fresh strawberry spelt muffins

Fresh strawberry spelt muffin

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day! We struck close to home as we anticipated #2's arrival.

To celebrate and use up leftover fresh Ontario strawberries I made these delicious strawberry spelt muffins. They taste amazing right out of the oven.

I love strawberry season! They would taste even more amazing with a spoonful of homemade strawberry jam.

Give them a try!



Fresh Strawberry Spelt Muffins

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (just whiz up some oats in your coffee grinder)
  • A couple grinds of the salt mill
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk or non-dairy substitute like soy milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl stir together milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in strawberries making sure not to overmix.
  5. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and spring to the touch.



oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are delicious and they're wheat free. They taste like oatmeal raisin cookies because I used an oatmeal raisin recipe (courtesy of FoodDoodles), but nixed the raisins (blech raisins!) and subbed with chocolate chips.

I feel like I should be baking lighter more spring-like treats, but I'm still in hibernation mode, so these suit me just fine.  Try them for yourself, they're sweet and not as crumbly as other wheat free cookies I've baked. In fact crumbling these up into a mug with almond milk is pretty deadly. My BFF (who I think is totally skeptical of my wheat free baking) told me they win cookie of the year, so they must be good.

[print_this]Spelt flour Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You'll need:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Then you:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Mix together oats, spelt flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, then set aside.
  • In a separate bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet, mix well then add chocolate chips and combine.
  • Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool for a few minutes and enjoy! They won't last long!

This recipe makes about 3 dozen and they keep well in the freezer.[/print_this]

Happy baking!





valentine's day breakfast

photo (7)

Call me crazy, but I made a pancake breakfast for the Hubs, L'il E and I this morning (as if our mornings aren't rushed enough!). To get into the Valentine's Day spirit I made them heart-shaped to boot!

Since I've gone wheat free finding a pancake recipe worthy of butter and maple syrup has been difficult, but I finally found one a few months ago and it has become my go-to. They're light, fluffy, and taste like their wheat filled counterparts and they have yogurt so they must be healthy.

Feeling the love? Give them a try!


Spelt flour pancakes

You'll need:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Then you:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl beat egg, then add yogurt, milk and canola oil and beat some more.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture and mix well.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup pour batter onto a heated skillet and cook until golden.




my 12 best recipes of 2012

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This year I fully embraced the wheat free lifestyle and with that came a lot of experimenting in the kitchen.

I love to eat good food, but because wheat is in almost everything learning to cook without it is a huge task. I took time researching and looking through many cookbooks and websites, I learned a lot about alternative flours and how to use them and now I'm embarking on 2013 with a arsenal of great recipes that actually taste good (not like cardboard!).

Here are our 12 favourite recipes of 2012. They are on a high rotation in our household.

  1. Homemade turkey soup - what else do you do with all that leftover turkey?
  2. Healthy blueberry muffins - the most popular post on FO, these are healthy and delicious!
  3. Dairy free carrot ginger soup - was a staple in our fridge until we discovered L'il E's tree nut allergy (oops!).
  4. Wheat and dairy free brownies - if you love sweet, sticky brownies these might not be for your, but I like them.
  5. Maple ginger granola - a nice twist on a traditional recipe.
  6. Gluten free mac 'n cheese - the ultimate comfort food so even us GF people need it!
  7. Wheat free raspberry muffins - my all time favourite muffin (yum!).
  8. Healthy cookie recipe - a pleasant surprise, you can put just about anything you want in these.
  9. Flourless lemon almond torte - delicious dessert if you're looking to class things up a bit.
  10. Quinoa burgers - even meat-eaters will chow down on these amazing burgers.
  11. Lemon cilantro chickpea quinoa salad - I have an unhealthy relationship with this salad (consume in large amounts!).
  12. Dunk-worthy gluten free chocolate chip cookies - Finally a gluten-free cookie that actually tastes like its wheat counterpart (happy face!).

Enjoy a less rumbly tummy!

christmas tipples

Photo credit

I don't know about you, but I'm glad it's Friday! Who needs a drink?

As the countdown to Christmas continues and you knock a few more holiday parties off your list this weekend I thought I would share a few tasty holiday cocktail recipes to spice up the party circuit (or perhaps the pre-drink).



Candy Cane Martini (this spells headache so if I were you I would just have one!)

