Friday, January 30, 2009

Say hello to...gluten-free fox.

Thanks to Kirsten's for developing the worlds first gluten-free search engine; Gluten Free Fox. This search engine is dedicated to solely finding gf information. The site also has various recipes and articles that are great to read. Kirsten is a young woman who is very involved within the gf and celiacs world. She also has her own beauty website Naturally Dahling, where she includes all her favorite gf cosmetics.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Say hello to...thai green curry.

When traveling, one of my favorite kinds of restaurants to eat at is Thai. I know what ingredients are in which dishes, and what dishes are safe for me to eat. One of my absolute favorite dishes is Thai green curry or Kaeng Kiew Wan. If you buy the already prepared green curry paste than it doesn't take long to make and is bursting in flavors. If you're cooking it yourself you can change the intensity in the curry, add your favorite veggies, and choose your own meat. Ingredients for two:

2 tbsp vegetable oil/olive oil
2 tbsp green curry
1 laddle of chicken stock (mix 1 bouillon cube with 1/2 cup of boiling water).
1 3/4 cup/400ml coconut cream
3/4 cup/150g chicken, thinly sliced
2 regular eggplants, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup pea eggplant
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 big red chili, crushed
1/4 cup sweet basil leaves

1. Heat oil in a wok. Add curry paste and fry over low medium heat, stirring regularly. Add 1 laddle of chicken stock to prevent from burning.
2. Add coconut cream and bring to a boil. Add chicken and simmer until tender. Bring back to a boil and add both kinds of eggplants and lime leaves. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar and simmer until vegetables are done.
4. Sprinkle in the chilies and basil leaves and continue to cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Serve with Thai rice or brown rice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Say hello to...Everyday Minerals makeup.

I couldn't believe it when I found out that the majority of my eye shadows, mascara, blush, and lipsticks contained gluten in them. I realized this after contacting the companies of the makeup I currently owned. I decided to search for a company that had a gf cosmetic line so that I wouldn't have to contact every company about their products. I discovered that Bare Minerals, Afterglow Cosmetics, and Everyday Minerals all had a gf makeup line. After looking at all 3, I decided that I liked the ingredients list in Everyday Minerals more, it was more affordable, and they had a great starters kit and free sample kit. Not only does it look natural, but it feels great and stays on all day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Say hello to...Mary's Gone Crackers.

My only gluten-free friend (in Seoul) and his wife recently left Korea to go back to Canada. They left me 2 generous bags of gf food that they had ordered from while living here. As I have been eating a little at a time, trying to make it go a long way, I recently discovered one of the most amazing crackers; Mary's Gone Crackers, original crackers. They are a crunchy, seedy, and nutritious cracker that tastes fantastic with cheese and pickles. If you haven't already tried these incredible gf crackers, you should definitely pick up a box in the near future. I have since finished those crackers but am excited to make my way through the rest of the food they left me :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

say hello to...gluten-free pills.

Not only is gluten used in foods to bind it together, but it's also used in other things like makeup and pills. It can be difficult to find out the inactive ingredients in most pills since they don't list it on the labels. From my experiences of contacting manufacturing companies about the inactive ingredients, I often don't get a response, or the response takes months. NOW is a great vitamen and mineral company that lists whether it's gluten-free on the label. If you're wondering about the current vitamens, minerals, and medications that are in your cupboards, Gluten Free Drugs has a complete list of gluten-free drugs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Say hello to...Thai food.

When I was in Thailand last summer I had the opportunity to take a course at the Phuket Cookery School. If you plan on going to Thailand, I definitely recommend taking a cooking class. You'll find that a lot of Thai dishes are actually gf, and the ones that aren't can be easily changed to suit the gf diet. I've also found that this course helped me in knowing what dishes I can order when going to a Thai restaurant. Keep in mind that western countries often 'tweek' a few ingredients in Pad Thai to suit the pallets of westerners.  Soy sauce (which often has wheat) is not used in Pad Thai in Thailand. However, in Canada and America they'll often add some soy sauce and tomato sauce to make the taste less fishy. The original sauce in Pad Thai is simply fish sauce, palm sugar, and a little lime juice.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Say hello to...Honeybee Gardens lipstick.

If you're looking for a gluten-free lipstick, there aren't always a lot of choices out there. I recently discovered Honeybee Gardens Cosmetics. I've been using their mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick- gluten-free, paraben-free, and all natural. Although I'm not a huge fan of their lipgloss, the lipstick feels great on the skin, and doesn't dry out your lips. I especially like the dream lipstick that has a bit of shimmer. Check out the different shades of lipstick!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Say hello to...gluten-free Muffin Break.

Muffin Break, Burger Fuel, Fishmongers, and Planet Pizza Shop are just a few of many restaurants in Sydney that offer gluten-free menus. Although some of these restaurants are listed as 'gold members' on the Coeliac Society restaurant list, I can't help but wonder how careful these restaurants are with separating the gf foods from the ordinary foods. For example, at Muffin Break I noticed that their gf muffins were in a tray right next to the regular muffins. With people, like myself, that are extremely sensitive to the slightest crumb of gluten, are we to trust these 'gold member' restaurants on the 'list?' Please let me know what you think!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Say hello to...Crust Gourmet Pizza.

The food I was most excited to eat when visiting Australia was pizza. I found Crust Gourmet Pizza on the Australian Coeliac website, which is a gold member on the Coeliacs restaurant list. Although it mainly serves regular pizza, gf pizza is available upon request. I was a little hesitant to try this pizza at first because I was worried about cross-contamination. I wondered how they could make both regular pizza and gf pizza in the same kitchen. However, I ate the delicious thin crust pizza and had no problems. A few other pizza restaurants with gf pizza that I didn't get a chance to try are, Wilson's Place in Bondi and Planet Pizza Shop at Kings Cross.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Say hello to...Fig Tree Cafe.

When visiting Horsham, Australia in Victoria I fell in love with two great cafes; Fig Tree Cafe and Cafe Jas. Not only is the Italian style coffee delicious, but the gluten-free desserts are a must try! While Fig Tree Cafe has a larger selection of gluten-free biscuits and squares, Cafe Jas has the most scrumptious chocolate brownie- and I'm not even a fan of brownies! If you can't make it all the way to Horsham, be sure to visit Fig Tree Cafe at another Australian location.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Say hello to...iku wholefoods.

When you go to a foodcourt in Canada or the States you usually see a lot of fried foods and maybe a smoothie store. I was very surprised to see so many healthy options in the food courts in Australia. Not only were there healthy options, but there were also gluten-free options! iku wholefoods was one of my favorite places to eat, and they are located all over the country. I recommend trying their tofu fritter, tofu pocket, curries with brown rice, and mixed salads- all gluten-free! Check out their full menu and store locations.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Say hello to...Coles.

I get very excited about food and grocery shopping. When I first walked into Coles in Sydney I couldn't believe the amount of gluten-free items in the health food aisle. Having lived in both Canada and the States, I have never seen a gluten-free section this large in a local grocery store. Here are some foods that I was awed by: gf flavored yogurt, gf chicken tenders, gf flat bread, gf gravy, and gf biscuits. I was completely amazed at how well Australia labels their products, always listing the presence of gluten. Canada and the States have definitely improved a lot in the last 10 years regarding their labeling laws, and I only hope that they continue to advance in the same direction as Australia.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Say hello to...Australia.

I'm always a bit nervous when I travel somewhere for the first time because I'm not sure what will be available for me to eat. Thanks to online information on gluten-free restaurants and stores, it is much easier for people with Celiacs to travel. When we arrived in Australia I was literally in shock at all the things I could eat without preparing it myself. I found a list of gluten-free friendly restaurants and stores on the Coeliac Society Australia website. This list was helpful in locating places to eat, however, I found that there were constantly gluten-free options around me. My next couple of posts will be of my favorite gluten-free restaurants and stores in Australia.