Category Archives: Guest Post or Reblog

Guest Post: 5 Tips to Turn Your Favourite Dish Gluten-Free by: Bridget Sandorford


Thank you to Bridget Sandorford from culinaryschool.org  who was kind enough to share her tips to turning your fave dishes Gluten-Free!  

Top 5 Tips to Turn Your Favorite Dishes Gluten-Free

540926535_6117cae4b9_mGluten has become a buzz word for what we’ve always known to be a part of some of our favorite foods – like pizza, pasta, bread and cake. Technically, it’s the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley that can cause any number of health issues, such as digestive upset, chronic pain and a weakened immune system. Informally, it’s known as delicious.

Unfortunately, a great number of people are sensitive to gluten or even intolerant to it. As more people recognize the symptoms, they are starting to adopt gluten-free diets for greater energy, ease of weight loss, and relief from poor health symptoms. However, some find it hard to make the switch to a gluten-free diet and giving up all those favorite foods. Here are a few ways that you can turn your favorite dishes into gluten-free options so that you can maintain the healthy diet you need while still enjoying the foods you love:

1. Use a Gluten-Free Flour

Many flours can be easily substituted without changing the flavor or consistency of a recipe. Instead of using white or wheat flour, you can use almond flour, rice flour or even potato flour. You may need to make some adjustments since many flours cannot be substituted one-for-one. Look up substitution recommendations with the manufacturer of the flour, or just try out some experiments and learn what works through trial and error.

tip from Joy: Quinoa Flour is nutty and nice for baking as well!

2. Eliminate the Flour Altogether

gluten free fudgy brownie made with black beans topped with icecreamNot all recipes even need the flour to work – including many baked goods. You can use ingredients such as black beans, apple sauce, bananas, and even additional eggs to substitute flour in dishes from brownies to cake to pancakes. Surf some gluten-free recipe sites for some ideas, or pick up a good gluten-free recipe cookbook. Once you get a few ideas, you can try experimenting with some recipes of your own.

tip from Joy: check out my Black Bean Brownies Recipe – no flour!

3. Think Outside the Bun

A sandwich just doesn’t seem the same without bread, nor a hamburger without a bun. Yet you can still enjoy these favorites without the gluten. You can use romaine lettuce leaves to sandwich your hamburger or to create a nice wrap for your sandwich fillings, or you can just put your ingredients in a bowl and make a salad or bowl meal out of it.

tip from Joy: instead of breadcrumbs in your homemade burgers add GF oatmeal instead! Look for a GF Worcestershire Sauce for some added flavour!

4. Make Veggies Work for You

Veggies can take on the shape and texture of many of your favorite dishes if they are prepared right. For example, you can use a spiralizer to turn zucchini and squash into “pasta noodles” and top them with your favorite sauce. Zucchini, kale, and other veggies can be ground up or sliced and dehydrated to create a “bread” or “chips.” Again, check out a few recipe books and experiment to see what you like best.

5. Make Friends with Nuts

Peanuts anyone?Nuts can be used to make everything from flours for breads to crunchy coatings for “fried” items. You can soak them and ground them for flours or meal, which can be used for baking, frying and sauces. You can chop them up and use them to create a crispy, flaky crust for fried chicken or onion rings. Not only are nuts naturally gluten-free, but they are also full of nutrients, including healthy fats.

tip from Joy:  try grinding some almond flakes with a coffee grinder (whole nuts may burn out the motor in a smaller grinder) to make Gluten Free Onion Rings so awesome!

If you feel like a gluten-free diet could benefit you, don’t be scared off by thinking that you’ll never get to eat bread or pizza again. You can make even your favorite dishes gluten-free by just substituting the ingredients. You’ll make the meal healthier, and you won’t sacrifice any of the flavor.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching the job description of a line cook. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

As always let me know you like what you read by clicking like or sharing a comment! Follow me on Twitter!  enJoy!

 

 

Vacation Right. Eat Right. No they aren’t mutually exclusive!


