Friday, January 29, 2010

I've Moved

I have moved my blog to I will keep what I have already done here but new posts and recipes will be at the other site. I was really not liking blogger but I love wordpress. I have transferred all my posts and recipes to the new site. Please join me there.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Almond Coconut Cookies

I have been trying to decrease my intake of sugar and simple carbs. I usually don't really have a sweet tooth but because I am trying not to eat sugar I am therefore craving it. So this morning I wanted to make a cookie that would satisfy my craving for something sweet but would still be lower in carbs and even offer some nutrition. These cookies are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy and corn free and very low in sugar. They are sweetened with a bit of honey. What they are not is taste free. They are surprisingly good. Additionally they are high in fiber and are incredibly satisfying. And Yes! the kids and husband actually like them. Store them in the fridge and feel free to use these as a healthy snack in between meals. I have also used grape seed oil for the first time. Grape seed oil is a bit pricey so I had resisted buying it. Then I read a bit about it.

Grape seed oil is an excellent source of the antioxidant Vitamin E, as well as a beneficial monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that researchers from the University of California, Irvine found can suppress food cravings in between meals. During digestion, oleic acid is converted into oleoylethanolamide (OEA), a hunger fighting hormone that stimulates cells which tell your brain that you're full. Further, adding grape seed oil to high glycemic foods, like refined breads, white rice and potatoes, can slow the rise in blood sugar levels. Fast rising blood sugar triggers your pancreas to release a flood of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar but also signals your body to store fat. A caveat: The nasty chemical hexane is often used to extract the oil from the grape seeds so look for organic or expeller pressed varieties. (Excerpt from Living Without Magazine Feb March 2010 issue)

So, I think I will be using much more of this very mild and neutral tasting oil in the future. Impressive isn't it?!

Almond Coconut Cookies

2 cups raw almonds

1 cup fine shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/8 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup grape seed oil

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 oz 60% -72% chocolate. (I used Ghirardelli)

In a food processor add almonds and process until you have as fine a meal as your machine will make. Add remaining ingredients and process for another minute or two. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take teaspoons full and roll into balls and press down into discs about 1/2 inch thick. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until they are just starting to brown. While cookies are baking, slowly melt melt chocolate in a small nonstick pot. When cookies are done let them cool for a bit then drizzle chocolate over top. Store in the fridge.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kim's Whole Grain GF, DF Bread ~ Simplified Version

I have been making my whole grain gluten and dairy free bread for a couple of years now. Last June I finally posted my recipe with detailed instructions. That recipe is far and away my most visited post. That makes me happy! The hardest part of being gluten free is trying to stomach gluten free rice based "bread". I still make this once or twice a week. But as time has gone by I have started making some changes. The recipe is still basically the same but I have started making it a bit simpler with fewer ingredients. The result is the same. I still end up with the best tasting bread I have ever had. I just made some this morning and for lunch had a slice of it, still warm, dipped in olive oil with minced fresh rosemary, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bliss! Anyway, here is what I am doing now.

Kim's GF DF Whole Grain Bread ~ Simplified Version

1 1/3 cup water warmed to just beyond body temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 cup teff flour - ivory or dark (May also use brown rice flour)
1 cup sorghum flour (May also use 1 cup of millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth)
1 cup potato starch
1 slightly heaping T xanthan gum
2 1/4 tsp - 1 T dry active yeast (Start with smallest amount and if you didn't get the rise you wanted try more next time)
1 T sesame seeds
1 T flax seeds

The directions are the same as in my original recipe. I don't always take the time to sift but you get a better blended loaf if you do. I also add a few more flax seeds and sesame seeds to the top of the batter after I pull the paddle out of the bread maker just to make it prettier. (I am also told that this can be done with egg replacer if you are allergic to eggs.) Try this. Eat and be happy!

Thank You ~ My Amazing New Shun Knife

In December one of my favorite blogs was having a Holiday Giveaway. Brian, from Fire and Salt, contacted several companies to participate. These companies generously donated some very cool items to be given away. I entered to win and unbelievably did win. I won an incredible Shun knife, courtesy of Kai USA. To be completely honest with you I had never heard of Shun knives. I must have been living under a rock. This knife is amazing. I have never had or even used a knife like this. Even my ever skeptical husband proclaimed "Geez! I think you could shave with this thing." I am loving this knife and am incredibly impressed with it's performance. I had become accustomed to my knives chopping at irregular angles and needing to use considerable effort aka muscle. With this knife I can cut very precise and even cuts. The knife is balanced, weighty and comfortable in your hand. It is so sharp that you need almost no effort at all to cut through anything. This makes prepping/cutting/preparing so much faster. Now the problem of course is that I am going to need more of these because I now know how completely inadequate all of my other knives are. So thank you to Brian at Fire and Salt and Kai USA for my new Shun Classic Ultimate Cooks Kitchen Knife. I love it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lentil and Cauliflower Salad

I just whipped this up for lunch. Had my camera been working I still wouldn't have been able to pry it away from my girls to take a picture. Sorry. This was fast and easy to make and very satisfying. I was stunned when both of my girls devoured it. Yes, even the three year old who hates all vegetables.

1/2 cup brown lentils
1 cup raw cauliflower chopped into tiny florets
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 large clove garlic
small pinch of cumin
few drops of agave or honey (maybe 1/4 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to boil add salt and then add lentils. Cook until they are tender but not mushy. While those are cooking prepare the cauliflower and put into medium sized salad bowl. For the dressing: Using a blender or small food processor add garlic, vinegar salt and pepper, blend until smooth. Add cumin and olive oil. Blend until you have a creamy emulsion. Taste for salt and pepper and add a tiny bit of honey or agave. This is just to cut the tang of the vinegar, not to make it sweet. I like to use rice vinegar for salad dressings since it is a bit milder than white vinegar. When lentils are done to your liking drain and give a quick rinse. Add lentils to cauliflower and toss with desired amount of dressing. Serve immediately. I make this salad fairly often. I use this same dressing and lentils and sub veggies. I love this with finely sliced green cabbage or lots of fresh coarsely chopped parsley, celery or broccoli.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Against the Grain

Here is an excellent article from Columbia University.

Some quick stats: 1 in 100 people in the US have CD. 97 of those people don't know they have it. Only 1 in 6 people who have CD have typical gastrointestinal symptoms. Many are completely asymptomatic. Untreated CD can lead to cancer, diabetes, and a host of other autoimmune diseases. 80% of medical research in the US is done by drug companies and because CD is treated without drugs there is very little attention given to the disease. Most physicians receive their continuing education from drug reps. Physicians taught in the US are still taught that CD is a rare disease of childhood.