Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Popcorn

 My cousin has a really yummy recipe for p.b.p. (peanut butter popcorn) but I never really make it because it's really not so good for you.  Now, I realize peanut butter isn't all that great, either, but I rarely make this, so it's truly a treat.  This less detrimental version is great for a family movie night or while gathered round the table listening to dad read The Great Brain; although, it's a raw deal for dad..."now, honey, don't talk with your mouth full..."

Peanut Butter Popcorn
1 c. popcorn, unpopped
3/4 c. peanut butter (we like Maranatha)
1 c. agave nectar

Pop popcorn and set aside.   In a small saucepan, melt peanut butter and agave nectar together on low, stirring continually.  Pour  over popcorn and mix in.  Eat.  Nom.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

German Chocolate Cake--vegan, gf/cf, egg free, and sugar free [whew!]

Letting go of eggs really messed with my head--at least where gf baking is concerned.  I am not as adventurous as I once was because mistakes can be costly.  It's a whole 'nother ball game since eggs can have so many different functions in baking.  Let's see, were the eggs used as a binder?  emulsifier?  other?  Sometimes it takes quite a bit of trial and error to figure it out.  (Like the time I tried to make our favorite gf brownie mix with egg replacer instead of the real thing; it completely seperated while baking--liquid (mainly oil) on top and a brownie-hard-tack on bottom.)  But I digress...
We had a birthday party recently and I made this chocolate cake from Ali at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen with frostings from Elana's German Chocolate Cake.  Elana's cake looks really good too, but alas it has eggs (like 10 of them!) so no-can-do.  No matter, the cake was a hit with the entire clan, (most of which are not gluten free) regardless of the egg status.  When asked how I made a healthy cake taste so good, (were they infering that healthy can't taste good?) I replied, "It's the prunes."  No, really.  LOL.  {wink}  I don't think they believed me...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Sauce Take Two

My original posting on cranberry sauce is here, made the traditional way but with turbinado sugar instead of white sugar.  This year, I thought I'd try something a bit different.  Less sweetener, so it's more tangy, let's the cranberries really shine.  The secret ingredient?  Unfiltered apple cider.  That my son opened this morning.  Oops.

Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce--

1 bag cranberries, washed and picked over
1 1/3 c. unfilitered apple cider
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. orange zest

In a large sauce pan (cranberries will pop and splatter), bring the apple cider and cranberries to a low boil.  Add agave and maple syrup.  Simmer, stirring ocassionally, for another ten minutes or until cranberries pop! (and splatter) and sauce begins to thicken.  Add orange zest.  Pour into a heat safe dish and cool completely.  Refrigerate until serving. 

How to Roast a Pumpkin--the Simple Way

I love home made pumpkin pies, muffins, breads, you  name it!  Especially with fresh pumpkin puree.  I already mentioned my favorite varieties to grow in an earlier post.  I've usually treated it like any other winter squash, but found a way to roast a pumpkin WHOLE, doing NOTHING--no prep--nothing, zilch, nada.  The Spunky Coconut tells how you just plop the pumpkin into the oven, bake, let it cool and voile!  Roast pumpkin!  After it cools, just peel the skin off (my kids would have loved doing this part), take off the stem and scrape out the seeds.  HOORAY!  It worked so beautifully this morning.  So here ya go: 

The Spunky Coconut's How to Roast a Pumpkin

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

I mentioned I love sweet potatoes, right?  Right now, I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  We have a church Thanksgiving dinner party tonight that the kids are really excited about.  I've got the turkey and stuffing in the oven, the crust for the pumpkin pie done, the pumpkin roasted, and got a hankering for some sweet potatoes with maple syrup and pecans.  And found THIS.  It looked so good!  So it's all ready to go in the oven when the stuffing's turn is over. 
I reduced the balsamic vinegar to 1 1/2 tsp. and will just add the pecans (skipping the roasting step because I'm lazy) about halfway through. 

ETA:  These are yummy!  Totally a keeper.  And, oops, I did not use butter!  I subbed olive oil. 

1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

8 small (2 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes, peeled

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gingered Carrots

Ginger is a warming spice.  Good for digestion, it is considered a tonic.  It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is good in cakes, pies, stir fries and beverages alike.  I like to drink honeyed ginger water.  Coarsely chop some fresh ginger.  Pour boiling water over it in a heat safe dish and let sit.  Strain ginger and add honey.  MMM.  Ginger is also good paired with carrots. {wink} 
My husband's mother made this for her family for years.  I had never had anything like it before I married into their clan.  I should have just asked her for the recipe, but that would have required a phone call and it turned out well, so here's my version.

