Goan Coconut Chicken Curry with Spiraled Sweet Potato

Goan Coconut Chicken Curry with Spiraled Sweet Potato

The Indian region of Goa is known for its tropical beaches and rich seafood curries.

This region of India is known for their Goan simmer sauces. They can be medium spiced to very spicy.

The flavors in this sauce include coconut, ginger, and tangy tamarind. Together they taste incredible when simmered with meat and vegetables.

The meats can include, lamb, goat and chicken. The vegetables can be an endless choice, such as broccoli, peas, carrots, onions, and cabbage.

Goan Coconut Chicken Curry with Spiraled Sweet Potato

1 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes

1/2 cup coconut milk

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. oil

1 1/2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion

1 tsp. Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp. red chili Red chilli powder

1 tsp. cumin powder

2-3 cups chicken stock

In a medium bowl add chicken, salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add ginger-garlic paste, stir and sauté well. Add onion, mix and sauté on high heat till translucent.

Add chicken mix and stir in and cook for 1 minute. Add garam masala powder, chilli powder and cumin powder, stir in and cook till the oil separates.

Add chicken stock, stir to mix, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add coconut milk, mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Goan simmer sauce with Chicken

In another pan over medium heat add 1 tbsp. oil. Next add spiraled sweet potatoes and cook just to warm spirals.

Sweet potato spirals

Next add warmed spirals to Goan sauce and mix in.

Plate and top with chopped spring onions, chopped cilantro and goat cheese.

Look how mouth watering delicious it is.

Close up  Goan Coconut Chicken Curry with Spiraled Sweet Potato

Savory Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Savory Sweet Potato Hash

If you’re looking to introduce vegetables into your breakfast sweet potatoes will do the trick.

Sweet potatoes are considered a root vegetable. Tubers that come from the morning glory family scientifically named, Convolvulaceae.

Harvesting sweet potato  tubers

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America.

They typically have brown skin and orange flesh but also come in purple, yellow, and red varieties. There are over 400 varieties.

Variety of sweet potatoes

In the United States and some other countries, sweet potatoes are often called yams, even though they’re different species.

They can vary in size, measuring up to 12 inches long and weighing up to about one pound.

Nutrition of The Sweet Potato

The sweet potato provides a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A – B6 and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.

The potato contains complex carbs that digest slower, therefore not elevating your blood sugar.

They also contain antioxidants and are three times more concentrated in the skin than the flesh.

The antioxidants include: polyphenols, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, tocopherols, α-lipoic acid, and selenium.

Cooking With A Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is probably one of the most-versatile vegetables to cook with.

There are so many ways to use sweet potatoes as the possibilities are endless.

They can be used in both savory and sweet applications, when cooking or baking.

Typically, they are served either baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, simmered, or fried. In dessert form, as a sweet potato pie.

And that’s what’s happening here – frying shredded sweet potatoes into Savory Sweet Potato Hash Browns.

¼ pound diced smoked bacon

½ pound sweet potato, shredded

½ cup diced sweet onion

1  teaspoon dried chives

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Chop in bacon until just crisp. Be sure to cut in enough bacon fat, which will be used to cook shredded sweet potato.

Next add diced onion and cook until onion is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Next add chives, thyme and garlic. Stir in and then add the shredded sweet potato and cook for about 5 minutes for soft hash browns or about 8 to 10 minutes for crispy hash browns.

Plate and serve topped with a sunny side up eggs.

Sweet potato  hash browns with egg

Gluten-Free Flour Substitutions For Baking

Going wheat free doesn’t mean you have to give up breads, cookies and pizza.

There are many flours you can use to substitute in recipes that have delicious results.

Here is a general guide to substituting flour in recipes.

There are a variety of different formulas you can try when substituting wheat flour. Experiment to see what works and tastes best for you.

Gluten-free floursOne thing to note, though, is that alternative flours don’t produce the same texture or consistency as regular wheat flour.

With the lack of gluten, you will need to add a starch to your GF flour.

Know let’s see what these Gf flour substitutes are and the starch’s to use.

