Sunday

Product Review: Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread






When the folks at Robin Hood sent me a box of their Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix to review, I was a little skeptical. Like most people, I've had my ups and downs with boxed mixes over the years. Unlike most people, I have the added challenge of needing to eat gluten-free. This makes finding a great boxed mix even more of a feat.




Let's Talk FAQ's

  • Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix is certified by the Canadian Celiac Association



  • You will be pleasantly surprised with how simple it is to make. Just add water, oil, and eggs to the mix. Give it a good stir with a spoon, pour into a loaf pan and pop into the oven for 45 minutes. No fuss, no worries. 



  • Bananas are not required, as dried banana is already incorporated into the mix. This is pretty great because, mashing bananas can get a little messy. Plus, who wants to wait around for bananas to go brown when they want banana bread now? Not me!




Taste Test


As with all my gluten-free adventures, I shared this creation with the gluten eaters in my home. Their thoughts and taste buds are always appreciated. We quickly agreed that Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix gets two thumbs up. 

Robin Hood really gets it right with this mix. It is packed full of banana flavour and smells divine. The texture of the loaf is soft and light. No crumbling mess here!

While we enjoyed the mix plain, you can customise with the addition of fruit, nuts, and chocolate. You can also get creative and create muffins, pancakes, cookies and much more.




/// DISCLOSURE: I was sent a complimentary box of Robin Hood Gluten-Free Banana Flavoured Quick Bread Mix for review purposes. All opinions are my own. ///




Saturday

7 Tips For A Stress Free Gluten-Free Christmas



Hey, everyone! Christmas is just around the corner and I'm super excited! With my gift shopping complete, I am working on a menu for our holiday dinner. If you are worried about hosting a meal for your loved ones, have no fear! I've put together a few tips to help keep you calm and on track. 
Remember to read all labels and when in doubt, go without.





Look No Further For a Great Gluten-Free Lip Balm



Did you know that eos lip balm spheres are gluten-free?! 

These adorable little gems are also free of:
paraben 
petrolatum
and
phthalate

Evolution of Smooth, aka eos, is top notch if you ask me! I'm ordering this eos Limited Edition Lip Balm Trio. It comes with DIY Decorative Jeweled Stickers which I can't wait to play around with. Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself!
Can't find these in a store near you? Visit well.ca to get your hands on this set before it sells out.



Sunday

Let's Talk About Bread




Gluten-free bread has come a long way since I had my first slice, over ten years ago. No longer does it require cringing and toasting. Better yet, gone are the days of tasteless crumbs. Unfortunately, gluten-free bread continues to be haunted by its cardboard-like predecessor.

I know what you're thinking - there is no comparing gluten-free bread to the soft lusciousness of "regular" bread. To put it simply, you're right. Gluten-free bread will never be exactly like its wheat-filled counterpart because well, science. What I can tell you, is that although there will always be room for improvement, the overall taste, quality and texture has improved immensely!

Let's talk about some of the fantastic gluten-free bread options available across Canada.



All But Gluten

Canyon Bakehouse 

Compliments (Sobeys store brand)

Genius by Glutino

Gluten Zero

Kinnikinnick Soft Breads 

Promise Gluten Free

Rudis

Schar

Udis


I have had the opportunity to try all of the above brands over the years. While they are all good in my opinion, some are more easily found than others. Also worth noting, prices vary widely. No longer do you have to pay $6.99+ for gluten-free bread!

Kinnikinnick is tops in my book! No toasting necessary and it holds up pretty darn well. Promise Gluten Free is a staple in my home for hamburger buns and chicken sandwiches. All But Gluten offers wonderful buns as well. The Compliments brand via Sobeys is pretty impressive as well. They make really great rolls that can be used for hot dogs and subs.

Canyon Bakehouse is a recent addition to stores in my area and I am enjoying their products thus far. I would like to see Schar and Rudis more widely available. As they are so difficult to obtain, I don't get to enjoy them often and that really bums me out.

Remember that it's okay to have a preference that differs from other gluten-free bread eaters out there. We all have individual pallets and likes. While one brand may be great toasted, it may miss the mark for sandwich making. Gluten-free bread also varies in size for a variety of reasons, mostly likely due to varied ingredients. 


The gluten-free bread industry is massive and full of competition. I'm confident that future innovations will hold impressive improvements! I'm always on the hunt for new and great gluten-free products so I can't wait to see what the future has to offer!


What are some of YOUR favourite gluten-free bread's?! Let me know in the comments below.



Wednesday

Cinnamon-Sugar Lasagne Crisps {Catelli® Reinvent Gluten Free Lasagne Challenge}




Who says you can't have lasagne for dessert? I created the recipe Cinnamon-Sugar Lasagne Crisps as part of a Catelli Blogger Challenge. The challenge is to create an original recipe which reinvents lasagne and celebrate the launch of Catelli Gluten Free Lasagne.


I had a ton of fun developing this recipe and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It's clear my family must be too- because they devoured the Cinnamon Sugar Lasagne Crisps! Served warm, these are a delightful and cozy little snack. I can't wait to make more!



About Catelli Gluten Free Pasta

  • Produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility
  • Certified by the Canadian Celiac Association's Gluten-Free Certification Program
  • GMO Free
  • Cholesterol and preservative free
  • Low in sodium
  • Oven ready (no need to boil noodles)


Catelli Gluten Free Lasagne is the sixth cut of pasta to be featured in the Catelli Gluten Free Pasta line. The line also includes Penne, Fusilli, Macaroni, Spaghetti and recently introduced Linguine


You know I love sharing giveaways with you guys right? 


Catelli is giving away one case (12 boxes) of their gluten free lasagne to a lucky Gluten Free Doll reader! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway



Keep scrolling for the Cinnamon-Sugar Lasagne Crisps recipe




Cinnamon Sugar Lasagne Crisps 


Ingredients  
1 box Catelli Gluten-Free Lasagne
1 pinch of salt 
vegetable oil  
1 cup cinnamon sugar  

Instructions 
1. Fill large pot with water and a pinch of salt. Place on med/high heat and bring to boil 
2. Break lasagne noodles into halves  
3. Place noodles in water once it has reached a roaring boil 
4. Boil for about 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally 
5. Remove noodles from water and place on parchment paper 
6. Let noodles dry for about 30 minutes 
7. Once noodles are no longer soaking wet,  add about 2 inches of oil to a large pot and set to med/high heat 
8. Oil is ready for frying when a small cube of gluten-free bread browns in 60 seconds
9. Place noodles in oil, a few at a time to prevent crowding 
10. Fry until noodles are golden brown then remove from oil and place on parchment paper 
11. Dust  noodles with liberal coating cinnamon sugar 
12. Serve warm with frosting  

Frosting Ingredients  
2 cups icing sugar 
2 tablespoons milk 
¼ cup cream cheese 
1 tablespoon butter 
½ teaspoon vanilla  

Instructions 
1. Place 2 cups of icing sugar in mixing bowl
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add to icing sugar, along with 2 tablespoons of milk and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. 
3. Melt ¼ cup of cream cheese and add to mixture 
4. Whisk ingredients until they develop a smooth and creamy consistency 






Saturday

Kid Friendly Game Day Snacks






Fall is finally upon us. This means that both NHL and NFL fans everywhere are excited and cheering for their favourite teams.

Hockey fans and football fans have a couple of things in common:

1 . They are passionate about their favourite sport

2 . Game day goes hand in hand with awesome food

The most talked about tailgating dishes tend to be on the not so healthy end of things. Tasty? Sure! Great idea every game? Not so much. I've come up with three game day snacks that are yummy, fun to eat, easy to make and KID Friendly!




For this snack, you will need:

Apples
Vanilla Yogurt
Honey
Chia Seeds
Cinnamon Sugar

  • Wash, peel and core the apple
  • Cut the apple into french fry style wedges
  • Toss apple wedges in cinnamon sugar
  • Mix vanilla yogurt with honey and chia seeds
Now it's time to dip the wedges into the honey chia yogurt mixture and enjoy!







For this snack, you will need:

Gluten-Free Wraps (I used Udi's)
Bananas
Peanut Butter
Nutella

  • Microwave gluten-free wraps for about 20 seconds so they are pliable
  • Cut wraps into one-inch strips
  • Slice bananas so they are an inch wide
  • Spread peanut butter on some strips & Nutella on the remaining ones
  • Place banana on wrap and roll up until wrap is secure

Plate and eat!







