Lemongrass Beef Bowl

Little man is doing playgroup during the weekday mornings. He loves it and comes home covered in sand. (In an impressive move, he somehow managed to get sand in his diaper while wearing a onesie and leggings.) On the less awesome side, he wants to nurse and nap immediately because he’s too busy to do either while he’s there. This means I need quick, easy to heat meals I can eat one-handed. Enter this lemongrass beef bowl.

Our weekly delivery included lemongrass this week and I had a pack of beef mince that needed to be cooked – this recipe for round beef skewers was a great starting point! I made some substitutes to account for ingredients that I had and baked them rather than grilled. I also had several large beets that I decided to roast with the rhubarb that came the week prior. I had also previously made sauerkraut and then threw together a vinegar mint sauce to brighten up the flavors.

Lemongrass Beef Bowls

  • Lemongrass Meatballs (recipe)
  • Roasted Beets and Rhubarb (recipe)
  • Homemade Sauerkraut (recipe)
  • Vinegar Mint Sauce with Carrots and Onions (recipe)
  • Lettuce
  • Rice

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Muffins – Chocolate Chunk and Raspberry

Having come down with a cold a week after having a bad stomach bug, I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting chocolate chip cookies. I also had homemade cashew milk that I needed to use so I settled on raspberry, chocolate chunk muffins (no hardship).

Luckily, I had found the GF flour blend recipe already so this muffin recipe from Natural Chow came together quickly and easily. Very important when you are sick and chasing a very active toddler!

Ingredients (Adapted from Natural Chow’s recipe)

  • 2 cups GF flour blend
  • ¾ cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Chia egg substitutes (1 TBSP ground chia seeds + 3 TBSP warm/hot water per egg. Mix and let set for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup dairy free milk or add 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil to a measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup mark with water. Mix with a fork and use in place of milk.
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or raspberries mashed (or both!)


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease or line a muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Lightly mix in the chia eggs. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks/raspberries.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin and fill each muffin cup of the way. The batter was the correct amount for 24 mini muffins.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (if there’s chocolate on the toothpick that’s okay). I find that it needs 20 minutes for GF mix #1 and 25 minutes for GF mix #2.
  6. Place the muffins on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

These muffins (mix #1) hold together amazingly and don’t have the mealy texture that the all quinoa or all rice flour ones tend to get. They also haven’t dried out the second day which is really nice. I think this will be my go-to muffin recipe for now.

After little man had a tantrum because I ate a muffin and didn’t give him one, I made a second batch with the GF mix #2 and milk alternative (1 TBSP lemon juice + 1 TBSP sugar + 1 TBSP oil + water to the 1 cup mark – ran across this tip when trying to figure out if I could use just water instead of milk as I didn’t have rice milk on hand for his batch. The lemon juice, sugar, and oil mimic the properties of milk in baking) with just raspberries. He was thrilled and my ear drums thank me.

GF flour blend

I’ve been doing a lot of gluten free baking lately. Little man doesn’t seem to tolerate it and pregnancy and postpartum hormones seem to have triggered issues for me with it as well. One thing I have found is that most recipes call for GF mixes or GF AP flour which are pricey and/or have things we can’t eat.

While looking for a different recipe, I stumbled upon the Minimalist Baker’s DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend and realized it was close enough to what I had on hand that I could adapt it. Her recipe yields 2.5 cups.

Original Recipe Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 1/2 cup (96 g) potato starch

• 1/4 cup (40 g) white rice flour

• 1/4 cup (30 g) tapioca flour

• optional: 1 tsp xanthan gum (not necessary)

My Ingredients #1 (166 g per cup)

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 3/4 cup (144 g) potato starch

• 1/4 cup (31 g) millet flour

My Ingredients #2 (260 g per cup)

• 1 1/2 cups (240 g) brown rice flour

• 1/2 cup (96 g) potato starch

• 1/2 cup (55 g) quinoa flour

I substituted based on weight in grams per cut. This interactive chart by Bob’s Mill was very helpful.

I weighed out each ingredient and tared the scale before adding the next. Wished it with a fork well and then shook the sealed container until well blended.

The two different mixes have distinct tastes. The first is very mild and the second has a nutty taste from the quinoa.

