Lemon Almond Blueberry Gluten-Free Pancakes

skillet logo tablecloth (1)It is the last week of the Great Gluten-Free Campout. It’s been such a fun series and you’re now equipped with a bunch of great recipes!

Make sure to check out all the other contributors of the Great Gluten-Free Campout!

Breakfast: Me!

Snacks and Sides: Macaroni Salad and Veggie Packets from Gluten Freedom and Loving It

On the Fire: Campfire Chicken Fajitas from Angela’s Kitchen

Dessert: S’Mores with Homemade Gluten-Free Graham Crackers from Better Batter

Lemon Almond Blueberry Gluten-Free Pancakes

 I’m hosting breakfast this week. And I won’t lie, this might be my favorite recipe of the entire series.

Whether you make these camping or on a lazy Saturday morning, these pancakes will not disappoint. Really, they are perfect. Take this recipe and substitute the flavors to make any kind of pancakes you want! I’m pairing lemon and blueberry flavorings because they’re my favorite.

gluten free pancakes 12 | Accidental OkieAre you ready? Here’s a peek of the final product. Is your mouth watering yet?

Please note that when I made this, I halved the recipe. So if you’re wondering why I’m telling you to use a lot more ingredients than the pictures show, that’s why. 

gluten free pancakes 2 | Accidental OkieAssemble your ingredients. Fresh blueberries are in season and inexpensive, so I used fresh. If they’re not in season and not inexpensive, frozen will work too.

gluten free pancakes 5 | Accidental OkieZest two regular-sized lemons. Yes, I brought a zester camping. Because I am that cool.

Zest is the very top layer of the fruit. A zester helps you extract it while keeping that bitter white rind far away from your perfect pancakes. 

gluten free pancakes 6 | Accidental OkieThe result is this bright zest full of essential oils that provide flavor like nothing else. Give the zest a few rough chops so the strips aren’t too unwieldy.

gluten free pancakes 7 | Accidental OkieSqueeze the juice of one lemon into about two cups of milk and let sit for a few minutes. This is going to make the most intense, lemony buttermilk. You never really know how much milk you’ll need when making pancakes – everything from the type of flour mix you use, the humidity, the position of Mars in relation to Jupiter. It all seems to matter. You might use all the milk, you might not. You might use a lot more. 

If you need more milk, don’t worry about making more buttermilk. Just use milk. The juice of one lemon is enough lemony goodness for one batch of pancakes.

gluten free pancakes 3 | Accidental OkieI love cutting flour with almond flour (also known as almond meal) in pancakes. Almond flour is simply blanched and ground almonds. Pancakes, no matter how little syrup I use, are always too sweet and leave me with a headache. Using half almond flour lowers the glycemic index because you’re using half protein-rich almonds. Paired with a great gluten-free flour like Better Batter still provides the lightness you want in pancakes. 

gluten free pancakes 4 | Accidental OkieAdd some baking powder and sugar and mix up the dry ingredients.

gluten free pancakes 1 | Accidental OkieNow it’s time to add eggs and milk. Add milk until it has a smooth, thin consistency. In any other recipe, I’d say, “Make it the consistency of pancake batter.” But if you don’t know the consistency of pancake batter, that wouldn’t exactly be helpful.

Make it easy to pour.

gluten free pancakes 8 | Accidental OkieNow fold in blueberries and slivered almonds and lemon zest.

gluten free pancakes 9 | Accidental OkiePour batter in 1/4 cup batches on a hot, greased griddle.

I like to use half oil and half butter – about a tablespoon of each. The butter gives a wonderful flavor and the oil’s high smoke temperature keeps the butter from burning.

gluten free pancakes 10 | Accidental OkieGluten-free pancakes and pancakes with almond flour don’t always bubble, which is usually the sign it’s time to flip. So take a peek after a minute or so and make sure they’re not burning.

gluten free pancakes 13 | Accidental OkieServe with syrup and butter and eat immediately. Enjoy the crunch of the almonds, the fresh zing of the lemon and the fruity blueberries!

Whether you’re in the woods or in your favorite PJ’s, these pancakes will get your day started right!

gluten free pancakes 14 | Accidental OkieAlso, just a public service announcement: when you’re making pancakes in a foreign environment with different heat sources, don’t expect the first few pancakes to come out perfectly. But soon, you’ll get the temperature figured out and they will be great!

This is okay though, because you can snack on these mess ups while you cook.

Lemon Almond Blueberry Pancakes
Serves 4
Pancakes with a low glycemic index that have a bite, a crunch and zing! What could be better?
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Zest of 2 lemons
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. Milk - start with two cups
  4. 1 c. gluten-free flour like Better Batter with xantham gum (not pancake mix)
  5. 1 c. almond flour
  6. 2 tbsp sugar
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1.5 c. (or more if you want!) fresh blueberries
  10. 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  11. Butter and Canola oil
Instructions
  1. Zest lemons
  2. Juice lemons into milk and let it sit for a few minutes
  3. Mix dry ingredients
  4. Mix eggs and part of the milk and stir. Add the additional milk until it has a thin consistency.
  5. Fold in the blueberries and almonds.
  6. Heat griddle with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil and cook pancakes, flipping them over after they're golden on one side.
  7. Serve with butter and syrup or butter and lemon curd.
Notes
  1. Not gluten-free? No problem! Just use regular flour in place of the gluten-free flour mix. Expect that the pancakes still won't bubble when ready to flip because of the almond flour.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

 

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop

sarah sproutsLast time I told you all about how I was one of two semi-finalists for a shopping spree at Sprouts Farmer’s Market. Although I didn’t win the big prize, I won a substantial gift card that paid for a lot of groceries for more than a month.

My original plan for the gift card was to supplement my normal grocery budget by only buying produce, meat, sale items and a few staples every week, in the hopes that I could use the gift card for six or seven months. Then life and a lot of unexpected bills happened, and I used the card for almost all my grocery shopping. What a blessing it was!

All too soon, there was only $100 left on the gift card. Sad, right? Even though I’d been using the card for weekly grocery shopping, I still wanted it to help our budget in the long term. That’s when I devised a plan of attack.  I would use that last bit of money to royally stock our pantry with staples and go-to items. It was the shopping trip dreams are made of.

After going through our pantry, I split my dream shopping trip items into three categories:

  • Expensive staples we’re always running out of – like extra virgin olive oil and gluten-free pretzels
  • Quick meals – like ingredients to make pasta
  • Splurges – I don’t need a few bars of chocolate…wait who am I kidding? Of course I do. Other splurges were things like a tube of high-quality tomato paste and a bottle of chipotle Tabasco sauce.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 1

And here it is…the bounty of my dream pantry-stocking shopping trip.  Oh, and it cost a little more like $150.

