Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Macadamia Nut Cheese Recipe

This vegan nut cheese recipe is perfect for topping homemade gluten-free pizza or for using in between layers of lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce. It is easy to make using a high powered blender, such as the Vita-Mix.

I find the flavors of this dairy-free "cheese" sauce are best balanced with the acidity of tomatoes, such as my Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe.

Macadamia nuts are expensive and exotic, I know. Just think of this sauce as a treat. A little goes a long way, macadamia nuts are very rich.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thin Buckwheat Pizza Crust (Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free, Vegan)


I am not sure how many of you have fond memories of pizza. From what we hear, pizza is sorely missed when going gluten and dairy-free. This yeast-free, gluten-free (and xanthan gum-free) crust recipe is a newer creation of mine. I do have another yeast-risen sorghum crust that I haven't shared yet. What I like about this recipe is that it only has a few ingredients and can be prepared in a snap!

I have made this recipe several times, sometimes making a quadruple batch for large gatherings. It turns out great each time. I have replaced the tapioca flour with arrowroot powder and it works too, though I needed to add a few extra tablespoons of water to the dough.

The predominant flour in this recipe is raw buckwheat flour. Raw buckwheat flour, made from grinding raw buckwheat groats, is quite delicious and very mild in flavor. It is not gritty at all and is light in color. The raw groats are soft and can easily be ground in a coffee grinder (one preferably not used for grinding coffee beans). I use the dry container of my Vita-Mix now but used to use a coffee grinder before the day of the Vita-Mix! Just make sure you keep grinding until a soft powdery flour is formed.

Buckwheat is super nutritious! Did you know that buckwheat is not a grain but rather a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel? The nutrients in buckwheat help to control blood sugar and lower harmful LDL cholesterol.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Pizza! Yay! Today I am sharing my recipe for homemade pizza sauce. And do you know what that means? Yes, a gluten-free pizza crust recipe to come soon!

This sauce is so easy to make. I use a 7-ounce glass jar of Bionaturae organic tomato paste to start. Then I mix in olive oil, honey, salt, and herbs. That's it! Pictured here is a triple batch. We are visiting with family right now so large batches are the norm these days.

Our two girls and their two cousins played restaurant tonight complete with hand written menus, aprons, and wine! This pizza sauce with a Gluten-Free and Yeast-Free Buckwheat Crust, Homemade Gluten-Free Seed Crackers with apples and french sheep cheese, a large Pear Pomegranate Salad, Whole Grain Flatbread, freshly made butternut squash lasagna with Macadamia Nut Cheese, Vanilla Tapioca Pudding, and a sparkling hibiscus cooler were all on the menu! It was quite a feast for all 12 of us.

Luckily the adults got to relax while the girls busily took orders and ran back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen carrying plates of food!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Walnuts: An Edible Holiday Gift


If you are looking for a great (edible) gift idea during the last minute Christmas frenzy, I've got a quick an easy one for you. Candied nuts made without refined sugars! The girls and I like to make them every year to give as gifts. This year we made them, packaged them in glass jars, placed pretty Christmas fabric and ribbon on them, and gave them as gifts to teachers and friends.

I actually posted this recipe last November, just after I started this blog, before I understood that it is best share one recipe per post. You can view this recipe in my Pear and Hazelnut Salad with Creamy Cranberry Dressing post. Just scroll down, you'll find it.

Happy Holidays to all! Hope your days are Merry and Bright!


Candied Walnuts

These nuts make a fantastic appetizer at a holiday gathering, especially Christmas eve. Or package them into glass jars to give as gifts. I like to use the wide-mouth pint-size jars. This recipe also works with other nuts such as pecans. I usually make a few batches of candied walnuts and candied pecans. Sometimes I omit the cinnamon and they are still just as delicious. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. You may need to adjust your oven temp. My kids gobble these up as they cool, it's a wonder I actually had some left to give as gifts!

2 cups walnut halves
3 tablespoons maple syrup (grade B)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch or two of sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place all ingredients into a baking dish (I use a 7 x 11-inch glass baking dish). Stir well with a spoon. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn.

