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My (late) meal plan and some Wheat Free Baking recipes

So, better late than never, right? Here's my meal plan for next week (this is why I do it so early- even when I'm late I'm on time!).
  • Monday: Puerto Rican Spaghetti from Everyday with Rachel Ray
  • Tuesday: Tuna with Caramelized Onions and polenta cakes
  • Wednesday: Sesame Peanut Noodles with chicken
  • Thursday: Tortilla Bread Pudding also from Everyday with Rachel Ray
  • Friday: Falafel and Flatbread
  • Saturday: (we'll be at a birthday party for dinner)
  • Sunday: Turkey Meatballs with onion cream sauce and rice
Snacks: Wheat Free Corn Bread (more on this below- I made it last night and Oliver loved it, he called it "cake"), Black Bean Brownies, and Granola Bars (I'm experimenting, I'll let you know how it turns out...). If I can find decently priced raw almonds I might make some flavored roasted almonds as well.

I want more ideas for salty/non-sweet snacks (other than the obvious- veggies, fruit, etc) that are non-processed and wheat/dairy free. I'll make some chex mix soon, (cereal is the only processed thing we eat anymore) but I like to wait for a deal or sale on chex.

Earlier in the week I said I was going to experiment with some wheat free baking. I'm pleased to say that it wasn't a total disaster, although we'll see how tomorrow's pancakes go... I was waiting on Lynn to post the darn GF pancake recipe she talked about last weekend so I could try it, but she's just been teasing me with pictures of delicious looking pancakes all week (seriously, no fewer than three pictures of stacks of pancakes were posted this week, and still no recipe!). So, when I busted out the Little House on the Prairie cookbook, I found the recipe for buckwheat pancakes and decided to give it a go. The recipe in the book calls for a little wheat flour, but I don't think the pioneers made them that way so I figured we could at least try. Now, I know buckwheat pancakes aren't always the best. I've heard several people report that they taste very dry, heavy, and mealy. I have hope, however, that this recipe will be a little better. It uses a yeast sponge that you make ahead which is supposed to make the pancakes much lighter. So we'll see...

I made Rye Biscuits on Tuesday. Remember, these are NOT Gluten free, only wheat and dairy free. Also, this makes only a very small batch (about 6 biscuits)- you don't want to make a lot and have it turn out that you HATE rye!

Rye Biscuits

1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening (I recommend spectrum- not hydrogenated)
3 tablespoons water (plus more... I forgot to measure:)

Preheat oven to 450. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Cut in the fat until it forms clumps about the size of grains of rice. Add liquid gradually until dough comes together. Empty bowl onto a lightly floured board and knead together about 20 times. Dust your hands frequently if the mixture is sticky. Pat or roll out until dough is about 1/2 in thick. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or with a floured cup. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the biscuits are a golden colour on top.

They were alright. They didn't rise much if at all, but weren't terribly dense. Next time I try them out I will use more baking powder to see if that helps. Oliver wasn't crazy about them, but Izzy liked them.

Last night I made corn bread. It sounds like an obvious choice, but I had never made corn bread without wheat flour before. So I looked specifically for a recipe that called for Masa Harina (which I bought last week thinking I would make corn tortillas, then decided that was too much work) as well as corn meal. I adapted it a little, but I basically used this recipe. I used water instead of milk (and didn't even notice the difference) and used maple syrup instead of sugar or honey... and I used 3 T. instead of 1. I know that's not good, but we like our cornbread sweet. I also added molasses, but I wouldn't recommend that. The combination of the masa and the molasses tasted.... "earthy" (aka like dirt). But I had been reading the Little House cookbook and they used molasses in a lot of their baking, particularly cornbread baking.

It was really good. Because of the molasses it was a light (and not altogether unpleasant) brown instead of yellow. The first bite was a shock because it tasted pretty different from the cornbreads I'm used to (all of which use white flour and WAY more sugar than even I used). But by the time I finished my piece I was definitely pleased (and wanted more!). For dinner I ate it with a little butter, then later I had some with some honey on it (like I said...). Totally good, addicting even. Oliver ate the last piece with his breakfast this morning. I'm seriously thinking about playing with the recipe some more to come up with a dessert-type cake. Chocolate cornbread? Who knows:)

That's all I got accomplished this week. I did get the xanthan gum, but I haven't had a chance to try it. Like I said, Oliver is not a big bread eater, so I don't want to make a bunch and have it go to waste. I'll report on how the pancakes go as well- they're up for Dinner tomorrow night.

And I may be back later tonight with pictures of Izzy's Lace up dress, as well as my opinion on the pattern. I haven't made the other two pieces yet, but there's still tonight and the weekend (and they're already cut out, which is a huge step).

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