Posted in food, gluten-free on January 28, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
My friend Karen served this soup to my family a few weeks ago, and my kids all raved about it. I have made black bean soup in some form or another for years, and no one has ever raved like that. So naturally, I got the recipe. The secret? Pumpkin. It adds a smoothness and depth of flavor that is just right. Thank you, Karen!
Karen’s Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
- 2 cans (or 4 cups cooked) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (or equivalent) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1-2 medium onions, diced
- 1 tsp. fat (butter, coconut oil, lard)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or equivalent of dried)
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 3 C chicken broth
- 1 can (or 2 cups cooked) pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Puree beans and tomatoes with the appliance of your choice, set aside. In soup pot, sauté onions in the fat of your choice. Add garlic and cumin, sauté another minute. Stir in broth, lime, pumpkin, black pepper, and bean mixture. Bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes. Salt to taste.
* I doubled this recipe and it just fit perfectly in my 6 quart slow cooker.
* Since I doubled, one quart of home canned tomato puree worked perfectly.
* I think other winter squashes, like butternut, would work splendidly.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on January 2, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
I’ve been making this world famous chocolate cake for many years now, and it remains the easiest, quickest (and most requested) cake in our household. It is by nature dairy- and egg-free, though you can add those things if you like. I regularly tweak the flour, sugar, and oil, and it always turns out great. It’s a perfect dessert for when you’re out of everything and need to go grocery shopping; it doesn’t require any eggs, dairy, or fancy anythings. I’ve even made it gluten-free, and it was delicious!
Recently, I’ve been making it into cupcakes. You can just take the original recipe and turn it into 12 cupcakes, baked for 20-22 minutes. Easy peasy. However, if you are out of flour (like I was today) and you’re too lazy to grind fresh flour, and you’re making the cupcakes for friends who are not gluten-free, so you don’t want to use your expensive gluten-free flour, then you are in a quandry. Fear not. Just do what I did today – turn the recipe into a blender batter, a la Sue Gregg. You can just throw the whole grains in the blender with the rest of the recipe and end up with whole wheat chocolate cake! And most people will never notice. What follows is the revised recipe, which I could not taste test*, but my children assure me was fabulous.
Double Chocolate Snack Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook, 1996 edition.
- 1 heaping cup whole grain wheat / wheat berries (or try barley)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar or granulated sugar/sucanat
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup liquid fat (try melted coconut oil, melted butter, or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Dump first eight ingredients (wheat berries through vanilla) into a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix).
- Blend on high for three minutes, using tamper if necessary toward the end.
- Add baking soda and re-blend briefly, or mix with spatula.
- Pour batter into twelve muffin cups.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over batter.
- Bake 20 – 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*I am currently gluten and refined sugar free, as well as milk-free.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food, hashimoto, health, thyroid on November 14, 2012 |
4 Comments »
Well, hello there! Just popping in quick to say that I’ve created a new tab above (“GF/DF”) with all the resources I could think of off the top of my head related to gluten- and dairy-free recipes. There’s a lot out there, but I wanted to start with recipes that my family has tried and liked, so that’s why I made my own list. It is a work in progress and will be edited over time, but I needed a big list for recipe planning, and I thought it might be helpful to more than just me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at the beginning of Silas’ pregnancy last fall. In dealing with this condition, I have come across a ton of research that indicates that nearly 100% of people with Hashi’s are also gluten intolerant. Fun! I am also dairy intolerant just because I’m special. I’ve recently had lots of digestion issues and am so tired of always feeling poorly and having an irritated gut, so I’m going to do something about it.
There you go. I’ll blog more about my journey at another time. But here’s a start.
Read Full Post »
(An overnight / make-ahead meal! This is so convenient to make the day before and just pop in the oven in the morning, but I also make it last-minute-like for dinner all the time. So it will work either way.)
Just made this and it turned out delish. I used my classic Baked Oatmeal recipe doubled, with some tweaks. (Okay, I have five kids, I always double.) I rarely measure things, so this is just a springboard for me. If you like the oatmeal dryer or moister, make sure to adjust the milk accordingly. The mixture should be like closer to pancake batter (w/ lumpy oats) for a moister baked oatmeal, and thick like a loose cookie dough for a drier one. Bake longer if you add more milk.
