A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 

 

 


 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec072010

Cashew Horchata & Sharing Our Strength

Cashew Horchata | A simple but festive beverage for your holiday table!Welcome to Day Two of Share Our Holiday Table—a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. This event is being hosted by Share Our Strength®—a national organization that works hard to make sure no child in America grows up hungry.

Yesterday a dynamite food blogger line-up treated us to nine tasty appetizers. Today we move on to drinks. But before we make our festive toast to good health and prosperity, I have something to ask and something to share.

Have you been missing the signs of child hunger in your town?

I had.

There is a route through downtown Cheyenne that I drive a couple of times a week. It was last fall, at the corner of Lincolnway and Pioneer, that I first noticed the brown bags. Most Wednesdays I would pass by and see hundreds of them filled and neatly lined up on the floor of the vacant Dineen building. It wasn't until July of this year that I made the connection when an article ran in the Wyoming Tribune Herald. The article was about Cheyenne's Friday Food Bags program and the number of school children in Cheyenne living in food insecure households. I had been missing a sign. I had been driving past one for over a year.

Turns out, over 300 food sacks are handed out to Cheyenne school kids every Friday with the intent to ensure these children, who normally get free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school, don't go hungry over weekends. Having had my eyes opened, I was shocked and ashamed for being oblivious to the hardship some of the children in my own town were facing.

I have come to applaud the efforts of organizations like Share Our Strength and grass roots programs like Friday Food Bags. When you read the statistics, they are pretty mind blowing. In 2008 (and this was before the U.S. fell deeper into recession) the USDA reported that 22% of the children in the U.S. were living in food insecure households [read more about that here]. They were experiencing hunger—"hunger" defined as an uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food.

Now most will argue that children going hungry is just a symptom of deeper-rooted problems in our society—ones that need to be addressed. I agree. However, the ability to obtain enough food for an active, healthy life is the most basic of human needs. The idea of any child going hungry troubles me. Why? 1) Obtaining food is something a child has little control over, 2) it should not be their responsibility to do so and 3) there are mental and physical changes that accompany inadequate food intake which directly affect learning, development, productivity, physical and psychological health and family life.

Okay, I am hopping off my soapbox (thanks for hanging in there with me).

Now, shall we toast?

Here is to health, prosperity and no child going hungry this holiday season! Please consider making a contribution [click here] to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry™ campaign. Then as you gather around your holiday table, know that you have extended it beyond your circle of family and friends. You have shared it with a needy child—and very likely, one in your own town. Thank you.

The recipe I bring to Share Our Holiday Table is one for simple horchata. Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, horchata can be made with three basic ingredients—rice, cinnamon and sweetener—and costs just pennies to make. Nuts may be added for extra creaminess as can vanilla. Serve it over ice or warm and blend it with melted chocolate for a decadent hot cocoa. Place a pitcher at the kids' holiday table and they're sure to feel extra special.

Happy Holidays to all!

Cashew Horchata

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Easily Tree Nut-Free | Sesame-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 5-6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients:

1/2 cup WHITE RICE
4 cups boiling WATER
1 CINNAMON STICK (2 if you love cinnamon!)
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS
1/4 cup, or to taste, RUNNY HONEY (see Notes for sugar-free version)
Dash SEA SALT
1-2 cups COLD WATER

Directions:

1. Using a blender, coffee grinder or food processor, grind rice to fine meal. Transfer to medium bowl along with cinnamon stick and vanilla. Pour boiling water over rice meal mixture. Allow to stand at room temperature 4-6 hours.

2. Add cashews to a separate bowl. Cover with water and allow to soak 4-6 hours. Rinse well.

3. Transfer cashews and rice mixture (including the cinnamon stick) to high-powered blender.

3. Blend on high 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

4. Strain mixture into large bowl using cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

5. Return liquid to rinsed blender carafe. Add honey, pinch of salt and 1-2 cups additional water to achieve the consistency of milk.

6. Blend on low 10 seconds.

7. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

8. Optional: Dust with cinnamon and garnish with a star anise pod for a festive touch (pictured above).

Notes:

Cashews may be replaced with an additional 1/2 cup soaked rice or 1/2 cup almonds that have been soaked for 8-10 hours and rinsed well. Cinnamon stick may be replaced with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. For a subtle licorice "twist", throw one star anise pod in with the rice/water mixture. Blend with the rest of the mixture. Easily sugar-free: Sweeten to taste with SweetLeaf Liquid Vanilla Creme Stevia instead of honey.

 

Share Our Holiday Table Progressive Dinner

Day 1: Appetizers

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 2: Drinks

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 3: Salads

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 Day 3: Soups

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

 Day 4: Entrees

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

Day 5: Sides

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 6: Desserts

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Monday
Dec062010

No Kid Hungry | Share Our Holiday Table

 

This month, dozens of food bloggers are participating in Share Our Holiday Table, a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. during the critical holiday season. The promotion kicks off today with appetizers served up by this stellar blogger line-up. For the next nine days you'll be treated to four, yes FOUR, seven-course meals; Gourmet, Family Friendly, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free. So whether it's an intimate dinner for four or a chaotic gathering of 24, you'll want to visit Share Our Holiday Table for recipes that will bring joy and satisfaction to the tummy's of those you will be gathering with. And while you are there, please consider making a contribution to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign. Just one dollar can help connect a child with up to ten healthy meals!

Tomorrow I will be sharing a cashew horchata recipe. So be sure to come on back.

Monday
Nov292010

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Okay! So you've read the Lexie's Stew Seasoning post or have landed here from my guest post at The Spunky Coconut. Thanks for visiting. If you're in the mood for stew, you've come to the right place. Once you have a batch of Lexie's Stew Seasoning ready to go, making a hearty and comforting stew is a snap.

Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  4-8 hours in a slow cooker

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef or bison STEW MEAT, 1-1/2" cubed
6 tablespoons LEXIE'S STEW SEASONING
2-4 tablespoons GRAPESEED OIL (or other high smoke point oil)
6 cups 1" cubed POTATOES
2 cups 1/2" sliced CARROTS
2 cups 1/4" sliced CELERY STALKS
2-32 ounce cartons SOUP or BROTH (see notes for options, read ingredients list for potential allergens)

Directions:

1. Toss meat with stew seasoning and brown in oil.

2. Add to slow cooker; browned meat, potatoes, carrots, celery and soup.

3. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

4. Salt and pepper to taste prior to serving. Looking for a little zing? Add some chili sauce such as Cholula Hot Sauce!

Notes:

Experiment with other veggies; kohlrabi, turnip, green beans, summer squash.
Use the pre-made soup or broth that suits your diet (see below). Alternatively, use 5-7 cups of beef broth with some extra onion and garlic goodness thrown in.

 

 

Broths We Like:
Ingredients in Pacific Natural Foods French Onion Soup: Filtered water, organic sauteed onion base (organic onions, organic dried onion, salt, organic butter (milk), natural flavor), organic cane sugar, organic onion flavor (contains organic sunflower oil), sea salt, organic garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, xanthan gum. Gluten-free. Contains: milk.

Ingredients in Pacific Natural Foods Organic Beef Broth: Organic beef stock (water, organic beef), organic beef flavor base (organic roasted beef including beef juices, organic cane juice, organic beef flavor, organic onion powder, sea salt, organic canola oil, caramel color, organic garlic powder, organic black pepper, organic paprika, flavor), sea salt, autolyzed yeast extract, organic garlic powder. Contains caramel color but Pacific claims this soup is gluten-free. Dairy-free.

Ingredients in Imagine Natural Creations® Creamy Portabello Mushroom Soup: Filtered water, portobello mushrooms, organic onions, organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), organic potatoes, organic celery, organic rice flour, organic expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, sea salt, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder, organic spice. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Contains: soy.
***Ingredients list subject to change. Always read labels.***
Sunday
Nov282010

Lexie's Stew Seasoning & Creative Whip Winner

Beef stew is a hearty dish that I make regularly in the winter months. This seasoning speeds prep time by eliminating the need to measure out spices each time you make a batch. How about checking your pantry for all the ingredients and picking up what you don't have along with two pounds of stew meat, potatoes, celery, carrots and two cartons of Pacific Natural Foods Organic French Onion Soup (contains butter) or beef broth (for non-dairy version) so that tomorrow we can make stew!

Lexie's Beef Stew Seasoning

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Makes:  Approximately 1-3/4 cups seasoning (for 7-14 batches of stew)
Prep Time:  5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup BROWN RICE FLOUR
2 tablespoons SEA SALT
2 tablespoons granulated ONION
2 tablespoons PAPRIKA
2 tablespoons dried PARSLEY FLAKES
1 tablespoons granulated GARLIC
1 tablespoon CELERY SEED
2 teaspoons dried OREGANO
2 teaspoons BLACK PEPPER
1 teaspoon dried ROSEMARY, crushed
1 teaspoon dried DILL
1 teaspoon dried THYME

Directions:

Measure ingredients into a jar. Cover and shake until well combined.

Tuesday
Nov232010

NEW Spunky Coconut Cookbook

Grain-Free Chai Granola | Find this recipe and 80 other grain-free, gluten-free and casein-free recipes in Kelly Brozyna's new cookbook "The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts."Last Saturday, at the Gluten Free Girl's potluck, I had a chance to catch up with one of my favorite people, Kelly Brozyna. Kelly is the incredibly talented recipe developer, mom and voice behind the blog The Spunky Coconut. On that day Kelly was especially giddy and for good reason, her second cookbook, The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts, was just days away from launching.

This morning I got THE call from an elated Kelly giving me the green light to publish this post. Her cookbook had hit the shelves of The Spunky Coconut e-Store and Amazon. I don't know about you, but I have a handful of family and friends who will be receiving cookbooks this holiday—this one in particular (we tend to give what we want to receive, ha!). Kelly was kind enough to give me a signed copy of the cookbook last weekend and in the four days I've had this delicious cookbook in my hot little hands I have made:

Coyote Cookie Bars | Heavenly grain-free goodness. I couldn't get enough of these.

Chai Granola (pictured above) | Packed with nutrient-dense walnuts and chia seed. The kids enjoyed this oat-free granola on their yogurt this morning. Which yogurt? That leads me to ...

Steamboat Yogurt | At about the same time this spring, Kelly and I began fooling around with making non-dairy yogurt (we even met in Ft. Collins one day to swap tastes!). What I love about her version is the creaminess the cashews add. I am so in love with nut yogurts!

Divine Vegan Fudge Cake with Macadamia Frosting | Shhh ... Kelly had me test this last fall and let me tell you, "divine" it was and even more so the second time around. And the Macadamia Frosting, wow!

Clockwise:
Coyote Cookie Bars | Heavenly grain-free goodness
Steamboat Yogurt | Non-dairy yogurt perfected
Divine Vegan Fudge Cake with Macadamia Frosting | Rich, dense and decadent

Chia, Nuts, Hemp Seed Oh My!

If you follow a grain-free, gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free diet or any combination thereof or if you are trying to include in your diet low-glycemic, nutritionally dense foods that are power-packed with the undeniable goodness of ingredients like coconut, chia seed, hemp seed, legumes and nuts, this book is for you! If you or someone you love is diabetic, celiac, lactose intolerant or following the gluten-free/casein-free autistic diet, this book is for you. All 80 recipes are gluten-free and casein-free. 50 of them are egg-free. And if the alternative ingredients used in many of the recipes intimidate you, fear not, Kelly explains what each ingredient is, why it needs to be in your diet and where to find it.

Nutritional Healing

I have to say that Kelly has a lot of experience when it comes to nutritional healing. If you know Kelly, follow The Spunky Coconut or have her "must-have" first cookbook—The Spunky Coconut Cookbook—you probably know of the journey she has been on with her family. Together through diet and biomedical treatments, they are overcoming celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, ADD and autism with great success. She is open and honest and shares her experiences on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

More Details

Kelly photographs and designs her cookbooks, front to back, inside and out. She self-publishes through their family press, Apidae Press, with her husband Andrew (an author and designer). Their books are printed on demand here in the USA. This means that they are printed one at a time, as they are ordered, as opposed to a big print run of thousands of books.

Kelly (The Spunky Coconut) and me (Lexie) at The Gluten Free Girl's potluck in Boulder.