Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spicy Cauliflower Bites {Gluten Free}

I have definitely consumed more cauliflower over the last year or so than I ever had before! It all started with cauliflower soup then moved onto cauliflower crust pizza, cauliflower "rice" and now these:

Which as far as I can tell are similar to hot wings but much better in my book! My sister introduced them to me and I am so glad she did! When I wanted to make them tonight I couldn't find the recipe so I had to come up with one on my own. Feel free to tweak the amount of spices/pep that you give the recipe according to your own tastes. This version was less spicy than the ones I had made before, which I prefer. My daughter and I polished off the batch in no time where before I wouldn't have been able to because of too much pep!

1 head cauliflower (washed and chopped into florets)

1 c water
1 c Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour
1/2 T each garlic and onion powder
1 T Tiger Sauce or hot sauce (try to find one that is free of HFCS if possible)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 T melted butter
1/4 c Tiger or hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together water, flour, spices and first amount of sauce in large bowl. Put florets in bowl and toss to coat. Pour on cookie sheet (covered with foil and sprayed with olive oil). Spoon excess mixture over florets. Bake for 15-18 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.

Transfer florets to a fresh sheet of foil (there will be quite a thick layer of batter on the old sheet). Mix together butter and sauce and spoon over florets, stir to coat evenly. Bake for another 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkin Cookies

Sorry to all my gluten free readers but this is not a gf recipe (yet, anyway!). This is a popular recipe for my kids, they usually disappear pretty quickly and make an easy breakfast ;)

Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/4 c flour (I use King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour)
dash each salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, all spice (sorry, I almost never measure these kinds of ingredients, just dump!)
1/2 T cinnamon
3/4 c sucanat
1 egg
1/2 T vanilla
1 c pumpkin (if you don't have quite enough you can also sub applesauce for some of it)
1/2 c coconut oil (softened but not melted the whole way)
Optional: mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets.

Cream together all wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to wet ingredient mixture. Use 2 tablespoons to drop cookies onto sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes, cool for a few minutes on sheet then transfer to cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slippery Noodle Pot Pie (gluten free!) + Bonus Chicken and Rice Soup

One of my favorite comfort foods before going gluten free was homemade slippery pot pie. This might be foreign to you depending where you grew up, but to me the pot pie with pie crust was/is foreign!

So this weekend when I was busy cooking/baking for 10 hours (ah, it was so therapeutic and well overdue!) I decided enough was enough and I needed to finally try making a gluten free version. So I combined this version with my mom's recipe- and this time it worked (unlike my soft pretzel fiasco but that's another story!). My only change for next time is to make a double batch of noodles. The upside of making less noodles is that I had leftover broth which I used to make some yummy soup for a cold, dreary fall day.

Slippery Noodle Pot Pie

2 c Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (also extra for rolling/cutting)
1 T baking powder
1/2 T xanthum gum
salt, garlic, onion, parsley, pepper (did not measure...)
2 T butter
1 c. milk
1 egg
32+ oz chicken broth (you need enough to fill your pot about 2/3 of the way in order to leave enough room for everything else)
Optional: roasted chicken meat, veggies (garlic, carrots, onions, peas, potatoes, etc.)

If adding garlic and/or onion, saute in pot first, then add broth on medium heat. If you are adding potatoes or carrots, wash, dice and add to pot since they take longer to cook. Chicken meat can also be added right away if not already in the broth. The other veggies can be added with the noodles since they will not take as long.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and spices. Cut in butter with pastry blender, 2 knives or fingers until crumbly consistency (I prefer using my fingers. It is messier but efficient although I do not have a pastry blender and that might be best.). Make well in middle of bowl.

Mix together milk and egg and add to the well. Mix together with wooden spoon. If the dough is still very sticky (it was for me), gently sprinkle small amounts of flour and mix until the dough forms a ball.

Put on floured surface and knead lightly (make sure to dust your hands with flour first, gluten free dough is very sticky!). Form into a tight rectangle to aid cutting. Using a powdered or greased knife, slice the dough. Gently flour both sides of the slice and cut in 1/2 or 1/3 depending on the size. Set on floured surface. Repeat until all is sliced.

When you get close to the end, turn up the heat on the broth until it starts to boil. You need a pretty good boil when you start dropping the noodles in. Drop them in one at a time on end so they slip under the surface. They will most likely go to the bottom and then float to the top and puff up. It really looks quite neat :) Repeat until they are all in the pot, this gets harder as you continue especially if you did make a double batch of dough! You might have to push the noodles to the side for a place to slip the rest in.

Once all the noodles are in, reduce heat slightly and cover for 10 minutes. Then check one of the noodles (mine were still a bit chewy) and add any quick cooking veggies you wanted. Simmer with the lid off for another 5-10 minutes (this will depend a bit on how thick your noodles are). Keep checking the noodles until done. This recipe is slightly chewier than the "normal" version.

Bonus Recipe: Chicken and Rice Soup

Since my pot pie was only a single batch of noodles I had a lot of broth left over but not quite enough for more pot pie. I have really enjoyed chicken and rice soup lately and decided that would be best for the broth :)

2 c chicken broth (with or without chicken meat) + more to fill the pot, another 2-4 cups
1 c rice (I prefer an organic wild rice blend I can get bulk at a local health food store. Go for organic with the rice to help avoid arsenic.)
garlic, onion
carrots, broccoli, other veggies
salt, pepper (to taste)

Saute garlic and onion in medium pot. Add broth and rice (and carrots), bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. When there is still a little water left in the pan add any other veggies (I used frozen broccoli). When the rice is done cooking add the rest of the broth and simmer for about 10 minutes.

The rice will continue to soak up the broth so the first meal will be soup but any leftovers are more like stew :) I don't mind!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal {Gluten Free}

I am always excited when new recipes happen, especially when they include pumpkin :)
Last year I was able to join some local bloggers for a meet up at The Tomato Pie Cafe and had my first taste of pumpkin baked oatmeal. I have a baked oatmeal recipe that I like just fine. It freezes well and is warm and comforting on cold mornings. But I have not been able to get the pumpkin oatmeal out of my head! So I finally decided to try one that would work for me and boy did it ever work! I could have probably eaten the whole batch at once! The recipe makes 12 muffins + 1 extra ramekin full, or you could make the muffin cups a bit more full. This works well if you are going to freeze them or want them already portioned. You could also put into a glass pie pan to bake although you might have to increase the time.

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

2 c rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
1 c pumpkin puree (make your own from a pie pumpkin or neck pumpkin)
1/2 c sucanat
1 T cinnamon
all spice, nutmeg, ginger about 1 tsp each
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c milk of choice or water
2 eggs
1/2 c coconut oil (can also use butter but I love cooking with coconut oil for the health benefits and the finished product did not have a coco-nutty flavor if you don't like that)
1 T vanilla extract
Optional: raisins, craisins, walnuts, pecans, flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a pie pan with nonstick spray or use muffin tins.  In a large bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into pie pan and bake about 35 minutes, approximately 20 minutes for muffin tins.

P.S. PLEASE store in the refrigerator as it will go rancid too quickly if not. I noticed some moisture inside the container after only 2 days and it was already going bad! I wished I hadn't rationed it out and just eaten it all like I wanted ;)
With a little milk from the local dairy

Monday, October 7, 2013

Plethora of Pumpkin

Like many others, I love fall for the pumpkin treats it brings. My husband was given a home-grown neck pumpkin (I wish I would have weighed it but suffice it to say it was heavy!) from a friend at work. I have never cooked down a neck pumpkin before, only New England pie pumpkins. You can read how to do that here. I realized  I still had pumpkin puree from last year in the freezer and figured I should use that up before cooking down more! I did make a gluten free pumpkin pie a few weeks ago but forgot to add sugar to the crust and I think I actually added too much cinnamon, or maybe it was the nutmeg. Either way it turned out alright but not great.

So, I needed some more recipes (and time) to use up the rest which finally came this last Saturday with a marathon 9 hour cooking day!

This week (or more, it is a busy week) I will share with you 2 of my favorite pumpkin recipes, plus a bonus comfort food that I have not had in 2 years since going gluten free and let me tell you it was wonderful! (How's that for a teaser!)

Still wondering how to cook a neck pumpkin? My apologies for not having pictures, I really need an assistant to do my photography when I am in mega-cooking mode! So how about a picture of my newest candle? Pumpkin spice made from sustainable palm oil :)
How to Cook a Neck Pumpkin

1. Heat oven to 375. Wash pumpkin and slice into approximately 6 inch sections.
2. Peel off the outer thick skin (I tried to use a vegetable peeler which did not work at all so I just ended up using my large kitchen knife. Probably not the safest so be careful but it worked!)
3. Cut each section in half and then in quarters or thirds (depending how thick it is). The larger the slices, the longer the bake time. Try to keep the pieces as uniform in size as possible.
4. For the round "belly" of the pumpkin simply cut in half, scoop out the pulp and seeds and place face down in 9x13 baking pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Do not worry about peeling the skin. Wash the seeds, coat with olive oil, salt and bake while you are baking the rest of the pumpkin but it will not take more than 10-15 minutes.
5. Spray baking sheets with olive oil and lay out pumpkin pieces on the pan.
6. Bake 45 minutes. Turn each piece and stick with a fork. If it goes in easily set out to cool and if not leave in another 15 minutes then recheck. Repeat until all pieces are fork tender. Also check the "belly" pieces of the pumpkin and simply scoop out of the shell when tender.
7. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Allow to cool.
8. Scoop into 1 c batches in zip top bags, then put the smaller bags in large freezer bags and label.

My pumpkin made 14 1/2 cups of pumpkin!

At NO point should you break your blender. Um, well I did and it was NOT convenient! Any suggestions on what to buy next? I've gone through 2 Magic Bullets in the last 2 years, they just are not tough enough to stand up to my every day abuse (green smoothie) and special occasions. Easy to clean is a MUST!

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