Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Help Send a Gluten Free Child To Summer Camp

In the spirit of the giving season, I want to bring your attention to a fundraiser I’m helping promote this week for a great gluten free cause.
This week through to Sunday December 25, Gluten-Free Saver has partnered with Van's Natural Foods to raise money to send gluten free children to next summer's CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation) sponsored summer camp. Van is matching all donations up to $1000. The goal is to raise $2000.
I speak from personal experience when I tell you what an amazing gift this is for a child, because last summer my daughter had the opportunity to go to a summer camp that was gluten free. It truly is a wonderful experience and an amazing opportunity for these children.
This week, I have seen many blogs just like mine put out this very important information and I think it is great to see the whole gluten free community coming together for such a great cause.
I feel honored to be a part of this special fundraiser.
Happy Holidays!

Gluten-Free Saver

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

This recipe is a great combination of chocolate, which I love, and oatmeal, which I want to love because it is so good for my health! It looks like a chocolate muffin, but it is not overly sweet like a piece of cake. The oatmeal, and other healthy ingredients like zucchini, orange juice, and walnuts, help neutralize the richness of the chocolate!

1/2 medium zucchini (approximately 1 cup cut up)
1 cup gluten free rolled oats by ONLY OATS
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
3/8 teaspoon Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts that I put in the food processor

1) Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray the muffin pan with Cooking Spray by Spectrum. I use Grapeseed Oil Spray.
2) Add the walnuts to the processor until they are ground, approximately 15 seconds and set aside.
3) Grate the zucchini in the processor and set aside.
4) Process the rolled oats, gf all purpose flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the egg, orange juice, coconut oil, and vanilla. Process for 20 seconds or until it is completely blended. Add the zucchini that you set aside earlier and process for 10 seconds. Add the ground walnuts and process with a few quick on/off pulses just to combine.
5) Fill each compartment of the muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a few of the muffins comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins and freezes well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gluten Free Asian Style Cooking Class With Marni Wasserman

I am very excited to be working once again with Natural Chef and Holistic Nutritionist Marni Wasserman. This class is Asian Style, using whole foods and all organic, delicious ingredients.
The menu for the Gluten Free Asian Style Cooking Class includes miso soup, brown rice nori rolls, tempeh stir fry with rice noodles, napa cabbage salad, edamame dip with brown rice crackers, and chocolate + green tea bliss balls.
The class is on Wednesday October 19, 2011, 6:30pm to 9:30pm.
It is a hands-on class, in Marni's commercial style kitchen in midtown Toronto. Space is limited to 10 people per class, so reserve a place early if you would like to join us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Canadian Living Salad Recipes

Every spring, as the weather starts to get nice and the days longer, I get ambitious and decide to plant and grow my own vegetables. However, I don't really know what I am doing in the garden and then I am not very successful. This year, I have decided to have At Home Organic Farms do my garden professionally. They build the garden, plant the vegetables, ones that my family and I get to choose, and come two times a month to fertilize it and take care of it for me. I mentioned that I saw a squirrel in my garden and the next day pest fencing was installed! They weren't kidding when they called this garden, a "just add water" farm. I even got to name my garden; Jo's Best Ever Kitchen Garden, it doesn't get more exciting then that. Well, actually it does. On Mother's Day, I woke up to seedlings in my garden!
Anyways, tonight I tried two new salad recipes that I got from the June Issue of the Canadian Living Magazine that just arrived the other day. I decided on these recipes because they had all the ingredients that I just planted in my new organic garden. Both were delicious and easy to make. The first was Spicy Greens With Maple Soy Vinaigrette and the other one was Roasted Beet and Feta Salad. These recipes are gluten free, assuming you use tamari or gluten free soy sauce.
I can't wait to see what becomes of my beautiful organic farm that is growing right in my very own backyard and, as for my fabulous Canadian Living Magazine, I will be making the Sticky Glazed Grilled Chicken With Cucumber Salad for dinner tomorrow night!
Here's to delicious, healthy, gluten free eating! Cheers!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bakery on Main Gourmet Naturals

A couple of weeks ago I received a sample package of a variety of gluten free products from Bakery on Main. With a very dear friend of mine, we tasted the various products. There were a large selection of granolas, soft and chewy granola bars, and gluten free granola bars to choose from. All are gluten free, dairy free, casein free, and kosher.
The granola came in 5 flavours; apple raisin walnut, rainforest, extreme fruit and nut, nutty cranberry maple, and cranberry orange cashew. Our personal favourite was the apple raisin walnut. It was naturally sweet with a nice mix of different flavours. I liked the nutty flavour in the nutty cranberry maple. The Extreme Fruit and Nut was a little sweet for my taste, but I enjoyed the texture of it and I loved the cranberries in it!
The soft and chewy gluten free granola bars came in 3 flavours; peanut butter and jelly, chocolate almond, and apple cinnamon. Our personal favourite was apple cinnamon. We both really enjoyed the chewy texture and it had just the right amount of apple and cinnamon combined. It also smelled delicious! The chocolate almond was nice and we found the peanut butter and jelly to be a strong tasting combination, but it may be great for those missing peanut butter and jam sandwiches!
The gluten free granola snack bars came in 3 flavours; cranberry maple nut, peanut butter chocolate, and extreme trail mix. Our personal favourite was the cranberry maple nut, however, the peanut butter chocolate was a close second!
I want to thank Bakery on Main for sending me tasty, nutritious, gluten free snacks to sample. It is nice to have such a large variety of gluten free granola and granola bars as an option at snack time, and to know that they are healthy and safe to eat.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Surround Yourself With Good People

