January 22, 2013
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
January is National Soup Month, and I love soup. I make it at least two or three times per month for myself and the kids for lunch. It's inexpensive, nourishing, quick, and easy. It's also a great way to clean out the fridge when it's full of left-overs!
I took a poll among my Facebook friends and followers to see what everyone's favorite soup is, and I got a big variety of answers. It was a close call between Vegetable Beef and something chicken; I got a lot of Chicken and Rice, Creamy Chicken, Chicken Noodle, etc., so I decided to sort of combine the ideas and create a simple recipe for Creamy Chicken and Rice.
This soup ended up being fabulous. The recipe makes a big pot, so you can feed a family of four happily, for a couple of meals. It would be great with the Pull Apart Yeast Rolls I blogged earlier this month! Check out that recipe too, after you read this one. The best thing? I made it in less than 45 minutes, from start to finish... all from scratch.
Here's what you'll need:
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup Ingredients:
4 organic, free-range chicken thighs, bone in
10 cups water
2 ½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup rice
2 cups non-dairy milk
¼ cup Rumford corn starch*
Here's how to make it:
Add the chicken into a large stock pot, and pour in the water. I used chicken thighs, because they have so much more flavor. The higher fat content makes a better broth for soup. Also, choosing thighs with the bone in will add more flavor to the soup. You could go with boneless skinless chicken breasts if you like, or breasts with bone-in and skin on.
Add the salt, thyme, pepper, and sliced scallions into the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat a bit. Maintain a slow boil, but not a rapid boil, and cook covered, for 10 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, use this time to dice your carrots, celery, and garlic. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. These particular vegetables will take in pesticides, absorbing them readily. You want to keep it as healthy as you possibly can.
Add this into the pot, cover, and continue to cook at a low boil for an additional 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes has passed, carefully remove the chicken from the pot, with tongs, and place it onto a plate to cool.
Add the rice into the pot and stir. Reduce heat just a bit more. Cover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. You can use whichever rice you'd like, but I like fragrant rice varieties like jasmine and basmati. I didn't want to use brown rice or wild rice in this recipe, although you certainly could. It takes significantly longer to cook these though, so you'll need to allow yourself more time. I chose basmati rice for this recipe. It worked wonderfully. 15 minutes was just enough time to cook it completely.
Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the bone for discarding, and roughly chop the meat into nice bite-sized pieces. I left the skin on, but you could discard it also, if you want. Sprinkle it with a little sea salt and pepper, add it back into the pot, and stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the corn starch and milk. I use Rumford* corn starch (by Clabber Girl), because it is Non-GMO, and it is made in a peanut free facility. If you have a corn allergy, you can use potato starch instead.
I also like to use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage for dishes like this one. It adds a little extra creaminess compared to the other dairy-free milks out there, and the flavor is very mild. You can't taste the coconut at all, so don't let that scare you away. This is the perfect choice really, if you can't have dairy.
Pour the milk mixture into the pot slowly, stirring the soup as you go.
Cook the soup uncovered, while still stirring, for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the soup begins to thicken and gain a glossy appearance.
Serve while still hot, sprinkled with a little flat leaf parsley.
The longer this soup sits the thicker it will become, as the rice continues to expand. If you need to, add a little more coconut milk, water, or chicken broth to thin it out a bit.
For more soup recipes, and the recipe for my allergy-free Pull-Apart Yeast Rolls, just keep scrolling! You can also find more great allergy-free soup recipes in my Archived Recipes section, and in my E-Book. And don't forget that in my new recipe book...there will be even more, so stay tuned for that.
Enjoy the rest of your January, and enjoy your soup!
January 4, 2013
Gluten-Free, Casein Free, Pull-Apart Yeast Rolls
Yeast Rolls, made allergy-free.
There is nothing to say about these rolls, really. They just sort of speak for themselves.
They're a little piece of Heaven with every bite. I hope you will enjoy these delicious, pull-apart rolls as much as I enjoy being able to share them with you. It took years to get them just right, but I have successfully done it.
And the best part? They're made without wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, soy, eggs, or GMOs. Yes. really.
They will definitely be in the new book!
Let's get started...
