Monday, October 8, 2012

Baking Conversion Chart

Oh MAN was I excited when I saw this! I used to bake constantly, partially because my wonderful roommate was always an eager audience for my cookies, cupcakes, muffins etc etc etc.  Also because it was damn easy with wheat flour.  Which of course, I never appreciated until after I couldn't eat it anymore.

Once I learned about the Celiac/allergy/intolerance (depending on who you ask...), I scoured the internet for baking conversion charts after many failed experiments with trying to directly replace wheat flour with AP blends.

At long last, here is that chart!  Kudos to Udi's, who posted it on Facebook and Pinterest.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Herbed Baked Eggs

As much as I love summer, the days on the beach, getting out of work when there is still daylight to spare etc, I am more excited about Fall than I thought I was.

Exhibit A. I have busted my velour pants out of seasonal retirement.

Exhibit B. Craving savory, warm baked eggs when I woke up this morning.

Herbed Baked Eggs

(serves 2)

4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon of butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons of bleu cheese
2 - 3 tablespoons of finely diced green onions
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon or a large pinch of coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

You can bake this in a small pie dish or in two individual ramekins. I used two ramekins, which is reflected in the directions.

Preheat oven to 450.

Crack eggs into a small bowl. Set aside.

Place ramekins on a baking sheet.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk to the bottom of each ramekin.  Put the baking sheet in oven for approx 5 minutes to melt the butter and heat both liquids so that they can combine easily.

While the butter and coconut milk are heating up, chop green onions and combine with herbs and parmesan.

Remove baking sheet from the oven. Working quickly, stir the liquids together and add two eggs to each ramekin.  Add one tablespoon of bleu cheese to each ramekin. Then, cover the top of each ramekin with the herb, green onion and parmesan mixture, akin to the way you might top a casserole with bread crumbs.

Return baking sheet to the oven and bake for 8 minutes at 450.  Then, turn the ramekins 90 degrees and return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Now, the eggs should be set, which you can test by rocking the ramekin slightly.  There should not be much of a jiggle except in the middle of the ramekin.  Remove baking sheet from the oven.  The eggs will continue to cook slightly out of the oven in the warm dishes.  Allow the eggs to sit for 2 minutes and serve.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cold Sesame Noodles

Okay. WHO AMONG YOU KNEW THAT YOU COULD COOK A SPAGHETTI SQUASH IN THE MICROWAVE IN TEN MINUTES??? Ya'all are assholes, keeping that secret from me, knowing my deadly serious spaghetti squash addiction, letting me spend 45 minutes waiting for the oven timer to ding. Sheesh.  I see how it is. Anyway. Hostility aside. Now that I know this, there is no turning back.  I am slightly skeeved by microwave cooking but am also colossally lazy, so guess which self state won? 10 minutes vs 45 minutes.  Ding ding ding.

Boyfriend and I had sushi for dinner last night.  My first time eating rice after doing a Whole 30.  Except I don't know how I tolerated the rice since I got freaking glutened by there being tempura crunch flakes in a roll that did not advertise having them.

((Blegh. I never learn my lesson with sushi, which is my single biggest culprit when it comes to accidental glutening.  I will never understand why restaurants seemingly list all the ingredients of their dishes except for the ones I'm allergic to.  Particularly sushi joints who painstakingly list tuna, salmon, caviar, cucumber and avocado in an inside out roll of rice and seaweed.  Why the shit wouldn't the crunch also be listed? I digress....))

SO eating sushi gave me a taste for one of my favorite crappy Americanized Chinese food dishes - Cold Sesame Noodles.  I happened to have a good set of ingredients on hand and consulted Martha Stewart's recipe, making edits and improvements below so everything is pretty paleo (I used Tamari, which some consider a no no) and gluten free.

You could substitute gluten free spaghetti, egg noodles or shirataki noodles for the spaghetti squash. I happen to love the al dente feel of spaghetti squash and think it goes perfectly the flavors of the sauce. Great with a side of broccoli.  Madam Martha threw in scallions, but I didn't have any on hand so its not included in the below, though I do think it would be a nice touch.  I also have seen other recipes for this dish that included shredded carrot and cucumber too, also an interesting variation that ups the crunch and the color.

