Monday, March 9, 2015

Gluten-free Coffee Cake Warning (and recipe)


Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make this coffee cake. You will sit down to eat one piece, and you will eat every bite. You will eat it until you make yourself sick, then you will eat some more. You will fight with your loved ones over the gooey deliciousness, and you will never forgive the one who has eaten the last piece. You have been warned.

Yes, it is slightly more complicated than your average cake. But it is gooey. And warm. And worth it.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1/4 cup sweet (glutinous) rice flour 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine sweet (glutinous) rice flour, sorghum flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Mix well and set aside until the batter is complete.

1 cup potato starch
3/4 cup sweet (glutinous) rice flour 3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine potato starch, sweet (glutinous) rice flour, sorghum flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a wire whisk. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and butter and beat until well combined. Add sour cream and vanilla, then pour in the flour mixture and combine well. To 1/4 cup water, add the xanthan gum and stir. Add the xanthan gum and water to the batter and stir well. This mixture doesn’t need too much beating. Hand mixing works well with this recipe.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan or baking dish. Using a spoonful of filling at a time, top the batter with the filling. The filling will sink into the cake, and it is better if filling is formed into at least teaspoon-sized pieces and placed all over the top so that each piece will get some of the filling.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake is firm on top. Allow cake to cool while mixing the glaze.

2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
At least 1/4 cup of milk or almond milk

Mix the glaze and pour over the top of the warm coffee cake. Makes 12 servings. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chicken Chilli For These Chilly Days With Gluten-free Cornbread

The overnight low forecast for tonight is 5 degrees. Five. Y'all, I don't "do" five degrees.

I know, I know. My northern friends are scoffing at me, rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. Some of them are digging themselves out of ridiculous amounts of snow and heading to work. "It's -21 degrees, and we are going out to build a snowman!"

You know what I do outside when it is -21 degrees? Not a dang thing.

What I do inside, however, is make a huge pot of chili and gluten-free cornbread (along with ample servings of hot tea and chocolate).

I'd love to give you a recipe for my chili (I'm told it is quite good), but I don't think I've ever actually used a recipe. This time I put two cups dried kidney beans in the slow-cooker along with water, crushed tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, diced onion, chili powder, salt, pepper, and three chicken breasts. Don't measure - just use lots of everything! Then I cooked it on low forever. Eventually I used a sturdy pastry cutter to press the chicken until shredded.
But, I DO have a recipe for the cornbread. You don't *have* to use a skillet for this cornbread, but nothing cooks up cornbread like an old fashioned iron skillet.

Skillet Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sweet (glutinous) white rice flour 1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1-1/4 cups buttermilk or almond milk 1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, add cornmeal, sweet (glutinous) rice flour, tapioca or corn starch, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Stir with a wire whisk to combine. Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, and eggs. Mix well. Pour into a greased iron skillet or 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is slightly browned and firm when touched and the bread begins to pull away from the side of the pan. Turn out onto a serving dish and cut into wedges. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gluten-free Spaghetti: Squash style!

Let me just start by saying, "This was ridiculous."

My family loves spaghetti, and I think there are very few families to whom that statement would not apply. It's like saying, "My family loves pizza," or, "My family loves macaroni and cheese." It's established. Move on.

You know what spaghetti loves (specifically the pasta)? My hips.

So when I made spaghetti the other night, I threw one of these little bad boys in the oven (the spaghetti squash pictured above, in case you aren't following me). It was simple. Twenty to thirty minutes before starting the sauce, I cut the squash long ways, scraped out the seeds, salted it a bit, and put both sides bottom (peel side) down in a casserole dish. I baked it at 350 about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, I prepared my meat, added the pasta sauce (sometimes I make my own - sometimes I do not), and simmered while preparing the gluten-free pasta.

At this point, my squash was just about fully cooked, so I added some sauce into the squash and baked it 15 more minutes to allow the flavor to seep into the squash. When I removed it from the oven, I added the goat cheese.

I was just not expecting it to be that yummy! It was, indeed, ridiculous. In the end I had to let the rest of the "fam" try a bite of mine, and they were all a bit jealous (the kids were jealous of my vegetable version of spaghetti. Did we enter an alternate universe?!). I had a low-carb version of their meal and it was even better!

I will be doing this again and even trying other fillings. I'm thinking a creamy sauce with mushrooms, spinach, and artichoke hearts. Do you have a spaghetti squash recipe that you just *love*?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gluten-free Waffles: The Cardinal Rule (plus the recipe)

Sunday we made "Super Bowl" waffles. No, they weren't shaped like footballs, sea hawks, or patriots. And I didn't fill them with blue or red dye (because, yuck!). It was just Super Bowl Sunday, so they were Super Bowl waffles. My whole family loves them, and if you have a good waffle iron (and a little patience), they can be made with relative ease.

Here's my recipe (from our cookbook):

Perfect Waffles

1 cup sweet (glutinous) rice flour 1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup corn starch

2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar

1 cup milk 1 egg
1/4 cup oil

In a medium mixing bowl, add sweet (glutinous) rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, corn starch, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar. Mix with a wire whisk. Add milk, egg, and oil. Combine well, pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the fully heated waffle iron, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat until all of the batter is used.

Butter and serve with maple syrup or honey. Or...

My husband likes to get creative with his waffles adding toppings he has on hand. Sometimes it includes bananas, blueberries, or strawberries, but it *always* includes Sunbutter (or peanut butter if you can keep it around). "Go big or go home!"

I have one cardinal rule when it comes to making waffles, however:

Always make a double (or triple) batch!!!

These waffles are fantastic to pull out of the freezer and pop in your toaster. So freeze two sections per baggie and get them out as needed. A quick breakfast kids will love? Yes. It works for me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nature's Gluten-free Foods: 5 Ways To Enjoy Fruit Salad

Sometimes we concentrate so hard on figuring out ways to make delicious gluten-free foods and desserts that we forget about the foods that are delicious and gluten-free naturally. Take fruit for instance. Fruit is great without any help, and if you take the time to cut it up and have it available, there are lots of ways to enrich your menu. Here are my suggestions:

1. The Basic: Fruit salad makes a great side to any meal. Just cut up your favorite fruits, toss, and serve in a pretty fruit bowl.

2. The Smoothie: Spoon your fruit salad into the blender with a tablespoon or two of flax seed, which will give you staying power for breakfast or pick you up during that "afternoon slump."

3. The Decadent: Add shredded coconut and a bit of honey, agave, or maple syrup for a healthy dessert or when your kids beg for something sweet.

4. The Whimsical: Drain your fruit well and add to your favorite jello! If it is not already in your fruit salad, a little canned pineapple would be a great addition. You may also need to reduce the water a bit so the jello firms up enough.

5. The Gourmet: How about a fruit salad salad? Add your fruit to watercress (or a mixed lettuce blend) with a handful of raisins along with the following vinaigrette:

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons Blueberries fresh (like from your fruit salad) or frozen
2 teaspoons Agave Nectar or Honey
Pinch of Garlic Powder (optional)
Salt to taste

Place it all in a blender, puree, and enjoy!

* Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography:
{{Information |Description=Sweet Summer Rainbow Fruit Salad |Source= |Date= |Author=Pink Sherbet Photography |Permission= |other_versions= }}

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sausage and cabbage, a low-carb, gluten-free, and tasty dish from Pinterest

A couple of weeks ago I saw this recipe for kielbasa and cabbage on Pinterest. The photo above, is the original recipe for Kielbasa and Cabbage from Very Culinary. I showed my husband and we cooked it the very next day. I didn't follow their recipe. I just used kielbasa and cabbage. Those two ingredient and nothing else. I thought the kielbasa would have plenty of salt, fat, and flavor. I was right. It was very good.

My husband thought it had a little too much flavor for him and we made it again this week with smoked sausage. It was milder and still was packed with flavor. Above is the photo found via Pinterest on from an October recipe. Their recipe uses smoked sausage and my finished dish looked a little more like this. This recipe is a more spiced up version using a number of ingredients, and I'm sure it is really good. I just again used the sausage and cabbage. No other ingredients at all in just one pan. Easy, quick, tasty.

My house did smell a bit like cabbage but the sausage elevated the aroma and it really did smell great.

Make sure you check the ingredients and buy gluten free kielbasa or smoked sausage. In addition to it being gluten-free, it is also low in carbs, which is exactly what I need to get past the weight I gained over the holidays.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Back to Blogging! Gluten-free The Au Natural Way!

It's the new year! I love the start of a new year. There is something about that new beginning. For me it's not really about resolutions, though I certainly feel they have their value. It is more about the fact that anything is possible. I just have to get up and get started at whatever that thing is.

Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love that time of year - celebrating the birth of Christ and spending time with family and friends. It is wild and hectic in a beautiful way. But I must admit that I am also happy to take the Christmas decorations down, put them away, and start working on other things.

So here I find myself. On other things. And what better way to get back on track after all that holiday eating than to focus on ways to eat gluten-free that don't involve fancy flours and processed starches? You want gluten-free the easy way? How's this: Grill or bake some chicken, steam some broccoli, bake some potatoes, and make a salad.

Don't get me wrong. I like my complicated ways of making cakes and cookies and goodies that fool even the most sensitive "gluten-free haters." I have to admit, however, that I've put on a bit of weight focusing on those recipes over the last couple of years.

Not that I won't be working on those recipes here and there as well - we all have those special occasions, after all - but I wanted share with you those healthier recipes that will help us feel great starting the new year.  You can check out some things I am looking for on my Pinterest board, Kid Friendly Clean Meals:

And I will be sharing the things I have tried here as well as my own recipes that work along those lines. I hope you will share yours with me!