Awesome gluten-free oatmeal and honey bread (only for celiacs who can tolerate uncontaminated oats!!)

I got home from work today and I really wanted to make oatmeal bread. The trouble was that the recipe I normally make (from “Complete gluten-free cookbook by Washburn and Butt) called for a couple of ingredients I don’t have in the house at the moment. One of them being apple cider. I thought that I could possibly use apple juice, but I didn’t have any of that either.

I really wanted oatmeal bread! I began searching around the internet and found — nothing! Absolutely nothing! It was horrible. I’m sure the reason is that uncontaminated oatmeal and oat flour is difficult to find (at least it is in my area). So, I just winged the whole recipe! It came out wonderfully! I used the gluten-free setting on my cuisinart bread maker. I did stop the rise half way through the rise cycle as the loaf didn’t take very long (at all!) to rise, and if I had left it longer it would have collapsed. So, if you are using a breadmaker, only let the bread rise for 1/2 hour, then set the machine to bake for 1 hour. Of course you can just do the whole thing using a stand-mixer and a regular old oven. Who needs a bread maker? (Well I do, because I don’t own a stand mixer… its a sad state of affairs).

I can’t find my camera. I don’t know what I did with it! Hopefully I’ll find it before I eat the entire loaf. Regardless, here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (177 mL) warm water
  • 3/4 cup (177 mL) warm milk
  • 1 egg (lightly whisked)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) apple sauce (sugar free)
  • 1 1/4 tsp (6.25 mL) cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) walnut oil

dry ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups (375 mL) all purpose gluten-free flour mix, your choice.
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) certified gluten-free oats
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 tbsps (45 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) salt
  • 3/4 (11 mL) tbsp yeast

Directions:

  1. If using a bread machine, put all of the wet ingredients in first. If your machine has a pre-heat cycle, let this run now! If using an oven: mix all th wet ingredients together with a whisk or wooden spoon.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl or a bag so that the mixture is uniform.
  3. If you are using an oven: now is the time to combine the dry and wet ingredients with a stand mixer or a powerful hand mixer. Mix for 4 minutes! If you’re using a bread machine: put the dry ingredients into the machine now, and help the kneeding blade to mix the dough with a spatula or wooden spoon (just be careful not to break the moving blade!). If you are using an oven: put the ingredients into a large bread loaf pan, or split between 2 small loaf pans. Don’t try to cram it all into a 9×5 pan! It won’t fit!
  4. No matter what method you use, let the loaf rise for 1/2 an hour BUT NO LONGER! The oat flour is light and it doesn’t rise like other gluten-free flours.
  5. If using an oven: shove the loaf in an oven set to 350F (180C) for about an hour (or until the internal temperature is about 195F (91C). If you have two smaller loaves you’ll have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. If using a bread machine: make sure you stop the kneeding cycle early, and put the machine on a bake only cycle for 1 hour. If you have a crust and loaf size setting use a 2 lbs loaf setting and dark crust.
  6. Take the loaf(s) out of the pan(s) and let cool completley on the counter before slicing.
  7. ENJOY!

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Glazed Chicken Drumsticks – Gluten-free

glazed chicken

There were some lovely free-range organic chicken drumsticks on special this week. I brought them home and whipped up this simple delicious recipe. Everyone will love this recipe, kids, adults, everyone! And its versitile — there are many different flavours mingling within the glaze that make matching side dishes easy. The asian flavours love rice, the honey garlic goes great with potatoes or homemade mac and cheese. YUM!

Now normally I use chili sauce (not oil!) in this recipe, but the store was out of GF chili sauce, so I used chili oil instead. It worked out wonderfully!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (0.9 kg) chicken drumsticks (I use free-range, organic)
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili sauce or oil (if using oil, cut back on the olive oil a bit)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp (2.5 mL) ground ginger
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or plastic bag large enough to hold all of the drumsticks
  2. Marinate chicken 1-5 hours in the refridgerator
  3. Bake at 375 (190C) for about an hour
  4. ENJOY!

