The air has taken on the crisp coolness of mid-Atlantic Fall, so obviously it’s time for baking. With pumpkin. Gluten free and dairy free because that’s how I roll. Mostly.
But you know there’s those times when you just want a slice or two, and then the rest of the loaf stands neglected…I’m not one for waste, so I find it easier to make a mini loaf and call it a day. I mean, it’s fresh and hot out of the oven every single time, so a total win. Besides, theses little babies are just so gosh darn cute!
Added bonus–I don’t have to turn on my giant gas oven (that I’m secretly afraid is going to explode every time I turn it on…it’s an antique). The toaster oven works beautifully. I do still line the pans with a strip of parchment paper since gluten free baked goods have a penchant for sticking. My favorite GF all purpose flour to use for this is Bob’s Red Mill GF AP, but I’ve also used my Namaste Foods brand with success.
I know, I know. Pizza crusts made with meat are sooooo 2010. But, you know, it’s been a while. Cauliflower crusts seem to be dominating and while I’m generally a fan, sometimes I need a wee bit more substance. Feel me?
I had forgotten how seriously quick and easy this was. Like, when I say 15 minutes, I really do mean FIFTEEN minutes. Admittedly, I didn’t even have to chop my own veggies since I’ve been stocking up on pretty much every frozen vegetable pack Trader Joe’s carries. The fire roasted peppers and onions I used for the meatza are seriously the best thing to happen to the planet. I challenge you not to find amazing meals at any time of day that are made better with them. Seriously. Can’t be done.
Even without a full time job anymore, I somehow feel like I’ve got even less time to lay around and play scientist in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because I notice all the little things that never, ever, in a million years would have bothered me. Like actually folding laundry? Making beds? Ice in my chardonnay? When did I turn into my mom???
In my defense, I’m making a point to take as much off my husband’s plate as I can. Darden is no joke, you guys. As a pre-med last year I know what a huge difference it makes to have someone there to keep things in their place, have the fridge stocked (his classmates seriously subsist on hot pockets and gatorade…ugh), pick up dry cleaning, blah blah blah. Besides, I can just say I’m paying it forward so he can take care of me in med school
Apologies for the iPhone pictures lately. Camera battery died and I lost the charger…which happens to be an antique that cannot be replaced easily or cheaply. I’m thinking this may be the time that someone finds it in his heart to help me with an upgrade? I do happen to have a birthday coming up next month…
Yup. I totally de-legumified falafel and replaced the chickpeas with meat. Sue me. It was sort of on the fly and I didn’t have any, so I did what I often do and replaced the missing ingredient with meat. Meatza, anyone?
Thanks to the plethora of farmers’ markets and, well, local farms in general, cheap yet local and sustainable foodstuffs–like the aforementioned meat–have been refreshingly easy to come by around here, so my freezer is stocked to the brim with assorted animal parts. We’re on a tight budget, what with my husband in B-school and all, so stocking up on the essentials ahead of time has been a godsend. I’m pretty keen on feeding both of us on $100 a week, and I’d like to get it down to $86 (which is what the USDA says we ought to be able to do on the Super Thrifty…aka What You’d Get on Food Stamps…plan). It’s amazing how much you can drop in one trip to Whole Foods on, like, 3 things. Which isn’t news to anyone, I know, but it was shamefully easy to get complacent when both of us were working and living in a lower cost area.
The real challenge has been deciding what our true priorities were, and I’m still working out the kinks (which I’d like to share in a future post). For example, I’m fine with buying a lot of produce that’s conventionally grown, and the latest GMO study has me sleeping a little better at night over some things. BUT I’m still buying organic eggs and dairy products because, well, there’s some really shady practices in conventional poultry and dairy farming that pose a risk I’m not willing to take. AND I haven’t figured out where to draw the line on meat. On the one hand, yes, grass fed and pastured is better, but it’s also thrice the price a lot of times. Also a heck of a lot easier to find (affordable) grass fed and/or pastured chicken and beef than it is, say pork. Farmers’ Markets help with this but not a ton, especially since a lot of them shut down in the Fall. PS Quick cash-saving tip…I withdraw $100 in cash before my weekly grocery run…it’s the single best way I know of to keep me honest
OK so falafel. Ah-mazing with hummus, paleo or otherwise…I happened to have some parsnip hummus on hand (recipe coming soon…here’s a sweet potato hummus recipe I love to tide you over!) and did up a little plate with the falafels, hummus, and some roast veggies. I did find this recipe for a GF pita that I really want to try next time, too. There’s a lot of ways to fix up the real deal, so be creative with these! Next time I’m going to try rolling the balls in sesame seeds before frying to try for that lovely crunch.
When my husband came home with this cooking on the counter, the scent of sage and rosemary wafting through the house, he was convinced I was making Thanksgiving dinner.
Admittedly it’s super hard to make a picture of this delicious mess look as amazing as it is, so I reallyreally need you to trust me here. It’s approximately 2 minutes of actual work (and by work I mean dumping stuff into a slow cooker) for a meal that will either feed 6-8 people comfortable or feed 2 people for DAYS. And feeding us for days on some very affordable ingredients is a very, very good thing…especially if it manages to hit the level of rich, warm, comfort that makes a food coma positively inevitable.
This will most definitely be happening again…next time I’m thinking it’ll be time to bust out the fall veggies and go all out with some sausage, cranberries, winter squash…maybe even some apples if I’m feeling crazy
Nothing in my little rambler here in Charlottesville is less than 60 years old. This is why everything that comes out of my ’50s-era gas oven without being either a) totally uncooked, or b) not totally scorched is a gift. So, Universe, I must once again bow to you in thanks.
Gluten free baking has come leaps and bounds from where it was even a couple of years ago. What once would have been a pile of dry, crumbly, flavorless pieces of cardboard can now be just as good (I think, even better) than their glutinous counterparts that cause me and so many others a great deal of (totally awkward and socially crippling) pain.
The one key is to know your flour blend. I’ve been using Namaste Foods ever since my mom got me a 5 pound bag from Costco “just to try out.” It claims cup-for-cup usage, but I honestly don’t believe any blend is truly the perfect substitute…you have to be willing to experiment a bit and totally put the manufacturer’s own recipes to work. I adapted this recipe from a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Namaste Foods site while planning a dinner party for my husband’s learning group (everyone gets smarter with cookies, right?). I made a few subs (wanted a dairy-free version and used palm sugar to take advantage of its awesome, rich flavor) and voila! They came out beautifully. I got 30 cookies from this recipe (the original claimed 5 dozen…umyeahnoway) and with 7 people…well, you do the math
If you do want to sub out another GF flour blend, while I can’t verify the ratios, Namaste AP blend is just sweet brown rice flour (the majority of the mix), tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum. I’d say anything with a similar ingredient mix would work well, so just have a quick check and make sure you aren’t using a bean-flour blend (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill GF AP flour, which I also love to death but is mostly garbanzo).
So I’ve been semi-binge watching the latest season of Once Upon a Time on Netflix and please, someone tell me I’m not the only one rooting for Hook and Emma? I mean, Neil’s fine and everything but clearly has some major Daddy issues and, I mean, I’m never a fan of getting back with your ex after it so clearly did not work out the first time. Whatever. What do I know? Obviously nothing about finding a job, or I’d have one of those instead of marrying myself to Netflix.
OK. So these sandwiches are based on a new local favorite of mine. Pearl’s Bakery is not only the bomb-diggity when it comes to cupcakes, but they have killer breakfasts and other munchies. Most notable of late is the sweet potato pancake breakfast sandwich. Since it’s glutinous, I can only admire from afar and attempt to create my own at home.
Something about fragrant Fall spices mixed with runny egg ignites all of my senses at once…it’s kind of crazy. You can definitely add whatever you’d like–it’s killer with some soft white cheese or even a little mayo.
Maybe it’s just me, but has the internet foodie scene, like, exploded with banh mi and every conceivable derivative this summer?
So, as per usual, I hopped on the bandwagon. Probably after it’s become uncool again but it’s better than nothing, right? At least I de-sandwiched it, so it’s not *really* the same thing. Just pure creativity,
This has been a great meal to prep ahead of time, too. You know how I like those…just prep a tray of meatballs (with the sweet pots) and bowl of pickled veggies, toss em in the fridge…boom. All you have to do is make a pot of rice and slice some cucumbers.
Place about half of the julienned veggies in a bowl with the vinegar. Let soak while you prepare everything else.
Toss the sweet potatoes in the oil and spread out in a large baking dish.
Mix the pork, egg, fish sauce, onion, remaining carrot and daikon, five spice, garam masala, garlic, and coconut aminos by hand and shape into meatballs.
Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish around the sweet potato cubes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
To assemble the banh mi bowls, layer some rice/cauli rice, add a few meatballs, add some pickled carrot and daikon from the first step (drain vinegar first!), add some sliced cucumber, and garnish with cilantro.
Ross’s cousin was in town this week, so naturally we went to do all the unique Charlottesville things we could think of. So, yeah, we went to Monticello. But before any proper trip to Monticello, we went to brunch at Michie Tavern and ate our weight in fried chicken. Sadly, there were no waffles, so Carol asked if I’d make some.
So I did!
Fried chicken and waffles are no stranger to this site (made them here and here), but this version is a wee bit less work since I decided not to *fry* the chicken….rather, I just used a nice breading and baked it all. Seriously, you can’t tell the difference. Using chicken at room temperature is key here, since it’ll quickly be tenderized with its own fat and leave plenty of drippings to soak your waffles.
This is my favorite basic Paleo waffle recipe as well. You can sweeten them if you want but I don’t since the coconut flour and creamy coconut milk give such a delightful texture and light sweetness that you can top with pretty much anything. I’ve topped them with everything from chocolate hazlenut spread to bacon and eggs to ham and cheese–they’re that good!
Yep. This is a repost. How tacky….except that 1) I messed up the original recipe (and it took me almost 2 years to realize it…ha!) and 2) this recipe is badass. Enjoy!
Ross came home this weekend, which you have to understand is a rarity these days. I had him for 36 whole hours, so we kicked back, saw a movie, had dinner with a friend, and just enjoyed each other’s company. I never really imagined his civilian life would be this crazy–between the two of us we’ve been deployed five (yes, FIVE) times to either Iraq or Afghanistan, and never together. I guess that made us a little cocky when he left the service…Oh, sure, business travel is NOTHING!
Yeah, well, it’s hard. Really hard. It’s only been six months and I think we have physically lived together here in Colorado for a grand total of 10 days. I have a profound new respect for road warriors and their families…please tell me how you do it!
Anyhow, if you know me at all, you know that I made for damned sure that even if my husband was only home for a short while that we’d eat well. And eat well we did, my friends. Starting with a hearty breakfast…
When you work Saturdays, you need to make sure your morning has a little extra oomph to get you going.
These are kind of the lovechild of my favorite big-ass pancake recipe and my old favorite banana pancakes…super quick to throw together and really, really flavorful and moist. Since the main complaint following a lot of Paleo pancake recipes is the dryness, I’d say this is a huge win.
As I mentioned in my original pancake post…there’s an art to making a good pancake when you’re not using grain-based flours. Make sure to use plenty of butter or coconut oil to fry them in since sticking is the number one destroyer of a good breakfast. Also, and I cannot stress this enough…be patient! They need at least 2-3 minutes over medium heat before they’re flip-able. Wait to see bubbles, and then keep an eye out for the edges to cook a bit. But trust me when I tell you it’s worth the wait!