As soon as they come out of the oven stir them up so the syrup sticks to the nuts and not the pan. Immediately transfer them to a plate to cool. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


Other Wonderful Holiday Recipes:

Appetizers

Salads

Whole Grains & Bread

Main Dishes

Desserts

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad


I absolutely love raw cabbage. I love the crispy crunch with every bite. I love the way it makes me feel...healthy and alive, my digestion strong. It feels cleansing. Luckily my children like cabbage too, though my girls have decided they like their cabbage plain, no dressing please. I gave this salad to my twin boys who turned two yesterday and one of them loved it while the other one spit it out (photo below).

I have found that the first three years of life is the most important time for introducing foods. Offering toddlers a wide variety of foods is key to their eating habits for the rest of their lives. They will most likely go through phases where they turn their nose up at foods they loved just a month ago. For example, our first daughter, Lily, decided around 3 years old that she didn't like beans. She was almost 4 until she ate them again. I just kept offering and didn't give up. One trick I have found to be helpful is to offer a child a "try-it bite" of a new food or flavor. I tell my girls they can spit it out if they don't like it. Every time we have that food I offer anther "try-it bite" and sometimes, but not always, they decide they like it. The key is to not give up on your children just because they don't like something at first.

So if you have young children, you may want to save some of this salad before dressing it. They can munch on the cabbage and carrots with their meal and then try some with the dressing too.

Fun Food Fact: Did you know that the phytochemicals in cabbage signal our genes to produce enzymes involved in detoxification? In addition, the phtyochemicals in cabbage are cancer-protective. So eat up! :)


Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad


This festive winter salad was inspired by a salad I tried at a friend's house. It would be great as part of any holiday celebration meal. It is quick and easy to prepare. Plus, you can add the dressing up to 30-60 minutes before serving (which actually improves the flavors). Add toasted sesame seeds to garnish the salad if desired.

3 to 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled* or shredded
3 to 4 green onions, sliced into thin rounds


Dressing:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare

You can either use your food processor fitted with the slicing disc to cut the cabbage or first cut it into chunks then slice thinly with a sharp knife. For the carrots you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, thin strips (pictured here) or shred them. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.

To make the dressing add all ingredients to a blender (or use an immersion blender in a glass jar) and blend on high for 30 seconds or so. I find that the wasabi powder doesn't mix in very well unless blended. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.



Other salads you might like:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soothing Red Lentil Soup


It has been cold lately, very cold! It seems as if soups and stews are the daily staple now. Today I'd like to share with you a fairly new recipe of mine. One that was created about a week and a half ago. A warming, nourishing......soothing red lentil soup.

We've been very busy lately, and frankly who hasn't these days. I have made multiple batches of this soup since its creation and it has been just perfect for a quick, warming lunch or an easy dinner. The soup is chock full of greens, ginger, garlic, and onions...just the thing to boost the immune system during cold and flu season. I do use a little citrus to liven up the flavors but the soup is tomato-free.


We brought this soup up to the mountains with us in a large Thermos last weekend and it was just the thing to warm our bellies after an afternoon of sledding. My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting with my mom. He liked the soup so much that he asked me to make sure I would send the recipe to his mom. He ate bowlfuls of it everyday while he was here! He also asked me to make sure I send her the Milk Chocolate Cupcake recipe and the Molasses Cookie recipe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts


For those of you following a soy-free diet, and who are desperately missing your tamari, I have found a fantastic alternative! The South River Miso Company makes a wonderful gluten/wheat-free and soy-free tamari! How do they do it?

Here is what they say on their website: In Japanese, tamari means "little puddle" and refers to the savory liquid that collects in a vat of miso. Our genuine tamari is similar to its cousin, soy sauce, but much sweeter and lighter in taste. Friends who buy directly from our shop come back year after year, declaring that there is no seasoning comparable to South River Miso Tamari. Gathered from the vats of AZUKI BEAN MISO -- Made from deep well water, organic brown rice, organic azuki beans, sun-dried sea salt, organic sea vegetables, and koji culture. Aged in wood for a minimum of 3 months.

I was so happy to recently find this soy-free tamari alternative on Kim's Affairs of Living Blog! Kim writes a great blog full of recipes and ideas for Elimination Diet-friendly meals. If you are doing the Elimination Diet from our cookbook, then her site will be a big help.

If you have a chance to try South River's chickpea miso or adzuki miso please do! They are simply delicious. The miso is made using rice koji instead of barley koji. If you live in Bellingham you can find this fabulous miso at Terra Organica. They don't sell the tamari though...at least not yet!



