Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gluten Free Pancakes


Families wax and wane. This natural cycle is almost imperceptible in your youth. Sometime in mid-age it dawns on you that the number of funerals that you are attending outweigh the weddings.

In my childhood, my parents saved their vacation time and pennies for trips to India. In these short trips, they returned to their parents, tasted their childhood favorites, and shared stories with siblings and cousins. My friends went on vacation, and I went to India; here imagine my 11-year old eyes rolling. Now, as my aunt is planning her trip to India, I realize how envious I am of a trip to the family. But now, my parents are the grandparents. And, my husband and I save our vacation time to make sure my children spend time with their grandparents and aunts. Now we sit around the table, eat our childhood favorites and share memories with siblings.

The tables are increased with children and in-laws. And, each person complicates the food offerings. Allergies, dislikes and sensitivities are part of our family; probably part of every family. I can’t remember the last time I saw a peanut. Each new food situation changes the offerings.

Recently, when my cousin and his gluten-free girlfriend came from brunch. We tried to think what would be a good thing to serve. At first, we thought fritatta. As a reformed egg detractor, I always think eggs are can be an acquired taste. We thought about skipping breakfast and steaming towards lunch. There are plenty of savory items that are easy and gluten-free. But, then other questions came up. Red meat, okay or not? Dairy-free or not? There is always the fear that a menu might turn off a guest. And, since we see my family so rarely, we wanted to make sure brunch was welcoming and enjoyable.

My husband is a major proponent of pancakes. The smell, the warm syrup, the sugar rush all scream happy times and restful weekend to him. As the food has the word cake in its name, perhaps not the first thought when serving a gluten-free guest. But then again, with the right recipe…

Gluten-free Pancakes

Separate 2 large eggs.

Beat the whites until fluffy but not stiff.

Combine the yolks with and whip with a fork:

1 1/2 c milk
2 t vanilla extract
3 T melted ghee (cooled)

In another bowl, sift together:

1 1/3 c. GF flour (I bought storebought)
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp and a pinch baking powder
3 Tbsp. sugar

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix quickly. Fold in the egg whites.

Let batter rest for 10 minutes and then cook on a hot griddle. Serve warm.

Blueberry syrup:
In a saucepan combine and simmer:

2 cups Water
2 T Orange-blossom honey
1 cup Frozen blueberries
Orange zest
Lime zest
2 inches of ginger (peeled)
2 T brown sugar
3 T sugar
2 cardamom pods


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bacon-wrapped Roasted Chicken with Bacon Tomato Fried Rice


Many elements of life remind us that the rationality upon which our society is founded is but a sham—love, parenting, picking out the right outfit. Severe morning sickness (HG) is one of those things where the rational mind searches for patterns and your stomach refuses to conform. I wish I understood the unspoken Spinx-like riddles of my stomach.

So, yesterday when we were told the baby needed to gain more weight, and that I should ingest more caloric foods, I thought, “good luck.” Trust me, my limited diet is not a life-choice. It is more like someone imposing a cult-like diet onto me for 80 % of a year. But, I digress from the food. So, the doctor has said if you can only eat a little make it very caloric. Makes sense—the real estate is small make it worthwhile. But, the problem is finding caloric foods that will agree with me. And, there is no sense of what that would be. For a while, with my pregnancy with Belle, I decided to only eat what I was craving, figuring that my body had the secret answers. That didn’t really work.

But, hope springs eternal, so we continue to try to find things that won’t upset my stomach. My husband decided to take on the proactive role. He made a roast chicken inspired by the most recent issue of Gourmet Magazine but wrapped in bacon and served with tomato, bacon fried rice. While the taste I had was delicious, my stomach chose to abstain.

This is also our entry for the Royal Foodie Joust, which we are entering because we love Nuria. The ingredients were tomato, bacon and rice. As tomatoes are not at their peak right now here in the great state of Ohio, we used some cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato juice.

Bacon-wrapped Roasted Chicken
adapted from Gourmet magazine

Butcher the chicken to make it flat (either by cutting out the back or by following the Gourmet magazine description (which we did).

