Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cheerful GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

These holiday goodies are perfect to give away to friends and neighbors and to eat yourself. I made a few batches this year to give away to co-workers and they looked as good as they tasted after packaging them in cute holiday wrap.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 cup melted organic butter
1 1/2 cups coconut or sucanet sugar
2 tsp gf vanilla extract
2 organic eggs
2 cups chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips which are gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free)

In large bowl mix together dry ingredients, in another bowl beat butter with eggs and vanilla and mix with dry ingredients. Lastly stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon out cookie mix onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Helpful tip: Place the cookie batter in the fridge for a couple of minutes to make it easier to spoon out and less likely to flatten out while baking.

You and your friends will love these mouth watering treats!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Organic GF Beet Latkes

This is such a great holiday dish! I love how it puts beets to good use because they are so affordable, abundant, and packed with nutrients. It is a traditional Jewish dish eaten during the holiday season but a must try for anyone at anytime! After my husband gave me a food processor for my birthday I was able to put it to good use right away. I will definitely be making this again even after the holiday season passes.

Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 organic medium beets
- 2 organic carrots
- 2 organic stalks of celery
- 2 stalks of green onion
- 1 onion
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- Olive oil
- kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper

In a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees roast the beets in a baking dish filled with a little water at the bottom for about 45-60 minutes or until soft

This is where a food processor comes in handy but you do not need one to makes this, it will just take a little more elbow grease to get this done.

- Grate celery, carrots, and cooked and peeled beets either by hand or in a food processor.
- Press grated beets with a paper towel to draw out excess juice
- Dice onion
- Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl
- In a large bowl mix together all grated and chopped veggies with br flour, eggs, salt, and pepper

Add olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan and turn on medium high heat to fry the latkes.
Roll latkes in golf ball sized balls and add to heated oil
After about 1 minute press the ball with a spatula to flatten
Cook on both sides for about 5 minutes each or until crispy

My husband and I ate this for dinner served over quinoa. You can also top it with a dollop of organic sour cream or cream fraiche and sprinkle with diced green onion. Try it as an appetizer or make a meal of it. Mmmmm, I can't wait to make this again!

Tis the Season to Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

GF Cranberry Almond Muffins

After making my blueberry muffins I wanted to try a more festive version to share at a holiday work party. I also wanted to share this with others who have a food allergy/intolerance or those who follow a vegan diet so I made it without dairy, butter, eggs, corn, soy, and gluten (of course). I used my homemade cranberry sauce and you would never be able to tell there was no butter, eggs, dairy, or processed sugar and flour in this delicious little Christmas treat!

This cranberry sauce is really simple to make and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. It is also really delicious and perfect with any holiday meal.

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag cranberries
1 pint blueberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup sucanet or coconut sugar
1 teas. cinnamon
lemon zest
1 Tbs. lemon juice

In a large saucepan add 1 cup water and 1 cup agave and bring to a boil. Add cranberries and blueberries and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook on medium heat for 5 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 22 minutes

In a large bowl mix together:
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 teas. kosher or sea salt
- 2 teas. baking soda
- 1 teas. cinnamon
- 1 cup sucanet or coconut sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 teas. vanilla
- 1 Tbs. unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Swirl in about 2 cups of the cranberry sauce to the mix

Spoon in cupcake pans and sprinkle the top with crushed almonds

You are going to love this tarty and perfectly sweet treat!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Organic Baked Beets with Sauteed Greens

I am always trying to find more ways to eat beets because of their high nutritional content and health benefits. Not only are they loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and plenty of minerals but they are great for improving circulation, treating constipation, building healthy blood, and removing toxins from the body. Don't forget to eat the beet greens because they are full nutrients as well. These beautiful purple roots are known to treat and prevent conditions such as anemia, high blood pressure, cancer, constipation, ulcers, and much more. That is reason enough for me to want to eat them!

Follow this recipe for another delicious and nutritious meal

- 1 bunch organic beets with greens
- 1 bunch organic kale or collard greens
- unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves organic garlic
- 1/2 organic onion
- kosher or sea salt
- ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350
Wash beets and greens thoroughly
Remove stems and save the leafy greens
Chop beets into 2 inch pieces (I leave the skins on)
Place in baking dish with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for 45 minutes or until soft.

Chop onion and garlic
Chop beets greens and kale or collard greens

When the beets are done
Add 2 Tbs. olive oil to in a pan with onion and garlic
Cook for a couple of minutes and add the greens
Cook and stir until the greens are wilted.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the beets to the greens and serve with cooked quinoa.
I love the holiday colors in this tasty dish!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Guilt-Free Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Back in the days before I was diagnosed with Celiac disease one of my favorite foods to splurge on was the Blueberry muffins at Souplantation Restaurant. After my quest began to cook any food that I loved or desired so that I could enjoy food again, I finally conquered the blueberry muffin. Not only is this delicious muffin gluten-free but it is corn, soy, dairy, egg, butter, and nut free as well. Making it free of all food intolerances and allergies not to mention Guilt Free too!

Your asking how did I do it? Below is the answer, and you will not believe how amazingly scrumptious it is until you make it and try it yourself. So get up and get to cooking!

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl combine
- 2 1/2 cups organic brown rice flour
- 1 cup organic ground flax seed
- 2 teas. baking soda
- 1 teas. salt
- 1 teas. cinnamon
- 1 Tbs. gluten free vanilla extract
- 1 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 cup organic and unsweetened coconut or almond milk
- 10 ounces organic blueberries

Scoop into cupcake pans using unbleached cupcake papers.
Cook for 20 minutes.

This little super muffin is full of fiber, omega 3's, antioxidants, and pure love.
So Eat and Be Happy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roasted Root Vegetables with Quinoa

Even though the official first day of winter is not until December 21st it feels like it is in full swing here in Chicago. The best thing you can do to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy and strong so you can beat all the colds, flu, and winter blues is fill your diet with nutrient rich foods. It is even better to eat foods that are grown locally and seasonally because they will give your immune system a boost when it needs it the most. Check out your local farmers market or grocery store for these delicious winter veggies: carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, beets, rutabagas, turnips, and sweet potatoes. Choose organic whenever possible for the highest quality produce and the highest nutrient value minus all the harmful pesticides and herbicides.

The great thing about this meal is it is not only gluten-free but it is also dairy, corn, soy, and nut free as well. Meaning this meal is safe for anyone with a food allergy or intolerance and it uses one of my favorite grains: quinoa (pronounced qeen wa ).

Roasted Root Vegetables and Quinoa

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Chop selected winter vegetables into 2 inch pieces
I used butternut squash (peeled first), carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips
- Chop 1/2 onion
- Peel a whole head of garlic
- Place vegetables, garlic cloves, and onion in a large bowl and season with:
- Salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme
- Spread veggies evenly on a roasting pan and drizzle with:
- Unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
- Roast veggies in the oven for 45 minutes (stir every 15 minutes)

Quinoa cooks like rice just double the water to the desired amount of quiona and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Serve roasted veggies over quinoa and enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Gluten-Free Organic Turkey Salad

I absolutely enjoy the after effects of Thanksgiving with all those leftovers, a break from cooking, and relaxation with my husband. After my first Thanksgiving with my husband he asked me if I was going to make Turkey Salad. At the time I had never made it and was not convinced it sounded like a good idea to use all the Turkey leftovers for it. He promised me it would not disappoint and told me to call Mama Boonie (my mother-in-law) for the recipe. Fortunately I did and now it is my favorite part of having Turkey during the holidays. So I must thank and give credit to Boonie for helping me create some of my favorite gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes (Turkey Salad, Cornbread Stuffing, Sweet Potato Pie) they would not have turned out so delicious without her influence!

Turkey Salad
- 4-5 cups of turkey
- 1/2 organic white onion
- 2 cups organic celery
- sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder
- 2 or 3 spoonfuls of organic mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
I like Spectrum mayonnaise made with cage free and hormone free eggs.
They have egg free mayo options available at Whole Foods.

Chop turkey meat, onion, and celery and mix together with mayo or yogurt in a large bowl.
Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.

Top turkey salad over lettuce and enjoy!

I told you it was easy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Organic Gluten-Free Apple Cobbler

After living through two Chicago winters and now on my third I have learned to come up with many ways to stay warm. I have a new appreciation for comfort foods and love the way cooking not only warms up our apartment but my belly as well. I had some apples I wanted to put to good use before they went bad (because I hate to waste food) and that I did last night!

Here is my recipe for my organic and gluten-free apple cobbler, you will not be disappointed.

8 organic apples ( I used a mix of granny, golden, and gala)
- Core and cut the apples into 1 inch squares
- Combine the diced apples and 1 cup evaporated cane juice into a large bowl
- Place apples in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes so the sugar can draw out some of the juices

I a separate bowl combine:
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup almond meal
1 cup evaporated cane juice aka sucanet
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside a 1/2 cup to add to the apples.

With the remaining mixture:
Cut up cold unsalted organic butter and mix into the flour mixture with your hands until you create a coarse meal.

Take the apples out of the refrigerator and drain the sugar syrup from the apples into another bowl.

To the apples add and mix well:
1/2 cup flour mixture
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tbs lemon juice

Place the apple mixture into a buttered casserole pan

To finish our flour topping in another small bowl beat together:
1 organic egg
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

Mix this with the flour mixture with your hands and spread evenly over the apples.
Top off by drizzling agave nectar over the cobbler.

Place the dish into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

The smell this dish creates in your home will be 100% better than those scented glade candles. Not only will your nose appreciate this aroma but your taste buds will as well!

