Monthly Archives: September 2013

Gluten Free Bread 3 Ways

Thanksgiving is on my mind! With all the food allergies in this family, I decided that it would be easier for me to host Thanksgiving rather than try to make small dishes of all the different types of foods that would be eaten. Even if we tried to be so cautious at another person’s home, I was also afraid of added butter on an innocent looking veggie, or wheat flour in the gravy. I also don’t want to go too crazy and be too controlling, so this is a great exercise in finding balance!

I have to admit that the menu I wrote up last night is a bit expansive. Much of my inspiration is on my Pinterest page. I’m going to find some shortcuts along the way, and pretty much every recipe I’m going to try beforehand and post it on my blog.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Apple Free, and Nut Free Thanksgiving Menu (tentative):

Gluten Free Chex Mix (gf)
Candied Pepitas (gf) (v)

Main Dishes: 
Oven Roasted Turkey with Bacon, Fresh Herbs, Baby Carrots, and Onion. Pan Dripping Gravy (gf with brown rice flour)
Organic Cranberry Sauce (gf) (v)
Roasted Pears (gf) (v)
Cornbread Stuffing with Giblets (gf)
Wild Rice, Pepitas, Mushroom & dried Cranberry Dressing (gf) (v)
Mashed Garlic Potatoes (gf) (v) using either soy or rice milk
Candied Sweet Potatoes (gf) (v)
Herbed Dinner Rolls (gf) v)
Brussels Sprouts, boiled, sea salt (gf) (v)

Pumpkin Pie (possible tofu ingredient) (gf) (v)
Red Jello with Coconut Whipped Cream (gf) (df)

Red and White Wine
Old Fashioned’s (Eberhardt tradition) with homegrown Lemon and Orange rinds, and homemade Maraschino Cherries
Coffee, Tea

First up is the Herbed Dinner Rolls, because I had to make bread for the week anyway this morning! The recipe for my gluten free bread is here. I used for inspiration Betty Crocker’s Cookbook Fifth Printing from1988, but I really think the recipes and pictures look more like their first copyright from 1969! For a holiday like Thanksgiving, I couldn’t resist using this book for a consultation. 

I prepared my dough exactly the same as I always do. Then I followed the directions for Betty Crocker’s Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls. “Cut half of the (dough) into 36 pieces; shape into balls. Place 3 balls in each of 12 greased medium muffin cups, 2 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches” (i used the one I have). Since my gluten free dough is quite sticky, I used parchment paper on my counter, and a generous sprinkle of sorghum flour to make this work.

Credit to Betty Crocker Fifth Printing 1988, Golden Press/New York

For sesame seeds on top, I mixed seeds with a slight amount of rice milk to make them wet, then smeared seeds over the tops of some of the rolls with the back of a spoon.

I baked the muffins uncovered for 10 minutes, and then for 15-18 minutes more covered with an aluminum foil tent. Then another 3 minutes uncovered to brown the top slightly. When a wooden toothpick comes out clean, they are done!

I also made a bonus mini sesame roll on a baking sheet because I had extra! (how did that happen??)

Here is the regular loaf! Came out the same as usual:

Next time, I am going to try adding fresh herbs to the mix and see how it comes out! These came out well enough. I imagine when dipped in brown gravy they would be delish! Adding the herbs will only enhance the flavor.

(gf) = gluten free
(v) = vegan
(df) = dairy free


Pumpkin Muffins with hidden Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Icing

It’s FALL!!! Yay! Although the forcast here says that it will be back to the 70’s for another week which is awesome. But I really want pumpkin now. Last night, I baked some huge organic yams. They were delish and I served them with shredded chicken and kale. I’m eating the leftovers now. Yum! I should have taken pictures, but we just ate it instead, so you’ll just have to trust me how good it was! Sorry!!!

I had leftover sweet potato and my wonderful darling daughter who will eat raw kale, won’t touch potatoes in any form! What?! I thought potatoes were kid food! So I thought, hey this is orange, that is orange! Why not mix the pumpkin and sweet potato together? I hope this works out ’cause I started typing while it’s baking, which means I haven’t tasted it yet!! I called the blog “Experiments” right?

I made coconut icing the other night, and my plan is to put the icing on the muffins. Here is a lesson. Icing with no margarine or butter kinda melts. It’s subject to the same temperature challenges that coconut oil has. I leave it in my fridge and it is solid! I put it out on the counter too long, it gets very soft. I think that 72 degrees is optimal for coconut icing! How finicky!

Ingredients for muffins:
1/2 C Millet Flour
1/2 C Potato Starch
2 Tbsp Teff Flour
1/2 C Sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Xanthum gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can of organic Pumpkin Pie Mix*
2 Tbsp Flaxmeal soaked in 6 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp Canola or other oil
Bonus: I added an unknown amount to sweet potato, guessing half a cup or more.

(As I’m typing this, the muffins are not setting, and I’m already over 25 minutes! I hope this works!)

Coconut Icing ingredients:
1/4 C Coconut Oil
16oz Powdered Sugar
4-6 Tbsp Rice Milk (or other milk alternative)
1 tsp Vanilla

Directions for Muffins:
Preheat over 350 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients together until fully blended. Add the flax meal and canola oil, then add the pumpkin and bonus sweet potato if you are doing that. Using a lined cupcake dish, fill all the way for 12 big muffins!

(As I’m typing this now, I’m over 35 minutes in the oven and I think that adding the sweet potato was too much wet ingredients!)

Directions for Icing:
Blend the coconut oil with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 3 Tbsp of the rice milk and 1 tsp of the vanilla and mix to combine. Slowly add the powdered sugar and up to 3 more Tbsp of rice milk until desired consistency. Use right away!

Results: I used too much wet ingredients by adding the sweet potato. The flavor is great! And the kids love it and don’t mind! So on the scale of kids willingness to eat it, it’s great! Next time I will make this differently. No muffin should take 40 minutes to set. Ideally, a muffin sets at 18-25 minute range.

Action Shot

IMG_6699 IMG_6703 IMG_6717 IMG_6726

*I would have used just pumpkin and added my own spices, but the local health food chain that was going out of business had a huge amount of these cans, so I literally stocked up! The ingredients in pumpkin pie mix are (all organic) pumpkin puree, evaporated cane juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. The brand is Farmer’s Market Foods.

Stuffed Red Pepper with Tomatillo Avocado Sauce

For the stuffed peppers:
3 Red Peppers, organic
Cooked Quinoa, I used tricolor Trader Joe’s Quinoa, cooked to package directions
1 lb Ground Turkey
I small onion diced
1 hot pepper, diced, I left the seeds in to make it hot!
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Grapeseed oil, about 2 Tbsp
Fresh Kale, cut into ribbons, about a small bunch, stems removed
1/3 cup chicken broth, or use white wine
small jar of salsa, or half a large jar, or use your own!
sea salt, black pepper, nutmeg and turmeric

For the tomatillo avocado sauce:
6 Fresh tomatillos, skins removed, washed and diced
2 very ripe avocados, mashed
juice of half a lime
sea salt


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Cut red peppers in half the long way so that each pepper becomes 2 stuffed peppers. Boil in salted water and blanch pepper halves 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside in 8×12 baking dish. Prepare quinoa at this time.

In a skillet, brown ground turkey with grapeseed oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and turmeric. I use turmeric for it’s color and health benefits. I also love to add nutmeg to just about every dish in the fall for an added layer of flavor. Once turkey is just cooked, add onion, garlic, hot pepper, and kale, and continue to saute 5-8 minutes until onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add chicken broth or white wine next. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any bits off the bottom of skillet. That’s where the flavor is! Add salsa and cooked quinoa. Mix well. The pepper’s filling is now done.

Fill the peppers next. I always have way extra filling so I usually stuff the peppers and all around the peppers too, filling the baking dish!

Bake until heated through, I personally don’t like to leave it in long, just enough for the peppers to be soft but not completely falling apart. Maybe 15 minutes.

While the peppers are baking, prepare Tomatillo Avocado Sauce.
Peel, wash and dice the tomatillos. Put in saucepan with lime juice, a tablespoon of water, and sea salt. Simmer 5-8 minutes, until tomatillos mash with a fork. Scoop out 2 very ripe avocados into your serving dish and also mash with a fork. Pour in hot tomatillos and stir until combined.

To serve:
Plate 1-2 stuffed peppers and top with sauce. My husband and I can eat two each!

Claire’s Flaxseed Granola with Coconut and Cranberries

Claire Moffatt is an AADP Certified Health Coach. She is also my friend with 2 adorable young children! She has a great website you should check out about nutrition.



Since the birth of baby number two I’ve been focused on really identifying which foods are creating inflammation for me.  I’ve known for some time that gluten and I don’t get along. It took me years to figure this out and I definitely still cheat! I’m almost always unhappy when I do.  While I can tolerate some versions of spelt, I usually opt for just not including gluten in my diet.

