Saturday, November 27, 2010

What to do with leftover turkey, take 1.

Granted, there will be about 10,000 of these posts, but here's a twist I made for dinner tonight...

I had leftover brown rice.   I tossed it in a pan with a little onion, cubed turkey, apple, grapes, walnuts, and fennel.   Filling, satisfying, and a little different.  If you wanted to jazz it up a little more, you could add some white wine and/or cream to it.   It could have used a little sage, but I did not want to head out to the outside....

Friday, November 26, 2010

A gluten-free Thanksgiving...

So here we have a lovely Thanksgiving meal.   We have a dry-brined turkey (which is really not salty, just juicy and savory).  Sweet potatoes roasted with onion and apple, creamed spinach, brussels sprouts with bacon and leeks and chestnuts, and mashed potatoes.  And homemade roll.

The turkey was so easy.  Basically, I went back to the source, since dry brining seems to stem from the Zuni Cafe cookbook's treatment of chicken.   I read the recipe, then adapted it to my needs.  Since, originally, I was going to get a local turkey, then circumstances intervened, I ended up scrambling for a last-minute turkey at Whole Paycheck.   I mashed up some dried shallot with kosher salt in a mortar and pestle, added some pepper.   I washed and dried mr turkey (or ms?), using reams of paper towel...then sprinkled it evenly with salt, lightly (I think I only used about a tablespoon or so on a ten lb turkey).  Put Turkey-Lurkey on a sheet pan, covered lightly with plastic wrap and plunked it in the fridge for about 12 hours or so.    I pulled it out about an hour before cooking it to let it come to room temp, then plunked it in 350 oven until the juices ran clear....(I put half an onion and some sage in the cavity and sage under the skin too...the sage is the only thing that survived in the garden this year, if I'd had thyme, I would have added that too)

Sweet potatoes are self-explanatory.  Cut up small sweet potatoes from the farmers market with equal amounts of apple and onion.  I didn't peel anything (except the onion).  Tossed with a little melted butter and roasted in a 350 oven.  

Mashed potatoes are one thing I do differently.  I bake them before mashing.   Cut them in half, pull the potato out of its skin, mash with a little buttermilk and butter and a little cream if you are feeling decadent.  Add any salt you might need (I didn't need any).

Creamed spinach?  Chopped frozen spinach, a little cream cheese, and fresh grated nutmeg.  

Brussels sprouts should be self-explanatory.  Start with the bacon, cook the leeks in the fat, add a little water, add the halved sprouts, add the chestnuts at the last....

The rolls?  I was originally going to do two things with the mixture, but couldn't find the baking powder.  I mixed (for a total of two cups of dry) corn flour, almond flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca, and cornstarch.  Added two teaspoons of Xanthan gum, and then mixed with a teaspoon of yeast.   Added salt, an egg, and buttermilk.  Let rise, scooped onto a baking sheet, brushed with melted butter...(I almost added some shallot salt to the tops, but refrained) and baked.

And dessert?  Was pumpkin cheesecake.  No pic because all my knives were dirty, so I ate it straight out of the pan.   *insert blushing emoticon here*   It was really simple.  A can of pumpkin, about a pound and a half of cream cheese, mixed together.  One egg, ginger, cinnamon, and into the oven in a water bath.


Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dividends: Cream Cheese Frosting

So, I had leftover cream cheese frosting and made a pumpkin cream cheese by adding a little ricotta and some canned pumpkin.  

To use up the canned pumpkin, I did two things:

A quick pumpkin soup, with pumpkin,  whole grain drink from TJs, a little curry powder.

Pumpkin oatmeal, with pumpkin, gluten-free oats, cinnamon, ginger.

This may be a semi-regular feature, highlighting what to do with leftovers or extra stuff from a recipe... more to keep me accountable so that I don't end up with little bowls overflowing the fridge....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Low-fat, Gluten-free Carrot Cake.

mmmmm....  I keep snitching bites off the top of the cake as I wander through the kitchen for my morning coffee...  Its based on a recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food Book, and has one tablespoon of fat in the entire cake, unlike traditional carrot cakes which are very rich.  The carrot mixture does need to rest overnight.

