Sunday, March 31, 2013

{GF} Fruit and Nut Muffins

Today is Easter so you would think I would post something Eastery...well, as much as I would have loved to write about homemade peeps, cream eggs, peanut butter eggs, etc.  (Which it is my intention to make every year.) I just never get around to doing it.  This year I felt like Easter snuck up on even though I am making dinner today I decided that I was going to raid my pantry and fridge.  I like having things I can grab in the morning for a quick breakfast. I decided on muffins, I had a mango that needed to be used and various other fruits and veggies.  There are two major changes I would do with this recipe that I wasn't really paying attention to while I was adding all the ingredients.  The first one is the sugar, I would substitute some of the white sugar with some honey or just cut it back all together, depending on the fruit you use you may not need so much. And two, the oil...oh my, as soon as I poured it in the batter I thought "What the hell am I doing!?!" a cup of oil is A LOT, and I have apple sauce and bananas...shame on me!  So at the end of the directions I will let you know the substitution quantities.  

Asking the family what to call these muffins, since Trash Muffin didn't sound so great, I got GFG Muffins. So, here is the recipe..

GFG Fruit & Nut Muffins
(Gluten Free Goodness)

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum*
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup carrots, grated
1/2 apple, peeled and shredded (I would have used a whole, but the one I used happened to be half eaten)
1 mango, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cups craisins
1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil**
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
ground flax seed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare a muffin pan with either liners or cooking spray.

Mix together the sugar, flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Combine all the fruit, veggies and nuts in a bowl. (You could use any combination of what you have on hand, but try to keep the moisture levels similar)

Add the fruit and nut mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the eggs, oil**, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour batter into the prepared muffin pan filling about 3/4 of the way full.  Sprinkle muffins with about 1/4 tsp of flax seed.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*Only add If your flour mixture does not already includes xanthan gum or guar gum.
**Oil substitutions that would be great in these muffins:
   Use 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
   Use 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about one banana)
   Use 3/4 cup of any other fruit puree or butters
   Use 3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple

**Featured on Gluten Free Tuesday Linky 8/13/2013 with Easy Green Mama**


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cranberry Mango Millet Salad {via Healthful Pursuit}

It's spring, well at least it's technically spring...we are currently in a winter weather advisory, so yay! {enter sarcasm} I am ready for warmer weather! I'm ready to be outside, take a hike, go camping, and just BBQ'ing with friends. I'm ready for the brown to change to green and the flowers, I'm ready to start my garden and eat fresh foods...yeah, I definitely ready for the warmer days.

Yesterday I attended my first Goddess Gathering, I met new women, ate good food and came home with a few "new" clothes. A couple baby girls were blessed and it was just a very positive and fun day in the Hollow. It was a potluck so I wanted to make something that I new I could eat as well as something good. I figured there would be a few vegetarians and others with food when ever I go to anything like this I make some thing new that other people may like and I may like but knowing that my household probably won't eat it. (That way I know it won't be wasted.)  I wish I took some pictures...not only was it a potluck we also did a clothing swap...there were SO many clothes!

I have had millet in my pantry for a while and have been trying to find different ways of using it. I came across a salad recipe from Leanne Vogel, from Healthful Pursuit, it is a Cranberry Mango Millet Salad. It was really good...the salad was a combination of millet and quinoa mixed with mango, dried cranberries, almonds, onions and spinach all tossed in a lemon poppy seed honey Dijon dressing. Delish!

To see the recipe click here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pies for Pi Day!

This is an old post that I am bringing back just for National Pi Day, yes we all know it's not Pie day but still why not celebrate with a pie you can eat?  So, since I am wishing for warm weather here are some of my past summer pies... Note: the original recipes were before I went GF so therefore are NOT Gluten-free.  To make them gluten-free, you have a few options; substitute regular flour with a gluten-free version (a nut flour would be really tasty , you could buy a pre-made crust, or use could use a nut or GF cracker crust.

Blueberry Pie

basic pie crust, homemade or store bought
I added a dash of almond extract to my homemade pie dough, this is optional.

