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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coconut Nog French Toast

Guess what I found only a few days before Christmas? So Delicious Coconut Nog! I was so excited! It tastes just like egg nog but without egg, dairy or soy. And I can say that it is in fact delicious. A little sweet, but delicious. Today I made some French Toast following the guidelines on the carton - 1 very ripe mashed banana plus a cup of nog, dip slices of bread in this mixture and let them soak several seconds, then cook in hot coconut oil over low heat until golden brown on each side. We have not had french toast in ages and this version was very good!

(So Delicious, you keep rocking my world. When will you come up with cream cheese?)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Acorn Squash Dip

Happy Boxing Day! I must announce with some dismay that I am being assimilated. I've been trying to stave this off for years, flinging the word "wicked" around with abandon even in the face of raised eyebrows, to counter the effects of the "y'alls" I hear every day.

A friend: "How'd y'all enjoy your weekend?"
Me: "It was wicked good!"

Sadly, I have succumbed to the quirky charms of where we now live. I've given up. Belonging to a place is more official when you own a home there and are no longer transient. I resigned the other day when I heard myself say to a friend who was on vacation "Good grief, y'all have been gone forever!". I could have slapped myself in the forehead. It just slipped right out. I'm afraid the "fixing to's" and the "right quick's" are just around the corner.

It's not just the regional colloquialisms that are sneaking their way into every day living. It's the craving for food with heat. I keep throwing hot sauce, cayenne pepper and dried chilies in my food. "Gosh golly gee, this food I grew up with tastes bland!", I'll say to DH as I enliven my meals with Frank's Red Hot. DH just smirks at me.

Recently I found myself an unassuming recipient of a CSA-procured acorn squash. The last time I made acorn squash was to bake it, puree it and feed it to an infant Anna. I don't normally care for acorn squash - it's sweet, it's usually prepared on the sweet side, and I'm a definite savory girl. I like this savory interpretation on acorn squash better than any other acorn squash dish I've tried. A little cayenne pepper sprinkled on top might be nice too...but maybe that's just me!

1 small acorn squash
olive oil

2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup walnuts
2 - 3 tbsp. olive oil
splash of lemon juice
water or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
parsley to garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp and discard. Smear olive oil over the cut halves of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast about 45 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the, turn the squash cut side up and set aside to cool. You can store the squash (covered in plastic wrap) in the fridge for a day or two until you are ready to make the dip.

Thrown the garlic cloves and walnuts into a food processor. Pulse until minced. Scoop the squash flesh from the skin and place in the food processor. Discard the skin. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the food processor. With the food processor running, add enough water or broth to make a thick dip. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Scrape the dip into a serving bowl and garnish with parsley if desired. This tastes best if it sits for a day in the refrigerator - serve it chilled with crackers and crudites.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Apple Spice Muffins

It's the holidays and I have yet to make a single batch of Christmas cookies. I've been so strapped for time lately that the girls have had nothing but boxed cereal for breakfast for days upon days. In this house, that's just not popular. The girls have been begging for muffins and I could not ignore their plaintive pleas any longer. Late last night I finally made a batch. These are good and whip up in a flash which is very helpful for busy days. You could, if you wanted to, call them a holiday muffin...the cinnamon makes the house smell like Christmas. That's what I tell the girls, anyway.

Dry Ingredients
1 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients
1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 small apple, peeled, cored and diced (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the applesauce through the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combine. Fold in the diced apple, if desired.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake about 20 minutes or until they smell really good and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tin to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wilted Kale Salad

I have not baked anything interesting lately. This is stressing me out, since Christmas is just around the corner. I have not had the time - I've been working. Yes, that's right...I landed a part-time retail job - a year ago! I've been snapping up as many hours as possible during the holiday season while they are available. This is good for the bills, but not so good for the baking. Sigh.

I made this kale salad (based on this recipe by Sarah Kramer) for Thanksgiving and it was amazing. I've made it again since then and I'm making it for Christmas too. It's healthy, delicious and really quite pretty. I love any leftovers as a kale and (Daiya) cheese quesadilla for breakfast the next morning. But then, I'm weird with my greens like that.

1 large bunch kale, washed and spines removed
1 small raw beet, peeled and grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
one generous handful of chopped walnuts

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. olive oil or sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the kale thinly into strips. Put into a large bowl and add the beet, carrot, onion and walnuts. Toss to combine.

Whisk together the vinegar through the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the kale mixture and toss to coat. Toss every 15 minutes or so for the first hour. Then, toss once an hour until ready to serve. It will take a couple of hours to wilt, and it tastes even better the next day. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Curried Sprouted Beans

I've been busy sprouting things in my new spiffy Victorio three level sprouter! I love it - it does not take up a lot of space in my small kitchen and I can keep the moisture level consistent so my sprouts are neither moldy nor dry.

My favorite thing to sprout so far are alfalfa seeds simply because Anna loves them so much. She'll grab great hulking handfuls of them and eat them on the run. I'm lucky if I get any alfalfa sprouts at all.

Here are some "tic-tac" sprouts (I've no idea what they are actually called) - a friend gave them to me after she got them from an Indian market. She puts these sprouts on top of salads but I like them better sauteed in coconut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I also like to sprout a mix of lentils, green peas and chickpeas and had some handy when Ina posted a recipe for Curry Pate that called for sprouted beans. I used her recipe as a guide to make Curried Sprouted Beans. DH and I enjoyed them plain and Anna enjoyed them with pasta for dinner. I think even Megan had some, and that makes this dish a winner in our house. Thanks, Ina, for the inspiration!

1 1/2 cups fresh sprouted legumes (chickpeas, green peas, lentils, mung beans, etc.)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash of lemon juice, if desired

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and sprouted beans and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes, until the onion begins to soften.

Add the white wine, curry powder, ginger, salt and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Cover the skillet and cook for about another 5 minutes, or until fragrant. The liquid should be mostly absorbed. Taste and adjust the salt and cayenne if needed. Add a dash of lemon juice if desired. Serve warm.