Category Archives: Baked goods

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Life As A Plate (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Crockpot Chili)

grain-free primal bread

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is one of my favorite blog events. I’ve said it time and time again, but I love the opportunity to really get to know another blogger – test their recipes, read a lot of their posts, and the best part – taste their food. This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Sea over at Book of Yum. (She’s also the creator of this great event.) I was excited to adopt one of my new favorite bloggers – AndreAnna at Life As A Plate.

AndreAnna is inspirational to me. She struggled with weight issues (her story is here), but finally has found a new life through eating primally (via the Primal Blueprint – check it out over at Mark’s Daily Apple) and through Crossfit. She’s completed a Warrior Dash. Her blogs are definitely entertaining – one minute, you’re laughing at her wit, and the next, she will bring you close to tears as she shares deep, emotional, inspirational streams of thought. She cooks amazing meals that make me drool. In short, she is a badass. (I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term on this blog, but it’s by far the best descriptor I have for her.)

So what does little Tasty Eats At Home do when adopting AndreAnna? Try to keep up! I love primal/paleo eating. I have dabbled in and out of this for a while, finding that I feel better with fewer grains, fewer starches, and much less sugar (even natural sugars). So I knew her recipes would jive with my body. But what to make? Surprisingly, I made foods that aren’t normally associated with this time of year – rosemary olive oil bread and crockpot chili. Why? Well, the bread was just calling my name – and I had rosemary in the garden – and the crockpot chili didn’t involve any heating of my kitchen at the way-too-hot-to-think hour of 6pm. (I avoided that issue with the bread by baking it early in the day on Saturday.) Both were amazing.

The bread was soft. Pliable. Moist. Brittany enjoyed it at dinner (in fact, she had 4 slices!) with butter. I enjoyed it unadorned, restraining myself from matching Brittany slice-for-slice. I omitted the parmesan cheese, but threw in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes for a punch of flavor.

The chili was just as satisfying. In spite of the heat, I had a generous bowl (plus a tiny bit of a second helping) for dinner, and then portioned myself out some more for lunch the following day. It was even better the second day, and was a hearty meal I looked forward to eating. I didn’t put the ingredients in the crockpot in stages, as I wasn’t home to do so, but dumping everything in together and leaving it to simmer for hours worked just fine. I enjoyed it with onions and cilantro. Yum.

There are many, many more delicious recipes I could devour from AndreAnna’s blog. Collard greens? Yes, ma’am! And she and I must think alike, because she posted a kohlrabi slaw recipe too (looks SO good). And just in case you think there isn’t room for dessert on a primal diet, AndreAnna has desserts covered too.

After reading her latest post, I am further inspired. AndreAnna has the drive to push herself hard, encourage others to do so, but also has an incredible amount of grace. I think that I’ll also sign up for Warrior Dash next year- even if I finish last, I know I’ll finish. Thanks AndreAnna!

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Soups

Strawberry-Blueberry Pie

Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef announced on Facebook a few days back that it was Pie Day on July 5. We were to have a Pie Party! Who was I to turn down that opportunity? I love pie. All kinds of pie – fruit pies, cream pies, pecan pies – you name it, I’m up for it. I would take pie over cake any day of the week. So I made plans to make pie this past weekend. Besides, I’ve been working to perfect my pie crust recipe, and so what better time than now?

I found some amazing, deliciously ripe strawberries at the farmer’s market on Saturday. Due to the sweltering heat, however, they weren’t going to last. They were “eat-today-or-die” strawberries. I immediately took that as an opportunity to make a pie stuffed with strawberries. I opted to throw some blueberries in the filling as well, as I didn’t have enough strawberries, and besides, red and blue just seemed appropriate for the Independence Day weekend.

After rolling out my pie crust, stuffing the pie with sweetened berries, and successfully topping it with a second crust (not easy to do with a fragile gluten-free crust!), I anxiously waited while the pie bubbled away in the oven. Which also had the unfortunate side effect of heating up the kitchen – it seems that even though our house is pretty efficient, our air conditioning still can’t keep up with a 100-degree day and the oven, once 4 or 5 o’clock rolls around. It was a somewhat sweaty affair by the end. So you see, I made some pretty serious sacrifices, all in the name of pie.

Once the pie cooled, we dug in. It was juicy, with a crisp, flaky crust. The verdict? Definitely tasty enough to consider a success. However, I’m still tweaking that pie crust recipe – I am considering omitting brown rice flour and using another flour next time. The crust still seems gritty in texture to me. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with it. It rolls out nicely and with a bit of help from some egg wash, browns well. As for the filling, I think I cut the sugar back a bit too much, but it did make for a lighter dessert. Next time, however, I think another 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar would do the trick. Regardless, I was happy to enjoy another piece the following evening. And I’m half-wishing I had a slice right about now, as a mid-morning snack. Because after all, it’s pie.

