Quinoa Chocolate Cake


Hmmmm chocolate.
How about a flourless chocolate cake that tastes amazing. Even better, a chocolate cake that is good for you?
Well as good as a chocolate cake can be. This one is made using cooked quinoa. And as we know quinoa is a superfood. It is full of nutrients, protein, gluten free, and high fiber.
Plus if you use a dark chocolate this cake has antioxidants too! What more can a chocolate cake get?
This recipe is courtesy of a customer I met at work. I met Andrea, while she was shopping for vegetarian cookbooks. We started up a conversation and before long she passed on a chocolate cake recipe to me.
I tried it and wow… it was great!
This would make a great holiday dessert.
I thank Andrea for passing this recipe on to me, and I will now pass it on to you.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
  

  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook the quinoa in the water.
  • To do this, add both ingredients to a pan, then bring the mixture to a boil.
  • At this point, put the lid on, lower the heat and simmer for approx 10 minutes.
  • Shut off the heat and leave the pan on the burner to continue cooking slightly for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Mix it somewhat with a fork and allow to cool completely.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare an 8 inch springform pan.
  • I greased and lined the sides and bottom with parchment.
  • Using a stand mixer put the eggs, vanilla and milk in a bowl.
  • Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa.
  • Combine these ingredients, then add the butter.
  • Blend until everything is smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix.
  • Place the mixture into the cake pan.
  • Cook for approximately 50 minutes.
  • It is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (I found the cake took longer to bake for me. With the altitude here, my times can be different)
  • I let the cake cool completely and once removed from the pan I covered the cake in a dark chocolate ganache.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Recipe courtesy of www.best-chocolate-recipes.com

Here is that recipe

Ganache

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Put the cream into a saucepan and heat until scalding hot.
  • Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Let cool for 2 minutes and then pour over the cake.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Weekend at the Chateau Lake Louise


This year for my husbands Christmas party we were lucky enough to stay at the Chateau Lake Louise, in Lake Louise Alberta. The Chateau for many years has been voted one of the worlds top ten hotels. For us it is a 2 hour drive from Calgary.
I was nervous about spending the weekend without first inquiring about gluten free options. But working a lot right now, I just didn’t have the time to call. So off we went.
The evening that we arrived we headed to their German Restaurant so check out the menu. Before we even sat down, we were asked about any dietary issues. I explained celiacs and they assured me that I would have no trouble with the food. A basket of warm gluten free bread arrived for myself, and the rest of our meal was superb. Both my husband and I had the tenderloin and it melted in our mouths.
Everywhere in the hotel they accommodated me. I was very impressed.
Here are some photos of our stay. Of course a lot of them are of the food!

A few of us got together and had the high tea on Saturday afternoon. I received my own platter of gluten free goodies.

At the café I picked up a flourless orange cake-yum!



Sunday brunch with gluten free grainy toast




Kevin and myself outside enjoying the day.

Gluten-Free Gingersnaps


Gooey, warm cinnamon molasses cookies!
A little crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.
And they are gluten free?
Yes they are, and yes, it is an easy recipe too!
My memories of gingersnaps were ones my Grandma used to make. They were incredibly hard, yet they had this fluorescent pink icing that made them more than amazing…could it have been that that was because my Grandma had made them? Probably. However, she was a great baker and I miss her a lot.
Now that I am an adult, I really like ones that are crunchy and gooey – I am so happy that I can also make them gluten free.









