Thursday, February 13, 2014

Red Barn Market: Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

The Red Barn Market hasn’t made their way up island yet, but I wish they would. I used to live 5 minutes up the road from one and they were great. It was nice to that I could just jump on my bike and go, if I needed something quick.They had great produce, local meat and eggs, and gluten free options. This was back in the day when gluten free wasn’t as popular and it was still tough finding specialty items. They even have gluten free sausages that are delicious. My favourite part of course was being able to get twice as many vegetables for half the cost of a regular grocery store. Although I've found some great markets up here, I still feel nostalgic for the days where I could shop at Red Barn Market.

As a sponsor for the upcoming Gluten Free Health and Wellness Festival, they have offered up some tasty gluten free recipes that I’m pleased to share with you (courtesy of the Gluten Free Festival team).

If you’d like to win tickets to attend the festival for free, please leave a comment on the following page: The contest closes next Wednesday at noon.

In the meantime, enjoy the following Gluten Free recipe from the Red Barn Market:


Prep 10min
Cook 20 min
Total 30min
Serves 4-6


1 cup organic Alter Eco pearl quinoa
Sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe BC Grown red bartlett pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Origin Bakery Cheese & Herb Scones and Coconut Macaroons

Origin Bakery is my go to dedicated gluten free bakery in Victoria. Whenever I come down island to visit family and friends I always make sure I stop in at Origin and stock up on lunches and treats to help me make it through the weekend. My favourite items are their baguette sandwiches, fig bars, apple galette and of course their cupcakes loaded with icing.
As a sponsor for the upcoming Gluten Free Health and Wellness Festival, they have offered up some tasty gluten free recipes that I’m pleased to share with you (courtesy of the Gluten Free Festival team).
If you’d like to win tickets to attend the festival for free, please leave a comment on the following page:
In the meantime, enjoy the following Gluten Free recipes from Origin Bakery:



255 g (2 cups) sorghum flour
130 g (1 cup) amaranth flour
120 g (1 cup) tapioca flour
30 g (3 tbsp) baking powder
3 g (1/2 tsp) baking soda
1.5 g (1 tsp) xanthan gum
7 g (3/4 tsp) sea salt
2 g (1 tsp) thyme leaves

112 g (1/2 cup) chilled, cubed butter
100 g (1 cup) shredded cheese (we use Qualicum gruyere)
75 g (3 Tbsp) honey
350 g (1 1/2 cups) light cream


Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix together first 8 dry ingredients.
Rub/cut in butter into dry ingredients until evenly mixed and butter in pea-sized pieces.
Add the cheese.
Mix together honey and cream, and
gently combine into dry mix without over-mixing.
Scoop into 12-16 mounds on greased/parchmented baking sheet.
Lightly flatten and sprinkle with coarse salt or more cheese if desired.
Bake 15 – 18 min.



3 cups  organic unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1 cup  organic coconut cream
2 tbsp honey
4  large free-range egg whites
¼ tsp  sea salt
1 tsp vanilla essence, or ½ vanilla bean


Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Whisk egg whites with honey and vanilla, just til combined.
Whisk in coconut cream, then add coconut and salt and stir til combined.
Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined tray.
Bake 8-10 minutes or til golden on top.

Yields about 25 cookies, depending on size.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Guest Post: Gluten Free Health and Wellness Festival

I have some exciting news! I will be having a few guest posts over the next week or so, contributed by the wonderful Gluten Free Festival team. They are excited to share information about an upcoming Gluten Free Festival in Victoria, along with some special gluten free recipes and even a pair of tickets to access the festival! More info on how to win these tickets at the end of this post. 

The beautiful Victoria, BC is now home to the first-ever Gluten Free Health & Wellness Festival

On February 22 you will be abound with not only amazing gluten-free products but health and wellness vendors, demos and talks. Topics will include: what gluten is doing to your body, how to heal your gut and what products/therapeutics/remedies can help you live a more healthful and thriving life.  

This event is all about community, education and a love of food and health. 

Dr. William Davis, author of The New York Times #1 Betseller, Wheat Bellywill attend the event and give a talk on Saturday evening. 

The festival will take place from 12-5pm at the Victoria Conference Centre and will consist of gluten-free vendors and markets; yoga, food and fermentation demos; talks from nutritionists and global issues on sustainability.

If you're interested in checking it out, you can find tickets on the website here, and connect via Facebook here and Twitter here. And, check out the video

Great local companies are on board including Red Barn MarketsOrigin Bakery and Pacific Rim College

Doesn't that sound fun? I'm looking forward to a gluten free event on the island. I will have some fun recipes from the Gluten Free Health and Wellness Festival's Sponsors in the next week. So keep checking back!

Also, if you would like to win a pair of tickets to the first ever Gluten Free Health and Wellness Festival (and my first ever contest) please leave me a comment on what your favourite place to eat or shop gluten free in Victoria is and why. Or if you've never been to Victoria, tell me why you would like to come to the festival. Please keep in mind that these are tickets for an event in Victoria, BC so only leave a comment if you will be able to travel there.

I will draw a random name, using a random number generator to pick the winner next week on February 12th, 2014. Please make sure you leave your e-mail contact info when leaving a comment so that I can let you know you won. Check back here next week for the winner! Good luck :)

-------- UPDATE -------

I didn't have any takers for my contest. So in hopes that someone would actually like to win tickets, I'm extending this contest until next Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at noon (PST). 

--------UPDATE 2 ------

Sadly, I didn't get any takers for my contest. So no winners :(