Unbelievable Chili

Today is the first day of fall. With the weather actually cooling down, I feel like I can use my oven and start making soups again! Chili has long been a family favorite, and one more dish I thought was gone forever once I found I couldn’t eat nightshades. For what is chili without tomatoes and peppers? Well, it’s pretty good, actually. Much to the surprise of my tasters (including me), this chili looks and tastes like, well, chili.

unbelievable_chiliUnbelievable Chili

1 lbs ground beef (450 g)
1 large onion, diced (140 g)
6 cloves garlic, minced (18 g)
2 T dried oregano leaves
1 T cumin
2 t ground coriander
2 t dried thyme leaves
1 t salt
½ t ground black pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1¾ c pureed pumpkin (425 g)
4 c Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce (click here for recipe)
2 c water

  1. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic
  2. Add spices and cook until onion is soft and translucent
  3. Stir in pumpkin, tomato-free sauce, and water
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened

Yield 2 qts chili

NOTE:

  • This is a rather mild chili recipe. For a hotter blend, try adding small amounts of one or more other spicy ingredients (such as wasabi, horseradish, or ground mustard) to taste.
  • Several people have asked what looks like tomatoes in the bowl–it’s onions, colored red by the beets and cranberries in the tomato-free sauce!

What do you like to start cooking up in fall?

Basic Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of the ubiquitous sides dishes of summer. I can hardly imagine a holiday barbecue without it. Once I’d figured out how to make my own mayonnaise, this was one of the first dishes I needed to make! This version is more savory and less sweet than most, but the crowd here seems to think it’s just about perfect.

basic_coleslawBasic Coleslaw

1½ c mayonnaise (click here for my recipe)
6 T white wine vinegar (see notes)
1½ t salt
¾ t ground white pepper (see notes)
1 head cabbage, shredded (2.75 lbs/1.25 kg)
1 c grated carrots (110 g)

  1. Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth
  2. Add cabbage and carrots, stirring until well coated
  3. For best results, cover and refrigerate overnight; stir before serving

Yield about 4 lbs (see notes)

NOTES

  • Other types of vinegar may be used as well. I prefer white wine because it is grain free and doesn’t have the fruitiness of apple cider vinegar.
  • Using white pepper is totally for aesthetic reasons. Ground black pepper works just fine, but leaves little black specks.
  • To make a smaller amount, or if pressed for time, substitute one 14-16 oz package of coleslaw mix for the cabbage and add ½ c mayonnaise, 2 T vinegar, ½ t salt, and ¼ t pepper.

What is your favorite summer food?

Avocado Oil Mayonnaise

When I started avoiding nightshades, I quickly discovered paprika in the most unexpected of places, like mayonnaise and mustard. While a few brands of mayo don’t contain paprika, limiting soy left me hard pressed to find a jar of mayonnaise at the store I could eat. I had heard of Primal Kitchen Mayo, made with avocado oil, but I couldn’t find it in my budget to spend $10 plus shipping for a cup and a half of mayonnaise! Now, avocado oil itself isn’t cheap, but it does cost only about half that to make at home, and as an added bonus, you can teach your kids about emulsions.

avocado_oil_mayonnaiseAvocado Oil Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk
2 t lemon juice
1 t cold water
¼ t salt
¼ t honey (optional, see notes)
⅞ c avocado oil

  1. Using an electric mixer or immersion blender (see notes), whip together egg yolk, lemon juice, water, salt, and honey, if using
  2. With beaters running, add oil in a thin stream, no wider than a pencil lead
  3. Use or refrigerate immediately

Yield 1 cup mayonnaise

NOTES

  • This recipe is sugar-free with the optional honey omitted.
  • I’ve had the most consistent results using either the regular blade or the whisk attachment for my immersion blender (both work equally well). I’ve also used a standard handheld mixer with either the whisk attachment or the regular beaters. The handheld mixer does not seem to get the mayonnaise quite as thick and creamy as the immersion blender. I have not had good luck using a standard blender.

What do you consider the best use for mayonnaise?

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It’s that time of year again. If you garden, or know someone who does, there is bound to be an abundance of zucchini in your life. I like zucchini many ways, but baked into bread has to be one of my favorites. Add some chocolate to that and we have a sure winner on our hands! I sent my most recent loaf to my husband’s office, saving just one piece each for the kids. All three of them finished their few bites and begged for more. Next time, maybe I need to make two loaves. (Please excuse the fuzzy photo. Our camera is not working and I’m trying to make do my phone.)

chocolate_zucchini_breadChocolate Zucchini Bread

½ c coconut flour (57 g)
½ c arrowroot starch (57 g)
6 T cocoa powder (30 g)
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
8 large eggs
½ c coconut oil, melted
1/3 c honey (114 g)
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 c shredded zucchini (170 g)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan, or line with parchment
  3. Whisk together coconut flour, arrowroot starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy and uniform in color
  5. Stir in oil, honey, and vinegar
  6. Beat egg mixture into flour mixture until smooth
  7. Add zucchini and mix until thoroughly combined
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan
  9. Bake for 50-55 min until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean

Yield 1 loaf of bread

NOTES

  • Arrowroot starch may also be called “arrowroot flour”
  • The batter combines more smoothly if eggs are room temperature. Chilled eggs may harden the coconut oil, which yields a slightly heavier loaf with a coarser top.
  • For best results, allow bread to cool completely before slicing.

What is your favorite way to cook zucchini?

Fluffy Pancake Mix

Pancakes were one of the first things I learned to make without grains. It didn’t seem to take too much effort to come up with a good recipe that tasted and felt like “real” pancakes using peanut butter or almond flour. It wasn’t until I decided to work up a nut-free version that I ran into problems. The batter was too stiff or the cakes were too grainy or the whole thing tasted a little funny. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to get the final product just right. It wasn’t until I tried a slightly different approach that I discovered pancake greatness. These pancakes are perfectly light and fluffy and taste just like pancakes should. The kids gobbled them up, then asked for more, twice!

Fluffy Pancake Mixfluffy pancakes

1⅓ c coconut flour (150 g)
¼ c maple sugar or dark brown sugar (50 g)–optional, see notes
2 T psyllium husk powder (18 g)
1 T cream of tartar
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
  1. Stir together mix ingredients
  2. Store in an airtight container

Yield: 1½ c mix (enough for 24 pancakes)

To make pancakes:

¼ c packed pancake mix (40 g)
4 large eggs
3 T olive oil–or other liquid oil, see notes
2 t vanilla extract–optional

  1. Measure pancake mix into a medium bowl
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth
  3. Pour by ¼ c onto nonstick griddle over medium heat
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until edges are set and bubbles remain in the center
  5. Flip and cook on second side for an additional minute, until browned

Yield 4 cakes

NOTES:

  1. I have made this mix without any sugar, with 2 T sugar, and as written. The batter is a bit thicker and pours a little less easily with no sugar than with sugar, but it still pours well. We don’t usually add syrup to our pancakes, so I found the sugarless version didn’t quite have enough sweetness for our family. I liked the mix with 2 T sugar, but the kids weren’t quite convinced it was so great. As written, they loved the pancakes with no additional toppings.
  2. I do not recommend making this recipe with coconut oil as it gets too thick to pour. If coconut oil must be used, I suggest either bringing eggs to room temperature before mixing in melted coconut oil or scooping the thick batter onto the griddle and spreading it out into an even round.
  3. My daughter prefers silver-dollar pancakes to standard 5- to 6-in cakes. For her, I’ll pour just 1 T batter for each cake. At this size, they cook more quickly, 1½-2 minutes on the first side.

How do you like your pancakes?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!

Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce

When I first gave up nightshades, I believed I would never be able to replace tomato-based sauces and I grieved deeply for my collection of Italian and Mexican recipes. After reading about the amazing tomato-free Nomato Sauce, I was inspired to try making my own version. It took many, many tries in the kitchen to get the flavors to blend well, but I finally found a combination of fruits and vegetables that really worked well. If you’ve seen my Cranberry-Beet Ketchup recipe, you already know that beets and cranberries stand in well for tomatoes. This sauce has a fuller body than the ketchup and makes a great base for my marinara, bolognese, and enchilada sauces. The next test: tomato soup!

Tomato-Free Tomato Saucetomato-free sauce

1 T olive oil
1 med onion, diced (110 g)
1 sm carrot, chopped (50 g)
1 med stalk celery, chopped (50 g)
2 sm fresh beets, chopped (170 g)
1½ c fresh or frozen cranberries (170 g)
1 t salt
4 c water, divided
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and beets, and saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent
  3. Stir in cranberries and salt, cooking for an additional 60-90 seconds until fragrant
  4. Add 3 c water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat
  5. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beets are softened and sauce begins to thicken (2-3 hours)
  6. Blend until smooth and add remaining 1 c water

Yield 1 qt sauce

Updated to add: Try out this recipe in my Unbelievable Chili (click here for recipe)!

Do you have a favorite red sauce?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!

Fig Bars

Paging through the calendar of unusual holidays at brownielocks.com, I discovered today (January 16th) is Fig Newton Day. To celebrate, I offer you my take on the classic cookie. I was inspired by Elana Amsterdam’s recipe, but she made hers with almond flour and I wanted mine without nuts. I also wanted a smaller bar, so I could eat more of them! During my testing process, the kids gobbled theirs up with big grins and pronounced them “really good.” My husband, who still indulges his sweet tooth occasionally in grain- and dairy-filled goodies, said they taste just like the real thing.

Fig Barsfig bars

½ c dried figs, about 10 figs (75 g)
3 T water
1 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract, divided
½ c coconut flour (57 g)
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
3 large eggs
2 T coconut oil, melted
1½ T honey (32 g)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F line a large baking sheet with parchment
  2. Place figs in a small container, cover with water, lemon juice and ½ t vanilla, and set aside
  3. Whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy and uniform in color
  5. Beat oil, honey, and remaining ½ t vanilla into eggs
  6. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms
  7. Puree figs and liquid into a paste
  8. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces (about 90 g ea)
  9. For each portion, form a thin log and roll out between pieces of parchment into a 12×3 rectangle
  10. Spoon 2 T fig paste onto dough and smooth into an even layer along the center of the rectangle
  11. Use parchment to fold long sides of dough over fig paste and transfer bar to prepared pan
  12. Bake bars for 10-11 min until golden and firm
  13. Allow to cool 2-3 min on pan
  14. Cut each log into 8 1½-in bars before removing to wire rack

Yield 24 bars

What is your experience trying to recreate store-bought treats in your own kitchen?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!