Gluten Free? Hmmm

May 21, 2011

In the beginning of March, I had the pleasure of attending a hospitality trade show for both hotels and restaurants in Ocean City, Maryland. It was an outstanding show on many levels. I had been invited to present tips and ideas for menu nutrition labeling, allergen management and gluten awareness in any type of foodservice establishment.
Ground-breaking, earth-shattering topics, I think not, but all of these are hot topics in the minds of the dining public. More and more, people are deciding where to dine based on specific nutritional needs and desire. They are voting with their wallets and restaurants everywhere are trying to keep up with the latest trends and needs.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

May 19, 2011
Not only does this cake contain no wheat, it contains no flour – made with cooked quinoa (rather than quinoa flour), it has a dense, moist texture and intense chocolate flavour. Excerpted from Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming (Whitecap)
2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round or square cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
  • Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan before serving. Frost if desired. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. Serves 8-16.source

Coconut ice

May 16, 2011

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar
  • 1 x 397g cans condensed milk
  • 400g (14oz) desiccated coconut
  • Pink food colouring


May 13, 2011

Looking for an unexpected and delicious way to use leftover rice? These tender and delicious rice cakes have an appealing nutty flavour and the added bonus of being gluten-free. Recipe courtesy USA Rice Federation (
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) milk
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup
2 cups (500 ml) cooked long grain white or brown rice
1/2 cup (125 ml) rice flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) melted butter
Additional maple syrup
Chopped fresh fruit (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk and maple syrup; stir in rice, rice flour, walnuts, salt and cinnamon.
Brush a large, nonstick skillet with some of butter and set over medium heat. Working in batches, spoon 1/3 cup (75 ml) of rice mixture per cake into the skillet. Press lightly with the back of the spatula to flatten.
Cook for 3 minutes or until set and bottoms are golden. Turn and cook for 3 minutes or until golden. Repeat, brushing skillet with butter as needed, until all the rice mixture is used. Serve with additional maple syrup and fresh fruit (if using).
Makes 4 servings. source

Pretty in Pink

May 9, 2011

Make Fluffy Quinoa

May 7, 2011

Note: it may contain trace amounts of gluten if processed in a factory using gluten-containing products – like wheat. Be sure to read the labels for gluten-free status.
How-to Make Fluffy Quinoa Every Time: Tips
Tip 1: Rinse it.
Rinse your dry quinoa in water before cooking. This removes some of the ‘mush-promoting’ grit on the grain.
Tip 2: Less is More. (Water)
Most boxes of quinoa say to add 2 cups of water for every one cup of dry quinoa. I say that is too much! And remember if you are rinsing your quinoa you will be adding a bit more water anyways. For fluffy quinoa, less water is more. I do 1 part dry quinoa : 1 1/2 parts water ratio – then I rinse the quinoa and drain as much water as I can. For the Spiced Quinoa recipe below I added in some dry spices so the water amount increases a tad.
Tip 3: No Peeking!
Once you close that pot lid over your cooking quinoa – no peeking! And no stirring! You don’t want to disturb the quinoa fluff factory bubbling inside.
Tip 4: Let it Sit.
After cooking and before you lift the lid, turn OFF the stove and in the words of Kelly Clarkson, “Just Walk Away.” Let the quinoa sit for a good 5-10 minutes. Again – no peeking!
Tip 5: Stick a Fork in it.
Fluff your cooked quinoa with a fork. No mush-enhancing spoons allowed. source

Gluten-Free Bistro Now Sold at Whole Food

May 4, 2011

The Gluten Free Bistro’s line of products are now available retail at Whole Foods Market in the Rocky Mountain Region. The launch will begin with five stores and shortly after include the entire region. The first five stores include: Pearl St., Alpine Ideal, Baseline, Tamarac and Superior. The line offers an array of gluten-free products, including: frozen pizza crust, dough ball (prepared food), fresh-style (frozen) penne and fettuccine, and Bistro Blend all-purpose flour.
This product launch contains a refrigerated gluten-free dough ball that can be found in the prepared food area and toppings for easy make-at-home pizza.
Barb Verson, C.N, COO for The Gluten Free Bistro, said: “We are so excited to offer our whole-grain line of products retail and give everyone a chance to try healthy and delicious gluten-free foods. All of our products are made with our nutritious Bistro Blend, which was designed to have 76 percent whole-grain flours and contain only 22 percent starch. We look forward to announcing more retail locations soon and hope to be nationwide by the end of this year."
 All the products are made with whole-grain, non-GMO, gluten-free flours that provide protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and B vitamins. They are also low in sodium and sugar. 

Gluten-Free Diet is the Future says Pulse Canada

May 2, 2011

Gluten-Free Diet is being promoted by Pulse Canada as a response to the increasing demand by ordinary consumers. They have just released a downloadable PDF that contains recipes for foods that are free of the protein gluten.The eBook contains food preparation instructions for meals, baked goods and even snacks that are totally gluten-free.This project was developed by Shelley Case, RD, a renowned author and expert dietitian and Carol Fenster, PhD, a specialist on health and the so-called authority on gluten-free diet. Fernster has written several gluten-free recipe manuals over the past years.

Peter Watts, Director of Market Innovation for Pulse Canada stressed the importance of the book in an interview. “Gluten-free is one of the fastest growing food market segments. As many as one in 133 people are affected by some level of gluten intolerance. Pulses and pulse ingredients are gluten-free and easy to use in many recipes including baked goods, snacks and meals,” said Watts.
Chronic health issues can be avoided by taking in healthy diet according to experts. This explains why gluten-free diet is fast rising in popularity. This food type is characterized by having a good amount of vegetable protein and the much needed complex carbohydrates. Dietary fibers which are needed for good digestion and other minerals and vitamins like iron and potassium can also be found in these foods. source
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