Friday, February 13, 2009

Sugar Cookies from Living Without Magazine

The Living Without magazine December/January 2009 issue has a great recipe for sugar cookies! My toddler enjoyed decorating and eating these cookies so much that she requested them for her birthday instead of a cake! For her birthday party, we let her friends each decorate and eat their own cookie.

You can find the article online at

Or go to, click on Articles, then Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes, then Holiday Cookies, then Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

The cookies and frosting are gluten-free, dairy-free, and have instructions to adapt cookies to be gluten and dairy-free.

I will paraphrase the directions in places, and have adapted the recipe a bit.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
1 egg (or 1½ teaspoons egg replacer* mixed with 2 tablespoons rice milk or water)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups gluten-free cookie flour mix (see below)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
2 egg whites(see below for "Vegan Icing Variation")
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Food coloring and colored sugars, optional

homebaker's note: this recipe has ended up too thin every time I've made it; I've ended up adding more flour. You can do a "test cookie"- just bake one on a tray to see what consistency you have.

Combine 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar and 1 cup shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy. Add egg replacer mixture and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating on low speed until thoroughly combined.
Gather up dough into a ball and chill it for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness and cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Using a thin spatula, transfer cookies to cookie sheets. Gather up remaining scraps of dough and roll out again, cutting and rolling until you’ve used it all.

Bake cookies 10 minutes. Then cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

To make icing, combine all icing ingredients and mix until smooth. For colored icing, add a few drops of food coloring. Ice cookies while they’re still slightly warm. Then sprinkle immediately with decorative sugars. Cool completely to set.

Vegan Icing Variation

For vegan icing, combine 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, 4 tablespoons rice milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth.

TIP: If you use egg replacer instead of eggs to make cookies, follow directions up to step 4. Roll out soft dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until the dough is ¼-inch thick. Transfer the dough, still between parchment paper, to a cookie sheet and chill for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let sit about 5 minutes. Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutters. Egg-free dough is slightly more crumbly, so use your hands to pinch the edges together as necessary. Transfer cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Once you’ve cut out the first round of cookies, proceed as the recipe instructs, gathering up scraps of dough, lightly flouring your work surface and rolling pin, and rolling out remaining dough and cutting cookies.

Gluten-Free Cookie Flour Mix
Makes 6 Cups

4 cups superfine brown rice flour
1⅓ cups potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup tapioca flour/starch
Combine all ingredients. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

This article was featured in the December/January 2009 issue.

homebaker's note:
For superfine brown rice flour, Living Without lists I simply use flour that I've ground from brown rice in my grain mill(Magic Mill III) at home- the mill grinds it very finely. The recipe turns out great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why not use purchased egg replacer powder every time?

Why not use purchased egg replacer powder(such as Ener-G Egg Replacer) every time you need to substitute eggs?

It can be daunting to stare at a recipe and wonder, which egg substitute do I use? Why not just go the easy way and use "Ener-G Egg Replacer" in all your baked products? Probably in most cases the good old "Ener-G Egg Replacer" or other type product will work satisfactorily(make sure it contains no eggs- some egg replacers do). Don't mistunderstand: Egg Replacer is a wonderful resource. When adapting a recipe, I use it sometimes as my choice of egg substitute. It can be especially good at providing the structure in a baked good that an egg normally contributes. It lightens baked goods and helps them to rise. But I encourage you to understand how to use several different egg substitutes that you can make, or draw from your pantry or fridge at home. NOTE Nov 2010- I haven't used egg-replacer for several months now, and haven't missed it.

Here are my reasons for encouraging you to learn how to use a variety of egg substitutes:

Flavor: Egg Replacer does not contribute to the flavor of a product. Applesauce, prunes, flaxmeal, etc...all can add good flavor to baked goods. This is especially helpful for gluten-free products, which often can be bland.

