Sunday, September 26, 2010

French Baguettes

Thank goodness the doctor told me I could eat gluten again. It was incredibly difficult. (After about 3 days your body feels like it's entering starvation mode.) You can only eat so much fruit and nuts... He thinks I have IBS. I don't know if I completely agree, but I do know that I have had gluten for a few days now and feel fine. I am almost positive one of my issues is lactose intolerance. I'm just going to back off for a while and slowly try to add it back into my diet in a couple months.

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. I will use them tomorrow to make homemade croutons in our caesar salads. I don't think I'll ever buy baguettes again! They even taste better than the ones fresh from the store. They do take a few hours to make, but they are very hands off. Enjoy!

French Baguettes
Tasty Kitchen member ThoroughlyModernHousewife

1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 whole egg yolk
1 Tablespoon water

1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough Cycle, and press start.

2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16×12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8×12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end (into a baguette shape). Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 1 Gluten/Dairy Free

I thought I was getting better last week since I was able to drink a glass of milk with 2 lactase pills. I still had a stomach ache and other symptoms when I ate other food containing gluten, but I thought I might have been getting over this lactose intolerance and maybe picking up gluten intolerance.

Right when I thought I was getting better, I made some bad decisions and made it worse. It was Ted's birthday this week, and Lori brought a huge box of Shipley's glazed donuts to work. I hadn't eaten anything close to a donut in a while, and I just had to have one... and then another... and then another. I don't know if it was the dairy or gluten, but bad idea. Then, I don't know why I thought I could handle this, but we had Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I felt extremely nauseous within 15 minutes of eating them. It was bad enough for me to give in and try a week free of dairy and gluten.

I think everything I am making this week is both dairy and gluten free, but it is extremely hard for me to be 100% gluten free. (Many of those strange ingredients that you see on the food label are masked gluten, and I don't have any of those memorized - except modified food starch.)

I am planning on making smoothies (without oats, and maybe add 2 tsp ground flaxseed) for breakfast. I also bought gluten/dairy free waffles and Chex cereal (dairy/gluten free).

For lunch, I will eat leftovers from the dinners I cook. I also bought some Amy's freezer meals (dairy/gluten free) with a giftcard that my mom gave me. If we don't have enough leftovers, I will take those instead of eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

This week for dinner:

Saturday: Orange Chicken with brown rice

Stir fry with fresh vegetables over rice. (I'm making up my own recipe. Once I am done tweaking, I'll post it.)

Tortilla soup (Most broth is not gluten free, but I know that Swanson's 99% fat free is.)

Exotic Chicken Salad Sandwiches (For some reason, I forgot that bread was out of the picture. I'll either eat it alone or buy some gluten/dairy free bread.) - If you are avoiding gluten, the regular Kraft mayo is gluten free. All of the other kinds (light, olive oil, flavored) contain gluten.

Tilapia and wehani rice salad

Chicken tikka masala and Indian basmati rice (If you are going dairy free, use soy yogurt instead of regular.)

Pork chops and mashed potatoes (using dairy/gluten free butter) - and silly me just realized to make pork chops, you use flour. I guess I will either use cornstarch or nothing - just season them.

Hopefully I will see an improvement over the next week!

Orange Chicken

Another yummy gluten and dairy free meal. If you are trying to avoid gluten, do not use Kikkoman soy sauce. It is made from wheat. La Choy brand is made from soy. You can also use gluten free tamari. I have adapted the following recipe from this website. Brett likes a lot of sauce to mix in with the rice, so I only use 2 chicken breasts. If you don't want it really saucy, use three or four chicken breasts.

Orange Chicken

1 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp orange zest, grated
¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp Peanut oil (or other oil for cooking chicken)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size cubes
Sesame oil, optional
½ tsp ginger root, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
5 Tbsp cornstarch, divided (more, if needed)
¼ cup cold water

Mix together the first 8 ingredients (through the brown sugar) and set aside. This is the sauce.

