healthier

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, muffin, pumpkin | 0 comments

I continue to revisit old favorite pumpkin recipes to incorporate more experience and better photography. This week’s recipe is for Pumpkin Pucks.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

These happen to be gluten-free and paleo, if you follow those diets. More to my needs, they are high-protein, avoid processed flours, and are DELICIOUS.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

They are rather like mini pumpkin pie custards with a slightly nutty taste. Do note that this can be made with whole wheat and/or all-purpose flour, if you don’t care about it being gluten-free… but I by far prefer the taste with almond flour.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I have also used different nut butters. Almond butter tastes the strongest–in a very good way–though cashew butter was fantastic, too.

Once, I only had 3/4 cup of pumpkin, so I made up for the difference with applesauce. I found no major difference in taste or texture.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I find that two of these make for a delicious breakfast. The size makes them very kid-friendly. I have kept them in the fridge for upwards of a week. Also, these are fantastic to freeze. Just be sure to remove the muffin cup liners and use waxed paper between layers.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

You can alter the flavor with different toppings, too. Mini chocolate chips are my favorite! Pepitas and dried cranberries work well, too; note that the cranberries are tart but mellow after time in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Enjoy this healthy recipe, and be warned that next week takes a decidedly sugary turn with a recipe for Pumpkin Roll!

Modified from Paleo Parents.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

This delicious recipe makes a kind of gluten free, paleo-friendly dense pumpkin custard in a muffin pan. Store these in the fridge for upward of a week; they can also be frozen, with the muffin liners removed, and kept between waxed paper.

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree [canned, NOT organic]
  • 1 cup almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup almond flour [or wheat or all-purpose flour]
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Topping choice: 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, OR chopped nuts or pepitas, or dried cranberries

Place muffin cup liners in pan, then spray the insides with nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

If your almond butter is very stiff, measure it out, place in a microwave-safe bowl, then zap it for 15 seconds or so to soften it. Mix pumpkin puree and the almond butter together.

Add honey and maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients until everything is just combined.

Fill the muffin cups to 3/4 full; a tablespoon scoop makes this easy, as it's almost exactly 2 tablespoons to fill the cups. Top with mini chocolate chips or nuts or cranberries, if desired.

Bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. Pumpkin pucks will not rise much. The tops of some may start to crack. Remove them from pan and allow to cool, then store in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Guest: Spencer Ellsworth with Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, gluten-free, guest, guest recipe, healthier | 0 comments

I’m happy to welcome Spencer Ellsworth with a Bready or Not guest post! His debut novel is out today. I was lucky enough to read A Red Peace a few months ago, and blurbed it: “This is space opera candy!” Seriously, if you love space opera, GET THIS. It’s fresh and fun, mixing up cozy tropes in fantastic new ways.

Which is pretty much what Spencer does with this recipe today, too. He shares a recipe for gluten-free brownies that look absolutely delicious. I bet they’d be perfect to eat in accompaniment with a brand new space opera novel…


I’m Spencer, and I have two big things in common with Beth: we both like to write a good swashbuckling adventure (here’s mine) and we both like to bake.

Unlike Beth, I have celiac disease, which means, although I bake all the time, I use gluten-free flours. I was diagnosed way back in the dark ages of 1985. I did all of elementary school in the 1980s gluten free. Let us all turn and salute my mother, who had to bake “special cupcakes” every time someone else in the class had a birthday and brought in gluten cupcakes.

*Salutes Mom*

Ahem.

Celiac disease is, like Crohn’s, arthritis and lupus, an autoimmune disease. Our immune systems, upon consumption of gluten, attack and inflame our intestinal lining, preventing the absorption of any food. Because autoimmune disease is on a spectrum, people often have reactions to gluten that are tricky to diagnose without an endoscopy or colonoscopy.

There are two great lies about gluten-free food

1) you can just substitute GF flour mix in most recipes

2) gluten-free food just doesn’t taste as good

1 isn’t true because different proteins act differently in different grains. Gluten-free flours are not sticky like wheat. You don’t need to knead any gluten-free bread product; you just need to mix the dough and let it rise. You may find certain GF flours, like sorghum or millet or brown rice, less palatable than wheat. But most celiacs can find a preferred flour mix.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

This picture shows plain rice flour (the fine-textured flour), a gluten-free mix, and a gluten-free pancake mix (the one with dark specks).

However, that leads me to…

2 isn’t true because there are a LOT of celiacs out there making a LOT of amazing food. But you do have to do some baking on your own. The best gluten-free food is made at home, with patience. Commercial kitchens can’t take the time and ingredients necessary.

So if you’re new to GF baking, here’s an un-ruinable recipe to start. Peruse Gluten-Free & More (formerly known as Living Without) for anything else you need, or just contact me through my website.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

 

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

These are totally un-ruinable because they can be made with just about any gluten-free flour, flour mix, or pancake mix. They will have a slightly different consistency depending on the flour, but they work with anything from plain rice flour to Pamela’s pancake mix.