Strawberry-Blueberry Pie (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Pie Crust (adapted from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free)

1 c brown rice flour (considering using millet flour next time, or a mix of different flours)

1/2 c sorghum flour

1/2 c potato starch

3 T sweet white rice flour

1/2 t fine sea salt

7 T palm shortening, placed in freezer for about 20 minutes to harden

1 cold large egg

2 T apple cider vinegar

2 T agave nectar

1/4 c ice water

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, sweet white rice flour, and salt. Remove the shortening from the freezer and dice into small pieces. Place it evenly around the flour, and with a pastry blender, a fork, or your hands, mix until the flour has a mealy texture and the largest pieces of shortening are the size of small peas.

Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and agave to the egg and beat well. Pour egg mix into the flour mix and stir until just incorporated. Next, drizzle some of the water over the flour mixture and stir in, just until the dough starts to come together. Add more water as you need, but don’t make the dough too wet. It should look “shaggy”. Push the dough together with your hands and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a ball, and flatten with your hands. Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or up to overnight.

If it’s been several hours since your dough was placed in the refrigerator, allow it to sit out on the counter for 15-20 minutes before working it. Otherwise, place a handful of the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (tape bottom piece to the counter for easy rolling) and roll out in a large circle about 1/8 inch thick. (You can store the rest in the refrigerator while you work on the dough piece by piece) If the plastic gets wrinkles in it, you can pull it up from the dough and lay it back down to keep rolling.

Peel top piece of plastic wrap from dough, and un-tape the bottom piece from counter. Place 8-inch pie pan upside-down on top of dough, and lifting from underneath the bottom piece of plastic wrap, quickly flip the dough and pie pan simultaneously so that the pie crust is now laying on top of the pan, right-side up. Press the dough down into the pan, and carefully peel away the plastic wrap. Pinch away the excess pie crust. You should have enough to roll out another, slightly smaller, circle using the same technique.

Filling

1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1 lb blueberries

1/4 c coconut palm sugar (considering doubling next time)

1/2 c potato starch

2 T lemon juice (or juice from 1 lemon)

2 t lemon zest (or zest from 1 lemon)

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Combine filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Fill bottom pie crust with filling. Place second crust on top, and crimp around edges to seal. Cut holes in center to vent.

1 egg +2 T water, whisked (for egg wash)

Brush crust with egg wash. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until crust is browned and berries are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.

This post is linked to Real Food Weekly at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free

Daring Bakers: Baklava

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

When I read this, I felt that lump creep up in my throat. Baklava? It’s one of my most favorite of treats. Sweet and sticky with honey, flaky, with a bunch of lovely nuts in between the layers. But gluten-free? I’ve never seen it – and certainly never tried it. One of the keys to those flaky layers in the phyllo dough is that stretchiness in gluten. If there’s no gluten, how do you recreate the stretchiness?

So I googled. I looked for gluten-free phyllo dough. I wasn’t finding much, and not everyone out there in the internet world was successful at making it. This was an elusive thing for sure. But I perservered. I found some instructions on Glutenfreeda.com and opted to try my hand at it.

After I started to roll out my layers, I started to feel more confident. I could roll out pretty thin sheets of dough with success. I rolled each layer on parchment, but as time went on, found that it would peel from plastic wrap even easier than parchment, so I changed to using plastic wrap. One daunting task achieved – I could roll thin dough.

I then made the filling – this was easy. Just a blitz in the food processor and I was ready for the next step.

Then came the assembly. This went well, which further bolstered my confidence. I could peel the dough, layer by layer, brushing with vegan butter in between, layering the nut mixture as well, until I had a completely layered dish. Even cutting the pieces was pretty easy. All that was left was baking and allowing it to sit. And so I did, crossing fingers.

Once it came out of the oven, this was when I was concerned. No flakiness. It looked virtually the same coming out as it did going in – only a wee bit more brown. I went ahead and poured the syrup over and allowed it to sit, hoping for the best.

Unfortunately, the baklava didn’t live up to expectations. The layers were dense. Bordering on gummy and chewy. From far away, it still looked like baklava, but upon closer inspection, it wasn’t. (However, the filling was still delicious, if you peeled off the layer of dough and just ate the filling. Not that I would know or anything.)

