Zucchini Pasta

IMG_2435This is amazing, I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner! Not only is it a brilliant way to add extra veg into your diet but it’s honestly a great pasta substitute. It is nothing like spaghetti squash which I personally find to be too thin and more like a grated vegetable, zucchini pasta is silky, light, you can spin it around your fork and it is now my go to GF pasta. Continue reading

Grilled Chicken Burger with Cranberry and Jalapeno Sauce

This Recipe really starts off in a charming little place called Fort Langley, If you have ever seen the movie practical Magic, it feels just like that town! If you haven’t seen it, you should! Below is The Little White House & Co, every room is filled with different treasures, everything from bubble baths and lotions to chandeliers and vintage furniture. Upstairs is a lovely little tea shop that also cooks up delicious mini desserts and pastries.

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Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna is perfect to cook up on the weekend! it’s full of flavor, layered with robust tomato sauce and creamy white sauce, it’s also packed full of healthy vegetables. Me and Chris are trying to make one night a week meat and fish free which I’m enjoying, it really gets you trying new dishes and changing up old ones. My parents are vegetarian and I was growing up and I think now that I eat meat I tend to make it the main ingredient in most dishes which I would like to change as I used to be more creative with vegetarian food.

I think veggies are even better in this dish than beef, because you get so much flavour and it’s isn’t overly heavy like meat lasagna can be! I chose egg-plant, mushroom, courgettes, pepper and onions for my red sauce and in the white sauce I used garlic, broccoli and spinach. All of those vegetables unlike beef are low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, they are also full of vitamins, they help prevent heart disease and they all have major cancer fighting benefits!

The white sauce is rich, creamy and the broccoli and spinach are amazing in it, I was tempted to just eat it straight from the pan. You could also use either sauce recipe over spaghetti if you wanted to try them separately.

For the red I cubed the vegetables, that way they don’t go mushy and are easier to eat than big slices of vegetables. My cousin is a very picky eater, she always takes the onions and peppers out of her food, but she ate every bit which was a triumph.

Although it isn’t the prettiest looking dish it is the best lasagna I have had so do give it a go, It comes out bubbling and the smell is gorgeous!  I made 2 medium-sized lasagna’s with this recipe but it will make one large one it just depends on the size of dish that you have. This is a great one to make on a sunday because although it takes a bit of time you will have plenty for during the week or you can freeze some for a quick dinner one night.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette cubed
  • 1 small egg-plant cubed
  • 10 white mushrooms peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper cubed
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups of white sauce
  • 1 jar of homemade or store-bought spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pack of gluten-free lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup of shredded daiya mozzarella shreds
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

White Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 2 tablespoon of white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon of cornstarch mix
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • pepper

Directions:

Pre heat the oven to 350° and bring a large pot of water to the boil, while you are waiting for that, cube all of your Veggies except the broccoli and spinach. Add your sheets of lasagna to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Fry all of the cubed veggies over a medium heat with some olive oil for about 8 minutes or until tender, you may need to use two pans. In a separate smaller pan boil the broccoli head and cook for about 3 minutes, in a microwave safe bowl cook the spinach in a little water for 1 – 2 minutes.

In a small sauce pan add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk and bring to a simmer, with the remaining 1/2 cup mix together with the cornstarch until fully combined. Add the rice flour, garlic and butter and stir untill smooth then add in the cornstarch mixture and bring to the boil. When thickened sprinkle in some pepper. Drain and chop the spinach and broccoli then add to the white sauce, give it all a good stir and remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and lay out flat, add the sauce to the fried veggies and mix untill fully covered. save a little to put on the base of the pasta dish about 1/4 cup.

Add the saved tomato sauce to the bottom of your dish and spread out cover with a layer of lasagna sheets, you may need to slice some to get them to fit, then add a layer off the tomato vegetable sauce and then a layer of the white sauce and then a thin layer of the mozza shreds and repeat until finished. Place in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes or until bubbling and hot.

Mustard Pork Chops with Apple Slices

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!

Pork Chops are amazing, they cook quickly and take on flavours really well, for me apple, pork and mustard are a winning combination, they are my favourite sausages and this dish is even better because you really get the full flavours

Pork chops are a good meat choice because they are low in saturated fat but high in protein. A problem a lot of people have is that they find pork chops to be very dry, this is from over cooking them. I know we used to be told to fully cook pork but you should actually cook pork until it’s medium or even medium rare, it should to be juicy and pink inside, they are far more delicious this way.

