Five Wonderful Things (with little or no flour)

I noticed that pretty much all of my posts have involved flour, so here’s a list of some of my favourite foods that are flour-free:

1. Chai Tea – I love both tea and coffee.  Tea is great as an afternoon beverage that will get you through until dinner. In particular this week I am enjoying chai tea at Jonathan’s apartment in Waterloo.  During second year university I really enjoyed chai tea lattes but then they started tasting chalky.  Jonathan’s parents bought this wonderful Sukash-brand chai in Toronto and now I am back in love with it. Jonathan loves tea too, and has quite the selection.  His teas include chai tea, vanilla rooibos tea, orange pekoe, peppermint tea and black tea with ginger. (He also giggles every time I say chai tea, since chai means tea in Hindi –  it really should be called masala tea.)

2. Blueberries and vanilla yogurt – Berries and yogurt are simple and great as a breakfast item, afternoon snack or dessert.  Fresh berries are truly a luxury item, better than candy and chocolate – especially if you are allergic to nuts and chocolate.  When berries go on sale, load up!  If the berries don’t look super fresh, then get some frozen and make a smoothie.  One of my favourite smoothies is blueberry-mango.  I didn’t like smoothies very much a year ago, however I have discovered if I omit the banana, it is less thick.  I don’t like my smoothies to be overly chunky.  With this discovery I am free to enjoy the yummy frozen drink.

3. Caramel Popcorn – Originally this recipe was going to be a post all on its own, however I wasn’t sure if it was glamorous enough.  Jonathan was quite delighted when I brought a nice big bag of caramel popcorn to Waterloo as a treat.  My sister Victoria discovered this recipe and has made it many times.  It’s a sweet crowd pleaser – and more fun to say I made it myself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

4. Chicken Piccata – (There is a tiny bit of flour in this, but its not an overwhelming amount) My Mom bought Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes and has been trying out some of its wonderful recipes.  One of the best recipes so far is the chicken piccata.  It is great with basmati rice and some vegetables on the side or a salad.  The lemon and capers add flavour that is simply divine.

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

5. Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon – Any meal with salmon is my favourite.  This dinner is from a few weeks ago and was really tasty.  The recipe for the salmon can be found here.  Side dishes were roasted baby potatoes with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and sauted baby bok choy.  The baby bok choy was sauted on high heat with salt, pepper, a pinch of crushed chillies, a little splash of sesame oil and a little splash of extra virgin olive oil for about 3-5 minutes.  For the potatoes, wash and slice potatoes in half and toss with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix in about half a tsp of salt and pepper or to taste.  Bake the potatoes in a casserole dish for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until cooked.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper for baking

Instructions

In an oiled shallow baking dish, combine lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and lemon zest. Stir together. Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper and place in the baking dish. Flip salmon to coat in glaze. Bake immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes or until fish is fork-tender.

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