Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

Don't lick your screen
Bring something this Thanksgiving that will knock their socks off.  Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Bread that tastes so good, you won't mind the jokes about crazy allergy stuff.  Serve this with some vegan butter wannabe spread like Smart Balance lite and  enjoy.  This is so yummy.  I have to admit, I don't usually use this much sugar, but the kids have been sick and I usually try to comfort through food.  I know.  No lectures.  But, I needed a treat today too.  Don't kid yourself, this bread isn't super good for you.  You can cut the sugar in half and substitute applesauce for oil if you want it to be healthy. 

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Serves 8
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup masa corn flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I can never get enough)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan.  Mix the flours and dry stuff in a medium bowl.  Put the wet ingredients, including the brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until blended with a standing mixer.  Add in the flour.  Mix well and pour into bread pan.  Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let it cool and enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankgsiving Ideas!

I'm vacillating between making some epic awesomeness that would make Martha drool, or going as simply as possible this Thanksgiving.

I typically go for the as-simple-as-possible routine, but I saw this picture today which has the potential of throwing a giant wrench into the entire easy machine.
photo by: the bitten
I know, huh?  Pretty ridiculous.  And it wouldn't be difficult except I'll have to make homemade gluten free chocolate graham crackers for the crust.

It must be done.

Also, I'm perfecting a cashew cheese that I love and will share with you tomorrow or Wednesday.  It changed my life when I had it in Los Angeles at Real Food Daily.  Their vegan mac and cheese is the most amazing thing ever.  On La Cienega, if you happen to wander around those stomping grounds.  Look it up, but good luck with parking.

So this week, something simple something complex.  Something of an old favorite and something of a brand new one.

Then I also saw a cashew coconut oil cheesecake...

Coming soon....

Mustard Carrot Slaw

Photo by norwichnuts
Vegan Carrot Slaw

This slaw my husband came up with one day when he was trying to figure out what he could eat on his restrictive diet and I wasn't home.  If you want to shake it up and you aren't vegan, you can throw in some tuna.
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chives
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced
  • 1/4 cup mustard (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 rosemary
Mix the mustard and vinegar and spices together.  Toss all the vegetables in a large bowl.  Add the mustard mix.  Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Thai Food Dinner for the Whole Family!

If you've been drooling over my yummy Thai food recipes, now you can enter to win a complete Thai meal that will make more than enough to feed your family and friends.  The giveaway includes rice noodles, chopsticks and Thai Peanut Mix.  Just add coconut milk, or almond milk, vegetables, and you're ready to go!

Just comment on this post your name and email, or "friend" FrugalGluten Free Living on facebook and add a comment on the page.  I'll let you know who wins Monday next week and send out the Dinner.

Good luck!

5 Tips to Surviving House-sitting

So, this past weekend I had the pleasure of staying at a friend's house and watching her kiddos.  For the most part, this was a very painless and fun experience.  I had a few weekends away over the last few months, to really get a feel for what's needed to pack for meals.  My friend is a pretty wholesome eater, so I knew her pantry was pretty well-stocked with basics.  But I put together a game plan for those stays with friends when you've got to be gluten-free and dairy free.
Photo by Adam Belles

  • Do an Inventory
If you can check out the pantry you'll be confined to, it'll help you get an idea to what you'll be dealing with.  Sometimes, it can be awkward asking over the phone, "So, whatcha got in your fridge?"  You don't necessarily want the person to feel obligated to spend a hundred bucks on pre-packaged meals from Trader Joe's....mmmm.....Trader Joe's....I digress.  But if you can get a feel for what you have to work with, you can pack less.  If they have rice, beans and corn tortillas, I'm good to go.  Also, my family can have oatmeal, (I know not all gf people can,) so, knowing the my friend had all these things, I was able to work around our meals.
  • Pack Some Basics
 If you're planning on doing a little baking, don't forget the xanthan gum, or guar gum.  Also, bring flaxseed meal for egg substitution, and rice or almond milk for any dairy needs.
  • Stick to Staples
For my family, this means I bring rice noodles wherever I go.  They're simple, the thin ones can be cooked in 2 minutes, and my kids love them.  It may mean gf cereal and almond milk for your family.  It may mean eating in a rut for a weekend, but sometimes, it's more about survival than exotic new dishes.
  • Get Creative
The best part about staying at someone else's home is being forced to try new things.  It's like getting clothes from a friend rather than buying them at a store.  I think, "I'd never buy it myself, but I really like it."  It expands your tastes and stretches your GF Dairy Free comfort zone.  And if your kids don't eat it, don't worry, they'll only go to bed hungry once before they break down and eat what's in front of them.
  • Be Strategic (AKA, Pick Your Battles)
I sat down and drew out a loose idea of what the meals would look like each day.  Then I baked a double batch recipe of my chocolate pumpkin muffins, and went on over.  A lot of my plans went out the window, but I created more than I thought I would.  I baked a pumpkin pie and made pumpkin pancakes, (my kids were so sick of them, they had oatmeal, while my friend's kids ate up the pancakes like they were the greatest thing in the world!) I wish I had remembered my xanthan gum to improve the texture of the pie, time.  I was going to make a loaf of bread to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but ran out of time.  So I made pasta, (whole wheat for her kids, rice noodles for mine,) and whipped up a sauce.

I'm really trying to master the balance between keeping my family healthy and being a gracious guest.  My only solution so far is to bring the meals, which I love doing.  We'll see how things progress.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegetable Pad Thai

I have been living off this recipe for a few weeks now and have yet to shared with you how easy it is to make!  I've said this before, this meal is so good, you can serve it confidently to your friends and family and never tell them it's gluten-free and vegan.
The great part is, you can make it catered to your exact taste by adding more or less of the peanut mix, and adding more or less of the coconut milk.  If you like a less sweet Thai meal, add rice milk as well as coconut milk.  If you're going for a very authentic meal, use straight coconut milk, sesame oil and a lot of the peanut mix.  It's decadent this way.  But you can make it less caloric and stretch the package further by thinning it.

Vegetable Pad Thai
serves 4 (with leftovers)
 For a super easy version of this recipe, you can skip all these veggies and just throw in frozen stir fry vegetables once the sauce is made.  Super easy, and impressive.
Place the oil in a large saute pan and heat on medium high.  Add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the potatoes and stir around.  Add the sesame seed oil and some salt and pepper.  Add in 1/3 cup Peanut sauce mix and the can of coconut milk.  Stir in well.  Add the remaining vegetables and cook on low until all are at desired softness.  If more liquid is needed, you can add a little coconut milk, water or rice milk at a time until you have enough to cover the vegetables.  Serve over rice noodles or white rice.

Daily Food Journal: November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes for the family, Applesauce for me.

Had Vegetable Pad Thai over white rice
Old Picture, but same good sauce. ;)

Baked bread today and packed Jeff's dinner for church, since he goes out early to do sound.  Simple, he likes just peanut butter and lots of bread.  The kids had fresh hot pumpkin pancakes for dinner...and I put some horrible hydrogenated oil laden white chocolate chips inside.  But we had a tiny friend over, and sometimes we show our love by serving sugar.  Old habits die hard.  I had delicata squash that I baked earlier in the day, because I was still feeling full from lunch.  Also, I'm trying to drink a lot more water since I'm noticing the lovely furnace we have is warm, but dries me out in this colder months.

Daily Food Journal November 3, 2010

I know that I've been in a food rut.  But it's been a delicious rut.  I'm very very excited to have discovered a meal that I can feed to friends and family that aren't freaks like me, (i.e a hyphen monster: gluten-free dairy-free egg-free mostly meat-free.)  And they love the food!  I'm talking about the vegetable Thai dish that I serve over rice noodles.  I use coconut milk as a base and there are never any leftovers.  Plus the spicy factor is non-existent so I can serve it to my non-spicy loving friends.  I'm going to do my first giveaway in the next few days and giveaway a complete Thai meal, worth about $20.  But the great thing is, the meal will last all week.  Have your friends over and see what I mean.  They won't even notice they're being fed a vegan gluten-free dish.  I'm off topic.  My food journal:

The family ate Pumpkin pancakes while I had homemade applesauce and acorn squash

I had more squash and applesauce since Jeff didn't come home for lunch.

We were invited to a friend's for dinner, so I offered to bring the food.  I know this diet is extremely intimidating, and since we just love to be around people for food, we don't care who makes it, I thought it would be easier to just bring the dish.  And what did I make?  Oh yeah, Thai Vegetable Sauce over rice noodles.  I even brought chopsticks.

They loved it, and I was very happy.  We loved our time with them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surviving a Thanksgiving Dinner Away With Allergies

My newest Parenting Squad article tackles the tough topic of how to survive grandma's when you've got kids with food allergies...and the holiday revolves entirely around food.
Yep.  Pretty much a nightmare.  But you can do minimal planning and have a happy holiday season without annoying grandma.

How to Survive a Thanksgiving Away with Food Allergies

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Easy Crock Pot Vegan Apple Crisp

Here's another gem I discovered this weekend.  I got creative and just threw this together and it happened to turn out fantastic!  Take it to Thanksgiving or have it for dessert tonight.  The best part about it is you can make the apple pie filling in the crock pot all day, mix up the crumble and throw it in the oven for 15 minutes and have an amazing finish to dinner.  Vegan and very little sugar to boot.

Before the magic
Crock Pot Vegan Apple Crisp
serves 6-8
  • 6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • a handful or two of raisins
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons honey

For the Crisp Part
  • 1 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup raw organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter substitute, like smart balance
Throw the apple part in the crock pot and cook on LOW for 6 hours or so.  Place the apple mixture in a baking dish and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix in a medium to small bowl all of the crisp ingredients with a small fork.  Spread it out all over the apple dish and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Serve warm.

Daily Food Journal Day 12: Nov 2, 2010

Roasted Kasha cereal for Jeff and the kids, homemade applesauce and acorn squash for myself.
Kids had beans and rice tacos again. but with some veggies.  I had more acorn squash and applesauce.  It's weird to actually look at what I eat in print and realize how ritualistic I can be when I discover something I like.

Leftover yellow vegetable curry.  But I added a lot more curry and Jeff and I almost died from our tongues igniting from the spiciness. Phew. 

Daily Food Journal Nov 1, 2010

Glkuten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes  for Jeff and the Kids.  I had 1/4 roasted acorn squash and a cup of homemade applesauce.

Rice and bean tacos on corn tortillas for the kids.  I had rice with yellow curry and slow cooked broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes, with spicy stuff on top.

Jeff and  I had leftover yellow curry vegetables over white rice.  I made a huge batch.  The kids had more beans and rice.  Trust me, they love this meal.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Daily Food Journal Day 10: Oct 31, 2010

Kids and Jeff had pumpkin pancakes again.  (I kept the batter in the fridge so I could just make them fresh on the griddle this morning.)  I ate some roasted acorn squash.

After snacking on our way home, we made the Pad Thai over rice noodles again, (per request from Jeff's brother and sister in law Andrew and Allison).
It was so yummy.  I could eat this everyday.

Dinner was a montage of leftovers and candy.  At least it was dark chocolate.  The kids ate noodles.

Daily Food Journal Day 9: Oct 30, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes
And I had homemade applesauce.  (I just love that stuff!)

I made the most amazing Pad Thai with rice noodles and sauteed stir fry vegetables.

All Gone.
I made the Thai food for Jeff's brother and sister-in-law at his dad's house.  No, we didn't mind having it twice in one day.  Actually they requested it again for lunch on Sunday!  Yay!  Success!  It's so easy, too, which makes it all the better.

For Dessert:
I made a quick apple crisp with the crock pot honey apple pie filling I made.
I have to wait until I can figure out how to get the picture off Jeff's phone to put it up here.
It was amazing.