Friday, November 20, 2009

Hi Everybody,

I wanted to share some news with you - we were visited by the folks at Toronto News 24 this week and they did a spotlight on Wild Earth Cafe & Bakery. They were also good enough to post this to You Tube. If you have not yet visited our bakery, they took some great shots of the inside of the store.

We are doing really well in our new location - the GF/Vegan options are doing better than expected and the schools are beginning to place orders (we are one of the only 100% nut free bakeries in Toronto).

Thanks a lot to those of you who have supported us so far - it means a lot to Nicole and I. If you have a minute, please take a look at the video:

We also started a Fan Page on Facebook - we would love to get some reviews on there. Here's the link:

We are now taking orders for all sorts of Christmas goodies & celebration cakes...

Looking forward to seeing you soon!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lakefront Brewery's Grist Gluten Free Beer at LCBO

I just received a message indicating that Lakefront Brewery's new Grist Gluten-free beer is available in about 240 LCBO stores in Ontario. This beer was the Gold Medal winner for Gluten-free beers in the Great American Beer competition (in 206, I believe).

The LCBO number for the Grist GF Beer is 119370 and is listed at $13.55 for a 6 pack, which is 20% cheaper than Le Messagère. You can ask the store beer controller or the store manager to stock this product if it is not available at your nearest LCBO location.

Gluten-free Baking Demonstration at the Calphalon Culinary Center

The manager of the Calphalon Culinary Cente asked me if I would post this. So, here it is:

The Calphalon Culinary Center will be holding a Gluten-free Baking demonstration cooking class onThursday, February 25, 2010 from 6-8pm:

Celiac or gluten-free? Enjoy these comforting sweet treats once again. Come learn how to make baked goods gluten-free yet delicious, that the whole family will enjoy.


Fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apple Crumble

Four-Cheese Loaf

Super-rich Carrot Cake

$70/person, call 416.847.2212 to register today!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I spent three weeks in Europe recently, including a week or so in Paris. I was stunned to see something like this on many many labels:

glucose (de blé)

This translates as "glucose (from wheat)." I have never seen such a statement on any product before, and it made me wonder just how many times I might have eaten glucose that is made from wheat.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Il Fornello's

We spent the weekend in Toronto and usually make a trip to Il Fornellos when we're in the area.

Truth be told though, it's a 50/50 shot at whether we'll be sick or not. Last time, we didn't get sick. This time we did and I spent the last two nights cleaning up after my three year old's body did it's job trying to get rid of the 'stuff' - usually around 3 or 4 a.m. :/

I knew I was in for it when he started heating up (fever). Both my boys tend to heat up when they've been glutened.

As always, the food was excellent, the service was excellent... but the risks... sigh

One day, I'm going to remember to look up a gluten free restaurant in Toronto that we can go to, rather than a mixed restaurant.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Relish Bar & Grill, 2152 Danforth Avenue (1 block east of Woodbine), Toronto; 416-425-4664

While I was in Toronto over Christmas, I went to a restaurant called Relish Bar & Grill twice. My first visit was with a friend who'd sussed out the spot before my visit. Relish is a small restaurant with a long, skinny bar, and it’s away from the downtown core but easily accessible by subway (it's a block east of Woodbine station). The menu is Mediterranean tapas — small plates meant for sharing — and the list of both gluten-free and vegetarian choices was impressive. My friend doesn’t have celiac disease, but she ordered off the gluten-free menu so that we’d be able to share dishes in the true spirit of tapas. It was a fantastic spread: warm olives with fresh rosemary and red peppers, a salad of heirloom tomatoes and feta atop pickled red onions, a wild mushroom risotto drizzled with black truffle oil, and a blue corn tortilla stuffed with chicken.

There were a couple of service issues on my second visit, but the food was still excellent (the full story is on my blog, the Gluten-Free Guidebook, if you'd like to read more). Nonetheless, Relish is well worth a visit.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Four, 187 Bay St. (lower level), Toronto; 416-368-1444

I've had great gluten-free dining experiences at Far Niente, but it's an expensive choice. But a moderately priced restaurant now resides in Far Niente’s basement, where there used to be a bar. The restaurant, Four, advertises itself as having a “balanced approach to guilt-free dining.” Every dish on the menu is less than 650 calories. That’s not such a feat with a starter salad like the beet-and-pear with goat cheese, but it’s pretty impressive with gluten-free main courses like the delicious ocean trout with beluga lentils and sherry-mustard-dressed greens.

