FERMENTED BUCKWHEAT BREAD: THE EASIEST GLUTEN FREE BREAD YOU WILL EVER MAKE

This recipe was so easy with just a few ingredients too!  The buckwheat flavor comes through, but not in an overpowering way.  As well, the sweet lite tang of the ferment in this bread is delicious.  Plus it has great texture, a lovely bread - perfect for breakfast, lunch or with dinner.
I found the recipe for Fermented Buck Wheat Bread here.  On that note, for some reason there is difficulty in my posts maintaining links so I will extend a huge thank you to Melissa Johnson of Bread Topia for this recipe and do a recap here.
2 1/2 cups organic buckwheat groats
3 1/2 cups water
Recipe:
1 1/3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
3 Tblsp. ground flax seed - optional
sun flower seeds for top of bread - or any seed of your choice - optional
In a large glass bowl, combine the buckwheat with 3 1/2 cups water, cover with a clean towel, soaking for 6 hours.  Drain well in a colander - the runoff will be gooey but do not rinse.
Add the buckwheat to a food processor with the 1 1/3 cups water and blend until completely smooth.  Pour into a large glass bowl, cover with a clean towel, to ferment for 24 hrs.
Line a glass loaf pan with parchment paper.  At the 24 hours of time, gently stir in the salt and ground flax seed (if using).  Transfer the mix to the lined loaf pan and scatter he sunflower seeds on top (if using).  Place in a cold oven with the light on for another 30-60 min.  Mine had fermented and raised quite nicely by the 30 min. mark.
Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.  When the bell goes off on the stove once it has reached 350 degrees temperature - time to bake will be approximated 80 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread is 200 degrees.
Once baked, remove from the oven, lift the bread out with the parchment paper, placing onto a wire rack.  Gently remove the parchment paper - allow to cool.
This lovely bread is one I will be making again and again.  Just a few ingredients, some time, and deliciousness awaits. 🙂

This is a quick easy dish to make if you need to use up the last of the summer zucchinis.  With this dish you could use store bought pesto and marinara sauce or you can make your own.  For the marinara sauce I used this one.  If you make homemade there will be leftover sauce that can be frozen for another use.
2 large zucchinis, sliced 1/4 inch thick- first cut the ends off to carefully slice lengthwise
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups chopped swiss chard
1 cup cottage cheese - we use lactose free
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 big Tblsp. pesto
1 egg - whisk well
Salt and pepper to taste
marinara sauce
gluten free bread crumbs
grated Parmesan cheese
Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with a good drizzle of EVOO.  Add the chopped swiss chard, and saute until tender, about 8 minutes, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
Add more EVOO to the pan and turn the heat to medium.  Add in batches the sliced zucchini lightly browning each side about 2 1/2 min. per side, and transfer to a plate.  While doing this heat up the marinara on a low simmer.
Then add the cottage cheese, beaten egg, pesto, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the swiss chard mixing well.  To a casserole dish, spread a layer of marinara sauce and top with a few zucchini slices.  Then add a layer of the swiss chard/cottage cheese mixture, a handful of gluten free bread crumbs, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Repeat the layers using up all of the zucchini finishing with the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, bake uncovered about 30-40 min. until bubbly and golden.


