Vegetable Stock- a step-by-step method

the bare min Yum! Vegetable stock. Canned vegetable stock cannot even begin to flavour your food as well (or as cheaply) as homemade stock. It is so versatile and so easy to make that I honestly don’t know why anybody would buy the stuff in cans. You don’t have to go running to the store to buy vegetables to make vegetable stock. USE WHAT YOU HAVE IN THE HOUSE! You can even use vegetable scraps to make the stock. Carrot tops, ends of celery, broccoli stems etc. can be frozen and then pulled out to make your stock. Yes, I know those items also make excellent compost, and if you’re an avid gardener (like me!) you will just go to the store and buy vegetables to make stock in order to make sure that your Summer harvest tomatoes are well fed. My point is you don’t have to throw anything out, you can use scraps, you can usually just use what you have in your fridge.

That being said, there is a bare minimum of ingredients you need to make a reasonable stock. I do realize that the more types of veg you put in your stock, the richer it will taste, but you can still make veggie stock that is far superior to anything canned with a few simple ingredients. The picture (above) illustrates my point. To make a vegetable stock all you need are three carrots, three stalks of celery, a garlic clove, a sweet onion (but any type of onion will do), enough water to cover the cut up veg, a cutting board, a knife and a stock pot. There are no seasonings like salt or pepper in a stock. You are going to use this stock to make another recipe, that is why it is a stock — it is never served on its own! If you add salt/pepper/other spices you have made a broth. Yup. Salt and pepper are really the only difference between a vegetables stock and a vegetable broth. This is not true of chicken/beef/pork broth stock. Animals stock is made from bones where animal broth is made using the whole carcass (or pieces of carcass) meat included. But I digress, you really want to know how to make stock! (more below the cut)

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Ancient grains blueberry banana bread (gluten-free)

bread close up

YUM! Banana bread! I love banana bread. There are many different gluten-free banana bread recipes out there, and I wasn’t satisfied with any of them. So this is my attempt at improving what was already out there.

I wanted a recipe that was high in fibre and nutrients. In order to do that I wanted to use as many different types of flour as possible. I also added flax seeds for fibre, and blueberries for antioxidants.

This is not the light and fluffy banana bread that is common as a snack bread or dessert. I’m not saying it doesn’t taste good, its actually very tasty, but you can tell its better for you than most other breads. Think of a regular banana muffin versus a banana bran muffin. This one is closer to the banana bran. I plan on cutting slices and freezing them individually between wax paper for excellent, healthy breakfasts on the run! Next week I’m going to try to reduce the fat content and turn the recipe into muffins. Stay tuned!

There to see more photos, click the links ‘outside of bread’ & ‘inside of bread’ directly below.
outside of bread
inside of bread

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Healthier gluten -free General Tso’s chicken with snow peas

general tsao chicken

General Tso’s chicken has always been one of my favourite dishes. The deep fried sweet spicy goodness of the dish makes it a very popular choice in North American Chinese restaurants. Unfortunately, the sauce is typically full of gluten and the the deep-fried chicken makes my clothes shrink.

This updated version doesn’t taste quite like what you get in a Chinese restaurant — unfortunately nothing can compete with the sinful taste given up by the boiling oil of the deep fryer. But its a close approximate. The sauce is thickened with corn starch so wheat is no longer an issue.

I have replaced the traditional broccoli with snow peas. There is no real reason for doing this – I just like snow peas! If you want to add broccoli instead, steam it in a separate pot and add it to the chicken stir-fry at the very end.

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Gluten-free Beef with Broccoli

beef and broccoli

Nothing rings in the new year like Chinese inspired cuisine. Although far from authentic, this American/Canadian Chinese style food is still absolutely delicious! And a great thing about this type of meal is that it is so simple to make gluten-free. Just finish it off with a side of rice — I prefer steamed jasmine rice — and you’re good to go! The whole thing only took me 15 minutes to prepare, 20 if you include the time it took me to find my pairing knife. I have absolutely no idea why it was in the living room.

Okay, not entirely true. I tend to wander about a bit when I’m cooking. But still, I don’t usually leave knives in the living room. Oven mitts? Yes, they’re in there all the time, but not knives.

This dish is excellent as the flavour is not compromised if you add extra chili oil, sauce or crushed chili peppers which gives the dish a real zing. If you really cannot handle the spice, don’t add any at all chili at all, and it will still be delicious. Personally I cannot stand when my mouth is burning, but I do like things zesty, so I add just a pinch of crushed chilli’s to the sauce. Recipe serves about 4 people, 2 if you’re really hungry and don’t eat it with rice.

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Gluten-Free fingerling potato and egg salad

new years day lunch 020 editedI had a craving for potato salad today. Since we were going to a New Years Day lunch I made some to bring along. This super easy recipe is best made with red skinned fingerling potatoes for colour, but I couldn’t find any at the store, so golden skinned potatoes had to do. Of course you can use most potatoes for this recipe, but fingerlings are very buttery and creamy, making this version a treat to eat. If you are going to use non-fingerlings, stay away from baking potatoes and russet types, they will fall apart when you boil them due to their high starch content. The stone ground mustard gives the salad the unique flavour. Without the mustard, the whole thing is very bland. Regular mustard can be substituted if you do not have stone-ground.

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Crazy Orange Turtle’s gluten free BBQ sauce recipe

gluten free bbq sauce

Today both myself and my other half had a craving for sloppy joes. These are a once or twice a year treat in my house, and they are always made with super lean turkey or chicken, not ground beef. The problem: I need a gluten free BBQ sauce to make my sandwiches. have never enjoyed the canned sloppy joe sauce, and always made my own BBQ type sauce for the dish. The problem was that my recipe contained not one, not two, but three gluten containing ingredients! I needed a new recipe fast. I have only just begun my gluten free journey, and the few books I bought about gluten free diets didn’t contain a recipe for anything remotely similar to a BBQ sauce. So, I winged it. It was the best sloppy joe sauce ever! I served my better half the sloppy joe on a homemade roll , but I had mine without bread. Not because I couldn’t make my own gluten free roll, but because I really wasn’t hungry enough for all of those carbohydrates. I am definitely going to be making this recipe to top chicken, steak, ribs and anything else that I might like to put BBQ sauce on in the future. Very good, but the recipe is technically a little ordinary — its very good but nothing fancy! So it can’t be a perfect 10. As you are aware, 10 is reserved for the spectacular recipes — or chocolate.
TURTLE TASTE TEST RATING: 8 out of 10 shells

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Low-Gluten Multigrain Bread

low gluten bread crumb

This low-gluten, kneed free, high-fibre bread is moist, light and very tasty. My favourite feature of this bread is the inclusion of flax seeds, which I simply love for the fibre and Omega fatty acid content. In addition, it is made with the flour of the gluten free ancient grains amaranth and quinoa as well as spelt flour, a low in gluten, but not gluten free variety of wheat. Everyone in the family can eat and enjoy this extremely healthy bread. It is ideal for people, like myself, with a mild form of celiac who are still able to eat spelt. If you know somebody with celiac and you are not sure if they are able to tolerate the low gluten content in spelt flour, do not use spelt in this recipe! The flour of the gluten-free grains sorghum or teff can be used instead of spelt with little or no change in bread quality.

TURTLE TASTE TEST RATING: 8 out of 10 shells

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