Tag Archives: gluten free salads

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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Scrumptious Salads: The there’s-no-way-I’m-turning-on-the-damn-oven edition

Hi everyone! It’s been a while (busy summer and all), so I thought I would treat you to not one, but two, gluten free salad creations I find particularly scrumptious. I’ve been eating these all week because, people, it’s hot. Oppressively hot. It’s been hovering around the ‘it’s-going-to-feel-like-45 degrees-kind of hot’ all week. ALL. WEEK.

The sun. The hot, hot sun. (Flickr / jmf1007)

The sun. The hot, hot sun. (Flickr / jmf1007)

It’s the kind of heat that makes me truly uncomfortable. And drained. And irritable. I get especially irritable when I hear people gushing about how ‘beautiful’ this weather is. There is nothing beautiful about instant sweat, matted down hair, and runny makeup. This weather is only appropriate if you’re on vacation or near some kind of lake you can hop into. But for day-to-day living? No. Just no.

When my stifling heat-loving friends hear me complain they immediately make some cliche comment about winter. ‘Oh, well I’ll take this over -20 and snow,’ they always say with a chuckle.

Here’s the thing my friends don’t seem to grasp. If it is -20 and snowing, you can always add a layer of clothing to warm up. Always.

I stumbled across a YouTube video that’s making its rounds and I included it at the bottom of this post. If you’re frustrated with the heat in your area or you just want a laugh, check it out!

So, back to the reason for this long-awaited post: the salads. Here are two no-cooking-required dishes I whipped up repeatedly throughout the week to stay nourished…and cool.

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Scrumptious Salad: The Zesty Smoked Salmon edition

Congratulate me, salad eaters, for I have found a salad I can get on board with. I recreated a gluten free dish I’ve had at one of my favourite Toronto pubs, The 3 Brewers. I was practically crushed when I realized I couldn’t have gluten anymore because this particular pub is a microbrewery-restaurant and always had delicious beers. While their menu doesn’t really cater to those with a gluten intolerance, I found one particular dish that not only sits well in my stomach, but also satisfies my hunger. This dish is a salad, and yes, I give it a highly enthusiastic thumbs up for serving as an honest-to-god filling meal.

My delicious, filling, and colourful-to-boot scrumptious salad

My delicious, filling, and colourful-to-boot scrumptious salad

The 3 Brewers gets to the point and simply calls this salad ‘Smoked Salmon and Shrimp.’ I put my own spin on it, left a couple ingredients out, and decided to call it ‘Zesty Smoked Salmon.’

Ok, fine. That’s not any more creative.

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I’m going to find salads I like if it kills me

Allow me to introduce you to the birth of my Scrumptious Salads series…

Goal: Eat more leafy greens. Somehow.

Goal: Eat more leafy greens. Somehow.

The other day I discovered two containers of salads I prepared about 10 days prior that were going rotten in the fridge. My husband and I had brought them out with us with the best of intentions, but what did we do? We left the salads in our bags and bought something instead. So we placed the salads back in the fridge when we got home with the best of intentions yet again, and what happened? They were completely forgotten. Their presence came back with a horrific, putrid vengeance, though, when I opened the containers to put the salad in the compost bin. I gagged and my eyes were practically tearing. What a stench.

Why didn’t we eat these in the first place?

Can you say boring salads?

I grew up in a house where salad (lettuce with onion, cucumbers, and balsamic vinegar) was served after every dinner. This is not a strange occurrence for an Italian household, but after 20-something years of the same thing, this salad is bound to drive you nuts.

…or maybe not — my relatives still eat this day in and day out too…

But whatever.

It got to the point where if someone served me a plain salad with balsamic again I was going to stab them with my fork.

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