My assistant insisted on handing me the bags of flour one by one after I put them away

Gluten free baguettes

Finding gluten free bread in Kenya is hard, unless you count those really dense, square seed breads. I wanted something more yeasty and the first mix I used only sort of turned out. I didn’t know to let it cool before cutting and it started crumbling fairly quickly.

Some internet recipe searching brought me to this recipe for GF baguettes which wasn’t a mix and didn’t use AP GF flour. I did change to recipe to be egg free (and if you wanted it vegan you could substitute the honey for maple syrup or something) and I didn’t have access to the Fibrex so I substituted as well. I used a kitchen scale to weigh out ingredients.

  • 96 g brown rice flour or 101 g millet flour
  • 82 g sorghum flour
  • 54 g corn starch – I used potato starch
  • 20 g physillium husk
  • 2 tablespoon fiber for baking*** (fibrex in Sweden) – here I used ground chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon marine salt
  • 25 g fresh yeast – I used 11 g of instant yeast which is a little more than the conversion from fresh
  • 350 g water, luke-warm (about 105F)
  • 1 egg white – substituted 1 chia egg replacement (1 TBSP ground chia mixed with 3 TBSP warm to hot water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes until gelled.)
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and the yeast with the wet ingredients (other than the chia egg) in another bowl.
  • Mix all together (dry, wet, and chia egg) and knead for 5 minutes in stand mixer.
  • Let rest 45 minutes covered.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (Celsius, 475 Fahrenheit). Put your baking stone in, if you have one, or a baking dish in the medium rack and also an empty baking dish in the lower rack.
  • Transfer dough on a clean surface (on baking paper) and divide in three pieces. Delicately make each piece into a baguette and roll in rice flour. I’m going to try for a boule next batch.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel. Leave to rise another 1/2 hour.
  • Score the loaves and transfer them on the baking dish in the middle rack or on the baking stone. At the same time, throw some ice cubes on the lower rack and close quickly.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches about 205-208 F.
  • Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.

(Adapted from Bread & Companatico website)

The bread turned out really well. It developed a great crust, hasn’t turned mealy or dry, and isn’t super dense!

This is definitely a repeat recipe.


This recipe also makes a great boule loaf! I shaped it gently before the first rise into a ball. The baking time is doubled.

Farm bounty quiche

Our weekly farm deliveries bring lots of vegetables and it can be hard to use them before they spoil. Enter this crustless quiche!

For this version, I sauteed leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and broccoli (including the stem sliced thin) in sunflower seed oil to soften. I preheated the oven to around 400 F and placed the vegetables in my baking dish.

Then on to bacon! I diced up a whole 400g package of streaky bacon and fried it up.

Then added it to the vegetables.

In another bowl beat together 12 eggs with seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme) and a whole package of grated Violife aged cheddar (vegan) cheese. 

I also made a smaller one with no cheese for the toddler.

Both of these went in the oven. The little one baked for about 45 minutes and the big one too longer (60-85 minutes) to fully bake through.

They were a huge hit – so much so I forgot to take a picture of the final product!

Peach muffins

My weekly produce delivery has peaches this month which inspired me to make peach muffins. Little is a huge fan of peaches and some of these were going to school with him. His class had a birthday party the week before and he was very jealous of the other kids having birthday cake. A 14 month old doesn’t understand why he can have the frosting and cake, just that he wants it but isn’t being given any. His pterodactyl impression apparently came into play.

 I used this peach muffin recipe as the basis for my muffins. I used rice flour (1.5 cups) and quinoa flour (.5 cups) and no xantham gum. I only used 1/4 cup of sugar and increased the liquid by the same to compensate. I used DF milk and sunflower seed oil. I used flaxseed egg.

Mixing it up

I had a helper who wanted to eat the peaches. The batter was just right for one full size tray of mini muffins. 

Ready to eat!

We made these the same day as the banana bread and they were a hit as well. One thing to keep in mind is that they do dry out over time so seal them up or eat then fast.

Yummy goodness

Quinoa Banana Bread

I love banana nut bread. It’s a great snack and so tasty. Given that I wanted to share with little man, I looked for a recipe without nuts. Luckily, quinoa has a nutty taste which goes well. I used this recipe and switch out the egg for a flaxseed egg alternative.