I find the best way to cook them is to pan fry them for a few minutes on each side, then to put them in a pre heated oven and finally to tent them in your tin foil when you take them out, to gently finish cooking. By doing it this way you lock in  all the taste but keep them nice and moist.

I cooked the apples in the same pan I had fried the pork chops in, which picked up all those lovely flavours but if you would like it to look a little cleaner then you can (if you really want) fry them in a separate pan as then can pick up a few crispy flecks but otherwise get them in the same one!

This dish only takes about half an hour and it is a nice alternative to chicken, you can change-up the flavors, just have a go at some different marinades and cook them in the same way. My friend made some orange and ginger pork chops and they were very tasty, you could also try apple sauce and dairy free cheese, I bet they would be nice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork Chop loins
  • 3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (extra for frying)
  • 4 Sprigs of thyme (2 finely chopped)
  • ½ a  tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 apple cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Dairy Free butter
  • Salt & pepper

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°f,  season a baking tray with olive oil, salt and pepper and 2 thyme sprigs. In a bowl mix together the mustard, oil, chopped thyme, minced garlic, cayenne pepper and season. Add the pork chops to the marinade and fully cover.

In a hot pan over a medium heat, pan fry for 3 minutes each side then place pork chops on the baking tray and put to one side.

Add sliced apples, butter, brown sugar and lemon juice to frying pan cook till light golden brown then spoon over the pork chops and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pork chops from the oven and tent the tinfoil for  8 mins. Serve with boiled new potatoes and corn on the cob and enjoy.

BBQ Chicken Gluten Free Pizza

Here is my recipe for Gluten and Dairy Free pizza dough, it’s quick and easy to make, it is also much cheaper than buying the pre made ones.

It’s not really a mid-week meal because it does take a little longer than my usual ones but if you make this up on a weekend and freeze some dough, you could definitely use it as a midweek meal. This pizza base is lovely, its crisp on the bottom with a fluffy crust that can be stuffed with DF Cheese, you will love it.

What I like about pizza is that you can top it with any flavors that you fancy, you can have dairy-free cheese if you like but it would be just as tasty without. I did 2 pizzas they are so quick to whip up I did the second while the 1st was cooking.

I topped them with kale, tomatoes, bacon, BBQ Chicken, caramelized onions and Daiya Jack cheese. I did the BBQ chicken by grilling it then shredding it with a fork and stirring in Bulls eye BBQ sauce.

What I like about this dough is that you don’t need to give it time to rise, you just pop all of your ingredients in 1 bowl, mix it together and your done! Making the pizza sauce is also really simple!

Ingredients:

Makes 1 large pizza

Pizza Dough

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of tapioca flour
  • 2/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons of glutinous (sweet) rice flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon of quick rising yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pizza Sauce (enough for 2 pizzas)

  • 1 tin of tomato paste
  • Water (fill empty tomato paste tin with water)
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun Spice
  • salt and pepper

Toppings (double for 2 pizzas)

  •  BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 3 kale leaves
  • daiya jack wedge
  • 1/2 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of earth balance buttery sticks
  • parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°, place your chicken breast on the grill until fully cooked, whilst that is cooking in a small sauce pan over a medium-low heat, add all of the tomato paste ingredients together and blend with a fork, when fully combined remove from heat and put to one side.

Add together all of the ingredients for the pizza dough in a bowl, I put the liquids in 1st. With an electric whisker mix together for a minute or two, If the mixture starts to shoot outwards add a little more water until it forms a dough ball. Sprinkle your hands with sweet rice flour and remove the dough from the bowl, flour your rolling-pin and roll the dough until desired thickness is reached. I rolled it on my lined baking sheet so I didn’t have to move it again. Turn over the edges if you want to make a thick crust, you could also stuff with Daiya at this point

Cover the base with tomato paste then add your sliced peppers, kale and caramlized onions. To Caramelize the onions you cook the slices down over a medium low heat with 1/2 tablespoon of DF Butter and 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar, it will take around 15 minutes (this is optional you can just use sliced onions but these work lovely with the BBQ sauce). For the BBQ Chicken to simply shred the cooked chicken with a fork then in a bowl add some bbq sauce until it looks like pulled pork and is moist, i used about 5 tablespoons. Finish by topping with the cherry tomatoes and bacon, place in the oven for 10 minutes.

While that is cooking grate about half of the daiya wedge, remove the pizza from the oven, top with grated daiya and place back in for another 10 minutes or untill the daiya begins to turn lightly golden and melted. Slice and serve and if like us you love it make yourself a second while you have all of the ingredients out and have the left overs at work the next day!