Jan 15 2013

How to Make Mustard (and a recipe for Dee’s Rosemary Thyme Grainy Mustard)

Stef & I are HUGE grainy mustard fans. HUGE. We go through large-ish bottles fairly quickly in our apartment. And it can get pricey (especially if you are looking for organic mustards made only with apple cider vinegar!)

But once again condiment inspiration struck me while we were in Copenhagen visiting our friends when G showed me this little pot of mustard she made which looked DELICIOUS. I think the discussion went something like this:

G pulls mustard out of fridge in this cute little container pot thingy

Dee: “OMG CUTEST POT OF MUSTARD EVER!”

G: “I made it myself!”

Dee: “WTF ARE YOU KIDDING ME – you can MAKE mustard?”

G: “Yes of course! And it’s super easy! Here’s how…”

(She’s a saint!! No diss to be had here…not even a “DUH!” was uttered…)

Anyway – I decided to look into this further when we got home and did you know that Canada is the world’s largest producer of mustard seeds? (Crazy right – how did we not learn about this in school?) Which also translates to this: mustard seeds are REALLY cheap here. Seriously. You can buy enough mustard seeds to make a few cups of mustard for a few bucks. (Who knew!?) Don’t go to your grocery store – go to a bulk store or a spice store. (Better selection and better prices from what I have found!)

MUSTARD 101

This is what a Canadian yellow mustard field looks like!

There are 3 kinds of mustard seeds:
1) White/Yellow – this is the mildest mustard seed and the largest. (Think North American mustard)
2) Brown/Dark Yellow – this is a pungent mustard seed and a medium size. (Think European mustard)
3) Black – this is the smallest and spiciest mustard seed of the 3 varieties. (Think South Asian mustard oils, etc.)

You can buy mustard either in whole seed form, or powdered form.

Mustard plants are in the Brassica family, the cancer-fighting plant family that also includes cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. And guess what – the mustard seed contains concentrated amounts of the same anti-cancer compounds found in those greens! The glucosinolates are the key and these are released from crucifers when they are chewed and from the mustard seed when it is soaked or broken. (Source: Healing Spices,  Bharat B. Aggarwal, p 166) In addition, mustard is an excellent source of selenium, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and phosphorus. (Source)

When mustard seeds come into contact with cold (NOT HOT) water, the enzyme myrosinase activates and produces the pungent, distinctive mustard flavour. To moderate its sharp flavor, you can either add some very hot water OR an acidic substance such as vinegar, either of which will stop the enzymatic process. (Source) If vinegar is added at the outset, it prevents the myrosinase from acting which will produce a milder flavoured mustard. The initial soaking liquid is what develops the flavour, and some popular choices include water (for a sharp taste), milk (for a spicier flavour) and beer (which will make it very hot). To develop their full flavour, seeds should sit in the liquid for 10 minutes. Vinegar or hot water can be added whenever you want to stop the heat from developing, but if you go over 10 minutes the flavour will start to dissipate. (Source: Healing Spices,  Bharat B. Aggarwal, p 171)

When buying in whole seed form, the seeds can be soaked for 48 hours in liquid and then they can be ground if desired in a food processor or blender (or a mortar & pestle if you’re into doing it the old fashioned way). Powdered mustard can be used immediately.

The best part about making your own mustard is that it is easy to experiment with the flavours, and so cheap that even if it tastes really nasty it’s more of a “OH WELL” and “LET’S TRY THAT AGAIN” than a frustrated “MAN THOSE INGREDIENTS COST ME A PRETTY PENNY ARRGH!” with some rage-induced mustard tossing and then collapsing in a teary pile on the floor of the kitchen in abject failure mode. (I’m not saying it never happened – just not due to mustard muff-ups!) You really have nothing to lose other than a few bucks and like, 10 minutes of time.

The original inspiration for this mustard recipe is from the “My Recipes” website – I’ve tweaked it a bit so that it suits our tastes, quantities consumed and dietary preferences.

Dee’s Rosemary Thyme Grainy Mustard

 Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced finely (divided into 1 tbsp amounts)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced finely
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized honey (can be made vegan with agave nectar)
  • 1  tsp grey sea salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp ground mustard (powdered) optional

 Directions

  1. Combine mustard seeds, rosemary, water, vinegar and 1 tbsp of the thyme in a bowl. Stir until mustard seeds are submerged. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
  2. Add mustard mixture, honey, salt, remaining 1 tbsp of thyme and ground mustard to blender. Blend until desired consistency is reached (it should get nice & thick and still be grainy!)
  3. Pour into clean jars and let sit in the fridge for a day to let some of the bitterness subside (I usually can’t wait though – it’s already delicious!).

 Yields about 2 cups of mustard. Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

I know this seems like a lot of mustard but I always end up giving a bunch away so I make larger quantities! SHARE THE MUSTARDLY LOVE! (Or you know, make less. Whatever.)

Additional Information:

Here is another excellent article on mustard which popped up while I was researching this blog post and, hilariously enough, starts with a very similar conversation to the one I’ve posted above except that the writer was the knowledgeable one, not the mustard padawan! A couple of tasty looking recipes at the bottom too!

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Jan 14 2013

New Year, New Beginnings and a Roasted Pepper Salsa Recipe (gluten free, dairy free, soy free)

Published by under Dee Thoughts,Gluten Free Recipes

Last year became really overwhelmingly busy and I let this blog fall by the wayside. Blogging is a lot of work – a labour of love and wonderful and inspiring and motivating – but it was time I didn’t have to spare, so my apologies for the disappearing act and I hope you understand!

Yes, I’m still here, still trying to figure out how to eat and NOT piss off my body, and still cooking up a storm in the kitchen and I have a TON of stuff I can’t wait to share!

So here I am starting out 2013 and fulfilling one of my resolutions – to keep up with my food blogging!

My first recipe to share this year is one for SALSA. We really like the stuff – and it’s a great condiment alternative to conventional ketchup if you are trying to cut back on sugar (or corn syrup or whatever Heinz is putting in there these days…). Now I know a lot of people prefer raw/fresh salsas, but I find them too acidic for my poor tum and usually end up with indigestion when I indulge (which I do – especially if they are heavy on the cilantro! Mhhm!) So this is a COOKED salsa recipe, which is easier on my stomach and also means that it keeps better in the fridge!

My inspiration for the recipe comes from our dear friends G & K who live in Copenhagen, Denmark. During our visit last September, G made salsa a few times to fuel us while we were engaged in long hours of wine-powered board game battles, and I had to get the recipe because it was SO delicious! (Additionally I have been paying through the nose for organic salsa here in Toronto!) I’ve made a few alterations to the original recipe including roasting the peppers (because I looooove roasted pepper flavour) but it’s an extra step that isn’t NECESSARY – if you need salsa fast just chop everything up, simmer it for 20 minutes and then blend it until it looks right to you. Some people like chunks – I prefer a smoother salsa!

The recipe is SUPER forgiving and you can be really creative with the ingredients! (Scotch bonnet peppers anyone?)

Roasted Pepper Salsa Recipe (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow OR orange pepper (or both. or whatever)
  • 2 cubano peppers/hot hungarian peppers (or other hot peppers of your choice)
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (I use Emeril’s Essence recipe listed below – if you are using a premade cajun mix try to avoid preservatives/msg!)
  • 1 onion, diced roughly
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced roughly
  • 1 15 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • A handful or so of fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste – but I like a LOT of cilantro)
  • 1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized honey (you can use agave if you want to make it vegan!)
  • half a lime OR lemon, squeezed
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to broil at 500F
  2. Wash, de-seed and slice peppers into large pieces. Place on baking trays. Put trays under the broiler for 10-15 minutes, checking on the peppers every 5 minutes or so. When they start to blacken you can remove them from the oven and let them cool. Once cool, dice the peppers roughly and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the Cajun seasoning and heat for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and continue heating for another minute. Add tomatoes  and peppers and bring up to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro, salt, honey and the citrus juice.
  6. Using your hand blender, process the salsa until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Taste & adjust seasoning as required!

Will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Makes about 4 cups of salsa.

CAJUN SEASONING (Emeril’s Essence)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Directions

  1. Mix.
  2. Use.

 

Hopefully this post inspires you to start making your own salsa! Save money, control the ingredients, make your kitchen smell AMAZING! And it’s easy & the perfect snack while reading/relaxing with your favourite furry baby!

 

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Mar 05 2012

Weekly Meal Plan – March 4th – March 10th

Published by under Weekly Meal Plan

Here’s what we’re eating this week!

