Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fool Proof Gluten Free Bread

Ø  1 Tablespoon Rapid Rise Yeast
Ø  1 Tablespoon sugar
Ø  1 ½ Cups of warm water
Ø  2 ½ cups of gluten free flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
Ø  2 Teaspoons xanthan gum
Ø  1 Teaspoon salt
Ø  3 eggs
Ø  1 ½ Tablespoons oil
Ø  1 Teaspoon cider vinegar

Ø  In a bowl, combine water, sugar and yeast and stir to combine.  Let sit until bubbles form on the top.
Ø  In a large bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum and salt. 
Ø  In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil and cider vinegar.
Ø  By this point, the yeast should be foamy and you can add both liquids into the dry ingredients.  I use a mixer with a whisk and combine for 4 minutes.
Ø  Scoop the dough into a large greased loaf pan and let sit for up to one hour.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes.

I do this in three bowls.  I put the dry into my mixer, I assemble the yeast mixture in one mixing cup and the oil/eggs in another.

How do you know if your yeast is good?  It should start to foam up like this.  If it doesn't, your yeast is dead.  It only takes a few minutes to look like this.

The batter will be pretty loose.  Nothing like a loaf of conventional bread.  There is no kneading or anything like that.

You just pour it into a loaf pan, then smooth out the top a little bit.

I only let it rise to here.  It will rise a little bit more while baking, so if you let it go over this, it will run over the edge.  Then you have a mess to clean up.  Not that I would know anything about that.

Your rise time will be varied depending on the weather and temperature.  On this particular day, I only let it rise about 15-20 minutes.  You just need to watch it.

And once it's baked, voila!  It is really good, hot out of the oven with a pat of butter sub or homemade jelly. To cut it for sandwiches, you need to make sure that it's totally cooled.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Cookies

They were just as delicious this morning with a big cup of hot coffee as they were last night with a big glass of almond milk, still hot from the oven.

Ø  1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
Ø  1 teaspoon baking powder
Ø  1/2 cup gluten-free flour
Ø  1 1/2 Tablespoons chia seeds
Ø  1/4 cup butter substitute, room temperature
Ø  1/2 cup brown sugar
Ø  3/4 cup peanut butter
Ø  2 eggs
Ø  1 teaspoon vanilla
Ø  1 cup dairy free chocolate chunks or chips

Ø  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Ø  In a medium bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, flour and chia seeds.
Ø  In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.  Add in the peanut butter, eggs and vanilla and mix again.
Ø  Carefully add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and scoop cookie dough onto it.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Brulee

This is one of the easiest side dishes to make that will totally wow your family or company. I baked a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven so that they got caramelized.  I removed the skins and mashed them with a couple of tablespoons of butter sub and a splash of vanilla almond milk.  If you want to add a little sweetener, you can.  Mine were sweet enough without it, plus you will add the sugar on top.  Once you whip the sweet potatoes, put them in a small ramekins and sprinkle the tops with sugar.  If you have a kitchen blow torch, use it to caramelize the tops.  If not, put them in the oven under a broiler, but watch them very carefully.  They will go from beautifully brulee'd to burn to a crisp in a matter of seconds.

2-3 sweet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons of butter
vanilla almond milk

Stir Fry

This recipe is a super simple one that lets you get a delicious and healthy dinner on the table in under 25 minutes.  I have broken down the recipe for a normal sized family.  I made a triple batch for mine and it still wasn't enough.  Does that tell you how much my kids loved it?

Cabbage (1 small head, sliced thinly)
Carrots (4 medium, chopped)
1 small bunch of broccoli (chopped)
1-2 zucchini (chopped)

hoisin sauce
sesame oil

In a large skillet, add the sesame oil and the harder veggies that take longer to cook.  I start with the carrots, then add the cabbage.  After five or six minutes, I add the broccoli and zucchini.  Once the veggies are crisp tender, add in a tablespoon or two of tamari (wheat free soy sauce) and 1/4 cup of hoisin.  The hoisin has a little heat to it, but not much.  If you want to start with a smaller amount, then do so. I always add another splash to my plate because I like the extra flavor.  Serve over steamed rice.

You can experiment with different veggies also.  If you like bell peppers, add some of those.  These were the veggies I used because I just happened to pull them out of my garden.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What to do about team sports snacks


Bring your own.  End of story.  You can still sign up to bring snacks one week, but when you do, bring a snack that everyone, including your own child, can eat.  That way your child feels included.  It's just not realistic to ask other parents to accomodate your child's nutritional requirements.  Way too many parents find it acceptable to buy the pre-packaged cookies and sugar waters.  That doesn't mean they are bad parents, it just means that they might not yet be aware of the negative effects of these so called 'foods'.

Snack ideas
Orange slices
Dried fruit/nut mixes (check for peanut/nut allergies)
Gluten Free Carrot Cake muffins
Black bean brownies

And always choose 100% juice or plain water.  Those blends are loaded with artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fresh start

It's a new year!  How many of you made resolutions?

Let's see, was it #1, Lose weight and or eat better?

Everyone I know started out with that one.  And 75% of them have already blown it and disappointed themselves.  It's why I don't bother making resolutions.  I feel like having a special treat every now and then is not a bad thing.  Let me restate the most important part, EVERY NOW AND THEN.  We do not have dessert every single night.  When I tell myself that I can't have something, then I start to obsess and crave it.  This is why I've worked so hard to create gluten free and casein free recipes that allow us to have the treats we used to enjoy.

Go ahead, enjoy life.  Just do it in moderation.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gluten free Casein free Brownies

Black Bean Brownies, that is


Don't click that x!

Give me a chance to explain that these brownies in no way taste like beans.  These are the lightest and fluffiest brownies around.  They could also be made in cupcake pans and topped with frosting.

I even used my children to experiment on.  All seven of them inhaled them without hesitation.  Then I told them they were made with black beans and they all ate a second one.

I found a recipe that was pretty complicated, but with seven kids, I have to make things as simple as possible.  So here's my simplified, and still incredibly yummy recipe.

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and then rinsed thoroughly
3 eggs
5 Tablespoons of oil (I used canola, but next time I'm going to try coconut.  And by next time, I mean this afternoon)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup of gluten free baking mix (I used pamela's bread mix and flour blend)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips

You could also add in 1/2 a cup of nuts if you are a nut in your brownie kinda person.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I threw everything in my food processor and blended until it was thoroughly incorporated.  I blended for several minutes to make sure the beans were completely broken down.

To prepare my pan, I spray it with an oil sprayer then put in a sheet of unbleached parchment paper cut to fit into the pan.  This way, the brownies don't stick to the bottom of the pan!  Before baking them, I sprinkled the chocolate chips over the top.  No, it's not necessary.  Well, that depends on who you ask.  For me, chocolate is always necessary.

Bake for 30 minutes and voila, wonderful, moist brownies.

You can thank me now.