Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Chia Cookies! (Gluten-free/Dairy-Free)

As per usual, I am always trying to maximize my baked goods full of complex grain/seeds, fruits and veggies for my 5-year-old who is a Particular Eater. This is typically easier this time of  year when pumpkin is more on the radar because she loves the complex flavors of pumpkin baked goods.  I have no idea why this works for her delicate palate, but I try just to be grateful. 

Well, now enter the 10-month-old who is a seriously complex eater already, but somehow is low on iron. Ok, so I do actually know that red meat could help, but I've got a thing about handling blood.  I'm much better with this arena.  I put this recipe together to incorporate pumpkin seeds which are a decent source of iron (14% RDA/ 1/4 cup) and then got all excited about using teff flour which is even higher in iron (20%/1/4 cup) and blackstrap molasses (15%/Tbs).  They are really high in protein and fiber for baked goods so the glycemic load is nicely reduced, making this the new Everyday Cookie for us!

These are quite moistureful- unlike many gluten-free baked goods.  Surely you could add some banana in somewhere and if you wish, increase the sugar.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth and the girls have never complained, so I keep it pretty low.  

Pumpkin Chia Cookies  (Makes about 3 dozen 1oz cookies)
  • 3/4c almond flour (I use almond meal from TJs)
  • 1/2c flour (*see note below)
  • 1/4c ground pumpkin seeds**
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1Tbls chia seeds mixed with 3Tbls hot water (or sub an egg)
  • 1/3c coconut oil at room temp or butter
  • 1/3c pumpkin (canned or freshly roasted)
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla 
  • 1Tbls molasses (optional but extra yummy) 
*Flour note: I haven't used wheat flour here at all but presumably it works.  I typically use 1/4c teff flour and 2Tbls each garbanzo/brown rice flour

**I put pumpkin seeds in a standard mason jar and screw the blender bottom on to it and then grind them up for a few seconds, works great to make a flour-like texture.  You could use food processor, blender or serious chopping.
 

Directions (preheat oven to 350deg)
1. Mix chia and water together in small dish and let rest about 10 min

2. Meanwhile, sift together all dry ingredients in medium bowl- this  mixes them and will break down little chunks of nut flours and such that seem to form.

3. Mix together all wet ingredients along with chia/water mixture.  I actually just put them all in my narrow measuring cup and use my immersion blender to mix the heck out of them

4. Combine wet ingredients in with the dry, then scoop 1Tbls drops onto parchment-lined baking sheets, then flatten the cookies a little with your fingers or the back of a spoon.  Bake 12-13 minutes. 

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

(avocado) Chocolate Pudding Pops! (Gluten-free/Dairy-free)

It is HOT here in Seattle and these are a healthy fudgesicle  must.  I was a little unsure how well they would freeze but they were great!  I would also even make this recipe and just enjoy it as pudding or double it and chill it for a no-bake chocolate pudding pie.  I used the 4-oz cheapo pop makers from Safeway or something- you can use anything you have.  Even pour the mix into ice-cube trays and use tooth pics or Popsicle sticks if you don't have the molds.  

Avocado Pudding Pops (makes 4 3-4oz pops)
  • 2T Cocoa (or Cacao) powder
  • 2T Agave
  • 1/2 soft avocado
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
Directions
Put all ingredients into food processor or blender and puree until very smooth.  Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.  


Happy Summer!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Healthy Delicious Brownies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Grain-Free/Refined Sugar-Free)

These brownies haven't lasted more than 24 hours in our house.  As you will see, they are quite appropriate for breakfast and snacks so they are never long for the world.  And in this house where my oldest kiddo won't eat protein, this is oh, so satisfying!  These are so fast to make and (I think this is a good thing) not too rich.  The recipe I adapted this from used just nuts and no garbs, but I think the texture benefits from the addition of the beans giving it a more moisturefull crumb.  They are a bit reminiscent of Chocolate Chip Blondies.  I Recommend getting enough ingredients to make two batches because they will go fast.

Killer Brownies
  • 1cup raw walnuts or pecans (or try almonds and let me know!)
  •  ⅓ cup cocoa powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • ½ cup maple syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Optional (not optional)- 2-4 Tbls mini semi-sweet choc chips
Directions
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish.

Place the nuts into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Process until very finely ground, stopping just before they turn into nut butter. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and pulse again to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until smooth. You will still have tiny bits of nuts visible- this is OK even if you are a nut-in-your-brownie type like me.

Pour batter into baking dish. Spread evenly into pan with a rubber spatula or spoon and sprinkle on and lightly swirls in the chips if using. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Adapted from The Nourishing Meals Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS,  CN

Monday, April 15, 2013

Roasted Garbanzo Beans with Nutritional Yeast (Gluten/Dairy free)


This is a new twist on an old favorite. It was over a year ago that I originally wrote about Roasted Garbanzo Beans and our consumption has not changed around here except for a slight hiccup during my first trimester when all-things-not-hot-and-sour-soup were off the list.  Since clearing that hurdle, we are all in again.  I rarely deviate from my favorite mix of Old Bay seasoning and Curry powder, but on a whim the other day, I used some Nutritional Yeast I had in the drawer and it was DYNAMITE! 

I keep hoping I will magically drum up the courage to make Nutritional Yeast 'cheese' sauce, but somehow I just keep forgetting.  I know it is all the rage in vegan cheese sub-in's but I am a little scared.  Mostly because its called nutritional yeast. I mean, really.  The name's a little rough.  Even so, its delicious on popcorn, so it must be delicious on garbs, right? 

