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

Monday, June 28, 2010

GFCF Blueberry Peach Crisp

Tis the season for berries! Years ago before my girls were born, my mom and I would go berry picking on a Saturday morning and spend the rest of the weekend baking and canning. Our favorite was blueberry lime jam. We made it for ourselves and gave it away as gifts, and there was nothing better on a cold winter day than to open up that jar of jam and with one whiff being whisked back into summer. One of these days when the girls are older we'll go berry picking and I'll show them how to make jam. Until then, they can help me bake. They really enjoyed this blueberry peach crisp and I really enjoyed the hint of lime, a wisp of memory of lazy summer days and canning with my mom.

6 ripe peaches
1 dry pint blueberries, rinsed
juice of 1/2 large lime
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. granulated tapioca
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger

6 tbsp. amaranth flour
4 tbsp. tapioca flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
6 tbsp. buckwheat hot cereal, uncooked

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Smear a baking dish with a little bit of canola oil, set aside.

Halve, pit and peel the peaches, slicing them into large wedges. In a large bowl toss the peach slices and blueberries with the lime juice. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar through the ginger, add to the fruit mixture and toss to coat well. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a separate bowl stir together the amaranth flour through the cinnamon. Add the melted coconut oil, stirring until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the uncooked buckwheat and toss. Pour this evenly over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving warm. Serves 4.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kitchen Sink Pad Thai

Lately I've had a hankering for pad thai. Food sensitivities make it difficult to order take-out, so I decided to try making pad thai at home with what I had in the kitchen - chicken thighs, onion, red pepper and almond butter. I ended up really liking it, especially the little hint of lime in the sauce. I used this recipe as my guide but instead of sweet chili sauce I used nut butter, I added red pepper for the color and I increased the cayenne for DH's sake (he likes food that bites him back). This dish is really not at all fussy. There's a little prep work involved, so setting aside 30 minutes to make this from start to finish is a good idea. The red peppers in here are not particularly authentic, but it's fun to use whatever you have hanging around - as long as the sauce is good, it's all good .

Prepare the noodles:
Boil water in a large pot. Add 8oz flat rice noodles. Remove from the heat and let the noodles sit for 10 minutes in the hot water, or until soft. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Prepare the sauce:
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp. fish sauce
4 tbsp. white sugar
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tbsp. cashew butter or sweet chili sauce, depending on your taste
2 cloves minced garlic
juice of 1/2 large lime

Whisk together all ingredients in a small saucepan, simmering until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Make the Pad Thai:
2 tbsp. sesame oil or grapeseed oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup crushed cashews, if desired
bean sprouts, if desired
chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil to garnish, if desired

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet or a wok until very hot. Add the chicken and stir fry for a couple of minutes until cooked through. Remove to a bowl. Add the onion and pepper to the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the garlic, scallions and cooked chicken and cook for 30 seconds. Add the noodles and the sauce and stir fry one minute. Remove to a serving dish and garnish with cashews, bean sprouts and cilantro, if desired. Serves 4 - 6.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fresh Berry Sauce

Megan has become picky again with her fruits and vegetables. Currently the only "vegetable" she will "eat" (that is, if you don't count ketchup or salsa) is tomato/vegetable juice. Her list of fruit is limited to apples, bananas, strawberries, canteloupe, pineapple and sometimes, grapes. As we are eliminating the first three from her list for the time being, I had to get creative with serving her other fruit options. She likes this berry sauce only if I pick out the berries. Here's hoping the ones that got mashed lent enough of their goodness into the sauce to count for something. Anna and I, on the other hand, can't get enough of this sauce. It's great on pancakes and ice cream, and probably other things as well, but it does not last that long in our house!

1 dry pint fresh blueberries, washed
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
dash cinnamon


1 dry pint fresh blackberries, washed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
dash nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Gently mash about half the berries, if desired. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve warm. Store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.

Easy Pancakes (Gluten Free and Vegan)

The girls' elimination diet began on Sunday, with a few hiccups here and there. They're supposed to avoid apples but I was brain farting and giving them apple juice. So I guess maybe it won't start completely until tomorrow. I've been using applesauce to replace eggs in baked goods but I can't do that now. Same for mashed bananas. So I just went for flax meal in these pancakes. They turned out really good! I served them with fresh blueberry sauce and the girls inhaled them.

