Monday, February 24, 2014

Coconut Ginger Seafood Soup - Gluten/Dairy-Free Dinner Party w/ @jessjeanmyers, @JoannaHaughton, @fragileheart & @AnnMcDougall

A few weeks ago, I had some lovely ladies over for a lovely little dinner gathering where I served this simple, quick, yet tasty and meal-worthy soup!  The ladies were kind enough to bring over some food and flowers to set our table with, and voila: instant dinner party!  Cheers!

Coconut Ginger Seafood Soup
Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Coconut milk
  • White wine
  • Seafood (white fish, salmon, shell fish, whatever is handy, whatever you're craving!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Dry Basil
  • Lemon grass
  • Salt
What do I do?
  1. In a large pot, saute chopped carrots/celery/fennel and ginger in a splash of oil over med/lo heat.
  2. Add a generous sprinkle of basil and lemon grass. (strip husky layers off shoot, and chop core into 1" pieces)
  3. Turn heat to med/hi and add a generous splash of white wine. (about a half cup to cup)
  4. Add coconut milk and fill pot several inches above veggies with water.
  5. Bring to a boil and add chopped seafood.
  6. Simmer until seafood is cooked. (as little as 2 minutes depending on size/type of fish)
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve with a generous glass of chilled white wine.
Dinner is served!  Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ten Minutes to TASTY TOWN (Gluten-Free) Meal...

There was nothing left...
I had the BEST Saturday Night!  THE BEST!  It ended up at a fabulous event hosted by Mr. Ben Le Fevre @ The Spoke Club to Celebrate Love & Stuff but pre-club, I had a few of my ladies over for a light dinner and a glass of wine, courtesy of Emily R.  (Side note: "Little Black Dress VQA" gets two thumbs up in our book!)  I had come straight from work with little turn-around time and we had a night of cute little dresses to wear and dancing to do, so the dinner had to be two things: fast and light - three things if you add tasty, but I hope that's a given!  So this is what I whipped up; simple, clean flavours, but just enough fuel to last a night on the town, or a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner for busy working and commuting types!  Ten minute dinner, gluten-free goddess style!  Cheers y'all!

Ten Minute Dinner - Poached Salmon with Fennel and Arugula Salads
Ingredients:

  • 4-6 oz piece of salmon or other fish per person
  • Bulb of fennel
  • Arugula
  • Pepitas/Hemp/Sunflower seeds (optional)
  • Dry Basil
  • Lemons
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
What do I do?
  1. In a double-boiler, boil enough water to cover all the fish pieces.
  2. Slice fennel thinly and reserve fronds.
  3. When water boils, place fish in water, and fennel in top layer of boiler.  Reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, toss arugula with lemon, olive oil, salt and sprinkle with seed mixture.
  5. After 3-5 minutes, remove fennel, transfer to bowl, toss with lemon, oil, salt & top with fronds.
  6. After 5-10 minutes (until fish is opaque and cooked through) remove fish.
  7. Spritz fish with a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of salt and a generous sprinkling of basil.
  8. Serve fennel and arugula salad along side fish.
  9. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dairy-Free Love Recipe Guide @NewCollectiveLA - THANK YOU ALL!!

Showtime @ The New Collective LA
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all those who were a part of last night's theatre event at The New Collective LA!  Whether you were there in person, or there in spirit, your support was greatly appreciated and valued!  As promised, here's a recipe link for the coconut brownie bites and dairy-free chocolate mousse I make as my character "Dawn" from Dairy-Free Love. (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPES) Feel free to add your comments below this post, as Dawn says, "I love hearing from you!"  And lets stay in touch!  If you're on twitter, you can find me @VictoriaMurdoch, and on Facebook

Cheers, Love, Health and Happiness to you all!
Victoria - aka "Dawn"

Friday, January 31, 2014

A @GSBHamilton Breakfast for @NewCollectiveLA Debut Day!

