Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gluten free flours and mixes - a Bob's Red Mill Review (and who's doing it better).

Bob’s Red Mill Product Review
Bob Moore of Bob's Red Mill
(image above is from their website)
Ever looked at the gluten free section in your store or online and wonder - wow - I wonder how Bob's Red Mill Products are?
Perhaps you tried them and like them....
I have, so...I'm going to just review my Bob's Red Mill attempts in this single post. As a gluten free baker I try to turn to pre-milled flours sometimes to alleviate much prep work needed to soak, grind and store the grains.
Can I "soak/sprout" away gluten?
I also want to say something to the people who try to tout soaked/sprouted wheat as "gluten free" or "gluten reduced". When you have severe issues with gluten (Celiac Disease) and/or a direct allergy to wheat, rye, barley; no amount of "pre-digesting" the grain is going to help you. You may even need to stay away from supposedly gluten free oats. Bummer.
And some of us may never be able to eat gluten safely again. No matter what steps we take to heal our gut - it just isn't going to happen. So we are in constant search for those products that allow us to enjoy the foods we recall tasting so good.
From their site: "Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods produces more than 400 products, including a full line of certified gluten free products and an extensive line of certified organicproducts. With a wide variety of whole grain products, from flours and hot cereals to baking mixes and grains, Bob’s Red Mill has “whole grain foods for every meal of the day.”"
The Review in short:
Naturally, I have not used all of their 400 products, but I have used a significant amount; regretfully many without success. I've tried most of their recipes from the back of the bag as well and 90% of them tasted weird, have too much liquid, leavening, etc - many times I should have trusted myself to adjust the recipe when it seemed off.
I've had better luck with flours from King Arthur, Authentic Foods (a favorite), Pamela's (however their baking mix has dairy and leavening in it and I've stopped using it), and Gluten Free Pantry.
I've tried many other brands I was lukewarm about; Arrowhead Mills (I find many of their flours too coarse), Betty Crocker (where's their grain coming from? Are they actually gluten free pantry like everybody says?), etc , and I've also bought prepared goods from Glutino, Udi's (lovin' their blueberry muffins), Rudi's, French Meadow, etc. I'm not a Gluten Free novice and I've left some brands off the list like Chebe and the other one in the brown bags that escapes me right now - they pale in comparison.
I'm really not interested in hearing about any new mixes - unless of course it will knock my socks off and be dairy free and organic....
I've reviewed a couple on their website so those reviews are included here with photos. I should probably review ALL of their products on the website but that takes so much time.
So onto what I've used (please assume all products are GF):
Almond Flour
Best product that I've tried from Bob's so far. i like to use it to make cakes, muffins and other baked goods. Keeps it moist and adds protein. Almond flour is highly perishable and should be kept in the freezer as they suggest.
Sweet Rice Flour
works for thickening BAD POUND CAKE
We use this product in our gluten free baking and in sauces, however the Pound Cake Recipe on the back is horrendous. The recipe has to be off. A FIRE started in my oven.
Sorghum Flour
I love this flour - it is very versatile, sort of heavy, though so use it sparingly. I use it in my from scratch maple brownies and it is divine. I have made the scones - I prefer my own. I'll be making scones soon, posting and linking to the recipe - meanwhile - try Pamela's recipe on her baking mix if you eat dairy.
Brown Rice Flour
A staple in my kitchen - our brown rice flour is the base of my gluten free flour mix. Can't live without it.
Potato Flour
Another staple in our kitchen, used as part of the gluten free mix and as a thickener.
Garfava Flour
Another all purpose flour I use in 1/3 amount in my flour mix - it can make things taste "beanie". Babycakes features their blondie recipe on the back - I think they are pretty good - but can get beanie as I mentioned before.
Xanthan Gum
