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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Garlic Walnut Sandwich Bread

This is a variation on Perfect Sandwich Bread.

2 1/2 cups GF flour blend (I used this one)
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. basil
1/3 cup walnut meal
1/2 cup lukewarm rice milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 beaten eggs
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
1 3/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast

Sift together the flour through the basil. Add the walnut meal and blend well, set aside.

Whisk together the rice milk through the garlic.

*For the bread machine, add the wet ingredients to the bottom of the pan. Add dry ingredients, covering the wet ingredients completely. Make a small well in the center and add the yeast. Set the bread machine to the gluten free setting and press start. I always help the bread mix with a spatula. After the bread has finished baking, remove immediately from the pan to a wire rack.

**To bake in the oven, mix the yeast in with the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients slowly while mixing and beat until blended. Scrape batter into a greased non-stick loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, let rise 35-45 minutes or until it rises to the top of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover with tin foil if needed and bake another 15-20 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn bread out of loaf pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spaghetti with Garlic and Cumin

This recipe has been in my recipe box for a long time. It's from Bon Apetite - you can find the original recipe here. It's fast and easy and DH really likes it.

6 ounces gluten free pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. salt or to taste

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions (about 8 - 10 minutes or until done). While the pasta is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add the olive oil mixture and toss to combine. Adjust with a little more olive oil or salt as desired and serve hot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kitchen Sink Fried Rice

I've tried several versions of fried rice over the years. Each time I tried, it seemed to lack "oomph". DH was never really impressed. There's been some leftover rice in the fridge for a couple of days and I thought I'd try again. I looked up another fried rice recipe and then decided to deviate from it. I wanted it to be a little needed some zip.

What I'm posting here is not authentic, but it is interesting and hopefully accessible too. I like the idea of throwing this together with whatever is available in the refrigerator, so the ingredients below are just a guide. I don't care for eggs in my rice, so I didn't put any in...but you do what you want. This recipe is loosely based on the one that can be found here.

2 tbsp. hot chili sesame oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup grated carrots*
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple, if desired*
3 cups cold cooked rice
1/4 cup wheat-free soy sauce (or UnSoy Sauce for soy-free folks)

Heat sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and toss for a couple of minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and ginger, toss for another minute. Add the chicken and peas, toss for another minute. Add the spinach and toss until wilted. Add the grated carrots, rice and soy sauce, toss until the rice turns brown and the dish is heated through. Adjust hot chili oil to taste, if desired. Serve hot.

*I did not use pineapple in the dish I made today...or grated carrots (but next time I will!). Instead I used 1/2 cup drained Hell of a Relish (a sweet-hot carrot relish) to add a slightly sweet, spicy zing to the dish.

Spring Chicken Soup with Quinoa

The other day I made Spicy (Vegan) Potato Curry and cooked some quinoa to go with it. I had some leftover quinoa and was mulling over options for its use when I found an appealing recipe in Eating Well for Spring Chicken and Barley soup. Clearly, barley is right out for us and I'm tired of using rice or pasta in soups. So I baked some chicken thighs, got out the leftover quinoa, mucked around a bit with the original recipe and came out with this. I really like the peas in the recipe, and the quinoa is unobtrusive. It gets the Megan stamp of approval, which is a high compliment in our house!

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 quart chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken*
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried basil or 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped chives

Heat oil in a medium pot. Add the onion and the garlic, cook until onion is soft. Add the chicken broth, cooked chicken, cooked quinoa, tomatoes, peas, salt, pepper and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chives, adjust salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

*If you don't have cooked chicken or quinoa, make these adjustments: cut a large boneless, skinless chicken breast into chunks. Add the raw chicken to the onion/garlic mixture, cooking until the onion is soft. Add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, tomatoes, peas, salt pepper and basil to the pot. Bring soup to a boil. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked. Stir in the chives and serve hot.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rich Fudgy Brownies

I have not made these brownies in a long time. I thought they were cake brownies since there is a frosting recipe that goes with them. But they turned out dense, decadent and too rich for frosting. I used coconut oil in place of the butter, which gave these brownies a pleasantly subtle coconut taste. The whole pan was gone in just a couple of days!

