This nutrient-rich green dressing is versatile. Enjoy it on a salad, brown rice bowl or quinoa or as a dip for raw veggies.
Dr. Jodi Larry‘s Green Goddess Dressing
1 garlic clove (use ½ if you don’t like it too garlicky)
¼ cup water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup packed fresh parsley
½ cup spinach
1 tbsp chopped green onion
½ cup lemon juice
4-5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne (optional but recommended)
½ tsp pure maple syrup
Put garlic clove into food processor and process until finely chopped.
Add in water, olive oil, avocados, greens and onion; process until mixed well.
Add in lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, then salt, cayenne and maple syrup.
Memories of China House.
Growing up in my family our Sunday night ritual was going out for Chinese food. We rotated among four popular Chinese restaurants in Toronto: House of Chan, China House, Young Lok and Lichee Garden. I have such good memories of those delicious Sunday night dinners. Often my grandparents or some family friends with kids our age would join us and we’d all sit around a big, round table with a lazy Susan and share sweet, spicy, sticky Chinese food. After chowing down, we’d rinse our hands in a bowl of warm water with a slice of lemon and sit around drinking Chinese tea and reading our tea leaves and fortune cookies. My mom tells the story of when my brother and I were really young, before we could read, and she would “read” our fortunes to us: “When you get home you will go straight to bed.” As teenagers we’d laugh our heads off reading our fortunes aloud and ending them with the phrase “in bed” (see below).
I can’t wait!
All of the restaurants had different specialties and I still remember my favourite dishes from each one.
Lichee Garden: It was famous for its puffy, eggy egg rolls but it’s the Mongolian beef on a skewer that I recall most fondly. Like candy on a stick. It was here at “Lichee” that my dad taught me how to use chopsticks. A highlight was the shmaltzy piano player—there’s nothing like slurping lo mein from your chopsticks while listening to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon.” And the little colourful umbrella that came in the Shirley Temple made me feel all grown up.
Young Lok: This Szechuan restaurant at Village by the Grange was my fave. It had the tastiest food of them all: sticky General Tsao chicken, moo shu chicken (I loved rolling my own) and the famous fried banana dessert. This was the first place I ventured to eat and fall in love with spicy food.
Though “The Chan” is revered for its steak and lobster (and my brother is a diehard fan of the wonton soup), my faves were the chow mein with crunchy house noodles and the BBQ back ribs. This iconic Toronto institution at Bathurst and Eglinton is the only place on this list left standing after more than half a century but, to the dismay of my brother and other Chan regulars, it will be closing its doors in the next year or so.
Up until until two years ago this retro resto was located across the street from House of Chan for a whopping 53 years. This was old-school Chinese food, Westernized Cantonese chow in all its deep-fried, corn-starched glory. For me, China House was all about the kitschy decor (red and gold colour scheme and artificial Bonsai trees) and the bridge, where we would stand and drop pennies into the water below as we made wishes. But let’s not forget the vegetable fried rice. With a dollop of sinus-clearing yellow mustard and neon orange plum sauce, there was nothing like it.
I miss Chinese food. We hadn’t gone out for it since Lily was diagnosed four years ago because of the gluten issue…
…until last fall, when PF Chang’s opened in the Shops at Don Mills. They have a gluten-free menu that took me back to the days of old-school Chinese food. A couple of months ago we had dinner there with some friends whose kids both have celiac. The kids loved their first taste of Chinese food! The highlight was the chicken lettuce wraps. I can’t wait to go back, next time with my parents on a Sunday night.
The veggie fried rice recipe here reminds me of the fried rice from China House. It is so flavourful and a bit greasy and I could eat an entire order. I’m grateful to Gluten Free Consultant JoAnne Bennett-Mirsky for sharing it with me…and I’m sure you will be too! It’s quick and easy and a delicious way to use up leftover rice.
I don’t know about you but I love bananas. We had bunches of bananas left over from our pop-up marketplace (courtesy of Burnac Produce, which kindly provided fresh fruit for Gluten Free Garage vendors and volunteers). For the past few weeks I’ve been blending up the smoothies. Oh, but there’s so much more you can do with these potassium-packed fruits!
These banana muffins are dee- to the pea-licious! They’re also vegan and gluten free.
I also baked a few batches of these Pea-licious Banana Muffins, which I first made—and fell in love with—in Marni Wasserman’s Gourmet and Gluten Free Cooking Class. Fresh out of the oven, they are little bites of melted bliss. I double dare you to eat just one.
Pass the pudding! Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding minus the Nilla wafers.
Next up I tried my hand at a gluten-free version of the heavenly banana pudding from famed Magnolia Bakery in NYC. Do not make this pudding if there is a remote possibility that you might have leftovers…trust me (but don’t leave me alone in a room with this pudding)! It is the best banana pudding you will ever taste in your whole life. Below is the recipe, adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. I left out the Nilla wafers (round, thin, light vanilla-flavoured wafer-style cookies made by Nabisco) to make this pudding gluten free, and then I discovered this ‘Nilla Wafer recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. I’ll definitely be making this again!
Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
16 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups cold water
small box (3.4 oz) Jello instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy whipping cream
4 bananas, sliced
1. Beat condensed milk and water in a bowl (with a mixer, or by hand if you’re tough) for about one minute.
2. Add pudding mix and continue beating for two more minutes.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, up to overnight.
4. Whip the cream until stiff peaks have formed, then gently fold into chilled pudding mixture until fully combined.
5. In a large bowl or in little mason jars, layer bananas, pudding . . . bananas, pudding . . . bananas, pudding. Like a trifle!
This gluten-free fudge had its 15 minutes of fame.
You know when Oprah requests something it must be divine! Gluten Free Garage guest speaker Kathy Smart‘s vegan gluten-free fudge was recently summoned to Oprah’s green room. Well, if it’s good enough for O, it’s good enough for us! But we don’t need Oprah’s seal of approval to know that Kathy’s got the GF goods!
Kathy was kind enough to share her famous fudge recipe with us here!
Kathy Smart’s Famous Fudge
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter or peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt blend
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a couple of times just until blended. Do not over-pulse or it will become runny. Line a muffin tin with liners and add 1 tbsp of mixture. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes and…voila!
Click here to watch Kathy make her fudge!
Chef, nutritionist and leading gluten-free expert Kathy Smart kicks off the Gluten Free Garage speaker series at 10:30 am with HOW TO FEEL LIKE A GLUTEN-FREE ROCK STAR: The Top 5 Foods that will give you energy all day long! We hope her fudge is one of them!
The Gluten Free Garage opens at 10 am. For the Guest Speaker Series (starting at 10:30 am), once you pay your admission and get a hand stamp, head over to the Community Gallery and form a line outside the doors. The doors will open 15 minutes prior to each presentation. Seating is limited and people will gain entry on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you miss Kathy’s guest speaker session, you can find her from noon on at the Gluten-Free Find table!
Toss grape tomatoes and asparagus with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
Roast ’em at 350°F for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye out.
Slice red onion, toss rings in olive oil and cook on medium-high heat.
Be patient. Carmelizing onions is slow work.
Make dip: Warm goat cheese (I use honey goat cheese, which takes this dip to a whole other level) in oven and lovingly combine with homemade pesto. Arrange veggies around dip, drizzle with balsamic glaze and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Gobble it up with Mary’s Gone Crackers!
(Thanks to ECHOage co-founder Alison Smith for sharing this deliciousness with me! And, more importantly, for starting ECHOage and reinventing the birthday party!)