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We made our visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia at the end of July/beginning of August, which was accidentally perfect timing for Natal Day. It’s the birthday of their city and a bit like a mini 4th of July here in the states. There were musicians, performers, and food stands along the water front which made it a great time to visit! The weather was perfect, while the rest of the US and most of Canada was roasting in unusually high summer heat.  Aside from the tourist recommendation, I know this is a blog about food. That said, Natal Day comes with many restaurants closed and limited menus at others, so this is what we were able to find for dinner at Murphy’s, which was right along the waterfront and was one of the few that I was able to read about beforehand that had gluten free options.20160801_204206

As one might expect, the menu is seafood heavy. I wasn’t starving so decided an appetizer might be best. Appetizers marked gluten free for Natal Day were:
Bacon-wrapped scallops, Mussels, Lobster Dip, and Seafood Chowder.

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I choose the lobster dip and it was a large portion and delicious!

 

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Dinner options include: Nova Scotian whole lobster, Molasses Salmon, and BBQ Chicken Supreme.

Dessert included a chocolate torte that was gluten free, but I couldn’t get a straight answer about if there were nuts or nut flour, so I opted to try one of the ice cream stands we had seen.

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Imagine my surprise when one of the ice cream stands (Black Bear, I believe it was called) had gluten free cones! Even a brand I knew–Edward and Sons. Unfortunately, there servers didn’t have a lot of knowledge about which flavors were gluten free and they weren’t marked, so I stuck to vanilla and chocolate.  They graciously cleaned scoops for me, so all in all it was a good, sweet ending to our first Natal Day!

Gluten free fish and chips in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Evan’s Fresh Seafoods and Restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Recently we took a short trip to get away from the heat of Virginia and ended up in Halifax, Nova Scotia (that’s in Canada, above Maine).  I’ll be posting the gluten free places we found to eat.

While there, every time gluten free came up, it seemed one name was mentioned consistently: Evan’s Fresh Seafoods and Restaurants. They are located a short 10 minute ferry ride over the water from Halifax to the town of Dartmouth.  They are located right on the water.  So we took the ferry over and immediately saw them at Alderney Landing.

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They are most well known for their gluten free fish and chips, so naturally that’s what we ordered.  They are celiac safe and made in gluten-free dedicated fryer.  The fish were very good, made using Schoolhouse brand bread crumbs-which don’t have sorghum (I emailed Schoolhouse, located in Nova Scotia, before I went)! Much of Evan’s menu is in fact gluten free in addition to their fish and chips, like their gluten free lobster poutine, which I wanted to have, but was too full to try!

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They also have gluten free Digby (local) clam strips (pictured below) and gluten free dessert cakes–however, beware if you don’t tolerate sorghum, the cake and the clam strips are in a different bread crumb mixture that has sorghum.

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I did ask what kind of oil they use and it’s currently canola oil (although be sure to check if that’s a concern).  After that, I didn’t ask specifically about nuts or pork (my other allergies), because I didn’t see any of either on the menu. Check their Facebook page for their hours and the most recent information.

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When the weather is great, like it was on this day in early August, there are nice picnic tables to sit at outside.  If the weather isn’t good, there is a seating area inside.

Crab Louie’s – gluten free in Richmond

If you’re looking for a fantastic gluten free place on the south side of Richmond (technically Midlothian, Virginia), be sure to check out Crab Louie’s!

Crab Louie's Midlothian 2

While unassuming in this historic building in a shopping center, this place has a HUGE gluten free menu. It’s not all seafood either! They are pretty well aware of the gluten free needs to keep it safe in the kitchen, but the servers can be a little hit or miss, so do stay vigilent.  Also, be prepared–they have several complimentary homemade sweet breads they serve, these are not gluten free!

Crab Louies salad Martha Vineyard

The Martha’s Vineyard salad comes with greens, onions, tomato, mushrooms, dried cherries (my favorite) and a maple vinaigrette that is delicious! Be sure to specify gluten free because there is usually croutons on the non-gluten free version.

Crab Louie's baked potato GF

For some reason, I don’t have a picture of the chicken dish I sometimes get (grilled chicken dijon), with a baked potato as my side.

Crab Louie's GF crabcake 2   Crab Louie's GF Crabcakes Dec. 2014

But the real charm here is the gluten free crab cakes!! And the delicious sauce that comes with them is amazing–I even use it on my baked potato too.

Crab Louie's GF bananas foster

The Bananas Foster Sundae is heavenly, BUT you do have to be careful that they make it fresh and it’s gluten free, as it is usually served with a gluten-ful rolled wafer stick stuck in it. As a celiac, I have had to ask them to re-make it, but it is so worth it!
Here is the link to their very large gluten free menu: http://crablouies.com/site/gluten-free-dinner-menu/.  As always, all opinions are my own and to the best of my current knowledge.

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms Gluten free (Betty Crocker’s recipe)

While I failed to take pictures, I recently had some great friends over for dinner. Both of them were awesome about what could they bring to feed me safely (even though I had offered to host so I could just cook it all)…they are so amazing!  I served my white chicken lasanga (https://glutenfreeva.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/gluten-free-white-chicken-lasagna/) with gluten free garlic toast. One friend brought salad, and one of them carefully found out what/how she could bring stuffed mushrooms that would be gluten free.  She brought this AMAZING appetizer of crab-stuffed mushrooms, based on the Betty Crocker recipe below! I highly recommend this addition to any dinner party!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-crab-stuffed-mushrooms/751267c7-de43-44eb-afaf-25732c2ac8d8

Gluten-Free Crab Stuffed Mushrooms by Betty Crocker (with notes from me on specific ingredients to help those unfamiliar with gluten free)

Ingredients:

24 large mushroom caps
1 pkg (8 oz) gluten-free cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2  teaspoons GF Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perkins is recommended)
2 scallions, minced
1/2 cup gluten-free shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked gluten-free jumbo lump crabmeat (use real crabmeat, as most imitation has gluten)
2  tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 13×9-inch baking dish.
2 Remove stems from mushrooms, and dust dirt off mushroom caps with damp paper towel.
3 Place mushroom caps topside down on baking dish.
4 Mix cream cheese, lemon juice, old bay seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, scallions, and Cheddar cheese in large bowl.
5 Fold in crabmeat gently.
6 Place a heaping spoonful of mixture on top of each mushroom cap.
7 Sprinkle each mushroom cap with Parmesan cheese.
8 Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through- but not extremely hot. Serve warm.

Gluten free in the middle of nowhere Burnham, PA

While we were in PA at Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to visit my grandma.  She lives in a small town near Lewistown, PA and I assumed I would just have to pack a gluten free lunch, as there would be nothing for me to eat out there.  I was wrong. I researched before the trip (as I always do, traveling as a celiac) and found OIP Burnham had several SAFE gluten free items! OIP is a series of independent restaurants in central Pennsylvania, standing for Original Italian Pizza.  It’s well known for pizza and subs, however this day I delighted in my gluten free choices.
OIP Burnham GF chicken tenders & fries

They had gluten free pizzas on their menu, but I instead opted for their gluten free chicken tenders and french fries, both fried in a dedicated gluten free fryer.  I was also able to partake in some gluten free chicken wings, fried in the same dedicated fryer! (Sorry I forgot a picture of those).  This small town gem had nice people, nice service, and great care in their gluten free menu…we will return anytime we go to  visit my grandma!

If you ever find yourself on the other side of the mountain from State College, PA and need gluten free, be sure to stop in OIP Burnham!

Baked Boneless Chicken Wings, Gluten free

Boneless Buffalo wings 1 GF

I apologize for the timing of the post, I meant to get this up before The Big Game Sunday, but it’s still a great snack for March Madness or any other sporting event!  As wings go, these are relatively healthy and very yummy!

Boneless baked buffalo wings GF ingredients

Ingredients:

approx. 1/4 cup Van’s Multigrain gluten free crackers
approx. 1/8 cup Cup4Cup gluten free flour (only allergen is milk, we’ve found this to be the best flour mix for these)
1-1.5 lbs Chicken Breast
Buffalo Sauce (Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce is gluten and soy free, so that’s our choice!)
Olive Oil

The directions are simple:

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Crush the multigrain crackers (we usually pour them into a plastic bag and roll a heavy rolling pin over), then add the Cup4Cup flour to the plastic bag.
3. Dredge the chicken breast in water (I know, I expected to use egg or milk, which you could try, but water works suprisingly well), then put them in the flour-cracker mixture and coat them.
4. Coat a glass pan with some olive oil (NOT a cookie sheet) and add the chicken pieces. Cook for 15 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.
5. Add buffalo sauce, coat all pieces, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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These even reheat well in the microwave for work, so make a double batch!

Citricos – a fine dining experience with gluten, soy, peanut, and pork allergies

Citricos

When my family decided to join us, we could not get reservations to our favorite Narcoossee’s for 6, so we settled on trying a new 2 credit fine dining experience, Citricos, which is located in the Grand Floridian resort (on the monorail).

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Side note: I think in the future if we did the dining plan, I’d do a buffet breakfast and a 2-credit fine dining dinner every night, skipping lunch. Three meals a day was usually too much food and the fine dining locations seemed to have more control and flexibility with their ingredients vs. the regular restaurants, which was important with my multiple allergies.

Citricos roll

For bread service, it seemed to be a GNI roll, warmed well, with a salted butter.
Citricos steak and potatoes
Citricos had several options, but the steak and mashed potatoes sounded the best (had I known many other places wouldn’t have a chicken option throughout the week, I would have opted for the chicken, below). It was in a cabernet reduction that I didn’t care for, but it came with an UNBELIEVABLY good peppadew pepper “slaw!”  If I were going again, I would get no sauce and lots of the pepper mixture!  (I apologize, I forgot to take pictures until we had started eating!)

Citricos chicken    Citricos tropical creme brulee

Citricos dessert options were rather sad with the soy and gluten issues. It was sorbet or tropical creme brulee. Normally I’m a big fan of Disney creme brulee, so I opted for that. This creme brulee was too tart, which was odd for a normally sweet and creamy dessert.
Citricos dessert
If you only had a gluten issue (not soy), the signature chocolate banana torte with chocolate crown would have been a nice treat!