Tag: Vegetarian

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

Gluten Free Pasta Sauce


I am a cat mom. Like all mothers of fur babies, I regard him as part of my family, and I shower him with constant love and attention. When I was preparing to move to Virginia, I was stressed about whether or not I would bring Tibbs, my baby, with me. I didn’t want to remove him from his environment and considered leaving him with my parents.

When Tibbs was 2, he had a tumor and I of course panicked. Our vet told me that he has a condition when he would continue to have tumors throughout his life, but they would never be too serious. For the next 7 years, he would not have a single tumor. Within 7 months of us living in Virginia, he has developed 2 tumors around one of his eyes. I was freaking out and calling the vet to make an appointment, and as I hung up the phone. Josh came inside with a paper that said my green card has been approved and would be arriving within 3 weeks. Overwhelmed with emotions regarding my cat, as well as waiting 7 months for that paper to arrive, I started to cry. It arrived at a really key moment.

We were hosting Josh’s cousin this weekend and we decided to do a bit of a tour of Richmond.
I decided to make ratatouille for dinner as well as Salmon on Friday night and then we would show him around on Saturday and Sunday.

We grabbed lunch at Station2 and then made our way over to Agecroft Hall.
It is a beautiful Tudor manor house that was disassembled in England and moved over to Richmond. Oh, to have that kind of money.


We then went and grabbed a drink at the Jefferson Hotel. The hotel is stunning and a historic landmark for the city. It has been in use since the 1890s.

After our day of touring around, we came home and low and behold my green card was in the mail!

This meant that I could leave the country, and go home.
I sat down at our computer and immediately purchased a flight out for Monday morning.

Sunday I spent the day packing and just feeling exciting about going home to visit my family, friends, and pets!

I needed a quick meal so I decided to put together Marcella Hazan’s pasta sauce with some gluten free fettucini. It is really so simple, and delicious.


2 pounds of whole san marzano tomoatoes canned with their juices
5 tablespoons of butter
half of an onion
salt to taste

pasta of your choice

Take your tomatoes and put them in a pot.
Put it on low heat, add the butter and the onion.
Allow the sauce to simmer for 45 minutes or until the oil separates from the sauce.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the tomatoes until are crushed.
Salt to your taste.

Make the gluten free pasta of your choice and cover it in the sauce.
Add parmesan cheese, if you wish- but you always should because it is the best.

As for me for the next week. I will be indulging in all of my Montreal favorite foods. That will be discussed in next weeks post. Until then, Salut!

Rose + Pistachio Tiramisu

Rose + Pistachio Tiramisu

I have always been a heavy snacker when it comes to watching a tv show or a movie. One of my best friends, James, and I used to regularly go to the movies, and it was pretty much mandated that I get enough popcorn so that I did not run out during the previews. Whenever I get drawn into anything and it gets even a bit dramatic, I want to snack as I become engulfed into a world that is not my own.


Of course lately, that world has been Game of Thrones. We pretty much do all of our weekend activities on Saturdays right now so we can be sure we essentially meditate all day Sunday in preparation of what is going to be another amazing episode. Game of Thrones is pretty intense and I, therefore, have to have stuff on hand that I can dig into.


Prior to our GoT prep this weekend, we ventured out on Saturday to Tio Pablo in Richmond. It is an entire gluten free restaurant, plus the food is delicious, and my view was A+.

From here we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. There is an exhibit displaying the work of Yves St Laurent. For those who are remotely interested in fashion or are somehow in the area, it is worth checking out. The VMFA overall is a really outstanding museum.


A dessert that is as decadent and fashionable as what I saw at the VMFA is this tiramisu recipe. It is inspired by a recipe that Molly Yeh posted a while ago. It is relatively easy to make, and super super delicious. I initially labeled this tiramisu as tiramisu for 2, but realistically, it can be for 4 people.

