RECIPE THURSDAY: Bass with Leeks and Split Peas Recipe

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook fish is to bake it in a combination of its own juices, some healthy oil and flavourful veggies. This week’s recipe is a dinner that I made recently with some sea bass, organic leeks and organic yellow split peas. I happened to have leftover cooked split peas in my fridge, so this was quick to whip up – but if you’re in a rush, you can just as easily subsitute the peas for sliced potato, green beans, tomato, zucchini, other quick cooking veggies, or even cooked rice or quinoa. This cooking method works great for most fish like salmon, trout, swordfish and more. For more flavour variety, I’ve included more substitution suggestions at the bottom of the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Yellow split peas
1 fillet Sea bass
1/2 Leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tsp Thyme, dried
1 tsp Basil, dried
Sea salt and pepper
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (or butter)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse split peas well until water runs clear. Pour into a pot of water and bring to a boil, watching carefully. Reduce heat to simmer 10-15 minutes until peas are soft and have broken open. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper approximately 3X larger than your fish fillet. Cut another piece of aluminum foil approximately the same size. Lay the aluminum foil (shiny side up) and parchment paper on top of eachother on your counter, parchment piece on top.
  3. Spread leeks over the centre of the parchment. Place your fish overtop.
  4. Rub your fish with the crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices, and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Fold the sides of the parchment paper over the fish to enclose it, then seal again with aluminum foil.
  6. Place in oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes, or until fish begins to flake. If your fish hasn’t yet cooked in this time, you can open the foil to expose the fish. Keep a close eye on your fish to be sure the parchment doesn’t burn.
  7. Remove fish just before it has finished cooking, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Taking it out just a couple minutes early helps ensure your fish doesn’t overcook and stays moist and tender.

Substitutions: Use any spice of your choice! Try ground ginger with cinnamon, dry mustard with basil, or sage with thyme. You can even sprinkle some ground almonds over the fish to add flavour and texture.

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I’m back! Gluten-free Buckwheat Waffles Recipe

HI everyone – I’m back from a months long hiatus :) Thank you for coming back and I’m sorry to all those who have been missing out on my regular recipe posts. I’ve been gathering lots of photos and new recipes over the summer and fall and am so excited to share these with you again!!

Tune in Thursdays for my regular recipe postings, and as always, I welcome your comments, feedback and requests.

In the meantime… if you haven’t (or have) tried my gluten-free waffle recipe – I successfully substituted buckwheat flour for rice flour. So for those who can’t have rice, or who don’t like the texture of brown rice, buckwheat made the most fluffy, light gluten-free waffles I’ve ever made thus far.

The substitution is simple. In the recipe, simply make a straight substitution of buckwheat flour for brown rice flour. I also used sweet rice flour instead of tapioca starch to add to the fluffiness, but it should work well either way. And to cut down on your need for maple syrup, try dicing an organic pear and simmering it with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon over the stove to make a lovely sweet pear spread.

TIP: I find buckwheat really sops up moisture (which is probably why it turned out fluffy and moist). So you may have to add some extra water to the recipe if your batter turns out too thick. Just add 2 tbsp of water at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.

Enjoy!

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Top 10 bargains worth hunting for

A little while ago, I posted the top 10 kitchen tools worth investing in. Now, here are the ten must have kitchen tool bargains.

  1. Glass jars and containers. Pyrex now makes glass containers with sealing lids that are great for leftovers and for packing lunch for work or school. The containers are also oven and microwave safe unlike plastic. I see these on sale all the time at Canadian Tire. And whenever you come across a nice glass container (pickle jar, almond butter jar, etc.), wash it and reuse it! I have a cupboard full with nuts, seeds, bulk flours and more. Lots of people also get rid of their old glass cookie or pasta jars at garage sales.
  2. Measuring cups and spoons. Again, I see these all the time at garage sales. You can pick up a nice set for pennies.
  3. Mixing bowls. I think everyone’s mother has one a set of Corningware nesting mixing bowls – you know the ceramic ones in white or creamy colours with flowers on the side. This is another great garage sale find, but you can also find simple stainless steel ones for about $10 per set of 3. Opt for ceramic or stainless steel (unless you have young children and are worried about breakage).
  4. Salad spinners. Yet another common garage sale find. I guess people start eating salads and give up? Just be sure to give it a “spin” before you buy it to make sure it’s comfortable to use. These also aren’t too expensive in stores.
  5. Tea towels. For some reason, I’ve found the cheaper the tea towel, the more absorbent it is. This is a good dollar store find.
  6. Wooden spoons. Another dollar store find, and frequent flyer item.
  7. Ziploc bags. I found a 4-pack of Ziploc bags once at Loblaws for really, really cheap. I bought two packs, and I still have some in my basement… five years later. These are great for separating and freezing your big batches of stews, chilis, rice and veggies so they’re ready for a quick meal on your busy days. Freeze your items flat in the bags so they defrost easily.
  8. Foil and parchment paper. In my experience, there really is no noticeable difference between brands, so look for the best deal. Just pay attention to the cost per centimetre / inch, and not just the listed price.
  9. Specialty cake pans. For the very rare occasion that you use these, I recommend renting versus buying. Bulk Barn rents cake pans for $2/day. So unless you want think your kid’s going to want the same Disney cake for 10 years – rent!
  10. Gluten-free flours. Once you’ve learned a few simple substitution rules like the ones I teach in my book, it will be much, much, much cheaper to make your own cakes from plain gluten-free flours as opposed to mixes. Plus, you’ll be able to cut out the sugar, corn, potato and any other foods you may be avoiding. I buy my flours in bulk from Kinnikinnick. Bob’s Redmill also offers a great selection of flours that are readily available at most grocery stores. See my earlier post for more shopping tips.

There you have it! A few good bargains worth hunting for that will save you a bundle and help you setup a functional and healthy kitchen.

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