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Posts Tagged ‘Gluten Free Cooking’

I made this Skillet Ground Beef and Rice tonight and it was fantastic and much loved by my family. A ton of flavor, Gluten Free and healthy. The best part, made entirely from things I keep on hand in the pantry and the freezer. Give it a whirl!!
http://southernfood.about.com/od/skilletgroundbeef/r/r90625a.htm

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Pictured below is a picture of one of my favorite go to dishes for dinner or brunch: Farmers Quiche. Essentially, it is a giant omelette fully loaded with whatever toppings make you happy. I adapted it from the plaid standard, Better Homes & Gardens. I start with some frozen shredded potatoes, shredded my own potatoes, and used tatertots , which I think are my favorite, and put them into a 9×13 baking dish. Cook up some toppings, bacon, Swiss chard, ham, sausage, onions, mushrooms, peppers, diced tomatoes, etc. Put the cooked toppings over the potatoes. Sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese (whatever kind you like) then take a dozen eggs, beat them with some milk, salt and pepper. Pour it over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until firm and bubbly. Makes about 12 servings and at about 6 WW Points per serving it is a great dinner served with a salad and can become a great way to start the day in the morning. As clearly shown in my photo ( apparently the directions wait I have to take a picture fell in deaf ears) my family couldn’t wait to dig in. I haven’t tried it with egg whites replacing some of the whole eggs, but I imagine that would also be delicious!! Enjoy!!

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This was our dinner tonight. Tomato sauce with spinach poured into a pan followed by some indentations for eggs and some microplaned cheddar. Baked at three fifty for 20 minutes and served over pasta or in a bowl with some lettuce. 5 WW points made with our local eggs and gluten free!! I meant to take a picture right out of the oven but was so hungry I forgot!! Happy Cooking!!

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Tonight I made a delicious GFree pizza loaded with shredded potatoes, apple chicken sausage, cheddar cheese, tomato sauce and fresh eggs!! I created little topping pockets and cracked the eggs right in. Bake at 500 for 15 minutes and Voila, a little European style pizza magic. In this case I did not par bake the crust so I ended up needing to bake it a scootch to long and thus over cooked the eggs. None the less, it was still delicious and I am still proud.

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Cannot wait to try this!!! Looks so fancy, delicious and culinary classicish, yet easy to make.

Pot Roast Osso Buco Style With Polenta.

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Yesterday was CSA day!!  In fact this whole week in one way or the other has been a seasonal eater/localvore’s dream.   We picked our own strawberries, which my ice cream cone, pirate booty, Spaghetti-o (yup the original MSG filled can shaped processed pasta product.  Uh-Oh is right, but she loves them and there are worse things) loving daughter was gobbling  up like  Cookie Monster with his cookies.  The strawberries became delicious jam that we will enjoy for months as well as a pie and handfuls of sweet and delicious treats whenever we wanted.   We picked fresh lettuce and herbs from our garden and officially started the girlies on their diet of garden greens.    Then of course the CSA came, delightful and fresh we have already had two sumptuous meals made with CSA pesto: Garlic Scapes, Basil, Parsley, Spinach Leaves (those came from our garden), Lemon Juice and Olive Oil.   Delicious and full flavored this summary pesto was featured in homemade mushroom risotto (A GF Staple) and in a pesto chicken salad Panini tonight.  The risotto was served with a delicious slow cooked local chicken stuffed with a fresh herb bouquet and rubbed in paprika and garlic.  Tonight’s chicken salad Panini was served with crispy baked kale chips (also from the CSA).  Tomorrow we will be serving a tossed salad full of CSA and garden lettuce, onions, chives, radishes and herbs.  Saturday morning there will be a breakfast casserole loaded with CSA sautéed chard, scallions and garden chives.   My favorite part of it all?  I got all of  that in one stop and was completely inspired by the grab bag full of goodies.  My husband who normally hears “pesto” and responds with “please, no.”   Enjoyed each fresh and summary tasting bite of both meals.    For week two my CSA contained:

Kale

Scallions

Swiss Chard

Radishes

Basil

Parsley

Lettuce

Garlic Scapes

Total: $27.oo    Total Meals Inspired by CSA: 4 so far.

Commercially Prepared Pesto: $10 a jar if you want organic.   Homemade fresh and delicious pesto: $6.00 (that’s even a high estimate, as I know by the end of the season I will have paid undervalue for the CSA in total.)   Homemade pesto will always beat the commercially prepared stuff in a taste test and it truly is one of the best tastes of summer that you can freeze and enjoy all year-long.

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When you live Gluten Free, the dream of fresh-baked bread daily and chocolate chip cookies that melt in your mouth dies a painful death.   When I was diagnosed I had just begun baking my own bread once a week and lived and breathed the King Arthur Flour Baking Book.   Essentially, I was left with an abnormally large cookbook and a giant container of whole wheat flour that I would never use again.   Another kick to the ribs came when I realized that I would  need to sell my first-born to afford  a thimble of GF Flour.    I truly believed that I might never bake from scratch again.   Eventually,  I learned how to make a delicious all-purpose GF blend in bulk and that GF baking has its own tiny nuances that make it fun and challenging.   So the idea of making GF baked goods that do not taste like chalk so that my whole family might enjoy them was born. I have created a goal for myself of perfecting Gluten Free baking to the point where it just becomes baking, because no one really knows the difference.   Perhaps one day I will sell these items in my farm store.

Today, was not that day.  First, I burned the gluten-free brownies.   This would be less embarrassing if they had not been from a BOX mix and if I had not made the same mistake twice in a row.   Next, I did not drain the zucchini appropriately for my modified recipe from Bob’s Red Mill  for Zucchini Bread.   I can tell you that I added blueberries which was delicious and I exchanged 3/4 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup for the turbinado sugar.   The flavor would have been extraordinary if only I had cooked it all  the way through and possibly made two loaves instead of one over sized one.  Part of my problem was my haste.  Baking is an act of patience and love.  Gluten Free Baking requires that you shave your head, done a brown robe and take a vow of silence.   Multitasking, which I tend to do far to much of as a rule, must be checked at the door of a baking kitchen.  In the end, today was not a day in my kitchen that I would like to record in photo history.  While you may see one of my brownies featured in your local street hockey game as the puck, I am confident that there may still be hope for the undercooked blueberry bread as a prominent member of tomorrow’s breakfast.  In the end, what I learned today is what I imagine homesteaders throughout time have learned: Sometimes your kitchen is the dream, sometimes it is the nightmare.  Once you have mastered one skill, you will need to learn and master another.   While today’s Gluten Free baked goods were nothing to brag about, I am confident in tomorrows.  In the meantime, I am forever thankful that I have a family who is willing to try anything once, even if it nearly breaks their teeth or glues them together.

If baking , Gfree or otherwise seems overwhelming to you, here are some great sites that I visit often for my baking needs including tips and recipes:

Bob’s Red Mill

King Arthur Flour

The Baking Beauties

Gluten Free Goddess

Tasty Kitchen

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