Tag Archives: Health

Guest Post: 5 Tips to Turn Your Favourite Dish Gluten-Free by: Bridget Sandorford

Thank you to Bridget Sandorford from culinaryschool.org  who was kind enough to share her tips to turning your fave dishes Gluten-Free!  

Top 5 Tips to Turn Your Favorite Dishes Gluten-Free

540926535_6117cae4b9_mGluten has become a buzz word for what we’ve always known to be a part of some of our favorite foods – like pizza, pasta, bread and cake. Technically, it’s the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley that can cause any number of health issues, such as digestive upset, chronic pain and a weakened immune system. Informally, it’s known as delicious.

Unfortunately, a great number of people are sensitive to gluten or even intolerant to it. As more people recognize the symptoms, they are starting to adopt gluten-free diets for greater energy, ease of weight loss, and relief from poor health symptoms. However, some find it hard to make the switch to a gluten-free diet and giving up all those favorite foods. Here are a few ways that you can turn your favorite dishes into gluten-free options so that you can maintain the healthy diet you need while still enjoying the foods you love:

1. Use a Gluten-Free Flour

Many flours can be easily substituted without changing the flavor or consistency of a recipe. Instead of using white or wheat flour, you can use almond flour, rice flour or even potato flour. You may need to make some adjustments since many flours cannot be substituted one-for-one. Look up substitution recommendations with the manufacturer of the flour, or just try out some experiments and learn what works through trial and error.

tip from Joy: Quinoa Flour is nutty and nice for baking as well!

2. Eliminate the Flour Altogether

gluten free fudgy brownie made with black beans topped with icecreamNot all recipes even need the flour to work – including many baked goods. You can use ingredients such as black beans, apple sauce, bananas, and even additional eggs to substitute flour in dishes from brownies to cake to pancakes. Surf some gluten-free recipe sites for some ideas, or pick up a good gluten-free recipe cookbook. Once you get a few ideas, you can try experimenting with some recipes of your own.

tip from Joy: check out my Black Bean Brownies Recipe – no flour!

3. Think Outside the Bun

A sandwich just doesn’t seem the same without bread, nor a hamburger without a bun. Yet you can still enjoy these favorites without the gluten. You can use romaine lettuce leaves to sandwich your hamburger or to create a nice wrap for your sandwich fillings, or you can just put your ingredients in a bowl and make a salad or bowl meal out of it.

tip from Joy: instead of breadcrumbs in your homemade burgers add GF oatmeal instead! Look for a GF Worcestershire Sauce for some added flavour!

4. Make Veggies Work for You

Veggies can take on the shape and texture of many of your favorite dishes if they are prepared right. For example, you can use a spiralizer to turn zucchini and squash into “pasta noodles” and top them with your favorite sauce. Zucchini, kale, and other veggies can be ground up or sliced and dehydrated to create a “bread” or “chips.” Again, check out a few recipe books and experiment to see what you like best.

5. Make Friends with Nuts

Peanuts anyone?Nuts can be used to make everything from flours for breads to crunchy coatings for “fried” items. You can soak them and ground them for flours or meal, which can be used for baking, frying and sauces. You can chop them up and use them to create a crispy, flaky crust for fried chicken or onion rings. Not only are nuts naturally gluten-free, but they are also full of nutrients, including healthy fats.

tip from Joy:  try grinding some almond flakes with a coffee grinder (whole nuts may burn out the motor in a smaller grinder) to make Gluten Free Onion Rings so awesome!

If you feel like a gluten-free diet could benefit you, don’t be scared off by thinking that you’ll never get to eat bread or pizza again. You can make even your favorite dishes gluten-free by just substituting the ingredients. You’ll make the meal healthier, and you won’t sacrifice any of the flavor.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching the job description of a line cook. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

As always let me know you like what you read by clicking like or sharing a comment! Follow me on Twitter!  enJoy!



Blogging on Blogs: My Top 6

newyearIts New Years Day – welcome 2013!  I contemplated writing a my “top ten” list for  2012 or my new years resolutions etc…. nothing was screaming “write about me!!” (which is good actually – means I’m not hearing voices either), but like most of you out there – I read or peruse various blogs on a daily or weekly basis so I decided to share with you (in no particular order) my favorite blog posts of 2012.

  1.  A great blog entry from my friend Jenny Foster Vaya, owner of Prema Yoga,  (rather amusingly) called “Embrace the Toot”  – entertaining yet informative!
  2. My own (patting self on back, haha) entry “What does Bully-ing mean to you” – because, well its an important subject, a subject to keep in the limelight,  and the entry that according to my site status, my readership engaged with the most.
  3. Ashley Dale Roy, personal trainer and owner of Royally Fit, tells it the way it is, in the only way she knows how (and we love you for it Ash!), straight up with no b***s**t, about healthy eating & weigh loss in her blog entry “Diets Suck“.
  4. The Cocktail Deeva herself, Dee, talks about doing the Edge Walk on the CN Tower, in “Trust Me “– never heard of this?  Me neither! This one was one of my fave’s simply because for a chicken sh*t someone like me who is terrified of heights and won’t even walk on the glass floor of the CN Tower – the reality of someone (on purpose) hanging by a safety line and inching themselves along the platform on the OUTSIDE of the tower (did I mention it was ON PURPOSE) is simply amazing.  Way to go, well done!
  5. Speaking of “Diva’s” lets move on to this entry titled “Pot and Brownies” by Domestic Diva, MD.  First of all the title’s catchy – no?  (if you said no – I say HA! you lie!)I love reading this blog – it not only gives great recipes (there’s one for Gluten Free Brownies in this entry) but her stories surrounding being a Resident (Dr) and meeting with patients make me laugh.   Two thumbs up.
  6. Lastly, really anything by Dana Jackson creator of Hot Pink Apron, in particular “Breaking In Ricotta Gnocchi“,  well maybe because – I love Gnocchi but the gluten in it does not love me so much so I gaze at this one from afar but, wipe the drool off my chin (and the puddle of it off the floor too).

There’s probably more that I just can’t think of off the top of my head – to all of these bloggers, and for those of you who’s blogs I follow up didn’t mention – Happy New Year – make 2013 your year!

As always, I love hearing your feedback! Please comment, and like my blog!  Visit my website at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com


My 7 Steps to Get Healthy & Green Tea Iced Tea!

Alright – I will be the first to say it – Failure on the getting to exercise classes!  However – I have been making an effort to go for jogs walks with the kids and my obliques and abs can tell you  all about the planks I’ve been doing in the evenings.   In the meantime – I also started seeing a Naturalpath because I have felt just “not right”.  Well low and behold – after taking a look at my symptoms and my last 2 sets of blood work – turns out, its suspected I have some food in-tolerances, my B12 and iron are low and my thyroid is still not being controlled properly (this is not a surprise – my MD and I have been trying to get it stable for about a year).   Well what do all of these symptom have in common in the human body?  They have a cumulative effect of overall tiredness, unrest, stress, no energy and reduced adrenal activity!  OK, so maybe I wasn’t quit as lazy as I thought – well maybe as lazy – but not without an excuse!  So my new self mandate is to GET WELL – that includes trying to eliminate Gluten (one of my suspected in-tolerances),  as well as other items suggested by my ND, and get my butt moving!

  Pause for my Epic Fail this week:   I made french toast with strawberries  for the kids for lunch and enjoyed it with them, then realized after that gluten, strawberries and eggs and are all the list of foods for me to avoid while figuring our in-tolerances!  Oops)

Get Healthy Plan

  1. The first step  this week was to try and cut down/eliminate gluten.  Not as hard as you would think actually – this week (my first week) I simply made easy adjustments to my diet – bought some gluten free bread for my toast (I love toast for breakfast!), and changed out any white rice to brown.  I tried some Brown Rice Gluten Free Pasta  – which was great!
  2. The entire family loved it with my Marinara Joy Sauce and homemade meatballs (gluten free breadcrumbs).
  1. Added a lot more Quinoa both hot and cold.
  2. Get weekly B12 shots – yup I was THAT low – so far I have had 3 shots and am starting to feel more energy and less “brain fog”.
  3. Add Flax seed to my dishes to help with my cholesterol (yes I am one of those people that have high cholesterol despite healthy eating habits! Grrr, at least my “good cholesterol” offsets my bad cholesterol so I don’t currently have to take any meds for it.
  4. Take a Vitimin D supplement – ok, so I knew that baby’s needed Vit D when they were being breast fed – but I had no idea adults (sometimes) need to take it too for gut strength (due to the damage caused by eating foods I am in-tolerant too)  and to help streghten my immune system.
  5. Incorporate Green Tea. OK I am supposed to be drinking at least 3 cups a day of decafe green tea – however a tea drinker I am not!   I do really enjoy Iced Tea though – so what I do now is make a pitcher of Green Tea and sweeten with Svevia (vanilla) (plant based sugar substitute), and keep it in the fridge – now I drink about 1 litre – 1.5 litres (or more) daily! recipe for Green Tea Ice Tea, below.
  6. Get off my ass and walk/run/jog/move/plank/Pilates/yoga/kettleball/exercise whenever possible

Next Weeks additional steps 

  1. Walk for 30 min (or run or jg etc) 3 times next week.
  2. Start Meditating – I’m thinking I am going to get a CD since I really don’t know how to do this ….
  3. Get Stricter in Gluten Free Diet … (more quinoa anyone?)

 Green Tea Iced Tea

This for me is the easiest way to get the benefits of green tea without having to drink hot tea.

This is what you need.

  •  Decafe Green Tea tea bags (3 per 1.5 litre)
  • 1.5 Litre’s hot boiling water
  • 3 packets of a plant based sweetner (or 6 tsp sugar if you eat sugar) – I like the vanilla flavoured


Boil water,  pour into glass pitcher or tea pot, add decafe green tea, tea bags, allow to steep (I let it sit for 1/2 hr – 1 hr!).  Once steeped, remove tea bags and stir in sugar or sweetner (you can adjust to taste). Chill.  Serve. EnJOY.

I love hearing your comments!  Please leave me a comment and check me out on Facebook, Linked In and follow joyskitchen on Twitter!

From My kitchen  to yours – Happy & Healthy Eating!


What am I all about?

Well I think its high time, since I’ve had this blank blog for almost a month now to create something profound and important and share with you all …. wait – I don’t really have anything profound to blog about – important?  well I guess that all depends on who’s reading!  Welcome to my blog – I write about the things that are important to me – nutrition, and well living whilst dabbling in a bit of humor and story telling (all true!!) wanna come along for the ride?  Fasten your seat belt here we go!

An intro might be in order – as much as I’d love to say I was fun, fit, and fabulous  – I’d be fibbing (see that literary skill with alteration pretty impressive eh?) so I will go with a definite fun and fabulous and striving to be fit.   O ya – I happen to be Canadian too (just in case you didn’t catch the “eh” at the end of my last sentence).  Of course I do have 2 young children, a husband and am starting a business,  so sometimes I’m just having a fit, or fit to be tied or not “fitting” into an outfit … But then I digress…. so besides being a typical time crunched mom I also used to be a commuter – used to be is the key there – ahhh there’s something to be missed about sitting in traffic breathing in environmental toxins and elevating your blood pressure for 3 hours a day isn’t there? – (Ya like you miss having a root canal).

When I decided to leave my corporate job and go out on my own I thought hmmm, what interests me?  What am I good at?  Well I love cooking so I started there.  I looked at my past situation – that being no time to do anything let alone nutrition – I mean I know its important but who the heck has time to whip something up after work before taking the kids to swimming, dancing, gymnastics or whatever else maybe on the agenda?  So I looked around – and hey wow there were lots of people just like me! I started doing some market research and found out some interesting stuff I mean facts.   Like – how about the fact of the 100 ish families  I surveyed 47% of them eat take out, or hit the drive thru 1-2 times a week for dinner 19% go thru 3-4 times a week.  Wow!  Then those same people stated that they check the nutritional breakdowns in the food they buy and are concerned about sodium, fats, and cholesterol and overall nutrition. Whaaaa?  Does anyone else see a contradiction here?   Everyone knows its bad but save from making things yourself, there just aren’t a lot of options out there.   This spoke to me – actually jumped up – slapped me in the face, wiggled its butt and shouted to me – WOOOOO – Girl I think you are on to something here … and thats how my story begins….

Once upon a time there was a girl named Joy that loved to cook, and be healthy, and live well and wanted her cake and to eat it too (‘cos everyone knows there are no calories in cake)  and so I bring you Joy In Your Kitchen.  – I’m not here to tout the virtues of my business – you can visit my web site for that  – I want to share with you my passion for living well (mentally, emotionally and physically) and along the way share some of my more humorous stories, trials and tribulations  – cos everyone knows that laughter is the BEST medicine and there’s just nothing better sometimes then a good ‘ol belly laugh ….

Welcome to my blog.