Monday, March 28, 2011

Kale Chips

My kids LOVE kale chips! A perfect combination of nutty, salty flavors and a crunchy texture makes them an irresistible, nutritious snack.

Kale Chips
10 curly kale leaves (about one bunch)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. coconut minos or gluten-free soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Rinse kale leaves and cut off their ribs and stems.
Dry and tear each leaf into 6 or 8 pieces.
Toss kale pieces in a large bowl with oil and soy sauce.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray or rub with oil.
Place leaves on cookie sheets (don’t overlap edges).
Bake at 250 degrees for 32 minutes, or until crisp.
With metal spatula, move leaves to a wire rack to cool.

Snack to your heart’s content!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy as Apple Pie

Everybody needs a handful of simple recipes that can impress guests without a lot of fuss. This is one of them -- it is predictably delicious every time I bake it. This is an extraordinary treat when apples are at their peak in the fall, but I couldn't wait that long to share this.

My childhood neighbor, Mrs. Roessing, created this recipe years ago. I've never tasted a better apple pie. I've used her filling recipe, and Bette Hagman's pastry recipe for a winning GF/DF pie.


Tender Vinegar Pastry
From Bette Hagman’s “Gluten-Free Gourmet” cookbook.

1½ c. rice flour
½ c. potato starch flour
¼ c. tapioca flour
     (or use 2-1/4 cup of your favorite GF flour blend -- Bob's Red Mill works well)
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 t. xanthan gum
¾ c. shortening (Spectrum Non Hydrogenated Shortening is good)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T. vinegar
2 T. cold water

Sift flours, salt, sugar and xanthan gum into a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening. Blend together egg, vinegar and cold water. Stir them into the flour mix. This will seem quite moist, but a rice crust needs to be more moist than a wheat flour one. (I simply combine all dry ingredients into a food processor, pulse to "sift", add shortening and pulse to "cut in," then pulse again to mix in egg/liquid). Knead the mixture into a ball.

Separate into two balls and roll, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap. Remove one sheet of plastic wrap and invert into pie tin. Remove final plastic wrap sheet.

To bake a pie crust to be used later, bake in preheated 450° oven for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2 crusts.
(Double the recipe to freeze extra pastry dough -- flatten into quart-sized Ziplock freezer bags.)


Apple Pie Filling
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1½ t. cinnamon
8c. apples, peeled and thinly sliced
     (5-6 Granny Smith or Mutza apples)
1 T. butter

Mix together dry ingredients for pie. Toss with apple slices. Pile apples in crust. Dot with butter. Cover with vented crust or lattice.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Done when juices are boiling and apples are tender.


Try variations based upon available fruit. 
One day I only had 5 cups of apples in the house, so I substituted 3 cups of frozen blueberries -- it was spectactular.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Mom, can I have more Brussels sprouts?"

For those of you who have small kids at home, the words of this blog title aren't often uttered. But honestly, I heard them this evening!

Almost all vegetables, no matter how they are prepared, are gluten free and dairy free. The big challenge lies in getting your kids (or yourself) to enjoy them! Besides plain steamed broccoli or asparagus with sea salt, this recipe is a hit in our home every time it's served:

Buttery Brussels Sprouts

Three big handfulls of Brussels sprouts
1 T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
1 T. Butter (or Nature's Balance Buttery Spread or olive oil)

Wash Brussells Sprouts, and remove any damaged outer leaves. Create a fresh cut on the stem end of each sprout, and make an "X" about 1/4" deep with a paring knife through the stem area. Place in steamer and steam 10 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached. Place in serving bowl. Squeeze a splash of Bragg's and melt butter on top. Stir.

Serve immediately with confidence.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nine-Broken Egg Frittata

An innocent-looking speed bump accosted me today.

I swear I was going the speed limit (or really close to it. . .). I felt a sickening thud as my groceries leaped, then crashed in the back of the minivan. I cringed the rest of the ride home. When I opened the hatch of my minivan, I looked with dismay upon my flat of 30 once-flawless organic eggs as I counted no less than 9 newly broken eggs!

When life gives you lemons, you simply make lemonade, or in this case, a huge frittata.

Nine-Broken Egg Frittata

9 eggs (preferrably not broken, but if the opportunity presents itself, why not?)
1 lb sausage or cubed ham
2 T. olive oil
1/2 large onion
1 large clove garlic
5 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
6+ cups fresh spinach, chopped, or a package of frozen spinach
3 russet potatoes, or 5 small red potatoes, cubed or sliced thinly (hash browns work well, too)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: mushrooms, leeks, tomatoes, fresh herbs, fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brown sausage or ham nicely in a very large (oven proof) frying pan. Drain fat from sausage, and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

Soak sun dried tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes if needed to soften. Mince.

Heat olive oil in pan, and sauté onion until slightly browned. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.

Mix in sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Set aside in large bowl.

Brown potatoes in olive oil until tender. Combine all ingredients except egg into the large bowl.

Preheat frying pan on medium heat. Scatter all ingredients except egg into the bottom of frying pan. Beat eggs, and pour evenly over all ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is set, about 5 minutes. Place frying pan into oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until set completely.

Cut into pizza-shaped wedges (my kids call this breakfast pizza), and serve with a liberal sprinkling of fontina cheese if you wish.

This should make enough for dinner plus breakfast or school lunches the next day. Bon appetit!