Sweet Pea Cafe & Playhouse - Vegan with gluten free options

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Okay, so I know it is kind of weird to say this, but gluten free and vegan often get mixed up.  I'm not sure why gluten free is always associated with vegan, but it is.

I don't mean to add to the confusion but a new vegan cafe has opened up in Edmonton;s Laurier Heights west end called Sweet Pea Cafe & Playhouse.  The vegan cafe happens to have some gluten free options as well.


I went to a private party there for a friends birthday.  This used to be a Wild Earth Cafe, I was told it is still the same ownership, but with a couple new owners backing the concept, including Canadian skater and former Olympian Jamie Sale.

The food served at the party was delicious.  They served meatless meatballs, chips & dips and dessert treats that were both vegan and gluten free.  Which when it comes to the "vegan meats", they are typically not gluten free, because it is gluten that usually holds it together or gives it some texture.  Although I am not vegan, it was nice to see this option available.

I took a picture of their savoury menu before the party started.  Just click on the menu to enlarge.


The fun part of this place is going to be the most amazing playhouse I have ever seen for the kids that will be opening shortly!  Here is a sneak peak of the playhouse I got.  Everything mini sized for kids, but if a parent ducks into the playhouse, there is room for them to stand.







Here is an Instagram post of Jamie Sale proudly showing off the construction of the playhouses!
Sweet Pea Cafe & Playhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Splash Poke

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To me, Poke bowls are like a suhsi bowl.  Just like a burrito bowl is a burrito in a bowl, a poke bowl is sushi in a bowl.

Splash Poke in West Edmonton Mall seems to have things going on for gluten free Poke bowls.


I just walked up to check it out to see if they had anything and bang, at the toppings station there are signs listing what is gluten free and what is vegan.  They even have a specific order called The Friendly that is gluten free.

I think contamination is reduced because there is no wheat flying around and the base is all rice base or veggie based.  The sauces are contained in squeeze bottles, so not dropping into each other.  When I ordered the friendly they, they put a card on the tray that said "Friendly" which seemed to start up an allergy protocol, which was nice to see.

The Friendly
The friendly was delicious and came with both tuna and salmon.  Can;t wait to have again!

Menu topping items labeled:






Splash Poke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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2 in 1 gluten free stuffed french toast and crepe recipe

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We love America's Test Kitchen cookbooks.  Why?  Because we believe that it does not take much to adapt recipes to be gluten free.  That is not to say we don't have specific gluten free cookbooks, but we have a lot of every day cookbooks that we simply adapt recipes. 

The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook has been part of our house for longer than Amanda's Celiac diagnosis, and we've kept it, and still use it.  


In the breakfast section there is a recipe for stuffed French toast that is delicious.  But what I figured out is that you can use the batter in the recipe for French Toast for crepes.  Yes the recipe is not gluten free, but we simply swap out the flour for Kinnikinnick's gluten free all purpose flour which you can get at the Kinnikinnick Fresh Store or on Amazon.

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 8 slices of Kinnikinnick Gluten Free cinnamon raisin bread(Or kinnikinnick multigrain) - OMIT IF YOU WANT CREPES
  • 4 tbsp or 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Kinnkinnick gluten free all purpose flour
Directions:

For filling:
  1. In a dish, microwave cream cheese until soft.  10 seconds at a time.
  2. Stir in 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth.  Place in fridge to firm up.

For batter:
  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter and whisk together with milk, egg, vanilla, salt and 2 tbsp of sugar.  Slowly whisk in gluten free flour until smooth.
From here you can choose your own adventure!  You can go the route of crepes (picture at top of article) or stuffed french toast (picture below)



For Crepes:
  1. Heat small non stick pan with butter
  2. On medium heat, use no more than a 1/4 cup of batter and pour evenly on heated pan.  Lift off of heat and turn pan to spread batter as thin as possible.
  3. Cook until bubbles and flip
  4. Cook until slightly coloured and remove from pan
  5. Spread filling, fold crepe and enjoy!
For Stuffed French toast
  1. Toast bread to allow some give to absorb batter
  2. Pour batter in a shallow dish.
  3. With two pieces of toast, spread filling on one piece, and put the other on top like a sandwich
  4. Heat pan with butter
  5. Meanwhile, let stuffed french toast sit in batter for no more than a minute on each side.
  6. Place in hot pan on medium and cook until browned and flip. (about 1/5 minutes each side).
Serve either option with fresh fruit and whip cream.


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Gluten Free Instant Pot Apple Crumble

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Amanda tried out and adapted an apple crumble recipe to be gluten free.  This recipe tasted so delicious and was easy to make in the Instant Pot.  We served warm with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  I also had it for breakfast on top of cottage cheese warmed up.



Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 sliced and peeled apples
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. Gluten free rolled oats (we use gluten free Only Oats)
  • 1/4 c. Gluten free Kinnikinnick all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 c. apple cider

Directions

  1. In a small bowl mix all ingredients together until apples are all coated.
  2. Pour into Corning ware that fits inside Instant Pot
  3. Cover tightly with foil
  4. Put trivet into Instant Pot or pressure cooker + 2 c. water 
  5. Lower Corning ware with apples on to trivet
  6. Set to manual, pressure, high for 35 minutes

Check for desired cook of apples. If you want it cooked more try another 5 minutes.

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Canadian Brewhouse has an amazing gluten free menu.

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Love the cutlery!
Recently Amanda went out with some friends to The Canadian Brewhouse in Spruce Grove, AB.  She wasn't sure what to expect, but her friend wanted meet there, and she figured she would be able to find something there to eat.

What she didn't expect was the extent of the menu that was available gluten free, and what they do to try and accommodate.

So before I go any further, just a reminder, ask about food prep every time, because you never know how each location operates from location to location, or if a location changes its kitchen processes.

So a few things she found out and confirmed at the Spruce Grove location:

  • They have a dedicated fryer for gluten free items.  They noted that all locations do.
  • You can get gluten free beer battered fish, but its a packaged gluten free battered fish.
  • You can get gluten free pizza's including their perogy pizza which is made with sliced potato.

Although Amanda only tried a really awesome Quinoa salad, there were gluten free hamburgers, pizza's, and even nacho's available to eat off the menu.


Menu items that are gluten free are marked with a symbol and a statement that gluten free options are available.


Check out some photos I took of the menu or click here for the Canadian Brewhouse menu online that they mark up for gluten free as well:






The Canadian Brewhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Updating Campbell's Gluten Free Product List - 2018

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On Instagram last week, I asked people what company do you want me to research a list of gluten free products for.  The most common answer was Campbell's.

Before you read this list, I just want to remind everyone to read every label every time!

As of August 17, 2018 this is what Campbell's Soup Company is marketing as gluten free:

Campbell’s® Chunky® Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (540 mL)
Campbell’s® Chunky® Split Pea with Ham (540 mL)
Campbell’s® Condensed Chicken with Rice
Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Red Pepper Black Bean
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Thai Tomato Coconut
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Fire Roasted Sweet Pepper & Tomato
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Roasted Potato & Spring Leek
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Sweet Potato Tomatillo
Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Tomato Basil Bisque
Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Curried Cauliflower Lentil
Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Spicy Vegetable Turkey with Rutabaga
Campbell’s® Herbed Chicken with Rice
Campbell’s® Ready To Use Beef Broth
Campbell’s® Ready To Use Vegetable Broth
Campbell’s Stock First® Beef stock
Campbell’s® Chunky® Homestyle Chili (425 g)
Campbell’s® Chunky® Hot & Spicy Chili (425 g)
Campbell’s® NEW Ready to Use Mushroom Broth
Campbell’s® NEW Ready to Use Pho Broth
Habitant® Pea Soup with Garden Vegetables
Pace® Hot Chunky salsa 428 mL
Pace® Medium Chunky salsa (1.7 L)
Pace® Medium Chunky salsa 428 mL
Pace® Medium Chunky salsa 642 mL
Pace® Medium Picante sauce 1.7 L
Pace® Medium Picante sauce 648 mL
Pace® Mild Chunky salsa 1.7 L
Pace® Mild Chunky salsa 428 mL
Pace® Mild Chunky salsa 642 mL
Pace® Mild Picante sauce 1.7 L
Pace® Mild Picante sauce 648 mL
Prego® Mushroom & Green Pepper Pasta Sauce 645 mL
Prego® Original Pasta Sauce 645 mL
Prego® Tomato Onion & Garlic Pasta Sauce 645 mL
V8® Low Sodium Vegetable Cocktail 1.89 L
V8® Original Vegetable Cocktail 1.89 L /950 mL
V8® Original Vegetable Cocktail 340 mL
V8® Original Vegetable Cocktail 354 mL
V8® Smooth & Seasoned Vegetable Cocktail 1.89 L/950 mL
V8® Smooth & Seasoned Vegetable Cocktail 156 mL
V8® Smooth & Seasoned Vegetable Cocktail 354 mL

I found this information all on the Campbell's Soup Company website.  Check out full product details about any of these listed gluten free Campbell's Soup Company products.

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What's the silliest thing you've done to gluten free food?

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I know it is an odd thing to ask, but what is the silliest thing you've done to gluten free food?

On the weekends, I like to make some sort of breakfast meat like sausage, bacon or turkey bacon with waffles or eggs in the morning.  That morning it definitely felt like a bacon morning.  Nice, grease, and crispy.  Yum!

