Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shrimp and Mushroom Ramekins - Gluten and Sugar-Free

 My notes on this recipe of Joseph's are simple: "Awe-inspiring."

Something about sherry, shrimp, cheese, and mushrooms sends me (Lianne) over the moon. And the creamy sauce is gluten-free! Yay!

Shrimp and Mushroom Ramekins
Serves 2

8 oz. frozen cooked shrimp, tail off
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
4 to 6 oz. large oyster mushrooms, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1 scallion, sliced
2 tablespoons white rice flour
1/3 cup Homemade Chicken Stock
1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 shakes of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Sliced goat cheddar (or cheese of your choice)

Defrost shrimp under running water for a few minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.

In medium-sized skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the ghee. Add mushrooms and scallion and cook until soft. Add another tablespoon of ghee and gradually stir in the rice flour, stirring constantly into a smooth paste. While stirring, gradually add chicken stock, mustard, then cream. Turn off heat.

Add sherry, salt, and pepper. Divide the shrimps into two oven-proof, individual ramekins (about 1 1/2 to 2-cup size). Divide sauce between them. Place cheese slices on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Serve with green salad, and Japanese noodles or other carbohydrate of your choice on the side, with fresh fruit for dessert. Serves 2.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fresh Apricot Breakfast Pudding - Gluten and Sugar Free!

 It's apricot season! 

This breakfast dish is full of juicy and tangy bits of fresh apricot, surrounded by a chewy-soft pudding. The perfect use for not-quite-ripe or overripe apricots.

And it's one of the simplest of all of Joseph's breakfast pudding recipes!

 Fresh Apricot Breakfast Pudding
 Serves 2 or more

1 T. ghee to melt in baking dish
4 fresh apricots, approx. 8 oz. when pitted (leave skin on)
Zest of one fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla
5 eggs + 1 yolk
3 of the tiny scoops found inside a bottle of Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Organic Stevia Extract, or 3/64ths of a teaspoon (read how to use and measure stevia here)
1/2 cup Minute Tapioca, uncooked

Follow the basic directions for creating a steam bath and baking a steamed pudding here. 

After melting the ghee in your glass baking dish in the steam bath, arrange sliced, thick wedges of two apricots around the bottom of the dish. Grind the other two apricots in the blender with the remaining ingredients, adding tapioca at the end while the blender is running. Then quickly pour into the baking dish or the tapioca will settle on the bottom. 

Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Serves 2 for a complete breakfast, or more for dessert.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dark Chocolate Power Pudding - Gluten and Sugar Free*

Topped with Joseph's no-sugar whipped cream
and frozen cherries and raspberries.
Joseph makes many variations on his chocolate breakfast puddings, but this one was a big hit with our nephew, Matthew. So here it is, just in time for his Christmas birthday! Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Remember that if you eat a little more than half of it, you’ve eaten a pretty good-sized breakfast, containing all your protein (3 eggs), carbohydrate (tapioca), and fruit (banana & raspberry), with a perfect portion left over for a breakfast companion--perhaps a lighter eater of the feminine gender and size? (Double the recipe if you invite one of your brothers to share and use two baking dishes.) 

Eat celery sticks with nut butter on the side for some fresh veggies and you’re good to go 'til lunch time. It’s gluten free, and we usually skip the honey to reduce the sugar hit. Either way, you won’t miss the white refined sugar at all!
Dark Chocolate Power Pudding

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or cocoa butter
4 eggs + 2 yolks
12 oz. ripe organic banana (approx. 2–3)
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened (Ghiradelli brand preferred)
3 of the tiny scoops found inside a bottle of Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Organic Stevia Extract, approx. 1/64th plus 1/128th teaspoon*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Homemade is best but extract will work) or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla beans
Optional: 1 Tablespoon honey or more to taste (Note: Omit if kicking a sugar habit)
1/2 cup Minute Tapioca, uncooked

Prepare a steam bath:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Choose a glass baking dish or pie plate that will fit inside a larger pan holding water, so that the water comes up about an inch along the sides. A large roasting pan works well. It's easiest to put the pans together, measure in the water, then remove your baking dish and place the water-holding pan in the oven to warm. (Choose a baking dish that will make your pudding about as deep as a pie, or you'll have to increase your baking time.)

