East Coast treats!

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get to visit part of Canada’s East Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick to be exact). It was my first time out there and, well, I was not disappointed! Though the weather was a bit cloudy and chilly at times, overall it was a fantastic trip. I’m not entirely sure what it was; the fresh air, the laid-back friendly people, or the delicious gluten-free food I found everywhere but I could not help but feel relaxed and right at home. Seeing as this is a blog about food, however, and not travelling, I’ll skip the sightseeing parts and get right to the eating!

I’m going to mention 3 restaurants that I went to (two in Halifax, one in Moncton) though there were a few more that offered gluten-free options, these 3 stood out the most to me.

2 Doors Down (http://www.go2doorsdown.com)
Not a big restaurant but it has a great atmosphere. Casual and yet it feels intimate and classy. The menu is great because it offers variety without being lengthy (about 20ish options), and of course, it offers many gluten-free meals. In fact, 13 meals are or can be made gluten-free!! From piri piri chicken to smoked potato chowder to curry and salads. This place has great food and for excellent prices! For $10, I got the Gaia Bowl – “a salad of fresh and pickled vegetables, sprouts, avocado, heirloom carrots, radish, quinoa tabouleh, smashed spiced chick peas, and a valley peanut & ginger dressing.” It was absolutely delicious! So fresh and crisp, all the flavours worked perfectly together. I highly recommend this place.

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Gahan House (http://halifax.gahan.ca)
A friend of mine recommended I check out a country music event that the pub was hosting, and that’s when I noticed they offered gluten-free options! They also offer diary-free and vegan alternatives too! (The other restaurants I’ve mention in this post might, but I just remember this place having it for sure.) Though the options weren’t extensive I was happy with the selection they offered – mussels, bacon-wrapped scallops (though I’m allergic to bacon so scratch that), fish cakes, pan-fried trout, and curry butter chicken (I will come back for that one!). They also offer 5 different gluten-free ciders, should you need something to wash down the food with. I ordered their Fish Cakes – “salt cod, atlantic haddock, Yukon gold potatoes with a horseradish cucumber aioli” with a side salad.  If I though I could have gotten away with licking the plate without people giving me weird looks, I would have! It was that good.

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Gusto Italian Grill & Bar (https://www.facebook.com/GustoMoncton)
Gusto is an Italian restaurant in Moncton with a great menu…. in fact the majority of the menu can be made gluten-free! Which is a huge surprise considering it is Italian and Italian is known to be big on everything gluten. I started with a warm spinach and asiago dip with amazing toasted bread, followed by a margherita pizza, and the meal finished with a piece of cheesecake. Every single bit of it gluten-free!!!!! (How I had room for all that food in my stomach, though, is a mystery.)

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And special mentions to Rhubarb restaurant near Peggy’s Cove, NS. Though they only had a couple of gluten-free items on their menu, the fish and chips was FANTASTIC! So if you’re out that way doing the touristy thing, check out this place! (http://www.rhubarbrestaurant.ca/)

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I’m used to travelling and not finding much more than salad to eat, and I’m pretty sure I would have loved the East Coast even if that were the case, but the fact that there were so many options for me made this trip so much more amazing and memorable! Can’t wait to go back!

Cheers,
Rhi

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