Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chicken Korma

Here is our Chicken Korma recipe, which we enjoyed tonight w/ the leftover Veggie Korma from last week.

Chicken Korma

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken thighs (we use Just Bare) or one whole chicken, cut up
1 can coconut milk
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp tumeric
1 clove garlic

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbs minced ginger
1 piece cinnamon stick (3-4 inches)
5 cloves garlic
5 cardamom pods
1 tbs coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 T shredded coconut
2 tbs toasted almonds for garnish
cilantro for garnish

Combine the coconut milk, tumeric, lemon juice, garlic and marinade the chicken in it overnight.
Saute the onion, ginger, garlic in the oil. Add the spices (cinnamon through salt) and saute 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the chicken and coconut mixture, sprinkle w/ coconut, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Serve over rice, garnish w/ almonds and cilantro.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Banana Bread Muffins

These (finally) turned out w/ a perfect texture and crumb. They were not real sweet, so if you'd like them sweet, I'd recommend an additional 1/3 cup sugar.

Banana Bread Muffins
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup + 2 T tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan
dash salt
1 1/2 tsp corn-free baking powder (http://www.authenticfoods.com/recipes/bakingpowder.htm)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup water

Mix the dry and wet ingredients seperately. Add wet to dry and mix vigorously for 1 minute to 'activate' the xanthan. Portion into 12 cupcakes. Bake at 350degrees for approximately 20 minutes (they don't brown on the top, so you'll have to toothpick test, I would try at 15 minutes). These got soggy when I left them in the pan, so I'd remove them and place on a cooling rack.

I realize there are 12 dry ingredients in this recipe. I'm sure you really don't need that many kinds of flour, I just kept adding a little bit of this and that, hoping for muffin nirvana. If you try it w/ a different combo, let me know how it goes. :-)

Yes, I realize xanthan is a corn derivitive, but I haven't had a lot of luck w/ guar gum and have decided that we will risk the small amount of allergen that xanthan introduces (unless of course Bellybutton starts reacting to it).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stuffed Peppers, Italian Style

So, peppers were on sale this week, 3/$2. Sounded like a good excuse to make stuffed peppers to me. :-) I called my mom, and got her "recipe". And then altered it a bit.

Stuffed Peppers

24 oz Italian Sausage, browned
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 eggplant, diced (leftover from veggie korma)
2 tbs olive oil
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice
6-8 peppers, halved and hollowed.

Sautee the onion, garlic and eggplant in the Olive Oil until softened. Mix in the Italian sausage, rice, and 3/4 of the spaghetti sauce. Add more if needed to make a moist, but not runny filling. Spoon into the pepper shells. Place in a couple baking dishes and bake @ 350degrees for 30 minutes. Makes a lot :-)

Meal Plan

So, my meal planning is a bit haphazard and late this week. And I'm not planning lunches. So there.

B: Smoothies and whatever else we can scavenge
D: Stuffed Peppers
B: Banana Muffins, Bacon, Eggs, Fruit
D: Salad w/ Hardboiled Eggs
B: Hashbrowns w/ gr pepper, onion, mushrooms, and sausage
D: Mahi Mahi w/ Pineapple Salsa, Rice Pilaf
B: No Idea :-)
D: Leftover Veggie Korma, Chicken, Quinoa
B: Buckwheat and Coconut Waffles (http://affairsofliving.blogspot.com/2009/03/sprouted-buckwheat-coconut-waffles-with.html)
D: Pasta Pomodoro
B: Leftover waffles & fruit
D: Date Night (my hubs says he has something fab planned but he won't tell me what!)
B: No Idea
D: Leftover Lentil Curry and Quinoa

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Vegan GF Breadstick

I got a recipe online somewhere for a yummy breadstick a while back. It was yum and fast, a good combo. Unfortunately, it included powdered egg whites, milk, parmesan, and cornstarch. Hence, a need for alterations to fit our new allergyhead lifestyle. For once it turned out good on the first try, quite a good feeling!

