Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Faux Pho

I  love pho - the vietnamese noodle soups.  Chicken is my favorite - comforting like chicken soup, but so much more interesting!  Pho's out these days for lots of allergy reasons, but I came up with a "pho-like" soup that we like just as well.

Allergy Friendly Pho - serves 2

1 large chicken breast or equivalent in turkey breast
2 Tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
2" x 1" piece of peeled ginger
2 shallots, peeled and diced
sea salt
white pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups homemade chicken broth, hot
4 oz. rice pad thai noodles, cooked, drained, and rinsed
2 heads baby bok choy, chopped, boiled for 2 minutes, and drained
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 T chopped mint leaves

Heat broth while making the rest of the soup.

Cut chicken breast in thin slices.  Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan.  Add chicken and cook until done.  Salt and pepper to taste. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Add additional tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Cook shallots until translucent.  Grate ginger into pan and cook for a minute.  Add lemon juice, hot broth, and bok choy.

To assemble soup, put 1/2 the noodles in each bowl.  Add the chicken.  Divide the broth mixture between the bowls.  Top each bowl with half the basil and mint.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Updates through 7-23

Added to What I Eat:
Sunflower seeds - Trader Joe's no salt, not from a facility that processes nuts
Sunbutter brand sunflower seed spread - organic only

Recipe changes:
Fruit Cobbler - Changed 2 cups fruit to 4 cups fruit

Sunflower Butter Cookies

I was about to try grinding my own sunflower seed butter when I found Sunbutter's Organic variety.  It's only sunflower seeds and is made in a peanut and tree nut free facility.  I generally don't buy anything premade because of the risk of cross-contamination, but this looked worth a shot!  It's really good - reminiscent of peanut butter, but different too.  And I seem to be fine with it.

It's taken several tries to get a decent cookie, but these aren't bad! In fact, I'm going to have to limit how often I bake them if I want to keep fitting in my clothes.

If you decide to try your own recipes with sunflower seed butter, this is what I found on the Sunbutter site:

When baking with SunButter® you must cut back the amount of baking soda / powder into about half of what the recipe asks for. This is done to avoid any discoloration that will occur from the reaction between the chlorophyll present in sunflower seeds and the baking soda / powder. This reaction does not make the recipe harmful to consume but may not be visually appealing. This reaction may also be counteracted by adding a small amount of lemon juice to the recipe.

Apparently it turns whatever you're baking a dark greenish color.  Hmmm.  I decided to just leave the baking soda out - my old recipe didn't call for that much anyway.

Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies - makes about 3 dozen

1 1/4 cups rice flour
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup Spectrum palm shortening
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup packed organic brown sugar
2 batches flax egg substitue
1 tsp. home made vanilla

Cream sunflower seed butter, shortening, and the sugars.  Add flax mixture and vanilla.  Add in the flour.  Roll into approximately 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork, making a criss cross pattern.  Sprinkle with white sugar and a pinch of sea salt crystals.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Leave on the pan for a few minutes before removing them to paper towels to cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Satay" Chicken

Not really satay chicken since peanut butter, soy sauce, and chilies are out, but it's along those lines and very good!

"Satay" Chicken

5 or 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup white wine (see what I eat for lower histamine choices)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2T sunflower seed butter
1 T olive oil
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 shallot, grated
1 piece of ginger (about 2" by 1"), grated

Mix marinade.  Wash and dry chicken, add to marinade, and put in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.  Grill on the barbecue or broil in the oven.

To make kebobs, use chicken breasts cut into cubes.

Note about sunflower seed butter:  I use Sunbutter Organic - the organic appears to be as corn safe as possible and works for me.  It's also made in a peanut and nut free facility.  If you're allergic to soy, it is made on equipment that processes soy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mango Sorbet

One of the best kitchen appliances I ever bought was our ice cream maker!  It's a Cuisinart I got through Amazon and we use it so much I had to order a second freezing tub.  The freezing tub takes more time than they say to get cold enough to make good ice cream - I count on letting it sit in the freezer for two days before I even try.

I buy my frozen mangoes at Trader Joe's.  If you don't have one around, you could use fresh or any frozen that is only mango.  Some brands use citric acid as a wash when freezing - usually made from corn these days, not citrus.  Go figure!

Mango Sorbet

1 1/2 pound bag frozen mango pieces
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

1.  Dissolve sugar in water in a medium sized sauce pan.  Add the mango, cover, and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat so the mango is simmering and cook for about 5 minutes.  Let cool.

2.  Puree with the lemon juice in a blender.  Put in the refrigerator until really cold - at least half a day.

3.  Process according to your ice cream maker's instructions.  Put in the freezer for a few hours to harden a bit more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fruit Cobblers

A couple years ago we planted a bunch of fruit trees that are supposed to do well in the Sonoran Desert - Ana and Dorset Golden apples, Methley Plums, Black Mission figs, Mid-Pride and Tropic Snow peaches, Garden Prince Almonds, Hood Pears, and Li Jujubes.  This year we had bumper crops of plums and peaches and I just finished harvesting the last of a huge apple crop.

I haven't come up with a good pie crust yet that uses only rice flour and no xanthan gum, but I did put together a really good fruit cobbler recipe.  We've tried it with the peaches (that's when I added peaches to my allergy list) and apples - I can see it working really well with plums, cherries, and berries also.

Fruit Cobbler

About 4 cups of fruit
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon rice flour

1 cup rice flour
2 tsp. organic sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup Spectrum palm shortening
1 T lemon juice + water to equal 1/2 cup
1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons organic sugar

Mix the fruit with the 1/2 cup sugar and 1 T rice flour.  Put into an oiled 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.

Mix the flour, sugar, cream of tartar, and baking soda together.  Cut in the shortening.  Add the lemon water and vanilla and mix.  Spoon over the top of the fruit (or drop in clumps with your fingers).  Drizzle the top with olive oil and then sprinkle on the additional sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes, until nicely browned.  I accidentally took mine out too soon - it should be browner than this!  I'll replace the photo next time I make one.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Basic Breads

At the beginning, I think one of the hardest parts of my new diet regimen was the lack of any type of bread.  I need bread!  It helps fill you up and makes you feel less deprived.  Being able to use only rice flour makes things even more of a challenge - it's not known for making soft breads that actually hold together.  Here are three basics I came up with that work pretty well - muffins, small toasts, and pancakes.  They all freeze well.


1 cup white rice flour
1T sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs or double batch of flax egg substitute (2T ground flax, 6T water, microwave for 1 minute)
2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice + water to equal 1 cup (lemon juice not absolutely necessary, but makes it less dense when it reacts with the baking soda)

Mix together and spoon onto hot griddle.  Let top get almost dry before turning over.

These also work as bread for sandwiches!

Flax Muffins

1 2/3 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2T sugar or maple syrup
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg or flax egg substitute (see substitutions button at top)
1 cup water

Mix and spoon into greased muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.

You can make these fruit muffins by substituting ¼ cup pureed fruit for the olive oil.

Small Toasts

The same recipe as the Flax Muffins, but instead of one egg or flax egg substitute, put in two eggs or a double batch of flax egg substitute.

Bake in greased mini-loaf pans at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes - until the tops are firm and crusty.

Cool and put in the refrigerator (or freeze).  This part is crucial to getting thin slices (which get crispier) - try cutting it warm and you'll get crumbs!  I found an electric knife works really well.

Slice thinly, lay on a baking sheet, and brush tops with olive oil.  Broil until toasted.  Turn over, brush new tops with olive oil, and broil until toasted.