Category Archives: Recipes

A Whole Grain, Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread Recipe

My kids love this recipe better than anything from the store. If you eat gluten-free bread, consider checking out this recipe, comparing the ingredient lists. (Wish I had a photo to do it justice for you.) See what you think. This is a multi-grain, whole grain bread that slices wonderfully for sandwiches. It does not need toasted. I’ve added some helpful notes at the end of the recipe, so if you’re going to give this a try, peruse those first.

My bread recipe is inspired by a recipe (and its associated comments) that I discovered at Genius Kitchen (www.geniuskitchen.com) called Gluten-Free Multigrain Miracle Bread, a submission by Whats Cooking. It’s gluten-free, but you almost wouldn’t know it. You will need a strong stand mixer and something to grind some of your flour in. I use my Cuisinart coffee bean grinder.

In the past, I have tried grinding each of the grains and seeds in this recipe with varying results. I can’t completely shake some of my reservations about grain and seed flours sitting in bags for months, so I prefer to use fresh ground flours if possible without losing my eaters. I have settled on this current recipe as the one that is eaten best by my kids. It makes the best sandwiches. It is good to eat warm with butter or honey. And it makes good French toast. It does decent paninis. We do toast it for breakfast sometimes, but it doesn’t lend itself well to toasting.

Click this link for a better printable version of The Best Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread.

Best Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Appliances: Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a grain grinder

2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water (not hot)
2 tablespoons local honey

½ cup Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour
½ cup Bob’s Red Mill sorghum flour
¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot flour
¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill potato starch (not potato flour)
¼ cup freshly ground white quinoa (measure after grinding) OR freshly ground whole grain teff (measure after grinding)
¼ cup freshly ground whole golden flax seed (measure after grinding)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Process (completed in this order):

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Mix yeast, water, and honey in a small bowl. Stir. Set aside while you mix the other ingredients.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large stand mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid.), whip the eggs and egg whites well with the oil and vinegar, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and the yeast mixture to the egg mixture. Turn on the stand mixer and allow to run on high while you prepare the bread pan. I use a brown glass loaf dish.
  6. Grease the bottom and sides of the bread pan. Then, line the pan with parchment paper.
  7. Turn OFF the oven. (You were only heating it to provide an even, consistent temperature for the best rise.)
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to push it down so it’s evenly distributed in the pan, especially in the corners. Smooth the top with the spatula so it’s flat. and place it in the pre-warmed oven that is turned off now.
  9. Place the dough in the pre-warmed oven that is turned off no. Allow to rise about 40 minutes. I cannot give an exact time. Just allow it to rise over the top of the pan to a good loaf size. It will run over the sides if you let it rise too long.
  10. GENTLY take dough out of oven and set aside to allow the oven to preheat.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Return loaf GENTLY to the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until browned.
  13. Each oven and loaf is different. Tap the top for doneness and remove when firm and hollow- sounding.
  14. Lift bread out of pan. Allow to cool before slicing. (Don’t leave it too long in the parchment paper or the bottom will get gooey.) I use a special slicing knife to get clean cuts of uniform size.
  15. Keeps well in plastic baggie.

Notes:

• I have used three whole eggs instead of the two eggs plus two whites, and the loaf was just a little less airy.
• Using teff instead of quinoa gives a brown, whole grain color, whereas the white quinoa looks like a white bread. Both taste great.
• I have tried omitting the xanthan gum, but the bread always falls.
• The recipe doubles pretty well.
• A tad extra of any of the flours doesn’t affect the loaf much, so if I grind a little too much, I’ll toss it in.
• I grind the grains and seeds fresh in my coffee grinder on the finest setting.
• If you measure the oil into the egg bowl first, then do the honey/yeast/water combo, the honey slides right out of your spoon! I’ve had success with interchanging potato starch, tapioca flour, and arrowroot when I am out of either arrowroot or potato starch.

Family “gustar” report: 6/6 (all six in the family like it). It’s like the sandwich bread you used as a kid.

Closing

Baking this bread is fun and fills the house with a cozy warmth. Although my family went without bread for a couple of years, I’ve found it really is easier to feed them with bread in the house. They eat better. They complain less about there being “nothing to eat.” They eat any packed lunches better. This recipe is a compromise I feel placated for now with.

