Beef Lentil Chilli – the Recipe


Here is the recipe for my beef lentil chilli. I figured I should share this for those of you who cook better this way 🙂

If you want to learn by video, check out my previous blog where I demo this recipe : click here for the video demo

Beef Lentil Chilli


3 carrots chopped
4 celery chopped
2 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic -2 diced 2 reserved for later
1 yellow pepper chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
1/3 bunch broccoli chopped
1 can crushed tomato
1 cup dried lentils
2tbsb tomato paste
2-4 cups of water
1/2 kilo beef
Canola oil
coconut oil

smoked paprika 3/4 pinches
Chilli powder
Cumin (or an alternate/spice mix) 1-2tablespoons
Oregano -2-3tbsps
Rosemary -large sprig
Bayleaf 2 bayleafs
1-2 small chopped fresh chillis

1. Brown the ground beef first with some salt, pepper and a small amount of the veg for flavour. Drain, set aside. FOR VEGETARIAN- OMIT THIS STEP, ADD ONE CUP EXTRA LENTILS. YOU WILL NEED MORE WATER.

2. Saute the Celery, Onion, Carrot, Minced garlic until they sweat. Salt and pepper them at this point too.

3. Once veg are soft add chopped chilli peppers plus the herbs and spices.

3. When the vegetables are well coated add your 2 tbsp of tomato paste, stir it all up (this portion must be done quickly as the tomato paste can burn). Make sure there are no lumps of tomato paste.

4. Add the beef, stir thoroughly, then add can of crushed tomato and stir yet more.

5. Add the cup of lentils plus acup of water, press in 2 cloves of garlic and mix thoroughly. Add more water so that it is liquidy but not watery and cover, put on medium-low and set timer for one hour. You will have to stir it frequently, and add in more water as needed. This can get very thick if you do not add any more in.

6. With 20 minutes left on timer add the chopped bell peppers and start rice if you are having it.

7. with 5 minutes left add the broccoli and cover again. If you add more water at this point it will help soften the broccoli.

8. Serve once lentils are soft – should be any time now at this point. Don’t be afraid to add more water in at any point as it gets very thick, the lentils should absorb any extra.

9. Serve with Rice. Great with pickled vegetables!

Hope you enjoy the dish! Please see my previous blog if you want to learn how to do this via video.

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Beef Lentil Chilli Video

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas!

I put together a surprise today, Though it’s not a recipe.

Here for your enjoyment is my first ever cooking how-to video! I made a beef-lentil chilli. It’s delicious, and could very easily be vegetarian.
Click here for the recipe!

click here for the recipe

Have a good night, and a happy holiday!


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The Story of Cross Contamination

Hello Everybody!

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here, however I did just have a guest blog go live over on I’ve reposted it below, however please go over to the original post to show your support!

The Story of Cross Contamination

Cross contamination is the transfer of allergens or bacteria from one food or surface to another. This is something every cook deals with on a daily basis via hand washing and the constant cleaning that comes with kitchen life. People will and do get sick when cross contamination occurs.

Doctors recommend that persons diagnosed with Celiac or gluten sensitivity practice complete avoidance of gluten. It is very difficult for you to be able to do this if you are not aware of the dangers of cross contamination. Little things like a knife in a drawer could be a source of stomach pain, or perhaps it’s the double dipped jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. Before the explosion in gluten free foods, a lot of people with Celiac would refer to dining out as dying out. The chance of getting “glutened” at a careless restaurant is very high–but with a little effort you can tell if it is worth taking the chance with that location.

People who are gluten free by choice do not worry about cross contamination. It does not impact them the same way, as they will not get sick (or sick in the same way) after experiencing it. The explosion of people requesting gluten free meals is therefore a double edged sword. Restaurants are encouraged to offer more gluten-free options due to the increase in demand, however being that a certain percentage of their customers requesting them are not diagnosed Celiac, they do not need to be as careful with cross contamination to satisfy this population. Whereas for diagnosed Celiac or those with a high level of sensitivity to this allergen, these “gluten sensitive” menus may not offer any real options. This isn’t all bad news, though! By educating yourself you are able to lower the risk of getting sick while experiencing some really delicious food.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when dining out as a Celiac:
1.The Deep Fryer: If the restaurant does not have a dedicated deep fryer, food can be contaminated by using one that is shared with items containing gluten. Be sure to ask if the deep fryer is shared with other items before eating anything that is cooked in it.
2.The Quick Service line: Examples would be restaurants such as Subway or Quizno’s. While places like this would seem to be a good place to get a salad, every time items are placed on the sandwich there is a risk that crumbs have been transferred. You should only partake if they are willing to prepare your salad with the extra prepped vegetables they keep under the line.
3.The Buffet: While the large array of foods looks delicious, it only takes one person to contaminate everything. It would be best to avoid buffets completely – and I would if it were not for the Christmas party season. Those few times where I am forced to eat at a buffet, I will ask the staff what items are safe and try to get there first.
4.The Observation: You have to be the advocate for your health – and if you do not feel safe, you need to act on this. There have been plenty of meals out where I have decided NOT to eat as I was not sure the wait staff was listening to me, or I had doubts about the cleanliness of the restaurant. Take a peek at the food preparation areas you can see, and don’t be afraid to leave if you are worried.
5.The Flat Grill Top: The flat top that is used to cook diner-style or for breakfast cooking is usually one large heated surface that is often also used to toast bread. I usually ask for my eggs or hash browns to be cooked in a frying pan. If they aren’t willing, I order an omelette because they always are.
6.The Bakery: Gluten free baked goods are usually made at a separate time than the regular items or in a different bakery entirely, which is good. The risk with baking is that flour can escape into the air and slowly fall down over everything in the room if it is disturbed. If a bakery or donut restaurant has both gluten free and regular items, ask them what precautions they take. You may be surprised to find out that the delicious donut you are eating is not recommended for a Celiac!

