Archive for August, 2013

Brunch Goes Gluten-Free!

Going out for brunch is one of my favourite weekend treats! However, it can be hard to find gluten-free options amongst all the bread, pancakes, and waffles. In no particular order, here are our top picks for gluten-free brunch around the city.

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Catch of the Bay is a Real Find!

Last weekend, Michael and I finally made it to Catch of the Bay at Masstown Market! We pulled into the market, and after a little wandering around, found the fish and chip boat at the far end of the parking lot. (It’s beside the fresh fish market in the lighthouse.) This little boat has been turned into a fish and chip “truck,” and has a patio with picnic tables built right around it.

After a quick glance at the menu (which does not specifically list gluten-free items), Michael and I each ordered a one-piece haddock fish and chips ($7.99) and a Diet Coke ($1.75). We grabbed our drinks from the cooler next to the order window, as well as some napkins and ketchup, and took a seat at a picnic table under an umbrella. We also had a new friend in tow:

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The Works Needs to Work on Its Gluten-Free Options

We’ve visited several of Halifax’s gourmet burger places, but The Works was still on our to-try list. So, when we were looking for a lunch spot last weekend, we decided to give it a try.

We were greeted as soon as we walked in and were taken to a booth. It’s sit-down style (in contrast to Relish and Cheese Curds, where you order at a counter) and the décor is really cool. Mike ordered a beer to start while I opted for a soda.

The menu is a little bit confusing because although gluten-free burger options are clearly outlined, none of the other gluten-free options are marked. None of their appetizers or poutines are gluten-free, which is disappointing. As for sides, anything fried is out, so that leaves Celiacs with the option of steamed broccoli (gross!), celery, cucumbers, weeds (which I think is lettuce), coleslaw, or mashed potatoes.

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Hanging Out at the Halifax Seaport Beerfest!

Last weekend, Michael and I attended the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. It was an absolute blast! I was really impressed by all the gluten-free options. The following gluten-free beer makers were on hand:

And, there were some gluten-free ciders available too:

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What’s For Dinner? BBQ Chicken with Parmesan Potatoes!

If you love the flavour of barbequed chicken but are getting a little tired of the BBQ, this recipe mixes things up.

Why We Love It

This one-dish meal is fast, easy, and tasty. You can customize it in so many ways or just use what you have in the house!

Ingredients

  • Approximately 8 small red or white potatoes, cut into one-inch chunks
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette-style salad dressing
  • 1 ½ tsp. chili powder or paprika
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup gluten-free barbeque sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Fantastic Food Awaits at Fan’s!

Last year, the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association held a dinner club outing at Fan’s Chinese Restaurant in Dartmouth. I was fascinated, since it’s hard to find gluten-free Chinese food. Earlier this month, I finally had a chance to see what Fan’s had to offer.

We went to Fan’s on a Friday night with family members who were visiting from out of town. I asked for the gluten-free menu, which is several pages long and includes a good portion of their regular dishes. We decided to order several dishes from the gluten-free menu so that we could all share.

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FDA Releases Gluten-Free Position Statement

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an official position statement on what foods can be labeled gluten-free. Key points of the ruling:

  • Foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” are all held to the same standard
  • Foods must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be declared gluten-free
  • Gluten-containing grains that have been processed to remove gluten (such as Omission and Estrella Damm Daura beers) can be labelled gluten-free as long as they are tested and show less than 20 parts per million of gluten

Food producers have a year to meet the new guidelines. The FDA estimates that about 5% of foods in the United States that are labelled gluten-free actually contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten, so Americans may see fewer gluten-free foods on the shelves.

These guidelines are similar to Health Canada’s position statement on gluten-free labeling.

This comes on the heels of a recent announcement by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (the American equivalent to the Canadian Celiac Association) that they are partnering with the CCA in their gluten-free certification program, ensuring consistent gluten-free certification in both countries. This certification process is much more rigorous than the gluten-free labeling rules, requiring extensive auditing, interviewing, and testing.

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