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Easy No-Wheat/GF Breakfast

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I know that my readers pay attention to my recipes here. This week I got news that one more friend is living totally gluten free now, and she needed advice on what to eat.

She found several recipes for baked goods and other treats, in my “Recipes” archive (scroll down, link in right-hand side column down a ways with other categories). I had taken photos for this post about a month ago and never wrote the text to go with it. Today is the day, thanks to my friend’s push.

So many foods one can buy pre-made in a store, do not work for me. I can not have corn, and I go very easy on potato and wheat.

I’m not totally gluten-free, but I bake as if I am. Many gluten-free products in the store have corn and often potato, plus xanthan gum for texture. Those do not work for me. I am pretty stuck, unless I bake from scratch.

However, one product I can buy ready to go, is brown rice Mochi. I can turn on the oven to preheat while I assemble clothing to wear for the day, pop it in the oven while I start to get ready, and it is ready before I’m fully prepared to go out. No muss, little fuss, and the chewy/crunchy texture really satisfies me.

(I crave chewy foods often. I can not have most candies, dried fruit, mozzarella cheese or bread. Thank goodness for mochi and huge “bubble tea” tapioca, which both satisfy that texture craving for me.)

In the morning, I love this with Lingonberry preserves from Sweden. For lunch or dinner, we sometimes eat this as someone else might eat rolls or crackers, often with soup.

The full package contains 16 grams of whole-grain protein. Breakfast for me is a half package. I plan to eat 45 grams of protein a day, so this is a decent start, with no fuss. Consider adding peanut butter, a boiled egg or a glass of milk, and you have much more fuel than many, with which to start your day.

How to Bake Mochi Squares a la LynnH

(For the record, the word “Mochi” is used for many things. It is essentially a sticky rice, used in many ways in several Asian traditions. This sort freezes well. I’ve been known to buy a case of 12.)

  • Buy Grainassance Mochi. Plain brown rice is “my” flavor. There is also a cinnamon/raisin one which is wonderful for breakfast.
    The only place in Greater Lansing to get plain brown rice Mochi in a cooler, is the East Lansing Food Co-Op/ELFCO. Try to buy it locally when possible, many healthy-food stores will allow you to special order if you get a full box (12 packets).

mochiscored450(For the record, there is a white rice version I have found in the freezer section of large Asian markets. That is their standard; I’m talking about organic gluten-free heaven rather than tradition.)

  • Preheat your oven to 450F. Really, truly preheat until it is fully hot. The texture is not as good without it.
  • Score the plastic pouch inside the package, and divide in half. Half a package is a filling breakfast for me, or good to share between two with soup for lunch.


  • Cut that half packet into 12 approximately-equal pieces. It is hard to cut, be careful not to slip with your knife. You can just score the top surface of the block of rice, and then break pieces apart with your hands.
  • (If you cut the whole thing into 24 pieces, you can cram them on a large sheet cake pan/jelly roll pan with no room to spare.)


  • Put the squares in nonstick muffin tins or on a baking sheet.
  • (Do NOT use oil or baking spray, if you want to avoid setting off a smoke detector. You could use baking parchment, but it would be overkill.)


  • Bake for about 9-10 minutes. Typically, the outside crisps up first, then the insides get hot and steamy and pop out of the side. It reminds me of a popover, a bit. I like mochi better.
  • Remove from oven, remove from baking pan as quickly as you can (it sticks when it cools).
  • Cool enough that you do not burn yourself on boiling rice.


  • Eat: plain, with butter, honey or jam as you prefer.
  • Make yummy noises.

Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

For some reason I have never shared my recipe for pumpkin pie here with you. I seem to have more and more people in my life with food sensitivities for a zillion reasons, every day. Now that we’re on Thanksgiving week in the US, I think it’s time to share.

I realize that some folks find holiday special foods so appealing that they will cheat and eat them rather than choose health. Fortunately, I was diagnosed in the spring and knew I’d want pumpkin pie by November, so I started right away experimenting with how to make it in a totally new way. It took 6 full months to get something I liked.


I made a few pies at first (years ago) that were substandard in different ways. I made one batch I could not eat at all. I think I have it nailed well at this point.

I’ve been making these now for probably at least 6 years, and I think the filling is quite excellent. Folks who can eat other standard pies will eat this and not realize it’s “special.”

There are two things that may impact a food-sensitive person’s ability to make this. One is that I use soy milk (the unsweetened, unflavored one with ingredients only soy and water). If you can not use soy milk, try almond or oat milk.

I personally want to experiment next with powdered goat milk, reconstituted and subbed for the soy. I do well with that product in baking, and it’s a good protein boost. Cooked powdered milk does not have any residual “powdered” flavor at all. In fact, it’s in a lot of processed foods.

I’m having trouble with crust. For a long time I would buy spelt crust in the health food store’s freezer section. However, spelt is a relative of wheat. This means it is not gluten free, and since I am more and more wheat sensitive, I want to avoid it.

If you know a good crust recipe that works for you, by all means use it. Please!

I have only made two crusts ever… and the first was inedible and impossible to cut, even with a knife! Last night I made an ugly duckling one that tasted fine and had a good texture, but anything tried and true is surely better than my second experiment.

However, I will share with you my “Alpha Version” of the crust I used last night. It turned out flavorful and flaky but nearly impossible to roll or thin out in the pan properly. I’d rather share something with you than leave you crust-less.

(If your only issue is gluten, this crust recipe looks promising. With my allergies, it does not work… so I’ve not tested it.)

For the record, I’m including brand names of products. In allergy cooking, the brand name truly can impact the final product. Sub as you must, but understand that cooking times and texture may be affected.

LynnH’s No-Nothin’ Pumpkin Pie
No Egg, Wheat/Gluten, Dairy, Tree Nut, Potato, Yeast, or Corn

2 Unbaked Pie Crusts in 9″ pans
2 sm cans or 1 lg can (total 3-1/2c) Pumpkin (Libby’s has less water in it than generic, cooks faster) NOT Pie Mix
1-1/3 c Boiling Water
1/2 c Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
2 c Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1-3/4 c Soy Milk (check ingredients, no sweeteners. I use Westsoy Organic Unsweetened)
If you can tolerate cow’s milk or goat milk, these should substitute well, or try Oat Milk or Almond. I have not tried these options but what I know about baking says they should work, with different baking times.)

(Use any or all of the following spices. I like all of them together, but leave out or use less as sensitivities/preferences require.)
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Allspice
1/2 Tsp Ginger Powder

Preheat oven to 375F.

If you are making your own crusts, make them now (see my recipe below if you have no recipe of your own). If you purchased frozen crusts, pull them out and separate them before they melt together and don’t want to let go.

Boil water. Measure into medium-sized bowl/heatproof container. Slowly whisk in flaxseed meal (I use a wire whisk). Make sure it’s well mixed, cover and leave to thicken.

In large bowl, place pumpkin and spices. Add milk and blend thoroughly with whisk.

Return to flaxseed mixture. Add brown sugar and whip until thoroughly mixed. Add this mixture to the pumpkin mixture and carefully combine until blended completely.

Fill unbaked pie crusts with filling. Do not overfill, as the pumpkin mixture needs to boil in the oven. If there is left over filling, place in a greased ovenproof glass/pyrex pan and bake with pies.

Bake. Depending on the moisture content of your ingredients, it will take no less than 50 minutes and easily an hour or more. Watch the pies, and when the very center of the pie filling is boiling consistently, it is done. Do not be too eager, it’s better if you let the center truly cook through.

My pie pans are glass/pyrex. You may find your baking times will be different than mine if your pans are a different material.

If you take a clean wet butter knife and insert in the center of the pie, it should mostly come out clean. Not as clean as a standard pumpkin pie, though… just not with what looks like pudding attached to the knife.

LET THE PIE COOL. This pie will manage significantly better if you serve it cold. Refrigerating will make it cut perfectly. Barely warm works, too, but it really does need to “set up.”

Experimental 2nd-Try Gluten-Free Piecrust

This is imperfect crust to say the least, it’s the first one I made that really tastes good. It does not handle well, though, and was frustrating to get in the pan in a thin layer.

1 c Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat flour (buckwheat is not related to wheat and has no gluten)
1/2 c Bob’s Red Mill Teff Flour (If you can not find, try substituting Brown Rice Flour)
1/2 c butter (dairy product), or stick margarine (can substitute lard or shortening, but they are not healthy by any stretch)
Salt if you wish
Appx 4-6 Tbsp Very Cold Water (different flour brands will need different amounts

Mix flours and optional salt in large bowl. Place cold butter/margarine in bowl and mix in with pastry blender, wire whisk or cut in with two butter knives. Mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Try to keep the mixture as cold as possible, you do not want to melt the butter.

Sprinkle in about 3 Tbsp of water in and mix gently with a fork. Keep adding water until it feels like the dough will stick to itself but is not all the way to sticky.

Handle the dough as little as possible, keep hands cool as much as you can. Separate the dough into two portions, one for each 9″ pie crust (mine are glass/pyrex).

Here is where you play it by ear, my friends. Supposedly you can “press” the crust into the pan. I had a lot of trouble making this work.

One crust stuck to my warm hands and came apart, I patched it. The other I could not push down enough and it was very thick in the middle. Again, less handling is better so I was afraid to push it around too much. You want those little crumblets to sort of stack themselves on top of one another like Greek fillo (sp) dough, which makes it flaky.

I think if you used just a little more water than I did, perhaps you could roll it out between layers of parchment paper? It’s just a guess, but what I did was imperfect, as I did it.

In the end I had crust under the pie and on the sides but none for decorative edgings. It tasted great, though one was really thick in the center. I’m going to keep trying, but I wanted to post this pie recipe (the filling is time-tested) for those who feel deprived entering into this week’s holiday baking.

Final Notes For New Food-Sensitive Bakers

The Flax meal and flours may need to be purchased from a health food or healthy grocery such as Whole Foods. Worth it.

If you can not find ingredients locally and have time, you can order online from Bob’s Red Mill for the Teff and Flax meal. Their buckwheat flour is very different (coarser) than Arrowhead Mills, though, and not recommended for this crust.

If you can find Hodgson Mills Buckwheat it will probably sub for Arrowhead well, and some food co-ops have buckwheat flour that will work. You want it more powdery than sandy in texture, more like all-purpose flour to the touch.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Friday, November 6th, 2009

My late friend Betsy taught me about root vegetables and how full of minerals they were. As a vegetarian, she found them an important part of her overall food plan.

She had a cookbook full of eastern-european recipes, many of which included parsnips, rutabagas, turnips and the like. I was fascinated.

Now I’m hooked. My favorite root (except perhaps the onion which is in another category) is sweet potato. I also adore parsnips, and I like rutabaga when cut in very small pieces (a la steak fries) and roasted in a hot oven for a very long time.


The other day we made a batch of veggies which I purchased at the Allen Street market and the East Lansing Food Co-Op. I’m still learning which varieties need to be cut larger or smaller, but these turned out quite well. The batch I’m speaking of is in the photo above. We had sweet potatoes, yellow carrots, parsnips, blue potatoes, fingerling white potatoes and onion.

The general formula is this:

Roasted Root Veggies (A formula, not a recipe.)

Preheat Oven to 400F.

Peel veggies if you wish (we peel carrots and parsnips but not potatoes). Cut into chunks that are appropriate. Sweet potatoes need to be biggest, carrots in the middle, rutabaga very thin. If you use fingerling potatoes they may not need cutting at all.

I always include at least a half of an onion, it makes everything else taste great. Sometimes they almost melt but they flavor everything.

After chopping, drizzle olive oil on a jelly roll sheet cake pan. Put veggies on the pan and drizzle more oil on it, as well as salt and fresh rosemary if you have any. Toss until all the veggies are coated with oil. Parsnips need oil or they dry out in the oven, so pay special attention to those if you have any.

Place sheet with veggies in the oven, making sure the veggies are spread evenly throughout the pan. Every 15 minutes, take them out and toss them more.

Somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes, they will probably be done. Use a fork to test for a softer center. Carrots and parsnips usually do not get all the way to soft, and they still taste good.

Remove from oven. Cool a little, and eat still warm. YUM.

Chilly Day, Warm Cake (Recipe)

Saturday, October 10th, 2009


No Wheat, Please

I keep finding new friends who (like me) can not eat wheat successfully, for any number of reasons. This makes me more inspired to post the recipes I’ve evolved over my years of doing without wheat, corn, and many-many-many other ingredients.

Thursday night for dinner we ate fresh mustard greens, sauteed with onion and protein-embellished with particularly smooth and creamy chickpeas. It was tasty but we did not make any rice, pasta, or quinoa to go with it as we might typically do.

cakerecipesheetSo it was time for a warm treat straight out of the oven. I don’t like frosting (and powdered sugar typically contains cornstarch, which is no good for me). Instead, I topped the warm cake with freshly whipped cream (brown sugar, not white) and a few tiny chocolate chips on it.

Recipe History

This recipe evolved from a WWII ration-era cake recipe from King Arthur Flour company. Unfortunately, their flour is wheat and I can’t use it. (If you can, their website has many recipes.)

Their no-egg recipe was a good place to start, anyway. I’ve evolved it over the years to make things stick together better, without using wheat. I also removed a few ingredients I can’t have, changed a measurement or two, just basically tweaked it until it felt “just right,” as Goldilocks would say.

An internet/knitting friend told me about this recipe in 2002. I’ve been refining it ever since. There are many ways to make it work, but this is the one I use most often.

Buckwheat is this Wheat-Free Baker’s Friend

I use a lot of buckwheat in my baking, which is not at all related to wheat regardless of the name. It has no gluten, so it’s perfect for celiac persons as well as wheat-sensitive folks like me.

The brand of buckwheat flour makes a difference, as they are all milled to different textures, from sand-coarse to fine powder. I usually use Arrowhead Mills, which has a close texture to all-purpose wheat flour and is excellent for substituting in “ordinary” recipes.

Here’s my recipe:

Warm-the-Heart No-Wheat Chocolate Cake

1-1/2 cup Arrowhead Mills buckwheat flour (could sub Hodgson mills, not Bob’s which is too coarse… need powdery texture instead)

1 cup brown sugar (can sub white, brown is stickier… good in wheat-free baking)

1/4 cup baking cocoa powder, unsweetened (not drink mix)

1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp unbuffered vitamin c crystals,
1-1/2 tsp baking powder (many contain cornstarch)

OPTIONAL: 2 Tbsp powdered goat milk (adds protein and body to cake, no flavor, I almost always add this)

6 Tbsp oil (I used olive, use what you have)

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a 10″ deep dish glass pie plate, place all dry ingredients and blend well with fork or wire whisk. Small lumps of brown sugar will remain.

Add oil and water, mix until all dry ingredients are wet but no longer than absolutely necessary.

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. (If you have substituted any ingredients, the baking time may change.) Done when toothpick placed in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes if you can stand to wait that long. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if you can tolerate dairy, maybe Rice Dream or Soy Delicious if not (read ingredient labels carefully if you are food-sensitive). Or your own favorite topping, of course!

This cake holds together well enough to be finger food with a napkin to catch a few crumbs. Not bad for no wheat, eggs or xanthan gum!

Perfect July Dessert

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

It can not get much simpler than this. Fresh, organic strawberries and organic whipped cream.


This is gluten free, wheat free, grain free, no nuts, no egg. I am allergic to long lists of foods, and this one works for me.

It is not dairy-free, low cholesterol, low sugar, low calorie or low fat. Some can’t eat strawberries, where for me it’s in the half dozen fruits that do not give me trouble. Nothing works for everyone, but this is really luxury stuff for yours truly.

The Formula

I use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 3 Tbsp of light brown sugar, poured into a quart canning jar. I whip it with my little Braun wand mixer‘s beating/whipping attachment (looks like a wire whisk). I do sort of tilt the jar a little to make air enter the cream a little faster, but it happens in minutes.

I used a large box of strawberries. I think that’s about 3 cups?

I’m rather decadent and adore the whipped cream (with no current heart/cholesterol or sugar issues). So I was able to get three bowls of dessert out of one large box of strawberries and one cup of whipped cream.

I layered the cream, then berries, then more cream, then berries, then the last bit of cream. It is even more beautiful in a clear stemmed wine glass, like a parfait.

Yes, it’s simple but clearly decadent. I was on Weight Watchers in 1977 but lost about 50-55 pounds and have kept my weight off since 1980.

Ironically, now my problem is getting enough to eat, given my food allergies. So right now, this is not excessive for my current situation. For others, a dollop of the whip might be more balanced. It would still taste like heaven. I can do dairy, but my brother could do “Hip Whip” which is dairy free and made of relatively healthy ingredients. I maintain that real whipped cream has no substitute, but sometimes our bodies insist on something else.

A Recipe for Buckwheat Quick Bread

Monday, May 25th, 2009

One recurring theme here at ColorJoy, is that food can be art. In addition, if you are me, and you have a list of allergies longer than your arm, food is sometimes a challenge. Trying different ingredient combinations dozens of times until you come up with a winner, is not only an art but a magnificent success on a personal level.

Breads and desserts are the most difficult for me, because wheat really does work better for baking than any other flour. Many gluten-free recipes use corn or potato starches, which don’t work for me. Therefore, I have been on my own… making a lot of bad breads on the way to the successes. This one is truly a winner.

The Process of Discovery

I started with a base recipe called “Country-Style Quick Bread” from the book The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook, written by Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N. (There seem to be two versions of this book, I’ve linked to the one I own.)

Her version of Quick Bread using rye flour and maple sugar in addition to maple syrup, is wonderful. Rye has gluten, though… and that leaves it out for many folks. (She does suggest buckwheat as one alternative… her recipe is full of options, much more than mine.)


I have layers and layers of sticky notes on that recipe’s page in that cookbook, with different variations I’ve tried. The sticky note experiments include rice flour, chickpea flour, teff flour, oat flour, arrowroot, rye, kamut (which does contain gluten), even barley flour. I have used agave nectar, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup; no salt, no milk.

I have tried ingredients she lists, some she never suggested. I have left out ingredients, changed quantities a bit, changed the preparation method. So far, the combination of ingredients I have listed below is best (for my purposes) by far.

The Current Result

This recipe is something like a sweet cornbread, or a little like a firm gingerbread without the spices. It is dark and almost looks like chocolate cake, but has maple syrup and molasses for sweetener (and binder) so has a warm “brown” flavor.

It is more firm than a cake, so it can be cut in very small squares without it falling apart. This is an unusual attribute for no-wheat/gluten breads. It is not good for sandwiches but still has a texture I might miss otherwise.

I like it with salted butter as a bread substitute, or it can also be used under ice cream and strawberries for a variation on strawberry shortcake. I took it to a party Sunday, and went home with an empty pan. I didn’t get photos, so sorry.

Who Can Eat This?

This is an allergy-friendly, wheat-free, egg-free, gluten-free recipe, though it is so tasty that folks who do not have restrictions dig right in. In this realm, the brand of flour you use makes a difference in the final texture. Also in this realm, there are many possible alternative ingredient options, which makes the recipe layout a little clumsy.

I’ve made this bread dozens of times, never the same twice (the version below is the one I took to the party). It is very flexible about alternative sweeteners and liquids; and you can ignore the milk if you have none of the options available. A milk ingredient of any sort does hold the bread together a bit better, if you can use it.

Buckwheat Quick Bread by LynnH

Dry Ingredients:
1-1/2 c Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Flour (Hodgson Mills will probably work, too… Bob’s has a different texture entirely)
Optional: 2 Tbsp Goat Milk powder (or sub powdered cow’s milk if you have that and are not allergic)
1-1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 pkg Emergen-C (or 1/4tsp unbuffered vitamin C crystals, or 1/2tsp cream of tartar; or 1Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice in a pinch, but reduce water by 1Tbsp if you do)
1/8tsp salt (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup (could sub agave nectar or brown rice syrup)
1 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses (or more maple syrup, or standard molasses)
3 Tbsp Oil (I used olive)
2/3 C water (or sub any sort of milk product, such as soy, if you didn’t use a powdered milk and you are not allergic)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Oil a 9″/22.8cm glass pie pan (baking time may vary with a different size/material).

In mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and mix well with wire whisk. Goat milk powder may leave small clumps but this is not a problem.

Add all wet ingredients to bowl. Using whisk, blend all ingredients as quickly as possible, and stop mixing the moment all flour is wet. More mixing will hurt the texture of the bread.

Pour batter into prepared pan, bake about 18 minutes depending on your oven and type of pan. It is done when a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.

Cool as long as you can stand to wait (5-10 minutes on a wire rack). Cut, eat, enjoy!

New Recipe Category

Friday, April 17th, 2009

My theory behind this blog, is that many things/ activities are artforms, even those not celebrated as such. Costuming (even for just going to work or school) and cooking are two that are not given full respect in my own society. Here I try to celebrate those creative acts, inside and outside popular acceptance, which are worthy of attention.

Somehow I ended up a person who creates recipes. It was accidental at best. I don’t like to cook much, but I like to eat. I had so many food allergies a few years ago that I had to cook for myself or I would not be able to eat. I still cook/bake most of my own food, but things are getting better.

In the process of discovery, I have experimented with what I could make, using the ingredients I thought were not giving me trouble. A lot of my experiments were desserts and other treats.

You see, I can usually find a piece of grilled salmon without chemicals on it, even when I travel. However, finding cake or pumpkin pie is 100% impossible if I do not make my own.

(I can not have wheat, but most wheat-free alternates substitute corn and potato flours… corn is one of my worst foods. Alternately, they sometimes use nut meal, and I have serious reactions to tree nuts. I had to find my own answers, and could not buy pre-made baking mixes or treats in any city.)

So here I am, a recipe-maker. Some recipes please me more than others, but all are workable and keep me healthy. I do not share them here if I do not think at least most of you who think they sound good, will like the result. I want them to taste good even to non-allergic friends.

My first blog software only allowed me to have one category per post. Food was one option. My current software allows me many categories. So today I made a change.

Yesterday I was sharing a batch of Teff Spice Muffins (photo above) at Altu’s restaurant, and a customer asked for the recipe. I decided it was time to go back in my archives and make a category called Recipes. So that is what I just did.

(For the record, you can find any of my blog categories if you scroll down a bit on the right-hand column of this blog. When you click there, you get a filtered list of only posts tagged with that category. )

There are 22 posts in the category “Recipes.” I have been blogging since November, 2002, with a goal of 28 posts a month. I think it’s great you don’t have to dig through the thousands of posts I’ve written, just to find the recipes!

It is almost time for a weekend. Maybe you will enjoy a new recipe on one of your days off?

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Recipe

Friday, December 26th, 2008


My gratitude right now is overflowing. People around me are receiving good news, the sun shone on Christmas for hours and hours and it didn’t snow, my health is leaps and bounds better than it was a year ago, my business is clicking right along, my loved ones are happy, and I had a quiet day with Brian in our home for Christmas. All is well in LynnH-land.


Christmas morning I slept in (after a far-too-late bedtime). We had a lovely breakfast, took a nice walk, enjoyed some hot chocolate with real whipped cream to warm up, hung out, ate citrus from Florida (thanks, Mom and Fred), I knit and Brian played ukulele, then later Brian made a stir fry for dinner.

After dinner it was my turn in the kitchen. I made a favorite December dessert. I decided in my state of gratitude, that I should share the recipe with you!

Winter Delight

I love cranberries. The season does not last long enough for me, and though one can freeze the berries right in the bag they are sold in, my freezer is too small for as many as I might like. I need to just enjoy them when I can buy them fresh.

I found a cranberry recipe in Jane Brody’s Good Food Book long ago, which is my favorite of all the 350 recipes in that very good cookbook. Of course, I have enough allergies that I have to change/drop ingredients right away.

cranberrycrispbowl25.jpgI’ve made this in many different variations over the years and finally realized that she was specifying tasty cooked fruit with a tiny sprinkling of oats on top. I wanted more oats.

She is very health/weight conscious. As for me, I’m in need of more fuel these days for a change. A little more oat topping is not bad for my personal health at this time.

I love oats, they are so chewy! So I have now taken a leap and really changed the proportions. The idea of cranberries, apples and oats remains a brainstorm of Ms. Brody, but the spices, specific ingredients and proportions are at this point probably more mine than what she started with. I bow to her for the brilliant pairing of these wonderful winter fruits.

If you do not have my ingredients, try any flour you have; white or dark brown sugar; margarine or vegetable oil. Note that this is a no-wheat, no egg/corn/yeast/nut/cinnamon recipe, but depending on the oats/flour you choose, it may not be gluten free.

Cranberry-Apple Crumble, Brody-Inspired a la LynnH

Filling Ingredients
1 12oz pkg (3c) cranberries (if your package is 8oz, use an extra cup of apples)
4 cups of sliced apple (2 large or 6 small is about right)
1/2c light brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp oat flour

Topping Ingredients
1/2c oat flour
1/4c light brown sugar
2c quick/1-minute rolled oats
6 Tbsp melted butter

Heat oven to 375F/190.5C.

In a large bowl, mix filling ingredients thoroughly. Place in greased glass baking pan, mine is about 12″ x 9″ x 2.5″ (30cm x 22.8cm x 6.5cm) and is barely big enough.

Mix topping ingredients (can use same bowl) until the butter/oil has been thoroughly worked into the mixture. Carefully distribute evenly over the fruit topping.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until fruit is boiling and the topping smells toasty and looks slightly browned (oats do not brown as obviously as wheat). Remove from oven, cool 15 minutes.

Serve alone or with excellent-quality vanilla ice cream. Make yummy noises.

Pumpkin Soup, Repeat from Dec. 2002

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Lorraine sent me a comment saying she could not get to my pumpkin soup recipe from an old link. Since I moved my blog to WordPress (from Moveable Type), the links to old archives are not working properly, sigh.

But she is right, this is the perfect season for pumpkin soup, and it is so quick and easy you need not wait for a leisurely day to make it. So I am re-posting it here, six years later (with minor edits). I hope a few of you enjoy it!

LynnH’s Easy Pumpkin Soup

1 small can (1-3/4c) Pumpkin (not seasoned pie filling)
1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2-1/2 cup Broth (I used “Imagine” brand organic chicken broth from the health food store, which is incredible. You could use vegetable broth; the better quality, the better the soup.)
4 Tbsp Nut Butter (I like almond butter best. Pumpkin seed butter works if you are tree-nut allergic, but it is hard to find and expensive. Or try tahini from a Mideastern grocery, it’s sesame seed butter! I think peanut butter is overpowering but you might disagree.)
1/4 tsp marjoram (or oregano)
generous dash allspice
1/4 tsp white pepper (this ingredient just makes a creamy soup right)

Heat all ingredients slowly, stirring frequently with a wire whisk until nut butters are evenly distributed. Continue to heat at a low simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Serve with a dash of nutmeg, biscuits of your choice or bulgur-lentil pilaf (contains gluten), and a steaming cup of tea.

Quick Food Photo (Quinoa-Pea Salad)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I am busy on another deadline, no time for new photos to be processed today. Fortunately, I have a few photos stored away for just this sort of situation.

quinoapeasalad.jpgHere is a photo of a lunch I made recently. I didn’t write a recipe, did not measure ingredients, but almost any combination would work. It was very satisfying.

For the record, quinoa (pronounce KEEN-waah) is an ancient grain (maybe not technically grain, I think it qualifies as a fruit) which contains complete protein. It substitutes for rice well in a lot of recipes.

I do not like meat, but I need a lot more protein than I enjoy eating. This allows me to balance things more closely to my tastes.

I did not like quinoa the first several times I tried it. It grows with a soap-like substance on it (theoretically this keeps insects and birds away). Even though every package I ever bought said it was rinsed for me, I could taste the stuff and it took away from enjoying my meal.

Then my friend Barbara told me to not just rinse it but wash it with a little friction. I now put my measured quinoa in a large bowl full of water, let it sit for 3 minutes or so, and then literally get my hands in there and rub the grains between my hands. The water gets a bit cloudy.

I then dump out as much of the cloudy water as I can, fill again with clear water (notice it makes bubbles when you fill it up) and repeat a few times until the water is less cloudy (some of the cloudiness I attribute to starch so I don’t try to get it to run clear).

Put in fine colander and rinse one last time. I use a towel under the colander to soak up much of the last water. The grains are tiny, smaller than sesame seeds, so not all colanders/strainers will work.

(If this seems too much work, just cover it with warm water and leave alone for 30 minutes while you prepare other ingredients. Then rub a little, rinse well, and go.)

Then cook per package instructions. Lately I have been cooking it in a crock pot as an experiment, so far so good but no solid measurements yet. Some people put it in a rice cooker.

For the record, last week I tried red quinoa (it comes in a box, not a bag, in my healthy market) and love it. There is less soapy stuff to rinse off, and it has a little more texture. Sort of like brown rice as opposed to white. Lovely.

Sometimes I combine hot quinoa and hot green peas (from frozen), with butter or olive oil, sesame seeds and a little sea salt. This day was a hot one and so I wanted a cold salad instead.

OK so here it goes, an un-recipe for a good summer lunch:

Quinoa/Green Pea Summer Salad

Thaw about 1/3 cup green frozen peas until not frozen but still cold (in refrigerator for a few hours works best, or carefully defrost in microwave)

Fill one-person salad bowl just over half-full with quinoa (maybe 3/4 cup?) If no quinoa available, try short-grain brown rice.

Chop half a red or yellow bell pepper (or one whole carrot, or any other veggie that is good raw)

Crush 1/4 cup of California black olives or other olives as you prefer (optional)

Put veggies, olives and peas on quinoa in bowl, and mix if desired.

Drizzle with healthy oil of your choice (I used flax oil but olive or walnut would be great).

Squeeze juice of about a half a citrus fruit on salad. I prefer lime but this time I used a little grapefruit.

If desired, shake some gomasio/sesame shake (crushed sesame seeds with sea salt) on the top for beauty and flavor. Eden Foods makes a black sesame version that is just beautiful as a garnish.

If you used rice rather than quinoa, perhaps add almond slivers or shell-less raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas for more protein and a little crunch.

If you have time, chill for a half hour to let flavors combine. If hungry and in a hurry, jump right in.


Food Ramblings & Strawberry Recipe

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

ColorJoy, the blog, is a place for all artforms. Today I wish to focus on cooking. Yummy! At the end I will share a new recipe I created today.

I love food. Some of you know that there are a lot of foods I can not eat because of allergy/sensitivity reactions.

However, because of my food restrictions Brian and I eat very well. Everything we eat at home is from scratch. We eat a lot of organic food, a lot of “ethnic” foods, many things I had never heard of while growing up. In fact, I feel really lucky to be living in these times, because so many types of produce are available to me fresh or frozen for most of the year.

New Foods for Me

cookedtaroroots.jpgI am learning a lot right now about root vegetables. I don’t do too well with potato, but taro root which has been boiled and then peeled is a lot like potato, a little more flavorful and a little more work to prepare. They are maybe a quarter of the size of a standard baking potato, and can not be peeled easily before cooking.

They look awful at the store, like small fuzzy brown rocks, but they are worth the effort. Here is a photo of some taro roots after they were scrubbed and then boiled. They look much nicer here than at the store, but they are quite nice to eat (after peeling) with just a little butter or olive oil.

We eat a lot of sweet potatoes. And now I am trying what is sometimes labeled “white yam” which looks like sweet potato, with a purple skin but flesh that is cream colored before cooking and has a few pale green veins after cooking.

It is very smooth in texture, not very sweet but sweeter than potato or taro. I put it in some green (frozen) pea soup the other day and it was incredibly good.


Flat Breads from Root Veggies

I have been trying to make things like tortillas, chapatis or potato lefse (pronounced LEFF-suh, a Norwegian flat bread which we always had at holiday meals when I was growing up). I am not having a great success with this, but I keep trying. (I can not have yeast, but I do not miss regular bread the way I miss tortillas.)

The best so far were the ones last week, made of taro and brown rice flour. The night I made them, they did roll up fine, but they hardened up a lot overnight (see photo).

Honestly, if I just want a bread to eat on the side they work out fine. However, I have not yet done well making anything that would roll up like a tortilla or lefse.

However… when it comes to desserts I am doing great. I make several versions of tapioca pudding that I really enjoy. I make teff spice muffins and pancakes (both gluten free), which are no compromise at all. I make a chocolate cake that is pretty good and I am still working on brownies.

My Friend in the Kitchen: Tapioca

It seems that tapioca is my friend. My mother always used instant tapioca to thicken pie fillings when I was a child, rather than cornstarch. It does have the telltale bumps in it, which I do not mind at all, but it is much cleaner a taste than the cornstarch, less sticky somehow. I know now that tapioca starch can be purchased much like cornstarch, so one could use that without the lumps for pie filling if desired.

I remember the years we would climb up in the neighbor’s cherry trees and pick cherries until we wished there was no such tree. Then we would sit together and pit the cherries, and mom would make wonderful pies, or sometimes just the sauce which we would put over ice cream.

Strawberry Experiments

So tonight I bought two bags full of organic frozen strawberries. What a treat! It is January and the snow is deep, and I can buy organic strawberries in Michigan! I determined that I wanted some sort of sauce or pudding made of strawberries.

I found one recipe that Diana, my Sis-in-Love, had found for me months ago, for a pureed strawberry/tapioca dessert. It seemed to be all sauce and no fruit, and I do not own (or want) a food processor or blender with which to puree fruit.

I found another recipe on the back of my pearl tapioca bag (I have instant tapioca, too, but I rather fancied the larger ones tonight). It was for standard milk-based tapioca pudding. I did not want any milk in mine but it gave me hints on how long to soak the tapioca, how long to boil and how long to simmer, before cooling.



And voila! I combined bits of both recipes, plus I tripled the amount of fruit the one recipe called for. And I made a wonderful dessert. We ate it warm like a pudding, but it would have been wonderful on ice cream or frozen yogurt. It would be a great topping on a humble poundcake or angel food cake.

Or, I am guessing, it might set up pretty hard after a long cooling night in the refrigerator, and it then could be eaten almost like a gelatin salad. I am making sure I don’t eat at least one of the portions until morning, so I can report back on that.

So here I present to you:

Very-Yummy Strawberry Dessert!

1/4c small pearl tapioca
1-1/2c water
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar (optional, or use white sugar)
1-1/2c Frozen Strawberries, organic if available

Measure berries and set aside in one layer, to thaw. Soak tapioca and water in saucepan for 30 minutes. While waiting, cut 1 cup of the berries into small pieces (may wish to thaw very briefly first). With a fork, mash remaining 1/2c berries (or puree in blender or food processor if desired).After the 30 minutes, add sugar and berries to pan.

Bring mixture to a full boil very briefly. Lower heat to very low, and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, allow to cool for 15 minutes. (At this point you may add 1tsp of vanilla or other flavoring of your choice, I did not do this myself.)

Makes four half-cup servings. Either pour over cake, ice cream, pancakes, or eat warm as pudding, or chill thoroughly in refrigerator and eat as a cool snack or light dessert. Consider topping with coconut flakes or whipped cream if desired.


I am guessing that you could mix up any fruit that was a little sweet and a little tart, and use the same recipe. Pie cherries or raspberries would be great but would need more sugar, blueberries might not need any sugar at all. The sky is the limit! Do let me know if you try it.

Do any of you have recipes calling for Tapioca in unusual ways? I’m all ears.

A Soup, A Recipe

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007


It seems I often post on holidays, of food. It seems appropriate even for those who do not share the same holidays I practice.

One of the few non-knitting blogs I read is The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. Paz not only lives in New York City, but did not grow up there. This means a view of the city from something of an outsider perspective.

Luckily that means that even though it is a food blog, we get “New York Mondays,” a repeating feature with at least one photograph from the city. Paz is a good photographer and i love that feature.

This is a normal food blog (as opposed to allergy-focused), written by someone who apparently grew up in Africa. Now, Africa is a huge place and I don’t know details other than Paz loves rice… and that is apparently tied to whatever foods were commonly served in the area of Africa where she (? I think I’ve determined that Paz is female after a year of reading) lived.

Anyway, this food blog is very interesting to me even when I can not eat the food featured. There has been bread baking, and lots of soupmaking, and talk of cilantro (Paz loves it) and plantains and beans and all sorts of other goodies from New York markets.

Then recently, a recipe for Green Pea Soup. Not split pea, but frozen/fresh peas. I love peas, they are a very good food for me right now, they are fresh and a bit sweet and filling. I figured I’d try the recipe (with lots of substitutes because of my allergies or what was in the house when I started).

Paz’ version includes bacon, potato and broth. Mine includes sliced deli turkey, white yam and water with a bit of Braggs Aminos (a not too appetizing name for unfermented soy sauce).

I got white yam at the asian market. It has a strong purple skin but the flesh is very white, and it’s a little nicer than potato, with a better texture cooked. It is not sweet though it looks a lot like the sweet potatoes that Americans call yams but which are not in the same family.

I had not tried white yam before, I did not know how quickly they would cook. Therefore, I cut mine into matchsticks and they sort of disintegrated while cooking, which worked fine but was time consuming. Next time I won’t cut them quite so small.

You can click the link to the original in the paragraph above. Or try my version, or mix them up and do what seems right. It’s very forgiving.

For the record, some people told Paz that this soup needed to be pureed in a blender. I am not at all big on blenders, and in this case I’m wondering if they were confusing this with split pea soup.

So mine, like the version Paz made, contains yummy whole veggies. Yum. It was incredibly satisfying, even for a person like me who is not fond of broth-based soups. I hope some of you will try this, it’s really easy and very filling, really sticks with you.

Green Pea Soup

1 bag (appx 500gm) frozen green peas

1 large white yam (or sub white potato), equals 3 cups of chopped matchstick pieces

2 Tbsp yellow onion, chopped very small

2 large fresh carrots (called for more but I was short)

2 liters/8 cups water (or use broth)

2 tbsp Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce, or skip if you used broth)

1/2 lb sliced deli turkey or other meat

2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter, or use your favorite sauteeing oil)

black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp marjoram (or sub parsley)

Melt ghee/oil in pot, sautee onion until clear and soft. Add meat and cook until it looks browned in some places (for flavor). Add peas, water and Braggs/soy sauce if using, turn heat on slow simmer.

Chop carrots and yam/potato into small pieces suitable for soup (can double number of carrots, I was at the end of my supply). Add to pot as you complete chopping each one.

Add pepper to taste, and add marjoram. Cook about 90 minutes on low. (In photo, I garnished with fresh parsley.)

Thankful, and a Pancake Recipe

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Today (Thanksgiving Day) I awoke to a small dusting of snow here, just enough to cover the blah gray colors of the last several days. The sun has managed to get some light through the cloudcover, and with the snow on the ground there is much light reflecting through the air today. The lack of light this week has rendered me grumpy and I am grateful for light this Thanksgiving day.

I’m sitting in the living room with laptop on my lap. There are windows on my left and right, and straight ahead. In this small room there are five old-fashioned, tall windows and a door with eight small panes of glass in it. I am more aware than usual of how I live in a sort of climate bubble, protected from the elements by a few thin walls and a good furnace. I’m grateful.

I am still waking up. I have a different schedule than the rest of the world (I am awake approximately 10:30am to 2:30am) and I do not jump start quickly when I get vertical first thing. Brian can wake up and run a sprint the next minute, but I barely know my name for a couple of hours. A cup of tea and some internet reading is the right way to start slowly, when at all possible.

I am drinking in this reflected sunlight… no sunbeams but real light just the same. Brian is playing ukulele in the chair across from me and I’m alternately knitting on my legwarmer and typing (sometimes my computer stops responding to even mouse clicks until I wait 10 seconds, it is so frustrating that I knit before trying again).

brownpancakes16.jpgBut I thought I’d give you a recipe for Thanksgiving. These are very pleasing to me. They are not standard-issue pancakes at all, but they have a lovely texture.

Depending on which spices you choose, they can have a different character. If you use orange juice to make the baking soda rise, try nutmeg and allspice. if no juice, consider cinnamon and cloves. Or try a combination I have not suggested, if it sounds good to you.

I like whole grain foods and have not had white bread or standard all-purpose wheat flour for several years. These pancakes have a strong, pleasant, sort of caramel flavor if you ask me. Brian swears that buckwheat tastes a bit like chocolate, but I can not quite understand that assertion. It could be a good thing, if you agreed!

One note… Teff grain is eaten in Ethiopia and nearly nowhere else, from what I can determine. It is a tiny grain with little room for starch… it’s very high in protein and fiber. If your area has an African grocery you can try there, but Africa is a huge place with many cultures and you still may come up empty handed. In my city we have an amazing asian market which also has African foods, and I can get Teff flour there in larger bags. I also can get the Bob’s Red Mill brand in smaller bags at the two health food grocery stores. If you want to try the pancakes right away and have no teff flour, try some rice flour instead, which works but is a second choice for texture and flavor, as well as nutrition. Buckwheat does not work well alone.

Tasty Brown Pancakes by LynnH

No gluten
No wheat
No dairy
No egg
No soy
No peanuts/tree nuts
No potato
No corn
No yeast

1 cup Whole-grain buckwheat flour (I use Arrowhead Mills, some other brands require less water)

1/2 c Teff flour (not teff grain, get from Bob’s Red Mill if not avail. locally) Sub brown rice flour in a pinch, though it contains less protein

1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed (acts as an egg-like binder and browns well… I added this ingredient after the first post of this recipe)

Optional: 2 Tbsp powdered goat milk (adds protein, not needed for culinary success)

3 Tbsp Brown sugar (or maple sugar, or white sugar in a pinch)

1/2 tsp cinnamon if tolerated

dash Nutmeg and/or
dash Allspice and/or
dash Cloves if tolerated

A) 1 tsp Baking Powder
B) 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 package Emergen-C Lite -OR-
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar -OR-
1/2 tsp Powdered vitamin c (corn free) -OR-
1 Tbsp Citrus juice

3 Tbsp Oil (High-heat resistant such as safflower, sunflower or grapeseed won’t stick)

2 c Warm-to-Hot (slightly less if you used citrus juice above or if you omit the flaxseed meal)

Preheat griddle on low before starting to mix ingredients. The THICKER the pan, the better the pancakes will fry. I now use a heavy cast iron skillet and hope for a true iron griddle someday.)

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and blend with wire whisk. Add wet ingredients and blend again with whisk, only until dry ingredients are wet. Let sit for at least 2 minutes while you turn up the heat on your griddle to medum-high. These pancakes require a slightly lower temperature than standard wheat pancakes.

Make relatively small pancakes, about 4″/10cm across, using a small measuring cup to pour onto the griddle. Turn when edges start to look a bit dry. Remove when browned on second side.

Serve hot off the griddle with real maple syrup or your favorite topping. I like hot applesauce with cinnamon, or try spiced pumpkin butter for an autumn treat.

In the summer we eat the leftover pancakes under ice cream and strawberries for dessert. They make good small peanut butter sandwich “bread” also.

Makes approx. 2 dozen pancakes.

Enjoy, and be Thankful for whatever good you’ve got. Some years are easy, some harder, but being alive is a wonderful thing.

What to Do with Peaches

Monday, August 27th, 2007

I got peaches Saturday and couldn’t stand to waste them. If I eat them fresh, I get hives. Brian can eat them, and I want him to do it just on my behalf… but this is a LOT of peaches even for someone like Brian who often eats a few pieces of fruit a day.

I had to go back in my mind for things I used to do with fresh peaches. They have always been my favorite fruit, assuming they were grown so close to home and grown on the tree until so ripe that they can get slightly squished on the way home. I love them sliced on oatmeal with a tiny bit of dark brown sugar. What else?

I really wanted to think of cooked peach goodies. I know folks make peach butter but that doesn’t excite me like baked goods can. Then I remembered! I used to make upside-down-gingerbread with peaches.

A Formula for Upside-Down Peach/Gingerbread Cake

This is not really a recipe, you need your own gingerbread batter. Here is how to change ordinary gingerbread into a fruited feast!

Find any gingerbread recipe that fits a square or round pan, basically enough for one layer of a two-layer cake. (For gluten-free friends, try substituting Arrowhead Mills or Hodgson Mills brand buckwheat flour for wheat flour, and my experience is that it will work out in a cake-like recipe, just fine.)

Cut relatively thin slices of peach, the cake does not need all the fruit from one large peach so enjoy the leftovers fresh right there. Don’t bother peeling the fruit, as it is unnoticeable after baking.

Then put the thin slices on towels and dry out the fruit, top and bottom, so that it’s not running with juice. I like white woven dish towels with smooth texture, but even paper toweling can work. If you skip this, the bottom layer of the cake batter will stay like batter after baking.

Oil or grease your pan. If you use a stick of butter or margarine and smear it rather generously on the bottom, this will interact with the brown sugar and make a sort of caramel which is lovely and much better than sprayed-on oil. (Oil the sides, too, because you will turn the cake out of the pan after baking.)

Arrange slices of peach, and sprinkle with dark brown sugar if you have it, or maple sugar (not syrup), or any other sugar. Again, it is there to make a bit of a caramel next to the peaches.

Pour the batter on the fruit and sugar, distribute properly. Bake as directed (it may take an extra 5 minutes with the extra moisture on the bottom. Cool a short while, 5-10 minutes until it’s more firm but not totally cool. Place a cake plate on top of baking pan and invert. Hope that the baking luck is with you and it stays together well. It’s Soooooooooo Good!