Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers Recipe

Today’s recipe is one of those things I threw together once, made some notes on – after the fact – and kept on making. Rather than actual directions, it was basically vague measurements like “two big handfuls of spinach” and “some fresh dill”. Everything was eyeballed.

At some point, I posted my “non-recipe recipe” on my Facebook page, but the time has come to actually do it up as a proper recipe and share with you.

Now, as you can tell by the genesis of this recipe, there’s a lot of room for variation. Add more dill and/or green onions if you like – or skip it, whatever. You can add a little or a lot of spinach – I’ve made it everywhere from about 1 cup, to – as pictured – 2 cups of spinach. I prefer it a bit closer to the 1 cup mark, my husband prefers it at 2 cups. Chacun son goût.

If you can’t find shredded Feta, you can use crumbled – just drain it really well, measure about ½ cup (it’s far more salty than shredded, for some reason!), and crumble it finely.

Usually, I like to add a lot of stuff to a burger, as you could probably tell by some of my past recipes, like my Vegetarian Chorizo Burger with Grilled Poblano and Cilantro Pesto, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger with Pea Hummus, Goat Cheese, and Beets, Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burger with Mango, Paneer “Indian Cheeseburgers”, and my
Apple Chicken Burgers with Basil and Gouda.

… For this one, though, I tend to eat it pretty plain – just a little mayo or lemon aioli, maybe a bit of lettuce.

It’s packed with delicate flavours, and too much in the way of topping – even just onion slices – will overpower it.

Enjoy!

Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers

Makes 4 burgers

1 lb fresh, raw salmon, skin removed
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh dill
1 green onion, sliced
Zest of one lemon
2/3 cup shredded feta cheese
2/3 cup Panko crumbs
½ tsp ground pepper
Olive oil or pan spray
4 buns

Chop salmon into chunks – about 1″ or so – and blitz a couple times in a food processor. You want there to be some small chunks, not just a super smooth mush. Place in a medium-large mixing bowl.

Measure spinach, dill, and green onion into the food processor. Blitz until finely chopped, add to mixing bowl, along with remaining ingredients. Mix gently until thoroughly combined.

Divide mixture into 4 equal mounds, shape into burgers.

Heat nonstick pan, spray or coat with a small amount of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until it looks to be cooked halfway up. Gently flip – I like to use 2 large spatulas – and cook for a few more minutes, until cooked all the way through and lightly browned.

Serve hot, on buns.

Gluten-Free Banana Nutella Ebelskivers

Well, it looks like I’ve been a while since I posted, so I figure it’s about time to dig into the backlog of recipes that we developed and photographed *prior to moving home to Canada*.

Yes, we actually worked ahead, came up with a big folder of recipes to post while in the process of moving into our RV, traveling from MN to Canada, living in that RV while we found a house, etc. We planned ahead, so I’d have content to post even when our kitchen and photography set ups weren’t really appropriate.

… Then, everything got away from me, and I didn’t post any of it. Whoops!

Anyway, prior to moving, we’d been on a big Ebelskiver kick. I can’t remember what prompted me to want an Ebelskiver pan in the first place, but we went a few months with having them every weekend – expect some more recipes from that time, in the near-ish future!

These were a runaway favourite, obviously. Banana and Nutella is a wonderful combination, and both work really well in this format. The pancake batter creates a soft, fluffy casing for the molten Nutella, and the combination is highly addictive.

As with many of my other gluten-free recipes, this is another case where the gluten-free recipe tastes better than an all-purpose flour recipe would. I just find that the flavours of the chosen flours really brings a lot to the pancake, and the texture is great, too!

Serve these as-is, or sift some icing sugar over them immediately before serving.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Banana Nutella Ebelskivers

Makes about 21 stuffed pancakes – Serves 3-4

2/3 cup white buckwheat flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Nutella

Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.

In a blender, combine banana, egg, milk, butter and vanilla, blitz until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry, whisk until smooth.

Heat a nonstick ebelskiber pan over medium-low heat, spray with cooking oil. Place 1 Tbsp pancake batter in each cavity, followed by about 1/2 tsp Nutella in the middle of each. Top with about 1 tsp batter, using the spoon to carefully coat the nutella entirely.

Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using two chopsticks, carefully flip one pancake over. If it’s golden brown on the bottom, continue to flip all other pancakes over. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, or until all are golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot

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Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Mango Salad Recipe

Short and sweet blog entry today – I knocked off this recipe this morning, and have a bunch of friends waiting on me to share it… so, good excuse to post this blog!

Shortly after moving to Ontario, we happened across a Vietnamese restaurant on our way into Toronto one day. We’d gone in wanting pho, or maybe a vermicelli noodle bowl… but we were intrigued by the mango salad on the menu. I’d never seen it before, and it sounded amazing.

Blew. My. Mind.

After that, we noticed it on other Asian restaurant menus – at the sushi place we like, at a Chinese restaurant we’d met friends at. I guess it’s a *thing* here… but none of those other salads lived up to that first one.

We’ve been back to that restaurant a few times, and that salad has me happily rocking in my seat each time.

… We may actually need to rename “The Sushi Rock” “The Mango Salad Rock”. (It’s one of my happy Autistic stims. Basically the complete opposite of my “IKEA 2 days before Christmas Flap”!)

Excuse my crappy cellphone photo of the source material. It’s kind of amazing I actually managed to get a photo before inhaling it!

I love the bright colours and flavours of it. It’s such a sunny dish, and the taste of it lingers (and burns a little!) on the lips for a fair amount of time afterwards, just a drawn out reminder of how amazing it was. Pretty sure it’s actually my favourite dish, now.

Anyway, I shared a photo on my personal Facebook this past weekend, raving about how amazing it was. Friends who don’t live in Ontario hadn’t heard of it, and I promised I would share my recipe as soon as I replicated it.

… and here we are.

Look at this other crappy cell phone photo of the preparation:

Even the separate ingredients just look amazing! LOVE.

Anyway. For this recipe, you’ll want under ripe mangoes – pick ones that are pretty hard. They’ll have the best texture for this, and besides… it’s a salad, not a dessert! It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free!

When it comes to servings… I have no idea. I can put away a truly embarrassing amount of this salad in one sitting, so it’s hard to estimate how much it makes. I’d say 3 as a main dish, and maybe 6 as a side?

Enjoy!

Mango Salad

Makes 3-6 servings

2 under ripe mangoes
1 Large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ Small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Fresh mint, chopped
3 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
4 Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tsp Granulated sugar
1- 1 ½ tsp Crushed dried chilies
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
Cashew halves or pieces

Peel mango, slice fruit into long, thin strips (thicker than matchstick). Place in a large bowl, along with peppers, onion, cilantro, and mint – mix well.

In a small food processor or blender, combine lime juice, oil, sugar, chilies, pepper, and salt. Blitz until well combined, and chilies are finely chopped.

Pour dressing over salad, toss well to fully coat. Chill for 30 minutes or so before serving… assuming you can wait that long. (I could not)

Serve topped with a handful of cashews.

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How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Chicken-Based Swedish Potato Sausage Recipe – Potatiskorv

Today’s recipe was a fun challenge to tackle.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband is no longer able to eat pork or beef, which has been … interesting… to work around. It’s not a religious or ideological thing, his body just can’t handle either any more.

SO, for the most part, he just eats chicken, fish, or vegetarian dishes, and doesn’t normally miss the pork or beef – save for the odd cheeseburger craving. For the few favourites that he didn’t want to give up, I’ve had great success with replicating the taste and texture, using non-pork ingredients. For instance, my Chicken and Mushroom Tourtiere, or my Vegan Donair “Meat”.

Early on in our marriage, my husband made mention of potato sausage he used to get as a kid. His extended family all went in on a bulk order of the stuff from some unnamed (to him) supplier, and they’d split it up, freeze it all, and eat it over the following month or two.

We bought a few different kinds over the years, all of which he found to be “meh” – they weren’t THE ONE. He knew.

Last year – our final Christmas in the US – I happened across a little Scandinavian store in Minneapolis, and picked up a bit of their sausage for the hell of it. As luck would have it, that was THE ONE.

Unfortunately… it’s a pork and beef sausage. He braved the consequences and had some anyway, just in the name of nostalgia, but I promised him I’d make a safe version. It felt like big shoes to fill, having seen how “meh” he was over everything that wasn’t IT.

