Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thai Ground Beef Wraps

I was browsing facebook and came across some a Thai Ground Beef recipe. I tweaked it a bit because that's what I do and made some awesome lettuce wraps that everyone enjoyed!

Ingredients Needed for Beef:
Sesame seed oil
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon curry powder*
a good tablespoon ginger
Some cumin and paprika
about 2 tablespoons honey
about 1/4 tsp rind from lime (I just used one lime)
juice of 1 lime
some rice vinegar
8 oz jar tomato sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 zucchinis, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped

Rice (I used a rice maker cause they are awesome)
1 cup jasmine rice
a little sesame oil
some coconut flakes
1.5 cups water

In addition, you need:
Large leaves of lettuce (we just used iceberg)
Chopped, fresh cilantro
Chopped peanuts**

*Ok, Bren can't have tree nuts/peanuts, although he can have sesame oil. Most curry pastes are Thai and actually contain peanut or peanut oil. In the main dish, I substituted curry powder, which is more Indian, but adding the sesame oil gave it a slight peanut flavor and the ginger really helps. Many with peanut allergies can't use sesame. You could use canola oil as well. Another thing to watch for with curry powder AND paste is gluten. Make sure you are purchasing a powder that is gluten-free.

**In one area of our kitchen, I allow "allergens". I chopped peanuts there and allowed the people without allergies to make their wraps with the peanuts. If allergies are REALLY bad, I'd avoid all together.

1) Combine rice ingredients and put in rice maker. It will take approx 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, you'll make your beef.

2) Heat your oil....honestly, I always eyeball don't ask me how much. Add you shallots to the heated oil and saute....then add you garlic and saute some more. About 2 minutes.

3) Add your beef to the shallot/garlic and brown. Add your spices (curry, cumin, paprika, ginger, honey) and make sure it spreads around to the meat. Add your tomato sauce and lime and a little rice vinegar. I added the zucchini and carrots at this point so they would be cooked, but still crisp.

4) All to cook for about 2-5 minutes until liquid has been reduced. Add your coconut milk and stir well and allow to reduce some more (about 2-5 more minutes).

5) Now, mince your cilantro and chop your nuts. Prepare your lettuce leaves.

6) Your rice should be ready just about now. Put a lettuce leaf on a plate, add a little rice, put some meat mixture on top, add some cilantro and peanuts and wrap.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe comes from Cybele Pascal. She has written two FABULOUS books about allergy free cooking and I would be doing LOTS more experimenting if it weren't for her. This doesn't follow her exact recipe as I didn't have any AF superfine brown rice flour....SO, I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour instead. Instead of a rice base, it's mostly garbanzo bean flour!

Anyways, these cupcakes were moist and chocolaty. The smelled heavenly and I personally think they looked beautiful. The frosting was didn't have that same "buttery" flavor, but was chocolate. Anyways, the really awesome thing is that even people with allergies can have yummy sweets!

For the cupcakes, you need:
  1. 1 cup rice milk
  2. 1 tsp cider vinegar
  3. 1 cup gluten/dairy free baking mix (For the ones in the pic, I used Bob's Red Mill)
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (gluten/dairy free), really, most unsweetened cocoa powder SHOULD technically be safe. But check the label. You never know where an allergy is secretly hiding!!!!!!
  5. 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  6. 3/4 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 3/4 cup sugar
  9. 1/3 cup canola oil
  10. 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (again, some vanilla contains gluten...make sure you are using gluten free stuff!)

For the frosting, you need:

  1. 6 tablespoons dairy/soy free vegetable shortening
  2. 2 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice milk
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pan.

2) Combine rice milk and vinegar and set aside.

3) Whisk together your dry ingredients (minus the sugar). Make sure there are no lumps left from the cocoa powder. Set aside.

4) With mixer, mix your wet ingredients (rice milk mixture, canola oil, vanilla) with your sugar until light and foamy.

5) In 3 batches, sift your chocolate flour mixture into the sugar mixture and combine well.

6) Fill muffin liners 2/3 full.

7) Bake in oven for 18 minutes, rotating half-way through. It's done when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then on rack.


1) Beat shortening until fluffy (about 2 minutes).

2) In different bowl, whisk together your sugar and chocolate until no lumps.

3) Combine sugar mixture with shortening, alternating with rice milk. Add vanilla and salt, beat until smooth and fluffy...about 5 minutes. Pipe it or use a knife!

Cast of Food Characters!

We have eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, and tree nuts from the house. So, the cast of characters is free of ALL that! What do we use instead????? LOTS of things!!!!!

Gluten Free Replacements in Baking:

Bob's Red Mill Gluten/Dairy All Purpose Flour
Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour
Potato Starch
Tapioca Starch
Corn Starch

Coconut milk (perfect for yogurt and cereal)
Hemp milk (for nutritious drinking)
Rice milk (perfect for cooking)
Rice milk cheese

Spectrum Shortening
spectrum Canola Oil Mayonnaise

Tree Nuts:
Sunflower Seed butter (like peanut butter)
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Dried fruits

Potato Gnocchi (this has to be made or purchased gluten free)
Corn/Quinoa Pasta

Meet Schmoo and Monkey!

Schmoo and Monkey are my sous chefs! Everything I make is approved by them! They enjoy working with me every dinner to ensure a healthy meal! The Monkey was diagnosed with allergies when he was a wee baby, we *thought* he had outgrown them, but unfortunately, he is still intolerant to many foods. Because of this, we have had to cut out a large number of foods. However, I am still able to make wonderful meals AND the Monkey is FINALLY (after three long years) sleeping through the night! That makes for a happy, happy Momma!
Schmoo loves veggies, fruits, and herbs. He knows most of the names. He is very adament about what types of herbs and veggies go into different dishes. He really loves lentils...doesn't matter if they are brown or red. He thinks they are delicious. He also is a big fan of mangoes and apples. I'd say his favorite herb is basil.

Monkey loves most soups, most fruits, and pizza. He is really wanting to learn how to chop veggies and I help him a little bit. His fav all time thing is to help me with baked goods: cookies, breads, pies, cakes! He's a bit of a chocolate addict!