Archive for December, 2013

The Best (And The Rest) of 2013

In 2013, gluten was in the news more than ever. Brands like Pillsbury, Breton, Catelli, and Dempster’s started offering gluten-free items. Even Tim Hortons hopped on the bandwagon with certified gluten-free coconut macaroons! Celiacs also received support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with improved labeling and regulations, as well as a new gluten-free certification program from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Canadian Celiac Association.

To wrap things up, here are some highlights from 2013.

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What’s For Dinner? Hearty Quinoa Salad!

Why We Love It

This dish is very filling and healthy. It’s also fast and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weekday nights and holidays. If you’re intimidated by cooking quinoa, don’t worry! This recipe makes it easy.

Ingredients per Serving

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup gluten-free chicken broth (Pacific is our favourite brand)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (particularly if you’re using a reduced-sodium broth)
  • ½ to 1 cup vegetables (such as cucumber, tomatoes, corn, peppers, onions, avocado, asparagus, etc.)
  • Approximately two tablespoons olive oil-based salad dressing (like Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pesto Parmesan)
  • Two tablespoons of crumbled goat’s cheese or feta (optional but very nice)

Method

  1. Wash quinoa thoroughly. (A metal coffee filter is great for this.)
  2. Mix quinoa and chicken broth in a small pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil. Then, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, prepare vegetables (peel, slice, cook, etc.). Small pieces work best with this dish.
  5. Allow quinoa to cool for about 15 minutes, if you have time.
  6. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, prepared vegetables, and dressing. Top with cheese (if using) just before serving.

Tips

  • Always read the labels to make sure your ingredients are gluten-free.
  • You can use 100% quinoa or a quinoa-rice blend for this recipe.
  • For a complete meal, grill a chicken breast or fish fillet and serve on top of the salad.

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Doing Flips for Flipburger!

Over the past few years, Michael and I have been making the rounds of the gourmet burger places that have been popping up all over Metro. (You can see a summary of our finds here.) Last week we finally got a chance to visit Flipburger, which now has locations in downtown Halifax and Clayton Park.

We visited the downtown Halifax location just before a Mooseheads game. Like many other burger places, you order at a counter, have a seat, and then grab your food when your number is called. Although most of the tables were occupied, we didn’t have to wait at the counter at all. The person waiting on us was very knowledgeable about gluten-free options.

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Is Blue Cheese Gluten-Free?

As you are all probably well aware, I love cheese. I would eat cheese at every meal, on everything, if I could. Much to Michael’s chagrin, one of my favourites is blue cheese. Unfortunately, blue cheese used to be on the list of foods not allowed on a gluten-free diet. This is because the mold that gives the cheese its distinctive blue/green veins is usually grown on rye or wheat bread. However, researchers have done significant testing since then and have determined that the cheese itself does not contain gluten. (There is a great report summarizing the findings here.) That being said, always read the label to ensure that the cheese has not been contaminated by additives or processing.

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After that, you can go ahead and enjoy that delicious slice of fragrant blue cheese!

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What’s For Dinner This Week? We’ve Got the Answers!

Last year, we did a seven-day meal plan to give you a helping hand during the holidays. Since you enjoyed it so much, we thought we’d do it again! Below, we’ve listed a main entrée, side, and dessert for each day. Each item is linked to its recipe (where necessary), so click away and enjoy!

Weekday Entrée Suggested Side Delicious Dessert
Sunday Spaghetti Garlic bread Better Than Anything Cake
Monday Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia Roasted Parmesan Potatoes Berry Mousse Cups
Tuesday Market-Fresh Pot Roast Steamed vegetables Chocolate chip cookies
Wednesday Sticky Chicken Wings Oven-baked French fries Peanut Butter-Brownie Pie
Thursday Maple-Balsamic Salmon Fillets Rice Citrus-Infused Strawberries
Friday Nachos with Garlic-Lime Chicken Salsa, sour cream, and guacamole Homemade chocolate pudding
Saturday Treat yourself and eat out! We have plenty of reviews and recommendations – just search for “Review!”

Don’t forget: read every label to make sure that all your ingredients are gluten-free!

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