Archive for March, 2014

Saving Money on Gluten-Free Shopping

Although prices are starting to come down, there’s no denying that gluten-free food is expensive. We’ve got a few tips for helping you save money on gluten-free groceries.

The basics still apply!

Doing some basic preparation like budgeting, meal planning, flyer shopping, and coupon clipping can help you be prepared when you hit the grocery store. We’ve really focused on smart meal planning over the last year and have seen our grocery bill drop by about 30%.

We love the ShopWise app for flyers and keep an eye on BrandSaver and Save.ca for coupons.

Stock up on sales.

When gluten-free items are on sale, stock up if you have the room.  Buying in bulk can also save you money. As well, Costco has started carrying many gluten-free products, including pasta, crackers, and baking mixes.

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Celiacs are Welcome at Burger Week!

The second annual Halifax Burger Week is upon us! With over 50 restaurants in this year’s lineup, Celiacs have a number of options to choose from.

The first two entries that stand out are from Heartwood and enVie. We haven’t reviewed either restaurant, but both list a gluten-free bun option right in their Burger Week entry!

There are also some amazing places that we’ve reviewed on the list.

  • We’ve confirmed that both locations of Finbar’s can make their lamb burger gluten-free.
  • The chef at Jamieson’s Irish House & Grill has Celiac disease, and we’ve always found them extremely accommodating.
  • Both Relish and Flipburger offer tons of gluten-free options. The French fries at Flipburger are gluten-free, too!
  • Rock Bottom Brewpub has one of the best burgers in town, and I’m sure their Burger Week offering will be amazing too.
  • 2 Doors Down is one of our favourite spots in the city. We’re not sure if their Burger Week sliders will be gluten-free, but their Old School Cheeseburger (off the regular menu) is fantastic!

Another burger that we’d like to try is the one from Darrell’s. We’ve heard amazing things about their gluten-free options, but we haven’t made it there yet.

Let us know what you’re trying for Burger Week!

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What’s For Dinner? Garlic-Ginger Salmon Packets!

Why We Love It

Fresh ingredients, easy cleanup, and a low calorie count make this salmon dish a perfect pick for spring.

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (we like San-J or VH)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cut four pieces of heavy-duty foil to 12 inches square.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or heat barbeque to medium.
  3. Place each salmon fillet on a piece of foil.
  4. Combine the ginger, cilantro, garlic, and fruit peels.
  5. Spoon mixture over salmon.
  6. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
  7. Drizzle sauce over salmon.
  8. Fold foil around fish and seal tightly.
  9. Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork (about 15 minutes).

Tips

  • If you’re short on fruit, mix and match what you have on hand. (For example, you could use 4 teaspoons of orange peel instead of 2 teaspoons each of lemon and orange peel.)
  • Fresh herbs amp up the flavour of this dish.
  • Serve quinoa salad with the salmon for a complete meal.

(Original Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/garlic-ginger-salmon-packets)

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Results are in From the Great Gluten-Free Beer Experiment!

It can be hard to find good gluten-free beer. Brands that are 100% gluten-free use grains like sorghum, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and millet. Unfortunately, it can be hard to mimic the taste of “real” beer without the flavour of barley. (Montréal-based Glutenberg is our favourite, and pretty easy to find in Nova Scotia. Other parts of the country and the U.S. have far more options, such as Mongozo, Green’s, and New Planet.)

Another, more controversial, method of making gluten-free beer is to make beer in the traditional way (with barley) and then treat it to remove the gluten. U.S.-based brewery Omission does this, as well as the Spanish brewery Estrella Damm Daura. Both take great lengths to assure consumers of the safety of their products: Estrella Damm Daura is marketed as “suitable for Celiacs” and Omission tests each batch and puts the results on each bottle, with a QR code that takes you to a more detailed report.

Some Celiacs feel that it’s dangerous to consume anything that originally contained gluten, but there are other products (like wheat glucose and blue cheese) that are manufactured to remove gluten. What sold me on Omission is their Celiac CEO, who has been testing their products for years.

Michael recently started making homemade beer and decided to look into how Omission makes their beer gluten-free.

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No More Missing Out On Breakfast Sandwiches!

For Celiacs, those delicious fast-food breakfast sandwiches are out of the question. You know the ones I’m talking about… those delicious greasy packages of eggs, cheese, and bacon squished inside a delicious bagel or biscuit.

You can, of course, make them at home. It can be a bit time consuming, but there’s a new gadget that makes it easy! It’s made by Hamilton Beach and it’s simply called the Breakfast Sandwich Maker. I purchased one for my father as a Christmas gift, and was pretty skeptical of how it performed. He loved it so much that I bought one for us to try.

There are two things that I liked about this gadget before I even tried it.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

One, it’s pretty small, so it doesn’t take up a lot of cupboard space. Two, it was only about $25 at Wal-Mart. This means that if you live in a household where other family members like their gluten-filled bread, you can buy two and keep one gluten-free.

Here’s how it works: you put the bottom half of an English muffin, mini bagel, biscuit, etc. in the bottom of the maker. You then add cheese, pre-cooked meats (bacon, sausage, etc.), and vegetables. Next, the second part comes down. Crack a raw egg in there, break the yolk, and put the top half of your bun on it. Now, put the top down and let it cook for five minutes. When it’s done, you simply slide the plate aside (dropping the now-cooked egg into the sandwich) and open the cover. Voila! One perfect breakfast sandwich.

We tried it out with Glutino English muffins (and cooked up some home fries) and here was the result:

Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwich

It does take some practice to get the top part of the bun in the right way (hence the egg you see spilling over the edges) but the result was very delicious. I can’t wait to try some more breakfast sandwich recipes!

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Agricola Street Brasserie Goes Way Beyond Beer

Last weekend, Michael and I finally made it to the Agricola Street Brasserie, a new restaurant in Halifax’s North End that has been generating a lot of positive buzz. We got downtown earlier than planned and walked in just as the bar opened at 5 p.m. This actually worked out quite well, since it gave us the opportunity to make a reservation for 5:30 (when the dining room opens) and have a drink beforehand.

My first pick was The Orchard ($10), one of their signature cocktails. Michael had the Bridge Saison ($6.25) from the North Brewing Company (formerly Bridge Brewing), crafted just up the street from the restaurant. As we sat at the bar and enjoyed our drinks, we also had the opportunity to people watch, check out the amazing décor, and watch the chefs in the kitchen prepare for the night ahead.

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