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

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Favorite Chocolate Dessert (with Raspberry Sauce)

This is my personal favorite chocolate oblivion type of dessert. It's simple, easy to make, velvety and smooth. I prefer fruit-based desserts almost all of the time, but this dessert is a good change of pace. The raspberry sauce helps, of course. And it easily kills any hint of chocolate craving in just a few bites...a little goes a long way!

16 one oz. squares semi-sweet chocolate
2/3 cup dairy free, soy free margarine (such as Earth Balance)*
5 eggs

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. GF All Purpose Flour Blend

two half-pint containers fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. tapioca starch

2 tbsp. water

fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and margarine over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs 2 minutes. Slowly add chocolate mixture to eggs, beating constantly - continue beating for several minutes. Add sugar and flour and beat until just mixed. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake 15 minutes - cake will not be set in the center. Remove from oven and cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Before slicing, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen and remove the side from the pan. Cut into 12 or 16 wedges (be mindful of the parchment paper on the bottom).

Make the sauce:
Combine raspberries, 1 1/2 cups water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered about15 minutes. Strain through a sieve, pushing as much raspberry pulp through the sieve as possible and discard the seeds. Return to the saucepan. Combine tapioca starch and 2 tbsp. water, stir until smooth. Add tapioca mixture to the raspberry mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat and cool.

To serve, spoon about 2 tbsp. sauce onto each dessert plate. Place a thin wedge of chocolate dessert on the sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a bit of powdered sugar, if desired. Serves 12 - 16.

*Coconut oil would also be nice in place of the margarine.

Friday, June 19, 2009

GFCF Blueberry Crisp

2 pints blueberries, rinsed and dried (about 5 cups)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. tapioca starch
1/4 tsp. nutmeg or mace

1/3 cup All Purpose GF flour blend
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg or mace
1/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or gluten-free oats or even uncooked buckwheat hot cereal)
1/2 cup walnut meal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease one 8 inch square baking pan, set aside.

Combine the blueberries, lemon peel and lemon juice in a large bowl, toss to coat. Stir together the sugar, tapioca starch and nutmeg or mace and add to the blueberries, tossing well. Pour blueberry mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Combine the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg or mace. Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Stir in the quinoa flakes and walnut meal and pour over the blueberries, spreading evenly. Bake 35 minutes or until the topping is lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Savory Wild Rice Pancakes

These pancakes make a good light dinner accompanied by a salad. We like them topped with just a bit of Earth Balance soy-free margarine.

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large stalk celery, diced
3 green onions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1/2 cup GF flour blend
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Scrape the celery into a medium mixing bowl, return the pan to the heat and add the remaining oil to the pan.

To the celery in the bowl add the scallions, rice, egg and vegetable broth, mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper, mix well.

Drop batter by large tablespoonfuls onto the hot skillet. Cook until little bubbles form on top of the pancakes and bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. Remove to a plate and keep warm until ready to serve. Makes about 6 pancakes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crock Pot Turkey Breast with Gravy

Like chicken, turkey is very easy to make in the crock pot. I used this recipe here as my guide. I like the onion in the recipe - it flavors the turkey broth in the pot, which makes a good soup base or gravy. So inspired, I splurged on making gravy to accompany dinner. Instead of using cornstarch to thicken the gravy I used tapioca starch - it takes a lot less tapioca starch than cornstarch to thicken gravy!

1 5 - 6 pound turkey breast
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
olive oil
liberal seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper, garlic and herbs...I used Penzey's Turkish Seasoning)

Smear the crock pot with olive oil. Place onion slices on the bottom of the crock pot to create a barrier between the turkey and the bottom of the crock pot. Pour the chicken broth over the onions. Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Place the turkey breast side up in the crock pot and smear with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings. Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook about another 5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the crock pot and let sit 10 minutes before slicing. Strain the turkey juices in the pot and discard the solids. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of broth for the gravy, saving any remaining broth for a future use (such as Leftover Turkey and Gravy Soup).

For the Gravy: In a small saucepan, whisk together 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. tapioca starch until smooth. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the turkey broth. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir and cook 1 minute more. Add additional turkey broth if needed to thin the gravy as desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Emily's Chocolate Oblivion

This recipe is originally called Chocolate Suicide, by Rick Mayer. I dislike the word suicide so I renamed it Chocolate Oblivion. The recipe comes by way of a friend's mom who wanted to know if I could make it gluten and casein free. Here it is, Emily - I hope you like it! I'm sorry there are no pictures...well there are, but they are still in the camera. I'll post them when the desktop is up and running again.

Chocolate Oblivion
Start this cake several hours before you serve it. The original recipe called for making the cake with a box of devil's food cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 3 large eggs. I was not about to spend $6 on a gluten free cake mix, so I made my own cake and proceeded with the recipe as directed. The original recipe also called for adding 4 tbsp. butter to the ganache which I simply omitted, and placing 10 chocolate-dipped strawberries on top of the cake. I placed three chocolate-dipped strawberries in the middle of the cake (because the girls had gotten to the strawberries first) and it looked just as pretty.

For the cake:
1 GFCF Best-Loved Chocolate Cake, baked and cooled

Set aside two 8 inch cake layers for the Chocolate Oblivion. Wrap the third layer and freeze it for later (this is great for surprise guests - thaw the cake and sprinkle the top with fresh raspberries and powdered sugar and ta-da! - you have a reasonably spiffy dessert).

For the ganache:
10 ounces casein-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just starting to simmer. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate chips. Let stand 30 seconds to soften, then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the vanilla extract and set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the garnish:
strawberries (10 or 3 or however many seems good to you), rinsed, dried and unhulled

Make the Oblivion:
Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with a circle of wax paper, set aside.