BUT

I ran out of bacon!


via GIPHY

So what did I do?

Well I certainly didn't dump the bacon grease.  I pulled out the much healthier gluten free turkey bacon we buy from Costco and tossed it right in that bacon fat!

I think a few people had a good laugh about that.

Check out the Instagram Post


Check out the Facebook Post

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Why aren't there more dedicated gluten free grocery stores?

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I got an email the other week from a local entrepreneur asking me about the gluten free community.  They own a retail shop that has a gluten free selection, but was wondering about the value of expanding that selection further, or even opening up a gluten free stand alone.

I think they were surprised with my answer as I think they may thought I would have just jumped out and said 'OPEN UP A DEDICATED GLUTEN FREE STORE'.  

But I didn't.  

I had a hard time telling someone to take their own money, and invest in a dedicated store here in Edmonton, when so many have failed in the past.  

Why did others fail?  

I'm not sure.  

I was only able to speculate about customers willingness to drive across the city vs. shopping at local grocery store.

I provided examples of stores that do a great job at stocking gluten free items, here in Edmonton that are specialty shops, but not necessarily gluten free:
  • Earth's General Store
  • Ben's Meats & Deli (The owner Dave and his family are almost all Celiac.  He does a good job at filling in the gaps and has freezer items and shelved items imported from Europe (he is Deutsche)
  • Planet Organic (locally founded in Edmonton, and now has grown to a number of locations across Alberta and a couple out of province)
  • Italian Centre Shop - My understanding is Theresa Spinelli, or someone in her family is Celiac and she carries specialty gf products.  Often imported from Italy
  • Never been but Blush Lane carries some gf product
  • Not really independent, but a specialty store none the less, Bulk Barn has a gluten free Aisle, and often has different products not normally carried by everyone.  They have both boxed mixes and some bulk items.  Lots of snacky stuff!
I also reminded them that there are three dedicated bakers with brick and mortar loctaions:
  1. Kinnikinnick Fresh - Their bakery is located in one of their factories, and also doubles as a small gluten free store that offers products not produced by them.  Located close to downtown  10940 120 St NW - Existence for many years!
  2. RioVida Gluten Free Bakery - Najah is the owner, and she is a wonderful lady.  She mainly sells her own baked goods, fresh or frozen. She also does catering.  She is located at 100 Ave and 178 street ish. - Many years been open
  3. Celebrate, Gluten Free - I'm not as familiar with the owners as they do not interact with me on social media.  They have been open for several years as well and to my understanding, sell their own goods.
What I ended up suggesting was to expand their selection with their ear to the ground about what type of products the community wants here in Edmonton!

All they really have to do is follow us and see what people are asking for.  Everyone went kind of crazy when I posted that Celiac and the Beast said that they got Schar Pastry Dough in the states.


We also saw these yummy pastry puffs in Toronto, but not here in Edmonton (we've seen the Katz brand at Sobey's before)


I won't give up who asked me about opening up a store, but I know they follow me, so I know they will see this, read this, and read your comments.  So if you don't agree with me.  Comment and share this post on Facebook.  Let them see that you will shop at a dedicated store, no matter where it is in the city.

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Eating Gluten Free at Rostizado for Modern Mexican Cuisine

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I first have to say that I can't believe it took us so long to eat at Rostizado because we love their other restaurant Tres Carneles.

While being seated, at the restaurant we were immediately welcomed by co-owner Chris Sills from behind the bar with a friendly smile.  It has been a while since we visited Tres's so glad he remembered us!

Their menu is clearly marked with GF options, which there is plenty of.  With so much to choose from we thought to go with what seemed to be their staple of ordering a platter.  We ordered the platter for two which was only $50, and you got to choose two proteins.  We chose the polo (Chicken) and the puerco (pork), because they are gluten free.  The beef has a soy sauce on it, so it is not gluten free.

Since we were on a date night, we decided to splurge with an extra side of their roasted cauliflower.  Which BTW, we truly didn't need because we weren't aware of how big the actual platter is!

When the platter came out we really didn't know where to start.  Everything looked delicious.  We ended up starting with the chicken, slow roasted and seasoned to perfection!  Then we tried the pork shoulder, a very inexpensive cut of meat elevated to such a delicious bite.  The potatoes we amazing, along with the cucumber salad in the middle. The platter also came with four salsa's and some corn tortilla's.



The roasted cauliflower was so delicious as well.  They have roasted garlic cloves mixed in as well which I loved.  But I know that is not for everyone.

Although we did not order dessert off the menu they do have a flan (like a custard), or a sweet tamales for dessert that sounded delicious.  I'm already a fan of flan!  It is not a dessert you regularly find available in Edmonton.  So it is something I will definitely be ordering next time.


