Tuesday, April 29, 2008

bento pictures

Here's a couple of pictures of the bentos that I packed for the kiddos today. I packed mandarin oranges, blueberries, oat-walnut balls with a bottle of ketchup, a chocolate, gf pretzels, carrots, Sharkies, juice, and a pickle for Ray. I also packed a Clif Bar for Ray's snack. Man, he loves those things.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I cooked the injera tonight. First, let me say, and this is important: Don't ever forget the salt! Blech. I made the first two before I remembered to add the salt. Disgusting! After I added the salt, it was good. I made kik alicha with yellow split peas this time. The kids weren't crazy about that. I followed the recipe this time, and it was a little bland. I think it needs more spices. I made grilled capered new potatoes, and we had tomato wedges with it. The bread was quite good.

We had one piece left after dinner. We experimented with that one. We smeared peanut butter and strawberry jam on it and created: PB & J injera roll ups! They were a huge hit. I could have just saved myself a lot of trouble and served that for dinner. Everyone liked them so much that I have another batch of injera batter fermenting!

Here is a picture of the injera batter when it was ready for cooking.

For desert, we tried the Gluten Free Pantry frozen chocolate chip cookie dough. I normally really like the products that I've tried from Gluten Free Pantry. These cookies weren't the greatest though. They were okay, but I expected better. The taste was okay. The texture was a little weird and crumbly.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mi-Del GF Arrowroot Cookies

One of my purposes with this blog is to talk about the different gluten-free products that we've tried. One product that we really like is from Mi-del. They make gluten-free Arrowroot cookies. They are animal shaped cookies, and my kids really like them, especially my youngest. I like them, too. They have a nice flavor, and they're nice and crunchy. Mi-del has quite a few gluten-free products, but this is the only one that we've tried. It gets a thumbs up from us.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chip Chip Hooray!

Our local Vitamin Cottage has new gluten free frozen cookie dough in two flavors: Chip Chip Hooray! and Chocolate Minty Python. We put them in the oven this afternoon and cooked them for the recommended 20 minutes. They were a little crunchy. I think next time I wouldn't cook them over 18 minutes. I wasn't crazy about the Chocolate Minty Python and neither was my son. My youngest daughter liked them though. All of us liked the Chip Chip Hooray! flavor. I've posted a picture of them with a cold class of soymilk.

injera batter

I finally made injera batter. I have to let it sit for a couple of days now. I'm anxious to try it. I talked to a lady from Ethiopia on Wednesday. She told me that most injera at Ethiopian restaurants is made from a mixture of teff and wheat flour - bummer. She also told me that there is an Ethiopian market just down the road from me, so I am anxious to go there and see what they have. She said that they make authentic injera, so if mine doesn't turn out well, I guess I can buy some there! I am going to buy some yellow split peas today, so that I can make split pea stew with yellow split peas. One thing I am going to miss about this area when we move is all the cool markets that are very near here. I need to go to the Asian market today to buy some sushi rice. I can buy a 20 pound bag of organic sushi rice there. That market is walking distance from my house, and across the street is the European market. There are tons of cool places in this neighborhood.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I made a big batch of oat-walnut patties tonight. I made 24 meatball sized ones and put them in the freezer. My son loves them. My youngest daughter likes them, too, but my oldest won't eat them! It's very frustrating. She used to eat them, but she has decided that she doesn't like them. I put them in the freezer in individual bags - three to a bag, so all I have to do is pull a baggie out the night before to defrost.

