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Friday, December 31, 2010

Coconut Blondies

Okay, I bought coconut flour and am testing a new recipe.  It's baking right now and the batter was delish! soooo, I can imagine the cookie also being fabulous.  So here's the recipe:

Melt 1/4 pound butter.
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup walnuts or other nuts, if desired

Mix until smooth.  Spread into 8 x 8 inch pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden.

Coconut flour needs more moisture, thus, the extra egg.  I'm thinking of putting a chocolate icing on this.  Sounds yummy.  I'll let you know how folks like it at a New Year's gathering later today.

Happy New Year!
My resolution: Fearless in 2011

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cool Hand Luck 2011 (Hoppin' John)

You see, I'm on the "Cs" and we're at the end of the year.  So for Cool Luck in 2011, you must eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Eve.  I used to cook black-eyed peas in this tiny pressure cooker on the stove.  That was back in the 70s when I was a new wife.  I just made stuff up as I went along.   If you have a pressure cooker, make sure the knob on top rocks in a 2/2 rhythm, medium tempo.  Good for dancing.

So to your peas, wash, sort, and throw in pressure cooker.  (The package will tell you proportions.)  Add water, bay leaf, and a ham hock.  Cook about an hour--I think.  Serve with greens.  We never ate this at home growing up.  I must have gotten it out of a cookbook--or maybe from my hubby's Grandma Halter.

Here's the honest to God Cool Hand Luck 2011 recipe.  (Eat New Year's Eve.)

Hoppin' John

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large ham hock
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
Bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves

Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse,

Carrot & Onion Side Dish

Easy and delicious side dish!

Slice one onion and four to six carrots in 1/4 inch slices.  Add to hot melted ghee, approx. 2 tbl.  Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

A friend of mine used to make this dish.  When he first put it on the stove, my nerd meter went crazy.  I knew he was into computers, so I gave him a break.  Bachelor meal.   Well, I was surprised.  A good side dish, and could it get any easier.  We ate on the patio by the pool.  

Corn Bread

Mix in a bowl:
1 cup almond milk
1 egg
2 tbl ghee

Add and stir very briefly:

3/4 cup corn meal
1 cup rice flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Bake in a 8 x8  buttered pan at 425 for 20 minutes.

Note: My favorite thing--corn bread fried in butter and served with real maple syrup the following morning.   Coffee and a couple of fried eggs.  OMG....heaven! 

Cornflake-crusted Baked Chicken

This chicken is delicious!  You'll be surprised...  Kids and adults love it.

4 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
4 bone-in, skinless chicken  thighs
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large egg
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse chicken, and pat dry.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1 tbl water.  In a large bowl, mix cornflakes with oil, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt.

Coat chicken by first dipping in egg, then rolling in seasoned cornflakes.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Everyday Food, Jan/Feb 2005

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chick-pea Cake (Flat Bread)

2 1/2 cups Chick-pea (garbanzo) flour
3 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pour the flour into a large bowl.  Gradually add water, whisking constantly to keep lumps from forming.  You should have a smooth runny batter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and let stand for at least 3 hours.  With a slotted spoon, skim off froth that forms on the surface.

Preheat oven to 350.  Pour the olive oil into a shallow ovenproof pan, then pour in the batter, making a layer about 1/4 in deep.  Bake until golden on top, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven pan and cut into serving pieces.  Serve piping hot.  Serves 6
Recipe revised from Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook

Note: My Friend's Version

1 cup cornmeal or chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups water
4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves (optional)

Slowly add water to flour and salt, whisking to eliminate lumps. Cover and let sit while oven heats or as long as 12 hours. Should be consistency of thin pancake batter.

Heat oven to 450. Put oil in rimmed 12" pizza pan or skillet. Heat oil in oven with onions for a couple of minutes. Pour in batter, return skillet to oven. Bake 30-40 minutes or more until well browned, firm, crisp around the edges.

You can top it with pizza ingredients and put under the broiler OR use as a wrap for sandwich

Confetti Corn

10 oz. frozen organic corn
1 chopped red pepper
3 chopped green onions
1 zucchini, cubed or in thin rounds
1 jalapeño, minced
1/2 cup salsa
2 tbl cilantro
1 tbl ghee
salt and pepper 

Heat ghee over med heat until melted.  Add peppers, onions, zucchini.  Saute until nearly tender then add corn and salsa.  Cook until flavors are mixed and corn is tender.  Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper if desired.  Sprinkle cilantro over the top of corn dish and serve.  Delicious, quick, and easy.

