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 :)

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Orgran Outback Animals Vanilla Cookies Review

While I was in the US I picked up my order from Vitacost. One of items I wanted to try was the Outback Animal Vanilla Cookies. These are made by an Austrialian company and they are also available at the Sick Kids Hospital Store in Toronto (they ship as well).

These are a great little cookie. It has a good vanilla flavour, sweet, but not overpowering, and a texture that is comparable to a regular animal cookie.

Unlike the Kinnikinnick animal cookies, they are a little thicker, and a little less sweet tasting.

These would be a great treat for kids who are celiac. They are cool animal shapes and have a great taste :)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Frosted Amazon Flakes Product Review

I've written about Nature's Path cereal before, and I love them all - this one is no exception. The only snag is Frosted Amazon Flakes are only available in the US or from US retailers like vitacost.com.

These are lightly frosted crunchy flakes with the perfect amount of frosting. It only has 6 grams of sugar per serving which is not too bad considering they are frosted!

As per most gluten free cereals, they are not additionally fortified like mainstream cereals. But they only have 3 ingredients: organic corn meal, organic cane sugar and sea salt.

They are certified organic and gluten free and non-GMO project verified.

I love topping this cereal with the new Qi'a cereal I purchased. Adds a nice flavour and the qi'a doesn't get too gelled when mixed with another cereal!

This seems to be one of the only Enviro Kidz cereals that is not available in Canada, so maybe it will be sold here soon!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Glutino Vegetable Crackers Product Review

CDN_Crackers VegetableI like to have a box of crackers at work for quick snacks; and my favorite toppings are almond butter and jam.

Last week I picked up a box of the Gluntino Vegetable Crackers. These are available at most grocery stores in the Gluten Free / Natural Health section. I picked mine up from Real Food Market.

I really like the Glutino brand of crackers; they are creamy, have a slight crunch, but don't crumble to bits. The vegetable ones have a nice herb / spice blend that makes them tasty on their own, or paired with cheese. They would also compliment a salad.

They retail around $5 a box but are a little cheaper at Real Food Market. The box has 2 bags inside which helps with the freshness and managing to eat the crackers before they go stale!

I've tried the cheddar and the plain varieties of these crackers as well and they are all awesome :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

Just a quick post to let you know of a great recipe posted on the Bay Vegetarian's Blog. It's a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito Recipe. I used the cranky rice tortillas and they worked fine! I also froze 6 for quick suppers!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Here's a great recipe for any time of the year - it's colorful, filling and super tasty! It's also pretty simple to make - and easy on the pocket book :) Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili - adapted from Michael Smith's Chef at Home recipe 

1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic (or really as much as you want!)
2 carrots
1 Tbsp of chili powder
1/2 Tbsp of cumin
1/2 Tbsp of oregano
1 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
2 cups of chicken broth - my favorite brand is Pacific
1.5 cups of water (more or less depending on how thick you want it)
1/2 can of tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
1 cup of corn
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce if you like it spicy!

1. Heat Olive Oil and cook onions, garlic and carrots until fragrant - about 5 minutes.
2. Add spices and cook for 1-2 minutes
3. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chicken broth, water and rice. Cook for about 35-40 minutes until rice is tender on low heat.
4. Stir in corn and add salt and pepper and let corn warm through (about 5 minutes).

That's it! It's a great item to freeze for quick lunches and stores well in the fridge :)

** you could make it vegan by subbing vegetable broth for chicken broth**

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Blueberry Burst Scones with Qi’a Recipe

Every month, the Howley Estates Wellness Team posts recipes and new products on their Facebook page. This month, one of the new products was Qi’a cereal by Nature’s Path. I wrote a review on that here.

Below is an adapted recipe for Blueberry Scones. These were awesome - soft, moist and had a slight chew factor. The cereal was a great addition to these because the Chia seeds expand in liquid and create a moist texture.

They were not really sweet as there was only 1/3 cup of brown sugar in the whole recipe. However, they are great paired with some butter (or butter substitute) and my personal favorite – peanut butter. My non-GF DH also gobbled them down – so they really are good!

