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, 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.

  • 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

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!