Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fruit Crumble (Gluten-free)


I would choose a fruit crumble over a cake every time. I almost called this recipe peach crumble because I usually make it with peaches from my wonderful peach tree. But you can make it with any kind of fruit or fruit combinations. Sometimes I add walnuts or pecans to it. The trick to this sinfully satisfying dessert is the butter, which makes it rich and extra-delicious. If you want a vegan version, you can use coconut oil instead of butter. This is a super treat for diabetics and people with gluten sensitivity. I love it because it feels like eating pie but it’s much easier to do than making gluten-free pie crusts.

Ingredients

5 c. fresh or previously frozen fruit (thaw for recipe)
2 tbsp. honey
2 c. brown rice flour
2 c. rolled oats
¼ c. honey combined with ¼ c. maple syrup (more if you need it sweeter)
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1¼ c. butter (or coconut oil or combination of both)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Prepare the fruit (chopping, peeling, or whatever – depending on the kind of fruit) and combine it with the 2 tbsp. of honey. Set the fruit aside.

In a separate bowl combine the rice flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the honey and maple syrup combination and blend it in. Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut in the butter (or coconut oil) until it is mixed well into the dry ingredients and the consistency becomes crumbly.

Grease an oblong baking dish (approximately 9 x 13). Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the fruit evenly over the crumble, then spread the other half of the crumble over the fruit.

Bake uncovered at 350˚ for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly. Different fruit will take different amounts of time to bake all the way.

This basic recipe works for many combinations of fruit, such as apples, pears, peaches, plums, and berries. Mix it up and enjoy.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Egg, Cheese, and Veg Breakfast Muffins


I like to make these breakfast egg-muffins in advance and freeze them. They keep quite well frozen, and when defrosted later they are a super-easy breakfast that requires no preparation. I made these the last time all my adult-children came home and they loved them. I was able to produce a delicious, complex breakfast without spending any time in the kitchen, so I could visit with my children instead of having to cook. My daughter called me the following week to ask for the recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients


4 eggs
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp. coconut flour
2 tbsp. brown rice flour
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ cup smoked cheddar cheese grated
¾ cup vegetables – my preferred combination is finely chopped zucchini, red peppers, chives, parsley, and one clove of crushed garlic
Basil – either 2 tbsp. chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried

Directions


Preheat the oven to 375°. Chop the vegetables, combine them with the herbs, and steam them until soft by placing them in a pan with a few tbsp. of water or vegetable broth.

Blend the eggs and sour cream together. Add the coconut flour, brown rice flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a slotted spoon to add the vegetable-herb mixture without adding the cooking water (which would make the batter too wet). Stir everything well.

Pour the batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until slightly browned and solid. Alternatively, pour the batter into a greased baking dish, bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. A knife should come out clean and the top should be lightly browned when they are done. If you bake the recipe in a baking dish, wait a few minutes for it to cool down and set, then cut it into squares.

I don’t like wrestling with muffin cups so I always make this in a baking dish. I usually triple the recipe, bake it in an oblong baking dish, and cut it into squares when it has cooled a bit. If you triple the recipe and bake it in an oblong dish then it will take about 40 minutes to bake. Since I always seem to make this recipe in advance, I wait for it to cool completely, cut it into squares, and freeze the squares. Later, when the squares are defrosted, I warm them back up in the oven before serving. To go with the egg-muffins, I usually roast a tray of chopped potatoes (in squares of about one-inch) and freeze them in advance too. The egg-muffins and potatoes make a lovely breakfast combo.
  
Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pesto Brussels Sprouts and Black Bean Pasta


When I decided to reduce my intake of pasta to steer clear of refined flours and prevent weight gain as I age, the main thing I missed was pasta with pesto. Although pesto tastes great in other contexts, I still longed for the pasta pesto experience. After I discovered black bean spaghetti, I came up with this recipe, which satisfies my pasta pesto cravings. I can eat an enormous plate of this stuff and feel great about having devoured mostly vegetables.

Ingredients


4 oz. uncooked black bean spaghetti
Water as per instructions on the spaghetti
2-3 lbs. Brussels sprouts
¼ c. vegetable broth (or water)
2 tbsp. olive oil
¾ c. pesto
5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions


Trim and slice the Brussels sprouts into slivers.

Bring water to a boil according to the instructions on the black bean spaghetti (may vary according to brand).

Put the vegetable broth and olive oil into a deep dish frying pan. Add the Brussels sprouts, cover the pan, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Use your judgment about when they are done. Do not overcook. You may need to add more vegetable broth to keep the sprouts from sticking to the pan. Turn them frequently.

While the sprouts are cooking, boil the black bean spaghetti. When it is done, drain it and rinse it with cool water.

When the sprouts and pasta are cooked, add the pasta to the pan with the sprouts. It takes some work to combine these two together. Toss them lightly until they are combined. Then add the pesto and mix it in evenly. (See my recipe for homemade pesto.)

This dish does not need to be served piping hot, but you can reheat it in the pan, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, if you want it hotter. Add a little extra olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

Serve topped with grated Parmesan. (Hot pepper flakes are also tasty with this dish if you like to spice things up.) 

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan


Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation. Many people won’t go near them because they have never experienced sprouts cooked with love. I invite you to be creative in adding other vegetables to this basic recipe.

Ingredients


2-3 lbs. Brussels sprouts
¼ c. vegetable broth (or water)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large crushed clove of garlic
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (optional)
¼ tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Suggested other vegetables to include:  red peppers, mushrooms, green beans, red onions, chives

Directions


Trim and slice the Brussels sprouts into slivers. If you are adding other vegetables, also chop those into small pieces. Put the vegetable broth and olive oil into a deep dish frying pan. Add the crushed garlic, basil, pepper, salt, and vegetables. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables on low heat for about 10 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Use your judgment about when they are done. You may need to add more vegetable broth to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Turn them frequently. Do not overcook the vegetables as this is the main reason why people think they don’t care for Brussels sprouts.

Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Garlic and Parmesan


I bought a contraption called a spiralizer and it changed my life. I spiralize all different vegetables and use them instead of pasta to make some of my favorite pasta dishes. The best one of all in my opinion, however, is zucchini. I spiralize zucchini and put pesto on it, or just plain olive oil and garlic, and I’m in heaven. Here is a basic spiralized zucchini recipe. You do need the spiralizer to do this correctly. I know of no substitute. 

Ingredients

4 cups spiralized zucchini (loosely packed)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. vegetable broth (or water)
1 large clove crushed garlic
¼ c. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp. dried basil)
½ c. coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Put the olive oil and vegetable broth (or water) into a deep dish frying pan. Add the spiralized zucchini, crushed garlic, and chopped basil. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the zucchini is done to your taste. I like it a little crispy. Be sure not to cook it too long or it will get soggy. Keep a close eye on it. When it’s done, remove it from the heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle the cheese on top and toss it so it melts in. You can add a little more olive oil at the end if desired.


Chopped, fresh tomatoes are a nice addition to this dish. Either cook the tomatoes with the other vegetables or add them raw at the last minute. Some of my favorite variations on this recipe are 1) putting pesto on the “zoodles,” 2) putting drained marinated artichoke hearts on the “zoodles,” 3) putting sun-dried tomatoes on the “zoodles.” You can make a colorful dish by spiralizing a few carrots or butternut squash pieces and steaming them in with the “zoodles.” Thinly sliced red pepper and/or mushrooms are also a great addition. Have fun with this one!

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mango Avocado Salsa


You don’t even need chips for this salsa, you can eat it by the spoonful. The mangoes make it sweet and it goes especially well with a spicy main dish, such as beans or enchiladas.

Ingredients

1 mango
1 large avocado (or 2 small)
2 large tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper (remove all seeds)
¼ c. onions or scallions
½ c. cilantro
Juice from one lime

Directions

Cut the mango and vegetables up into small pieces. This salsa works well if the ingredients are coarsely chopped so don’t spend too much time trying to cut them up into tiny pieces. Once you mix the ingredients together, set the salsa aside in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes for the juices to flow.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Walnut Whiskey Cake


The ground walnuts give this cake a lovely texture and the whiskey adds a super unusual flavor. It won’t get you drunk, just happy.

Ingredients

2 c. brown rice flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs
¼ c. whiskey
½ c. whole milk
¾ c. maple syrup
½ c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts

Topping:  4 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsp. whiskey, ¼ c. maple syrup

Directions

Chop the walnuts. Melt the butter. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The topping can be made later while the cake is baking.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°. (The gluten-free version may take a little more than an hour. Keep testing with a knife until the knife comes out clean.)

When the cake is almost done baking, melt the butter and combine it with the whiskey and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a slow boil (to burn off the alcohol content in the whiskey) and then turn off the burner.

When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it in the tube pan and pour the butter/syrup/whiskey topping over the cake so that it soaks in. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Then turn the cake out on a plate. Try serving with fresh fruit, such as berries or peaches.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!