1 cup GF flour blend (I used Sorghum and Millet)

1 tbsp. sugar

2 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

2 tbsp. canola oil
plus enough rice milk to equal 1 cup liquid

Sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the canola oil and rice milk and add all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until mixture is just moistened and big lumps disappear.
Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto hot greased griddle, spreading to thin if desired. Flip when edges look dry and little bubbles form on top of the batter. Cook a minute or two longer until golden brown on the bottom and remove to a plate. Serve hot with your favorite topping (I'm partial to blueberry sauce). Serves 2.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Messing around with Vegan Soy Free Mayo

Recently we learned that Anna is sensitive to nuts, at least for the time being. So for the next few weeks, mayonnaise made with almond milk is a no-go. Using that same recipe, last night I tried two milk alternatives - plain unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk and plain unsweetened rice milk.

Here's the coconut milk one. I put black pepper in it.

Here's the rice milk one. I put white pepper in it.

The girls were my taste testers and they both liked the coconut version better. Either coconut milk or rice milk work just fine. Surprisingly the coconut milk one does not taste like coconut, it tastes like mayonnaise. The rice milk one ended up slightly sweet even though I used plain rice milk. The rice milk in the box smelled slightly sweet too, so I think it's the rice. Next time I make it, I'll try replacing the lemon juice with vinegar to see if that gets rid of the sweetness.

It's good to know I can make reliably good mayo for whatever food sensitivities happen to come our way. Fingers crossed, anyway.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Banana Cookies

This weekend has found me practically knee-deep in bananas that are just past their prime (read: perfect for banana bread). I froze as many as would fit into my freezer and had to use the rest really fast. So last night I made banana muffins (using this recipe) and this morning I made these banana cookies. I modified this original recipe and I'm pleased with the results. These cookies are not overly cake-y, but they are moist with a nice little crisp around the edges.

Summer break tip: If your kids are bored and clamoring for a project to do in the kitchen, have them pipe a little icing onto the bottom of one of these cookies and place another cookie on top of the icing. It makes a fun snack and it will buy you at least a few minutes of golden silence!

2 cups GF flour blend
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

1/2 cup palm shortening
1 cup sugar
2 medium mashed bananas

1/2 cup almond meal OR 3 tbsp. flax seed meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside. Sift together the flour through the cloves, set aside.

Cream together the shortening and the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the bananas, mixing well. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth and well combined. Stir in the almond meal or the flax seed meal.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between them all around as they well spread. Bake about 10 minutes, or until golden brown all over and lightly crisp around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet one minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store cookies in the refrigerator between pieces of parchment paper to keep them from sticking together. Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shae's Raw Beet Salad

 (Beet salad with red beets)

My friend Shae is a really good cook. I don't think he ever follows a recipe, he just makes stuff up as he goes. Recently he presented us with this raw beet salad. I never would have thought raw beets would be a good idea, but they are - especially with a mustard dressing. Hello, yum. This is a great summer salad that would go well with just about anything.

(Beet salad with golden beets)

You'll want to pick beets that are small to medium in size with nice green tops. Don't throw those beet greens away - save the tops and saute them. This salad is best made a couple of hours before you want to serve it and will keep for a day in the fridge, but I'm warning you, it might not last that long.

1 bunch of medium beets, or 2 bunches of small beets
2 - 3 carrots OR colored beets
1/2 bunch scallions OR spring onions
6 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 - 3 tbsp. dijon mustard or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme or to taste

Cut the beet greens off the beets, wash them, and save them for another use. Wash the beets, slice the tops and bottoms off and then peel the skin off with a sharp knife. Shred the beets into a large bowl with a grater. Avoid beets that are too big as they tend to be woody and won't grate well.

Wash and peel the carrots. Grate them into the beets. The carrots should not equal more than half the beets.

