Monday, January 29

Gluten-Free Cauliflower HOT Wings

Start thinking GF Vegan  Super Bowl Party 

At the tonic party, the theme was spicy, so we served these veggie poppers with ranch dressing and they were a huge success. 

Again, the daughter-in-law found and refined this recipe.  It is so great to have another great brain in the mix while doing gluten-free exploration.  Thanks, Jackie. 

Clean and separate an entire head of cauliflower into bite-sized florettes. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients:

2  teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup rice flour

Add to the dry ingredients:
1/2 cup milk  (almond milk works great)

As you stir the batter, add
1/4 to 1/2 cup water  to make the batter just thick enough to stick to the florettes and not drip off. 

Add the cauliflower to the batter and stir to coat. 

Drop onto a lightly sprayed baking pan.

Bake at 425 degrees  25 minutes, until lightly browned. 

In a bowl, combine 

1 cup of your favorite bbq hot wing sauce with
1/4 cup melted butter.  

Fold in the batter-coated, baked cauliflower until they are completed coated.
Return to baking pan and 
Bake at 425 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and crusty. 
Serve Hot with ranch dressing.  

Sunday, January 28

Yum Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

So if you haven't noticed, I make up recipes from what I have on hand.   I'm the lady that's googling, ranch dressing, au jus packet, chicken and pepperocinni.  (Thanks to my friend Valarie, that recipe is coming...)   Today's cookies are what I had on hand when the husband begged me for something sweet.

It's been nine months since I ate refined sugar for fun so it's been nine months since he had my cookies.  I've been avoiding refined sugar for my health and it's not been easy, but the joint-pain relief has been worth it.  I'm not OCD about it, but I'm avoiding any dessert with added sugar.    Thanksgiving and Christmas were hard, but not impossible.  I'm shocked how much sugar I was eating.

So I'm trying out new recipes that might taste great and are less sweetened, but I'm also cheap, cheap, cheap, so I'm not into sweetener substitutes.  Chemicals freak me out, (so I'm using powdered protein and superfood powder--go figure) (It's my complexity that grants me charm...) and I've been too busy to do a really in-depth sugar substitute study.  This recipe has no added sugar, that is not to say that this protein powder and superfood powder are sugarless--they do have fruit but balanced with protein, so I use them sparingly.   So the added carbs are real, and this is a cheat for my keto diet. 

6 dates pitted    blended with
3/4 cup boiling water until relatively smooth.  Add
2 Tablespoons superfood powder  (I found this at Costco.)
1/4 cup protein powder (Costco too.)

1 cup peanut butter (I've used almond butter, and it tastes less peanutty, but doubles the cost.)
2 eggs 
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dutched.)
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

I just popped everything in my Blendtec (used three times today) and blended until it was smooth.

I scooped it out with one spoon and slid the dough off with another spoon.  On top I dropped some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Then I baked the dough on my silicone sheets at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  

It made five cookies, of which I ate two.  The rest of the dough is sitting in my refrigerator enticing me to heat up the oven and bake the rest.  NO.

What I have discovered in the past nine months is that I am stronger than cookie dough.

These cookies turned out delicious, tender and not dry.  (I'm also avoiding the word moist.)


I modified this recipe from one my great daughter-in-law found on  and hers is truly keto.  Thanks lady for making me think outside the box. 

Saturday, January 27

Kefir -- Our New Healthy Digestion Aid

Are you getting your probiotic in pill form?

Recent studies say, no you are not!   What we know is that effective probiotics are live and can't be put in pill form.  They are cultures that die when exposed to heat (pasteurization) or cold, (transportation) or starved (six days from the manufacturing plant.)    If you want active culture probiotics, you gotta grow your own.  Homemade yogurt is a great source, and fermenting foods are too, but kefir is the new food fad and a fun and good way to grow probiotics.

We've been brewing water kefir for about two years thanks to my daughter-in-law who introduced us to the idea.  It has surpassed our other types of probiotic sources and we are feeling gut healthier.

What I've learned?

  • Kefir has its ancient origins in the Middle East and is pronounced  KA FEAR.
  • Kefir is delicious.
  • Kefir is healthy.
  • Kefir grains love 77 degrees and they grow well atop the water heater or sitting on the heated floor next to the furnace.
  • Kefir grains feast on the sugar water and become a great paleo protein source.
  • Kefir has helped my neighbor regulate her autoimmune condition and she is in disease remission. 
  • I don't have the fancy fermenting air releasing bottles, and it still works great. 
  • NO citrus juice can be used to ripen kefir.  Bad Plan!  It makes slime.    
  • APPLE Juice is a terrific juice to add to ripening process.  Chemical structure of apple juice does marvelous things to kefir.  Which must be why they make a lot of apple beer.  DO NOT use the good stuff.  Apple Cider cold pressed will not feed cultures--I think it's the preserving process.  The 100% juice stuff  like that by Ocean Spray works great.  
I've tried dry and powdered starter and trust me, get some live from a friend or buy the live cultures - my source is Florida Kefir.  No, they don't pay me to say so.
Image result for sea monkeys

And it's almost as exciting as growing Sea Monkeys from your youth! 

Now our problem is what to do when kefir grains multiply all over the place?

Pass it around and make everyone else's gut happy!


It seemed like a good plan to invite friends over for a kefir party and invite novices to drink too much of it all at once and then when they go home, they feel it later.

Kefir's claim to fame is that it kills the bad bacteria and repopulates the gut with good bacteria.  So if you have bad gut bacteria...

Google water kefir to get all the inside information. 
  Cultures for Health 

is my favorite site, but this video of a guy brewing kefir is one of my funniest finds.  If we are looking for more bacteria in our diet, a leather bracelet dunked repeatedly in the vat is a great fomenting tool.  Yum.  

Kefir has Three basic stages:

Brewing:  A quart of sugar water made with a quarter cup of sugar and filtered water is a great base.  Add the grains, cover loosely (so it gets adequate oxygen) leave in a warm area for 24 - 48 hours.  The longer you leave it the less sugar the finished product will have, but left too long, the grains will consume all the sugar, starve to death and die.   Yeah, use raw sugar, organic sugar, turbinado, brown, coconut sugar, all kinds, but DO NOT USE honey.  Plain old refined sugar works great for me.

After the brewing period, strain off the grains and restart stage one again brewing a new batch with
sugar water and the grains in a warm spot.

Ripening    Ripen the strained water by funneling the strained liquid into a plastic bottle that can be tightly capped.  Add a little juice or fruit for flavoring (as much as 1/3 to -2/3 ratio of juice to kefir water,) and let it sit a day in a warm place to let the microscopic grains further consume the newly added sugar and begin to effervesce. (CO2 is being produced and captured in the capped jug.)

Storage/bottling.    After a day or two, the bottle may bulge.  (This is why I use food-grade plastic bottles.) Carefully burp the bottle of liquid and place it in cold storage--freezer or fridge until you drink it all gone.   (Yes, I've had it blow forth like coke and mentos.)

Wednesday, January 17

Inflammation Reduction the Delicious Way--SUPER TONIC

Spring Is The Time To Make Supertonic

Most supermarkets stock the "bitter herb" for passover and so horseradish is readily available without special order.

(Update clarification:  Actually, my Jewish resource, Jay, corrects me that the bitter herb is a green leafy like parsley dipped in salt, but horseradish is still part of the ceremony.  It was his preference that it eaten as a flavor enhancement (obscurer)  for gefilte fish.)

I've recently found that my fancy-schmancy food markets stock horseradish all the time and so now tonic is not so seasonal!

WINTER CONGESTION be gone--daily draughts of this will clear the mucus in the chest.  Thank goodness we had this to rely on this winter because we nearly choked to death on the congestion bug.   See the past Flu story here.

But it's not only for clearing the head, but for healing the inflamation in the body and specifically the gut.  I have a friend who suffers from a form of arthritis that responds well to this tonic.   No pain.

Lately I'm all about reducing inflammation.  I know my digestion has been in stalled in neutral and I need to get it back in full-function mode and supertonic is a great fermentation way to get it going.

Great article on arthritis and inflammation

The best was to improve all my auto-immune function is diet and so I'm back to the spicy-heat method.  Because health is all about that (food) for me.


Last week the Asian children visited (my two adult children that each served two-year church missions, Dia in Hong Kong and Ian with the Hmong people in Alaska) and they were all about this "tonic" that was touted to treat all ills in their respective cities.  My research is that it promises to reduce inflammation in the body.  We went to visit friends at the lake and COINCIDENCE our hostess had just made a big jug of "tonic,"  using the same recipe!

