Happy New Year!

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Wishing everyone a happy, safe and gluten-free New Year! May 2015 be healthy and happy for you and your loved ones and filled with yummy gluten-free meals that feed the soul.

My friend Nat did a great piece on celiac disease on CTV News this past week that talks about the difficulties of eating out in Montreal for those of us with celiac disease. I am also interviewed at the beginning (that’s me making gluten-free toast!). This piece is great because it features two great places to eat gluten-free without worries in Montreal: Louise Sans Gluten, a great dedicated gluten-free bakery/store in Dorval and Ottavio’s, a delicious BYOB italian restaurant that serves gluten-free certified pizza and pasta.

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/celiac-disease-makes-gluten-free-a-necessity-not-a-trend-1.2164363

And if you got gluten poisoned during the holidays you need this post from Gluten is my Bitch. I always feel like someone else finally gets it when I read her posts about getting poisoned. I too can’t resist a social occasion and sometimes end up at home with severe stomach problems and crying to my family and friends and promising to never eat out again…until the next birthday or oh so important group dinner…

https://glutenismybitch.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/crappy-holidays/#more-7846

Gluten-Free in Montreal: La Fabrique for Brunch

Gluten-Free Breakfast at La Fabrique

I have a new person in my life and they love going out for brunch. I used to love going out for brunch. Pre-celiac disease crepes with raspberry sauce was my go to and brunch with my friends was always a great experience. Post celiac disease brunch became a little scary. Brunch spots can be so busy, have so much bread and so many opportunities for contamination. While on the other hand breakfast at home is pretty easy to make and I make a pretty decent brunch in bed. I have missed plenty of friend brunches eating my eggs and potatoes at home but this new person may have convinced me to attempt brunch out again once in a while. I have always felt comfortable at Aux Vivres which has a gluten-free items marked on their menu but it would be nice to broaden my horizons a bit.

This week we tried La Fabrique on St-Denis, near Sherbrooke Metro. While nothing on the changing menu is marked gluten-free they are very familiar with gluten-free and told me to look at the menu and they would make me something around what I liked.  I chose the Gravlax and they served it on a potato base with a yogurt sauce and they added an egg. I would definitely recommend La Fabrique for brunch if you are in the area but wouldn’t say you should go far out of your way. I also tried it once for dinner and it was great but there weren’t a bunch of gluten-free options since I don’t eat red meat. I ended up having two starters as my meal.

I will keep you posted about my future gluten-free brunch experiences.

La Fabrique 

3609 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3L6

http://bistrotlafabrique.com/

Accommodates gluten-free: Ok

Price: $$

Gluten-free menu: No

gluten-free

Gluten-Free Bisquick: Easy Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Gluten-Free Garlic Cheese Biscuit

I have seen many recipes on Pinterest that use Gluten-Free Bisquick but had never seen it in Quebec until this past week and I had to try it out for myself. I found it in the gluten-free section of this IGA (to note this is one fancy IGA that plays jazz music and has lots of gluten-free products throughout the aisles). So far I have just tried these biscuits and they were pretty darn good for a first try. I didn’t used the recipe on the box but kinda followed this recipe online.

These biscuits are yummy and so far I would recommend this mix. But at $6 for just over 2 cups the mix isn’t cheap so I would be more likely to buy it on sale. Forgetting the price, this mix does make a very easy biscuit that tastes a little bit like the biscuits back in the day at Red Lobster which I was obsessed with as a child. I would eat those babies until I was sick and probably gluten poisoned. These easy gluten-free copies make a great side with a soup. Who doesn’t love fresh biscuits with a little cheese and garlic when it gets cold. Did I mention it’s easy. Impress people with oven fresh gluten-free “bread” with the littlest of effort!

Gluten-Free Garlic and Cheese Biscuits

  • 2 cups Bisquick Gluten-Free Mix
  • 1-2 cloves grated fresh garlic (you can use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh on hand, about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used aged cheddar)
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3 eggs
  • Optional: Poppy seeds to mix into batter and place on top of the biscuits. You can also sprinkle extra cheese and fleur de sel on the tops. Extra melted butter can also be brushed on top of the finished biscuits.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Using a fork or your hands combine the flour mix with the butter and garlic until it becomes crumbly. Mix in the butter, cheese, milk and eggs until dough forms. Add in poppy seeds if using. Place dough onto an ungreased baking sheet in 10 biscuit sized rolls.

Bake for 9-13 minutes until they start to get slightly golden but not overcooked. If you wish brush them with extra melted butter once out of the oven go wild!

Serve warm or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. They also freeze well!

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Gluten-Free in Montreal: Patisserie Petit Lapin

Le Petit Lapin

Le Petit Lapin is a super cute allergen-free bakery that opened several months ago in Westmount. It is 100% gluten-free, 100% vegan and free of the top ten food allergens. I tried a mini-cupcake which was ok but loved the chocolate dipped donut. I will definitely be going back for the donuts which do not taste like your typical donut but are delicious if you prefer your sweets on the healthier side. I highly recommend this bakery if you want to pick up some treats for someone with multiple allergies or intolerances. Happy to see there are so many more options in Montreal for those of us with allergies/celiacs.

Patisserie Petit Lapin

342A avenue Victoria, Westmount

Phone: 514-507-4077

http://patisseriepetitlapin.com/en/

Le Petit Lapin

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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

Gluten-Free in Montreal: Ottavio’s

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Ottavio’s is one of the best options for an affordable family dinner where celiacs and non-celiacs can be equally satisfied and eat safely. It’s also BYOW, which helps keep the cost down if you are dining as a family. While there are no locations in the city, I go the one in St. Laurent several  times a year with my family (including my brother who is also celiac).

