Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots Recipe

This weekend, we celebrated Thanksgiving. I may live in the USA, but I’m Canadian, and Thanksgiving happens in early October!

We’d decided early on that we’d be having a ham for this Thanksgiving, and turkey for my husband’s (American) Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes were a given… but I had NO idea what kind of a vegetable I wanted to serve. I decided that I’d cruise the Minneapolis Farmers Market a couple days before, and see what inspired me.

As it turns out, inspiration hit in the form of a @mplsfarmmarket tweet – a picture of gorgeous purple and white carrots! I decided to do a up a glazed carrot recipe, featuring a variety of carrots. I decided that it would be a maple glaze, because, you know, Canadian. At the very last minute, I decided it would be a maple-bourbon glaze – and by last minute, I mean that my husband ran to the store to pick up some bourbon JUST after I got the carrots cut, and the potatoes were boiling away!

These were amazing – be sure to make more than you think you’ll need, as they disappear QUICKLY.

Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots

3 lbs mixed carrots
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon*
1/4 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper

Wash and/or peel your carrots. For ours, I peeled the white and orange carrots, and scrubbed the purple ones – peeling will remove that pretty purple colour from the outside!

Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the carrots into round (straight across) or oblong (on a bit of a diagonal) disks, 1/8-1/4″ thick. (Aim for uniformity – they’ll cook more evenly!). Add to a heavy, medium pan, along with remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium, and simmer – stirring occasionally – until glaze cooks down and carrots reach desired tenderness – between 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness and personal taste.

Serve hot!

* Bourbon is a spirit that is tends to be distilled from – in part – fermented wheat. While it doesn’t cause a reaction in MOST people with gluten sensitivities – and the leading Celiac associations have deemed it gluten-free – a few experts disagree. If you have noticed a reaction, or just want to play it extra safe, it could be a good idea forgo the bourbon in favour of juice, rum or brandy.

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.

Wild Rice & Sausage Stuffed Peppers

After the past few months of takeout, convenience foods, and generally processed crap, it feels really good to have my schedule freed up enough to get back to cooking for fun. Add in the fact that we’re now trying to eat a bit healthier – more veggies, less processed stuff, etc – AND the fact that the cooler temps make me want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen.. and we’ve been eating WELL lately.

Last night, I put together this recipe to satisfy a few things. We hadn’t had wild rice in AGES and it sounded good. We had some spinach that had seen better days, and I wanted to use up the last little bit of our sage plant outside, before the temperature killed it. Hubby had mentioned stuffed peppers while at the farmer’s market this weekend, and this seemed like a good way to make use of everything.

… the filling ALMOST didn’t make it into the peppers. I think we would have been perfectly happy standing over the stove and just snarfing the lot of it straight from the pan! SO good.

Enjoy!

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4

4 green bell peppers*
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms of choice (We use Baby Bella)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
12 oz sausage chub**
3 cups fresh baby spinach, ripped up
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 Tbsp finely chopped sage
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock or broth

Preheat oven to 350 F

Carefully slice the tops off each of the bell pepper, scoops seeds out and discard. Arrange seeded peppers in a small baking pan – I use an 8 x 8″ square brownie pan.

Saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic until vegetables are soft. Add sausage meat, continue continue cooking – breaking up sausage into small bits – until sausage meat is browned. Add spinach, cooking until spinach is well wilted. Stir in wild rice and sage, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff filling into peppers, arrange any extra filing in between peppers. Pour chicken broth over peppers.

Bake for about 40 minutes, serve hot!

* We like our stuffed peppers warm but crispy. For softer stuffed peppers, cook seeded peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes, and drain well before stuffing.

** I love using the Papa George’s brand of sausage. It’s about a million times better than anything else on the market, is perfectly seasoned and flavoured, and has almost no fat in it. We’ll use either the regular, hot, or sage flavoured sausage chubs in this recipe

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.

Pickle Recipe Roundup

This weekend really marked the start of MY SEASON. I have basically been locked up in the house all summer (super susceptible to heat stroke, not fun!), and now, with the cooler temperatures… freedom!

The change in season was also very apparent at the farmer’s market. We’d gone to purchase some cider for a concentrated maple sap apple cider we’ve been planning. From looking at the armloads of food that other customers were carrying, it was apparent that many would be pickling this weekend, or soon.

Our big pickling plans this year only involve one thing – a big batch of our Hoppy IPA pickles. We’ve kind of ruined some of our friends for other pickles, and now we’re out of them. Definitely aiming for a bigger batch this time.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to blog a roundup of our favourite pickling / canning recipes, to aid those planning for their own farmer’s market binge purchases this coming weekend 🙂

Pickled Beets

Pickled beets were my absolute favourite as a kid. I don’t actually know who made the many jars of them that would line our basement shelves, but they were SO good.

As an adult, I had to develop my own recipe. Best beet pickles I’ve ever had! Especially great for use on salads with pear slices, goat cleese, some thinly sliced basil, and toasted walnuts. YUM.

Click here for the recipe.

Carrot Pickles

Carrots are a really versatile vegetable when it comes to pickling – they can take a lot of different flavours really well. Pickle them plain, make garlic dill carrot spears, try some fresh ginger, or spice it up with jalapenos or pepper flakes.

This blog entry contained our two favourite ways of putting up carrots.

Click here for the recipe.

Colcannon Pickles

Having spent some time on the east coast of Canada, I’m a big fan of the Newfoundland version of caulcannon / colcannon.

When I went on a big pickle making binge a few years back, I thought it would be cool to make some mixed root vegetable pickles, based on the veggies used in caulcannon. The pickles that resulted were not only pretty in the jar, but had great flavour and crunch!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy Pickle Relish

Our Hoppy IPA Pickles were SUCH a hit, I decided to make a relish based on the flavours in the pickles. Hoppy IPA beers go so well with pickles in general, why NOT play up the bitter flavours of the hops in this gorgeous relish?

Goes really well on a variety of meats and fish.

Click here for the recipe.

Mixed Vegetable Pickles

Of all the pickle recipes I’ve created, I think this one is my favourite. I love the variety of colours, textures, and flavours in each jar. I even love eating the pickled garlic cloves at the bottom of each jar!

Quick, cheap and easy to make a TON of these – I totally recommend doing so!

Click here for the recipe.

Dill Pickles

I love dill pickles! You can keep all the sweet, “bread and butter”, and mustard pickles… give me a great, crunchy dill pickle any time!

This is a great basic recipe, and a staple for anyone getting started with canning. Classic!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy IPA Pickles

… and finally, our Hoppy IPA Pickles. The recipe that has ruined friends for all other pickles, and has earned itself a fanclub.

Not only great for hopheads and homebrewers, the use of IPA and fresh hops in these pickles create a great, complex flavour – definitely unique.

Click here for the recipe.

So, that’s it for now. What are your plans for pickling or canning this year?

Marie’s Pasta Salad Recipe

So I have a weird confession to make: Although I’m not a picky eater by ANY means, I’ve always hated pasta salad. Early on, the pasta salads I’d been exposed to were gross – way too sweet, or salty, or the pasta was too firm, or the sauce was too bland. Up until very recently, I’ve completely avoided pasta salad since I was probably about 12 years old or so.

Recently our friend Trevor (Who you may know as “Mr J” – and if you don’t, you probably should!) brought a tub of deli macaroni salad to one of our potluck parties. My first – completely internal, as I was NOT raised by wolves! – instinct was “blech.. macaroni salad!” (Sorry, Trevor!)… until I noticed that it had cubed cheese in it. I’d never seen that before. Curiosity piqued, I tried a bite.. and it was actually pretty good!

Flash forward a few weeks, to earlier this week. My “stress cooking” reflex was triggered, and I was right in the mood for more of that pasta salad. I decided to make pasta salad for the first time in my life… loosely based on that deli one, but tweaked to be a bit more to my tastes.

First off, I ditched the macaroni for Rotini, simply because it’s more fun to eat it. I couldn’t remember what all was in the salad, so I went with celery for crunch, red pepper for colour, and green onion because I love it.

I based the dressing off of my awesome coleslaw, making sure to not let it get too sweet. Oh, it was GOOD. We went through the whole batch embarrassingly quickly.

A few notes:

1. For the best pasta salad, you want the pasta to actually cook to soft, not just al dente – this allows the pasta to better absorb the flavours from the dressing.

2. Aside from the pasta, this recipe is gluten free. To make a gluten free pasta salad, I recommend using brown rice pasta, and carefully watching it as it cooks – don’t let it get to the point of falling apart!