Note:  Slice jalapeño in half and carefully remove seeds with knife tip.  The seeds are very hot.  Never use your thumb to scoop out seeds.  Chop peppers very small, touching little.  Then wash your hands like crazy. The capsaicin will burn whatever you touch, such as your eyes.  Yikes!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Clarified Butter or Ghee

"A unique feature of clarified butter (ghee), which is butter with the milk solids removed, is a healing property not found in other saturated fats.  According to Ayurvedic teachings, clarified butter enhances the ojas, an essence that governs the tissues of the body and balances the hormones.  Ample ojas ensures a strong mind and body, resistance against disease, and is essential for longevity.  Clarified butter promotes the healing of injuries and gastro-intestinal inflammations such as ulcers and colitis."  Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

Not only is ghee healthy to bake or cook with, it also tastes wonderful.  Nutty, I'd say.  Makes cookies have that wonderful buttery taste that you get with broiled garlic bread (back when I used to eat such foods).  I used to make ghee all the time, now I don't, because the little bit of milk that I get from butter doesn't bother me.  It's easy to make or you can buy it at some stores.

How to: Heat two pounds of sweet unsalted organic butter in a saucepan until boiling, then adjust heat to maintain a slight rolling boil.  Skim off the foam that collects on top.  After 12-15 minutes, when boiling stops and the frying-oil  popping sounds begins, remove from heat and allow to cool until easily handled.  Then pour the clarified butter through a fine sieve into a glass canning jar.  The sediment in the bottom of the pan and the skimmings from the top are milk solids and can be used if you do dairy.

Makes approximately one pound of clarified butter.  Keep refrigerated.

Chocolate-Pumpkin Pie

Based on a recipe I found in a 2003 Martha Stewart Living.  Of course, this is my version, non-dairy and wheat free.  Dark chocolate is dairy free.  I've been perfecting the pumpkin pie filling for years.  And a crust is based on the Butterscotch Brownie Recipe. So here goes.

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the cocoa mix that I had, which was sweetened, so I left out the sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter or ghee (melted)
1 egg
(4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped)

Now mix this as if you are making cookies (except don't add the semisweet chocolate).  The dough should be stiff enough to handle and easily press into the pie plate.  Try to bring it up on the sides and flute the edges with wet fingers.  Then poke with a fork and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

While it's baking, add to blender and whirl until smooth:
1 can organic pumpkin puree (or bake a pumpkin and scoop out yummy pulp)
1/2 cup (loose not packed) brown sugar
8 oz. coconut milk (not reduced fat)
3 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cloves

Remove baked pie shell  from oven and sprinkle 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, over the bottom of shell.  I went with the candy bar that'd been luring me from the silverware drawer for months.  It was one of those 75% dark chocolate bars--trying to be good, you know how it is?

Pour the pie filling over chocolate chunks and bake about 40 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

Now heat in double-boiler 2 oz. of chocolate.  This is what you'll drizzle from a spoon over the top of pie.  Make lines back and forth, like the lie-detector lines that go crazy when someone asks, did you eat the last piece of pie?  If there's any left, refrigerate.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chayote Squash and Chicken Soup

When I was in Mexico, I had this soup at a market.  It was delicious, hearty, warming, perfect for winter.  And so amazingly easy.  And me trying to have a conversation with the lovely women who made it, very memorable. 

In a large soup pot add a cut up chicken, a pound of carrots, peeled and cut in big hunks, lots of garlic, perhaps 8 cloves or so, *chayote, peeled and seeded and cut in big cubes, and onion cut in hunks. Cover with water or stock.
As you can see the veges and meat in this dish are in big pieces.  Boil about an 1/2 hour then add big hunks of potatoes.  Make sure your broth has a good seasoning of salt and pepper and Chamayo red pepper, chilies grown in the town in New Mexico, where the soil is blessed and makes miracles happen.  You can order green and red chili on line at  Chayote substitution:  Zucchini is a great substitute for chayote only more watery.  Which is fine, but it won't stay firm if you overcook it.
*Chayote, also called chayote squash (choko, vegetable pear, mirliton and christophene,) is a pale green pear shaped vegetable. It's texture is similar to an unripe pear only smooth. The closest taste sensation would be zucchini. Give this soup and vege a try.  
Both the soup and the red pepper will heal what ails you and it's delicious.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Candied Yams (Mama's Recipe)

2 1/2 # Ruby Yams Baked (leave slightly firm)
1/2 cup brown Sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or ghee (I know, I know, it's a lot)
1/2 cup brandy (no kidding)

Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes.  OMG, this dish is delicious!

Christmas Coffee Cake

Set oven at 350.  Butter a 9 inch pan and set aside.

Mix together:
1 cup applesauce (I like making my own)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or ghee (melted) or oil (no canola, naughty list)
1 egg (optional)

1 cup rice flour
3/4 millet flour
1 tsp baking soda  (I use non-aluminum baking powder, unless I need the soda to react with something acidic, and in this recipe, it will react with the applesauce.  Still, I prefer baking powder.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 tsp ginger

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts

Add the applesauce mixture to flour and blend quickly.  Spoon into pan, smooth, and bake for 30-40 min.

This recipe adapted from Fanny Farmer cookbook.  I'd penciled in the cookbook the changes in flour and oil, but haven't made this cake in awhile--so the liquid to dry volume may need some adjusting.  Cake batter should be thinner, but not too thin.  Fanny says you can also add 1/4 finely cut candied ginger to the batter, if you like.  I've cut the sugar by 3/8 cup--which you could mix with cinnamon, butter and walnuts and spread over the top of the baked cake, broil until bubbly and golden brown; Yummy!

 Have a nice rest of your Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon Soup

My friend Laurie made this soup and said it was delicious. It made me think of Julie and Julia and her Boeuf Bourguignon, baked in the oven--the first batch ruined.  Although I've never made it, I did make a delicious soup from a recipe in Fanny Farmer Cookbook that used ribs.  That was back in the 70s, haven't cooked with ribs in years.  But if you think about it, this recipe is similar to beef stew, only soupy and with added bacon and minus the potatoes.  Yummy for a cold winter day.  Serve with gluten-free bread or rice tortillas. 

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2010
4 bone-in short ribs (2 lbs total) Grass-fed if possible.
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons non GMO cornstarch or rice flour
3 Tbl olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 pound carrots, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
2 strips bacon (non-nitrated from Trader Joe's)
3 shallots, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 sprigs thyme (you can grow this on your windowsill)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 cup red wine
8 cups organic beef stock
2 cups water
rice noodles, cooked
1. Dredge ribs in seasoned (salt and pepper) rice flour or corn starch. Brown ribs in hot oil.  Remember, the darker you brown the beef, the richer the broth. Remove meat and brown the mushrooms in same oil.  Remove mushrooms to another plate to be added back at end.
2. Place carrots in pot with bacon, shallots, celery. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are caramelized and tender. Add tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf to the pot, then pour in red wine. Use a wooden spoon to glaze brownies from the bottom of the pot.
3. Add in beef stock and water. Return meat to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 hours. Remove ribs and separate meat from bones.  Add back along with mushrooms about twenty minutes before serving. Serve with rice noodles cooked al dente.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Broccoli Soup with Almonds

1 1/2 pound broccoli, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 apple peeled and diced
2 Tbl butter  or ghee
1/2 cup almonds
1 tsp drilled dill
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
3 Tbl rice flour
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
chopped almonds to garnish.

Put all veges in to a large pot and add enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for 5 min.  Remove with a slotted spoon, 3/4 cup smaller florets and set them aside for garnish.  Cover and continue to cook until quite tender.  Remove from heat

Place almonds in blender and process until finely ground.  Remove veges with a slotted spoons and add to processor and whirl together with almonds.  Add pured mix back to broth.  Sir and season.  Add juice of lemon, almond milk and reserved broccoli pieces.  Simmer just until heated.  Garnish with chopped almonds.

Dissolve flour in just enough water to make a thin paste.  Add the chopped almonds for garnish.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baked Lemon Rice with Herbs

Serves 6 to 8

4 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
2 cups long-grain rice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 sprig of fresh tarragon
4 cups hot chicken stock
2 Tbl fresh tarragon leaves
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a medium flame-proof casserole and saute the shallots until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in half the lemon zest, the tarragon sprig, and the stock.  Cover the casserole, place in the oven, and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining lemon zest and the tarragon leaves; season to taste and serve immediately.

From: The Martha Stewart Cookbook

Bloody Mary (Just for fun)

Makes 2 Drinks

1 cup good tomato juice
1/3 cup vodka, or to taste
2 tsp prepared horseradish
Tabasco sauce to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Cucumber spears or celery sticks for garnish

Combine the tomato juice, vodka, horseradish, Tabasco sauce, black pepper, and lime juice in a pitcher.  Adjust seasoning to taste and serve on the rocks in large bubble glasses.  Garnish with spears of cucumber or celery.

From: The Martha Stewart Cookbook

Brown Rice: 3 Preparations

1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 - 2 cups cold water
1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt

Rinse rice and place in heavy pot with tight-fitting lid.  Bring rice to boil over high.  As the rice cooks, do not remove the lid.  Turn heat to low and simmer 1 hour or until water has been absorbed.  Serves 2

1 cup brown rice
1-1 1/2 cups cold water
1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt

Rinse rice and toast in a dry skillet, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  This will impart a nutty flavor.  Add water and cook for 40-50 minutes.  Serves 2   

Holiday Rice (to replace bread stuffing):
When rice is nearly down simmering, melt 1/2 cube butter in a stainless steel frying pan.  Add several stalks of celery chopped in 1/4 inch pieces and 1 onion, chopped fine.  Cook until these vegetables are tender.  Add cooked rice, stir.  Now and poultry seasoning to taste.  You may need to add more salt to correct seasonings.  

I love this dish and when I bring it to holiday dinners, it, as well as the stuffing, get polished off.

Broccoli Raab

2 pounds broccoli raab
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
salt & pepper

Bring to a boil, salted water. Add broccoli raab and cook for a few minutes. Drain and transfer to ice water. Drain and dry.

To a skillet of heated olive oil, add garlic and fry until golden. Add drained greens and season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Arrange greens on serving dish. The recipe says to discard garlic, but I love garlic and broccoli, so I mince it and leave it in.

I like to grow broccoli raab. It grows quickly and isn't prone to bugs like regular broccoli.

Picture: Brooklyn Farmhouse
Recipe: Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook

Braised Carrots

Warm 1/3 cup olive oil in iron skillet.  Add 4 oz. pancetta, 1 chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove and cook until onions are translucent.  Add 2 pounds peeled whole carrots and 1 Tbl chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley.  Stir well.  Cook gently for 20 minutes, adding up to 1/3 cup organic veg stock to keep moist.

This is a very pretty dish, with peeled slender carrots with a tiny bit of stem left on.  Very nice.  I've made this one without the pancetta and baked instead of sauteed.  Serve with chicken, or like Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook suggests, lamb or rabbit.


Braised Onions

Slice 2 pounds purple onions.  Cook in 1/3 cup olive oil  until they change color, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup dry white wine, 1 Tbl fennel seed, & 1/2 Tbl sugar.  Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over very low heat until all the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.

Spoon onions onto serving dish and serve hot with Angus Burger or other main dish.

Recipe from Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beef Stew

Okay, I have to admit that as a single person, stew isn't something I make often--because it's a big pot of food that I'll be eating meal after meal.  Just can't do that.  But here's how my mother taught me to make stew and it is delicious.

Take a package (approx. 2 lbs.) of organic stew meat and shake it in a plastic bag with approximately one cup of seasoned (salt and pepper) rice flour (my mother used wheat).  Now, in melted butter in an iron pan, saute the stew meat until browned on all sides.  Mother said it should be browned very dark--then you'll end up with a rich dark gravy.  She hated chicken gravy because it was so blonde.  I happen to love chicken gravy, but be patient with the browning process--it'll pay off.

Once the meat is good and brown, add red wine and water.  Perhaps 1 cup each.  This isn't rocket science and if you are uncomfortable with not following an exact recipe, then I apologize.  But creative cooking is good--so pour in some liquid.  You could also use organic chicken broth.  The idea is that there's enough broth to submerge lots of chopped carrots, onion, and celery.  And eventually potatoes.

Add the carrots (a bunch cut in 1 inch pieces) as the flavor of carrots is sweet and adds depth to the gravy.  Also one whole chopped onion and lots of celery (6 stalks or more chopped in 1 inch pieces.)

Once the meat and vegetables have simmered for about an hour or two (poke with a fork to determine tenderness), add several potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters.

Taste your gravy at this point.  Add salt and pepper, oregano, thyme or bay to taste.   Simmer until potatoes and meat are tender--about another hour.

Delicious!  Serve with salad and red wine.

Barbecue Sauce

I used to make this sauce frequently, especially when I lived in Yakima in the 70s.  We'd slide a couple of chickens on the spit and barbecue them, until juicy and tender.  All the time basting them with this sauce from Fanny Farmer's Cookbook.

1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp celery see
1/4 cup (or less) brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1 cup tomato Catsup
2 cups water
few drops Tabasco

Simmer half an hour.

To Vary:  Cook 1 grated onion and 1 minced clove of garlic 5 minutes in butter and add to the sauce.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beets, Roasted with Orange & Ginger

Heat oven to 425.

4 medium beets, trimmed and scrubbed
3 tbl olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 medium orange
1/12 tsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup toasted pecan halves

Drizzle beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil.  Place on baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.   Cool to handling.

With zester, remove a quarter of the orange rind in long, thin strips.  Peel and remove segments from half the orange.  Squeeze juice from remaining half.  Mix 1 tbl juice with vinegar and ginger and whisk in remaining 2 tbl of olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Peel beets and quarter; toss in a bowl with vinaigrette.  Mix in orange segments, zest, and pecans, reserving some of each as garnish.

Serves 4
Martha Stewart's Food Magazine

Monday, December 13, 2010

Butterscotch Brownies

Coltin and I whipped up a batch of these today--and we added chocolate chips.  His dad came to pick him up and he dallied, as the cookies weren't through baking yet.  So when they were ready, all warm and melty, I packed a few in a Tupperware container and put them in a bag, to eat at home.  Then I went back to talking to Coltin's Dad.  Then Coltin showed up with his backpack on, bag in hand, ready to go.  Cookie motivation.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a bowl.
Add 1/2 brown sugar and stir well.

Add and mix well:
        1/4 tsp. salt
        1/2 tsp. vanilla
        1 egg
Stir in:
        3/4 cup rice flour
        1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
        1/2 cup chopped walnuts
        1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Smooth into an oiled baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes (or until golden) at 350.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Buckwheat Bread by Gordana

Here's a bread recipe shared by Gordana.  Thank you for sharing!  Enjoy!  Nancy

"Since I’m from a different culture with a long tradition of making “real” bread, I could call this cake rather than bread. I have one more example of wrong names concerning bread; any toast bread here in US would not qualify in Sarajevo’s bread category, more like soft foam-cardboard that only looks like bread. Our stomachs couldn’t make pace with these breads. So, we had to start making our own bread during the first years here in B’ham, ah what the trouble. At that time (18 years ago) we didn’t have so many good bakeries in town as now.

That all aside, this is a good substitute of bread for me. I have borrowed and tweaked the recipe from a local nutritionist’s blog, to be as simple as possible to make. I buy organic buckwheat (bulk @ Food Coop) and grind it myself with a coffee grinder. I have noticed that if the grinding process is long, the bread turns out a lighter in color. I do grind it for a shorter time (here you have to experiment), the result, a coarse flour as result, see the photo. Original recipe calls for “roasted” buckwheat, but I do not like the taste. Also, original recipe calls for a xanthan gum.  I have read that it is not very good for you at all, so it’s not in this one.
I have stop using rice flour, but if you do it will make the bread more “spongy” and less coarse ( more room for experimenting J) When I add rice flour, I do make my own by grinding organic medium grain brown rice that I buy bulk in our Food Coop.

In this recipe backing soda, vinegar, and agave syrup together act as a baking powder. If you add more flour to make this bread thicker, more of baking soda is needed. 

2 ½ -3 cups organic buckwheat flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
½ cup organic rice flour-optional
about ½-1 tsp salt
1 ¾  to 2 tsp baking soda
1 TBS organic apple cider vinegar
about 3/4 TBS organic agave syrup (or honey)
¼ cup organic olive oil
1 ½ (about) warm water

Combine dry ingredients and mix.
Combine the rest of the ingredients with water. Pour water mix into dry ingredients and mix with a spoon for a very short time. The dough is better to be little bit “runny” than dry. Have a lightly oiled pan ready and pour the mix in it. Have your hands coated with oil and press the dough evenly, see the photo. The dough needs to have oil on top.  Preheat oven to 390 F, and bake the bread about 15 min, or until it is brown. It’s easy to over bake buckwheat bread. It needs to be little bit soft when it’s done, since it will get harder after cooling.

Then, enjoy eating it J…."  Gordana

Brown Rice Tortilla Wrap

At Trader Joe's they sell a tasty brown rice tortilla.  I like to use them for sandwiches, pizza, toast replacement for breakfast, and enchiladas.  All you need to do is heat a tortilla in a frying pan until softened, then fill with tuna and greens.  I've taken these wraps hiking, only problem with them is the tortilla is a bit brittle and can break apart.  So I put them in a sandwich bag to keep them together.

For pizza, I lay them out on a oiled baking sheet and amend them with pesto, chicken, black oils, sliced tomatoes and onions, perhaps pineapple, and other traditional pizza toppings.  I can eat a little goat cheese, so I sprinkle a bit on and bake about 15 minutes at 350.  The tortilla crisps up and the pizza is delicious.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Black Bean Chili

Sauté in olive oil:
1 Onion, finely Diced
1 or 2 Green Peppers, finely diced  (I used a can of green chilies instead of fresh)
2 or 3 cloves Chopped Garlic, or more, or less.
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 or 2 tsp olive oil

1 28oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
2 cans Black beans 
1 package turkey meat
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a big enough pot to hold all the ingredients
- Saute the onions and the garlic over medium heat until they're soft and the onions are just starting to brown.  Add the turkey meat and saute until cooked through.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beans, and spices and let it simmer over low heat for about an hour, or until the chili has reached the desired thickness. 
Serve with cilantro, avocado, and coconut milk yogurt. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 1/2 Tbs ghee
2 red Anjou pears, cored and cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 celery stalks cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 yellow onions cut in 1/2 inch slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar butternut (2 LB) squash puree (Williams-Sonoma Stores) or cook your own.
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks and let the prosciutto cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbl. ghee.  Add enough pear slices to form a single layer and cook, turning once, until caramelized on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.  Repeat to cook the remaining pears.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the remaining ghee.  Add celery and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the butternut squash puree, the 2 cups of broth, thyme, half of the pears, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk.  Add more broth if needed to reach the desired consistency.  Ladle the soup into bowls.  Garnish with the prosciutto and remaining pear slices.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Black Pepper-Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks

I enjoyed this dish in a cute little restaurant downtown Spokane.  My friend, Noreen, and  I met for lunch last summer.  The Blackened  Ahi was tender and delicious.  The trick to cooking it, is to cook it rare or med rare.  Too done, and you end up with dry, chewy tuna.  Ruined!

Makes 4

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 (6-oz) Ahi steaks, about 1 1/2" thick (ask for "sear" or "sushi" grade if cooking medium rare)
4 tbsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lemon, quartered

In a small bowl, combine the salt, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Lay the tuna steaks out on a plate, and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly on both sides. Then coat the tuna on both sides with the black pepper, and gently press it in so that it adheres to the surface, being careful not to smash the flesh. 

Recipe from

Basic Gluten-free Flour Mix


  • 2 cups rice flour (or 1 cup rice and 1 cup sorghum flour)
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch (*or almond meal or buckwheat or quinoa flour for more protein)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum)
Note: Subbing denser flours such as almond, buckwheat or quinoa will result in a heavier, denser product. Experiment and find the formula and texture you like best.
From Karina Allrich
Note:  If you want to make your own flour, you can grind rice or buckwheat at home.  Bob's Red Mill sells Brown Rice Flour & Buckwheat Flour in most grocery stores.  See for more gluten-free flours and mixes.  In my town, Bellingham, the food co-op sells gluten-free flour, including almond flour.  I would love to collect a list of stores you love to purchase from and your favorite products.  Send my way via the comment box.  Thanks, NC  

Apple Cidercar

For a festive beginning to a holiday feast:

In a cocktail shaker add:
5 fl. oz. (160 ml) apple cider concentrate
5 fl. oz. (160ml) water.
Add 3 fl. oz. (90ml) brandy, 5 fl. oz (160 ml) Cointreau or triple sec
2 fl. oz (60ml) fresh lemon juice.

Fill the shake with ice and shake well.  Pour into sugar trimmed cocktail glasses.
Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Aborigines of Australia

Excerpt From Terrific Pacific Cookbook, by Anya Von Bremzen and John Welchman

"Twenty thousand years ago the earliest inhabitants of Australia made omelets with the blue-green eggs of the giant emu and winter casseroles with a hare-size marsupial called a battong.  They feasted on freshwater shellfish, and roasted thirty-pound golden perch in hot ashes on the shores of Lake Mungo  Special nuts and the root-like stem of the lotus lily were their delicacies.  Some of the preparations were quite elaborate.  Ancient stone pounders and grinders have been found, which were presumably used for pulverizing seeds and other plant foods.

...A range of wild foods in Australia is remarkable.  A rundown of just some of the fruits alone, which were given colorful names by the first settlers, reads like a hymn to the pickings of another planet: little gooseberry, corduroy tamarind, prickly and native currants, coffee berry, ooray (also known as Davidson's plum), the fruit of the persimmon-like sea ebony, the blue guandong, ruby saltbush, native kumquat or desert lemon (made by one traveler 'into a dish very like gooseberry-fool'), the cherry-like fruit of the lillypilly, native guava, Moreton Bay and cluster figs, the fruit of the bread tree of the Lynd (the same traveler wrote that "when ripe it was slightly pulpy and acidulous, and reminded me of the taste of coarse German rye bread), mutries (native apples), emu berries, purple peas, the coastal wongi, finger-lime, native raspberries, yellow elderberries, native melons, grapes, and passion fruit."

