Sunday, October 30, 2011

Therapeutic Kitchen Time

My husband loves me my cooking so much that he let me spend some time in the kitchen this afternoon while he managed the two kids with FASD who are currently having neuropsychiatric reactions to strep... and secondary infections including staph and ear infections... (they have an autoimmune disorder called PANDAS ).

It's been a rough weekend but I turned on the radio and sang while I worked in the kitchen so life is looking up. And we had a great supper, too!

I made our favorite GFCF tomato soup which has all this veggie-goodness blended into a creamy deliciousness. It's Bean's favorite soup. (Before we went gluten and casein free Bean wouldn't even eat soup and now he asks me to make this!)
Then I made a large batch of our favorite pizza crusts and made one into garlic bread to dip in the soup. There is no better meal for a chilly fall evening.

But wait, there's more! I visited Wheatless Foodie's blog and found this recipe for Apple Coffee Cake and just had to try it. Oh. My. Goodness.

What a great way to end a meal! ♥

Friday, October 28, 2011

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart

♪ Beans, beans, they're good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you ____
The more you ____, the better you feel
So let's have beans for every meal! ♪

*When I was growing up, fart was the "f" word so I had to bleep it out. But seriously, beans are so good for you! And they're cheap! We should eat them for every meal...or at least once or twice a week!
A lot of people seem intimidated by the dry bean. Don't be. Buying dry beans is economical and they are easy to store. Using them just involves a little planning. First, sort and rinse the beans in a colander so that any dirt or pebbles are removed. Now comes the soaking...
Cover beans in water to soak overnight, allowing for beans to expand 2-3 times their size while still being covered. Soaking beans helps them cook faster and it dissolve the starches that cause the "f" word issue mentioned above.

The next morning, drain and rinse soaked beans and then put them in your crockpot. Cover with water or chicken broth and throw in the ham bone from your leftover ham. Add spices to your taste- salt, pepper, brown sugar, garlic, onion salt, creative! I like to throw in a few bay leaves, too.

Cook on high for about 8 hours. Bake some GFCF cornbread for a real down home comfort meal. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ice cream sandwiches

What do you get when you make this GFCF ice cream and some flourless cookies made with chocolate peanut butter?

Homemade GFCF ice cream sandwiches! Is there a better after school snack than that?!

And look who wanted to help with dishes.

Scalloped Tators and Ham GFCF

One of my favorite crock pot comfort foods is scalloped potatoes and ham. Adapting this family favorite to gluten and casein free was a piece of cake. (Now you're in the mood for cake, aren't you? Sorry. I'll do a cake recipe soon.)
Each layer in the crockpot had about this much ham and tators. I did two layers.

Smother each layer in this creamy sauce...

Cut up one onion and sautee until soft in 4-5 Tablespoons of olive oil or ghee (clarified butter). Add 1/2 cup of your favorite GF flour blend and blend to make a roux. Slowly add 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of almond or flax milk. Cook until thickened.

Sprinkle with pepper and set crock pot on high for 6 hours. That's it! Easy peasy...

...and good! Java had two large helpings last night and heated some up this morning for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Packing lunches

Someone asked me recently about GFCF ideas for lunch boxes. This is Java's lunch today...

Chocolate coconut milk, apple slices with natural peanut butter for dippin', a spinach salad with organic GFCF french salad dressing, carrots and sunflower seeds, a GFCF wrap grilled with pizza sauce and pepperoni inside, and a piece of GFCF German chocolate cake for dessert.

It takes some planning and preparation but GFCF lunches don't have to be overwhelming or boring.

GFCF hot chocolate mix

I ordered a case of Dari Free powdered milk alternative (it's made from potatoes!) and made a batch of GFCF hot chocolate mix for those chilly days ahead.
Simply mix one 19.5 oz can of Dari Free, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa,and one and a half cups sugar. (Next time I'm going to use vanilla sugar but I need to make that first.)

Float a few GFCF marshmallows on top (I used Jet-Puffed by Kraft but you can also make your own!) and enjoy. Slurp!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bean's Spaghetti Bake

Bean has a skills worker for a few hours each week and one of the things they've been working on is food preparation. Last night Bean made supper!

He found this recipe and adapted it to gluten free by using GF spaghetti noodles. He made his own spaghetti sauce with tomato sauce and spices. He was pretty proud of that. He used some cheese (less than what was called for) so the recipe wasn't casein free.

Our osteopath autoimmune specialist doctor told us recently that we could try some cheese once in a while so Bean insisted we use a little mozzarella. Java chose to eat GFCF chicken soup for supper instead because she didn't want the cheese. I was surprised that she is starting to recognize some of her own dietary needs!

Bean had two servings and asked if we could make this again soon. We'll need to try it without cheese next time so Java can have some. It was really good!

And the best part was that I didn't have to cook!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

GFCF Coconut Pie

StarBUCK likes coconut so I made a special treat for him tonight. It's our anniversary this week and this will probably be the extent of our celebrating so I hope he enjoys it.
This gluten and casein free recipe for Coconut Custard Pie looked good and simple enough. I haven't tried making a GF pie crust yet but this pie makes it's own crust.

StarBUCK and I liked it a lot. The kids...not so much. Oh darn. We'll have to eat it all by ourselves. ♥

Pizza- goat cheese and leaves

I spent the day in the kitchen which is probably obvious since I usually post on this blog once a week and this is my 4th post already today! (There's one more coming!)

Venti was with a friend and StarBUCK and Java were helping StarBUCK's parents with a house project, so Bean and I were the only ones home at suppertime. I was making another bunch of GF pizza crusts for the freezer so we made one up for supper. Bean made the sauce. We like to use a can of organic pizza sauce with some EVOO and fresh garlic added to it.

We tried goat cheese once recently and the kids did well with it. We won't do it too often but a little bit on pizza is a special treat. Actually, Java said she prefers her pizza without it.

Goat cheese is less casein-loaded than cow's cheese and can be easier to digest. I used the last little bit of goat cheese tonight. Bean made the obligatory goat sound effects.

I wanted fresh basil on my side so Bean was careful to divide it carefully. No leaves for him, thankyouverymuch.

You can't get something this good delivered in a cardboard box. Mmmmm.

Chinese lunch- at home!

Last week after church we went out for Chinese food and Java had a HORRIBLE afternoon. It might have been the strep infection and resulting PANDAS episode we've been dealing with because this has been an especially bad one, but it might be something else. MSG. I don't want to try it again to be sure. We're eating Chinese food prepared at home from now on.

I bought these two gluten free sauces (no MSG added) to make preparation a little easier this time. Last time I made my own sauces. I prefer the homemade but these were good.

I cut up dark and light meat chicken, dredged it in rice flour and deep fried it in canola oil. Then I put the sauces on and put it in the refrigerator to heat up after church.
After church I put on a big pot of basmati rice and made a Thai veggie stir fry. I used this recipe and really liked it, especially the bok choy and shitake mushrooms.

Delicious! And the best part is, NO RAGING afterwards!

♥ A new chocolate chip cookies recipe ♥

Few gluten and casein free cookies can pass for the real gluten-buttery thing. This one can. And, unlike many GFCF cookies, you don't need to use parchment paper to bake them! The recipe is from the "Special Diets for Special Kids" cookbook.

Combine 1 1/2 cup white rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp xanthan gum, 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt. Set aside.

Cream together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup CF butter (I used Spectrum organic butter flavored shortening), 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and GFCF chocolate chips (I used 365 Everyday Value Vegan Chocolate Chips).

Mix together and drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

I'd recommend hiding these bad boys in the freezer in a container labeled "Brussel Sprouts".

GFCF Banana Bread

I used to make banana bread all the time. I haven't made it since we went gluten and casein free last February. I was a little afraid of what the results might be. Grainy? Heavy? So much depends on the flour mix with GF recipes so when I found a box of King Arthur GF flour mix, I decided banana bread was what I'd splurge and use it in. (It isn't cheap!)

I found this recipe and assembled the ingredients. I always put our too-ripe-to-eat bananas in the freezer, peel and all, to use in smoothies or baking. I peeled the bananas and thawed them for a minute in the microwave.

The recipe called for butter but I used organic Spectrum butter flavored shortening as a casein free alternative.

There was enough batter to do a regular size loaf pan along with a small one.
I took the smaller loaf out of the oven a few minutes before the larger one.

The house smelled wonderful...and it wasn't even from the candle!

Was it good? Yes! Java had 3 pieces of the small loaf before church and begged me to put some in her lunchbox tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Java and Bean take their lunches to school every day. Last year when we started the GFCF diet, Bean said he was being teased at school about his lunches but he hasn't had that problem this year. He seems to understand now why we eat this way so maybe that has helped him deal with the questions from his peers.
Java's lunch typically consists of a salad with fresh greens (she likes spinach!) with ham, organic salad dressing and some toppings.

Bean prefers PB & J. I make a loaf of GFCF bread in the bread machine several times a week and we buy natural peanut butter and organic lower sugar jelly. It's not quite as healthy as Java's main lunch dish, but we do what we can.

Bean often takes tortilla chips with salsa (fresh- whenever I have tomatoes!), and both take a thermos of juice or water and a GFCF homemade cookie, Rice Krispie bar, or other snack.

Sometimes when I've forgotten to make bread, I'll pull a GF pizza crust out of the freezer and make a pizza so the kids can take a few pieces in their lunch.

We do alright if I stay on top of the baking. And that's what I'll be doing today!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Definitely not suffering

We've been buying beef from a local farmer, one quarter beef at a time. We recently purchased two quarters and completely filled our freezer. We pay about $2.30 per pound whether it's hamburger, roast or steak but I always seem to save the steaks until we are almost out of meat. I decided this time to enjoy some of the steaks right away!

So yesterday on a perfect fall day we grilled T-bones! I sauteed onions and mushrooms for those who wanted to dress up their steaks and we grilled asparagus and roasted some herb garlic potatoes to accompany them. Java made a broccoli slaw salad and we polished off the meal with a fresh pineapple.

And people think we're suffering on this GFCF diet.

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