Put 3 Tbsp cornstarch into a gallon sized ziplock bag and drop the chicken cubes in. Shake until fully coated. (Add more if not enough to coat chicken.) In a large nonstick skillet, heat the peanut oil and saute the chicken until browned. (Make sure it is cooked through - may take a while. Chicken should not get tough.) Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil with onions, ginger, and garlic. Fry about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken back to the skillet, toss to coat with sauce. Serve with rice.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I was bad and made homemade pizza. There are a lot of yummy pizza crust recipes out there, but I usually make some sort of variation from Ree's recipe because I am too indecisive to choose another one. (Plus, a lot of recipes have too much yeast = beer taste, which I think is gross.)

Basic Pizza Crust (makes two crusts)

1 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil

See here for the non cheater, knead it yourself method (at the bottom of the post).

What I do: Put all of the ingredients in a bread maker in this order: water, olive oil, flour, salt, yeast. Press start! (Mine takes an hour and a half to make dough). You can use regular salt if you don't have kosher salt (I forgot and used regular tonight). You can also use different flours. I've done 4 cups all purpose, 2 cups all purpose + 2 cups whole wheat, and 4 cups bread flour. If you want a thicker crust, bread flour is the way to go (what I made tonight).

**This makes two pizza crusts. I usually make one BBQ chicken pizza and one pepperoni.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients (for one pizza)
1/2 of the dough from the above recipe
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
barbecue sauce
ranch dressing (optional)
olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 8 oz of the real stuff, sliced thin)
1/3 red onion, cut in half and sliced very thin
chopped cilantro, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Salt chicken breast on both sides, then place in an ovenproof dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the breast and turn them over to coat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and cut into a fine dice. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Roll/stretch out one pizza crust. Lay it on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle a little olive oil on the crust, then sprinkle on a little salt.

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of extra BBQ sauce on the crust and spread it evenly. (You can use ranch dressing if you don't want it too barbecue-y.) Top sauce with the mozzarella. Sprinkle on the diced chicken and thinly sliced red onion.

Sprinkle again with a little salt, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on plenty of chopped cilantro. Cut and serve immediately.

**Note: If your crust is rock hard after 15 minutes, don't worry. It will soften as it cools. It happens to me every time I make pizza/calzone rolls.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quinoa with Sundried Tomatoes

Speaking of trying new things, ever heard of quinoa (pronouced keen-wah or kee-NOH-uh)? It's actually pretty good. Quinoa is a whole grain that is high in protein. You can buy it in the bulk section at HEB. I think 1 cup is a little over $1. (You can also buy it in the rice isle at HEB for about the same unit price.) Here's a yummy recipe Catherine pointed me to in the Eat-Clean diet cookbook.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8 sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
2 minced shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups low sodium, low-fat chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dry quinoa grains
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse well under lukewarm running water for about 1 minute. Set aside. (You must remember to rinse quinoa grains well before cooking to remove the bitter saponin covering. Rinse until the water runs clear.)

2. Heat oil in large sauce pan. Add tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until shallots are softened. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa grains and cayenne pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork to separate grains. Stir in seasonings.

My New Favorite Smoothie

A few weekends ago we went to Dallas for Jayme and Zach's wedding (beautiful!), and we spent the weekend with Catherine and Garrett Johnston. We love them and miss them. Catherine shared this book with me, and my mom bought it for me last week. I am trying to eat a lot healthier, and a lot of her recipes look tasty. Cutting out dairy hasn't been fun, but it has pushed me towards learning how to make a lot of new things in the kitchen. I think Garrett's mom got this smoothie idea from the Eat-Clean cookbook. It's super easy and quick.

1 fresh banana
handful of frozen blueberries and/or strawberries
1/3 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup yogurt (I use almond milk)
splash of juice (still great without this - we don't buy juice often)
1 scoop vanilla protein (I use this, but you can get vanilla soy protein a lot cheaper in the bulk section at HEB if you don't want to spend a lot of money)

Puree all ingredients. (I use a magic bullet.)

**Sam's sells 4 lbs frozen blueberries for $7.50.