Chickpea Greek Salad

Summertime is a time for fresh and refreshing meals. I wanted something different for work lunches but not sure what. With a quick look in my pantry I decided to whip together a chick pea salad.  

This salad is high in fibre and protein. It is easily adaptable to add your favourites  

Chickpee Greek Salad

1 can chickpeas 

1 can (no salt added) diced tomatoes 

6 green olives sliced 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/3 cup diced onion 

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 

2 tablespoons Greek Clubhouse seasoning 

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup Greek salad dressing 

1/3 cup balsamic salad dressing 

Directions: 


1) drain chickpees and rinse before dumping into a 1.75quart bowl. 

2) drain canned tomatoes and the mix in with chickpees 

3) add all other ingredients and mix well let sit atleast 12hpirs before serving. 

This is such an easy salad that you could add (if desired) cucumber chunks, pasta, black olives….the tweaks are endless! 

Enjoy! 

It’s a wet salad so I use a serving spoon with the slit in it to take off excess fluid when serving! 

It’s easy to take it in a container at work 


I like to serve it with garlic Naan bread. 

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside down cake 

My dad’s favourite cake is an upside down pineapple. For a recent family gathering I decided to bake one! 

Who wouldn’t enjoy the caramel, almost toffee like coating with pineapples and cherries?!?! 

Pineapple Upside Downcake 

1 Gluten Free Cake mix 

1 cup heaping with Brown sugar 

1 can pineapple slices 

1 container of candied cherries 

1/2 cup Butter 

1) Mix up GF cake mix of your choice per box instructions. Set aside 

2) Drain can of pineapple. Set aside 

3) Prep cake pan by covering bottom and sides with butter then dusting with flour. This greatly stops the cake from sticking to the pan. 

4) Melt butter.  Mix in with brown sugar on bottom of cake pan.  


5) Using fork spread mixture and pat down evenly all over bottom of the pan 


If you like more brown sugar goodness to your cake  just add more brown sugar and butter to your original mixture  – like below:


6) Place pineapple and cherries on top of brown sugar 

You can be creative! 


Or 


7) Pour cake batter on top. Try to spread evenly   


8) Bake as per cake box instructions. I like to use the tooth pick method to ensure my cake is cooked. 

9) Enjoy! 

Hope you enjoy this pineapple Upside down cake as much as we do!  

Fresh cherry Gluten Free Pie 

I couldn’t resist the fresh cherries in the market. First of the season; sweet and refreshing. 

The only downside of any type of fresh fruit is it can spoil quickly. With a large bag of fresh cherries and not wanting to waste even one the only option was to make a fresh cherry pie! 

A cherry pie is simple to make and tastes amazing! How could I resist? 

Fresh Cherry Pie: 

Fresh pitted cherries – atleast 2 heaping cups. You want to have a full pie shell. It can be painstaking to pit each cherry but fresh cherry pie tastes so much better then can. 

1/4 tsp of pure almond extract 

Pinch of salt 

3 heaping tablespoons of gluten free minute tapioca 

2 tablespoons of softened butter 

1) Preheat oven to 385F   

Place pitted cherries in a bowl. Add almond extract, salt and tapioca. Mix well 

2) Prepare pie shell. Refer to my earlier post about my amazing Gluten Free dough! 

3) Place cherry mixture into pie shell. 


4) Place Gluten Free Dough over cherries. I personally like the fence style for pie tops. I place small dips of butter in the wholes of the crust 


5) Place pie on middle rack of oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cherries are bubbling. 


Enjoy!! 

Ultimate Caesar salad dressing 

Trust me. You will thank me for sharing my tweaked recipe! 

I like to consider myself a Caesar salad dressing connoisseur. There is nothing better than a traditional Caesar salad made with fresh ingredients! I love restaurants that make it table side and hate those that claim they make in-house dressing only to find it to taste like it came directly out of a store bought bottle! 

I use to think making Caesar salad dressing at home would be too much! I spent so much money on trying to find the best store bought option. I was always disappointed! 

With tweaking recipes I have found I now have my favourite Caesar salad dressing! Hope you enjoy it too! 

Ultimate Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

3 cloves garlic – chopped finely 

1/3 cup Miracle whip 

1/3 cup Maynaisse (I use Hellmans)

2 teaspoons Lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worseshire sauce 

2 1/2 anchovie fillets – finely chopped

1/4 cup Olive oil 

Pinch of salt 

Ground Cracked pepper – to taste 

1) Mince garlic and mix with maynaisse, miracle whip, lemon juice, worseshire sauce, finely chopped anchovies, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

2) refrigerate overnight or atleast let sit for a few hours to let flavours set. You can also mix and instantly use. But I found refrigerating and enjoying the next day made for a tastier salad dressing. 

3) Don’t forget to top the salad off with fresh Parmesan cheese! 

Let me know how you enjoy this Caesar salad dressing!! 

Warm Apple Pie 

Apple pie is always a favourite. It is mostly associated with the Fall season but apple pie anytime is a crowd pleasure! It’s also super simple to whip together and is always tastey! 

Apple Pie 

6-8 Macintosh apples 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1 tablespoon butter 

Maple syrup 

Pie shells – one for the bottom and one for the top 

1) I find the best way to know how many apples is to just start peeling and cutting them into your pie shell 

Preheat oven to 350 

   

2) With the apple slices in a bowl mix in the lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Place this in a pie shell. 

3) Cut the butter into tiny bits and place through out the top. Drizzle maple syrup on top 

Place top crust on top. 
 

  
4) cook for about 60 minutes. Pie should be bubbling through out. 

  
Let cool and enjoy! 

Coconut Raisin Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookies 

Is it just me or does the Fall season trigger comfort food?! I have been craving homemade cookies for the last few weeks and finally caved in to make these. (As I’m trying to be good and also shed the last of my pregnancy weight!)

There is one normal ingredient missing from this recipe – Oats. We are currently omitting oats from our diet as we are concerned about gluten exposure. Also my husband was eating homemade oatmeal on a regular basis and he was getting subtle gluten exposure symptoms – which have stopped since we stopped the oats. So if you want to (and oats make this recipe even more yummy!) add 1 cup of quick oats and one cup of large oats to the recipe. 

Coconut Raisin Cocolate Chip Cookies 

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1 1/4 cup Gluten Free Flour (I used a mixture of Bob’s Red Mill, Robin Hood, Coconut and Chickpea) 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 cup swirled milk & white chocolate chips (these are made by President Choice but and chocolate chips will do) 

1 cup shredded coconut 

1 cup raisins 

 (For super moist raisins – at the start of your baking – add boiling water to the raisins and a drop of vanilla. Let the raisins sit until your ready to add!) 

1) preheat oven to 350. Measure out dry ingredients and add to bowl. 

  

2) beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

3) blend in eggs and vanilla. 

  
4) add dry ingredients. Mix well. 

5) drain the raisins. Admire how moist and plump they are, then stir in raisins to the cookie mixture 

   
 

6) using spoons, dish out small clumps of the cookie dough. Leave space between as these cookies expand while cooking. Or as my husband says “they get skinny”

  
7) bake for about 14 minutes – cookies should be a nice golden colour. I usually let them cool on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes before carefully (these cookies when hot easily break apart) using a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.  

Once cool these cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! Enjoy! 

  

Perfect Fall Dinner: Hearty Chicken Soup with Gluten Free Buscuits

Once the temperature drops I start craving homemade soup. And what goes wonderful with soup – my Nana’s Buscuits! But for us they are now gluten free – but with a bit of tweaking they are almost as good as Nana’s! 

Gluten free Buscuits adapted from Nana’s recipe 

2 1/4 cups gluten free flour 

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

3 tablespoons shortening 

1 cup milk 

 Preheat oven to 350. 
  1) mix together dry ingredients 

  
2) cut in shortening using a pastry blender or 2 knives. 

  
3) Add milk. If the dough is a bit dry add a bit more milk. It needs to be a moist dough consistency. 

  
4) Roll up into small balls and flatten to liking (these Buscuits won’t rise)   Place on parchment paper. 

   
Bake for 14minutes then flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. I find they cook more evenly with flipping them over. 

Hearty chicken soup 

What I love about homemade chicken soup is that you can make it with whatever you have. 

I started with Gluten Free chicken broth and threw in a large frozen chicken breast. Cook on medium-low for 2 hours. I sprinkled in some poultry seasoning, seasoning salt, Mrs. Dash and ground pepper. 

After 2 hours I removed the chicken breast and sliced the meat off the bone. Return the chicken back to the soup! 

 
I chopped a small onion and threw it in. I then added 2 potatoes, 2 large carrots, a cup of frozen pees. Depending on what you have on hand you can add anything. 

  
Enjoy your simple comfort food meal perfect for a fall day!

What’s your go to homemade soup? 

Thanksgiving Traditions: Part 2 – Gluten Free Homemade Pie Crust 

Homemade dough is amazing – no store bought pie crust can touch homemade pie crusts! So when we had to become a gluten free family I wondered how or if we would ever enjoy flaky pie crust again. 

Making gluten free pie dough is frustrating and time consuming. But with practice and experience it is getting better (in the frustration department anyway!) 

If you have never attempted gluten free pie dough before be warned that it isn’t at all like gluten dough – easily falls apart when making the shell and more finicky BUT I promise you once it bakes it will be flaky goodness and no one will realize it’s gluten free or know the pain you had getting it to that point!! 

I follow the TenderFlake pure lard recipe with a couple adjustments – I always found those other GF recipes I could find online too extreme and complex. So my challenge and goal was to use a tried and true family recipe but make it gluten free! 

Gluten free pie dough 

Adapted from the Tender Flake recipe 

1 box (1lb) of Tender Flake Pure Lard

4 1/2 cups of Gluten Free Flour mix (I used 2 cups Bob Red Mill All Purpose, 1 cup Robin Hood GF All Purpose, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup chick pea flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour & 1/4 cup millet flour) 

2 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon Vinegar 

1 lightly beaten egg 

Cold water 

 1) Put the flour in a large bowel and mix in salt 
2) slice up the lard before mixing it in with the flour

   

3) Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.  

 
4) In a 1 cup measuring cup, combine the vinegar and egg. Add cold water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into the lard mixture. Mix well. I find the best way to mix it thoroughly is with my hands. If it is still a bit dry, very carefully add a bit more water. The dough should cling together and easily gather into balls. I divide into 6 portions. 

I wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. For the one(s) I will use I put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. All others I freeze for next time.  

 

After chilling the dough,  I dust wax paper (on my marble pastrie slab) with gluten free flour. Place your dough ball on top and lightly dust the dough with flour. 

 
Then I place a layer of wax paper on top before I start rolling out the dough! Why dusted wax paper? Trust me – this dough is sticky! The dusted wax paper helps it roll out and won’t be all over your rolling pin! 

After a few rolls very carefully and slowly pull up the top layer of wax paper. Re-dust the dough. If you don’t do this and keep rolling, the dough will be very stuck to the wax paper and you have to start over. 

  
The dough after a few rolls is naturally lightly stuck to the paper. If you need to, lightly dust your fingers to carefully  help hold the dough as your pulling off the wax paper. Sometimes putting the dough back into the fridge and letting the dough cool a bit helps the wax paper release.  

 
When happy with the thickness of your dough, remove the top layer of wax paper. Then put the dough back in the fridge to cool before you flip it into the pie shell (you still have the bottom layer of wax paper on the dough)

To get the bottom layer of wax paper off the dough it is best to chill for at least 10 minutes. Remember the dough is well attached to the wax paper. Dust your fingers with flour. Very carefully and patiently remove the wax paper. I have found its easiest to remove after you have flipped the dough into the pie shell. 

