Archive for the ‘Gluten free cooking’ Category

As Time Goes By

IMG_1917 (2)Have you ever had one of those moments where you see everything clearly? I have very few of those but last night while chatting with my favorite big guy (my two grandsons are my favorite little guys) I had a somewhat clearer than fog moment.

In my moment of clarity it seemed obvious that I have decided to take things in the wrong direction. Maybe instead of spending more time on Facebook, where it is feeling more and more Big Brother-ish, I should be creatively using my time on my blog. Funny how you can change your mind as time goes by but, as they say, it is a woman’s prerogative. I am going to go back to blogging at least once a week and with time we shall see if Krisinsight takes another turn as far as content.

Rainy Mondays needn’t get you down

This morning I took advantage of another cloudy, foggy day in Minnesota and started my vegetable garden. When I finally had mud from ear to ear and covering most of my body, I cleaned my tools and headed in for a shower. Once I was scrubbed clean I had  a hankering for some lunch and started hunting high and low for my Bacon Lovers Dream Pie aka bacon crusted pizza. I wanted to make the recipe I found on FastPaleo ages ago but with a twist.

The twist being the sauce. I had all the ingredients for the “pie” but I didn’t have any tomato sauce. What I did have in the pantry was a jar of Mediterranean Organic Red Peppers. If you have read Dr. Bernstein’s book on diabetes (Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution) there are recipes at the end of the book and the one for red pepper sauce is excellent. It is great that the sauce is tasty but for me the fact that red peppers will not do nasty things to your blood glucose like tomatoes do makes it my go-to sauce when it is needed, so I have included my adaptation of Bernstein’s sauce recipe  below the pizza recipe.

Bacon Lovers Pizza Pie

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 3 eggs well beaten
  • Pizza sauce
  • Pizza topping of your choice
  • Shredded organic cheese

IMG_2103Place the bacon strips in a pan (I used a glass pie pan) or on a baking pan with sides. I wove mine (basket weave) but you could just line your pan with the bacon. Bake until golden and drain the accumulated fat and juices. To the pan add the eggs and put back in the oven and bake 4-5 minutes until the egg is just firm. Remove from the oven and top with your sauce (the directions for mine are below) and then add toppings. I added thinly sliced salami and black olives and then topped with 4 ounces of shredded cheese. Put back in the oven until your cheese is melted and golden. Remove, let cool for a few minutes and slice in to four pieces. Bon Appetito!

Pizza Sauce with a Twist

  • 1-16 ounce jar of Mediterranean Organic Fire Roasted Red Peppers, slightly drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup of cream or sour cream
  • generous turns of the pepper grinder or, in other words, to taste

Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor and whiz completely making sure the garlic is completely incorporated. Add a drop or two of stevia and the cream and whiz again. Adjust seasoning to your taste and it is ready to be used for pasta, pizza, etc.

Welcome to my home

I cannot say where this blog will go now but I was reminded by my spousal unit (SU) that blogs were originally a daily online diary, so who knows it might just be published daily (I do apologize to those who have subscribed if that seems a bit much). The name will stay the same as it is all my experience and/or something someone has experienced and told me about personally. I want to share more chemical free home and body care ideas and recipes that tickle your taste buds.

On Facebook I also share the health news of the day (which at times just gets me down as I am finding the talking heads anything but informative) and comment if I have experience with anything I have published, so I may be doing more of that just to share the knowledge I glean. As always, please feel free to share your ideas and opinions.

Everyone is welcome here but as always there is no spam nor illicit content allowed. I was listening to a well-known (although I had never heard of him) blogger being  interviewed the other day and I liked his approach to his blog. He said, in essence, that he feels like his blog is his home and anyone who visits is welcome to participate in the conversation  but also, just like guests in his home, he will not allow hostility nor rudeness and neither will I.

Have a pizza pie kind of day and see you back here really soon,

Kris

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I Think of My Favorite Things and Then I Don’t Feel So Bad

IMG_18322012 was a year of great happiness (my daughter is pregnant and due in January), tremendous sadness (the senseless killing of 20 innocents and 6 brave adults in Connecticut) and a plethora of learning experiences. Our lives are defined by a series of events. Some will leave us smiling; some will leave us crying and bereft but through it all we grow and become better human beings.

As humans we all have the capability to feel others pain and joy and we need to accept this gift and use it to the best of our ability. Laugh with your mother, cry with your daughter, hug your grandchildren, hold hands with your significant other, in general, embrace the world and the rewards will be plentiful.

I wanted to post this year’s favorite things today because it is New Year’s Eve and what could be more fitting than to wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope 2013 will bring you great joy, fabulous health and an explosive amount of newly gleaned knowledge.

On being number one

IMG_1833I can’t say there is really one thing that stands out as a favorite over others but I can truthfully say that a gift I received from a thyroid friend is one of the dearest and most touching. These magical dolls arrived on my doorstep the other day. They are for my grandsons, so the eye color and hair is as close as the doll’s creator, Ms. Lisa, could get to perfection. Odin is a brownish blond with hazel colored eyes and his doll reflects him beautifully. Arthur, who is as of today, unborn will most likely be born with dark hair and eyes just as Odin was and his doll just makes me all the more anxious to meet him and get to know him as I have our grandson Odin. If you have a special someone to whom you would like to give a touch of magic contact Lisa at lisaolko@embarqmail.com

My BBBF-aka best book by far

IMG_1837 Kindle (2)It would be impossible to pick one book but I can safely and conclusively say that my Kindle is the best “book” by far. I have it packed with 150 creative endeavors by authors like Matt Stone and his 180 Degrees-Diabetes (talk about a book that goes against all conventional wisdom) to my favorite novel writer Rosamunde Pilcher and her Winter Solstice (a book I read every autumn and have for several years). I have tens of books that were free and continue to collect them if they seem like a book I could learn something from. I have free books about stevia, raising children, going Paleo on a budget, and so on. If I were stranded on a desert island my Kindle would provide hours, no, I take that back, it would provide weeks of entertainment and mind expanding knowledge.

Brain food

Almost all of us are deficient in magnesium and it is said that magnesium, not calcium is necessary to prevent weak and frail bones. Now the news comes out that to protect our cognitive abilities we need magnesium as well. Not just any magnesium but magnesium threonate. Why this form over others? Because in controlled tests it is the only form of magnesium that actually crosses the blood brain barrier. If you want to preserve your cognition it seems this is THE magnesium to do the job.

I jumped on this one as I have an avid interest in preventing dementia (familial issue) and once Joe Mercola endorsed it as the magnesium to take I investigated the best price and brands that exist. I have taken Life Extension (Neuro-Mag) and Jarrow (Mag Mind) forms of magnesium threonate both of which have additives and fillers that I don’t like but they both worked wonders and the cost was acceptable. I finally found Doctor’s Best “Best Brain Magnesium Threonate” which lacks the excipients I detest but doesn’t seem to work as well and costs quite a bit more. In the end, I concluded that I will be taking either the Life Extension or the Jarrow Magnesium Threonate because even with the fillers they actually worked and they are affordable and both are sold at iHerb.com and Amazon.com. If you try it let me know what you think.

That one recipe that you make over and over and then this is over

IMG_1812This one is really hard to narrow down but I am going with Odin’s choice, *Pumpkin donuts with Cinnamon Butter Glaze. They are so simple and taste so good as to be decadent. I think the glaze is amazing as it is tastier than a glaze has the right to be and yet is packed full of nutritious goodness.

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup of ghee or butter
  • 1/4 cup of roasted, creamy almond butter
  • 1 TBLS honey
  • 1 TBLS ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a few drops of Vanilla-Creme Stevia

In a small saucepan heat the butter until just melted on low heat. As soon as it is melted remove from heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients until a smooth glaze forms. Pour into a bowl or cup and set aside. It will thicken as it cools which is ideal for the glaze to stick.

Pumpkin Spice Donuts:

  • 2 1/3 cups almond flour (Honeyville works the best)
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (Farmer’s Brand has no BPA in the lining of the can) or I used winter squash from my garden
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup of walnut oil

Preheat oven to 350° and grease your donut pan. Mix almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices in a bowl. Pour into a blender. Add wet ingredients and blend until smooth. You will need to turn off blender, scrape sides with spatula and keep blending to ensure all the dry ingredients are mixed. Pour batter into each donut mold, filling almost to the top. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the pan to remove the donuts (they should slip out really easily) and cool on a cooling rack.

To Serve:

Using a spoon or cup pour glaze onto each donut. Serve warm but they will keep for 4 days if covered tightly.

* I have included a link to the original recipe out of respect for the creator but also because I adjusted things to suit my tastes.

