Monday, November 29, 2010

Gluten Free Fake Out Take Out Beef Stir Fry

Q: What do you get when you add a teething baby, a tired mommy, and hours of work still to do?
A: Take Out, well it would be take out if take out didn't have gluten, dairy, corn syrup and a host of other things our family can't have.

So instead it's Take out fake out night! :)

Adapted from Dianne's Dishes

1 tablespoon of grapeseed or sesame oil
1/4 cup of low sodium gluten-free soy sauce
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 scallion, chopped (green and white section)
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 pound of steak, cut into cubes and all visible fat trimmed
1-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot shredded
1/2 onion cut into large strips
2-3 stalks celery, cut thinly
1 cup of cooked sticky brown rice per person (Note: Remember that most brown rice takes about 50 minutes to an hour to cook. The stir fry itself takes about 20-30 minutes.)

In a bowl or a canning jar mix together oil, gluten-free soy sauce and rice vinegar until incorporated. Stir or shake in scallions and garlic to mix. Add steak and toss or shake to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour to overnight covered tightly in the fridge. The canning jar works fabulously for this.

In your skillet or work, heat 1-3 tbsp olive oil and sautee the carrots, onion and celery until tender. Dump the contents of your bowl or jar into a large skillet or wok and over medium heat bring to a boil. Cook the beef until the liquid evaporates, the mixture thickens slightly and the beef is tender. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Pumpkin Creme Brulee

All I can say is it smells delicious and I'm having a very hard time not taste testing it before dinner tonight! :) I'll post pictures after it's been "brulee-d" tonight! :)

Adapted from Emeril's Version Ingredients

  • 1 Can Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 4 teaspoons
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut cream, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Divide among the prepared custard cups.

Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff, 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.) Place on small dessert plates and serve.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day...Gluten free, dairy free recipes

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...Image via WikipediaWhoops, time got away from me and now we're down to the wire, the night before Thanksgiving and I'm in random assembly mode instead of my usual organized, planned and plotted OCD-ness.

I tried to make the broccoli, rice and cheese (my mother's recipe...mmmmm good!) while I made the Chicken Pad Thai for dinner and that worked out okay until I threw in the gluten free Quinoa stuffing. Then I started to fret, the baby started to cry, the husband started to ask why I'm so crazy always taking on so much and I started to laugh hysterically cause in a perfect, non crying, non questioning world, I would have adored the time spent in the kitchen.

All's coming together nicely but man are the dishes piling up. Can someone send me a monkey that does dishes! I'd love him forever!

Time to hop off the computer, and go brine the turkey breast we're taking for dinner tomorrow so we "allergy infested" folks can enjoy the turkey too! :)

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, allergy free Thanksgiving!

Quinoa with Fresh Herbs, Pecans & Pomegranate Dressing (adapted from Gluten Free Foodie)
3 cups cooked and cooled Quinoa (I made mine in the rice cooker)
1/3 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, etc.)
4 oz crumbled Feta cheese (I subbed pine nuts and 2 Tbsp of brewer's yeast)
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (if desired)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
squeeze of lemon


Cook about 1 1/2 cups Quinoa to yield 3 cups cooked, cool.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, chopped herbs, pecans, feta cheese & pomegranate seeds (if desired.)

In a separate bowl, wisk together oil, pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over quinoa and mix. Serve.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Belly Dancing...For Fitness????

I’m not a big fan of working out. Well let me re-phrase I don’t mind working out so much as I mind the time needed to get ready, get my kids ready for someone else to take care of for a bit, get to the gym, get to actually workout and then get home, where inevitably I walk in the door to a chorus of “Mommy, What’s for dinner?” How is that any fun? So short of running away to the Biggest Loser Ranch where there's nothing to do but work out, I find myself getting frustrated daily trying to find time for those magical 30 mins of daily exercise that will make the sleepless nights (nope baby is still not sleeping through the night) all better. So bottom line...I rarely work out. I know I need to but the logistics escape me. Then I got a copy of Belly Dancing for Fitness in the mail to review for TTT’s Holiday gift guide.

All I can say is this was not a spectator sport! I waited until the house was empty, the baby sleeping, and then turned it on and tried it out. It was a blast. The video quality isn’t tip top, and the audio was a little wonky (either that or I messed up the receiver again…don’t tell hubby) but the belly dancing instruction was good and overall it was a ton of fun. I laughed myself silly trying to learn moves that the instructor did effortlessly. I finally decided she was born with double jointedness and as long as I was moving, then the laughing was giving me an ab work out if nothing else.

That’s the name of the game for me! If it’s not fun I can’t get into it, keep doing it, etc. So with all those New Year Resolutions ahead of us, check out some fun fitness for the friends and family on your list. I may even let my preschooler talk me into doing it with him. Actually that might be my evening entertainment...:)

Holiday Gift Guide

I've been blogging for a while now and frequently get asked to review items that are new on the market or going through a PR push. Lately I've been collecting items to review that I thought would make fabulous gifts for the holiday season. I'll be posting my reviews of many of these pieces over the next few weeks and you can find links to purchase many of them under the Holiday Gift Guide tab. I hope you find these items as, emmm, entertaining as I have! :)

Elimination Diet - Round 2

Warning - Allergy advice: contains milkImage by Danny McL via FlickrWhat would you not do for your kids...that's the question right? Three months ago I gave up dairy to help with Liv's tummy issues. I was resigned to no more cheese, milk, yogurt, milk chocolate, ice cream, you name it, for the duration of my nursing her. And then all the symptoms came creeping back.

Screaming fits. Arching. Doubling over. A fussy, unhappy baby all day long! Then came the lack of sleep, and now we're on to no sleep so I broke down, called my pediatrician with my special, VIP, have my own parking space I pay so many co-pays, dedicated number (just kidding, but I really should have one) and heard exactly what I expected. No fever, no rash, equals we can see her but it doesn't sound like there is anything wrong illness wise.

Now I love my pedi and her team of nurses so the snarky...wanna come watch the show tonight, it's an all=nighter, reply stayed in my head. And we started talking alternative ways to address this. We ended up on dropping known allergens and seeing if it made a difference. See the worst part about food allergies/intolerance is the best way to diagnose is through an elimination diet which means there are no instant answers or results. So the plan was to drop dairy and soy, give it ten days, then if needed drop Egg, Nuts and Peanuts (yeah I know but they seperated them too...I would have assumed Peanuts fell into nuts), give it ten days and then if needed drop corn and gluten.

So instead of the next month of trial and error today marks day one of my allergen elimination diet. I'm going to toss them all for the next ten days and if we see massive improvement I'll start adding them back slowly. We'll also do a round of blood testing to confirm for her records.

So the sad, sad story is that heading into the Holiday season with it's food, fun, and desserts, I'm heading into it able to eat anything made with no dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, wheat or corn. Sounds like a lot of fresh food to me...sorry Stovetop!
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