Archive for the ‘Gluten-Free’ Category

High Protein & Fibre Chai Chocolate Banana Bread (recipe adapted from Flour Power http://www.oilseedworks.com)

As soon as we close October with Hallowe’en, exactly the following day retailers gear up for the holidays bombarding us with jingles, decor and everything red, white and green! I read Shopper’s Drug Mart nixed their Christmas music after customer complaints of being too early! It does seem a little early, doesn’t it?



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Good morning everyone…Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Curried Cranberry & Almond Quinoa adds some subtle Indian flavours to the holiday table.

On Christmas day my family like everyone else’s celebrates with a big meal – but one that’s definitely free of curries! Some years we like to switch things up. One year I had an Italian themed Christmas celebration—everything from the wine to baked pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta, to the panettone for dessert was eaten with some Italian flair. Buon Natale!


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April is ‘Earth month’ (Earth Day being April 22nd) and this year Earth Day Canada has a campaign called Give It Up, challenging people to give up meat, toxics, electricity or material consumption. 

With over 60 varieties of lentils and beans and an array of spices that make your taste buds go ‘wow’, Indian cuisine is game for anyone cutting back meat from their diets.

Try Aloo Gobi ~ it's simple and delicious and a great way to enjoy cauliflower!

Take this simple and delicious Aloo Gobi dish for example. It’s hearty, satisfying and delicious. Served with rice, a lentil dish and raita I think dinner is served! So often I hear people cringe at the thought of cauliflower, but when you spice it up and add turmeric giving it a beautiful yellow colour, this simple vegetable transforms into a very popular dish!

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Khichri is a complete, wholesome meal all in one. Try this dish when your immunity is low and it will help with restoring balance in the body.

So many cultures have a rice and beans dish. When I traveled to Costa Rica I must have eaten a dish called Casado (rice + beans) almost every day. It was delicious! The term casado means married in Spanish, so the Costa Ricans said it right—rice and beans is a match made in heaven.

No doubt the universality of the rice and beans combination is no mistake—it acts as a whole meal in one providing sustenance and nourishment, especially during times when immunity is low.

In Indian cuisine, our dish of rice and beans (rather lentils) is Khichri. It’s typically served when one is ill and needs to restore immunity in the body.


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Our farewell to summer is sadly coming closer as Labour Day weekend is just around the corner. This is usually when I panic and try to pack the few last days of summer with some extra fun so it’s not left in oblivion. The good news about Toronto living however is that the fun really doesn’t stop. With the Toronto International Film Festival coming to town in a short two weeks the city is already buzzing.


For now we still have Labour Day and it seems as though the summer is not complete unless we eat burgers.


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All week I’ve been thinking about tapas, and Indian-style tapas to be exact. Spain winning last week’s FIFA World Cup final has got me hooked on Spain On The Road Again …all over again!

Summertime always reminds me of Spain. When I was younger my family hosted some Spanish students for a couple of months in the summer opening me up to their culinary traditions and culture. Meat was definitely on the menu! From Asturias to Valencia to the northern Basque country, it was interesting to learn from our Spanish friends how the cuisine was unique to each Spanish province. Similarly India’s regional differences are very pronounced.

For the Masala Papad recipe below, of course this is not Spanish but I like to call it Indian-style tapas. It’s a light snack made from papads, also known as pappadums, thin grilled wafers made from lentils. These are gluten-free!

Uncooked papads

This snack is crunchy but gets freshness from tomatoes, cilantro, green chili and onions. Choose heirloom tomatoes for their amazing taste! I heard Clover Roads Organic Farm may possibly have their delicious tomatoes at today’s Oakville Organic Farmers’ Market. So exciting, I’ve waited a year for these!

4 papads, grilled
2 tomatoes, finely cubed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. Arvinda’s Garam Masala, to garnish

Method of Preparation: In a bowl combine all ingredients. Top grilled papads with tomato mixture and garnish with Arvinda’s Garam Masala. Serves 4.

Masala Papad topping all mixed up!

Now for the experiment. What is the best way to grill papads?

Today I tried it on the electrical stove.

For the electrical stove, cook papads on top of a cake cooling rack.

And then on the gas stove and lastly in the microwave.

Gas stove (left); electric stove (middle); microwave (right).

To my surprise, the microwave fared as the most consistent and even cooking and most aesthetically pleasing. Stove top grilling tends to slightly burn them, as they are very thin and delicate. Grilling the papads on the electrical stove made them crispier however. Any tips on cooking the perfect papad?

You can serve Masala Papadslike this:

Whole Masala Papad

Or like this!

Masala Papad Chips!

A teaspoon of: Johannes Linstead. Listening to: Hour of the Lamps.

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As running season is upon us with the beautiful weather on its way (hopefully), I thought I would share with you my recipe for Arvinda’s Orange-Almond Chai Running Balls that appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Canadian Running Magazine — perfect as a long-run power treat or as a post-workout recovery snack.

Arvinda's Orange-Almond Chai Running Balls

I’ve been a long-distance runner since 2003, with my favourite distance being the half-marathon (21.1 km). Any workout exceeding one hour in length, requires fuel recovery — usually in the form of sugar or glucose. Many runners use gels or syrups as an easy digestible way to raise energy levels. This was something I never enjoyed on those long runs as it often gave me a case of nausea. Pure sugar, often with additives and preservatives, how healthy is that? I realized bringing my own homemade running treat was a tastier and healthier option.

Although I don’t run the long distance road running as I did in the past (knee injuries!), I still enjoy getting onto the trails to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful weather and nature, for that matter. These little power balls are perfect for a run, hike or post-workout treat. Gluten-free and delicious too!

Now it’s time for a run. See you on the trails!

A teaspoon of: Sam Roberts Band. Listening to: Hard Road.

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