If parts of the dough rip don’t fret. Re chill the dough and mould or add a piece. As the dough becomes warm it is more difficult. Keep chilling if need be.   
Once you are happy with your pie shells I keep them cooling in the fridge while I make my filling.   

I hope you enjoy my tastey, flaky crust!! It’s well worth the fuss! 

Let me know if you try making it and how you made out!! 

Thanksgiving Traditions: Part One – gluten free Pumpkin Squash Pie 

Fall is a beautiful time in Muskoka – the vibrant colour change of the leaves, the crispness to the air and our Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s a time in Muskoka to celebrate another summer past, closing up of cottages and saying goodbye to tourists for another year. It’s also a time to get together with family and celebrate Thanksgiving. 

I have wonderful memories of making Thanksgiving pies with my grandma and mom. As my grandmother became older and less mobile her job became the overseeing of our production and the taste tester of the filling. 

This recipe is a hit with family and friends. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Pumpkin Squash Gluten free Pie

2 cups of mashed roasted pumpkin & Hubbard squash combined 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1 tablespoon Cinnamon spice & pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon melted butter 

35% whipping cream 

3 eggs (broken and slightly whipped)

1) Cut the pumpkin and squash in half. Clean out the seeds. Preheat oven to 375. Roast until cooked tender (can easily pierce with a fork)  
2) let roasted squash and pumpkin cool. Scoop out into measuring cup (this allows you to know how many pies you will be making or want to make). Then put into mixing bowl. Mix the squash and pumpkin in the mixing bowl until it’s nice and smooth. 

 

3) Add the brown sugar and salt followed by the liquid ingredients to the mixing bowel while it’s mixing. Add the eggs last (if your squash is still warm you may cook the eggs by accident  – therefore adding the cold cream first may help to cool the mixture down before the eggs are added). 

Then add spices.  Mix well then taste test. If it’s not spicy enough to your liking add a bit more spice.   

4) using a 1 cup measuring cup fill up the pie shells  (Refer to my GF Pie Crust recipe in Part 2 of this post)  

5) cook at 400 for 10minutes. Lower the temperature to 350.  Cook until a butter knife put in the centre of the pie comes out clean. My pies took 50minutes to cook after lowering the temperature but it’s oven and pie size dependent!  

6) Place the cooked pies on a wire rack to cool. 

Serve with fresh whipped cream.   
Enjoy!! 

Let me know how you enjoy this pie recipe! Hopefully it becomes a family favourite for you too! 

Gluten Free Zucchinni Muffins – The Perfect Fall Muffin

My parents have a very large garden – come the fall we become over run with Zucchinni! There is so much you can do with Zucchinni – bake it, add it to soups, spaghetti sauce, vegetable dishes and add it to baking! One of the favourite things I like to do with zucchinni besides baking it with onions, garlic and tomatoes is to make muffins and bread out of it! I had an easy zucchinni muffin recipe that I loved pre- celiac and thankfully it easily was coverted to a gluten free one! This recipe is moist and flavourful – the right spices to make this a go-to-fall muffin recipe! Pumpkin doesnt have to be the only thing associated with fall cooking and baking!

This recipe is adapted from this Allrecipes.com one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222601/zucchini-chocolate-chip-muffins/

Gluten Free Zucchinni Muffins

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I mixed together Bob’s Red Mill All purpose (1/2cup), Robin Hood GF All Purpose (1/2cup), and a    1/2 cup mixture of brown rice flour, millet flour, chickpea flour and coconut flour)

2/3 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of packed shredded zucchinni

1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1)Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners.

Combine flour, xanthum gum, sugar, baking soda,cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract in another bowl. Mix wet ingredients intro dry ingredient bowl. Fold in Zucchinni and chocolate chips.



2) Fill muffin liners 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  With my silicone muffin cups I start checking the muffins at 25minutes – then slowly add more time as needed. For paper liners these muffins may be done by 20-25minutrs but it’s really oven dependant!


Baked to perfection!! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!