Pear Salad

Pear salad …..so amazing. It’s more a summer salad. But as we near the end of winter, we need some reminder of warm summer nights.

If you have never tried this version of pear salad — you must! You won’t be sorry!! And if you want to show off to friends and family – make this salad the next time they are over!

The red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard help give the dressing the right amount of zing, while the goat cheese brings the settle balance to the sweetness of the Bartlett pear.

Ingredients

Spring salad mix

2 Bartlett pears (Dice up 1pear per person)

125g Soft unripened goat’s milk cheese – crumbled

2/3 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cloves diced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cracked pepper (or more to taste/preference)

200g crushed pecans

1/4 cup white sugar

Directions

1) In a frypan over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar with the pecans. Continue to stir gently until sugar melts and caramelizes. Be patient. Don’t turn up the heat or it will burn. Trust me.

Carefully cool on parchment paper.

2) In a 1 cup glass measuring cup blend the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Let it sit for atleast an hour. Ideally, the longer it rests, the better the dressing flavours blend together. I try to make it the morning of the day I want to enjoy.

This dressing recipe makes enough for 4+ servings. The dressing is even flavour wise better the following day.

3) I layer lettuce, goat cheese, diced pear and candies pecans.

Layer 1:

Layer 2:

Drizzle the salad dressing over top and serve promptly. Enjoy!!

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Review: The Wheatless Gourmet Gluten Free Puff Pastry Sheets

I was so excited when I saw this product!! Finally Gluten Free Puff pastry?!?! Eeek

So I bought some at our local gluten free specialty bakery. They warned me on purchased, it took some time to get use to when baking but I ignored any warnings – I was sold at gluten free puff pastry.

First reality check is the lovely puff pastry pictures are only suggestions – it’s a frozen log that takes waaaaay longer than the 20 minutes suggested to thaw. I found closer to 40 minutes.

Once ready, set up your area. I put down my parchment, with a sprinkling of Gluten Free Flour. I gently rollout out a square. I hardly modified how it came due to this being the first time.

Ahead of time, I fixed up 2 apples. Threw them in a fry pan with some unsalted butter, a couple of Tablespoons of ground cinnamon, a splash of orange juice, a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few heaping tablespoons of brown sugar.

I stirred and let them lightly cook for about 15 minutes.

Set aside.

About a tablespoon or so of room temperature cream cheese as a base, on the pastry then put the cooled apple topping on top. Fold over.

I found I was able to make 3 large apple turnovers with one box.

I did use an egg wash to seal the ends and sprinkled sugar on top before placing into a preheated 350F oven.

Cooked for about 40minutes.

Oh. My. God. It tastes light and just like I remember gluten puff pastry to taste like. Delicious.

A nice alternative to making pastry from scratch! It will take getting use to and will be considered a treat but a nice option to have!

**this review was not sponsored**

Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepper Chicken Linguine

Leftover gluten free linguine, chicken, ……not sure what to have for dinner. Do I make something new or try to use up the leftovers?!

Let’s see what I can put together with our leftovers….

Ingredients

1clove garlic. Diced

1/2 an onion. Diced.

Cup of sliced mushrooms

1 pepper. sliced.

1/2 cup butter.

3/4 cup vegetable broth

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper.

Diced chicken

1) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heated fry pan set on medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes.

2) Add peppers. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir. Sauté for another 4 minutes.

3) Add the rest of the butter to pan. Add mushrooms. Sauté for 5 min.

4) Add in diced chicken and broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve. Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin Roasted with Apples

I have a habit with pork tenderloin to roast it with cranberries. I was feeling like something different.

I googled online and found a recipe that called for roasting apples with the pork.

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/21117/perfect-roasted-pork-tenderloin-recipe-with-apples/

Intrigued, I made a modified version with ingredients I had on hand.

Ingredients

Apples (I used 5- what I had on hand) To cover the pan

1 Cooking Onion

1 large clove of garlic

1 cup of Gluten Free Chicken Broth

1/3cup Dijon mustard

Fresh black ground pepper

Seasoning Salt

1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning

Start by slicing up the apples and onion. I kept them more chunky. Dice up the garlic and mix together. Set aside.

Season the tenderloin with seasoning salt and cracked pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together Dijon mustard, cracked pepper, poultry seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400degrees F

Then it’s time to sear!

In the roasting pan on medium to high heat, add a bit of butter and a half cup of water. Sear each side for 6 minutes. Then remove roasting pan from the heat and take the tenderloin from roasting pan. Set aside.

Add the apple-onion-garlic mixture to the roasting pan, so that the bottom of the pan is covered. Add in the cup of juice.

Set tenderloin on top.

Brush on marinade.

Cover and place into warm oven. cook for about 40minutes or until desired temperature is reached.

The end result is a delightful chunky apple sauce to serve with the tenderloin. Even my 3 year old loved it!!

Simple Fish Dish

On a Thursday night; running late from work, finally get home…what to make for dinner.

In the freezer, is a large fillet of red sockeye salmon. It’s been there a while. When I last cooked the other half of the fillet, my husband complained it was “too strong” of fish.

I remembered what my grandma use to do when she was cooking a strong flavour fish- she’d cook it in milk!!

Ingredients

Fillet of fish

1/4 cup of unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Fresh cracked pepper

1 shallot

1 stick of celery

1 Cup of sliced mushrooms

1 cup milk + more as needed

In a pan at medium heat, melt butter. Spread melted butter around pan. Place fillet in pan. Add milk, salt, sliced shallot, sliced celery. Cover for 8 minutes.

Add mushrooms. Mix sauce. If milk appears to be evaporating, add a bit more. Cover for another 5 min. Cook until fish is cooked to desired consistency.

Serve over rice. Pour the milk sauce over the rice and fish. Enjoy!!

Ultimate Gluten Free Cookies

Finding a wonderful homemade gluten free cookie recipe can be difficult. Prior to my husbands celiac diagnosis, I had many family cookie recipes I would make. But ofcourse they all have wheat flour, so I have been working at converting them all.

The cookie dough base of this recipe can be used to make endless cookie possibilities.

Cookie Dough 

1 cup soft butter 

1 1/4 cup firmly packed Brown sugar 

2 Eggs 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup + 1 table spoon Gluten Free Flour mix (I mix 1/2 cup Bob RedMill All Purpose Gluten Free flour, 1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon Gluten Free Coconut Flour, 1/4 cup Gluten Free Chickpea flour and 1/4 cup Only Oats Gluten Free Flour )

1/4 teaspoon guar gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Additions: 

Add whatever your heart desires to the cookie dough. For today’s cookie I mixed chocolate chips, raisins and gluten free oatmeal. But shredded  coconut, cranberries and nuts are delicious additions too! 

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

1 cup raisins 

1 cup gluten free oatmeal. 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


1) Preheat oven to 350

2) Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix well. Stir in gluten free oats. Put in fridge to cool – atleast 20 minutes.

3) use a heaping teaspoon to drop onto parchment paper cookie sheet. Leave space between cookies as they will spread out while cooking


For crispy cookies I bake for 18 minutes:


For more soft cookies I bake for 15 minutes or less. This picture compares my 18min cookies to my 15 min ones. 


As you can see the baked 15 minute cookie on the right is more lighter in colour and less crispy. 

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as our family does! Even my dad raves about these cookies!

Gluten Free Pho 

I had left over roasted vegetables. Not sure how I wanted to eat them; I decided to make a gluten free vegetable Pho soup. 

The night before,  I had roasted mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, peppers, celery, broccoli and a  clove of garlic in a little olive oil, drizzle of vegetable broth and fresh ground pepper. 

So I dumped the leftovers in a pot, put in a full package of Campbell’s beef broth, a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, tablespoon of Gluten Free Soy Sauce, tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and let it simmer. 

In another pot, I cooked up al dente rice vermicelli noodles. 

I placed the cooked noodles on the bottom of the bowls. Then poured in the soup! 


It was a hit! 


Enjoy! 

End of Summer Gluten Free Bean Salad 

Hard to believe the end of summer is here. Back to school, work and Fall. 

As I grapple with behaving and eating healthy, I decided to make a bean salad to take for my lunches this week. 

At a recent Farmer’s Market in Muskoka, I bought a dried bean salad mix from Spill The Beans ( www.spillthebeans.ca ) This seems easy and my bean mix selection is already done for me. 

I have modified the Spill The Bean recipe slightly as I didn’t have all the ingredients she recommended to add to her “Hearty Fearty” bean salad. 

1) Soak the dried beans and then cook as per the Spill The Bean packaging 


2) I diced up a red onion, 1/2 cup of mini carrots and a cup of peas from fresh pods 


3) I whipped up the recommended salad dressing: 2/3 vinegar, 2 table spoons honey, 1/2 cup of oil. I added 1/2 table spoon of freeze dried cilantro. 


4) after the beans cooled, I mixed in my other ingredients, then poured in salad dressing over the top! 

Voila my lunch is made for the week! 

Enjoy! It’s yummy! 

And check out Spill The Beans! Highly recommend! 

www.spillthebeans.ca

Chicken Stirfry 

I don’t always think to do stirfry in the summer. Maybe because we tend to think BBQ and fresh salads for summer. After a large family gathering, I was left with a variety of fresh veggies from my veggie tray – button mushrooms, carrot slices, peppers, mini tomatoes and broccoli. 

A stir fry seemed like the most logical option to ensure I wouldn’t waste my veggies! 

Throw in some left over chicken and an easy chicken stir fry is created! 

Chicken Stir fry: 

Sliced vegetables – carrots, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes…it really is endless 

1 can of  Sliced water chestnuts – they bring the crunch 

Pre-cooked chicken cut in strips or chunks

1 small cooking onion – diced 

2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce 

1 Tablespoon of Gluten Free  worstshire sauce

2 Teaspoons white sugar 

1/4 cup + 1/3 cup vegetable broth 

1/4 Teaspoon (heaping) of Chinese Five Spice

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch 

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil 

Rice Noodles – I like the super thin style. Rice Stick is the style I prefer:


Preparation: 

1) Heat up Wok. Drizzle Sesame oil on wok. Drop in diced onions. Cover. 

2) Mix up onions. Throw in vegetables. Pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to cover for 5 minute intervals until veggies are cooked to your liking. 

3) Add chicken. 

4) In a large measuring cup mix remaining vegetable broth (1/3 cup), Soy sauce, worstshire sauce, sugar, five spice and corn starch. Mix well and add to the wok. Cover and mix after 5 minutes. 

5) Mix in dry noodles. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir, cover and repeat until noodles are tender.  

Enjoy! 

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.