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Day 17: Shop the co-op!

Today’s breakfast was slightly different than the past few days:

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Chia pet cereal for breakfast. And it’s mighty good. And even though I’m all about quantity, a single serving of this is amazingly filling. Trust me; I was majorly skeptical, but pleasantly surprised.

Lunch:

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I was invited to lunch and presented with a gorgeous salad (oops, no photo), and this soup. Unfortunately, this photo is a bowl of the soup I reheated post-lunch, and the reheated version isn’t nearly as vibrant as the original product. The recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors cookbook, and I believe this is the recipe. I was lucky enough to take some of this soup home and promptly heated up a bowl, added a spoonful of red quinoa (since it I needed to use it up), and enjoyed it with some Mary’s Gone Crackers. They were $1.50 at the co-op. Oh yeah; MAKE THIS SOUP.

Let’s shop:

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I could spend hours photographing kale. It is that beautiful. It looks like arctic green ruffles. Am I the only one who admires kale?

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Dinner:

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‘Tortilla Casserole’ from Sundays at Moosewood. I found the recipe here. I always change it around a bit; my favorite way to bake it is either in an iron skillet, or a ceramic tart pan. Sometimes I use salsa, this time I used farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes. I change around the cheese choices a bit as well; this time it was Asiago.

Tortilla Casserole
from Sundays at Moosewood

1 medium onion, chopped ½ pint heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced 1/3 c grated Parmesan
¾ t dried oregano s & p to taste
3 T veg oil 10 6” corn tortillas
3 medium tomatoes, chopped ½ c grated Monterey Jack cheese

in a large skillet, satue onion, garlic, and oregano in oil for 5-10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir in chopped tomatoes, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and juicy.
Cut tortillas into 1/2” wide strips and stir into the vegetable mixture with the cream, Parmesan, and s&p.
Bake, uncovered, at 375F in a buttered 1 qt. casserole for 30 min. Top with grated Mont’y Jack and return to oven until cheese is totally melted.

(Source)

Cookies, sugarful

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These are based on the this recipe that is apparently from ‘Paradise Bakery’. All I can say is that they are absolutely full of sugar and refined ‘goodness’. I halved the recipe and used all butter in place of the shortening. I also usually used nearly 1.5 times++ the amount of flour. I’ve tried these with various flour mixes, and the main difference is that I usually have to use a slightly different amount. I haven’t finalized the recipe, but it’s a good one to experiment with. The other reason I use so much more flour is because I like to roll them out. This time I used about 1/2 brown sugar for a more golden color. But a few of these and you are over the edge, sugar-wise, they are white-carb-full!

Day 16: An ode to leftovers.

It started out as usual, with breakfast:

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These were left over from yesterday.

Post-Breakfast Snack:

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More banana soft-serve ice cream (from Choosing Raw)! This time with a few frozen blackberries, since blackberry ice cream is one of my all-time favorites. This time, I had frozen slightly overripe bananas, whereas the previous times I’d used barely/just ripe bananas. The overripe bananas were sweeter, but also had a very strong banana flavor; the barely/just ripe bananas accepted other flavors more willingly. Since I am not (generally) a big banana fan, I’m going to stick with using less ripe bananas. Still, a total hit. For all the info on how to make this, check here.

Leftover Lunch:

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Slightly out of focus, though no less delicious, leftovers from yesterday’s red lentil dal + red quinoa. Plus, I added part of a baked potato for variety.

And now, I’ll introduce you to some flops:

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Baked donuts gone wrong!

They weren’t horrendous, but they were unfixable. They smelled like soft pretzels, and the centers were gum, despite varying the rise/bake times. Interesting, but at the end I was -not- left with a plate of donuts. Next time, right?

Zucchini chips gone mediocre:

day16sn

Really, it must be me; these sound like a perfect way to use zucchini. For whatever reason, I had trouble getting them crisp, but not burned. I wasn’t sure how thinly to slice them, so I tried a few different thicknesses (ok, three pans’ worth). They are so close to being good, but somehow fall short. However, I know someone else will like them, and perhaps they will let me know what obvious mistake I am making? The recipe is from ‘The Thrive Diet’, check out the recipe here, on Google Books.

