Quote of the Week

“When you no longer believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are.”

From the teachings of Echkart Tolle

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Happiness is…

…Eating a fresh gluten-free bagel for the first time in 8 years.

Bagels (along with croissants and cream puffs) are one of the things I’ve missed most since cutting out gluten. I’ve seen the frozen gluten-free bagels in the grocery store many times but I’ve always been hesitant about trying them. I’ve recently started a new job and every morning on my way to work I walk through a food court that has a bakery store full of freshly made bagels. After 2 weeks of walking by the store I knew that if I didn’t get my bagel craving satisfied soon, I might just cave and eat a gluten-filled one! (The horror, I know!) Realizing that I can resist only so much, I thought I would have no choice but to go out and buy the frozen ones…but then, while on pinterest, a recipe for gluten-free egg-bagels pops up on my page! Was this fate? Who knows! I’m just glad it came to me!!

Although I had been warned by friends and family that making bagels was difficult, I was determined to make them work. I’ll save you the play-by-play on how I made them and just say that, yes, bagels take a long time and aren’t the easiest thing to make. Truthfully, mine didn’t turn out perfectly. They didn’t rise as much as I think they should have (they were probably under-mixed) but that being said, they still tasted like bagels and, in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?! (But since I’m a perfectionist, I will make them again and again until they are perfect haha.)  And so another day goes by spent happily baking (and eating).

Cheers,
Rhi

Oh, and this is the link to the bagel recipe I used! (You thought I wasn’t going to include it, didn’t you?) I haven’t fully explore the site yet but there seems to be a lot of good recipes!!

Delicious, golden brown bagels!

Delicious, golden brown bagels!

Cumin – I hate it. There. I said it.

I often hear people say that eating a nice hot soup is much more enjoyable when eaten during the winter. It seems to make sense to me…but then I thought “then why haven’t I made any soups this winter?” With winter coming to a close (hopefully soon) I decided to experiment with a new soup! For Christmas, I received a cookbook called “500 Best Quinoa Recipes” by Camilla V. Saulsbury. I haven’t made much anything from it, despite having it for 3 months now, so I wasn’t sure what the quality of the recipes were but nonetheless, I picked up the book and decided to test out a soup.

“Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Soup”

 “Sounds interesting and looks easy enough…And hey! I have cauliflower in the fridge that needs to be eaten. Excellent!” I thought, and off I went~
1. You start by coating the  cauliflower (about 6-8 cups of it) in a little bit of oil and salt. Then you roast it in the over at 450°F for approximately 35 minutes.
2. In a large point, heat up a couple of teaspoons of oil over medium heat and add 2 cups of chopped onions (stirring for about 6-8 minutes).
3. Then you add the roasted cauliflower, 1/2 cup of quinoa flakes, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin ….

Wait. Stop. What? Sigh. Here’s the thing you need to know about me… when I bake I carefully look over the ingredients and make sure I have everything I need. When I cook… well, let’s just say I prefer to be a bit artistic sometimes (yes, that’s just my way of saying I “wing” it) so of course I didn’t notice that the ONLY spice in this soup was cumin. So when a person doesn’t like an ingredient, it seems normal to leave it out, right? Apparently I’m not normal because I went and added it anyways (although I lessened the amount by 1/2 a teaspoon – not that that would make a difference, I suppose). Oh well, carrying on.

Add the cumin, 6 cups of water and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is incredibly soft.
4. When time is up, transfer the soup to a food processor or use an immersion blender in the pot. (My advice, if you’re using the food processor, do it in batches. Throwing all the soup in at once could be disastrous.) Then add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lime (although I had limes, I chose to add lemon instead since that’s what I prefer). Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro, et voilà!

I might not hate cumin after all.

I really had no idea what to expect when I saw this recipe – especially once I saw the cumin – and, I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by it!! (Doesn’t that make it even better? Having no, or low, expectations and then being blown away by it?) It’s actually really good (even better when served with a delicious gluten-free dinner roll!). Everything blends together so well yet at the same time I can taste the cauliflower, cumin, lemon, and cilantro separately.
On a cold winter’s day, this soup is great! Heck… even if it’s not a cold winter’s day, it’s still great!

