Monthly Archives: January 2017

White bean cassoulet

As Christmas day approaches, we have already been stuffing ourselves with the abundance of desserts, drinks and rich meals over the holiday season.  It , therefore, only seems appropriate to have a cleansing meal before the gluttony of Christmas day begins. Bean cassoulet has been a tradition in our family for several years but I wanted to take out the fat component  of traditional  bean stews composed of duck confit and pare it down to its flavour and hardiness.  I combined several recipes to come up with this tasty and relatively fast meal which is really a show stopper its own right. I like to buy chorizo lamb merguez for its spiciness , flavor and leanness but you can substitute any sausage you like.  What makes this cassoulet particularly unique  is it’s spinach walnut pesto and parmesan crostini instead of the traditional bread crumb topping.


White bean cassoulet
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: french
Serves: 6
  • 3 Tbls olive oil
  • 20 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 4 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 herb bouquet tied with string: 4 stems of fresh rosemary,4 stems of fresh oregano( or 1 tsp of dry)8-10 fresh stems of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups drained cooked great northern white beans or any firm white bean(approx. 3 cups dried soaked beans overnight and cooked for an hour)
  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 links of spicy merguez or chicken sausage
  • ½ cups spinach pesto
  • 6 slices of diced bacon
  • 4 diced tomatoes
  • Garlic crostini:
  • 1 baquette
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • spinach pesto:
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 11/2 cups olive oil
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place the rack in the middle
  2. Heat up creuset or dutch oven pot on the stove and add diced bacon to cook until crisp
  3. Add diced onion, garlic, carrot,celery, herbs
  4. Add cooked beans along with 8 cups of chicken stock and white wine
  5. Stir in diced tomates and bring to a simmer on the stove
  6. Once bubbling, place in preheated oven to bake at least 2 hours until liquid reduces by at least half
  7. Grilled sausage:
  8. Lay out sausage and prick with a fork and cook under broil for approx. 10 mins. for colour.
  9. Cut sausages in half and place on top of stewing beans an hour into baking time.
  10. Spinach pesto:
  11. Chop spinach and add to blender
  12. Gradually add olive oil until well blended
  13. Add garlic,walnuts, cheese , salt and pepper
  14. Combine all ingredients in a blender until pureed smooth.
  15. Put in a bowl and leave to rest
  16. Garlic parmesan crostini:
  17. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  18. Slice baquette into 24 slices
  19. Drizzle bread with olive oil
  20. Spread crushed garlic onto each slice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  21. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until bread is browned but not burnt
  22. Remove from the oven and set aside until beans are ready
  23. Continue to check beans until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.
  24. Sometimes this can take up to 3 hours depending on how well cooked the beans are.
  25. Remove creuset pot from the oven and serve beans with sausage placed on top, a dollop of pesto with a crostini placed on top.

Baked gluten-free apple cider doughnuts


I’ve made a lot of gluten-free cakes and all too often, they tend to be dry and flavorless. This recipe is a nice surprise with great texture and flavour.  I found that the buttermilk  in this recipe really helps to moisten these beauties and the apple cider was a great flavor component.  They are very reminiscent of a traditional cake doughnuts and when you add a little coconut glaze with sprinkles, they look just like the real thing!  Don’t forget to get yourself a doughnut pan so you can bake these in the oven.

gluten-free apple cider doughnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups apple cider or juice
  • ½ white sugar
  • ¼ room temp butter or coconut oil
  • ½ buttermilk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour(see below)
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • gluten-free flour blend:
  • makes approx. 3 cups
  • 11/4 cup brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ⅔ cup tapioca starch flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk
  • coconut cream:
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ brown sugar
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Premix flour and set aside
  3. Place apple cider in pot and reduce by half and set aside
  4. Spray doughnut pan with non stick spray
  5. Cream butter and sugar
  6. Add eggs and mix on low
  7. Mix in reduced cider, buttermilk and vanilla
  8. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and salt
  9. Add liquid mixture to flours just until smooth
  10. It should have the consistency of thick pancake batter
  11. Use a tablespoon to scoop into pans
  12. Bake for 10 minutes until doughnuts spring back when touched
  13. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack
  14. Repeat to make 12 doughnuts