Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awesome Summertime Salad and Vinaigrette

Here is a great summer salad recipe. Feel free to add or omit any ingredients you'd like. I make this and then refrigerate it for my lunches for several days so I don't have to think about what I'll have for lunch (or a quick dinner: just add cheese or grilled fish or chicken for a really filling meal). I just reach into the fridge and presto! I already have lunch. It's also great to have it ready-to-go so I don't fall victim to waist-ruining fatty foods - as we all do now and then.

Summertime Salad:
8 Cups Baby Spinach/1 Head Romaine (Cos) Lettuce, Rinsed and Patted Dry
1-14-oz Can Organic Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
1/2 English Cucumber, Sliced
4 Large Stuffer Mushrooms, sliced
2 Ribs Celery, Sliced
2 Medium Carrots, Peeled and Chopped into Coins
1/2 Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Tomato, Chopped
1/2 Red/Orange/Yellow/Green Pepper, Chopped
Optional ingredients:
Crumbled Soy/Low Fat/Goat Cheese
Grilled Chicken/Fish/Firm Tofu or Canned Tuna, Drained
Toasted Seeds or Nuts
Chopped, Pitted Olives
Hard Boiled Eggs, Sliced
Homemade Croutons

Put all ingredients in a large bowl, toss and serve! Also great as a starter course to more calorie-intense foods as you'll fill up on the fiber and water-rich veggies and only eat what you should of the higher calorie main course

Great Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp EACH Fresh Chopped Basil, Parsley and Oregano (For Dried Herbs, add 1/2 this amount)
1/2 tsp EACH Onion Powder, Garlic Powder (not Salt)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt (Optional)

Combine all ingredients in a resealable container, shake well and serve over salads. Also good as a mild meat rub.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Make-You-Melt Ginger Cookies

I found a recipe online for Giant Ginger Cookies from and knew I had to modify it to my tastes, allergies, and batch size preferences. The first batch was incredible! I can't wait to make them for my friends - this batch is going down pretty quickly between Brennan and I! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, they are incredible - not to mention Gluten free, Dairy free, egg free, corn free, soy free and, um, oh yeah! vegan!! They'll make you melt.
Here it is:

Ginger Cookies
3/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup White Granulated Sugar
1 tbsp Ground Flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp hot water, whisked and left to thicken for 3 minutes
1/4 cup Unsulphured Molasses
2 1/4 Cups G.F. Flour Mix (see flour mix post)
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp (scant) Baking Soda
1 Rounded tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
Dash of Salt
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350C
In a large bowl mix olive oil and 1 cup of sugar, then add flax seed/water mixture and molasses and mix well.
Evenly sprinkle dry ingredients over top and then mix until combined.
Put 1/2 cup of white sugar in a bowl.
Form into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and then roll in the sugar until well covered.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart and bake for about 16 minutes, until puffy. Cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.
These make about 2 dozen nice, little mounded cookies good for any time of year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gluten Free Allergy Information and New Recipe

Gluten Allergies - You Don't "Knead" the Stuff!

Gluten intolerance, also known as Celiac Disease is becoming more and more common. It is incurable, and the only treatment known is to avoid all sources of gluten. This includes wheat, rye, oats (some people can tolerate pure oats in small amounts), barley, spelt, kamut, durum, semolina, and other forms of wheat such as bulgar and couscous. Other hidden forms of gluten can be hydrolyzed proteins, modified starches, malts, and some alcohols. As with other food allergies, gluten intolerance can get worse with prolonged exposure, so strict avoidance to foods containing gluten is very important. Gluten can be found in trace amounts in many foods. Even if foods do not state that they have gluten, any foods stating they “may have some in contact with wheat/glutens” should be treated with caution, and avoided if possible.There are many alternatives to wheat and “traditional” flours for your baking: rice, corn, soy, tapioca, potato, arrowroot, sorghum – all are great gluten free alternatives that taste great in foods.Gluten free baking and cooking presents a real challenge both in taste and texture. The secret lies in the combination of various flours for best success. The recipes given here all give the combination of flours to use, but feel free to alter the combinations to your tastes and allergies. It is never a waste to try something new!There are more companies catering to gluten free eaters every day, and many of their products are very palatable. Still, I am convinced that there truly is no comparison to that of fresh, homemade goods, like anything else!

Gluten, Egg, and Dairy-Free Mayonnaise It's Vegan and Delicious!
It's a bit thinner than regular mayo, but it tastes great and is an awesome addition to salad dressings, sandwiches and much, much more!

½ tsp Sugar
1 Cup Water
½ tsp Salt
¼ Cup Light Flour Mix
¼ tsp Paprika, or To Taste
1 tbsp Ground Flax seed
3 tbsp Hot Water
½ tsp Ground Mustard
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Vinegar
Whisk together the flax seed and hot water. Let sit for 3 minutes, or until thick, whisking occasionally.
In a small pot over medium heat, whisk flour and 1 cup water. Add the flax seed-water mixture, and simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly to keep the mayonnaise from separating. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and shiny, almost translucent.
Remove from the heat and add the spices and vinegar, again whisking constantly. Add the oil slowly while beating with a whisk or electric beater. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.


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