Category Archives: gluten free

Green Beaver Extra Gentle Castile Sunflower Lavender Bar Soap

We noticed Green Beaver came out with  a new soap and we decided to pick it up. I’m super glad that we did because this has become my newest favourite soap  EVAR!! Okay, it’s seriously very good. I am not paid to say this, I don’t work for Green Beaver, and if I did I’d have a heck of a lot more product at home. I don’t believe the soap is on the Green Beaver site yet, so your best bet is to find it at natural stores.

Here’s the marketing explanation about the soap:

“Green Beaver Extra Gentle Castile Sunflower Soap is made with cold-pressed, locally harvested organic sunflower seed oil. The oil is incredibly rich in antioxidants (vitamin E and carotenoids) and in skin moisturizing omegas. Blended with coconut oil for a gentle silky lather, this soap leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft, and ideal for the most sensitive skin.

 Green Beaver Extra Gentle Castile Sunflower Bar Soap
The owners and creators of Green Beaver have made it a priority to use Canadian-grown organic ingredients whenever available. They are proud to have purchased 40 acres of organic sunflowers from a family farm, located 65 km from The Green Beaver Company’s door.

Their philosophy is, the more organic farmers they can support, the more land they can help convert to organic practices, thereby reducing the amount of pesticides used right in our backyard.”

I’ve spoken with the owner of Green Beaver and I honestly think he’s just a terribly sweet man who is in the natural product business for the right reasons. He wants to make quality products that work. I am completely in love with his enthusiasm and excitement with having found such a local organic farmer down the street. I wish you all could hear the happiness in his voice when talking about his good luck.

True to the description, the soap has some serious softness to it. I feel like I’m bathing with soft oils that sooth and moisturize my skin. I often start my shower by washing my face first and I totally love the way the soap makes my skin feel. I imagine this is what Roman royalty felt like.

Unlike Kiss My Face olive oil based soaps, this Green Beaver Sunflower Soap is light, and doesn’t feel goopy. I totally hate the green slime/sludge that is left over whenever I’d put down the Kiss My Face bar. There’s no way I could use KMF for laundry and I could totally see the GB working very well with that.

Sometimes I find soap to be overwhelming with scent and this soap is perfectly balanced and not at all offensive.

I’d highly suggest this soap for anyone as they’re allergy friendly.

Highlights: Biodegradable. Vegan. GMO-Free. Not tested on animals.

Ingredients: Sodium Cocoate** (saponified organic coconut oil), Sodium Sunflowerate** (saponified organic sunflower oil), Sodium Castorate (saponified organic castor oil)**,  Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavander) Oil*, Lavandula hybrida Oil*, Beta-sitosterol, Squalene, Tocopherol

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin
87.2% of the total ingredients are from organic farming

*Ingredients from organic farming
** Made using organic ingredients

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Filed under Biodegradable Cleaning products, Eco Friendly, gluten free, vegan

Restaurant Review: Bukhara Grill (Toronto)

Mat and I had the pleasure of going to Bukhara Grill in Toronto on Bloor. They have another location in Mississauga for anyone in the west end. The location we went to was downstairs and next to this health store called Peachtree. It’s somewhat easy to miss the entrance to Bukhara Grill as the sign doesn’t stick out as much as you’d think.

So downstairs we went to be greeted by a very courteous host who showed us to a lovely intimate section of the restaurant. We were the first ones in the door, afterwards it started to fill up nicely. They certainly have done a fantastic job making this space their own.

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From the decorations to the mint and tamarind sauce already waiting at each table I really felt they’re trying for an upscale client. By the way the two condiments I mentioned are insanely good. I hope they decide to sell them as a separate product as I would start stocking up. We had no problems ordering and receiving the food the way we asked. They understand vegan and gluten free. Just make sure to pass on the papadums if you’re gluten free as they are made in the same place the naan is. It’s too bad, but that’s what happens when things are done traditionally.

We usually stick to aloo golbi ($9.99) and chana masala ($9.99) as we know them to be naturally gluten free. For a change we ordered Saffron Rice ($3.99) instead of just plain basmati. 

To say we were impressed is an understatement. Everything was flavourful, delightfully spicy, and delicious. We plan on making this our go to place for the weekend. We have a habit now of ordering an additional meal of the same for take away as it makes Sunday afternoon lunch that much easier.

