Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Salmon with Lemon Dill Butter
1 to 1.5 lbs of your favorite Salmon (mine is Chinook)
oil (I used grapeseed, but olive would be fine)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C butter, softened (not melted)
1 Tbs lemon juice (or 1 tsp fresh, finely zested lemon rind)
1 Tbs snipped, fresh dill (or 1.5 tsp dried)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare salmon by rinsing and patting dry the fillet or steaks. Lightly oil the salmon on all sides and season with salt and pepper. Bake salmon for 20 min/inch thickness. You want it to be cooked, but baking it until it flakes is too cooked. It will be dry. But, hey, cook it how you like it.
While the salmon bakes, prepare the butter. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. You will want to scrape it down and pulse several times. Remove the butter from the processor and refrigerate until the salmon is finished. Top the salmon with about a tablespoon of the composed butter and enjoy.
The butter is also fabulous on vegetables. My broccoli was very appreciative of this addition as I gobbled it up with abandon. Yum!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Almond Flour Saltines
2 C blanched almond flour (this doesn't work as well if not blanched, but still good)
1/2 tsp salt (I like fine grind sea salt myself)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbs oil of choice (I use grape seed a lot, but could do olive, coconut or even butter)
large grain salt to sprinkle on top (again, sea salt, but course grind this time)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. This breaks up any lumps in your almond flour and mixes the 2 ingredients well. Add egg and oil and blend until combined. Your dough will easily form a ball at this point. Place dough ball on silpat mat or a parchment paper (I have used plastic wrap or waxed paper in a pinch, but don't bake with these!). Using a sheet of parchment (or whatever) to cover the dough ball and roll it out nice and thin. Go for as thin as you can but still be able to fit on a cookie sheet. I fine I have to do a little dough remodeling if I go off the edges. That's okay, this is a very forgiving dough. I like to score the dough with a knife or pizza cutter before I bake; makes it super easy to break the crackers apart after they are done baking. Sprinkle the coarse salt over the top of the crackers just before you put them in the oven. Bake for about 15 min. Check them to be certain they are lightly browned. You want them crunchy, but not burnt. The longer you can bake them without burning them, the crunchier they will be. Allow the crackers to cool and then break them apart. Store in a tightly sealed container to keep them from getting stale.
These are easily adaptable. You can add herbs and spices to the mix and on top. Experiment and enjoy.
Or have them with this awesome dip I adapted from Joyful Abode.
A-Freaking-Mazing Artichoke Dip
8 oz cream cheese, softened (either at room temp or in the microwave)
1/3 C sour cream
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 C chopped spinach (fresh or 3/4 C frozen, thawed and drained is fine)
2 small cans or jars of artichoke hearts, chopped (you want the plain old, non-marinated kind)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (or more depending upon your taste)
1/2-1 tsp chili powder (or if you want it spicy hot, add 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne)
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (cheddar is good too), plus more to sprinkle on top
Mix all ingredients in a baking dish, sprinkle some cheese on top. Broil until cheese is brown and dip is bubbly on the sides. Try to control yourself. This is good.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
You gave up on me, didn't you?
Well, I haven't given up. I was just changing my diet. I am a big girl that used to be a bigger girl. I have lost 45 lbs this year! I did it using the HCG protocol and by giving up most grains. You could almost say I have gone over to a Primal or Paleo diet, but not quite all the way. My family is eating less grains at home too, but this has been a slow transition. It is not easy to take morning cereal away from your kids. But when you consider how much carbs, simple or otherwise, they get fed in the course of a day, it is shocking. My answer is to limit them at home to balance things out.
Anyway, here is a little grain-free, gluten-free biscuit that I adapted from Comfy Belly. I made quite a few changes and came up with something that my husband and 8 year old really like. My 3 year old wasn't a big fan. They are rich and filling and I don't think he was fond of the texture. The texture reminds me of corn muffins. Not a bad thing in my mind. The taste is like those biscuits from Red Lobster that I haven't been able to eat in years.
