Archive for the ‘cornerstones of cooking’ Category

postheadericon 3 Perfect Pie Crusts

Just one slice

If you don’t need to make the full 6 pie crust recipe, this version makes a top crust, bottom crust, and a spare crust to freeze for later.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, could be egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegetarian, and potentially vegan recipe.

Ingredients

Pi Pie
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I use Spectrum)

  • 1 cup margarine, or two sticks (I use Fleishmann’s unsalted, but you could also use an additional 1 cup shortening)
  • 3 cups gf flour mix – 2 cups flour, 1 cup starch

  • 1 TBS xanthan gum (if not GF, just use 3 cups flour and omit this)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, omit if corn-free)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg white (or egg replacer of your choice)
  • 1 TBS cider vinegar
  • ice cold water

Method

Blending together the Pie Crust

Combine flours, xanthan gum, baking powder (if using), sugar, & salt in a large bowl. Add shortening & margarine and cut in using a pastry blender or 2 knives until it begins to resemble coarse meal.

In a measuring cup with a spout, beat the egg, vinegar, and enough water to equal 1/2 cup. Gradually add the liquid to the flour, tossing with a fork, until the pastry gathers into a mass.

If the dough needs more water, add 1/4 cup iced water at a time, until sticks together.

Divide the pastry into 3 portions and form each into a patty-like disk. Each patty makes 1 crust. Put each in a small ziploc and freeze, or, if you are using now, chill for at least an hour. If you freeze, the dough must be completely thawed before rolling.

Rolling out the dough

For easier handling, roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top piece of plastic wrap, position dough in greased pie pan, then remove bottom piece of plastic wrap.

This makes 3 single pie crusts, perfect for making a double-crusted pie and setting one crust aside in the freezer for a rainy pie day.

postheadericon Enchilada Sauce

Sometimes it can be difficult to find gluten-free enchilada sauce, as many of the popular brands use wheat as a thickener. It is very easy to make your own, however, so don’t let yourself be intimidated!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegan/vegetarian, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups broth or homemade stock
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 onion, minced or a few scallions
  • a few dashes hot sauce (to taste)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Method

Saute onion & garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When they have softened, add other ingredients.

Simmer for about 30 minutes, then adjust spices to taste.

Serve over Chicken Enchiladas or Beef and Bean Enchiladas

postheadericon Chicken Stock

This is a great and easy (and cheap!) way to make chicken broth while avoiding your dietary restrictions. Feel free to adapt ingredients as needed.

Ingredients:

  • leftover chicken bones from other meals

  • vegetables – onion, garlic, celery, carrot
  • 2 bay leaves, any other desired spices
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar (or another vinegar)
  • kombu seaweed (optional) or a couple pinches of kosher salt
  • water

Fill crock pot with chicken bones, veggies, bay leaves, vinegar, and seaweed (if using). Pour water in until the crock pot is full.

Cover the crock pot and turn to low. Let simmer for 1-2 days. The vinegar will pull the minerals from the bones, and you will end up with a dark, rich broth.

Strain, then refrigerate or freeze for later use. Freezing in muffin tins or ice cube trays works well – then pop them out and keep in a large ziploc bag in the freezer until needed.

Don’t forget to save your chicken bones from your meals for your next batch of broth!

postheadericon Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Coconut milk has a fat content (the good fats, according to scientists) that gives coconut milk ice cream a mouth feel that is very similar to dairy ice cream.

The flavors other than vanilla or plain chocolate chip don’t taste coconuty. It is MUCH better than any commercial non-dairy ice cream I have found. And sooo easy!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ice Cream 3

The Basics:

  • 2 14oz cans coconut milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Add-ins

  • 1/4 cup cocoa

  • 1/4 cup instant coffee, add 1/4 cup sugar to a total of 1c sugar
  • 1/2-1 cup fruit – peaches work really well
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2+ cup chocolate chips

Method

In a blender, combine coconut milk, vanilla, xanthan gum/guar gum, and sugar. Blend until well combined. Add any add-ins other than coconut or chocolate chips, and blend again.

Chill for 1 hour in the blender jar.

Blend the chilled mixture for a moment, then add to ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker directions for time in the ice cream maker.

Add chocolate chips or coconut at the end of ice cream maker cycle

Scoop into a container with a lid and put in the freezer until ready to serve

Variation:
If you can’t use coconut milk, use 4 cups of your milk substitute in place of the 2 cans of coconut milk. The mouth-feel isn’t quite as creamy as coconut milk, but it still tastes great!

postheadericon Perfect Gluten Free Pie Crust

Just one slice

adapted from my mother’s friend’s award-winning crust recipe.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, could be egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegetarian, and potentially vegan recipe.