I’ve taken individual pictures of many of the items, but here is a quick rundown, left to right: Balsamic vinegar, raspberry balsamic vinegar, two bottles of extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, four packages of gluten-free pasta in various shapes, rice, coconut milk, whole-grain mustard, local honey, almond butter, dijon mustard, three bottles of chicken broth, chocolate, three bottles of high-quality marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, gluten-free pretzels, gluten-free crackers and cookies, bell peppers, Tabasco sauce, bulk almonds and bulk pinto beans.

Oh and wouldn’t it have been helpful if I’d closed the back door and moved those chairs before the picture?  

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 2

 I also got some meat, but I put that up as soon as I got home. Bacon, chicken thighs and ground beef. That ham hock’s for a big pot of beans.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 3

White and brown jasmine rice, how I love thee! I also grabbed several boxes of Schar pasta. It’s my favorite pasta brand, and Italy’s number one according to the box. I love their tagliatelle.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 4Here’s where it gets really exciting – local honey, pure maple syrup, dijon and whole grain mustard. These are things I use all the time in cooking, whether it be for pork rubs or salad dressings. It always hurts the budget on shopping trips I have to buy a new $10 bottle of maple syrup, so having it on hand is amazing. Also, thanks Sprouts for carrying local honey. Way to be awesome.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 5This is my favorite chick stock. Buy it. Use it. Heck, bathe in it if you want. Allow it to change your life.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 7I splurged and got some nice pasta sauce. Emergency pasta dinners are ready to go.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 8Glutino is probably my favorite gluten-free brand. Their bagel chips are as good as anything with gluten and our house is seldom without a bag of their pretzels. Then I got Schar shortbread cookies. You’ve seen the amazing things I do to those

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 9File this one under necessity. These are my two favorite chocolate bars.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 10Sprouts has such high-quality, inexpensive produce and their produce workers are so knowledgable. They had bell peppers on sale, so I obviously bought 20. I mean five.

Produce isn’t really a pantry staple, especially because I use it up fast. However, you can dice bell peppers and freeze them. And that totally counts as a staple.

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 12

Accidental Okie Shopping Spree 11

The last thing I used my gift card for was a very special Easter dinner. My dad came up because my sister and mom were en route to Massachusetts. I made a rack of lamb, roasted parsnips and carrots, roasted asparagus, marinated tomatoes and a Schar gluten-free sourdough baguette. My dad, who is not gluten-free, said the baguette was one of the best he’d ever had.

My gift card is now empty. I keep it in my wallet, though. It’s a reminder of a lot of things – of friends and community, of God’s provision, and of the time I got to stock my pantry full of staples for a busy day, a rainy day, or a day I just need some chocolate.

Who am I kidding. That chocolate is long gone.

Rick’s Cowboy Meatloaf

skillet logo tablecloth (1)It is week three of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far! From me, you’ve seen an advanced and beginner’s version of campout peach pie, and an amazingly easy loaded baked potato salad with a secret ingredient that might just blow your mind. Today, you get to see my main dish.

I hope you’ve also been visiting my partners in crime in this series to view their yummy creations.

Today’s recipe lineup is exciting!

Breakfast: Campfire Biscuits and Gravy from Better Batter

Side: List of Unrefrigerated Snacks from Angela’s Kitchen

On the Fire (Main): Meatloaf from me!

Dessert: Stuffed Bananas from Gluten Freedom and Loving It

 

 Rick’s Cowboy Meatloaf

Cowboy Meatloaf 9 Accidental OkieMeatloaf in a Dutch oven is a good thing. Unlike the time you decided to fend off mosquitoes with sheer will power, you will not regret this camping choice.

Cowboy Meatloaf 1 Accidental OkieStart by cubing four pieces of gluten-free bread. Any gluten-free bread will do.

You can also use breadcrumbs, but I prefer bread.

 Cowboy Meatloaf 3 Accidental OkieNext, if you’re using bread, soak it in about half a cup of milk. After a few minutes, it’ll be goopy and slop-like. That’s a good thing. Skip this step if you’re using breadcrumbs.

Cowboy Meatloaf 2 Accidental OkieWhile the milk and bread are doing their thang, do your thang. Chop and dice all the wonderful veggies. Start by dicing the garlic.

Cowboy Meatloaf 4 Accidental OkieAnd chopping two big, juicy tomatoes with their seeds. Summer tomatoes and camping – it’s a match made in heaven. Can I get an amen?

Cowboy Meatloaf 5 Accidental OkieAnd rough choping some red onions. When I say “rough chop,” I mean don’t worry about the pieces being super uniform or super small. They’ll cook down in the meatloaf and will provide a nice crunch and subtle flavor. This is a rustic dish, so we can be rustic.

Cowboy Meatloaf 6 Accidental OkieSometimes I forget to buy cilantro for dishes, and I think, “Oh, it’s just cilantro. Not a big deal.”

Now is not that moment. Cilantro is the star of this dish. It is mucho importante. You simply must add cilantro. Lots of it.

You see, this meatloaf doesn’t have a topping. Most toppings create flavor by playing harsh mustard, tangy ketchup and sweet sugar together. This meatloaf achieves that balance of flavors by pairing lots of cilantro with brown sugar. It is amazing.

Cowboy Meatloaf 7 Accidental OkieOops – Rick and I both forgot to bring a mixing bowl. This is a the dishwashing tub (thoroughly cleaned before and after this use).

Mix the meat and veggies, a few eggs, sugar and and soaked bread with two cups of sharp grated cheddar. Add a generous amount of Worcestershire sauce.

Cowboy Meatloaf 8 Accidental OkieAnd mix.

Place it in a foil-lined Dutch oven.

Accidental Okie Camping 6Now it’ll cook in the Dutch oven with about 20 coals on top and eight on bottom, which will achieve an internal oven temperature of about 400 degrees. Replace some of the top coals halfway through cooking.

Cowboy Meatloaf 9 Accidental OkieAnd here is the result.

Sorry for the bright and blurry picture. It was so bright when I took this that I couldn’t really see anything.

We were really camping outside for this recipe. It is legit. And sometimes there are super bright pictures to prove it.

Cowboy Meatloaf 10 Accidental OkieServe hot with your favorite camping sides!

