When I saw the pin below on Pinterest, I was immediately drawn to it.
Those dinner rolls looked so soft, chewy and not at all like the usual yucky gluten-free bakery products that you find at the supermarket. (more…)
Cheryl Claudine strives to make her home a better, prettier place
This was developed because my hubby and I both love chowders, but I can’t handle too much dairy, and he can’t handle too much wheat. Voila, a gluten-free, cream-free chowder recipe that can be altered as you wish (seafood or clam chowder come to mind), is low in fat, and still has the creamy texture that you are looking for! This recipe replaces the cream that is usually in a chowder with almond milk thickened with 1/4 cup of GF flours. I used approximately 50% each of tapioca starch (a.k.a. tapioca flour) and rice flour, but I didn’t measure too carefully. We also try to limit our intake of fructose and fructans, so I left the onion in large pieces and picked them out before serving.
Gluten-free chicken corn chowder
*If following a low fructose diet, leave the onion in large pieces instead of dicing, and then pick out the onion prior to serving, and use only half the can of corn.
Makes 1 loaf of dense, yet soft, sandwich bread. I used this popular recipe as a guide. This is a recipe in progress. I plan to tweak it in the future, trying different flours to optimize the taste and texture.
*In the future, I will try replacing half of this with another type of GF flour.
If you’ve made cranberry sauce over the holidays, chances are that you have lots of it left over. So what do you do with leftover cranberry sauce? I plopped a dollop of cranberry sauce between two large dollops of cupcake mix, and you sort of get a filled cupcake. I based my cupcake recipe on this one, with the addition of oatmeal and spices.
Vegan Spiced Cranberry Oat Cupcakes with Orange Glaze
*I used red wine vinegar. **I actually used 2% lactose-free milk but almond milk will make this recipe vegan. ***I used 1/3 cup white sugar + 2/3 cup packed brown sugar.
Sometimes (well, often) you tweak a recipe not only to suit your preferences, but simply because you want to use ingredients you have on hand. This recipe was borne out of just that. On a cold winter-like day in late November (today), I didn’t feel like grocery shopping, but I did feel like some comforting lentil soup for dinner. Using the Basic Lentil Soup recipe on CHOW.com as a guide, I whipped up a delicious and filling lentil cucumber soup in less than an hour, with hardly any effort. Note that I didn’t have any canned tomatoes, carrots, or onions on hand, which seem to be essential in a soup of this type. However, the recipe as I have written below ends up being incredibly tasty despite the missing ingredients. I threw in a cucumber (strange, I know!) to replace the lack of tomatoes, with satisfying results.
Lentil Cucumber Soup
In search for a wheat- and egg-free dessert that I could make with the ingredients I had on hand, I found these two recipes for Buckeye Cookies on Allrecipes.com. I’m not from Ohio, so I had to do a Google search to find out what buckeyes actually were. Apparently buckeyes are a kind of nut that is found on the Ohio Buckeye tree, and the cookies resemble these nuts.
I wasn’t trying to achieve that look, and I only had white chocolate melting wafers on hand, so I just coated the peanut butter balls entirely. The peanut butter seemed to leach into the melted chocolate after awhile, so the coating became less smooth and more “furry” with each subsequent ball. I also ran out of chocolate after awhile, so I have only estimated the measurement of chocolate in the recipe that follows. Also a warning: these addictive desserts are approximately 200 calories and 11 g of fat each!
2 cups smooth peanut butter (I used light)
1 cup corn flakes and/or crispy rice cereal, coarsely crushed (I used a mix of both; optional)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar)
3 cups white chocolate melting wafers*
*I found these in bulk food bins, but I know you can also buy them at Michaels. Feel free to use milk or dark chocolate, or any of the fun colours that they come in! See pics below.
I stopped buying hummus at the deli after I found out how easy it is to make. Just keep a jar of tahini in your fridge, and a few cans of chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) in your cupboard, and you can make hummus on the fly in less time than it takes to go out to buy a container of the ready-made stuff. It’s a lot cheaper to make it yourself, too.
My recipe is based on this popular recipe, tweaked after I painstakingly read through the most popular suggestions made by that recipe’s reviewers as well as this lively discussion on Chowhound. The result is, I think, better than what you find at most restaurants and delis! Serve with wedges of warm pita bread and/or fresh veggies to dip. If possible, make this the night before. Store in the refrigerator and the flavours will meld together better overnight.
Note that this recipe makes enough to bring to a party. I normally make only half this recipe at a time, and so I have provided measurements that are easily cut in half.
2 (540-ml or 19-oz) cans chick peas
4 tablespoons tahini*
the juice of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
Optional: cayenne pepper, paprika, olive oil, fresh parsley
*you can buy tahini, which is roasted sesame seed paste, at health food stores like Whole Foods or Planet Organic; I actually found it in the peanut butter section at Safeway
Drain the chick peas, saving about 1/2 cup of the “juice” from the cans.
