You might know by now that I am a co-host of a local television show, along with the incredibly professional and lovely Jennifer Anderson, in my home town called Georgina Life that airs on Rogers TV. You might also know that I am not a chef of any kind, but like to just make up food as I go along. You can see a lot of that terrible food magic in my Instagram pictures and now, see me work my gluten-free kitchen magic via this great YouTube video provided by Rogers TV.
Celiac disease has it’s ups and downs. And lately I feel I am on a real down with my celiac disease. Just today, someone took food set aside for my gluten-free consumption and put it in the same plastic wrap as food that was contaminated with bread crumbs. I know it was contaminated with bread crumbs because I saw it that very morning.
Some days are just harder than others.
There isn’t a rule book for celiac disease. As a person diagnosed with it, you just have to do your best and educate others around you and hope hope HOPE they get the message. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I think anyone who has celiac disease can attest too that.
In the last week, I’ve seen my gluten-free food get all messed up with bread crumbs and I’ve seen someone make food for the entire family with little consideration for me and my need to be medically 100% gluten-free because of my celiac disease. Days when you come home and someone was epic and made dinner for the whole family… but me. The side comment of “I thought you would just eat the leftovers” might seem legit but the actions are heart breaking.
Showing people the positive side of celiac disease is tough when your own life has recently been filled with a few food moves that don’t play well with the gluten-free life.
Out of the negative though, does come the positive.
I am a true believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I think the dinner not being made for me was a sign that I was to create something amazing.
No I’m not the master of making anything in the kitchen. If you follow anything I do on Instagram or Twitter then you know I I have the kitchen prowess of a can of paint. If it isn’t gluten-free pancakes or eggs; I’m lost.
CRACK CRACK CRACK the egg into a bowl and mix it all up.
CUT the chicken into pieces on a cutting board and drop them into the bowl of egg. Then place the whole slurry of chicken and eggs back onto the cutting board. Spread them out so it’s all flat and you can see every piece.
DROP the entire 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life gluten-free flour on the chicken. Make sure you make a ‘poof’ noise when you do. It adds to the ambience.
MIX it all together with your hands. Get real dirty. If the flour isn’t sticking to your hands and you’re not cursing that it is, then you’re doing it wrong.
In a heated small pan (thats on LOW heat) already coated with the sesame seed oil, PLACE the chicken in the middle and let it cook.
When the visible chicken has started to turn white and cook POUR maple syrup in the pan. The cooking will slow because of the coolness of the maple syrup, but rest assured, it’s doing what it’s supposed to.
COOK the remainder of the chicken for 10 minutes or until the maple syrup has been reduced and bubbling.
TAKE off heat and prepare a bed of spinach or fries or gluten-free bread or a pancake or whatever you want.
PUT the chicken on top of your bed of food. ENJOY.
Out of the terrible feelings I had because gluten-free food was purposely not prepared for me, this amazing conception came out of it. I was the only one at the table who got to eat it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I let my five year old daughter have a piece of chicken and she was sad I didn’t make any for her. And I smirked the whole time I let my wife have a piece, because I knew that this was the best chicken that has ever been made. THAT is a solid fact.
Enjoy Life (click HERE for their website) has made a line of baking mixes, and they were awesome to provide me with some of them to try and blog about. This did happen to be the first time I used the gluten-free all purpose flour and it came out and worked well for me. It has a great lecture when utilized with the egg and really held the flavour of all the crazy ingredients I used. It’s top eight allergen free and I would recommend this to someone who might be looking for a product like this. You can’t go wrong.
You can’t screw up flour.
I was never sure what I would eventually use it for if not for this whole thing with my need for gluten-free food being overlooked. I was just downright upset when the whole thing transpired, but after eating the amazing food that I created, I knew everything was going to be alright. Having celiac disease and needing to be gluten-free is never anyone else responsibility. I’m an adult and I can handle it on my own. Sometimes there are just bumps in the road that remind you that you are a little different than everyone else.
Its all apart of life. I get it. Celiac disease or not.
more pictures below
I have to be honest, I’m not sure I could ever recreate this meal again. I’m the kind of guy that just grabs random things from the fridge and makes dinner out of it.
