Category Archives: lunch

caponata2

Caponata

 

I discovered this recipe in River cottage-veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I modified the recipe slightly, making it simpler to make and added a little more heat and vinegar by adding hot pickled banana peppers. This appetizer spread is best made a day or 2 in advance to allow the flavors to mellow . Store in covered containers in the fridge and it can last for weeks. It’s best served  at room temperature and is delicious on dried crostini’s for a dinner party. This makes approx. 2 cups.

Caponata
 
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Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 6 chopped tomatoes or 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 stalks of celery finely diced
  • 2 TBLS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBLS honey
  • 1 TBLS dark chocolate powder
  • 2 TBLS capers
  • 2 oz. pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 large TBLS diced pickled banana peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop eggplant into rough 1 inch cubes and add to medium size hot pot with olive oil
  2. Fry the eggplant for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally until golden and tender
  3. Add onion, celery and garlic and continue to stir for another 5 minutes
  4. Add tomatoes , olives,capers, coco,balsamic,honey,olives and honey
  5. Cover with a lid and continue to cook and stir occasionally at least 30 minutes. You want to ensure all the eggplant is well cooked along with the rest of the veggies.
  6. Remove pot from the stove and use a stick blender to chop and blend a few times
  7. You don't want to over mix this as you still want texture.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste and add chopped banana peppers and leave to cool.
  9. Once cool, place in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to serve
  10. Serve with diced parsley.

 

watersoup

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ever wonder what to do the rest of the gigantic watermelon you bought that doesn’t fit in the fridge and you can’t seem to consume fast enough ? The trend has been watermelon gazpacho and what a delight. It is such a nice flavor and perfect for the summer heat when served chilled. This recipe is modified from several I found online and really works well with a grilled main course.

Watermelon Gazpacho
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large tomato rough chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilis depending on preference
  • 4 cups rough chopped seeded watermelon or whatever fits in your blender
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 TBLS minced onion
  • ½ cucumber seeded and rough chopped
  • 2 TBLS minced fresh or dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into blender. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and as many chilis as you like depending on the heat you like. Pour into bowls and serve with crumbled feta and minced cucumber and watermelon to garnish. It's even better served chilled.

 

cod

Crusted cod with mustard caper sauce

Although I’ve cooked cod and other white fish a multitude of ways including battered fish and chips,  I find the best results come when it’s breaded and seared. This gives the fish a nice crunch and also holds it together better.  The easiest and pretty fool proof way is breading it first in flour, then egg and then a Panko bread crumbs. I modified the recipe to gluten free using rice Chex cereal and found the results to be equally tasty. Rice Chex cereal works well as a Panko replacement. Just grind it up in the blender and you have your crumbs ready to go.  Try serving this with quinoa and steamed chard as  a great summer dinner.

Crusted cod with mustard caper sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: gluten free dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 6 oz fillets of cod
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup rice Chex cereal
  • salt and pepper
  • Mustard caper sauce:
  • 2 TBLS whole grain mustard
  • 1 TBLS capers, drained
  • 1 TBLS chopped or dried tarragon
  • 4 TBLS olive oil
Instructions
  1. Take out fillets and dry completely with paper towel
  2. On three separate plates, place flour, beaten egg and ground Chex cereal
  3. Add a small amount of salt and pepper to each plate
  4. Heat pan to medium high heat
  5. Place fish first in flour and then completely in egg
  6. Let egg drip off and press firmly into Chex crumbs until completely covered
  7. Place oil in pan and place fish crumb side down
  8. Cook approx 4 min until crispy brown
  9. Gently turn over and cook another 2 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets
  10. Carefully remove the fish from the pan.
  11. In a separate bowl, mix together mustard capers, tarragon and olive oil
  12. Place heated quinoa as your base , stack with steamed chard and top with breaded fish
  13. Add mustard caper sauce over the top of the fish and your done.

 

glutenfreepasta1

Gluten free pasta dough

I’ve tried many gluten free pasta recipes online, and this recipe from Epicurious is by far the most authentic. The corn flour adds the tooth and flavour of semolina flour and the xanthan gum and guar gum hold it together. I’ve tried it without xanthan gum but it really needs it if you want to put it through a pasta machine.  You can mix and match your gluten free flours( is. brown rice instead of quinoa) but I would keep the potato starch for it glutinous properties.  You can purchase all your flours from Bob’s redmill and remember it’s fine corn flour NOT corn meal which will not work at all. Serve with some puttenesca sauce or meatball sauce and you’re done. Delicious!

