Friday, December 30, 2011


OK, I know. I've been bad. I've neglected my blog for a little while now but it's only because I've been on the go constantly for over a week. I've had a break today, so I'm back!

I know I promised Christmas recipes, before Christmas, but I'd like to make it up to you now. I know that some of you are sick of turkey (what?!) but just wait a week or two and you'll want a roast chicken or turkey again. This recipe for stuffing doesn't have to be just for Christmas. I know that I'm going to use it often. I roast a chicken about once a week, and this stuffing will be the perfect accompaniment.

My Granny swears by Paxo stuffing, and that has always been my favourite. This is the closest I have come to re-creating that flavour. 

I have altered this recipe from Enjoy Life's website here. I hope you enjoy! And merry be-lated Christmas for all you Christmas-celebrators.


2 ½ C Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice Cereal
2 stalks celery
½ large onion
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence or a combination of rosemary, marjoram, savory, basil, and lavender
1/2-1 tsp dried ground sage (depending on your taste)
1t salt
⅛ t black pepper, ground
About 1 cup of vegetable stock, poultry stock, or water
A few tablespoons of chicken/turkey drippings and roasted onions, or olive oil if you want a veggie version (see note)*

Partially grind the crunchy rice cereal so that it resembles large bread crumbs - this is easiest to do if you pulse your blender/food processor. Put cereal crumbs into a medium bowl. Finely dice celery and onion and add to cereal crumbs. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add stock/water and mix. If you have roasted a turkey or chicken, add a few tablespoons of the drippings and some roasted onions and garlic, if you have them (see note)*. Check seasoning and adjust salt, pepper, and spices to your taste.

To bake a dish of stuffing: 

Preheat oven to 350°F.-400°F/ 176°C-204°C. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish with a lid. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the temperature of your oven) with the lid on, just until the onions and celery are soft. Finish cooking for about 10-15 minutes with the lid off. This allows the excess moisture to evaporate from the stuffing and allow it to crisp up a bit. Serves 4-6.

If you want to stuff your bird:

Add just enough liquid to moisten your stuffing slightly. For our Christmas turkey I stuffed under the skin on the breasts of the bird and it was delicious! I read this on Jamie Oliver's blog here (he is always full of amazing ideas!). The reason for this is that the breasts cook faster than the legs on a turkey. If you stuff the breasts, it helps the turkey cook more evenly, which prevents the turkey breasts from drying out. He suggests not to stuff the inside of a turkey because it prevents it from cooking properly, and can be unsafe.


- If you are allergic to rice but have a favourite bread or cereal, try experimenting with that instead of the Crunchy Rice cereal.

- If you are allergic to celery or onions, simply omit, or replace with veggies of your choice.

- If you are allergic to any of the herbs mentioned, try making your own combination.


- * Another note from Jamie Oliver that I have adopted to my cooking is to add onions (and sometimes garlic) to the roasting pan. This prevents spots on your pan from burning, and leaves you with a delicious accompaniment to your roast chicken or turkey. I simply slice onions, and add them to the pan.If using garlic, throw whole cloves in, no need to peel. When they are roasted, just squeeze out the garlic from its skin. I found that the stuffing is at its best with the addition of a few spoonfuls of roasted onions, garlic, and chicken/turkey drippings. Yum!

- Do NOT try substituting puffed rice or crisp rice (like Rice Krispies) for the Crunchy Rice cereal here. It will end up as mush. Tasty, but mushy.

- The Enjoy Life site suggests you can use Crunchy Flax cereal instead of the Crunchy Rice but I have found that the flavour is not as good in this recipe.

- I have included a range for the cooking temperature so that you can cook this along with other parts of your meal, like roasted veggies, and not have to alter the oven temperature.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunbutter Chicken Fingers

Sunbutter Chicken Fingers with Sweet Potato Fries
I have some more Christmas recipes coming, and soon. But, in the mean time, here is a delicious dinner recipe. My sister came up with this idea, so I give her full credit.

My diet is completely lacking in convenience food. This recipe, of course, is much healthier....but who am I kidding? I want "fast food" sometimes too! I don't crave it anymore, having been off of it for a few years now, but it's the novelty that I miss. I often wish that I could just eat something out of a can, or the freezer, and not have to cook something from scratch! I'm sure that you, or you kids, with allergies feel the same way sometimes. I'm reminded of a blog I read a while ago. It was written by the mom of a child (I think a son) with allergies. He wanted to be able to take a lunchable-type lunch to school, like all of his friends. For those of you not familiar with this product, it's a pre-packaged lunch that includes crackers, and small pieces of cheese and meat to go on top. Not the most exciting of foods, but it's the novelty that counts! This wonderful mom made her son a home-made version and he was thrilled! I'm usually good at remembering where I read something, but this time the name of the blog slips my mind and I haven't been able to figure it out. If you happen to know the blog that I'm talking about, please let me know so that I can mention her in this post.

These chicken fingers are healthy, delicious, and they give you the novelty of eating convenience food. They have a rich, nuttiness from the sunbutter. I served them with sweet potato fries but I think they would also go really well with my Sweet Potato Fritters. These chicken fingers can even be made in advance and frozen - either before or after cooking. This way you can eat something straight from the freezer :) I hope you enjoy!