Rick's Cowboy Meatloaf
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 c. breadcrumbs - OR - 4 slices g.f. bread soaked in about 1/2 c. milk
  2. 4 cloves garlic, diced
  3. 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
  4. 2 small or one large red onion
  5. 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped - measured after it's chopped
  6. 2 lbs lean ground beef
  7. 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  8. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  9. 1 c. brown sugar
  10. 2 c. sharp cheddar, grated
  11. 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Tear apart bread and soak in milk.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and place in a foil-lined Dutch oven.
  4. Cook on 400 for 1.5 hours.
  5. In a Dutch oven, 400 degrees is achieved by placing 20 coals on lid of the oven and 8 on bottom. Replace about half the top coals after an hour.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Experts Series: Paula’s Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

PaulaPaula is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She was my host mum when I lived in New Zealand. And since that first day when I stumbled into her house, travel worn and exhausted and she cooked a big baked chicken, we’ve been buddies. Now she’s more like my big sister or cool aunt. Her family has become part of mine.

Every evening in New Zealand after the children went to bed, we would watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. We watched almost the entire series. And nothing bonds two people like witty banter from Lorelai and Rory.

We also share a love of cooking and I’m thrilled that Paula is going to share her expertise with all of us!

Paula is a nutritionist and before that, she was a food scientist. She’s adept at stretching her grocery budget while still using fresh ingredients. Her spaghetti Bolognese is especially amazing because she includes tons of vegetables into her mince (ground beef), to make it flavorful, healthy and dollar stretching.

Her son, Daniel, is a budding photographer. I hope you enjoy this wonderful recipe and beautiful pictures all the way from New Zealand!

 

Paula’s Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

Paula's Healthy Mince 21 - Accidental Okie

Paula's Healthy Mince 2 - Accidental OkieStart by assembling your ingredients.

Paula's Healthy Mince 3 - Accidental OkieNext, finely chop two onions.

Paula's Healthy Mince 5 - Accidental OkieYou want a uniform, small chop.

Paula's Healthy Mince 8 - Accidental Okie

Now wash and peel the carrots and grate them. You can use either zucchini (courgettes) or spinach. If you’re going with zucchini, grate it now too.

Paula's Healthy Mince 6 - Accidental OkiePut the onions in a large dutch oven with some oil to start sautéing for about five minutes. Keep stirring so they don’t burn.

Paula's Healthy Mince 7 - Accidental OkieNow your house should smell of sautéed onions, which is one of the best smells God ever made. Add garlic that’s been mashed through a garlic press. Let the garlic cook for just a minute.

Paula's Healthy Mince 9 - Accidental OkieMove the onions to one side and add the mince (ground beef). Separate it with a wooden spoon so it breaks into big chunks.

Also, I have to say that I wish in America, we called it mince, not ground beef. It’s much less repulsive sounding. Let’s all start calling it mince.

Paula's Healthy Mince 10 - Accidental OkieAfter browning for a few minutes, it should look like this.

Paula's Healthy Mince 12 - Accidental OkieNow it’s time to add a can of diced tomatoes.

Paula's Healthy Mince 13 - Accidental OkieAdd tomato paste, ketchup and sugar.

Paula's Healthy Mince 17 - Accidental OkieAdd the beautiful carrots and spinach (or zucchini). At this stage, you can also add two sticks of chopped celery and a cup of chopped mushrooms. As you can see, this is a great recipe for vegetarians who can modify by eliminating the beef and upping the veggie content.

If you’re using dried herbs, add them now.

Paula's Healthy Mince 18 - Accidental OkieRed lentils are added after they’ve been rinsed and picked through to find lentil impostors, usually little stones.

Now add a touch of water and close the lid so there’s just a little gap for steam to escape. Let it cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Use this break to chop your fresh herbs, if you are using fresh herbs. Otherwise, go be productive. Or not.

Paula's Healthy Mince 19 - Accidental OkieAfter 30 minutes, this is what it looks like.  Add salt, pepper and herbs. Stir and cook for another five minutes. Taste once more and adjust as needed.

Paula's Healthy Mince 20 - Accidental OkieServe on pasta with a touch of parmesan cheese. 

It’s your choice – you can tell your guests (or kiddos) just how healthy this pasta sauce is, or it can be our little secret!

  1. Paula's Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese
    Serves 6
    Print
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Ingredients
    1. 2 white onions
    2. 1 Tbs oil
    3. 3 cloves garlic
    4. 1 pound lean mince
    5. 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
    6. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    7. 3 Tbs tomato paste
    8. 2 Tbs tomato sauce
    9. 1 tsp sugar
    10. 2 large carrots
    11. 2 courgettes (zucchini) or ½ bunch spinach
    12. ¼ cup red lentils
    13. ¼ cup water
    14. 1 ½ tsp salt
    15. 2 shakes of finely ground black pepper
    16. A bunch of fresh Thyme & Oregano
    17. A bunch of fresh Parsley if you have it
    18. ¾ packet of vermicelli pasta
    Instructions
    1. 1. Chop onions & fry in oil until soft (about 5 min).
    2. 2. Wash carrots & grate them. Peel the courgettes & grate them too. If you are using spinach, wash it well & then chop. Keep stirring the onions so they don’t burn.
    3. 3. Peel garlic & crush it in the garlic crusher. Add to onions & fry for about 1 minute – until you can smell that lovely garlic smell : )
    4. 4. Scoop the onions to the side of the pot, turn up the heat.
    5. 5. Add the mince & crush it with a wooden spoon to break up the lumps & brown it.
    6. 6. Add the can of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce/ketchup, sugar, carrots & courgettes or spinach.
    7. 7. Wash the red lentils in a sieve & add to mince.
    8. 8. Add water & stir well. Put the lid on, but leave a little gap for steam to escape.
    9. 9. Wash fresh herbs well (soak in a bowl of water for a while), then chop, set aside for later. If you are using dried herbs, just throw them in now.
    10. 10. Cook mince for at least 30 minutes (can be up to 1 hour if you have the time), stirring often to make sure it does not burn on the bottom.
    11. 11. Add salt & black pepper to the mince.
    12. 12. Add chopped herbs to the mince. Stir mixture well & cook for another 5 minutes or so. Taste to check the seasoning is right and you’re all done!
    Notes
    1. I sometimes add 2 sticks of chopped celery & or a cup of chopped mushrooms if I have them. I used frozen spinach in this recipe, but if I’m using fresh, I don’t pre-cook it, just wash it well, chop it up & toss it in with the other veggies.
    The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Easy Loaded Baked Potato Salad

skillet logo tablecloth (1)Welcome to week two of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! Did you enjoy Week One? If you didn’t read Week One and now you’re sad or confused or feeling left out, have no fear. Read the Series Intro and then Week One, and then you’ll be in the club. You’ll soon receive your secret handshake and official sticker.

