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
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.

Sunday
Sep052010

Inside Out California Roll

Making sushi at home is easier than you think and this Inside Out California Roll is sure to impress. The Yard House California Roll was the inspiration for this edible work of art. Making sushi at home costs far less than ordering out. I think a lot of people shy away from making it because it appears labor intensive and difficult. Well, no worries here. With this version of the California Roll there is no rolling involved. Just pack it all in, invert and voila, you've got sushi!

Inside Out California Roll

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Assembly Time: 30-45 minutes
Common Allergens: Soy, Shellfish, Sesame (all may be omitted)

Ingredients You Need:

Sushi Rice
Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
Olive Oil
Honey
Sea Salt
Cucumber
Carrot
Avocado
Crab (fresh or canned)
Sushi Nori
Sesame Seed (black and/or white)
Pickled Ginger
Gluten-free Teriyaki Sauce
Wasabi Powder

Instructions:

In medium saucepan, bring to boil then reduce to low, cover and cook 20 minutes (rice should be tender and all water absorbed, see Notes):

2 cups uncooked white SUSHI RICE (rinse and strain until water runs clear)
3 cups filtered WATER

Heat until well combined:

1/2 cup RICE VINEGAR
3 tablespoons HONEY
1 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
1-1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT (or to taste)

Allow rice and the vinegar mixture to cool a bit. Spread warm rice out on large jelly roll pan. Sprinkle vinegar mixture over rice. Gently, but briskly, toss until liquid is absorbed and rice has cooled. For optimal results and a glossy sheen, use a small fan to blow air over the rice as it's being tossed. Cover and set aside.

Prepare and set aside:

2 medium CUCUMBERS peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes
2 medium CARROTS peeled and spiralized (see Notes) or finely shredded
2 small ripe AVOCADOS cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes (see Notes for how-to video)
3 sheets SUSHI NORI cut into 1x1/8" shreds using kitchen shears
1-1/2 cups fresh CRAB MEAT shredded (use canned in a pinch)

Mix and set aside:

1 tablespoon prepared WASABI (if using wasabi powder, prepare as directed on packaging)
1/4-1/2 cup gluten-free TERIYAKI SAUCE (adjust to taste)

Assemble and serve:

1. Line a deep, straight-sided ramekin or souffle dish (approximately 4-5" wide) with plastic wrap.
2. Spoon in a layer of avocado to completely cover bottom of dish.
3. With moistened hands, make a lightly-packed rice ball that is 1" smaller in width than the dish.
4. Place rice ball on avocado layer and pack crab around edges of rice ball.
5. Spoon on a layer of cucumber.
6. Use a flat-bottomed glass to gently pack down cucumber, crab, rice and avocado.
7. Invert onto a plate and gently remove plastic wrap.
8. Press sushi nori around edges and sprinkle over top of sushi.
9. Top with carrot and pickled ginger.
10. Drizzle with Wasabi Teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
11. Serve immediately.

Notes:

• For perfect rice every time you can use this no-measuring-cup technique I learned from my dad. Simply add desired amount of rice to pot (rice doubles in volume when cooked). Rinse and drain until water runs clear. Add enough water to pot so that it measures one knuckle above the level of the rice (pointer finger). Place in rice cooker. If cooking on stove top, bring to a full boil, cover, turn to low heat and cook for 20 minutes. No peeking.

• The technique for spiralizing carrots is the same as described in my "Zucchini Noodles" post. Spiralized veggies really dress up a dish. You could julienne as well.

• Asian markets should have most of what you need.

• And finally, a little how-to for cubing avocados. I like the tip on "squishing it out" for guacamole:

 

Sunday
Aug292010

Vegan German Chocolate Frosting

Egg-free and not-to-sweet German Chocolate Frosting.
I did it, too! I cheated. I admit it.

A while back my friend, Nancy, at The Sensitive Pantry admitted to trying a Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix. Go Nancy! This week I followed in her footsteps. August is birthday month in our family. Lots of birthdays, lots of cakes. By the time my husband's birthday rolled around I wanted something quick and easy and totally illegal!

Let me post the disclaimer right now: The cake featured in this post is made with refined sugar (probably sugar beet) and eggs. So there.

The LEGAL part of this post is the frosting I globbed on TOP. It's a tasty little number that can transform any chocolate cake (not just Betty Crocker's) into the German version.

Thanks, Nancy, for admitting that we all fall (or intentionally jump) off the wagon once in a while and that it's OOOOKAY!

Alright, truth be told, this was my SECOND trial of a Betty Crocker gluten-free product. The first was the Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, which I made sans-eggs. Just substituted flax gel for the eggs (1 T flax meal + 3 T water = one egg) and made mini-cupcakes. They turned out great, too! But enough about Betty's cakes, here is the recipe for the frosting.

Vegan German Chocolate Frosting
Makes enough to cover one layer of a 9" round cake.

Gently heat until runny:

3/4 cup gluten-free BROWN RICE SYRUP
1 tablespoon HONEY (or AGAVE SYRUP for the vegan diets)
2 tablespoons COCONUT OIL
15 drops SweetLeaf® Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA

Add to food processor and whiz until almost smooth:

1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS (soak 4 hours, rinse well and drain)
2 teaspoons COCONUT FLOUR (if you don't have it it's probably fine without)
Heated syrup mixture

Add and pulse until incorporated:

1/2 cup chopped raw WALNUTS or PECANS
1/2 cup unsweetened COCONUT FLAKES
1 tablespoon NON-DAIRY MILK, if needed, to thin icing (how to make Almond Milk)

Pour over cake and gently spread.