This past weekend my Nana treated my brother and I to a dinner out which is always a challenge with our dietary restrictions. A picky Nana and two grandkids with severe allergies (my brother also has a long list of food intolerances) definitely narrowed the options down to Ottavio’s. The food is pretty good and they take extra care to keep all gluten-free food separate from the rest of the kitchen. They even serve gluten-free rolls at the beginning of the meal and use special gluten-free plates and utensils.

This time I had muscles and fries, my brother had pasta with meat sauce and my Nana had her glutenny pizza. Everyone was happy! I definitely recommend Ottavio’s for a celiac safe group dinner.

http://www.ottavio.ca/

1134 Boulevard Marcel-Laurin
Montréal, QC
(514) 335-7966

6880 Rue Jean-Talon Est
Montréal, QC
(514) 257-7966

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Gluten-Free Product Review: Udi’s Tortillas

Udi's Tortilla Wraps

Udi’s gluten-free tortillas are by one of my favourite Udi’s products. I have had enough dry gluten-free wraps to last a life time and these wraps are super soft and sturdy. They heat up quick in a pan and are just as good  as a soft wheat tortilla (my non-gf friends says even better than the real deal). I love to use mine for veggie or turkey wraps and they make for a great late night breakfast burrito. There is something satisfying about eating something that tastes just like something you normally can’t eat. I love corn tortillas but I missed gluten filled tortillas. I definitely recommend these tortillas for anyone who has had enough of dry brown rice wraps!

http://udisglutenfree.com/product-category/tortillas/

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Gluten-Free in Montreal: Crudessence Restaurant

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With two locations, one in the Plateau and one near Concordia, Crudessence is a great go to for a healthy gluten-free meal or veggie juice. While I am not always in the mood for raw food, Crudessence has a great menu that is 100% gluten-free and all the desserts I have tried have been amazing (actually amazing- vegan or not).

My go to for lunch is the Exceptional wrap with chipotle quinoa wrapped in a nori and a rice sheet with avocado, lettuce, sprouts, red pepper, carrot and onion. To go with my wrap I ordered the Vert-dur juice with kale, parsley, fennel, apple, celery, lemon and ginger.

My other go to is the Lasagna with layers of sliced zucchini, fresh basil, sun dried tomato sauce and macadamia ricotta, served with caesar salad.

This restaurant is not for everyone, but almost everyone. If you don’t like things that taste “too healthy” this might not be the place for you. But if you are open to new things I would definitely try it and make sure to order the brownie with “ice cream” for dessert!

They also sell their own products, offer delivery and host cooking classes.

Crudessense

There are two locations. I always go to the one on Mackay near Sherbrooke.

2157, Mackay St.
Montreal, QC H3G 2J2
514.664.5188

105, Rachel St. West
Montreal, QC H2W 1G4
514.510.9299

http://www.crudessence.com/

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Gluten-Free in Montreal: Where to buy gluten-free products

Gluten-Free Macarons from Point G at Jean-Talon Market

Gluten-Free Macarons from Point G at Jean-Talon Market

It has gotten easier find gluten-free products in Montreal. Here is a list of a few places around the city find what you need:

Health Food Stores:

I am definitely biased towards smaller stores that magically carry all the gluten-free products I need. I definitely get frustrated when I go into one of those huge health food stores (not naming any names) and they don’t carry gluten-free oats, almond flour and other basics.

A few of my favourites are in my old neighborhood:

A Votre Sante in NDG/Westmount: This store near Vendome Metro is small but carries most of my favorite products like JK Gourmet Almond Flour, Cream Hill Estates Oats and Udis’ Bagels.

Fleur Sauvage on Monkland: Another good bet with a range of products.

Gluten-Free Bakeries:

Le Marquis Sans Gluten, near Jean Talon Market: This is a great place to find fresh bread, cakes and products. A rarity in Montreal, a real bakery full of fresh baked goods, 100% gluten-free.  (https://thegfbff.com/2013/11/10/gluten-free-in-montreal-le-marquis-sans-gluten/)

Cookie Stephanie, in the Old Port: Great coffee and lots of cookies and cupcakes. I’m a big fan of the carrot cake and it’s definitely worth the detour on my way home from work to pick a few little loaves up (https://thegfbff.com/2013/11/28/gluten-free-in-montreal-cookie-stephanie/)

Mi & Stu, in Mile End: This 100% gluten-free bakery makes products sold across the city and they have a small store front. Their challah bread and rolls are amazing. I would recommend calling in advance to get something specific, particularly if you would like to make a special order (they have made things egg free for me) and to make sure they have what you are after. This is a great place to pick up dairy free/gluten-free cupcakes for a party.

Gluten-Free Specialty Stores:

Louise Sans Gluten, in Dorval: This is gluten-free heaven. While a little out of the way, unless you live in Dorval, this place is worth the trek. The store features pretty much every gluten-free product you can imagine and some fresh baked goods such as cookies, cakes and mini donuts. They make an amazing baguette twice a week, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays (call first to check).

Boutique Point G, on Mont-Royal in the Plateau: All their macarons are gluten-free and delicious. They can also be found prepackaged at a few bakeries across the city and make a great gift or dessert to bring to an event/party.

There are lots of other places in the city. These are just a few of my favorites.