Archive for September, 2014

What’s For Dinner? Classic Beef Braise!

Why We Love It

This recipe is great for preparing on a chilly fall Sunday and makes plenty of leftovers for the week ahead. Follow the directions below for a family of four, or double for leftovers. This recipe also freezes very well.


  • 1 strip of bacon, cut into a large dice
  • 1 ½ carrots, diced
  • 1 ½ stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound stewing beef, cut into two-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup gluten-free beef broth or stock
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and whole)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • ½ cup red or white pearled onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large oven-safe saucepan, sauté the bacon strips until fat starts to render. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook until vegetables are tender and fragrant (about six minutes).
  3. Remove bacon and vegetables. Set aside. Drain bacon fat from pan.
  4. In shallow dish, combine flour, salt, and pepper to taste. Dredge beef in flour mixture until lightly coated. Shake off excess.
  5. Add canola oil to the bacon saucepan and heat on medium. Add beef and lightly brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary.
  6. Remove beef from saucepan and set aside.
  7. Add broth, water, wine, and tomato paste to the saucepan. Blend all ingredients.
  8. Then, return the beef to the pan along with the bacon, vegetables, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary. Cover tightly and braise in the oven at 350°F for 1 hour.
  9. Meanwhile, to peel the pearl onions, bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the onions for about 30 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water to cool. Remove onions from the water. Cut off the roots, make a vertical slit, and slip off the skin.
  10. Add the pearl onions to the braise and cook for 1 more hour.
  11. For the final 20 minutes, remove lid and allow meat to brown.
  12. Before serving, remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig (if used).
  13. Serve meat and vegetables topped with sauce. Enjoy!


  • Serve this hearty meal with some homemade mashed potatoes for a warming winter feast.
  • Always read all labels to make sure your ingredients are gluten-free.



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New Finds at Costco!

We visited Costco Bayers Lake for a change this weekend and picked up a couple of great certified gluten-free finds that we wanted to share with you.

The first item was a two-pack of Essential Baking Company gluten-free bread. We paid $8.99 for two loaves of their Super Seeded Multi-Grain bread. The best part is that each loaf is in its own vacuum-sealed bag, and they don’t have to be frozen (or even refrigerated) until opened, or January 2015!

Essential Baking Co bread

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Another Burger Place to Krave!

For several months, Halifax has been waiting for Krave Burger, its newest gourmet burger joint, to open its doors. Last month, they released a sneak peek of their menu. It included an icon for many gluten-free options, including French fries. We all know what that usually means: cross-contaminated and not suitable for Celiacs.

Still, I was curious, so I tweeted them to ask if they would have a dedicated fryer. Their response was amazing:



We couldn’t ask for much more than that!

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Taste Testing O’Doughs Bagel Thins!

The Product

Bagels are one of the few things that I really miss. Over the past five years, I’ve tried almost every brand on the market. Udi’s bagels are OK, but the nutritional information is horrific: add peanut butter to your morning bagel and you’re basically consuming a Big Mac. Other brands taste like wet cardboard, or just bread in a weird shape.

Luckily, over a year ago I heard about O’Doughs Bagel Thins. I did see them at Jane’s Gluten Free in Moncton this spring, but I didn’t pick any up and have been kicking myself ever since. Luckily, we spotted them at Pete’s Frootique in Halifax last weekend thanks to a sampling event!


The Test

At Pete’s Frootique, we got to try the sprouted whole grain flax and apple cranberry flavours, toasted and with ghee on top. I also purchased a six-pack of the sprouted whole grain flax bagel thins for $6.99. Here’s what my breakfast looked like the next day:

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Going Vegan at Envie

Let’s face it: Michael and I are about as far away from vegetarians as you can imagine. A vegan diet, where cheese is off the menu too, would be completely out of the question. However, we’ve heard great things about enVie and we finally got a chance to check it out.

We arrived at the restaurant early on a Thursday evening and took a seat inside, where we were the only customers. (The patio outside was full.) The atmosphere was very quiet, soothing, and relaxing – perfect for the end of a long week. We started off with drinks (a Boxing Rock Temptation Red ale for Michael and a glass of Blomidon L’Acadie Blanc for me). The enVie menu is very allergen-friendly and easy to understand. Gluten, soy, and nut free options are all marked with either an indicator of no allergen as-is, or an explanation of what modifications need to be made. There is also a handy booklet at the table describing various ingredients and terms as well as a list of the restaurant’s local suppliers.

We decided on an order of buffalo risotto cakes (two for $8) for an appetizer. For the main course, I chose the Filet-o-Fresh (tofu burger with tartar sauce, greens, and a “cheese slice” made from cashews, $13 + $1.50 for a gluten-free bun from Odell’s) and upgraded to a poutine for the side dish (additional $2). Michael ordered the Moroccan Chickpea Bowl ($14) on our server’s recommendation.

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What’s For Dinner? Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken!

Why We Love It

Nothing says summer like a chicken roasted on the barbeque! This summer staple can easily be made gluten-free with the right beer.


  • One can of Glutenberg Blonde Ale
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 whole chicken (4 to 4 ½ lb.)
  • Several tablespoons of your favourite gluten-free barbeque sauce

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