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, 27 February 2013

GoGo Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies Review

So, while I should be in Florida right now, I'm stuck with cancelled flights and hopes of leaving tomorrow. I went over to Costco tonight for some retail therapy and scored a new find! GoGo Quinoa Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies :)

There is about 25 cookies in the box that sells for $6.59. Not only that - they are individually wrapped! Yay! Portable, fresh cookies all the time!

I tried one as soon as I got home - they are decent size (slightly smaller than a Mr. Christie cookie) but quite plump, and a good amount of cookie to them.

Because they are slightly thicker, there is more cookie per bite, and they certainly call for some milk.

Overall, I thought these were awesome! Not too sweet, but a great dessert or snack. Also, they are dairy free, vegan and egg free.

Has anyone else tried these?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Namaste Bread Mix Review

I'm starting to get low on bread, so I decided to try something different this week. I picked up a bread mix by Namaste at Real Food Market for a weekend project. 

Namaste makes a great pizza crust mix that I love, and their products are free of many allergens. This mix is gluten, wheat, soy, corn, potato, casein, peanut and nut free; as well as GMO free. 

The mix was about $7, and makes one loaf of bread (it's not the cheapest option out there). A yeast package comes with the mix, but you need to add 1/4 cup of oil, 1 whole egg, and 3 egg whites. I'm not sure if egg replacer would work or not. 

It's pretty easy to make: dissolve yeast in warm water for 5 minutes, mix all ingredients together, blend in mixer for 3 minutes, and let "rise" for 30 minutes before baking at 350 for 70 minutes. 

The "dough" is the consistency of a thick cake mixture, and not really like dough-dough. Don't touch it - it's sticky! 

Let's talk about the "rising" part. I placed mine on top of the pellet stove, so it was plenty warm, but I didn't see much rising action to be honest. Considering I never thought gluten free bread rose anyway, I popped it in the oven after 30 minutes. 

When there was 30 minutes left I covered with a piece of foil to prevent over browning. Once 70 minutes were up, I took it out and it seemed pretty well done. 

Overall, the bread turned out fine minus a "roof" section on the top. Mental note to get a knife next time and spread as flat as possible. 

The taste was pretty good - there wasn't really a lot of taste - a sweet dough taste, and that dreaded gluten free after-taste was mildly present - not much, but it was there. Bear in mind, I have super taste buds, so this might be completely unnoticeable to most people! 

The texture was great, squishy, soft and just like home made bread should be! The loaf height was pretty standard to your typical gluten free breads. 

I think I'd try this one again, if nothing else for the warm home made bread out of the oven experience. I had a warm slice out of the oven and it was quite lovely :) 

There is also a recipe on the bag for a cinnamon raisin option which might also be good! 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Places to Shop for Gluten Free Foods in St. John’s

Looking over my blog, I realized I didn't really have a dedicated post of my favourite stores to shop at in the St. John’s area. I've linked some of the stores to previous posts if relevant.

1. Costco – People are probably tired of me going on about Costco, but they do carry some great gluten free products – and they are always so affordable!  My Costco shopping list is here

2. Real Food Market – I love this online store, they have many gluten free offerings as well as organic products. I did a post about my experience here. 

3. Sobeys – Howley Estates – this store has a great selection of gluten free products. The freezer has a section (noted by the blue GF ribbon) and an entire aisle of just gluten free as well. This is my favorite Sobeys – however, Kelsey Drive and Torbay Road also have gluten free selections.

4. Dominion – Stavanger Drive – the Stavanger drive Dominion has the largest gluten free selection; however, the Dominion on Blackmarsh has some products that are different (Enjoy life Sugar cookies). The Stadium Dominion while having more organic produce, has less variety of gluten free specific items.

5. The Natural Health Shop – located on Stavanger drive between Old Navy and McDonald's - this store carries gluten free products including Namaste products, Eden products and other gluten free snacks.

6. Nourish Bakery – Nourish is great for a treat – I like many of their products and have done several reviews. It’s a bit out of the way for me, but you can order their products from Real Food Market as well.

