For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Becky of A Calculated Whisk. She also cooks gluten free (and paleo), so I was was spoiled in my options and with the eye candy of her beautiful photos!
Becky also loves putting avocados in smoothies, Salted chocolate hazelnut cookies, Mexican almond pulp brownies, Vietnamese caramelized pork meatballs vermicelli bowls and Pico de gallo de frutas.
I had a few avocadoes on my counter and some fresh basil that needed using up, so I ended up making her avocado cilantro pesto pasta salad.
I did modify the recipe as I had basil to use up, so I replaced the cilantro in my version. I added garlic because what pesto is complete without garlic? I used my single serve blender instead of a food processor as it’s much easier to clean. I think pestos are supposed to be chunkier, but I blended mine smooth. I used hemp hearts instead of the feta as I had it on hand and I try not to eat a lot of cheese.
I tried it both warm and cold and I prefer the cold version of it. It goes very well with barbecued meat, making this the perfect healthy summer side dish! Mr. Bean and I liked it so much we are definitely adding it into our repertoire!
Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad
1 clove of garlic
1 c. Fresh basil
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. Hemp hearts, divided
Juice of 1 lime
Green onions, sliced
1 lb. pasta (I used go go quinoa circle pasta, but feel free to use whatever kind of pasta you want.)
- Cook pasta to Al Dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, blend together avocados, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and basil. Once smooth/to the desired degree of blendedness, add 1/4 c. of hemp hearts and blend.
- Pour pesto over pasta, adding green onions, peas and remainder of the hemp hearts.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
What’s your favourite summer pasta?
For the rest of Group D’s recipes, please click below!
For June’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Kim of Feed Me, Seymour. Kim claims she’s a reformed kitchen failure, which I find hard to believe given her wonderful array of recipes and how she now works as a food editor for a regional publication! She’s an awesome example of how anyone can learn to cook and be proficient in the kitchen!
For once, it wasn’t difficult for me to choose what I wanted to make. It’s been pretty hectic in my world lately, so I knew I wanted something simple. When I saw Kim’s grilled caramelized pineapple, I knew I had a winner!
Mine didn’t actually caramelize given that I didn’t use butter or brown sugar, but they were still delicious nonetheless! If you can have butter and brown sugar, I definitely recommend doing it that way!
Grilled Caramelized Pinapple
1 pineapple, sliced into rings
2 tbsp. butter (I used coconut oil)
4 tbsp. brown sugar (I used a mixture of coconut sugar and maple syrup)
- Preheat grill to 400F. Brush oil onto grill to ensure it’s non-stick.
- While grill is preheating, mix together fat & sugar.
- Place pineapple on the grill & brush both sides with butter mixture.
- Cook for approximately 5 minutes (or 10 on the upper grill) until pineapple starts to brown and sugar caramelizes.
- Flip pineapple and brush other side with glaze. Cook for 5 (or 10) minutes until fruit browns and caramelizes.
Please check out the rest of group D’s recipes below!
This is a dish that I enjoy making and eating frequently as it’s easy, healthy and makes great leftovers! (Anyone cooking for one knows how awesome leftovers are!) I especially love making this meal in the summer on my BBQ. Unfortunately, my BBQ ran out of gas mid roast, so I ended up frying the sausages in a pan and roasting the veggies in the oven. How’s that for year round versatility?
There are a lot of veggies on this – perfect for veggie lovers like myself – but feel free to use whatever combination you want! I recommend using the tomatoes and the zucchini as they provide most of the moisture for the pasta. I usually end up making the tomatoes and zucchini in one pan and the rest of the veggies on another since there are so many. If you like spice, feel free to roast a chopped spicy pepper along with the veggies.
Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Pasta
12 oz Pasta
6 Large Sausages (Or 12 if smaller)
1 lb grape, cherry or other small tomatoes
2 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 lb mushrooms, washed and quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, ends broken off and cut into pieces
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
Any other seasonings you desire
- Preheat BBQ or oven to 450F. Coat a non-stick pan with olive oil.
- Toss veggies in a few tbsps of olive oil until coated. Spread out on pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Roast veggies for ~30 minutes until the veggies are soft, the tomatoes have burst and there is liquid in the pan.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta and grill or fry the sausages, pronking them with a fork or knife to let the fat out.
- Once the sausages are cooked, paper towel the grease off and slice.
- You can either assemble the meal in your bowl/on your plate or put everything in the pasta pot and stir until the pasta is coated in the tomato juices. You can add a bit of oil if the pasta is too dry for your liking. Salt and pepper to taste.
What’s one of your favourite go to meals?
For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. She likes to cook healthy and low fat – and has lost ~100 lbs, which is quite the accomplishment! Christie is definitely an example of how healthy recipes don’t have to be bland or boring!
Christie has tons (and I mean tons – I’m so impressed with how regularly she posts!) of delicious looking recipes like her Orange Beef Stir Fry, One Pot Paprika Chicken with Spinach, Poutine for Dessert and her Banana Waffles with PB Syrup (I totally need a waffle maker!) She also makes macarons. So much talent and delicious food! It was so hard to choose!
I ended up choosing her Bean and Basil Pesto Penne and I was definitely pleasantly surprised with the results! I’ve always wanted to try pesto, but it seemed really complicated or full of dairy. Fortunately, Christie’s version is simple (2 steps!), vegan and delicious! Mr Bean liked it so much that he had huge amounts of seconds! I upped the recipe a bit so that I would use the entire 398mL (14 oz) can of beans.
Gluten Free and Vegan Bean and Basil Pesto Penne
1 – 14 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed (I used navy as I’ve never been able to find Cannellini)
3/4 c. fresh basil
1 oz almonds
1/2+ c. vegetable broth
2 -3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 box of Catelli gluten free Penne (or whatever kind of pasta you want), cooked to al dente
- Add beans, basil, almonds, broth, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to food processor and process until smooth, adding more broth if required.
- Pour over hot pasta and toss to coat.
Christie, it was a treat looking through your blog! :)
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!
These are totally late for cinco de Mayo, but they are so good that they can be eaten any day of the year. (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify posting this recipe so late.)
BUT they really are that good – I commented to Mr Bean that I could eat the mango salsa everyday and be a happy woman, to which he replied “what happened if you ate all the mangoes in the world?” Well, I’d probably be tired of it then, but thankfully there are a lot of mangoes in the world and it should never get to that point!
Needless to say these were very good and pretty simple: cook fish, make salsa, cut avocado, warm tortillas and put together. You can use any kind of fish you want – I used salmon.
Gluten and Dairy Free Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
1 lb fish fillet (I used salmon)
Tex mex seasoning ( or a blend of oregano, onion powder, chilli powder and salt)
4 corn tortillas
Cucumber or cabbage for garnish, could probably use cilantro as well
- Preheat oven or bbq to 400F. Create a pan out of tin foil by folding the edges in to fit the size of fish.
- Rinse fish off in water, pat dry with paper towels and place on tin foil. Sprinkle with seasonings.
- Cook fish until cooked throughout and flakes easily.
- Meanwhile, heat tortillas in a frying pan until warm and pliable.
- Cut fish into 4 pieces and place on tortillas. Squeeze lime juice over fish.
- Top with slices of avocado, mango salsa and thinly sliced or spiralized cucumber or cabbage.
1 large or 2 small green onions
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Zest of 1/2 a line
- Dice mango into small pieces, slice tomatoes into quarters and slice green onions and place in a bowl.
- Add lime zest, sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze lime juice over it.
- Mix until combined.
What’s something that you could eat everyday?