Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GFCF Olive Oil Lemon Drop Cookies

A friend recently gave me a recipe for olive oil cookies, saying they converted easily to GFCF and were very easy to make. I love making drop cookies because they are easy and fast, and this recipe looked faster than most. I was intrigued by the use of olive oil in the recipe - it's different and it makes them healthier than cookies made with shortening. I played around a bit with the original recipe and came up with something that reminds me very much of Lemon Squares without the fuss. These cookies turned out delicate and delicious and they may just be my go-to recipe for cookies from now on.

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil. I substituted applesauce for half of the oil, which make the cookies pleasingly puffed instead of flat. Next time, I may try making the cookies with all olive oil and a little bit of walnut meal to give them a different texture. For now, these cookies are great just the way they are.

1 3/4 cup All Purpose Rice Flour Blend
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup rice milk
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
2 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper lightly with cooking spray, set aside.

Sift together the flour through the salt, make a well in the center and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil through the lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat until well blended.

Drop the batter by generous teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake about 12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Cool cookies completely before serving. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Casein Free, Soy Free Margarine

UPDATE: Earth Balance now has a casein free, soy free margarine that is available all year round!

Anna misses toast with butter. So do I. Neither one of us really cares for ghee on our toast. A friend recently told me that Whole Foods has picked up an Earth Balance margarine that is vegan and soy free, but I have not been able to find it. Then another friend told me that there is a casein-free, soy-free margarine that is available only once a year during Passover! (Did you know that legumes are not kosher for Passover? I did not! So soy is right out!) I got myself to a supermarket that carries kosher foods and lo and behold, in the frozen "Kosher for Passover" section, there was the elusive soy-free margarine! It's made with cottonseed oil and there's nary a hint of casein, soy or gluten to be found. It's unsalted, but there are ways to deal with that, so I picked up four packages.

After picking up the margarine, I hightailed it back home to make some toast. The margarine has a very mild flavor and it really did need a little salt - I sprinkled some salt on top of the toast and it was pretty good! Anna scarfed her toast up in the blink of an eye and wanted more. But alas, there is no more bread in the house. My new bread machine is still in the box. It has been sitting around for a week waiting for someone to find the time to open it. Maybe tomorrow things will calm down, you never know - Megan is feeling a little bit better and I might actually get something done tomorrow. It's a good thing Anna likes pasta, because that is what she's had for lunch at school lately! Anyway, I'm very happy that we finally have an agreeable margarine in the house, if only for toast!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Broccoli Salad

Whole Foods makes a really good broccoli salad available in their to-go section. I sometimes pine for it, but only rarely indulge as it's fairly expensive. This recipe comes pretty close to theirs - now I can make it at home for much less whenever the mood strikes. The recipe I used as my guide can be found here. My measurements are approximate - toss together what seems appropriate to you and adjust to your taste.

4 slices of bacon
2 good-sized heads of broccoli, crown only
3 tbsp. diced red onion or 4 sliced scallions
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or chopped walnuts)
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup shredded carrot, if desired
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. I try to remove as much fat as possible. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, sugar and vinegar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved - the dressing should be thin but not watery. Adjust the sugar and/or vinegar as needed to suit your taste - it should be tangy with a hint of sweetness.

Wash the broccoli and cut the florets into bite-sized chunks. Add the broccoli to the dressing and toss to coat. Add the remaining ingredients - the onion, walnuts or sunflower seeds, currants and carrots if desired. Toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit for a little while before serving to let the flavors mellow a bit, tossing occasionally. Toss before serving - this is good cold or at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Indian Spiced Lentil Soup

Every time I make lentils, I think of Neil from The Young Ones. That has nothing to do with this soup at all, I just wanted to mention that lentils conjure an image of Neil in my mind.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 minced cloves garlic
6 - 8 cups water
2 cups lentils
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. sweet or hot curry powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute more. Add the water and the lentils. Combine the coriander through the cayenne and stir into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, adjust the seasonings as desired and serve hot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

GFCF Multi-Grain, Multi-Seed Bread

So, I have been without my bread machine for the past several days. My Breadman Pro has been a workhorse, baking bread faithfully at least once a week for over a year. But the pan and the kneading paddle became scratched and the teflon was peeling off. That's scary - the girls don't need to ingest teflon with their cashew butter and jam sandwiches! So I ordered a new machine (my only practical option, since Salton does not sell replacement parts!). While waiting for it to arrive, I bought some brown rice bread at Whole Foods - the packaged kind, by Ener-G. It was expensive, dry and tasteless.* The girls would have none of it at all. There was now no excuse for me not to make bread in the oven, which I have avoided since baking gluten free, I guess because on some level I didn't trust myself to get it right.

So instead of using one of my recipes for the bread machine, I thought while I was at it, it'd be fun to try something new. I found a really great looking recipe for Multi-Grain Bread (which reminds me of a peasant bread I used to make) at Gluten Free Goddess, so I printed the recipe and went to work. I modified it a bit, adding another egg and cutting back on the yeast, cutting down on the liquid (using water instead of rice milk) and adding flax and poppy seeds along with the sesame seeds right into the batter (the girls will not suffer adorned bread). I even decided to forgo using the Kitchen Aid and made it all by hand, which was really very nice! I miss making bread by hand and it was cathartic to use my hands again instead of relying on fancy kitchen gadgets. Not only did my bread end up looking beautiful, it tastes excellent! I had so much fun, and the bread came out so fabulous, that even when the new bread machine gets here I will continue to make this bread by hand.

2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup potato starch
2 tbsp. flax seed meal
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water

2 beaten eggs
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Sift together the sorghum flour through the salt, set aside.

Whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar; set aside. Allow to proof for about 5 minutes, until foamy.

Whisk together the eggs, olive oil, honey and vinegar. Add the proofed yeast and whisk gently to combine. Add the flour all at once and beat with a large spoon until the flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then beat until smooth - by hand this took me a couple of minutes, just long enough for my arm to hurt. The batter should be thick but not stiff.

Grease a loaf pan. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly and shaping to a slight rise in the center. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the top of the bread is about an inch above the pan.

Remove the plastic wrap carefully. Bake the loaf at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cover the top of the bread with tin foil to prevent over-browning and continue baking another 10 - 15 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the loaf out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack before slicing with a sharp bread knife.

I must take a moment to say a profound and heartfelt thank you to all the gluten free bakers who have worked hard to find alternative flours, making gluten-free healthy, tasty and fabulous! If I had to do this gluten free thing 20 years ago with only rice flour and cornstarch, I would have given up and cried!

Friday, March 20, 2009

GFCF Hot Fudge Sauce

This hot fudge sauce is super easy to make and it tastes so good. I found the original recipe at Heal ~ Balance ~ Live and modified it just slightly. It's good on homemade coconut cream ice cream but it'd also be good as a dip for mock peanut butter cookies! Or chocolate chip cookies! Or biscotti! Or strawberries! Or drizzled over angel food cake (which is next on my list of recipes to tackle)! Okay, I'll stop now - you get my point.

4 ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, dairy free
1/4 cup rice milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat the rice milk and sugar together in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool a bit before serving over ice cream (which you can see from the picture that I didn't do because I was too impatient, but boy was it good!).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chex Cereal = Gluten Free

It looks like not just Rice Chex is gluten free anymore... other Chex cereals are being reformulated to be gluten free too! And not only that, their cereals are also soy free (their vitamin E is not soy-derived)! Hooray! Here's the response I got from General Mills when I thanked them for making their cereals gluten free:

From: <>
Date: Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 10:23 AM
Subject: General Mills Web 2009/03/17-4247 AAO

Dear Valued Consumer:

Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.

Along with Rice Chex, General Mills is reformulating the following Big G Cereals to gluten free status:

o Corn Chex

o Honey Nut Chex

o Strawberry Chex

o Chocolate Chex

o Cinnamon Chex

Production for this cereal has begun and you should begin seeing these cereals available on store shelves soon. All products listed should be available by June 1st, 2009.

As with any reformulated product, both products may be on the store shelves at the same time so consumers are encouraged to read labels/packaging carefully. Consumers should carefully examine the product packaging to ensure that the cereal inside the box is in fact the new, gluten free product. Look for “NOW GLUTEN FREE” or “GLUTEN FREE” on the front/side/back panels.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please let us know if we can help you again.


Consumer Services

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Mom's Zucchini Bread

My mom's recipe for zucchini bread is the best ever. I've cut back on both the fat and the sugar by substituting a little applesauce, and of course I've kicked out the gluten from her original recipe. It tastes even better than I remember!

3 beaten eggs
2/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup applesauce

1 3/4 cup sugar

3 cups GF flour blend (I used
this one)
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup walnut meal

2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans, set aside.

Combine the eggs, oil and applesauce until well blended. Add the sugar and stir until combined.

Whisk together the flour through the baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat until well blended. Fold in the walnut meal and zucchini. Pour into the prepared loaf pans. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GFCF Chocolate Cupcakes (Egg Free)

Hands down, this is my favorite gluten free, casein free, soy free, nut free, egg free cupcake! I used the gluten free recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as my guide. I really like the peppermint extract in these cupcakes but you can also substitute 1 tsp. orange extract, 1 tsp. almond extract or 2 tsp. vanilla extract for a different flavor. These beauties taste amazing - all of my non GFCF friends swear up and down they'd never know they were free of well, practically everything!

1 cup rice milk or 3/4 cup coconut milk plus 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp. flax seed meal
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder (not dutch)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. rice flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. sorghum flour
1 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups, set aside. (These cupcakes are sturdier than the vanilla cupcakes but they are still delicate enough to warrant using the baking cups.)

Combine the rice milk through the peppermint extract. Add the tapioca flour and the flax seed meal, beating until well combined (tapioca should be dissolved), about 1 minute.

Sift together the cocoa powder through the salt. Add to the the wet mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides, then beat on medium speed about 2 minutes. Pour batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and centers are set (toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean).

