Lamb Kabobs Recipe

My grandfather used to make some amazing kabobs that everyone in our family remembers fondly. He used to say that his recipes were from his Lebanese mother’s family recipes. After both of my grandparents on my mom’s side had passed away, I found a middle eastern cookbook in their kitchen with two very well-worn pages; a tabbouleh recipe and a kabobs marinade recipe (two things that he cooked frequently). Unfortunately, we will never know if he was actually following these recipes, and whether or not his mother’s recipes actually existed. I tried the kabob recipe in the book, and after some experimentation and modification to my own tastes, I came up with a similar version that my husband and I love. I can’t remember if it is exactly like my grandfather used to make, but we think this version is pretty darn tasty.

Ingredients:
16 oz. can of peeled tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
1 yellow onion, diced
2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp garam masala
salt & freshly ground pepper
lamb steak
chopped vegetables for skewers

I start by crushing the diced onion in a mortar and pestle to release some of the juices. Then I combine the onion, tomatoes, lemon juice, bay leaves, olive oil, garam masala, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix to create marinade.

1
I use a jar of peeled tomatoes from our garden, but regular canned tomatoes can be substituted.
2
The marinade before mixing it all together.
3

Then I trim the excess fat off the lamb steak, and cut it into cubed chunks.
4

Once the lamb is cut up, I put it in the marinade and let it sit in the fridge as long as possible, usually a full day. When we are ready to cook them, I skewer the lamb chunks on with some chopped veggies, and grill them on the barbeque. I usually put them with some red and yellow bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, and sometimes some cherry tomatoes. The final result is shown below!5

Balsamic Scallops & Gnocchi

1f3 f2

I absolutely love gnocchi, and was so excited to find some frozen gnocchi recently that are both egg-free and gluten-free. I decided to do something a little different with the gnocchi than what I usually do and paired them with scallops. If you have never had gnocchi before, they are delicious little Italian potato dumplings, and a great substitute for pasta. They are very filling so you don’t need as much as you would with pasta.

Ingredients:

frozen scallops (I used 6 scallops per person)
frozen gnocchi
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
lemon
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper

I started by lightly browning the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. While that heated up, I started boiling the water for the gnocchi. Once the garlic is lightly golden, I crushed the garlic and reduced the heat to low. Then I added about 5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, the juice from one lemon, salt & pepper. I put in the scallops, and covered while they cooked. Once the scallops were about halfway cooked, I turned them over in the pan. When the scallops were closed to being finished cooking, I added in a bunch of cherry tomatoes with the scallops to lightly cook. I also added the gnocchi into the boiling water.

Gnocchi cooks very quickly, so once they were all floating at the top, I strained out the water and rinsed the gnocchi. I combined the gnocchi, scallops and tomatoes and topped with the balsamic mixture left in the pan. To finish the dish, I topped it with a few leaves of julienned fresh basil. So easy and so delicious!

Shepherd’s Pie: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, & Egg-free

shephard's pie - gluten, dairy, soy & egg-free

One of our favorite frozen dinners from Trader Joe’s has been their pre-made shepherd’s pie. Unfortunately, now that I have cut wheat gluten, soy & dairy out of my diet for the baby, those frozen dinners are no longer an option for me. I decided to try making my own version, with none of the offending allergens, and we loved the end result! The best part…it made enough for dinner that night, and the other half frozen for another night. It was a little more time consuming than most of the dinners I usually make, but since we love it so much, it was definitely worth the effort.

I started with making this soy sauce alternative, recipe found here. I modified the ingredients a little and used 1 1/2 cups of organic beef broth instead of the boullion cubes and water.

For the shepherd’s pie, I started with the recipe from Alton Brown, found here. However, many of those ingredients listed are on my avoid list. Below is my list of modified ingredients. I used ground turkey instead of ground lamb since that was what I had on hand. I also made a couple of other changes, to add even more veggies into the recipe. 🙂

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup almond milk
2 ounces Earth Balance soy-free margarine
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Ener-G Egg replacerFor the meat filling:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 container ground turkey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Flour
1 can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon soy-alternative sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen English peas

I didn’t have to make many changes to the process Alton listed. The only notable change was with the potatoes. Since I added almond milk instead of half and half, they were a little runny. After combining the potatoes, almond milk and margarine, I brought it all to a low boil and cooked for a few minutes until thickened.Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2/index.html?oc=linkback

Turkey, Quinoa & Mixed Veggies Casserole

BY0A8340

One thing that I used to make fairly regularly for dinner before our son was born was a turkey and couscous casserole. Since there are quite a few things that I am now avoiding eating after noticing reactions from the baby via my breastmilk, I am trying to modify some of my old standbys so they are now free of wheat gluten, dairy & soy (as well as no egg or chicken for my own allergies). Since couscous is made from wheat, I decided to try using quinoa instead. Very similar to the couscous I am used to using, but it has the added benefits of being higher in protein and gluten-free!

