Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

Crispy Olive Oil Potato Wedges and The Great Caper October 17, 2012

Crispy Olive Oil Potato Wedges

Inspired by Oh She Glows crispy baked fries, the small amount of cornstarch gives these little potatoes such an awesome crispy texture. Definitely a method worth trying next time you’re in the mood for fries.

6-8 new potatoes

½ t. coarse salt

¼ t. Penzey’s Bavarian spice blend

¼ t. dried thyme

2 t. cornstarch

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash and dry potatoes (peeling is optional). Halve or quarter potatoes. In a sealable container mix salt, spices and cornstarch together. Add potatoes, seal and shake to evenly distribute spices and coat potatoes. Add 1 T. olive oil to container and shake again. Place on a baking sheet spaced 1” apart and bake 15 minutes, then use a spatula to turn, bake additional 10 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Serves 3-4

Caper Vinaigrette

The Caper, which is simply a pickled flower bud, is great in any Mediterranean dish, and easy to find in practically every grocery store. Jazz up your next salad with this tasty dressing. I think it’s perfect on a simple salad of greens with tomatoes and feta.

4 T. olive oil

1 green onion, chopped (optional)

1 ½ T. stone ground mustard

1 ½ T. red or white wine vinegar

2-3 T. capers

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

If you want to use green onion, heat it along with the olive oil in a small saucepan for 2 minutes, until the onions become soft, then remove from heat, add mustard and vinegar and whisk well to combine. Stir in capers and season to taste.

If you’ve opted not to use the green onions, just grab a small bowl and vigorously whisk olive oil, mustard and vinegar together to combine. Stir in capers and season to taste.

Makes enough for 8 salads

 

Maple Pecan Cookies: Wheat vs. Gluten-free Oat October 16, 2012

This weekend I was baking for a small crowd coming to my house for a game of Settlers of Catan, and I wanted to make Maple Pecan Cookies to celebrate my favorite time of year. I already had a tried and true whole wheat recipe that I used a lot last year (before I went gluten-free), so I figured I’d make a batch of the wheat cookies, but also do a little experimenting to get a tasty gluten-free alternative. I made my own oat flour this time for a less refined consistency. To make your own oat flour, place gluten-free rolled oats in a food processor or blender and pulse 30-60 seconds. Here’s a helpful link to making your own flours at home.

The gluten-free oat cookies were a hit, just as tasty as the wheat version, despite the fact that I cut down on the sweetness and added a salba “egg” to help the cookie hold together without xanthan gum or real eggs. So you probably have two questions right now: What the heck is salba? and What exactly is a salba “egg”?

I didn’t know what Salba seeds were until a few months ago when my dad came to Chicago for a visit and brought me a whole bag of Salba seeds to start experimenting with (Thanks Dad – perfect gift!). Salba seeds are like white Chia seeds (that’s right, the same Chia used for “hair” on the Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia pet popular in the 1980’s), which it turns out happen to be exceptionally nutritious. Salba seeds are grown under tight regulations in Peru to maintain a consistently high nutritional composition, whereas Chia seeds’ nutritional makeup are frequently diminished because they grow wild in large quantities throughout Mexico, and Central and South America, and are not subject to the same strict regulations. Don’t get me wrong though, both Chia and Salba seeds are very nutritious and, like flax seeds, super easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Read a more extensive comparison of Chia vs. Salba and all the nutritional benefits of both here.

Now to explain the Salba “egg”. At some point while browsing through blogs and recipe sites I read about a Chia egg, made by mixing 2-3 teaspoons chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and allowing the mixture to sit and congeal for about 10 minutes to use as an egg substitute. I’m all about this kind of health food magic, so I jotted the recipe down at the bottom of my notebook as a reminder to try it sometime. Even though my original whole wheat maple cookie recipe didn’t call for an egg, I know that gluten-free flours lead to cookies lacking in structure unless you add something gooey, like banana, or a gum (xanthan), or eggs. No reason to pass up a perfectly good opportunity to add lots of omega-3s, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, iron and folate, so I tried the Salba egg structure in these cookies, and couldn’t be happier with the result!

I hope you’ll pick up a small bag of Salba or Chia if you come across them in a health food store and try this recipe out for yourself. The cookies are outrageously good, and something you can feel happy about sharing with your family and friends this fall…even the tikes.

