Category Archives: main dishes

Monday night dinner actually happened on a Monday this week

Menu: Pulled pork, biscuits (Gluten full and Gluten Free), roasted potato salad, cole slaw

Creators of deliciousness: Freefoodbaby and Guest Chef

We have been a very busy group of people lately and I (FFB) managed to wrangle our dinner group together on a Monday night. For a group that calls ourselves the Monday Night Dinner Crowd this is a very rare occurrence.

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I managed to be at my grocery store the day they mark down all the older meats in the case and snagged an $18 pork roast for $9 and this became the basis for my menu. This was my first attempt at purposefully making pulled meat (see Bring the bowl..). Using the crock pot and the tenderizing power of ginger ale it turned out really well. The recipe was pretty simple, put thawed pork in the crock pot add about 1 can of ginger ale and set on high for 5 hours. Drain the meat pull it apart and add BBQ sauce, leave in crock pot on high for another hour.

The biscuits full of gluten were a departure from my usual drop biscuits, easy and delicious. I was able to make them large enough for pulled pork sandwiches.

Guest Chef prepared the coleslaw based mostly on the linked recipe above, but with a few of his adjustments that I didn’t see.


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Taste of Morocco

Menu: slow cooker chicken; salad; cous cous or rice for starch

Creator of Deliciousness: Cold Turkey Girl (CTG)

We count on CTG for tasty roasts and stews with potatoes and lots of butter. A few weeks ago she mentioned that she wanted to try a new flavour. Somehow Moroccan food was discussed and CTG had a mission.

It turns out her sister had always wanted to make Moroccan food too, so they discussed recipes back and forth for a week. At one point they were planning on cooking together, but transporting hot food can be difficult.

CTG made crock pot chicken that was delicious. CTG skipped the chick peas and diced the onions up very small in hopes that 6 hours in the crock pot would make them not hurt NP. Also our chicken had skin and bones. I’m pretty sure this changes the cooking time but it all turned out well in the end.

The salad was a great fresh balance to the stewed chicken and the option of cous cous (processed wheat and therefore gluten) or rice for starch was ideal.

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Stuff in Bowl, on a plate

This weeks MND is brought to you by myself, Glutenfr33k, and a new member of the MND club BFacci. We initially planned on making a play on lasagna using zucchini in place of noodles and everything from scratch, but a delayed dentist appointment put that plan on hold as the timing wasn’t quite right.  Therefore, a backup plan was created based on a Pintrest post on my MND board for “Roasted Harvest Veggie, Curried Avocado + Coconut Rice Bowls”.

The recipe can be found HERE. We made some changes to the recipe in that we didn’t use the butternut squash (ours had gone off, oops), and we did add a meat portion to the meal (we’re all omnivores). We picked up about 1lb of meat total, it was a combination of local free range (antibiotic/hormone free) chicken and pork. We sauteed up the ground meat up in a frying pan, with about 1 tablespoon of panang curry paste, 1-2 teaspoons of madras curry powder, 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste.

So essentially we roasted the sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts in the fantastic sauce recipe provided in the above linked recipe. It makes for a nice and spicy,but not crazy spicy roasted veg.  The rice is fantastic, with coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, and a wee bit of coconut oil. It was pure joy to eat. The original recipe calls for making it on the stove, we made it in a rice cooker just fine. Although, we did double the recipe (we are firm believers in rice is nice).  The guacamole is made in a curry way vs a Mexican way, but this was a really nice variation on the theme.  We left it a bit chunky, for easy combining with all the other foods in the “bowls”.  We couldn’t decide between feta or mild blue cheese crumbled over top so we used both.

There was much fun to be had by all who attempted to eat their “Bowls” of food arranged on plates (BFacci and I were not certain that with the addition of meat all the bits would fit in the bowls) of course BFacci had to be different and have a bowl of food to prove the theory wrong.



