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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Red Lentil Soup with Kale and Lime

What am I doing posting a lentil soup recipe on Thanksgiving Eve? Well, you can blame it on the kale.

I'm a newcomer to kale. I've had an irrational hatred of it since college, where Physical Plant dug up all the pretty flowers on campus and replaced them with ornamental kale. I thought they were ugly. And a vegetable, not a fair flower. Nothing about them looked fair or lovely to me at all. And nobody took care of them, so they looked even worse when they bolted. I've turned my nose up at kale for a long time even while knowing that kale is very nutritious. And then a friend served an Italian white bean soup with kale for dinner one night. I had to eat it or be extremely tactless. So I tried it. And I loved it. The soup was delicious and the kale was yummy, to say the least.

Ever since my friend forced me to eat kale, I've been a little obsessed with the stuff. I made a beef stew with harvest vegetables a few days ago and threw some kale in there. It was good, but not post-worthy. But this Red Lentil Soup with Mustard Greens and Lime at Rice of Life looked intriguing. So I made it today with a few changes and wow, is it ever good! I'm tempted to hide this soup in the back of the fridge and keep it all to myself. The tumeric gives the soup a pretty color and the lime juice really brightens the flavors. The original recipe calls for mustard greens, but any leafy green will work. I am partial to the kale, of course.

So this is the soup I will serve my friend. Take that, Italian white bean soup with kale.


2 cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 tbsp. tumeric
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. cumin
2/3 large bunch kale, washed, patted dry and chopped
juice of two limes, plus more to taste
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
cooked rice for serving, if desired

Place the vegetable broth, water, lentils, tumeric and 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the lentils are soft and start to dissolve, about 20 minutes. Add a little more water to thin if needed.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and mustard seed and cook until the onion is soft, about 15 minutes. Add the cumin and cook until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Scrape the onion mixture into the soup. Add the kale to the soup and stir. Simmer 5 - 10 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and soft. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper. Adjust lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, if desired.

GFCF Cranberry Apricot Oat-free Cookies


This is originally a Penzey's recipe. I've replaced the coriander with cardamom and adapted it to be oat free as well as gluten and casein free because Megan is sensitive to oats. I just love using buckwheat in place of oats in my baking but if you don't, substitute 1 1/2 cups gluten free oats for the buckwheat. I also just love soft, chewy cookies and at first was afraid that these would be thin and crunchy but they turned out to be thin and chewy, which I like! So does Anna - every time she eats one of these cookies I'm afraid she's going to burst into song!

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup palm shortening
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)*
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup walnut meal or pecan meal
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup uncooked buckwheat hot cereal (I use Pocono Cream of Buckwheat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.

Sift together the flour through the nut meal, set aside.

Cream together the sugars and the shortening. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and beat until blended. Add the apricots, cranberries and uncooked buckwheat and stir until blended.

Scoop teaspoon (the kind you stir your coffee with, not the measuring spoon) sized balls of dough and drop them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet to allow for spreading. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet one minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes a little more than 2 dozen cookies.

*Next time I might add another 1/4 cup flour blend to see the cookies will puff up a bit more instead of flattening out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

GFCF Brown Sugar Butternut Pie

I have been a fan of this Cooking Light recipe for 10 years. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long! I fell in love with this silky squash pie before Anna was born...while DH was in grad school and I was working, and we had time and money to spend on dinner parties and hosting family for holiday meals. Having kids sure does change a lot, as does the discovery of food allergies and sensitivities. Yet even after adapting this recipe to be GFCF friendly, it remains one of my favorite pies.

Circumstances may have changed, but the memories this pie and many other favorite recipes invoke remain the same. I find myself returning to thoughts of family and friends, of laughter and love, recipe after recipe. Pie after pie. What I do in the kitchen is a labor of love in more ways than one. Not only do I meet the needs of my family, I'm creating memories for my children. I'm linking them to my past while building traditions they can take into their future. So that someday when they are far from home, family and memories are just a recipe away.

You can find Cooking Light's original recipe here.

Brown Sugar Butternut Pie
pie pastry for one-crust pie
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 3 cups cubed)
3/4 cup lite coconut milk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a pie plate with the pie pastry. Trim the edges and flute as desired. Set aside.

Steam the squash in a double boiler until soft, about 10 minutes. Place squash in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. You want this to be thick so avoid adding extra water. You should have about1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of squash puree.

