Posts Tagged allergy friendly
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.
I’ll be honest: I’m not a huge fan of health and natural food stores. Sure, they might have some gluten-free stuff, but it’s often super expensive and so health-ified that no normal person would want to consume it. Because of this, I haven’t made too much of an effort to get to Moncton to visit Jane’s Gluten-Free Foods.
However, we passed through Moncton on our way to the United States last week, and I finally decided to stop in. Am I ever sorry that I didn’t make it up sooner! The entire store is gluten-free with lots of vegan, vegetarian, organic, and dairy-free options. You’ll find brands that you recognize as well as lots of unique items. I’ve never seen a bigger selection of Udi’s products in one place! As well, the store is extremely clean and well-organized, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
I wished that we were going right home so that I could really stock up. However, I eventually decided on the following items:
Most of these brands are very hard to find in Canada – I usually drive to Bangor for Schar’s products, for example.
The best place to get information about what Jane’s is currently carrying is on Facebook or Twitter. They have a new website, too, that’s just getting set up. If you make the trip, we’d love to hear what kind of goodies you bring back!
We get a lot of people asking us if Halifax has a dedicated gluten-free restaurant. Pete’s Gluten-Free Eatery and Coffee Bar is dedicated gluten-free and offers snacks and lunches, as does Odell’s Gluten Free Bakery and Café. As well, Get Stuffed in New Glasgow (which offers lunch, supper, snacks, and take-home options) uses ingredients free of gluten, although they are still obtaining full ingredient and sourcing information and therefore are not Celiac friendly. That leaves a pretty big gap for suppertime!
As far as we can tell, the closest full-service gluten-free restaurant is Zero8, located in Montréal. They’re not just gluten-free either. The entire restaurant is free of the eight major allergens: fish/seafood, all nuts, sesame seeds, milk, soy, eggs, and wheat/gluten. They also mark dishes containing sulphites and mustard on the menu, and are happy to accommodate any other allergens. They serve supper every day except Monday, and also have a lunch service on Saturday. You can also pick up meals to take home and cook.
We were in Montréal last month, so we stopped by on a Tuesday evening shortly after they opened.
Last week, Michael and I went on a road trip to Toronto, and we stopped at a ton of cool places on the way! Although the language barrier was a bit of a challenge in Québec, I didn’t get sick at all and actually enjoyed the opportunity to try some different places.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the places we visited and what I ate.
Pump House Brewery (Moncton, New Brunswick)
Not a ton of gluten-free options, but they have the most amazing locally-made gluten-free pizza crust. The $4 upcharge is totally worth it.
La Captive (Amqui, Québec)
We had an amazing spread of local cheeses for about $12. Just ask for no bread!
Les Salons d’Edgar (Québec City, Québec)
We loved the old-style French feel of this restaurant, and the spontaneous ballroom dancing by guests! Although we didn’t eat here, the menu looked quite gluten-friendly, with items like grilled steak and quinoa salad.
Zero8 (Montréal, Québec)
This place is a must-visit for anyone with Celiac disease or food allergens. Their restaurant is 100% free of the eight major allergens: gluten, fish and seafood, all nuts, sesame, soya, dairy, and eggs. They also mark items with mustard and sulphites on their menu, and are happy to accomodate any other allergens. Watch for a review coming soon!
Shoeless Joe’s (Toronto, Ontario)
We were surprised by how gluten-friendly this sports bar chain is, with gluten-free pizza and burgers. There is a small upcharge for gluten-free pizza ($1.99) and no upcharge for burgers.
Il Fornello (Toronto, Ontario)
This Italian restaurant serves gluten-free pasta, pizza, and the most amazing chocolate souffle I’ve ever had.
For us, a favourite recipe has to have four key characteristics: gluten-free (or easy to make it that way), fairly healthy, ingredients that we usually have in the house, and under an hour to cook and prepare. This Rachel Ray recipe checks all of those boxes, and it’s easy to mix it up!
Why We Love It
This recipe is healthy, tasty, and naturally gluten-free. There are also endless customization possibilities, which means you’ll never get bored of it.
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (from the deli – the fake stuff won’t do!)
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp. dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine cheese, paprika, and parsley in a shallow dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge fish in mixture.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fish on paper.
- Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven (until center is opaque).
- Serve with wedges of fresh lemon.
- Don’t skip the lemon – it’s a must!
- Try different kinds of white fish, change up the herbs and spices, and mix in other kinds of hard Italian cheese (like Asiago or Romano).
Last fall, I posted gluten-free alternatives for soups and sauces. I knew about Pacific Natural Foods’ amazing options, but since they hadn’t come to Canada yet, I focused on options that you can make at home, since they give you so much more control over what you’re eating.
Here we are six months later, and I’m happy to announce that… Read more…