Tag Archives: Gluten free

Passion Fruit Lemon Macarons

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It’s a well known fact that I’m lazy. When it comes to doing things for myself or anything without a set deadline or schedule I will most certainly put it off. For instance, I told Christoph I’d fix his jacket in time for winter. That was last summer. Recently, I just started learning how to drive…7 years after I said I’d do it (and I’m only doing it because my permit is about to expire).

My point is that I’d like to blog more but I often put it off since I don’t have a set schedule or deadline and such. If this was my full time job I’m positive that I would blog at least once a week and focus all my energy into each post. But, before I started blogging I really never realized how much time and effort goes into one post. The process of coming up with an idea, looking at recipes, creating a recipe, baking, cooking, cleaning, setting up, finding props, making props, finding proper lighting, taking photos, taking more photos, cleaning up, editing photos, choosing photos, thinking of something to write, writing something interesting, posting photos to food websites, etc. is a lot of work!

Which reminds me, I need to work on organizing the dozens of cookbooks I keep on buying. I guess I’ll get to that one day.

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This year for Mother’s day I was requested to make macarons instead of making the usual brunch. Seeing as it was snowing outside it probably wouldn’t have been so nice to have a backyard patio brunch anyway. Yeah seriously, snowing a few days after I was getting a tan in my backyard. Luckily, the weather is back to normal and I can sit here on my patio sunning my seriously pale legs.

I was planning on making lemon macarons but at the last minute added passion fruit puree to the curd and it was delicious. Also, what’s great about filling macarons with this curd is that you’ll be able to use up your left over egg yolks after making the macs. Good thing too, cause I’m sure I’d just leave them in there for days telling myself I’d use them later.

Passion Fruit Macarons
Makes about 40 1.5″ macaron sandwich cookies

For the macaron shells make a double (x2) batch of Basic Macarons and colour the egg whites with a few drops of yellow gel colouring during the last minute of whipping

Passion Fruit and Lemon Curd
Adapted from this recipe 

1/2 cup unsweetened passion fruit puree (without seeds)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/113g) of salted butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked in a bowl

Add all ingredients except for the yolks to a heavy bottomed medium sized pot. Simmer on medium high heat while whisking constantly for about a minute till the mixture has thickened. Temper the egg yolks by adding a few spoonfuls of passion fruit mixture to the yolks and whisking quickly. Keep adding a few spoonfuls at a time until the egg mixture is warm. Add the egg mixture to the pot and quickly whisk in to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Keep whisking for a couple more minutes until the mixture is very thick. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

To assemble the macarons, fill up a plastic piping bag with the curd and pipe about a teaspoons worth of curd onto half the macaron shells and sandwich with the other half. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat. They will keep fresh for a few days.

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Quickest Almond Milk and Blackberry Mash

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It’s day … of my elimination diet.

Ok, so I’m not on my elimination diet anymore. Yeah, I gave up. But I did stay on it for 30 days. No cheating or anything…except for that one time on day 25 when I shoved two donuts into my mouth and then ended up eating hot sauce and instant noodles. Yeah, that happened.

Though, from what I noticed, there was no change in my problem on the diet and there was no change when I stopped the diet. So maybe I don’t have any food allergies at all. Wouldn’t that be great! I was mostly scared that I would end up being allergic to gluten and never be able to sink my teeth into a fresh baked loaf of bread ever again. Saddest   thought   ever.

Anyway, I’ve been absent on here for a while due to exams and such and now that they’re over I’m going to bake EVERYTHING. Seriously. You don’t understand how much I think about bread and buns and rolls and all things that include flour. Apparently, according to the internet, what you crave the most is often what your body is sensitive to and that could indicate an allergy to that certain food. However, I’m just going to choose to ignore what the internet says.