Recently I was contacted by Cole Millen another foodie and avid traveler and decided to provide you all with a wonderful guest post by Cole!  He’s got the right idea and some great tips about eating healthy while traveling.  My apologies to my public, I mean to get this up and posted previous to the long weekend (here in Canada) but ran into some issues between moving, and complications from some minor surgery I had.  Have no fear though –  I am still in time for the summer travels as well as Memorial Day weekend in the US.  Please enjoy this guest post and let me know you did by liking the post and commenting!  Thank you Cole for this great read!

Maintaining a Healthy Eating Plan While on Vacation

Taking the time to unwind while on vacation is a necessity and can help you relax from the daily stresses of job and everyday life. However, it shouldn’t be an excuse to ditch your healthy lifestyle by consuming junk food and skipping your workouts. The following tips will help you have a memorable and exciting vacation without the added pounds.

Pack Your Own Snacks

Whether you’re flying, driving or taking another mode of transportation, you can stay ahead of the game by packing your own snacks. Portable healthy options can include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, string cheese, whole grain crackers, and trail mix and granola bars. Peanut butter and hummus are other healthy alternatives that satisfy cravings and keep hunger at bay. If you’re at an airport terminal, you can walk around and check out the various café items until you find something that is both pleasing to the palate and good for you.

Planning Ahead

The most important aspect of staying true to your healthy lifestyle is ensuring the area and hotel you are staying in has the options available to allow you to do so. Doing a little research before hand can go a long way in this aspect. In my extensive research I have found online reviews to be extremely helpful. I recently found a site that bundled information on restaurants, hotels, things to do, and even a travel guide for the area. With this help I was looking through the list of hotels in Las Vegas and managed to find one that had not only the amenities I desired, but a gluten free restaurant in its lobby. With a little research and the help of reviews, you will find eating healthy on vacation easier than ever.

Ordering Room Service

Just because you’re ordering room service doesn’t mean you have to make unwise choices. There are a number of safe items on the menu such as salads, turkey breast sandwiches and baked chicken breast. You can also ask for low-fat dressing and condiments to be placed on the side. When you check in, leave the min-bar key at the front desk since fattening treats will only tempt you. If you have doubts about the nutritional content on a particular meal or food item, you can ask. Most hotels have the information at the ready for their guests.

Prepare Your Own Meals

Dining out can be costly on your pocketbook and waistline, so you don’t have to eat out for every meal. Ask for a room with a microwave and refrigerator, so you can keep groceries on hand. When you first check in, you can head to the local grocery store and stock up on some healthy necessities. This makes it easy to take healthy treats when you’re on the go too, so you won’t be tempted by fast food.

Dining Out

Eating out can often sabotage the healthiest of eaters. Try doing a bit of research before heading out and find restaurants that offer better choices on their menu. You may also want to check out an establishment that provides nutritional information, so you can plan accordingly. Starting your meal with a salad or soup will help curb your appetite. Since restaurant portions are large enough for two or more, you can offer to split a meal with another diner at your table. The breadbasket is another area that can pack on the pounds, so you can tell your waiter ahead of time that you would like to skip it. When ordering, look for items listed as broiled and baked instead of smothered and fried. You can also trim carbs by asking for a side of streamed broccoli instead of french fries. Everyone enjoys something sweet at the end of a meal, and you can still indulge. Instead of cake loaded with a side of ice cream, you can opt for sorbet or a fresh fruit and cheese platter.

Added tips from Joy (cos I gotta get my 2 cents in haha!)

Freeze hummus to keep it portable for longer – it will thaw and be just as yummy!  If you are afraid of over eating – stay away from the buffet!  Drink a full glass of water before your meal to help stave off the “I just have to put something in my mouth now’s!”

Cole Millen, an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.”

 

part 1: Quick & Budget Friendly Pork Schnitzel & Pasta


Recently, my time has been rushed and we’ve been in need of some quick & easy recipes.  Same with everyone right?  Well I am tired of arguing that making food your self is more expensive then grabbing a pizza – so in this series of blog posts I am out to prove it!