With all of the lovely summer vegetables available this was a simple tasty dish.  It is a replica - sort of, of a recipe I saw somewhere but seem to have lost.  So, it took some " brain storming" with my not so great memory, some liberty with ingredients and luckily it turned out delicious.  Thank you to whoever came up with this similar recipe, it was delicious! Italian Polenta is always such good comfort food regardless of what the ingredients are.
A word about corn:  Some celiac's have trouble digesting corn - myself being one of them.  However, I have learned by trial and painful error I can eat corn if it is organic.  And I seem fine with cooked polenta.  Having said this, it is a food I do not eat large amounts of as corn is hard to digest for anyone.  This dish would be lovely with fresh organic corn - something hard to find in my area, so have used organic canned corn in place of.  Homemade fresh pesto is a lovely addition, but a good organic store bought one will do in a pinch.  Also, for a vegetarian dish use vegetable stock.
1 pint organic grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped yellow organic zucchini - slice in rounds 1/8th inch thick then cut into fours
1/2 cup of red onion roughly sliced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
few good splashes of Balsamic Vinegar
salt and fresh cracked pepper
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Toss all of the ingredients into a bowl then transfer to a baking dish.
Roast 20 minutes and remove from the oven and set aside.
Swiss Chard:
2 cups organic swiss chard leaves cut finely into ribbons
5 minced garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tblsp. EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a saute pan on low/medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the minced garlic to the pan, saute until fragrant - a minute or 2.  Add in the chard and saute for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the fresh lemon juice and continue to saute for 2-3 more minutes.  Remove to heat, and gently combine with the tomato/zucchini mixture.  Place in the oven on the lowest temperature to keep just warm.
Polenta:
1 cup Polenta
4 cups chicken stock
salt - enough added to the stock to taste salty - polenta needs salt
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tblsp. butter
341 ml or 12 oz. organic canned corn - drain well
Add the chicken stock to a pot and season well with salt.  Bring to a boil and slowly add the polenta whisking well.  Turn down to low on a light simmer.  Frequently stir so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  This will want to cook for a good 30 minutes, if needed add splashes of water to keep from drying out.  At the 30 min. mark add the drained canned corn stirring well to incorporate, then the Parmesan cheese and butter, again stir well.
Remove from the heat, and plate, then add a big spoon full of the roasted tomato/zucchini/chard on top of the polenta and garnish with pesto.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Who knew meatloaf gravy could taste soooo good?  I have been craving meatloaf for days now.  We have had the craziest weather - at one point we were sitting at 29 degrees Celsius, out came all of our fans.  Then it dropped back down to 11 - 13 degrees!  So time for meatloaf.  There are a number of meatloaf recipes on this blog, but I decided to use a basic, stand by recipe.  Having never made gravy with meatloaf before, we were happily surprised at how delicious it was.
I had not intended this to be a recipe, so have created this one from memory in terms of ingredients... I may fine tune it down the road.  Either way, I am sure it will still be delicious.
Meatloaf:
1  1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1/2 an onion diced fine
a good large handful of Parmesan Cheese
1 Tblsp. gluten free Worcestershire sauce
salt and generous amount of fresh cracked pepper
1 egg
Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup ketchup
3 Tblsp. mustard
Mix sauce well...to make more reddish in color add more ketchcup
In a bowl add the ground beef, onion, Parmesan Cheese, salt pepper and egg.  Add a good 1/4 cup of the sauce.  Mix well with hands if dry add more sauce and shape into a loaf - you want it on the moist side, place inside a 9x10 glass baking dish.  Pour remainder of sauce over top of the meatloaf to cover.  Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for 1 hour - then check with a thermometer.  Mine was at 155 degrees when I removed it from the oven and plated the meatloaf on a tented platter with tin foil.  It will reach 165 by the time it is ready to be served.
MEATLOAF GRAVY:
1 1/2 cups chicken stock - beef would work too
splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 largish cremini mushrooms - chopped
1 large shallot, cut in half and sliced
2 Tblsp. butter
splash of fresh cream - we use lactose free
renderings from meatloaf
1 tblsp. cornstarch, bit of water to make a slurry
Heat up a medium sized frying pan on medium heat with the butter.  Add the shallots, sauteing 2 min.  Then add in the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are lightly golden.  Pour in the chicken stock, meatloaf renderings and add the seasonings and bay leaf bringing to a light simmer.  Simmer a good 10 min. low heat.
Mix up a cornstarch slurry with a little water and add to the simmering stock/mushrooms whisking well to thicken.  Turn to low, check for seasonings, remove the bay leaf, and add the splash of cream, stirring well, then serve over meatloaf and potatoes adding a side dish of vegetables and serve.  Enjoy!

Here is another chicken recipe from yesteryear.  I have not thought about this recipe in what feels like 100 years!  When you have to give up any dairy that contains lactose it is surprising how many recipes go by the wayside.   Now we can actually buy Lactose Free Cream, and have been able to do so for some time now - a wonderful once in a while treat whether your dish is savory or sweet.  As a result, all of those yesteryear recipes are popping back into my memory!  If dairy is not an option for you, this would work well with full fat coconut milk.
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
season breasts with:  salt, pepper, a sprinkling of garlic powder and paprika then set aside
2 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of white dry wine)
1/2 a large onion, sliced in half, then into quarters
4 large crimini mushrooms, sliced in half, slice again
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup lactose free whipping cream or full fat coconut milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup grated fresh Asiago cheese
2 Tblsp. butter
Heat up a non stick skillet on medium high heat with the EVOO.  Season the chicken breasts, and fry each chicken breast about 4 min. per side.  Remove to a dish and set aside.  Turn down the heat to medium low, and add in the butter.
Add in the mushrooms - sauteing a good 5 minutes until golden.  Then add in the onion, garlic, sage, thyme and continue to saute for another 5-7 minutes.  Pour in the chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and add in the dijon mustard stirring well.  Return the chicken to the pan and cook lid on for 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue to cook for 7 more minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the corn starch to the cream mixing to remove any lumps.  Pour into the sauce stirring well.  Remove the bay leaf, add the Asiago cheese, mixing well.  Return the chicken to the pan and simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve with any side dish - mashed potatoes, rice or vegetables.

There is something about the combination of chicken, rice, mushrooms and broccoli in a casserole that is pure comfort food.  Back in the day, we used to make the old recipe that used canned cream of mushroom soup for chicken and rice casserole.   I have yet to find a good store bought dairy free, gluten free cream of mushroom soup.  If you have the time, homemade mushroom soup in this recipe would be wonderful - just adjust liquid/rice ratio.  While this recipe does not use cream of mushroom soup, it is a yummy casserole dish for those days when comfort food is beckoning.
With this recipe, I took some guidelines from here - then made a few adjustments/additions so will do a re-cap here.
8 skinless organic chicken thighs - bone in
Season blend for chicken:
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3/4  tsp. Italian Seasoning
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Mix ingredients in a small bowl, place chicken onto a plate and slather the season blend onto the chicken thighs rubbing in well, then put aside
1 1/2 cups basmatti rice - rinse and drain well
2  3/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 crimini mushrooms, diced
1 generous cup broccoli florets, cut small
1/2 a celery stalk, diced
5 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped onion
2 Tblsp. each:  fresh Italian Parsley, fresh Basil - minced
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat up a medium sized frying pan on low medium heat with a good drizzle of EVOO.  Add in the mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, celery and season with salt and pepper.  Saute 2 min. then cover with a lid - stirring a couple of times for 5 more minutes.  Remove from the heat, and add in the fresh minced Italian Parsley and Basil and mix.
Lightly oil a large square casserole/roasting pan/dish 10X13 approx. with EVOO.  Pour in the chicken stock, add in the rice stirring lightly to make even, then sprinkle in the chopped onion, and mixed vegetables.  Lay the seasoned chicken thighs on top and cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and take off the foil adding a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan Cheese through out and bake 20 more minutes.

Oh how I love Italian Food. What I love is, Italians keep their food simple, without any fuss or complex ingredients, always using fresh ingredients and as a result their food is always delicious.  Jamie Oliver once said he was born in the wrong country....I very much think the same thing!
This recipe was quick, easy, elegant and delicious.  What makes this dish so easy is you can make up the polenta the day before or the morning of.  You can also use leftover marinara sauce or use a store bought jar of marinara if you are in a crunch for time.
How this recipe came about is years ago we had this dinner in a restaurant and I fell in love with it.  That was back in the day when I did not know anything about anything in regards to cooking.  However, I never, never forgot about this wonderful meal. This dish would be wonderful cut into smaller portions as an appetizer too.  Anyways, for whatever reason, this recipe popped into my head the other day and I thought .... yes .... it is time to give it a go.  So happy to go down memory lane...and how delicious it was too.
TO MAKE THE POLENTA:
1 cup of milk (we use 2% lactose free)
2 cups water (plus keep extra water on hand)
1 Bay leaf
salt - be generous
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup Parmeasan cheese
Combine milk, water, generous amount of salt to season, and bay leaf in a good sized pot.  Bring to the boil on low medium heat.  Add in the polenta - whisk well, then turn down to a good simmer.  Now using a wooden spoon continue to stir well.  Keep stirring for a good 30 minutes.  I added in total at least an extra 1/2 cup of water a bit at a time continuing to stir.  When it feels smooth to taste remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan cheese mixing well.
Lightly oil an  8 1/2 x 12 inch glass casserole dish with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Transfer the cooked polenta to the casserole dish spreading out evenly.  Allow to cool 20 min. then refrigerate until 30 minutes before it is to go into the oven.
MARINARA SAUCE:
one  796 ml/28oz can of organic crushed tomatoes with basil
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 minced garlic cloves
fresh cracked pepper
2  generous Tblsp. finely chopped Italian Parsley, and fresh Basil
Heat up a sauce pan of low heat with the EVOO.  Add in the minced garlic, and fresh cracked pepper.  Saute until fragrant - a minute or 2.  Pour in the crushed tomatoes, and add the finely chopped parsley and basil stirring to combine.  Take the casserole dish of polenta out of the fridge and put aside.  Keep the marinara on a low simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 min. and remove from the heat.
Other ingredients:
130 grams herb crusted goat cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese
10 asparagus spears - cut in half
While the marinara is simmering, blanch the asparagus for 1  1/2 min. drain and add to a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain well and pat dry with paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add a few generous ladle fulls of marinara sauce on top of the polenta - spreading evenly.  Then a generous layer of grated Parmesan cheese, topping with the blanched asparagus.  Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese through out the dish.  Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes.
To plate:  Add a small ladle full of marinara sauce to your plate, then add a slice of the baked Polenta Asparagus Goat Cheese.  It is amazing how a few simple fresh ingredients can create a delicious wonderful meal.  Enjoy!  We sure did.

This was literally a "throw together" soup with anything you have on hand....and it was mighty tasty!  We had a few lovely days of warm spring weather here on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.  Then all of a sudden it disappeared right before our very eyes.  Yes, back to cold, drizzly, rainy weather - so typical of our West Coast weather at this time of year.  We are half tempted to start a fire in the fire place...at spring time for heaven's sake!
As usual, I gravitate to soup....soup of any kind makes me a happy girl.  Well, this soup started out with leftover roast beef and just went on from there.  You could use vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef stock, whatever you have on hand...also whatever veggies you have in the fridge that need to be used up.
My brother recently shared that he always makes curried beef soup with leftover roast beef.  I'm not sure why, but this is a soup I have never made before. So I asked "how do you make it"?  He said it is so easy, just use what you have on hand, add some good curry seasoning and then go from there.  Boy, did he get that right, so here it is:
3 1/2 cups stock:  veggie, beef, chicken - your choice (I did a combo of tomato veggie and chicken)
2 tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, roughly minced
2 large crimini mushrooms, chopped small
3/4 cups diced carrots
1 celery stalk, cut in half and chopped
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (cut small)
3/4 cup zucchini cut into 1/2 inch size pieces
1 1/2 cups leftover roast beef cut into 1/2 inch size pieces
1 tsp. good curry powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a medium sized dutch oven on low/medium heat with the EVOO.  Add in the mushrooms, garlic and onion sauteing to sweat out, about 4 min.  Then add in the carrots, celery, seasonings and saute another 5 min.  Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer.  Simmer about 8 minutes, then add in the potato and simmer another 10 min.  Add in the zucchini and continue to simmer about 5 min.  Check the vegetables to see if they are done, and adjust any seasonings.  Add the roast beef just to heat through and serve with a side salad or some good gluten free bread.  Yummm, I will always think of leftover roast beef to make this soup from now on, regardless of the weather - super easy and a great way to use up any leftover veggies/stock in the fridge.  Delicious and economical at the same time. 🙂

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