Category Archives: Recipes

strawberry

Strawberry Almond Flour Blender Cake

Now that I’ve started to train for another marathon I’ve had to really focus on eating enough calories everyday. Thankfully, it’s strawberry season in my part of the world, and I recently began to make this super easy, gluten-free cake recipe to use up some of our fresh picked strawberries (I adapted it slightly from a recipe that I found on the website roostblog.com). I have not taken a photo of it to post because I keep forgetting to do so, but it looks like an ordinary 8 inch cake when it’s baked.

Strawberry Almond Flour Blender Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup quartered strawberries (I’ve used a bit more than this each time and it’s still good)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease an 8-inch round cake pan. Trace the bottom of the pan on parchment paper, cut out circle and place on bottom of pan.

Melt butter in a small pan over medium/low heat until browned. Set aside.

In a blender pulse almond flour, salt and baking soda until combined. Add honey, eggs, vanilla, and brown butter. Blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into a bowl and fold in strawberries. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

This is enough to serve my family of 6 generously for dessert with about 1 to 2 slices left over. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Also, if you are looking for charities to support in 2014, please consider supporting those of us who are running the NYC marathon for the Celiac Disease Foundation’s Team Gluten-Free on November 2nd. I have pledged to raise $3500 for celiac research, education, and advocacy by Nov. 30th and I need your help! Thank you so much.

Lastly, I just found out that Peter and Kelli Bronski from one of my favorite websites, “No Gluten, No Problem,” have published a new gluten-free recipe book for families called Gluten-Free Family Favorites. I am looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail. Please check out their website for more details about the book and how to win a free copy.

Easy Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Recipe

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With our garden blooming, as well as our summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share and local farmers’ markets starting up, we’ve had a steady supply of rhubarb over the last few weeks. So I’ve been making cobbler. I adapted my recipe from one that I found on the website “The Fountain Avenue Kitchen.”

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of chopped rhubarb (cut stems into 1/2-inch pieces and discard leaves!)
  • 1 pint strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup old-fashioned GF oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup almond flour (preferably blanched; I use Honeyville Farms almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the rhubarb and strawberries in a 9-inch pie plate. Toss the fruit with the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almond flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and ginger. Add the egg whites and butter, and stir until blended.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly over the fruit mixture. Try to leave at least a tiny gap between the topping and the edge of the pie plate.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the rhubarb is bubbling and the topping is crisp and lightly golden. Allow the cobbler to rest for 5 minutes or so. Enjoy hot or at room temperature, with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt, if desired. I actually eat my plain. I have eaten a lot of this cobbler over the last few weeks!

I feel like this blog has turned into my neglected 5th child over the last few weeks. If I haven’t responded to your comments and/or emails, I will do so soon. Also, stay tuned for upcoming posts about a project called Pasta Flyer, the CeliAction Study, cow’s milk protein allergies, non celiac gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and brain fog, and my opportunity to run the NYC Marathon in November for the Celiac Disease Foundation’s “Team Gluten-Free.” I hope that you’re all enjoying your summer!  -Jess

Courtesy of www.wholeliving.com

Socializing and Socca Bread

I was recently reminded of how socially isolating Celiac Disease can be.  I attended a day long volunteering orientation during which a complimentary lunch of sub sandwiches and cookies was provided for attendees. I was not surprised by this, and, as usual, packed and brought a lunch from home. I am so far into this whole Celiac thing that I was not bothered by this at all.  The two women sitting closest to me at the orientation were curious as to why I brought own lunch when we knew ahead of time that a free lunch was going to be provided. I went through the whole, “I have Celiac Disease, so I get very sick if I eat gluten,” explanation for the umpteenth time. Again, not a big deal, and I am always happy to educate others about gluten-related illnesses.