I always like to try and do something a little different in the kitchen, and when I am asked to come up with an original and unique idea based on Catelli gluten-free pasta, my brain went a mile a minute shooting off any insane idea it could come up with. You know I love bacon and you know I love maple syrup. The only question was how to get it to become one with the gluten-free penne pasta that Catelli makes?
I am no stranger to taking on a food challenge, and as my daughter said to me when she ate this amazing recipe I created “home run daddy”.
(As a ‘food making’ side note, it’s best to cook the pasta a few days ahead of time and let it sit for a day or so in the fridge to harden. This allows you to easily hold and work with the pasta for the later steps of this recipe.)
Cook the 3 slices of bacon until flimsy. The bacon needs to be super soft, but fully cooked in order for this whole thing to play out well in the end (this is all considering the size of the food syringe you’re going to use). I cooked them on the stove, but cooking them in the microwave is just as effective. (I would suggest on a microwavable plate on High for 45 seconds).
Place between some paper towel and get as much of the grease off as you can. Set it aside.
Chop all the bacon into teeny tiny bits. You can use a blender, I choose to use scissors. If you’re using a fine tipped syringe, you might opt for a food processor or if you’re going to use a child’s medicine syringe like I did, you don’t have to go to crazy with the size of the bacon pieces.
Melt goat cheese in small bowl for 40 seconds in microwave. It should sort of be a texture like cottage cheese or a whipped peanut butter. Not hard, but easy to stir.
Add bacon to goat cheese a little at a time. Making sure to stir each new application of meat until ALL is mixed well.
Cram the mixture into the food syringe.
While holding one end of the Catelli gluten-free penne with your thumb, squeeze the bacon/cheese mixture in. Don’t overfill, just enough to fill the inside of the pasta. Too much will cause the gluten-free pasta to break apart. (pro tip: slowly pull the syringe out of the middle of the pasta while you depress the plunger). Fill all the pasta and set on a plate.
Pour sunflower oil on a pan and add maple syrup on top.
Heat pan on med.- high until maple syrup starts to slightly bubble. Stir in all the liquid in the pan to mix somewhat evenly.
Add pasta in handful amounts. Cook only with these amounts at a time.
Don’t mix with a utensil, shake pan to cover pasta in hot maple oil.
Cook for 4-6 minutes each.
Remove from pan with sieve to allow access oil to drip. Add to plate with presentation side of your choice.
While we’re at it. Here’s a great little list of Catelli Pasta facts that you might want to take a look at or even share with your pals? Maybe even go to the site (http://www.catelli.ca) and see whats happening there? I dunno. Your choice. -Jordan
Made from a unique four-grain blend of white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa.
Available in Spaghetti, Fusilli, Penne and Macaroni (photo attached).
Delicious taste, smooth texture.
Produced in a dedicated gluten free facility.
Certified by the Canadian Celiac Association’s Gluten-Free Certification Program.
Made with ingredients that are declared GMO free: white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, monoglycerides (from vegetable/palm oil).
310 calories, 2 grams of fat per serving (85 g) of pasta.
Low in sodium (0 mg), source of fibre (3 g) per serving (85 g) of pasta.
Cholesterol and preservative free.
Easy to digest, with the great taste and texture of regular pasta.
Available at all major retailers across Canada, in the pasta aisle.
What’s the one type of food that you can have at any time of the day (if you say popcorn, then you might be my new best friend)? There is an undeniable fact that if I was asked what food I would take to a deserted island, it would be popcorn.
But, if you’re thinking ‘breakfast food’ then, BINGO! There is no harm in admitting that you could eat steak and eggs at every meal, and really, bacon should be eaten at all times of the day. Breakfast food is the cornerstone of how our eating habits should evolve. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so let’s just make it EVERY meal. Imagine, scrambled eggs and cheese on top of a bacon weave ON TOP of a 1/4 slice of a fried and gluten-free breaded tomato?
Every Sunday, ever since my family and I discovered XO Baking Co and their gluten-free pancake mix, my family has been eating gluten-free pancakes every Sunday. A gigantic plate of Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes dripping with pure Canadian maple syrup and often covered with whipped cream. That’s breakfast.
