Maple teriyaki salmon with cranberry wild rice

Maple teriyaki salmon with rice and saladTo me, nothing tastes of Western Canada (home!) like salmon does. Back home, I was super picky about which salmon I bought – I would only spend money on wild Pacific salmon, preferably sockeye or chinook; never pink, never farmed. That would still be my preference but here in the UK, it’s harder to get non-canned salmon that meets that description. (Not impossible, just harder and more expensive.) So when I saw a side of Scottish farmed Atlantic salmon on sale half price, I bought it.

You see, I’ve developed a recipe that makes any salmon taste divine. I used to think of it as semi-Canadian, semi-Japanese, but I’ve since realized it’s actually totally Canadian, since Canadian cuisine draws on all other cuisines. I like to serve it with a simple brown rice-wild rice mix with dried cranberries and fresh herbs, which is also very Canadian. So in honour of my Canada week, here’s a quick and simple midweek recipe.

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Peanut butter and banana Nanaimo bars

Nanaimo barsNanaimo bars are the quintessentially Canadian dessert, at least as far as English Canada is concerned. They’re a no-bake, three-layer affair: a biscuit layer on the bottom, a chocolate layer on top, and a soft middle layer that most often tastes custardy, though there are plenty of variations such as mint or peanut butter.

I like Nanaimo bars well enough but to be honest, I don’t love them. They’re a bit too sweet, a bit too rich, and the middle layer tends to be a bit too squooshy for me, too similar to buttercream icing, which is something I only like in small quantities. So I made up a healthier version: gluten-free, high-protein, low-lactose, low-sugar. Honestly, though, you won’t notice that it’s healthier than the standard Nanaimo bar. This version is still plenty rich, sweet and delicious. Continue reading

Foolproof gluten-free pie crust

Spinach feta pieMuch more than anything else gluten-free, I’ve really, really struggled with GF pastry. I’ve made it so hard, I’ve needed a steak knife to cut it. I’ve made it so crumbly, it totally disappeared into the pie. I’ve had such difficulty handling it, it has basically exploded when I tried to put it in a pie plate. But finally, I’ve developed a tender yet handle-able pastry that has not failed me, despite my well-proven ability to screw up pastry. It involves both the right recipe and the right technique. But pay attention to a few simple principles and you too can have delicious, tender, gluten-free pastry. Continue reading

Greek-style lamb burger, low-lactose tzatziki, lemony fries and halloumi salad

Lamb burger, halloumi salad, friesOK, it has been ages since I’ve updated my blog. Packing, moving house and unpacking has consumed my life over the last couple of months, insofar as I have any life at all beyond the constants of work and two small children. However, we had our housewarming last week, our new place is starting to resemble a home, and I am determined to get back to the international food weeks project. In honour of Canada Day and nostalgia for home, I’m going to do Canada as of this weekend.

But first! I have some older recipes to write up and post. This one is from our Greek week.

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