Monday, October 17, 2011

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

This year I finally had a good tomato crop. I grew mostly heriloom varieties and some tomatillos. Lots of cherry varieties too. This sauce could be all tomatillo or a combination of cherry tomatoes and tomatillos.

1.5 pounds tomatillos or a mixture of tomatillos and cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
handful of cilantro sprigs

Roast the tomatillos and tomatoes in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes until they are starting to brown and break down somewhat. You can also roast the garlic and jalapenos along with them if you desire. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Yum! Serve over something : ) This would be great in a mexican dish or just over some fish.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Asian Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a big favorite in my house, but all I had were flat rice noodles for Pad Thai. So...Asian Meatballs it is! This turned out better than I expected. Bonus! I made a stir fry with carrots, fennel, broccoli and rice noodles, then mixed in about half of the sauce. But you could just make the meatballs as an appetizer too and skip the stir fry.

1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fine gluten-free bread crumbs
2 lbs ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
5 Tablespoons Tamari
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons agave

Mix together the milk, breadcrumbs, ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, cilantro, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Form into balls with about 1 or 2 Tbsp of meat mixture each. Place in baking dish and cook at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through and starting to brown.

Make sauce by mixing together 4 Tablespoons Tamari, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 2 Tablespoons lime juice and 2 Tablespoons agave.

When meatballs are done, remove from oven and drain fat. Toss meatballs with the sauce.

Serve with rice, a stir fry, or a rice-noodle stir fry. You can reserve some of the sauce and mix it in with your rice or stir fry if you wish, then top with the meatballs.

3 medium carrots, sliced
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 small head of broccoli
1 package rice noodles (8 oz), soaked in hot water for 10 min
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

Heat oils in wok or sautee pan. Sautee the carrots, fennel and broccoli until tender. Drain rice noodles and add to the wok. Stir fry a couple of minutes, then add a few tablespoons of the meatball sauce. Taste and add more if you desire. Save the rest of the sauce to flavor the meatballs or drizzle over your stir fry. Top the noodles with meatballs.

A great dish for adults and kids!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped (can use a variety)
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 Fresno pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
10 sprigs cilantro, chopped

optional: 1 chopped avocado

Mix together and keep in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors blend.

Use a manual food processor if you have one or put in a regular food processor and pulse. Stir in the avocado (if using it) at the very end. This will thicken the salsa.

This was fresh and tasty, but not very hot and spicy. If you like it hot, add more jalapenos and use the membranes and seeds, or throw in a habenero!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I just purchased a large amount of blanched almond flour. So now I need to create some recipes. Elana's Pantry has been a great starting place. So I tried out her revised pancake recipe. I added blueberries to the last part of the batter and liked them that way much better.

2 eggs
1/4 cup agave
1 Tbsp vanilla

mix in blender, then add...

1.5 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

...reblend then *add water

....reblend again for 1 second

let it sit for 15 minutes to thicken up

*I had to add water to the batter before adding blueberries to thin it out a didn't look like it would pour out of the blender.

mmmm....pretty good. and lots of protein, fiber, omegas : )

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Cake

I just love it when I can take a regular recipe, change one thing, and make it gluten-free! This Mexican Chocolate Cake was really yummy. I served it with Coconut Gelato...yum! I found the recipe in Cooking Light magazine. Here is my gluten-free version...

1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose)
1/3 cup Dutch Process cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg whites
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 ounce Mexican chocolate, chopped (I just used chocolate chips because that was all I had)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Spray an 8 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line with wax paper. Coat wax paper with spray and dust with flour (if desired.) (I just used a springform pan and didn't bother dusting it with flour. It turned out fine.)

Mix dry ingredients well in a bowl.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg whites, 1 at at time, beating until blended. Gradually add flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan, tap on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a cooling rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake, invert. Carefully remove wax paper.

Combine milk and chocolate in a small saucepan and heat gently on stove. Use a small whisk to blend it together as the chocolate melts. Cool slightly and drizzle over cake. Let glaze set and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sandwich Bread

I just bought a breadmaker. I had been avoiding them, not wanting to deal with yet another appliance on my counter. I don't mind baking gluten-free bread in the oven. But sometimes it is great to be able to put it in there and leave the house. I spend enough time in the kitchen as it is.

There are some pretty good store-bought breads here in Boulder. But they are $5.50 per loaf and the loaves are small, verging on tiny. Also, the ingredients are not the healthiest. You can eat unhealthily as a gluten-free person if you rely too much on processed food. I like to know what is in my food anyway.

