Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pet of The Week!

Photo of Woody, courtesy Elyse W.
This week's Pet of The Week comes from my future cousin-in-law, Elyse! She is an avid cat lover, too, and she deserves some serious props after rescuing her two cats and giving them an incredible, loving home!
Below you'll find her story.

"I found Woody- as in the cowboy from Toy Story- (and his brother Buzz) huddled together outside my neighbour’s basement window when they were around 8 weeks old. We brought them home that night and didn’t look back.
Photo of Buzz, courtesy Elyse W.
Woody is obsessed with what we have lovingly dubbed as ‘tummy time’. He will lay right beside you on his back, spread eagle, and demand you rub the round bit of his tummy (with your arm in-between his back legs – strange I know but he loves it). He is a tabby-minx cross, so he doesn't have a tail. He also loves the smell of residual chlorine water from our hot tub, the smell of sweaty hot yoga clothes, and loves to help make the bed."
Courtesy Elyse W.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Baked Lemon Chicken

Oft it is that I dream of salmon smothered in brown sugar and cooked with lemon. If it weren't for the allergy fairy, I would have salmon, lobster, shrimp, you-name-it seafood every night! Boo hoo - woe is me. However, dreaming of a recipe I can't make starts me up with thoughts of a recipe I can make- and eat!
This takes quite a bit of prep time, so this is one of those make-ahead dinners.

Baked Lemon Chicken
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 cup gluten, dairy free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine (I like Gewurztraminer or Riesling)
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
dash of cayenne powder

1 lemon, sliced thinly
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. pure honey
1/2 tbsp. water
sprinkle of rosemary.

In medium-sized freezer bag (or extra Shake n Bake bag) combine ingredients from lemon juice to cayenne powder. Once mixture is thoroughly combined, place chicken breasts in bag. Twist-tie or seal bag tightly, and place in frig for a minimum of one hour to a maximum of two hours.
(I hate waiting for dinner, so I would do this right when I get home and slice up some fruit and veggies to tide us over... that way, we're munching on healthy snacks, we're not complaining about being starving, and I don't have to prepare a side dish!)
When your 'marinading' time has passed, preheat oven to 425F. Spray cooking oil or rub olive oil in oven-safe pan (I use, and will continue to use, a Corningware casserole dish). Place chicken breasts in dish and pour 'marinade' mixture over chicken breasts. Cut lemon and combine brown sugar, honey, and water. Rub brown sugar mixture on each side of breast, and place lemon slices evenly over top of chicken breasts.
Place dish in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a sprinkle of rosemary over each chicken breast.

A Beautiful Quote For Your Friday

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it."
- Ray Bradbury


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stuff Your Chicken and Stuff Your Face

Would just like to remind all of you beautiful readers that my recipes are generally made for two people with leftovers for lunches so if you have to tweak it - tweak it!
This chicken recipe is my first stuffed chicken recipe, I believe, and it is unique, delicious and oh-so-good! If you are unsure on how to butterfly a chicken breast, check out this video.

Salsa-Stuffed Chicken
2 chicken breasts, butterflied
1/4 cup medium salsa
2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1 egg white
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. chili powder
dash of salt and pepper
1/4 cup crushed corn chips (or corn flakes)
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
2 tbsp. gluten and dairy free panko style bread crumbs (I like Kinnickinnick brand)

olive oil

In small bowl, combine ingredients from salsa to bread crumbs. Add more corn chips/flakes or bread crumbs if need be. Butterfly chicken and spread salsa mixture on half of butterflied breast. Roll breast up and secure with toothpick.
Heat olive oil on medium in stove top pan. Place chicken breasts in oil, turning frequently. Chicken should be golden-brown colour all over when done.
Cut each breast into two if you want leftovers for lunches (remember you may need more toothpicks to keep the halves of chicken breast together).
Serve chicken with rice or salad and enjoy!

Daily Dose of... Dhammapada

"As many kinds of wreaths can be made from a heap of flowers, so many good things may be achieved by a mortal when once he is born."
- From The Dhammapada


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Messy, Meaty, Marvelous Turkey Burgers!

This is not just a turkey burger. This is a messy, delicious, completely gluten and dairy free and seriously yummy. Word of warning, though, this is not a recipe for when you want a quick meal as the prep time is a bit extensive, but man... is it worth it!
I think I may have posted about this story before, but when I was in Paris a few years ago, we walked into this little hole in the wall eatery in Montmartre, where our hotel was. It was late, and we were in need of food, so we stopped in. This was before I knew 100% I was gluten and dairy free, but wow- they served a mean, messy, marvelous croque monsieur- c'etais magnifique! 

