Posts Tagged ‘gluten free’


Pumpkin Chili

November 21, 2013

Yes, you read that  right. Chili made  with  pumpkin. I won’t lie  and tell you  this  is  a quickie  recipe. The prep is  fairly labor intensive.  I think I created a few new  cuss words  while  cutting the pumpkin. Next time I make it …and   there will be a next  time as  it was “that” good” , I will cook the pumpkin a little longer before attempting to cube it. I was  afraid it would lose it’s  shape and become  too soft, (like butternut squash can in soups and stews) but the pumpkin retained it’s shape  even  after being reheated several times. It definitely can  withstand a few more minutes in the microwave, or some roasting to make the prep easier. Once you have  everything roasted and cut, it becomes  simple. Into the crock and  done. It is also  optional to leave the peppers raw. I roasted them, which added  a little more time. Now about the taste… vegetarian wise, hands down this is  the best  chili you will ever make. Rich, earthy and filling. Vegetarian soul food. My carnivore devoured it, and  the next  day arriving home from Busch Gardens  asked for a  bowl..and wanted to  know if I had  enough so he could have it the NEXT day, as a  snack after school.  My daughter said.. “don’t  give me the big  container”, (she was  going back to school)” because I forget what I have and I hate throwing things  out.” (she lives with  7 people – I won’t  detail  the  refrigerator situation!). Two days later she texted “The chili is gone :(“. So…6 thumbs up in this family of three. I hope you  agree.

1 small pie pumpkin
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes, rough chop
2 cans  black beans, drained and rinsed
2 C. Pacific Vegetable Broth
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. oregano
2 poblano peppers, roasted, chopped (or raw)
1 roasted red pepper, rough chop (I just tore the peppers by hand)
1 can corn


Pierce the pumpkin with a sharp knife in a few spots. Microwave it at least 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Roast peppers in
400 degree oven for  20 minutes. Put in a sealed container until you can handle them and peel the skin. Rip into small pieces.


Once cooled, Clean out the inside of the pumpkin.(Save the seeds and roast them!) cut the pumpkin in sections.
Score the sections as  shown.Carefully cut between the skin and the sectioned pieces, making cubes. Be careful!


Measure oil in pan, add onion and saute until just clear, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and pumpkin, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. I added just a pinch of each of the spices to infuse them into the pumpkin. I can’t tell you how good the house  smelled!


While that is cooking, pour broth into your  crock and all the other ingredients except the corn. Add in the pumpkin and onions.


Cook on high for 3 hours. Add corn. Continue cooking  3-4 on low, depending on your crock.Pumpkinchili8

Serve  hot with your favorite chili garnishes – grated cheddar, sour cream, green onions and black olives and a sprinkle
of red pepper flakes is what you see here.


Since pumpkin is  seasonal, I plan on getting another, cubing and then freezing. This one is  a keeper and I want to make sure I can make it more than once  a season. I might  even  have to try growing my own! Enjoy!!


Cranapple Sweet Potato Casserole

November 20, 2013

Thanksgivukkah. This  year  Chanukah begins on Thanksgiving. A once in a life time occurrence , this event calls for some  different  festive combinations. Here is one that will be on out table this year. A crispy on the outside, tender on  the inside  sweet potato and apple combination, kicked up  with the  tart and tangy cranberry.

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

2 Granny smith  apples

3/4 C. fresh cranberries

1/2 lemon , juice and zest

2 T. olive oil

1 T. fresh grated ginger

1 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

Sunflower seeds,

almonds or candied pecans for garnish (optional, but nice texture contrast)


Peel and grate potatoes and apples. I keep my ginger cut in one inch pieces in the freezer. When I need some I grate (or cut)  them frozen. Toss with lemon juice and zest. Stir in cranberries. Add oil and seasonings, and combine well. This smells amazing before it’s even  cooked, and looks so pretty too.


Lightly oil a 9×9 pan or equivalent and spread mixture evenly in pan. Leave it loose, don’t pat it down in the pan so it gets crispy, almost like a latke.


Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30- 40 minutes, until nicely browned.


Slice into squares and top with sunflower seeds, or almonds …or even candied pecans  if you have no allergies in your family!



Four Twenty Brownies

April 20, 2013

Baking is not my thing. I like to cook and be creative. Locked into measuring, exacting a chemical reaction is just not what I want to be doing in the kitchen.’s 4-20..and what is  4-20 without brownies? I have made these many times, though not in many years.  Duncan Hines  has served  me  well, and even those, on very rare occasion. I have been  experimenting with coconut oil  and coconut flour, and steering far away from sweets and boxed anything. Today was the perfect occasion to see  if I could knock out the  gluten and slash the carbs in this old family recipe.  The original measurements are in parenthesis.

6 oz. unsweetened cocoa

4 T. coconut oil

4 T.  unsalted butter  ( or 1 stick butter- no coconut oil)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 C. sugar   (1 1/2 C. sugar)

1 T. whipped cream vodka   (1 t. vanilla)

3/4 C. coconut flour  (3/4 C. white flour)

1/4 C. cacao nibs

1/4 C. chopped walnuts ot toasted slivered almonds (optional)


Pre heat oven to 350.

Melt butter and  coconut oil in microwave. Add chocolate pieces and stir until melted. I find this the easiest way  to melt the chocolate. It never burns and cools the butter at the same time. I used some Lindt Chile Chocolate to make up the balance of ounces. It’s a dark chocolate with just a kick of heat…That is the lighter squares you see  in this picture.


Beat eggs until just  frothy,about a minute.Slowly add the sugar, a quarter of a cup at a time. Add vodka (or vanilla), and the cooled  chocolate and butter mixture. Cooled means you can comfortably stick your finger in it, not so cool that it is hardening.


Stir until well combined. Add flour and mix until just combined.Stir in cacao nibs and nuts. Pour into 8×8 pan. Bake 25 minutes-no longer! You also must allow them to cool at least 30 minutes.

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You can frost them, or dust them with powdered sugar,or even drizzle them with caramel and sprinkle some pink Himaylayan salt on top.. I left them naked to show  how moist they are.

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Lime in The Coconut Curry Beef

November 2, 2012

Stew of any sort is not in my top ten,mostly because  (on the “rare” occasioin that I eat it)I prefer beef rare. I love coriander but, curry powder often takes a back seat in my spice cabinet. Tired of the same old and wanting something soup or stew like, I started researching curry dishes. I have done the wine addition in so many dishes that I really wanted to hit some different tastebuds. After perusing double the amount of recipes I usually do, I came up with this simple but very flavorful stew.It really is “just right”. Faintly sweet of coconut,slight earthy heat of curry,  tang of a squirt of lime juice and a spoon of gremolata on top…This will ignite every corner of your mouth..If you love curry this is a must…and if you are on the fence as I was,this will put you on the love side.A new keeper..

  • 1 3/4 -2 lbs. beef,I bought a whole chuck tender roast and cubed it myself
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 C broth plus 1/2 C for deglazing pan
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 t. curry 1/2 t for meat searing
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t tumeric
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t white pepper
  • 1 T brown sugar (optional for Paleo)

Cut your roast into 2 inch cubes.I do not buy packaged “stew meat” for two reasons: 1) I don’t know what kind of meat is used and 2) the pieces are way too small to allow for shrinkage while cooking.Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of curry on the cubes and work it inot the meat.Let it rest while you are prepping the veggies and making the broth.

Cut your sweet potato and onion into large dice as well,comparable to the meat size.Mince the garlic.

Pour one cup coconut milk and one cup broth into crock pot, and turn on high.Add the 2 teaspoons of curry and mix.As the broth heats the curry will dissolve.

Heat a large frying pan to smoking.Add half of the meat to the pan,making sure the pieces are not touching.You want a carmelized sear,not a steam.Remove the meat and repeat with the other half,and put into broth.

Add the onions to the pan, and using the remaining broth deglaze the pan,Scrape every bit off the bottom, as this gives you a nice rich broth (and if you are really good- stir, pour, and take a picture at the same time!)

Add your sweet potato chunks,and coat well with the broth and bits.

Add your veggies to the beef and broth, along with the seasonings and brown sugar. Cook on high for one hour,and then on low, 4 more.When done shut crock off and add remaining coconut milk.

Gremelata Garnish

1/2 c parsley

1-2 cloves garlic

1 t lime zest

1/8 t red pepper flakes (optional)

Finely mince all ingredients.

Let sit until ready to serve.

A note on gremelata…you can enhance any dish with this tart blend.Made with lemon or lime and a bit of freshly grated Parmesean cheese and you have a simple topping for chicken.Skip the cheese and top some tilapia. Sprinkle it over fried eggplant slices..the uses are endless.It gives a nice balance to the sweet heat of this stew,surrounding every corner of your mouth with  flavor.


Spring Rolls (Filipino Lumpia)

January 23, 2011

These are so simple to make and come out as good or better than restaurant versions. Because I take the time to drain the excess water from the cabbage the result is a drier filling and a crunchier wrapper.  The wrappers are spring roll wrappers- not wonton wrappers.They are thinner and don’t bubble like a wonton wrapper does. I get mine from where we get take out,but can be found in Asian supermarkets,or supermarkets that carry a diverse amount of ethnic foods.(Much less $$ if you ask the restuarant you frequent- I paid 1.99 for a package of 25-and when they only had an open package with about 20 in them- they gave them to me for free – so ask !)

  • 1 package Spring roll wraps
  • 1 package slaw mix(I use the one with carrots)
  • 1 t. Kosher salt
  • 6 oz package rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/c can diced water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1 T. ginger
  • 1/2 t. pepper

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 C. Apricot or Peach preserves
  • 1 T. hot water
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove,mashed or pressed
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. sesame oil

Pour half of the slaw mix into a strainer and sprinkle 1/4 t. kosher salt over it.Add other half and sprinkle another 1/4 t. kosher salt on top.Rinse lightly with cold water and toss a bit to distribute salt.Put over a bowl with a heavy can on top.Let sit for an hour. (In a rush- skip this step entirely and just use your slaw straight from the bag – it will cook  enough and be a little more crunchy) Boil 2 cups of water.Add package of noodles and let them sit until soft and clear.Drain and cut them into small pieces.

Rinse your slaw mix well and squeeze as much water out of it as possible. Then combine cut, drained noodles with slaw mix.Add ginger and pepper.

Make dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Heat 15 seconds in microwave. Stir and heat another 15 seconds. Let sit while you are rolling and frying rolls. Now to get rolling!! Set out 3 skins with the corner facing you. Using about 3 tablespoons of filling,lie at a diagonal across wrapper.Fold point over filling. Fold left and right sides over,and roll,ending seam side down. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot but not smoking,put 3-4 rolls in, seam side down. Don’t walk away from them as they cook fast and will burn. Turn when nicely browned,about 4 minutes. Brown on the other side.

Drain on paper towels.Re- heat dipping sauce. Cut rolls in half  on the diagonal, and serve with apricot soy dipping sauce.