We had a yummy gluten free/dairy free dinner tonight. I've posted a picture of it. It was oat-walnut patties and steamed broccoli with pimiento-cashew "cheese," a creamy, vegan, squash-sun dried tomato risotto, and tomato wedges. The risotto was an experiment. It turned out pretty good for a first try. I need to play with the ingredients a little. I cooked the risotto with acorn squash, sun dried tomatoes, and a pine nut cream. It was good, but it was a little bland, so I need to play with the spices some. Also, I think I would add more sun dried tomatoes next time. Overall, it was a good experiment. I made gluten free chocolate cupcakes for dessert.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

daughter's bento bit the dust

Well, my daughter's bento is toast thanks to a super powered dish washer. She was pretty bummed, so I'm going to have to order her another one. She used mine this morning. Thanks to a super busy morning, I didn't get pictures. This morning I packed the kids a cheese round (soy cheese for my son), a pickle, a chocolate kiss, some Flat Earth chips, soy nuts, dried blueberries, apple sauce, mandarin oranges, Sharkies, and a smoothie or a juice. It was not the greatest lunch ever, but we overslept a bit, and I forgot to make their lunches last night. Oops.

Monday, April 21, 2008

So, I'm making up for nearly five months of no posts all in one day! I got a fabulous cookbook from my darling husband for Christmas called Veganomicon. Many of the recipes in the book are gluten free, and of course, they're all vegan. They have a gluten free symbol on the gluten free recipes which is handy. I have noticed that some of the recipes that are gluten free aren't marked though, so I don't exclusively use the symbol. One of our favorite recipes in the book is the Lemony Roasted Potatoes. We refer to them as "potato crack" or "potato heroine." LOL. They're good! The cooking time in the recipe is way off, and I play with the ingredients a bit, but I do that a lot. Tonight I made "potato heroine," and I made Kik Alicha which is an Ethiopian split pea stew. It's traditionally made with split yellow peas and served on injera. Well, I only had split green peas, so I used them. It still tasted good. I didn't have time to make the injera because the dough needs to sit and ferment for a couple of days. I'm going to mix some up tonight and make an Ethiopian meal either Wednesday or Thursday night.

Looking to cuisine of other cultures is very useful when cooking gluten free. Plus, I think it's really fun since I am a certified foodie who has a passion for cooking.

early bentos

Here is an example of some of the other bento box lunches I've made for the kids. This one has BBQ tofu, dried plums, gf Ian's cookie buttons, a strawberry, a sesame candy, rice sembeh, olives, and grapes.

This lunch includes soy nuts, sushi with avocado and carrots, olives, a dried plum, a cherry tomato, a veggie "octodog," Pamela's chocolate chip cookies, and (not pictured) grapes.

I have had a struggle with keeping my kids gluten free. Lunches are particularly difficult. At least, they were until we discovered the joys of bento box lunches! The kids love their bento boxes. It's very simple to make their lunches gluten free and to give them a varied lunch with the bento. We made onigiri last night for the first time. I made the balls, and then the kids decorated theirs with nori. I made a filling out of seasoned tofu, sesame seeds, and pickles. Here is my oldest daughter's bento for today's lunch: Sharkies (in the lid), onigiri, carrots, dried blueberries, olives, and a banana vile of Bragg liquid aminos (in the top compartment), Snapea Crisps, a Hershey's kiss, and apple slices (in the bottom compartment).
Ack! I'm the world's worst blogger! Okay, so I was never any good at keeping a diary either - even when I was a teenager and full of angst. LOL. I tried a new mix last night that wasn't too bad. It was a biscuit mix from Deby's. I definitely need to add more soymilk than it calls for next time and make sure I squish the biscuits together when I put them in the muffin tins. They did not have the texture of biscuits, but they did taste pretty good. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be using them occasionally when we have a craving for Southern biscuits and gravy! I need to make them again and play with the ingredients a little.

I've also tried some bread mixes that are okay lately. Gluten free pantry has a sandwich bread mix that was pretty good. It mixed up well in the bread maker which was nice. The bread had a decent taste and texture. I don't think any gf bread will ever replace wheat bread, but this will work for the occasional sandwiches. My husband really misses having a good sandwich. I also tried Whole Foods 365 gf sandwich bread mix. It also mixed up well in the bread maker and had a good texture and flavor. I think I preferred the Gluten Free Pantry, but Whole Foods 365 wasn't too bad. At least it will work when my family starts begging for sandwiches!