Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

I found this recipe while searching for pumpkin recipes (because you know I cannot get enough of pumpkin at this time of the year), here at Karina's Kitchen. I tweaked it just a little bit, and they came out really good - very moist and not the least bit crumbly. I served them with Leek and Bacon Quiche, and everyone loved them. They'd be good halved and grilled for breakfast, too.

3 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup applesauce

3/4 pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin cups (or coat with cooking spray), set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until well combined. Add the oil, applesauce, pumpkin puree and brown sugar, beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon through the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just smooth.

Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm.

*Try substituting sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree for the pumpkin puree.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

White Bean "Hummus"

3 cups cooked white beans (great northern or cannellini) or 2 cans rinsed and drained
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried chopped thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until just smooth. Add a little more oil, or 2 tbsp water or chicken broth to thin the hummus if needed. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Nanny's German Potato Salad

This is my Nanny's recipe for German Potato Salad and of course, my very favorite.

6 white skinned potatoes

4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
dash salt and pepper

Wash potatoes and chop into 1 inch pieces. Cook in pot of boiling water and cool to room temperature. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels but keep the bacon fat in the frying pan. Cook onion in bacon fat until soft. Chop bacon and add to the potatoes together with the onion, scallions, celery and parsley. Heat and simmer the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. The longer you simmer the mixture the sweeter it will get - you don't want it to be too sweet (it should have a sweet bite). Pour the vinegar mixture over the potato mixture and toss. Prepare a couple of hours ahead of time and stir periodically - the potatoes will soak up the vinegar mixture. Serve at room temperature.

Irish Bread Pudding with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

This recipe is originally from Cooking Light, and it is Tom's favorite birthday dessert. So I end up making it at least once a year. This year, of course, I had to modify it to be gluten and casein free. I was a little apprehensive about this, because the original recipe is so fabulous. However I am very pleased to report that not only did it get Tom's approval, it got the approval of dinner guests too. The girls happen to love this recipe - they get the bread pudding without the caramel sauce (the alcohol bakes out of the bread pudding but not out of the sauce). Even without the sauce, they think this dessert is great. I use Jameson's Irish Whiskey exclusively for baking (and in case you are raising your eyebrows, I'll have you know that I don't like to drink whiskey, only bake with it - a bottle lasts a really long time in my kitchen!).

Irish Bread Pudding
1 1/3 loaves GFCF French Bread
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
1 14oz can lite coconut milk
1 cup rice milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 beaten eggs
cinnamon sugar - 2 tsp. sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice french bread in half lengthwise and put on a baking sheet, cut side up. Bake bread about 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.

Combine the raisins and the whiskey, let stand about 15 minutes or until the raisins are soft.

Whisk together the coconut milk through the eggs in a large bowl. Add the cubed bread and the raisin/whiskey mixture, pressing gently to moisten. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into a 13x9 inch pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the pudding. Bake 35 - 45 minutes, or until the pudding is set. Serve warm with Caramel Whiskey Sauce.

Caramel Whiskey Sauce
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut cream*
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
1/4 cup coconut milk

Combine the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Simmer another 15 minutes over medium-low heat until golden - do not stir. Remove from heat. Carefully add the coconut oil and the coconut cream, stirring well with a whisk. Cool slightly, then stir in the whiskey and coconut milk. Make one day ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce will thicken and turn from a translucent color to a milky white color.

*To get coconut cream, open a can of coconut milk (do not shake it first) and skim off the thick cream from the top.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls

Here is another attempt at making spring rolls. I filled them with fresh vegetables - julienned cucumber and sweet orange pepper and slices of avocado (bean sprouts would also be a nice addition). I hope I'm not making anyone cringe with my version of a spring roll - I'm just loving their fresh taste and using whatever I have in the kitchen to make them (which right now is not much - I need to go shopping!). I found a recipe for the Vietnamese dipping sauce here.

2 tbsp. fish sauce

3 tbsp. water

juice from 1/2 large fresh lime 1
minced clove garlic

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce

4 spring roll skins

2 ounces cooked rice vermicelli or mung bean threads
1 large pickling (salad) cucumber, julienned

1/3 sweet orange pepper or 1 carrot, julienned

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

For the sauce: Heat the fish sauce through the chili oil until the sugar is dissolved, set aside.

Dip spring roll skins one by one in a bowl of warm water until just beginning to soften. Layer on damp paper towels, set aside. The skins will continue to soften as you prepare the filling.

Divide the vegetables and vermicelli into 4 equal portions. Place 1/4 vegetables and vermicelli in the middle of a spring roll (I alternated dark and light colors). Top with a sprig of cilantro. Bring the top and bottom of the roll down about an inch and then roll from one side to the other. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve spring rolls with the dipping sauce on the side.

