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Repost: Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf

18 Jan

This is a repost of an old favourite of mine – Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf! I’m going to be sampling it today during at radio interview at CBC Kelowna, so I wanted to make it easy to find. 

Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf

You probably know the feeling of  “ick” I’m referring to – you’re trying to keep up with all the fruits and veggies you should be eating and then you see them sitting there on your counter. Once beautiful and firm with shades of yellow and green, they are now browning and wasting away like a grape in the sun. Some call them overripe. I call them rotten. That’s the ick I’m referring to!

Since I really only enjoy eating bananas when they’re more green than yellow, I’ve decided to not let them waste away anymore. Banana chocolate chip muffins it is!

Oh wait – I have no gluten free chocolate chips – I had to throw out a huge bag of them that were maybe once gluten free but spent way too many afternoons hanging around the Evil Mr. Flour in my pre-diagnosis days.

So searching for a tasty alternative to banana chocolate chip muffins, I came across this Food and Wine recipe for Cinnamon Banana Bread.

I amended a few things – took out the Xatham Gum (which is already in most all-purpose mixes), amped up the cinnamon and vanilla factor and added cocoa among other things and I have to say… it turned out great and much better than I expected for a first time go at it!

The loaf, although of the ‘dense’ consistency of many gluten free ‘breads’, was moist and flavourful and it may just become a staple in my house! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

    Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf - a new favourite!

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp gluten free cocoa (I used Hersheys)
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup milk (any milk of your choice – dairy, soy, almond, etc)
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients into one bowl. In another bowl, mash the bananas and then add in the oil, agave nectar, milk and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing. (Or, nibble on it straight out of the pan like I did!)

*Optional: Mix a half teaspoon of each: cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle onto banana loaf after 10 minutes of baking – this will give you the crackle effect seen in the photo. Tastes pretty good too!

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Happy New Year!! Your Favourite 2011 Recipes (preceded by a red wine coloured rant)

4 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, 2012, sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it?!

So people have been asking me over and over, “when are you going to start blogging more”? No matter that these people are all of my real life friends who are asking me because they’ve referred recently diagnosed friends. But they have a point. Having a stale blog makes me feel icky, I mean, I work in marketing! How often do I huff at blogs that I really want to read but have gone months without a new post. And that’s what I’ve become?

Note to readers here: this is just my personal “forgive me, I have blinned” (blog sinned, made that one up) rant. Skip down for the hottest in recipes from 2011 ladies and lads.

I have to say though, that nagging feeling I get when I’m blazy (blog lazy, ha!) is when I talk to people who feel like getting diagnosed Celiac is going to ruin their life and cooking is going to be impossible. And I tell them, “No sister, it ain’t gonna ruin you, you just gotta learn the secrets.. I can tell you.. And you can find them on my web log!!” Okay, I totally don’t talk like this.

But I do tell people to not let a diagnosis get you down, that things are going to get easier. Because you quickly learn what you can and cannot eat. And you learn that you don’t have to follow complicated gluten free recipes to be able to eat. (Just learn how to substitute ingredients like a seasoned Celiac!) And let’s not forget that not only is gluten free knowledge on the uptake in society because people think it’s a weight loss tool (idiots), but because more and more people are being diagnosed with it. Restaurants and grocery stores are finally starting to get it. Some more slowly than others. (And yes, some will possibly be forever oblivious.)

But these secrets, and developments, are what I wish someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with Celiac. I thought my life was ruined! And it was not. I’ve learned to live with it, and make tasty food in a jiffy, and you can too.

So expect to see more of my rants and raves throughout 2012!

Now, for the top recipes of 2011? Here they are!

  1. Oven Baked Risotto. Apparently this was popular with the new-to-risotto crowd. So if you’re reticent of making your first batch of risotto, start with this one. And then try some of my other risotto recipes and see what you’ve been missing all these years! Risotto – gluten free food of the gods. And perfect for a creamy, savoury treat if you have to refrain from dairy as well!
  2. Cranberry Banana Walnut Loaf. Shave off 10 minutes to make muffins, or add in chocolate chips for a real anytime treat. Yummzers!
  3. Celery Leek Soup. I’m glad you liked it as much as I did! Because simply, it’s to die for. Put it on your list for a winter-warm-up fast!!

Enough from me for today. I wish you all the best in 2012 and look forward to continuing our gluten free journey together!

One cake, two desserts! Gluten Free Strawberry Chocolate Trifle

1 Sep

One Friday night, not too long ago, I decided to make a chocolate cake to bring over to a friend’s house for the evening. I armed it with vanilla bean ice cream, and a farm-fresh raspberry puree from raspberries I found at the farmer’s market. It was pretty good, but nothing over-the-top.

