Sherry Strong at the Dirty Apron

For Christmas me and Chris got my parents a cooking class at The Dirty Apron, we had been for dinner near by and popped in and it just looked like a lot of fun. We thought it would be nice for them to get out of the house and do something a little different together and of course then they would have to cook us what ever delicious dishes they learned!!!

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This year they decided to become vegans and after looking into the classes they found that Sherry Strong was doing a 3 part series called Return to Food which was perfect for them! Sherry did a great job in helping them transition into being vegans by introducing them to lots of new foods. They have been cooking up Quinoa and having Chia for breakfast! Both I had been telling them about but going to the class and seeing how to do it and tasting how great they are is what they needed to give it a go. Now my mum is cooking up a vegan storm in the kitchen! Spelt pizzas, 10 bean chilli, coconut pie! its great.Image

My dad was away for the last class so I was lucky enough to go with my mum and it was so much fun. Sherry was very informative and had everyone laughing! she showed us how to make Cashew and Almond milk, Chia pudding with apple and carrot slaw, salads and wraps (which I tried at how with rice wraps! so good). Wild rice and omelette with veggies that she cooked in just a few table spoons of water! a really useful tip, I no longer need to waste time boiling a huge pot!

What I liked most was how she explained that if we went back to nature and tried to gather the food ourselves we can get an idea of how much we should be consuming! Like seeds, if we want the fruits of the plant we shouldn’t have too many and almonds are actually very difficult to collect and we should try to avoid the skin, so although they are very good for us we shouldn’t have excessive amounts. Fruits and veggies on the other hand are very easy to gather so we can have them with every meal and how many loaves of bread do you see growing on a tree?!

Sherry is going to be opening her own center in Vancouver that will have classes, me and my mum can’t wait and will definitely be there! and for anyone in Vancouver I would really recommend trying one of the classes at the Dirty Apron! You will have loads of fun!

Turkey and Zucchini Bolognese

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

It is hump day after all!!

I like to use ground Turkey instead of beef for a couple of reasons, it is much leaner making the dish healthier and studies show that red meat is high in dioxins which can cause endometriosis and also make the condition worse. Fruits and vegetables are shown to improve endo so I like to cram lots of them into my dishes. I plump up this dish with lots of Zucchini, peppers, onions and tomato’s. It’s really tasty and comforting without being too heavy and the best part is it’s very easy to make, I hope you enjoy.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

Bolognese:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini (quartered and sliced)
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk (the drinking kind)
  • salt and pepper
Sauce:
depending on how quick you want to make it you can either use a jar of spaghetti sauce or make it with the following ingredients:
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 5 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Pasta

  • 1 package of quinoa pasta or any kind of gluten-free pasta you like.
  • water
  • salt

Heat the olive oil in a pan then brown the ground Turkey on a medium heat for about 5 mins. Add the onion and zucchini, cook until softened about 5 more mins. Add the pepper, tomatoes and sauce ingredients (if making the sauce i like to add the paste and garlic first and let them cook for about a minute then add the other ingredients, this improves the taste) reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 mins.

While your sauce is simmering bring your water to the boil and a dash of salt and cook your pasta for around 13 mins (or how ever long the pasta box tells you to cook it for)

Add the coconut milk, salt and pepper to the Bolognese about 5 mins before your pasta is done. Drain and rinse in the pasta (i would not rinse wheat pasta but gluten-free is a little sticky so just a light rinse with warm water does the trick) season with salt and pepper. Top with your Bolognese and if you like some daiya.

Lemon and poppy seed muffins with strawberry champagne compote GF&DF

Hello! This is my very 1st post, I would like to share a recipe for Gluten & Dairy Free Lemon and Poppy seed muffins with strawberry and champagne compote (quiet the mouthful). I made these for our queens jubilee celebrations. My parter and I are both originally from the UK and his lovely mum sent us a box of goodies to get us in the spirit! Including some very cute union jack muffin flags that I had to use!

Lemon and poppy-seed loaf has always been a favorite of mine, it is light and moist, with a beautiful fragrance and speckled with those pretty black dots. I decided to make muffins instead of a loaf for two reasons! firstly if I made a loaf I would eat the whole loaf and secondly because gluten-free food keeps well in the freezer so you can make these up and freeze the extras, they will be just as soft when they defrost as when you made them.

I filled them two different ways, for some I used an apple corer to make a hole for the compote in which is great if you want to take some to work the next day and for freezing.

I also sliced some in half and filled them with the compote, this is a little more messy but so good and my favorite way to have them. Because of the amount of sugar and dairy free butter I wouldn’t make these too often but they are a nice treat.

The Strawberry compote adds a lot to the muffins, it keeps them nice and moist and the flavors complement each other nicely! It’s also very quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon GF Baking Powder
  • 10 tablespoons softened dairy free butter (I used Earth Balance soy free buttery spread)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Poppy Seeds

Strawberry and Champagne Compote

  • – 2 cups of Strawberries
  • – 2 tablespoons of rose sparkling wine (optional if you are feeling fancy)
  • – 1/4 cup of golden (or white) sugar
  • – 1 tablespoons Water

Lemon Drizzle

  • – 1/4 cup of Icing sugar
  • – lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line your muffin tins. Mix together the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and poppy seeds. In a separate bowl cream the dairy free margarine, sugar and vanilla extract. In a 3rd bowl mix the oil, eggs, juice and zest then add to the creamed butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients slowly and thoroughly in 3 or 4 stages but do not over mix.

Pour into your cases and cook for 20 -25 mins or until golden and spring back when touched. While your muffins are baking put your sliced strawberries sugar, sparkling wine and water in a pot and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 15 mins. Put to one side and allow to cool.

Remove your muffins from the oven and place on a rack, once cooled you can either take an apple corer and remove the center being careful not to go through the bottom of the muffin or you can slice in half and fill the center with the compote.

Mix together your ingredients for the lemon drizzle, i started with 1/4 cup of icing sugar and added lemon juice until it was a nice consistency. Simple drizzle over the top of your muffins and leave to set.

Let me know what you think and did anyone else do anything special for the jubilee?