More helpful links to recipes using Chia/Salba seed egg substitute:

Andrea Drugay – How to make Chia Egg Replacer

Real Food, Allergy Free

Gluten-free Maple Pecan Oat Cookies

Salba/chia “egg” recipe:

Mix 2 teaspoons Salba with 3 Tablespoons water and allow to sit and congeal at least 10 minutes.

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup maple syrup

½ t. vanilla extract

1 salba or chia egg (recipe above)

1 cup homemade oat flour

¼ t. baking powder

¼ t. sea salt

Pecan halves to place on top of cookie dough

Preheat oven to 375. Make salba/chia egg in a small bowl and allow to sit 10 minutes while assembling and mixing other ingredients. In medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream butter, maple syrup and vanilla 30 seconds on medium speed. Add salba egg substitute, and mix until you have a smooth consistency (no visible large clumps of butter). Add oat flour, baking powder and salt and mix briefly.

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, use about 2 teaspoons of batter to form each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 1” apart and top with pecan halves.

Bake 12-15 minutes. Makes 14 cookies.

Maple Pecan Wheat Cookies

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup maple syrup

1 t. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup white whole wheat flour

½ t. baking powder

½ t. sea salt

Pecan halves to place on top of cookie dough

Preheat oven to 375. Using a hand mixer, cream butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Add flours, baking powder and salt and mix well. Using a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop, or two spoons, form round cookies and place 1 1/2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet (these cookies spread a little). Top with pecan halves, pressing slightly into the cookie dough.
Bake 12-13 minutes or until cookies turn a light golden brown. These are delicate when warm so allow to cool on baking sheet 3-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes 35 cookies.

 

Say Yes to More Cookies September 30, 2012

Saying YES to a child always feels better than having to say NO, which is just one reason I love having healthy cookies on hand. Kids are always in the mood for cookies, and always want more than one…just like the rest of us. We could eat these for breakfast they’re so healthy, though if I actually allowed my 3 year old to do so I’d never hear the end of cookie requests at sunrise, so I’m just going to treat these as snacks and let the whole family eat as many as they want after breakfast.

Banana Coconut Almond Cookies

(gluten and sugar free, vegan if using coconut oil)

½ cup almond meal

1 ½ cups old fashioned oats

1/3 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 T. golden flaxseed

½ t. ground cinnamon

½ t. sea salt

1 t. baking powder

3 ripe bananas, mashed

½ t. vanilla extract

1 t. almond extract

4 T. unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk dry ingredients together in small bowl. In medium bowl use a sturdy whisk to mash bananas, then add extracts and butter. Stir in dry ingredients and raisins. Drop cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown on bottom. Cool on wire rack. Makes 35 small cookies.

 

 

Two Recipes Spreading Gluten-Free Biscuit Bliss September 2, 2012

Surprisingly, there aren’t too many things I’ve missed since giving up gluten six months ago, with biscuits and scones being the two main exceptions. With some modifications I could probably turn these into scones fairly easily, but the following two recipes definitely fall into the biscuit category, and they’re so tasty I’ve been making a new batch every time we run out. It has become one of my bread substitutes because I don’t care for most GF breads available in grocery stores due to the high starch content. In case you’re not familiar with gluten-free breads, most call for large amounts of tapioca/rice/corn starch, which are nearly void of nutrition (potato starch seems to be the exception as it still contains many vitamins and minerals). True, some starch is typically required in gluten-free baking if you’re hoping to see a resemblance to wheat goods, but by changing our expectations, and the expectations of our taste-buds through more adventurous eating, we can easily incorporate a great number of gluten-free flours that are packed with nutrition and flavor. Teff flour is a prime example, with large amounts of manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, in addition to many B vitamins (nutritional bar graphs are available at traditional-foods.com), it’s a grain worth incorporating in your diet.

Rosemary Teff Biscuits (gluten-free)

1/2 cup teff flour

1  1/2 cups oat flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. xanthan gum

1 t. fine sea salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

¼ t. crushed rosemary

1 T. natural cane sugar

1 T. chia or salba seeds (optional)

1 T. golden flax seeds (optional)

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter (5 1/3 T.), cubed

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in cold butter with hands or pastry cutter until butter pieces are no larger than pea size. Add cold milk and stir with spatula.