Cheers,
Rhi

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Pizzaaaaaaa

I absolutely love pizza! Not only does it come in limitless varieties but you can get all four food groups in one serving too! If you have the time to make the dough from scratch it can be especially rewarding, but if you’re a busy person or don’t want to put the time and energy into dinner there are shortcuts you can take.

More often than not, I take a few shortcuts, and here’s how:
On a night when I’m craving pizza and have some time on my hands, I will grab a box of “Gluten-Free Pantry’s French Bread & Pizza” mix and make 4-5 small pizza crusts. One of those crusts I will make into a full pizza, and the rest I will bake halfway through and then once they are cooled I’ll throw them in the freezer for another night. Next time I’m craving pizza, all I have to do is take a crust out of the freezer, defrost it in the microwave for a minute, and the make my pizza the way I usually would!

As for what I put on my pizza…. Well recently I’ve been roasting garlic and brussel sprouts together to use as toppings, along with rotisserie chicken (yay for leftovers), some broccoli, piri piri spice, and the usual blend of cheeses. But sometimes I’m not quite in the mood for the spice and garlic and I go for something a bit more subtle. How does ricotta cheese, spinach and egg sound? Not to your taste? How about a nacho pizza,  rich with beef, beans, and peppers covered with cheddar cheese (or you can just use leftover chili!)?

Like I said at the start, there isn’t a limit to what you can put on pizza. Although a word of advice if you plan on using egg or spinach/kale (or anything else that is leafy and likely to cook fast), add it half way through the cooking process. If you add them at the start, what should have been a delicious pizza will most likely end up looking and tasting burnt.

And on that note, I think I’ll go make pizza!

Cheers,
Rhi

Toronto Gluten-free Events!

For my first post I thought I’d start off by talking a little bit about events that are happening in my area. Whether these events are new or I’m just slow to take notice, it makes me happy to see them popping up everywhere. So far I’ve only found three, but that doesn’t mean I’m not always looking for more! If you know of some, feel free to share 🙂

April 28th (10am-4pm)
Apparently there was a Gluten-Free Garage last November and I missed out! Not this year though! While not quite as large as the Gluten-Free Expo (see below), with 50+ vendors, food prepared on site, and guest speakers, this event has enough to draw me in (did I mention they also have free tote bags too?). They have found a lovely location too, at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, located just south of St. Clair Avenue in Toronto.
For more information about this event, check out their website: http://glutenfreegarage.ca/event-details/

June 7th-9th
I am pleased to say I found a new event! The 2013 National Conference run by the Canadian Celiac Association, held at Mississauga’s International Centre.
During that conference (on the 8th from 9am to 5pm) is Canada’s Gluten-Free Market. Sounds like another great opportunity to learn, sample, and buy great items!
To learn more about the conference and register, click here.
To learn about the market, click here.

September 6th (4-9pm), 7th (12-9pm), and 8th (12-7pm)
Coming back for its 29th years is the Vegetarian Food Festival! While I’m not a vegetarian myself, I do appreciate a good vegetarian meal and this festival offers plenty of them! Not only do they offer a wide range of vegetarian products but many sellers and food stalls also offer gluten-free products! The event is held at the Harbourfront Centre, and on a lovely day, what could be better than fresh air and a nice meal with friends? Actually, even better than that… It’s free AND you get free stuff.
Need I say more?For more information, visit http://festival.veg.ca/

September 14th (4-8pm) and 15th (10am-5pm)
Last September I went to the Gluten-Free Expo, Canada’s largest Gluten-free event, held at the DoubleTree Hotel (near Toronto Pearson Airport), and although it was quite crowded,  I had a great time! Lots of new products to see and sample, and many good bargains too! I’m pleased to see that this year it’s not only  moving to a bigger venue (the Metro Toronto Convention Centre) but it will also be two days! Great to see events like this growing!
For more information on the Gluten-Free Expo in Toronto, visit their website! http://glutenfreeexpo.ca/on/toronto/

That’s all for now!

Cheers,
Rhi