Archive | October, 2013

‘It’s All Good’ Cookbook Review

30 Oct

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A long while back after watching Gwyneth Paltrow with Chef Mario Batali taste their way through Spain, in, Spain on the Road Again, I clued in…this girl is a total foodie. In an interview Mario once said that Gwyneth could ‘eat most truckers under the table, any day of the week’ and I believe it! Her first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, was full of impressive luxurious recipes. When I heard her next cookbook was gluten free, dairy free and sugar free, I was super stoked…this is exactly what the gluten free world needs; recipes that don’t suck, have an air of sophistication, and are guilt free.

Soo, is it worth the money to pick up her cookbook? I’ve had it a few months now and I say yes! This is a staple book I think for anyone’s kitchen who genuinely loves good, wholesome, global food. Even if you aren’t currently ‘detoxing’.

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When you are faced with going on an elimination diet it can be daunting to know what to eat, and you most likely still want to enjoy what you eat! I enjoyed Gwyneth’s take on what can constitute a meal, for example why not try Quinoa with Kale and a fried egg for breakfast? Or try Quinoa with dried fruit and milk if you can’t tolerate oats. I also love love loved the Sweet Potato + Five Spice Muffins. I didn’t think they were going to turn out, I was practically pounding the ingredients together, the whole time thinking, “These are going to be horrible, a waste of my precious GF flour..” and then low and behold, these muffins came miraculously out of the oven looking exactly like the picture in the book. (however this is one of those recipes where you want to chose your Gluten Free baking mix carefully!) I gave a few muffins to friends and they gobbled them down with rave reviews!

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There’s a great index at the front of the book explaining what your new staples should be. I think this is one of the best sections actually. I also love that she uses Korean, Thai and African staples such as Sriracha, Gochujang, Harissa Paste and Chipotle.

Salmon with Sriracha and Lime was pretty good. Grilled Korean Corn, utterly simple but so good. Two Pan Chicken with Harissa, Preserved Lemons + Green Olives, was pretty good, super crispy but don’t bother to go out of your way for the Harissa if you don’t have a Whole Foods close by, it didn’t add enough of an impact in this recipe to be worth the effort to find. The Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle+Coriander was good, loved the kick, but I think I prefer squash rather than sweet potato as a main in my soups.

Risotto with Peas + Greens minus the pound of cheese and butter. Lamb Tagine, Chinese Veggie Dumplings. These are really good ideas that celebrate food (even gluten free, dairy free food!) to make mealtimes truly ‘feel happy’ as Gwyneth puts it. I hope you like it as much as I do!


 Overall I highly recommend the book. Healthful food is beautiful presented, with creative comforting recipes that are actually worthy of being served to family and good friends.

Photo Credit for pictures 1-4 Whitney Lane Photography

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Gluten Free Apple Fritters!

22 Oct


 Is apple season more exciting than pumpkin season? Quite possibly… What makes this year extra special is our matured apple tree in the backyard, it sprinkles the ground each day with organic tart + sweet apples. I am stoked to have the predicament of too many apples, because really, there is no such thing, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted something with apples that I didn’t like. Hmm…nope can’t think of anything….


6 months ago I would have said a fritter would never be something I would ever attempt to do gluten free, but then I started using Pamela’s Baking Mix…it’s inspired me.

 I actually came across this recipe on, it looked easy enough, so I gave it a go. After my husband came home and ate three in a row, I was certain these were a success. Light and fluffy inside, and crispy outside. A good baking flour mix is so important, and I sometimes go to three different stores just to get all the varieties that I like, however when you can just use one product that’s really good, you save a lot of time and mullah.


 I added even more apple to this recipe than it calls for, the more the better as long as the dough is still sticking together.

What you need:



Olive Oil or Canola

2 tbsp butter

1-1/2 cups chopped apples

1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon


2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp water


In a large bowl, mix fritter ingredients (first 9). Mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, mix glaze ingredients and set aside. Pour 1 inch extra virgin olive oil in pan (heat until oil stays bubbly when food is added, NOT boiling). Drop small spoonfuls of mixture into oil, let cook about five minutes per side. Drain for a few minutes . Use lots of paper towel to absorb extra oil). Drizzle with glaze mixture.

