Gluten-free

Triple Ginger Pumpkin Muffins!! Gluten-free Deliciousness!

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Although spring is coming soon, I am still in the mood for winter comfort food.  We have been having some very cold days, so I was inspired to tweak a pumpkin muffin recipe that I often use and amp it up a bit with three types of ginger; candied, dried and fresh.  I hope you try these out, they are delicious.

Photo credit: Elsie Bauer
Photo credit: Elsie Bauer

Triple Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour)

1 tsp Xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground dried ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of black pepper (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs room temperature (or equivalent amount of egg replacer)

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup of coconut or other plant-based milk (use regular milk if not Vegan)

1/3 cup melted butter or Vegan substitute

1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups.  Mix dry ingredients together well in a large bowl.  In another bowl mix wet ingredients together well until well mixed.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until they are well incorporated.  Do not over mix.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool if you can resist the urge to eat them hot out of the oven like I do.  These are spicy and delicious and great comfort food.  Hope you try them out.  Cheers, Michele

Thai Beef Salad!! A Delicious Light Gluten-Free Meal!

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During this time of holiday food over-indulgence, a light fresh meal is always appreciated.  This Thai beef salad is a huge hit with my family.  It is a delicious light supper that is salty, sour, sweet and spicy.  It is healthy and makes a great pack able lunch with the left overs if there are any.  Just make sure to drain off the excess dressing before packing into your lunch container and use one that is water tight. I hope you try it out.

Picture courtesy of taste.com.au.
Picture courtesy of taste.com.au.

Thai Beef Salad

Dressing:

zest of one lime grated

juice of four limes

3 Tablespoons of fish sauce

1 Tablespoon soya sauce

3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

4 green onions sliced thin

2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh Thai basil

3 hot red Thai or regular hot chilli peppers finely minced

1/4 red onion cut into thin matchsticks

1/2 tsp black pepper

Salad:

10 ounce rump steak 1 inch thick

2 English cucumbers cut into thin half circles

5 tomatoes chopped into chunks

Mix all ingredients of dressing and set aside for half an hour to soften onions and allow ingredients to meld.  Grill steak on BBQ or in a hot sauté pan medium rare.  Allow steak to cool.  While steak is cooling, place vegetables in the dressing.  Once steak has cooled to room temperature, slice thinly across the grain and place in salad.  Toss all ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Serve.  This is excellent over fresh greens and some steamed rice or cooked rice noodles on the side as a main course, or makes an excellent side salad as well.  It is a wonderful salad to use up left over cooked steak as well.  I hope you enjoy this delicious dish.  Cheers, Michele

My Husband’s Shrimp and Pork Stirfry!!

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My husband makes this dish quite often and it is a family favourite.  Serve with steamed rice.  You can mix the Stirfry and rice and place it in a fresh lettuce leaf to eat it…delicious.

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Shrimp and Pork Stirfry

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound ground pork

1 onion chopped fine

4 cloves garlic chopped fine

thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and minced fine

1 red pepper chopped

1 hot red pepper minced fine

3 cups snow peas cleaned and cut in half

1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and cut in half

2 tbsp sherry or Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

In a deep sauté pan or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the pork, onions, and ginger and cook til no more pink is showing in the meat.  Turn the heat under the pan down to medium and add the garlic, hot red pepper, sherry, oyster sauce, soya sauce and sesame oil.  Cook and stir to coat the meat with the sauce for 3-5 minutes.  Add the sweet red pepper, snow peas and shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes.  Top with the fresh cilantro and bean sprouts and cook 1 minute more. Serve in lettuce leaves with steamed rice.  You can add a little extra oyster sauce in the lettuce leaf package if you like.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Pork And Chorizo Stew!! Spicy And Delicious!

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The cooler days are inspiring me to cook more hearty comfort foods which still keep within our healthy eating guidelines.  This Pork and Chorizo stew is a perfect example of a hearty and delicious dish which warms your stomach and your soul.  I was inspired by a recipe from the BBC Good Food website and of course tweaked it to my taste.

Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.
Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.

Pork And Chorizo Stew

2 Tbsps olive oil

1 pound of pork tender loin or pork chops cut into 1 inch cubes

2 chorizo sausages

1 onion chopped

1 large carrot chopped

4 stalks of celery chopped

1 red pepper chopped

1 yellow pepper chopped

1 orange pepper chopped

1 tsp crushed dried oregano

1 large pinch hot chilli flakes

2 tsps smoked paprika

2 tsp chilli powder (I used Ancho Chilli pepper powder)

4 bay leaves

1 small can of tomato puree

1 large can of chopped tomatoes

3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups of chicken or beef broth

1 large can of chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of baby potatoes, halved

1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.  Cook the pork until browned all over and remove to a bowl.  Add sausages and cook until well browned, remove to cutting board and slice into thin slices.  Place onion, carrot, peppers, herbs and spices in pot and saute until onion is translucent.  Return the pork and chorizo to the pot and add tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, wine and broth.  Cook til bubbling.  If too thick, add some water or more chicken stock.  Cover and allow to cook for 45 minutes over low heat, or in a 350 degree F oven. Add peppers, beans and potatoes and return to oven.  Cook for 45 minutes more and check periodically and add liquid if the stew is too thick.  Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

I hope you try out this recipe inspired by the BBC Good Food website.  Cheers, Michele

Homemade Ginger Tea!! Sore Throat And Cold Banisher!

