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Day 10: Dairy-Free Specialties + More

Today was a fun food day:

funnybreak

A fun little breakfast

The pancakes are made from this recipe at Healthy Indulgences. I won’t post the recipe, but here are the ingredients, with the changes I made:

5-6 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup GF oat flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2-4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil

It made about 10 little pancakes. I’ve been searching for a good pancake recipe that isn’t all starch, and this is definitely a start. I loved them. I know these won’t work for folks who aren’t used to a slight “whole grain” taste, but certainly an incredible recipe. I’m toying with adding a bit of tapioca starch and more liquid, to lighten them up a bit. I’m no expert, but let’s just say I plan to become one, with the amounts of these I see in my consumption future.

The ‘sausage’ was made from leftover vegetable-burgers we had some time ago. Here is the recipe, from VegNews. I essentially followed the recipe, but used oat flour for all-purpose flour, and pulverized everything in the food processor. One issue: even after several minutes of cooking, these were soft and uncooked in the centers. I remedied this by microwaving them for 1-2 minutes, prior to browning in the skillet. If I wouldn’t have been rushed I would try baking them at 350F for 15-20 minutes to dry them out before trying to cook them in a skillet. Next time, I might -acutally- follow the directions and leave the tempeh in larger pieces. Very simple. For breakfast I cooked one with a bit of sage and fennel. Again, check out the recipe for directions, but here are the ingredients:

-all-soy tempeh
-onion
-mushrooms
-balsamic vinegar
-spices
-garlic
-tamari
-GF oat flour.

And I had a side of potatoes cooked with a bit of sage. A funny, but delightful little breakfast!

Moving on…

kombu1

I had the lost dose of my ‘medicine’, AKA kombucha.

Lunch:

cheeze2

Yes, that is a bowl of queso; such a perfect lunch! Wait though, it’s dairy-free. And it’s made with coconut milk. And cashews. And you should make it; here’s how. I halved the recipe, and made a few slight changes. Here is the list of ingredients I used to make Dreena Burton’s Vegveeta Cheese Dip:

1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (or use butter if you aren’t dairy-free)
3/4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup + 1-2 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk (I’d like to try hemp milk)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
(I skipped the mustard and used more spices than suggested)
1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup salsa, mixed in after finished cooking

Really, make this. It doesn’t -exactly- taste like cheese, but it is definitely competitive. I think it makes a wonderful base for other sauces/dips as well. Expect experimentation!

I’ll leave you with this thought, on that note:

cheeze1


Snack-time Strikes:

sserve

Yet another dairy-free treat: banana soft-serve ice cream. No ice cream maker involved. No sugar. One ingredient bliss. Choosing Raw’s Raw Banana Soft-Serve Ice Cream.

I doubt she’ll mind if I share this ‘recipe’ with you: break a banana (or two, or three, to be on the safe side) in a few pieces, then freeze until solid. Place frozen banana pieces in food processor, and process for 1-5 minutes, until completely smooth. It only takes about 1.5 minutes in my food processor to achieve the right consistency. Serve immediately, and be ready to surrender any skepticism. Zoom-in time:

ss2

If you’d like chocolate, add 1/2-1 tablespoon (probably more; taste it) cocoa powder before processing.

Time to make dessert! When it comes to making dessert, it definitely comes first, before dinner…

tira1

Thanks to the already-made lady fingers, I was able to put this tiramisu together very quickly. I used a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, but only made 1/3 of what the recipe made. Next time, I think I’ll make a recipe that only uses whipped cream and mascarpone, without the egg custard. This was good though, really, no complaints.

Dinner

Mediterranean Vegetable Pie

Mediterranean Vegetable Pie

I’m actually leaving you with an old dinner, as I ended up not feeling too well, and just snacked on remnants that weren’t worth photo-ing. This ‘Mediterranean Pie’ was inspired by this site. Check out her breathtaking photos. I used about half of the vegetables she suggested and placed them in a GF pizza crust I made (recipe almost perfected!). I loved the way it turned out. I actually made 3 small ones because I was worried that it might not cook very well if I made a giant one. Served with a small salad, it was perfectly satisfying! A new favorite, and a superb way to use up all kinds of vegetables.

