Tag Archives: grain-free

Butternut Squash Casserole

Pesach is around the corner and I’ve hardly mentioned anything about preparations, menu plans, or recipes!    Tonight I was writing out my list of dishes to make for Passover, and remembered this recipe.  Butternut squash is a fantastic food – packed with nutrients, delicious, and very, very versatile.  Here’s a recipe that can be used as a side dish for a main meal or as a pudding for dessert. 

Butternut Squash Casserole

  • 2 c. butternut squash, cooked (I like to bake mine at 350 degrees until soft, then mash it)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. honey (I prefer the smaller amount of sweetener)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 2 T. grated coconut
  • 1/2 t. powdered ginger

Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Pour into buttered pan and bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  Serve warm as a side dish or chilled as a pudding. 


(This is part of the Real Food Digest Passover roundup– be sure to check there for more great Pesach ideas!) 


Raisin Walnut Scones (grain free)

I was speaking to a friend yesterday who recently took gluten out of her family’s diet and mentioned how challenging it can be to make foods the kids enjoy.  Though we’re not officially gluten or grain free, most of what I cook is, so I shared with her some recipe ideas.  I also mentioned the scones we had just had for breakfast which are gluten and sugar free, and am posting it here for everyone else to enjoy!  I made four times this recipe for our family of 11, so it’s suitable for a small family as written.

Raisin Walnut Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in the other, and then combine the two mixtures.  Mix.   Add in the raisins and walnuts.  Drop by spoonfuls on a greased or lined baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, and enjoy warm with butter.

(This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Real Food Wednesdays.)


Apple Meatloaf

This was an experiment I just tried – usually we make a plain and simple meatloaf, but  figured it would be fun to try something new!  The basic concept came from this recipe.

Apple Meatloaf

  • 6 lb ground beef
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 c. applesauce (I used homemade chunky applesauce from apples we harvested:))
  • 1 15 oz can tomato puree
  • 2 T. prepared mustard
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 1 t. pepper

Saute the onions and garlic in oil of your choice until translucent (I used rendered chicken fat).  Mix the sauteed vegetables into the ground beef.  In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, tomato puree, mustard, and spices – this is done now so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed in and will combine well with the meat mixture.  Mix applesauce mixture with ground beef mixture, and mix well.

Place mixture into two deep 9 x 13 pans (it can fill up to four pans, depending how full you want them to be), and smooth the top with a spoon.  You can also use loaf pans, if you prefer.  (I like 9 x 13 pans since that’s the only size I have that is stainless steel, so I try to use them for everything!  :lol:) Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

The meatloaf has an interesting (and tasty!) flavor, and a texture that is firm enough to slice but slightly looser than your typical meatloaf.  It’s grain-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free.  It’s also suitable for the GAPS diet; I made it now to feed my freezer so I’ll have it on hand when I hopefully introduce GAPS to my family next week.

(This recipe is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.)


Three Color Vegetable Kugel

We made this kugel for the first time four years ago.  At that time, I was in my ninth month, and had just finished turning over the kitchen for Pesach (Passover), when I went into labor two weeks early.  The baby was born (at home, as planned), and after the kids finished holding and cooing over him (that took a couple of hours!), my older daughters (then ages 9 and 11) asked me for the list I had prepared the night before.  On it, I had made lists of food we’d need to make for the shalom zachor if we had a boy, as well as other Pesach foods.

They went right into the kitchen and together with their 12 year old brother, got busy cooking for our shalom zachor that was held the next night, and continued to do the cooking for the bris, which was held in our home the first day of Pesach.  They did an incredible job – I didn’t do anything but answer questions when they periodically came in to my room to ask about how to prepare something.

This was one of the dishes they made for the bris – it’s not only visually appealing, but everyone who tasted it loved it!  I slightly adapted the recipe from Passover Seders Made Simple, by Zell Schulman (she uses margarine, matza meal, egg substitute, and sugar).  It’s a little labor intensive since each layer has to be prepared separately, but I maximize the time spent by preparing several times the recipe – it’s not much work to make a much larger recipe than to make just one.

Three Color Vegetable Kugel

  • 1 lb cauliflower, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cooked until soft
  • 1 lb carrots, sliced
  • 1 lb yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 12 oz broccoli, chopped and steamed until soft (spinach is also good)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1/4 t. tumeric
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 T. potato starch (or arrowroot, if you’re not making it for Passover)
  • 6 eggs

Put carrots and yams in a pot with the orange juice and a cup of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer until soft.  Drain.

Saute the onion and garlic in oil and saute until the onion is translucent.  If you have a food processor, process the cauliflower and 1/2 of the cooked potatoes together until somewhat smooth; if you don’t, then mash them as well as you can with a fork or potato masher.  Add 1/2 the sauteed onions and garlic, cumin, tumeric, and 1/2 T. potato starch, and process a little more.  Add 2 eggs to the food processor and process for 1 minute, then add salt and pepper to taste.   This will be your first layer – pour it into loaf pan (9 “x 5 1/2″ x 3”) lined with parchment paper or make sure it’s greased well.  It should fill the pan about a third of the way; smooth the top.

Now take the cooked carrots and yams and put them in the (rinsed out) food processor.  Process, then add cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add 2 eggs and process again.  Add 1 T. potato starch, process.  Pour this mixture on top of the potato mix in the pan, and smooth the top again.

Rinse the food processor container again.  :)  Put the steamed broccoli, the remaining half of the cooked potatoes, and the other half of the sauteed onions and garlic into the processor, and blend.  Add 2 eggs, process for a minute, then add 1 T. potato starch and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse one more time.  Pour the broccoli layer on top of the carrot layer and smooth it evenly.  Now you’ve finally finished with the food processor and can wash it and put it away.  :)

Cover the pan of kugel lightly so that it’s still open at the edges (you don’t want it to brown on top but you don’t want it to steam, either), and bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  This refrigerates well, and should be sliced and reheated before serving.

I don’t usually buy any exciting spices for Passover since I know I won’t really use them, so when I make this for Passover, I don’t use cumin, tumeric, or nutmeg.  It’s still delicious!  Just be sure to add enough salt and pepper so it won’t be bland.  Also, if it seems like you need more thickener for any given layer, you can increase the potato starch – if that’s necessary will depend somewhat on how well-drained your veggies are.



Twice Baked Potatoes

I’ve made these a number of times, always varying the recipe according to what I have on hand.  It’s very inexpensive, easy to adapt, and it always tastes great!  We make double this amount for a lunch meal, but a smaller family would probably do better to halve it.  :)

Twice Baked Potatoes

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 – 1/2  c. butter or coconut oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion (any kind – white, green, or red)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional – 2 c. shredded vegetables (carrots, broccoli, spinach, napa, cauliflower, zucchini or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 c. milk/cream/sour cream
  • 2 c. cheese (hard cheese or cottage/ricotta, or combination of )
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Wash the potatoes well, prick them with a fork, and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until tender.

    While the potatoes are baking, saute the chopped onions and garlic in butter.  When they are soft and translucent, add the finely chopped/shredded vegetables of your choice.  Cover them and continue cooking on low until they are soft.

    When the potatoes are done, scoop out the insides, and mash them with milk, cream, or sour cream.  Mix in the sauteed vegetables, then the cheese.  (If you’re using hard cheese, reserve some to sprinkle on top at the end.)  Add salt and pepper to taste, mix well.  Then add the mixture to the empty potato shells – it will be overflowing, especially if you add the optional vegetables.

    Sprinkle some hard cheese on top, then pop them back into the oven for another 10 or so.  Serve warm.

    (This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.)


    Mock Larabars (grain free)

    This is delicious enough for a snack and nutritious enough for a quick breakfast!  This is our adaptation of this recipe, which was an adaptation of yet another recipe!   There are endless ways to play around with this basic recipe.

    Mock Larabars

    • 2 c. sliced almonds (ideally soaked and dehydrated- can use different nuts according to your tastes), processed finely
    • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
    • 3/4 c. coconut oil
    • 2 t. vanilla
    • 2 T. cocoa
    • 1/2 c. pecan meal (you can use any nut flour)
    • 1/2 c. raisins
    • 1/2 c. dates

    Melt the coconut oil, add in vanilla.  Mix all dry ingredients, then whiz in a food processor with the coconut oil.  Add the dried fruit, and whiz again.  (You might find it blends up better if you process the dried fruit alone, then add it in again and the end and process it again.)

    Press the mixture firmly into a greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.

    When ds16 first mixed these up, he didn’t process the sliced almonds, which was why he initially thought they were a failure – they didn’t look like they’d hold together.  He added eggs and more nut flour to compensate, but if you do what you’re supposed to in the beginning, you won’t have to.  :)

    Thanks to the dates and cocoa combination, these have a sweet, almost chocolatey flavor.  At least that’s what someone like me who has hardly had any sweeteners in my food for two years thinks!  Seriously, though, my kids all loved these.  The biggest challenge is to wait after eating one to realize you’re satiated before gulping more down – they’re packed with healthy fats and are extremely satisfying.  If you want it to be sweeter, use a cup of dates instead of half a cup of raisins and half a cup of dates, or you can double the amount of dates/dried fruit. Or you could add some honey.  :)

    (This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.)


    Pear Crisp – Grain free

    >>Would you be able to share your recipe for grain-free pear crisp, and the pecan pie crust? I’m trying to cut down on flour and grain products as well, and it’s challenging to adapt my favorite recipes to this new way of eating.<<

    I can relate to the challenge of adapting to a new way of eating!

    The pear crisp was more of a concept that I tried out than a recipe, so I don’t have exact measurements.  It’s the kind of thing that will turn out however you make it, though!  Here’s what I did:

    Slice up a bunch of pears, and put them into a greased baking pan.  Pour thick coconut cream (or dairy cream) over the sliced fruit and mix so the pear slices are thoroughly coated.  In a separate bowl, mix coconut oil, ground nuts, shredded unsweetened coconut, and some spices – ground cloves are good with pears.  This will be the topping; sprinkle it on top of the sliced pears.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until the pears are soft and the topping is crispy.

    You can use other fruits for this, also.  The main difference would be in the spices you use.  If I were using apples, for example, then I’d use cinnamon and nutmeg. Summer fruits like peaches, apricots, and plums would also go well with cinnamon.

    I made the coconut cream from scratch that I used for this; I’ll share the process sometime in the next couple of weeks.  If you can’t find kosher coconut cream, you can boil down coconut milk until it gets thick and rich.  How long you boil it down will depend on how high fat the milk that you’re using is in the first place.  You can also make this dairy by using heavy cream instead of coconut cream, and using butter instead of coconut oil for the crumb topping.

    My family is used to less sweeteners than most, so I didn’t add anything to this.  But if your family is used to more sweetness, then you’ll probably want to add something to enhance the natural sweetness of the pears.