Giveaway: Win a set of gluten-free greeting cards

These hand printed greeting cards are perfect for sharing your gluten-free gratitude. What better way to thank a host for a lovely gluten-free meal? A set of six could be yours with a click or two of your mouse and the tiniest bit of luck. 
Simply enter the draw by visiting facebook HERE - and LIKE :)  gluten free gift.

In the meantime, I'm off to New York City for a week - where I'll be sleuthing for gluten-free finds. I'll draw 2 winners on June 9th. If you're not on Facebook, you're also welcome to enter by leaving a comment. Good Luck!!


May is Celiac Awareness Month

Udi's and Glutino spread the word for Celiac Awareness Month
I've never eaten a hot dog bun in my life. If I had one as a toddler, I have no recollection of it. I don't think I'd ever really thought about it before this week - when this incredible shipment arrived at my door.

You can just imagine the little squeals of joy that I made as I unloaded this box of gluten-free goodies onto my kitchen counter. Never thought I'd eat a "toaster pastry" - but that's about to change too. Come to think of it...until today, I'd never eaten a bagel either! 

This is what the good people at Udi's sent to me and a number of other gluten-free bloggers to promote that May is Celiac Awareness Month in North America.

  • Udi's Snickerdoodles (gone - delicious)
  • Udi's Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites (divine, also gone - I shared a couple)
  • Udi's Ancient Grains Granola Bars (wonderfully chewy, and great for on the go)
  • Udi's Blueberry Cashew, and Cranberry Granolas (saving)
  • Udi's Pizza Crusts (perfect.)
  • Udi's Everything and Mighty Bagels (fantastic! see photo below)
  • Udi's Hamburger & Hotdog Buns (can't wait to eat a sausage on a bun!!)
  • Udi's White Sandwich & Cinnamon Raisin Breads (great staples)
  • Glutino Pretzels (saving)
  • Glutino Bagel Chips (light and crunchy - enjoyed with soup)
  • Glutino Toaster Pasteries (yummy)
I've often referred to the fact that I've been on this diet for a very long time - almost 42 years now. Celiac used to be a word that would get nothing but funny looks and would require lots of awkward explanation. Today, most people just nod. We've come a long way. This is in part due to the good works of associations, but also because there are more and more people getting a solid diagnosis. People who suffered for years without knowing why are finally getting biopsies, accepting the facts and learning to adapt to a new diet.

This intense market growth opens up the way for manufacturers to be in a position to offer better food, more variety in products and distribute it widely. Newly diagnosed celiac patients can ease into this diet today because companies like Udi's are replicating the foods one might miss on a "restricted" diet. You can visit their website HERE.

Udi's bagel... you wouldn't have to be gluten-free to appreciate it
In 1976 you could order special bread that came in from the UK in a TIN. Today, there are gluten-free products readily available to you that are so good, you may need to hide them in the cupboard...so that the rest of the family doesn't eat them first. 


gluten-free felafel... it's super easy, delicious and good for you!!

felafel - gluten free and delicious!!

My friend Doug shared a version of this recipe with me years ago. I was shocked at how easy (and cheap!) it is to make your own felafel at home. This traditional recipe is naturally gluten free, but you'd be hard pressed to find a box of mix in a grocery store that does not include wheat. (One exception is the Australian brand Orgran). This version below will cost less than a dollar and would easily feed 4. An excellent vegetarian option as it's high in protein (not to mention fibre!).  

You do need a food processor - and to plan one day in advance to soak the beans.

3/4 cup dried fava (broad) beans
3/4 cup dried chick peas (garbanzo beans) 
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
generous pinch cayenne pepper
3 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 heaping tsp salt
oil for frying

Soak beans overnight in lots of water. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Grind raw soaked beans in the food processor with onion and garlic until finely minced and stir in cumin, salt, cayenne and coriander. Give it another good whirl in the processor to break down the greens. The consistency should be a thick granular paste. Make into patties a little smaller than the size of a flattened golf ball. 

Let sit for 30 minutes. You can make balls - but will need more oil to fry them in. The flatter versions will cook through evenly in much shallower oil. After they have rested for 30 minutes, fry in batches in a large skillet. Test one first to make sure that the oil is adequately hot (you want it to sizzle). Flip after about 3 minutes - or when golden brown and crispy looking. Cook another 3 minutes or so. Keep batches warm in the oven on a plate with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. 

You can serve these many ways - with rice, a gluten free rice wrap, with quinoa.... but last night we had them with a simple spinach salad, carrot salad, sliced tomatoes and avocado. I happened to have some tahini (sesame paste) which made a nice accompaniment. This recipe made 24 felafel - plenty of leftovers for lunch this week!

Super Simple Carrot Salad:
(amounts depend on how many carrots you want to grate!)
grated organic carrots
diced red onion to taste
sprinkle of celery seed to taste
drizzle of olive oil & apple cider vinegar to taste.

Final note: while many felafel vendors do make gluten-free felafel - many also include some wheat flour to help hold them together... OR fry other gluten-laden items in their fryer. Gluten is in no way necessary to make these work - but, as always, I implore you to ask before you order out. Once you try making these  - you'll discover how easy it is to have this great dish safely at home.