Monday, March 31, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan March 31-April 4, 2014

Usually my meal plan is up on Sundays, but this weekend was my niece's birthday party as well as my husband's birthday, so it's up a day late. Forgive me? Here's what we're eating in our gluten free house this week.

Monday: Gluten Free Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Eggs Factor is Back! Feed a Child, and Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

This year marks the third anniversary of the Egg Farmers of Ontario's "The Eggs Factor" contest, where contestants of all ages can decorate a virtual egg, and be entered into a contest to win an iPad mini!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Product Review: Tiger Nuts

A while back I was sent a bag of Tiger Nuts to try out. Tiger Nuts are not actually nuts; they are tubers that grow in the ground, and then are dried and packaged as sweet little snacks. I had never heard of them before being sent a package to try, and I wasn't sure what to think when I opened up the bag to check them out. They look a bit like nuts, but they come peeled and ready to eat.

Before trying them, I did a bit of research and was surprised to find out that they are actually quite good for you. A staple in some countries around the world, these little powerhouses are high in fibre, several vitamins and minerals, and are thought to protect against a host of illnesses. They can be eaten dried and raw like in the Tiger Nuts packages, or they can be soaked to create a kind of nutty-flavoured, dairy free milk.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (March 24-28, 2014)

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (March 24-28, 2014)

Spring is here! Let's hope Mother Nature gets the memo!

Monday: Ribs & Roast Broccoli (I baked the ribs in Cattleboyz BBQ Sauce at 375F for about an hour.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rudi's Happy Camper Winner!

First, I want to thank everyone for entering this giveaway, but especially to those who helped their children enter for the chance to win a scholarship to camp this summer. It's such a wonderful opportunity, and I can't wait for my son to be old enough to attend one of these incredible camps!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Lifestyle Change for my Birthday!

Today is my birthday, and I was greeted by my husband and my kids for a great morning that involved gluten free cupcakes (which my sons pretty much ate in one bite). I don't get as excited for my birthday these days as I used to, but I still like to celebrate and enjoy the day with the people I love.

This year, I'm giving myself a gift for my birthday: A lifestyle change!

Actually, the truth is that I've been gradually changing my lifestyle over the past few months, but it's time to kick it up a notch. Since having my boys, my health has never quite gone back to what it was pre-pregnancy, and I don't just mean my weight (although, yes, I need to lose some of that).  Since my oldest son was sick pretty much since birth, it was easy to just put all my focus on his health needs, even though I was feeling less than my best.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (March 17-21, 2014)

Monday: Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

St. Paddy's Day Four Leaf Clover Shake (Dairy Free)

Most people remember those green shakes from a certain fast food chain that showed up each year around St. Patrick's Day. Since we no longer each much fast food, especially since very few chains offer gluten free options, I have no idea if those shakes are still available.

Still, I found myself wanting to make something similar for my son, but since a whole shake with milk or ice cream would be too much dairy for his belly to handle, I decided to experiment with a healthy version. Judging by the way he scarfed it down, I would say it was a success!

This version is quick to throw together, is gluten and dairy free, and is a healthy shake that has that perfect green hue without any dyes or food colouring.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Recipe: Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I'm not going to lie. I spent years HATING Brussels sprouts. I found them bitter and gross and would beg to not have to eat them. Then, a few years ago, I signed up for a produce delivery from a CSA, where each week I would receive local, in season produce.

Part of the delivery for a few weeks included Brussels sprouts. Since I try to avoid throwing away food whenever possible, I tried making them several different ways until I found a few I really liked.

This particular recipe is one of my favourites because it's easy, it only involves 3 ingredients (plus salt & pepper), and my kids will actually eat them. You may never look at Brussels sprouts the same way again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental

How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental 

by Gillian Duffy

In the last few years there has been a huge rise in the use of vacation rentals by travellers and yet I still meet people in my day to day life who have no idea that this is possible. They don’t know what is available, aren’t familiar with which vacation rental websites to use, and are overwhelmed by the searching and selection process. 

In How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental I explain what a vacation rental is and who they are best suited for. I honestly state what the benefits and drawbacks are and include a cost comparison case study to show the financial value of vacation rentals. The bulk of the book, though, is written to combat the feeling of overwhelm that people face when searching for a property. I break down the criteria selection process, compare vacation rental websites, compile a list of questions to ask, and walk the reader through the exact process we use to find and enjoy vacation rentals around the world. 

In How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental you will learn all that we know about renting short-term vacation rentals around the world. You'll discover the benefits of renting short term apartments, houses, cottages, or bungalows versus paying for regular hotel rooms and whether you are a good fit for this option. You'll be able to set up a list of criteria to use when looking for a property to save time, frustration, and hassle. You'll know what you're looking for before you start searching. You'll learn how to go about finding the perfect vacation rental, how to find rental websites, and how to use them so that the process isn't completely overwhelming. 

