Monday, May 31, 2010


Whew! I did it! 8 posts in one month!! I don't know how some people do this on a regular basis :) But I'm gonna try and do it again. It was fun, and I'm proud of myself. Only this time I'll try and not overwhelm everyone with recipes over the course of 5 days.
Now I'm off to enjoy the final hours of my weekend.
Happy Memorial Day to you all!

Almond Flour Bread

I heart my copy of Elana’s Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook. My mouth waters every time I pull it down off the shelf. Maybe it’s that picture of a big fat chocolate cake on the front…

I swoon over her chocolate chip scones, I adore the cod piccata paprika, the pancake batter in waffle-form (I’ve decided I have a thing against pancakes. I think it’s the texture, since I love the exact same batter so much more in waffle form!) and let’s not forget the Strawberry Crème Tart (ooh, I totally have strawberries in the fridge begging to be made into that recipe)! So many great recipes!

Here’s another good one! Scrumptious sandwich bread. I admit, it’s not your average GF bread. It’s richer, thicker, nuttier, heartier. I have breads I love for sandwiches. But this one, it’s different. Special. I’ve loved it three different ways. As croutons, in a breakfast bake, and as crackers/toasted. See how I did it below the bread recipe.

Scrumptious Sandwich Bread
(adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)

¾ c roasted almond butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs (I used 2 eggs and ½ c egg whites)
¼ c blanched almond flour
¼ c arrowroot powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground flax meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bread pan (Elana recommends grapeseed oil, I just used Pam spray).
In a large bowl, mix almond butter until well blended. Add eggs and stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. Pour into pan.
Bake for 45 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for an hour. Slice and serve.

Check out the link here for the breakfast bake.

Ok, so for the crackers, it was pretty simple. I just sliced the bread very thinly, spritzed it with olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of garlic salt, then threw it in my toaster oven for a good 5 minutes. It was wonderfully crispy! I’m sure these would be great with some spreads/toppings. I was very satisfied with just enjoying them as they were.

And as for the croutons, well, these are awesome! I’ve rediscovered my love for the crunchy morsels, and I’m excited to experiment with more flavor combinations! So, I cubed my bread pretty small (think thumbnail sized pieces, or whatever you prefer, I just enjoyed this size the most and they reminded me of restaurant croutons). I heated a pan with a swirl of EVOO over med-high heat. I added a sprinkle of salt and some chili powder, then tossed in the bread cubes. You gotta watch these babies, they cook fast. I stirred a lot (very gently, so as to not squash them!), and spritzed some extra oil where I felt necessary. Feel them, to see if they’re getting crispy. Five or so minutes is all it takes, and there you go!

Chicken Vegetable Soup

You all must know by now about my devotion to the first GF cookbook I bought, "Life Tastes Good Again" by Kirsti Kirkland and Betsy Thomas, two local girls who saved my life. However, I don’t believe I’ve ever posted my favorite soup recipe from their cookbook! Shame on me!

So, it’s chicken vegetable soup, and I seem to make it differently almost every time I make it. The page is covered with little notes that I’ve made, variations, suggestions, etc.

I love this recipe, and surprisingly, so does my husband. It was one of those meals I was sure he’d shun, seeing so much green, but he ate it up. Granted, he soaked grilled cheese sandwiches in it...but hey, he got his freaking vegetables!

So, to share with the world, here is my favorite adaptation of this recipe:

Chicken Vegetable Soup

1 chicken breast (cubed)
1 large onion/1 tbsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, pressed (I use my zester for this)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots
2 small celery stalks
(the recipe calls for a parsnip, but I’ve never had one on hand to try)
1 (14 oz) can green beans, drained
2 small potatoes (I don’t eat potatoes, so I usually sub 1 c dry quinoa/rice and an extra cup water)
¼ head cabbage/bok choy (and/or leafy greens like spinach or kale)
½ tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
6 c chicken broth (or half broth/half water)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

Chop all the veggies. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sauté for a few minutes. Add onion, garlic and additional oil, if desired. Cook another couple minutes. Remove chicken. Add all the veggies and sauté for a minute or two. Add seasonings and stir. Add chicken broth and tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes, until veggies are softened. Add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Remove from heat.
If using potatoes, you can mash some of them to thicken the soup. I will throw half of the soup into my Vita-mix and puree it, then mix it back into the pot. Stir, then serve.

