Cucumbers All Dressed


  • This is a quick and easy salad that I make often throughout the year. Everyone likes it and it goes with almost any meal.  If you have fresh cucumbers, tomatoes or peppers from your garden it would be even better!
  After a slow start because of frost my tomatoes are almost ready but it will be a while until I have cucumbers or peppers.  
The following amount should serve about four people.  
This salad doesn't keep well so I try not to make any extra.
             

Cucumbers All Dressed

  • 1 cup cucumbers
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 yellow or orange pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Chop or dice cucumber, tomato and pepper in fairly large pieces add onion and parsley.  Mix dressing ingredients and pour on enough to coat vegetables.  Any remaining dressing will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a week.
Mix well and serve immediately.  

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
 
Alternate serving suggestion: For a vegetarian meal I serve Cucumbers All Dressed on a bed of  cooked, chilled, quinoa topped with feta cheese.
 
 

Gluten Free Flour Blend

So, after suffering from anemia for almost nine years I discovered that it was caused from eating gluten.  Although I was a bit sad at the thought of giving up wheat I felt so much better that I decided to face the challenge head-on.  I was determined to learn, to experiment, and to try new foods.
When I first began experimenting with gluten free baking I did quite a bit of research. I bought Living Gluten Free For Dummies and Gluten Free Baking For Dummies and I looked through many different cook books.  I also met with a dietitian and attended a seminar on gluten free baking.  I quickly learned which flours I liked the taste of and which ones I didn't.  I decided I didn't want to use either guar gum or xanthan gum all the time.  I also realized that gluten free baking would be much more efficient if I had a supply of gluten free flour blend pre-mixed and ready to go. The book Gluten Free Baking For Dummies goes quite in-depth regarding the science, explaining such things as the protein to starch ration and what qualities of various flours will give you a soft, moist finished product.  After experimenting for a while I came up with the following blend.  

Gluten Free Flour Blend

  • 3 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups tapioca starch
  • 2 cups arrowroot starch
Blend all ingredients with a large spoon until the color is uniform.  Store in a sealed container until needed. This blend is great for cakes, muffins, crepes, waffles, pancakes, cookies, and biscuits.  For breads and buns xanthan gum will need to be added to the recipe.

Avocado Dressing

 
A while ago I was having dinner at a local restaurant and I ordered a salad with avocado dressing.  I don't remember what was in the salad but I do remember that I Loved the dressing!  Since then I have searched Google and Pintrest trying every dressing I could find  but nothing came close.  After a bit of experimenting I came up with this one and it's great.  Maybe not quite as good as the original, but a close second.  
The quest for the perfect avocado!  I Am learning how to tell if it is ready to eat and I love the moment when you cut one in half and it is the perfect colour, it's very rewarding.  I have had my share of duds too!
 
 

Avocado Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar  
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice 
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. chili power 
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup water 
Blend all ingredients together.  Store in an airtight container for up to one week. For an oil free version, skip the oil and add 1/3 - 1/2 cup water instead.
 
This dressing is great with lettuce, beans, cheese and tomatoes for a Mexican flavoured meal salad.
 
 

 

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

 

 

A taste of summer any time of the year.  This Colourful and fresh salad goes great with any meal.  A superb way to start a dinner party but easy enough to serve any day of the week. The lemon in the dressing gives a nice zip making it not too sweet.  
 
I have fresh spinach and strawberries from my garden right now and it is fun to be creative with them.  I love garden spinach.  The flavour stays mild even through hot weather, unlike lettuce which I find can turn quite bitter when summer heats up.
I try to plant spinach throughout the summer so I never run out!
 

Spinach Strawberry Salad

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 6 cups spinach
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cane sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Tear spinach into bite-size pieces.  Add onion.  Combine dressing ingredients, mix well.  Just before serving add dressing, almonds and strawberries to spinach.  Toss lightly and sprinkle a few almonds and strawberries on top.  

Salmon Salad in a Gluten Free Crepe

 

These are great for light lunch.  A sandwich is something I do miss since giving up gluten.  Gluten free bread can be a little dry, so using a wrap or a crepe is a great option. I love the combination of salmon and goat cheese, add a bit of lettuce or spinach for a nice crunch and you have a wonderful wrap.  The crepes are very easy and quick to make and can used for many other dishes as well.

   
 

Gluten Free Crepes

  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
Blend until smooth with a whisk or hand blender. Pour about 2 to 3 Tablespoons of batter in a preheated heavy frypan. That has been brushed with butter.  Tip and coat with a thin layer.  When brown, flip and brown other side.  I have found that the key to the crepes not sticking to the pan is to have the pan hot enough before beginning.  
These crepes are also great with whipped cream and Amazing Blueberry Sauce.  They are best eaten right away or within 24 hours.      

Salmon Filling

  •  1 can wild pacific salmon, de-boned
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped scallions 
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise 
  • salt and pepper
Mix together.  Place some lettuce or spinach on the crepe, then some salmon filling and some goat cheese.  Roll crepe, tucking in the ends, then cut in half to serve.