible Recipes Without Wheat--From Crostini to Tiramisu by Jacqueline Mallorca caught her attention.

Although the desserts sound really amazing to try, we tested out the Deviled Chicken with Tomato and Eggplant that tasted really good so I had to share.  It seems that whenever we make something that has a chicken broth base it turns out really well.

So here's what you need:

  • 1 pound chicken thighs skinless and boneless (we had chicken breasts)
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes for taste
  • 2 small globe eggplants (we used two zucchini's because that's what we had on hand), choppped to 1 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves slices
  • 2 large tomatoes cubed or 1 cup canned plum tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (be sure to check the label to ensure it is gluten free)
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives halved
  • 1tbs capers (found near the pickles in the grocery store), rinsed and drained.
  • 2 tbs corn starch and 2 tbs water to use as thickener
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley to top (to be honest I forgot this step)
Directions:
  1. Half chicken thighs (or quarter chicken breasts) into reasonable pieces that will cook
  2. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in skillet and brown chicken on both sides.  You don't have to cook it through because the chicken will go back into the pan.
  3. Transfer to plate and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
  4. Add another 1 tbs of olive to the same pan and brown onions eggplant, onion, and garlic to cook for 5 minutes until soft
  5. Return chicken to skillet and add tomatoes and stir.  
  6. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.  This will help cook the meat right through.
  7. Turn the chicken pieces over and add olives and capers, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Be sure to taste to see if more seasoning is needed.
  9. Stir in corn starch mixture to thicken up.
Recipe book says to serve with steamed rice or creamy polenta and some bread.  Maybe a Kinnikinnick gluten free french bun?

Like the recipe?  Buy the book!  





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Gluten Free, Healthy AND Easy Salmon recipe

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I'll admit I haven't yet tried this, though really by the time this post goes up maybe I will have. It just caught my attention and looked so super simple and tasty that it's definitely made it to "the list". You know what I'm talking about everyone, the list! The list is that ever growing pile of recipes that you accumulate from various odd places (websites, friends, family, books, magazines etc) and you all intentions of making said new recipe, but you know that sometimes the ol' brain just plain forgets.

C'mon I know that I am not the only one out there who does this! We all do it. Great intentions get side tracked for ol' faithful recipes that fill our hearts and stomachs with yummy goodness over and over again. Well, I do plan to try this one out and hope that by writing this a month before I set it to be posted to the Gluten Free Edmonton blog that maybe just maybe I will be able to say (or at least know) that I've made this one.

Roast Salmon with Tuscan White Beans
Serves 2 with leftover beans

IngredientsRoast Salmon:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper
2 pieces salmon fillet, with skin (5 oz each)

Tuscan White Beans:
1 tsp olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed (reserve ¼ cup liquid)
1 cup diced tomatoes in juice
¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions1. Preheat oven to 400F. In small bowl, whisk oil, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, in an 8-inch square baking dish. Spoon mustard glaze over fish. Bake 8 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes when pierced with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, prepare beans: Warm oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add beans and reserved liquid, tomatoes, broth, and salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Stir in additional broth, if needed, to thin to desired consistency.

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Watkins Gluten Free Products

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Tammy, a Watkins representative contacted me about their line of products and wanted everyone to know that Watkins has a line of gluten free products available.  Tammy covers the city of Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Fort Saskatchewan/Gibbons/Bon Accord areas.

Watkins has products such is gluten free spices, seasonings, sauces, soups, desserts and oils.  All products with Watkins are 100% money back guarantee.  The following is a list of Watkins Gluten-Free Products.

Baking
Baking Cocoa
Baking Powder
Black Pepper
Cinnamon
Cooking Spray
Peanut Butter Extract
Barbecue Sauce
Seasoning Salt
Poultry Seasoning
Garlic Liquid Spice

Snack and Dip Seasonings
Blazin Cajun
Cucumber and Dill
Garlic and Dill
Salsa and Sour Cream
Fiesta
Tomato & Horseradish

All Natural Gourmet Grinders
Sea Salt
Chicken Seasoning
Four Peppercorn Blend
Garlic Peppercorn Blend
Pizza and Pasta Seasoning
Seafood Seasoning
Steak & Chops Seasoning
Whole Black Peppercorns

Soup Bases
Beef
Chicken
Cream

Dessert Mixes
Butterscotch
Chocolate
Lemon
Tapioca

Grapeseed Oils
Original
Citrus & Cilantro
Garlic & Parsley

All products are available on line through Tammy's website, www.watkinsonline.com/woroschuk and are deliverable or by pickup.  All pickups receive a 10% discount.

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Health Canada has Made Reading Labels for Gluten Free Foods Much Easier

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Food labeling is certainly an on going topic.  Something that I have written about before and will probably bring up every now and again. Last time I wrote about labeling, I wrote about Health Canada Labeling Regulations for Allergens including Gluten and how changes were coming.

Well, guess what, those changes have come into effect as of August 4th 2012.  I will try not to overload you with information, but I will certainly have a tonne of links for you to get as many opinions and facts as possible because I can't take credit as being the know all of all government policy and gluten free food regulations.

First to dispel some myths.  One, Health Canada is NOT lowering any standards to allow foods to be labeled gluten free.  There has been talk going around that that is the case.  The labeling regulation for gluten free always has been and current still is 20ppm of gluten (parts per million) with these new regulations.

In June 2012, Health Canada released this statement about Health Canada's Position on Gluten-Free Claims.  This article explains the new labeling regulations and states its position on the 20ppm of gluten:
Health Canada is of the position that at levels not exceeding 20 ppm of gluten as a result of cross-contamination, when Good Manufacturing Practices are followed, a claim suggesting the food is gluten-free would not pose a health risk to individuals with celiac disease and would meet the intent of B.24.018 of the FDR. This would be in keeping with the availability of validated methods (and their associated limitations, as outlined above), and would be consistent with the approach being taken internationally.  -- Health Canada
 The same Health Canada article explains about labeling:
It is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition "gluten" in subsection B.01.010.1(1). -- Health Canada
To explain this further, I need to turn to Kinnikinnick Foods, industry experts to explain.  They have been in the business way longer than I have known about this connection, and I feel that they have a firm grasp of the gluten free diet, manufacturing process and government regulations.  They wrote a really good blog post providing their opinions and explaining the benefits of these new regulations and offering some areas of improvement.  Check out the blog post titled Health Canada Releases New Guidelines for Gluten Free, for this great explanation.

But in general, there will be more transparency when it comes to package labeling.  Consumers will not have to be as scared to pick up a package and question the ingredients list.  If gluten is an ingredient in that product, it will state it.  Such a relief!

Have any questions for Health Canada about regulating 20ppm of gluten?  Contact their Bureau of Chemical Safety for more details.

Click here for some details from the Canadian Celiac Association on the new labeling regulations.  You can also learn more about how to define gluten free.

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

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