Gingered Carrots

  • carrots, washed and thinly sliced (crinkle cut is fun)
  • tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1tsp. ground ginger (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. honey (or to taste)
In a skillet (one that has a lid), saute carrots in the olive oil for a minute or so, stirring occasionally.  Add water and cook another 5-7 minutes, or until tender crisp.  Add ginger and honey.  Serve immediately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is fall at it's best.  I LOVE pumpkin!  And I LOVE all the great varieties that grow so easily in the garden.  This year, I grew a baby instead of getting in my pumpkins and winter squash, but my favorite varieties for the garden and for pies are Winter Luxury Pie, Musquee de Provence, and Queensland Blue.  Look them up.  In this amazing book.  Seriously, they are beautiful!!!  So pretty, it's tough to cut them up instead of leaving them on my table and around the house to stumble glow over.
This pie is NOT egg free; I'm still working on that...but it is gluten free/ dairy free.
The crust I used last year is in Jennifer Katzinger's Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book.
I'm also wanting to try Elana's from Elana's pantry...note, if I used hers, I would bake the crust first as she directs.  ETA:  I tried Elana's crust with this recipe, and while it is an amazing crust, it can't take the long baking time of this pie.  I tried it, baking the crust first and it burned during baking the pie--not just the edges, but the entire crust.  So I did another, this time not baking before hand and it burned as well.  However, this crust would be amazing with a coconut cream pie!

Pumpkin Pie

Flying Apron's Standard Crust:
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. agave syrup
1-2 tbsp. cold water

Combine brown rice flour and sea salt in a large bowl.  In the bowl of a standing mixer (I did this portion by hand.), mix the coconut oil until softened, about 1 minute.With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture slowly until oncorporated.  Add the agave syrup and water and mix until a soft dough has formed, about 5 minutes.  If the dough is dry, add additional water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is smooth.

Dust your work surface and hands liberally with brown rice flour.  (a 12- by 18-inch cutting board or piece of cardboard covered in parchment works well.)  Place dough on your surface and sprinkle the top with more brown rice flour.  Roll the dough into an 11-inch disc.

Place your pie plate on top of the rolled-out dough.  With one hand under the work surface and the other on the pie plate, flip them so that the cutting board is on top.  Set the pie plate on the counter, remove the cutting board, and gently press the pie dough into the pie plate.  Any tears that occur can be fixed by gently pressing and pinching the dough back together.

Decoratively flute the edges with a fork or by pinching the edges with your thumb and fore finger.

2 eggs
2 c. cooked pumpkin (fresh is best)
1 c. whole fat coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen)
1/2 c. honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place ingredients in the blender.  Blend just until filling is smooth.   Pour into uncooked crust.  Use foil around edges to protect from burning.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45 minutes to an hour; until mixture is set when jiggled.  Allow to cool before serving. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 c. cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp all spice
1 1/2 tbsp. ginger

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I think sweet potatoes are my favorite fall food.  Or apples.  Or pumpkin.'s tough to choose!  This recipe is another super easy, lazy recipe.  If it isn't totally noticeable, I really like one-dish meals or meals that you prep and then throw in the oven or crock pot to forget about til it's done.  I try to do most of the work in the morning; late afternoons tend to be chaotic--everyone is getting hungry and probably tired too.  The baby (there usually is one in these-here-parts) is fussier just when I need to get dinner going and needs mama.  So this falls into that "easy prep" category for me.  I never seem to make enough of these...


sweet potatoes
cold or first pressed olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder (I sometimes change it up with cumin)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Wash and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.  Toss with olive oil.  (Please do this in a bowl, otherwise you may have a bit of a mess on your hands, lol.)  Toss again with sea salt, chili powder,  and garlic powder.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes.   

Lemon Thyme Roasted Winter Vegetables

I love love when the weather finally {really, truly} begins to cool off.  And we are there!  YAY!  We actually pulled out the portable heater this morning.  And wore socks to bed.  So it's time for lots of winter squash, sweet potatoes and yams, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and onions.  These are all cozy winter (or cooler weather) favorites around here.  My favorite way to prepare these is to roast them.  (Mostly because I'm lazy).  I love thyme.  It goes so well with lemon.  Or cumin.  I switch out the lemon with cumin for a change now and then...

Lemon Thyme Roasted Winter Veggies

{I have to add:  This is my kind of recipe as well; you just choose which veggies you want, and how many, and go from there!}

Your choice:
sweet potatoes
acorn squash
butternut squash
pie pumpkin
red or sweet onions
cold pressed olive oil
juice of half lemon
1 tsp thyme or cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Wash and cut veggies into roughly the same sized portions, about 4" chunks.  Place in a large baking dish.  Toss in some olive oil.  Sprinkle the thyme, sea salt and pepper over the veggies and mix it around a bit.  Squeeze half a lemon over the veggies.  Add the rest of the lemon to some water to go with the meal, if you like (or double recipe for left overs for lunch tomorrow!).  Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Take covering off and bake another 20-30 minutes, checking so as to not over bake. 
I add skinless chicken thighs into the mix for a one dish meal on ocassion.  I have also roasted a chook at the same time, tho it may need a bit longer.  Just use the remaining lemon half with some more olive oil and seasonings on it.  I think I may have dinner planned for tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apple Cake, Ice Cream and Apple Butter

Last week, I scored 150# of pink lady apples for 15 cents/lb!!!  YAY!  So we've been eating them like crazy...I've also been making apple crumble, apple butter, and apple sauce {really, just WHAT is the difference between the two?}.  I still plan on deyhrating some as well, but for now we're just eating them like crazy--oh, so GOOD! 
Last night was my niece and nephew's birthday party, so I made Elana's  Apple Cake from Elana's Pantry.  Yum!  I served it with coconut milk icecream and apple butter.  I didn't have almond butter on hand, so I just ground almonds in my vita brother came up to me afterwards and said, "Wow, I am amazed at your ability to make something so good out of nothing!"  Um, is that a compliment?  I'll take it! ;-)  Of course, "nothing" means gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Here are the adaptations I made:


1 apple, cored and quartered
1 c. almonds
1 tsbp. coconut oil
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer plus 1/3 cup almond milk, mixed well
1 tsp. gf vanilla extract
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grind almonds with the coconut oil into an almost-nut-butter-consistancy.  Scrape the almost-almond-butter into a bowl and set aside.  Place the quartered apple to blender and pulse.  Add the almost-almond-butter, agave nectar and egg replacer and blend until smooth.  Add the spices, vanilla, and sea salt.  Mix well.  Pour in a greased 8x8" pan.  Bake for 28-30 minutes. Serve warm, a la mode, with a spoonful of apple butter on top.  (I so wish I'd gotten a pick of this--it was purty!) 

This version will not rise as much as the original from lack of real eggs. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spinach Pomegranite Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Pomegranites grow really well here, but surprisingly, I don't know many people who have them in their yards.  I gave my parents one two years ago and it is bearing quite a bit of fruit this year!  There is a gentleman friend of theirs who has many in his orchard and invites us to come help harvest them then take some home.  The only down side to this high antioxidant treat?  It stains--big time!  (Ask me how I know.)
We juice them and freeze the juice to use year round.  Yum!

Spinach Pomegranite Salad

6 c. baby spinach
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. pomegranite berries

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/3 raw honey
1/3 raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. red onion
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2/3 c. cold pressed olive oil
1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Combine salad ingredients.
In a blender, blend all but the olive oil and poppy seeds until smooth.  Turn blender to low and drizzle in olive oil.  Add poppy seeds.  Store left overs in the fridge.

Garlicky Green Beans

Recall a few days ago, when I mentioned that Fall had arrived and we were bringing out the fall favorites like cornbread?  Well, it's gone--reverted back to summer--which for us, had just ended three weeks ago!  But look at the forecast (or just step outside):  94 degrees F.  Indian summer ought to come in December for us.  Yes, I am running my AC.  And what's really annoying?  I just barely (as in last week!) put away the summer clothes...oh well, this recipe is actually a good summer treat as well.

Garlicky Green Beans

3 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper

In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Add green beans.  stirring often, saute beans for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook one minute more.  Add a dash of water to the pan (a couple tbsp.) and cover.  Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper and serve.

Country Style Stuffing

This stuffing really needs a snappy name. I just couldn't title it plain ol' "stuffing", ya know? Growing up, I hated stuffing. Then one year, my mother in law made stuffing FROM SCRATCH and it was so good! Seriously, people don't know what they're missing when they use the boxed versions--and don't get me started on all the additives in that lil' ol' box!

{Apple Pecan Cornbread STUFFING}

1 day old pan of golden skillet cornbread, cubed *
6 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1 1/2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. gf poultry seasoning (I like Simply Organic's)
2 c. GF chicken broth (SO easy to make and tastes SO much better! If you do use canned, be sure it's GF!!!)
1 c. water
1 tsp sea salt

Place bread cubes and pecans in a large bowl. Set aside. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add celery and onion. Cook until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add apples, poultry seasoning and parsley and cook a few minutes more. Pour in broth, water, and salt. On medium heat, let contents heat to a bare boil. Pour over bread cubes and stir until well mixed. Bake in a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish (covered with foil) at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

* I have also used my Golden Skillet Cornbread for half the bread and then 5 c. of day old gf/cf/ egg free biscuits. You could probably sub in any bread for this recipe, but I haven't tried anything but what I've listed. If anyone needs the biscuit recipe, I can post that, though my husband is still perfecting it--biscuits are his baby!

Homemade Almond Milk

All these years, and I never knew just how simple and easy it is to make almond milk! I've never really liked the ready-made versions simply because they seemed so processed, so with the exception of coconut milk, I've only used them on rare occasions. One day awhile back, a friend of mine mentioned that she makes hers. I thought that was cool, but didn't feel like adding another thing I have to do to my list. Fast forward to a few months ago...I finally decided to give it a try. I looked up a recipe online (thank you, Google) to get the general idea and haven't looked back. There are definately things I prefer coconut milk for, but almond milk is great more a lot of things too.
There are tons of very detailed explanations on the web, but I'm just going to give the general idea--most of my cooking is like this, which is why some of my recipes may seem vague--I'm still learning how measure, lol!

SO: Almond Milk

1 c. almonds soaked overnight
2-3 qts water
dash of sea salt (1/4 tsp.)
tad bit of honey (okay, tsbp.)

Blend almonds with 1 1/2 qts water on high for 1 minute. Strain through cheesecloth. Add almond grounds. Repeat. If your blender doesn't hold that much liquid, take it down to a qt. of water and go from there. My husband likes his milk on the thinner side. If you prefer a thicker milk, use less water. Easy peasy. Refrigerate. Drink up before 4 days have gone by...way easy there too!

Thanksgiving last year...

Last year's Thanksgiving feast was held at my husband's parents' home. I decided that instead of worrying about possible x-con issues, I would bring our entire meal, turkey included. Most "normal" turkeys are injected with broth and are therefore suspect--warning, they may contain gluten! Also, many baste their turkeys with flour and spices, or even a store bought rub, all of which would make the turkey inedible for some of us.
So I made the turkey. (But I cheated--I had my brother in law pit roast it for us.)
I was trying to mimic their menu so no one would feel deprived. (My daughter is noticing more and more how she is different, and sometimes that can be hard for a five year old to understand.) We celebrate our differences in a lot of ways, but try to be inclusive of as much as we feel comfortable with.
We had mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, garlicky green beans, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, and salad. Along with pumpkin and coconut cream pies. I had a plan and spaced it over 3 or 4 days, and it really ended up not being difficult at all--in fact I had a lot of fun!

A friend asked to see some of the recipes, so I'm trying to get all these in here. A few may need some work...we'll see.

I'll start out with cranberry sauce 'cuz it's easiest.;-)


12 oz cranberries
1 c. water
1 c. turbinado sugar*

In a large saucepan, dissolve sugar in water on medium heat. Bring to a low boil. Add cranberries and turn down heat to low. Stir constantly so as not to burn. The sauce is ready when the cranberries have "popped" and is beginning to thicken, about 10 minutes. Pour into a heat safe bowl and let cool. Refrigerate to chill completely.

*I have tried honey instead of a sugar, and didn't feel like the flavors melded very well. I think agave would work better. The process took longer, as there is more liquid, and it didn't set up quite as much, but it is doable for those who don't want any sugar. Again, I think the less bold taste of agave would blend better...

Autumnal Recipes {Apple Crumble} and Thanksgiving

We have decided to stay home for Thanksgiving this year. I was a bit sad at first, but am getting more and more excited about it being just us. I envision a slow paced day and a conclusion to a month's long journey on gratitude along with time spent learning about the Pilgrims. Another perk? I won't have to have one moment's anxiety about cross contamination! Hooray!

So, here's the first recipe of Autumn for our family: We have a local orchard that we go to yearly for their yummy apples. There's just nothing like taking the family apple picking on The Mountain. And then coming home and making an apple crumble every night...or as often as possible, right?  This is sort of a hybrid--a cross between a crisp and a cobbler.



5 large apples, sliced and cored (we like Rome and Fugi)
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/3 c. agave nectar or honey, depending on how sweet you like it
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


3/4 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 c. almond flour*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon, or apple pie spices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the filling ingredients. Pour into a 9x13" glass baking dish. In a medium sized bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the agave and oil and mix well. (You can use your hands!) Crumble or spread the topping across the apples. Cover with foil for the first 25 minutes or so.  Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let rest ten minutes before serving.

If you have a high-powered blender such as a vita mix, you can easily make your own almond flour.  I just toss in a cup of nuts and blend on high for a few seconds.  Caution!  Don't over blend or you'll make almond butter and have to make Elana's brownies instead (which wouldn't be the end of the world, eh?).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Golden Skillet Cornbread

With autumn coming on (finally!) I am turning to old cold weather favorites. One of these is my cast iron skillet cornbread. This is our go-to cornbread recipe. Gluten, dairy, and egg free and easy-peasy. We like it with chili beans.

2 c brown rice flour
1 1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Ener G egg replacer (or 2 eggs)
1 1/3 c almond or other safe milk
1/2 c. honey (can take down to 1/3 c. but may need to add a bit more liquid)
8 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 12" cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Add the 8 tbsp of coconut oil to skillet, turn off burner and set aside. Mix dry ingredients (including egg replacer). Add milk and honey and mix. Carefully rotate oil around to coat the sides of the cast iron. Pour melted coconut oil from the skillet into the bowl and stir well. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve in slices. This recipe can be halved and baked in a 6 or 8" cast iron as well.

I have also used millet flour in place of the cornmeal. This is a good alternative for those who are corn free.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Confetti Rice Salad

This is my version of a recipe my husband's mother made for a party. Originally, it was found in a Taste of Home cookbook. My kids all like this so I'll often make it for lunch. Last time, I roasted my own red sweet peppers from the garden--so, so good!

4 cups cooked rice (I have used both basmati brown or white)
2 cups cooked black beans
3/4-1 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 green onions, diced (including greens)
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
4-6 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients. Chill 2 hrs. Serve in a large glass bowl (because it's pretty). Serves 4-6 people depending whether it's the main course or a side.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Want some Honey Baked Lentils with that chicken?

Right now I'm looking for easy, satisfying dishes--easy because I have to do them quickly or in phases between my sweet little one's interruptions; satisfying because, boy, can this boy eat! I'm still eating for two these days and I need food that will last. So here's my take on honey baked lentils--great with the brined chicken legs or a roast chook. I bake them at the same time, remembering to pull the lentils after the first hour if roasting a bird.


1 1/2 c. lentils
1/4 c. quinoa
5 c. water
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin

Dump ingredients into a 9x13" baking dish. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour. Leaving foil or lid on, allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We had a baby...BOY! and some yummy brined chicken

Yes, I am still cooking, tho hurriedly between nursing, holding and loving our new little bundle. I'll be back up here soon--really!
Our son was born at 38 weeks exactly. 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 22 inches long. Born at home; everything was perfect. I am feeling great and am trying to get used to having 4 children. {wink} Give me another month or two...

So in the meantime, check out this brining recipe for "competition chicken" from 3 men:

Competition Chicken
I forgo the soy and use thighs and drumsticks. Baked at 350 for 60 minutes or til juices run clear. MMM. EAT. EnJoY.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Excuses, excuses (and some pumpkin muffins)

I've been meaning to add some recipes all July! Life has been crazy though and this just kept getting pushed back. I have been pretty introverted this pregnancy and slipping in the rain a few weeks back has slowed me down even more. I didn't fall, but I did pull a muscle that makes it extremely uncomfortable to do much of anything--I'm supposed to take it easy...midwife's orders. I'm due in just a couple of weeks, so I am really trying to so it'll heal before I go into labor.

I made a batch of these muffins to freeze for after baby's arrival. There's just something about the smell of pumpkin and spices in the air that I can't resist.

Pumpkin Millet Muffins

1 c. coconut oil
2 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer + 1/2 c. of water
2 c. pumpkin puree
3/4 c. turbinado sugar
3/4 c. honey
2 heaping tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 c. millet flour
2 c. brown rice flour
2 tsp. xantham gum
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, mix all wet ingredients, plus turbinado. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix well. The consistency should be like a cake mix from the gluten days...if your pumpkin puree is thick, you may need to add a bit of safe milk a tbsp at a time til you get the desired consistency. Line muffin pan with muffin liners or grease muffin pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes (depending on how thick or thin your pumpkin puree is--mine was thin because it was homegrown; the canned stuff will be thicker.) Mine took the full 35 minutes this time. Let cool completely in the pans. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Makes two dozen.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maternity Musings...

Have I mentioned that I'm expecting? Well, I'm expecting. Number 4, due end of August. Yes, August. Only the hottest bit of the year around here. People ask why I planned it this way and I'm like, "you think I planned this?" "You think I want to be huge and hot?" Well, I did plan to have a baby, yes. And you take what you can get, my friends--so end of August and going through 110 + degree weather is all part of the excitement! If only I can survive...
When I knew we were pregnant, I got to worrying how we'd survive gf/cf/egg free, which translated to: How do I cook three meals a day everyday with no Mexican takeout to get me through the rough spots? (You know, morning sickness, food aversions, food aversions, morning sickness...with a few gluten and dairy cravings thrown in.) Only now can I say, at 31 weeks and 2 days (who's counting?) that it can be done. This has been my easiest pregnancy by far and I count it as a HUGE blessing--as huge as I feel these days!
So while gf/cf, ect isn't easy when you're pregnant, it can be done, even if you live rurally like we do with no immediate access to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and restaurants that actually have a GF menu. (Think Lady and the Tramp: "oh, and some chop suey, too!")
Now if I could just think of something to make for dinner...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mexican Pasta Skillet

Life throws some crazy days at you every now and then and we've had more than a share of them recently, it seems. My son got stung by a bee one day and then my youngest daughter got her pinkie slammed in the hinge of a door--practically a decapitated digit, as it were--which culminated in our first ever visit to the ER.
I got home wishing that I had this dish prepared--comfort food at it's finest. (You'll soon note that my definition of "comfort food" is usually Mexican food.)

Mexican Pasta Skillet

1 lb GF brown rice rotini pasta
1 lb ground beef, browned, drained
2 c. black beans
1 small onion, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
one medium heat green chili, diced (can omit if spicy isn't your thing)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1-14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 c. cilantro
Cook pasta al dente (not too done, or it won't hold up). Drain, rinse in cold water, drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, brown ground beef. Set aside. In a 12" skillet, saute veggies (leaving out garlic til the end) in the olive oil til tender crisp. Add garlic and saute one minute more. Add tomatoes, spices, salt, ground beef, pasta and black beans, and cilantro. Simmer on on med low for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to mesh and ingredients to heat through. Serve with a green salad.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicken Cottage Pie

Okay, so I made shepherd's pie for the first time a few weeks ago and my family really liked it. Last night we had a roast chicken and I saved a portion before setting it before the little savages--and it's a good thing, too! I think they picked the bones, lol. However, I did have leftovers--mashed potatoes. So what is the natural conclusion? A cross between chicken pot pie and shepherd's pie. We'll just call it a hybrid. And those little savages, er, children of mine? They loved it. I had to fight them for a portion for daddy, who was working late.

Chicken Cottage Pie

2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bag frozen mixed veggies (or your choice fresh--think celery, carrots, green beans, and peas)
1 c. chicken broth (make your own, so much better!)
1/2 c. coconut or safe milk
1 tbsp potato flour or other thickener
1 tsp poultry seasoning
sea salt and pepper to taste
4-6 c. mashed potatoes, depending on how thick you like your "crust"

In an oven-safe 12" skillet, saute the onion in olive oil til translucent. Add your veggies, chicken, broth, milk, and seasonings. Sprinkle in potato flour while stirring (if you seem to be lump-prone, add it to the cool chicken broth first). Simmer til heated through. Top with mashed potatoes and bake @375 degrees for 20 minutes or until your crust is browned.

Blueberry Millet Blender Pancakes

It's taken me awhile to figure out pancakes since going egg free. (Okay, one daughter is egg free so if I make anything for the family it is egg free and pancakes are no exception.) I was doing brown rice as the grain and any gluten free grain would probably work just fine, but I am enamored with millet at the moment...

