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gfcf_polenta_marinara

This week’s recipe is an experiment with polenta. Prior to cooking this, I had not even tried polenta, but decided to be brave and see what it was like as it meets our dietary needs quite well. First, it was really easy to make. Although, looking at it in the pan, I worried it might taste like flan (which I definitely don’t like). I was pleasantly surprised to see the texture change when I poured it into the bowl to set up. It suddenly appeared to be much more like cornbread (which I definitely DO like!).

I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta  for this dish and topped it with my very own homemade marinara sauce. The real question was whether or not my son and husband would dare to try this dish. We all agreed it looks a bit more like a dessert than dinner, but that it definitely didn’t taste like dessert. Nicholas really liked this, which is great because he has been in a very picky eating stage lately. Nicholas rated it 100 Thumbs Up! My husband was eager to take it work the next day for his lunch; a sure sign that he enjoyed it too!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Polenta with Garlic-Free Marinara Sauce (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

To make the polenta –

6 cups water

1 tsp salt

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta

3 Tbsp ghee

Canola Oil spray

In a large deep pan over high heat, bring water and salt to a boil; stir in the polenta.

Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until mixture is very thick (about 30 minutes). Be sure to use a long-handled spoon to avoid burns from the popping and bubbling mixture!

Stir in the ghee and additional salt, if you prefer.

Spray a medium-sized bowl with canola oil spray. Spoon polenta into the bowl and let set for 10 minutes.

Invert onto a flat plate; mixture should continue to hold shape of the bowl.

Cut polenta into thick slices (like cake) and serve hot topped with marinara sauce.

To make the Marinara Sauce –

(2) 15 oz. cans Organic S&W Tomato Sauce

(1) 6 oz. can Organic S&W Tomato Paste

1 organic brown onion, finely diced

4 Tbsp McCormicks Italian Seasoning

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp sea salt

1 pkg Truvia sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes.

Here they are! The very GFCF Sugar Cookies that I made for the Gutzy Gear Party this weekend. This recipe is an old favorite of mine; originally printed from cookierecipe.com in 2000. The original recipe was called “Drop Sugar Cookies.” Here’s my GFCF version –

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sugar Cookies (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

1 cup organic vegetable shortening

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups Celeste Clevenger’s gluten-free flour mix*

1/4 tsp konjac powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cream sugars, oil, shortening. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until nearly white.

3. Add flour, konjac powder, baking soda and cream of tartar.

4. Roll into 1-inch little balls. Roll in white sugar and flatten with palm of your hand.

5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, less if you make the cookies smaller.

*Celeste’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix = a blend of brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, and white bean flour.  (All flours are from Bob’s Red Mill. This recipe, found in Celeste’s Best Allergen Free Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking yields 5 1/2 cups of flour mix.)


gfcf_roasted_bananas

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Roasted Bananas are a simple way to both use bananas that are starting to get too brown and make a tasty snack! I adapted the recipe from the cookbook, Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables. I served these as an accompaniment to a chicken dinner that I made last week and they were splendid.  My husband kept asking for more of them.  They are so easy to make and yet so satisfying. What more could you ask for? My husband gave these 20 Thumbs Up!

GFCF Roasted Bananas (Husband Rating = 20 Thumbs Up!)

canola oil spray

3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1-2 Tbsp coconut oil spread (I like Earth Balance), divided into small pieces

Optional garnish – toasted pecan halves (see instructions below)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with canola spray. Add bananas in a single layer, cut side up.

3. Sprinkle lime juice over all bananas. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; dot the coconut oil spread pieces all over bananas.

4. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until tender and lightly glazed.

5. If you wish, garnish bananas with toasted pecan halves.

(How to toast pecans – place pecan halves in a single layer on a cookie sheet that has an edge on it. Toast in middle of a 350-degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly. Cool before using.)

GFCFcarrot_zucchini_bars

Here’s a different way to get vegetables into your picky eater…make it look like cake! This week’s recipe is GFCF Carrot Zucchini Bars and it is adapted from a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens: New Cookbook 14th Edition.  There isn’t too much sugar in these, although they have a pleasant sweet taste to them. The original recipe does call for a cream cheese-style frosting, but as you can see in the photo – I opted not to do that. My son did spot the evidence of vegetables in them immediately, and refused to try them. (I guess this is where the frosting might have been helpful to mask the veggies!) However, my husband and I tried them and thought they were very tasty.  My husband provided the rating for this recipe; he gives it 12 Thumbs Up!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Carrot Zucchini Bars (Husband Rating = 12 Thumbs Up)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (about 3 medium)

1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)

3/4 cup organic brown sugar

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda in large mixing bowl.

Add eggs, carrot, zucchini, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix until combined thoroughly.

Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

Yield = 24-36 bars, depending on size

egg_dish

I’ve decided to ask my readers to submit ideas for names for this recipe.  The original recipe that inspired me was from the Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition – 2006 and was titled “Eggs Baked in Bacon Rings” –  a descriptive, but very boring title! I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit, but feel it needs a more interesting name.  That’s where you come in – please submit your recipe title suggestions to me (via the Comments section below), by midnight on May 8, 2012. Then, I’ll have my son and husband vote on the best title and announce the winner in a post on Wednesday, May 9th! You may wish to make the recipe first to give you even greater inspiration in creating a title for it.

peaches

*Unnamed Egg Recipe* (Nicholas Rating = 10 Thumbs Up!)

Strips of bacon (one for each egg you intend to cook)

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Egg(s) – as many as you intend to eat

1 tsp melted ghee (aka: clarified butter)

Salt

Paprika

Canned peach slices, drained

Parsley, for garnish (optional)

Canola Oil Spray

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Saute bacon lightly.

3. Spray canola oil on insides of muffin tin (only in cups you plan to use). Curl one slice of bacon around the side of each muffin cup.

4. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper in bottom of each muffin cup you are using.

5. Drop in one egg (white and yolk) into each muffin cup so that it is in the middle of the bacon.

6. Pour melted ghee over top of each egg.

7. Sprinkle with salt and paprika.

8. Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until eggs are set. Turn them out onto nest of peach slices. Garnish with parsley.

egg dish 2

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