Fall is here! This is my favourite time of year. It is when I bring out all my comfy sweaters, scarves, and pull out the outrageously long socks have lived in the back of my sock drawer all summer. There is no need for socks that reach your belly button… BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES THEM SO AWESOME!!
One final summer recipe. Summer is almost behind us now. I have been making this fabulous rice salad all summer. It is so tasty and sweet. Of course you can make this recipe with whatever vegetables are in season, however, this is by far my favourite combo.
Summer Rice Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing
Serves: 2 as a main or 4 as a side
- Cook brown rice as instructed on the package.
- To make dressing: whisk honey, mustard and vinegar together until smooth. Then add oil. If you add it sooner it will separate. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Once rice has cooled, add the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle the salad dressing on top and toss until well combined.
- Serve immediately. It will keep for up to two days in the fridge.
I haven’t posted for awhile. That is due to many reasons, but the main one being the lack of inspiration and motivation. My brain was in such a fog the entire month of July. To be honest with you, I hardly remember it and yet it feels like it was the longest month of my life. It’s funny how our brain works sometimes. But that is over. I am once again motivated to cook, write and take tasty-looking pictures.
The reason I started this blog in the first place was so that, for the first time in my life, I would have a hobby. Part of my anti-anxiety therapy was to find something that brought me pleasure, but did not stress me out: an activity I have complete control over. If I am having a “down day” (or month) I don’t feel I have disappointed anyone.
This all being said, I am thrilled a few people are visiting my blog! Although this is more of a therapeutic experiment than anything else, it is nice that people are visiting. So, a big thanks to the people who have tried my recipes and have revisited my site!
Now, on to the recipe of the day! This is pizza at its best, my friends. I have been obsessing over gluten-free pizza recipes for a couple months trying to find one that I like. I found a few, but they lacked the flavor I was looking for. I wanted a dense crust packed with flavor! I have a thick crust recipe I enjoy (another recipe for another time), however, I was looking for a thin crust when creating this recipe.
So, I thought to myself, what are my favorite flours? Personally, I love the taste of millet and quinoa. They are earthy and very filling. I decided, “What the heck! Let’s try it out!” I really enjoyed the result… and so did my little sister!
Gluten-free Quinoa Thin-Crust Pizza
Makes 2 personal crusts
2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
1 cup millet flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup of warm water
1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice flour, for dusting
- In a bowl, put yeast, warm water and sugar together. Let sit until yeast expands and creates foam. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix quinoa flour, xanthan gum, millet flour and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Add olive oil and yeast mixture in with dry ingredients. Begin to mix ingredients together with hands until it forms dough. I put a bit of olive oil or water on my hands to prevent sticking. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
- Dust a clean countertop with rice flour and begin to knead the dough. Knead for about 5 minutes.
- Turn on the oven to 350°F. Let dough stand for about 20 minutes.
- Once the oven is preheated, roll the dough into a thin crust. I made two 9-inch pizzas. Allow to bake for about 7 minutes and then add toppings and bake for another 10-12 minutes longer.
I hate reading… well, I actually love reading. Once I start, I can’t stop. I usually don’t like beginning a book because I know once I get into a good story I will not stop until I read the entire book… or series. My favourite kind of novel is good fiction with some sort of dystopia. A novel where someone is stickin’ it to “The Man”!
Reading also makes me want to write a book. I don’t know where I would start, but I think it would be fun. I went to university for acting about 3 years ago and got kicked out. (That’s another story for another day.) However, right before they gave me the boot, one of my instructors told me I should try writing. That way I could still tell a story but no one would have to see me. (She was a real gem.)
I haven’t thought about that conversation in ages. I didn’t even want to pick up a pen for a long time after. I felt that if I wrote anything I would be proving her right. So, I can’t be a performer and a writer? That’s just silly! Who says I can only do one thing? Well she does… but what does she know!
I think part of starting this blog was to see if I could form coherent thoughts in some sort of structure that someone would want to read. Or, you know, I could read them back to myself. I mean, I am no Lois Lowry or C. S. Lewis, but hey, who knows, one day people might be interested in what I have to say!
Well, now that I’ve rambled about something that has nothing to do with food, let’s get back to this delicious recipe! I use hummus in all kinds of ways. It’s not just for dipping veggies in. I put it in my rice dishes, I use it in pasta salads and stir-frys, buddha bowls… the possibilities are endless. This hummus has a wonderful taste and once you let it sit in the fridge overnight the flavours really pop!
You gotta love parsley to fully appreciate this recipe. I mean, wow! The parsley really hits you, especially when it is freshly made. I really like that, but we are all different, so if you think you would prefer less or no parsley at all, that’s fine. It will still taste amazing and will be bright green!
Life can be frustrating sometimes. Lately I’ve found things have not been going my way. Even though I feel like I’m working so hard, it’s as if I’m running in circles, forever finding myself back where I started. My goals are unclear and I don’t know where the next page in my story is leading.