Portion with cookie scoop, or large spoon, and place on ungreased baking stone or baking sheet; bake until lightly golden brown, 10-13 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 18 medium biscuits.

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I’ve made a biscuit fan out of my daughter this week for sure. Yesterday she ate five Teff Amaranth Biscuits after dinner, lifted her shirt to make her belly talk to me and said “Mmmm I’m full and happy”. Amaranth flour is very high in protein, iron and fiber, and contributes a unique earthy malt flavor that I really like paired with other less dominating flours, such as oat. A drizzle of honey makes these pretty darn addictive.

Teff Amaranth Biscuits (gluten-free)

½ cup Teff flour

½ cup Amaranth flour

1 cup oat flour

1 T. baking powder

¾ t. xanthan gum

4 t. natural cane sugar

1 t. sea salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter (5 1/3 T.), cubed

1 cup + 3 T. milk

1-2 t. turbinado sugar, optional, for topping

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in cold butter with hands or pastry cutter until butter pieces are no larger than pea size. Add cold milk and stir with spatula.

Portion with cookie scoop, or large spoon, and place on ungreased baking stone or baking sheet; bake until lightly golden brown, 10-13 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 18 medium biscuits.

 

Purple Cabbage Pasta with Swiss Chard August 31, 2012

Even toddlers like eating soft purple cabbage! It’s super sweet when caramelized with red onion, and slippery fun for playful fingers that make their way into the bowl. Read all about cabbage’s amazing health benefits and cancer fighting compounds here.

Purple Cabbage Pasta with Swiss Chard

2 T. olive oil

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1 medium head cabbage, thinly sliced (4-6 cups)

16 oz pasta (Tinkyada brand recommended for gluten-free pasta)

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, leaves washed and roughly chopped

1 t. apple cider vinegar (optional)

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions, cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until tender and glistening, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, cook 3 minutes longer, uncovered, stirring periodically. Add the cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pot, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions (when cooking the gluten-free pasta I notice it never takes as long as the package instructions indicate…check frequently to prevent mushy noodles). Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid. Allow pasta to sit in colander covered with a lid or plate while returning reserved cooking liquid to empty pot in which to cook the greens. Over medium-high heat boil swiss chard 3-4 minutes until greens are tender and tasty (too short and they will taste bitter, too long and they loose their flavor). Drain swiss chard, add 1 t. apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Return drained pasta to cooking pot.

Add the cabbage-onion mixture to the pasta in the pot and season with salt and pepper. Mix in swiss chard or serve on top of pasta after plating. Serve sprinkled with toasted walnuts.

Recipe adapted from Color Me Vegan cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, which I adore and am so happy no one else has requested from the library, enabling me to renew it over and over again until I can buy it.

 

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites August 28, 2012

Here’s a kid approved super easy health snack I created this week. I love making nut-butter snacks because they’re easily transportable, filling, and relatively mess free. It’s also great to see my two year old daughter excited about eating nuts and seeds which contain so many important nutrients. Both flax and sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, calcium, iron and fiber. Also great with a banana for breakfast on the run!

Cardamom Almond Butter Snack Bites

½ cup sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)

½ cup oats

¼ cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)

½ t. ground cardamom

¼ t. cinnamon

2 ½ T. pure maple syrup

½ cup almond butter

Combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl and mix well. Pour out batter onto plastic wrap, form log about 12” long, wrap all sides and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice into ½” pieces, or to desired size. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 24

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Gluten Free Coconut Rhubarb Muffins August 24, 2012

Filed under: Gluten Free,Healthy Snacks,Muffins — annalope @ 3:40 am
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GF Coconut Rhubarb Muffins

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/8 t. sea salt

1/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 t. ground cinnamon

2 T. milled flaxseed (aka flax meal)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (if using sweetened yogurt I suggest cutting down on the cane sugar)

1 t. vanilla extract

2 cups rhubarb, chopped 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil muffin tin or line with baking cups (I made 9 large muffins and 12 mini muffins).

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour – flax meal), then add applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in chopped rhubarb. Batter will seem stiff compared to a typical muffin batter – it’s okay, don’t add additional liquid.

Fill muffin tins at least ¾ full (muffins don’t rise much) and bake at 350° 18 minutes for mini muffins / 25-28 minutes for large muffins. Cool on wire rack.

