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.

 

lasagna for GF pasta lovers

Sweet potato gratin lasagna made with Italpasta’s new gluten-free lasagna pasta and a creamy, dreamy béchamel sauce.

 

What do you want first? The good news or the great news?

Let’s start with the good news.

Our favourite gluten-free pasta brand, Italpasta, has added a new product to its gluten-free line: lasagna! Along with fusilli, penne, elbows and spaghetti, Italpasta now has five varieties of gluten-free pasta!

Made from a blend of rice, corn and quinoa, this certified gluten-free and non-GMO lasagna has the flavour and texture of traditional pasta (it’s kosher too!). You would never know the difference. Plus, it’s oven ready, so you don’t have to boil the noodles before cooking them! So far we’ve made two hearty lasagna dishes at home—one with a meat ragu and the other a vegetarian version—and they are now family favourites! As a busy working mom, I really appreciate cutting down on prep time—just layer the sauce, pasta and cheese and put it in the oven. (The trick is to use lots of sauce and make sure the noodles are covered well.) Then wait for the sensational smell to fill your kitchen as the lasagna bakes and bubbles away!

And now for the great news…drum roll, please…

We are so excited to welcome back Italpasta as platinum sponsor! This will be their sixth time as lead sponsor of Gluten Free Garage! On May 27th at Artscape Wychwood Barns, they’ll be sampling three different delicious pasta dishes—including a lasagna—and will have vegan and dairy-free options. At every GFG there is a lineup at their booth for most of the day, but this year we might need to bring in some crowd control!

 

Italpasta’s Chef Gianni Ceschia making pasta for the people at last year’s GFG.

 

Here’s a decadent lasagna dish to impress your family and friends.

GLUTEN-FREE SWEET POTATO GRATIN LASAGNE

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 pkg (250 g) Italpasta Gluten-Free Lasagne
2 medium sweet potatoes (8 oz/250 g), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
3/4 tsp (4 mL) each salt and pepper, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
16 sage leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) gluten-free rice flour
4 cups (1 L) 35% whipping cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated nutmeg
3 cups (750 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp (45 mL) hazelnuts, toasted, crushed
1/3 cup (75 mL) crushed gluten-free amaretto cookies

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss together sweet potato rounds, olive oil and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet; bake for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Reduce oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish; set aside.

Melt butter in saucepan set over medium heat; add sage leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes or until ends begin to curl and butter is browned but not scorched. Transfer sage leaves to paper towel–lined plate.

Stir rice flour into butter in saucepan; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in whipping cream, a splash at a time, until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining salt and pepper, Parmesan and nutmeg.

Ladle 1 cup (250 mL) sauce into bottom of prepared dish. Top with one-third of the lasagne noodles, breaking noodles to fit snuggly. Top with 1 cup (250 mL) sauce, 4 sage leaves, 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella, 1 tbsp (15 mL) hazelnuts and one-third of the sweet potato slices. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining sauce and sage leaves.

Place heart-shaped cookie cutter in centre of lasagne and fill with crumbled amaretto cookies.

Cover with foil; bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; bake for about 15 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips:

♥︎ Grate whole nutmeg on a fine rasp for the best flavour.

♥︎ Pierce a medium sweet potato all over and microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender. Let cool until easy to handle; peel and mash before adding to sauce if desired.

♥︎ Add a layer of shredded duck confit to make an extra-special lasagna.

 

Every gluten-free pasta lover deserves lasagna!
 

 

Skip the line at #GFG18

Purchase your tix in advance, skip the line and don’t forget to grab your free GFG tote bag on your way in!

 

♥︎

First, a HUGE thanks to you for coming to Gluten Free Garage.

Whether this will be your first show or your fourth, welcome (or welcome back)! Though I never get tired of seeing your happy faces as you dig in to a dumpling for the first time or bite into a fresh bagel, I have to admit you are not the reason I started this pop-up gluten-free market. This girl is.

The GFG muse decked out in GFG swag at our 2017 event. Gluten Free Garage is her favourite day of the year. Last year she was a guest speaker to a full house!

 

♥︎

When I launched Gluten Free Garage in 2012, I told Lily it was going to be a big party for her where she can eat anything she wants. Just like we turned our house into a gluten-free zone, this party was going to be 100% G to the F. Heading into our 7th event, I know that it’s become a big party for so many other people. A festival that is entirely gluten free and worry free, featuring more than 60 vendors sampling and selling a delicious variety of food and other goodies. An event where the community gathers to eat, drink, shop and learn from one another.

We have got a fantastic lineup this year—some of our fave GFG regulars and a whole new bunch of gluten-free finds! Lead sponsor Italpasta is back, along with Neal Brothers and Fiesta Farms! And we’d like to welcome Burger’s Priest and Keto Buns as new sponsors this year! Check out our vendor page to get pumped!

We’re pretty excited about our speaker sessions too. Check back for more speakers soon!

When you buy your tickets in advance on Eventbrite, you’ll go to the ticket holder registration when you arrive at the event, grab a free tote bag we’ve set aside for you (guaranteed if you buy your ticket online, no matter what time you show up at the event), and head right in. And basically start eating your face off.

Last fall we did a survey to get to know a bit more about our visitors so we can make Gluten Free Garage even better. Thanks to everyone who participated! You shared your thoughts about the event and told us some interesting things about yourselves and your gluten-free lifestyles.

A few things we learned:

♥︎ 48% of you have celiac disease and 31% of you are gluten intolerant (that’s nearly 80% of you who eat gluten free for health reasons)

♥︎ 85% of you say the highlight of Gluten Free Garage is “discovering new products” (almost half of the vendors are new to GFG this year!)

♥︎ 82% of you plan on coming to the next Gluten Free Garage! (Yay! Come hungry!)

Also, many of you have other nutritional interests, such as dairy free (61%), organic (49%) and vegan or vegetarian (38%). We’re happy to announce that this year GFG is going to showcase more of these options than ever before.

There’s something for everyone at GFG. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, kosher, keto, meat eating…you name it. Sweet and savoury. Decadent and healthy. What all the vendors have in common is that they’re gluten free (but you don’t have to be!).

See you on May 27th! Maybe wear some loose-fitting pants?

#tbt to last year’s GFG

 

Who’s excited for the 7th annual Gluten Free Garage?

Toronto’s pop-up gluten-free marketplace will be back at Artscape Wychwood Barns on Sunday, May 27th from 10 am to 5 pm! With 60-plus vendors, food trucks, libations, guest speakers and more, Gluten Free Garage is your one-stop shop for the latest and greatest gluten-free goods! We are grateful to welcome back platinum sponsor Italpasta (have you tried their new GF oven-ready lasagne noodles?!), along with silver sponsor and snack kings Neal Brothers.

Last spring, Chef Adam Heard, of Adam Cooks Everything, took his cooking video series Wheat Sucks! on the road to Gluten Free Garage.

Featured are GFG sponsor Ste. Anne’s Bakery, a few of our awesome local vendors, including Social Lite Vodka, Sudsatorium, Just Shut Up and Try It and Steambox Dumplings, and gluten-free queen Rachael Hunt who runs GlutenFreedom Inc., the popular blog dedicated to dining, cooking, travelling and living gluten free.

We still have room for more vendors this year, so let us know which brands or products you’d like to see at Gluten Free Garage! Drop us a line at info@glutenfreegarage.ca