Tag Archives: gluten free

Heritage recipes


Ok, so technically, only one of the recipes in this post can classify as “heritage” (ie being passed down from generation to generation basically unchanged), but I did get them both from my mom, so maybe that does count.

It’s been a rainy, dreary week here in the Pacific Northwest. Add to that the fact that the girls have been sick and now I am with a chest cold, and it’s been a week of soups for dinner. Chicken stew made by the hubby. Clam chowder requested by the Princess. Split pea because we had a ham bone which needed to be used. It’s been a cozy, comfort food kinda week.

And last night was no exception. As I was dozing on the couch that afternoon (such a luxury – one I ever only get when I’m sick!) I got a hankerin’ for my Mom’s chili.

Now, her chili is nothing special. It’s really easy to make. No special prep. It uses mostly canned ingredients, and it’s only the teeniest bit spicy. But for those of us who are whimps when it comes to spicy foods, it’s just about perfect. In fact, it’s the only chili one of my brothers willingly eats. I grew up eating this chili, paired with a tall glass of milk, and a large slice of cornbread made using my great, great grandmother’s recipe.

Oh, it’s heavenly!

So, without further ado, I give you my mom’s no frills, easy chili recipe, along with my great, great grandma’s cornbread recipe – because what good is chili without cornbread to eat with it?

Mom’s Easy Chili
1-1.5lbs of ground beef
1large onion diced
Season salt to taste
2 cans stewed tomatoes
2 cans beans
3-4 Tbl chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp cumin
1.5 cups water (or more if simmering for a while)

Place the meat in a soup pot with the diced onion and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Cook until meat is brown and onions are translucent. Drain off grease if desired. Drain and rinse the canned beans. Add all of the ingredients to the pot and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer as long as desired, adding more water if too much evaporates.

-My mom often used venison in place of the beef since we were a hunting family. You can use whatever meat you have on hand.
-I typically use diced tomatoes rather than stewed since I have a large stock of diced and never remember to buy stewed.
-Traditionally my mom used kidney beans, but I use pinto and/or red beans since canned kidney beans have added sugar. Of course you can use freshly prepared dry beans if desired.

While the chili is simmering, it’s time to put together this yummy cornbread. As I said before, this recipe comes down from my great, great grandmother, which means it is at least 100 years old. A true heritage recipe.

I think this cornbread is the perfect cornbread out there. Corn-mealy without being too crumbly or cakey. Moist but not gooey. And just enough sugar to make it sweet without being dessert.

Grandma’s Cornbread Recipe
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar (or honey)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour milk (see notes)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add the sour milk and mix thouroughly. Pour into an 8×8 casserole dish (or a cast iron pan if you want to be really traditional) and bake for 30 minutes.

-My grandma (who got this recipe from her grandma) always used buttermilk for this recipe. I never have buttermilk on hand, so I make my own sour milk by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk and allowing to sit for 5 minutes. Works perfect.
-Since I do not eat wheat, I have been experimenting with gluten free alternatives to the flour. Most recently, in place of the 1 cup flour I have been using 1/2 cup almond flour and 1/2 cup gluten free baking mix (made primarily with rice flour). I use the almond meal primarily to lower the carb count. If you use almond meal, lower the cooking temperature to 375 degrees.
-I have also replaced the processed sugar with honey to great results.
-Before I started tampering with the ingredients, sometimes I would add a can of creamed corn. This made it exceptionally moist, which we all loved. I do not know how it would turn out with the ingredient substitutions I now use. Maybe I’ll have to try one of these days. 🙂

Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoy! I certainly did.

In fact, I’m having left over chili for lunch today. Unfortunately, the cornbread was wolfed down so fast last night that not only is there none left for today, but I didn’t even get a picture.

However, writing about my grandma put me in a nostalgic mood, so along with my chili, I’m having diced peaches with “smear case.”

Grandma never could tell me why her family called cottage cheese “smear case.” But in her later life, cottage cheese and diced fruit was one of her favorite foods. So, here’s to Grandma!


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Zucchini Oat Pancakes


The smell of pancakes cooking on the griddle.

I don’t know about you, but pancakes on a rainy Saturday morning seem just about the perfect thing.


Oat Zucchini Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

It’s been years since I’ve had regular pancakes. I gave up eating wheat after learning that wheat is a major inflammatory food and it affects the arthritis in my knees.

So I went searching for a “gluten free” recipe. But I wanted one that uses normal and whole ingredients rather than processed, refined, high carb flours in place of the wheat.

I stumbled across this oat pancake recipe at www.mountainmamacooks.com. Orginally it called for a banana, but I am fresh out of bananas and I have quite a lot of frozen zucchini from this summer’s bounty. Besides, the Hubby likes zucchini better than banana anyway. (BTW, I think it’s so adorable that Flower Girl says banana like a Minion – BAN-nah-nah :-). The original recipe also called for almond milk, but we use regular milk.

The pancakes have a very moist and chunky texture, even with highly ground oats. I’ve never experimented with using quick/instant oats since old fashioned are all we ever buy. Maybe it wouldn’t be quite so chunky with instant oats?

As an aside, the girls helped make the pancakes this morning. Flower Girl helped add a few ingredients as is fitting for an almost-three-year-old. But Princess Girl helped with all of it. Not only did she help gather the ingredients, add them to the batter, do some of the mixing, and help with the cooking, she also did all the calculations to add a half batch to the recipe. She’s learning more complicated fraction operations in her school work, so this was perfect. She not only had to halve the recipe, she then had to add that half to the original. Natural learning for the win!


One thing about these pancakes, they can seem take forever to cook (thus the picture above). So I usually end up cooking them at a higher temp to speed up the process and they tend to get rather dark brown. Compare the two pics below.



If you’re looking for a gluten free pancake that is as close to traditional pancakes as possible, these aren’t them. But we all like the way these turn out. In fact, I personally like them even better. I always felt guilty eating regular pancakes. I felt that I was eating nothing but fluff and sugar – in essence, nothing more than cake. But these pancakes are filled with good quality, nourishing ingredients. And they taste phenomenal whether you use banana or zucchini!

Zucchini Oat Pancakes

2 cups oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (we use aluminum free)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 cups shredded zucchini (or 1 large ripe banana)
1-2 Tbl honey
1tsp vanilla
1 egg

Place oats in blender or food processor and pulse until it is chopped up fine like oat flour (I suppose you could also just use purchased oat flour as well). Add other dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Ladle 1/4 cup(ish) of the batter onto a medium-low(ish) skillet or griddle. Spread the batter out so it’s not all clumped up, then cook until golden brown on each side, flipping as needed (time will depend on the heat of your cooking surface.)

I usually heat the oven to as low as it will go (170° on ours), place a plate in there, and put the pancakes in there as each one is done. This keeps them warm till they are all finished cooking and we can all eat together.


And that makes for a very good Saturday morning.


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121