Grain Free Onion Cheddar Biscuits
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of gf baking powder
- 1 1/2 Tbs dried, minced onion or onion flakes or 1/4 C fresh onion, minced.
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons of softened butter
- 1 egg
These can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed up later. Reheat at 300 degrees F for about 6 minutes.
I loved these things and they are filling. You could easily get away with making 8-10 smaller biscuits. They were delightful as prepared, but I will make a couple of additional changes next time. I don't think they need the pan of water in the oven. Given the recipe ingredients, I think they will have a nice crust on their own. They were nice and moist, but pretty oily. I am going to try these without the addition of the butter. If they need more moisture I will add more water or maybe an egg. They were a little crumbly, so I am more likely to try adding an egg next time. I would also like to try them with fresh onion and maybe a little garlic.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Oh my gosh! This Caesar salad is the bomb at my house. I usually only make it during the warmer weather months so the family really appreciates it when I start making it again. I think the keys to its success are in the homemade croutons and the from scratch, lightened up Caesar dressing. This is great for people on a low-carb diet, just omit the croutons and added some sliced almonds. Yum!
Chicken Caesar Salad
4 grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8-10 C romaine lettuce, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
Garlic croutons (see below) or sliced almonds
1/2 C Lightened Up, but authentic tasting Caesar Salad Dressing (below)
Gluten Free Croutons
4 C 1/2 inch gluten free bread cubes (lighter, fluffier breads work best)
vegetable or olive oil spray
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet. Generously coat the bread cubes with the oil spray. Sprinkle with half the salt and half the garlic powder and toss to combine. Repeat with oil spray and remaining salt and garlic powder. Spread the bread cubes out again so that they are in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, turning 1 or 2 times, about 20-25 minutes. Cool to room temp before serving.
Lightened up Caesar Salad Dressing
1/4 C buttermilk (or 1/4 C plain yogurt or 1/4C milk with 1/2 tsp vinegar, allow to "sour" for 5 min)
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 med garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 anchovy fillets (or 1-1.5 tsp anchovy paste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 oz (1/2 C) grated Parmesan cheese
Puree all of the dressing ingredients except the oil and Parmesan in a blender (or food processor) until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream. Stir in the cheese. Makes about 1 C of dressing and it takes about 1/2 C to lightly coat the amount of lettuce mentioned above.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I rejoiced this morning when I had my fist green smoothie in weeks. It tasted great, but there was a huge psychological boost as well. This mental boost came from knowing I was getting 2 servings of greens (that I normally do not enjoy eating otherwise) and all the phytonutrients they bring along. And don't forget all the nutrients packed in the blueberries I blended in with the greens in my Vitamix. Yum!
I also really enjoyed having some lean protein with my breakfast from the turkey breakfast sausage I made. I mixed the sausage last night and cooked them all up before freezing them. Now all I have to do is pop a few patties (they are small, about 1 oz each) into the microwave and I have a nice lean protein to get me going in the morning.
While I pan fried the first batch of patties, I found they charred too quickly and stuck to my pan (I don't use non-stick pans). I cooked the rest of them on parchment lined cookie pans in my oven. They don't have the pretty caramelization from the pan, but they taste just as good and took less labor and oil.
This came together relatively quickly and it didn't require that I pull out my entire spice collection. I used ground turkey thighs because I find turkey breast too dry. Perhaps next time I will try a blend of half breast and half thigh. I used granny smith apples and grated them, and the onion, in my food processor. I found that the grated strips were a bit too long for my liking so I switched blades and pulsed the apple/onion mixture, along with the herbs and spices, until it reached the consistency that I wanted. It was finely chopped, but not pureed. Finally, I used my scooper (I think it is the medium scoop) from Pampered Chef to portion out the raw sausage mixture. Since this made them into little meatballs I flattened them with a spatula before baking them. They result was amazing. I really had my doubts about some of the spices that I was adding but they really combine for a great taste. It is definitely a breakfast sausage taste and nothing like Italian sausage. And that is just what I wanted.
