Grain Free High Protein & Fiber Bread (xanthan/guar gum free)

Once upon a time (roughly 7 years ago and prior to becoming gluten free) I was a very angry and unhappy young woman. My husband and I were living in a condo in the city and I was working full time from home while taking care of our first baby girl. It was hard. My husband was always gone because he was working full time during the day and taking college courses at night. I never got a break  – a chance to catch my breath. I was trying to figure out the whole “first time mom thing” while working, and since I was home, there was no separation between the two. As I look back now, those years were a blur and sadly, a very unhappy time for both my husband and I (and I’m sure our daughter too).

When one gets so unhappy, it’s sometimes hard to step outside the box and really see what true reality is. That’s what happened to me. I was so stuck in my unhappiness and loneliness that I lost sight of reality. In my warped thinking, I blamed my husband for being away from me and our daughter; it was his fault I was so unhappy (when he really was working hard to create a future for us). Things between us got very ugly.

By the grace of God, one morning I woke up and something clicked. There was a light bulb or a warning light that went off in my head – and I found myself thinking, “I don’t think the problem is really my husband… I think it might be me.” So without my husband’s knowledge, I made an appointment to see a therapist. I remember being incredibly nervous at that appointment, but the therapist was kind and after talking to her for a while, she asked me to fill out a questionnaire. When I was finished she looked it over and told me I suffered from a moderate form of depression. I was dumbfounded. Me? Depressed?! Really?! But I’m a happy person!

As the therapist and I continued to talk, she came to the conclusion that I suffered from post-partum depression. And suddenly it all started to make sense in my mind. I really was depressed, and among other things, my emotions were way out of control. The therapist gave me two treatment options, therapy – or therapy plus meds. I agreed to therapy and that summer/fall I fought and prayed my way out of my pit of depression. It took time, effort, lots of tears, and oddly enough, Weight Watchers.

girls again (Small)

Me (on the right) at my heaviest with best gal pals Carissa (left) and Lisa (middle).

During my time of depression, I managed to gain quite a bit of weight. I had been steadily increasing dress sizes and finally decided enough was enough when my size 16 jeans were getting way too tight. Weight Watchers for me was a real eye opener. Before joining I never paid much attention to nutritional labels, so learning how to read them and make “healthier” choices was a step in the right direction for me. I diligently counted calories and kept a food journal… and the weight started coming off. My body responded really well to a diet high in fiber (among other things), and I lost 35 pounds total from start to finish.

a girl and her hair (Small)

Me after losing 35 lbs – I also decided to chop my hair & color it. I’ve since let it grow out, but at the time it was a bold change I needed (and it was fun & adventurous while it lasted).

The diet-high-in-fiber mentality actually inspired this Grain Free High Protein & Fiber Bread recipe. I’ve found my body doesn’t care for baked goods made from 100% nut flour. It’s just too much “nut” for my system to handle. And since grains are currently a no-go for me, combining a bit of blanched almond flour with flax, whole psyllium husk, and sunflower seed flour seems to be just the perfect combination for my body. My girls and my husband enjoy this bread too. 

Speaking of my husband, this December we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. After all these years, that man still wants to keep me. ;)

Knowing what I do now about gluten, I’m certain my gluten sensitivity played a massive role in my post-partum depression. When I am exposed to gluten I become a very unhappy person and experience a roller coaster of emotions I often cannot control. Part of me wishes “if only I knew then what I know now,” but on the other hand, I really grew as a person those years, and my husband and I grew together as a couple.

As for Weight Watchers, in sharing with you part of my journey, I don’t support their organization, nor do I oppose it. At that point in time, they were exactly what I needed to get back to a healthier weight, although I recognize they push more low fat/high fiber foods vs. healthy whole food ingredients in general. 

If you suffer from sadness and depression, whether it’s due to chronic pain and illness or life changes, I just want to let you know you aren’t alone. There are many of us who have gone through it in one form or another – and there is no shame in seeking help. My therapist provided me with the outlet I needed to release all of the anger, confusion, sadness, and slew of other emotions I hadn’t been able to deal with on my own. She was my sounding board, my safe place and my judgement-free zone for an hour a week for nearly 9 months. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. She played an integral role in my mental health healing and I’m very, very thankful I made the decision to see her.

Grain Free High Protein & Fiber (Small)

Grain Free High Protein & Fiber Bread (xanthan/guar gum free)

Yield: one 9"x5" loaf

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground into flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup whole psyllium husk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Yeast Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water (between 110 – 115 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey and the hot water. Sprinkle in the yeast and give it a quick stir to combine. Proof for 7 minutes (set a timer!) – NO more, NO less time. Make sure you have the other wet and dry ingredients mixed and ready to go when the 7 minutes are up!
  2. Using a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vinegar.
  4. When the yeast is done proofing, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until it’s a little paste-like, and then slowly add the yeast mixture. The dough will appear very watery, but don't panic. As the whole psyllium husk expands and absorbs the water the dough will become thicker. Using your mixer’s low speed setting, mix for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on medium for 3 minutes. (You may need to stop your mixer and scrape the sides of your bowl a few more times.)
  5. Pour dough into a parchment lined and well greased 9 x 5 metal bread pan (the only pan I recommend for this recipe is a metal one, you will not have the same results using other pans). The dough will be very sticky, so wet a spatula and use it to evenly smooth the dough into the bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour (Check the loaf 30 minutes into rising. When the dough is close to hitting the plastic wrap, remove it; allow the dough to rise the remaining time uncovered). When bread is finished rising, bake in a preheated 375 degrees (F) oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove loaf from pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Notes from Megan

Make sure you read my The Everything Guide to Making Gluten Free Bread - Including Troubleshooting Tips prior to making this recipe to ensure the best results!

This loaf will fall slightly while it cools (about 1/4-1/2 an inch), so don't be alarmed. The grain free ingredients used in this recipe are heavy, which 1). causes the loaf to fall and 2). does not allow the loaf to rise to a lofty height like a regular loaf of bread would. I've made this recipe many times testing different measurements of yeast, longer rise times, less moisture, etc. and found this recipe works/rises the best.

Store in an airtight plastic bag. Use within 3 days, or slice, wrap with plastic wrap, place in a plastic bag and freeze for later use.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/06/03/grain-gluten-free-high-protein-fiber-bread-xanthanguar-gum-free/

Possible Substitutions:
I am anticipating many of you will ask about substitutions, so I am providing my thoughts in advance. Please know I haven’t tried any of these substitutions myself, so I’m not sure if they will work. If you find something works or doesn’t work, would you please come back and share your results in a comment? I would appreciate it.

For an almond flour free loaf -
Try replacing the almond flour with hazelnut flour, pecan flour, or more sunflower seed flour.

For an egg free loaf-
Try replacing the eggs with 1/2 a cup of warm water or 1/2 a cup of warm water combined with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. I think an egg free version of this loaf would be best made as a focaccia bread instead of a sandwich bread. Try using a 10 inch cast iron pan or 9 inch metal cake pan. Line it with parchment, grease generously with oil, and then form the dough into a round. Let it rise for about an hour, carefully baste the loaf with olive oil, and then bake it for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees (F).

For a flax free loaf-
Try substituting more blanched almond flour or more sunflower seed flour.

ALL MY LOVE,
xoxo
Megan

This recipe is linked to Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, and Fight Back Friday.

This post contains affiliate links. Allergy Free Alaska, LLC receives a small commission from the sales made through these links. However, we only promote affiliate products we use or support wholeheartedly. The commissions received through your purchases help maintain this site. Thank you for your support! 

Grain Free Sushi for Kids (fully cooked)

My love affair with sushi started when I was in high school. My boyfriend then, and his mom, took me to eat sushi at the one Japanese style restaurant we had in our small town of Kodiak. I had never tried it before (my parents were definitely not sushi eaters). When I received my meal, I couldn’t figure out what the little green paste-like substance was on my plate; they told me it was a form of avocado. “Eat it! You’ll love it!” they said.

I’m ashamed to admit I totally fell for it, and instantly regretted it. The green paste-like substance was wasabi, otherwise known as Japanese Horseradish.

I like Wikipedia’s explanation of wasabi best:

Its root is used as a condiment and has an extremely strong flavor. Its hotness is more akin to that of a hot mustard than that of the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue.

I cried like a baby, drank water like I was dying, and swore revenge on my then-boyfriend and his mom (she is a doll, by the way… wasabi incident aside).

But I fell in love that night… not with the boyfriend, but with the food. It was amazing, fresh, the flavor combinations danced on my tongue and did the happy dance in my belly. Okay, maybe they didn’t do the happy dance, but you know what I’m saying…  ;)

I love sushi, and even wasabi has grown on me over the years; I’ve just learned less is more.

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The idea of making sushi rolls for the girls came to mind as I was desperately trying to figure out what to feed them one day at lunch. The fridge was running on near empty, but I had little bits left over of this and that. I decided to roll the “this and that” up in a sushi roll… thank God it was an instant hit!

These little rolls are the perfect whole food finger food (say that 10 times fast) that kids will love. Kylie was even asking if I could teach her how to make them the next time around (that’s a really good sign).

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Ingredients are layered and now I’m ready to roll my sushi

Grain Free Sushi for Kids:

cooked turkey or chicken breast, cooled and cut into long thin strips
carrot sticks, thinly sliced
cucumber, cut into long thin pieces
avocado, sliced thinly
goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
sushi nori (I use this one)

Notes:

  1. Cooked shrimp or fish would be an excellent substitute for the turkey or chicken breast.
  2. Use whatever veggies you like; be creative – there are no rules to this type of sushi making. You could even throw in slices of mango or other fruit.
  3. I am not an expert on sushi, nor am I am expert on sushi nori. I only use this particular brand (link above) because it’s what the Asian market worker recommended.
  4. Nori can be somewhat chewy. I recommend slicing the rolls extra thin for younger children (ages 3-5). Parents, please use discretion.

Directions:

  1. Place a single piece of nori, rough side up, on a sushi rolling mat (you do not have to have a sushi mat to make these rolls; however, I highly recommend it).
  2. In a row across the mid-bottom, layer the ingredients on the nori similiar to what I have in the picture directly above. You’ll notice my ingredients are evenly distributed horizontally across the nori.
  3. Brush the top part of the nori with water.
  4. Starting with the side closest to you (the bottom), tightly roll the nori until it is closed (the sushi rolling mat is especially helpful for this) and press to seal.
  5. Using a wet knife, cut your sushi into 8 – 10 pieces. Serve immediately.

DSC_0487 (Medium)

Enjoy!
xoxo,
Megan

This post is linked to Natural Living Monday, Tasteful Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Dairy Free Irish Cream Liqueur (refined sugar free & vegan)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Can you believe it’s almost 2013? I can’t… but yet I’m very thankful for the upcoming new year. 2012 was an incredibly tough year for me and my family (a new medical diagnosis, and there were multiple family deaths). I am hoping 2013 will be much more calm, kind, and gentle on us all.

Last year I made many New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’m making one, and only one. I’m determined to finish the one thing I’ve been working on for years… the cookbook (yes, it’s gluten and dairy free). I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and it is so very close to being done. This WILL BE the year of the cookbook!!

Speaking of 2013… have you purchased a calendar yet? If not, please check out my friend, Lisa’s, calendars at Alaska Girl Photography. I LOVE my Alaska Girl calendar. Lisa’s photos of Alaskan scenery are beautiful!

Fixed

Over Christmas, while I was at my brother’s house, I snuck a bit of his Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur in my coffee. It was good, but I didn’t realize how sickly sweet it was. I found myself wondering what I was really drinking (what preservatives and sweeteners were used, did they possibly use high fructose corn syrup?). There are no ingredients listed on the bottle, so unfortunately we are left guessing. I probably should have avoided having any of the Bailey’s altogether, but I didn’t.

Since having a taste of Irish cream, I really wanted to recreate the indulgence to enjoy on New Year’s, but I definitely wanted to make it healthier, and dairy free.

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Irish cream has a very distinct flavor because of the Irish whiskey, but it is also creamy, and slightly sweet with a chocolaty-coffee taste. Honestly, it’s sublime. :)

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This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wheat Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free WednesdaysWaste Not Want Not Wednesday, Freaky Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Simple Meals Friday, Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Friday, Wellness Weekend, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Traditional Tuesdays and Fat Tuesdays

There are many ways to enjoy this recipe. You can use it as a coffee creamer, in baked goods, in other alcoholic drinks, or simply enjoy it “over the rocks!” You decide!

Even though coconut milk is a main ingredient in this recipe, I think many of you will appreciate it does not have a distinct coconutty flavor.

Diary Free Irish Cream Liqueur (refined sugar free & vegan)
Yields about 3 1/2 – 4 1/2  cups

14 ounces canned coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2-1 cup Jameson Irish whiskey (I use 3/4 cup)

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk with the palm sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool for at least an hour.
  2. Place the saucepan contents in a blender along with the coffee, almond milk, cocoa, vanilla and almond extract. Blend until smooth.
  3. Stir in the Irish whiskey to taste and refrigerate overnight or until very cold before serving. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Use within 4-5 days.

Megan’s Recipe Notes:
As the Irish Cream sits in the refrigerator, the cream will separate from the whiskey. Just give it a quick stir before you pour!

Have you visited Shirley Braden’s new website, All Gluten Free Desserts… All the Time?! It’s the new go-to website for gluten free desserts (and really, who doesn’t like looking at amazing pictures of dessert?)! I highly recommend you visit and check out all of the amazing dessert recipes. Don’t forget to also sign up to receive the email updates so you never miss out on a recipe!

Blessing to you and yours – Happy 2013!!

xoxo,
Megan

 

Gluten & Dairy Free Dinner Rolls (Plain, Garlic & Rosemary, or Onion)

The smell of freshly baking rolls is wafting through the house. Who can resist that delectable smell? Warm rolls… fluffy rolls… the kind of rolls that are a little bit of soft heaven when you take a bite. I’ve been searching for these rolls ever since I went gluten free. Searching, recipe testing, and finally… my searching and recipe testing is complete.

Perfection.

The kind of perfection that sops up turkey gravy and those leftover bits of turkey and sweet potato and stuffing from your Thanksgiving Day plate.

Ahem. *Wipes the drool off my keyboard*

I’ve never looked forward to turkey leftovers as much as I am now, because these rolls mean amazing post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.

The worst part about making these rolls is choosing the flavor: plain, garlic & rosemary, or onion. I love all 3, but I have to say I love the onion flavor best. They reminds me of onion bagels (just in flavor, not texture).

Before I get to the recipe, I just want to give you a few tips. This is the consistency you want your dough:

Note that the dough is a little wetter than what you would expect (more like a cookie dough batter), but thick enough to cling to the sides of the bowl and hold its shape when scooped onto a baking tray:

I used a whole cup of water in my dough, but temperature, altitude, and humidity all affect yeast dough. Start with 3/4 cup of water, and then work your way up tablespoon by tablespoon of additional hot water until the dough is the correct consistency.

Once you have the dough divided into 12 dinner rolls on your baking tray, wet your fingers and gently flatten them until they are about 3/4 – 1 inch thick:

They don’t have to be perfect. Inconsistencies in shape add character to your rolls!

Allow the rolls rise for about 30 minutes, and then pop them in the oven (middle rack) to bake. I wonder if you’ll even be able to wait until dinner to taste one?!

Enjoy!
xoxo,
Megan

Gluten & Dairy Free Dinner Rolls (Plain, Garlic & Rosemary, or Onion)

Yield: 12 rolls

Gluten & Dairy Free Dinner Rolls (Plain, Garlic & Rosemary, or Onion)

Ingredients

    Yeast Ingredients:
  • 3/4 - 1 cup hot water, divided (between 105 - 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour or millet flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 - 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • For Garlic & Rosemary Rolls add:
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • For Onion Rolls add:
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey and 3/4 cup hot water. Sprinkle in the yeast and give it a quick stir to combine. Allow to proof for 7 minutes (set a timer!) – NO more, NO less time. Make sure to have the other wet and dry ingredients mixed and ready to go when the 7 minutes are up!
  2. Using a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients. If you are making either the garlic & rosemary or onion flavors, make sure to include the dried rosemary and garlic, or the onion powder and dehydrated onion.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vinegar.
  4. When the yeast is done proofing, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until it’s a little paste-like and then slowly add the yeast mixture. Using the mixer’s low speed setting, mix for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium 2-3 minutes or until the dough is smooth (you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few more times). Add up to 1/4 cup of additional water to get the dough to the necessary consistency (as pictured and explained above), but start by adding 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Drop the dough using an ice cream scoop onto a parchment or silicone lined cookie sheet. There is just enough dough for 12 rolls, so divide the dough up equally between the 12.
  6. Wet your fingers and use them to shape the dough into circles or fix the imperfections (they don’t have to be perfect). Flatten each ball of dough so that it’s approximately 3/4 -1 inch thick (keep wetting your fingers as you go along so that the dough does not stick to them).
  7. Allow the rolls to rise in a warm spot for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). When the oven is fully preheated, bake the rolls for approximately 17 – 19 minutes (so they have a rising time of about 30 minutes total before placed in the oven to bake). They will be nice and golden brown when finished baking.
  9. Remove the rolls from pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Cool for at least 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2012/11/09/dinner-rolls-2-ways-garlic-rosemary-rolls-and-onion-rolls-gluten-free-dairy-free-soy-free/

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent TuesdayFat Tuesday, The Gluten-Free HomemakerAllergy Free Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Kids in the Kitchen, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Keep It Real Thursday, Freaky Friday, Allergy Friendly Friday, and Fight Back Friday.

 

Marinated Veggie Kabobs for the BBQ

Invited to a barbeque or a family get together and need to bring a dish to share? No problem! These veggie kabobs will feed several people, fit several diet types (gluten free, allergy friendly, GAPS, Paleo, Primal, vegan, etc.) and will certainly be a popular favorite.

Marinated Veggie Kabobs Recipe:

For the Marinade:
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
*5 teaspoons Kirkland Organic No Salt Seasoning (or 3 – 5 teaspoons Italian seasoning)
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Veggies:
1.5 pounds sweet mini peppers
1.5 pounds baby portobello mushrooms
2 zucchinis
2 onions (yellow, red or sweet onions would work well in this recipe)

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the stem tops off the sweet mini peppers and discard them. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise (I leave the smaller mini peppers whole).
  3. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise, and then cut them into 2 inch pieces.
  4. Peel off the outer membrane of the onion, which is also called the “tunic.” Slice the onions in 4 – 8 pieces (depending on how large your onions are), leaving the ends of the onion untrimmed (this will ensure your onion chunks will mostly hold together).
  5. Combine the veggies and the marinade in a large mixing bowl and gently toss to thoroughly coat all of the veggies in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 – 6 hours.
  6. Place the veggies on kabob skewers (or place in a grill basket) and grill on medium for about 15 – 25 minutes (rotate the skewers every few minutes to ensure even cooking), or until the veggies are soft and charred.

Megan’s Notes-
*I buy the Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning from Costco. It’s fabulous. I have NOT verified that it is gluten free, although my family has not had a problem with it. It does contain dried bits of tomato, but I use it occasionally anyways.

These veggies are also perfect for healthy camping food; after I toss the veggies together with the marinade I place them in gallon sized bags and throw them in the cooler. We cook them over the fire using a grill basket, that way we don’t have to mess with skewers while we’re camping. 

It is very important the veggies have time to marinate the full 4 – 6 hours. I’ve grilled them without marinating them for long, and they just aren’t as juicy.

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wellness Weekend, Allergy Free Wednesdays, the Gluten-Free Homemaker and Healthy Vegan Fridays .

Enjoy!
Megan

 

Grain Free Fried Alaskan Rex Sole

My sister was in town last week. We had a really great time camping, sightseeing, and just hanging out. One of the highlights of the past week was our trip up to the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska Glacier is located north/northeast of Anchorage, Alaska (I’d say it’s about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive from Anchorage). The glacier itself is about 27 miles long and 4 miles wide.

These pictures really don’t do the scenery justice. I highly recommend seeing the Matanuska Glacier in person, even if you are a local!

We drove to Glacier Park Resort and paid the toll to drive closer up to the glacier. We parked in the parking lot, then hiked closer. Here’s what we had to hike down:

It’s true, I’m not supposed to be doing any hiking because of my knees and my right Achilles tendon being inflamed, but I was wearing good shoes and I refused to miss out. My brother helped me in a few places, but thankfully the path is fairly well maintained, so it wasn’t too bad. Along the path, you can see evidence of where the glacier used to be before it started receding.

And even closer to the glacier, you realize the path you’ve been walking on is actually ice itself.

Once we finally got up to the glacier, I decided it was time I stayed behind and let the others go on ahead of me. I would have liked to continue with them, but I was tired and sore and knew I needed to save some energy for the hike back to the parking lot. There were a couple of picnic tables out for visitors so I sat, enjoyed the view, and took lots of pictures!

This is to the right of the glacier. These are the Chugach Mountains:

This is one of my favorite shots:

For more information on Matanuska Glacier, driving directions, and what to do there, you can check out this article from KTUU.

Grain Free Fried Rex Sole
This recipe is linked to Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, and the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Alaskan Rex Sole is a small flat flounder-like fish. It’s a white fish that is very lean and delicate in flavor and texture. It’s one of my favorite fish to eat, especially fried. I don’t eat a lot of fried foods anymore, but when it comes to Rex Sole, I think I’ll make an exception.  :)

This recipe isn’t exact, but it will give you a good idea of what I used to make this super yummy dish.  :)

1 – 2 lbs Alaskan Rex Sole (or cod, halibut, tilapia, etc…), skinned and sliced into small pieces (Rex Sole is so thin my pieces were about 3×3″)
2 – 4 cups almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 – 3 eggs, beaten
Seasoning (I used a blend of sea salt, parsley, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper)
olive oil for frying

  1. Prepare 2 large sheet pans by covering them in foil or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the almond meal and the seasonings. Set aside.
  3. Blot off excess moisture from the fish using paper towels.
  4. Dip the fish (one or two pieces at a time) into the beaten egg, then dredge in the almond meal. Place the “breaded” fish on the prepared sheet pan and allow the almond meal to absorb the egg. Continue with the remaining pieces of fish until all are dredged in almond meal.
  5. Using a 12 inch cast iron skillet (or something similiar), coat the bottom of the pan with about 1/2 inch of olive oil and heat over medium (once the oil is up to temperature, you may need to lower your heat to medium-low). You may need to add more oil to your pan after a while if you have several pieces of fish to fry.
  6. Fry 3 or 4 pieces of fish at a time, making sure not to crowd the fish in the pan. Each piece may take 3 – 5 minutes per side, depending on how thick your fish is. I generally flip my fish when the breading is golden brown.
  7. Place cooked fish on a place with paper towels, so the excess oil will be absorbed into the towel.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges, a salad, baked sweet potatoes, etc. Cocktail sauce, ranch dressing or tartar sauce are perfect for dipping!

Enjoy!
Megan
xoxo

One more thing…
On a personal note, I received a message from a old high school friend of mine, Steve, who is now a volleyball coach in Midland, Michigan. He asked me if I would post this letter on my blog, and after reading it, I absolutely agreed. Please contact Steven Clevenger directly if you are able to donate to this worthy cause.
Thanks,
Megan

Coach Steven Clevenger
Bay City Western Volleyball
2906 Braley Ct Midland Mi, 48640
(989) 513-7291

Dear Sir or Madam;

Bay City Western Volleyball has teamed up with the Travis Mills Foundation to fund raise $10,000 to support our local hero Travis Mills after the wounds he sustained in Afghanistan.

United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, was critically injured on April 10th by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is only the fourth quadruple amputee, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to survive his injuries. Thanks to his amazing strength, courage, an incredible will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, and the prayers of thousands, Travis has returned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, near Washington DC, where he is on the road to recovery. Every day is a battle, but Travis continues to astound friends and family alike with his progress and with his amazing spirit. SSG Travis Mills is a genuine American hero, and for his incredible sacrifice, we are forever in his debt. (http://www.travismills.org/ )

Travis’s sacrifices for our country are truly amazing and the Western High School Volleyball program would like to help provide support not only for Travis but also for his wife Kelsey and his six month old daughter Chloe.

On October 16, 2012 a volleyball match will take place between Mt Pleasant High School and Bay City Western High School in which we will honor Travis Mills and his family. With your help of either a financial donations or a donation of goods that can be auctioned off we can make this event a success and send a clear message that we will support our troops in their time of need. Any donation big or small will be greatly appreciated and all donators will be recognized during the volleyball match.

If you are able and willing to donate either mail (2906 Braley Ct Midland Michigan) or contact Coach Steven Clevenger 989-513-7291 and we will arrange pickup of the item(s).

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Steven Clevenger
Head Coach Bay City Western Volleyball
989-513-7291
Clevenger2010 [at] gmail [dot] com

Version #2 – Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread Recipe (for two full-sized bread loaves)

Making bread, or any other baked good gets to be a chore when life is busy or I’m not feeling well. Lately I’ve been making our family’s favorite bread, but making two loaves at once. I leave one out for us to use, and slice, wrap, and freeze the other. It’s been a huge time saver for me.

Fresh out of the oven!

Dough divided equally between 2 bread pans

Just finished rising and now ready for the oven

Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread Recipe
Yields 2 full-sized bread loaves

A few notes:

  1. For more detailed directions with pictures, please see my original post of the Gluten & Rice Free Bread Recipe.
  2. You must have a heavy duty mixer that can handle at least 8 cups of flour to make this.
  3. There are 4 tablespoons of honey total in this recipe, it is just split up between the wet ingredients and the yeast ingredients.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cup millet flour
2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup blanched almond meal/flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup brown teff flour (amaranth flour would work well too)
1/2 cup sorghum flour (or more millet flour)
1/2 cup flax meal
5 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoons sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Yeast Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups hot water (between 110 – 115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons honey
5 teaspoons active dry yeast (NOT instant yeast)

Directions:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the honey and the hot water.  Sprinkle in the yeast and give it a quick stir to combine.  Allow to proof for 7 minutes (set a timer!) – NO more, NO less time.  Make sure you have the other wet and dry ingredients mixed and ready to go when the 7 minutes are up! 

Using a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, molasses, honey, and vinegar.

When the yeast is done proofing, add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Stir until it’s a little paste-like, then slowly add the yeast mixture. Using your mixer’s low speed setting, mix for about 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on medium for 2 – 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth. (You may need to stop your mixer and scrape the sides of your bowl a few more times.)

Divide the dough evenly between 2 well greased 9 x 5″ bread pans (I line my bread pans with parchment paper and then grease) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour (Check the loaf 30 minutes into rising. When the dough is close to hitting the plastic wrap, remove it; allow the dough to rise the remaining time uncovered.) When the dough is just peaking over the sides of the bread pan (like in the picture above), it is time to bake (and depending on the temperature of your house, the bread may be ready to bake after 30 mins of rising, or it may take a full hour. Keep an eye on it, do not allow the bread to over rise, otherwise it will fall when it’s finished baking.) Bake in a preheated 375 degrees (F) oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove loaves from pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack.  Allow the loaves to cool before slicing or freezing.

To prepare loaves for freezing, slice, wrap in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag, and freeze. I thaw my bread loaves on my counter, or if I’m in a hurry, I’ll pop a frozen slice in the toaster for immediate use.

Enjoy!
Megan

Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread

Out of all the bread recipes I’ve come up with, this one is my favorite. The flavor reminds me of what homemade wheat bread tastes like, or what I remember it tasting like anyways! This bread is perfect for sandwiches or toast. My favorite way to eat is to toast it, then make an egg salad sandwich.  :)

A few reminders when making gluten free bread:

  • Use your mixers paddle attachment! Gluten free bread requires no kneading because of its batter consistency (it should be just slightly thicker than a cake batter).

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Use fresh yeast and make sure your proofing water is at the right temperature! Here is what your yeast mixture should look like when it’s finished proofing – nice and foamy. If it doesn’t look like this either your yeast is bad or the water isn’t the right temperature; throw it out and start again.

Other notes/visuals regarding this bread recipe:

  • Here’s what your bread should look like when you first put the dough into the bread pan:

  • It’s time to put the bread in the oven when it looks like this:

  • See how it’s just slightly creeping up higher than the side of the bread pan? Make sure your oven is up to temperature by the time your loaf looks like this. My loaf only took 50 minutes to rise (in Alaska, in the dead of winter, in a house set at 72 degrees F) and it will take even less time if you live in a hot/humid climate.

  • Fresh out of the oven:

Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread

Yield: 1 large bread loaf

Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown teff flour (amaranth flour would work well too)
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Yeast Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water (between 110 – 115 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (NOT instant yeast)

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey and the hot water. Sprinkle in the yeast and give it a quick stir to combine. Allow to proof for 7 minutes (set a timer!) – NO more, NO less time. Make sure you have the other wet and dry ingredients mixed and ready to go when the 7 minutes are up!
  2. Using a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, molasses, and vinegar.
  4. When the yeast is done proofing, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until it’s a little paste-like, then slowly add the yeast mixture. Using your mixer’s low speed setting, mix for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on medium for 2 – 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth. (You may need to stop your mixer and scrape the sides of your bowl a few more times.)
  5. Pour dough into a parchment lined and well greased 9 x 5? metal bread pan (the only pan I recommend for this recipe is a metal one, you will not have the same results using other pans) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour (Check the loaf 30 minutes into rising. When the dough is close to hitting the plastic wrap, remove it; allow the dough to rise the remaining time uncovered.) When bread is finished rising, bake in a preheated 375 degrees (F) oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove loaf from pan and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Allow the loaf to completely cool before slicing (if you can stand to leave it alone for that long!).

Recipe Notes from Megan

Are you new to baking gluten free bread? Or maybe you have some questions about this recipe? Check out my Everything Guide to Making Gluten Free Bread - Including Troubleshooting Tips.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2012/03/12/gluten-rice-free-multigrain-bread/
This recipe is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Free Monday.

 

Enjoy it!
Megan