Paleo Cold Sesame Noodles

1 spaghetti squash
6 tablespoons sesame paste, stirred (tahini)
2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
3 tablespoons of tamari (gluten free soy sauce) or coconut aminos
a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chinese five spice
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil (sesame or peanut oil would taste great here too if you prefer)
2/3 cup water

Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out goopy strings and seeds.  Place face down on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 10 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Take out a medium sized serving bowl.

Mince ginger and garlic.  Add coconut oil to a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add ginger and garlic once oil is hot and sautee for 2 minutes.

While ginger and garlic sautee in oil, spoon tahini into bowl.  Once ginger and garlic are lightly browned, pour contents of sauce pan into the bowl and whisk.  Add tamari, hot sauce, five spice and coconut sugar whisking again.  Add 1/3 of a cup of water.  Taste and check consistency.  If still too thick, add the remaining water. It should be the consistency of a cream sauce and no longer that of peanut butter. Set aside. Unless your spaghetti squash is gigantic, there will likely be some sauce left over, which would be tasty on chicken or veggies.

Using a fork, remove flesh of spaghetti squash, forming "noodles."  Add half of the tahini sauce and stir.  If it coats to your liking - eat! If not - add more sauce! Rocket science, here.

Yum! Exactly the brunch I had in mind today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Smoothie, take 1.

I have always been a lover of smoothies and milkshakes.  In college, I spent pretty much all of my flex dollars (read McShane Money akin to Toys R Us Geoffrey Bucks) on smoothies from "The Grille."

On fastpaleo and other sites, I constantly see banging smoothie recipes.  Many of which have banana in them, which is unfortunate because I cannot get my boyfriend to even be in the same room with me when I am eating one.  So try to camouflage it all you want, dude knows.  Its his spidey sense.

I felt like getting creative today.  And it was 3:30pm.  And I hadn't eaten anything.  And even though I wasn't particularly hungry, I knew my body needed a little fuel for cleaning.  Got a little creative with fridge contents, and here we are. You can definitely sub another fruit should you desire.  Or chia for flax. More flax/chia for the raw coconut.  And I think this would be great with almond, dairy or hemp milk too. Whateva. Mix it up, baby. Just remember: NO BANANAS ALLOWED.

Smoothie # 1
2 avocados, super ripe
1 champagne mango, diced
2 1/2 cups of coconut milk like Silk Pure Coconut
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon of flax meal
1 tablespoon of raw coconut
1 teaspoon of organic wildflower honey (optional)
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon of organic, sugar free vanilla extract

Add avocado, 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, flax, coconut and lime juice to a blender and mix until well combined.  Add ice cubes, mango, honey, vanilla and remainder of coconut milk and blend again.  Slurp with a straw, obvs.

You may want to add more milk or even some water to get it to your personal desired texture.  My mango was super juicy and my avocado very soft so I didn't need any more liquid.

Friday, May 4, 2012

sweet potato fries aka indulgence


I suck at posting.

Now that THAT is out of the way....

Here's the deal. I haven't been feeling so hot lately or since like the beginning of this year.  Sluggish, unmotivated, foggy headed.  Kind of akin to the glutenous days of yore. I tried to pay attention to whether I was getting DL glutened in restaurants, or whether one of my regular favorites had changed ingredients or suppliers. Nada.

I started to panic after a few weeks, recalling the words of my awesome, awesome, AWESOME GI (more on this later) about how I should probably do a total elimination diet to cross check for other sensitivities and food allergies.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, or if its been evident bc every single fucking recipe that I create has cheese as at least an ancillary component, but I am coo coo for CHEESE. So much so that one of my dearest friends made this, in my honor (inspired by the amazing Hyperbole and a Half):

Eat all the cheeses? Well, okay. If you insist.

So as of today, I am on day five of eating NONE of the cheeses. And am kind of going out of my mind between that and what must be some kind of sugar detox hangover.  Boyfriend and I are doing the Paleo thing, for a while at least.  I'm hoping to be pretty strict for a month, at least, and then start to add things back in to see how I do.  So for now, I've needed to get creative to feel like I'm getting my fix of the foods I love that don't love me. And am going to make a better effort to post recipes... without my beloved cheese.

Installment number one?

Sweet Potato Fries 

2 medium sweet potatoes, jewel yams, garnet yams, what the fuck ever your store has
1.5 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1.5 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 cup of coconut oil (or 1/8 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup coconut oil, which will keep the olive oil from burning)

*Preheat your oven to 425.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
*Chop up your sweet potatoes.  You can do wedges, if you like. Or steak fry sized larger pieces, if you prefer.  I like smaller fries and went for that. Your best bet is cutting the potatoes in half lengthwise, putting the flat side down on a cutting board and cutting small slivers, which I then cut again to desired fry width. SCIENCE. Not really.
*Add the coconut oil to the baking sheet and place in the oven, removing it once the oil has melted.
*Combine your herbs, tossing well.
*Add the potatoes to the baking sheet, coating well with the coconut oil. 
*When the potatoes are coated, liberally sprinkle herb mixture over the top, reserving approximately one third of it.  Toss the potatoes again to coat evenly with herbs. Use reserved herb mixture to hit spots you miss or just sprinkle it evenly over all the fries again and toss lightly.
*Bake for 20  - 30 minutes (20 being on the softer side, 30 with a bit more crispy bite)

Let them stand for 2 - 5 minutes to reduce the likelihood of burning yourself. 

And then, ya know, EAT. Perfect side to a steak and veggies, to a lettuce wrap burger or even a salad.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

leek madness

When I was grocery shopping last week, GIANT leeks greeted me in the fresh produce aisle at my local store. I am talking freakshow leeks. So I couldn't resist picking up two, figuring I would improvise my way to something great after making potato leek soup, which I have recently become obsessed with.

Emeril's recipe is fantastic and naturally gluten free.  I've also made it with green onions when leeks weren't available and it was different, sure, but still great. I've made it with and without bacon as well as with creme fraiche vs cream.  The creme fraiche adds a bit more tanginess, but can you reeeeally go wrong with cream? No.  This makes the perfect sized batch to get you and your plus one through a week of easy reheating.

But leeks are great for far more than just potato leek soup. I used them in a stir fry and in omelettes.  And still have another cup or so in the freezer in a ziploc. Perfect in a quiche or a frittata too.

Leek Stir Fry
2 bags shirataki noodles, rinsed well under cold water
1 1/2 cups of leeks, white and light green parts only sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced into thin match sticks
1 red pepper, sliced into thin match sticks
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of minced ginger root
1/3 cup reduced sodium gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini or peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
optional: tablespoon of minced lemongrass (like gourmet garden) or a tablespoon of lime juice

Chop and mince away. Once everything is set and the shirataki noodles are rinsed and set aside (you can sub cooked rice noodles or spaghetti) heat a large skillet over medium heat. Right before the skillet begins to smoke, add coconut oil.  Once the coconut oil melts, add leeks, sauteeing for one minute.  Add ginger and garlic, stirring with leeks and sauteeing for one minute more. Add the rest of the veggies, sauteeing for three to five minutes or until veggies start to brown and are tender in the middle. add soy sauce, tahini/pb, lemongrass and red pepper flakes and stir well so that it forms a sauce. When sauce is formed and vegetables are cooked to your liking, add shirataki noodles and stir frequently, cooking the mixture for a few minutes until the noodles are warmed through. If you need more sauce to cover, try a few splashes of broth or some more soy sauce.

Leek Omelette for Two

1 cup of leeks
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
4 eggs
3 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
pinch of kosher salt
black pepper grinder
shredded gruyere

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Once melted, add leeks and sautee for three minutes or until they begin to wilt and glisten. Add mushrooms and sautee until both are cooked to your liking but still have a bit of bite. Add a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper, tossing and setting aside.

Mix eggs, milk and herbs de provence with a whisk until slightly frothy. Add remainder of coconut oil in a small skillet. Once melted add egg mixture.  Push in on the edges to allow the liquid to go around the outside of the omelette so that the egg cooks equally.  Once it is firmly set throughout, flip the entire mixture over.  Cook for one minute and add shredded gruyere, leeks and mushrooms.  Fold over and serve immediately. 

So fronch. Yum.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I am SO pro Against the Grain.

So, gluten free friends, let me tell you about a little company called Against the Grain Gourmet.  At first I saw the name on a few bags in the Whole Foods freezer section and thought - whoa thats a strong statement.  I'm also a little weary of frozen breads.  They just never seemed to get to a texture that I loved. And then I started trying Against the Grain products one by one... and fell completely, utterly in love.

I was first introduced to Against the Grain Gourmet through their Rosemary rolls, which I used as buns for grilled mushroom cap burgers, cheeseburgers and as bread in delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. I ate them plain after 30 seconds in the microwave. And after sitting out on the counter for 30 minutes.  And with earth balance spread. And cream cheese. I was freaking hooked. Then, when I went back for more, I saw they had baguettes in original and rosemary flavors. Unbelievable.  To me, the baguettes have the best texture of all their products. Squishy, stretchy, chewy bread was but a distant memory before buying this stuff.

A friend and I were recently at a dinner party trading stories about loaves of store bought gluten free bread that were better suited to be doorstops when I pulled out Against the Grain's Rosemary Baguettes for her to try. Even the gluten friendly friends were tasting it and oohing and ahhing. Even though they had "real bread" on the table to choose from, they were going back for more of my baguettes. I've never seen anything like it with a packaged, frozen, gluten free product.

After realizing that I owed this monster of a company a blog post for all their deliciousness and convenience, I wanted to try a few more things. I tried their sesame and original bagels. FINALLY a chewy gluten free bagel. I have found nothing that comes anywhere close to that texture in a gluten free baked good.  Even those I bake myself are often delicious, yes, but crumbly and lacking in that unified, chewy consistency.  Not these bagels. Not this baguette.  Not these rolls.

I also noticed a new product - a frozen pizza shell - which had cheese baked right into the crust. I snatched up immediately as it was the last one in the A&P freezer case. Despite my now well documented love of everything else of theirs that I brought home, I was still skeptical.  But this crust blew every other frozen pizza, both gluten free and otherwise, completely out of the water. They now also manufacture and sell whole pizzas.  No other ingredients needed for an easy, tasty, weeknight meal. I also saw that they are now selling pumpernickel rolls, which I have been freaking clamoring for since giving up my beloved NY bagels.

I know you'll be skeptical... I was too.  But take a leap of faith against the grain with these guys.  They really know what they're doing. And no, I'm not being paid to write this.  Though if anyone is listening, I'd prefer to be bought with baguettes and bagels. Check out the website to look for a store locator, to read about ingredients (I haven't seen any dairy free products yet), sourcing, and to see the variety of stuff I haven't stumbled upon yet.  You'll be happy you did.

(All photos credit to Against the Grain Gourmet)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I am eating this soup RIGHT NOW and did not want to waste another second before posting it.  It is delicious and can be ready in about 30 minutes with some convenient subs like rotisserie chicken.  This is the recipe that I made, which is a riff on a fantastic Cooking Light recipe they featured in their most recent issue.

This soup is purportedly a fantastic hangover cure as well as a delicious, warming meal at any time of day.

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Egg soup)

2 cups of cooked chicken, diced or pulled (I used a garlic rotisserie chicken)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup of shallots or onions, sliced and diced (whatever you have around works, I prefer shallots)
7 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of quinoa (red looks best!)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh
1 tablespoon of dried tarragon (optional, but i looove the flavor)
2 tablespoons fresh italian flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
2 eggs
4 - 6 basil leaves, torn
salt and mixed color peppercorns in large grinds, to taste (I used McCormick's garlic pepper grinder)
1 tablespoon of EVOO

Add EVOO to deep sauce pan on high heat.  After it heats for 60 sec, add shallots and sautee for three minutes. Add garlic, dill and tarragon (if using) and sautee for one minute more.  Add quinoa, tossing in oil, and shallot mixture, sauteeing for two minutes.  Add chicken broth and reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently as it simmers.  Meanwhile, add eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Combine and whisk in two teaspoons of cornstarch, and salt and pepper to your liking.

