Posts Tagged review

Don’t Do Without – A Celiac’s Guide to Safe Takeout!

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned since being diagnosed with Celiac disease is that if I am craving a food, I can either make it at home or find a reasonable take-out solution with a little bit of research. This is really valuable at busy times of the year, like in the weeks leading up to Christmas!

Here are our top ideas so that you can satisfy your cravings with some gluten-free goodies.

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Taste Testing Pillsbury Pizza Dough!

The Product

Before you get excited, I’ll confirm that Pillsbury gluten-free pizza dough is not yet available in Canada. However, hopefully their recent Canadian launch of other gluten-free products has done well enough that they’ll consider bringing it here.

I picked up a 360-gram tub of Pillsbury gluten-free pizza dough at Whole Foods Market while in the U.S. recently for $3.99.

 

The Test

We had friends over unexpectedly on the weekend, so I decided this was a good time to try out the new dough. I prepared and baked it pretty much as instructed: cut the dough ball in half, flattened each piece into a pizza shape, par-baked it for 11 minutes, added toppings, and baked for about 5 more minutes. The only thing different was that I didn’t flip it between the two baking steps since I had put it in the pan incorrectly the first time (with the crust part up instead of down).

We made a classic margherita-style pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning, as well as a caramelized onion and bacon pizza.

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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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Gluten-Free Pillsbury Products Coming to Canada!

Yesterday, Pillsbury announced that they will start distributing their gluten-free products in Canada in August 2014. Two products will be available to start with: chocolate chip cookie dough and pie/pastry dough. 

 

Canadian Pillsbury Products

 

According to their new Canadian website, it looks like distribution will start in Ontario and Quebec with some availability on the East Coast. The website also has recipes and coupons!

If you’re anxious to try this new product out, Jane’s Gluten-Free in Moncton already has stock! We’re hoping to see it in major grocery stores as well, and will post a review once we’ve had a chance to try it out. We’d like to hear your experiences with this product, too!

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Vinland Offers a Great Getaway

Several months ago, I read an article about Vinland, a small restaurant in Portland, Maine that uses all-organic ingredients sourced locally. We had a chance to visit it on the long weekend, just as ferry service from Yarmouth was starting back up again. (Vinland is just a few blocks from the ferry terminal, making it an easy choice for Nova Scotian visitors!)

Reservations are highly recommended at Vinland, and I understood why when we got there. It is quite a small space, seating less than 50 people. The atmosphere is upscale yet casual, making it a comfortable spot to hang out and enjoy a good meal. That was our first surprise. The second surprise came when we asked our server about gluten-free options. She informed me that the kitchen does not use gluten at all. The only item that may not be safe for Celiacs is the oats, as they cannot guarantee that cross-contamination doesn’t happen during its growing and processing. (That being said, always ask your server about gluten-free options and make sure they’re aware of your needs.)

With that in mind, we ordered some drinks to start. I chose the Queen James, which featured a local cider with blackcurrant liqueur. Michael had a local, organic beer from Peak Brewing Company. We also decided to have the appetizer on special: charred ramp with duck egg and truffle salt.

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Taste Testing Cup 4 Cup Flour!

Several weeks ago, I finally managed to snag a bag of Cup 4 Cup flour at Jane’s Gluten-Free Foods in Moncton. (We purchased their regular gluten-free flour blend, but Jane’s also offers their pizza crust mix and a pancake/waffle mix.) I’ve heard great things about this flour but this was the first time I’d seen it in Canada. This blend is made up of the usual ingredients (cornstarch, white and brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum), but it promises a smooth texture and the ability to substitute it one-for-one for regular wheat flour. My hopes were high, especially since the three-pound bag cost $19.99.

I decided to test it out on my mom’s chocolate chip recipe, which is quite similar to the one on the bag of Cup 4 Cup flour.

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Tide & Boar is a Little Bit Boring for Celiacs

Our second place on our U.S.-bound road trip last week was The Tide & Boar, a gastropub in Moncton. Pubs can be tricky for Celiacs to eat at, but I was hopeful that this would actually be a gastropub, which typically focuses on fresh, local food.

We were off to a good start when I asked about gluten-free options and was told that there was a gluten-free menu. Michael ordered one of the craft beers on tap while I stuck with a Diet Pepsi since we still had the drive to Woodstock ahead of us. (They do have Mongozo beer and Magners’ cider, which are both gluten-free. The selection isn’t as nice as their regular beer menu but it’s nice to have some options.)

The waiter quickly came back with the gluten-free menu, which is just a copy of the regular menu with notations as to what can be made gluten-free. The waiter also explained that they do not have a dedicated fryer. This meant that many of the items marked gluten-free aren’t suitable for Celiacs.

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