Gluten-Free Pizza, my Journey to Find the Best

gluten-free pizza

Since I was diagnosed as wheat intolerant way back in 2011, I have been searching for the best gluten-free pizza. After all, pizza is one of the things I miss most about avoiding wheat. It’s been a journey, but I think I have discovered my favourite.

The winner is, (in my world) Daiya Foods, a plant-based (yes, even the cheese) company serving up a variety of dairy-free foods. Their products are not all gluten-free, but I bet they are all delicious. Their focus is on dairy-free foods, with a long list of choices including cheese cake, yogurt and even cheesy macaroni!

I first discovered Daiya Food’s gluten-free pizza at my local Sobeys store here in Kanata. I purchased the fire-roasted vegetable version and was not disappointed. In fact I have purchased it quite often. I like to keep at least one in my freezer for a quick snack or meal. Although my husband is not wheat or gluten intolerant, he has been commenting on just how good my pizzas look compared to his regular, gluten-full version.

I have since found other varieties (at Loblaws) and tried the mushroom and roasted garlic flavour most recently. With only two toppings, I prefer it to the fire-roasted vegetable version that I found a bit too top heavy. Both have thin crust, which bakes up perfectly crispy, not cardboardy or tasteless like some other brands I have tried.

gluten-free pizza
Gluten-Free Pizza from Daiya Foods

A little research on my part found Daiya’s website where I discovered all their other diary free, plant-based products, including the sure-to-be-delicious other gluten-free pizzas. Not fond of meat on pizza, but a topping lover, my next choice will be the margherita style. Although, the plant-based pepperoni or sausage on their meat lovers, pepperoni and supreme pizzas may be tastier than the meat they mimic. Maybe I will have to give them a chance.

A bonus for all you dairy intolerant folks, the cheeze shreds on these pizzas are hard to believe they are not the real thing. They melt beautifully and taste delicious. Soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, but I promise you won’t notice.

I have heard great things about Daiya cheese sauces too, although I have never personally tried them.

I am not sure if my earliest purchases were of the “new, improved recipe” indicated on these boxes, but I will enthusiastically vouch for the two (going on three) of these I have tried!

Kanata Welcomes the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice

The unfortunate fact about hospices is that no one knows much about them until they have the use for one.  I must admit to supporting this fact myself.  In 1991 a good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37.  My introduction to hospices and palliative care occurred soon after, and as a direct result of her tragic diagnosis.

My friend Suzanne and I had many things in common; we worked together as laboratory technologists in a local hospital, we both lived in Kanata just a few blocks apart from each other,  both had three children very similar in ages and both grew up in the small town of Cornwall, Ontario.  Although her first “tumor”, discovered in her abdomen shortly after her return to work from her third maternity leave, was diagnosed as benign, a malignant tumor was found in her spine a few years later.  At this point she was given a mere six months to live, but through sheer determination, strength and courage, she lived six more years.

Throughout those six years we became very close.  More of what I would call an acquaintance or co-worker before her diagnosis, she came to be one of my closest friends after.  Within those six years our families celebrated many occasions together: the birth of my youngest son, the first communion of her youngest son, her 25th wedding anniversary, a few milestone birthdays, the new millennium, and more.

Throughout those last six years of her life, Suzanne often visited a hospice to meet with others in circumstances similar to her own.  I know the support, friendship, guidance and care she received there was invaluable to her.  In fact, she would schedule her other appointments around her visits to the hospice.

The recent arrival of the Ruddy Shenkman Hospice in Kanata, located just a few blocks from my home (and Suzanne’s) has stirred up my thoughts about hospices and what they offer.  Since I have recently retired from my hospital job and started a landscaping company GARDENS4U I felt it appropriate and fitting to contact the Hospice to offer my services as a volunteer gardener for their new location in Kanata.

My offer was met with great enthusiasm by Jennifer Lockyer, Volunteer Coordinator and Site Maintenance Manager at the new Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice location.  Although the grounds and potential gardens are currently covered in snow and a lot of construction necessary to complete the Hospice, my meeting with Jennifer and a tour of the portion of the facility currently operational left me with that warm feeling you get when a good relationship is forged.  If you wish to join the gardening team or have plants to share, please contact myself or Jennifer at:


I am looking forward to this new adventure and will be sure to plant lots of “Brown Eyed Suzannes” my affectionate rename of Suzanne’s favourite perennial Black Eyed Susans…

CHEO Thumbs Up


CHEO, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, is one of those luxuries that you don’t really appreciate until you really need it.  I must say, as the mother of three boys, we have been fortunate enough not to have been to CHEO often.

Ruptured Appendix sends us to CHEO

The first time, approximately 8 years ago, my middle son spent two weeks there with a ruptured appendix.  Of course, I lived there with him; it was a scary experience as we did not find out he had appendicitis until the appendix had ruptured and the subsequent infection spread through his system. I had taken him to the doctor several times before the diagnosis was made and was sent home each time thinking he had the flu.  It was only my persistence that they perform an ultrasound at CHEO because I no longer believed he had the flu that discovered the ruptured appendix.  I loved the fact that the nurses listened to me as a mother; this son is never sick and when he is, he never complains, just goes to bed and hopes to feel better soon.  Somehow I knew something was terribly wrong, and told the nurses so.  That was our first experience with the impressive care and convenience of CHEO.

Hockey Injury

Last week I had the opportunity to visit CHEO again.  This time my youngest son was injured in a hockey game, in the east end of Ottawa, just a few blocks from CHEO.  He dove for the puck, trying to get it away from an opponent on a breakaway.  He managed to get the puck away from the player and prevented a goal, but in doing so crashed into the net at full speed, hitting his head on the goalpost, and sending the net flying into the end boards.  Thankfully our goaltender and the opposing player got out of the way in time to avoid a pile-up, although that might have softened my son’s fall.   The noise was horrendous; I could only stand and watch as my son lay on the ice for what seemed like an eternity. When he finally tried to get up, he promptly fell back to the ice surface because his legs would not support his body.  With the support of our team trainer and a team-mate, my son slowly made it off the ice and to the locker room.  After an assessment by our trainer, we were given directions to CHEO, which was fortunately only a few blocks away.

By the time we got into the emergency department, his concussion-like symptoms of headache, nausea, and general fogginess had lifted, but his left thumb was four times the size of his right thumb.  Neurological, physical testing and an xray showed he had no concussion symptoms, but did have a fractured thumb.  We are not sure how it happened, but the injury, an avulsion fracture, is common in skiers and hockey players that sustain the injury when they take a fall while holding a ski pole or hockey stick.

The worse part is that my son is left-handed, so the simple things like tying his shoes, getting dressed, writing in school, taking a shower (he has to put a plastic bag on his cast), preparing a snack, and cutting his food, etc are difficult with a cast on his hand.  I am just happy it was his thumb and not his head that sustained the worst damage as concussions can be long-lasting, life-changing, and even fatal.

We have an appointment at CHEO this coming week to see an orthopedic specialist who will be able to tell us just how long he will have to wear the cast, not to mention when he can play hockey again…