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Camping, like all things requires a little bit of pre-planning to do successfully Gluten-Free.  With a little bit of label reading, and armed with some potato onion bread, I enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs and roasted marshmallows; all staples of camping.

Since I can’t have the graham crackers, and I didn’t want to attempt to make my own, traditional s’mores are out.  Instead we often just shove the chunks of chocolate into the middle of the soft gooey marshmallow and try to have enough patience to let it melt, at least a little bit.

For breaky we had bacon and eggs and even Corned Beef Hash (I know, I know, meat in a can…but seriously its a greasy yummy treat), and of course I had some earlier bowls of Panda Puffs and Rice Cereal to tide me through the early hours of morning.

We enjoyed salmon freshly caught from the river by my husband and a friend.  We had it on the BBQ with peanut butter, onions and garlic (surprisingly tasty), mayo, ketchup and mustard (my Brother-inLaw’s specialty) and also with butter, dill, garlic, celery salt and onion salt which was definitley my favourite, but I like simple things sometimes.

We also got a chance to try out Mrs. Leeper’s – Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Organic Tuna Casserole.  My parents purchsed this for me on sale in the states, and it is made with a corn pasta.  You prepare this just as you would regular tuna helper.  It was quick and easy and tasted delicious.  The noodles had good texture and the sauce was creamy and not overpowering.  All in all, I will definitley eat this again – I have not seen this product in Canada, but will keep my eyes open and let you know if I see it.  FYI, they also have a hamburger lasagna which is basically a hamburger helper, which I was also surprised to discover I quite enjoyed.

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I’ve been saying for ages that I would get back on my horse and starting posting again…it really should be easy.  This blog is about gluten-free food and I eat food every day – so there should always be something to write about, shouldn’t there?

I don’t want this to become a boring list of the foods I ate, but at the same time, when you are starting off a gluten-free diet, it can be infinitley useful to get meal ideas from someone who is living the life.

I am firm believer that a good breakfast is essential to a successful day; that being said now that my little bubba has arrived there’s a lot less time for leisurely meals.  But I always eat breakfast.

Although I’ve given up milk again (except for cream in my coffee) to help ease my sons eczema, I often find a hearty hemp shake made with rice milk a good start to the day.  I am definite fan of the nutiva chocolate hemp shake – made with organic fair trade cocoa, this shake has a rich flavour and a thick consistency.

I have also been enjoying the smorgasboard of jam my Mom and I made this summer, atop gluten-free potato flax bread and peanut butter.  We made strawberry, tayberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry freezer jam this summer and if I may say so, it is all delicious!  My top 3 are definitely tayberry, blackberry and raspberry!!

When I was younger cereal NEVER held me – I needed more protein and substance for breakfast.  Now I just have two small breakfasts; one at 6am when I get up with the baby, and a second one when he goes down for his nap around 8/8:30 am.  And when it comes to cereal, my absolute favourite are Nature’s Path Peanut Butter Puffs, but  I also like the Chocolate Koala crisp and Mesa Sunrise Flakes.

Of course I still enjoy a nice hot egg breakfast (when I can sneak one in or on the weekend).  My meal of choice is a fried egg sandwich with cheese and a smear of ketchup on potato-flax bread.  If we are having an “eggs & bakey” kind of morning, I also love some nice crispy bacon or some Lilydale Daystarters chicken or turkey breakfast sausage.  Totally gluten-free, low in fat and absolutley delicious, I always buy a few packages of daystarters for the freezer when they are on sale!

I have always been a fan of oatmeal, and was disappointed to say the least when I discovered gluten-free practically meant oat-free.  Enter Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats and Lara’s Gluten-Free Oats (both are available at Choices Markets), however I hated having to make my oatmeal the old fashioned way with a pot of water, constantly concerned that my expensive GF oats were going to burn to the bottom of the pan. I also found the that oats were not ask silky and soft as the instant oatmeal I had become accustomed to.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you can cook oatmeal in your rice cooker;  its quick and delicious and fills your kitchen with the warm aroma of fresh oatmeal without the effort.  I followed the quantity instructions on my rice cooker and was amazed at the perfect texture of the resulting oatmeal.  I did worry that the flavours might somehow ruin subsequent batches of rice, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  The cinnamon flavour does linger a little bit, but when rice is eaten with an Asian dish (as it most often is), the flavour is completely negligible.

Check your own instruction booklet to see if it has a different liquid ratio, or try my recipe below.  Also feel free to adjust the add-ins to suit your tastes: raisins, orange or lemon zest, berries, peaches, nuts, spices, the options are endless.  I quite like adding chunks of peeled apple and mixing them in instead of using the craisins (but it takes more time, and time is a hot commodity for me these days). I’m pretty sure however, that I could get it all setup the night before and then just have to hit “cook” in the morning…

Note: I am out of GF oatmeal right now, but will take a picture just as soon as I get to the store and buy some!

Rice Cooker Gluten-Free Oatmeal

(2 generous servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • handful of craisins

Directions:

  1. Mix oats, cinnamon and salt in the rice cooker bowl (this helps to minimize having all the cinnamon floating on the top).
  2. Add the water and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle craisins on top.
  4. Turn on your rice cooker.
  5. When the rice cooker switches over to warm, your breakfast is ready.
  6. ENJOY! (I like mine with brown sugar and rice milk…mmm!)

I recently posted this on Facebook and thought I would share it here…

To those of you on a Gluten-Free diet, you MUST, I repeat MUST try the “onion potato bread” and “flax potato bread” made by the “6th Ave Bread & Deli“.

Although this is not an exclusivley Gluten-Free shop, the pans are all sterilized each evening and the bread is cooked first thing in the morning; the staff will caution you if it is your first purchase, to ensure you understand the potential for contamination. All that being said, I have had no problems with this bread and once I realized that, I’ve been eating it like candy.

