Friday, October 31, 2008

funny how time flies...

So I ran into someone yesterday and she asked how my blog was.....well....should I be honest?

No good.

Sometimes I find it discouraging to type away, post, photo shop and put effort into something that only has one reader. Then I think, one reader who may not know anything about Celiac disease may be enough.

My ego is still adjusting.

So I am planning to blog more. To keep in tune and in touch with the new faves.

Thanks Millstream Market for the kick in the pants.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My sister's visit

Hayley, Steph and Quinn outside the ferry terminal.
Me and Steph - photo taken by Hayley!

My sister flew here for five days to take in the National Celiac Convention with me. We had such a good time! Actually, I am a big believer in "you never get more than you can handle" - and she arrived on Wednesday and was able to be here and be a HUGE help to both Roger and I during the time of Chantal's funeral and all the arrangements that needed to be made. I love her! So do the girls, who had a blast with their "Aunty Stuffy".

The Conference was a huge success. Every year a new city has the privileged of hosting it, and Victoria seems to have a huge drawing card with it being the provincial capital and home of the gardens. It was held adjacent to the Empress, with a gluten free tea provided to all those who had nothing better to spend $60 on than tea and sandwiches with the crusts cut off as well.

We had over 400 people registered (the last conference was capped at 280) and when we opened it to the public on Saturday afternoon - we had a staggering 850 people come through the door! We had to have security and everything! It was a huge awareness weekend for us in the Celiac Community - we had home tests that are approved for use here in Canada for sale and over 100 untested individuals took them home! Poor doctors.....

Steph and I had a great time, it was a huge bonding weekend for us, with us both sharing the common gene of Celiac and sisterhood. I miss you Steph!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Buckwheat pancakes

These pancakes pack a punch. They are beautiful, filling and simple to make. It is a great breakfast option, with butter and pure Maple syrup and topped with strawberries. They are very filling, and so for this, I recommend eating one only. But you might not be able to stop at just one!

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

**These highly nutritious pancakes contain more than double the protein of a couple of traditional ones, plus they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids**

I cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp protein
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ts[ nutmeg
1 banana
1 1/2 cups water
1/2-3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup buckwheat grouts, sprouted or cooked


In a bowl, mix buckwheat flour, flaxseed, hemp protein, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a food processor (or in my case, a blender, as my Kitchen Aid does not arrive until we move into our new house!!) process banana and wanter while slowly adding dry ingredients. Process until mixture is smooth. Stir in blueberries and buckwheat grouts.

Very lightly oil a pan with coconut or grape seed or olive oil - and put on medium heat. Pour in pancake batter and cook for about 5 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear. Flip and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Since these pancakes contain essential fatty acids that are destroyed at high heat, they are cooked at a lower temperature than traditional pancakes and therefore take a bit longer to cook.

**you can further increase nutritional value by replacing the hemp and ground flaxseed with Vega Whole food Smoothie infusion. This will give the pancakes a slight greenish colour, but is super yummy.

This recipe was found in a magazine called Clean Eating an is one of the best new magazines out there. It's statement is to "...improve your life, one meal at a time...." It has gluten free recipes, shopping tips, meal plans, and tons of interesting articles. I highly recommend this magazine!

Enjoy your Sunday, we had a freak snowstorm here in Victoria BC - a place that is world famous for its Butchart Gardens....but today is sunny and little bug and I are off for a bike ride to see big sister play a lacrosse game. All fueled by these buckwheat pancakes!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I saw my name in print!

Well, it happened.

The Celiac newsletter that our Chapter puts out published my blog address! So that means one of two things......more readers stopping by my humble going on as normal.

Let's hope that I have some readers!

I have been busy as of late, but with the added pressure of knowing that I will have my fellow Celiac sisters and brothers reading my latest contribution, I may have to update more often.

I will leave you pondering this question:

Would you eat a protein bar that you made yourself? With the knowledge of knowing without a shadow of a doubt that it is gluten free?

If you answered yes, then this recipe is for you:


1 TBSP honey
1 TSP vanilla
1/2 cup cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1/2 TSP cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup almond butter or chunky all natural peanut butter
5 scoops of vanilla protein powder**
1/2 cup gf flour (I used garfava - for added yumminess)

Puree honey, vanilla, cottage cheese (or ricotta), cinnamon, and water together in a food processor. Then transfer all to a large bowl. Mix in peanut/almond butter.