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 1 – 2 cups sweetener (see notes)
- 1 – 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 – 4 cups milk (see my comments on milk above)
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 c pumpkin (I used freshly roasted, but this happens to be exactly one can)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- OPTIONAL: 3/4 cup dried fruit and/or nuts/seeds (try toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, cranberries, or raisins)
- NIGHT BEFORE: In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Separately, beat together dry ingredients. Fold in (optional) fruits/nuts/seeds. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Uncover and bake in preheated oven for 40 – 50 minutes.
- Sweetener: try sucanat, rapadura, brown sugar, or plain old white sugar; honey or maple syrup would be awesome, but adjust milk down a little to make up for added moisture
- If you are like me and are rolling your oats from whole oat groats, each cup should weigh 4 oz. So I use 1 lb. 8 oz of oat groats, rolled.
- The spices can be replaced with 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice.
- I want to try this with coconut milk instead of dairy.
- Serving this with whipped cream and maple syrup is just about required.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on October 18, 2012 |
2 Comments »
I based this simple yet hearty dinner recipe off of Tammy’s. As it turns out, it’s a great springboard for a simple dinner that I make on a regular basis. I love how the flavor of ground beef just shines in this dish; the rice and veggies are simply nutritional and flavor boosters, but there isn’t any tomato sauce or strong herbs/spices to overpower the flavor of the grass-fed beef that we buy straight from the farmer each year. The key to this dish to to stay simple and let the salt and pepper be your only seasoning. Easy peasy. When the budget is tight, increase the rice and decrease the beef. This allows you to buy higher quality beef more often, as well. Enjoy this recipe, Serina-style!
- A bunch of rice (I usually make brown rice, at least three cups dry)
- Ground beef (whatever size you have; I usually use one pound)
- Veggies, chopped medium-fine*
- Salt + pepper
- Cook rice however you prefer. Salt well. I use a rice cooker. You can try Basic Baked Rice it if you’re new to brown rice, this method is perfection.
- Cook beef (with onions and garlic, if you have them). Use plenty of pepper and salt.
- Cook veggies. I usually toss chop the veggies during naptime and store them in the fridge; then, during supper, I throw all the veggies right on top of the beef (I use a huge skillet) and heat it all up. Frozen veggies go straight from the freezer to the skillet. If it’s a really big batch, I cook the veggies separately.
- Dump all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix gently. Season well with salt + pepper.
*I use whatever I have. I nearly always use onions and corn; beyond that, it’s based on what’s hanging around. When I’m out of most everything, I can usually rely on frozen peas and frozen corn. Or frozen mixed vegetables. Last night, it was summer squash, onions, and green peppers. Sometimes I use my Japanese mandolin to turn everything into matchsticks instead of chopping. For some kids, sticking to a small dice is the key to getting them to eat it; huge chunks of squash turn off a lot of them. But when everything is just about the same size and fits nicely onto their spoons, they are more likely to enjoy it.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on October 1, 2012 |
1 Comment »
I have a lot of delicious chèvre from Mattawan Artisan Creamery right now, so I get to find lots of goat cheese recipes to try. (I know, such a chore.) My children are content to just eat it by the spoonful at every meal (“Can we eat goat cheese for lunch again, Mommy? Please?”) and it certainly is delicious that way, but I feel like I would be doing my family a disservice if I didn’t at least try a few recipes I don’t normally make. We have made raspberry chèvre dip for crackers and pretzels, chèvre quesadillas, and toasted bread with chèvre. What else should we try?
And so I stumbled up on these brownies at Redwood Hill Farm. Goat cheese + brownies is a match made in heaven! I cannot stop raving about how delicious these are (and apparently I can’t stop eating them, either; they’re gone) and you won’t be able to stop thinking about this recipe until you try it. So go ahead and get your hands on at least 8 oz. of locally produced chèvre (hurry before it’s too cold and many creameries stop making it for the winter!) and make this. It’s unbelievably good. And rich! Make it and savor it, because it’s not an every day food. Definitely special.
This delicious, fudgy and dense brownie recipe comes to us from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of Goat, Meat-Milk-Cheese. These treats are a cross between cheesecake and brownies. Enjoy!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. (115 grams) chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz. (115 grams) chopped unsweetened chocolate (sometimes called “baking chocolate”)
- 10 Tbsp. (150 grams) unsalted butter, cut-up
- 8 oz. (225 grams) plain chèvre
- 1 1/2 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- Begin by positioning the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheating the oven to 350F/175C. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking pan.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Place chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate and chopped unsweetened chocolate in the top half of a double boiler set over a pan with about an inch of slowly simmering water. If you do not have a double boiler, set a heat-safe mixing bowl over a medium saucepan with a similar amount of slowly simmering water. Stir until half the chocolate has melted, then remove the top half of the double boiler or the bowl from the pan and stir off the heat until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat unsalted butter, Redwood Hill Farm plain chèvre, and granulated white sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy and thick, about 6 minutes.
- Beat in the melted chocolate until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the inside of the bowl and beat in 4 large eggs, one at a time, adding the next after the one before has been thoroughly incorporated. Beat in 1 additional large egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- Turn off the beaters, add half the flour mixture, and beat it in at very low speed. When creamy, beat in milk. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture just until there are no white streaks or rifts in the batter. One warning: it’s a stiff batter. Pour and spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. The middle may be soft but it will set up.
- Cool the pan on a wire rack for an hour, then cut the brownies into 24 pieces. Carefully remove them from the pan. You can store them between sheets of wax paper in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days–or in the freezer for months.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on February 29, 2012 |
Leave a Comment »
We had this for dinner tonight, and miraculously, everyone liked it. I was very happy with this simple recipe and will definitely put it in the “Egg Season” rotation (almost spring!). I make a few changes to suit what we had.
(Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, March 2012)
- 1 lb. potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced (1/8″ thick is ideal to ensure they cook well without getting mushy)
- 2 tbsp. oil or butter (I used a flavorless, ultra-clean, organic coconut oil; extra virgin olive oil would also work, but has a lower smoke point)
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced (1/8″ thick also)
- 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
- 12 eggs
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375. Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Cook potatoes in oil or butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add carrots and onions, cook for 5 minutes more, until all veggies are tender and lightly browned. Stir occasionally.
- Whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potatoes and bake uncovered for 18 minutes (or until frittata appears dry on top). Remove skillet from oven and let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen edges of frittata, place large plate over skillet, and invert plate/skillet to release frittata onto platter.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of frittata and serve immediately.
- Use a Japanese mandolin to do the potato and carrot slicing. They are so handy and I use mine all the time. (I also slice my finger with it all the time, so be smarter than me and use the guard religiously.)
- The original recipe uses green onions instead of bulb onions; in spring, this would be a great option. Simply delete the thinly sliced onions from the frying portion of the recipe and add 4 chopped green onions (fresh) to the egg mixture instead. However, I really enjoyed the flavor that the sauteed thinly sliced onions added to the dish, and the ones that ended up on the bottom of the skilled caramelized and made a pretty pattern on the top of the frittata.
- In summer, mix and add the following to the top of the frittata after the cheese: 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1 crushed/minced clove garlic, fresh snipped parsley or cilantro.
- For winter, we simply added sour cream and hot sauce to taste, and it was great.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on January 13, 2012 |
10 Comments »
A few years ago, I tried a tuna salad at a potluck. It was so good that I have never been able to get it out of my mind. I knew that it was probably mayonnaise-based and had tuna, quinoa, and peas in it, but beyond that, I wasn’t sure. I remember it being a simple blend of flavors and textures that seemed genius, but easy. I Googled many times for a recipe that seemed similar, but I never found The One. Even Pinterest has failed me on this one. Time has faded my memories of the particular details of this salad, but never my zeal – I remember eating several helpings and wishing I could toss etiquette out the window and just steal the whole bowl from the table. (For the record: I did not.)
Here is my version. I don’t know if it’s a dead ringer for the original, but I do know that it was so good that I (again) could have eaten the whole bowl. (Only this time, I’m pregnant, and I was eating at home, so I probably could have gotten away with it. For the record: I did not.) Most of my family loved this as much as I did, so I know I did something right.
YIELD: 6 – 8 servings as a side dish | 4 – 6 servings as a main dish
- 1.5 c quinoa
- 3 c water
- 2 c peas (frozen or fresh)
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 6 oz. cans tuna
- 3/4 c mayonnaise
- 2-4 tbsp lemon juice
- A few swirls of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tsp dill
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa. If yours is not the kind that has been pre-washed (or even if it is, just to be safe), rinse the quinoa until there are no more soapy bubbles. If you don’t, it will be bitter. Drain the quinoa and bring it to boil in the 3 cups of water; cover, turn burner to low, and simmer for 20 minutes without disturbing. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- If your peas are frozen, quickly but gently fold them into the cooked quinoa, re-cover, and let them sit to thaw.
- Make dressing: whisk together mayo, lemon juice, EVOO, dill, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well blended.
- Chop your two handfuls of spinach to a medium courseness, or whatever suits your tastes.
- Place quinoa, peas, spinach, and tuna in large bowl; drizzle dressing over top. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa, if necessary, and gently fold the dressing into the salad (I use a silicone spatula).
- Taste and adjust seasonings. I added another little splash of lemon juice and a few sprinkles of salt.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. It is tasty at room temperature or cold.
- Steps 1-4 can be done hours ahead of time. Make sure the quinoa has come to room temp before doing step 5.
- Some of my measurements are rather imprecise because it really depends on your personal tastes. I encourage you to start at the lower end of those flexible measurements and add to the dressing after you’ve tried it, but before mixing it into the salad. I rarely measure when I’m cooking on my own, so even writing down these measurements was a bit of a challenge for me. If you try the recipe and have feedback on the amounts given, please comment!
Read Full Post »
Posted in food on November 30, 2011 |
3 Comments »
When Callan was born (almost two years ago!), someone from church brought me this lasagna with the recipe attached. I thought it was a very nice lasagna, but not remarkable. But my children thought it was the BEST EVER. I’m not kidding. I don’t know why they love it so much, but I decided that it would need to be tweaked and added into our meal rotation. I think the kids like how simple it is – it’s not too saucy, doesn’t have any heavy chunks of tomatoes or meat or even veggies (the spinach is soft, like the cheese), and is generous with the cheese. I love how easy and fast it is to throw together – being meatless, there’s nothing to pre-cook, and no need to pre-boil the noodles – and everything can be bought at the store for assembly at home. It makes a great meal for new moms or those too in the throes of illness/death to cook; just assemble and write the baking directions on the aluminum foil. Here’s the final recipe I came up with.
- 1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 cups + ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 pound (16 oz.) small curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp dried oregano (also parsley, thyme, basil, etc.)
- 1 jar pasta sauce (1 lb. 10 oz. size) or 1 quart home canned tomato puree/sauce
- 1 16 oz. box lasagna noodles, uncooked (regular, not no-boil)
- ¼ cup (or to taste) parmesan cheese
- Grease 9” x 13” baking dish.
- Combine spinach, 2 cups mozzarella (reserving ½ cup mozzarella for later), cottage cheese, egg, and seasonings.
- Layer as follows, three times:
- Generous ½ cup sauce
- 1/3 of cheese mixture
- Top with fourth and final layer of noodles, then remaining tomato sauce, then ½ cup of mozzarella, then parmesan cheese.
- Rinse tomato sauce jar with ½ – 1 cup water and pour around edges of dish.
- Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- There are usually 20 noodles in a standard lasagna noodle box, so use five per layer. I had to turn the fifth perpendicular to the other four and break it to fit it.
- Experiment with other Italian-style cheeses, and do try freshly grated parmesan, if available.
- Don’t tell anyone, but I rarely thaw and drain my spinach. I simply throw the bag on the tile floor a few times until there are no chunks, then mix it in with the cheese as is.
Read Full Post »
Posted in food, garden on November 1, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
I make this hummus on a very regular basis. It always turns out great. We have added fun things to it, like roasted red peppers, olives, extra garlic, olive oil, etc. Also, you can garnish with chopped roasted red peppers, chives/green onions, roasted pine nuts, a swirl of olive oil, etc. Easy to play around with. Serve with raw veggies, pitas, or try tortilla chips. I keep garbanzo beans frozen in 2-cup portions in my freezer, but if you are using canned, note that one can will only yield about 1.5 cups beans. You can scale down the recipe accordingly, or if you’re like me, just proceed as if there were two cups of beans and enjoy the richer taste.
(Adapted from The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook by Cathe Olson)
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- Liquid from cooking beans, or water
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
Smash garlic through press, or mince. Place first five ingredients into food processor or blender and process, adding bean water a little at a time until it’s smooth and creamy. Stir in parsley (if desired) and adjust seasonings to taste.
Read Full Post »