5 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar, more or less depending on the sweetness of the berries
3 tbsp cornstarch
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl toss all the filling ingredients. Set aside. Roll out the dough for a 9" pie crust. Lay in pan and crimp edges. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake for about 50 minutes.

Strawberry & Hazelnut Cream Galette

1 basic pie crust

2 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cups blueberries (optional)
2/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup hazelnut cream cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out dough to about a 12" diameter circle. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Working from the center, spread the cream cheese out leaving about two inches around the edge. Pour the berry mixture onto the center, keeping about two inches around the edge.

Carefully fold over the edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes.

Citrus Pie

For the crust:
2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

For the filling:
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of half lemon
Juice of 1/4 grapefruit
(there should be a total of about 1/2 cup of juices combined)
About 2 tablespoons lime and lemon zest
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yokes
Candied lemon for garnish

Mix together the graham cracker and melted butter and press into a 9" pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Beat egg yokes. Add the milk and citrus juice and zest blend until smooth. Pour into cooled pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

Candied lemon: add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar into a small sauce pan. Add sliced lemon. Let simmer for about 4-5 hours.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Vegan Dark Chocolate {Gluten Free}

Craving chocolate? I was. With only three ingredients needed, I made some Vegan Dark Chocolate (and sprinkled some crushed almonds on top).

Phone Picture...not really a good one
To make this chocolate, you need coconut oil, agave syrup and cocoa powder.  That's it!

On low heat, melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil.  Once it is melted, remove from heat and add 3 tbsp agave syrup and 2/3 cup of dark cocoa powder.  Stir to combine. 

Once again, bad phone picture
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil, pour the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit or anything else you may like.  Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator so the chocolate can set, it will only take about 10-15 minutes.

Break or cut into pieces. It turned out sort of bark like, with a softer consistency   You could probably pour into silicone molds if you wanted to.  I also think this would make a great chocolate base for peanut butter cups or peppermint patties. So stay tuned for some peanut butter cups...I am going to see if I can borrow a silicone mini muffin pan...yum!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Potato Gnocchi {First Attempt}

Our front yard

We had a snow day, I stayed home with my son and we built a fort, had a snowball fight with some friends and just had a relaxing day.


However, I had the bug to bake.  I was thinking along the line of cookies or muffins or just something that could curb my sweet tooth. So, I starting looking around the kitchen to see what we had on hand, what I could work with.

Then I noticed a bag of potatoes in desperate need of being used, so the first thing that came to mind was gnocchi. I have been wanting to try a gluten-free version, so what the heck right?  Well, this was my first attempt.  The flavor was good, but I would like to make them slightly firmer. So I will eventually be making another batch, and playing around with it a bit.  But in the mean time, here is my rendition of Gluten-Free Potato Gnocchi.

Gluten-Free Potato Gnocchi

2 pounds russet potatoes (you want a starchy potato)
1 1/2 cups rice flour blend (I used Trader Joes All-purpose GF Blend)
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs
1/2-1 cup potato starch
salt and pepper

Roast potatoes in a 400 degree oven for about an hour or until fork tender.  Peel and rice the cooked potato.  

In a large bowl add the flour and gum to the potatoes knead gently until it starts to come together, season with salt and pepper.  Whisk together the eggs and add to the potato mixture. Continue to mix until it forms a dough, it will be slightly sticky. 

In a large work surface, sprinkle the starch and dump the potato mixture on the surface.  Sprinkle with some additional starch.  Knead the dough slightly and quarter it.  Using one quarter, roll it out to about 3/4 inch thick.  Slice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces, you can roll on a fork to make ridges.  Place on a floured sheet pan until ready to use.  Use immediately or freeze.

To cook: Place the fresh (or frozen) gnocchi in a pot of boiling salted water, they are ready once they start to float. 

I served mine with sauteed onions and brown butter with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese...they were really yummy.

Keep your eyes open for my next attempt at this...

If you have any tricks for a firmer GF gnocchi I would love to hear them!  Thanks and Enjoy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

We are currently out of chocolate syrup in our house, we always have chocolate syrup (it seems to be the only way I can get my son to drink milk).  Since, like I am sure many people are, I am trying not to spend money on things I don't have to and store bought chocolate syrup has fallen into that category.  Then I remembered that I saw something on Pinterest {Love Pinterest} about making your own, so I decided I would give it a try. There aren't many ingredients and I have them all so here it goes...