Add protein powder, gf flour and mix well. Add water.

Line 9X9 dish with plastic wrap. Put mixture in dish and top with slivered almonds. Gently pat down the almonds so they are "stuck" to mixture. Chill overnight and then cut into bars (I did small bars, as they are filling)

**Hartland Gold, Sprouted, non GMO Brown Rice protein powder is gluten free, soy and lactose free. Each scoop contains 16g protein. Yummy in smoothies or pancakes if you are trying to add more protein in your diet.


Friday, March 21, 2008

An Epiphany

I am two weeks into boot camp and loving it. I love the feel of new muscles budding out of places ne'er seen before. I love the fun and inclusion of working out. I love that I do this without kids, talking to adults and sculpting my body in the process.

I especially love that I can now do TWO military push ups instead of ONE a week ago.

What I have discovered on this journey through a change in nutrition and food journaling is that my body does not like dairy. I took it out of my diet one week before boot camp began, and started to see the difference then. No bloating, no nasal congestion, no fatigue and really full feeling after eating. No trips to the bathroom - so to speak..... So I began to listen to my body once again, and what I heard it saying was .....cut out the cheese please.

So I am a modified lactose intolerant chick now. I still eat cottage cheese, but only two times a week, and never two days in a row. I also have plain, unflavoured yogurt with fresh berries and homemade granola. Other than that, I really try hard to not eat it. My body, and tummy love me for it.

I used to think that I was cross- contaminated, or "glutened" as some say when really it was dairy. I used to doubt my ability to eat truly gluten free when I felt sick after, when it was dairy. I used to think my body was self-sabotaging when it was really dairy. Take dairy out of the equation, change nothing else, and BINGO it was dairy as the culprit all along.

So now I am a gluten-free, dairy-free girl!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I got adventurous and made some new muffins. Roger is taking them to work, and I need something quick and easy to eat now that I am bootcamp. They were wonderful - moist, lemony, they did not taste gluten free at all!

**for the flour I used Carole's quick mix (sorghum flour, potato flour and tapioca starch) but you could use any gluten free flour that you like.

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. powdered milk
3 eggs
1 c. oil
3 c. gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 tsp. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Grated lemon peel from 2 lemons

Cream together sugar, powdered milk, eggs and oil. Add flour, salt and baking powder alternately to creamed mixture with 1 1/2 cups milk. Add remaining ingredients. Beat 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Magnificent Mushroom Soup

Not blurry, that is the steam rising from the sauteed veggies.

When I was a kid (like two summers ago) the thought of eating a mushroom was enough to throw off the gag reflex. Seeing them on a raw veggie plate left me feeling slightly off. Knowing what they grew in was enough to do me in. The thought of them in spaghetti sauce, or from a can for .98 at the grocery store was repulsive.

Then I was diagnosed with Celiac. It opened my eyes to my limited veggie repertoire. I ate broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots with vigor. I had peppers when I remembered to buy them. I ate avocado when it was a premix for guacamole. Basically I ate three veggies. I guess five - I forgot to add in lettuce and tomato on my fast food burger.

We try to eat healthy. We eat veggies every day now. I have a container in my fridge with cut up veggies and dip that comes out on the table every night about 4pm/the witching hour. My girls gobble up sweet peas, peppery radishes, sweet peppers, celery, carrots and ....yes....raw mushrooms.

I saw a great recipe in the Gluten Free Girl book that I recently blogged about, and thought that I would try it out. It was amazing. Photos first, recipe and instructions to follow.

simmering in the sherry and rice flour mixture.

then add enough stock/water to cover by 1"

The finished product accompanied with flax and ground corn tortillas.

1-2 pounds of mixed exotic mushrooms (I used white and brown button, shiitaki, enoki, oyster, and portabello)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves - minced fine
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 large carrot - finely chopped
2 celery stalks - finely chopped
1 large onion - minced
3/4 cup sherry
3 tbsp rice flour
2 cups cream
**I used vegetable stock to cover my mixture, but you could use water if you wanted**

easy peasy.