Artichoke Hearts with Chicken

Brown 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs (remove skin if you're watching cholesterol) over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbl fresh minced oregano, & 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper.  Stir and cook a couple of minutes.  Add 1/4 cup vinegar.  Stir together brownies, seasonings, and liquid.  Add 2 cups water, 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch strips, and 1 package (10 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved.  Simmer until tender and liquid thickened, 5 to 10 more minutes.  Remove from heat and if you can eat a little goat cheese, serve with goat feta.

Is Vinegar Gluten Free?
(Article from

"Is vinegar safe to eat for people with Celiac Disease?  The answer is yes...for the most part!  Like most ingredients, vinegar is naturally gluten free, as the gluten it is made with is lost in the distillation process (just like alcohol)."  Here is what Dr. Stephen Wangen says:

"Other vinegars, such as red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar also do not contain gluten.  They are not derived from a gluten grain, therefore they never had gluten to begin with.

The primary exception to all of this is malt vinegar.  "Malt" can almost always be assumed to mean 'barley malt.'  Barley is of course a gluten grain, and malt vinegar is generally not a distilled vinegar.  Therefore there is gluten in malt vinegar.  The other exception is when malt has been added into something after it has been distilled.  This is sometimes the case with hard alcohols, but you have to check with the manufacturer."

Apple, Bok Choy, & Carrot Slaw

Slice into matchsticks 4 to 6 heads rinsed bok choy.  Salt with 1 tsp coarse salt and toss.  Weight with plate, this will remove water from the vegetable, and set aside.  In a large bowl mix 1 peeled apple, cut into matchsticks and 2 large shredded carrots, 3 tblspoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tbl vegetable oil, 1 tsp fresh ginger.  Mix and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

Note:  I love bok choy.  It's light flavor and high calcium & Vit C content is a plus.  It's easy to grow in your local pea patch or home garden.    

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Almond Flour Cookies

1/2 cup butter or ghee (Ghee is clarified butter, there is no milk solids in it, just butter fat)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sliced almonds for decorating the top of the cookies

With cold hands, press into 2 inch rounds.  Decorate with sliced almonds.
Bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes, or until browned.

Note: I haven't experimented with this recipe, yet it is similar to other cookie recipes I use.  I would experiment with using this recipe for a pie crust.

Avenue Bread's "Almost" Gluten-Free Bread

I buy the Almost Bread--which I slice and store in the freezer. When I want toast to serve with eggs or to make a toasted tuna sandwich with, I take out a couple of slices and stick them in my toaster. These breads have a tiny bit of milk in them. If you need to be completely strict, they may not work for you. I've had the English Muffins in house, as well as the cookies. All are yummy. See

Our "Almost" Line of Products

Made without gluten ingredients

Almost Bread · Almost Cookies - Almost Desserts · Almost English Muffins - Almost Croutons · Almost French Toast

Wondering what the “Almost” means in some of our products? It’s our way of telling you that we’ve done all we can to keep wheat (and other grain) gluten out of that particular pastry or bread.
If you’ve ever been in a bakery, you know that flour ends up coming in contact with most surfaces. What do we do to keep gluten out of our “Almost” products?
We wash all surfaces carefully, and package as soon as possible to minimize contamination. We bake “Almost” products in pans and on special liners so as to minimize any contact with gluten and we use ingredients like cassava (tapioca) starch and non-GMO cornstarch that have been carefully selected to work with a gluten-free diet.
Our “Almost” goodies should work well for most folks who are avoiding gluten, though many contain dairy ingredients.
If you are unsure as to whether our “Almost” products are right for you,
talk to your nutritionist and/or doctor before eating.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Apple Pancakes

Begin by heating iron skillet on medium.
Cut in very thin slices, 1/2 tart juicy peeled apple.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl melt (via microwave) 2 Tbl. butter.
Stir in:
           1 egg
           1/2 cup of rice, soy, or almond milk.

