Saturday, January 26, 2013

GF Dinners, Main Dish Meal Planning - Week 2

Day 1:
Kahula Pork in a Slow Cooker

Day 2:
Black Bean Soup with No Tomatoes
Black Bean Soup with Tomatoes

Day 3:
Kielbasa and Cabbage

Day 4:
Use any left over Kahula Pork and mix with BBQ sauce for pulled pork sandwiches.
Use this BBQ sauce recipe and warm the shredded pork with it.  Serve on GF buns.  If you are nightshade free use the no tomato ketchup recipe but don't add any of the brown sugar the recipe calls for until the end of the recipe.  Be sure to taste it and make sure that it is not already sweet enough before adding the brown sugar.
And you need coleslaw, use this Coleslaw recipe!  I adjusted the vinegar/sugar ratio to 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar/4 tsp sugar.  That was just right for me.

Day 5:
( I use my favorite jarred spaghetti
Walnut Acres Organic Pasta Sauce and add a little GF Soy sauce and meat.)
If you are nightshade free try this Tomato Free Pasta Sauce.
This is tomato free!

Gluten Free Tater Tots

My son asked me the other day to make him tater tots.  I wasn't sure that you could even make tater tots at home.  I googled and mashed two recipes together and came up with one great tasting tater tot.  It takes some doing, but they are worth it.  If you want a less zesty tater tot follow the black measurements.  If you want a zesty tater tot with a little heat, follow the black measurements but when there are red measurement then use them instead.

4 pounds peeled potatoes, cubed
1 tsp sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
        1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp paprika, (smoked if you want it zesty)
1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup gluten free flour

Preheat your deep fryer or enough oil in a heavy bottomed pan to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375˚F.

Peel your potatoes and then slice and dice the potatoes into small cubes.
*I like to use my french fry cutter to make short work of cubing.

In a high power blender, place about 6 cups of cubed potatoes and fill with water to the 8 cup mark.  If you have a smaller blender fill in smaller batches and make sure there is enough water to cover the potatoes.  
Blend on medium speed.  On my Vitamix I use speed 5. 
 This will chop the potatoes down to potato chips.

Drain the potatoes and rinse.  

Then place potatoes in a bowl and fill with water.   Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better, up to overnight.  This is to remove the excess potato starch that can make them gummy.

Now this is a slightly time consuming task, but you need to towel dry the potatoes.  Remove as much of the liquid as you possibly can.  Too much liquid will cause them to not hold together when frying.   I spent some time using paper towels and drying the potatoes.  Even still I ended up with a little liquid.  Just remember the drier the better. 

Add the all the dry ingredients to the dry potatoes and mix together well.  Shape into tater tots.

Place in a hot oil.  Make sure there is enough space around each tot - don't overcrowd the pan.

Fry for about 4-5 minutes.  
Remove from fryer and place on a paper towel lined plate.  

Get ready to enjoy awesome tater tots!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Better Batter vs C4C Pie Crust Review

This head to head was for Katie who asked about how Better Batter Flour stacked up to C4C Flour in a pie crust.

I have to start with that I really like both these flours.  They are awesome to cook with.  If you can have milk, C4C is wonderful! and if you can't have milk then I would hands down chose Better Batter.  

Now on with the comparison........  

First, I didn't have a favorite pie crust recipe.  So, I arbitrarily choose a recipe from one of my favorite gluten sites--- King Arthur's Flour.  I chose this recipe and it can be found on their website:

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour
  •  or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water
I replaced the gluten  flour with Better Batter and C4C.   I also replaced the butter with palm shortening.  What I noticed was that the C4C flour was easier to work with and rolled out nicely.  The Better Batter Flour was sticky and frequently stuck to my rolling pin.  Transferring the pie crust to the pie plate was a bear when it came to Better Batter pie crust.  You see that it needed a bit of fix'n up before I can add the pie filling.
C4C on the left, and Better Batter on the right.
I rolled out my top crusts and followed the directions to place the pie crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  After thirty minutes it was much easier to deal with and move around.  

I assembled my pies after the 30 minute refrigerator time, but still found that the Better Batter Pie crust did not want to be handled.  You can see that my Better Batter Pie Crust came out a little mangled.

