Comfort food that doesn’t cause discomfort – Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese
Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese

I must apologize for my absence. As I near the end of my chemotherapy treatments I will try to come up with delicious ways to help eliminate gluten from our diets. This one is short and to the point. Lets get straight to the YUM!

GLUTEN FREE MACARONI & CHEESE

8 oz. Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Elbows

1 ½ Cups buttermilk or milk kefir.

½ Cup organic chicken stock (I use Wild Oats)

2 Tablespoons Sweet Cream Butter

3 Tablespoons corn starch

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ Tablespoon mustard

8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar

½ Cup shredded Asiago Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package, drain and set aside. Dissolve corn starch in room temperature chicken stock. Melt butter in large saucepan, whisk in buttermilk and heat. Add chicken stock mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Add cheeses, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper and stir until melted and thick. Remove from heat and fold in pasta.

Enjoy!  Here is one of my favorite quote to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

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Tasty Gluten Free Pancakes for Breakfast or Anytime

Nanna's Gluten Free Pancakes
Nanna’s Gluten Free Pancakes

Nannas Gluten Free Pancakes

(First Attempt)

These pancakes had good flavor but were a little heavy and doughy in the center so I’ve added ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a little grape oil to lighten them up. The appearance and flavor of these are spot on but the texture could use some polishing.

They are currently a work in progress. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the pancakes internal temperature to 210 degrees (as with gluten free bread) to set the gluten free flour and keep them fluffy and not doughy. My next step will be cooking them on the griddle and then putting them in a 220 degree oven for a bit.

Adding a few fresh blueberries or pomegranate seeds could turn these into super pancakes. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

In large bowl whisk together dry ingredients

¼ Cup Potato Flour (Starch)

¼ Cup Brown Rice Flour

¼ Cup White Rice Flour

¼ Cup Sweet Rice Flour

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

In separate bowl mix together

2 Tablespoons Grape seed or Coconut oil (liquefied)

1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla

1 ¾ Cups Milk

1 large Organic Egg

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients and mix until well blended. Cook by ¼ cup-fulls on well oiled, preheated griddle until golden brown then flip and cook until centers are cooked through. Serve with warn syrup and butter. YUM YUM!!!

Nanna's Gluten Free Pancakes
Nanna’s Gluten Free Pancakes

Veggie Fried Quinoa

I have a hard time introducing new foods to my husband. He’s very fussy and is usually sure he won’t like anything unfamiliar so I thought I’d give my traditional Vegetable Fried Rice recipe a little makeover. I use organic ingredients but that is just my personal lifestyle preference. This dish is suitable as a side dish or if you used the vegetable broth option, suitable as a vegan main dish.

QUINOA, QUICK, EASY, NUTRICIOUS and DELICIOUS
QUINOA, QUICK, EASY, NUTRICIOUS and DELICIOUS

Veggie Fried Quinoa

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

½ Cup rinsed and drained Quinoa

1 Cup Beef or Vegetable Stock

½ Cup pea pods

½ Cup match stick cut carrots

½ Cup broccoli flowerets

½ Cup sliced celery

2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

In a large skillet brown Quinoa in sesame oil. Add stock and soy sauce and simmer until liquid is absorbed. While Quinoa is simmering, in separate sauce pan, steam pea pods, celery, carrots and broccoli. Put Quinoa in a bowl and arranged steamed veggies around the edges. Top with slivered almond is desired, QUICK, EASY, NUTRICIOUS and DELICIOUS! BAM!

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert

Recently, after hearing about the health benefits of a gluten free diet my husband decided to try it for a week to see if it would improve how he felt. after a week of eliminating or nearly eliminating gluten from his diet he said most of his aches, pains and fatigue had been alleviated. He also, felt a little discouraged that it was so difficult to find tasty gluten free foods and was concerned about the expense.  Well, I took that as a challenge.  Healthy does not have to be expensive or difficult.  Simple foods should be simple to prepare and simple to obtain. So as I embark on Our Gluten Free or Near Gluten Free journey I will post my discoveries.

Discovery #1

Flavor does not have to be compromised!

 

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert

From the Kitchen of Donna Yelle

(This is my new “go to” recipe if I have apples that are getting old and need to be used quickly)

Ingredients

  • 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup applesause
  • dash lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar/stevia combination
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Topping

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 tbsp butter (room temp)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9 × 9 baking dish.
  2. Put apples and applesauce in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Mix in granulated sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.
  3. Transfer to greased baking dish.
  4. Combine brown sugar, oat flour, oats, cinnamon and salt and stir. Add room temperature butter and cut with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle topping over the apples and bake until apples are soft and topping is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.
  6. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Is great with homemade vanilla ice cream.
Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert
Gluten Free Apple Crisp Dessert

Breakfast Anyone?

Occasionally, folks will see me cook and be amazed that I seem to throw together ingredients together randomly and make something scrumptious. My secret? Making recipes with as few ingredients as possible and developing base recipes that can be adapted with 1 or 2 minor changes or additions. For instance, remembering my sourdough bread recipe is simple, it has flour, water, salt and sugar. It’s kind of hard to forget any of those ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with sourdough and trying to combine it with my love of breakfast muffins and healthier alternatives. If this statement sounds like I’m not willing to compromise on taste, health or ease of preparation, that’s because I’m not. By using “good” ingredients the end result is a rich and robust flavor. That said, I do use “sugar” in my recipes. Is sugar bad for you? My personal opinion is “yes” sugar standing on it’s own merit is probably a bad choice but adding fiber to slow the uptake helps make it not as bad. Using a sweetener that has vitamins like honey is better because honey had nutrients. I use sugar in my recipes but cut the amount and substitute part of the sugar with Stevia to reduce the calories.