 

Spinach-Basil Pesto Gluten Free Pasta August 17, 2012

Filed under: Gluten Free,Lunch/Dinner,Pasta,Vegan — annalope @ 9:01 pm
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Spinach-Basil Pesto
Used on Gluten-free brown rice pasta with feta cheese for picture. Omit cheese, or use dairy-free cheese for a vegan dish.

*I haven’t tried every GF pasta available in the market, but I must say I’m loyal to the Tinkyada brand

Pesto:
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
one or two pinches of sea salt

Blend all pesto ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour onto cooked, drained pasta, in cooking pot, and warm for 2-3 minutes (I do this so the garlic doesn’t have as much of a bite for the kids…don’t bother if your family likes the taste of raw garlic). Pour pasta into serving bowl and top with feta cheese.

 

Apple Rhurbarb Crumble with Fresh Ginger (includes gluten-free variation) July 1, 2012

I really lucked out with my apartment in Chicago. I’m close to the Brown line train, have a fabulous produce market at the end of my street, and a landlady who maintains a beautiful garden in the back yard and generously encourages me to use as much rhubarb and kale and I am inclined. I’d never done much with rhubarb before last summer when I moved in, but I did manage to come up with a few great desserts using that enormous plant, and I’m happy to say that I’m no longer intimidated by rhubarb. In fact I’ve already come to like and appreciate its unique tartness and beautiful color. I’m happy to share this crumble recipe with you which I created last fall and tested again last week (gluten-free this time). It’s vegan to boot!

Perfect served warm on its own or with ice cream.

Apple Rhubarb Crumble with Fresh Ginger

For Crumble:

¾ cup white whole wheat flour OR gluten-free oat flour

½ cup old fashioned oats (be sure to use GF oats if there’s an allergy)

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

½ t. fine sea salt

½ t. ground cinnamon

¼ t. ground ginger

4 T. coconut oil

For Filling:

½ cup sugar

2 T. cornstarch

16 oz prepped rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces

16 oz prepped apples, peeled, cored, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1.5 T. fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped

1 T. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 quart container with coconut oil.

Combine ingredients for the crumble in a small bowl, adding the coconut oil last after the dry ingredients have been mixed. Allow the mixture to cool in the freezer while you make the filling.

Rub sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl, then add the rhubarb, apples, fresh ginger and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into greased baking pan. Top with crumble, allowing medium-sized chunks to hold together as they have cooled in the freezer.

Bake 40 minutes or until crumble is golden and the filling bubbles. Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes

Filed under: Dairy free,Dessert,Gluten Free,Vegan — annalope @ 4:59 am
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What these really taste like to me is two-thirds of a Smore. It must be the mesquite flour in the cupcake that smells a little like graham cracker, and when I bite into one with warm chocolate running down, I really wish a toasty marshmallow was waiting inside. They’re great even without it, but someday I might see if I can find a way to sneak one in to the recipe. A great summer cupcake when looking for a chocolate fix.

Also, by using coconut oil and a nondairy milk these are easily made vegan! Because they contain no eggs, the cupcakes are light and delicate. Be careful not to pack flours or your cupcakes may be a little crumbly.

This recipe only made 9 cupcakes for me…a small batch which is rapidly disappearing. I intentionally aim for small batches of baked goods because I’m experimenting here, and am admittedly a novice with gluten-free baking. More importantly, small batches allow me to bake more frequently 🙂

GF Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcake batter:

¾ cup + 2 T. GF Oat flour

2 T. mesquite flour

¼ cup white rice flour

1/8 t. xanthan gum

2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ t. sea salt

½ t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda

½ cup buttermilk or dairy free milk (or 1 ½ t. fresh lemon juice mixed with milk to = ½ cup)

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1 ½ t. vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa) for sauce

Preheat oven to 350°. If mixing your own “buttermilk” add the lemon juice to the milk and allow to sit at room temperature a few minutes. Grease 9 muffin cups with butter or coconut oil.

Mix all dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix buttermilk with maple syrup, butter/oil, and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to dry and mix well.

Pour into greased cups, bake 13-15 minutes. Do not over-bake…soft is better. Allow to cool in pan on cooling rack for 5 minutes before running a thin knife around the cupcakes and removing from pan to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Sauce:

Chop 1/2 cup of quality dark chocolate (I really like Scharffen Berger) and melt in a double boiler or over very low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan while stirring constantly. Spread over cooled cupcakes.