1 tsp yeast
1/2 c warm non-dairy milk (I used almond, it was the only milk I had)
3/4 tsp honey or agave
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp arrowroot starch
1 T nutritional yeast (for a cheesey flavor, it worked well for this recipe!)
1 tsp hemp protein powder
1 tsp gelatin
1/2 tsp xanthan (I did use xanthan, I'll try it next time w/ guar gum)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp italian spices

Proof the yeast, milk, and sugar until the yeast is poofy. Meanwhile mix together all the dry ingredients. Mix all the liquid ingredients together, pour into the dry and stir a minute to activate the xanthan. Pour about 1/2 tsp oil into a small plastic baggie, squish it around to coat the inside of the baggie. scoop the batter into the baggie, snip a corner, and pipe breadstix onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. They should be smallish (about 1 inch wide, 1/2 inch high, as long as you like) I made about 8 six-inch breadsticks. Bake @ 425 for approx 10 minutes. They won't really brown on top, but the underside will.

Unfortunately, the GF Vegan English Muffins I spent 1 1/2 hours on this morning were not impressive, although my ever patient (and pretty hungry) family still ate them. They were very dense and gummy. I'm sure I'll try it again. . .

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vegetable Korma

We love Indian food! The spices and vegetable variety are great. And, because most of the Indian population is vegetarian, they have great complementary-protein meals that are easy on my budget. Here is one of our favorites:

Vegetable Korma - makes enough to serve 4 as a main dish w/ rice or quinoa

3 tbs oil or clarified butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
1 1/2 T curry powder (higher quality=better taste!)

1 potato or sweet potato diced, or 1 cup chickpeas
2 carrots, diced
1/2 eggplant, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1 jalepeno, diced
2 tsp salt
3 tbs ground nuts (I used almonds, it called for cashews)

1/2 cup peas
1 red or green pepper, diced
1 lb spinach, roughly chopped.
1 cup coconut milk

Saute the first group of ingredients until soft. Add the potato/sweet potato/chickpeas and carrots and 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Uncover, add the tomatoes, jalepeno, salt, and nuts. Stir and cook for a couple minutes. Add the peas, peppers, spinach, and coconut milk. Allow to simmer for approx 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or quinoa. (If you use chickpeas, the rice is a good option as it makes a complementary protein. If you use potato or sweet potato, I love the mildness of quinoa w/ the complexity of curry)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Easy Day. . .

Today was an easy day, no exciting new recipes, no amazing successes or failures. We did some pretty mediocre rice pancakes for breakfast (will have to find a better recipe, I'm thinking of trying http://affairsofliving.blogspot.com/2009/03/sprouted-buckwheat-coconut-waffles-with.html but as pancakes. . .) Then we (hubs & I) packed up the kids and went to a city pool up in the Twin Cities that had a water slide, lazy river, and about 1,000 sq feet of shallow water the girls could play it. Fun & exhausing, because for ONCE it was above 60degrees, more like 95degrees, actually. :-)

Dinner was Rice pasta w/ asparagus and a sauce of white wine, chicken broth, coconut cream, rosemary, onion, and garlic. Not bad, but not amazing.

So, all in all, an easy day. Only 3 loads of dishes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

GF Wraps, take 1

Today I tried making Karina's Buckwheat & Millet wraps.

. Sorry, but I wasn't impressed. They taste fine (a bit oily) but they are not an appetizing color or texture. I doubt if BellyButton will eat them. We'll give it a try. . .

I did use a couple to make Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas for dinner tonight. Here is the recipe (as close as I can remember)

1 onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
sprinkle of oregano, cumin, & cayenne
1/4 salsa
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1 cup cooked black beans
5 corn tortillas, 4 buckweat & millet wraps

Saute the onion and garlic in a bit of oil, mix in the spices. Add the salsa, chicken, and beans heat thru. heat the tortillas to soften, roll the mixture up inside, place in a greased baking dish (seperate dishes for the corn and buckwheat). Top with a half cup of enchilada sauce (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Red-Enchilada-Sauce/Detail.aspx substitute olive oil for the corn oil). I sprinkled the corn tortillas w/ a little PepperJack cheese, since they weren't for my allergy head.