I played around with chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, and spices, and came up with a recipe that was BANG ON, bringing him right back to his childhood on the first bite! Even his father was shocked and in disbelief – He seemed to think we were pulling his leg when we told him that we’d made it at home, and it was chicken!

The only problem? When frozen and thawed, my sausage turned all kinds of ugly colours – like blue black, marbled in. After making some calls, we learned that this was safe – if unappetizing – it was just the raw potato oxidizing. The solution? Cook the potatoes first.

I tweaked the recipe, tested it out, and here we are! Once stuffed into casings, this sausage can be boiled right away, put in the fridge for a day or two if needed, or frozen – so do whatever makes the most sense for your needs, without worry about discolouration!

Note: Sausage making can be a bit of an… undertaking. This recipe can easily and successfully be halved, for a smaller batch!

Swedish Potato Sausage Recipe, Chicken Version.
Makes about 10 lbs of sausage

2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast
4 lbs Boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 lbs Russet potatoes
1 ½ lbs Yellow onions
1 lb Baby Bella / Crimini mushrooms
3 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Pepper
1 ½ tsp Allspice
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 cup Milk
Casings*

* We used pork casings, available at most butchers, as it doesn’t cause him a problem, and it’s easy. If you need it to be NO pork, you’ll want to use synthetic casings – I have no experience with those, so I don’t have any advice there.

Peel potatoes, chop into 1″ cubes. Place in a large microwave safe dish and cook on high for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside

Peel and chop your onions, chop mushrooms. Add both to a food processor, process until finely chopped / pureed. Add to bowl of cooked potatoes, mash until not quite smooth. Set aside.

Set your food grinder with the coarse disk, and process the chicken down. In a large bowl, combine chicken with potato mushroom mixture. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Following the instructions on your meat grinder / sausage stuffer, set it up with the appropriate nozzle to make sausages. Make the sausages whatever size you like – we usually aim for about the diameter and length of a kielbassa ring, but you can make them longer or shorter – a whole coil, as pictured, or individual sausages. Tie off ends:

Use a fork to poke a few holes in each sausage.

To cook, place in a pot of boiling water, turn heat down to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.

To serve: Pan fry cooked sausage in butter, either whole or sliced up.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Replica Recipe: Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets (Gluten-Free)

A while back, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, lamenting the discontinuation of a food they were very fond of – Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets. One of my “big autistic superpowers” is being able to accurately replicate commercially produced food products (See: a big chunk of the recipes in “More Than Poutine!), so I wanted to help.

Problem 1: I’d never tried the source material.

Problem 2: The source material was no longer available… and my friend lived very far away!

I DO love a challenge though, so I offered to give it a go anyway. My husband is borderline vegetarian himself, and is always up for fun new treats.

First level research was easy: Finding the ingredient listing, nutritional data, and product images online – both commercially photographed, and photos from customers who bought them.

This gave me a good idea of what I’d need for my recipe – minus a few unnecessary commercial ingredients.

The next step was to fill in the missing pieces, the information that’s not as easily obtained through an ingredient list.

This is where thorough questioning came in. Lucky for me (and them, and all of you!), my friend is as good at answering questions as I am at asking them. Within a few minutes, I had a long list of very detailed information about the textures, mouth feel, ingredient sizing and proportions, and much more.

My lovely friend is also autistic, which was absolutely a blessing – NO ONE notice, catalogs, and clearly and efficiently relay fine details about things like an autistic!

Between the nutritional data and my friend’s detailed notes, I was able to put together a fantastic recipe. Aside from the “leave out unnecessary commercial ingredients” adjustment, I also developed this recipe to be gluten-free, as my friend has wheat issues.

I’m basically an obligate carnivore, and I’ve got to say – these are really tasty. REALLY tasty!

I’ve done up the directions so that you can cook and eat these fresh, OR be more true to the source material and par-cook them before freezing, so they’re available as a “throw it in the oven” convenience food, later on.

If you were a fan of the source material, be sure to try these and let me know what you think!

