Sunday, May 31, 2009

Turkey Burgers

Ahhhh, a BBQ'd burger... Pre-allergy food, right? Wrong! I think I may have just discovered the best burger idea ever: Pancake buns. No, seriously! They are *delicious* and I think I even prefer them to the traditional wheat bun. They have a much more delicate texture than a bun and just melt in your mouth.

How simple is this?
Burger patty:
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh)
  1. Shape meat into four patty shapes.
  2. BBQ until cooked through.
Burger "buns":
  1. Pan-fry mix into 8 pancakes that are slightly bigger than your burger patties.
  2. Load up your pancake "buns" with traditional condiments and burger trimmings as usual. (For me, that is dijon mustard and ketchup with some chopped onions).
To make things even simpler, I make extra pancakes with breakfasts and then freeze the leftovers. I then toast the pancakes whenever I need a bun. So easy and quick!

For the toddler version, I used cubed turkey meatloaf sandwiched between two pancakes. This was Little Man's first burger, and he gobbled it right up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lemon Coconut Pie

Lemon pie is definitely something I thought I wouldn't be seeing again soon due to our egg allergy. After all, the main ingredient in lemon pie filling is egg yolk. Fortunately for me, my Mother-in-Law saw the recipe for lemon pie filling on the Ener-G site and decided to give it a whirl. Here's how she made it:

Coconut crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 3 Tbsp safflower oil (or coconut oil)
  1. Mix coconut with oil until coconut is thoroughly coated.
  2. Press firmly into a 9 inch pie plate.
  3. Bake at 325 F for 10-15 minutes (until coconut starts to brown).
Lemon Filling (from the Ener-G site):
  • 1/4 cup Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon rind
  1. Mix egg replacer with sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler until well blended.
  2. Add water, lemon juice and lemon rind and set over medium heat.
  3. Stir constantly until smooth and thick.
  4. Remove from heat, but continue stirring for 5 minutes to cool mixture.
  5. Pour into pie shell. Cool thoroughly then refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I've waited all year for fiddleheads to be in season and they finally are! It is a very brief season, so if you see them at the market grab them while they are still available. For those unfamiliar with them, fiddleheads are the new top shoots of ostrich ferns, and taste like a cross between green beans and artichokes. They are an acquired taste, and definitely a delicacy.
  • 1/2 pound fiddleheads
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash the fiddleheads under cold water and pull off any brown papery skin. Trim brown ends.
  2. Boil for 15 minutes or steam for 10 to 12 minutes to kill the natural toxin in the fern. Drain and discard cooking water (it may still contain the toxin).
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry fiddleheads and garlic in oil until lightly seared, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raspberry Smoothie

One of the hardest parts of learning to live with allergies is figuring out what to eat for breakfast. Recently I started making fruit smoothies. They are so tasty that it doesn't seem like I'm being deprived at all. I do find that I still need to have a grain (like cereal, a muffin, or pancakes) with this in order to feel full.

I choose different fruit combinations every time I make this. Here is what I had most recently, but feel free to make up your own concoction. This makes 3 large glasses of raspberry smoothie:
  • 1/2 papaya, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 plum, pitted and chopped
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 3 slices banana
  • raspberry juice to cover 2/3 of the fruit

  1. Add fruit to blender, pour in juice.
  2. Puree and then liquefy until smooth and any peels are tiny.
  3. Store leftovers covered in fridge up to 2 days.
I usually use orange juice, but the raspberry juice worked nicely with this mix. Other fruits I sometimes use include mangoes, grapes, peaches, nectarines, kiwis or blueberries.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Corn Chowder

My Mother-in-law made me this delightful soup for Mother's Day. It is hearty and nourishing in addition to being delicious. She adapted the recipe from Living Without Magazine. Don't let the long ingredient list deceive you -- half of it is herbs!

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock for vegan soup)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups corn kernels (frozen or fresh off the cob)
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2/3 tsp dried thyme
  • 2/3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup rice milk
  1. In a soup pot, saute onions and celery over low heat until golden.
  2. Add stock, water, potatoes and corn. Cover and cook over medium heat 30 minutes.
  3. Measure one cup of soup into a food processor. Add herbs and puree. Put back into soup along with rice milk.
  4. Cook until hot, 5-8 minutes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

White Bean and Artichoke Dip

This recipe was adapted from The Rest of the Best and More, Volume 2. It is good served on a veggie platter, and also is an excellent dip with crackers, such as Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips. These crackers are super delicious all on their own too, and work with all of Little Man's allergies. There are several flavours available for these corn-based chips, and most should be safe for us so we will be trying more of these soon. Now back to the dip:
  • 19 oz can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or dill)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  1. Combine beans, artichokes, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor.
  2. Blend together, adding olive oil (while machine is running) until dip is smooth.
  3. Stir in chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and the dash of cayenne.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Very similar to my recipe for banana mini muffins, these muffins are also moist and tasty.

