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Category Archives: Food

Gluten Free Gnocchi al Forno

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Gnocchi al Forno with Bolognese sauce
(Fluffy potato pillows baked with meat sauce)

worked for years perfecting my bolognese meat sauce for spaghetti. It’s my kids favorite meal. Today I decided to use it in a gluten free meal with potato dumplings called gnocchi. You can however use this sauce with any type of noodles, gluten free or not. 

Bolognese sauce

2T olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic mashed
Pinch of chili flakes (to taste, optional)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1lb ground beef, lean
1cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4c thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2/3 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup good red wine (optional)
1T oregano and basil each
Salt pepper to taste

Pasta
Gluten Free potato Gnocchi, or make it spaghetti noodles

1cup fresh grated cheese such as mozzarella or a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan 

This recipe depends on time to cook..the longer the better to meld the flavours!
Start by adding olive oil to a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Sauté the garlic, onion and chili flakes until translucent.
Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until no longer pink. Sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms get added next and sauté again for about 5-10 mins. Add herbs salt and pepper, red wine, tomatoes with liquid and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and add the garlic and onions.
Cover and let simmer on low for at least 1 hour but preferably longer. If the sauce gets too thick as it’s cooking add more wine or water. The sauce should be fairly thick so as to cling well to yep the noodles.

Boil gnocchi until they float, drain and add the bolognese sauce stir to cover the noodles completely. Place into a oven proof bowl or pan. Sprinkle with cheese and broil on high approx. 5 mins until cheese is melts and slightly brown.

Serve immediately, serves 4 hungry eaters!Image

 

 

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

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Its not not often I cook pork, but I wanted to try my chimichurri sauce with different meats. So if you do not eat pork, feel free to use this delicious sauce, which is my own spin on the South American, standard with BBQ or grilled meats or fish.                                           Again of course my recipes are all taste tested and gluten free! Ole!

This sauce can be made quickly using a food processor or finely chop ingredients and add to medium bowl..

 

Parsley, curly  1 large bundle

3 large garlic cloves finely diced

1/2 med onion finely diced

chili flakes to taste (optional), or fresh chili seeds removed for more heat

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

red or white wine vinegar to taste

grayed rind of one lemon

2T lemon juice

sea salt and pepper to taste

Pulse or chop parsley finely and add all other ingredients blend to desired consistency, I like it a bit chunky. Play around with amounts of sourness or heat.

The longer you let it sit the better it tastes!

Serve with grilled meats or seafood.

Yield  approx 1 cup

 

 

 

Photo credit: let birds fly

 

Creamy Lemon Chicken Chowder-GF

Creamy Lemon Chicken Chowder-GF

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Lemon Chicken Chowder -Gluten Free

This recipe, dahlings you don’t have to be gluten free to love this, nutritious and easy. This one of my favorites and laughably simple to boot!

1 box organic low sodium chicken stock (or make homemade if you love extra steps! See side note*
1 head garlic yes I said one (if not baking, 4-5 cloves minced)
Pieces shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup short grain rice
1c frozen organic chopped spinach
Juice of 2 lemons or to taste (should be fairly tangy)
4 whole free run eggs
Salt pepper to taste.

Heat broth on low on the stove.
Prepare to bake your garlic..cut a 1/4 inch on the tip to expose most of the garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil, bake at 300 for 45 mins. Remove, cool for touch and squeeze the garlic whole, the cloves come out as a golden paste. Add this to your broth. *you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry and sauté raw garlic until soft and slightly gold add the broth to it from there..

Add rice and chicken cook on med low covered for approx 20 mins. Test to be sure rice is cooked before proceeding.
The only tricky part is this step. In a separate bowl crack the eggs and whisk until fluffy and yellow. Add while whisking the lemon juice very slowly so as not to curdle. After they are whisked fluffy again you need to temper the eggs. Add a ladle of the hot broth to the eggs and whisk, add 2 more ladies of broth whisking a peach time. Turn off the stove. Put the spinach in at this point.
Add the egg mixture to the broth and stir. Let it stay on the warm element for another 5 or so mins but remove if it starts to boil. This is when the magic happens and your soup turns into a lovely creamy rich lemon chowder.
Adjust seasoning and serve.
Reheating, if you do need to serve later it has to be slow with no boiling, so as not to serve a fancy omelette instead 😉

Serves 4

Side note: I love to make this after leftovers from my Greek lemon chicken dinner (see recipe in my blog). I use the carcass of the chicken and roast drippings to make my stock fresh. Shred up leftover chicken and add to the stock. The rest is all the same.

