Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gingerbread Cookies

My kids love to decorate gingerbread cookies around the holidays.  I found this recipe in a kid's cookbook and it's my go-to recipe for gingerbread that's easy to make, roll and cut.  The cookies are nice and thick and fairly indestructible for small hands to handle.  And they taste good too! Provide tubes of store-bought icing for the decorations.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Buddha Bowls

For a quick weeknight meal, this was easy to make and quite delicious.  I would never have thought of combining miso and tomato paste, but I'm glad Ella did.  To simplify preparations, we used store-bought guacamole instead of the avocado cream in the original recipe. (I like Wholly Guacamole Classic.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin waffles are so good!  When fall comes I go a little pumpkin crazy.  I saw this recipe in the Star Tribune and decided to try them for a Sunday morning breakfast.  We had extra waffles that we could reheat in the toaster oven for breakfast during the week.  They keep well in the refrigerator or freezer in a ziplock bag.

To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 3 Tblsp ground cinnamon, 2 Tblsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg (or mace), 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice and 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

These are paleo-friendly (no dairy, grains or gluten) and quick to make.  For an extra special breakfast treat you can sandwich two cookies together with a little almond butter and raspberry jam in the middle. Make it a meal by adding a smoothie or a glass of juice.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Grain-free Banana Pancakes

This is the simplest recipe and so good for weekend mornings.  You can make it with just two ingredients: bananas and eggs.  If you want to get fancy about it, you could add a few spices and some flax seeds as I did in this version of the recipe.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mint Pesto

This delicious pesto is really simple to make.  It's lovely as an accompaniment to lamb.  Or add it to vegetable dishes or soups for a hint of brightness.  You know how your mint plants always take over the garden?  This is a fine way to use up all of that bounty!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cinnamon Maple Energy Bites

I was trying a new recipe from Deliciously Ella, and after tasting the first bite, I knew I'd need a second batch.  First of all they were very good.  Additively good.  Secondly, I realized that my kids would be eating these up very quickly and one recipe only makes 15 bites.  Plus, I could send some off to my daughter in a care package.

My only tip here is to pulse the nuts carefully--only enough to chop them finely.  If you over process you'll have a nut flour, which is not as much fun to eat.  I like the texture and crunch of the chopped nuts.  I modified Ella's recipe to add more dimension with the spices and to substitute ingredients that are low-FODMAP friendly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lentil Dal

This is a nice thick bean dish that makes a satisfying weeknight dinner when served over hot rice and a side salad or sliced fruit.  The original recipe called for yellow split peas, but I like lentils for a low-FODMAPs version (skip the garlic, too).  If you like a very smooth consistency, use an immersion blender to puree the cooked lentils.  Otherwise serve it as is for a little more texture.

If you are trying to make this on a weeknight, you might want to bring the peas, garlic and broth to a boil in the morning, then turn off the heat and cover the pot until the evening when you can bring it back to a boil and complete the last steps.  You could also make a soup version of this by adding extra liquid.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Carrot Walnut Currant Muffins

This versatile recipe is perfect for grain-free breakfast treats. Each muffin is a nutritional powerhouse and a great way to start the day.  The original recipe called for cashew flour, honey and dates.  I tweaked this version to make it more low-FODMAPs friendly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Almond Honey Butter

My friend, Michelle, gave me this delightful little book.  This is probably the simplest recipe from the collection.  A delicious spread that comes together quickly, it would be a great food gift.  Spread this on crepes, toast, or eat it with slices of apple.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette with Lemony Whipped Cream

Celebrate the last few lingering days of Indian summer with this rustic galette.  If your rhubarb is still full of thick stems, this is a great way to use them.  The crust does not have to be perfect--that's part of it's charm.  Honestly, I think you could use more rhubarb that the recipe asks for.  If you like the tartness of rhubarb, use 2 cups. If you don't want to fuss with making whipped cream, you can serve this with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Banana Cocoa Muffins

Banana and cocoa sounded like a great combination to me.  This is a treat that is not too sweet and could pass for breakfast with a handful of nuts or a slice of cheese--a very kid-friendly breakfast or snack for on-the-go kids.  The bananas should be very ripe, almost black.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Gluten-free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

When my son asked for carrot cake for his birthday, I thought I'd try this recipe from Cooks' Illustrated's How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook.  I made it in a bundt pan instead of a sheet pan.  It was very delicious and no one would have guessed it was gluten-free.  If you don't have time to make the AFK blend of gluten-free flour, I have found that Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour or Cup4CUP are fine substitutes.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gluten-free High Fiber Muffins

If you are looking for a high-fiber way to start the day, this is a basic recipe that you can adapt to your tastes.  I modified the recipe from one that I found on the Gluten-free Girl blog.  I cut the sugar-- as I  had some overripe bananas to use-- and I swapped out nondairy milk for the buttermilk.  I also added some spices and dates instead of figs.  These would also be good with some grated carrot added to the mix.

My whole grain flour mix includes sorghum (250g), brown rice (250g) and teff flours (200g) plus cornstarch (150g) and sweet rice flour (150g).  This mixture will be more than enough for to make this recipe twice.  Store the remaining flour in an airtight container for the next time!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Almond Cranberry Scones

Enjoy a quick breakfast treat with these low-carb scones.  Have one with a smoothie and you won't be hungry until lunch!

I like to make these with dried cranberries, ground flaxseed and some chopped walnuts, but you can substitute any kind of mix-in. To increase the sweetness, you could sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar before baking. Or add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kale, Strawberry, Almond Salad with Citrus Dressing

On our trip to Los Angeles, we had dinner with my friend, Katie, and her family.  They introduced us to this kale salad and a grilled chicken recipe.  Kale can be tough, but rubbing the leaves helps to soften them. The salad can be left to marinate overnight.  This is a salad that might taste better on the second day!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Almond Jam Bars

I came across this recipe in my hunt for nutritious breakfast bars that my kids could grab on their way out the door.  There never seems to be enough time to eat breakfast during the week.  These bars were a hit and a good way to use up half empty jars of jam. Now if only they weren't so crumbly...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Moroccan Grilled Chicken

We got a panini maker for Christmas and I've been experimenting with the grill plates.  I've found that it speeds up the cooking of steaks and fillets because it cooks on both sides at the same time.

This recipe is very flavorful and makes a quick weeknight meal.  I don't think I've ever used so much paprika in a single recipe.  If that spice doesn't interest you I think you could substitute curry powder or Rogan Josh seasoning for a different taste sensation.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Chicken Thighs with White Beans, Spinach and Sage

A great one pot dinner, this has it all -- some chicken, some beans and spinach. Although intended as a slow cooker recipe, I most often make this in a Dutch oven.  You can use kale or tomatoes in place of the spinach.  It's a versatile, quick and easy meal for weeknight.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are so simple and yet so good.  Naturally gluten-free, they don't contain any flours. Peanut butter is the main ingredient, therefore they are fairly spendy cookies to make.  I like my peanut butter cookies on the crisp side, so I changed the ratio of the brown and white sugars.

The small quantity this recipe makes is perfect for satisfying that peanut butter cookie craving.  In our family the cookies are gone in a couple of days.  But don't worry, if you want more the recipe doubles easily.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Costa Rican Tico Breakfast with Westie's Black Beans

Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos, thus the name of this dish.  The typical Costa Rican breakfast is eggs with beans and rice.  The beans are extremely tasty. In Costa Rica, we stayed at a resort that offered gourmet breakfasts and I loved all the sides: bacon, fried plantains and avocado. The breakfasts also came with hot tortillas and butter.  Yum!

The rendition pictured above was made for me on Mother's Day by my husband and three kids.  Westie made the beans, and let me tell you, they were perfect!  He has made these so many times that he has the recipe memorized.  If your son doesn't make beans, follow the recipe below. This recipe doubles well.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dover Sole with Brown Butter Sauce

Brown butter sauce could make anything taste good.  Here I've paired it with a mild fish for a quick weeknight dinner.  You could use cod, sole, or any white fish.  If you shop at Trader Joe's, try the economical frozen Dover Sole.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Don't you enjoy the crunch and acid of pickled red onions on your burger?  I do.  I think these pickled vegetables are a nice summery side dish. I used carrots, red radishes and red onion.  The red color from the vegetables made the whole batch turn pink.  But, they still tasted good.  Any thinly sliced hard vegetable will work well with this preparation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swedish Almond Cake

This was my second attempt at a Swedish Almond cake.  I made it using a special pan that I purchased at the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.  The cake was a hit at our holiday party -- so moist and fragrant!

We had a few Swedes at the party and they did not complain about it, which I took as a positive sign.  The only thing I would do differently next time is increase the baking time by a few minutes so the center is more done.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cakes

Take note! These individual chocolate cakes are very birthday-worthy.  They are very rich with an intense chocolate flavor and not overly sweet.  Top them with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and a candle for a special adult birthday.  Happily they aren't very time consuming to make.  You can also make them a few days ahead of time-perfect for a mid-week birthday.

If you prefer one large cake, you can bake the same quantity of batter in a deep pie pan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cranberry Chicken

This is a brilliant recipe of my own devising, if I do say so myself.  I created it a few months ago to use up some leftover cranberries from the holiday season. It was very tasty and kid-friendly, so I made it a few more times.

Try serving the chicken over mashed potatoes or soft polenta. Add a green salad for an easy weeknight meal.  Hint: you can do this with pork cutlets, too!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cheesecake Pie with Dark Chocolate Crust

I started making this recipe years ago because it was easy and quick.  Now my kids can make it on their own.  It also only requires two packages of cream cheese, so it's not as heavy and caloric as a full-size cheesecake, though it tastes nearly as good.  If you are short on time, you can substitute a graham cracker crust.

If you are lacking lemon zest, try zesting the peel of an orange.  For a lower calorie treat, use Neufchatel cheese which has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese.

Salmon Chowder

A quick and satisfying seafood chowder that you can make on a weeknight.  The inclusion of potatoes and carrots makes it a one-pot meal.  Don't forget to garnish each bowl with crispy bacon pieces to add a nice crunch.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

From Prune in New York City, this is a quick version of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, or so Gabrielle Hamilton, the owner says.  Beware!  It is rich.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lebanese Lentil Soup

I was given a copy of My Pantry by Alice Waters for Christmas which has a lovely Lebanese inspired lentil soup recipe.  I immediately decided to try this recipe. After all the culinary excesses of the holidays I feel a week of soup is needed to start the New Year off right.

Although the yogurt is optional, it gives the soup a nice tangy taste which complements it very well.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Aunt Nita's Amazing Oatmeal Cookies

I don't know who Erin Scott's Aunt Nita is, but she does make amazing cookies.  Her use of turbinado sugar is a bit of genius because it gives the cookies a toothsome crunch and a hint of caramel flavor.

The only adjustments I would suggest to this recipe would be to add some cardamom or cinnamon. I've also increased the oats to 2 cups and scaled back the coconut to 1 cup.  It's tempting to toss in a handful of chopped dates instead of walnuts. Thank you, Aunt Nita!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Tangy Meatballs

These make great appetizers or contributions to a potluck.  Just double the recipe and bring toothpicks!