Gluten Free Consulting

Going gluten free can be an overwhelming process. Understand which foods has gluten, cooking gluten Gluten Free Guru 300x109 Gluten Free Consultingfree and knowing which brands to buy can be a tough process. To make this process easier, I am here to help you as a gluten free consultant.

More info can be found on my new website at

www.glutenfreeguru.ca

 

Noteworthy NOtaBLE: A Gluten Free Dream

Saturday night I went with two girlfriends to Notable for dinner. As usual Notable was hopping for a Saturday line 300x225 Noteworthy NOtaBLE: A Gluten Free Dreamnight. and there was a lot of people in line, but the staff made us feel welcome. While were waiting, the manager made sure we had a cocktail in our hand to make the wait a pleasant experience. One of the things that first stood out to me about Notable was the incredible attention to customers. Although, the restaurant was packed and the line to get in was long, the staff did an incredible job of making sure everyone in line was taken care of and comfortable

Once we were seated and the manager took time to explain the gluten free options on the menu. Most items at Notable can be made gluten free and in fact they carry gluten free pasta and Care Bakery bread. We decided to share a bunch of dishes including a gluten free pasta.manager e1394424151624 300x300 Noteworthy NOtaBLE: A Gluten Free Dream

Our first course included the Seared East Coast scallops with grilled romaine hearts and a bacon & caper dressing as well as crispy potato rolls with rotisserie pork, Jalepeno Jack Cheese and salsa veride. Both dishes were so delish! The scallops were cooked amazingly and the crispy potato rolls were a treat, they reminded me of a fancy spring roll which I haven’t had in years, but of course way better.

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Our second round included the Dungeness crab and shrimp bake with wilted spinach, aged cheddar cheese and gluten free toast as well as More Gluten Free rigatoni, artisan bacon, cherry tomatoes, green peas and Cambozola cheese. Ok fair warning, if you don’t do well with dairy take your enzymes. I’m paying for all of the cheese , but boy was it worth it. These two dishes were amaziiinnnnggg!

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We decided to order two more dishes…guess we were really hungry that night ha. So to end the evening we ordered the oysters and pork belly with a lobster claw in a coconut green curry sauce. The oysters were so light and fresh, probably should have started with them. The last dish was a rich pork belly topped with a butter poached lobster claw with a coconut curry cream sauce. Yep definately had to go to the gym Sunday but honestly, our evening Saturday night was so worth it. It has been a long time since I have been to a restaurant in Calgary with impeccable service and wonderful gluten free options. Honestly the more I travel, the more I realize that a lot of Calgary restaurants who are busy don’t treat their customers very well. Often I feel as though the attitude is we should be lucky to get a table. Well at Notable this is the furthest thing that you will find. I love how welcoming the staff was and how great our evening was.

While dining we found out that Chef Justin Labossiere is part of the driving force to the amazing gluten free menu. He’s now bumped to the top of my list for favorite chefs ;-)  Most of the menu is gluten free and all of the desserts are gluten free, how awesome is that. Ever heard of More Gluten Free Pasta? This is the brainchild of Chef Justin and apparently it can be bought at Community or Planet Organic, keep your eyes peeled for it and support a local gluten free business.

Honestly Notable is a gluten free dream and to top it all off, it’s now located within the Car2Go area! All my gluten free’ers, head to Notable, you won’t be dissapointed. Let me know how the desserts are, major fail on my part for not leaving room for gluten free desserts.

photo7 300x300 Noteworthy NOtaBLE: A Gluten Free DreamKeep your eye out for the creator of Notable, Chef Michael Noble when you are there. Also if you are looking for dinner on the go, you can always order Happy Chicken which is an organic, rotisserie chicken served with a side to go. A great way to feed your family a healthy meal when you are in a rush.

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Gluten Free Breaky in Banff Can Be Tough: Coyotes Southwestern Grill is A Good Option

If you read my last post, I was in Banff for three days last week for new years. Every time I have been to Banff I have trouble finding gluten free breakfast with the exception of some hotels like the Banff Springs and the Rimrock. Reality is, I rarely stay at these hotels and truth be told, they aren’t super easy to get to. So often I end up having an omelette at Melissa’s or The Bison cuz neither has GF bread. Unfortunately, I kinda hate omelettes, but often is my only choice.

