Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekly Menu - June 29

I found a few 'raw food' cookbooks at the Library. (Can you call them raw food 'cook' books?) I am just doing a general plan this week and here are some things I am trying that are 'raw' foods:

From RAWvolution
Summer Corn Salad- made last night. very good
Borcht - made for lunch. ummm..yucky:( and my kitchen looked like there had been a crime committed.
Breakfast Bars
Creamy Ranch Dressing
Mock Tuna

From Raw Food Real World
Grapefruit Salad

I was able to find these cookbooks through inner-library loan. I don't think I can write any of the recipes here as that would be a copy write infringement but here is a link I found to the ingredients used in some of these recipes. I am also cooking meat for dinner for DH and DS...but keeping it simple. I made some chicken breasts for DH last night and will make some burgers too this week.

Last week I made two delicious recipes from Happy Foody including Raw Strawberry Pie and Raw Caesar Dressing. Both were delicious. I did not use the white miso for the dressing as soy is a no-no for me but I DID use the flax oil which I think gave it a great 'fishy' taste as Caesar dressing should have. I made plenty of smoothies. One day for lunch I was so hungry. Some friends had been over and by the time they left it was well past lunch so I put a bunch of frozen fruit in the blender thinking I was being such a good girl. Well, the bottom wasn't on and when I went to pour it in the glass it was ALL over the lets just say I had Lays chips for lunch that day and leave it at that! My favorite juice combo however is a bunch of kale and parsley, a couple of stalks of celery and some green apple. Very good!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yummy Stir Fry

Yum!!!! I searched the world over for a stir fry sauce that tasted great but had no soy! I do believe I have found one. I saute any favorite vegetable with some chicken (or not) in sesame oil. The sesame oil gives great flavor especially when you are not using soy, a typically key ingredient for stir fry recipes. At almost the end of the cooking add some chopped garlic taking care not to burn it. Then add...the sauce which can be doubled and is not exact science. It is primarily DH and I eating this dish so you may find that you want to make more sauce because you have more vegetables and meat to cover.

The Sauce:
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 TB brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (I use the plastic lemon juice on this one.)
1 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch.

Mix above well and pour over sauce. It will thicken quickly. I also have in my 'notes' that you can include 1/2 tsp ginger in the sauce. DH can't stand ginger, so I leave that out! I serve this on top of brown rice. If I have leftover rice, I add it after I add the sauce and sometimes add some additional chicken broth to soften up the rice. I have also added sliced almonds or even some sesame seeds. The possibilities are endless. This is so good!

c 2008

Chicken Nuggets...Veggie Disguise

A friend recommended the book Deceptively Delicious. You basically steam a bunch of veggies, puree them and then sneak them in your kids' food! I tried to sample this technique with some Lays potato chip crusted chicken nuggets!! Here are the steps I did:

1) Cut boneless chicken into strips or chunks. (I prefer thighs vs. breasts and you can find the boneless ones at many stores including Costco.)

2) Dust the pieces in gfcf flour of any kind. I keep a blend of flours in my freezer taken from Big Batch Cookies.

3) Dip the floured chicken pieces in a vegetable puree. I used spinach puree. The final product will show this color. Maybe try these out for St. Paddy's Day.

4) Roll the nuggets in crushed Lays chips. I made several batches. In some I used just hand crushed Lays. This is what the final product picture is below. In others I ground up the Lays in the blender. This is the picture below in the pan. I think the blender actually works better for a more cohesive final product.

5) Fry them in liberal oil in preferably a cast iron pan. QVC has some descent priced enameled cast iron. Many of the 'treated' cast irons that are on the market are cheap but treated with soy oil which is a no no for us. I did this on the stove over medium heat.

Below is the final product. Yes Andrew DID eat them; however the room was dark and I fed them to him while he was on the computer. Yes I'm bad. The next day I put them on a plate and he balked at them. I informed them that he had eaten them the day before and they had Lays chips as the coating. That sold him. Still I do not see him eating these daily. I find them exceptionally yummy but not fat free LOL! They say that if you fry things in hot enough oil and do it correctly that it is almost the same as baked. Whoever 'they' are.....i think I'll believe them on this one because they are too good to pass up.

Meyer Lemon Sorbet

I haven't blogged any recipes in here you go. I made a wonderful lemon sorbet in my ice cream maker today. It is Meyer lemon season. These are slightly sweeter than the traditional lemon and they work wonderfully in this recipe.

The night before making, dissolve 1 1/2 cups sugar in 1 1/2 cups water in a pan on the stove. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups Meyer lemon juice squeezed from the lemons. Regular lemons would work fine as well but PLEASE do not use lemon juice from a bottle or 'plastic lemon.' It defeats the purpose of fresh sorbet and you should just proceed to the freezer section and buy some wonderful pre-made sorbets if this is the route you choose. Add the zest from one of the lemons using a microplane grater. Put this in the refrigerator overnight (or at least a few hours to make sure it is cool.) Then proceed to making the sorbet per the directions of your ice cream maker. As with most 'non-milk' ice creams, this is better when consumed the same day. You can always set it out on the counter for a half hour or so before serving if you eat it at a later date.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu Planning Day

Here we Menu Planning Day again. Last week I tried two recipes off of HappyFoody. The Raw Strawberry Pie is great and the Raw Caesar Dressing is very good. I did not use the miso in the dressing because I have problems with soy. I DID use the flax oil to mix with the pine nuts and I think that gave it a 'fishy' flavor of typical Caesar Dressing. I will be doing both of the recipes again for sure. I may even do the pie this week again if I get to the farm to get some fresh strawberries!

This week:
Sunday: Leftover Lasagna
Monday: Chicken Nuggets in baked cornmeal crust and vegetable
Tuesday: Hamburgers and vegetable
Wednesday: Steak on top of salad and veggies that come in my bi-weekly vegetable delivery
Thursday- Sunday: heading "up north." I will have to plan for that but it will include lots of prepackaged yums and canned stuff.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yummy Lasagna - allergy free

Elena from the Everyday Miracles Yahoo group posted a Lasagna recipe a week or so ago so I decided to give it a go....with a few modifications.

Step 1: Make Bechamel sauce
Melt 2 TBS appropriate butter substitute. I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. Add 2 TBS gfcf flour. I used my mix that I store in the freezer taken from Big Batch Cookies. Whisk these two things together constantly until they form a thick paste. Then add milk substitute, a little at a time stirring constantly. It will be thin, but keep whisking. I kept adding rice milk until I had about 2 cups total product. I did not add it all at one time. I used 365 Rice Milk...and oops...i only had vanilla. It was a bit sweet but fine in the final product. I also added some salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. I think that brightened it up a bit. Take care not to burn the sauce. Per Elena, if you do turn it brown, start will not be tasty.

Step 2: assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Spread one cup of tomato sauce (with your choice of seasonings) in the bottom of a 9X13" pan. I used Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce.
3. Arrange 3 or 4 precooked gfcf lasagna noodles over the sauce taking care that they do not touch each other or the side of the pan. I was able to put 3 length-wise and then I broke one in half and put it on the end. I used DeBoles Rice no boil lasagna noodles which according to their website are available at Walmart. (I did not buy them there- but I didn't look for them their either.)
4. Put some bechamel sauce to cover the noodles
5. Cover the sauce with a layer of fresh baby spinach noodles. Again, per Elena, frozen spinach doesn't cut it.
6. Spread another cup of tomato sauce on top of the spinach.
7. Arrange another 3 or 4 noodles on top
8. More bechamel.
9. More baby spinach
10. More tomato Sauce.

I stopped at this point but as I read Elena's post, she did do another layer. Easily done. I do not like, nor can I eat, soy cheese but this is fantastic without it. The noodles must be covered completely with sauce as they are 'no pre-boil' and need to effectively boil while in the oven.

Step 3: Cook.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake approximately 40 minutes. (Not rocket science here. Poke at the noodles and see how they feel.) Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until bubbly. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Elena says this can be made with meat instead of the spinach...and of course there are 100 other variations.

Kid review: Andrew didn't like it...wouldn't taste it... but I'll keep presenting it. (Andrew has about 10 foods he eats currently. Thankfully most of them are healthy!) I am most indebted to Elena because I've wanted Lasagna for SO long and didn't think it could be made yummy without the cheese. Much thanks!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Chicken Thighs with Pomegranate Molasses

Tonight I made Chicken Thighs with Pomegranate Molasses on Gluten Free Girl's Blog. I actually followed the recipe in the book which calls for twice (8 chicken thighs) the ingredients as on the blog recipe. I am glad I did because it was very good and I will enjoy the leftovers. Mark even praised it and about 90% of the time he gets out the BBQ sauce for any chicken. A few comments should you decide to make:

It could easily be made with boneless skinless thighs. I personally have grown tired of boneless skinless breasts. The thighs are harder to overcook. I think the skin gives it flavor when you brown it, but Mark didn't like to pick the skin off.

I don't love garlic- so I halved the amount and it was very good.

Mark did think that the nuts were superfluous. I loved them. Easy fix: serve them on the side.

I found the pomegranate molasses at Whole Foods in the baking aisle.

Not sure on the side dishes for this main dish. Any thoughts???


When I was in college, we would truck to Zingerman's every Sunday afternoon when the dorms didn't serve dinner. (Zingerman's is now known internationally---but we supported them 'back in the day' a couple of years after they opened.) They have some incredible sandwiches, my favorite of which is "Tom's new Job" aka- a turkey ruben. However...I think I have a new favorite and it was made in my very own kitchen. I took our leftover beef tenderloin from Christmas Feast and put it on some gluten and casein free toasted bread from Sugar Kisses. Add some tomatoes and some omega 3 mayo. Yum!!!!!!!!

Fancy Dinner Menu

I'm re-writing this today since we have had our two GFCF feasts (and I took some more food pictures.) We had Mark's sister and family over Saturday and then today (Christmas) my folks came over. For both we had the same side dishes. It was great...

Roasted Potatoes : simply roast red potatoes and sliced onions with salt, pepper and olive oil in a 425degree F oven.

Green beans: again..simply steam green beans and store in fridge until right before dinner. Quickly saute the beans with sliced, crushed or whole almonds at the last minute in some EVOO.

Tossed Salad with various veggies and some avocado and homemade croutons from Sugar Kisses gluten free brown bread. My dad noshed on the croutons not even knowing they were gluten free. I just cubed the bread, tossed with EVOO and salt and pepper and baked in a 400 degree F oven for about 8 minutes. (Keep an eye on them.)

On Saturday for the main dish : Ta variation of crockpot coconut chicken. I load approximately 4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs in the crockpot, add 2 cans of light coconut milk and 2 cans of chopped tomatoes. I add some salt and pepper and a substantial dash of thyme. When it was done, I put the sauce through a gravy strainer that also took some of the grease away. It isn't really a 'gravy' but it is good on the potatoes.

For Christmas my folks bought some beef tenderloin and we cooked it up. It was wonderful.

Dessert: Namaste brownies with coconut ice cream (home-made- see below) and sides of warmed mistake fudge, chopped almonds and chocolate chips. This was incredible. Everyone liked the coconut ice cream and i was a bit nervous about that. I wish I had taken a picture of the dessert!

For the coconut ice cream: mix 2 cans coconut milk (NOT light), 1 can almond milk, 3/4 cup honey or agave and 'vanilla.' You can use gluten free vanilla however I had only vanilla beans. I scraped half a pod into the honey and then also put the pod in the honey for half the day to let it infuse. I put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours before loading it in the ice cream mixer.

On Christmas day we are having beef tenderloin instead of the chicken.

Can anyone guess what my present was from my SIL...COOKBOOKS!!! I'll put that in another post.

Spreadable Fudge....aka an incredible mistake

I tried my hand at milk free fudge. Most Christmas fudge is made with sweetened condensed milk. My finished product is delicious but it isn't is almost a frosting but I think WAY better than regular frosting. I just spread some on a gfcf Christmas cookie. And you can eat it with a spoon....and it would be delicious on ice cream ....oh...the recipe:

dump 1 can coconut milk (not lite), 2- 12 oz packages of approved chocolate chips in a sauce pan and melt. Add 1/4 cup sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup chunky almond butter. Put in cake pan (any dimension- it will just change the thickness) and cool in the fridge Again- this isn't is just incredible chocolate goodness on a spoon, or a cookie or on ice cream or.... add an idea in the comments. I have a lot of it (and it is probably 200 calories or more per TBS.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan- Gluten and Casein Free

I finally made the breakfast cookies last week. YUM!!!! We only have 2 (maybe 3) that eat these so I made a whole batch of the dry ingredients, added half that to half the wet and stored the remainder of the dry for a later date. I can not stress this enough- try them. There are a LOT of ingredients and some were a bit expensive (rice protein)...but it got me thinking of other places to use those ingredients. Since this was a cupboard meal, you can certainly make substitutions and see how yours come out!!!

As for this week's meals. I do NOT feel inspirational!

Sunday: Tacos
Monday: Potatoes w/ chili on top. Chili is in the freezer. I didn't get to this last week.
Tuesday: Taco Salad;)
Wednesday: Spaghetti or lasagna - depending on effort I want to expend. Would like to use the zucchinis I have in this.
Thursday: Salads topped with Chicken and 'stuff.'
Friday: Steak and broccoli
Saturday: Whatever....

Cookie time!

Christmas cookie time. I whipped up a batch of dough to make cookies from one of those cookie did not work! The shooter that is...going in the garbage I think. I pulled out SDSK II and found a vanilla cookie recipe. Online I found a recipe based on this for a big batch on only sometimes clever blog. For starters I mixed a large batch of flour based off the big batch recipe with amaranth, brown rice, sweet rice flours and potato starch. Then I scaled back and scooped out of that bag to make the recipe in SDSKII. Judging from the amount of dough I wish I had made the big batch but we will see how the cookies turn out tomorrow and then perhaps make a larger amount. The Only Sometimes Clever Blog is a new favorite for me. Stay tuned for how they turn out. The dough is in the fridge to make cut-outs with Andrew tomorrow. I decided to scaffold and make the dough ahead of time.


Cookie update

We rolled our cookies that I made yesterday. I will definitely make a big batch of them as this batch that I made equated to less than 2 dozen! And they were small. Also, bigger cookies were better. I made all sizes and the smaller ones got too 'done' and crispy. The larger ones were better. I have to admit, although tasty, they just weren't as good as my Grandma's made with real butter! The texture was very good with the flour mix I used though. They were not grainy. I may make them with a bit of coconut oil next time. I know that isn't a resounding review but they are much better than the box gfcf mixes I have made in the past. The dough was terrific!!! (Yes we eat raw dough.)


Another update...

A few days ago I made up a 'big batch' of cookie dough and yesterday turned them into chocolate dipped moons (some were crescents but they were too hard to form so I went for a 'full moon.') I also made thumbprints with American Spoon Food Spoon Fruit in the middle. They are so good. They are not too sweet which I think is good. For the moons, I put gfcf Trader Joes chocolate chips in the micro with a spoon of Spectrum Shortening and melted it. I sprinkled powdered sugar over both. I personally think this dough works very well for bigger cookies. I had a thumbprint with my coffee for breakfast;)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Scream, you Scream....Ice Cream!!!!

For my birthday my mom got me an ice cream maker! Thanks Mom!! A couple of days ago I made Almond Joy Ice cream. It was incredible. As noted in the comments on the linked blog, I did make a few changes, I didn't add as much cocoa, i only added a handful of chocolate chips and I didn't freeze or chop them. I did the almonds in a magic bullet but will chop by hand next time. Also I think that even the small amount of cocoa did have an affect on Andrew and myself. I am going to make some 'plain' with 1 can of coconut milk, some agave syrup (you could do honey but I like the subtle taste of the agave) and some almond or hazelnut milk this week. I also bought some candy canes to mix in. If you are a milk free family- i highly recommend putting an ice cream maker on your wish list. (The linked one is the 'best' on the market. ) You will not find a better milk free ice cream in the grocery store.

Cranberry Slow Cooker Chicken

I hope I write this out correctly- but if not, it won't matter because slow cooker recipes are so forgiving. It is an from a diabetic slow cooker cookbook (with Amy modifications.)

Put 4-6 bone in chicken thighs in the crockpot. Skin on or off.... honestly any type of poultry would work out just fine.- bone or not.

-1/2 cup cranberry juice (I just put about 2 TBS of frozen concentrate in a measuring cup and added hot water to 1/2 cup.)
-2 TBS Dijon mustard
-dash (or to taste) of cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper

pour on chicken.

The originally recipe called for chopped onion. I substituted dried onion. NOT soup mix!!! (That stuff is nasty for you!)

Put on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours. Pull chicken out and cover with foil to keep warm.

Mix 2 Tbs cornstarch and 2 Tbs cold water. Add to liquid in the crockpot and turn on high for 15 minutes until thickened. You could also just put the thin liquid over the chicken and that would be fine.

I served this with broccoli cooked in the microwave.

dinner- squash and black bean saute

I love sauteed squash but hate to cut it from the 'shell.' Trader Joes sells it already cut up. Tonight's simple dinner included sauteing the squash. Then I added a can of black beans. I tossed a bag of quick cooking rice (frozen) in the microwave, also from TJs and on top I put sliced avocado. I don't heat the avocado. I leave it cold as it is a nice contrast. I did add salt and pepper and you could also add cilantro.

Chicken Rice Soup

just threw this together...

cook 4 chicken thighs (boneless skinless) in the oven with some salt and pepper- 350F approx 20 minutes

saute 1/2 onion, a handful of cut baby carrots, a clove or two of garlic.
add 3-4 cups chicken broth
add cut up cooked chicken
add frozen broccoli
add favorite chicken seasoning. I use
Mickey T's Chicken Rub but any chicken seasoning would do.

Heat or let it sit awhile.
Cook up some frozen rice (
Trader Joes has this) and then toss it in.
Hubby adds some Franks Hot Sauce...

Very easy. Of course you can do any veggies! Very soothing....

Pork Tenderloin Korean

There is a wonderful recipe called Pork Tenderloin Korean I make from Saint Louis Days Saint Louis Nights cookbook. The recipe is to marinate and then cook in the oven. I decided to try a 'crock pot' version where I put the marinating liquids and spices in the crockpot. Here is what I did:

Wrap 2-3 pork tenderloins in 6-8 strips bacon. (I didn't worry about fastening with toothpicks.)
chop 1 onion
peal some (3-6) cloves of garlic...don't chop..
put these in the crockpot.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (choose tamari without wheat for gluten free)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pour over the pork. Turn on low for 6-8 hours.

It was very yummy. It does pull apart so don't serve it if the queen is coming. If you are soy sensitive then this one won't work for you. (I actually think I did have a reaction but it was so good!!! )

Friday, June 13, 2008

Meatloaf and Mickey T's Spices

Andrew and I mixed up some meatloaf. He was excited to help me. He wanted very much to play his game but I told him I had to get dinner together and he was welcome to help me. He did a great job NOT pouring in the ketchup and mustard before it was time. I even had to get a new ketchup bottle open and thought surly he'd dump it in but he waited for my signal..mostly. I did remind him a time or two but it is still progress.

Another note- this past week Mark and I celebrated 15 years of marital bliss:) I love my hubby. This pan was given as a shower gift...and I don't believe it has ever been used. It still had the wrapper on finally off it came to be used.
Oh- the recipe:

1/2 cup oatmeal in the magic bullet (or blender)
2 eggs whipped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 TBS Mickey & T's All American Seasoning*
3/4 lb ground beef**
3/4 lb ground veal
(c) copyright 2007 by Amy Lapain

Mix above together with hands and put in loaf pan or form in a ball on a cookie sheet. Cook in a 350F oven. Cook to 155 degrees F (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.) Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

* I originally bought the seasoning at an art fair. I questioned Mickey and he does not use 'additives' in the seasonings. You can order online. I had read at one time that some of the seasonings were available at Holiday Market in Royal Oak but I don't see that on the website at this time. This is a mixture of a bunch of spices and is VERY good. Most of his seasonings do not have salt. This one does. My two other favs are the rib rub and the Mexican. Because we don't use those nasty taco packets (with wheat- not to mention other junk) it is great to sprinkle on meat or beans to make tacos.

** You can use any combination of meat to add up to 1 1/2 lbs.

Yummy Granola

I made a batch of granola today. I love the recipe in one of Kathleen Daeleman's books but decided to wing it and just go off on my own. Here is my step by step....

Put 4 cups oatmeal (not instant) in a large bowl.
Crush 1/2-1 cup nuts of your choice and add to oatmeal. (I used walnuts.)
Add slightly more than 1/4 cup each agave and honey. (You could easily just use one or the other.) add 1-2 tsp salt in with the honey before mixing with the oatmeal.
Add 1/3 cup unflavored oil* (I used canola.)

Mix above together. At that point I needed more liquid. I added about 1/4 cup water and a squirt more honey. The next time I make it I will measure differently/better and re-post but you don't want it dry or gummy when you put it in the oven. That said, one time I added (by mistake) double the liquid, and just cooked it longer. It was fine.

Andrew also said at that point wanted to taste a cinnamon stick I had bought last night and I said ..'Ah Ha! cinnamon!' so I added a sprinkle on top. I am also going to add vanilla next time. (As Emeril would say.."It ain't rocket science!)

Put in a thin layer on a large greased cookie sheet (or 2.) I used a large glass 9X13 pan.

Put in approximately a 200F oven and keep stirring every 20-30 minutes for about 90-120 minutes. Many recipes use a higher temperature but I like 200F because you don't have to 'babysit' it as much. You can do this in the dehydrator I am told but have not tried.

I have some pears and plums in the dehydrator and plan on adding those as well. Coconut is also a good addition to granola and can be added toward the end of the baking.

* note on the oil. The store bought brands have quite a bit of oil. The no fat brands have none. I like a bit of oil. I think it helps the oatmeal not to burn.

Pork, Apple and Cider Stew

I am making a Pork, Apple and Cider Stew from the Christian Homekeeper. As usual, I don't make it to recipe. I was going to do it in the crockpot- then decided to do it as written in the oven- THEN...decided it was such a beautiful day that I tossed it together around 2 pm and Andrew and I headed out to the park. I made some Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread with rice milk. I just took the cornbread out and it is yummy. I have made the Gluten free pantry cornbread in the past and it was not great.

I did modify a few things in the recipe. I used 1/2 amount chicken broth and 1/2 amount cider per Sylvia's post on the dinner results
. I used turnips and parsnips vs. the rutabaga as I could not find one at the market. The granny smith apples I used fell apart. Not sure what the recommended Jonathan would have done. Also Mark does not like rosemary so I put in thyme. Because we don't do flour I also omitted the flour when searing the meat. I used pork shoulder chops. Also I did not puree the vegetables at the end. It was tasty, not too sweet. I really enjoyed it. I asked Mark if he liked it and he said "It's OK." He does not PRAISE anything unless it is something he loves. He also does not love stews... but i will probably make it again- maybe in a month.

Above is a bonus item... a picture of Andrew at the park. It was such a great fall day there was no way I could turn down going to the park!

Bean and Sausage Soup

My friend B. gave me a great crock-pot recipe for Bean and Sausage soup. It is from THE BEST SLOW COOKER COOKBOOK EVER. Today I tried making a 'quick' version. It was quite tasty. I don't ever use exact amounts...sorry!

Saute 1/2-1 onion and a red pepper.
(also saute garlic if you wish. We have had oodles of garlic in the past few days.)

1 can (12 oz) white beans
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes

approximately 2 cups chicken broth
3-4 precooked sausages (spicy or sweet- your choice)
a dash of salt
a pinch of pepper
a bit of dried basil

Cook and let simmer for 'awhile.' Add a box (10 oz) of frozen spinach. No need to thaw. I had a large bag of frozen spinach so I just added a couple of handfuls. Bring back to a boil and then let simmer again. You could eat it right away but it simmered for 90 min or so because some friends stopped by and then I decided to go for a walk before I ate. I had to add additional broth and water to thin it out. Also in my haste I added too much salt- so I threw in a cut up raw potato (in LARGE chunks) and it soaked up the salt. Good trick! Take out the potato before you serve the soup.

This soup is like many soups.... it is palette and you can add what you like, switch out the beans to another type, add other veggies.... add some Franks hot sauce...

I made a green lettuce salad with avocado, tomato, red pepper and homemade gfcf croutons that I made with bread from Sugar Kisses.

Mediterranean Burgers for dinner tonight

This is very loosely based off "Spicy Beef kabobs" from The New Mayo Cookbook. The recipe calls for cumin as well but I do not like cumin. They also serve it with a yogurt sauce but I had pre-made hummus in the fridge which made it easier. (There were quite a few other differences as well...I never seem to be able to follow a recipe.) Andrew really liked them.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup oatmeal pulverized in food processor (use gfcf if you are worried about cross contamination.)
1/4 cup pine nuts chopped fine in food processor
1 or 2 cloves garlic chopped fine
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
juice from one lemon
approximately 1/8 cup water

Form into small patties. (Makes about 12 patties.)

Grill or 'fry' on skillet. I used non-stick and it did not need additional oil. I generally don't use non-stick but I bought a new griddle for pancakes and thought I'd give it a whirl for these. It worked out great and I was able to cook them all at once. (I am sure you could use the broiler as well.)

Serve with hummus. I served microwaved winter squash with it. I put the whole squash in the microwave with vent holes. It took about 10 -15 minutes.

Coconut Crockpot Chicken

I got this recipe Sylvia's Crockpot Chicken. I did not add the cumin as I do not like it. I also used regular caned organic tomatoes and added 1/2 diced onion, a handful of dried basil and a diced red pepper. The side dish---mashed potatoes: I added some of the cooking liquid to the mashed was SO good! FYI: you find the light coconut milk by the Asian cooking section usually at the grocery. Trader Joes also has it. Mark gave it 2 thumbs up...and he never gives a false compliment.'s GFCF.

Coconut Chicken
8-10 chicken legs, skin removed

1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes with basil and onion or about 1/2 quart home canned tomatoes
1 - 15 oz can lite coconut milk, not the sweetened kind.
1 Tbsp cumin

Combine all in a large crock pot. Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice with a green salad.