July 24, 2011

Gluten Free/ Sans Gluten in downtown Montreal

Ahh the McGill ghetto. For those of you who are familiar with Montreal, you know exactly what I am talking about! Well tucked away in the McGill ghetto is a little Jem called the Lola Rosa Cafe....

I ate at this place last summer when I was downtown and could not have been happier with the place. It is a cute little cafe tucked away on a street next to McGill. The vegetarian menu provides healthy meals, plus they label their menus for GF items, which is ALWAYS a plus in my book. It makes it a breeze to order rather than playing 20 questions with the waiter. So I highly recommend this ethincally influenced vegetarian's dream.

The best way to get there is get off at the McGill metro stop on the green line. Walk up University st and take a right on Milton. You will see it on the left with the big open windows in the front. Enjoy!

Note-French and English spoken here!

July 22, 2011

Montreal: must try this bread!

For me gluten free bread has just never been that unbelievable. It is kind of like a vessel that you put delicious things on so that it somehow tastes better. In fact I never really used to put so many things on my sandwiches, hamburgers, etc, but that was BEFORE I was celiac and forced to eat this "bread" which is somewhat reminiscent of cardboard.

However, my annual trip to Montreal has changed my mind. My mother in law bought me some bread before my arrival and informed me that it was the new "hot" gf bread in town. So I smiled and nodded thank you, but really in my mind I thought uh yeah right, it probably tastes just like all the other ones.....nope, I was wrong. It is seriously that good and when it thaws out it is actually moist like normal bread. And no, I am not joking. So now you are probably dying to know the name! It is called Maison Cannelle. I have been able to find it at most natural food or bio stores and even grocery stores!

Besides the bread, the compagne is my favorite kind, you MUST try their kaiser rolls. They are legit hamburger buns that do not crumble and fall apart after the first bite. And the best part is they aren't 3 inches high, so that by the time you put your stuff in there you can actually take a bite without having your mouth as wide open as you can get it.

Finally since becoming celiac I have not been a huge muffin eater. I thought most of the ones I tried were dry, crumbly, bland, half to a quarter the normal size, you know what I am talking about. Well again my mother in law bought me some muffins and I thought hmm ok the bread was good and these guys are BIG, so let’s try them out. I wasn't disappointed, in fact both my husband and mother in law thought they were delicious. I insisted after I tried one that they must try a bite to confirm my hypothesis that this muffin in fact tasted like a "normal" muffin. And they agreed with seriousness (I can usually tell when they are just saying yes to make me feel better!). So all I can say is go out, try this product, and promote it because all the Celiac's and intolerants and allergic folks need to know about this!!!!

I have also included their website, although it is in French.


July 5, 2011

My go to Thai dish

I always forget how much I love eating when I am back in the states. Don't get me wrong I love eating in Europe too, or France more specifically. But there are many items you simply just can't find over there. Take gf thai kitchen microwavable meals, or even chips and salsa, and of course my go to peanut sauce. San-J company makes an amazing peanut sauce that goes on to make an even better stir fry when paired with oh so creamy and delicious coconut milk. This winning combination has been tried by many of my friends and after the first bite each one of them was hooked.

-1 can coconut milk
-1 jar San-J peanut sauce (found at most grocery stores in Canada and America)
-1 lb chicken, cut into small chunks
-1 bell pepper, cut into pieces (any size, your preference)
-1 onion, chopped
-Mushrooms, cut into pieces (your choice on the quantity)
-1 head broccoli, cut into pieces
-any other veggie you feel like throwing in there, sometimes I use celery, fresh tomotaos, carrots, zucchini, really anything I have in the kitchen at the time.

Add about 1-2 T olive oil to a deep frying pan or wok. Saute chicken for 3-5 minutes. Then add in chopped veggies and more olive oil if needed, saute for another 3-5 minutes. Then add in cocoonut milk and peanut sauce. I personally add the whole jar, but it is up to you. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve over your favorite kind of rice. Enjoy this simple meal!

July 3, 2011

Gluten free pizza and beer at the same restaurant?