Wash and thinly slice the scallions and throw them into the bowl with the beets. Combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, pepper and thyme. Pour over the beets and toss everything to coat. Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, this will soften the beets a bit. Everything will turn a beautiful beet red color, but be careful not to get it on your clothes or it will stain.

Toss the salad before serving cold. Serves 4 - 6.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Apple Berry Breakfast Crisp

Who likes to eat pie for breakfast? I love pie for breakfast, especially fruit pies bursting with jammy goodness. So what's a gal to do when she's craving pie but does not have time to fuss with a pie crust? Make a crisp, of course. I cut back on the sugar in this crisp a little bit to let the fruit really shine. This crisp is easy enough to make the morning of, but I make it the night before because I am not a morning person. I love to bake, but not before at least a cup of coffee!

2 large apples
1 lb strawberries or 1 pint berries or a combination thereof
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cardamom
2 tbsp. granulated tapioca

1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 tsp. cardamom
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1/4 cup whole grain buckwheat hot cereal, uncooked

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a pie plate or other smallish baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Wash all your fruit. Peel, core and slice the apples thinly. Half the strawberries and leave any other berries whole. In a large bowl toss the fruit with the lemon juice. In a small bowl combine the sugar, cardamom and tapioca. Toss the fruit with the sugar mixture and pour into the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the amaranth through the sugar. Add the melted coconut oil and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Add the buckwheat and toss. Pour the topping on top of the fruit and spread evenly to cover, leave no fruit exposed.

Bake the crisp about 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbly. It is a good idea to place tin foil underneath the baking dish to catch any fruit juices that bubble out of the baking dish. Serves 4 - 6.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spagetti Squash Pesto "Lasagna"

I love spaghetti squash. Yes, Mom, I know you are rolling her eyes at me (all I would do as a kid is crinkle my nose at it and say "yuck"). It's funny how your tastes change as you get older. Now I think the stuff is great. So I bought one and it sat on the counter for several days, staring at me, daring me to make something different than my usual spaghetti squash recipe. I've been really in the mood for lasagna lately but have not been in stores that carry gluten free lasagna noodles and then I thought, why don't I make lasagna out of the squash instead of using noodles? I found myself at Book of Yum and was completely inspired by her Spaghetti Squash Un-lasagna, so I decided to wing it.

I have not had lasagna for a year and a half, not since going casein free as well as gluten free. Why bother, since what is so great about lasagna in the first place is all the cheesy goodness? But NOW, with Whole Foods carrying Daiya Shredded Mozzarella, that changes everything! I can make a completely plausible lasagna with just the Daiya, no ricotta required! The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted a pesto lasagna. I used to make a homemade lasagna to die for - rolling the pasta extra thin, layering pesto and cheese - even the Italian woman I worked with who gave me her pasta machine in the first place sang the praises of that lasagna. I'm not ready to try making gluten free homemade pasta, but I am ready to play with spaghetti squash lasagna. And so I present this humble recipe.

Someday I want to try making Pine Nut Ricotta, which looks incredibly intriguing. When I can find a small container of nutritional yeast instead of the massive 1 pounders that I'll never go through, I'll try it. For now, the Daiya works really well!

Spaghetti Squash Pesto "Lasagna"

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Spinach Pesto (make it thick, not runny)
Daiya Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise and place cut side down in a baking dish. Pour water about 1/4 inch deep into the pan. Prick the squash halves several times with a fork. Cover with tin foil. Bake 30 - 45 minutes, or until a fork goes into the sqash without resistance. Let cool long enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Smear the bottom and up the sides of an 8x8 inch baking dish with the olive oil and garlic. Scoop one half of the squash and blot the strands dry with a paper towel. Press the squash into the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the squash layer with a thin layer of pesto, then with a thin layer of mozzarella.

Scoop the other half of the squash and blot the strands dry with a paper towel. Lightly press the squash into the baking dish on top of the cheese. Repeat pesto and cheese layers. Sprinkle the pine nuts over top of the cheese.

Bake about 15 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the cheese is melted and your kitchen smells fabulous. Remove the lasagna and let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

*This would also be great with layers of fresh sliced tomato, just be sure to blot the tomato on paper towels so the dish does not get watery.