Tag Archives: wheat-free

quiche

Cheddar and Bacon Quiche (with spelt crust)

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here before…but we got chickens last spring. Their names are Rosemary, BBQ, and Scramble. My daughter named them. 

chickens

We’ve had them for a year now. And they’re marvelous! Yes, apparently I have fully embraced the pseudo hippy in me and I now own backyard chickens in the middle of a town, for the sole purpose of getting eggs that I know are from pastured chickens but not paying a fortune for them. It’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. (Though once in a while they do escape and we have to go chasing them down the alleyway….)

eggs

And the eggs are delicious. With dark orange yolks and firm whites, the way eggs are supposed to be! And this quiche is one spectacular way to use them up. Bacon, cheese, onions, in a tender flaky crust? Yes, please!!

The quiche itself is perfectly simple. But the crust is a little trickier. It’s a lot more fragile than crusts made with white flour, so it takes some special handling. For that reason, this will be a long post because I’m going to walk you through the crust carefully so that you know exactly what to expect. Don’t be scared away by the length of the post, though! Once you get the hang of the crust it’s really not hard!

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Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Technically, this is dessert. I know that. It is not, and nor should it be, lunch. Or dinner.

And yet, in the past two days I have had it for both of these things.

Yesterday I made a whole bunch to take to a friend’s house for a lunch-time “strawberry shortcake feast.” And then, tonight, my husband’s working late and it’s just me and the kids and I didn’t feel like cooking and there were all these left-overs from yesterday’s lunch and so….

Strawberry shortcake for dinner. Yes I did.

The kids think I’m the best mom in the world right now.

But, really, it isn’t SO bad if you think about it. (Or, at any rate, that’s what I’m telling myself so that I don’t feel guilty about feeding my kids dessert for lunch. And dinner.) Because, really, what is it? It’s biscuits – tender, flaky biscuits. And sweet strawberries. And freshly whipped cream. None of which have a lick of refined sugar in them at all, with only the tiniest bit of maple syrup. Really, (if you cross your eyes and squint) it’s just like having a piece of bread, some fruit, and a glass of milk! Right?! So, see, it’s not THAT bad!

So, there you have it, folks. Your ready-made rationalization as to why it’s okay to have dessert for dinner!

And here’s how you make it. It’s basically just my standard Spelt Biscuit recipe with a few minor changes.

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scalloped ham and pasta

Scalloped Ham and Pasta

When you cook with good quality ingredients – especially grass-fed butter and raw milk – it gets kind of expensive. They’re treasures, and you start to understand why someone might, indeed, cry over a glass of spilt milk when it costs $8/gallon!!

Because of that reason, I’ve been terrified to try to thicken any of my sauces with something I’m unfamiliar with, like arrowroot or tapioca powder. I’ve been sticking to whole grain spelt, because the last thing I want is to waste an entire pot of sauce made with Kerrygold butter and $8 milk! I’ve been total chicken.

However…I’ve been having a LOT of problems with my sauces breaking (or curdling), and since I never used to have such a problem with it, I’m wondering if the whole grain spelt is to blame. And so I wanted to try something different. With much trepidation, therefore…I tried making a cheesy white sauce with arrowroot powder.

And…it worked! It worked just fine! The sauce was beautiful, without a weird texture or mouth feel, and – even better – didn’t break!

This recipe is something I’ve made for years and years – but this was the first time I’d tried it with arrowroot. It’s a great recipe because it uses up all that leftover ham that you loved so much when you made it, but three days later are starting to get really sick of eating cold from the fridge. And, it’s an all-in-one meal, which I always love!

So, this is my debut of my adventures into trusting arrowroot powder more often! (I think I’m going to have to go back to my macaroni and cheese recipe and make a note!)

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strawberry sherbet

Frozen Strawberries and Cream (Sherbet)

I have the perfect “it’s-been-a-long-winter-and-it’s-finally-spring-and-I-want-to-completely-forget-the-frozen-horror-that-was-the-past-4-months” recipe for you. It has to do with strawberries and cream and sweet frozen creamy goodness. Interested?

Basically, we’re talking strawberry sherbet. But the best strawberry sherbet you’ve ever eaten. My family went nuts over it. NUTS. And since sherbet is mostly fruit it has very little added sweetener in it, which makes this something you can eat guilt-free!

This particular sherbet strongly reminds me of an Italian Water Ice “cream ice.” (My fellow Pennsylvanians will know what I mean by that. For the rest of you…sorry.) Fruity yet creamy at the same time. And just like water ice, when you freeze the leftovers it freezes HARD – not like ice cream that can be easily scooped back out again. So let leftovers sit in the fridge for a bit to soften up before eating!

Unlike ice cream, no advance prep of cooking and cooling a custard is necessary. You can start it and have it in the ice cream maker in 5-10 minutes. Twenty minutes later you have dessert!

Take about 2.5 pounds of cleaned strawberries and stick them in your blender. You might need to add a little apple juice or something to get them going, but you shouldn’t need much. (Even my cheapo Oster blender did it no problem). Blend on the highest speed until it’s completely smooth and pureed. You should end up with 5 1/2 cups of strawberry puree.

strawberry sherbet

Taste, and add sweetener as necessary. Use honey, maple syrup, or pure liquid stevia extract. The amount of sweetener you need completely depends on how sweet your berries are, and your particular tastes. I added 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 2 droppers full of liquid stevia. Just taste until it seems sweet enough to you!

Pour it into your ice cream canister along with 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream.

strawberry sherbet

And make it according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Twenty minutes later you have this!

strawberry sherbet

And a very happy family.

Store left-overs in the freezer in an air-tight container. It’ll be frozen hard later, so you’ll want to let it soften a little before eating.

Frozen Strawberries and Cream (Sherbet)
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 5½ cups strawberry puree (about 2.5 pounds whole strawberries, pureed in the blender)
  • 1½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼-1/2 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste (will depend on sweetness of berries)
  • optional +/- 30 drops pure liquid stevia, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Make the strawberry puree and taste it for sweetness. Add sweetener as necessary. You'll probably need at least ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup, but maybe more. The amount will totally depend on how sweet your berries are and your personal tastes!
  2. If you want to boost the sweetness a little without adding more honey or maple syrup, add some liquid stevia.
  3. Pour it into your ice cream canister and stir in the cream.
  4. Make according to the ice cream maker instructions.
  5. Leftovers will freeze hard in the freezer, so let it soften a bit before eating after it's been in the freezer!

 

Shared on Fight Back Friday  and Real Food Wednesday

 

 

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

So, I threw these together for dinner tonight. I had no idea if they’d turn out or not, but I had sour milk that I needed to use so I wanted to make some sort of buttermilk drop biscuit sort of thing. I kept adding stuff – cheese, garlic, butter –  and before I knew it I’d ended up with this:

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

And you know what that looks like, right? I mean, the first thing that comes to mind – at least my mind – is those Cheddar Bay Biscuit thingees that they serve at Red Lobster. It’s not just me, right? That’s totally what they look like!

So, that was exciting. But looks are one thing. Taste is another.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a Red Lobster, so I don’t have a side-by-side comparison for you. But I swear, if these don’t taste exactly like Cheddar Bay Biscuits, then they’re AWFULLY close! Even the texture is right on. They’re soft and tender, not at all crumbly or hard. This picture gives something of an idea of what the texture’s like.

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Every copycat recipe I’ve seen for Cheddar Bay Biscuits calls for Bisquick as the main ingredient. Now, not only is Bisquick made with white flour, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (i.e. transfats) and dextrose (i.e. sugar). So using Bisquick is out of the question.

Luckily for YOU, I came up with this instead!

All it is is a basic drop biscuit, with cheddar cheese added in and topped with garlic basil butter. Easy peasy.

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spelt biscuits

Spelt Biscuits with Maple Honey Butter

Biscuits are a pretty basic thing, so I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out a recipe for them. I think I was assuming that using all whole-grain flour in a biscuit wouldn’t taste good. Or something?

Well, boy was I wrong. Like, totally and utterly wrong. Because yesterday I didn’t have anything readily on hand for lunch, and it’s freezing here and smoothies just don’t cut it on these frigid days, so I decided to experiment with biscuits. And the results were absolutely out of this world.

These babies are light and airy, flaky and tender, and have a surprisingly mild flavor. With all the cream and butter, they’re kind of a cross between a biscuit and a cream scone – which really is no bad thing!! Top them with some pasture butter blended with raw honey and maple syrup and they’re absolutely delectable! We each scarfed down three of these, and today the kids asked if I could make them again for lunch.

Why, yes. Yes I can.

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kale chips

The Ubiquitous Kale Chip

There’s a nice restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland called “The Ubiquitous Chip.” Or at least there was when I lived there in 1996. I had no idea what “ubiquitous” meant before I ate there, but I looked it up and it’s been a regular part of my vocabulary ever since.  Such a great word! I mean, it just feels good in your mouth, you know? Ubickwituuuuuussss.

Ubiquitous – adj (yü-ˈbi-kwə-təs) – seeming to be seen everywhere

So, the restaurant name referred to the fact that chippy (or french fry, to us Americans) shops are found EVERYWHERE in Britain, but this restaurant was something different.

When I thought about doing a post about my experience with trying kale chips, of course “The Ubiquitous Kale Chip” is the immediate and only title that came to mind – because, like British chippy shops they are everywhere. If life was a B rated horror movie they’d be some sort of alien plan to infiltrate the world, they’re that common. Do a simple Google search for “kale chips” and you get 7,800,000 hits. Seven MILLION!

So, yeah. This post is not exactly earth shattering innovation or anything. You can find this just about anywhere. But this blog isn’t intended to be about innovative culinary discoveries, but a resource of food ideas for people trying to figure out how to eat on diets like this, so I figured it would be good to include it.

First, let me say that I don’t really like vegetables. With the exception of Sauteed Asparagus I mostly simply tolerate vegetables because I know they’re good for me, rather than that I actually enjoy eating them. So I didn’t really have high hopes for kale chips.

But since I kept reading about them, and since I’d gotten an enormous bunch of kale from my CSA, I decided to try.

The verdict: Kale chips are very edible and enjoyable…when they’re cooked right! Added bonus: My kids LOVED them. Like, scarfed-them-down-and-couldn’t-stop loved them.

They are not an exact replacement for potato chips. But they have a nice saltiness and kind of fall apart in a melty way in your mouth that I find somewhat addictive. However…if you overcook them even a little they’re very bitter, and if you undercook them they’re chewy and very kale-ish! As I mentioned above, my kids were going to town on these things…until they got to some overcooked ones and they immediately ran to the trash and spit them out!

So, cooking time with these is very important. They make all the difference between, “Hey, I actually kind of like these!” and “These are disgusting and gross!”

No one wants disgusting and gross. So watch your time!

For the one or two people out there who might have never heard how to make these things, this is the process.

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