Add and stir quickly and briefly:
            1 cup brown rice flour
            2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
            1/4 tsp. salt

Fold in apple slices.  Cook pancakes in hot oiled iron pan until brown.  (Rice flour doesn't brown like wheat, but they will turn golden.  Serve with butter and warm real maple syrup.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage

I buy Aidells sausage at Costco in large packages.  At home, I cut them apart and transfer them into zip-lock bags and freeze them.  They have 160 calories each and steam up quickly for a quick lunch or dinner.  Made with sweet/tart apples and fruit juices.  Very yummy.  Steam up some sausage and serve with squash and broccoli.

Almond & Broccoli Stir-fry

2 tbl. olive oil
2 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped)
3 cups of broccoli (Trader Joe's is selling organic baby broccolli cheap)
1/3 cup of chopped almonds

Heat oil in 10 inch pan.  When hot, add garlic and saute.  Never brown garlic as it gets bitter.  So keep the heat medium.  Add broccoli and stir to coat in garlic and oil.  Salt for taste.  Stir-fry until tender-crisp.  Add chopped almonds and stir-fry until distributed.  Serve immediately.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Brown Rice Pilaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut a large acorn squash in half and place, cut side up, on a baking pan.  Add a bit of butter to the center to keep the squash moist. Cook squash for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender.

Mix the following:
     Cook in butter 1/2 chopped onion and 3 sticks chopped celery.  Once tender add 2 cups of brown rice (you can buy bags of pre-cooked rice at Trader Joe's.  I use a rice cooker.  Season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning.  The rice should taste like bread dressing.
      Stuff squash  with rice mixture and return to oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on whether or not you've just removed the squash from the oven.  Cover with foil if you are cooking it longer.


Apples Baked with Cinnamon

This time of year, the smell of cinnamon and sweet apples brightens the house, makes it feel cozy.  Yes, it's cold and dark and food tastes better in the winter.  We still can eat low calorie, however; keeping our figures from ruin during the long dark months is good for self esteem.

Here's a recipe that's naturally sweet, although you can add a little crust of baked-on sugar if you want.

Set your oven to 400 degrees.  Pick apples that are sweet and tart.  Core the apples.  Set in a baking dish , the bottom of which is covered with water.  Fill each apple with sugar,cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and butter. Bake for 30 minutes.   Serve with coconut milk or non-dairy vanilla yogurt  (some people can eat goat yogurt.)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Aioli Sauce for Angus Burgers

Aïoli Sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 pinches salt (I likeFrench sea salt in this)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or other combination of oils. See recipe notes for recommendations on this)
  1. Cut the ends off of the garlic, peel it, and either chop it or put it through a garlic press.
  2. Put the garlic in a mortar and pestle with the salt and grind it into a paste.
  3. In a heavy mixing bowl whisk egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic mixture together until well combined, about one minute.  (I use the blender.
  4. Start adding the olive oil, drop by drop, whisking all the while. You can add it a bit faster as you go along, but as with mayonnaise, the key to success is going very slowly at the start. When you are done adding the oil you can adjust the seasoning as suits your taste.
  5. This makes 1 cup - maybe you should double the recipe, it is so good.
  6. Recipe from

Angus Burgers with Avocado an Aioli

I buy my beef at Costco.  It's organic and fresh and less expensive then beef at Trader Joe's--although you can just buy one pound there.  Generally, I'm cooking for one, so it's a little tough eating the same meal day after day.  So once I make something, it's good to freeze portions for the nights I don't feel like cooking.

Angus Burgers

Form beef into 1/4 pound patties--one package from Costco is one pound of beef.   Salt and pepper well.
Fry over medium heat.  Mother used to turn her beef patties once the juice began to collect on the top of the meat.  Let it cook until your preferred rareness or well-doneness.

Serve with sliced avocados (a very good fat for our bodies) and aioli sauce.


PS  If you want to use a bun, try local bakeries for gluten free buns--or look in the freezer case at your local grocers.  Trader Joes sells rice tortillas.  Fred Meyers has gluten free breads in their freezer case in the health food section.  I like Avenue Bread's GF buns and bread--although they do have dairy in them.

Asparagus Roasted with Olive Oil

Asparagus Roasted with Olive Oil

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash asparagus and break off tough ends.  Place in glass baking dish and drizzle olive oil over the spears.  Salt and pepper if you like.  Toss so oil coats the vegetables.  Place and oven and roast about 1/2 hour, or until looking slightly shriveled and browning.

Serve on plate next to Angus Burger with Avocado slices.  Top both with aioli sauce.

Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad

  • 4 cups young arugula leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Divide salad onto plates and serve prior to Angus Burgers and Asparagus Roasted with Olive Oil.