The Ultimate

In the end, my favorite thing is knowing that someone might benefit from what I have learned and share on Krisinsight. I am not a doctor, nor dentist nor researcher. I am a private citizen with a degree in dental hygiene. What I do have is a keen interest in the health of my body and a desire to share what I have learned from  my experience with medicine, both conventional and alternative. I gather knowledge from books, online articles, friend’s experiences, and my discussions with some very good doctors. When I learn something new I really can’t wait to share it with you my readers. I hope you share knowledge gleaned with your friends and family. Just think how much better our world will be because we all learned something and then paid it forward.

Go ahead pay it forward, help someone. If you help so much as one person feel better it will make your year and mine.

With love from me,

Kris

Have a Merry Little Christmas Brunch

Yes, it is that time again, namely Christmas. In Minnesota we are barely holiday white but at least it is winter cold and every other day or so it snows for 5 minutes. It is part of the Christmas tradition in Minnesota to complain about weather, so if it is white we moan. If it is brown we groan but in the end we all love it this time of year white or brown.

Weather aside I am ready for the holidays and having my family together especially as it is my grandson’s very first Christmas. What could be more magical? Christmas Eve morning I am going to whir up a batch of waffle mix to serve on Christmas morning and I thought you might enjoy the recipe.

You can easily make your own oat flour in a blender (blend until floury), mix in the yogurt or kefir and water, blend again and let it sit. After fermenting all night the oat mixture is minus the usual phytic acid that is hard on teeth and digestive systems but still full of nutrition. You then can add the remaining ingredients to the blender the next morning and give it a whiz until smooth. When you pour the mixture out on to your hot waffle iron they turn golden brown quickly and have a buttery outer layer with a nice moist interior.

I got this tasty little recipe from NourishedMD on Facebook and I highly recommend “liking” their page just to follow their recipe suggestions. I even bought an e-recipe book this week on healthy and easy breakfasts to serve your children. I love breakfast and I am always looking for new ideas and if I can serve a healthy breakfast to my grandson someday all the better, for now he is much more attached to breast milk and the e-book was for the spousal unit and me.

If you want a less sugary topping for your waffles, make an apple-pear sauce in the oven by peeling 2 apples, 2 pears and slicing into a pan that has 1 or 2 tablespoons of melted ghee or coconut butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and put in the oven until the fruit is soft and can be mashed until smooth. The last time I made the sauce I covered the pan and I was happier with the results.

Overnight Waffles

Written by Chef Jackie White of Conveniently Fresh

  • 2 1/2 cups organic whole oats 
  • 1 cup whole yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, milk or milk substitute
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder – no aluminum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda – no aluminum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup organic butter or coconut ghee, melted

Directions

  • Grind oats into a flour.
  • In a medium bowl mix together oats, milk and cider (or juice or water).
  • Cover and leave on counter overnight.
  • In the morning blend in all other ingredients.
  • Adjust batter consistency with milk or water.
  • Portion batter using 1/4-1/3 measuring cup and cook batter in a waffle iron or on a hot skillet with butter. If using a skillet to make pancakes cook pancakes until bubbles appear on top, flip and cook until lightly browned on both sides.

I really can’t think of a better way to close Krisinsight 2011 than with a yummy but healthy recipe. I have had a great year and I hope you can say the same. If not, take heart, every year brings good and bad moments into the lives of every human on this planet. In my opinion, it is how we handle our life experiences that really counts.

I hope you have enjoyed the trip in 2011, every bump and pothole. See you in the New Year.

Happy Holidays,

Kris

Somethin’ different

Every so often it is time for something lighthearted and tasty, so I decided that today’s bit of lightness is a new favorite Vegetarian Friday night meal of ours called Layered Quesadillas. I love it because one layer is winter squash, one layer is black beans and salsa, and one raw milk “Wisconsin Jack Cheese”. I use rice flour tortillas as I do not eat gluten if I can avoid it. The original was courtesy of Bon Appetit but as always I have made it my own.

Layered Quesadillas

Ingredients

4 Rice Flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups of cubed winter squash, steamed lightly, Butternut or any dense sweet variety.

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Eden Brand Black Beans (Eden does not  use cans lined with BPA plastic)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 clove of minced garlic

1/2 cup salsa, Paul Newman’s brand, medium or hot

4 ounces of Jack cheese, grated for melting. I use Organic Valley’s Raw “Wisconsin Jack”

1 handful of cilantro for sprinkling on top.

2 tablespoons of grapeseed (Napa Valley Naturals) oil plus oil for brushing on tortillas

Equipment

1 baking sheet

….

Method

Lightly brush the tortillas on one side with oil and place in preheated oven at 350 degrees, you can use a baking sheet or just put them on the racks in the oven. Toast them for 10 minutes until slightly crispy but not browned. Remove and cool or I have been doing one at a time and layering as I go because it works better if the quesadilla is not too crispy. If you are doing them all at one time or individually, place one finished tortilla on a baking sheet.

In a small pan put 1 tablespoon oil. Saute the chopped onion for about 5 minutes and then add the cubed squash and finish cooking the onions and squash to taste about 10 minutes. Place this mixture on top of one tortilla and spread it out to cover the tortilla.

Wipe out your pan and put another tablespoon of grapeseed oil in the bottom. Add to this one can of Eden brand Black Beans, chili powder, garlic and 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa (I like Paul Newman brand medium or hot but there is a local salsa called Clyde’s that is pretty tasty but not organic). Heat gently, and then mash lightly and add 1/4 cup salsa, mixing thoroughly. Place another tortilla on top of the squash layer and spread the bean mixture over that tortilla.

Sprinkle another tortilla with grated cheese and lightly bake in oven to melt. When just melted place on top of bean layer and top with fourth tortilla. You quite literally now have a tower of tortillas filled with tasty ingredients. I let mine sit for a few minutes before baking as at our house the crispier the tortillas the messier and gets a thumbs down from the spousal unit.

When you are almost ready to eat put your layered quesadilla in the oven and bake until heated through about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for a few minutes to make for easier slicing. When ready to plate, cut with a pizza cutter in to four pieces and serve with extra salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

….

I love to eat food in layers, so first I peeled off the bean layer topped with the cheese.  I added some salsa and ate this layer of simple but delish comfort food. This leaves a second layer of lovely sweet winter squash to be enjoyed separately, almost like dessert. If you are a person who eats pizza in layers you will understand that there is a method to my madness. However, the spousal unit is much more conventional and he insisted on knife and fork (not big on the finger food, not big on eating in layers) and when that required an entire package of napkins he set the knife and fork down. With some reluctance he then picked up the entire piece of quesadilla and ate it biting through all the layers and enjoying it right down to every last black bean.

A “morning after” comment: This quesadilla can be reheated, it isn’t quite as good but I saved it in parchment paper and then reheated on the baking sheet on top of parchment paper. The tortillas crisped slightly and it got the thumbs up from the somewhat picky spousal unit, so I thought I should add that you might even get two meals out of one layered quesadilla recipe. It depends on the appetites of the diners.

….

Buon Appetito.

See you next week,

Kris

Anybody need a cracker?

You guessed it another recipe but this one is simple and tastes so good. I found this one on Elana Amsterdam’s site but as usual I tweaked it to suit what was in my pantry and what appealed to me at the time.

These are called “Rosemary Crackers” on Elana’s site but as you can see I placed a basil leaf ala Martha Stewart on top of each cracker before they went in the oven and they not only look nice they have a nice touch of  basil. The ingredients and directions I used are as follows:

1 -3/4 cup blanched almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt

Enough fresh basil leaves to top each square

1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 egg

In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt. In a medium bowl combine the oil and egg and whisk lightly. Stir the wet ingredients in to the dry and thoroughly combine. Roll the dough into a ball and press between 2 sheets of parchment paper (placed on your baking sheet) to 1/8 inch thickness. Remove top piece of parchment paper, score the dough with a pizza cutter in to squares of any size you desire. Place a fresh basil leaf on each square and replace the top sheet of parchment paper and roll over the surface lightly. You may have to score with the pizza cutter again.

Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes, then serve.

Today I made a similar recipe but I had some Chia seed meal that I made by putting chia seed in my coffee grinder (the one I use for spices and nuts).  I added 1/4 cup of chia seed meal to the dry ingredients plus I chopped up a tablespoon of fresh rosemary and also added that to the dry ingredients. The crackers are much darker with the chia and rosemary, altering their appearance slightly. Instead of looking like the photo above they resemble a Wheat Thin cracker but they are a healthy protein packed treat that contains no gluten and tastes better than the Nabisco original.

Bon Appetit,

Kris

I’m Cooking Now

I need a little levity this week as I deal with yet another broken nail on the same poodle that had a broken nail last year. I hate the cure more than the problem as I know my boy will hurt when they cut it off at the pad and if this is to be an annual occurrence I could think of better things to do annually, say, cooking for instance. In much the same way I inform and distribute health information I would like to share some healthy kitchen tidbits.

