Friday, January 28, 2011

Triple Berry Cobbler

We had this for breakfast this morning.  Every now and then you just gotta have a special breakfast; today was one of those mornings.  The rest of the day was crazy-chaotic, so it was nice to begin it in such a laid-back way.    I have pics of this (we took when we were finished), but my camera is awaiting a newer, longer lasting rechargeable battery, so it'll have to wait.

So, it's been months since my blog has had any pizazz at all.  Thanks to my wonderful husband, this blog actually looks, well, more like a blog!  He is my Tech Support, as well as The Keeper of the Photos.  I am so glad I have him to help me! 

[triple berry cobbler]

preheat oven to 400 degrees

in a 9x13" baking dish, mix:

1- bag of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/3 c. agave nectar

in a small bowl, make up a batch of these biscuits, adding another tbsp or two of agave if you like.

drop twelve small biscuits on top of berry mix in your dish.

bake for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked through. 

[serves 6]

Hoppin' Johns {BLACK EYED PEAS}

 We eat a lot of legumes around here--black beans, kidney, white, pinto, anasazi, lentils, and black eyed peas.  Aside from the lentils and BEP's (black eyed peas) I soak them all overnight and then let them cook away on the stove til they're ready--usually three hours.  I throw in a couple of garlic cloves and bay leaves.  That's it while they're cookin'.  Did you know that salt makes legumes hard?  I learned this the "hard" way,  pun intended.  So throw your salt in at the end. 
Now lentils and BEP's don't take that long to cook at all (about an hour) and would fall apart if soaked overnight.  When I remember, I soak them for an hour before cooking.  The salt rule doesn't seem to apply to either of these.  Hoppin' Johns usually have rice in them, but we prefer them without.


1 cup turkey bacon or turkey ham
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 c. black eyed peas
2 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2-1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
2 tsp. sea salt
6-7 c. water

In a large pot, saute bacon, onion, and red pepper in olive oil for about ten minutes.  Add garlic, bay leaf, and chili pepper flakes.  Saute another minute.  Add black eyed peas, water, and salt.  Simmer on med-low for about an hour, adding a bit more water if necessary, til BEP's are cooked through. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gluten free on a budget

This has been on my mind a lot lately and if any of you are like me, then you've been pondering it, too!  We are on a tight budget and food takes up a lot of it!  I know there are children out there that eat like birds, but none--not one!  have been sent to our home.  Poor kids inherited fast metabolisms from dad and a love for food from mom, so they're doomed.  And what kid isn't into social eating?  Dad's eating?  Kids want to, too.
Pre-gluten free, I still made everything (mostly) from scratch, but it was full of gluten.  Duh.  Or, doh!  I had a grinder and made our own multi-grain breads, rolls, muffins, desserts, ect.  Our food storage was full of wheat, barley, white wheat, spelt, kamut (my favorite!), rolled oats, oat groats, and steel cut get the picture.  Each of those, if not gluten-guilty, is guilty by association.  And I loved Annie's Mac and Cheese for those busy days (with lots of brocolli!).  But, I also had brown rice, and quinoa and used those on a regular basis--just not really in baking. 
Now we are gluten free and gluten free packaged items cost more.  The trade off is that they usually have better ingredients.  Even organic, if that means anything to you.  And probably not GMO, which is nice.  We also lost eggs and all dairy as well.  Or rather, my daughter did, and we all eat to her, for the most part.  So off the top of my head, here are some tips for eating gluten free on a budget:

  • Eat alike.  Feed the whole family the same meal.  Saves in many ways, but especially mom's time.  Cooking different meals for different family members is tough.  (tho I know some who have many intolerances and have to do this...) Home isn't a restuarant.  Which brings me to my next thought:
  • Limit eating out.   The good gluten free restuarants are pricey!
  • Invest in a good grain grinder like the Whisper Mill or NutriMill--my Whisper Mill is four years old and I've never had an issue with it!  And, obviously, don't buy used--same rule applies to grinders as to cutting boards.
  • Buy grains and anything else you can in bulk.  I buy my grains and legumes in 25 lb.  bags.  Other items I buy in quantity:  agave nectar, raw local honey (it's cheaper as a local source), sea salt, baking powder, starches, olive oil, coconut oil, ect.  Sweeteners and oils are usually cheaper by the gallon or more.  I buy my coconut oil in five gallon buckets.
  • Stock up on staples on sale--canned tomatoes, coconut milk, olives, ect.  Or at least buy one or two extra when you can and keep them out of rotation to stock up your pantry.
  • Keep aside a portion of your food budget (if at all possible) to save towards your larger purchases (if you can't buy them outright) such as bulk grains, ect. 
  • Utilize Amazon's Subscribe and Save and Mom's club for whatever packaged items you may need...chocolate chips, starches, ect.  I have a running shopping list and try to buy one 6 or 4 pack of something a month to stock up the pantry--free shipping and 15% off their regular pricing applies in many cases.
  • Cook from scratch.  If you can make it, don't buy it pre-packaged.
  • Buy naturally gluten free foods:  potatoes, legumes, fruits, vegetables (frozen, too!), ect. are all gluten free.
  • Check out your local scene:  you may be able to find raw honey (for example) less expensively in your area...farmer's markets are great, as is:
  • Gardening!  Depending on grocery costs in your area, gardening may be a good way to help the budget--it's also great for exercise.
  • Buy your meats and poultry on sale--even just one extra helps.

