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

 

 

 


 

 

 

Saturday
Mar132010

Blushing Beet Smoothie

I've found myself yawning through the produce section of the grocery store lately. At the same time I've found myself dreaming of opening day at the farmers' market. Alas, it is what it is, a few more cold months to go! So I've pulled it together and forced myself to branch out with the produce that IS available. I'm still figuring out what to do with the fennel bulbs (ideas anyone?) but did make a gorgeous smoothie out of the beets I bought (this picture doesn't do the brilliant ruby color justice).

In high-powered blender, blend until smooth:

1/4 to 1/2 of a steamed and cooled BEET

Small handful of chopped CARROTS

Handful of frozen STRAWBERRIES

1 cup WATER

RAW HONEY or Vanilla Creme liquid STEVIA drops to taste

NOTES: Beets have a sweet but earthy taste, so adjust the amount you use to satisfy your tastebuds. Here's how to cook up a beet:

Roasting Method:  Trim roots and tops off. Place in roasting pan with a little water. Cover and roast 425˚F for 35-45 minutes or until tender. Let cool and slip off skins under running water.

Steaming Method: Trim roots and tops off. Place in pot with a couple of inches of water. Cover and steam 20-30 minutes or until tender. Let cool and slip off skins under running water.

Sunday
Feb282010

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Tuna Skillet Casserole

I can’t wait for the reviews on this one. So please try it and tell me what you think! It can be a skillet dinner or served up as a casserole. Either way, it’s comforting comfort food.

Prepare 2 cups of your choice of noodles according to package instructions then drain and reserve (see notes).

Blend at high-speed in high-powered blender for 1-2 minutes until mixture resembles milk:

1/2 cup BLANCHED ALMONDS (with skins are okay, too)
2 cups organic, gluten-free CHICKEN BROTH
1 tbls LEMON JUICE
2 tsp BRAGG’S LIQUID AMINOS
1 tbls gluten-free ONION POWDER
1/8 tsp white ground PEPPER (black is fine, too)
Pinch NUTMEG
Dash of CAYENNE (optional)

In large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat whisk the following flours in heated oil for one minute to make a make a roux:

3 tbls OLIVE OIL
2 tbls GARFAVA FLOUR (Garbanzo/Fava bean flour)
1 tbls TAPIOCA FLOUR/STARCH

Whisking constantly, slowly add the nut milk mixture to the roux to create a creamy sauce. Continue whisking to remove any lumps. Then add:

2 cans chunk white TUNA
1-2 cups chopped steamed BROCCOLI or frozen PEAS (optional)
Cooked PASTA

Salt to taste. Stir gently and simmer for 10 minutes then serve. 

CASSEROLE OPTION: Pour above mixture into a casserole dish and top with crushed potato chips (if your diet allows), gluten-free bread crumbs tossed with olive oil or butter, or for a real NON gluten-free treat for the rest of the family, top with French’s Onions (rare junk food treat in this household, trust me!) and cheddar cheese. Bake 350˚F for 20 minutes until bubbly.

NOTES: I can't say enough about Tinkyada brown rice noodles. They hold up really well for rice noodles—no mush! And, they’ve got some fun shapes.

MODIFIED DIET CONSIDERATIONS: If on a grain-free diet or ACD diet, simply pour the tuna sauce over zucchini "noodles". ACD should also dieters omit tapioca starch.

Thursday
Feb252010

Almond Milk

At a year old we had a hunch that our littlest one had a milk sensitivity/allergy. I felt like we were bucking popular convention when I said no to soy and goats milk—the most common cows milk substitutes. Instead I opted to start making nut milk. I started with almond, began adding pumpkin and sunflower seeds, moved on to macadamia, cashews, pecans and most recently, pine nuts. The options for combining are endless. Homemade nut milks are far superior in taste and texture to store-bought. I’ve included some ideas for fortifying and flavoring.

The formula for making milk can be found in numerous places on the online so I feel like I am being a bit redundant here. But so that you don’t have to go digging here we go:

Puree in high-powered blender for 1-2 minutes:

1 cup raw ALMONDS (soaked overnight and rinsed well)

3 cups WATER

Pour into a nut milk bag, (see Notes below), squeeze gently into a wide-mouthed bowl to extract milk. Return to rinsed blender carafe, add the following and blend for 10 seconds:

2 tbls HONEY (or to taste)

2 tsp pure VANILLA EXTRACT

Pinch of SEA SALT

Optional Add-ins:

2 tbls FLAX SEED (blend with nuts, adds an extra bit of creaminess)

1 tsp SOY LECITHIN granules (blend with nuts, acts as an emulsifier)

1 tsp pure ALMOND EXTRACT to replace vanilla (add in with agave and salt)

3-5 soaked, PITTED DATES to replace honey (soak and blend with nuts)

Done! Now you’ve got some lovely, creamy, fresh almond milk. Refrigerate and use up within a few days.

NOTES:

Soaking Nuts and Seeds: Soaking not only softens nuts and seeds for better blending, it also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and reduces Phytic acid, allowing for better digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals. Soaking times vary for nuts and seeds—usually the harder the nut, the longer the soaking time.

Nut Milk Straining Bags: There are a few “nut bags” on the market. The one I bought did not last very long. I ended up popping a seam open—squeezing gently is advised. An affordable alternative to a nut milk bag (buy a pack of three for under $10), are reusable mesh produce bags. You can find them at most health food markets. They are tough and durable. For clean-up, just rinse and toss into the laundry. And, buying a 3-pack ensures you always have a clean one on hand! I will say that these produce bags do allow a tiny bit of the fibrous pulp to slip through, but not enough to bother me. If you’ve been making nut milk, tell me what kind of bag has worked best for you, I’d love to hear.

Demonstration Video (CLICK HERE): Watch a pro! Let Elaina Love at PureJoyPlanet show you how to make nut milk. I think I need to pick up one of her raw cookbooks!

MODIFIED DIET CONSIDERATIONS:

SOY LECITHIN:  Soy lecithin rarely affects those with an allergy or intolerance to soy. As with anything, use in moderation.

SWEETENERS: If your diet does not allow honey, a few drops of liquid stevia will work—or better yet, no sweetener at all!

Thursday
Feb252010

Elaine Gottschall's Electrolyte Drink

When the barf bug hits the house, what would we do without that tasty Pedialyte or Gatorade? Hey, I know, make our own! Years ago, a gang of us took off on a hike in Volcano National Park (picture black lava and hot sun). Into the hike we realized we only had one bottle of water to go around. Back home that night I came down with nausea and a headache. Mom dialed her mom and former WWII Army nurse, Tutu Stevie, to get a diagnosis. I was dehydrated. She told mom how to whip up an electrolyte drink. In a couple of days I was better. Well, this week the barf bug has dealt this house a blow. This round, foregoing the bottled store-bought stuff, I thought I'd make my own. This homemade concotion may not look like orange aid or fruit punch OR be loaded with dextrose and artificial colors, but thats fine with me. Here is the recipe I used. It comes from a mother who dedicated her life to healing her child through nutrition and helping other parents do the same. Thank you Elaine!

NOTES: This is probably not suitable for children under one as honey is not advised for children until after a year old. Use a quality sea salt. Celtic or Himalayan are great choices.

Elaine Gottschall's Electrolyte Drink (CLICK HERE)

Friday
Feb192010

Winter Squash Soup

When my son and I were on the Anti-Candida Diet spaghetti squash was one of the "acceptable" varieties of winter squash on the list. We ate a lot of it. For this recipe try your own mixture of winter squash. Spaghetti and pumpkin are your best low-carb bets. If you're not scrupulously watching your carb in-take then throw in some butternut or acorn for a richer, slightly sweeter soup.

Puree in high-powered blender (in batches):

3 cups cooked SPAGHETTI SQUASH

2 cups cooked PUMPKIN, ACORN OR BUTTERNUT SQUASH

2 cups of CHICKEN BROTH (I use Better than Bouillon Organic Bases—see manufacturer's comments below)

1/2 medium ONION

2 tsp grated GINGER

1 clove GARLIC

Transfer mixture to a large soup pot and add:

1/4 tsp ground CINNAMON

1-1/2 cups ALMOND MILK (make your own, it's so much better)

1 cup WATER

Simmer on medium low for 20 minutes to combine flavors. Serve topped with Onion Spice Pumpkin Seeds (recipe coming) instead of croutons.

Tip for Baking Squash: I a not sure where I stand on microwave ovens. All I know is they make cooking squash super easy and quick. If I have time I bake squash, if not I nuke it (tsk tsk). Either way all you need to do is cut a quarter-sized hole in the squash. The best way I have found to do this is to carefully cut around the stem. Place in oven (on a cookie sheet) or throw it into the microwave. No need to add water. Bake at 350˚F 40-60 minutes or microwave 6 minutes for every pound. You'll know it's done when the rind is soft. Allow to cool cut in half, de-seed and scoop out the lovely flesh!

MODIFIED DIET CONSIDERATIONS:

I wanted to rest assured that one of my kitchen stables, Better Than Bouillon, was gluten- and casein-free (it didn't state it on the bottle). Its convenience can't be beat. I use it so much and dreaded the thought of having to replace it with something else. So I wrote the manufacturer and this is what they said: "We currently have three organic bases that are lactose, casein and egg free. We manufacture Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken, Organic Beef, and Organic Vegetable bases. Please be aware if any of our bases contained allergenic material you would easily find this information printed on containers ingredient statement."