Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

At Thanksgiving time last year, I told my 3 year old that she could have pie of her very own. (With no wheat, dairy, egg, or nuts). My sister adapted a coconut cream pie recipe by America's Test Kitchen. It was really good! Look below for the original recipe, and then the adapted recipe, so you too can learn how you can alter a recipe for your needs!

Original America's Test Kitchen recipe:

1 can coconut milk
1 c whole milk
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 c sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 c cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
crust: coconut-graham cracker crust

Our dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free version:

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

(recipe is half the amount of the original recipe)

1 can coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 T cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine or spread(opt, we just omitted this)

*about 1/8 teaspoon molasses

3 T. chocolate chips

Add enough of the coconut milk to the cornstarch to create a paste. Stir remaining coconut milk, sugar, and salt over medium heat until very hot. Pour some hot mixture into cornstarch paste, stir, then add cornstarch paste to mixture in pan. Stir to boiling, until 3-4 bubbles burst and thick. (About 30 seconds). Remove from heat, add vanilla, molasses, and, if desired, non-dairy marg. Heat 3 tablespoons chocolate chips in microwave(maybe 15 seconds), stir until melted, then stir into pie filling. Pour filling into crust.

Explanation: What we wanted in our coconut cream pie filling was 1) for it to be flavorful and creamy, 2) for it to be able to set up, to be thick enough to be a cream pie filling. We omitted egg yolks, which add richness and also add to the thickness. So we added 1 T extra cornstarch to the recipe(thus 3 T.) : 1/4 cup original recipe cut in half equals 2T. , then + 1 T. to account for omitted egg yolks), and added chocolate for richness. My sister was happy with the recipe, but I being picky, mentioned the flavor was still a little flat. So my sister added a quick drizzle of molasses(maybe 1/8 tsp.). Wow! It added the dimension I was looking for! The pie tasted great!

*we didn't measure the molasses, just added a quick drizzle- I estimate it was maybe 1/8 tsp)

Oat Pie Crust (found online, I think in a magazine that posted online)
note: You can go to livingwithout.com if you want some pie crust recipe that don't use oats or wheat.

1 3/4 cups oats
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In blender or food processor, finely grind.
Then pulse in 3 1/2 tablespoons cold butter(chopped into pieces), until combined. (I don't remember what we used instead of dairy- try shortening instead, or soy margarine, or even coconut oil that's cold enough to be solid).
Add 1 tablespoon ice water, and pulse until combined.
Press into pie pan. Bake 400 15 min until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before filling.

Note: Go to livingwithout.com for pie crust recipes that do not contain oats.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies

Adapted from my sister's collection of pumpkin recipes, "No Egg Pumpkin Cookies" I just replaced the flour cup for cup with rice and oat flours, and added tapioca flour and xanthan gum.

When I pulled these out of the oven, my kids ate lots of them! Delicious! I made one huge batch and froze them. We enjoyed them for several snacks. They are wholesome, flavorful, have a nice crispy/springy outside, and a moist, tender inside.

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed(I actually prefer a little less, maybe 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons oil

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin(or pumpkin puree)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins or non-dairy chocolate chips

Beat together wet ingredients and sugar. Sift together dry ingredients, then stir into wet ingredients until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips or raisins. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 350 12-15 min. Makes around 3 dozen.

A variation:

The recipe above turned out just slightly gummy, I thought(sticks to teeth and top of mouth a bit). Great cookies, but I wondered how I could improve the cookies to not be gummy at all. Here's a variation that didn't stick to the top of the mouth. I added some precooked white cornmeal. One drawback for me- the corn flavor occasionally comes out a little too strong.

For dry ingredients: cut oat flour down to 1/2 cup. Then in a 1 cup measure, add 1/2 cornmeal, 2 T tapioca starch, 1 tsp xanthan gum, and enough rice flour to fill up the cup. Add spices and baking powder/soda in same amounts as above.

Crockpot Roast Beef and Chimichangas

My sister cooked some beef in a crockpot while I was visiting. We really liked it. I had told her that my girls love meat cooked fresh, but then don't eat it leftover. Not necessarily, I learned afterwards. My sister boiled, seasoned, and shredded the beef(to use for tacos), and my girls LOVED it! They ate it plain, and lots of it!

Crockpot Roast Beef

1/2 - 1 tsp salt per pound of beef
garlic cloves(3-4 for a big roast)
mushrooms, if desired

Deliciously simple!

The next day, use leftovers:


2 lb. stew meat(can cut into chunks to speed tenderizing)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 tsp. powder
2 Tablespoon chili powder(or 1 1/2 -2 tsp if powder is hot)
1 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper

Bring meat and spices to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours or until tender. Shred with two forks. Eat with tortillas; can add guacamole, lettuce, tomato, etc. Or, let your kids just eat the meat plain, with potatoes, or rice.

Note: You can homemake some wheat-free tortillas. I have an oat tortilla recipe that tastes really good and is really wholesome. One drawback: it hasn't rolled very well for me. It still can be eaten with the meat and toppings, though. Sometime I hope to try out a few other recipes for tortillas and find one that rolls well! Let me know if you have a recipe for a good tortilla.

Baked Beans

2 c white beans
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
1/8 lb bacon, diced
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c catsup(watch for wheat)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T soy sauce

Prepare beans, cook until tender. Drain all but 1 cup of the water. Add other ingredients. Place in casserole and top with bacon. Bake 275 for 6-8 hours.

"Cream of Chicken" Soup

This is a pretty good non-dairy, no soy, no wheat "cream of chicken" soup. It has more dimension than a chicken base/water/cornstarch mixture.

6 c boiling water
1 c fine white bean flour
1 c diced chicken pieces
2 T chicken or vegetable soup base

Over medium heat, whisk bean flour into boiling water and add base. Stir, cook 3 min., blend 1-2 min. in blender. Add chicken.