Monday, May 13, 2013

Talking About Food

Today I'm sharing recipes and ideas from Mother's Day brunch yesterday. Like many families, we have individuals in our family who have special dietary needs. Doing without can be discouraging at times, especially when one is diligent in their transition to eat in the way their health requires. Our menu criteria includes eating gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegetarian. Gluten grains are wheat, oats, barley, and rye and must be avoided. And sugar-free, in our family, includes natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, and honey. Stevia is our "go to" sweetener and it works quite well in satisfying the sweet tooth. It makes menu planning challenging at times! Here's what we had for Mother's Day brunch.

Pancakes! Well, they started out as crepes, but that wasn't communicated with the second baker, and the stack grew into pancakes instead. They came from a new mix from The Pure Pantry called Organic Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix. I especially appreciate this product because it is made from mostly whole grains. The ingredients are buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, flax meal, white rice flour, aluminum free baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and xanthan gum. Other things that can be made from this mix are scones, waffles, muffins, and biscuits.

Fresh apricots! They are sweetened with stevia and garnished with fresh mint. They were served with a low-calorie invention that turned out quite deliciously! It is my version of English clotted cream. It's simply low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with stevia to taste. It worked beautifully as topping for our fruit and cakes. A dairy-free version can be made by using soy yogurt (drained in a dishcloth or sieve to thicken) with stevia added to sweeten. It's so thick that the teaspoon stands up in the center!

Strawberries! They are wonderful gems of deliciousness each spring! Sliced and sweetened with stevia, they were simple and sweet.

And blueberries! These were picked in the neighbor's patch last summer and frozen. We've been enjoying them all winter long. Today, they were cooked with water. Once they had thawed and simmering, stevia was added along with a slurry of cornstarch and water. A thick, delicious topping was the result. How easy is that? If you like, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla too.

Because it was Mother's Day, we added a food that was a staple on Grandma Katie's table. Cottage cheese. Here everything is stacked on top of a pancake to make a tasty breakfast dish!

The last item on our menu is one that's a special treat, as it is somewhat expensive at $4.99 for a package of 8 hot dogs. Most vegetarian hot dogs (and other meat analogues) depend upon gluten to give them substance and structure. Vegetarian celiacs find that a staple in the creation of most main dishes is now not available to them. Not only do they give up bread and many baked products, but main dishes like choplets, soy-chik, veggie burger, and luncheon veggie slices are no longer foods they can eat. We discovered Tofu Pups which are completely soy based and no gluten is used. It was something we discovered quite by accident, and they have been something we've been able to add into our meals upon occasion. I also keep watch for times that Tofu Pups are on sale and then buy several that I pop into the freezer until I'm ready to serve them. Catsup, that wonderful red condiment, contains lots of sugar. So, we've come up with all sorts of alternatives. Here, the tofu pups are served with a homemade tartar sauce. Into about 1 cup of Vegenaise we added finely chopped sweet onions, pickles, and celery. Then, about 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and a very tiny amount of stevia and sea salt. Add just enough soymilk to moisten and make the mixture thin enough to spoon or pour. Mix together well and serve. Very yummy! You can add chopped pimento or green, yellow, or red peppers too if you'd like. By the way, Vegenaise is a wonderful mayo to use anytime you use a recipe that calls for mayonnaise. I was raised on Miracle Whip. My husband on Best Foods. We have found a compromise in this product and both love it best!

I know this is a fairly "technical" post. I apologize to readers who may not find this information useful, but to those who find they require a diet with restrictions, I hope there's something here to hope and encourage.

Our brunch was enjoyed with hot cups of delicious Adagio darjeeling.


  1. This does sound like a yummy Mother's Day brunch. I would be curious to try the pancake mix. Jill doesn't eat soy, so haven't explored soy products.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful brunch, and you've got me thinking I may need to go back for that stevia plant I left behind at the store on Friday!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing gluten free, yummy and healthy dishes. I am gluten free as well as one daughters family. I haven't heard of the pancake mix before but appreciate the recommendation.
    Have a great evening.

  4. Everything sounds delicious, La Tea Dah. Mmm mmm mmm I'd like some of those panny cakes right now. Must be supper time. Susan

  5. Hence no time for quilting! All very yummy sounds and looking.

  6. Such a yummy and beautiful special brunch! Thanks for sharing all the healthy tips! Have a wonderful week!

  7. Your Mother's Day brunch looks most delicious...special dietary requests met and all!

    Thanks for leaving a comment over at 'my front porch'...on my Minter Gardens post. I was going to send you an e-mail, but couldn't find an e-address. Most interesting...that your mom grew up in this area and attended CHS. And that you have her school ring!

  8. Beautiful pictures..delitefully yummy foods I am sure! At this moment in time we don't have these issues [thankful] but I definitely admire your thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, and tenacity in putting together a beautiful meal where no one feels they are missing all "the good stuff"..I always enjoy your post and the photos.


  9. What a beautiful menu, thoughtfully suited for everyone's needs. I'm sure every bite was delicious.


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.