Toad's Kitchen

(mostly) healthy recipes for the family

Archive for the category “Gluten Free”

Stilton and Potato Gratin with Chanterelles

I recently bought a massive chunk of lovely Stilton at Costco, as well as some chanterelles. Eyeing my bag of spuds at home, I knew I wanted to do something using these ingredients. Lo and behold, on cookthink.com, there was such a recipe. It contained, however, a fair bit of whipping cream and while the recipe sounded lovely I did want to have something a bit healthier…besides, truth be known, I didn’t have any whipping cream, but I did have some sour cream… ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is my spin on the recipe – it was a resounding success. You could certainly use other mushrooms and any kind of blue cheese for this. Also, it could be made without the sour cream, using a total of 2-1/2 cups of broth – it would not be quite as rich but I expect it would still be delicious. It is easy to put together and impressive-looking when baked.

The flavour of the Stilton really mellows, kind of the way anchovy does, in this recipe – making it a dish that could be served to someone who does not necessarily like the assertive taste of blue cheese on its own but just wants a hint of “blue”.

1 1/2 cups crumbled Stilton (yes, that much)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chanterelles, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Extra Stilton, for sprinkling on top (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a large rectangular baking dish.

In a medium bowl, with an immersion blender, blend together the Stilton and 1 cup of the broth until well combined. Then whizz in the rest of the broth, the sour cream and the salt and pepper.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. When the foam of the butter subsides, stir in the chanterelles. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms absorb most of the liquid, 5-7 minutes.
ย 
Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a single, overlapping layer of potato slices. Pour a third of the cheese mixture over the potatoes. Layer the mushrooms over the cheese mixture. On top of the mushrooms, pour another third of the cheese mixture. Cover the cheese mixture with the rest of the potato slices and then pour the rest of the cheese mixture on top, distributing evenly. If you are sprinkling with extra Stilton, do it now.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Take off the aluminum foil and bake the gratin uncovered until the potatoes are cooked through and the cheese on top is lightly browned, 25-35 minutes.

This would be excellent with steak or roast beef, but was delicious as a vegetarian main course with simply cooked green veg on the side. Either way, red wine is a must with this ๐Ÿ˜€

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Pretty (and) Fresh Yellow Tomato Sauce

I spent most of today canning…I canned yesterday and will be doing so again tomorrow. I love all the fresh stuff from the garden and the farmers’ market, and want to take as much advantage of it while it is still around! I really didn’t feel like now turning around and cooking a full-on dinner…as much as I love cooking, I want a little break!

So…I looked around to see what I had…I have some crab ravioli in the freezer, which deserve a nice sauce. Something special, but easy. I continued looking…I had some pesto and some homemade ricotta in my fridge (check out my recipe!), some lovely yellow tomatoes from our garden, some garlic and onion on the counter….I think you are getting the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

This sauce is a bit different from the usual tomato sauce in that while the taste is similar to a red tomato cream sauce, the colour is a lovely, primrose yellow with a tinge of green from the pesto. The ravioli are striped red-and-white so will look very pretty with it!

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large yellow heritage tomatoes, chopped (about 500g or so)
about 3/4 cup of my ricotta cheese (my recipe has fat in it, I don’t know if low fat ricotta would be as nice in this recipe)
3 heaping tablespoons basil pesto, or to taste
liquid to wet – about 1/4 cup (I used coffee cream because I had some hanging around, but chicken broth, water, or white wine would all suffice)
good pinch sea salt
generous grind black pepper

Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Saute onion and garlic a couple of minutes, until starting to soften and become translucent. Add the tomatoes, and cook for a couple of minutes. They will give off some liquid.

Now add the ricotta cheese, liquid, and pesto. Already it is starting to look interesting!

Now tip the lot into a mixing bowl, take out your trusty immersion blender and whiz it until smooth.

Replace in the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, and heat gently as your pasta is cooking.

This took a grand total of about ten minutes to bang together…now to relax ๐Ÿ˜€

Chickpea Garden Salad

This recipe started out as Jamie Oliver’s recipe, but ended up being morphed into something a bit different (as usual!). His “Summer Chickpea Salad” involved a bit of cooking but for a hot weather fast salad I thought this one was pretty good, and I had to sub out some of the ingredients, anyway.

I love Jamie’s recipes because they are generally so flexible and his style of writing them is so inspiring. I hope you like my “mods”!

1 small onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 large tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
large can (around 500mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
handful fresh mint, cut in ribbons (chiffonade)
handful fresh basil, cut in ribbons
200g feta cheese, crumbled
juice of one large lime
olive oil (EVOO)
sprinkle chili pepper flakes (to taste)
dash Tabasco (to taste)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine first eight ingredients in salad bowl, mixing well. Dress with remaining ingredients, adding “hot” ingredients sparingly until you get the “heat” you like – you don’t want to overwhelm the other flavours in the salad.

Enjoy al fresco!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage, Cambazola and Pine Nuts

Again, I was drifting through my Nigella Lawson books and came across this recipe in her Nigellisima book. It is actually a variation of one of the variations given in her original recipe (I used Cambazola instead of the gorgonzola she suggested, as it was what I had), peeled the squash and I cut the sage into ribbons rather than using whole leaves as she did….still, so simple, and absolutely delicious.