Leftover dinner:

day16din

Leftover vegetable pie, from yesterday. I am glad this is a leftover-eating-house because it’s super nice to make a dinner that will last for two nights. It means more free time in the kitchen, to, you know, make baked donut flops!

Dessert, anyone?

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More blueberry mini pie, from, you guessed it, yesterday.

I owe it all to you, leftovers.

Day 15: Pie.

Apparently, a vicious theme has erupted in our house: pie.

More on that, later.

Breakfast:

day15brek

Yes, more breakfast cookies, too. Themes abound. But after an early morning grocery run, where I saw these (‘Erin’s Breakfast Cookies’, essentially a big oatmeal based ‘health’ cookie.) I realized that I must come home and whip up another batch.

Again, this is just a play on the ‘classic’ peanut butter cookie recipe of 1 cup peanut butter/1 cup sugar/1 egg, with a few variations. I’ve been doing half batches as well…And cutting down the sugar immensely. These were composed of the following:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons GF oat flour
  • 2 tablespooons rice bran
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt + baking soda
  • 1 egg

For other appearances of these cookies, check here and here. I didn’t like today’s trial very well, as the coconut flour seemed overpowering.

Post-Breakfast Hunger:

day15sna

More chia cereal, a few ‘Thin Mints’, and some almonds. What a whimsical little mix, but I ate what I was craving, which isn’t always, conventional, to say the least.

Lunch:

day15dal

Red lentil dal, English muffin ‘naan’, and red quinoa.

The dal comes from Jack Bishop’s ‘A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen’. Because I’ve changed the recipe a bit, I’ll post it below. The original is available here, on Google Books. Dal’s are great because you can make a big batch in a relatively short amount of time, they can be eaten a multitude of ways, and freeze well.

Red Lentil Dal (Derived from Jack Bishop)

  • 1 1/4 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (optional)
  • Boil together the lentils, water, and turmeric. Once boiling, lower heat, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes, until lentils have fallen apart. Stir a few times to ensure that lentils don’t burn. In a skillet or small pan, heat canola oil and butter. Add spices and garlic and cook until mustard and cumin seeds pop, 1-2 minutes. Stir the spice mixture into the lentils, tasting and adjusting salt/spices as needed. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

    This dal is great along with tortillas, bread/rolls, rice or any grain, with potato, cauliflower, peas, and green beans. It is super versatile.

    Once I tried red quinoa, I knew there was no going back. If you haven’t been thrilled with quinoa, the red is definitely worth a try. There is no bitter taste. Even after rinsing, I find that ivory quinoa still has a slight bitterness to it, but not this red.

    Farmer’s Market Loot:

    day15market

    Not much, but the first heirloom tomatoes of the year! Plus, more beloved zucchini, and some free-range eggs.

    High time for pie…

    day15bbpie

    I used this crust recipe, and made a vegetable pot pie, and the humble blueberry pie above. I really stretched the crust and got a double 9-inch crust, a double 6-inch crust, a double 4 inch crust, and a single 4 inch crust. I don’t recommend cutting it so close, but for whatever reason it worked. I usually get at least 1.5 times the yield from pie crust recipes. Perhaps I roll the dough too thin?

    Anyway, this was just a little blueberry pie to use up three-quarters of a pint of blueberries. It was pretty off-the-top of my head, based on other fruit pies I’ve made….three-quarters’ pint of blueberries, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons corn starch, 1/4-ish cup sugar, and a tablespoon or so of butter. It worked well!

    day15din

    Vegetable ‘pot pie’, which I’ve been making for the past couple of years, without changing much. Interested in the recipe? I’ll post it tomorrow…but it is definitely worth it, and surprisingly simple. Let’s face it, this pie is essentially a ‘casserole’, and accordingly simple. Plus, even though it’s encased in a buttery crust, it is full of vegetables. And a small salad on the side nicely rounds out the meal.

    Don't forget the birdy!

    Don't forget the bird!

    At the bottom of my handwritten pie recipe, I wrote ‘Don’t forget the bird!’, which baffled me as I read it…And then I remembered the pie bird. Whew.

Day 14: Pizza For Breakfast

Actually, breakfast is the only meal that wasn’t made up of pizza. But that would have been a good idea…

Breakfast:

day144break

More mediocre zucchini bread from yesterday. Maybe the remainder of this loaf will be made into bread pudding.

