Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Banana Bread (Gluten-Free)

I nabbed this recipe from my youngest sister-in-law's good friend Ali after she put something about it on Facebook (another strange and wonderful byproduct of social networking).  I wish I had it together in my early twenties to think of dietary changes as they related to other aspects of my life- my post-partum life may have been a touch easier!  I thought this was delicious, but there may be some of you out there who don't like the heartiness of the buckwheat flour.  For you people, there are options.  I loved the texture it added.  This is really only one of my first attempts at actual baking and I am quite pleased at the results.  The Gluten-free flour game is tricky and very expensive, so not to be messed with too much in my kitchen yet.  I made several modifications to reduce the fat, sugar and replace the eggs.  I noted the changes I made as well as her tips along the way.  I think I enjoyed it the most when I toasted up two thin slices the next day and made a banana bread-almond butter sandwich!


1 cup rice flour
1 cup buckwheat flour (Ali just use's 2 cups rice flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup app sauce
1/2 cup plus 2T canola oil (original recipe called for 1 cup plus 2 tbsp butter and no applesauce)
1/2 cup sugar
2-3T agave (original recipe called for 1 1/4 cups sugar and no agave)
23 oz bananas (I use 3 average sized ones)
4 large eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer and flaxmeal vs. eggs here for my particular needs)
4 tbsp icing sugar (Ali just use regular sugar) (I didnt even bother with the icing bit, too lazy)
1 tbsp lemon juice

*Ali says "Sometimes i omit the lemon "icing" and put 1 tea of both cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a little more fall flavor."

Preheat oven to 350

Sift flours with baking powder and salt.
Beat the oil or butter, applesauce, sugar (and agave if using) and bananas together until smooth and then briefly stir in the eggs (or egg replacer). Stir this into the flour mixture until blended. Pour into a large loaf pan and bake for about 50 min.
Cool for 10 minutes and then mix the sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle over the top. (Ali says: "I like it lemony so I use more lemon juice")

I am so thankful for the wonderful people in my life and for those of you I have not yet met. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oatmeal Apple Crisp (Wheat-free/Dairy-Free/adaptable)

Grandma Jeanne's Best Apple Crisp

This is a cheater post, since I put this recipe up two months ago.  I thought it wasn't a bad idea to re-post it with Thanksgiving is upon us and folks working out the menus and such.  Everytime my Mom makes this she gets recipe requests- and for good reason! 

GF note: I have never made it with gluten-free flour, but you certainly could if you know your flour mixes and xanthan gums.  I am still working my way around baking in the gluten-free world, so I't not ready to say how best to adapt it there.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kickin' Chicken Soup (naturally gluten-free!)

I should have realized when I was craving soup for three beautiful, sunny days in a row that I was getting sick.  Sun means grilling usually, but not this week.  Soup is usually a winter thing for me, but I couldn't get enough of it.  Miso soup, lentil soup, and then chicken soup.  I love easy soups like this one because they are fast, you can't mess them up, they are totally versatile, they are a great way to use up misc. veggies on hand and they are so light and rewarding.  Plus, Mia loves soup, so it is a great way to pack lots of good nutrients into a quick meal for everyone. 

Easy Chicken Soup (Feeds 2 bigs and 1 little)

2c chicken stock (homemade is best, but otherwise low-sodium)
2   chicken breasts (you could easily substitue tofu or pork or whatever here)
1   celery stalk
1   small zucchini
1   medium carrot (we didn't have any on hand this night, but chicken soup is always best with carrots!)
1c cooked rice (brown preferably) or pasta of your favorite shape
1t  pesto or other fresh herbs (optional)


1.  Cut chicken and all veggies into roughly the same size- about 1/2 inch pieces ('cubes' if you must use that word to describe food).  Add the pesto or herbs here if you like.
2.  Bring chicken stock to a low boil and add celery and carrots.
3.  Meanwhile, in seperate pot, bring a quart or so of water to a boil, then put chicken in and cook for ~3 minutes to poach lightly; drain.
4.  Add poached chicken to broth with veggies (keeping at a low boil) and cook for a minute or two.
5.  Add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes
6.  Add the rice or noodles and cook for another minute then salt/pepper to taste before serving.
7.  Ladel into bowls and maybe top with some pecorino or parmesan for good measure.

Obviously this is always best with a good bread to accompany it.  Let's not kid ourselves, bread needs gluten to be delicious.  However, Great Harvest Bakery makes some pretty good close seconds (especially the one here in West Seattle) and most health food stores will have GF options if you need them. 

Note:  The listed veggies were just the ones we had in the fridge.  You could use anything you wanted to here....  corn, mushrooms, onion, edamame, beans, peas......

Note:  For Mia, I usually toss frozen peas in her bowl, then the soup cooks them just enough while the peas cool the soup

Note:  If the thought of prepping your own chicken tonite doesn't work for you, you could buy a rotisserie chicken at the store and shred it, then just toss that in at the end with the rice/pasta.  The broth would lose some of the delicious chicken-ey flavor, but sometimes the trade is worth it to not touch raw chicken, right?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Parmesean (Pecorino) Gluten-free/Egg-free/Dairy-free Adaptable

This is a surprisingly fast dish to prepare and very tasty, it just takes several dishes for the assembly line.  Kind of a comfort-meets-fancy dinner but very easy.  I often freeze half of it and it holds up surprisingly well if maintained in a good air-tight freezer container, then thawed for 1-2d in the fridge before cooking.