So the perfect gluten-free baklava still eludes me. It’s still in my dreams, however. Hopefully someday soon, I’ll muster up the courage to try the phyllo dough again. Thanks to Erica for this challenge – I hope to one day conquer it!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Baklava

Phyllo Dough

½ c sweet white rice flour

1 c sorghum flour

1 c potato starch

½ c tapioca starch

1 T psyllium husks

1 t guar gum

2 large eggs

2/3 c coconut milk

1/3 c water

Whisk together flours, psyllium husks, and guar gum. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and water. Attach the dough hook to the mixer. Gradually add in the flour, with the machine on low, until the dough is no longer sticky. (add additional tapioca starch as needed) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Cut 8 pieces of parchment paper at least 10 inches wide. Using generous amounts of tapioca starch, roll each piece of dough onto a piece of parchment paper until it measures at least 10 inches by 6 inches, making sure the thickness is fairly uniform. You want it as thin as possible without breaking. Repeat with each piece of dough. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap to keep from drying out.

Filling

2 t cinnamon

1/8 t allspice

¾ c almonds

¾ c walnuts

¾ c pistachios

2/3 c pitted Medjool dates

Pinch salt

½ c combination of melted ghee and melted vegan butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cinnamon, allspice, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, dates, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times until nuts and dates are finely chopped (but not turned into dust).

Trim your phyllo sheets to fit your pan by setting the pan on top of each sheet, and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut around the pan. Brush melted ghee/vegan butter inside the pan along the bottom and sides. Carefully peel a piece of phyllo dough (I used a thin, flexible spatula to help me) and place in the bottom of the pan. Brush with “butter” and peel another piece of phyllo dough, placing it over the first. Brush with “butter” again.

Place 1/3 of the nut filling evenly over the dough in the pan. Add another 2 layers of phyllo dough, followed by “butter” on top of each. Add another 1/3 of the nut filling. Add another 2 layers of the phyllo dough followed by “butter” on top of each, the final 1/3 of the filling, and finish with the last 2 layers of phyllo dough, followed by “butter” on top of each. Tuck down any edges that are flipping up on the sides of the pan with a spatula so that the top looks neat.

Using a knife, carefully cut the baklava into pieces as desired. Brush one last time with “butter”, making sure you get it covered completely.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, make syrup.

Syrup

1 ½ c honey

1 cinnamon stick

3 whole cloves

1 2-inch piece lemon peel

¼ c water

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove cinnamon, cloves, and lemon peel.

 When the baklava is finished baking, cut again all the way through. Pour the syrup evenly over all of the baklava. Allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, cover and allow to sit overnight to allow syrup to absorb.

Serve at room temperature.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free

Lauren’s Gourmet – Gluten-Free Products With Great Taste (And Another Giveaway!)

A few weeks ago, I was at the Chestnut Square Farmer’s Market, doing my weekly shopping, when I walked past a booth filled with bags of various baking mixes. I almost walked right past the booth without a second glance – after all, in that area of the market, there are a lot of vendors selling pasta sauces, homemade pasta, and artisan breads, most of which I cannot eat. (You know how that is, right? Don’t you put on those imaginary blinders when you walk past these things too? And that little voice in your head tells those gluten-filled goodies “lalalalala I can’t SEE you!” This isn’t just me, is it?) But something caused me to turn my head as I walked past, and take another look at what was being sold at this table. There had to be at least a dozen different brown paper bags containing different baking mixes. Upon closer inspection, I read the labels: “Lauren’s Gourmet – Gluten-Free.” Gluten-Free Baking Mixes? At my farmer’s market? I picked one up and started asking about it. I asked where the mixes were made. (In Anna, Texas, just a few miles north of the market.) I asked if they were made in a dedicated kitchen. (They were.) I asked if there were any that were dairy-free, while simultaneously picking up one of the packages and reading the ingredients. (She told me that many mixes contained no dairy and no egg, and I could substitute non-dairy milk and egg substitutes as I needed.) While I’m not much for baking mixes, (if you visit here often, you’ll see that I change up my gluten-free flours in recipes all the time, never sticking to one blend, and mostly making things from scratch. I have more than a dozen different flours in my pantry. It’s kind of a problem when it comes to pantry space.) I was excited. Somebody in my little part of the world was making gluten-free baking mixes! After some consideration, I picked up a bag of Southern Cornbread and took it home with me.

A few days later, I made that cornbread to go along with some fresh pinto beans (Which I also picked up at the market – this is one of the many perks of shopping at the farmer’s market all the time. You can buy fresh beans!). I baked it in a glass bread pan, and let me tell you – that was some of the best cornbread to ever come out of my kitchen. It was perfectly crisp on the edges, but amazingly moist in the center, with a hint of sweetness. My husband and I ate a good deal of it that night, and it was delicious the next day as well. I grilled a slice in a pan with a bit of ghee, and drizzled just a touch of maple syrup over it. Heaven.