1 cup unsweetened hemp milk *
1 tbsp. dry active yeast
1 tbsp. local honey (optional)
2 cups Mom's All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Rumford® Baking Powder
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup Spectrum Organic® palm oil shortening
½ cup tapioca flour, for dusting your work surface
2 tbsp. (melted) Earth Balance® SF/DF margarine, for brushing the top of the rolls
Here's how to make them:
Warm the hemp milk to 110°F. If the milk has been in the fridge, a minute or so in the microwave should do the trick. If the milk is at room temperature, warm it for just a few seconds. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast and the rolls won't rise, so watch it closely.
*Hemp milk is made from the hulled seeds (hearts) of the hemp plant. It is very nutritious. It is not considered a nut product.
Add in the honey, and stir until it's dissolved. Add the yeast and whisk rapidly until it too, is completely dissolved into the hemp milk.
Cover, and let it begin to proof while you get your other ingredients together. I use a bowl to cover mine, but you could use plastic wrap or whatever you have handy. Just let it sit there and do its thing for a while.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Mom's All Purpose Flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add in the palm oil shortening, in pieces, and cut it into the flour mixture until it looks sort of like cornmeal (see pic).
After a few minutes, the yeast will begin to "puff" and look foamy.
This is a good thing... pour it slowly into the flour mix, and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, and let the dough rise for 15 minutes.
Use this time to lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie pan, and adjust your oven rack to the center of the oven. Begin preheating your oven to 375° F.
After 15 minutes, the dough should have risen by at least half its size, if not double.
Place an 18-inch long sheet of waxed paper onto a clean work surface, and sprinkle it evenly with ¼ cup of the tapioca flour. With your rubber spatula, carefully invert the dough onto the dusted surface. Sprinkle with a little more of the flour as you go, and gently pat the dough out into a 1/2 -inch thick square.
This dough is very soft. Keep your extra tapioca flour handy to prevent sticking!
Cut the dough into four sections vertically, and then once through the center, creating eight even-sized pieces.
Carefully fold each section of dough in half, pinching the edges together if needed, and place them into the greased pie pan as you go. Again, this dough is very soft, so you may need to use the edge of your rubber spatula to coax it into your hand to fold in half.
Place the rolls into the center of the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Brush the tops of the rolls with the melted Earth Balance after 10 minutes of baking, and once again after you pull them from the oven.
December 23, 2012
Our First Allergy-Free Gingerbread House
This year, we decided to make an allergy-friendly gingerbread house. We have never made one, due to all the severe food allergies.
I used my recipe for Gingerbread Men, but I doubled the recipe.
To make things cleaner and easier, I shook all the dry ingredients together into a giant ziplock bag, and then added the wet ingredients into the bag with them. I kneaded the dough right in the bag. It was so easy!
This recipe, doubled, made just enough dough for a cute little pixie style cut-out pattern I found on this awesome website... plus two little gingerbread men.
I learned that I should roll the dough pretty thin, so the walls will be as crisp as possible. I rolled mine a little too thick, and that made the walls a bit heavy.
I ended up pasting them to cardboard with some icing. This helped with the stability of the house.
After the dough had baked and cooled, I found the roof to be a bit heavy, so I would probably roll it even thinner the next time around. I had to prop jars to support the weight of the roof while the icing glue dried overnight. It ended up being fine, though.
We used cinnamon sticks, allergy-safe graham crackers, candy canes, gummy drops, marshmallows, crushed peppermint sprinkles, homemade icing, coconut, and powdered sugar for ours, but you could use anything you like. Sara made a little snowman out of a few marshmallows, and we gathered twigs from the yard to create snow covered trees. We also used coffee beans for stone on the chimney.
This was a lot of fun. A lot more work than buying a pre-made kit... but so so worth it in the end. We created a fun memory.
Merry Christmas, everyone. And have fun! :o)
December 18, 2012
Read Every Label... EVERY time
|Cascadian Farms has changed the ingredients in their Oats and Honey Granola:
For years, we have bought this brand, as it is one of only two products Nathan can have in the company's line of breakfast cereals. Many of the cereals contain "barley malt extract" as an ingredient, but until recently, this particular one has NOT.
I noticed the packaging had changed, and the mommy instinct came out, I flipped the box over to "double check" the ingredients, and sure enough... barley malt extract!
Under current labeling laws, barley does not have to be listed in bold print, as it is not one of the top-eight most common allergens. Barley would do my boy in however, as his issue is not gluten intolerance, but a true IgE mediated allergic reaction.
