Spring is here: Asparagus Risotto

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Fresh local asparagus means spring is finally here! The Jean Talon Market is full of asparagus and it inspired me to make risotto as the first alfreso dinner at my new apartment. After the winter we had in Montreal eating fresh food outside is more than a treat! Risotto is one of my favourite dishes to make and pretty hard to screw-up once you learn the basic steps. There are thousands of risotto recipes but I love this one from Thug Kitchen as it is simple, delicious and gluten-free. It is also fun to follow recipes from Thug Kitchen as the blog is serious about food but doesn’t take it self too seriously and we can all use some laughs while cooking.

You can find the recipe from Thug Kitchen here. This recipe is vegan as it but I made a few adjustments. At the end I added a pat of butter and a little parmesan and it served it with a side of shrimp sautéed in butter, garlic, chives and lemon with breadcrumbs. Risotto is a “naturally” gluten-free food but make sure your broth is gluten-free. I use Campbell’s Vegetable Broth that is certified gluten-free and has great flavour. (Watch out because their organic veggie broth is not gluten-free!).

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Gluten-Free Latkes for the Holidays

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I am obsessed with Latkes, also known as potato pancakes.  In my books they are the perfect gluten-free treat. There is little better in the world than fried potato. I love to make traditional ones around Hanukkah and also love to make impromptu thrown together versions for breakfast throughout the year. Latkes require only a small amount of breadcrumb or flour so it is easy to substitute in a gluten-free alternative. I like to just grate some potato, remove the excess water, add some onion (I also like green onion) and whatever gluten-free flour you have on hand and fry it all up. It is always delicious and your whole house will smell like latkes! (this is both good and bad)

Be careful most latkes you buy at the store or that are homemade are not gluten-free friendly (unless you have a friend like mine who always makes sure to use gluten-free flour- Thanks Ari!).

Before starting to cook I highly recommend watching this video detailing how to cook the perfect latke on bon appétit:   http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/no-soggy-latkes

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Gluten-Free Latkes

Makes about 24 medium-smallish latkes

  • 4-6 large potatoes peeled or unpeeled (russet are recommended but I use whatever I have on hand)
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (any gluten-free mix will work)
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 tsps baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • grapeseed oil or other preferred oil for frying

Preheat oven to 300 F to keep the latkes warm after frying.

We were a little lazy and chose not to peel our potatoes, the recipe works either way.

In a food processor or with a box grater grate the potatoes and onions. Transfer to a large kitchen towel or cheese cloth and twist to remove all the excess water. Repeat several times. The more water you remove the crispier your latkes will be.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and onion and mix well  with your hands.

In a large frying pan heat the about  4 TBSPs of the oil over medium high heat. You will need to add more oil throughout the cooking process.

Working in batches add  big spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing with your spatula to flatten. Once the latkes are browned on both sides remove to a plate with paper towel. The latkes will cook at different speeds. Put the cooked latkes in the oven on a plate or wire rack to keep warm while the others are being prepared.

Serve with this homemade applesauce (store bought will also work just fine). I also love mine with sour cream, smoked salmon and chives.

This recipe was inspired by this recipe from bon appétit.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this a year have a Latke party, you won’t regret it!

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The Easiest Homemade Applesauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_1I have no idea how I have never made applesauce because it is ridiculously easy and tastes way better homemade than store bought. It was scary easy and the only annoying part for this lazy girl was peeling and coring the apples. I am a lazy cook and I am now converted to making apple sauce. I was getting concerned that I was never going to use all the apples I bought apple picking back in September (I only eat green apples as is) and thought this would make the perfect side to Latkes for my birthday/holiday girl night with one of my favourite ladies (recipe for the Latkes to follow soon).

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apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_3Homemade Apple Sauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Makes about 3 cups of apple sauce (I would recommend doubling it)

  • 3 pounds apples peeled and cored (2-3 apples are a pound depending on their size and any kind of apple will do)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (you can use water if you don’t have any on hand)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (can use less or more depending on your preference, I used a full teaspoon this time)

Throw all the ingredients in a medium to large sized pot and cook the apples for 25 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once they are cooled puree them in a food processor or blender (I used my Nutribullet and only pulsed it for a second). That’s it!

Store in an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge. Can also be frozen.

Amazing as a snack, with latkes or on its own.apple_sauce_gluten_free_compote_pommes_sans_gluten_4

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Veggie Bowl with Easy Peanut Sauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Easy Veggie Bowl with Peanut Sauce

This is one of my favourite quick dinners to make after the gym with my girlfriends. With a few of us doing the chopping and cooking it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare a healthy, fresh and delicious dinner. This recipe is also great on work nights because it makes the best lunches.  It’s always a combination of rice noodles or rice, veggies and a quick peanut sauce we make with whatever we have on hand. The recipe below is general because these bowls are all about making something delicious and quick with what you have in your kitchen. There are many recipes for the best peanut sauce online but the two methods are super easy and delicious. To me this is the perfect indulgent but healthy gluten-free dinner that is almost too easy to make.

