Tag Archives: meal ideas

SRC: K&K Test Kitchen’s Warm Potato and Green Bean Salad

For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with of Kelsey and Kim of K&K Test Kitchen. They are a mother-daughter duo who started off testing recipes they had collected and come across and sharing them on their blog, which then opened the door to much more experimenting the kitchen. Despite claiming that they aren’t gourmet chefs, they  cook meals for everyday, which focus on quality, using common ingredients and everything delicious.

Both of them have lots of wonderful recipes, including the tasty looking Raspberry and Apricot Crostata, Potato, Corn and Green Bean Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinagrette, Street Slaw (slaw made without mayo – my kind of thing!) and their family recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Ultimately, I ended up choosing their Warm Fingerling Potato and Green Bean Salad and it did not disappoint!

I did make a few changes.

  • I didn’t have any shallots, so I sauteed up some white onion with garlic. I also added some green onions.
  • We couldn’t find any fingerling potatoes, so I used baby yellow potatoes instead.
  • I’m not a huge sauce person, so I only made half the sauce the recipe called for and didn’t use all of it and found it to be plenty saucy.
  • It’s been quite hot, so I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I cooked the potatoes on the BBQ.

I made it for dinner and served it with grilled pepper and chicken bratwurst from a local European Delicatessen. It was definitely a wonderful summery dinner!

I imagine you could also make it a meal by itself by adding some bacon or prosciutto and/or Parmesan cheese for some protein.

Have you tried any good summery salads or meals lately? Please Share!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:


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Canada Day Cook Out

Happy Belated Canada Day to you Canadians and Happy Fourth of July for all of you Americans! I hope that you enjoyed/will enjoy your respective holiday with friends, family and food! I know I did!

Mr. Bean and I were lucky enough to spend most of our long weekend out at my family’s cabin. We enjoyed good company, great food and excellent weather. The only thing that was too bad that the river was too high and dirty to go swimming in.

Recently, my parents added a “social fire pit,” and Mr. Bean has definitely enjoyed it – his favourite things lately are chopping wood, making fire, cooking food on the fire and drinking beer by the fire. Lucky for us, he was able to do this practically the whole weekend!

We decided to make ourselves a fancier dinner over the fire for Canada Day. On the menu – steak (for Mr. Bean) and chicken (for me) cooked over the fire in Mr. Bean’s grilling basket, cornbread muffins (made in the oven), salad and asparagus. If you don’t have a fire or don’t feel like using your oven, you can easily make the meat and the cornbread in your BBQ.

For dessert, we finished it off with s’mores (complete with gluten-free graham-like crackers!), which I forgot to take photos of. Probably for the better as my camera would be a sticky mess!

I hope this shows that a beautiful and delicious meal doesn’t have to be difficult and provides some inspiration for you 4th of July procrastinators or anyone desirous of a wonderful, easy summer meal. Enjoy!

What did you do this year for Canada Day or for the 4th of July?

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Fancy Mac N’ Cheese with Elk, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Gruyere

I know I haven’t had much presence on the interwebs in the last month or so because of my new job. It’s really only recently that I’ve felt inspired enough to actually do things other than eat, sleep, go to work, go to all the other extracurricular activities and commitments and occasionally go to the gym. It’s getting better as I slowly get into the rhythm of things and get used to getting up early. Today, I felt a bit more inspired to photograph this dinner that Mr. Bean made instead of just eating it and moving on, so I have a recipe to share.

Last Saturday, Mr. Bean and I went to a “locavore” restaurant in Calgary called The District. One of the items on the menu was a very delicious sounding “Venison, Mushroom, Tomato and Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese.” Mr. Bean ended up ordering something else (I couldn’t eat it regardless), but we decided that it sounded like something we would like to try making ourselves. Unfortunately, it sounded like something that wouldn’t really work as a weeknight meal (even though in the end, it took about 45 minutes to put it together), so we’d have to wait to try it on a weekend.

Fast forward to today: we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market to get some tasty carrots (WAAAAAY better than the ones you get at the grocery store) and decided to also pick up some ground elk and some Alberta made Gruyère cheese in hopes of making it for dinner tonight. It did not disappoint as it was very delicious! Not really a low-calorie meal, but it’s definitely perfect for a splurge that still comes with vegetables!

Fancy Elk, Mushroom and Tomato Gruyère Mac N’ Cheese

1/2+ lb. Ground elk (or other ground meat)
1 1/2 – 2 c. Mushrooms, diced (we used a mixture of white, Portobello and oyster mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
Butter
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1/3 – 1/2 c. each Cream and/or Milk
Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
1+ c. finely grated Gruyère cheese
1/2+ lb. brown rice noodles
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half

  1. Heat up butter in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until reduced and cooked through. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same frying pan, cook up the ground meat until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, set a pot of salted water to boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. While browning the meat, heat up a few tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan. Mince the garlic and add to butter and cook until garlic starts to brown.
  5. Add cream and milk to butter and garlic and stir to combine. In a measuring cup, mix together 1 – 2 tbsp of cornstarch with cold water, then add to the milk mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness.  Add more cornstarch if necessary.
  6. Stir in about 2/3 – 3/4 of the grated cheese until melted.
  7. Place the noodles, meat and mushroom mixture in the same pot that you cooked the noodles in. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until evenly coated.
  8. Spoon onto plates and serve with cut tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried to recreate something you saw in a restaurant? How did it turn out?

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Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free: Healing Chicken Soup

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been flirting with a cold – one day I’m feeling fine and the next like I hit a brick wall. Ugh. Whenever I was sick as a kid (or teenager … or even as an adult, really), my mom would recommend eating homemade chicken soup. There really is something about it that makes you feel just a little bit better and makes your head a little bit clearer when you’re sickly! I remember a few months after I started dating Mr. Bean, he got really sick, so I went over to his house and fed him chicken soup. I don’t remember exactly, but I can pretend that it made him feel much better! (Probably having a doting girlfriend feed you soups helps, too.)

Luckily for me, this soup also works perfectly for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free challenge, hosted by Maggie at She Let Them Eat Cake, themed “Foods that Heal.” While I don’t really know that much about nutrition or what foods promote healing of the gut or whatever, I do know that chicken soup helps when you’re feeling sick and still tastes great when you’re not!

The biscuits probably aren’t terribly healing, but I love biscuits with chicken soup! This isn’t the first time I’ve made chicken soup and biscuits but this soup uses leftover roast chicken and the biscuits are my adaptation of both biscuits from my mom’s recipe book and from the Joy of Cooking. I think they are still quite light and fluffy and you don’t have to grate the fat into the dry ingredients. (I found that just clumped up anyways, so I was really no further ahead.) Plus, there’s no rolling, so it literally takes about 20 – 25 minutes from start to finish depending on how much they need to cook. I’m definitely going to be making this meal with the leftover soup that I froze once I start working!

Homemade Chicken Soup

Chicken Carcass with some meat left on it – ideally free range organic, but do the best you can
Water
Parsley (and other spices if desired)
Veggies (I used: mushrooms, carrots, celery, peppers, peas and corn)

  1. After you’ve roasted and carved you chicken, place the carcass in your slow cooker. Add enough water to mostly cover the chicken. Add spices like parsley, bay leaves, etc.
  2. Slow cook your chicken soup until the chicken starts to fall apart. I probably let it cook for a full 18- 24 hours. I love cooking soup in my slow cooker as I don’t have to worry about leaving the stove on.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the carcass, bones and meat and place on a plate to cool.
  4. Pour liquid through a sieve into a large pot. If there are any meat chunks left in sieve, feel free to add to soup stock.
  5. Bring the pot up to a boil. Chop up the veggies and add to the soup.
  6. Once the chicken is cool enough, pick off all the meat and put in pot. Discard bones and pour any liquid through sieve into the pot.
  7. Once the veggies are cooked, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve up and enjoy!

This recipe can make a TON of soup depending on the size of chicken and how much water you add. We ended up freezing some for future use in old glass mayonnaise bottles with a piece of wax paper under the lid. Remember to leave ample space for the soup to expand as it freezes so you don’t end up with broken glass in your freezer!

You could add noodles if you want, but noodles and biscuits are too much starch, so no noodles it was!

Gluten and Egg Free Biscuits (can be dairy free, too!)

1 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. sorghum flour
2/3 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
1 tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
4 – 5 tbsp. dairy free margarine
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. lemon juice
Additions – grated old cheddar cheese (Mr. Bean’s favourite), currants, garlic, chives, parsley, etc

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the milk and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. Measure in the fat into the dry ingredients and work it through with your fingers until it’s pea sized.
  5. Add in the cheese (or whatever) to the flour mixture.
  6. Using a fork, mix in the milk. The biscuits should be quite wet and sticky but still a very soft dough.
  7. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (depending on the size of biscuits) until they start to turn golden brown and they don’t squish when touched.
  9. Remove from oven. Wrap biscuits in a towel on a plate or basket and serve immediately.
  10. Enjoy with butter/margarine (Mr. Bean’s favourite) and dip them in the soup or with honey (my favourite).

What’s your favourite”healing” food for when you’re sick?

Shared at: Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop and Allergy Friendly Fridays.

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Slow Cooker Lamb Stew with GF Beer Buns

I know lamb is not everyone’s favourite meat, but when it’s done right, it’s one of my favourite. It’s definitely not something I eat on a regular basis given its cost, but I was determined to make lamb stew for St. Patrick’s Day. One of the local Irish type pubs around here makes a stew in a bread bowl – I’ve obviously never tried it, but the idea of it seems quite interesting to me. I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to try making a whole loaf of bread, let alone two – one for both Mr. Bean and I. So, I thought I would try to make buns using the easiest bread recipe in the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal – gluten free beer bread.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from beer bread as I think I’ve had gluten free beer twice before this. It was really tasty with a bit of margarine and dipped in stew! Yum. I was actually really impressed with their texture and how much they rose in the oven. I almost wished I added more water to the stew so that we’d have more stew to mop up at the end.

A few notes:

  • The cut of lamb I used was very fatty, but that’s okay because lamb fat generally stays in strips that are easy enough to cut out with a knife and a bit of patience. You can probably use a different cut if you find it and your budget allows for it. I didn’t feel like paying $28/kg for a leaner cut of lamb, so I got the fattier one for $11/kg. Since the meat is being stewed for an extended period of time, you can use a tougher and fattier cut of meat and it will still turnout to be incredibly tender.
  • You can add pretty much any spices or vegetables you feel like. Don’t feel restricted by the ones I have listed here!
  • Make sure that the beer is at room temperature so that the yeast actually gets to do what it’s supposed to. I think fresh from the cooler beer doesn’t quite work as well.
  • Feel free to use any kind of gluten free beer – I just used one of the kinds Mr. Bean found at our local liquor store.

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

Between 0.5 – 1 kg lamb shoulder chops or other stewing meat (I used three >200g chops)
1 onion, chopped
4 – 6 medium carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, slices
6 fairly large mushrooms, sliced
2 – 3 potatoes, cubed
Spices – thyme, garlic, parsley, etc.
Water
Corn starch
Salt and Pepper

  1. Cut off as much fat as you can from the lamb shoulder chops. Be wary as this can be very time consuming! Cut into 1″ – 1 1/2″ pieces. Don’t bother trying to cut the meat off the bone as it comes off way easier once it is cooked.
  2. Place meat in slow cooker. Add vegetables, potatoes and spices on top of meat.
  3. Cover meat and most of the vegetables with water. Stir to mix spices and to mostly cover everything with liquid.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or on medium for 6 hours.
  5. About 15 minutes before you want to eat the stew, mix a fair amount of cornstarch with some cold water. Mix to combine. Pour into slow cooker and stir. Wait until it thickens and add more if necessary to get the desired thickness.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Beer Bread

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 c. quinoa flour
1/4 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. millet flour
2/3 c. tapioca starch
1  tsp. each of guar and xathan gum (could use only one gum if desired – I just wanted to use up some of the guar gum I have)
355 mL bottle of gluten free beer at room temperature
Squeeze of agave nectar or honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder

  1. Whisk together flours and gums in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together beer and sweetener.
  3. Pour liquid into flour mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon until well mixed for about a minute.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Let dough sit until oven is heated.
  5. Mix in the salt and baking powder.
  6. Divide dough into six evenly sized flattened balls. Place on a non-stick baking sheet that has been covered liberally with olive oil.
  7. Brush olive oil over each bun.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and buns sound slightly hollow when tapped.
  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly before eating.
  10. Enjoy! It’s especially good with a bit of margarine or butter if you can eat that kind of thing.

What’s your favourite kind of Irish inspired food?

Linked up to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Seasonal Sundays.

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