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Stir-fried Bok Choy

17 Nov

During my walk to work today a bird pooped on my head. True story. Then i got told over and over again how it’s good luck. There is nothing good luckish about this. All it meant was that I had to stand in the bathroom picking poop out of my hair at 7:30am. My day then went on as normal with no lottery wins or out of the ordinary events. fml.

Today is brought to you by simple side-dishes. In keeping with the simple theme this is going to be short (minus the rant above).

This is a great side when you need some greens. Goes well with pretty much any dish, but it really compliments any main dish with Asian flavours.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 cups bok choy (you can use any size bok choy you want)

1 garlic clove pressed with a garlic press

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free dish)

1 tbsp oyster sauce (if you’re vegetarian or vegan leave this out)

Heat a large fry pan, preferably a wok, to medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and the boy choy. Saute for a few minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce, saute for one more minute. Serve.

I’m pretty sure it’s more fun if you eat it with chopsticks.

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Chicken and Sausage Bake

2 Oct

This may be one of my most requested recipes (behind lasagna of course, nothing can compete with carbs, cheese and wine – don’t even bother!). Promise you’ll still come back, even when I’ve given away all my good recipe secrets?

So lets all give a big hooray for one pot wonders!!!!!! If you’re someone who I have served this to when you came for dinner – I worked so much harder than the instructions I am about to give when I made this for you……I promise…..

Chicken and Sausage Bake

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or chicken legs with the thigh attached if you prefer dark meat

4 hot or mild Italian sausages

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

5 grinds of black pepper

1 small bulb of fennel, sliced (to slice fennel, cut off the frawns (the finger looking things), slice the bulb into quarters and cut out the core, then slice into strips)

2 pints of cherry tomatoes (I find it extra fun to get the multicoloured ones – ya, those are the kind of things I find extra fun, great.)

2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

4 full sprigs of rosemary, still on the stalk.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon, olive oil and black pepper and coat the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Turn the oven on to 375 degrees. In a baking dish (that will snuggly fit the chicken and sausage) toss the fennel, cherry tomatoes, chopped herbs and garlic. Add a glug of olive oil and toss until they are all well coated.

Place the marinated chicken on top of the bed of vegetables. Squeeze the sausages into the gaps between the chicken. Use your left over rosemary sprigs to tuck in between some of the chicken and sausage.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the chicken and sausage are cooked through.

To serve, toss the full rosemary sprigs in the garbage and remove the chicken and sausage to a large serving dish using tongs. Then, using a slotted spoon, remove the cherry tomatoes and fennel and spoon over the chicken and sausage.

The cherry tomatoes will have slightly burst making the most amazing sauce for the chicken and sausage!

I typically serve this over garlic mashed potatoes with a very simple arugula, lemon and parmesan salad on the side.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Roasted Salmon with Mango Salsa

15 Sep

My flip-flops broke over a month ago and I haven’t replaced them. I haven’t had our air conditioning on since 1992 (or July). I bought a bouquet of fall flowers for the front hall table. I clearly am embracing fall. However, apparently not in the kitchen.

This dinner is brought to you by the theme words “fresh” and “summery”. Spell check says summery is not a word? seriously?

Roasted Salmon with Mango Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 pieces of Salmon (freshness really makes all the difference, so don’t skimp!)

1 ripe mango, finely diced

1/2 a green pepper, finely diced

1/2 a red onion, finely diced

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (I lied about trying to do more cilantro-free recipes apparently)

1 pinch of cumin

the juice of 1/2 a lime

Set your oven to 450 degrees. Place the salmon skin side down and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is. My go-to rule is 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

In a bowl combine the mango, green pepper, red onion, cilantro, cumin and lime juice. Mix.

Top each piece of salmon with a liberal amount of salsa and serve (at this point I am assuming you have managed to not eat the entire bowl of salsa before the salmon has finished cooking – good luck!).

Want to know the best part about this? It actually works really well at room temperature. This translates into no need to worry about your timing – you can prepare everything ahead of time if need be! It is also equally as delicious with chicken!!!!!

Quick, someone send me a new pair of flip-flops!

Colourful Vegetable Quinoa with Tahini Dressing

31 May

I’m back! Sometimes I get a tad busy with work and, well, other things. Don’t be fooled. There’s still a stack of laundry yet to be touched, a list of rooms that MUST be cleaned last week, yet somehow remain untouched, and many other tidbits. What to do when you can’t squeak out more than 6 hours of sleep a night on a good night? why teach yourself to bake of course!! This rationale makes perfect sense when standing next to your sparkly new kitchenaid stand mixer. I haven’t posted any of these recipes yet b/c “teach yourself” are the key words here. As much as I love to cook I’ve never been a baker. I don’t like sweets (bitch about me later in private please), so I usually only bake twice a year. Once for Mark’s birthday and the other time for an annual Christmas party. Lately, that has changed. As soon as I figure out how to not add inappropriate amounts of salt I will share some sweet treats with you all! Until that time, back to quinoa.

We were gifted a wonderful cookbook by wonderful friends the other weekend. It came in very handy after an over the top long weekend at the cottage (spritzers and caesars? Yes please!). This was a great recipe that hit the spot as a much-needed light dinner. (Although, I would not be afraid to use it as a tasty side dish either). I obviously had to make a few changes to the recipe (this is where I fail at baking…).

Colourful Vegetable Quinoa with Tahini Dressing (adapted from Sophie Dhal’s cookbook, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights)

Serves 4 as a dinner and many as a side dish

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa

1 cucumber quartered and sliced

4 green onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

Tahini Dressing

3/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce

3 tablespoons tahini

1 clove of garlic

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Let cool to room temperature (it’s ok, I normally can’t wait that long either – I think I lasted 15 minutes. I just stirred it a lot so that the heat could escape faster).

