Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Allergy-Free Carrot Cake

1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup potato starch flour
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup crystalline fructose OR 1/2 cup sugar OR 1/2 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups coconut oil or butter - melted
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBSP ground chia seeds mixed with 12 TBSP water
3 cups shredded carrot
*1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup crushed pineapple in juice

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans.

Whisk together flours, fructose, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Combine with coconut oil and vanilla. Thoroughly stir in chia seed mixture. Add pineapple, carrot and nuts. Pour mixture into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks.

Frost with favorite icing.

Carrot Cake

2 cups white sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans or a large casserole.

Whisk together sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Combine with oil and vanilla. With an electric mixer beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the carrots, pineapple and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frost with cream cheese frosting!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easy Broccoli Soup

6 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 cups broccoli florets
1 onion - quartered
2 cloves garlic - halved
1 carrot - peeled and chopped
*1 small russet potato - peeled and chopped (optional)
1-2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Place broth, broccoli, onion, garlic, carrot and potato in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Puree soup in a food processor or blender until smooth and return to pot. Add milk to desired consistency and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with blue cheese crumbles or croutons.

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Milk - unsweetened coconut or almond milk
Garlic -omit and add a little onion powder with seasonings

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup *unsalted butter at room temperature (i used salted)
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Ganache filling:
8 oz semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate - finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP butter at room temperature
4-6 tsp Irish Whiskey

For the Baileys frosting:
2 cups *unsalted butter at room temperature
5-7 cups powdered sugar
7-10 TBSP Bailey's Irish Cream (or Carolyns - it's better)

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350. Bring Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and sour cream on high setting. Add to the Guinness mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and add to flour mixture; bet briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among lined cupcake cups; 3/4 full. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Ganache Filling: Place the chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until smooth. Add the butter and Whiskey and stir until combined. Let cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

To fill cupcakes: Using a serrated knife, cut out the centers of each cooled cupcake, going 2/3 of the way in. Transfer ganache to a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Baileys Frosting: Using a stand mixer or hand mixer on high speed, beat butter 4-5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add Baileys and beat until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until desired taste and consistency.

Using a decorating tip, frost cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.

Beef Pot Pie with Beer Biscuits

4 bacon strips - coarsely chopped
2.5 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
1.5 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp black pepper
1 large onion - chopped
3 medium carrots - cut into small rounds
3 celery stalks - sliced
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/3 cup flour
1 can beef broth
1/4 cup water
2-3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups all purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 TBSP butter - room temperature cut into small cubes
3/4 cup beer

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and brown. Remove to a crock pot, reserving grease. Season beef with salt and pepper; cook and stir over med-high heat in bacon grease until browned. Transfer to a bowl.

Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pan and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir well. Stir in broth, water, beef, Worcestershire and thyme; bring to a boil. Add all to the crock pot, stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours.

For biscuits, whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough beer to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 6 biscuits. In the last 1/2-1 hour of cooking - place biscuits on top of stew and cover with a towel and lid.
*For a more herby biscuit add 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp thyme to the dry ingredients.

**Allergy-free Substitutions:
Flour - all purpose Gluten-free flour
Biscuits - replace with GF Bisquick mixed according to instructions and replacing liquid with beer

Savory Bean & Spinach Soup

3 cans vegetable or chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce or puree
1 can white beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup onion - finely chopped
*2 cloves garlic - minced (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
*1/2 cup kelp noodles (optional)
5-6 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach (or kale)

In a crockpot, combine broth, tomato sauce, beans, rice, onion, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 -7 hours or on high 2.5-3.5 hours.

Stir spinach/kale into hot soup and let sit at least 10 minutes. Top with grated parmesan.

 *This also works on the stove top. Combine all ingredients, except spinach/kale, in a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook until rice is tender. Stir in spinach/kale and let sit at least 10 minutes.

Mushroom Stuffed Steaks

4 - thick cut boneless steaks
2-3 cups assorted mushrooms - sliced
olive oil
1/2 cup onion - finely chopped
1/2 cup brandy (i used whiskey)
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup beef stock
1 cup cream or milk (if using coconut or almond milk - whisk with 3 TBSP cornstarch)
salt & pepper
*2 tsp gravy mix (optional)

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add onion - cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add half the mushrooms, cook 3-5 minutes, or until onions and mushrooms are golden. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining mushrooms; cook 3-4 minutes, or until mushrooms are golden-stirring frequently. Stir in brandy, bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 1-2 minutes until liquid is nearly gone.
Add sherry, beef stock and gravy mix. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in cream, return to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer 15-20 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

Meanwhile, cut a pouch in the side of each steak, to within a half inch of the edge. Stuff steaks with onion mushroom mixture and secure closed with toothpicks. Heat either olive oil or bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. Add steaks and cook 6-8 minutes or to desired doneness. Turn steaks once. Serve sauce over steaks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

1 cup Guinness
1/2 cup butter - cubed
1 cup crystalline fructose (or 2 cups sugar)
3/4 cup baking cocoa
energy egg replacer equal to 2 eggs (or 2 eggs)
2/3 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream (or 2/3 cup sour cream)
3 tsp vanilla
*1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
*1/2 cup potato starch flour
*1/2 cup almond flour
*(or 2 cups all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP butter - softened
1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1/4 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp guinness

Grease a 9 inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350.

In a saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until well blended. In a bowl, whisk together egg replacer, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack and remove sides of pan.

For the frosting:
Beat together butter, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Separately combine cornstarch and beer. Add to butter mixture along with powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Refrigerate until use.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

3/4 cup + 2 TBSP flour
1/2 TBSP salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
1 TBSP finely minced garlic
1 - 1 1/2 red bell peppers - cut into thin strips or chopped
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup cream
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2-1 cup parmesan
1 lb fettuccine

Preheat oven to 350.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Coat each piece of chicken.
In a large skillet, heat 4 TBSP olive oil over medium heat until hot and simmering. Carefully place each chicken breast in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. To ensure the crust stays in tact, don't scoot the chicken around or flip early. Remove the chicken to a foil lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package instructions.

Wipe out skillet and heat a fresh 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 TBSP flour; continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a low simmer, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. In a bowl whisk together the cream and cornstarch; add to skillet along with spinach and milk. Continue to simmer and stir until the spinach is wilted and sauce begins to thicken. Stir in parmesan.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and toss with additional cheese. Serve with chicken and sauce.

**Allergy-free Substitutions:
Flour - all purpose Gluten-free flour
Milk - So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk
Pasta - GF fettuccine or noodles of choice
Garlic - omit
Parmesan - omit
Cream - So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk reduced to 1/4 cup

I also suggest adding a TBSP of butter after sauteing the garlic and bell pepper and increasing the flour to 3 TBSP.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Orange Chicken and Fried Rice

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 egg - beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Oil for frying

Orange Sauce: (i double this recipe if cooking for more than 2 people)
1 cup water
2 TBSP fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP orange zest
1 rounded cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger root - minced
1/2 tsp garlic -minced
red pepper flakes
3 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Fried Rice:
olive oil
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup finely chopped black forest ham
1 large carrot - finely chopped
1/2 onion - finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 tsp ginger root - minced
*1/3 cup frozen peas (optional)
3 TBSP soy sauce
2 eggs

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Dip chicken pieces in egg and then toss in flour to coat. Heat a deep fryer to 375 degrees and cook chicken in batches until golden.
If you dont have a deep fryer, heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet and cook chicken, turning frequently, until golden.

In a large saucepan combine the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon and orange juices. Blend well over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add brown sugar, garlic, ginger and orange zest. Bring to a boil and cook 3-5 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; add slowly to boiling sauce and stir until thickened.

For the fried rice, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add ham, garlic, ginger, onion, carrot and peas and saute 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and scramble eggs breaking into small pieces. Add vegetables back to pan along with the rice and soy sauce. Heat through.

Serve chicken over rice with orange sauce, garnish with red pepper flakes and enjoy!!

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Soy sauce - GF soy sauce of choice
Flour - all purpose Gluten-free flour
Garlic - omit
Eggs - omit

Unfortunately there really is no substitution for an egg wash used in deep frying that works well. I just pan fried my chicken pieces in oil with salt and pepper.

Pureed Celeriac

You will need a food processor.

2 large celery roots
1/2-3/4 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp parsley
*1/4 cup asiago or parmesan cheese (optional)

Remove the skins from the celery root and chop into small chunks. Place in a large pot, cover in lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Boil until tender and drain. Place all ingredients in a food processor (seasoned to suit taste) and puree until smooth and creamy. A yummy alternative to mashed potatoes!

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Milk - So Delicious Unsweetened coconut milk