Replica Recipe: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Nuggets

Makes about 28 nuggets

Filling:

1 Brick medium-soft tofu, about 1 lb
½ White onion
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 ½ tsp Nutritional yeast, optional
3/4 cup Soy flour
1/4 cup Corn starch
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Pepper
3/4 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Shelled edamame
1/3 cup Shredded carrot (Large shred, not fine)

Drain tofu, wrap in 3 layers of paper towels, and place in a strainer. Add something a little heavy – we used a peanut butter jar – on top, to press. The tofu will mush a bit, that’s OK. Allow to stand for ten minutes. Discard paper towels, chop up pressed tofu and transfer to a food processor.

Grate onion. With clean hands, squeeze out as much water as you can. Measure 2 Tbsp squeezed onion into a food processor, along with egg, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, if using. Blitz until smooth and well combined.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine soy flour, corn starch, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Add tofu mixture, stir until smooth and well combined. Add edamame and carrot, stir until vegetables are well distributed.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using two tablespoons, scoop mounds of filling onto the prepared baking sheets – you’ll want rounded Tablespoons, close to about 2 Tbsp in volume. Use a wet finger to smooth mound into a “nugget” about 1.5″ x 2.5″, and about ½” thick. Once all nuggets are formed, transfer pans to freezer and allow to chill until firm.

Once your patties are prepared, heat vegetable oil to 375 F. You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 3″ deep. As oil is heating, prepare your batter:

Batter:

½ cup Masa flour
½ cup White rice flour
1/4 cup Corn starch
½ tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Paprika (for colour)
1 Large egg
1 tsp Soy sauce (does this need salt?)
1 1/4 cup Cold water

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add egg and soy sauce, whisk until well combined. Add a small amount of water, stirring to combine. Continue adding cold water, stirring gently until just combined – mixture can be a bit lumpy.

For best results, set bowl of batter in another, larger bowl that is filled with ice. The colder the batter, the better the coating!

Gently dip chilled patties in the batter one at a time, slowly removing from the batter and allowing excess to drip off. Carefully transfer to heated oil. Fry a few at a time – turning every couple of minutes.

To eat immediately:
Fry until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer fried pieces to platter lined with paper towels. Salt lightly – if you’d like – and serve hot!

To freeze and heat/eat later:
Fry only until batter is no longer wet and is only lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil, transfer to paper towels, and blot well. Cool to room temperature. Arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze. Once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer container until use.

To bake frozen nuggets:
Preheat oven to 350F. Place frozen nuggets on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes. Flip each nugget, bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Apple Blueberry Muffins

Wow, I knew it had been a while since I blogged a new recipe, but looking at it now… if I’d left this til tomorrow, it would have been a full month. Oops!

Things have been busy here. We’re mostly settled in, both as far as the house and our new lives go. I’m working my butt off at my spandex costuming business, while also working on editing and formatting Maize Craze. For his part, my husband is about halfway through finals – he had to go back to university, to become qualified to do the job he was doing for the 20 years before moving to Canada. Yikes!

Anyway. I’ve been making muffins more often, lately, as they make great grab and go breakfasts for his long commute to the university.

Sometimes they’re my tried and true recipes (We’ve done my Pina Colada Muffins and my Cardamom Pear Streusel Muffins recently), and sometimes I just ask what he’s in the mood for, and build a recipe around that.

This week, he was in the mood for apple cinnamon muffins.. but blueberries were on sale and looked good. We kept the cinnamon in, as not only does cinnamon work well with apple, it also works well with blueberries – this is something he learned as I was working on More Than Poutine – they’re the main flavours of Blueberry Grunt! I’d originally (ie: while mentally planning this recipe at the grocery store) intended to put some maple syrup in, but managed to forget.

They turned out really well, regardless – they’re definitely going into regular rotation!

Enjoy!

Apple Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2-1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup White sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 large apple
1- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder and cinnamon. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Peel and grate the apple; add grated apple to this wet mix. Add mixture all at once to the flour mixture, along with the blueberries. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Divide batter between 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each to almost full.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Banh Mi Power Bowls (Gluten Free!)

One thing I’m loving about our new life in Ontario is the multiculturalism – and the food, by extension. Even the most mainstream grocery stores have a wide variety of interesting ingredients and prepared foods from around the globe. I can go grocery shopping, and hear 6+ different languages spoken, as I wander the aisles! LOVE IT.

