Pumpkin Cake

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One of the hardest things about eating GF (gluten-free) is finding a dessert recipe that tastes good and doesn’t have a weird consistency. Pinterest has been a great help in finding recipes, and I’m thankful for all the chefs experimenting in their kitchens and posting food blogs.

This recipe is the Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake from jaysbakingmecrazy.com.  I haven’t made the recipe strictly per instructions, although I think it looks fantastic.  Since I can’t have eggs, and I was missing a couple ingredients, I had to change a few things. So, if you aren’t limited like I am, use the recipe as is.  However, if you find yourself missing pumpkin pie spice and unable to digest eggs well, then here is the modified recipe:

    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free General Purpose Flour
    • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teapoon ground cloves
    • 1-ish teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2-3 Tablespoons reconstituted milled flax seed (in  water about 5 minutes, to be honest, I didn’t measure…)
    • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
CRUMB TOPPING
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • crushed walnuts (add a bit more oil and honey if you do this, or it will be crumbly; to keep recipe nut-free, omit walnuts)

I then followed the recipe’s instructions for adding ingredients and baking:

Instructions [from the blog]:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the crumb topping first: in a small bowl, combine coconut flour, [brown rice] flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, honey, walnuts, and coconut oil. Mix well- it should resemble wet sand. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, coconut sugar, and pumpkin. Mix well.
  4. Add in the brown rice flour, GF general purpose flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. [here add the ACV and flax seed] Mix until no dry pockets remain. Pour into prepared pan and top with crumb topping.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Store in fridge after the first day.

I let the dessert cool in the pan to help it stick together and it did not fall apart when I cut it and served it.  I’ve been told this also tastes good with vanilla ice cream or cool whip.

Basic Sweet Potato Soup

Basic. Three ingredients. 10 minutes.

It’s also nut, dairy, and gluten free. And organic, if you please.

It started this weekend when the stomach bug meant solid foods were not an option. I had some chicken broth and a couple sweet potatoes on hand.

I cut a small-medium sweet potato and baked it in the microwave on high for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, I poured about 1 cup chicken broth into my Ninja food processor and sprinkled in a healthy dose of ginger. I did not add salt because the broth was already providing 25% if my daily need.

I scooped out the sweet potato and blended in my processor for about 25 seconds. And it was done.

The soup is more like a bisque, depending on how much blending and the ratio of broth to sweet potato. When I got braver, I cooked a bigger potato and added chucks of potato after pureeing.

Perfect fall warmth on a cold day.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato is an amazing food.  I’ve developed a new appreciation for it over the past year. (I hear they can even be made into doughnuts!) Anyway, here is my recipe for oven roasted sweet potatoes:

 

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Dice potatoes as shown

Sweet potatoes are much stouter than their russet potato cousins.  I’ve found that cutting the sweet potato across the midsection instead of lengthwise makes for a much easier time of it.

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Spices give this dish a full, savory flavor

I don’t measure my spices when I’m cooking.  I usually make 4-5 sweet potatoes at a time.  Add about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt for 4 potatoes.  More salt can be added after cooking according to taste.  My favorite spice mix is Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Extra Spicy (about 1 teaspoon) with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.

However, nightshades (including cumin and peppers) have been eliminated (and I have to reluctantly admit that it has helped), so I use 1 teaspoon ginger, instead.  Ginger gives a nice, savory flavor to the potatoes.

Add 1-2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil to the potatoes and spices and mix until everything is fairly evenly coated.

 

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This is 4-5 sweet potatoes

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degress F for 40 minutes.  I’ve found two good-sized sweet potatoes fill a glass 9×13.  If the potato cubes are more than about 2 deep in the dish, you will need to increase the cooking time.

Enjoy!

No-mato Spaghetti Sauce

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Summer vacation means extra time to try cooking new dishes.  This week’s experiment was no-mato sauce for spaghetti squash spaghetti.  I love spaghetti, but tomatoes are not on the friend list.  Just for good measure, I wanted to leave out garlic and onions, because they’re a little suspect at the moment.  I can’t say much for how the squash itself turned out — I think I need more practice on that one — but the sauce is very tasty.  Of course, this is coming from someone who hasn’t had spaghetti in 10 months. ;)

Just a word of caution, this recipe contains a beet.  Beets stain everything — including hands and face (don’t ask).  So, wear all black and don’t stir too vigorously.

Ingredients:

1 medium-size beet, peeled and diced

11 small-medium carrots, peeled and sliced (a little over 2 cups)

2 teaspoons ground oregano

2 teaspoons ground basil

1-2 cups water

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Water should cover most of the vegetables.

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Because of the staining power of beets, this color spoon is recommended.

 

Add the above in ingredients and simmer covered for 45-50 min in a small pan.  Let cool.  During the cooling process, most of the water will be absorbed by the vegetables.  Add in 1 cup diced roasted sweet potatoes.  (*Note: I almost always have roasted sweet potatoes on hand.  I cook them with ginger, salt, and grapeseed oil.  I thought it would taste good to add to the sauce — and it did — but it’s not necessary to add them.  Just put in less seasoning in the next step if you choose to omit the sweet potato.  I’ve also seen recommendations for adding canned pumpkin puree.) Blend in a food processor. I have a small processor, so I had to blend in two batches.  For each batch, I added 2 Tablespoons water.