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Favorite Beauty Products (that just happen to also be gluten free!!)

20 Oct

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For face:

I love the Cover FX brand, and I wear the Natural Finish oil free Foundation almost everyday. They have great shades, and it’s one of the few foundations I’ve been able to find that has a lighter shade colour without a pink undertone, which suits my skintone better. No need to worry here guys, this is one of the few makeup brands that is actually labelled gluten free!! They also do not add the ‘inflammatory 5: parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil, and talc.’ They formulate their foundations for very sensitive skin.  I buy Cover FX at Shoppers Drug Mart, the only store I know of close to me that sells Cover FX, or you can order their products online at I find this foundation works best if you don’t put too much on, just use concealer if you need more coverage, that way it won’t get cakey.


I recently purchased their brand new CC Cream, one of the few CC Creams, the beautician informed me that actually works..! So far, I love it…it’s light-medium coverage, goes on smoothly and has SPF 30! The sunscreen, a combo of titanium dioxide and zinc oxicde, is a physical sunscreen, which I tend to  prefer.


For Lips:

The clear Lip Glaze by Cover FX is also great and I often apply it on top of my lipstick, it has a great minty tingly feel.

EOS makes the round lip balm that you see everywhere, and this product is also labelled gluten free, 100% natural and 95% organic, which is great because we know it’s going to to end up in our mouth~… I like to use this product before bed and under lipstick for an smooth surface and a long lasting base.

Lately I am loving Marcelle’s lipstick in Paris Rose, this is a great pink, with a warmer tone to it, you can make it bold or subtle. Marcelle isn’t labelled gluten free so be sure to check with the company to ensure that it doesn’t contain gluten, if sensitive. They told me this one is ok, but it is good to double check as formulas change all.the.time… The same thing with the lovely Fresh brand, they informed me the tinted Sugar Rose lip treatment (pictured above) doesn’t contain gluten but the original clear one does. It’s a great lip treatment, nice scent and contains sunscreen for that extra thin lip area.


Bronzer, Mascara & Highlighter!!!

I don’t wear blush much, I tend to just swipe on bronzer, I like the Sephora Brand Bronzer in Bora Bora. Sephora informed me that this product doesn’t contain gluten, yay! (please see update on this product!)

I also recently got a little gift from Sephora, the pictured Benefit Watt’s Up and the, They’re Real Mascara. These two products are now my staples. Amaaaazing products… The Watt’s Up is a natural highlighter that doesn’t go weird, cake up or look white and ghostly, it just leaves this beautiful sheen on the skin. It’ll trick everyone into thinking you’re having a great skin day even when your not. The They’re Real is the best mascara I’ve tried, ever!! It adds so much volume but at the same time, perfectly separates and defines your lashes. I think this mascara is widely known as a fantastic product.. who knew? Apparently everyone! I’m playing catch-up on this one I guess…The icing on the cake is that Benefit informed me that these products don’t contain gluten!! I need to start saving now for when I use up these little gem samples.

(there is of course a possibility of cross contamination with brands that are not completely gluten free)

 I also use the E.L.F. concealer and highlighter regularly, the concealer is super light but…concealing?..if that makes sense. The highlighter is great if you want something that doesn’t show, just gives a kind of.. lit from within.. very subtle glow. I put it on the bridge of my nose, on my temples and on the top of my cheekbones.

There you have it! My Beauty Must Haves for right now. What products are you guys loving lately?!!

***Just a note for my gluten free beauty junkies, in the past NARS indicated online and in emails that their entire line is gluten free. I noticed this year however that it now says on their website that they are not, and that there may be some gluten in their products. I emailed them a few weeks ago to find out more, but I have yet to receive a reply:(

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Fig, Carmelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza (G-Free!)