When I finished my lunch I grabbed my phone to check my emails. The first 3 emails I read were the following:

1. An invitation to a spaghetti and garlic bread benefit dinner for a local homeless shelter.

2. A reminder that my upcoming book club is at a cheesecake restaurant (I have been there many times and there is nothing on the menu I can eat and no “carry ins” allowed).

3. A local running club invitation to an upcoming ”flatbread and beer” 5K fun run.

This string of emails was a quick wake-up call that those of us with Celiac Disease (1% of the population) are a small minority, that we truly live in a food-based culture, and a reminder that I used to take similar social events totally for granted back when I could attend them.

I fortunately, just this week, came across a recipe for socca bread, a French, chickpea flour-based flatbread which is similar to Italian farinata.  It is gluten free, dairy free, cheap, easy to make, and tastes great. I found the recipe on the website www.thekitchn.com. I used the oven method to make it, as I am ashamed to admit that I do not own a cast iron skllet, and I used Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate the entire flatbread in less than a day!

Ingredients

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chickpea flour
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional seasonings: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1/8-1/2 teaspoon spice (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, za’atar)

Equipment

10-inch cast-iron skillet, pie tin, or other metal baking dish
Spatula
Knife

Instructions

Makes 1 thick 10″ pancake or 2 thin 10″ pancakes (recipe can be multiplied)

1. Prepare the Chickpea Batter – Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl. Let rest for 1/2 hour to 2 hours to give the flour time to absorb the water.

2. Heat the Broiler and the Pan – Set an oven rack six inches below your oven’s broiler and turn on the broiler. Set a cast iron skillet or other baking dish on the rack to warm for five minutes.

3. Pour the Batter – Remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts. Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Whisk the chickpea batter quickly and then pour half into the hot skillet (or all if making a thicker pancake). Tilt the pan so the batter coats the entire surface of the pan.

4. Broil the Socca – Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until you see the top of the socca begin to blister and brown. If you find the top browning before the batter is fully set, move the skillet to a lower oven rack until done. The socca should be fairly flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges.

5. Slice and Serve – Use a spatula to work your way under the socca and ease it from the pan. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Repeat with any remaining batter.

Socca is best if eaten immediately after baking while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to a week.

Additional Notes:

To Bake in the Oven: Heat the oven to 450°F and pre-heat the baking dish for 5 minutes. Bake the socca for 8-10 minutes, until it’s cooked through, then run it under the broiler to blister the top.

To Bake on the Stove Top: Film a pan with oil and set over medium-high heat. Pour in the socca batter. After about 3 minutes when the edges are firm, gently lift the pancake and flip it. Cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, until both surfaces are dry and beginning to brown.

I plan on making socca often, and sharing it with many. I may even have my own socca bread party so that I can actually socialize and eat at the same time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Disclaimer: The socca bread which I made looked nowhere near as pretty as the socca bread photo which I found on www.wholeliving.com. Their website also has a few different recipes and suggestions for socca bread preparation.

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Easy Gluten Free “Muffin Tin” Recipes for Families

When I started this blog, I had no intention of posting recipes, as there are a ton of awesome websites and blogs with gluten free recipes already in existence.  However, as a working mom who prepares gluten free meals regularly for a family of 6, I have adopted a ton of super easy, family friendly foods over the past few years. One common theme is that all of these recipes involve making foods in a muffin tin.  For some reason, my kids seem to really like this!  All six recipes are gluten free and soy free, and some are Paleo and/or dairy free (or can be modified to be so).  If you’d like, you can skip the cooking spray and use olive oil to grease the tins instead. Okay, here are your recipes…

1. Zucchini Bites (recipe adapted from The Naptime Chef)

Ingredients: 1 cup grated zucchini, 1 egg, 1/4 yellow onion (diced), 1/4 cup cheese (we usually use parmesan), 1/4 cup GF bread crumbs, salt and pepper

Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray a standard muffin tin or mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.  2. Squeeze out grated zucchini between paper towels so it is dry.  3. Mix egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, and salt and pepper (use as much as you’d like) in a bowl.   4.  Using a spoon or cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top.   5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are browned and set.

**Makes 12 mini muffins or 6 regular sized muffins.  We have doubled and even tripled the recipe many times without a problem!

 

2. Pizza Frittatas (I have had this recipe for so long that I cannot recollect its origin):

Ingredients: 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1 chopped bell pepper, pepperoni slices, 10 large eggs, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 tsp salt

Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 350F.   2. Saute the mushrooms and bell pepper.   3. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and divide sauteed veggies evenly into each cup.    4.  Line inside of each cup with 4-5 slices of pepperoni.  5.  Whisk eggs and salt together.  Pour eggs evenly into each muffin cup.   6. Top each with mozzarella cheese.     7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until eggs are set and puffy.

**You can tightly wrap the individual frittatas and freeze.  Microwave in 15 sec increments until heated through.  You can prepare as a Paleo dish if mozzarella cheese is omitted.

 

3. Easy Cheesy Bread (modified from a recipe on www.simplyrecipes.com):

Ingredients: 1 egg, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2/3 cup milk, 1-1/2 cups tapioca flour, 1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice, 1 tsp salt

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400F.   2. Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.  You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender halfway through.  3. Pour into a greased muffin tin.    4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffy and just lightly browned.

 

4. Meatloaf Delight (modified from a new recipe called “Meatloaf in a Muffin Tin” on Dana’s website, www.celiackiddo.wordpress.com):

Ingredients: 1-1/2 lbs lean ground sirloin, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 cup GF bread crumbs, 1 egg

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 450F.     2. Grease a standard sized muffin tin.     3. Combine sirloin, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs in a large bowl with your hands.     4. Divide equally into muffin cups, either using an ice cream scoop or rolling into balls and pressing into cups.    5. Bake for 20 minutes, making sure to cut into one to make sure it is cooked through before serving.

**if you check out Dana’s website (see above) she has a recipe for a ketchup glaze to put on the top before cooking.  We opted to give our kids ketchup on the side.  We just made this recipe for the first time last week. My oldest gave it a score of an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10, and my 2nd coined it “Meatloaf Delight” because he loved it so much.

 

5. Salmon Cakes (adapted from a recipe on www.runnersworld.com):

Ingredients: Two 6 oz cans of salmon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup GF bread crumbs, 1/3 cup milk (can use non-dairy milk), 1 shredded zucchini, 2 tsp curry powder (okay to omit curry if you don’t have it)

Directions: 1 Preheat oven to 350F.    2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.    3. Stuff into 8 to 12 standard sized muffin cups (we have had enough for 12).    4. Bake for 25 minutes.

**can be served with an avocado sauce as well (combine 1 avocado, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, juice of 1 lime, and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor).

 

6. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (also via www.celiackiddo.wordpress.com):

Ingredients: 3 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp GF vanilla extract, 1-1/2 cups GF all purpose flour (I am pretty sure you can substitute almond flour but we have not tried this yet), 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (we use the Enjoy Life brand)

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a standard, 12 cup muffin tin, or 2 mini muffin tins.   2. Place bananas, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.  Scrape down sides with a spatula and blend again.    3. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except for chocolate chips.     4. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well.     5. Fold in the chocolate chips.   6. Spoon batter into muffin tins.     7. Bake mini muffins for 10 minutes, standard sized muffins may need closer to 20 minutes (you will know they are done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).

Enjoy!

Easy Cut-Out Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

I made the mistake of making regular Christmas cookies with my kids my first winter after diagnosis. Even though I did not eat the cookies, I experienced a major “glutening” episode from just working with the cookie dough. The next year I came across the following recipe for gluten free  holiday cookies, and I’ve used it ever since. My friends and family have not been able to detect a difference between these cookies and “regular” Christmas cookies. Plus it’s an easy recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of butter, softened

2 egg yolks

1-1/2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups GF flour blend (this is made by mixing 2 cups of white rice flour, 2/3 cups of potato starch, 1/3 cup of tapioca flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. I left out the xanthan gum the last time and it turned out fine too)

Directions:

1. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Continue beating, scraping often, until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add GF flour blend and salt. Beat until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until firm (approximately 1 hour).

