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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Delicious Greek Salad with Homemade Dressing

A delicious, and incredibly easy to whip together Greek salad with homemade dressing.  We've made it many times, and I've even had others whip it together with my notes, and it turned out just perfectly.   You can adjust the vegetables around to have more/less of the ones that are your favorite.  The great thing about this Greek salad is the there are no large olives floating around, rather a few are chopped finely and incorporated into the dressing. Yum! It's a perfect accompaniment to salmon (to be posted soon.) Enjoy!

GF Greek Salad with Homemade Dressing
Our new favorite Greek salad, ready to serve! 

Delicious Greek Salad

In a large bowl, mix:
1/2 - 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced & diced
5-10 cherry tomatoes (or 2 romas) diced into bite-size pieces
large handful romaine lettuce, sliced
large handful spinach, sliced

Mix together the following dressing in a small bowl:
3 Tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 - 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
dash salt & pepper
5-6 Calamata olives, diced
3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Toss dressing with vegetables. Serve!  It's my favorite fresh, but still tastes great the next day, too, when all the flavors have melded together a bit more.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Chocolate Frosted Sugar Cookies!

I'm always looking for tasty, easy cookies that can be whipped up for special occasions.  These are a perfect hit - the chocolate version of my favorite frosted sugar cookies. These are a perfect, easy treat to whip up for Valentine's day!  Enjoy!!!
Chocolate frosted sugar cookies, ready for Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Frosted Sugar Cookies!
Makes ~20 cookies (fewer for larger cookies, more for smaller cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon liner.

In a large bowl, whisk together:
1 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder (a lighter one is best)
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Beat in a mixer until fluffy:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Add, mixing until evenly combined:
1 egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth.  Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap until ~1/4" - 3/8" thick.  Cut shapes as desired with cookie cutters.
3" cookies ready for baking.
Place cookies 1-2" apart on parchment paper-lined pan.  Bake at 375 F for ~6-8 minutes.  These cook very quickly and are nice and soft.  If you want them crispier, you can cook them an additional 1-2 minutes.
Cookies after 7 minutes of cooking.
Let cool on cooling rack and then top with the Chocolate Marshmallow Fluff Frosting.  Top with sprinkles, if desired.  Enjoy!!!
Chocolate frosted cookies with Valentine sprinkles.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Delicious Roasted Tomato Soup

While the most delicious tomato soup is best with fresh from the vine tomatoes in the fall, the ever-increasing varieties available year-round allow for some delicious roasted tomato soup to be whipped up in the winter, too!  This creamy (dairy-free) tomato soup is a favorite with all my kids and extended family, too!  Thanks to wonderful PEI chef Morgan Palmer for sharing her wonderful recipe with the Heartbeet Organics Veggie CSA.  Delicious!  Enjoy!

Delicious Roasted Tomato Soup GF
Oven-roasted tomato soup with toasted cheese-topped bread
My youngest enjoying her fresh roasted tomato soup.

Delicious Roasted Tomato Soup
based on a recipe by PEI chef Morgan Palmer

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Arrange on a large baking pan:
3 - 3.5 lbs fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (I like to use a variety of types, including heirlooms, for flavor)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
6-10 cloves garlic (depending on the size of the cloves)

Drizzle the tomatoes, onions and garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes, until tomatoes are caramelizing. (Keep everything on one pan, unlike what I did in the picture below, to avoid any burning of the liquids - the tomatoes were so pretty, though, I had to include the picture).

I separated the tomatoes out onto two pans, but I'd recommend using just one, even if it seems like they're packed closely together.  It helps avoid the burning of juice on the pans. Yes, I've made it roasted all on one pan, I just forgot to take pictures. 

In a large pot, bring to a boil:
4 cups chicken broth (or water + Asian mushroom seasoning)
2 Tbsp butteroptional, but adds a wonderful depth to the flavor
tomatoes, onions & garlic from the baking pan, including the liquid

Reduce the heat and simmer for ~20 minutes.  Remove from heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup.

Stir in:
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, thick part only

Return to low heat and cook for a few minutes, seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

You can also add dash of maple syrup to your bowl for a little sweetness.

Absolutely wonderful served with homemade GF grilled cheese sandwiches! Enjoy!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hearty Round Rustic Loaf

The crust of this bread is nice and soft, although I'll be continuing to work on methods to also create a hearty bread with a thicker, crusty edge.  However, this is a wonderful bread-making method for times when I don't want the bother of buttering pans, or when I want something not loaf-shaped.  The addition of gluten-free sweet potato flour adds a rich, sweet taste to the bread.  Enjoy!

Hearty and delicious gluten-free round bread loaf

Hearty Round Rustic Loaf
Makes 1 loaf

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixer combine:
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup sweet potato flour
1/3 cup arrowroot starch/flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp rapid yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt

Add and beat 3-4 minutes:
1 cup warm water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp oil 
2 Tbsp honey 
2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 eggs

Fold in: 
1-2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (de-shelled, can use roasted)
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

Using a spatula, scoop around the bowl to get a nice ball of dough.  Carefully spoon dough onto prepared pan.  Smooth top and sides, as desired, using spatula.  
Dough scrapped into a ball in the bowl using a spatula.
Spread the dough on parchment or silicon-lined pan and smooth out the edges.

Let rise in a warm location 30-45 minutes, until risen, but not yet doubled in size.  

If desired, add a few slashes on top just before baking. It will keep the bread from cracking at random locations as it bakes.  Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until dark golden brown.  Let cool on a cooling rack.   The bread will deflate slightly while cooling (similar to what happens with a regular loaf of bread).   Once cool, slice and serve.  Slice and freeze leftovers - they reheat well.
After the dough has risen, decorative slashes were made in the top of the loaf to give it a rustic look.
Bread after baking - it will have a nice, dark brown color.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Chocolate Coconut Donut Holes! (dairy-free option!)

These are similar to my glazed chocolate donut holes, only with some delicious tasty additions!  They were a huge hit with my family and the visitors we had over.  There are slightly different tastes in canned coconut, so you might have to experiment a couple times (such hardship to eat extra donuts) to see what your favorite brand is near you.  Some have a stronger coconut flavor and others are more subtle, letting the coconut flakes do the work for you.  If you wanted, you could toast your coconut for an extra crunch on the outside of your donut holes! Yum! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Donuts
Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Donut Holes, ready to eat! 

Chocolate Coconut Donut Holes! (dairy-free)
Makes ~36 donut holes or a combination of mini donuts/donut holes

In a bowl, whisk together:
1 1/2 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Start heating 1" Avocado Oil (or other frying oil of your choice, but this makes the MOST delicious crisp edges on the donut holes) in a high-sided frying pan over medium-heat.  I tend to re-use frying oil several times, particularly if frying non-meat/fish items like donuts.  I strain it for crumbs, and then I'll use it again for things like blueberry fry pies and samosas!

In a 2 cup measuring cup mix together:
1 cup coconut milk (OR use regular milk or lactose-free - they all will work great!)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients with a spoon until thoroughly combined.  Let rest 5-10 minutes.

While the batter rests, whisk together a coconut glaze. 

Coconut Glaze:
Whisk together the following (aim for a consistency just a bit thicker than milk):
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~1/2 cup canned coconut milk, until desired consistency (Make sure you use both the thick and liquid parts of the canned coconut milk)
add extra water, if needed to thin a bit

Set the glaze aside to dip the donuts in after frying.

Line 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat to place glazed donuts.  Line 1 cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towel to place cooked donuts to drain.

Use a small (1 Tbsp) sized cookie scoop to scoop batter into the 1" hot oil.  It's hard to tell how browned the chocolate donut holes are getting, but I find a couple minutes per side usually gets them nice and crispy on the outside with a soft interior.  If you have at least 1" of oil they tend to flip themselves, too, which helps with the timing. 

Set donut holes on paper towel-lined tray to drain and cool slightly.

While donut holes are still warm, dip each donut hole in the coconut glaze.  Immediately roll or sprinkle with shredded coconut.  Set on a parchment paper-lined pan and let set.

These are my favorite fresh, but they are also delicious as leftovers.  Store extras in the refrigerator.  Eat chilled or reheat in a toaster oven on a bit of foil. (We rarely get to the reheating step). Enjoy!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Easy Oven-Baked Dill & Lemon Salmon

For a delicious show-stopper with minimal effort, I present give you one of my favorites - an easy to prepare and bake salmon.  Fresh dill and lemon flavor and moisten the salmon as it bakes.  The best is that you can increase or decrease the size of your salmon slab depending on how many you aim to feed.  I usually account for about a 2" slab per person.

Delicious dill and lemon salmon, fresh from the oven! 

Easy Oven-Baked Dill & Lemon Salmon

Preheat oven to 425 F.

The piece of salmon pictured was about 10-12" long.

Place your salmon on a foil-lined tray.  Make diagonal slices along with the grain about every 2" of your salmon.

Stuff slices with:
fresh dill
lemon, thinly sliced (and those slices cut in half - so you have semi-circles to put into the salmon)

Drizzle the salmon with:
olive oil

Sprinkle the top of the salmon with:
dried parsley

Bake the salmon at 425 F for ~20 minutes.  Check the center of the salmon with a fork to make sure it's cooked thoroughly. It may need an additional 2-4 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your salmon.

Absolutely delicious served with homemade latkes.  Great with other delicious potato sides, too, like pan-fried potatoes.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lemon Magdalena Cakes

These are a lovely, rich muffin that still has a light fluffy texture.  They are meant to be eaten as a breakfast or snack-type dish with something like rich hot chocolate.  My little brother requested this recipe and we have been happily eating them.  Enjoy!

GF Magdalena Cakes
Tasty gluten-free Magdalena cakes, fresh from the oven! 

Lemon Magdalena Cakes

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients (It's important to do this in gluten-free cooking to avoid clumping): 
1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt (leave out if your butter if salted)

In a mixer beat until fluffy (1 minute):
2 eggs
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

Add and mix in:
zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup milk
2 oz melted butter

Scoop evenly into 12 muffin tins.  They should be filled halfway.  Smooth tops, if desired.

Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the top of each muffin.
GF Magdalena Cakes
Magdalena cakes, ready for the oven after having a bit of sugar sprinkled on top. 

Bake at 375 F for 15-16 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with homemade hot chocolate!
GF Magdalena Cakes
Fresh from the oven - you can see how much they puff up - doubling in size.