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Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

Happy 2018!

In Food, Glorious Food, Uncategorized on January 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Happy New Year! Akemashite omedetou. Time for more eating of classic staples in three-tiered box: azuki gohan, organic kale and gobo, fried daikon and black beans. Plus, a soon-to-be new favourite of Peking-style jackfruit rice wraps. Enjoy!

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Curry in a Hurry

In Food, Glorious Food, Recently Reviewed, Recipes on February 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm

While we love Indian food, if you’ve ever made curry from scratch you know, it can be a long, time-consuming process. To cut corners, I sometimes use ready-made sauces but it’s really hard to find prepackaged ones that not only taste good but are organic, not to mention vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.

For the most part, I find that store-bought sauces or mixes often need a bit of embellishment to make them more flavourful – so I end up having to add a ton of spices just to make them palatable. How happy I was to recently discover a new line of sauces that step up to the challenge! These sauces are made in small batches and are full of flavour on their own.

Ingredients

3          large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1          small cauliflower, chopped

1          large onion, diced

1          can chickpeas, rinsed (398 ml)

2          cloves garlic (2-3 tsp) minced

1          jar (485 ml) Perfect Chef Veg Curry

avocado or coconut oil

salt & pepper

Slower Method

Chop potatoes into bite-size pieces. Boil in salted water about 15 mins., until tender. Drain and set aside. While potatoes are boiling, heat oil in large Dutch oven or heavy pot with lid, add chopped onions and sauté on medium heat about 5 mins. Mix in garlic and cauliflower. Cover with lid and allow cauliflower to steam about 5-10 mins.

Once cauliflower has started to soften, stir in chickpeas and cooked potatoes. Add sauce and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. If curry is too thick, add a small amount of water or unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy, rice, coconut or almond milk work well for a creamier sauce) to desired consistency.

Replace lid and continue cooking, stirring regularly, until sauce beings to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 mins., until all vegetables are heated through. Serve with cooked basmati rice and flatbread or naan. Enjoy!

Make ahead tips:

The trick is to make parts of this meal ahead of time. Any prep you can do beforehand will cut down your overall cooking time.

Some suggestions:

-Boil the potatoes as above. Drain. Cool and store for later use.

-Wash and chop cauliflower, then store in container until ready to use. Or while you are boiling the potatoes, toss cauliflower with oil until lightly coated and roast in oven at 400°C for about 15 mins., until lightly browned. Cool and store for later use.

-Prechop garlic and store in a small amount of oil (or cheat and buy minced garlic).

-Sauté onions in oil until lightly browned.

Speedy Method

If all or most of your ingredients are cooked and ready to go, it’s a quick and simple assembly. Simply heat oil in Dutch oven, add onions and stir in garlic. Mix in cooked potatoes, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas and sauce. Season with salt and pepper and simmer 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are heated thoroughly.

 

Granola Made Good

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on January 27, 2017 at 3:17 pm

We’ve tried a lot of granola bars in our household over the years so we know something good when we find it – particularly when it’s organic, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan. Although my daughter is now in university, she still takes snacks just about every day. Both my husband and I like to have quick-and-easy items to grab and go, too especially when you’re on the road or running errands.

 Version 2Granola Minis by MadeGood  If you’re searching for a healthy snack the kids will love, look no further. These tiny little morsels are filled with – believe it or not – vegetables! And yes, the pickiest kid will enjoy them not just because they are fun to eat but they taste great. PRODUCT NOTES So many good flavours to choose from – strawberry (pictured), mixed berry, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip and chocolate banana. The hard part will be deciding which one to try first. The granola bars are simply larger versions of the minis. BOTTOM LINE Perfect for school (or work) lunches, these may cost a little more than your regular snacks but the better-quality ingredients make it worth your while.

 

Crazy for Kombucha

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on January 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm

There’s been a bad flu bug going around. Particularly during this past holiday season when most of us were getting together with family and friends. If the flu didn’t get you, perhaps the drinking, overeating, rich foods or sugary treats all took their toll.

While I was out shopping one day, I noticed a woman grabbing this item from the fridge section and was intrigued. Ginger remedies tend to be my go-to when I have stomach upset or cold symptoms. So I thought it might be a good one to try as something different while we had holiday guests. I’m sure glad I did!

kombucha

Kombucha Gingerade by GT’s. I’ve never seen this line before but the fact it was organic, non-GMO, vegan and gluten free made it appealing. As you know, I am always eager to try new organic and vegan products. PRODUCT NOTES In a nutshell, it’s probably the strongest ginger ale you will ever try – with real bits of raw ginger in it. My mother didn’t like it at all but the rest of us really enjoyed drinking it. BOTTOM LINE Both my sister and cousin had a bit of stomach flu and found it helped them to recover. Plus, there was a day or two when I was also feeling a bit queasy and it immediately made me feel better! I’ll have to keep my eye out for the other flavours. If they are as good as the gingerade, it will definitely be worth the search.

Here’s a Real Eye Opener

In Natural Beauty, Recently Reviewed on June 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

eyelinerThere’s eyeliner and then there’s liquid eyeliner. Yes, this old standard certainly has staying power – real staying power – that’s the one of the reasons for its enduring popularity: It stays on! After all, who wants their eyeliner to melt away before the day is over?           