14 Oct

IMG_0378There used to be few things I enjoyed more than going out with friends for wood oven pizza and beer on Sunday nights. I spent the first two years after being diagnosed with Celiacs Disease buying pizza crusts from various gluten free bakeries, and trying very hard to make my own decent Gluten Free pizza crust that measured up to what I was accustomed to. I bought all kinds of exotic flours to come up with the miracle formula that would somehow bind everything together to form a thin, bendy yet crispy on the edges crust…I am pleased to tell you I have currently halted all efforts…(should I come up with a clever homemade recipe in the meantime, I will be sure tell you all;)), however, I recently discovered the best Gluten Free pizza crust I have ever tried to date, and it is…..drum-roll please….. Sabatasso’s Pizzeria GF Pizza. It sells at Costco in the frozen section, it’s great price, good size, THIN, soft and crispy.


It’s so nice to have something I can quickly doctor up a bit and then pop in the oven for a super fast, yet delicious meal. I love playing around with different toppings and I thought I would share one of my favorites so far. You must try this crust, you won’t be disappointed.

Gluten Free Fig, Carmelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza

You will need:

4-5 Dried Figs sliced thinly ( I like the organic unsulphered dried figs at Costco )

2 White Onions Sliced

4 slices GF prosciutto

Boursin Garlic & Herb Cheese(or whatever cheese you like to add to pizza)



Carmelized onions add so much flavor and the leftover onions can be added to a sundried tomato omelette, or whatever you like, to add great carmel-y flavour. To make them you need to put a generous knob of butter in a pan over medium-low heat, add the onions, (lower the heat as they progress) stir them for 45 minutes or until they have turned brown and really sweetened up. I sometimes add a tbsp of brown sugar to encourage the process.


Add your prosciutto however you like to the frozen pizza crust, top with carmelized onions, figs, and crumbled Boursin cheese. Bake according to instructions.


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One Little Tip For Surviving The First “Gluten Free” Year

10 Oct

IMG_0263I’ve learned to always carry a snack with me. Inevitably there are going to be those moments where you are out and about..chillin with a friend, shopping, maybe taking the metro downtown, having a grand ol time. And then.. wham!  You are suddenly struck with monster hunger pangs with not a gluten free snack in sight. It’s happened to me a thousand times, and although I never would give in and eat something I knew I would pay for later, the first year going gluten free did include some grizzly bear sized blood sugar crashes…say what..?!

I quickly figured out that it pays to have a snack in my bag or stowed in the car…  :)


There are some great pre-packaged Gluten Free granola bars out there. I love “Kind Dark Chocolate Cherry Bars” and “Lara’s new Banana Bread Nut Bar”, (seriously, it tastes just like banana bread … marvelous!) But hey, why not try making your own? It will save you lotsa money, and they are soooo good. I’ve made these many times, each time with different ingredients..

The recipe is adapted from A Beautiful Mess, I’ve added Crispy Rice Cereal for crunch, peanut butter for even more awesome flavor, pecans (my favorite nut BTW) and dried cherries, (I’m inclined to think cherries are most decadent of dried fruit), you add what you like. These taste amazing; amazing as in, my mom cried when she ran out of her personal stash!


(I used milk chocolate on these since I was out of dark, but dark is better:))

Gluten Free Bars

2 cups quick cooking gluten free oats

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup chia seeds

8 chopped up dried cherries (or whatever dried fruit/nut/seed you prefer)

¼ cup gluten free crispy rice cereal

1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

¼ cup peanut butter

1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces

Parchment Paper (a must with these)

Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, pecans , chia seeds, cherries, crispy rice and olive oil. Stir so that everything gets coated in the oil. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

In a pot over medium heat stir together the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla extract until the butter melts. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat, stir in peanut butter. In a bowl combine the granola and butter mixture so that all the granola gets coated. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Press the granola mix into the pan. Bake at 300°F for 25-28 minutes. Next melt the chocolate, I like to cheat and microwave it in 30 second increments stirring after each 30 seconds., but you can also melt it with a double boiler. Carefully cut into bars, pop them in the freezer to set a bit, pour chocolate on top and freeze again for a bit.