Gluten free pasta dough
 
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Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup corn flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ½ potato starch flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 yolks from large eggs( keep the whites for merigue or sponge cake)
Instructions
  1. Sift all flours
  2. Add xanthan gum, guar gum and salt and stir in
  3. Put eggs and yolks into the bowl of dry ingredients
  4. Mix by hand until well blended (about 3 minutes)
  5. The dough should be firm yet pliable like play dough
  6. If you are using a pasta machine , cut the ball of dough into quarters and roll out each piece of dough to about ½ inch thickness. If you cover the rolling pin in potato starch flour , you can roll directly. Otherwise, you can use 2 sheets of parchment and roll it in between
  7. Once rolled flat, run it through the pasta machine and keep increasing the setting.
  8. I didn't go to the lowest setting as I found it was just too thin
  9. For fettuccine, using the fettuccine setting on the pasta machine. You can also handcut
  10. For ravioli, cut the rolled out pasta into 2 inch squares pieces
  11. Add a dollop of filling to each and brush the edges with egg wash. Put a square on top and crimp the edges. A ravioli cutter can be useful
  12. Keep the drying pasta on a sheet of parchment with potato starch mixed in so it doesn't stick
  13. Add to boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes
  14. Gently remove from the pot..no need to rinse and add your favorite sauce.

glutenfreepastaglutenfreepasta3

nutbread

Gluten free nut bread

I came across this recipe in the Bob’s Redmill cookbook and was interested in the texture and high nut protein of this bread. What’s great about it is it’s easy to make without bothering with yeast and resembles black russian rye in density. If you don’t have all the nuts on hand, you can just use sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The chia, eggs, flax and psyllium are what hold this together so nicely .This is a great after school snack with a little cheese and will fill your kids up quick. If you want to go another step, you could also slice this up thinly and double bake it to make crackers. This is a delicious winner.

Gluten free nut bread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: gluten free bread
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 TBLS psyllium husk
  • 4 TBLS chia seeds
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 TBLS buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 TBLS olive oil or coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Whisk together eggs and oil
  3. Add all other ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  4. Let stand for 10 minutes for seeds to absorb moisture
  5. Push parchment paper into 9 x 5 inch pan
  6. Scoop in mixture and press down flat with a spatula
  7. Bake for 30 minutes
  8. Remove parchment and bread from pan and bake another 30 minutes on rack
  9. Let cool completely before slicing

 

 

 

 

brocht

Easy borscht soup

Beet borscht is such a delicious, colorful comfort soup packed with vitamins and flavour.  I like to buy the whole beets with leaves and stems for more flavor and texture. If you can’t find them with the leaves, you can always add some diced kale for a little green. My son loves this soup which is a good sign. It’s delicious every time.

Easy borscht soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 whole beets with leaves
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • ½ cup of French or puy lentils
  • natural vinegar
  • 1 can whole or diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • dill and thyme
  • chicken ,beef or vegetarian stock
Instructions
  1. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a heated soup pot
  2. Add minced onion and garlic and stir until browned
  3. Add chopped carrots, celery, potatoes
  4. Peel beets and cut into ½ inch cubes and add
  5. Chop up washed leaves and stems and add to pot
  6. Add 6 cups of stock
  7. Add ½ cup lentils
  8. Add salt, pepper and minced spices
  9. Add 1 can of tomatoes
  10. Add 2 or 3 TBLS of natural vinegar depending on how you like it
  11. Leave to simmer for about 40 minutes
  12. You can add cooked garlic sausage or beef if you like
  13. Finish with a little dollop of sour cream

 

chickensatay

Chicken satays

My son has been yelling for chicken satay’s lately ever since we went to a Malaysian restaurant in our neighbourhood. To get away from too much sodium and the possibility of gluten in the soy sauce, I finally made my own. Although my son says they’re not as good as the restaurant ( I suspect it’s the salt content), he still ate them ravenously off the stick including the cucumber salad that accompanied it.  Although there are a multitude of recipes off the internet, I looked for the easiest that best emulated the flavours I was looking for. These are flavourful and tender and once marinated, very fast to make.