(serves about 4 bigs and 2 littles and nobody goes hungry)
  • 4 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise (these will be even better if they are pounded flat, however in my house, the time just isnt there, so I skip that part)
  • 1/2c seasoned breadcrumbs (or just add a pinch each of dried basil/oregano/lemon pepper to plain crumbs if you have plain crumbs at the ready)
  • 1/4c grated pecorino or parmesean cheese
  • 2-4T flaxseed meal
  • 2t olive oil
  • 1/4c milk, buttermilk, soy milk, rice milk or 2 eggwhites lightly beaten
  • 4c tomato sauce, heated
  • 1-2c shredded cheese (Use what you like here.... Mozzarella is standard, Jack is great, any non-dairy meltable cheese works- I used Goat Gouda from TJ's and it was fab)

Preheat oven to 425.
1. Combine breadcrumbs and pecorino, then put into a shallow dish.
2. Put the flaxmeal and milk each in separate shallow dishes or a plate.
3. Dredge one chicken breast in flax meal, then dip in milk or egg, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Repeat with remaining breasts.
4. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes on each side until done or nearly done.
5. Place each breast in 9x13 slightly oiled glass baking dish.
6. Cover them with tomato sauce and top with cheese.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or just until cheese melts and sauce is a little bubbly.

This is Flaxmeal on the top and the Breadcrumb/Pecorino mix on bottom.

Browning up!
This was some Roasted Tomato Sauce from our freezer- straight into the pan and ready for dinner!
Delicious served with or over noodles!  In our case, I just tossed some Trader Joe's Brown Rice Spaghetti noodles with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Mom's portion

Mia'a portion!
We ate this with the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad that I can't seem to get enough of.  Great meal!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad (Gluten-Free... or Not)

This salad is amazing!  I have to admit that after about two bites into my first go-round when I made it, actually looked Mike in the eye and said "my only regret is that I shared this with you".  I'm sure he understood where I was coming from.  It is like a super-healthy Caesar Salad with a wintery twist.  I have made it at least three times in the last week just because I could.  I can't tell if it is the garlic/salt paste or the lemon and chilis that make this so delicious, but it doesn't matter. I made this with both Lacinato and Black Kale-I liked them each for different reasons, so try both.  Another huge bonus of this salad is that it totally holds up to putting left-overs in the fridge for the next day because the kale is so hardy.  Please try this, it is amazing. 
1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)
2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs (GFree or not)
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch

1tsp capers (optional, but a HUGE addition)
1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. If you are using black kale, consider cutting out the majority of the center stem as it is pretty darn woody.  Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.
If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking. (For Gluten-Free, I like either Great Harvest's French or Udi's Brown Rice Bread.  Delicious!)
Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and capers into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 2-3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for at least 5-10 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.  You can toss it even 30 minutes ahead of time if you want for the sake of time.  It will just get better.

Adapted from via Heidi Swanson at 101cookbooks the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino recipe in Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

I made a big batch of gluten-free breadcrumbs for this and a gluten-free chicken parmesean dish I will post as well, so I have been pretty much indulging in this ever since. I'm not sure why I haven't thought to put coarse breadcrumbs in my salads before, but I sure will from here out. 

Lacinato is more delicate and leafy than black kale.

Black Kale is more like a Romaine leaf.  My mom called it "Dinosaur Kale" which made this salad even more fun. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roasted Tomato Sauce

This is one of my favorite ways to  use huge quantities of tomatoes.  You can be as creative as you want, add whatever spices you want and it is always amazing.  The roasting process turns the sauce into an intense tomato-y delight.  It is nice to add things like pureed zucchini and whatnot to boost the nutrition as well.  I usually freeze in 1-2c batches and our family enjoys it all winter.  Since it is to dang flavorful and rich, I find we only need about 1c per 1/2 or 3/4lb pasta for serious sauce action.  Adapted from Marcella Rosene's recipe in Pasta and Co. By Request.

(Editors note added 9/24/14: Every batch of this changes with what is available, of course.  I have begun regularly using 2-4 carrots and 1-2 zucchini chopped in the pans to roast as well.  Also delicious and unobtrusive is to toss in a few leaves of kale!)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a 9x13 baking dish, combine:

~3-4# Ripe tomatoes, halved (any tomato you have is great here.  I use a combination of whatever is ripe, including cherry)
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
~1/4c olive oil
1/4 cup chopped basil or 4T pesto
~1/2t each salt and pepper

Toss,  cover with foil, roast for ~2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes to mash up big pieces.  Once it has reduced down to ~1/4-1/2 inch in the pan, remove and puree in blender (skin and all, yum!)
Yields approx 2-3 cups, depending on how many tomatoes and how reduced you go.