Thai Chicken Rolls

This recipe is one my sister-in-law made for me several years ago, just after Anna was born. It was nice to have someone else cook for me, and I remember liking her recipe a lot. The original recipe calls for flour wraps but I've substituted spring roll skins instead. Spring roll skins are easy to work with - the skin will stick to itself and hold the whole roll together. I'm not sure if I'm wrapping them exactly right, but it works well in the end!

2 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. cashew butter

3 tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce or UnSoy Sauce

3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 minced clove garlic

8 spring roll skins

8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
or meat alternative, if desired
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper

1 tbsp. canola oil

2 cups shredded broccoli and one medium red onion, thinly sliced, OR julienned carrots

leafy green lettuce, spines removed

Heat the sugar through the garlic until the sugar is dissolved, set aside.

Dip spring roll skins one by one in a bowl of warm water until just beginning to soften. Layer on damp paper towels, set aside. The skins will continue to soften as you prepare the filling.

Cook the chicken (if using) in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat, sprinkling with the garlic powder, salt and pepper, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and cut into bite-sized slices.

Saute the broccoli and onion 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. (I used carrots in place of the broccoli and onion and left them raw.)

Place leafy greens onto a spring roll, leaving about a 1/2 inch border all around. Center the chicken on top to one side, and broccoli mix (or carrots) to the other. Bring the top and bottom of the roll down about an inch and then roll from one side to the other. Cut rolls into halves and serve with cashew dipping sauce on the side.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

I look forward, every autumn, to the chance to buy a pie pumpkin and make some homemade pumpkin puree. Making pumpkin puree yourself is easier than it looks. Plus, it fascinates kids - my girls love watching the process of a pumpkin going from whole and round to gutted and cut into wedges, baked, pureed, and turning up in all sorts of delectable baked goods. They also can't get enough of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. It's a good partnership - I like turning a pumpkin into yummy treats, and they love eating the yummy treats.

Choose your Pumpkin - You should seek out a pie pumpkin, or sugar pie pumpkin. These pumpkins are less grainy and stringy than jack-o-lantern pumpkins and make better pies and baked goods. Choose a pumpkin that is weighty. Your pumpkin should feel heavy. If it feels light, it is old and dry inside.

Halve the pumpkin - A cleaver or any large sharp knife will do – just be careful to not put your fingers underneath the knife either on the pumpkin or your work surface, and don’t wrap your hand around the knife for leverage.

Scoop out seeds, saving them to roast for later. Scoop out strings with a spoon. Cut each pumpkin half into quarters.

Bake the Pumpkin - Place in 9x13 inch baking dish. Add only enough water to come up to the thick skin of the pumpkin – no more than that, or the pumpkin will get waterlogged and mushy. You want the pumpkin to steam, not to soak up water. Cover the baking dish with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick easily pierces the skin and goes through the flesh of the pumpkin.

Let cool. Take the skin off the pumpkin – you can peel it with a butter knife. If properly baked, the pumpkin in your hand should feel like soft cream cheese. It should not be watery or fall apart into pieces. If the pumpkin feels waterlogged, put the skinned pieces in a sieve over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight –the water should drain out of the pumpkin and into the bowl. (I follow this step regardless, just to make sure as much water comes out of the cooked pumpkin as possible.) Discard the water.

Make the Pumpkin Puree - Puree the pumpkin in a food processor. You will need to stop the machine a couple of times to push the pumpkin down with a spatula, so it all gets processed smoothly. Be patient, this will take several minutes.

The pumpkin puree should be nice and thick when done – it should be able to stick to a spoon turned upside down and it should hold its shape when swirled. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Roasting the Pumpkin Seeds - Clean the seeds in a colander over running water, fishing out any pumpkin pulp or strings. Spread on paper towels and blot dry. Remove seeds to a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil (canola, olive or grapeseed) and toss to coat. Sprinkle seeds liberally with salt. Bake at 250 degrees for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 5 minutes, or until seeds are golden brown (if they start popping like popcorn in the oven, take them out – they are done!).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easy Crock Pot Chili with Vegetables

So I have a friend who introduced me to Frito Pie last month. Basically, it's Texas stadium food - take a one serving size bag of Fritos, slice open the top, pour in some chili, shake it up and eat it with a spoon out of the bag. I couldn't believe my ears when she told me about it, and then she decided to make some. Since then, I've taken every chance I can to indulge in a little Frito's become my little guilty pleasure. And the best part is, it's gluten free! Here's a basic chili I make in the crock pot. You can serve it with Fritos (put some chili in a bowl and top it with Fritos instead of slitting open a Frito bag in your dining room) or serve with cornbread or french bread and a green salad.

