Posts Tagged ‘Gluten Free’


As much as I like to cook, I must admit that I also like to eat out. There’s always a new restaurant that I want to check out, or a a restaurant that I pass by a gazillion times but I’ve never stepped inside.

Lately I’ve managed to check out the following restaurants/cafes. If I’m blogging about it – then this means that I will be going back.

1 .Tiffin Box (938 Bathurst St)  This restaurant has been around for a few years and is in that category of “I pass by it a gazillion times but I’ve never been in”. I ordered a vegetarian Thali platter for $9.95 and loved every mouthful. Plus it’s owned by the loveliest couple that have been in the restaurant industry for decades. Please note; closed Monday and Tuesday

The platter consisted of a choice of 2 vegetable dishes with dhal, basmati rice, raita and salad. YUM.

2. Almond Butterfly Cafe and BakeShop  (100 Harbord St.) Again, this is in the same category as Tiffin Box. I pass by it ALL the time but have never gone in. This cinnamon bun was gluten free (but there’s plenty of vegan options too) and it was delicious. Really delicious. 3. Pi Co – This is the type of place where you can get a “good pizza’ but don’t want to sit down and be served. Know what I mean? (FYI – otherwise knows as QSR – Quick Service Restaurant). I liked this pizza so much that I went back a week later.  Not to mention I liked the price point too! PS. there’s two locations: 1200 Bay St and 2177 Bay St. According to their websites there’s more locations opening soon!!4. The Drake Commissary: (128a Sterling Rd, Toronto) I’ve been for a quick coffee but finally made it back for brunch. We were so impressed that once again, we went back a week later  for dinner!

This smoked cured and potted fish platter is described as: House cured fish, octopus terrine with nori moroccan olive tapenade, smoked mackerel, roast beet and horseradish dill crema, smoked salmon and caper cream cheese. Served with amazing sourdough bread.

5. Craque de Creme (1360 Bathurst St). This lovely cafe serves unbelievable creme brûlée, waffles (that aren’t your typical waffles) and ice cream too. What a great concept and what a skilled chef!

There’s a few more restaurants that are on my radar too! So stay tuned. In the meantime, I will be eating at home and have every intention of trying some new recipes too!

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A few weeks ago I had a lousy day which started off at 8:10 am when I dropped my car keys down the elevator shaft.

Don’t ask. Not my best moment.

Luckily I’m a CAA member. Therefore a CAA tow truck whisked my car to a Nissan dealership that was luckily only a kilometre away. I then discovered that it would take 1.5 hours to program a key for my beloved Versa – at a total cost of $232. It was still half the cost of an elevator technician so I wasn’t complaining.


During the 1.5 hours I had to kill, I ventured out out to walk along Avenue Road. I did some prospecting (as always) and then realized it was time for lunch and  decided to grab a burger at South St. Burger. This restaurant has always been a favourite of mine. Not to mention that this sign made me laugh. Oh how I love clever marketing.


I had a burger that I believe is the “Better Choice”.  The fact that it contained a fresh 6 oz beef patty made from 100% Angus beef, raised without antibiotics, hormones and prepared without any preservatives or additives certainly appealed to me.  Definitely the “Better Choice.”

What I also love about this restaurant is that you can customize your burger (or hot dog, or chicken burger) with over 30 traditional and gourmet condiments. There’s everything from dill pickles to dijon horseradish, guacamole and mango chutney at no extra charge. Premium toppings include a selection of five real cheeses, grilled ginger glazed pineapple, Applewood smoked bacon, and sautéed mushrooms.#YUM

I always seem to select: mango chutney, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and dill pickles. Time in and time out!! There’s something about this combination that makes me feel like I’m getting spoiled.


South St. Burger is the “better” choice – hands down!!

This time, I didn’t order the french fries or the onion rings (even though they looked really good). I also was tempted to try their milkshakes as they are made with 2 scoops of real ice cream. #next time

I must admit that South St. Burger cheered me up on a pretty lousy day.

Other fun facts about South St. Burger.

  • It is 100% independently Canadian owned and operated
  • There are more than 35 locations across Canada from coast to coast and two in Dubai.
  • They also offer Gluten Free Buns

Hope you get a chance to visit a South St. Burger one day soon as well (minus the hassle of losing your keys). LOL. With South St. Burger, dinner just got better.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all my opinions are my own.


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I’m not sure what the stats are but I know that many Canadians are lactose intolerant, gluten-free or have a peanut allergy. Myself included. I’ve been lactose free for about 8 years now and I carry around lactose pills with me everywhere (purse, kitchen, car, pockets) so that I can continue to enjoy dairy products (which I love).

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to shop and how to choose products and ingredients that have the quality and flavours you crave. For many Canadians, this means that meal-planning has become predictable, routine and, well, bland.

However, the President’s Choice® team is dedicated to helping all Canadians find freedom in “-free” products, by showing consumers they can explore new and unexpected flavours and embrace culinary trends, no matter their dietary needs.

I’m loving this initiative that President’s Choice® has launched and recently noticed this giant poster at Loblaws.

loblaws - poster

While grocery shopping, I picked up some PC® SKYR which is lactose free and has more protein in in than traditional greek yogurt. #fact.

loblaws - skyr

Then I went home and made a delicious French Yogurt Cake using the PC® SKYR. Guess what? I can enjoy this cake WITHOUT taking a lactose pill. HOORAY. HOORAY.

Here’s the recipe for French Yogurt Cake (courtesy of BonAppetit)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour; tap out excess.
2.Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
3. Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.

loblaws - 2 bowls

ADORE recipes that only requires two bowls.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes.

loblaws - final

For more information;


Hashtag: #CompromiseFree

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own  

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I first discovered NuPasta at a food show a few years ago, and I’m pleased to say that they keep growing and growing. i.e you can now find them at more and more retailers. This is what you need to know about NuPasta.

nupasta - packaging

-25 calories per package (210 grams)

-2% Fat, 2% Carbohydrate, Zero Cholesterol, Zero Sodium.

-Gluten Free, Kosher, Halal, Non-GMO and requires ZERO refrigeration.

Please welcome NuPasta and give them a huge round of applause.

Plus they are a Canadian company (more applause).

In no time at all, I made a beautiful, colourful dinner tonight (see recipe below).

nupasta - ingredients

Not to mention, it will agree with my stomach and not make me feel bloated or uncomfortable like regular pasta.

The key to their success is the fact that NuPasta is made with Konjac, which is a root vegetable native to East Asia and grown at 2,000 – 4,000 ft. above sea level.

Walnuts and Peas Pasta (recipe by Stephanie Joanne)

1 package of NuPasta (drained and rinsed)

2 cups frozen peas

1 large carrot, sliced and boiled

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of toasted walnut halves

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

parmesan (optional)


1. Drain and rinse NuPasta

2. Toast walnuts (on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes)

3, In a pot, add garlic to coconut oil on low heat. After 5 minutes, add carrots, peas, one package of NuPasta. Then add parsley, salt and pepper. Add walnuts when plating and parmesan (if desired)


nupasta - final

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own.

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The Delicious Food Show is a  3 day food-lovers event designed to engage the consumer with FOOD and entertainment. There’s over 200 exhibitors and 50 live cooking demonstrations and classes.

I had the chance this morning to listen to these 3 celebrity chefs in an informal question and answer! #lucky me.

Top Left: Chuck Hughes: Top Right: Tyler Florence and Bottom Left: Mario Batali. #squeal

dfs - chefs

Then I wondered thru the show in search of new products to share with you! Here’s a few products that caught my attention.

1. nuPasta: I use to enjoy a pasta that was low in carbs and then stopped buying it as I couldn’t take the smell. This NEW (local) product doesn’t have that same strong odour. YAY. Not to mention it’s Gluten Free, Kosher, Sugar Free, Sodium Free, doesn’t need refrigeration and has no preservatives.  Plus it can be ready in ONE minute.

dfs - nupasta

b) I also adored these custom plates  by Jacqueline Poirier.   Wouldn’t these plates just brighten up a kitchen?

dfs - platesc) Strauss Water:   The perfect multi purpose water system as it’s hooked up to your main water line and delivers an unlimited supply of purified, chilled or BOILING or room temperature water. Bye Bye Kettle, Bye Bye Water Bottles!

dfs - strauss


The Delicious Food Show takes place Oct 17 – 17 at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto.


Friday, October 17th, 2014: 10 AM – 9 PM

Saturday, October 18th, 2014: 10AM – 8PM
Sunday, October 19th, 2014: 10AM – 6PM

For more information about the schedule or to buy online tickets, please click here!

Have a great weekend that is full of delicious-ness!


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Oh how I love food shows. Today I attended Grocery Innovations  in search of new product that will be hitting the grocery shelves.  I have to admit..I don’t mind receiving samples either! Can you tell?

GIC - samples

This year, I discovered the following new products:

a) Olympic has introduced CHIA Balkan Style Yogurt that is Probiotic with 100% natural ingredients. It’s also Lactose free, Gluten free and Gelatin free. I think..scratch that.I know that this product is going to be HUGELY successful.

GIC - chia

b) Crisco has introduced ONE CUPS STICKS. YAY. For those of you who are occasional bakers – this is BRILLIANT. I swear I have 2 sticks of Crisco in my cupboard that have been there way too long. Now I won’t have that problem anymore.

GIC - crisco

C) SILK has introduced a Creamy Cashew Milk. Seeing as I’m lactose free – all these varieties appeal to me.

GIC - silk

I wondered thru the show for hours (no joke) and will be blogging about other products that intrigued me, so stay tuned.

Happy Grocery Shopping!!



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Seeing as I’m a HUGE fan of anything related to Cheese – it was a no brainer for me to check out a new grilled cheese & mac ‘n cheese restaurant that is opening up in the Junction. I was pretty lucky to be invited to visit Cut the Cheese, as their soft launch is officially on Saturday Jan 18th at 4:00 pm (till 2:30 am!).