Sunday:

  • Brunch: Bacon and over easy eggs (mmhm!)
  • Dinner: Pan-fried/roasted chicken breasts, roasted sunchokes with walnuts and sage, sauteed kale and garlic/cauliflower mash

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Hemp Smoothie 
  • Lunch: Leftover chicken, sunchokes and garlic/cauliflower mash
  • Dinner: Stef’s homemade jerk chicken, roasted pineapple and vegetables, fennel and blood orange salad

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Sauteed collard greens, mushrooms and garlic with 2 poached eggs
  • LunchPotato and Leek Soup, salad with homemade balsamic dressing and roasted garlic hummus.
  • Dinner: Sandwich for Stef (BELT), for Dee, bacon, eggs & sauteed mushrooms & then salsa lessons! :)

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Hemp Smoothie 
  • Lunch: GF bagel, Roasted Garlic Hummus, tomato slices, boston lettuce and spicy pickled veggies
  • Dinner: Pork tenderloin, sauteed kale and mushrooms, roasted beets

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Egg, mushroom and ham scramble
  • Lunch: Vegan chili
  • Dinner: Meeting a friend for dinner & a movie!

Friday:

Saturday:

  • Brunch: Probably bacon & eggs of some sort…
  • Dinner: Steak dinner…mhhm…

 

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Mar 05 2012

Roasted Garlic Hummus (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

Apparently it was a weekend for re-working old recipes! I decided to play with my hummus recipe and use roasted garlic instead of raw, pump up the cumin and change the texture a bit!

Lately I’ve been packing about 1/4 cup of hummus with my lunch and plop it onto my salad – with a little balsamic dressing it makes a delicious creamy protein and fibre filled boost for your greens!

This recipe has a little less of the pungent garlicky-ness of raw garlic hummus, and instead has that lovely roasted garlic flavour that is perfectly complemented by earthy tahini and cumin, and a little lemony zing with a creamier texture!

Again, I prefer dried/cooked chickpeas to canned but totally understand time constraints – you need about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas (which according to the internet is two (2) 15oz cans, drained and rinsed). I know it sounds like a lot of work, but soak the chickpeas overnight (easy), cook them while you’re making dinner (also easy), and maybe roast the garlic the night before while you’re doing dishes and/or packing lunches for the next day. It makes about 4 cups which will last you a while!

(I will probably play with the amounts in the below recipe a bit until I get them just right so if you come back to the recipe and the amounts have been altered – that’s why!)

 Dee’s Roasted Garlic Hummus (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • A pinch of paprika (for sprinkling on before you serve)

Directions:

  1. Soak your chickpeas: (night before)
    Soak dried chickpeas in about 6 cups of cold water overnight.
  2. Prepare your chickpeas:
    a) Rinse chickpeas and dispose of soaking water.
    b) Put chickpeas in a saucepan with another 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour.
    c) Rinse chickpeas and toss water. Put back in saucepan with another 4 cups of cold water and baking soda. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for another 1 hour 30 minutes (until chickpeas are soft and will easily mush between your fingers).
    d) Rinse chickpeas again under cold water.
  3. Roast your garlic:
    a) Cut the top off of a head of garlic,  drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
    b) Wrap in tin foil and bake in a 350degree oven for 1 hour.
    c) Let cool and then squeeze the roasted garlic out (like you would squeeze a lemon half!)
  4. Making hummus:
    a) Put chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt in food processor.
    b) Cover and start blending!
    c) While you’re blending, drizzle in the olive oil and water through the feeder tube (I have read this makes it creamier!)
    d) Blend the hell out of it. (Probably about 5 minutes on medium with some “pulse” boosts during)
    e) Remove from food processor, put in a pretty bowl, sprinkle with paprika, drizzle with more olive oil and serve!
  5. ENJOY DELICIOUS HUMMUS!


Why you should eat more hummus!

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (chickpeas tend to be higher in folic acid than other beans), zinc, and magnesium.

Hummus is a great source of fibre and a healthy source of fat.

Hummus is full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for improving intelligence and maintaining a healthy heart, and this dish also has iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids. Tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine are the amino acids found in hummus that can promote good quality sleep and uplift one’s mood.

Why do you love hummus?

(and yes, “because it is delicious” is a totally valid reason!)

 

 

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Mar 04 2012

Potato and Leek Soup II (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

I have previously posted a potato and leek soup recipe, which I really like, but when leeks arrived in our organic food delivery box this week (and you should SEE the size of the collard greens they sent us OMG!) I thought “Hmm…I could jazz the soup up a bit”! So I  looked through some other recipes online, looked at what we had in the fridge and came up with this divine pot of creamy deliciousness!

It comes together quickly and gets all pureed at the end, so don’t worry too much about dicing it perfectly!

Potato and Leek Soup II

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, light green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly diced
  • 1-2 shallots, roughly diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly diced
  • 1 cup of button or crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced (I used 2 yukon gold and 3 small red potatoes)
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat your oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the leeks, onion and shallots until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and mushrooms and stir for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and sauté for an another minute.
  5. Add potatoes and stir for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add stock, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.
  7. Bring soup to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft and falling apart.
  8. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems.
  9. Using immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
  10. Stir in the coconut milk.
  11. Serve! :)

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Feb 12 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

Where do the months go? (honestly!) I feel like I was just enjoying Christmas, and then we had a whirlwind of a January….and now we’re almost halfway into February!

It’s been a totally bizarre winter here in Toronto – we’ve had almost no snow and “balmy” temperatures all winter – in fact we had a “cold snap” yesterday (and a bit of snow) and I actually had to go digging in the closet to find my hat/mitts/scarf! (I had an “ice cream” craving and there is a FANTASTIC gelato place right around the corner from where we live that makes the most delicious dairy-free sorbettos! Yes an ice cream craving. On the coldest day of the year. And I even dragged my husband along for the adventure!)

But aside from that random cold food craving, normally this weather makes me want to eat delicious warm, creamy soups! I’ve had a couple of little butternut squashes kicking around for a week or so and decide to roast them up in a delicious, creamy, healthy soup! I wanted something simple, smooth and featuring one of my new favourite herbs – sage! (I go through phases…although the cilantro phase never seems to end completely! *hehe*)

SAGE

Sage is a greyish-green leaf and is a savoury herb – you will probably recognize the flavour from “poultry seasoning” and it is commonly used in pork and poultry stuffings, sausages and with other fatty meats. Stef recently has used it in this most amazing and delicious Spanish Potato recipe – so we had some extra to use up! Fresh sage is less bitter than dried sage, and a little goes a long way. Another interesting note about sage is that unlike most fresh herbs, you add it early in the cooking process (rather than right at the end) as it will stand up to long cooking times. So it’s perfect for stews, soups & other braised dishes! (Did you know that sage also has antibacterial properties and has been used as a holistic remedy since the Dark Ages? Interesting stuff!)

So it’s with these many varied and random thoughts swirling in my head that I began to peruse vegan butternut squash recipes. I could not find one that had everything I was looking for – and why WHY do people insist on peeling & cutting butternut squash for a *pureed* soup when roasting is sooo much easier? (I prefer good food with less effort!) So I came up with the below recipe and it is AMAZING! Creamy, simple, savoury, delicious…perfect to serve on a winter day! (Even a warm Toronto “winter” day!) I can’t wait to inhale this for lunches again this week!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or one large butternut squash, roasted, cooled & scooped out of skins (see instructions below)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth of your choice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup(ish) of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Roast your squash! (this is very simple – much easier than peeling/dicing a hard butternut squash! And the flavour is amazing!)
    a) Preheat oven to 350 F
    b) Cut your squash in half, clean out the seeds & guts
    c) Rub inside of the cleaned squash halves with some olive oil & sprinkle with salt and pepper!
    d) Place squash halves face down in a 9 x 13″ pan (I love my pyrex for this! Cleans up really easily!)
    e) Roast for 40 – 60 minutes (until soft when poked!)
    f) About 10 minutes after you pull the squash out of the oven, flip out the halves onto a plate face up so they cool faster!
    (usually by the time I’m done the rest of the prep they’re cool enough to handle.)
    g) When cool enough to touch, scoop out that delicious roasted squash into a bowl!
    h) See? Easy! Now we prepare the rest of the ingredients!
  2. In a large soup pot, heat your oil over medium heat.
  3. Sauté the onion until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, then add carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the squash, vegetable broth and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cook covered for about 25 minutes until flavours are well-blended.
  6. Using immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
  7. Stir in the coconut milk (as much or as little as you please! I put a little more than 1/2 cup like, 160 ml because I wanted a bit more, but totally up to you!)
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve! (I grated some nutmeg on mine – heaven!)

 

What do you like to eat to keep you warm?

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Nov 22 2011

My Favourite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess! (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

I have often linked to Karina (the “Gluten Free Goddess“)’s recipes in the past because I find her recipes inspiring, many of her recipes are gluten and soy/dairy free (not all but many!), and they’re colourful, accessible (aka even manageable for junior cooks like me to accomplish!), reasonably priced easy-to-find ingredients…and I love her thoughts and blurbs about life, love, health, the weather, the seasons, politics…a little bit of everything. Through the musings and recipes and beautiful photography, the message that really resonates to me from her blog is one of love – loving family, friends, and yourself. And what you eat.

