Monthly Archives: October 2014

Eggs, avocados and tomatoes baked in ham or turkey slices – delicious for brunch!

This is a quick and easy idea for a gluten- and grain- and dairy-free breakfast or brunch.

I used a small single-serve oven proof dish for each serving.  Muffin tins would work, too.  I lightly sprayed each with non-stick spray.

Line each cup or dish with prosciutto, ham or turkey slices.  Just wind them around inside and bottom of the cup so they form a nest.

Then slice up some avocados and tomatoes and lay them in the nest.  Break an egg on top and bake at about 325 degrees until the egg white is set and the yolk is cooked to your liking (I prefer the yolk runny, but you can cook it until the yolk is completely set, too).

Scatter some crushed almonds on top, or chives or other herbs, or some cheese if dairy is ok in your food plan.  I used almond meal left over from making almond milk and the almond pieces crisped up nicely.  Serve right away.

Homemade Sloppy Joes: No sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no junk

Sloppy Joes in the traditional can (that are supposed to make families come together and chat happily at the table) contain several different types of sugar, several stabilizers (guar gum, carob bean gum, xanthan gum), nearly 3000 mg of sodium per can, and 35 mg of sugar per can, which is about the same as a can of cola (and that’s just in the small size can!!!).   Most recipes for homemade Sloppy Joes call for quite a lot of brown sugar or other sweeteners.  My challenge was: how could they be made without sugar, but still have that slightly sweet taste?  The secret, I think, is in the onions!

I thought that if I caramelized the onions – over low heat and for a nice long time – they might add the sweetness that the recipe needs.   Most recipes say to quickly saute onions, peppers and celery until they’re tender, taking just a few minutes.  Caramelizing takes some time (but little effort) and will let you make the Sloppy Joes without any more sweeteners.  When onions are caramelized, they’re cooked slowly, over a fairly low heat, and the sugars that are naturally present develop a deep rich flavor.

It worked.  The final result had no added sugar, but it was delicious!

Ingredients:

2 very large onions, sliced

1 large or 2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, diced

a couple of celery stalks, diced

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef (you could use lean ground turkey)

3 tablespoons of tomato paste (with no sugar or processed ingredients)

1 28 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes (again, with no sugar)

optional: 2 tablespoons of the thickener of your choice (gluten free choices: tapioca flour or arrowroot powder or coconut flour – or you could use regular flour)

olive oil

optional:  a teaspoon or two of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet.  Add the sliced onions and cook over medium-low heat for about an hour.  Stir every 12 or 15 minutes until the onions are very soft and a deep golden color.  Don’t rush this.

When they’re soft and golden, turn up the heat a little and add the peppers and celery and cook just until they’re tender.  Add the beef and cook until it’s thoroughly browned.  Add the tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes.   Pour some of the tomato juice from the can into a measuring cup and stir in the tapioca flour (or whichever flour you’re using) until the flour is well combined.  Add the tomatoes and the rest of the juice to the beef mixture and cook until it’s all heated throughout.  Stir in the tomato juice/flour mixture and cook until the entire mixture is thickened (just a few minutes more).  Add a splash of vinegar and stir to combine.  (The vinegar adds just a little tang and flavor.)

Serve over your choice of toasted buns, or for a gluten-free option, serve over baked sweet potatoes.

Roasted Carrot and Fruit Almond Oat Bars

Maybe these need a simpler name but I wanted to get across what’s in them.  What’s NOT in them is gluten and dairy!  And the only sweetener is a small amount of raw honey.  They’re very soft and really delicious!  Important note:  if you’re gluten-free due to medical necessity, make sure the oats that you use in this recipe are certified gluten-free, as not all oats are.  

There’s a little preparation that needs to be done before making them, but it’s all pretty easy.  These bars have protein and good nutrients, but they have no processed ingredients, no gluten and no dairy.  You’ll need homemade almond milk and oat flour.

I made homemade almond milk because: 1/ it’s simple, and 2/ the almond milk that is commercially available contains carrageenan, sugar and too many additives.  Maybe some stores sell pure almond milk without this stuff, but I can’t locate any.  The ingredient list on the almond milks in the dairy sections of most supermarkets is depressing.

To make almond milk, you’ll just need raw unsalted almonds (available at bulk bins at many grocery stores) and water.  If you buy raw unsalted almonds in a jar or can, just make sure that the only ingredient is almonds.  I just grabbed about a pound.  A half pound would do for this recipe.

Soak the almonds in plenty of water overnight (or for several hours at least).  Then drain and rinse them (discard the soaking water), and pulse them with fresh water in a food processor or blender until they’re coarsely chopped (about the size of large bread crumbs).  A good ratio of is about 2 cups of almonds to about 6 cups of water.  Most recipes call for a ratio of 1 cup almonds to 4 cups water but I wanted a slightly thicker, richer almond milk.  Empty that batch (almonds and water) into a large bowl and repeat until you’ve chopped all the almonds.  Then you’ll just need to drain the liquid into a container – that’s almond “milk”.  Important:  save the chopped almonds that are left after all the liquid has drained!  That’s almond meal, and it’s great to add to doughs and batters (pancakes, breads, cookies!).  Some people use a fine strainer (that’s good if you have a strainer with really small holes so the almond pieces won’t fall through), or a colander lined with cheesecloth.  The best choice, especially if you want to make your own nut or oat milks frequently, is to buy a simple nut milk bag (I bought an inexpensive and very well constructed one from Elaina Love’s Pure Joy Planet on Amazon, but many health food stores have them.  It’s less than $7 and well worth it!).

To make oat flour, I just used my coffee grinder.  A food processor or blender would do.  I used steel cut oats, but you could use regular oats.  Just give the oats a whirl until they look like flour!  Pretty simple, right?

Now you’ve done the hard part.  Let’s go on with the recipe.

Ingredients:

8 ounces carrots

2 cups almond meal

1 ¼ cups oat flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup raw unfiltered local honey (or pure maple syrup)

½ cup beaten egg (I combined a large egg with enough egg whites to make ½ cup)

¼ cup almond milk

1 cup dried cranberries or raisins or other fruit

1 apple, peeled and diced

 

Directions:

Roast the carrots in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned and tender.  Chop coarsely.  Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Combine the almond meal, oat flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Gently stir in the liquid ingredients until thoroughly combined and then mix in the carrots, apple, and cranberries or raisins.

Line a rimmed baking sheet (10 x 12 inches) or a 9 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper.  Evenly spread the batter in the pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let cool completely and cut into squares.