I’m someone who likes certainty. I don’t mind obstacles, as long as I have a clear goal I’m striving to achieve. However, life is not always so black and white, is it? It’s full of these peaks and valleys that make up the whole colourful picture, but the picture seems to come in a box like a puzzle.
It can be so frustrating. I just want to take out all this energy. But how?..
How about by kneading some dough? I have Celiac Disease, so I very rarely find a bread recipe that is either not too sticky or not too dry to knead. I never get to put all my energy into making a beautiful loaf of bread. Until now!
I stumbled across this lovely recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients, but with some reworking I was able to make tasty, hearty, delicious gluten-free/vegan bread. And oh mama, is it ever satisfying! I tried it first toasted and topped off with bruschetta, but it would also make great sandwich bread. Absolute heaven.
I think a big part of my passion comes from seeing how much fulfillment cooking has brought my mother. I asked her why they always cut an X in the top of the bread, and she said her mother would tell her it was a cross. It was a way to bless the bread and be thankful for what you have. I thought that was incredibly beautiful.
Now on to the bread!
I have been so busy this month that lately my nights have been filled with quick and easy, 15 minute dinners like this. Just because food needs to be fast sometimes, does not mean it needs to be fast food! I can guarantee this recipe will not make you sluggish or sleepy after eating. You will feel satisfied and contented.
Brussels sprouts are so tasty and full of vitamins such as B1, B6, C an K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and so much more! It’s a veggie I didn’t eat much of as a kid. Even the name turned me off. Now I buy them frozen all the time and use them whenever I need to make a meal in a pinch!
So, next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up some and try out this recipe or just boil them and top with honey and cranberries (also amazing). Try experimenting with fun new plants in your diet and your tummy will smile!
- 150g rice pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup brussel sprouts, cut in halves
- 1/4 cup hummus
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced
- 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful of walnuts (optional)
- In boiling water, cook pasta until al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, but not brown.
- Add zucchini and Brussels sprouts. Cook evenly for about 5 minutes.
- Adjust heat to low and add hummus, salt, pepper, oregano and spinach, and cook until all combined. You want the spinach to wither. Then mix in pasta.
- Once everything is well combined, plate the pasta and sprinkle with walnuts and tomatoes.
I am writing this post from a hospital room. What dedication! But really, I just needed to do something to pass the time. It is nothing serious, just a “mild” allergic reaction. I look a bit like a red marshmallow… but, hey, could be worse. Now, I just need to find out what I’m allergic to.
It is so strange! When I was growing up I was the only one in my family who was not allergic to anything. My brother was deathly allergic to eggs and nuts, my older sister to milk and my little sister is allergic to nuts and certain fruits. I used to tease them relentlessly… until I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Oh, the irony!
I’m very greatful for the diagnosis even though it can be annoying sometimes. Now that I know how to cook gluten-free foods, I hardly miss gluten. In fact, I often like my substitutions more! It’s all about enjoying the things you can eat instead of dwelling on the things you can’t. For example: these delicious burgers!
These are so tasty! I have always loved falafel, but never liked the fact that they needed to be deep fried. I don’t like how deep fried food makes me feel. I become tired and bloated. However, these burgers have all the flavour without the grease.
Easy Vegan Falafel Burgers
makes 6 patties
- 1 can of chickpeas
- scant 1/4 cup almond meal
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, diced
- 3-5 large cloves garlic
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch cardamom
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- swiss chard leaves
- sweet peppers
- Put lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in your food processor. Process for about 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- Add chickpeas and spices. Allow to blend for a little while more. Do not over process! You do not want to make hummus!
- Pour mixture into a medium bowl. Add almond meal and onions. Mix well until combined.
- Mold into burger patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to an hour. The longer you leave them in the fridge, the more the flavours will pop. I left mine for an hour, but in a pinch, 15 minutes will do fine.
- During this time, preheat the oven to 380 ºF. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan or skillet. Place burgers in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp on the surface. This adds a nice texture, but for an oil-free option, simply omit this step.
- Place the falafel on the middle rack of your oven for about 40 minutes. Eat them straight out of the oven or put them in the fridge. Make sure you allow them to cool before refrigerating so they don’t become soggy. Should last in the fridge for up to a week.
Who doesn’t have a comfort food? Like so many other kids around the world, I liked Kraft Dinner. Unfortunately, it did not like me. It made me so sick I couldn’t eat it. Luckily, I have an amazing, Italian mother who makes the best pasta dishes, so I didn’t miss it very much. However, there was always something intriguing about creamy, cheese-covered pasta.
I am dedicating this post to my little sis. She was the queen of microwaveable KD as a kid. She always had to make it in the same bowl and eat it with a wooden spoon because it supposedly “tasted better that way”. So when I was photographing, I made sure to have a wooden spoon in the picture just for her! I love you, my quirky, little sista!
This dish is just so good! It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or not. I put “optional” in brackets for certain ingredients because this recipe is so versatile. Try your favourite spices and see how it turns out. I love rosemary, but it can be overpowering if you don’t like the taste. Try sage or basil instead! Don’t have honey mustard? Try using dijon mustard. I am constantly trying new things with this recipe. So, get your creative hat on and get cookin’!