Days 7/8/9: Feeding a Cold

Well, there was no escaping the cold/flu, this time around.

sickwater

When you are sick, Vitamin Water tends to taste better than food.

sicksoup

That is quite possibly the simplest soup ever. I cooked 1/2 cup of basmati rice. Then I added a Rapunzel bouillon cube, and 2 or so cups of water to the pan. After it came to a boil, it was soup! If I would have felt better, I would have added some vegetables and even some butter beans. I also considered making brown basmati rice, but I wouldn’t have stayed awake through it’s cooking time, so I opted for the done-in-15 minutes white basmati.

sickcookie

Someone went to the store and came home with these. They were actually perfect to eat because of their simple ingredients and light crunch. They are $7/box, but a nice treat. They are good in that “grocery store cookie” kind of way.

Tea and cookie time:
sickmads

And these:

sickchips

Not my proudest decision, but for whatever reason, these are the sick-person-food of choice, in this house. They essentially dissolve in your mouth, which is perfect folks stuck in an illness-induced state of zoning. That would be, perfect for me.

sick1

The above neon occurrence is what I deemed “Mock Sweet Potatoes”, which is actually fitting since our grocery isn’t currently stocking them. It is about 1/2 cup of baby carrots, boiled with a chopped, medium-sized potato. I pureed it in the food processor, and it was dinner! And lunch. And breakfast the next day.

sickmeds

By the third morning I felt like “real” food, and was compelled by this post about English muffins. I promptly made the muffins, and drank a kombucha (my medicine) to my health. I figured that the kombucha would whip my immune system back into shape.

English muffin close-up

English muffin close-up



Check here for the recipe. I used rice flour in place of the sorghum and millet in place of the teff. Simple and satisfying. I can’t wait to experiment with different flour combinations. English muffins in less than an hour?! Yeah.

Day 6: Precursor to a Sick Day(s)

I wasn’t feeling too well, so my appetite was a bit random, to say the least. Here are the highlights, though. Remember that chia cereal? Well, here it is:

cccchhhhia

I mixed it with water this time, and I noticed a discrepancy on the package as it says to add 4 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of liquid, but 4 tablespoons is only 1/4 cup. So, I tried 2 tablespoons of chia with 4 tablespoons of water, and it gelled nicely. It looks like potting soil. I was surprised at how sweet this flavor was, but I wouldn’t want to eat a bowl of chia seeds on their own. It is definitely a “health food” type item. If you like whole grains, grassy flavors, and little seeds, this is for you. I am totally granola that way, so I love this stuff.

Next up was a bran muffin-top:

branmuf

I essentially used this recipe, though I don’t have formal numbers as I literally threw in what I had on hand. I used rice bran for the wheat bran, cottage cheese in place of the Greek yogurt, added 3/4 cup shredded zucchini and raisins. I’ll have to perfect these, but check out the recipe, I’ve made it a couple times now, but I have yet to solidify a variation. I also halved the recipe. Another health-foodie item, but I used to love bran muffins.

grahamsnack

A graham cracker + chocolate chip bowl. How nice! There were countless (literally) other snacks today, but I soon found out that apparently my appetite spikes wildly right before I get sick. Not a bad plan, I suppose.

Lunch

milsalad

Leftover millet salad, with last night’s millet, over a little spinach, a bunch of shredded zucchini, with a few black olives and green onions on top. The zucchini and millet went well together, almost taste tabbouleh-ish.

salsa

A quick walk to the store yielded a few packages of this salsa as it had a short date and was on sale for $1! But really, this salsa is arguably the best grocery store salsa one can buy. Plus, it deserves bonus points since it says “GF” right on the package. The mild is good, but the medium is probably my favorite. A little spicy for some though, so I stuck with the mild.

Dinner

Uncooked rice pasta

Uncooked rice pasta



I wasn’t feeling the regular dinner, so I cooked up the last of this fancy-pants rice pasta. Though it was $7 for the bag, it has lasted for four meals. It looks like frills or lace, I bought it because it was beautiful (oh yeah, and GF).

sickpasta

And then I ate some of it, and got to sleep as quickly as I could.

sickpasata

What does a GF sick day look like? Stay tuned.

Day 5: Snacks All Day

Before Spinning this morning, I started with this lovely, desperately ripe, peach:

peacher

Post-workout involved a very tropical Green Monster + some graham crackers + peanut butter:

break2

Tropical Green Monster

1 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk
1/4-1/2 cup orange-mango juice
1/4-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ice cubes

Blend. Drink, patting yourself on the back for drinking an island flavored spinach salad.

Lunch…

snackie

Well, I’ll just call that a pre-lunch snack. More Katharine Hepburn brownie and So Delicious coconut milk.

Next came the real deal:

breaknow

This was a bit of an experiment, but I was inspired by this frittata. It is 1 local-farm egg and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, scrambled. It is almost more of a porridge. I then baked a royal purple potato, sliced it, and topped the whole thing with pepitas. This will be happening again.

mufftop

Before dinner I made some muffins. These are from the 2003 issue of Gourmet. The funny-looking one above is a muffin top.

GF Everyday Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from Gourmet

6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
1 large egg
1 large yolk
3/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla
1 3/4 + 2 T Featherlight Flour Mix (Or try the GF mix of your choice)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 cup sugar
2 /12 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries
Topping
3 tablespoons butter
1/2+ cup Featherlight Flour Mix (Or try the GF mix of your choice) (You may need to add more)
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Follow the directions here. Just add the additional ingredients along with the other dry mixture.

Honestly though, I’m ready for a new muffin recipe. Anyone?

muff2

Dinnertime

His

His

Cheese enchiladas, spiced millet, and avocado. We often have rice with this dish, but this time I opted for millet, and it was a nice change.

Hers

Hers



I added a small spinach salad to mine. I like nuanced enchiladas, like cilantro-caramelized onion filling, black beans, rice, or ones filled with potatoes. This time it was cheese though, through and through.

GF Everyday Cheese (and more cheese) Enchiladas and Sauce

Sauce derived from this book (“American Wholefoods Cuisine”)

1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup green pepper (optional)
1/2-1 minced jalapeno or adobo chile
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (to taste) chili powder
1-1 1/2 cups tomato puree (I usually drain a 28 oz can of tomatoes and use the tomato juice)
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste, be careful)

Sautee the garlic, onion, and pepper in oil, for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauces and spices, then simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened to desired consistency. This results in a chunky sauce, but feel free to puree it. I leave it chunky and call it “homestyle”. When you first make this, watch the spices and taste often. If it gets too spicy, just add water or tomato juice/puree by the tablespoon.

Enchiladas derived from the back of a can somewhere, some time.


(Feel free to adjust this to fit what you have on hand. Black beans, onions, potatoes, and other vegetables are great added to the mix, but you may need more tortillas.)
6-8 corn tortillas, warmed and softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, mascarpone (the best, I swear), cottage cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup salsa or diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheese of choice
Enchilada sauce
Olives, avocado, green onions, cilantro

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8×8 inch pan, or equivalent size (I often use a 10 inch round quiche dish or iron skillet). Mix cream cheese, salsa, and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese together in a small bowl. Stack the tortillas on a plate, and, one at a time, spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the middle. Roll tortilla and place in pan, seam side down. Repeat until all the tortillas/filling are used up. Pour enchilada sauce (about 1-1 1/2 cups) over tortillas, cover with foil, and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheese, and olives if using, then return the pan to the oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling.

I cooked the millet according to the instructions, but used vegetable stock instead of water, and added an adobo chile during cooking, which I removed prior to serving. A nice kick!

Day 4: Soup and Bread (Again)

I made graham cracker dough the night before, so first thing this morning the rolling pin hit the counter. The dough is derived from Rebecca Reilly’s recipe for graham crackers. I’ve made some changes, and will be posting at The Cinnamon Quill soon. But, I made a bunch of cookies (er, crackers), a pie crust, and this little apricot tart for somebody’s breakfast:

apricot

I’d give you the recipe, but really? It wasn’t such a big hit. I pressed the crust into a small springform pan, then whipped together a tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, and 1/4 cup-ish of sugar. I then placed the apricots on top, sprinkled with sugar, and drizzled the top with honey. Then I baked it (30 minutes or so?) until it was set. It certainly wasn’t bad, just not something I’ll make again. A great way to use up a couple of ripe apricots though.

Then came some more morning goodness, for me:

breaky2

Some graham crackers (a little peanut butter), and a glass of diluted orange-mango juice. I always dilute fruit juice, as I find it much too sweet to drink straight.

I got to using up that zucchini by making a big batch of soup to freeze. Oh, and to eat for lunch.

lunchsoup

Farmer’s Market Zucchini Soup

Adapted from here, by GF Everyday

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup split peas
3+ cups vegetable broth
Herbs and spices of your choice (I used rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, white pepper, ground celery)
Half and Half
salt and pepper, to taste

Saute vegetables in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until flavors start to blend. Add the split peas, broth, and herbs (to taste). Bring to a boil, cover loosely, then simmer, about 30+ minutes, until vegetables are cooked, and split peas are soft. Remove from heat and use a stick blender to puree. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of half and half, if desired. Reheat, and serve.

Because I froze most of it, I didn’t add the half and half. I’ll add it when I actually use the soup, some time down the road. I garnished it with some grated carrot and thyme, because I can’t get enough thyme lately.

Snack!

granola

Since we were headed to the gym, I needed a wholesome snack. I’ll call this “Raw Gran-Oatmeal”. Basically, I soaked 1-2 tablespoons each of pepitas, raisins, a dried fig, flaked dried coconut, almonds, and 1/4 cup of oatmeal in water, overnight (in the refrigerator). I removed it and pulsed it in the food processor to granola consistency, and ate it. I thought I’d eat it with coconut milk, but it ended up being very heavy. It’s an interesting idea, but this was a bit heavy for me. It has potential, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

Dinner

bread1
Savory Caprese bread pudding, sauteed mushrooms, simple tomato sauce, and Parmesan fries.

This was incredibly simple, and satisfying. I used up a loaf of Bette Hagman’s yeast-free zucchini cheese bread that I had in my freezer. It was a decent quick bread, but a little heavy on the baking soda taste for my palate. I froze it (well, about two-thirds of it), and saved it for a rainy day. Or, a day I wanted to make bread pudding. There wasn’t exactly a recipe for the bread pudding; I just gained inspiration from here and here, and worked with what I had.

GF Everyday Savory Bread Pudding

2/3 loaf of bread (8-10 slices?)
6 oz Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
2-3 eggs
1-2 cups half and half or whole milk
2+ fresh tomatoes, sliced
Reserved breadcrumbs for top
Fresh basil
Dried oregano

This isn’t much of a recipe, as I just used what I had. Butter an 8×8 glass pan, layer the bread slices, cheese, and tomatoes. I repeated this twice. I then mixed the egg and half and half together, and poured over the lot until it was all moistened. You may need more egg/cream, depending on the bread you are using. Let stand for 5 minutes, to let the bread absorb the liquid, and to let the flavors to blend. I topped it with breadcrumbs, basil, and oregano, covered, and baked at 375 for 30ish minutes, until it was set.

The fries are perfect (I take no credit), and the recipe is available here. They have been made again and again in this house.

The tomato sauce was just a 15 minute tomato puree seasoned with some basil, oregano, garlic, lemon, agave, and a few other spices. And, the mushrooms were just sauteed in a little olive oil, along with a splash of white wine (I guess red would have been better), and a little more thyme. A theme, apparently.

bread2

Day 3: Soup in Summer

Today was a typically mismatched food day, let’s take a look:

After some juice and a small piece of bread (not pictured), I set out on one of my treadmill hill workouts (Set the treadmill to its highest incline, crank the speed up to 3.5-4.5, and go. For 45 minutes.). Then, for my recovery, I had an early lunch snack of this bread + a Green Monster.

breaky
Y
Now, if you aren’t familiar with ‘Green Monsters’, that frothy green beaker of a smoothie might be a little hard on your eyes (or beautiful, depending how you feel about the color green). It’s a powerhouse drink and a lovely way to fit a salad into a picky palate. And no, you absolutely cannot taste the spinach. I’ve tested this.

GF Everyday’s Green Monster

1-1 1/2 cups spinach
1/4-1/2 cup ice cubes
1/4-1/2 cup orange juice or coconut milk
1/2-1 cup water
1/2 banana

Process in blender until perfectly smooth.

As for the bread, it has a winning flavor, and is packed with oats, millet, flax, and sunflower seeds. I changed the recipe a bit, which made it crumbly, but that’s my fault. So, just follow the original recipe (which isn’t possible for me, apparently); It is definitely the best tasting GF bread I’ve had yet. It tastes like a good bakery-style honey-wheat bread. And it’s one of the healthiest GF breads I’ve com across.

Lunch

salad

More spinach? More bread? Some days, I just go with it, even if I eat the same thing for three meals in a row. Really though, why not? So, above we have a chopped spinach salad with provolone, that bread, roasted tomatoes, and olivada (recipes for the last two are coming soon). Nice, light, flavorful.

vegsoup

But then I had a second lunch, because I’m not one to be filled up by salads. This recipe originates from Jack Bishop’s “A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen”. Basically it’s a vegetable soup; this one had canellinni beans, onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, a small potato, garlic, vegetable broth, and lots of rosemary. And I make it in about 30 minutes total. I often keep servings in the freezer because it is a nice accompaniment to sandwiches or other small meals that fall into the that-doesn’t-fill-me-up category.

brownies1

A little afternoon pick-me-up in the form of a Katharine Hepburn brownie. I followed the recipe exactly, but added 3 additional tablespoons of flour. I used a slightly modified Bette Hagman’s Featherlight Flour Blend (1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn starch, 1 cup tapioca starch, 3 tablespoons potato flour), and also skipped the cinnamon. Perfect, if you like super-fudge-like brownies (which I like very much).