Remove cupcakes from muffin tin and let cool completely on wire racks. Frost with Mock Buttercream Frosting or dust with powdered sugar. Yield: 12 - 14 cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deep Dish Vegetable Quiche

I love quiche. As I was searching for other quiche recipes that don't use cheese, I came across this one at Gluten Free Heaven. It looked so pretty, and I really wanted to make a quiche for dinner. So I took the veggie combination ideas there and used the egg/rice milk ratio found in my leek and bacon quiche here to make a deep dish vegetable quiche. It did not disappoint - we don't miss the cheese at all.

1 recipe No Roll Pie Crust
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced*
1/2 large red, orange, yellow or green pepper, thinly sliced*
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry*
1 cup chopped tomatoes, seeds removed*
salt and pepper
6 eggs
2/3 cup rice milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the pie crust and press it into a deep dish pie plate, fluting edges with the tines of a fork. Set aside (do not pre-bake).

Cook the vegetables in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Spoon the vegetables onto the bottom of the pie crust.

Whisk together the eggs until well blended. Add the rice milk, salt, pepper and parsley and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables in the pie crust.

Bake the quiche 25 - 30 minutes, or until puffed and set in the center. Remove from a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

*Feel free to use different vegetables, such as mushrooms, grated carrots, chopped asparagus, etc. You should have about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of (cooked) vegetables to put in the quiche.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Butterscotch Pudding

This pudding is not heavy on the butterscotch - it tastes light (although it's not). The original recipe (here) is by Cooking Light, but I torpedoed the low-fat part of it. I used lite coconut milk to replace the dairy, but regular coconut milk would be nice too. I'm just not going to worry about the fat content in the recipe - since going dairy free my girls don't get enough fat in their diets as it is. (Looking for a vegan pudding? Go here.)

2 tbsp.
casein free ghee*
1/4 cup regular coconut milk

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar

2 cups lite coconut milk*
3/4 cup regular coconut milk

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the ghee in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the 1/4 cup coconut milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and continue boiling for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

Heat the lite coconut milk in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges. Do not boil. Remove from the heat.

Whisk together the 3/4 cup coconut milk, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks. Gradually add the hot coconut milk in a small stream, whisking constantly. Stir this mixture into the brown sugar mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the pudding into 6 individual serving cups. Cover the pudding with saran wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top. Chill in the refrigerator until set.**

*I used 1 tbsp. canola oil and 1 tbsp. ghee, but next time I'll use all ghee. I also only had 2 cans of lite coconut milk in the cupboard so that's what I used, and added a little rice milk to make up the difference. This was fine, but coconut milk will make it thicker and more velvety so that's what I'll do next time.

**I'll be honest, I didn't wait for this to chill - I poured warm butterscotch pudding over sliced strawberries, and it was divine.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Molasses Walnut Sandwich Bread

I use a Breadman Pro with a gluten free setting to make sandwich bread - my recipes (here, here and here) always turn out great loaves with this machine. I have a friend who has a Cuisinart Convection bread machine with a gluten free setting. She was having trouble with my sandwich bread recipes in her machine - her loaves came out squat and not as pretty as she wanted them to look. So we swapped machines to see if it was a machine problem or a recipe problem. Turns out it is a little of both.

The Cuisinart's bread pan is a little bigger than the Breadman's. The baking cycle is an hour longer than the Breadman's. And the kneading paddle works differently. While making my tried and true sandwich bread in the Cuisinart, I observed that there was not enough bread dough in the pan for the kneading paddle to knead properly. I had to add a fair bit of extra water to the batter in order for the paddle to knead all of the batter, not just the stuff in the middle. Of course I helped things out with a spatula too. The bread turned out okay - a little squat with a small dome in the middle, but not that bad.

So I followed the only recipe in the Cuisinart's instruction guide for a gluten and casein free loaf. This recipe uses more flour and liquid (but less egg, which would make it easier to convert to egg-free). It filled the bread pan better and the kneading paddle did a better job of kneading the dough, although it still needed a little extra water and help from the spatula. This time the loaf turned out fuller, not as squat, and had a cute bellybutton in the top.
Here's the recipe that works best in the Cuisinart. I'm sure it will work well in the Breadman too, though I'll test that when I get my machine back!

1 cup chickpea flour

3/4 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp. potato starch
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. gelatin

1/2 cup walnut meal

1 cup warm (not hot) rice milk

1/3 cup lukewarm warm water

3 tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. molasses (or honey or maple syrup if you don't like a dark loaf)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 beaten egg

2 tsp. bread machine (rapid rise) yeast

Sift together the dry ingredients up to and including the gelatin. Stir in the walnut meal. Set aside.
Combine the rice milk through the egg. Add the wet ingredients to the bottom of the bread pan. Place the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast. Turn the bread machine on to the gluten free setting for a 1 1/2 pound loaf. Help the batter knead with your spatula, adding a little more water if the batter is too thick for the kneading paddle to knead properly. Take the loaf out of the breadpan immediately after the baking cycle is finished. Cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.

(Molasses Walnut bread - sandwich with horseradish spread, ham and lettuce)