Monthly Archives: February 2010

Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free February: Tropical Vacation

If you haven’t completed your entry of this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, please email me the link to your blog post and a picture at bean[dot]plant[at]hotmail[dot]com by February 27th! The more the merrier! 🙂

I am the lucky host of this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! I chose the theme of “Tropical Vacation” – something I desperately wish I could have at this moment despite reading week being just over! It’s a good thing that we had this wonderful tropical meal to keep us going!

On the menu was tropical pork-pineapple kebabs, apple squash boat and carrots.

I did my best to keep as much of the ingredients local as possible: Alberta pork, apples from my in-law’s tree, carrots and squash from Innisfail and mushrooms from Edmonton. I guess the pineapple really undid all the environmental good that the rest of the local ingredients contributed, but no tropical meal is complete without it.

In addition, no tropical meal is complete without a fruity drink plus umbrella, like a strawberry daiquiri.

Yum!

Tropical Pork Pineapple Kebabs

Pork Tenderloin cut into ~1″ pieces
Red Pepper, cut into ~1″ pieces
Fresh Pineapple, cut into ~1″ pieces
Mushrooms, washed with ends off
Pineapple Juice*
Brown Sugar
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Chili powder

  1. Put a large amount of pineapple juice, some brown sugar, some olive oil, a few dashes of chili pepper, salt and pepper (to taste) in a plastic bag. Shake around until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place meat in bag to marinade for as long as you want (at least 1 hour).
  3. Place some (we used 6) wooden skewers to soak in water for at least 1/2 hour.
  4. Prepare oven (at 400F) or BBQ.
  5. Once skewers are sufficiently soaked, thread the pork, pineapple, pepper and mushrooms alternatively, with meat on each end.
  6. Pour the remaining marinade into a pot and add some cornstarch to thicken. Use a brush to brush the kebabs with the glaze.
  7. Broil or grill the kebabs for 5 minutes of each side, turning until the meat is done.
  8. Enjoy!

Apple Squash Boat

1 mini acorn or winter squash
2 c. apples, sliced
Brown sugar
Cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350F or turn on BBQ.
  2. Wash squash, cut in half and remove seeds and membranes.
  3. Toss apples in brown sugar and cinnamon until desired sweetness.
  4. Scoop apples equally into squash halves.
  5. Place squash halves in a dish, add a bit of water and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Cook for about an hour or until squash and apples are tender.
  7. Garnish with an umbrella and enjoy!

Strawberry Daiquiri

6 Strawberries, hulled and cut in half
Margarita mix or Lime Juice
Ice
2 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender until mixture resembles a slurpee, adding ice or Margarita mix as required.
  2. Prepare two small plates: one with lime juice/Margarita mix and the other with sugar. Moisten lip of glass with juice and then dip in sugar to create the frosting on the lip of the glass.
  3. Garnish with an umbrella. Enjoy!

The carrots can be cooked in any manner that you see fit.

It was a very delicious meal! The squash was pretty good – this is coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like squash.

I hope that you’re all able to enjoy your mini “tropical vacation” while enjoying watching the (Ironically) Winter Olympics – I’m definitely a fan of showing some Canadian pride! 🙂 I’m also really looking forward to all of your entries and drooling over your meals!

*I’m sorry that all of these measurements are approximate – Mr. Bean and I just started making things without noting measurements.

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Valentine’s Day Exchange Part 1

This Valentine’s Day I participated in a Valentine’s Day Exchange, hosted by The Domestic Dork. I was paired with the lovely Crystal, who I was very happy to meet and get to know! You can read her version of this post here.

I knew that I wanted to bake something as that’s what I’m best at out of all crafty and homemade things. I was tempted to make cupcakes, but I didn’t want to send something that wouldn’t just be empty calories and sugar and something that didn’t hinder either of our weight loss attempts too much . The answer: muffins!

I originally made these strawberry-ricotta muffins but due to some technical difficulties, they were too old to mail when I finally got around to sending them. So, instead I made a gluten free version of these muffins (recipe below).  They fit the bill perfectly: they had fruit, could easily be made healthier and would stay moist during transit so that they wouldn’t be bricks when they arrived. And they were incredibly yummy, too!

As you saw previously, I made a nice card and box from some scrapbook paper I had lying around to go with the muffins. I’m quite proud of them as all I used was a ruler, a pair of scissors and glue. It shows you don’t always need fancy scrapbooking supplies to make pretty things. 😉

To ship them, I first wrapped the box in newspaper and taped pieces of cardboard to the bottom and sides to add extra strength for shipping.

The box was then wrapped using an old paper bag – how’s that for a “green” way to wrap gifts?

Have you every participated in some kind of a gift exchange? How did it go?

Gluten Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Note: I made these muffins healthier by using skim milk, healthy yoghurt, less sugar than what was called for, canola oil instead of butter and I favoured more “whole” flours instead of starches.

