Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An Allergy-Free Thanksgiving

Due to some ongoing medical issues, I am currently eating a top-8-allergen-free diet.  This means no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no wheat, no peanuts, no tree nuts, no fish, and no shellfish.  At times, trying to figure out what I am going to eat can be challenging as many of my old favorites included at least one of these items.  Today, I am challenging myself to make allergen-free versions of our traditional Thanksgiving fare.  Because of the way I cook (dump a little here, add a little there), I'm not going to include recipes, but I will include an ingredient list for each dish.   If you are faced with the same allergy-free challenges and still want to serve "traditional" Thanksgiving fare, I hope some of these ideas will help you out!

"Turkey": I have stomach issues with traditionally processed poultry and will be cooking myself some minimally processed Smart Chicken chicken breasts.

Dressing: Homemade gluten-free/vegan bread (from this cookbook), Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage, WildTree Butter Flavor Grapeseed Oil, onion, celery, mushrooms, sage, parsley, pepper

Mashed Potatoes: boiled potatoes, water(saved from boiling potatoes), roasted garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper

Chicken & Mushroom Gravy:   WildTree Butter Flavor Grapeseed Oil, gluten-free flour blend, chicken pan drippings (liquid left from cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot), dried mushrooms rehydrated in boiling water, salt & pepper.  This was honestly going to be just a chicken gravy, but I made too much roux and needed more liquid.  Adding plain water would have just made a bland gravy.  Dried mushrooms added great flavor to this gravy!

Green Bean Hotdish: green beans, homemade mushroom gravy (dried mushrooms rehydrated in boiling water, gluten-free flour blend, WildTree Butter Flavor Grapeseed Oil, salt & pepper, poultry seasoning), homemade fried onions (onion, gluten-free flour blend, canola oil)

Pumpkin Chai Mousse:  Coconut cream, pumpkin puree, chai tea bags, vanilla, honey, Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle cookies (chopped into small pieces and sprinkled on top) Edit:  The tea bags didn't give it enough spice for me so I added extra cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, and cardamom.

I'll come back and post pics and results of all my experiments after tomorrow! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gluten-Free Flatbread Sandwich

This was so good, I ate two...
I've been going through some food/digestive struggles lately and haven't really made anything I deemed blog-worthy.  Until today...

This recipe is for a quick gluten-free pita, but I was too lazy to putz around trying to cut a pocket.   (No yeast means that although they puff, these don't form a pocket in the middle.)  Besides, you can fit in more goodies if you just slice it in half right?  So that's what I did.  This recipe, from Gluten-Free On A Shoestring,  sliced in half like an English muffin, only thinner. 

And the goodies inside?

Homemade hummus, adapted from a recipe in my American Masala cookbook.  (Hmmm, thought I had blogged that recipe... I'd better get on that!)
Fresh baby spinach
Sliced red bell pepper
Thinly sliced carrot

This pita/flatbread recipe was delicious.  My mind is going on and on with ideas for different flavors... Italian herb, garlic & cilantro, roasted garlic... I can't wait to experiment! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yummy stuff from last week

Just a little update with a couple recipes I made last week that we really enjoyed.  Sorry guys, no pics... I didn't take any (palak paneer really isn't that photogenic...) and I'm not stealing anybody else's off their blog. 

Spicy Pumpkin Soup from Make It Naked.  This was good, but could have used a little more heat.  I put the minimum amount of cayenne in since my 2-yr old was eating it also and just spiced up my  individual serving.  Oh, and the 2-yr old says, "It's tasty". 

Palak Paneer  from Indian Simmer.  This was too spicy for the 2-yr old, but I knew that going in so I made him some other leftovers to eat that night :)  Instead of the thai chiles, I used 6 small serranos.  I also used queso fresco in place of the paneer.  (Sometimes you just have to substitute what is available at the small town grocery store... I was happy I could get queso fresco!)  This was delicious and was just as good leftover as it was the first night. 

Of course, I've made a couple other really yummy things this week, but in my traditional style of cooking, they involved using up the little bit of this, that, and the other thing and not writing a thing down!  So no recipes exist for them and they will never be made in that exact configuration again.  Sometimes the fun of cooking is trying the new recipe and following it, sometimes the fun lies in just throwing ingredients in a pan to see what you end up with...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lentil Vindaloo

This recipe came out of a deep desire to eat curry on our first sub-zero day of the winter....Brrrr!  And the need to use up some of our 150lbs of potatoes!

I originally went looking for an Aloo Mattar (potato & pea curry) recipe.  I found one that looked delicious, but I didn't have all the ingredients.

Then I remembered the Penzey's Vindaloo Seasoning in my cupboard.

I love vindaloo.

Oh, but it's traditionally made with lamb.  I don't eat much meat anymore and I'd had my fill this weekend.


Lentils!  The perfect answer!  Not only did I have some hanging out in the pantry, but they cook up right with the potatoes, no need to pre-soak or cook for hours!

Oh, and they were delicious, too.

Lentil Vindaloo
Adapted from directions for Penzey's Vindaloo Seasoning, www. 

5 TBSP Penzey's Vindaloo Seasoning
2 cups plus 5 TBSP water
6-8 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 TBSP + 1 TBSP coconut oil
1 large onion, minced
6 TBSP white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cup lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained

In a cup or small bowl, mix 5 TBSP Penzey's Vindaloo Seasoning with 5 TBSP water.  Set aside.  Heat 3 TBSP coconut oil in stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and cook until starting to brown.  Remove from pot and set aside.  Add remaining 1 TBSP coconut oil and onions to pot, cook until starting to soften.  To the onions in the pot, add the seasoning mix, the potatoes, and the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and lentils are cooked through. 

Serve with rice or flatbread. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Curried Split Pea Soup

This post was first published on my other blog "Another Drop In The Bucket" on 1-27-11.

My first attempt at a food post.  I figure at least this way I can't lose the recipe!

I've been craving this soup since the first time I made it a few weeks ago.  I had never had split peas before and wasn't sure I would like them so I stuck to the recipe the first time.  I hate fresh peas, so dried split peas was a leap of faith for me.  This soup is delicious and filling. Best of all, Liam loves it!

Curried Split Pea Soup (Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe as published on

2 TBSP unsalted butter
Salt & pepper
1/2 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 TBSP curry powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste (I used 4 shakes of the jar, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon?)
6 cups chicken broth or stock
12 oz. dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes, (approx 14 oz), washed and cubed
Plain yogurt
Crushed red pepper for sprinkling

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add onion and salt and pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic, cook for an additional 30 seconds.  Add curry powder and cayenne, cook for another 30 seconds.  Make sure you do not allow the onion and garlic to brown.  Add broth and peas, bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.  Add carrots and potatoes, continue simmering until vegetables reach the desired tenderness, about 20 minutes.  (This will vary depending on how thick your vegetables are.)  Using a  stick blender, puree soup until it reaches desired consistency.  I like mine nice and thick but not too pureed that it's like baby food.  You may need to add water if you like a little thinner soup.  Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012