This makes somewhere between 5-8 servings, depending on how much you’re eating, and whether it’s main dishing it, or taking back seat to some grilled cheese sandwiches.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is a handy little recipe to have available. I made this the other night for my breakfast bake, and doubled the recipe so I could store some in the freezer. I also used fresh mushrooms, and I think they made it a little better. I've made this recipe before with canned ones, and it's still really good. So use what you've got.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
(adapted from the cookbook “Life Tastes Good Again”)

2 tbsp butter/substitute
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
Dash pepper
½ c beef broth
½ c almond milk/other milk
3 oz mushrooms (1 can), chopped very fine

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cornstarch, salt and pepper. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes, until it starts to brown slightly.
Add the beef broth, then the milk. Stir with a whisk, to eliminate lumps. Bring to a boil, and allow sauce to thicken, while stirring constantly. Add mushrooms. Remove from heat.

This recipe is excellent wherever cream of mushroom soup is needed, and is about the equivalent of a can of the condensed soup. I especially love it in tuna casserole or my new favorite breakfast bake!

Breakfast Bake

This recipe rocks! Wanna know why? Because it’s gluten free AND dairy free! And you don’t miss either!!!

My mom made something similar to this for holidays like Easter and Christmas breakfasts. We loved it. The original recipe here didn’t use mushrooms soup, just milk, but I think my mom used cream of mushroom soup in her version. So I played around with it, and it totally worked! The first time I made it, I didn’t use the mushroom soup, and it was still really good. So, whatever you prefer and have on hand will work I’m sure.

I’m not such a morning person, and don’t really function without my food in the AM. When I’ve made this, I have set my alarm for about an hour before I need to get up, and I’ll throw this in the oven, then go back to bed. It’s a nice counter to having to get up for work to awaken to the smell of bacon and eggs already made and waiting for you!

Gluten/Dairy Free Breakfast Bake
(adapted from this recipe)

3 cups bread pieces, cubed or ripped*
10 pieces fried and chopped bacon (turkey bacon works pretty good here)
8 eggs (I used half eggs and half egg-whites – the kind that come in a carton)
¾ c fresh unsweetened almond milk/other substitute (recipe here)
¾ c cream of mushroom soup (recipe here)
½ tsp salt
1/3 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp black powder

Grease a glass baking dish/pan. Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and soup, and blend. Whisk in the seasonings, then the bacon. Cover the bottom of the pan with the bread pieces, then pour the egg mixture on top.
Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put covered pan in oven, and bake for an hour. Uncover, and bake for 15 minutes more.
Let cool a few minutes before serving.
Serves 8
(although the last couple days, I've been working out and have been eating more. I might reduce this to 5-6 servings if you're a big breakfast eater)

* I’ve tried this recipe twice, and the first time I used this recipe for almond flour bread. The almond bread was great in this, and added extra protein. The second time I made it, I used this great recipe for bread-for-bread-cubes that I will traditionally use for my stuffing. I think the almond bread was a little heartier, but the sorghum bread was lighter, and melted a little more into the recipe, making it creamier (or else that was the use of the mushroom soup). I am more likely to have a sorghum-based bread on hand, so that’s the one I think I will use most. You could also try one of these great bread recipes. I bet it would be fabulous with a gluten free French bread!

Bread Cubes for Stuffing, Crumbs, Croutons, and Such

Here’s a quick way to make bread cubes. They are great for stuffing, bread crumbs, croutons, or this awesome breakfast bake!