For this snack, you will need:

Grapes 
Kielbasa
Cheese 

  • Wash grapes
  • Cut kielbasa and cheese into bite-sized cubes
  • Place items on skewers


Voila! You have a quick and healthy snack!




What are some of YOUR go-to game day snacks?






Tuesday

Feast - Gluten-Free, Done Right


I need to share with you guys a fantastic shop in Toronto. It's called Feast and boy, is it heavenly! A friend of my husband's suggested the shop to him a while ago. Unfortunately, we don't visit the city much due to the travel distance. We did, however, see a Blue Jays game recently. This gave us the opportunity to visit Feast!


The first thing I noticed when we got to Feast  was the sign out front. The inside of the shop is cozy and cute. What's super cool is that the owners have done a stellar job creating a cafe which doubles as a pantry shop.






Feast isn't your average everyday store. It's top eight allergy friendly fine food. The owners have strict allergen standards in place to ensure safety. They create a lot of food in house, as you can tell by the awesomeness that is below. Just look at those gluten-free Pocket Pies!






Gluten-Free Donuts. Need I say more?





I went for the "Tripple Chocolate Donut" which retails for $3.50 and it was divine! I would compare it to the awesomeness that is Erin Mckenna's Bakery (formerly Babycakes) in Disney Springs, Orlando. The donut is epic so make sure to try this light and delicious piece of heaven!




I did some pantry shopping as well. One of the many items I bought was this Spice Market gem. Three 5 inch mini pizza crusts for $5.00. Taste, texture and all sorts of goodness in this product!





Check out that sweet little sit-down spot inside. Perfect for enjoying a Pocket Pie and Salad.





Feast is located at 881 Queen Street W. Toronto, ON.

Can't make it to Toronto but want to check out the goods? No problem! Items can be shipped across Canada. Simply visit their online shopping catalogue and you can order all sorts of gluten-free products.


They have also teamed up with Hurrier to deliver Feast made products to addresses within a 3km radius. Items will be at your door in an hour.



Check em out online and send some gluten-free love!

Feast Facebook

Twitter: @thisisafeast

Feast Instagram

Saturday

Stretch Your Gluten-Free Dollar With These Tips





1 .  Buy In Bulk


You can save a lot of money with a membership to a club store such as Costco. If you don't want to pay for a membership, many regular grocery stores offer family packs or club size items as well. Keep an eye out for those "stock up and save" promotions as well.



2 .  Bargain Hunt


This is worth making the extra time for. 

  • Look at flyers to find sales
  • Visit clearance racks
  • Price match
  • Take advantage of discount produce with minor imperfections
  • Buy private label brands



3 .  Frequent Discount Stores


There are actually a lot of places you can find gluten-free food with a price cut. 

Almost Perfect deals directly with major manufacturers. Prices are kept cheap as items are the result of overproduction, cosmetic imperfections and or packaging changes.

Marshalls, HomeSense and Winners sell brand name gluten-free items at 20%-60% less than you would see in other stores.

Dollaramma has many gluten-free items including cereal, snacks and beverages. 



4 .  Use Coupons


There are several ways to find coupons for gluten-free items. Some companies offer printable coupons direct from their website. Signing up for an email newsletter is another great way to get coupons. You can also visit the sites below, to either print coupons and or have them mailed to your home.



5 .  Shop Online


There is an abundance of gluten-free shopping to be done online! Many online retailers even offer free shipping with a minimum order. Not sure where to get gluten-free goods online? Read up on Where To Find Gluten-Free Groceries Online here.



6 .  Use Your Freezer


Once a month, prepare several freezer friendly meals. If you don't have time to do that, make a little bit extra with every meal. This way, you will have food to put aside for freezing. Having something available that can be effortlessly popped in the oven will save you money in the long run. By transforming leftovers, you will also be less tempted to head out to eat.



7 .  Look For Naturally Gluten-Free Food


Fresh fruits
Vegetables
Seeds 
Nuts
Eggs
Brown Rice
Lean Meats
Popcorn




8 .  Keep Those Receipts



Canadian's who have been diagnosed with Celiac can submit a Doctor's note with their taxes. They can then claim the incremental cost of gluten-free food as a medical expense every tax season. Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.




9 .  Grow Your Own Produce


There are several benefits to starting a garden. 

