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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sloppy Joe Turnovers


My mom used to make Sloppy Joe Turnovers for my brother and I when we were kids. Back then she used sour cream and Hungry Jack Biscuits. Fond memories of growing up made me copy the recipe down before I got married (some people fill hope chests, I filled shoe boxes with recipes) and it's taken me oh...many years...to finally make it for my daughters. These meaty turnovers are definitely kids food - DH thought they were "okay", but my girls thought they were great!

Sloppy Joe Turnovers
pastry for 1 crust pie
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tbsp. minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce
2 tbsp. plain dairy free, soy free yogurt (such as So Delicious)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet over medium heat brown the beef, onion and garlic. Drain the fat off and turn off the heat. Add the salt, ketchup or BBQ sauce and yogurt and mix well. Set aside.

Roll the pastry and cut into circles with a biscuit cutter (don't roll too thin or the pastry will tear). Place about 1 tbsp. of the meat mixture onto each pastry circle, fold in half and press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Cut a slit on the top of each turnover to vent. Gently transfer the turnovers to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe for thumbprint cookies is from Ball's Blue Book of Canning and Preserving. Originally egg-free, I've made it gluten, casein and nut free as well. It is my family's favorite holiday cookie, and very easy to make!


Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Margarine

2 tsp.
vanilla extract
2 cups GF flour blend (I used
this one)
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/3 cup raspberry jam

powdered sugar + water to make icing


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt and xanthan gum, set aside. Cream together the sugar, margarine and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, mixing well.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Make a depression in the center of each ball with your thumb, molding the edges slightly. Bake cookies about 10 - 12 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and immediately make a deeper impression in each cookie with the back of a spoon. Fill depressions with jam. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Stir about 1/3 cup powdered sugar with a enough water to make a glaze that can be drizzled easily. Drizzle glaze in stripes over each cookie. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dark Chocolate Brandy Truffles

While DH was in grad school we hung out with a core group of friends who all liked to cook and bake. One member of our group made truffles one Christmas- the most evil, rich and decadent bits of chocolate I've ever had - and he shared the recipe with me. This year I've made them dairy-free, and they are just as fabulous as they were then. The original recipe called for 2 pounds of chocolate, 1 pound of butter and heavy cream. This recipe by Joy of Baking was smaller in scale and came closest to the original, so I modified it to suit my needs. It came out great. I might not be able to make fudge to save my life, but who cares with these truffles in my arsenal?


There is no need to go berserk trying to make truffles round and perfect. They are not supposed to be perfect, they are supposed to look like real truffles - like mushrooms coated with a thin layer of dirt. I think homemade truffles have personality, more so when they are slightly misshapen and cute!

Dark Chocolate Brandy Truffles
8 oz. dairy free, soy free semisweet chocolate (such as 365 Swiss Dark Chocolate)
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen)
2 tbsp. dairy free, soy free margarine (such as Earth Balance)
2 tbsp. brandy
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

The way you are supposed to do it: Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a stainless steel bowl. Bring the coconut milk and margarine to a boil and pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

The way I do it: Chop the chocolate into chunks and place in a medium saucepan with the coconut milk and margarine. Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is almost all melted. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Stir the brandy into the melted chocolate. Pour into an 8 inch baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours to overnight, or until firm.

Sift together the cocoa and the cinnamon. Take the truffles out of the refrigerator. One by one, scoop small spoonfuls of chocolate and roll them into bite-sized balls, then roll in the cocoa. The truffles will be soft and will stick to your hands - it helps to dust your palms with cocoa to keep the chocolate from sticking them them too much. Drop each truffle into a mini paper baking cup. They should look a little misshapen, not perfectly round. Store in the refrigerator. Bring the truffles to room temperature before serving.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread (Gluten Free & Vegan)


It has been three years since I've had Scottish Shortbread! And finally, I've made some! The years just seem to go by so fast, and there are so many old recipes to convert. But it was shortbread's turn this year, since it is my mom's favorite. Now that she is also gluten free, I am very motivated to send these to her. I hope they travel well!

