Baking with (Gluten Free) Bisquick

GFFbuscuickGF34

Bisquick. Something I don’t think I’ve ever had before. Mostly used for pancakes. Seems to be an American thing (from what I’ve seen and read on blogs/recipe sites)

My mom bought a box of the gluten free kind in the US. It has about 3 cups of the mix in it. The crazy thing is, you can make a zillion things with it! Pancakes, Waffles, Battered Fish and Chicken Fingers, Pizza Dough, Muffins, Cinnamon Buns, Shortcake, Biscuits- its wild!

Okay, I know its not exactly good for you but it’s pretty cool that you can whip up all these things with just that mix and a couple other ingredients. It was fun to try some of the things out!

I made pancakes, which were honestly the best gfree I’ve ever had (rice flour pancakes are a close second) but the texture of these ones were unreal. I also made blueberry muffins which were awesome and literally took me under 5 minutes to mix up. Can’t beat that.

This is the recipe I used for the muffins

Here’s a whole bunch of other bisquick recipes too!

Have you ever used this product before?

Advertisements

Asparagus Basics

Springtime in Ontario means fresh asparagus.You see it everywhere right now,so enjoy it while it lasts.

According to the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, choose carefully when buying fresh asparagus. You should look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips and the stalks should be straight, firm and about 6 to 8 inches in length.

Store fresh asparagus by wrapping the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Plan to use within 2 days.

Prepare fresh asparagus by first breaking off the butt end of each spear where it snaps easily. Save the woody bases for soup stock if desired. Next, wash the stalks thoroughly and carefully to remove any sand from under scales.

Preparing Asparagus

Cook asparagus by steaming, boiling, microwaving, oven-roasting, or stir frying.

  • To Steam: Lay asparagus in steamer basket and place over boiling water in saucepan. Cover and steam 5 to 7 minutes until asparagus is tender-crisp.
  • To Microwave: Place 1 lb. washed asparagus spears in microwave-safe dish. Add 2 tbsp. water. Cover. Cook at HIGH for 4 to 6 minutes, rearranging spears once so bottom spears are moved to top until tender crisp. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  • To Boil: Place asparagus, uncovered, in a large skillet or saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • To Oven-roast: Arrange 1 or 2 lbs. of asparagus spears in a single layer in a large shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 500 deg. F. (260 C.) for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still slightly firm.
  • To Stir-fry: Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces and cook in skillet or wok, using equal amounts of butter or oil, for 5 to 7 minutes.

Asparagus is…

  • Low in calories; just 20 calories per serving (8 medium spears)
  • Fat and cholesterol and gluten free
  • An excellent source of folacin
  • A leading source of glutahione
  • A good source of protein
  • A significant source of thiamin and vitamin B6
  • One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.

A simple way I like to prepare the asparagus is to boil them in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes.Drain the water,leaving the spears in the pan.Add butter,salt, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.Shake the spears around to coat with the cheese and serve immediately.

 

I make salad dressings.

salad

Lots of salad dressings (creamy ones especially) have some form of gluten in them to thicken. Vinaigrettes are usually safe, but always check the label. Most salad dressings contain a whole ton of ingredients, some I cant pronounce- which I don’t like. I prefer to know what I’m consuming if possible!

So, since its easy to do, cheap, convenient, and of course gfree, I make my own salad dressings!

Salad dressings are another non-recipe, you can mix in a whole number of spices, herbs, vinegars, oils, mustards, fruit etc. 
Here is one that I made recently with frozen blackberries we got in our CSA basket from the amazing Thiessen Farms! 

Someone once told me the ratio of oil to vinegar should be 3:1. So I kinda stick to that.

3 parts oil (I used evoo)
1 part vinegar (I used a mix of white wine and balsamic)
1 blob of mustard (I used grainy Dijon)
1 part blackberry puree/juice (my blackberries were frozen, so I put them in the microwave with a tiny bit of sugar and heated them until I could just mush em up with a fork)
salt, pepper to taste

I just put all this into a mason jar, put the lid on, shake it up- and voila! Salad dressing for the week.  I usually make a new dressing each week.

Do you make your own dressings? Any great recipes to share?

Recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad #lazydinner

pasta saladSome days of the week when my husband works the afternoon shift, I just dont feel like making much of a dinner for myself. In these cases, I always whip out one of my “lazy dinner” recipes. Last night’s was Tuna Pasta Salad.

This takes 15 minutes to make (I chop all the veg and make the dressing while the pasta cooks) You can really sub in any kinda veggies or protein you’d like- that’s why its such a great recipe. Here is what I had on hand to make it with:

 

 

pasta: 1/2 of a package of brown rice rotini (you can sub in any shape or kind of gfree pasta here, i do find that corn pasta gets really hard the next day though)

protein: 1 can of tuna (you could also use salmon or chicken or beans or chickpeas)

veggies: half of a small red onion, half a cucumber, a whole orange pepper (you can also use carrots, celery, leek, cabbage, radishes..mmm)

dressing: mayo, dijon, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper (ive also used balsamic, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, regular mustard, grainy mustard- you can’t really go wrong here)

Easy, quick, delicious. This amount feeds 2 people dinner and leftovers for lunch.

What are your lazy dinner recipes? Please share!

Avocado, the World’s Most Perfect Gluten Free Food

avocado health benefits

Did You Know that the avocado has been called the world’s most perfect food and has many health benefits? It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado is a high-fiber, gluten-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, are widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart, a brilliant brain and eagle eyes.

Avocados are readily available in most grocery stores.They are pear shaped and green in colour when unripe and they turn a blackish green and are softer to the touch,when ripe.If you buy them in the green state they will ripen on your counter top or placed in a paper bag in a few days.

 Here are some ways I incorporate avocados into my gluten free diet.

-The obvious is guacamole. There are many recipes online and  I serve it with gluten free corn chips

-You can add some avocado to your morning fruit smoothie.

-My favourite way is to simply scoop out the avocado and sprinkle salt and lime juice on it

-You can slice and add to sandwiches like a toasted bacon and tomato.(Chelsey’s favourite)

– And for a sweet treat try this chocolate avocado pudding.You won’t be able to tell it’s in there so your kids or you won’t know you are eating something healthy.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups avocado (about 2 medium avocados)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Optional: To make it a bit lighter (as in milk chocolate pudding) or to thin it out a bit, add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk or dairy free almond or other kind and blend well.

  1. Add all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whirl until it is creamy and fully blended. Scrape the sides to get all the cocoa powder in the pudding.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes and then eat!

Graze the Bench!

el gastro graze

This weekend I Grazed the Bench for the first time (despite living on the Bench for almost my whole life). Big thanks to Wine Country Ontario– I won the 2 passes through them!

My husband ended up having to work, so I thought it would be fun to bring my dad along! We went to Hidden Bench first to pickup our packages, then over to Angels Gate and finally Organized Crime for some amazing food from El Gastro!

Its always nice when I’m eating out and food just happens to be gluten free on it’s own. Then I don’t feel like a pain asking for something to be altered in some way so I can eat it.

Thankfully that happened! El Gastro was serving this amazing charcoal grilled chicken skewer with guacamole and hot smoked pineapple habanero hot sauce with an herb salad. It was SO GOOD. Spicy and creamy and smoky with the fresh herbs on top- the perfect light lunch to go with a nice glass of “The Mischief”.

I love that they had a vineyard trail to get to all the different wineries. It was a really awesome Saturday afternoon!