Mama Mia! Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Mama Mia! Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs!

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I use this brand of noodles. They're great!

I use this brand of noodles. They’re great!

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I’ve recently been working on transitioning many of my family’s favourite dishes to healthy gluten free recipes. Today I offer one of my kids ultimate favourite dishes Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Of course if you are not gluten free by choice you will still love the wholesome and delicious recipe 🙂

The Meatballs

1/3 lb lean ground beef

1/3 lb lean ground pork

1/3 lb ground veal (can substitute dark meat ground chicken or turkey)

1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

1 large egg

1/3 cup cream (dairy free, use almond or cashew milk)

1/2 grated onion (keep a tissue handy!)

2-3 garlic cloves mashed

1 Tbsp each, dried basil, oregano, pepper

handful of finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (the real thing dahlings, not the one in a can..ick!)

salt and pepper to taste

Lets start with the juicy meatballs, shall we? I do mean juicy!

its important to do this first step, as this will be the difference between rubbery dry meatballs and juicy ones.

In a large mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs with cream, grated onion, garlic, egg, herbs, salt and pepper. The mixture initially will be fairly wet. Let this stand for a good 10 mins to allow it to thicken slightly.

Now add all the rest of the ingredients and and mix.  It’s very important not over mix at this point, just enough to incorporate  the ingredients together.

I like to wear disposable gloves to make my meatballs. Set out a fry pan on med-high heat and start rolling your meatballs into 2″ diameter or golf ball size. Roll and add to pan as you go. You want them browned, not cooked.

Once you’ve browned them, drain any excess fat from the pan.

The Sauce

1 12 oz. can fire roasted chopped tomatoes (I use organic)

1 12 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes

3 Tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine (optional, but it seriously makes the flavours meld!)

1/2 cup organic low sodium veggie stock

3 cloves garlic minced

oregano, basil, or Italian seasoning about one Tbsp or so

Add all the ingredients to your pan with the meatballs. At this point you can also use a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours. Or cook on the stovetop on a low simmer, covered for  at least 2 hours, the longer the better!  Do check every once in awhile that it’s not getting too dry or thick, if it is add water or more veggie stock.

This recipe might seem a bit involved but it really is simple, and you’re free the rest of the day after getting it on the stove to do what you like!

For spaghetti I use brown rice pasta, I find it the most similar to gluten pasta. You can also use spaghetti squash for an interesting and healthy switch. Don’t forget a healthy sprinkle of shredded Parmesan to serve. Enjoy And feel free to share and comment!

This will feed 4-6 people

Caldo Verde (Eat your Kale Soup!)

Caldo Verde (Eat your Kale Soup!)

So lately I’ve been eating healthier Leaving out gluten and dairy. I’ve started to buy organic ingredients to feel healthy. Now what I’m finding is a lot of  the food I grew up with was all that! So my new recipes will be a trip down my Mediterranean lane.. Hehe get it? 😉

This kale soup is not only healthy but ohh so nummy! It’s rich and full of flavor. Let me know what you think!!

Caldo Verde
Portuguese kale soup
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1/2 onion chopped finely
3-4 cloves garlic minced
3 T olive oil
2 fresh chorizo sausage sliced 1/2″
3-4 potatoes finely chopped
1 carton organic low sodium chicken stock
2 c. Finely minced organic kale

Sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and sauté a bit longer.
Add potatoes and sausage and cook until sausage is about half done.
Add stock and cover pot. Let it cook until potatoes are very done. I like some texture so I take a fork and mash just the potatoes until the soup is a creamy consistency. You can also leave out the chorizo and add after potatoes are cooked and purée for a silkier texture.
Add the kale and cook for a further 15-20 min depending on how done you like it.
Add more water if necessary. Add s&p to taste.

Greek braised Lamb Shanks

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Hello my lovelies!

I’ve had some ask me to post my recipe for braised lamb shanks recently, so I thought mmm, yes one of my favorite dishes and I wanted to share it with you all! You can thank me after you’ve cooked it! 🙂

First of all, I’d like to remind you that good food does take time! If you are crunched for time, don’t rush this one as you will not be as happy with the end results. I recommend  you pop this in the oven at least 4 hrs before you intend to serve.

I don’t claim to be Greek, in fact I don’t brush my teeth with Hummus ..ever! This is,  however, my all time favorite Greek dish and after playing around with the recipes for years..I think I’ve finally got it!