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on surface lightly dusted with GF flour, one half at a time (keep other half in refrigerator), until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 2 minutes and remove from cookie sheets. Makes approx. 36 cookies.

Enjoy!

 

Cooking for a Gluten Free Guest

I used to taste EVERYTHING when I went to a party, wedding, etc. I have now been a gluten free guest more times than I can count.

Some tips/words of advice if you will be entertaining a Celiac or individual who is highly sensitive to gluten:

1. Don’t stress!

2. Keep the food plain and simple. Use simple ingredients like vegetables, meats, oil, salt and pepper. Many sauces, marinades, broths, and dressings have gluten as a thickener.

3. Don’t assume that a processed food is gluten free without careful label reading. I have had well-intentioned family and friends make chili and soups for me, not realizing that the brands that they purchased contained gluten.

4. Don’t get offended if your guest would like to read all of the labels of ingredients you used, just to make sure there are no hidden sources of gluten. Although the FDA mandates labeling for wheat, there are no mandates for other gluten-containing grains like barley and rye.

5. If you choose to make gluten free pasta, please buy a new, cheap plastic colander and wooden spoon to use, as your normal ones are probably contaminated with gluten. You can usually find these at a dollar store.

6. If cooking with butter or margarine, open a new stick or tub, so that there is no contamination with breadcrumbs.

7. Do not place GF items directly on a rack in a toaster oven, put them on aluminum foil before toasting.

8. Talk to your guest ahead of time, if possible. Many celiacs have additional food intolerances, i.e. soy or dairy, which are helpful to know about when menu planning.

9. Ask your guest if he/she is interested in bringing a GF dish to eat and share.

10. If in doubt, order out. There are several chains in the U.S. who do a great job with gluten free entrees and prepare foods in separate areas of their kitchens to avoid gluten contamination. P.F. Chang’s and Maggiano’s both come to mind as possibilities.

Meal ideas:

Appetizers: Cut up vegetables and fruit. Slices of cheese. Nut thins or other rice based GF crackers. Shrimp. GF corn chips and salsa. Mozzarella and tomatoes with basil and balsamic vinegar.

Salads: Use any salad green and chopped veggies. No croutons. Keep dressings and toppings on the side. Have oil and vinegar available. Keep in mind that many nuts are processed on equipment shared with wheat and have the potential for gluten contamination.

Bread: If you absolutely must have bread, heat up an Against the Grain GF baguette or two and slice and serve. Can serve with GF bruschetta or dipping oils.

Main dishes: Basic meats work well, such as a roast chicken, steak, or pork tenderloin. Use oil, salt, and pepper instead of a marinade (unless you are sure it is GF). Lasgana made with brown rice noodles (Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s). Enchiladas made with GF corn tortillas (Mission brand). Baked fish seasoned with lemon and fresh herbs. Risotto. Chili made with a GF mix. Eggplant parmesan made with gluten free breadcrumbs (like Glutino). Homemade meatballs made with gluten free breadcrumbs. Most homemade Indian dishes are GF as well (obviously skip the Naan).

Side dishes: Salads. Polenta. Baked potatoes. Sweet potato fries. Butternut squash puree. Roasted vegetables. Asparagus. Homemade mashed potatoes. Simple rice dishes (avoid boxed, seasoned rice as most mixes contains gluten). GF corn bread. Thanksgiving is actually a pretty easy meal to do gluten free.

Desserts: Fruit. Ice Cream or Gelato (make sure labeled GF). GF brownies. Kids often like Fruity Pebbles squares.

Beverages: Most beers contains gluten. Wine and ciders are safe. If beer is a must, go for Redbridge, New Grist, New Planet, or Bard’s, which are all GF.