Category Archives: snacks

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.

 

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

 

plantainchips

Plantain chips with spicy yogurt dip

If your looking for an easy snack super high and potassium and you like a taste of the Carribean, these tasty chips are for you. I like to buy my plantains green as they’re much lower in sugar and easier to cut and prepare. The spicy yogurt dip is the perfect compliment to this starchy snack. You won’t be able to eat just one!

Plantain chips with yogurt dip
 
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Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 green plantains
  • ¼ melted coconut oil
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp carribean hot sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle
  2. Cut off top and end of each plantain and score the fruit skin just touching the flesh.
  3. Gently pull away the peel so your plantain is clean and ready to go
  4. Slice the plantains approx. ¼ thick on a diagonal
  5. Melt ¼ coconut oil and toss the fruit until well coated
  6. Add ¼ tsp salt
  7. Lay parchment or silpat on cookie sheet and lay down chips without touching
  8. Cook approx. 20 mintues per side until browned and a little crispy.
  9. Dip:
  10. Mix yogurt, caribbean hot sauce with a little honey

 

blackbeanbrownie

Black bean gluten free brownies

Black bean brownies are one of the first desserts I discovered when going gluten free. I was amazed and wowed by their great texture, moistness and flavour. Nobody would even know they’re eating a high protein dessert. Best of all , my son thinks these are terrific so this is a great treat to fill  your kids up with vitamins and fiber. Remember to grease your pan thoroughly and let your brownies cool before removing from the pan or they’ll break up a little as mine did this time around. Enjoy!

Black bean gluten free brownies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cooked and rinsed black beans or 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 TBLS warm butter or virgin coconut oil( I prefer this)
  • 6 TBLS cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ baking soda
  • 1 TBLS water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle
  2. Place beans and 3 eggs in a blender along with sugar, vanilla and salt
  3. Mix well until beans are liquified
  4. In a separate bowl,mix cocoa,baking soda and baking powder
  5. In a larger bowl, beat butter or coconut oil adding 2 final eggs
  6. Pour bean batter into egg mixture
  7. Mix in dry ingredients and water and beat on high for 1 minute until smooth
  8. Pour into greased 8x8 pan or separate muffin tins ( use coconut oil for this too)
  9. Top with sliced almonds or nuts of your choice for texture
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes until firm to the touch
  11. Let cool before removing gently from the pan
  12. Can sprinkle with icing sugar as well
  13. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

lemonsquares

Gluten free lemon squares

If your looking for something citrus to go with tea when the guests come over, this is an easy and tasty treat. They’re quick to make and  keep well on the counter. You can also sprinkle a little toasted coconut on top to add some texture.

Gluten free lemon squares
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: gluten free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ white sugar
  • 4 TBLS melted butter or coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Curd:
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 TBLS white rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray 8x8 inch pan with spray pam
  3. Mix almond and flour together with salt and sugar
  4. Add melted butter or oil and mix with hands
  5. Press into base of pan
  6. Bake for 10 mins and remove from oven
  7. While baking ,whisk together eggs with lemon juice zest, sugar, baking powder and salt
  8. Pour mixture over crust and baking another 20 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and let cool 10 min. before carefully removing from pan
  10. Cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar once cooled .

stopper.

salmoncake

Gluten free salmon cakes

I’ve loved salmon cakes since I was a kid. They’re quick to make and with a few ingredients around the house, always great for the last minute dinner. My son thinks they’re great , too as long as the capers are omitted so it’s up to you.

Gluten free salmon cakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 210 oz can sockeye salmon
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 2 cups grated potato ( 2-3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 TBLS dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 grated carrot
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • toasted sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Empty tin with juice into bowl
  2. Add grated carrot, peas,eggs,mustard,flour ,baking powder,capers, 1 TBLS lemon juice and zest and seasoning and mix thoroughly
  3. Add grated potato and quickly mix (potatoes turn black so move quickly)
  4. Heat pan to medium high heat
  5. Add enough olive oil to coat pan and add large dollops (2 large TBLS) of salmon mix
  6. Once cakes look like their crispy and brown, flip to other side(approx. 5 minutes)
  7. Add a little sesame oil to flavor
  8. Spoon onto plate with paper towel to absorb grease
  9. Makes approx. 12 3 inch cakes
  10. Mustard sauce:
  11. /4 yogurt
  12. TBLS dijon mustard
  13. TBLS lemon juice
  14. TBLS capers
  15. Add a little water to thin out and serve over salmon cakes with a few chili flakes
  16. Serve with grilled broccoli or cabbage and soba noodles tossed with a little sesame oil

 

carribeanbeansoup

Caribbean black bean banana soup

Looking at my browning bananas in the corner that my son refuses to eat, I had to come up with something before they went into the compost. After freezing a few for later baking projects, I decided to use one in a black bean soup. I found this recipe online somewhere but have since modified it, increasing the seasoning and turning up the heat .

Caribbean black bean banana soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked and rinsed black beans or 2 15 oz can of rinsed beans
  • I medium onion minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • one ripe banana mashed
  • 1 mango pealed and chopped into large chunks
  • 2½ tsp cumin
  • 1 TBLS grated fresh ginger
  • 1 TBLS tabasco
  • 1 tsp chilis
  • 3 cups chicken broth( or vegetable)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup minced red pepper for garnish
  • lime juice
Instructions
  1. Put a dollop of olive oil and add chopped onions, garlic and 1 diced red pepper to a hot pot
  2. Cook until transparent
  3. Stir in black beans, cumin, grated ginger, mashed banana and chilis and hot sauce
  4. Add coconut milk and broth
  5. If too thick, add a bit more chicken stock
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. I like to add a lot of black pepper to give it some heat
  10. Using a stick blender give it a few pulses to blend a bit but not totally pureed
  11. Serve with a few diced red peppers and lime juice