2 1/2 cups GF flour blend (I used High Protein)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
6 tbsp. sugar
1 cup dairy free, soy free margarine (such as Earth Balance)

1 cup dairy free, soy free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
2 tbsp. palm shortening

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the flour and sugar. Cut in the margarine with a pastry cutter until mixture starts to cling together in largish clumps. Turn the dough onto a piece of wax paper and knead until smooth. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the dough and roll into a rectangle shape 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top piece of wax paper, trim the edges of the dough, and cut into rectangles about 2 inches long.

With a spatula, remove the shortbread rectangles to an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Prick three times with the tines of a fork. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit a minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small saucepan over very low heat and stirring constantly, melt the chocolate and shortening until almost smooth. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until completely smooth. Dip each shortbread into the chocolate and place on a piece of wax paper to cool and set.

When the chocolate has cooled, lift the shortbread from the wax paper and place on a plate. Layer the shortbread between pieces of wax paper. Store in a cool, dry place until ready to serve. Makes about 2 dozen.

Gluten Free, Vegan Gingersnaps


Happy Holidays! Here is my version of gluten free and vegan gingersnaps...not only are they really good, they smell just like Christmas. I love that they are a snap to throw together - no chilling needed! The original recipe (which I modified slightly) can be found here. I have used prune butter to replace the egg (I love, love, love using prune butter in cookies!), but you may try applesauce - just omit the rice or coconut milk as the applesauce has more moisture than the prune butter.

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

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup palm shortening

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup prune butter
1 - 2 tbsp. rice or coconut milk
sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.


Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the shortening and the sugar. Add the molasses and beat well. Add the prune butter and 1 tbsp. rice or coconut milk beat until smooth . Beat in the dry ingredients until the dough forms large clumps and pulls away from the sides of the bowl - you may need to add another 1 tbsp. rice or coconut milk for more moisture. You do not want the dough to be too sticky or too dry - take a bit in your hand and roll it - if it does not stick to you and does not fall apart into bits, you are done.

Divide the dough in half. Place half the dough on a piece of waxed paper and roll with your hands into a log about 2 inches thick. Cut the logs into 1/3 inch thick slices. Repeat with remaining dough.

Press both sides of each slice into the sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes, until the tops look crackly and the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet one minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies are soft when warm, and crispy when cool - simply perfect!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hooray for Soyatoo Casein and Soy Free Whipped Cream!

This Christmas, thanks to Soyatoo's Rice Whip whipped topping, I can enjoy a proper Irish Coffee! And the girls can enjoy a lovely hot cocoa! There is no casein, no gluten, no corn and contrary to its name, no soy in this stuff. And it tastes pretty darn good! It's not too sweet and it's light and fluffy like whipped cream should be. The price tag is a bit shocking, but for the holidays its worth it. We've been three years without whipped cream, and I'm ready to splurge a little bit this season!

Irish Coffee: 1 mugful of coffee, 1 packed tsp. brown sugar, 1 capful Jameson's Irish Whiskey, cream of your choice (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer) and Soyatoo Rice Whip Topping.


Hot Cocoa: 2 tbsp. natural cocoa powder, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 cups So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk, Soyatoo Rice Whip Topping, and shaved chocolate (this Christmas I'm addicted to 365 Swiss Dark Chocolate with Mint Crisps).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gluten Free and Vegan Ultra-Rich Brownies

I cannot make fudge. Every year I try, and every year I fail. Fudge is not supposed to be terribly finicky, but I just cannot get it right. I can make a mean nut brittle, but forget about fudge. So I've given up on fudge! This Christmas instead, I will serve peppermint brownies! I've been tinkering with this recipe for months - unlike Cake Brownies, these brownies turn out rich, dense and fudge-like. I might never mourn fudge again.

I have again used prune butter to replace egg. It does not exactly make these brownies healthy, but it does make them ultra-rich and evil. Chocolate chips make them even more evil. And by evil I mean, it's hard to stay away from these things! I have tested their evilness multiple times on different people and have enough evidence to suggest that it's not the kids, but the grown men who are tempted most by these brownies (to the point of scraping up whatever scraps they can find at the bottom of the baking dish long after the brownies are gone)!

Using a non-stick baking pan is best - the brownies will stick to a glass pan no matter how much you grease it. The brownies are done when the sides pull away from the sides of the pan and the brownies stop "breathing". A toothpick won't come out completely clean, and the brownies will set a bit as they cool. Enjoy!