Moral of the story: Read every label every time... no matter how many times you have bought a certain "safe" food. Ingredients change ALL the time.
I'm glad I checked, and we didn't have to use the Epi-pen. The purpose of me posting this note is the hope that another one or several hundred of you will see it, and avoid the same dangerous scenario.
November 25, 2012
Mellow Mushroom Pizza... Allergy-Friendly Style!
Have you heard?? You can have gluten free, dairy free pizza at Mellow Mushroom! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to sit in a Pizza place with my son and have a good pizza with him, but I did!
Traveling with food allergies is stressful. If you've ever done it you know exactly what I'm talking about. ..."Did we pack the Epi-pen? Do we have the rescue inhaler? Benadryl..." Tons of things go through your mind. And usually, there's a well-stocked cooler in the car.
We just took a major road trip, and met up with a few friends in Atlanta. Well, 30 friends. ;o)
I am just thrilled with the experience I had there. As many people as we had in our party, plus a packed dining room in general other than us, they were more than capable of handling us, and took extra care to prepare Nathan's food (and mine since I'm gluten-free, too) separately. NO reaction whatsoever! Now THAT is cool.
BIG shout out to the manager Brian, who personally took the time to carefully prepare our "special" pizza, our server Juliana, and the entire staff for making our visit remarkable. The food was great, the service was great, and we never needed anything. They even hooked me up with a few gluten free beers.
I ordered the gluten free pizza crust with Daiya, spinach, mushrooms, and olives, and Nathan had the gluten free pizza with spinach only (and Daiya).
Both pizzas were truly fabulous. Nathan even commented after his first bite that it tastes "just like you make it at home, Mom!" so they definitely get an A+ Notice the "Oh, yeah!" look in the pic below...
If you're ever in the area, stop by Mellow Mushroom at Northlake, and enjoy your pizza!
4135 LaVista Road, with many more locations... check them out on the web!
October 5, 2012
Allergy-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake
October is here already... And time for pumpkin!
Who needs scented candles? Here's a lovely little recipe I've come up with that will make your whole house smell like Fall!
I have thrown in raw pumpkin seeds to fill the void of chopped nuts. You could go with or without.
I tested this cake two ways... one with eggs and one without. Both turned out really well, so it's up to you on whether or not you want to throw them in. I've given both options in the recipe below.
Another option would be whether you want to steam your own fresh pumpkin and use the seeds, or use canned pumpkin and buy the seeds separately. If you steam fresh pumpkin, it's a good idea to strain it through a piece of cheese cloth for a while, to make sure all the liquid is removed before adding it to the recipe. If you use canned pumpkin, be sure not to confuse it with pumpkin pie filling, which has added spices that you will not need or want here.
I used Farmer's Market organic pumpkin in this recipe, and I bought the seeds at my local market. Time was not on my side.
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
½ cup shelled, organic pumpkin seeds
2 cups Mom's All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Rumford® baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
One 15-ounce can organic pumpkin (or 2 cups steamed, fresh pumpkin)
¾ cup Spectrum® organic palm oil shortening
1 cup organic, light brown sugar (pack it tight!)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large free-range eggs, OR 3 tbsp. Ener-G Egg replacer, whisked in ½ cup water
1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
Preheat oven to 325°F
Chop the pumpkin seeds, have the kids crush them with heavy objects in a zipper bag, or pulse them a few times in a food processor.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Add in the pumpkin seeds, stir to blend, and set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, blend the shortening and sugar together until creamy.
Add in the pumpkin and blend.
Add the eggs (or egg replacer blend) and vanilla extract. Blend.
Add HALF of the flour mixture into the bowl, and blend. Scrape the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Pour in the cup of hemp milk, and blend. Then, add the remaining half of your flour mix. Blend until a smooth batter is achieved.
Evenly pour the batter into a lightly oiled Bundt pan, and smooth it a bit with your rubber spatula.
Bake the cake in the center of the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Begin watching the cake for doneness around the 45 minute mark. Oven temperatures vary, and depending upon whether you use eggs, egg replacer, or fresh pumpkin, you baking times will vary a bit. The toothpick will be clean if the cake is done.
Carefully invert the cake from the pan onto a cooling rack, and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Serve as is, or sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar.
I had a slice with a swirl of Rice Whip, and it was great!
Refrigerate the cake (if there are any) leftovers, since you're using fresh pumpkin! It won't keep well for very long at room temperature without the fake preservative ickies.
Happy Fall, everyone! :o)
September 19, 2012
Banana Hemp Pancakes
Another recipe from my upcoming book, these are sure to please! They are Wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free (option for egg), sugar-free, corn-free, nut-free, and GMO-free.
Enjoy. Here's what you will need:
Banana Hemp Pancakes
2 tbsp. golden flax seed meal
1 cup plus 4 tbsp. unsweetened hemp milk, divided (I use Tempt unsweetened original)
1 cup Mom's All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. Rumford® baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg's)
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
One free-range egg (completely optional)
Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick griddle to 350°F
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the golden flax meal with 4 tbsp. of the hemp milk, and set aside. In 5 minutes or so, the mixture will thicken. This acts as an egg, and you will not need to add an egg to your batter if you are allergic. I have however, started adding an egg to this batter since Nathan can have them, and we'll get to that part later. For now, just stick with this method. The flax adds so many nutrients that I leave it in alongside the egg too, which does give a little extra fluffiness to the pancakes.
Mash your bananas, and set them aside for later.
In a separate mixing bowl, blend the Mom's All Purpose Flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk, and set aside.
Add the remaining cup of hemp milk, sunflower oil, and apple cider vinegar into the flax mixture and whisk to blend. If you're using an egg, this is the time to whisk it in too!
Add in the bananas, and stir to blend.
Add the dry mix into the wet ingredients, and stir to blend.
Slowly pour a little of the batter onto the hot griddle. You will probably need around ¼ to ½ cup of batter per pancake. If you are using a cast-iron skillet, you will need to add a little sunflower oil into the skillet to prevent the pancakes from sticking. Cook the pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the edges are dry and bubbles form and pop in the center of the batter.
Gently flip the pancakes over with a spatula, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. DO NOT press on the pancakes while they are cooking.
Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with a little pure maple syrup. Depending on the size of your pancakes, you will probably get around nine of them.
September 14, 2012
Pineapple Flax Cake
Here's a super easy recipe I've come up with that the kids love digging into. I can feel good about giving it to them, and I can feel good about eating a piece or seven for myself!
It works out great for a quick, last minute dessert, or safe potluck dish for a party. It's also perfect for lunch boxes and/or after school snacks!
I originally developed this recipe without eggs, but now that Nathan can eat them safely, I have started adding eggs to the batter. Either way is delicious, and there really isn't that much difference in the two, so it just depends upon your dietary needs.
Pineapple Flax Cake
2 cups Mom's All Purpose Flour
½ cup organic cane sugar
½ cup golden flax meal
2 tsp. Rumford® baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sunflower oil
2 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer, whisked with 2/3 cup water (or two free-range eggs slightly beaten, with enough water added to equal 2/3 cup)
One 14-ounce can CRUSHED pineapple, with juice (I prefer Native Forest crushed pineapple for this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Whisk the Mom's All Purpose Flour, sugar, golden flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together with a wire whisk, and set aside.
In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the pineapple, oil, and egg replacer (or eggs) and whisk until blended.
Add the dry mix into the wet ingredients and stir until well blended.
Evenly pour the batter into a lightly oiled 13x19 inch pan, and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
Let the cake cool completely on a wire cooling rack, while still in the pan.
Cut the cooled cake into squares, and sprinkle with a generous dusting of organic powdered sugar.
July 24, 2012
Peachy Coconut Ice Cream
We have had an abundance of fresh peaches from our trees this year. Our neighbors have received peachy gifts, and family members have eaten peach cobbler after peach cobbler. I personally have had enough smoothies to last me for a while now. For something different, I decided to use the last little bit of our harvest for a cool Summer-time treat.
We have had a Mega Ball Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker for several years, and it has really been a lot of fun for the kids. If you don't have one, you need to check it out. It's so easy and the kids just LOVE it! This recipe is just enough to fill the Mega Ball, the larger of the two, which holds a quart of ice cream.
You could probably use a regular ice cream maker, if you have one... but I don't have one.
This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, egg-free, and vegan. Have fun with it!
