It’s been a long while since I posted about food finds. This is mostly due to the fact that it is summer, and it is so hot that I have not wanted to turn on my oven or use any heat of any kind, so I’ve been living off of wraps with lunch meat, hot dogs on the barbecue (I love hot dogs…. please don’t judge me… I know… I get it. Just…. forget you read it, lol you won’t change my mind.)
I have stored up a few for you over the last few weeks… only two of which actually requires using an actual oven. Which, if it’s as hot where you are as it has been here in Southern Ontario, I beseech you — keep the oven use to a minimum. More actual recipes, rather than just products, will come in the fall.
First of all — pizza.
Almost two weeks ago now, I was at a friend’s house, and there was vodka involved, and I ate pizza. Real, delicious pizza. With real wheat and real cheese. It seemed like such a good idea at the time……… It wasn’t. I’ve vowed that I will not be that foolish again, and finally caved and tried Daiya’s pizza. I haven’t tried it yet because it’s typically fairly expensive, and they only have a few varieties. Since I’m one of the pickiest people I’ve ever met, the idea of having to eat Supreme, Spinach and Mushroom, Margherita, Fire Roasted Vegetable, or Mushroom and Roasted Garlic pizza… just to get pizza… makes me sad.
So I bought a cheese lovers pizza. And I put chicken on it. I would have also put bell peppers and bacon on it, because to me — that’s a pizza. But we didn’t have either of those options while I was at my parents’ house. So I put chicken on it. I’ll try it again, and I’ll dress it up exactly how I want it, but I will not try one of their ready-made flavour options because there’s just too much mushroom, onion, and tomato involved. No thanks.
Anyway, here’s my cheese lovers + chicken.
Know what’d be awesome?? If Daiya made a Hawaiian! All you haters of pineapple on pizza… your comments will be deleted 😉
Verdict: It was tasty. I’ll buy it again — and I’ll put ham and pineapple on it!
Daiya Cheeze Lover’s Pizza
Purchased at: Sobey’s
Price: 8.99 (on sale) *note: I find this expensive. However, since my alternative anywhere else is ordering a pizza on a cardboard-like gluten-free crust with no cheese, I’ll take it. It’s a good special occasion type deal.
For Dessert — Peach Crisp
I love peaches. I know I shouldn’t love inanimate objects, and there’s something deeply disturbing about overthinking the concept of loving something you’re about to destroy. Death by chewing sounds like love to me. But at any rate… I love peaches. But out of season, I do not love peaches. I get that other regions in other countries can grow them for longer than a month. I understand that thanks to modern transportation and shipping techniques, I can get peaches most months of the year. But I don’t buy them, because there is NOTHING on this Earth like a fresh, juicy, local, in-season, Niagara Region peach. Thank you, Lord, for Vineland. Concord Grapes and peaches arrive in grocery stores and farmers markets at the same time, and I am in fruit oasis. My two favourites, all at once. Pretty much all I eat for a month is peaches and concord grapes. And then they go away in early September and I’m left to hope for August to come around once again.
Since it is that time, I am currently on a mission to do everything I could do with other fruit with peaches instead. That leads me to peach crisp.
This is my mother’s recipe, adapted from an apple crisp, and I made it dairy free. To do so, I used Becel Vegan margarine. Now — hear me clearly, I don’t love margarine. I don’t find it tastes amazing, and when cooking or baking, I typically substitute coconut oil instead. However, for ease for everyone, I have left a tub of vegan margarine at my mother’s, and at my grandmother’s, and that way whenever they would use butter in a recipe, they just grab my margarine and no one is afflicted by my being complicated.
Please note the addition at the top of the recipe — I found I needed to bake this way longer than my Mom did. I’m not sure if it was that I used more peaches than she did, or that the vegan margarine didn’t crisp as well as the butter that she used when she made it the first time. Either are possible. Just check on it at the 25 minute mark, then go 5 more minutes at a time until it looks crisp and crunchy and golden, like any good crisp should.
If you’re completely gluten free, make sure you get gluten free oats. I am more of what we’d call “gluten conscious.” Sometimes I’m conscious that it’s in my food, and then there are consequences, but I’m not as much of a stickler as I likely should be.
I went to a friend’s house two days after making my own peach crisp, and it turns out she loves local peaches as much as I do, and she also made us a peach crisp. She used cinnamon instead of brown sugar in the oat topping, but she added a delightful addition. She bought me So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream.
Now, it’s expensive, but not really any more so than a similar-sized tub of Haagen Daaz so I guess it’s all about perspective 😉
What a NICE touch!
Please note: The coconut milk ice creams (as well as the cashew ones, I’ve found) tend to freeze REALLY solid. Even running the ice cream scoop repeatedly under hot water, I was still getting more ice cream slices and shavings than scoops. I recommend pulling it out of the freezer in advance of serving it to let it thaw a bit so you can actually get the scoop into it. But it’s delicious.
I’m not sure where my friend got hers, but I have found it at Sobeys, Metro, and Zehrs.
If you’d prefer to use whipped cream rather than ice cream on your crisp, I recommend Gay Lea’s Coconut Cream whipped cream. Completely dairy free as well. It has more of a coconutty taste than the ice cream does though, so I’m not sure I’d prefer that on peach crisp. I didn’t try it, but I did have it on just plain peaches the other day and it was tasty.
I bought mine at FreshCo, but I’ve seen it pretty much everywhere.
For Another Dinner… Meatball Subs!
Something I’ve missed dearly since going wheat and dairy free are meatball subs. They were the ultimate comfort food for me. Crappy day? Stop at Subway. Don’t want to cook? Stop at Subway. It’s probably for the best that I can’t do that anymore, but the fact remains that I have missed them. Determined to make them on my own, I made them twice in the last couple days and have some tips to ensure your success.
You will need…..
- Gluten Free Sandwich Buns. I prefer the ones by Promise because they don’t fall apart.
I’ve only found them at Metro. They aren’t cheap — 3.99 for 3 buns. But they’re tasty. I’m over it.
Tip: You’ll want to toast the bun a little first. My initial attempt left me with a soggy seam along the edge of the bun because I put meatballs, sauce, peppers, and “cheese” on the bun then put it in the broiler, and the moisture from the sauce soaked into the bread. If you toast your bread first, and put your sauce in the microwave to get it warm first so all the broiler has to do is melt the cheese, you’ll have a much more successful and much less messy sub.
2. Meatballs — I have a bunch of pins on my Pinterest board for how to make my own Gluten Free meatballs — but why? PC Blue Menu has done the work for me. These are my favourite meatballs since going gluten free, and they
cook reheat in the microwave in like a minute and a half. How do you argue that?
Note: I know they’re PC, so that would make you think “sweet, I can get them at No Frills!” I have not found this to be true. I have only ever seen them at Zehrs.
3. Spaghetti Sauce. This is really up to you, it doesn’t matter what kind you use. This is my favourite, because it’s cheap and delicious.
4. Green peppers — diced, not sliced. Trust me, the chunks of pepper stay in the sub way better than slices. I didn’t take pictures of the peppers.
5. Cheese. I used Daiya’s mozzarella style shreds. I’ve used the cheddar shreds before and I don’t like them, but I have no issue with the mozzarella. Maybe I will have to give the Monterrey jack a try as well!
Found at: Farm Boy or Goodness Me. I haven’t found it in any mainstream grocery stores.
So here are the steps I used:
- cut open the bun and toast it (I have a toaster oven — I imagine you could use your oven’s broiler if you don’t)
- heat the meatballs in the microwave from frozen (about a minute and a half, rotating half way through). NOTE: Do not stuff this bun with meatballs. It WILL fall apart.
- Put about 5 meatballs on the toasted sub.
- Heat the sauce in the microwave in a bowl for about 45 seconds (make sure you cover the bowl with paper towel or something to save yourself the splatters)
- spoon sauce over the meatballs
- add diced green peppers on top of the sauce
- cover with mozzarella shreds and put in the broiler until the cheese is melty. Everything else was cooked and warm, so that is the only thing it needs to be in there for. If you leave it in for too long with the sauce sitting on the seam of the bun, it will get soggy.
- Make sure you have napkins ready.
- If you’re looking a wine pairing for any of my recipes, I hate wine. I have paired with Jack Daniel’s Watermelon Punch cooler, and with Cherry Coke. Both are excellent options 😉
And ….. I found……. VEGAN BAILEY’S
It’s here. It’s arrived in Canada! Words can’t describe my excitement to be able to drink Bailey’s again. Gosh, this post makes me sound like an alcoholic… I promise I’m not.
But…. the possibilities here are endless.
I haven’t opened it yet, I haven’t tried it. It’s 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m trying to contain myself. But…. Irish Coffee? yes, please!
On shelves at your local LCBO now. Check out The LCBO website to check store availability and see if it’s close to you. I know it’s just arrived in the last two weeks because I asked about it a couple weeks ago, having seen it in an American blog post, and the staff had no idea what I was talking about.
Alright! That’s all I have for you today! What are your favourite comfort foods? Can I help you make them gluten or dairy free? I’m getting really good at that! 🙂