Do not miss out. I cannot say enough good things about this place.

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under gluten free, gluten free meals, Meals, vegan

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies with Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels

The lovely people at Enjoy Life sent me a bag of their dark chocolate Morsels. I have one word for them – DELICIOUS! I had to stop myself from eating the bag. Yes, they are fantastic just on their own. I love dark chocolate and these are just right.

I used a fantastic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from The Gluten Free Vegan. This recipe is supposed to make 20 cookies, I made 15 because I really packed those babies. I used my hands to form them into cookie patties. I usually use an ice cream scoop, but today I felt like using my hands for some reason.

I’ve made this recipe about five times now and things I’ve learnt:
1. Do not use coconut oil – it doesn’t soften the cookie whatsoever, it makes them dry and kinda not to great
2. Use more chocolate chips than recommended, it’s a personal preference
3. You can use home made apple sauce, works fine too
4. Do not use rice sweetener, for some reason maple syrup really works, the rice sweetener does not

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Oh, they are delicious! I love, love, love the texture and they’re not too crunchy. Excellent recipe that you can’t mess up. Unless you use coconut oil.

Happy eating!

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Filed under baked goods, gluten free, Healthy Snacks, vegan

Easy Vegan Gluten Free Pizza Crust recipe

Who says you can’t have vegan gluten free pizza? It’s totally possible, just need to figure out a recipe that works and I believe I’ve managed to do so. Now, in Ontario, we have a store called Metro and they have their own brand of gluten free flour under the Irresistible brand.

1-Metro gluten free flour

2-back gluten free flour

As you can see in the bottom part of the picture, Yoshi is never far from me in the kitchen, honestly this cat is always my little orange shadow. I love him so much.

5-Yoshi kitchen helper

Anyway back to the flour. As you can see from the ingredients, there is already xanthan gum already added, which made this a heck of a lot easier.

I added 3 tbsp of Italian seasoning, 1tbsp of black pepper and 1 tsp of salt. I tried to follow the instructions on the back of the package for the pizza, I added the 2/3 cups of soy milk, this was a bad idea. I already had too much liquid since I had added extra ground flax seed, which turned out to be too much. I added about 1/2 cup of flax seed with equal amount of water and that was my mistake.

So here is where the correcting begins. Then I added about 3 tbsp of corn starch, still wet, then I added 2 tbsp of rice flour, still wet. I’m not sure what to do, then I figure, okay, add in the actual flour mix and that worked! I added about 1/2 cup of the flour and was able to make it stable to the ball of dough you see below.

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2-spread dough

I put down a piece of parchment paper, then flour, and tried to make a circle shape. I flattened the dough with my hands and I tried to make it as thin as possible. I really enjoy a crispy flat crust. I suppose you can use a rolling pin just as fine.

Toppings:
- Tomato paste
- Daiya cheddar
- Pineapple
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Green peppers

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I baked it for 20 minutes at 450F due to the crust being so thin. Be mindful of your oven and make sure you check in at the 10 minute mark just to be sure. What you should be looking for is the bottom of the crust to not be ‘wet’, it should be light coloured and should feel crispy.

There you have it – simple as heck and tasty!

Happy eating!

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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Meals, vegan

Review: Enjoy Life Chocolate Cocoa Loco Chewy Bars

Anyone who has been to a bakery with me knows I always go for soft cookies. I find it incredibly satisfying to bite into a soft chew. The lovely people at Enjoy Life sent me samples of their Cocoa Loco Chewy Bars and I have to admit I loved them. I enjoyed the texture, smell, taste and mouth feel. What the heck is mouth feel? Simply, how does it feel in your mouth.

 

What I like best about this bar, the double chocolate and the fact that all items are vegan/gluten free PLUS Non-GMO. That’s a big one these days and I can fully get behind food items not being tinkered with.

They’re only 120 calories each, so it’s easy to say eat four a day, not that I did this. Ahem. Just saying.

There are other varieties of this soft bar, but not all of them are vegan. DO read labels when you’re looking at products. I will be keeping a few boxes in my pantry stash for sure.