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Food Review: PatsyPie Gluten-Free Artisan Cookies, the BEST commercially available! Hands down!

patsy pie is my goddess

Last weekend I really, really, really wanted cookies. But I was honestly really, really, really too tired to make them myself. You see, I started a new job on Monday, so I spend all last weekend cleaning the house, making gluten-free bread and soups for my lunches, and generally getting prepared to not be at home all the time anymore. Is it bad that I miss being unemployed (although I do enjoy my pay cheques!).

Anyway, I ended up at the local franchise of the (Canadian) grocery store known as Sobey’s. I knew this location had a very, very limited gluten-free area (which is why I don’t often shop at this particular location) so I wasn’t expecting much.

Then I met Patsy Pie, and my whole world was changed. The raisin and almon biscotti I brought home was just so good! Dipped in my afternoon coffee the whole horror of the day just melted away.

Then the unthinkable occured: I ran out of biscotti! It was dreadful!

I quickly devised a plan to get as much Patsy Pie as I possibly could. This plan involved searching the internet for a store that sold these delicious biscotti online. And I found it, right from the manufacterer! http://www.patsypie.com
I discovered that biscotti was not the only deliciousness that Patsy sold. Oh no! She has an entire line of artisan cookies. I quickly ordered $50 worth of these wonderful, wonderful treats (free shipping on orders over $50)! A few days later they arrived on my doorstep. Now I’ve gained too many pounds to count, and so has my non-celiac partner who has single handedly polished off all of my chocolate chip cookies while declaring ‘Who needs gluten when you can eat these?’. And as for the gluten-free brownies? They’re also gone, gone, gone. Well, not really. I’m sure you can see them on my cheeks. And I don’t mean the ones on my face.

So my friends, if you really, really want good artisan cookies do not buy that other commercial crap they have in the store. Head to http://www.patsypie.com (or Sobey’s) and help this small gluten-free business make more money. They deserve every penny!

How the chocolate you use affects flourless chocolate cakes

I just had to share this, as I love flour-less chocolate cakes, and I’m sure that many of you do too! The wonderful people at thekitchn.com asked Lisa Yockelson, author of the cookbook ‘Chocolate, Chocolate’ to answer the question:

Does cocoa content noticeably affect baking time and results?

In answering this question she makes special references to chocolate used for flour-less chocolate cakes.

Now the flour-less chocoalte cake I’m making for a up-coming baby shower is going to blow everyone’s mind.

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Brown rice and green tea porridge

A new blog that I just recently found http://www.justhungry.com is a blog about Japanese and home cooking. The blog’s author, Maki, wrote a really interesting article about Japanese Brown rice and green tea porridge (genmai chagayu):

A traditional custom in Japan is to eat nanakusa gayu, or seven greens rice porridge, after the New Year’s feasting period, to rest the stomach and bring the body back into balance. At any time of the year, kayu or okayu are eaten when the body is weakened by sickness, fatigue or overeating.

I just love this quote. Even though Maki is technically talking about brown rice and green tea poridge, she might as well be discussing the gluten-free lifestyle for a celiac. If you just replace a few words in the sentence: “Eat a gluten-free diet to rest the stomach, bring the body back into balance…when the body is weakened by sickness, fatigue or overeating.”

I do believe I’m going to try this recipe! Rice and green tea! Wonderfully delightful combination!

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Spicy bean, pesto and vegetable soup, with swiss chard – a gluten-free, vegan recipe

bean soup editedI was in the mood for soup so I whipped up this in no time flat! Super easy to make, and full of flavour!

