Monday, May 24, 2010

Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Biscuit Recipe

We like to make biscuits around here. I grew up making biscuits with my mother and on occasion with my grandmother who never measured a single ingredient. She went by the way the dough looked and felt between her fingertips. That's the way to make biscuits. The art of making biscuits may take some practice but the results are worth it! The following recipe is one of a few I have created. This one is a spin-off of a recipe in our cookbook using sorghum flour in place of the brown rice flour with a few other minor changes.

Tips for making Gluten-Free Biscuits:
  • Be sure your butter, palm shortening, or coconut oil is cold!
  • Real butter gives the best flavor and texture and is what I used in the gluten-free biscuits pictured here. Be sure to use organic butter! :)
  • I always make sure the milk I am using has been chilled for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Handle the dough as little as possible! Even though there is no gluten in the dough to over-develop, working with the dough too much causes it to become dense.
  • If your kitchen is too hot and your fat begins to melt as you work it into the flour, place the whole bowl into the fridge to chill and reconvene when the fat has chilled.
  • Instead of cutting the dough into circles, simply form dough into a rectangle and cut into 16 squares with a large knife. This creates much less handling of the dough.
Whole Grain Gluten-Free Biscuits

We love to make these with any meal. It gives us a special excuse to open a new jar of last season's honey blueberry jam! I made so many varieties of sugar-free jam last summer with all of that fruit we picked! These biscuits are best served fresh out of the oven, enjoy!

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (use 1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter)
1/2 cup butter, coconut oil, or palm shortening
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened hemp milk)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together.

Add the fat and cut in with a pastry cutter or your hands until small pea-sized crumbs form. Add milk and gently but quickly stir together with a fork. Form dough into a ball (gently) and place onto a lightly floured cutting board. Pat with your hands into a rectangle about 1 1/4 inches thick. Cut with a large knife into 16 squares.

Place biscuits onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Sometimes I will pull one out at about 10 minutes and open it up to test for doneness. Serve with jam! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.

More gluten-free, egg-free baking recipes:

Other News:
Shauna and Danny are giving away a copy of our cookbook on their blog right now along with 4 other fabulous gluten-free cookbooks! Go to Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef to read their review and enter by leaving a comment!

Our book was also reviewed recently on another blog. Cinde from Gluten-Free Taste of Home has posted a great review. Thanks!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring Herb Quinoa Salad with Dandelion Greens and Peas

Light, refreshing, and full of Spring's intoxicating flavors. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and chives. Fresh dandelion greens, peas, and lemon. This quinoa salad is balanced and uber nutritious. I've added salmon and sheep's feta but it can be made vegan too. In fact, once you have the quinoa cooked and tossed with the simple herb dressing below, the options for creativity are endless.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and one of our favorite grains. It is high in protein, antioxidants, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. We cook it at least twice a week. I love that it cooks up in only 15 to 20 minutes! Here is a tip for cooking quinoa (actually most grains): Be sure to bring the quinoa to a boil when it first goes on the stove and then it bring down to a simmer. If it doesn't boil first, the quinoa can end up mushy and the grains stuck together.


Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

This simple grain salad makes a fantastic lunch or light dinner. Serve it with a fresh baby green salad tossed with toasted walnuts for a balanced meal. If you are citrus-sensitive then try replacing the lemon juice in this recipe with coconut vinegar. Refer to this post for more info on that. If you are vegan, replace the salmon and sheep's feta with either cooked garbanzo beans or chopped toasted walnuts.

Quinoa:
2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

Salad:
1 cup lightly cooked fresh or frozen peas
1 cup cooked salmon
1/2 cup chopped fresh dandelion greens
1/2 cup sheep's feta (or goat cheese)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

To cook the quinoa, first rinse well in a fine mesh strainer under running water to remove the bitter saponin coating. Then place into a 2-quart pot with the water and sea salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low (or medium-low) and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let cool for about 30 to 60 minutes before making this salad.

To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. The herbs don't need to be completely pureed into the dressing, just enough to release their potent flavors.

To make the salad, place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Pour dressing over it and lightly toss. Then add all other salad ingredients, gently toss, and serve at room temp. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


More Spring Recipes:


Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry-Almond Smoothie


Back to the blog at last! I am sharing with you today one of our favorite high protein smoothies, without protein powder! Soaked raw almonds: one of nature's most digestible vegan protein sources. We've probably made every variation under the sun when it comes to a soaked almond smoothie, but since it is spring, it is time for the Strawberry Almond Smoothie to make an appearance on this blog.

Soaking raw almonds for about 8 hours in a small bowl of water causes them to soften considerably and plump up. Our kids take much delight in popping the almonds out of their skins and eating them. Basically, you take the amount of almonds you desire, place them into a bowl and cover with about and inch of pure water. If you are planning on making your own homemade raw almond milk, this is how you would begin. For this smoothie I simply drain and rinse the almonds after they have soaked overnight and blend with water until very smooth. If you are making almond milk you would strain the pulp through cheesecloth, but for this smoothie we leave all of the good fiber in the blender and add frozen fruit, blend again, and voila ~ a high protein, nutrient dense smoothie!

What Tom has to say about Almonds and Strawberries: Contrary to popular belief, not all calorically dense foods lead to weight gain. Case in point? Almonds. Studies have demonstrated that people can add up to 2 ounces of almonds to their weight loss programs to decrease cholesterol and increase insulin sensitivity. Others studies have shown that adding 2 ounces of almonds to a high carbohydrate meal can significantly lower the blood sugar response to that meal. Strawberries are high in anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidant compounds that protect tissues from free radical damage. Strawberries are also one of the fruits that are highest in vitamin C!

We have a variation of this smoothie in our cookbook using frozen cherries and fresh pears which is equally delicious. Lately Tom has been making one using the frozen fruit in our second freezer. He likes the combination of Italian plums, blackberries, and raspberries. Today I uncovered the last container of the strawberries we harvested from last season. Tiny, like the size of a blackberry, but with an intensity of flavor that is could never compare to the store-bought variety I picked up today for the garnish!

Strawberry-Almond Smoothie

Planning is key when wanting to make this smoothie or a variation of it. Before I go to bed, I briefly plan out the next day. Do I need to soak any nuts or beans? Cook a pot of quinoa? It only takes a few minutes to get the nuts out and pour water over them. You'll want to give them about 8 to 10 hours of soaking time. In the morning be sure to drain off the soaking water and rinse well in a colander. Use any frozen or fresh fruits you have on hand here. Pears, raspberries, cherries, and blackberries make a fantastic Phase 3 Elimination Diet recipe!

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
2 to 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)

Place the almonds and water into a high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix) or a blender fitted with a sharp blade. Add water and blend until very smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds. Then add the berries, vanilla bean, and honey, blend again until smooth. Serve immediately. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

More Smoothie Recipes:

Here is another Quick Breakfast Recipe:
Diane from The Whole Gang is hosting a 30 Days to a Food Revolution on her blog right now. I did a guest post for her last week and shared a very quick, nutritious breakfast recipe: Rice and Nut Milk Hot Cereal. Please go check it out! :)