Three Bean Soup

Hannah requested Chili for dinner tonight. I don’t know what that’s about, but it sounded good to me too. There’s always the tomato issue – no nightshades for us right now, plus all the cumin, chili powder, etc is also off limits.  So, based loosely on a bean soup a friend of mine was describing, I threw this together on the fly. Turned out delicious!

In a deep pot, cook about 6 oz of bacon (cut into small pieces) until brown.

Pull bacon pieces out, set aside, and saute’ 1/2 onion and 2 cloves garlic in bacon drippings.

When onion is translucent, add 3-4 cups chicken broth to the pot, and drain and add three large cans of cooked beans (I used black, pinto and garbanzo, since I had them on hand).

Add one large bay leaf and 1 1/2-2 teaspoons marjoram, 1 tsp white pepper (or black would work too), and salt to taste.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle and stir brown rice flour in, one heaping tablespoon at a time, to thicken.

Serve topped with grated goat’s milk cheese.

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Peach Cobbler

My mom has made the same peach cobbler recipe for probably 30 years. I asked her where it came from, and the best she could remember, it was from a friend of my Gramma’s. So, if you’re reading this, and I swiped your recipe, (or your mother’s) let me know. 🙂 Here’s the original:

1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted, and pour into a 10×13 pan

Then in a separate bowl, mix together:

1 c. sugar

1 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

And enough milk to make the batter slightly thinner than cake batter.

Pour this mixture over the butter, and DO NOT mix them.

On top of batter, pour one large can of sliced peaches, then sprinkle over the top:

3/4 c. sugar

cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, check often toward the end – it should be browned on top. We like it best a little crunchy.

Obviously, I can’t use this recipe as is. But, it’s currently in the oven with the following changes:

1 stick goat’s milk butter + 1/4 c. grapeseed oil

1 scant cup agave instead of sugar

3/4 c. brown rice flour and 1/4 cup tapioca flour

Rice milk

Fresh peaches 🙂

The sugar to sprinkle over the top baffled me a bit. I finally mixed 1/2 c agave with enough brown rice flour to make a batter, and dotted it over the peaches, then sprinkled with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon.

I’ll update and let you know how it comes out!

Update: Oh, man. MAKE THIS. 🙂 It’s a bit grainy from the brown rice flour, so you could use white instead. But the flavors are exactly the same. Yum.

Chicken Enchiladas

We got to go to our favorite local you-pick apple farm today. I. LOVE. this. place. We go pretty much every year, and we always have so much fun. Today we came home with 2 1/2 paper bags of apples, a 1/2 gallon of fresh cider, and a bag full of roasted hatch chilies. Yum!

When we got home, it was about 6pm and dinner was top priority. I had thrown some boneless chicken thighs in the crockpot this morning, and Nick wanted me to attempt something with the chilies, so after a bit of quick research online, I created this concoction. Even the kids ate it! After I pulled the chilies out of theirs, of course. 🙂

This turned out a bit more like a dip than a casserole. I’d need to adjust the amount of liquid, but I didn’t want it to be dry. Serving with chips on the side would be perfect, and you could also make tons of different substitutions. We had guacamole and refried black beans with it.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, covered in chicken broth and cooked in crockpot on low, 6-8 hours

3-4 hatch green chilies, remove stems, seeds and ribs, chopped.

Raw goat cheddar cheese

Rice tortillas

Spray 9×12 glass casserole dish with oil and lay down first layer of tortillas to cover the bottom of the dish. Cut in half if needed. Layer chopped/shredded chicken, grated cheese and a sprinkle of chopped chilies. Add another layer of tortilla and another layer of chicken, cheese and chilies. Ladle broth from cooking the chicken over this layer, adding enough liquid to moisten everything. Add one final layer of tortilla, top with cheese, and pour remaining broth over the top. Place in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Fresh Peach Pie

I LOVE peaches. Seriously. Audrey and this baby are both practically made of peaches. Hannah would be too, except when I was pregnant with her it was winter. Ha!

I also grew up in Southern CA, where they have Marie Callender’s everywhere. They make the most awesome fresh peach pie. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The sweetness and faint crunch of the peaches, sweetness of the glaze contrasted with the slight saltiness and flakiness of the crust… Perfection.

I ordered 25 pounds of fresh Colorado peaches and I pick them up tomorrow. The first thing I’m making is this and this crust. I’ll use agave in place of the sugar, arrowroot instead of corn starch, skip the food coloring, and give the butter some thought – probably goat’s milk butter though I’m a bit concerned about its strong flavor. Ener-G egg replacer should work great in the pie crust. Yummy. Can you tell I’m a bit excited about this?

