Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Best Ever Gluten-Free Banana Bread

The past couple of weeks, I've been quite caught up in working with my friend Rita Golden Gelman and her non-profit organization Let's Get Global - an awesome movement to spread the Gap Year mentality, inspiring it to become a cultural norm, a popular practice to send kids between high school and starting college abroad to have cross-cultural experiences.

My husband and I have also been in the midst of showing our home and negotiating the sale of our property. We have an offer and should know sometime today, if the potential buyer has accepted our counter offer.

I said all that to say that my/our cooking has been of a rather minimalist nature. My husband has been great about fixing us some simply delicious meals.

My daughter, Effie, is baking up a batch in the kitchen again - this time making the best-ever banana bread (really), and wonder of wonders it's also gluten-free! Effie shares her recipe, her photo and writes:

"I'll be making up a GF loaf for this weekend...but here is the recipe and picture for your blog!

From "The Big Book of Breakfast" pg. 292 (printed in 2003)

Banana Bread

Use very ripe bananas to make this moist bread. Serve as a side bread for breakfast or with afternoon coffee or tea. It is best made a day before serving. This bread also freezes well.


1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 to 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4)
1/3 cup water
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute rice flour to make GF)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, and water and beat for 30 seconds. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until blended. Stir in nuts.
  2. Pour mixture into a lightly sprayed or oiled 4-1/2-by-8-1/2-by-2-1/2-inch loaf pan. (Makes 1 loaf.)
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (I baked for 55 and may reduce time to 50 so as not to over-brown the crust.) Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and remove bread from pan. When cool, wrap in foil to store.
Thanks again, Effie! Looking forward to your next batch with all those bananas in your kitchen ripening and getting sweeter as I write!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Raw, Vegan Gluten-Free Macaroons

My youngest daughter, Effie, is always considering what she can make for me that is gluten-free. One evening when we were invited over for dinner, she made raw, sugar-free vegan macaroons for dessert. It took her only a few minutes to make. The recipe comes from Jolinda Hackett.

As you can see, macaroons go great with ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate! The second image is a close-up so you can lick your screen. Better yet, get in the kitchen and make yourself a batch.


8 medium sized dates
1 banana
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut


Remove the pits from dates. Place ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Depending on the size of the dates and the ripeness of the bananas, you may need to add more or less coconut to get the right consistency. Mixture should be moist, but not too gooey.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until done. Cookies will be soft, but should cook enough to have a golden brown bottom and hold together well.

Note: Dates do contain a fair amount of natural sugar, but this recipe contains no refined or white sugar. Also, to be truly sugar-free, make sure the coconut flakes you are using do not have any added sugar. You may need to shop for sugar-free coconut flakes at a natural foods store.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet & Sour Citrus Salad

What! The last time I blogged was March 2nd! Where did the time go... let me tell you.

I haven't spent much time in the kitchen coming up with new, tasty and exciting delectable dishes, because we've been doing some traveling about the west coast, flew to the east coast, and once home we were off again to Central Oregon to visit family.

While visiting Bristol and Newport, Rhode Island, I enjoyed some of their freshest and finest seafood I've ever tasted - lobster at DeWolf Tavern, the best ever fish & chips at Via Blue Ocean, and scallops at Scales and Shells (also at Ray's Boathouse in Seattle, Wa). Clam poppers were new to me. Crab cocktail and grilled oysters in Port Townsend and The 3 Crabs in Sequim, Wa.

Here's just a taste...

Since I've been back, I've been bogged down with the cares of life, getting ready for a garage sale and putting our house back on the market.... all this seems to have sucked away any drops of culinary inspiration these past few weeks.

I must say though that watching episodes of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is lighting sparks under my damp fire. And today, I mustered up enough enthusiasm to vote for my favorite dish in Oliver's Virtual Recipe Club- 20 Minute Meals/Cookbook Contest.

So, I'll begin again with a quick meal/side salad, something vegan, basic and sour, then sweeten it up to refresh and cleanse our palate!

I'm going to kick the blocks out from under my lethargy in the kitchen to kick-start an new wave of culinary enthusiasm, by sharing a healthy, zesty citrus salad with you!


1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 large navel orange, peeled and sectioned
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large red pepper, julienned
1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or to taste
2 teaspoons grated onion
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 cups torn salad greens
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the citrus sections and sprinkle with the sugar.
  2. Add the red pepper, red onion and toss lightly.
  3. In a blender, combine the honey, vinegar, poppy seeds, grated onion, lemon juice, salt, mustard and lemon peel. Cover and process until blended.
  4. Pour over fruit mixture and toss to coat.
  5. In a large serving bowl, toss the salad greens, mushrooms and fruit mixture.
  6. Option - top with some slivered almonds or tasty candied pecans!
Yields 6 servings