September 28, 2008

Gluten-Free Cornbread

We all have our favorite quite treat.  The one you make, and then eat the entire pan in one day.  It could be chocolate cake, pie, ice cream, bread, cinnamon rolls...the list could go on and on.  Mine, it's corn bread.  I've always adored corn bread, from the very first time I made it.  I think I was 12, and it was the recipe that I found on the back of a bag.  It was so good, I cut it out, and for years I followed that little plastic slip.  Eventually though, I lost it.  It's been so long, I don't even remember what brand I used, heck, for all I know, you can't even get that brand out this way.  

Then, a few months ago, I found a very good one posted by Natalie over at Gluten Free Mommy [here].  I have enjoyed it many time, but every time I made it, and promptly devoured it, I felt a little guilty.  All the refined carbs!  Now, don't get me wrong, I am anything but anti-carb.  I live for carbs.  Give me my pasta, my rice, my potatoes, and I am one happy lady.  But, I don't normally eat a whole bag of pasta, or rice, or potatoes in one go.  So, I needed to make some changes.

Damn, am I glad I did!  My new cornbread recipe has flavor, and texture, and sweetness, and staying power.  It's Divine!  Please give it a try, and if you like something a little less dense, I highly recommend Natalie's.

Lower Carb, Gluten-free Corn Bread

I won't lie, while lower carb, it's not lower fat - but it's mainly healthy fats :)

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt 
3 Tbsp agave syrup
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup oil
2 beaten eggs

Set oven to 400 F.  Place 1 Tbsp coconut oil in your pan (I use my cast iron pan - which is either 8 or 10").  Put pan in oven to come to temperature and melt the oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder.

In small bowl, or large measuring cup, combine agave syrup, almond milk, oil and eggs.

When oven reaches temperature, add liquid mixture to corn mixture.  Whisk until combined.  Take pan out of oven, and scoop batter into pan, smoothing once all is in.  Bake in middle of the oven for 30 minutes.

September 20, 2008

Chocolaty Triumph!

Finally!!  Just as I had pretty well given up hope, and all attempts at re-creating my beloved Chocolate Saucy Pudding Cake (courtesy of my ex) I have success.  For almost a month I have been making attempts at this cake, I have been slaving away in the kitchen, excitedly taking it out of the oven, photographing it because it looked good, taking a beautiful scoop, taking a bite, and almost screaming, cursing, throwing it across my tiny, little kitchen.  For goodness sake, I managed to go through an ENTIRE container of cocoa powder.  Who the hell, besides me, needs that many goes at a bloody simple recipe.  

No one.

But oh, the sweet taste of triumph.  It's even better than actually eating it.  

While the texture is not quite the same as the original, at least not so far as I can remember, the taste not so sweet, my word, I personally think this one is even better.  The taste is a little more grown-up, and the texture, there is a little more tooth to it.  I can't wait for my potluck.  I think I'll be showing everyone just how well you can eat even when you're gluten-free!

With no further adu, allow me to present my version of the Ex's cake.
GF Chocolate Cake with Hot Sauce

In an 8" square baking dish combine:

2/3 cup GF flour *see note
1/3 cup sweet  rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

In a small bowl, combine:

1/4 cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted hard margarine (use butter if desired)

To flour mixture add:

cocoa/butter mixture
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk (use dairy or other alternative milk if desired)

Will make a very thick batter.  Make sure it is spread to all edges and corners for even cooking.

In additional bowl, combine:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Sprinkle sugar and cocoa over batter.  Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over the entire mixture.

Bake at 350 F for 70 minutes.

*GF flour used:
I made a slightly different flour mix this time.  It is fairly similar to the one I normally use, so that should also work - cooking times may need to be adjusted.

Flour mix:
3 parts corn flour
2 parts soy flour
3 parts potato starch
1 part sweet rice flour

September 13, 2008

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Besides my co-worker, is there a woman out there who does not on occasion crave something with chocolate?  Heck, once in a blue moon, even I want something.  Every now and then I find myself craving a moist chocolate cake.  That being said, I don't want a whole cake, that's just far too much for me.  And while I could make cupcakes and freeze them for my next craving, that's just asking for trouble.  If there is food, I will eat it, and the weight will creep back on.  Something that I, for one, do not want to have happen.

After a nice little Internet search for cake in a mug, and what seemed like 5 million recipes based off of cake mix, I found one on Ali's Home of the Lazy Dog.  Not only did I switch the flour, but I made a few other changes.  My favorite change by far, was the use of lemon olive oil.  Wow, the added flavor and the way it plays on your tongue...I think it's drool worthy.  Also, I like a less sweet chocolate, so using some agave and maple syrup in place of the sugar worked like a charm for me.  

Now, there is only one problem - this is almost as convenient as having chocolate cupcakes in the freezer, and not so sweet.  I'm afraid I'm going to want this a little too often!

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

3 Tbsp GF Flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp agave syrup
1 Tbsp maple syrup (use the real stuff, it's got more depth of flavor)
1 tsp lemon olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla hemp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a mug.  Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Frost if desired, but tastes delish as is.  Eat.  Repeat as needed.

September 11, 2008

Chunky Veggie's and Polenta

All day I was craving Fettuccine Alfredo.  I had no real desire to eat, in spite of the fact that I was starving out of my mind, but I really, desperately wanted Fettuccine Alfredo.  I don't have any pasta in the house.  If only my pants would stop "shrinking" then maybe I could keep it around me.    So, on my way home, I stopped by Planet Organic for some pasta, and while I wandered the isles I found that they had polenta on sale...and suddenly I wanted polenta.  

Wow, my cravings are insane, you'd think I was, next immaculate conception much?

A quick trip into the produce section yielded a lovely yellow zucchini, and supper was born!

Chunky Veggie's and Polenta

1 roll prepared polenta, any flavor (I used Basil-Garlic)
1/2 green pepper
6-7 mushrooms
2 medium carrots
1/2 white onion
1/2 small yellow zucchini
6-7 roma tomato's
2 tbsp roasted garlic
2 tbsp basil
1-2 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Chop veggies into small chunks (approx 1 cm pieces), and slice polenta into 12 slices.  In wok or sauce pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat until liquid.  Add all veggies except tomato's and cook until tender crisp.  Reduce heat.  Add tomato's and continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.  

Just after adding the tomatoes, pour olive oil into a large pan and heat over medium-high.  When oil is hot, add polenta rounds and fry 5 minutes before flipping.  Fry for an additional 5 minutes.

When finished cooking, divide among 4 plates, and enjoy!

September 7, 2008

GF Flour Mix

I know I have included this mix with one or two recipes, however, I believe that if I give it it's own post, you can locate it more easily.

I know I obtained this recipe from another blog, though I don't remember who.  If you are the original creator of this recipe, or who know who is, PLEASE let me know.  I would like to give credit where credit is due.

Gluten Free Flour Mix

3 parts* rice flour
3 parts* corn starch
2 parts* soy flour
1 part* corn flour

Combine all four flours and starches in a large bowl and sift together with a whisk.  Make sure that you have a homogenous mixture - in otherwords, everything looks the same, and is one color.  Transfer to an airtight storage container, and use as needed.

*I tend to use either 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup measure for each part, but if only a little is needed, feel free to use a teaspoon or tablespoon measure.


One would think I love breakfast food, it seems that every other post is something relating to that early morning feast.  Strangely enough, I'm not much of a breakfast eater.  Maybe that's why I keep making things.  After all, just like my waffles and quinoa muffins, pancakes are great for making in advance and keeping in the freezer.  What does that mean?  It means that even if you, like me, stay in bed til the last possible minute can still have something homemade to eat on the go.  

My favorite thing about these pancakes, is the fact that they are fairly thin.  I grew up eating a pancake that truly was a cross between a typical fluffy North American pancake, and a crepe-like German pancake.  Story of my life!  I'm only too glad to be eating a thinner pancake again.  And while the ones my ex taught me to make - first time cooking pancakes from scratch! - were very good, these ones are far better, and of course, gluten-free.  

A the flavor and texture of these pancakes is rich.  You can taste the egg, you can taste the different flours, the sugar is a sweet after tone that you can almost miss, but it's there.  Everything about these pancakes is a pleasure.  I love watching everything combine as I whisk it, from a lumpy mess, to a silky smooth batter.  The sound, if you listen really closely, of all the lovely little air pockets forming and popping, and best of all, the smell.  They just smell like home.  Heck, they are so wonderful, that I caught one of my cats on the counter eating them!  