Using a blender, handheld blender, or food processor, combine the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if used) together. Slowly add the chick pea “juice” a little at a time until you have achieved the desired thickness. Blend well until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Best if chilled overnight. To serve, transfer to serving bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley.
More complicated directions:
Follow these directions if you have extra time! The texture of the hummus will be lighter and smoother.
This recipe was inspired by my first time at High Level Diner, a popular local eatery where one of the salad options was tabbouleh! As in, would you like your burger with green, Caesar, or tabbouleh? Awesome, right?
I wanted to make a quinoa tabbouleh instead of using the usual bulgur wheat, and I came across an inspiring recipe on the Gluten-Free Vancouver blog. I also used the technique for perfectly cooking (unrinsed) quinoa as found here.
1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
15 or so chopped fresh mint leaves
salt & pepper to taste
2 Roma tomatoes
1 long English cucumber
1 large bunch parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf, if available)
Optional: dried currants, toasted pine nuts
Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes, then rinse for two minutes in a fine metal strainer.
Add your broth to the quinoa in a saucepan.
Bring to a simmer (not a boil!) then reduce to low.
Cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for an additional five minutes.
Uncover and spread the quinoa out on a plate or cookie sheet to allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and mint leaves to make your dressing. Set aside.
Grate carrot, and dice tomatoes and cucumber (I like to remove the cucumber seeds so my salad doesn’t get soggy, but that’s just my preference). Finely mince the parsley (preferably with a chef’s knife and NOT a food processor).
Once the quinoa is cool, add it to the vegetables and combine well. Mix the dressing and drizzle it over top. Add currants and nuts, if used. Taste and season if necessary. Keep in refrigerator. It tastes even better the next day, so plan ahead if you can!
I am not a vegan. I don’t have anything against vegans, but I myself am too much of a carnivore and a cheese-o-phile to even consider giving veganism a try.
That’s why it’s surprising that my absolute favourite cupcake recipe is vegan. That’s right. Delicious, moist cupcakes without eggs, butter or milk! Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? I love this recipe because it’s so easy and simple. This weekend, I whipped up a dozen of these cupcakes as an afterthought. We were having a couple of friends over for a casual dinner, and it dawned on me that we didn’t have a dessert to serve. With about 45 minutes before they were scheduled to arrive, I decided to make cupcakes, and they were done (and even frosted) by the time they walked in the door.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup regular muffin pan with vegetable oil spray, place paper cupcake liners in each well, and spray lightly again. (This makes for easy cleanup.)
Sift together all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add all the wet ingredients and mix with a whisk until smooth.
Pour into lined muffin pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for exactly 20 minutes. Yield: 12 cupcakes.
These cupcakes are delicious on their own, but I always decorate them. Probably because it’s fun to do so. I’ve used cream cheese frosting in the past (thus rendering them non-vegan), but I have found that while they look very pretty, most people find the copious amounts of frosting too rich to eat, and there is inevitably a mound of uneaten frosting left on their plate.
In keeping with their vegan-ness, I usually make a simple icing out of margarine and sugar and pipe a very small amount onto each cupcake. I have also melted milk chocolate and drizzled it randomly on top, which look quite pretty.
Here’s how I make a simple (vegan) icing for piping onto cupcakes (I wouldn’t even call it a recipe):
First I take a heaping tablespoon of margarine and mix it with some icing sugar, probably about 1/2 a cup. I don’t even bother sifting the sugar. I add a teaspoon of vanilla, a few drops of food colouring if desired, and about a tablespoon of corn syrup. Sometimes I add a little warm water, maybe about 2 tablespoons. I keep adding more sugar, pretty randomly, until the icing reaches a good piping consistency. I add more corn syrup or water if it gets too dry. That’s it! You could substitute softened butter for the margarine, of course.
I use a little Ziploc bag with a corner cut off to pipe hearts or lettering, etc., or add a star tip to the inside of the bag to pipe cupcake swirls. Note that an easy way to fill your Ziploc bag with icing is to place it in a sturdy glass with the “tip” end at the bottom of the glass and the open end of the bag inverted over the mouth of the glass.
Sorry there’s only one photo! It’s a wonky cupcake at that. All the prettier cupcakes have already been eaten. Perhaps the next time I make cupcakes I will take pictures.
I’m still learning how to cook. A good friend of mine gave me the book Jamie’s Food Revolution, and I’ve been slowly cooking my way through it – not in any methodical way, but randomly choosing recipes from throughout the book on a whim.
One night I decided on a version of Jamie’s Crunchy Garlic Chicken recipe. I made it pretty much as written up in his book, using President’s Choice knock-off Jacob’s cream crackers. The online version of his recipe says to use “saltines” (like Premium Plus), which I suspect would result in a slightly different taste and texture vs. Jacob’s cream crackers.