Oh My Cod! Finding gluten free vegan eating in Mahone Bay, Canada

I’m on holiday in Nova Scotia, an area known for its seafood, so I was fairly worried about finding food that suited my dietary needs as a lactose intolerant, coeliac vegetarian.

I actually didn’t need to worry as I’ve found many places to be accomodating and helpful.

Today that place was Oh My Cod! in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Whilst my husband tucked into a local delicacy I was delighted to discover their gluten free menu including gluten free chips, gluten free sandwich bread and gluten free batter should you want to try the seafood. I had The Herbivore sandwich which contains humous, grilled slices of pepper, onion, rocket and avocado.

Served with rustic chips (with bits of skin left on hurrah) and a guarantee of gluten free due to the separate fryers.

I’ve really enjoyed meal at Oh My Cod! It’s definitely a reminder to check out options for vegans and coeliacs where you would least expect it!

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Heartwood by the Sea, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I’m enjoying a holiday in Nova Scotia. I’m travelling to a few different places in the province and have already found quite a few nice gluten free and vegan foods and meals. One of my favourite meals was lunch at Heartwood by the Sea in downtown Halifax.

There are two Heartwood restaurants in Halifax which serve a selection of vegan and vegetarian foods including a number of gluten free options. I’m going to check out the restaurants on Quinpool road and Göttingen whilst I am here but today I enjoyed lunch at the pop up on the waterfront.

The menu is fairly extensive and includes vegan bowls as well as baked goods like cookies and energy bars.

I discovered veganism after diagnosis I was lactose intolerant. I found it easy to embrace as a vegetarian and having a coeliac disease too but sometimes it can feel frustrating looking for places I can eat safely.

I explained my dietary requirements including my nut allergy and was recommended to try the rainbow bowl. The rainbow bowl has brown rice, steamed green vegetables, roasted sweet potato and beetroots and tofu. All served up with a choice of sauce. As I’m allergic to nuts I went for the spicy tomato sauce. The food was delicious and suited my allergies and requirements perfectly.

Also impressive was the commitment to environmental responsibility. With biodegradable straws, bowls and cutlery as well as organic ingredients Heartwood by the Sea definitely won me over. And the little birds enjoyed the leftover rice too.

IKEA Veggie Balls – gluten free & vegan

Plant based choices are really taking off and I’m delighted to be finding vegan and coeliac friendly foods in places I wouldn’t usually look for them.

Following a lead from a vegan friend I recently got myself to IKEA to sample their veggie take on the iconic Swedish meatballs.

I have not been dissaoppointed. In the food section before the exit (several packs of candles and mini cacti after I arrived) I found the frozen veggie balls called Allemansrätten. You can buy a quite frankly huge bag for only £3.95 so it’s very affordable.

Also very easy, they cook from frozen and take less than 20 minutes. I’ve cooked these tasty gluten free goodies with kale, spinach garlic and green beans and served with hearty brown rice for a summery and delicious evening meal.

Happy IKEA-ing to all!

Spinach and Courgette Balsamic Tart

I love a pastry based meal. Having just discovered the gluten free, vegan Jus Rol puff pastry I think it’s fair to expect and few simple pies and tarts coming your way from me!

This is one of my favourites. It’s incredibly easy to cook too.

Start by allowing the pastry to warm for 10 minutes when you take it out of the fridge. I’m not sure if this is specific to gluten free or dairy free pastry but is certainly the case on the instructions for this brand.

Whilst the pastry is coming to room temperature wilt down some spinach brining it to a low heat in a large pan. This is also a great time to slice the courgette finely. The thinner the better as they may need to overlap in places.

Roll out the pastry and spread a small amount of garlic paste across the top.

It’s really important to pat dry the wilted spinach. If you don’t get the excess moisture out the tart will be really claggy. Place the dry spinach across the pastry to form a base.

Once covered in spinach layer slices of courgette across the base and top with dairy free cheese. I’m living Daiya dairy free mozzarella for this recipe.

Pop into the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark I take out the tart and top with balsamic glaze before popping back into the oven for a final 10 minutes.

This is a great summer evening meal suitable for everyone.

The White Rabbit Pizza Co – Smokin Vegan GF

As a coeliac, vegan it’s not been often I’ve found ready made meals in the supermarket. Whilst I love cooking from scratch sometimes it is lovely to enjoy a dinner without any preparation.

Fortunately though as many more people are enjoying the benefits of a plant based lifestyle there are more vegan and gluten free brands emerging. One of those is The White Rabbit Pizza Co. I really enjoyed this pizza and wanted to share that enjoyment and recommendation with you all.

Spicy Parsnip and Coriander Carrot Soup

Two of my favourite winter soups are spicy parsnip and carrot and coriander. This soup combines those flavours and is perfect and enjoyable.

This is another easy dish to cook. Add chopped parsnips, carrots and onions to a large pan. To serve 6 I used 4 large parsnips, 4 large carrots and a white onion.

Add chopped garlic, red chilli and coriander. Then cover with stock and bring to the boil. Using gluten free vegan stock cubes like the Kallo brand means this meal is perfect for my coeliac needs and vegan dietary choices.

Once boiling turn down the heat and cook on a low setting for about an hour so the soup simmers slowly.

Once cooked blend and enjoy the heat of the chilli with the aromatic coriander. Soups like this make me happy to be a coeliac vegan.

Tamari Tofu and Aubergine

Tofu is such a perfect food. Loved by vegans it brings protein and nutrients as well as a tasty staple and focus of a meal.

This meal is so easy cook. Start by marinating sliced aubergine and tofu in tamari sauce. I’m using the Kikkoman gluten free tamari.

Then heat a large griddle pan. To reduce fat I use Fry Light Coconut spray rather than a full oil. Cook chopped tofu and aubergine on the hot griddle turning half way through. It will only take a few minutes to cook the tofu and aubergine.

Just before cooking is completed add chopped spring onions to fry lightly.

Serve with steamed mange tout for a tasty vegan treat.