In the spirit of letting the world know that gluten-free food can taste just as good as it’s gluten-full counterparts and in the spirit of seeing how much I love and care for bacon like it was my first born, here is the full unique recipe for an amazing gluten-free breakfast provided by me.
The Gluten-Free Bacon Pancakes
1 cup of XO Baking Co. gluten-free pancake and waffle mix
6 slices of gluten-free bacon
2 large eggs
3/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup of half and half 10% cream
2 tbsp of gluten-free apple sauce
2 tbsp of real maple syrup
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Cook all the bacon to a flimsy texture, medium rare is probably best. In the interest of time. (I cooked the six slices in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. It worked perfectly) You don’t want the bacon to be like the kind of bacon bits you would put in a salad. Then set it aside on a paper towel lined plate and cover with paper towel to soak up the extra grease.
Start by making the XO Baking Co gluten-free pancake mix as directed on the box (don’t be surprised, but it’s just combing the rest of ingredients in a large bowl with spout and handle). Whisk until no lumps are present. It should be thin enough to pour and thick enough to not run like water.
Cut the bacon with scissors into tiny squares and mix into pancake mix.
On greased/buttered/oiled cooking surface like a pan or griddle, set to 300 degrees Fahrenheit pour the mix, making smaller diameter pancakes (out of one batch I was able to get 9). Cook until open bubbles appear on the surface then flip and cook until done. Usually a minute is good.
It will smell like cinnamon and bacon and taste like a unicorn just kissed you. Serve with coffee, enjoy.
There is no denying the fact that I am all about taking any left over gluten-free food in the fridge, mixing it up in a pot or pan and creating a meal that, no doubt, looks like dog food, but tastes like a unicorn just shot rainbows in your mouth (that means delicious in case you didn’t figure that out).
My Mother in Law made an amazing pot roast and coupled that with a gravy using gluten-free corn starch and just the juice from the roast. The way gravy should be done. Of course, some families just add flour to the juice and thicken it that way, but this is a gluten-free meal and its. All. Gluten-free. So when I went to look at what this resipe/meal might involve, I was happy to see what some of the gravy was still attached to the leftover beef. I count that as an added flavour savour. While you might not be able to taste the gravy, it will hold the sauce I tell you, and keep the meal from going dry.
THE ROAST BEEF LEFTOVER MIX (serves 2)
1/4 cooked leftover roast from Sunday’s dinner
1 cup of water
1 tbsp butter (or non-dairy substitute)
2 tbsp gluten-free teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
Cook the rice. Follow the directions on the bag or box of rice. Always double the water for how much rice you use (in our instance, it’s 1 cup of water for 1/2 cup of rice). Drop the butter in the water in a pot. Bring the water to boil and pour the rice in.
Let that cook for a bit.
AS THE RICE IS COOKING – Cut the remaining roast beef into strips, the cubes. Bite sized bites are best, depending how awesome of a carnivore you are. Larger strips of roast beef makes for a pretty cool looking Tyrannosaurus Rex dinner. Slabs of beef just hanging out of your maw.
When the rice has absorbed 95% of the water, looks like oatmeal. Take it off the burner and stir. Let it sit for a bit as the remaining water settles and absorbs into the rice.
(Its always important to try and incorperate a healthy or at least, food staple menu in each meal. Meat, potatoes and vegetables. Or if you want; protein, carbs, calcium, iron and veggies. Always try and get veggies in your meals. I like veggies, except onions, so never NEVER expect to see onions in any of my recipes).
Is the rice cooked?
Add cubed roast beef directly to rice in pot.
Mix everything evenly.
Add 2 tbsp of teriyaki (I know this sounds like a really wacky combination, but this is a home run. That’s why it’s only 2 tbsp not three or four. Anymore that two and you’re going to have a bad time)
Mix everything again.
Serve on plate.
Pairing foods like teriyaki, gravy and beef isn’t rocket science, hell, you’ll find me using some of the weirdest sauces or mixes just to create dinner. I’m not a fan of just plain plain plain food, so making it have some kind of taste is what appeals to me. Isn’t that the reason Ketchup was invented? I rarely eat plain food, unless its a slice of bread for a hangover. Man, wait until my leftovers from Easter dinner. That’ll blow your mind.