After the broth, quinoa etc have been simmering for 15 minutes, or when quinoa is tender and about to be done, add egg/lemon mixture in three sections, whisking nonstop so that the eggs do not cook in clumps when they hit the broth.  If you'd prefer you can remove the soup from the heat for this portion.  When egg mixture is completely added, put it back on the heat and whisk for 60 seconds.

When the mixture reaches a solid simmer, add cooked chicken, stirring well.  Cook mixture together for 2 - 3 minutes or until chicken is heated through and quinoa is cooked to your liking.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4!  Great with a salad for dinner, on its own for lunch. You can also sub long grain white rice, basmati brown rice or arborio rice for the quinoa if you'd prefer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Queen of Dips has returned from her holy hiatus.

Someone bestowed the above title on me on New Years Eve when I proudly displayed four variations of dips for my party guests.  I shrugged.  Mostly because I've only transcribed one dip recipe and generally just wing it and taste, taste, taste until it goes somewhere I like.  Here are the four I made for NYE that are perfect for football playoffs, awards show parties and a bevy of other occasions that will be coming up in the next few months.

To lighten up the below, use lower fat cream cheese or tofutti soy cream cheese in place of full fat cream cheese or creme fraiche and consider 0% greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  Keep the ratios the same.  Daiya's super stretchy cheeses are great in the black bean dip in particular, to keep it vegan friendly.

Black Bean Dip

2 cans of black beans with their liquid
3 green onions, thinly sliced from root to tip
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
8 oz extra sharp cheddar
8 oz creme fraiche
1/2 cup of salsa verde

Preheat oven to 350.

Reserve a small handful of sliced green onion, a pinch of cilantro and about an ounce of cheddar for the top of the dip.

Add black beans + liquid, salsa verde, creme fraiche and remaining cilantro, onions and cheese to an 8x8 baking dish. Mix until combined.  If you have an immersion blender, puree mixture in baking dish until at least half of the beans are creamy.  If you'd prefer a creamier dip, you can certainly continue. I like to leave some beans whole for texture and presentation. Otherwise, you can use a potato masher for a rougher consistency or use a blender. Before baking, top with reserved ingredients.

Bake for 20 minutes or until top is browned and dip is heated well throughout.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

9 oz box of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry of water
9 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or 2/3 jar of marinated artichokes, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until dip is browned and bubbling.

Carmelized Onion and Shallot Dip

2 medium to large onions, thinly sliced into long pieces
2 shallots,  thinly sliced
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot hungarian paprika (or 1/4 tsp cayenne and a tablespoon of reg paprika)
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1/8 cup vegetable oil

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet.  Add onions and seasonings and sautee for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Lower heat to low or medium low and cook until the onions are browned and caramelized (about 20 minutes).  While the onions cool, place cream cheese, sour cream and mayo in the bowl of a mixer and beat until all three are one cohesive mixture.  Add onions and mix well.  Optional: bake for 15 minutes at 350 to combine flavors.

Garlic Shrimp Dip

16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of shrimp
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 green onions (or 1 yellow onion), chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add shrimp and sautee.  After first turn of the shrimp (once one side is pink), add in yellow onion (if using), red pepper flakes and garlic.  Sautee until shrimp is cooked and then roughly chop. Add chopped shrimp mixture (scrape the skillet for extra flavor!) to a baking dish with room temperature cream cheese, herbs and parmesan cheese.  Stir well to combine.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 and serve hot.

All of these can be served with your favorite veggies, chips or crackers. I love Mary's Gone Crackers black pepper crackers in particular with dip. I also love using left over black bean dip as a spread for sandwiches or on toast as a snack.

Hope you'll all enjoy them as much as my guests do.  My boyfriend is salivating just watching me write this post, if that is any indicate of what is in store.  Cheers to your next gathering!