Tag: vegetables

Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Mac & Cheese

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!
This was not the first 4th of July that I have spent in the US, but it was first one as a resident. We decided that we wanted to avoid crowds and still see friends, so we had a meet point (my in-laws), which is in a lovely rural part of Virginia.
The weekend included boardgames (exploding kitty and red dragon inn), as well as a lot of laughter and baby cuddles.

If you are as sleepy as we are then I can bet you are looking for a quick and easy meal. This is it!
It is quick, delicious, as well as a help with any possible hangover.

1 lb gluten free past
1 head of broccoli
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic- minced
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1 cup milk- I used 1 %
1/2 cup chicken broth (can be subbed with veggie)
1&1/2 cup shredded strong cheddar
1 cup smoked gouda
1/2 cup mozzarella
gluten free breadcrumbs to cover the dish
Preheat oven to 375F.
Bring water to a boil, salt, and add your pasta (if you can find gluten free pasta shells, use these)
2 minutes prior to the pasta being fully cooked, add your broccoli to the pot.
Strain together.
In a pot, melt the butter and add the shallot- cook for around 5 minutes.
Season with salt and add the garlic.
Add the flour, mix well, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the milk, and broth. Stir until it thickens, and then add your cheeses.
Have your pasta and broccoli in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta, get it all covered.
Cover the pasta with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until gold and bubbly.
Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

I was not over my Indian craving from a few days ago and ventured back into the youtube realm. One of my favorite youtube channels is Manjula’s Kitchen. Her recipes are fantastic for our household as all of her food is vegetarian, and a lot of it is naturally gluten free. Her name is Manjula Jain, her last name is reflective of her religion as she is a Jain. Jainism is an ancient religion of India, and Jains (as the practitioners are called) believe that everything has a soul. They, therefore, adhere to a strict vegetarian diet. It is a super fascinating religion if any are curious to explore its roots.

A food that Josh and I both love is eggplant. It is super healthful and can be transformed into countless dishes. We had an eggplant sitting in the fridge and Manjula came to the rescue. This is her recipe, so she gets all the credit.



1 eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp oil – I used sunflower oil
2 medium tomatoes
1 green chili
¼ inch piece of ginger
3 tablespoons oil
Pinch of asafetida – if you cannot find this, substitute onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili
1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
¼ teaspoon garam masala
cilantro to garnish

Microwave (yes, microwave) your eggplant for 8 minutes.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool. Once cool remove all the skin and chop the eggplant into small pieces.
Take your tomatoes, chop them, and remove the seeds from your chili pepper, blend in a blender or food processor with the ginger.
Heat your oil, and chop your bell pepper into small pieces, fry the pepper until it is soft. Remove the pepper from the pan, but keep the oil.
Add the cumin seeds and asafetida (also known as Hing) to your pan and let it sit for a minute. Add the tomato puree. Once you see the oil begin to separate from the puree, add all the spices except for the garam masala.
Cook for a few minutes and then add your eggplant. Cook the eggplant in the sauce for around 7-8 minutes, meanwhile mashing it with a wooden spoon. Once it begins to look more like a puree, add the garam masala and your peppers.
Cook for a few more minutes, remove, plate, and add your cilantro.

Vegetarian Kofta

Vegetarian Kofta

I wrote in another post about my love for the Great British Bake Off. One of my favorite contestants ever is a woman named Chetna Makan. She would infuse her bakes with really interesting spices, mainly Indian influences.

Something that I found out when I initially went gluten free is that Indian food is almost universally gluten free. Of course, delicious things such as naan bread are not, but the dishes themselves are almost always 100% gluten free or can be modified to be gluten free. Montreal has an amazing Indian food scene. I occasionally (often) will space out dreaming about my favorite restaurants in Montreal, that I will go to immediately as soon as my green card is granted.

I was looking around the internet to see what Chetna was up to since Bake Off and came across her youtube channel. She weekly updates a video and this recipe caught my eye. I made a couple of changes, but minor ones. The outcome was delicious, and I hope you will give this a try.

