Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wise Bites Cookies | Allergy-friendly deliciousness

All you baked-goods loving, allergy-suffering folks, there's a new cookie on the block and you're going to adore them. Wise Bites are free of the top eight allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, fish and shellfish), which means nearly anyone with a food allergy can enjoy them and given the delicious flavour profile and great texture, enjoy them you will.

Wise Bites are unassuming looking cookies that are reminiscent of a power bar, they are a dense cookie with an almost fudgy texture that is neither gooey or crumbly. The flavour on the other hand is all cookie, despite the change in texture from traditional (wheat-based) cookies, the quinoa chocolate chip cookies tasted remarkably familiar.  If you love candied ginger, you MUST try the quinoa triple ginger cookie;  the ginger is evident in every bite but never overpowering nor overwhelming. The third and final wise bite cookie is the quinoa triple fudge and its every bit as tasty as it sounds.

Wise Bites also come in small bars in the same three flavours; with two small bars per package they were perfect snack to feed to my boys and given the healthy ingredients I didn't even feel guilty about letting them eat pre-packaged cookies.

If all that wasn't good enough, these amazing little morsels are are locally made in Richmond, BC (right next to my Dad's warehouse in fact) and their primary ingredient happens to be one of my all time favourite grains, quinoa. Don't be put off if quinoa isn't your thing, these cookies taste amazing and not a bit like quinoa.

Wise Bites also make hearty quinoa muffins (that I would absolutely buy if they were available at my local coffee shop) and sell bulk items such as quinoa flour, chocolate chips and organic crystallized ginger.

Wise Bites are available at a number of local stores, or they can be purchased online. I hope you try them and love them as much as I do.

Share the love folks, you can find Wise Bites online, on Facebook and on Twitter!

I recieved product in exchange for this review, however all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Angry Bird Costume and a Peanut-Free Halloween

This is the first year the boy understands what Halloween and trick or treating really means. In fact, at three and a half, its probably the first year that he's even understood the word 'candy'. That means that this year is going to be way more fun, involve way more sugar and probably involve just as many, if not more, catastrophic meltdowns.
Angry Bird Costume
Without asking for his opinion, inspired by Pinterest (of course), I decided to make the boy an Angry Birds costume, based on a sweatshirt that I've made it him before. The idea being that it would have a similar feel and fit in the hopes that he would be eager to wear it. I just finished it today and now that its stuffed, its doesn't exactly resemble his other sweatshirt, but I did get him to put it on, for at least a moment.

Getting him to wear his costume however, is the least of my worries.  Much higher on my priority list is watching out for peanuts and potential peanut contamination. I have this fear that the boy is going to grab a candy out of his bag, somehow get it open and eat something delicious and equally deadly like a peanut butter cup before an adult can stop him.
Red Halloween (Peanut-Free)
Fortunately, the good folks at Nestle sent me one of their Red Peanut Free boxes of Halloween sized candy that I can allow my boy to eat without worrying. I've already purchased a second box that I'll be using for 'tradsies' with the boy when we sort through his candy; although not dairy free, the red box includes Aero bars, which are a safe treat for those of us living the gluten-free life.

Thanks to Yummy Mummy Club Founder Erica Ehm, Vancouver mom's everywhere will be making Halloween safe for allergic kids. If you're purchasing peanut-free treats, place the box in your window and let Mom's like me know that your treats are safe for their special little person!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegan Indian Cooking with Anupy Singla | Cooking Demo in Vancouver October 13, 2012

Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla
I love the flavours of Indian food, however I must admit I'm not always up for the heat and combined with dietary restrictions, eating out can be a bit of a challenge. Enter Anupy Singla's books 'The Indian Slow Cooker' and her more recent 'Vegan Indian Cooking' and suddenly eating Indian food for dinner is not only possible, its easy.
Vegan Peas and Cheese
Anupy's books use healthy, whole foods and authentic blends of spices to create delicious meals. Best of all, given that her entire second book is vegan, my family's dairy-free diet is a non-issue.  In fact I was able to create one of my favourite dishes, 'peas and cheese' by substituting baked tofu for the traditional paneer. It was so tasty my vegetarian friend and I gobbled it up in no time flat, we even forgot to take a picture to share with you all.
Each dish in the book begins with a thorough introduction to Indian cooking, ingredients and spices and each recipe includes a personalized note from Anupy sharing anything from the history of the dish, her personal  memories and a experiences or a brief description of the flavours that the dish imparts.

After reading through most of the recipes in her books, I already kind of feel like I know Anupy and if you want to know her too, she's going to be in Vancouver doing a FREE cooking demonstration and book signing this Saturday, here are the details:

Anupy Singla
FREE Cooking Demonstration and Book Signing
Saturday October 13, 2012
1:00pm - 2:30pm
1740 West 2nd Ave

If you're in the market for a new cookbook and need something to do, on what's anticipated to be a very wet Vancouver Saturday, stop by Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks and meet Anupy Singla.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lessons Learned Thus Far on the Fab Uplift Detox

If you include the precleanse days, I'm almost 10 days into the Fab Uplift Detox. I won't say its been easy, but it certainly hasn't been as difficult as I anticipated.  I also can't say I feel like a million bucks quite yet, but I do feel good; like I've been nourishing my body and truly giving it a chance to find a balance that may never have existed, but if it did, it was long before I had children.

Although there's still six more days left in the Fab Uplift Detox, I already feel like I've learned some important lessons that I hope to carry into my everyday life.

I don't NEED coffee; I've been drinking it on a daily basis for close to fifteen years but its been at least a week since I found myself needing to resist the urge for a coffee. It still smells delicious and I'm sure it tastes as delectable as I remember, but if I can take my previous daily habit and turn it into a treat, that's a remarkable success.

I don't NEED meat to feel satisfied; I have a big appetite, a hearty metabolism and high protein needs. My regular diet includes an egg for breakfast, protein with my lunch (usually dinner leftovers) and meat with my dinner, so I was more than a little apprehensive about embarking on a plant-based diet, even if it was only for 16 days. Without legumes and grains, the last few days have left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied but on the whole, the food on this cleanse has been fabulous, filling and easy (though time consuming) to prepare.

Smoothies don't NEED milk or juice; for some reason I was under the impression that a smoothie made with water would be disgusting and that's just not true. When armed with fresh fruits and vegetables, superfoods like hemp seeds, goji berries and my new favourite raw cacao powder, water and a little ice is all that's required to bring that healthy deliciousness together.

I can't wait to see what other tidbits of insight the Fab Uplift Detox is going to bring me. Today was our juice and smoothie day, which means that we've made it through the toughest part of the cleanse and tomorrow we start slowly reintroducing nuts/seeds, gluten-free whole grains and finally legumes back into our diet. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to eventually re-introducing meat, but I love knowing that my body can function, with remarkable alertness and clarity, on an entirely plant based diet.

As a sidebar, my apologies for my absence and lack of posts, my computer has been having some issues and is currently on its way to the manufacturer for some diagnostic tests. Plus I've been spending oodles of time in the kitchen preparing yummy, healthy food to feed my detoxing body!