I love the idea of having gluten free cake made with quinoa. Why? It’s high in fiber. High in protein. Lots of other good nutrients. Things we don’t all get as much as we should. Also, I can’t eat rice flour. Or almond flour. Silly allergies. So baking with quinoa… sounds intriguing…
Mel makes a gorgeous quinoa chocolate cake, with her own frosting but basic recipe from Good Dinner Mom.
I have to say, I will be trying this! Chocolate makes anything delicious. Also wondering if quinoa would work in Brownies… hmmm… there may be some experimentation coming soon! Stay posted.
Mel’s decadent chocolate cake
In my travels around the world, nothing has been more consistently amazing than passionfruit. I am so adamant that anything passionfruit-related will be delicious that my Hawaiian friends, who call passionfruit Lilikoi, coined the phrase, “when in doubt, Lili out!” Indeed, the tropics offer an array of passionfruit-flavored food and drink. Mousse, yogurt, sauce for fish and meats, smoothies, juice, and margaritas. Well, this weekend we brought a bit of the tropical flavor to Vermont with passionfruit margaritas. Of course, we added our special VT twist by serving them over snow instead of blending or serving over ice. And we drank them while ice fishing (I only lasted about 10 minutes out on the ice but it was fun while it lasted).
Passionfruit margaritas (scale as needed!)
1 part gluten-free margarita mix
1 part concentrated passionfruit juice (unsweetened)
1 part white/silver tequila
1/4 part grand marnier (or triple sec)
Li hing mui powder (an odd Asian plum powder— give it a try, it grows on you)
Mix together in a pitcher. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup, agave, or liquid sugar. Rim the glasses with li hing mui powder. Pour over ice or snow. Enjoy!
What to do with a roll of left-over polenta? Try mini polenta toasts! Great as a side to any dish, we paired it with venison and a small salad.
Toasted cheesy polenta (aka Polenta Pizza!)
Shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
Slice rounds of polenta and place on a baking sheet (lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper). Top with sliced tomato and shredded cheese. Toast for 5 minutes at 425F or until the cheese is golden brown. Serve while hot! Add your own flare with pizza sauce, olives or other creative toppings!
Whether your venison is wild and locally caught or farmed, cooking is the key to getting excellent flavor and avoiding that “gamey” flavor people are leery of. The gamey flavor sets in when wild meats are over-cooked, which is easy to do since they are so lean! For a venison steak of a pound or less, grill in a skillet on both sides for 4-5 minutes over medium heat with a bit of olive oil and butter (less than 1 Tb of each). Slice the venison and serve with your favorite sauce– such as a chutney. Here, we served it with our own maple cranberry sauce. Delish!
It’s not every day you have duck. It’s also not every day your boyfriend brings home the duck. While this meal was created during fall duck season, it could be beautifully re-created with frozen or store-bought duck any time of the year!
Soaking your duck breast in a brine will make it moist and tender. Leaving some skin on gives this pan-cooked duck a bit of fat to keep the meat from over-drying.
1 duck breast
1 quart of water
2 Tb salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch each of thyme and oregano
Salad & dressing (mix ingredients in a jar and shake well):
Mixed greens, spinach or arugula
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb orange juice
1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1 tsp orange zest (grated or finely chopped peel)
Dash of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Blue-cheese twice baked potatoes
Two roasting potatoes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup gluten-free blue cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Clean the breast, leaving fat on one side. Mix the brine ingredients in a medium bowl. Brine for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
Bake potatoes whole after poking holes in them with a fork. Typically, 45 minutes on 375F will do it. Allow potatoes to cool before cutting open. Scoop insides out and retain skins. In a medium size bowl, mash the potatoes with the sour cream and blue cheese. Re-fill the potato skins with the mashed mixture and top with shredded cheese. Bake again at 375F for 20 minutes while covered in foil. Remove foil and bake at 425F for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove and prepare to serve.
While the potatoes are baking, prepare the duck breast. In a large skillet, brown the breast 4-5 minutes on each side or until medium-rare (or longer, as you prefer). Note that over-cooked game gets a “gamey” taste and is a common mistake in cooking game. Slice the duck breast to serve.
Plate the potato with a large bed of greens and top with duck breast. Dress with the vinaigrette and serve at a candle-lit table.
Fall turns into winter and the instinct to put food away kicks in. Perhaps like me you’ve visited your favorite apple orchard or can resist the huge variety of apples in the store.
I decided to foray into canning this year. Except for watching my mother can way back when I was a toddler, I was a novice. Conveniently, a family friend has become one of the most popular canning experts in the country! Head on over to Food in Jars to get instructions on canning from Marisa McClellan.
I started with the a half bushel of Courtland apples that I picked up at Allenholm Farm at Pam’s suggestion for sauce and butter. The first step to making apple butter is making apple sauce, which I describe here. I wanted to make enough to give to friends for the holidays so I started with this recipe from Its Not Easy Eating Green.
Vermont Maple Bourbon Apple Butter [Original recipe makes 4 cups. Scaled recipe in ( ) makes ~14 full 4oz jars].
6 cups (6 quarts) unsweetened apple sauce from Vermont apples
1/2 cup (8 cups… or less) apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup (I substituted maple syrup) granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (12 cups) Vermont maple syrup
1/2 cup (8 cups or less) bourbon
2 teaspoons (10 tablespoons) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (5 tablespoons) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (1 1/4 tablespoons) ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon (2 teaspoons) ground allspice
Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker set to high. Once an hour stir the apple butter scraping down all the sides and bottom of the slow cooker. Repeat this process for 4-5 hours or until the mixture is very thick and dark. To tell when the apple butter is done, drop a small spoonful of it on a plate and wait a minute or two. When the apple butter is done, a liquid ring will no longer ooze to the outside of the drop of apple butter; it will stay solid. Store in the refrigerator. Or, to can, carefully pour into in sterilized jars and process for ten minutes in a hot water bath. For larger batches, turn slow cooker to low after 4-6 hours and prop lid open with the handle of a wooden spoon. Use the test above to tell when the butter is done.
Cousin Jill visiting with a gluten-intolerance. Brother Mike has gone paleo. Gramma must have her pie. How to juggle all these needs? Fear not, putting together a delicious, gluten-free Thanksgiving takes some planning and will turn out great.
Try a spinach salad or stuffing made with gluten-free croutons.
What about that bird? Most Celiac’s or gluten intolerant folks won’t eat a turkey that’s been stuffed with regular stuffing. Try one of these delicious gluten-free stuffings! All are crowd-pleasers.
Now, what about pie??? By far my favorite part of Thanksgiving, so please don’t forget the whip cream. You can buy a frozen crust, make one from a box, or try one of these easy recipes! Or this one! These are all tried and true pie recipes… even Gramma will love them.
Side dishes? Easy! Try a sweet potato dish a la my cousin Julie or sweet potatoes with a twist from Mark Bittman. See the croutons above for a great spinach salad recipe. Check your green bean recipe– could be easily made gluten free!
Looking forward to the rest of the holiday session, give Gramma Ginnie’s brownies a try– modified to be gluten free, they are easy and always delicious!
Check out Gluten-Free Goddess for even more great inspirations for the holidays!
Why not drink your greens? This little juice is light, refreshing and so great for hot summer days, while it packs in the vitamins and soluble fiber!
* I don’t have a juicer so I use my mixer or immersion blender and then pour the mix through a strainer to get the tougher parts out. Of course, if you have a juicer everything will get blended!
1 cup iced green or white tea
1-2 spinach spinach
Lots of fresh mint leaves
Dash of honey or maple syrup if you need– but the cucumber and mint adds a light, sweet flavor to sweeten to taste
Garnish with lemon and enjoy!
Gluten Free Vermont
Finally, a dessert for everyone!!! My friend Nada swears this recipe is the best— no diary, gluten or sugar added! She suggests going lean on banana if you don’t like that flavor. So what the heck is in there? Bananas, avocado, dates, almond butter and cacao powder. The author suggests adding a squeeze of agave– but why not Vermontify it and use a smidge of maple syrup? That’s never a bad idea. [Ok, it is not a good idea if you want to claim no sugar added and be kind to our diabetic friends! But it sure sounds tasty!]
Gluten Free Vermont
From a friend on Cape Cod:
New favorite breakfast I must share: Quinoa! Boil quinoa as directions indicate, add a pinch of salt and some raisins. Once cooked through, add a splash of vanilla, some cinnamon, your favorite fruit and top with a bit of milk (soy, almond, cow’s, whatever you like). It’s full of protein, gluten free and delicious!
[Note you could also cook quinoa in your rice cooker or slow cooker!]
Winter mornings I am often too rushed to make a warm breakfast, but that’s exactly what your body craves. Something that will stick to your ribs without causing eater’s remorse later (doughnut anyone?). Oatmeal, we all know, is heart-healthy, full of fiber and other nutrients. Of course, we pay out the nose for gluten-free oats but its worth it if you like oatmeal, cookies, etc.
I’ve taken to making a large batch of oatmeal on the weekend and then reheating it for midweek breakfasts. If you’re like me, tending to oatmeal is almost as difficult as having the time to cook it! What if it burns? Boils over? Fear no more.
It turns out oatmeal does really well in a rice cooker! The process takes about 15 minutes to cook. If you leave the cooker on warm the oatmeal will continue to thicken. Never burned, easy to clean up. I’m always looking for a boost of protein and such so I’ve embellished the traditional oatmeal recipe with quinoa flakes and flax. If you’ve ever tried quinoa flakes as hot cereal, you’ll remember it’s quite bland. I find mixing it with oatmeal gives it more flavor will still giving you the nutritious kick of quinoa!
Set It And Forget It Embellished Oatmeal
The only trick is getting the right amount of water for the grains your using. I dump everything together in my rice cooker:
2 cups gluten-free oats (plus 2-3 cups water)
1/3 cup quinoa flakes (plus 1 cup water)
1 or more Tb flax meal
Pecans to taste
Dried cranberries to taste
Dash of salt
I serve mine with a bit of honey, just as my grandma did. Try other fruits and nuts or leave them out altogether! Try a dash of cinnamon and apple thrown right in the pot!
Also note that if you have a slow cooker, you can “set it ams forget it” by preparing your oatmeal and setting it on low overnight. In the AM you will have a warm breakfast just waiting for you!