Posts Categorized: Happiness is…

gluten-free roundup at the Veg Food Fest

The Vegetarian Food Festival is one of our favourite happenings  in the city. It's the perfect event for our daughter Lily, who has celiac disease, because there are so many healthy and delicious gluten-free offerings that she can indulge in. This year we planned on heading out on Saturday but we weren't brave enough to brave the rain.

The Vegetarian Food Festival is one of our favourite happenings in the city. It’s a fantastic foodie event for our daughter Lily, who has celiac disease, because there are so many healthy and delicious gluten-free offerings—many of them made locally!—that she can indulge in (this photo is from last year’s VegTO). This year we planned on heading out on Saturday but we weren’t brave enough to brave the rain. On Sunday morning the sun was shining as we did the Parkinson’s Walk. But after that Lily was too pooped to head down to Harbourfront Centre so I picked up my aunt Anne (aka Honey, she’s not vegan!), coach and therapist extraordinaire who’s visiting from Vancouver (coachinginanutshell.com), and we headed down to VegTO—with strict instructions from Lily to get some good stuff.

 

Our first stop: The Simply Bar. (Note: Vendors in this blog post are in order of appearance.)

Our first stop: The Simply Bar. (Note: Vendors in this blog post are in order of appearance as we walked the show.) These gluten-free bars are like a healthy rice crispy treat. Key word: “healthy”—each bar contains 12 or less ingredients. Simply Bar’s bragging rights include vegan, high protein, low sugar, non-GMO and free of gluten, casein, dairy and additives. Simply put, they’re really good for you. And, with flavours like cocoa coffee and maple pecan, they taste good too! Simply Choices also makes protein chips and a new sweet protein crunch snack.

 

We made a beeline to Bunner's, where we spotted co-owner Kevin MacAllister munching down on one of their vegan, gluten-free baked goods. We don't blame him!

We made a beeline to Bunner’s, where we spotted co-owner Kevin MacAllister munching down on one of their vegan, gluten-free baked goods. Who can blame him?

 

We'll take 3 Supersonic Cookies! We're going to need the energy to get through all these amazing veggie vendors!

We bought 3 Supersonic Cookies, knowing we’d need all the energy we could get to make our way through the festival. I polished off my cookie before we made it to the next booth.

 

The words "gluten free" beckoned us to Sweets from the Earth.

The words “gluten free” beckoned us to another one of our favourite local companies doing wonders with gluten-free baking, Sweets from the Earth. My aunt Honey couldn’t make up her mind about what to get but I knew exactly what I was after…

 

Hello dolly! Come to mama!

Hello dolly! Come to mama!

 

Owner Marc Kadonoff had some wise words for us all.

Sweets’ owner Marc Kadonoff got some words of wisdom off his chest. As long as the cookies are gluten free, we couldn’t agree more.

 

more…

summer salads & selfies

Cornucopia

Cornucopia = fresh corn niblets + feta cheese + paprika

 

Gusto 101 kale salad knockoff:

Lemony Kale Salad = kale + pine nuts + pecorino + currants + vinaigrette

 

Both of these salads are like a fresh burst of summer (click here for the full Lemony Kale Salad recipe). They would be delicious anywhere but are especially so at a cottage (isn’t everything?).

Last week I got out of Dodge with my three nearest and dearest childhood girlfriends and headed up north for three peaceful days to a cottage by the lake. Here’s what happened, in the words of my bestie Bonnie: “Other than running, we did everything we wanted and then some. We ate, laughed, cried, danced, partied, ate some more, rested, laughed some more, perfected the fine art of selfies, and reaffirmed our deep and sustaining lifelong friendship.”

 

We practiced the fine art of selfies.

We practiced the fine art of selfies.

 

The photo above was taken after a few glasses of this bubbly pink concoction.

The photo above was taken after a few glasses of this bubbly pink concoction.

 

It wasn’t all so soulful. Happy hour began quite early (it was 5 o’clock somewhere!). We played Cards Against Humanity, a hilarious “party game for horrible people” that I highly recommend for some serious side-splitting laughs. And we took a quick trip to Target, where I bought this gorgeous woven tote!

 

My Target find.

My Target find.

 

But I digress: Seeing as the The Ex opens this week in Toronto, symbolizing the approach of the end of summer, I suggest that you savour these salads with a cold glass of Prosecco…stat!

 

homemade gluten-free granola

It's 10:02 pm and I'm sitting here eating a bowl of homemade granola with almond milk and wild blueberries. I am addicted to this granola.

It’s 10:02 pm and I’m sitting here eating a bowl of homemade granola with almond milk and wild blueberries. I am so addicted to this sh** it’s not funny.

 

Gluten-Free Granola

4 cups pure uncontaminated oats (we use Only Oats)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 cup pumpkin seed kernels
1 cup chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
3/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. In a saucepan on the stove, melt together honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla, stirring occasionally, until combined. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread out oat mixture on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Let cool and add raisins and coconut.

I fantasize about adding mini chocolate chips but that would put this granola on a slippery slope.

 

Happy hostess gift.

Sharing is caring. Jars of homemade granola make a groovy hostess gift.

 

 

Thanks to Mia Brown from Good. Clean. Food. for sharing this recipe with us!

i scream, you scream

We all scream for ice-cream sandwiches!

We all scream for ice-cream sammiches!

 

One day last week Lily came home from camp feeling sad because it was ice-cream sandwich day. A few days earlier I had received a call from the camp director asking me if there was a gluten-free ice-cream sandwich that they could get for her so she could have what everyone else was eating. I told him about a brand I had heard about that we hadn’t tried yet and where he could pick them up. I felt grateful that he had called and I was happy that Lily wouldn’t feel left out.

So why was she upset? She said that it wasn’t a real ice-cream sandwich, that the outside was hard and crumbly like a cookie instead of being soft like the other kids’ treats. She understood that the camp had gotten that ice-cream sandwich especially for her and she didn’t want to make anyone feel bad so she had wrapped it up and put it in her napsack. This is my seven-year-old gluten-free girl.

A couple days later I’m trolling around on Facebook and up pops a post from Bunner’s Bake Shop with a pretty pic of what they called a “classic ice-cream sandwich” wrapped in tissue and tied with a ribbon—their latest vegan, gluten-free (re)creation, available on weekends only. I had faith in this ice-cream sandwich because, well, it’s Bunner’s and they don’t mess around when it comes to gluten-free baking. Case in point: Their “fauxstess” cupcakes. So Friday rolled into Saturday and we rolled into the Junction.

 

Lily came

“It’s a real ice-cream sandwich!”

 

She would have given it two thumbs up if she wasn't holding her sammie in her other hand.

She would have given it two thumbs up if she wasn’t holding her sammich in her other hand.

 

While Lily was living it up with her ice-cream sammie, I spotted this happy woman coming out of Bunner's sporting a GFG tote bag! That made my day.

While Lily was living it up with her gluten-free ice-cream sammich, I spotted this happy woman coming out of Bunner’s sporting a GFG tote bag! Move over sammich…this gal made my day!