For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sally of Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is Brazilian and a biochemist. She has a beautiful smile, an awesome kitchen, and mad cooking and baking skills! I feel like we have a connection as we both went grey early. :)
She has TONS of delicious looking recipes, like this Cauli-Couscous, this simple non-roasted “roasted” broccoli, this ultimate Apple Cake and this granola. She is also a champion bread maker and I am so impressed by all her Brazilian Food!
I ended up choosing her Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing – definitely a winner! I changed it up a bit – I used a blender for the dressing as I’m too lazy to chop things that small), added orange zest and added toasted almonds instead of seared scallops (shellfish = bad for me). I expected it to be fairly spicy, but it wasn’t – just really tasty!
Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I used 1 orange plus the juice left in the membrane from the segmented orange)
Zest of 1 orange
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
2 oranges, cut in segments
Mixed greens (I used power greens mix)
Toasted Almonds (Optional – I ran out of time and didn’t toast mine, but I definitely recommend it to take the flavour to the next level)
- Simmer orange juice in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp. It should take a little over 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Roast jalapeño directly over a gas flame (I used my BBQ), turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Let cool; remove stem, skin, and seeds.
- Place shallot, vinegar, reduced orange juice orange zest, olive and the jalapeño in a single serving blender container (i.e. magic bullet or similar) and blend until all chunks are gone; season with salt and pepper.
- Toss avocados, orange segments, salad greens, and vinaigrette in a bowl. Serve with toasted almonds if desired.
Sally, it was a joy to read through your blog! I love how your fun personality shines through in all of your posts and your wide array of recipes!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:
So the morning that Mr. Bean and I were supposed to head out on vacation, I fell off my bike on the way to work and had a wonderful crash. Thankfully, there were people who saw my crash and they took me to the hospital to get stitched up, plus Mr. Bean was home so he was able to pick me up and take me to the dentist to fix my broken t00th. Great way to start a holiday, eh?
Having your face and mouth busted up means no solid foods, so it’s a good thing I brought my blender with me! Here’s one of my favourite dessert creations. It would also be really good with peanut butter or chocolate ice cream!
Dairy Free Banana Almond Butter Milkshake
1 – 2 spoonfuls of almond butter
1 large scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream
2 large ice cubes (you could use more ice cream instead of ice cubes, but this helps lighten it up a bit)
- Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth, adding more ice cream/ice or almond milk to get the desired consistency.
When was the last time you were on a liquid diet? Let’s Commiserate!
For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Erin of The Spiffy Cookie! She literally has the cutest little cookie figure – especially the one that has its eyes closed! Erin is definitely a smart cookie – she has a PhD in Microbiology! Plus, she thinks chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever!
She even has a whole list of gluten free recipes! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person who struggles to get up more than 30 minutes before I need to get out the door! She has so many delicious looking recipes like these Avocado Brownies, Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie, Banana Foster Muffins and these Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits.
In the end, I chose her Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars. I made them gluten free, vegan and reduced the sugar in half. Even then, I found them to be quite sweet, although the glaze is good as it adds extra moisture.
They were delicious! The best part were the apples, especially since they got drenched in the glaze. Yum! I sent them along with Mr. Bean to work and his coworkers loved them! They didn’t last very long!
Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars
1/2 c. each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours *(if you don’t have one of these flours, just use more of what you have)
1/2 c. each tapioca and potato starch
1 1/4 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins, finely diced
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (use soy free buttery spread to make soy free)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Adams all natural crunchy)
2 eggs or egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. almond or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1+ c. finely diced apples
Almond Milk (I used 4 tbsp as my peanut butter was really quite hard
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. almond milk (my peanut butter was fairly hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of milk)
1 c. sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper (I used a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet).
- In a small sauce pan, melt maragarine and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Shift the flours and whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the diced raisins. Set aside.
- Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Pour peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the apples and stir until combined. Add extra milk if necessary to make the batter more easily spreadable.
- Transfer batter onto prepared pan and spread the batter into the corners.
- Bake in oven for ~20 min for a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet or ~30min for a 13″ x 9″ pan. The bars should be slightly golden on top and edges are slightly brown.
- Remove and place on a rack to cook.
- As the bars cool, prepare the the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk/sugar to get it to the correct consistency for drizzling.
- Drizzle the glaze over the bars and cut into squares.
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!
For March’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Lynn of Turnips 2 Tangerines. Lynn lives in Wisconsin and married her highschool sweetheat many years later (so cute!). She shares lots of amazing looking recipes including lots of baking! If I were eating dairy, I would totally want to try her lingonberry cheesecake – after going to Sweden, I love Lingonberries! I’m also super impressed with how good she is with making sourdough anything. She even has instructions on how to grow your own Avocado tree – if I wasn’t such a black thumb, that would be awesome to try!
I ended up choosing her Blueberry Spice Streusel Coffee Cake – usually I don’t use cake mixes, but I had one I wanted to use up. The cake turned out really well! It probably helps that I followed the instructions on the box (shock!) – namely, I used eggs as I knew I was going to be feeding it to my coworkers and the texture was amazing! It was fluffy, light and moist! My coworkers loved it and it disappeared quickly. I’d definitely make it again!
The only changes I made were that I didn’t use a spice cake, so I added my own, I reduced the sugar on the top by 1/4 c. and I didn’t add the frosting as it was still quite sweet to me.
Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Blueberry Spice Streusel Coffee Cake
1 – Betty Crocker GF Golden Cake Mix
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
2/3 c. almond milk
1/2 c. Earth Balance Coconut Spread
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries, thawed (Or fresh)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
3 tbsp. brown rice flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of an 8 x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the topping.
- Whisk together cake mix and spices.
- Add eggs, milk, vanilla and coconut spread and mix on low for 30 sec. Add vinegar and beat for 2 mins on medium.
- Fold in Blueberries and scrape into pan. (All mine went to the bottom, so I would recommend scraping a bit of batter to cover the bottom of the pan and then mix in the blueberries in the remaining batter before scraping into the pan).
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
- Bake for 35 – 45 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack before serving.
For February’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Susan of Food Baby Life. Susan is an amazing baker – just look at all the Daring Bakers, Tuesdays with Dorie and Baking with Julia challenges she has done! It was very hard for me to decide what I was going to make! I spent so long looking through recipes like her cornflake biscuits (so similar to what my grandma used to make for us when we were kids!), Spiced Apple Baked French Toast, or her Mediterranean Lamb Salad.
I was having such a hard time deciding what I was going to make, so I asked Mr. Bean for help. I ended up choosing her chocolate zucchini muffins. I made them gluten free and a little bit healthier by replacing some of the oil with applesauce.
I had a few issues – all of which would probably have been solved had I squeezed the water out of the zucchini prior to mixing it in. My muffins took almost 40 minutes to cook because the insides were too wet. Once they were cooked, they were pretty tasty!
Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
1/4 c. each tapioca starch, potato starch, brown rice flour, sorghum flour and millet flour
1 tsp. xathan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 c. cocoa
3/4 c. gluten free oats
1/3-1/2 c. coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 small zucchini, grated & excess liquid squeezed out
3/4 c. almond (or other dairy free) milk
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
- 1. Line or grease a muffin tin and preheat oven to 350F. (I used 12 mini muffins and 9 normal sized)
- Shift together flours. Mix in the remainder of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just combined.
- Spoon into prepared muffin tins and cook for 20 – 25 min for the normal sized muffins.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
Susan, it was great looking through all the beautiful recipes on your blog! :)
Please click below to see the rest of Group D’s recipes!