Optional topping:
I added 1/2 cup chopped pecans into the apple sugar syrup
I placed the drained pecans on parchment paper and baked in the oven for 10 minutes
Then sprinkled the roasted pecans to the baked cobbler

You can also top your cobbler with gluten-free whipped cream or gluten-free / dairy free ice cream.

This is soooo delicious and really easy to make, I guarantee it literally melt in your mouth!

More healthy tips:
Choose organic and/or locally grown apples
Use hormone-free butter and eggs
Use organic ingredients whenever possible
Use natural sweeteners like evaporated cane juice, agave, and honey.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Happy and Healthy Holiday Feast

Last night I walked to the French Market to buy some grass-fed beef for dinner so my husband's appetite would be more satisfied after having vegetable soup the night before. I prepared a broccoli beef stir fry with brown rice and it was delicious. I will be sure to share that recipe too.

While at the French Market I was excited to find a Turkey that suited my needs for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast. Many people are not aware that most frozen turkeys are processed with additives, preservatives, and a flour based broth that is not gluten-free. While that is damaging to someone with a gluten intolerance it is just not healthy for anyone to eat a bird with all that extra stuff. So planning a healthy and gluten-free thanksgiving starts with selecting the right bird. Look for a turkey that is free range, with no pesticides or hormones, and no flour based broth. Here are some Brands to look for:

Empire Kosher, Plainville Farms, and Bell & Evans. My turkey came from an Amish Farm in Illinois

The way you decide to cook your turkey is based on individual preferences and family traditions, there are so many ways to do it and I don't believe there is one right way. You can create a rub and bast your turkey while it roasts in the oven, you can brine your Turkey, you can stuff it, and you can even deep fry it (careful with fires!). The important part is not how you do it but what ingredients you are going to use. I like to simply rub my turkey with unrefined organic extra-virgin olive oil and desired herbs like rosemary and thyme. I also like to save the neck and giblets to make a turkey broth for my stuffing as well as gravy. I then roast my turkey in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound usually about 3-4 hours depending on how big the bird is.

Turkey gravy
Use the drippings from the cooked turkey and turkey broth from the turkey neck
Add the drippings and broth to a pan
In a separate bowl mix together 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup gluten-free potato or bean flour until lumps are gone.
Add mixture to the pan with drippings and whisk one medium high heat until sauce thickens
Add kosher or sea salt and pepper.

The next dish on the menu is the cornbread stuffing and it is not only gluten-free but dairy free as well, not to mention mouth watering! I start off by making my own cornbread the night before.
Bake in cupcake pans or 8x8 pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

1 cup organic polenta
1 cup organic corn flour (masa harina)
1 cup organic brown rice flour
1 teas. kosher or sea salt
1 teas. baking soda
1 cup organic almond milk
1/2 cup organic butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1 organic egg

Cornbread Stuffing
gluten-free cornbread
1 chopped organic onion
2 cups organic chopped celery
Chopped turkey giblets (boiled)
1 Tbs. kosher or sea salt
1 Tbs. ground pepper
1 Tbs dried sage
4 beaten organic eggs
2 Tbs. unrefined olive oil
2 Tbs organic butter
4 cups turkey stock (made from boiled turkey neck and giblets)

Stuffing Preparation
Saute the chopped onion and celery in olive oil and butter for about 5 minutes
Add the chopped turkey giblets (optional)
Saute for about 5 more minutes
Add salt, pepper, and sage
Add crumpled cornbread
Add beaten eggs
Add turkey broth
Mix well
Transfer to baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees until it turns a golden brown on top.

Let's get to the mash potatoes. They are not only easy to make but they are a taste bud pleaser as well. You won't be disappointed! I prefer the red potatoes and I always leave the skin on because that is where all the nutrients are. All you need is:

12 organic red potatoes
1 container organic sour cream
(read the label to make sure it is gluten free, dairy-free options are available)
1/2 cup organic butter
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Boil potatoes in a large pot until soft
Drain the water
Add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and mash away!

Don't forget your favorite vegetable for a side dish

I like to roast brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Don't worry, I have not forgotten about dessert and I love pumpkin pie but after trying my mother-in-law's sweet potato pie, I was sold. If you still prefer a pumpkin pie it won't hurt to have both.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 organic sweet potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1/2 cup melted organic butter
1 cup agave nectar
2 beaten organic eggs
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 teas. nutmeg
1 Tbs. vanilla

I have used a gluten-free pie crust I found at Whole Foods market, although I want to attempt to make my own crust because nothing tastes quite as good when you make it yourself.

Bake for 80 minutes at 350 degrees.

I can't wait to enjoy this delicious feast and I hope you do as well! It is important that we all enjoy food when celebrating good times or holidays and chances are if you do not have a food allergy or intolerance you probably know someone who does.