  • Taking care of a garden involves exercise and time outdoors
  • You will be more likely to eat healthy
  • It's a great family activity
  • You will learn something
  • Gardening is a great way to relax
  • You will also save money







Tuesday

7 Gluten Free Mistakes You Don't Want To Make






7. Assuming You Don't Need a Support Network


Adjusting to the gluten-free diet is a big lifestyle change and it's not easy.Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive is vital. Celiac associations, friends, and family should all be a part of this circle. Just as important is distancing yourself from those who bring you down. You know, the people who get offended that you won't can't eat gluten-containing food.



6. Being in the Dark About what Celiac Disease actually is


Celiac is a life-long autoimmune disorder, so understanding what it's all about is paramount. While you won't become an expert overnight, reading an educational book or two on Celiac will certainly help you out. The more you understand it, the more likely you are to maintain the diet. Knowing what Celiac is all about and sharing that knowledge with those around you is a double win.

5. Overindulging In Gluten-Free Junk Food


Just because it's gluten-free doesn't mean it's magically good for you. Junk food is still junk food and moderation is key. True story. Since we are being honest, eating a healthy gluten-free diet requires some extra work. Why? Well, most gluten-free food is full of sugar and various other substitutes to make up for that missing wheat stuff. This means it's even more important to be aware of what you're eating and not over do it with the junk.



4. Failing to do Your Own Research 


Please don't accept everything you see or hear as fact. Although the interwebs are full of great resources, rumours and inaccurate information lurk everywhere. Myths are abundant and a Facebook meme doesn't come with guaranteed authenticity. Fact-check legitimate resources such as the CCA or NFCA. Also, if there ever is a pill/cure/therapy etc. Those two sites will list it front and centre. Until then, everything is either in research mode or non-existent hocus pocus.


3. Focusing on What You Can't Eat


There is an entire world of "yes" food out there just waiting for you to dig in. Seriously, the gluten-free food department has come a long way. You're going to have to get creative and shop around more, but you will discover great products.You may even learn new kitchen skills in the process. By focusing on what you can enjoy, you will bypass that feeling of missing out.

2. Not Creating a Celiac Safe Area in Your Kitchen


This is a big deal. Without a safe zone to prepare your gluten-free food, cross contamination is just hanging around, waiting to happen. It's important to keep your food clearly labelled "gluten-free" and away from any non-safe items. Designate the top two shelves in the fridge for gluten-free only. Also, pick a cupboard to house all of your gluten-free pantry items. You can and should keep a separate cutting board, strainer and dish sponge in a special non-gluten zone.



1. Forgetting To Be Your Own Advocate


I can't stress how important it is to look out for number one - that's you!
Not everyone has an in-depth understanding of Celiac Disease, so speak up, be firm and when in doubt go without.


Friday

My Gluten Free Bucket List







1. Master the art of Gluten-Free baking. Seriously, I need help.

2. Visit Feast in Toronto. I've known about this gem for some time now and I really need to get there!   *Visited July 2015

3. Read:

  • Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano, MD 
  • The Gluten-Free Revolution by Jax Peters Lowell
  • Mayo Clinic Going Gluten Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions by Joseph A. Murray


4. Take another Walt Disney World resort vacation, aka Gluten-Free paradise

5. Add final touches to the Gluten Free Doll website and officially launch it

6. Attend a Gluten-Free expo/conference


7. Cross-border shop for Gluten-Free goods which are not available in Canada


8. Encourage Rogers Centre to host a Celiac Awareness night


9. Help rid Celiac of the fad stigma


10. Find a delicious Gluten-Free croissant and eat it









Sunday

The Little Things Make Life Sweet

Good friends are important. Always. 

As someone with a dietary restriction, I find it important to surround myself with those who accept me for who I am. People who take steps to understand Celiac Disease. People who don't make me feel awkward or like a nuisance.

Recently, at a friend's BBQ, I was treated to safe gluten-free food. I say "safe" as it was prepared properly with no risk of cross contamination. This really warmed my heart. I was included as an equal and didn't stick out like a sore thumb.




Gluten-Free Pasta Salad



Wanna know what else I was treated to?


  • Ribs
  • Corn on the Cob
  • OMG Chicken Wings - That's what I call them because they were that tasty!
  • Blue Corn Chips with Tomato Salsa
  • Watermelon Salad




Share with me YOUR stories about the little things that friends and family do to go the extra mile.