Add less vegetable broth if you prefer — the soup becomes more chili-like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large French shallots (or regular onions if you haven’t any shallots), roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 leeks, greens removed, whites sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes, preferably salt-free, do not drain!
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock, preferably salt free
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
  • 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in cubes
  • 1 can Romano beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups (500 mL) dried, soaked overnight if you haven’t any canned)
  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups (500 mL) dried, soaked overnight if you haven’t any canned)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped very fine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
  • 1/4 tsp chili oil, or more if you like things really spicy. Chili powder can be used if you don’t have chili oil, just add slowly until you have the taste you desire.
  • 1 tbsp pesto, canned or homemade
  • if you used salted tomatoes or vegetable broth, you probably don’t need any salt. If you used salt-free, add salt to taste. Frankly I don’t think this recipe needs any salt.
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • rice pasta (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and leeks, saute until soft.
  2. Add tomatoes, the juice from the can, the stock to the pot, the parsley and the thyme. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Add vegetables to the pot, simmer until carrots are soft, time will depend on how thick you sliced the carrots
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (but NOT the rice pasta) to the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile boil the rice pasta as per package instructions.
  6. To serve, add a bit of the rice pasta to the bottom of the bowl, pour soup over top of the rice. Don’t forget to discard the thyme springs! Nobody wants them in their bowl.
  7. ENJOY!

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Growing your own herbs (from seed) should be part of the gluten-free lifestyle!

As a foodie I am strongly in favour of using fresh herbs in my cooking. The flavour of fresh basil, oregano and thyme in a pasta sauce is far superior than the flavour of the same sauce made with dried herbs. There is nothing wrong with using dried herbs, everyone relies on them from time to time when they just cannot find what they are looking for at the grocery store, but you really cannot compare flavour of the the fresh living plant to that of irradiated dried flakes.

The problem with dried herbs in the gluten-free kitchen is the possibility that they have been poisoned with wheat, barley, rye, spelt or other nasty grains. Although high-quality herbs can be found that are guaranteed to be gluten-free, the cost per bottle is high. A cheaper, tastier and healthier option is to grow your own herbs.

The benefits of growing your own herbs speak for themselves:

  1. Low Cost: a package of seeds is only a few dollars, and even if you don’t compost yourself you can buy quality compost at a reasonable price.
  2. Nutrition: Fresh herbs have huge quantities of vitamins and minerals compared to dried herbs. They also have many medicinal properties that are lost when companies dry and irradiate their herbs. Even when fresh, the nutritional value of plants quickly lessens once picked. How long have those herbs been in the produce aisle?
  3. Grow for flavour: commercial growers grow varieties that last longer in the fridge and are more disease resistant. The best tasting herb might not be the one that lasts the longest on the shelf.
  4. Variety: when you buy basil in the store you have one variety (maybe two if you find a store that has Thai basil), but when you grow the plants yourself have options. Many, many options. My favourite fresh herb and seed supply company Richter’s carries 43 varieties of basil. FORTY-THREE! We’re you aware that there were that many types of basil? They all have different flavours and smells. They’re all wonderful!
  5. No waste: when you buy a bunch of herbs at the store do you always use the entire bunch, or do you only use half or a third and watch the rest wither away in the fridge? When you grow your own you only take what you need from the plant, and the plant will continue to grow even after you pick the leaves — so you will have more herb next week to do as you please. No withered leaves!
  6. Dry your own: if you plant too much, you can always dry it yourself. Now you have gluten-free dried herbs in your pantry.
  7. Carcinogen free: I promise you that you’ll feel so much better knowing that your food was not sprayed with huge quantities of carcinogens (aka pesticides/herbicides).
  8. Cleaner air: house plants, even herbs, help clean the air in your house! Many of the air born junk is then processed by plants into wonderfully harmless plant products.
  9. Lower your in pact on the environment: how much waste do those greenhouses create growing your herbs? How many chemicals end up in the environment? What about pollution from transportation? Growing chemical-free and local
  10. Pretty: many herbs are absolutely breathtaking! Ever seen purple ruffles basil? You really could make it into a centrepiece.
  11. Always gluten-free!

Because I am so convinced of the benefits of growing your own herbs I am going to blog about this topic once a week. Each week I’ll cover a new topic! Next week I will discuss where and how to buy herbs seeds. Stay tuned!

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