Well, maybe not. But you will have tools, tips and new recipes to conquer gluten-free camping without fear!

This is Week Two of The Great Gluten-Free Campout, and we’ve got four more amazing gluten-free campout recipes ready for you. Here’s the lineup:

Easy Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 10 | Accidental Okie

This potato salad has four ingredients. It can have up to six if you want to get fancy and put oil and salt on your potato before you bake it. It is easy and inexpensive and delicious. It has a secret ingredient that will make you wonder why you never thought of it before.

This potato salad doesn’t contain mayonnaise. I’m always so paranoid about mayo in food during camping. Can you imagine getting food poisoning at a campground bathroom? Shudder!

You don’t only have to make this recipe while camping, either. Make it any time you want to look like a fancy kitchen genius who labored for hours, while actually working for about 10 minutes.

Step one in loaded baked potato salad is baking potatoes. My camp cooking buddy Rick and I baked three potatoes, each with a different method to show you all the options. (Read more about Rick in this post. Not only is he a famous painter, he is also the ultimate authority on camping cooking.)  

Accidental Okie Camping 5Poke holes in a few places around the raw potato with a fork.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 5 | Accidental OkieEach of these potatoes weighed a little over one pound.

Potato 1: We wrapped a potato that had been sprayed with cooking oil and generously sprinkled in seasoned salt in two layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil. We put directly on hot charcoal for about 40 minutes.

Potato 2: We covered in oil and seasoned salt and placed the potato in a small dutch oven and cooked with 1/3 the amount of charcoal under the oven and 2/3 on the oven lid. It baked for about an hour.

Potato 3: We microwaved it on the microwave’s potato setting and then toasted in a toaster oven to get a crunchy skin. 

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 11 | Accidental OkieYou can do any of these methods. You can even bake the potatoes at home and keep them chilled in an ice chest on the camp site. An hour before you’re ready to assemble your potato salad, just warm them up on a skillet or wrap them in foil and crisp them up over charcoal or the grill.

Do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter.

After the baked potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut them in bite-sized diced pieces. You can keep or discard the skins.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 3 | Accidental OkieLoaded baked potato salad needs bacon, thick-cut bacon to be exact. Otherwise this salad would have no street cred.

If you’re vegetarian, you can skip this step. If you must.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 6 | Accidental Okie

Chop up the bacon after it’s cooled. This is another step you can do beforehand, either at home or after making breakfast. Just remember to let it cool and then chill it.

Safety first, fellow campers!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 4 | Accidental OkieHave I ever told you how essential kitchen shears are to my kitchen tool arsenal? I have three pairs. I use them all the time. They are particularly useful for cutting several green onions at a time, just like I did here.

Okay, are you ready for the secret ingredient?

First, some history.

I invented this recipe in a moment of crisis when I had no starches for dinner except for potatoes, no desire to heat up my house by turning on the oven to make fries, and no butter, milk or cheese to make baked or mashed potatoes. But then I saw the secret ingredient and a little light bulb appeared over my head, angels started singing and a spotlight straight from heaven shone down on me.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 7 | Accidental OkieWhat is that, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Are you ready? Are you sitting down?

It is French onion chip dip.

No really, it is.

Not the canned, gross kind in this chip aisle, but the kind you get near the sour cream in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The first ingredient should be sour cream. I used Hiland Dairy brand because it’s my favorite.

Why French onion dip, you ask? It is the perfect accompaniment to potato salad. It is creamy and has a nice oniony taste, but is not too overpowering. It is already seasoned to perfection. While you may have to make a few small changes, you’re not going to be lugging the entire spice rack to the lake. 

Every brand of dip is going to slightly vary in saltiness and in the strength of the onion flavoring. You may find you prefer your potato salad cut with a little sour cream or you may find you need a little more salt. Adjust as needed.

Stir the dip, potatoes, most of the bacon and most of the green onions together. Taste, adjust. Add a bit of pepper if you want or more dip if the salad is too dry for your liking. Top with the remaining bacon and onions for garnish.

Serve the salad when it’s still warm. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 9 | Accidental Okie

 

Baked Potato Salad
Serves 4
Easy, four ingredients and tasty. This warm baked potato salad will hit the spot for you and guests!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 - 4 pounds russet potatoes
  2. Oil or oil spray
  3. Seasoned salt
  4. 5 pieces thick-cut bacon
  5. 1/2 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts
  6. 12 oz. French onion dip
Instructions
  1. (Optional) - Oil and salt the potatoes.
  2. Bake the potatoes per your preferred baking method.
  3. Fry 5 pieces of bacon until crispy. After they've cooled, chop into large, bite-sized bits. After the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Cut the onions.
  4. Reserve a small amount of onions and bacon.
  5. Mix the potatoes, French onion dip, bacon and green onions until well mixed. Adjust flavorings as needed. Move to a serving bowl and top with reserved bacon and green onions.
  6. Serve warm.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways

skillet logo tablecloth (1)Are you so excited about the first week of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! I know I am.

I’m partnering with Better Batter and two other bloggers to present to you a four-week series on gluten-free campout cooking. We’ll be posting camping recipes every Tuesday for the next three weeks, so by the end, you will have 16 gluten-free recipes in your arsenal.

After reading these recipes, camping will be easy. Fun. No one will get sunburned. None of your children will fight or cry in the car. Fire ants and mosquitoes will magically lose their desire to bite.

Okay, those things might not happen, but you will have something to eat. And if you’ve been avoiding camping because you don’t think you’ll be able to eat anything among the sea of convenience foods, hot dogs and s’mores, get ready. Because everything is about to change.

We want you to participate in the Great Gluten-Free Camput too! Create your own recipe and link it in our comments sections. Let’s share as many recipes as we can during the next four weeks and get everyone ready to camp their gluten-free hearts out.

Here’s today’s lineup:

 – Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways –

Accidental Okie Peach Pie Two Ways

It’s summer and in summer when I think about desserts, I think about one thing and one thing only. Well, of course, I always think about chocolate. But what I really want and crave and need in the summer are peaches. Lots of them.

I come by my peach snobbery honestly, as you’ll read in this post.

For the Great Gluten-Free Campout, I made two peach pies – an advanced version and a simplified deconstructed peach pie. Both recipes are in this post and both are just as doable on the campsite or in the kitchen.

– Prep Work For Both Desserts –

An important part of successful campout cooking is prep work you do before you get to the  campsite.

