Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hot Carob Sauce

I've been experimenting with a "hot fudge sauce" without chocolate, butter, milk, or sugar. How's that for completely changing an original? Anyway, here's what I've come up with so far:

1 T. Coconut Oil
3 T. Honey

Melt together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

3 T. Better Than Milk Rice Powder (Vanilla)
2 T. Carob Powder
1/2 cup rice milk

Whisk together in a small measuring cup. Add to oil & honey in saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on low heat.

Combine 1 T. rice milk with 1/2 t. arrowroot powder. Add to saucepan, continuing to whisk ingredients together. Cook for about 1 minute longer on low heat. Continue to whisk while you allow the sauce to cool (I think this helps the coconut oil and honey mix in better.)

I put mine on regular ice cream, but you could use rice dream for a vegan dessert. Sprinkle a little unsweetened coconut on the top for crunch without using nuts.

It tasted great, the only think I found is that the sauce doesn't really "stick" to the rice or ice kind of runs off a little.

Homemade Granola - Day 4 of Rotation Diet

I came up with a great granola recipe that includes most of the foods from Day 4 of the Rotation Diet in Dumke's allergy survival guide.

Angela's Homemade Granola:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup white sesame seeds (borrow from Day 3)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (secret tasty ingredient - my mother-in-law's idea)
1/2 cup chopped dried dates

Mix everything but the dried fruit in a bowl. Pour onto a lightly greased baking sheet and spread out. Bake 300 degrees for 10 minutes, stir, bake another 10 min, stir. Check to see if toasty brown...if not bake another 5 minutes. Cool for 2-3 minutes then put into a big bowl and stir in dates. (I remove it from the baking sheet so it doesn't cool and stick to the baking sheet). Eat warm and cool completely before putting away. I store mine in a glass Ball canning jar in the refrigerator, but it doesn't usually last long.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kitchen Organization Advice

I love great kitchen organization advice!

One great idea from my mother-in-law:
- get your cookbooks spiral bound at Staples/Office Max (they cut off the spine and put a spiral in so you can turn your pages)
- use a cookbook stand (I got a great one with a plastic shield to prevent spills from Crate & Barrel, less than $25)

Here's a few ideas I've come up with:
- pantry organization: use clear glass wide mouth quart/pint Ball/Mason Canning Jars with plastic screw top lids. Label everything. It's cheap and helps when you are cooking with several different grains and buy in bulk from the health-food store.
-I also got some nice clear glass jars from Ikea for larger items like rye and oat flakes
- use tension curtain rods and hooks wherever they will fit to create bars to hang light little utensils or measuring cups on.
-keep a spray bottle of mild dishwashing liquid (I use Ivory) mixed with water by the sink. It's useful for spraying and rinsing out big pots and pans while you're cooking, spraying and wiping counters and tables, and cleaning little spills before they become huge messes.
-I love this breadkeeper for homemade bread, well worth the $10: Progressive International Clearly Fresh Bread Keeper. I also add a little wheat gluten to my homemade bread to keep it fresher longer (not exactly allergy-free though).

Grandma's applesauce

We went apple picking, like most everyone enjoying New England's harvest, and we came home with more apples than we knew what to do with.

I made some of my grandmother's applesauce -basically just a bunch of cut up apples in water to cover, then gently simmered until they become a thick applesauce (the picture shows it in the beginning, not the final product). Applesauce doesn't get any tastier or easier than this - my mother used to spend hours straining, pressing...who has time for that?

Also, I made two different apple pies (compare the allergenic from the non-allergenic in the picture above...):

My husband's (no dairy, butter, wheat, refined sugar - on the right):
2 c oat flour
1 c yellow corn masa flour (yes, the same flour to make tortillas)
1/4 t salt
1/2 c vegetable shortening
8 T ice water
2 T safflower oil
6 large apples
2 T oat flour
1/4 c honey
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

My daughter's (no corn, refined sugar - on the left):
Grandma's pie crust:
2 c white bread flour
1/2 t salt
2/3 c canola oil
1/3 c whole milk
(note: crust got a little brown because I baked it with my husband's which requires a higher temperature.)
6 large apples
2 T flour
1/4 c honey
(she's sensitive to any spices)
2 T butter

Rye Waffles - Boring Rotation Diet

My grandmother always used to say, "Never eat the same food all the a good variety out of the different food groups every day." The past couple of weeks we've really been working on a rotation diet. A rotation diet is where you rotate the foods you're eating (and foods in the same family) over a period of 4 days. The basic idea is to prevent the development of further food sensitivities by allowing potential allergens to clear out of your body before you introduce them again. I say, "boring" because we've just been following the standard rotation diet in "The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide" by Nicolette Dumke where all the foods are assigned to each day for four days. We haven't figured out how to incorporate our usual recipes into this rotation yet, "borrowing" foods from one day and moving them around. So we've just been eating very simple meals - broiled/roasted meat/fish, steamed vegetables, and salads.

All of the recipes in this food allergy cookbook are incredibly simple with minimal ingredients. They are easy and incorporate many different and "exotic" foods, but I've been spoiled by the gourmet taste in Cybele Pascal's allergy cookbook. I've become confident in Cybele's recipes that they will turn out, whereas in Nicolette's book I'm still uncertain. However, the pancake, waffle, and cookie recipes all include numerous combinations of grains and flours to go along with the rotation diet, and all it takes is a little more willingness to experiment.

What works: By far, our favorites in this cookbook are the tortillas, crackers, waffles and pancakes. We particularly like the rye waffles - which are just basic rye flour, baking soda, unbuffered vitamin C powder, salt, oil and water. The teff waffles turned out pretty good too (though teff flour is expensive). I tried the teff crackers and those weren't bad, they would have been a little crisper if I had rolled the dough thinner. Teff has a neat flavor - maybe it's the dark color, but it reminds me a bit of chocolate.

What hasn't worked well for us: The quinoa-tapioca pancakes seemed to stick to my stainless steel skillet (which I generally use to make pancakes), even after I used coconut oil to grease the pan. I've since bought a non-stick skillet, so I'll have to try that next time. Also, the rolled cookies sweetened with stevia just seemed like eating a bunch of flour - very crumbly and sticky. I used oat flour instead of the flours recommended...because we couldn't eat kamut, spelt, amaranth or barley. If I try rolled cookies again, I'll just go with the maple sugar ones in Cybele Pascal's book.

Easy Skillet Dinner - No Cheese, Tomato, Beef, Wheat

"What's this...some kind of goulash?" I have to give my husband credit, he'll try anything. One night, I was craving an easy old-fashioned mac n' cheese skillet dinner like my family used to have when I was a kid. Remember "Hamburger Helper"? Since I gave up packaged dinners I haven't had anything like this in a while. There are lots of skillet dinner recipes out there, but most of them with tomatoes. I made up a recipe on my own - no cheese, beef, tomatoes, or wheat.

1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground buffalo (probably venison or any game would work too)
1 carrot, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 pkg frozen baby lima beans
2 cups of cooked winter squash (you can make this ahead of time and freeze it)
dried onion, parsley, salt & pepper to taste
brown rice spiral pasta, cooked

Brown onion with the ground meat in a large skillet. Add the carrot and zucchini, cover and cook about 10 min on medium heat, or until soft. Add lima beans, squash, and spices (you may need more water if it seems too dry) and cook covered for another 7-8 minutes. Stir in the brown rice pasta and serve.

If you can tolerate cheese, it's good with a little shredded cheese sprinkled on at the end - I used cheddar, but you could use grated Parmesan too. Otherwise, my husband adds sea salt to make up for the saltiness of cheese.