1701 Powell St. Vancouver BC.

This is a fresh and lovely new eatery in what I'm pretty sure will be named the distillery district at some point in the near future. This is not your mother's East Van, this is a new version. In this East Van where the spaces that used to be forlorn and quite forgotten are viewed through the eye of potential & affordability. Well, by Vancouver standards anyways.

Kessel&March is in the ARC building, in a space that can only be described as odd. Only someone with a great vision could have performed the necessary contortions to make this space feel as warm and welcoming as Kessel&March has.

A chef and an interior designer have carved this unique cave into a den of delectables. (Yes I just pluralized delectable, live with it.) The space is, dare I say, romantic. Each dish is well thought out and prepared to order in the tiny, immaculate, open kitchen. This is classy dining in a casual but elegant environment. Dishes are served on local social enterprise Just Potters ceramics and select pieces are available for sale too, and why not? This is the ARC building, where art lives and breathes.

Tell them you are gluten intolerant and then don't worry your pretty little head, just sit back and enjoy the meal.


Two Daughters Bakeshop & It's To Die For Banana Bread

Hello my friends, I'm giving my Wheatless In Vancouver blog a little up-do. Every now and again I'll feature a local business who dedicates their service to gluten free peeps like myself, (and you!)

Today's feature business is Two Daughters Bakeshop in North Vancouver BC. and as happenstance would have it, I'm also featuring Erin Ireland and her It's To Die For banana bread.

 I first came across Two Daughters Bakeshop by stopping at a booth at the North Shore Green Markets, a fun, nighttime market at Shipbuilder's Plaza in North Vancouver. More recently I saw a tweet by Erin Ireland for her It's To Die For Banana Bread. She's now selling a gluten free version of her legendary banana bread and was producing a batch at Two Daughters Bakeshop, which I didn't even know was now an actual shop. Planning on visiting a few vendor friends at the market nearby, I decided to stop into the bakeshop first, to see what was available. 

As we arrived and parked the car on the street above the shop I actually smelled banana bread in the air. No I'm not kidding. We had a hard time finding the entrance to the shop and I was wandering around like a dog, sniffing the air, convinced I could find it by smell alone. We did finally find the shop, with it's entrance in the back, off of a lane way. And sure enough, there was Erin was still hard at work on her gluten free banana bread loaf baking! She was just as surprised to see me there too. I got to sample some while it was still warm. It's not overpoweringly banana, it's a nice balance of ingredients. A more mature version than what we're used to. I have to admit, that unfortunately I'm not a huge banana fan, but this stuff is really good! I'm looking forward to when she introduces her It's To Die For Lemon Loaf! Hopefully it will be just as moist and outstanding as the banana bread.

An exhausted Erin Ireland nearing the end of her epic 11 hour baking session.

The Two Daughters Bakeshop story:
Lisa is a mom of-- you guessed it -- two daughters. The younger of which has Celiac disease. She had been baking with wheat for years until the diagnosis of her youngest child changed that life recipe. Experimenting with different gluten free flours for months until she finally got the texture the way she wanted it; moist and spongy, not dry and crumbly. I'm happy to report she's got it right! The brownies are moist and rich and the "Oreo" is gooey and sweet. With her own gluten free, egg free and dairy free recipe she's now branching out, offering her own flour mix for sale and by expanding the business. Soon there will be a covered porch in the back to enjoy her baked goodies and coffee too. Thanks Lisa! Nice to chat with you and your little helper too.

Lisa Reichelt. Owner/proprietor of Two Daughters Bakeshop.


Make it yummy & healthy!

For anyone who thinks gluten free meals mean tasteless meals I have this to say to you:

Pulled pork (corn) tacos.
Fried meat & onions with polenta & veggies.
Quinoa corn pasta spaghetti or penne in veggie or meat sauce.
Home made 'Zza on gf flatbreads.

Honey garlic chicken wings with brown rice or red potatoes.
Meat loaf served with coconut mash potatoes.
BBQ Hamburgers on Udi's gluten free buns with Daiya and pickles and Pan fried sweet potato fries.
Lentil soup
Corn Chowder
Stewed beef slow cooked with carrots, potatoes, onions and everything but the kitchen sink.
Quinoa & rice salad with chopped veggies, apples, nuts & cranberries.
Tuna salad on a bed of spinach with diced apples and nuts & sesame dressing.

Okay, I'll stop so you can run to the fridge.

Raw carrots dipped in hummus.
Gfree tortilla chips dipped in guacamole.
Coconut 'iced cream' (non dairy Luna & Larry's) with broken up bits of g-free/ dairy free chocolate chip cookies. 
Ohyeah and fruit... if you like that sort of thing ;]

Eat well, be well. Just do your best and enjoy your good times!


03/13/13 Experimenting with change.

Just when you least expect it, change happens. I recently moved into a larger space and what a joy it's been to break into those boxes of kitchen gadgets art works and art supplies that I haven't seen for 4+ years. Stuff is just stuff but sometimes it says 'home'.

A few weeks ago I went to my favourite gluten free bakery here in Vancouver and inquired about the chicken pot pies. The customer service person was a little distracted, trying to train someone and answer my questions too, but did look up the recipe for me in the big binder to see if there was any dairy in the pies. When the pie was heating up at home, it smelled amazing. I was really ready for something special. I took a few bites and thought; This is too good to be dairy free but I kept eating it. When I was about halfway through, I got a bit scared and so I went on the Gluten Free Epicurean Facebook page to make an inquiry about the pie. Within 40 minutes I learned that not only are the pie shells for the meat pies made with dairy (margarine) but also there is whole milk IN the pie! By that time I had enjoyed every morcel of that amazing meal and decided that what ever would be, I would not regret having eaten it, because THIS pie was the best thing I've eaten in ages!

Later that evening as I braced myself for symptoms, I found instead that I had no immediate reaction. The next morning things were running a bit slow, if you know what I mean and I thought; Hey, if that's all that happens I'm definitely taking note.

Because I could not get that beautiful pie off my mind, I decided to experiment. This past weekend I gathered up my courage to try another dairy-laden chicken pot pie because -- holy moly, if I can eat these pies I'll be a happy camper! Well guess what? Aside from some (normal for me) upper digestive outbursts.... I CAN EAT THIS STUFF!

What's going on? (don't ask me.) I'm assuming that my hormones, body chemicals, (what ever) have changed in some way and or my gut has healed enough from my abstinence of gluten eating, I'm going to embark on a longer experiment of eating things that "may contain traces of milk" to actually eating things WITH dairy in them and see how this goes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going out to eat a bunch of ice cream or eat cheese cake quite yet. I'll take it one step at a time. It's been more than 10 years since I regularly ate things with dairy in them so this is pretty momentous. This is a new chapter in my life so it's nice to be able to mark it with a dietary change as well.

Cheers all! Eat mindfully and be healthy.

July 2013: Just an update on the re-introduction of dairy... it was a fail. Although I seemed to be able to digest the dairy with out too much discomfort, I later had 48+ hour migraines as the pay back.
This happened at each attempt so I gave it up. So sad. Oh well.  



The Biochemistry of a gluten free body

Ever think about it? Example: We are what we eat. Each day we try and respond to our body's needs by thinking and feeling and decision making. What might I be needing? While at the same time; What might I enjoy eating? Normally I would say I do a fairly good job at interpreting my physical and mental needs. How do I know? Because normally afterward, I feel nourished and fortified. 

I'm proud of my self nurturing, that is, except,  I can't really say I remember eating any *ohmygawdwhatishappeningtomenow!?* recently.
The last couple of days my brain seems to be reacting to some major rewiring after an event of off-the-chart anxiety, coupled together with a little paranoia and self hatred. W-H-A-T? Where did this come from? I've read my share of articles about the effects of gluten on the body and brain to know that there is way more going on with biochemical interactions than is generally recognized.

We're exposed to hundreds of chemicals a day from the fire retardants in our blankets, mattresses and rugs we walk across to the 20 or so household and personal care products we use every day on our skin and in the air we breathe. We drink water that's been pretreated with chemicals to protect us from natural things. It's really impossible to control our personal environment. All we can do is make the right decisions according to the messages our bodies are giving us and (the labels we try so hard to read) on our foods. It's been more than a few years since I read that newborn babies are found to have over 200 chemicals already in their body. Egads.

I guess we can just expect to feel 'weird' sometimes. We're lucky to be here, alive and with our friends and family. I guess it's just another reminder to enjoy the moment. 

Happy Healthy 2013 folks!