Is there any word more poignant and memory-laden for a celiac than “breaded”? Most folks who talk to me about what they first cried about once they got their diagnosis was that they’d never be able to eat bread, or anything breaded again… That’s where we’re going today – making breaded pork chops, to eat with fresh corn on the cob and some sweet glazed carrots. And for a touch of the exotic, we’ve added some pomegranate-chili jam to lend a deeply flavorful and spicy kick to this summer meal.
Behold, what we call the “Eggy-Hammy-Cheesy” at our house. That’s an unwieldy title, but it does capture everything between the slices that turns this into a winning breakfast you can hold in one hand while swiping through the iPad or clicking through the channels on a slow Saturday morning in bed.
Even if we can’t find all the special ingredients around here, I think we can all be forgiven for wanting to replicate a good paella – even if it means having to replace some of the key ingredients with something else in our pantries. The fact that it can be effortlessly made gluten-free is also a huge bonus, not to mention the fact that there’s only one pan to clean up after dinner.
Yes, we could go into great detail about the sand, the sun, the waves, the rum, and the pool. But you already know this is what the Caribbean offers everyone. We’re just happy to tell you that THIS corner of the Caribbean also ensures that you, the GF traveller, can have as good a vacation as anyone else does in this part of the world.
Celiacs have waited, patiently, for a time when gluten-free choices could finally compete. And not just with each other, but with the best available food on the market, shouldering their way onto specialty vendor’s shelves and our pantries alike, delicious, wholesome, and with artisanal taste and quality for their own sake, without the “alternative-and second-best” label that Gluten Free used to mean.
We were invited to Cibo to sample their newly-launched line of gluten free pizzas. But as we sat at the bar, well before our food arrived, deep in conversation with a very attentive, intelligent and engaged group of staff, it dawned on me that this is one of those unique places where everything – not just the dishes on the menu – is focused on making you feel like you are an extraordinary person. They don’t just want you to have a good meal – they want you to remember the whole experience with the kind of fondness that you reserve for your “best meal I’ve ever eaten” occasions. Which is why it was not a surprise to hear them say “we love to host people here”. That’s the spirit that wraps around comfortable meals at grandma’s house, or a dinner date with your true soulmate. How do you get that at a restaurant?
Root vegetables really grow on you – and when you realize you can create some really complex and magical flavours by marrying them with a range of unexpected spices, winter meals with root vegetables become something to write home about. Oh – they also go really, really well with chicken…
Holiday Sausage Strata
“Holiday Sausage Strata” sounds like a complicated dish, dreamed up by some Larousse or Emeril to further complicate one’s Christmas and New Year traditions. Who knows – some famous chef may have been responsible for this masterpiece, but the saving grace of this recipe (in this time of absorbingly complex kitchen activity) – featuring all the breakfast essentials of eggs, sausage, cheese, and bread – is that it is laughably easy and guaranteed to please the crowd – either on Christmas morning, or on New Year’s Day (when it contributes all the ingredients necessary to soak up last night’s revelry, if needed). Read More
It’s the season for parties and sharing and eating more than you’re used to. And inevitably, there are the potlucks – the opportunity to make one thing for everyone, and enjoy everyone else’s one thing. And, when one has to be wary about what might be in those cookies or cheese log or charcuterie, it’s always helpful to bring along to the party something that everyone – yourself included – can enjoy to the maximum, without fear of gluten. Why not be the life of the party, bringing the jewel in the crown of party foods – Gluten Free Wings, for a Crowd.
Enigma is now going to be my beer of choice. It’s that good. It’s compulsively drinkable. It doesn’t have the bready heft of a Guinness, nor the hoppy sting of an IPA, but if you want one of the finest ambers you’ve ever tried, buy this one. And share it with your gluten-sensitive community, because now there’s no excuse not to.
I dunno by what sorcery the Mexicans have devised a means of delivering such a fulfilling and satisfying meal on these 5-inch, handmade disks of cornmeal pleasure, but it works. Brian Gebbie’s Awko Taco in Cochrane faithfully follows the two-thousand-year old tradition of serving tasty goodness, handful by perfect handful.
When you decide you want chicken wings – even if more takeout places are now producing acceptable GF-versions – there are times you would rather be able to freely eat without the financial burden that comes with consuming things that cost a buck a wing, or more. So, next time the family pack of wings go on sale at your local grocery store, grab a package (or two) of them – because this recipe for Bushfire Chicken Wings is guaranteed to please the whole household.
Our server arrived. This is one of those rare guys who exudes passion for his job, and his job is your satisfaction. We repeated our Gluten Free message after a good look at Violino’s full menu – and when he told us that everything but two items on the menu could and would be made without gluten, our celiacs were rendered speechless. When he went on to ask if they would like some Gluten Free bread to start – which would take about 12 minutes, as it is fresh-baked to order (!) – they actually teared up. Much, much later, after lobster risotto, black and white linguine with shrimp, chicken breast with crab and goat cheese stuffing, and veal and pork meatballs with herbed goat cheese on fusilli, we fell silent. This food monopolized any conversation. And we eavesdropped on other tables – that one with the socialite ladies out from their own Glenora mansions for the evening, with a celiac among them too…and this one, with the East Indian couple whose meal left them totally relaxed, totally full, and totally happy.
Sweet Surprise Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe – Everything that Heidi Lochmatter and Alex Lochmatter do out of an impossibly small kitchen and quaint little bistro out front at the corner of Cliffe Avenue and 5th Street in Courtenay, BC, is not only completely gluten free – it’s so indescribably delicious and imaginative and memory-making that after a mere 24 months in business, these ladies are planting the flag: Celiacs deserve destination vacations, and Courtenay’s ready to play host.
Tex-Mex Chicken-Mango Salad
School’s out, the kids have already switched to holiday mode, and with the weather shifting to muggy tornado season, there’s ample reason not to want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen. There are plenty of one-dish meals you can make for this time of year, but Tex-Mex Chicken-Mango Salad is a great option for mixing up plenty of excellent Southwestern flavours on one plate. There are a couple of ingredients to make ahead on this one – but they take so little time that you can easily fit them in between lounging on the deck, getting up to fetch some iced tea, and folding the laundry. And this protein-packed recipe lets you maximize a little bit of chicken over several servings. It also keeps well overnight in the fridge, if you wanted to serve the leftovers tomorrow. Read More