1 pound lean ground chuck or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 small zucchini, seeded and diced
1 small yellow squash, seeded and diced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can chili beans, undrained OR 1 can pinto beans, drained plus 1/2 cup salsa
2- 3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground chuck or ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat, draining off the fat. Place into crock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, cover and cook on low 5 - 6 hours or until the chili is bubbly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Homemade Chicken Stock

I make chicken stock all the time in the crock pot. You can use a cooked chicken carcass, or raw chicken bits fit for soup (wings, drumsticks, leg quarters, etc.). You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand....celery, carrots, onions, leeks, summer squash, zucchini,'s all good. Now, I'm not going to give you measurements....sorry. I am never exact with chicken stock. But don't worry...your end product will be healthy and perfectly suitable as a base for soups or what-have-you.

Put a chicken carcass into your crock pot, or 2 or 3 chicken leq quarters, or what-have-you
cover with water
add 2 peeled, chopped carrots, 2 large chopped stalks celery and 1 large onion cut into eights (or 1 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped summer squash, 1 large chopped leek, or some combination thereof)
add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
toss in a sprig of thyme, rosemary, parsley, or dill (or 1 tsp. dried)

Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours (or simmer on stove top about 1 1/2 hours)
strain broth
adjust salt to taste
cool and skim fat off the top
store broth in the fridge and use within a week, or store in the freezer for future use

Homemade Beef Stock

It is nearly impossible to find prepared beef broth that is "safe" (gluten, casein and soy free)...there is most likely caramel color and "natural flavorings" along with maltodextrin in store bought beef broth and these things are all red flags for hidden gluten or casein. Nevermind the use of soybean oil. The only beef broth I've found that looks safe is Kitchen Basics, sold in Central Market, and it's 2.79 per quart. There has to be a better way.

I make homemade chicken stock all the time with leftover chicken carcasses (ours and Shae's - thanks Shae!). We hardly eat beef, but sometimes beef broth comes in handy such as for making UnSoy Sauce or Quinoa Pilaf. So I went to Central Market and asked the butcher for beef soup bones. They had none...but the butcher had been a chef for many years and he told me how to make beef stock using short ribs. Okay, they didn't have short ribs either, but finger ribs would do. He told me how to make it, and my mouth started watering. Now I really had to make my own beef stock, drat it. I picked up a pound of finger ribs for 4.90/pound, which will make 1 gallon of beef stock...still half the price of the purchased beef broth. Plus a house that smells fabulous...I'm sold. Use homemade beef stock within one week or store it in the freezer for future use.

1 pound beef short ribs (or something similar)
2 carrots, peeled and thickly chopped
2 stalks celery, thickly chopped
1 large onion, cut into eighths

Place ribs, carrots, celery and onions in a roasting pan smeared with olive oil. Slowly roast at 275 degrees for a couple of hours, turning occasionally, until the meat starts to fall off the bones (adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking). Throw the bones with the meat together with the vegetables in a large soup pot. Pour the fat off the roasting pan, then pour enough dry red wine into the bottom of the roasting pan to deglaze the pan (which means, scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan). Put all of the results of the deglazing process into the soup pot. Add water to cover and slowly simmer about an hour or two. Strain broth and discard the meat, bones, veggies and little bits. Season broth to taste with salt and pepper. You should have about a gallon of beef stock. Cool and skim fat off the top. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

GFCF Meatballs

These meatballs are kid-friendly and both my girls will eat them. I'll admit to a little white lie ("Megan, these are cowboy burgers!" ...something they respond to and like. Fingers crossed behind back..."Oh, you like them?! Well I call them cowboy meatballs! Aren't they great?!"). The addition of the egg and tomato sauce makes them moist, an important consideration for little girls who does not like dry meat textures.

1 package ground turkey (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup GFCF breadcrumbs*
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. My girls like these topped with Spinach Pesto.

*Take the ends off your GFCF sandwich bread and let them dry out for a day or two on your counter. Then whizz them in your food processor until you get crumbs.

GFCF Pumpkin Pie (My Mom's Pumpkin Pie)

There are few things better than homemade pumpkin pie. Actually, I love all things pumpkin. My husband dreads every autumn when I go into a pumpkin baking frenzy. There's something so fabulous about this humble orange squash, I just can't help it.  This is my mom's  pumpkin pie recipe (modified, of course, to be gluten-free and casein-free) and it's the only pumpkin pie I will make - it's the best. The molasses makes the pie dark...if that bothers you, substitute honey instead. I've substituted coconut milk for evaporated milk and happily, there is no hint of coconut taste in the finished pie.

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15 oz. can solid packed pumpkin)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tbsp. molasses or honey
3 beaten eggs
1 cup lite coconut milk
pie pastry for single crust pie

Combine pumpkin puree through the molasses and stir to combine. Add the eggs and the coconut milk and blend well. Pour into a pie plate lined with pie pastry and bake at 425 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set (the center will not jiggle when moved, and sides of the pie are puffy but not cracked). You can check with a butter knife - the knife should come up clean, but a crack will remain in your pie.

Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

I love butternut squash and try to use it as much as I can during the autumn months. This beef stew with butternut is really good, and a nice departure from more traditional beef stew. I found the recipe here.

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 large minced cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup dry red wine
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
french bread for serving

Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the onions through the pepper and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Toss the beef in the rice flour. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine to the pot, stirring up the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the squash and the beef broth and stir, making sure the broth covers the beef and the butternut squash. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for about an hour, until the squash is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and serve with french bread.

Gluten Free & Vegan French Bread!

I was so excited when I saw this recipe for french bread in Living Without, so excited that I special ordered a french bread pan. My french bread came out really good - slightly chewy with a pretty crumb. I was too impatient to take the extra steps of putting a bowl of water in the oven while the bread baked to get a crunchy crust. I didn't think to brush the top of the loaf with olive oil for a shiny crust. I forgot to take the bread out of the pan and put it on the oven rack to bake for an extra 5 minutes so it could get a nice, crusty bottom. So the outside of my bread looked a little unpolished, but the inside of my bread tasted great. The girls like it! Next time I'll remember to do the little tricks to make it look more french-bready than batter-bready, but seriously, I'm pretty happy with this! Don't let the idea of gluten free, casein free french bread intimidate you - it's very easy to make (and even easier to eat). My favorite way to enjoy french bread is warm and dipped in olive oil and salt. It's also good dipped in soup, spread with hummus or olive tapenade, topped with tomato and sprinkled with salt and pepper....oh my, I need to go make some more french bread!

3 cups high protein flour blend
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast or 2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1 -2 tsp. dried rosemary or other herb (I used 1 tsp. dried rosemary)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
cornmeal for dusting

Lightly spray a double french bread pan with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal. Set aside.

Sift together the flour through the herbs. Combine the olive oil and warm water and addt to dry ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes.

Spoon half of the dough into each loaf pan, spreading the dough into the shape of a french loaf - this is easiest done with a greased spatula (spray spatula with cooking spray as needed while spreading the batter). The loaves should each be 10 - 12 inches long.

Cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, or until the loaves are doubled in size and the middle of the loaves come to the top of the bread pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, cover with tin foil if browning too fast, and bake another 10 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

*Update 10/16/08 - I put a bowl of water in an ovenproof bowl with 1 cup of water in it on the lowest rack of the oven for the first 15 minutes while baking. Then I removed the bowl of water and finished baking the bread. The crust turned out nice and crispy, more like french bread.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

High Protein (Rice and Chickpea) Flour Blend

This high protein flour blend recipe comes from Living Without - this blend is good in wraps, pie crusts, sandwich bread and french bread.

1 1/4 cups chickpea flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup brown rice flour

Sift all ingredients together until well combined. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shae's Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup with Coconut "Sour Cream"

My friend Shae makes the only black bean soup I have ever liked - Megan likes it too. Yesterday I asked him how to make it and he gave me a list of ingredients - add this, toss in some of that - you know, the Swedish Chef method. I love that. So I made his soup last night, omitting carrots and adding potato and lime juice to his recipe. He told me to add chipotle in adobo sauce, but didn't tell me how much. I threw in half a can, tasted the broth and nearly had to find a fire extinguisher for my mouth. I put the chipotles back in the can and estimated about 2 tsp. of adobo sauce remained in the soup. It worked out well in the end. Shae says don't add more than one or two chipotles, otherwise you risk SCHOD - Spicy Chile Hiccups of Doom.

1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water  
6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth  
1 - 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced, or up to 1 tbsp. adobo sauce
3 chopped stalks celery
1 small onion, diced  
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained  
1 medium russet potato, chopped  
2 tsp. ground cumin 
  1 tsp. dried oregano  
1 bay leaf
1 - 2 tsp. salt to taste  
3 tbsp. lime juice  
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or more to taste

After soaking the beans in water overnight, drain and rinse. Cover them with water by about 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Drain beans and put them in a crock pot.

To the beans add the chicken broth through the bay leaf. Stir, cover and let cook overnight (about 10-12 hours). Turn off the crock pot and let the soup cool a little bit. Discard the bay leaf.

Puree about half the soup in a blender (I pureed all the potatoes as well for a more silky texture. If you use chipotles, make sure to blend them too). Return the puree to the pot and stir. Add salt, lime juice and cilantro to taste. Serve hot with tortilla chips or if your soup is very thick, put some cooked rice in a bowl and pour some soup over top of the rice.