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/8 tsp salt

1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Add water and whisk gently until well mixed. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Cool.  Store in the refrigerator, fills a pint sized jar. Use just like you would normally use chocolate syrup; on ice cream, in milk, on a spoon...

I happened to still have the empty bottle of Hershey's Special Dark Syrup in our recycling so I pulled it out just to check the ingredients. Here is what is in the pre-made stuff, in the order written; High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Cocoa processed with alkali, Sugar, 2% or less of; Salt, Mono- and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Vanillin, Artificial Flavor.  Yep, I must say I like making my own with just a few ingredients.  I think I may play around with the sugar, and maybe substitue some with honey and see how that goes.

A satisfied taster!
I wish I had some ice cream to drizzle it on...

Side note...

I also mixed up some Taco Seasoning today, also super simple. For about 3/4 cups of seasoning, I combined 3 tbsp chili powder, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1-1/2 tsp paprika, 3-1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp salt, 3 tsp black pepper. I have it sealed in a jar waiting to be used.  I will let you know how it is after our next taco night.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Veggie Burgers with Avocado Creme {Vegan}

The Dairy-free Challenge has been accomplished, it is done, over…and I must say I am glad.  I really don’t eat much dairy but I went full throttle and made sure anything I was eating completely void of it. I don’t drink milk, so no problem there…I LOVE cheese, problem.  I have tried vegan cheeses and I am sorry they are just not the same.  But while doing this challenge the thing that has surprised me the most is that my body reacted the opposite of what I thought or expected it to react.  I have had more bloating and have been pretty constipated (sorry for that picture) and I really thought that I would have A LOT less bloating.  I think it is really weird.  I don’t think I have changed my diet in any other way, other than cutting the dairy out. Below is my conversation with Leanne, she recommended adding probiotics, and I have actually considered that before so I may actually give them a try.

What I do know is that going completely dairy-free is not for me, I once thought it was. This is not to say that I won’t still make vegan meals or try different dairy-free versions of recipes, I enjoy eating vegetarian and vegan and that isn't going to stop.  That may be the inner vegetarian in me trying to get out, I still toy with the idea of going back to that lifestyle, but I have yet to give in to it.  For right now, being gluten-free is enough. 

For the end of my dairy-free week I decided to give this dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan dish a try… 

All the veggies and fillers

Veggie Burgers

1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 large onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
5-6 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 flax eggs (1/4 cup warm water plus 2 tbsp. flax meal)
1 chia egg (3 tbsp warm water plus 1 tbsp chia seeds)
1/2 cup GF Oats, processed into a flour
1 tsp. Chipotle Seasoning
Salt and pepper

In the food processor, combine the onion, garlic, carrot, peppers, mushrooms and half the can of beans.  Pulse until, vegetables are fine.  

Add the flax and chia eggs, quinoa and seasoning, pulse until everything is combined. 

Transfer to a large bowl.  Add the rest of the beans to the quinoa mixture, stir to combine. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning to taste, add oat flour stir to combine (add more if it seems too wet).  

Form the mixture into patties.  Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat, cook patties for about 3-5 minutes on each side until the outside is browned and the patty is heated through.

Serve on a hamburger roll, alone or like me on a lettuce leaf with the Avocado Creme or any and all your favorite burger toppings. (I added some ketchup and fried onions...Yum!)  The outside gets a nice crunch and the inside has a really nice texture.

Avocado Creme

1 ripe avocado*
1 tsp. chipotle seasoning
juice of a 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

*My avocado wasn't really ready, so since I wanted to use it right away (my mistake for not buying it a few days early) I used the microwave to quickly "ripen" it.  The results, not bad.  But I would let it naturally ripen if you have the time, use the microwave only in a pinch.  

{Obviously, if you weren't dairy-free you could add cheese to the mixture and/or topping.  You could also use a real egg instead of a flax egg, and bread crumbs instead of the processed oats.}