Thursday, November 25, 2010

2 Minute Mexi-Vinaigrette Dressing

Green Salads with Toasted Tomato-Herb crusted Croutons.

This is one of my favorite dressings of all times! Whether you make it spicy or mild, it is bursting with fresh flavor that adds a real zing to a salad.
As a bonus: it is pretty too. :)
Yield: 1/2 cup - enough for two large salads

Mexi-Vinaigrette Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or oil of your choice)
4 tsp  apple cider vinegar
1/4 salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1/4 tsp. GF Italian seasoning
2-3 tsp honey

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into small pitcher to serve.

-Use a specialty salsa such as spicy mango.
-Add 5-8 small stuffed green manzanilla olives before blending.

NOTE: Since my husband has gone egg-free, he has used this dressing more and more. We have canned salmon as least once a week and I used to add different olives with mayo. Now he puts this dressing on his salmon sandwich and it is DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bestest, Crunchiest, Yummiest Oven Fries

The family gave these fries a top rating at supper tonight - and they WERE good! In fact, when I tried one, I thought, "Oh no! I have gone and made something addicting!" I will have to make them only occasionally or my waist line will reflect my liking for them!
As is my habit, I did not measure ingredients as I cooked. However, it should be fairly simple to guesstimate according to how many potatoes you are using.


1 large potato per person, cut into fries
rice flour to coat - 1-2 Tbsp per potato
seasoning salt
onion salt
olive oil 1-2 Tbsp per potato

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cut potatoes in a bowl. Toss with flour to coat. Sprinkle generously with seasoning salt and onion salt. Sprinkle olive oil over potatoes and toss to coat. Dump onto baking sheet and cook for 45-60 minutes or until crispy and brown.
Enjoy with ketchup, salsa, or the dipping sauce below.

1 cup sour cream (for dairy free, use 1 cup mayonnaise)
1-2 cups salsa, according to taste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp taco seasoning
few drops of smoke sauce

Stir all ingredients together - adjust seasoning to taste. Great with vegetables, tacos or fries.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carrot Cake

Baked and arranged by my lovely daughter, Emily.


   Preheat oven to 3
Mix these three ingredients together50*

    1 cup        brown sugar
    1 cup        oil
    4               eggs

.Add these ingredients (except the grated carrots) to the first three. Mix well, than add the grated carrots. 
    1/2 tsp      salt
    1 1/2 tsp   cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp   baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp   baking powder
    1 tsp         xantham gum
    1 cup        rice flour
    1/2 cup     potato starch - tapioca starch
    2 cups      grated carrots
Bake for 40-50 min. Cool.
If you can have dairy, slather this moist cake with cream cheese frosting. If dairy is a problem, try the plain white frosting below. It really is quite nice - if you can keep yourself from thinking about cream cheese! 


    3 cups       icing sugar
    2 tsp         margarine
    1 1/2 tsp   vanilla extract
    non-dairy substitute such as Rice Dream
Mix the icing sugar and margarine together, than add milk till the icing till the icing is shiny and has a creamy consistency.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Make-It-All-Better" Dairy Free Frappuccino

Like I said yesterday, we are enjoying a beautiful, warm Indian summer. After a few hours of working out in the yard doing fall cleanup, I come in tired, hungry, hot and grumpy (not really ;)). A tall, cold glass of frapp makes it all better!
I have often wished that I could order one of those delicious frappuccinos at Starbucks or Tim Horton's. Of course I can't because of the dairy in them...but to be honest, I don't know if I could get myself to spend the $3-$5 dollars for one!
So, if you, like me are dairy-free, a spend thrift or both...this is the recipe for you!
This recipe makes 2 very large glasses.

Dairy Free Frappuccino

3 cups           ice
1 1/5 tbsp     instant coffee (I buy a nice quality kind - but even the cheap stuff taste good.
                                          Decaf will also work)
3 tbsp          granulated sugar (honey works too)
1 cup           coconut milk (I usually just use the whole 398ml/14oz can)
1 cup           water
1 tsp            vanilla

-Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

-Mocha: add a couple of tbsp of cocoa powder
-Java Chip: blend in some semi-sweet chocolate chips - or dark Lindt chocolate chunks
-Top with whip cream and caramel sauce.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dairy Free - Soy Free Fruit Smoothie

First of all, I apologize for the lack of posts.
Part of it has been because of the lack of mental energy to do anything extra.
Part of it has been because of my obsessive habit of "All-Or-Nothing": 
If I don't have have time to do something REALLY WELL, I don't want to do it at all! 