THE STAPLE FOR THICKENING AND BINDING. Very slippery - very messy - don't underestimate the power of this stuff - usually 1/4 tsp is enough. Yeah yeah - I know you can use flax seeds, chia, and some other things (kuzu - what I use in my brownies and arrowroot). YEAH I know it is a refined corn product. Honestly, I've not found anything else that works like it.
Corn flour
Another staple - just fine - keeps well in vacuum container.
Wonderful Polenta - just what you expect. I like to soak mine in whey for 24 hours before cooking.
Old Fashioned oats
Another staple at our house. Great with soaked/baked oatmeal. This is a link to my favorite recipe:
Cornbread Mix
This was actually pretty good. Quite heavy from the general recipe so I experiment with lightening it up. It stands up well to experimentation, additions like jalapeños and Tillamook cheddar....
We eat a lot of millet in the morning and I use it like couscous as a side. This is pretty good. I actually like it better than Gold Mine - I find that the small Gold Mine grains have little stones.
Millet Flour
This makes morning sweets even sweeter. It is a very nutritious and dense flour - very yummy.
Quinoa Flour
We use this, but sparingly, it can taste a little bitter and impart a flavor you might not enjoy into baked goods.
This is exchanged with millet or added to millet as a side dish. It must be rinsed. It "sprouts" quickly. Very nutritious - tastes better as a grain than a flour. However - I like to add Quinoa flakes [Ancient Harvest] to my baked goods sometimes - banana bread is really nice with it (1/2 cup).
Pizza Crust
One of the better pizza crusts in a bag. If you can get it really thin it is good. Tip: Bake the crust first on a pan with parchment - then put on your toppings and put it back in...Don't use a stone with gluten free crust - it will be too hard.
Whole Grain Bread Mix
I personally like this bread, it is better than the "wonderful" bread mix; it is a little grainy so the kids and husband don't like it.
Brown Rice Farina
Very successful morning cereal for the children with cultured butter and maple syrup or preserves.
Biscuit and Baking Mix
It really is too bad this stuff only works for pastry for me (prefer Gluten Free Pantry for pastry crust though) - but that is a big positive since I do make tarts often. The biscuits are terrible - prefer these from scratch as well (123 Gluten free has THE BEST Gluten Free Southern Style biscuits EVER:
Wonderful Bread Mix
A staple here...although after eating Udi's for a while I can taste the heavy bean flour in this bread and it is too much. I was making sourdough from scratch this summer and it was great but a lot of work - I'll keep working and post a recipe when I think I've perfected it. Everybody's is different though due to your humidity and environment.
All Purpose Baking Flour
King Arthur beats the pants off this mix. Don't even bother with it. Too grainy, heavy and beanie tasting for us.
Steel Cut Oats
The kids and husband don't like these so we don't eat them anymore - too chewy.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
These cookies never taste right. They taste too beanie or soapy or something - must have too much leavening agent. They are sometimes grainy!
Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal
We tried this a couple of times - kids don't like it - they'd rather soaked oatmeal or millet.
Brownie Mix
Another general bummer. Pamela's brownies are by far the best mix I've sampled so far. But I have a brownie recipe that will delight and amaze (will blog it soon after I make them next and will update and link).
Chocolate/Vanilla  Cake Mixes
Nothing to write home about, cooks evenly, a little bland on the chocolate. Pamela's tastes better and Betty Crocker is just as good and cheaper).
Buckwheat Groats/Kasha
Tried a few times to serve this as a side or a cereal to my family - they hate it. I'm not partial to it either way - it sits in the freezer.
Pancake Mix
I don't know what it is but every time I make this the pancakes taste like FISH. YEAH - that's right - FISH. They are repulsive. I check the dates, try them from different locations, etc - but blech.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix
TERRIBLE. Don't even bother.
Please leave your comments below.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The gluten free banana/squash muffins