Take care and may you be truly happy and peaceful inside.

Terri F

Thanksgiving Recipe Adaptation Tips and Links

sweetcashewcream-1Are you struggling with any Thanksgiving recipe adaptations? Have an awesome adaptation discovery you’d love to share? Please stop by today’s post!

My greatest adaptation tip is that most of the time, I can substitute olive oil for butter—-in baked goods, for topping steamed vegetables, and in casseroles. Obviously this won’t work for something like caramel! Another tip I’d like to share is to not give up on a beloved recipe; there’s almost always a way to adapt it. I have kept all my old recipes and over the last few years, I’ve been slowly adapting them as I learn new cooking and baking techniques and supplies.

Okay. Let’s look at how to adapt most of those Thanksgiving favorites.

Mashed Potatoes: I use tons of good quality olive oil, some full-fat coconut milk, and salt and pepper.

Tips: Don’t use too much coconut milk or they’ll taste like coconut. I use about a 50/50 oil to coconut milk ratio (heavier on the olive oil, more scant on the coconut milk), and my family is good with that. If you do get more coconut flavor than you’d like, it can be countered by adding some garlic, rosemary, and/or chives.

Gravy: Arrowroot flour/powder is my go-to thickener now. It works but it is finicky like a princess’s cat. I suggest that you do NOT add it to boiling substances or you’ll get a snot consistency. And when you add it, whisk like your life depended on it. Tapioca starch/flour is similar in nature, and I treat it the same. I have noticed that performance does depend on the brand! My higher quality flours perform better.

Procedure: I use about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot for each cup of liquid. First, I make an arrowroot slurry by mixing the arrowroot in the smallest amount of lukewarm temperature water as possible (maybe a tablespoon for a tablespoon), and I set that aside. Next, I bring my gravy broth to a boil, shut off the heat, move the pan over off the burner, THEN add the arrowroot slurry, whisking like crazy.

Green Bean Casserole: For this one, I make my own onion rings, dipping onions in a gluten-free flour and then frying them, and I make a homemade mushroom soup. It’s a lengthy process but my family loves it so much. Here is my recipe. I like it better than other ones I’ve seen out there because the onion rings are closest to the ones I remember from the can.

Cranberry Gelatin Salad: In place of Jello, I use plain gelatin and juice to make my own gelatin. I use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. Everything else is just the same as the recipe has been handed down through the generations. Here is my recipe.

Corn Casserole: I haven’t adapted this one to reach the near 100% whole food mark yet, but I’ve adapted it for gluten-free, dairy-free. Everyone’s favorite family recipe is a little different, but you can find gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread mixes at the store. There are gluten-free, dairy-free brands of canned cream corn you can use. Use olive oil in place of butter. If your recipe calls for sour cream, you could try making some cashew cream as a substitute. (But plan ahead, you have to find raw cashews and soak them for several hours.) Have you perfected this adaptation?

Pecan Pie: Easily adaptable. I use olive oil in place of butter, maple syrup in place of corn syrup and brown sugar, and arrowroot in place of flour for thickening. Here is my recipe.

Pumpkin Pie: Another easily adaptable pie. I use maple syrup in place of sugar and any dairy-free milk for the milk.

Coconut cream, banana cream, and peanut butter cream pies: I’ve had success with adapting these using alternative milks (coconut cream is best for the consistency as it has the most fat) and arrowroot in place of flour.

Pie Crust: There are very pleasant gluten-free, dairy-free pie crusts available frozen in the store. My daughter makes her own crust using Bob’s Red Mill (I believe any gluten-free flour combination will work. We have tried just using arrowroot for this recipe. But it got stringy, so best to make it with a “combination” gluten-free mix.) I believe I also featured this recipe in my pecan pie post.

Granny’s Adapted Pinch Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free flour (tested with Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Follow these directions very closely. It’s not hard, but the wording is confusing!

In a 1/2 cup measuring cup, put in 3 tablespoons of milk and then fill, IN THE SAME 1/2 cup measuring cup with the milk still in it, up to the 1/2 cup mark with olive oil.

Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Whisk together to immerse. Add the flour and mix well. Use your hands to knead gently and briefly.

Push into the pie pan.  We do this by forming about 8 or so little balls and placing them around the pan. Then, we push them together, up the side of the pan, and a little bit over the lip of the pan Next, we use our fingers to flute the edge.