Four isn’t such a health-crazed spot that they neglect the cocktail list (the pernod-chambord-raspberry cocktail is lovely). At lunchtime, Four offers sandwiches on gluten-free bread. There's a longer review on my blog, the Gluten-Free Guidebook, if you'd like to read more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On my last visit to Toronto, I was excited to hear that Pizza Nova had started to offer a gluten-free crust. However, when I went to order, I found cause for concern. Pizza Nova provides a PDF document on its website to alert customers to allergens in their pizza toppings and other food products; it’s a pretty comprehensive list, covering peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, milk products, eggs, fish, seafood, soy, sulphites, wheat, and gluten (wheat and gluten are listed as separate categories on the chart). Each ingredient is rated from zero to 3; zero means that the allergen is not present, 1 means that the allergen was present in the factory, 2 means that the allergen was used on the same production line, and 3 means that the allergen is present in the product.

What I noticed on the chart is that there are discrepancies in the ratings for the wheat and gluten categories. Pepperoni is rated 1 for wheat content but zero for gluten, as is the sautéed spinach and the ketchup. The chicken wings and the Hellman’s blue cheese dip get a 2 for wheat, and zero for gluten. The veal cutlets get a 3 for wheat — meaning that they absolutely do contain wheat — and a zero for gluten. By definition, if a product contains wheat, it contains gluten (though the reverse is not true, since a product could contain gluten — say, in the form of barley malt — and yet contain no wheat).

In the end, I was worried about the information that didn’t add up, and I decided to order from Pizza Pizza instead. Has anyone ordered a gluten-free pizza from Pizza Nova? I've just blogged about this on the Gluten-Free Guidebook, if you'd like to read more.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Frankie's Ristorante, 1 Main St. South Uxbridge, Ontario, 905-852-1011 (45 minutes NE of Toronto)

Frankie's is a completely gluten-free & nut free restaurant specializing in traditional Mediterranean cuisine, including vegetarian options.

I haven't been to this restaurant, but I received a nice email message from the owners who explained: "Our food is 100% gluten-free (mostly started due to the severity of my Celiac sons.) but also for a healthy lifestyle which we find is becoming more popular. I would love to feed the Celiacs everywhere because I know first hand how difficult it is to eat gluten-free especially in a restaurant setting. However, I would like to think we have been very successful in providing delicious meals that not only Celiacs can enjoy but their 'regular' eating partners also and with no risk of cross contamination.

"Come over to Frankie's and enjoy our fare. We are at 1 Main Street North in Uxbridge Ontario. Approx. 45 minutes NE of Toronto. Call us at 905.852.1011 (we recommend making a reservations)."

Have a look at the menu.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Survey Request

Lisa asked me to post a survey for a research paper she is writing. If you have time to help her out, please consider completing the survey.

BACKGROUND: This survey is being conducted to help assess medical community treatment/awareness of Celiac Disease.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please circle your answer after each question. For questions that ask for lists, please list any information that applies. When completed please return to Thank you in advance for filling out this survey.

1. What is your Gender?

A. Male B. Female

2. What is your age?

A. 0-20 B. 21-30 C. 31-40 D. 41-50 E. 51 and older

3. What is your ethnicity?

A. African American B. Asian C. Hispanic D. Native American E. European decent1

4. What is your education level?

A. High School B. Some College C. Associate’s D. Bachelor’s E. Master’s

5. What is your income level?

A. $0 to 30,000 B. $30,000 to 40,000 C. 40,000 to 50,000 D. 50,000 and above

6. Were you diagnosed with Celiac, Celiac Sprue or gluten sensitivity by a doctor or other method2?

A. Doctor B. Other

7. Did/do you have the classis symptoms: weight loss and chronic diarrhea?

A. Yes B. No

8. Did/do you have any other symptoms? Please list all

A. Yes B. No


9. Have you been diagnosed with any other autoimmune diseases’? (Diabetes Type 1, thyroid or liver disease, anemia or others)

A. Yes B. No


10. How long from the time the symptoms first appeared did it take to get a diagnosis? (by a doctor or other method2)

A. 0-1 yr B. 1-2 yrs C. 2-5 yrs D. 5 or more years

11. Did the doctor perform a blood test to conform Celiac?

A. Yes B. No C. If yes was it positive? _________________

12. If you answered yes to question 11, did the doctor perform a small intestine biopsy?

A. Yes B. No C. If no why not? _______________________________________

13. Has anyone else in your immediate family been diagnosed with Celiac, Celiac Sprue or gluten sensitivity? (mother, father , siblings, children)