The last morning we were in Banff, we thought we would grab breaky and walk around downtown. Being aphoto 21 300x225 Gluten Free Breaky in Banff Can Be Tough: Coyotes Southwestern Grill is A Good Option weekday, a lot of resto’s didn’t serve breakfast, and the Wild Flour doesn’t have great GF breaky options. So on a whim we went into Coyote’s. Coyote’s is a long skinny, rustic grill which is casua,l but busy. Unfortunately we showed up at the wrong time because the breakfast line was just shutting down and the  lunch line wouldn’t be ready for 30 minutes. Our options were sammy’s, but they said they had GF bread and wraps which made my day. On the lunch menu was a breakfast burrito, and all I wanted was eggs so I snuck that order in just under the wire.

photo 11 e1389075353267 225x300 Gluten Free Breaky in Banff Can Be Tough: Coyotes Southwestern Grill is A Good OptionAlthough our order took 45 minutes to arrive, at least I was able to have a soy latte while we waited. The burrito finally arrived and it was really good. Well as good as a gluten free wrap can be when it tastes like hard paper. That said, I was still grateful for a breaky burrito.photo1 300x225 Gluten Free Breaky in Banff Can Be Tough: Coyotes Southwestern Grill is A Good Option

Even though the service wasn’t amazing, Coyote’s will be my new breaky place in Banff because of the abundant GF options.

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Three Ravens Restaurant Banff: Fun NYE’s and Great GF food

Recently I was itching to get out of the city and into the mountains for a relaxing and re-energizing vacation. Plus I love being out of the city for new year’s eve. Most of my friends were booked but luckily I had a very good friend who was in the same boat as me and wanted to get out of town as well. Since we booked our hotel relatively last minute, and there wasn’t much choice, I was worried about reservations for NYE. Well luckily on Open Table I found a reso at Three Raven’s in Banff. Up until a year ago I had no idea this restaurant even existed but a colleague had taken me there when we were in Banff for work. Since I had been, I knew the food was awesome.

That day my friend and I went skiing, came back to town and got dressed up to ring in the NYE. We stayed on the main drag at The Fox, which I love because of their amazing hot tub. The hot tub feels like you are in a cave but has an open roof so it feels like an outdoor hot tub. Staying downtown, I was worried about getting a cab to Tunnel Mountain, but in true Banff fashion, a cab arrived within 5 minutes of calling… so much better than Calgary cabs. We hopped in and went up Tunnel Mountain to Three Ravens which is located at the Banff Center. This restaurant is a hidden gem that not many people know about because it’s in a location that is off the beaten path a bit. The Banff Center is a beautifully designed collection of buildings that hosts concerts, conferences and has year round classes. The restaurant is on the top floor of an all glass building that boosts an amazing view of banff and the mountains.

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Photo from Up Magazine. Three Ravens Interior

We arrived and wanted a window seat so decided to sit at the bar and have a cocktail while waiting for a different table. After 20 minutes we were seated by very friendly staff and sipped our cocktail while admiring a spectacular view. Sorry for no picture but it was dark and the picture didn’t show up through the glass.

We ordered and out came warm regular bread for my friend and toasted, soft gluten free bread for me as well as 4 different types of butter which were all delicious. My favorite was the hazelnut butter, reminded me of Ferrero Rocher in a weird kind of way.

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Gluten free bread and butters

Next we were served an amuse bouche that I have to be honest, was the biggest dissapointment of the meal. It was a small centimeter square of panana cotta, but unfortunately it was so rubbery that if felt sick in your mouth. This was just a small blip in an almost perfect night so don’t let the amuse bouche sway you away.

For my main course, I had the chicken which was crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside and was served with delicious crispy kale and root vegetables. My friend had the steak which he said was delicious as well.

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There was a flourless chocolate cake option for dessert, but I opted for another glass of wine…hey it was NYE after all.

After dinner we grabbed a cab back to town to hit main street as they close the road to traffic and have a beautiful fireworks show at midnight. In hindsight though I bet it would be cool to watch the fireworks from Three Ravens if it was cold. NYE was quite warm so it was lovely being with a fun crowd celebrating together.