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Actual Recipe Involved – Bacon and Egg Lasagne

be lasagne originalIngredients (total for shopping):

Tomato sauce (ours was homemade to avoid mushrooms, gluten)
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Pasta Joy rice noodles)
2 lbs bacon, cooked to crispy
500 g Cotija cheese crumbled
18 eggs
3 med sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 cup finely diced leek
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 500 ml container ricotta cheese
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup shredded cheese

To break up the pain of all this cooking we made the Simple Tomato Sauce and Mousaka layer ingredients the day before.

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Mousaka layer:
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp grape seed oil

This one takes some extra prep time. This layer actually doesn’t really resemble mousaka at all. I am now thinking my next lasagne will have a bechemel top layer though. Anyway, early in the day or even the night before cut the tomatoes into at least eight pieces. Also cut the zucchini into bite size pieces, place tomatoes and zucchini evenly on 1-2 cookie sheets. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with oregano and “roast” in the oven at 250/121 degrees for at least 1 hour. This sweetens the veg with a nice roasted flavour.

Egg Layer:
15 eggs
3 medium sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup finely diced leek, we used the milder green parts
1 tsp bacon fat
250 g Cotija mexican cheese, crumbled

In a frying pan heat the tsp of bacon fat, add the diced leek to soften, caramelize. Leave on med heat.
In a bowl crack 15 eggs, add milk and whisk with a fork. Add sriracha sauce, mustard, pepper and crumbled cheese. Stir until mixed and add to frying pan. Add grated sweet potato and keep on heat until mostly cooked. I looked for scrambled egg texture, but runnier that you see at the restaurant buffet cart. Put aside until your other layers are ready.

Spinach layer:
2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed
1 500 ml container ricotta
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 egg

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the frozen spinach and place in a bowl, add the egg, grated cheddar bacon bits and ricotta, stir and set aside until construction.

While it’s a bit of a pain, we pre-cooked the lasagna noodles. Follow the directions on the box and be sure to rinse in cold water. We learned on the 2nd attempt it really is helpful with the GF noodles to pre-cook them.


be lasagna construction

Spray oil on a 9x 13 glass dish (we had enough for an extra 8×8 casserole)
Spread a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish.
Place a single layer of noodles.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, then spread an even layer
using all of the egg layer (this is why we had an extra one)
Place a single layer of bacon
Spread an even layer using all of the Spinach mixture (don’t forget your spare)
Place a single layer of noodles
Spread in even layer using all of the “Mousaka” (don’t forget your spare)
Fill the spaces around your roasted veg with tomato sauce
Place any remaining noodles
Spread out the rest of your tomato sauce on top (don’t forget your spare)
Evenly spread the remaining crumbled Cotija cheese and place in a 350F/175 C oven for 35 minutes

At 35 minutes add your over easy fried egg and smile bacon for garnished, smiling lasagna and back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

On our second attempt we didn’t pre-cook the rice pasta noodles and paid for this with at least twice the cooking time

be lasagna wrappedThis recipe also made a few extra smaller ones for our communal freezer.

be lasagna extrasAt some point in your cooking you actually get to eat some of this tasty creation.

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These Tomatoes got “Saucey”

So, there is a series going on here about Bacon and Egg Lasagne. It turns out making the food while creating a recipe is easy. Writing out the recipe is difficult. The first MND bacon and egg lasagne actually happened in June 2013. It was delicious and I created a draft of the recipe right away, but it needed editing on the directions and quantities that I just wasn’t sure about. GF reviewed it a couple times, but was also unsure of the quantities we used at the time so we’re making it again. This time, we will post the recipe.

It came as a big surprise to our Monday Night Dinner (MND) crowd that I, Freefoodbaby, had never made a tomato sauce from scratch. Our family dinners growing up always used the cans of prepared pasta sauce and built on that with fresh veggies, meat etc. We even have family tricks to combat that acid tomato taste that you sometimes get with the no name brand cans of sauce.