You'll need:

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • 1 oz soda water
  • crushed candy cane
  • peppermint sticks or candy cane for stirring

Then you:

  1. Rim martini glass with crushed candy cane
  2. Pour vodka, vanilla vodka and peppermint schnapps in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour into martini glass.
  3. For the the weakling you can top off with soda, but I would prefer this straight up!
  4. Serve with a candy cane as a stir stick.


If you're hosting a holiday party, I think this cranberry vodka punch recipe would make a great crowd pleaser.


Vodka Cranberry Punch

You'll need:

  • 1 750 ml bottle of chilled vodka
  • 8 cups of chilled cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 cups chilled ginger ale
  • 2 cups chilled soda water

Then you:

  1. In a large punch bowl mix cranberry juice and vodka well.
  2. Add plenty of ice.
  3. Stir in soda and gingerale and add any fruit you wish (I recommend floating cranberries!)


Please drink responsibly folks!

wheat free holidays

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The Christmas party season is upon us and I'm starting to get anxious. This is my first holiday season being completely wheat free and I've quickly realized that I'm the worst dinner guest ever.

From wine and cheese parties brimming with spongy baguettes to cocktail parties filled with passed phyllo this and mini slider that to dinner parties with sweet holiday desserts, my stomach is churning just thinking about it all. I've been wheat free long enough and cheated enough times to know that I just can't eat that sh&!. It literally takes me 24-48 hours to recover from a single cracker (I know how pathetic!). So that said, for this party season my plan is to pre-eat or bring my own wheat free grub with me on the party circuit.

If you're hosting your own party and want to consider preparing a few allergen free dishes here are few courtesy of Zero8 , a restaurant in Montreal committed to being allergen free, well at least the top 8 allergens. They include wheat and other gluten containing grains, fish and shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and sesame seeds.



Oriental Style Quinoa Tabouli

You'll need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • a few sprigs of mint, chopped
  • lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 5 tsp olive oil
  • pinch each of salt and pepper

Then you:

  1. Chill quinoa
  2. While quinoa is chilling dice tomatos, green onions and chop mint and coriander.
  3. Add herbs, tomatos and green onions to quino along with juice from 1/2 a lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and let stand until ready to serve.[/print_this]



Coconut Milk and Mango Puree Panna Cotta

You'll need:

  • 1 can coconut milk, certified allergen-free
  • 1 7g packet of gelatin, certified allergen-free
  • ¬ľ cup plus 4 tsp white sugar
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 mango, very ripe
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 capful rum, pure (unspiced and unflavoured)

Then you:

  1. Puree mango using a blender, add white sugar, brown sugar, lime juice and blend until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour mango puree into dessert glasses and set in fridge.
  3. In a pot heat coconut milk with 4 tsps of white sugar and rum, bring to a boil and set aside.
  4. Dissolve gelatin in a small amount of cold water.
  5. Mix geltin into hot coconut milk mixture and stir well.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Pour gelled coconut milk mixture over mango puree and place dessert glasses back in the fridge for at least 2 hours.[/print_this]





tomato soup for the soul

This weekend our cupboards were bare, again, and I was desperate for a quick and nutritious dinner for L'il E to eat before heading out to a friend's for dinner. I thought to myself, if only I had a can of tomato soup to heat and serve with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich (the ultimate feel-good combo). Then I noticed a few cans of diced tomatoes and thought there must be a simple way to make tomato soup with that. So off I went to the internet and among the thousands of recipes I found this one courtesy of Heidi at Food Doodles.

I liked it because even in my bare kitchen I had every ingredient the recipe called for and it only took about 15 minutes total to make. The result was also delicious, so delicious that I'm not sure why anyone would even bother to buy canned tomato soup ever again. I certainly won't.

So here goes, because I know you want to try it.

[print_this]Super simple Tomato Soup

You'll need:

  • a couple glug sof olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 32 oz can of tomatoes, pureed, diced or whole
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda (this help neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes and it totally works)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (I only had dried basil)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • black pepper to taste (go easy on the pepper if you're not into spicy tomato soup)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp honey (I didn't use a full tbsp because I don't like overly sweetened things)
  • whole milk to serve if desired (a tbsp or two and totally worth it!)

Then you:

  1. In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium to low heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until clear, then add the garlic and sautee for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, baking soda, parsley, bay leaf and salt and pepper (the baking soda will fizz).
  4. Bring  to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and puree.
  6. Once blended, stir in the honey and fresh basil.
  7. Serve  hot with a splash of milk.


This soup goes best with a grilled cheese sandwich (gluten free of course) and a glass of milk. Enjoy!

cinnamon-sugar pumpkin seeds

C'est l'Halloween!

