Archive for February, 2014

What’s For Dinner? Honey-Parmesan Pork Roast!

Why We Love It

This unique combination of flavours comes together to create a rich sauce, perfect for chilly winter nights.

Ingredients

  • Gluten-free non-stick cooking spray
  • 2-3 pound boneless pork roast
  • ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (we like San-J or VH)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil or Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (approximately two cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water

Method

  1. Spray your slow cooker pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil, and salt.
  3. Pour sauce over pork. Cover and cook on low about 7 to 8 hours.
  4. Remove meat to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Skim fat from cooking juices and transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil.
  6. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan and bring back up to a boil. Then, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Tips

  • You can also use a bone-in roast for this recipe. Increase cooking time to 8 to 10 hours.
  • For a real Parmesan feast, serve this recipe with Roasted Parmesan Potatoes!

(Original Source: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/12/slow-cooker-parmesan-honey-pork-roast.html)

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A Gluten-Free Getaway!

Recently, Michael and I took a weekend trip to White Point Beach Resort, a lovely spot on Nova Scotia’s southern shore. We were excited to see that their full-service dining room had a gluten-free menu that covered breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu at the resort was slightly different than the one currently on the website, but they still have about half a dozen options for each mealtime.

  • Breakfast options range from smoothies to a full country breakfast, with bacon (or ham), eggs, beans and gluten-free toast.
  • For lunch, you can choose from a burger (with gluten-free bun), salad, fish cakes, and seafood.
  • Supper options include pasta, steak, chicken, salmon, and salads.
  • They also have a gluten-free maple creme brulée for dessert (although they were unfortunately out of it when we were there).

The menu does come with the standard disclaimer that although they will do everything possible to ensure a safe meal for you, their kitchen is not 100% gluten-free, so cross-contamination is possible. I emphasized that I have Celiac disease to the server and had no problems at all.

I tried their Meadow Brook pork chop ($22) and the striploin steak with mashed potatoes ($25) while we were there. The steak was just OK, but the pork chop was fantastic! I also got to try their homemade gluten-free bread, which was very good. However, to make sure you get some, you should mention that you are gluten-free when making a reservation. (The bread is frozen and thawed upon request, so I missed out the second night since the kitchen was so busy.)

We did not try eating in Founder’s Lounge (the small pub outside the dining room), but the mussels and burger do appear on the lunchtime gluten-free menu, so I am sure they would be able to accommodate gluten-free requests. (They also share the same kitchen as the main dining room.) As well, all rooms come with mini-fridges and microwaves, making it easy to bring and prepare your own meals. (We brought our own breakfast and lunch supplies.)

Overall, we found that our White Point getaway was very gluten-free friendly. We’re looking forward to going back for another visit!

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M & M Meats Now Offers Gluten-Free Products!

It seems like convenience options for Celiacs are growing every day! The latest company to offer a gluten-free line of products is M & M Meats. Items include:

  • Boneless pork chunks
  • Homestyle chicken burgers (not breaded)
  • Country style chicken breasts (breaded)
  • Breaded chicken fillets
  • Homestyle beef burgers

You can see the list of products here. These products are labeled gluten-free but not certified, which means that they have tested the product to ensure that there is less than 20 parts per million of gluten, but their processes and testing have not been audited by an outside agency. Their prices for gluten-free items are the same as their regular items and comparable to grocery store prices.

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What’s For Dinner? Creamy Stuffed Pasta Shells!

Why We Love It

This recipe is a nice change from your everyday pasta dish. It packs a lot of flavour into a small serving.

Ingredients

  • 8 jumbo pasta shells, uncooked
  • Approximately 200 grams extra-lean ground beef
  • ¼ of a small onion, chopped
  • About ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons Philadelphia Herb and Garlic Cooking Crème (regular or light)
  • ¼ cup soft cheese, such as ricotta or Boursin
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 350 mL pasta sauce (half of a standard jar)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package for oven baking. (Typically this means reducing the cooking time by three to five minutes.) Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat up a large skillet. Brown ground beef with onions. When the meat is cooked, drain the fat off.
  4. Stir in ⅓ cup cooking crème and all three cheeses. Taste and adjust if necessary. (The mixture should be the texture of a paste. If it is too thick, add more cooking crème.)
  5. Spread about half the pasta sauce in a baking dish big enough to hold all the shells in one layer.
  6. Stuff shells with meat mixture and place in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Top shells with remaining sauce.
  7. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove shells from oven. Mix remaining cooking crème (2 tablespoons) with milk. Drizzle mixture on top of shells and add 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese. (You can also sprinkle a bit more Parmesan on top if you like.)
  9. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 5 more minutes.

Tips

  • For a complete meal, serve this dish with a Caesar salad.
  • We found Tinkyada brown rice large shells at Pete’s Frootique in downtown Halifax. We cooked them for 15 minutes using the no-heat method described on the box.

(Adapted from http://www.kraftcanada.com/recipes/creamy-stuffed-shells-146021)

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Estia Offers Lots of Gluten-Free Options, But Inconsistent Food

Several weeks ago, we finally got a chance to try Estia, a Greek restaurant on Spring Garden Road. Although we arrived right around suppertime on a Saturday night, there were lots of empty tables and we were seated right away. (It took much longer for a server to arrive and give us menus, however.) After ordering drinks, I asked for the gluten-free menu. It’s basically a copy of the regular menu with items marked “GF” as appropriate. There are also a few sections (such as the pastas and sandwiches) that are completely different. Everything in those sections is gluten-free, so items are not individually marked. I found this a bit confusing, to be honest. In fact, the menu overall confused me. There were many items that sounded delicious but not very Greek, like the Philly Cheesesteak wrap, Chicken Parmigiana panini, and veal scallopine.

While we were pondering the menu options, our waitress brought by gluten-free bread for me and regular bread for Mike, as well as separate dipping plates with oil and vinegar.

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