Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sugar Cookies: dairy free and nut free

I got a frantic voice message from my friend today, asking how she could make dairy free sugar cookies. Her son is allergic to cow's milk and she's been tasked with baking sugar cookies for his class Halloween party! She said, "I can, and still want to use wheat and eggs though."
Sugar cookies are a great thing to bring to a class party. The kids can decorate them and eat them too. The rough part is that there are so many kids with food allergies or sensitivies these days. In some areas, you can find stores that offer baked goods to accomidate special needs.

Last year, in my son's Kindergarten class, every common allergy was represented. This is when I experiemented many hours to come up with a Sugar Cookie Recipe that was gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free out of necessity. If you are choosing to take matters into your own hands, be sure your kitchen is super clean of any of the offending ingredients before baking.
This year I'm baking dairy free and nut free sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins for my daughter's class. There are just dairy and nut issues in her class, she being one with a dairy issue. This recipe was inspired by a Better Crocker recipe. What's great about sugar cookies is that the treat is also the activity. The kids love to make their own tasty creations.

Sugar Cookies: dairy free and nut free
(does contains wheat, gluten, eggs, and soy)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 large organic egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Mix powdered sugar, Earth Balance, vanilla and egg in your mixer bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Grease cookie sheet with cooking spray, Earth Balance or use a Silpat.
Divide dough in half and form into balls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
On a lightly floured cutting board type surface, roll out one of the dough balls to 1/4 inch thick. I often like to "flour" with part flour and part powdered sugar. Using powdered sugar helps you not to over flour your dough. You may mind your dough needs more flour too.
Cut your rolled out dough into desired shapes. I got a great Wilton pumpkin shaped cookie cutter from I've linked to it here and you can see a picture of it below. I love their comfort grip cookie cutters. I also have one in the shape of a heart for Valentines Day.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar or you can leave it off if you plan to decorate the cookies later.
Bake 7 - 8 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Cool on wire rack.
Enjoy as is or decorate with frosting.

Frosting: dairy free and nut free
2 - 4 cups
powdered sugar
2 tbsp clear vanilla extract (Using clear vanilla keeps your frosting white, if desired. Regular
vanilla extract will turn your frosting a bit off white. You can add food coloring or fruit juice to add color.)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Earth Balance (sticks or spread works)
Mix the above ingredients in you favorite mixer. I use the Kitchenaid for this with the paddle attachment.

The kids seemed to have a great time at their class Halloween party. We had parents send in items to decorate the cookies with.

Check out this creation! She only took a bite or two and saved it for later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Shallots and Leeks: gluten free and dairy free

Last weekend we walked on over to the farmer's market, just as we do every Sunday to get our produce for the week. At the market the kids picked out leeks, carrots, shallots, and some special jams for their sandwiches for school. Getting them involved in choosing the produce seems to encourage them to eat it. I happen to load up on butternut squash among other things, which also helped inspired our first soup of the rainy season.When I asked my nine year old daughter what we should put in our Butternut Squash Soup she said leeks, shallots, and tomato paste. Okay then. She took notes for me as I cooked.

Butternut Squash Soup: gluten free and vegan

Makes a lot of soup, you can half this recipe to make less.
1 butternut squash (whole or precut)
6 carrots
1 shallot bulb, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
Olive oil
Chicken broth, homemade (or 2 boxes organic broth)
1 medium roll of goat cheese
1 can Organic Tomato paste (or pureed tomatoes from your counter, that are no longer suitable for your salads.)
2 tsp – 1 tbsp Nutmeg to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the Butternut Squash into pieces and use a peeler to remove the skin.
Cut carrots into rounds. I keep the skin on so I don’t lose that extra fiber.
Boil the squash and carrot pieces for 7-9 minutes or steam them for 6-8 minutes.
In a stock pot sauté the chopped onion, shallots, and leeks until onion is transparent.
Scoop out the squash and carrots with a strainer scoop or slotted spoon and put in your blender. I used my Vitamix and pureed the mixture on high speed.
Add the squash and carrot puree to the onions, shallots and leeks in your stock pot.
Pour in the chicken broth until desired texture.
Break up the goat cheese and add it along with tomato paste, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Heat on high until the mixture bubbles then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 20 - 30 minutes.
Serve warm. I like to sprinkle pecorino Romano (sheep’s cheese) on top. Serve warm. I like to sprinkle pecorino Romano (sheep’s
cheese) on top.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan

Halloween cupcakes, beautifully decorated for Halloween by my children.

I am a huge fan of Bob's Redmill products. Their website offers a ton of recipes to choose from. Many address food sensitivity and food allergy issues. I still find that I have to make my own personal alterations. This post is a great example of that.

My mom loves to have fun with our kids for Halloween. She was so sweet and planned to do cupcake decorating with our kids during our one of our October Sunday dinners. She wanted to be sure to make them so they accomidated my kids, my Dad, and myself, so she asked me for a recipe. I pointed her to the Bob's Redmill site for ideas. She found this gluten free chocolate cake recipe that I link to here that is gluten free.
Here's how I used it as a base and change it into a recipe for gluten free, dairy free, and egg free chocolate cupcakes. This is a great example of how you can make a few subsitutions to accomidate your specific needs.

Chocolate Cupcakes: gluten free, dairy free, egg free
Makes 12 cupcakes.

1-1/2 cup Bob's Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Flax Meal
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk or other dairy free milk
1/3 cup Earth Balance
3 tbsp apple sauce plus 1 tsp baking powder mixed
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 cup warm brewed Coffee or decaf chai tea (this brings out the chocolate flavor)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepared cupcake tins with cupcake papers.
Place all ingredients, except coffee, in large bowl and blend with wisk or your favorite mixer. I use my Vitamix and so does my Mom.
Add coffee and mix until thoroughly blended.
Pour batter into cupcake papers in cupcake tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean.

White Vanilla Frosting

2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp clear vanilla extract (using clear keeps your frosting white. Regular vanilla extract will turn your frosting a bit off white)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Earth Balance (sticks or spread works)
Mix the above ingredients in you favorite mixer. I use the Kitchenaid for this with the paddle attachment.
Be sure your cake or cupcakes have cooled before frosting them. Spread over your cupcakes or scoop into a plastic zip bag with the end cut, or your favorite piping bag and pipe onto your cupcakes.

Mummy faces created with white frosting and orange and black cake decorating gel.

My son made his own version of a cupcake ghost.

Here are some gluten free, dairy free, egg free mummy cupcakes. My mom got this idea by searching for images of "mummy cupcakes" on-line. There are several interpretations. This is what we came up with.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes: gluten free, dairy free, egg free

We carve pumpkins for Halloween and we eat pumpkin for Thanksgiving. I actually like to make as much as possible with pumpkin, even Pumpkin Pancakes! They are tasty, healthy, and super easy to make. They are the perfect breakfast during Halloween, Thanksgiving, or anytime! This recipe is super similar to my Banana Flax Pancakes but with pumpkin and some cinnamon instead. I also add a little extra sweetness since pumpkin is not as sweet as banana.

Pumpkin Pancakes:
gluten free, dairy free and egg free

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. flax meal
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp honey (or organic sugar for vegan)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups Bob's Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
(optional: Earth Balance for pan or for on pancakes.)

See my post on Banana Flax Pancakes for detailed pictures of the pancakes cooking.
Measure and pour ingredients in order listed above, from wet to dry in your blender and blend until smooth. You may need to blend some as you go with a regular blender. I personally use a Vitamix. Once it's blended, you can put the batter in the fridge to chill or just set it on the counter while you heat up your frying pan to medium heat.

I put a little Earth Balance, about a 1/2 tsp. in the bottom of your non-stick pan for the first pancake. Once it bubbles, you know the pan is hot enough to start cooking your pancakes.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter in the non-stick pan per pancake. Wait until you see bubbles form before you flip the pancake with a spatula. If bubbles don't form, your pan isn't hot enough.

Cook on the other side until cooked though. You will get a feel for the timing after your first pancake.
WARNING: The first pancake is usually your tester to see if your pan is hot enough or to hot.

Serve immediately or refrigerate even freeze to eat later. Top with your favorite pancake toppings, syrup, jam, chocolate. I like 100% maple syrup. I've been known to use the pancakes to make a sandwich with Sunbutter and honey to pack in our kids lunch boxes.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free

As I was baking up some pumpkin muffins for the kids today I was realizing how  my baking has changed over this past year. I used to be into mixing various types of gluten free flours to see what the results would be. I soon realized that that was intimidating to my BFF and others who were new to this style of baking. When you are first starting out cooking and baking this way, you need the recipes to be simple and the ingredients easy for you to find. There are a lot of gluten free all purpose flours on the market today. I really like Bob's Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix and you can find it just about everywhere these days. I get it at QFC, Albertsons, PCC, and Whole Foods. I recently ordered a case of it from I also use flax meal, which is fantastic for you, and rarely use xanthan gum and Energ Egg Replacer. Flax meal and fruit or veggie puree can replace an egg and hold your baked goods together. These pumpkin muffins are a great example. I wanted to make a simpler version of my pumpkin muffin recipe from last year.

Pumpkin Muffins: gluten free and vegan
By Kendra Hubbell

1/4 cup canola oil (or other favorite oil)
4 tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp warm-hot water
15 oz pureed pumpkin
1 ¼ cup organic sugar
2/3 cup coconut milk (or apple juice)
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
2 ½ Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

Add wet ingredients in Vitamix, (or blender or mixer of your choice) followed by the dry ingredients and blend well.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Add all dry ingredients in another bowl and stir to combine. Then combine the wet with the dry and mix well.
Put ¼ cup of the batter into muffin tins that have been sprayed with your favorite gluten free vegan cooking spray or muffin and cupcake papers.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shallot Sage White Bean Soup

 I love making soup. Most of the time I just take a look at my food inventory and something evolves from there. White beans pureed are a great way to get a creamy soup without actual cream. Think of them as a cream subsitution that provides lots of protien and vitamins. You can make a fully blended soup with them or only blend part and leave the rest whole as I did here. Honestly one of my children were asking me to blend it and the other asked to keep it whole. I proposed that we do half and half and they went with it and so did I.  Here's what it looks like both ways.

Shallot Sage White Bean Soup
By: Kendra Hubbell

4 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 large shallot bulb
4 carrots
1 leek
Sage bunch or 1 tbsp ground sage
½ - 1 tsp tarragon
½-1 cup white wine
White pepper and salt to taste
1 lb soaked white beans
1 box organic chicken or veggie broth

Put olive oil in a medium to large soup pot.
Chop the onion and shallots and cook on medium to high heat.
Chop your carrots and leek and add them to your pot and cook until tender.
Add chopped or ground sage, tarragon, and white wine.
Add 1 lb. of white beans that have been rinsed and soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight.
Add the chicken broth and cook until it boils.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
At this point you can choose if you want to keep the soup whole or blend it in your blender or Vitamix. My family requested a half and half approach. Carefully scoop a portion of the soup; I did about 2 cups, into your blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the blended soup back to your soup pot and stir. This leaves part of your soup whole and some blended for a creamy yet chunky soup. If you decide to blend all the soup simply repeat the blending process, transferring your soup to another container, until all the soup is blended.
Serve immediately topped with grated pecorino Romano.
Refrigerate any leftovers for 2 days then freeze or freeze immediately.
You can serve it with some bread (gluten free or other) and pecorino romano (sheeps cheese).