Healthy Hamburger Helper

So, the other night I was craving pasta AND red meat. I find this happens quite a bit when I’m pregnant. My body knows it needs lots of calories, fat and protein. So, I created this dish which got the thumbs up from everyone except Audrey, who is still learning to eat protein. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef (grass fed, free range is ALWAYS best)

1 package Tinyada rice pasta (I used shells this time)

2-3 cups broth (Beef broth would be best, but I only had chicken broth and it worked fine)

Brown Rice Flour

Dried Basil

Dried Marjoram

Salt and Pepper

Raw goat milk cheese for garnish

Brown the meat while cooking the pasta in salted water. When there is no pink left in the meat, sprinkle with around 3 Tablespoons rice flour, stir and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes so the flour-y taste cooks out. Then, pour broth over the meat until the meat is not quite covered. Simmer 5-10 minutes or until broth thickens to a gravy. Add more flour if needed. Meanwhile, check pasta for doneness and drain when it is al dente. To meat mixture, add dried basil and majoram to taste – about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons each (smell them first so you understand the flavors you’re adding). Add salt and pepper and taste again. Make sure to add enough salt!

Put pasta in heat-safe bowl and pour meat mixture over the top, mixing gently. Serve garnished with shredded cheese and a bit of dried parsley for color. Yum! Comfort food. 🙂

Notes: This is not a low-fat food. Pregnant women and young children both need fat. Nick eats relatively small amounts of this – don’t overdo it. You could theoretically make this with ground turkey breast and/0r drain the fat from cooking the meat to lower the fat content, but I honestly do not typically think about fat content in my food. You wouldn’t want puddles of grease because that wouldn’t taste good, but a little fat from the meat mixed with the flour makes a “roux” which thickens the sauce. I served this alongside steamed broccoli (which Nick actually mixed in), and baked sweet potatoes. Yum!

Quinoa Cookies

I really like this Hearty Quinoa Cookie recipe. I’ve found that it stands up to lots of substitutions, and since quinoa is a complete protein by itself, even if I use sugar in this recipe it doesn’t tend to effect my blood sugar terribly.

Last time I made these, I used:

Coconut oil instead of butter (Spectrum shortening would work too – it’s made out of palm oil)

Sucanat for the sugar (it’s dried cane juice – unrefined, but still cane sugar)

1/4 c.  ground flax seeds soaked in 1/3 c. water for the two eggs (I buy whole flax seed and grind it in a coffee grinder)

Results: thick, hearty cookies that are crispy on the ouside and bread-like inside. Enough to satisfy a craving for something sweet. I could only eat two at a time, max, because they fill you up!

I’d still like to experiment with other sweeteners, since don’t like using cane sugar, even unrefined. The sugar is what makes the crispyness on the outside though. Wonder if maple syrup might have a similar effect?

Birthday Cupcakes

August 2009 015

I have made many attempts for birthday cakes at our house. Some made us sick (I knew they would, but you have to have cake, right?) and others simply did not taste very good. I recently came across this recipe at Karina’s Kitchen that gave me new hope for birthday cake. Because she is also egg free, she’s done the experimenting with egg free baking that is missing in so many gluten free recipes. Many gluten free bakers don’t want to attempt egg free as well, or they tell you right out that egg replacer will not work in their recipes. Discouraging, seeing as how eggs just seem to make my kids sick right now, no matter how much time I put between exposures to them.

Anyway, my first attempt with this recipe was a couple of weeks ago. I threw the ingredients in my kitchen aid while on the phone with a friend, and I was talking and pouring the batter into the cupcake pan when I realized that because I had decided to use agave nectar rather than sugar, I forgot to add it to the batter! Rather than spoon all the batter back out of the pan, I drizzled agave on top of each cupcake, put it in the oven and hoped for the best. It actually worked fairly well, though they were more the sweetness of muffins – not birthday cake worthy.

I tried them again last night, substituting a little less than 1 cup of agave for the sugar (agave is sweeter than sugar, cup for cup), and brown rice flour for the sorghum since sorghum seems to hurt tummies around here.

Results: They rose nicely, always amazing to me without eggs. They had a nice golden-brown color. A little crumbly but still edible, a little grainy in texture because of the rice flour, and a tad too sweet for my taste – probably would decrease the agave just a bit more. But overall? Definitely birthday worthy! I will probably frost them with this or this.