Friday, 23 September 2011

Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

This is a quick and easy casserole dish that is great for using up leftovers. I love having this no-fuss recipe on hand for those hectic days. Simply combine all ingredients in a baking dish and cook for about an hour. You can even assemble it a day or two ahead and keep it in the fridge if you are anticipation a particularly busy day. Simply toss it in the oven an hour before supper.

I often cook one of those whole frying chickens for dinner (usually in the slow cooker) and since it's only my husband and I, we always have leftovers. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken, or you could even use other leftover meats such as pork or beef. For a vegetarian side dish you can omit the meat. This casserole will serve about 3 people if that's all you're making, but if you pair it with other side dishes, it will go much further. You can also easily double this recipe and cook in a 9x13 pan.

(makes 3-4 servings 9x9 pan)


1-1 1/2 cup cooked chicken chopped
1-1 1/2 cup broccoli chopped into small pieces
1 can gf cream of mushroom soup (for some brands, low fat cans are gf when the regular cans have wheat)
1 1/3 can of milk (measure in mushroom soup can)
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

you can add other veggies (celery, onion) or a different kind of meat if desired


Combine all ingredients in a 9x9 baking dish (in the pictures I used a dish that a different shape but roughly equivalent in size).
Stir ingredients together and cover in foil.
Bake at 375 F for roughly 1 hour (until rice is cooked).

Dry ingredients

All ingredients, uncooked

Casserole baked

Super Easy!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

German Pancake with Caramelized Apples

My mom used to make a regular (wheat) german pancake often when I was a kid and I loved that we got to have something so dessert-like for supper. She would always top it with fried apples and icing sugar. The other day I was trying to think of something a little more creative to do with the abundance of apples sitting on my counter, and I remembered this recipe from my childhood.  Luckily, my mom has developed a gluten-free version of a german panckae using our light flour blend.

I tried out this recipe the other day for supper and I was surprised at how easy and simple it was to make. The batter is mixed in a blender and baked in a pie plate, minimizing the kitchen mess. I also cooked up some breakfast sausages to add some protein to the meal.

The german pancake is denser than regular pancakes and has a bit of an eggy texture. If you've never had it before I highly recommend giving it a try. I know I will be making this long lost meal from my childhood again soon.

makes 9 inch pie plate. serves 3-4 if paired with sausage, etc. (you could double the recipe and make in a 9x13 pan)


1/2 cup gf flour blend (light flour blend)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup milk
3 eggs
2 T butter or margarine
1/2 t vanilla (optional)

Caramelized Apples
2-3 med sized baking apples cored and thinly sliced (sour ones are best)
1-2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar


butter in pie plate and milk/egg mixture in blender

Preheat oven to 425 F. Put the 2 T butter in a 9" pie plate and place in the oven to melt and heat up.
Meanwhile, blend eggs and milk together in a blender. Add flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla to the blender and blend until no lumps remain (30 seconds to a minute).
Take the pie plate out of the oven and pour the mixture in. Some of the melted butter will float on the top.
Bake for 18-22 minutes until the top starts to turn brown.


prepared pie plate

ready to bake

after baking
While the pancake is in the oven, caramelize the apples in a frying pan.
Melt the butter/margarine in the pan on med-high heat. add sliced apples (peel is optional) and sprinkle cinnamon on top. (fried pears or peaches would make great alternatives)
Fry until apples start to soften. When only a minute or two remains, add the brown sugar to the apples and stir until they are coated in a brown sugar syrup.

with brown sugar
When the pancake is done, remove from the oven and cut into slices (the puffed up pancake will fall a bit at this stage - this is supposed to happen).
Top with the caramelized apples and icing sugar and serve with breakfast sausages, bacon, or ham.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Apple Crisp

my backyard Oct 2011
Fall is in the air. Although it doesn't officially start until later this week, here in Saskatoon the leaves are already turning and crunching under my feet. For some reason, the trees around the river always burst into colour first, making for beautiful (and still fairly warm) late summer strolls. I have appreciated the changing of the seasons more this year than ever before, and right now, I am totally in love with autumn - the crisp air, beautiful colours, and amazing smells. As we all know, along with autumn comes the familiar and comforting flavours of apples and pumpkin paired with warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. How can that not inspire love?

My sister has a few apple trees in her backyard and I have been the lucky recipient of some beautiful, large, sweet ones that I have been busy peeling, chopping and freezing for the winter (and of course baking up an apple storm - more apple recipes to come). My freezer is full of baking apples some of which may make their way into muffins or coffee cake, but the majority will be tossed into a gluten free apple crisp!

Now I know some celiac's cannot tolerate oats, and it is possible to make a similar creation from crushed up cereal (rice, corn, etc), but this recipe uses pure oats, which are fine for most individuals on a gluten free diet.

I called this recipe apple crisp, but you can pretty much make any kind of fruit crisp the same way. I like to add different combinations of peaches, cranberries, blueberries, rhubarb, etc to the apples. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the fruit you use (cranberries and rhubarb will need more).

