What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

July 10, 2010

Zucchini Au Gratin

Filed under: Recipes,Sides,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:39 am

This is my favorite dish to make with Zucchini.

This is one of the very first things I ever cooked after being married (not counting the burned stew incident), and this is most definitely the very first recipe I ever invented myself.  We’ve been enjoying this great summer Zucchini dish for well…let’s just say…MANY years!

First, slice a large Vidalia (or other sweet) Onion.

Then, slice 2-3 medium to large Zucchini.

Cover bottom of 9 x 13 glass caserole with a layer of Zucchini, overlapping like this:

Follow with a layer of onion rings.

Repeat the process, layering Zucchini and Onion again.

Okay…you caught me!  I used the same photo as above, but you get my drift.

Finish with a layer of Zucchini.

Just because this is so complicated , let’s be sure you’ve got it:  That’s Zucchini, Onion, Zucchini, Onion, Zucchini.

I’m feeling a little sarcastic this morning, can you tell? 😉

You can cover with aluminum foil and bake in an oven at 350 degrees until Zucchini is fork tender, OR if you are in a hurry like I was last night, you can cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 7-10 minutes until tender.  You’ll want to be able to easily pierce the squash with a fork.

Here’s what it will look like once the squash is cooked and ready for the next step, which happens to be my favorite part:

You can see them beaded up with all the sweat from their little trip to the sauna.

Now, cover the whole darn thing with cheese –  glorious cheese!   I used mozzerella, but colby or cheddar works great, too.

Then, top with bread crumbs (Gluten Free, of course!). 

Do you know how to make your own bread crumbs?   I just cut or tear my gluten free sandwich bread into small pieces, run it through the food processor and then bake in the oven at 350 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes, until they are lightly browned and dry.  I store in a ziploc freezer bag in my freezer and they last for months this way.  You can take out what you need and place the bag back in the freezer for the next time.  No stale crumbs ever!

Okay, now pop the pan into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, just until the cheese is starting to brown up a bit.   This is what it should look like when finished:

Let cool for a few minutes before cutting with a spatula to serve. 

My hubby likes this with ranch dressing.  I like it as is, simple and delicious!  This is sometimes served as our main dish (like last night) and sometimes sits on our plate beside pasta, grilled chicken, or fish.  However you decide to eat it, I hope you enjoy it!

July 6, 2010

It’s Peachy Keen! Gluten Free Peach Cobbler, that is.

Filed under: Desserts,Fruit,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 1:51 pm

(Edit: I’ve chosen this Peach Cobbler photo as my entry into Simply…Gluten Free’s GF Food Photo Contest.  I’m anxious to see all the tasty-looking photos of Gluten Free recipes when Carol posts the round-up on September 30th!  Wish me luck!!!) 

During a recent trip to my local fruit market, I found peaches on sale.  The sign actually said “We’re Practically Giving These Away”  and they were!  Only 49 cents a pound!  Well, I’m usually really more of a nectarine gal (just somthing about the fuzz, I guess), but I just had to fill up a bag to bring home.  These gems sat on my counter in a bowl for a few days and each day while I worked nearby, I’d catch a waft of their aroma.  I knew they were ripe and ready.  But what to make?  I thought about peach muffins, but finally decided on a cobbler.  Now, I’ve never made a cobbler before that I can recall – gluten free or otherwise – but I have done crisps and of course they are very similar.  So, I glanced at a few recipes to get some ideas and set to work on that night’s dessert:

First, wash 10-12 ripe peaches.

Butter an 8″ x 8″ baking dish (or a deep round pie plate) and set aside.

Peel and slice peaches.  To do this easily, I simply cut each fruit in half, twisted to pull the halves apart, and popped the pit out with my thumb.  Then I halved each half again, and carefully peeled the skin off each quarter before finishing slicing.  I lost very little peach this way, as opposed to using a knife to try to peel them.  Of course, it really helped that the peaches were plenty ripe!  Once they are sliced, place into a bowl adding 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp brown rice flour mix*.

 

Mix gently to combine.

Then pour into your buttered pan.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup brown rice flour mix, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp Xanthan gum, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt.

Cut 4 Tbsp. cold butter into small pieces, like this:

First using a pastry cutter, then your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture.

