For November’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Avril of Baking and Creating with Avril. Avril is a pro-star baker, with tons of delicious recipes like this Hummingbird Bundt Cake, these Apple Crumble Muffins, and even a cake with Cauliflower in it!
With the help of Mr. Bean, I ended up choosing to make her zucchini cornbread as we didn’t want something that was sugar-tastic and it was definitely delicious!
As expected, I did make a few changes: I made it gluten free, dairy free by substituting almond milk for the buttermilk and olive oil & more almond milk for the melted and cooled butter. I also reduced the sugar to 1/4 c. and used salt to help dehydrate the zucchini instead of sugar.) Even with the modifications, it had an excellent texture, had a good amount of sweetness and was nice and moist.
Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Zucchini Cornbread
1/3 c. each of brown rice, millet and sorghum flours (or 1 c. of any GF flour – if you can have gluten, use 1 1/2 c. flour and omit the xathan gum)
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
3/4 c. cornmeal1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt + 1 tsp salt
1 medium zucchini
1/3 c. olive oil
2/3 c. almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Half an hour before you want to make your cornbread, grate the zucchini, sprinkle it with 1 tsp salt and place in a dish towl lined strainer or seive. After 1/2 hour (or more), squeeze out excess water from zucchini. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 5″ pan. (I used a 6″ cast iron skillet & 4 out of 6 large muffin tins.) If your pan(s) are metal, place in the oven while it’s preheating)
- In a measuring cup, mix together the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xathan gum, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk mixture and eggs. Mix in the grated grated zucchini.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until all the flour is incorporated. Add more almond milk if required.
- Remove the pan from the oven (careful, it’s hot!) and pour the batter into it.
- Return to the oven and bake for ~18 min (for muffins), ~30 – 35 min (for 6″ cast iron skillet) or ~50 minutes (for the loaf pan) or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!
This past summer, my family decided that we were going to attempt to climb Mount Temple, the highest peak in Banff National Park. Unfortunately, due to poor weather and many injuries, we didn’t get to try. I had made these bars as a celebratory snack to keep us going once we made it to the top, but we still enjoyed them nonetheless in the rain.
They are a variation of these energy bars I made four years ago for a backpacking trip with my mom. Very tasty, easy to make and Bean-family friendly!
Mount Temple Granola Bars
1/2 c. rolled GF oats
1/2 c. quick GF oats
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used 1/2 c. each of almonds, pecans and hazelnuts)
1/2 c. (packed) chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of apple juice sweetened cranberries and cherries)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. almond butter
- Grease an 8″ x 8″ plan with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Mix together oats, nuts and dried fruit in a bowl.
- In a medium sauce pan, mix the honey and coconut oil. Bring to a simmer and let boil, stirring occasionally for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Mix in almond butter until smooth.
- Stir in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
- Scrape into greased pan and press evenly into pan.
- Chill for an hour or two in the fridge and cut into bars. Wrap bars in wax paper and store in a bag in the fridge.
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:
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.