3. My husband thinks it would be even better with peas added to it. I think that triggers my “macaroni salad is gross” instinct, but who knows… I’m not exactly a connoisseur of pasta salad! If it sounds good to you, go for it!

Enjoy!

Marie’s Pasta Salad Recipe

1 lb uncooked Rotini pasta*
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz mild cheddar cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups mayo
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
3/4+ tsp pepper (to taste)

Cook pasta according to package directions, but adding a few minutes to the boil time. Drain, and rinse well with cold water until cool. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine celery, green onion, pepper, and cheese, tossing to mix well and break up any cheese cubes that are stuck to each other. Add cooled pasta, gently toss to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except pepper. Pour over pasta salad, gently toss to completely coat. Season with pepper to taste.

Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

* This amount of dressing is perfect for Rotini, which has a lot more surface area than most pastas. If you’d like to use a different pasta, you’ll likely need less dressing. Start with about 2/3 of the dressing this makes, and add more if you like!

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.

Roasted Beet Ketchup Recipe

I’m back from my recent vacation to my hometown (Winnipeg). It had been 4 years since I’ve set foot on Canadian soil, and I had a wonderful time. Because we were specifically visiting for Folklorama, we pretty much ate the entire time. No joke.

Now, I am refreshed, inspired, and ready to go! Expect at LEAST a good handful of ethnic recipes to pop up on this blog over the next while, as I come up with time to develop them.

Today’s recipe is one that was inspired at the Indian pavilion. There was a beet ketchup available for sale, and my husband JUMPED on it. He’s an avid hater of tomatoes. While he’s ok with tomatoes in ketchup, he’d just as soon never have to eat tomatoes of any kind. As he also adores beets in general, the idea was GOLD to him. So, he bought a bottle.

It tasted good, but was very thin and not really ketchup-y. Also, it didn’t really taste like they’d been roasted, and I pictured roasted beets making a better ketchup. So, I developed this recipe this weekend, using my awesome Pickled Beets Recipe for inspiration on the seasoning!

If you like beets, you’ll love this. Even if you like normal ketchup and have no issues with beets, you’ll enjoy this as a fun alternative. It satisfies the “creamy but acidic” thing you want from ketchup, is casual and fun while still being earthy, rich, and fancy. SO good!

Enjoy!

3 lbs small beets
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups vinegar*
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each: mustard powder, celery seed, coriander
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch allspice
Black pepper, to taste

Place beets, onion, and garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil, folding edges up to create a pouch around the beets. Roast at 375 for about 1 hour, or until beets are quite tender.

Allow to cool slightly, then rub the skins off the beets with some paper towels (or your bare hands – expect some staining!).

In a food processor, blitz roasted beets, onion, and garlic together remaining ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a large pot.

Bring ketchup just to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool to room tempurature before transfering to jars or bottles. Chill.

* I used red wine vinegar, but cider vinegar would also taste wonderful. In a pinch, use regular white vinegar

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.

Sweet Corn Bruschetta Recipe, from Sweet Corn Spectacular

Hey, remember how I wrote “Sweet Corn Spectacular” – a cookbook all about fresh sweet corn – for the Minnesota Historical Society last year?

Well, guess what? Not only is it sweet corn season once again (*Cough* you should totally buy my book *Cough*), but the book is featured in the August edition of Midwest Living! Check it ouuuuut!

CornBrushcetta3

Pretty slick, eh?

Figured I’d celebrate by sharing that same recipe with you all: Sweet Corn Bruschetta!

This recipe is simple, elegant, and easy to tinker with. It’s beautiful and delicious with the most simple of balsamic vinegars… but is *mind blowingly amazing* if you can get your hands on peach balsamic vinegar.

Sweet Corn Bruschetta

4 ears sweet corn, husks removed
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar of choice
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into think strips
Salt
Pepper
1 baguette
~ 1/4 cup olive oil
~8 oz goat cheese

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, honey, sugar, and balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat. Stir in basil, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut baguette into 1/4-1/2″ thick slices – I like to cut them at a bit of an angle. Brush both sides of each bread slice with olive oil, arrange on a broiling pan.

Broil bread slices for 3 minutes, flip them all over, and broil for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven, spread each slice with some goat cheese, top with corn mixture. Serve immediately!

Variations:

– Add in diced fresh tomato
– Try chili flakes, for a bit of a kick
– Try different fresh herbs – dill, tarragon, parsley, thyme, mint, cilantro…
– Add a pressed garlic clove
– Swap the goat cheese for mascarpone, ricotta, or cream cheese
– Add a little finely chopped onion

Best Coleslaw Recipe EVER!