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner If you’ve never used liquid before, you need a steady hand to master the technique, which can vary from the thinnest of fine lines to the most dramatic cat’s eye look. Raven is Zuzu’s blackest of blacks, which is what I’m looking for when I buy black eyeliner. PRODUCT NOTES This eyeliner is mineral based, vegan, paraben and gluten-free – although who would have thought eyeliner would contain gluten? The brush can be a bit globby despite a fine tip that allows for both minimalist and maximum impact styles. Give it a shake and wipe down the tip quite a bit before applying or you may get more liner than you bargained for. Also, it’s not the fastest drying so if you’re rushing you might get a few unexpected smudges. BOTTOM LINE It’s not cheap, at about $18, but well within the price of similar products. Compared to other liquid eyeliners, it’s easy to remove with water-based makeup removers and it doesn’t leave those black under-eye circles – certainly a bonus. You could use oil-based makeup removers, as they are more efficient in dissolving makeup, but I tend to avoid them as they irritate my eyes.

 

An Apple a Day

In Book Reviews, Recently Reviewed on January 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

We love apples. I prefer them to be firm with lots of crunch. So if they’re a bit mushy, I’m likely to leave them for baking. Perhaps I’m biased, but Ontario grows some of the best apples I’ve ever eaten and although nothing beats fresh I think I’ve found a great off-season alternative in these apple chips.

applechips

Martin’s Crispy Apple Chips It’s been a while since I’ve bought apple chips. We discovered these ones over the holidays thanks to an extended family member.

PRODUCT NOTES Fantastically crisp and delicious. I love that they’re grown locally in Ontario with no sugar or preservatives added. Maybe that’s why they taste so good. They’ve even got some great recipe suggestions online if you find you have any left once the bag has been opened. BOTTOM LINE Even if you’ve never had apple chips before I’m pretty certain you’ll love these.

Craving Cream Cheese?

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on November 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

Giving up dairy has been a journey in itself. At first, we went all organic and lately have tried to go entirely dairy-free. Sure we all love cheese in our family and didn’t think we could go without. Funny though, I thought I could still have a bit of cheese now and again – after all, I was the only one in our family who wasn’t lactose intolerant. And who can resist the occasional slice of pizza? Well I’ve been surprised to discover that dairy doesn’t agree with me now – after eating it, I suddenly suffer anything from congestion to stomach cramps, thank you very much.

Daiya Cream Cheese style spreadcreamcheese I’d heard about Daiya products from other vegans, so I when I saw this dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free cream cheese style spread, I thought why not give it a try? The chive and onion flavour is our favourite particularly on fresh bagels (yes, some old habits die hard). We tried the strawberry one but it got a definite thumbs down from my daughter for being too sweet. PRODUCT NOTES Looks and tastes like the real thing. Regular cream cheese eaters will be surprised how realistic it is.  BOTTOM LINE Some fake cheese products have a funny aftertaste and people I know have complained about headaches after eating them. So limit your intake, and don’t go overboard. As my Grandfather used to say, “everything in moderation.”

Feel Like a Falafel?

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on October 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

While I’ve always enjoyed eating falafels, some friends have said that when they have falafel, they feel awful. Not so with these tasty little bites. So grab a pita or wrap and assemble your favorite salads, dips or stuffings together, and get ready to enjoy a lovely Mediterranean meal.

Sol Cuisine Organic Falafel 

SOLfalafelWe’ve tried many different varieties of falafel over the years – from the mix your own kits to the pre-made variety. So far, these are the best we’ve found plus they’re organic. Perhaps it’s because they use organic ingredients they taste better! PRODUCT NOTES They look more like little pucks than veggie balls but have an authentic taste and include an organic tahini sauce – something you don’t see everyday. Having a bake option also means they’re far less greasy than the fried ones. BOTTOM LINE As a busy mom, I can’t stress how great it is to find quality organic foods you can keep in your freezer. It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to whip up a nutritious meal quickly and easily that you know your family will enjoy.

Veggie Ground to Keep Around

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on June 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

I’ve finally found an organic ground beef substitute! When I stumbled upon this non-GMO-verified version from Sol Cuisine, I couldn’t wait to try it in my usual recipes such pasta sauces, stir fry’s and Sheppard’s Pie.

Sol Cuisine Organic Veggie Crumbles, $4.99, Loblaws . vegground

We eat a lot of soy products, so I try to find organic ones wherever possible since I discovered that soy is one of the most genetically modified (GMO) foods out there. This ground is also vegan and gluten free. PRODUCT NOTES Looks and tastes as good, if not better, as the other veggie grounds we’ve used in the past. My family devoured the spaghetti sauce I made. Not even a speck of it was leftover for lunches the next day. BOTTOM LINE Lately, I haven’t been able to find this product in my regular supermarket although I noticed they do carry other Sol Cuisine products. I’ll have to shop around, as it’s too good to pass up. More importantly, we don’t want the GMOs that you get in regular soy products or other foods for that matter.

Do You Like Waffles?

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on May 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

waffles

Yes, I like waffles – so the Parry Gripp song goes. If you’re lucky enough to have time on your hands and a waffle maker to boot, then you probably make waffles all the time. My brother-in-law has it down to a fine art so when he and my sister visit, we try to be as welcoming in our hospitality but it’s hard to do without said appliance. Add to the mix the fact that my niece has a peanut allergy and you can see why I was quick to jump on these nut free Belgian waffles.

 El Peto Belgian Waffles Loblaws $5.29

They look exactly like the fancy versions you get in restaurants and match the texture. I whipped up a lovely fruit compote to top them off and have to say they were quite tasty. PRODUCT NOTES Not too sweet – but in my mind, this is a good thing. Although they are not vegan they are gluten free, wheat free and trans fat free for those looking to avoid a slew of other ingredients. BOTTOM LINE For those occasions when I don’t have time to bake, I’m always on the lookout for good nut free products. So this is definitely a good one to grab when you’re pressed for time as you simply heat and eat!