Thursday, January 5, 2017

Been Playing Muffins Again!

My son was recently diagnosed with celiac.  So on Christmas I wanted to make a yummy bread for the two of us to feast on.  A few weeks ago I had kind of a breakthrough in my baking-I accidentally put too much liquid in the batter and to my surprise my muffins turned out much higher, moister and nicely textured.  So this is what I came up with for Christmas.  Oh, and the grandkids loved these, too.

Cheddar Muffins
1 3/4 cups chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 tsp guar gum
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T sugar
1 T dried parsley
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup oil

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.  Beat the milk, oil and eggs together, whisk into dry ingredients.  Mix until smooth. (This is not like baking with gluten, you don't have to worry about the dough getting tough.)  Stir the shredded cheese into the batter.  Spoon into paper lined muffin pans.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.  The first time I made these I stood there and ate two, barely cooled, they were so good! If you need to you can substitute for the eggs and milk.

I just made these again this morning and since I was out of parsley I used oregano.  Haven't tasted them yet, but they'll probably be lunch.  Smells like a pizzeria in here!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

And Now Cupcakes!

I figured that if I had so much success with the muffins I had to try cupcakes. I found a good carrot cake recipe and started adapting it. Usually carrot cake calls for soda and buttermilk, but when I used that the chickpea flour mixture tended to puff up, spread and then sink. I tried to make powdered sugar in my Ninja but only with moderate success. The frosting was slightly grainy and dense. But when I served the cupcakes at a family gathering Saturday they raved about them, even liked the dip in the middle-a good well for extra frosting they said.

But I was out for perfection so I tried again today. I added a little more flour and subbed baking powder and milk for the soda and buttermilk. Got pretty close!

So here is my altered recipe:

Carrot Cupcakes
1 3/4 C sugar
3/4 C light cooking oil (I use safflower)
3 eggs
1 tsp almond extract (can use vanilla but almond is better)
3/4 C milk
2 C grated carrots
2 1/2 C chickpea flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp guar gum (I use it instead of xanthan gum, tummy doesn't like xanthan)
1 C sunflower nuts (if you can tolerate, you can use pecans or walnuts)

Blend sugar, oil, eggs, almond, and milk until smooth. Stir in carrots. Whisk or sift together chickpea flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix into carrot mixture. Stir in sunflower nuts. Scoop into paper lined muffin tins, it makes 27 so I had to improvise with three of my ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until top springs back with gentle pressure. Cool and frost.

And now for the frosting, which I am very proud of. I can't do any commercially prepared powdered sugar because they either have cornstarch or tapioca starch, and I can't have either. Grandson says the frosting is "amazing!"

Granulated Sugar Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Cream sugar and cream cheese, beat in almond. Beat in enough milk to make a spreadable frosting, probably 2-3 tablespoons. Beat the heck out of it. Frost the cupcakes. Pour a cup of coffee and try not to eat more than a couple. Oh heck, eat what you want, how often do super-allergics get a safe delicious treat like this? Not often enough, that's what I say!

Next I'm going to try the knock-off Starbucks lemon cake in cupcakes, I can feel my jeans getting tight!

Remember to check your sources, read your labels and use safe for you ingredients.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Muffin!

I'm always looking for ways to use my limited ingredients to make something that might be a change from the routine. This is the fourth time I've made my made-up recipe and I think I have a winner! One of the tricks is using guar gum. I had dismissed it because I cannot tolerate xanthan gum at all and judged them to be in the same category. But I put down my prejudices and did some research, xanthan gum is a mold grown on corn while guar is made from guar beans. So I gave it a shot. I now have happy little muffins tucked in the freezer waiting for me.

Pretty cute, don't you think?
So here's my recipe. If course check out your ingredients to make sure they're safe for you:

Marty's Muffins
Basic recipe:
1 3/4 C chickpea flour (garbanzo)
4 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp guar gum
2 eggs
1/3 C oil
3/4 C milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter or spray 12 muffin cups. You can use cupcake liners if you like. Mix dry ingredients. Beat eggs, oil and milk, stir into dry mixture. Mix til smooth-ignore the rule that says you can't stir muffin batter too much or it will get tough. That only applies if your flour has gluten. Scoop into muffin pans, a small ice cream scoop works great for this. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes until brown.

I like to add sunflower nuts to mine, a half cup or so, and this morning I added a little more sugar and swirled a little cinnamon sugar into them. They tasted like a much-missed cinnamon roll! Chocolate chips are good as well. Then at lunch I made another batch and stirred in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 tsp dried chives. Now I don't know which are my favorites!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chickpea Crepes/Tortillas

I found out I'm completely intolerant of potatoes, which includes a lot of other starchy things, like tapioca, artichokes, jicama and all the potato derivatives. So here I am back at the drawing board! I am, however, very tolerant of chickpeas/garbanzos. And the bonus is they are so good for you, way higher in protein than grain flours.

So I went looking for some recipes and found some good ones, but the mice started racing around the wheel in my brain and I came up with this recipe.

Chickpea Crepes/Tortillas
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk all three together. Walk away and let it sit for 1/2 hour to an hour. This gives the chickpea a chance to absorb the water. Heat a 10" skillet up and add a little oil. Make sure the skillet is hot! Stir batter, it should be as thin as crepe batter, add water a tablespoon at a time until it's as thin as you like. Pour about a half cup over medium high heat until bottom is lightly brown. If it's not done it won't release easily from the skillet. Work the spatula around the sides and then the center. Flip and cook until it releases from the pan and is lightly brown. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, should keep about a week. Makes about six nice sized crepes.

Yummy with a cream cheese filling for breakfast!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

el Alce con Nopalitos (Elk and Prickly Pear)

In our travels to Mexico I have fallen in love with nopalitos.  I first had them in a tortilla with farmer cheese and a yummy different salsa.  They're supposed to be really good for you.  I went searching for the farmer cheese here and found some at the local grocer, but it was more aged, what I found in Mexico was more like a fresh cheese.  But I found nopalitos, in a jar.  Today I had elk steak thawing and Stan asked when we were going to eat the nopalitos.  The wheels started turning and this is what I came up with.  This goes really fast-the longest part was waiting for the rice to cook.

el Alce con Nopalitos
1 1/2 pounds elk steak, cut in small cubes
3 Tablespoons potato starch
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
10-12 ounces chicken stock
12 ounce jar nopalitos, drained and rinsed (the jar I found had serrano peppers, cilantro and onion-bonus!)

Combine potato starch, salt and pepper; dredge elk in mixture. Brown in oil.  Add cilantro, chipotle and chicken stock.  Cook over medium heat until elk is done-5-7 minutes.  The combination of stock and potato starch make a nice sauce.  Add more stock if it gets more thick.  Add nopalitos and heat through.  Serve over rice, or in my case I served it over bean threads.  Stan had the rice and loved it, his exact words were, "Yeah, you can make this again."  High praise for Mr. Cool.

I think I can make it again, too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crackers! (Gluten Free)

I finally more or less perfected my cracker recipe after months of fooling around with ingredients. The recipe was originally for tortilla chips, but they were a boatload of work and super messy, so I set out to make it my own.

Chickpea Crackers
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup cold water
Extra tapioca starch

Beat egg together with oil, flax and water, set aside.  Stir dry ingredients together, stir in egg mixture. The mixture will be pretty soft. Turn out on a surface generously covered with tapioca starch. Knead a bit.

Don't be afraid to load on the tapioca starch.
Roll out in small batches. Try to get the dough as thin as you can. It's pretty sticky so just keep dusting with starch.

Cut out with a dusted cookie cutter. I use a small round cutter but you can cut them bigger if you like, adjust cooking time for the size. I've also used a pizza cutter and made squares, much faster but the round cracker is more uniform.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick with a fork. You can put them pretty close together, they don't spread.

Sprinkle a little salt over (don't skip this, it really makes a difference in the flavor). Bake at 375°. Start with 10 minutes and add time, a minute at a time until crackers are brown on the edges.  A good way to tell if they're done is when they loosen from the pan. Recipe makes about 100 small

I had a hard time keeping them from cracking in two, so I added the egg, switched from butter to oil, and added the flax.

It's so nice to have a good snack alternative. I've done just cheese, but my favorite is a smear of cream cheese and a dab of homemade pepper jelly. Yep, I eat pretty well for being an allergic chick!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Garden Bounty

We harvested the rest of the garden yesterday, since a huge snowstorm is forecast to roll in tonight. So what do I do with a ten pound cabbage? Well, first I cut a chunk off, about a fourth of it. Then I gathered up some of the carrots that we dug yesterday. Then I made this yummy stew.


1 1/2 pounds coarsely cubed raw chicken. (I prefer boneless thighs.)
1 small cabbage cut in bite sized pieces (Or 1/4 of a monster)
1/2 large onion, quartered and sliced
2 T butter, divided
4 carrots, coarsely sliced
Chicken stock, preferably organic or you could make your own
2 tsp Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning (If this isn't available, use your preference)
2 T potato starch
1 cup cold water
Salt and pepper

Cook onion in 1 T butter on medium heat until transparent. Add cabbage and carrots. Turn down heat and cover. Saute until cabbage is starting to cook down. At the same time Brown the chicken in the second tablespoon of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. When chicken is mostly done dump unto the pot with the cabbage, juices and all. Pour chicken stock over mixture-just until you can start to see it. Cover and simmer until everything is tender, about a half hour. Mix potato starch with cold water and stir into stew to thicken.  Serve over potatoes, rice, or my favorite-mung bean threads.