Your celiac friends will appreciate the attempt to make real brownies, rather than those flourless peanut butter cookies or rice krispie treats we ALWAYS get.

Make sure to clean ALL your work surfaces very well first. All counters and bowls should be scrubbed clear of any trace of gluten. Use non-porous materials like Teflon or glass. Make sure they are scrubbed completely clean of every last scrap of anything that ever contained gluten. (Even better, use the excuse to treat yourself to a new dish and new mixing bowl.)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar (add more to taste, especially if not using chocolate chips)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I much prefer the darker, richer Ghiradelli’s over the chalky Hershey’s)
1/2 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil
1/2 mushy avocado (this is weird, but it makes the whole endeavor much fluffier)
1 cup of any gluten-free flour, baking mix or pancake mix
2 tsp baking powder (if not already included in your mix)
Chocolate chips & nuts to taste

Set oven to 350.

Beat the eggs with the sugar and avocados.
Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Melt the butter or oil in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, and add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Allow the butter/cocoa powder mix to cool a bit, then mix into eggs, sugar and avocado.

Mix your flour in with the rest. Add baking powder if you simply have a basic flour mix.

Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes on 350.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Bready or Not Guest: Spencer Ellsworth's Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

These are totally un-ruinable because they can be made with just about any gluten-free flour, flour mix, or pancake mix. They will have a slightly different consistency depending on the flour, but they work with anything from plain rice flour to Pamela’s pancake mix.

Your celiac friends will appreciate the attempt to make real brownies, rather than those flourless peanut butter cookies or rice krispie treats we ALWAYS get.

Make sure to clean ALL your work surfaces very well first. All counters and bowls should be scrubbed clear of any trace of gluten. Use non-porous materials like Teflon or glass. Make sure they are scrubbed completely clean of every last scrap of anything that ever contained gluten. (Even better, use the excuse to treat yourself to a new dish and new mixing bowl.)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (add more to taste, especially if not using chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I much prefer the darker, richer Ghiradelli’s over the chalky Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil
  • 1/2 mushy avocado (this is weird, but it makes the whole endeavor much fluffier)
  • 1 cup of any gluten-free flour, baking mix or pancake mix
  • 2 tsp baking powder (if not already included in your mix)
  • Chocolate chips & nuts to taste

Set oven to 350.

Beat the eggs with the sugar and avocado.

Melt the butter or oil in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, and add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

Allow the butter/cocoa powder mix to cool a bit, then mix into eggs, sugar and avocado.

Mix your flour in with the rest. Add baking powder if you simply have a basic flour mix.

Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes on 350.

 


Red Peace

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Spencer Elsworth’s Site

A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth’s Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.

Half-human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Rebellion wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.

Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy’s newest warlord.

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Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola is delicious and oh-so-much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff from the store.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

My son is autistic and has a very limited diet. With the help of feeding therapy, we have gradually introduced him to new foods and new combinations of textures. He has eaten yogurt for years, and it turned out he really liked the addition of granola on top.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Me being me, I saw the prices of granola at the store and decided I’d start making it myself. My son loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew that it’d be a great combo for him.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

When I didn’t see an existing recipe that I liked, I decided to make my own. This is the result.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

This granola is quick to mix together and quick to bake, too. Just be careful to NOT overbake. It’s easy to do, since it’s hard to tell how crisp the granola will get after you remove it from the oven.

If you eat gluten-free, use GF oats and check your other ingredients!

Bready or Not Original: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

A Bready or Not Original! Make your own granola for cheap with a few basic ingredients. Eat by itself, with milk, or as a topping for yogurt or pudding. This is an easy recipe to make gluten-free, too.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 275-degrees. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and rub with butter or apply nonstick spray.

Place the oats in a large bowl. In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and honey for 30 seconds; the peanut butter should be starting to melt. Stir them together, then add vanilla extract.

Pour the peanut butter mix over the oats; stir until the oats are completely coated. Spread the granola on the foil-lined sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, then set out to cool. Note that it will continue to crisp up as it cools, so don't overbake!

Once the granola is cool, mix in the chocolate chips. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

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Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chicken, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, maple | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

It has come to my attention that I haven’t featured a maple recipe since March. So let’s remedy that with a meaty recipe for from-scratch Maple Barbecue Chicken.

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Yep, you create your own BBQ sauce for this recipe! It’s full of maple goodness with just the right balance of savory-sweet. You divvy up the sauce, using some to marinate the meat and reserving the rest for eating time.

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Use this base recipe to cook the chicken however you want. Grill it. Roast it in your oven. Whatever gets the meat cooked and chewed and in your belly.

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Maple makes everything better, right?

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Modified from A Dash of Sanity.

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

Make your own from-scratch maple barbecue sauce to marinate chicken breast tenders! Let the marinade work its magic for two hours to a day in advance, then grill the meat. Serve it with some sauce kept stashed separately in the fridge.

  • 3-4 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchester sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Place the chicken tenders in a sturdy gallon sealable bag. In a bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients. Pour enough of the sauce into the bag to coat the chicken; reserve the rest of the sauce for serving later. (If the sauce gets contaminated by the raw meat, boil it to make sure it's safe to eat.)

Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for anywhere from 2 hours to a day.

Heat up your grill [or, alternatively, bake it in your oven]. Grill the chicken at medium heat for 4 minutes, then turn to cook another 4 minutes, and longer as needed. Check for doneness by testing the temperature in a thick section; it should be at least 170-degrees.

Serve immediately. Chicken is fantastic hot or cold, and can be frozen with sauce for later enjoyment, too.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple BBQ Chicken Tenders

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Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Beef Short Ribs

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, crock pot, gluten-free, healthier, main dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Beef Short Ribs

I’m presenting to you the recipe for one of the best dishes I’ve ever made in a crock pot: Korean-style beef short ribs.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

I have made this many times over now. I’ve even tried it using cheaper cuts like chuck roast and rump roast. Those worked out okay (though the meat really dries out before its soak in the juice at the end), but they are nowhere as delicious as the short rib version.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

It turns out amazing whether you use boneless or bone-in ribs–a mix is a great way to go, too! Don’t trim the fat. You want all that flavor. The end result is a sauce that tastes like you added red wine, but you didn’t. It’s like MAGIC.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

Seriously, these ribs taste like something from a great Asian restaurant. Pair it with some broccoli and a good spoonful of the sauce, and YUM.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

Whenever I see beef short ribs go on sale, I do a little dance of joy because it means I get to make this recipe again.

Modified from Heather’s Bytes.

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

This recipe makes rich, savory short ribs that taste like a dish from a great restaurant! A 5 or 6-quart crock pot is necessary to fit the ribs. Note: A chuck roast or rump roast can be substituted for the ribs and it tastes okay, but the fatty ribs create a much deeper and richer flavor.

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tb sesame oil
  • 2 Tb rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 lbs beef short ribs; boneless, bone-in, or a mix
  • 1-2 Tb cornstarch
  • sesame seeds, optional

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper. Place the ribs in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker; pour the sauce over them. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 9 hours. Depending on how the ribs are stacked in the cooker, you may want to quickly stir them at some point halfway through.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the ribs from the cooker. Place a tablespoon of corn starch in a small bowl and add some juice from the cooker. Whisk them together to create a slurry without lumps, and add back into the crock pot. Stir. If the juice doesn't start to thicken, repeat the process with some more corn starch.

Either keep the ribs intact, or pull meat into chunks and discard the bones and fat. Place meat in cooker again on WARM setting for 10 minutes or so to soak in flavors. Serve. Great with rice, broccoli, and perhaps a sprinkling of sesame seeds!

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Ribs

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Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, healthier, main dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

For this day after Valentine’s Day, we’re not talking chocolate or sweets. Instead, let’s go straight for a big chunk of meat: using a chili and coffee rub to make sliced roast beef!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

I was pretty intimidated the first time I tried a basic recipe for this dish. It didn’t help that it made way too much rub, which I tried to use up anyway, which meant the roast started smoldering like a log when it started cooking. Whoops.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Despite the hassles, my husband loved the end result, so I resolved to re-do the recipe and get it right. I think my husband’s feedback on each iteration was just a big hint to keep making these roasts.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

He likes these served up as sliders. On a piece of aluminum foil, I use my dinner rolls, add a piece or two of meat, a dollop of coarse mustard, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. I close the rolls and pour some melted butter on top, wrap the sliders in the foil, then bake until the cheese is melted. Perfection.

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

I think this roast beef has spoiled us. This recipe gives you the freshest meat possible, and if you catch eye of round roasts on sale, whoa is this a bargain!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

A Bready or Not Original! Use an eye of round roast to easily make the best roast beef sandwiches you’ve had in your life.

  • 1 Tablespoon dried onion
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coffee, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound eye of round roast

Move your middle oven rack down a slot to be near the bottom and preheat oven to 475-degrees. Use a small roasting pan, or prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top of it. Apply nonstick spray.

Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl. If the rub is too thick, add a touch more orange juice or water. Spread the mixture all over the roast.

Bake meat for 12 minutes, then turn it over and bake for another 12 minutes. It may start smoking because of the thick seasoning on the meat; if so, turn on the vent and keep an eye on things.

Without opening the oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees. Roast for another 30 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 120-degrees in the center.

Let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Don't remove the crusted seasonings.

Wrap the roast in parchment paper and then encase in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.

Serve the meat by cutting it into thin slices. Serve in hot or cold sandwiches, wraps, on crackers, or eat straight out of hand.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef

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