There’s also an abundance of ethnic food available from restaurants. No exaggeration, you can find shawarma easier than a mainstream fast food chain: Shawarma places are everywhere, along with every other cuisine you can think of. There are several different places that specialize in banh me (Vietnamese sandwiches) AND deliver through the major services!

Our first few weeks here saw us eating banh mi on an almost daily basis. It was cheap, easy, full of good stuff, and was only $3-3.50 for a meal. Can’t beat it!

I’ve been getting more into making power bowls at home for meals lately. Combine that, with our love for banh mi, and the fact that our favourite place is a 15 minute drive away, and … today’s recipe was bound to happen. I’d seen mention of a banh mi bowl on social media, and decided to make my own take on the idea.

We eat a lot of chicken in this house, so that was the protein I chose. You can use whatever banh mi fillings you like, though. There’s a “dry” tofu that our fav Banh Mi place uses – we initially thought it was some kind of mushroom! – that we’ve since found at a local Asian grocery that would be great, sliced up over this. Use BBQ pork, or whatever else you like.

This makes a bit more pickled veggies than you’ll actually need for 4 servings. I like to use the extras to make actual banh mi, to put on other meals (they add a flavour punch to a variety of foods!), or just to munch on.

Also: To make this gluten-free, just be sure to use a GF soy sauce – it’s that easy!

Banh Mi Bowl

Serves 4

Pickled Veggies:

1 large carrot
1 small daikon radish
1 jalapeno
1 cup water
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt

Peel carrot and radish, slice jalapeno in half and remove the seeds (optional). Use a vegetable peeler to create long strips of the carrot. Even the smallest daikon radish is going to make a lot more strips than a large carrot, so I like to peel enough daikon to create about the same volume of strips as the carrot. Feel free to make more or less, depending on your tastes. Slice jalapeno into long, thin strips. Set vegetables aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Add carrot, radish, and jalapeno strips to this mixture, stir well to combine.

Cover bowl, refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Marinated Chicken:

2 large (or 3 medium) chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce (Gluten-free if needed)
1-2 Tbsp ginger/garlic paste*
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce

* This is a paste I buy in jars, and use a lot when cooking Asian or Indian dishes. You can find it in Indian and/or Asian grocers, and sometimes in the Asian aisle of mainstream grocers. We use 2 Tbsp for a potent flavour, but you can cut it back to 1 Tbsp if you prefer more mild flavours.

Slice chicken into whatever form you prefer – strips, small cubes, etc – and place into a bowl or plastic baggie for marinating.

Whisk together soy sauce, ginger garlic paste, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Pour over cut up chicken, stir well to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

For serving:

3 1/4 cups chicken broth**
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ an English cucumber, sliced
Cilantro, chopped
Green onions
Sesame seeds

** Here in Canada, Campbell’s makes a “Thai” chicken broth, which is what we use for this. Regular chicken broth works just fine if you can’t get this, though!

To Assemble:

45 minutes before you want to serve it, cook the brown rice in the chicken broth.

When the rice is almost ready, use a slotted spoon to strain excess liquid off chicken (don’t throw out the marinade!), transferring chicken to a nonstick frying pan along with olive oil. Cook until browned, then add the leftover marinade and simmer for 2 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

Divide rice among bowls. Top with cooked chicken, pickled veggies, cucumber, cilantro, and green onions. Drizzle with a little cooked marinade from the pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

“Extreme” Caesar Salad Recipe (And Homemade Croutons!)

About a year or so ago, I happened across a post – maybe it was a tweet? – where someone mentioned using mayo as a base for Caesar dressing.

I hadn’t considered it before – it’s easy enough to make an emulsion with a stick blender or food processor after all – but it was actually kind of brilliant. Not only did it make things a lot easier, it gets rid of the worries associated with the use of raw eggs.

I decided to mess around with making a mayo based Caesar dressing to our tastes, and came up with this… monstrosity.

This dressing smells TERRIBLE. It burns to eat. The lemon in it makes my tongue feel like it’s ripped to shreds halfway through.