Use as directed in your recipe.

Sweet Potato Casserole: We make the kind with the pecans and glaze on top. It is so good. Here is my recipe. However, there are some marshmallows you can buy now that don’t use any food coloring, if you need to do the marshmallow topping.

Whipped cream: I make a sweetened cashew cream. I haven’t posted the recipe yet on the blog, so I can’t link to it. But it’s very similar to the ones that are out there on the internet if you care to Google it. Or ask below, and I’ll type it in the comments for you.

Stuffing/dressing: I don’t have this one adapted yet. My family doesn’t miss it too much. But there are some great recipes out there. Do you have one?

Need to be egg-free? Following an auto-immune diet? Lastly, I highly recommend The Curious Coconut and her autoimmune recipes for more rigid food restrictions. I don’t know her at all. But I have purchased her holiday e-cookbook and it is amazing! I recommend trying some of the recipes ahead of time because they’re a little tricky and can give unexpected results! We have made a couple of the dinner rolls, and they looked so cute in her photos…

What questions do you have about adapting recipes? Are you stuck on one? Are you scared to try? Do you have an AWESOME one you’d love to share?

Choose food that doesn’t make you sick and doesn’t make you overeat. Best wishes. Happy Thanksgiving!

Terri

 

 

Dairy-Free, Dye-Free Fall Frosting

91vwsqbattl-_sy679_A little natural Halloween pearl for the curious, adventurous baker.

If you need to color some frosting a rich yellow or orange without artificial food coloring, try a dab or two of red palm shortening–and you’ll also pack in a smidge of vitamin E.

You’ll have to be willing to play with it though. My family made some cut-out cookies for our pumpkin carving night last week. I mixed together for the frosting: Spectrum “All Vegetable” palm shortening at room temperature (this is white and is not truly “vegetable shortening,” but palm shortening), powdered sugar, vanilla, and a dab of Nutiva’s red palm oil (which is a solid at room temperature) for color.

The ratios depend on how thick you’d like your frosting, how sweet, and the color you’re aiming for. My ratio was approximately 1 cup of Spectrum’s (white) “all vegetable” palm shortening to 1 cup of powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon of vanilla to about 2 tablespoons of red palm oil. All estimates. It will need played with. Taste as you add more red palm oil so that you don’t pick up any unwanted off-flavors associated with unrefined red palm oil. Mix with an electric mixer. This could be thinned by adding your choice of alternative milk.

Please note that there is controversy regarding palm-derived oils and the destructive clearing of land for palm plantations and displacement and endangerment of native animals.

Sustainable palm products do not completely eliminate these issues, but it is an important step at preserving land and animals while continuing the livelihood of the local people who rely on production.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Terri

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Red Onion, Tahini, Pine Nuts, and Parsley

A good friend attended the birthday party of a centenarian who was asked, “How do you live to be 100 [and healthy]?”

Centenarian’s answer: “Eat only what you prepare.”

IMG_3132On that real food note, I have a delectable sweet potato recipe featuring tahini, pine nuts, and parsley. A real POP for the taste buds. The flavors seriously seem to come at you from all directions, first from one way and then another. It is soooooooo, sooooooo good! The ingredients sound exotic, but I can usually find them in most supermarkets.

My recipe is adapted from The Amateur Gourmet’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za’atar, and I’m pretty sure one of you made my life better by sharing the link with me! When I don’t have enough sweet potatoes on hand, I’ll mix in some humble potato. I’m pretty sure the recipe would be delicious substituted with potato entirely, too. (The original recipe used unpeeled butternut squash! Do check it out!) When I don’t have pine nuts, I’ll use blanched, sliced almonds. The original recipe also calls for za’atar, which is a Middle Eastern spice blend. If I have it, I use it.