You’ll want it to resemble coarse cornmeal, like this:

In a glass measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice) with 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Pour into flour mixture and mix gently to just combine.  It will look lumpy, but do NOT overmix.

Scoop dough mixture onto top of peaches, leaving some areas naked.   Drizzle 2 Tbsp melted butter over exposed areas and then sprinkle the whole top with 2 Tbsp brown sugar.

Let sit for 20-30 minutes while you preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place into oven and bake  40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the peaches bubbly.

Remove from oven and cool until just warm.

To serve, scoop a generous portion into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream.  SO YUM!

To demonstrate how good this actually is, I had this for breakfast again this morning, after having it for dessert last night!   I just popped my bowl into the microwave for about 20 seconds to warm the cobbler, before scooping the ice cream on top (Breyer’s French Vanilla is the best!).  When the smooth vanilla ice cream starts to gently melt over the sweet peaches and crumbly topping, I just cannot wait for that first spoonful!

Ingredient List:

10-12 Ripe Peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour Mix*

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

2 tsp Sugar

4 Tbsp Butter, cut into pieces

1/2 Cup Buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp lemon juice stirred in)

1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 Tbsp Butter, melted

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

*All Purpose Brown Rice Flour Mix:

(from www.foodphilosopher.com)

2 Parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 Part Potato Starch

1/3 Part Tapioca Starch

Combine well with a wire whisk and store in a sealed container.

June 29, 2010

Gluten Free Cream Puffs

Filed under: Desserts,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , — admin @ 12:55 pm

I adapted this recipe from a regular wheat flour recipe I’ve been using for years.  When I first mastered the Cream Puff, I felt like such a gourmet.  But this really is  a simple recipe with a very short list of ingredients.  It just takes a few steps to get to the finished product; golden brown puffs that can be sliced and filled as you desire. 

These freeze exceptionally well.  I like to take one out, let thaw for just a few minutes, then slice and fill with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Then, I pour on warm hot fudge and top with whipped cream.   The  taste of a Hot Fudge Cream Puff Sundae takes me back to my youth and trips to Sanders at the Mall.  

Is it wrong that I fed my children these for lunch today just so I could take this photo?

I knew you’d understand.

Edit:  It seemed apparent that they loved the puffs by the way they disapeared so quickly from their bowls.  But since I figured that might have been the result of them rushing to eat them before they thought I might change my mind about ice cream for lunch (LOL), I asked them later how they compared to the gluten version.  They BOTH said they were BETTER than the original!  So there you go!!

Here’s what you need to make your children happy with ice cream puffs for lunch:

1 cup Water

1 stick butter

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup GF Flour Mix (I use Annalise Robert’s Brown Rice Flour Mix*)

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

4 eggs

Here’s what to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together flour and Xanthan Gum, set aside.

Place water, butter, sugar and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. 

Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil.

Leaving heat on, add flour mixture to saucepan all at once, stirring briskly with wooden spoon the entire time. 

Keep stirring quickly until mixture forms a ball. 

 

Remove from heat and using electric hand mixer on medium, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

The dough will look chunky at first, but eventually will form a smoother paste once all the eggs are added and well-incorporated.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheet (I use a spring action scooper) into 9 mounds.  You can wet your hands and shape the dough more nicely into rounds, if you desire.

I hope you will forgive me, because I forgot to continue taking photos at this point.  I just got too caught up in the cream puff excitement, I suppose. 

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.

I haven’t had lunch yet, so I think I’m going to have a sundae, too.  

I did walk this morning so that’s cool, right???

———-

*Brown Rice Flour Mix

2 parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 part Potato Starch

1/3 part Tapioca Starch

Mix together with wire whisk and store in an airtight container.

I also posted this recipe over at Tasty Kitchen.  You can find lots of great user-submitted recipes, gluten-free and otherwise, at this awesome site, created by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  You’ll probably make some new friends while you’re at it!

June 27, 2010

Back To The Grind

Filed under: Tips & Tricks,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:28 am

I’m out of my favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix again.

Time to get out the heavy artillery.

We ordered this grinder last year, just a couple months after going Gluten Free.  We figured that  although it was expensive, it would pay for itself over time since GF Flours are not cheap. 

We purchased it online at:

http://www.fernsnutrition.com/

We buy our brown rice in bulk at Costco.  This bag runs about $13.  It’s organic, too!

We grind about 8 cups of rice at a time, which translates into about 12 cups of flour.  This amount of flour will last us at least a few weeks depending upon how much baking is done.  I’m convinced that grinding our own rice makes a big difference in the outcome of my baked goods. 

I just store the flour in ziploc freezer bags in my cupboard or refrigerator, depending on how quickly I think it will be used.

The process itself is easy.

Pour the rice into the hopper.

Place the lid on and turn on the machine by moving the lower knob clockwise. 

The lower knob adjusts the rate at which the grain falls.  Smaller seeds (amaranth, quinoa) would require the knob to be closer to the “fine” side, but with larger grains, like the short grain brown rice, it’s necessary to turn closer to the “coarse” end or else the opening in the bottom of the hopper will not be large enough for the grain to fall into the grinding mechanism.

This is how we keep it adjusted for our brown rice flour:

This gives us a nice, fine grind.  If you do grind the flour too coarse, your baked goods will be gritty.  This is a problem with many of the commercial rice flours on the market. 

It’s going to take some time for the rice to be ground.  The machine is VERY loud and there will be some dust created.  If this is a concern to you, the grinder can be moved into the garage our outside to run.  Just keep an eye on it, so you know when all the rice has moved through.  The machine will start to whine a bit when the hopper is empty.  The 8 cups of this type rice takes about 10-15 minutes to grind.

When the milling is complete, you should have nice fluffy, powdery flour:

Package it up, or mix it with starches to make an all-purpose flour mix. 

This is my favorite mix:

Annalise Roberts Brown Rice Flour Mix

from www.foodphilosopher.com

2 parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 part Potato Starch

1/3 part Tapioca Starch (aka Tapioca Flour)

Whisk the flours together and store in an airtight container.

June 26, 2010

Gluten Free Brownies

Filed under: Chocolate,Desserts,Recipes,Uncategorized,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:18 am

This recipe is adapted to be Gluten Free from the Brownie recipe on the back of a Meijer Chocolate Chips bag.   These were my favorite brownies before going GF, and they remain just as good as the original after removing the wheat flour.  These are great with a tall glass of cold milk, or as a base for an awesome Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae.  Just top with Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge (We love Sanders!) and whipped cream.   What a treat!

You’ll need:

2 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

2/3 Cup Gluten Free Flour  Mix

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/3 Cup Butter, Softened

1/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.

2) Melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips  in microwave on high power for one minute.  Stir until completely melted.

2) In small bowl, combine 2/3 cup Gluten Free Flour Mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour), 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum.

3) In mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar.  Beat until fluffy. 

4) Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla to butter mixture.  Beat well.

5) Slowly stir in melted chocolate. Blend.

6) Slowly add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.  Stir until smooth.

7) Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nuts, if desired.

8 ) Spread batter in prepared pan.

9) Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

10) Cool and cut into squares.

June 13, 2010

Flexible, Foldable, Gluten-Free Flatbread!

Filed under: Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 8:31 pm

This is my son’s favorite bread and his younger (gluten tolerant) brother even loves it, too!  It’s soft and fluffy and great for folded sandwiches.  Try this bread topped with poppy, sesame, or caraway seeds, dried onion or garlic, or all of the above! 

 

Line a 9 x 13 Jelly Roll pan with parchment and lightly dust with rice flour, set aside.

 Mix together the following with a whisk and set aside:

1 cup fine brown rice flour

½ cup tapioca starch

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 Tbsp Instant Yeast Granules (or 1 pkg active dry yeast)

1/2 tsp Salt

In bowl of mixer, combine the following:

 ¾ cup Water – 110 degrees Farenheit

1 tsp Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Eggs

 Once wet ingredients are combined, slowly add dry ingredients until mixed.  Scrape down sides of bowl and beat on medium/high for 4 minutes. 

 Scrape dough onto parchment lined pan and spread to cover almost to edges with a wet spatula (the rectangular-shaped scrapers work really well)  Be sure to keep wetting your spatula so dough doesn’t stick.  Once fairly smooth, poke  indentations all over with a fork.  Cover (I use a Rubbermaid storage container turned upside down over pan as a “proofer”) and let rise for 35-40 minutes.  If seeds or other toppings are desired, add them before covering for the rise time.

 Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 11-15 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.  Remove from pan, with parchment to cooling racks.  Remove parchment as soon as you can by rolling it up underneath the dough.  Once fully cooled, you can cut dough into desired-sized pieces.

 Refrigerate leftovers or this can be frozen (place waxed paper between slices for easy removal).

Back To Basics – Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Filed under: Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 6:36 pm

If you learn to make just one bread to satisfy your cravings, this may be the loaf to master.  Great for toast, grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, this loaf also makes awesome french toast.  Bake up a couple loaves at a time, pre-slice, and throw one in the freezer.  Just be sure to separate the slices with a bit of waxed paper if you think you’ll want to thaw just one or two at a time.

 Ingredients:

 2 ½ cups Brown Rice Flour 

2/3 cup Corn Starch 

2/3 cup dry milk powder 

1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt 

1 ¾ cups warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees to make yeast happy)

1 package Active Dry Yeast

 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Large Eggs

 Directions:

 1.  Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

 2. In a small bowl, stir to combine water and yeast.

 3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

 4. Add yeast mixture, vegetable oil and eggs to dry ingredients.

 5. With electric mixer, using the beater attachment (NOT a dough hook), combine ingredients for one minute.

 6. Scrape sides of bowl down and then mix at medium high speed for 5 minutes (going the full mixing time is important to activate the gum and add air to the dough).

 7. Spread batter evenly into pan (it helps to wet a plastic spatula with warm water to spread gluten free bread dough).

 8. Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.  It should rise just to top of pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees while bread is rising.

 9. Bake for 55 minutes (or until quick read thermometer reachest 208 to 211 degrees).

 10. Remove bread from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove bread to wire rack to cool completely before slicing. 

Note: Bread will keep 1-2 days at room temperature, otherwise store in refrigerator. 

Edit: I never could remember where I first got this recipe.  My searches to find it so I could properly credit on this post were futile.  But,  I was surfing the net tonight and stumbled across it on another blog.  Here’s the link:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/05/how-to-make-gluten-free-sandwich-bread-recipe.html

The recipe originally comes from Elizabeth Barone over at www.glutenfreebaking.com

Thanks, Elizabeth, for creating the perfect GF Sandwich Bread!

 

Gluten-Free Multigrain Artisan Loaf

She’s a beauty, ain’t she?  Both Gluten and Yeast-free, this loaf is a soda bread, with a slightly grainy texture and a rye flavor.  This bread is loaded with good things like quinoa, sorghum and flax.  Heat up a pot of soup to go with and enjoy – it won’t take many hearty slices for your belly to feel plenty full!

Ingredients:

 1/3 cup cold water

 1/2 cup vegetable oil

 2 eggs, slightly beaten (reserve 1 tbsp in a small bowl for egg wash)

 1/4 cup sugar

 2 tsp baking soda

 1 Tbsp baking powder

 1/2 tsp salt

 1 Tbsp Caraway Seed

 1/2 cup Quinoa (or Amaranth) Flour

 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour

 1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour

 1 1/2 cup White Rice Flour

  2 tsp Xanthan Gum

 1/4 cup Flaxseed Meal

 1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup plain Yogurt (or another 1/4 cup buttermilk)

 1 tsp milk (mixed with the reserved egg)

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place water in a small bowl and put bowl in freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, combine baking soda, baking powder, salt, caraway seeds, flours, xanthan gum, and flaxseed meal.  Whisk together to insure even distribution of ingredients; set aside.
  4. Place vegetable oil into a mixing bowl.  Add cold water from freezer.  Mix with whisk attachment for 2 minutes.  Add sugar and slightly beaten eggs (be sure to reserve 1 Tbsp of egg for later use).  Mix until combined.
  5. Add buttermilk, yogurt and the dry ingredients; mix to form your bread dough.
  6. Place dough into greased 2 quart pyrex round casserole dish.
  7. Comine reserved egg with 1 tsp milk.  Gently brush on surface of dough (use all the mixture).  Top with poppy and sesame seeds, if desired. 
  8. Bake immediately for one hour. 
  9. Remove from oven and invert bread immediately onto wire rack to cool. 
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