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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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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!

Rockin’ Lobster Bisque

Today’s recipe is for those cold nights when you feel your little tootsies may just turn purple and fall off! Ok not that much drama chickadee’s, but you get my drift?

I love Lobster, but I get slightly disheartened when I see people eating only the tail and the claws then throwing the body into that bucket like it’s garbage! PEOPLE!! ¬†I love to eat lobster for hours, there are so many good hidden morsels of flesh that are probably the sweetest little tidbits of delight you could ever imagine. ¬†Alright, I get it, you think its too much work for such little amount of meat, okay okay if you must toss that lovely body with all those juicy legs and crevices, make me a deal will ya? ¬†Toss all those used shells, legs and body or whatever else you threw into that bucket to throw away. Lets make the most of that luscious and expensive garbage, k?

Next time you splurge and bring a live beauty home, please try this recipe the next day..I’m certain, my fair ones, you will love it!

Shells of 1-2 lobsters Rock or full size

Water to cover in a large stock pot (6 cups approx)

3 bay leaves, large pinch of thyme

6 cloves garlic (just bruise them dahling..no chopping necessary)

1 large onion cut in half

10 or so peppercorns

peel of one lemon

a pat of butter (ok use that leftover butter from the drawn butter last night, really..do it!)

a stalk of celery or leaves whole

1 carrot

1/4 cup White Wine (the end of that bottle from last night..or what the heck, open a new one..you know it won’t go to waste anyway!)

Salt to taste

1 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp corn starch (optional)

1/8 cup sour cream (you’ll understand later lovey)

Okay, add all the ingredients (except cream,starch and sour cream) to the stockpot and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for at least 1 hour. You can go do your nails, shower, play gin or better yet drink it :)_

Lift that lid off the pot..ahhh the smell is truly devine lovlies!!

Strain all the ingredients  and save the stock into a smaller pot. Let it cook on medium heat until reduced to about two thirds. Now the stock is ready.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t had too much Gin or Wine, it’s time for the messy work. Once the shells have cooled enough, go through them and pull any bits of lovely lobster meat and set aside.

Back to the broth, stir in cream (reserve a few spoons of the cream). Now some like their soup thick and rich, some not so much. If you prefer your soup thicker then add some of your soup to a small cup and add in the starch. Stir to mix well and add back to the soup. Bring up to almost a boil and immediately take off the stove and stir in the lobster meat you reserved earlier. *If your soup is still not thick enough, repeat.

I like to cut corners when I can, so my quickie version of Creme Fraiche is to mix the sour cream with a bit  of cream to make it a bit runny.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle some of the ‘Creme Fraiche” over top. Add some fresh greens like parsley or whatever herbs you may have on hand. Serve with crusty rolls. C’est Magnifique Dahlings!! Not even a drop of sweat off your lovely brow for this one and your friends or family will think you’ve turned a leaf into a super powered major chef!

Enjoy Mon Petits!