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!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gluten Free Hershey's Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

I started my baking for the holidays! This recipe comes from Gluten Free is Life and is a staple when doing cookies for the holidays! I will add any changes I have made to this recipe in my blog.

1 bag Hershey's Chipits Mini Kisses (I bought it at Walmart for $2.27 and I only used 1/3 of the bag!)
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used my favourite peanut butter, Skippy Smooth)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoon milk (I used 1%)
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I used Trader Joe's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar (same as above)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Beat shortening and peanut butter until well blended.  Add sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat well.  I use a standard mixer with a paddle for all this blending! We'll call this the wet mixture.
Mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl to make the dry mixture.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture to make the cookie dough.
Put the dough in plastic wrap and REFRIGERATE for 1 hour.
Shape chilled dough into 1 inch balls.
Put granulated sugar (approximately 1/4 cup) in a plastic storage bag. Drop the balls, one at a time in the bag of sugar, shake it around to coat it and then place the them on an ungreased cookie sheet. I use parchment paper on the cookie sheet!
Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press a Hershey's Kiss into the centre of each cookie.  Cookie will crack around the edges.
Remove cookie to wire rack.
Cool completely.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.  These cookies can be made ahead of time as they FREEZE well!

Stay tuned for my next gluten free cookie recipe... Spritz cookies!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Great Gluten Free Black Friday Deal!

Let's talk amazing Black Friday gluten free deals!!!
First off, I have an app on my phone called checkout 51. Check it out at You earn cash back on every day groceries, gluten free groceries, at stores you already shop at!  With the app on my phone, I head to Walmart as they added Catelli Gluten Free Pasta as their Black Friday deal. I love stores that give deals on gluten free products. It makes my day!!!
Now, it gets even better!!! When I get to Walmart, I see that Walmart has the Catelli gluten free pasta already on sale. Any 2 (fusilli, penne, macaroni, or any combination) for $4. It is normally $2.27, which is already priced well for gluten free pasta. 
So... I buy 2 boxes of fusilli and 1 box of macaroni for $6.27, and then when I get home, I upload the receipt on my Checkout 51 app and get the Black Friday deal which is buy 3 Catelli Gluten Free Pasta and save $3. The $3 is added to my cash back total, which I get the cash back when I hit $20. In 2 shopping trips, I already have $8.50 cash back on food I normally buy anyways, at stores I normally shop at!!! 
Check out the different varieties of gluten free pasta that Catelli makes at  Catelli gluten free pasta is delicious and I managed to pay $3.27 for 3 boxes!!!
Great deals and both are on for the week!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

gluten free made easy: Gluten Free Fried Rice

gluten free made easy: Gluten Free Fried Rice: This recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Clueless in the Kitchen by Evelyn Raab.  It is actually a cookbook written for tee...

Gluten Free Fried Rice

This recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Clueless in the Kitchen by Evelyn Raab.  It is actually a cookbook written for teens. I came across it when I was looking for a unique gift to give to the teens in my life! I figured if I gave them a cookbook they would enjoy cooking! Well... they enjoy eating the food I make using the recipes in this cookbook! But I really enjoy using this cookbook and if you like this recipe, I encourage you to buy this book! It makes me laugh while I am cooking and the recipes are all great.  I chose this recipe because I use it so often adding whatever I have in my kitchen at the time. I make lots so we have leftovers for the next day, as it makes a great lunch for school or work!


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use grape seed oil as it is a healthy high temperature oil)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
2 cups veggies, diced or sliced, fresh, frozen or cooked vegetables (basically, whatever veggies you have kicking around!) celery, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, peas, spinach, carrots, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, bean sprouts, green beans.
2 cups diced COOKED meat or fish of any kind (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, turkey) A lot of the time I leave out this ingredient and double the veggies and make veggie fried rice but all these protein options are delicious as well! The possibilities are endless!
3 cups leftover cooked rice
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (In order for this recipe to be gluten free, you must use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari. I use San-J Brand gluten free tamari.)
1 Teaspoon sesame oil
4 green onions, sliced


I am going to use some of Evelyn's words because that is half the fun of this recipe! 
In a wok, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until onion is softened.  Stir in the the egg and cook the mixture just until the egg is scrambled, this will only take a minute.
Toss in the vegetables- whatever you're using- the ones that take the longest time to cook first, then the next, and so on, adding any cooked vegetables only at the last minute.  "Don't go all technical about this. It isn't rocket science- it's just dinner".
When vegetables are all in the wok, throw in the cooked meat if you are adding any and stir everything a bit. Or, if you are making veggie fried rice just skip this step!
Now add the rice and keep stirring.  Add the soy sauce or tamari and cook the whole business, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until everything is hot and well mixed.
Add sesame oil and green onions.
Toss it all around, remove from heat and serve!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gluten Free Shrimp Salad

Picture this.... it was a hot day in the summer, and I was looking for something tasty to make for dinner!  Nothing hot that involved heating up the cottage and something I had kicking around in the fridge and freezer. I found this great recipe on Food Network by Ina Garten, and then I added my own personal touch! 


A mixture of lettuce (I use green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce but you can use whatever lettuce you love!)
1 bag frozen, cooked, deveined shrimp (about 30 shrimp)
1 bag of frozen edamame, shelled
1 small red onion sliced thin, optional
6 celery stalks, diced
1 cup mayonnaise ( I use Spectrum brand)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, or more if your a fan of dill!


Wash and break up lettuce into bite size pieces.
Defrost shrimp overnight in the fridge, or if you are like me, and decide to make this at the last minute, defrost by running COLD water over the frozen shrimp. Take the tails off and chop shrimp up into bite size pieces! Add to lettuce.
Cook edamame according to the package, in my case, 3 minutes in the microwave, take out of the shell and add to the salad.
Slice red onion thin, dice the celery and add both to the dish.
In a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl, I whisked together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste! (I didn't use salt and I just added a touch of pepper!). This is your salad dressing. Pour over the salad and mix.
Chop up the dill and sprinkle it on top!