3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup raisins
2 cups grated carrots
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
approx 1/2 to 1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)

Bring all of this to a boil, and then simmer for about five minutes.  Cover the pan and let it rest for at least 12 hours.  You do not need to refrigerate.

12 (or more) Hours Later... preheat the oven to 275.  With the gluten free flours, I used teff, brown rice, sorghum and tapioca.   I mixed half a cup of each together, to get to approx 2 cups of 'flour'  (Brody calls for 1 1/4 cups whole wheat, 1 1/8 cups white).  A teaspoon of Xanthan Gum, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and a cup of chopped pecans all get mixed together.  Add this to the carrot mixture.   I had to add at least half a cup of water to get everything mixed.  I then put it in a tube pan and baked it in the oven for about an hour and a half...


Every time I make this, I want to try it with dried pineapple too.  When I ate gluten I'd make it, but it failed miserably when we tried to add pineapple to the batter.   I just feel that carrot cake needs pineapple.   Its not a good looking cake, but it is yummy!     I have sometimes added some candied ginger, which is a great option....

You can make a quick cream cheese icing if you want to, but it somewhat defeats the purpose of the cake being low-fat.   It would hide the sins, though.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gluten-free, alcoholically...

So this summer I decided to take the plunge, so to speak.   And I decided to try gluten-free beers.  This was actually stepping out of my comfort zone quite a bit for me, since I never liked beer much even when I ate gluten.

But there are gluten-free beers I quite like!   I'm still in sampling mode.... but I've liked New Grist as well as Green's Endeavor (a dark ale).  My only caveat with them is that neither has *GLUTEN FREE* in large  friendly letters on the bottle, leaving it open to the possibility that your relatives will drink them.   *sigh*

I still can't finish a whole bottle, though.  I'm an alcoholic lightweight.  

My big concern, always, is going out to eat.  I quite like mixed drinks, but I've been afraid to order them for fear of getting glutened...   but it seems that more and more alcohol companies are testing their products for gluten.

Unfortunately, it seems that Godiva contains gluten...  (waaaaaah), but quite a few don't.

Now if there was only a card to give a bartender....   it ends up being an odd list....

with some varieties of brands being safe, and some not....

I get tired of just drinking wine, sometimes......  

If any bartenders are reading this, do you keep some kind of a cheat-sheet on gluten-free alcohol behind the bar?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Salad days, part 1..

Summer is the time for salad....   and so I give you a lovely jicama salad, loosely based on a recipe in Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison.  I sliced up some local Bibb lettuce, tossed the jicama on top, with some lovely scallions (also local) and dressed it with a splash of Orange Champagne Vinegar from Trader Joes.  Dabbed half an avocado on top, and served with the last of a BBQ chicken (also local)....

What do you do with Jicama?  (I still have a ton left over....)

Monday, June 28, 2010

A light Summer Dinner

So I'd bought some lovely fresh arugula at the Farmer's Market on Sat, and I had some Smoked Salmon at home, and some Red Peppers...  so I made a lovely, light, gluten-free dinner out of spring rolls...

Rice paper wrappers stuffed with the arugula, red peppers, and smoked salmon.  Its easy.   Just have everything you want to put in prepped.. Have a bowl of water to dip the rice paper in, and a flat surface to assemble!  
Dip the wrapper just for about two seconds, and lay it out.  put the arugula on top, then the red pepper, and top with the salmon.  Fold up the sides and the ends, and voila!

If I'd wanted to take it up a notch, I would have added some pesto or basil in the mix, but as it was, it was light, filling and scrumptious!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gluten-free going mainstream....

More and more articles are publishing info on going gluten-free, intolerance, and celiac.   The latest article I've read was in BHG's July issue.  Unfortunately, they do not seem to have it posted online, but it is a nice little overview of gluten issues, along with some good links on gluten intolerance/celiac.  

I'm appreciative of this because, even though it is more mainstream, most gluten-free stuff is higher-cal/lower fiber than the conventional foods, and the article mentions this.    I do wish they'd also included a reading list of books and other resources for gluten-free living...

My favorite one, of course, is by Jax Peters Lowell.   But there are also some great cookbooks out there that are either gluten-free or can be adapted to be gluten-free.    I love Raw Food cookbooks for that reason...  although they have a lot of sprouted wheat, sprouted barley, they have a lot of other ideas that can be successful for gluten-free living.  The soups, the desserts, in particular...  