1 32 oz. bottle of Braggs Natural Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 onion chopped finely
1/4 cup ginger root chopped finely
2 tablespoons turmeric
1/4 cup garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup horseradish root chopped
1 habenjaro pepper chopped

Mix and shelve for 28 days (one full moon cycle according to the Hmong people of Alaska.)   Sieve through cheesecloth and squeeze all fluids out.   Consume at least a tablespoon a day.  Should last at least a month.

Unless you are my mother-in-law, who loves flavor and spice and already consumes apple cider vinegar for her digestive health--she'll be making this by the double batch!

It blew my socks off and anything that strong has to be good for you right?  I have a curious craving for it though and find myself licking the blender jar.

So we started a batch and we'll let you know how it goes in a succeeding reports.

Sunday, December 17

Christmas Salsa

Cranberry Christmas Salsa adds such a unique flavor to the season that I find myself eating it by the spoonful.  

 Some people keep nog in the fridge for sneaking/snacking over the holidays, I keep this! And I'm making it tomorrow to take to the GF POTLUCK PARTY and to EAT ALL SEASON!

First Posted 12-10-08, but it is such a tradition that I'm posting it again today.

This recipe has inspired a great tradition. Every year I misplace this recipe and I have to hunt for it. I start looking for it in the most improbable place and work my way to the most likely. It takes a couple of days, but that's how I start the cavalcade of Christmas cleaning.

And, if it doesn't turn out to be where I expected, at least the process wasn't all in vain!

1 Tablespoon. fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 can pickled jalapenos (vary for hotness)
1 red pepper chopped
1 green apple (granny smith)
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 bag cranberries chopped (fresh or frozen)

Chop everything, mix together and refrigerate.

This is a spicy and delicious addition to Christmas tradition.

Tuesday, October 17

GF Carrot Cake

ITS FALL!   And I have lots of green tomatoes, so it's either fried green tomatoes or... 

Party Cake!

 I'm using the last of my green tomatoes to bake this for a friend's farewell party.  It is so delicious.  What will I do when all my green tomato puree is gone from the freezer?
I'll have to attempt to make it without the green tomato puree or perhaps I will try tomatillas?

Blend together:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup green tomatoes pureed
 (or store bought hard unripe tomatoes)
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Sift these dry ingredients:

2 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used my healthier grain mix)
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Spray/grease two 9" pans or a 9x11 cake pan.   Preheat at 350 degrees.

Beat the two mixtures together only until blended.  Spoon into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester poked in the center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes, remove from pans, frost with a cream cheese frosting.


Last posted 3-31-13 and I need to post it again!  We ate this recipe this weekend at the family reunion and once again, it was a gluten eaters heaven!  They love it, I love it, it is a delicious recipe no matter when you eat it!    YUM!

It's Spring, Easter and time to make Carrot Cake again!
Here is the photograph from last year, 2012,  hopefully the result this year will be just as beautiful--but reality usually intervenes.  It still tastes delicious.  So here goes.

Last posted 8-19-2009
I once distrusted carrot cake--all those suspicious orange flecks floating around. I can take them in stir fry and in soup, but in my cake? No! Thank you.
Being GF has really forced me (the desperation factor) to broaden my food perspective. One fall morning, facing too many unripe green tomatoes, I googled green tomato recipes and discovered this treasure. For my husband's birthday, I baked him Bette Hagman's GF carrot cake recipe.

Wow! A gastric epiphany! I now freeze green tomato puree in 1 1/2 cup increments over the winter to make this delicious cake.

This week I again made the best carrot cake in the world, compliments of Bette Hagman (Praise be her name). The only alteration I make to her recipe for Prize Winning Carrot Cake is to lower the oil by two thirds and substitute plain yogurt. Bette uses her featherlight mix of rice, tapioca and cornstarch with a dash of potato for the GF flours.

This year it proved to be still too high in caloric values for the reformed mind of the health-conscious husband, so I'll have to eat it all myself!

This cake is always successful and delicious! So say the GF and non-GF testers with whom I shared it.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS milk

Beat, beat, beat, til the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread over cake and refrigerate to set (and to hide it).

Sunday, July 23

Summer Squash Quick Bread

We have too much summer squash. After like 10 summer squash dishes and then someone drops some off on your porch and your mother-in-law wants you to pick hers and your plant is just starting to produce, we're in for a serious amount of summer squash. We've sauteed it, frozen it, and hidden it in other dishes...


Or cake.

Pictured--I put in half the batter then added marshmallows, pecans and chocolate chips. Then poured the rest of the batter on top.

Easy peasy recipe (you can half it if you don't have as much squash as I did...):

2 huge summer squash,
cut up in a blender with
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs.

Puree it all, pour it in a BIG bowl and add

1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 T milk powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 c sugar (or less if you want it for breakfast instead of dessert)
1 t guar gum
1 T cinnamon
mix it all with 1 cup flour and then wait ten minutes to see how the texture is turning out. THEN add up to 2 ish cups more GF flour blend (I used my 7 flour blend of rice, tapioca, sorghum, millet, potato, cornstarch, buckwheat, recipe here but I'm sure any blend will be fine)--add last and just look for when it makes a nice smooth cake-consistency batter.
Too wet and it will never cook through. Too dry and it will be chalky.

Mix. Preheat oven 350*, pour it into many multiple greased pans (this made a 9" round AND a big bread pan) and cook for 50 minutes or so. Follow your nose and tap it on top when you think it's done. If it bounces back, get it out and let it cool. Undercooked is nasty and I do not recommend it.

This is an easy bread and I'm guessing it would freeze nicely (if we ever didn't finish it/give it to neighbors, Sunday School classes, and friends).

Thursday, July 6

Old Fashioned School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars


1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups crispy rice
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder 
8 tablespoons (1 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cups smooth peanut butter,
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the crispy rice cereal with the confectioners' sugar and protein powder. 
In another small bowl, whisk the melted butter with the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add the peanut butter mixture to the cereal mixture and stir until the cr
umbs are evenly moistened. Pour the  mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Refrigerate until firm, 30 to 45 minutes.
Cut into 16 even squares. Store the bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Monday, July 3

GF Lemon Bars

Updated shortbread cookie crust link.

RePosted from 7-14-11 

Family Reunions!  I love them and didn't realize how much other people anticipate the food that I bring to these reunions until this year when at two different reunions, I was asked why I had not brought specific things.

AS IF I EVER REMEMBER, what food I bring to anything from the day before!  That would be miraculous.  So, I promptly went home, made lemon bars and gaspacho soup and took them to the next party, where the guests recalled with salivatorial joy the fruit pizza from last year.  Oh Well, Can One Never Win? 

In spite of the disappointment, once again, they managed to lick the platter though.  Delicious!

Recipe update: July 2011-- I have made this twice since the initial invention and when I made it this weekend for the family reunion I pressed half a batch of the recipe for (Living Without's shortbread Lintzer cookie recipe) into the 9 x 13 pan, which I had lined the pan with wax paper. The crust does not expand, so make your own judgement as to how thick you want it.

I baked the rest into shortbread cookies, but be very careful not to overbake these. They do not brown without added sugar atop. If you bake them too long, they will suck the moisture out of your mouth like sand in the Sahara and they crumble like it too.

2012 Update:  Raspberry Rhubarb filling!  Is Yum!

Back to the story:

The wax paper allowed the bar to slide out easier when it was cut and served. I baked the crust until just browned around the edges and while it was hot, I added the filling. I cut the sugar a little--I do love a tart lemon bar.
--------------------------------------------------------best of luck with yours.

First posted 3-4-11.

This recipe took honorable mention in the dessert contest at the church chili cookoff tonight.
I think it's a keeper!

4 eggs and 2 egg yolks wisk until frothy, add
2 cups sugar, (I cut it to 1 1/2 for tartness)  blend well, add
1/3 cup rice flour,
1 cup lemon juice (4-6 fresh squeezed)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest

I mixed this up and poured it over the prebaked crust (Living Without's shortbread Lintzer cookie recipe) in a 9 x 13 pan and baked it for 30-35 minutes (until the center is set). Cooled then dusted with powdered sugar, it tasted so good that I'm certain it has absolutely no redeeming nutritional value. But boy, was it delicious!

I've been told to bake lemon bars in a foil lined pan and after it's cooled, lift the entire thing out and then slice and peel the foil off, but this one didn't stick to the pan too badly.

Tuesday, June 27

Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad

Wholehearted - Blog and RECIPE RECOMMENDATION

This one is a keeper!  Delicious!  Watch the video.

Who looks at a recipe and says, "What are those black things, black sesame?  Who has that?"
That same person goes to her freezer and looks in the door and sees black sesame seeds.