1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeded

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 sprigs fresh sage, leaves only, cut into strips

3 tablespoons pine nuts

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/3 cup Cambazola cheese, cut into small pieces

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Chopped parsley to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut squash into chunks about 1″-1-1/2″ square. Toss pieces of squash in the olive oil with about 2/3 of the sage, salt and pepper, and place into a casserole dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until squash is golden brown and tender.

Squeeze lemon halfย over top, and sprinkle cheese, remaining chopped sage and pine nuts over top. Mix gently so the squash pieces stay intact but the cheese melts and distributes through the squash evenly, with the other ingredients. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 3-4 servings.

“Fried Rice”…made with quinoa!

One of my favourite sites, http://www.eatliverun.com, is a never-ending source of delicious and fun recipes. The blogger, Jenna, is a chef with a wonderful and carefree style that I love to read. Her recipes are awesome! This recipe was posted recently and I just HAD to make it…of course, I did make a couple of very minor changes to her original recipe due to what I had in my fridge and personal preferences…I know, I know, there wasn’t any garlic in the original recipe so I put some in. The original recipe also called for snow peas, which would be lovely but were not hanging around in my fridge, so I subbed celery which was tasty. I also added the mushrooms, but everything else is as the original recipe.

Other veggies could be substituted. If chicken or shrimp were added, I am sure they would taste great, but frankly this is so good as it is with just veg and eggs, it does not really need anything else. It is also a good, protein-y dinner.

This is so quick and easy and as Jenna said, “seriously a power meal!”

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal

2 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced small

4 large mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided

1 tablespoon fish sauce (don’t leave this out – it lends a beautiful flavour)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

 

Combine quinoa and water in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all water. Once cooked, remove from heat, and fluff with fork.

Place half of the coconut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once oil is hot, pour eggs into pan and let cook until almost set (don’t scramble, just leave them). Remove onto plate while still surface of eggs is slightly runny. Put remaining coconut oil in pan, and add chopped veggies. Stir fry for about three minutes or until veggies are barely tender. Add quinoa to pan and mix together with veggies. Add eggs back in, breaking into pieces. Finally, stir in the sesame oil, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix well.

All done! Serves four (or fewer greedy) people ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A fabulous “new” (to me) Tomato Sauce!

Honestly, I do not know how I have been a keen cook for this many years and not have heard of this sauce. It is supposedly Marcella Hazan’s recipe, in a book of family favourites by her son Giuliano. It has THREE ingredients (well, and salt). That’s it.

This recipe is great for when you need something delicious and can’t get to the store! Tomatoes, butter, onions and pasta…most people have those ingredients kicking around in their kitchen pantries and fridges.

The original recipe called for peeled tomatoes to be mashed up and cooked with the butter, but I used some nice Roma tomatoes, which I sliced skin-on, bagged and popped in the freezer last summer.

I also saw that some people had used canned tomatoes, with the suggestion to be careful with the salt. The following is what I produced today, and likely will stick with in the future:

3-4 cups of chopped Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup butter

1 cooking onion, halved

Sea salt to taste (I salted at end of cooking time)

Place all ingredients in a large pot, so you have a bigger surface to evaporate the sauce. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to very low, and simmer gently, stirring every ten minutes or so, until you have cooked away most of the tomato liquid and the butter is basically coating the top of the tomato pulp. This will take about an hour, more or less.

The original recipe states to remove the onion (you could, and use it elsewhere or discard)…I removed one half and then, with my trusty immersion blender, wizzed the remaining half into the sauce until it was smooth, and the tomato skins were blended in. I seasoned with a good pinch of sea salt and tasted it. Wow, wow, wow. Simple and fresh-tasting, the butter lends a rich smoothness, taking out the sharpness of the tomatoes.

You could top this with some nice freshly grated Parmesan when you serve it over pasta, but really, I don’t think it needs it.

 

Delicious Yam, Red Pepper and Spinach Salad

I recently discovered “Eat Clean” food and fitness author Tosca Reno. Her “Eat Clean” style of cooking is delicious and inspired. Although I can’t quite do egg-white omelettes yet – the yolk is my favourite part! – I have been incorporating her style of cooking into a lot of our meals. I recommend her cookbook, the recipes are easy to follow and her choices of ingredients unusual and yummy. I made this salad of hers, and as usual had to mess with it slightly. I found the seasonings just a little on the shy side, so I upped them a bit. The contrast of colours and tastes (sweet and sour) are wonderful. The results were both colourful and delicious, and I thought I would share ๐Ÿ™‚

1 large or 2 medium (orange!) yams, peeled and diced into 1/2′” cubes (about 4 cups’ worth)

1 large red pepper, cut in 1″ chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups fresh spinach

Dressing:

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 large clove garlic, minced finely

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon honey

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss yam cubes and pepper pieces in olive oil until coated. Sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and toss again. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until yam cubes are fork-tender. Let cool.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in small bowl.