Sunbutter Chicken Fingers

Sunbutter Chicken Fingers

- Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- About 1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter
- About 1/2 cup rice milk
- About four cups of crisp rice cereal 
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Spices for seasoning (optional) I used a few pinches of garlic powder and dried basil

Preheat oven to 400˚F/204˚C. Slice your chicken breasts into fingers (or nuggets, if you prefer) trying to make them all a comparable size. Place your sunbutter in a wide bowl and microwave to warm slightly - I did mine for about 30-40 seconds at 10 second intervals. You just want the sunbutter to become a little more pliable, not hot. Slowly mix rice milk into sunbutter until you have reached a similar consistency to an egg.  In a blender or food processor combine rice cereal, salt, pepper, and spices, if using. Blend until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Taste coating and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Place crumbs into another wide bowl. Dip chicken pieces into sunbutter/rice milk mixture, and toss in rice cereal crumbs. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, flipping half-way through. The suggested temperature for chicken breasts is 170° F/77°C. Dip in your choice of sauce, or serve plain. Serves four.


-If you are allergic to sunflower seeds, then use whatever seed or nut butter you can tolerate. You could also use an egg, if you prefer, but you will lose the nuttiness that the sunbutter gives.

- If you are allergic to rice, use whatever cereal/bread/crackers that you prefer and blend into crumbs. You can also replace the rice milk with any milk of your choice.

- If you do not have rice cereal on hand, you may be able to find rice bread crumbs. Make sure you read the ingredients, some contain potato starch and other surprise ingredients!

- Feel free to experiment with other spice combinations, or omit if you prefer.

- If you are making nuggets instead of strips they should take less time to cook so adjust the cooking time accordingly.


- These can be frozen either raw, or cooked. Place chicken fingers in a single layer on a cookie sheet or plate and freeze. Once frozen, keep them in a bag, or wrap in parchment or tin-foil. If you freeze them raw, you will have to cook them for a bit longer than 20 minutes - make sure they reach the proper internal temperature. If you freeze them pre-cooked, simply re-heat in the oven or microwave.

- Compared to other home-made chicken finger recipes this recipe is egg-free, wheat-free, and dairy-free. 

- Compared to store-bought chicken fingers these are also preservative free.

- Compared to other gluten-free chicken fingers I have seen in stores, these are corn-free, potato-free, soy-free, and nut-free.

- Make sure to not over-crowd your cookie sheet. This will help your chicken fingers crisp-up.

I have linked this recipe to Allergy Friendly Friday, Freaky Friday, Living Well Blog Hop.

*Please Note* These recipes are part of my personal allergy diet. Please remember that everyone's allergies are different.  If you are unsure about any ingredients listed in these recipes please check with your doctor before introducing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The holidays are nearing and I hope to get as many recipes as possible posted between now and then. Let's hope my health can cooperate this time :)

If you have allergies, you already know that it's tough to visit with people when food is involved. For peace of mind and ease of organizing I generally bring all, or most, of the food for the event. At the very least I will bring food for myself. To those of you who do not have allergies this may seem like overkill, but to me, it keeps my sanity.

I'm sure that a lot of you follow similar rules, which means that holiday cooking can be extra busy for you. I hope that this recipe for Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes cuts down on some of your busy-work as you prepare for the holiday festivities. This recipe is delicious - the citrussy zing of fresh ginger pairs so elegantly with the rich, buttery sweet potatoes. This is so simple, and easy to prepare. It can even be made in advance and re-heated - it may even be better that way because the flavours have time to meld together. I'm sure that you and your friends and family will love this addition to your holiday meals.

Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4-5 medium-sized sweet potatoes (preferably organic, see notes)
About 2-3 thumbs of ginger (3-4 tbsps once grated), or to taste
Salt and pepper
2-4 tbsps of light tasting oil of your choice, I used sunflower oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 400˚F/204˚C. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prick your sweet potatoes in several places with a knife or a fork and place on your baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Cool sweet potatoes until they are easy to handle. In a medium or large bowl, scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes. Finely grate ginger and add to sweet potatoes. Mash together with a fork or potato masher until combined. Add oil, if using, and mash until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.


- If you are allergic to sweet potatoes, you may want to try using squash instead. I have not tried this, but imagine that it is equally as delicious.

- If you are allergic to ginger simply omit, or replace with a different spice of your choice. I think some ground cinnamon would also be delicious.


- I suggest that you try to find organic sweet potatoes. I try to buy organic when I can, but I am on a tight budget so I have to pick and choose which foods I purchase organic. I have found that some foods are incredibly improved upon if they have been grown organically and sweet potato is one of them. We even eat the skin of organic sweet potatoes, it will give you some extra fibre too - although not in this recipe!

- If you want to make these in advance simply refrigerate them and re-heat once you are ready to serve. I find that they keep well for 5-7 days, if they are not eaten up already! Alternatively you could also bake the sweet potatoes in advance and refrigerate them in their skins, then mix everything together another day.

- If you are cooking something else in your oven at a different temperature you can probably bake your sweet potatoes at the same time. I have baked them at anywhere from 375˚F/190˚C - 450˚F/232˚C, although the baking time will differ so keep an eye on them.

- If you love the combination of sweet potato and ginger, try my Sweet Potato Fritters!

I have linked this post to: Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesdays, Health 2 Day Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Friday, Freaky Friday, Living Well Blog Hop . Check out the other great recipes posted there!

*Please Note* These recipes are part of my personal allergy diet. Please remember that everyone's allergies are different.  If you are unsure about any ingredients listed in these recipes please check with your doctor before introducing.