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Hot Chocolate after the fireworks at The Fox

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All in all, I would recommend Banff for NYE’s as it was relaxing, awesome to be on the ski hill, great dinner and an awesome show to top off the night. If you are looking for a great hotel, I loved The Fox because of the location and hot tub as well as great service. Note though, breakfast is included in your stay but there weren’t any GF options as it was a buffet. Take your own oatmeal for the room.

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Blink Restaurant: Good but Not Spectacular. Accommodating for GF/DF.

Last night we went out for a going away dinner for my friend who is moving to California at the end of the month. We decided to go to Blink because one of the girls said they can do gluten free/dairy free no problem. I actually was surprised because it’s been years since I’ve been in Blink but truth be told that I actually forget it was open.

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We had a reso for right after work. Unfortunately I had a meeting in Lethbridge that went out late so I rushed back to town, but was still an hour late. Bad start to the evening and I needed a cocktail to calm my frazzledness down. Anyhow when I arrived I had a glass of the pinot grigio…was pretty tart, not quite the luscious fruit I was hoping for, but at that point, anything was good.

Looking around I was impressed by the decor. Although simply designed, it was cozy and inviting in the restaurant with a good overall feel.interior 300x225 Blink Restaurant: Good but Not Spectacular. Accommodating for GF/DF.

The menu had a great selection, but as soon as I saw the sablefish, I knew I had to have it. Our server was very helpful with accommodating our table’s request for both gluten and dairy free.

The kitchen was fast and the our dishes arrived promptly. My dish looked beautiful, the fish was cooked perfectly but the dish majorly lacked seasoning. In addition the bok choi had a mustard sauce on it which did nothing for the veg. I’m not sure if this was a sauce that was substitute to accommodate the dish being GF/DF, but either way, it was just not good.

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We looked at the dessert menu but there was very limited GF options on there..probably a good thing since I just finished a cleanse. Overall, the food was not a home run, but the restaurant gets points for ambiance and service. That said, I would go back to give them another try to see if the food could be better.

biglink Blink Restaurant: Good but Not Spectacular. Accommodating for GF/DF.

Catelli’s New Gluten Free Pasta

Ok, let’s be honest, there is a lot of gluten free pasta on the market that is pretty bad. I find brown rice pasta to be the worst because it is consistently soggy and has a funny taste. One of the things I has frustrated me  in the past has been finding gluten free items including pasta in grocery stores rather than having to always go to specialty health food stores.

Two weekends ago, my friend Laura asked me to come over for Sunday dinner as her and her roomie were making pasta. I was in a rush so ran to Safeway, and saw Catelli had a new gluten free pasta which surprised.me. Well I took a chance and bought the pasta hoping that it would be good because one time I had bought a pasta brand  I had never tried to take to a friend’s house and it was a disaster.

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Well my friends and I made the Catelli Gluten Free pasta and it was awesome! The next day I received an email asking if wanted to try Catelli pasta since I blog about gluten free products. Since I had already tried the pasta, I was happy to blog about this product because the taste and texture was awesome,  and the price is right. Catelli’s Gluten Free pasta is made from 4 grains, white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa which gives this pasta a great texture and only cost me $2.99 at Safeway.

Tonight I was decided to have Catelli’s Gluten Free pasta and wanted to share my recipe and experience with you. I made a gluten free/diary free gigi recipe which is easy, fresh and delicious. In addition to the recipe below, click here to download a coupon for a $1 off of Catelli’s Gluten Free Pasta. 

https://www.websaver.ca/en_ca/portal/catelli_

Gigi Sauce Recipe on Catelli Gluten Free Pasta

Here are the ingredients you will need for two servings of sauce

4 ripe roma tomatoes, unsweetened almond milk, spicy cappicola ham, garlic, shallots, white wine (optional), fresh basil, sugar, salt

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Chop the ripe roma tomatoes in a mini food processor until they are a smooth consistency.

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Next, saute  on medium heat 1 clove of garlic and a tablespoon of shallots in olive oil. Once translucent, add the tomatoes and  1/4 of a dry white wine and reduce.

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After the tomatoes have reduced add 1 cup of almond milk and bring to a low boil. Once the sauce has started to thicken, add the spicy cappicola ham, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 5 chopped basil leaves.