Gluten-Free Gingersnaps

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch(*)
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour(*)
  • 3/4 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp gf baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Instructions
 

  • Measure and mix the 10 dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Cream wet ingredients in a mixer until fluffy.
  • Add reserved dry ingredients and mix into a dough.
  • Form dough into 1 inch balls-I use a small ice cream scooper for that.
  • Place balls onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!!
  • *If you find your dough is not forming balls easily you can add up to 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch and sweet rice flour.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Gluten-Free Matrimonial/Date Squares


It is that time of year again, when all thoughts are about baking Christmas squares and cookies. I, myself, want to be able to make all the great goodies that I grew up with and Matrimonial Squares were always a fav of mine.
Last year I tried a new recipe for a gluten free date square that did not work, and determined from there not to try making them again.
At Safeway the other day I spotted a fresh bag of pitted dates and it rekindled my desire to make a great Matrimonial Square.
This recipe does that.
In fact, I think it is better than the ones I used to have as a kid. That is a statement you do not hear very often about gluten free baking.

Matrimonial/Date Squares

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups gf oats(I use Only Oats brand which is non-contaminated)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup butter(melted)
  • 1/2 lb(225 g) chopped, pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Mix together the first 8 ingredients fully, then add the melted butter and gently stir until combined.
  • Set aside.
  • Cook dates and water in a pot on the stove, mixing periodically until a gooey paste forms.
  • Spray and line a 8×8 pan (I spray, then line my pan with parchment paper for easier removal of squares).
  • Press ½ of oat mixture on pan.
  • Spread date filling evenly over oat layer.
  • Top with remaining oats and spread out.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely before removing and cutting squares.
  • Enjoy them!!!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!












Pumpkin Cake with Creamcheese Frosting

As promised here is a delicious gluten-free dessert recipe for the Thanksgiving holiday! If you missed the other thanksgiving recipes, check them out here.







Once cooled you can ice the cake.

Pumpkin Cake with Creamcheese Frosting

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups muscovado organic brown sugar(you could use reg brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin cooked**(or 1 15oz can cooked pumpkin)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9×11 pan with cooking spray.
  • Beat eggs in large mixing bowl til light and frothy.
  • Add brown sugar and beat.
  • Add oil, pumpkin and vanilla.
  • Beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix.
  • Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until cake is firm.
  • Remove from oven and cool.
  • Once cooled you can ice the cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Creamcheese Icing

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkg cream cheese softened
  • 4 T softened butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups gf icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add icing sugar a little at a time and beat until smooth.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Two Thanksgiving Recipes and BONUS Technique! Butternut Squash Soup & Squash Toss


Well it is hard to believe that it is thanksgiving this weekend. It really did creep up on me this year and in not being organized I did not post any thanksgiving recipes… until now! Today you will receive two recipes (Butternut Squash Soup and Squash Toss) and also a technique on how to roast squash and pumpkin. Tomorrow I will be posting a dessert recipe on how to make Pumpkin Cake with Cheesecake Frosting!
I love thanksgiving! What could be better than the smell of pumpkin pie and roasted turkey in the house? Nothing!
Converting the meal to be gluten free is fairly easy. However I have compromised and the stuffing for the turkey is how I have always made it. The kids love it and I am content leaving it full of gluten. Do I still have turkey? Yes. How? I ask my husband before he takes out the stuffing and carves the bird to give me a few top slices. No, I do not eat the gravy either, but again, I am fine with that.
Although gluten-free stuffing and gluten-free gravy are very easy and delicious!







Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and diced
  • 4 large carrots or 6-8 smaller ones
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 small can coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp each Nutmeg and cardamom

Instructions
 

  • In stockpot, add all ingredients except maple syrup.
  • Cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until carrots and squash are soft.
  • Remove from heat, and with inverted blender puree until smooth.
  • Add maple syrup and stir.
  • **I have for family gatherings made the soup the day before, and in the morning put the soup in a large crock-pot to heat up (this way you can save precious stovetop space)
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!







Squash Toss

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 acorn squash, seeded, peeled and cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In large bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, cumin, chili flakes, and cinn.
  • Add squashes and stir to coat.
  • On parchment paper lined cookie sheet, add squash cubes.
  • Spread out cubes on sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and stir.
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes until squash is caramelized.
  • This dish is oh, so tasty.
  • The caramelization on the squash, combined with the heat of the chili flakes is wonderful.
  • Definitely a dish to serve if you are entertaining any vegetarians.
  • I served my squash toss on basmati rice-but you could double this recipe for a stand alone dish.
  • Technique: How to Roast Squash/Pumpkin
  • Roasting a squash/pumpkin is quite simple.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • I also spray the paper with Pam so that the squash/pumpkin does not stick.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut top and bottom off of pumpkin, this way it will not roll around when you are slicing it.
  • Cut the pumpkin then up into chunks.
  • Remove the seeds and the peel.
  • Once this is done, place slices/cubes on cookie sheet and place in 350 degree oven for 1-1 ½ hours.
  • Check on the squash after 30 minutes and flip pieces over.
  • Once soft, remove from oven.
  • For the sugar pumpkin, I put the cooked pieces into my food processor and processed until smooth.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!








Trip to Los Angeles

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Well Kevin and I are back from our week in LA. We stayed at the lovely Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach. The weather was fantastic, and we basically relaxed in the sun and sand for the week.
Eating Gluten-free for the week was no problem. I found that I could eat off most menus and did not get ill. Well, I did one night, but that was my fault. We ate at Café Pierre in Manhattan Beach and the food was incredible. I had ordered the frisee salad with farmstead cheddar, soft poached egg, and pancetta. All seemed fine until the salad arrived. My poached egg was actually breaded. Yes, I should have sent it back. But all of us celiacs do this at times. I did not want to bother anyone. I did not want to seem fussy. But my main course was roasted jidon chicken breast with baby artichokes. I have never, ever, in my life had such good chicken. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
So, yes, the next day I was ill and spent a lot of time in the washroom. But again, it was not the restaurants fault. It was mine. We also ate at Rock’n Fish restaurant in Manhattan Beach. The first time we were there I ordered the super spicy bbq shrimp. Delicious!


bbqshrimp


The second time we went, I actually asked if it had any wheat in the sauce-and our waitress, Danielle, informed me that they had a gluten free menu. The manager of the restaurant has celiacs and wanted food that she could eat too. And guess what? My “new awlins hot bbq shrimp” was on the gluten free menu.
I also had for the first time “oak-grilled artichokes with garlic aioli”. Hmmmmmm…yummy! My husband wasn’t really impressed. Thought they tasted like nothing for the amount of “choke” you get. I was thrilled with my grilled goodness.


artichoke


chipotle


Another place we discovered to have lunch was Chipotle Mexican Grill. This restaurant was recently featured on Oprah. The founder of this chain wanted to open a fast food restaurant that used fresh, non-greasy, local ingredients. I was very impressed. Both times I had the chicken salad. Lettuce, grilled chicken, a choice of salsas, corn,fresh avocado, etc. The salad, which was huge was $5.95! It tasted great and the avocado had a nice bite to it.

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My husband had the chicken burrito, which when rolled up, needed 2 hands to hold on to.


burrito


So I am sharing some photos of our trip. Especially here in Calgary, where all we see is a lot of brown outside. And we also got snow while we were away, it was fabulous to see lots of green, flowers, and feel warm sun everyday.


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Happy Easter!

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IMG_1608


Happy Easter Everyone! I am off to California for a week of sun and sand. Thought I would leave you with a lovely lemon dessert to look at.
Lemon cake infused with lemon zest,
Homemade lemon curd with 1 cup of fresh lemon juice,
Whipped cream folded into lemon curd for the icing,
Strawberries, Raspberries and blueberries marinating in Lemoncello.
Too much lemon?
You will have to try it and see.
I will post recipe when I get back.

