Recipes

pears

Healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free food is the main fare coming out of my kitchen, and along with a focus on local, organic and humanely-produced ingredients. Below is a sampling of my favorite recipes.

Apricot and Oatmeal Muffins
Most Saturday mornings, you’ll find me in the kitchen making a batch of muffins and a batch of scones. This recipe is filled with yummy fruit, nuts and seeds and perfect for weekend breakfasts and brunches.

Asparagus Risotto
Asparagus risotto is one of my favorite things to make for a simple but special supper at home with family and friends. Watch for fresh asparagus at spring farmer’s markets, grow your own and remember to stash some in the freezer to carry you through the long winter months.

More asparagus recipes
Asparagus is only available locally once a year. Here are a few recipe ideas to make the most of the asparagus season: asparagus in omelets, in pasta and straight up and simple, enjoyed on its own with a shaving of parmesan cheese.

Autumn cup squash risotto and soup
Here are two recipes that will take you through one squash: a risotto flavoured with kale, caramelized onions, and fresh chives, and a soup made from roasted squash, ginger, and paprika.

Banana muffins
Banana muffins were one of the first recipes I mastered in the kitchen when I was learning how to cook in my teens. The recipe came from a Canadian cookbook called Muffin Mania. I still own it; the pages proudly wear all the slops and spills of a well-used cookbook.

Beet, squash, kale and chickpea medley
This dish started with an ingredient that everyone seems to love: roasted beets. Uplifting day-glo colours, healthy veggies, a bit of protein, and aside from the messiness of beets it’s a snap to make.

Best Brownies
This is a recipe adapted from Blue Eggs & Yellow Tomatoes. There are so many great things about this recipe. Simple ingredients including bittersweet chocolate, real butter, sugar and eggs. Easily survives the translation to gluten-free that happens with much of my baking. I also love that it’s all mixed up in one pot.

Black bean, lentil & kale bake
This is a recipe from my mother in law that I love. I believe that all food made with kale holds a place of unrivaled virtue. It makes me feel like a health-nut superstar whenever I eat it, and I am always happy to add to my kale repertoire.

Blueberry Muffins
These are the best blueberry muffins I have ever made: fresh blueberries and a generous helping of lemon zest creates baked treasures that are slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. Yum!

Blueberry oatmeal muffins
This is an adaptation of my recipe for apricot oatmeal muffins – both are perfect Saturday morning fare.

Blueberry pie
Delicious gluten-free blueberry pie – what could be better?

Butternut squash soup
An old standby and a soup everyone seems to like – delicious for lunch with a grilled cheese, or as the start to a fancy dinner.

Caprese Salad
Caprese (ka-pree-see) salad, aka the delightful combination of fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella. The cheese is pricey but worth it, especially in the summer when basil and tomatoes are at their most delicious.

Carrot oatmeal raisin muffins
Carrot cake, carrot loaf, carrot muffins – carrot-filled baked goods are among my favourite treats. This is a breakfast muffin with lots of goodness inside: whole grains, vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts.

Chard and Asiago Strata
Egg stratas are common on our weekend breakfast menu. A steady supply of fresh chard is a highlights of our summer summer garden and pairing it with asiago cheese in this dish makes for one of food’s perfect pairings.

Chocolate chip cookies
This recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, which I’ve referenced here before for its awesome chocolate brownies recipe.

Corn chowder
A recipe for all the beautiful corn available in the summer time. I have dill, chives and jalepeno peppers growing in my garden so I used those to flavour the chowder, and I couldn’t resist garnishing with the pretty flowers starting to form on my dill plants.

Corn and cheddar strata
A strata is like a souffle, except much, much easier to make! It’s a warm, light, fluffy egg-bread-cheese casserole dish with a yummy crunchy topping that makes the kitchen smell impossibly good – perfect for rousing the sleep-in crowd. It’s also pretty good paired with a salad for a simple comfort food dinner.