Note: all of these amounts are approximate and I encourage you to add whatever you like.  The last few times I have made it I added some red peppers and carrots that needed to be used and it took on more sweetness.

Here are mostly basic reds with a few cherry and heirlooms.  I used a few cubes of frozen broccoli/spinach/basil pesto vs. fresh basil and also a few cubes of pureed zucchini for good measure.

Toms 1hr in

Toms after 1.75 hr.  As you drag the spatula through it, it leaves a trail

Ready to go!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Croutons & Bread Crumbs (Gluten-Free.... or not)

I have been making various things lately that I have wanted breadcrumbs or croutons in the gluten-free variety.  I haven't seen any in the store, but they are so darn easy to make, that I had to get on it.  I typically make croutons out of all left-over bread or bread-like items in the house.  If I don't, I will just end up tossing it into the compost and I hate throwing food away (see 'hot dog croutons' below).  If I just turn it into croutons, Mike and Mia will take down the whole batch in an afternoon for snacks like they are potato chips.  This is a triple bonus for me of using food before it spoils, often getting good hearty grains into the family's bellies and having just what I need around in a pinch.  The same now goes for Gluten-free breads. 

There are lots of ways to make croutons and breadcrumbs, so be creative with what you add in.  I am just offering some thoughts of quick & easy.  Store leftovers (hah!) in very air-tight container.

Note:  Use whatever bread you want or have here.  If I want Gluten-Free, I use either Udi's Brown Rice Bread or Great Harvest's French because it is what I buy.  If I don't care, I use whatever is around and it is typically hot dog buns or bagels or something left over from a gathering of some kind.  It is all delicious with oil,  herbs and salt!


For Croutons:
Preaheat oven to ~400.

-Cut bread into about 1/2 inch cubes (however much you are using)
-Toss bread into medium bowl
-Drizzle around some olive oil over the bread (maybe several tablespoons?).  I don't use a lot in an effort to minimize excess fat, but fat is flavor, afterall.
-Sprinkle in some spices.... I often use a combination of  lemon pepper, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red chili flakes. 
-Toss everything together in the bowl, then pour onto ungreased cookie sheet
-Cook for ~12 minutes, stirring once or twice to cook evenly on all sides
-Let cool before using

Plain Jane here, no fancy stuff.

Once croutons are cooled, place in food processor or blender and pulse for a few seconds until you get the texture you want.  If you are making breadcrumbs only, you may want to leave out the spices when you toast them.

Gluten Free.  Coarse texture good for salads and pastas.

Gluten-Free.  Fine texture for breading.
No, really.  Hot dog buns make great croutons!  Dont judge.

 Also.... a few weeks back, this was posted on Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.  Slightly different technique, but the point is it is easy and they are so great to have on hand!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whole Wheat Tasty Muffins

AKA: MamaFawn's Whole Wheat, Flaxmeal, Zucchini, Carrot, Applesauce, Banana, Molasses, Reduced Sugar, Low-Fat Muffins.

AKA: Power Muffins

Mia loves these.  Mike loves these.  I loved these.  They are neither gluten-free, nor dairy-free, but they are amazingly tasty and packed full of goodness for big and little ones alike.  This recipe is heavily modified from a zucchini bread recipe originally in a Cooking Light cookbook.  This was originally motivated by trying to find a delicious way to deliver major amounts of nutrients to the little one, but quickly morphed to Mom & Dad's favorite morning snack.  This is one of the few things I truly miss in my wheat-free world.  I have to continue to develop my wheat-free option, so far I'm not there.  Anyway, these have snuck green veggies into even the most discerning Mini-tasters.

~Makes 18-20 small muffins or 12 muffins and a loaf~
~I usually freeze 12+ muffins and pull out from the freezer as needed~

3c shredded zucchini/carrot*
4c flour **
1/3c -1/2c white sugar (or less, as you like it.  The original recipe called for 1c!)
1/4c brown sugar
5t baking powder
1.5t cinnamon
1/2t salt
1/2t nutmeg

1.5c milk, soymilk or yogurt***
2t vanilla extract
2lg eggs lightly beaten (or egg substitute)
6T vegetable oil****
1/2c or so unsweetened applesauce (optional)
3T or so blackstrap molasses (optional, great for flavor and extra iron)
1-2 bananas, either smushed up or finely chopped (optional, good for natural sweetness and potassium)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°
2.  Mix dry ingredients in big bowl and make a well in center
3.  Mix wet ingredients together and add zucc/carrot
4.  Add zucc/carrot/misc.  mix into center of dry ingredients stirring just until combined
5.  divide evenly between muffin tins &/or loaf pans (either use cupcake liners or non-stick spray)
6.  Cook muffins 30-40 min, loaf pan usually requires 50-60min. 

* I use whatever is on hand or sounds good.  Maybe even some frozen, drained spinach would be good for some extra nutrients?
**I usually use about 2.5c whole wheat, 1c white and .5c flax meal.  Use whatever you like to mix
*** Use nonfat for big people if you care, or use full fat for the babies, depending on your goal!
**** I usually use only 3T oil and 3T applesauce in addition to adding extra applesauce for fun, as with the milk, modify your fats as you see fit for your needs