Today I was at the store and Pork Schnitzel strips were on sale,  so I grabbed them.  I had some gluten free multi-grain bread crumbs and some gluten free pasta at home as well and so this meal was born! Not only that but it was cheap too! Fed 4 people (2 younger kids, 2 adults) for under $11 (that’s about $2.65 a serving….. try getting take out for that!

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)                 $4.71
  • GF Bread Crumbs                      $1.00
  •  1 egg                                           $0.20
  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti             $1.50
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered    $0.50
  • 1 small head broccoli                   $1.00
  • EVOO (3 TB)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste                     $1.70
  •                                            total       $10.61

Time from prep to plating,  about 15 mins …..

Pork Schnitzel & Pasta:

  • Porkporkschnitzel and pasta

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)
  • GF Bread Crumbs  (1/4-1/2 cup)
  •  1 egg

Pasta

  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small head broccoli-washed & cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 TB EVOO
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed.  While pasta is cooking, quarter the tomatoes, and chop broccoli.  In one bowl, beat egg, then dip the pork in the egg and dredge thru the breadcrumbs.  If you have enough bread crumbs, let it sit for a couple minutes then repeat to get a nice coating.  Spray skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet on med -high.  When there is 5 minutes left on the pasta, place the pork on the hot pan.  Cook for about 3 min per side. When pasta is done, drain & rinse, add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta and toss, serve along side the schnitzel. enJoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging on Blogs: My Top 6


newyearIts New Years Day – welcome 2013!  I contemplated writing a my “top ten” list for  2012 or my new years resolutions etc…. nothing was screaming “write about me!!” (which is good actually – means I’m not hearing voices either), but like most of you out there – I read or peruse various blogs on a daily or weekly basis so I decided to share with you (in no particular order) my favorite blog posts of 2012.

  1.  A great blog entry from my friend Jenny Foster Vaya, owner of Prema Yoga,  (rather amusingly) called “Embrace the Toot”  – entertaining yet informative!
  2. My own (patting self on back, haha) entry “What does Bully-ing mean to you” – because, well its an important subject, a subject to keep in the limelight,  and the entry that according to my site status, my readership engaged with the most.
  3. Ashley Dale Roy, personal trainer and owner of Royally Fit, tells it the way it is, in the only way she knows how (and we love you for it Ash!), straight up with no b***s**t, about healthy eating & weigh loss in her blog entry “Diets Suck“.
  4. The Cocktail Deeva herself, Dee, talks about doing the Edge Walk on the CN Tower, in “Trust Me “– never heard of this?  Me neither! This one was one of my fave’s simply because for a chicken sh*t someone like me who is terrified of heights and won’t even walk on the glass floor of the CN Tower – the reality of someone (on purpose) hanging by a safety line and inching themselves along the platform on the OUTSIDE of the tower (did I mention it was ON PURPOSE) is simply amazing.  Way to go, well done!
  5. Speaking of “Diva’s” lets move on to this entry titled “Pot and Brownies” by Domestic Diva, MD.  First of all the title’s catchy – no?  (if you said no – I say HA! you lie!)I love reading this blog – it not only gives great recipes (there’s one for Gluten Free Brownies in this entry) but her stories surrounding being a Resident (Dr) and meeting with patients make me laugh.   Two thumbs up.
  6. Lastly, really anything by Dana Jackson creator of Hot Pink Apron, in particular “Breaking In Ricotta Gnocchi“,  well maybe because – I love Gnocchi but the gluten in it does not love me so much so I gaze at this one from afar but, wipe the drool off my chin (and the puddle of it off the floor too).

There’s probably more that I just can’t think of off the top of my head – to all of these bloggers, and for those of you who’s blogs I follow up didn’t mention – Happy New Year – make 2013 your year!

As always, I love hearing your feedback! Please comment, and like my blog!  Visit my website at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com

 

What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All’ – The Atlantic


Speaking of being Thankful for the little things – bravo to this author and mom of a child with disabilities – my hats is off to her and her amazing attitude on life – she’s right – its all in the way you look at things….


What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All’ – The Atlantic
.