I started by cooking four servings of quinoa in water in a medium saucepan. In a separate pan, I added some olive oil, two cloves minced garlic and half a package of ground turkey. I cooked the turkey until opaque, then added in about a cup and a half of beef broth. After that, I added in a variety of veggies: red and yellow baby tomatoes, chopped yellow squash (blanched and frozen from the garden), peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, and baby spinach. Once the quinoa was finished cooking, I added that into the mix as well, added salt & pepper to taste, and cooked for a few more minutes. Super easy, and I had extras to save for later!

Tomato/Prosciutto Pizza Recipe: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free

BY0A8325

For the most part, our baby boy has been feeling better now that the dairy and soy seemed to have worked their way out of my system and his. However, after snacking on a bunch of tortillas one evening, I noticed that his stomach started getting really upset again. He didn’t have all of the extreme symptoms he was getting from the dairy & soy, but it was still enough to raise a few red flags for me. I decided to try to add wheat gluten to my list of potential allergens to avoid while breastfeeding. I was really craving some pizza, so I decided to try making one from scratch that would not have any gluten, dairy, soy, or egg in it. Seems like a tall order and that the result would not be worthwhile, right? It came out amazing! I cannot wait to make this again. Just as good, if not better than any “regular” pizza that I have had in a while!

Ingredients:
3 fresh artichokes
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough Flour
1/2 large tomato
handful of basil leaves
Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine
Daiya dairy-free soy-free cheese
Two slices of prosciutto

I started by steaming a few artichokes from our garden. Next I started preparing Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough Mix, and made the dough according to the instructions. Since I have an egg allergy, I used Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of real eggs.

After the initial short baking of the crust, I brushed on some melted Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine with a pastry brush, all over the crust. Then I sprinkled on some Daiya dairy-free and soy-free mozzarella cheese. I added some thinly sliced tomato and julienned basil. I removed the leaves from the artichoke hearts (and saved the leaves to eat while the pizza finished cooking), and broke up the artichoke hearts into chunks and added on top of the pizza. I cooked for the remainder of the time recommended on the dough flour package.

Once I removed the pizza from the oven, I finished by adding the julienned prosciutto slices. I added the prosciutto at the end so it didn’t end up overcooked. The end result was amazing…I can’t wait to make it again! On a side note, you could always leave the prosciutto off for a great vegan option. 🙂

Snickerdoodle Recipe: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free

Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free Snickerdoodles Recipe

I had never made snickerdoodles until I found a Martha Stewart recipe for them on the packaging for my Martha Stewart Silpats. I modified the recipe to accommodate my egg allergy, and it quickly became a regular favorite in our house. Now I have modified the recipe again to cut out dairy and soy as well (since our baby has been reacting to those ingredients via breastmilk).

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup Soy-Free Earth Balance Margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Ener-G egg replacers (3 tsp powder plus 4 tbsp warm water)
For topping:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar

1. Put margarine and sugar in mixer bowl (use paddle attachment if you have a stand mixer). Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in Ener-G egg replacers.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder & salt in separate bowl.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture.
5. Mix topping sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
6. Scoop dough with cookie dough scoop and roll in cinnamon/sugar mix. Roll into round balls and place onto cookie sheet with Silpat (or lightly greased cookie sheet).7. Bake cookies for approximately 12 minutes and cool on wire racks.

Orange/Cranberry/Almond Biscotti Recipe: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free

Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free Biscotti Recipe

When I was in college, my Italian grandma taught me the basics of making biscotti. This recipe is a new variation of my own original recipe for orange/cranberry/almond biscotti. This new version of the recipe is now allergen friendly, and is free of any dairy, egg or soy. It has been a while, but I like this new version just as much as I liked the original recipe.

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 oz applesauce (I use two snack sized applesauce containers)
1 Ener-G egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp power plus 2 tbsp warm water)
6 tbsp melted Soy-Free Earth Balance Margarine
2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease 2-3 cookie sheets (or use SilPats, which is what I use) and set aside.
3. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add in the applesauce & Ener-G egg replacer. Mix together.
5. Add in margarine, orange zest, orange juice an almond extract. Mix together.
6. Put cashews and almonds in food processor and pulse lightly 2-3 times. Add nuts into dough and mix together.
7. Knead together dough until it is less crumbly.
8. Put dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a log. Separate dough into three equally sized pieces.
9. Roll each piece into a log approximately 14 inches long.
10. Place dough logs on cookie sheets and bake for 25 minutes (until light golden brown).
11. Remove logs and cool on wire racks.
12. Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut each log into slices, cutting at a diagonal.
13. Place cut cookies onto cookie sheets, cut side down.
14. Bake for 10 minutes.
15. Remove cookie sheet from oven and flip cookies over and bake for another 10 minutes.
16. Remove and let cookies cool on wire racks.

Oatmeal Cookies Recipe: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free

Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Growing up, my mom’s oatmeal cookies were famous with everyone we knew. I missed being able to eat them once I started developing an egg allergy. After a while, I started experimenting with ways to make the recipe without using eggs. Yesterday I made a new modified version of the recipe to accommodate the new list of allergens that I am trying to avoid (I am allergic to egg and the baby seems to be reacting to dairy and soy in my diet coming through in the breastmilk). I was so happy with the end result…they came out soft and amazing, just as I was hoping!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Soy-free Earth Balance Margarine at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 serving Ener-G Egg Replacer (1 1/2 tsp powder plus 2 tbsp warm water)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract, plus an extra splash
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oatmeal
*handful of lightly crushed walnuts
*handful of white rasins

*These ingredients are optional. You can add more or less according to your taste, or can substitute other items. The ones listed are my personal preference after years of experimenting with variations of this recipe.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix together the margarine, sugar, brown sugar, Ener-G egg replacer, water & vanilla extract.
3. Sift together flour, salt & baking soda.
4. Add flour mixture slowly into wet ingredients, mixing while adding.
5. Add in oatmeal and selected optional ingredients and continue to mix together.
6. Scoop out balls and place on cookie sheets, two inches apart.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
8. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Lemon Rosemary Turkey

I made this recipe with a bone in turkey breast, but it could easily be made with chicken as well for a more affordable (and easier to find) option. Unfortunately, I am allergic to chicken, so I get excited when I find a small cut of turkey like this in our local store.

Ingredients:

1 bone in turkey breast
4 large lemons
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
green/yellow beans

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Use a fine cheese grater to get the zest off all of the (washed) lemons.
2. Juice all of the lemons.
3. Finely chop rosemary leaves.
4. Place turkey breast in casserole dish, and pour lemon juice over turkey.
5. Sprinkle top of turkey breast with lemon zest, chopped rosemary, and a sprinkling of salt & pepper.
BY0A6290
6. Cook covered in preheated oven for approximately an hour and a half. Time will vary depending on the size of the meat you are using. The important thing is to cook it until the inside reaches a minimum of 165 degrees F.
7. Halfway through the cooking time, take out and baste turkey with juices from casserole dish. At this point, I also added in the frozen green & yellow beans (preserved from our garden!).

That’s it! This was a super easy dinner, and the turkey came out so delicious and juicy. 🙂

BY0A6294

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes Recipe

I woke up yesterday morning craving peanut butter and bananas. I decided to try something new and make some peanut butter banana pancakes. They came out amazing…this will definitely be a weekend regular in our house! The best part is, they have very little sugar in them, and yet are sweet enough to eat even without any syrup on top. I am allergic to eggs, so I use egg replacer, but feel free to use an egg if you would like.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg replacer
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup milk
1 slightly overripe banana
1 ripe banana

1. In large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In another mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), add together peanut butter, sugar, egg replacer, and coconut oil. Mix until creamy and well blended.

3.  Add in milk to peanut butter blend and mix until blended.

4. Slowly add in dry mix, a little bit at a time, while mixing until free of lumps.

5.  Slice up overripe banana and mix in until well blended.

6. Slice up ripe banana and gently stir into batter, leaving the chunks of banana intact.

7. Spread batter on a lightly oiled nonstick pan and cook on medium-low heat until cooked through to the middle.

That’s it! I added a tiny bit of butter to mine once they were finished cooking, but they are good even with nothing on them. 🙂