Ingredients

Pi Pie
  • 2 cups shortening (I use Spectrum)

  • 1/2 cup margarine (I use Fleishmann’s unsalted, but you could also use an additional 1/2 cup shortening)
  • 4 cups gluten-free flour (I like amaranth, sorghum, millet, or rice)
  • 2 cups starch (tapioca and arrowroot are good choices)
  • 2 TBS xanthan gum (if not GF, just use 6 cups flour and omit this)
  • 1 TBS baking powder (optional, omit if corn-free)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 large egg (or egg replacer of your choice)
  • 2 TBS cider vinegar
  • Cold water

Method

Blending together the Pie Crust

Combine flours, xanthan gum, baking powder (if using), sugar, & salt in a large bowl. Add shortening & margarine and cut in using a pastry blender or 2 knives until it begins to resemble coarse meal.

In a measuring cup with a spout, beat the egg, vinegar, and enough water to equal 1 cup. Gradually add the liquid to the flour, tossing with a fork, until the pastry gathers into a mass.

If the dough needs more water, add 1/4 cup iced water at a time, until sticks together.

we like pie

Divide the pastry into 6 portions and form each into a patty-like disk. Each patty makes 1 crust. Put each in a small ziploc and freeze, or, if you are using now, chill for an hour or so. If you freeze, dough must be completely thawed before rolling. (If you plan to make pocket pies, just refrigerate it all in a lump and break off pieces to make the pocket pies)

Rolling out the dough

For easier handling, roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top piece of plastic wrap, position dough in greased pie pan, then remove bottom piece of plastic wrap.

This makes 6 single pie crusts, or top/bottom pie crusts for 20-25 pocket pies.

postheadericon Roasted Veggie Tips

Almost any vegetable seems to taste better roasted. This winter we have roasted green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, parsnips, leeks, broccoli, and of course, our favorite brussels sprouts. This is an easy way to add veggies to a dinner when you are already using the oven.

Roasted Broccoli

First tip: preheat oven to 400+ (temp can vary a bit depending on the other things you are cooking. Toss the veggies in olive oil and sprinkle a little kosher salt over the top. You can add some minced garlic or not, depending on time available & your taste. Roast for about 20 minutes, shaking a couple times.

Second tip: Try this with frozen veggies – it works great with frozen green beans, and then you don’t have to take the ends off! It really makes frozen veggies taste less like frozen veggies, too!

Third tip: Make more than you think you’ll need. I’m amazed at how fast the kids eat the roasted veggies, they’re sweeter somehow. mmmm… And you can tell them the beets are candy! ;)

Fourth tip: Try to roast vegetables the kids (or other adults) haven’t liked served other ways. Almost everyone who says they “hate brussels sprouts” has made an exception for my roasted brussels sprouts

postheadericon Great Gluten-Free Gravy

I use this at thanksgiving, or for shepherd’s pie, or for anything. yum. This is an adaptation of a friend’s vegan recipe from back in the day when we were vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or drippings

  • 3-6 cloves of garlic, squashed and minced very well
  • 2-3 slices of yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gf flour or starch of choice
  • 4 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 4 TBS Tamari/GF soy sauce
  • 2 cups milk sub (for white gravy) or chicken broth, beef broth, or mushroom broth (for brown gravy)
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 or 6 (or lots more!) crimini mushrooms, sliced (for mushroom gravy)

Method
Measure the vegetable oil or drippings into a small saucepan. Cook the garlic and onion in it for about two minutes on medium or medium-low heat, until the onion is a bit tender and translucent. Add the flour/starch, yeast, and tamari to make a paste. Add the milk or broth gradually, stirring constantly. Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add pepper. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, if desired. Add salt and serve warm.

postheadericon Delicious Gluten Free Bread

In honor of World Bread Day, I thought I’d share my favorite gluten-free bread recipe. This is another one I thought I had posted long ago, but found that it wasn’t here after searching for it.

I love this bread – it tastes great as bread, and works very well as dinner rolls or hamburger buns (mmmm…. sloppy joes!). I’ve served them at meals for people without dietary restrictions, and they’ve received rave reviews. It also makes a good base for stuffing if you toast it first. The recipe can be doubled without any trouble.

This recipe is gfcf, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, legume free, nut free, vegetarian, and can be corn-free. It is not egg free, sadly. I’ve had limited success using egg substitutes with this recipe – I would only try it with rolls, as the egg protein holds together the dough in a bread shape.

DO NOT skip the step of lining the pan with parchment paper if you are not using a silicone pan! GF bread dough is very sticky, and you’ll end up with bread stuck to the bottom of the pan no matter how well you grease it (unless you’re using a hamburger bun pan, in which case just greasing it is fine).

World Bread Day (GF version)  5

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup gf flour (amaranth, sorghum, and millet all work well here)

  • 1 cup arrowroot, tapioca, or corn starch (potato starch tends to make it fall)
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • parchment paper

Method

World Bread Day - GF version 1

Whip together the 3 eggs in your stand mixer.

While they are whipping, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk together.

World Bread Day - GF version 3

Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the eggs, mix together. Slowly add the dry ingredients, beating together on low. “Knead” for 4 minutes. The dough will be very wet, almost like cake batter.

World Bread Day - GF version 4

Line a 9×5 (or so) bread pan with parchment or Reynolds Release (or grease your hamburger pan). Use a spatula to fill the bread pan with the dough/batter.

World Bread Day (GF version) 7

Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool (it cuts much better cooled if you can wait that long).

World Bread Day (GF version) 8

If you are going to save the bread, slice it once it is cooled, then place a piece of wax paper between the slices and freeze. Toast it straight from the freezer to warm it up.

postheadericon Basic Dairy-Free White Sauce

This is the basis for so many dishes – it can act like melted cheese on lasagna, an alfredo sauce, the basis for a sour-cream stroganoff, or any dairy-free alternative for a cream-of soup. This entry is linked innumerable times, and its uses are really only limited by your imagination!

You will note that this is made using coconut milk. If needed, it could be made using any other milk substitute, but the texture is best with coconut milk. It does not taste like coconut – for some reason savory dishes using coconut milk have no residual coconut flavor. Many, many people have eaten dishes that include this recipe, including people who profess to dislike anything coconut, and none of them ever guessed!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegetarian/vegan recipe.

Dairy-Free White Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk

  • 3 TBS margarine or cooking oil
  • 3-4 TBS arrowroot, corn, or tapioca starch
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • additional seasonings as desired – we like Italian seasoning, Herbes de Provence, or Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning
  • 1 small onion, a few mushrooms, 1 stalk celery, or other desired vegetable, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine, broth, or other liquid

Method:
Melt margarine or heat oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add minced garlic (and any other vegetable you need – ie: mushrooms for cream-of-mushroom soup substitute), and sauté until tender.

Mix 3 TBS starch into the saucepan, it should become a thick paste. If it’s runny, add a bit more starch until it’s thick.

Whisk in the white wine, broth, or other liquid. Continue whisking, and pour in the coconut milk.

While whisking the sauce, add salt and any spices. Continue whisking over medium heat, as the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens.

Once the sauce thickens, use in any recipe as directed.

postheadericon Pizza Crust

This is an adaptation of a recipe created by Carol Fenster, the author of Cooking Free, which I highly recommend – I’ve never had one of her recipes fail, no matter how much I adapt it!

This recipe serves our pizza-loving family of 5-6 without leftovers. If you have a smaller family (or people who aren’t as pizza-loving), freeze the extra crusts after the first baking period, and keep them for when you want a quick pizza and don’t have time to make it from scratch.

My gluten-eating friends and family say that this gluten free, egg free, dairy free recipe beats many pizzaria crusts.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe. This recipe can be easily made vegan/vegetarian by switching the gelatin for agar agar.

2 pizzas just out of the oven

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups amaranth flour (or millet, sorghum, or bean)
  • 1 cup starch (corn, tapioca, or arrowroot) — OR 2 1/3 cups pre-mixed gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup rice bran or flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 4 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin (or agar-agar if vegetarian/vegan)
  • 1 tsp basil and 1 tsp oregano (or 2 tsp italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water/milk substitute – mix half hot water with half milk substitute (rice, soy, coconut, almond, whatever)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
Overseeing the pizza

Method
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

Pour the dry ingredients (through salt) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for a few moments so they are well combined.

Add the olive oil and vinegar to the water/milk combo. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for a couple minutes, until it forms a big ball.

At this point, decide if you are making 1 very large pizza or several small pizzas. Plop the dough onto the lined baking sheet(s), and use your fingers to stretch it out. The dough is sticky, so either use some extra flour to coat your hands, or wet your hands so the dough won’t stick to them. Press and stretch until the dough is thin and shaped as desired (we usually make individual-sized pizzas, or a few individual and one larger one).

Bake WITHOUT TOPPINGS for 20 minutes.

Tagging the pizza

Remove (they will be golden brown), and place desired toppings (marinara or White Sauce, veggies, meat toppings, cheese substitutes) – you’re only limited by your imagination! (If you are going to freeze some, you should freeze the shells before toppings)

Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until bubbly and hot. Slice and eat – yum!

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