Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kefir-Blueberry-Walnut Pancake

OK, I am truly a believer in the old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention" and to prove it, try this "Mother of All GF/CF Pancakes"!!

My boys are recently dairy free, and one of them is also off eggs, and yours truly is gluten free, so the challenge became...try making a pancake without the trifecta: milk, flour, eggs!

Here is what I came up with on this snowy Colorado Sunday morning, tell me what you think!

Preheat skillet or griddle to med-low

Whisk the following in an 8 cup bowl:

1 1/2 C GF Mix*
1/2 C quinoa flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Cup finely ground walnuts (leave these out, if nuts are a problem for you - I add them to boost the protein)

To replace the two eggs you would usually use, bring a small amount of water to a boil, then whisk together:

6 T boiling water
2 heaping Tbsp ground flax seed (fresh ground is best, but you can buy it ground and keep it in the freezer also)

Let sit for a minute, while you add these ingredients to the dry mix:

2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 C coconut milk kefir (I found mine in the refrigerated section at Vitamin Cottage)
1 C water
flax seed/water mixture.

Mix with whisk, then scrape with spatula, and mix again, just til all ingredients are combined.

Stir in 1 C fresh/frozen blueberries

Add bit of olive oil to pan. Scoop onto griddle/skillet with 1/3 C measuring cup. This batter is thick, so you will need to spread it out a bit with the edge of the scoop. Because they are so thick, you will want to cook them at a lower temp than usual. Cook til golden brown on bottom, then flip and cook til done.

Top with butter and syrup (we use "Earth Balance natural buttery spread made with olive oil". In my opinion, you can't tell it's not real butter).

This recipe makes 16 pancakes, here - three pancakes is a serving.

*GF Mix - I use a combo based on a Bette Hageman combo: 6 C brown rice flour (= one 2# bag from Vitamin Cottage); 2 C corn starch; 1 C tapioca flour. Whisk all together in a container and store in the fridge.

March 27, 2011
- I made a few substitutions today that made these even better!

1/2 C fresh ground buckwheat replaces the quinoa
1 1/4 c kefir instead of 1 cup
1 1/4 c water instead of 1 cup
I added two eggs
I deleted the flax seed preparation, but did include two Tbs fresh ground flax seed

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is one of my all time fave stews/soups. I will give you a recipe, but remember, this is COTF (clean out the fridge), so use what you have if you don't have something that I list.


You are going to need 8 cups of broth in a large stock pot. Bring it to a boil, then turn down to medium.

You will also need about 3-4 cups cooked wild rice (or brown jasmine rice or a combo of the two).

Warm a large skillet on the stove, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and add these ingredients to the skillet as you chop them. Keep stirring, as you add ingredients.

1 med white onion, chopped fine
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
generous pinch of coarse ground kosher salt
1 leek, chopped fine (don't use the dark green leaves, and make sure you rinse it well, on each layer, as the dirt tends to get down in there)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
Add about a half cup of water at this point, and cover with a lid, to steam the veggies
5-6 small carrots, sliced fine
celery heart, chopped (this is the four or five center stalks of celery, plus the short little ones in the middle, and all their leaves)

After these veggies have steamed a bit (about 5-7 minutes) They should be starting to get tender. Take the whole pan and carefully spoon the ingredients into the hot broth. Add the rice and more pepper and salt, as needed. Add more rice to get a thicker stew, but remember, it will thicken overnight if you have leftovers so don't get it too thick now.

Let warm through, then add in a handful of fresh chopped parsley (pull the leaves off, the stems are bitter) or 4 tablespoons of dried parsley, and a cup or two of frozen peas. Oila!

Serve in warm bowls (a trick my mom taught me to keep your soup hot longer) with a fresh baked loaf of bread or your fave loaf from the store.

If you want, add whatever chopped meat you have on hand. If you don't have any meat cooked up, you can pan sear a chicken breast, chop it and add it to the pot. Here is how you do that:

Using the same pan you used to saute the veggies, heat to medium heat. Split a chicken breast lengthwise, to make it cook more quickly. Put a few tsp of oil in the skillet. Lay the meat in and cook till it starts to get some color on the bottom. Flip with tongs and cook on the other side too. Don't worry about it being a little pink in the can finish cooking in the stew. Take out of the pan, and chop it on your cutting board, and then add to the stew. Take a cup of white wine and pour into the hot skillet. Stir with a spatula, till all the browned goodness is not stuck to the bottom of the pan anymore (don't look - but you just "deglazed" your pan!!). Pour this into the stew, and stir.

One of the reasons this stew is soooo yummy, is that when you saute the veggies and spices, you add a layer of flavor that you can't get just by putting the veggies/spices straight into the soup pot. It takes a little longer, but the flavor is worth it! And boy-oh-boy, is this good the next day!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chicken Tenders

I am very blessed to have kids that will eat almost anything. The other day, I made a Thai Coconut Soup, and 5 year old Jalapeno declared it "the bestest soup ever" and claimed the leftovers the next day when we did COTF (a fancy name for 'clean out the fridge'). It had cabbage, zucchini, coconut I said, so blessed that my kids eat "funky food'!

Today, I decided to make them a special treat. So we bought a package of chicken tenders and tenderized them with a hammer made for that purpose (put the chicken pieces between a folded sheet of wax paper - it will keep the juice from splattering). I took a few pieces of foccacia out of the freezer, thawed them, and ran them through the food processor to make bread crumbs. You can use any bread that you have, or prepared bread crumbs, but if you bake your own gluten free or egg free bread, just save your ends in a ziplock in the freezer to use for breadcrumbs).

In a flat bowl or pie pan, mix bread crumbs (about two cups) with 1 tsp each oregano, thyme, garlic powder, kosher salt, and parlsey. Mix with a fork.

Preheat your a large skillet to medium heat.

Take tenderized chicken strips and coat them well on both sides with the crumb mixture. Add 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil to the skillet (you could also use another oil that you have on hand). Let melt, and then add chicken strips, being careful not to crowd them. Let chicken brown with out turning, on the first side. Then turn with tongs (piercing with a fork will release the juice), cover and let finish browning on the other side.

We ate ours with some brown jasmine rice topped with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt, and some leftover baked butternut squash. Yummy!

English Mufffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

Prepare bread pan by greasing with shortening and dusting with cornmeal

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Whisk in bowl of stand mixer:
1 3/4 C brown rice flour
1/4 C sorghum flour
1 C tapioca flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast

Gather wet ingredients:
1 1/2 C water (120 degrees)
2 T agave nectar
2 large eggs
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Add all ingredients to bowl, stir to mix; Add wet ingredients. Slowly mix, until water is incorporated, then turn mixer on high for 3-4 minutes till batter is smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared pan, and smooth with forks to get it level. Place in oven and let rise about 20 minutes or til doubled.

Take pan out gently, and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Just before popping back in oven, sprinkle with kosher salt and a bit of melted butter. Return pan to oven and bake about 20 minutes or till loaf is nice and brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped.

Turn out onto cooling rack, and let cool before slicing.

Vegetable broth & Chicken Noodle Soup

I can't get enough of this soup!

The broth takes some time to make, but it is not hard. The soup itself is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!!

Broth -

48 cups (or 12 quarts or 3 gallons) of cold water in a 16 quart stock pot
3 white onions, quartered - don't worry about "papery skin" it will all get strained out
2 whole heads of garlic, cut cross ways, so each clove is cut in half - see above note on onion
1 piece of ginger, about a thumbs length, and the same width; cut in half, up the length of the root
5-6 big carrots (not the baby ones)
3-4 stalks celery (I prefer to use the inside of the celery, if available)
2-3 leeks (depending upon the size). take of the top four inches of green
1 Tbsp salt

Place all ingredients in the pot, and turn on the heat - do not allow it to boil, and don't stir it, just let it simmer for 4-6 hours with the lid on, but tilted a bit, so some steam can escape. Apparently (from what I just learned in an Italian Cookbook), if you boil or stir the veggies, it will make the broth cloudy - who knew?!?

Turn off and let cool. Place a large colander in a larger bowl, and pour the broth into the colander. Lift the colander out, and there you have lots of beautiful, home made vegetable broth! I freeze my broth in quart freezer bags (4 Cups per bag) lay them flat on a cookie sheet to freeze, then you have it on hand for...whatever!

(Do I have to mention that if your bowl is not bigger than your stock pot, that it will flow over?? Just checking...)


8 cups of veggie broth
2-3 large carrots, sliced into thin rings
2-3 stalks celery, sliced thin, including green tops
2 tsp dry parsley, or handful of fresh, chopped
1 chicken breast, cooked, shredded (or whatever left over meat you want to add); or keep it veggie, if you like
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (depending on how much salt you like to use)
fresh ground black or white pepper (I use a mix)

1/4 to 1/2 package banh pho rice stick noodles - these are the flat rice noodles, such as you would use for pad thai; they are available at most grocery stores in the asian food section

Put everything but noodles in pot with 8 cups of broth; bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for 20 minutes. Bring back to boil and add noodles; turn off heat, cover pot and let sit for 15 minutes. I use a pair of scissors to cut the noodles once they are cooked, either in the pot, or in the bowl..or you can leave them whole, but they are long ;-))

I pretty much don't measure anything when I cook, so I have gone back and tried to do that for you, but you may need to adjust the seasonings to your taste.


Here we go!!

Finally an online recipe box!! I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have enjoyed creating them!