This recipe is a base sourdough muffin recipe with different adaptions. Run with it and explore the possibilities. Let me know what combination you try!!! As I come up with different variation of this basic muffin recipe I will add notes to the bottom of this post.

 

Sourdough Berry Muffins

 

https://dgyelle.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/figure-1-sourdough-breakfaast-muffins

 

Ingredients:

1 organic egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil

1/4  cup buttermilk or kefir or sour cream

1 cup unfed sourdough starter

 

2/3 cup unbleached flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour or bran flour if you are using raisins as fruit

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Stevia (natural zero calorie sweetner)

 

1 cup blueberries or blackberries or raspberries or raisins (or chopped peeled macintosh apples and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

 

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.

Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix.

Fold in fruit.

Prepare your muffin cups by greasing and flouring them.

Quickly spoon batter into your muffin cups.

 

Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. Cool. Enjoy. Makes 12 muffins.

*Note:  I tried a new twist on these today.  I substituted 2 large mashed bananas and 3/4 Cup chopped walnuts for the berries and added 1/3 cup additional flour to make up for the extra moisture.  Presto …  Banana Nut Muffins.  It yielded a bit more than a dozen muffins but I just put the extra batter in a greased and floured mini loaf pan and made a cute little miniature banana bread.

additional note: I modified this recipe again to make corn muffins by ommitting the fruit 1/4 cup sugar and vanillia and nuts and substituting the 1/3 Cup of Whole Wheat flour with 2/3 Cup Yellow cornmeal. Instead of greasing and flouring the muffin pans I only greased them. What a great side to go with a hot bowl of chili on a brisk Autumn Day! Enjoy!

additional note: Well, we’ve had our first hard frost and the winter apples are now ready. I peeled, diced, cooked and cooled about a cup of Winesap apples into a lumpy applesauce. I used this in place of the fruit and added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of organic cinnamon. Once I filled the muffin tins I sprinkled the tops with a finely chopped walnut, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and then baked them. I must say these are the best breakfast muffins EVER!

 

HELP My Sourdough and Kefir are Taking Over!!!

One thing about getting back to basics and getting your “ferment” on, is how so few ingredients can grow and grow and grow. I look around and there is sauerkraut and ginger bug fermenting on the counter, probiotic sodas fermenting in a shelf, sourdough fermenting on the baker’s rack, kefir fermenting……and on and on. They are all being carefully nurtured and cared for so that they can care for us. But they all do grow and multiply. Stalling them in the fridge is a temporary solution and does provide a bit of a break but there is only so much bread, waffles, pancakes, smoothies and yogurt 2 people can eat. So I set out to find new ways (at least new to me) to use some of these wonderful ferments. Today I’ll be documenting my first attempt at making a sourdough chocolate cake with a vanilla kefir frosting.

Here I go…wish me luck!

Figure 3 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake Serving

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

In a large bowl mix:

2 organic eggs

I Cup sugar

½ stick butter (softened)

2 Tablespoons grape seed oil

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

½ Cup sourdough starter

Sift into a medium bowl:

1 Cup unbleached organic flour

1/3 Cup organic cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Combine sifted ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well.  Pour into an 8 x 8 inch greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Figure 1 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Vanilla Kefir Frosting

In a medium bowl combine:

½ stick of butter (softened)

1 ½ Cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

2 Tablespoons Kefir

Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.

Figure 2 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake Frosted

I have to say this is SIMPLY delicious!

An Apple A Day …

Recently my Sister-in-law Mary, who is a fabulous cook, shared a recipe with me for an apple cake. Since harvest season is here and there is an abundance of produce (Apples being among them)I thought I’d use some of those Apples that were on the verge of becoming a casualty of the compost pile.  The recipe she sent made a 9 x 13 inch cake pan which is far too large for the 2 of us here so I’ve modified the recipe to be a single 8 x 8 cake. I’ve also changed up the ingredients from traditional to organic and substituted some of the ingredients for healthier versions.  This cake also works well substituting pears for apples.

 

Jewish Apple Cake.

First let me say that I don’t think any of my substitutions made this cake less acceptable to the Jewish community keeping in mind their religious dietary restrictions.

 

Ingredients:

Cake:

½ Cup Natural raw sugar granules

¼ Cup Stevia (Natural Zero calorie sweetener)

2 organic eggs

½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon organic cinnamon

½ teaspoon organic vanilla

½ Cup of organic grape seed oil (or any neutral flavored oil)

¾ Cup organic unbleached white flour

¼ Cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour

½ Cup of coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) raisins also work well.

2 large apples (peeled and chopped)

Figure 1 - Making Apple CakeFigure 2 - Apple Cake Mixed

Topping:

¼ Cup finely chopped walnuts (oatmeal also works here)

¼ Cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon organic cinnamon

Figure 3 - Apple Cake Spread in PanFigure 4 - Apple Cake Topped

Instructions:

Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch glass cake pan.

In a large bowl mix sugar, stevia, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in oil and mix well. Add both kinds of flour and mix well. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be very stiff. Scrape cake batter into greased and floured cake pan and spread evenly.

 

Make topping: In medium bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake batter.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Cake is done when inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Let cake cool.

Serve plain or top with powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Figure 5 - Apple Cake CooledFigure 6 - Apple Cake Served with Ice Cream

YUM!