I am experimenting with my bread recipe. I have tried a lot of different ingredient combinations, but what seems to be most important is the ratio of the ingredients. Try subbing for what you have on hand or whatever sounds like a good combo to you. Let me know if you come up with one you like.

Here are the general instructions:

Wet ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup applesauce (or sour cream)
3 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup, or agave)
1/4 cup oil (canola, olive, sunflower)
2 eggs

Dry ingredients:

3 cups gluten free flour of your choice
2-3 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp sea salt
2.5 tsp. active dry yeast

Get your ingredients out ahead of time and allow them to come to room temperature before starting. This will make a huge difference in the success of your loaf!
Whisk together the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients well. Pour the wet ingredients into the bread maker. Scoop the dry mix into the bread mixer. Run through a gluten-free cycle in your breadmaker if you have one. If there is no gluten-free cycle, see if there is one with just one rise instead of two. Newer models tend to have a gluten-free cycle. My breadmaker is a Cuisinart.

Note: it helps sometimes in the first 20 minutes or so to check on your dough and use a spatula to scrape the sides if necessary.

When its done, leave it in the Breadmaker for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before slicing or storing. Can be frozen. Slice first and put in a ziplock freezer bag.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wolfberry Granola

6 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup wolfberries or goji berries
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup applesauce

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then add the maple syrup and applesauce and heat through. Pour this mixture onto the dry ingrediets and stir until evenly coated. Put the granola in a large roasting pan or on a large jelly roll pan with sides and place in oven. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven when granola looks evenly toasted but don't let it get too brown. This could take from 40-60 minutes depending on your pan size and your oven. Let the granola cool off then store it in large glass mason jars.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"This is good, mommy!"

These words are music to my ears! And NO, I wasn't feeding my son chocolate cake, cookies or ice cream. What was this wonderful food, then? Mung beans, broccoli and Quinoa! I went easy on the spices. I am so gung ho about ayurvedic cooking that I can often over-spice and then it is just too much for a 4 year old, even though I've been feeding him Kitchari since he was less than a year old. Kitchari is more of a winter food so we haven't had it in a while. Last night I didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store and wanted my family to have a healthy meal and I had all the ingredients on hand. I made sure to go easy on the spices to make sure my munchkin would eat his dinner. The maple syrup was really the clincher though. Once the syrup went on he was all over it and soon was telling me "This is good, mommy!" I think he was surprised that he liked it so much. He ate every last bite and it was a big serving too.

*You will need to go to your local Indian Grocery or go online to purchase split mung dal. It is really hard to find in a regular grocery store.

Kid-friendly Kitchari!

1 cup split mung dal
1 cup quinoa
3 cups chopped broccoli
8 cups water
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamon

Top with:
coconut oil (make sure it is a very high quality, extra-virgin, organic one!)
maple syrup (100% pure maple--not Aunt Jemima!)

Directions: Rinse the mung dal then soak in the water for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil then add the remaining ingredients. Bring back to a boil then turn down to a simmer until the beans are tender. Top with extra coconut oil and maple syrup to taste.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peanut Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural)
1 Tbsp Tamari
2 Tbsp Agave
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
dash of cayene

Whisk all ingredients together

Toss with sauteed veggies, salads, or pad thai

Tonight I tossed this sauce with brown rice fettucine and purple cabbage and broccoli sauteed in coconut oil with cumin seeds. Yum!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Today I went to a gluten-free meetup at Turley's in Boulder. Meeting with other gluten-free/intolerant/celiacs was a good experience. Kind of like a support group. Discussing the similar challenges we've had with adapting to this diet was helpful.

I realized that it is for my own good to be assertive about my dietary restrictions when eating out or at a social event. I have a tendency to not want to be a bother. I often allow the questioning of others to convince me that I am exagerating the effects of gluten.

It is hard sometimes to really know what is the truth because there is not a strict guideline for labeling or a standardized test. The only way you can really know if there is gluten in something is to feel the reaction in your own body. And no one with celiac wants to do that on purpose.

As we cut the gluten out we become more and more sensitive to it as time goes on. Our bodies start to send us signals within a bite or two. We learn from the accidental glutening what it feels like and are reminded of what we used to feel like all the time but never noticed it because we never got away from gluten long enough to feel anything else.

I also realized today that I may be reacting to dairy products. I try to limit dairy but have not cut it out entirely. Going off of dairy may improve my health and its time to give it a 30 day trial. Tomorrow will be Day 1.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Granola Bars

2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten-free Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pecans
1 cup sliced or chopped raw almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup applesauce
1 cup honey
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp ground flax soaked in 3 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups assorted dried fruit or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the oats, sunflower seeds, coconut and nuts on a large stoneware pan or jelly roll pan for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and then turn oven down to 300 degrees.

Combine applesauce, honey, sunflower oil, and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl. Combine flax and hot water together in a small bowl. After 5 minutes, combine the flax with the applesauce mixture. Stir in salt and cinnamon. Cut up any large pieces of dried fruit into 1/4 inch pieces.

When the oat mixture is finished toasting, remove from pan and stir it into the applesauce mixture until thoroughly moistened. Then stir in the dried fruit.

Prepare your jelly roll or stoneware pan by greasing with butter or vegetable oil. Then spread the mixture evenly onto the pan with a large spatula and firm it down. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes.

Let cool, then cut into squares.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins (gluten-free and vegan)

1.5 cups old fashioned gluten-free oats (ground to a flour in food processor or blender)
1.25 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 2 Tbsp warm water
1 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 cup fresh blueberries


Soak chia seeds in the 1/2 cup of water. Soak the flax seeds in the 2 Tbsp water. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl of a stand mixer. (Or you can just mix by hand.)

Combine the applesauce with the soaked chia seeds and ground flax mixture. Mix in the sunflower oil.

Add wet ingredients to the dry and blend until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries.

Line muffin tin with paper muffin liners.

Bake at 350 degrees approx 20 minutes

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Cookies!

This recipe is based on one from The Gluten-Free Vegan cookbook by Susan O'Brien. I have only made them once so far, but this is an amazing recipe. Everyone who tried these loved them. They taste more like chocolate candy than a cookie. But we can pretend : ) The good news is that they have some pretty healthy ingredients.

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

1/2 cup coconut
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or waxed paper)
2. Toast the coconut: Heat a small skillet on the burner over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the coconut and , with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir it around in the pan until is starts to brown. Don't let it burn, just toast it lightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and, when it has melted, place it in a large bowl to cool slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients including the coconut, and mix until thoroughly blended.
4. Drop by spoonfuls on the prepared platter and refrigerate until completely cooled.

Lemon Chia Seed Bread

I just made this for the first time today. It tastes just like lemon-poppy seed bread, but it is much healthier. No gluten and sweetened with Agave nectar. Here is the original recipe I found on a website. I made a few minor changes and may make some more after more experimentation. I used more liquid than the original recipe and I also used more chia seeds. This is a great recipe because no additional binder such as xanthan gum is necessary. Xanthan gum can be expensive and it may also be an allergen for some people. But so many of the gluten-free mixes on the market contain it. Let me know how this recipe works for you. I bake my in a stoneware loaf pan and it comes right out. I cool it for a bit in the pan on a cooling rack. But since the stoneware is nonstick, the bread doesn't get stuck to the bottom. I have ruined so many loaves until I discovered nonstick stoneware!

Lemon-Chia Seed Bread

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup milk
4 Tb lemon juice
3 Tb chia seed
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup agave syrup
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (Or if you use a stoneware loaf pan, you just need to lightly oil or spray it first.)

2.In a small bowl, place the milk, lemon juice and chia seed. Allow the mixture to sit as this will give the chia seed a chance to begin gelling.

3.In a medium sized bowl, place the first six (dry) ingredients and blend.

3. In a mixing bowl put in your softened butter, agave syrup and blend. Add the eggs and grated lemon peel and blend again. Next add the chia seed mixture and blend. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix until just blended taking care not to over mix.

4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. Then remove the bread and cover with aluminum foil. Return the loaf to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kabocha Squash Soup

1 Kabocha squash
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground sage
dash of cayene
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Bake the Kabocha squash WHOLE at 350 degrees until tender (about 1 hour). Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Let cool until easier to handle then scoop out the flesh. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot. Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add chopped onion to bacon drippings and cook on med-low heat until tender. Add spices and cook for a minute or two. Then add your Kabocha flesh and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then turn down to a nice simmer for about 15 minutes until Kabocha is falling apart more easily. Use an immersion blender to puree (or a stand blender, in batches, being careful not to burn yourself) . Stir in coconut milk and blend again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon bits to serve.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Walnut Coffee Cake (gluten-free)

1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder (check to make sure its gluten-free and aluminum-free)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup milk


3 Tbsp gluten-free flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp salt

Put dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk or stir together to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Lightly beat egg and then blend in canola oil and milk. Stir wet ingredients into the dry until completely moistened. Combine topping ingredients in a separate bowl. Butter a 9x9 baking dish and pour in batter. Then sprinkle on topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Enough Turkey Leftovers?

For all you turkey lovers and especially for those who can't find the time to spend all day cooking a whole turkey, please read on!!! We didn't get to have any turkey at all since we were traveling on Thanksgiving this year. I went to Sunflower Farmer's Market over the weekend for their $1.27 /lb turkey special. They had some fresh turkeys left but only in 20 or more pounds. So, I asked them to cut the whole turkey in half down the breastbone for me. Then I froze one half. The other half I cut up in three pieces, breast, leg and wing. I used the wing to make a soup. The leg and breast I cooked in only 2 hours in my oven. I placed the leg and breast on a large baking sheet and rubbed with a spice blend and olive oil and put it uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then I covered the entire pan with foil and turned down to 350 degrees, cooking for another 1.5 hours (this will depend on how big your turkey is.) I used a meat thermometer to make sure it was done, but not overcooked. This is the easiest turkey you will ever make! The meat was flavorful, tender and delicious. And now I have tons of leftover turkey to munch on all week or use in soups and casseroles. Yay!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I've been baking like crazy the last few weeks. Too busy to even post anything. Sometimes its more important to just do something than to write about it or even think about it. Although I am too much in my right brain to properly blog everything at the moment, I want to at least write briefly about it so that maybe I'll remember the important details later.

For a few weeks I experimented with gluten-free sourdough bread. I kept thinking that the next loaf would be better, but I was never satisfied. Most of the loaves were a complete disaster. A few were edible and actually pretty tasty, but not quite there.

Then I went on to converting my grandma's pumpkin bread recipe. That one worked out really well. I'll post that soon. I added chocolate chips to the original. I tend to add chocolate chips to my baking a lot. I guess its not quite like grandma used to make. But I like to roast and puree the pumpkin instead of using canned.

Then I tried to make caramels. Without corn syrup. Still working on that one...

Now I'm on to perfecting the gluten-free brownie. I can make some darn good brownies, but of course I am looking for the perfect brownie. This should be easier to achieve than the sourdough bread. I hope.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer Squash Bread (gluten-free)

Summer squash seems to be able to grow 6 inches overnight. I went out to my garden this morning to find an abundance of good-sized yellow squash. I was holding off on picking them the other day because they were just a tad too small.

This year I somehow ended up with all yellow summer squash and no green zucchini at all. I think someone mixed up the seeds at the plant store. I didn't get my own squash seeds started in time, so I was happy to have any at all. I do have two different varieties of the yellow this year and both are doing well. One is straighneck and a very vibrant yellow. The other is a pale yellow crookneck.

I used the largest straightneck one to make this bread and used two others in a casserole. At first I thought the batter was going to be too runny and never firm up, but it actually turned out very well. It is moist and somewhat spongey--not dry or crumbly and does not fall apart when you slice it.

Next time I will add nuts and/or chocolate chips or maybe some different spices. I made this earlier this evening, let it cool, and wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap. I am hoping it will be wonderful in the morning lightly toasted with a pat of butter and cup of coffee.

2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 cups grated summer squash
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together flour, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar until well combined. Stir in grated summer squash. Stir in dry ingredients.
Turn into greased loaf pan (1.5 quarts) and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove carefully and cool on a wire rack.

Pizza Sauce

The hardest part about being gluten-free for me is giving up Pizza. I have gotten excited going out to a pizza place and discovering they offer gluten-free pizza, only to be extremely disappointed in the cardboard crusted, previously frozen tasting, overpriced excuse for a pizza that was served to me. I have concluded that the only way I am ever going to get to enjoy pizza is to make it myself. Bob's Red Mill makes a great pizza crust mix. I am still working on perfecting my own crust recipe. But I think what really makes my pizza amazing is this sauce. It's very easy to make and really enhances the flavors of whatever you decide to top your pizza with. This recipe usually makes one very large pizza or two medium to large pizzas.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
Salt to taste (how much depends on the salt content of your canned tomatoes and paste)

Heat olive oil in small saucepan.
Add spices and garlic.
Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes.
Add sugar.
Let simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened.

About Eggs...

I am starting to feel guilty about eating eggs. After the recent news story about the animal activist who posted a YouTube video taken in a hatchery of male chicks being pulverized, I am feeling uneasy. I have been vegan before but I sensed I needed protein, so I began eating meat, dairy and eggs again. This later made sense after my celiac diagnosis because the damage to my digestive track was so severe I was barely absorbing protein. My body was craving it. Now that I've been gluten-free for over a year, is it too soon to cut out protein again? Yes it is probably too soon. But maybe I will start cutting back on eggs and meat gradually and see what happens. Some of my best muffin recipes have no eggs or dairy, so it doesn't always have to be a sacrifice in taste. Just another challenge in the cooking and baking arena for me to tackle!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gluten-Free Coconut Cupcakes (Spiderman frosting is optional!)