I love these muffins - very easy. I use raw and organic ingredients. The honey is raw and unfiltered, milk raw goat, butter is organic and cultured, flours are organic, the eggs are from our chickens, butternut squash from our garden, and organic bananas.
You need to make some butternut squash puree before you start (you can also use kombocha)  - so trim up a squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and steam until tender - puree or mash. Soften your butter - leave it out on the counter with the eggs the night before you make them.

your ingredients:
2 cups gluten free flour blend (1/2 sorghum, 1/2 brown rice, 1/2 tapioca, 1/2 quinoa is what I use - but - quinoa flour is an acquired taste and you can substitute more brown rice flour)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional - leaving it out makes crumblier muffins - they were just fine when I left it out this morning)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter softened
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
3 bananas
1/2 cup pureed/mash butternut or kombocha squash
your method:
1. preheat oven to 350 - line 12 muffin tin or 24 mini-muffin tin with liners - alternatively spray with non-stick spray.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. cream honey and butter
4. add eggs
5. add vanilla
6. add bananas and squash
7. add 1/4 cup milk
8. slowly add flour
9. mix until combined
10. put in prepared pan - I fill mine and they work fine.
bake for 25 minutes check with toothpick - should come out clean.
let cool completely - especially if you use quinoa flour.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Environmental Fair

This weekend I was the host for the Seabreeze Organic Farm CSA ( table at the Encinitas Environmental Fair.
Our day could have been so much better for a few reasons:

  • Somebody else set this entire thing up - luckily I read the Vendor sign up so I could request a tablecloth from the owners. The Vendor sign up also said we had a tent - more on that later!
  • At the farm there was a bag of veggies, postcards and some business cards with NO NAME.
  • There was half a bag of fruit - but it wasn't marked so we weren't sure I should take it.
  • When I got to the fair - somebody forgot to reserve a tent - there I was, with fresh produce and flowers to display and no tent - with the unpredictable sun - that was really a problem. So the owners had to bring me a tent AND the fruit (I really hated having to interrupt their Sunday).
  • I could have sold about 30 CSA subscriptions had there been a sign-up sheet, price list and shareholder agreements.
  • We could have also used a SIGN that said who we were...for about $30.00 they could have a sign made and we'd look much more professional.

So before the tent and the fruit came - this was our table (I brought the apple for my snack - but needed it to hold down the postcards - then people kept touching it - so there was no eating that):

The fair looked awesome, I met some great people, but a great many concerns came into view.

1. People do not understand the true costs of their produce.

Ponder if you will the differences between conventionally grown food vs. organic/chemical free food - yes i said chemical free - this means not even the allowable organic chemicals. Learn more here -
2. People still believe everything that is told to them, and I mean this from the left - the crazy radical talk - like all tomatoes are gassed to turn red, all chicken farmers cut beaks, there's no such thing as real free range. Or my favorite - all corn is GMO...and my other favorites from the right - what's more sustainable about organic? Isn't it wasteful?
My advice here:

  1. DO NOT buy fresh tomatoes out of season - grow your own - indoor, on your patio, in a topsy turvy - who cares - honestly skip "fresh" tomatoes if you aren't able to grow them at home - and it isn't tomato season.
  2. I love Rainbow Ranch Farms for many reasons - they treat their chickens very well. No clipped beaks and totally free range. Don't buy chickens from the store unless you know of the practices that the farm and the slaughterhouse use - yeah I used that word. Think about it.
  3. Yes, GMO corn is everywhere – but there is GMO free corn. In order to cross corn you have to do it somewhat manually or have your field right next or near a GMO field. Corn that is GMO-free and organic is sold by people who mark it clearly. We grow ours in the back yard. Just enough for our use – and YES – corn has a season too…we've had no issues with pests and our corn – so why in the world would you need to modify it? Only because you are growing it unnaturally and therefore the pests are coming to tell you – don't do it this way. We grow ours in the "three sisters" method – beans, squash, corn. Beans fix nitrogen, squash shades the ground and keeps weeds out. You can get three harvests from one plot. Unfortunately, when commercially growing corn you need to use machines to harvest (or do you?) so you'd hurt your other crops…maybe we should think about other ways to harvest?
  4. There's no way that organic farming is wasteful – quite the opposite. Heard some nasty allegations that cover cropping was a waste of a season or something – well not really – you can use it as green manure, livestock feed, etc – then once the livestock is done grazing, you turn it all in and start over…what a way to go…the earth is not stripped, you don't have to put any chemical fertilizers on or anything.
3. People think CSAs are inconvenient, pricey and not local (what?).

I do know that Seabreeze is very economical - and they deliver! If you are trying to shop farmer's markets and other chain stores - especially Whole Foods and Jimbos (local to us). A month of deliveries every week delivery is 250 for a large bag with fruit – you can do every other week as well or a small "gift bag" for $75. That's $65 a week for varied local fruits and veggies with a bouquet of flowers – nice!
4. So many people are incredibly uninformed - but walk around so very proud that they shop at farmer's markets - guess what folks - not all farmers at the farmer's market are organic!

What I totally forgot to mention to people was something awesome that Seabreeze offers: the grow food kit
The complete GrowFoodKit costs $1295 which includes shipping. Please call 858-481-0209 or email us at for questions or to place your order.
I did encounter some lovely people. Unfortunately my demeanor was tainted by the looming stomach bug. I left early. I suffered when I got home. My poor husband had it that morning (3AM); mine started at 3PM, then the 5 year old at 3AM the next morning....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Allison, Allison, what do you grow? Lots of fruits, herbs and veggies you know.

This week I am posting photos of my garden. I picked up my beef share this week and now my freezer is very full. I never really had anything but flours in there anyways - but now I can't get anything else in there. 

This week I'm also harvesting some artichokes, shallots, carrots, peaches, rhubarb, fava beans and garlic. Our CSA, Seabreeze is still filling in the gaps of the garden. I've planted some lettuces however, I've been so busy working that I have skipped a few days of watering so they've not germinated :(.

After I make the cobbler, preserves, crisp, pot roast, artichoke dip, and fava bean fettuccine I will post photos and recipes.

I wanted to share how I started my garden and how long it took to get it really producing. 
Our plan:
Amend soil (fall - when the first few rains happen)
Make landscape plans
Agree on what to grow
Research for our soil and climate - plus companion planting and planting for beneficials
Mulch like crazy
Get seeds and starts
Start planting (January - when new year rains start)
Cloche and cover
Check soil and water
Thin sowing
We also planted herbs and lettuces in pots near the house for easy use
Keep up with composting so that we could use it
Books we read:

The Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking

The Organic Garden (A practical guide to natural gardens, from planning and planting to harvesting and maintenance) 

Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (Paperback)

California Top 10 Garden Guide: The 10 Best Roses, 10 Best Trees--the 10 Best of Everything You Need - The Plants Most Likely to Thrive in Your Garden ... Important Tasks in the Garden Each Month

Plus I have had a subscription to Organic Gardening for about 4 years.

How do you really start such a project so that your soil will LAST and be full of slow release sustainable food for your plants? How do you get nitrogen that plants need into the soil without buying heaps of stuff?

Two years ago we bought some Crimson Clover from Peaceful Valley Garden Supply I order most of my seed and starts from there. We had about 6k sq feet in the very back of our lot to create a vegetable garden. The soil in some places was great because the previous owners of our house composted...what genius!

However, most of the area we wanted the garden to be was used as a dumping ground for yard waste and concrete. I must mention we had many mustards growing here. Mustards are really good at improving soil quality, but we wanted to use this space so they had to go. We had to clear this, till the land and plant our green manure - the clover. And we needed to plant the clover around the rain schedule for the fall/winter (Nov). Here in Southern California we don't see a single drop of rain for MONTHS on end - yeah fog here and there but real rain that makes stuff grow - not for 5-6 months straight. But we got the clover seeds out and the rain helped sprout them and up came our field.

It was beautiful and grew very well. After it was about 18 inches high we went out and weed whacked it all. Then my husband tilled it all under. This green then rots in the soil and makes it nice. We had started a compost pile a while before so some of that also went out onto the lot.
I think that thing was tilled at least 3 times, maybe 4. Let me say now - this is hard work, but extremely rewarding.

We weren't quite ready to plant until March, but when we did, many things went in, over the next year and a half we put in an almond tree, another apricot, artichokes, broccoli, corn, carrots, fava beans, haricot verts, olive trees, grapes, squashes, zucchini, leeks, onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes, berries, cherries, herbs, lettuces, tomatillos, flowers for beneficials and cutting. We have apples, nectarines, plums, mangoes, pineapple guava and peach. 

We can eat out of our garden, however, our apples and some of the other fruit trees are too young to supply us with what we need right now so we need to supplement - hence the CSA subscription.

