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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sauteed Cabbage

I'm posting this simple recipe because, well, it's amazing. I keep making it over and over because I can't get enough of it. You can see the same recipe here. The coconut oil really makes this dish sublime. I've used green cabbage, red cabbage and brussels sprouts and they all turn out great.

1/2 head cabbage, washed, cored and thinly sliced
2 tsp. coconut oil, plus more as needed
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat (I like using cast iron). Add the coconut oil - when that has melted, add the cabbage. Saute about 10 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute another 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is lightly caramelized. Serve hot. Makes 2 servings for cabbage-lovers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shout-out for Butternut Hash Browns

Heal~Balance~Live is a great blog full of great recipes - not all casein free, but all gluten free and all interesting. I pop over on a regular basis to check out recipes that are safe for us, such as these amazing looking Butternut Hash Browns. Yum! I can't wait to make them. There's no chance my girls will eat these, so I don't have to worry about the egg in them. Anyway, I keep trying to leave comments on the recipes I like but for some reason, neither Firefox nor Explorer will let me! Firefox won't give me the option and Explorer keeps crashing on me. I'm soooo frustrated by this state of affairs and it's lasted for months (DH, if you are reading this, please help!). I can't leave any comments on any blogs, grrr. So I just wanted to quickly shout out to HBL - this recipe rocks. Thanks for sharing it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

GFCF Egg-Free Sandwich Bread for the Bread Machine

Up until now, I've been baking Megan's egg-free bread in the oven. It's been turning out great and it feels a little quaint, which I like. And I thought - why mess with something that is working? I've also been making two different breads - one for Megan, and one in the bread machine for the rest of the family that has eggs in it. For some odd reason I thought this was easier and cheaper, but it's neither.

Last week Megan's bread ran out and there was only the eggy bread left, and then I got sick. Actually the whole family got sick, everyone but Megan. We were so sick, all we did was sleep and poor Megan was left to fend for herself. It was all I could do to drag myself into the kitchen and make her some toast. Yes, eggy toast. I can't believe I'm admitting that, but it's true. In one day she had 4 slices of eggy toast, and all I could do was think through a sick haze "it's not going to kill her". It didn't, and her eczema seemed to be okay, but that is the last time I do something like that. Now, it's egg-free bread for everyone in the house.

Thankfully everyone likes this new egg-free bread. And thankfully, it turns out great in the bread machine. Actually it turns out better in the bread machine than it does in the oven. I guess that's what I get for being all grandma-ly and shunning the bread machine for no good reason. Oh Breadman Pro, how I love thee. Thou dost make great gluten-free, egg-free bread. Forgive me for ever thinking otherwise!

2 1/2 cups GF flour blend (see guide here - I use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour Blend)
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. gelatin egg substitute
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. rapid rise yeast

Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside.

Pour the gelatin egg substitute, warm water, oil, honey and vinegar into the bread machine pan. Pour the flour mixture over the water mixture, covering the water mixture completely. Add the yeast on top of the flour. Set the bread machine to the gluten-free setting, medium crust. Help the mixing with a spatula. When the machine has stopped kneading (this takes about 20 minutes in the Breadman Pro), take out the kneading paddle and smooth the top of the loaf with your fingers. Replace the lid and let the bread machine do its thing.

Immediately after the baking cycle has finished, turn the bread out of the bread pan onto a wire rack to cool completely. Do not be tempted to cut a warm slice of bread from the loaf or it will gum up on you. After the bread has cooled completely, slice and store on the countertop for up to two days. After two days, store in the refrigerator.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Natural Food Colorings

I've gotten a couple of requests for dye-free frosting. Here I'm going to show you what beet and red cabbage can do!

To use beet juice as food coloring, roast some beets in a little bit of water, about 1/2 cup. Save the brilliant red beet juice. A little bit makes a light pink frosting, a lot makes a dark fuschia frosting.

To use red cabbage as a food coloring, boil half a red cabbage in a little bit of water...the less water you use the more color you will get. Save the cabbage water, it will look purpley-blue. I had to use a lot of it to get a pale purple color.

Tumeric will give you a yellow color. Cooked cherries mixed with blueberries will give you a dark purple-pink color. I have not experimented beyond this...well except for trying to cook parsley but that did not give me the green color I was seeking!

I got this light pink color from beets.
The dye-free gummy stars are from Whole Foods.

I got this pale purple color from red cabbage.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Homemade Avocado Mayonnaise

In my continuing hunt for egg-free, soy-free mayonnaise, I ran across an article in Eating Well featuring Rick Bayless and avocados. The article mentioned that avocados are a natural emulsifier, so I ran to the computer and looked up recipes for avocado mayonnaise. Then I ran to the grocery store to pick out the perfect avocado - according to Bayless a perfectly ripe avocado is not green, but pale yellow inside. I managed to find one - not too soft, a ripe avocado should only give slightly when you gently press the top. Then I ran back home to make mayonnaise based on this recipe here.

As you can see, the mayonnaise turned out looking a little bit green and having a slight avocado taste. It's pretty yummy, but like the tahini mayonnaise it has limited versatility. This mayo would be good for salad dressings and dips. The girls liked it in tuna salad - so far that is the only way they will eat avocados, so I'm happy. I think this mayonnaise experience will be like the gluten free experience - each gluten free flour has a different taste and different uses. So far it's looking like I'll have to make different mayos for different recipes. It will keep life interesting, at least. I'm going to try one more mayonnaise featuring marcona almonds, and then I'll be done with mayonnaise!

For this recipe I used canola oil. I'm finding that I just don't like olive oil in my mayonnaise. In the future I'll try experimenting with different oils, like grapeseed and pumpkin seed and avocado and hemp, but for now canola suits me fine.

2 small, ripe hass avocados
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil or extra light olive oil

Slice the avocados in half, twist and pull halves apart. Stick a sharp paring knife into the avocado pit and pull it out. I like to peel the skin off avocados but you can also scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Place the avocado flesh, lemon juice and salt into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides. With the processor running, add the canola oil in a thin stream until the mixture is creamy and smooth - do not over mix. This can be stored in the refrigerator but will be best if used within a day. Makes about 1 cup.