One of the hardest things for me to deal with since my celiac disease diagnosis and eating gluten free, is the impact that it has had on my day to day activities and chores. I have always loved eating out. I am a stay-at-home mom and at least a couple of times a week I used to arrange my errands around grabbing lunch on the go. I cook and clean for my family, so a lunch out where someone else cooks and cleans up after me has always been a nice treat. Since going gluten free, that ritual has changed. I don’t feel safe eating out almost anywhere and now I plan my errands around being home where I can safely enjoy a meal. I get exhausted packing lunches for three kids already (do any moms actually enjoy packing school lunches?) so having to also pack a lunch for myself is a special kind of torture that I am now regularly forced endure when I can’t make it home to eat.
Well, today I stopped at the Calgary Farmers’ Market because I heard there was a new place, Major Spud & The Kernel, where they prepare hot, yummy and gluten free food! I used to go to the farmers’ market all the time to load up on fresh fruit and veggies (I can’t live without the Innisfail Growers carrots) and I almost always used to squeeze in a visit to Margaritas To Go for perogies and blintz (oh how I miss blintz). Since my celiac diagnosis, my visits to the market have been much less frequent. I did discover Delissitude, a place where I can get gluten free perogies, the only downside is that they come frozen so they don’t satisfy my need for instant gratification (but that is what their blueberry vanilla muffins and yummy cupcakes are for, right)? I actually cried when I tried Delissitude perogies for the first time because they tasted surprisingly like the gluteny perogies that I had grown up eating (is gluteny a word?). I almost cried again today when tasting the yummy food from Major Spud & The Kernel! I had a vegan veggie waffle made with cauliflower, broccoli and onions, and since that sounded so healthy I also indulged in a loaded baked potato full of bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives. Originally, I was so excited that I considered ordering one of each item on the menu, but I decided to save something to go back for. The waffle was delicious and the baked potato was TO DIE FOR. I had a smasher, which looked to be about half the size of the full baked potato and I regretted my decision because it was so tasty that I wanted more! Each item came with a yummy little cornbread muffin too. It was a lot of food – I was sharing with my daughter and I am pretty sure I won’t need supper tonight.
When I was leaving the market I also spoke to the cowboy popcorn folks from Sugar Creek Kettle Corn Co. at the south-east entrance and they assured me that the kettle is gluten free. They do have some flavoured popcorn and caramel corn produced offsite which they didn’t recommend, but the regular cowboy popcorn that smells so good as you walk by is gluten-free! So, my Calgarian gluten free community, if you haven’t been to the Calgary Farmers’ Market in a while, head on down to Major Spud & The Kernel. After lunch, don’t forget to stop by Delissitude for dessert (my daughter loves the cupcakes) and pick up some perogies for your freezer (and muffins for breakfast). You can eat the popcorn on the way home. Are you hungry yet? Have I convinced you to head down to the market?
If you don’t follow these local gluten free vendors on Facebook or Instagram, make sure you click below and give them a like or start following them, it is our job to make sure that vendors like these feel the love and continue to cater to our gluten free needs. Here are the links to their pages.
If you don’t live in Calgary I hope your local farmer’s market or artisan market has some gluten free finds for you. Make sure you check it out, I am starting to find that local markets often have vendors catering to special dietary needs like ours. Everyone deserves a stress-free lunch out once in a while! I would love to hear what you find!