Following our trials and tribulations as we attempt to remove all grains, many starchy vegetables and most sugars from our diet while maintaining our love of good food! We strive to make all of our recipes GAPS and/or SCD compliant. Note: We didn't know about "Grain-Free Gourmet" when we chose our name. We are not affiliated with those good folks.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hazelnut Cake with Coffee Buttercream Frosting

I just turned 40. I wanted to have a special cake to celebrate. This one was a hit with everyone. There was only one piece left over, and I had to hide it to keep it safe ;)

Ingredients for cake

2 2/3 cups hazelnuts
8 Tbs. honey
8 large eggs, separated
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt


Lightly toast hazelnuts in a 350 degree (F) oven. This takes about 15 minutes. They will just start to smell fragrant when ready. Allow to cool slightly. Place hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove most of the skin. This does not have to be perfect. Discard skins. Finely grind skinned hazelnuts in a food processor. Use the pulse function to avoid over-processing (you don't want hazelnut butter).

Set oven to 300 degrees (F). Butter two nine inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper as well.

Combine egg yolks, two tablespoons honey, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in ground hazelnuts and set aside. Make sure this mixture stays at room temperature.

In a clean dry bowl, with clean dry beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 6 tablespoons honey. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy.

Fold two tablespoons egg white mixture into hazelnut mixture. Continue gently folding in whites a tablespoon and a time.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Slide knife around edge of pan and gently pry up parchment paper. Turn out first layer onto platter. Thinly frost with coffee buttercream. Top with second layer, and frost more thickly with additional buttercream.

Ingredients for Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-4 Tbs. honey
1-2 Tbs. strong espresso, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Method for Frosting

Cream butter and lesser amount of honey until light and fluffy. Taste. Add more honey, if desired. With mixer running, slowly beat in lesser amount of espresso. Taste. Add more espresso, if desired. Beat in vanilla. Must be used at room temperature, but may be stored in refrigerator.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Milk Kefir Instructions

I couldn't find any clear, concise kefir-making instructions on the web, when I did a quick Google search. So I thought I'd post what I do. This makes some yummy kefir!


2 Tbs. kefir grains
3 1/2 cups milk (preferably whole, non-homogenized)


Place kefir grains in clean quart sized glass jar. Pour milk over grains. Leave about an inch of head space. Cover loosely with lid. Leave on the counter, at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Occasionally tighten the lid and shake the jar. The milk will start to separate a bit, leaving pockets of whey throughout the jar. When it is fermented it will taste tart, like yogurt, with a yeasty, cheesy flavor as well.

Shake the kefir before straining through a fine mesh stainless steel sieve, pushing the kefir through with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, if necessary. The grains will remain in the sieve and can be reused indefinitely to ferment milk and/or cream. (They will multiply and grow too, and can be eaten as an excellent probiotic source.)

Store strained kefir in a sealed pitcher or jar in the refrigerator. Consume within two weeks. Place grains in a clean jar to start another batch.

Storing grains when not in use--cover with fresh milk and refrigerate for up to one week. This produces kefir at a slower rate, and you can drink the product. Alternately, cover the grains with fresh milk and freeze for up to several months. The product of this method should be tossed. Grains will need to be "refreshed" after freezing, by being put into fresh milk. The product of this first post-freezer ferment may need to be tossed as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cowboy Stew

No actual cowboys were harmed in the making of this stew.


 2-3 T cooking fat
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Annaheim or Poblano pepper, chopped
1 large yellow summer squash or 1 medium zucchini, chopped
1-2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1-2 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 lb ground beef
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 quart beef broth
1/2 - 1 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed (optional)

Saute the onions in the fat until they begin to soften, then add the garlic and stir a little longer.

Add the spices and salt, and stir.  Add the chopped peppers and zucchini and saute for 5-10 minutes, or until they soften.  Add a little of the broth if the vegetables start to get dry.

Add the beef and keep stirring to break it up and let it brown a little.  Pour in the stock and add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it cook, covered, for about 30 minutes.

When it is done, remove it from heat, stir in the cilantro if using, and taste it.  Add more salt and spices if needed.  You can also crush a clove or 2 of raw garlic in at this point if you want it to have more "bite". 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cole Slaw


1/2 yellow onion
3 carrots
1 large green cabbage

for the dressing:
1/4 c plus 2 T olive oil
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 T lemon juice
honey to taste


Grate or puree the onion in a food processor.  Grate the carrots.  Put the thin slicing blade on the food processor and slice the cabbage.  Place the vegetables in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk together the ingredients and pour over the vegetables.  Stir to coat thoroughly, then taste and adjust the seasonings.

Layered Popsicles

I'm always looking for a way to make food that is fun and interesting for my kids.  Sometimes it's about making things in fun shapes, other times it's about presentation, and other times it has to do with color.  Popsicles are fun, but they had lost their novelty for us, so I came up with this version.

You can make as many layers as you want in as many colors as you want.  Layers can be either fruit/veggie juice, like popsicles, or can be ice cream.  You can use coconut ice cream, peach ice cream (which can be made with other fruit such as pear or mango), or kefir cream ice cream

I found that layers work best with both a strong flavor as well as an ingredient to give it a bright color.  Here are some ideas for layers:

lime/kale or other leafy green, or celery
raspberry or strawberry/beet
lemon/golden beet

If you want to sweeten the layers, heat the juice just enough to dissolve some honey in it (to taste).  If you put a layer of vanilla ice cream between two orange layers, it's like a creamsicle.

To make the popsicles, pour a layer of juice into the bottom of each mold and let it freeze.  Once the bottom layer is frozen (or nearly frozen), then pour another layer of juice or spoon a layer of ice cream in.  Continue this process until you have created all of your layers.  Inserting the stick or handle can be a bit tricky since you can't stick it into an already frozen layer.  The molds that I have have a handle with a small stick, so it just got frozen into the last layer.  If you do it this way, you have to be very careful when removing the popsicles from the molds or they can come apart at the layers.  It would work better to put long sticks in that go through each layer, and have some way of holding them up, such as covering the molds with plastic wrap or foil that will hold the sticks in place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crab and Asparagus Salad

This salad turned some leftovers into a fabulous lunch.


1 c crab meat
1 c cooked asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 c mild cheese, cut into small cubes (optional)
2 T olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp curry powder or cumin
salt and pepper to taste


Combine the crab meat, asparagus, tomatoes, and cheese (if using) in a bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over the food and stir to coat, then sprinkle on the salt and pepper and curry powder and stir.  Pour on the lemon juice and stir again. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cauliflower Fried Rice

This dish was mentioned in a very early post, but my husband has been working on it and it is definitely worthy of its own post now.  It was just delicious and is quite different than most of our GAPS dinners.  Leftovers also reheat well.


3 T unrefined sesame oil
1 head of cauliflower
1 small head of broccoli
1 bell pepper (red or yellow)
1 carrot
1 onion
1-2 jalapenos (optional)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
Green onions


Fit the grating blade onto the food processor and grate the head of cauliflower.  Steam the grated cauliflower for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

Chop the broccoli, bell pepper, and carrot and set aside in a bowl.  Chop the onion and jalapenos (if using) and put them in another bowl.

Lightly scramble the two eggs so that they are about half cooked, set aside.  In another small bowl, mix together the toasted sesame oil and the vinegar, set aside.

Heat the sesame oil in a large iron skillet or wok so that it is very hot but not smoking (the surface of the oil will ripple).  Put in the grated cauliflower and stir constantly, keeping the heat on high.  Keep cooking like this until the cauliflower begins to brown, at least 3 minutes or so.  Add the mixture of toasted sesame oil and vinegar and stir.

Add the onions and jalapenos if using.  Cook for several minutes until the onions start to soften.  Then add the other veggies and saute to until they reach the desired level of doneness. 

Turn off the heat and add the eggs, stirring until they finish cooking.


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