Gluten-free Product Review: Oggi Ravioli

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I recently tried these ricotta & lemon ravioli from Oggi Foods and I definitely recommend them for a great quick weeknight dinner. Ravioli is something us celiacs very rarely get to eat so I was very happy when I found these. Only a few minutes minutes in boiling water and they are ready! I also like that they have a simple ingredient list.

I recently discovered Oggi’s Montreal made products, trying their frozen pasta, frozen pizza and frozen pizza dough. I ordered these ravioli from Lufa Farms and have also seen them at the pasta store in the main hall of Jean Talon Market. We tried both flavours, I preferred the ricotta and lemon and my boyfriend preferred the 4 cheese. A package makes a good meal for 2 people with you favourite sauce. I have seen a package for $7.50-$8.50, last I checked Lufa Farms was the cheapest.

I also highly recommend their pizza, which you can now find at Costco.

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DoughNats Gluten-free Donuts!

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I first had these donuts at a wedding at the beginning of the summer and was blown away by them. Then DougNats was featured on the Seriously Gluten Free Facebook page, which made me feel much better about eating donuts made in the same facility as normal donuts. They are pretty to look at, smell divine and taste even better! They even have 6 different gluten-free flavours so us celiacs can have lots of choice too!

I recently visited DoughNats  myself and Nat explained her process for making sure the gluten-free donuts are kept safe for celiacs, which includes making them first thing in the morning before the regular donuts . These mini gluten-free treats are gluten-free, baked, vegan and most importantly so yummy. I highly recommend trying them! They are located on Decarie and it is best to call before hand and your order will be ready to go.

 

Doughnats

5319 Decarie

514.660.2699

http://doughnats.com/

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May Contain Gluten…

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This picture of my gfbff Ari perfectly encapsulates how I often feel at the grocery store when finding out naturally gluten-free products may contain gluten!

A term I have grown to hate is “may contain gluten”. Why do these plain whole almonds maybe contain gluten? I understand the argument for cross contamination but the label makes me nervous. While companies are trying to cover their liability by saying may contain it reminds me way too much of the cheapest possible boxed wine I drank many times while backpacking in Australia in my early 20s. After drinking it throughout our travels we realized it may contain milk, fish and eggs! Bottom line those of us with celiac disease should avoid “may contain foods” but it is nevertheless annoying to have to avoid “safe” foods because of possible contamination in processing.

This post a little bit of a rant but it is something that I see almost everyday and as someone who loves to eat it haunts many of my meals and grocery store outings. I will take this as a sign it’s time to eat even healthier this year, cooking more at home and going to that second store to find that cayenne pepper that is marked gluten-free. It’s extra work, but feeling well is worth it. By bringing light to this and voicing our concern to companies we can make them better aware of the importance of avoiding cross-contamination and creating truly gluten-free and allergen-free products.

Do you ever eat products that should be gluten-free but state that they may contain gluten on the label?

I’m back for more gluten-free adventures in 2016

Always prepared...

Always prepared…

I have been MIA for a few months since I returned to full-time studies in my second language while working and trying to maintain a normal life. Surprise, surprise, I haven’t had time to post. I will try to be better this year and continue to share my gluten-free challenges, triumphs and experiences in Montreal and beyond.

Having such a packed schedule and many 12 hour days has been a real challenge in regards to preparation. I quickly realized that by not eating or not eating any healthy food for a few days I would not have a very effective semester so I had to learn to plan in advance,  which is the reality of being gluten-free. I had to at least twice a week prepare some real food, like lasagna or a big stir fry etc. and make some smoothies and oatmeal to grab on the go. There are very few places I trust for gluten-free pick-up and none of them were on my route between school and work so I had to adapt if I wasn’t going to live on just granola bars and coffee.

This past year was a great learning experience and a blessing. I got gluten poisoned several times, mainly when traveling, but it’s all part of the journey. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year full of lots of love and delicious gluten-free meals. I am off to New York for a belated Birthday trip and will keep you posted about all the great places I find!

GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCT REVIEW: Club House Gluten-Free Gravy

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I was having a serious cheat day where I wanted to eat all the things and I just had to pick up this gluten-free gravy from Metro to make a homemade gluten-free poutine. This gravy mix is incredibly easy, you basically simmer the package content with a cup of water for 4 mins. For a packaged gravy it tasted great and was delicious on my french fries with some cheese curds. Gluten-free gravy in a pouch really makes a homemade 100% gluten-free poutine an easy cheat meal option. They had Brown Sauce and Chicken Gravy flavours at my grocery store and it was affordable at less than $2.

http://www.clubhouse.ca/en-ca/products/meal-helpers/25-less-salt/gluten-free-brown-gravy-mix

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The not so fun part of living with celiac disease

Passing out on the grass from exhaustion while walking around Quebec City after getting 'glutened'.

Passing out on the grass from exhaustion while walking around Quebec City after getting ‘glutened’.

I have been sick all week. I have a mouth full of canker sores. I am exhausted. I feel like my stomach is a toxic dump. And I am up most nights in the washroom. I have hit my low. I try incredibly hard to be positive about having celiac disease but weeks like this really bring me down. I love traveling and eating out but eating out while traveling is what made me so sick and there is very little those of us with celiac can do about it.

Option 1: Travel and eat out and take chances.

Option 2: Stay home, eat safe and have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Option 3: Balance of option 1 and 2.

I try my best with option 3 but it is hard adjusting no matter how long it has been (over 10 years since diagnosis and 8 years eating strictly gluten-free). This is a bit of a rant but I think I should also represent the reality of celiac disease sometimes. Having celiac disease sucks and while I will continue to be positive about it the majority of the time and share recipes and gluten-free tips for eating out I will take moments here and there to recognize the pain and frustration. It is not fun to be sick for a week and not feel right for a week later. It sucks to miss out on birthdays and dinners to stay home being ill. It is not fun to spend vacation in serious pain. It’s even more stressful to be the person who cancels work meetings at the last minute because they can’t leave the washroom. It all sucks. Rant done.

Hope everyone is taking care of their diets and feeling well. I tend to take my health for granted until I get a bad exposure and I am reminded why I have to be so careful.

Any tips on what helps you when you have been glutened?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Easy Vinaigrette

These brussels sprouts are amazing and so easy to make. This Food52 recipe is pretty perfect so you can follow it below. I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand last time I made the vinaigrette so I just loosely measured some sambal oelek , fish sauce, agave, a little water and lime for the sauce and it worked out great.

http://food52.com/recipes/19682-momofuku-s-roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-fish-sauce-vinaigrette

The sprouts are great with the sauce but this roasting method is what will really sells almost anyone on brussels sprouts. With this method the sprouts are crispy and never mushy (I think the classic steamed brussels sprouts are what have scared so many people away, including me). One of my favourite side dishes is to prepare the sprouts this way and serve with mayo mixed with sambal oelek for dipping. So yummy!

If you have been scared of brussels sprouts now is the time to try them out. Now on my list of Top 10 veggies!

Gluten-free Roasted Brussels Sprouts