Sunday, July 27, 2014

Zucchini Crust Pizza {Gluten Free}

I was so excited to find this recipe to make a zucchini crust pizza! I love zucchini and use it in many recipes such as stir fry, zucchini cakes, zucchini bread, muffins, lasagna, zucchini parmesan, etc. My best friend shares my love for all things zucchini so I thought a (rare, no-kid other than the baby) lunch with her would be a great time to try it out. To me the recipe seemed very similar to the 2 versions of cauliflower crust pizza that I had tried in the past (here and here). I definitely like them well enough but in the summer when I can get fresh local zucchini? This is the go-to pizza for me!

2 c zucchini, grated (about 2 medium sized zucchini)
1/2-3/4 c almond meal
1 egg
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp each oregano, parsley, garlic and onion powders (or adjust to your taste)
1/8 tsp salt

toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 400. After grating zucchini, wrap in paper towels, cheese cloth or clean hand towel and squeeze to get out excess moisture. The more water you can get out the better. Mix all ingredients except for the almond meal. Gradually add almond meal until the "dough" has become less watery/runny (it will not be the normal consistency of a wheat dough).

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough on paper and form into large circle, I used the back of a spoon to help and then also my fingers.

Place the pan on the bottom rack of oven for 20 min.

Move to top rack for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. To do this I place another sheet of parchment paper on top. It is a little tricky but also fun!

Bake another 5 minutes on top rack.

Remove crust. Heat oven to 500 and add desired toppings to crust. I used organic sauce, Parmesan, Monterrey jack and mozzarella cheeses. I had full intentions on making a fancier pizza but due to time (and forgetting) it didn't happen! I also usually put some more onion and garlic on top of the sauce and parsley and oregano on top of the cheese but forgot that, too!

Bake 3 minutes on bottom rack then top rack for about 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on it!

Remove, allow to cool a few minutes, slice and enjoy!

I have never been able to get the nice brown tinge to the cheese before but I also have never baked pizza at 500 either! The crust was not able to be eaten by hand too easily although after it cooled and I had washed the dishes I ate another slice and that picked up quite nicely. I think the more water you can get out of the zucchini the better the crust will be.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Kale Salad {Gluten Free}

Has anyone ever bought a fruit or veggie and then had no idea how to cook/bake with it? Two years ago I got my first bunch of kale (from a neighbor's CSA order) and made them into kale chips. I was not impressed, at least not with the recipe I tried. Ever since I have been scared of kale! This past week the same friend (who, sadly, is no longer a neighbor) asked if we wanted their CSA order for the week and I gladly said yes! Of course there would be kale as part of the order this week! Fortunately my husband recently bought a small container of kale salad at our local grocery store and wrote down the ingredients as listed on the label (kale, red onion, dried cranberry, carrots, blueberries, walnuts and dressing). A quick search brought up this recipe that I was able to combine with the ingredients from the store recipe as well as make adjustments as needed according to what we had at home. The salad is supposed to mingle for 4-6 hours before eating but I couldn't resist taking a bite before putting it into the fridge and oh my it was good! So I am definitely looking forward to dinner tonight of kale salad and corn on the cob (another item from the CSA this week)! As always, try to use as many organic and/or local ingredients as possible!

Summer Kale Salad

3/4 c white sugar
1/2 c vinegar
1/2 tsp Real salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale (I used 4 large stalks which was more than enough), wash, cut off stems and chop leaves
1/4-1/2 c chopped red onion according to taste
1 c shredded carrots (I sliced baby carrots)
2/3 c fresh blueberries (I used frozen ones that we just picked a few weeks ago)
1/2 c dried cherries (this is what we had on hand, could also use dried cranberries or raisins)
1/2 c walnuts (again can substitute another nut if needed)

Whisk together first set of ingredients until the sugar dissolves and set aside.

Combine all other ingredients in large bowl. Add half of dressing and coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Store extra dressing in jar and add as desired.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sauerkraut {Gluten Free}

I love when I am able to share and receive recipes with friends. My friend and co-worker, Bethanie, shared this one that she got from an Amish lady at the market in Raystown. I am also thankful for friends who share their produce with us, so I have to give a shout-out to my friend (and former neighbor ), Claire for providing the head of cabbage from her CSA (community-supported agriculture, a great way to get local vegetables every week).


cabbage, sliced (I got 6 pints from one head)
kosher or Real salt
boiling water
pint jars, lids and rings sterilized (put in boiling water for at least a minute to sterilize)
Add 1 tsp salt and 1 T vinegar into each jar.
Pack jar with cabbage up to the neck of the jar. 
Fill the jar with boiling water leaving headspace and cap lightly.

Ferment for 6 weeks in a cool dark place. Wait patiently (or not).

Eat sauerkraut or water bath can to preserve for later.

Sauerkraut has a ton of beneficial probiotics. I have heard of people eating a tablespoon before each meal to aid digestion. The caveat is if you cook the sauerkraut then that kills the probiotics even though it will still taste good!

I will give an update in about 6 weeks on the taste! Have you ever made sauerkraut before? If so, what method/recipe did you use?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cherry Cobbler {Gluten-Free}

It's always a sad thing when you buy fresh, local foods and then don't get a chance to use them and they go bad :( I know that has happened to me more times than I would like to admit. I was able to find a quart of delicious cherries at a farmer's market last weekend and all week didn't find the time to make them into cobbler. When I finally pulled them out of the fridge today they definitely looked like they had seen better days but fortunately enough were able to be salvaged! My daughter and I love cherry cobbler (although it might technically be a crisp?) but I don't think I have made some since going gluten free. No worries, this recipe is great for anyone!


1 quart cherries, washed and pitted
1/2 T vanilla
1/2 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (sourghum should also work fine or regular flour if you don't need to eat gluten free)
1 c gluten free oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 c sucanat
dash cinnamon
4 T softened butter (not margarine)

Mix cherries and vanilla and place in glass pie pan. In a separate bowl mix together all other ingredients and spread evenly on top of cherries. Bake at 350 in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cherries are boiling nicely (you should see the juice bubbling above the topping at the edges of the pan. Allow to cool before cutting.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

John Wright Restaurant {Review}

There is nothing like eating at a restaurant that values using local, sustainably produced foods to create their menu. The Accomac quickly became one that I love. My husband and I have been wanting to try out the John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville (imagine that?). I have heard that the owner is highly involved in the local food movement and anyone that has ever eaten there only has had good things to say.

So, on a slight whim, we decided to go to their pizza patio for dinner this past week. We did call ahead for a reservation (which I have also heard is prudent to do). The restaurant is in an old warehouse right on the Susquehanna River. There is also a shop in the restaurant but it was unfortunately closed so I cannot report on its wares or prices.

It was the perfect night to sit outside (meaning I was not cold and no rain). We were seated right at the edge of the patio with this view!

The unfortunate thing for me is that they do not have gluten free breads/pizza crusts. I would have loved a crab pizza made in their outdoor pizza oven! Fortunately there were plenty of gluten free options on the menu. We started by sharing house made tortilla chips with guac and salsa. This was some of the best guacamole I have ever had!

My husband decided on the JW burger with a side of broccoli salad. It looked amazing and on a home made roll.
 I felt a little veggie-deprived (I eat salads every day for lunch during the school year, why is it so hard for me to eat them when I am home??) so I ordered the Caesar salad (without croutons) and added a salmon skewer. I wasn't terribly impressed with the dressing but other than that the portion was perfect (especially since we were still nibbling our tortilla chips) and the salmon was perfect.
 Our standard dessert if available is creme brulee and thankfully they had it (it was the only gluten free dessert although the other ones sounded good if you can handle the gluten). Other than being slightly darker than I liked on top at some points it had a great flavor and would definitely be a repeat!
After eating you can enjoy some corn hole or take a stroll by the river. A local fire truck came and was pumping water which made a beautiful rainbow as part of our view.

 A stroll down to the riverside gave us a small history lesson and allowed us the background for a selfie :)

Bottom line, we will definitely revisit the John Wright Restaurant and look forward to eating inside and having available the full menu. My suggestion though is for everyone to go during the summer to experience the relaxing patio atmosphere AND go in the winter to enjoy the full menu!

Have you ever been to the John Wright Restaurant? If so, what did you order and what did you think?

Disclaimer: I was not solicited for nor compensated for this review, I simply wanted to share my experiences to help encourage others to try this great local restaurant!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Oh My, Pie! {gluten-free}

As you may have read, my husband and I recently picked a lot of berries (33 pints to be exact). Most of them I am freezing. To freeze berries, do not wash and spread on a single layer on a cookie sheet on the freezer. Once frozen, measure and transfer to freezer bags. Then wash before using. Freezing them this way prevents them from sticking together in one big clump so you can use as little or as much as you want.

Of course who doesn't want to have a little pie in the summertime made with fresh berries? I know I do! I was a little hesitant though. I haven't made pies in a very long time (other than pumpkin here or there) and I am always worried about making a pie with a roll-out crust (where did I put my rolling pin, anyway?). As I went searching for gluten free pie recipes, I wasn't all that happy with them. So here's my rendition, based somewhat on this recipe but with a crumb topping based on this recipe although you could easily make a top crust for the pie if that suits your fancy. I was extremely happy with how well this crust rolled out and stuck together. It was by far my prettiest crust ever and I am somewhat upset that I didn't make one with a top crust, but I guess that will be for next time!