Pour blended sauce in a bowl and stir in the following:

3/4-1 cup water (broth might also taste good here, but the water has worked great)

3 teaspoons ground basil

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

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Add honey and basil

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Stir together — and it’s done!

 

And that’s it! You should have about 3 cups of sauce.  It will be thick, so it can be used for pizza or baked pasta dishes as well.

More or less seasoning can be added according to taste.  If a more oregano taste is desired, you could add some more here as well.  The dominant spice in this recipe is basil.

Let the sauce sit overnight to let all the flavors blend together. (If you tasted it at this point, you probably noticed a dominant carrot flavor.)

Tip: Add cooked ground beef before heating to serve.

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Ready to eat with spaghetti squash

 

 

 

Pancakes II

This recipe is very similar to the other gluten-free, dairy-free recipe I posted here.  However, in an attempt to stick as close to my elimination diet as I can (and still eat pancakes, of course), I’ve left out the eggs… and added a few more things. So, here is the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free version!

Dry Ingredients:

6 cups brown rice flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons cinnamon

After combining the dry ingredients, add:

1/2 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)

1/2 cup honey

6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup milled flax seed mixed with 3/4 cup water and set until it gels (5 minutes?)

5 cups coconut milk (no sugar added)

Stir all the ingredients together.  The batter will be slightly runny, like cake batter.  However, while it sets it will gel until it’s more like brownie batter.  This is OK! I used coconut oil to grease the pans.  Not only does this eliminate any soy from the non-stick spray, but it makes the pancakes crunchy and delicious.

Make sure the skillet gets up to heat so that it sizzles a little when you add the batter, but not so hot that it burns before the top side is almost done.  The pancakes rise the best when they are allowed to cook mostly on one side and then flipped for only 2-3 minutes on the other side.

The vinegar helps the pancakes rise well and the flax seed helps hold the batter together… one would hardly notice there were no eggs.  Except my tummy.  It’s oh-so-very happy I left the eggs out.

Look at them rise!  Cook with a lid over the pan to help cook the top side and create a thicker pancake.

Look at them rise! Cook with a lid over the pan to help cook the top side and create a thicker pancake.

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Curry-less Curry Sauce

The basic sauce

The basic sauce

This recipe was an attempt to make an AIP-friendly sauce for hot pot. So far, I’ve used this sauce to cook bok choy, nappa cabbage, shrimp, lamb, and sweet potatoes.  All of these have tasted wonderful.  This sauce is as close to curry as I’ve been able to get for a while.

See, I love spicy food.  And curry.  Especially spicy curry.  However, about 6 months ago, due to circumstances beyond my control, I found that I could not eat spicy food (or a lot of other foods, for that matter). Long story short, I’ve come a long way in adding food back into my diet, but I’m still on a hybrid anti-inflammatory/autoimmune/whatever-doesn’t-hurt-my-stomach-and-give-me-heartburn diet.

I had been eating sweet potatoes with some spice because I didn’t want to give up my cumin.  Or red pepper flakes.  Or curry.  Seriously.  However, thanks to the company and prompting of sweet friends in my life (and the prompting of my stomach), I gave up the spices — mostly nightshades not allowed on AIP (autoimmune protocol diet).  Curry is not allowed.  However, I have found that ginger, tumeric, and garlic make quiet the trio. So, here it is…

Curry-less Curry Sauce

Ingredients:

3 1/2  cups Chicken broth (I used homemade that I had in the freezer.  The taste was not strong at all, and it contained no soy, dairy, gluten, or msg)

2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger root

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 cloves garlic (I used 2 teaspoons minced garlic)

2 teaspoons tumeric

1 teaspoon dehydrated onion

1 Tablespoon tapioca flour (to thicken the sauce)

Salt to taste.

5-6 chopped green onions

1/3-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients except cilantro and green onions in a medium pot.  Non-stick is the easiest to clean afterward… and the sweet potatoes might not burn. :)

Heat on medium and stir until the tapioca flour is dissolved.  When the sauce starts to simmer add the meat and vegetables along with the cilantro and green onions.  These picture, I just used some sweet potatoes cut into wedges and then again into thirds as they cooked.  Lamb was still my favorite meat.  This is also a great sauce for nappa cabbage and bok choy.

Simmer/low boil until the meat and vegetables are cooked.  I would recommend adding the potatoes first.  The potatoes took about 15 minutes to cook.  After about 5 minutes, I added the meat.  The cabbage only needs about 5 minutes to cook, so I might add it slightly before the potatoes are done.

*Notes:

– The sauce gets thicker the longer it simmers.

– This sauce is enough to cook about 2 1/2 large sweet potatoes.

– Do not cook carrots in this.  The sweetness of the carrots did not mingle well with the flavors.

– I imagine cauliflower would taste good with this sauce.  We’re not on speaking terms, presently, though, so I don’t know for sure.

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Add the cilantro and potatoes. I ran out of green onions for this batch… and I missed them.

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“Curried” sweet potatoes. Comfort food, right here.