Smokey Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts

If you don't have any issues with soy you could of course use regular wheat-free tamari in place of the adzuki bean tamari. I've added a little smoked Spanish paprika to these which gives the nuts more flavor with a hint of smoke. This is totally optional. You could omit the paprika or add crushed dried rosemary for a savory flavor or try chipotle chili powder for a kick! Make sure you follow the directions and roast the nuts first, then add the tamari, and roast again for a few minutes. You'll have a burned mess if you roast them all at once, trust me, I know! These nuts make a fabulous appetizer for a holiday gathering or a great afterschool snack for your kids. Enjoy!

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari
1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts into a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (watch timing as oven temps vary). Remove pan from oven and quickly add the tamari and smoked paprika. Toss together with a spatula.

Return pan to oven and roast for about 3 minutes more.

The nuts become crispy when cooled. Store in an airtight jar. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.

*Notes: You may need to alter the amount of tamari here if you use the regular wheat-free tamari. Start with less as I am not sure how the salt content differs.


Other appetizer's you might enjoy:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Agave Frosting (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Welcome to day three of our Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! Today's theme is chocolate! I am sharing a favorite allergy-free cupcake recipe amongst the younger crowd. This chocolate cupcake is light, moist, easy to make, and has a mild chocolate flavor. The great thing about this recipe is the fact that all children love it, gluten-free or not. I also have another fun giveaway for you, read on to find out....

My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting. I made these cupcakes for a bake sale at my children's school this past weekend. Of course I had to save a few of them! My nephew, who isn't gluten-free, loved them and asked me to send the recipe to his mom (along with a number of other recipes I made)!

Like my Soft Molasses Cookie recipe, I use either Sucanat or Coconut Sugar for the sweetener in these cupcakes. I have tested it with organic cane sugar and the overall flavor lacked the depth that only a dark, rich sugar can give. Sucanat or Coconut Sugar work beautifully. If you haven't yet entered the giveaway for the 2-pound bag of Coconut Sugar, you still have time, go to my last post to enter.

If you are interested in baking gluten-free cakes or cupcakes from a mix then I have just the thing! Authentic Foods has offered 6 Vanilla Bean Cake Mixes for a giveaway here. I love using their superfine flours in baking. You'll see a number of recipes on this blog using their flours and arrowroot powder. To be entered in the giveaway just leave a comment. To be entered twice you can share this on twitter or facebook, just be sure to come back and leave a second comment! The giveawy will remain open until 9pm PST on December 11th. I will choose 6 names using Random Number Generator so please check back to see if you won and then email me with your contact info!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Soft Molasses Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


Welcome to our December Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! This month's theme is desserts. Today I am sharing my recipe for soft molasses cookies. These cookies are delicious and so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy them. Although I normally use Sucanat to sweeten them (unrefined dried cane juice), I have also tried making them using coconut sugar. I brought a batch, made with coconut sugar, to our large Thanksgiving gathering this year and they were a hit with the children! I have a 2-pound bag of coconut sugar I am giving away today, so be sure to leave a comment to enter!

The trick to making perfect molasses cookies is to CHILL the dough for at least an hour or more! If you are hasty and don't wait for the dough to chill completely, the fat will spread quickly while baking before the other ingredients have a chance to set up. This leads to very flat, thin cookies. The dough can actually be chilled for days before baking. I store mine in a large, tightly covered glass container. I don't use plastic wrap if I don't have too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am sharing with you a delectable little cookie recipe. A version of chocolate chip cookies that you've probably never seen before. One that doesn't contain any flour, sugar, eggs, or butter. No xanthan gum or starches either. Yep. A true "whole foods" cookie. One that pairs well with a glass of fresh, raw almond milk for dunking.

The base of this cookie is made from almond butter and quinoa flakes. It's a high protein, refined sugar-free, vegan cookie. Crispy on the outside and slightly gooey in the center.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a sample cookie I tried at our annual Gluten Intolerance Group Event a few weeks ago. The company that makes them is called Bonte Natural Foods and they are located right here, just north of Bellingham! I took one bite then looked at their ingredients. It read: Almond butter, eggs, GF oats, date paste, almond meal, honey, vanilla, and chocolate chips. For about a week I mulled the idea around in my mind and then finally created this recipe. It came out perfect the first time but I wanted to be sure so I sent it off to about 25 of my recipe testers.

The feedback I have received thus far has been fantastic. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do.