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Wheatless in Vancouver

Spelt flour crepes for Valentine’s Day

Charles Macurdy
Feb 13th, 2013

My wife loves crepes, but struggles with wheat. My mission was to find a crepe recipe that I could make for her without resorting to wheat. As I did my research, another mission came along: find a wheat-free crepe recipe which does not demand overly-complex flour mixtures containing things like xanthan gum. It’s not that I have anything against the molecular gastronomy pantry, it’s just that I don’t need another thing to use up before it migrates to the back of the cupboard alongside the food colouring and birthday candles.

Luckily, I found a recipe (which I then ammended slightly) using only spelt flour, something that any wheatless baker has on hand at all times. While I was worried that they would lack the smooth elasticity of wheat, those worries were quickly assuaged. These crepes are almost exactly as good as any made with wheat. They are also very easy to make. Just remember that they are delicate, so handle them gently.

Left over crepes can easily be reheated and will keep, covered in the fridge, for a few days.

Spelt Crepes

1 cup spelt flour

The Sweet Tooth Cakery dishes up gluten free treats

Ashley Krause
Nov 20th, 2011

Photo by Ashley Krause

Opening a new store is hard work. Between permits, inspections, leases and agreements it’s enough to leave even the most seasoned businessperson frazzled.

Make that a nine months pregnant businessperson, and it’s safe to say opening The Sweet Tooth Cakery was more than a little stressful.

But that’s exactly what Jenny Breckon has pulled off. She realized her dream at the beginning of November when The Sweet Tooth Cakery opened the doors to its first retail location.

Having run the Cakery for a few years online through farmer’s markets and private sales, Jenny was ready for a full-fledged bakery. She hunted around for a location, purposefully looking for one that wasn’t right in Vancouver.

Realizing that there are options for gluten-free bakeries in Vancouver, she focused her attention on a spot easily accessible to people in the suburbs. With her convenient location not even five minutes over the Second Narrows Bridge in North Vancouver, it is simple for people coming from Coquitlam, Burnaby or even Pitt Meadows to reach her.

Gluten and wheat free kitchen brings delectable baked goods to Mount Pleasant

Ashley Krause
Sep 17th, 2011

My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free's mission statement makes it clear what you will and won't find in their bakery. 

One sleepless night a few months ago Arlene Kennedy found herself surfing the web when her prayers were answered. An ad on Craigslist for a retail space jumped out at her, and she realized her dream was about to come to fruition: a gluten free bakery, housed in a heritage building in a great location.

Jump forward to June 2011, and My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free Kitchen was born. Arlene had been looking for a space for her gluten free bakery for over a year, and when she walked through the doors of her current space in the heart of Mount Pleasant, she knew she had found it. Not entirely familiar with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, Arlene had no idea the potential the location held. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised.

Gluten-free baking: Lemon coconut muffins

Ashley Krause
Apr 29th, 2011

Lemon Coconut Muffins (gluten and dairy-free).

At work, our baker makes different muffins every day, and she always asks the rest of us what kind of muffins she should make. Last time, I suggested lemon coconut, even though I couldn’t eat them -- so I thought it was about time I make them at home!

Yield: approximately 18 small muffins

2 cups brown rice flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine

1½ tsp vanilla

1/2 to 3/4 cup soy milk (unsweetened)

1/3 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)

zest of one lemon

juice of half a lemon

- Mix together rice flour, baking powder and salt

- Cream together eggs, sugar, margarine and vanilla

- Mix soy milk into wet ingredients

- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined

- Mix in coconut, lemon zest and juice

- Adjust consistency with soy milk if needed

- Pour into greased or lined muffin tins

- Bake at 350 for approx 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

Strongbow-battered onion rings

Ashley Krause
Mar 24th, 2011

A delicious gluten-free spin on a classic snack food

A couple days ago I was sent a recipe for beer-battered onion rings using fava flour. I decided to adapt this recipe with the ingredients I had on hand, and Sunday afternoon I made gluten-free Strongbow-battered onion rings. Genius.

I love onion rings, they’re one of the things I really miss from before being gluten-free. Add some Strongbow into the mix, and I’m a happy girl.

Strongbow Battered Onion Rings (gluten and dairy free)

1 cup Strongbow cider

1 cup brown/white rice flour mix

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp chili powder

oil, for frying

1 medium onion, sliced into rings

Instructions:

1. Heat oil over medium heat in small pot.

2. In small bowl combine dry ingredients.

3. Add Strongbow to dry ingredients

4. Adjust consistency as needed with Strongbow

5. Bread onion rings and fry, a few at a time, not overcrowding the pot

6. Remove onion rings when the batter is a light golden brown

Gluten-free, dairy-free zesty cranberry orange muffins

Ashley Krause
Mar 5th, 2011

These muffins make a great breakfast in the morning, or a celiac-friendly snack anytime.  Photo by Bengt Olof Aradsson via Wikimedia Commons

I’d had a craving for muffins the past couple weeks, so Thursday evening I decided to get to it. I picked up some cranberries and prepared a batch of cranberry orange muffins -- gluten-free, of course.