Gluten-free (GF) non-wheat flours are generally categorized into three different weights, and these include:

  1. Light starch
  2. All-purpose medium
  3. Heavier whole grain

Light Gluten Free Flours

Light, starchy GF flours include:

  1. sweet rice flour
  2. white rice flour

Medium Gluten Free Flours

Medium GF flours are similar to ‘all purpose flour’- these include:

  1. sorghum flour
  2. oat flour, certified gluten-free
  3. brown rice flour, superfine

If you are unable to find sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour will be your is closest option.

Heavier GF Flours

The heavier grains, including psuedo-grains like quinoa, tend to contain more protein.

Which include:

  1. buckwheat
  2. quinoa
  3. millet
  4. cornmeal
  5. nut meal (such as almond and coconut)
  6. bean/legume flours

These heavier GF flours are similar to baking with whole wheat flour. You get a similar denser product, often darker in color, and with less rise.

Starches To Use With GF Flours

Starches in gluten-free bakingGluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat. It helps baked foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue, holding food ingredients together.

In gluten-free baking, a starch needs to be substituted. These include:

  1. tapioca starch
  2. cornstarch
  3. potato starch
  4. arrowroot starch

Here are some key points to know about starch in general, and specific differences for using each one.

  • Starches need time to hydrate before going in the oven so rest your batter or dough for up to 30 minutes for improved texture of some baked goods.
  • The high starch content of some gluten free flours can result in a gritty texture. Many batters and doughs benefit from more liquid to properly hydrate.
  • More liquid may then require a longer baking time in some recipes.

Starches for the most part are interchangeable.

Cornstarch

  • This powdery white cornstarch is not the same as corn flour. Do not substitute.
  • Not ideal for baking, too much cornstarch results in baked goods with a starchy texture.
  • Stirring too vigorously may cause a mixture to break down and thin out.
  • Cooking over high heat can cause lumping.
  • Best uses for baking: to thicken pie filling and make puddings.

Potato Starch

  • Made from raw potatoes it has no potato taste. Potato starch is not the same as potato flour. Do not substitute.
  • Provides structure, tenderness and binding power in baking.
  • Too much potato starch gives baked goods a crumbly texture.
  • Best uses: muffins, quick breads and a gluten free flour mix.

Tapioca Starch

  • Tapioca starch is all starch but is also called tapioca flour in recipes. It is the same ingredient.
  • Gives chewy texture, elasticity and structure to baked goods.
  • Aids in creating a crisp crust.
  • Can be used as a thickener for pies and sauces.
  • Too much tapioca starch makes baked goods dense.
  • Best uses: cookies, a flour blend and moist breads

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot is extremely versatile and can even be used as a substitute for wheat flour.

It works well when mixed with other gluten free flours like almond flour and coconut flour and is perfect for bread or cake recipes.

  • no break down in acidic ingredients
  • creates a clear gel
  • freezes well and thaws properly
  • when using eggs as the primary binder, adding arrowroot powder will significantly help the process
  • lightens the textures in cakes, quick bread, and cookies in gluten-free and grain-free baking

As you can see, different starches will contribute different textures to your baking.

Take Care When Using Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a unique, non-grain, fiber rich and highly absorbent flour. If you add it to a recipe blend, you may need to add more fat or liquid.

Therefore, you cannot substitute coconut flour on a 1:1 ratio for all-purpose flour, or most other GF flours.

Coconut flour gluten-free baking

Typically you would combine 1/4 cup coconut flour with almond flour, hazelnut flour, cassava flour and a little tapioca starch for the best flavor and baking properties.

Using coconut flour will require one egg extra in the recipe for each 1/4 cup, for both moisture and structure.

First, incorporate the egg yolks into the coconut flour and other dry ingredients.

Whip the egg whites separately, and fold them into the first mixture to make baked goods lighter.

You may also need to increase other liquids in the recipe or make small adjustments to baking times.

A substitute for coconut flour can be flax-meal, cornmeal, and almond meal.

If you want added fiber and texture in your baked goods, add 1/4 cup flax seed meal to your GF flour blend.

Gluten-free Recipes To Try For Yourself

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut CakeUsing an iron skillet is a great choice for baking as it has the ability to keep things hot on the entire surface of the skillet.

Whatever you decide to bake in the skillet, it will always bake evenly while developing a wonderful crust around the edges and bottom.

An iron skillet is an amazing piece of cook-ware your kitchen cannot do without.

There are five things you can bake in an iron skillet, such as cakes and pies, and everyone knows you can use it to bake up some cornbread.

Another great use for the iron skillet is roasted chicken.

An article in the New York Times by food writer Melissa Clark entitled, “A New Breed of Roast Chicken, Cast-Iron Seared,” states by heating an iron skillet in a 500 degree oven, then placing the bird in the pan so its thighs make contact with the surface, the dark meat will finish cooking at the same time as the white. This is because the thighs, which are instantly seared by the cast iron, get a jump-start on the breast, which is not seared and cooks more slowly, staying moist (view the video).

Baking a cake in a iron skillet is a fun way to play around with your everyday cake recipes, including those that are used to make cupcakes.

Our featured recipe is just that, a cupcake recipe turned into a Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake.

We originally found the recipe at Say Grace Blog, and the writer Felesha who describes herself as a Tex-Mex foodie lover says, “Pecan pie muffins go up a notch when combined with yummy semi-sweet chocolate chips and tasty sweetened coconut.”

Here at Splendid Recipes and More we took it up a notch by turning her German Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins into a Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake, and here is what you will need.

1 cup coconut sugar, can also use brown sugar

½ cup gluten free flour

2 cups pecan pieces

¾ cup  semi-sweet dark chocolate chips

½ cup sweeten and shredded coconut

⅔ cup clarified butter, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

batter for Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut CakeIn a medium bowl, mix together coconut sugar and gluten free flour.

Next add pecans, dark chocolate chips and coconut, and mix in.

Next add the clarified butter cream butter with the vanilla extract, and mix in.

parchment paper on the bottom of iron skilletPlace a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a iron skillet (makes for easy removal of the cake). Butter the sides with some coconut oil.

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut Cake batter in an iron skilletNext spoon in the batter, and place into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

fresh baked Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut CakeLet stand and cool for about 10 minutes.

Gluten Free Iron Skillet Pecan Coconut CakePlate and enjoy!!

After using your iron skillet here is a great way to clean it: How to Care for Your Cast Iron Cookware.

What Others Are Reading:

National Granola Bar Day

Granola Bars with oats and nuts on the tableThe United States is a country that is obsessed with food. Now that can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Today is another day of observing a food item. Yes today is – National Granola Bar Day.

A granola bar includes whole grains, like oats, and quinoa and barley are also used. There are also dried fruits and nuts. To sweeten the bar either honey, molasses, agave nectar or sugar syrup is used. There are a variety of combinations that can add flavor and nutrition.

Making granola bars is a simple task. You mix the ingredients which are then pressed into a baking pan, and later cut into bars.

Granola bars are a go to food, because of seen as a energy bar. The are conveniently carried on hiking trips or biking trails. The bars can be high, but despite that, they are a healthy alternative to a candy bar. Eating a granola bar as a snack is okay, as long as you are active so as to burn the calories.

Outside of the United States granola bars are known by several names, including flapjack, meusli bars and cereal bars.

Here’s our rendition of a all organic, gluten free, paleo approved Granola Bar, and the following is what you will need.

mixed oats, nuts, seeds, raisins, honey and coconut oil, black background, selective focus

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1cup wheat germ

1cup flax seed, slightly ground

14  cup sunflower seeds, optional to use sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds

1 cup almonds, sliced, these nuts can also be used cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias or pecans

1cup dry shredded coconut

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1cup honey, optional to use raw honey

4 tablespoons butter

1cup brown sugar

1 cup dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots, cherries, papaya, and prunes (optional to use fresh fruit)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds.

NOTE: If you chose to mix in another nut with the almonds, divide the nuts up into 1/2 cup servings, such as 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of the nut of your choice.

Spread mixture out evenly over the baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Stir mixture once or twice, to evenly toast the grains.

NOTE: We slightly ground our flax seeds, as whole flax seeds can not be digested whole, therefore not receiving the benefits of the seed.

In a large bowl combine salt, coconut, cinnamon and dried fruits, and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the vanilla, honey, butter and brown sugar. Stir continuously, bring mixture to a soft boil.

NOTE: You can use raw honey because of it dense nutritional content, but after baking the bars much of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will be destroyed from the high heat, therefore processed organic honey would be okay to use.

When oat mixture is done toasting, transfer to the same bowl with coconut mixture and stir to evenly combine, then add the honey mixture and stir to incorporate.

Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with waxed paper. Spread the mixture, using the back of a wooden spoon, pressing the mixture out over the waxed  paper evenly to create a smooth, even surface.

Place another piece of waxed paper over the top, pressing down to evenly compact the mixture.

NOTE: Compacting is important so the bars won’t fall apart when cut. You can place a smaller pan within the 9 X 13 inch baking pan to press the mixture out evenly. You can also use a large drinking glass, by rolling it over the wax paper.

Homemade Granola Bars on the tea cup backgroundCool, than refrigerate about 2 hours. Doing so ensures a clean cut. After cutting the baked granola into bars, wrap them in waxed paper and store in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.Ty can even be store in the freezer for up to between 6 to 8 months.

What Others Are Reading:

National Popcorn Day 2016

Mint cup full of popcorn -  National Popcorn Day 2016Popcorn is an amazingly versatile grain. With a little imagination and some common household ingredients, you can make tasty and original snacks in no time at all.

Popcorn Nutritional Information Infographic

Infographic Shows Using Canola Oil – Here at Splendid Recipes and More we suggest Coconut oil or Olive oil – Read More: Could Canola Oil Be Effecting Your Health

Here are some great reason’s to enjoy popcorn as a healthy snack.

  • Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 35 calories per cup
  • When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 80 calories per cup
  • Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food
  • Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates
  • Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet
  • Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories
  • Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free
  • Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite
  • 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group
  • Here are some great recipes to try with popcorn

Celebrate National Popcorn Day

Celebrations are a huge part of Mexico’s vibrant and colorful culture. Do a Google search for – Mexican holidays – and you will find fiestas abound throughout Mexico taking place throughout the year.

Here’s a spicy popcorn snack with peanuts and a kicking smoky adobe coating.

Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn

bowl of fresh made Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn on a table4 quarts popcorn, no butter or salt, air popped or see here the perfect way to make popcorn Organic Coconut Popcorn

1/4 cup peanuts

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from one 7-ounce can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce; reserve chilies for other use) or optional to use 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread popcorn and peanuts onto prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, sugar, adobo sauce and salt until foamy.  Pour over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.

Bake 20 minutes, stirring once midway through baking time.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

______________________________________________

Popcorn happens to be one American’s oldest foods whose roots reach back thousands of years. Some of the oldest ears of popcorn were found in 1948 in west central New Mexico. These ears were proven to be about 4,000 years old.

Early American settlers learned from the natives how to make popcorn. They threw the kernels directly into a fire or heated sand. Once the corn was popped it was pounded into a fine, powdery meal and later mixed with water for eating.

a bowl of Tex Mex Mix PopcornTex Mex Mix Popcorn

2 quarts popcorn popped in oil

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/4 inch cubes)

Keep popped popcorn warm. Mix seasonings together and toss with popcorn.

Add cheese and mix thoroughly.

_______________________________________________

Here’s a great way to have a healthy snack.

Power Packed Popcorn Cookies with a glass of milk in the back ground on a tablePower Packed Popcorn Cookies

1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup toasted wheat germ

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup flaked coconut

3 cups popped popcorn

1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together and add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in flour mixture and wheat germ and oatmeal until well blended.

Next add coconut, popcorn, raisins and sunflower seeds, if desired, and mix until well blended.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet, allowing 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.

Bake 7–8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Allow cookies to cool on pan 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely. Recipe yields 4 dozen cookies.

________________________________________________________________

READ MORE: Smart Snacking For Better Health

________________________________________________________________

Here’s one for the kids to enjoy.

a dinner plate of Popcorn Crusted Macaroni and CheesePopcorn Crusted Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

1-8 oz. (2 cups) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter an 8×8-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.

Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in flour, mustard, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Whisk in milk and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens; about 10 minutes.

Stir in cheese until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Stir macaroni into sauce; pour macaroni mixture into prepared pan.

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and toss with popcorn and parsley flakes.

Spread popcorn over macaroni and bake 10 minutes.

Images and Recipes Adapted From: Popcorn.org giving all people ways and reasons to enjoy popcorn.

What Others Are Reading:

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade Cheese

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade CheeseThrowing some leafy greens with other vegetables together on a plate and topping it with some nuts, seeds and your favorite dressing or vinaigrette is a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables.

How about going a step further and adding some cheese, like Parmesan, grumbled goat cheese, or even some of your own homemade cheese made in an hour? What? Yes you read right, homemade cheese made in one hour.

One Hour Cheese by Claudia LuceroWe were listening to NPR this past week, and the program was All Things Considered, and I was very intrigued at hearing that you could make cheese in one hour.

Listen here to the 3 minute interview with Claudia Lucero who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Oregon, and authored the book “One Hour Cheese” (CLICK HERE TO HEAR INTERVIEW). 

After listening in the car to the interview with Claudia, the very next day with a gallon of milk from Whole Foods Market, I ventured to make some homemade cheese in my own kitchen for the first time.

Here’s what you need to do to make your own cheese in an hour….

Pour 4 cups milk into a 2-quart saucepan and heat it on medium as you stir.

Look for foam to begin forming around the inside edges of the pot as well as little simmer bubbles coming from the bottom—not a rolling boil. Stir continuously so that a skin doesn’t form on the milk’s surface.

Once you see a soft boiling of the milk, slowly add 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. You can also use vinegar. Apple cider or white vinegar will do.

As you are slowly pouring in the lemon juice, stir gently to incorporate it until you see the clear separation of curds, which will be white solids, and whey, a clear liquid.

This separation of curds from the whey is called coagulation.  When you see coagulation and the liquid no longer looks like plain milk, turn the heat to low and stir the curds very, very gently as you cook them for 2 minutes more after the coagulation begins.

Have a cheese cloth placed in a small strainer over a bowl, and using a slotted spoon, carefully spoon out the curds and place them into the cheese cloth, and let any excess whey drain off.

After the whey has drained off, you can add some sea salt or Himalayan salt to the cheese and mix in.

We add some garlic seasoning, which gave it a great flavor. In Claudia Lucero’s book, she even shows you how to make a faux cheddar cheese (which takes days to make) in an hour by just adding turmeric to give it that orange look that you see when purchased at the market.

Here is what we got at our first try making homemade cheese.

making homemade cheese

The cheese is much like a crumbled cheese you would buy at the market. Here are a few leafy green salads we put together using our homemade cheese.

Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

               Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

This salad is a few handfuls of leafy greens (your choice) topped with sliced radishes, pecan pieces, pomegranate vinaigrette, and homemade crumbled cheese.

making a leafy green salad with root vegetables and homemade cheese

Our next salad is a plate of leafy greens, with a fried egg and some root vegetables, consisting of sliced radishes and golden beets. We topped the salad with a olive oil and sweet balsamic vinaigrette, homemade crumbled cheese and fresh thyme.

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, this is a great way to get a few servings of your daily need of vegetables, and a added treat you make yourself, Homemade Cheese.

What Others Are Reading:

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieWe had a small sugar pie pumpkin that was given to us around the middle of November (2015), and I just got around to roasting it. We took too long to get to it, but the pumpkin flesh was still good. After roasting it, we were able to get 30 ounce of puree, which is equal to two 15 ounce store bought cans. collage of Roasted PumpkinWe needed to see how good the puree would taste, so it could be used to make either some pies, pumpkin bread or cookies, and even a pumpkin cheesecake. After roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, we wanted to taste the flavor of the flesh, so we mixed some with real maple syrup and some pecan pieces, and wow it was very tasty.

fresh pumpkin puree with real maple syrup and pecan pieces

Better Homes and Garden Novemeber 2015 issueThe pumpkin pie recipe we decided to make with 15 ounce of the puree was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens November 2015 issue.

gluten free pie shell packagingWe did change the recipe a bit, as we used a gluten free pie shell.

What makes this pumpkin pie a Mexican chocolate pie is the use of Cayenne and smoked paprika.

No need to worry as it is not spicy.

Here is what you will need to prepare your own: Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

3 ounces dark chocolate (original recipe calls for 1 3.1 ounce disc of Mexican chocolate)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup coconut sugar (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup packed brown sugar)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika ( original recipe called for milk chili powder)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (we used our fresh roasted pumpkin puree)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup half and half or light cream

Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

Bake pie crust according to packaged instructions.

For pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted, then set aside to cool.

pumpkin pie mixIn a large bowl combine coconut sugar, pie spice, salt, and chili powders. Stir in pumpkin puree and eggs until combined. Next gradually stir in half and half until combined.

stirring in pumpkin pie mix with melted chocolateStir 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour into pie crust.

second layer of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieNext pour remaining pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer.

Bake for 60 minutes or until center appears set. Cool pie, then chill within 2 hours.

Chocolate Ganache

simmered cream cinamon and shaved dark chocolateIn a small bowl add 3 ounces of shaved dark chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In a small sauce pot bring 1/4 cup cream to a simmer, and pour over shaved chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieSpoon Chocolate Ganache over pie, then add shaved dark chocolate and some powdered chili.

Slice Of  Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieServe a piece of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, and enjoy!!

What Others Are Reading:

Garlic Thyme Chicken Thighs

Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsGarlic has been used for many purposes other than food, throughout history.

  1. Homer mentions garlic in his famous Odyssey, saying that the deity Hermes, gave garlic to Odysseus as a protection against the goddess Circe‘s evil sorcery in which she turned men to swine.
  2. fresh grlic clovesDuring the Roman Empire garlic was a symbol of the common people, since no noble would debase himself by smelling of garlic.
  3.  Unfaithful Egyptian husbands relied on garlic’s unique “scented” properties, as they would chew a clove or two on their way home from visiting their mistresses, ensuring that a jealous wife would be unable to detect any stranger’s perfume.
  4. At the peak of  Egypt’s power over 4,00 years ago, garlic was given to the laborers and slaves who were building the great pyramids in order to increase their stamina and strength.
  5. Modern day Germany and Czechoslovakia both have an old Proverb that says, “A bite from a watch dog is much more cutting and painful if the dog has eaten garlic at the New year,” and another says, “Garlic is as good as ten mothers.”
  6. Garlic has been used to ward off vampire’s, so the legend goes, and during the medieval era when children went to play or work in the fields, cloves of garlic hung around their necks to protect them from the evil spells of the local witch.
  7. French priests of the Middle Ages used garlic to protect themselves against bubonic plague.
  8. During World War I, European soldiers prevented infection by putting garlic directly on their wounds.

After 6000 years of folklore, garlic has now come to be valued not only as a food source, but seen for it’s therapeutic benefits.

Such as an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry states saying that garlic taken in conjunction with whole grains appears to increase the body’s absorption of iron and zinc.

Over the centuries of human history, garlic has remained synonymous with eternal youth, health, vigor and vitality.

Our featured recipe has fresh garlic cloves, 20 to be exact. Here is what you will need to prepare – Garlic Thyme Chicken Thighs.

cast iron cooking with avocado oil

2 tablespoons avocado oil 

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on

Himalayan salt

Black pepper

20 cloves garlic, separated and peeled, about two full heads

2 tablespoons gluten free multi-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, leaves removed and stems discarded

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Over medium high heat, in a cast iron skillet, heat the avocado oil .

chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepperSeason the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

chicken thighs skin side down in a cast iron skillet

Cook the chicken thighs skin side down on medium-high heat until well browned, for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken thighs skin side up and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic to the same skillet, and cook, occasionally turning, until garlic starts to brown, 3 or 4 minutes.

partially cooked chicken thighs and gralic cloves in a cast iron skilletReturn the chicken to the cast iron skillet, cover with a lid (if the skillet has one) or aluminum foil, and place in oven for 15 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and put it on a stove top. Have caution though removing the cast iron skillet, as the pan will be very hot.

cream sauce with thyme for Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsRemove the chicken thighs, garlic, and all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.

Over medium heat, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour with the oil in the pan.

Next, gradually whisk in the chicken broth and fresh thyme leaves for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat, and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Garlic Thyme Chicken ThighsAdd the roasted garlic and chicken thighs back to the pan. Serve with your favorite side dish, a salad, and enjoy.

What Others Are Reading:

National Gluten Free Baking Week

National Gluten Free Baking Week According to National Day Calendar, December 13th thru the 19th, it’s “Gluten Free (GF) Baking Week.

Gluten is a complex protein found in wheat, rye and barley and for some people that spells trouble.

Why Gluten Free Baking?

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bread – Click Image For Recipe

GF baking is one that excludes any type of flour that has gluten, which is a particular protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.

Without becoming too technical or medical, wheat, rye and barley wreaks havoc on some, if not many individuals their digestive tract.

Gluten free baking doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite traditional desserts. It just means modifying your desserts by using gluten free flour choices.

Gluten Free Flour Options For Baking

Creative minds have discovered ways to bake with GF flours, and such flours can be found at your local market. Let’s examine in short what some of your choices are.

Bean Flours

Including garbanzo bean flour and romano bean flour, these flours are typically high in protein and have a distinct flavor. They are better suited for heartier recipes, such as breads.

Brown Rice Flour

This is a supplementary flour, and works great when blended with teff, buckwheat or sorghum flours. It is great for baking those sweet desserts.

Millet Flour

This is a light in color and a drier flour than most other gluten free flours. It is best when mixed with heartier flours, like Teff, Hemp, or almond flours.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting – Click Image For Recipe

 

Buckwheat Flour

Yes, it has wheat in the title, but this flour is related not to wheat but to the rhubarb plant. It has a distinct taste, which makes it best when combined with other, more bland flours.

This flour alternative for use in muffins, cakes and pancakes. In order to work well with the dough, adding a starch would help, like arrowroot, tapioca, or a nongmo cornstarch.

Sorghum Flour 

Made from sorghum, which is a relative of sugarcane. It’s tender and adds a mild sweetness, but is rarely used alone.

Coconut Flour

This flour lends a pleasant flavor to baked goods. Since coconut flour absorbs moisture more than other flours, it is suggested for recipes that have at least as much liquid as flour required in a recipe. Because this can be a tricky art, it’s suggested that as a beginner, you use recipes specifically designed for coconut flour.

Almond Flour

This is a great choice for baking. Using almond flour to a dessert recipe will add moistness, binding, a light almond flavor, and a good amount of density to cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, breads, and cake recipes.

Keep in mind that any nut flour cannot be substituted in equal quantities for flour, because nut flours are more dense and very high in protein. They can be used to replace a portion of other GF flours, such as Oat Flour, being used in the recipe.

Buying Commercial Gluten Free Flour Choices

Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread

Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread – Click Image For Recipe

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free is a fine blend using as its base garbanzo beans, potato starch, and tapioca, to name a few of the ingredients. See Bob speaking here about his flour choices, along with nutritional information, reviews, and GF recipes.

King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour

King Arthur Flour is a blend of white rice and whole grain brown rice flours, along with tapioca and potato starch. What’s great about this product is that ‘it’s multi-purpose’ and can therefore be used for both baking and cooking, cup-for-cup, the same as any gluten flour product.

Tips For Beginners Of Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake – Click Image For Recipe

Experiment, experiment and experiment. There is a learning curve when you first start with Gluten free baking, but once you get some practice and experience you will become an expert about what works and what dosen’t.

Stay with it and don’t get discouraged. There will be failed recipes because you have to learn which flour combinations work best, but it just takes practice and testing. It’s best to get guidance from recipe books or online guides when first trying your hand at gluten free baking.

Begin with simple baking recipes and learn the basics.

Try some of our gluten free dessert recipes by clicking on the images above that are accompanying this article, or by clicking the links below.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

What Others Are Reading: