July through October in our city, there’s a little downtown farmer’s market on Wednesday’s from dawn ’til 2:00 p.m. not far from where i work. I’m off at 1:00 p.m. midweek, and the past couple of months I hurried down the street each Wednesday as the vendors were closing up their booth’s, hoping there would still be some fresh Kale available. After a few weeks it became a bit humorous and a catalyst for conversation with some of the growers – this woman running from booth to booth trying to find out who had any Kale left on that particular day. Without fail we’d teamwork to find one or two bundles left – usually from two lovely girls who just happened to grow the most wonderful tasting organic Kale. I’m sure theirs was the most expensive, but worth it! I’d snap it up and hurry home to make homemade Kale Chips. Kale has become one of my favourite things about autumn harvest! Both the chips, and adding chopped fresh Kale to soups and other dishes, are A BIG HIT with my husband, and visitors to our kitchen as well!
Kale Chips are easy to make and so good for you, yet they feel a bit make-it-yourself fancy gourmet!
What You Need:
1 bunch fresh Kale
good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Spicy seasoning of choice
1 plastic bag – a clean biodegradable one from a store, or a large reusable zip bag.
1 large cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 C).
Examine each Kale leaf individually (under frilly edge) for unwanted little munching guests (:
Using a sharp knife, remove woody centre stems from each leaf.
Chop stemmed leaves coarsely and place chopped Kale into colander of a Salad Spinner. Rinse well.
Spin most of the water off in a salad spinner (or rinse in a colander and shake well in a tea towel).
Dump chopped rinsed Kale into plastic bag & add 1 Tablespoon of good olive oil. Shake vigourously. Sprinkle in approx. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and shake bag again.
Spread Kale out evenly on large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle sparingly with nutritional yeast flakes, and a touch of spicy seasoning (i use Tony Chachere’s More Spice Seasoning). Use your own certified GF spice blend for Gluten Free or SCD diet-safe chips.
Place in preheated (200 F) oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan, turn Kale over, and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes (check for doneness after 10 minutes). Your Kale Chips are done when they’re crispy and not too dark.
Cool before storage (if they last that long!!!) and DO NOT STORE IN AN AIR TIGHT CONTAINER. Use something with a hole in it, or a lid that can open partially for air flow.
with joy over turning autumn harvest into nutritious snack food that feels a bit make-it-yourself fancy gourmet!
Diana E. Natalie
What a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend we had here in Ontario, Canada this year! After the usual high-fat traditional fare – gravy, stuffing, pie & whipped cream – it’s time to get back to perhaps a more moderate eating routine!
Biscotti is the perfect low-fat Italian cookie to snack on with your morning or afternoon coffee or tea … and this recipe yields a cookie with over 5 grams of protein (with the eggs, almonds, and flour blend).
It’s simple and fun to make, and the secret to success is a FIRST and SECOND bake. So get your timer ready! (see Method below).
ALSO SEE BELOW for Lemon Twist Biscotti, and Chocolate Almond Biscotti variations on the same basic recipe & method.
ALMOND-ANISE BISCOTTI ~ INGREDIENTS:
1 Tablespoon Anise Seeds, Crushed
1 Tablespoon Anise-flavoured apertif or liquer (optional: use anise extract flavouring)
2 cups DJ’s GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND
1 cup sugar (we use organic florida sugar) in this recipe
1 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (NOTE: toast almonds ahead of time, spread out in single layer on cookie sheet – 10 to 15 minutes in 350 F. oven)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon milk
Combine anise seeds and anise flavour in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes or more.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, coarsely chopped toasted almonds, baking powder, and salt.
In separate bowl, beat together the eggs and the anise mixture, and the milk.
Mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture with electric stand mixer, or mix together well with a wooden spoon.
Remove the dough from mixing bowl and pat or roll into a log approx. one foot long on parchment paper or a floured surface, and gently flatten with a rolling pin to about 5 inches wide.
Transfer log (if using parchment, slide parchment paper with dough) onto cookie sheet, and bake until golden about 40 minues (at 325 F).
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer your log onto a cutting board and with a serrated knife, carefully slice 3/4 inch thick slices, placing the slices cut side down, back onto your cookie sheet.
Bake biscotti slices 10 minutes more, remove from oven and turn each piece (with tongs or fingers if you’re brave), then return to oven for a final 10 minutes.
Transfer biscotti to wire rack to cool completely before storing. Biscotti hardens further as it cools. Ideally it should be stored at room temperature in a glass jar.
LEMON TWIST BISCOTTI:
Replace Anise seed & anise liquer, with 1 Tablespoon Lemon Peel (dried), combined with 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon rind, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, and 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Instead of 1 cup organic florida sugar, use 1 cup organic Sucanat.
Instead of using whole toasted almonds finely chopped, use 1 cup Blanched Almond Meal (almond flour).
To the above recipe, substitute almond extract instead of anise extract, add 1/2 cup dark royal dutch cocoa (22/24), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons milk.
Instead of 1 cup organic florida sugar, use 1/2 cup organic florida sugar + 1/2 cup Vanilla Agave Nectar.
with joy over a gluten free version of the Italian cookie that’s taken North America by storm,
Diana E. Natalie
After experimenting initially with gluten-free ‘bean-based flour blends’ (such as Bob’s Red Mill GF all-purpose baking flour), and not being a huge fan of the ‘beany’ taste, I came up with the following non-bean-based Gluten-Free blend that works well, cup for cup, in almost any recipe.
Yes, you have to purchase each ingredient separately and do the mix up yourself, but you’ll be glad to have it ready-to-go when you need it. If you know you’ll be doing a lot of GF baking, double or quadruple the flour recipe below for a BIG batch of flour blend to have on hand! (0:
DJ’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend Recipe:
You may purchase just the quantity you require of each individual ingredient at your local bulk food store, such as The Main Ingredient, 326 Charlotte St., Peterborough, ON.
Once you get your ingredients home, measure each into a medium size bowl and gently stir together, blending well with a wire whisk. Store in an airtight container (preferably a glass jar) and keep in a cool dry place for up to one month.
2 cups Sorghum flour
1 cup Potato Starch (NOTE: this is potato starch not potato flour)
1/2 cup Tapioca flour
1/2 cup Arrowroot flour
1/2 cup Coconut flour
1/2 cup Brown Rice flour
1 Tablespoon Xanthan Gum
with joy over preparing the way for easy gluten-free baking!
Diana E. Natalie
There was always a fancy crystal dish on my Grandma’s dining table filled with one of my favourite flavours of the past…Mustard Bean Pickles. Bright yellow mustardy sweetness.
I can’t remember if hers had flecks of red pepper throughout, or not, but in attempting to replicate her recipe (without her recipe to go on!) I decided to add some red pepper any way. I’m sure it added some flavour but mostly it makes it look pretty in the glass canning jars.
I also decided to use white wine vinegar rather than distilled spirit vinegar (regular white vinegar), because it was available to me, and I also believe it to be milder and thus gentler on the taste buds.
EQUIPMENT You will need eight to ten clean 8oz. canning jars with two-piece lids, and a large pot or pan to simmer jars & lids in water prior to canning. You will also need a large (approx. 8 litre) pot for boiling the vegetables, and a smaller stainless steel heavy bottomed pot to cook the sauce in. You will need a wooden spoon or spurtle, a ladle (preferably with a spout), a canning funnel (fits into tops of jars for filling) and canning tools for lifting hot jars and twisting lids on tightly (available in the kitchen section of your local hardware store).
Wash and rinse jars and lids; place them into a large pot or pan and bring to boil, turn down heat to low and let stand in hot water while you are preparing the bean pickles.
16 cups fresh yellow beans
3 cups sweet onion diced
3 cups red bell pepper finely chopped, or diced
3 cups sugar (i used 1 1/2 cups white sugar, and 1 1/2 cups organic florida sugar available at your local bulk food store).
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons modified corn starch (available at your local bulk food store so you don’t have to buy a whole package)
1/2 cup dry mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon turmeric
2 Tablespoons pickling salt
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
[Note: the pickling salt, and the spices listed above are all available at your local bulk food store, so you don't have to go out and buy whole packages when you only need a little bit to make your bean pickles.]
1. Fill your 8 litre heavy bottomed pot 1/3 to 1/2 full with water , add sea salt to the water (until it tastes like sea water) and bring to a boil.