Berry Pie

Crust (makes 2 bottom crusts or top/bottom for one pie)

2 c Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
2/3 c organic grass-fed butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 T sucanat
1 tsp salt
4-6 T warm water

Berry Filling

4 c berries (if using blueberries at 1 T lemon juice)
1 c sucanat
1/3 c Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/2 T vanilla

Crumb Topping (this made enough for 2 pies unless you like a REALLY thick layer of crumbs!)

1 c  Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/2 c brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 T butter, cut into small pieces

Crust Directions
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, sucanat (stir these together first) then add butter. Use your hands (make sure you take off any rings first) to squish the butter to make the dough crumbly. Slowly add small amounts of water and continue mixing. Once the dough starts to come together, dump on lightly floured surface and form into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit on counter for 30 minutes while you work on the next steps.

Filling Directions

Lightly toss the vanilla with the berries (also the lemon juice if using blueberries). Then add sucanat and flour and mix lightly until coated.

Crumb Topping Directions

Mix together all dry ingredients. Add butter and incorporate butter with your hands just like you did for the crust.

Prepare the glass pie pan(s) by rubbing butter all over.

After 30 min of letting the dough rest, get 2 large pieces of parchment paper and lightly flour one. Remove one ball of dough from plastic wrap, place in middle of parchment paper and lightly flour the top. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and lightly press down with your hands to form a flatter circle, then use rolling pin to roll out dough (you may want to add a little more flour as the dough gets flatter). Once the dough was larger than the pie pan, I placed the pan on top to cut around to make it the right shape/size then used the extra cut off pieces to fill in the edges where there wasn't enough dough. Then re-rolled using the parchment paper.

Loosen the crust from the bottom parchment paper by using a metal spatula to go around the edges of the crust. Then place pie pan upside down on the crust and make a quick flip and slowly peel off parchment paper. I was AMAZED at how easy this was, especially for a gluten-free crust!

If you are making 2 pies with crumb topping, repeat with the second ball of dough. If you are making one pie with a crust top then repeat how to roll out and then flip onto pie (after putting in the filling), brush with a beaten egg and make some slits in the top.

If you are making the crumb topping, use a spoon to sprinkle it on both pies.

Preheat oven to 375. You may want to place the pies on foil or a baking sheet in case they bubble over. This time mine didn't but it will depend a little on how juicy the berries are. Bake 50-60 minutes, you want to be able to hear the pie bubbling inside. I found my oven bakes unevenly so I should have turned my pies about halfway through cooking so you may want to do that just in case.

I was impressed with how well the first slice of pie came out! This will definitely be my go-to pie crust recipe from now on!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Berries x2

I eat a lot of blueberries year-round (most in smoothies and muffins but also pies and cobblers on occasion) and the price of buying organic ones at the store is outrageous! What a blessing to live in an area of the country where fresh foods are available from local farms! I was thrilled to finally be able to visit two no-spray blueberry patches this week.

If you are in the Hanover/Adams county area, Kehr Family Farm is a great place to visit for blueberry and black raspberry picking. They are open 7:30 AM-11:30 AM Monday-Thursday and Saturdays.

Unfortunately we picked one of the hottest and most humid days and of course didn't get there until 10 AM so it was HOT! There are a few different varieties of blueberries and we were encouraged to taste them all to help us determine which one(s) we wanted to pick. We liked the way they all tasted so went for the bushes with the most berries on for easier picking :)

We ended up with 11 pints of blueberries and 3 pints of raspberries. I would have liked to pick more, but we were too spent from the heat! The berries are paid for by the pint at $2 each and I believe the raspberries were $3.25/pint. You can also order pre-picked berries for $3/pint. Very reasonable!

Here's the haul. We ate one pint of raspberries and the others went into a pie (recipe coming soon)!

Then since my husband was off today and we wanted to get more berries to freeze so we decided to check out Raven's Blueberry Farm. This is a good option if you are in the Dover/York area. They are open 7 AM-7PM 7 days a week. Their price is per pound at $3.40. Of course after we came home I had to see how many pints we got and how much it was per pint and it amounted to about $2.50/pint. They appeared to only have one type of berry bush but they were loaded with enormous berries!
This was the sign at the end of the lane. You could drive or walk up to the patch, we decided to walk as the one worker informed us, "It's a nice stroll" :)

Both of these farms provided us with a wonderful experience. We hope to visit each one once more and then should have close to enough to last the year. It will be so good to not spend so much on berries from the store and to know they were grown locally and picked at the peak of freshness!

Stay tuned for blueberry and raspberry pie recipes coming soon, both gluten-free but you would never know it!
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