Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Toronto…according to me

Toronto is an amazing place to live. I really do love it here. I especially love that there are so many restaurants in this city, especially ones that cater to people like me! I’m always looking for restaurant suggestions so here are my suggestions for you.

P.S. – I love brunch so a lot of these places I recommend for brunch…

  • If you’re looking for a good brunch place (told you), I highly recommend Starving Artist. Gluten free waffles! Need I say more?
  • If you’re craving pasta, Gusto 101 serves gluten-free pasta. They also have wine for $1 per ounce… definitely worth it.
  • Lola’s Kitchen is a gem. They label their menu with their vegan, gluten free and vegetarian offerings. I have been for dinner and brunch and it was delicious.
  • The Beet is another great one. If you’re looking for a burger on a patio, this is the place. They also make their own juice so brunch is extra special.
  • If you’re looking for Mexican, I can say that almost every place in Toronto that is serving corn tortillas will be able to accommodate. I have been to Seven Lives in Kensington, La Carnita, Playa Cabana and Grand Electric and had no problem. Mexican is the best, especially because it’s often gluten free just because that’s how it’s made in Mexico.
  • Finally, I have to recommend Mugshot Tavern. Gluten free bread… my favourite cider on tap…rooftop patio… it’s my favourite.

Hope this helps if you’re looking for a place to go!

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Roasted Veggies for Dummies

I wonder if everyone does this or it’s just me. How does anyone know what to set the oven at? I have to Google basic things ALL THE TIME because I have no idea how to use an oven. Don’t even ask me about what broiling does…

My boyfriend put chicken in the slow cooker (I have no idea how to use a slow cooker either – I am useless) so I was left the task of cooking vegetables. Roasted veggies sounded really good to me but I lack oven sense so I had to find a recipe on how to do that.

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First, cut your vegetables up. I don’t think it matters how you cut them. I buy miniature potatoes because they are cute. I added olive oil, salt and pepper, and some Club House vegetable seasoning. I followed Oh She Glows and put them in at 400F for an hour and voila! Minimal effort and I did it all on my own.

Easy Dinner: Sole with Veggies

I haven’t been feeling well the past couple weeks so I’ve started eating incredibly healthy to try and help myself feel better. I think I ate gluten by accident. It’s the worst so I am giving my body a break.

Therefore fish is on the menu for me! I love seafood but there aren’t any grocery stores near me that sell decent fish so I go without most of the time. But luckily my boyfriend went and picked some up and we had a seafood feast (Lobster not pictured)!

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We used this simple recipe for the sole. I rarely buy sole so I wasn’t sure how to make it but I’m glad we decided to give it a shot. White fish is perfect if you want an easy meal. For some reason, most recipes say to use flour but we found one without and it was delicious, light and gluten free. We just pan-fried some carrots, frozen corn and peas with dill and butter and it made for a healthy meal that didn’t upset my stomach at all. So easy!

My Favourite Food Bloggers

I figured I would make a list of the places I go to get my recipes. These sites are my “online recipe box” and I don’t know what I would do without them.

Oh She Glows is a blog by a Canadian (Angela) who went vegan for health reasons. She has lots of gluten free recipes as well, and everything is simple, using whole foods which is what I am looking for. Her Roasted Chickpeas recipe is fantastic because I had no idea that I could get my fix for salt and vinegar in such a healthy way! I bought her cookbook and I use it all the time.

Joyous Health is a new one I found out about recently. She’s a nutritionist who had health problems and she made the switch. She has lots of gluten free and dairy free recipes available and lots of helpful tips on basic cooking skills for newbies. Anyone dealing with a diet like mine would benefit from this site and anyone who is new to cooking as well! Her video on making the perfect quinoa really made a difference for me because I am neurotic when it comes to food being cooked properly.