Vegetarian Kofta

June 27, 2017
: 4
: 3 hr
: 30 min
: 3 hr 30 min


  • For Koftas:
  • 275 g Paneer (see note for homemade paneer)
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • Oil for frying
  • For sauce:
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 garlic cloves - grated or minced
  • water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Half and half or cream
  • Step 1 To make the koftas, grate the paneer or mash into chunks with your hands in a bowl. Add the boiled potatoes, salt, chili powder, and corn flour. Form into balls and set aside.
  • Step 2 Heat your oil on a medium heat and add the koftas. Fry until golden and remove and set aside.
  • Step 3 In a pan, add tbsp oil and allow to heat. Add your cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick.
  • Step 4 Add onion and allow to cook until it is golden.
  • Step 5 Add the garlic and cook until the rawness is gone from the garlic.
  • Step 6 Add the tomatoes, and fill half of the can with water and pour into the pan.
  • Step 7 Cook on medium heat and covered for 15 minutes.
  • Step 8 Remove cover, add remaining spices, and 100 ml more water.
  • Step 9 Place cover back on and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Step 10 Remove lid, add either 4 tbsp of half and half or 2 tbsp of cream.
  • Step 11 Add the koftas back into the gravy and allow them to soften. Put in a serving dish and serve immediately. Garnish with coriander or cilantro.
  • Step 12 *If you cannot find paneer in the store, purchase whole milk. 1.5 cups of whole milk will give you 275g of paneer. Bring the whole milk to a boil and use the juice of three lemons. This will allow the milk to curdle. Turn off the heat at this point and stir for 3 minutes. Place a cheesecloth in a strainer in the sink and pour the milk into the cloth. Drain the liquid from the cloth and wrap the cheese in the cloth into a ball. Place something heavy on the cheese and let it sit in the sink for 30 minutes. Then place the cheese in the fridge for at least 2 hours, it is best if it is left overnight. For Chetna’s page, see here.  


So I am not sure about you, but I absolutely love Disney movies. Some of my earliest memories are watching the Jungle Book (on VHS of course), and dancing along to the songs from the Little Mermaid. I was going through our on demand last week when I came across Ratatouille, a film I had loved but had not watched in several years. I decided to put it on and quickly remembered everything I had loved about it.

Movies and TV shows that have food in them, even if it is a cartoon, create a lasting impression with me. I absolutely love Harry Potter and am still envious of the feast that they got in the first film as it looked absolutely delicious. Ratatouille is a film that is based in Paris, and as of late, I have been kind of missing the lack of French that has been in my new surroundings. Montreal, while a bilingual city, has more French aspects to its food than Anglo. Every culture of food is represented but there is a strong sense of Quebecois pride in their food, as well as fine French dining. So, in honor of my home city and Disney, I decided that I would make ratatouille.

The type of ratatouille from the film I have learned is not traditional ratatouille, it is called confit byaldiIn the film, this dish is so good that it is enough to save their restaurant. I can honestly say after making it that it was incredibly delicious. This recipe is a bit time consuming, but I felt it was worth it.

Confit Byaldi- Ratatouille

June 23, 2017
: 4
: 40 min
: 1 hr 15 min
: 2 hr


  • For sauce:
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 3 or 4 roma tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • vegetable stock
  • Water (if you think your sauce is too thick)
  • thyme 2 sprigs
  • fresh parsley
  • Veggies:
  • 4 or 5 tomatoes
  • 1 japanese eggplant
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 yellow zucchini (or yellow squash)
  • *Use a mandolin for slicing your veggies to get them very thin and you will need parchment paper.
  • Step 1 To make the sauce:
  • Step 2 Broil the peppers until there is a black layer and they look charred. Remove them from the oven and wrap them in foil and allow them to steam. Meanwhile, blanch your roma tomatoes and peel their skin.
  • Step 3 In a blender or food processor, place the roma tomatoes, garlic cloves, peel the peppers once they have cooled and also place them inside. Add olive oil, thyme, parsley, and begin to blend. While machine is running, add the veggie stock.
  • Step 4 Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Step 5 Take a backing pan or a cast iron pan (I used cast iron) and fill the bottom with the sauce. Slice all of your veggies very thin, using a mandolin will be your easiest solution. Begin to lay them over the other and make the pattern you wish. Once you have filled the entirety of the pan, drizzle the veggies with olive oil, use a tiny bit of salt and pepper and fresh rosemary if you wish.
  • Step 6 Cover it with parchment paper cut specifically to cover your veggies.
  • Step 7 Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven, take a bit of your leftover sauce, mix it with some olive oil and plate your dish. Add some fresh parsley with it. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I know it is summer and people aren’t necessarily looking for a warm food, but lately I have had a craving for cauliflower. So I figured one of the best options would be a soup. Even though the humidity levels in Virginia are off the charts, I can pretty much convinced to eat soup at any time. So if you are in the same boat as me, then you may want to give this a try! If you want to make this dish vegetarian, go ahead and use veggie stock!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

