Thursday, 23 June 2011

Quick Creamy Pasta Salad

Hey folks,
Just a quick post today - birthday month is winding down and we're ending it off with two birthday parties this weekend! I'm super busy baking and getting stuff ready for the parties and I also have to do flowers for a wedding on top of it all!

I took a healthy lunches cooking class at Health Span in Georgetown, hosted by Chef Jenny Allen. It was awesome and I came out of there with 5 recipes that I could very easily modify to avoid allergens! Score!!! All of her recipes are based on simple, natural ingredients and use natural sweeteners. And they all have a gluten-free/dairy-free option. The class was great and if you live in the Georgetown/Brampton/Mississauga area I highly recommend you check it out! Chef Jenny is always adding new classes to her schedule and each one is a new opportunity to get fabulous new recipes! Here is a link to Jenny's website which has recipes and info about classes:

On to the recipe! Make this... it's so easy and delish!!!

Creamy Pasta Salad with Grapes (and roasted chicken if you eat meat!)

2 c dry rice rotini or twisted kamut/quinoa pasta, cooked, rinsed and tossed with 2 tsp EVOO
1 1/2 c red or green grapes, halved
1 1/2 c roasted chicken diced or shredded (optional, I use 1/2 - 3/4 c navy beans instead)
1/2 c vegan mayo (or Hellman's olive oil mayo if you can tolerate eggs)
2 tbsp fresh dill or tarragon, chopped
3 green onions, minced (I leave these out and its still great!)
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch sea salt and pepper
2 c baby spinach or chopped romaine

In a large bowl, mix together mayo, dill, onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Stir in cooked pasta, chicken if using and grapes. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
To assemble, toss 1 c prepared pasta with 2 cups spinach or lettuce (for an adult size portion.)

Can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Add spinach or lettuce just before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Yummy Lunch

Hi everyone,
It's a scorcher out there today!!! I don't usually love the heat, but so far this summer I've been loving every minute of the hot days we've had. Even though today feels like 42C with the humidity, I didn't even mind taking the boys out for a bike ride this afternoon. :) I'm just thankful for the air conditioning so we can sleep at night without sticking to the sheets!!!

Here is a recipe for buckwheat/millet bread that I made yesterday. I've made it before but wanted to try baking it differently before I posted it. It turned out great and thin enough to build a sandwich on. The boy and I love it and my favourite thing is that its chock full of goodness (unlike store bought rice bread which is not very nutrient-dense.) I was a little worried about using buckwheat flour... I really don't like buckwheat honey and I knew that the flour has a really strong taste. As I was mixing it up it smelled kinda grassy and I thought to myself, 'This should be interesting...' But it baked up wonderfully and I really love it!

Buckwheat contains 8 essential amino acids, is high in fiber and contains many minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. The buckwheat flour is offset by millet flour is this recipe. Millet is one of the least allergenic grains and is easily digestible. Like buckwheat, millet is high in protein and fiber. It is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Chia seeds are used in the bread to help bind it. The original recipe called for half chia and half flax but I can't have flax every day so I opted to use all chia. Chia seeds are also packed with nutrients - they are the richest plant source of omega 3, contain antioxidants, fiber, iron and more. Tons of goodness packed into one tiny seed! Yay for goodness!!!

Now that you've all had a nutrition lesson.... here's the recipe! ;)

Buckwheat/Millet Bread
Adapted from the edible perspective

1/2 c plus 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp millet flour (I grind my own in a blender)
1/4 c chia seeds (or ground flax)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sucanat
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp rice milk or milk of choice
3/4 c water
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F and line a 9x13 pan with parchment (cut the corners so it fits nicely.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add in liquids and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth evenly.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is dry and has cracks. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then using parchment, slide the bread out onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into six large pieces for sandwiches or cut to whatever size you fancy!
You can keep it in a sealed container at room temp for a day but after that, leftovers should be refrigerated.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Allergy-Free Pizza

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! Things have been busy and I've been baking lots of allergy-ful goodies and I don't feel right about posting on here!!! It's also birthday month at our house (all four kids born in June, plus cousins, other family members too and even the cat!) so its really busy. Hopefully I'll still have time to post some of the goodies I make for Boy2 and myself. :)

Here is a pizza recipe for you all. I heart pizza. It's been one of the things I've really been missing since being off of all of the foods I should avoid... and this one is pretty good! I tried it last week, making the crust the was it was written in the book but I really don't enjoy the chickpea/fava bean flour flavour in the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour. So I switched it up and used my favourite Namaste Perfect flour blend and it turned out yummy! I really had to restrain myself from eating the whole thing and save some for the Boy!

Allergy-Free Pizza
Adapted from babycakes Covers the Classics by Erin McKenna

1 1/2 c Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (or Bob's Red Mill GF Baking Flour plus 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
6 tbsp plus 3 tbsp melted refined coconut oil (melt then measure) or half olive, half canola oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 c cold water

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and seasoning. Add the 6 tbsp coconut oil, agave and cold water. Mix with a rubber spatula until a thick dough forms. Cover the top of the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto the parchment lined sheet. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough evenly to the edges of the baking sheet. Brush the top of the dough with remaining 3 tbsp of oil. Bake until golden, about 15 mins.

Remove from oven and top with your favourite sauce, toppings and cheese (I love goat's milk mozzarella - perfect for pizza! Daiya mozzarella would work great too.) Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and try to share!

I topped half of my pizza with spinach, fresh pineapple and red peppers and left the other half plain cheese. I topped the cheese side with a mixture of chopped tomato, s&p and basil leaves and put it on top after it was all cooked since I don't like cooked tomatoes too much. It was really yummy! You could add some garlic in and make it kinda brushetta-y if you felt so inclined.

Happy Birthday to Simon :)