An Indian summer is upon us, I am taking advantage of the warm days to enjoy smoothies.
My ingredient measurements are a little vague...I rarely measure anything but go by "lumps" or "spoons".
I'll do my best to put that into tablespoons and cups for you.
This recipe makes a frozen treat for two.

Dairy/Soy Free Fruit Smoothie

3-4 Tbsp.     coconut milk (more if you want it richer and creamier)
1                  farm-fresh raw egg, preferably organic (if you only have access to store bought 
                    eggs do not use raw egg because of increased risk of salmonella)  
1                  ripe banana
1 tsp            psyllium husks (optional)
1 tsp            flax seed (use more if you like to)
2 tsp            flax seed oil (optional)
dose for 2 people of vitamin D3 drops (optional)
2 cups         frozen fruit - any variety or mix
1                 thin slice of lemon, including peel if organic (this gives a little sparkle of flavor)
1 cup -/+    water as needed to help smoothie turn over in blender 

-Put all ingredients into blender. 
-Blend until smooth and creamy, adding water as needed and tamping down to help it move.
-Divide into two large glasses and enjoy along with good conversation.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breadless Breakfast

Not only am I avoiding gluten, dairy, soy and nuts...but right now I am also having to avoid yeast, most sugar and simple carbohydrates. That makes breakfast a bit of a challenge!
Pictured is my current most favorite, satisfying breakfast: One fried egg (or poached), 1 piece bacon or ham or a little shredded chicken, stir fried vegetables (mix of whatever I have on hand and reheated from the night before to save time) with salsa on the side. So, even when the rest of the family is eating muffins, pancakes or toast, I am very satisfied with my delicious, filling breakfast.

For lunch I usually have a bowl of vegetable soup (homemade from leftovers with sliced vegetables and homemade broth added). Sometimes I have a flax wrap filled with raw or stirfied veggies and Dijon mustard.
My afternoon snack is usually fruit: an apple or an orange, grapefruit, or small smoothie.
Supper is whatever the family is eating...with some modifications. I eat little or none of the starch (potato, rice, whatever), a large helping of vegetables (steamed or stir fried) with a piece of meat the size of the palm of my hand. Since I have a very demanding sweet tooth :) I do usually have some dessert at supper: a cookie or a small piece of pie for example.

Eating this way has almost healed me of my long standing UT infection and the gas/bloating from too much yeast in my system. Plus I have more energy - a very welcomed bonus!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eggless Cooking

Here is a link for eggless baking....
Their blueberry muffins looked very delicious!

Of course, the recipes are not gluten free, but that can be changed quite easily. I am not always exact, but the basic formula I use is: 2/3 rice flour to 1/3 starch, adding 1 tsp guar gum for every 2 cups of flour. Here is an example:
If a recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, I would substitute 2.5 cups of rice flour, 1.5 cups of starch (tapioca or potato) and 2 tsp guar gum.

I substitute water for milk in most baking recipes. If I feel I need to use milk, I use coconut milk which I usually dilute with water.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grecian Pizza

I have been lacking in both time and inspiration with posting recipes lately. Of course I have been cooking as the folks at my house have this nasty habit of getting hungry every 4 or 5 hours (some every 1/2 hour). But, cooking with the intention of posting about it later is very different from must cooking. For one, I have to actually measure ingredients so I can write the recipe down! The there is remembering to take some pictures (if the recipe actually turned out!). Well, I got it together today and I am going to share one of the recipes on our summer menu: Grecian Pizza. It is gluten free, of course - but also dairy free. I think the crust could be made without eggs if you use the flax egg replacer.

This recipe makes one large baking sheet of pizza (mine is 12x17 with sides) which should serve 4-6 people, depending how hungry they are. ;)


1 cup rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 egg
3 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together.
Add milk, eggs and oil - mix well to combine.
Grease baking sheet and spread batter evenly over the sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you slice topping ingredients.

Pizza Topping:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 8oz package fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and torn
1 cup sliced black olives (my favorite are the smokey tasting sun dried olives)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 small tin pizza sauce (or make your own)
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1/4 large pineapple, sliced thin (can used canned, but fresh is SO good)
1 lb sliced ham or other gluten/dairy free meat
any other topping of choice - onions, green pepper, etc

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until tender. Stir in the oregano to the mushrooms and scrape warm mushrooms over the torn spinach. Toss to mix.

Spread cooled crust with sauce and layer ham evenly over the sauce.

Next, evenly spread red pepper, olives and pineapple.

Top with spinach mixture - this will help hold the other ingredients together.

Place baking sheet in 375 degree oven and bake pizza for 30-45 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flax Egg Replacer

If you have ever mixed flax with water, you know that if forms a thick, slippery goo. That mixture can be used as a substitute for eggs. I find that it works especially well in muffins. Flax is a source of good fatty acids and fiber: not a bad addition to any baking. Even though we can have eggs, I still add this flax mixture to gluten free bread to give it a lighter texture.

1/2 cup flax seed
2 cups water

-Grind the flax seed in the blender on high for about 1 minute.
-Add the water and continue to blend on high for anther 2 minutes. The mixture will be very thick and a stringy consistency similar to egg white.
-To substitute for eggs: mix 1/4 cup of flax mixture for 1 egg (1 cup of flax mixture for 4 eggs).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gluten Free Flax Seed Bread - Xanthan/Guar Gum Free

This is one of the results of my xanthan-free experiments. While the loaf did not rise large and fluffy, it was not heavy, and was moist and tasty. The flax seed forms a gum that replaces the need for any other binder.
I have been avoiding all yeast, sugar and simple carbs the past month in an effort to overcome a persistent UT infection - but I did have a couple of slices of this bread: toasted and spread with homemade sesame tahini. Wonderful!
So, health-wise, other than containing yeast, this bread is low in carbs (compared with other gluten-free breads that have a lot of starches added) and high in fiber. It does contain 3 eggs per loaf... so my egg-free friends aren't helped here. :(

1/2 cup warm milk or water
1/2 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 Tbsp. honey

Stir the honey into the warm milk or water. Add yeast and set aside to start foaming.

3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup flax seed, ground in blender
1/2 cup millet, ground in blender
1/4 cup buck wheat grouts, ground in blender

Beat eggs in a bowl until light colored. Add the flax and millet and mix well. Let sit a few minutes to absorb the moisture.
Stir the yeast mixture into the egg/grain mixture.

1 cup tapioca flour or starch
2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
1/4 -1/3 cup warm water

Sift these dry ingredients together. Beat into the egg/yeast mixture alternatively with the warm water. If the batter seems runny, add a little more rice flour. If it seems too stiff, add a little more warm water. It should be slightly thicker than muffin batter.
(Too runny of a batter will fall when baking and have a very course texture. Too thick of a batter will not rise and produce a "brick of bread" rather then a loaf).

Scrape batter into greased 9x3 bread pan.

Let rise in a warm place until the batter is level with the top of the pan (takes 25-40 minutes). When the loaf is almost done rising, preheat your over to 400F.

Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and lay loaf on it's side to cool on a wire rack. Slice when cool and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Xanthan Gum Revealed

For years I have done all my gluten free baking with xanthan gum. It was expensive but I didn't need much for each recipe and the results were good.

However, my husband and two of the children were always having intestinal problems. It was not the same as if they had eaten gluten or milk, but it was still troublesome and annoying.

By *chance* one day when I was posting a recipe, I googled "xanthan" to make sure I was spelling it right and I came up with all sorts of information on xanthan gum that I never knew before. Lights started going on as I read and I began to wonder if xanthan was actually causing a reaction in some of my family.

I had been thinking that xanthan was a natural product - NOT SO! In fact, I learned that reactions are common and that the bacteria that produces the gum is grown on high fructose corn syrup (YUK!).

After sharing the information with my husband, he said he wanted me to eliminate xanthan gum from our use. I agreed, but inwardly I panicked! I have already eliminated all dairy, gluten, nuts and soy from my kitchen and xanthan is what holds all my baking together!

Well, the first step was to buy some guar gum. This stuff is a natural product - ground from the seed of a plant native to northern India and Pakistan. It can cause intestinal problems in large amounts (like when it was used in diet pills in large amounts to create a feeling of fullness in the stomach - it was banned as a diet pill after it was proven to cause intestinal blockages or damage when used in large amounts). In baking, I substitute it for xanthan gum in the recipe, using slightly more that the xanthan called for. The texture of the dough or batter is slightly different and I have trouble making a nice loaf of bread. :( But I am working on it and experimenting with different recipes. So far, I have gotten bread that holds together and is moist, but does not rise as nice or large as with xanthan gum.
I have included links to a few articles that you may find interesting on xanthan gum. Then you can choose if it is something you want to include in your baking or want or if you want to use guar gum.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blender Pancakes - Again

I know I have posted this recipe before, but here is an updated version with pictures:
This recipe starts with whole grains that are soaked for at least 12 hours (or up to 5 days). It is really one of my favorite recipes. I have given up eating almost all baked goods - except for Sunday dessert and these pancakes! With the soaked grains, they are very easily digested and full of goodness. I prefer when the grain soaks at least 3 days as I like the sourdough taste. I dry leftover pancakes to make canapes. I place them on the oven wrack on the lowest setting (I think my oven goes down to 150 degrees) and leave until crispy and dry. They are delicious dipped in garlicky olive oil and eaten with salmon and lemon. :)
You may want to thin your batter more then I have, depending on how thin you like your cakes.

1 cup whole brown rice
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup millet
3 cups pure water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Combine the grains (you can go ahead and substitute any other gluten free whole grain for the buckwheat or millet) in a 2 qt container (I use a 2qt canning jar). Mix lightly and cover loosely (I use a coffee filter over the top of the jar with a rubber band to secure it). Let sit in a warm place overnight or up to 5 days - it has been my experience that any longer and it tastes too sour. If you are not going to use it after this time, just pop it into the fridge for a few days.

3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp honey
Combine with the soaked grains and liquid in the blender (depending on your blender, you may need to do this in two batches). Puree until smooth.

1 cup tapioca or potato starch
1 tsp guar gum
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Sift dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the puree mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Spoon onto a hot, greased griddle. Flip when bubbles form and the cakes are golden brown. Delicious with blueberries.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beanie Weinie Scallopini

Sorry - no picture. :(
This is the main dish that I took to our church potluck on Sunday. It is easy to put together and seems to be enjoyed by all.

1 lb GF hot dogs, smokies, or Mennonite sausage (I like mild Italian sausage)
5 medium potatoes, sliced thin
1 18 oz can, baked beans in tomato sauce (make sure they are GF)
1/2 cup medium salsa (or whatever heat you like)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup ketchup

-Cut sausage or hot dogs into bite sized pieces.
-Put all ingredients into a large casserole and stir well. Cover and bake at 370 degrees for 1 hour. I often use the slow-cooker for this recipe - cooking on high for 3 hours.

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake (*Corrected Version*)

This morning I needed a dessert to take to our church potluck. I needed something easy and quick to make - and that did not contain chocolate (I've had too much of that lately!). I thought a coffee cake would be nice, but I really did not have a good recipe for one. I didn't have time to search out a gluten free recipe, so I just googled "blueberry coffee cake" and copied down the first recipe that came up!

It looked easy to convert to GF... and it turned out beautifully! I neglected to take a picture of it before we left for church, thinking that I would take a picture of a leftover piece after we got home.

Well.... apparently it was a big hit! :) There was only crumbs left. It WAS really yummy!


1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup butter or other solid fat
1 cup milk or milk substitute
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries

Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.

Combine the flour, starch, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum and lemon peel (which is optional - I was out of lemons, so I just added a little lemon flavoring) in a mixing bowl.

Cut in the butter or other fat.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour/fat mixture and stir until completely moistened.

Spread batter in a greased 9x13 cake pan.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over batter and lightly press down.

Mix streusel topping and sprinkle evenly over berries.

Bake for 35 min or until set - a toothpick should come out clean or with a crumb on it from the center of the cake.

Cool for 30 min and then drizzle icing over warm cake. Enjoy!

2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup butter or other fat
1 tsp cinnamon (I used 2 tsp)

Combine to make course crumbs.

1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup almond flavoring
3-5 tsp milk or other non-dairy liquid

Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cow Pie Cookies

I know that my Mother would not like the name of these cookies...
but that is just how they look!
They are a crispy cookie that taste like oatmeal - chock full of all sorts of yummy stuff.

Cow Pie Cookies

1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca or potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter, margarine or lard

4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut (or mixed coconut and nuts like slivered almonds)
2 cups gluten free corn flakes, broken
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups raisins (or mixed dried fruit: dates, craisins, etc)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~In a large mixing bowl, combine the first set of dry ingredients (flour, starch, etc.)

~ Add the melted fat, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

~Stir in the coconut, broken corn flakes, chocolate chips, fruit and nuts (if using).

~Drop tablespoons of batter onto ungreased cookie sheets. Wet the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass and flatten cookies.

~Bake for about 10 minutes or until set. Makes about 8 dozen 1 1/2" cookies.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crispy Fish Cakes

This was in my "New Recipes To Try" folder - and last night I finally tied it out.

I put it to the family vote after supper and 9/9 voted to add it to our monthly menu plan from now on.

I served it with a Creamy Dill and Garlic Sauce.

To add some extra flavor, I substituted a can of tuna for a tin of herring in hot sauce. It added just a hint of heat which was very pleasant. A few drops of Tabasco would add the same effect, I think.

Crispy Fish Cakes

1 large onion - chopped fine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 lb leftover fish - boned and flaked or 3 cans of tuna in water, drained
2 Tbsp gluten free fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper

rice flour
seasoning salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
fine gluten free bread crumbs
oil and/or butter for frying

1. Heat the first amount of olive oil in a heavy pan. Add chopped onions and cook gently until clear.

2. Scrape the onions and oil into a bowl. Add the cold mashed potatoes, fish, fish sauce, egg, parsley and salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to mix ingredients. Chill to make it easier to handle.
3. Mix the rice flour with some seasoning salt. Shape the chilled fish mixture into 16 fish cakes. Coat first in the seasoned rice flour, then in the beaten egg and then in the gluten free bread crumbs. Place on cookie sheet until ready to fry. (I ran out of crumbs as I was doubling this recipe - I substituted the crumbs with a mix of rice flour and corn meal).

4. Heat oil and/or butter in a heavy pan and gently fry each fish cake until crispy and brown on both sides. Keep hot until served.

Oven method: This is what I used as I was making so many and it cuts back on the oil. Place the coated cakes on a lightly oiled cookie sheet (I used olive oil). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip cakes and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Creamy Dill and Garlic Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's) or 1/2 mayonnaise and 1/2 sour cream
2-4 dill pickles, chopped very fine
3 Tbsp juice from the dill pickles
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp dried garlic powder - or 1 clove garlic, minced (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp dried parsley

Mix well and serve. Keeps in the fridge for at least 1 week. Good with fish or as a veggie dip.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hello Again

I have been woefully unfaithful in posting recipes! The fault has been a combination of family demands, personal needs and the cooking blahs. I am sure I am not the only cook who has times when I only cook because my family needs to eat - not because I like it or feel creative. I have gotten over my cooking slump, though, so things are looking up!

I have several recipes that I have marked to post and that will be one of my priorities over the next couple of weeks.... hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A "Secret Ingredient"

A friend passed on a tip to me the other day. Grace lives down the street from me and has two grown daughters with Celiac, as well as several sisters and nieces (and nephews? - I can't remember :))
Her sister had mentioned that she puts a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in her gluten free baking (muffins, cakes, waffles, pancakes, etc) and it results in a lighter, better texture! I have yet to try it, but I am eager to see if it makes a difference. I imagine it adds some acidity that makes the baking powder more effective (???) or something like that.

Worth a try, I say!


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