Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Roasted vegetables are a fall treasure.Peppers,Tomatoes and Eggplant are some of the veg that roast well.Broccoli and Cauliflower are also stars in the oven.

This recipe is great for a side dish with fish,chicken or any meat.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

One head of cut broccoli washed and patted dry.Place in bowl and pour 1/8 cup of olive oil over the pieces of broccoli.Salt and pepper generously.

Sprinkle 1 tsp garlic powder and 1TBSP Parmesan cheese over the broccoli.Mix to make sure every piece is coated.

In a 375 degree preheated oven place broccoli on a sheet pan lined with foil.Bake for 30 minutes.

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Gluten Free, Grain Free, Blueberry Banana Muffins

This is a great recipe for using up ripe bananas you may have.They are nice treat with a cup of tea or pack in lunches.They freeze well

1 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup  coconut flour
3  ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2  eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup  honey
1/3 cup  butter , melted
3/4 tsp  baking soda
1/2 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp  lemon juice
1 .5 tsp  vanilla extract
1 .5 tsp  cinnamon
2/3 cup blueberries(I used frozen)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin liners in muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, add coconut and almond flours, baking soda, salt; mix to combine.
3. To the same bowl, add eggs, mashed bananas, honey, butter, lemon  juice, vanilla, cinnamon; mix again to combine. Gently stir in blueberries.
4. Drop by tablespoons into the muffin tins. Fill 12 muffins full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Grain Free Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie

In my quest to eat gluten free and mostly grain free,I look for different flour substitutes for my sweet treats.Most of us are very familiar with baking with almond flour but it is on the expensive side.

On my last trip to Bulk Barn I noticed ground pecans and wondered if I could substitute it for the almond flour in my favourite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie  recipe. At half the price per pound it was certainly worth a shot.The result was a crispier flatter cookie and every bit as delicious.

Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 1 dozen large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter plus 2 Tblsp, softened
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar (can substitute brown or white sugar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ground pecans (pecan meal)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar in a large bowl until very creamy (like frosting). Add the vanilla and egg, mixing until well incorporated. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Then slowly mix in the ground pecans, 1/2 cup at a time, until well blended. Using a spoon, fold in the chocolate chips and coconut, if using.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about three-inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake approximately 13 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet.

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.

 

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!

Recipe: Easy Gluten Free Peanut Sauce

In my continuing efforts to eat more vegetables,I needed something extra that would help me on my journey.Peanut sauce was the answer.I buy frozen mixed vegetables (Asian Mix) or fresh prepared stir fry mix or if I am feeling very energetic I chop a variety of veg like broccoli,carrots,snow peas etc.Please feel free to use your favourite combos.
Once the vegetables are stir fried add the peanut sauce and cook for a minute more coating everything well.
You can also use this sauce for chicken,hot or cold rice noodles and as a marinade for any meat.The possibilities are endless.
PS. I made this peanut sauce last week with Asian stir fry vegetables and centre cut pork chops which I marinated in the peanut sauce overnight then baked them.My husband said this was a restaurant quality meal.I think that is good right?
 Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons natural smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari or gluten free soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown or white sugar
juice from half a lime
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

Microwave ingredients for about 30-40 seconds.

Gluten Free,Grain Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
If you have a craving for carrot cake then this recipe will curb that craving.It is gluten free and grain free.It makes a nice snack,dessert or lunch box treat.

1½ cup almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
1½ cup shredded carrots
6 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup honey
4 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla

Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts or pineapple or raisins or coconut

  1. Whisk together almond flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Stir in carrots until well coated.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and honey until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  4. Stir in butter mixture to flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Pour batter evenly into  lined muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 35 min.
  7. Remove pan from oven and let rest 10 min in pan before transferring cupcakes to cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp vanilla

Beat together all ingredients until fluffy.