Nutrition: Consider the nutrition of flax seed(Omegas, protein, fiber), or gelatin(protein- which is helpful to add to products made with gluten-free flour), or fruit or vegetable purees(vitamins and fiber), or tofu(protein). On the other hand, egg replacer is made up mostly of starches.

Flexibility/Convenience: Though it is convenient to use a single egg substitute product that you buy from a store, it is not convenient if you've just decided to bake something and notice you've run out of egg replacer. Not another trip to the store..! Instead, do you have baking soda, baking powder, vinegar, any kind of fresh or frozen fruit, flax, gelatin, pays to know a variety of ways to substitute an egg.

Price: Some items may be cheaper to use than purchased Egg-replacer. I intend to do cost comparisons sometime. For now, I assume that vinegar, baking powder/soda, and maybe applesauce are cheaper to use than purchased egg-replacer.

A couple experiences:

Normally I bake from scratch, but I have tried two gluten-free cake mixes. The first simply said to add eggs or egg replacer, water, and oil. That I did, adding Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs. The cake was okay, but I didn't really enjoy it. The next cake mix said to add Buttermilk or yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Instead of eggs, I added applesauce, and added xanthan gum as well. I used vanilla yogurt(soy) for my liquid. Now this was a delicious cake! The various substitutes you choose in any given recipe will turn out differing results of texture and flavor.

Egg-Replacer is excellent at providing for structure normally provided by an egg. But it does not contribute to a recipe in the way of flavor or richness. This morning, my daughter had pancakes made from a gluten-free all purpose type of mix. I followed the waffle recipe and adapted as needed: honey, water, eggs, oil: I substituted one egg with applesauce, and one egg with flax meal. For the half the amount of honey called for, blueberry honey was used. I know that gluten-free flour is pretty bland on its own. But these were flavorful pancakes! They had a wonderful combination of flavor, provided by the applesauce, "nutty-ness" of the flax, and touch of blueberry honey.

How to Substitute Eggs

How do you substitute eggs in a recipe?

There are several possibilities for egg substitutions. It can be daunting to stare at a recipe and wonder, which egg substitute(s) do I use? Probably most important is to understand the function of the egg in the particular recipe you're altering. When you can understand what the eggs are contributing to the recipe, you can choose a particular product or group of products that contribute similarly. There are no egg substitutes, as far as I hear, that will mimic the egg exactly. But you can still have successful baked goods without the egg.* Four of the basic functions of eggs in baking are: to aid leavening/lighten, to bind, to provide richness/flavor, and to add moisture.

Here again are the basic roles of eggs, this time with various egg substitutes listed under each**


1/4 cup fruit puree: especially prunes, applesauce, banana, apricot, pear.
1/4 cup pureed carrot, pumpkin, winter squash, etc(can use baby foods or puree and freeze small amounts of produce to have on hand)
1/4 cup silken tofu, whipped; or add to liquid ingredients and blend til smooth.
1/4 cup yogurt(dairy or soy)

Leavening/Lighten: provides structure to allow rising agents to work. Egg lightens product.

1 tsp. baking powder, 1 T. liquid, 1 T. vinegar(mix together then add to recipe)
1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 T. water, 1 1/2 T. oil, 1 tsp. baking powder
Egg replacer powder such as Ener-G Egg Replacer(follow box instructions, or try twice amount powder as called for(suggested by Carol Fenster)

NOTE: general rule of thumb is to have no more than 1 T. baking powder total in a recipe, and no more than 1 tsp. baking soda total.

Binds(reduce crumbling, sticks product together)

1 T. flaxmeal + 2 T. warm water (for 2 eggs I 2 T + enough water to equal 1/3 cup)
Mix, let stand 5-10 min. to gel.
1 packet unflavored gelatin, 2 T. warm water. Do not mix until ready to use.
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin, 3 T. cold water & 2 T. plus 1 tsp. boiling water
1/2 banana, or 1/4 cup mashed


1 T. flaxmeal + 2 T. warm water (nutty flavor)
1/4 cup fruit or vegetable purees(see above)
1/4 cup coconut yogurt, coconut cream

Also to help provide richness or flavor in baked products, desserts, dishes:

Coconut oil or coconut milk can be used to replace some of the fat or liquid in recipe(richness)
Chocolate can be added to recipe(richness)
Molasses, added in small amount, like a small drop from the bottle, adds dimension of flavor(for example, in a coconut cream pie without eggs, 1 little drop helped the pie from tasting "flat.")
Spices can be added like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

The egg has several contributions to a baked product. But often in any given recipe, the egg will have one or two roles that are more important than the other functions of an egg. For example, some recipes have adequate leavening, and do not rely on the egg to provide more(the egg could provide additional lightness, yes, but the product could still rise satisfactorily without egg). Perhaps the recipe does not have much leavening, yet has a large amount of liquid. Perhaps the egg is not as important for its moisture as it is for the leavening. Perhaps a recipe has sufficient amounts of leavening and a large amount of liquid, but nothing to help the product "stick" together. Thus it would be important to choose an egg replacement that would bind.

When I adapt a recipe, I often use combinations of egg substitutes when there are two or more eggs. For example, flaxseed meal to bind, and then a leavening such as the baking powder or soda combination, or egg replacer powder. Or flaxseed meal or gelatin to bind, and then fruit/vegetable puree to add flavor and moisten. What I use to replace eggs also depends on the type of product I'm making, and what end results are most important to me. Waffles do not have to be light and fluffy for me to enjoy them. I would rather they have a good flavor and texture. So I often use flaxseed meal to add nuttiness, or applesauce or prunes to add moisture, and I don't worry about extra leavening. When analyzing if a recipe has sufficient leavening, keep in mind that too much baking powder or baking soda in a recipe can produce a bitter flavor in your finished product. A rule of thumb I learned from my "expert homemaker" sister is not to have more than 1 tablespoon baking powder per 2 cups of flour, or no more than 1 tsp baking soda per 2 cups flour. Even those amounts sound like too much for my taste preference. I am sensitive to the flavors of baking powder and baking soda. You'll learn what's okay with you as you bake and taste. Also, I think Carol Fenster has a listed amount of leavening to look for when deciding whether to add more leavening to a recipe. I came across a chart once, I think it was in her book "Special Diet Solutions: Healthy Cooking Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Yeast, or Refined Sugar;" Carol Fenster PhD.1997

Living Without Magazine( lists suggestions for substituting eggs:

If recipe calls for a lot of eggs, use silken tofu, pureed. (Note, I am avoiding soy presently, and have successfully replaced 4-5 eggs in a banana bread recipe satisfactorily, with no tofu used).

Otherwise, choose from the following substitutions. Amounts given are to replace 1 large egg.

3 T applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder

1 T flaxmeal + 3 T hot water(Let stand 10 min.); + Egg Replacer(follow package directions)

4 T pureed silken tofu + 1 teaspoon baking powder

This is found in the Living Without magazine, section called Living Without Pantry(p 62). Check out this magazine if you cannot have gluten and dairy or if you have multiple food allergies. Selections from the Living Without magazine can be found online at

Note that these substitution choices each have a binder and a leavening agent.

Analyzing a recipe for content of leavening, moisture, etc. and deciding the more important functions of the egg can be both science and art. It takes judgement. Maybe even guesswork. It takes practice. It takes experimentation. It can be quite subjective. Carol Fenster does give particular tips which are fairly objective, in "Special Diet Solutions: Healthy Cooking Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Yeast, or Refined Sugar;" Carol Fenster PhD.1997. Carol Fenster has a later book titled "Cooking Free: 200 Flavorful Recipes for People with Food Allergies and Multiple Food Sensitivities, By Carol Fenster, Ph.D. Avery/Penguin Group, 2005.

Fenster's tips help with deciding when to replace eggs with a binder, or with a leavening agent, or simply with a moistening agent, by giving actual amounts of ingredients to look for(ie how much baking powder/soda the recipe contains). Also she states percentage amounts of how much moisture/liquid to increase when substituting a leavening or binding agent for an egg. I haven't used Carol Fenster's objective amounts. Just thought that some of you might like something more objective than what I work with. I do use my sister's rule of thumb a lot to decide whether or not to add leavening to the recipe. Does it already have the max amount of baking powder? Then likely the recipe won't need yet another leavening agent for an egg replacement. Of course, just how light and fluffy you want the product to be might be a factor for you in deciding your egg substitute(s).

When adapting a recipe to be egg-free, I look at how much leavening is in the recipe. Does it already have a large amount of baking soda or powder, or yeast? In this case, adding more of the leavening that's already being used may result in a bitter off-taste. (My sister told me a rule of thumb that you don't want to exceed 1 tablespoon baking powder per 2 cups flour, or 1 tsp baking soda per 2 cups flour. Those amounts sound like too much for my tastes). If you want more leavening in the recipe, perhaps use some egg replacer powder, as it tastes different from the leavening agents already being used. Or, consider something that binds and moistens, rather than adding more leavening. Does the recipe have a fair amount of leavening without the egg? Consider a substitute that includes a little leavening and a binder, and/or moistening agent. If the recipe calls for 2 or more eggs, you can use a leavening agent to replace one egg, and then choose an additional egg substitute which binds or provides moisture or flavor. For example, a banana bread recipe calls for 4-5 eggs. I use a baking soda combination to replace one egg and then add flaxmeal(2 eggs worth), then one extra banana(2 eggs worth). If you are not familiar with baking from scratch, it may be hard for you to judge what a large or adequate amount of leavening or binder would be in a recipe. In that case, maybe you want to check out Carol Fenster's tips which give actual amounts to look for.

If the substitutes you use don't seem to make up for the liquid lost from the egg, you can slightly increase the liquid already called for in the recipe. When you adapt a recipe, you usually try to keep the liquid to dry ingredients proportion the same. I think Carol Fenster talks about increasing the liquid in the recipe 25% when substituting leavening or binder substitutes(I'll have to check on that sometime). So if a 1/2 cup of milk is called for, add an additional 1/8 cup of milk. I haven't bothered with this step. Or I don't do it so objectively. If my product is mixed together and doesn't look thin enough, I add more liquid. As you bake more, you can get used to what consistency a product should be before baking.

Learning how to adapt your own recipes to be egg-free can be a rewarding challenge. Choose a recipe and experiment with one set of egg substitutes, then substitute a different egg substitute, and compare texture and flavor. Finding specific recipes that already are adapted without eggs is very helpful. But it is limiting to have to rely solely on recipes you find that are adapted for all your needs. So pull out an old favorite recipe and try your hand at adjusting it! And keep experimenting! When you use already adapted recipes, analyze and try to understand how the recipe was adapted. Was the egg simply omitted? What was substituted in the egg's place? Was the moisture content of the liquids already present in the recipe increased? Sometimes you can find a set of two recipes that are easy to compare: one that was the original, and then one that is egg-free.

This is your opportunity to learn to provide satisfying, wholesome food for you and your family. Best wishes! Feel free to contribute any tips you learn or any recipes! : )

Notes, Resources, and Additional information

*Yes, some recipes really will not lend to any egg substitutions. I really wonder if angel food cake would turn out okay without the eggs! On the other hand, some recipes can simply have the eggs omitted without a problem. WikiHow online says any recipe calling for 1-2 eggs usually survives not having a substitute. Now that would depend on what you're making, and what results are satisfactory to you. I've made microwave cake mixes without egg (just mix cake mix and water together in a microwavable container). I make waffles and pancakes without egg. Just experiment with different egg substitutes(or no substitutes at all) and see what happens! I usually have a satisfactory product that's made various ways.

