Gluten-Free Moroccan Travel

Tajine

By Gabrielle Loyer, gluten-free traveler and CCA member

Morocco mapMorocco is an Arab country situated in the north-west corner of Africa, south of Europe. It is 15 kilometres from Spain, on the Mediterranean. Morocco is a major destination for tourism and Mediterranean travel. An estimated 9 million tourists visited the Kingdom of Morocco in 2010. Morocco offers a complete destination for any traveller seeking the sun, the sea, mountains and/or the desert. In Morocco, you see stark contrasts; you can pass by the Sahara with its extreme heat, or head up to the snowy Atlas Mountains with its frigid temperatures. With many cultures within one country, both the population and cuisine are diversified. Moreover, Moroccan cuisine is considered by many as one of the best in the world, with its Mediterranean flavour characterised by a variety of dishes originating in Arab and Berber traditions, complemented by numerous spices. Their food has characteristics similar to other cuisines in the Maghreb region, but while conserving its unique cultural identity.

Moroccan cuisine offers a number of gluten-free choices. Their tajines (stew), based on a variety of meats, such as beef, chicken and lamb, are probably the best choice. Tajine is the traditional plate “par excellence” of Morocco. It is a simple dish, so the success really depends on the cooking method: it must be done slowly so the meats, fish, veggies and spices mingle their scents together. You may be surprised by the sweet and salty tajines, which feature the taste of spices, almonds, and prunes. Served with vegetables, olives and the famous Moroccan eggplant salad (Zaalouk), tajine makes for a fine meal. Don’t forget that a Moroccan dining experience cannot be considered complete without a coffee or a delicious sweet tea, scented with fresh mint.

TajineSome Moroccans speak English, but the majority speak French, and certain Arab words can be useful: wheat (khramèh), barley (zarra), bread (khrobz), milk (halib) and allergic (azèzia). While Moroccans tend not to be aware of celiac disease, they are very respectful and followed our wishes with care in order to avoid cross-contamination. That said, wheat is quite common in Moroccan dishes. For breakfast, the majority of options contain gluten. There’s gheffa, a sort of wheat cake. Harcha is also prepared with wheat. Baghrirs are Moroccan crêpes that locals have with honey, butter or fresh cheese. Bread does go with all meals, but you can just leave it on the table. Moroccan pastries are varied and refined, but unfortunately, they are made with a wheat flour base. In certain spots, though, you can find nut macaroons that are gluten free. To finish off your meal, you’ll always have the chance to sample a nice seasonal fruit, such as melon, grapes, figs, or oranges. And the Moroccan snacks cannot be beat – dried fruit, dates, almonds, pistachios, grapes, apricots and figs. Olive oil and olives play a major role in Moroccan cuisine, and it’s that which gives it the Mediterranean flavour.

It’s possible to find products labelled gluten-free in the special diet section of certain commercial supermarkets, such as Marjane and Acima. The products are there, but there is not much choice – a few chocolate or ginger cookies and rice cakes. At these stores, you can also find some refrigerated gluten-free products like compotes that are labelled GF. Further, the SANTIVERI boutiques (www.santiverimaroc.com) offer a large choice of fresh, gluten-free bread, cookies, pasta and sauces.

The Cuisine Kingdom of Morocco is, therefore, a dream spot for those who love Mediterranean cuisine, with some Arab and Berber. It’s a trip to a world of flavourful and diverse gastronomy, and it will leave you eager to try Moroccan cuisine yourself when you return home.

Besaha – Bon appétit!

Gluten-Free Minestrone Soup

minestrone-soup

minestrone-soupSoups and chilis are great ways to add beans to your diet, especially on chilly winter days. When you have the time, cook your own beans (can be done a day or two ahead) and use in place of canned.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage (or 1 cup diced potatoes)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of celery seed
  • 1 cup any shape dry rice gf pasta
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine water, tomato sauce, carrots, cabbage, onion, celery and seasonings in a large
    soup pot.
  2. Cook until vegetables are tender (20 – 30 minutes).
  3. Cook pasta separately according to package directions. Drain and add to soup pot.
  4. Add kidney beans 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Thicken the soup by adding a roux of 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more.

Makes about 8 cups.

Campbell's Soup Recall: Golden Autumn Carrot Soup

Campbells V8 Carrot Soup Recall

Campbells V8 Carrot Soup Recall
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall for Campbell’s Golden Autumn Carrot Soup due to an undervalued allergen: Gluten

See full details below.

Reference Number: 7569
Recalling Firm: CAMPBELL COMPANY OF CANADA
Date of Recall: 11/16/2012
Recall Classification: 3
Distribution : National
Extent of the Product Distribution : Retail

Brand Name Common Name Size Codes(s) on Product UPC Reason for Recall:
CAMPBELL’S V8 GOLDEN AUTUMN CARROT SOUP 500mL BEST BEFORE DEC 13 2012 0 63211 18274 3 Allergen – Gluten

If you require additional information about an individual recall, please contact the CFIA.