Category Archives: Gluten free

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Like everyone else that I know, one of Seyfi and mine`s new years resolutions is to eat more healthy.  It`s not that we have a very unhealthy diet, but we have days where we can get a bit lazy, and eat anything, not thinking about the health benefits of it.

On this same track, we have decided that we should eat more vegetables, less meat, and try out as many new recipes as we can.

So far it is going really well.  We both feel so much better, more energetic, and the girls are eating everything so far as well.

Part of the new foods we have been eating is brussels sprouts.

I have never really liked brussels sprouts, the are a bit stinky, and have an odd taste.

Growing up my brother and I used to share one, just to be able to say that we had at least tried one.

I decided to give them a try, they do seem to be very trendy right now, and we are so close to Brussels, and they are in season…

However, I decided that I would not cook them the way my mother does… she boils them, and calls them delicious…

I found this recipe for them roasted with a Honey-Dijon sauce on them, they are so delicious!  I swapped out the honey for agave syrup so that Ela could have some as well.

If you think you don`t like brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try, it just may change your mind!

Honey-Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from Parents Magazine

1/4 c. dried cranberries

1 c. boiling water

2 Tbsp. agave syrup

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 kg. trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 C.  Soak the cranberries in the boiling water for 5 minutes and then drain the water.

In a large bowl, mix the agave syrup, oil, mustard, salt and pepper.  Add the cranberries, brussels sprouts and walnuts.  Toss well.

Spread the dressed brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet.   Roast for 30 minutes or until the brussels sprouts are tender, and the leaves are just beginning to brown.

Enjoy!

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Fancy Meringues


Do you ever feel that some recipes a suited better for different seasons, or weather?

Well this is definitely a summer recipe.

In the summer when it is so hot (hopefully ;-)), I never feel like having a really heavy dessert, and I usually prefer to have something easy, and fresh, this is it.

Simple, yet fancy, sweet, but fresh. The perfect summer dessert.

I had never really eaten a meringues until I went to Turkey, and even then I rarely ate them because, let’s be honest, they are a bit boring on there own, but they are gluten free, which makes them an easy option.

Then I saw this recipe, and made it.

It is so light and fresh, plus it is super easy! Give it a try!

Fancy Meringues
Adapted from Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals

4 meringues, nest-shaped works best, but any shape will do.
4 tbsp Lemon curd
a handful of strawberries, cut up small,
1 tsp of strawberry jam
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

Mix together the strawberries, jam and yoghurt.

Scope a tablespoon of lemon curd onto each meringue. Top with the strawberry yoghurt. Serve.

How to Poach an Egg


I’ve tried to poach eggs before, and it has always ended in disaster.

Soggy, undercooked eggs that are slimy.

I think I know now what the problem was, I wasn’t using fresh eggs.

Well, now that I’ve got loads of fresh eggs (ok, two to four eggs a day), I thought I would try poaching them again.

I’ve been working on this skill for the past week, and I think I’ve got it down now.

Here is my step by step guide to…

A Perfect Poached Egg


Start with a pot of water that has got about five centimeters of simmering water in it. Make sure that it hasn’t come to a rolling boil.

Crack a fresh egg into a separate bowl.


Pour your egg into the pot of water and let it sit for a few seconds. You can pull the edges of the egg up onto itself if necessary. This egg was really fresh, so it kept together really well.

Let it cook for about two minutes if you like your eggs drippy (runny, whatever adjective you use to describe an egg that you can dip toast into.)


When it is cooked to your liking, lift the egg out with a slotted spoon.


Let it dry a bit on some paper towel.


Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Very easy, and very delicious!

Chicken Cacciatore


This week has been feeling a bit crazy for some reason.

Probably because Alara’s normal school has been on break, so we have sent her to an art class in the afternoons.

The art class is actually really great. She is going to an artist studio with some other kids, and they are making art together. She is loving it!

The only problem for me is that the class finishes at five, and then we come home for a bit, and then head out to get Seyfi from work.

This time lapse means that I need to be cooking something that is a bit forgiving… Something that can sit for a bit and still be delicious.

This chicken cacciatore is just that. Easy to throw together, than throw it in the oven, pull it out and it can rest.

Here’s the recipe:

4 chicken legs
1 red pepper, sliced a bit large
1 onion, largely sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can of tomatoes
1 cup of tomato sauce (plain)
1 Tbsp basil
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C
In a big oven dish mix all the ingredients together, covering the chicken.
Cover with tin foil.
Bake for twenty minutes.
Remove the cover and bake for twenty more minutes.
Serve.

I served it with rice, but I’m sure pasta would be nice too.

Seyfi Cooks – Hūnkar Beğendi (Sultan’s Delight)


Did you know, I’m married to a pretty amazing guy.

I’ve truly never met anyone like him in my life. One of the things I love most about him is how he is always trying to improve himself, never happy with how he is, he always wants to learn, do or be something more.

Learn a new language, get a second masters degree, learn to play guitar, keep fit, and now, his newest adventure, cooking.

Seyfi grew up in a pretty typical Turkish home, mom cooked, dad and kids ate. In fact, I don’t think Seyfi was really even allowed to be in the kitchen.

When we met, cooking was not a skill that he possessed, and to be honest, that was fine by me. I like preparing meals for my man, showing him how much I love him with all the thought and care I put into the things we ate.

Then we had a baby, and then another one, and although I can still keep up with all the daily cooking, I think Seyfi wants to give me a bit of a break, so he has taken up cooking at the weekends, and it has been a big help.

He even does the dishes!

Hünkar Beğendi is a pretty famous Turkish dish, and it isn’t that easy to make, but boy, can Seyfi ever make it well!

First, let me tell you, it involves eggplant, before your run away screaming (or calling it ‘crap plant’ like my brother does), the eggplant tastes so good in this dish, that if I hadn’t told you it was there, you wouldn’t have even known it!

Trust me!

So here’s the recipe, if you can, grill the eggplants on a barbecue, the smokey taste makes it even better!

Hūnkar Beğendi

500 grams lamb, cubed
5 Tbsp oil
2 tomatoes, cubed
4 eggplants
2 onions, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups kaşar cheese, grated (cheddar can also work)
Salt
1 lemon’s juice

Grill the eggplant over a barbecue, gas stove top, or in your oven, until soft. Allow to cool and peel, and smush, in a bowl, add the juice of one lemon and let it rest.
In a pan, sauté the lamb in three tbsps of oil, when browned, add the tomatoes and onions until all is soft.
In a separate pot, heat the last two Tbsps of oil, add the flour, and allow to brown, add the milk, slowly, until it starts to thicken.
Drain any extra liquid off the eggplant and add to the milk mixture. Mixing well so that it stays smooth.
Add the cheese, and let it melt, it should be thick, and bubbling.

To serve, put a generous spoonful of the eggplant purée in the middle of the plate, and then top with the lamb.

Birthday Brownies


There is a bakery around the corner that I absolutely love. They make the these cream filled, chocolate ganache topped, pain chocolat, with the best dark chocolate in them. Ask my dad, I think we had one every day when he was here.

They also make really good bread.

A few months ago we learned that this bakery also sells fresh gluten free bread. It is Seyfi’s favorite type of bread, soft. We order it every week, and are so grateful that it is here.

For Seyfi’s birthday I had hoped that I would be able to order a gluten free cake for him, but unfortunately they only offer the bread. So I decided to make him a deluxe brownie.

I like really fudgy brownies, and gluten free brownies always turn out great, I think it is because unlike a normal cake, they are more dense and use less flour.

To make these ones special for his birthday, while the brownie was baking, I topped it with rolos, caramels, and chocolate with whole hazelnuts in it. He really liked it. So did I.

Here’s how I made it.

Birthday Brownies

1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 rolls of rolos, cut in half
15 caramels, cut in half
1 bar of chocolate with hazelnuts, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkle the rolos, caramels and chocolate chunks on top and continue baking until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. About ten more minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

No Bake Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake


We have got a group of friends here in our neighbourhood that we just loving getting together with. The wives all get along, the husbands all get along, the six of us all get along, in fact, the kids all get along.

There is only one problem, if the adults want to just hang out and chat inside, it can be quite difficult because the kids always seem to need someone.

We have found a solution for this, parents only meals. Once and a while we get together without the kids. We enjoy a meal and a great conversation, and can completely relax.

This weekend we had everyone over to our place for brunch. Seyfi and I decided that we would do a buffet style brunch, everyone could help themselves and just relax and chat away the morning.

We prepared lots of different things, some Turkish, some North American, some with gluten, and some without.

For Seyfi it is really important that we have enough gluten free food for everyone to at least be able to try some. He doesn’t want to have a separate plate with gluten free food on it for only him.

For me, it is really important that we have a few different options of gluten free food so that he doesn’t have only one option, while everyone else has lots of options.

So for the brunch, when I was planning the dessert, I’d planned to do my Earl Grey Chocolate Cake (with gluten) and try making a Rolo Blondie (gluten free).

Unfortunately, the blondie did not work out, tasted delicious, did not look that way… So, I thought I’d make a no bake cheese cake.

This cheesecake is actually really easy, and super delicious. The crust is made out of speculoos cookies (ginger snaps) and lemon curd.

Usually, Seyfi thinks he doesn’t like cheesecake, but after eating half of this one, I think he’s changed his mind!

So here’s the recipe:

No Bake Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake

For the crust:

100 grams Gluten free Speculoos cookies (or ginger snaps, with to without gluten) crushed
2 tbsps sugar
6 tbsps melted butter

For the cheesecake:

200 grams cream cheese (one package)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

For the top:

3/4 cup lemon curd

To make the crust, mix together the crushed cookies, sugar and melted butter. Press them onto your pie plate coating the bottom, and up the sides if necessary. Put it into the fridge.

To make the cheesecake, whip up the cream until you have soft peaks. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Fold the heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust and put in the fridge for an hour.

Spread the lemon curd over the cream cheese layer and put in the fridge for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.