Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna (Gluten Free)

Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna

Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna

It might not seem like it’s the time of year for lasagna, but since this recipe uses thinly sliced sweet potato in place of pasta noodles, it’s quite light and delicious tasting.  I developed this recipe after coming up with the bright idea to use Seed to Sausage caramelized onion and pepper sausages in place of meatballs or ground beef. What a great idea.  Seed to Sausage is a local artisanal sausage and cured meat producer in the Sharbot Lake area and a real “going concern”. I feel pretty lucky to have local access to  their products —  you can probably find their products near you…ask Mr. Google to find out.

Anyhoo…like any fine piece of work, it does take time and involves a little technique – and the results are totally worth it. So. If you’re in the mood, gather your ingredients, prep your layers and whip this up.  Even the lasagna haters in my house  were begging for more.  The added ‘gluten free’ bonus makes this a perfect dinner party main course if you have a gluten free guest – trust me, everyone will be happy.  A crisp salad with a homemade vinaigrette and a simple, fresh dessert completes the picture. ‘Tis the season for fresh and seasonal ingredients! Yay! Continue reading

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

One of my all-time favourite things to eat is Buffalo Chicken Salad.  I find it so satisfying, and of course invokes the memory of ‘wing night at the local pub’  from days gone by.  Make your favourite salad and throw in some blue cheese (if you’re into it).  I’ve linked my salad dressing recipe below.  Super easy and delicious.

Continue reading

Chicken Piccata (Lemon Chicken)

chicken piccata (lemon chicken)

This is a family favourite that I’ve been making for years.  It’s a classic and I’ve been asked several times to post the recipe and method.  It is essentially easy with relatively few ingredients, however, it does involve some technique.  Once you complete the recipe following all the steps, you will have a good understanding  of it’s simplicity but also of the necessity of the technicalities. It is fairly quick to prepare (and even moreso when you know how to do it), but I find prepping the ingredients ahead allows you to cook it quickly and efficiently.  I use coconut milk but feel free to substitute 35% cream. Continue reading

Slow-Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Slow-cooked pot roast, pureed cauliflower, gravy, green salad, beet horseradish

This is a great time of year to pull out the slow-cooker and figure out how to cook with it.  I use it as often as possible because it means I’ve dealt with my dinner-making obligation early in the day and I can move on to other fun stuff – like baking and eating baking.  Besides that, everyone should know how to make a pot roast, it’s a Canadian staple dinner.

Anyhow, I bought a grass-fed beef sirloin tip roast – it works well for pot roast — or use a blade or other tough chunk of beef. We’ll be cooking it low and slow so all those fibrous strands of meat will break down in the process, all the while providing some great flavour.  I chose ‘grass-fed’ because that is what cows are supposed to eat naturally and I believe that it is way, way more healthy to eat this kind of beef.

You will need to make a flavour base to cook this in. Follow along with what I’ve used, but please feel free to stray from this guideline and use what you like and/or have on hand.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

serves 6

2-3 lb beef roast (blade, sirloin tip)

2 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine (I used shiraz – use a good wine)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (use any kind)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp tamari or soya sauce

2 tsp ground ginger

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup bbq sauce

ground black pepper

to thicken gravy:

1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp cornstarch


Turn slow-cooker on to high.  Spread diced onions along bottom of cooker.   Unwrap and wipe off roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter until melted over med-high heat. Brown roast on all sides.  Place browned roast on top of onions.

In separate medium-sized saucepan, put in the rest of the ingredients (except water and cornstarch).  Bring to a boil and stir. Pour mixture over beef roast in slow-cooker. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.  When roast is tender (can pull apart with a fork), remove from liquid to a plate and tent with foil. Mix up water/cornstarch mixture and stir into liquid in slow cooker (on high). (If there is alot of fat on top of liquid, remove as much as possible before doing this). When thickened, pour into a gravy boat. Slice meat. Serve with horseradish (or beet horseradish – even better)…boiled or mashed  potatoes and carrots – or for a healthier, lower carb option – pureed cooked cauliflower and a green salad. Cheers.

Brown roast over medium-high heat

Brown roast on all sides

Mix all ingredients (except water/cornstarch) in medium saucepan.

pour mixture over roast in slow-cooker

Add cornstarch/water mixture to liquid in slow-cooker to thicken

Slice roast, serve with gravy

Grilled Cubano Sandwich with Slow-cooked Peameal Bacon

Grilled Cubano Sandwich: crunchy, cheesy, tangy, savoury, delcious.

Ever wonder why those slices of fried peameal bacon are just a little too tough and unappetizing?  I did, until I tasted a peameal bacon sandwich at a motorcycle show and watched to see how they prepared it. It was so good…I noticed they had it slow-roasting in liquid… I rushed home and bought a whole peameal bacon and tried it in my slow-cooker. Mystery solved. The result is a tasty, tender piece of meat that you’ll be proud to serve company for a delicious lunch, or simply have in the fridge for the week for breakfasts and lunches.  Give it a try, then make up  these Cubano sandwiches – something different and so very tasty too.

Slow-roasted Peameal Bacon

1 uncooked Peameal Bacon Slab

1 cup of water

Directions: Pour water into slow cooker, set on high. Place peameal bacon into slowcooker. (water should come about 1/3 – 1/2 of the way up the side of the slab of bacon). After 1/2 an hour, turn slow-cooker to low. Cook for 3 more hours, rotating after 1.5 hours.  Remove bacon from slow-cooker to cutting board to cool slightly. Slice thinly.

Grilled Cubano Sandwich

adapted from Chatelaine magazine

Makes 2 big sandwiches


4 slices of  (good quality) white bread (a nice chewy bread works well, like sourdough)

2 tsp dijon mustard

several thin slices of peameal bacon – according to your own taste

dill pickle slices (enough to cover your sandwich)

4 slices swiss cheese

Olive oil – to brush the sides of your bread

Directions Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of dijon mustard.  Top 2 pieces of bread with peameal bacon slices, pickles and swiss cheese. Top with other 2 bread slices, brush outside of bread with olive oil. Heat large pan over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan, cooking until golden brown, then flipping and cooking other side the same way. Remove from pan, let stand for a minute of two before slicing. Enjoy.

place whole uncooked peameal bacon in slow cooker in an inch of water

After slow cooking for 4 hours, cool slightly and slice thinly

spread dijon on bread slices, layer with peameal bacon

layer sliced dill pickles and swiss cheese, top with bread, brush with olive oil and grill

grill until golden brown

Slice and good. Yum.

Grilled Cubano Sandwich