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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce

(Pasta tossed with sauce - perfect kid food!)

I went grocery shopping the other day and noticed that prices have spiked. Cereal we used to buy for $4.29 is now $4.99 on sale. Meat and fish are $1 more expensive per pound. Produce prices are inching up too. I didn't buy the cereal...and declared to DH that in an effort to save a little money, we are going to have Meatless Mondays (and maybe Wednesdays too). At the very least, it will get the girls to expand their horizons a little more.

This week's first meatless entree is pasta with a creamy pesto sauce. I've wanted to "beef up" our pesto for awhile now - since going nut-free it's been thin (just herbs, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper), which is fine for pizza but leaves something to be desired with pasta. So I threw in some white beans, which gave the sauce more body and made it creamy (without having to use dairy). The sauce ended up being kid-friendly and the girls really liked it!

Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce

8 oz. gluten-free pasta, such as Tinkyada
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil, packed
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Fresh basil leaves and cracked black pepper to serve

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. If using Tinkyada, boil the pasta for 1 - 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover. Let the pasta sit for 20 minutes, then drain - it will be perfectly cooked. Toss the pasta with a little olive oil if desired.

Meanwhile, saute the onion in 1 tbsp. olive oil until soft. Combine the cooked onion through the pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. Adjust lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta with the pesto sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper, if desired. Serves 4, and there will be sauce left over.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Onion Rings, Gluten Free & Vegan

I made onion rings for DH recently as a special snack while he was working from home late into the night. He about bowed down and kissed my feet - these onion rings get the DH stamp of approval. I did exactly the same thing with them as with Fried Pickles and they turned out just as crisp with a satisfying crunch. I don't know why it took me so long to try making them vegan - egg is simply not needed! I used rice flour this time but next time I'll try chickpea flour to see what happens!

1 large onion, cut into thick rounds
potato starch
full-fat coconut milk (not lite)
brown rice flour
canola oil for frying

Heat the canola oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating, separate the onion slices into individual rings. When the oil is hot (when a pinch of rice flour thrown into it sizzles), taking a few onion rings at a time, dredge each in potato starch to coat. Dip into the coconut milk, making sure all surfaces are wet. Then toss with rice flour to coat. Fry a few onion rings at a time, making sure they don't touch one another while frying or they will stick together. Fry a few minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining onion rings. Serve hot plain, with ketchup, or however you like!

(Sooooo yummy!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garden Relish

This dish is made with the vegetables and herbs from our garden, with the exception of the garlic. I'll have to try growing garlic next year, after we make our garden bigger again! I made this last night with just the tomatoes and served it on top of sardines, it was quite good. I liked it so much that I made it again today and added cucumbers from our neighbor's garden and served it on top of millet burgers (without the hot sauce). It'd also be good served with fish or chicken or on top of pasta or rice.

large handful of cherry tomatoes, rinsed
1 large pickling cucumber, rinsed
several fresh basil leaves, rinsed
a couple of sprigs of parsley, rinsed
1 large clove garlic, minced
olive oil
splash of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the tomatoes into eights and place into a bowl. Cut the cucumber into quarters, then dice them and add them to the tomatoes. Shake the water off the basil and parsley, coarsely chop and add to the veggies in the bowl. Add the minced garlic, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over all and add a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 2.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Buckwheat Raisin Cookies

One of my favorite cookies has always been Oatmeal Raisin, and I've always added chocolate chips to the cookie dough (because life is better with chocolate!). I don't use oats anymore, preferring to use uncooked buckwheat hot cereal in its place (it has more character and a nifty crispy crunch), but you can use a cup to a cup and a half of gluten-free oats instead if you like. I've also cut way down on the sugar (traditional recipes call for at least twice the amount of sugar, which in my humble opinion makes the cookies far too sweet). These cookies are not vegan because of the honey, but maple syrup, agave syrup or brown rice syrup would be good vegan alternatives!

2 cups GF flour blend (I used this one)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum, if desired
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat hot cereal
generous 1/2 cup raisins
generous 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through the salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil through the vanilla for one minute until smooth (it should look a little like caramel). Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well-combined. Stir in the buckwheat, raisins and chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes about 2 dozen.