I am always trying to teach my children and my clients, and anyone else who will listen to me, to surround themselves with good people and this world will be a better place. When you have specific dietary requirements, like gluten free, dairy free, or life-threatening allergies, some people around you "get it" and some people do not. I appreciate it so much when family and friends take it seriously and go out of their way to help anyway they can. Sometimes it's a phone call to let us know what is being served at an event we are going to, sometimes it is an email letting us know about a new gluten free product, and sometimes it's ordering us a gluten free pizza at a birthday party so we can just come to the party and not have to worry about the food.
Yesterday we received a letter from a woman who was my daughter's teacher three years ago. She has since retired from teaching and moved away, but she sent us a note saying hello and four new gluten free recipes, all of which looked delicious! I can't tell you how excited we all were from this act of kindness. I can now pass along these recipes to clients, friends, and family and the gift keeps on giving!!! Thank you Mrs. Green for keeping us in your heart and I will pay it forward.
Things like this make me know that I am teaching my children that surrounding yourself with good people is such a big lesson and I will continue to stress that in our everyday lives. Little things make a big, positive impact on other people's lives, so continue to do the little things because they truly are appreciated!!
Have a great gluten free day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gluten Free At Metro

I was going through the flyers this morning, my usual Saturday morning ritual, and much to my surprise I see the words "NEW Irresistibles GLUTEN FREE For All Your Gluten Free Needs" I immediately open up the paper to that section and there it is, a whole entire page of the paper dedicated to Metro's new line of gluten free products. Irresistibles is Metro's private label and they have a whole line of well priced gluten free products including pasta ($2.49), rice crackers, bread crumbs, tortilla chips, croutons, macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, chewy bars, rice, and cake mix.
Now, I haven't tasted any of the products yet, so I don't know how fabulous this is, but I have to say that even seeing this in the local paper is exciting and I will definitely be heading to Metro this week to check it out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

P.F. Changs Gluten Free Menu

I recently went to Buffalo with a friend, in search of the latest and greatest gluten free foods. We began our day at Target, where we stocked up on General Mills Rice Chex and Nature Valley Almond Crunch Granola Bars. Then, it was off to Tops for more exploring. Here we stocked up on General Mills Cinnamon Chex and Chocolate Chex, as well as Post Cupcake Pebbles and Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies. We also found a Hamburger Helper Beef and Rice and Chicken and Rice, both labeled gluten free! The gluten free possibilities were endless and we were enjoying every minute. It is so nice to shop in the U.S., where gluten free items are actually labeled gluten free. We bought Quaker Rice Cakes, I think just because they were labeled gluten free! After spending the morning in the grocery stores shopping, we headed for lunch at P.F Changs, where we were able to order off the gluten free menu. Check it out at www.pfchangs.com/menu. The gluten free menu includes starters (chicken lettuce wraps, our personal favourites!), noodles, vegetarian dishes, soup, rice, sides, entrees (18 different entrees including chicken, beef, shrimp, and, scallops), and dessert. Can you believe that all these items are on their gluten free menu!!!! You can well imagine we had a field day choosing the dishes and then eating. The server was very knowledgeable with respect to the gluten free diet and needed no explanations. They mixed sauces at our table using gluten free soy sauce and spicy sauce and hot mustard and explained to us that all gluten free dishes come out of the kitchen on specific plates so that there is no chance of mixing up dishes. It was thrilling to be able to go to a restaurant and have such good service and feel safe about what we were eating, while at the same time enjoying every mouthful!
After a delicious lunch, we headed to Wegmans for our final destination. Wegmans has a gluten free section, where I stocked up on Cherrybrook Kitchen products (pancake and waffle mix and sugar cookies are my personal favourites) and showed my friend how fabulous the Wegman's Private Label is marked with a "g" for gluten free.
We didn't even spend a lot of money, we just purchased our personal favourites and found some new items that may become favourites in time!
It was so liberating to be able to have so much choice that you actually have to leave items behind. It was a great day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

deeLiciously Gluten Free

Last week, I had a wonderful breakfast meeting with the owner of deeLiciously Gluten Free, Heather Keeso and a mutual friend of ours, Carole. We talked about everything gluten free and healthy and we sampled some of the new deeLiciously Gluten Free Products. Heather and Carole are both former educators and both are very committed to living and promoting a healthy lifestyle. All the gluten free baked goods that Heather makes are not just tasty but very healthy as well. I am always so impressed by her attention to each and every ingredient, making sure everything that goes into her baked goods has nutritional value. In the past I have sampled her breakfast bars, spicy pumpkin bread, and ginger cookies, and this time around I sampled a carrot bread, cookie, and muffin. The taste was great, the smell was wonderful, and the texture was nice. DeeLiciously Gluten Free products are not nut free, so they can not be used as a healthy snack for school. However, they are perfect as an after school snack or even for a meal.
Needless to say, I had a wonderful time catching up with friends and sampling the latest creations by deeLiciously Gluten Free. Heather is passionate about her gluten free creations! These are gluten free baked goods that I can feel good about feeding to my children.