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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 ūüôā

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

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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

Brilliant Eggplant Parmigiana

Hello Dahlings! 
Sorry its been a bit since I posted a recipe last. Seems Edwina is a bit of a clutz and broke her foot! Cooking and hobbling around the kitchen are a bit of a struggle these days. As much as my passion for cooking allows me, I do still cook about once per week though. I hope you enjoy this simple but amazing comfort food recipe I’m posting for you today! If you’ve never had the opportunity to make or try Eggplant Parmigiana, and even if you say ick! to eggplant. I promise you this meatless dish will change your minds forever dahlings!
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch slices (no need to peel)
  • salt
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 4 ¬†ripe tomatoes, ¬†chopped
  • Tomato sauce (you can also use your favorite pasta sauce here dahlings!)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c Fresh basil chopped
  • 1 T oregano dried
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella (buffalo milk if possible)
  • 3/4 c bread crumbs (can use gluten free as well)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • Pepper

First off you will need to prepare your eggplant. Its important when preparing eggplants that you attempt to remove as much water content as possible from them so they don’t absorb too much oil in the frying process. In order to do this, first wash and slice eggplant and lay on paper towels flat on a surface. Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant slices and let sit for 30-45 mins or more with a tray on top for pressure. When you are ready to fry your eggplant, remove the paper towels. You will see the salt has made the water rise to the surface and remove excess moisture from them. C’est Voila Dahlings. You are ready to fry!

Fry eggplant in batches in olive oil until golden on both sides. Set aside again on paper towels to take away the excess oil.

Start on your pasta sauce:

Heat pot to medium high. Cut up tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. Start with olive oil in the pan (just enough to cover the bottom. Place first your cut basil (if you did not have fresh, add dry later), garlic and onion to the pot. Stir until lucent, then add tomatoes and continue to stir until the tomatoes start to break down. Add tomato sauce to the pan with  herbs salt and pepper to taste.  Let this simmer for at least 30 mins until the sauce becomes thick and rich.

Putting it all together:

In a 8″-10″ ¬†square or round casserole dish with at least 2-3 inch depth, place first layer of eggplant side by side to fit in one layer on the bottom of the casserole. You will do at least 3 layers, so divide evenly. Now this is the important part dahlings. When you add tomato sauce on top of your eggplant, use it sparingly so that it doesn’t overtake the eggplants and make the dish watery. Just enough to basically cover with some of the eggplant showing through. ¬†Sprinkle one at a time 1/3 of mozzerella, parmesan and bread crumbs, then begin your next layer and repeat until completed. Make sure the top has tomato sauce cheese and breadcrumbs.

Place into a 350 degree oven for 30 mins or until its all gooey bubbly and golden. Take the casserole out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes to settle. Cut and serve with a nice green salad and baguette.

I hope you will try this recipe and let me know what you think, dahlings. I promise you, your family, friends and even the pickiest of eaters won’t miss meat this time! Elegant enough to serve to your vegetarian friends, impress them beyond words that you would actually cook something amazing just for them, even though you really did cook it for yourself because its become your favorite meal to prepare and eat.

Serves 4-6

Bon appetito!