Sunday, November 27, 2011

Doing Without and Inspiration

Ever since we started down this path of food restrictions, there are certain things with which we have "done without" in the food department. Some of these things, we have managed to "replace"- bread, stuffing, cookies.
One of the things that really irritated me was the lack of truly easy gluten, dairy, egg and nut free pie crusts. The majority of pie crusts which were gluten and dairy free seemed to be based on nuts or contain eggs in some way.
Some years ago, I came across a recipe for rice based tortillas. I entered it into a recipe database website I was intending to use for menu and grocery planning where my friend, Lisa, stumbled upon it. She simplified the recipe, decreasing the number of flours from five to two, and mentioned that she might try using it as a pie crust as it was nice and pliable and easily handled. I recently asked her how that had worked out and she said it hadn't been great- it was tough. I thought perhaps I knew the problem and so I set about to test my theory. I have since used the recipe to make jelly tarts, turkey pot pie and pumpkin pie. Soon, in preparation for the holiday season, I will be using it again to make butter tarts- a treat served during the holidays in my family which has been sorely missed and now will no longer be.

Tortilla turned Pie Crust:

1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder

Mix together well.
Cut in:
1/2 cup Crisco
until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Mix in 1.5 tablespoons of water. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap (or leave in bowl and cover with a towel) and chill for 1/2 hour before rolling out between 2 sheets of wax paper.
Makes one double crust.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cheesy Bread Fingers

4 slices Ener-G Tapioca Bread
1/4 cup Earth Balance spread
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2-4 tablespoons Daiya mozzarella-style shredded cheese (to taste)
2-4 tablespoons marinara sauce

Set oven to broil (high) and move rack to top position. Mix together the Earth Balance spread, garlic and parsley while your bread is toasting (in a toaster). Butter bread with this mixture then sprinkle with Daiya cheese. Place on a broiling pan and under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cut into "fingers" and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kathy's Recipe Box

Anyone with food restrictions who has ventured to Kathy's Recipe Box will tell you what an invaluable resource it is. Unfortunately, Kathy's site was hit repeatedly by some viruses and lost a whole lot of data. As a result, the site has recently moved. I have updated my link under "Allergy Blogs" to reflect this. I don't believe she has EVERYTHING up which she had on her old site, and it's possible (don't quote me on this but...) some of the recipes which were on her old site are lost forever as she sometimes posted them only to her site, without writing them down on paper any place. In addition, she has been struggling with some health problems recently in "real life", so please try to be understanding if her posting is not as frequent as it was not so long ago.
Regardless, if you have been there, you also know that Kathy's recipes are delicious and her blog is absolutely worth following.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crispy Rice Treats!

Nom.

16 Campfire Giant Roasting Marshmallows, quartered (contains corn, sorry ladies)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine (corn again)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-10 oz package of Nature's Path Crispy Rice

Grease a large (9x13) pan. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine then add marshmallows. Stir constantly, until the marshmallows are all reduced to fluff. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla. Mix in Crispy Rice, one cup at a time. Scrape into the pan and, with wet hands, spread out to fill and press firmly. Allow to cool (really, it needs to cool or it will fall apart).
Ward the children off with a stick so that you can enjoy one too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beef and crimini mushroom stroganoff

As always, life is busy here and I must run. Babies cry, children run and so forth.
I intended to post this last night (and the night before and the night before) but it obviously didn't get done.
One of the things I've missed most since starting with the food restrictions is stroganoff. I think that's pretty self-explanatory but you may be wondering why mushrooms? Well, besides the fact that mushrooms are yummy, I did an assessment of our diet (link is to the WHF's site's food advisor) over on World's Healthiest Foods and crimini mushrooms came up as one of the top foods to increase the nutrition of our family. So, I've been looking for (and finding) ways to work them into our diet. :) This was a win.

