Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pancakes gluten-free

I'm not going to give an actual recipe for pancakes. Pretty much no one reads this blog anyhow. It's mostly just my ramblings to myself about the recipes I'm trying. Anyway, I've been making a variety of pancakes for a while now and I think my family prefers them to white flour. I know I do. I just took my favorite pancake recipe - it happens to be the one in the Betty Crocker recipe book and replaced the flour. Sometimes I'll use a banana blended in the milk instead of sugar. The banana also gives the added benefit of making the pancakes fluffier. My favorite flours are quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat. I don't really measure how much I'm grinding but the pancakes have always worked out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gluten-Free Pizza Pockets

My kids started school on Monday. I have been a little stressed over what to send them to school with. I wanted to do pita bread pizza but figured the toppings would fall off in the lunch box. With some help from my mom I came up with the idea of folding the circle in half and making pockets out of them. These were a real hit with everyone in the family.

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

My kids just want KID food. This recipe is super easy. I don't have measurements so seasoning is to taste.

Cubed or chunked chicken
Almond Flour (grind whole almonds in coffee grinder)
salt, herbs, paprika (seasoning)
ground flax seed (optional, whole seeds ground in coffee grinder)
1 egg (or not if your egg free)

Mix almond flour, seasoning, and ground flax and place in a pie plate. Lightly beat egg and place in another pie plate. Dredge chicken through egg and then almond flour mixture. Pan fry or bake chicken nuggets.

My family loves these!

Tip of the Week

I talked about proper equiptment in another TOTW. Today I'm highlighting the Electric Pressure cooker, AGAIN! This is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Since I've got a good explanation about this item in a previous post, I'll just say that I found the Cuisinart EPC on sale for $70.00 at Costco. This is quite a good price.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tip of the Week

This tip is a money saver. When an allergy is found, often a person feels deprived of comfort food. Check the internet for recipes that are free from the allergen and see if they have several ingredients in common. If there are quite a few with ingredients in common, buy those ingredients. In flour based recipes you can often switch out an uncommon ingredient for one that is common. It saves money by not buying too many ingredients that you may or may not use more than once or twice. Also, first buy ingredients in small portions to try out and then you aren't wasting things you don't like.

Baking Powder Recipe

One of my kids has a corn allergy. I use a TON of baking powder and found that most brands use corn starch. I found this recipe and some info that the corn starch could be replaced with potato starch.

1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon potato starch (generally corn starch is used)

Gluten-free Pita Bread Pizza

One thing that seems to make all kids happy is pizza. I used the Pita Bread recipe to make personal pizzas for the kids. They LOVED it. One thing I really like with personal pizzas is that the kids can top their own which they really enjoy doing. Anything that gets them involved is a good thing. The pitas can be made ahead of time so this could be a fast meal. I'm hoping that I will have time today to try pita chips. Maybe trying some with a little cinnamon and sugar to see how that goes.

Vegetable Broth

I found this recipe here. This is a GREAT recipe. It does not contain MSG and is delicious. Nutritional yeast can be found at the health food store and isn't very expensive. Especially if your store has a bulk section.

Vegetable Broth Powder
2 cups Nutritional Yeast
1/2 cup sea salt
2 Tablespoons onion powder1 Tablespoon turmeric
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons marjoram (optional)2 teaspoons dried powdered lemon peel (optional)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon powdered thyme
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
Place all, except parsley, in a blender in the listed order. Blend until powered together. Add parsley and pulse to chop. Store in an airtight container indefinitely in the cupboard. To make veggie broth, add 1 tbsp of powder to every quart of water.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pita Bread Again

Okay, so I rolled the pita bread dough a little thicker and now I can make a slit in it. SUCCESS. It still didn't work like the recipe said but it was really yummy.

Gluten-Free tip of the week

I'm new to gluten-free but not new to changing a diet. Over a year and a half ago I changed our family diet to near sugar-free and whole grain instead of white flour. My tips are going to be ongoing as I learn more about cooking without gluten. It's going to be a challenge but I'm ready and willing to learn.

My number one tip for any type of diet change is that you need the proper equipment. I know that this can be costly, but it's really the only way to save money in the long run and make the food work out the way you want it to. Buying special flours in small packages can be really expensive. Several years ago I was given an electric grain grinder for Christmas. I can buy whole grains in large quantities and grind only what I need. Whole grains store much longer than flour and hold their nutrition. I also own a small hand ginder/roller and a coffe grinder for nuts and flax. Another expensive but worthwhile investment is a mixer. I use the Bosch Universal which also comes with a good blender. Kitchen Aid stand mixers come on sale quite often through places like Kohls or and I've heard good things about them.

Gluten-Free Pita Bread

This recipe was really tasty but I still need to work on getting the pita to open up like it's supposed to. I think I may have rolled it out too thin. I'll be trying it again and I'll post the results. I would give it a high rating because everyone in my family LOVED the taste. Cooking it a bit longer and rolling it a bit thinner would have made a nice cracker.

1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar (I used honey)
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sorghum flour (I used 1/4 cup buckwheat flourand 1/4 cup quinoa flour)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm water
1 egg, or 1 T. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 T. warm water

How to make it
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add sugar and stir until dessolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Combine flours, xanthan gum and salt in large bowl using a HEAVY-DUTY mixer (Kitchen Aid or equivalent). Pour in yeast mixture and egg (or egg substitute) and mix on medium speed using paddle attachment.
Slowly add 1/2-1 cup warm water and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add enough water so that dough is soft and tacky, not liquid.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn upside down so all dough is oiled. Allow to sit in warm place for about 2-3 hours or until it has increased in size.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Using bottom rack of oven, place baking sheet in oven as it preheats.
Pinch off 12 small pices of dough and place pieces on floured surface.
Roll each into a circle, about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Place several circles on preheated baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes until bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for additional 2 minutes.
Remove each from baking sheet with spatula and gently push down each puff. Repeat with the rest of the raw dough. Serve immediately or freeze pita in a plastic storage bag for up to a month.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Going Gluten-free

I have really neglected this blog for some time. I'll be updating the look and feel of this blog and emphasizing gluten-free eating. Recently, I found out that two of my children are gluten intolerant. One is also having trouble with corn and soy. This blog will be a place to put down the recipes I've tried and comment on how they worked and were received by my family.