The loaf looks like a large french bread, the texture is soft and light and chewy, and here’s the kicker, although it tastes delicious toasted it is equally as good without toasting. And if you eat Gluten-Free bread, you know what a feat that is. Oh yes, and did I mention the large and delicious gluten-free loaf of bread costs only $3.99.

This small shop is on 6th ave in New Wesminster, next to the Galloway’s and across from the parkade for Royal Centre (702c 6th Ave, New Westminster).

I’ll try and remember to take a picture to attach here, but no promises.

Seriously, I thought I died and went to heaven when I tried this bread…I’ve already made two trips to New West, infant in tow, for the sole purpose of buying this bread (it freezes well so I buy a lot when I go!).

Finally, last time I was in, they told me they were now making hamburger buns on saturday morning, but they are first come, first serve, so if you live out that way it may be worth a morning trip!

Let me know if you try this bread…and how much you love it!!
HAPPY EATING

I admit it – Summer is kicking my ass.  I haven’t posted in quite some time, but of course that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating.  My sister got me a great cookbook (I can’t remember the name right now) for my birthday, that had the best pancakes I have eaten since going Gluten-Free.  The icing on the cake?  They were easy to make, they didn’t require any time for the batter to settle, and since it’s summer they were absolutely delicious with blueberries in the batter!!

I’ve made Gluten-Free Egg Bread a few times, and am continually impressed by the moist tenderness of this bread.  Although it is a little dense and definitely eggie, it makes great sandwiches, not to mention fabulous French Toast.  I made a few tweaks to the recipe the last time I made it, which I think were improvements, but I’ll wait until I have adapted it exactly to my tastes and then I can share all the changes at once.

As an individual of half-Asian descent, a lack of Oyster Sauce in my diet has made a lot of my favourite dishes impossible to re-create.  Of course I have wheat-free Tamari, but there are some recipes that just require some good old fashioned oyster sauce.  In truth, I swear I have read bottle after bottle of Oyster sauce in all the stores, every time hoping that maybe I had managed to miss the one Gluten-Free bottle in the mix all the previous times.  Of course, I continued to be dissapointed, time after time…until last week.  Upon the shelves of Wal-Mart (I’ve also found it at T&T Supermarket), I discovered Choy Sun Oyster Sauce by Lee Kum Kee, a little further investigation on the Lee Kum Kee Website and I also discovered that this particular Oyster Sauce is also MSG-Free!!

Of course I had my hesitations about a gluten-free oyster sauce, but I purchased it and promptly put it to the test.  Now there are many dishes I love, that require oyster sauce such as hot pot and steamed pork, but I wanted to test this oyster sauce, so I made some Gai Lan and spread some oyster sauce on top in the traditional fashion. OMG I thought I died and went to heaven.  Oyster Sauce is back and that means, Chinese Cooking is back.  I am currently thinking about wontons (which were fully not worth contemplation without oyster sauce) I think I’ll try sheets of rice noodles, cut into squares as won-ton wrappers.

To add to my smorgasbord of deliciousness, I went to a wedding for a close friend last weekend, and though I was ecstatic to see roast beef for dinner, I was instantly saddened to see the other meat dishes were a chicken with a wild mushroom sauce and a white fish and shrimp with a light herb and garlic sauce, both of which I assumed were thickened with flour.  Imagine my excitement when one of the cooks walked by and assured me that these dishes were thickened ONLY with cornstarch.  They were delicious and I felt so incredibly spoiled!  Unfortunately, this tidbit of information may have been untrue, or perhaps there was gluten in the salad dressing, flan, mousse or something else that I ate, but I was so disappointed the next day when I realized I had certainly eaten something contaminated.  But those are the chances we take sometimes, and in truth I take such chances so rarely, that this particular time, I would almost say it was worth it.

The first day back, after a 4 day weekend is always hard.  Fortunately, 4 days off also generally means a busy day, which of course goes by quite quickly.  I managed to sneak in a trip to Choices Market on the weekend, which means I have a fridge full of delicious foods, including a few of my pre-made Gluten-Free favourites.

As you may have gathered, I love to cook and I love to feed people.  In general, I prefer to prepare my own food as I then have so much more control over what exactly I am eating and in what quantity.  That being said, there are definitely some pre-made food that is fabulous.

I started my morning off with some LifeStream Buckwheat Berry Waffles, which I purchase every time I see them on sale and then promptly devour them before becoming sad that the box is empty.  If you haven’t tried these, I highly recommend them – in addition to being delicious, they often go on sale for little more money than regular Eggo waffles.  In fact this weekend, they were the cheapest I had seen, 2 boxes for $6.  You KNOW I bought 2 boxes.

Perhaps not exactly a pre-made food, but another item I can’t seem to leave Choices without, are Food for Life, Brown Rice Tortillas.  These tortillas are not only delicious, they crisp up wonderfully and make great quesedillas, they don’t fall apart quite as easily as corn tortillas and at $3.99 for 6 they aren’t really all that much more expensive than wheat tortillas.  Make sure you look in the freezer section, or you won’t find them.

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Speaking of pre-made food, everyone’s lazy sometimes; tonight we had M&M Meats Bistro Chicken Swiss, which is basically an un-breaded chicken cordon bleu.  Although you can’t tell from this product listing, I couldn’t find any gluten-containing items in the ingredients, and it came up on M&M’s gluten-free list (they can print off a gluten-free list in store, it takes about 10 minutes, so make sure you have time – at my store they keep it in the drawer available for any customer that asks to see it), not to mention I’ve ate it quite a few times without problems.

Well, that’s today’s glimpse into the shopping cart.