Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gluten-Free Products I Love

Alright, this isn't exactly a recipe, but I think it's time to mention some gluten-free products I love.  When I first went gluten-free I found that some gluten-free items I bought were terrible. I went without substitutes for a long time, preferring to eat a burger with no bun for example, rather than eat bread products so hard it was hard to bite into them.  It would've been nice to know at the time which products were actually decent.

After a few years without gluten though, I've managed to find a number of packaged items that I actually like.  They're not all easy to find, but you can order alot of them online if they aren't in your local store.  Here are those items that really stand out as great gluten-free products:

Bagels and Buns:
Glutino: Premium Sesame Bagels
Molly B's: Sandwich Buns

Of the various bread products I've tried, these two are by far the best.  I would recommend toasting any gluten-free bread that you buy, including these.  These two come closest to the real thing in my opinion.

Breakfast Cereal:
Nature's Path: Crunchy Maple Sunrise or Mesa Sunrise

Nature's Path Cereals are all pretty fantastic, but these two are my absolute faves.  Mesa Sunrise is a tasty cornflake-like cereal, and contains amaranth and flax.  I'm sure it's the healthier one of the two.  I base this assumption on the sweet candy-like yumminess of Crunchy Maple Sunrise, which I consider more of a splurge.

Cake Mixes:
Namaste: Blondies
Pamela's: Classic Vanilla Cake Mix

There is a recipe for carrot cake on the Pamela's mix which turned out great.

Mary's Gone Crackers: Original Seed or Herb

So yummy!  One of the best crackers ever, and even people who eat gluten agree.  Made from seeds, they have a nutty flavor.

Le Pain des Fleurs: Buckwheat or Quinoa

These crispbreads are one of my most recent finds.  They may be hard to get in North America, as they are made in France, but I did find them in a store in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  Excellent for spreads.  I like them with hummus and sliced cucumber!

Instant Meals:
Amy's: Indian Palak Paneer

Annie's: Gluten Free Rice Pasta and Cheddar

Annie's Rice Pasta comes in a box like Kraft Dinner, and makes for easy comfort food.

Rizopia 100% Rice Pasta: Organic Wild Rice Radiatore, Organic Brown Rice Fantasia or Organic Brown Rice Fusilli
Tinkyada: Organic Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles

Rice pastas can get gooey, sticky or pasty, although there are plenty of good ones out there too.  I really love the small Rizopia pastas I've listed, because they have a nice texture and hold sauces well.  The radiatore is my favourite.  The Fantasia noodles are made of various shapes and might be fun for gluten-free kids.

The Tinkyada noodles were an amazing find for making lasagna.  Although they do require cooking before you assemble your lasagna, they are firm and hold together well.  We fed our lasagna to gluten eaters and they loved it.

Kinnikinnick: Personal Size Pizza Crusts

These crusts can be used for homemade pizzas or garlic cheese bread.  Found in the freezer and easy to use.  I love the cornmeal dusted on the bottom.

Glutino Wafers: Lemon or Chocolate
Mary's Gone Crackers: Sticks and Twigs in Curry Flavour

Amy's: Lentil, or Medium Chili

Amy's products can be found pretty easily in health food stores and many grocery stores.  If you like lentil soup you might even find it at Costco.  I found it there packaged in an 8-pack with Minestrone, which has gluten, so you can give those to the gluten eaters in your life.  Even if you give the cans of Minestrone to the food bank, you'll still save money.

Nature's Path: Buckwheat Wildberry or Mesa Sunrise

Of course there are other decent products out there; I haven't tried them all.  These products though, are a great start if you're looking for convenient foods that taste good.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grilled Pineapple Spears

My girlfriend and I stole the idea for this recipe after having grilled pineapple at a Brazilian BBQ place in Niagara Falls.  This is possibly one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I've ever made, but it's impressive enough to serve to any guests you might have coming over.  The flavour in the pineapple really comes out when you grill it.  It can easily be eaten on it's own (and I actually prefer it that way), but if you'd like to dress it up you can serve it with ice cream or whipped cream.


1 whole pineapple, or pre-cut pineapple spears
brown sugar or brown sugar splenda

Core pineapple, and cut into spears.  Lightly sprinkle spears with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Grill spears over medium heat until warm.  Serve immediately.