Your first year of going “gluten free” isn’t easy but these “tasty” little bars will definitely help make the adjustment just that little bit sweeter!

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Gluten Free Thai Yellow Curry Noodles

7 Oct


Thailand is my Disneyland. The most enchanting place I’ve ever been. Kind, beautiful Thai people, life-changing Elephant treks thru the jungle, the famous Phi Phi Islands, and of course ridiculously cheap Thai Massage. Oh, and then top all that off with the most amazing Thai Crab Curry you’ve ever had, whilst sinking your toes into exotic sand, on the most pristine beach you’ve ever been. My husband and I sucked every morsel of crab outta those shells, and gleefully refused to wash our fingers of the coconut curry deliciousness our fingers smelled of for hours afterwards.


A lot of what I cook on the fly mid-week ends up having a Thai influence of some kind. I try to always have limes, peanuts, and fish sauce on hand. This is what I whipped up last week, it’s a great, super fast, minimal cooking dish, and the veggies are raw for extra crunch and freshness. Feel free to add giant prawns, or chicken, or any protein  you like.


You will need:

1 tsp Coconut Oil

1 can Coconut Milk

3 tbsp GF Braggs Soy Seasoning or Soy Sauce

2 tbsp GF Thai Yellow Curry Paste (or more to taste)

3 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tsp of GF Sriracha (omit if if you don’t like spice)

2 tbsp GF Fish Sauce

2 Limes


3 Eggs

1 Container of Firm to Extra Firm Tofu cut into cubes

1 Package Rice Noodles


¼ C Peanuts finely chopped

1 C Bean Sprouts

1 Red and Yellow Bell Pepper sliced into fine strips

Chopped Cilantro

Chopped Green Onion

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to directions. Combine Coconut milk, and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, add the juice of one lime, stir together. Heat a large stirfry pan over medium heat and add coconut oil. Add tofu, and then make a well in the centre, add the eggs and scramble them. Next add the noodles and liquid ingredients and mix it all together so that the noodles are coated with the sauce. Dish up the noodles and place veggies and peanuts on top. Add a lime wedge to each serving.

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Stuffed Squash with Sausage and Kale

1 Oct


Fall is a favorite season for many, while it is not my favorite, there definitely are perks. One of them being the leaves turning color, warm chunky sweaters, not having to get your run/walk in before 7:00 am, and of course baking again! I lose all desire to cook anything in the summer but as soon as Fall comes, it’s so back on!

There are so many things to do with leftover rice, a favorite of mine would be Korean Kimchi Fried Rice, (recipe coming soon), brown rice scrambled with eggs, kale and GF soy sauce, and of course rice pudding. Today I thought I would do something very fall and take advantage of the gorgeous Acorn Squash I had on hand. Hope you like!


Stuffed Squash with Sausage and Kale

2 Acorn Squash (cut in half, de-seeded)

2 cups cooked rice (I originally cooked mine in chicken broth instead of water)

2 stalks celery

Gluten Free Sausage 1-2 links cut into small pieces (I used 1 Freybe extra long link)

1 small Onion cut into small pieces

2 cups Kale, cut into small pieces

2 Apples, cut into small pieces

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tbsp Curry Powder

1 tsp Cumin

Maple Syrup

Salt + Pepper

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 deg.s Place squash on oven pan, put a little knob about 1 tsp of coconut oil and 1 tsp of maple syrup in each squash halve, rub this over the edges of the squash as well, season with salt and pepper, then bake for about 20 minutes or until squash is soft.

Meanwhile heat up a large pan, and saute the sausage, then remove sausage and put aside. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to the pan, add in the curry, cumin, onion, and celery. Cook until onions are softened. Add in the rice, apple, sausage, and 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (to taste) stir to combine, mix in the kale. Carefully fill the squash halves with the mixture, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Enjoy.

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