… and it is – far and away – the BEST Caesar salad I’ve ever had in my life.

The weird thing about this recipe is that almost every rave I have about it sounds completely negative! This isn’t about “burst of flavour”, it’s more like “punch you in the face with flavour”. This recipe is definitely geared towards garlic lovers, so keep that in mind!

If you’ve never worked with anchovies before, you may have a weird idea of what to expect. Though this recipe has a lot of anchovy in it, it doesn’t taste fishy at all. Anchovy doesn’t really taste like fish, it just has a rich, salty, complex flavour that adds a ton of character to whatever you put it in. You buy them in little jars, either by the canned meats, or in the fresh fish aisle, depending on your grocery store.

This dressing whips up in just minutes, and makes a SUPER potent dressing. A little goes a long way, so use less dressing than you think you’ll need – you can always mix more in if you want to kick it up a notch or ten!

Anyway.

Making homemade croutons is a good way to accent this dressing, because who wants crappy store bought croutons when you’re serving a special dressing? Not I! So, I’m including a non-recipe recipe for my croutons at the end of the dressing recipe. It only takes about 3 minutes to prepare, and 15 or so minutes to bake – totally worth the effort!

Enjoy!

Caesar Dressing

Makes just over 1 cup of dressing

6 Anchovy fillets
5-6 Cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Grated lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

In a small food processor or blender, combine anchovies, pressed garlic, and lemon juice, blitzing to create a smooth paste. Add zest, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, once again blitzing until combined and smooth. Add mayo and cheese, blitz once more to combine.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Homemade Croutons

Bread of choice*
Butter or oil**
Garlic powder
Dried parsley
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or don’t. It’s not really needed, but makes clean up easier!)

First, cut your bread into cubes of whatever size you like, and place in a bowl that’s big enough to stir them around easily. I like to cut fairly big pieces, so that they can get toasty and crisp on the outside, and stay tender inside. Your mileage may vary!

Next, melt your butter (if using). Drizzle some butter or oil over the bread pieces, tossing well to coat. You want them lightly coated, not drowning in butter. Eyeball it – you can always add more if you feel it needs it!

Once you have the bread lightly coated, sprinkle on the remaining ingredients, to suit your tastes. Taste as you go!

Once you’re happy with the flavour, spread the bread pieces out on your baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring a few times during the baking. If you’re happy with the colour of them at 15 minutes, remove and let cool slightly before adding to your salad. If not, let them bake a little while longer, keeping an eye on them.

* While many people use stale bread, I don’t. I like soft interiors to my croutons, so I just chill a few slices for a bit to make them easier to cut nicely. If you like very crunchy croutons, use stale bread. In terms of type, I like bread with a little character – this was a flax seed bread. You can use whatever bread you like, however – even gluten-free!

** If you want to be *Extra* about it, you can use melted bacon drippings in place of butter or oil!

Canadian Candy Bar Salad – “Fusion Salad”

So – It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog entry!

A LOT has happened – we packed up and sold our house in Minneapolis, got everything onto two shipping containers, and moved to Canada. Shortly before we sold the house, we moved into a small, 27′ motor home, and that’s been “home” right up until we closed on our new house a couple weeks ago. The kitchen didn’t really lend itself to creating blog worthy meals, and we’ve been very busy with getting settled, so.. no posts. We’re now mostly settled, so I can get back into posting from time to time.

For the first recipe being posted from within Canada, this one seems appropriate. We’ve been calling it “fusion salad”.

This weekend, we attended our first social event in Ontario – a potluck BBQ. We were fussing over what we should bring, and my husband joked that we should bring a Minnesota “salad” – basically a desserty item made with things like Cool Whip, fruit, pudding, etc. One thing led to another, and we ended up coming up with a “Minnesota-Canadian Fusion” version of Snickers Salad, which we brought to the event last night. (Along with my Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake, just in case our creation didn’t turn out well!)

We decided to use our 3 favourite Canadian candy bars, because neither of us wanted to actually choose. We decided to keep the Granny Smith apple, so the sour crunch could provide a good foil for all that chocolate.

For the fluff, we decided we would be adding maple syrup… because obviously we would. Knowing that, we decided on a cream cheese based fluff, so that the syrup wouldn’t be competing with pudding mix, nor would it be sickeningly sweet as a result.