Gluten Free Rose and Pistachio Tiramisu

August 6, 2017


  • 300 ml very strong earl grey tea
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 4 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 package of Schar ladyfingers
  • nutmeg and cinnamon
  • rose petals and pistachios, for serving
  • Step 1 Take a bread tin.
  • Step 2 Make the tea- using around 4 bags. Add the agave and 2 tbsp of the vanilla. Allow it to steep and cool.
  • Step 3 Separate the eggs, whisk the yokes with the sugar until it is nice and frothy. Make sure that all of the sugar has dissolved.
  • Step 4 With the mixer on slow speed, add the mascarpone, the remaining vanilla, and rose water.
  • Step 5 In a separate bowl, beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold them gently into the previous mix.
  • Step 6 Take your ladyfingers, and dip them into the early grey. Line the bottom of the tin with them. Then add a layer of the mixture. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon. Repeat this step once again. You will then need to refrigerate this for at least 6 hours, and it is best if it is served the next day.
  • Step 7 To serve, take rose petals and crushed pistachios and sprinkle on top.
  • Step 8 Enjoy!


Gluten Free Spinach Quiche

Gluten Free Spinach Quiche

August is around the corner! I cannot believe how quickly time has been going.
In Montreal, I spent most of my summers at our local community pool named ValleyCrest. Most people either owned a pool or were members or their community pool, as everyone would take the opportunity to spend time outside when it was warm. Having winter or cold weather 8 months of the year is not something that Virginians have to deal with, so swimming pools are more of an oddity here.

One thing that Richmonders take quite seriously over the summer (and really, all year round) is brunch. Richmond has a plethora of restaurants that serve up a delicious brunch, but most of the time they are reserved to Sundays. We have therefore been looking at brunch options that we can make ourselves on Saturdays, where we sit indoors and escape the humidity.

Every time we visit Josh’s parents, his mother, who is an excellent cook, usually has a quiche waiting to go for us. It is an easy option that can be made vegetarian and or gluten free. This is an adapted version of her quiche.


Gluten Free Spinach Quiche

July 31, 2017
: 55 min


  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 and 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 pkg. vegetable mix soup (or chicken mix if that is more your taste)
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese – another great cheese for quiche is gruyere.
  • As much spinach as your heart desires.
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Step 2 Mix everything together and pour it into your quiche dish.
  • Step 3 I place my quiche dish on a cookie sheet in case anything spills over.
  • Step 4 Bake for 45 minutes or until golden on top and you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.
  • Step 5 Enjoy!


If you would like to use a crust, see this recipe.

Gluten Free Mini Pavlovas

Gluten Free Mini Pavlovas

The weather in Virginia, at least in Richmond, has been a scorcher. It is to the point where as soon as you step outside, the humidity wraps you in a hug, and you crawl your way back to air conditioning as fast as humanly possible. Normally, I would then hibernate in the kitchen, and experiment with recipes, however this has not been the case.

I am still on the mend, and like our cats have been taking a few cat naps during the day. We are also having some changes made to our house, so I have been spending a bit less time in the kitchen so it does not appear that I am hovering over the work being done. We have had to lock the kitties up and I will go in there and spend some time with them so they don’t howl or ram the door to get out (yes, our insane cat does this).


Therefore, quick and easy recipes that satisfy the sweet tooth are where it has been at lately. An easy and delicious recipe are these mini pavlovas with lemon curd and blackberries. They keep well for several days in the fridge, or you can serve them right away.

Gluten Free Mini Pavlovas

July 24, 2017
: 6


  • For lemon curd, see here
  • For meringue:
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • .6 of a cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • blackberries
  • icing sugar for dusting- optional.
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Step 2 Whisk the eggwhites with a mixer, with the salt, until it is firm.
  • Step 3 Slowly add your sugar and continue to mix until stiff peaks form. When it looks as if it has a satin sheen to it, add your cornflour, white wine vinegar, and vanilla.
  • Step 4 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Step 5 Draw six circles (I used the bottom of a pint glass), and then flip the paper over. You will be able to see the circles from the other side.
  • Step 6 Spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper and cover the circles. Use a spoon to make an indent in the centre, this will be where the lemon curd is placed.
  • Step 7 Put it into the oven and turn it down to 300F.
  • Step 8 Bake for 30 minutes, and then turn off the oven. Let them sit in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 9 Transfer them onto wire racks to cool.
  • Step 10 When you want to assemble them, place the lemon curd in the indentations, place 3 or more blackberries on top, and sprinkle with icing sugar.
  • Step 11 If you wish, you can serve these with whipped cream, but they don’t need it.
  • Step 12 Enjoy!
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.
Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry filling

Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry filling

Yesterday was Canada Day- it is the first time in my life that I was not in Canada for it and I was a bit homesick. It is incredibly close in terms of its date with the 4th of July in the US and therefore no one really acknowledges it down here.

For the 4th this year we are headed to my in-laws where we will meet up with our best friends. We decided that we would each contribute a food, and I decided on dessert. I wanted to make cupcakes and I wanted to make them festive.

I saw on the blog wife mama foodie that she had a recipe for cupcakes that I wanted to try. The result ended up being pretty good. I changed a few things from the original recipe and made the icing more patriotic!

They are quick and simple to make, so I hope you enjoy!


Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

July 2, 2017
: 1 Dozen Cupcakes
: 1 hr


  • 1.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yoke
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk - up to you to use whatever type of milk you like. I used 1%
  • 1/2 cup butter or melted coconut oil- I used butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Strawberry preserve
  • Icing:
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • lemon juice to your taste
  • red + blue food coloring
  • * You will need piping bags for this- or ziploc bags that you convert.
  • Step 1 For cupcakes:
  • Step 2 Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Step 3 Mix your flour, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Step 4 Add vanilla, milk, butter, and eggs slowly into the mixture.
  • Step 5 Mix until smooth.
  • Step 6 Line a muffin tin with wrappers and fill them 2/3 of the way up.
  • Step 7 Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Step 8 Once done remove from oven and allow them to cool.
  • Step 9 Once cool, remove the centre of the cupcakes with a knife. Do not pierce the bottom, just make a small hole in each.
  • Step 10 Fill your first piping bag with 2-3 tbsp of strawberry preserve and pipe into the holes.
  • Step 11 Allow these to sit for a while.
  • Step 12 For icing:
  • Step 13 Place your softened butter into a mixer and beat for a few minutes until fluffy. Add your icing sugar and allow it to beat for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 14 Once the icing begins to look light and fluffy slowly add the milk. When it is fully incorporated and fluffy, add your lemon juice. If at any point the icing becomes lumpy and is no longer smooth, simply add a bit more icing sugar until it is back to normal.
  • Step 15 Once the icing is ready, divide it into thirds. In one bowl, add blue food coloring to the mixture, in another bowl add red, and in the third bowl, leave it white.
  • Step 16 Take your second piping bag with a star tip and evenly distribute the three (or 2) colors in the bag in a straight line. This was when you pipe, all colors will be present.
  • Step 17 You can freeze these cupcakes if you want, or serve right away.
  • Step 18 Enjoy!
Custard Fruit Tart

Custard Fruit Tart

Montreal is amazing in that it has specialty shops everywhere. Fromageries, butchers, bakeries, it is all wonderful. There was a bakery that was very close to our house and a few times a year we would pick up a dessert from there for a family event (usually mothers or fathers day), and we would always get a fruit tart.

These tarts were absolutely beautiful in their design and beyond delicious. When I moved, we were going through all the books that I wanted to take and my grandmother offered me cookbooks that she no longer needed or wanted. One book that she gave me is one that I have been eyeing forever, it is a baking guide. Of course, it is for regular baking, but there are inspiring ideas in there none the less. I was going through some of my books the other day and came across this one, and on the cover was a fruit tart. I decided that it was time that I try to make this gluten free and have it taste halfway decent.

The result ended up being awesome, and I was in a blissful state for quite some time. Seven years is a long time to not indulge in a fruit tart. So if you are anything like me and it has been a while. Give this a go. Plus, as an ex-pat Canadian now living in the USA, Canada Day is a perfect excuse to bake this.


Gluten Free Custard Berry Tart

June 30, 2017


  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3.5 tbsp butter chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla
  • For the custard:
  • 3 egg yokes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Berries-
  • For glaze, I used strawberry preserve but you can also use red currant jelly, or apricot jelly.
  • Step 1 Steps:
  • Step 2 For the crust:
  • Step 3 Put all the ingredients in a food processor with the butter chopped up and allow it to form a crumble. Add the egg and pulse until it forms a ball in the food processor. Remove and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Step 4 Remove from fridge, roll it out, lay it over the tart plate you wish to use, cut off excess. Poke your form into the base so the crust can breathe while it bakes.
  • Step 5 Bake for 10 minutes at 350 or until golden.
  • Step 6 Let the crust cool entirely.
  • Step 7 For custard:
  • Step 8 In a pot, heat up the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the other ingredients (except the cream).
  • Step 9 When the milk is boiled, pour it slowly over your bowl and whisk everything together. Once it is all combined, transfer back to pot on the stove. Stir until it is thick and like custard! Remove it from the heat and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let it sit until it cools. Once cool, whip the cream until thick and mix it into the custard. Spoon the custard evenly into the pie crust. Put the tart in the fridge and allow everything to set for 1 hour.
  • Step 10 For fruit:
  • Step 11 Arrange the fruit how you want it- I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
  • Step 12 Heat up your preserve in a pot and mix it with some water. It will be like a syrup. Distribute it evenly over your fruit.
  • Step 13 Serve within 3 hours of making.
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.

Chocolate Coconut Strawberry Cakes

Chocolate Coconut Strawberry Cakes

Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Cakes

Last night I went into a zen mode of watching youtube videos on cooking and baking. I will begin on one topic and end up at an entirely different culinary place, all the while loving what I am seeing and learning. I came across a video that used strawberries to form a rose on top of a cupcake and I thought “hm, I think that would be neat”, but seeing as I plan to make cupcakes later this week for the 4th of July, I didn’t necessarily want to wait. So I got to thinking, what could I put that on instead.

A staple in my pantry is coconut. It is a delicious gluten free friendly ingredient and it can be added or used to make several awesome creations. I thought at first I would maybe use it for basic macaroons but then quickly came across a recipe from Molly Yeh that changed my mind. She used the basic macaroon recipe but instead made it into a cake. I thought that it would be a great choice, but instead of making a full sized cake, I decided to make mini ones (I really wanted to try these strawberries).

Her original recipe calls for orange and I decided to swap that out entirely for strawberries as it is the season.


I decided to use ramekins instead of a cake tin- however now having made this, you can use a cake tin and then simply use a biscuit cutter. It is entirely your choice.

The result was delicious, and beautiful.

Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Cakes

June 27, 2017
: 5


  • 1 14 oz bag of shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For buttercream:
  • 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp strawberry preserve or jam
  • fresh strawberries
  • Step 1 Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Step 2 Grease the bottom of your ramekins and line them with parchment paper.
  • Step 3 Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, and in a separate bowl mix together your wet ingredients.
  • Step 4 Using a rubber spatula, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until all are combined.
  • Step 5 Use a spoon to transfer mix into ramekins and make sure each is equal.
  • Step 6 Bake the ramekins for 30 minutes- check on them after 25 minutes and if they have lost their shine, then they are ready.
  • Step 7 Allow them to sit in the ramekins for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Step 8 Using a standing mixer, beat the butter for a few minutes until light and creamy.
  • Step 9 Add the icing sugar and beat it until buttercream forms. Add your strawberry preserve. Transfer icing to piping bag with a round tip.
  • Step 10 Use 2 cake pieces for cake, ice in the middle and then on top. Be generous with the icing on top as the icing will work as the glue for the strawberries.
  • Step 11 Slice your strawberries, and place them as seen in the picture. The result is a rose.

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.