Tuesday, June 17, 2014

GF Ginger-Cashew Brownies

These brownies are largely based on Roben Ryberg's rice flour brownies, so they're bound to be delicious and easy.  If you don't have one of her cookbooks, you're missing out.

These brownies are fudgey, spicy, and just gooey enough.

Gluten-free Ginger-Cashew Brownies

4 ounces organic butter, melted & cooled.
54 g sorghum flour
70 g brown rice flour
200 g organic cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 Tbsp candied ginger
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand), divided. (Or more.)
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped cashews
Cinnamon-sugar mixture

  1. Grease a 9" square pan with coconut oil and heat the toaster (or real) oven to 350.
  2. Gently melt butter in a double boiler or a small pan.  Do not microwave.
  3. Mix flours, sugar, salt, xanthan, and ginger in a medium mixing bow with a wire whisk.
  4. Sprinkle the candied ginger with a little of the flour mixture, then mince finely. You should have about 2 Tbsp when done.  Set aside.
  5. Mix the butter and egg into the flour mixture, then stir in the ginger and half the chocolate chips.  The mixture will thick.
  6. Dump the brownie mixture into the pan. Dampen your fingers and use them to pat the brownie mixture into the pan. Re-dampen fingers as needed, but don't drown the brownies.
  7. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips and the cashews evenly over the top, then press down a little so they stay put.  Sprinkle with as much cinnamon-sugar as you like, but don't go crazy.
  8. Bake about 30-35 minutes, til a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack and cut into 12-16 squares. 
 Sorry, no picture.  They look like brownies with slightly toasted cashew pieces on top.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yes, Anything Can Be a Pancake -- Even Lentils

A while back I purchased a GF magazine that had a recipe for chicken pancakes (oh, yeah!).  They also had one for garbanzo pancakes that used whole beans instead of flour.  That seemed like a good idea for any legume.

So, I decided to do it with lentils.  But, I didn't bother reading the recipe before cooking the lentils.  The recipe used soaked, but not cooked beans. And didn't use eggs or other binders.  Hmm...

OK. So, I'll make up my own lentil pancakes.

And I did.   You're welcome.

Lentil Pancakes


2 cups uncooked lentils
Your favorite lentil seasonings
2 T oil
1 T pepper vinegar, or your favorite vinegar
5 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup tapioca starch, or your favorite starch
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Cook lentils in water to cover plus a little more with your favorite seasonings.
    I used about 1/3 cup dehydrated mixed vegetables, a little dry onion, some garlic, salt, and pepper.  Cook them until they're mushy, adding water as needed.
  2. Using a strainer, drain as much liquid as you reasonably can from about 3 cups of the cooked lentils.  Put the lentils in a mixing bowl and let them cool. Reserve the remaining lentils for soup or another batch of pancakes.
  3. Add oil, vinegar, eggs, starch, and xanthan gum.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Stir in the baking soda.
  5. Cook as you would any other pancake, but make them pretty small so they don't break. 
  6. Serve with cashew cream ranch dressing.
Cashew Cream Ranch Dressing

Cashew cream  (A little more than 1/2 cup)
Organic mayo  (A little less than 1/2 cup)
Apple cider vinegar
Lemon juice
Dehydrated minced onion
Garlic powder
Freeze-dried parsley
Salt & pepper


  1. Add cashew cream and mayo to a bowl using about a 60/40 ratio. 
  2. Add a splash of vinegar, a squirt of lemon, and other seasonings to taste.
  3. Stir it up, then taste. 
  4. If it needs more zing, add more lemon or vinegar.  If it needs more kapow, add more pepper or salt.  If it needs more Mmmmm, add more garlic, onion, parsley, and/or dill.  If it has too much zing or kapow, or if the Mmmm is more like Ohhhh, add more cashew cream and mayo.
I won't bother giving instructions for cashew cream.  There are zillions of cashew cream recipes out there already. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

GF Blue Corn Sage Muffins

I'm not a vegetarian.  Never have been, though I was sort of a de-facto vegetarian in college.  And, Spouse 1.0 has a horror of the word "vegetarian".  It brings back memories of when he was a teenager and his parents abruptly went vegetarian and force fed him eggplant in 101 guises.

So, we won't tell him that this recipe came from a vegetarian e-zine.  He still has a hard time understanding that a vegetarian recipe that doesn't contain eggplant can be a yummy supplement to a carnivorous diet.  It's probably a PTSD thing.

Sort of like me & my mom's attempt to force feed me hillbilly delicacies. And, due to your delicate sensibilities, I won't tell you what those were.

But, back to the corn muffins.

