I did less baking this past week, except yesterday I made some items for a church potluck.
A couple of tips from my efforts this week: I mentioned that I hate the taste of both baking powder and baking soda so I went to extraordinary efforts to completely blend any recipes that used either. I think it made a difference. Also, I used more caution checking the doneness of baked items because gluten-free items don’t brown the same way. It’s easy to overbake and I did a couple of times yesterday, as you’ll see in a minute.
This has been a favorite meal of mine since childhood: Sauerkraut and weiners, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread and blackberry cobbler. When I became a vegetarian I ate veggie wieners, which aren’t as good as Pamela Anderson and other PETA folks describe. When I recently became paleo/gluten free, I tried sausages but I wasn’t crazy about it. Here’s my current take: premium hot dog wieners that are gluten free and antibiotic free and all that good stuff. I sautéed onions with the wieners then added kraut and cooked for 20 minutes or so because I like the taste of browned kraut, my canned green beans, mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes to reduce the carb load, gluten free cornbread. and mini blueberry muffins because I haven’t found a really good cobbler yet. I’ll experiment soon on that because I have a few gallon frozen blackberries from a local source last year.
I used the Comfy Belly No-Corn Cornbread [http://comfybelly.com/] I mentioned here earlier but I made them in mini muffin pans, in fact I’m making a bunch of GF baked goods in mini pans because I like the crisper texture. Sometimes GF is a little limp. If you try the cauliflower to mash, be sure to steam them till completely tender and add lots of good grass-fed butter. I usually mash them in a food processor. The blueberry muffins were a recipe from Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo cookbook. Since I used the muffins as a dessert instead of breakfast dish, I followed her suggestion and reduced the lemon juice. Here’s the pics:
For most of the week’s main dishes, I made an excellent Greek Salad with homemade vinaigrette and a good Vegetable Beef Soup with grass-fed beef, for lunches I made my standby Canned Tuna in Olive Oil/boiled egg/avocado or egg salad. Also ate out several times, getting a little better at tolerating Chicken Caesar Salad and the like.
I made Paleo Chili for my church potluck last night, which got a good response and also made a medley of Paleo/GF desserts . The troublesome part for me is the question of sweeteners. As a diabetic, I’ve avoided adding sugar or honey to my baked goods for a couple of years now but I don’t like using the sugar alcohols for public events where sensitive people or kids might have a problem with GI upset. Some of the other substitutes, e.g. stevia can have a funny taste when used in quantities needed for a large recipe.
Yesterday I made William Davis’ recipe for Carrot Cupcakes – all my mini pans were dirty so I made regular sized cupcakes – and used a combo of liquid stevia and xylitol – which is irritating only in large quantities – and was quite pleased with the result. I also made Elana’s Pantry recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip cookies and this time I followed her recipe to the letter, using 1/2 cup of sugar-sweetened dark chocolate chips and 1/4 cup local honey. I found them fabulous, other people said they liked them. I don’t know the level of politeness there but I will say this: when you’ve eaten low/no sugar that are Paleo/GF, your taste buds begin to change and you’re satisfied with less sugar. That’s true of salt, too. I also made Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Lemon Curd and put it in her Honey Graham Piecrust, only I made the recipe into mini tartlets. I’m not fond of lemon desserts but my husband is and he loved these.
One thing I notice is that different authors/bloggers specialize in different food categories, e.g. I think Danielle Walker is a whiz at baking – some of her stuff is sweeter than other authors, though – and I think Diane Sanfilippo specializes in main dishes while Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo specializes in family favorites. IMHO. Here’s a pic of the tartlets, you can easily see that I overbaked the tart shells. I also overbaked the Carrot Cupcakes and since they just looked like a blah brown cupcake, I won’t bother with a pic.
Just a couple of minutes makes a big difference in Paleo/GF from pale underdone to overbaked. Next time…
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