Peachy Coconut Ice Cream
4 cups So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
1 ¼ cups organic powdered sugar
3 tbsp. Rumford® corn starch
2 tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. xanthan gum
¼ cup light agave nectar
1 cup fresh (organic) peaches, peeled and diced small
Combine the Coconut milk, powdered sugar, corn starch, coconut oil, vanilla extract, salt, and xanthan gum in a sauce pan. Stir with a wire whisk over medium-high heat until the mix has begun to thicken. Remove the pan from heat, and place it into a large bowl that has been pre-filled with ice water. Whisk the mixture, while still in the pan, until it has cooled completely.
Add in the agave nectar and the peaches. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from the ice water, and pour the mixture into the Ice Cream Ball.
Shake and roll the ball, stopping to stir and scrape the sides of the canister every so often, until the cream has frozen into a nice soft-serve consistency.
Serve topped with shredded coconut, if desired. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
July 2, 2012
Fourth of July Recipe Ideas for Food Allergies
"Cheesy" White Bean Dip with Red Peppers and Blue Chips
Here's another quick and Easy recipe for your Fourth of July get-together. Hope everyone can enjoy it!
You will need:
1 cup dried Navy beans (white beans)
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella-Style Shreds, plus a little for garnish
1 cup SO Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Beverage
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Organic Red Bell Pepper
Organic Blue Chips, for serving
**First, prepare your beans:
Soak one cup of dried Navy Beans in 2 cups of cold water overnight. I soak mine on the counter, at room temperature. They should double in size.
Drain the beans, and pour them into a pot. Add just enough fresh water to the pan to cover an inch above the beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and cool completely. You should have about 2 ½ cups of prepared beans. Once they have cooled, pour them into a food processor.
**You could also use 2/12 cups of canned navy beans, drained and rinsed. If you do this you will need significantly less salt than I used in this recipe, unless you can find "No salt added" canned beans. Keep this in mind.
Melt one cup of Daiya® Mozzarella-Style shreds with one cup of SO Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut beverage, in a microwave safe dish. I know what you're thinking, and you will NOT taste coconut in this dip. I promise! I chose this milk because it's soy-free and dairy-free, but also because of the rich creamy-white color it gives the dip. You MUST use the unsweetened variety of this beverage. I put a hyper-link to the product in the ingredient list at the tip of the page.
Heat at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until the Daiya slightly melted.
Stir in one tsp. salt, one tsp. garlic powder, and one tsp. onion powder.
Pour this into the food processor with your beans. Process the beans and cheese mixture until creamy.
Meanwhile, dice ½ of an organic red pepper into ¼ inch cubes. This should yield around ½ cup of pepper.
Gently stir the pepper into the dip, and pour it into a serving dish. Sprinkle a few peppers and Daiya on top for extra color, and arrange organic blue corn chips around the dip.
Serve warm or cold.
July 1, 2012
Give Me Liberty... Pudding!
The Fourth is coming up, and what better way to celebrate our country's Independence than with a delicious Red, White, and Blue summertime dessert! This recipe serves around 4 people, or more... depending on the size of your servings. I got four good-sized parfaits from it. You could also serve a small crowd by arranging this dish into a decorative serving bowl and letting your guests dig in. The tartness of the fresh berries is countered perfectly by the sweetness of the pudding.
This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, easy and vegan.
Give Me Liberty... Pudding!
1 cup organic cane sugar
3 tbsp. Rumford® corn starch
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut Beverage
1 tbsp. Spectrum® organic palm oil
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (organic when possible)
One recipe for "Whipped Coconut Cream" (page 128)
OR SoyaToo® Rice Whip
In a sauce pan, whisk the sugar, salt, and starch together.
Pour in the coconut milk and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the palm oil to the pan. Over medium-high heat, continue to whisk and cook the mix until it thickens. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
Allow the pudding to cool COMPLETELY. I like to use the ice bath trick. Those of you who read my blog and have my book know I do this often. It's a great trick when you're in a hurry! Set the pan in a large bowl that has been filled with ice water, and whisk the pudding until it has cooled. The pudding will continue to thicken, the colder it gets.
In the meantime, quarter a couple of fresh strawberries, and place them into the bottom of a serving dish or cup.
Spoon some of the cooled pudding on top of the strawberries, and top with a heaping handful (or two) of fresh blueberries.
Top off your treat with a swirl of dairy-free topping and a couple of fresh raspberries. You can use my Whipped Coconut Cream recipe, piped from a pastry bag, or splurge on a can of SoyaToo® Rice Whip.
Dig in and enjoy! Have a safe and happy 4th!
June 21, 2012
I have bananas that are gracefully aging in the corner of the kitchen. Soooo.... keeping the tropical theme going for this month, I decided to write a Banana Bread post. I got no complaints from the kids. As a matter of fact, I got some sort of creepy chant... "Bana-na BREAD! Bana-na BREAD!" I think that means they like the idea...
This recipe is from my book, "Allergy-Free for Mommy and Me", page 108. I WILL say that I have tried this recipe with ½ cup of agave nectar instead of sugar, and it turned out okay. Better with the sugar, but still pretty darn good with the agave!
I use Ener-G brand egg replacer in this recipe in order to omit eggs. The trick with this ingredient is to whisk it vigorously, until it is frothy... literally like whisked egg whites. I met a mom once who complained of her baked goods not rising well with the Ener-G egg replacer. Come to find out, she was stirring it just enough to blend it into her liquids. Once she got the hang of it, she raved over the product. I myself don't know what I would do without it. It has been a real life saver for our family.
You can also use this recipe to make 18 banana muffins. Just pour the batter into pre-lined tins, and bake for 25 minutes at 350°F.
© 2009 Sharissa Greer, Allergy Free Mom.com, Inc.
2 ½ cups Mom's All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup softened Earth Balance® dairy-free margarine*
1 ¼ cup organic cane sugar
2 tbsp Ener-G® egg replacer, whisked with ½ cup water
½ cup rice milk, whisked with 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3-4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 350°F and adjusting the oven rack so that the top of your pan is in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
Blend the Mom's All Purpose Flour with the salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and margarine together until blended. *If you'd like you can use (chilled) coconut oil, or (room temperature) Spectrum® organic palm shortening. I really like the buttery flavor of the Earth Balance. Earth Balance also has a soy-free, dairy-free margarine available now which is wonderful, if you can't have either of the two.
Add the egg replacer to this blend, and beat for about a minute at low speed. In this picture, you can see how frothy the egg replacer is. Again, this is very important.
Next, add in the rice milk mixed with the lemon juice, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Blend until smooth.
Add the flour mix, and with a rubber spatula, stir until moistened. Scrape the edges of the bowl as needed.
At this stage I have been known to sneak in a few hemp seeds (about 1/3 cup or so) which not only gives the bread a great nutty flavor, it also provides a boost of protein, thiamine, iron, phosphorus, manganese, omegas 6 and 3, and many, many other valuable nutrients.
The seeds sort of "morph" into the bread, so you'll barely even notice they're there. Shhhhhhhh.................
Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the center of the pre-heated oven until deep-golden brown, for one hour and 15 minutes.
Place the bread onto a cooling rack, and allow it to completely cool before slicing.
June 9, 2012
Allergy-Free Key Lime Pie
KEY LIME PIE!
I used to make the best Key Lime Pie back in Georgia, when I could get good, fresh, Key West limes. I haven't been able to find any out here yet, but I haven't given up hope. I would squeeze fresh juice and add cream cheese, condensed milk, and lots of other food-allergy no-no's, and make a fabulous graham cracker crust with real butter and graham crackers and fresh chopped pecans. Ahhh... those days are gone. But I think I have come up with a pretty good alternative, in a Nathan friendly way. He LOVES this pie! And really, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, that's all that matters.
I have had several people asking for an allergy-free Key Lime Pie recipe WITHOUT tofu or any other soy product like soy cream cheese, etc. I've also had people that wanted it kept healthy, low sugar, and vegan, gluten free, dairy-free, and nut free. Is that even possible?
Yes. It is. These two recipes will be featured in my upcoming book, but I'm sharing them with you now because... well, just because.
First, let's start with the crust. In my book, I call this versatile goodie my "Golden Flax Dessert Crust". If you already have a favorite crust recipe, or if you are able to find one that fits your dietary needs in a store, skip over this part, and scroll down a bit to the filling recipe.
If you're longing for a wheat-free, gluten-free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, nut free pie crust that doesn't' taste like cardboard, then keep reading. You're in luck.
Here's how to do it:
Golden Flax Dessert Crust
¾ cup Mom's All Purpose Flour
¼ cup golden flax meal
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. Spectrum® shortening
1/8 cup organic cane sugar
1 ½ tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
With a wire whisk, mix the flour, golden flax meal, salt, and baking powder into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer, blend the shortening, sugar, apple sauce, and vanilla, until creamy.
Scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula, slowly blend in all of the dry mix.
Roughly form the dough into a ball, and allow it to chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This allows easier handling as the dough is soft, and can get pretty sticky. 10-15 minutes should be enough time. If you let it chill too long, it will become hard, and almost impossible to work with unless you bring it back down to room temperature.
In the meantime, while the dough chills, preheat your oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle a sheet of wax paper with a generous dusting of Mom's All Purpose Flour. Rub a little flour onto your hands, and onto a rolling pin. Turn the chilled dough onto the floured wax paper, and dust it generously with a little more flour.
Roll the dough evenly into a circle, ¼ inch thick.
Carefully lift the paper and invert the crust into a 9-inch pie plate.
Press it firmly into the pan, pinching off any excess dough hanging over the edge as you go.
With a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust to vent.
Bake the crust in the center of the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.
Now on to the pie...
Let's start with the main ingredient; the Key Limes. Key Limes are tiny little tart, yellow-green- beauties found virtually everywhere in the Florida Keys. They originated in Asia, and are grown in a few other places like Texas and Mexico, but they go by different names in those places. Their extra mouth puckering qualities set them apart from any other. And although you may have seen green pies that boast the name "Key Lime" in the supermarket freezer, their juice is not at all green. If you'd like to use a bit of food coloring so you can have a green Key Lime pie you can, but everyone will probably wonder why it's green.
Ideally, you'd use fresh juice, but if it's not available to you, there are two options that make a pretty darn good pie.
There's Nellie and Joe's Key Lime juice, and it's available in certain stores, although a little hard to find. I've used it to make this pie several times, and it has turned out fabulous. Almost the same as the fresh squeezed in flavor, although it is from concentrate.
There's also Lakewood Lime Juice, and it's a bit easier to find. The flavor is lacking however, and it's just not the same as true Key Lime Juice. It will work in this recipe though, in a pinch.
Now on to the recipe...
Key Lime Pie
2 cups unsweetened rice milk
1/3 cup Rumford® corn starch
¾ cup agave nectar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup PLUS 2 tbsp. Key Lime juice
2 tbsp. Spectrum® organic palm shortening
Secret weapon number one: ½ tsp. lime zest (optional)
Secret weapon number two: 6 tbsp. SO Delicious® plain coconut yogurt (optional)
Whisk the rice milk and corn starch together, and set aside. I use Rice Dream unsweetened rice milk.
In a medium sauce pan, warm the agave nectar, palm oil, vanilla, and lime juice, until the shortening is melted, and the mixture is smooth.
Slowly whisk in the milk and corn starch. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Cook while constantly stirring, until the filling has thickened. This will take about 5 or 6 minutes on medium- high heat. Be sure to whisk the mixture constantly! Don't allow it to come to a rapid boil; if this happens, your heat is too high.
Transfer the pan to a large bowl that has been pre-filled with ice water. Set the pan of filling into the bowl, and whisk until it has cooled completely.
Stir the lime zest and coconut yogurt into the cooled filling. These two ingredients are optional, but they really give extra lime flavor, and extra creaminess you miss without regular dairy products.
Pour the filling into the cooled, prepared crust, and chill in the refrigerator until set, about two to three hours.
Top with Soyatoo® Rice whipped cream and garnish with a slice of lime, if desired.
And until we meet again... Enjoy your wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free, low-sugar Key Lime Pie!
June 6, 2012
Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Muffins
I love the combination of pineapple and coconut together! These quick and easy muffins are healthy and hearty. You can feel good knowing there's no junk in them, and they're easy to stick into a lunchbox. With a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, you'll have a great summer breakfast to start the day in no time.
I came up with this recipe at the last minute, trying to compromise with two kids that wanted cupcakes for breakfast. Riiiiiight. They ended up being so delicious, I thought I'd post them for all of you to enjoy, too! They're vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, casein (dairy) free, soy-free, peanut-free, egg-free, GMO-free, and unless you count coconut as a tree nut, they're free of those, too. Nathan has never cared for the taste of coconut by itself, but he will eat three or four of these babies within 10 minutes!