Mini Donuts: Gluten Free & Homemade




I made the above yummy donuts with my Babycakes mini donut maker. I followed a recipe from Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your "Hole" Day, by Jessica Segarra. The recipe I worked with is called "Nutella Mini Donut".

I simply swapped out the regular flour for a gluten free one. In this case, I used President's Choice Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend. 

Overall, I was really quite happy with how these little donuts turned out! Even the gluten eaters in my family enjoyed them. So much so, that they have been requesting that I make more!









Saturday

Not All Juice Is Created Equal


Here we have a surprising source of gluten - Juice! 

Thankfully the container hints that it is not gluten-free, with the photo of wheat and the word "Cereal" on the front. 

Red wheat bran, oat, wheat, and barley are clearly labeled in the ingredients list.


Don't worry, though, most juice is still gluten-free and I don't expect a huge surplus of gluten containing juices to hit the market. 

As always, we should still read labels to ensure product safety. You never know where you will unexpectedly find wheat/gluten!



Ingredients

Fruit juice from concentrate (water, apple, cherry, banana, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) purées, concentrated concord grape (sulfites) and lemon juices, yogurt powder, ground whole grains and seeds blend (oat, wheat, rice, chia, quinoa, barley), red wheat bran, natural flavor, vitamin C. Contains: milk, oat, wheat and barley.





Wednesday

Save Money With Gluten Free Coupons


Gluten-free food is expensive. We all know that. It also doesn't help that most gluten free baked goods are best developed as mini versions of their gluten counterparts.This is where Gluten Free Coupons Canada comes in. I cannot begin to express how wonderful it is to see coupons for gluten-free products, available to Canadians! It's a big move forward seeing as most coupons, in general, are strictly available to our American friends.








Gluten Free Coupons Canada sends out two coupon mailings a year. All you need to do is sign up here and you will be added to the coupon mailing list. Once signed up, you will automatically be on the list for future coupon mailings. Pretty awesome, right? Well, it gets better! When used, each coupon provides financial support to the Canadian Celiac Association. It's a win-win situation.


I received coupons for a pretty good variety of items. Check out what I got in the mail, below.


  • Save $1.25 off any All But Gluten product
  • Save $3.00 on Butterball Turkey Burgers
  • Save $3.00 on the purchase of a Dempsters Bakery Gluten Zero product
  • Save $2.00 off any Mary's Organic Crackers product
  • Save $1.00 on purchase of any 1 box of Breton Popped! Beans, Breton Bean and Breton Gluten Free
  • Save $1.00 on any Catelli Gluten Free Pasta product
  • Save $1.00 on any one Enjoy Life product over $3.00
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free Chia Seed Loaf
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free Hamburger Buns
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free Seeded High Fibre Multigrain Bread
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free Seeded Wholegrain Sandwich Rolls
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free English Muffins
  • $2.00 off Promise Gluten Free Raisin Bread
  • 50% off a 1-year subscription to Delight Gluten-Free Magazine





Overall, I feel that I received a great selection of coupons. While I have been a long time purchaser of most of the products, there were two which were new to me. These are the Butterball Turkey Burgers and the Breton products. I'm going to have to look for these on my next grocery run. It's a lot easier (and more exciting) to chance unknown territory and purchase a different product when you have a coupon for it! My favourite coupon would have to be the 50% off a 1- year subscription to Delight Gluten-Free Magazine!!! Holy crow that is an awesome deal and a big surprise!


Brands Which Are Part Of This Coupon Installment 


The coupons received will vary slightly, depending on where you live in Canada. Why? Well, some items are regionally based and thus not available across the country. The availability of particular coupons also depend  on  numerous other things, so please don't fret if you don't land a specific one.

Promise Gluten Free - Can I please recommend the  Double Chocolate Muffins?! If chocolate is not your thing, no worries. Promise Gluten Free offers a variety of gluten-free goods ranging from various breads, and rolls to muffins, english muffins, and even pancakes.

Catelli Gluten Free -  I'm already a huge fan of Catelli Gluten Free pasta! It cooks up perfect in under 10 minutes. It also reheats nicely, without falling apart.

Dempster's Gluten Zero - This gluten-free bread is available in both white and whole grain. One of a handful of gluten-free bread's, that I enjoy this product has a nice sweetness to it.

