Gluten free Garden Update

Just a quick note to let you know that garden is doing well. The recent rains and sun are helping the slow to ripen tomatoes. Luckily my neighbour Lena’s tomatoes are ripening quicker and she has generously shared them with us and other neighbours. The zucchini are still producing and we have been able to share the bounty with family and friends.

The dill cucumbers are also doing well. We have enjoyed them just washed and salted straight out of the garden, quick pickled in a jar on the kitchen counter and added to salads.

We are closely watching the progress of the spaghetti squash. The plants are flowering and starting to grow small fruit. How is your gluten free garden doing?

Quick Pickles or Quickles

One extra large wide mouth jar

Washed small pickling cucumbers

Lots of Fresh Dill



Optional: Garlic Cloves

 Fill jar ½ full with water

Add salt till the water tastes very salty

Add cucumbers and Dill (Add more water if cucumbers are not covered)

Cover with a plate and let sit on counter for a few days..

Gluten Free Garden Update

Things are starting to happen in the garden. We began harvesting some snow peas last week.They are sweet,crunchy and delicious raw or I like to lightly sautee them in butter and enjoy them that way. I also will throw some into a Chinese stir fry.

Next up is zucchini. While they are slow in starting this year, I have a feeling we will be begging people to take some in the not too distant future. My favourite way to prepare the zucchini is to fry some garlic in some butter and olive oil, add the washed and sliced zucchini. Cook until soft, add salt and tons of fresh chopped dill. I’ll have more zucchini recipes as the season progresses.

Asparagus Basics

Springtime in Ontario means fresh asparagus.You see it everywhere right now,so enjoy it while it lasts.

According to the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, choose carefully when buying fresh asparagus. You should look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips and the stalks should be straight, firm and about 6 to 8 inches in length.

Store fresh asparagus by wrapping the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Plan to use within 2 days.

Prepare fresh asparagus by first breaking off the butt end of each spear where it snaps easily. Save the woody bases for soup stock if desired. Next, wash the stalks thoroughly and carefully to remove any sand from under scales.

Preparing Asparagus

Cook asparagus by steaming, boiling, microwaving, oven-roasting, or stir frying.

  • To Steam: Lay asparagus in steamer basket and place over boiling water in saucepan. Cover and steam 5 to 7 minutes until asparagus is tender-crisp.
  • To Microwave: Place 1 lb. washed asparagus spears in microwave-safe dish. Add 2 tbsp. water. Cover. Cook at HIGH for 4 to 6 minutes, rearranging spears once so bottom spears are moved to top until tender crisp. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  • To Boil: Place asparagus, uncovered, in a large skillet or saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • To Oven-roast: Arrange 1 or 2 lbs. of asparagus spears in a single layer in a large shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 500 deg. F. (260 C.) for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still slightly firm.
  • To Stir-fry: Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces and cook in skillet or wok, using equal amounts of butter or oil, for 5 to 7 minutes.

Asparagus is…

  • Low in calories; just 20 calories per serving (8 medium spears)
  • Fat and cholesterol and gluten free
  • An excellent source of folacin
  • A leading source of glutahione
  • A good source of protein
  • A significant source of thiamin and vitamin B6
  • One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.

A simple way I like to prepare the asparagus is to boil them in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes.Drain the water,leaving the spears in the pan.Add butter,salt, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.Shake the spears around to coat with the cheese and serve immediately.


Avocado, the World’s Most Perfect Gluten Free Food

avocado health benefits

Did You Know that the avocado has been called the world’s most perfect food and has many health benefits? It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado is a high-fiber, gluten-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, are widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart, a brilliant brain and eagle eyes.

Avocados are readily available in most grocery stores.They are pear shaped and green in colour when unripe and they turn a blackish green and are softer to the touch,when ripe.If you buy them in the green state they will ripen on your counter top or placed in a paper bag in a few days.

 Here are some ways I incorporate avocados into my gluten free diet.

-The obvious is guacamole. There are many recipes online and  I serve it with gluten free corn chips

-You can add some avocado to your morning fruit smoothie.

-My favourite way is to simply scoop out the avocado and sprinkle salt and lime juice on it

-You can slice and add to sandwiches like a toasted bacon and tomato.(Chelsey’s favourite)

– And for a sweet treat try this chocolate avocado pudding.You won’t be able to tell it’s in there so your kids or you won’t know you are eating something healthy.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 3


  • 2 cups avocado (about 2 medium avocados)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Optional: To make it a bit lighter (as in milk chocolate pudding) or to thin it out a bit, add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk or dairy free almond or other kind and blend well.