Friday, June 25, 2010

Eep, its been a while.

Ok, I need to start updating this blog more regularly...I've been a little distracted with Real Life and the heat  recently.  I haven't really wanted to cook and heat up the house.   In that spirit, let me talk a little bit about quick g-f summer meals that I toss together that don't require a lot of cooking...

There's always salad:  a bed of arugula with some grilled leg of lamb, garlic scapes.   Or cold potatoes, diced, with a little bit of mayo and langoustine tails from Trader Joes.

Unfortunately I usually have the tendency in summer to just grab a hunk of cheese.. or some cold meat.   My summer eating habits are not spectacular....  apart from the fruit and raw milk that I get at the market.

I've been eating tons of cherries from the Farmer's market.   mmmmm cherries.  

I keep meaning to make gazpacho.   I do it very simply, in the blender, and I think that will be my next post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eating locally...spring/summer meals...

So this year I am going to try to eat locally, as much as possible.    And last night's dinner was an example.

I had a radish salad, adapted lightly from Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison.   Sliced radishes, arugula, mixed lettuce, chives, and local cheese.    With a roasted chicken (from the same people who made the cheese).  And dessert?  Yogurt (with cherry jam).  And I realised upon finishing, the whole meal was local food, apart from the cherry jam.

The difficult thing about trying to eat locally is carbs.   Because being gluten-free and getting healthy carbs can be a challenge...and the gluten-free stuff generally comes from a distance.    So I'll never be a true locavore because I need my carbs!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Studies I would like to see:

I know this isn't technically a post that should go here, but I thought it would be an interesting thing to think about, since technically celiac is an autoimmune disorder.   I was on the ubiquitous Facebook this morning, and a friend of mine posted about her son's peanut allergy.   I had also posted, on my other blog, something about why I eat organic.  And I had been having a conversation with my mother in which we had been talking about studies we'd like to see.

I'd like to see a study on food allergies in kids raised in developing countries/the Amish/organic farms, vs kids raised in Europe vs kids in the States.   Basically kids eating less processed/pre-prepared foods vs fresher foods.   I suspect that its the processed foods that are the culprits.  

I'd love to see real studies, long term, on different kinds of eating habits.   There was a time, not long ago, in this country, where we had people eating doughnuts fried in lard, home-made french fries, tongue, liver, organ meats.   As well as canned food, preserves, fresh fruit in season.     Now, yes you can get doughnuts, but they are usually Dunkin', and filled with stuff.   And you have to wonder, with all the toxins we are encouraged to ingest...   I see people shopping at Whole Foods, vegans, who buy the vegan cheeses, the tofu foods, the frozen foods.   Are they healthier than the person who eats locally raised meats, veggies from the farmer's markets and the occasional French Fry?  I'd like to see studies on what women eat/wear/use for cosmetics and their children's health.  I suspect that some of the high incidence of autism/learning disorders/food allergies are linked to pesticides, or maybe to feedlot meat.  Maybe even a study showing comparative spending and health.  I know a lot of poorer people in Baltimore would make the effort to go to the Farmer's market to buy healthy stuff.  I know in Europe, they spend a lot more on food per person than we do here.    

What studies would you like to see about food and food allergies?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gluten-free Muesli.

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite cereals growing up was muesli.   And its something I miss. I had found a gluten-free muesli two years ago in England, when I was on a ship to the US...  its by Julian Graves.    It was amazing stuff.  

So the other day in Whole Foods, I found Brown Rice Flakes.    And the Gluten-Free oats I'd found at Ocean State Job Lots (yay!), and I had Quinoa flakes and cornflakes at home.    I still had the packaging for the muesli (because I'm a bit of a hoarder, but also to try to do this very thing, make my own version).

I added 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of brown rice flakes, 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes,  crushed some cornflakes,  mixed them up.   Chopped up some dried apricots and mixed them in.   I need to get some more dried fruits, dates, raisins and maybe some kind of nut...macadamias would work, Graves used Brazil nuts.  

The basic combination worked very well.  I scooped some into a bowl, poured milk on it, and let it sit a little.....   I have a feeling this is going to be my summer go-to-breakfast, maybe with fresh fruit.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gluten-free, locally. Eating out.