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I must have inherited my love of all things ginger from my mom and maternal grandmother and I remember my grandmother giving us this tea when I was little with an upset stomach, but I find this tea works great as a cold remedy.  I have included an option for adding lemon to the recipe as well. It is a simple recipe that you can make up very quickly and keep around for when you need it.  Just keep the finished syrup in a glass jar with a lid in your fridge or even on your counter.

Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Homemade Ginger Tea Syrup

1 1/2 – 2 pounds fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel)

3 cups water

3 cups sugar or other sweetener like honey

juice of one lemon (optional)

3 inch strip of lemon peel (optional)

Place all ingredients in your blender, I have a Vitamix which is an awesome gift from my lovely husband, Will.  It does a great job of whizzing up the ingredients into a paste.  Blend well until ginger is finely chopped.  Place the mixture in a heavy pot over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes until the ginger changes colour and goes a bit translucent.  If the mixture is too thin, cook longer, if too thick, add a bit more water.  Remove from heat and strain well.  You can leave it untrained and eat the ginger pulp for the added heat and fibre if you want.  Place in a large glass jar and keep til needed.  In a large mug place about 3-4 Tbsps of the syrup depending how spicy you want your tea and then top with hot water.  It is also nice cold over ice.  Great for soothing a sore throat, an upset stomach or anytime you need to feel warmed to the core.  It is delicious and good for you too.  I like a cup after supper as it aids in digestion and warms me up and relaxes me before bed.  Cheers, Michele

Homemade Bibimbap!! Korean Deliciousness!

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So lately I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos of Korean cooking as I have been craving it and I got inspired to make my own Bibimbap which is one of my favourite dishes of all time. I won’t give all the recipes for the various toppings and the side dishes as I got them all from a lady named Maangchi who is an amazing Korean cook and shares her recipes on Youtube, in her cookbook and on her website at www.maangchi.com.  You should check her out!

Bibimbap

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First you need a well-seasoned heavy stoneware or cast-iron pan.

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Then make some short grain rice in the usual method that I have shared several times on this blog.

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I already made some Kimchi yesterday and it is already fermenting, yeah science!!

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I made some seaweed salad as a side dish as well.

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And a daikon radish and Korean pear salad too.

For the toppings, I made the following:

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Julienne carrot

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Zucchini

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Steamed sweet potato

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Preserved turnip that I bought at a local Asian store.

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Steamed bean sprouts

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Sauteed Shiitake mushrooms

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Enoki mushrooms

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Thinly sliced pork with seasonings

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Thinly sliced beef with seasonings

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Lotus root sautéed with garlic and green onion

So once my rice is well cooked, I heated up my cast-iron pan over medium high heat add some vegetable and sesame oil and add about 4-5 cups of cooked rice.  Then I arranged my various toppings on top and place a raw egg yolk or three (since there are three of us for dinner tonight) in the centre.  Once the rice starts to cook on the bottom and crackle and sizzle and steam will rise up from the pan.  Then I removed it from the stove and stirred it all together at the table.  The point is to stir in the ingredients and the heat of the hot rice heats them up.  I decided to err on the side of caution and cook the meats up before adding them to the Bibimbap but traditionally the meat goes on top raw and cooks in the sizzling hot rice.

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Here is the hot pepper paste that I served with our dinner.

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Here is the finished product!!  Gorgeous, delicious and nutritious!!!  It was very well received by my daughter Kate and her fiancé Chris.  Definitely a repeatable dish.

I hope you try out making some of the recipes from Maangchi’s website and Youtube videos.  She is a wonderful cook and teacher and is quite enjoyable to watch.  Cheers, Michele

Peanut Butter Granola!! Gluten-Free And Yummy!

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This peanut butter granola recipe is my own version of several other recipes cobbled together and is being posted on my blog at the request of my daughter Katie’s boyfriend Chris.  The main recipe source is from www.breakfastdramaqueen.com so kudos to that blogger for a great starting recipe.  I have added more ingredients because I like my granola with lots of different flavours.

Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com
Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com

Peanut Butter Granola

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if required)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 Tbsps flax seeds or flax-seed meal

3 Tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

You can add dried fruit, but add it together with the finished baked granola so that the fruit doesn’t burn.

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsps coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.  Mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl.  In a large microwave proof dish or 2 cup glass measuring cup add all wet ingredients.  Microwave on high for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes til liquid.  Stir together well before pouring over dry ingredients.  Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.  Divide mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly.  Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on how brown you want your granola.  Rotate the pans every so often to allow to bake evenly.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.  Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit for either a delicious breakfast or dessert.  It also makes a great topping for a fruit crumble.

I hope you try this granola out, it is super easy and delicious and much more healthy than the store-bought cereals.  Cheers, Michele