I love coconut! I didn't like it so much as a kid but maybe that was because my first taste of it came in an overly sweet, corn syrup laden Almond Joy candybar. Or maybe it was one of those pink snowball things. Eeew!

Anyway, these cupcakes are pretty yummy. I frosted mine with a Spiderman theme for my little guy. He was pretty psyched. But you could eat these without frosting (goes well with a cup of joe) or how about serving them with coconut ice cream...yum!

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 12 paper liners in your muffin pan.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add milk, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla, beating until you have a smooth batter.
Stir in shredded coconut.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack, then frost.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins (gluten-free)

Truthfully, muffins are not that hard to make--even gluten-free muffins. But this recipe has turned out amazingly well every time I've made it. I think oat flour makes a very good muffin. It's very healthy and filling. Gluten-free oats can be somehwhat expensive in comparison to regular oats, but they are definitely worth it! Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour is fairly healthy for a gluten-free flour since it contains a high percentage of bean flour which makes it higher in protein and fiber. Many of the pre-made breads you can buy in the grocery store are made with mostly white rice flour and tapioca flour. These flours may mimic white flour in gluten-free bread, bagels, and english muffins but offer virtually no fiber and are extremely high in carbohydrates.

I like to add semi-sweet chocolate chips to these muffins. This is optional but chocolate is supposed to be good for you so that's my excuse. Plus my little munchkin Camden is thrilled to have chocolate chips in his breakfast and I am pretty sure that even with a few chocolate chips these muffins are far healthier than the sugary cereals and pop tarts I grew up on!

Please let me know how they turn out for you. So far they have been pretty foolproof for me. Remember I am at 5300 feet altitude so cooking times might be slightly different.

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins (gluten-free, egg-free(optional), dairy-free, nut-free)

(makes 12 large or 18 small)

1.5 cups old fashioned gluten-free oats (ground to a flour in food processor or blender)
1.25 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
1 egg OR egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg
1 cup cinnamon apple sauce
1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)


mix wet ingredients in small bowl
mix dry ingredients in large bowl
add the wet ingredients to the dry
stir in chocolate chips
line muffin tin with paper muffin cups
bake at 350 degrees approx 20-25 minutes or longer if making large muffins

Banana Variation:
Just use 1 cup mashed banana in place of the applesauce

Monday, August 31, 2009

Peach Crisp (gluten-free)

Colorado has wonderful peaches. They are abundant throughout the late summer. Recently we purchased a large box of them to support a local fundraiser. I kept them in the fridge as they were already ripe and ready to eat. We've been enjoying them for a week now, but still had a dozen or so left. I hate to waste food, but how many peaches can two adults and a child eat in a week? I've had peach crisp on my mind for the last few days but hadn't found the time to make one until today. I split this recipe into two baking dishes since I was attending a ladies event this evening and wanted to have some for my boys at home too. This recipe was a big hit with the ladies. The boys haven't tried it yet. I served it with Vanilla Breyer's Ice Cream, which is the perfect compliment!

10 large peaches, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix (such as Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put chopped and peeled peaches in a 9 x 11 pan. Mix all dry ingredients except walnuts together and cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir walnuts in the dry mixture. Spread crumb mixture evenly on the peaches and press down slightly. Bake uncovered approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gramma Janie's Blueberry Cake

Camden loves his Gramma Janie! She is a great cook and likes to spoil us. This weekend she was visiting us so I got to spoil her instead. She sent me this recipe for Blueberry Cake so I could experiment with a gluten-free version. I picked up the blueberries the other day in anticipation of making this for her while she is here. Gramma Janie says she got the original recipe from Chateau Madeline, a resort at the southern tip of Lake Superior on Madeline Island but likes my gluten-free version even better because it is more crumbly like a coffee cake.

1 1/3 cup sugar
½ cup butter
¾ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

1 pint blue berries

¼ butter (hard)
1/3 cup gluten-free flour
½ cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour one 9x13-inch pan.

Cream together the sugar and butter, and blend in milk, vanilla and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and add to the creamed mixture, beating for a minute or two until blended. Pour batter into pan.

On top of batter, sprinkle the blueberries evenly. Cut the topping ingredients together until crumbly and sprinkle all over the batter with blueberries. Then, with knife or spatula, press the blueberries and crumb topping softly into batter and swirl with knife a bit. (You don’t need to get it all into the batter, because the batter will rise around the berries while baking.)

Check after 40 minutes to see if a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I am at 5300 ft. altitude and baked mine for an hour.