 

Disclaimer:
I was not paid, I did receive free product, but I do reserve the right be honest. If I love something I’ll write about it. If not, well, depends on how bad it really was.

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Filed under baked goods, gluten free, vegan

Easy Pad Thai

I’ll never understand how Mat’s sister can make everything taste amazing. She has mastered vegan gluten free baking and doesn’t even try at it. I so much as add egg replacement and the whole thing is garbage. Seriously. She’s done it again with a recipe for Pad Thai that is easy and incredibly tasty.

The elements for pad thai are pretty simple:
1. Sauce
2. Noodles
3. Vegetables
4. Garnish

Usually pad thai requires a) tamarind and b) fish sauce. I really did not want to go through the pain of mashing a tamarind brick through a sieve though it really is worth it. Fish sauce is out of the question, yet this recipe is perfect without it.

Sauce recipe:
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce + A dash of sesame oil = fish sauce substitute
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp white vinegar

Now, this doesn’t make very much, so I actually made 8x’s the amount because I used 3/4 cups of it to marinate the tofu in over night.

Instructions:

Tofu:
- Cut up tofu into squares, marinate over night, when ready to cook, place tofu on baking sheet (minus the liquid) and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until your desired firmness

Noodles:
- Rice noodles generally take 5 minutes to boil, so have those bad boys ready just before the vegetables cook

Vegetables:
- I generally use whatever vegetables I have on hand, but if you want to be semi traditional go for: bean sprouts, red/green peppers, mushrooms, baby bok choi, you can add ginger in as well.
- Stir fry the vegetables to match the timing of the tofu baking and noodles boiling. Should take about 8 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your veggies.
NOTE: Do add the bean sprouts last, they only take two minutes and are nice crispy

Garnish:
- Chopped green onions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, lime juice

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When the tofu is done, add it to the drained noodles and vegetables then pour in a cup of the sauce, that should be enough, but add more if you so desire. Add the garnish at the end and enjoy!

This recipe is seriously delicious. I cannot emphasize how much you’ll want to make extra sauce to have on hand.

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Filed under gluten free, Meals, vegan

Handmade Gluten Free Vegan Pizza

We usually buy our pizza crusts, but seeing as the bakery didn’t re-order them I decided to make my own.  I have never made my own pizza crust with flour. Usually, if I do make ‘pizza’, I’ll make raw tomato bread and use it as a crust with cashew cheese.

4-ingredients Robin Hood

What I have here: Robin Hood gluten free flour, sugar, salt, xanthum gum, baking powder, table spoon of olive oil.

I followed this recipe: http://minimalistbaker.com/the-best-gluten-free-pizza-crust-sauce/

Now, here’s the thing, the flour I used didn’t really get adhesive until I added about a cup and a half more water than the recipe called for. The reason, I assume, the flours are different and must have different water saturation. This is why I don’t often bake – gluten free is freaking hard and I’m terrified to screw it up and waste these expensive ingredients.

Thankfully, it did work out and adding more water was the key.

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Don’t be fooled by how the circles turned out. As you can see one of them was ‘patched up’, the dough wasn’t the easiest to work with. I had to make them into small balls in my hand and then French rolling pin them into flatter shapes. I would highly suggest either flouring or oiling your rolling pin to make sure the dough doesn’t stick and fluster the heck out of you.

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I topped it with: tomato paste, cheddar Daiya, red/green peppers, button mushrooms and parsley. Baked it off at 400 for 15 minutes. I double checked that it was golden brown on the bottom of the crusts before removing it.

3-pizza afterHappy eating!

 

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Deconstructed Vegan Tacos

We went to the states and found these corn tortilla rounds that were deliciously soft and gluten free. We just bought a new toaster oven and wanted to test it out. We put the rounds in with Daiya and set it to 400F for 20 minutes, which was a tad much, so 15 probably would have been just fine.

Who could resist making deconstructed tacos? Deconstructed is a fancy word for lazy in my books. I’m sure fancy chefs have actually made wonderful things using this term, but I clearly am not in this category.

Making tacos is easy as pie, except if it’s gluten free pie then it’s actually not easy at all.