I'll try to post more ideas as I think of them.  These are some of the ways our family eats well--both gluten (and dairy and egg) free and on a budget.

Friday, January 14, 2011

peanut butter chocolate ganache frosting

This goes well on brownies or cake.  For cupcakes, I dip the tops in the warm frosting.  Easy-peasy.  The recipe makes enough for one 9x13" pan of brownies, but I double for cake.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache

1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c. agave
1/4 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. chocolate chips (I use enjoy life brand)

In a small saucepan, over a low flame, gently melt ingredients together, adding chocolate chips last.  Remove from heat as soon as melted.  Spread over brownies, dip cupcakes, or frost cake. 

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free Drop Biscuits

I have been working on biscuits for a long time.  Just when I seemed to get a recipe down, it wouldn't turn out the next time I made them.  My husband took these on too, and we got to a point where they were, well, just okay.  I've been experimenting a bit with almond flour, thanks to Elana's Pantry (link on my sidebar).  I think I finally figured out a recipe that works for us.  And the cinnamon raisin variation is a favorite with my kids.


1 1/2 c. almond flour
1 c. sorghum or rice flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tbsp. ener-g egg replacer
2 tsp. agave nectar
4 tbsp. coconut or grapeseed oil
1/2-3/4 c. water or safe milk


in a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, including egg replacer.  with  a fork, cut in agave and oil.  Add water and mix completely.  Drop biscuits onto a baking sheet with a large spoon or ice cream scoop.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes or til lightly browned on top.

cinnamon raisin version: 

-add 1 tsp. cinnamon to the dry ingredients
-up agave to 4 tsp.
-after mixing biscuits, gently incorporate 1/3 c. raisins into the batter. 
-bake as usual

makes 12 biscuits

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette

I googled the spelling and Vinaigrette it is!  This is my go-to dressing.  Though I just as often leave out the roasted pepper, lol. 

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1 clove garlic
half of one roasted red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of pepper
3 tbsp. diced red onion
1/3-1/2 c. cold pressed olive oil

  • blend everything but the olive oil
  • turn blender to low and slowly drizzle in olive oil
  • leftovers keep 1-2 weeks

blueberry right-side-up cake

This was a totally unexpected surprise.  I was making Flying Apron's Berry Corn Muffins, but had to sub some things.  I wasn't sure how {if} it would turn out...turns out, it made a dessert instead.  My husband said it reminds him of pineapple upside down cake, only with blueberries.  The cake sort of seperates during baking, so there's these subtle layers going on...yellow, cream, and blue.  It was quite a hit.

blueberry right-side-up-cake

~preheat oven to 375
~mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:

1 c. WHITE rice flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1/3 c. corn grits
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt

~blend together:

1/2 c. grapeseed oil
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. agave
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. flax seed
1 tsp. gf vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon oil or 6 drops doterra essential oil

~pour blended ingredients into the bowl and mix with the dry ingredients. 
~pour into a greased 9x13" pan (the batter will be thin) and gently sprinkle blueberries on top--you want them to sort of float.
~bake for 25-30 minutes, til golden and the blueberries are well set.

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Kidney Beans, and Roasted Red Peppers

With a name like that, do I even have to add a recipe???  Another quick post while sitting home from church with the baby.  This is a fast and easy meal, if you have everything on hand.  It is good alone with just a salad, or with chicken as well.

Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 lb. gf brown rice pasta ( i like tinkyada's or trader joe's)
2 c. kidney beans
1 c. mushrooms
1 c. roasted red peppers
4 cloves garlic
2 c. spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. cold pressed olive oil
1/4 c. water

  • cook pasta
  • saute garlic gently in olive oil
  • in a blender, blend together on low:  garlic in olive oil, 1/4 c. water, 1/2 c. roasted peppers (retaining other half for dish)
  • saute mushrooms
  • add kidney beans, pasta, remaining peppers, and spinach
  • heat through
  • salt ans pepper to taste
  • serve

Vegan Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream--Vita Mix Style

I am holding a sick baby, typing one-handed, so these posts will be short--and some of them, sweet. ;-)  I had a need for chocolate ice cream the other night and invented this.  It was amazingly creamy.  My husband approved, too.  You do need a high-powered blender for this, otherwise you'll have ice chunks.
chocolate pecan ice cream
1/4 c. boiling water
1/2 c. gf cocoa
1-14 oz. can coconut milk, full fat
1 tsp. gf vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 c. agave nectar
4 c. ice
1/2 c. pecans
  • in a freezer safe bowl, mix boiling water, cocoa, and vanilla--it won't be totally liquid
  • add coconut milk and agave and stir well
  • add xanthan gum; make sure it's mixed in well
  • freeze for an hour, stirring once or twice
  • add ice
  • pour into blender
  • mix on high, stirring with the blender's tamper
  • pour back into your bowl and add pecans
  • serve immediately; freeze leftovers