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Monday, November 26, 2012

Sweet & Sour Lentils

I was skeptical about this entire meal with just lentils? Weird. However, it actually turned out quite well and hubby said it was decent. Although he did say it would be better with pork :)
I didn't take a picture because I didn't think it was going to be any good, and it's not very pretty!
The original recipe is from Hillbilly Housewife, and I made very few changes to it. I think next time I would also add pineapple chunks to it, and maybe add a small amount of pork for an 'almost meatless monday' meal. Also, hubby suggested that some roasted peanuts sprinkled on top before eating would add extra tastiness...I love it when hubby has culinary suggestions, often he just gives a thumbs up or a thumbs down, so input is appreciated!!

1 Cup Lentils
2 1/2 Cups Water
2 Beef Bouillon Cubes (Mine are vegetarian due to those being the only gf ones I could find!)
A sprinkle of Bay Leaf Pieces
1/4 Cup Pineapple or Apple Juice
1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tbsp. Oil
1 Red Pepper, Diced (I'm sure other peppers would be just as good, that's just what I had)
1 Large Onion, Diced
2 Cups Rice, Cook as Directed

Pineapple chunks (optional)
Peanuts (optional, obviously leave out if you are nut free!)

Place lentils, water, beef bouillon cubes and bay leaf pieces in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Stir occasionally. 
While that is cooking, in a large frying pan, saute onion and pepper in oil, until tender/onion is translucent.
In a small bowl, mix together pineapple/apple juice, apple cider vinegar, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic. (If using pineapple chunks, add them here.)
When lentils are tender (most of the liquid will be absorbed), add them to the frying pan with the cooked onions and peppers. Add the juice mixture and stir to mix. Heat until bubbling and serve hot over rice. (If adding peanuts, add them to the top.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gluten Free Penne Carbonara

Gluten Free Organic Quinoa, Amaranth, Brown Rice Penne. Delicious!

Yesterday was meatless Monday...well we went with 'almost meatless Monday' instead. :)

Gluten Free Penne Carbonara

1 lb GF Penne, cook as directed
1 Tbsp. Oil
1 Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Bacon Bits
1 Tomato, diced
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (fresh grated, or powdered)
4 Eggs

Cook pasta as directed (if using gf pasta, do NOT overcook, this can happen quickly so it pays to stay close to the stove for the 6-8 minutes it takes to cook!).
Fry onion in oil until translucent, then add garlic and mix together. Add bacon bits and tomato and fry for 1-2 minutes until tomato softens. Remove from heat until pasta is ready.

Lightly beat eggs in a bowl and add heavy cream and parmesan cheese and mix together.

Strain pasta and put back into pot. Add onion mixture. With pot over low heat, slowly add cream and egg mixture. BE PATIENT! If you try to heat it up too quickly by raising the temperature, you will just end up with cooked eggs on pasta! Stir together and slowly heat through, stirring often.
Serve hot.

This was wonderful! I think next time I would add some spinach in at the end too, just to add some colour, but it was great just the way it was too!

I know it has bacon so it's technically not 'meatless', but I think this will make it into our meatless monday rotation on a regular basis!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gluten Free Playdough

My son has started preschool this year and one of my immediate concerns was playdough. While my son is pretty good at not eating things that shouldn't be eaten he's still a little kid. Also, the cross contamination of playing with playdough and then touching his mouth and we are still not sure how sensitive he is to skin products containing gluten. Long story short I signed up to be playdough mom and I make gluten free playdough for the entire school. I have to make 5 batches every couple of weeks, and although this is an annoyance (and a cost), I feel a lot better knowing that he can happily play with the other kids and not get sick!
The first day I brought the playdough in, the teacher commented "This feels like regular playdough!". I was pretty happy, because I didn't want the kids to have to play with anything gross, I just wanted it to be 'regular'.

This recipe is from and it works great every time. It cooks up the same as old school playdough (see recipe here), and seems to keep well and last about the same amount of time.


1/2 Cup Rice Flour (I've used brown and white with no difference, just don't use sweet rice flour!)
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Cup Salt
2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 Cup of Water
1 Tsp. Oil
Food Colouring (I prefer the paste food colouring, but liquid works well too. If using paste, make sure you use warm water as it mixes better.)

Mix together the dry ingredients in a pot. In a separate bowl measure water and add food colouring of your choice. Remember that the colour will lighten significantly once it is added to the dry ingredients and starts to cook. Add the oil to the water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and cook over medium - medium high heat until it forms a ball. Cook until no longer slimy. Stir constantly!! Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

I'm busy compiling a list of other art supplies/crafts that can be done gluten free, as I try them out I will post them here!

Tip: This recipe does not double/triple well. You must make each batch individually. What I do is set out 5 small containers and 5 glasses. I measure all the flours out and colour all the water/oil mixtures before I start cooking anything. Then all I have to do is dump the dry ingredients in the pot, add the liquid and stir. 5 times over. But it's much easier then stopping to measure everything out every batch :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

S'more Brownies

Apparently all marshmallows are not created equal as evidenced
by the 3 in the middle that were from a different package!
This idea came up when I googled 'easy dessert' the other day. Of course the entire recipe was glutinous, so I have pieced together my own version :) If you are not gluten free, just make/buy a graham cracker crust and use your favourite brownie recipe! It's a fun recipe, that involves a lot of gooey marshmallows...just like smores :)

'Graham Cracker' Crust from Gluten Free Fix

4 Tbsp. Melted Butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour (Meal), packed

Mix everything together and press into pan (I used a pie plate, but a 9x9 would work too!) with your fingers. Cook at 350F for 20 minutes or until browned all over. I cooked 10 minutes, then put a piece of foil over and cooked another 10 to ensure it was done, but not too brown.

Brownie Recipe from Taste

1/2 Cup Rice Flour
1/2 Cup All Purpose GF Flour
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 Cup Butter, melted

Mix together dry ingredients, then add eggs and butter. Mix until just smooth. Pour over baked graham crust and bake at 350F for another 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

I made these ahead of company arriving, so I let it cool then did the final step later and the marshmallows didn't really stick to the brownies. I think if you made them and did all the steps while hot it would work better.

All lined up and ready to roast!
Marshmallow Top (original idea from Food Network)

Large Marshmallows

Top the brownies with marshmallows (standing on end), then place on rack close to burner and 'toast' them! Watch carefully because bad things can happen fast in the world of marshmallows!

When toasting is satisfactory, remove from oven, cut into squares and serve :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Yup! Fish bacon! 
I was at a sushi restaurant a few months ago and tried a dish that contained fried fish skin. It was delicious! So this last weekend when we cooked some salmon steaks at home I tried it out, and it was  just as good! It was from BC sockeye salmon which was amazing too!

The finished product!
All you need to do is peel the skin off cooked salmon steaks, add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and lay out the strips of skin as you would bacon (hence fish bacon!). BEWARE! This splatters a lot more then regular bacon, I suggest having a lid handy to shield the pan with in between flipping while it's cooking. It doesn't take long, so don't walk away. Take off the pan when it looks fried (see picture!).
Let cool and enjoy. It's very rich and tasty!

Monday, October 1, 2012

GF Pastry

 Almost a year after going gluten free, I feel like we are finally coming to a successful recipe collection. One thing that was sorely missing was pastry though. Thankfully Mennonite Girls Can Cook has come to the rescue!
This pastry was flaky, it held together and it tasted fabulous (and even tasted not so bad raw!).

I used all butter instead of shortening since I didn't have any, and it still turned out great!! I was finally able to make my favourite Chicken Pot Pie again! And the kids actually ate supper without fuss :) And I'm super excited to be able to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1 cup sweet rice flour
dash of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
rounded teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
4 tbsp ice water
sweet rice flour for rolling

Blend well together the flours, xathan gum, salt and sugar.
Cut in butter and shortening
Beat egg , add vinegar and ice-water.
Stir into flour mixture forming a ball. (Add a little more water if too dry)
(You may knead this a bit since rice flour crust can stand handling.) Knead until you have a smooth soft ball.
It looks like 'real' pie dough!!

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or more to chill.
Roll out between wax paper or saran wrap dusted with sweet rice flour. Peel off top layer of wax paper/saran wrap , flip over onto pie plate and then carefully peel off the other layer of wax paper and fit pastry into pie shell -- for single crust pie or for double add filling and then top with top crust .
Bake at 375' until lightly browned.

Finished product

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sugar Free, Gluten Free Anytime Muffins

Lately I have felt as though the fun has been sucked out of the labels, bake food I really don't like, and never produce a product that looks perfect anymore. I don't experiment with my own recipes because wasting gluten free ingredients is seriously a crime! But finally I am starting to feel drawn back in. What changed? I started *gasp* buying bread! I finally found a wonderful gf bread recipe that even I liked to eat on a regular basis, but then I found Kinnikinnik....their bread is soft, bouncy, good texture and tastes good. And the best part is that it's less then a $1 more per loaf for me to buy then it is for me to bake (and that's not including my time or the electricity to turn the oven on!). I'm so excited! Plus I've found that Safeway carries their bread, frozen but I'm ok with that! So it's not only good tasting, it's somewhat convenient too. So I've had a few weeks away from baking, I've been gleefully opening bags of bread from the freezer and the sense of fun that the kitchen used to offer me is returning.
Tonight my hubby called me a 'whirlwind' in the kitchen, and it felt good. It's been a long time since I have been busy enough to warrant being called that! What was I making?

Super healthy eat anytime muffins!! Courtesy of Mennonite Girls Can Cook (my new favourite website!!)
They are sugar free, gluten free and packed full of good for you things!

I did not change anything in the recipe except to use ground flax seed and I made them as muffin tops because...well why not? :)

3/4 Cup Almond Flour (meal)
3/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Xylitol
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF)
1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats (GF)
1/4 Cup Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Raisins
3 Tbsp. Oil
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Milk (or almond milk etc)
4 Medium Carrots, Shredded
1 Medium Ripe Banana, Mashed

Prehead oven to 400F. Coat a 12 Cup muffin pan with oil (I used coconut oil, it works great!)
Whisk together flours, xylitol, baking soda, baking powder, spices, oats and flax until there are no lumps. Stir in raisins.
Mix oil, egg, milk, carrots and banana in another bowl. Add to flour mixture and stir until blended.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 23-25 minutes (depending on your size of pan). Serve warm or at room temperature. To store keep in an airtight container, up to 3 days.
Great with some butter, some cream cheese or drizzle honey on top!

NOTE: I did find that my steel cut oats were still kind of crunchy in the finished product. I think next time I will mix up the liquid ingredients first, add the steel cut oats and let them soak while I measure and mix the dry ingredients/shred the carrots :)