Melt butter and olive oil. Add garlic and only cook for about 30 seconds. Add in all veggies and toss to coat in lovely garlic blend. Turn heat to medium and cook down for about 5 minutes. Add thyme. Sprinkle with rice flour and add sherry. Cook until sherry is reduced by about 1/3. Add stock/or water to cover mixture by about 1-2". Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor or use hand blender to puree down to fine mixture. Put back in pot and add cream. Stir gently in until well incorporated.

I found that it was too thick this way, so I played around with the stock ratio, and added a bit more.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Get ready for it to not last long.

Hello new relationship with mushrooms!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


We are mentioned in the CeliacChicks website!


TGIF Conference.

Scroll down to second post there.

An Amazing Book

I just finished reading the most amazing book. I have read/stalked/commented on her blog, read recipes from her, but never in the completed form as her book.

The gluten free girl rocks!

Her book is well laid out, full of poignant stories of her childhood, tales of processed food that she (and all of us within the same demographic and age line) grew up on, as well as practical advice. She is an easy read, full of great dialogue and when she explains food - the way it feels in your hands, the smell, the taste, the texture - you can close your eyes and picture it all. I loved this book.

It helped that she speaks of home as Seattle. With familiar places within the pages as Pike Place Market and others. I love that she embraces the 100 mile diet when at all possible, and supports the ma and pop stores. She made me take a good long look at my gluten free lifestyle and examine some of my habits and traditions.

Gluten free can be just like a gluten filled lifestyle. One can opt to eat frozen gf pizza from the shelves or you can find a great mix and make one at home. You can reheat a mac and cheese or you can buy Tinkiyada pasta, grate some fancy cheese, sprinkle it with rice flour and season to taste. While it is bubbling away in the oven you can read a book, or surf the net, all the while anticipating the great taste that only homemade brings.

My life is full of cooking potential. We made a pact when I was diagnosed that we would not eat anywhere that I could not eat as well. That means when we eat as a family, we do not enter anywhere where I have to stare at them while they eat and I nibble on a rice cake. We only eat where I feel safe to order, and it is becoming more and more apparent that I am affected more with cross contamination as time goes on. So we eat out less. That is the bad side.

The good side is all the money that we can then spend to experiment in the kitchen. We can try new recipes, eat good food that is in season, buy fresh and from a butcher or a fish monger, and introduce our girls to a whole host of good eats.

So tonight we are having lemon herb garlic organic chicken, quinoa and brown rice pilaf, steamed broccoli topped with pistachios and parm cheese and a yummy glass of white wine.

Gluten free goodness, all within reach of our front door.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lunch with Quinners

Today, being Saturday, we had some running around to do. Like return my $100 shoes that were the most uncomfortable things known to mankind. And book a birthday party at Build A Bear workshop for my older daughter who turns eight on Sunday.

While at the mall, Quinners (who is almost three) decides that she can no longer walk properly, talk properly, or act appropriately until she has food. As all of you with allergies/sensitivities/Celiac know - the food fair at the mall is no place to be ordering food and not have some cross-contamination involvement.

Except New York Fries. Who knew?

Yes, they use 100% Canola oil, and only potatoes are dropped into the oil. Nothing is coating the potatoes. No batter of any kind. Nothing else is deep fried there. Utensils are only used for fries, salt shakers contain only salt. Employees washing their hands. A designated "fryer operator". No cross contamination here.

So Quinners and I spent a mother daughter moment, in the food fair of Hillside Mall, sharing a small milk and eating fries. Each with our own ketchup. Mine sprinkled with white vinegar. Talking like a 37 year old and a two-and-three-quarters girl can.

It was fast food bliss.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A new find for me!

Yet another product from Lundburg (the most amazing rice manufacture in the world) that is gluten free/vegan and organic too!

I have to be honest, we attempt very hard to eat "outside of the box", but with this amazing product, one wonders why.

The taste does not indicate that it is from a box, with easy instructions and a yummy taste. I was curious to see how the ginger miso tasted, and it was delicious!

Accompanying the rice was a beautiful baked trout with fresh herbs and garlic butter infusion, roasted carrots with curry and honey, and tender brilliant green asparagus.