Turkey Soup with Cheese Biscuits

turkey

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Well, as per usual these days, I checked my emails for any new blogs that may have come in.
And today I was blessed with a new one from Gluten Free Gobsmacked. She had a recipe for Gluten Free Cheese Bread, now, to me they looked liked
Biscuits-so I am going to call them biscuits.
I was intrigued by the thought of only using tapioca starch as the flour, and pretty much figured, I would give them a try today.
Now biscuits are great-but they do not make a meal-so I still did not know what I was making for supper. After spending time on the phone this morning gabbing with my sister, I decided to make turkey soup-something that I could whip up and it could simmer all day long.
Yes, that is what I was going to make …and in the end, it was a great thing to do. First my girlfriend called from Texas and after gabbing again for part of the afternoon-I could relax and know supper was takin care of. For, pretty much, I had talked the day through.
I had turkey meat leftover from Christmas, as I am sure a lot of you do.
Turkey soup to me, is basically a soup that consists of whatever I have in my fridge and cupboards-there is definitely no running to Safeway for last minute ingredients with this recipe. What I have on hand, is what I have on hand.


Turkey Soup

turkey

Turkey Soup

Ingredients
  

  • Leftover turkey meat
  • 2 946ml gluten free chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 small zucchini’s chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils

Instructions
 

  • Saute in large pot, 1 T olive oil and add in chopped onions, celery, garlic paste( I like a lot of garlic).
  • Add chopped carrots, zucchini, chicken broth, jalapeno, lentils, and dried herbs. The quantity of herbs is to taste, but do not be afraid of using at least 1 tsp per herb(less of sage though-use just a pinch of sage).
  • Let this mixture come to a boil,and then simmer for hours. I put my pot together at noon, and it remained on low til 5 pm.
  • But, I have to say, the best part of the meal to me, was the biscuits.Oh my God they were good. A warm bite of cheesy goodness! Please, please-do try these!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Gluten Free Cheese Biscuits

turkey

Gluten Free Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 cups shredded cheese( I used a combo of sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 2 tsp dried chives

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Mix together in a food processor all the ingredients well.Form into balls and slightly flatten. (I used my ice scream scooper that I use for making cookies to make the balls. For me this made 11 balls.
  • Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.(I used my silpat on my baking sheet)
  • Bake 10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

AND, THEN TRY TO WAIT TO EAT THEM!
THEY ARE SO YUMMY!!

Christmas Party Baking and Popcorn Recipe!

popcorn

We were heading to Kananaskis country this weekend for my husband’s Christmas party. The last couple of years we drive 1 ½ hour into the mountains and stay the weekend at the Delta Kananaskis Lodge.
It is a great weekend of catching up with my husband’s co-workers and their families, and of course, partying a lot. We always have a great time and this would be my second year going as a gluten-free gal.
On a Friday night, all the families gather in Bowie’s room to eat, drink and chat all night long. And as usual, I wanted to bring something to munch on.
This year I decided on caramel popcorn but with a twist. I was going to add Maldon salt and dark chocolate to the popcorn.
I also decided to make cookies-gluten-free of course, and Bob Mill’s recently came out with a shortbread cookie mix that I decided to try.


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The results for all were amazing, and both I will make again and again.
Here is the recipe for caramel popcorn.

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Air-Popped Popcorn

My original recipe says 24cups. I normally do not measure the popped popcorn. I have a very large roasting pan, that I fill with the popped corn-and that is my guide.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup butter
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Maldon sea salt(I get this salt at Williams Sonoma in Calgary)
  • Dark chocolate flakes

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, add the butter, br. sugar, corn syrup and salt.
  • Once it all melts, give a quick stir and then just leave it until it boils. Boil for 5 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla. Stir.
  • The mixture will start to double in size so watch closely and pour mixture over the popped corn. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Stirring it every 15 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven-continue to stir for it hardens quite easily.
  • I then sprinkle the sea salt over the popcorn and also sprinkled the dark chocolate flakes. Let cool.
  • You can store in whatever container you have. This is a very large recipe so I usually give some away as gifts-thus using small Christmas cellophane bags.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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I also made shortbread cookies for the party.
I highly recommend this gluten-free mix-they turned out great and I received many compliments on the taste and texture of these cookies.