How many ways can you say yum?

Since my last blog, I have had some “oops”, “yuks”, “wows”, and “amazing”s with my culinary endeavors.  Kind of like life, isn’t it?  Not always “peaches and cream”!

We started out really well.  My daughter was giving a speech at school about the relationship between diet (specifically gluten and dairy) and autism.  I was happy to send her with a tray of allergen friendly vegan snickerdoodle cookies from Cybele Pascal’s book, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook to help her convince the class how easy and delicious it can be to feed a child with autism.  As all Cybele’s recipes are, it was a hit all around.

I was anxious to return to Amy Green’s book though, Simply Gluten and Sugar Free.   The cupcakes and cakes chapter left me wanting more!  I started with a couple breakfast selections this time, her crepes and a wonderful multigrain porridge that one wakes up to because it is made in the crockpot.

The crepes were out of this world.  They could not have been easier, and my only regret that morning when they made their debut in my home was that no one was home to share them with me!

The porridge had my taste buds going crazy!  There are eight different gluten free grains in this hot cereal, some of which I had never had before.  The best thing about this recipe was not only is it easy, I found it to be incredibly versatile.  Since it is not sweet to begin with, you can dress it up with fruit and cream for breakfast (I used bananas and coconut milk one day and peaches, coconut milk and cinnamon another), but it does savory very well, too!

The crock pot porridge firmed up really well in the refrigerator overnight and since the recipe made a lot, I felt compelled to be using it in other ways, especially since it packed such a favorable nutritional punch with a powerhouse of gluten free grains!

It really went well dressed up with a little salsa and fresh tomatoes and avocado for lunch the next day.

I also decided I had little to lose by frying it in a little coconut oil.  Since I was frying Amy’s vegetarian black bean burgers for dinner, it was very easy to make room for little grain/rice/porridge “patties”.    They were just as delicious playing a supporting role to the star attraction of this dish, the black bean burgers, which were fantastic!

I decided to keep my crock pot out to try the tapioca pudding.  Let’s just say, I am so glad I did!  I was just a little suspicious about this recipe, being made in a crockpot.  I love tapioca pudding and this formula, as has consistently been the case with Amy’s book, did not disappoint.

Ok, I admitted to loving tapioca pudding and yes, I got a little carried away …

These tiny little vessels were rummage sale finds and old votive holder castoffs from a friend.  With a little work to get all the wax out, they are perfect for all sorts of mini desserts!  It’s pretty hard to tell how small they actually are in these photos, but they probably hold 1 – 2 oz at most.  I love them!

Since I was making raw/living hamburgers, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try Amy’s carrot jicama slaw.  The slaw is not raw, but I liked the idea of pairing the raw hamburgers with any kind of slaw.  Behold the healthy “happy meal”, the mini version of the hamburger and slaw:

And this of course would be the healthy “supersize me” meal:

Two thumbs up here!

Did you ever get everything done and in the oven, only to turn around and realize you forgot to add one of the most important ingredients?  Well, that is what happened next unfortunately.  I went ahead and finished baking the brownies anyway, convincing myself that maybe it did not matter (yeah right).  So now I had a pan of nearly unedible brownies.  Gluten free items are costly and I was not about to throw away this mistake.  Hmmmm.  A little of this and a little of that and magic happened.

I crumbed the brownie in the food processor, balanced the flavor, patted it into a tart pan and rebaked just enough to set the shape.  Filled it with raw chocolate mousse and voila!

I was very glad this did not end up in the garbage!

I know it is hard to beat chocolate, but what came out of the kitchen next seriously went to the top of the list.  It all started with samples at farmer’s market of, dare I say it, cheese.  I rarely eat cheese anymore and really try to avoid the cheese stand at the farmer’s market but something this particular week would not let me pass the stand.  I came home with the best goat’s milk cheese and raw milk cheese.  This is where it went:

It is Amy’s version of Mac and Cheese.  I brought it to a friend for her birthday.  This is before it went into the oven to bake.  Unfortunately, we were so anxious to dig in, I forgot to take a picture after it was baked.  Thankfully, I had a “mini” version at home for my daughter that I made her wait until after I took the picture to eat.

Oh wow!  I did say “top of the list” didn’t I?

I am also still trying to come up with creative ways of using all the almond pulp I am making from my almond milk and this week it was blueberry scones.  These were even better than the carrot zucchini ones from a few posts ago.

Last but not least, in keeping with what has sort of become a mini theme, I used up the leftover cream and crumb mixture from the mini pie contest to make blueberry parfaits with more rummage sale finds.

I made the most wonderful batch of sauerkraut also, and as soon as I filled my 2 quart glass container, it fell on the floor and smashed into hundreds of little pieces.  Ugh …. now that ended in the garbage!  I actually thought about taking a photo of the whole mess on the floor, but thought that was getting a little carried away.  I think you can easily, “get the picture” on your own.

I will continue to make recipes from Amy’ book that I will share with you, but at this point it is definitely safe to say, it is well worth the investment.  At the very least, visit her website, SimplySugarAndGlutenFree.com.  The cookbook does not have any photos other than the ones on the cover, but hopefully the photos of the recipes I have already made will be enough for those of you (like me), who like pictures of food.

Want to see the next book I will be opening?

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