Deliciously Ella released a cookbook earlier this month and I keep meaning to buy it (I am on a budget and avoiding Indigo… Oops!). She is a vegan that changed her diet to help with her health problems as well. She has a bunch of smoothie recipes that helped me get out of my breakfast smoothie funk. I love blogs that give health and life advice I can use, and she just wrote a post about “how to blog” that gave me some motivation I was lacking.

I found that lots of people who make major dietary changes are doing it because they want to feel better. I can attest to the fact that you really are what you eat. Hope these blogs are as helpful for you as they have been for me!

Recreating Restaurant Meals at Home

I have really been missing summer lately. Winter is really dragging. I have a cottage in Tobermory that I go to in the summers, and my boyfriend’s parents live up there as well. We spend a lot of time up there and one of my favourite parts is Friday at 4pm when we pack up the car and head out to the cottage for the weekend. We take the 410 north and it turns into Highway 10 and we take that all the way up.

On the way there, we go through a tiny town called Flesherton that has an amazing gluten free, vegan restaurant called Bicycle Cafe that we stop at for dinner. Their entire menu is labelled with what is vegan, what is gluten free and honestly, I remember stuff like that. It makes my life better. So, that is our routine every time we go up. And I have been missing it HARD lately so I decided to try and recreate my favourite meal there.

Here is my improvised version of their Grey Bruce Bowl (gluten free, not vegan).

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I baked two chicken breasts with peri peri/piri piri seasoning that I bought at Loblaws (so good but so spicy – you’re warned). I cooked two cups of rice and put it in bowls. To mix in with the rice, chop some cucumber, romaine lettuce, a tomato, red onion and parsley. The dressing I used is a tahini-lemon dressing from Oh She Glows.

I loved this so much. It’s healthy, filling and delicious with a bit of spice. It’s not quite like the original but close enough to tide me over until I’m driving up that way again next month. If you’re ever going through Flesherton Ontario I recommend stopping in – so worth it!

Smoothies

So I joined a gym about a month or so ago. (Sidenote: I’ve been three times. I’ve been sick the past two weeks so don’t judge me). I’ve been out of the fitness game for about two years so I figured it was about time to get back into it.

Working out (and being sick) leads to me eating healthier too so that means I have started getting into smoothies. And you would think smoothies are easy peasy but let me tell you, they can get boring. I used to do the usual: add some strawberries, a banana and yogurt and you’re on your way but now that I am dairy free, I have had to mix it up.

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I have started buying mixed bags of frozen fruit. Currently I am using a 4 berry mix (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries). I use a magic bullet so I fill it half way with berries, add half an avocado or banana, add a scoop of protein powder (KEY) and a handful of mangoes or peaches to mix it up.

Protein powder was always something I wasn’t sure of but it’s worthwhile. It makes your smoothie into a meal and now I get a decent serving of fruit and protein every morning for breakfast. I use the Garden of Life brand – their vanilla raw version. It has probiotics in it so now I don’t have to do any guess work or buy more pills and plenty of vitamins and the flavour isn’t overpowering. I’ve used Vega protein powder too but I found the flavour a bit much. The probiotic has really helped me. Being celiac, I generally have tummy issues and I find that my stomach is much happier.

It’s a really easy way to add something healthy into your diet – try it!

PS: I bought vanilla flavoured soy yogurt, and it’s fine but honestly, adding half an avocado gives you a good amount of creaminess without having to fork over $7 dollars for soy yogurt. Save your money.

Thursday Treat: Blondies

I have to admit, I didn’t know blondies were a thing until recently. And they are perfect. I love brownies but deep down I’m a vanilla girl. I always prefer vanilla flavours for some reason. Vanilla cake, cupcakes, ice cream (well now soy cream). Chocolate is just too rich sometimes. Too heavy. These babies are light so these are definitely going to be made again.

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Once again I used the Bunner’s Cookbook. I will probably make another version of these because I loved them so much. I put them in a muffin tin again because it’s so easy that way. You end up with the perfect size and no cutting required.