Tag Archives: gluten free

Summer Squash Bake

It is zucchini season. Finding delicious ways to eat this vegetable is quite easy. It’s subtle sweetness and versatile texture lend it to be delicious eaten raw or cooked. This recipe for “Summer Squash Bake” is currently my favorite way to eat zucchini, but some other options include: sauteed with onions and spinach, in a green curry, made into flax crackers, or puree into soups (adds a nice viscosity without cream).

 

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Gluten Free Buckwheat and Amaranth Bread

gf-breadThis bread is hearty with a nice bite, something that is hard to achieve when baking gluten free bread varieties.  Great as a compliment to dinner, as a grilled sandwich, or toasted with grass fed butter and homemade jam, this is a recipe that I encourage you to try if you are gluten free.  Buckwheat flour makes up the majority in this bread recipe followed by amaranth flour, both of which are full of nutrition.  Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a groat or seed that is usually toasted before being ground into a flour.  Different varieties have been around since 5300 BC, but have probably been eaten by humans even longer.  It is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber.  Amaranth, as well, is nutrient dense containing a good amount of protein, fiber, calcium, and some vitamin C.  This recipe yields two short loaves, but you could put all of the dough in one loaf pan for a larger loaf and cook longer, 60-70 minutes.  The bread is thoroughly cooked when you can flick the top of the bread, it feels solid and thuds with a hollow sound remitting back.  Here is the recipe:

Dry Ingredients
1  1/2 c. buckwheat flour plus more for dusting
1 c. amaranth flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. arrowroot flour
1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. ground psyllium husk
1  1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients
 2  1/2 - 3 c. water
 3 T grass fed or organic butter
 1 T chia seeds
 1 T gelatin
 1 T molasses

Warm 2 1/2 c. water over medium-low heat.  Add butter, chia, molasses, turn heat to low and stir well.  Sprinkle gelatin lightly and evenly over warmed mixture and let stand to dissolve.  If all of the gelatin does not dissolve, then gelly balls will end up in the final product, so try to remove any gelatinous bits that do not dissolve well.

In a large separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to incorporate well.  Whisk wet ingredients until they are coherent and butter is melted.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.  The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and stick to itself making a dough ball, but will remain slightly tacky.  Divide dough into two halves.  Use some more buckwheat flour for dusting over the top, sides, and your hands to help navigate the dough into a pan.  Press into two loaves pans that have been greased with coconut oil or butter.  Cut a shallow groove lengthwise down the center to encourage even baking.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 – 50 minutes.  The bread is cooked, when you can flick the top of the bread, it feels solid and thuds with a hollow sound remitting back.  Cool slightly before removing loaves from pan to a cooling rack.  Let the bread cool completely before slicing, or else it will be gummy.  It will keep longer stored in the fridge.  Enjoy.

Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola

3 medium organic apples, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c. coconut flakes
1/2 c. cashew pieces
1/4 c. chia seeds
2 T. flax seeds
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 T. honey
1 T. cinnamon
1 stevia packet
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt

This granola gets crunchy as the apples dehydrate and then cool.  It is sweet, salty and delicious served over plain, organic, grass fed yogurt or with almond milk.

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt the coconut oil and honey until just combined.  Add vanilla, cinnamon, stevia, sea salt and stir to combine.  Add in all other ingredients and stir to coat.  Place in an even layer on two dehydrator trays or on a sheet pan.  Use a dehydrator set to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, for 12 hours, rotating trays halfway through cook time.  Also, could be done in an oven set to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or lowest temperature.  If your oven does not go this low, lessen cook time and stir more often.

Bacon and Veggie Hash

This is a really satisfying breakfast that is perfect for weekend mornings.  What makes it thoroughly satisfying is the blend of flavors lent from salty, smoky bacon paired with the sweet from the sweet potato, sweet and pungent onion set the stage for earthy shiitakes.  There is always room for spinach, so that goes in too.

2 slices bacon, cut into lardons.
1/4 of an onion, sliced thin
4 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 small sweet potato, pre-cooked and diced
2 c. fresh spinach
sea salt

Slice bacon and place in a cool pan.  Put pan over low heat to render the fat slowly.  This will make the bacon crispy all the way through.  Stir occasionally until bacon becomes desired crispness.  Drain off excess fat, reserving about 1 T. in the pan for sauteing.  Add onion and sprinkle with a dash of sea salt, stir.  Let onion cook until translucent over low-medium heat stirring occasionally.  Now add shiitakes, a dash of sea salt, the sweet potatoes, a dash of sea salt and the spinach with a teeny bit of sea salt.  Do not stir yet, the order in which these veggies were added to the pan will allow them to cook just as is, in the pan for 3-5 minutes.  Now, stir until spinach is wilted and serve.  This would be good topped with an over easy egg or hollandaise sauce.  A breakfast fit for one, but can easily be doubled or quadrupled.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and Easy Broth