Messy, Meaty, Marvelous... Burgers
gluten and dairy free buns
500 g extra lean, minced turkey meat
2 egg whites
2 toasted gluten and dairy free slices of bread, crumbled (I like Kinnickinnick brand)
2 tbsp gluten and dairy free bread crumbs (I like Kinnickinnick panko-style crumbs)
2 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. thyme

3 russet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, washed and peeled
other burger toppings
In large bowl, mix together first 11 ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add more bread crumbs if need be. Roll turkey mixture into patties and place ever on well-oiled barbecue or stove top pan. As patties start to cook, start on the potatoes.

Grate potatoes and carrots- use the large "hole" in the grater (can anybody think of a better way to say that?). Combine grated carrots and potatoes and take a handful and place on well-oiled stove top pan on medium heat to create hashbrown 'patty'. After 3-5 minutes, use a spatula to look at the underside of hashbrown 'patty' to confirm that it is a golden-brown colour. If so, flip hashbrown 'patty' over and sprinkle minced garlic over each hashbrown patty. Use spatula to check underside of hashbrown patty again after another 3-5 minutes.
Remember to check on your turkey burger patties, too!
Slather bun with vegan margarine, mayonnaise, or whatever you like on your burgers and place turkey patty on top. Place hashbrown patty on top of burger and top with toppings of your choice (a fried egg would be amazing on top!).

Find Your Shine!

"Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; bad people are not seen, like arrows shot by night."
- The Buddha
Image (C)FrenchOnionSoupBlogCalgary


The mountains are memorable - anybody from Alberta can attest to that! Personally, when I drive to Banff from Calgary, looking at the mountains creates a bit of a stir within me. How is it that these beautiful pieces of Earth were made? I will always cherish the sight of them... much like good people with the best intentions are cherished by those around them. You will then learn to cherish yourself. Remember my post about having a constant heart?
You cannot cherish a bad person - somebody who constantly cuts you down, insults you - I'm not talking about somebody who has a bad day - this is somebody who consistently, intentionally leaves a bad impression.
Think of these intentionally bad people as The Buddha says - as an arrow shot in the dark. The arrow's intention is to wound, to kill... but if it is shot in the dark, it misses you and you do not see it, you do not cherish it, it does not leave an impression on you, and you are not affected.

Find your shine - be a mountain!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make Yourself Drink More Water!

Thanks to my former love of pop and my forever love of Crystal Light, I can't really drink just plain old water anymore... I know, I know - terrible!
But, instead of pumping myself full of aspartame, I've recently been drinking water infused with real fruit and herbs! It's got many benefits; the vitamins from the fruit, it tastes great, it offers a bit of a natural 'filter', and it also prevents you from downing the water- especially during a workout! While staying hydrated is key during the day, you cannot down glass after glass of water! You have to pace yourself or else your stomach will protest very obviously and you'll throw up - making yourself even more dehydrated. Oh, and you'll feel better... trust me.

My favourite water so far has been watermelon and fresh rosemary. It's delicious!

Pinterest has a bunch of tasty ideas for infused 'spa' water! Or, create your own infused water concoction!

Daily Dose of... Buddha

"He who always greets and constantly reveres the aged, four things will increase to him: life, beauty, happiness, power."
- The Buddha


Respect your elders

Monday, March 25, 2013

What A Day For Daiya!

You know that feeling when you read an old Archie comic and your mind automatically gets all reminiscent about when you used to read them under the covers with a flashlight while listening to the newest BackStreet Boys CD on your DiscMan and you totally secretly had a crush on Jughead? No? No one had a crush on.... whatever, anyways I always get reminiscent thinking about Mac N Cheese. And, since I'm allergic to every ingredient in Mac N Cheese, my days of enjoying it were seemingly over. Until Daiya!

Meaty Mac N 'Cheese'
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar-style cheese
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella-style cheese
2 cups Hemp Bliss 'milk'
2 tbsp. Becel Vegan margarine
2 tbsp. Namaste Foods Gluten Free Homestyle Coating Mix
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
pinch of dill seed
pinch of salt and pepper
dash of cayenne

3 cups Mrs. Leeper's corn elbows

4 links gluten free spicy turkey sausage

Heat small saucepan over medium heat. Pour in 1 cup of Hemp Bliss milk and margarine, stirring until margarine is melted. Mixture will start to become thick. Add in cheese and continue stirring. Add coating mix, olive oil, and spices and keep stirring. Add the rest of the Hemp Bliss milk and stir, reducing heat to simmer.
Start pasta now, cooking as per instructions on pasta packet. Start cooking turkey sausage now as well.