I was so ecstatic about this new discovery that I searched and found Lauren’s Gourmet online. I then found Lauren’s Gourmet on Facebook. I reached out to Karen, the founder of Lauren’s Gourmet, and asked if I could share more of her great products with my readers. The next day, she called me, and we made plans. I headed up to the farmer’s market the following Saturday and officially “met” Karen.

Karen, founder of Lauren's Gourmet, and her daughter, Lauren

Karen is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Her daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008. Like many parents, Karen was overwhelmed with how to manage Lauren’s diet and keep her healthy. Karen wanted to find a way for her and her daughter to embrace the disease, not fight it. So she started researching. And perhaps more importantly, she started experimenting. And now, in three short years, she has started a growing business selling various gluten-free baking mixes in 5 states and online.

Banana muffins

These aren’t just any gluten-free baking mixes, either. They’re egg free. Nut-free. Many are yeast and casein-free. She doesn’t use preservatives. She makes suggestions on her instructions for dairy and egg substitutes to help accommodate her customers and their needs. Not only does she use a dedicated kitchen, but Karen has done her research to ensure that the ingredients in her mixes are tested and are gluten-free – even down to the recycled packaging (which is made partially from corn, not wheat). Karen cares very much about the quality of her product and the happiness of her customers, and it shows.

I was genuinely ecstatic about having the opportunity to review some of these products. I took home some baking mixes and tested them. I baked her Banana Nut Bread (as muffins, swapping out the nuts for dairy-free chocolate chips – Brittany doesn’t like nuts), her Blueberry Muffins (I even swapped out the eggs with “chia eggs” – which is simply 1 tablespoon of ground chia seed meal + 3 tablespoons of water for each egg, whisked together), and her Cinnamon Coffee Cake (where I substituted the buttermilk with dairy-free milk + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar). Of course, I used non-dairy milk in all of the mixes.

Blueberry muffins

The verdict? They were all delicious. Brittany liked the blueberry muffins most of all, while I fell in love with the cinnamon coffee cake. They were easy to bake – I did have to adjust baking times for the cinnamon coffee cake, as I used a different sized pan, but that was no big deal. These were all baking mixes I’d be happy to keep on hand just in case I had last-minute company, or felt like treating the kids to a special baked treat.

Lucky you, you’ll have the opportunity to try these mixes out yourself! Karen has graciously agreed to give away 5 baking mixes to 5 lucky readers – and you can choose which mix you’d like to win! Just visit Lauren’s Gourmet, and come back here and tell me which mix you’d like to win, to be considered in this giveaway.

If you have additional intolerances beyond gluten, here’s some guidance so you can be sure you choose a mix that is suitable for you:

All mixes are dairy-free EXCEPT the chocolate chip muffin

– All mixes are yeast-free EXCEPT the pizza crust

– All mixes contain some sugar (some, like the corn bread, pizza crust, and pie crust, contain very little)

– All mixes contain corn

For additional chances to win, leave me an additional comment after you have completed each of the following actions:

1. “Like” Lauren’s Gourmet on Facebook.

2. “Like” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook.

3. Share about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.

4. Subscribe to Tasty Eats At Home via email or RSS feed.

There you have it! This giveaway will end on Saturday, July 2, 2011.

cinnamon coffee cake

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

A Birthday Cake for Iris (Vanilla Cake with Carob “Buttercream” Frosting)

A few weeks ago, Iris over at The Daily Dietribe posted a Gluten-Free Birthday Cake challenge. My interest was immediately piqued. While birthday cake isn’t really one of my most favorite of desserts, I realize that for some, it’s practically a food group. There is a special place in Iris’s heart for birthday cake, and it’s my belief that no matter what food intolerances or allergies someone has, they should be able to enjoy those foods they love the most. For a special occasion such as a birthday, Iris ought to be able to enjoy a cake that doesn’t cause pain afterwards. I wanted to give her that cake.

So I started in my kitchen, experimenting. At first I tried to bake with stevia as the only sweetener. The first cake was terribly dense, and not sweet at all. I then attempted to increase egg whites in the batter, almost like an angel food cake, but the cake ended up so rubbery and chewy it was destined for the garbage can as well. The third cake showed promise, as I incorporated coconut nectar as a sweetener, but it was still rather coarse and tough in texture. The final cake, the one I’m showing you here, was the best gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free cake I made to date. The texture was still a wee bit more coarse than a traditional white birthday cake – I used coconut palm sugar, and I believe that had something to do with it – but it tasted good. The 100% fruit black cherry jam filling and carob “buttercream” frosting sealed the deal. Four tries later, I finally had something that would truly be considered “birthday cake”.

Like any cake, this still isn’t health food – the flours are refined, and it’s still sweet, but it’s a treat. (Especially the frosting, which I could have eaten by itself, by the spoonful…) I hope Iris likes it, and has a wonderfully happy birthday. (I wanted to ship a slice to her, but I imagine cake doesn’t travel well.)

Happy Birthday, Iris!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Vanilla Cake

2 eggs

1/3 c coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t almond extract

6 T virgin coconut oil or palm shortening

1/2 c sweet white rice flour

1/3 c plus 1 T tapioca starch

1/3 c potato starch

1/4 t xanthan gum

3/4 c coconut palm sugar

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 t baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and lightly dust with gluten-free flour. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, extracts, and coconut oil. (warm the coconut oil slightly, if it’s solid, by microwaving for 10 seconds in the microwave.) In a large bowl, combine the sweet white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum, coconut palm sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix together the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and frosting.

(This recipe makes 1 layer. For a layered cake, double the recipe.)

Carob “Buttercream” Frosting

1/4 c Earth Balance buttery spread or other vegan butter

2 c powdered coconut palm sugar (you can make this by following a recipe from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free by Amy Green – page 180)

2 T coconut milk

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 T carob powder

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add the buttery spread, half of the powdered coconut palm sugar, the coconut milk, the vanilla, and the carob powder. Turn the mixer on medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides, until well blended. Add the rest of the powdered coconut palm sugar in batches, whisking in each addition, until the frosting is stiff enough to hold its shape. Frost cake as desired.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Gluten-Free Goodness

This month for Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger I chose to adopt Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness. Cheryl’s a relatively new bloggy friend of mine; I “met” her through Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl. Cheryl is a Registered Dietitian and nutritionist, as well as a health and wellness coach. She helps a lot of people enjoy a healthy, gluten-free diet. Cheryl has several food allergies, and while that might frustrate some in the kitchen, Cheryl handles it with grace and innovation. She is always coming up with something delicious, healthy, and allergen-free. It definitely makes choosing just a few recipes to try that much more difficult!

Somehow, I managed. I had to choose one of her dessert recipes, and came across these amazing Brazil Nut Chip Cookies. Brazil nuts, however, are not something I adore, so I improvised a bit. (Okay, more than a little bit…but I wanted to use what was on hand.)I used almond butter instead of the brazil nut butter, substituted raisins for the chocolate chips, and used 1 whole banana instead of the avocado. My gluten-free flour blend was 1 part teff flour, 1 part millet flour, and 1 part coconut flour. These came out of the oven tasting like banana-y oatmeal raisin cookies – one of my favorite cookies of all time. I’m definitely making these again and again. They were superb.

Another recipe I have tried (more than once) from Cheryl is her coconut curried greens recipe. I opted to use canned coconut milk, and did not add chicken, as I made this a side dish. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients here – these greens are craveably delicious. I had to make them twice – after the first time, the flavors haunted me. It’s a good thing collard greens are arriving in my CSA box in large amounts lately!

While this is all I’ve made so far, I definitely found more recipes I want to make in the future. Cheryl has a Nana Skillet Bread that looks comforting and delicious. I can imagine it as tasty breakfast treat. Her Sniffle Stew looks like a go-to recipe, especially in the winter. (I don’t think you need the sniffles in order to eat it – I can imagine it’s the perfect lunchtime soup as well!) And who could pass up her Chocolate Raspberry Pie? That looks killer.

Need some healthy, easy recipe inspiration? Check out more of Cheryl’s recipes here. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Filed under Baked goods, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Real Sustenance (Bacon Sage Popovers and Orange Zested Carrot Fries)

 

This month for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger (which is a totally awesome monthly event hosted by and the brain child of Sea at Book of Yum) I adopted Brittany of Real Sustenance. Brittany is an over-achiever in the gluten-free world – if you don’t believe me, just check out this raw cake she made recently for her April in the Raw series, or this white cake that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and refined sugar. There is definitely no food intolerance that Brittany can’t work around, and she takes on the challenge full force. She’s definitely an inspiration.

But in spite of all of the enticing desserts Brittany has shared on her blog, I opted to go the savory route. I was making shepherd’s pie for dinner this past weekend, and thought we needed a special little treat to go along with it – Bacon Sage Popovers! (because what’s one more carb in a carb-heavy meal?)

These popovers were fun! I loved that they had that nice little flavor of bacon. They also were excellent for sopping up a bit of sauce (or as a mashed potato delivery device) that was in the shepherd’s pie. I wish I would have put more sage in them – I used fresh sage from my garden – but that will definitely be considered for next time. In the back of my mind, I also thought that bacon and sage would be a great combination for biscuits. I will have to think about that the next time biscuits are on the menu.

