Gluten Free Adventure

Monday, August 10, 2015

I'm back on a gluten free diet thanks to my lovely immune system. I've quickly learned that success requires preparation.

It hasn't been half bad - I'm a week in and here are few of my favorite things to prep, devour etc.

Breakfast Smoothie With Kale
1 Frozen Smoothie Baggie + 8 oz Apple Juice

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 2-3 apple slices
  • 1 frozen mini muffin serving of kale (blended and frozen fresh kale into mini muffins)
  • 2 frozen lumps of greek yogurt 

I froze the fresh Kale from the garden at work by blending it with a bit of water - 2 large bowls full (after stemming) turned into a nice bit of frozen kale. I poured it into my mini muffin pan, and then bagged it for smoothies with the rest of the ingredients. I used the same process for the yogurt - scooping it into the mini muffin pan, freezing, then adding those frozen lumps to the smoothie bag.

The result is a purple smoothie that tastes pretty great - and packs a healthy-ish punch (perhaps a bit too much sugar from the juice)

Cabbage with Ginger Yum = Coleslaw-ish

I'm not a big coleslaw fan, but this super easy recipe is delicious. I added quite a bit more ginger, and about 1/2 the oil. I was licking the spoon, and can't wait to eat this for lunch this week.

Cabbage (any cored and 1/2 sliced)
1/4 Cup of Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Oil (Veg, or other)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon + of minced ginger
Pinch of salt

Toss, rest for 10 mins and serve or eat later.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

I picked up a back of Almond flour for 7.99 at Aldi's - I was a bit surprised by the price, but I thought I'd give it a go.

This weekend I used the almond flour to make both some delicious muffins and a pineapple upside down cake.

Here are the recipes -- NOTE: I did not use coconut flour, but added additional almond flour in the quantity requested.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
I traditionally do not like to eat pineapple, but most of my experiences have been with the canned variety. Lately, we have been on a bit of a pineapple kick - with a delicious pineapple salsa by Cooks Illustrated (Pineapple (roasted) + Dice Red Pepper + Cilantro = amazing.) I had purchased a super cheap Pineapple at Kroger last week and hadn't gotten around to chopping it up.
I whipped up this delicious cake using fresh pineapple & just the almond flour. It turned out super moist - so maybe next time thinner pineapple slices or more flour.

Honey balls :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

To finish off our Greek themed feast I made a quick Greek dressing

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil
Garlic salt
Onion powder

I also made honey balls - this delightful donut  hole-like dessert is amaze-balls.

Here is the recipe I used - note I added 4 tablespoons of sugar not one. .. And I forgot to take a photo :/

Weekend Cooking

Friday, May 15, 2015

Super excited to head home tonight and make Grilled Fish Tacos -

Then later this weekend we are having our lovely dinner crew over for Grilled Chicken Souvlaki (think NYC food cart deliciousness with tzatziki sauce.

I'll try to take photos - but for now follow these links :)

Chinese Braised Beef & Mother's Day

Monday, May 11, 2015

Yesterday I spent some time cooking after a whirlwind grocery trip with Wes & Jordan. I roasted a chicken and tossed the carcass in a crock pot to make a beautiful stock for my matzo ball soup this week. The meat was carved way and will be made into sandwiches and chicken salad.

Then, during Wes's nap time I prepped the Chinese Braised Beef and chucked it into my grandmother's cast iron dutch oven.

My mom visited, some friends stopped by to pick up a lens (and some Simpson's mini-figs) and then it was time for Jordan's families Mother's day shin-dig. The Braised Beef wasn't quite done - so I wrapped it in a towel and brought it with us.

It was a huge hit! Perhaps it was the sugar high from my Mother-in-laws delicious banana pudding, but the family was uber enthusiastic about the awesome beef dish.

I probably should have added more salt (As always) but I thought it turned out really well.

Chinese Braised Beef
Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2014
Serves 6
1-1/2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, green parts sliced thin on bias
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder (2 TBS: 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground, 1 teaspoon ground star anise, 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 tsp. corn starch
Sprinkle gelatin over 2-1/2 cups water in Dutch oven and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat softened gelatin over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, hoisin, molasses, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper flakes. Stir in beef and bring to a simmer. Remove pot from heat. Cover tightly with sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lid. Transfer to oven and cook until beef is tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.
Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to a cutting board. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, then return defatted liquid to now-empty pot. Cook liquid over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.
While sauce reduces, using 2 forks, break beef into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1 Tbsp. water together in small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced sauce, and cook sauce is until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to sauce and stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle scallion greens over top. Serve.


Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City. I did NOT cook tonight.

I did however, clean out the fridge last night and make two dishes -- the first a slow cooker veggie stew (with some meat) which my husband froze (after stealing a few bites of meat) btw he told me it needed salt. It was pretty straight forward.

1. Every veggie we had in the fridge (Yellow squash, zucchini, leeks, onion, carrots)
2. Cubed roast of some kind
3. Mystery Hungarian seasoning that had been sitting in my spice drawer for WAY to long

Set on low for 10 hours = veggie something soup.

I also made the most amazing chip dip ever -- half guacamole half 7 layer taco tip.

1/2 pan was guac
1. Sliced avocado
2. Sliced tomatoes
3. Minced jalapeno
4. WAY too much red onion diced

the other 1/2 was taco dip

1. Taco seasoning & sour cream
2. Med Salsa
3. Queso
4. Browned beef (with more taco seasoning)
5. Cheese

Next time photos -- and hopefully not after a few years ;)

Dinner with friends

I like to prep ahead when I can. Tomorrow after teaching another class in Muncie we are having a couple over for dinner. To be sure we have food to serve them I whipped this easy veggie and chicken dish and wrapped it up to be cooked tomorrow.

We will also be having the raspberry vinaigrette spinach salad from Wednesdays class :)

Cooking with Millennials

Thursday, November 14, 2013

First, lets talk about what a millennial is - I believe I just barely qualify which is hilarious since I'm almost 28 again (x2). This class I have the privilege to teach includes legitimate millennials born in 90's and inching towards the legal drinking age.

This amazing group of students are in this class to learn life skills - thru the culinary arts. Teamwork is weaved into how to execute a complex recipe. Sticking through the boring task of waiting for a pot to boil, and having the patience to let the dough rise.

The first class was mostly knife skills and a review of the recipes for class two. However, the students quickly identified the ingredients for guacamole, while many of them had never had it. Thinking back would could have also made salsa.

Last nights class was 4 intensive hours making a few classic recipes and sharing a meal together. Well two meals since our salads were completed long before our soups. Don't judge we hadn't had dinner, and our cupcake snack could only keep us going for so long.

A team of 17-21 year olds with little to know experience in the kitchen boiling water made these recipes. And, so can you.

Traditional Caesar Salad and homemade croutons
Raspberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons
French Onion Soup

Photos by Kristin Obermeyer

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