Clearly, dessert comes after breakfast:

day144ice

More of the life-changing raw soft serve. The other day it was raspberry, but today it was deep, dark chocolate. This was made from one frozen banana, processed with 1 tablespoon of dark cocoa, ice-creamified in the food processor for about two minutes. Next time I’ll top it with some chocolate chips.

Lunch:

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Pizza with real crust from yesterday. Plus, I bolstered this modest plate by swiftly preparing one of my favorite snacks:

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Guess who?

Right, Dreena Burton’s ‘Vegveeta’ Cheese Dip. I halved the recipe, used almond milk, and added a generous amount of chili powder and salsa. Again, delightfully good.

Baking Time:

day144sna

These are a work-in-progress for The Cinnamon Quill; they are ‘Thin Mints’ and the recipe is almost ready to be released. I tried painting the chocolate on with a decorating brush, but I will definitely go back to dipping them in chocolate, instead. Live and learn. Bake and learn.

Dinner:

day144din1

More of yesterday’s flourless pizza from Gluten-Free Easily, along with some sauteed zucchini. All nicely packaged in a slightly out-of-focus photo. Pizza has never lasted so long in this house, but really, one to two pieces of the flourless variety is a meal! I am still thinking of alternate uses for the flourless crust. I was tempted to put the whole slice of pizza on bread and make it a sandwich; it also seems like it would be good as ‘lasagna’ dough, layered with a bunch of colorful vegetables. Still thinking!

Today was a pretty low-key kitchen day, with leftovers at every turn. Even though cooking/baking takes time, the payoff often lasts a few days.

Day 13: Flourless Pizza and Pie

Zucchini bread for breakfast

day13zuc

I don’t exactly have a recipe for this. Remember that zucchini? Well, I’m still using the ever-dwindling remnants! Undoubtedly, that two dollars’ worth of zucchini was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Anyway, I was inspired by Smitten’s banana bread recipe, and essentially made it but used 1 1/2 cups of zucchini for the banana. I also added 1.5 tablespoons of oil on top of the butter. The flavor is good, but it is kind of a hard texture. It isn’t exactly dry, but it’s not cake-like. I’ve had plenty of quick-breads like this, but I always tend to make them on the cake side (not that I’m committed to such, but it’s certainly what I’m used to). I think the issue was that I added too much flour. I followed the directions but added about a half cup extra flour. Next time, I won’t do that! I am still on the prowl for a good zucchini bread recipe though. Heidi puts curry powder in her zucchini bread! Something to consider, for sure.

Lunch

day13lun1

Lunch was a simple, makeshift taco ‘salad’ made from yesterday’s leftovers. It included beans, peas, fresh corn, spinach, a bit of cheese, cottage cheese, and salsa. Plus, a few chips for good measure. Surprisingly filling!

Old News

day13pie

I forgot to post a photo of the pie I made a few days ago. I will be featuring the graham cracker crust on The Cinnamon Quill soon, but for now you have a slightly out of focus picture of a coconut cream pie. It’s been good for snacks and, of course, dessert.

Dinner

day13piz2
Small pizzas with dough I had in the freezer. A month or so ago, I made pizza but froze the small amount of dough I had left. I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator, then used it as if it were fresh. It worked well, but it definitely had a sourdough flavor! I’ll have to experiment. Recipe on its way…soon! For the sauce I used my super simple sauce, described here.

Annnnnd now, flourless pizza crust?!

day13piz

So when I read about this -flourless- pizza crust, I knew I’d be making it very soon. The recipe comes from this post at Gluten-Free Easily. My pictures don’t show just how revolutionary this crust is, check out the original post at Gluten-Free Easily as it shows the whole recipe, step by step. I’ll give you the ingredients though:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (I used Asiago)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I just used basil)

And there you have it, FLOURLESS pizza crust…

day13piz3

The verdict?

Now, I have a pizza crust recipe that I’m kind of attached to; however, this was just plain cool. It is ultra-rich (Ever been filled up by two pieces of pizza before? Me neither, but wait till you try this!), and amazingly unique. I’ve got a bunch of ideas about using this crust, but those will be shared tomorrow…!

Day 12: Same and Different

This morning’s breakfast looks familiar…

day14bre1

But when you have a good thing going, why change it?

Peanut butter breakfast cookies + super-charged Green Monster.

