Kitchen Experiments – Gluten-free Gingerbread

Is there any picky eaters in your family? Are there certain foods that your family swears that they do not like? My husband swears that he does not like buckwheat.  I posted the other day that I had made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast and my husband ate them without a complaint.  As soon as the weather turns cold and the pumpkins and squash start to become abundant at the farmers markets, something inside me screams for gingerbread.  With this in mind, I decided it was time for another buckwheat experiment.

I have been making a buckwheat applesauce cake for several months now and it is moist and delicious and my husband has no problem eating it. I thought that I could probably follow the same recipe but add molasses and spices and make a decent buckwheat gingerbread.  Here is what I did:

1 ½ c. Buckwheat Flour (ground white buckwheat)

½ c. Almond Meal

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. xanthan gum

2 Tbs. arrowroot powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp.cloves

1 c. applesauce

¼ c. applebutter

½ c. molasses

1 Tbs. oil

¼ c. water

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Place wet and dry ingredients in a food processor and process until mixed.  Pour into an oiled 8”x8” square pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Now, for a first try, I must say that this was pretty tasty.  It was a little more dense than the buckwheat applesauce cake, but still not overly dense and not overly sweet.  For me, it was just the right amount of sweetness and spice.  I would have added some crystallized ginger if I would have had some, but I thought I might try that the next time.  Here is how much my husband does not like buckwheat!

gingerbread

I guess it was OK!

gb

Actually, it was a good first attempt.  I think that the next time I make it, I will try to add a little more baking powder to give it more lift. I also think that I might try making it will eggs instead of the arrowroot powder and try to get a little more fluffiness out of it.  On the whole, I would say it was a successful experiment…especially for my husband!

Kitchen Experiments – Buckwheat Pancakes

Good morning! Sundays are my favorite day for many reasons – but most especially because it is the one morning where I get to sleep in and have a slow start to the day. The cooler fall mornings inspire me to cook a larger breakfast and this morning I felt like pancakes!  Yes, we are still rotating our diet so it could not just be any pancakes, it had to be 100% buckwheat pancakes.  I pulled out my Vitamix so that I could start with grinding my buckwheat groats into flour.  I may have said this before, but I have become very fond of the buckwheat flour that I grind from the raw buckwheat groats.  It is not as strong in smell or flavor as the toasted buckwheat flour, and I like it.  My husband is not a buckwheat fan, but these pancakes went down pretty easily.

I have also become very fond of the buckwheat and almond meal combination in cooking.  It seems to work out really well.  The almond meal cuts the strong flavor of the buckwheat and adds some extra protein.  Here is the recipe that I used:

1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons maple syrup
salt
4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

1/2 cup water
2 cup almond milk
4 tablespoons almond oil

pancakes

They were quite tasty!  I topped them with bananas and sliced almonds and then drizzled maple syrup all over it!  Now that is what I call a Sunday morning breakfast!

 

 

Kitchen Experiments – Fish Tacos

Every night seems like an adventure in our kitchen since we started the ALCAT diet.  We are doing a 4 day rotation diet and some of the days are easier than others.  Day 3 is my least favorite and most difficult when it comes to snacking.  Day 4 has also been a bit of a challenge as well though I can always fall back on hummus and falafel.  Actually, day 4 has become easier ever since we found Humbles Hummus Chips.

humbleshumbles chipsThey are really delicious and are great dipped in hummus.  If you have not tried them yet, I strongly urge you to buy a bag and dig in.  Anyway, back to my day 4 dilemma in the kitchen.  I am always looking for something new to make.  I recently posted about the buckwheat crepes that I made. They were pretty easy and delicious.  I had eaten them stuffed with hummus and lettuce and thought there must be more that I can do with them.

When I lived in Seattle, there was this very authentic mexican restaurant that made fish burritos.  They were the best.  I decided to give it a try.  The burritos in Seattle were mainly fish and cabbage so I thought about this great summer salad that I make with cabbage, mint and lemon.

cabbage saladI embellished it a little bit with carrots but it is still a very refreshing and an “eye” appealing salad for any occasion!

Green Cabbage and Mint Salad

1 Small green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 Small carrot, grated
8 Fresh mint Leaves, chopped (dried is ok, fresh is better)
4 Tbs. lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed but bottled is ok)
2 Tbs. Olive oil
Salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, and mint.  In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss.  Chill for several hours before serving.

I decided a nice light white fish would probably work best so I baked up some haddock with a little lemon and then assembled my fish taco…

fish taco

It was that simple.  You could easily substitute tofu, tempeh or even seitan for the fish and I think it would be just as delicious.  It was a nice diversion from our usual hummus and falafel.  Enjoy!

Kitchen Experiments – Buckwheat Crepes

Here is a great recipe for a gluten-free crepe made with buckwheat flour!  I have been grinding the raw buckwheat groats into flour instead of using the pre-packaged flour.  I find the flour that is already ground has a very strong buckwheat taste.  The raw groats are a lot more mild. I have been eating the crepes like a tortilla with hummus or nut butter.  The first night I made them, I served them with fresh strawberries; that was delicious.

I keep trying to find different food ideas that are easy to make and then easy to freeze.  I save the paper wrap and plastic packaging from the rice tortillas that I buy and then package the crepes between the paper and put it in the plastic bag and then place it all right in the freezer. The paper makes it very easy to defrost just the right amount of crepes that you need.  They do not stick together and freeze beautifully.  See what fun recipe you can create using these lovely, light crepes! Bon Appetit!

crepes

Gluten-free Crepes

1 ¼ cup almond milk

4 Tbs. arrowroot powder

1/2 cup water

2 Tbs. melted ghee

1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt

In a medium bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, arrowroot powder, xanthan gum and salt.  In a small bowl, mix the almond milk, water and butter together and slowly whisk into the flour mixture.  Make sure that the batter is not lumpy.  You want a nice thin batter than will easily swirl in the pan.  If it seems to thick, add some more water or milk.

To cook the crepes: set a large cast-iron skillet over low heat. Slowly, bring it up to medium heat. Spray the skillet with cooking spray. Swirl in some of the crêpe batter (about 2 ounces, if you want to measure it). Tilt the skillet back and forth until the batter covers the entire surface. When the edges are set and starting to curl up from the pan, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, run a metal spatula under all the edges of the crêpe. Flip the crêpe. Cook for 30 seconds then turn the crêpe out onto a cutting board or plate.

Repeat with the remaining crêpe batter.

1/8 tsp. baking powder

Kitchen Experiment – Parsnip Pancakes

Parsnips.  An interesting vegetable.  Maybe you have noticed them at the grocery store and thought that they were a pale carrot. They kind of look like that.  Maybe you were like me and ignored them for years because you just didn’t know what to do with them.  In the past several years I have added them into my repertoire and have used them in stews, soups, and roasted them with carrots. They are delicious with a slightly sweet flavor.  But every 4 days I do not want to eat roasted parsnips so I needed to find something else to do with them.

parsnip pancakes

Parsnip pancakes!  What a treat!  It was just like a potato pancake but with a slighly sweet flavor.  I shredded the parsnips and mixed in  buckwheat flour, because it was a buckwheat day, and in place of the eggs, I used arrowroot flour mixed with water.  I patted them into patties and cooked them in a non-stick skillet.  I served them with applesauce for dinner and then ate them for breakfast the next day!  I am thinking that when I can add potatoes into my diet, I will try potato parsnip pancakes.  Parsnip day is tonight – I might have to make them again for dinner!