My first order of prep work was to wash all my fruit. That’s much easier in the kitchen than the campsite. Wash and dry the peaches.

Tip: if the peaches have produce stickers, keep those on. Peaches tend to bleed out when their stickers are removed, so I keep them on until I’m getting ready to cut them up.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 1Next, I made a double batch of Better Batter’s pie crust recipe. (If you’re making the pie, make a double batch. If you’re making the deconstructed pie, make a single batch). It was simple and delicious. I did one major variation to the recipe, which was using a food processor instead of mixing by hand. It worked perfectly.

I made each batch separately.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 2Quickly blend the Better Batter flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 3Add cold butter and butter-flavored shortening. I let the shortening camp out in the freezer for thirty minutes before this step.

Whether you use a pastry cutter, a fork or a food processor, the key to a great pie crust is keeping the butter and shortening in pea-sized chunks. This isn’t cookie dough where you want soft butter to completely integrate into the other ingredients. Using the coldest butter and shortening possible is key.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 4It’s hard to resist the urge to overmix the butter, I know, but be stern with yourself and leave the pea-sized butter balls throughout. Your pie will thank you. And then you’ll thank you. And everyone else will thank you. And you’ll remember back to that fateful moment when you didn’t over-mix your butter and shortening.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 5Now slowly incorporate the cold, colorful mix of egg yolk, ice water, ice cubs and vinegar. Acid – be it vinegar or lemon juice – is essential to a successful gluten-free pie crust. It is the ultimate secret ingredient.

Mix until the dough comes together in a big ball. If you have a few stragglers not incorporated, that’s okay. Drop the dough onto the counter and slightly knead it so everything is incorporated. Gluten-free dough doesn’t exactly knead. You just push it around as well as you can and call it kneaded.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 6Now comes my least favorite parts: wrestling with plastic wrap and rolling out the pie crust. If you think that I’m happy and competent in every area of cooking, let me correct you. Rolling out pie crusts stresses me out and makes me feel like a failure. There, I said it.

After several unsuccessful attempts, I made a two-sheet thick top and bottom of cling wrap with the crust in the middle.

Tip from my sister, the true pastry cook in my family: after you place the cling wrap on the dough, get a big pan and press down on the center of the dough ball.  That will get it a little flatter and will make it easier to roll out.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 7And pretty soon, it looked like this. I know, miracles do happen.

Now I repeated and got the second batch of dough ready.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 8Still in the cling wrap, I folded both crusts into four, packaged into two layers of grocery sacks and placed in an ice chest with an ice pack. I didn’t have any loose ice in this ice chest. If your ice chest does, be extra careful to seal the bags holding the pie crusts so they don’t become invaded by water.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 9Now it’s time to make cinnamon whipped cream. Start by getting your mixing bowls nice and cold. I choose an ice water bath because my freezer was full. It doesn’t matter how you accomplish this step, just get ‘er done.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 10This whipped cream will not be consumed for hours, so I took some extra steps to help it stay whipped. Instead of granulated sugar, I used powdered sugar. The cornstarch will help the whipped cream keep its structure.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 11As it whips, add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon so the whipped cream is not overpowered by cinnamon, but the cinnamon flavor is still prominent. Cinnamon whipped cream and peach pie go together like peas and carrots.

I overwhipped the cream just a bit to help it hold up a little longer. No matter what, the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day. If you’re planning on making this dish several days into camping, either whip your cream on the campsite by hand or with an electric mixer, or buy a can of whipped cream.

– Campside Peach Pie –

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 12Now we’re at the campsite. It’s time to make some peach pie. The peaches and crust have been chilling all afternoon. They’re ready to go.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 13We used a deep 10-inch cake pan for this deliciously thick and juicy pie. The crust tore after being folded into fours, but we just pushed it down and smushed the seams together. And everything was right with the world again.

The thickness of this dessert might qualify it as a peach cobbler, not a pie. I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s full of peachy goodness.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 14Next, we cut the peaces into eighths, about six cups worth. Just go by the size of your pan for this step.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 15Add cornstarch. This will help the juices form up into a delightful, thick syrup.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 16I like to keep peaches the star of my peach pies. Just add cinnamon and sugar for flavoring. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 17Now it’s time to lattice the top. The first pie crust I made was a touch too dry and crumbly. To help us work with it, we wet our hands. The lattice topping is made up of two-inch strips.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 18Now this is camping.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 19Into the dutch oven it goes.

I  learned so much from Rick, a friend who is a famous campfire cook. We placed the pie into a dutch oven that was placed inside Rick’s portable fire ring – a tool he swears by because it’s safer, portable and evenly distributes the heat. We prelit the charcoal and waited until it was gray. That means it’s to temperature. When cooking with a dutch oven at the campsite, the food actually cooks from the top in a one-to-three ratio. One third of the charcoal is on the bottom and the rest on the top. For this recipe, we put about seven pieces of charcoal under the dutch oven and 18 coals on top. This will give an internal temperature of about 400 degrees.

After 45 minutes, we took the dutch oven out of the pit, removing it from the lower coals. It continued to cook for 15 minutes from the top just by sitting on the ground.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22The result – a perfectly cooked, perfectly browned, perfectly amazing campside peach pie…or cobbler.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 29Serve with a generous dollup of cinnamon whipped cream.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 30Abandon all hope of pulling it out into a perfect piece. It’s too thick and gooey, and you’re camping. No one cares. Besides, they will all be distracted by each delicious bite.

Campside Peach Pie
This delicious deep-dish peach pie is cooked camp side in a dutch oven. It is thick enough to be a cobbler, so you can call it what you want. No matter what, it is perfect.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 batches pie crust dough, bought or premade
  2. 6-10 peaches, depending on the size of the peaches and the size of your pan
  3. 1 tbsp corn starch
  4. 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 c. granulated sugar
  6. 4 tbsp butter
  7. - Cinnamon Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie -
  5. Line a deep-dish 10-inch cake pan with one pie crust. Crimp the edges.
  6. Chop peaches into eighths. Mix with corn starch until the peaches are evenly coated.
  7. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix again until mixed. Add the peaches to the crust so they come to the top, but not over the lip of the crust.
  8. Cut the second pie crust into strips. Use these strips to create a lattice pattern on the top of the pie. Spring the top with a little extra cinnamon and sugar and top with several pats of butter.
  9. Place in a dutch oven with about seven coals under it and replace the lid. Carefully top the lid of the dutch oven with about 20 more hot coals.
  10. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from the bottom coals and allow to cook from the top only for another 15 minutes. When it's finished, the crust should be brown and the peaches should be soft and bubbly.
  11. Allow to slightly cool. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

– Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie –

Intimidated by the big pie? That’s okay. I’ve got you covered. Here’s an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 20Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on your rolled-out pie crust and then cut it into strips about two inches wide and five inches long. A thicker pie crust is better.