A. Yes B. No

14. If you answered yes to question 13, were they diagnosed by a doctor or othermethod2?

A. Doctor B. Other

15. Did/do they have the classis symptoms: weight loss and chronic diarrhea?

A. Yes B. No

16. Did/do they have any other symptoms? Please list all

A. Yes B. No


17. Have they been diagnosed with any other autoimmune diseases’? (Diabetes Type 1, thyroid or liver disease, anemia or others)

A. Yes B. No

18. How long from the time the symptoms first appeared did it take to get a diagnosis? (by a doctor or other method2)

A. 0-1 yr B. 1-2 yrs C. 2-5 yrs D. 5 or more years

19. Did the doctor perform a blood test to conform Celiac?

A. Yes B. No C. If yes was it positive? _________________

20. If you answered yes to question 11, did the doctor perform a small intestine biopsy?

A. Yes B. No C. If “No” why not?

21. This area is for any other information that you wish to supply.


1 European decent includes Italian, English, Irish, French, German, Russian and Canadian French
2 Other Method means any other method than by doctor. This can include adhering to a gluten-free diet and symptoms abating.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Toronto Celiac

Toronto Celiac
The Specialty Food Shop in Sick Kids Hospital is great! They have a whole dedicated freezer, and loads of GF products and baking items. I picked up some glutino bagels(pretty good!), El peto frozen pie shells (hubby made a quiche this morning- yum!), lasagna noodles, cereal, granola, oh, and INCREDIBLE chocolate maccaroons! They even deliver, and have a truly comprehensive website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

JR's Natural Health & Bulk

I was trotting down Queen West in Parkdale when I popped in here to see if they had soy milk. Gasp! On my way to the fridge to pick up my milk, I was amazed to see so many gluten free goodies! Cookies, mixes, pasta, pizza, bagels, muffins... The delightful lady who owns the place is gluten free herself and really knows her stuff. There's a mouthwatering stock of products by Glutino, O'Dough's, I Can't Believe It's Gluten Free, Amy's and dozens more. Yum! Yay!

JR's Natural Health & Bulk
1382 Queen Street West
416 539 9422

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yanjing is not gluten free.

Two weeks ago, the wine columnist (Beppi) in the globe said that Yanjing beer from china is gluten free as it is made with rice (I am pretty sure he said then that there was no barley). Today, he apologized saying that he got it wrong. They do use barley - "I should have not said gluten-free. I now have it from two laboratories (not to mention the brewery) that the beer contains gluten because it was made with barley. .... My sincere apologies." Oddly, I quaffed the first one last night with no symptoms..... (my spouse bought it for me - I sort of object from beer from that distance....) - so beware.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A lovely new dessert place called lpks culinary groove on Queen Street just East of Broadview. They do cakes, pastries and chocolates, select items gluten free and vegan. I bought some (GF- vegan) chocolates for a friend on her birthday, and she was ecstatic! Check out their website- really beautiful stuff.
Nature's Path Organic Whole O's

Recently, I was able to sample a new cereal from Nature's Path. Whole O's are made from organic ingredients: brown rice flour, corn flour, evaporated cane juice, and pomegranate juice concentrate.

I suppose they might be a little like Cheerios, but since I have tasted a Cheerio since I was about 6 years old, I am only guessing. In fact, it's been so long since I have had a non-GF cereal, I forget what they taste like.

I think these are very good and I would probably buy them regularly if I am able to find them locally. I have a really hard time finding Nature's Path cereals from time-to-time. No Frills has not had any GF cereals from Nature's Path in months, which is a shame because the price was reasonable there, unlike the price at Noah's Natural Foods, which is almost double. Generally, Noah's is over-priced and I will never understand why anyone shops there. So, just to digress even further, I am generally able to find Nature's Path cereals at Strictly Bulk, for much cheaper than Noah's and a bit more than No Frills.

I like this cereal, and you might too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ivory Thailand, 81 Church Street, Toronto, ON; 416-363-0081

Thanks to Rita for telling me about Ivory Thailand, located at the north east corner of Adelaide and Church. She tells me that the chef can make almost any item on the menu gluten-free. Just ask.
Akasaka, Unit L10, 280 West Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill, ON; 905-764-9291

A kind reader alerted me to Akasaka, a Japanese restaurant and Teppanyaki Steak House. The menus clearly label gluten-free options. The restaurant also provides take-out and catering.