What started as a joke ended up turning out really well! Once people got past the look of it (“What is THAT?”) and actually tried it, it seemed fairly popular. Definitely a conversation piece! The maple syrup in the fluff definitely elevated it from normal “salads” – it seemed to really tie everything together well. It just added a little something, without being overpowering.

If you are in the USA, these chocolate bars may be available in the international aisle of some grocery stores, and/or at World Market.

Also, as a tip: My $9 cheapie sushi knives that I bought off Amazon work REALLY well for cleanly cutting candy bars, as you can see with the garnish slice in the pic. (A Mr Big bar, sliced on an extreme diagonal!). You know, in addition to making sushi, carving foam, and everything else I use them for!

Enjoy!

Minnesota-Canada Fusion Candybar Salad
Makes about 8-10 cups worth

3 Wunderbars
2 Coffee Crisp bars
2 Mr Big bars
250 g / 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
½ cup icing / powdered sugar
1 L / 16 oz container Cool Whip, slightly softened
4 Granny Smith apples

Thinly slice all 7 candy bars, set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and maple syrup together until smooth. Add icing sugar, continue mixing until well combined and smooth.

Gently fold in Cool Whip, until well combined. Add chocolate pieces, once again gently folding until well combined.

Chop Granny Smith apples into bit sized pieces, gently fold into mix.

Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. Top with reserved candy bar pieces, if you set some aside.

NB: The sugars in the Cool Whip and Maple Syrup will draw the juice from the apples, so if you let it sit TOO long – more than 12 hours or so – the fluffy will break and become runny.

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Crab Rangoon Pizza

A few weeks ago, a thread on a Facebook group – I don’t even remember what it was about – ended up drifting to the point where I learned something interesting: Crab Rangoon Pizza is a THING. I’d never heard of it, and had never considered the possibility, but all of a sudden I NEEDED IT.

I wanted it to be our own, so I brainstormed with my husband on what we would want “Crab Rangoon Pizza” to be. We decided no pizza sauce, using Rangoon filling as the sauce. I would do a higher proportion of crab to cream cheese than I normally do, to balance out the cheese that would top it. It would need a lot of green onions. The crust should be thin and crisp, as a stand in for the wontons.

Sweet chili sauce should be involved somehow. We debated this for a bit… Should we brush the crust with it before spreading the filling? (No, too messy). Should we drizzle it on before baking? After baking? Just use it as a pizza dip?

After some playing around with it, the clear winner was to drizzle it on after baking. Baking didn’t add anything to it, and it just looked nicer as a fresh, unbaked drizzle.

This was fantastic! A ton of flavour, a great alternative to traditional pizza flavours and textures. We made this gluten free, utilizing “Caulipower” crusts, but you can use any pre-made pizza crust or crust recipe that you like.

While I think thin crust works well with the idea of Rangoon, I think a thicker, softer crust would hit the comfort food feeling even more than this already did – I’m definitely going to try it that way in the future!

After we snarfed our pizza, we Googled to see how our creation compared to what was out there. Looks like we hit the same basic concept, had proportionately more crab (which it really needs!)… but the real stunner, for me, was that some people apparently make Crab Rangoon with fake crab? I had no idea – I’ve never had/seen if made with fake crab. Definitely use real crab if at all possible.

Anyway, enjoy!

Crab Rangoon Pizza
Makes enough “sauce” for 2 Medium pizzas or one extra large pizza

Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans crabmeat (~6 oz each), well drained
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

Assembly:

Pizza crust(s) of your choice
Thinly sliced green onions
Grated cheese – We like a mix of Mozzarella, Provolone, and Parmesan for this.
Sweet chili sauce

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in crab meat, green onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil, stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

Following the baking directions for your pizza crust, assemble the pizza. (Some crusts/crust recipes want you to bake it for a bit before putting toppings on, some don’t. Do whatever is supposed to work for the crust you’re using.)

– Spread crust(s) with sauce.
– Sprinkle generously with sliced green onions, top with grated cheese.

Bake as directed. Remove from oven, drizzle with sweet chili sauce, serve immediately.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.