* 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cusine Soleil)
* 1/2 cup Qi’a Cranberry-Vanilla Cereal
* 1/3 cup Compliments Organic brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
* 1 cup  milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice (I used almond milk)
* 1/4 cup Compliments Organic sunflower oil
* 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or peeled chopped apples or pears)
* Additional Qi’a Cranberry-Vanilla Cereal for sprinkling on top Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, Qi’a, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula, stirring with as few strokes as possible. Lightly fold in the blueberries or chopped fruit.
4. Scoop the batter on to parchment lined baking sheets, making 12 scones total.
5. Sprinkle with additional Qi’a. About a teaspoon of each per scone (this is optional)
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Nature's Path Qi'a Cereal Review

Qi'a™ Superfood - Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal - Cranberry Vanilla [npa-320074.jpg]I love Nature's Path cereals. They are organic, are certified gluten free (selected varieties) and really tasty. They have a new cereal line out called Qi'a (kee-ah) which is made with Chia, Hemp and Buckwheat. It comes in 3 varieties Cranberry Vanilla, Original, and Apple Cinnamon.

Sobey's on Elizabeth avenue carries the Cranberry Vanilla kind which is probably the one I would like the most anyway :)

This cereal is called a superfood and one serving is only 2 tablespoons. It says to leave the cereal in milk (or non dairy substitute) for 5 minutes for the chia seeds to soak. I used unsweetened almond milk, and it was fine.

After five minutes I went to dig in and was a little surprised by the texture. Chia seeds expand like crazy in liquid and as a result, the cereal is more like a gel or pudding. Mind you it still tasted great, but I think it will take a little while to get used to the texture - or pretend it's a pudding as opposed to cereal!

I think it would be good sprinkled on yougart or with another cereal such as corn flakes.

The Qi'a line is gluten free, organic and of course non-gmo. It also has no added sugar, and the sugar per serving on the Cranberry is 3 grams. There is also 4 grams of fibre per serving - so a little goes a long way!

The bag costs $8.99 which is not bad considering a serving is small; also, chia seeds seem to be expensive around these parts! On their US website, the purchase price is $8.39 so I think we are getting an ok deal here :)

Stay tuned - I have a Blueberry Scone recipe to post that uses this cereal :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Gluten Free Pantry Cookie Mix Review

Gluten Free Pantry is made by Glutino - they seem to be a newer line, with bright, attractive packaging.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cake Mix looked like it might be ok, so I decided to give it a try. My Mom has had success with their pie crust, so I figured it was worth a shot!

It's pretty straightforward to make, add eggs, butter and a little oil (instructions are on the box of course) and then bake.

Everything seemed to be going fine until they ended up in the oven and started to EXPAND like crazy. I didn't have them really close, but obviously the drops were too big, and too close. They rose nicely, and in the end - there was only a few I had to sort of break apart.

Despite being weirdly shaped - they were quite tasty. They had a great crunch, and were light and crispy on the inside. Even though it was a mix - there were plenty of chocolate chips to go around :)

This mix is also verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Bars Review

I picked up a pack of these bars a couple weeks ago at Dominion. I’m always looking for some nutritious grab and go snacks that I can take in my purse or car. The regular price of the bars is about $5 a box, but they were on for 50% off; so I took the leap and tried them.

You can smell the apple part of the bar when you go to take a bite – the caramel is not as distinct. These are sort of a baked-cookie type bar, with a fairly substantial thickness to them. Due to the thickness, they are a little dry – not too bad, but you might want some milk or tea/coffee to pair with it.

The texture wasn’t horrible, but it did have a little grainy feel. There was also a little crunch from the outside.
Taste wise – they were alright. Apple cinnamon taste (I still never tasted the caramel), and not too sweet.

As per most Enjoy Life products, they are free from the most popular allergens making them: Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Fish Free and Shellfish Free (taken from their website). While they are not organic, they are non-GMO which is nice.

Overall, I didn’t LOVE the bars, but they were not too bad. Given they were only $2.50 – it was ok; if they are $5 – I think I would have been more disappointed. Anyone else try other flavours?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Coco Cupcakes Review

People at work at starting to spoil me - bringing in Gluten Free treats for me to try! Last week, someone generously brought in a cupcake from Coco Cupcakes on Torbay Road. I had heard of them before, but didn't realize they did gluten free 2 days a week (Friday and Saturday).

The cupcake was a vanilla cake with strawberry infused icing - the icing was really awesome! It was sweet (warning if you can't handle too much sugar!) and really thick (you may need to pace yourself).

You kind of need a fork to attack this thing, but I was fine getting my face half messy :) The cake portion was light, fluffy and had a great taste of vanilla without being too sweet. It paired nicely with the strawberry icing which tasted exactly like real strawberries, and was quite sweet! Mind you, I have quite a sweet tooth so it was all good.

You can see the picture of the cupcake (ignore the mushed top, I tried it before I took the picture) - it's quite large and could be shared or half saved for later.

I am not sure how much they cost - I would guess $4ish but, I didn't ask my co-worker when they brought it in.

I'd go back again - the icing was sooooo yummy! Anyone else try any other flavours?