Barbecued Veggie Sandwiches

Yay for barbecue season!

My honey and I have changed locations, yet again.  After living on the farm for the last half year, we are now spending a couple months with my folks in southern Ontario.  This has changed our cooking yet again.  This summer it's boiling hot outside, and my folks have a fantastic barbecue, so cooking outside is a no brainer.  We've come up with a few tasty barbecue options.  The first here is a vegetarian lunch we came up with when a couple vegetarian relatives came for a visit.  My folks are meat eaters through and through, so I was looking for something that was pretty substantial to satisfy everyone.  Everyone was full and happy at the end, so I'd say it was a success.


zucchini (a combo of yellow and green is nice)
white onion
sweet red peppers
store bought or homemade hummus
gluten-free buns or wraps of your choice
olive oil
lemon juice

You'll notice here that I've left out measurements of the ingredients.  For the marinade use roughly equal parts lemon juice to olive oil, and enough to coat or brush the veggies with.  Add minced garlic to taste.

As for the veggies, slice the eggplant and zucchini into thin rounds if using buns, or long strips if using wraps.  Seed and chop the red peppers into fat slices.  Peel and quarter the onions.  Coat all the veggies in the marinade.  Allow to sit in marinade if you can, but if not, go ahead and throw them on barbecue at medium-high heat.  Turn veggies during cooking so that both sides are cooked.  The peppers may get slightly charred.  You'll know they're all cooked when the zucchini and eggplant have softened.  Eggplant can be chewy if undercooked, so let them get quite soft.

Once cooked, spread hummus on the wraps or buns, and fill with a variety of veggies.  Serve with a side salad if desired.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wild Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

As I'm sure many of my gluten-free friends agree, rice is a pretty important staple when you can't eat wheat.  It fills you up better than anything else can, and whole grain varieties are full of fibre.  Wild rice, as every website out there will tell you, is not actually rice but a grass, but it's still full of fibre as well as protein.

This recipe comes from my latest purchase, The Liver Cleansing Diet, by Dr. Sandra Cabot.  In all fairness I didn't really make her recipe as I made alot of alterations, so I'll post both the original and my changes.  In the book they consider it a main course to be served with a side salad, but we had it as a side along with BBQed pork, mushrooms, and the previous Jamie Oliver zucchini recipe.  Yum.  It made for a great Sunday dinner.

Also if keeping dinner prep time down to a minimum is important to you, you can easily make up the stuffed tomatoes or just the filling in advance, leaving only the baking to the last minute.

Original Ingredients:

8 medium tomatoes
1 cup wild rice
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup currants
4 tablespoons chopped pine nuts
2 heaped tablespoons chopped mint
2 heaped tablespoons chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 heaped tablespoon LSA  (a ground mixture of 3 parts flaxseed, 2 parts sunflower seeds, 1 part almonds)

My ingredient changes:

I omitted the currants, mint, bread crumbs and LSA, and substituted chopped scallions for chives.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove tops from tomatoes and scoop out pulp with a metal spoon.  Combine pulp with all ingredients except crumbs and LSA in a saucepan and season with sea salt and ground pepper.  Bring mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for one minute.  Place the tomato cases on a foil-lined baking tray and fill them with mixture.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and LSA on top if desired.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baked and Dressed Zucchini AKA Jamie Oliver Zucchini #2

This is one of easiest recipes ever, and yet still so good!  Try and find really small zucchinis.  I omitted the vinegar and mint and used dried parsley, and it was still awesome.


8 small zucchini
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
a small handful each of chopped fresh parsley and mint

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash and pat dry zucchini.  Toss them with olive oil and generous amount of salt and pepper, and lay in ceramic baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes until soft and blistered.  Remove from oven and dress with a couple splashes of red wine vinegar and the herbs.  As Jamie says, "loosen and balance" the dressing with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of S&P.

Simple Sauteed Zucchini with Chilli and Lemon AKA Jamie Oliver's Zucchini #1

My aunt gave me a Jamie Oliver cookbook a couple years ago for Christmas and I've been a fan ever since.  I wasn't much of a TV watcher so I didn't know him, but now I'm a big fan.  He's passionate about food and making a difference.