And before you start on me about the coconut thing, please let me explain. Coconut is a true fruit, but the FDA began labeling it as a nut 5 ½ years ago (in October, 2006). If you're concerned about coconut in this recipe, you can consult with your allergist, or simply substitute it with equal amounts of golden flax seed meal. Not a biggie to avoid in this recipe, but there are some people who have a true coconut allergy. For those people, it's a very serious situation. Those are the people who already know to avoid it without saying.
Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Muffins
2 cups Mom's All Purpose Flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp Rumford® baking powder
½ cup fine shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup golden flax meal
¼ cup pure cane sugar
One 14-oz can crushed organic pineapple, in pineapple juice
2/3 cup grape seed oil
¾ cup organic, unsweetened applesauce
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 350°F. Add the Mom's All Purpose Flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, coconut, flax meal, and sugar into a large bowl. Stir with a wire whisk until everything is well blended, and set aside.
Next, in a separate bowl, blend the crushed pineapple (with the juice), grape seed oil, and applesauce, until all of the oil is incorporated with the fruit.
I like Native Forest canned pineapple. It has the best consistency and fruit/juice ratio for this recipe. It is also a safe gluten-free brand.
After the fruit and oil are well incorporated, pour the blend into the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix the two together with a rubber spatula.
Let the batter sit for two or three minutes, and then stir it again. Spoon the batter into a muffin tin that has been pre-lined with 12 baking cups. Fill the cups high.
Bake the muffins in the center of the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until nice and golden-brown.
Allow the muffins to cool a bit on a cooling rack before digging in; they're hot!
April 26, 2012
Creamy Baked Potato Soup
I hope this finds everyone well. I do realize it has been a year since my last blog. To my credit, I have packed 20 years worth of accumulated "stuff", moved half way across the country on a six week notice, taken it upon myself to home school both of the kids, and we have began oral desensitization for Nathan's food allergies. Big step... BIG step. Plus the fact that I'm trying to finish up a new recipe book... I have been so busy that I've had to twirl around just to keep up with it all!
I decided to sit and write a bit; I'm down today. I just found out my high school Home Economics teacher, the root of my domestic goddess-ness, passed away yesterday. I credit her (along with my incredible mother) for my ability to keep cool in the kitchen, and beyond. I often think of those two amazing women and chuckle... on mornings when I think I've cooked more before 12 noon that many moms do in 12 months! I have told them both I love them enough times for sure, but I don't think they really ever could realize just how much I have meant it.
Today, I wanted some comfort food. Actually, I wanted to slap some easy sandwiches together. But I reached for the bread, and it wasn't there. Toast with breakfast snatched up that idea. Sooo, I looked in the pantry and tried to figure out something quick and easy. I had potatoes, bacon, Daiya, and chicken stock, so I came up with this great soup. I call it Creamy Baked Potato Soup. The potatoes aren't actually baked, but the name fits since I used the bacon and Daiya as a topping. Chives would have added a nice touch, but I didn't have any. I'll throw those on the next time I make it.
Hopefully most of you can enjoy this. It's gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, and corn free.
Here's how to do it:
Dice three thick slices of good quality (uncured) smoked bacon, and cook it in a medium-sized sauce pan, over medium-low heat, until it is crispy.
While this is cooking, peel and dice 2 1/2 cups of potatoes, and set aside.
Once the bacon has finished cooking, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula, and set aside
Add the potatoes to the pan with the bacon drippings, and cook while stirring for a minute or two, to distribute the bits of bacon from the bottom of the pan.
Add in two cups of (gluten free) chicken stock, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, whisk together two cups of dairy-free milk (I used SO Delicious brand unsweetened coconut milk beverage) with one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon onion powder, and three tablespoons of potato starch (or other compatible starch).
Once the potatoes are tender, slowly pour in the milk mixture, and stir over medium heat, until the soup is slightly thickened (about 5 more minutes).
Spoon the thickened soup into individual bowls, and top it with the Daiya shreds and bacon bits, and a sprinkle of black pepper.
This served me and the kiddos, twice each.
Oh, and ps... I'll try and blog at least once a month from now on! :O)