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. 

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!! 

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! 

  

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!! 

Summertime Deliciousness ~ BBQ Portabello Mushrooms

Summertime is definitely all about sunshine, warm weather, the great outdoors and bbqing! Nothing like taking your meal to the next level with a delicious but simple portabello mushroom bbq recipe! Its the perfect side for summertime meals! And the best part?! It is simple and quick to make!

BBQ Portabello Mushrooms

Portabello Mushrooms

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese

1) Wash and clean portabella mushrooms. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese over the mushrooms.

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2) Place mushrooms directly on heated bbq. Keep bbq on low temp. Cook for 20 minutes then enjoy!

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Now you may be thinking – “what to have with these mushrooms?!?” For this meal I decided to go with the mantra of simple so I threw some fresh asparagus in tin foil (After drizzling it with olive oil, sprinkling with parmesan) It will cook the same time as the mushrooms!

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I also used my ActiFry and did up some french fries! No added oil and the fries will turn out just as good if not better (and healthier) compared to deep frying.

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Pan fry some lightly Gluten Free Floured tilapia.

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Then enjoy a wonderful, super tasty meal!

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Sunday Summer Dinner Pizazzed with Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s been a wonderful summer weekend: warm sunny weather, swimming and visits with family and friends. Now it’s almost supper time on a Sunday as the weekend comes to a close…what to have that’s simple but still delicious and ends the weekend meals on a high note…..how about stuffed mushrooms?!? My family love mushrooms and most dinner meals somehow incorporate some mushrooms in it- whether it be in a salad or side dish. On this particular Sunday I have 6 mushrooms to work with….I’ve already decided on Ribs and brocholli but what else can I make with little fuss?!? Not feeling like a salad I decide to make up some stuffed mushrooms!

Ofcourse I only have a part package of mushrooms! But no worries, any amount of mushrooms can easily be stuffed!

This recipe can easily be adapted to taste, spices and with whatever you have in the house! All you need is the base ingredient: cream cheese!!

Stuffed Mushrooms: 

Cremini mushrooms – these are my favourite to use due to thier flavourful taste

Half a brick of cream cheese softened

one shallot diced

one garlic clove diced

Spices ( I like to mix together ClubHouse Roasted Garlic & Pepper, Clubhouse Greek, Clubhouse Italian, Clubhouse Parmesean & Herbs and Mrs Dash Original) – about 2 table spoons for the mixture (more or less depending on how flavourful you like it.)

Pepper – I like to use freshly ground pepper

Shredded cheese

1) Preheat oven to 400 degree.

Clean out the mushroom tops- snap out the stem and with a butter knife gently scrape out the hymenium (the gills).

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2) If you have time, sauté the shallot and garlic in a bit of butter. *You dont have to saute the shallot and garlic but it is a smoother flavour if you do* This time I didn’t saute as I was trying to save time-but my husband prefers the flavour when I do sauté

3) Mix the shallot, garlic into the cream cheese. I find a fork works great.

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4) Add spices and pepper. Mix

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5) Stuff the mushrooms with the cream cheese mixture using a small spoon

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6) Top with shredded cheese – use what is on hand. This time I used old cheddar.

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7) Cook in oven for 30minutes. Then enjoy!

I used to think making stuffed mushrooms would be hard work and only enjoyed them at restaurants. I am so glad that I started to make them – they are so easy and it doesn’t take much time to whip them up!

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