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Archive for the ‘Fowl’ Category

Best Turkey Burgers Ever!


Delicious! Child Friendly

Delicious! Child Friendly

Turkey burgers are so versatile. The flavour, depending on the herbs/spices used, can be akin to a christmas turkey (sage, gravy topping), or a tropical treat (coriander, pineapple/pepper salsa) and everything in between. Burgers can be cooked and frozen for future quick meals, packed for lunches, made as a “meatloaf”, after work-out snack (provides a blast of protein), and of course, made into a delicious burger with your choice of trimmings!

The Basics:

2 lbs (1 kilo) of Ground Turkey (I prefer turkey breast. Either white or dark turkey meat can be used)
4 Fresh Carrots – grated – not too fine.
1 Large Red Pepper – diced (small)
3 – 4 Sticks of Celery – diced (small)
1 Large Onion (yellow, white, red … your preference) – diced (small)
4 – 8 Cloves of Garlic – minced. (Amount depends on size of cloves & how much garlic flavour you enjoy).
3 Large Eggs – beaten
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Mayo (Make your own or add your favourite)
*1 Cup Quinoa Flakes
*1/4 Cup Coconut Flour – if necessary, add a little more when mixing.
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp. Dried Basil
1 Tbsp. Paprika
Optional:
1 Cup Cooked, Diced Bacon – Not Crispy or it won’t dice properly

Those are the basic ingredients.

*If you cannot find Quinoa Flakes or Coconut Flour, use TOASTED gluten-free bread. Not toasted, the bread becomes soggy and melts into the mixture, not providing any firmness. Coconut Flour absorbs a lot of the moisture before and during cooking. Be careful how much extra you add.

In the past I have experimented with Corn Meal, Mashed Potato, Quinoa (cooked), Rice (cooked, different varieties), Gluten-free Bread (toasted) and various gluten-free flour mixes. None provided the texture and firmness I was looking for, although mashed potatoes and the bread came close! Experiment and let us know what you come up with!

Once, while in a rush, I placed all the veggies in a food processor – the result – soggy burgers that fell apart … never doing that again!

Suggestions for 3 different Flavours: BBQ, Roast Turkey, Tropical

BBQ:

Add:
1/2 to 1 Tsp. of Cumin
1 Tsp. to 2 Tsp. Chili Flakes or dried Chilies (Poblano, Ancho, Chipotle) – depending on the heat of the chilies used and how hot you like it.
Although I love the heat of chilies, too much can reduce the flavour components of the whole meal, i.e. … your mouth is on fire and you can’t really taste anything!
1 Tbsp. Honey or Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Gluten Free Tamari/Soya Sauce/Bragg’s Liquid
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. of your favourite Gluten Free Mustard

If you do not have the honey, tamari, tomato paste or mustard, add 2 – 3 Tbsp. of your favourite BBQ sauce.

Sage Burgers:

Add:
2 Tbsp. Dried Sage
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley – minced
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Cumin

For added colour and flavour, toss in a handful of dried cranberries!

Tropical Patties:

Add:
2 Tsp. Coriander
1/4 Tsp. Curry
1/2 Tsp. Dried Hot Pepper
1 Tbsp. Dried Coconut
2 Tbsp. (or more … up to you) Grated Sweet Potato
1/4 Cup Finely Diced Pineapple

Method:

Place Turkey in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle herbs/spices on top. Add beaten eggs. Add the binder (quinoa/coconut flour, etc.). Lastly, add the diced/minced veggies. Mix well. Form into patties. Place on greased (coconut oil) cookie sheet. They can be placed quite close together as they do shrink a little. Cook in a 350℉ oven on the middle rack. Depending on the thickness of the patties, cook for about 30 minutes. The Turkey burgers do not gain much colour when cooked – a little golden and that’s all.

Yield: 10 Large Patties

Two of us finished these in 24 hours! They are delicious and so easy to snack on – directly from the refrigerator – just one more bite … and soon another patty was devoured. Doubling the recipe provides extras for freezing or lunches. The patties keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days (If they last that long!) For freezing, layer each patty with wax paper and freeze in a sealed bag. Only freeze as many together that you will need for a meal.
Pressed for time? Make this into a meatloaf – grease a meatloaf pan and firmly pat the mixture in.

Gravy, Mango/Pineapple Salsa, Cranberry Sauce, Fig Compote … any of these may be served with these burgers.
Sweet Potatoes/Yams are a favourite side dish. Wash well, slice into 1/2 inch/1.5 cm, lay on a cookie sheet, pour extra virgin olive oil, orange/pineapple juice, GF tamari over top – just enough of each to “wet” the slices. Sprinkle paprika over each slice. A dash of cinnamon on each slice works well for the children. If you love garlic, as I do, add some peeled cloves in the pan – yum!

ENJOY!

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One Pan Chicken Dinner! With a Side of Green Beans!


Easy Chicken Dinner – one pan.
Place rinsed chicken breast or thighs in pan. Drizzle EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) all over. Add Wine (red or white) OR orange juice OR lemon into the pan. About 1/2 cup of wine or 1/4 cup juice. Chop (chunky pieces) up potatoes or cauliflower, carrots, onions (just a bit), garlic (lots!) and add to pan. Mix with the juice/wine and oil. Cover the chicken in Dijon mustard – be liberal. Sprinkle entire contents of pan with paprika (lots), cumin (just enough to have a sprinkle – more on the chicken), black pepper, thyme, if you have fresh rosemary, add a 2 or 3 sprigs for extra flavour. Add capers on top of the chicken, it’s okay if a few roll off. Add lots! They are delicious with Dijon mustard. Bake/Roast covered at 350℉ (180℃ or Gas Mark 4), for approximately half an hour (half the time). Uncover and cook until done – browned. Bone in chicken will take about one hour. Boneless will take less time. Cover for only half the time!
Enjoy with a salad or a side of green vegetables!
And here’s a green vegetable idea I made up the other day …
Green Beans, fresh or frozen, whichever you can find! As many as you need – approx. 1/2 cup per person.
Crush some cashews or used slivered/sliced almonds. About 1/3 cup per cup of green beans.
Sesame oil to generously coat pan.
Balsamic vinegar or Lemon juice or Orange juice. Tsp. of Balsamic or 1 tbsp. of Lemon or Orange juice per cup of Beans.
Coriander – crushed.
Black Pepper – a sprinkle will do.
Garlic, chopped. Doesn’t have to be diced up small. Chunky will do. As much or as little as you like.
Fresh Cilantro, Parsley or Basil, chopped up and added after other ingredients have begun to cook.
Add all ingredients into a pan, medium-low heat. Cover for 5 – 10 minutes (depending on how much you have in the pan). Remove cover, add fresh herbs, increase heat to medium-high and stir-fry until done. About another 5 minutes.
Optional: Red Pepper – diced. One Hot Pepper, fresh or dried, cut in half. Only 1 hot pepper, first time I made this, I added 3. Love heat but not THAT much!
Sun-Dried Tomato – about 1 tbsp. per cup of beans … tomatoes will dilute the flavour of the beans if you add too many.
A few fresh green/spring onions … scallions, chopped fine and sprinkled on the beans before serving.
This green vegetable dish would be great on a date night – I’ll tell you why in the book!
Which wine to serve? A crisp Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir … 🙂
Enjoy!

New Year, New Beginnings … New Book!


Happy 2015! It’s a new year, a new beginning and a new book!

So … You Want to Get Laid Tonight?
A how-to guide for a romantic dinner that won’t have you watching TV afterwards!

What happens after dinner … in the bedroom, the living room or, heck!, on the kitchen floor … is up to you … provided you are with a consenting adult!

What the book will do is offer a selection of Romantic, Erotic foods, how to cook and eat them, the setting, the food, the fun, the ideas … date friendly (sex enhancing) dinners and more!

Tantalizing aromas, sauces glistening on your lips, nibbling a tasty morsel offered, finger licking and lip wetting deliciousness …

Whew! Need a moment …

Okay, back to the food …

Garlic, usually a no-no for romantic dinners, will be on the menu … too many excellent qualities in garlic to exclude it. How you cook the garlic is the key.

Cucumbers, parsley, lemons are great breath fresheners (after the garlic)! Let me show you how and why.

Spicy, Sweet, Sour, Savoury, Salty … a cornucopia of tastes … Kiss as each new flavour is sampled … sharing flavours with a kiss is so erotic!

