Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Pork

There are times that I question the methods by which we cook. For instance, in the height of the heat, we stand outside and grill steaks over hot coals. And I understand that ice cream is a year round treat, but really in the middle of winter, you’re gonna eat some food that makes you just as cold inside as it is outside?

So it is with great trepidation that I offer up this recipe in the middle of the summer using a slow cooker. That said, I believe this sauce could easily be used on the stove-top to make it a much quicker meal. Or if you like the idea of the slow cooker, this would likely work fantastic with a nice pork roast and shredding the meat over rice. The proof is in the the pork that Gluten Free is Not Taste Free!

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Pork Chops

1 cup (250 ml) GF Soya Sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) ketchup
1 cup (250 ml) honey
1/4 cup (50 g) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 g) cilantro
1 tbsp (15 g) oregano
2 tbsp (30 g) pepper flakes
Pork Chops – about 8-10 would be covered by this sauce.

  1. Mix all of the ingredients up to the pork chops. Whisk it together well.
  2. Using your fresh (not frozen) pork chops, cover the bottom of your slow cooker. And then cover with your sauce.
  3. The biggest issue with this method is that you can easily overcook your pork chops. On high for like an hour, two at max should be good. If you want to do slower, low for about four hours max and even then your chops may be over done.

Note: I will be trying this again with a roast and we’ll see how that turns out! I’ll let you know!

Red Beans & Rice

I made this for a Cultural Potluck; had to rep for the States and be GF! I have to say it was a hit!

I made this for a Cultural Potluck; had to rep for the States and be GF! I have to say it was a hit!

My wife teases me that I’m from the South (of the United States). I have a ton of relatives in the Georgia, Florida and Alabama area as well as a bunch of friends scattered throughout. I was born in Florida and lived in the Atlanta area and throughout the South for about 15 years, However, I don’t hunt, fish or eat collard greens. The last time I drank Sweet Tea on an irregular basis was more than 16 years ago.

Despite all that, there is one dialect (if you will) of Southern cuisine that I love – Cajun/Creole food. If you want to know the difference between Cajun and Creole check out this link. For the purpose of my site, I guess I like Cajun food more. And a lot of that love of the food was the short time I lived close to New Orleans and Emeril Lagasse (more the latter than the former).

Now Cajun food was not a staple in my house as I was growing up. My folks liked “beans” as they called it. Think a big pot of kidney beans cooked all day with onions and then finished with corn bread – I hated it. Might be part of the reason to this day why I will avoid beans on a normal basis; the same can be said about ham. Sorry Mom! But when I was old enough and we were close enough to someplace that had a Popeye’s Chicken, I learned of the joys of almost-Cajun. Then I had actual Cajun food in New Orleans and I was hooked.

Enter one of the OG Food Network shows featuring Emeril. Bam! and I was intrigued enough to try to figure out how to make this Cajun staple! I still have a number of cookbooks from him and thanks to him, I learned the basis for what grew into my version. And finding regular ingredients for this recipe were much easier SOB (South of the Border). But here it goes …

Red Beans & Rice

1 lb. (450 g) dried red beans (kidney beans will work if you can’t find red beans)
2 large red onions
1 lb. (450 g) andouille (I had to use GF Garlic sausage as andouille is hard to find in Canada)
1 lb. (450 g) ham hock
2-2.5 quarts (2 l) chicken stock
1/4 cup (50 g) Cajun Seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp (15 ml) Olive oil
Rice (between 2-4 cups cooked)

  1.  Rinse the beans and discard any pebbles or broken beans. Put enough cold water to cover the beans plus about two inches and let them soak overnight. Or bring them to a boil, cook for two minutes and then let them stand for an hour.
  2.  Sauté your diced onions and sausage with olive oil and the spices. Put this mixture as well as the beans in a crockpot with about 1 quart of stock and 4 cups of water.
  3.  I let the beans simmer over night and usually add another quart of stock in the morning. If you give them about 24 hours they should be good. If you can’t wait that long, simmer the beans uncovered for about two hours.
  4. Wash the rice in water. Put 2 cups of water for each cup of rice into a microwave container with the rice. Microwave on high for 10 minutes covered with cling wrap. Lift cover, stir rice and recover. Microwave on medium for 10 minutes. Let stand in the microwave for ten minutes. Take it out, uncover and set aside.
  5. When you think the beans are done, remove the ham hock, debone it and add the meat back to the pot. Take out the bay leaves and then blend the beans to give the beans a creamy texture.
  6. Pour over rice and enjoy.

Griffin Takeaway

Shortly BC, I didn’t know anything about Gluten Free food. I was pretty sure that gluten helped with elasticity in pizza and other types of dough. Other than that, I was clueless. Like most people TakeawayLunchI likely assumed that Gluten Free was taste free.

Well, since then I have discovered and proven to many family and friends that Gluten Free is Not Taste Free. And the Griffin Takeaway is one of those places that also proves that! People should try the Takeaway’s food whether they are on a GF diet or not. These guys are legit and Mom and Pop, and are worth the money. Let me tell you why …

The Griffin Takeaway

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Peppers – While this bakery/restaurant has loads of options, many of those options border on the culinary side of cooking rather than the Mom & Pop side that their facade suggests. There is nothing wrong with their food, it’s mostly delicious! There are just times when it might be cool to have something a little less French Bakery inspired and more Grandma inspired!