2. Wash beans, picking out any “duds”, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces with a sharp knife. Place into pot of water.
3. Wash, seed, and chop the red bell pepper, and add to the pot with the beans. Boil the beans and peppers until just tender.
4. In a separate (smaller) stainless steel heavy bottomed pot, combine sugar, flour, modified corn starch, spices (mustard, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric), pickling salt, water, and white wine vinegar. Whisk together. Add chopped onion and red bell pepper. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat and boil gently until onions become translucent and mixture thickens somewhat, about 5 minutes.
5. Drain beans in a large colander. Return beans to big pot and pour the sauce over the beans. Return to a boil, then shut off heat.
6. Ladle bean mixture into hot sterilized jars one at a time. Wipe rim clean with paper towel. Center lids on jar and screw rim down tight. Lids will suction down on jars as they cool. You will hear the popping sound as this is happening.
NOTE: If for some reason the lids do not seal down (because they are reused older lids that are wearing out, or for some other reason) you will be able to tell by depressing the lid center with your finger. If any jar does not seal down, just keep it in the fridge and use it first. The sealed jars will not need refrigeration. It is not very common for jars not to seal properly.
with joy over revisiting old recipes and favourite flavours of the past,
Diana E. Natalie
“Whoa, hold the phone!” These taste just like their name, “Coffee Caramel Date Muffins”, but are a lot “healthier” than they sound. They are low glycemic, high fibre, and thought not ‘low fat’ (don’t hang up…) they contain healthier fats than you will find in your average coffee shop muffin! The perfect treat for those back-to-school lunches, or mom’s coffee break! Sorry we haven’t posted on ‘Stand In My Kitchen’ for a while. We’re back in the swing, and ready for an awesome fall of joyful transition, as we cook and bake our way to healthier eating together!
1 cup dates (pitted), chopped
2/3 cup leftover coffee or espresso
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup organic Coconut (palm) sugar
1/2 cup Mocha “dessert yogurt”
1/2 cup quick cook Oats
2 tablespoons Sprouted Flax Seed powder
1 1/2 cups flour (i used whole organic Spelt flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix oats into yogurt in small bowl and set aside.
Reheat coffee or espresso & combine with dates and cinnamon in a separate bowl, let stand 20 minutes to soften dates.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat.
Add oat & yogurt mixture, and date mixture, to the butter-sugar-egg mixture.
Mix dry ingredients together first in a separate bowl, then add to wet mixture, stirring just until the batter comes together.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups. I like to use MINI MUFFIN CUPS for these, and line with mini muffin papers. Sprinkle tops with Florida organic sugar, or coarse sugar before placing in oven.
Bake at 375 F. for 15 to 20 minutes. (15 for convection oven, longer if non-convection, or if using standard size muffin tins).
Diana E. Natalie
I’m sitting on my deck trying to think of a snappier name for this amazing cake and can’t come up with anything edgier than the deliciously long title above.
The writer in me may be on holiday, but the creative baker was spot on with this one!
Simple & quick, other than waiting for it to cool so you can smother on the icing…the cake is also low sodium, high fibre, rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and contains a mentionable amount of protein, which along with the fiber, means it is much lower on the glycemic index than your average cake.
Preparatory Note: Consider roasting the sweet potatoes one day, and baking this cake the next. Once the roasted sweet potatoes have cooled completely (especially in the fridge overnight) their skins come away from the flesh inside making them super easy to peel & use whenever you’re ready.
TO ROAST SWEET POTATOES: rinse, pat dry, poke once with a skewer or fork, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and place on foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Place in 400 degree F. oven for 1 hour. Remove & allow to cool. Left in their skins roasted sweet potatoes will store in refrigerator for up to two weeks – use as needed for baking, soups, or reheat as a side dish.
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup organic florida sugar, and 1/2 cup Sucanat)
3/4 cup oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups roasted sweet potato – approx. 3 medium size roasted sweet potatoes (SEE PREPARATORY NOTE & INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE)
1 1/2 cup Spelt flour (I used 1 cup Whole spelt flour & 1/2 cup Light spelt flour)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 cup Ginger Beer (I used ‘Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer‘) but you could use non-alcoholic ginger beer.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 X 13 inch glass baking dish.
