Taste of Edmonton Embraces Gluten Free for 2013

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www.tasteofedm.ca
Every year Taste of Edmonton has been very accommodating to the gluten free diet.  The event organizers have always made an effort to work with the vendors to try and label gluten free items being served at the restaurant booths.

This year, Taste of Edmonton has totally embraced the gluten free diet in a whole new way.  For this years 2013 Taste of Edmonton, a new set of foodie activities has been introduced called Sip n Savour.  This is a set of themed evenings, workshops, competitions and markets.  So you know what i'm getting at right?

The gluten free themed evening will be on July 24th from 7 to 10pm.  There will be a mix of restaurants serving only gluten free items.  As Amanda and I are board members to the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter, we know that the Celiac Association will be on hand that evening to help raise awareness, and educating others about the Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet.

The Taste of Edmonton didn't stop there!  There will be three gluten free chef workshops that day as well!

Amanda or I hope to be in attendance that evening.  I work downtown, so I will probably be popping by one of the workshops that day.


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

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Cookie Love Brings us Gluten Free Cookies

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Our friend RL is in love with Cookie Love on the corner of 102 ave. and 124 St. in downtown Edmonton.  She bought a sample pack of the gluten free cookies that they offer.  Just note that all of their gluten free cookies are made in the same facility as their regular cookies.  However they are looking for ways to reduce cross contamination.  Here is what RL had to say:

In case you haven't heard, COOKIE LOVE (www.cookielove.ca) is a local independent business located in the High Street area in Edmonton. They have over 13 kinds of cookies including several gluten free options.
These three are amazing:

Cooper’s Trail Blazer Bar! (Raw,Vegan)
Packed With Nuts, Dried Fruit, Puff-rice, Oats & A Touch Of Dark Chocolate!!! (Wheat free)

Cooper’s Chocolate Cluster! (Raw,Vegan,Gluten-Free)
A Little, tangy, Crunchy, & Packed With ENERGY!

Cooper’s PB S’more (Gluten-Free)
Bursting With Peanut Butter, Cocoa & a Goo-ey Marshmallow Centre. Who wants S’more?

The owners are very accommodating and can tell you when the gluten free varieties are in stock as they sell quickly.  They are also Twitter savvy, so you can reach them on Twitter @cookiescatering!

Of note: a portion of every cookie you purchase supports Cooper’s Kids, children from all across the globe they sponsor through Compassion Canada.

You can order cookies for delivery and they will ship cookies anywhere in Canada.  They will do custom orders and they make great wedding or party favours.  I love bringing cookies to meetings, it cheers everyone up!

Cookie Love's newest adventure is their Cookie Love Machine that will be pedaling around town selling Ice Cream Sandwiches.  I'm waiting for confirmation that the Love Machine will be selling gluten free ice cream sandwiches as well.

Cookie Love on Urbanspoon

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

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Gluten Free Pasta at Nellos Restaurant in Edmonton

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This is a guest blog post from Cassie who visited Nellos Restaurant, sounds like a great date night for Celiacs!
I've been following your blog for a while now and thought I might let you know about a restaurant that I like to go for my Pasta Cravings! There are quite a few places offering gluten free pastas now but many of them are brown rice which I am not a fan of. Also, many of them don't cook it properly so it's usually a disappointment. Here they use the Corn Pasta which are bought from the Italian Centre (Green package, can't remember brand name). They cook it perfectly every time  They are very knowledgeable in what is safe/not safe and have made everyone one of our outings very easy. The dishes are huge so I always have leftovers for next day lunch (which are still good!). My husband thinks it might equal or bypass their regular pasta, which is saying a lot. Service is excellent. Price is above average but well worth the atmosphere, service, food and portions! This is a go to date night place for us.

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

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Gluten Free Breakfast Risotto

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Here's another recipe to share for anyone out there who thinks that the slow cooker is only for meat and stews and soups...not the case.

I found this recipe in the Make it Fast, Cook it Slow gluten free cookbook. I have shared a variety of recipes from this cookbook already. I just love it. I love the whole set it and forget it idea behind the slow cooker. I do however need to venture out and make more of a variety of meals in it I think. Here is one tat I tried that is out of my so-called comfort zone. This recipe makes so much that I had to half the recipe.

Breakfast Risotto
serves 6-8 for full recipe
Gluten Free Breakfast Risotto (slow cooker )

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
3 little apples
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup apple juice
3 cups milk (2% or lower fat content)
dried cranberries or raisins, optional garnish

Directions:
Using a 4 quart slow cooker. Turn your cooker to high and add the butter so it can begin melting. Wash and cut up the apples (no need to peel). Set aside. Add the rice to the butter, and stir it around to coat it nicely. If the butter isn't completely melted, don't worry it doesn't make such a difference. Add the apples, spices and the salt. Stir in the juice and milk. Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or on low for 6 hours or so.

My Notes:

**As mentioned above, I used half of the ingredients when I made this recipe. I also found that it cooked perfectly within only 3 hours. Possibly it was because I had halved the recipe and possibly my cooker is faster.  Either way the recipe was excellent and I can now say that I have made breakfast in the slow cooker.



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

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New Mom Gluten Free Struggles #2

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As a continuation to my previous post about a common struggle for parents all over...lack of time, here's another wonderful gluten free food find that is easy and generally accessible and available to all within your own pantry and fridge. I know I could sound a bit like a commercial over here, but there is some truth to those commercials from the egg farmers. Eggs are a great dinner option for anyone (assuming of course that you are not egg intolerant).

I have seen recipes for frittata's but I had never actually made one before this. I was so pleased to find that it was really not as complex as it sounded in the recipe. Most importantly, it was fantastic and everyone loved it. I was able to include a wide variety of vegetables and it was so full of flavor and color.

I of course found this recipe in the April issue of Today's Parent.

Frittata with Ricotta, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Spinach and Herbs

8 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped roasted red pepper
2 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
1/4 cup ricotta
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese (I used regular cheddar cheese)

*I added mushrooms and turkey bacon to ours just to clear out the fridge and add a bit more to the dish

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Beat eggs with salt, pepper and chives.Set aside.
2) Heat an 8-10 inch oven proof non stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add butter and swirl until melted. Add onion and sauté 4 mins or until soft and lightly golden.
3) Add roasted red peppers and spinach; sauté spinach until wilted. Add other vegetables as desired. Add ricotta and stir to combine. Add egg mixture and stir slightly to distribute eggs and vegetables evenly. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top. Let cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes or until bottom of frittata has set.
4) Transfer frittata to oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until frittata is set and slightly puffed at the edges. Turn the broiler on and broil 1-2 minutes or until top is puffed and golden. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen and either transfer to a plate or serve directly from pan. Cut into wedges; serve with gluten free toast.

I cannot seem to find a photo of this lovely frittata, so I guess that just means that I'll have to make this recipe again...you know, in the name of the blog *wink wink*

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

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New Mom Gluten Free Struggles #1

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For those of you who have kids or know anyone with kids for that matter (so basically for everyone out there), you will understand that I am about to share something that is truly NOT remarkable or surprising at all. However, when it actually happens to you...it hits you like a ton of bricks.

Here's the big news....

Having a child in your home makes things way more complicated and makes time go by in a new and wild fashion. I mean, seriously I used to think that time went by quickly, but I have learned that being a new parent...time simply flies and you sometimes have no clue where the day has gone. It's really kinda sad when you actually stop and think about it.

Well, the whole point of this particular blog post is that I have been struggling with finding time to do everything we need to do during the day...and make dinner. If it were just the two of us, timing would be must less important, but then again we don't go to bed at 8:00 pm either like our little girl does. Even if Abisaac does the cooking, it still seems that things are tight on time and we end up frustrated and flustered about where the time has gone.

In my attempt to prepare (mentally) for my return to work in July, I have been trying to figure out ways to make meals and still have time to spend with our beautiful daughter. Thankfully we are already proficient with the slow cooker, though I definitely want to try more recipes in it.  Suggestions are always welcomed by the way *hint hint*

I also found a great bunch of recipes online that I wanted to share. If you looked at my bookmarks list on the computer, you'd think either that I am completely nuts or you'd say "yeah mine looks similar". Either way, it's the best way for more to keep track of recipes I'd like to try and of course share with you, our gluten free friends.

Here's the first one we have tried lately. I can definitely tell you that it was super easy and fast to make and it tasted really good all while using only ingredients I already had in the pantry...how much more could you ask for! Oh, and it was all made in one pot! I did make a couple of simple adjustments and my notes are at the bottom after the recipe.
SKILLET TACO SUPPER
Our Gluten Free Skillet Taco Supper
Skillet Taco Supper Ingredients:
½ lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix 
2 ¼ cups water 
1 ½ cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta (5 ½ oz)  (I used Tikyada gluten free spirals)
1 ½ cups frozen corn (I added frozen peas & carrots too)
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans or pinto beans, drained, rinsed (I used navy beans)
1 medium tomato, chopped (¾ cup) 
½ cup sour cream 
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz) 
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Directions:
1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown; drain. 
2. Stir seasoning mix, water, uncooked pasta, corn, beans and tomato into beef. Heat to boiling; stir. 
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is desired doneness and most of the liquid has been absorbed. 
4. Stir in sour cream. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and chives. 
5 . Cover; let stand 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
** Notes: I used Tikyada gluten free spiral pasta and as such I did not follow the times listed in the recipe, instead I kept tasting it to see when the pasta was to my liking.
I used a handful of frozen corn, mixed with some frozen peas & carrots because that's what we had in the freezer. Plus it added some color.  I also added half of a green pepper chopped along with the tomato. And I used Navy beans only because that was what I had in the cupboard.

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

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Summertime Gluten free BBQ at Edmonton's own Kinnikinnick

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Great Edmonton event to support for next weekend!

This is looking like it should be a must attend event hosted by Kinnikinnick supporting the Edmonton Food Bank.  I can never say enough good things about Kinnikinnick.  Amanda and I already have this marked in our calendars to attend on June 22, 2013!  We hope to see you there.  Check out the flyer below or click here to visit Kinnikinnick's website to learn more.



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More from Rio Vida Gluten Free Bakery in Edmonton West End

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For anyone who hasn't yet been out to see Najah at Rio Vida Gluten Free Bakery in the west end of Edmonton, you simply must go....like immediately!

Najah has a fully devoted gluten free facility and is able to make nut free and dairy free products as well. She actually devotes and entire day to do her nut free baking all in one shot to truly ensure that there is not cross contamination of nuts. Isn't that great?

Against The Grain Gluten & Dairy free bread 
Most recently we were in to Rio Vida seeking something special for Mother's Day and we were, as always, greeted with a huge hello and caring, sincere smiles. Najah shared with us some of her most recent selection of gluten free products. Some of the items were made by her while another one in particular was not.

Najah explained that her friend Brian from Lakeview Bakery in Calgary comes up to Edmonton every Friday with palates of freshly made gluten free Artisan home made breads. She then sells the loafs over the weekend and if there are any leftover they are frozen and available for sale as well. We tried the loaf of bread and it was amazing. We were so pleased with the taste and texture of the bread. You will truly think that it must be a regular gluten bread when you taste it. It is simply lovely.


While we were at Rio Vida we also got some of Najah's own handmade gluten free Artisan buns for our Mother's Day BBQ. They were excellent. I know most people would never even think of something like this, but my only comment about the buns was that they were full sized and I could not eat the entire bun. I know, silly isn't it but it's the truth. 

What is your favorite gluten free product from Rio Vida? Let us know. And most importantly if you have not yet been out to see Najah at Rio Vida....you definitely should!








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

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Gluten Free baking mixes from XO Baking Co.

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As I have said in the past numerous times, I love to bake. I have always enjoyed baking. Yet sometimes you find yourself in a pinch and you just need to bake but you also don't have much time to make things from scratch....enter the gluten free pre-packaged baking mixes.

The XO baking co makes a variety of different gluten free product mixes, but thus far I have only tried the gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix. I will tell you that in our house these cookies do not last long. I mean, I could probably eat the entire batch all by myself (blush). They are fantastic and oh so easy!

According to the XO baking company website they currently offer 19 different gluten free mixes; including various cookies, pancakes, brownies, breads, cupcakes, all purpose flour blend and cake mixes. I have seen their products in both Winners and BulkBarn locations. I am certain they must carry them elsewhere but in Edmonton these are the only places I have seen them thus far. I love them so much that I always keep an eye open for other baking mixes from XO Baking Company.

XO Baking Company is the brainchild of Ms. Lindsay Dietsch who has been Celiac since 2009 (just like me). She has always loved being in the kitchen and found that everything changed when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Hmm sounds familiar?

You're lucky that we snapped a picture before devouring these fabulous cookies because holy moly....they are delicious. Don't you just want to dive right into that picture and eat them up? I do!




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

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Shopping Gluten Free at London Drugs in Edmonton

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May was Celiac Awareness Month, and what a month it was.  So many events and awareness campaigns by the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter including the Louisiana Purchase Celiac Dinner.  During Celiac Awareness Month reps from London Drugs contacted me because they wanted to work with us for an awareness campaign.  Unfortunately we were way to backed up to even get a post out to Celiac Awareness month.  But that didn't stop London Drugs from wanting to continue raising awareness after May, because it's important to always be raising awareness about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet.  That is why London Drugs has a fairly large selection of gluten free products all year round.


So, who says you can't do your gluten free shopping at London Drugs?  London Drugs was gracious to send us this hugs shopping bag full of gluten free products, just as a sample of what you can pick up at your nearest London Drugs.  Amanda's face lit up when she saw the Bakery on Main cereal, because that is certainly one of her favourites.  I also love the Glutino crackers and the GoGo Quinoa penne, yum!  Love cooking with quinoa pasta.

Another thing we love about London Drugs (and no we were not told to say this), is that they actually put their gluten free products on special.  I like seeing that because as we all know, gluten free products can be so expensive, so it is certainly nicer on our wallets when we see a store willing to put gluten free products on sale.

Let us know what gluten free products you like picking up from London Drugs.  See what we have written about in the past about London Drugs.

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

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