Gluten Free and Vegan Ultra-Rich Brownies

3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup canola oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, depending on how minty you like your chocolate
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup prune butter
1 tbsp. flax seed meal in 3 tbsp. hot water
1 1/2 cups GF flour blend
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tsp. guar gum
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 cup (depending on how evil you want your brownies to be) dairy free, soy free semi-sweet chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch non-stick baking pan with palm shortening, set aside.

Stir together the flax meal and the hot water, set aside to thicken.

Sift together the cocoa and the baking soda. Add the canola or coconut oil and stir to combine. Pour in the boiling water and stir until thickened. Add the sugar, stirring to combine. Add the prune butter and flax meal mixture, beating to blend well. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour through the salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir until well-blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out evenly. Bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean and the sides begin to pull away from the pan.

Set the brownies on a wire rack. Run a rubber spatula along the sides to loosen the sides from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, then with a rubber spatula slide the brownies out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into squares to serve (I cut away the sides and leave them for DH, since he likes the crunchy parts best). You may frost these brownies and sprinkle crushed peppermint candy on top if desired - it makes them ultra-evil!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cranberry, Pine Nut and Quinoa Tart (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Here's another extreme makeover of one of my favorite dishes ever. It used to be Cranberry, Walnut and Blue Cheese Tart. It was savory and wicked good. Here I've replaced the wheat, cream, eggs, cheese and walnuts of the original and turned it into Cranberry, Pine Nut and Quinoa Tart, which makes it officially gluten free and vegan. Okay, I used millet for this one in the picture, but quinoa works too. This is so good I like it cold for breakfast. Even DH and our gluten-scarfing friends love it! I'm so happy I can enjoy this savory cranberry tart again. I don't even miss the blue cheese!


Crust
1 cup GF flour blend
2/3 cup pine nut meal
4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tbsp. dairy free, soy free margarine
2 tbsp. coconut milk

Filling
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
generous 1 cup fresh cranberries, washed
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup pine nut meal
2 tsp. fresh minced thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
1 tbsp. arrowroot starch
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ cup Daiya mozzarella
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen)
¼ cup pine nut meal
2 tbsp. Daiya mozzarella
salt and pepper

For the Crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pulse the dry ingredients and margarine together in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the coconut milk and pulse until the dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.

Press the dough into a 9” tart pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.

For the filling
Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté the onion and salt over low heat 10 – 15 minutes or until soft (do not brown). Add the cranberries and sugar, cooking until the berries pop. Stir in the quinoa, pine nut meal and thyme. Spoon into the tart shell. Toss together the arrowroot starch, baking powder and Daiya. Add the coconut milk and pour over the cranberry mixture in the tart pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup pine nut meal over all.

Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. This is better the next day and together with a salad, it makes a nice light lunch.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tian De Courge (Squash Gratin)

Tian De Courge is easily my very favorite autumn dish. DH's aunt made it one Thanksgiving years ago and I've been making it ever since...well, ever since a couple of years ago. I've missed it, and this year instead of grumbling about it, I reworked it to be safe for my family. Although there is no chance the girls will go near this dish yet, I'm making it egg-free anyway against the time they will give it a try. The egg was the hardest thing to replace...without it, the structure is not as light and airy, but the taste is fabulous. Even DH (who does not have any food allergies at all!) really liked my new version. So here it is...squash gratin, gluten free and vegan!

4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 medium sized leeks, white and tender green parts only - washed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash - seeds removed, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
dash each of salt and pepper
2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen)
1 tbsp. arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella
1/2 cup pine nut meal, divided
pinch grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup allergy-friendly breadcrumbs or cracker meal, divided
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Smear a casserole dish with olive oil, set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over low heat. Add the leeks and cook gently (don't brown!) until they begin to dissolve, about 10 - 15 minutes. Add the squash, salt, pepper and water. Cover and cook until the squash is very soft, almost a puree, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.


Toss together the arrowroot starch, baking powder, Daiya cheese, nutmeg and 1/4 cup of the pine nut meal. Pour into the pot with the squash. Add the coconut milk and 3/4 cup breadcrumbs or cracker meal and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup pine nut meal. Drizzle 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a thin stream over the surface. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.