Because I made the big pie, I just used leftover pieces from the other crust. So when you do this step, I’m sure it will be much prettier. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 21On a griddle, pan fry the stripes with a little oil and butter on a medium-low temperature until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked. (The dough will stay a little chewey, and that’s okay). Those dark bits aren’t burned. They’re just specks of butter-coated cinnamon gloriously glistening in the sun.

Set those aside and save for later. These make tasty snacks, so make sure to store these in a safe place until you’re ready to serve dessert. Otherwise they might just walk off.

And let’s talk about how easy you can make this.

You can make these strips before you go camping. You can buy and then slice up a pre-made frozen gluten-free crust. You can make a deconstructed peach crisp by skipping the pie crust and instead browning a crumbly crisp topping out of butter, gluten-free oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. You can use a prepackaged gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookie. You can use a gluten-free shortbread cookie. You can make these as easy as you want.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 23On a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, cut a peach into eighths with a handful of brown sugar and knob of butter.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 24Wrap the peach into a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil. Wrap it so that the folds come to a point and the whole package looks sort of like a clove of garlic. This will keep the juices from running out seams on the bottom and burning your hands.

Put directly onto slightly-cooled coals for about 20 minutes. I put these peaches on after our dinner came out of the fire pit. While still incredibly hot, the coals were on their last legs and were perfect for slowly cooking the peaches. If they were super hot coals, I would have checked on them 10 minutes after going on the coals and I would half the amount of charcoal.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 25After 20 minutes, check and see if they’ve cooked enough for your liking. They should be soft and the juices should be dark brown and slightly thick. Because do you know what you made in that little pouch? You made caramel.

You made caramel while camping and all you got dirty was a knife. You deserve a pedicure for that. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 26After the pouches have cooled, pour each pouch into an individual serving dish. My peaches created so much wonderful liquid that I had to pour a little out.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Now it’s time to assemble.

Take out your whipped cream. (I kept my whipped cream in an ice chest covered with ice packs on all sides to keep it cold and whipped. Make sure to do that. Also, remember that the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day). 

Add a dollop of whipped cream and a piece of pie crust for a delicious dish and stunning presentation.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 28Isn’t that just stunning! This is my favorite kind of camping food – easy, beautiful, tasty and easy to clean up.

Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie
This recipe will wow the crowd, but is quick, easy and tasty.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  2. 1 batch of your favorite pie crust recipe, raw
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  5. cinnamon
  6. sugar
  7. - Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy wipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. - Peaches -
  12. 1 peach per serving
  13. 1 tbsp butter per serving
  14. 2 tbsp packed brown sugar per serving
  15. Heavy duty aluminium foil
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe, roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  5. Cut pie crust into strips approximately 5 inches by 2 inches.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar so the cookies have a nice dusting of each
  7. On a heated dutch oven skillet or the flat side of a griddle, melt the butter and oil. Pan fry the cookies on each side until crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. Add more butter and oil to the pan as needed. Set aside.
  8. - Peaches -
  9. For each serving of dessert, cut a peach into eighths over a double layer of aluminum foil. Add the butter and sugar. Wrap both layers of foil with the edges coming to the top so the package looks like a clove of garlic. Repeat for every serving.
  10. Place directly on charcoal. This works best with charcoal that is not at its peak heat, but has slightly cooled. Allow to cook until soft and tender. The cooking time will vary based on the heat of the coals and the number of foil packets placed on the fire. Check after 20 minutes.
  11. When finished, the peaches should be soft and the liquid dark brown.
  12. In a bowl, carefully pour the contents of the slightly cooled peach packets. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a pie cookie.
  13. Serve.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/
Join us in the Great Gluten-Free Campout by posting your own gluten-free camping recipes and linking them on our comments page!

 

Get Your Camp On

I’m so excited about the coming month! I am partnering with Better Batter, one of my favorite brands of gluten-free flour, and several other bloggers for the first-ever Great Gluten-Free Campout.

skillet logo tablecloth (1)

Camping is one of those final frontiers of a gluten-free life. Once diagnosed, we celiacs first shy away from restaurants and flour-centric dishes like cookies and bread. Slowly, we find some restaurants with gluten-free options and a short list of go-to recipes, and life gets a little more normal.

But camping? You’re asking a gluten-free person to be away from their normal products, away from their safe kitchens and often times at the mercy of whoever is cooking for the campout. Frankly, it’s easier to stay home. So that’s what we do.

Not any more!

For the next four weeks, the four of us bloggers will each be creating gluten-free campout meals in four categories: breakfast, snacks or sides, in the fire (main dishes) and dessert. By the end, you’ll have an arsenal of 16 go-to recipes for all your camping needs!

I was an over-achiever and made two extra recipes, so really, you’ll have 18. 

Accidental Okie Camping 5I went out to the lake with my friend and camping cook aficionado Rick Fry. Not only is Rick a famous painter whose works are in the Oklahoma capitol, but he is also an accomplished dutch oven cook. 

Accidental Okie Camping lakeThere’s a lake just 30 minutes from my house. That’s where we set up camp and did some authentic campout cooking.

Here is a preview of what you’ll see from my blog throughout the series.

Accidental Okie Camping 6Tips about dutch-oven cooking, complements of Rick.

Accidental Okie Camping 2Gluten-free lemon blueberry almond pancakes. They were SO. GOOD.

Accidental Okie Camping 4Four-ingredient loaded baked potato salad. Yes, you read that right.

Accidental Okie Camping 1Stuffed jalapeños need no introduction in my neck of the woods. 

Accidental Okie Camping 9Cowboy meatloaf. There’s a secret ingredient.

Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s cilantro. And cheese.

Accidental Okie Camping 8Mojito punch. 

What can I say about mojito punch? It’s sparkly. It’s limey. It’s minty. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It completes me.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22Campside peach pie 1. Advanced version.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Campside peach pie 2: beginners version.

Can you guess which one Rick did and which one I did? Yeah, you guessed right.

Accidental Okie Camping 3Follow this series for the next month, and this napkin might just become your life motto.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Accidental Okie hummus 16

This recipe needs to start with a public service announcement. Do not make this hummus if you want to continue your love of the store-bought stuff. Once you make this, no hummus will ever measure up. No matter the brand, it will all have a tart aftertaste and the unmistakable twang of prepackaged foods. You may want to continue in your ignorant bliss. But if you want to make amazing hummus in big batches that will provide healthy, abundant and inexpensive snacks, get ready. Life may never be the same.

Homemade hummus is one of the staples I got used to when living in New Zealand. My host mum was a single mum and nutritionist who had an amazing ability to turn pennies into dimes and dimes into dollars when it came to her food budget. She still does it. I learned so much from Paula and I miss her and her family like crazy.

Accidental Okie hummus 1Homemade hummus starts with dried chickpeas aka garbanzo beans.

You can get canned, but canned beans are much saltier and more expensive. But if you do get canned, skip the soaking steps, just give your beans a good rinse and start with half the salt when making the hummus.

Accidental Okie hummus 2Now it’s time to soak. Soak the beans overnight. Change the water a few times throughout the process. 

It’s time for me to be vaguely scientific. See, when the beans soak, something is released. An enzyme, maybe? Whatever it is, this enzyme gives beans their…ahem…most notorious reputation.  Change out that water a few times and you’ll have hummus that won’t make you gassy. So change out the water, seriously.

Now let’s forget we talked about gassiness.

Accidental Okie hummus 3After the beans are finished soaking, they will have just about doubled in size. Change that water one last time and put them on to boil. They’ll boil for two hours or so. Make sure to check on them occasionally and add more water if needed. Two hours is a lot of time to boil.

Accidental Okie hummus 4a

From that little $3 bag of dried chickpeas, I got an entire 9×13 cake pan of chickpeas. That’s probably $10 worth of canned chickpeas.

At this stage, you can choose your own adventure. Take Door A and you can go on to make hummus. Take Door B and, after letting the chickpeas cool, put them in freezer bags and freeze them for later. The amount of chickpeas I boiled is enough for almost three batches of hummus.

Today, we’re taking the plunge to Door A! 

Accidental Okie hummus p1

First, we need to take a break from chickpea business to talk about roasting the bell peppers. Roast the peppers while your chickpeas are finishing up boiling or when you’re ready to make hummus. Red, yellow or orange peppers will work.

You can roast peppers in the broiler, directly on the burners of a gas stove, or on the grill. It gets messy, so I recommend the broiler or the grill.

It’s easy. Just grab some whole red bell peppers (or capsicum, as they’re called in some countries), one and a half or two per batch of hummus. Give them a rinse and put them on to roast. I used the broiler.

The peppers will get completely blackened on one side. That’s a good thing. Turn them occasionally until all the sides are blackened and blistered beyond recognition.

Accidental Okie hummus p2

This is a beautiful sight.

Accidental Okie hummus p3

The skin will easily peel off to reveal perfectly roasted peppers.

Accidental Okie hummus p4

Give the peppers a rinse to make sure all the burned bits are gone. Now you can easily just pull away the flesh from the seeds and stem. Rinse the insides to make sure all the seeds are gone.

Hummus aside, roasting peppers is, in my humble opinion, an essential cooking skill. Now that it’s in your arsenal, you can make roasted pepper dips, sauces, soups and anything else you want. If you ever want to be extra fancy, blend up a roasted pepper with a half stick of room-temp butter and some salt and cumin. Stick it in the fridge to harden back and serve little scoops on steaks. The butter and the peppers seep into the steak. People will give your dinner a standing ovation and then they’ll write a poem about you.

Accidental Okie hummus 6

 Back to the hummus. Get the garlic, lots of it. Sparkling vampires are going to stay away from you for a long time.

Accidental Okie hummus 7

And lemon juice. It’s a lot of lemon juice, so I use the bottled stuff. You’ll also get olive oil and salt.  Don’t use expensive olive oil for this. Blend it all up in a food processer.

Accidental Okie hummus 8

Now you have a bright yellow lemony, olive oily, garlicy base. Keep your eye on the hummus prize and resist the urge to stop here and put this on pasta.

Accidental Okie hummus 9

In goes half the chickpeas. Blend until you have a nice, smooth mix. Add the second half of the chickpeas. Mix again. Now it should look like hummus.

Unless you have an industrial food processor, your hummus will never have the smooth, paste-like quality of store-bought hummus. The good news is that the people making hummus for the past two thousand years didn’t have industrial food processors either. This rustic texture is closer to the real deal.

Accidental Okie hummus 11

Now it’s time for the tahini. Tahini is the sesame seed version of peanut butter. It provides a wonderful texture and flavor to hummus. You can find it in most natural food stores in the aisle with the nut butters.

Accidental Okie hummus 12Add the roasted red pepper and mix up again. This is where you’ll add water if you need it. I’ve never needed to add water when making roasted red pepper hummus because the peppers are so watery. But if your hummus is too thick, add a quarter cup of water to start with.

Accidental Okie hummus 13Finally, it’s time for the spices. Here I have roasted paprika, cumin and parsly (I forgot to buy fresh parsley so I used the dried stuff). Mix it up and taste it. Adjust salt and garlic as needed.

Accidental Okie hummus 15

Serve hummus with veggies, pretzels – these are Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels – spread on sandwiches, or heck, just eat with a spoon.

Get creative and make your own flavors! Nix the bell peppers and add extra parsley for traditional hummus. Make jalapeño hummus or pesto hummus or kalamata olive hummus or roasted garlic hummus. 

Go forth and hummus your world. 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
Hummus is the perfect high-protein, low-fat, budget-friendly snack. Make big batches for the freezer and keep this scrumptious Mediterranean spread on hand all the time.
Print
Prep Time
11 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
11 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cooked chickpeas (about 2 cups of raw chickpeas)
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4-1/2 cup lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp kosher salt
  5. 4-6 garlic cloves, whole
  6. 1/4 cup tahini
  7. 1/4-1/2 cup water (if needed)
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin (more to taste)
  9. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (more to taste)
  10. 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  11. 1.5 roasted red, yellow or orange peppers
Chickpea Prep and Cooking
  1. Soak chickpeas overnight, changing the water several times. Once they're soaked, change the water again and boil for 2 - 3 hours, or until soft.
Roasted Bell Peppers
  1. Roast red bell peppers in broiler, grill or on a gas stove burner until each side is blistered and burned. Use at least one-and-a-half bell peppers per batch of roasted red pepper hummus. Once cooled, peel the skin off and remove the seeds and stem. Rinse the peppers.
Hummus
  1. Blend the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic until incorporated. Add one-and-half cups of the cooked chickpeas and blend until smooth. Add the remaining chickpeas and blend again.
  2. Add tahini and red bell peppers and mix again. Add water if the hummus is too thick. Add the spices, blend and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  3. Enjoy as a dip or spread! Make several batches at once and freeze in containers for ready-to-go snacks.
Notes
  1. In the refrigerator, hummus will last about a week.
  2. Be inventive with your flavors. Some of my favorites are plain, sun-dried tomato and kalamata olives.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

The Dreaded Elimination Diet

Psst – thanks everyone for voting last week for the recipe to save.  The quiche won.  Look for the recipe soon.

