Sunday, December 7, 2008

Agave Gone Wild: An Experimental Evening In The Kitchen

You may notice that this week's recipes have something in common: Agave.  If you haven't heard of my little friend here, let me inform you. Agave is a wonderful, natural vegan sweetener with a low glycemic index (woo hoo.)

Because granular sugar is not encouraged on a low oxalate diet, I decided it's about damn time I broke out the not-so-secret ingredient that health nuts have been lovin' on for a while now.

Now reader, let me warn you.  This week was an experimental week.  I'm definitely satisfied with the below, but it's probably a recipe that could do with a little tweaking (but it certainly serves its purpose.)

I actually had big plans for this dish.  It was originally going to be a sandwich.  Then it was going to be an open faced sandwich.  Then, when my experiment didn't go so well, it became a deconstructed sandwich: filling on one side of the plate, starch on the other.  And you know what happened?  Nothing happened.  It didn't work out how I planned, but I still got a nice filling meal out of it.  And don't fret, one day, I'll get it right.

Also, my brother wanted me to mention him on my blog tonight because I was cooking while talking with him.  Since he's one of two people who reads this blog, I figured, why not.

Gluten-Free Cornbread
Turkey Cheese Roll-ups with Tangy Slaw

1) Gluten-Free Cornbread
I'm just gonna go out and say: to me, cornbread is one of those tricky things to make.  Too much wet, it doesn't cook through.  Too much dry, and it crumbles faster than my bank account during the holidays.  Like I said, I gave it a go.  It's a tad on the drier side for cornbread, but it does have a nice density to it and generally stays together.  I think it'd be good paired with something wet- like soup or the yummy slaw that follows.  As always, when storing gluten-free baked goods for more than a couple of days, freeze your creation (I like a layer of foil and a layer of wax paper, then put in zip-lock bags) and thaw later for same day freshness.


2 1/2 cups of cornmeal (gluten free)*
2 cups milk less 3 tbs (I used lactose free organic milk)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs baking powder
1/2 cup agave

*For you low oxalate eaters, 1 cup of cornmeal is a moderate oxalate intake, which means it shouldn't be consumed more than once a day. Translation: don't go crazy eating the cornbread.
Have one small square a day as your moderate oxalate choice and don't forget to drink all your water!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cornmeal and milk together until combined.
Add the olive oil, agave, and baking powder, in that order.
Beware that the baking powder will clump, and mix that bad boy 'til its lump free 
(but don't over mix)
Pour into a 9x13 baking dish/pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

2) Turkey Cheese Roll-ups with Tangy Slaw
The only thing that requires a "recipe" (and I use that very loosely as you'll see) is the slaw. Basically, all I did was take a slice or Provolone cheese, a slice of turkey, and topped with some slaw.  To eat, you bend the cheese taco-style and voila, easiest dinner ever.

Tangy Slaw

10 oz shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup canola oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Mix all those up.
Eat all those up.

An Apple A Day Keeps Me Wanting More Apples

I can't believe another week has gone by so quickly! I've been so stressed and so busy lately that on Friday the last thing I wanted to do was imagine what I was going to concoct this weekend for dinner. Then at around 3pm or so, I got a craving or two which leads me to this week's dessert.

Sweet tooth. It's a person with a penchant for sweets. And oh man, do I have a sweet tooth! But alas, on a low oxalate diet, you are urged to stay away from those pesky granular and complex sugars. So what could I make to satisfy my I have to eat something sweet or I may die feeling (okay, a bit melodramatic I admit)...

I give you the easiest dessert you will ever make that will always leave a smile on your face:

Apple Crisp


5 small gala apples, peeled, quartered and chopped up
1/4 cup agave
1 tsp cinnamon
3 or 4 handfuls of cornflakes (I use gluten free, of course)


(pre-baked, dotted with butter)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Take the chopped apples and toss with the agave.
Add 1 tsp of cinnamon and stir until evenly coated.
Grease a 8x8 or 9x9 square dish with butter.
Pour the apple mixture into pan.
Dot apple mixture with butter.
Take handfulls of cornflakes and crush in your hand while sprinkling over the apples.
Bake covered for 40-45 minutes.
Remove cover and bake for 5 more minutes.
Serve up this sucker with some low-fat vanilla ice cream!