Tag Archives: gluten free flour

Fresh ‘n easy g-free lemon poppy seed muffins

A quick and easy gluten free treat.

A quick and easy gluten free treat.

Thanks to these muffins, almond flour has become by new favourite flour. But sitting at around $11.50 a pound, is it ever expensive! A few weeks ago I saw it was on sale at about half that price and I’m pretty sure I squealed. Needless to say, I stocked up and got a bunch to last me a while.

Around Christmastime a friend of mine gave me a recipe for chocolate chip almond muffins, and it’s essentially what I’ve presented below. The chocolate version is delicious because, hello, it involves chocolate. But since I don’t want a daily helping of chocolate chips in my diet, I’ve tweaked the recipe to create my second favourite muffin: lemon poppy seed.

What you need

  • Almond flour, 3 cups
  • Baking soda, 1 tsp
  • 3 eggs
  • Honey, ¼ cup
  • Lemon zest, 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice, 2 tbsp (or 1 tbsp lemon extract)
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds, as many as you desire

What you have to do

  • Preheat the oven to 300 Degrees
  • Mix everything together till smooth
  • Pour into lined muffin tin
  • Bake for 25 mins (apply the toothpick trick to ensure they are done!)

LSCicchirillo

I enjoy these because they are incredibly easy and quick to make. I’m also impressed with how good they taste considering there’s no butter or sugar, which actually helps in making these guilt-free – especially when I want to make a chocolate chip batch!

One last note: If the chocolate chip version is calling out to you, swap out the lemon and poppy seed ingredients for chocolate chips, and up the vanilla extract to 1 tbsp.

Enjoy!

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PC’s new corn pasta put to the test in gourmet mac’n’cheese

Just how well did PC's new corn macaroni pasta hold up?

Just how well did PC’s new corn macaroni pasta hold up?

I believe I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog that I prefer corn pasta over rice pasta. Rice pasta, I find, is heavy and can become gummy very quickly. I’ve also come across a couple brands that break easily after boiling. Corn pasta, on the other hand, is lighter, doesn’t break, and takes way less time to cook. I’ve only really ever seen one brand of corn pasta in the grocery store I frequent, so you can imagine my delight when I saw President’s Choice had come out with its own version of gluten free pastas. I picked up a couple boxes (spaghetti and macaroni) to see if there was any difference from the brand I normally purchase.

On one particularly chilly evening, I whipped out the box of macaroni and put a mouth-watering gourmet spin on my usual gluten free macaroni and cheese. If interested, check out the dish I made below. And below that you’ll see how I found the pasta itself.

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(Mostly) gluten free Thanksgiving treats: How I glutened myself

Cute mini gluten free pies. Except for the ones on the left. Those are cute, but deadly.

Cute mini gluten free pies. Except for the ones on the left. Those are cute, but deadly.

This year, I decided it had been far too long since I had pumpkin pie, so I set out to make that. A few days before I hit the kitchen to whip it up, I visited an apple orchard. Before I knew it my fridge was bursting with apples. Ok, looks like I’m making some apple pie, too, I thought.

Since I had never made pie crust before (and my only experience with it was — occasionally — watching my mom release a string of expletives because the dough wouldn’t hold together — sorry mom!), I did some heavy duty googling.  In my search for the easiest of pie crusts, I came across images of charming little pies baked in cupcake pans. Well, I certainly had a couple of those! Just like that my pie baking feat morphed into a mini pie baking feat. And, if I do say so myself, they came out pretty darn cute!

For the crust, I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free ‘easy as pie crust’ recipe. I doubled the recipe and added 1 tbsp of sugar, as the pie crusts I’ve always had had a hint of sweetness to them.

For the apple filling, I used Chef Michael Smith’s recipe (only I, of course, substituted the flour with all-purpose gluten free flour).

For the pumpkin filling, I used E.D. Smith’s pumpkin pie filling.

And this is how I glutened myself.

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Bye, Bitch! My gluten free farewell to ‘Breaking Bad’

The definitive 'Breaking Bad' menu for the Gluten Intolerant

The definitive ‘Breaking Bad’ menu for the Gluten Intolerant

Warning: While there aren’t any specific spoilers in this post, some juicy tidbits are alluded to.

Like almost all my favourite shows, I got into ‘Breaking Bad’ late. How late, you ask? I started watching a month ago. Yes, just one month was all it took for it to rank up there on my list of favourite shows. My brother had been trying to get me to watch from season one, but he never said anything about the show that made it appealing. Did he say the show explored the epic, torturous downward spiral of a teacher-turned-drug kingpin? Not really.

Did he say it had the perfect blend of comedy and drama? Nope.

What did he focus on exactly? All the stuff that would make this squeamish gal not at all interested in tuning in, that’s what. How many times had I heard about ‘this person melting’ and ‘that person’s face exploding off,’ I’ll never know. And to his credit, he did insist ‘Breaking Bad’ was so much more than that, but I was too chicken to give it a shot. (Los Pollos, anyone?)

That was the case, anyway, till last month’s dinner guests saw we had Netflix and ‘wanted to see what this ‘Breaking Bad’ was all about.’ Our friends eagerly sat and watched the first couple of episodes with wide eyes as I sat there, oftentimes with my eyes shielded behind my hands, waiting for bodies to melt and faces to explode.

Fans of the show won’t be surprised to read I didn’t have to wait too long to see someone melt. Ah, that famous bathtub scene happened in episode two, I believe. And as much as that graphic portrayal of body decomposition turned my stomach, I got hooked onto the show. Indeed, there is so much more to it.

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Gluten free Thanksgiving prep

Jon and I, a couple years back, after making our own Thanksgiving cornucopias.

Jon and I, a couple years back, after making our own Thanksgiving cornucopias.