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Anyway, today’s post actually has zero to do with bread but involves a sweet little drink I came up with when I was on my elimination diet. It’s super healthy, a little creamy, a little tart, and a lot delicious. You can use already made almond milk but I didn’t have any and found the almond butter to be a pretty good substitute. As well, most of the almond milks out there tend to use carrageenan as a thickener. There’s been quite a bit of speculation surrounding carrageenan as a cause of IBS and digestive problems. I’m pretty sure I already have enough digestive problems with the amount of gluten and sugar that enters my body.

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So, this drink is a combo of fresh blackberries mashed with a little lemon juice and homemade almond milk. The blackberries get layered at the bottom for a pretty colour effect and are lightly mashed for an interesting texture. It oddly reminded me of bubble tea. But much much healthier. I recommend getting your hands on some large bubble tea straws, which you can usually pick up at any asian grocery store.

Next time I make it, I plan on adding a banana to the almond milk to make it more of a smoothie texture.

Almond Milk and Blackberry Drink
Makes two 8oz drinks

3/4 cup of blackberries, cold
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of filtered water, cold
a few ice cubes, optional
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp maple syrup, or to taste
pinch of sea salt

Mash the blackberries and lemon juice with the back of a fork until liquid-y but still chunky. Divide into the bottom of two glasses. In a blender, puree the almond butter, water, ice, syrup, and salt until smooth and frothy. Add more syrup if you’d like it sweeter. Pour the almond milk on top of the blackberry mash and serve immediately with a large bubble tea straw.

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Sunshine In A Bottle

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It’s day 18 of my elimination diet.

I must say that I’m getting quite the hang of it. I’ve been eating extremely healthy for the most part and haven’t been missing the desserts…too much. Though I have been drooling all over the cookie and doughnut recipes on tastespotting. And maybe also whining to my boyfriend every now and then about how much I   just   want   a   cookie.

I’ve been experimenting quite a bit in the kitchen, coming up with a few gluten free, vegan, low sugar, and surprisingly delicious recipes. I can’t say that all of them worked, such as the disgusting spongey, pasty, gluten free lemon muffins I have sitting in the freezer. But for the most part, the recipes turned out pretty great.

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For the past few weeks I have been starting my morning with a mug of hot lemon water and just recently I have also started taking a shot of noni juice prior to that. Noni juice is apparently this cure all supplement made from hawaiian volcanic berries or something like that. I don’t really know, I just read some stuff about how it’s supposed to help with eczema and inflammation and the sort. All I really know is that it kind of tastes like cheese and..sour stuff. These two things in the morning are supposed to help my body detoxify and strengthen my immune system. To add upon that I have been juicing regularly, which should also help my body release any toxins that it has built up from all the sugar I’ve been inhaling over the past few years!

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Today I made a nice orange coloured fruit and vegetable juice. This one is quite sweet and probably a great juice for anyone new to juicing. The ginger adds a nice kick to it and the pineapple gives it a great tropical/summer quality. Which I definitely need right now in this dreary winter cold.

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Sunshine Juice
Makes about 16oz, enough for 1 large or 2 small juices

Make sure to wash all produce well and peel any non organic fruits or vegetables.

4 medium carrots
2 medium leaves of dinosaur/lacinato/black kale
1 cup of diced pineapple
half an apple (I used a pink lady)
half a lemon, peel on if organic
a small piece of ginger, about 1 cm thick and 2 cm wide

Run everything through a juicer, starting with the kale and ginger. Serve over ice immediately.

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Winter Millet Porridge

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It’s day 9 of my elimination diet.

So far I think I’ve been doing pretty good! I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes over the past week and some of them have been great and some not. Last week I decided to make my own coconut milk yoghurt. The thought of a creamy, coconut-y, slightly tangy bowl of yoghurt sounded amazing to go with the buckwheat granola clusters I had made earlier. The only problem was that I didn’t have a way of keeping my yoghurt at exactly 110˚F for 8 hours. So I decided to be “thrifty” and use my portable heater between two chairs with a cardboard box on top to trap the heat.

And it worked.