Either way, here’s how I topped the tortilla and made it a freaking tasty taco.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups of cooked lentils mixed with various spices to your liking: cumin, paprika, oregano, black pepper, turmeric, garlic powder/freshly minced, ketchup, mustard, rice vinegar, gluten free soy sauce and fresh lime juice
- Daiya (any flavour is fine)
- freshly mashed avocado
- chopped tomato
- chopped red/green pepper
- chopped cilantro

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I made a quick side salad:
- mixed greens,
- cucumbers
- diced tomatoes
- broccoli slaw (broccoli, carrots, purple cabbage)
- radish sliced
- lightly sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Also, had some rice prepared, I prefer basmati and there you have it – delicious! I most likely will be making this for a few dinners in an row.

 

Happy eating!

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Triple badass Mac N Cheese + Tofu pups

I had a craving for creamy mac n cheese with hotdogs. Yes, I was reliving a childhood meal I used to make for myself and hey, some things you never grow out of, thankfully now I can make them cruelty free.

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I took the time to measure everything, even though I usually eye ball it.

Instructions:
Boil bag of gluten free pasta as per directions. Personally, I enjoy slightly mushier than usual pasta and thus boil the pasta about 5 minutes longer than suggested, but that’s me. The point is – boil your favourite pasta. This time we used Maple Grove white rice elbow pasta. We find this pasta to be just as good as Tinkyada and it’s always reasonably priced. While the pasta is boiling I cut up some Tofu Pups and fried them lightly in an pan until they were golden brown. For my Canadian friends I know you’re asking, what the heck is a Tofu Pup? I love these, more so the Jumbo ones, but they’re vegan AND gluten free hot dogs that are pretty dang good.

While the pups are frying on low heat I ready my cheese. I like to use 3 different Daiya cheese products for my mac n cheese.

1. Cheddar shreds 1.5 bags
2. Pepperjack shreds 1/4 of a bag
3. Chive and Onion cream cheese spread 1/4 cup

Oh yes, this is the holy trinity. Also VERY IMPORTANT – ready 1.5 cups of water on hand.

Once the pups have fried, put them aside as you have things to do. By now the pasta should be done and you’re ready do drain and rinse. I know some people don’t subscribe to the rinsing of pasta, but I am a believer of it. Before you put the pasta back into the pot to get everything together I suggest a tablespoon pad size of Earth Balance, or coconut oil to get things going. Put in the ‘butter’ or oil into the pot, keep the burner on medium and let the dumping begin!

First the pasta, then stir in the different cheese. This is where the water comes in. After each cheese I usually add 1/4 cup of water to see how it’s being absorbed and or coating the pasta. When you’re done with the cheese, don’t forget the Tofu Pups and there you have it.  If you like feel free to add the hot sauce of your choice.

Happy eating!

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Filed under gluten free, gluten free meals, Meals, vegan

Marinated BBQ Tempeh Burger

I had a hankering for something smothered in BBQ sauce and then it hit me – I’m going to make tempeh. Yes! I bought Nobel Bean Quinoa tempeh with Sesame seeds.

Click on the image to visit the Noble bean site

 

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with this lovely company and they are incredibly down to earth. I appreciate a company who wants to be true to their product and they’ve been so for 34 years! Pretty neat I’d say.

I bought the tempeh frozen, so I left it to thaw overnight in the fridge. The next day I cut it into thin strips and left it to marinate in a container full of BBQ sauce. I know this sounds like it’s a long process, but man is it ever worth it. I put the strips on a sheet of parchment paper, set the oven to 400F and baked them for 10 minutes. I flipped at the 5 minute mark.

Easy as can be and it really didn’t involve any hard work. Also, the price is a heck of a lot lower than buying a pre-marinated product and without the chemicals.

I had some Schar gluten free rolls and baked those up as well. The sad thing about these rolls is you can only get them in the states. This means we do cross border trips just to get gluten free bread. Do you know how crazy you sound when that’s what you’re declaring at the border? Honestly, I wish they could come to Canada.

While things were baking I also sauteed shiitake mushrooms with some minced garlic and a pinch of salt. With a tomato fresh from the garden I assembled the ‘burger’.

Toppings:
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Sliced avocados
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced tomatoes
- BBQ tempeh

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The glory that was this sandwich is seriously amazing. I would highly suggest trying this yourself.

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under gluten free, Meals, vegan