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

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Potatoes with Cumin and Chipotle

DH makes really yummy potatoes. They are really addictive and even though they have a little heat to them, the girls (not lovers of heat or spice at all) really like them. What's even better than these potatoes are the potato skins DH saves and whips up for a snack at night. He's allowed me to share his recipe since it's really too good to keep to ourselves!

Now, I've been trying for years to get DH to live dangerously and not follow a recipe unwaveringly. He's finally done it, and has gotten pretty good at winging it. When I asked him for his potato recipe, he could not give me measurements! So keep in mind, this recipe is just a guide and the measurements are approximate.

First, boil the potatoes
4 large russet potatoes, organic if possible
cold water to cover

Put cold water in a dutch oven to fill it halfway. Add salt and stir till dissolved. This may be 1/2 tsp of salt. The water should taste like the sea - pretty salty, but not overpoweringly salty.

Scrub the potatoes clean. Cut into 1 inch chunks. Leave the skin on. Place into the cold water. The water should cover the potatoes. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then turn down the heat and boil gently about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (as in, easily pierced with a toothpick). Keep an eye on the time - don't overcook them or they'll get mealy and fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. Cool completely. Peel the skins off and save them for a snack.*

Then, finish the potatoes
2 - 3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/4 tsp. each)
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the cumin, salt, pepper and chipotle and heat for 1 minute. Add the cooled potatoes. Stir frequently until the potatoes are warm and are coated with the cumin mixture. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired. Stir another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and serve warm. Garnish with parsley if desired.

*Cheesy Potato skins - same recipe as above, except use the reserved potato skins instead of potatoes. At the end top with Daiya mozzarella or cheddar. Cover pan for a minute until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

White Bean Soup with Chipotle Onions and Roasted Carrots

It's been a week since I posted my last recipe (Ginger Lemon Tea) and although I have been dutifully drinking said tea, I'm still sick. I think it's a sinus infection, because for two days my upper teeth and gums have hurt along with my sinuses. While ginger tea is tasty, what I really crave right now are onions. Not only do onions taste good, they have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Acting on a tip from my DH's mom, I've used raw onion to treat ear aches - 20 minutes of holding a halved raw onion over the ear helps alleviate pain. Weird but true, and especially helpful late at night when a child wakes up screaming with ear pain. My grandparents have told stories of how their parents treated fevers and congestion with onion poultices. I have not tried that one yet. I'd rather eat my onions, thanks.

DH makes some mean onions. I love them. He makes them almost every weekend and I sneak whatever leftovers make it into the fridge (often to his chagrin). I can't help it, they are spicy and fabulous, good on just about everything. Recently he's been making them extra hot so that I can't eat them by the spoonful without being thrown into coughing fits. I think he's trying to keep me out of the leftovers, but his tactic failed. I threw them into my bean soup - they really enlivened it!

This bean soup is loosely based on this recipe here. I like color to my soup so I added carrots. The soup also benefits from the addition of a little lemon juice. However, it's DH's onions that really make the soup!

White Bean Soup with Chipotle Onions and Roasted Carrots

First, cook the onions
Two large onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder, plus more as desired

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and saute over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the salt and continue cooking until the onion is soft, at least another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the chipotle powder over the onions, stir well and promptly remove from the heat and set aside. The onions should be too overpowering to eat by themselves (unless you really want to clear your sinuses out!), but they will taste fabulous mixed in with the soup (and lots of other things too!).

Then, roast the carrots
2 cups baby carrots
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl toss the carrots with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven 20 - 25 minutes, stirring once, until the carrots are soft enough to be easily pierced with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool. Chop and set aside. Roasting the carrots brings out their natural sweetness, which is very nice in this soup.

Last, prepare the soup
1 pound dried white beans (I like Great Northern)
8 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh rosemary or thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

Soak the beans in water overnight. Alternatively, place the beans in a large pot and cover them with water by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let beans sit for an hour.

Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the vegetable stock, bay leaf and sprig of rosemary or thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft. Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of rosemary or thyme. Puree half the beans in a blender until smooth and return them to the pot. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, carrots and reserved onions with their oil. Stir the soup well and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ginger Lemon Tea

I am sick. DH and the girls have done nothing for the past three weeks except cough, hack, and sneeze all over me. All over the house. Even all over the cat. Now I have whatever it is they gave me. My mom has praised the virtues of fresh ginger and lemon tea for years and now I feel just terrible enough to try it. I'm not a huge fan of ginger (not even ginger ale) but tonight I threw some fresh ginger into some boiling water and steeped it (more or less). And I have to say, the stuff is very good. I like it. It feels good going down, like chicken soup does when you are under the weather. I made a big container of this tea and I'm not sure it will last very long at all. Thanks, Mom, for the tip - you really do know best!

8 cups water
3 inch knob of fresh ginger
3 - 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, to your taste
2 - 3 tbsp. local honey, if you like

Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Peel the ginger and thinly slice. Place the ginger in the boiling water, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (I forgot about mine and it simmered about 40 minutes, and my tea turned out perfectly fine). Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve. Add the lemon juice and honey to taste. Store the tea in the refrigerator and heat before serving.

*The ginger taste was just enough for me, but my tea is probably on the mild side. If you really enjoy ginger and don't mind pulp, use a 4 inch knob of it and consider grating it and not straining it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Uruguayan Pizza Dough (Gluten Free, Yeast Free & Vegan)

I make pizza every Friday. This is my very favorite pizza crust. I adapted a recipe for Urugayan baking powder pizza dough, and my gluten free version tastes just like the original. What's great is that it takes practically no fuss at all to make. It's fast, it's easy, and it hold up well to many toppings. It's not chewy, not gummy, not gritty or like cardboard. You can change its personality by using different flour blends (my favorites are Mulit-Grain, High Protein and a combination of sorghum, teff and amaranth).

2 cups GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 1/2 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian herb mix
1 cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear a pizza pan with olive oil, set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients until well blended. Make a well in the center. Combine water and olive oil and pour into the well. Mix with a fork until blended and mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto the pizza pan. Sprinkle a little gluten free flour or even flax meal over the dough to keep your hands from sticking to it. Press dough evenly onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Trim excess from the edges, if needed.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Take crust out of the oven and top with your favorite toppings. Put the pizza back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until your cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned on the bottom.
*Our favorite pizzas are made with fresh pesto and Daiya mozzarella.

My pizza vs. Papa John's!