This one's for you GSB Hamilton!
Yup, its true, I'm here in Los Angeles, California as an Artist in Residence at The New Collective LA, and for the past two glorious, challenging and rewarding weeks, I have had the privilege of working on my new play Bootlegger's Wife - and ramping up to the performance of my original one-woman show Dairy-Free Love which hits the studio stage TONIGHT!  While I was touring Dairy-Free Love to Hamilton, Ontario two years ago, I fell in love with the city's vibrant Arts Community and the nouveau bohemian vibe of the James Street North strip.  I met a bunch of fantastic people including Joe Accardi and the folks behind The Green Smoothie Bar which was a new raw-vegan destination!  My tour was so rewarding and successful, the turnout was fabulous and the people were so supportive, that I even did a special one-night performance in the newly renovated arts space in the lower level of The Green Smoothie Bar!  When I wrapped the tour, Hamilton lingered in my blood, and I was inspired to write my next play starring the city, and its rich history.  My newest one-woman show Bootlegger's Wife is inspired by true story of Hamilton prohibition-time resident and mob maven "Bessie Starkman" and her rise to become the woman behind Canada's largest rum running operation in the 1920's.  I have been working tirelessly on the script for months, as well as bringing Bessie to life these past few weeks at The New Collective LA, and I am pleased to announce that Bootlegger's Wife will be touring to the London and Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festivals this coming summer!

In honour of the inspiration that the warm and wonderful people of Hamilton, Ontario have provided me, I am starting my performance-day with a tribute to The Green Smoothie Bar.  This breakfast of champions is sure to start the engine on what will surely be a tumultuous and energy-packed day!  Cheers everyone!  Bottom's up!

GSB Hamilton Inspired - Ginger/Lime Green Smoothie
Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 cup Coconut Water
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • Thumb of Ginger
  • Juice of one Lime
What do I do:
  1. Blend on high until smooth
  2. Drink, and be merry!
If you're reading this in the LA area, and would like to join the fun tonight, feel free to reserve a spot at the studio!  There will be a mini-gala reception post-show, and all are welcome!  Cheers!

Dairy-Free Love; the play that leaves you wanting seconds - Show & Mini-Gala
TONIGHT - 8pm
The New Collective LA - 6440 Santa Monica BLVD, Los Angeles, CA
Pay What You Can - Limited Seating - reserve tickets here: http://dairyfreelove.com/tickets.html

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gluten/Dairy-Free Current Scones @ Ladies Holiday Drop-In Tea & Nip

Thanks to Reggie for the lovely pic and being such a lovely guest!
I hosted some lovely ladies for a end-of-holidays drop-in tea (and festive nip!) on the weekend, and these little beauties have been a high-demand recipe ever since, so its time to share!  Gluten, Dairy and Egg-Free, these little treasure are so simple, tasty, delicate and a sure crowd pleaser - you'll love baking up a fresh batch for your home!  Don't want to make your own?  Watch your Facebook for the next ladies tea invite!  Cheers!

Current Scones 
Ingredients (Makes 1 Dozen):

  • 1.5 Cups White Rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Butter/Oil
  • 4 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup currents soaked in warm water
  • Cold water
What do I do?
  1. Preheat oven to 350'F and line a baking sheet with parchment (or grease a sheet with coconut oil.)
  2. Combine flour and starch.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or masher to cut in coconut oil.
  4. Stir in currents.
  5. Stir in maple syrup.
  6. Add cold water until mixture comes together in a fairly moist ball.
  7. Split ball in two halves and form into disks on parchment.
  8. Use a sharp, thin knife to split disks into 6 equal pie wedged shapes and separate pieces to allow edges to cook.
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes until edges become slightly golden.
  10. Remove from oven and cool - do not remove from sheet.
  11. Serve warm with a cup of tea and along side of your favourite fruit preserve.  (Jam on top or sides rather then splitting the scone, these are delicate little treasures!
  12. Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gluten/Dairy-Free Creme De Menthe Chocolate Mousse

Merry Christmas everyone!  In honour of the holiday, I am sharing a Holiday-inspired dessert recipe with you - after all, "'tis the season" for indulgences!  I made this special treat earlier in the month for a few good friends and we scraped the bowl clean!  I even sent the last little bit home in a jar with a fashion/lifestyle blogger friend of mine, with the idea it would reach her husband...I'm not sure it did!  ;)

The recipe is a super-simple adaptation from my classic vegan chocolate mousse recipe with a bit of a holiday twist.  The alcohol is of course optional, you can always add extra maple syrup and a dash of peppermint extract to get the same flavour, but then again, we're all adults right?  Lets have some fun!