The cookies were similar to yesterday, but with a few changes. I am still experimenting, but zeroing in on a variation I love.

There was also a Green Monster packed up for the workday (along with a bag of peanut butter cookies). Two days in a row; now twice in one day!

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Lunch was a homemade vegetable ‘burger’ inspired by Sunshine Burgers (Check them out if you haven’t already!).

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I’m still working on a recipe, but I basically downsized this one, significantly. I used short-grain brown rice, and a bunch of spices to season it. I served it with cheese on one of the English muffins (now kept safely in the freezer). A little spinach and leftover corn-bisque to go with it, and it’s a meal.

I think the recipe for the burgers is promising, but I still found that I needed to microwave the patties for 2-3 minutes each, just so they would stay together. Then it was simple to brown them in a skillet. I still want to try baking a bunch of patties at 300-350F for 20ish minutes, then browning them. They just need to be dried out before attempting to brown them. At least, that method achieves the consistency that I am after.

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And now I present…

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Choosing Raw’s Banana Soft Serve gone raspberries! I adore the color. I used 2 frozen bananas + 1/4 cup of raspberries. I processed it for about 2 1/2 minutes, then served it in an ever-so-fancy GF ice cream cone.

Dinner

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A deconstructed taco in salad form. This plate includes black beans, rice, spinach, fresh peas/corn, chips, a bit of cheese, cottage cheese, salsa, olives, and hot sauce.

GF Everyday Seasoned ‘Taco’ Beans

Inspired by this recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1/2-1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 oz can black or pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa or diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Mix spices together in bowl. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat, then saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add spices and beans, stirring to evenly coat. Lower heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. If pan gets dry, add a tablespoon of water. Next add the salsa/tomatoes, and cook until most of the liquid evaporates. May keep adding water if pan seems dry. Taste and adjust spices as needed. Beans may be mashed a bit, or left whole. Serve with tortillas, chips, or taco shells.

    I’ve found these to be a perfect stand-in for ‘taco meat’. I also like to mix up the spices by adding a little cocoa, smoked paprika, molasses, cinnamon, and even GF beer for the water. Endless variations, for sure.

Day 11: Curry, Pickles, and Jel(lo)

(But, not together.)

Breakfast:

breakcook1
You’ve probably heard of ‘three ingredient peanut butter cookies’ that are essentially (with a few variations), 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. Well, I’ve been thinking about some kind of healthy variation, as I love the idea of eating peanut butter cookies for breakfast. So, this was an experiment, here are the ingredients:

GF Everyday Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookie Experiment

-1/2 cup natural peanut butter
-1/4 cup oats
-2 tablespoons honey
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 egg
-1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients together and bake on lightly oiled sheet at 350F for 8-10 minutes.

I think these turned out very well, though almost cake-like because of the whole egg. Next time I’ll probably try using just the egg yolk. I think the sugar could be further reduced, especially when, like I did, chocolate chips are added.

Lunchtime Antics:

day12pic

Remember those farmer’s market cucumbers I bought? Today I made pickles! I pretty much followed the recipe found here. I don’t actually like pickles, but I’ve always wanted to make them. It’s quite a fun process. These are of the ‘refrigerator’ variety, so I didn’t have to worry about canning.

Fresh dill for pickles.

Fresh dill for pickles.

After all that fun, it was time for lunch, something I’ve been craving for a while, Dum Aloo. I don’t have much experience cooking Indian food, so I stick to the directions, aside from adding more/less spices to taste. I found this recipe, but downsized it for the 3 Yukon Gold potatoes I had on hand. I also upped some of the spices, and reduced others. I added lots of peas, and had it alongside one of the English muffins with garlic + butter (my last-minute version of naan), and some cottage cheese (odd, but it worked):

day12lun

I would definitely make the Dum Aloo again. The potatoes were perfectly tender, with a nice amount of spice.

Annnnd, then the fun continued:

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Nearly two years ago, I purchased this ‘jel dessert’ from Vegan Essentials to put in someone’s stocking. I thought it was silly and novel, especially since Jell-o doesn’t get any press time in this house.

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It was incredibly sweet! Wow; all sugar + a hint of cherry cough syrup. But definitely worth a try! Plus, vegan ‘jel’ gels in about an hour, so there isn’t much waiting.

Snack

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More potting soil chia cereal.

Dinner

day12dinmos

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