Don’t you just love the name of this restaurant and the cow on this sign?

cut - storefront

As for the menu: (this will expand….but initially this is what they are starting off with). Plus there’s sides – like coleslaw, cheese coins, tomato soup and fries!!

cut - menu

First I took a few lactose pills and then I sampled 2 grilled cheese sandwiches and one mac’n cheese.

Top Left: Cartel,  Top Right: Beet-it-Up, Bottom Photo: Southern Comfort Mac n’ Cheese. What would I order again – all of them!!  However if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be the Beet – it – Up.  What a wicked combination of ingredients (beets, smoked gouda, portobello mushrooms and dried tomatoes).

cut - collage

What really impressed me, was that everything is made in-house: the pickles, the ROOT BEER ketchup and more. Not to mention, they offer gluten free bread and have wicked sense of marketing.

cut - sign

I am confident that this restaurant will be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Not to mention it’s going to appeal to many grilled cheese  (and mac ‘n cheese” fans out there. Like me!!

Speaking of grilled cheese – did you know there is a Grilled Cheese Festival on Feb 28th? Click here for more details. PS Cut the Cheese is participating in this event! WOOT.

For more information:

Cut the Cheese – 2901 Dundas St. W, Toronto ON 416 901 7166

Twitter: @cutthecheeseTO


Instagram: cutthecheeseTO

Hours: Closed On Mondays, Tues-Thurs 1130 am to 9 pm, Friday-Sat 11:30 am to 2:30 am, Sunday 11:30 am to 7 pm

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Last week, I attended a media dinner that introduced a new line of Gluten Free Pasta by Italpasta.

gf - pasta

Even though I’m not gluten free I was curious to try it and I was curious to attend a dinner at 7 numbers which has a fantastic reputation but for some reason I have never been!

I was certainly impressed by the menu that we were presented with.

gf - menu

Julie Daniluk, a well known nutritionist, author and TV personality, spoke at the event as well. She also coincidentally sat beside me and we had  a lot in common soon as I saw her lactose pills! (which I encouraged her to buy at Costco. That’s right Julie…120 lactose pills for $18.99)

gf - lactose

The Italpasta Gluten Free Pasta is also dairy free and egg free. I am confident that this line is going to appeal to a lot of consumers who live with multiple allergies.

Congratulations to this amazing Canadian business who clearly understands their consumers needs.


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I’m always looking for new fish recipes, seeing as I haven’t had any meat in my kitchen for the last two decades!!

Lately I’ve been using Panko Crumbs but I was getting bored of using them so I went over to Pinterest to get some inspiration. (which I’ve been doing a lot of lately).

I found a Popchips Recipe Board and saw that one recipe featured  Popchips crusted baked buffalo chicken tenders! I said to myself: “ I could recreate this with fish”. So I did. Bye Bye Panko Crumbs. Hello Popchips!!

Here’s what you need:

pop chips - ingredients



2 pieces of sole, thawed

2 egg whites

2 small bags of Popchips (I used the nacho cheese flavour)

a few dashes of Tobasco Buffalo  Sauce (optional)


1. In a food processor, pulverize the Popchips. Add a few dashes of Tobasco Buffalo Sauce for additional flavour (optional)

pop chips - cuisinart

2. Put out two plates: one for the Popchips. One for the egg whites. Dip the fish into the egg whites and then dip into the crushed Popchips until well coated.

pop chips - two plates

3. In a heated frying pan, add some oil. (I used coconut oil for my first time…yay for coconut oil)

4. Place the fish into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes.


pop chips - final

Hope you get a chance to snack on some Popchips soon or use them in a recipe like I did!! These chips will soon become a favorite. Promise.

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Panago is a pizza franchise that originated in Western Canada. Many years ago (about 6?), I discovered one of their first franchises in Toronto (on Gerrard St). I was impressed six years ago and I’m still impressed.

These are the reasons why I  am super impressed with this pizza franchise:

a) Each location is spotless. Take a look at these counters….I mean seriously, this is impressive non?

panago - counter

b) The Pizza: I ordered the Veggie Korma (Indian Korma Sauce, Roasted Garlic, Baby Spinach Leaves, Green Peppers, Pineapple, Hot Banana Peppers, Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese). Despite the fact that I’m lactose intolerant and carb free since June 2012, I DEMOLISHED THE ENTIRE PIZZA. I couldn’t help myself.  I tried to only have one piece but it didn’t work.

Is this not one gorgeous looking pizza?

Is this not one gorgeous looking pizza?

3) They get Social Media and use it in a big way. You see, I scored the above Pizza due to a Four Square Promotion that was taking place at their Liberty Village location. It wasn’t a free slice, it was an ENTIRE small pizza. I had an amazing chat with the manager (Manny) who also told me about other promotions (ie Oh how I love social media (and good pizza).

4) They offer gluten free pizza too. This was launched just recently and I’m sure there’s a lot people out there who are happy to hear this!

panago - gluten

Have you checked out Panago before? You really should. #justsayin’.


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