Creme De Menthe Chocolate Mousse (8ish servings)
Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized ripe avocados (add one or two more if they're small)
  • 4 heaping Tbs of cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • Juice from one lime
  • 3/4 cup Creme De Menthe
What do I do?
  1. Combine all ingredients in a deep bowl and blend with an immersion blender.
  2. Add more maple syrup/Creme De Menthe to get the consistency/sweetness you desire.
  3. Serve to people you love!
From my humble home to yours, Merry Christmas to you all!
Victoria



Friday, November 22, 2013

Gluten-Free Breakfast Bars or...COCONUT CHOCOLATE Crunch Bars!

Happy Friday everyone!  'Tis the season for tasty treats, and as Gluten-Free types, we too deserve a little indulgence!  Its also its great to have a batch of these on hand as a breakfast on-the-go, or snack between engagements.  So if you're making the snack version, simply follow the highlighted substitutions, but do note; omitting the chocolate is entirely OPTIONAL!  Now the recipe, two ways!  Enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Crunch Bars/Breakfast Crunch Bars
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Almond meal (almonds ground in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (Breakfast bar: 1/4 flax meal, 1/4 cup coconut)
  • 1/4 cup assorted seeds & nuts
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil (solid at room temp, so heat lightly)
  • 1/4 cup molasses (Breakfast bar: maple syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs vanilla (Breakfast Bar: cinnamon)
  • 4 oz (squares) of bittersweet bakers chocolate (Breakfast Bar: optional omit)
  • 1/4 dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, dates, whatever you like!)
What do I do?

  1. Preheat oven to 350'F
  2. Line a square baking tray with parchment paper
  3. Set aside chocolate
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl
  5. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl
  6. Add dry to wet
  7. Press mixture tightly into baking pan
  8. If using chocolate, melt on low heat and drizzle over top of squares.
  9. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until edges become crisp.
  10. Remove from oven, pull parchment-lined squares from pan and cool on wire rack.
  11. Slice and serve!
'Tis the season for treats!  Cheers!

Breakfast Bar Note: I recommend cutting individual portions, and wrapping individually or stacking  between parchment layers in an airtight container and freezing.  Thaw individually overnight for a breakfast snack, or in your bag as you go about your day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heart Warming [Vegan & Dairy-Free] Coconut Curry Comfort!

Its Monday.  Its sunny and beautiful, but its COLD!  And I'm craving something heart-warming and comforting with a hint of spice.  Are you with me? I put vegan & dairy-free in brackets because for non-vegans (like myself) there is a certain connotation to vegan food that equates to it sucking...In more polite terms, "lacking in flavour," "unsatisfying." Whereas this dish is none of the above, but rather creamy, warming, comforting and satisfying!  And did I mention its SUPER EASY?

Here's your cold-weather meal everyone!  And for those of you listening to CKWR LIVE RIGHT NOW as I chat with Midday With RJ's  own Randy Johnston, here's the recipe as promised!
Happy Monday everyone!!

Heart Warming Coconut Curry
Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Peas
  • Curry Powder (you decide how much depending on your spice preference)
  • Can of coconut milk
  • Salt (not much, you can always add more later)
What do I do?
  1. Preheat oven to 300'F
  2. Combine all ingredients in an oven-safe and stove top-safe dish with a lid.  (Corning ware or other such dishes)
  3. Add enough water to just skim the top of the vegetables and loosely stir mixture.
  4. Bring to a boil on med/hi heat (not too hot, these dishes don't do well on MAX) 
  5. Immediately place covered dish on middle rack of oven and bake for approximately an hour.
  6. Remove from oven, stir, and let sit uncovered for at least 5 min to settle.
  7. Serve on its own or over rice.
Did I mention it was simple?
Cheers!



Friday, October 25, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Win ONE YEAR'S SUPPLY of Catelli Gluten Free Pasta!



Do YOU eat gluten-free?  Would YOU like to win a YEAR'S SUPPLY of the new Catelli Gluten Free Pasta?  You're in luck!  I was given a box of the new Catelli Gluten Free Fusilli and made a big batch for my family this past weekend.  Even tough they aren't 100% Gluten-Free, they LOVED it, and were honest enough to say that they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this and, regular 'whole grain' pasta, which is what they're used to.  The texture was firm and springy, the flavour easily picked up the goodness of the ingredients in the dish, and the preparation was simple!  Also, I have been given confirmation that Catelli Gluten Free pasta is produced in a dedicated gluten free facility and certified by the Canadian Celiac Association, so Celiac folks can rejoice!!  One small drawback for me was that this pasta includes corn as one of its four grains (white rice, brown rice, corn & quinoa).  Although corn is a less-common allergen, there are some folks who may want to keep this in mind when purchasing gluten-free pastas, as many companies use it in their ingredients.

And speaking of ingredients, I have included the recipe for the Rustic Vegetable Fusilli that my family enjoyed (below), and YOU TOO can enjoy Catelli's new Gluten Free Pasta at home!  If you don't win the year's supply, the folks at Catelli would love for you to enjoy their pasta at a DISCOUNT!  Simply click on this picture to receive your own $1 coupon, valid at participated stores:




And now...THE CONTEST!!!

There are two ways to be entered for your chance to win:

For no purchase necessary entry: simply "comment" below this blog post (you'll have to sign-in to one of the options listed, anonymous entries will not be counted) with the answer to this skill testing question: 4 + 4 - 1 =

or...



Optional Entry: 
Step 1: "LIKE" Gluten/Dairy Freedom! on Facebook and post a comment on the wall that includes how long you've been living gluten-free, as well as the following line: "I Heart Catelli Gluten Free Pasta!" 
Step 2: "Comment" below this blog post with your name to say you have entered.

You have ONE WEEK starting NOW to enter!  Good luck!  And feel free to "SHARE" this post far and wide!


Catelli Rustic Vegetable Fusilli
Ingredients:

  • One box of Catelli Gluten-Free Fusilli
  • One large zucchini, sliced
  • Half a large red onion, chunked
  • 3 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on your palate)
  • Dry Basil, Oregano and Sage
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Salt
  • Fresh Parsley
What do I do?
  1. Prepare Catelli Gluten Free Fusilli in a large pot according to package directions
  2. Saute onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil for a few minutes
  3. Add a generous sprinkling of dry herbs in your own taste combo.  (If you need direction, 1 large spoon of basil, smaller spoon of oregano, smallest spoon of sage should do the trick)
  4. Add zucchini and saute on medium until edges brown.
  5. Drain pasta, return to large pot, add vegetables, lemon juice, a generous splash of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Serve topped with fresh parsley
  7. If you haven't already been doing so while cooking, enjoy with a glass of your favourite vino.  (optional...sort of...)

Good luck everyone!  And happy Friday!
V


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Soup's Up! Gluten-Free Rosemary & Herb Scones

Yesterday, I presented a flavourful and hearty harvest Leek and Sweet Potato Soup, and nothing accompanies a soup better then a warm nugget of dough to sop it all up with!  Riiiiiight?  So today, may I present the ultimate compliment to soups everywhere: Rosemary & Herb Scones (Gluten-Free of course!)  These are so simple, you'll want to run out and make a batch right away!  GO!  NOW!  Although as with any gluten-free 'bread' product, you'll have to be forgiving as they are definitely more crumbly and fragile than traditional glutenous breads.  But who doesn't love a little extra crumbs in their soup anyway?  Riiiiight?

Gluten-Free Rosemary & Herb Scones
Ingredients: (Makes two large scones.  Double, triple or quadruple recipe for larger yield)

  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil/butter (this is a white solid at room temp, and turns to clear liquid if warm, ideally, use in its solid form)
  • Cold water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • Sunflower seeds or pepitas (optional)
  • Dry herbs: rosemary, basil, thyme (I use about a half-teaspoon of each, but feel free to modify
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt - course salt if possible
What do I do?


  1. Preheat oven to 325'F
  2. Mix all dry ingredients and optional seeds in a small bowl
  3. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate coconut oil
  4. Add cold water bit by bit, mixing gently with a spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  5. Roll the ball and cut scones, or free form into two hand-shaped scones and place on parchment lined baking tray
  6. Brush tops of scones with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes until tops become a golden brown
  8. Remove and cool on wire rack.
  9. Serve on side of soup, or enjoy on their own dipped in an olive oil herb mix!  Ummm, um, good!
May you all enjoy this crisp Autumn day, hopefully with a big bowl of soup & scones waiting for you at the end of it!
Cheers!