I mean, I managed to keep it at 110˚F for 8 hours, I didn’t say the yoghurt worked. At first it was all slightly sour and stuff but by the next day when I opened up the container it managed to smell exactly like….eggs. Oh mmm, who doesn’t want to be eating a bowl of egg flavoured coconut yoghurt?

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So that one was a bit of a failure.

But, today I made a lovely, warming bowl of porridge. See, for many in the northern hemisphere spring is starting to crop up. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, buds are peeking out of their branches and people are getting their bikes out in preparation for biking weather. But no, not here, not in Toronto. It’s still well below zero, still no signs of spring, and no signs pointing toward me biking around in shorts any time soon. It’s winter. So I made myself something warm, hearty, and slightly colourful to cheer myself up since I know spring isn’t coming any time soon for me.

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What I made was a pumpkin pie millet porridge topped with buckwheat granola clusters, pecans, flax meal, and maple syrup. The nutmeg and cinnamon give this dish a warming and comforting feel while the millet gives a nice change from the usual oatmeal.

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Apparently millet is what bird feed is made up of. But I don’t mind eating bird food if it tastes this good.

Pumpkin Pie Millet Porridge
Makes 3 servings
Adapted slightly from Sarah Britton’s Recipe at My New Roots

1/2 cup of millet (soaked in water for 8 – 24 hours)
1/2 cup of canned or homemade pumpkin puree
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped or 1 tsp of vanilla essence
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
2 cups of almond coconut milk or almond milk
a few tablespoons of maple syrup to taste
buckwheat granola clusters, chopped pecans, flax meal, and shredded coconut for topping

Drain and rinse the soaked millet. Combine in a medium pot with pumpkin, salt, vanilla (bean and seeds), spices, and almond coconut milk. Bring to a boil on medium heat while stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Texture should be rather liquidy but if not, add a bit more milk. Remove vanilla bean. Add maple syrup according to taste (I added about 2 tbsp). Portion into bowls and top with extra milk, maple syrup, buckwheat granola, flax, coconut, and whatever else you’d like.

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Allergen free cooking

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It’s day 3 of my elimination diet.

No gluten, dairy, bananas, strawberries, oranges, dried fruits, potatoes, corn, oils, peanuts, alcohol, nightshades, soy, and much much more. For some, this diet would seem like a nightmare but luckily for me I like a challenge. Especially a challenge involving food. I have a lot planned for this diet as I’ve spent days planning and researching different recipes and I think I’ve come up with quite a few dishes that’ll leave me feeling satisfied without my usual dairy, sugar, and gluten. To be honest I thought I’d be having sugar withdrawals since my love of sugar is kinda out of control, but so far I think I’ve been doing pretty well. It’s not like I’ve been dreaming about lemon meringue pie donuts or anything…

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So, today I decided to make some brown rice pudding. Like I haven’t eaten enough brown rice in the past few days. Day 1 I had a brown rice hummus bowl for dinner, day 2 I had lentils and brown rice with tahini for lunch as well as lentil and brown rice soup for dinner. Oh yeah, and brown rice cakes for snacks in between. Maybe that’s why it’s also called the brown rice diet…cause that’s the only thing you can eat!

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That’s actually not true. As you can see by the recipe I’m about to post, you can eat apples and cinnamon too. Plus a whole bunch of other things…but that list of things is definitely smaller than the list of things you can’t eat.

This recipe for apple cinnamon rice pudding is vegan and gluten free and made with a tiny bit of maple syrup (one of the only sugars I can have in small quantities), but you could sub in stevia in a pinch.

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Allergen Free Apple Cinnamon Brown Rice Pudding

Makes about 4 half cup servings

1/3 cup long grain brown rice
1 cup sweet apple, shredded (about 3/4 medium apple)
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Wash and drain brown rice. Combine rice, shredded apple, almond milk, syrup, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sized non stick pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring every so often, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and partially cover. Cook for about an hour and a half, stirring frequently until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft with a little bit of a bite. Portion into ramekins and garnish with more cinnamon and a few apple slices.

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