This is my ideal pancake mix.  But play with it.  You might prefer a fluffier pancake.  If that's the case, I might try decreasing the amount of egg.  You might like a more crepe-like pancake, in that case, try leaving out some flour, and changing the amount of baking powder.  Try adding some spices, taking out or adding more sugar.  Make it yours.  And please let me know what you come up with!  The more idea's, the better the possible outcomes.

Quick and Easy Pancakes

1 1/4 cup GF flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (replace with non-dairy milk if desired/necessary)
4 eggs
2 Tbsp oil

Whisk together dry ingredients until uniform.  Add all remaining ingredients and whisk until you have a silky smooth batter (will be runny, and some lumps will remain).

Heat a small (I think I used a 6") pan over medium high heat.  For the first pancake I like to spray a little bit of canola oil on the pan.  Once pan has come to temperature, add 1/4 batter to the pan.  Cook until covered with little bubbles and the bubbles have begun to pop.  Flip pancake and cook until golden on second side - this usually takes less than 30 seconds for me.  Continue cooking until all batter is used up. 

Serve to family and/or friends, or eat a couple and freeze the rest once cool between layers of wax paper for a quick breakfast on the go.

Makes 12 pancakes.

September 2, 2008

Quinoa Muffins

I love Martha Stewart.  About this I simply can not lie.  I love watching her, I love her magazines, and most of all, I love her food.  I still suscribe to Everyday Food knowing darn well that if I want to try something I am most likely going to be making changes.  It's things like this that make me hate being gluten intolerant, and at the same make me love the challenges and the excuses to play in the kitchen.  Tonight, I did just that.  I tackled her wonderful Quinoa Muffin recipe and made it not only gluten-free, but also vegan.  Why go half way, when you can go all the way.

Now, if you like sweet muffins, keep the recipe as is, though if you like them not so sweet, I'd cut back on the sugar to 1/2 cup.  That's what I'm doing next time, or maybe trying it with Agave syrup.  Dried fruit would be brilliant in here, and the orginal recipe called for it, I just didn't have any in the house.  Well, here goes nothing!

Quinoa Muffins

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 ripe avacado
1 1/3 cups soy flour
2/3 cup rice flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hemp milk
1 small banana
2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 F.  Grease muffin tins with oil and lightly flour.  Do not use paper baking cups, as muffins will stick horribly to them (this I learned from experiance tonight).

In a large bowl combine soy flour, rice flour, quinoa, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  

Blend together avadacdo, banana, hemp milk and vanilla.  When smooth add to dry ingredents and mix well.  Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins.  Tins will be very full, not to worry, these muffins do not rise.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Mine took 33 minutes.

Once cool, store in container in fridge.  Enjoy for a quick hearty breakfast.

September 1, 2008

Gourmet Garden Herbs

Like most lovers of food, I adore herbs. I herbs fresh from the garden or farmers market but most of them seem not to have any. Therefore when my local grocery store had a BOGO event on, I went crazy for these little wonders....refrigerated herbs in a tube by Gourmet Garden. Of course I only bought a few varieties, they have several more (10 to be exact).

Now I know that something from a tube is not as good as something fresh. I know it will have more stuff in it than just the herb. But all in all, I think they're pretty good. And no where on the ingredient list did I see something with a good chance of glutening me...sweet! I have been putting these babies to work for me. Tonight they made a piece of Tilapia palatable to me. Fish, I hate it, but must learn to eat it. This goes fantastically with lightly fried zucchini, steamed broccoli and baked fingerling potatoes. And makes a very simple and quick to prepare meal.

Herbed Tilapia
(For 1, increase as necessary for additional people)

1 fillet tilapia
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1.5 tsp garlic
1.5 tsp chili
1-2 tsp champagne vinegar

Whisk together oil, garlic, chili and vinegar in bowl. Coat Tilapia with this mixture.

Fry tilapia in a small amount of Olive Oil until opaque and firm, flipping once.
Serve with veggies of your choosing and enjoy :)