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By Catherine Dunwoody Jenna Perreault has a secret weapon. There’s a reason why her aptly named Delish Gluten Free Bakery in Port Coquitlam has folks from all over flocking to it. The top-secret weapon? Perreault’s grandmother’s gluten-free flour blend that took her 20 years to perfect. See what having celiac disease, and being a lover of baked goods will inspire a person to do? Jenna’s taken that flour blend and uses it to create everything from fluffy focaccia, to dense chewy fudge brownies, to pies with buttery crusts that would fool any discerning palette to believe these pastries surely must contain gluten. As a food writer, and being diagnosed with celiac disease just two years ago, I have tried every gluten-free bakery I can, usually with disappointing results. Textures like sandpaper, or Styrofoam is my motto generally – until I discovered Delish. I chatted with chef/owner, and new mom, Jenna…

By Kathy Mak Audrey Wong is the force and founder behind Living Lotus, a Vancouver company focused on satisfying your sweet tooth with dreamy desserts that have better-for-you, rawsome ingredients.  Without turning on an oven, Wong is crafting an array of luscious plant-based desserts made from minimally processed whole foods that are packed with nutrients but gluten-free, vegan and devoid of chemicals, additives and refined sugar. Uniting delicious and nutritious – as sustainably as possible – has long been a priority for Wong who has been a vegetarian for over 26 years and a vegan for five.  Her mindful-eating interest turned to raw foods in 2007, inspired by Matthew Kenny’s book, Raw Food/Real World.  While gluten-free and vegan foods are becoming more commonplace, Wong found few options for dessert alternatives using only whole foods. After studying raw nutrition culinary arts, Wong made the leap to start a dessert company with…

By Alexis Baran What if cheese wasn’t made from dairy? Would it still be cheese? This cultured snack favourite can be buttery, sweet, herbal, earthy, pungent, bitter, footy, even barnyardy. It’s one of the few foods that people will gladly eat even (or especially) when visibly laced with thick blue mold and it is a staple of modern dining. For centuries it’s been made using cow, goat, sheep and other animals’ milks – but who’s to say milk is the only thing that can create a fantastic cheese? The assumption that animal milk must be the base for cheese is a notion that Chef Karen McAthy, the founder of Blue Heron Cheese, has been challenging. She’s aiming to change how consumers, as well as the food regulators, think about these wheels of flavour, all from her store and creamery on Vancouver’s Main Street. Blue Heron Creamery opened in Vancouver in…

By Lenée Son Under the sweltering summer heat, there’s nothing better than cooling down with a walk on the White Rock pier and an ice cold treat. Whether it’s gelato, frozen yogurt, or traditional ice cream you’re craving, this beachside city is a haven for icy desserts. Here are four must-try places. Sandcastle Sea Shoppe Located at the east beach in White Rock, Sandcastle Sea Shoppe has the largest selection of ice cream in the city. They carry fifty flavours at all times and nearly seventy during the peak season in the summer. Take your pick from gelato, ice cream, milk shakes, smoothies, or old fashioned frozen yogurt. The Sandcastle Sea Shoppe is home to the twin cone, a cone with a platform for two ice cream flavours side-by-side rather than on top of each other, which you won’t find anywhere else on the beach. They also carry an assortment…

By Catherine Dunwoody Ice Cream has blown up on Canada’s West Coast and charming new shops and parlours are popping up all over. But what about the folks who have allergies, sensitivities or make choices not to eat gluten or dairy? And who doesn’t like a cooling, sweet, creamy treat? Fret not folks, I did the research for you! Here’s my list of the best, where to go for it, and what to taste. Where: La Glace, Vancouver Try: Most ice creams here are gluten-free so, if you are as well, skip the cone and get a cup. Top your treat with a marshmallow or meringue (also gluten-free). Vegans and the lactose-intolerant will love the Chocohuete, which is made with peanut butter and dark chocolate. It’s dairy-free and made with their own made-in-house cashew milk base. Where: Spiritual Ingredients, White Rock Try: Nut allergy? You’re safe with any of the…

By Jackie Dives Commercial Drive is a hot spot for food and shopping. Head north from your ride along the Central Valley Greenway for plenty of food options.  At Commercial Drive and East 7th you can grab a casual yet stacked burger and beer at Relish. It has a bit of a cafeteria vibe, so if that’s not exactly what you’re looking for try Jam Jar. For a completely new experience head a few stores down to 77k Freeze, where they make custom ice cream to order. This is a gem for people who have particular allergies or eating restrictions, as you choose the ingredients and they freeze the ice cream on the spot using liquid nitrogen. As the Greenway goes through Burnaby it takes more of a backroad detour. Still, there are a few places to stop and grab some treats to-go that are nearby. If chocolate is what…

By Lisa Reichelt, Two Daughters Bakeshop INGREDIENTS All Purpose Flour Blend, Gluten Free (2.5 cups) Organic cane sugar (2 cups) Cocoa powder (8 tbsp) Baking powder (1.5 tsp) Xanthan gum (1 tsp) Salt (2 tsp) Organic rice milk (375 ml) Organic canola oil (350 ml) Organic vanilla (1.5 tbsp) Organic chocolate chips (1 cup) DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2. With a stand mixer, blend canola oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the rice milk and blend again. 3. Add dry ingredients to wet mix and blend well, stopping to scrape bowl. 4. Spread mixture evenly in a 9×11 glass baking dish, lightly greased or lined with parchment paper 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40min. or until knife inserted in to brownie comes out clean Learn more about Two Daughters Bakeshop on Vancouver’s North Shore here.

By Kathy Mak These days, consumers wanting or needing gluten-free and vegan options do not have to miss out on delicious baked products, thanks to a growing number of specialty bakeries in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. But, the only decidedly all gluten-free and vegan bakery in the Vancouver area yet, is Two Daughters Bakeshop. They provide a large selection of oven-fresh, healthy products that are both gluten-free and vegan-friendly, without compromising on irresistible flavours. Tucked away in Lolo Lane, between 1st Street East and Esplanade Avenue, the cozy artisan bakery is located steps away from Lonsdale Quay on Vancouver`s North Shore. In 2012, Lisa Reichelt opened the bakery, dedicated to making gluten-free-vegan pastries, snacks, breads and desserts. It was inspired by her passion for baking and by her youngest daughter’s need for a celiac diet without eggs, dairy and gluten. Two Daughters Bakershop’s mission is to use the…

By Catherine Dunwoody Vegans and vegetarians will want to add Sunday visits to the Coquitlam Farmers Market to their calendars, from now until end of October. Jessica Kralj, owner of Tasty Plants, has a love for plant-based foods, and a knack for preparing a variety of delicious dishes, that she sells at the market. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Kralj offers fresh and frozen prepared meals plus brownies, cookies, bars, and snacks. Customers line up for her three bean and quinoa chili, enchiladas, curried chickpeas and cauliflower soup. Sweet tooth? Try the energy bites (2 flavors: dark cocoa-coconut and key-lime coconut), and vegan brownies. Tasty Plants does not use any animal products/by-products, supports BC farmers and suppliers, and is an environmentally friendly business. “There are so many health issues associated with the consumption of meats and dairy, as well as so many people with allergies to these products and not many…