Like our pumpkin? We had a little pumpkin party this afternoon and after carving I did a little digging around online looking for pumpkin seed recipes. I found a twist on the traditional salted seasoning and I thought I would share.


Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

You'll need:

  • Pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin carving
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Then you:

  1. Heat oven to 375 F
  2. Collect the seeds, rinse them and pat dry.
  3. Toss seeds with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Roast for 10-15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes until seeds are browned and crispy.
  5. While seeds are still warm sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Done! Enjoy!







October 30, 2012 — AlannaB

say no to the dinner rut

We're in a rut, a cooking rut, and it's not a good place to be.

For the last several weeks I feel like we've been eating the exact same items. We are weeks away from falling victim to chicken Monday, fish Tuesday and son on. It's been a rotation of chicken and salad, fish and kale, stir fry of some kind, beef/chicken fajitas, homemade gluten free pizza, and the odd time gluten free spaghetti bolognese.

Needless to say I'm bored and so are my taste buds.

In an effort to pull ourselves out of the depths of food boredom I've started scouring cookbooks and blogs again looking for inspiration. We've also decided to feed L'il E leftovers so that we can go back to the days of taking our time at dinner. You see, since L'il E came into our lives meal time has become crazy-time. It's moved along a continuum of eating dinner cold every night, to sometimes me breastfeeding at the table while the Hubs continued, to one of us leaving half-way through dinner to tend to a dirty diaper or get bath started, to eating as fast as we can to move on to the next stage of the nightly routine.  If you have kids I'm sure you are all too familiar with these scenarios. If you don't have kids you still get into dinner ruts so keep reading.

Last Friday night I was fed up, we had leftover sausages from the night before in the fridge and sadly (but not unusually) not much else so I literally Googled "sausage soup recipe" and this hearty recipe came up. Thank you Canadian Living.

Fortunately I had many of the ingredients and it ended up being the perfect dinner for a cozy night in after a long week. It was also quick and easy (bonus).  I was able to throw it all together before L'il E's bath and let simmer while we read bedtime stories and tucked him in.

I have included the recipe below and as usual I made a few modifications. Give it a go!


Sausage Tomato Chickpea Stew

You'll need:

  • A couple glugs of olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Italian sausages cases removed (the sausages I used were already cooked so it made this recipe even easier)
  • 2 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas (recipe calls for navy beans, but I only had chickpeas in the cupboard)
  • 1 cup chicken or veg stock (I used two cups and omitted the 1 cup of water from the original recipe)

Then you:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic until softened.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add sausages and sautee for five minutes or so until they're cooked.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, breaking up with spoon. Add chickpeas and chicken stock.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

That's it! It's delicious and makes about 8-10 servings. We served it with baby spinach on top as a garnish.


Do you ever get into a dinner rut? Do you have any yummy recipe to share? I'm all ears!





our thanksgiving feast

Image source

Last weekend the Hubs and I hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner complete with a turkey and all of the fixings (yes, even gluten free stuffing). I was feeling festive and I have this thing for setting tables so I scoured the web looking for different ways to fold napkins. Turns out there is A LOT of info out there, but I found this simple little site, with plenty of instructions on several folding options. I couldn't decide on just one so I settled on a combo of the Pocket Bag and the Fox. The step-by-step instructions with photos are super helpful and I must say the table looked really impressive when I was finished.

The dinner was a hit, fancy napkins and all but the finishing touch was the wheat free pumpkin pie I ordered from Tori's Bakeshop. I don't even really like pumpkin pie, but this made me love it! If you haven't been to Tori's yet, get your butt out to the east end, it's worth the drive!

Finally if you're wondering how I managed to tackle gluten free stuffing here's what I did.


Gluten-free Stuffing

You'll need:

  • 2 gluten free baguettes (I used Udi french baguettes)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 apple peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp summer savoury (if you're lucky enough to have some fresh stuff)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Then you:

  1. Cut up baguettes into cubes and set aside in a large bowl to dry out. I left the cubes out for several hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. In a large skillet, melt half a cup of butter on medium heat and sautee onions, celery and apple until softened, but not brown.
  4. Remove from heat and season with summer savoury, salt and pepper.
  5. Add butter mixture to bread cubes and mix well with your hands.
  6. Pour stock over bread mixture and mix well again. I don't use the full 1/2 cup because I don't like wet stuffing but add as much or as little as you desire.
  7. Pour bread mixture into a roasting pan and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes.

That's it!