Of course if you’re making a fancy lasagne, you must use from scratch tomato sauce. Originally we made tomato sauce from scratch to ensure it was mushroom and gluten free. This time we aren’t so worried about the mushroom allergy.

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

If you’ve never made lasagne you don’t know how time consuming the process can be. Creating all the parts before you build the actual casserole can make lasagne feel like an all day affair. So, GF and I got together the day before MND to make the tomato sauce and prepare some of the veggies. As chef’s privilege, we had a lovely pasta supper with a the simple tomato sauce. This sauce is going to be extra good because it simmered for 4 hours and aged overnight for all the flavours to blend, before making our lasagne.

simple tomato sauce


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It’s all Greek to me

Menu: Roasted Red Pepper Dip w/gluten free crackers; Grecian Meatballs; Roasted Vegetable Mousaka: Rice Pudding

Creator of deliciousness: Host

We traveled with a menu and food last time we cooked so this week all of us regulars skipped a turn and our Host cooked for us. All the recipes came from the same cookbook, a bargain table special called “Greek” with no official author. The recipes used will be posted as photo’s directly from the book, we had no onions in our versions of course but feel free to use them for yourself.

Host noted that the mousaka was the biggest experiment as the top layer (“bechamel”) had always been intimidating. This recipe apparently makes it easy and with no leftover we all agreed it was tasty.

The others enjoyed the rice pudding but decided they wouldn’t use as much sugar if they made the recipe for themselves. I had filled up on the remaining Mousaka and am not the biggest fan of rice pudding. Since at MND we aren’t about the polite “guests eat what’s offered”, I declined.

Dinner was so good that we ate it all and didn’t realize we had no pictures of the actual food until we were leaving. Thank you Host for a fabulous dinner.

grecian meatballsbell pepper dip rice pudding


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Have food, will travel

Menu: Gluten Free Pork Tortierre; spinach & strawberry salad; Paleo Friendly, gluten free lemon honey cake

Creators of deliciousness: FFB and GF

Admittedly, we sometimes brag about how awesome our dinners are. We have friends who will be leaving town soon, who noted that sharing an MND or two would be a good way to visit, before they head to other parts of Canada for a few years. We agreed, this is a great idea. Since these friends are owners of an actual house, but new to MND, GF and I (FFB) picked a menu and showed up with groceries and recipes ready to go. NP got roped into food prep too since we carpooled. We did get Long Island Iced Teas, while prepping, as our hosts bar tended and pointed out where to find dishes.

The spinach and strawberry salad was prepared with lots of spinach and strawberries. Also there were bell peppers and cucumber. GF made a quick oil and vinegar dressing using a peach balsamic reduction that she made and canned last fall.

We were demonstrating, tasty and easy Gluten Free cooking and added another food restriction of no mushrooms or fungus. GF has been working with this millet flour pastry recipes and I believe it’s been perfected. This is a pastry that really requires the time in the fridge, and the directions of rolling it out between layers of wax paper are also helpful. One thing I will take from my gluten free pastry handling is rolling with sweet rice flower. Sweet rice flower is quite fine and ideal for helping any pastry stop sticking to surfaces.

Tortierre is a fancy meat pie. This week’s version had apples, ground pork, carrots, veggie soup stock and celery. In the past it’s had turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, ground turkey, ground beef (not my favourite). Really anything goes. This version it was the pastry that made it really tasty and you can tell from the photo that we had artsy fun with steam holes in the top. I was impressed with the millet pastry, it cooked through nicely on the bottom, even though we had a fair amount of extra moisture from being too generous with our soup stock.

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Dessert was my (FFB) idea, inspired by a recipe I saw on the internet but didn’t pay attention to what blog I was reading. I was away from the computer on dinner day, so using my description of ingredients GF found this Almond Honey Cake recipe and I’m happy she did.

Our next MND will be cooked by our Hosts so we all get to skip a turn.

GF Millet Pie Crust


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