Then, with so much of the cake leftover, I decided to try making a trifle. I layered the cake (chopped into 1 inch cubes), with chocolate pudding, vanilla whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate whipped cream. Can you say YUM! I served it up at my friend’s house the next night after dinner. My friend even let me use her actual trifle serving dish. It was awesome. And we all ended up with a major sugar high!

Great way to use leftover gluten free chocolate cake? Yes. Great for the diet that I’m trying to be on, or lactose intolerant in me? No. But good, even still!

Gluten free strawberry chocolate trifle

Watermelon Feta Salad with Fresh Mint

25 Aug

You know when you buy fruit, and it tastes okay, but nothing close to what it could taste like? Juicy, perfectly ripe and in season, and full of flavour? Well, I bought a watermelon last week that wasn’t quite living up to its potential, so I thought I’d show it a second calling-watermelon salad.

I keep seeing watermelon pop up everywhere this year – it’s on fire like pomegranate and acai berries have been in years past. And searching for the perfect salad recipe (read=easy, flavourful, not too many ingredients), I stumbled across this one from Paula Deen.

Best of all, I got to use all that mint growing in my garden. I’ve been trying to keep up with the mojitos, but mint grows like a weed!! In the most pleasant way of course. Whenever I’m feeling stressed lately, I go to my garden and rub mints leaves between my fingers to release their sweet aroma. Now that’s real aromatherapy!

Okay, back to the recipe: don’t even try to make this with dried mint. Fresh mint, or even fresh frozen mint, fine. But you won’t get the effect by going for the dried stuff.

So.. just step away.. from the spice cabinet. And buy some fresh mint! You can always use the leftovers in mojitos or in sparkling water with lemon. Bonus points if you’re already growing the stuff! Continue reading

Gluten Free Summer – A Feast for the Eyes

4 Aug

Strawberry Daiquiri

My first tomato. Newbie gardener!

Chicken Tacos. Earls Patio, Kelowna.

Sparkling water with lemon balm & mint-from my garden!

Truffled parmesan fries. Need I say more?

Gluten free mini-brownies with caramel swirl fro-yo & dark chocolate M&M's!

Alli's Amazing Mango Salsa-I love my friends!

Tuna Carpaccio at the Manor Casual Bistro in Edmonton. (Pepper crusted west coast tuna with mango fennel salad, smoked sea salt & sherry shallot vinaigrette)

Gluten free raspberry chocolate fudge brownie. What?!? Yum.

Gluten free pizza, three ways. (Recipes to come!)

NEW: Gluten Free Recipe Directory

6 Jul

I’ve been meaning to put together a recipe directory for this blog for awhile. And I finally did it-find it here or by clicking the “Find Recipes” link in the navigation above.

I hope it helps you find some great, gluten free recipe ideas! I’ll be expanding on it in the future by adding in further breakdowns – by ingredients and by allergy notes (beyond gluten free that is, for those of you who can’t have eggs, dairy, or otherwise.)

Putting together this page made me realize how unadventurous my food tends to be-you think I like chicken?!

So I’m going to make a point of expanding on the Lazy GF Chef collection. I have some great beef and pork recipes, and I plan on trying fish at some point too-I started eating fish finally in November last year, so I owe it to this blog to come up with a crazy delicious fish recipe. Watch for it!

In other news, I hope you’re having a wonderful “gluten free” summer. Time to go fire up the barby!

Oven-Baked Risotto with Mushrooms

8 Feb Gluten Free Oven Baked Mushroom Risotto

Since getting on the risotto bandwagon last year (I make it 1-2 times a week now!), I’ve wanted to try an oven-baked risotto. I chose a recipe from my Rice and Risotto cookbook by Paragon Publishing (2010 edition), with a few tweaks of my own added in.

The verdict: Though this risotto was good, it wasn’t quite as tasty as a stovetop mushroom risotto. So this would be a good choice for those who are new at risotto, as a stepping stone to the stove-top version. If you’re already comfortable making risottos, I would suggest to skip ahead to my favourite stove-top risotto, Chicken & Mushroom Risotto – you will love me for it!

Whichever recipe you choose, if you can get your hands on some white or black truffle oil, it will add an extra BAM! to your risotto. Though it’s a bit pricey, you only need a drizzle to transform a meal into a luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth dish. Definitely a good splurge!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups of diced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of pancetta or smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups of Aborio rice
  • 4 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp of Italian parsley
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for garnish

Continue reading

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