Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Winter

I am so in love with the longer, sunnier days that have come with the arrival of spring. Waking up to beautiful sunrises. Enjoying a stolen moment of afternoon sunshine with a few pages of a good book while the children take a (rare) nap. Oh! And increasing likelihood of naps, due to the abundance of opportunity for playing in the open spaces and fresh air! Yes!

Good bye winter blues, goodbye cold nose and cold toes. Goodbye crazy heating bill. And goodbye to soul warming winter soups. You I will miss.

So, on this rainy, blustery spring day, one last hurrah for a fabulous winter meal. White bean turkey chili and honey corn muffins. Mmmm. One more perfect evening together before we tuck you away for another cool day. Because, really, no one wants chili during the dog days of summer.

Many thanks to my inspirations for this meal. White Bean Turkey Chili is a happy marriage of the recipe found here and here. The Honey Corn Muffins are an allergy friendly take on this delicious post.

White Bean Turkey Chili

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chpd
1 lb ground turkey
1 stalk celery (with leaves), chpd
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp Cumin (for intense smokey flavor, I dial it back to 1/2 Tbsp for the kids tastes)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp cilantro
2 cans canelli beans- one drained (or any white beans, I often use navy and canelli together)
2-4 c vegetable broth

Heat oil in large pot, add onion and saute until brown. Add onion and garlic and cook one minute more. Add ground turkey and spices and brown the turkey. Add beans and broth enough to cover, bring to a simmer. Simmer 30-45 minutes. (I use my spoon to mash some of the beans about 30 minutes in, to help thicken the chili, then simmer an additional 15 minutes.)

Serve hot, with your choice of side. We like them with:

Honey Corn Muffins

1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
1/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp safflower oil
2 Tbsp margarine, melted and cooled
1 c buttermilk (use your favorite milk substitute + 1 tsp white vinegar, I use coconut milk)
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp fax meal+5 Tbsp warm water, combined and allowed to stand 10 min.)
2 Tbsp honey
1 c fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl combine flax meal and warm water and set aside. In a medium bowl add milk substitute and vinegar and allow to sit while you melt 2 Tbsp of butter in another small bowl. (You like doing dishes, right?) Put your wet ingredients on pause.
Now, in a large bowl combine your dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Go back to those lonely wet ingredients and introduce them. Add the now cooled butter to the bowl of buttermilk. Add the oil, flax eggs, and honey. Whisk to combine.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir well. Fold in corn kernels. Spoon into greased muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes.

With care, this meal is dairy free, egg free, tomato free, nut free, treenut free, chicken free, and soy free. With a bit of creativity it could be adapted to be gluten free. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear your results. I think I would use garfava bean flour, sorghum and tapioca starch in equal parts, and add 3/4 tsp of xanthan gum. I think.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Powdered (Not)Milk

Awhile ago, I wrote about how to replace milk in any recipe. Silly me, I only listed liquid milk replacements.

I don't often use powdered milk, even in my dairy consuming days it was rare. It occurred to me a few days ago that sometimes powdered milk is a necessary part of a recipe, and not once did I shine my beam of product enlightenment upon those options. Sorry for the oversight.

So. Here is a quick and dirty list of options for replacing powdered milk in recipes.

  • DariFree This is the one that I use in my kitchen. It is made from a potato base, and is free of all the allergens we avoid! No one in my house will drink it straight, but it blends well into recipes with fabulous results.
  • Better Than Milk This is a powdered soymilk that is available online and in many grocery stores. (I found it at Giant Eagle.) I have not tried it, and I know there are many varieties of powdered soymilk online. Google is a girl's best friend.
  • Better Than Milk No, that's not a mistake, I did actually list it twice. Guess what? It's available as powdered rice milk also. Again, I haven't tried it, and there are plenty of choices out there.
  • EcoMil Almond If you can have nuts, powdered almond milk is out there. Feel free to give it a try.
  • Powdered Coconut Milk Don't get all excited now, I haven't found one that is dairy free. Plenty are on the market, but they all use casein as a stabilizer for now. Bummer, because you know how I adore coconut milk.

If I've missed an option, let me know. I'm always looking to expand my knowledge of allergy friendly products.