They looked really good, especially with the adorable corn husk treatment.  I have corn husks.  Leftover from when I decided I was going to make tamales. (I never have, obviously.)

Problem is, the recipe was glutenacious and used cow products. But really, that's not a problem.  It was fairly easy to convert to GF and to sub in some lovely goat products we had on hand.

So, with special thanks to Vegetarian Times, we have this GF adaptation:

GF Blue Corn Sage Muffins

  • Several dried corn husks, soaked in warm water until pliable, lightly dried with paper towels.  I also oiled my hands with avocado oil and lightly rubbed them.
  • 6 ounces organic butter
  • 50 grams organic cane sugar
  • 8.9 ounces of home-grown egg from kind friends, lightly beaten. (About 5 almost medium-large eggs.)
  • 4 ounces goat milk
  • 3.5 oz. goat gouda, grated
  • 3.5 oz. raw goat ricotta - or generic goat cheese crumbles
  • 120 grams GF all-purpose flour (e.g., Trader Joe's)
  • 124 grams blue cornmeal (I like Los Chileros)
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • About 1 TBSP fresh sage, finely minced
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12-muffin tin with avocado oil.  Tear corn husks lengthwise into strips about an inch wide at widest point. Lay two strips overlapping in an ‘X’ in each muffin cup, with long ends jutting out above pan. In addition, line a custard cup with 1 muffin liner, and spray with olive oil. 
  2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and sage.
  3. Cream butter and sugar with mixer. Add eggs, milk and cheeses, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Spoon dry mixture into batter about one-third at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition.
  5. Scoop most of the batter into prepared muffin tin.  This is tricky with corn husks sticking up all over the place. They don't really want to form muffin cups. But, it's worth the effort.  Trim off the tops of the husks that stick up too much.  Wet fingers and smooth the tops of the muffins, adjusting the amount of goo in each muffin cup until they're more or less equivalent.  Place extra batter in prepared custard cup.
  6. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and muffin springs back when lightly touched.
Almost as pretty as the ones from Vegetarian Times

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pesto and Goat Cheese Muffins

I don't usually buy mixes.   But, when a local discount store had Hodgson Mill GF pancake mix with flaxseed for an astoundingly good price... well... there are some bargains one just can't resist.

So, I took the mix on a recent trip and made Spouse 1.0 some pancakes in the hotel's kitchenette. They were good. He liked them.

Fast forward a month, and it's a busy weekday morning. I'm out of paleo bread and don't have much time. I open the cupboard, and there's the mix. Yeah.  I'll make him pancakes. But, pancakes require more babysitting than muffins. Well, why not use pancake mix to make muffins?  After all, that's what Bisquick was: Pancake mix that could be used for anything.

Hmmm. What to put in them?  I open the fridge, and there's some pesto that needs to be used up.  And,  there's some of that lovely roasted red pepper goat cheese that's getting really close to its use by date.

Yeah. Pesto and Goat Cheese Muffins.


160 grams GF pancake mix with flaxseed. (Or any other GF cake mix)
2 medium eggs (about 1.9 ounces each)
8 ounces goat milk
1-2 tsp sugar (to taste)
1 ounce avocado oil or olive oil
A big spoonful of extra thick pesto (maybe ~2 Tbsp?)
Leftover goat cheese crumbles (maybe about 1.5 ounces?)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (f)
  2. Prepare 9 muffin cups by lining with baking papers then spraying with olive oil.
  3. Mix all ingredients together.   
  4. Fill the prepared muffin cups to about 2/3 full. 
  5. If desired, sprinkle the tops of a few of the muffins with a little extra pesto.
  6. Bake until they smell good and a toothpick tests done. Probably about 12-20 minutes.
They weren't really this golden.  I'm not sure what my camera was thinking.

  • Due to variations in egg weight or moisture content of the pesto or cheese, you may have to adjust the batter. Add a drizzle of goat milk if it looks too thick or a bit more mix if it seems too thin.
  • Use a 6 cup muffin tin and 3 custard cups.  If you have too much batter, grab another custard cup.  The muffins made in the custard cups aren't as pretty as those made in the muffin tins, but they get the job done.
  • I don't bake by time.  No matter how long a recipe says to bake, it's never ever that for me.  It's always a bit less or quite a bit more. So, mostly, I bake by smell and by toothpick.  When baked goods smell good, they're probably done or close to it. 
  • To make extra thick pesto: Take about 1.5 to 2 cups of basil leaves and coarsely chop.  Put them in a mini-food processor and add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, 1/4 to 1/2 cup pine nuts, a few cloves of garlic, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Maybe a little sea salt if desired. Lightly pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped but not emulsified.  Add more oil as need, but keep the mixture thick, like streusel.