Breton Gluten Free - I have not tried this product yet. Various Cracker and Popped Bean snacks are available.

All But Gluten - Some really great products come from this company! My personal favourites include the Chocolate Snack Cakes, Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and the amazing white hamburger buns. You will not be disappointed.

Flamingo - This brand is based out of Quebec and offers up three of gluten-free  breaded chicken products: fillets, strips and burgers.

Enjoy Life -  Enjoy Life is one of my go-to favourite brands! They provide a large roster of items. All of which are wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish free.

Mary's Organic Crackers -  I have tried the crackers which are lovely with a cheese spread. Did you know that you can also buy Cocoa MiNis, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chipotle Tomato Pretzels from this company? I sure didn't and will now be on the look out for them.

Butterball - I had no idea until I got my coupon that Butterball sells gluten-free turkey burgers. Boxes are clearly labeled gluten-free and these lean burgers can be cooked either by skillet or bbq.

Nature's Path Organic - This brand offers many gluten-free options. They range from cereal and frozen waffles to crispy rice bars and superfood snack bars.

Pop Chips - These are a great alternative to potato chips. Pop Chips are not fried. Instead, they are heated in a pressurized chamber and then quickly released. This results in a POP.

Freybe - Freybe offers a wide range of meat products that are both lactose-free and gluten-free, with no liquid smoke or mechanically separated meat.

Summer Fresh -  Summer Fresh has over 25 gluten-free products available. This includes Tzatziki Dip, Artichoke & Asiago Dip Bruschetta, Crab & 4 Cheese Dip and Spinach & Artichoke Dip.

Grimm's Fine Foods - This company has a lot to offer gluten-free consumers. 
Products include Gluten-Free Tortillas, Smoked Turkey Breast, Black Forest Ham, Honey & Maple Flavour Ham, Pastrami and more!

SunRype -  SunRype provides gluten-free fruit and vegetable juices along with various 100% fruit snacks.

Piller's - This is a great choice. Piller's offer a wide array of gluten-free meat products through their Simply Free line.



Are you on the Gluten Free Coupons Canada mailing list? If you received your coupons, feel free to answer the following questions in the comments:




Which coupons did you receive?

Did you discover anything new?

Was there a particular coupon that was your favourite?

What brands/coupons would you like to see offered in future mailings?





****   This is a sponsored post. Although I have received compensation, my opinion is entirely my own.  ****


Crispy Minis Now Certified Gluten Free



Quaker Oats sent me a lovely "mini moment" care pack to announce that Crispy Minis are now certified gluten free. This means that they have met the strict criteria set forth by the  Gluten-Free Certification Program, which is endorsed by the Canadian Celiac Association. This is great news for the 30 percent of Canadians living with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity!



I appreciate how clear and noticeable the gluten-free label is on the front of the package. Anyone with special dietary needs knows how time-consuming label checking can be. This seal of approval ensures safety while making shopping easier.




“The demand for safe and reliable gluten free snacks is growing,” says Paul Valder, President of the Allergen Control Group, owners of the GFCP. “By displaying the GFCP endorsed trademark, Crispy Minis rice chips provides consumers with a trusted and easily identifiable source of safe, gluten free products.”





Of the 10 gluten-free flavors to choose from, I sampled BBQ, Cheddar, and Ketchup. I'm not much of a BBQ snack fan, but I did really enjoy the Ketchup and Cheddar minis. Two classic not-to-be-missed flavors if you ask me.



My 1st grader seems to be a huge fan of the Cheddar flavour. These snacks are also perfect for the lunch box as they are packed full of flavour, without the junkiness. 

Overall, I am a fan of the product. It's great for light snacking and perfect for on-the-go munchies.




Which Crispy Minis flavour will you take a mini moment with?



Crispy Minis rice chips are available at grocery retailers across Canada in 10 Gluten Free flavours:


– Quaker Crispy Minis Cheddar rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis BBQ rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Ketchup rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Butter Popcorn rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Dill Pickle rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Salt & Vinegar rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sea Salt & Lime rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sweet Chili rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Caramel Kettle Corn rice chips


– Quaker Crispy Minis Sour Cream & Onion rice chips



Saturday

Minute Rice Event and Giveaway!