I adapted this recipe from one provided to us by Little Man's nutritionist.

Dry ingredients (stir together in a medium bowl):
  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Wet ingredients (stir together in a small bowl):
  • 1 14oz can pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to combine.
  2. Drop batter into mini muffin cups (I use a silicone pan, so I don't need to grease the pan).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (325 F convection) for 20 minutes.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Halibut with Sweet Pepper and Basil

This is our favourite way to serve halibut. I adapted this recipe from one listed at The London Free Press. My version serves two.
  • 2 halibut fillets
  • 3 Tbsp rice flour
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet orange pepper, diced
  • 1 baby zucchini, diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet.
  2. Season the rice flour with salt and pepper and dredge the halibut in the mixture.
  3. Sear the halibut flesh-side down for 3 minutes.
  4. Flip the fish over and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Move skillet to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in another small skillet. Add onion and cook until soft.
  7. Add garlic and orange pepper, cook 4 minutes.
  8. Add zucchini, cook 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in parsley, balsamic vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Divide halibut and vegetable mixture between two plates. Serve immediately. Brown rice makes a nice accompaniment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Farmer Salad

This is a salad I have been making for years. It is slightly different each time, although there are always "core" ingredients. I once ate a "Farmer Salad" at a restaurant and it had artichokes and chickpeas in it, I think fennel maybe, and no lettuce. I don't remember what else was in that original Farmer Salad, but that is always the starting point for mine.
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 can baby corn, sliced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel (white part only), chopped
  • 1/3 of a mild onion, chopped
  • 1 red or orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • small handful of fresh parsley or basil, chopped
  • optional: I sometimes add other crunchy veggies I have on hand such as radishes or celery
  • 1/4 cup olive or safflower oil
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup mix of vinegars: apple cider, red/white wine vinegar, sometimes a dash or two of balsamic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional)
  • dash cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs such as tarragon or oregano (optional -- don't add if using cayenne)
Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over veggies. Mix well and chill. Stir again just before serving.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Apricot Chicken

I love love love this chicken recipe. I love it so much I have a difficult time thinking of anything else to do with chicken breasts. It has few ingredients and requires little supervision, so it is easy-peasy to make. But it looks so lovely on the plate and tastes so good that it is perfect for serving to company.

I got the original recipe from Lifestyle Markets. I have adapted the recipe to serve two (but I always wish I made the full recipe for four so I would have leftovers):
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (1 navel orange)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix together the jam, orange juice and rosemary and set aside.
  2. Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add chicken, cook 3 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Flip chicken over, add onion around the edges.
  5. Salt and pepper the chicken, cook 3 more minutes.
  6. Pour the jam/juice/rosemary over the chicken, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 8-10 minutes (until chicken is fully cooked).
  7. Lift chicken onto serving plates.
  8. Turn the heat to medium-high and boil sauce uncovered for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken (also excellent on rice) and serve.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Breakfast Cereals - Part Two

UPDATE 10/10/09: Unfortunately, after Perky's was acquired by Enjoy Life Foods, the decision was made to discontinue this cereal. Little Man is sad. :(

Finally my quest is over for a non-wheat, non-oat Cheerio's replacement. PerkyO's is another cereal by Perky's, which I previously discussed in my review of Nutty Flax cereal. Is it the best cereal in the world? No. Does my toddler think it is? Yes. He goes crazy when I bring out "O's". To me, it kind of tastes like I imagine the box would taste. However, if you add brown sugar it isn't half bad. And adding blueberries makes it quite good. In the cereal's defence, I think Fruit Loops tastes like sugared cardboard and I used to love it. I'm already on my second box, so I enjoy it enough to eat it fairly regularly.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Orange Beet Salad

This salad is light and refreshing, perfect for a summer lunch.
  • 6 baby beets, cooked, peeled and quartered (I used "Candy Cane" beets that are yellow and pink)
  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp liquid honey
  1. Mix beets, chopped orange and carrots together in a glass bowl.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and stir into salad.
Note: if using red beets you may wish to leave the chopped orange out until it is time to serve. Otherwise your whole salad will be red.