About Me

Welcome to my blog - my ramblings about trying to find healthy, affordable gluten free food in St. John's, NL.
Despite being gluten free, I love to try new products and am always interested to hear about new places to eat.
I try to help the environment and purchase organic products where possible.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Gluten Free Treasures - St. John's - Review

St. John's has an awesome local business Gluten Free Treasures. You can find them at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays, and you can also place an order through their Facebook page. 


Being extremely busy this time of year and working my two jobs, I decided I needed a treat and some help in the kitchen! I placed an order through their Facebook page, and it was followed up with an email on delivery times etc. 

My order was delivered right to my door yesterday evening and I seriously wanted to try everything at once. Everything came in a perfectly packed box lined with tissue paper and a holiday card :)

Among my order there were cinnamon rolls, bread, donuts, truffles, shortbread cookies, bagels, cherry loaf and tortillas ( I am trying these today - so excited!)

First up were the cinnamon rolls. Oh man - these were so good. They were moist, chewy, had lots of cinnamon flavor and drizzled with icing....I tried just eating half, but that didn't work at all! Did I mention they are also VEGAN? I see this as a repeat purchase! Check out the picture below! 

I also tried the shortbread cookies. I was amazed at how soft they were, yet they didn't fall apart and crumble all over the place! Not too sweet, and the dipped chocolate side was a bonus! 

In terms of pricing, everything is more than reasonable, plus it is delivered to your house! I've listed my detailed order below, but all of the pricing and order list can be found on their Facebook page (just click the notes section). 

Gluten Free Treasures make all their products from scratch and use local and organic ingredients when possible. They can also make substitutions upon request if needed (dairy free for example). 

Awesome job Gluten Free Treasures! 

My Order:
5 Truffles - Raspberry $5
1 Small Cinnamon Coffee Loaf - $4
1 Partridge Berry Loaf - $4
12 Cinnamon Rolls - $24
6 Donuts - $15 (chocolate glazed with coconut)
12 Shortbread cookies - $12
1 Vegan Sandwich Bread - $8
Pack of Tortillas - $6
6 Bagels - $12

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Amy's Gluten Free Burritos

Gluten Free Cheddar BurritoBoth Sobeys and Dominion carry the Amy's brand of gluten free burritos. There are two kinds: The Cheddar Burrito and the non-dairy version (I don't have a link because this one must just be available in Canada).

These typically cost close to $4 / burrito, BUT there are sales where they can be half price (Sobeys had these on a couple weeks ago). At $2 / burrito it's not too bad of a price!

Overall, I think this is a great product. There are over 70% organic ingredients and the only ingredient I had to look up was annatto (found in the cheese). Annatto is the seed from an achiote tree that is used for coloring.

You can cook these in the oven or microwave and both methods work fine. I like mine in the oven to give it a little crispiness. Pair it with salsa and sour cream and you are good to go!

The flavours of the burrito are not too strong (it's not too spicy) but my DH did say it needed more salt. I thought it was fine and it does have 430 mg of salt so I think he is just a salt fan! And yes - these are good enough for those non-GF eaters out there as well :)

I buy this product whenever it is on sale, and it's a great supper back up, lunch or snack item!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Gluten Free Products at Target (St. John's)

Target has been open for about 3 weeks now on Stavanger Drive. Target in the US usually has lots of organic, gluten free selections, so I was excited to see how Target Canada compared.

As I expected, the selection is much smaller; but the prices are not bad for the area. Also, there is no gluten free "section" which many stores (Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal Mart, Sobeys, etc.) now have. So it can be a bit of a hunt to find the items.

Some notables include:

1. Annie's Gluten free Mac & Cheese (both the white and yellow cheddar boxes) - this has got to be the best deal out there - $2.99 / box - I'm sure it's over $4 at other stores in the area

2. Food Should Taste Good Chips - these come in a variety of flavors - they run about $2.99-$3.99 a bag depending on the sales.

3. Annie's Chocolate and Vanilla Gluten Free Bunnies - these are $4.99/box but did go on sale for $3.99 a couple weeks back.

4. Bob's Red Mill Flours - I think they have coconut, all purpose and quinoa. The all purpose is under $5 and the others $8-$10 which is about normal.

5. Archer Farms Organic Fruit Strips - I love these - they are like fruit to go strips and the apricot is awesome! $2.99 for a box of 10

6. Pacific Chicken Broth - $3.49 a box - cheapest place I've seen (it does go on sale sometimes for $3.29 at Sobeys but not often!)

They also carry Chex, gluten free Rice Krispies and a couple Nature's Path cereals.

It's worth checking out if you are shopping there already!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Udi's French Baguettes Review

Udi's is always introducing new gluten free products to the market. Their baguettes are relatively new to Canada, and I've only seen them at Real Food Market in St. John's. These come in a package of two and you just cook from frozen.

In addition to being gluten free, they are also nut, soy and dairy free. They do however contain eggs. The bread is really simply to make - pop it in the oven for 10 minutes on 400 or until crispy, and you are good to go.

I thought the bread tasted pretty good, but I'm not dying to go back for more. The bread was tasty, and a pretty good chew factor, and wasn't hard as a rock, but I didn't think there was anything spectacular about it.

Overall, the ingredients are not too bad - I've listed them below from the Udi's website. The cultured corn syrup solids and the fumaric acid are a bit iffy - but they are towards the end of the list, so that's good!

These are best if you have 2 or more people to share with - I could only eat 1/2 the loaf and it wasn't super tasty left over.

WATER, BROWN RICE FLOUR, TAPIOCA STARCH, POTATO STARCH, EGG WHITES, MODIFIED TAPIOCA STARCH, NON-GMO CANOLA OIL, RICE BRAN, YEAST, XANTHAN GUM, SALT, DRIED CANE SYRUP, CULTURED CORN SYRUP SOLIDS AND CITRIC ACID (NATURAL MOLD INHIBITOR), LACTIC ACID, ENZYMES, FUMARIC ACID



Thursday, 21 November 2013

Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are so awesome! You can't tell they are gluten free at all and are moist and chewy. I adapted the recipe from The Complete Gluten Free Whole Grains Cookbook. The original recipe called for a LOT of sugar and honey on top of that. While I do have a sweet tooth, you can easily cut out most of the sugar and it tastes just fine :) I also used organic cranberries I purchased at bulk barn - as you can see from the picture below - they were quite plump! The cookies had good height and depth!

 This recipe makes about 48 cookies so you could easily half it if needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a pan with parchment paper

Ingredients: 
1 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of honey
2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 cup unsweentened coconut flakes
1/2 cup (or more) of dried cranberries

1. In a bowl, combine sorghum and coconut flours, cornstarch, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.
2. In a separate bowl (I used the Kitchen Aid), beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and honey, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in oats, coconut, and cranberries.
3. Drop dough (1 tbsp) on baking sheet.
4. Bake for 12 minutes (or until brown). Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Almond Flour Pancakes

Now that I'm making my own "milk" from almonds, I have lots of almond flour kicking around :) Last week I made almond flour pancakes. These were super simple and really yummy! I usually just make a few large ones and cut them in half as opposed to making a bunch of smaller ones - but it's totally your choice!

The resulting pancakes are light and fluffy and have a slight nutty taste from the almond flour.

Also, for convenience, I used the food processor to blend everything together and it makes for easy pouring into the pan!

Ingredients: 

1.5 cups of almond flour
3 eggs (or "flax egg")
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
Optional: fruit of choice (I used blueberries) 

Mix almond flour, eggs and milk together until well blended. Add fruit.

Cook 1-2 minutes per side depending on your pancake size.

I freeze these and they work out wonderful!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Home made Granola

I love granola - and making your own is super easy and delicious! Plus, it's cheaper than purchasing already made.

This recipe is VERY versatile, and you can pretty much ad lib any dried fruits or nuts you like. If using delicate dried fruits like raisins, add them about half way through the cooking process so they don't burn :)

Ingredients: 
3 cups of gluten free oats (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1 cup of dried fruit (I used cranberries)
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp of vanilla extract
6 Tbsp of unsalted butter
1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of honey


Instructions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl - oats, coconut, nuts, dried fruit and cinnamon
3. Heat butter and honey (in saucepan or microwave) until mixed. Add in vanilla and maple syrup.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients in with the dry and mix until coated.
5. Spread mixture in even layer on baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes (or until you have reached desired crispiness)

You can keep for 2 weeks in a sealed container - if it lasts that long! I had 2 containers full as shown in the picture.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Homemade Almond Milk

The last couple weeks I've been experimenting with some homemade non-dairy "milks". So far I've tried coconut and almond, and plan on trying rice in the near future.

In the past I've bought almond and coconut milks, and while they are good, sometimes they contain some ingredients that I would rather not eat if given a choice. Hence the experiments with homemade milks!

Making your own milk is really easy and you just need a blender and a milk/nut bag or cheesecloth (for straining).

Below are the steps to make Almond Milk - once you have tasted this stuff - you will never want to go back to store bought! It lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator and you need to shake before using as it separates without the use of stabilizers.

Your yield will be close to the water amount you add to your nuts to blend. You could also add some maple syrup or honey to sweeten, but I find it great as is :)

Almond Milk 

1 Cup whole almonds (soak overnight in 2-3 cups of water)
3-4 cups of fresh water (for blending) 

Rinse your soaked almonds and combine with 3-4 cups of fresh water (the more water you add, the thicker the milk). Blend for 1-2 minutes in your blender. 

Strain your mixture through cheese cloth or milk/nut bag. 

You can dry out the remains in the oven - and you have almond flour :) 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Wow , things have been busy! Last night I had time to make these awesome little macaroons. They literally take 10 minutes to make and not much clean-up required!

Everything goes in the one bowl, let set in the fridge for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to work with), roll into balls (or any other shape) and keep in the fridge!

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp of coconut oil melted
5-6 Tbsp of pure Maple Syrup
6 Tbsp of Cocoa Powder
2 Cups of unsweetened Shredded Coconut (plus more if you wish to decorate)
2 Tbsp of Arrowroot Flour
2 tsp vanilla extract


Mix everything together, let set and roll into balls!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Brenton Gluten Free Crackers

It's great to see more mainstream companies making gluten free foods. A couple weeks ago I picked up a box of gluten free Brenton crackers at Costco.

There are 4 boxes in a package and it sells for $7.59. The two varieties are Original with Flax and Herb and Garlic. I have to be honest - the Herb and Garlic are not quite my cup of tea. It has a little grassy taste for me. I'm pretty sure the rest of the package will be relegated to "soup" crackers!

The Original with Flax tastes like a normal cracker (I had non-GF tasters at work and home). It has a light, airy taste, and they almost melt in your mouth. Compared to other GF crackers like Mary's Gone Crackers or Crunchmaster - they definitely have a softer and more subtle taste.

The price is great, the crackers are tasty but I'm not a huge fan of the fact the number one ingredient is corn starch. Corn starch is pretty heavily processed - there are lots of opinions out there on how much you should eat! I understand it's hard to make GF foods taste the regular stuff - but I really think there might be a better solution than corn starch?

Either way - the crackers are good - great for a party (as non-GF eaters won't be able to tell the difference) and very affordable.

Anyone else have thoughts on these?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Gluten Free Shopping in St. John's - Where to Buy

I figured I'd do a post on where I like to buy products and generally what is available. I did a previous post on Costco here, but there are lots of other places as well - mind you Costco is still my favorite so I'll give a short update on that as well!

1. Natural Health Shop - This store is located on Stavanger Drive in the strip mall across from Montana's. It has practically any type of gluten free flour that you would need, as well as lots of other great natural health products. The prices for the gluten free flours are very reasonable as well.

2. Sobeys Stores - I usually shop at the Sobeys at Howley Estates. They have a great gluten free selection of cereals, cake and cookie mixes, pastas, chicken stock and freezer items. Most Sobeys around the city have similar selections but there may be small differences between individual stores. I find Sobeys can be expensive at times, but when there is a sale - it's a great chance to stock up!

3. Dominion Stores - Stavanger Drive has the best gluten free selection in my opinion. It is well stocked with cereals, mixes, pastas, cookies and a good frozen selection. Like Sobeys, the items can be expensive if they are not on sale. I do however find the prices are slightly lower than Sobeys on most things.

4. Real Food Market - Located behind the Needs store on Logy Bay Road, they carry a variety of gluten free and organic products. Delivery is an option as well. The store also carries a variety of organic and humanely raised meats that you won't find anywhere else. The prices tend to be on the higher side.

5. Wal Mart - the newly renovated Wal Marts have a labelled gluten free section as well as some flours located in the baking goods section. The store on Stavanger has cookies, crackers, a few mixes, granola bars and cereal. The selection is not huge, but the prices are a little lower than the supermarkets and if you are already shopping at Wal Mart - it will save you a trip to another store! You can also purchase items on walmart.ca and shipping is free!

6. Costco - I have to say, in the last 6 months Costco has really ramped up their gluten free selections. Currently at my store there is gluten free pizza, a couple types of cereal and pasta, deli selections, 3 types of "granola bars", baking mix, 2 types of cookies (go go quinoa and glutino), pretzels, bagel crisps, 2 types of crackers, tortilla chips, healthy planet soups, dips such as salsa, hummus, guacamole and organic gluten free chicken stock. Plus, there are meats, veggies, fruits etc. that are naturally gluten free. If you happen to like the brand/variety that Costco carries it's usually a 1/4-1/2 the price you would have to pay at the supermarket. Also, many of these items go on coupon, and it's an even better deal! Here's a hint though - like everything at Costco, it could be there one day and gone the next - so stock up if you really like it!

7. NEW! Shoppers Drug Mart - I just noticed Shoppers Drug Mart on Torbay Road has a new gluten free section with signage and all! They carry some Glutino, Nature's Path, Kellogg's and Catelli products so far. It is also featured in their new flyers. Awesome!

Where do you like to shop?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I love these muffins - they have a great chocolate taste, and the only added sugar is the chocolate chips as the recipe uses dates as a sweetener!

If you don't like buckwheat flour (it has a little stronger taste) you could sub in a millet, chickpea or quinoa flour as these are considered heavier gluten free flours.

Ingredients: 

1.5 cups of non-dairy beverage (I used Almond Fresh Original) - unsweetened is fine as well
1.5 cups of dates
3/4 cup of brown rice flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup coconut cream (this is the top part of the can of coconut milk after it is refrigerated)
4 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of vegan chocolate chips/chunks - I use Enjoy Life 

Method:

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees and line 12 muffin holders

2. In a large mixing bowl combine and mix all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips

3. Put the coconut cream, dates, vanilla, and 1 cup of non-dairy beverage in a food processors and blend until smooth. Stir this with the dry ingredients and slowly add the other 1/2 cup liquid.

4. Mix until you have a cake-like batter and stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way and bake for 18-22 minutes. Depending on your muffin size - check to ensure they do not over bake.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Home made Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I love Cinnamon Raisin Bread - my Nan used to make it all the time when I was younger, and it's such a great snack with butter or jam. 

There are a few brands of cinnamon raisin bread around here, but I decided to try to make my own. This recipe was pretty straightforward, and had good results. Next time I think I'll leave the tinfoil off longer than 15 minutes - I like the bread toasty on top :) 


The bread is moist, has a good texture, and of course is awesome toasted! I usually slice it and freeze after 2 days to ensure it stays fresh :)

This recipe doesn't require a bread maker, so anyone can make it! I found the recipe on Hope's Kitchen website and have listed it below! 

Enjoy! 


3 c GF Flour Mix - see below for recipe
2 t xanthan gum
1/2  t sea salt
3 T sugar 
1 t dry yeast
1 t cinnamon 
2 t coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 1/2 c + 2 T warm water
3/4 c raisins 

1. Grease and dust with GF flour an 8×4 loaf pan.  Heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Combine GF Flour Mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, dry yeast and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3.  In mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and warm water together and then add the dry ingredients. Mix on high for 2 minutes, this activates the yeast. It should resemble a thicker cake batter.  Gently stir in raisins.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with a tea towel.  Turn OFF the oven and set the covered bread in the warm oven to rise. Carefully shut the oven door.
5. The bread will take about 30 min. to rise to just below the top of the pan.  Take the bread out carefully and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
6.  Place bread in preheated oven and bake 50-55 minutes.  After the first 15 minutes, tent tinfoil over the bread for the remainder of the baking time to prevent the crust from darkening too much.
7. Test the bread with a toothpick. After you’ve removed the bread from the oven, immediately rub the top with butter. Remove loaf from the pan to a wire rack to cool. 
8.  Let cool completely before cutting.   This makes a big difference on how well it will slice and stay together.


Paula's Gluten Free Flour Mix (this makes enough for 2 loaves of bread plus 1 extra cup)
1 1/2 c. millet flour
1 1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 c. potato starch
1 c. arrowroot powder 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Online order at Walmart.ca - Review

I received my walmart.ca online on Friday :) Delivered right to the mail box - it was pretty cool! (Note that my package came via Canada Post and was placed in the larger box on the bottom of the mail box group. If your package is too large, you may have to pick up at a postal outlet).

As it was my first time ordering, I just placed a small order to see what it was like. I placed my order on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and it arrived Friday, Sept. 20. It's not super fast, but not horrible - especially considering it was free shipping and the items have the potential to be heavy! All the items were well packed and secure, and nothing was broken or damaged.

I ordered Pacific Chicken Broth @ $3.67 (it usually runs $4.49 - $5 in the grocery store, but sometimes will go on sale for $3.50), 2 packs of Dr. Lucy's Cookies @ $4.47 and a package of Tinkyada Organic Brown rice spaghetti @ $3.47. I've seen Dr. Lucy's cookies at Costco once, but otherwise they are hard to come by around here. Also, most grocery stores carry the Tinkyada brand of pasta, but I'm not sure if it's organic.

The prices online are all cheaper than the regular price at the grocery store, and I love the fact I can sit home, and order to re-load my pantry! Not to mention that I really enjoy Dr. Lucy's cookies as a treat :)

If you live outside a major center and have limited options for gluten free groceries - this is a great competitively priced way to get GF foods.

I give the whole online Wal Mart experience a 9.5 / 10. The only place it lost points was when I was trying to check out, the forms do not like special characters (and St. John's has 2 of them). Once I figured that out - I was good to go!

Friday, 20 September 2013

WOW Chocolate Chip Cookies Review

I recently picked up a new (to me) kind of cookie at Sobeys. It's from WOW Baking Company. Based out of Washington state, they are a wheat free and gluten free company. Their product line includes cookies, cookie dough and cake mixes. I've only seen their bagged cookies around these parts, but they offer 5 types: Chocolate Chip, Lemon Burst, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter and Ginger Molasses (can't say I've seen this particular flavour).

Cookies come in a re-seable bag, however, they probably won't be resealed for long as they are quite delicious! The cookies are soft, have a slight chewiness, and are bite size. From what I can tell from the label, 2 cookies is considered a serving and comes in at about 140 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of fat. Depending on your sugar allowances, they might have a bit too much sugar for some people.

These cookies have pretty normal looking ingredients: flour blend, chocolate chips, sugar, butter, eggs etc. They do contain eggs, milk and soy (soy lecithin is in the chocolate chips). There is nothing artificial which is awesome :)

There is a note on the package that they are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility so no worries about cross contamination!

The cookies were $4.99 a bag at Sobeys - but regular price is $5.99. I really enjoyed these; so did non-GF people! They are worth a try!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Maria's Lentil Pasta Review

Gluten free pasta is a staple in my pantry. I try to keep 2-3 different varieties at all times as it makes a quick meal, great salad, or addition to soup.

The last time I was in Toronto I picked up a bag of Maria's Red Lentil Pasta. I had never seen lentil pasta before, but figured it was worth a try! The ingredients are just ground lentil flour and water - so it has healthy ingredients with no bizarre additions!

Like most GF pasta - paying CLOSE attention to cooking is important. The package says 5-8 minutes, and I found at minute 6 mine were good to go.

These noodles didn't taste like lentils at all, and really held their shape. As an experiment, I left them in the fridge overnight and the next day when re-heated they were a little mushy, but no worse than regular pasta left over.

Now, I have the problem that I can't seem to find anywhere to re-buy them! They are made in Ontario, but the company doesn't seem to ship. I also contacted them, but didn't hear back :(. I'll just have to stock up next time I'm in Toronto!


UPDATE: Once I contacted the company, they shipped my pasta for a flat rate $10 fee. Check out the goodies below!



Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gluten Free Items at Wal Mart.ca

I just found out this morning that WalMart.ca  carries gluten free items that are available for shipping! At a quick glance, they have Dr. Lucy's Cookies, Duinkerken, Kinnikinnick, Betty Crocker and more!

I plan to order - and I'll post on my experience :)

Here's the post http://www.glutenfreenl.com/2013/09/online-order-at-walmartca-review.html

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Vega One All in One Nutrition Bars

I'll start off my saying, I am not a protein bar person. Mostly, I think they taste like a mixture of cardboard and granulated cement - not to mention the sometimes bizarre ingredients they contain.

A few weeks ago I was walking around downtown and popped into Whole Health. They carry a great selection of gluten free and natural products including the Vega One bars. I seen these before but never actually tried them. I've tried multiple Vega protein powders but there's only a couple I actually like.

The bars are EXPENSIVE! (or at least I thought they were). It was $4 for one, but you can get them for a little more than $3 online if you purchase a box.

There are three flavours to pick from: Cherry, Chocolate Almond and Double Chocolate. I went with the double chocolate. Each bar packs a big punch with 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, Omega 3's and antioxidants.

Texture wise, I have to say, the bars were not bad. They were a tiny bit grainy, but not granulated cement. The taste was really good, nice chocolate, but not too sweet. The bars do fill you up and would be a substantial snack.

Overall, the bars were good - I might consider buying a package of them online for travel especially.

Vega does not certify their products as non-GMO which is kind of a downer. Most of the ingredients listed seem pretty healthy, and they use real sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners.

Anyone try other types of Vega bars?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Slow Cooker Baked Beans Recipe (Gluten Free and Vegan)

I love beans of any sort really, but one of my favorites is baked beans. These are pretty easy, especially when you use a slow cooker!

There are a couple options to getting started: 1. You can soak your beans overnight (this would be the on-the-ball person) 2. You can finally make it to the grocery store at 2 pm and boil the beans on low for 1 hour and proceed to cook from there. 

I find option 2 pretty easy, and the beans turn out perfect. You can even turn off the burner once the beans initially start to boil. 

Typically baked beans call for bacon (especially in Newfoundland). While I do enjoy bacon, I tried to find a recipe that didn't call for it, but still tasted awesome! After a couple adaptations - here's the baked bean recipe for the slow cooker. You could also bake in the oven or on top of the stove if you don't have a slow cooker. Because these beans have neither Worcestershire sauce or bacon, they are also vegan.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 pound dried white beans
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup ketchup (plus an extra tablespoon or two)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: 
1. Soak the beans overnight or boil for 1 hour on low. 
2. Drain the beans 
3. Add all the above ingredients into the slow cooker 
4. Cook 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low 

It's really easy, and beans are such a filling and nutritious food. This makes about eight, 1/2 cup servings, coming in at 130 calories a serving with 4 grams of fiber :) 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Ian's Fish Sticks Review

Ian's Natural Foods makes some kid friendly (and adult friendly) quick foods. I've spied the chicken nuggets and the fish sticks quite often in the supermarket, and I finally purchased the fish sticks to try. 

While I'm not much of a processed food eater, I'll give anything a go, and I figured these would make a nice snack some night! 

Ian's products are free of many allergens, and the fish sticks are free of wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts and soy! Similar to "regular" fish sticks, you just pop them in the oven, cook for 15-20 minutes, and you have your food ready to eat. 

Overall, the fish sticks tasted great. They were a little small, but not too bad. As I can remember, they tasted the same as fish sticks I had before becoming GF. There was a nice seasoning, but not spicy, just good flavor. The ingredients listed are Fish sticks (whole pollock fillets, coated with (cornflake crumbs (milled corn, cane sugar, sea salt) water, yellow corn flour, corn starch, sea salt, garlic powder, baking powder. 

I like that's it's minimal ingredients, and fish sticks are not something I would try to make home made for the most part, so this brand is great. 

My non-GF better half also tried them and thought they tasted like a fish stick (he's not a big fish stick fan to begin with). One of the kids also ate a couple and thought they were great :) 

A box will typically run $6-$7 in NL, unless you can find them on sale (which is rare). Ian's makes many different products, however, the chicken nuggets and the fish sticks appear mostly on the shelves around here. 




Monday, 19 August 2013

The Works Restaurant Review

The Works Restaurant recently opened in St. John's. This is a gourmet burger chain, and their menu looked pretty good when I checked it out online.

Last Thursday we made our way downtown to check it out.

The decor is pretty funky, and they have a little deck which is nice for the supper months! The menu is quiet large and detailed, but on the bottom of the page they note all their menu items are gluten free except regular buns, teriyaki sauce, a few ice cream dishes and a few breaded dishes. I thought it really neat that they had that on their regular menu!

I ordered the veggie burger without a bun (they were out of gluten free buns) and kamikaze combo. For my side I had coleslaw. My better half had the regular burger and the die cut chips which were also yummy.

It was interesting all the burgers had to the same price (or very close). You could have a regular burger, chicken breast, portobello mushroom cap or veggie burger as you main item, and then just match with the toppings/sauce combo.

The food was pretty tasty. We found the actually burger (hamburger and veggie) didn't have much taste by themselves, but the toppings and sauces more than compensated.

Overall, it was a good meal for $15 a person - we would go back!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Pure Pantry Pancake and Baking Mix - Product Review

Winners carries a great selection of gluten free goodies - while I rarely go there, when I do, I usually stock up! Last time I picked up a PurePantry Pancake Mix. It carries the GF symbol and is also dairy, soy, egg and nut free. Oh, and it's Organic! Winning combination in my books :)

The package was $6.99 and there was also a larger version if you so desired. The primary ingredient in the mix is buckwheat flour, and per 1/3 cup of the mix there is 5 grams of fiber. I am usually impressed when anything gluten free has fiber because it's so rare.

I added blueberries (my favorite) to the mixture, and the pancakes turned out awesome! They were really fluffy and light - not dense like some GF ones can be.


I made mine big - so I got about half the expected yield (10-12) for the serving instructions! I figured I'd probably just eat two small ones, so it was more time efficient to make them big!

Overall, it was a great mix - if you have super taste buds, you might get a hint of buckwheat, but otherwise - great mix!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk

So Delicious is a great company that has been around for awhile. Owned by Turtle Mountain LLC, they have multiple lines of non-dairy products including almond, coconut and soy based products.

While I don't have any allergies to dairy, I've slowly been giving up (or limiting) most dairy products. I'm not a vegetarian or a vegan - and I probably never will a die hard one, but I do find non-animal products easier to digest!

One of my favorite So Delicious products is the cultured coconut milk. I guess this is sort of a yogurt equivalent. Previously I tried the plain version which was great, but then I tried the blueberry. It is awesome! You do need to stir the container before eating, but it has a nice thick and smooth consistency once it is properly mixed. I like to dip fruit in it, or sprinkle granola and/or fruit on top.

I've only seen the 454 gram sizes around here, and they are usually about $3.99 regular price at the grocery store. It's more expensive than dairy yogurt, but it packs a good nutritional punch.

As you can see from the label, you get 8 grams of fiber for 140 calories as well as 30% of your daily calcium. It also carries the GF symbol and it is non-GMO. :)

If you have dairy allergies, you should definitely give this product a try! Even if you don't - I highly recommend you try it!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tim Hortons Gluten Free Macaroons Review

This summer is just flying by! I've been trying to keep up with the blog - but I always end up getting sidetracked!

Today I tried the Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons from Tim Hortons. These are a new offering and come in a wrapped package of two. A co-worker brought a package back to me today, so I had to try them!

Just like a good macaroon, they have a nice light texture, and awesome coconut flavour. Each cookie is 125 calories, and has 12.5 grams of sugar. They pack a nice sugar punch as the second ingredient is icing sugar!

Each package has a sticker of when they were made, and their best before date - it's about 5 days from the date of packaging. The package also carries the certified GF symbol and are supported by the Canadian Celiac Association.


I think it's great to finally see Quick Service restaurants offering some gluten free goodies. Instead of just coffee, I can also have a snack if I want when I go to Tim Hortons!




Monday, 29 July 2013

Coco Cupcakes - Cupcake and Experience Review

St. John's is home to the local business Coco Cupcakes. Ever since a co-worker brought me in a cupcake, I've meant to go back because it was delicious! 

Friday afternoon I stopped by on my way home from work. They are located off of Torbay Road and Newfoundland Drive so it's convenient for me, and parking is not an issue. 

Coco Cupcakes does gluten free cupcakes on Fridays and Saturdays, and they are stored in back away from the other cupcakes out front. The owner explained that because they are not a completely gluten free facility, they can't guarantee gluten free / be certified gluten free. It's great they are upfront so customers can make an informed decision. She also explained they use whole ingredients and make their own strawberry icing from real strawberries, lemon icing from real lemons etc. They have their own gluten free blend of flour and starches and nothing is pre-packaged. 

Now on to the GOOD Stuff! I went with 6 cupcakes for $19 (I think) and I choose vanilla cake. If you buy the 6 pack, you do not have to pay tax because it is a grocery item. AND, from what I can tell, the gluten free cupcakes are the SAME PRICE and the regular ones. I think that's the first time I've ever seen that! 

For the icing, I went with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. These cupcakes are to die for. Seriously, they are huge! and SO TASTY! I'd like to say I eat 1/2 then save the rest for later, but no, I have to eat the entire cupcake in one sitting. 

The cupcakes freeze really well (also a great way to keep from eating the entire box), and I plan to haul them out for some special treats! 

These cupcakes are just awesome - the height on the icing is crazy! (you could probably ask for less icing as they ice the gluten free ones while you wait), but me - I love it! 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Angie's Kettle Corn Review

Costco in St. John's has been carrying more and more gluten free items in the last 6 months. I picked up a box of individual popcorn bags from Angie's Popcorn a couple days ago. There are 2 flavours in the box - Boom ChickaPop with just sea salt, and a Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn. You get 24 bags for $9.99. 

The Boom ChickA Pop are pretty plain, just a hint of salt. It's pretty much just plain popcorn with a little salt flavour! There's 90 calories in a bag of these. 

The Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn has a lovely crunch and taste of caramel (it's my favourite!) There's a 140 calories in a bag of these. 

Now, on to the important stuff! These products are certified GF, non-GMO, Kosher, no corn syrup, no trans fats and are a whole grain! Really, that's quite an impressive list! I love these for snacks, and I think would be a good afternoon pick me up without too many calories! 



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Zing Chocolate Coconut Bars - Product Review

Winners has a large variety of gluten free goodies. While I don't go that often around these parts, I did stop into a Winners while I was in Toronto.

I came across a pack of 12 Zing Chocolate Coconut Bars for $12.99 - apparently the retail price was $35 - so it seemed like a good deal! Since I was waiting for my mom, I did a quick Google search, and the reviews seemed pretty good so I gave them a try.

The bars are certified gluten free and do not contain soy or dairy. Each bar has 210 calories, 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 13 grams of sugar.

I really liked the bars. They were soft, not grainy (like some protein rich bars) and had a wonderful combination of chocolate and coconut. If you don't like coconut - you probably wont' like these bars. There is a definite coconut flavour!

These bars keep you full, and make for a quick snack/meal on the run, as well as a sweet treat!

I did look for them at the Winners in the Avalon Mall, but didn't see any. The website lists Whole Foods and Safeway as retailers that carry the products so you can probably get them in some parts of Canada!





Monday, 8 July 2013

Sabatasso's Gluten Free Pizza - Product Review

Costco is really stepping up here in St. John's and providing LOTS of new gluten free options! One of their latest is Frozen gluten free pizza by Sabatasso's.

I couldn't believe it when I saw it - of course, it was a must have! There are 2 pizzas in the box for $12.99 here in NL. It's 4 cheese (this would appeal to the most people) and it's certified by the Canadian Celiac Association. You can see the out ridge of original pizza, then my mountain of toppings!

Like a regular frozen pizza, you just pop it in the oven for 12-15 minutes, place directly on the rack, and voila - a yummy pizza! I really put the pizza to the test by adding some on my own toppings. I love chunky pizzas, so on went hot peppers, chicken, bacon, mushrooms and red onions.

The crust was thin and crunchy when cooked, and held up to my toppings overload. It had a sweet taste, and the left overs were just as good. Unlike "gluten" frozen pizzas, the crust didn't get rock solid or super chewy after it cooled. It remained nice and light :)

My better half also tried it and liked it, as did one of the kids! That means it is clearly a winner!

The ingredients overall are not *too* bad given it is a ready to eat product. It's about 300 calories per quarter of a pizza, so it's not diet by any means - but great as a treat!





Thursday, 4 July 2013

Nan's Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to try some Chocolate Chip Cookies from Nan's Kitchen. This is a local home-based business that specializes in gluten free and diabetic friendly baked goods. You can place your order through phone or email, and sometimes they attend the Some Good Market when it's in St. John's.

The owner (Joella) doesn't have celiac, but she has family members with gluten intolerance and diabetic needs.

I was actually given 2 products: the ready-to-eat cookies in a nice little bag with tag indicating ingredients and calorie content; as well as, some frozen ready to bake cookies that I can just pop in the oven!

As soon as I took a picture, I had to try one! The cookies are a pretty good size, but not too thick and doughy. They have that nice light crusty exterior, and a soft and chewy interior. There are lots of chocolate chips as well so you don't feel like you are jipped! (some store bought cookies are skimpy on the chocolate bits).

As a second measure of taste - I got my DH to try a cookie as well. He thought they were really tasty and "tasted liked a chocolate chip cookie". From a gluten eater - that's high praise for gluten free items!

This weekend I am going to try the bake at home version and will post an update!

Nan's Kitchen also does other goodies which they list on their Facebook page (along with pricing). I'd like to try the peanut butter cookies and brownies sometime - they look awesome! As a side note - the pricing is very reasonable for gluten free home-baked goodies!

Great job Nan's Kitchen! Thanks for the cookies!

UPDATE: The take and bake cookies were awesome! I left them on the counter and I was actually asked after the cookie was eaten if it was GF or regular!

Here's some pictures - it took about 16 minutes for mine to be done.