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Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Gluten-Free Dining in Canada

Traveling in Canada is always a joy—the people are delightful, the scenery is spectacular, and Canadians understand what it means to be on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free Pizza in Banff, Alberta

Gluten-free Pizza in Banff, Alberta

My travels were in the province of Alberta, where we enjoyed the beauty of Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper with beautiful mountain scenery, glaciers, and rushing streams and waterfalls.

Gorgeous scenery in Banff, Alberta

Gorgeous scenery in Banff, Alberta

It was a lot like my state of Colorado’s mountains and perhaps that’s why I like it so much. Our final 3 days were in Calgary to watch my grandson’s lacrosse tournament (see more about lacrosse below).

Of course, I was eager to see how Canadian restaurants would handle my gluten-free lifestyle, so here is a summary of my experiences. As you can see, there were some hits …..and a few misses!

BANFF AND LAKE LOUISE
The Meatball Pizza and Pasta
We just happened to drive past this restaurant, which is located in the Banff Ptarmigan Inn, but what a great restaurant. Their gluten-free pizza, with house-made crust  (see photo at right), was phenomenal. None of the pizza restaurants, however, offered vegan cheese (usually Daiya brand) that we can easily find in Denver.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
This is a big, grand old hotel, built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 1880’s. It resembles a castle and it looks out over an incredibly beautiful mountain range. We had lunch on the outdoor patio of the Rundle Lounge, which boasts a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains. My hamburger came with a gluten-free bun, upon request.

Earl’s Kitchen + Bar
Earl’s Kitchen + Bar is a chain, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and we have a location near my home in Denver. At Earl’s, gluten-free items are clearly marked on the menu so I had tacos with corn tortillas. They were fantastic and the customer service was excellent, too.

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
This restaurant was actually located in Canmore, just outside Banff. Gluten-free items were clearly marked on the menu, so I chose a Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) which was delicious.

Wild Flour Bakery
The Wild Flour Banff Artisan Bakery has many gluten-free choices (both sweet and savory), but I chose a huge banana chocolate chip muffin which was fabulous. I only got to visit this baker once, but if I go back to Banff it will be my first stop! I devoured the muffin and forgot to take a photo.

Chateau Deli at Lake Louise Chateau Fairmont
You might not expect good gluten-free food at a deli, but I was shocked to find a ready-made, shrink-wrapped ham-and-cheese sandwich on gluten-free bread. The bread was phenomenal , the closest thing to a croissant that I have ever eaten. In fact, I was so taken aback that I ate the whole sandwich before I remembered to take a photo!

JASPER
Evil Dave’s Grill
The primary reason we chose this restaurant was mostly because of its name… Evil Dave’s Grill. Despite its wild name, it was a fairly subdued place. The highlight was a warm gluten-free cake/brownie that was the perfect end to our steak dinner.

Warm Gluten-Free Brownie

Warm Gluten-Free Brownie

Bear’s Paw Bakery
This is a thriving bakery, with two locations in Jasper. Their muffins are not segregated away from the gluten muffins, but to their credit, the employees warn you that the muffins could be cross-contaminated. I really appreciated their candor, but I ate a muffin anyway with no problems.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
This hotel was located outside Jasper, overlooking a lovely serene lake. We ate outside and I had my first “banh mi” which is a Vietnamese sandwich. The restaurant served it on a gluten-free Udi’s bun and it was fabulous.

Mt. Robson Inn
I wouldn’t recommend this motel, however, I was pleased to find individual-wrapped bagels by Udi’s at the free breakfast. Because they were individually wrapped, there was no danger of contamination and I toasted mine in a toaster bag, which I always carry with me when traveling.

CALGARY
Pacini
This restaurant is conveniently located in a hotel right near the Calgary airport, and is called Pacini. Imagine my surprise when the menu listed gluten-free bread, which was served lightly grilled. It was delicious!

Grilled Gluten-Free Bread

Grilled Gluten-Free Bread

Homewood Suites Hotel Breakfast
This new hotel included breakfast and I could order gluten-free bread, which I did. Unfortunately, the bread had been frozen and I think they thawed it in a microwave oven (on High) because within seconds it was hard as a rock and inedible.

Deerfoot Inn & Casino
This hotel was near my grandson’s lacrosse tournament (see below). I was pleased to order gluten-free bread at breakfast. Like most of the restaurants with gluten-free bread, it was Udi’s brand (which the servers pronounced as “oodiss”).

My General Impressions on Dining in Canada
Most of my experiences with gluten-free dining in Canada were positive. I noticed that some restaurants identified their approach as “gluten-aware” or “gluten-free aware” which servers explained to me as using gluten-free ingredients without guaranteeing there was no cross-contamination. So, that means to always ask questions about how the food is prepared to assess whether it is safe for you.

I found was able to find gluten-free beer brands, such as  Glutenberg brand made with millet, that I can’t find in the U.S.

More About Lacrosse
I was in Canada to watch my grandson’s lacrosse tournament. In case you aren’t familiar with lacrosse, the idea is to get the ball into the opponent’s net but you can only cradle or throw the ball from a small net pocket attached to the end of a stick. It requires a high degree of hand-eye coordination and I am amazed at the skill it takes to play the game. It is considered a contact sport, though not as rough as football.

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