Pimms!

PIMMS!

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According to Wikipedia…Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent, became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. He offered the tonic (a gin-based drink containing a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a “No. 1 Cup”, hence its subsequent name.

I had this for the first time when I was over at a friends house when they were serving Pimms due to a visit from some family members from London.  I had never had it before and the taste was so pleasant I had to go buy myself a bottle!  Normally it is mixed with fizzy lemonade or gingerale but instead I mixed it with sparkling water and added a bit of maple syrup to give it a bit of sweetness.  The strawberry, cucumbers and oranges really give it a nice flavour!

Ingredients:

1 Part Pimms

2-3 Parts Carbonated water, gingerale or 7-Up

Slices of oranges, cucumbers, strawberries, limes, lemons and/or apples

Directions:

Mix ingredients together in a pitcher and serve over lots of ice. 

Nice party drink or summer cocktail

Amazing “Surprise” Fudge Chocolate Pie

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I wanted to make my husband a nice pie for his birthday and I saw this one on pinterest.  My friend told me about this recipe too, she made it for her husband and he loved it!  I was wondering how this recipe would taste with the tofu in it – would it have a off flavour or a strange texture?  Fortunately it didn’t!  I didn’t taste it at all and it make the most decadent, smooth and creamy chocolate pie!  I will DEFINITELY be making this again as it took only about 10 minutes to make from start to finish (minus the pie crust but that is optional).

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/06/the-ultimate-chocolate-fudge-pie/

Ingredients:

  • 12.3 oz silken tofu
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 to 10 oz chocolate chips (a little over 1 and 1/3c)
  • optional: extracts, flavorings, or liqueurs

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate (either on the stove or in the microwave), then throw everything into a food processor or blender and process until super-smooth. Pour into a pie crust if desired.

2. Refridgerate until chilled. This gets firmer and firmer, the longer it sits.

Low-Sugar Mango Freezer Jam

I love jam.  But I don’t like all the sugar!   Sadly the sugar in jam is very important for allowing the jam to set properly and to prevent growth of moulds and other pathogens that can make us sick.  So – I found a recipe that uses Certo Light and I know that I HAVE to get it within a few months and keep it in the fridge.  I kept jam made with certo light in the pantry once…wasn’t pretty.  My husband brought me home a big crate of mangoes the other day!  And that was my inspiration for making jam.  I only had big jars (little jars work better) but I am in a housing transition at present and therefore I have to be flexible!

Mango Jam (Yield: 8 – 6oz jars)

Ingredients:

6 cups mango puree (about 8-10 mangoes)
1 cup filtered water
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp Low Sugar Fruit Pectin (I used Certo Light)
1 cup granulated sugar (do not reduce further)

Directions:

1. Prepare your jars and lids by sterilizing them in boiling water.

2. Add pureed fruit, water and lemon juice to a large pot and heat over a medium high. Gradually stir in the fruit pectin. Stir constantly as you bring it to a full, rolling boil.

3. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Stir constantly.

4. Turn off heat. Ladle jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch space at the top. Wipe rims and secure with lids and rings. Place jars into a canner and make sure they are covered by an inch or two of water. Place lid on canner and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.

5. Carefully remove jars and allow them to cool on a towel or rack. Give each jar a few inches of space and don’t fiddle with the lids for 24 hours. Then carefully check that they are sealed. Label and date jars. Keep in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Easy cheesy gluten free pasta

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We needed a quick lunch the other day and I had some gluten free pasta in the pantry and was calling to me.  I made a simple and satisfying dish by combining the hot cooked pasta with Parmesan cheese which gave it a zippy, salty bite.  Delicious and so simple!!!  Good intro recipe for those just starting out cooking or new to the gluten free diet.

Ingredients:

3 cup gluten free pasta, dried

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tsp margarine or butter

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. Return pasta to the pot and mix with Parmesan cheese and margarine.  Stir until coated.

Serve hot!

Cheesy Rice and Bean Casserole

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This is yummy-ness in a casserole dish.  I tried to make a version of this the other evening but it was a complete failure – it was like a brick coming out of the oven…not really sure how I could have messed up a casserole but I did.  I’m happy to note that today’s casserole for lunch was a hit.  It combines the deliciousness of rice, beans and cheese!  It was hearty and satisfying.  I paired it with a nice garden salad and some milk.  The protein combination of the rice and beans make this a complete protein and perfect for your body to digest.

Ingredients:

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1 1/2 cups rice, cooked

1 cup of beans, rinsed

1 cup of cottage cheese

1 cup of cheese, shredded

1/4 cup minced celery, option

2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

1. Mix ingredients together in a mixing bowl, add a couple tablespoons of water or milk if it looks too dry. Grease casserole dish and add ingredients.

2. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Light Lemon Cheesecake

One of my co-workers had cheesecake at lunch the other day so I decided that we needed to have some too….

Mmmmmh.  Cheesecake.  It was good.

I liked that this is a bit of a lighter version of cheesecake by using some cottage cheese and cool whip.  The texture is nice and fluffy.

The only thing I needed to change to make this dessert gluten free was the graham crackers – and we had some gluten free ones in the pantry.  All I did was process them into a food processer and voila – gluten free crumbs!  I suppose I could use lime or orange jello to make it into a different flavour too.

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Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups gluten free graham crackers, crushed
– 6 tbsp butter, melted
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 2/3 cup boiling water
– 1 pkg. JELL-O Lemon Flavor
– 1 cup 2% Cottage Cheese
– 8 oz. Light Cream Cheese
– 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Directions:

1. Add graham crackers into food processor and process until into crumbs.  Mix with sugar and melted butter.  Pat into the bottom of a pie plate or a spring form pan.  Bake in oven at 375 F for 7 minutes.  Cool.

2. Boil water, mix with jello powder and mix in small bowl.  Stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

3. Pour into blender.  Add cottage cheese, cream cheese and blend until smooth. Stopping occasionally to scrape down side of blender.  Pour into large bowl.  Stir in cool whip with whisk.  Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

Tangy Honey Mustard Baked Tofu

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I was in the mood for honey mustard chicken the other day but since I try to limit my meat consumption to only a couple times a week I decided to experiment with using tofu instead.  I was pretty satisfied with the result – the tofu was a tasty medium for the yummy tangy sauce and I felt better about my ethical choice of protein in this dish!  It’s important to give the tofu some time to develop the flavours in any recipe or else it might taste a little bland.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  • 2 small sprig rosemary or other herb
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix sauce ingredients.  Cut up tofu into cubes.  Mix all together in a bowl and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight to marinade.

2 Preheat oven to 350F and spread tofu into a baking dish, cover.

3 Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the tofu before you serve.

Serves 4

Pizza Zucchini

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Another fantastic pinterest find!  I love the idea because I really enjoy pizza, it’s gluten free naturally and it’s a great way to get more veggies on my plate!  Plus you can cook it on the BBQ which is awesome during the summer for folks who have no air conditioning like us.  🙂  The topping possibilities are endless really – I just kept it simple to start off with.

Ingredients:

4 medium sized zucchini

1/2 cup or so of pizza sauce

1/2-1 cup of shredded cheese

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp each oregano and basil

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Directions:

1. Wash and cut zucchini in half length-wise.  Scoop out sides with a spoon still keeping some of the wall intact for strength.  Put insides into a bowl.

2. Mix zucchini with pizza sauce, cheeses and herbs. Spoon evenly back into zucchini skins.

3. Grill on tin foil on the BBQ or in the oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly, hot and softened.

Serves about 4 people as a side dish.