Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blueberry Pie - Happy 4th of July!

This is a recipe based on Bruce Fife's, which is terribly inaccurate, so I referred to Joy of Cooking for the stuff that made no sense (and I'm discovering that there's an awful lot missing from Fife's recipes, at least in regards to his pie fillings.)

Basically, make a jam from your blueberries, but not too mushy since they cook quickly. Add sweetener as needed, enough to make it a little syrupy, but not so much that they get too sweet. Both vanilla and lemon juice are nice flavors for blueberries, so those go in, as well.

We're transitioning off of GAPS at the moment, so I did make a base of arrowroot starch and water to start.

Make a top and bottom crust of your choice (Fife uses a nut topping, but that's not a possibility for us, so we went with a regular crust).

It was super-yummy topped with unsweetened yogurt.

Here it is (I have, as yet, to be able to get photos of any pie that hits our table before it gets eaten!).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Epic Seder 2012!

We just finished an enormous Seder at our apartment  - 25 people crowded into our dining room. Our apartment isn't exactly tiny, but it's still an apartment, so there was definitely a similar feeling to the 20-clowns-in-a-volksy trick. It was warm and lovely and people sang. At least three people had never been to a Seder. Quite a few hadn't been to one in years. 

There was an enormous amount of food, and amazingly, much of it disappeared, which I suppose it does with 25 guests!

I made an unusual brisket - marinaded overnight in red wine with the first spring tomatoes, paprika, onions and garlic. I blended the vegetables into a nice thick sauce. I roasted two chickens, which all but disappeared, and one of our guests who is a terrific cook made salmon with agave-lime sauce. There was asparagus, greens, and, courtesy of other guests, roasted herbed vegetables and salad. I served my chicken broth and one of the grandmothers brought her homemade chicken soup with vegetables and matzo balls.

I also made about 36 hard boiled eggs, a baked apple dish, brown rice, three Seder plates with real horseradish, and carrot tsimmes. People brought all kinds of desserts, including macaroons which disappeared immediately. They were nearly GAPS-friendly, so I will see if I can get the recipe and pass it on here. 

 When I have recovered I will post the recipe for the brisket and tsimmes.

Here are some of the dishes in progress. I was too tired to get the finished images, so please bear with me.

The baked apple dish before baking

Half of the 36 hard boiled eggs.

Carrot tsimmes in progress. This one was a winner. Only two small jars left!

The beginnings of the brisket - meat after marinating and browning. We just started to get tomatoes in our CSA box. Very exciting!

When you're on GAPS, it's sort of like Passover all year, but for those of us who do eat gluten, I got some matzo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Woohoo! Gluten-free Sauce Mornay!

This one is also starch-free so I can have it on my broccoli...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oh, what to do with a bunch of turnips... one celery root and a carrot. (the first part can be sung to the tune of "What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor")

The consensus was to call it "Whipped Tuber Cloud" although Little Moo has suggested that it could be called "Chicken Salad" as a kind of a joke.

5 small turnips
1 medium celery root
1 large carrot
2 tb ghee or butter

Steam well. Purée in blender. Mix in ghee.

That's it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mushroom Leek Quiche (GAPS-friendly)

As promised!

This recipe was based on Julia Child's version of Flamiche - Quiche Aux Poireaux. It is SO rich that one small slice is enough to fill me completely up and zaps any sugar craving for about two days. I increased her original recipe again by a half (give or take a little here and there) to fill a deep-dish 9" pan. I also cooked it a bit longer and at a lower temperature for the sake of the coconut flour in the crust. Also, I chopped the mushrooms to make it more child-friendly, but I needn't have bothered since she didn't like it anyway. Next one I'll slice them.

Also, the coconut flour crust browns way too easily. Ours got very brown, even though I covered it with foil half-way. Here is a possible solution that I have not tried, but might work - end the crust at the level of the pie, possibly adding the pie crust edge with 12 minutes to spare on the baking. Let me know if that works.

Mushroom Leek Quiche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Pie crust:
  • 1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ghee or butter, melted
  • pinch salt
Beat the eggs. Slowly pour in the ghee while stirring so as not to cook the eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients, finishing it with your hands when it's too thick for a spoon. See here for more information on how to roll out a coconut flour crust. 

Before making the filling, spread a thin layer of cheese at the bottom of the pie crust.

