So, some of you may already know this, but if you have a Celiac diagnosis from your doctor, you can be keeping all of your receipts with gluten free purchases to get a tax credit. You can read some of my Celiac tax return tips. I know some people say it is not worth the time for what you get back, but I say, why let Revenue Canada keep money you deserve.
But enough of that, this year I thought, hey, I itemize all of the receipts and categorize everything (because I'm a geek like that). So I have some pretty interesting data to share. How much did we actually spend on gluten free products? What did we buy more of? How much more was spent on gluten free compared to non-gluten free?
So here are some of the numbers.
Total spend on gluten free products - $786.45
Incremental Different - $506
That means we spent an extra $506 on gluten free products over the price of a standard product. A lot right?
Where did we spend our money?
We shopped at 16 different places for gluten free products for the year, including Kinnikinnick, RioVida, Superstore, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sobey's and even Winners. We spend the most at Kinnikinnick, mainly on their gluten free flour mix, gluten free pancake mix and gluten free bread.
What did we buy?
Looks like lots of pasta, bread and pancakes oh my!!
We have some of the best followers! Steph, on of our Facebook followers mentioned that she makes her pancakes in the rice cooker. Rice cooker? Yes a rice cooker! I thought, what a fabulous idea for families. My daughter absolutely requires our attention (because she is such Princess), so I thought this would be a great way to not have to stand around the stove and be able to play with my daughter for a bit in the morning. Here is Steph's guest blog post. Can't wait to try this!
Making a pancake using your rice cooker honestly couldn't be more simple. Throw in your favourite gluten free mix and it's really a no fuss meal. You may have to adjust timing depending on your own rice cooker but I used a pretty standard on/off tiger model and still had tasty success.
For my batter I used Bisquick but feel free to use your favourite recipe or mix following the directions on the package. I chose to mix it in a separate bowl just to protect the non stick coating. Once your batter is in the rice cooker pan all you have to do is close the lid & switch it onto "rice cook". The rice cooker heats up very quickly and will switch to the "keep warm" setting within about 5 minutes or less depending on the amount of batter. This allows the pancake to get nice and golden without burning. I left the lid closed for about 10 minutes and when I checked it was ready to go. You can tell if yours is ready by just lightly pressing the pancake, once it's done it will feel slightly firm.
Slide it out onto a plate or cutting board and then it's ready to be sliced and served. I find this method keeps the pancakes moist and fluffy as long as they are served right away.
We had ours for dinner and served our pancake slices with some gluten free sausage rounds (johnsonville) as well as some fresh strawberries.
I've had success mixing in chocolate chips, swirls of Nutella, fruit, nuts and anything you can think of to the batter. So the base instructions are open for a lot of creativity.
Hope you enjoy and feel free to share any mix in creations you find work well!
Okay so they are not actually Jos Louis's brand, but All But Gluten beat them to making the gluten free snack!
So apparently these have been out fr some time, but Amanda and I hadn't seen them until May. So we obviously had to try it! And I don't have to drag on this post to say that these All But Gluten "Chocolate Snack Cakes" aka Jos. Louis, are really good and really worth the purchase. Did I mentioned they come in vanilla as well?
All But Gluten is a owned by Loblaws and distributes their products not only at Loblaws stores, but they branded these away from the PC Brand so they could be sold at other supermarkets like Wal-Mart.
Taste of Edmonton is just around the corner. It is Edmonton's yearly tradition to go out to Churchill Square and have a culinary experience that takes you across our city trying dishes from some of the best restaurants Edmonton has to offer.
Taste of Edmonton works pretty hard at trying to keep an allergen legend for its menu to try to make it safer for people like you with Celiac Disease. Their allergen chart alerts the presence of nuts, and seafood. They also indicate vegetarian, gluten free and local eats.
This years Taste of Edmonton menu has 32 dishes that do not contain gluten*. Some of the dishes include
Crispy avocado roll with cilantro honey pesto from Zinc
Beijing style kung pow chicken from Lingnan
Angus gold steak bites with steak sauce from Canadian Brewhouse
Butter chicken with rice from Khazana
Bacon wrapped scallops with corn salsa from Mercer Tavern
Southern brined fried chicken from Ceole Envie
Vegan chocolate mouse from Padmanadi
Chorizo Tacos from casa12doce
What's great about Taste of Edmonton is that you get to go around and sample all this great food in one spot. Once you've sampled it, then you know what you like and what you didn't and visit one of the restaurants in the future.
* <-- so this huge asterisk has probably been stairing you in the face. And it is for good reason. This event may not be for everyone but I want people to know that there are dishes to eat if they do want to attend. Keep in mind this is a very busy event, with big crowds, chefs working in small spaces prepping and serving food. What does that add up too? A higher chance of cross contamination. I know this probably scares a lot of people. And quite frankly it should. But it won't stop everyone. So this is just a reminder. Know your body, know your tolerance and know your comfort level. Ask questions before you buy, what's in the food? How is it handled? Size it up before you buy it.
With that being said, Amanda has eaten at Taste of Edmonton a few times and has really enjoyed herself. I hope you do too!
We have written in the past about the big grocery store brands like Our Compliments and PC introducing their own lines of gluten free products. Really hard to keep up with it all and try all the products. But here we had the opportunity to try the PC gluten free corn fusilli.
I'll admit right off the bat, our first impression with corn pasta was really bad. So we are always hesitant with corn pasta. But we find a lot of other people really enjoy the corn pasta, so we shouldn't write it off. Rice vs. Corn certainly has different textures or at least consistency of the pasta. I still do prefer rice, or now even quinoa over all, but this pasta passed the test none the less. What a like about corn pasta is the virbant yellow colour it takes on. It really makes the dish look bright and delicious. Rice and quinoa is usually a bland looking beige.
We used the pasta to make our cream cheese pesto pasta. I boiled the pasta to a softer el dante while cooking the vegetables in some pesto. I then added the pasta, and mixed in some cream cheese and more pesto for flavouring. Dinner worked out really well, and the pasta did hold up for the next day in the cheese sauce.
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta
I am so happy to be posting this video. As you all know I volunteer for the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter and I have met some great people. Shaw TV approached the Association to do a Go Edmonton segment on Celiac Disease. Eric Peterson stepped up to the plate and took Go Edmonton to his favourite restaurant, Continental Treat to talk a bit about Celiac Disease and how the community has grown.
Eric goes on to say how Continental Treat was the first gluten free friendly restaurant he found after his Celiac Disease diagnosis. Continental Treat does have a gluten free menu that you can check out on their website. Their dinner menu includes menu items such as beef tatar, roast duck, filet mignon and lamb chops. So yes, this is a fine dining experience.