4 one ounce bars of unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and stir until blended. Spread into the prepared baking pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, cut into squares and serve.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have been wanting to try arepas for a long time, ever since I read Gluten Free Girl's wonderful post here about how to make them. But I can't find pre-cooked cornmeal anywhere locally. I have no problem finding corn flour, masa harina, cornmeal, corn tortillas, hominy...all those lovely gluten free mexican offerings. But no P.A.N. And then I stumbled across this arepa recipe here at Rice of Life that uses hominy instead of precooked cornmeal! I can definitely find hominy! I cannot describe my excitement over finding this recipe. (Rice of Life has so many wonderful sounding recipes - if you have not checked it out, you should!) So I made arepas with the ingredients found at Rice of Life and I followed the method found at Gluten Free Girl. They turned out so delicious that I made three batches in three days. Even the dough smells mouth-watering before cooking. Arepas are so easy to make, and so versatile. They can be stuffed with anything. They remind me of corn english muffins, only better. If you make them thin enough and split them open and stuff them, it's like having thin crispy crusts of gluten free goodness holding the filling together, it's just awesome. And delicious. I need to make more.

2 15oz cans white or yellow hominy, drained

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1 cup masa harina, plus more if needed

3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

Heat a griddle, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the hominy, olive oil and salt in a food processor. Slowly add the water in a thin stream and puree for a couple of minutes, or until the hominy looks smooth and creamy. Scrape into a bowl.

Add the masa harina and mix well. Add the scallions and stir to incorporate. Feel the dough with your hands. If it feels wet and sticky, add a little more masa harina.

Take a clump of dough and form it into a ball about the size of your palm. Flatten the ball into a circle about 1/2 inch thick and smooth the edges. If the dough is too dry, it will crack around the edges. If it is too wet, it will stick all over your hands. Adjust with just a little water or masa harina as necessary. After the dough is flattened, it should stick to your hand upside down for just a couple of seconds, like this:

Oil the hot griddle lightly, then place the arepas on the griddle. Cook until a light brown crust forms on the bottom, about 5 - 7 minutes.

Flip and cook on the other side until a crust forms, about another 8 minutes. Don't scorch them, and don't get impatient - the insides need to cook too.

Transfer the arepas to a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. Tap them - when done they should sound hollow. Cool slightly.

To split the arepas open, take a sharp knife, insert it about 1/2 inch into the crusty edge and run it all the way around. The arepa will fall open to reveal a slightly doughy inside - don't be alarmed, this is they way they should be. (If you run the knife all the way through the arepa, the insides will stick to the knife.)

Fill your arepa with anything. So far I've filled them with Cuban Shredded Pork and avocado slices, sliced tomatoes with basil and greens, fried egg and ham, and eaten them just plain. They'd also make good BLT's, chicken salad sandwiches...they'd make good anything, really!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GFCF Herbed Sandwich Wraps

The other day I made tomato GFCF Sandwich Wraps. They tasted amazing, but I was thinking that a wrap that could handle a mustard dressing would be nice. I looked to Gluten Free Gobsmacked for inspiration on how to use the herbs here. I was a little unsure of how it this trial would work without the added 1/3 cup tomatoes (or pesto). The first batch I made was too thick. It was a pain in the rear to spread onto the baking sheet and it kept tearing. The end result was good, but too thick. I tried it again, using more water. At first it looked soupy and I thought I had added too much. But after a minute the dough firmed up and the end result was easily spreadable. The wraps ended up being even more flexible than I thought they might be, and they tasted great with a mustard, lettuce and turkey filling. Now I have three wrap recipes under my belt to choose from. Variety is the spice of life!

1/4 cup rice flour OR sorghum flour

1/4 cup chickpea flour OR quinoa flour

1/4 cup potato starch flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch flour

1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. xanthan gum

1 3/4 tsp. yeast

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. vinegar

Whisk together the dry ingredients up to and including the pepper. Place in a food processor. Add the olive oil and vinegar. Turn the processor on and add 1/2 cup of water in a small stream. The mixture will look soupy - do not be alarmed. Wait a minute as it will firm up a bit. Take a bit of the batter between two fingers and feel it. If it feels like it will spread nicely with a little help with your spatula, you are done. Add a little more water if necessary.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Divide the batter between the two cookie sheets.

Flatten the batter a bit, then spray lightly with cooking spray. Patiently spread the batter with a spatula into a thin rectangle. If the batter tears open into little holes or wants to come away on the spatula, spray the spatula with a little cooking spray and continue spreading. Get it as thin as you can without it tearing. It should not be too thin (too thin is when you can see the parchment paper underneath the dough) or it will get crispy when baked.

Bake wraps at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. They should look lightly browned around the edges. Lift the wrap up and if it looks golden brown on the bottom, it is done.

Remove the wrap from the oven. Take the wrap, lift it off of the parchment paper, and lay it on a wire rack to cool. Cut each wrap in half for 4 wraps. Store in a baggie on the counter for up to 3 days.