In a food processor, or with an immersion blender combine the dressing.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, chopped vegetables and dressing.

Geeze that was easy! Pat yourself on the back, it’s been a long day!

This keeps nicely in the fridge, so go on and make yourself a big batch.

After a few more weeknight dinner posts I’ll blow your minds with oreo cheesecake bars. BAM!

Japanese Stir-fry with Tofu

12 Apr

This is one of our weeknight go-tos for dinner. Not only is it quick and delicious, but it’s full of veggies and protein. It makes a quick and easy re-heat for lunch the next day as well!

Think of this as a starting off point. If you don’t like mushrooms, no problem, sub for carrot. If you feel like cabbage, trade it in for bok choy. You can really mix and match your veggies here if you feel like getting a little adventurous! (I know I know, pretty risque for a weeknight isn’t it?)

Japanese Stir-Fry with Tofu (adapted from Rebar)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1/4 cup red miso paste

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp soy sauce (tamari if you’re going gluten free)

2 tbsp mirin (Asian cooking wine, found in the Asian section of the food store)

1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 garlic clove, grated or pressed with a garlic press

1/4 tsp red chile flakes (I double this, you could also leave it out)

Stir-fry:

2 japanese eggplants, halved and sliced into 1 cm pieces (they are thin and long and slightly lighter than a regular eggplant – most food stores have them I find)

1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 cup of snow peas

1 block of extra firm tofu, cubed to bite size pieces

4 cups bok choy, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 bunch of green onions, sliced

Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisk together. Set Aside.

Heat a large wok to medium heat. Use a splash of cooking oil (I use grapeseed), rotate it around the wok. Once the oil is hot add the eggplant and mushrooms. After 5 minutes add the tofu. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Add the bok choy and snow peas. Stir fry for another 5 minutes, until the bok choy begins to soften. Pour in the sauce and combine. Add the green onions and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Serve over top of rice, I usually use brown rice. (my rice cooker may possibly be my most favourite kitchen appliance(don’t worry food processor, you’re a close second). It makes our quick weeknight dinners even better – cooking rice is a nuisance. When cooking brown rice I use a few tbsp’s extra of water than the standard 1:2 ratio.)

Home alone = no photographer. When left to my own devices, blurry food is on the menu!

Moo Shu Pork

8 Apr

Chinese food is a dream come true. Moo Shu Pork is pretty close to perfection. I can’t eat this fast enough – and believe me I try – I am a crazy fast eater. When I make all my food I cook for 4 so that we both always have lunch the next day. With this we make double, simply so we can have 2 servings each – yes, we are disgusting! When this is my lunch, I eat around 9:30 a.m. Patience is a virtue, one that I was not blessed with!


This looks more anemic than it should. I am a moron and forgot to buy green onions. This worked out perfectly for me last week when I realized at the last-minute that I didn’t have green onion. Turns out the green onion gods were looking out for me that day. I had bought some the week before and there was an ENTIRE bunch in the fridge. This week when the EXACT SAME PROBLEM occurred I was not as lucky. No green onion in sight. apparently all green onion karma was gone. Needless to say, these photos are lacking some serious green colour pop. Please imagine how much better it could look.

Moo Shu Pork (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 pork tenderloin*, sliced into rounds, and then slice the rounds into strips

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into strips

2 tbsp grated ginger

1/2 head of savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

5 green onions, sliced (yup, I’m a moron)

1/3 cup of soy sauce or tamari (to make this recipe gluten free use tamari)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Heat a large pan to medium high heat. Spray with cooking oil. Whisk your eggs in a bowl and add them to the pan. Move the pan so that the eggs spread out into a large thin pancake. Cook until cooked through. Slide out of the pan onto the counter. Roll into a log and slice into strips. Set aside.

Coat the pork in cornstarch in a bowl. Heat a large non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Add a splash of grapeseed oil (or canola oil, or any vegetable oil) and saute the pork until cooked through (approximately 10 minutes). Transfer to a separate bowl.

In the same pan saute the mushrooms and ginger until the mushrooms are soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add the cabbage, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Saute for 5 minutes until the cabbage softens slightly. Add the green onions, the eggs strips and the pork. Cook until warmed through. Serve over rice.

* If you aren’t a pork fan, this can be substituted with thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken or turkey.

I got a complaint the other day at work regarding how loud I was eating. I was eating this. I can’t control myself. Help!

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

7 Apr

I live with a man who is obsessed with Thai food. If I made it every day I don’t think he would ever complain. His absolute favourite is any form of coconut milk curry. This dish usually gets me in the good books. An added bonus? There’s very little chopping involved!

Bonus points at home and not much work. I’ll take it!

If  you want to be praised at home, or if you’re a bit down b/c you haven’t had a vacation in months, or it’s raining or snowing when it should be sunny and hot MAKE THIS!

Thai Red Curry Shrimp (adapted from the LCBO Food and Drink)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk

1 tbsp red curry paste

1 cup very finely diced red onion

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

2 tbsp fish sauce

The grated rind of 1 lime

1 tsp sugar (I leave this out – I don’t dig a sweet dinner)

1 lb of shelled shrimp

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (if you’re a cilantro hater just leave it out)

The juice of 1/2 a lime

Pour the coconut milk into a large sauce pan and simmer until it thickens slightly (approximately 10 minutes). Add in the curry paste and stir until incorporated. Simmer until fragrant (approximately 2 minutes). Add the diced red onion and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lime rind, fish sauce and sugar, let simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and cook until pink throughout (this doesn’t take long at all – watch it, once it turns pink you’re good). Add the basil, cilantro and lime juice. Stir to incorporate.

Serve over top of jasmine rice.

Welcome to Thailand! If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience locate yourself a lady-boy to eat next to you.

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