Location: Eighth Street E, Saskatoon

Restaurant type: Gluten Free with Vegan and Dairy and Nut Free options – While the Takeaway is primarily a GF bakery, they also do lunches for takeout.

Food: When I was diagnosed with Celiac, it was about a week before my 40th birthday. What a great shock that was! On the other hand, I found Griffin Takeaway with a week and my wife surprised me with a birthday cake from them. It was decadent, moist and definitely made me realize that Gluten Free does not mean taste free. The cake was a chocolate cake with an apple filling topped with a peanut butter frosting. Right up my alley, not too dense and just awesome.

Recently I went back in for lunch because I had time and I was close by, I was feeling adventurous so I went for the Flax Vegan bread Cheese-A-Tarian paired with a Fully Loaded baker and finished with a granola bar. The flax bread was light and moist, perfectly complementing the mixture of cheddars, cream cheese and feta along with tomatoes. The baked potato could have been a bit better – the chickpea chili needed more spice but was good overall and it needed to be warmed a bit more. And I’m sure people like the granola bars; it was uber-moist and chewy but seemed more like fruit cake than an actual granola bar to me.

TakeawayMenuSelection: For their lunch menu, there are surprisingly few options That said they do those options very well. On the flip side, they have a ton of different options for their bakery – they feature a ton of different cookies, breads, and other bakery options. In some ways, the simplicity of their store does little justice to the complexity of their food and the time and effort they lovingly put into it. That said, you can tell that they focus more on being a bakery and less on the variety of lunch menu since I don’t think it’s changed in a couple years. Eh, if it’s not broke, right?

Price: Most GF food is a little more expensive to start with. The lunch and the birthday cake I got were both a bit more expensive. However the prices were not high enough that I won’t go back to get takeout or get another cake.

Spicy Ending: There are a few GF restaurants in Toon Town. The Griffin Takeaway is one of the best!

Apple Crisp

I have a confession to make. When it comes to desserts, I usually forgo all others in favour of the flavour that has had me enthralled since I was a babe. In fact, that flavour is one of my four basic food groups – chocolate, cheese, chicken and chilies … cha, cha, cha!

But if anything can make me cha, cha, change my mind – it’s an apple crisp. In fact, if I can’t have chocolate, I gravitate towards anything with apple as a backup. Unfortunately, apple pie is currently out of my bailiwick – post CD, so the next best thing, or the better thing, is an apple crisp.

My mother loves apple crisps but never had a recipe. On the other hand, my mother-in-law has a good recipe that I tinkered with and made my own. That’s where some of the best stuff comes from – I should know, my wife came from her too! That said I don’t know who she got it from, so my mother-in-law is getting all the credit!

At any rate, this recipe is relatively simple. I like using Granny Smith apples, because I like the tartness. And using maple syrup gives you a bit more sweetness.

It can be glutenized if you must. But as my new motto is #GFNotTasteFree, why do you need to bow to others misconceptions? Make it so you can eat it and let everyone else figure out that it rocks!

Mama Jan’s Apple Crisp Redux

4 large Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup maple syrup
about a cup GF flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup GF certified oats

  1. In a saucepan, put your syrup, 2 tbsp flour, cinnamon and 2 tbsp butter to make a sauce. Start your oven pre-heating to 350 degrees.
  2. As the sauce cooks long enough to melt the butter and mix the ingredients, de-core and dice your apples into chunks with the peels still on.
  3. Pour the sauce over the apples in a 9″x9″ pan.
  4. Mix the brown sugar, 3/4 cups flour, the oats and the rest of the butter to make a crumble to put on top of your apple mix.
  5. Cook for about 25-30 minutes in a convection oven (about 35-40 in a non-convection) or until the crumble starts to brown and the sauce bubbles up to the top.
  6. Test a bit of the apple to ensure done-ness. If necessary cover it with aluminum foil to finish cooking it so that the crumble doesn’t burn.

Foiled Again Potatoes

A little Pepper Jack and you're on your way!

A little Pepper Jack and you’re on your way!


Over the years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with grills in general. I’ve never had a real good one and have only had real good success with gas grills since you can very easily regulate the heat. So when I saw a recipe recently for foil pouch potatoes I was intrigued. But what intrigued me is that you can cook them typically in either the oven or the grill – who knew?!

Yep, you can crawl through the web and find tons and tons of foil potato pouches to be done and obviously those tons of people knew! So what makes this one different you say?

Well for starter’s it’s GF of course! And secondly it’s got that Spicy flavour explosion thing goin! So let’s not dally – here’s my version!

Foiled Again Potatoes

4-6 medium potatoes
1 red onion
1/2 cup (120 g) pre-cooked bacon bits
2 tbsp (30g) Lowry’s Seasoning Salt
2 tbsp (30 g) minced garlic
1-2 tbsp (15-30 g) red pepper flakes
1 tbsp (15 g) oregano

  1. Slice your potatoes into discs about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and then julienne your red onions.FoiledPotatoes-Preoven
  2. Create a pouch out of aluminum foil or cheat and use a aluminum foil roasting pan that you cover with foil.
  3. Cube your butter or scoop it into the foil in various places. Add all of your spices and bacon in – also spread out.
  4. Close your pouch or cover your pan. Your oven or grill should have been pre-heating by now to 375 degrees.
  5. Grilled or baked it should be around 45 minutes. But be cautious and check it at about 30 just in case!
  6. Once they are done cooking serve with some shredded Pepper Jack cheese and some diced green onions as well.