In a large bowl combine the pureed squash through the eggs, beating until well-combined. Pour squash mixture into the pastry lined pie plate. Place the pie in the oven and bake until the filling is set (sides are puffy but not cracked), about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

GFCF Pumpkin Spice Cake


I made this cake for DH's birthday. It drove the girls mad all day to look at the cake but have to wait until Daddy got home to eat it. This is the same basic recipe as Applesauce Spice Cake (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens), with just a few variations. I tried making homemade powdered sugar to frost the cake with - it went well until my blender broke! So it can be done and it will be cheaper to make than to buy...I just need a new blender.

2 cups All Purpose GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup palm shortening
1 1/2 cups cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
enough rice milk plus 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar to equal 1 cup of liquid
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan or two 8 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper, with cooking spray. Set aside.

Sift together the flour through the ginger, set aside. Combine the rice milk, vinegar and pumpkin puree, set aside.

In a large bowl beat shortening and sugar until well combined. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan or muffin tins.

Bake cake about 30 minutes if using 8 inch pans, 40 minutes if using 9x13 inch dish, or cupcakes about 15 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 8 inch cakes 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Mock Buttercream Frosting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grain-Free Meatballs with Red Wine Gravy

As I was looking for a meatball and gravy recipe the other day, I ran across a recipe for Braised Meatballs in Red-Wine Gravy at Epicurious. Originally I envisioned making something like Swedish Meatballs but decided this recipe looked better. I ended up trying it three ways - one with a white wine/mustard gravy served over turkey meatballs, one with the original red wine/tomato paste gravy and one with a red wine/mustard gravy over beef meatballs. I really did not care for the red wine with tomato paste at all. But both red and white wine gravies turned out great with dijon mustard replacing the tomato paste. The girls liked the meatballs without gravy, which is fine - DH and I got it all to ourselves!

I did muck around a lot with the original recipe, using it more of a guide than anything else. But it was good inspiration. I nixed the breadcrumbs in favor of potato flour as I'm trying to reduce the grains in my diet, but I think almond flour would work well too. You can find the original here at Epicurious.

Consider serving over top of Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Puree - this was really yummy!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tbsp. potato flour (or 3- 4 tbsp. almond flour)
2 large eggs
1 small diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram

1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with a little olive oil, set aside.

Combine the ground beef through the marjoram, mixing well. Scoop heaping teaspoons and form into meatballs (I got about 24). Place on baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, whisk the wine through the mustard in a small saucepan. Heat slowly without simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the meatballs to a serving plate. Add the red wine gravy to the baking sheet and deglaze. Pour gravy back into the small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reducing to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour gravy over meatballs and sprinkle with a little parsley. Serve hot.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Puree

I've been on a roasted vegetable kick lately (see guide to roasting vegetables, yum!). I've made so much roasted broccoli in the past few weeks, it's a wonder DH has not said "enough already!". So in order to hide the fact we'd be having more roasted veggies the other night for dinner, I decided to serve up a puree instead. Actually I was intending to make a roasted cauliflower soup, but I thought cauliflower might make an interesting substitution for potatoes. And boy am I glad I tried it - it was so good - mellow and sublime, it didn't taste like cauliflower at all. DH said it was better than mashed potatoes, which is saying a lot. We enjoyed it so much that I can't wait to make more...maybe for Thanksgiving!


6 large cloves garlic, or 1/2 head of garlic
1 large head cauliflower
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more to taste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
chicken broth or water or vegetable broth
pinch smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tips off each clove of garlic. Place in an oven-safe bowl, cut tops up, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast about 30 minutes or until fragrant and soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you roast the cauliflower.

While the garlic is roasting, rinse cauliflower and cut into florets of equal size. Pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the cauliflower with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet smeared with olive oil. After the garlic is done roasting, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Roast the cauliflower about 25 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven.

Place the cauliflower florets into a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of its cloves into the food processor. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and while it's running, add a little bit of chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (or more olive oil for a richer taste) until the mixture is smooth. Adjust lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should be thick and not runny, able to hold its shape on a plate. Turn the puree into a serving dish and dust with a little smoked paprika. Serve warm.

Guide to Roasting Vegetables

Lately I have been all about roasted vegetables...carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, onions, squash, etc. Roasting makes vegetables mellow and brings out their natural sweetness. Megan will actually eat roasted broccoli without hardly blinking, where she'll protest with steamed broccoli. I don't usually get too fancy...sometimes I'll add minced garlic during the last 10 minutes of roasting, or toss in a little lemon juice, but I find that when roasting veggies, less is more. Just a little olive oil, salt and pepper is all they really need.