We are topping them w/ homemade guacamole and sour cream (except BellyButton, sad as 'cream' used to be her favorite!).


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Menu Plan

So, one of the hardest thing about being Everything-free is figuring out what you are going to eat. I do it weekly to keep w/in my budget. Here it is for this week:

B: Rice Pancakes, Sausage, Smoothies
L: Sandwiches and Bananas
D: Vegan Mac & Cheese http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2007/12/cheesy-uncheese.html (Hubs and I are going out)

B: Daddy is cooking (meaning pancakes, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns. daddy loves breakfast)
UPDATE: I think we might try these: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/10/pumpkin-waffles.html
Yes, I love Karina. I just realized that the recipes listed on the right of her blog are just a 'selection' not ALL her recipes. She has TONS of recipes I didn't realize were there! I've been browsing for 2 1/2 hours!
L: Probably leftover Mac & Chz
D: Father's Day! Steak, Oven fries, Salad, and that Fab ice cream cake I mentioned before.

B: probably pancakes, etc again. And strawberries.
L: left-over Moroccan Chicken Soup (in the freezer). Probably bananas or grapes too.
D: Enchiladas w/ homemade enchilada sauce, ground beef & onion. topped w/ guacamole.
using Karina's wrap recipe: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/06/gluten-free-millet-buckwheat-wraps.html

B: again, probably pancakes. and fresh strawberries. I miss oatmeal!
L: Sandwich wraps w/ leftover guacamole, turkey, and lettuce, grapes
D: Shrimp, Asparagus, & Pesto Fettucini (I'll post the recipe later)

B: I think I'll make a batch of Karina's English Muffins and we'll do breakfast sandwiches
L: Almond butter balls, grapes, carrots
D: Vegetable Korma & Quinoa

B: Leftover english muffin sandwiches I hope!
L: I'm making sushi for me... not sure about the girls.
D: Pasta w/ Tomato Sauce & Breadsticks (If the breadsticks turn out, I'll post the recipe)

B: Daddy goes to work early today, so we can do Smoothies and maybe a batch of banana muffins.
L: the girls are at the babysitters, which means Mac&Chz/sushi for me again!
D: Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Spinach 'salad'

We do smoothies everyday. Our recipe is:

4-5 frozen strawberries
1/4 cup whole milk or coconut or almond milk
1 tbs frozen OJ concentrate
blended up in a Magic Bullet (honestly the best kitchen appliance you can own, except maybe a VitaMix, which I can't afford!)

BellyButton is on a BUNCH of supplements right now to try to get her healthy (it seems to be working, she hasn't been sick in 5 weeks!) So, to her smoothie I add

1 T fish oil
1/2 tsp probiotic
1000 IU vitamin D
1 scoop UltraCare for kids (a supplement for kids w/ food allergies to make sure they are getting their nutrients)

She also gets three calcium 'gummi bears', 4 Quercetin pills, and 2 Vitamin C tablets a day. She loves it. She thinks they are as good as candy. She begs for more 'medicine bears'. It kinda makes me sad to have her on all this artificial 'goodness', but I know that it is doing its job.

Complete Proteins

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you are familiar w/ the pairings of legumes and grains to equal complete protein. If you aren't, listen up!! Healthy, organic protein is VERY expensive. I'm not saying its overpriced, I'm just stating the obvious. As a family of four we can EASILY spend $100/week just on organic meat, if we eat meat every night. NOT in our budget.

Our solution is to eat a high quality, organic or all-natural protein 2-3 nights/week and to eat vegetarian the other nights. We ate a lot of eggs before BellyButton was diagnosed, and were able to get high-quality organic protein from that not-so-ungodly-expensive source. Of course, that has changed. So, if you, like us, need to find less-expensive high-quality protein, you should look into using legume/grain/nut/seed complete proteins. Here is how it works:

A complete protein is made up of 8 amino acids (with long names you don't need to know). Most grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and veggies are deficient in a couple of these amino acids. Because our bodies can't 'store-up' these amino acids (yes, there is debate on how long your body can store amino acids), you need to combine foods that will provide you with all 8 amino acids during a meal or a day. For example:

1 cup garbanzo beans + 2 TBS tahini (yes, hummus is a complete protein)
2 tbs almond butter + 1 slice bread made w/ seed, legume, or grain flours
1 cup rice pasta + 2 tbs garbanzo beans
1 cup lentils and garbanzos + 1 cup rice (yes, the curry I posted is a complete protein)
Quinoa is a complete protein by itself, when combined w/ some fresh veggies, it's even better!