It turned out really well. Little man loved it so much he wouldn’t share (he likes to feed me his food). The recipe was easy to follow and has minimal clean-up afterwards. I did crease and flour the pan with quinoa floor to make it easier to remove.

Finished loaf

Pumpkin Pie

While Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in Kenya, I really wanted a pumpkin pie – plus I roasted that pumpkin last week.

I wanted to be able to give little man a taste so I made a gluten free crust using this recipe. It’s also vegan. I used raw sugar as I don’t have coconut sugar.

About to cut in the coconut oil

Pumpkin Pie (pretty sure original is from the Joy of Cooking)

1. Line a pie pan with pie dough
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
3. Mix until well blended:
2 cups cooked squash
1 1/2 cups heavy/coconut cream
just under 3/4 cup brown sugar
touch of molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg or allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
2 slightly beaten eggs (I used chia seeds as an egg alternative)
4. Pour the mixture into pie shell
5. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 45 minutes longer or until inserted knife comes out clean.
6. Serve with whipped cream (you can make a whipped cream out of coconut cream)
Pie filling ingredients
About to bake

The pie was a little wobbly when it first comes out but firms up once it cools down. Mine was a little over baked because of oven issues.

Baked! Ate a slice already

Little man wasn’t impressed by his first bite because it was too hot. Whoops. Once I cooled it off it went much better!

Quinoa pancakes

In search of foods that aren’t a pain to clean up from the floor and little man will eat, I found this recipe for quinoa pancakes. I wanted minimal ingredients since I still need to make substitutions. These fit the bill and they are good! I’ve made them twice so far and they are very versatile. 

Raspberry quinoa pancakes

First go around, I made them with raspberries. I substituted mashed bananas for the eggs and added a bunch of berries. It works better if you mush the berries a little. I used dairy free milk and sunflower seed oil instead of butter.

Little man loved them. I used a tablespoon to make baby sized pancakes. We didn’t even use maple syrup (okay, we don’t have any).

Pumpkin (spice) pancakes

I made the usual dairy free substitutions and this time, instead of banana, used pumpkin puree (1/4 a cup per egg) and a bit more baking powder to combat the density. I also put about a tsp of vanilla extract in. You also need extra liquid to thin the batter out – about 1/4 a cup I think. I ran out of quinoa flour and used rice flour for the last 1/2 cup.

Little man’s were made from this but for us parents, I added about 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc. and made a berry and peach topping. Threw some raspberries, peaches, and honey in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat until cooked down.


Mini-Muffins – two versions

I wanted to make muffins for easy snacks. We had settled into our new place pretty well but the kitchen had one glaring issue – there is no temperature indicator on the oven. I eventually figured out how to light it so I can use it to roast things but baking requires a bit more finesse. This is being solved with the importation of a oven thermometer but for the past month or so I have only been able to bake in our toaster oven. Mini-muffin tin it is!

In my experimentation of gluten-free flours (limited also by grains little man has tried and tolerates which so far is quinoa and rice), I found this recipe for rice flour muffins. I have been trying to keep ingredient lists short and simple since I also needed to sub-out the eggs.

Batch one – raspberry

For the first batch, I needed food for playgroup. Something quick, easy, not messy, and refrigeration not required. I didn’t have blueberries on hand but I did have raspberries. I switched out the egg for mashed banana, used dairy-free milk, didn’t make the streusel since these were for the toddler…and accidentally forgot to include the sugar in the muffins. The biggest change was that I make them with quinoa flour as I didn’t have rice flour on hand. Despite the lack of sugar, these turned out well. The banana and raspberry gave it some sweetness and kept them moist.

Batch two – pumpkin spice

I actually had rice flour for these. This time I subbed out the egg for roasted pumpkin. I also added about 1.5-2 tsp fresh grated ginger, about a 1/4 tsp each of allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and about a tsp of vanilla extract. I used fresh rice milk and increased the baking powder by half again. I did make the streusel this time but almost forgot to put it on the muffins.

These were amazing just baked. After about a day they start to get a bit dry so be aware.