** These substitutes and amounts have been drawn from numerous sources, from books to internet sites, including:

"Dealing With Food Allergies in Babies and Children," by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, PhD, RD

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Four substitutes listed, editors say they work well when substituting 1-3 eggs in baking from scratch. Here are the substitutions: 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 T. liquid, 1 T. vinegar; 1 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water ; 1 1/2 T. water, 1 1/2 T. oil, 1 tsp. baking powder; 1 packet gelatin, 2 T. warm water. Do not mix until ready to use.

The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Jones(2001)

The Complete Food allergy Cookbook by Marilyn Gioannini(1997)

Some helpful websites for substituting eggs: contains "recipe round ups" for egg substitutes. So far the substitutes featured in the recipes are: pureed fruit(applesauce, banana, prune), flaxseed meal, silken tofu, egg replacer powder. Also, the site includes a table on various egg substitutes and which baked goods they are best suitable for. I highly recommend this site!
Document called Egg Free Baking, updated November 2006. Tips for replacing eggs, and recipes.
Downloadable Booklet; Egg Free and Excellent; Tips and Techniques from My Kitchen to Yours; By Carol Fenster, Ph.D. – President, Savory Palate, Inc. $6.95. Carol's latest tips on selecting and using egg substitutes in baking. NOTE: I have not seen this booklet, but assume it would be informative. Carol Fenster is an allergy-free cooking/baking expert, and I've gleaned helpful information from books I've checked out from the library authored by her.
Other substitute suggestions:
For one cake recipe, a friend uses a gluten-free flour mix (Sylvian Border Farms General purpose Gluten-Free), and adds 1/2 c applesauce and then 1 tsp xantham gum per 1 c non-wheat flour(to compensate for lack of gluten, see post on non-wheat substitutes). In The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook, by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger(2004), 1/2 c - 1 c applesauce is used in place of 4-5 eggs in several cake recipes. For cookies, however, the author uses Ener-G egg replacer. The author explains that she uses the dry egg replacer when it's important for the good to have firmness and to have a good binder.

The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Jones(2001) and The Complete Food allergy Cookbook by Marilyn Gioannini(1997) give instructions for boiling flax in water, to form a mixture that has the consistency of a raw egg-white. This is useful for keeping things together in meatloaves or patties, says Jones. You boil 1/2 c water and 1 T whole flaxseed, and cook for 5 minutes on LOW heat. Flaxseed provides the greatest nutrition when freshly ground. In meal form, our bodies digest the nutrients more effectively than in the whole form. But as flaxseed meal ages, you lose vitamins. I assume that freezers help to preserve the vitamins. So I grind a batch of seeds into meal right before use and then freeze leftovers. I use my VitaMix to grind the seeds. Coffee grinders or hand-held cereal or spice grinders should work.

Gioannini's Complete Food Allergy Cookbook lists some advantages and disadvantages of substituting for eggs tofu, banana, flax seed, psyllium seed husk powder, arrowroot powder, tapioca flour, and commercial egg replacer. She directs how to use the subtitutes in recipes. I utilize tapioca starch or arrowroot starch in my gluten-free baking(see under non-wheat flour substitutions). Gioannini suggests 1 T per 1 c non glutenous flour used, for binding and lightening muffins or cookies. I've read that cornstarch can be used in place of arrowroot or tapioca starch, and I've used that succesfully in recipes. A note on the tapioca starch: Gioannini warns that tapioca is very sticky, use only a little(that's why the 1 T per 1 c flour), where Jones suggests you can substitute up to 25-50 percent of your flour to lighten baked goods. So, if you experiment with somewhat large amounts of tapioca and your product seems overly sticky, maybe it's too much tapioca.

Using tofu as an egg substitute provides moisture and nutrition. Tofu has high-quality protein, calcium, vitamins, and minterals. Use 1/4 c per egg. Whip it before adding it to the recipe. In the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, it is suggested that Silken tofu (Mori nu brand in a box) works best in dense cakes and brownies. I got that suggestion off a blog, which, by the way, I suggest checking out at The blogger author also cites Moskowitz in saying that 1/4 c soy yogurt can be used for 1 egg. Probably regular yogurt works, too, if dairy can be tolerated.