A couple of months back, I accidentally developed the best coleslaw recipe I’ve EVER tasted.

I was right in the middle of developing recipes for “Beyond Flour“, my upcoming gluten-free cookbook. I’d just perfected a recipe for fried chicken… but fried chicken is just so brown and blah when it comes to photos.

In considering how I’d want to set the plate for photography, I decided that what it needed was probably coleslaw. Regular coleslaw adds a little colour, and you can have a bit more if you add, say, carrots.. but I wanted a LOT of colour. So, I decided to whip up a coleslaw just for the photo, with the focus being on bright colours. I had no plans to actually include a recipe for it, it was basically going to be a prop… almost like using a garnish to bring some colour.

Well, I’m really glad that I actually wrote down what I did, because it was FABULOUS. Not only was it gorgeous, it had amazing texture and a ton of flavour.. as well as a bit of kick. It was perfect!

This recipe will be included in the cookbook, but I want to share it with you now, so you get some mileage out of it for summer parties. SO GOOD.

Enjoy!


Marie’s Colourful Coleslaw

1 small savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2-3 red anahem peppers, thinly sliced/ribboned
2 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed

In a large bowl, gently toss prepared cabbages, carrot, peppers and green onions. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables, toss to coat evenly.

Cover, chill for at least 1 hour to let flavours mingle. Serve cold.

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.

Con Food – Hotel Room Smoothies!

Today is day two of a week long feature I’m running on my Facebook Page – Convention Food.

Yep, with Convergence just over a week away… it’s about time to start planning for our hotel room cuisine: Food that’s easy to make (possibly make ahead), uses very little in the way of equipment to make/serve in the room, and that supplements some of the nutrition that we tend to miss out on during a 4 day long party.

The featured recipe yesterday was my “Convention Sloppy Joes” – our favourite con food to date, and the recipe we’ll be doing up once again for our room at Convergence.

Today’s recipe is more of a non-recipe, but an outline of what our plans for breakfast are: hotel room smoothies.

Breakfast is generally seen as the most important meal of the day… and that’s doubly true when you’ve got long days of costuming, panels, and parties ahead. Also: when you had a looong night of partying ending just a few hours earlier!

Smoothies are what we settled on for our go-to hotel room breakfast this year. They’re done up quickly, require very little equipment (just a blender!), and many of the ingredients don’t require refrigeration / cooler space.

They’re easy to customize, and easy to scale. Make one for yourself, or enough for your roommates too!

Done right, you’ll hit a few key nutrition needs, as well. Protein, vitamin C, some calcium… good stuff!

Here is what I recommend to bring:

– A good protein powder, vanilla or unflavoured. (We use Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein, Vanilla Ice Cream flavour).

– Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (more protein!)

– Orange juice

– Frozen berries (Pack a few baggies worth – they double as ice!)

– Bananas

– Powdered peanut butter, if that’s your thing (We use PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter)

– Wheat germ (allergies permitting, of course!) or Flax meal (Fiber!)

Per person, this is what I blitz together:

1 scoop protein powder
1/4 cup yogurt
3/4 cup orange juice
½ cup frozen berries
½ banana
1 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (optional)
1-2 Tbsp wheat germ or flax meal (optional)

… and that’s that. Be sure to rinse your blender out well if you won’t be washing it right away, because – in the words of my husband – the smoothie residue is “like cement” when it dries.

Enjoy!

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.

Fennel Chicken and Sausage Soup

Here we are, the final recipe to result from last weekend’s super making binge!

This one was actually inspired by a chicken bratwurst I tried one time, which involved apple and fennel. I thought it would be fun to build a soup around those flavours, and took it a step further with some sweet Italian sausage. Everything works together so well, producing a flavourful, unique soup… and it’s kind of pretty, too!

This soup is a stark contrast to my Beef Stew which is hearty and rustic, and my Roasted Cauliflower Soup which was quick and simple. Yep, it involves making chicken broth a day before making the actual soup.

It’s a little bit of extra work, but TOTALLY worth it – you don’t get this kind of flavour from a can! Stock making is a lost art, and really does give you great results for very little cost. It’s also healthier than canned stuff, and you get to have the extra pride that comes from really making your soup from scratch!