Marinade for 2 hours in:
3 T Green Mango (vadu mango) pickle
3 crushed garlic cloves
4 T olive oil
3 T pimenton
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 T ground cumin
pinch of allspice
juice of 2 limes
3 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup tomato juice

Drape 3-4 strips of bacon over the bird. Put in a roasting pan and weigh down with 2-3 tin-foil covered bricks. Cook for 45 minutes at 500 degrees.

Tomato, Bacon Fried Rice
Sautee in bacon fat:
3 shallots diced finely
1 clove crushed garlic
2 T tomato paste
2 cups day old, cooked brown rice
2 t dried oregano

a splash of chicken stock
2 T roughly chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped grape tomatoes

Serve with crumbled bacon

Monday, May 25, 2009

Omelet with Tomato Salad, Radish Greens and Potatoes


I had a friend say to me a few months ago, I should blog about the foods I can’t eat each week. Really, the list is fairly long and seems to constantly evolve. One day, all of a sudden something innocuous might become terribly offensive—apples are a recent victim.

During pregnancy, hormones pullulate through your veins seeping into every part of your body. And, then if you are of the unlucky few for whom nausea is a constant companion, strong food aversions are commonplace. I am pretty sure that my taste buds are completely fried. I say this as a sort of caveat—I have been eating some sort of strange combinations.

The other day, I had an IV infusion of iron. This is a food blog so I will leave the health talk to a minimum. But, imagine the scene--I was sitting in a beige room, hooked up to the plastic cording with my feet up, watching elderly cancer patients pick up their prescriptions, while my husband studied the handout on increasing iron in your diet. All of these options are predicated on the belief that I can eat or want to eat the food described in the packet. Of these two options, it is the former that is more likely. There is plenty I would love to eat; my stomach just sincerely disagrees.

But, then one moment when I looked back at the different categories on the sheet—iron-rich food, acid rich foods that help you take in the iron, and calcium rich no-nos, it all felt doable. The result was delicious. Not whacky hormone delicious, but actually tasty. Even my husband thought it was yummy.

You see, I had just read [eatingclub] vancouver’s homestyle eggs and tomatoes. I don’t know that it would have appealed to me so strongly prior to finding myself in this delicate state. (I don't necessarily go for eggs with tomatoes). But, the recipe really drew me in. I, of course, made it Indian style. (Right now, Indian food is the only thing that really works for me. My husband thinks that when you are very sick your stomach can only tolerate what you grew up with.)

So, we made a quick tomato salad (with cumin, red chili, mustard seeds and coriander seeds), sautéed the radish greens with mustard seeds, and browned some potatoes with cumin. All these accoutrements topped a simple omelet. (Really no recipes, just yummy.)


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Radish greens, Lupini Beans, and Potatoes with Lemon

The warmth and floral beauty of spring have done a great deal to lift my spirits. After many months of being able to eat very little, hospitals and IVs, my body is definitely shell-shocked. Recent bloods tested showed that I am very anemic. As my husband says I am apparently even an overachiever when it comes to blood tests. For iron, the range is 20-120; I scored a 4. Iron supplements are so hard on my stomach they mean I can’t really eat anything, so we are going with the food is medicine route.
Recently, I have been thinking about how hard pregnancy can be on the man. Now, don’t worry, I know full well how hard it is on the woman. I am living it. But, for the woman, there is support for her problems. Almost 8 months in, it is fairly obviously that I am with child. But, for the man, there is no sign to the world. My husband also has the constant doctors’ appointments, taking me to the blood tests, cooking while I am on bed rest. And, I wonder how many people think to ask him how he is doing with all this.

Since November, he has been doing all the cleaning and cooking and most of the caregiving. Belle is now a little over 2 years old, very verbal and very active. To all of this, he has decided increasing my iron intake through food seems like a nice hobby. And, so for by first dish back to Feeding Maybelle: Radish greens, Lupini Beans, and Potatoes with Lemon. Vegetable sources of iron can be hard for the body to metabolize so they should be paired with citrus. In addition, refrain from caffeine or calcium for a couple hours so as to insure proper absorption.
Anyway, I am trying to ease back into blogging because I miss the food, the fun, and of course, everyone.

Radish greens, Lupini Beans, and Potatoes with Lemon

1 diced potato in olive oil
Salt to taste

Cleaned radish greens

Splash of vegetable stock
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp red pepper

1 handful cooked lupini beans

Finish with kosher salt and a squeeze of ½ lemon