I let them cool, and I like my pies cold so I refrigerated mine before I sliced them up...

Both pie crusts broke when cut.  They both seemed very fragile.  However,  both crusts were very delicious.  My taste testers said they tasted identical.  So no matter which one you use, they both make a great tasting crust!

On a personal note,  I use Better Batter because of the milk issue.   I personally use Nicole Hunn's pie crust recipe and it is wonderful.  Easy to handle and move around.   It doesn't crack like the above pictures when cut.  Her recipe is much like the above recipe but uses less oil, and adds baking powder and powdered sugar.  You can see how to make it Here!

Homemade GF, Corn Free Chili Sauce - Nightshade free

This is the recipe I use when recipes call for chili sauce.  Feel free to adjust the sugar and vinegar to your taste if you like your sauce tangier or sweeter.

To make this recipe nightshade free, replace tomato sauce* with no tomato ketchup, add vinegar and allspice, and then add the brown sugar one tablespoon at a time adjusting to your taste.

1 cup tomato sauce* or no tomato ketchup
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp vinegar ( I use rice, or apple)
1/4 tsp of allspice

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 10 minutes.
Place in a jar and refrigerate.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

GF Dinners, Main Dish Meal Planning - Week 1

Okay, life is never the way I picture it should be.  I thought with the new year that I would try to get back into the swing of things and work on more recipes, but as fate would have it, life has offered me a different direction.  The craziness that is my life, tells me that I need to do more meal planning to fit the constant and ever growing schedule of my family.  So, for now I will not be developing or making recipes gluten free, but finding recipes that I can use to meal plan for the week.  I will provide links to these meals and if I have altered a recipe enough, I will publish it.  I hope you enjoy and that these meal help your family out.

I make all my meals on one day, if the recipes lend themselves to it.  I also try to make one freezer meal for the future.  I find it difficult to find the time to do bulk freezer meals.

I do know a week is 7 days, but I grew up where my mother had us eat leftovers on the weekends.  Weekends were not made for cooking!

Day 1:
Pumpkin Chili (you can make a nightshade version)
*I make this a freezer meal but I do NOT add the beans.  I add the beans when I reheat it on the stove.

Day 2:
Grits or Buckwheat Casserole

Day 3:
Italian Marinade Chicken
Make up a batch of this Italian Salad Dressing.  In a gallon plastic bag, place 4-5 chicken breasts with the salad dressing and let marinade for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Bake at 350˚F for about 1 hour or until it is no longer pink.  * I also make this a freezer meal.

Day 4:
Moroccan Chicken
*I make this a freezer meal.

Day 5: 
Alfredo with Pasta
I make this following the recipe but add 1-1/2 tsp of onion powder,  2 tsp of garlic powder, and some nutmeg.  I also add some cooked Italian Marinaded chicken on top and right before serving, I add about a cup of spinach, and let it wilt.

This week I made the all the recipes ahead of time except for the Alfredo with Pasta.  I made that the same day as I was serving.    The grits casserole will last for about 2 days in the refrigerator and can be reheated.  The chicken I prepped ahead of time but will pull it out and cook it the day I will be serving it. 

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

I found this great side dish from All You.  It is from their November 2012 Issue.  It is lends itself to being naturally allergy free and vegan free if you skip the meat and use a vegetable broth.

As you can see, I opted not to use chorizo but used fresh Italian Hot Sausage from my local farmer, because I know all the ingredients.  I also added some corn to my helping since not all my kids can have corn.  It was super yummy!

Get the recipe here Cuban Black Beans and Rice!

2 cups of instant rice, uncooked
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz. dried chorizo, sliced (1/4 inch thick)
1/2 medium onion, chopped ( about 3/4 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped, (about 1 cup)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped, (about 1 cup)
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried oregano
2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with juices
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper

Cook rice as package label directs.
Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add chorizo, onion, bellpeppers, and garlic and sauteeing until chorizo is lightly browned and vegetables are tender.  About 5 minutes.
Add cumin, paprika, turmeric, and oregano.  Sautee another 2 minutes.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, and broth and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
Stir in rice and cook, tossing well for 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.