Spring is here: Asparagus Risotto

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Fresh local asparagus means spring is finally here! The Jean Talon Market is full of asparagus and it inspired me to make risotto as the first alfreso dinner at my new apartment. After the winter we had in Montreal eating fresh food outside is more than a treat! Risotto is one of my favourite dishes to make and pretty hard to screw-up once you learn the basic steps. There are thousands of risotto recipes but I love this one from Thug Kitchen as it is simple, delicious and gluten-free. It is also fun to follow recipes from Thug Kitchen as the blog is serious about food but doesn’t take it self too seriously and we can all use some laughs while cooking.

You can find the recipe from Thug Kitchen here. This recipe is vegan as it but I made a few adjustments. At the end I added a pat of butter and a little parmesan and it served it with a side of shrimp sautéed in butter, garlic, chives and lemon with breadcrumbs. Risotto is a “naturally” gluten-free food but make sure your broth is gluten-free. I use Campbell’s Vegetable Broth that is certified gluten-free and has great flavour. (Watch out because their organic veggie broth is not gluten-free!).

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Arepera du Plateau

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I was very happy to see that my favourite neighbourhood restaurant Arepera du Plateau is now 100% gluten-free and joins the small list of 100% gluten-free restaurants in Montreal. It is a great little Venezuelan restaurant on Duluth, corner du Bullion. It used to be almost completely gluten-free and they recently made a few tweaks to make it 100%.

I always order an arepa (kinda like a corn bread sandwich), usually the avocado and cheese, and they bring bottles of the green (avocado cream) and red (spicy) sauce to the table so you can add as much as you’d like. I also love the gausacaca arepa, which is avocado mashed up with onions and tomato. The soup and plates (with rice, beans and an arepa bread on the side) are also delicious. My favourite starters are the cassava chips and the plantains.

This is a great place for an inexpensive delicious meal with friends. Everyone can find something to eat as there are many meat, vegetarian and vegan options. They do not serve any alcohol but have lots of delicious juice. It is a casual environment and in the evening they sometimes have a live singer. They don’t take reservations and it can get busy but it usually doesn’t take long to get a table if you are 4 or less (it can be hard with a group). In the summer my friends and I like to pick up arepas to go and eat them picnic style in Lafontaine or Jeanne Mance park.

4050 Rue de Bullion, Montréal, QC H2W 2E5

http://www.arepera.ca/

Accommodates gluten-free: Yes

Price: $

Gluten-free menu: Yes

I currently only review restaurants I recommend.

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Gluten-Free Product Review: Caponi Tagliolini

Gluten-Free Pasta

This pasta is amazing and you have to try it. It is expensive at $6 for 250g but it is worth it for a meal where the pasta should be the center of attention. The only place I have seen this pasta in Montreal is at Fromagerie Hamel in Jean Talon Market. I love Fromagerie Hamel with their huge selection of cheeses and this pasta is a welcome bonus to my Sunday Jean Talon Market shopping list.

Last time we served our Tagliolini with some store bought pesto and olive oil and it was perfect. Homemade sauce would make this pasta even better.

I found a link on Amazon but it’s very expensive. You can see if your local specialty store can order it for you. You should definitely try it if you can. My boyfriend who eats wheat says its better than any “normal” dry pasta he has tried!

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Gluten-Free in Montreal: Baked to Go

Baked to Go Gluten-Free Croissant

I am no longer buying frozen gluten-free bread. Baked to Go is a 100% gluten-free bakery a few minutes from my house on St Laurent above Rachel. To say it’s amazing to have a gluten-free bakery around the corner is an understatement. It’s even more amazing that all their  rolls, bagels, croissants and breads are soft and delicious. The products are fresh enough to eat as is but they also taste great toasted or from the freezer. I much prefer to freeze their bread than buy overpriced freezer burnt bread at the health food store. To add to all this goodness, their products are also affordable considering they are gluten-free.

I personally prefer their bread products. The sweets I tried were good but I can make cookies and brownies at home. It’s bread that I am too lazy to attempt. Their bagels are the best gluten-free made in Montreal bagels I have tried. They were fresh enough that I was able to eat them untoasted two days after buying them, which anyone who is gluten-free would know is a gluten-free miracle. Their croissants are obviously not exactly like the real deal but are pretty close and very delicious. Their fresh rolls (hamburger buns) were amazing with a little butter. I haven’t had a roll that soft and normal since I first went gluten-free over 10 years ago.

I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the downtown area or you can order some of their products online.

http://baked2go.ca

4255 Boul. Saint Laurent
Montreal, Quebec
H2W 1Z4, Canada
Tél: 514-844-3232
info@baked2go.com

Baked to Go

Baked to Go Bagels

I have been poisoned! How to cope after a glutening

Egg Drop Soup and movies in bed is a pretty good cure!

Egg Drop Soup and movies in bed is a pretty good cure!

It sounds dramatic but it’s my term “I have been poisoned”. I even say it at work when someone asks why I haven’t been in the office for a few days. While at first people don’t get it, those who matter know what it means. It means I am exhausted, have been feeling terrible and all around I am not having a good time. A bad gluten-poisoning can have me in bed for a few days and not feeling right for up to 2 weeks.

Post gluten-poisoning it is easy to see the whole world as a gluten-filled nightmare full of wheat and cross contamination. Getting sick definitely reminds me to be careful but it sometimes happens when you are careful and that’s just a reality.

My simple non-scientific tips to making a gluten poisoning better:

  1. Don’t stress. I used to panic and get so upset that it definitely lengthened my symptoms. Severe stress about the pain and missing work etc. will just make the symptoms worse. Try your best to rest and not think the worst. Since I have worked on not catastrophizing when I’m feeling sick from gluten my symptoms have been easier to control and do not last as long. Even though it can be terrible it is not the end of the world. You will feel better soon!
  2. Everyone has different trigger foods; gluten-free foods that you are sensitive to and that you should avoid when you are feeling glutened. Mine are dairy, alcohol and heavy foods. So figure out your triggers and try to eat smaller amounts of easy to digest food until you feel better. I also take gluten-free and dairy free probiotics.
  3. While it may be hard to eat make sure you get enough liquids and water.
  4. Sleep as much as you can.

This egg drop soup is my favorite recipe to make when I’m sick with gluten-poisoning or a cold. This recipe for simple and easy egg drop soup from Gimme Some Oven is perfect. This soup is super simple and easy enough to make when I’m feeling weak. All you need is some gluten-free broth, eggs, gluten-free cornstarch and green onions for a basic soup.

This soup is super easy to make and easy on the tummy.

This soup is super easy to make and easy on the tummy.

Gluten-Free Product Review: Udi’s Pizza

Udi's Gluten-Free Pizza

I always forget how exhausting moving can be and this proved to be a good excuse to try Udi’s Frozen Pizza. While I try to eat healthy and stay away from overly processed foods I thought it deserved a try. I chose the Pepperoni Pizza, which was surprising for this an almost vegetarian, but I guess if you’re going to eat processed food you might as well go all the way. Easy pizza in my new backyard with good company was just what I needed and this pizza was great for frozen pizza. My non-gluten-free dinner partner said it was just as good as the best “normal” frozen. While it doesn’t compare my healthier cauliflower pizza if you’re looking for a quick meal I definitely recommend this pizza. It has a thin crust, just enough cheese and lots of flavor. One pizza has two servings.

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