3-4 lb whole chicken, preferably humanely raised and organic
1 large onion, cut in half with skin removed
4 potatoes
1/4 c. white wine (optional)
4 garlic cloves
1 T. each: savory, thyme, rosemary
2 bay leaves
sprinkling of salt, pepper garlic seasoning salt
2 T. butter
1 T. corn starch
sea salt

In a large slow cooker, place whole potatoes, onion, bay leaves, wine, and garlic cloves in bottom and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic seasoning.  In a separate bowl, combine savory, thyme, and rosemary, rub between fingers to break up the herbs and release their oils.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic seasoning on breast side of whole chicken then sprinkle herb mixture onto breast side of chicken.  Place chicken, breast side down, on top of potatoes and onions, into slow cooker.  Now sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic seasoning and herb mixture onto this side of the chicken that is facing up.  Place lid on and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on a cutting board to rest.  Remove onions to separate bowl or plate.  Remove potatoes and garlic cloves along with about 1/2 c. of the liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the cooker to a bowl and mash with 2 T. butter and a dash of sea salt.

To make a gluten free gravy:  Place 2 c. of liquid from bottom of slow cooker into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add corn starch to 1/4 c. cold water to make a slurry.  Add this slurry to the sauce pan along with 2 T. brown rice flour and 1 tsp sea salt  Whisk in.  Cook until mixture just boils and begins to thicken.  Remove from heat.

Section the chicken however you see fit.  I like to eat the thigh first while my husband likes the breast.  Serve with onion, mashed potatoes smothered in gravy alongside a simple arugula salad.

After dinner, section the chicken pieces, place pieces in a container for the fridge.  We can get about three meals plus chicken broth from one whole chicken, so this is an exceptional cost effective buy.  The remaining bones, skin and chicken bits not worth eating, I place back into the slow cooker with about 6 c. of water to cook on low for 10 hours.  This will make a broth with more depth of flavor than you can find in a box, more than worth the few minutes it takes separate the final broth into jars.  Use a sieve and fill each jar leaving 1 inch of head room.  To prevent the jar from breaking, keep the lid off, put jar and lid into freezer and in a day when the broth is frozen, twist on the cap.

Happy Birthday Cake to Me

cakeToday is my birthday, yeah me, and yeah, my mom.  Mom, thanks for bringing me into this world.

Growing up, I often made my own birthday cake. My mom encouraged my brother and I to cook, but mainly I enjoyed the process of creating this birthday treat myself.  Back then, birthday cake came from a box, which is a one-80 from how I view food, prepare, cook, create, and eat today.  Even though my kitchen skills started from a box, I am very thankful to my mother for encouraging me to get in the kitchen.

Due to my food intolerances and thus, enable myself to thoroughly enjoy my birthday cake, I will create it myself.  This cake is almost dairy free (a little bit from butter, which lends a depth of flavor not available from coconut oil), egg free, and gluten free.

Here is the recipe, which also makes an excellent brownie sans frosting:

1 c. water
2 T. organic butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 T. gelatin
1/4 c.unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. rice flour
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 7 inch x 11 inch brownie pan with butter and place a piece of parchment on the bottom of pan.  Heat 1 c. water over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.  Turn off heat.  Sprinkle gelatin over the top of the water evenly and let it soak up the water.  Once gelatin is dissolved, stir.  If not all of the gelatin is dissolving, pick out any clumps, so these do not end up in the final product.  Add butter and chocolate, stir until melted.  Add all other ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour into the greased pan.  Bake for 27-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the frosting, I was able to find an amazing tasting frosting in the store that was made with unrefined organic palm shortening (a healthy tropical fat) and cane sugar, called Dollop.  It was creamy and luscious.

For decorating: remove the cake from it’s pan once completely cooled.  Cut the entire cake in two equal pieces in order to make a layer cake.  Put one half of the cake on a large plate and frost the top of this piece then place the other half of the cake on top of that.  Continue to frost the top and sides.

I have to give credit to all of the cake decorators out there, this is a hard task, with making sure the frosting sticks without incorporating crumbs from the cake.  It was not the prettiest cake I have ever seen, but it was soft and sweet, chocolatey and creamy.  It was perfect for me and I wish I had more.

This cake serves about 8 people.

Parsnip and Potato Mash

4 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 c. small red potatoes
2 T. grass fed butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 large cloves garlic, grated
2-4 grinds of black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for boiling water

Place washed potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a big pinch of sea salt.  Bring water to boil, remove lid and continue to cook parsnips and potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain water from pot.  Return parsnips and potatoes to pot and let them release steam into the air.  By removing extra moisture this way, the parsnips and potatoes can soak up flavors better.  Now, add everything else to the pot and begin to mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.  (My masher broke and I keep forgetting to buy another one, so end up using this technique more often than I wish to.  This technique just takes a little bit more arm strength and perseverance.  Haha, such is life!)  Taste it, maybe it needs more salt or butter, add it, if that suits your taste.  Makes about 4 servings.

I served these mashers with a mixed baby greens salad tossed in a Preserved Lemon and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette along with a chorizo sausage, nitrate free of course, and a little bit of dijon mustard.  This is a delicious early autumn meal and pairs well with hard cider.