comfort food

Despite all of the Easter feasting this weekend I was in the mood for some good 'ol comfort food last night for dinner. So, I baked up the ultimate in that category - Mac 'n Cheese. Of course it was a classy spin on the tried and true, courtesy of Gwynny's awesome cookbook My Father's Daughter.

Since we're wheat free I used brown rice elbow pasta and GF breadcrumbs. I also added a layer of salty-licious prosciutto on top. So crispy!

Are you feeling the comfort food vibes?

[print_this]Gluten-free Mac n' Cheese

You'll need:

  • 1 lb macaroni (I use Tinkyada, it's the best rice pasta I've tried)
  • 1 generous cup mascarpone
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff people!)
  • 1/2 cup milk (if you have homo milk use that)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use GF bread crumbs)

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Boil macaroni for 2 minutes less than directed on the package.
  3. While macaroni is cooking heat mascarpone, milk, nutmeg and Parmesan over medium heat until it all melts together.
  4. Drain the pasta and pour into a baking dish.
  5. Pour cheese mixture all over pasta.
  6. Cover top with prosciutto and a mix of bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.

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We topped our individual servings with peppery arugula and green peas. A perfect treat for the whole family!

 

maple ginger granola

My breakfast staple for years has been my own homemade granola, but when I went gluten free in August it was time to say b-bye. I've been dappling with a variety of gluten free granolas and I've tried making my own using quinoa flakes instead of oats, but none of them have comparde to my tried and true recipe.

Last Friday I picked up the highly coveted Food & Drink magazine from the LC and as I flipped through, ripping out all the amazing recipes, I zeroed in on one for Maple Ginger Granola. Technically it's not gluten-free because I'm using regular oats, but I did manage to keep it wheat free and let me tell you, it's amazing. The ginger, maple and orange blend together so nicely and leave it tasting just sweet enough.

Want to try?

[print_this]Maple Ginger Granola

You'll need:

  • 8 cups large flake oats (you could use gluten free oats if you really want to go for it)
  • 1.5 cups chopped almonds
  • 1 cup wheat bran (I omitted this ingredient because I'm wheat free)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds (ground up or whole)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (I used real toasted coconut. You can find it at most health food stores.)
  • 2 tsp. cinammon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1 orange
  • 1.25 cups maple syrup (make sure it's the real stuff, none of that Aunt Jemima sugar water)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups dried fruit (I just used dried cranberries, but you could do raisins, prunes, dates, apricots...)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Stir oats with nuts, wheat bran (if using), pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, coconut, spices and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Finely grate orange peel into a medium pot, then squeeze juice from that orange into pot and add maple syrup and oil. Heat until hot, then stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour heated liquid mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Spread into two greased roasting pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
  6. Stir in dried fruit and ginger, then let cool and store in an airtight container.

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It lasts up to two weeks at room temp or you can freeze it if you don't think you'll be able to eat it all.

What is your favourite granola recipe?

 

 

lost that gluten feeling

Sluggish. Bloated. Tired. That's how I've been feeling. Partly because I have a 6 month old, but my diet is also contributing to this general feeling of malaise. I eat healthy (or so I thought), but always know I can eat healthier. So, in an effort to determine if I was becoming what I ate I challenged myself to a week of gluten free eating with The Hubs (willingly) in tow.

What did that mean exactly? Well, think of all of your favourite foods (baked goods, pasta, pizza, cereal, bread, beer, chips) and say bye, bye. I knew this diet would take some planning ahead so I took to the internet to get a shopping list and easy to grab foods to prepare for our gluten fast. Gluten Free Girl and the Chef is a wicked resource and there are tons of other websites that offer gluten free recipes (thank God!).

Breakfast was the most difficult meal because I basically eat one big ball of gluten for breaky every day (granola with yogurt and toast with Nutella or PB). In an effort to stay away from eating eggs every morning I found a recipe using quinoa and almond milk in an old Style at Home magazine, of all places.  This recipe became my go-to gluten free breakfast and I like it so much that I'm going to stick with it (it sure sticks with me, har har).

We experimented with buckwheat pancakes (interesting), buckwheat pizza dough (don't try this at home kids), brown rice pasta (a little sticky, but edible), rice bread (Food For Life - amazing!) and chickpea curry.

Was it all worth it? Yep! All week I had more energy, no bloating, a clearer head, and I felt light on my feet. I also ate WAY more fruits and veggies because when I wanted to grab a snack that's all I could really have. The only problem was that I never felt truly satisfied. I don't plan on staying gluten free forever (God help me!) but it was a wake up call to the amount of gluten I ingest on a daily basis and a good reminder to alter my eating habits.

If you want to give it a go, here are a few recipes:

Quinoa Cereal

You'll need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • almond milk
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (if you don't like sweet stuff, cut this in half)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 banana
  • handful almonds

Then you:

  1. Bring pot of cold water to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa and boil for 12 minutes. Strain quinoa and place in a bowl.
  2. Mix quinoa with brown sugar and vanilla.
  3. Spoon quinoa mixture into bowls and add chopped banana and almonds. Pour in almond milk.
  4. I add a sprinkle of cinnamon too!

I just made a big batch and kept it in the fridge so I wasn't cooking up quinoa every morning. Deelish!

Buckwheat Pizza Dough - this recipe calls for tapioca flour, but I didn't have any so I substituted with cornstarch. Tapioca flour is a binder/thickening ingredient so cornstarch does the same thing. He also recommends grilling the veggie toppings beforehand but I didn't bother. The pizza was good, but obviously nothing like the real thing.

Buckwheat pancakes - this is a really tasty alternative to the quinoa cereal. The buckwheat has a distinct nutty flavour, but if you smother the pancakes with maple syrup and banana you feel like you're eating evil white flour pancakes. I would totally make these again.

Peanut Butter cookies - by about day 3 I was pining for a cookie so I made these gluten free peanut butter cookies from the Gluten Free Girl blog. They are amazing and the only ingredients are sugar, peanut butter, egg and baking powder. So easy!

I broke my week-long fast last night with a feast of pizza from Pizzeria Libretto (yum!) but unfortunately I suffered the consequences (tummy ache!).

Happy gluten free dieting everyone and please share your recipes if you have any.