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ITALIAN MARINATED ZUCCHINI AND TOMATO SALAD

As I type this, (8:00 am in the morning)  the temperature out side is 30 degrees Celsius/about 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It will only get hotter by 4:00 pm.  In my neck of the woods that is hot, and it is not due to let up any time soon!

On a positive note, we have had the most amazing organic strawberries and blueberries – everything seems to be a month early.  Can’t wait for those fresh summer tomatoes!

So to nite we are having a cold dinner:  potato salad, sliced ham, and the above quick and easy Italian Marinated Zucchini and Tomato Salad.

With this salad, you will want to make it in the morning, stirring occasionally throughout the day.

Then after dinner we are headed to our local pot holes for a refreshing swim!

DRESSING:

1 large sun dried tomato in oil, pat off excess oil with a paper towel, and finely dice

1 large diced garlic clove

1 1/2 Tblsp. finely diced shallot

1/2 cup of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

5 Tblsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp. dried Basil

1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

4 cups sliced zucchini (I did a mix of green, yellow, and yellow patty pan squash)

1 large green onion largely sliced – 1/4 inch pieces

2-4 tomatoes depending on size (mine were somewhat small)

3 rounded Tblsp. Parmesan Cheese

Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a glass jar, shaking well to combine.  In a medium sized bowl, add the vegetables, and parmesan cheese tossing to coat.

Pour over the dressing, mix well and refrigerate.  Stir the salad occasionally throughout the day so the flavors are well incorporated.

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GARLIC SCAPE HAM AND PESTO PASTA SALAD

Garlic scapes are such a delicious addition to foods whether in stir frys, pesto, or salads they are bound to be tasty!  They do have a short window however, so luckily this year I was  able to get 5- 6 lbs most of which was turned into Garlic Scape Pesto – recipe can be found here.  This made 26  1/2 pint jars of pesto, (which are now in the freezer) and still there were 3 cups of garlic scapes left over.  Many thanks to my friend Jude for her beautiful organic garlic scapes…life is sooo much happier with this delicious pesto.  (By the way, this year, instead of using toasted sunflower seeds, I lightly toasted slivered almonds, and omitted the green onions – both are delicious)

On another note, we have been in an on and off  heat wave in our neck of the woods….they are predicting a scorcher of a summer for us this year, so a savory cold ham and pasta salad is just perfect for those hot days.  Thank heavens for the BBQ!

340 gram box of Gluten Free Spiral Pasta

1 cup roughly chopped garlic scapes

a generous 1/2 cup of garlic scape pesto (or any pesto would work nicely)

3/4 cup thawed baby peas

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1 cup cubed aged cheddar cheese

1 cup cubed cooked ham

1 cup mayonnaise

juice of 1/2 a small lemon

fresh cracked pepper

Cook the pasta as per directions in salted water, drain well and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the pesto, stirring well so the pasta is nicely coated.

Then add in the thawed peas, garlic scapes, celery, cheese, ham, mayonnaise, fresh cracked pepper and lemon, stirring well to combine.  Refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving.

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GLUTEN FREE ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE - A RECIPE INSPIRATION

I know….I know.  All of my cakes with white frosting look the same don’t they?  But this, …. this is Orange Chiffon Cake.  Yes, Gluten Free Orange Chiffon Cake. This is a cake that has always been a family favorite for us.  Once I went gluten free many years ago, I thought that would be the end to Orange Chiffon Cake.  Well, life has just gotten better for us in these neck of the woods, and hopefully for all of you gluten free’ers too!

With my son’s recent birthday, I decided to scour the internet for a recipe which I have found here.  There was a great round of applause at our dinner table this night believe you me.

I made a few changes to the recipe:  instead of water I used fresh squeezed orange juice with the zest from one orange.  We do not use white sugar in this household, so I substituted it with organic coconut sugar, and therefor changed the method.  I also omitted the cream of tartar and reduced the salt, plus I accidentally reduced the baking powder and it came out great.  This is one fabulous cake!  Many thanks to Elizabeth Barbone for her inspiring recipe.

(By the way…I have a number of new fabulous gluten free recipes to test…we are entering our high, busy season now, so it may take me awhile…but promise they will be coming!)

1 1/2 cups organic coconut sugar

1 1/4 cups white rice flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 tablespoon baking powder (I used 1 rounded tsp. of baking powder)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

7 large organic eggs, separated

3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

zest of one large orange

1/2 cup of grape seed oil

2 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  In another large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla whisking very well until incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking well – the batter should be thick and smooth.

In another large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand beater until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the egg whites 1/4 amount at a time.  Fold gently until fully combined.

Spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan spreading out evenly.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is golden and springs back to the touch.

I placed the cake pan upside down onto a wine bottle to allow to cool for 1 hr 15 minutes, then take a knife to run along the outside edges of the pan and the tube to remove onto a platter.

Orange Frosting:

4 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup of butter

3 1/2 Tblsp. thawed orange juice from concentrate

4 Tblsp. milk (I used rice/quinoa blend)

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, and mix with a hand mixer until soft and smooth.  Ice the cake once cooled.

As you can see this cake was 1/2 devoured after dinner – so moist and flavorful.  (the golden brown color of the cake comes from the Organic Coconut Sugar and orange juice)

Orange Chiffon cake is back in our lives…..yayyyy!

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ITALIAN TOMATO AND SPINACH SOUP

There are I believe, 2 or 3 tomato soup recipes on this blog….one of my favorite soups!

Recently we had dinner at a local gluten free restaurant that served one of the best Italian tomato soups I have ever had.  It was rich, full of flavor, and tasted almost like an Italian marinara soup.  I started [...]

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GLUTEN FREE RAMEN NOODLE STIR FRY

We love Chinese food inspired dishes in this household.  Having given up Chinese Food many years ago, it was such a delight to find actual Gluten Free Ramen Noodles – at Costco no less!

Millet & Brown Rice Ramen Noodles are from Lotus Foods Company – finally, a real gluten free ramen noodle – yayyy!  Perfect [...]

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WEST COAST TRAIL COOKIES

I have heard from many a backpacker/hiker that our stunning West Coast Trail is not for the faint of heart, however, it is also considered one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.  It is a hiking trail with miles of rugged beaches and forests, that many people have done more than once [...]

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PAN FRIED WHITE FISH WITH A TARRAGON PARSLEY WHITE WINE SAUCE

This easy pan fried fresh gray cod was a lovely dinner enhanced by a tasty Tarragon Parsley White Wine Sauce.  When using a white fish such as cod, halibut, or snapper just about any herb sauce will enhance the delicate flavors of the fish. (make the Tarragon Parsley White Wine Sauce first, and keep on [...]

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GLUTEN FREE RICE A RONI

This gluten free side dish – Rice a Roni, makes a nice change to every day rice or potatoes.  It is a dish I have been making for years, following Bette Hagman’s recipe from her cook book “The Gluten-free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy”.  So, I decided to change things up and create my own [...]

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THE VERY VERY BEST WAY TO SEASON CAST IRON PANS

In previous posts, I have written about how to season your cast iron frying pans.  I had always used oils such as:  grape seed, olive oil, coconut oil, and even tried using rendered duck fat.  While these oils did work – they were very temporary.  It seemed the frying pan was constantly needing to be [...]

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TURKEY PESTO MEATBALLS

If you read my blog, you will have read many a time that we do love meatballs of any kind in this household.  You could use ground chicken or ground beef in this recipe – we like to use ground turkey when we can get it.  It makes for a nice change, and is not [...]