I have always loved to cook and bake for my family. I suppose it could be considered to be one of my love languages:) What has changed over the years is WHAT I am cooking and baking. Health has become a bigger priority and I have really endeavoured to bring that priority to the kitchen table. When I look back at what I used to cook, without even batting an eye, it’s a bit crazy. Gone are the days when we would make juice concentrate and drink it with abandon…or include Lipton Sidekicks with EVERY meal. I guess when you know better, you do better, right?
This past year has also been a learning process as Melina, our middle daughter, was diagnosed as being celiac. I thought that I already had a fairly gluten free diet down pat, but it’s been a process to learn where “secret” gluten was hiding in some everyday food items.
All this to say, that I’m constantly trying new recipes and really enjoy putting food on the table that my family both loves and is healthy for them. It’s become obvious that there are some go-to’s that I now depend on…some recipes that I just keep coming back to. Today, I thought I’d pass them on to you so you could give them a try too!
- Pickled Red Onions You just need to give them a try. They’re so darn easy and quick to make. And I love to add them to a dish when you just need a little “BAM”! The acidity is a great kick to add to bowls, tacos, or salads. As a side note, I kinda think they would make an awesome hostess gift…presented in a pretty jar? Right?
- Sausage Beet Hash. I’ve posted about this recipe before…it’s such a family favourite. Healthful, full of clean ingredients and celiac friendly. I often increase the batch size to ensure we have lots of leftovers…Scott and I fight over them!
- Tacos. Do you ever have taco tuesday at your house? We have some form of taco at least once a week…I try to switch up the flavours, proteins, etc. Suffice it to say, we love tacos! Some favourites are these fish tacos, chicken tacos, pork fajitas (I talk about these guys below with the coconut rice).
- Bowl meals, like this one. I’ll venture to say that we also do a bowl of some sort once a week as well. I take it as a challenge to come up with flavour idea and then compile a number of components that everyone can customize their bowl with. The cool thing is you can get inspired and turn most any recipe into a bowl. This weekend, I used this Cauliflower Shawarma recipe to create a similar type bowl. The original shawarma that I made is posted above…and subsequent bowls that we made are posted below. Our base of quinoa and lettuce was topped with the roasted cauliflower, tahini sauce, roasted yams and prawns. So delicious. As you can see, we each customize our bowls to what we want!
- Gingery Thai Kale Salad with Cashew Dressing. This makes a great luncheon entree dish or I’ve also made it to be enjoyed with soup for dinner as well. This soup is such a compliment for a completely Thai inspired meal. Not only it is a really pretty salad to serve, but it packs in a bunch of good stuff: lots of crunchy veggies with a richly flavoured dressing. You might want to make more dressing to use as a veggie dip throughout the week…just saying…
- Healthy Carrot Fries with Curry Sauce These guys are so good! A great side dish when you’re craving fries without the unhealthy stuff…the curry dipping sauce is made with soaked cashews. Again, this is a celiac friendly option.
- Gluten Free Biscuits For a time, I thought a good gluten free biscuit option was nonexistent. I went through a lot of recipes that were just meh…they were ok, but nothing to get excited about. I’m not even sure how I came upon this recipe, but I’m sure glad that I did. When a little bit of comfort food is coming to the table, this is the recipe I turn to. They are light and flaky and delicious.The best part? My fam didn’t even realize that these biscuits were gluten free!
- Coconut Rice I’m adding this one because Scott (who doesn’t like rice) is nut bar for this recipe. It’s his fave!! This rice is a more on the indulgent side…with coconut milk, coconut water, coconut oil and coconut flakes…ok, if you’re not a coconut fan, just move right along! It’s delicious in tacos, or with pulled pork. Actually, if you check out the link, you’ll see it’s paired with Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas and Pineapple Slaw. We’ve enjoyed these fajitas many times…not only are they so-o good but it’s a perfect entertaining menu when hosting.
- Banana Bread Muffin Tops I’m going to agree that they’re not super pretty, but wow, are they good. Eaten as a snack, or even as breakfast, these are perfect to have on hands for kids on the run or as an energy boost for the athlete in your house. I need to practice serious self-control when I have these on hand…they go so well with a cup of coffee or tea:)
- Pavlova Ok before I go any further, can you overlook the photos from the link? I always think I haven’t improved in my photog skills but this post gives me some hope that practice has allowed me to start getting the hang more! One thing that hasn’t changed is the popularity of this recipe in our house. As far as desserts go, I think this recipe might just be the lesser of evils…it’s got fresh fruit right?? But truthfully, I love making pavlova for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a solid make ahead dessert. I make the meringue the night before I want to serve it. The next day, I whip the cream (adding stabilizer) and chop the fruit all in advance. When dessert is ready to be served, it can be assembled in quick order. I also like that you can do different riffs on the standard pavlova depending on what’s in season or what matches your vision. This Black Forest Pavlova with Espresso Cream was so freakin good! For Thanksgiving one year, I made this Pumpkin Pavlova. There are so many different possibilities…
Ok, I guess I listed more than 10 recipes but hopefully you’ll forgive me! It’s so handy to have a roster of recipes that I can count on and also to use as inspiration if I’m feeling low on ideas. Since we’ve entered the world of celiacs, it’s been so good to have go to dishes that I KNOW will turn out. My goal is to make Melina feel like she doesn’t have to miss out. Slowly, we’re compiling awesome versions that not only she, but the rest of the family, loves. I was also gifted recently with this Sweet Laurel cookbook…kinda love the title, no?!? I can’t wait to get baking from this book…everything is grain free! You’d never know it from looking at the photos…they are stunning. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our favourites!
Any recipes that are your ride and die? Would love for you to share them…
Thanks so much for reading…wishing you an awesome rest of your week. Have fun in the kitchen! Laurel xo