June 21, 2017
: 8
: 30 min
: 20 min
: 50 min


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup half and half (or milk or cream)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small onion
  • salt, pepper, thyme
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp flour (I used cup4cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Step 1 Set your oven to 350F.
  • Step 2 Cut up the cauliflower (make some pieces quite small so they can top your soup after).
  • Step 3 Coat the cauliflower and garlic in olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
  • Step 4 Bake for 30M- until the cauliflower has a nice crisp to it. If you want to rotate it while it is in the oven or turn the pieces over, go ahead.
  • Step 5 Put some oil in a pot and begin to fry onions until they are translucent. Add your stock and half and half, along with the paprika, and butter.
  • Step 6 Add the cauliflower and garlic to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiled, either use a submersion blender, or allow the soup to cool before transferring it to a blender or food processor.
  • Step 7 Blend, and put back on the stove for 5-10 minutes. Mine was pretty think at this point so I added 1 cup of water. Season to taste.
  • Step 8 Serve immediately and top with some of the small crispy bits of cauliflower and some fresh thyme.


In 2010, I had the opportunity with my college to take an ancient history tour to Tunisia and Sicily. We would begin our trip in Tunis, make our way around the country looking at Roman ruins, and then take a 12 hour ferry ride from the capital to Palermo, Sicily. Prior to this trip, I had never really encountered Tunisian food. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived that I loved most of the food. Olive oil has ancient roots in Tunisia, as the Romans brought olive trees from Greece and planted them around the country. The country also has developed a delicious tradition of food ranging from dishes of chicken and chickpeas, to shakshuka.

In the cookbook, Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi, states that this breakfast dish has become incredibly popular in Jerusalem in the spring and summer months. Seeing as we are in the beginning of the summer heat and humidity here in Richmond, I figured I would give his recipe a try. It got the husband seal of approval as he went back for more.



June 18, 2017
: 2-4
: 5 min
: 15 min
: 20 min


  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp harissa (in Richmond VA I purchased this at whole foods)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 5 large very ripe tomatoes - canned are also fine.
  • 4 eggs (including the yokes)
  • 1/2 cup labneh (I got this at whole foods) or a very thick yogurt
  • salt
  • Step 1 Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and 3/4 tsp salt. Stir over medium heat until the peppers soften (around 8 minutes).
  • Step 2 Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for around 10 minutes or until you have a thick sauce- taste for seasoning.
  • Step 3 Make dips in the sauce and gently break the eggs. Poor the eggs into their own little dip. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the whites are set but the yokes are still runny.
  • Step 4 Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a couple of minutes before serving.
  • Step 5 Add labneh or yogurt and serve.
Swiss Chard Gratin

Swiss Chard Gratin

A couple of years ago, Josh and I went to a cajun restaurant in Montreal. As part of my meal it came with “greens”. I have never been a big veggie person, I have often (always) wished that pasta was a vegetable. I was pleasantly surprised when my plate arrived when I loved the taste of the green thing that donned my dish. I asked Josh what this thing possibly was and he told me it was swiss chard. Since then, it has been given the seal of approval by me, and I try to find ways to incorporate it into a meal.


I can honestly say that this is one of the ugliest things I have ever made but it is packed with flavor and it is incredibly delicious.


Swiss Chard Gratin

June 15, 2017
: 4
: 10 min
: 20 min
: 30 min


  • 1 handful of gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 grated fresh parmesan
  • 1 big bunch swiss chard
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350F
  • Step 2 Take a baking dish of any kind and grease it with butter.
  • Step 3 Bring a pot of water to a boil and meanwhile clean the swiss chard and cut the stems into 1 inch pieces.
  • Step 4 Put the stems in the boiling water and boil until tender but they still have a bit of firmness.
  • Step 5 Remove them from the water and then blanch enough of the leaf to use as a top when you are done layering the stems.
  • Step 6 Allow the stems to cool and create a bottom layer. Put a tiny amount of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Layer again, and repeat this until you are out of stems. When it comes to the top layer, use the leaf and cover it with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Cut up the butter and put some in each of the corners.
  • Step 7 Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.
  • Step 8 Serve immediately.
Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie

Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie

It appears that the weather in Virginia has been just as tempermental as the weather in Montreal. We were having summer weather (well, summer weather to a Canadian), and this past week it has been storm after storm. The temperatures dropped and it felt as if we were suddenly in the middle of fall.

I had a craving for something hearty and savory. I ended up coming across Molly Yeh’s blog, the author and founder of the awesome blog mynameisyeh and started scouring through her recipes. Much of her stuff contains gluten, but if you fiddle around with it, you can easily modify it. I ended up landing on her chicken pot pie recipe with tater tots- if it has tater tots, how can you say no?