15 minute Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1.5 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional but recommended)
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp honey mustard
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 pinch saffron (optional)
- 1 heaping cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 tbsp red peper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt Earth Balance (butter) or heat oil over medium heat. Once heated, add almond milk.
- Sift in arrowroot starch and whisk. Try to avoid clumps. Whisk in nutritional yeast, mustard, turmeric, onion powder, garlic salt and saffron.
- Stir and allow to thicken. Once sauce has developed a thick consistency, add pumpkin purée. Stir until heated through. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes according to taste.
- Serve immediately with brown rice pasta or store in the fridge for a busy day when you don’t have time to cook. Will keep for 5 days.
- For a nut-free option, try soy or rice milk!
- If you are allergic to yeast, add a bit more salt and pepper and have a lovely pumpkin alfredo.
- I love adding spinach and peas to this as well!
In the great words of one of my favourite authors, this was “scrumdiddilyumtious”! Roald Dahl is one of my heroes. I thought one day I would grow out of loving his writing, but I never did. He has taught me such amazing lessons with his lovely, made-up words and his preposterous ideas that might only make sense to a child.
Why am I talking about a book instead of a recipe? Well, I was packing my apartment today and donating things I have no use for, when I stumbled on my beloved collection of Roald Dahl books. I sat there reading and laughing (instead of packing) for hours until I realized how unproductive I was being! My favourite novels of his are: Matilda, The Twits and The BFG. So, I decide to keep those three and part with the rest. I like to think that some other child (or wonderful adult) will find the joy I did while reading these books.
Packing is dreadful, though. It has to be one of my least favourite things and I have done it at least once a year for the past four years. I keep telling myself, “Okay, this will be where I will stay for a while”. However, I inevitably find somewhere else and the journey continues.
Anywhoozels, enough rambling and on to the recipe!
This recipe was a brain child of mine. I thought about what to make for Easter dinner for days. I wanted to make something that would satisfy everyone’s pallet. I woke up Easter morning and this idea was born. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
For people who eat cheese, try adding parmesan or mozzarella. For people with nut allergies, don’t add the crushed walnuts. I promise it won’t ruin the dish.
Scrumptious Stuffed Squash with Lemon Risotto
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Once the oven has preheated, put squash on the bottom rack face down for about 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
- While squash is cooking, put broth in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- In a large sauce pan heat oil or butter on medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent.
- Add rice and mix. The rice will become translucent as well. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Begin to add broth with a ladle, but only add one scoop at a time. Wait until broth has evaporated before adding more liquid. This will take about 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add in asparagus and lemon zest while rice is still al dente and allow to cook for another few minutes longer. If you don’t need all the broth, that is okay. You don’t want your rice to get mushy. It will throw off the consistency of the dish.
- Take squash out of the oven and scoop out the centre leaving about an inch and a half around the edges. Don’t throw out the centre because you can use it in another recipe! Pour risotto into the squash, topping with cheese and/or ground walnuts. Turn on broiler on low and place stuffed squash on the middle rack. Keep a close eye on it and remove when cheese has melted and walnuts have toasted.
- You have created a masterpiece! Dig in!
This has been an absolutely dreadful winter in Nova Scotia. The snow just keeps on coming. It started late mind you, but it has felt like a constant snowstorm for three months straight now. So, I decided to post a winter curry. I am sure someone out there is still trying to stay warm, so this one is for you!
The moment I took a bite of this curry, I knew I had to share it with you. It. Is. Awesome. I almost ate the entire pot myself.. Why I am I lying to you? I did eat the entire pot by myself. Well, not in one sitting. This is enough curry for a family of four at least! I had to pace myself. I had it for dinner and then breakfast the next day… and then dinner again. It kept my tummy warm and happy.
I love hearty, cooked meals in the cold months. Once the summer rolls around, I eat mostly raw just because I like the way it makes me feel. I try and stay really in tune with what my body needs. Right now it’s saying that I should make this curry again tonight!
Enjoy! And please comment to tell me what you think!
Serves 4-5 ~ Prep time: 15 mins ~ Cook time: 30 mins
1 medium golden onion
3-5 cloves garlic (I used 5)
300g (about 3-4 handfuls) field greens, or any greens you have on hand
1 Chinese eggplant
1 small sweet potato
1/4 cup red lentils
1 large sweet pepper
1 cup frozen/fresh peas
3 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp cumin seeds
3-4 tbsp coconut oil
2 heaping tbsp good quality curry powder
1/2 cup cashews with 3/4 cup water (soaked for at least 1 hour)
400ml can of coconut milk
2 heaping tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt to taste
- Put oil and seeds into a large saucepan on medium heat.
- When seeds start popping, add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Add curry powder and stir until onions and garlic are fully coated.
- Add greens and cook down until soft.
- Add the coconut milk, cashew cream, as well as all remaining ingredients except garam masala.
- Use your immersion blender to pulse mixture to desired consistency.
- Stir in garam masala and simmer. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Serve with brown rice and enjoy!