I thought about naming this post Just Kill Me Now or something like that.  But the reality is that the more I’ve thought about our elimination diet and the more research I’ve done, I’m actually really excited and hopeful.

Yes, we’re doing an elimination diet.  It’s 21 days long.  It starts today.  We’re not eating corn, soy, sugar, gluten (The Professor is eliminating gluten – Jackie and I have severe gluten intolerance and eliminated it years ago), dairy, peanuts and eggs.

There are several reasons we’re embarking on this adventure.  Jackie, my sister who is living with us, is also gluten-free and has been still having a lot of symptoms associated with food intolerances.  She went off dairy for a few days and a lot of things cleared up.  Since we both have gluten intolerance, there’s a pretty good chance that if she has other intolerances, I do too.  Also, once you have one food intolerance, you’re likely to have or develop others.  (Thanks Mom and Dad…your genetic lottery aspirations have exceeded your expectations).

One of the big symptoms of a dairy intolerance is bad hay fever allergies.  My allergies are so bad that at least once a spring my eyes swell shut, and I get allergy shots once a week.  I’ve also had a lot of weight gain due to bad reactions to birth control pills, and I’m up for trying this.  The Professor also has been having some health issues, and the doctor recommended an elimination diet.  So, the writing was on the wall.  We all need to do this, and we’re all at the point where we’re ready to commit.

All I have to say is this:  If I am allergic to dairy, I will probably lock myself in my house and cry for a few days.  Fact.

We’re following two books.  The first is the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.  I read the book this weekend and was intrigued by her explanation of why she recommends eliminating these seven foods.  They are the seven highest food intolerance foods.  They’re foods that are often times associated with healthy living, and so sometimes people who do have intolerances to these foods end up sabotaging themselves because they’re eating the things worst for them.

She has a quiz that lists common food intolerance symptoms.  You get two points if you have occasional symptoms and four points if you have frequent symptoms.  0 – 5 means you probably don’t have many or any food intolerances, 6 – 14 points means you may have mild food intolerances, 15 plus means you have a high likelihood to have quite a few food intolerances.  I scored  48.

I’m also reading and gaining recipes from The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook by Annalise Roberts and Claudia Pillow, two of my gluten-free heroes.  In addition to the Virgin Diet’s focus on food intolerances, both books focus on eliminating foods that cause inflammation within the body.

So here we go.

Step one was researching.  Because Jackie has been spearheading this, I asked her to make a meal plan for the week. As we went through recipes in both books, we caught the vision for great meals that wouldn’t make us feel deprived.  Tonight we had chicken fajitas with a bunch of peppers and onions and fingerling potatoes.  Later this week, we’re having Dal and brown rice and a Greek salad. The more we researched, the more we saw that this could be done.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comNext, the perishable items went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Farewell cheese.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comBecause we will be systematically adding items back into our diet, we put the currently unsafe non-perishable foods into a bin in the pantry so we wouldn’t be tempted.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThat’s where the bread and tortillas used to live.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThen we went shopping.  It was quite a trip.  I anticipated it being more expensive to set the foundation for a new way of eating, and it was.  But I think our weekly budget will be back on track after this week.

I was thankful to find dairy free and sugar free chicken broth.  Also we found some great pre-seasoned and safe meat at Sam’s.  Putting all the groceries on the table before unloading was a neat visual reminder that although we’re temporarily eliminating so much, we won’t starve.  In fact, we will be eating amazing, yummy food!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.com

Jackie’s going to make us some kale chips.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comTo set us up for success, I prepared all the veggies.  I peeled and chopped the carrots and stored them in water because Pinterest told me to.  Apparently it keeps them crisp.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comWhen I saw this carrot, I wished I had a snow man.  It is the perfect snow man nose.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comCarrots, green onions and lettuce are ready to go!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comAnd the whole fridge is stocked!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThis weekend I also made roasted red pepper hummus, which will provide a great snack throughout the week!

We’ll let you know our progress.  Because this is a true elimination diet for food allergies, there can be no cheating or all the work is void.  If you have food allergies or have done similar diets, give us tips.  We need them.

Rock the Vote

As you probably know, my recipes are step-by-step with lots of photos.  Why?  Because I think step-by-step recipes are super useful and uniquely suited to the blogging medium.  Also, I hope that many gluten-free newbies read my blog and are less intimidated about jumping head first into the world of g.f. cooking.

But sometimes, I mess up.  It’s true.  I know you’re shocked.  Take a moment to sit down if you need to.

You see, sometimes I get everything set up to blog about a recipe.  I buy the ingredients, start the prep and take the pictures.  But somewhere along the way, I forget to continue taking pictures. Usually this happens if I’m making a meal for company, and I get rushed at the end.  Or my blood sugar is low and I’m on the dangerous tight rope between lightheaded and hangry (hunger-induced anger = hangry).  It’s a dangerous place, my friends.  Just ask The Professor.  He’s been caught in those crosshairs before.

This reminds me of a picture I saw on Facebook a few days ago.

hungry

Can I get an Amen?

So, anyways, my point.  I have a few awesome recipes whose photos just sort of unceremoniously ended before the recipe was finished.  They’re amazing recipes, but I wouldn’t normally blog about them because they’re missing some of the step-by-step pictures.

This was making me sad though.  Because, I mean, they’re some of my favorite recipes.  So I’ve decided to feature one of these recipes, and I’m letting you decide!  Right now, they are on the Island of Misfit Blog Posts, and you have the power to set one free!

Vote in the comments section by Friday, February 15th.  Whichever recipe wins will be featured on Accidental Okie!

Recipe 1: Roasted and Caramelized Vegetables with Sesame Seeds and Rosemary

One of my favorite exports from New Zealand.  Filling and economical and oh so good.

roasted veggies

Recipe 2: Quiche

There’s a secret ingredient.  Spoiler alert: it’s in this photo.

quiche

Recipe 3: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

The party food of kings…or of all my friends.  One of the two.

datesSo rock the vote.  Save a recipe!

Cast your vote for which one to save by Friday!  If you’re having trouble voting on the blog, vote on Facebook or my Twitter feed.