Monday, August 31, 2009

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing

Kids and Vegetables
As a mom I am always looking for ways to make the vegetables go faster and easier. I had been on the lookout for a dipping sauce for a while when simultaneously we came upon 2 solutions. Shortly after Passover we found Manischewitz Creamy Thousand Island salad dressing. We love passover because things that are kosher for Passover are often gluten, dairy and soy free. The second item we found that made so many things easier is the So Delicious cultured coconut milk based yogurt product. Now we have the ingredients for homemade ranch dressing. The resulting product was a huge hit and is in constant demand here. It even helps asparagus go down with few complaints.
Dairy, Soy and Gluten Free Ranch Dressing
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dried thyme
6 oz. So Delicious plain cultured coconut milk yogurt
1 tsp cider vinegar
approximately 1/2 cup plain rice milk
1/2 cup GF,SF, DF mayonnaise(we usually use Manischewitz passover mayonnaise)
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a separate container mix together wet ingredients using the amount of rice milk to control the thickness of the dressing. My kids like it really thick for dipping but we thin it for use as actual salad dressing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

About the Recipes- Beth P.

Allergy Free Kitchen
Now that I have a few recipes posted I should talk about the whole allergy free kitchen we run here. Since my older sons have severe food allergies, here in the Padgett household we have separate toasters for gluten free breads and not and use most pans for allergy free cooking only. Since my pregnancy with son #3 began last June I have been eating on the diet as well and that just leaves my husband eating all the allergens. He cooks his own breakfasts and lunches during the week and has little time in the kitchen that we have to worry about. There is a separate bin for allergen containing food. (It would be a cabinet if we had the space.)
About the Recipes
I basically have never met a recipe I didn't want to change. I might use an unfamiliar recipe exactly as written once but after that there is a continuing evolution. I might run out of a certain type of flour, I might just want a different flavor or one of the kids might distract me in the middle of something leaving me to make changes on the fly. Generally speaking I use electric stuff as little as possible. The two most used items in my kitchen are my hand whisk and a plastic spoon shaped like an old fashioned wooden spoon. It is easier to clean and since son #2 has developed a mild allergy to peanuts I like to know I am not contaminating the things I feed him. If I post a recipe and say to use an electric mixer it is necessary to the process. I have a beautiful Kitchenaid that sits idle most of the time here because my grandmother taught me to do it by hand.
In terms of the recipes I am trying to achieve as much of a normal American life here as possible. Although my older boys had their diets changed at ages 4 and 2 respectively and as a result remember very few of the tastes from before, they do not live in a bubble. They see what their friends are eating and what is available to eat at restaurants and wish to participate. I don't blame them. Food was also a big deal in our house growing up and I want to share all of the tastes from my childhood with them. I am not a foodie by any means. This is basic American fare and heavy on the baking. Some of that is because so much of our culture's food is wheat and soy based baked goods.

Maine Wild Blueberry Syrup

It is Sunday here at the Padgett house and that means WAFFLES! Since we just got back from Maine last Sunday I thought we would recapture a little of the flavor we are missing by taking those berries I froze and making them into syrup for our waffles. This recipe is simple, low glycemic and yummy. One batch made enough for all four of us who were eating waffles.

Maine Wild Blueberry Syrup
1 1/2 cup maine low bush blueberries ( I expect you could use canned or commercially frozen blueberries as well. The original recipe I modified called for canned blueberries.)
1/2 cup agave nectar( we use whole foods 365 brand raw nectar)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
dash salt
dash cinnamon( a little more if you really want to taste the cinnamon, the agave flavor overshadows it a fair bit)
1 Tbsp constarch
Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the blueberries are a little watery remove about 1Tbsp liquid to a small bowl and combine with the cornstarch. Add resulting liquid back to pan. Once syrup boils remove the pan from heat. This can be served hot or cold. It was a big hit here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Fail Gluten Free Bread

Are you looking for a recipe that you can put in the bread machine and forget about, knowing that when it is done the bread will be tasty for everyone in the family, not just your gluten free crowd? Does it need to be gluten, dairy and soy free? Here is a recipe that tastes good, performs like regular bread, does not turn to a rock or dust in 24 hours, doesn't need to be refridgerated, and on day 2 still tastes great or makes great french toast. We have even sliced it and frozen the loaf in 2 slice packges so we can make sandwiches anytime by just thawing it in the microwave. The best part is that the recipe is reasonably forgiving. I have an absent minded tendency to forget the salt or lose my place and it still turns out workable.
This recipe uses yellow pea flour which is an Indian staple as one of the flours. It is this flour which really gives it the flexibility that lasts for several days. We use the SWAD brand that we get at a local Asian grocer. I know that Whole Foods carries it as well. If it is very humid and the flour is lumpy it has to be sifted because otherwise you get hard little lumps in the loaf. We use a bread machine to do the work for us. Although we have the cuisineart that has the special gluten free cycle but we use the rapid white cycle for this bread.

No Fail Gluten Free Bread
(dairy and soy free)
Dry ingredients:
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup yellow pea flour(SWAD) also called gram flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup white sugar(this works well with a direct substitution of honey as well)
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 scant Tbsp yeast (we use saf instant- we get a large cake at the health food store. We have used the jarred bread machine yeast from the grocery which works ok but increase to a whole Tbsp. For best result we use saf instant. The yeast really makes a difference.)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Wet ingredients
1 1/2-2 cups warmed plain rice milk (we warm ours up in the microwave for just 45 seconds or so)
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 vegetable oil (we use organic canola)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
Step 1
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together. If you are using honey, put it in with the wet ingredients.
Step 2
In the bread machine bowl combine all of the wet ingredients using just 1 1/2 cup rice milk to start.
Step 3
Start the bread machine using the rapid white or equivalent cycle. Once the liquid ingredients are mixed slowly add the dry ingredients using a rubber scraper to assist in the mixing. Our machine makes a horizontal loaf and since the gluten free dough ends up the consistency of thick cake batter the material in the ends needs mixing in by hand. The goal is a thick cake batter type of dough. Add as much of the extra rice milk as necessary to reach that consistency. How much milk you will need depends on any number of things including the current humidity. Once all of the ingredients are well mixed you just close the bread machine and walk away. Once all of the dough cycles are completed you can remove the kneeading paddle if you like but we rarely bother.
Step 4
Once the bread machine has completed the baking cycle remove the bread to a cooling rack. It is important to let it cool to get the largest number of slices per loaf. It is however really yummy straight away.