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Add salt to taste. Take the sauce off of the heat, cover and let sit for about an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

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Boil the Cateli pasta and cook in salted water for 8 minutes for the perfect al dente pasta. Top with the sauce and fresh chopped basil

Enjoy!

Also here is a clip of a video I posted on YouTube while cooking this pasta recipe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5gdl4GCCH0&feature=youtu.be

 

Awesome Gluten Free, Dairy Free Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Lately I have been on a one pot meal that I can eat for a few days. At the same time, I have been trying to cut out a lot of meat to try and eatan alkaline diet. So over the last month, I’ve perfected this recipe for vegetarian chili.

This recipe is incredibly simple, takes less than 30 minutes and you have super healthy, tasty filling meals that you can freeze.

First the ingredients: one bunch of kale, large can of crushed tomatoes, one can of black beans, one large can of chick peas, 1.5 cups of corn, a large can of sweet potatoes (this makes the dish), a white onion, clove of garlic and for seasoning you need salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and chili powder.

 

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Chop 1/2 white onion finely

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Add onion and chick peas to a large dutch oven pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on medium heat until onions start to go transluscent.

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Next wash and tear the kale making sure to remove the woody stems. Put the kale into the pot, cover and let cook until the kale starts to shrink and soften.

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Add the crushed tomatoes, black beans and one tablespoon of honey. Turn heat to high heat and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

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Once the chili has boiled down and the chick peas, kale and beans are soft, turn off heat and add corn and sweet potatoes.

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Garnish chili with cilantro and a dollop of goat’s cheese for richness.

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Bon appetit!

Mucho Burrito: Mucho Awesome Gluten Free Options

Lunch on the run is hard to find for gluten free options. For a long time, it was a protein shake and nuts from Jugo Juice or Starbucks. Now I am happy to say I love Mucho Burrito and am seriously addicted to the soft corn tortilla tacos.

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The tacos are fresh, filling and a quick lunch on the run. For filling the chicken and the steak are gluten free and the toppings are all good, just make sure you double check on the sauces since some of them have gluten and diary.

There is a new Mucho Burrito opened on 14th recently, but I have to say my favorite is still the Mission location. On days where I want to switch it up, I order Burrito in a Bowl which is filling, just not a fresh as the tacos.

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Charcut: Non Stop Meat

Ok so I have been to Charcut twice in the past, but when I was there they didn’t carrry gluten free bread. This combined with my disappointing experiences, lead me to leave Charcut off of my blog.

Well good news, Charcut is now carrying Care Bakery bread and our server was very aware of gluten in the products. I was there with a client and colleagues so we started out with the meat platter which had 5 different types of pork. This was more than enough for four people, but the sausage/shaved meat is all made in house and tasty. This is not a plate I would order out with a bunch of girls, but is perfect for guys drinking beer.

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I noticed tonight the resto was much more busy than it had been in the past and the energy for a Monday night was awesome.

Fo our main, I ordered the fish served with kale. The fish is usually served head on with the bones, but the server said they could filet it which made me order. All 3 of my colleagues had the steak which was a mere 16 ounces…literally haven’t seen a steak that big anywhere…impossible to eat in one sititng.

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We had the sticky toffee pudding for dessert which was my favorite part of the meal. Charcut is not cheap and is definately heavy on the meat options, but was tasty and said a lot that is was so busy for a Monday.

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Awesome Avec Bistro

For a long time, I would drive by Avec Bistro and think to myself that I would like to eat there, but being a French restaurant, I assumed that they wouldn’t do gluten free. Thankfully this misconception changed when I met the owner and he told me the chef is great at catering to gluten free and in fact they have gluten free french bread.

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A random Monday night, I had the pleasure to go in for dinner. Usually I don’t love French restaurants because the portions are small and usually there is nothing I can eat. We started with warm bread and butter and the bread was light and fluffy and not like your typical gf bread.

salad 150x150 Awesome Avec Bistro fish 150x150 Awesome Avec Bistro bread 150x150 Awesome Avec Bistro

Next my friend and I shared a caprese’esque salad that had sweet, vine ripened tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella. The portion was perfect for an appie and was perfect for a light appie.

For my main I had the fish which was good, a bit dry, but the vegetables were amazing.

Overall the wine list was extensive but reasonably price, the food fresh with excellent gluten free options and a cute ambience.

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