Posts Categorized: Guest blog

guest blog: Italpasta dishes it out

Italpasta‘s Ultimate Vegan Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

 

We are just days away from our favourite event in the city—Gluten Free Garage! And we couldn’t be happier to be supporting the GFG team again this year.

If you have attended Gluten Free Garage in the past, you know that our booth is BUSY—and that we’ve run out of plates two years in a row :/  Embarrassing, we know, but it just means that our #glutenfreepastalovers can’t get enough of our gluten-free pasta samples!

This year, we’re dialing it up a notch. We’ll be sampling THREE different recipes: Penne with Basil Tomato Sauce, our Ultimate Vegan Gluten Free Pasta Salad, and a Vegetarian Lasagna using our new Oven Ready Gluten Free Lasagne.

But that’s not all! We’re also sponsoring a GFG speaker session with the very talented Irene Matys, a local farm-to-table advocate and freelance food stylist who is a regular on The Marilyn Denis Show. Check out her mouth-watering Instagram account @TheSpicyOlive1 and look at the gorgeous farm-to-table Kale, Basil Pesto and Zucchini Gluten Free Lasagna that she created for Gluten Free Garage!

If you think that looks good, Irene is going to show 50 lucky GFG attendees how to take their gluten-free pasta dishes from ordinary to extraordinary with a few tips and tricks. You won’t want to miss her “Say Ciao to Boring Bowls of Pasta” presentation on Sunday May 27th at 12 noon! Everyone who attends will receive a gift bag with Italpasta gluten-free pasta samples to try their hand at saying ciao to boring bowls of pasta! Line up about 15 minutes early outside of the Wychwood Barns Community Gallery—it’s first come, first served.

We can’t wait to see our gluten-free pasta lovers at the 2018 Gluten Free Garage!

 

Irene Matys will show you how to take your pasta to the next level!

 

 

guest blog: Neal Brothers turns 30!

 

Gluten Free Garage is one of our all-time favourite events! Not only do we get to share lots of yummy gluten-free goodies with everyone, we get to introduce exciting new brands and looks!

This year is especially exciting for us, as Neal Brothers Foods turns 30. That’s right, the big 3-0, the dirty thirty, whatever you call it, we’re turning it! We are so happy to be at this point; Neal Brothers Foods has become so much more than a brand. It is a distribution company, it is a family, it is a household name, and it has brought various innovations to the market over the years.

This year will be no different. Not only are we changing up the outside of our packages, we are also changing up some of the insides as well! Don’t worry, all the favourite snacks (corn salsa, blue with flax tortillas, etc.) are staying exactly as they are. But we have completely overhauled our pasta sauce and organic salsa lines. Our pasta sauce line is now 100% organic. In addition, we have added a flavour, Greens & Pepperoncini, to make a total of six all-organic delicious sauces. New formulations are currently out on the market in new packaging! Our organic salsa line has also had some tweaking, with new packaging and a new formulation inside, giving a fresher and lighter taste!

We can’t wait for everyone to see and try these tasty new products! At Gluten Free Garage, our new logo will be on display while we sell the favorites: kettle chips, cheese snacks and our new organic white tortilla! Stop by to check out our show special, we promise you won’t be disappointed! At the Neal Brothers booth you’ll also find:

enerjive quinoa crackers

Primal Kitchen dressings and marinades

Chickapea gluten-free pasta (with only two ingredients)

YumEarth candies

Hippie Snacks sesame snacks

 

Neal Brothers at the 2016 Gluten Free Garage!

 

Neal Brothers Foods has been a sponsor of Gluten Free Garage since the very first event in 2012! Look for their booth at the Wychwood (east) side of Artscape Wychwood Barns.

 

Bring a non-perishable GF food item to GFG!

WIFEY KNOWS BEST: Jessica Danford (aka Gfree Wifey) is on a mission.

Last year Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank saw 990,970 client visits to the 100-plus food programs that it supports. When we consider that 1% of the population requires a gluten-free diet and that celiac disease is becoming one of the fastest-growing autoimmune diseases, access to safe food for all is a growing concern. This issue is often overlooked or not taken into account because most food programs are at capacity or struggling to provide to the clients they have before they can even consider food restrictions.

One of the reasons I started the GfreeWifey Foodbank last year is to use my position as a positive influencer in the gluten-free community to bring greater awareness to celiac disease while advocating for access to safe food. As someone with celiac disease who has used the help of food banks and food programs in my past, I feel passionate about this and am now in a position where I can champion for the cause. In April I donated $1,000 that we raised for the Daily Bread Food Bank!

I do short-burst fundraising for local food banks and food programs to provide safe gluten-free food to people in our communities. If there is an organization you know of that needs support with access to safe food—whether it’s a food bank, before-or-after school program, soup kitchen, breakfast club or other food support system—please let me know. I will gladly learn about what they do and find the best way to support them.

I will be at Gluten Free Garage on May 27th to meet everyone and collect non-perishable gluten-free food items for The Canadian Red Cross. The Red Cross provides emergency relief hampers with 3-4 days’ worth of food every two weeks to people who are in a vulnerable position and have been referred to the program by a professional. This is one of many organizations that have expressed they are at capacity and staggering to keep up with the demand, let alone provide safe food to people with dietary restrictions like gluten intolerance and celiac.