Cranberry Lemon Scones
This recipe is an adaptation of the various scone recipes in the Four Sisters Inns cookbook. These scones are filled with bright citrus tang with the perfect amount of sweetness; they’re also nice and moist, instead of the more usual hard and crumbly variety.

Deep-dish rhubarb and strawberry crisp
From the stalks of rhubarb and sliced strawberries I put in my freezer, came this yummy, gooey mess. I also used a shrivelled old orange I had in the fridge to add flavour along with baking spices. Alchemy at its finest.

Delicious Ginger Cookies!
Ginger cookies are amazing. But good ones are hard to find. The best ones are soft and chewy with a bit of sugary crunch on the outside and lots of yummy ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to spice them up! I’ve been trying out recipes to find the perfect ginger cookies and I think this is it!

Flax Seed Cookies
I was recently given a newspaper clipping of a recipe for flax seed cookies. A few weeks later, a friend of mine gave me a 1 kilo bag of organic flax seed as a gift for watering the new vegetable and herb garden she’d planted on the balcony of her downtown condo – she had been visiting a friend’s family farm in Saskatchewan and flax was one of the things they grew. Putting both together resulted in these delicious and healthy cookies!

Gnocchi with chanterelle mushroom sauce
Like most people who have made their own gnocchi, I am now a convert and I’ll be hard pressed to go back to the stuff in the package. It is well worth the effort and not that difficult as long as you have lots of time and lots of patience.

Homemade pizza dough
Homemade pizza is a beautiful thing. I’ve become an even bigger fan of it since finding a quick and easy recipe for pizza dough. It can also be frozen to keep you a step ahead of the game.

Hummus
Despite a sometimes overly busy lifestyle, we try to eat healthy, unprocessed, responsibly produced foods. Homemade hummus is a perfect solution: it’s cheap to make and easy and good for vegetarians (including vegans) and those with aversions to gluten, nuts and dairy.

Kale and lentil potato bake
We all need to eat more leafy greens like kale and more lentils. Here is a recipe to help you do that!

Lemon scones and strawberry jam
These scones were created as a vehicle for my uncle John’s delicious homemade strawberry jam.

Lemon and lavender scones
These scones, inspired by the beautiful lavender growing in our front yard, are perfect for strawberry shortcake or all on their own with a cup of tea.

Maynard Lane Sour Cherry Sauce
Very special cherries from the family cottage in Prince Edward Island inspired this recipe. It’s perfect as a topper for cheesecake or ice cream.

Mushroom soup
An easy-to-make, silky smooth mushroom soup with some fancy things to add at the end if you wish – cream, a bit of chopped spinach (my favourite), a few drops of truffle oil, a sprinkle of chives.

Oatmeal raisin cookies (the best!)
I suspect there are two camps of people when it comes to favourite cookies: chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. For me, it’s the latter, without question. Chewy, cinnamon-y, sweet. So yummy. Plus with all the health benefits of whole grains, raisins, walnuts they are far superior to chocolate chip.

Orange, brie and almond salad
One benefit of growing your own food is the constant challenge to find creative ways to sneak excess vegetables into everything you make. Lettuce is always in abundance during the spring and summer in our garden. Here’s a recipe made with home-grown salad greens, oranges, almonds, brie cheese and a yummy citrus poppyseed dressing.

Peach and raspberry muffins
A beautiful ripe peach sitting in the fruit basket on the kitchen counter plus reading a recipe for apricot muffins in my favourite breakfast time cookbook from Four Sisters Inns inspired this weekend morning treat.

Pear and fig grilled cheese
This sandwich is the result of some delicious leftovers from our local cheese shop. It is delicious made with sliced fresh figs (if you are lucky enough to have them) or fig jam.

Plum cake
This is an adaptation on the famous plum cake recipe she sent me from the delightful smitten kitchen site – truly one of the best food blogs out there. I used our golden plums instead of purple ones, spelt flour instead of wheat flour to make it gluten-free, and some hemp hearts and a little less sugar to make it a bit healthier.