Then I found Brittany’s recipe for Orange Zested Carrot Fries. Carrots, masquerading as fries? Sure, why not? I like sweet potato fries, so I thought I’d give these a go. They were easy to throw together, although at first I was worried that there would be too much seasoning. But once the “fries” spent some time in the oven, I realized this clearly wasn’t the case. The seasoning made a crust, of sorts, (if I had to compare it to something, I’d say it resembled a better-spiced version of the coating on the curly fries popular at several major fast food restaurants – probably not the best comparison, but they were really tasty!) and the finished “fries” were crispy outside, perfectly seasoned, and sweet and creamy inside. These were perfect with or without ketchup. My only suggestion – make double or triple the recipe next time. I ate the entire thing by myself. (whoops)

I do fully intend to indulge in some of Brittany’s recipes for sweet treats soon. They all look so tempting. I did also “unofficially” try her vanilla-banana chai smoothie. Well, a version of it, anyway. I opted to use half the banana, make it extra thick (so less almond milk), and blend in a small cooked sweet potato. I then topped it with some grain-free granola (courtesy of Good Morning! Breakfasts without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs or Dairy), yogurt-style, and ate it with a spoon. (Sorry, no picture, it was 5 AM that it was made, and the granola wasn’t placed on top until I was at work this morning, eating my breakfast.) It was creamy and delicious, and I was so glad for the banana and chai smoothie inspiration!

Real Sustenance is definitely a real find in the gluten-free world. I can’t wait to see what Brittany dreams up next!

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Filed under Baked goods, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Daring Bakers: Edible Containers (Maple Mousse in Bacon Chocolate Chip Cups)

 The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Yes, more edible containers. What’s not to love about a container you can eat? Evelyne suggested making a maple mousse and a bacon cup to hold the mousse. I loved the idea so much, I decided to stick closely to the recipes suggested. I made the mousse (dairy-free, of course), refrigerated it, and got to making bacon cups. I molded bacon around the back side of a muffin tin, secured with toothpicks, and baked, but my bacon cups weren’t really cup-like – they shriveled and had holes too large to hold any mousse. Stumped on what to do instead, I questioned my husband. (Who was walking in and out of the kitchen this whole time, drawn to what I was doing by the aroma of bacon.) His suggestion? Let him eat the bacon. While this is a tasty solution, it doesn’t give me an edible container. (I did share some of the failed bacon cups with him though!)

After some time to think, I remembered that a year or two ago, bacon chocolate chip cookies were all the rage in the food blog world. Having never made them myself, I decided I would play with a chocolate chip cookie recipe, only instead making them in a cup form. I set off making dough and pressing the dough into muffin cups.

I did, however, forget that in spite of pressing the dough only around the edges of the muffin cup (like it was a pie crust), that the cookie dough would rise and fill in the cup entirely. Whoops. So what I ended up with was more like a bacon chocolate chip muffin. Undeterred, I grabbed my melon baller and scooped out a bit of the center, making it a cup once again. (And enjoying the bits of cookie I scooped out – the baker’s treat for sure!)

The rest was easy. Scoop in the maple mousse, top with bacon bits, and refrigerate. Voila – an edible container with a delicious mousse!

The verdict? I think if I try this again, I’ll modify the cookie/cup recipe somewhat. It was a bit dry and crumbly. The mousse, however, was amazing. I could sit down and eat tons of that by itself. As for the bacon-in-a-dessert thing? It’s not bad (it adds a lovely sweet-savory touch, but didn’t taste much like bacon), but it’s not my favorite combination. I could take it or leave it. I think I’d much prefer just to enjoy the mousse unadorned (or maybe with some dairy-free whipped cream).

This was definitely a fun challenge! A big thanks to Evelyne.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cups with Maple Mousse

For the cups:

1 ¾ c gluten-free flour blend (I used equal parts arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, and sorghum flour)

2 t ground chia seed meal

½ t baking soda

½ t kosher salt

1/3 c vegan buttery sticks or oil (I used bacon grease leftover from cooking the bacon plus vegan butter)

½ c coconut sugar

½ c coconut nectar

1 large egg

½ t vanilla extract

½ c finely chopped cooked bacon (about 8 strips), divided

2/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, chia seed meal, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add buttery sticks/oil, sugar, and coconut nectar and beat for about 3 minutes or until blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix on medium until incorporated. Stir in half of the bacon and all of the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and divide into 8-9 of the muffin cups, pressing up against the sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until beginning to brown on the edges and set in the center. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

With a melon baller or similarly sized spoon, scoop out the center of each chocolate chip cup. Fill with chilled maple mousse and garnish with remaining bacon.

For the mousse:

½ c grade B maple syrup

2 large egg yolks

½ envelope gelatin

¾ c coconut cream (scoop cream off of the top of a can of coconut milk)

Bring maple syrup to a boil and remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they won’t curdle).