When I bake, I try to do as much dairy-free as possible, and these muffins work just as well with soy milk and margarine as they do with regular milk and butter.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Yield: approx 18 small muffins

Ingredients:

-2 cups white/brown rice flour mix

-1 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp salt

-2 eggs

-1 cup sugar

-1/2 Cup margarine

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2-3/4 cup soy milk (unsweetened)

-1/3 cup dried cranberries

-zest of half a large orange

-juice of half a large orange

 

Preparation:

1. Mix together rice flour, baking powder and salt. 

2. Cream together eggs, sugar, margarine and vanilla.

3. Mix soy milk into wet ingredients.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.

5. Mix in cranberries, orange zest and juice.

Ouisi Bistro serves up gluten-free cajun creations

Ashley Krause
Jan 20th, 2011

When my fiancé and I moved into the South Granville area, one of the first restaurants we discovered was Ouisi Bistro on Granville between 14th and 15th.  We checked out the menu and quickly decided it was a place we wanted to try.

Ouisi is a small restaurant on the East side of Granville.  It specializes in Cajun and Creole cuisines, with an emphasis on New Orleans-style cooking. Ouisi features an extensive selection of scotch, bourbon and whiskey, along with a lengthy wine list.

The restaurant is dark and has a great bar for watching the game. Behind it is a small courtyard that seats about 20 people. It’s a really nice space in the summer, and a fabulous place to sit, relax and have a couple drinks. We’ve been to Ouisi a few times now, the latest of which was this Thursday evening with my parents.

Holiday Baking Tip: Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins

Ashley Krause
Dec 7th, 2010

Photo by Raeky

Cornbread muffins aren’t usually part of holiday baking, but I just had a craving.

My mom used to make cornbread muffins a lot when I was younger and I loved them, but after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease she tried to make them gluten free, and they never tasted the same.

I couldn’t find my mom’s recipe, so I looked at a few over the weekend, and put this one together yesterday. It was a bit of an experiment, but they turned out pretty nice.

Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins

Yield: approx. 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 Cup cornmeal

1 Cup rice flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

½ Cup sugar

¾ Cup milk

¼ Cup canola oil

 

-Mix together cornmeal, rice flour, baking powder and salt

-In separate bowl cream together oil, eggs and sugar

-Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

-Stir in milk

-Mix together until the batter is smooth

-Pour into lined or greased muffin tins

-Bake at 350 for approx 25 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the center of a muffin comes out clean

Holiday Baking Tip: Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Ashley Krause
Nov 29th, 2010

Into the oven

I kicked off my holiday baking on Saturday with a batch of shortbread for the fall fair at my church.

My Mac recently died, and with it, all of my recipes, which I foolishly hadn’t backed up. So I attempted to remember my shortbread recipe, which didn’t work. My cookies melted together and then, when I attempted to remedy them, they turned out too dry and not sweet enough.

I decided today to re-try the shortbread and fix what went wrong.

This is what I came up with. They turned out pretty well.

Yield: Approx 20 cookies

½ C butter

¾ C icing sugar

½ C cornstarch

1 ¾ C white rice flour

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Cream butter until light and fluffy.

-Sift in icing sugar and blend together well.

-Sift in cornstarch and blend well.

-Sift and blend in 1 cup of rice flour. Follow with remaining flour.

-Mix in vanilla.

-Refrigerate dough for a half hour.

-Shape dough into balls and place on aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

-If desired, press dough balls down with a fork.

Jack Webster accommodates a gluten-free gal

Ashley Krause
Nov 8th, 2010

A lovely presentation of a sub-par crème brûlée, the dessert course at the 24th annual Jack Webster awards. 

On Monday night I attended the 24th annual Jack Webster awards, which celebrate excellence in journalism. I was a bit of a last-minute invite, as it happened that there was room at my fiancé’s table for an extra attendee. This last minute addition meant that I wasn’t able to communicate my need for a gluten-free meal to the kitchen, which had me a little worried.

I feared I would either go hungry or, worse, be unintentionally glutened, which would have ruined the evening.

Luckily, when Joel and I arrived at our table our server came by and let everyone know what was on the menu for the evening: green salad with pine nut basil vinaigrette, herb-encrusted chicken breast and crème brûlée. She asked if anyone had any problems/issues with the menu, and I was able to let her know about my need for a gluten-free meal.

At first the server seemed a little unsure; she thought I couldn’t have dairy as well, but I explained what I could and couldn’t eat and she took good care of me.

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