There will be plenty left for a midnight foray to the kitchen too … All you do is follow the DIY guide and have fun! 😉

All Gluten and Dairy Free … of course!

Stay tuned! More to come …

Tonight’s dinner is …


Tonight’s dinner is chicken – boring?  No, not tonight!  Summer came late this year and so did all the fruit.  Which is why we have fresh, ripe, delicious, very peachy smelling peaches available now.  To be honest, I don’t like peaches … but the aroma was so fresh and summery, I couldn’t help myself.  Although the season has changed and we have just progressed into autumn, the peaches were signaling for summer’s last stand.  What to do with these peaches?  Yes, one of my daughters loves peaches but 10 of them?  As usual I went overboard, you know … the eyes (in this case the nose), bigger than the belly thing.  Home they went and into the fridge to await their fate.  The week before I had purchased a case of organic, frozen chicken breasts.  The week before that my aunt and uncle had given me a chunk of  tamarind, which I love but had not used yet.  The mind is working … why not put the three together … somehow.  Tonight is the night for experimentation.

An unforeseen, pleasant interruption occurred. A friend decided to drop in for a visit, so we chatted out in the garden until the sun was low in the sky, hiding behind the trees.  It was getting late and I was eager to concoct a new recipe in the kitchen.  I asked if she had plans for dinner and luckily she didn’t.  “Would you be a willing guinea pig tonight”, I asked, explaining what the planned experiment was.  “Oh yeah, I’m in”, was her response, always so helpful she is.  We were a bit hungry by now, so off to the kitchen we went.

Out came the thawed chicken breast, a pan to put it in and the blender.  Next, five of the peaches were looking a little over-ripe, so they were the chosen ones to be peeled, chunked up and tossed into the blender.  Step 2, I added a good bit of tamarind paste, a sprinkle of dried chipotle peppers (for that little touch of heat – it is a bit chilly in the evening), and a dash of cardamom (not too much as it is quite potent).  Now what?  Smelled some sherry, nope neither of us liked it with the aroma coming from the blender, the sherry was too overpowering.  Garlic?  Of course, garlic in everything!  In went 3 fresh garlic cloves.  Almonds, yeah, almonds, chicken and peaches, great combo, tossed in a small handful of raw sliced almonds.  More spice was needed so… a few dashes of coriander powder, a couple of pinches of garam masala, a drizzle of sesame oil (for that added bit of fat), a few drops of wheat-free tamari sauce and a few drops of fresh lime juice.  Hit the blend button, tasted (more than once), approved by both of us and so, poured the mixture over the chicken.  Cut up and peeled a good-looking peach, adding fresh, thick slices in any “free” areas of the pan.  Sprinkled some coriander and almond slices atop the fresh peaches and popped into the oven for approx. 1 1/4 hours at 375°.  An hour more to kick back, relax and discuss the latest events.  So simple.

All dressed up and ready for some roasting.

Oh yes, yes, yes, WOW, it was delicious!  I wish you could taste it … light, summer sun flavour, a slow heat build up, melt in your mouth.  This is fresh and rich tasting at the same time.  The chicken was so tender.  The remaining sauce in the pan went so well with the wild/brown rice mix – almost like a risotto texture.  Asparagus on the side, roasted, olive oiled, a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of basil.  Perfect!

Soft crust, tender chicken, perfectly poached peaches, thankfully, oodles of sauce!

Greatest compliment – my two teenage daughters just walked in and asked, “Mom, what smells so good, what did you cook?”.  That doesn’t happen every day.

Yep, this ones going to become a regular meal here – when peaches are in season.  Hmmm, I wonder if I could freeze some peaches?  Would they have that same fresh, summery smell?  I hope so, definitely have to freeze them and see what happens because I can’t wait a whole year to eat this again! Peaches have now moved to my list of favourite foods!

Notes:  Make this dish with Tofu instead of chicken.  No tamarind?  No problem, use dates, dried figs, raisins – a small handful of rich, sweet, dried fruit. Nuts a problem?  Leave them out and use extra virgin olive oil instead of the sesame oil. Garam Masala is an excellent Indian spice (actually a combination of spices), found in most supermarkets but best purchased at an ethnic (Indian) store or at your local health food store.  This spice adds a lovely pungent flavour to most anything – tofu, eggs, beans, pork, chicken, stews – very versatile!

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