So previously, eating out has been a challenge.  But there are more and more places making gluten-free food, which is incredible.  Some of it is vile, Olive Garden is a wonderful example of that.   But yesterday I had an amazing veggie burger on a gluten-free bun.    And the veggie burger was gluten-free!  And I've had gluten-free pizza that wasn't too bad, although it needed more cheese.   And one restaurant has a gluten-free menu!   (P.F. Chang's) with the most amazing chocolate dessert ever.  

Its really amazing.   Its becoming much less strange to ask for gluten-free...  although I do wonder why the sudden upsurge.  I suspect in part it is because restaurants are looking for a new niche.   In part more people may be being diagnosed with celiac, which worries me on another level...  we have so many food allergies these days...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hot cross buns, Hot Cross Buns..

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons!
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

1 cup mixed dried fruit.  (one incarnation, I used dried cherries, raisins, and orange peel, the one in the pic has raisins, citron and orange peel) soaked in 1/4 cup hot water.

1 1/4 cups of milk infused with three cardamom pods and a clove.  Remove spices before mixing in.

2 tsp yeast
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
 3 eggs

1 egg for wash

confectioners sugar

Mix all the dry ingredients together.   Mix mix mix.   Add the milk.   Add the eggs, and then the fruit and its water.  If it needs more moisture, add more milk.    It will be somewhat sticky, but hold together pretty well...

Shape into balls.  You can make BIG rolls or little ones.   Put on baking sheets lined with Silpats or parchment paper.  

Let rise for an hour.  Preheat oven to 350

Cut crosses into the tops, and then brush with egg wash.

Put in the oven for @20 minutes, until golden.

Make an icing with the confectioners sugar and cream, and pipe crosses onto the tops...

And voila!   Hot Cross Buns, just in time for Good Friday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

When Irish Eyes are smiling.....

Gluten-free Irish soda bread:

2 cups g-f oat flour (I ground steel-cut oats in my stand mixer's grain mill)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/4 cup of potato flour
2 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
2 cups milk with spoonful of yogurt (or you can use buttermilk)
1 cup dried cranberries (I would have used currants, but the ones I've found all have wheat starch mixed in with them...bah humbug!) soaked with a small capful of spiced rum.

Mix all the dry ingredients.   Add the wet.  Mix, mix, mix.  place into a cake pan and into a 350 oven.  Voila!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bread, bread, wonderful bread....

Please excuse the mess....I was so enthusiastic about sharing this bread with you.....  it is based on the famous Gluten-free Crusty Boule, but with a few changes.    I actually used Shauna's adaptation, with a few changes of my own.    I did not want an olive-Rosemary loaf, but wanted something with seeds in it.

I didn't have sorghum flour (or its hiding in the back of the fridge or freezer...) so I used 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour and a 1/4 cup of quinoa flour.   I used iodized salt instead of kosher, and a packet of yeast....

After the whole thing was mixed, I divided it up, and added some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds to one portion, let it rise, and then flung it into a 350 degree oven for about an hour.....

And I have a bowl of dough in the fridge to play with!   Yay for bready things without gluten!   I'm going to be playing a lot, the next couple of days....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinner, Jan 2, 10

A lovely, light gluten-free dinner for one: quinoa with peas and roasted cauliflower with sunflower seeds and cherry tomatoes....

The nice thing about the components is that they can be morphed for lunch or dinner later in the week...  the quinoa can be tossed with more veggies, and a bit of sausage or feta cheese...  The cauliflower can be transformed into a frittata...   or  tossed with g-f pasta, or added to some chicken...  

New Years Resolutions.

I'm putting this on here, as opposed to my regular blog, because a lot of it has to do with healthy eating. And that's something where most of us fall short with gluten-free life... the things we miss are the treats, the croissants, the cinnamon rolls, the pies, cakes, Christmas cookies, French bread, etc. And the substitutes are universally bland, pallid, crumbly, dense imitations, high in sugar or fat (or both).

So for the new year I am going to try to eat and make healthy gluten-free products. Lots of veggies, brown rice, buckwheat flour, fiber, whole grains... I do need to lose, and have a tendency to head for the unhealthy options as snacks or breakfast.... So this month I will work on healthy g-f breakfasts to start out with...