Despite this list of risks, it is very possible to eat out as a Celiac. Be aware of your surroundings and your stomach will thank you. When you find restaurants that go out of the way to ensure you have a great time, reward them with return visits and positive reviews! (Tweet at the girls of GFYYC!) Build relationships with the people that feed you, and most importantly–enjoy.

Hopefully I was able to provide you with some information to help you keep healthy, and gluten free.

Thanks for listening!

Sean Emerson

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Thai spiced Buffalo and Mushroom Soup

I did it again. I made a soup. I really do try to tell myself that I’m not going to end up making another soup for my blog but I seem to do it again and again. No wonder that, I love soup and I would like to think that I’ve gotten fairly good at making them from any of the odds and ends I get ahold of.

This soup was directly caused by a trip to Old School Emporium, a green grocer in downtown Calgary that I have become quite fond of. Located Just off 17 Ave and 8 St in the corner of Mount Royal Village, they have a lot of local produce and product. With stock that includes gluten free products and locally made corn tortillas, they really do make me a happy celiac.

Now enough about the store – though they do have a part in this story. When last I was checking them out I noticed they have a table of “shabby produce”, things that while they may be past prime are still quite edible.. and really, why would I say no to a table full of bananas and vegetables at half off? It just SCREAMS soup to me! I was also pleased to find a special on frozen meat, getting myself the vacpac of bison stewing meat that I used in this dish.

IMG_20130603_195447 Close up on the finished soup

1 large pot of stock
2 sticks of lemon grass,
chilli’s fresh or dried, to taste
5 cardamom
2 clove
1 inchginger,
4 garlic,
small piece of dried galangal – it’ll still be good without
curry leaf – same with this, great with, still good without.
coconut oil
Bison stewing meat
Mushrooms – I had shitake and oyster
Copious amount of carrot
large onion

1. Add the spices to your stock after crushing them. Let this boil on the stove while you do prep
2. chop the carrots into 2 inch sticks ( allumette/matchstick), cut onion, and turnip to match.
3. rough chop the mushrooms, only if they are large
4. add a bit of coconut oil, turmeric, pepper, salt, cumin, chilli powder, rice flour to the bison meat and mix with hands until coated.
5. heat pot on stove with a small amount of coconut oil in it.
6. when hot, sear meat. deglaze with some of the stock after setting meat to the side.
7. sauté the vegetables in the pan immediately after deglazing. Once they start to soften add the meat back in and stir. It should all get juicy and delicious ( technical term of course)
IMG_20130603_193707 both juicy AND delicious.

8. add your mushrooms and give them a very quick stir
9. add the stock, pouring through a sieve to catch the spices as you do not want those in the finished soup.
10. Cook until delicious and eat. Soup is ready when the vegetables are soft and the meat is cooked through, it really did not take long at all to get delicious, mostly due to the spices being boiled in the soup beforehand.

I served my soup in a bowl. I was hungry, there was no side.


Hopefully you are able to recreate this soup, and enjoy it as much as I did!

Until next time,


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Cauliflower chicken curry


I made a curry today, and I made it quickly.  Thats the perk when you keep a cupboard of whole spices, and I took full advantage.

Because I did not portion my meat last time I shopped, I had to thaw more chicken than usual. No loss! It was delicious.

The players:
12 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
Half a head of Cauliflower
1 Onion
4 cloves of Garlic
2 carrots
about an inch of Ginger, grated
2 stalks of Celery
796ml can crushed tomato
2tbsp coconut oil
Large mixing bowl
Casserole dish

The spices:
5 cloves
10 all spice
2 Tbsp fenugreek seed (methi)
Seeds of 2 cardamom pods
Dried Galangal – a thai root spice, about 2 tsp of it was grated over the chicken.
2 bay leafs
Liberal amount of sriracha
1.5 tbsp sambal oelek chilli paste
2 tbsp tamari gluten free soy sauce

There were a lot of ingredients in this, but it comes together quickly.

Preheat oven to 400f. Start by putting everything in the bowl. Grate galangal over chicken, grind the other spices in a pestle after toasting and add them too.

Mix everything thoroughly together,  I suggest you use your hands to ensure an even coat on the  chicken. When done, pour it all in a casserole dish and bake uncovered in the oven. It took an hour and a half at 375f in my convection oven, 400f in a regular oven. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180f.

This dish turned out great for me, and I hope it works out for everyone else too. I was not planning on blogging it but after eating I had to share it! We had ours with rice, I added turmeric, cumin, tarragon, and a very small amount of rehydrated galangal to flavour the rice.

Until next time,


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