Polenta with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Every time I make polenta I ask the same question: why don’t I make this more often? It’s so fast! So easy! So tasty! This polenta dish is topped with a spicy tomato sauce. I’ve also added some chunks of tofu to the sauce. Much to my surprise this is still “delicious” to meat eaters.

Portobello mushroom burgers
A simple recipe for portobello mushroom burgers with a tangy cilantro mayonnaise. Perfect for summer BBQs!

Rainbow chard potato bake
This recipe came from a “whatever’s in the fridge” dinner night. We had potatoes, asparagus, herbs, asiago cheese and a gorgeous bundle of rainbow chard on hand. I had the idea of a gratin in my head so I ran with that and ended up with this delicious potato bake. It’s perfect on its own for a simple supper. You could also serve it as a side dish with grilled fish and salad for something more substantial.

Rhubarb ginger muffins
Try this muffin recipe if you’re feeling inspired by spring season rhubarb. Sweet candied ginger pairs beautifully with tart rhubarb.

Ricotta pasta with greens and tomatoes
Lovely market tomatoes meet backyard greens. This is a super-fast meal. I made it tonight with the thought “I need to get this kid in the bath in 20 minutes” running through my head. Made it and ate it in less time than that!

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto
The next time your trip to the farmers’ market finds you with fresh cauliflower and locally grown garlic and onions, try this cauliflower risotto recipe. It’s delicious!

Risotto Torte
This is a recipe from “New Vegetarian,” by Celia Brooks Brown. It’s an excellent book, and this is recipe has quickly become a favourite in our house. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, easy, a bit fancy and so tasty!

Salmon soba salad
I made this salad with some leftover cedar plank salmon that we cooked on the BBQ. Cedar plank cooking was popular a few years ago and I feel like it dropped off the radar too quickly. It’s still trendy at our house…so delicious and so easy.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
I first had spaghetti squash a few years ago, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. This is a recipe for a quick and simple supper of spaghetti squash with cilantro, tomato sauce and goat cheese.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Anyone with a backyard or a tiny balcony can grow spinach and strawberry plants. If you care about what you eat, where it comes from and how it tastes, this delicious salad is a good argument for why it’s worthwhile to grow your own food.

Spinach, nectarine and Brie salad
I love fruit in salad, especially nectarines. This salad includes a dressing made with delicious Canadian-made mustard that is well worth seeking out.

Summer vegetable pizza
Homemade pizza is a wonderful thing to eat. We usually keep some pre-made pizza crusts or some homemade dough in the freezer and end up making pizzas once or twice a month. The toppings are always different and this is part of the fun. This recipe uses summer vegetables that I love including zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms and shallots.

Tomato basil sauce
This summer I spent a whole day chopping up a 25lb box of tomatoes and cooking them into a tomato basil sauce that could be stored away for winter. It was a beautiful way to spend a day, and the experience of pulling out a jar of your own tomato sauce in winter time is about a million times better than opening up a jar of Prego.

Triple lentil chili
This chili is lighter tasting than most – perfect for warmer weather if you are still craving something healthy and hearty. I used a combination of red, green and French lentils, but any one of them would work fine. Double the recipe for freezing.

Vegetable lasagna
I’m not sure if the world needs any more veggie lasagna recipes, but here’s mine. This is the dish I make when we’re craving easy comfort food or planning a meal for a crowd. I’m always relieved to have a solution that pleases our vegetarian, gluten-free sensibilities and also generates rave reviews from meat-atarians.

Zucchini muffins
These muffins have convinced me that zucchini is an essential ingredient for every garden. They are perfect for using up a squash or two during zucchini season.

Zucchini and tomato strata
Egg stratas are healthy and nourishing and one of those foods that can be made with an endless variations of ingredients and flavours. Dill is beautiful in this dish with the tomatoes and zucchini.

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