Tag Archives: Cooking

KISS Your Greens, gluten free

Posted on by .

K.I.S.S Collard Greens - GF, of course

Keep It Simple, Silly:  Collard Greens
Photo by Kate Chan

I have to be honest.  The last couple of CSA boxes have had collard greens.  And I’ve swapped them out every week because I’ve been intimidated.

My Love really enjoys collard greens – but it is also because he loves southern food and has had some great food in Chicago.  And me?  Yes.  I like collard greens, but cooking them?  *Yikes*

I’ve heard how “long” and “tough” it is to cook collard greens and have them turn out fabulously.  Seasoning them and making them the right texture and not having either mushy or bitter greens to serve.  And you know what?  I’m much more of a baker than a cook, so that whole “you’ll know when it’s done” thing?  Doesn’t always work for me.  Well, unless I’m grilling chicken or pork chops.  I’ve got that down.

Last week (and this week’s) CSA box had collard greens, so I bit the bullet.  I was going to prepare them and prove my Love wrong.  I was going to make simple and tasty collard greens.  And guess what?  It totally worked.  He wants more.

So tonight, with my family here visiting, we’re making grilled chicken breasts, some more KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) Collard Greens, fresh new potatoes roasted with feta cheese and parsley and watermelon.  And for dessert?  I’m attempting a checker-board sponge cake.  (Yeap, now I’ve gone ’round the bend, huh?)

So, for those of you with greens and not southern touch to your cooking (like me), feel free to copy.  These are fabulous greens.  I’m thrilled to have an easy recipe to make collard greens with now.  And I won’t be swapping out my collards for any more carrots.  I promise.

K.I.S.S. Collard Greens

K.I.S.S. Collard Greens

Serves two.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of collard greens, cleaned/washed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper for seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice.
  • OPTIONAL/Main Dish Salad:  chopped chicken, raisins or dried cherries, toasted almonds.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water (salted. optional) to a boil on the stove.  While you wait, prepare your collard greens.
  2. Cut the thick center vein/stem out of the collard greens.  Split each leaf in two.  Roll together and slice into thin strips (1/4 inch – 1/2 inch).  Cut the strips in half.  (See picture above of rolled collards that have been cut into strips.  I just sliced the rolls in half one time.)
  3. Drop the greens into the boiling water.  Boil for 6 minutes (thin slices) – 8/10 minutes for thicker slices.  Remove the collards once they have reached the “al dente” noodle stage after 6 – 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your strips).
  4. Drain and press out the excess water.
  5. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan.  Add your garlic and stir until fragrant (1 minute).  Add the greens and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes until tender.  Drizzle with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.  Continue over the heat until even temperature.  (The greens will remain “al dente” or just tender and not mush after such speedy cooking.) Squeeze a half a lemon over or drizzle a teaspoon of lemon juice over (or more, to taste) and toss.
  6. Serve warm as a side.  Or top with a few raisins, sliced chicken and toasted almonds to make a fabulous entree salad.
Happy Eats!
~Kate

CSA Week 2: Radish Cakes

Posted on by .

GF Radish CakesGluten Free Savory Radish Cakes photo by Kate Chan

A couple weeks ago, we opened our first CSA box with joy and glee.  Zoe flipped the top open with a giggle.  ”It’s like Christmas, Momma!” she exclaimed.  Ha!  In my mind, I was thinking “Thank God Christmas doesn’t come with radishes!”  (I’m going to regret posting this thought as I’m sure someone will find it fun to gift some radishes to me.  Alas the joke will be on them.  My baby and I love them now!)

We started the first week with radishes.  We roasted them.  And yes, they are good roasted.  Even the carnivore in the house helped polish off the small bowl of roasted radishes.  But, I think he thought that would be it.

HA!  Week #2 CSA box:  more radishes.  In fact, this is what we got:

  • radishes
  • collard greens (recipe for this below as well)
  • scallions
  • spinach
  • red butterhead lettuce
  • green butterhead lettuce
  • mixed salad greens
  • broccoli

Most of the veggies easily fit in to our regular veg-habits.  True, we are eating more salad greens – but using them mostly as wraps for grilled meats or sandwiches.  I think we’ve only had two salads in the last two weeks “because we had to eat the veggies”.  Rather,  we are incorporating the veggies into our regular routine.  I mean really?  We eat a ton of stir fry and fresh fruit/veg.  So adding spinach?  Done.  We would have bought it weekly at the grocer too.  So from that above list only two were things we would not have picked up at the grocer:  radishes (still not super fans here) and collard greens (not always in our stores).

So those are the two things I chose to tackle.  First:  collard greens.  My love enjoys collard greens southern style.  I’ve enjoyed them as well.  But prepping them myself?  Nope.  No experience.

The greens were tender and I used one as a wrap for a sandwich.  It was good, but I knew I wouldn’t eat them all like there.  And there weren’t enough to make in the style my husband wanted.  (The beauty of the CSA is that there isn’t so much as to intimidate and just enough to encourage us to try it all.)

So, I made Collard Green Chips.  Yes.  The same thing that people are making with Kale.  The same kind of dried chip that we love (especially the seasoned lavar with sesame oil and salt – YUM!).   For the collard chips, I did the following:

  • wash the greens, trim the stalk and cut into chunks (fourths, in my case)
  • massage greens with sesame oil and salt for a few minutes – be sure to cover every piece evenly.
  • lay out on parchment or a silpat, put into a 350F oven, bake until crisp 6-8 minutes

I loved eating the chips plain.  So did the baby.  But really, my favorite was crumbling the chips over the top of some scrambled eggs or some brown rice at dinner time.  I loved the flavor it added without being overpowering that way.

But those pesky radishes.  Surely I wouldn’t have to roast more, right?  I didn’t want to spend my summer roasting veggies.  I have a few in the fridge from this week that I plan to figure out with the gas grill outside.  (I have a rockin’ recipe for a grilled potato salad that I think would benefit from some grilled radish.)

Anticipating more radishes from the CSA, I began to plan.  I made several batches of these savory radish cakes and to be honest, they became quite addictive.  The baby demolished them for breakfast one day and lunch the next (much to my mother’s dismay).

I have to beg your forgiveness though.  For once, I am posting my estimates and guesses at what would be the final recipe.  I altered it some many times and stopped taking notes at some point along the way because it got to be too much to manage:  the cooking, the baby who wanted it ASAP, the toddler who wanted to help cook, the final exams to be written and graded, etc.  It was just all too much.

Thankfully, summer has started.  Grades are in.  Classroom is cleaned up. And life is beginning again.  I’m trying out my mommy wings again and enjoying it.  Swimming lessons, slurping strawberries, painting fingernails, and planning naps.  NAPS!  Life is good when everyone naps, huh?

Anyway.  Stopping the yammering.  Posting the recipe.  Just know:  You’ve been warned.  It’s rough.  BUT DANG.  It’s good!

Savory Radish Cakes – gluten free

1 recipe makes 12 – 18 cakes

Ingredients:
3-4 medium radishes (4.5 ounces), shredded
salt
1/2 cup millet flour (88g/3 ounces)
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour (68g/2.5 ounces)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (45g/2 ounces)
1 smidge of xanthan gum – 1/3 teaspoon??? (can be omitted)
1 – 2 cups hot water (I’m totally guessing on the water, can you tell?)
1 teaspoon (??) salt
1 teaspoon (??) garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon (??) cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
oil for pan frying (olive oil or sesame)

Directions:

  1. Shred radishes (go food processor!), toss with salt generously, and put into a colander over a bowl to catch liquid.  Set aside.
  2. Mix together flour, starches, smidge of xanthan gum (if using), salt, garlic powder, and cracked black pepper.  (I used my food processor to do this because it was easy to rinse out after shredding the radishes.  Heck.  One piece of kitchen gadgetry per recipe is my goal.)
  3. In a separate container (or 2 cup measuring cup), heat 1 cup of water (not boiling – but hot like a cup of tea).  Add sesame oil.  Turn on the food processor and slowly pour the water into the flour mix.   You want the mixture to have the same consistency as pancake batter eventually. So, start with one cup of water.  Don’t add any more just yet.
  4. Go back to your salted, shredded radishes.  Squeeze out as much water as you can from them.  Toss them into your batter.  Whirl the food processor again.
  5. Now check your consistency.  It should be a thick pancake batter (almost like for waffles).  If not, add more hot water slowly until you reach that desired thickness.  It should slowly, thickly slide off a spoon but be thicker than cake batter and not drip off the spoon.
  6. Pan fry the cakes in oil.  Sprinkle the cakes with a bit of salt while frying.
  7. Serve when warm with Soy-Ginger dipping sauce.  (Recipe below)

Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
scallions, optional

  1. Put all together in a small jar and shake well.  Set aside.
  2. Refrigerate any unused portion and use within a few days.

 

Really…this recipe is worth a try.  I’m sorry for the guess with the water.  But …bah… it is what it is.

And one last radish tip:  Shaved radishes + cucumbers make an AWESOME Thai salad. :)  I shaved my remaining radishes, seeded and peeled two English cucumbers and chopped the cukes into small pieces.  Then I mixed together 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice.  OH MAN.  PERFECT summer treat.  (Yes, it makes a lot of liquid, but hey…that’s how I like my Thai Cucumber salad.)

Enjoy!
Kate

Gluten Free Pizza – Oh, so good!

Posted on by .

Gluten Free ‘Za, Photo by Kate Chan

Annual holiday cookie swap?  CHECK
Christmas cards mailed?  CHECK
Everything wrapped and shipped?  Almost a check there… two more to go. :)
Kiddos in bed?  CHECK! CHECK!
Adults in need of  heading off to bed too?  Oh, YES!  CHECK!

But what am I doing?  Making pizza, of course.

The word exhaustion means oh-so-much-more to me this year.  I thought since we were equally numbered 2 kids:  2 adults, that our ratio of 1:1 would save us.  Who was I kidding!!  The other night we ALL went to be at 7:15pm and didn’t wake up until the morning.  Oh yea.  We are T-I-R-E-D!  But life is fabulous.

There is nothing like laying on the living floor at night with just the Christmas tree lights on with a toddler wiggling about and a baby snoring in someone’s arms.  The Chicklet is loving the “scavenger hunt” for ornaments that she and her Baba playing while they lie there.  He asks her to find an ornament, she finds it.  And then she challenges him to find the one she is looking at too.  It’s quite cute.  And very calming.  Thank goodness, too, as life is everyone-on-the-run from before sunup until the typical 8:00PM bedtime.

Elfie is visiting

Elfie visits.  Photo by Kate Chan

Now that there are presents under the tree, our poor little Chica is tempted beyond all reason to open boxes.  (And it doesn’t help that some of the gifts have come wrapped in Buzz Lightyear paper.  She is a Buzz/Woody SUPER fan!)  So, I got a little creative.  You see, I know this elf (ahem) who has come to live with us until Christmas.  He is a buddy of Santa’s.  And he is just like a Toy Story toy in so much that he is inanimate during the day, but when we aren’t looking, he can scoot off and get messages to Santa.  Even better, he is stationed by the gifts to remind the Chica that she is not to open them *just yet*.  Since Elfie’s arrival, Z has taken to laying at his feet and contemplating life upon occasion and when she is most tempted to open gifts.  Poor little thing.  The next five days are going to be hard on her!

Despite the fact that I have TWO HUGE bags of papers to grade, lessons to write, laundry, dusting, wrapping, etc hanging overhead, I am here.  I would rather be cooking, writing or playing with the kidlets than doing any of the aforementioned fabulous household and work duties.  And since there are several other pressing things to be done, I’m off testing pizza crust recipes.

And as I was mixing and chatting with my Love, I remember the King Arthur Flour company and I wanted to order some goodies for a friend.  Little did I know, however, that King Arthur had recently entered in the gluten-free mix line.  (In fact, just the day after discovering this, I found their mixes at a local market.  But they are SPENDY!  ($12/box of muffin mix?  YIKES!)  And as most of you know, I really do prefer to make my own.  It is so much cheaper.

Since I found their GF items, I began to read a little more.  They have plenty of recipes on their site that use a basic mix that they prepare.  Their GF Flour Mix is: 6 cups brown rice flour, 3 cup potato starch (not flour) and 1 cup tapioca flour.  They “stabilize” their brown rice flour so their mix is definitely spendier, but maybe that works for someone who needs the basic mix to last longer than I do.  Anyway, since they had their mix posted and a pizza crust recipe, I thought I would try it.  (PS.  I have NO affiliation with King Arthur, have received no goods/monies, etc to post this and YES, I have their permission to post this recipe and links.)

This pizza crust is tasty. Very tasty.  The texture is great – the crunchy bottom of the crust mimics pizza-joint crusts and that is something we’ve missed.  (Thus the cast iron pizza recipe.) But this crust has depth to it as well – and it is easy to adapt/add different flavors, etc if you wish.  There are, however, a few things you should not mess with.  They are as follows:

  • You really do need to grease your pan well before baking.
  • You really do need the extra olive oil on the pan before flattening out your crust.  That is what made the crust texture sooooo much better!  You could bake it on parchment with olive oil (we’ve done that too), but directly on the pan makes for a better crunch and texture.

Beyond that, we did away with the wait time for the sponge.  (I’m impatient like that.) In order to get the yeast to rise, we added the sugar to the yeast mixture and not to the flour mix.  Other than those changes, we followed their recipe more closely but not exactly.  After all, recipes are like guideposts sometimes – you just gotta do your own thing.  Although I always recommend following the recipe the first time through and THEN making changes on subsequent batches.  You will know what you are working with better.

I’m posting the recipe as we made it.  You can find the original recipe here on the King Arthur site.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Very slightly modified from the King Arthur Flour recipe (linked above)
Makes:  1 medium-thin crust pizza

You can find a PRINTABLE copy of this recipe here.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups GF flour mix

  • (1st time:  We used:  3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon brown rice flour, 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon potato starch (not flour), 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour)
  • (2nd time:  We used our regular GF Flour mix.)

2 Tablespoons powdered milk or buttermilk powder
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon yeast (they use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil (for dough)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (for pan)
Optional:  1 teaspoons each:  granulated garlic, fennel and dried basil.

Directions:

  1. Sift together remaining dry ingredients:  GF flour mix, powdered milk, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum and your seasonings of choice.  (We use granulated garlic, fennel and dried basil.  Sometimes cumin, garlic and sesame if we are making a non-traditional pizza too.And then we use some sesame oil at the end too.)
  2. Bring water to 110º-115ºF.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, the sugar and yeast.  Add 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients to your proofing yeast.  Stir together and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients to your mixing bowl.  (You need a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this pizza crust to mix it well.)
  4. Wait about 5-10 minutes or until your yeast mixture has risen nicely.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix together on medium speed for 4-6 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  7. Generously grease your pizza pan.  Then drizzle 2 Tablespoons+ of olive oil into the center of the pan.
  8. Scrap the pizza dough onto the olive oil pool on the pan.  With wet hands, squish the dough out evenly onto the surface of the pizza pan.
  9. Bake the crust for 8 – 10 minutes or until the top is no longer shiny but opaque.
  10. Top with your favorite pizza toppings.  (The Chicklet loves mushrooms and black olives on her pizza.  What do you like?)
  11. Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes until your toppings are done/cheese is melted.

Enjoy!
After all, it might be the Holiday season…. but sometimes you just have to eat comfort food too!
Happy GF Eating!
~Kate