Welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I'm glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy the five years of recipes and ramblings collected here.

The inspiration for this site was my son. To learn about our journey to restore his intestinal and neurological health read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Take a peek at my cookbook.  

 

 

 


 

  

 

Saturday
Oct022010

Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

This wedge salad is one of my favorite menu items at Outback Steakhouse. If you're okay with dairy, top this easy-to-prep salad off with blue cheese crumbles.

Because Outback Steakhouse makes the effort to accommodate diners on special diets, we give them our business. Their food and service is consistent. Like Starbucks, you know what you're going to get. When our boys dine with us (they are 3 and 4), we can get away with splitting an Outback Special GF—a 6-ounce steak accompanied by a naked sweet potato and unseasoned green beans. Ask mom what her favorite menu item is and she'd have to say the Wedge Salad. It's a simple little salad of iceberg lettuce topped with a blue cheese dressing, diced tomatoes, bacon bits, red onion and a drizzle of a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze. The menu suggests that gluten-free and dairy-free diners avoid the blue cheese dressing (both of which I can eat but my son cannot). How can a salad I adore not be enjoyed by everyone!? Using a tasty, dairy-free ranch dressing recipe from my friend Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom and a simple-to-make balsalmic glaze, you, too can have Outback at home—or close to it!

Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30
Common Allergens: Soy (trace amount in Veganaise)

Instructions:

In a small saucepan combine, bring to gentle simmer and reduce to a thick syrup:

1/2 cup BALSALMIC VINEGAR
1/8 cup raw HONEY
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

Brown, crumble and set aside:

6-8 strips BACON (choose organic or uncured Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon or Turkey Bacon) (optional)

Prepare Heidi's Ranch Dressing (dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan).

Prepare produce and set aside:

1 TOMATO diced
1/4 RED ONION thinly sliced
1 head ICEBERG LETTUCE quartered

Assembly:

On one large plate or on four individual serving dishes, arrange and top lettuce wedges evenly with and in this order, a spoonful (or two) of ranch dressing, tomato, red onion, bacon and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze. If you tolerate dairy, a spoonful of blue cheese crumbles tops this salad off perfectly!

Thursday
Sep302010

Cayenne and Paprika Kohlrabi

Cayenne and Paprika Kohlrabi makes a nice appetizer or side dish.

This week, at our Grant Farms CSA drop point, it saddened me to see a table full of abandoned kohlrabi. As you can see in the picture below, I think the kohlrabi were feeling somewhat dejected as well!

Kohlrabi is new to me and earlier this year I had to hit Google to find out 1) what it was and 2) how to prepare it. Since making friends with this stout little member of cabbage family, I have taken to eating and enjoying it most in the raw. Imagine the delicate taste of broccoli stems and the crunch of the crispest apple you have ever sunk your teeth into. That's kohlrabi. A rather fascinating little cruciferous veggie that retains much of its crispness no matter how long it's cooked!

Rescued kohlrabi.

So back to the produce pick up. The woman helping me bag up my veggies gave me the go ahead to take all the kohlrabi I wanted. And so I did. Well, here it is Thursday night and I have successfully used up the little guys and secretly hope there are more orphans next week! Tuesday I cubed some and tossed it in with our Bison Stew. Wednesday I made this Cayenne and Paprika Kohlrabi for an afternoon snack. And, tonight ... well, that post is coming soon.

 

Cayenne and Paprika Kohlrabi

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Common Allergens: None

Instructions:

With a sharp knife, very carefully cut away the skin of and slice in 1/8-1/4" slices (see notes):

2 medium KOHLRABI

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add:

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin OLIVE OIL (more as needed)

Arrange kohlrabi in a single layer in frying pan. Season to taste with:

SEA SALT
BLACK PEPPER
CAYENNE PEPPER
PAPRIKA

Saute until golden brown and flip. About 5 minutes each side.

Notes:

The skin of a kohlrabi and the flesh just beneath the skin can be quite fibrous. I slice off the skin and a little more.

Saturday
Sep252010

For When You're Outta Bob's (or can't get it)

A number of my recipes call for Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. If you're out or can't find it at a store near you, this flour mix makes a great substitution.

Readers like Shelley (aka saffron69) have asked what Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour can be substituted with. In Shelley's case, she lives abroad and can't get it. In my mother's case, she's in Hawaii and it is insanely expensive there. So here is the mixture I suggest for those who can't find Bob's GF AP Flour or just need some in a pinch. Give Saturday Pancakes a try and let me know what you think!

Make Your Own Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

3/4 cup GARBANZO FLOUR
1/2 cup POTATO STARCH
1/4 cup TAPIOCA STARCH/FLOUR
1/4 cup SORGHUM FLOUR
1/4 cup FAVA BEAN FLOUR

Combine well and store in air-tight container (preferably in refrigerator).

Friday
Sep242010

A Friday [Bread] Flop!

"Mom, your bread feels like a rock." - My son Wyatt, 4 years old, referring to this Friday flop. This loaf of gluten-free bread may look good, but it sure was not!

Some people are big on creative visualization. Athletes and artists come to mind. I think the way it works is you hold a thought in your mind and attempt to attract success with mind power. Well, I woke up this morning visualizing bread. I visualized a soft, pliable dough formed into a lovely loaf that would rise to perfection. I imagined the sweet, yeasty smell that would permeate the house. I began salivating dreaming of a luscious, gluten-free bread (is that an oxymoron) I could sink my teeth into.

[Screeching halt]

When it comes to gluten-free baking, let me tell ya, visualization doesn't work. All the visualization and the studying of the recipe I had done the night before were in vain.

I think every gluten-free chef/baker yearns to find that recipe that produces a stunning loaf of gluten-free bread. Well, this recipe was not the one. Now, I could have made an error in the process so I am not going to say which recipe I followed, but my friend Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl had the exact same experience with the exact same recipe. Needless to say, we both were let down.

On that note, I will tell you that I am making it a mission to find a gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free bread recipe that produces results and isn't overly complicated. I have some in mind to try. If you've tried them, please let me know by leaving a comment. If you have other recipes to add to this list, leave a comment and tell me where to find them and I will add them to this post/bread recipe round-up. Here are ones I plan to try:

Shauna James Ahern and the new gluten-free cookbook she co-authored with husband, Daniel

  1. Shauna and Daniel Ahern's bread recipe in their new book Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. This book was just released and already as many, many rave reviews on Amazon!
  2. Dr. Jean Layton's Basic Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe. Jean put in a lot of time on this one.
  3. Karina's Delicious Gluten Free Bread Recipe. Karina truly is a talented gluten-free goddess!
  4. This one was recommended by Michelle O. Find it at Gluten Free Mommy.
  5. Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl has a vegan recipe I am dying to try. (coming 9-28-10)

As I take on this personal challenge, yeah I will do some visualization, but a whole lot of prayer won't hurt either! Wish me luck.

Sunday
Sep122010

NEW! Rudi's Gluten Free Breads

Photo courtesy of Rudi's Gluten-Free BakeryLast month I attended an intimate gourmet dining experience at one of Denver’s hottest eco-eateries, Root Down. The group gathered was celebrating the launch of Rudi’s Gluten-free Bakery by Colorado-based Rudi’s Organic Bakery.

For those with Celiac or a gluten intolerance/sensitivity, rejoice! Rudi’s Organic Bakery heard your cry for more gluten-free bread options and responded by hunkering down in a test kitchen for 15 months. The result—three varieties of gluten-free bread that have the same look, taste and texture as “regular” breads! Three cheers!

That evening at Root Down, chef and owner Justin Cucci served up a completely gluten-free meal featuring Rudi’s new gluten-free breads. The simple but exquisite Gourmet Tomato Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwich starter was to drool for—so good that I am including it at the end post.

So, the morning after the event my 4-year old was eager to get a taste-test underway. We toasted up a slice of Rudi’s Gluten Free Original bread and a slice of the competition’s, smeared on some Earth Balance Buttery Spread and started munching. “Mmmmmm, this one,” he said, pointing to Rudi’s. And I had to agree! Two things stood out to me about Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread. The first was taste. The combination of ingredients created a full body (that sounds like a wine review) rather than an empty starch taste. Secondly, the texture. For those who bake with xanthan gum, you know the artificial chewy feel you get when you use too much. Again, the balance of ingredients was just right.

At Lexie’s Kitchen, we encourage cooking from scratch with wholesome ingredients as much as possible. When this becomes a challenge and time doesn’t permit, that’s when convenience products like Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread can step in. Since going gluten-free, our family has taken a good look at how and what we eat. We now aim to fill up on vegetables, healthy proteins and whole grains. And if we are doing that, then I feel that adding in some French toast, melted Daiya cheese sandwiches or bread pudding is okay. Like a dear friend who lived to be 98 once said, “it’s not what you eat, it’s what you don’t eat.” There is quite a bit of truth to that. Eat well and enjoy some treats.

Here is a link to Rudi’s. As is always safe to do, check the Nutrition and Ingredients facts for yourself to ensure there are no ingredients in these breads that you are sensitive or allergic to. And please note that this is NOT an egg-free line of breads.

Quick Facts:

• The line-up: Gluten-free Original, Multigrain and Cinnamon Raisin
• You don’t have to toast it to make it taste good!
• Made with all-natural and organic ingredients
• Nothing artificial and no preservatives
• MSRP $5.99 per loaf
• Rolling out nationally to natural food stores and mainstream supermarkets (check the freezer section).

I have to hand it to you Rudi’s. You’ve done good—actually, great! Thanks for giving the gift of convenience bread back to families with dietary restrictions. And thank you Justin Cucci and your superb staff for an outstanding gluten-free meal.

And my dear readers, if you find yourself in Denver, go to Root Down for some outstanding food (including gluten-free) in a hip, eclectic environment.

If Rudi’s Gluten-free Bread has not made it to your local grocer, you can order direct from www.rudisbakery.com.

And now, for that promised recipe (thanks Justin!):

Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery Gourmet Tomato Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Created by Justin Cucci, Root Down chef and owner

Tomato Jam
Servings: 20

3-1/2 pounds ROMA TOMATOES, large dice
1 small ONION BRULEE, chopped
1/2 cup BROWN SUGAR
1-1/2 cup GRANULATED SUGAR
1 teaspoon SALT
1/2 teaspoon CORIANDER
1/4 teaspoon CUMIN
1/2 cup SHERRY VINEGAR
1 LEMON, juiced

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a 2-quart pot. Bring to gentle boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until thickened to jam-like consistency, about 3 hours. Keep an eye on the pot to ensure the jam does not burn.

Combine a heaping tablespoon of jam with 2-3 slices of your favorite cheese and two slices of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Wholegrain Sandwich Bread. Brown  in a buttered/oiled pan until cheese has melted and bread is toasted. Chef Cucci recommends Potato Chip Gouda. I suggest vegan Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds for the dairy intolerant.

I am guessing you can replace the brown and white sugars with evaporated cane sugar for a less refined option.