Minute Rice held an event at the George Brown College Chef School recently. I was able to attend via webcam (how cool is that?) as I could not make it down to the school that evening. Minute Rice sent me a couple of boxes of their 100% Natural Instant Rice to cook with at home. Rice is a staple in my pantry and I love it, so I have been happily exploring new recipes.


The event was hosted by Chef John Higgins. You may recognize that name! Not only is Chef Higgins a Judge on Chopped Canada, he has also cooked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, heads of state in Washington and various celebrities. He's a pretty big deal!


According to  Norma D’Onofrio, Senior Brand Manager, Minute Rice, instant rice is as nutritious as long cook rice. Instant rice is long grain rice that is simply pre-cooked, and then dried, in order to significantly cut down on the cooking time required by consumers. Did you know that both varieties of Minute Rice are GMO-free?! 

“Veggie Rice Lasagna Loaf" was the first recipe demonstrated by Chef Higgins. It's very easy to make and only takes 10 minutes to prepare for the oven. The prep for this dish can be done the day before, leaving you with just the rice to cook the day of. To assemble the dish, you can use either a terrine mold or a loaf pan. I love recipes where you can prep in advance and enjoy a quick meal when needed, minus the hassle of course.



This was followed by "Pear and Cranberry Rice Pudding with Chocolate Crunchies". Watching this recipe being prepared really captivated me. Who knew that you could be so creative with rice?! Chef Higgins mentioned that some people enjoy their Rice Pudding wet, while others prefer it dry. It's really up to you.


Chef Higgins said that food is meant to be enjoyed by family and friends. I couldn't agree more! So hurry and grab yourself a $1.00 off coupon for Minute Rice, while supplies last.

Attending the event via webcam allowed me to really focus on what Chef Higgins was doing, as well as take some helpful notes. Check out some helpful tips for cooking rice below.



Top 10 Rice Cooking Tips from Chef John Higgins, Director, George Brown Chef School
Boil in broth: When boiling rice, substitute water for broth to add flavour to the rice itself and your dish. Chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable stock are excellent choices. Low sodium broths add a punch of flavour without the added salt.
Try coconut: Cook rice in coconut milk for a mildly sweet flavoured rice which pairs well with curry dishes and other spicy recipes. Coconut flavoured rice with fresh slices of mango or your kids’ favourite fruit can make a fun, healthy dessert option.
Think flavour: Add spices to the rice’s cooking liquid for an aromatic and flavourful base to your dish. Star Anise, cilantro and turmeric are good choices, with bold, robust flavours.
Season early on: Don’t leave your seasoning until the end. Introduce the flavours of your dish early on. For maximum flavour, add the herbs or spices your recipe calls for into the rice’s cooking water.
Add veggies: Enhance your rice dish by adding frozen vegetables. Rather than cooking the vegetables separately, though, condense your cooking time by adding them to boiling water before you begin cooking the rice. Using pre-cut, frozen vegetables is more convenient than cutting fresh vegetables (while still being nutritious), especially when you are pressed for time.
Sweeten with fruit: Add dried fruit – such as craisins, raisins, dried blueberries and currents – to your cooking water to draw out the sweet fruit flavours which will infuse your rice with a savoury taste the whole family will enjoy.
Try rice for breakfast: Instant rice in particular is quick and easy, making it a convenient and nutritious family option. Add almond or soy milk, or your kids’ favourite flavoured milk, as well as dried fruits or nuts for a complete, oatmeal-like breakfast dish which can be served hot or cold. Prepare the rice the night before to save time in the morning.
Steep your rice: Infuse the rice with your favourite flavour of tea for a fragrant, subtle gourmet taste. Steep a pot of tea and use the liquid to cook your rice instead of using plain water. For those less adventurous, start with a more simple flavour such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Chamomile tea. For an economical option, use the tea bag left over from your morning cup of tea.
Add zing with zest: For a zesty citrus spin on your rice dish, grate lemon, lime or orange zest into the rice’s cooking water as it’s boiling. Be sure to thoroughly wash your fruit with warm, soapy water before grating the zest into the water. For a more gourmet taste sensation, try a combination of citrus fruits in one rice dish.
Cut cooking time: Risotto is a wonderful meal or side dish option enjoyed by all ages, but it takes time to make.  Using instant rice in a risotto dish can cut in half the time it takes to make traditional risotto.
Visit here to discover amazing recipes on the Minute Rice website.



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