Dinner, and can you believe it?

chowder1

Even more soup! And did I mention it’s summer? This is from a simple potato soup recipe, dressed up with a little sweet-loving corn, and thyme action. A surprisingly nice dinner, made with farmer’s market potatoes.

GF Everyday’s Essential Potato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-5 small celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves
5 small potatoes, peeled, chopped (russets work best here)
1/2 cup baby carrots (yellow is best for color), sliced
3-4 cups of water/broth
1 tsp: sage, rosemarry, celery, pepper, salt
1 T dried tarragon
1/3-1/2 c half half
Butter, for finishing
Fresh sweet corn (optional)
Cheese of choice (optional)

Saute vegetables in oil, then add water/broth and spices, to taste. Bring to a boil and cover, simmering 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Mash potatoes and vegetables slightly with whisk/potato masher. If you’d prefer a bisque, blend with a hand blender. Add half and half and return to heat, to warm. Serve with a dollop of butter, freshly ground white pepper and garnish the tops with more tarragon (!), corn, cheese, or thyme.

That’s all the soup and salad action for today. Tune in tomorrow for more of the same, and maybe even something different!

Day 2: Chia Pets Like Cereal

Today was a day of shopping and discovering. Discovering new food items, that is.

cereal
We visited a small health food store that I’d never been to; it was just the kind of place I grew up going to–kind of musty, with a dab of patchouli, but a real treasure trove of items. It was a bit pricier than the co-op, or Whole Foods, but I do aim to support businesses like this. I have to admit that I found myself rejecting to buying a whole lot, thinking I’ll just get it cheaper in a week or two when I visit the co-op. But, this little place actually had a lot of items that the co-op doesn’t have, which was a great incentive to fill up my basket.

Highlights:

Chia Goodness cerealThis stuff was $7.50, which is quite a bit for a package of cereal, especially for someone who scoffs at the $4 boxes of EnviroKidz. But I’ve read much about it, and the serving size is only 2 tablespoons, so I gave it a try. And when I say gave it a try, I mean I came home and ripped open the package before I’d even put away the refrigerated items. It didn’t thicken so well, but I immersed it into cold coconut milk, so perhaps that’s why. What a lovely combination! This will be a regular item around here. As long as I can afford it. There are other flavors too, but this was the only one they carried. More on that soon!

–Bob’s Red Mill GF oats. Not my favorite oats, as my last bag was chock full of oat-hulls, but Amazon is currently out of Cream Hill Estates, so I happily settled.

rawrev

Raw Revolution Hazelnut Chocolate food bar. I don’t buy too many of these, but I’ve read much about these and am eager to try it. It has sprouted flax in it, cool!

coconutmilk

So Delicious Coconut Milk (from the refrigerated section)
Very excited to try this! The price was $5.69. I often use canned organic coconut milk for drinking and cooking, but we’ll see how this fares! It does have a bunch of added vitamins and some sugar, but it’s soy free.

soap-1

Soap Nuts. These work incredibly well, and even better than the All detergent that I previously used. I am allergic to a lot of laundry soaps, so these have been a huge help. I use about 5 ‘soap nuts’ in a drawstring bag, per load. The nuts are good for about 4-5 loads in my small washer. I add a drop of essential oil for a clean scent as well. You can also make a liquid by boiling the soap nuts, but I haven’t tried it yet. Previously, I’ve purchased from this site, where you can also learn more.

My laundry set-up: Soap nuts, drawstring bag, essential oil = clean!

My laundry set-up: Soap nuts, drawstring bag, essential oil = clean!



Farmer’s Market!


Local and oh-so-lovely..

Local and lovely produce.



A small, but successful trip to the market yielded the missing produce for the week. And, two giant zucchini, which I can’t get over. Oh, the plans I have for the zucchini…bread, muffins, fries, chips, fritters, soup, noodles, and whatever else I can figure out. Plus, did I mention the zucchini were $1 each? Onions, $1/3. Pickling cucumbers $1/4. Potatoes $1.

A lovely day of shopping.