Enjoy!

Fennel Chicken and Sausage Soup Recipe

Chicken Broth:

1 chicken, cut up (~5 lbs)
2 onions
5 stalks celery
1 fennel bulb
2 parsnips, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

The night before making the soup, prepare your chicken broth.

In a large pot cover all broth ingredients with a good amount of water – maybe 12 cups worth. Bring to a boil, turn heat down a bit, and simmer for a few hours, until stock is golden and richly flavoured.

Strain all ingredients out of the broth. Discard veggies, allow chicken to cool enough to handle. When cool, pick off all of the meat, chop into bite sized pieces and chill. Discard the bones.

Chill broth overnight.

The next day, remove fat from the surface of the broth.

Soup:

1 1/2 lbs fresh sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1″ lengths
2 Tbsp vegetable
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb (Chop the fennel fronds, reserve)
8 cups of chicken broth (above)
1 cup dry white wine
2 parsnips, peeled and grated
2-3 lbs red potatoes, chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Reserved chicken from broth
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 cups heavy cream

In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in vegetable oil. Add onion and fennel root, continue cooking until onions are translucent.

Add a little chicken broth, scrape down (deglaze) the bottom of the pan until any brown bits are nicely incorporated into the stock. Add rest of measured broth, wine, parsnips, potatoes, apples, garlic, and chopped chicken. Simmer until potatoes are tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk corn starch into heavy cream until smooth. Add to the soup – along with the fennel fronds, stirring until well incorporated.

Bring back up to a simmer, simmer for another 5 minutes. Check your seasonings, adjusting if necessary.

Serve hot!

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Hearty Beef Stew Recipe

I haven’t made – or had – stew in a very long time… probably 7 years or so. I kind of wrecked myself for it, and nothing’s seemed good enough, since.

You see, I’ve always loved stew. My grandmother’s homemade stuff, the stew they’d sell at the Irish Pavilion at Folklorama every year.. hell, I’d even snarf the Puritan brand canned stuff. (Shh! I KNOW!)

Then, I moved out east and got into game meats. I discovered that I make *the best* moose stew, and life was good. So, SOOO good.

Eventually, I moved to Minnesota and found no way to get my hands on moose meat. One of these days, I WILL find a moose hunter to bribe… but I digress. Beef stew can never live up to that moose stew, so I just … haven’t had stew.

That ended this weekend, when I finally gave in and decided to make a beef stew. Ah… I missed this.

This is NOT high cuisine, it’s not in any way gourmet… just a good, solid, basic stew – probably pretty similar to what my grandmother used to make. It’s a bit lighter on the Brussels sprouts than I like, as a compromise for my husband. (He’s not as insane about them as I am.) This is hearty, root-y, thick and wonderful comfort food. Yum!

Enjoy!

PS: This makes a TON of stew. It freezes well, but I like to basically live off it for a week 🙂 Feel free to cut the recipe in half, though!

Hearty Beef Stew

4 lbs stewing beef, cut up into chunks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
12 cups beef broth
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
4 – 6 ribs celery
1 Tbsp+ dried savoury
1 Tbsp + black pepper
Salt
1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped
5 parsnips, peeled and sliced into large chunks
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, cut in large chunks
~ 3-4 lbs red potatoes, cut into large chunks
~ 2-3 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

In a very large, heavy pot, brown meat in oil. Add onions, continue to cook until translucent.

Add beef broth, red wine, celery, 1 Tbsp each of dried savoury and black pepper, and 2 tsp salt. Bring up to almost a boil, reduce heat and simmer – covered – for two hours.

Remove celery from the stew, discard. Add rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, and mushrooms, continue simmering for another hour.

Add potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Cover and simmer for another hour or so.

While the stew simmers, prepare your roux:

In a large heavy pot, combine vegetable oil and butter. Heat over medium until the butter melts, stir in the flour.

Without leaving your stove (Seriously!), stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it gets quite dark – I like to get it to a reddish brown colour. It’ll take time, but it’s worth it – this great flavour to the stew … just don’t burn it!

Stir a ladle worth of stew stock into the roux – it’ll boil up and steam, don’t worry. Whisk it till smooth, then add another ladle worth of stew liquid. Continue until you have a decent amount of smooth gravy.

Add the gravy into the stew, stirring well to fully distribute. Stir in fresh parsley, season with salt, pepper, and additional savoury to taste.