Quick Veggie Bowl

  • Prepare your rice or noodles (We used these amazing Brown Rice and Wakame Noodles).
  • Pan fry your tofu or protein of choice. We fried our tofu in sesame oil and added some gf tamari once it was getting crispy.
  • Prepare your veggies. We usually keep most of our veggies raw (julienning the peppers and grating carrots). We steamed the broccoli. Also great with brussels sprouts, bean sprouts, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms etc.
  • Prepare your bowls and add the peanut sauce.
  • Can be served with green onions, chopped peanuts, fresh herbs, sambal olek and limes on the side

Quick Peanut Sauce

In a pot combine about a cup peanut butter with half a can coconut milk  (you can add more coconut milk depending or thickness and preference, I usually don’t measure).  Bring it to a simmer over medium heat then lower heat. Add gluten-free tamari (or gluten-free soy sauce), sambal olek or hot sauce, a squeeze of lime, a little brown sugar, ginger or garlic to taste. All of these ingredients are optional. An alternative method if you are missing the coconut milk is to combine all the ingredients except  for the coconut milk and add boiling water until you reach your desired consistency.

That’s it!

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Easy Veggie Bowl with Gluten-Free Peanut Sauce

Perfect Buckwheat Crepes (Gluten-Free)

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crepes

I love these buckwheat crepes. They made the perfect brunch for my best friend and her new husband. The recipe below is perfect as is, no changes here. I love Gluten Free on a Shoestring and wish I was a little more patient and innovative when it came to gluten-free baking. I would love to one day make everything on the site! For now I can make crepes!

This recipe makes a great savoury or sweet crepe, it’s quite neutral so fill it with whatever you fancy or top it with lots of maple syrup 🙂

http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-buckwheat-crepes/

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Easy Cauliflower Pizza Crusts (Gluten-Free & Dairy Free)

Cauliflower Pizza Crusts (Gluten-Free)

I love cauliflower pizza crusts and breadsticks. When I get a major carb craving this pizza is always my go to recipe. What makes this version of cauliflower pizza great is the almond flour (it acts as a binder) and that there is no cheese in the crust (so you can put more on top). The crust really stays together and while it won’t be mistaken for real pizza, it’s just as delicious. Also, it’s fun to eat your veggies in pizza form. I love being able to eat too much “pizza” or a big serving of “breadsticks” and have it be healthy.

Cauliflower + Almond Flour Crusts

  • 2 cups grated cauliflower florets (one small head will do)
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • a little salt
  • a little pepper
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning (I used fresh chives instead and any herbs will do)
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast (this gives the pizza a cheesy flavour)

Heat oven to 450 F and line two baking trays with parchment.

I don’t have a food processor so I grated the whole head of cauliflower (I did this outside to avoid a mess). You want your cauliflower to look like grains of rice.

Beat the eggs and add all the other crust ingredients and combine, you can add more almond flour if it looks too liquidy.

Make four crusts on the baking sheet, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add you desired toppings and throw it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Rotating the pans is a good idea.

I topped mine with marinara sauce, mozzarella, basil, pine nuts and veggies. These crusts hold sauce quite well and would be amazing with pesto.

For Breadsticks: I make them the same way and bake the cauliflower mixture on one baking sheet lined with parchment. I add cheese to the top and bake it the same way, cutting it in half to turn it. When it’s done I cut it into sticks and serve it with my favourite marinara sauce. I often add more herbs and spices to the sticks for extra flavour.

This recipe is inspired by Beard + Bonnet.

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Too Easy Candied Maple Pecans (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Easy Candied Pecan (Gluten-Free)

Never buy candied pecans, they are too easy to make! I am scared to share this recipe because now all my friends will really know just how easy they really are. I bring these pecans to get-togethers and no matter how much I make they usually disappear before everyone gets to try them. I love to snack on them but if I can manage to save some they are perfect on salads or desserts. I love easy “recipes” like this. More like little tricks to make delicious add-ons that happen to be gluten-free!

Maple Pecans

  • 4 TBSPs Pure Maple Syrup (only the real stuff will do)
  • 3 cups Pecans

Preheat the oven the 300 F. Combine maple syrup and pecans in a bowl to coat (the measurements do not need to be exact). Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet lined with parchment. The cooking time really depends on the oven. I usually put them in for about 15-20 minutes. You want to make sure they caramelize but don’t burn, so check them often. Let them cool and store in an airtight container. These pecans are perfect as a snack and are also great added to: salads with beets and goat cheese, yogurt, ice cream…


Candied Maple Pecans (Gluten-Free)