Friday, January 29, 2016

Gluten Free Pad Thai

I got this recipe from  The Clueless Vegetarian cookbook and then changed it up to suit my family! You will notice that with my changes, this recipe is no longer vegetarian, but delish none the less!!!

1 package (500g) wide rice noodles (pad thai style)
6 Tbsp lime juice
4 Tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
4 Tbsp organic cane sugar (any granulated sugar will do!)
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional- only use it if you want it spicy!)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I like to use grape seed oil at high heat!)
20 shrimp, defrosted under cold running water, taken out of the shell and cut each shrimp in 1/2 or 1/3's depending on the size of the shrimp. (The Vegetarian Cookbook calls for a package of extra firm tofu cut in 1/2 inch cubes instead of shrimp!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 bag of bean sprouts, (approximately 4 cups)
1 bunch of green onion, (approximately 5) sliced, white and green parts
1 cup of peanuts (omit peanuts if you want this recipe to be nut free!
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Place the rice noodles in a large bowl, add hot tap water or boiling water from a kettle and let them soak for at least 30 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Combine the lime juice, tamari (soy sauce), sugar, ketchup, and crushed pepper flakes.  Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp (or tofu) and stir fry until the shrimp turns pink or the tofu is golden. Once it is cooked, remove from wok with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind.
Add the garlic to the pan, cook for a few seconds (10ish) and then add the eggs and cook, stirring, until the eggs are scrambled.
Now, drain the noodles and add them to the wok and mix well.
Stir the lime juice/ tamari/ sugar/ ketchup/ pepper flakes mixture and then pour it into the wok.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, until the noodles are well coated.
Stir in the bean sprouts and green onion, and then add back the shrimp or tofu.
Add the peanuts and toss for another minute or two until the whole thing is combined.
You can either add the cilantro at the end or sprinkle it on top when you serve it!

This recipe is for my dog walking/ yoga buddy Danielle, who supports me in my blogging efforts and always shares her next great recipe!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Siesta Key Gluten Free!

Siesta Key is a great place to visit if you are on a gluten free diet!
Grocery Shopping!
My favourite gluten bakery is the Island Gluten Free Bakery. They have the best bread, muffins, and scones!! Cookies, pizza, you name it, it's all delicious. I go everyday so that we eat fresh gluten free baked goods daily while on holiday.
Trader Joe's is my favourite place to buy groceries! They have a list of the gluten free products that they sell. It is affordable and I buy almost everything at this one store.  My favourite gluten free items from here include the gluten free pasta (brown rice and quinoa), cupcakes, bagels, and all purpose flour. Depending on the season, I have also enjoyed the gluten free pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin muffins as well!!
Whole Foods is another place I will go to buy gluten free items. They also have a list of the gluten free products that they sell but I couldn't get it off their website!!! I find this store very expensive and only buy specialty items there.  They have a big selection of frozen prepared gluten free products like gluten free chicken fingers, fish sticks, and pizza. There is also a good selection of gluten free deli meats. My favourite gluten free item that I have only ever seen at Whole Foods is Julie's Organic Gluten Free Round Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich.
Publix has a good variety of gluten free products and they have a list , which makes it very easy to find what you are looking for.
Target is always a favourite of mine!! They have lots of gluten free items and a list as well. In the past we have purchased Nature Valley gluten free granola bars and lots of great gluten free cereals at Target!
Siesta Key and Sarasota have a ton of gluten free restaurants. We eat dinner out every night at a different restaurant and all accommodate people on a gluten free diet.
Beckham's On The Trail is my family's personal favourite. They have an incredible gluten free menu! They understand celiac disease and the importance of keeping food safe for those on a gluten free diet. They have a dedicated fryer so you can get french fries and things you can't usually get!!!
Bonefish Grill is a restaurant that has excellent gluten free choices.  They also have a gluten free menu and the food here is delicious.
Outback Steakhouse is another restaurant close by that really knows how to do gluten free right! They have a great gluten free menu and curb side pick up which we love to do on a night when we want to watch the sunset!!!
P.F. Chang's if you're in the mood for Asian cuisine!!! They have a big gluten free menu and we order family style, so we get to try a little bit of everything! All gluten free orders are put on different plates so there is no mistaking which is gluten free. They even have gluten free soy sauce and it comes in a different colour container so it is easily identified!!
Mattison's 41 is my recommendation for a special night out! It is fancier than the restaurants I have already mentioned.  They understand the gluten free diet and the food is amazing!
Cosimo's Italian Restaurant is a restaurant we first started going to when it was in the Southgate Mall and Sarasota Square. It has since moved to a different location that is a little out of the way but well worth it!  The gluten free menu is amazing and the food is abundant!  I always take home leftovers for the next day!!! Our personal favourite here is the gluten free pizzas and pastas!
LeeRoy Selmons is a great casual meal with a sports bar feel to it! The closest one to Siesta Key is on Cooper Creek Road, so it is a bit of a drive but it is close to the new fancy mall and Sarasota/ Bradenton airport. They have a great gluten free menu and we really enjoy dining here.
St. Armand's Circle is a nice spot not far from Siesta Key that has some great gluten free dining options and is fun to walk around!
Columbia Restaurant is a great, casual place to dine at St. Armand's Circle. I personally could be happy with just the 1905 salad, however they have a complete gluten free menu. We always enjoy eating here and have never had a problem.
Crab and Fin is an upscale restaurant at St. Armand's Circle.  The atmosphere is lovely and the food is delicious.  They also have a gluten free menu but it is not on their website!
Ice Cream!
Our holiday to Florida would not be complete without going for ice cream!!
Sunnibunni is not ice cream but it is delicious frozen yogurt that is gluten free and healthy!!
Orange Octopus is an ice cream place in Siesta Key that used to be a part of the Island Gluten Free Bakery before the bakery moved.  The new owners of the Orange Octopus are very familiar with gluten free and they have a list of safe choices.  They wash the serving spoons before they serve you and it has always been a treat to go there!!! There is no mention of gluten free on their website but personal experience has been amazing!
Ben And Jerry's at St. Armand's Circle is very helpful when it comes to gluten free. They have a list of gluten free flavours, they wash the serving pieces before they help you and they use a fresh container!!!  And, of course, the ice cream is fabulous!!!
Now... this is just a small list of the gluten free experience that we have had while visiting Siesta Key.
Everything I mentioned here has been based on my personal experience and I can highly recommend it all.
We have had some bad experiences with places saying they are gluten free and then we get there and they don't know what they are doing. I won't mention them in this blog because I only like to give positive reviews, but lets just say not all restaurants and shops are as great as the ones I mentioned above. Be careful, ask lots of questions, and enjoy!