Yesterday, I tried a cookie recipe from Spunky Coconut a person I follow on Facebook. I will admit it wasn’t until I was half way in to the recipe that I realized it was a vegan offering from another site that Kelly Brozyna had shared because she thought they were really tasty but I thought the cookies really did bear repeating and I did make them my own with some slight substitutions and additions.

Monster Cookies

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose  Baking Flour

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

1 cup Quinoa Flakes

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (+)

Mix the dry ingredients together and then mix together the following:

3/8 cup Grapeseed Oil

3/8 cup Tropical Traditions Peanut Butter with coconut oil

1 cup Coconut Palm Sugar

1/4 cup Coconut Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Add all ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup M&Ms (for those who care Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips and regular M&Ms are gluten free) stir to distribute. Scoop out with a small ice-cream scooper, drop on a cookie pan lined with parchment, flatten with a fork in a cross hatch pattern. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven when slightly dry and golden in appearance and cool on the baking pan (they will be crumbly otherwise). By the way, these were husband approved this morning fresh from the freezer where all my cookies go for safe keeping and slow distribution.

Somehow using quinoa flakes reminded me of another find from a week or two ago. I love pizza and I have been trying to find a healthy alternative with little luck. I have found Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix is the best and my Superstone pizza pan is by far the best pizza pan ever. Anyway I found my Juliano Raw cookbook the other day and he has a recipe that uses sprouted buckwheat for a crust to host some healthy raw veggies and a raw nut cheese topping. I might be up for a pizza like that but I knew it would never pass muster with the spousal unit, so I rejected it as being too labor intense to be rewarded with a sour puss spouse (Perhaps you know this look of dismay. I think it says far more than mere words). However, the idea of sprouted dehydrated buckwheat groats appealed to me because I am not fond of soaked and soggy buckwheat groats. The following will render you a crisp and nutty buckwheat product:

1 cup Buckwheat Groats soaked in enough water to cover for 8 hours. Drain in a metal colander, toss to remove excess water and set aside to sprout for two days. I rinsed them occasionally and repeated the drying process every time. In two days I could detect little sprouts at the end of each groat.

Once sprouted, place them on a sheet of parchment paper on a rack in your Excalibur Dehydrator and spread thinly. Set the dehydrator at 105 or lower and dry overnight. Cool the sprouts and then store in a canning jar.

Buckwheat is not a wheat at all and according to Wikipedia  “contains a glucoside named rutin, a medicinal chemical that strengthens capillary walls. Buckwheat contains d-chiro-inositol, a component of the secondary messenger pathway for insulin signal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is being studied for use in treating Type II diabetes. Research on D-chiro-inositol and PCOS has shown promising results. A buckwheat protein has been found to bind cholesterol tightly. It is being studied for reducing plasma cholesterol in people with hyperlipidemia.” Not only does it have a nutty taste it is a healthy addition to your morning routine.

I think the sprouted buckwheat groats make a tasty muesli by adding naturally dried (no sulfates but a bit of oil and sugar to preserve them) cherries, blueberries, raw cashew nuts, cocoa nibs, and Goji berries and sprinkling that over freshly made yogurt. Mentioning yogurt segues nicely to my next recently discovered tasty delight, fresh yogurt or even tastier, drained freshly made yogurt. The last in the list for today but not the least by any means.

There are many ways to make yogurt but I can tell you my way is simple and delicious, sooooo let’s get started…….

1 half gallon whole Organic Valley milk from grass fed cows, no hormones but need not be “real”

2 sachets of Yogourmet freeze dried yogurt starter

Heat the milk to180 degrees according to instructions, checking frequently with a thermometer. Let it cool to between 108-112 degrees. Set aside a cup of warm milk and mix the yogurt starter in to it. When the temperatures are between 108-112 mix them together. Pour in to clean quart canning jars, place lids on top. Turn your Excalibur Dehydrator to 115, place the jars inside and leave for four hours or until firm when you turn it upside down. Refrigerate overnight. If you want more of a Greek yogurt, like Fage yogurt, put two layers of cheesecloth in a colander and carefully pour one jar of yogurt in to the colander. Set it aside to drain for several hours or until it has the consistency of cream cheese. Carefully remove it from the cheesecloth and refrigerate. It is the creamiest, tangiest little bite of goodness and perfect for a protein snack before bed.

If I didn’t have to take a poodle to see his favorite veterinarian in 15 minutes I could go on and on. However, they will not take kindly to my being late, so try some of these ideas and let me know what you think or if you made substitutions and found an even more distracting way to take your mind off your beloved but injured best friends, write me immediately as I have a full day of visits to the “house of horrors” first one poodle and then the other.