Oh yeah, that's right. Seriously, I am not trying to tempt you into thinking of your non-celiac days of gorging on pizza and beer; I am stating the absolute truth. I recently made a month long trip back to the great state of Alaska, my home. Each year that I return I am joyous with the new developments in not only gluten free products, but in all the locally owned restaurants in Anchorage. I love spending the first couple of days browsing the stores for new gf products, new gf producers, and purchasing some of my favorite gf products that I simply cannot find in France. I also eat out way too much, insisting almost every night on hitting one of my fav restos for dinner and lets just say the list isn't short. For me, eating out gf in Anchorage has become a breeze.

Let me also bring up why eating gf has become so well-known in really, well the last year in Anchorage. For this, I would like to thank all the doctors, especially my doctor, who continue to diagnose people with celiac disease, gluten allergies, and gluten intolerances. I would like to thank Mrs. Alaska 2011 for bringing Celiac awareness to the community of Anchorage (she also has an excellent blog!). I would like to thank the world renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic who eats gf due to a gluten intolerance (although now everything thinks a gf diet is the breakfast of champions), and I hesitantly thank those who have made the gf diet so "hot" right now. Yes gf has become the new fad diet, with this diet came many new gf products and now many other products are starting to put gf labels on! So this is a positive thing. However, one must be careful at the restaurant when ordering gf, as waiters think it is a weight loss diet, rather than a lifetime, no choice diet. So cross contamination is probably not the first thing on their mind.

Ok enough about eating gf being the new atkins diet. Back to pizza and beer! In Anchorage there is a wonderful place set in mid-town overlooking the mountains to the East, that brings back so many memories for me and that place is called The Moose's Tooth. It is a locally owned pizza place with pizzas to die for that come with every topping imaginable. Not to mention the homemade sauce is in a league of its own. I can specifically remember the last time I ate Moose's Tooth pizza before realizing I was Celiac. It was a cool spring day spent at my Aunt's house up by Flattop Mountain. We all gorged ourselves on "backpacker" and "white pizza". I drove home contentedly full until about half way to my house I almost had to pull over from the pain in my belly. Literally I was almost in tears, sound familiar anyone? I arrived home, rolled around on the floor in front of my parents, and finally that is when my dad said "we have got to send her to the gastroenterologist". So yes, that was my very last memory of my beloved Moose's Tooth pizza....UNTIL 3 weeks ago! Oh yeah, that's right. The Moose's Tooth has jumped on the gf bandwagon and I could not be happier. I learned about this life changing news from one of my best friends who sent me a text something like this "by the way, Moose's Tooth has gf pizza now". This was my reaction.... WHHHHHATTTTTTT! Upon learning this news I quickly googled the website, found nothing. But then found a link to Mrs. Alaska's blog and she had thankfully written about the new gf pizza. So what did I do after this? I promptly informed my husband and family that we were going to Moose's Tooth that night, no questions asked.

So now you are wondering how my experience went? Let me just say it is one of my top three gf eating experiences. Upon entering the restaurant, I sat down to the smells I thought would never snuggle into my nose again. I quickly found the gf menu and was giddy as a child on Christmas. Gluten free salads (I quickly moved on, as I did not come there for a salad) followed by gf pizza choices and I mean choices upon choices!!! Followed by a gf dessert, chocolate cake no less, and wait, wait, gf BELGIUM beer. Oh yeah, it was official. I was in a gf heaven! My mom decided to also order a gf pizza, so we shared both an Aloha and Backpacker pizza, definitely two of my past favorites! And let me just say I was not disappointed with the beer or the pizza. In fact our server gave me a whole other pizza for free because apparently the first one that came out stuck to the pan a bit, so the chef wasn't happy?! Little do they know that gf cooking never comes out normal haha. But hey, I wasn't one to complain since I received 3 small gf pizzas for the price of two!! Unfortunately, after stuffing myself I was too full to try the delicious chocolate cake complete with coconut frosting, but on a separate occasion I did try it and it was by far one of the best cakes ever. So my hats off to you Moose's Tooth! And to everyone else, your days of pining for Moose's Tooth pizza are over, so get your butts down there STAT!!!