Blueberry Millet Blender Pancakes

In a blender:

2 c. millet
water an inch above millet (how's that for exact?)
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 tbsp flax seed

I usually soak the grain overnight (this will help if your blender is not exactly a powerhouse)
Blend on high for 2 minutes.
ADD: 3 tsp rumford baking powder
ADD: one cup blueberries (frozen works too)
Heat skillet (I use my castiron) and then add some coconut oil. Cook on med-med high heat. Serve with raw honey or maple syrup. MMM.

This Bloggers DH found a new twist to these lovely cakes ...
Shown here are cinnamon raisin cakes with Maranatha chunky peanut butter, banana slices, raisins, drizzled raw honey and ground raw pumpkin seeds .... MMMMM!

Oh, Paella!

There are so many versions of paella out there. Some have shrimp, others chorizo, but I've found my family likes it plain and simple. It has become a favorite. I serve it with black beans and shredded red cabbage. It reminds my husband of simple Venezuelan fare.

4 tsbp cold pressed olive oil
6-8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
*one roasted red pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. crushed tomatoes
3 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp chili powder

*Can use jarred roasted red peppers in a pinch, or plain ol' red pepper, too!

In a deep 12" skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken and brown, about 6 minutes each side. Remove from skillet, leaving drippings in the pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and red pepper. Stir frequently until onion is tender. Add garlic, rice, and spices. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Add crushed tomatoes and water. Let heat to a simmer and tuck chicken into rice. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. The rice and chicken should both be done; if not, cook another ten minutes or so. (It sometimes takes longer if the chicken pieces are large.) Remove from heat and let stand five minutes. Serve with black beans and cabbage.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roasted Corn Salsa

I've been making this salsa for so many years I've got it memorized. I *think* the original recipe came from my aunt who got it??? Well, wherever it came from, it's here to stay. This is my go-to for potluck's and I'm always asked for the recipe.

Broil til golden:
4 cups frozen or fresh corn
Remove from oven and cool.

Meanwhile, slice, dice and mix:
2 cups black beans
4 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
4 (or more) cloves garlic, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
one c. cilantro chopped (makes about 1/2 c. once chopped)
1/3 c. cold pressed olive oil
4 limes, juice of
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Add cooled corn, mix well. Serve with chips, on burros, tacos, grilled chicken, any Mexican dish, really. Or just eat by the spoonful like I do.

PS--I keep forgetting to add pictures! I'll have to come back to that. Really.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Faux Fried Ice Cream

So I'll be the first to admit that I am not great at gluten free cakes--at least not since omitting eggs from our baked goods. This ice cream cake-ish dessert works just great for us for birthdays.

Faux Fried Ice Cream

2 cups gf/cf cereal (corn flakes, rice puffs, or a mix)
1/4 c. shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. turbinado sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil
coarsely chopped almonds
*1-2 pints of Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent or Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss icecream (I used 1 1/2)
gf/cf caramel syrup
gf/cf chocolate syrup

Crush cereal, turbinado sugar, coconut, cinnamon, and coconut oil in the bottom of a deep dish pie pan or 8"x8" baking pan, lightly greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Spread ice cream over cooled crust. Drizzle syrups and nuts over ice cream. Freeze well. Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving and use a knife dipped in water to cut. Serves 6-8.
*You can experiment with different flavors--mint is fun.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

zucchini and sweet onion saute

Okay, so this is as simple as it gets--so simple, you're probably wondering why it even gets its own post--what can I say? I love zucchini fresh from the garden! This was my favorite breakfast last summer, believe it or not. We picked our first two yesterday. Care to guess what we ate with dinner? Costata Romanesco is my all time favorite zucchini-type to grow and eat! The scalloped edges are pretty in any dish...

3 tsbp cold pressed olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
4 zukes, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over a med flame (love my cast iron skillet for this, by the way). Throw in onions and zucchini. Stir to separate zucchini slices. Place a lid on skillet. Stir every minute or so until onion is translucent and zucchini is tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat.

Tangy Coleslaw

The best gluten free foods are naturally gluten free! I had never been into "slaws" before trying a home made one. Slaws made at home are not limp, soggy things. No, they are vibrant, colorful and yum-o. Perfect for that summer BBQ.

1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, finely shredded
2 apples, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced (or shredded)

1/2 c. fresh orange juice or pear juice
1 lime, juice of
2 tsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp coconut milk (thai kitchen) or rice milk
6 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add to slaw. Toss. Keep chilled. Serves 6.