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
(makes 35-40 1 oz patties)
2 medium, tart apples, peeled and grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 C onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1 Tbs rubbed sage
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 lbs ground turkey
If you are not using a food processor as I described above, combine grated apple, onion, egg and all herbs and spices in a large bowl. Make sure this mixture is well combined. Add the turkey to the apple/onion mixture and gently mix with your hands until the ingredients are well incorporated. Measure out preferred portion sizes and shape into patties. These can be cooked slowly in a frying pan over medium heat or on parchment lined cookies sheets in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I haven't been blogging for many reasons, but the main one is that I have been following a very strict (and some say controversial) diet plan. I have been blogging about it if you want to take a look. I have been using HCG and a very low calorie (and still GF) diet to burn the bad, stored fat on my body. Think of the HCG diet plan as you will, but it is working for me! I have lost 32 lbs and less than 3 lbs of that is lean muscle mass. That is incredible because even on "sensible" weight loss plans you usually see at least 20% of the weight lost is actually lean muscle mass.
Okay, enough about all of that. Here is great new recipe that I use as an entree, but makes a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for a cocktail party. It uses slices of sandwich roast beef. Make sure yours is GF (Hormel has one, or more natural is Applegate Farms, either in the deli section or prepackaged in the meat and cheese section).
Beef Negimaki (adapted from Sandra Lee at Food Network, edited 5.25.10)
12 slices of gluten free roast beef (about 1/8 inch thick and 4x6 inches)
12-36 asparagus spears
3 green onions or scallions
GF teriyaki sauce (below)
Preheat the grill, grill pan, broiler or Foreman grill.
Cut each green onion in half lengthwise, then cut each length in half into 2 pieces, about 4 inches long. I like the white part of the onion best so I used 6 onions, sliced in half lengthwise and 4 inches long, but mostly the white part. Set aside.
Remove woody ends of asparagus spears so that just 4-6 inches of the floret end remains. Set aside.
For this next part you can either dip the slices of roast beef in the teriyaki sauce or you can brush it on. Lay out beef slices on a work surface, like tall rectangles. Brush one side with teriyaki if you did not dip them. Place a piece of onion and 2-3 pieces of asparagus across the bottom of the beef rectangles. Roll each portion tightly into a cylinder; secure each portion with 1 or 2 toothpicks.
Brush each roll with teriyaki sauce, if you did not dip the beef before rolling.
If using a Foreman grill you will cook the rolls for just 3 minutes. If using a grill, grill pan or broiler you want to cook for 3 minutes, then turn over and baste each portion again with teriyaki sauce. Cook for another 3 minutes.
GF Teriyaki Sauce
This is great for more than just the Negimaki. We like it for chicken and pork as well.
1/4 C mirin (Japanese rice cooking wine)
1/4 C GF low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar (I use lightly seasoned)
1 Tbs dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
dash cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together. This made enough sauce to dip 12 slices of roast beef. I had enough left over that I tossed extra asparagus in it before I cooked it on the grill also.
If you are using this to marinate raw meat, do not reuse it.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
...or whatever you want. These crackers are the perfect hand to mouth delivery system for whatever you want to put on them. Seriously, they taste good on their own; kind of a cross between a gluteny saltine and a gluteny butter cracker. But they are neutral enough that you can put anything on them your heart desires.
I found these crackers about 6 months ago. I was looking for something different from the shiny and very crunchy rice crackers and uber seedy Mary's crackers that were out there. None of them went well with a variety of toppings. They were all too strong in taste or texture. Or just wrong for the things I was wanting to top them with. Then I looked at the top shelf in my local store and saw this unassuming box. It looks like packaging from the 70s. Not like the trendy and hip packaging that is all over the crackers aisle. When I read the label I was very nervous. They have almost nothing in them, how could they taste good? And they weren't cheap, but I was desperate for something new. I bought them. I love them. Now I stock up when they go on sale.
I used them on New Year's Eve when my husband and I indulged in our favorite tradition of bringing in the New Year stuffed with a variety of international, gourmet cheeses and cured meats. I spread them with my favorite triple-cream brie (St. Andre). I topped them with a piece of manchego and a morsel of quince paste. Delish! And don't get me started on the soft and tangy cheese that had a layer of black truffle in it....oh my!
