ebook for Gluten Free Cruisers

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Here is for supporting local authours and resources.

Mark Roseman is from St. Albert and wrote an ebook titled "Cruising with Special Diets".  We haven't reviewed the ebook, but looks like it could be a helpful guide to cruising with a Celiac diet.

Cruising with Special Diets brings together in one place all the necessary info (and ways to solve the inevitable problems!) that people with food allergies, vegans, celiacs, etc. should know about. It's a practical guide for people with special diets to help decide if cruise travel is a good choice for them, and if so, how to really make it happen safely and with minimal frustration. In other words, all the stuff the cruise lines don't tell you up front!

You can download the ebook for a small fee or browse some of the resources from the book for free at http://www.cruisespecialdiet.com.

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

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Nominate us! Yeggies Nominations now open! (Edmonton's Best in Social Media)

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The Yeggies recognizes the most outstanding social media content creators.  To our surprise we learned that not only were we nominated but short listed as Best in Food for blogs last year during the inaugural awards in early 2013.  We were quite honoured and flattered about the nomination.  We never found out who nominated us, and I don't think we will ever find out.  Amanda and I were happy to seek out a babysitter attend the awards show.  I'd say our hopes and dreams were all shattered when Kitchen Magpie won the word for Best in Food, but they weren't (maybe a little disappointment), but we were honestly still so flattered to be considered one of the best in Edmonton.

This years nominations are open, and now that we know about this local awards show, I certainly have to give a shameless plea to nominate us! Because we want to be flattered again!  Yes it is true, we can nominate ourselves, but I just can't do that.  I'd rather the Yeggie judges get bombarded with so many nominations for us that they just can't ignore us and shortlist us again.

This month marked our 4th anniversary of blogging about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet.  I started this blog in January 2010, only months after Amanda's diagnosis of Celiac Disease and realizing the journey in learning about Celiac Disease and gluten free foods was going to be interesting.  My brother Daniel was already blogging at Haggis and Herring about his passion of world foods and I just wanted to give it a shot to share our journey.  I knew I could count on my brother for support and help to get started.  Step one, setup a Blogger count.  Step two, start blogging and don't look back.  And I haven't.  I've encouraged Amanda to blog as well, and together we have written 570 blog posts, with over a million pageviews.  I manage our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well where I try to post pics of interesting gluten free foods found, sales, or even respond to followers that are just looking for a little help.

So if you think we do a great job at raising awareness of Celiac Disease, sharing great recipes, great stories and great gluten free products, let the Yeggies know by nominating us at www.yeggies.com

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

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Fundraising with Gluten Free Cookie Dough

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I just wanted to let those that run fundraisers that their is a local fundraising organization called In-Dey-Go Fundraising that has gluten free cookie dough options to sell as a fund raising item.

In-Dey-Go Fundraising has truly thought of everyone as they unveil their new gluten free line of frozen cookie dough available through fundraisers only.  The cookies themselves are coconut based in two flavours macaroon and chocolate macaroon.  They make gluten free easy - each scoop and bake tub bakes up beautifully into 45 or more cookies and groups can profit up to 40% on each tub sold.   The gluten free dough can also be thawed and refrozen for when you only want a small treat and stays fresh in your freezer for months!  In-Dey-Go Fundraising's Gluten Free Macaroons are certified gluten free through the testing of each batch.

In-Dey-Go has a 17 year history of helping groups and schools in Canada achieve their fundraising goals through the sale of frozen Cookie Dough, Muffin Dough, Cinnamon Buns, and now the star of the show, Gluten Free Macaroons.  Groups can learn more at www.indeygo.com or by calling 877-IN-DEY-GO.

Let us know if you've used In-Dey-Go for your school/hockey/cheer/charity fundraiser

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

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Pastel - A Gluten Free Moroccan Shepherds Pie

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So I've been meaning to share this recipe for a long time.  This was the last recipe my brother Daniel shared with me (by request) before he suddenly passed away.  He wrote the Pastel blog post on his Haggis and Herring blog in August of 2012 and then emailed the post to me to make sure I get the recipe.  He passed away in September of 2012 before I got to try the recipe.  The email sat in my inbox for over year.  I stared at it everyday.  I thought for the first anniversary of his death, I would make it.  But I just couldn't. Maybe I felt that if I made the recipe, I would have to delete that email.  So I made a slow cooker Haggis to honour him instead.

But a week passed after his first anniversary, and I thought "you know what, I need to make this".  Why? Because this recipe is more than just my brother.  This recipe is my family, my heritage, my memories of childhood.  So I made the recipe.  But yet, it still took me over 5 months to write this post after I made the meal.  But here I am, writing the post mid January of 2014.

