Archive for December, 2008

Wheat-Free Sugar-Free Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Cookies)

December 30, 2008

I meant to post this one before Christmas in case anyone was doing last-minute Christmas baking, but things were too hectic getting ready here and I had no time.

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp margarine
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
1/2 Tbsp cloves
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup water

Mix margarine and syrup. Add spices and baking soda. Alternately add flour and water until all mixed. Refrigerate overnight.

Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 5-7 minutes at 400 F. Make sure to leave room between the cookies.

Makes around 150 cookies, depending on size of cutters used. (When we use Christmas shapes, we usually end up with fewer because they are bigger cookie cutters).

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Menu Plan Monday – Week of 12/29/2008

December 30, 2008

Monday – Smarter Fettucine Alfredo
(We were going to have this last week, but we ended up having a tofu stirfry with quinoa one day, and the amazing Seared Scallops with Linguine & Romano Cheese another, so it got bumped to this week. By the way, this is great, we had it before I posted this.)

Tuesday – Crockpot Chicken Makhani

Wednesday – New Year’s Eve – Beef tenderloin

Thursday – Soba & Shrimp Salad

Friday – Lamb & Feta Quesadillas (with spelt tortillas)

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 12/22/2008

December 23, 2008

It’s been hectic, so I am a bit late in posting this.

Monday – Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce (subbing brown rice pasta, leaving out the sugar, and with goat’s milk instead of half and half)

Tuesday – Crockpot Beef Stew (good to have a crockpot meal when we are crazy busy)

Wednesday – Christmas Eve – Roasted chicken, salad, herbed rice, roasted vegetables, corn (for those who can have it), Christmas rice pudding (our recipe is a little different, but this is the concept)

Thursday – Christmas Day – Leftovers from Christmas Eve (our tradition)

Friday – Smarter Fettucine Alfredo (with subs)

Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

December 21, 2008

12 large cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground lamb (you could sub hamburger or ground turkey)
1 cup cooked rice (brown works nicely)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp nutmeg
black pepper to taste
20-24 oz. tomato sauce

Boil cabbage leaves in water until they are flexible. Drain and cool. Mix lamb, rice, and spices. Fill cabbage leaves with meat mixture and place into crockpot (seam-side down). Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Book Review – Allergy Cooking With Ease

December 20, 2008

I came across this author’s books when looking for yeast-free spelt bread recipes, so I borrowed Allergy Cooking with Ease: The No Wheat, Milk, Eggs, Corn, and Soy Cookbook from the library to check out. She has 2 others I want to look at, one I have on order from the library, the other one is a breadmaking book.

So far, I think this book is great. Pretty much anything in this book I can eat, I think. So far, I have tried to make Harvard beets (excellent) and yeast-free, quinoa bread, and we decided that quinoa is a disgusting flour to use as a main flour. Oh well. I want to try the yeast-free spelt bread (there are 2 recipes). She also has a yeast-free pizza crust that I will try on one of these pizza Fridays, and recipes for making homemade manicotti with spelt and goat cheese. I haven’t made manicotti in years, so I want to try it.

Some of the recipes are pretty basic, because she caters to the fact that people may have really restricted diets. There aren’t a ton of main-dish recipes that I want to try, but there are some great baked goods, salads, condiments, etc. I love this book just for the fact that there is a sugar-free, vinegar-free ketchup recipe! I miss ketchup. You can’t find sugar-free commercial ketchup, at least not near me, not even in the health food store.

Another great thing about the book is with a lot of baked goods, she offers several versions, the spelt version, the quinoa version, the kamut version, the amaranth version, etc. I wasn’t able to find a cookie recipe to satisfy a crowd of friends with various food sensitivities and allergies (gluten-free, nut-free) — well, there were quinoa carob brownies, but I opted to make other treats for the party.

This is definitely one for the library if you have severe diet limitations. Like the author says in the foreword, it gives you a way to still enjoy the things you like to have, even if you have limitations.

Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan Snickerdoodles

December 19, 2008

In time for holiday baking. I just made these for a Christmas party where a lot of people had food sensitivities, and they were well received.

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp rice milk (or hemp or soy milk, or goat milk for non-vegan)
1 tsp vanilla

For rolling: 1/2 cup maple sugar + 3 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in coconut oil. Add remaining ingredients and form into balls. Roll in sugar/cinnamon mix, if desired. Flatten balls slightly on cookie sheet if you want a flatter cookies, they don’t spread. If you don’t have maple sugar, just sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Puerto Rican-style Stewed Rice (Arroz Guisado) with Chicken, Pork, or Beans

December 19, 2008

This is a basic recipe that one of my mom’s friends gave her.

3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 sweet chili peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2-3 Tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup
6-12 green olives with pimentos or sliced black olives
2 tsp capers
1 packet Goya Sazon
Leftover cooked meat or beans (chicken, pork, sausage, turkey, ham, beef, shrimp, etc).
2 1/4 cups rice
2 1/4 cups hot liquid (water or broth) – use 3 1/4 for long-‘grain rice

Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven or pot. Saute peppers, onion, and garlic for about 10 minutes. Stir in olives, capers, Sazon, and tomato sauce. Add rice and meat or beans, and saute for about 2-3 minutes. Add liquid, stir well, cover, and cook over moderate heat until liquid absorbed (about 10-15 minutes). Turn rice over thoroughly. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for 15 minutes. Turn rice again, and continue to cook for 15 more minutes.

This is a great way to use up leftovers and have a very cheap, satisfying meal. I haven’t tried it with brown rice yet, but I imagine it would work fine. You may just want to add slightly more liquid and cook a little longer.

Book Review – Sweet and Natural

December 16, 2008

This time of year is birthday season in my family, so I want to be able to make desserts that I can actually eat too. I saw Sweet and Natural: More Than 120 Sugar-Free and Dairy-Free Desserts and decided to take it out of the library to check out. It’s excellent. All the recipes are dairy and egg free, and many use alternative grains or have suggestions on how to substitute alternative grains (usually spelt). Most recipes have no refined sugar, although there are many sweeteners used that are currently on my no-no list: brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, and FruitSource (brown rice syrup and grape juice concentrate). Still, there are plenty of recipes that are completely acceptable, and many that can be altered, and I don’t have to worry about figuring out if replacing eggs in this or that recipe will come out OK, and the recipes sound great.

I tried the Almond Mocha Cake with Mocha Mousse Frosting, using carob instead of chocolate, and it was pretty good. It was nice and moist and light. I think it would have been really good with chocolate, but sadly, I am not allowed it right now. It was a big hit with a few family members who aren’t health food/carob people, they actually took home some of the leftovers.

Even if you don’t have food restrictions, this book is great and a must-have. My only complaint, and it’s not much of one, is that there aren’t a lot of gluten-free recipes. I was trying to find something to bring to a Christmas party with there are 3 people who can’t have gluten, and I couldn’t find anything that really interested me. I made my coconut balls instead.

Menu Plan Monday Week of 12/15/08

December 15, 2008

OK, now I am back on track!
Monday – Asian Turkey Noodle Soup (leftover turkey and broth from the freezer). This was supposed to be last week, but when I was rinsing my fully sprouted mung beans, I accidentally dumped them down the drain, so we had to save this for today.

Tuesday – Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage

Wednesday – Christmas Party

Thursday – Puerto Rican-style Stewed Rice with Pork

Friday – Manicotti (hopefully, if the cheese comes out OK)

Meal Plan Week of 12/08/08

December 15, 2008

OK, so it’s a little after the fact, but I am finally getting around to posting last week’s menu (this is a bonus edition since it includes the weekend):

Monday – Turkey Chili

Tuesday – Asian Pork Tenderloin (this is so good, we leave out the Worcestershire sauce and substitute honey for the sugar, and add in some ginger)

Wednesday – Ground Beef Enchiladas

Thursday – Meatballs with Spinach and Goat Cheese (my husband’s specialty, he usually uses feta but couldn’t get goat feta this week), rice

Friday – Crockpot Chicken Gumbo

Saturday – (family birthday party) Swedish Meatballs, mashed potatoes (for those who can have them), mashed root vegetables (recipe from current Living Without magazine), harvard beets (recipe from Allergy Cooking with Ease), lingonberry jam (for those who can have it), rice salad, summer squash casserole with cheese (for those who can have it)

Sunday – Chicken sausage, rice, salad