The Vegan Cheese Pizza Experience

Last week I ventured into pseudo cheese territory by trying a vegan cheese pizza.  The pizza I tried was of the frozen variety, the Daiya Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza. I haven’t eaten cheese since I was maybe 6 or 7 years old, maybe I was even younger.  I can’t remember what dairy cheese tastes like, nevermind what it should taste like on a pizza.  I don’t think I have ever eaten real pizza before.  So, as I was eating the Daiya pizza, it dawned on me that I had nothing to compare it to. Is THIS what pizza is supposed to taste like? Does the Daiya cheese taste like the real thing? I was at a loss.

Daiya Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Non-Dairy Pizza

Daiya Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Non-Dairy Pizza

I felt I needed to get a second opinion.  One of my best “does-it-taste-like-the-real-thing” tests is to have non-allergic people try the food in question. It is the true test of “substitute” foods. I did this with my birthday cake, a couple of years ago.  Trying the same taste test for pizza seemed reasonable. I took the Daiya pizza over to some non-allergics for a try. Continue reading

Binge Watching Netflix Requires the Proper Snack Foods

Season three of House of Cards is now available on Netflix* I’ve been passing my evening hours binge watching  a few shows.  Of course, this binge watching has temporarily eliminated my dining out (this is the most recent excuse for why I have not posted anything in months).   Along with all this television watching, one also needs snacks.

Let’s talk allergy safe, binge-watching-worthy snacks for my top three Netflix series that I’ve watched lately.

Freeyumm Chocolate Brownie Bites Package

Freeyumm Chocolate Brownie Bites Package

Snack #1 the House of Cards Snack: What can I say about House of Cards – just the BEST political drama.  Season 1 was just crazy (in a good way). Season 3 continues with more drama.  These people are ambitious and ruthless in their pursuit of power.   What kind of snack (besides alcohol) could possible go with House of Cards?  My choice?  Freeyumm Chocolate Brownie Bites ($7.49). These little chocolate brownie snacks are free of the top nine allergens – eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat sulphites, seafood, soy, sesame.  Taste wise, they are pretty good.  Granted I have no idea what “real” brownies taste like, but I like the Freeyumm ones because they have a great texture.  They taste very chocolately and are very moist.  Pretty good for a tiny brownie that has no dairy or eggs.  The brownies themselves are literally bite sized.  Quite a small snack. The products are naturally sweetened with agave.  Although this is a great natural sweetener,  I do find them a bit too sweet for my liking. Perhaps they are more geared towards kids.  Chocolate Brownie Bites go well with a nice cup of tea and an episode of House of Cards because while watching HOC, you need something sweet to balance out all the awful things that Claire and Frank orchestrate in their ambition to rule the world.  I can’t wait for Season 4! Continue reading

Spring Ahead

Hello! Apologies for the long silence.  I can’t believe that I have not posted anything since November last year.  And now it’s that time of year again where we have to turn our clocks ahead an hour.  I am going ot miss that lost hour of sleep.  Hopefully I will remember to switch the clocks over tonight.

I haven’t really stopped dining out…that would never happen…but I’ve been going to the regular places that I’ve already written about (like YEW and Bistro Sakana, Homer Street Cafe).

Amazing "winter" in Vancouver

Amazing “winter” in Vancouver

The other excuse I have is that in Vancouver this winter it has been incredibly non-winter like.  So I’ve been out enjoying the spring like weather. It has been surprisingly sunny so I can’t pass up the opportunity to get outside on a sunny (but mildly cold) day.  It is rare that it isn’t raining and grey outside. Check out this photo of our lovely city in February….the skies are blue!

I promise that I’ll get back to writing about more dining adventures and possibly trying some new places, because with an early Spring and longer days. I will undoubtedly get antsy to dine out more often.  I can never turn down an opportunity to dine out.

Swiss Chalet Allergy Guide

This week, more rotisserie chicken was on my dine out menu. Seems like I am on a chicken kick these last two blog posts.

We were so busy at work last week that we didn’t have time to break for lunch. So we decided to order in and work through lunch. There are limited delivery options available where my office is located so it came down to the usual fast food options, pizza delivery,  sub sandwich take out, or Swiss Chalet.  Unfortunately we are not blessed with stellar food delivery options in the neighbourhood.   If we had gone for pizza or sub sandwiches I would have been completely out of luck.  Too great an allergy risk.  I mean how do you make a pizza dairy free? Its *meant* to have cheese on it…its a pizza after all.

In the end, we decided on Swiss Chalet.  So off to the website I went to check out what I could  eat. I’ve eaten at Swiss Chalet before and I knew that the rotisserie chicken should be allergy safe for me.  But I was very impressed with their website and how they provide a search function that allows you to search by common allergens* .  You simply use their Allergy Guide to pick the food ingredients/items that you are allergic to and the search engine lists every item on their menu that is free of those allergens.  Pure genius.  Other restaurants could learn something from Swiss Chalet!

I was surprised at how many things were actually dairy-egg-nut free on their menu.  Forty-five items, including a dessert (apple pie), the baked So my options were not only limited to the roast chicken! Regardless of the list of safe items, I decided on the quarter rotisserie chicken, with fries, a whole grain bread roll and Swiss Chalet gravy…yes…all dairy-egg-nut free, even the roll.  because once in a while who doesn’t like to indulge?

Swiss Chalet might be a good option for families that have kids with allergies.  The Allergy Guide certainly takes away some of the dine-out anxiety that is a serious concern for parents with allergic kids.

*The list of allergens listed in the Swiss Chalet Allergy Guide :peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy,sulphites, sesame, gluten, fish.

 

Chicken @ Homer St. Cafe

Homer Street Cafe and BarOn my list of newer places to dine out at, Homer Street Cafe and Bar has been at the top.  Ever since they opened I’ve been wanting to go, but never seemed to get myself organized enough to go.  A couple of weeks ago I finally got the chance! The restaurant is so well done, when you walk in, the decor of the restaurant is inviting and makes you want to sit down and stay awhile.  In the past, I’ve been to many beautifully designed restaurants, only to be disappointed by the food that didn’t live up to the ambiance. So I was a bit wary.

Continue reading

Food Allergy Infographic..and mustard?

Allerject sent out a newsletter item the other week that included stats about food allergies in Canada. Did you know that mustard is one of the top 10 food allergens?  I had no idea!  I guessed most of the other 9, since I am allergic to 4 out of the 10.  But, I had no idea that mustard was on the list.  Good to know

And on a positive note, overall I am only allergic to 4 out of the 10 food allergens, 40%!   Although I would lump nuts and peanuts into the same bucket, but that’s splitting hairs I guess.  Sounds better in the context of 40% allergic, instead of being 100% allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts.  See,  there is always a positive perspective…

Along with that they also include information on how to identify the symptoms of anaphylaxis, and what to do when faced with these symptoms.

Check out the infographic that I have included below, from the Allerject Website, or visit the website directly (Allerject).

Infographic-serious-food-allergies

Source: Sanofil Canada: www.allerject.ca