So what is Pastel?  It is a Moroccan shepherds pie.  Pastel was a common meal we would have at lunch at my grandparents for Shabbat lunch.  My dads side of the family is Moroccan and has quite the contrasting flavours in food from my moms Polish heritage.  Mama (my grandmother) passed away suddenly when I was in University (late 1990's).  I was going home for reading week, and getting ready to celebrate my grandparents 55th anniversary at a Pizza Hut with anchovy pizza and beer.  The time I got off the bus from Peterborough to Toronto and made it to my brothers place to be picked up, I received news that she had a stroke.  She passed away that evening after having a chance to say goodbye to everyone.  This was my first close loss and was quite upset as my family was really close.  Since my Mama's death, I really hadn't had pastel.  My dads side of the family had the recipe, but nobody really made it.

Making this meal was my opportunity to pay tribute to my Mama and fulfill that last recipe request from my brother. So I invited my in-laws over for dinner to share in this experience knowing that they would not have tried pastel yet.  They loved it (not surprising).

So what sets pastel away from other shepherds pies?

Meat is cooked with plenty of flavours including lemon and nutmeg
Potato has the distinct Moroccan flavoring of tumeric (I was really surprised there was no cumin, a really popular spice
in Moroccan dishes)
Sliced hard boiled eggs, for flavour and texture.
Standard shepherds pie is meat then potato.  Pastel is layered, potato, meat, boiled eggs, potato.
Mama's Pastel (Moroccan Shepherd's Pie)
  • 1/2 kilo ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt (for meat)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (for meat)
  • 10 potatoes, boiled in salted water and drained (reserve 1/2 cup liquid)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt, to taste (for potatoes)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (for potatoes)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  1. In a deep pan on medium heat, add beef, water and start to brown the beef, using a potato masher to break up beef. Add the lemon as soon as the meat starts to break up.
  2. Drain excess liquid and discard lemon, and add nutmeg, salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  4. Combine the 1/2 cup of potato water and turmeric and mash the potatoes using the 1/2 cup of liquid. Separate into two portions.
  5. Grease the inside of a large casserole dish, (8" x 13") using the olive oil and gently spread half of the potatoes evenly across the bottom.
  6. Spoon the meat over the first layer and gently spread, trying not to compress the layer of potato underneath.
  7. Place the egg slices evenly over the meat.
  8. Lightly spread the remaining potato mixture over the meat and eggs and make a pattern (or just lines) using a fork.
  9. Brush the egg wash over the top layer of potatoes and bake for 45-60 minutes, until top starts to turn golden brown. 

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

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Gluten Free Sushi at Sumo Sumo in Sherwood Park

Here is a great guest blog review of Sumo Sumo in Sherwood Park just outside of Edmonton.  It is not everyday you find a good sushi place that manages a gluten free meal very well.  Enjoy what Andrea has to share about Sumo Sumo:

I would like to give a virtual standing ovation to Sumo Sumo.

I have Celiac disease (I cannot have gluten--wheat/barley/rye/oats) which makes it a bit difficult to dine out. This is especially true when eating sushi, as much of it contains soy sauce (which usually has wheat in it), or has tempura or breading. I am usually wary of sushi restaurants as I have gotten sick many times as either the staff is not educated regarding what gluten is or what menu items contain gluten, the menu does not list the item as having tempura/other gluten sources in it, or I am too embarrassed to ask. I usually end up getting some plain sashimi, or get sick from my order.

That being said, I was slightly nervous to attend a dinner date with my 3 girlfriends at Sumo Sumo restaurant last night (I had previously never been). I looked at the menu and saw many items would likely have soy sauce in the sauce, or had tempura or panko crumbs. It wasn’t looking good.

I asked our server (whose name I can’t remember) if she knew if any gluten free items were available or if anything could be modified to be gluten free. She informed me that many items had tempura, but those foods could be steamed instead of battered. I was blown away—no one has ever offered this to me before. I asked about the panko crumbs, and the server said the items could be made without the crumbs and she offered to substitute avocado (my favourite) in its place. I was just elated that the staff would go out of their way to create a meal for me that is similar to the fantastic “normal” options offered on the menu. I expressed this to my server and friends, and I don’t think they understand how excited I was. Perhaps it can only be truly appreciated by a celiac, but I was most impressed that the restaurant would accommodate my dietary needs, without telling me just to have a salad.

Furthermore, when the bill came, I noticed the server had flagged my order multiple times saying that it was strictly “gluten free” and to steam the vegetables/shrimp instead of batter and fry them. Again, this made me so happy to know she was taking my request seriously and that it wasn’t just a preference or a fad diet.

Sumo Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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


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The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits Offers Gluten Free Menu Options

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Chantel, a newly diagnosed Celiac wrote us a guest blost post reviewing The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits.

I recently went Gluten Free and decided to venture out to The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits in Northwest Edmonton at 13580 137 Avenue with salad dressing in hand. I was so excited to find gluten free zucchini pasta and ordered it. The taste was incredible. Even better, they have 2 different salads, 2 different specialized pizzas along, build your own pizza with over 30 different gluten free options all with the zucchini pasta that you can choose from.

I will definitely be back there to try the GF Blackened Tuna Caesar Salad or the Margherita Pizza!

Check out Rock Woods full gluten free menu options.

The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits on Urbanspoon

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

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