Place cooled yam and pepper in salad bowl. Toss with dressing. Incorporate spinach leaves, tossing gently.

Serves 4-6 as a side salad, or 2 as a generous and tasty main course ๐Ÿ™‚

Celeriac Soup

Bulbous, knobbly celeriac is an under-used vegetable, I find. Perhaps it is because it is probably one of the least attractive! Brown, rough and coarse-looking – don’t judge it by its looks! Its homely appearance hides a beautiful personality. Celeriac is widely used in Europe as a side veg, in soups, salads and stews. Its delicate celery taste is wonderful.

This soup is inspired by the recipe of one of my favourite chefs, Jamie Oliver. As I made his recipe, I made the adjustments as follows. His use of truffle oil, in my opinion, elevates the soup from “delicious” to “OMG spectacular” ๐Ÿ™‚ you could, however, omit it and still have a lovely end product.

A note about truffle oil…consider it like perfume. A hint is lovely, but a lot is “too much”. Be mindful that different makes of truffle oil vary widely with regards to intensity and flavour. So, if you decide to use it, add it one tablespoon at a time as its flavour can very easily overwhelm the other flavours in the soup. For this quantity, I used about 3 tablespoons of good-quality white truffle oil.

1 onion, chopped coarsely

1 clove of garlic, chopped coarsely

500g/1 lb. celeriac (one average sized root), peeled and coarsely chopped

500g/ 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. dried thyme

1.5 litres vegetable stock (can use chicken stock), divided

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons truffle oil, or to taste

chopped parsley to garnish

Heat olive oil and butter in soup pot and gently saute onion and garlic until transparent and soft, but not brown. Add celeriac, potato, thyme and one litre of the stock. Bring to boil, lower heat and cook gently for 35-40 minutes or until celeriac and potatoes are soft. Add the cream, and bring back to boil for a minute.

Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Once vegetables are pureed, you might find the soup is a bit thick. If this is the case, thin it with a bit of the remaining stock, a little at a time, until you reach the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

If you are using the truffle oil, add it now, a tablespoonful at a time. Stir each spoonful in well – it will “sit” on the top at first. Taste after each addition to make sure the truffle taste is there but STOP when you are happy with it. More is not necessarily better in this case.

Serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley as a garnish.

 

 

Quick Green Pea Soup

When you say “pea soup” to people, most think of the “split pea and ham bone” kind. As delicious as that is, it does take a while to make. This pea soup is made using frozen peas and has a lovely “fresh” taste. It is very pretty, very fast and easy – perfect for either a quick supper after work or as a soup course for a dinner with friends. It is delicious both when fully vegan or with the dairy and or bacon add-ons.

2 cups frozen peas (don’t have to defrost)

1 litre vegetable stock ย (can use chicken stock)

salt and pepper to taste

a few leaves of mint (amount is to taste)*

2-3 green onions or equivalent amount of chives, chopped

crumbled cooked bacon bits (optional), to sprinkle

heavy cream (optional)

Bring stock and peas to boil and cook until peas are soft – don’t overcook them. Puree with immersion blender (or in conventional blender) with mint leaves until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whiz in a bit more mint if you like.

As a garnish, you can a) sprinkle a few leaves of julienned mint leaves with the green onion on top, b) sprinkle the green onion with the bacon bits, or c) beat the cream slightly and put a dollop on top (with some mint and or onion).

*Basil would also be tasty in place of the mint.

Spicy Millet Cakes with Garlicky Red Pepper Sauce

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on the Forks Over Knives site. It is very easy to make, and definitely hits the spice buttons. Leftovers refrigerate well and make great lunches for work, which will incite jealousy in your colleagues.

The sauce in the original recipe called for tofu. I don’t mind it occasionally but am not a huge fan. If you are, just blend one package of silken tofu in as described below. It also called for half the number of red peppers, but blackened and peeled. Roasted peeled red peppers which are lovely…but a pain to do, especially if you are pressed for time. My modification saves time (and there is extra fibre from the pepper peel!), and it got very good reviews. However, if you have time to roast the peppers, I am sure it would be delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

For the millet cakes:

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup millet

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. mellow white miso, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but good)

salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 large red bell peppers, diced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus a bit more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

zest and juice of 2 small or one medium lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook millet in vegetable stock – bring to boil and reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat or until millet is tender.

While millet is cooking, heat oil inย large frying pan and saute onion for a few minutes, until transparent and fragrant. Add curry powder, garlic and cayenne and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Add miso, tomato paste, and if you are using the nutritional yeast, add it. Add the cooked millet to this mixture and mix well.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup (1/3 cup size), shape millet into cakes and place on paper. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

While the millet cakes are cooking, make the sauce (you could make this ahead).ย For the sauce, heat olive oil in pan and fry red peppers over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and the skin starts to darken. Don’t crank up the heat, you don’t want “scorched”, only darkened – this will approximate the “roast pepper” flavour. Once most of the pepper pieces’ skins have started to darken and they are nice and soft, put peppers into food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients, and whiz until pureed.

To serve, make a “puddle” of the red pepper sauce on the plate and position the millet cake on top. Sprinkle with additional chopped coriander if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

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