Archive for November, 2009

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 11/30/09

November 30, 2009

We got a free natural turkey from our supermarket that is in our freezer, since our Thanksgiving turkey was a local free-range turkey that my mother brought us, and we have a leg of smoked lamb in our freezer for Christmas from my mother-in-law, so our goal is to defrost the freezer after Christmas. This means that everything in the freezer must go, so the theme this week is eating Thanksgiving leftovers or eating from the freezer. Because the turkey was free-range, it wasn’t as big as we would have liked for the size crowd that we had, so we only have two pounds of leftover turkey (but 21 cups of stock!) in the freezer, and it won’t be a leftover turkey fest.

Monday – Leftover Squash Custard (based on the Acorn Squash Custard in Week 2 of the Nourished Kitchen Food Stamp Challenge, but with leftover spiced mashed squash with pecans), lacto-fermented sauerkraut

Tuesday – Shrimp Stirfry (leftover veggies from veggie platter on Thanksgiving with shrimp from the freezer), brown rice

Wednesday – White Turkey Chili

Thursday – Altar Guild dinner, the guys will treat themselves with takeout hamburgers and ice cream

Friday – Garlic Parmesan Chicken (made with sheep’s milk Romano instead)

If anyone is looking for ideas on what to do with their leftover turkey, here are some of my favorites:
Turkey Korma

Gratin of Penne, Turkey, and Mushrooms (this one uses leftover gravy and leftover swiss cheese if you served cheese and crackers)

Asian Turkey Noodle Soup (This is a very Vietnamese Pho-like soup.)

Stacked Turkey Enchiladas (if you can’t find chipotle chilis, add some cut up jalapenos from a jar and chili powder or chipotle chili powder to the beans)

Stay tuned this week for details on a cookbook giveaway!

Chocolate Coconut Mousse Frosting

November 29, 2009

I needed a dairy-free frosting to frost a chocolate sourdough cake, and my coconut milk didn’t have enough solids to make the frosting as written, and there wasn’t enough time to order coconut butter to make this frosting, so I came up with this.

1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
(Note: you could use all honey or all agave, but I had some agave nectar to use up so I did it this way)
1/4 cup cocoa
5 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water
1 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Heat coconut milk, sweetener, and cocoa. Add arrowroot mixture and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Mixture should have begun to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut oil, until oil is melted.

Refrigerate for about an hour, or until coconut oil has begun to solidify. Remove from refrigerator and beat frosting with a hand mixer until coconut oil solids are completely incorporated and frosting is fluffy.

Enough to generously frost a 9-inch two-layer cake.

Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples

November 28, 2009

This dish is slightly sweet, but not the overpowering sweetness of glazed sweet potatoes or dishes with marshmallows in them. The maple syrup just enhances the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. It’s a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.

6 medium sweet potatoes
2-3 apples
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 until soft, about an hour. Let cool, peel and cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into chunks. Peel, core, and slice apples. Combine coconut oil, syrup, lemon juice, and arrowroot. Lay half the sweet potatoes into a greased casserole dish, then top with half the apples. Drizzle half of the oil/syrup mixture over top, and then repeat with a layer of sweet potatoes, a layer of apples, and the remaining oil/syrup mixture. Bake, covered, at 350 for one hour.

Tuesday Twister: Almond butter squash brownies – Oxtail soup – Spelt French bread – Gluten-free Deep Dish Pizza

November 24, 2009


Here is my entry in the GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister blog carnival.

The sprouted buckwheat porridge from last week was excellent! It definitely will make it into the regular breakfast rotation.

I had some leftover squash from making stuffed squash last week, so I made almond butter & squash “brownies”, which were really good. I am thinking I should make them next time we have a gathering with my parents, since they are on a low-carb diet.

I also tried making oxtail soup for the first time. It was a success, although I learned that our family likes it better with the fat strained out (something I haven’t seen in any recipe). I made some spelt French bread from the recipe in Spelt Healthy. I’ve made this recipe before, but when I made it all I had was whole grain spelt flour. This time I made it as written with mostly white spelt flour (I bought a bunch of white spelt flour from Shiloh Farms when ordering other grains, so I had it on hand). It really isn’t very flavorful that way, it’s much better as a whole grain bread. I was hoping to make sourdough bread this weekend instead but my house has been cold and my sourdough starter didn’t catch (I have had really good luck getting sourdough started here in the past, but I had to start over because my starter was moldy). Luckily, my starter is nice and active now (I’ve kept it near the wood stove) and getting ready to bake bread tomorrow.

Due to the fact that Monday’s chicken was not thawed yet, I made the gluten-free deep dish pizza instead, and it was a great success. This will definitely be in our commonly repeated meals, especially since it can be made ahead.

We are hosting my whole family for Thanksgiving this week, so there will be a whole lot of cooking for that: pies, cranberry sauce, and everything else.

And the last thing twisting in my kitchen is my 9 month old, who really enjoys pulling cookbooks off of the shelf. I’m planning to have a cookbook giveaway on my blog next week to make space on the shelves so I can empty the bottom one. Stay tuned!

Visit GNOWFGLINS to find out what is twisting in everyone else’s kitchens. Thanks again, Wardeh, for hosting this fun carnival!

Gluten-Free Deep Dish “Sausage” Pizza

November 24, 2009

Ever since I have been wheat and dairy free, it’s hard to find recipes my family will LOVE, especially substitutes for wheat/dairy-heavy recipes. This pizza is an exception. It’s like a cross between a casserole and a pizza, and you can make it ahead and freeze it. My 13 year old son said, “This is amazing!” The other great thing is it contains liver and vegetables that are rich in nutrients, without it being noticeable at all. The sausage spicing on the beef gives it a sausage pizza taste for people who cannot have pork and miss Italian sausage.

For Crust:

2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/2 c arrowroot flour
2 tsp xantham gum
3/4 cup kefir (or water with 1 Tbsp lemon)

Mix ingredients together and leave covered to soak overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 t salt
and mix well.
Cut in:
1/2 cup of coconut oil or butter

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Pat dough into pan, covering bottom and sides. Bake 10 minutes and remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, make the filling:
1 lb. ground beef
4 oz. liver, chopped fine or ground
3/4 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups marinara sauce (I will post a recipe soon, we always have homemade on-hand in the freezer)
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup spinach
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded almond cheese or mozzarella

Brown meats together with spices. Add marinara sauce, carrots, mushrooms, and spinach, and simmer until vegetables are softened.

Spread filling into prepared crust. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake 10-15 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

Menu Plan Monday – Week Of 11/23/2009

November 23, 2009

It’s Thanksgiving week, so our meals are centered around clearing out the freezer and making room for leftover turkey and broth.

Monday – Roast chicken with roasted root vegetables (using turnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots). I got a free container of Penzeys Bicentennial Rub, which has a little sugar in it, but we are going to test it out on the chicken to see if it’s worth testing on the turkey.

Tuesday – Gluten-free Deep Dish Pizza (a recipe I am testing out)

Wednesday – Spiced & Fragrant Chicken from the freezer, brown rice, salad, sauteed spinach

Thursday – Thanksgiving: Turkey & Spelt Stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (for those who can have them), mashed rutabaga (for those that like them), squash with pecans, sweet potato apple casserole, salad, mashed cauliflower with garlic and rosemary (from Sarah’s Thanksgiving meal planner), Spelt Apple Pie, Pumpkin Tart with almond crust from Sarah’s meal planner. I think that’s all. We have a houseful of people as always.

Friday – Thanksgiving leftovers

Saturday – Joint child birthday party (my daughter and nephew): Beef tenderloin from the freezer. We usually make a cream sauce with mushrooms which I cannot have, so I am thinking about making a goat cheese sauce thickened with arrowroot starch. We buy french fries for the kids, and I will probably make sweet potato french fries. We will have salad, and some other vegetable to be determined, along with a marble cake and some other wheat-free cake.

Stay tuned next week for ideas on what to do with leftover turkey!

Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables

November 23, 2009

This has become one of our favorite vegetarian meals. Chana dal is one of my favorite Indian restaurant dishes, but if you make it you need to make some kind of vegetable side. This has all of the vegetables already in, so you can just make one dish, with rice. We like this so much we could easily have it every other week.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 small sweet potato, cubed
1 carrot, sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup broccoli florettes
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne

Heat oil in pot. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, spices, tomato sauce, and water. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are
slightly soft (about 20 minutes). Add broccoli and chickpeas, and simmer, covered, until broccoli is bright green (just a few minutes).

Oxtail Soup

November 22, 2009

The other week when I was shopping, I noticed that oxtails were pretty cheap. When I came home, I asked my husband, “Do you know anything good to do with oxtails?” He said “I used to have oxtail soup from a package growing up.” So I picked up some oxtails and decided to try making oxtail soup. One thing that I learned was oxtails are very fatty. My husband really doesn’t like the texture of fat and fatty meat, so we decided to strain the meat and fat out of the soup before serving. Next time I make this, I think I will make it in two passes.

If you buy a whole (half/quarter) cow, then you’ll need something to do with the oxtails. They make a very rich broth.