Into the bowl of a large standing mixer, break the two cake layers into 1 inch chunks. Pour 1 1/3 cups of the ganache over the cake. Mix on medium speed about 1 minute or until the mixture becomes the consistency of fudge - not too stiff and not soupy (add a little more ganache or ccoconut milk if the mixture seems too stiff). Scrape the mixture into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top - this should not be too difficult but it will take a minute of work to get the top smoothed just right. Cover the surface of the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour or until firm and easy to unmold.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Pull back the plastic wrap and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Replace the plastic wrap. Remove the side of the springform pan. Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake. Remove the bottom of the springform pan and reinvert the cake onto a serving plate. Discard the plastic wrap.

Surround the cake with strips of plastic wrap to keep the serving plate clean while you frost the cake. Reserve 1/4 cup of ganache for dipping strawberries. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache once. Let the ganache set(this won't take long as the cake will be cold), then frost the cake with a second layer of ganache, making the ganache look as smooth and silky as possible. Remove and discard the plastic wrap around the edge. Let the ganache set again.

Dip the strawberries into the 1/4 cup of reserved ganache so they are half covered in chocolate. Place the strawberries on top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until 1 hour before ready to serve.

Monday, June 8, 2009

GFCF Best-Loved Chocolate Cake

This is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, modified to be gluten, casein and soy free, of course! Sorry there is no picture...our computer is still dead and our camera won't work with the laptop we have on loan. But rest assured, this cake is good. The girls prefer it with frosting, but I like it with ganache!

3/4 cup palm shortening
3 eggs
2 cups All-Purpose GF flour blend
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dairy free milk alternative, such as rice milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the cake pans with with parchment paper or waxed paper, set aside.

Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside.

Beat shortening on high speed for 30 seconds. With the mixer running, add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating until well combined (about 3 minutes). Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and the rice milk alternately to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.

Divide batter evenly among the pans and spread to smooth. Bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and peel off parchment paper. Cool completely on wire racks. Frost as desired.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

No Bake Cookies

When DH and I were first married, we lived in an apartment on the third floor of a family's house. We were boarders, I guess. We had no kitchen, and although we were invited to use the family's kitchen downstairs for cooking and washing dishes, I felt a little funny about invading their space. So I bought a little two-burner stove thing for the countertop and we made meals using that, a crock pot, and an electric skillet. I occasionally baked using the oven downstairs, but I ran across this recipe for No Bake Cookies (from my mom's stash of recipes) and I ended up making them often.

It's funny how little life can change even after many years. A decade later, we have two kids and an oven, but our kitchen is almost as small as that one we had upstairs when we were first married. I do a lot of cooking in the crock pot. Sometimes I wish we had an electric skillet, too, but there's no space for one. And I'm hauling out this recipe again to try to beat the heat of summer while satisfying the sweet-toothed children in the house.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of oats. We can't do oats, so I substituted quinoa flakes, buckwheat cereal and walnut meal and it tastes just the same as I remember it. (If you can do oats, feel free to substitute 3 cups of gluten free oats for the quinoa flakes, buckwheat and walnut meal.)

I like the crunchy texture the buckwheat gives to these cookies and so does Anna! I'm excited to report that these cookies are Anna-approved - she inhaled two within the space of a heartbeat and then asked for more. I'm especially excited about having found quinoa flakes. I've finally found a way to get quinoa into my kids!

No Bake Cookies
1/2 cup dairy free, soy free margarine, such as Earth Balance*
1/2 cup rice milk or other dairy free, soy free milk alternative
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quinoa flakes
1/2 cup cream of buckwheat hot cereal, uncooked
1/2 cup walnut meal
6 tbsp. cocoa powder
powdered sugar for coating

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the dry buckwheat hot cereal over medium heat, stirring often, until light brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a medium pot, stir together the margarine, rice milk and sugars. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Stir together the quinoa flakes, toasted buckwheat, walnut meal and cocoa powder. Pour this into the wet ingredients in the pot and stir until well-blended. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

Sift about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a medium bowl. With wet fingers to keep the cookies from sticking to you, form a rounded teaspoons of batter into a ball and roll to coat evenly in the powdered sugar. Shake off excess sugar and place cookie onto a piece of waxed paper. Repeat until all the dough has been used. Place cookies in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*Although I have not tried this, I think these cookies would do well with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup applesauce in place of the margarine. I'll try that next time.

**I may also try adding 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the cookies.

Update 6/5/09 - I just ran across another recipe for GFCF No Bake Cookies here that has peanut butter as an ingredient. That sounds good! Next time I'll play around with my recipe and add some cashew butter to the cookies.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Corn Chowder

I love chowders. This one turned out really good with So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage (in the refrigerated section). It's thicker than rice milk and it's white like cows milk, so the look and feel of the soup is perfect. It does not have a strong coconut taste at all - the soup actually tastes like real corn chowder and not like coconut-corn chowder!

5 ears fresh corn, or one 16oz package frozen corn, thawed

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups water*

1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, such as
So Delicious
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 slices cooked bacon, diced

1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes or 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife (do not cook the corn first).
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the potato. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook uncovered another 10 minutes or until the potato is cooked through.

Process half of the corn/potato mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth and return to the soup pot.
Stir the coconut milk, salt and pepper into the soup in the pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the bacon and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Adjust salt and pepper as desired.

*Chicken broth can be used in place of the water, just reduce the salt to 1/4 tsp.