Monday, November 9, 2009

What's gonna be on our plates this week?

I took another 9pm trip to the grocery store tonight to do the weekly grocery shopping. This week, I went off of what was on sale & planned the week's menu around what I bought.

Monday: We had pasta of varying sorts (buckwheat soba for me, rice pasta for Ella and whole wheat pasta for Hubby) with gluten-free turkey meatballs and "mock marinara" (made from beets and carrots). It was not a crowd pleaser. I didn't think the sauce was so bad but poor Hubby really struggled to get through it. Ella ate most of it then proceeded to throw the rest on the floor so it's hard to say what her true feelings were.

Tuesday: Beef stew w/the usual carrots, potatoes, etc. I'd love to serve this with a nice crusty bread but will have to settle for this, instead.

Wednesday: Herb roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green beans. I was super psyched about the turkey breast -- it was on sale for $1.99/lb and it was the last one and had no price sticker so the manager gave it to me for $0.99/lb. Woot!

Thursday: Baked pork chops, maple-glazed roasted butternut squash and spinach sauteed in garlic & EVOO. Hubby is so NOT a squash fan so I'm hoping to entice him with the maple syrup glaze.

Friday: Having friends over for dinner & will serve Harvest Salad (delish! recipe to follow...), de-glutened & de-egged Thanksgiving Loaves, from my friend Meghan's blog and roasted sweet potatoes. Perhaps with a gluten-free, casein-free cranberry pear crisp for dessert... Mmmm!

Saturday: DATE NIGHT!!!! I'm a little too excited about this. We haven't been on a date with just the two of us in oh I don't know... 6 months?! Eating out is incredibly challenging when you have so many food sensitivities but I usually stick to steak or grilled fish with nothing on it and sides of steamed veggies with nothing on them. I find that a wedge of lemon (for fish) and a little S&P at the table is usually plenty of seasoning. Admittedly, not the most exciting way to go but I know it's safe to eat which makes it taste even better. The hard part will be going to the movies and avoiding the popcorn but I've got a plan... More on this later.

Sunday: Leftovers


Due to the fact that I cannot eat wheat, rice, oat, rye, corn or yeast, all of the allergen-free breads I've seen in the store are off limits to me. I found a recipe for vegan yeast-free quinoa bread on Living Without Magazine's website. It's kind of a lot of work because it calls for two different flour blends which you have to make seperately and then use in the recipe but I was thinking ahead on this one and made extra of the flour blends and stored them in ziplock bags in the refrigerator for future use.

High-Fiber Flour Blend
This high-fiber blend works for breads, pancakes, snack bars and cookies that contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or other fruits. It is not suited to delicately flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies, crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or cupcakes.

1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour I used sorghum flour
½ cup teff flour (preferably light)
½ cup millet flour or Montina® flour I used millet flour
⅔ cup tapioca starch/flour
⅓ cup cornstarch or potato starch I used potato starch

High-Protein Flour Blend
This nutritious blend works best in baked goods that require elasticity, such as wraps and pie crusts.

1¼ cups bean flour (your choice), chickpea flour or soy flour I used garbonzo bean flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch I used potato starch but would use arrowroot next time so as not to use so much potato, since it's used in the other flour blend
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour I used buckwheat flour -- not sure if this is an appropriate substitute protein wise but I thought it worked well

Vegan Yeast-Free Quinoa Bread

2 cups gluten-free high-fiber flour blend (see above)
2 cups gluten-free high-protein flour blend (see above)
1/4 cup golden flax meal
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp baking powder baking powder contains corn starch so I used 1 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 Tbsp cream of tarter instead
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp xantham gum
1/2 cup cooked whole-grain quinoa or millet, cooked according to package instructions
1 1/2 cups sparkling cider, apple cider or apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil of choice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Milk of choice, for topping I used goat's milk
2 Tbsp quinoa flakes, for topping
Oil spray, for topping
Rice flour or cornmeal for dusting I used buckwheat flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x4-inch bread pan and sprinkle with cornmeal or flour of choice.
2. Blend together the flour blends, flax meal, salt, baking powder (or substitute), baking soda and xantham gum in a mixing bowl until well combined. Fold in cooked quinoa I forgot this step and wound up folding it in to the mixture after I poured it into the bread pans -- not ideal.
3. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the cider, applesauce, oil, honey and vinegar.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together on medium speed using the beater/paddle attachment until just combined. Do not over mix. The leavening in this recipe activates quickly. As soon as the ingredients are combined, spoon the batter into the pan and bake immediately.
5. Pour dough into prepared bread pan. Brush the top with milk of choice, sprinkle with quinoa flakes and lightly spray with oil.
6. Loosely cover bread pan with parchment paper or oiled foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the paper and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then lift the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.

I was hoping for more of a sandwich friendly bread instead of the quick-bread texture but hey, bread is bread! And at this point, I'll be happy with what I can get.
And since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and stuffing is one of my favorite sides and one I allow myself the pleasure of only once or twice a year, I decided that this year I'm going to make it gluten-free so I can still enjoy my faves. The above recipe makes two loaves and I cut one whole loaf into 1/2 inch cubes and baked them on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, stirring twice. Then I let them sit out in the air for a few hours to harden up just a tad more. Stuffing experiment to come...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This week's menu

I was not as organized this week as I was last week so when I went grocery shopping I got the basic potatoes and sweet potatoes, veggies & fruits and then a pot roast, pork roast, some steak for stir-frying, pork chops and some ground turkey. I think next week I'd like to try turkey breast.

Monday: spaghetti squash and ground turkey (Mike was planning to be home late so I went simple simple for Ella and me.)

Tuesday: pot roast, potatoes and carrots

Wednesday: leftovers (hopefully)

Thursday: beef stir-fry -- need to look for some creative ways to do this. Maybe with broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, red pepper and onion?? Served over barley with a garden salad on the side.

Friday: pork roast, sweet potatoes and green beans

Saturday: leftovers (hopefully... can you tell I'm feeling lazy this week?)

Sunday: TBD. I'm toying around with the idea of making gluten free turkey meatballs and a "mock spaghetti sauce" and serving them over buckwheat soba. We'll see what the weekend brings...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Banana Bread!

Yesterday was Halloween & we dressed our little ladybug up and went trick-or-treating at the grandparents' houses. My mom treated us to some homemade allergen free banana bread that tasted EXACTLY like the banana bread she'd made for us before all this allergy nonsense. It was so moist and delicious -- even Hubby enjoyed it! It's been WEEKS since I've eaten bread and it was so so good, I could not stop eating it and Ella went crazy over it!

"Banana Bread for Ella"
adapted from a recipe in Ella's Great Grandmother's “Joy of Cooking”

Makes one loaf – bake 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until toothpick is clean

Sift together in bowl and set aside: (for best results, sift flour prior to measuring)
2 cups sifted Bob’s Red Mill All purpose baking flour (G.W.D. free)
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
Food processor – cream till light: (for best results, add mixed egg replacer after combining the banana, sugar, oil mixture)
2 ripe bananas
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup canola or olive oil
1 ½ tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, mixed with 2 Tbsp warm water
Add the mashed banana mixture to the dry ingredients alternately with:
3 Tbsp orange juice

Oil & flour the bread pan before adding the batter to prevent sticking.
Sift the flour before measuring, really makes a difference in the amount you use!

Thanks again, Mom!!