Rostizado - By Tres Carnales Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Adapting recipes to be gluten free can be easy

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How often do you see a baking recipe and ask yourself.....

"I wish I could make that recipe?  but it's not gluten free"  :-(

It is time to be adventurous!  You are missing out!  We always try to not let a non-gluten free recipe get in the way.  There are usually ways around it.

Here are two examples.  This carrot and zucchini muffin recipe from Cup Cakes and Kale Chips called for all purpose wheat flour.  Amanda just made the with a 1 to 1 substitute with Kinnikinnick Foods all purpose gluten free flour.


Example number two, I made this frittata/quiche.  But didn't have a crust.  I simply made a potato crust by crushing tator tots on the bottom of the pan.  I checked the ingredients of the McCains tots and they did not contain gluten (but not specifically labelled gluten free), so I felt they were safe to use.


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The only tip you need to serve safe gluten free dips

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On a recent trip to Toronto we went to our favorite Mediterranean restaurants to have some delicious food.  When we ordered our apps,we found one of the greatest tips you need to serve safe gluten free dips.

At Me Va Me, they offer serving a large plate of crisp romaine lettuce leaves instead of pita and did not charge any extra because it was just lettuce.

So why is this the only tip you need?

  • No cross contamination if everyone is sharing
  • Most restaurants DO carry romaine, while not all carry a gluten free bread, let a lone a gluten free pita. 
  • The romaine lettuce leaves were perfect for scooping and eating
  • We didn't get filled up on carb loaded pita, and got to enjoy the delicous taste of the dips.
  • Finally, lets face it, the lettuce or pita is just a vessel for getting the dip to your mouth because spooning baba ghanouj directly into your mouth is apparently not appropriate (so I've been told) :-(



This is me scooping loads of dip into a big crisp piece of romaine lettuce.  It was delicious and worked so well!

So for any restaurant owner or chef reading this!  Offer some crisp romaine with your dips instead of pita for those that can't digest gluten!  For anyone eating a restaurant that wants some apps and something to dip with, ask for a plate of crisp romaine instead of bread.


Me Va Me Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Spring Rolls and more at Lan's Asian Grill

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Lets start off by saying AMAZING.


Enough said right?  That is an order of gluten free spring rolls, which they are happy to substitute on an order of any of their marked gluten free menu items.


Check out their menu, lots of gluten free options, from Appetizers, to noodles, to their soups and stews.  All gluten free items are marked with GF.


On top of an order of gluten free spring rolls, Amanda ordered the yellow curry gluten free chicken.  It comes with a very tasty broth and a side of rice.  It had an amazing sweet tone, with a nice kick at the end.  Be sure you like some spice if you try this out.

The spring rolls came with some nice crisp lettuce leafs, and a fish sauce with sriracha and pickled carrots.  It went great with both the spring rolls and the lettuce.  I should know, because I stole some off of Amanda's plate.

Also note, that in general they seem great on allergies.  Our daughter has a nut allergy, and she was fine with no rashes by the end.  They made sure my noodle bowl was not garnished with nuts etc.  


  Lan's Asian Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Brown Butter Pasta

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This is a really easy and tasty recipe to try out.  We were in a crunch to come up with dinner on a Saturday evening as other dinner plans fell through.  So Amanda tore through her Pinterest ideas that she saved and we adapted a really tasty pasta dinner using Great Value Gluten Free Penne and Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs.

Ingredients:

1 box of your favourite gluten free penne (we used Great Value from wal-mart)
1 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs (we use Kinnikinnick)
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup cooked protein (we used shrimp)
1 stick of butter

Directions:
  1. Brown or toast breadcrumbs in pan
  2. Cook pasta to direction of packaging
  3. Meanwhile, brown stick of butter but placing in hot pan, and reducing until golden brown.
  4. When pasta is read, toss with butter
  5. Then toss with grated cheese
  6. Then toss with gluten free breadcrumbs.
Serve and enjoy.  Add or remove amounts of breadcrumbs, cheese and brown butter to taste.



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Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

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I just made a gluten free green bean casserole and loved it!  This dish was a staple in my house growing up.  We loved it using the French's crispy onion.  Unfortunately the onion is not gluten free, so I thought to try this on my own from scratch.

First thing is first, get your gluten free Aylmer cream of  mushroom soup!  Found at most grocery stores including Wal-mart and Safeway.  If you have seen other gluten free mushroom soups, let me know!


This is what makes the recipe easy.  Simply mix a can of mushroom soup (don't add water) with green beans and top with Kinnikinnick gluten free bread crumbs and bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes!


OR!

Make your own onion topper!  I sliced some onion and pan fried them with some vegetable oil until soft.  Added 3 table spoons of the bread crumbs and mixed and browned for texture.


Top on grean beans and enjoy!


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