Because of the shear volume of consumption of these around here, I always make these from dry beans, but you can use canned beans if you want, just try for a lesser sodium brand and start in step 2.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans (preheat oven to 425)
  • 1lb dry garbanzo beans or 2 cans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4tbls olive oil (use how much you want or are comfortable with, I just drizzle it out of my bottle and coat the garbs)
  • ~1/2tsp salt
  • ~1/4tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ~1/4cup Nutritional Yeast
Directions
1. Toss your dry garbs in a pot of water with at least 3 inches water over the top of the beans and bring to boil, then simmer gently for about 2 hours, then drain. 

2. In small/medium bowl, toss the garbanzos with the oil, then add the S, P and NY.  Spread the beans in a single layer out on a cookie sheet and roast approximately 25-35 minutes, stirring and flipping them every 10  minutes or so.  They should generally be firmly chewy when done.  I like it when I occasionally over cook a batch and have garbanzo nuts, but Mike and I differ there...

* You could very easily make these and a batch of Chocolate Chip Blondies and be set with a delicious power snack combo.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten-free/Dairy-free)

These super tasty muffins and packed with great sustaining protein and fats making them a perfect quick breakfast.  Also they ridiculously easy to make!  Even my peanut butter loathing daughter thinks they are delish.  However, after the first bite of the first batch, she and Mike bit into their muffs and immediately made haste to the kitchen to manually apply chocolate chips.  Clearly they were correct in their assessment and thus, this recipe strongly suggests the chip application.  Also, in the first batch I made, instead of 2 bananas, I used one banana and about 3/4c left-over cooked oatmeal from these muffins made last week.  I liked them that way, but most of you will enjoy more banana I suppose.  I also like to add a couple of tablespoons of ground flax for lots of reasons- great nutrition, fiber and such- but also flax and psyllium husk are great additions to gluten-free baked goods as they help with the binding that gluten otherwise provides as well as help bind in moisture.  Your option to add or not, they are fine either way.

Ingredients:
  • 1c Peanut butter (Natural)
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 2 bananas (see note above)
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp coconut flour (really any flour should work)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • (optional) 2T ground flax seeds/psyllium husk 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.  Blend all ingredients except chips in food processor until smooth.  Mix in chips, then divide evenly between 12 muffin tins and cook for ~25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy! 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pecan Bars (Gluten-free/Adaptable)


I don't like pecan pie.  I don't like pecan bars, pecans in my cookies, pecans in my anything, really.  But really? These are unreal.  The first time I had them was when my amazing colleague and office partner made them for our holiday party last year.  I saw them on the plate and appreciated them for their holiday appropriateness but quietly turned my nose up at them until the party was over and I was simply eating to burn off stress (don't try this at home).  Anyway, they stopped me cold and I couldn't believe how delicious they were.  Not too sweet, perfectly balanced and very special.  They are absolutely loaded with butter and sugar and corn syrup for goodness sake.  These are not Everyday Cookies.  These are not even like bacon as a sometimes food.  These are very special occasion treats, but at least an annual or semi-annual must.  Furthermore, they are super easy and fast to make!


Pecan Bars (Gluten-free)
For the crust:
1 c flour (for gluten-free, I used equal parts oat flour, rice flour, sorghum flour and garbanzo flour)*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c light brown sugar
1/4 c toasted and chopped pecans**
6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the filling:
4 T melted butter
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/3 c light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 T bourbon or dark rum (I used rum- yum!)
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1.75 c toasted and chopped pecans**
*I loved the oat flour here, but really encourage you to choose any flour combination you have access to.  You could use an all-purpose blend or your favorite custom mix.  I will likely up the oat flour next time to half-cup and see what strikes me from there.

** I found that at Trader Joe's, they sold a bag of chopped raw pecan pieces that was exactly 2 cups!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9in square baking pan with two layers of tin foil, positioned at 90degrees to each other and long enough to be used as "handles" to lift the bars out of the pan.  Spray the tin foil with non-stick cooking spray if not using non-stick foil.

In a food processor, put the first 5 ingredients and pulse to mix.  Then add the butter and pulse a little more. This should take the shape of maybe coarse corn meal. Pat the crust into the bottom of the pan and pat until firm.  Bake for 20 min until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, whisk together everything else, except the egg and pecans.  Then whisk in the egg. Pour the filling on the crust, then sprinkle with the pecans.  Bake 22-25 min until the top is browned and bubbly/slightly cracked.  Cool for about an hour.  Lift the tin foil out of the pan and cut into bars.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baked Feta and Cherry Tomato Bruschetta Pasta

This is a fantastic way to use your bounty of cherry tomatoes just coming on right now.  The dish this was inspired by presented this as an appetizer to be scooped onto bread or crackers.  I have no doubt that would be amazing, but when I saw it, all I could imagine was generously pouring the flavors over a simple pasta. It did not disappoint and will be a staple this summer/early fall and many to come.  So easy and absolutely packed with fresh flavors.

 In a strange departure from my typical salt-tooth, I felt that the kalamata olives were too overpowering, but a jury of 3 tasters were equally split so I included them in the recipe as optional.  Notes~ If you want to make an appetizer out of it, I suggest you cut the recipe in half!  And in the picture above, there is pecorino cheese sprinkled on top as well.  Up to you!

Baked Feta and Cherry Tomato Bruschetta Pasta (serves 4-6, or 3 in our house.)

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup Kalmata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 8- to 10-ounce block feta, sliced ~1/2” thick


1lb pasta of your choice (I think linguini would be best, but we had it with gluten-free brown rice spaghetti and it was excellent)

Directions
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, shallot, garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper. 

In the oven: Heat oven to 400°F.  Place the pieces feta in the middle of your dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes wilt. (The feta will not melt, just warm and soften.)

While mixture is baking, cook pasta to your taste, then drain and toss with olive oil.

Serve over freshly cooked pasta; eat immediately. As it cools, the feta will firm up again but it can be easily reheated or eaten cold for breakfast.

Adapted from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen.