Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chocolate Fudgesicle Ice Cream

Luckily for us, summer has lingered late this year. So you get one extra ice cream recipe while the weather is still hot. This ice cream takes me back to childhood and the taste of original-recipe fudgesicles. I swear they changed the recipe somewhere in the last decade and added a lot of filler junk so now they taste mediocre. Of course it could be that as I got older my palate improved, but my memory tells me that fudgesicles used to be rich and super chocolatey. This ice cream tastes like that chocolatey memory.
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup crumbled chocolate cake
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate at least 2 hours (or refrigerate the coconut and rice milks ahead of time).
  3. Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions (I process mine for 28 minutes).
  4. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze at least 4 hours before serving. (If you refrigerate your blended ingredients for several hours before processing you may be able to serve immediately.)
It probably sounds odd to have cake in this recipe, but I'm sure that is what gives it such a rich flavour and texture. I usually have slices of cake on hand in my freezer so it is easy for me to pull out a piece for this recipe. If you don't have any cake available, you can probably omit it and add extra cocoa powder (1/4 cup or so). It will still be good, but it won't be quite the same.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bison Tacos

Homemade tacos are a fun dinner and can be quite allergy-friendly (assuming you aren't allergic to corn). I mix up a big batch of seasoning every once in a while and then I have it on hand in my spice drawer as needed. It helps to keep this recipe quick and easy if the seasoning is pre-mixed.

Seasoning mix (makes about 8 meals):
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp oregano
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Store in a cool, dry place (such as with your other dried herbs).
  2. To use, fry one pound of ground bison (turkey or ground beef would also work) over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain fat. Add one cup water and one heaping Tbsp seasoning mix to meat. Heat 10 minutes or so until water is absorbed. (If it doesn't absorb after 10 minutes, turn up the heat a bit).

Taco toppings are a personal preference, but our favoured choices are shown in the above picture.

  • chopped red and yellow peppers
  • sliced black olives
  • diced onion
  • cubed avocado
  • finely shredded lettuce (or pea shoots, or cilantro)
  • cubed tomatoes
  • salsa
  1. Wrap corn tortillas in foil and heat in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Put a tortilla on your plate and scoop a narrow line of seasoned bison down the middle.
  3. Layer preferred toppings over the bison.
  4. Fold up taco into a "C" shape in order to eat it.

If it's in season, I like to serve sliced watermelon after a taco dinner. It is refreshing and cuts any residual spiciness.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blackberry Scones

Yesterday I spent the morning picking blackberries, and this morning I was rewarded for my efforts with these tasty scones hot from the oven. I figured scones were a thing of the past for me -- after all, aren't they wheat and butter mixed with cream? But then I saw a tasty-looking recipe for raspberry scones over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. With a few simple modifications, I had a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free scone that used my fresh blackberry harvest. But not just any allergen-free scone -- a scone that can only be described as "Mmmmmmmmm".

And what is on top of that delicious scone? It is my own allergen-free (to me) clotted cream. After using part of a can of coconut milk in the scone recipe, I refrigerated the remainder. The coconut cream portion goes thick when cold, and is a delicious cream topping for scones. Just remember to keep it chilled until you are ready to serve it.
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup solid coconut oil (refrigerate coconut oil until it solidifies)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 overflowing cup of blackberries (I used fresh, but frozen would likely work even better)
  1. Mix flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and sea salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. Use a pastry blender to cut cold coconut oil into the dry mixture until it forms pea-sized crumbs.
  3. Whisk syrup, coconut milk and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to crumbly mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in blackberries. (At this stage I thought everything looked like a gloopy mess and worried it wouldn't turn out. Don't panic!)
  6. Drop nine mounds of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gently shape into desired scone shape.
  7. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 17-20 minutes until scones feel firm and tops are lightly browned (mine took 20 minutes).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roast Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

I make this dish quite often as it is one of the few meals that we can eat as a family, Little Man included. I also roast vegetables in this herb mix without cooking a chicken, so this can also work for the vegan crowd. Just double the veggies (feel free to include other types of vegetables, preferably harder types) and omit the chicken.

Herb mix (mix all together in small bowl):
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Chicken and veggies:
  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 4 large Yukon gold potatoes (cubed into 1 1/2 inch pieces) or 10 small red or purple potatoes
  • 2 large red onions, cut into thick wedges while leaving a bit of the root intact so the wedges don't fall apart
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Wash chicken and pat dry. Coat outside with olive oil. Salt inside, then stuff with rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. Tie leg ends together with twine.
  2. Lightly salt outside of chicken, then sprinkle half of the herbs over the outside. Rub with your hands to cover the surface and get in the crevices. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan.
  3. Put prepared vegetables in a large bowl and pour a little olive oil over. Stir to coat all the veggies in oil. Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the vegetables and stir to combine (I do this twice for better herb coverage: sprinkle, stir, sprinkle, stir again).
  4. Place vegetables around chicken in roasting pan. I use a spatula to scrape the bowl to get the residual herbs and oil out and sprinkle it over the chicken.
  5. Roast chicken and vegetables in a 400 degree convection oven for one hour. (For non-convection, set your oven to 425 degrees and bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pina Colada Ice Cream

Summer appears to be coming to an end here. You can feel that fall crispness in the air already. So before the summer warmth is gone completely, I need to post my favourite hot weather recipe -- pina colada ice cream! (And who am I kidding? I'm going to be making this all winter long!) If you like pina coladas... and getting caught in the rain... (sing along!)

This is the most simple recipe for ice cream ever, but it has such rich flavours and textures. I don't even advertise it as non-dairy anymore, and it gets rave reviews from people who don't require allergy-friendly food. Since pina coladas contain coconut, no one questions why the ice cream is "coconutty".
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 20 oz can pineapple tidbits (including the juice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  1. Refrigerate cans of coconut milk and pineapple for at least 2 hours (I keep a can of each in my fridge for an emergency pina colada ice cream fix).
  2. Mix coconut milk, pineapple with juice, sugar and agave in a blender at high speed until liquefied.
  3. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. (I process mine for 25-30 minutes).
  4. Pour into a freezer-proof container. At this stage I usually scrape pineapple pulp off of the beater and discard it. This is not a necessary step, but it makes a smoother ice cream.
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
If you have only pineapple rings or chunks, that would work too. You would probably need to include the step where you remove the pineapple pulp from the ice cream maker's beater. One time I only had a 14 oz can of pineapple on hand, so I included some fresh pineapple chunks and juice. It was so delicious, but definitely left more pulp on the beater.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pesto Pasta and Artichoke Dip

This recipe is two meals in one. You can just use the basic recipe to create a terrific artichoke dip, or you can add a few extras to make a scrumptious pesto sauce for pasta. Or you can do what I now do -- make a double batch, scoop out half at the dip stage and then add the remaining ingredients for the pesto sauce. Both freeze really well, so you can make double and save time another day. The dip recipe was adapted from one in the Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook. It is delicious with a fresh veggie platter, on crackers, or as a rich sandwich spread.

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor.

For the dip:
  • 1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained (I remove outer leaves if tough)
  • 1/2 cup rice breadcrumbs (you can use any breadcrumbs that work for you)
  • 2 tsp capers with their juice
  • 1/4 cup Manzanilla (green) olives (with or without pimentos)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
For the pesto sauce blend the above, then add and puree:
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil (pour in a steam while running the processor until you get the consistency you like)