My favourite time of year has always been ‘holiday season,’ and by that, I’m not being politically correct. ‘Holiday season’ is an exhilarating eight-month deal for me, as I consider September (the kick-start to fall and harvest and all that good stuff) to April (spring-time flowers and Easter) book-ending this. Do I show favouritism towards any specific holidays within this eight-month span? Of course. Christmas tops my top-3-favourite-times-of-year list, and Thanksgiving and Halloween follow.

So naturally, being September and all, I started thinking about the first event slated in the (Canadian) calendar: Thanksgiving, which this year falls in two weeks.

I’m especially excited for it this year, as I didn’t celebrate it last year. Why? I was busy getting married! While my husband I made sure to infuse fall-themed meals and flavours into our day, we missed out on the turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. So, naturally, this year I plan on going all-out with as many gluten free equivalents as I can muster up. ‘Maybe I can even make those cornucopias again,’ I thought. This is where my excitement started to really percolate.

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Gluten free mint chocolate avocado brownies (I can’t believe there’s no butter!)

Mint chocolate avocado brownies, sans butter and 'real' flour.

Mint chocolate avocado brownies, sans butter and ‘real’ flour.

About a year ago I turned my eye to avocados. Up until this point, I never cared for the slimy green fruit. Nachos have always ranked high on my list of favourite junk foods, and while I enjoyed them ‘loaded,’ guacamole was never something I’d want along with them. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t like guacamole!

What finally turned me onto avocados was a salad my cousin had made. Cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, olive oil, black pepper – that’s it. And wow, was it ever delicious. Since then I’ve made it every other week or so, only I make it with the delicious addition of mini bocconcini, fennel seeds, and balsamic vinegar. This salad is incredibly satisfying and I encourage you all to try it.

But the star of this post is not salad; it’s brownies. So let’s get to it. I recently got my hands on a cookbook on all-things avocado, and it’s become my favourite free goodie as of late. From breakfast to dessert, the book, ‘Absolutely Avocados’ by Gaby Dalkin, is a colourful page-turner of tantalizing avocado-based recipes. I’ve had to adapt some to make them gluten free, as this is not a g-free cookbook, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the end results.

I’ve altered Dalkin’s avocado brownies in a number of different ways, so I’m not going to post her recipe as it appears in the book. However, the book’s been a real asset in my kitchen, so I thought I would encourage you to check it out.

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A gluten free shmorgishborg of delectable treats

The end result of my 5-hour shopping trip: A combination of free samples and items I purchased at Canada's Gluten Free Market.

The end result of my 5-hour shopping trip: A combination of free samples and items I purchased at Canada’s Gluten Free Market.

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of attending Canada’s Gluten Free Market in Mississauga, Ont. I was accompanied by my mother and cousin, two family members who decided to give g-free living a go. It was perfect timing. What better time to try a new diet than at an event with a wide assortment of free goodies? The event was the perfect place for gluten free newbies and veterans alike: along with food, there was an abundance of information. The event ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we arrived bright and early and left around mid-afternoon. I was wondering how big a crowd the show would draw. Of course, gluten free living has become rampant in recent years, but this type of event caters to a niche audience — or so I thought.  The venue was rammed! A massive line of people gathered before the doors even opened and the aisles and booths were packed with eager and hungry gluten free enthusiasts the entire time we were there. In fact, one vender was rushing out just as we were, promising she’d ‘be back with more products,’ as her booth was completely emptied of treats.

Gluten free enthusiasts lining up for the big event roughly 15 minutes before it even opened.

Gluten free enthusiasts lining up for the big event roughly 15 minutes before it even opened.

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Spinach carrot crust pizza. Yuuuupppp!

I haven’t been able to get enough of my gluten free, flourless cauliflower pizza; I think I’ve had it consistently for a few Friday night dinners now. I’ve been changing up the toppings and each time it’s like I’m eating a whole new delectable, guilt-free treat. But when I came across this recipe, I decided it might be time to change things up a bit. After all, and as my family is well aware, I am notorious for eating a favourite dish to the point where I can’t stand it anymore, and that’s the last thing I want to happen with my cauliflower pizza!

You'll need a fork and knife for this thin crust pizza!

You’ll need a fork and knife for this thin crust pizza!

I am not the biggest fan of spinach; I like it in a cheese dip, but other than that, I can leave it right there in the serving platter. But like my other flourless pizza recipe, the other main ingredient is cheese, so I figured I would give this a try. I made one adjustment though: I cut the amount of spinach in half and I substituted it with carrot. My husband had actually been looking forward to this dish all week, and yet funnily enough his face contorted into one of absolute disgust when I excitedly told him I would be adding carrot. Go figure.

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Tips and tricks and misconceptions

I’ve been gluten free for well over a year now, and while I’ve found my groove in what to eat and where to shop, I don’t dare call myself an expert. Yet I have learned a thing or two along the way, and I thought I’d share them here. I do want to remind readers again, though, that this is all coming from someone with a gluten intolerance, not Celiac disease. Cross contamination is an absolute no-no for people with Celiac, but people with an intolerance, such as myself, can take the chance. So what follows is my own little slice of how I go about living a gluten free life day-by-day.

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My accidental gluten free cookie-like muffin tops

This recipe gives you a gluten free cookie and muffin top all at once.

This recipe gives you a gluten free cookie and muffin top all at once.

The other day I wanted chocolate, but I didn’t have anything to munch on at home and I was too lazy tired to go out and buy something. I scanned my cupboards and found a canister of cocoa, but didn’t really know what to do with it. I started googling ‘cocoa cookies’ and came across this recipe. They looked pretty good, but I saw they had flour, so I couldn’t have them. Note to self: next time, google ‘gluten free cocoa cookies.’ Then I had an idea: why not adapt these to make them gluten free?

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