Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Basic Substitutions to make Any Recipe Fit Your Needs

I wanted to give a little information for how I substitute some things to make recipes conducive for my weird diet.

EGGS
You can substitute pumpkin puree for eggs.  I haven't figured out the exact measurements, but I'll get back to you.
You can substitute 1 Tablespoon Flaxseed Meal and 3 Tablespoons water for each egg in a recipe.

Milk

I substitute almond milk when recipes call for cream, rice milk, when just asking for milk.  I buy these on sale at my local dollar store.

Butter
I use applesauce, sometimes paired with a dash of olive oil, for butter.
When I'm feeling really decadent, I'll use Smart Balance light or Earth Balance, dairy free butters.

Flours
For all purpose flour, I use a mix.  I never use one type of flour, (although I'm researching what's been done with single flour recipes, and it's promising and more affordable...to be continued...) Typically, I use half cornstarch and half rice flour.  The cornstarch lightens the graininess of the rice flour.  Sometimes, I'll cut the corn flour with a bit of masa flour, if I want a slightly denser dough.  Sorghum flour has the best taste for pies and cookies, I feel.

Xanthan Gum
It's pricey, but it lasts forever.  I only use 1 teaspoon for breads, 1/2 teaspoon for pancakes and cookies.

Sugar
I hate sugar but I hate high fructose corn syrup more.  I like to use raw organic sugar, which I buy from costco to save money, or honey.  Honey is so expensive, (I'm seriously thinking about doing a beehive this year,) so when I substitute, I only do about half.  Half sugar, half honey.  If you substitute all honey in a recipe, you should be fine, unless the recipe calls for more than 2 cups of sugar.  Then cut it down by 1/4 cup for each cup.  SO you'd use 1 3/4 cup honey instead of 2 cups of sugar a recipe calls for.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events...

Well, sort of.  I know I've been missing for awhile.  After my last post, I got sick with the lovely stomach flu in a way that can only be described as "epic."  I survived just in time for Thanksgiving.  So I made a whole bunch of delicious gluten-free dairy-free recipes that I am eager to share with you, but I first have to explain why I've avoided you so long.
It isn't you...it's me.
After Thanksgiving, I had a baby shower to organize, and well, I've never done that before so it took some new getting used to.
Then I had a health scare and had to get it checked out, which I'm only sharing because everything turned out great.


So, back to life, here we go, dive in and get started.  It's fabulous to be back, healthy and to have an epic holiday behind me with another massive one ahead.  But this one happens to be my most favoritest of all.
I am so ridiculously blessed, guys.  I have to say.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Thanks for being on my list of blessings.

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 word.com
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, but...next 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.