Check on cheese mixture, stir if need be. Once smooth, add to cooked noodles and stir. Cut turkey sausage and add to mix. Enjoy!

(Leftovers are great, too!)

Listen Up YYC!

We're all about being thoughtful and fresh (ingredients and idealistically) with food here at French Onion Soup Blog! So, it's nice to find a unique eatery in Calgary that is committed to fresh, buying locally, and keeping their food healthy! Including making an effort to accommodate those with allergies because all of us with allergies know how hard it is to find somewhere to eat!

In YYC, Design District Urban Tavern is the place to go! 
Lunch, dinner, a night out with friends, whatever your occasion- you will be well taken care of!
Their unique selection extends into their beer and drink 'menu'.
Check out their ever-changing menu either online, or in person at: 
607, 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB

Try lunch there today!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Daily Dose of... Buddha

"To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent."
-The Buddha


Monday, March 11, 2013

Simple, Savoury Poultry!

Oh, how I love simple, quick, and easy meals! Especially with my fast-paced life; quick, easy, and homemade meals are hard to come by. However, below is a meal that embodies all of those desirable qualities and its gluten, dairy and seafood free!
I have portioned out this recipe: Tom and I rely on leftovers for lunches, so I have written this recipe with that in mind. I used coconut flour because it doesn't hold a large fat and carb content.

Simple, Quick and Easy Dinner
2 chicken or turkey breasts, cut in half
3 tbsp. coconut flour
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. sea salt (you can use table salt if you'd like, too)
1 tsp olive oil

Heat oil in nonstick stovetop pan over medium heat. Combine flour, pepper, and salt on flat or flat surface for coating. Coating pieces of chicken/turkey breasts in flour mixture and set in pan. Monitor the meat and flip when needed. Chicken should be a golden/brown colour and cooked through before you serve it!

Cut up dill pickles and red peppers as a side dish. Serve and Enjoy!


The Importance of Being Earnest

"Fools follow after vanity. The wise man keeps earnestness as his best jewel."
- The Buddha


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Animal of The Week!

This week's featured animal is Puddecombe, rescued and being cared for by Calgary's Meow Foundation. He was found severely dehydrated and was possibly hit by a car, yet he has soldiered on. But he needs our help; if the Meow Foundation can raise $3000, then a local Calgary company Follow Your Light will match the $3000 to cover Puddecombe's medical expenses of $5000. 
Please visit The Meow Foundation's website here to donate to Puddecombe!

The Meow Foundation holds a very dear spot in both Thomas and my hearts since we adopted our littlest kitty, Bella, from them. Bella has brought so much light and love to our lives and we are better people because of her. She is the most cuddly, beautiful little ray of sunshine and, for humans like ourselves who will not be having children, animals like the ones that we have been so fortunate to bring into our lives are our children forever.
There are many tragedies in the world that people can get behind and I support that fully. However, we must also remember how to be compassionate to the animals that be often take for granted. They become part of our families and capture our hearts, yet there are so many animals out there that are subjected to terrible, unjustified cruelty; abandonment, abuse, etc. when all they have to offer us is unconditional love. I wonder what the world would be like if we adopted the same compassion that our animals carry for us and had that for all living things.
 Don't let this cruelty happen; do something about it! Whether that means donating, volunteering, fundraising, or becoming directly involved with any cause that strikes you- the more we build compassion, the brighter future we build for ALL living things on this fragile, precious Earth.

"World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion."

- The Dalai Lama XIV

Friday, March 8, 2013

Your Daily Dose of... Buddha

"For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love - this is an old rule."
- The Buddha
From the Dhammapada


A Special Smoothie

I've been following Weight Watchers for awhile now and I'm proud to announce that I have lost almost 35 lbs to date! So exciting; due in part to Weight Watchers, but also very much so to my cooking for my allergies. As tough as living with gluten, dairy and seafood allergies has been, I believe that it can be very much attributed to my continual weight loss and also to me feeling better!
Anyways, I still do think of things in how many Weight Watchers PointsPlus they are, so making snacks has become a bit of a tedious chore... however, this smoothie is delicious, satiating, zero fat and zero Weight Watchers PointsPlus. And, of course, it's gluten and dairy free!
Warning: It will make you feel like you're somewhere tropical and may induce the itch to take a vacation!

Tropical Fiesta Zero Point Smoothie
1/4 cup frozen banana slices
1/4 cup diced watermelon pieces
1/4 cup diced pineapple pieces
1 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in blender or in Magic Bullet cup until smooth. Add more water if need be.