Here's a link to more photos of our garden:!/album.php?aid=223531&id=585101538

I'll post those recipes as soon as I make them!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Grocery Bag - reworked

This post was republished to the whole food review at 6:41:35 AM 5/14/2010
Grocery Bag - reworked
I have been busy, so, I'm changing $100 grocery bag. And not the "oh I have so many things to do" busy – the OMG I'm waking up in the middle of the night and working kind of busy. I'm not dilly dallying writing blogs and researching, obviously not, since I haven't posted in a while…I'm working a LOT, and I do like my job to a certain extent, but it is really cramping my style when it comes to taking care of the garden. It will now be 10 recipes I use on a weekly basis – my kids eat them and love them – so may yours. If they don't, please – don't give up – try it 5 times at least….

Here are the things that are also on my radar – i.e. the list of stuff I think about all day long:

  • The men in my life – aged 2, 5 and 41
  • How in the heck I'm going to educate my 5 year old next year when he's 6 with absolutely no public school choices and not enough money or time to send him to the private schools I like since A. they are stupid expensive and B. it takes an hour to get there and an hour back.
  • The state of California spends 94k per prisoner every year and only 7k per student?
  • Laundry
  • My very unkempt house
  • Better do some work!
  • Why do people believe everything they read or watch on youTube – if somebody says something in an article it isn't a fact folks – it's an opinion. And when they are misconstruing the facts it is a lie.
  • Why do people follow Sally Fallon Morell like a cult? And at the same time you have die hard RAW foodists who follow David Wolfe in the same way? And how come many of the people who subscribe to the Nourishing Traditions way of life are – well – overweight – although they have convinced themselves they are healthy?
  • Why don't the people that make "food" products that have no real nutritional value get arrested or sued?
  • What would happen if soda was as expensive as alcohol?
  • Why does the California legislature think it is okay to cut from Education meanwhile they have tons of public works new construction going on for libraries when we have the Internet?
  • How can I make my neighborhood safe for my children? How do I get the gangs out? And to that point – how come so many Californians accept gangs as part of the culture?
  • What would really happen if we sent the entirety of illegal workers home? I mean – are we all ready to pay our farm workers 12-15 bucks an hour? And are we ready for the shock at the supermarket?
  • I live in California – why in the world do I need produce from any other country or state at my store? Why can't people accept eating with Seasons is better for us? This includes not making chickens produce eggs artificially (did you know that egg producers use artificial light to keep chickens laying during the winter months?). And to that point – it isn't so hard to do free range chickens, disease, deformities and battles would be lessened, you'd just have to provide many a nesting site and have somebody collect the eggs. Sell the chickens when production goes down.
  • Do we really need processed foods?
  • Why aren't their affordable health plans that are more for people who need preventative care?
  • How can I afford to put another storey on my house – and solar panels for both hot water and power? Do I like this house? How can I convince husband to change it?
  • Should I start a food not lawns business or should I just start participating in one on the weekends? Wait –not possible…
  • Why do these dudes get put on the radio to talk about environmental issues? They sound like Spicoli from Fast Times – not credible!
  • How fast can we transition from petrol to solar?
  • How fast can California realize they MUST have a public transport option, crack down on cars that are horrendous for the environment, and make it more bike friendly? For all of this sunshine you'd think people would use more human power?
I'm glad you asked brain! This week's grocery bag is a dedication to alternate proteins and sizeable portion control – something that we Americans tend to dismiss. We eat a lot. We eat a lot of meat. No, meat isn't all that bad but we take it for granted. In the poorer nations of the world diets consist mostly of grain. But I'm not talking about your Wonderbread here, or your honey wheat off the shelf. 
So what "grains" does that leave us with? PLENTY! Rice, quinoa, teff, amaranth, corn, and more plus some other flours made from buckwheat, potato, tapioca, sorghum, "garfava" and even more….
The general idea of this week's menu is to minimize animal protein, but not eliminate it, create some kid friendly meals, and experiment with some grains.
So here are the 10 recipes for this week (I wish I had more photos – but I keep forgetting to take them!):
applesauce with raisins, dairy free /egg free rice pudding, soaked baked oatmeal, rhubarb crisp, eggs with soldiers (for the egg eaters)
Mains: rice squares with tahini and adzuki bean, veggie tacos, buckwheat stuffed squash, fish sukiyaki with rice noodle
Dessert: Teff Pudding
Apple Sauce with Raisins
½ cup water
½ cup apple or pear juice
2 large apples – peeled, cored and diced
¼ cup raisins, chopped dried figs, chopped prunes, apricots or other dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 heaping tablespoon of kuzu (you can use some cornstarch) dissolved in ¼ cup cold water
Put apples, raisins, water, juice and cinnamon in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Open lid, stir in the kuzu water mix and stir until slightly thickened. Turn off heat. I let this sit in the pot for about 10 minutes then put in bowls for the kinds and let it sit a little longer until it has cooled a bit.