Life is about adaptability.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Red Onion, Tahini, Pine Nuts, And Parsley

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (approximately 3-4 sweet potatoes, depending on the size), peeled and cut into 16ths or 18ths (or use potato or squash)
  • 2 red onions, cut into 1-2 inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (divided usage)
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 teaspoon plus a sprinkle of salt (divided usage)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup tahini (ground up sesame seeds, found in ethnic aisle–I used Krinos– or grind your own if you’re good)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • Water to thin tahini sauce (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts (also called pignoli–or sustibute blanched, sliced almonds)
  • Flat leaf parsley (or curly will do), anywhere from 1/4 cup to over 1/2 cup, depending on preference
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped sweet potatoes and onion wedges with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt and some pepper to taste. Then spread on a large, rimmed cookie sheet (line with parchment paper for easier clean-up). Roast in oven, stirring once to prevent burning, until the sweet potatoes are very fork tender (approximately 30 minutes). Remove from oven and place in your desired serving dish.
  3. In a small bowl, make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and minced garlic. Add just enough water to thin to a pourable cream-like sauce. Set aside.
  4. Roast the pine nuts by placing the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and a little sprinkle of salt. Watch closely, stirring frequently until lightly browned. (I burn the first batch nearly EVERY time.) Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. To assemble the dish, drizzle the tahini sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes. (You may not use all of the sauce, depending on if you were under 3 pounds or over 3 pounds of potatoes or if you just don’t like that much sauce! Save it to make a salad dressing or to serve on top of a baked potato like sour cream and top with parsley!) Sprinkle the pine nuts on, and lastly garnish with parsley. If you like parsley, use a lot. (I used 3/4 cup.) If you don’t, just use enough to make it pretty.

Family “gustar” report: The baby (2 y/o) likes the sweet potatoes with the tahini sauce fine enough, but she picks off everything else. The rest of the family really, really likes this dish, even the one who doesn’t like sweet potatoes. So I’m going to have to give it a 5.5/6. My husband always comes home from work the next day and says, “Where’s the leftover sweet potato dish?”  It’s always gone.

Please, enjoy! And strive to eat and serve real food. I know it’s not easy. What is?

Terri

Strawberry Spinach Salad With Maple Glazed Pecans

Adaptability.  It’s all about adaptability.  Take this sweet, crunchy and showy salad, perfect for any get-together, originally from my mother-in-law’s recipe book.  Awesome salad, but originally quite refined.   Substitute maple syrup for white sugar and olive oil for vegetable oil, and voila!  You’ve thrown refinement to the wind!  And retained good taste and stunning looks.  Lookin’ good, girl.  Lookin’ good.  Love the makeover.

The steps, when written out, look a little long, but I hate to leave anything to chance.  The salad is delicious, always goes over well at potlucks, and isn’t hard to make.

Don’t be afraid to adapt.  Don’t be afraid to adapt recipes.  Eat real.  Eat well.  Live well.

P.S.  Salad shown without the delicious poppy seed dressing.  Can’t remember why.

strawberry pecan salad 3

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

1 pound of fresh baby spinach or spinach chopped into bite sized pieces

1 cup of celery, diced small

1 quart of fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered

For the glazed pecans:

½ cup maple syrup

1 ½ cup whole pecans

For the poppy seed dressing:

⅔ cup white apple cider vinegar

½ cup maple syrup (you may like a little more than I do)

3-4 green onions (with tops), chopped

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 cups olive oil

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

First, place the spinach, diced celery, and fresh-sliced strawberries in your prettiest glass serving bowl.  Set aside.  You can even do this the day before for convenience.

Second, glaze the pecans:

  1. Lay out a large sheet of waxed paper, about the size of a cookie sheet, and grease it well with a little coconut oil or olive oil.  Alternatively, you may use a silicone baking mat which will not need greased.
  2. Put the maple syrup and pecans in a large, heavy skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Time will vary, but cook the pecans until the syrup caramelizes and gets sticky and bubbly.  Err on the side of overcooking (but do not burn).
  3. Remove the pecans with a slotted spoon to the greased waxed paper or silicone sheet.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Break up into pieces to sprinkle onto the salad.  Set aside.  You may also do this the day before and store separately.

Third, make the poppy seed dressing:

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender. (Do not yet add the olive oil or poppy seeds.)  Blend until smooth.
  2. With the food processor still running, add the 2 cups of oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. The dressing will be a light green color.
  3. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  4. Chill.  (You may have extra dressing.  The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about ten days, although it will thicken due to the cold.  Allow it to come to room temperature for a thinner consistency.)

Finally, put the salad all together:

  1. Top the salad mix in the pretty bowl with the glazed pecans.
  2. Drizzle on the poppy seed dressing just before serving, using only as much dressing as you desire.
  3. Toss the salad to mix.  Serve.  (Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side, and any leftovers will keep better.)

Family “gustar” report:  The whole family votes thumbs up for this salad.

I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as we all do!  Please, give real food a try!

Terri

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Grain-free gluten-free flax muffinsThis hearty muffin goes great with eggs for breakfast or with your soup for lunch!  It reminds me of a bran muffin, and the chia and sunflower seeds give it a whole grain like crunch!  It is not a sweet muffin, but the recipe can easily be adapted (omit the chia and sunflower seeds) to make this into a lemon poppy seed or orange-walnut cranberry muffin if you’re adventurous!  All yummy!

Sometimes when recipes I try from the internet don’t work out, I wonder what gives!  So I like to try to be clear in my directions; I want you to get the same results I do.  When I measured the dry ingredients, I was very particular for this recipe.  I gently tapped the measuring cups on the kitchen counter to get the flax and arrowroot powder to settle down.  Then I filled the cups again to the top and tapped again, leveling off if needed with a flat knife.  I have made this muffin with maple syrup, almond milk, and palm shortening substitutions.  I prefer to make this in our blender, but I’ve also made it with an electric hand mixer.  All of these variations work (the palm shortening requires lots of immersion), but the recipe as typed up below is what we prefer best and is the most tasty.

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Makes 10-12 muffins

1 cup of finely ground golden flax
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 T whole chia seeds
2 T chopped sunflower seeds
3 eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup of olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. In the blender, blend together all of the wet ingredients.  (This may alternatively be done with an electric hand mixer or immersion stick blender.  Mix until the wet ingredients are well-blended and bubbly.)
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the blender and blend until well mixed.
  5. Pour into lined muffin tins.  I fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  I get 10-12 muffins.
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Ovens vary greatly so monitor and check for doneness with a toothpick or knife inserted in the center.

Family “gustar” report:  6/6.  I was happy the now finicky toddler ate them!  My husband liked them drizzled with a little honey.  The older kids liked them plain.

I hope you have a wonderful day today!  I hope it is filled with peace that comes from inside!  Listen to the clues your body and mind give you to make changes to develop a life full of gratitude and joy!

Signing off,

Terri

Super Easy and Delicious Pork Recipe

I love the simplicity of crock pots, but (although I love moist meat) I get tired of wet meat.  So here’s a recipe with the simplicity and moist reliability of a crock pot but the fabulous taste and crust of a slow roasting in the oven!  This recipe–this one’s a keeper!  My family gobbles this dish up every time.  It requires little prep time, and it cooks while you go about the business of the day.  You must get the cut called “pork butt” or “Boston butt” (I know, such an attractive name.), or you’ll have a dried out disaster.  A pork tenderloin roast won’t appreciate being treated this way.

This recipe, my baked cod recipe, and our paprika chicken recipe are three recipes that never fail in my house.

Bostonbuttroast

Roast Boston Butt

4 lb. pork butt or Boston butt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

 

  1. Preheat oven to 275˚ F.
  1. Mix spices together.
  1. Lay Boston butt out on a cutting board and vigorously rub spices all over it.
  1. Place Boston butt into 9 x13 glass dish with the fat side up and slow roast it for 6 hours.
  1. Remove from oven and use 2 forks to tear meat apart.
  1. Serve immediately. It is delicious as is, but it is also good with a BBQ sauce or mustard.

Family “gustar” report:  It’s a 6/6 in my house.  I’ve even made this when visiting back home for a family Mother’s Day gathering including my mom and dad, my in-laws, and my sisters.  They all really enjoyed it.  I like it best plain, but one of my sisters likes it with our BBQ sauce.

Closing

Merry, merry Christmas!  I hope this recipe idea makes your holiday planning a little easier!  It is another recipe featured in one of Molly Green’s Bite Sized Guides:  Holiday Cooking–A gluten-free, Dairy-free Celebration, which I helped co-author.

You deserve to eat right for your body.  You deserve that.  You deserve to feel as good as you can feel.  So, choose that.  It’s your choice.  It’s not anyone else’s.  Don’t wake up one day wondering how all those simple, bad choices landed you in a life you feel you didn’t choose.

Terri