Basically, if you are eating a good combination of grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and veggies you do NOT need to worry about having enough protein in your diet. And eating organic vegetarian complete proteins is A LOT less expensive than eating organic meat-sourced proteins.

Bread, Day 2 and Lentil, Garbanzo, and Spinach Curry

I'm sorry to say, the bread is NO GOOD on day two. And since we just sampled last night, and kept the rest of the loaf for sandwiches today, it is basically a wasted loaf. I think I will probably still use this recipe for hamburger buns and bread, but it will be an occasional thing, as we don't normally use a whole loaf of bread in a day, and I hate to waste ingredients.

The curry I made yesterday was very good, simple, and inexpensive. Something you don't usually get in the allergyhead lifestyle. So, here is the recipe (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Lentil, Garbanzo, and Spinach Curry
1 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dry garbanzo beans
2 tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbs garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 can diced tomatoes
2 lbs spinach (I think this is about how much I used)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Cover the beans and lentils with purified water and soak for 4 hours. Drain. (If you are working ahead of schedule you could sprout them at this point). Put in a large saucepan, cover w/ clean water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook approx 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside. Using a large, shallow pan (such as a Calphalon "Everyday" pan) heat the oil, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sautee until soft. Mix together the spices and add to the pan, cook for approx 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk and liquid from the can of diced tomatoes, stir. Put the spinach and cilantro on top, cover, and cook until the spinach wilts. Stir in the tomatoes, then the lentils & garbanzos. Taste, add more salt if wanted. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice (I used white rice, unusual for me, but it was a nice contrast to the complexity of this dish).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream Cupcakes

My girls love cupcakes. What little princess doesn't? I have a fabulous allergyhead chocolate cupcake that I created, unfortunately BellyButton "no like it". So, until I figure out a white cupcake (probably next week, stay posted) I decided to do a batch of Ice Cream Cupcakes - inspired by Coldstone Creamery.

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
1 cup frozen strawberries, slightly defrosted and roughly chopped.
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs rum
3 tbs organic sugar
2 pinches stevia
Blend it all up in a Magic Bullet, add
1/2 cup diced strawberries.
Pour into a ice cream maker (I use Cuisinart) and freeze. When its ready portion into 6-8 silicone cupcake liners (my fabulous mother got them for me for Christmas). The ice cream should go all the way to the top. Freeze until hard. This is the only vegan ice cream I've made that doesn't freeze into a solid block. I'm not exactly sure, but the only new ingredient I used was the olive oil.

In the meantime, you want to make some coconut whipped cream. Take two cans of coconut milk and refridge them until the cream is hard. Scoop out the cream and use the 'water' for a different use. Freeze the mixer bowl and beaters until very cold. Add the coconut cream and beat until it is as stiff as you can get it. Put it back in the freezer for 15 mintues and then whip it again. Continue this until the cream is stiff enough to use. It took me a while. . . I added a pinch of stevia at some point. Then I put it in a plastic bag, cut off the corner, and piped it onto the cupcakes. Beware, it get soft QUICKLY, so you have to work fast. Unfortunately after the cupcakes were in the freezer for the afternoon the 'whipped cream' was rock hard and did not soften when I let them sit out on the counter for a bit. Next time I think I will add a bit of something to keep it soft, maybe rum? (yes, I realize I am feeding my young children food w/ rum in it, I can think of much worse things to feed them, such as HFCS).

Anyways, the little princesses highly approved :-)

the dishes

As you already know, when you are cooking for an Allergyhead, you cook from scratch. Everything.

I can easily spend 6 hours a day cooking since my Allergyhead was diagnosed. Of course, part of that is because we aren't (and never have been) meat and potatoes people. A usual week at our house includes mexican, indian, chinese, thai, trini, basically anything except the usual midwest-style cooking. I can't remember the last time I made something that included 'cream of anything soup' - even before allergies we just didn't cook that way. I don't make casseroles. And we don't eat leftovers.

Today I made vegan strawberry ice cream; coconut 'whipped cream'; Karina's marvelous bread; Lentil, Garbanzo, and Spinach Curry; and a Gluten-free (but not dairy or egg free) ice cream cake for Father's Day (super yum, a brownie crust, vanilla ice cream, reese's pieces, peanut butter ganache, and chocolate ganache layers).

The worst thing about all the cooking? The dishes, hands down. I do an average of 6 loads of dishes a day. Before the allergy diagnoses I had - in a fit of healthfulness - gotten rid of the microwave and stopped using the dishwasher. Just about 4 days ago I decided to start using the dishwasher again but it is sooo SLOW. When I'm cooking I can easily use every dish I own - usually twice. (My kitchen is tiny, there is no room for lots of extras of everything). Anyways, my point in all this is that really, the cooking part I love, and I don't MIND being "everything free", but the dishes, thats my least favorite part about this allergyhead lifestyle.

the verdict is in. . .

Soooooo.............. the bread is..........................

a keeper.

Now, let me say that I kinda made a couple mistakes. . . like I must have messed up the water to flour ratio a little bit, cause I added in 3 extra tablespoons of millet flour to get it not so 'runny'. And I didn't realize how fast it would rise. I mixed it up in the bread machine, then put it in a greased loaf pan outside to rise. I decided to see how it was coming about 30 minutes later. It was just starting to spill over the sides! So, after a bit of creative language, I poured it into a 2nd greased pan, let it rise just till it was about an inch from the top of the pan, then popped it in the oven. As I expected, it continued to rise in the oven, and crested beautifully about 1/2 inch above the pan. Oh. . . the simple pleasures of life.

It is soooooo fabulous (at least compared to anything else GF I've tried, with or without eggs and dairy). It will be fabulous for toast tomorrow. I think I will use the special yummy 'spread' I made for my dear allergyhead:

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup clarified butter
mix them all together (might need to heat it to mix completely) and store in a pint jar in the fridge.

I use this interchangeably w/ plain butter in baked items that call for using chilled butter (anytime you need to cut it in, or such). I realize there is a chance of dairy contamination w/ clarified butter, but every once in a while we just need a little butter taste!

facing the plunge....

Today I finally decided it was time to venture into the arena of bread. So, over to Karina's Kitchen I headed. I love Karina. She doesn't even know I exist, but I love her. Why?? Because just a couple days ago as I spent an entire afternoon thinking about how I inevitably would need to create a wrap/tortilla recipe, Karina apparently was one step ahead. And after I spent a couple hours online gathering ingredient ideas, I headed over to glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com, and realized that she had just posted a NUMMY looking recipe that was exactly what I was trying to create. I LOVE her.

Anyhow, yesterday I decided to make bread. It only made sense to turn to Karina. So, I went here:

And read 83 comments.

And then thought that maybe I would wait one more day.

And this morning I thought maybe I would wait until this afternoon.

And this afternoon I decided to make two kinds of Vegan Ice Cream first (yes, I will post about that later, strawberry and carmelized banana in case you are curious).

Then, finally, I couldn't put it off anymore.
I pulled out my breadmaker. Washed all the gluten out, the best I could. And very quickly assembled all the necessary ingredients.
Right now my bread is in the breadmaker. It still hasn't started mixing. I'm starting to wonder why. . . I wander over there, push a couple buttons. . . still no mixing. I'll give it a couple more minutes. Then I'll get worried. But for now, I'm content in the fact that tomorrow I can make sandwiches to bring on our Saturday morning Farmer's Market adventure. Because knowing Karina (and judging by the 83 comments) it's very likely this bread will be fabulous!
(I hear my bread machine starting, whew!)