Posts Categorized: Tummy love

brotherly love

Thanks, Neal Brothers, for my latest addiction.

One of seven flavours of Neal Brothers kettle chips, these were made in collaboration with Vikram Vij, owner of Vij’s award-winning Indian restaurant in Vancouver and former Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. They are, wait for it…Delhi-licious! Full of flavour and spice and salty lick-your-fingers goodness, they’re so tasty that I’m eating them right now as I type this at 11:51 pm.

Not to mention versatile. Besides being an outstanding choice of munchie, they can also play a supporting role in quick and tasty meals. Crush them up and use instead of breadcrumbs for coating chicken or fish. Or crumble them on top of casseroles. Because they’re already flavoured with natural Indian spices, and a hint of mango sweetness, you can skip the spice cabinet.

These crispy onion rings are super easy to make and will satisfy your cravings (because, come on, when’s the last time you had an onion ring?).



Delhi-licious Onion Rings
(recipe courtesy of Neal Brothers Foods)

1 package of Vij’s Delhi-licious chips
1/4 cup of corn meal
1 cup of buttermilk
2 large Spanish onions

Set rack in the top third of oven and preheat to 450ºF.

Slice onions into 1/2-inch-thick rings.

Pulse chips and cornmeal in a food processor to form a fine flour. Pour into a mixing bowl.

Pour buttermilk into another bowl. Dip 1-2 rings at a time in buttermilk first, then press crumb mixture firmly into each ring (if it’s not sticking well, sprinkle some gluten-free flour into the crumb mixture).

Place coated onions on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. You may need to do 2-3 batches at a time.

Serve with Neal Brothers Lime Mayo for dipping (also tastes amazing on BBQ’d corn on the cob, see below!).


Enjoy the contrast of zesty lime, creamy rich mayo and spiced crispy onions!


Tastes like summer: corn on the cob slathered in Neal Brothers lime mayo and grilled on the BBQ.


Neal Brothers Foods is a Silver sponsor of #GFG17 and veteran of Gluten Free Garage since our very first market in 2012!
Find them opposite Ste. Anne’s Bakery at the Wychwood (east) side of the Barns on May 28th.

Neal Brothers will be sampling their kettle chips at #GFG17—all gluten free, vegan and Non-Gmo Project Verified—including the newest flavour, Montreal Steak Spice! Plus, they’re bringing along Chickapea Pasta (tossed in Drew’s Organics salad dressing), enerjive crackers (including the new multigrain ranch), and The Gluten Free Bar (The GFB) in a variety of delicious flavours.

Ste. Anne’s Spa: gluten-free getaway

This is me in one of my happy places—the eucalyptus steam room at Ste. Anne’s Spa. The only thing I was more excited about at my most recent visit to Ste. Anne’s was the bakery. Whether sweet or savoury, there were so many delectable gluten-free baked goods! Ste. Anne’s, an inn and health spa, has been a popular getaway for relaxation and rejuvenation for years. Now it’s also become a destination for people who are gluten free because of its delicious and celiac-safe gluten-free offerings (however, not all of the meals are GF, so be sure to tell the staff about your dietary needs). And it’s all thanks to Ste. Anne’s Bakery. To find out more about this little bakery in Grafton, Ontario, read our interview below with Ste. Anne’s Bakery manager David Salazar.


“Our facility is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Program, so everything in the bakery is 100% gluten free. It’s been a dedicated gluten-free facility for a couple of years now. We use organic certified gluten-free flour, a formula we developed that we still work with. Some of the baked goods are also vegan. We’re trying to offer more vegan options because we’re getting a lot of requests for this now. The bakery is like a lab because we have to try one product several times until we feel it’s ready to share it with the rest of the world. There’s math involved, too, because you have to make sure to have certain ratios of protein to starch.”


“The bread is the most popular product we offer, then the granola, the cookies, and the rest of the cakes and desserts. We offer fresh-baked gluten-free bread every day. Our most popular varieties are the multigrain, which we call five-seed bread, the almond milk bread, and the herb and cheddar cheese bread. We also bake vegan bread and cinnamon raisin, which goes over so well with the kids! Many stores have gotten into the habit of only selling frozen gluten-free breads. Ours is sold fresh. We don’t use any preservatives, so we recommend keeping the bread on your counter for three to four days and then putting in the freezer if you want to keep it for a longer time.” [Click here to see where to find the bread in Toronto.]


“And focaccia! They serve the focaccia in the restaurant at the spa. [Editor’s note: I asked for seconds with my lunch.] We also create products for the spa—for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. When the executive chef comes up with an idea and says he’s looking for a new dessert and he saw this cake in Italy and can we do it gluten free, I meet with my team and we develop something. Right now we’re working on a recipe for puff pastry. It’s a huge challenge.”


“The granola is a real part of the Ste. Anne’s experience: a high-quality organic mix of GF-certified seeds and nuts seasoned with Ste. Anne’s honey butter and spices. That’s all we use. We let the ingredients speak for themselves.”


“Our baked goods have a unique taste because we use ingredients that we grow on our own property. A lot of flavours used in the bakery are from our garden, including the extracts—rosemary, rose, lavender. We try to use a farm-to-table practice, and we’re lucky that we have this property and the staff to help us produce a lot of fresh ingredients. The honey used in our bread is also from our property.”


“This is where the magic happens. What we have here is walnut-almond banana bread.”


“This devil sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream writing will soon say: Happy 50th Michelle!” [Editor’s note: Lucky lady!]


“Customers come to the bakery from all over the place, it’s not just spa guests. We offer lunch here—quesadilla, panini, empanada, quiche. We like to follow the requests of our guests when it comes to developing new products. Interestingly, a lot of them are not gluten free, they’re just looking for healthy choices.”


Ste. Anne’s Bakery is a Silver sponsor of #GFG17 and a new vendor we’re excited to welcome!
Find them opposite Neal Brothers Foods at the Wychwood (east) side of the Barns on May 28th.

Fill out a ballot at Gluten Free Garage to win an All-Inclusive Day Spa for Two at Ste. Anne’s!
This deliciously relaxing getaway includes (per person):
$120 spa allowance, 3-course lunch, afternoon tea and complete use of the facilities.
Approximate value is $542.40


symptoms of celiac disease


When our daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with celiac disease at three years old, she had 10 of the symptoms on this chart, plus more. She also wasn’t thriving, her hair wasn’t growing and she was throwing up every day.

When it comes to celiac symptoms, many people think that the digestive system is mostly affected, but this autoimmune disease goes way beyond the gut. The above infographic created by Gluten Dude lists 84 symptoms of celiac disease—”directly from the best source possible: those suffering with this disease.”

Gluten Dude kicked off Celiac Awareness Month with some education about the disease in a recent blog post. “Sadly, our disease is still greatly misunderstood and under-diagnosed. The only way to change that is to continue to educate the masses as much as we can. Not about the food, but about the DISEASE.” And then he goes on to list a bunch of important facts about celiac disease.

As usual, he tells it like it is, with no sugar coating. Which is why I’m a big fan of this dude. He makes me laugh, he makes me mad and he’s even made me cry. He pushes buttons, he challenges the status quo, he questions everything. And, as a true advocate in every sense of the word, he’s got the backs of people with celiac disease.

Gluten Dude’s latest food for thought isn’t about food, it’s about celiac disease. And it’s a must-read.

But, still, the food.

from the mouth of a gf babe

This is Lily.


A few things about her:

She likes to read, draw and swim.

She takes dance lessons (hip hop) and plays on a basketball team.

She speaks French.

She has a younger sister who is the bomb.

She loves her tiny dog Chiquita.

Her favourite food is rice (brown and white)—in sushi, fried or just plain steamed.

Her favourite subject in school is math.

She has celiac disease. She was diagnosed when she was three.

On the morning of her 11th birthday, Lily woke up with a stuffy nose. When asked what she thinks it means to have a cold on her birthday, she replied, without missing a beat: “It’s going to be a SICK year!”

That’s Lily, always making lemonade out of lemons. See for yourself.

What is celiac disease?
It’s a disease that affects your gut [specifically your small intestine]. What happens is when you eat gluten, it doesn’t sit well with your gut and your body gets angry and tries to get it out. Some people have symptoms and there are many different kinds of symptoms—I throw up, get bloated and get bad stomach aches. Some people don’t get symptoms, but it’s still doing damage inside of them.

[For a more complete definition of celiac disease, go to]

What is gluten?
It’s a protein that’s in found in certain grains, like wheat, rye, spelt, kamut and barley. When I was younger my mom and I made a sign out of stickers with these words and taped it up in the kitchen to help me learn how to read them. It’s really important to read ingredients and not just assume something is safe to eat, unless it’s a fruit or vegetable of course.



Do you remember when you found out you had celiac?
I was only three, so I didn’t really know what was happening to me. I was getting sick (barfing) every night and I had lots of stomach pain. Then I remember one day we were at the doctor’s office and I was getting my blood taken. That’s how we found out I have celiac disease. After I stopped eating gluten I felt much better. My hair started to grow and I started to grow. more…

6th annual Gluten Free Garage!

Toronto’s highly anticipated go-to gluten-free event is a prominent playground for gluten-free people looking to discover new brands, try different foods and meet fellow foodies. Carefully curated for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, GLUTEN FREE GARAGE places quality and taste at the forefront, allowing it to be experienced by all food lovers as the perfect, most delicious way to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month.





More than 60 handpicked vendors (mostly local and artisanal) will offer attendees a wide variety of gluten-free options appealing to different tastes. Indulge in freshly baked goods—such as bagels, scones and baguettes—that you never thought could taste so good. Enjoy savoury made-to-order foods—like falafel (pictured here from My Little Chickpea), tacos and dumplings—for lunch. Sample and purchase sweet and savoury snacks, sauces, soups, pizza, pasta, gelato and even skincare! Not just for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, GLUTEN FREE GARAGE offers something for everyone on the gluten-free spectrum—meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Come hungry for a delicious day of one-stop shopping and taste for yourself how gluten free has come a long way, baby!



Take advantage of the opportunity to eat al fresco from a food truck on the Wychwood Barns grounds. Participating trucks include 50 Pesos and Bar Ape.



Those who are 19+ can partake in Libations in the Courtyard, featuring tastings from various beer, cider and vodka brands. There is still space at the bar for additional beer and cider brands. Send a note to for information on how your brand can participate.



Not all brands are able to exhibit at GLUTEN FREE GARAGE, so there’s an opportunity to offer festival-goers the chance to discover and try new products through sampling. Ask about how your brand can get involved.



Take a break from eating and tune into a talk or live demonstration in The Stop. Past speakers include holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy, Bunner’s Bakeshop cofounder Ashley Witting, gluten-free expert Kathy Smart, and celiac advocate Jordan Middlebrook, aka King Gluten Free. This year’s speakers will be announced soon.



The success of GLUTEN FREE GARAGE is made possible with the continued support of our sponsors. This year we welcome back Italpasta, Neal Brothers and Fiesta Farms and are excited to have Ste. Anne’s Bakery on board! Thanks also to the Gluten-Free Certification Program for their ongoing support!