Add eggs to maple syrup and whisk until well mixed.

Measure ¼ cup of the coconut cream and place in a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Place in microwave for 15 seconds and then stir, and microwave for 10 seconds more if needed to dissolve gelatin completely.

Whisk gelatin mixture into the maple syrup and set aside.

Whisk occasionally, leaving mixture out for about an hour, until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.

Whip the remaining coconut cream in a large bowl. Stir ¼ of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove from fridge, whisk, and scoop into bacon chocolate chip cups.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free

A Review and a Giveaway: Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski

Think going gluten-free means resigning to cardboard-flavored, overly dry and crumbly desserts? Hardly. I take a firm stance against tasteless desserts. Only the good stuff in our household! So when my review copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to devour every page. When it came time to test a recipe, I couldn’t decide on just one. After all, I should be doing my best to give you a thorough review of the book, right?

The first recipe I decided to make was her Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes. They seemed so simple to make, and was free of not only gluten, but also dairy and refined sugar. What was there to lose? I did opt to top it with some “buttercream” frosting (buttercream made with palm shortening instead of butter), so the end result did have sugar, but they were definitely a hit with Brittany. They weren’t overly sweet, but the cupcakes stayed moist enough and held together without crumbling – both big marks in the win column. Of course, they were chocolate – which automatically means they rank high on my “yum” list.

But I cannot live on chocolate cupcakes alone. I had to do something that was a bit different. So I additionally opted to make the mango sticky rice cake. Again, it was a simple recipe calling for relatively few ingredients. I did substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Warm from the oven, it was sticky, creamy, with the lovely savory-sweet flavor of coconut and the sweet, fresh flavors of the mango. It’s not the flashiest cake in the world, but it definitely makes up for that with real, honest flavors. I could have eaten it for breakfast.

What surprised me about this book was that there was more than just desserts. Carol also included a few muffin recipes and breakfast ideas! I am a muffin fan – I make them a lot more often than I let on here (you know, I think I should remedy that, come to think of it…). Next on my list is to make her Apple Cinnamon Muffins, which are dairy-free and refined sugar-free as well as gluten-free. They sound amazing.

But of course, many of you are here because I mentioned “giveaway” in the title of this post. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here are the details:

I will be giving away one copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press, to one of you. The giveaway will end on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

To enter, you will need to leave me a comment telling me what dessert you would love to see made gluten-free.

But wait, there’s more!

You can have additional chances to win by doing the following:

“Like” Simply…Gluten-Free on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

“Like” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

Follow Simply…Gluten-Free on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

Follow Tasty Eats At Home on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

That’s it! I wish you the best of luck!

 

And last, but not least, the recipe for the Mango Sticky Rice Cake.

Mango Sticky Rice Cake, reprinted with permission, from Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski

Ingredients:

 2 mangos, peeled and sliced lengthwise into about ¼ inch slices
1½ cups sweet rice (mochi, pearl or sushi rice)
1½ cups water
1 cup brown sugar (packed) plus about 1 tablespoon – use divided (I substituted coconut palm sugar)
1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk
Pinch kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy substitute plus more for preparing pan

 Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom and sides liberally with the butter or non-dairy substitute. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Lay sliced mango on top of brown sugar in a nice spiral pattern.

Put rice in a large glass bowl and cover with enough water to come up about 1 inch over the top of the rice. Soak rice for at least 1 hour. Drain off water, rinse with running water and put back into bowl with 1½ cups fresh water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir rice thoroughly and return to microwave for another 5 minutes. Stir again. Rice should be tender, cooked through and sticky. If not, microwave for another 3 minutes and check again. Let stand covered for 5 minutes when done. Alternately you can cook the soaked rice in a rice cooker.

While rice is cooking, heat coconut milk with ¼ cup brown sugar and salt until almost boiling over medium heat. Do not cook it over too high of a heat or it will curdle. Cook until all the sugar is dissolved and it is very hot. Pour hot mixture over cooked rice; stir well and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy substitute over medium heat with ¾ cups of brown sugar until it forms a thick caramel. Gently pour over the mango slices in the cake pan. Add rice mixture and press down to pack it well in the pan. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.

Place cake pan in a sheet pan to catch any caramel that may bubble over and bake in oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the rice is lightly browned and the caramel is hot and bubbling. Let cool for 5 minutes and then run a knife around the pan to loosen. Invert on serving plate and let cool. The more you let it cool the easier it is to slice.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Review and Giveaway: Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free by Amy Green

This giveaway has ended, and the winners have been announced here. Thank you all for reading!

In case you haven’t heard, my good friend Amy over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free has written her first book, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, and it’s just been released! I couldn’t wait until my copy arrived in the mail, and when it did, I plopped myself down on the couch and read the whole thing, cover to cover. I’m so proud of Amy’s accomplishments. This book is gorgeous, with amazing recipes for everything from buckwheat crepes to cauliflower soup to multiple brownie recipes, all free of gluten and refined sugar. As I am trying to cut refined sugar out of my diet, Amy has become a valuable resource. This book couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It was only a matter of deciding which recipes to try first, so I could share with you just how awesome this book is.

Of all of the tantalizing recipes, it might seem odd that the first thing I made was her Slow Cooker Ketchup (also available on her blog). I haven’t actually eaten ketchup in a long time. When you don’t eat french fries, burgers, or hot dogs on a regular basis, there’s just not that many ketchup opportunities left. I’ve also found that store-bought ketchup, which typically is full of high-fructose corn syrup or sugar, is intensely sweet – something I’ve lost a taste for. Amy’s ketchup, however, is more than just sweet – there are layers of spices, some tang, and a lovely full flavor. I used some of it later in the week for some chipotle sloppy joes (on a slice of gluten-free bread) and oven fries, and felt like a kid again. It was so, so good.

But I wouldn’t do a review of a cookbook purely based on ketchup. That just wouldn’t be right. After all, I’ve sampled Amy’s baking before, and I know what she’s capable of. Her baked goods are phenomenal. When I came across her Fig and Date Bars, I paused. She said they tasted like fig newtons. Fig Newtons? Oh yes, these were so about to happen in my kitchen. I couldn’t wait.

Did they deliver? I would definitely say so. I loved the sticky, sweet but not-too-sweet fig and date filling, and the crumbly topping was just perfect. I brought them to the office, and all day, people would venture back into the kitchen to sneak another one. Our company President even enjoyed some and shared them with his granddaughters (who were visiting that day), and remarked how good they were. (He didn’t know they were gluten and sugar-free until afterwards!) If they pass the test of the gluten and sugar eaters of the world with flying colors, I say that’s definitely a win.

Just look at them. How could you resist?

Do these recipes have you interested? I hope so, because I have FOUR opportunities for you to win a copy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free! Want to know how you can enter to win? Scroll down to the bottom of this post and find out! The giveaway will end at midnight CDT on Saturday, April 23, 2011. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully so you can be entered as many times as possible!

Fig and Date Bars, reprinted with permission from Amy Green, excerpted from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

1/2 c pitted Medjool dates

1/2 c dried black Mission figs, stemmed and cut in half

1/2 c walnuts

1 c sorghum flour

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t xanthan gum (I used guar gum)

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 c cold butter, diced (I used ghee (also called clarified butter), which is lactose and casein-free)

2 T honey or agave nectar

1 t freshly grated orange zest

1 T freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly mist an 8 X 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the dates and figs with hot water. Set aside. Or, cover the dates and dried figs with water and microwave for 1 minute.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop the walnuts until they are in small pieces but not mealy. Add the sorghum flour, cinnamon, baking soda, xanthan gum, and kosher salt. Process for 30 seconds or until the mixture is combined and the walnuts are a little finer. Sprinkle the butter evenly across the walnut mixture and drizzle in the honey or agave. Pulse until a dough forms. Turn the dough out into a large bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dates and figs to the food processor, reserving the soaking liquid; there’s no need to wash the processor bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid, the orange zest, and orange juice. Let process for several minutes, until smooth.

While the food processor is running, use wet hands to firmly press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Once the date and fig mixture is smooth, spread it evenly across the dough. Break the remaining dough into marble-size pieces, sprinkle them across the fig and date paste, and lightly press in.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through, until the top becomes lightly golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and store in the refrigerator. These also freeze well.

Makes 16 2X2 inch bars.

Now, for the giveaway!

In order to be entered into the giveaway, simply leave a comment at the end of this post. Your name will be entered once into a drawing for a chance to win one of four cookbooks.

If you want more chances to win, then listen up!

For a second chance to win, follow Ulysses Press on Twitter and leave a separate comment here telling me you did so.

For a third chance to win, friend Ulysses Press on Facebook and leave a separate comment here telling me you did so.

For a fourth chance to win, like Ulysses Press’s new Health and Fitness fan page and leave a separate comment here telling me you did so.

(An added bonus for you, when you follow/like Ulysses Press – they often host giveaways and other fun stuff!)

For a fifth chance to win, like Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free on Facebook and leave a separate comment here telling me you did so.

For additional chances to win, Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter, post about it on Facebook or your blog, and leave me comments telling me you did those things.

And remember – the giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday, April 23, 2011.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian