Category Archives: brunch

banana pancakes

Where have all the fluffy, delicious pancakes gone?  I have tried most pancake mixes – and, to be honest, I think they have an interesting after-taste.  They also seem to produce really sad, flat pancakes. A while back, I discovered Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix. And I have remained faithful to it.  My children requested pancakes this morning. There’s something about pancakes with bananas and a touch of agave nectar on top…it’s delicious.

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Mix
1 egg
1 tblsp coconut oil
1/4 cup non-dairy milk or water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 banana, sliced into rounds
1-2 tblsps agave nectar

Mix egg, oil, milk (or water)  and cinnamon together. Add the dry mix to the wet ingredients. Let sit for 3-5 minutes while the skillet is pre-heating. Drop 2 tblsp dollops onto the warmed skillet, forming dollar size pancakes.

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banana peach smoothie

Organic peaches grow in the beautiful orchards out in Western Colorado and I bought a case of them. Which translates roughly into about 60 peaches. My goal was to preserve some so we could brighten a dreary winter day with some kind of peach treat. As such, last week I spent a few hours (ok more than a few) freezing peaches for the winter. I peeled them, cut them into thick slices,  placed them 2 inches apart on non-stick cookie sheets, covered them with Press n’ Seal – and into the freezer for about 2 hours.  Then from there , I divided the frozen peaches into about 6 gallon size “freezer guard” Ziploc bags. This morning, my children asked for a smoothie. Peaches and everything else into the blender and presto! Healthy and delicious breakfast. The avocado and banana really give this a creamy consistency, frozen peaches make it slightly chilled and you’re getting a big nutrition boost from all of it, especially the flax.  

2 cups of non-dairy milk
2 tblsp coconut milk
2 tblsp flax seed oil
1 banana
2 cups frozen peaches
1/2 avocado
2 tblsps raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in the blender except the cinnamon. Blend for about 15 seconds. Pour in cinnamon. Blend again for about 5 seconds. Serve. This made 1 adult serving and 4 child servings.

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cherry scones

I have battled for quite some time to come up with a really good gluten free, dairy free scone. Let me just say, my success rate has been about 1 percent. This morning, I decided to put my frustration aside and give it another shot. And, boy, am I glad I did. Victory. Finally!  In gluten free baking, I think it’s really important to measure flour in ounces – which I have done here. Starches are notorious for being untrue-to-measure. If you choose not to use these cherries (which are high in both vitamin A and folic acid), you can opt for raisins, dates, nuts or some other kind of dried fruit. Just be careful to choose something 1.) unsulphured and 2.) unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened. In a perfect world, I’d choose to make these with brown rice flour because of its higher nutrition and fiber value – but I’ve found that it is much too crumbly for scones. So, I’ve added in some flax seed meal to get us back on track. Side note: a kitchen scale is one of the best tools in gluten free baking. For some help with measuring equivalents: see the “dry measure equivalents” chart here.

10 oz white rice flour
2 oz tapioca flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 tsp salt
4 tblsp coconut sugar
2 tblsp golden flax seed meal
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup dried unsweetened tart cherries
2 eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (if the dough is too dry you can add another 1-2 tblsp)

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with the applesauce. Set aside.
  3. Place the rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, gum, salt, sugar and flax in a large bowl. Stir to mix well.
  4. Add coconut butter, rubbing it into the flour mixture for several minutes until it begins to become a bit coarse. Add in the dried fruit so that it’s coated in flour.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. Place the mixture on some Silpat or a nonstick surface and, using your hands, knead the dough to so that it is well combined. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1 inch thick round. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut the scones and place them on a cookie sheet lined with unbleached parchment (or a rice flour dusted cookie sheet).
  6. Before baking, brush the tops of the scones with non-dairy milk or a slightly beaten egg.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 10 large scones or about 18 small ones.

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pesto with buckwheat pasta

‘Tis the season for pesto. Along with tomatoes, I just can’t get enough of all the basil my garden is producing. This afternoon, I whipped up a batch of pesto, tossed it with some pasta and served alongside a salad it proved to be a satisfying and delicious dinner.  There seems to be a slight division in the pesto community: those who make it with pine nuts and those who prepare it with walnuts.  Personally, I tend to prefer the subtle sweetness of pine nuts.  They have a significant amount of protein (a whopping 14%) and contain both A and B vitamins. Basil is one of many herbs that aids digestion.

1 cup loosely packed basil
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
salt & pepper
1/3 cup really good extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
  2. While the motor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder spout and process for about 10-15 seconds.  If you have a mortar and pestle, this works great too. I would macerate the pine nuts and garlic with the salt and pepper in the mortar. Then transfer to a food processor to add the basil leaves and olive oil.

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apricot mustard glaze

My husband loves sauces. Since we met, I have taken quite a liking to them as well. Sauces are one thing I have come to miss since my gluten free days began. So few of them are actually gluten, dairy and soy free. Alas, this past weekend I stumbled upon a great sauce recipe. I made it yesterday for dinner (we had some family in town). We were all fighting over it. I originally made it for the chicken. But, I found myself slathering it on my salmon. My mom was dipping her green beans and carrots in it. So, at this point, I feel it is safe to say that this sauce can be paired with anything savory you like (except fruit). In my opinion, it would not work as an (appetizer) dip – but rather something to accompany what’s on your lunch or dinner plate. This recipe is adapted from my all-time favorite cooking periodical – Cook’s Illustrated.

3/4 cups 100% fruit apricot jam (I really like Bionaturae – it’s very low sugar and nothing added)
1/4 whole grain gluten free mustard (I really like True Natural Taste)
3 tblsp gluten free dijon mustard
4 tblsp liquified (melted) coconut oil
2 medium shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tblsp filtered water

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until combined (about 20 seconds).
  2. If using for chicken or fish, you can glaze it just prior to putting on the grill (using half the mixture). Then serve the other half of the mixture at the table in a bowl. Take extra special care not to serve the glaze that has been in contact with the raw meat or fish. Please discard it.
  3. If you still have enough left so that it needs to be refrigerated, please bring the sauce back to room temperature before serving….

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Filed under brunch, dinner, fish, lunch, main course, vegetables

vegetable quiche

For quite some time, I’ve had an aversion to custard-like creations….until I found this quiche recipe. Essentially, the quiche has a higher ratio of ingredients to eggs. Which makes me a huge fan. It has a single layer of sliced sweet potato in lieu of a crust and the relatively thin egg mixture serves as an overlay.  It’s quite a simple recipe. And it’s easy to adjust the filling depending on what is in season. If you tolerate sheep’s feta, you can add 1/4 cup of that. It’s wonderful with or without it.  Pair it up with a side salad for lunch or for dinner. I’ve even had it for breakfast the next day….it’s inspired by a recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini.

1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
3 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper
1 sweet potato, sliced using a food processor fitted with the slicing attachment.
2 cups organic broccoli, stems removed and finely chopped
1 1/2 cup loosely packed organic crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup organic leeks, chopped
2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Slice sweet potato in food processor (the goal here is to have uniform slices. This results in even cooking).
  3. Lightly grease both the bottom and sides of the quiche plate.  Spread out the pieces of sweet potato in a single layer, making sure that as much of the baking plate is covered and the pieces are touching one another.
  4. Mix milks and eggs in a bowl and whisk briskly for about 30 seconds. Crumble the cheese into the bowl. Set aside.
  5. Using about 2 tsp of coconut oil or sesame oil (higher smoking point than olive oil) gently saute the leeks, broccoli and mushrooms for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer vegetables into prepared egg mixture and stir to coat the vegetables with eggs.
  7. Pour egg mixture over sweet potatoes and gently even it out with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes. Then, turn the oven off and let quiche sit in the oven for additional 10 minutes (for eggs to set).

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