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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 version of Rice A Roni.

You can change the seasonings to your own liking, or make it with straight chicken stock, as well as making it with chicken in the dish itself.  I went with a more Italian seasoning influence here but even a good curry powder would taste great too.

You could also make up the rice a roni in bigger batches, and store in a tightly sealed container in the pantry for more meals down the road.  The amounts here will serve 4-6 portions.

(please excuse the photo’s – rice is not an easy dish to photograph!)

1 cup of basmati rice

1/2 cup of gluten free spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces (I used Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti)

2 1/4 cups chicken stock

1 cup tomato juice

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 Tblsp. butter

Seasoning:

1/2 tsp. dried fennel

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tblsp. dried chopped onion

salt and pepper

Heat up a good sized sauce pan on medium heat with the EVOO and butter.  Add the rice and pasta to the pan, sauteing until you begin to smell it lightly toasting – about 4 minutes.  Add in the seasonings stirring well until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and tomato juice, bring to a simmer, stir with a fork, then lid on, and turn down to low.  Cook about 20 minutes until rice and pasta is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. (I did do a quick stir at about the 15 min. mark)  Serve along side any main dish.

Hopefully this next picture will show it more clearly:

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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 re-seasoned.  Surely after 5 years of constant use, the cast iron pan should have by then had a well seasoned surface…however, this was not the case.

So, I scoured the internet looking for the best way to create a non-stick finish to cast iron that will last…and I found it!  This post here will show you a step by step process that will create a long lasting non-stick finish to all of your cast iron pans. It really, really works!  Many thanks to the website Instructables.

Although this is a process, it does take time to do, it is well worth the effort.  Who would have thought that natural flax oil could create such a beautiful non-stick finish?  It is amazing.  Since seasoning my cast iron pan a few months ago – it has worked very well – no re-seasoning has been required.

By the way, all of the pictures showing the cast iron pan in this post look like there is a fine layer of oil on the surface of the pan….not so.  This is how the pan looks with it’s cleaned,  sealed in seasoned surface.  And wow, in terms of non stick it is wonderful.

From beautiful pan fired potatoes, with easy over eggs and sausages:

To many a stir fry:

As well as searing chicken or pork chops:

The frying pan always comes out looking like this:

When there are sticky dried on bits, I will use a spatula/flipper to scrape off the bits:

Then I wipe that out with a paper towel.  The next step is to take a damp clean wash cloth and I simply wipe out the pan really really well.  It still comes out clean:

Occasionally, I will use warm water and a cloth if the pan has lots of stuck on bits, but even then, it comes out great!  This process to create a non stick surface is the best I have experienced to date…a method I will continue to use.  Thanks again Instructables for your great step by step process to season cast iron pans.

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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 quite as heavy as ground beef.  A simple easy meal, yet full of flavor.

You may also have seen this picture in a previous post:

This passata sauce is to die for – plain, natural, simple delicious ingredients – nothing more. A product of Italy.  Well recently, I found this:

Oh my goodness indeed!  All it is, is summer ripened, finely chopped tomatoes….seriously this is  summer in a can.  We are in the dead of winter in these neck of the woods – so these tomatoes were absolutely delightful!  If you can not find Mutti brands where you live, a nice basil tomato sauce, and chopped canned tomatoes will do in a pinch.

Meatballs:

1 lb. organic ground turkey

1/2 a small onion, diced

1/4 c. gluten free fine bread crumbs (or more if the mix is too moist)

1 large egg

3 big Tblsp. fresh pesto

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Pasta Sauce:

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1/2 an onion, diced

2 large finely minced garlic cloves

2 cups Basil Passata (strained tomatoes, or use basil tomato sauce)

14 oz can finely chopped tomatoes

1/2 tsp. dried fennel

1 rounded tsp. dried basil

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

finely grated Asiago cheese

1 package gluten free spaghetti – cook as per directions

For the pasta sauce, heat up a medium sized sauce pan on low medium heat with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Saute the onions and garlic to sweat out – about 5 minutes.  Add in the seasonings, basil passata sauce, and finely chopped tomatoes with their juice.  Season with salt and pepper, stir well, and keep on a low low simmer for 1/2 hr. stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix up all of the ingredients for the meatballs, shape into nice sized balls and place onto a plate.  Refrigerate 20 – 30 minutes before cooking.  Heat up a frying pan on low/medium heat with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Brown the meatballs lightly on each side in batches – about 4 minutes per side. (they will finish cooking in the pasta sauce.)

Transfer the meatballs to the pasta sauce, and bring to a light simmer, lid on cracked.

Cook for 30 more minutes stirring occasionally, and in the meantime, cook up the spaghetti as per directions.  Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti, and top with grated Asiago cheese.  Enjoy!

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GLUTEN FREE HARVARD BEETS

Do you love beets?  We have always loved beets in this household.  Back in the day, I used to buy canned Harvard Beets – thinking they were divine.  However, when you look at the ingredients and it says “modified cornstarch”, that is definitely a no go in any gluten free household.  In Canada, fortunately all [...]

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A FESTIVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE

This was a dish that sort of evolved as I was making it – without really thinking about the ingredients, all of a sudden I realized this would be a great Vegetarian side dish for the  holidays – Thanksgiving or Christmas.  We had this yummy dish on it’s own as a Vegetarian meal, however, it [...]

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HERB MARINATED PORK LOIN ROAST

This recipe is a slight variation from the pork loin roasts I usually make, so thought I would do this new post.  Rosemary is such a lovely herb with pork…but add in some fresh Sage and it creates another dimension of flavor – yum!  Once again, I forgot to take a picture when it came [...]

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SALMON VEGETABLE QUICHE

With our fresh frozen salmon in the freezer, we had baked a lovely Coho Salmon the other night, with plenty of leftovers for salad and sandwiches the next day.  As there was quite a lot left I decided to make a salmon quiche.  It seems to me that just about anything will work divinely with [...]

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SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO RISOTTO AND A TRUE FISH STORY

Recently at a restaurant, we had a most lovely sun dried tomato curry risotto.  Since we were having fresh spring salmon with fresh pesto, I decided to change the curry to fresh pesto.  It was delicious.  In this risotto, I did not have white wine, so used an Organic Balsamic Vinegar.  It might be the [...]

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BAKED STUFFED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

This recipe was inspired by my friend George’s recipe for Middle Eastern Jhedra (lentils and rice).

DH had gone to our Saturday Farmer’s Market and came home with “heirloom baking tomatoes”.  I had never heard of these type of tomatoes before, but they have very little seeds and juice inside, in fact, they almost look like [...]

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SUMMER FRESH SALAD

Hi all!  I have not disappeared from the face of the earth….just been super busy with work….which I love!  I still hope from time to time to offer new recipes (have a couple up my sleeve) so will keep posting when time and inspiration allows.  We have had an amazing summer weather wise.  It is [...]