I really don't have a written recipe for crisp. I tend to throw ingredients together in estimated amounts until it looks right. To be honest, it's pretty hard to screw it up. You may want more or less sugar, crisp topping or other spices. The recipe does not need to be followed exactly.

Apple Peach Crisp

makes 9x9 baking dish (I used a circle shaped casserole dish that holds a similar amount)


enough apples to fill the dish about 2/3 full (peeled, cored and sliced) - probably 2 1/2 - 3 cups
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
   (or use an apple pie spice blend)
1/2 Tbsp corn starch

2/3 cup GF quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup GF flour (i use half tapioca starch and half rice flour)
1/2 t cinnamon
2-3 T butter or margarine


Apples and Peaches with sugar and spice
Fill baking dish 2/3 full with the sliced apples (and any other fruit). If the fruit is frozen it helps to microwave them for a couple minutes (but not necessary). Add spices, sugar, and sifted cornstarch to the apples and mix together.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, brown sugar flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter then mix with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly and no large pieces of buter remain. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples in the baking dish.

Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes or until apples are soft and crisp is bubbling around the outside. Let cool for a few minutes then serve with ice cream.

Before baking
After baking

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Kinnikinnick Product Review

Recently I recieved some gluten free products to review, courtesy of the nice people at Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. I was so excited to try some of these products that I have found very difficult to create gluten free. I am happy that Kinnikinnick did all the work for me so that we can enjoy gluten free donuts and cinnamon buns! (things I was worried I might never have again). They also sent me some pancake/waffle mix and a loaf of sunflower flax bread to test. Thanks Kinnikinnick!
Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. is a Canadian company, based in Edmonton, but I belive they sell their products in both Canada and the US. Their products can be found in many grocery stores as well as specialty health food stores. I have found Kinnikinnick products to be well priced in most stores and great quality. Here is some more information on a few of their products.

Kinnikinnick Pancake/Waffle Mix

I have my own recipe for gluten free pancakes that I really enjoy, so I was interested to see how these would measure up. I was pleasantly surprised and the amazing taste of these pancakes. They were light and fluffy, and had a sweet, almost vanilla like flavour. They were very easy to make, all I needed to add to 1 cup of the mix (makes 8-10 pancakes) was 1 egg, 1 T vegetable oil, and 3/4 cup water, club soda, or milk (I used milk). There is enough mix for 2 of these batches in the box, which retails for 4.99. I think that is very reasonable for this mix. I also appreciated the fact that this mix was more than just starches and white flour. Ingredients include soy flour, inulin, pea protein, and pea fibre, which adds protein and fibre to the pancakes. I was impressed with both the taste, and the healthiness of this mix!
Health     4.5 stars
Cost        4 stars
Taste       5 stars
Texture   4.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

I used to eat the Cheese Tapioca Rice Bread from Kinnikinnick when I was younger and really enjoyed it. The texture is good when toasted and the slices are very thin so you don't get overwhelmed with too much bread. I was excited to try the sunflower flax bread because I am a huge fan of flaxseed and it sounded interesting. I really enjoyed the texture of this bread (after toasting) and liked the flavour at first, but after the second piece, I found the sunflower seeds to be a bit to much... not too much to the point I wouldn't eat it, but I would rather there be a bit less in the bread.
Each slice contains 2 g Fibre, 2 g Protein and 4.5 g Fat (mostly good fat) and I found the bread to be very filling. It also has a good amount of some vitamins like thiamine, folacin and iron (the work of the sunflower seeds and flax I'm sure). I really liked this bread as grilled cheese, garlic toast, and breakfast toast with peanut butter and honey. The cost of this bread on their website is $5.70, which is an ok price for gluten free bread, and included 14 slices.
Health     4.5 stars
Cost        4 stars
Taste       4.5 stars
Texture    4.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

I am sooooo excited to be able to have donuts again. That is probably one of the things I miss most. Tim Hortons is one of my favorite places to go for coffee, and I always end up pining for donuts while I'm there (especially sour cream glazed and especially when my husband is eating one across the table from me!). I was a bit nervous to get my hopes up on this one. I honestly couldn't even remember what donuts taste like before I bit in to this one. It tasted exactly like a donut... everything I had forgotten came back! It tasted amazing and nothing like gluten free.
Each box contains 6 medium sized donuts that are to be kept frozen and microwaved just before eating. I was afraid that all the glaze would melt off, but it didn't at all. Unfortunately, they were covered in flimsy plastic that I had to tear off, so I put the remaining donuts (in their tray) into a ziplock bag before putting them back in the box to ensure they did not get freezer burned. I am not even going to worry about health for this one because donuts aren't supposed to be healthy:) The price for 6 donuts is $6.59, which I think is a bit steep, but totally worth it for a treat because GF donuts are hard to find and you're worth it... just maybe stick to one in a sitting for the sake of your health!
They have pumpkin spice donuts on their website right now and I am seriously considering tracking those down. Pumpkin spice has got to be one of the best flavours on the planet!