*I like the rice and chickpea combination best, but sorghum and quinoa flours are great too. Cut back on the water and/or add a little more flour at the end to help thicken the dough. Sorghum and quinoa will absorb less than rice and chickpea.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vegetable, Rice and Lemon Soup

This is a good, simple soup that gets the Megan stamp of approval. She likes it with a little bit of pesto swirled into her bowl, which only increases the nutritional content of the soup.

8 cups chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, diced
1 cup chopped red, yellow or orange pepper
2/3 cup rice (I like short grain brown rice)

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste
parsley, optional

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion and rice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a lemon wedge for garnish, if desired.

Cuban Shredded Pork

I really like this recipe. It's easy, and even the cold leftovers taste great. The original recipe can be found here. I imagine this would also be good with chicken or turkey instead of the pork.

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
1 cup water
juice of 1 lime
8 black peppercorns
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
a couple pinches of salt

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
juice of 1 lime

Place pork loin in a greased crock pot. Add the water to the crock pot. To the water in the crock pot, add the lime juice, peppercorns and garlic. Sprinkle the thyme and the salt over top of the pork. Cover and cook on low 4 - 5 hours, or until the pork is cooked through. Turn off the heat, uncover the pork, and let rest until cool enough to handle. Remove the pork from the broth, remove excess fat, and shred. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the shredded pork and fry until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Add the onions and garlic and continue cooking until the onion is just tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice and toss well. Serve hot with rice and beans, if desired.

Shae's Hominy Soup

This soup is super fast to throw together. The lime juice really makes it good. Thanks to Shae for another great recipe!

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, such as Rotel, undrained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can hominy, drained
3 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges to serve

Combine Rotel through cumin in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, simmer another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges, which should be squeezed into each individual bowl of soup.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blueberry Corn Muffins

These muffins are almost too pretty to eat. I used a muffin pan that makes 6 large muffins so they would look more dramatic. Serve warm soon after removing from the oven, or serve split and broiled with maple syrup for breakfast.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup gluten free All Purpose Flour Blend

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup rice milk

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or line with baking cups, set aside.

Combine the cornmeal through the salt, whisking to blend. Make a well in the center. Whisk to gether the rice milk through the canola oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake about 15 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, February 9, 2009

GFCF "Buttermilk" Ranch Salad Dressing

I love Ranch Dressing. Sadly, most of it is taboo...unless I make it at home! I used to make this with a combination of mayo and sour cream, but I tried it with just mayo and it really was pretty good. It fixes that ranch dressing craving, at least!

2 tbsp. Ranch Dressing Base (such as Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch)
3 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. vinegar, lemon juice, or water
1/4 cup mayo (Whole Foods 365 brand is gluten, casein and soy free)
1/2 cup dairy free, soy free plain yogurt (such as So Delicious)
rice milk or other dairy free milk alternative for thinning, if desired

Combine the Ranch Dressing Base (I love Penzey's), water and vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the mayo and yogurt and whisk to blend. Thin if desired. This is great on salads, but my favorite way to enjoy this is with grape tomatoes. Yum.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

This is a Penzey's recipe, modified slightly. It's a good soup for a cold, rainy day. You can easily kick up the heat a bit if you wish by using more cayenne or using hot curry powder in place in the sweet curry powder. Megan loves this soup and begs me to make it for her on a semi-regular basis!

1 large head cauliflower
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sweet curry powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper

Rinse the cauliflower and cut it into small florets. Place the florets into a large pot. Add the vegetable broth, olive oil, curry, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

*You can add pasta to this recipe if desired - I recommend adding 1 cup of cooked pasta to the soup at the end.

Garlic and Mustard Crumbed Chicken

A neighbor gave me this recipe a long time ago. I've always liked it - the crumb coating reminds me of stuffing. Leftovers are good sliced and put on top of a green salad.

1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs, plus more as needed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 minced clove garlic
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley
2 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear a baking dish with olive oil, set aside.

Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Combine the olive oil through the parsley, whisking to blend. Dip the chicken into the mustard mixture, then coat in breadcrumbs. If desired, dip the coated chicken back into the mustard mixture and coat it again with the breadcrumbs. Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (a thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees). Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

Look what I found at my local Whole Foods! Gluten free ice cream cones!!

And guess how much they cost - less than $4! We've done without ice cream cones for a year because I didnt' want to shell out $9, plus shipping for the ones that sell online. I snapped up the two boxes that were on the shelf and bought some coconut milk ice cream as a treat. Anna had an ice cream cone for dessert tonight, and she was very happy. It's the little things I like doing for her, just to see the smile of pleasure on her face. It cost $8.50 for the ice cream and the cones and it was definitely money well spent.