3 lbs. oxtail
2 onions
2-3 cloves garlic
4-5 carrots
1-2 stalks celery
olive oil
8 cups water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf bundled together
OR 2-3 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp parsley, 1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Brown oxtails in a little olive oil, so they are brown on all sides. Remove from pot. Add onions, and cook for a few minutes, then add garlic, celery, and carrots. If you are making in a pot, add meat back, spice with salt, pepper, and paprika. Otherwise, transfer meat and vegetables to crockpot and deglaze pan with a little water, then pour that into the crockpot too, and then spice. Add tomato paste, water, and bouquet garni (or dried herbs).

Simmer 4 hours or cook on low in crockpot for 10 hours. Here’s where I would stop and wait until the next day, if you don’t like the fattiness of the soup. Refrigerate the soup overnight. Skim off the layer of fat on the top (I decided to give it to the dog). It will be very gelatinous; heat so that it is liquid again. Strain out meat and bones, reserving carrots and celery, and return to soup. (Optionally, you could make the soup with just a few carrots and then add new carrots and celery after straining and just cook until the vegetables are soft).

You can get about 5-6 decent servings of soup.

Book Review: French Farmhouse Cookbook

November 21, 2009

I had just been reading somewhere about French Farmhouse Cookbook, and then I stumbled upon it at my library book sale today, so I had to pick it up. I have another cookbook by the same author (), and I really like it, so I figured this would be another good addition to my cookbook library.

It wasn’t exactly what I expected. I was hoping for some recipes for French peasant food, lots of soups and inexpensive ingredients. There are a few soup recipes, and a few intrigue me, like Winter Potage and Green Cabbage Soup. Many of the recipes (like traditional French cooking) call for wine, and lots of (sometimes expensive) ingredients. However, it seems to be a good cookbook in its own right (since the recipes in her other book are all very good, I expect that these will be the same).

Now that I am wheat-free, dairy-free and avoiding refined sugar, there are many lovely sounding dessert recipes that I won’t ever even attempt. I might try converting one or two desserts from this book at some point.

One of the real strengths for this cookbook is the fact that it gives you many different ways to prepare various kinds of meat. Looking for a spin on roasted chicken and not feeling creative? How about Chicken in a Bread Crust (converting the recipe to use a diet-appropriate bread), Chicken with Walnuts, or Chicken with Lemon Thyme (that makes me want to plant some in my garden next year). There is a really good sounding recipe for using stewing hens (although it does have quite a few ingredients). Do you need a way to prepare guinea hen or rabbit? This will help out. There are seven duck recipes, and several beef, lamb, veal, and pork recipes. I look forward to trying some of these out on a weekend when things aren’t hectic.

Now, does anyone have a suggestion for a cookbook for cheap peasant cooking ideas, since this one doesn’t fit the bill for that?

Lacto-Fermented Veggies, Sourdough, Mayonnaise (Tuesday Twister – 11/17/2009)

November 17, 2009


I’m participating in the GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister blog carnival again this week.

It has been another busy kitchen week! I needed to make some frozen meals for our church fair, as well as meals for two friends who just had babies, so I decided to make Spiced & Fragrant Chicken, which was a hit in my house when I made it before. Chicken legs were on sale for 49 cents/pound, so I made enough for 4 people for around $12! I made a huge pot, and it’s now in my freezer, ready for delivery. Making this also made me think that I really want to try doing a OAMC project one of these weeks; I just have to come up with a good assortment of recipes to make together. Since we have special dietary needs, the meal plans at Once a Month Mom don’t quite work, but something like that would be great.

I tried making mayonnaise for the first time! I keep meaning to try it but being afraid to. I had some egg yolks left over from making gluten-free sourdough hamburger buns, so I decided to try the recipe at Cooking For Engineers. I love that site, maybe it’s the engineer in me. 😉 He has you whisk together the ingredients. I have always loved doing things by hand anyway, and I feel like you have a lot more control over the speed at which you add the olive oil this way. It came out perfectly, now I won’t be intimidated about making it again. It was such a fun experience; it’s almost like magic how it emulsifies.

Cortido & Sauerkraut

Maybe this week should be “what is growing in your kitchen.” I have buckwheat sprouting on the counter, to use in either sprouted buckwheat granola or buckwheat porridge. I also finally got around to starting a sourdough starter again. I am not sure if it would be ready for Thanksgiving, but at least I will have it soon. I really miss my sourdough; I should have frozen my starter when my nine month old was born but I didn’t get around to it.

The kefir is still going strong. I’ve been using it to make smoothies.

And that’s not all. I made lacto-fermented sauerkraut and cortido. I really feel a sense of accomplishment!

Go to Wardeh’s site to see what’s twisting in everyone else’s kitchen!