The hardest part? Finding good replacements or options.  I’m not big on gluten free processed foods. They tend to be packed with additives and loaded with empty calories.   At times, meals like breakfast can be challenging.  Typically I’ve been eating oatmeal (naturally gluten free as long as it’s not cross-contaminated) or eggs.  However, I recently came across a recipe for flaxseed granola that I’ve tweeked some.  I’ve made it a few times and this is my favorite recipe so far. Feel free to add in what you like and make it your own.

1 Cup Whole Flaxseed
3/4 – 1 Cup Water
Powdered Cinnamon & Ginger to taste
1-2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Organic Shaved Coconut

Mix flaxseed, water, spices, and vanilla in a bowl. Cover and put in refrigerator overnight or for 6-8 hours.

Once refrigerated,  spread mixture on a baking sheet (no need for greasing it).  The mixture will be sticky. Spread it as best as possible but don’t drive yourself nuts.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Mix it a few times while baking.

Add in the cranberries and coconut for the last ten minutes.

Serve with coconut milk (or whatever you prefer).

Daughter tested and approved! Play around with adding different things like raisins, sliced almonds etc… the cinnamon and ginger makes the kitchen smell like crisp fall day.



“Perfect” Gluten Free Bread

Tiny post today about how proud I am that my gluten, egg, dairy, nut and corn free bread is coming out so much better than I ever expected. It rose today! Over the tops of the bread pans and looked even better than the last batch. The taste is light and fluffy!  I ate it with hummus and was in love. My daughter loves it too, saying “so cool, I liked it. Not too sour” ok she is 4 so not the best critic since it’s not sour at all! haha!
Here is the recipe.


Gluten Free Double Failure Day


I was starting to think that this Gluten Free thing was a bit too easy.  I had already made slice-able bread, quick breads and muffins that were pleasing to eat. My husband whipped up some gluten free spaetzle on a whim and our guests liked it! We ran out it was so good! So what were people talking about on all these blogs about how hard going gluten free is? I was wondering, is it anything more than just the time commitment?

Then today happened! I’m making gluten free playdough for my son’s preschool class. In fact, I have a meeting with his teachers tomorrow. I thought wouldn’t it be great if I bring some homemade playdough with me before school begins so I can show them how great it will be? Minor oversight, I don’t have any rice flour! And I only have a tiny bit of millet flour left, which I didn’t want to waste on something not intended for eating. So I used my potato flour, which I already had doubts about. It semi-ruined a batch of bread I had made a month ago. But hey, this isn’t a delicate bread I thought, it’s just playdough. Boy was I wrong! This thing turned out to be a blue (from food coloring), squishy, sticky mess which didn’t keep its form and was a glob. Nothing I did fixed it! Juliana played with it for all of 5 minutes before her hands needed washing (SOOO sticky!) and she said “throw it out!”


I needed to redeem myself! Surely Juliana would forgive the playdough disaster with a fresh pan of Quinoa Brownies! This was meant to be a gluten free awesome dessert with quinoa flakes baked in for a healthy punch! Can’t go wrong, right? Well I did several things wrong, mostly because I tried to take a favorite recipe from Smitten Kitchen and transform it to gluten, egg and dairy free all in one shot.  We ended up with gooey in the middle, crunchy on the edges, slightly wet all over and crumbly chocolate something. It tastes good, but I can honestly say it isn’t anything. We can’t even decide if you eat it with a spoon, fork, or your hands!




What a day! Back to the drawing board, and lesson(s) learned!

Simple Weeknight Fried Rice

After a day full of kitchen failures, it was time to make dinner.  Richard likes cabbage, so I had just bought a beautiful cabbage from the farmer’s market, from a local upstate NY farm. I love the colors. And bonus mom points, I told my children that sliced raw cabbage were called ribbons and it was a special thing to eat. To my surprise, both kids ate them! Woo hoo!

IMG_5913 IMG_5916 IMG_5917 IMG_5919

I made a cup of long grain organic basmati rice from Trader Joe’s (the kind that cooks in only 20 minutes!). I added two dashes of tumeric to the water for both the health benefits of tumeric and the color.

Then I simply sauteed half the cabbage, cut into more ribbons, using grapeseed oil. I also defrosted frozen peas. I mixed all the ingredients with a few dashes of gluten free soy sauce for the final touch. Super super simple!

I did fuss a bit and display my dinner creation in a giant cabbage leaf! It was a beautiful leaf however, so I couldn’t leave it out!