All this for a Wednesday night with our two girls and my main man. We celebrated hump day, which means that the week was halfway over. We slurped up the asparagus without cutting it, ate up the still crisp carrots, lingered over the salmon and rice. We had great communication and wonderful food.

Who needs gluten anyhow?

Bad photo, but you'll get the idea...

My favorite tea, Raspberry Zinger, now boasts to be "gluten free".....

Who knew that previous to being diagnosed that one would have to concern oneself with gluten free tea, but I guess that is where we have come to as a society.

I applaud the Celestial Seasoning company for putting this on their packaging!

One baby step for us.....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I always get a box of chocolates for Valentines Day. Roger makes every attempt to buy gluten free, and I love him for it. This year, I jumped the bad me.

I bought a box of Lindt Lindor chocolates and low and behold the ingredients have changed and are as follows: Sugar, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, milk, cocoa mass, soya lecithin, barley malt extract and artificial flavour.

No more lindt lindor chocolates for me. Damn, and they were good.

Lovin' GF style!

Last night Roger came home from work and said that he had the best recipe! (pause for effect)

Yep, quinoa! (he pronounced it kind of like kinky - wah) So we made pilaf!

1/2 cup of quinoa
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 shallot diced small
1/2 red pepper
minced garlic

In a pot I put a little olive oil and added the veggies. After about 2 minutes I added the quinoa to toast a bit then added the chicken stock. I brought it to a boil and then turned down the heat and simmered it for about 15 minutes.


Even Roger liked the kinky wah!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Yet another mention in a mainstream mag!

In the March issue of Canadian Living we are mentioned once again! yippee!

In the letter section, it mentions that in the December recipes, they featured "Gluten-free gingerbread mini-cakes with lemon glaze." It has since had rave reviews!

THEN... on page 34 there is a great idea for food section. The heading reads..... Gluten-free, YIPPEE! Quoting directly, " Gluten-free, these tasty and formerly taboo foods may lure in people without celiac sensitivities, too.
1. Brewed from gluten-free rice and buckwheat, La Messagere beer is made by Quebec microbrewery Les Bieres de la Nouvelle-France. With honeyed citrus aromas, it tastes like a cross between a lager and cider; 4.7 per cent alcohol, 341 ml, $18 per six pack.
2. JK Gourmet Granola contains heart-healthy nuts, seeds and dried fruits - with no gluten, refines sugars, grains or preservatives. Available in four varieties; 350 g, $9.99."

Then there is a health/prevention article that talks about Extreme Food Allergies and Celiac is mentioned here as well.

I am over the moon that mainstream mags are talking about us Celiacs! It is great to subscribe to this Canadian publication and upon opening it, there is a recipe that I don't even have to modify!

I will be digging out my December issue and cooking up some gingerbread men. Await the results!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another book to my library

This is a very good read. She is hilarious, which makes the medical jargon easier to swallow - pardon the pun.

You should read it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Yahoo! Success in the Kitchen once again!

Roger bought me this book for Christmas, and inside it, Carol has an amazing flour recipe. It is as follows:

1 1/2 cups of sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups of potato or corn starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Now, this is the first recipe that I have tried with the above mixture, and was a bit hesitant. I love banana loaf, and when one is deemed inedible by even the daycare kids standards, a part of my soul shrivels up.

Here it is, cooking away, look at the domed top. The golden crust, the height. The not so clean oven. Oh well.

It was amazing warm, with real butter and raspberry jam. We ate half a loaf just yesterday alone. Below is the recipe.

Banana loaf

1 stick of butter
3 large very ripe bananas
2 cups gf flour - see above
1 cup sugar (although I used 3/4 white and 1/4 brown)
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of dried cranberries

In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas. Slowly add the flour/baking powder combo until dry ingredients become moist. Stir in the cranberries. Spray loaf pan for best results.

Turn into loaf pan and bake at 325 degree oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Do not underbake.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A great restaurant night

Tonight we went to an East Indian restaurant with the other members of the Victoria Celiac Association. It was yummy. The menu was veggie pakoras, daal, tandoori chicken, shrimp curry, garbanzo bean and chicken curry, spicy veggie dish, basmati rice, and various yogurt, chutney and topped off with rice pudding for dessert. So nice to eat in confidence with other members, and it was a great night out.

My goal is to publish here more often. This is my first entry of hopefully many more.