Chicken satays
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer/dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken boneless chicken thighs
  • wooden skewers soaked in water
  • Marinade:
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice (approx 2 lemons or limes)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 TBLS finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar or honey
  • 1 TBLS low sodium gluten free soy sauce
  • Peanut sauce:
  • ¼ cup sauce from above recipe before marinating
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar or honey
  • 3 TBLS peanut butter
  • salt to taste
  • Cucumber salad:
  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 TBLS juice of lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ tsp grated ginger
Instructions
  1. In a shallow dish, place 10 bamboo sticks in warm water and leave to soak 20 minutes
  2. Mix up sauce and reserve ¼ cup for the peanut sauce side
  3. Slice thighs ¾ inch strips and add to marinade
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  5. Using bamboo skewers, lace chicken until you have about a 3 inch length
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake chicken approx. 15 minutes.
  7. Turn on broiler and place chicken close to broiler for the last 5 or so to brown
  8. While the chicken is cooking ,add reserve marinade in pot and heat
  9. Add peanut butter and seasoning
  10. Add water if too thick and serve warm
  11. Place cucumber salad on the base or side with skewers and sauce

 

beandip

Black eyed pea curry bean spread

I created this lovely spread after attempting to make a bean curry that my son would actually eat. Unfortunately, he didn’t like the madras spice I used so I decided to blend this up for an appetizer with a few crackers. Well, it seems to be a hit with the adults do that’s not a bad return. It’s a nice change from traditional tahini hummous and has a nutty flavour with the black eyed beans. Spread it on a cracker and enjoy!

Black eyed pea curry bean spread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dried blacked eyed beans to soak
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt and pepper
  • yoghurt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Madras curry powder
Instructions
  1. Soak beans overnight and cook with water for at least one hour until tender and drain
  2. Alternatively, open one 19 oz can of black eyed beans and drain liquid
  3. Dice one medium onion and add to hot frying pan with a little oil
  4. Cook onions until have cooked to clear
  5. Add beans and 1 TBLS Madras curry powder
  6. Cook until onions are soft
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Set aside to cool
  9. Blend mixture in the blender until smooth
  10. Add 1 tsp lemon juice or squeeze juice of one lemon
  11. Add 1 TBLS yoghurt
  12. Add salt to taste and a little water if too thick
  13. Add a pinch of red chilis to spice it up

 

sausagesoup1

Left over sausage cabbage soup

I meant to post this right after the roast cabbage sausage dinner. As I found the next day I had more than enough leftovers, I thought I’d turn my dinner into lunch. That being in the form of soup which is what I turn most of my left overs into. I found this recipe reminiscent of my Hungarian heritage and with extra paprika and hot sauce, you can’t go wrong. It’s kind of a cross between borscht and Hungarian sausage soup but never the less delicious. I didn’t have any sour cream so added buttermilk instead which is just as good and lower in fat. Make sure not to add the buttermilk to this until the soup has cooled a little. You don’t want it to curdle. Because this is with leftovers, I don’t have exact measurements. I would recommend adding less liquid if there is less to work with.

Left over sausage cabbage soup
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 sausage cut into ½ inch chunks
  • Chopped up left over roasted cabbage ( approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 minced carrot
  • 1 minced celery stock
  • 2 gluten free chicken stock cubes
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBLS apple cider vinegar
  • ½ buttermilk
  • 1 TBLS paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Instructions
  1. Add chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic to hot pot with a little oil and brown
  2. Throw in chopped sausage, mashed potatoes and chopped cabbage
  3. Add paprika, vinegar and salt and pepper along with stock 8 cups of water and tomatoes
  4. Stew soup for at least 30 minutes and add more paprika to taste
  5. When soup is nearly ready to serve, add frozen peas and buttermilk for that extra zing and color
  6. Add a little hot sauce and it's pretty tasty.

 

 

meatsauce5

Best pasta meat sauce

It took me a long time to figure out how to make a quick pasta sauce until I finally realized that a tomato sauce has to be pure and simple. I used to overwork it with too many vegetables rather than just letting the tomatoes stand alone. I always look for premium canned tomatoes such as san marzanos which are a little sweeter. This sauce can be made with or without meat but is always good either way.  I always get organic , gluten free Italian sausage from the butcher . I like to use brown rice penne with this as it soaks up the sauce nicely. You can use fresh spices if you have them and a little parmesan and tabasco to finish it off.

meatsaucemeatsauce2meatsauce3

Best pasta meat sauce
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 mild or spicy premium Italian sausages
  • 1 can san marzano whole tomatoes
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbls basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp chilis(optional)
Instructions
  1. Mince onion and garlic and fry with a little olive oil until a little browned
  2. Squeeze out meat from 4 sausage casings and break up until browned
  3. Blend tomatoes slightly to break up and add to sauce
  4. Add spices and simmer for at least 35 minutes
  5. Cook pasta separately and serve hot