gluten free market - it's hip to be gluten free!

This morning Bill and I went to the the Brick Works - an amazing place in Toronto that was once the location of the brick making kilns responsible for producing much of our city. Today this historic site is run by Evergreen, an environmental non-profit. Every Saturday they run an organic & local market. It was our first visit to this super lively venue. Among all the gorgeous fresh organic produce, there were five stalls selling baked goods.  The sweetest surprise was that of these five, three offered delicious gluten free goodies.

I am also noting another trend... many bakers are making goods that are both gluten-free AND vegan as a way of expanding their market with one product. Personally, I prefer butter and eggs in my baked goods... but I don't turn my nose up at any gluten free treat. 

I inhaled an enormous chocolate chip cookie from LPK's Culinary Groove... the image above shows the goods I left behind (this time!).  

Tonight I will scarf down a ginger loaf for dessert with friends. Jose from Pimenton gave me a sample... yum!! I asked him why they were offering gf - he replied that the market had driven the new products. I think that he too is curious to see how this "trend" will pan out.... I'm interested in hearing more about other's take on where this is all going. After all of these years going without - I'm still in shock at what is available around me these days.


elevate the everyday with an easy gluten-free staple

Sometimes one ingredient can make a mundane everyday food spectacular. Pesto is like that. Add a drizzle of pesto over a sliced tomato or even a boiled potato and you have something pretty heavenly. It's getting to the time of year where it will soon be hard to find big bunches of fresh basil. Get your hands on some while the going is good!

uber easy pesto 
  • lots of basil (a big sprig - see photo!) 
  • 3/4 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic 
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano (parmesan)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
I prefer recipes that start with 5 ingredients or less that are flexible with ratio/quantities. Make it your own. Toss all in the food processor and whirl it around until you have a lovely green puree.

We just made extra and froze it in ice cube trays. Once solid, the lovely little green squares are tossed into a freezer bag. Thaw out a couple as you need them. If you've got some thoughts on using pesto - would love to hear them....Buon appetito!


best gluten free baking blogs - the top 5

don't worry - this cake is not gluten free!
I've said it before - this is not a blog for people who want to bake gluten-free sticky buns. There are a few reasons that I am not focusing on baking on this blog. 

1) I can bake, but I'm no pastry chef 

2) I try not to bake often, because a lack of willpower has me eating entire cakes in one sitting.

3) There are AMAZING blogs that can deliver really great baking tips and recipes.

I'd like to introduce you to the gluten free gift top 5 blogs for baking & inspiration in the kitchen. They are not in a particular order - I've chosen them to share with you as each delivers something unique in way of recipes, voice and aesthetic. 

Karina at glutenfreegoddess is a writer, poet and artist. An awesome read, visual feast and great looking recipes.

Shauna (and Danny, her husband the chef) at glutenfreegirl
will take you on an uplifting culinary voyage... every day at their house is a celebration. 

Jeanine of thebakingbeauties has an extensive list of recipes that include ambitious goodies like scones and cinnamon buns.

Elana at elanaspantry uses unique ingredients.. and thanks to the efforts of my friend Angela, I've tested the outcome of her recipes first hand.

Meg... ooh la la... glutenfreeboulangerie is a seriously gorgeous blog.

I like to drool over these blogs... and on occasion I'll pull out the mixer and give a recipe a whirl... but more often than not, I'll run out and buy a good bar of chocolate and use the time saved to play in my art studio. 

For those who like to bake (or want to send a link to a friend who might bake something for them!) I'd bookmark these great blogs. If I've missed another winner - please feel free to share it here!


brunch - gluten free style

gluten-free bread served with eggs, bacon and home fries at little fish
The gluten-free stars really have aligned for me - a year ago a bakery called littlefish opened in my neighborhood directly across the street from my home on Dundas Street West. This is essentially an all day brunch establishment - that is NOT gluten free. However, when you order your gluten-free toast they actually offer you a selection of white or brown. My typical classic breakfast is pictured above. Delish.

Last December, a totally gluten-free (and vegan) bakery opened up less than a block from my home. Bunners makes a cupcake so rich that it should only be eaten in two sittings - and the red velvet birthday cake? Divine. 

The Beet (a mere 3 blocks away) has a number of healthy, tasty, local, organic & gluten-free entres clearly marked on the menu. I particularly like the bbq chicken rice wraps.

My neighborhood in Toronto is known as the Junction. Ten years ago there was literally nothing to draw people here - today, it has certainly made me feel very much at home. 

Finally on the topic of local baked goods... a shout out to my dear friend Angela, who showed up at my door with a gift of homemade gluten free carrot muffins last weekend. The universe is keeping the baked goods coming!


blogging gluten-free

Saying I'm low tech is an understatement. I'm a troglodyte. Until yesterday I'd avoided facebook like the plague. It's a miracle that you've found me.

As of today, I have a gfg facebook page and a flickr page. Last night I figured out how to add code so that I could have a facebook "like" button on my posts.

Current research estimates that 1 in 133 North Americans have celiac disease and even more people are gluten intolerant. I know that my people are out there!

There are a already a number of really fantastic gluten-free bakers blogging. I've created this blog as I'm convinced that less than half of us want to spend our days learning how to make bread with tapioca flour. If you are reading this and know someone who is gluten intolerant and wanting to explore options that don't involve a mix master please share this blog!