Melt the ghee in the pie plate by placing it in the warming steam bath for a moment. Then carefully remove the baking dish from the steam bath and set it aside. (Leave the steam bath in the oven.)
Make pudding: 
Using a blender, add the banana, eggs, milk, and blend on low speed. While running, add the cocoa, stevia, and vanilla. If you wish and your eggs are very fresh, taste for sweetness and add optional honey (1 tablespoon to start). It should taste sweeter than you want the end product to taste. Otherwise, trust the recipe and add 1 T. honey. While blender is still running, add tapioca and pour immediately into baking dish, before the tapioca settles. Bake in steam bath for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Test by inserting knife in center; done when it comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold, with optional raspberry sauce. You can even cut it into little squares and serve as a light dessert to a crowd, serve fresh raspberries on the side, or top with stevia and vanilla sweetened dollops of whipped cream. 
*Back label says, “Stevia Rebaudiana, 45 mg. per scoop” – with NO ADDITIONAL SUGAR-DERIVED ADDITIVES, as you would find in nearly every other brand of stevia product. For more about using plant-derived stevia, read this.

Optional Raspberry Sauce

2 c. frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon Framboise raspberry liqueur
1/4 c. water
1 scoop stevia (as above, one tiny white scoop = 1/64th teaspoon)

Honey to taste

Place in small saucepan and simmer until thickened. Use cool, warm, or hot as topping. 
*(NOTE: Honey and liqueurs may have a sugar-like impact on your system, so vary this recipe according to your needs. If you're currently trying to kick a sugar habit, use stevia-sweetened whipping cream as a topping instead; it whips up just like cream with sugar would.)

You can see the transparent tapioca balls inside.

This creamy variation uses 16 oz. cooked taro root
in place of instant tapioca.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Fried Plantains

You know those weird things that look similar to but aren’t bananas, the plantains you sometimes find at the market? 

If you’ve never tried them, you’re in for a treat. Cooked right, they are delicious!

Secret: Buy them yellow if you must, but don't try to eat them until the peel displays many black areas and it looks like you should throw them away. THEN they're ripe. Don't eat raw! They must be cooked.

Joseph says, “I asked my friend Luis why the plantains in the Mexican market are labeled Macho Plantanos. "‘Because they are harder,’ he said," with the appropriate hand gesture.

Fried Plantains with Hazelnuts
Serves 2

1 ripe plantain (when it’s nearly all blackened)
2 Tablespoons goat butter
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons crushed roasted hazelnuts (optional)

Peel and slice plantain lengthwise into quarters, while heating butter and oil over medium heat in an iron skillet. Add plantains and fry for 8-10 minutes, checking every 3 minutes to turn as they brown. Make sure they don’t get too dark. When soft and browned all over, they’re done. Remove to serving dish and garnish with hazelnuts.

Note: We like to eat this starchy item with breakfast in place of toast, rice, or potatoes. For the breakfast pictured above, Joseph scrambled eggs in the plantain pan, using the same oil and butter mixture, and added baby carrots from our garden. Yum!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Magical Macadamia Nut Cookies

The beautiful thing about these cookies is the fact that they contain no sugar, use only a small amount of natural sweeteners, and have no gluten! Joseph asked me what I wanted for breakfast on a sleepy Easter morning and I mumbled, “Cookies with nuts.” So he invented these to suit all my stringent requirements! YUM!

Magical Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes 40 cookies

1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Homemade Vanilla or 3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans
9 oz. ripe bananas (2 large)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
4 teensy scoops of Trader Joe's 100% pure stevia rebaudiana extract (that's white powdered stevia), or 1/16 teaspoon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped
Parchment baking paper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut parchment to fit two large cookie sheets. Set aside.

Mash ghee with bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey, maple syrup, and stevia. Use a hand-held mixer to complete the job, and don’t worry if you still have some visible bits and lumps of banana. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing smoothly. Add nuts and blend completely.

Drop by walnut-sized spoonfuls onto the parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes for the first batch; less for the second. (Don’t know why, but the second batch always cooks faster.) You can also chill the dough, roll it out, and cut shapes with a cookie-cutter, or roll it into a log, wrap, chill, and slice. If you used the chilled method, set your timer and check them after 10 minutes.

Makes 40 cookies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Naturally Sweet "Pumpkin" Pie Breakfast Pudding

Lucky I caught this picture at all, it was disappearing so fast!
I LOVE pumpkin pie for breakfast! But since we’re not eating sugar any more, Joseph invented this amazing stand-in and I can’t really tell the difference. He uses leftover sweet potatoes, which require a fraction of the natural sweeteners pumpkin would need.
For us, when combined with stevia, only a tablespoon of real maple syrup does the trick. You might need two if your tastebuds are accustomed to the jaw-socking sweetness of refined sugar. If you’ve used fresh eggs from a source you trust, you can taste the pudding mix before baking; it should taste slightly sweeter than you want the final dish to be. (Don't do this if you're using commercial eggs.)
This will supply a complete, balanced breakfast with protein, carbs, and fat if you split it between two people.
Naturally Sweet “Pumpkin" Pie Breakfast Pudding
Serves 2 or more

1 tablespoon goat butter
10 oz. cooked organic sweet potatoes (aka garnet yams)
5 fresh eggs + 1 yolk from free-range chickens
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon green stevia

Prepare a steam bath:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Choose a glass baking dish or pie plate that will fit inside a larger pan holding water, so that the water comes up about an inch along the sides. It's easiest to put the pans together, measure in the water, then remove your baking dish and place the water-holding pan in the oven to warm.

Melt the goat butter in the pie plate by placing it in the steam bath for a moment. Then carefully remove it from the oven before the butter burns. Set aside.
Place peeled sweet potatoes, eggs, cream, and maple syrup in blender. Turn on low. While it's running, slowly add the spices and stevia. (Taste if you've used safe eggs and adjust sweetening.)
Pour into the pie plate and sprinkle the top with fresh-grated nutmeg. Bake in steam bath at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut and serve like pie. Serves 2 for breakfast, or serve as a very mild but filling dessert.

If your family traditions differ slightly (adding allspice, etc.) feel free to adjust the spices accordingly, but keep the same proportions as your pie recipe. Joseph derived this version from my Gramma Jo’s original recipe. J You can also serve this in a crust; just bake it like you would any pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Blueberry Rice Puddings, Gluten & Sugar Free

It's a marvel the way Joseph creates sugar-free and yet deliciously sweet Breakfast Puddings without using artificial sweeteners. Instead he relies on the natural sweetness of organic fruit and a tiny touch of stevia plant extract.

For company who're accustomed to lots of sugar, he might add a smidgeon of raw honey, but the stevia alone is enough for us and still allows the fresh fruit taste to bloom through to our tastebuds. Since I love blueberries, they often show up in the puddings he makes. Here are two versions.

I woke up to this first Breakfast Pudding this morning and had to share it with you! Luckily I remembered to take a picture before I ate it all. I thought it was nice the way the rose on our table contrasted with the purple berries.

Creamy Blueberry Buckle
(Gluten and sugar free)
Serves 2

1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon green stevia powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 T. goat butter (or you can use cow butter if you like)
1 cup organic blueberries, frozen or fresh
3/4 ounce broken walnuts (that's about a Joseph-fist full of whole walnuts)
Splash of goat milk (or cow)

Boil the water and stir in the rice flour. While it cooks, stir in everything but the walnuts and milk. Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, to blend flavors. (If you choose to add honey, start with 1/4 teaspoon; the sweetness of the stevia reduces the requirement considerably!) Serve with walnut and milk garnish.

For a complete breakfast, add a vegetable and protein. We ate it with fresh carrots and cheese on the side.

* * * *
Disappearing fast!

The pudding is extra zesty, and required a bit of honey to balance the lemony zing.

Zesty Lemon Blueberry Rice
(Gluten and sugar free)
Serves 2

2 T. organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon green stevia powder
1 cup cooked white rice
2 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw honey, organic
2 T. frozen wild blueberries

Boil cream, zest, and stevia for 2 to 3 minutes in a small saucepan. Stir in rice and lemon juice and heat through. Turn off the heat before you stir in the honey so it retains the benefits of its raw-ness. Garnish with the wild blueberries.
Delicious either cold or hot! We ate it as a dessert, after chicken tenders fried in garlic and a Greek-style salad.
Serves 2.

The Happy Blueberry Chef
(I read a FB post that said, "There's nothing sexier than a man in an apron." Hmmm, could be true! But he should never let his wife run the blog! mwa-ha-ha ... )