1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour (aka sweet rice flour)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 1 clove, minced)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups plain rice milk

Brown the ground beef. Add onions, celery and mushrooms and saute until onions are translucent. Add the rice flour, salt and spices and mix well. Stir in the wine. Add the rice milk and mix well again. Bring to a boil then decrease heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until flavours are well blended and sauce has thickened. Serve over noodles (I use pahd Thai rice noodles), rice or mashed potatoes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bread!!

Oh happy day!
First, a link to the wonderful recipe which I (barely) modified to make bread that doesn't taste like playdough, isn't gummy and is nice and soft. Kathy, I adore you. :)
Edited: Re-reading this, it sounds like I'm saying Kathy's original recipe is gummy and tastes like playdough. That was not my intent and, based on my minor variation of her bread recipe, I would say that's highly unlikely. I had to add this though as I suddenly felt a horrible case of foot-in-mouth.

Now, you have a choice when you go to make this bread. You can use your muscles and a wooden spoon and beat the dough really well, you can use your hand held mixer and beat the dough really well or you can throw it in a nice stand mixer like Kathy has. I opted for B since I'm a weakling and don't have a stand mixer- if you choose to do so as well, be aware that you need to keep an eye on the dough to make sure it doesn't sneak up the mixing blades to gum up your mixer itself. I'm not sure if dough hooks would work on this or not, but it's a possibility I intend to explore. :)

Jacqueline Threw Kathy's Bread in the Oven Finally ;)

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour (I was out of brown)
3/4 cup sweet potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons ground flax plus 9 tablespoons hot water (aka 3 flax eggs)
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 teaspoon white rice vinegar

Whisk the dry ingredients all together. Throw all the wet ingredients in. Now's the time to make your choice from above. Mix the dough really well- it will look very much like wheat bread dough does before you add the second half of the flour, for those of you who have baked glutinous bread before. It has a really nice satiny texture to it. Now take the bread dough, and place it in a well-greased 9" x 5" bread pan. You will likely to have to scrape it out of the bowl for this step. Now that it's in the pan, you want to smooth the top. Small bumps are okay, they'll flatten out as the bread bakes, but larger bumps should be avoided. It doesn't affect the taste at all of course, but it will allow the "illusion" of wheat bread all the more. :)
Place the loaf pan someplace warm to rise for an hour. Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and place the loaf pan in to bake for 50 to 60 minutes (Kathy's blog says 55 to 60 but mine was done at 50). Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I sure did!

Edited: This bread kept well overnight, on my counter wrapped in a tea towel, and makes fantastic toast with a nice crumb. Nice and crunchy and not all dried out like many other recipes I've tried.

Bread?

As any baker worth their salt knows, the holy grail of all baking is bread. Warm, delicious, soft and chewy bread. With jam. Or honey. Or maybe, if you're one of those lucky enough to eat dairy, mmm butter. There are few bakers who can say that they have ever opened their oven door and beheld the Perfect Golden Loaf. After many, many years of baking, I felt privileged to count myself among them.
When we first started down this road 2 years ago, I dreamed of bread- gluten free bread good enough that you could make a sandwich the next day. For the first 2 months, I spent day after day after day trying (and failing) to produce anything that truly resembled bread. Of course, our journey is complicated by the additional dietary restrictions of eggs, dairy and nuts, which are often called for in gluten-free recipes. The first two, as I'm sure you all know, provide some of the missing "structure" which gluten usually produces and are called for, more often than not, in gluten free bread recipes.
What happened after those first 2 months, you ask? Well, I moved on. We had adjusted to life without bread and "replacing" the treats became imperative as the middle son's birthday loomed and visions of sad children danced in my head. Then I fell pregnant and, as any woman with hyperemesis will tell you, food was the last thing on my mind!
As the days, weeks and months have passed, the dream of bread has faded, though it still sits in a little jar on the shelf in my mind, waiting for me to return. And return I shall. Perhaps even today. For I have in my oven, right this moment, a loaf of bread rising. Will it be good? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm betting on probably not after all the "tweaking" I did with it. (I know you're reading this, Kathy. Try to tell me that you wouldn't do the same. :p And there really wasn't much tweaking... I swear! You'll see later.)