Gluten Free

Chocolate, Dessert, Fall, Gluten Free, Snack, Winter

HONEY FUDGE

They are four and a half and almost three. My babies are potty trained, can buckle their own car seats, and clear their plates from the table. The crib will be passed to a friend next month and I’ve been donating the toys that seem, well, baby-ish. We finally went on a family vacation last month, where we all slept in one room and it was great - no one needed to sleep in the bathroom and the equipment we had to schlep along was minor. While still not easy (is it ever?), I feel like we’ve crossed some sort of parenthood threshold where I can breathe a little easier. The exhaustion scale is tipping more towards mental than completely physical as they become more little people and less baby.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Curran (4.5) is pretty emotional. High highs and low lows. Cries easily, loudly, and feels his 4-year old feels deeply. He LOVES to eat. Is not a toucher/cuddler. Thrives off quality time. A collector of gadgets and junk. He hoards his treasures in various bags, backpacks and cases, and takes them around with him everywhere… a little seasonly obsessive, like his father and my sister. Right now we’re in a police man season, so lots of walkie talkies, badges, the jacket, etc. Cleo adores him, but mark my words Curran will be the one keeping her out of trouble in high school.

She likes to pester him and scream at the top of her lungs if he tries to give her a dose of her own medicine. She LOVES cuddles and touches and passes out “I love you’s” generously. She has a will of steel. She insists on dressing herself in the clothes I like least in her closet and no matter the question, the answer is always “pink!” She has my favorite intonations and facial expressions. She is a charmer and a little bit crazy.

Both kids have beautiful blue eyes, are tall for their ages, are quirky, and look like each other, while not a spitting image of either parent. How wild it is to get to know them - to observe what makes them tick or make their eyes light up. These things are equally magical and incredibly frustrating, all in the scope of a day. I somehow feel surprised that we’re in a new phase. So much of the past few years has been head down survival, but gradually, I feel I can stop and SEE them now, instead of just keep everyone fed and alive. Does that make any sense? Obviously I’ve always been “aware” of them, but now, more so them as the people they are becoming. Anyway. It feels really special. Parenthood is pretty wild, in so many more ways than just being tired, like everyone tells you you’ll be. I feel extremely lucky to be their mom.

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Chocolate Honey Fudge

This honey fudge was from the first week of Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club and it was a raging success (shameless plug that I still think you should join because it’s been so neat to cook dinner along side people and share ideas). It is not often you can please all the dairy free, gluten free, egg free, honey eating vegans, and vegetarians all at once, but we’re working on it! Cheers, us.

As this may be the most favorited recipe I’ve ever written, I figured it needed to live here too.


RECIPE INGREDIENTS

2 ounces dark chocolate, well chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch) or raw cacao, plus more for dusting
pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup honey plus 1 Tbsp. 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate along the bottom of the pan. 

In a food processor or a strong blender, combine the almonds, cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, about 10 times. You want some crunchy bits of almonds. 

In a saucepan, combine the honey and coconut oil and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir to mix. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add the almond mixture and the rice cereal into the wet mixture and stir to combine. Any extra add-ins would go in here. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smooth the top and put it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour. 

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Breakfast, Entrée, Gluten Free, Spring

A STUDY ON FRITTATAS

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Brunch for a group. Inexpensive dinner. Cook once, reheat through the week breakfast. Put a slice in a tortilla or between toast and you’re off. Frittatas are just the best. Especially for some who always have leftover bits and hate waste.

*raises hand*

Too much zucchini? Trying to set yourself up to start your day with protein? Frittata! I saved a few videos in my story highlights if a visual helps. I believe a frittata is one of those meals that can go so many directions, that once you understand how they work, you can make them out of all sorts of things.

I am going to add some bullets here, because honestly, it’s just easier to shoot off opinions that way than try to craft sentences that go together. Once you have the basics down, you can make up your own creation. I would love you to chime in with your favorite combos or your tips below! If you’re one for a crust, I’m a big fan of this recipe.


 

Things I know about frittatas:

  • I like the vegetables inside to be cooked. The key to not having a water logged frittata, is cooking some of the water off of the vegetables first. You can roast or saute, and then cool. This includes greens, though they literally need about 30 seconds. Any meats need to be cooked in advance before adding too.

  • I’m going with a ratio of 2 eggs per person for one serving. You can do a 4 egg frittata for 2 in an 8” pan, 4-6 people in a 10” pan and upwards. The thicker you make the frittata, you’ll need to increase the baking time. Just keep giving the middle a little tap and pull it when it’s no longer liquidy. I keep a lower heat to try to keep the bottom from burning.

  • I strongly suggest using a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan (I LOVE this pan - crisps, frittatas, casseroles, the best)…or the whole thing can be baked in a well greased, oven-proof dish. I suppose that would be called an “egg bake” but whatever, does it matter?

  • Cheese. I tend towards sheep or goats cheeses, and those both work well in frittatas. They are lower in fat, so can dry out, but with a short, low oven time, they do fine. You just don’t want a super dry cheese, in my opinion. Parmesan is ok, but it is so dry, you will not get any pockets of creaminess, it will mostly just taste like delicious salt, which is not a terrible thing by any means. If you choose a meltier cheese like cheddar, I def like most mixed in and a little on top.

 

Prep ahead

Let’s say you’re hosting the following morning or trying to get a leg up on Christmas morning (or just a Monday :)

Whisk all your eggs, dairy, seasoning in one bowl you can keep covered in the fridge. Have all your add-ins cooked and ready (zucchini sauteed, sausage cooked, tomatoes roasted, whatever). Pull them all out while preheating the oven, and then proceed with the recipe from there. Gently warm the pan with the fillings in it, add the egg mixture, pop it in the oven.


Favorites

sauteed mushroom, greens and goat cheese
roasted tomatoes, greens, pesto, goat cheese
roasted zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, little bit of minced red onion, feta
just steamed asparagus, tons of herbs, goat cheese
crowd pleaser: potatoes, bacon, greens, white cheddar


GREEN VEGETABLE FRITTATA

Serves 4

I am listing the vegetables I used here, inspired by what I had in the fridge. You really can put anything in a frittata…ok, most thing. Be sure that the vegetables have a similar cooking time, if you’re sauteing everything together. For example, potatoes take longer to become tender than zucchini, so while you can mix these two, you need to start the potatoes off first, and then add the zucchini after the potatoes have been going for 10 minutes, so you don’t burn the zucchini or turn it to moosh. Things like peppers and tomatoes cook the same, assorted greens are typically quick, etc.

Ingredients

1 small leek
1 small zucchini
1 small bundle of broccolini

extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

8 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream (canned coconut milk works as a non-dairy option)
dollop of pesto or sour cream (or non-dairy alternative), optional
fresh ground pepper
3-4 ounces soft goat cheese
fresh green herbs, for garnish

Instructions

Clean the leek and trim the zucchini. Chop the vegetables small. Heat a drizzle of oil in a medium nonstick or seasoned cast iron pan. Add the vegetables, pinch of salt and saute until tender, and cooked down, about 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool down. Move them around occasionally to release any steam pockets.

Preheat the oven to 325’.

Whisk the eggs and cream (or non-dairy alternative) well. Lots of air in there, keep whisking. Whisk in a dollop of pesto or sour cream, if using, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you like spice, a dash of red pepper flakes. Crumble half your cheese in here.

With the heat on low, distribute the vegetables around in your nonstick pan and pour the egg mixture on top. Let it sit for a couple minutes just to set the bottom. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and put the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes until the center juuuuust stops jiggling. Better to pull it out on the side of underdone.

Let it cool down, garnish with tons of fresh herbs. Serve with toasty bread and fresh tomatoes if you have them.

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Bread, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Feeding Babies, Snack, Summer

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

gluten free zucchini muffins

Loves! I posted about this zucchini loaf/muffins I've been working on over on Instagram and you were like hungry little wolves insisting that I post the recipe asap. So, here we are, a few weeks later, which is as asap as it'll get around here. 

Because most of the cooking I do is simple assembly and layering basics rather than advanced skills and technique, the dishes I write for work *usually* turn out by the second time I test them. I can often run this success rate with baking by just tinkering with other recipes and changing the flavor profile. However, I have made about 8-10 rounds of zucchini carrot muffins, all edible, but certainly not eligible to post on the internet with my name on them. I tried to make them maple sweetened (too much moisture), all almond flour (too heavy, also wet),  I squeezed the moisture out of the veg and still, resembling a frittata more so than a muffin, and so on. I mentioned in this peanut butter oatmeal entry a couple weeks ago that my kids are all about baked goods, so I will not rest until I can pack vegetables in them!

I'm not going to say what we have here is perfect but I am happy with where they are and I need the tweaking to just be done. I have a painter friend who says sometimes she just needs to call the piece finished. Lacquer it, take a picture, and move on, even when she knows she *could* keep working on it, because she can end up ruining it instead. I listen to podcasts of entrepreneurs who suggest to put things out there; let people see them and use them and respond, instead of keeping your project quiet, hoping you get closer to perfect. So, if you do make these, tell me what you did or what you would change. I love chatting about food in this space with ya'll, so if you have tips, share them with others in the comments.  

gluten free zucchini muffins - shredded zucchini

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Makes 10

I have used super fine brown rice flour in a baking before and many of you noted that it is a bit tricky to stock. I buy it here, but there are alternatives. If you do not need these gluten free, simply use unbleached all purpose flour in its place. I would still suggest using the almond flour or meal in combination, as it keeps the muffins more tender. These are on the low end of the sweet scale, if you want them more of a treat, add a few more tablespoons of sugar. 

The timing is written for 10 muffins, and I find their delicate nature is best in that format. You can bake the batter in a greased loaf for closer to 45 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the center to make sure it isn't too wet.
This muffin tin is my favorite forever and ever.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup superfine rice flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup grated zucchini, about 1 medium/large
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

turbinado sugar, to finish, optional

Instructions

Start by grating the zucchini (I do a blend of small holes and large holes on a box grater because I can't decide). Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla, vinegar and buttermilk or yogurt, until well combined. Add the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and stir until combined. Add the zucchini and chocolate and fold it in.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full (they don't rise much) and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top, if using. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or until golden around the edge and a little tap on the center bounces back at you. 

Remove to cool completely. Keep covered at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge any longer than that.

A split and toasted muffin is the best muffin, but straight out of the hand is delicious too. 

gluten free zucchini muffin
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