Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Healthy Gluten Free Bread

A step for health, A leap for Celiac's. Ok, you might think I'm a cheater, but this calls for a bread mix. I promise you it's a really good bread mix! When I was first battling in the kitchen against gluten, I thought I should be the one to come up with new, fun, witty, delicious recipes. And I do... but there are so many great people who have paved the way with more delicious, better, recipes (and let's be honest it would have taken me years to get a recipe as good as this on my own). So there it is. Don't judge me.

The Gluten-Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread Mix (see the blog on bread or follow the link)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Milled Flax seed (like the one in the picture, or whatever you find that's cheaper and yes, milled is important - more digestible and whatnot)
1/4 cup Honey (personal preference is Orange Blossom Honey)

Preheat oven to 170-ish, then when it's done preheating turn it off.
And your going to follow the directions on the packaging (Mostly).
When you pour the flour in the bowl add the flax seed to it and mix it up.
And what I like to do is fill one of those pyrex-like 2 cup measuring things up with the correct amount of water, then add the honey to the 2-cup mark, then add the slab of butter and microwave it all, while periodically mixing, until the butter is melted and it's warm (not till it burns your finger - then it's too hot and you'll kill the yeast). And either make sure your eggs are room temperature, or mix 'em and microwave 'em for NO MORE THEN 15 SECONDS. And then you'll have room temperature eggs.
Mix it all up like it says on the packaging. Then, after you pour it into your bread pan, put it in your pre-warmed over. I've found that this is a better, more controlled environment for the little yeasts to grow and make things fluffy. After the prescribed 30-40 minute rising time, just turn your oven back on (leave the bread in the oven), preheat it to 375, and take about 5 minutes off your baking time, but make sure your start your baking time when your oven has officially reached 375.

And Voila! Heart Healthy, amazingly delicious bread. I'm eating a piece right now. YUM!

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cup flour mix (see blog on flour mix, or use your own GF mix you trust)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milled flax seed (optional, but do you want to deny yourself the heart-healthy benefits and the slight nutty flavor? I think not!)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
A couple tablespoons of real maple syrup (for glazing)

Preheat oven to 375.
Line your favorite cookie tin with parchment paper.
Beat butter until it is soft and fluffy, add the salt, vanilla, and both sugars and cream it all together. Combine the flour and baking soda in a seperate bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour. Fold in milled flax seed and chocolate chips. Scoop into heaping tablespoon-sized balls and set 2 inches apart on the parchmant. Flatten to about 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness (just estimate please, no need wasting time on finding a ruler). Now for the syrup, pour a little into a small bowl, and just dip your finger in the syrup and rub it on the top of the cookie. Repeat until all the tops of the cookies are nice and shiny. Don't stingy with the syrup. There's flax seed in it, remember? It's healthy....
Bake about 12-15 minutes or until browned around the edges. These cookies should puff up a bit, that's normal. Let the cookies cool a few minutes before moving them to the counter or shoving them in your mouth.

It's Better Gluten-Free Lasagna

Who needs noodles? This recipe came to me shortly after my test results came back positive for Celiacs... And it's wonderous. Thinly sliced Zucchini take the place of the noodles. And let's all be honest, zucchini is significantly better for you then noodles. I hope you have a mandolin - it's a lot easier to manage the zucchini, but if not - just old school it and slice 'em thin by hand.

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 store bought smallish box of button mushrooms -sliced
1 jar of Newman's Own "Sakarooni" sauce (I highly recommend...) or 1 8-ounce jar tomato sauce, 1 6-ounce can tomato paste and 1 14-ounce can stewed diced tomatoes
5-8 Zucchini (aim for the higher number if the Zucchini run small)
2 large eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 cup shredded mozzerella
1 cup shredded chedder
salt, pepper, seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 375.
Thinly slice all the zucchini lengthwise, we're not looking for medallions. I'm talking as thin as you can get. This is where a mandolin would be useful. Just be careful of your fingers in any case. Put all the sliced zucchini in a large pot and fill till the zucchini are floating. Put on medium heat and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. (I know you're treating the zucchini like noodles - that's the idea!) Take them off the heat when their done and strain.
Oil the bottom of the 9x13 pan and spread a little sauce in the bottom as well. In a LARGE saute pan add some oil and saute the meat, onion, mushrooms, and garlic until the meat is cooked through. Drain of excess fat and then return everything to the pan. Add the Sockarooni (it's such a fun name!) sauce or the tomato mixture. Simmer it all for about 10 minutes. It smells so good at this point...
While the meat is simmering in the delicious goodness of the sauce, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. Have the grated chedder and mozzarella ready.
Now for the fun part.
In your 9x13 pan, layer the zucchini like you would lasagna noodles, overlap them just a bit and cover the whole bottom of the pan. Then, spread half of the cottage cheese mixture. THEN, sprinkle half the chedder and mozzarella cheese over that! THEN, spread half of the meat mixture on top of that!! Phew. First half is done. Layer the zucchini again, like you did before, followed by the cottage cheese mixture, then the cheese, then the meat. And to top it all off: Sprinkle some Parmesan on top.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Let it stand 10-15 minutes (if you can wait) and then CHOW DOWN!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

First sandwich in 8 months

What joy and amazement in finding a great bread mix!!!! And is such lovely packaging! I made grilled cheese, eggs in a basket, egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and just toast with butter and jam! And a direct quote from one of my gluten-tolerant friends, "This is good! And I'm a bread snob!" There you have it, folks. Fluffy, yummy, amazing bread. Thank you, Gluten Free Pantry people.

I'm planning on adding honey and flax seed to the mix to make it a little more hearty and heart healthy. There will be updates. Oh, there will be updates.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Apple German Pancake - Gluten Free

Heavenly, Creamy, High Protein, Custardy Breakfast...

2 Non-tart apples
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. flour mix of your choice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Butter enough to butter your pie dish, 8x8 pan, or heavy oven proof skillet

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
For the Apples: Core and cut the apples into 1/8 inch slices. Put the butter, apples, orange juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a pot or skillet on the stove on medium heat. Stir often for about 10 minutes until the apples soften. Then turn off the heat and prepare your pancake batter.
For the Pancake: Beat the eggs and milk together until smooth. Slowly incorporate the flour. Add the vanilla and mix well. Pour batter into your buttered dish of choice. GENTLY spoon the apple mixture into the pancake batter. Evenly distribute the apples.
Put it all in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 350 and set your timer for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, let it cool for at least 10 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want (I don't think it really needs it) and feel free to thank me later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Eternal Debate on Flour... sigh

Everyone is going to have a different personal preference, and I completely understand that. In my opinion GF flours should not add funky smells or tastes to my food, like garbanzo bean flour (NASTY). I know that many people love the Red Mill gluten free homemade bread whatever mix, but I can't tolerate the bean flour flavor. I tried. Couldn't take it anymore. SO, personally I found that I really like the Eating Gluten Free mixes. Note that it says, "Life tastes good again." Yeah, life does taste good again. No weird flavors or aftertastes, well there is a slight rice taste, but if you flavor your bread with anything you won't even notice. I use the pizza and bread mix as a substitute for wheat flour in experimenting with baking recipes. You can find it HERE. Unfortunately, you can only find it in health food stores in Idaho and Utah. But you can get it online (hence the link). But I'm sure whatever GF mix you like will work great. So go ahead and experiment.

Take Luck!

Orange Cherry Muffins - Gluten Free

These are sure to be a hit with everyone. The tangy orange combined with the flavorful cherries make a great breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack...

1 whole orange
1/2 cup orange juice or water
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups flour mix*
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cherries

Preheat your oven to 375. Puree the orange with the juice or water (i.e. cut the orange into wedges, put into a food processor or magic bullet or blender and puree the whole thing, skin and all... trust me). Then, chop up the dried cherries a bit. Mix the orange puree, egg, oil, and honey together (sometimes it helps to heat the honey in the microwave a bit). Mix the dry ingredients together. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon, whisk, or stand mixer - whatever you prefer. Fold in the chopped dried cherries. Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin, about 3/4 full in each . This should make 12 muffins. For an extra boost, sprinkle sugar on the tops of the muffins before you stick them in the oven, it just makes the top a little fancier.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!

*see blog on flour mix

Gluten Free is for Lovers

Just because it's gluten free, doesn't mean it can't be delicious