Where is your favourite place to shop for gluten free food in SJ? 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Glutino Breakfast Bars Review

11-1019M Breakfast Bars CherryA couple weeks ago, Dominion was clearing out gluten free products - some had close expiry dates but 90% of them were good until the fall or later.

One of the items I picked up was the Glutino Breakfast Bars - they are normally $5.99 a box which is WAY too expensive for me, but for $3.00 - I was willing to try them.

I picked up the Cherry flavour, but they also come in Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple. They are pretty much the same texture as a nutrigrain bar - maybe a little more coating (and less fruit filling), but overall, pretty comparable.

The taste is also pretty good - there is a very slight after-taste with the first bite, but goes away as you keep eating.

I don't think I'd spend $6 on a regular basis for a box of these, but $3.00 is pretty reasonable and I'd purchase them again. In fact, I ordered the blueberry flavour online from Vitacost and am excited to try them!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Surf Sweets Candy - Product Review

Candy is a tricky thing when you are celiac. Apparently wheat makes a great filler and/or coating on many unsuspecting items. Licorice, Smarties, expensive chocolates, etc. Surf Sweets are a great company that offers organic, gluten free candy options (some are also vegan and vegetarian).

Surf Sweets All Natural Jelly BeansThese come in a variety of types: gummy bears, sour worms, jelly beans, sour bears and seasonal treats. I've tried the jelly beans, gummy bears and sour worms. They remind me of taking trips to the store to get a treat when I was growing up.

The jelly beans are a little smaller than your traditional beans, and are not quite as chewy inside - they are extremely addictive though!

The gummy worms and bears are awesome too - not as "gummy" as the traditional kind, but tastes great.

You can get these at the grocery store, Real Food Market, well.ca and amazon.com if you live in the US.

They usually run $2.50-$2.99 a bag depending on sales etc. They are much cheaper in the US so I usually pick up a couple bags when I visit :)

I highly recommend these candy :D

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Nourish Bakery – English Muffin and Bagel Review

I hadn’t been to Nourish in forever, so last Friday I made the trip out to try a few new products. I picked up the bagels (plain) and the English muffins to test out. Both products are frozen, and the bagels are sold in sets of two, the muffins in sets of four.
I defrosted the bagel the night before and then popped it in the toaster for breakfast. It toasted pretty well, and the texture was pretty light and fluffy. It had a bit of a “chew” factor which was much appreciated! The bagels were smaller than regular bagels, but were filling. They almost had a sweet taste to them – very yummy! The price is a little high – two bagels are $6.50 making it a treat item for me!

I tried the English Muffins next – they are already precut, so you can take out a half one at a time and not risk stabbing your hand, counter etc. trying to get them apart!
I toasted this one as well, and I really liked the taste on them. They again had this sweet homemade bread taste which was awesome! They were a little denser than say the Kinnikinnick English Muffins and slighter smaller, but pretty tasty! I have to try to make my homemade Egg McMuffins again!

These were not quite as expensive (per each) as the bagels, around $7 for the four package. Sometimes there are promos as well where you can get a discount!

I recommend both of these products to try if you are bagel or English muffin lover!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Home made Chickpea Patties

Everyone had hamburgers for supper today, and I'm not really a red meat person - so I went searching for an alternative.

The result - chickpea patties :) These are super easy to make, and taste awesome. I also tried a couple versions - thicker smaller patties that would fit well with gluten free sized buns (on the left), as well as larger, thinner patties (on the right) which would be good for regular buns or simply to eat like a hashbrown patty!

These were easy to work with, didn't fall apart, and had a nice taste and texture. Even, the bigger one didn't fall apart!

1 can of chickpeas drained
1 large carrot, or about 3/4 cup grated coarsely
1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
1.5 tsp of cumin
1.5 tsp of coriander
1 egg
2 tbsp of all purpose gluten free flour
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
optional: cayenne pepper if you want to add some heat!

1. Roughly blend the chickpeas, spices and garlic in a food processor until a crumbly paste
2. Add egg, flour, and carrot and blend until slightly rugged
3. Divide into 8 portions
4. Heat oil in pan, then cook patties 4 at a time (or how ever many you can comfortably fit in your pan)
5. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, and dry on paper towel.

 On the left, the first batch in the pan, on the right, the ones waiting for the pan!