Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


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Rice Cooker Kichari

Yummmmm!!! I just finished making this, and it’s delicious. Much creamier than my normal kichari, because my stove-top pot is too small for a proper batch, and it boils all over.

Well. So did this.

But the end result is worth it, and I didn’t have to stand there and *watch* it boil over. I was in the other room, doing something more productive while it boiled over. 😀 I’ll figure out how to fix the boiling over thing, but in the meantime, if you don’t mind a bit of a mess, this is THE STUFF here.

I took half a cup of mung beans (split and shelled) and half a cup of rice — completely forgot to soak either, but it worked out juuuust fine, except for the oft-mentioned boil over — and put them in the rice cooker with my standard 2 cups of water (for cooking rice). After a moment’s pondering, I added another cup or so of water, just for good measure and so I wouldn’t scorch the pooptarts out of my rice cooker. Plugged it in, turned it on. Left it alone. (My rice cooker only has one setting: “on”, so no complexity here).

In the meantime, I’d put some olive oil (I’m out of ghee) in a saucepan and started it heating, and chopped up a large potato and put that in the microwave to cook. Sautéed sliced onions and some garlic with cumin seeds in the oil,then added a dollop (about 1 Tbsp) of bacon grease from the fridge. If you’re veg, then this is not for you. :} Sorry. I wanted a little more richness than I could get with just olive oil. Added turmeric, curry powder, salt, and some other goodies – what I had on the counter – and let the onions get soft. The potatoes dinged, so I threw those in too, to get the benefit of the spices and oniony-ness and good mojo. Let that finish up for a few more minutes, then turned it off and went to weave in the other room.

Shortly thereafter, I heard the ungentle hissing of an epic boilover, but I really couldn’t be bothered to get up and check… what could I do, other than wring my hands and say “oh, dear, it’s boiling over”? After about 20 minutes, the rice cooker clicked into its warm cycle, and I bustled into the kitchen to move it to another bowl before it could crust to the surface of the rice pan. Put in oil, onions, garlic, and potatoes, and stirred. After I combined the mixtures, I tasted it – needed more spices, so I added them to taste.

The texture is smooth and creamy, unlike the slightly crunchy way it turns out on the stove. It’s pretty bodacious and I am gleefully happy with this recipe. HOORAY!!

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Crockpot Butter Chicken

I’ve been planning to try this for a while, and today was The Day. I picked a slow cooker butter chicken recipe and here we go.

The recipe I’m trying today is this one:
http://www.chefdehome.com/Recipes/597/restaurant-style-butter-chicken-in-slow-cooker

restaurant-style-easy-indian-butter-chicken-slow-cooker-chefdehome-4

This is chefdehome’s image — not mine.

It looks yummy, and — if the smell from my kitchen is anything to go by – will be delicious. I hate to say this, but I basically followed the recipe, so you might as well go over to chefdehome and check her recipe out. It’s already gluten free, because it has no hing (asafoetida), which is almost always cut with wheat.

Happy cooking! I’ll let you know how this is when it comes out of the cooker… can’t wait.


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Quinoa pudding in the rice cooker!

You may sense a trend here.

I’m having a season of stomach problems, and frankly all I want is to eat things that make me happy. Rice pudding makes me happy. 😉  However, when I posted my last rice pudding post, a friend who can’t eat rice asked me if it could be made with quinoa… so last night I tried it. I tried it in the rice cooker, because a couple of the quinoa pudding recipes I sought out used the words “bain marie”, and nothing makes me run faster than those two words. Shudder. I thought to myself, I bet it would work using the rice cooker, and so it did. Life is good, my friends. I BANNED THE BAIN MARIE!

It tastes good, although quinoa doesn’t soak up as much liquid as rice, so it was a little sloppier. However, I wanted to try the recipe with only one substitution, so I was prepared for that, and frankly, I don’t mind a bit. This morning it’s solidified and is properly “puddingy”.

If you’d like to make your own, follow the directions from the last post (linked above in the text) and just substitute 1 cup of well-rinsed quinoa. (In the interests of full disclosure, I did a typically crummy job of rinsing it, frankly: just swished it around in a colander lined with paper towel for a few rinses, then plopped it in the cooker. Just to be honest.) It doesn’t taste exactly the same as rice pudding, because the quinoa will contribute its own nutty taste (I often think of it as green), but it’s a very nice substitute if you’re looking to get more nutritional value out of your desserts or if you can’t eat rice.

Enjoy!

 

 


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Another variant of rice pudding

Because seriously, who ever gets enough rice pudding? Sometimes, you’re just sitting around in the evening, and you think: “screw it. I need some rice pudding. Stat.” But who wants to stand around in front of the stove for 20 minutes? Sometimes, OK, me. But not this evening. So I made the hinkiest, quickest, and yet still yummy version of rice pudding ever. Ready?

  1. I put 1 cup of rice (all I had was Basmati, although I prefer a short or medium grain) in the rice cooker, with 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and two tablespoons of butter. Put that sucker on to cook, and waited for it to be done.
  2. As soon as it was finished (so while still hot), I moved it over into a large bowl.
  3. I added another cup of liquids, this time almond milk/coconut milk mixed. (It’s what I had)
  4. Stirred in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, added cinnamon and ground cardamom.
  5. Chopped in 3 dates.

BOOM. Rice pudding.

IMG_6514


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Desserts of my dreams: butter toffee

I have been afraid of candy making forever. Literally, for dang ever. However, I love toffee and caramel, and they’re among the few of my most beloved desserts that I can have unchanged from their original form. So this last weekend, my mom helped me to make a batch of toffee using my great-grandmother’s recipe.

My great-grandfather, you see, was so fond of toffee that she always kept a bowl of it handy so he could crunch whenever he liked. Clearly, my sweet-toothed acorn didn’t fall far from that toffee-crunching tree. 😀

Unfortunately, I got home this week and I don’t have Great-Grandma’s recipe; so I had to try it from memory.

This was a dismal failure. I didn’t have enough sugar in the mix, so well before it could get to hard-crack stage (or even hard-ball stage), it just sort of sludged out and sat in the pot, looking at me dismally and in a greasy apathy. I poured it out anyway, and ended up with some clarified butter sitting on top of a hardening mixture that was not entirely unlike toffee. SIGH.

I gave up and looked at toffee recipes online, and I think this one is almost the same. It’s very close, in any case; and hopefully I’ll remember to get the actual family recipe from Mom and compare notes here. In the meantime: TOFFEE!

It’s the 4-Ingredient Toffee from Betty Crocker, and I didn’t make any changes to it, as I’m still more than a little wary of the inexplicable alchemy that is candy making. (If I know a handy Potter-esque phrase for “Become toffee and then get in my mouth”, I would use it now. “Accio” doesn’t quite fit the bill.)

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/4-ingredient-toffee/71be0a31-a3bb-4862-8086-39fcedb883ee

It actually took me much more like 20 minutes (than the 13 in the recipe) to get the mixture to hard-crack stage, which I think means I can turn up the heat a little. :} Next time, I’ll try to get someone to be here to take photos as I patiently and slowly stir.

(Another recipe, for kicks: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/159/English-Toffee)


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The Morning Of “Oh!”

Please bear with me, dear readers, for this is not a description of delicious food I have made, nor is it a recipe for such; this is the story of my morning, in which most of my sentences seem to be starting with the exclamation, “Oh!” as I realize I’ve forgotten or botched something.

First, there was the fish oil gel capsule that I tried to squeeze into the dog’s food. I made the requisite tiny slice at one end, picked up the capsule and squeezed — and a lively stream of fish oil leapt from the capsule, squirted down the length of the kitchen floor, ending on the refrigerator. Apparently I had the hole on the side, instead of pointing at the dog dish.

Then, while cleaning it up, I stepped in it and slid — coating my foot in intensely-smelly fish oil, and spreading the invisible oil further. (Side note: the fish oil regime is a new one, and my dog *hates* fish, it seems… except when the oil is on my foot. He’s laying across my ankles and licking my foot assiduously. I’ve given up even trying to get away. If I want to administer fish oil to the dog, I guess I’ll have to start squirting the capsules onto my feet. And if I miss, hey, maybe I’ll hit the dog dish. Win/win!)

What time did you say breakfast would be served? I'm ready any time. Now is a good time.

What time did you say breakfast would be served? I’m ready any time. Now is a good time.

Then I sliced open a beautiful avocado for putting into my morning smoothie. It was gorgeous! Creamy, the perfect color, luxuriantly soft… I finished making my smoothie, turned around and – “oh!” – there was the avocado, sitting on the counter, looking innocent. I know it must have wiggled away while I was getting the quinoa out of the fridge. There’s no other explanation. (sigh)

I hard-boiled some eggs, put out a bowl of ice water to chill them as soon as the timer went off, and then absent-mindedly moved the pan of boiling water and eggs off the burner, turning it off… and wandering off without putting the eggs in the ice water.

Mind, this is all I know about. I haven’t tasted my tea yet, I might have put salt in it instead of sugar… lol I think I need to go back to bed. :}


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Beef Stew (And Wallpaper Paste)

Well, my friends, I knew I would have some failures – and I come to you today, shifting my weight from foot to foot and rolling my cap nervously in my hands, because last night I made beef stew that could probably also be used as wallpaper paste if you were in a pinch. lol

I don’t know why I thought it would be a great idea to dredge the beef in flour before browning it; but for some reason I did, and once I started, my hands took over and my brain shut off, and I went through the process as thought I were making fried chicken, and then suddenly I found myself facing a pot of beef “gruel” instead of stew. Well.

It’s not really *that* bad. It tastes ok. And God knows I have A LOT of it.

BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAaaaaa. So today begins the Reclaiming Of The Gruel!! Because sometimes you have to be gruel to be kind, in the right measure, or something like that.

Snort.

So, um. I guess, when you’re cooking, you should probably pay attention. And the second moral of this story: this is why I didn’t become a surgeon.

Well, as I said in the “About Me” page, I’m not a chef, and part of the entertainment value of this blog will be watching my amazing failures. 😀 See you soon!!