Monday, 22 April 2013


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Sometimes, true love is unexpected.  It can strike when you are least prepared, pairing together two that you thought, could never be paired.  They are too different, you might say.  They will never make it, you whisper.  Today's post, my friends, is about a love story that prevailed.  A love story of fresh, florets of cauliflower, and crispy, golden pizza crust.

Cauliflower pizza crust is not one of those foods that the gluten free community suffers through, while wishing fervently that they were eating a real traditional pizza crust.  No, it's not like that at all.  It's one of those things, that a some genius person out there thought up, that happens to be gluten free, and also happens to be one of the best new foods right now.  It's easy to make, it's lower in carbs and calories than regular pizza crust, and it will fill your house with a warm, toasty, cheesy smell that will have all the neighbours running in your direction.

This match made in heaven has been flying across many of the best food blogs over the last couple of months, so there are lots of recipe options.  I made mine by taking a little from two separate recipes on Eat, Drink, Smile and Knead to Cook.  Just click the links to check them out.

The basic recipe is pretty simple.  All you have to do is put some cauliflower in a blender to make it resemble coarse crumbs. Then you cook it in the microwave for a few minutes, draining it very well after to remove the liquid.  After that, you mix it up with some shredded cheese, a beaten egg, some spices, and dump it onto a greased baking tray.  Smush it all down with your fingers in the shape of a circle, and bake it.  At this point, you will begin to realize how amazing this is going to taste.  Make sure the crust is cooked all the way through, then top it and bake again.  What comes out after that is pure heaven.  I do not believe that anyone could resist this dish.  It's not trying to be a traditional pizza crust.  It's just an incredible new way to eat warm and bubbly cheese, veggies, and meat.  Which is a pretty awesome baby indeed.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Granola Bars

Today, I'm going to let you in on a little secret - packaged granola bars are not good for you.  Yes, I know, everyone acts like they are.  We talk about fibre and whole grains and nuts with only a touch of honey or chocolate, but they are just not healthy.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for chocolate and honey.  But not when it comes with an ingredient list as long as my middle finger, a whole lot of preservatives, AND the pretense of being part of a healthy diet.  If you're tempted to eat one of these small, unsatisfying, chemical filled bars, I think you should just go for a candy bar instead!  

On the other hand, you could make your own healthy, filling, completely personalized granola bars.  You could eat these delicious and nutritious bites proudly, for all the world to see, knowing that you are filling your body with real, whole ingredients, that will actually give you the energy to tackle your day.  Now who's with me!!

In all seriousness, I can't understand why more people don't do this.  Maybe you think it will take up all kinds of time?  It doesn't.  Maybe you think they won't be as convenient to grab and go?  Trust me, they are.  Maybe you think they won't be delicious?  Well, you can actually put whatever you want in your bars, and make them as taste however you like.  Are you convinced yet?

If you are interested (which you should be), here's what I do.  I make a basic oatmeal bar recipe, which includes goodies for your body like oats, chia seeds and flax, and then I flavour it however I feel like for that batch.  For me, a good combination of add ins is often coconut flakes and dark chocolate chips, or if I'm feeling really healthy I'll go for dried cranberries and apricots.  But you can add in anything you like, and experimenting with different options each time is the best part.

Granola Bars

After a quick bake in the oven, just let these babies cool down before you dig in.  You can store them in an airtight container or a plastic bag.  If you're planning on packing them in lunches or grabbing them on the go, just put one or two each in a small baggie.  So then all you have to do is grab a bar and run out the door!

Just as easy as the store bought ones, but so much better for you.  If you don't think you'll eat them all in a week, don't worry because I've got a solution for that too.  Just pop them in the freezer, and they will keep for a few months.  You can take out a stash every few days, or else just grab one a few hours in advance.  They thaw quickly, and they don't lose any flavour, so either way you're going to be covered.  And if you can't wait for thawing, my boyfriend often pops them in the microwave for a few seconds so they become nice and toasty warm.

Granola Bars

These are super easy, extremely tasty, and best of all they are really really good for your body.  I don't know what else I can say, except to just try them!  I'm always very shocked, that with everything that we know about nutrition and the effect it has on our health, how we let the most obvious things slip by us every day.  I know that everyone relies on granola bars in their busy, stressful, jam packed days.  Just make the ones you rely on, the right ones.

Granola Bars

Here's the basic recipe that I use from Oh She Glows.  I like this one because its gluten free, as long as you use gluten free oats.

There are a ton of different other variations and options out there as well.  Here are a few other suggestions, although I haven't tried all of them, they sure do look yummy.

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Okay, tonight my bestest roomie (aka boyfriend whom I love) and I attempted to make and eat "Avgolemono". I distinguish between those two parts of 'make' and 'eat' because normally we are excellent at the 'eating' part, and well, we learn as we go with the 'making' part. But tonight was a new kind of night!

Avgolemono, is a soupy, stewy, Greek dish that is thick, creamy, and very lemony. It's like chicken soup, with a twist. Matt (the aforementioned boyfriend and roomie) sent me a link from Buzzfeed food last week describing the dish and recipe ( The photos looked amazing and we were both excited to try it out on the weekend. It's often a challenge for us to decide what will actually come to life on our plates, and what will be left to drool over another day. This dish just looked so new and intriguing that it was the clear winner for this weekend.

I've been really into soups this winter. A combination of trying to eat healthy, moving to a gluten free diet, and really just needing a bit of extra comfort in my life. Avgolemono, spoke to me. It said, 'I'm like a soup, but sooo much better because I'm also like a comforting, rich, creamy stew'. And the pictures had bacon sprinkled on the top. I mean, come on. So, I was not deterred by a slightly longer cooking process than my normal winter soup. This one had spoken to me! It had to be amazing. Even if it meant pulling meat off of a chicken carcass. But, if we are being honest, I never touched the chicken carcass. I did however, skim fat off the top of the soup, beat eggs into foamy peaks, juice lemons, and slowly mix things together. Minus the styling effects on the Buzzfeed article, our dish looked just like it was supposed to. Success right?

About three hours after we started, we scooped our foamy, pale yellow, strongly peppered soup into our bowls and sat down excitedly to slurp it up, which watching an episode of 'No Reservations' with Anthony Bourdain. And it was a bit strange. Way stranger than the Czech cuisine that Anthony was sampling on the screen in front of us. It looks like a milky, creamy base, but without any milk or cream. The base is formed from the whipped eggs, for texture, and flavoured strongly by the juice of three lemons. Since the meat of the dish is chicken and rice, it had to be that eggy, lemony broth that threw me off. I love eggs and I love lemons, but I'm not sure I love slurping up warm, eggy, lemon broth. I didn't hate it. But after a few bites I pushed it away thinking that I was starting to feel a bit, well icky.

I think I'm still in shock. I was so sure I would love it. And there isn't a whole lot of food that I won't eat happily. Actually, I'm usually upset about all the food in the world that I don't get to eat. Who am I to push away a bowl of soup! I'm going to pour myself another bowl for lunch tomorrow and try again. Maybe I just had an off day. Yup, I'm stubborn like that.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


If I had to pick one thing that I could not live without, it would be cheese.  I love cheese.  I mean I really, really love it. All you cheese crazed fanatics out there know what I'm talking about.  The smell, the texture, the ooey gooey melting properties.  If there is a heaven, it must be full of cheese.  And I don't discriminate either - young, old, stinky, tough exteriors, I will take them and find them a good home on a cracker, sandwich, pasta, or just enjoy them naked and delicious. 

My point is, we could all use a bit more cheese in our life, right? Well, how about a variety of fresh artisanal cheese delivered right to your door?  I'm talking about the Cheese Gourmand, and their amazing 'Cheese to your door!' service that I recently had the pleasure of experiencing.  This company is an artisanal cheese caterer, that definitely shares my passion.  What's even better, is that they are situated right in my neighbourhood, so when they expanded their catering business to include a new cheese tasting delivery in the Leslieville/Riverside area, I couldn't resist. 

From a selection of five cheeses, I was asked to choose the three that looked the tastiest, to be delivered to my door.  Full written descriptions about the origins of the cheese, its flavours, and its age, accompanied by pictures were provided to help me decide.  I choose the first three on the list.  The 14 Arpents promised a creamy, flavourful cheese made from a brown Swiss cow in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.  The Compton Peppercorn Raclette, had been ripened for a minimum of 90 days and featured a subtly fruity aroma of butter crab apples.  Finally, the Rassembleu was described as tasting of fresh mushroom and caramel and was also made with organic cow's milk.  A few clicks through PayPal, and I was left excitedly waiting for my delivery date, which was planned for two days later.

Sure enough, on Friday afternoon I was presented with my box of cheese.  Happily unwrapping it, I found three solid chunks of labelled cheese, a piece of quality stock paper reminding me of my choices and their descriptions, as well as a small pack of melba toast crackers.  There was about 3/4 of a pound of cheese in total, and it's meant to feed 2-6 people.  Since we had neither anyone coming over that night to join us, or a meal planned for ourselves, Matt and I decided to go with the '2 person serving size'.  In case I'm not being clear, that means we made a lovely presentation for ourselves on a wooden board with our fancy cheese knives, and then promptly sat down with a bottle of wine to eat all of the cheese.  It was delicious.  We did as the Cheese Gourmand had instructed us, and patiently waited for it to come to room temperature before digging in.  But once we dug in, that cheese was done for.  Soft and full of flavour, the cheeses were all excellent in both taste and texture. 

I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty fantastic way to spend a Friday evening.  And at $17.50 for the box and delivery, I would also say it's a deal.  I will definitely be checking out regularly now so that I don't miss the next 'Cheese to your door!'.