Pick your veggie
onions - peeled and quartered
carrots or parsnips- peeled and thickly sliced diagonally
potatoes - scrubbed, washed, peeled if desired and chopped into 1 inch pieces
yellow squash or zucchini - scrubbed and thickly sliced
butternut or pumpkin - peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
broccoli or cauliflower - rinsed and patted dry, cut into florets (try to keep florets the same size)

Dress your veggie
Place veggies in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (start with 2 tbsp.), sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and add a little lemon juice (1 tbsp.) if desired. You can toss in some herbs too, such as thyme (1/2 tsp. dried). Toss until veggies are well coated. Spread on a baking sheet that has been smeared with a little olive oil.

Roast your veggie
Roast at 425 degrees about 25 minutes (for softer veggies such as squashes and onions, roast at 375 for about 40 minutes) , stirring halfway through, until easily pierced with a toothpick. If roasting broccoli or cauliflower, roast until the tips are caramelized and lightly browned .

Roasting garlic
Garlic should be roasted a bit differently. Take a head of garlic, or a half head of garlic, and cut off the tips of each clove with a sharp knife. Put the garlic cut side up in a small oven-safe bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 350 - 375 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and soft. Cool until easily handled, then from the bottom of the clove squeeze the garlic out of the skin. Garlic this way is excellent plain and spread on a piece of french bread or tossed with other roasted vegetables.

Friday, November 13, 2009

GFCF Applesauce Spice Cake

This is another adaptation from Better Homes and Gardens. I find myself going back to their cookbooks again and again. Of all cake recipes, this one is my favorite. I recently made this for (non-GFCF) friends and they loved it too.


2 cups All Purpose GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup palm shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 cup rice milk
1 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan or two 8 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper, with cooking spray. Set aside.

Sift together the flour through the ginger, set aside. Combine the rice milk and applesauce, set aside.

In a large bowl beat shortening and sugar until well combined. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and applesauce mixture alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan or muffin tins.

Bake cake about 30 minutes if using 8 inch pans, 40 minutes if using 9x13 inch dish, or cupcakes about 15 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 8 inch cakes 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Mock Buttercream Frosting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GFCF Pear Custard Pie

I've wanted to convert this recipe for over a year. Finally, it's done! This is another tattered recipe I got from a friend of a friend many years ago. As far as favorite pear pies go, this is neck and neck with spiced pear pie. I especially love this no-roll pie crust - it's not crumbly in the least and holds up well in the transfer from pie plate to serving plate. And it behaves nicely too...I'm not sure how to describe the feel of it, but way the edges roll and flute make me happy. The filling is good too, it tastes far richer than it really is...this pie is a treat all around. And this ends this year's string of pear recipes!


Crust
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine or shortening/ghee blend
1 egg, beaten

1 1/3 cup All Purpose GF flour blend


Filling
6 ripe Bartlett pears

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
2 tbsp. coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. All Purpose GF flour blend


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


For the crust, cut the margarine into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine meal. Add the egg and mix until well-blended. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crust. Pat the remaining crust into a pie plate, flute the ends as desired. Set aside.



For the filling, peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice each quarter into thirds. Arrange pear slices in the pie plate, overlapping slightly. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in the sugar. Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and flour, blending well. Pour mixture over the pears in the pie plate. Take the reserved crust and crumble over top of the pears.



Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 25 minutes until the filling is set and the crust is lightly browned. Let cool and serve pie at room temperature.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

GFCF Pear Bread

This was originally a Penzey's recipe for Apple Bread. I tried it two different ways - one with pears and one with apples and some applesauce to replace half the oil. Our favorite was the one with the pears. If you'd like to use apples instead, grate 2 apples in place of the pears and nix the cinnamon sugar. If you'd like to lower the fat content, replace half the canola oil with 1/4 cup applesauce. The bread comes out fabulously moist either way.

(...made with pears...)


(...made with grated apples.)

2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose GF flour blend

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.


In a small bowl, toss the diced pears with the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour through the xanthan gum. Set aside.


In a large bowl, beat together the eggs through the vanilla. Add the sugar and beat well. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. The batter will be thick. Gently fold in the pear mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.