Sunday, May 20, 2012

GFCF Mango Cheesecake

It has been a while since I've updated this blog.   Most of our meals are just repeats now so they are already posted here.   Actually, with all these repeat meals I've been in a bit of a GFCF rut, so yesterday I made gluten and dairy free cheesecake from a recipe in this cookbook that I found on clearance last week.

The crust is made from ground almonds, Earth Balance non-dairy butter, and crumbled GFCF chocolate chip cookies.   (I baked GFCF chocolate chip cookies last week and hid them in the freezer so I just tossed them in the food processor.  And that's the way the cookie crumbles.) 
I greased a springform pan with Earth Balance, patted the crust mixture inside and then baked at 350 for 10 minutes.
The filling is made from soy yogurt, Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, pure maple syrup, lemon juice, corn starch and a fresh mango. 

Blend the filling ingredients together until creamy and pour over crust.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until set.  Cool on wire rack and then refrigerate until firm.   Remove sides of springform pan.
The cookbook suggests topping with maple syrup and slices of fresh mango.  I just brushed with a small amount of maple syrup and sprinkled with ground almonds.    Everyone LOVED it! 

1/3 cup melted Earth Balance non-dairy butter (plus small amount for greasing pan)
1 1/2 cup GFCF cookie crumbs
heaping 1/4 cup ground almonds

1 large mango- pitted, peeled and diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup soy yogurt
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. pure maple syrup
2 cups vegan cream cheese


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Planning meals

One of the first things I did last Monday was to make a supper menu for the week. I have been planning a day or two at a time but my goal is to do this at the beginning of every week. I didn't plan for the weekend meals and as a result supper sneaked up on me last night. This week I'll remember to add the weekend meals! These were last week's meals:

Monday- Chicken, rice, cauliflower & broccoli (roasted with olive oil and sea salt)

Tuesday- Tacos and triple berry crisp for dessert

Wednesday- Salmon, roasted garlic potatoes, roasted asparagus (Java and Bean did not want to try the salmon. I just made sure they each had a source of protein in their bedtime snack. One had peanut butter with an apple and the other had roasted peanuts.)

Thursday- Quinoa Linguine and tomato meat sauce

Friday- Vegetable beef soup (homemade) and gluten free English muffins (purchased)

Our main meal on Sunday is lunch after church and I failed to plan for that, too. Time to take inventory in the kitchen and come up with something!

Jabba the Banana Bread

In case you think everything I make turns to culinary gold, here's an epic fail from the coffee kitchen.

I tried a new gluten / casein free banana bread recipe. It called for a lot of baking powder and I thought that was kinda weird, but I made it anyway. I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves but I think doubling the baking powder was a bad idea.

The batter was filled to the top of the bread pans but as you can see, it rose...and rose....and rose.
And then it fell. (FYI- my wooden cutting board has been used for one too many art projects over the years. Ignore the pink and purple marker please.)
And it looked like this. Jabba the banana bread.

The kids ate it anyway!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Man grub

Last night's supper was a hit with the testosterone crowd. Gluten and dairy free doesn't mean girly. This was classic man grub.
Beef stew is one of hubby's favorites and adapting it to GFCF was easy. Start with a cut of beef (I used a chuck roast) and cut it into one inch pieces. In a covered container or freezer bag, combine 1/3 cup of your favorite GF flour blend, salt, pepper and other seasonings (I used Penzeys Beef Roast seasoning). Shake beef pieces in the flour mix and brown in a few tablespoons of heated oil. Add a chopped onion to browned beef for a few minutes and then put beef mixture in the crockpot.
Add 4-5 carrots, 5-6 potatoes, some celery (I was out of celery so don't look for any in the picture), 2 cups GF beef broth, a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce, and a bay leaf. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 10 hours.
This recipe for Cornmeal Flatbread from the Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbook is the perfect accompaniment for the man meal. Man grub. Grunt grunt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So good and pretty, too!

Want a great crock pot chicken meal? Tonight I made Chicken Cacciatore with this recipe. This is definitely going to be a repeat meal. It was delicious and pretty, too!
The recipe calls for onions, mushrooms, garlic and a red bell pepper in the bottom of the crock pot. (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow bell peppers in case you are wondering where the yellow specks came from.)
Layer chicken next. I used boneless thighs and breasts.
Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, cooking wine (I didn't have white so I used a cooking sherry), and seasonings. I let it cook all day and then added the cornstarch and water during the last 30 minutes.
Rice and broccoli completed the meal.
Soooo good and pretty, too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Share the love

Last night we made individual GFCF heart shaped pizzas for Valentines Day. Java enjoyed being able to express her creativity while Bean focused on taste. He's become a real spice fanatic!

Java came home with a load of candy from school but after she and Bean each had a piece, I offered her $5 for the rest. She thought that was a great deal! We're sending the candy to a cousin who is in college. ♥ Share the love...and food dyes, sugar, high fructose corn syrup....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chicken Quinoa Spaghetti

Last night I made supper for our family and my daughter and son in law. I had to make it heart healthy, gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian (my daughter Latte doesn't eat meat).

No problem.

I made our favorite Quinoa spaghetti with two spaghetti with ground chicken and one without.

Our local co-op has organic ground chicken at a decent price so we'll work this into the menu more often. I can imagine that people would think it was rather bland if they didn't season it well...but I've been to Penzeys. ♥ With their salt free Italian seasoning, some fresh garlic and an onion, the ground chicken really came to life! (Not literally. That would have really freaked out my vegetarian daughter.)

I added tomato sauce and poured it over the quinoa noodles. It looked and smelled so good that I couldn't even take a picture of the finished product! (You know the kids are excited about the meal when the prayer is said very, very quickly!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting through it

I have found that we can get through most challenges as long as we have a plan. My son in law is still in the hospital. They were able to get his blood pressure out of the danger zone but they need to find out what caused it to be so extraordinarily high. They are concentrating on kidneys and doing a lot of tests.

My son in law has very few family members and only one lives within driving distance from here. I am spending as much time as possible at the hospital to support both him and my daughter. This means I have to be more planful about meals.

Yesterday afternoon I made tator tot casserole. I've made this in the crock pot before but last night I made it in the oven and ran errands with Java while it cooked.

Tonight we're having bean and ham soup. I soaked a 13 bean mix last night and it is now in the crock pot (pictured above) with vegetable broth, a ham hock (I had it in the freezer from our last ham), carrots, onions and seasonings. We'll have pizza crust garlic bread with it. I've got several pizza crusts in the freezer.

We'll find out more this morning after the doctor makes his rounds at the hospital. I pray that life will return to our "normal" soon. But if not, we will get through it as a family.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick fix supper

Some days, like yesterday, are difficult. Our son in law had a severe headache and after two days he finally went to the doctor. They rushed him to the ER and he was promptly admitted to the hospital. It was slightly lower by the time I got there, but the nurse said his blood pressure was 240/180 at one point. (180 /110 is considered a medical emergency.)

They are doing a lot of tests and we'd appreciate your prayers. I love my son in law. He has a great sense of humor and he puts up with a lot being a member of our family.

Thankfully I was somewhat prepared for a quick fix supper last night. I had roasted 6 chicken breasts to use some time this week. I had also made a large batch of rice (I often make hot rice and almond milk for breakfast.) So I threw the rice and chicken together with some amazing sauce I bought at Whole Foods (Cindy's Kitchen Mango Coconut & Pepper Sauce) and made some broccoli and a fresh spinach salad to go with it.

Before making these changes in our diet, last night would definitely have been a pizza delivery night. I'm glad we're doing things differently now. Health is important.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meals- getting to be routine now

We've been gluten and casein free for nearly a year. At first I was very overwhelmed but we've settled in to a routine with our favorite meals on the menu at least once or twice a month now, so it is much easier. My challenge now is to come up with something new to put on this blog!Tonight's supper will be chili and cornbread muffins. I challenge myself each time I make chili to sneak in just a few more veggies. So far I'm getting away with it! (I added these sauteed onions, garlic and peppers to tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, browned hamburger, chili beans and some Penzey's Chili 3000 seasoning.)

Most of our meals are pretty boring, I guess. A few nights ago we had baked chicken thighs, potatoes roasted with olive oil and Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning (♥ it!) and some veggies. We usually drink water, lemonade or FlaxMilk with meals.

I baked extra chicken that night so I could make our favorite chicken pizzas the next night. I try to plan ahead like that. I also try to make dessert once in a while, too.
FYI- The new King Arthur Flour gluten free chocolate cake mix is awesome!

Junk food lunch- aka The GFCF Corndog!

Junk food. We're eating healthier these days but my kids are still kids and some days a hot dog, something on a stick, or something deep fried just sounds too good to resist. So why not have all three at once? Hot dogs on a stick and deep fried with batter.

Aka The GFCF Corndog.

I refuse to buy nitrate / nitrite loaded, crap filled hot dogs anymore. This kind was $6 so I bought one package and told the kids they could each have one and negotiate with me later for any leftovers. The cost of our healthier way of eating has certainly helped with portion control!

I didn't buy GF hot dog buns ($$) and I didn't feel like baking any today, so I made corn batter using this recipe with a few changes. (*I used my homemade GF flour blend, I didn't have unflavored gelatin so I left that out, and I used almond milk instead of whole milk.)

My 14 year old son said that these were the best corndogs EVER. He's only had hot dogs a handful of times in the past year so it might have been nostalgia talking, but they were pretty good!
Remember all those odd plates I received for Christmas? Here are some of them featuring our junk food lunch!
It was like going to the state fair in the middle of winter!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I spend some time in the kitchen every weekend preparing food to get us through the week. This morning I made a double batch of calzones using this recipe. We each had one for lunch and I'm freezing the rest.
As the recipe directs, mix dry ingredients and put in mixer bowl. Then add water with proofed yeast (below).
Mix. Please excuse the dirty mixer. I've been busy this morning! It's clean now.
The recipe suggests rolling all the dough out and cutting circles out for each calzone. I just took 1/2 cup of dough at a time and patted each one out individually.
I made pizza sauce (tomato paste, water, olive oil, fresh garlic & Penzeys Pizza Seasoning) and gathered some toppings.
I've been paying a little more for pepperoni in order to avoid added nitrates / nitrites. The Applegate brand is really good and the kids like them because they are big!
Assemble and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
The ones marked with "P" are just pepperoni. The others all have veggies added. I made a double batch and ended up for 14 calzones.
They are really good and folding the dough over solves the awkwardness of having cheese free pizza. It doesn't look so naked!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Making the flour blend

As anyone who has made gluten free baked goods knows, the first step is finding / making a good flour blend. I use Silvana's GF Flour Blend from the Cooking For Isaiah cookbook. (I won't post the recipe here because you need to buy the book. It is the first book I'd recommend for anyone going GFCF.) I modify the recipe slightly and use some brown rice flour in place of some of the white rice flour for increased nutritional value.
My godchild gave me this large glass container for Christmas and it works great for storing the flour blend. I make smaller batches by shaking them in a smaller container with a tight fitting lid and then transfer them to this jar. It is a messy process but when the jar is full I can bake lots of pizza crusts, cookies and other goodies.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hazardous chicken

Ever had chicken so juicy that it was actually a hazard?
I rubbed olive oil and a salt / pepper / herb mixture on this bird before roasting it in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes with potatoes, carrots and onions. The house smelled amazing and when our sixteen year old son (known here as Venti) bit into a leg, he was squirted in the eye.
Next time we'll wear safety goggles.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crockpot Swiss Steak

We purchased a half beef from a local farmer a few months ago and among the hamburger, roasts and t-bone steaks (oh yeah) are several packages of mechanically tenderized round or sirloin steaks called cube steak. Last night we had Swiss Steak made from a few of these packaged cube steaks. Here's the recipe. It's worth makin'. Mmmm.

Brown the steaks in some olive oil for a few minutes on each side. Place browned steaks in crock pot.
Meanwhile, gather these ingredients... (diced tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, fresh garlic, onions, beef broth, Worchestershire sauce, bay leaves and seasoning- I used my favorite Bouquet Garni from Penzeys.)

Add a little more olive oil to the pan you browned the steaks in and sautee the onions until tender, then add garlic and mushrooms.

Add 2 cans of tomatoes, 2 T Worchestershire sauce, 1 cup beef broth, bay leaves and seasoning and pour over the steaks in the crock pot.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours and serve with rice or potatoes. (We had rice.)

Roasted veggies

Steamed or boiled veggies are low in calories but oh, soooo boring. I prefer my veggies roasted in a HOT oven with a little olive oil and sea salt. This week we've had roasted asparagus with salmon and rice...
...and roasted cauliflower and broccoli with BBQ boneless chicken thighs and tator tots. (Ore Ida tator tots are gluten free.)

Java is kind of a strange kid. On both of the nights mentioned above, she wiped out the leftover veggies as her bedtime snack!

Design by Custom Blog Designs