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Brazilian Tapioca Treats

10 Sep

This is the easiest dessert I have ever seen created. My darling friend Carolina showed me how to make it!  Continue reading

Pão de Queijo

24 Mar

Greetings from Brasil! I arrived in February and will be spending the next year in Lavras, Minas Gerais teaching English at Universidade Federal de Lavras, and doing research on food security!

Importantly, I’m researching food! And guess what, we’ve got some tasty treats from this wonderfully warm country. This pão de queijo is a naturally gluten-free cheese bread. It’s super soft, chewy and delicious. Everyone loves it, and for Brazilians its that wonderful thing that reminds them all of home, and its a native dish for the state I’m in, Minas Gerais. Lucky me, I ended up in the state known for its delicious food.

I made this tasty treat with the supervision of a native Brazilians who also translated the recipe below (thanks Samuel!) and used the kitchen of a friendly pal, Eduardo (thanks Eduardo!) and got to bake with my fellow Americans, Nakeisha and Molly (pictured here with me!).

So, although this cheese bread is anything but healthy, its incredibly easy compared to other breads, and its SUPER tasty. Hope you try this and enjoy!

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Paella with Mussels

20 May

Spain’s national dish, Paella, has no dearth of regional variations and recipes. From chorizo and chicken to shrimp and mussels, carrots and peas to olives and spices, the variants of this dish are endless. I usually use whatever I happen to have on hand when I make this, so accordingly I used mussels (cheap, easy to cook, full of iron), onions, red pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and peas. Feel free to put in what you like, its likely to turn out great.

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Mulligatawny… in a Slow Cooker!

6 Jun

This is an easy-peasy mulligatawny. Delicious as a soup served with some toast or as a dinner time meal or over a bed of rice and garnished with cilantro.

I was originally inspired to make this recipe for the blog spoonforkbacon.com but adapted the recipe and shaved some calories by not cooking the veggies in butter or oil, but just throwing them in the slow cooker and letting them infuse with fellow spices and flavors overnight. I’m also trying to steer clear of baking and cooking over the stove during this already horribly humid summer, so it was doubly rewarding to make this meal in a slow cooker! Slow cookers are great for that reason in the summer, and I would have no doubt that this would take great served cool on a hot summer day.

I’m really happy with how this came out. Vegan, low cal, gluten free, dairy free, and full of veggies, some fruit and spices, it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and tastes delicious. Directions are here too, but really all you do is chop everything up, put it in the slow cooker, put it on low, sleep, and wake up to delicious food. Amazing, right?

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 8-10 hours or overnight (on low) or 3-4 hours (on high)
  • Nutritional information: 264 calories per serving (without rice) More here.

You’ll need:

  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/2 C dry red lentils
  • 85 g coconut cream dissolved in 1 C water, or 1 C of coconut milk
  • 3 C chicken stock
  • 1 T freshly minced ginger
  • 1 T curry
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 2 t Garam Masala
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of cardamom
  • salt and pepper
  • OPTIONAL: Raisins and cilantro to garnish

Directions:

1. Chop up all the vegetables you will be using, and place them in the slow cooker.
2. Pour coconut milk and chicken stock on top.
3. Add spices and stir.
4. Set on low overnight or about 8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
5. Turn off slow cooker. Allow to cool.
6. Cream ingredients in food processor or using immersion blender.
7. Serve as soup, or over rice to make a hearty meal.
OPTIONAL: Garnish with cilantro and raisins.

Makes 4 generous 1-cup servings

TIP:

You may use onions, green onions, and tomatoes if you like. I happened to have leeks but did not have green onion or yellow onions, however, these would have been more traditional ingredients for Mulligatawny. A lot of recipes include tomatoes too. I actually just totally forgot about those vegetables. Put tomatoes in yours if you like!

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Gluten Free Quinoa-Banana Pancakes

13 May

These are really a delicious and hearty breakfast option. Even the lover of all carbs will be charmed by this number.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 banana, mashed (preferably one which is more ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa, prepared to package instructions (around 1 cup prepared quinoa)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 or 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • Maple Syrup for serving
  • optional: Almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and corn starch. Incorporate until smooth.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula, add all of the cooked quinoa and banana. Stir well. Batter should have same consistency of normal pancake batter. If too thick, add almond milk by the tablespoon. Too thin, add corn starch by the tablespoon.
  4. Heat a griddle on medium-high. Be sure to use a non-stick pan and grease before each pancake.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Once bubbles form and pop on batter it is time to flip. Cook on both sides and serve with maple syrup.
  6. Make about 8 pancakes.

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Japanese Ginger-Carrot Salad

13 May

Pardon me for my hiatus from food blogging. It has been a busy past couple months, and I’ve recently finished my undergraduate at the University of Toronto! Although I have been cooking and accumulating a great deal of photos to post, I haven’t quite gotten to the computer to document the magic.

I’ve been cooking up a fair share of Vegetarian and Vegan dishes lately. This one, is Vegan, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free, so invite all your friends and cook this up for a refreshing Spring/Summer meal!

You’ll Need:

For THE {Ginger-Carrot Dressing} SAUCE

  • Ginger, minced
  • half a lime,  juiced (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 t Sesame Oil
  • 3-4 t Apple Cider Vinegar (or Rice Vinegar if you have it!)
  • 5-6 Baby Carrots
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • Couple tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 T sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for the SAUCE

    Ingredients for the SAUCE

For The Salad:

  • Half of Napa Cabbage, shredded
  • Half of a cucumber, julliened
  • 5-6 radishes, cut into disks
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Get ready to blend your ingredients for the sauce together. Using a food processor, blend all your sauce ingredients.

    A fun trick: Cut your lime in half, and place in a low dish. Microwave for 30 seconds. This will help you get the most of the lime juice from your lime.

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2. Then, slide up your salad. Assemble with dressing (use it liberally!) and cover with sesame seeds.

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Enjoy!

Mofongo Relleno with Lime-infused Black Beans and Rice

2 Feb

It was a Friday night and the ladies stayed in, taking pictures of food, making chocolate molten cakes with ice cream and watching bad romantic comedies. So much food. To start the day off right, I decided to cook up these black beans that had been sitting around for a while that needed to be eaten. I made way too much. We’ll be having black beans for a while, but they’re versatile, so its OK! Check out what I’m making with the leftovers after the recipe.

P.S. If you omit the mayonnaise for some tahini, this is an easy vegan recipe!

You’ll need…

For the Lime-Infused Black Beans you’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 T Mexican spicy seasoning or Cajun Seasoning with a little cumin
  • 1 lime, halved

For the Mofongo Relleno you’ll need:

  • 3 plantains
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 handful cilantro, minced
  • Lots of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 cup of rice, for the side

For THE AVACADO-GARLIC AOILI SAUCE (not pictured, sorry) you’ll need:

  • 1 avacado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 spoonfuls of  tahini (or mayonnaise if you wish)
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

Before you get cooking, know that the black beans will take around 8 hours to cook unless you’re planing on using canned beans. Wake up and start the beans, make the rest around dinner time.

For the beans:

  1. In a slow cooker, add beans, vegetable stock, seasoning, and lime.
  2. Put a lid on it, cook at low for 8 hours. Easy.
  3. 8 hours later, turn off your slow cooker and work on making dinner!

For the Mofono Relleno:

  1. Start by preparing your rice.
  2. Peel and slice your plantains and add them to a pot of boiling water and cook them with salt for about 10 minutes
  3. Drain water and set plantains aside in a bowl
  4. Return pot to stove on medium heat and add oil
  5. Add minced garlic and stir
  6. Add plantains and chicken stock
  7. Cook for several minutes and begin mashing plantains with mashed-potato masher
  8. When a good consistency, add minced cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

For the Avacado-Garlic Aoili:

  1. In a medium bowl, mash all the ingredients together with a fork. Done.

To serve:

Take a small bowl and cover inside in olive oil. Add the mashed plantains to the bowl and press down firmly. Flip the small bowl onto a plate and allow plantains to fall out. Serve with black beans, rice, and Avacado-Garlic Aoili sauce. Add cilantro for garnish or Sri Racha if you like.

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Leftovers?

With the leftover Mofongo Relleno I made:

  • Puerto Rican Plantain Patties

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With the leftover Lime-Infused Black Beans I made:

  • Spicy Black Bean Dip
  • Refried Black Beans

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

10 Jan

…They’re so good. I’ve been oogling over this recipe for quite some time and decided to make them today for my Birthday. This is a lightly adapted recipe that I found on Food52, I just tried to make it a little more healthy. Seems to have worked out pretty well- these little cakes are still super super savory, buttery, cheesy delicious and gluten-free.

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Makes 18 cakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 grated parmesean
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line muffin tin with cup-cake tins.
  2. Cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 by one until fully incorporated.
  4. Add grated parmesean and sour cream and mix thouroughly.
  5. Finally, add rice flour, baking powder and salt gradually into the mix.
  6. Divvy batter into 18 cup cakes (filling batter pretty high in the tin, these guys won’t rise so much since they’re made of rice flour so don’t worry about overflow.)
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can use either white or black (or none) but I thought the black gave a nice aesthetic touch.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Sweet Potato and Carrot Fritters

9 Jun

The perfect summer side dish! These are quick and easy to whip up, and very refreshing served with this yogurt-salsa sauce.

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Citrus Summer Greek Dressing

19 May

I saw something like this at a local grocery store in a sampling station. Using my trusted taste buds I tried to recreate it the best I could. Here it is!

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