Not to feel deprived.

Not to give up.

To get creative.

To have fun with it.

I’ve begun looking forward to my alchemical baking experiments on lazy Sunday afternoons and weekday evenings that (mostly) turn out edible, and often fantastic!

Me – the non-cook, the take-out & microwave queen learning to cook & finding it relaxing and enjoyable. Pouring over recipes, cookbooks & blogs. Getting excited about food.

If I can do it anyone can.

(Have I gushed enough?)

Karina is like my gluten-free, dairy-free adoptive Blog-Momma and her recipes are in *constant* rotation at our place.

One of my favourites (and one that I just *had* to share as my Mom & sister were looking for the recipe) are her Banana Chocolate Chip muffins.

Sadly I do not have a JUMBO muffin pan. It’s probably for the best – these are some seriously hearty muffins and great warm with some Earth’s Balance Soy-Free Spread (or butter if you can tolerate it!)

The muffins in the picture below were made with buckwheat flour instead of sorghum flour and I found they didn’t rise quite as well (but they’re chewier, moister & heavier – they really fill you up!) So really, any medium to heavy flour can be subbed in for the sorghum depending on what you have in your pantry! (I think next time I’m going to do 1/2 cup sorghum & 1/2 cup buckwheat!)

Big Banana Muffins from the Gluten Free Goddess (full credit & glory of these scrumptious delectable treats belong to her!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I usually use a little extra – about 3-4 medium size bananas)
  • 1/4 cup light olive or safflower oil
  • 1 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs mixed with warm water or use 2 organic free-range eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild rice vinegar
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
And one of the following add-in options:
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit- cherries, cranberries, or blueberries
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 6-muffin jumbo muffin pan (or 12 muffin pan) and dust with a whisker of rice or sorghum flour.
  2. Combine the bananas, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs and vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the flour, starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and beat or stir until smooth. If the batter looks too thick and dry, add some non-dairy milk such as vanilla hemp or rice milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is smooth- but thicker than cake batter.
  5. Mix in your choice of add-in.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or so (a wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean). (If you cheat and use a smaller pan with 12 cups, check sooner- after 15 to 18 minutes.)
  7. Cool the muffins briefly in the pan, on a wire rack; then turn them out of the pan to keep them from getting soggy; continue to cool on a wire rack or serve warm.
  8. Wrap leftover muffins; bag and freeze for easy on-the-go treats. Reheat briefly in a microwave, if you wish. You know, to melt the chocolate just a little.

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Nov 21 2011

Dee’s Tangy Spicy Sweet Baked Beans (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

I get random cravings sometimes. And lately, I’ve been craving warm, delicious soups, stews and…beans? I remember my Gramma Betty making baked beans from scratch and the tangy, deliciously sweet flavour that permeated these soft, mushy beans and warmed us right up after a hard afternoon of tobogganing (or whatever we were up to…) and I wanted to make those beans. But where to start?

Let me tell you – if you google “baked beans” (or even “gluten free baked beans”) you get dozens of variations, from Boston baked beans to maple-bacon baked beans to spicy chili baked beans to tomatoey-beans… and it seems that most recipes use LOTS of ketchup (sugar overload!!). I wanted something that would give me a little more control over the ingredients so I “franken-beaned” a recipe together from probably half a dozen different sites…and OMG they are to DIE for!

I know this looks like a long list of ingredients, but it comes together pretty fast once the beans are cooked (and it is so worth it!) And yes, I know the tahini sounds weird but it gives the sauce nice body & mouth feel (creamier and thicker without dairy or wheat)!

 

Dee’s Tangy Spicy Sweet Baked Beans

  • 5 cups cooked navy beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced (or garlic pressed)
  • 1 can (5.5oz) of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweet/mild mustard (I used Svensk Senap, but dijon would work well too)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce (gluten free)

 

  1. Prepare your navy beans!
    METHOD I
    (a) Pick through beans & remove any broken ones or debris. Soak overnight in 3 cups of water.
    (b) Discard soaking water & rinse well.
    (c) Put in pot of 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5-2 hours until tender – skim foam off top.
    (d) Rinse again.
    (e) Ready to use.
    METHOD II
    (a) Pick through beans & remove any broken ones or debris. Put beans in 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
    (b) Cover and turn off heat. Leave for 2 hours.
    (c) Rinse.
    (d) Put in a pot of 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then simmer 1.5-2 hours until tender – skim foam off top.
    (e) Rinse again.
    (f) Ready to use.
    METHOD III
    (a) Use canned. (about 2 and 1/2 16 oz cans)
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  3. Whisk together in a bowl the broth, molasses, cider vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, tahini, Worcester sauce and tamari sauce. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large pot. Add spices and heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  5. Add onions and red peppers and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes)
  6. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  7. Add tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds.
  8. Add the bowl of wet ingredients. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a very low heat for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Taste the sauce and make sure that you like it! Not spicy enough? Add some more cayenne. Too tangy? Add some more sugar!
  10. Add cooked beans and mix throughly. Transfer to an oven-safe dish with a lid.
  11. Bake covered for two and a half hours, stirring at least once. If beans may seem saucy but keep in mind that they thicken as they stand!
  12. Eat! (carefully – it’s hot!)

 

 

 

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Nov 19 2011

“Drommar” Swedish Dream Cookies (Gluten Free)

Published by under Gluten Free Recipes

OK I have a confession to make. These cookies *do* have dairy in them! I just can’t find a substitute for butter that isn’t made with soy or that tastes as good. I’m getting some organic coconut oil that I will be experimenting with, and have some techniques for working with that (mainly refrigeration & then baking) – so I might update this recipe later!

For now – butter. I seem to be able to tolerate some butter these days. (But I try not to overdo it.)

My Stefan isn’t a huge fan of dessert and sweets (which is actually a good thing  – less temptation for me to cheat!) But he does love these simple little vanilla flavoured Swedish “dreams” – they are like shortbread but the ammonium carbonate makes them super light, airy and they literally melt in your mouth. Just…wonderful crunchy little bites of heaven! So when I get into the holiday baking mood, these are always at the top of my list!

I based this recipe off of one that I used to make in my “gluten” days that we found on VerySwedish.com and make about 3-4 dozen of the cookies Stef remembers from his childhood.

 Traditional Swedish Dream Cookies (Drommar) (original recipe at VerySwedish.com, altered by Dee)

  • 1 1/2 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp powdered ammonium carbonate
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150°C).
  2. With electric mixer beat sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the canola oil slowly while mixing with the mixer.
  4. Mix flours, starches & powdered ammonium carbonate in a separate bowl.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients by hand until you have a nice smooth dough.
  6. Place the dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  7. Roll dream cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or untill the dream cookies are lightly browned with cracks on the surface.

 

NOTE: I find my ammonium carbonate (or “bicarbonate”) in the grocery store with the baking powders!

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Nov 18 2011

How to Make *Perfect* Brown Rice

We all know brown rice is healthier for us than white rice.

“Our food ranking system qualified brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.” Whole Foods

Yup – brown rice has it all – fibre, selenium, manganese, B vitamins, iron, essential fatty acids…but the texture! *bleh!* I hate when it is all wet and clumpy together…maybe I just fail miserably at making brown rice the way recommended on the package? (I really love the nuttier flavour of brown rice, I just never liked the texture as much!)

Well NO MORE! I found this article “Perfect Brown Rice” on Saveur.com, and literally, it makes *perfect* brown rice. Every time. Each grain defined and delicious and NOT soggy/wet/clumpy!

Healthier & more delicious? It’s true. And it’s easy!

I make a giant pot of this Sundays and store it in the fridge, and then I have enough for Brown Rice Porridge (will post recipe soon!) and/or as a side for dinner/leftovers/whatever!

Perfect Brown Rice (from Saveur.com, instructions altered slightly by Dee)

  • 1 cup of brown rice (or however much you want to make)
  • about 4 times as much water as rice
  • salt (to taste)
  1. Rinse rice in strainer for 30 seconds.
  2. Bring water to boil (I don’t even measure really, just fill up a pot with lots of water! *lol*)
  3. Add rinsed rice to water. Bring water back to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Drain rice in strainer for 10 seconds, then put back in pot (REMOVE POT FROM HEAT)!
  6. Cover with tight-fitting lid OR put foil over top of pot (I put foil and then put lid – that has a hole in it – on top of the foil) and let sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Uncover, fluff with fork, sprinkle with salt and do whatever you want to do with it! Mhhm!

 

And there you have it – perfect brown rice!

 

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