2 Eggs
1/2 c. Skim milk
1/2 c. Yoghurt
Juice and zest from one lemon
1/4 c. Canola oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/4 c. Brown rice flour
1/2 c. Sorghum flour
1/4 c. Tapioca Starch
1 tsp. Xathan gum
1 tbsp. Baking powder
1/2+ c. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
2 c. Frozen raspberries

  1. Heat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, skim milk, yoghurt, lemon juice, oil and vanilla.
  3. In another larger bowl, mix flours, xathan gum, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest together.
  4. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix until thoroughly moistened.
  5. Quickly mix in raspberries. (Keep raspberries in the freezer until this point to prevent super pink muffins.)
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes until done.
  7. Remove muffins from pan and place on cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy!

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The Face Plan: Week 3

I seemed to have missed week two due to stress and extreme busy-ness. (Having a midterm and then finding out that the extension you thought you had didn’t exist can do that to a person.) Now that that’s done, I can attempt to return to more regular programming (not that I’m a TV channel or anything.)

Over the last week I’ve had somewhat of a breakout – most likely due to aforementioned stress – but my face seems to have calmed down somewhat. Thankfully. I’m still really hoping that some magic will happen to my face and it will clear up nicely. There are three weeks left in the claimed 6-weeks-to-clear-face claim, so here’s hoping!

Something that I’ve realized in this whole journey is that what you put inside is just as important as what I put on the outside. I know that I have difficulty processing too much fat. If I eat chips, too much cheese or chocolate, fried things, processed fat, etc. it is quite likely that I will have a breakout because of it.

One thing that helps me, other than not eating much processed fat, I take cod liver oil pills everyday. I’m a fan of the pills because eating a spoon full of fish oil every morning doesn’t have much appeal to me. Cod liver oil pills are also a source of omega-3 acids, which can also be very beneficial to your health. 🙂

Do you take any supplements/vitamins to help with your face or another issue?

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Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday, at least in my family, means deliciously amazing pancakes. Not your average pancakes-from-a-mix pancakes, but wonderfully light yet heavy and not doughy pancake. Yum.

Gluten Free Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

For each egg, you need:

2 tbsp. rice flour
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 c. milk (can be dairy free milk alternative as well)
1/8 tsp. salt

  1. Heat a griddle to 325F (you can also use a frying pan if you’d like.)
  2. Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until firm (NOT stiff) and still fairly wet.
  3. Add flour, oil and salt to egg yolks with a bit of milk. Whisk together.
  4. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until combined.
  5. Fold in the egg whites. The batter should be about the consistency of thick cream + egg whites.
  6. Using a measuring spoon to pour batter onto heated griddle. The point is to make either circular or elongated shapes that are easy to roll.
  7. Carefully flip over the pancake once the side is gold brown. If it is not cooked enough, it will rip. This isn’t the end of the world as you just have smaller pancakes – like the pancakes in the picture below.
  8. Once the pancakes are cooked and golden brown on each side, sprinkle sugar and lemon juice on them and roll them up.
  9. Keep warm in oven until you’re ready to eat them. Enjoy!

Note: Mr. Bean and I used 3 eggs and we were very full.

Do you normally have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?

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The Things That Were and Weren’t

Well, one thing that “is” is that it’s finally reading break! And the Olympics have started (which, I’m sure you know unless you’ve been living under a rock.)

Another thing is was is that Canada won their first Gold medal on Canadian soil! I have to admit that I almost cried while watching the medal ceremony and the National Anthem was being played. Yep, I’m a sap.

Now to transition to the things that weren’t:

The Story of the Extension That Wasn’t

Once upon a time there was a lab writeup on process control that had to be finished in two weeks. A week before it was due, it asked for an extension over the weekend as everything else but it was pressing. It was doing well – it was being modelled when it found out that the forces of irony caused the extension to no longer exist. What was this poor lab going to do? It wasn’t close to being done but it was now due in two days! A lot of stress, hard work and lack of sleep and the lab was done! The lab almost lived happily ever after until she realized that she forgot to hand in her source code. An email later and the arrival of the weekend brought the happily ever after. The End.

The Story of the Valentine’s Gift Exchange That Wasn’t

Once upon a time there was a girl who signed up for a Valentine’s gift exchange on another person’s blog. Unfortunately, the exchange never quite happened due to a lack of communication (partially due to the previously mentioned “wasn’t”  and that the girl’s house might be quite difficult to find.) So, if my partner is reading this, there is something here with your name on it that I would really like to send you.

Have you had any “was”s or “wasn’t”s lately?

P.S. If you do live under a rock, I am sorry for poking fun at you. Perhaps I am really poking fun at myself as I have a tendency to live under a rock when things get tough. Maybe we can be friends?

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