You'll see a comparison of some of the top vacation rental sites out there and see which ones are recommended. You'll get answers to the questions and concerns you have so that you'll feel comfortable and confident in the process and will be sure that you have found the perfect vacation rental for you. And you'll see the exact process we use to book vacation rentals ourselves. You can be sure that if this process works over and over for us that it will work for you too.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan March 10-14, 2014

This week is March Break! Everyone's home, and it looks like there might be a chance of some temps in the plus category! Here's our March Break Meal Plan.

Monday: Sesame Beef Stir Fry with Snow Peas and Bell Peppers

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, the day we celebrate the achievements of women around the world. It's also the day that we acknowledge how much work there is still to be done.

When I think of influential females, it's only natural that I think of those close to home: My paternal Grandmother, married at 15, left waiting for her husband to return from war. She left her home country to start a new life in Canada, where she had no family and couldn't speak the language, yet managed to find work and raise 4 children alongside my Grandfather.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rudi's Happy Camper Contest & A Giveaway!

Rudi's Happy Camper Contest & A Giveaway!

I am so excited to be sharing this particular contest with you because it hits close to home for me. My son is 5, and although he's too young for overnight camps, my husband and I have been looking into some short day camps for him over the summer. The problem is that in each case, his food restrictions become an obstacle, requiring us to provide all of his food, and making it difficult for him to participate in outings and special BBQs due to his gluten free diet. Looking ahead a few years, I always just figured sleep away camps weren't ever going to be an option. 

Turns out I was wrong.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March's Cookbook of the Month: Gluten Free, Hassle Free: 2nd Edition

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free, Second Edition

A Simple, Sane, Dietitian-Approved Program For Eating Your Way Back to Health

Marlisa Brown, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free is a simple, friendly, easy-to-follow guide packed with everything you need to know to live gluten-free, including delicious recipes, and practical solutions, strategies, and shortcuts. A registered dietician and chef, Marlisa Brown makes going gluten-free a snap. Completely revised and updated throughout and filled with new material, this edition includes:
Over 150 quick and easy recipes, with nutritional information, including gluten-free holiday classics.
How to stock a gluten-free kitchen. If your child is gluten-free: practical advice, nutritious meals and tasty treats.

Quick and easy substitutions to make your favorite foods gluten-free. How to read and translate current labels-and how to find the hidden gluten in food. Tips for eating out and on the go, including fast food options. Gluten-free products and where to find them. How to eat a balanced gluten-free diet. Advice for dining out at home and abroad. Plus more meal plans, shopping lists, safe food lists, tips for creating your own gluten-free meals and much more (Description from NetGalley.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pancake Tuesday!

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent begins for those who observe it. For many, it's also known as pancake Tuesday, a completely non-religious tradition that involves having pancakes for dinner.

I am not one to pass up the opportunity to eat pancakes for dinner.

There are plenty of gluten free boxed pancake mixes out there to choose from, or you can use my homemade pancake mix. Just a word of advice- I find that all gluten free mixes soak up liquid rather quickly, so if you find your mix getting too thick as you go, just add some extra liquid to thin things out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Recipe: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite foods. They're versatile, and make delicious fries, soups, and casseroles. They are excellent sauteed, and in tacos, stuffed with chili, baked, or mashed.

Sweet potatoes are also incredibly good for you. They're low in calories and have virtually no fat, and are one of the best sources of Vitamin A out there, with 100 grams of sweet potato providing around 300% of the daily amount recommended. They are a low glycemic food, helping to control blood sugar. In addition, they are a source of fibre, contain carotenoids (a type of phytonutrient) that are thought to fight disease, are a source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. Plus, they're cheap.

What more could you ask for in a food?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan March 3-7, 2014

Welcome to the first meal plan of March! Unfortunately the winter weather shows no signs of letting up, but I'm still looking forward to Spring!

Monday: Shepherd's Pie (RECIPE)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What's in Store for March!

Celiac Baby! Has Big Plans this March!

March is always a busy month in my house, and this year is no exception. And big months in my house mean big things for the blog, as well! Although it's still polar vortex weather around here, March ushers in Spring, and I'm clinging to the belief that Spring will eventually get here. The time changes next week, meaning that the days will get longer, giving us more light in the evenings for longer. That's certainly something to look forward to. 

March is also when children are off school for a week. Where I live, March Break starts next Friday. For many parents, a week off for the kids means a week of organizing activities to keep the kids from going stir crazy. Don't worry, I've got you covered with some fun ideas that should entertain kids of all ages. Since my little guy is only five and the toddler is too young for many activities, I've also got some ideas for parents of young kids.