Ingredients:

Serves 4

4 Spring lamb shanks (cleaned and silver skin and access fat removed)

1 head of Garlic minced – yes ONE HEAD, don’t worry, it will meld into the flavors cooking for so long a time

Juice of 3-4 lemons or 1 cup fresh lemon juice

Fresh or dried rosemary – dried use a handful, fresh 4 stalks

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1/4 c dry white wine

Water if necessary to bring liquid up to middle of the shank

Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

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Rub all ingredients except the liquids generously all over the lamb. Some at this point believe they should be browned previous to braising, I beg to differ, I’ve found this is the juiciest and tastiest way.

Place the lamb into a roasting pan and add wet ingredients topping with water if necessary to make sure the shanks are covered about halfway with liquid.

Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven moderate to low heat. I recommend 325 F degrees.
Leave them to cook for at least one hour, take them out and make sure they are not drying out, if so add more lemon and water. Turn them over at this time. You can repeat this each hour, but if its too tedious, just check liquid levels so the lamb won’t dry out ..or burn!

Lamb will show as done after about 1.5 hours, but the longer it cooks in the bath of lovely lemon, garlic and wine the better!! I recommend no more than 3.5-4 hours as the meat will begin to separate and fall off the bone.  Baste the sauce over the lamb in between glasses of wine..you can do it!

To Serve

1 shank per person

with..

Lemon Potatoes (recipe with my lemon chicken)

Tzatziki dip (also on my page)

Hearty Greek Salad (recipe to come!)

ENJOY!

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Hello my luv’s!! Yes Edwina has been away for a bit, but now back with a vengeance dahlings!  I’m asked over and over for this recipe, and its time to finally share it with you all.

This recipe has its roots deep in Lebanese culture. If you love sneaking to your favorite Shawarma place at every opportunity for that garlicky spicy amazing flavor, I will guarantee you that you will love this dinner. Not only is it so simple to make, but you can actually have time to dress AND have a glass of wine before the guests arrive!

The flavors are bold, juicy and delicious. Make sure to make the dipping sauce dahlings, its a must to complete the flavors.

You will need:

1 Whole Roasting Chicken (brined, preferred, but if you don’t have the time you can skip)

Spice Rub: 1 Tbsp Allspice (lebanese is the best), 1 tsp each Salt & Pepper(reduce salt to none if bird is brined), 1 Tbsp Onion Powder, 1 tsp Garlic powder(you can use fresh as well but I do prefer the powder as the other can burn at high heat), and 1 Tbsp Paprika

Olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Garlic Dip:

1 potato pealed and boiled until soft and mashed well

1 cup good quality Mayonaise

dash of tabasco to taste

2-4 garlic cloves mashed (to taste)

1 tsp paprika

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

 

If you are going to brine your chicken, it must be prepared a minimum of 2 hours ahead of cooking or as far as a day ahead. To brine, in a large stock pot (enough to completely cover your chicken) boil on the stove 2 cups of water and 1 cup of Kosher salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Add in 10 peppercorns, 10 whole allspice, 1 whole onion. Boil mixture until salt and sugar are desolved. Allow mixture to cool and place well rinsed roasting chicken to the stock pot. Now top with water (move around so that mixture melds with the water. Make sure there is enough water to cover the chicken. Place a weight over the chicken, cover and store refridgerated until ready to cook.

Once you are ready to cook the chicken, remove the bird and begin to rinse for at least 5 minutes (Its a very important step, otherwise your chicken will be salty!).  Brining a chicken, or turkey adds flavor, reduces cooking time and best of all its extremely tender and juicy!

 

To roast the chicken:

Have either a sharp knife or kitchen shears, place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. From the top of the bird make a straight cut from the neck area to the bottom of the chicken through the breast bone. Once you have cut, split open the bird so that it is butterflied (you may have to flatten and break the breastbone in order for it to lay completely flat. Spread olive oil in the cavity and the outer part of the bird thoroughly. Take rub mixture and completely cover all areas of the bird with it. If you have left over rub, save it for next time in a jar.  Place bird on a roasting rack with drip tray.

In a preheated 400 degree F oven place bird in the oven for 20 mins. After 20 mins reduce heat to 350 Degrees and continue to cook until juices run clear, approximately 1 hour.

Take chicken out of the oven and tent with foil to rest before carving for approx 15 minutes. Carve the chicken, squeeze lemon over the chicken and serve!

 

Garlic Dip

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
This can be served with rice pilaf or lemon roasted potatoes (recipe to follow) and a fresh salad.

Your guests will all ask for the recipe, I promise!! Enjoy my lil chickens!

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken