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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

oven-baked red snapper & shiitake parcels

This Japanese style recipe is so delicious and easy, yet very very healthy.  It takes no time at all and you are rewarded with an amazingly flavorful meal. 

4 red snapper fillets (100g each)
1/2 tsp vegetable oil, for brushing
8 caps fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
8 thinly sliced pieces of broccoli
4 slices of lime, sliced thin
4 Tbsp sake
4 tsp GF soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger juice (squeezed from grated fresh ginger)
tin foil

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
2. Put each snapper fillet on a piece of foil (about a 12"square), and brush with vegetable oil.
3. Arrange 2 shiitake mushroom caps, 2 or three slices of broccoli and a slice of lime on top of each fish.
4. Pour portions of the the sake, soy sauce and ginger juice over each parcel.
5. Gather together the edges of the foil, seal tightly and bake the parcels on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Plate each parcel individually and allow your guests to open their own parcel.

WE loved this dish.  The fish is steamed perfectly in a mere 10 minutes

Saturday, February 5, 2011

chocolate mango inside-out roll with dipping sauce

what?!  um yes.  so delicious.


(makes 1 roll of 8 pieces)

For the ISO
1/2 nori sheet
200g raw sushi rice
220 ml water
30 ml rice vinegar
15g sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped
50g mango, cut into strips
50g melon, cut into strips
50g strawberries, sliced into thin strips
100g plain dark chocolate, finely grated

Dipping or drizzling sauce 
220g plain dark chocolate melted

to prepare the sushi rice-
1. Rinse your rice well, between 3-5 washes until it runs clear in a fine mesh sieve. Set aside and drain for 1 hour.
2.  Put the rice and water into a heavy saucepan with a lid. Heat over medium/high heat and bring to a boil.  Don't lift the lid.  It should take about 5-7 minutes to come to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat. Don't lift lid but let rice stand for another 10 minutes.
3. While the rice is standing. Make your own sushi vinegar in a non reactive bowl with the rice vinegar/sugar and salt, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.
4. Transfer the hot cooked rice to a flat based bowl. Use a spatula to gently spread the rice out evenly. Using the back of the spatula sprinkle the sushi vinegar over the rice.  Use the spatula to cut through the rice and turn it over in sections to distribute the vinegar.  Have someone else fan the rice (with a fan or a magazine) as you turn it to cool the rice quickly and it will absorb the vinegar mixture.  Don't stir or mix the rice as it will get mushy.  just turn it.

Directions for the inside-out rolls

1. Place the nori sheet on a chopping board and cover it with the prepared sushi rice.  Turn it over and spread the honey over using the back of a spoon, then cover it with the hazelnuts, mango, melon and strawberries.  Roll it up to make an inside-out roll (use a rolling mat and saran wrap to make this easier), then flip it over and roll it in the grated chocolate until coated.
note: there are hundreds of free online sushi rolling tutorials, just look for inside-out rolls.

2. Cut the roll into 8 pieces , drizzle with melted dark chocolate. Serve extra melted "dipping" chocolate along side for any chocoholics.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries with almond butter coating


3 parsnips, peeled & cut into uniform fry shape
2 small yellow sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into uniform fry shape
3 Tbsp natural almond butter
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp (I used more) sea salt


1. Preheat your oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix your almond butter, olive oil and sea salt together.  Add your cut fries to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.  Lay your fries out on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Note:  every recipe I read like this claimed the fries were crispy.  They are not crispy using this method.  So I don't know what those people are talking about.  I tried cooking a few a bit longer and they simply burnt.  It's possible that I might try pre-baking the fries at a low temperature to dry them out a bit before coating in nut butter next time.  That might work but anyhow, we didn't mind the texture to be honest.  So what if they're not crispy!  See, the thing is, they taste really great!  We had no problem devouring the entire pan.  Next time I make them I might add a little fresh ground black pepper to the mix as well to make them a bit more savory.  :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tom Yum Goong - Hot & Sour Soup

It's -24°c outside right now.  Perfect weather for soup!

Fish or Chicken Stock:

1 pound fish bones (sole cod or other white fish), OR 1 chicken carcass, broken into pieces OR 1 pack of chicken wings (We used a whole chicken but kept aside the breasts and thighs etc. )
1 onion, quartered
1-inch piece fresh ginger, bruised
1 lime leaf
6 cilantro stems, stalks and roots bruised
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. Wash your fish or chicken bones in cold water first.  Place in a saucepan and cover with 6 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, skim if necessary.
3. Add the onion, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.  Return to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes only (no lid), for the fish stock.  For the chicken stock- simmer half covered for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.
4. Cool, strain into a clean pot and get ready to make the soup. 

Hot & Sour Soup


3 cups chicken (or fish) stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemongrass stem
4 red bird's eye chilies, seeded and finely sliced
1-inch piece galangal, peeled and finely sliced
3 lime leaves, torn into pieces
1 ready cleaned squid tube, cut into rings
1/2 pound cooked shrimp  (shelled is easier to eat obviously)
4 button mushrooms, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sucanat (sugar)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 red chili, seeded and finely sliced for garnish
cilantro leaves for garnish


1. Place the stock in a large saucepan with the water.  Heat gently.
2. Trim the root from the lemongrass and slice the bottom 2 inch section into very fine slices.  Bruise the remaining stalk and add all this to the stock with the chilies, galangal, and the torn limes leaves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the bruised lemongrass, add the shrimp, squid rings, and the mushrooms, then add the lemon juice, sugar, and fish sauce a bit at a time until you have the right balance of flavours.
5. Serve in bowls with red chili slices and cilantro garish.

I chose to start with a chicken stock rather than a fish stock and it was very delicious!  This soup is of course HOT and SOUR so be aware of the number of chilies you use.  Use less than I have if you can't take the heat.  :)

Sunday Penance breakfast

Last night was fun.  I had a girlfriend "date" and we went out for (gluten free/dairy free for me) pizza and plenty of wine.  As I am a bit of a newbie wine drinker, it's possible that I overindulged just a bit.  (My wonderful fellah Buckarooken picked us up and drove us home at the end of the night.  Isn't he a peach!)
My penance- well for starters this is no time for greasy breakfast.  The calories from the wine alone last night!  Oy.  So I began my day with a delicious but low calorie hot breakfast.

Organic Brown Rice flakes cook up in minutes.  I added some delicious fresh pineapple pieces, a few nuts and topped it off with a little brown rice milk.  Hardly penance at all really.

Monday, January 24, 2011

a simple lunch

Sardines.  Yes I know most of you are thinking ewwww.  But honest, sardines are a very quick and flavorful lunch.  I simply drain the water, mash them lightly with generous amounts of fresh lemon juice, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and whatever herbs I might have around.  Then I spoon the mixture onto my favorite crispy rice crackers .

Sardines are loaded with omega-3 fats.  Omega-3s help with mood, thinking, circulation, and glucose and insulin metabolism; they lower blood pressure; and they protect against heart disease.  Plus they are loaded with calcium!  Sardines also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese, plus B vitamins.  And because sardines are real low on the marine food chain, toxins like mercury don't accumulate in them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

 Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies!

After seeing these treats on tv, on the Internets and on my flickr friends photo streams I simply HAD to try them.  I used this recipe.  I have to say, whoopie pies are delicious!  I also have to say I do not recommend anyone make them ever.  Sugar, vegetable shortening, marshmallow fluff!  These are bad for you.  I ate 2.

Whoopie Pie Recipe-

2 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xantham gum.

3. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and both sugars until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

4. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and 1/2 cup milk and beat until thoroughly combined.

5. Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 12 minutes each or until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.  (makes about 40- 48 2 inch cookies)

Filling recipe-


1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, starting on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

2. Divide and spread on half the cookies,  add another cookie and make into little sandwiches.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

simple omelette

an easy & delicious gluten free breakfast.

2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes, chopped and softened in hot water for a few minutes
1 Tbsp fresh chives, cut into small pieces
4 mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in a bit of olive oil.
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 sweet potato, washed and cut into 1 inch cubes


1. Boil your sweet potato for 10-20 minutes until cooked.

2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan on med.  Pour in your eggs.  When the omelet begins to cook, lift an edge to allow the liquid on top to move out to the pan.  continue doing this until most of the liquid has been spread to the edges of the pan.

3.  Add a bit of sun dried tomato, the sautéed mushrooms, chives and salt and pepper.  Fold over the edges of your omelette and serve with the sweet potato.

so satisfying yet high in protein and low in fat.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tilapia served with peppers, onions and olives


2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 6-ounce Tilapia fillets
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice


1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat.

2.  Season the fish with salt and pepper on each side. Cook until opaque (about 4 minutes per side)

3. Meanwhile, in a second skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium high heat.  Cook the onion and the peppers, stirring often, until tender.  About 8 minutes.

4.  Stir the olives, parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste into the cooked onions and red peppers. Serve the vegetables over top the cooked Tilapia.

Lemongrass Noodle Soup with Edamame lunch

lemongrass noodle soup-


5 cups chicken or turkey stock (preferably homemade)
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, broken in half
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 2inch piece of ginger, cut in half
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. hot chili sauce
4 ounces dry rice noodles
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime cut into quarters for squeezing


1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the broth, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, and ginger.  Bring to a boil.

2.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Discard the ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger and garlic.

3.  Add the fish sauce, chili sauce, mushrooms  and noodles, cook until noodles are tender (about 2-5 minutes).  Stir in the scallions.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

4. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, top with bean sprouts and basil, squeeze lime juice in to taste. 



Frozen organic edamame


Follow the package directions.  Bring water to a boil, add edamame, cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes, drain and toss liberally with salt.  You eat the beans inside, not the pod (just in case someone has never eaten this!)