Cost        3.5 stars
Taste       5 stars
Texture    5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

Like the donuts, I was super pumped to try cinnamon buns again. I have tried to make GF cinnamon buns on multiple occasions and failed miserably. It's hard to make a dough soft enough to roll up but firm enough to roll out. They come 6 to a tray at a cost of $6.60. They aren't that big, and look just ok in the package, but they actually do have a very nice texture to them. The dough is flexible and not too dense so that you can rip pieces off, just like the real thing. It was a nice change from my hard crumbly attempts! Plus there was lots of gooey cinnamon syrup to coat them all.
I was actually surprised at the nutrition facts. They record one bun as having 6 grams of Fibre and 4 grams of protein! (we will just ignore those 6 grams of fat) The ingredients list inulin and pea fibre/protein, which are probably responsible for the good nutrition stats. Now you don't have to feel guilty eating this as a afternoon snack... or maybe even breakfast:)

Health     4 stars (for a treat like this anyway)
Cost        4 stars
Taste       5 stars
Texture    4 stars

Overall Rating: 4.25 Stars

I was impressed with these products and suggest you try them and keep a look out for some of the other Kinnikinnick products in your grocery store. I know they sell lots of other mixes, bread and buns, cookies, etc. Please comment and let me know what your favorite Kinnikinnick product is. I would love to know! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Banana Blueberry Muffins

The other day I found myself with an overload of bananas that were going bad. I froze some, but I like baking with fresh bananas more than frozen, so I started brainstorming. I started working part time again this week (as an educational assistant). I haven't been able to work since November of 2010 because of the blood clots in my lungs. They aren't gone yet, but my doctor is letting me try a little bit of work for the sake of my sanity. Since I will be a little more tired and busy, I figured it would be nice to have a stock pile of muffins for a quick, easy breakfast on days I go to work! I had a bag of GF banana chocolate chip muffins in the freezer already, so I wanted to do something different and maybe a little healthier too. I ended up going with blueberries (I had some in the freezer) for muffin full of healthy fruit. I also had some brown rice flour from King Arthur Flour I had been wanting to try out. This particular flour is finely ground to avoid the gritty texture brown rice flour can sometimes leave in baking. I definitely noticed the lack of grittiness in these muffins and am pleased with how these muffins turned out. I ended up making some wheat flour ones for my husband to use up some of the rest of the over ripe bananas.
I love the moist texture that banana gives to baking... especially gluten free!

(makes 12-14 muffins)

2 bananas mashed
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted margarine
1 Tbsp lemon juice or lemon/orange rind

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown rice flour (I used King Arthur Flour Brand)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp potato starch
3 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

before baking

Mash banana and mix in wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter into lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 F for around 20 minutes.
Let muffins cool on a rack. Freeze in airtight container or ziplock bag the same day as baking. Microwave from frozen and enjoy!



Saturday, 3 September 2011

Review of King Arthur Flour GF Pizza Mix

pizza crust mix
King Arthur Flour Home Page
The first thing I noticed about this mix was that it had exactly the same ingredients as the bread mix. I can't be sure if the ratios were all the same, but since I had success with the bread, I expected good things from this mix. The crusts had a great texture and mild flavour. I added some ground flax seed to the mix becuase I think it is somewhat lacking in whole grains and fiber.

This mix makes 2 large pizza's that have about a 2 cm or 2/3" crust. I thought this was still quite thick for being "thin crust" as the box says.I made 2 12" pizza's with the dough. The directions say you can make them 12" or 14".If I was to make them again I might make an extra smaller one on top of the 2 12" ones, since my pan's can only handle that size.

I baked both crusts, but only put toppings on one (and froze the other). I added regular tomato pizza sauce, a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, sliced red pepper, and gluten free pepperoni. The pizza was great fresh from the oven, and it tasted pretty good after sitting in the fridge overnight (after being microwaved).

The only thing I didn't like about this mix is that you had to make it all at once. It would be fine for a family that all couldn't eat wheat, but since I'm the only one in my house, it was a bit too much. I froze one crust, as mentioned before, so I will see how it lasts in the freezer, but it would be nice if just one crust could be made at a time... or even 3 or 4 personal sizes. I suppose with a lot of extra work I could have pulled this off, but since the mix calls for 3 eggs and 4 T oil, it would be very difficult to get the ratios right. That is pretty much my only criticism though. I wonder if you could make a small loaf of bread and 2 crusts out of the mix since they are pretty much the same mix.

In conclusion, I would recommend this pizza crust because you get a lot for what you pay for and it makes a pretty good tasting pizza. Cost is $6.95.
Thanks again to King Arthur Flour for providing this mix for me to review:)

Health     4 stars (for pizza anyway)
Cost        4 stars
Taste       5 stars
Texture   4.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

my finished product