When it comes to Jamie's stuff, I am particularly fond of his veggie recipes.  They taste amazing, and as far as I can tell they're pretty hard to mess up!

Here's the first of two zucchini recipes I've made by him.  Thanks Jamie!


4 small zucchini
olive oil
1 dried red chilli, crumbled (I substituted dried chili powder... which I'm sure isn't the same, but was still yummy)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a knob of butter (butter may be omitted)

Slice zucchini with a mandolin or sharp knife so they're under 1/4 inch thick.  Heat a large frying pan over high heat and pour in a "good" splash of olive oil.

Drop sliced zucchini into pan and fry for two minutes with the chilli and garlic until they begin to brown.  Season well with salt and pepper, add lemon juice and butter, and cook for another two minutes.  When juice has evaporated remove pan from heat and serve.

Prune Compote

As may be obvious by the lack of dessert recipes on my blog, I am not that big on sweets.  I like desserts, but I haven't been motivated enough to go the extra mile to learn how to bake gluten-free goodies.  So, when I want something sweet these days my go-to food is fruit.

This recipe is easy and quick just like most of my cooking.  It can be stored for two weeks in the fridge, making it a simple dessert that can be dipped into when you're too busy for much preparation.  Just be careful not to eat too much, after all prunes do help to keep things moving through the digestive tract.


1 pound pitted prunes
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 bags Earl Grey tea

Combine prunes with just enough water to cover in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, then stir in sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice.  Add tea bags and cook about 10 minutes more or until all prunes are tender.  Refresh the flavor if desired by blending in another 1/2 cup juice.  Discard tea bags and remove fruit with syrup to a covered container and refrigerate at least three hours before serving. 

Eat on it's own, or with sour cream or yogurt.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Ground Beef and Celery with Kidney Beans

After living with ranchers for three months it is now time to finally post a beef recipe!  All the beef we eat here is grass-fed and butchered here on the farm, and it's so much better than most other beef I've had.  We are so lucky!  If you can get your hands on good beef I think it's really worth it, although I suppose you might as well splurge and get some steaks or a roast if you're going to go to the trouble.

Anyway, this particular recipe is one of the simplest things in the world to make, which is exactly how I like my cooking.  This realization was reinforced today while perusing some rather fancy-schmancy gluten-free blogs.  There are some amazing GF blogs out there, filled with baking galore and all kinds of ways to reinvent the glutenous favourites we all once had.  This blog is totally not that!  So, in summary I have decided that my niche market is gluten-free folks who want to make relatively simple, mostly health conscious, delicious food.

That being said here's my latest creation:


2lbs lean ground beef
one head of celery
one white or yellow onion
a splash of oil of your choice
whole bunch of seasonings: dry mustard, garlic powder, dried parsley, basil, and cayenne
one can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Start by chopping onion and celery into fairly small pieces.  Toss the veggies in a pan with just a bit of water and cover to steam and soften.  Remove lid and add a bit of oil.  Saute for a few minutes with the lid off so the water evaporates.  Set cooked veggies aside.  Then, cook ground beef in the same pan on medium heat until completely browned.  Stir in the veggies and add many dashes of the seasonings to taste and mix in the beans.  Serve on a bed of quinoa or rice.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Light" Roast Veggies

Recently I moved in with some folks on their farm, so my cooking has changed somewhat.  Now instead of cooking primarily for myself and my partner, I am treated to the cooking of others and pitch in the occasional side dish.  Since they raise beef here on the farm (and are therefore far more experienced in it's preparation than I am), I find myself looking for side dishes that I can add to the family meal. 

This recipe was something I mixed together last night.  I wanted something easy and fast, as in nothing that needed peeling!  I call it "light" not because of it's fat or calorie count, but rather because the veggies used weren't the heavy, starchy veggies so often roasted.  Ordinarily I would use olive oil in a dish like this, but we had grapeseed oil on hand last night and it turned out great.


6 peppers chopped (I used 2 each of red, yellow and orange)
1 or more red onions, chopped
1 pkg (aprox 10-15) medium sized button mushrooms, stems removed and cut in halves
5 zucchini, chopped in large chunks

Throw all the veggies together in a roasting dish.  Splash with oil and toss so they are lightly coated.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 min or until it looks good.  :)

Serves 8.