Rice Pudding
1 cup ricemilk
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups leftover brown rice
3 Tblsp raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan. Heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking, until thick and creamy. Stir in vanilla and serve warm.

Soaked Baked Oatmeal (start this the night before)
1 egg
1 1/2 cup oats, old fashioned
4 T maple syrup
1/2 cup milk (rice milk works too)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

(you can also add 1 chopped apple and some pecans or walnuts – or top with toasted pumpkin seeds)


The night before you want to serve this - combine all liquid ingredients. Combine all dry ingredients. Fold together until combined.
Put into a greased (I use coconut oil) 8 inch square baking pan.
Place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Rhubarb Crisp
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced crosswise 3/4 inch thick
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup tapioca flour + ½ cup superfine rice flour + pinch of salt + ½ tsp baking powder - blended
(or ¾ cup of a gluten free flour mix)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the rhubarb, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup flour blend; set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Cut the butter, ½ remaining flour blend, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon together until pea sized. Sprinkle over rhubarb.
Bake until rhubarb is tender and topping is golden, 35 to 45 minutes.

Eggs with Soldiers
4 extra large, free-range eggs (you can bake these in greased ramekins with a touch of cream, or even add some chopped spinach with the cream – just make sure the egg is still soft.)
4 pieces of gluten free bread 
Place the eggs in a small saucepan. Add just enough cold water to cover them.
Place the saucepan on a high heat and bring the boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, time the eggs for desired doneness -- 1 minute 20 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firmer yolk.
Meanwhile toast the bread. Cut the toast into strips. You can crack the soft boiled egg into a little bowl or if you have egg dishes you can set them in, tap with a knife around the top and lift off!

Rice Squares with tahini and adzuki bean

8 toasted nori sheets
2 cups leftover rice
1 T umboshi plum paste or 2 umboshi plums, pitted and mashed (I LOVE umboshi – you might not – try a little at a time – 1tsp may be enough)
2 T tahini
½ cup cooked adzuki beans (I use canned – Eden has no BPA cans)
Cup of cool water 
(you can also add thinly sliced scallion or shiso leaf to this)
Mix the rice, plum, tahini and adzuki beans together
Cut the nori into 4 squares
Place 4 tablespoons of rice mix into center of one square
Flatten it a bit and fold over the sides, then cover the exposed rice with another piece
Use the water to seal up the nori by dipping your fingers in the water and dabbing the nori
They should be little round nori circles

Veggie tacos – My kids like burgers and fries, of course our version has no bun, but we find ourselves at Islands here in CA every once in a while. I get the veggie tacos every time.
you can make your own corn tortillas or buy them – if you make your own – buy masa harina (I like the blanco) – add enough cold water to make pliable dough. Use tortilla press, rolling pin or your hands to make little round tortillas, cook 'em up on the stove or on the grill (if you do it on the grill, oil the grill a bit and make sure the tortillas will stick together – they need to be thin but sturdy.
Veggies for cooking:
2 T olive oil
½ t cumin
¼ cup veggie stock
Finely chopped onion
1 large garlic clove minced
1 diced zucchini
1 diced yellow squash
1 ear fresh corn
1 can black beans – rinsed
Cooking the veggies: put the oil, onion and garlic in a skillet or wok, sauté until fragrant, add the other veggies and sauté until just browning, add beans, stock and cumin and heat until the liquid is almost absorbed
Put in a dish with a spoon. 
Veggies for dressing – put these on the table in little dishes:
Tomato – diced
Avocado – sliced thinly
Raddish – sliced super thin
Cabbage – sliced thinly
Cheese – grated RAW cheddar
Lime –cut into 4s
You can use come sour cream, salsa, spicy pickles or whatever else you like to dress your tacos with.
Place warm tortillas in a warmer or wrap in a towel like I do and serve.