  • about 3 1/2 cups sliced, cleaned white of leek 
  • about 1 cup chopped or sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tb butter or ghee
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups coconut cream or milk
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated goat jack cheese (Swiss would be nice, but we can only do goat's or sheep's milk, so it wasn't an option for us)
  • 1 Tb ghee, cut into pea-sized dots
After slicing the leeks, submerge in a bowl of cold water to clean out the dirt that collects between the layers.  Boil them over moderately high heat with water, salt and ghee until the liquid is partly evaporated.  Add the mushrooms. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, then turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pan and stew gently for 20-30 minutes until very tender and aromatic.

Beat eggs, coconut cream and seasonings in a big mixing bowl to blend. Slowly add the mushrooms and leeks bit by bit so as not to cook the eggs. (Julia suggests at this point that you taste to check the seasoning.) Pour into the pie shell and distribute the rest of the cheese and ghee over the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until puffed. (Ours didn't brown, presumably because of the lower temperature. In our case, a knife came out wet but more or less clean at the end.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Breakfast Quiche

This is a mushroom-leek quiche based on Julia Child's recipes, substituting coconut cream for dairy, a coconut flour crust, and goat milk jack cheese for Swiss.
Recipe to follow...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fructose overload!

Our daughter hung out in aftercare today because a meeting ran late and I just couldn't make it back in time. The past aftercare teacher was very aware of overdoing it with fruit. When I mentioned to her that I was concerned about too much sugars and that I considered fructose to be in that category, that teacher knew exactly what I was talking about. I was so relieved! This time, not so much...

There's a new aftercare teacher - a lovely woman, very gentle, caring and firm with the kids. Unfortunately, I just learned that she is unaware that giving kids too much fructose can be harmful. When I came to get our kid, she had in front of her a bowl-full of what looked like an entire sliced banana coated liberally with gobs of honey! There were grapes on the table and rice bread, also covered with honey. There wasn't a pat of butter or even a bit of olive oil to be seen, or anything that had even the slightest amount of protein in it, except for a container of Trader Joe's cream cheese (which probably has very little of any nutrient left in it). I was amazed. When I commented on the amount of fructose made available to the kids, and indicated that I didn't want our daughter to ingest quite that much at a time, the new teacher seemed to be taken aback (and was possibly a bit insulted. I was sorry about that but when it comes to our kid's diet, I believe that I should say what's necessary,) and then reassured me that fruit only had "good sugar" in it, that it doesn't make children hyper or cause any kind of problem. I just shook my head and began to say that according to our pediatrician that there are no "good" or "bad" sugars, only sugars. I could tell that she wasn't ready to hear that, so I just said that our family's choice is to limit fruit, please. She still seemed surprised. I was surprised that she was surprised.

Now, I have no problems with sweet treats in the afternoon - we have them all the time! Little Moo has custards, cookies and cakes with garbanzo flour, rice flour, honey, maple syrup, etc. She has all kinds of fruits. The difference is that she has ONE or TWO treats, no more. For instance, if she has two small cookies, she might have a pixie tangerine with that. She seems to be quite happy with that amount. I'll also offer her some cheese, meat, a hard boiled egg if she's not had two for breakfast, or some bread that has nut flour as well as rice flour in it and I always spread it liberally with ghee. I take issue with a bowl of bananas covered in honey followed by grapes and honeyed rice bread, eaten at the same meal. To me that's excess.

I wish with all my heart that more people realized that fructose can be just as, if not more harmful than sucrose, (here's more about that...and even more  - for that last link, scroll down to near the end where Dr. Mercola composes a whole paragraph and a table on why cutting back on all sugars, including natural fruit sugars, is desirable. Lastly, here's an article on the problems with agave syrup,) and that whole, preferably saturated fats are good, especially for children. Then our kid wouldn't have to be so set apart in her eating habits. That's been the hardest part of transitioning into school.

So, one of my resolutions for this new year is to start supplying the school with foods that I feel will be more appropriate for snacks to supplement the fructose. I think I'll bring in a jar of my crispy sunflower seeds and maybe the pumpkin seeds. Little Moo won't touch them, but perhaps other kids will benefit from their presence, especially the ones from vegetarian and vegan families. I'll also invest in a jar of almond butter, an extra loaf of rice-almond bread, a nice hunk of cheese and maybe some of Little Moo's favorite crackers. Oooh. And I'll make an extra batch of ghee this week and will bring that in as well.

Wish me luck!