I ended up making 2 versions of this in the same week, one with chicken and one as a vegetarian friendly version, as my husband does not eat meat.

I can honestly say it is one of the best meals I have made it home it is absolutely delicious.


Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie

June 14, 2017
: 6
: 15 min
: 40 min
: 55 min


  • Chicken version:
  • 2 tb unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c all-purpose gluten free flour (I used cup4cup)
  • 2 c 1% milk
  • 2 packets chicken soup concentrate- also 1 tbsp chicken bouillon (I used the better than bouillon brand
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • 1/4 t dried thyme
  • black pepper
  • frozen tate tots
  • Veggie version:
  • 3 tbsp veggie bouillon (I used the better than bouillon brand)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c all-purpose gluten free flour (I used cup4cup)
  • 2 c 1% milk
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 celery stocks chopped
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms (pick whichever you like, I used baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • 1/4 t dried thyme
  • black pepper
  • frozen tate tots
  • Step 1 Preheat your oven to 400 F
  • Step 2 In a large skillet or pot on medium heat, melt the butter and put in your chopped onions. Allow them to simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until they are soft and clear.
  • Step 3 Mix in the 1/4 cup of flour and allow it to really coat all of the onion.
  • Step 4 Add the milk, and bouillon. – If making the chicken version, mix the packets of chicken concentrate in the milk, and then add the bouillon to the pot. Stir until it gets thick.
  • Step 5 Add all of your veggies (and chicken if making chicken version).Allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally. Stir in the thyme, and season with salt + pepper.
  • Step 6 Remove from stove and put in your baking dish. Cover it with tater tots and put it in the oven for 40 minutes.
  • Step 7 Remove from oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Step 8 Dig in! Seriously, it is so good.
  • Step 9 ​Enjoy!

Healing Roasted Vegetable Soup

Healing Roasted Vegetable Soup

Sometimes, going gluten free for some simply isn’t enough.

I had been gluten free for several years and was still experience several health issues. Mainly, severe pain that would never go away. After exhausting what I thought was every option, I heard about bone marrow.

Several cultures around the globe value the medicinal properties of bone marrow and believe that it can help the gut.

Desperate to try anything that may help, I went to a local health store in Montreal (Tau Market) and acquired the bones. At first, the idea of consuming this (was to me) absolutely repulsive. The bones when removed right from the package are not the most appetizing thing to look at, however, once they begin to roast, the smell is amazing.

Convinced that I could not just eat the marrow as is, my mother suggested putting it into a soup, a vegetable soup.

She took a bunch of vegetables, drizzled olive oil on them, roasted them, and made the soup. It was absolutely delicious.

One of the first things I made when moving to Virginia was this soup. It is a wonderfully healthful soup, as well as a hearty winter soup. Even though the winter in Virginia is nothing like it is in Canada, it is still a great soup to have whenever you are feeling a tad cold.

The prep time for this soup is around 1.5-2 hours but I promise it is worth it.


Bone marrow- It may be difficult for you to find marrow- call your local grocery store, butcher, and or health store and I am sure you will be able to find it. 

Chicken Stock-  You can use whatever type of chicken stock you choose, I tend to use low-sodium.

1 small yellow onion
1 small cauliflower head
2 white potatoes
1 sweet potato
3-5 carrots

Cream- Light cream is fine but use your judgement!

Begin by roasting the bone marrow- I use three bones if they are sizable, 5 if they are small. The marrow should be roasted for a minimum of 30 minutes. The bones will begin to have an aroma as well as turn a lovely golden color when ready.

While the bones are roasting, peel the onion, carrots, potatoes and chop up the cauliflower. Coat all of them in olive oil.

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and set the oven to bake at 375. Once the oven is pre-heated, place the vegetables on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. After one hour, if the vegetables still are not soft enough, continue to bake for 15-30 mins – if you do this, make sure to watch the onion and cauliflower as you do not want them to burn.

While the vegetables are baking, the marrow will be ready. Take out a pot and pour the box of chicken stock into the pot and then place the bones inside. The properties of the marrow (and the marrow itself) will blend into the chicken stock.

Once the vegetables are soft and ready, you will need a blender. Blend the vegetables and the stock (along with the marrow). This will puree the vegetables and form the soup.

In a soup pot, pour the blended mix into the pot and stir in the cream. If the soup is still too thick, you may add more water. The final step is to spice the soup with smoked paprika. Let the soup sit for 20-30 minutes on a low heat and then it will be ready to serve.