Islands Veggie Tacos

Buckwheat stuffed squash
4-6 large yellow squash or zucchini

Olive oil

Salt & pepper 
1 ½ cups toasted buckwheat groats – if you need to toast them swirl them around on a pan for 5 minutes – don't burn them.
3 cups vegetable broth or stock

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion – diced fine
1 celery stalk – diced fine
Finely chopped chard or kale
Finely chopped mushroom (button, crimini or shiitake)
4 T Herbs from your garden (parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the insides to make boats, toss in olive oil, make sure the oil goes everywhere. Sprinkle with S&P, roast in the oven until top of squash is slightly brown – 20 minutes (no mushy squash please)
When the squash is cooking make the buckwheat:
Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat but keep covered.
While the buckwheat is resting cook the onion and celery until just cooked (I like mine to still have crunch) add the mushroom then the green (kale or chard) and the herbs – toss together until the greens wilt.
Toss in the buckwheat.

Everything should be ready now. Take the squash out, fill the boats with the buckwheat mixture, put back in the oven for about 15 minutes – let the buckwheat get a brown on top. When done carefully lift off pan and serve. You can use rice or quinoa for this too

Fish sukiyaki with rice noodle – serves 4

I love sukiyaki – I used to eat it all of the time in Australia – funny I don't think I actually had it in Japan. You can make it all in one pot and serve but if you have a tabletop gas stove it is fun to do it on the table –or with the butane stove you can tote this stuff out for a picnic and amaze your friends with a cooked meal right there!
I like to use these really huge cooking chop sticks to put everything in – then your diners pull out what they want – or if serving children you must serve them. If you are chop stick averse – use regular utensils. This is kinda soupy so serve in a shallow dish or bowl.
I like to have some rice handy – so make up about ½ - 1 cup of rice per guest. Before hand.
If you are doing this the traditional way you'll arrange all of the raw ingredients on a plate in beautiful fashion, and as the host, you'll cook it all up in a specific order. If you are doing it for your family – just cook it yourself all at once
First – make your broth and sauces:
You'll need a fish stock – you can buy this or you can make it with bones and fish heads, celery, carrot, onion – I suggest the latter. You need 4 cups of this.
Then the fish:
4 shrimp
4 scallops
4 slices or rings of calamari
4 pieces of lobster
1 piece of firm fish cut into 4 (I like a 1lb piece for 4 people)
½ cup Daikon, ½ slices (can be added to broth at the beginning)
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup red bell peppers, 1" square pieces
½ cup Carrot, thin slices
1 cup Napa or Chinese Cabbage, ½ inch slices
½ cup Coriander Leaves
½ cup Green Onions, 2" pieces
4 Baby corn
1 cup Broccoli flowerettes
1 cup - Enoki mushrooms or shiitakes 
(you can also use 4 chunks of Tofu if you eat soy)
2-3 ounces Rice Vermicelli Noodle
Get some of these sauces for dipping (you can make your own too – but aren't you tired of that already?)
Sweet Chili
Green Seafood sauce
Sukiyaki Sauce (you can make this with tamari if you can't find gluten free)
Put them in little dishes in front of your guests of family – my kids love "dip dip" 
Put it all together:
Put enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan – sauté the onion, cook the veggies, then the seafood, let the guests serve themselves or place in bowls and serve.

Teff Pudding
1C water
1C apple or pear juice
1/2 C teff grain
3 T raw cocoa powder
2 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a small pot, bring water, juice and teff grain to a boil, then cover and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor, blend cooked teff and cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Add additional water if it's too thick. You can pour into a mould or little individual dishes and chill – it is very hearty.

I've already posted the Quinoa Cakes recipe on my last entry – you should try them – they are fantastic!