Friday, February 13, 2015

Finally

I would live off of pizza.





(If I actually could, that is.)

That is why it is so important to me to find a gluten/dairy free pizza that tastes delicious.  I realize without dairy that we are already in a whole different ballpark than your standard chain-company pizza pie.  But we're still aiming for the best flavor possible topping a delicious crust that has been baked and sliced into pizza wedge pieces. 

This pizza is exceptional.  It nails the requirements.  

As I was assembling this recipe at the kitchen counter, a certain little All-Leafy-Green-Veggie-Detector-and-Rejector showed up by my elbow.  "What's that?" he asked as I was stuffing the blender to the brim with fresh green spinach.

I needed a good marketing slogan.  I needed to win him over before his little eyes and brain could register what ingredients I held in my hand.

"Grinch Pizza," I said, breathing a probably almost audible prayer that he'd buy it.

Little feet went dashing out of the kitchen, "HEEEEEEYYYY GUYS!  MOMMY'S MAKING GRRRRIIIINNNCCCCCCH PIZZA!"

At some point he pattered back into the kitchen announcing, "I love Grinch Pizza."

Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for helping to make hearts grow three times bigger towards all things green.  (And yes, he did:  he ate 4 slices of pizza and exclaimed he had to stop only because he was completely full!). 

Nailed it.  (the greens and the pizza)  Finally.

Warm bean spread, with full-bodied flavor from garlic and the citrus notes of rosemary, tops a perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside and tender-yeasty-soft-on-the-inside gluten/dairy free pizza crust.  The brightness of spinach packs in the nutrients, while the polka-dotted sweet roasted tomatoes, bring a kick of flavor from lemon zest and red pepper flakes.  Comforting flavors and satisfying ingredients:  you won't miss what pizza used to be.
Finally.


Call it what you will (Grinch Pizza or Garlic Rosemary Bean
Spread Pizza), here's what I did to make it:

Garlic Rosemary Navy Beans (adapted from this recipe)
3 16 oz. cans navy beans, well rinsed and drained
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
4-5 large garlic cloves, sliced

Place olive oil, rosemary, and garlic in a skillet on stove.  Saute until garlic is nearly golden, then add beans and salt.  Continue to cook until beans are well cooked and soft.

For the (Grinch) Spinach Bean Spread:
Remove a generous cupful of cooked navy bean mixture from skillet and add to a blender with about 1 1/2 packed cups of fresh spinach and a splash of olive oil.  Blend until beans are smooth.



Best Ever Gluten/Dairy Free Crust
(adapted very closely from this recipe here,...oh, dear, I can't find the link...when I do, I'll link it.  I changed the recipe anyways, but for now you just need to know this is not a Feeding Pickle original.)
 (oh and I tripled the recipe, because we feed a lot of Pickles around here!)

3 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups white rice flour
1 1/2 cup tapioca starch (or potato starch works well also)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin flour
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
11/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare two baking stones with a sheet of lightly greased parchment paper on each.

Combine yeast, water, and sugar in a glass bowl to proof for 5 minutes.

Whisk together rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gelatin, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and salt.

Combine yeast mixture with flour mixture, adding in oil and vinegar.  Beat on high with an electric mixer until ingredients come together.  The dough is very soft and sticky.

Divide dough mixture between the two prepared baking stones.  Generously sprinkle dough with rice flour and press dough out to just under a half inch thickness.

Generously brush crusts with olive oil.  Yes. Generously.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crusts are browned on edges and bottom is crispy.

While crusts bake, assemble Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:
Cut about 20 cherry tomatoes in half and place on a baking tray.  Drizzle generously with olive oil.  Add a hefty sprinkle of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Zest some fresh lemon peel over the tomatoes (I used a drop of doTerra Lemon essential oil), give it all another toss in the oil, and then bake for about 15 minutes in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven or until tomatoes become soft and aromatic.

When crusts are baked, spread both bean mixtures over hot crust.  Place tomatoes on pizza and drizzle pizza with leftover roasted tomato oil.

Serve immediately.

*To make this recipe nightshade free, leave out the part about roasted tomatoes with the red pepper flakes.  Drizzle the pizza with a little olive oil with a splash of fresh lemon.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I forgot...but you still win

I had planned this meal, this Curry Apple Tuna Salad for lunch today.  It is really quite good.  I'm not tuna's biggest fan, but the sweet crunch of Granny Smith apples and the surprise of flavor from Dijon mustard and curry is only more delightfully complimented by the addition of nuts.  Oh yeah, that sentence was starting out on the topic of tuna, wasn't it?  I got distracted by the other flavors.  See?  The tuna is great in here because it's really not so much the main flavor.  That's how I like my tuna.  The recipe calls for walnuts, but I usually have pecans on hand so we go that route.  Whatever you want.  It'll be a winner.  I kind of recall that last time I made it, I may have tossed a couple of raisins in there.  'Cause you know, these little Pickles here, they like those.  

But not today.  I had a sweet little menu plan all laid out for the week.  Did my weekly shopping trip, breathing a happy sigh of relief when the last bag was unpacked and stored happily away in the fridge and pantry.  But then.  Then I realized I forgot the tuna.  Ooops.  Guess we're not having this for lunch today.  So much for the winner recipe.  But you can!  (If you remembered your tuna.)  Since you still get the recipe, you get to come out a winner.

So now back to our lunch today....  Well, I think we'll just cook a few chicken breasts in a skillet (remember, I like to keep those on hand in the freezer?) and then add some sugar snap peas from the freezer.  When they thaw out in the skillet with the cooked chicken and are all lovely spring green looking in the pan, I'll add the leftover Sweet and Sour Sauce left over from last night's slow cooker meal over the top of the chicken and peas. (Oh dear, now that I go and re-read that recipe, I realize that I forgot to add the broccoli at the end last night!  I knew I was missing something.  Good grief.  Somebody is getting forgetful.  Well, even without broccoli it was still delicious!)  Hmmm.  Looks like we'll still come out the winner for lunch today as well!

I love win-wins.
If I remember what I'm doing.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Jam-flavored (wheat-free, dairy free) Cupcakes

This is a Pickle favorite.



And I am so glad, 
because I created it just for them.



Flavored cakes are fun, but funny chemical colors and flavors are not.

Delicious fruit jam, orange marmalade, or once we even used pie filling, gives this basic cupcake that sweet kiss of flavor and love.



Food is definitely a love language around here and now we're sharing the love with you.

Jam-Flavored Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch (tapioca starch or even corn starch can sub, if needed)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup jam (strawberry, blueberry, or orange marmalade work well)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Use electric mixer to beat together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and beat to incorporate well.  Add jam and vanilla and beat just to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients with warm water.  Mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with muffin liners.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.  Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and cool on wire rack.

Makes about 20 cupcakes.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Date Night


 For Daddy/Daughter date night she wore the dress that my sister wore as the flower girl in our wedding, almost 12 years ago now.  She wore a corsage made from one of the bridesmaid dresses.  She chose her favorite hairstyle and danced a happy dance from one of the house to the other when the glittery, sparkly shoes arrived in the mail. 



But her own smile. 
It will always outdo even the most glittery shoes.


.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Breakfast Quinoa

I waited a long time to jump on the quinoa bandwagon.  Actually, I tried and fell off.

I heard rave reviews of its "mild, almost nutty flavor".  How it was "delicious" and "worked with so many flavor profiles".

My quinoa?  It was bitter.  Nasty, horrible.

Then I learned something:  Quinoa needs to be washed.  It can be bought pre-washed.  But mine wasn't.

I put the uncooked quinoa (just enough for a meal) in a bowl with water and rubbed and scrubbed it with my hands.  And then rinsed, and then repeated, and then rinsed, and then repeated...

I could smell when the bitter flavor was gone, but the water also remained more clear after a rubbing.

When I cooked it, it was so mild, almost nutty in flavor.  And oh the flavor profile possibilities!
Now we ride the quinoa bandwagon.  

Or "kiwi" as one little Pickle calls it.

He loves it this way especially:

Of course!  Where chocolate and strawberries are involved something is sure to come out amazing.


(Maybe that is way breakfast the following morning may have looked like this:)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Quinoa and leotards

It was my older sister's birthday.  We were both just barely past our toddling years.  You know, the age when nothing is bigger or better than a birthday.  Nothing is better than the presents.

She opened up the most amazing leotard.  It was white, with a big brown bear in a pink tutu screen-printed on the front.  She got the prettiest, most perfect-of-pink tights to match.  My sister, Leah, looked so on top of the world in her new gymnastic attire.  I remember to this day standing in the kitchen, by the stove, with the afternoon sun warm and bright beaming in on her, beholding her new breathtaking style.

I knew what I wanted for my birthday.

If Leah got a leotard, then by all means, I wanted a Marie-a-tard.  Like, really badly.

Really.  Really.

My mother (bless her heart for not leaving any memories for me to recall of her laughing at my request) finally got it through to me that I couldn't have a Marie-a-tard, because they don't make them.  

They are all Leah-tards, I heard her say.

My little world was crushed.

I did not want a Leah-tard.  It just would not be the same as wearing my very own personal Marie-a-tard.  It would not be the same.  It would be entirely different.  Therefore, I never owned one.  
Either one.

I was reminded of this today when I made fried rice with quinoa.  I mean, what do you call it?  It really tastes so much like fried rice:  it's seasoned like fried rice, it has the eggs and the veggies like we like in our fried rice, we even splashed Worcestershire sauce in with the soy sauce because we like our fried rice that way.  But there was no rice.  I used quinoa.  But calling it fried quinoa just makes it sounds so different.

But it's really not that different.
It's really ok for quinoa to wear these flavors.  

Our Fried (Quinoa) Rice:

Like a Marie wearing a Leah-tard, it really is ok and works out just fine and makes perfect sense. 

If you're not 4 years old.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

On sharing love


My mom always made a big deal out of Valentine's Day.  
(Which is coming up just around the corner, by the way...)


She would make the dinner table fancy, even if we ate the normal fare.



On our plate she would often set a small gift or Valentine card.
(I always wondered where she kept these secrets.  I'm sure it involved the wee hours of the morning, if I had to guess.)  Maybe it was stickers, maybe it was socks.



She always made sure we were reminded that we were loved.





And now it is time to carry the tradition on with the Pickles.  
Sharing the tradition of making Valentines for friends, of making them for each other, of sharing love.


 

"This is how we know what Love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." 

1 John 3:16


{Fortune cookies that are food allergen-free--
they're fabric,
they're adorable
and they are for sale from feedingpickle!  

Perfect for tucking in your own "fortune" note, a loving hello,
or maybe even an allergen-friendly candy,
 
these make the perfect surprise for 
classmates, co-workers, grandchildren, neighbors, mail-carriers....anyone!  
 
They also make lovely place card holders, party or wedding favors. 
 
Or how about a lovely dish of them to grace your end table and remind you to spread love this year?
Yes!

These sturdy fortune cookies are made of felt, and are lined with a variety of cheery Valentine print fabrics, while the grosgrain ribbon fortune "paper" makes them almost good enough to eat!  
(mmm, but don't--just share them with love!)

Contact me at feedingpickle(at)gmail.com for more information and to place your order!}

Who are you going to share Love with today?