I have used them in my lunch with tuna or chicken salad and even Toby's tofu pate. And recently I went back to something I enjoyed as a child (a very poor child at times), sardines. I remembered eating these little canned fish and not being bothered by their...wholeness (well, thankfully they don't have their heads). I knew they were loaded with omega-3s and because they are near the bottom of the food chain, they are also low in mercury. They are relatively inexpensive and low in calories. The water packed variety had a mere 100 calories for 13 grams of protein. And if you can tolerate the bones (which you can't tell are there as they are so soft and take on the feel and texture of the fish) you can get 45% of your daily requirement of calcium. And that only cost me $2. Wow!
And according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, sardines are an excellent choice as far as being eco-friendly and sustainable.
They come packed in water, oil (usually soybean or olive), mustard or piri piri (red pepper sauce).
I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I opened my first can of these little fish. I think I was under 10 the last time I ate them and hadn't had a single biology class. I hadn't been through college anatomy or marine biology classes. I also hadn't done 11 years of genetic research on a similarly small fish, spending time studying every aspect of their anatomy and their development.
So with great trepidation, I scooped the first little bit of fish on my cracker and quickly put it in my mouth. I didn't look too closely at the fish or allow my knowledge to contaminate my experience. Hmmmm....it was tasty and there was no weird texture; I couldn't even tell there were bones in there. Just fish. I like tuna, it was similar, but not as dry as canned tuna can get. It was good and it was filling. I didn't need a snack until I got home for dinner. I was sold.
Are you brave enough to try this inexpensive, healthy and eco-friendly tuna alternative? I dare you.
And if you are not brave enough for that, try the Ener-g crackers (I have no endorsement from them, they have never given me anything free, I just like them).
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
One of my favorite dishes is Mango-Basil Stir-Fry. I was intrigued the first time I read the description on the menu. It promised to be flavorful, spicy and sweet. I was up for something unique to I gave it a try. I was not disappointed. The flavors exploded in layers upon my tongue. It has Thai basil, mint and cilantro to round out the salty from the fish sauce, the sweet-tart from the mango and the savory green flavor from the broccoli. It was amazing. It brought broccoli to a new level of tasty for me.
But, I wanted to make it at home. I like to cook for myself and even though I have never gotten sick eating at this venue, there is always a chance...
Then, my January/February issue of Eating Well landed in my mailbox. At what to my amazed eyes should appear? A recipe for:
From EatingWell: January/February 2010No adaptations necessary; it is GF as long as you use GF Fish sauce. Thank you Eating Well!
Both ripe and underripe mango work well in this chicken and vegetable stir-fry. If the mangoes you have are less ripe, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they’re ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon GF fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 pound chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1-2 fresh small red or green chile peppers, stemmed and sliced, or 1/2-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I have used a jalapeno pepper with great success)
- 4 cups bite-size broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, preferably Thai
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges (optional)
- Combine fish sauce, lime juice, cornstarch and brown sugar to taste in a small bowl.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, garlic, ginger and chiles (or crushed red pepper) to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add broccoli and water; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mangoes and scallions; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved sauce and chicken; cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro, basil and mint. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Be sure to stop by the Gluten Free Homemaker for the weekly "What can I eat that's gluten free?" carnival. You will find lots of good eatin' there.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
How about some of these flapjacks?
What is a flapjack? Is it slang for pancake? Does it mean more? I decided to find out. Here are the varying definitions that I found:
1. A flat cake turned on the griddle while cooking; a griddlecake or pancake. Hmmm, sort of.
3. Biscuit made from fat, sugar, rolled oats and syrup. Nope.
4. A thick pancake. Ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
That perfectly describes these luscious circles of goodness. I found this recipe in the January 2006 issue of Cooking Light magazine back when I didn't know that gluten was slowly killing me.
I knew they would be good. I knew the sweet potatoes would add a moist, earthy sweetness, to the flapjacks that would be countered by the nutty pecans. I knew a generous stream of maple syrup oozing over the pat of butter and winding down the sides of the stack of steaming cakes would be divine. I knew I would love them.
But I live with, and love, a bunch of sweet tator haters. Gasp! (And I am talking about the orange-fleshed variety here; sometimes called yams.) Yes, despite the health benefits, my immediate and extended family members wrinkle their noses at the mere suggestion of the orange flesh crossing their lips. Some of them even think that they don't like pecans. I practically had to bribe them to try them. And once they did, they were in love too. It is one of my most requested recipes. I make them for any guests that stay overnight and sneak them in as dinner once in awhile. My whole family loves them; even my kids and my DH, Mr. Picky.
When I went gluten free these flapjacks were one of the things that I mourned. Then I started reading blogs and getting brave. And finally I decided to adapt the recipe to fit my gluten-free needs. I tried mixing my own flours, adding/not adding xanthan gum, etc. Finally I tried the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-purpose flour. Normally this one is not my favs as I can taste the garbanzo flour. But it works. The flapjacks came out perfectly. I still want to try it with some of the other GF AP flour blends out there, but I haven't had the time to continue the experiments. If you try it with your favorite AP flour, please let me know how it turns out.
I have used canned sweet potatoes without any extras, but can't always find them in the store. I think they turn out best when I bake the orange potatoes the night before and toss them in the fridge to cool. The next morning the flesh is easy to scoop out, smash and measure.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pecan Flapjacks
(adapted from Cooking Light, January 2006)
Makes 12 pancakes (I always double this recipe)
1 1/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (the kind with the orange flesh, call them yams if you must)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like to add an extra splash)
2 large eggs, separated
I weigh the flour, but you can lightly spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine milk, sweet potato, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. I have even been successful with stiff peaks, so don't stress too much.
Let batter stand 10 minutes (very important).
Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. I use an electric frying pan set to 350 degrees. Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle or pan. It will be very thick, but will spread slightly. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over, and cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
You can keep them warm on an oven-proof plate in a 200 degree oven. This is the way I have to do it if I want to eat any of them. Otherwise they disappear before I get to the table.
I am making them for some of my best girlfriends this weekend. We are all escaping to the coast for a kid-free weekend of crafting, eating, drinking and fun.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
For the December edition of Adopt A Blogger I adopted Brian at Fire and Salt. I love Brian's blog and his recipes are fantastic. I chose to make and review his recipe for Oregon Clam Chowder. I would have made this recipe without the Adopt a Blogger event, but I thought it was a perfect choice for the drizzly, cold winter days we have here in December and January.
I have to say that I LOVE CLAM CHOWDER (New Enland style, that is)!!! I have missed it terribly. While I could have adapted any old recipe, I didn't. I wouldn't even know what recipe to start with because I never made it at home before being GF.
When my husband and I took a two and half week driving tour of New England (ahhh, life before kids) we ordered clam chowder at every single restaurant that served it. It was New England, home of the chowder, so why not? Somewhere I have a journal of our trip that has ratings for each and every clam chowder we tasted. We gave them clam ratings. 1-5 clams; 5 was the best. Most were very good (4 clams), some tasted like they came out of a can...or a shoe. We ate at fancy places and shacks, but I distinctly remember our favorite was from a funny little place called Bubba's in Provincetown, MA. Mmmmm. I only had my memories until now.
Brian's recipe was spot on. It was clear and easy to follow and I did follow it exactly. I used Bar Harbor clams and clam juice because I had read a review in Cook's Illustrated that recommended that brand. And I used Jill's flour blend because I had some on hand. The result was nothing short of fabulous. It was thick and creamy, savory and salty. It was some of the best chowder I have ever eaten. I would definitely give it 5 clams!
My husband and son devoured their portions. My daughter doesn't like potatoes, clams, soup, celery,creamy stuff, etc so her opinion was not sought for this review. DH gave me his ultimate approval: make it anytime you want: make it tomorrow please.
Thanks Brian! As usual, this one was a winner.