2. Using handheld electric blender, beat together the sugar, oil, and baked sweet potato (taken out of it’s skin). Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl. Blend together with a wire whisk.
4. Blend the dry ingredients one cup at a time into the wet, alternating with the ginger beer until everything is mixed but not over beaten.
5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. (SEE FROSTING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS BELOW)
8 ounces (or 250 grams) low fat cream cheese softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tablespoon butter softened
2 teaspoons clear pure vanilla (or regular vanilla extract)
WITH ELECTRIC MIXER, BEAT TOGETHER FROSTING INGREDIENTS IN A MEDIUM SIZE MIXING BOWL & SPREAD OVER TOP OF COOLED CAKE.
Tosted Pecans: Chop 1/2 cup pecans and place on parchment paper in 350 degree F. oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle over top of iced cake.
With joy over the thought that three of my favourite things could meet in one scrumptious cake; sweet potatoes, cream cheese, and ginger beer…
Diana E. Natalie
Probably one of the most delicious Gluten Free concoctions made to date. An interesting list of ingredients, but super easy to throw together all in one pot. I will be revisiting this one.
I put lots of pictures of all the fun ingredients & favourite brands to inspire you, as I am celebrating over 50 posts at Stand In My Kitchen, and am sending you on a shopping adventure to get your ingredients to make this amazing soup! Remember, if you can’t afford all organic labels, go with budget friendly ‘no-name’ versions of as many things as you can, reserving your savings to splurge for the things you can’t substitute.
What else are we celebrating? ~ Our own DOMAIN! You can now find us more easily at – www.standinmykitchen.com
That’s ‘STAND IN MY KITCHEN DOT COM’. You don’t even have to type the “www”.
Special dietary needs? We’ll continue posting recipes to help you transition into healthier cooking and baking, as well as some recipes revamped to accommodate very specific dietary needs. For example, to adapt this recipe to the ‘Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ for intestinal health through diet, leave out the rice & quinoa blend and GF pasta, and substitute a second kind of bean (i.e. one tin of your favourite bean along with the white kidney beans called for in the recipe). And for 100% dairy free, leave out the parmesan rind.
1/2 cup Sprouted Rice & Quinoa blend. I found this one (TruRoots) at my local Costco.
1 946 ml box low sodium organic Chicken Broth
1 24 oz jar strained Tomatoes with basil. I found this brand locally.
1 1/2 cups little yellow ‘ZIMA’ Tomatoes (pureed in blender)
1/4 of a sweet Onion (also pureed in blender with the tomatoes)
2 Tablespoons good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Parmesean rind (available for sale at finer grocery stores or your local cheese shop ~ a wonderful recipe-altering ingredient for soups and bean pots, worth going on a hunt for! When I found some I bought a whole container and just keep them in the freezer so I can pull one out when needed.)
1 can White Kidney beans
1/3 cup small Gluten Free tiny pasta of choice (I chose GoGo Quinoa Anelli)
2 Bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (i wanted to add this, but actually forgot, and didn’t really miss it)
2 teaspoons organic sugar
1/8 cup wine – red or white. (I used red because I had a bottle open and when I think of Tuscan cooking i think of red wine first, but white would be a fine substitute in this recipe).
1 handfull of chopped fresh Basil & Parsley
2 handfulls of chopped fresh Spinach
Use a 3.5 litre (or 4 quart) heavy bottom pot (or cast iron if you have one).
Place the rice/quinoa blend into the pot and cover with the chicken broth. Add the bay leaves, parmesan rind, dried tarragon, herb salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until rice blend becomes tender.
Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes and onion, and add to the pot, along with the olive oil, and tiny pasta. Raise heat to a low boil for 5 minutes.
Add the jar of strained tomatoes, sugar, wine, and kidney beans. Reduce heat and continue to simmer on low while you chop your basil, parsley, and spinach.
Add chopped basil, parsley, and spinach, and continue with a steady low heat, stirring occasionally until you see they have cooked in.
Before serving, remove bay leaves and parmesan rind.
with joy over one pot deliciousness in my favourite domain!
Diana E. Natalie