Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tips and tricks and misconceptions

I’ve been gluten free for well over a year now, and while I’ve found my groove in what to eat and where to shop, I don’t dare call myself an expert. Yet I have learned a thing or two along the way, and I thought I’d share them here. I do want to remind readers again, though, that this is all coming from someone with a gluten intolerance, not Celiac disease. Cross contamination is an absolute no-no for people with Celiac, but people with an intolerance, such as myself, can take the chance. So what follows is my own little slice of how I go about living a gluten free life day-by-day.

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Filed under Gluten free shock, Just for fun

When the Italian restaurant doesn’t have g-free pasta…

It’s bound to happen. Even in a city as large and diverse as Toronto, you’ll find Italian restaurants that don’t offer gluten free pasta options. And if they don’t have g-free pasta, then chances are they won’t have g-free pizza or g-free breadcrumbs for veal parmigiana. So what to do? Well, you pray they have a wide assortment of tantalizing salads…or a mozzarella bar. Lucky for me, they did.

My review of Obika

Who the hell needs bread when you have this mouth-watering appetizer spread?! (Photo courtesy of Angela Casullo)

Who the hell needs bread when you have this mouth-watering appetizer spread?! (Photo courtesy of Angela Casullo)

A few weeks ago, I attended a duo-birthday celebration for my cousin (and lifelong best friend and maid of honour) and her boyfriend. Dinner reservations were made at Obika, an Italian ‘Mozzarella bar’ located in downtown Toronto. I walked past this place a number of times and had actually wanted to check it out for quite some time, so I was excited about the plans.

I called ahead of time to see if an ‘official’ gluten free menu existed and unfortunately it did not. Right after hanging up the phone, I scanned the online menu and was happy to discover I had a wide range of salads to choose from. Thankfully this would not be a case of ‘Mixed greens or Caesar’ — the latter of which I usually can’t have anyway because the Caesar dressing contains gluten!

But Obika’s menu displayed salads with smoked wild salmon, oven cooked ham, artichokes, cape berries, and, of course, mozzarella di bufala campana (or buffalo mozzarella, which I love).

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Cheers to the long weekend: A snapshot of g-free alcoholic drinks I like

Some gluten free alcoholic beverages I like. Some.

Some gluten free alcoholic beverages I like. Some.

Today kicks off the beginning of another summer’s worth of long weekends. Some call it Victoria Day Long Weekend while others call it May Two-Four; gardeners gear up for a season of crops, flowers, and plants, families barbecue and wait for fireworks, and almost everyone indulges in a bevy of beverages of the alcoholic variety. Last time I posted about gluten free alcohol, I dyed it all green in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day. This time there will be no food colour, but there will be more options. You can be rest assured, my gluten free friends, that I have taken one for the team, so to speak, and done some research in the days weeks leading up to this long weekend.

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Filed under Food critic's corner, Just for fun

Scrumptious Salad: The Zesty Smoked Salmon edition

Congratulate me, salad eaters, for I have found a salad I can get on board with. I recreated a gluten free dish I’ve had at one of my favourite Toronto pubs, The 3 Brewers. I was practically crushed when I realized I couldn’t have gluten anymore because this particular pub is a microbrewery-restaurant and always had delicious beers. While their menu doesn’t really cater to those with a gluten intolerance, I found one particular dish that not only sits well in my stomach, but also satisfies my hunger. This dish is a salad, and yes, I give it a highly enthusiastic thumbs up for serving as an honest-to-god filling meal.

My delicious, filling, and colourful-to-boot scrumptious salad

My delicious, filling, and colourful-to-boot scrumptious salad

The 3 Brewers gets to the point and simply calls this salad ‘Smoked Salmon and Shrimp.’ I put my own spin on it, left a couple ingredients out, and decided to call it ‘Zesty Smoked Salmon.’

Ok, fine. That’s not any more creative.

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Filed under Food critic's corner, Scrumptious Salads

A gluten free cracker like no other

My review of Mary’s Organic Crackers

Mary's Organic Crackers -- onion flavour -- are my new favourite cracker (http://www.marysorganiccrackers.com/your-products/crackers/onion-crackers)

Mary’s Organic Crackers — onion flavour — are my new favourite cracker (http://www.marysorganiccrackers.com/your-products/crackers/onion-crackers)

First let me start by saying, I’ve been a bit delinquent on my blog. And no, it’s not because I ran away screaming from my last post (a solemn vow to eat more salads). Life got really busy all of a sudden, and it looks like the past three weeks may have just set the tone for the rest of the summer. I often thought about my blog and all the other glorious blogs I was not reading, and finally decided enough is enough — I’m just going to sit myself down and write dammit. In the *shamefully admits* roughly-just-under-three weeks I was MIA, I did regularly update a list in my phone of things to blog about. So, a lot’s coming and I’m looking forward to it.

And, after roughly three weeks of not posting, I decided my big comeback post would be about…CRACKERS. But wait, folks, these gluten free crackers are so good they are in a class all on their own.

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