Bread Cubes
(adapted from the cookbook “Life Tastes Good Again”)

3 c gluten free flour*
¼ c sugar
3 ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp yeast
1 ¾ c warm water
¼ c oil
1 tsp rice/cider vinegar
3 eggs

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.
Mix flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt in a bowl or stand mixer. Pour the yeast on top, but don’t mix yet. Combine the water, oil and vinegar, and pour on top of the yeast. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Mix everything on low speed (this does also work pretty well if you’re mixing by hand). Add eggs and mix well for at least another 2 minutes.
Spread batter and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer bread to a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut bread into ½-inch cubes.

If using for stuffing, return the bread to the pan, and decrease the oven temp to 275 degrees F. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and cool.

Once you’ve cubed and cooled them, they can be frozen until needed.

*Here are the flour mixes I recommend. The one that is suggested in the cookbook is Bette Hagman’s GF Mix, which is:
2 c rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca starch

Or you can use (and this is the one I usually use) Carl Fenster’s Sorghum Blend:
1 ½ c sorghum flour
1 ½ c potato starch or cornstarch
1 c tapioca starch
I usually just have a tub of this one mixed up in the cupboard, so I don’t know the accurate conversion.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pumpkin Chai Cranberry Muffins

I know we’re well on our way to summer, and this is more of an autumn/winter recipe. But silly me, I’ve neglected posting it for you all. I literally ate these muffins daily last fall. They are so delicious! Give them a try when you’re in the mood for something wonderfully moist, slightly spicy and reminiscent of a thanksgiving feast. And don’t put off making them for a year like I did! You’ll regret it if you do!

This was originally a bread recipe, but the first time I went to make it, I was too impatient to want to wait for bread to bake, so I converted it to muffins. It makes between 15-18 muffins. I've tried it as a bread, and for some reason, it just wasn't as good. So I definitely recommend the muffin version!
Sadly, I do not have a picture for these, but visit Karina’s post to get a great visual!

Pumpkin Chai Muffins with Cranberries
(adapted from this recipe by the GF goddess)

1 c canned pumpkin
½ c light olive oil
3/4-1 c light brown sugar or ½-2/3 c agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/3-1/2 c apple cider or orange juice
1 ½ c gluten free flour blend (equal parts buckwheat/sorghum/tapioca work great!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice or cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves or more ginger

¾ c fresh/frozen cranberries
½ c raisins
½ c chopped pecans/walnuts/almonds
½ c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease or line muffin cups.
Combine wet ingredients. On top of that, pour in the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir into the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Use extra liquid or flour to thicken or moisten if needed.
Stir in your add-ins. I preferred mine with the cranberries, nuts and sometimes with chocolate.
Scoop batter into muffin cups, and bake for about 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick or knife.
Remove from muffin pan, and cool on a wire rack.

Best served warm.
These freeze very well.

Quick note: I've found, in general that Karina's recipes are a little more sugary than I like, being hypoglycemic, and needing something somewhat hearty for breakfast. I started with the smaller suggested amount of sugar, and thought they turned out great. But if you like your muffins a bit sweeter, feel free to add the full amount.
I've also had great success subbing applesauce for half of the oil. Try that sometime, it's great and good for you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Goddess Food: Sexy Spring Pasta w/ Roast Asparagus and Tomatoes

Wow! I have got a lot of blogging to do to meet my deadline. All I can say is it's a good thing we've got a long weekend ahead of us, during which I have sworn off the outside world! Yep, freeway construction plus holiday traffic = not a happy time on the road. So, bring on the Warcraft, baking and blogging! Oh, plus I'm taking on way more than I can handle with some photography projects. Yikes!

Anyway, on to the food...

This pasta is amazing! I mean it! Heavenly!! I love it! I swoon over it! Karina is a genius! The first time I made it, I ate my way through the whole batch before realizing I had just eaten meatless meals 3 days in a row. Impressive!

It is aptly named, in my opinion. This meal is the epitome of sexiness!! You MUST try it! With a glass of wine, preferably :)

Sexy Spring Pasta with Roasted Asparagus-Tomato Sauce
(adapted from the Gluten Free Goddess recipe here)

1/2 of a 1-lb package of gluten free linguine or spaghetti
A fistfull of asparagus, trimmed and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 leek, sliced thin**
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced fine
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 heaping tbsp capers
2 tbsp raisins (yep, raisins!)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried basil
Pinch hot red pepper flakes (I used ground red pepper)
1-2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, if desired (which I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Move one of the racks up to the top spot in the oven.
Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.
Mix remaining ingredients together on a baking sheet or roasting pan (I used a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup). Toss with your fingers to incorporate the sauce and seasonings over the veggies. Spread evenly across the pan, and place in the oven. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes, checking every couple minutes. Don't let the asparagus overcook (it's best tender-crisp).
Remove pan from the oven. Gently toss together the cooked, drained pasta with the veggies in a large bowl.

*Note: To make up for the lack of meat in this recipe, I sprinkled some chopped cashews on top of the pasta a few times. I think this would be AMAZING with pine nuts mixed in! It's on my grocery list for the next time I try the recipe.

**See this post for instructions on how to clean/prepare leeks. I had no idea!!

Karina says this makes 2 servings, but I managed to get 3-4 out of it. But, then again, it was just me eating it, with a side of GF french bread, so I may not be the best judge of portions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My New Goal

So, I've seriously slacked on the blog front lately. Mostly that's laziness. But a little bit of it I'm going to blame on my husband. He's a big gamer, and plays most nights/weekends. When we're home together on the computers, his games get completely ruined by any uploading I do. And let's be honest, food is more fun with pictures. So I put off uploading the pics, until I can do so without causing my husband more anxiety than playing games with 4 complete strangers can cause. Then when I do have time, I usually have other things that seem to take precedence...
I was looking back through my blog archives. The most I've posted in any month is 7 recipes.
Here comes my challenge. I'm going to beat that. This month. Yup, with just a week left in the month. I'm doing it. Just you wait and see. It's gonna be awesome! I've even given myself a winning strategy and head start. I've started typing up the recipes, sans pictures, in a word file. So, stay tuned for super awesomeness of gluten/dairy/everything-else-I-can't-eat-but-am-too-lazy-to-list free recipes (though I'm sure it would have been less complicated to list the foods than adding dashes to every word space)!
You're gonna love it :)

Cod Piccata Paprika

I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe! I've made it several times. It's my new favorite way to enjoy fish.

This recipe is courtesy of Elana and her amazing almond flour cookbook! I usually half the recipe when I make it, as I am the only fish-eater in my house. I think the first time I made it, I ate both servings right away. So much for leftovers :)

Cod Piccata Paprika
(recipe adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Cookbook)

1 1/2 lbs cod fillet (I've also used halibut)
1/2 c blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground smoked paprika
6 tbsp olive oil (she called for 2 tbsp olive oil/4 tbsp grapeseed, but I only had olive)
1 c chicken stock
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c finely chopped kalamata olives

Rinse fish, dry, and slice into 4 pieces.
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and paprika. Dip the fish in the mixture, and coat well.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute fish in the oil for 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown (I had lots of coating left over, so I sprinkled it on the fish in the pan). Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, and keep warm.
Using the same skillet, combine chicken stock, lemon juice and olives, stirring with a spatula to loosen the browned bits of coating from the bottom of pan. Raise heat to high, and cook until sauce has reduced by half. Whisk in the remaining oil.
Pour sauce over the fish, and sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired (I didn't have any, so left out the parsley).

I think this recipe is best served with something green (like steamed kale, pictured), as well as something to help soak up the sauce, like rice or quinoa. The flavor can be a bit overpowering if eaten by itself. But it is so good!