I invite you to open your cupboards and bring a non-perishable
gluten-free food item to Gluten Free Garage!

There will be a collection bin at registration. If you forget your item at home, you can  “buy two, donate one” at the event—it’s also a terrific way to support your favourite gluten-free vendors who will be there!

Many people struggle to afford food—and we know how costly gluten-free food can be! A gluten-free diet is a necessity for 2 in 100 people. It is not a trendy lifestyle choice. It is mandatory in order for people with celiac to recover and maintain their health. Let’s work together to END HUNGER close to home.

Please join me in providing access to safe gluten-free food by donating something from your pantry that’s on this most-wanted gluten-free grocery list:

  • crackers
  • flour blends
  • rice
  • pasta
  • canned beans and vegetables
  • soup
  • soy sauce and condiments
  • pancake and muffin mixes

For more information about me and the Gfreewifey Foodbank, please go to www.gfreewifey.com

—Jessica Danford

Joy to the world

When life gives you lemons, make these no-oven, no-bake lemon tarts!

 

The second I saw these bright lemon tarts in a recent edition of the Joyous Health newsletter, I had to have the recipe. How creamy and divine do these look? I’m so happy to share the recipe here with you.

 

Joy McCarthy will be speaking about gut health at Gluten Free Garage from 1:15 to 2 pm

 

These tarts were created by none other than holistic nutritionist and bestselling author Joy McCarthy, a woman who completely embodies her name. You just have to follow Joyous Health on Instagram to know what I mean. Lucky for us, Joy is returning as a vendor and a guest speaker to this year’s Gluten Free Garage! Be sure to stop by her table, where you’ll find her cookbooks, Joyous Health and Joyous Detox, along with her organic teas, body care (balms, body butter, deodorant and more) and new hair care products.

Joy will be giving her 45-minute talk “Gut Feeling: How your microbiome affects your mood, skin and stress levels” at 1:15 pm on Sunday May 27 at Gluten Free Garage. The microbiome encompasses tens of trillions of microbes that live on you and in you. The food you eat daily, your natural health supplement regimen and your lifestyle can either support these microbes or hamper them, allowing bad bacteria and yeast to proliferate. It’s absolutely fascinating how these microbes impact your mood, your skin and even your stress levels. In this session, you’ll learn about all the delicious and nourishing gluten-free foods you can eat daily to support a joyous microbiome!

Please note: All speaker sessions take place in the Wychwood Barns Community Gallery at Artscape Wychwood Barns. The entrance is off of Wychwood Avenue (the northeast side of the venue). Space is limited so please arrive a few minutes early and form a line.

“I wish my words could adequately describe it. I will try…it’s tart, sour, sweet, fresh and bright. Like an explosion for your salivary glands.” —Joy McCarthy

 

And now for Joy’s lemon tart recipe, which we know you are sure to enJOY!

CREAMY LEMON MACADAMIA NUT TART
(makes 4 tarts)

Ingredients

For the bottom:
1 cup macadamia nuts
¼ cup almonds
10-12 medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil

For the filling:
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
¼ cup honey
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut butter

Garnish:
dollop coconut yogurt
chopped macadamia nuts
coconut flakes

Instructions

To make the bottom crust, place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until crumbly.

Using 4 individual tart pans, evenly divide the bottom crust between them. Press the crust down firmly. Refrigerate or place in the freezer until it sets, about hour in the freezer or a couple of hours in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the lemon curd topping. In a large pot on the stove on low heat, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest and honey. Add the lemon juice, coconut oil, vanilla extract and coconut butter and continue to whisk on medium heat until everything is melted and the mixture starts to thicken. This process may take 10-15 minutes.

DO NOT STOP WHISKING :) Whisk continuously until it thickens.

Once the bottom crust is set, pour the lemon curd mixture into each cup. Put back in the fridge or freezer and wait until it’s set to enjoy. It will take about an hour in the freezer and a couple of hours in the fridge.

 

Spring has sprung!

Gluten-free fusilli radish

Spring vegetables are the star of this gluten-free pasta dish.

 

Italpasta’s radish, green pea and cucumber pasta salad with grilled chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
1 pkg (340 g) Italpasta Gluten-Free Fusilli
1 cup (250 mL) peas
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) sliced and quartered cucumber
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) paprika
1 lb (500 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Buttermilk Dill Dressing
1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 mL) mayonnaise
2 tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar
4 tsp (20 mL) chopped fresh dill
1½ tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard
4 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, dill, mustard, green onions, salt and pepper.

Instructions
Cook fusilli according to package directions, adding peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Toss pasta with 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the Buttermilk Dill Dressing; stir in radishes and cucumber.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat; grease grate well. Stir together olive oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, thyme and paprika; toss with chicken. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Grill chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until grill-marked and cooked through. Let stand for 10 minutes; slice diagonally. Toss chicken into pasta salad. Serve with remaining Buttermilk Dill Dressing.

Tip: Substitute sugar snap peas for peas if desired.

Italpasta is a Gold sponsor of Gluten Free Garage.