Psyllium seed husk powder is used a lot in Gioannini's baking recipes. It is a binder and adds fiber. It works well for breads, cookies, cakes, or muffins. It also can be used in meat loaf. Mix 1 T psyllium with 3 T water and let sit a few minutes before adding to the recipe. Or mix psyllium into dry ingredients and add 2 or 3 T extra liquid. Psyllium is sold in bulk as a laxative, but Gioannini claims that the amount she suggests in a recipe will not produce a strong laxative effect.

If using commercial egg-replacers, read the ingredient list VERY CAREFULLY. Some egg replacers have egg products in them, and there are a variety of egg replacer combinations depending on brand. Ener-G doesn't have any wheat, nut, eggs, or dairy. Hammond says she uses dry egg replacer when it's important for the good to have firmness and to have a good binder. I notice she uses it a lot in cookies. On, egg replacer powder is said to be suitable for all baked goods, especially cookies. This info(from obtained from a Carol Fenster book and a vegan baking book by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gluten Free Playdough

Here are some playdough recipes from Gluten-Free Mama( This site has recipes, gluten-free flour blends, and other stuff, including "kids corner," which is where I found the playdough recipes. I've only tried the Cornstarch Playdough, but it has worked well for us.

Cornstarch Playdough

1 cup baking soda
1 cup water
1 cup cornstarch

Mix ingredients in saucepan and stir over low heat, until very thick. Add food coloring. Remove from heat. Knead until smooth(cool a bit first so it doesn't burn your hands). Store in ziploc bag in refrigerator for up to a month.

Cornmeal Playdough

This is yellow and textured

1 1/2 cups corn flour
1 cup corn meal
1 cup salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup hot water plus 2 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoons oil

Mix until smooth; add more water if necessary to soften and smooth. Store in ziploc bag for up to a month.

Foods My Kids Eat

This is a list that I recently provided to my mother-in-law before going to visit her for a week. She has tried to provide for my daughter each time we've visited, but has struggled to know just what to fix. She really appreciated having a list ahead of time. She had a much better idea of what to fix each day!

Sweet potato- microwaved, baked, or deep fried

Potatoes- microwaved with salt and canola/veg oil;
sliced into fries and baked;(I use Kraft Honey BBQ, but any works as long as no wheat, dairy)
diced and cooked in skillet(with oil, salt, pepper, also sage and thyme are good)
mashed: I bake potatoes, then whip with water from the potatoes, sometimes some rice milk, then some oil and salt. Sometimes I add meat juice from whatever meat I've cooked.

Rice: vegetable stir-fry: vegetables and soy sauce(many brands have wheat, check)Great Value at Wal-Mart doesn't have wheat
rice and chicken bake: Rice, chicken thighs, and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots. Just use water(or chicken broth), and seasonings such as salt, pepper, onion, garlic, also sage, thyme are good.
Spanish rice: mix a can of tomato sauce into some cooked rice, also can add some blended diced tomatoes, and then add hamburger and some spices. (Garlic, onion, pepper, salt, maybe a little chili powder and cumin) Also can add some oil and some chicken broth.

Chicken drumsticks(can microwave or boil);
Chicken tenders(bagged frozen, plain chicken)
Chicken breasts: can put in a crockpot with salsa and shred, or cut up into strips and season with Season-All or other seasoning

Pork ribs or beef ribs, barbequed and roasted or broiled
Could have rice or potatoes on the side

Roast beef(ie crockpot with potatoes and veggies). No gravy needed(just use sauce), or gravy made with meat juices and water.
Tenderize and shred leftover roast beef. See the Roast Beef and Chimichangas post. My kids just eat the meat by itself. Basically, you just boil a roast with garlic, vinegas, and seasonings such as chili powder, oregano, salt, cumin, pepper; then shred the meat.

Beef steak. My husband experiments with various spices and cooks the steaks in Worcheshire, sometimes soy sauce, and some vinegar or lemon juice. It's different each time. Basically the kids love a steak as long as it isn't really dry.

Hamburgers: The kids just eat the meat alone, sometimes with some barbeque sauce. My oldest likes the hamburgers cooked with soy sauce. We usually bake potatoes(cut into wedges or slices and bake on a tray lined with oil) to go with the hamburgers. Then we have a fruit salad or fruit smoothie.

Bean soups: cook dry lentils with drumsticks, carrots, celery, and some seasonings(like pepper, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, basil, or sage)
"many bean soup"- cook several varieties of dry beans with ham hock or chicken drumsticks. My daughter enjoys picking out different varieties and helping sort and rinse.

Hot dogs (check for wheat or dairy), can have with chips, rice and salt/oil, Baked potato, mashed potato with oil/salt
Spam or Vienna Sausages

Ham and potatoes

Quinoa: vegetable stir-fry or basil/chicken dish.

Juice: White Grape, Apple, Orange(they don't really drink this by itself much, but they love Orange Julius: Just blend orange juice concentrate, Rice Milk, sugar, and ice cubes together).

Breakfast and Snacks:

Kix, AlphaBits(Post brand), Rice Chex(Brand name), Trix(though I prefer something less sweet and with less artificial color). Always recheck labels-cereals change.

Bananas, Apples, Grapes, occasionally strawberries
Dried fruit: prunes, blueberries, 100% fruit twists or fruit sticks
celery or carrot sticks
soy yogurt(make sure it's dairy-free)
canned or bottled fruit including mandarin oranges, applesauce, peaches, fruit cocktail)
Garbanzo bean waffles(I have the recipe on my blog, we can make these if we get the ingredients, they're simple to make)
Muffins or "wholesome" cookies(such as banana cookies, pumpkin cookies, zucchini cookies)
Oatmeal- buy just plain Quick Oats or Old Fashioned oats- then I add some brown sugar or regular sugar, salt, and water.
Stax brand potato chips(Not Pringles)
Trail mix: mix together stuff such as sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut
Leftovers from lunch or supper

I don't fix desserts usually, but if you are looking for something special, they could have:

lemon pudding cups(one brand I know lemon pudding is made without milk, check label)
Fruit crisp(easy to make with apples, brown sugar, and oats)
Marshmallows(they love these as a simple dessert or treat- just make sure there are no eggs, wheat, or dairy)
fruit snacks

Items that are helpful to have in stock:

Oats(Quick or Old Fashioned, don't need instant)
fruits/vegetables such as green beans, applesauce, peaches - fresh, canned, bottled, frozen
Rice(brown and white)
dry lentils
variety of dry beans, such as pinto, kidney, lima, black, great northern
meat(beef, chicken, turkey,pork)
bananas, apples, oranges, grapes
carrots, celery
cauliflower, broccoli, frozen or fresh
sweet potato
red or russet potato
vegetable oil(we like canola)
dairy-free soft tub margarine
coconut oil

Baking basics, including: sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, vanilla, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, rice flour(brown and white), garbanzo bean flour or ground lentils, oats(if you can have oats-grind them into flour with a blender)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vegetable Brownies?!!

Brownies (With spinach and carrot)
From “Deceptively Delicious,” Jessica Seinfeld,
with my adaptations added in parentheses

3 oz semisweet chocolate
½ cup carrot puree
½ cup spinach puree
½ firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tablespoons soft tub margarine spread(I use non-dairy*)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites(I used egg replacer-can try other substitutes as well)
¾ cup oat flour(blend old fashioned oats in a blender)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Melt chocolate. Combine melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla. Whisk 1-2 min until creamy.
Beat egg whites(or egg replacer), then stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Baker 35-40 min in greased 8 x 8 pan. Cool completely before eating; the spinach flavor disappears when brownie is cool. Absolutely delicious and really healthy for a brownie!

*Smart Balance is the tub spread I currently use, but check labels carefully, most recently only one type of Smart Balance has no casein and no whey.