  1. Add all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whirl until it is creamy and fully blended. Scrape the sides to get all the cocoa powder in the pudding.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes and then eat!

Graze the Bench!

el gastro graze

This weekend I Grazed the Bench for the first time (despite living on the Bench for almost my whole life). Big thanks to Wine Country Ontario– I won the 2 passes through them!

My husband ended up having to work, so I thought it would be fun to bring my dad along! We went to Hidden Bench first to pickup our packages, then over to Angels Gate and finally Organized Crime for some amazing food from El Gastro!

Its always nice when I’m eating out and food just happens to be gluten free on it’s own. Then I don’t feel like a pain asking for something to be altered in some way so I can eat it.

Thankfully that happened! El Gastro was serving this amazing charcoal grilled chicken skewer with guacamole and hot smoked pineapple habanero hot sauce with an herb salad. It was SO GOOD. Spicy and creamy and smoky with the fresh herbs on top- the perfect light lunch to go with a nice glass of “The Mischief”.

I love that they had a vineyard trail to get to all the different wineries. It was a really awesome Saturday afternoon!

Happy Earth Day. Be Green and Eat Green

PC Organics Kale, Chard, Spinach Salad Mix

I don’t know about you but I need to eat more greens.I tried this new product from Presidents Choice.It is a Kale,Chard Spinach mix.It is chopped and washed which makes it very convenient.I have eaten it raw added to a salad,added handfuls of it to a cream of broccoli soup and my daughter has added it to her morning protein shakes.You could also cook it with a bit of olive oil,garlic and lemon or add some to an omelet.This PC product  is a great way to add healthy greens to your diet.Your body will thank you for it.

The donut pans are here!!


Donut? Doughnut? Who cares. All I want is a puffy, circular, sweet treat!!

For a while now my mom and I have been on the look out for some donut pans. Since being gluten free neither of us have really had a top-notch donut.

My mom ordered two pans from Amazon and they arrived yesterday. Time to put them to good use.

With so many gluten free or grain free recipes out there, I’m sure some are flops and some are tops. Do you have a favourite grain or gluten free donut recipe to share?

Let me know! I wanna get bakin’!


Fruits and Veg


I am an avid reader of A reader recently posed a question about the nutrition of frozen fruits and vegetables as she is on a budget and can’t always afford fresh. I thought this would be of interest to people following  a gluten free diet since fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free and we should be trying to eating them daily.

This was his answer:

Ideally, we would all be better off if we always ate organic, fresh vegetables at the peak of ripeness, when their nutrient levels are highest. That may be possible during harvest season if you grow your own vegetables or live near a farm stand that sells fresh, seasonal produce, but most of us have to make compromises. Frozen vegetables are a good alternative and may be superior to the off-season fresh vegetables sold in supermarkets.

In some cases, frozen vegetables may be more nutritious than fresh ones that have been shipped over long distances. The latter is typically is picked before ripening, which means that no matter how good the vegetables look, they’re likely to short-change you nutritionally. For example, fresh spinach loses about half the folate it contains after eight days. Vitamin and mineral content is also likely to diminish if produce is exposed to too much heat and light en route to your supermarket.

This applies to fruit as well as vegetables. The quality of much of the fruit sold in retail stores in the U.S. is mediocre. Usually it is unripe, picked in a condition that is favorable to shippers and distributors but not to consumers. Worse, the varieties of fruits selected for mass production are often those that merely look good rather than taste good. I keep bags of frozen, organically grown berries on hand year-round – thawed slightly, they make a fine dessert.

The advantage of frozen fruits and vegetables is that they usually are picked when they’re ripe, and then blanched in hot water to kill bacteria and stop enzyme activity that can spoil food. Then they’re flash frozen, which tends to preserve nutrients. If you can afford it, buy frozen fruits and vegetables stamped USDA “U.S. Fancy,” the highest standard and the one most likely to deliver the most nutrients. As a rule, frozen fruits and vegetables are superior nutritionally to those that are canned because the canning process tends to result in nutrient loss. (The exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin.) When buying frozen fruits and vegetables, steer away from those than have been chopped, peeled or crushed; they will generally be less nutritious.

Andrew Weil, M.D