Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

My job has been a little too busy for my tastes lately.  Since I work from home, I usually have a fair amount of free time on my hands for cooking, baking, scrapbooking and of course, blogging!   Just think of all the free hours that add up since I save on a long commute to and from the office.  Not to mention not having to shower, get dressed, or apply makeup!  Okay, you probably think I’m joking, but on some days you just might find me chained to my desk (not to worry – only figuratively) and still in my jammies still at 2 o’ clock in the afternoon! 

On these crazy busy days, it helps to have a quick lunch ready to go so I can just grab it and head right back up to my home office.  This dish is perfect served alongside Baba Ghanoush, with a grilled pita or a few raw veggies for dipping.

Traditionally, Tabbouleh is made with Bulgar.  On a Gluten Free diet, Bulgar – which is made from Wheat – is, of course, a big fat No-No!  Yet Quinoa makes a delightful stand-in for the grain and improves on the nutritional value as well.  Unlike wheat, Quinoa’s amino acids form a complete protein, so you can feel even better about this vegetarian dish!

Have you tried Quinoa yet?  This seed (it’s not a grain) is from the Chenopodium quinoa plant.  It originated in South America and was revered among the Incas, but scorned by the Spanish colonists.  What fools those colonists were, because Quinoa is highly nutritious, loaded with fiber, and quite tasty!  It’s also easy as pie to make – it cooks up just like rice!   One of my best friends, who is Gluten-Intolerant, keeps a bowl of cooked Quinoa in her refrigerator.  She tops it with Honey and Cinnamon for a quick breakfast before rushing out the door to work on frantic mornings.  She’s a clever girl!

Okay, enough small talk.  Let’s make lunch.

You’ll need:

1 Large Bunch Fresh Parsley

1 Handful Fresh Mint Leaves (I used Lemon Mint.  If you don’t have Mint at all, you can omit it.  The dish won’t be quite the same, but still will be good!)

1 small Tomato

1 slice Red Onion

Juice of 1 Lemon

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup Cooked Quinoa

Salt & Pepper

What to do:

Rinse, drain, and remove tough stems from Parsley.  Then, chop it and throw it in a bowl.

So that it won’t feel left out, chop up the mint as well.  Toss it in with the Parsley.

Ditto the onion…

and Tomato.

To the bowl, add Lemon Juice…

and Olive Oil.

Now, add the cooked Quinoa and a sprinkling of salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp each).

Stir it all together.  Can’t you just smell it?

Ta dah!

You can serve this up straightaway but for the best flavor, let it sit for a while first to let the ingredients mingle.  My kids like this salad packed into a pita pocket or rolled into Flatbread as a sandwich filling.  And how awesome would this be sprinkled atop Hummous on a sandwich?!?!

Spawn #2 gives this a big thumbs up!  I hope you like it, too! :-)

Pretty In Pink: Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Feta and Pecans

Every year, it seems our garden has a superstar.  You know, that one “stand out” performer that is most prolific. 

Last year, our cucumbers did really well.  I was able to make Refrigerator Pickles many, many times last summer.  This year, I was out of cucumbers before I could even get to a fourth batch.  I seriously thought about buying pickling cukes at the market just to get one last batch in, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it!

Some years, it’s been the tomatoes that have been most abundant, providing me with plenty of fruits for Bruschetta, Super Savory Summer Salsa, and Marinated Tomatoes with Basil.  There was also usually tomato harvest leftover to giveaway and go into our freezer.  This year though, our tomatoes got a late start and haven’t been nearly as abundant.  We are canning some of the tomatoes this year – since we’re out of freezer space – and only hope we are able to preserve enough of a supply to make it through the winter for inclusion in our Love Soup.

So, pickles and tomatoes are singing backup this summer.  This year, the star of the show is the Raspberry.

My Raspberry bushes produced a bit several weeks ago and I enjoyed them for a few days atop my Granola, and even froze a small bag or two.  Then they were gone.  But they are having a second wind and are back with a vengance so I am out in the garden every single day picking a pint of the sweet red berries.  Raspberries happen to be my favorite fruit, but I can only eat so many of them!   So, it’s time to get creative so I can include them in more meals than just my breakfast!

Today, I made this dressing, and drizzled it atop a perfect salad for lunch.  I’m thinking about having the same meal for dinner.  It’s that good.

For the dressing, you’ll need:

1/2 cup fresh Raspberries, rinsed and drained

2 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1/3 cup Canola Oil

Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Cold Water, if needed

Poppy Seeds (Optional – I didn’t use this time but they would be a great addition)

What to do:

Place Honey, Dijon, Vinegar, and a couple grinder turns each of salt and pepper into a Blender or the bowl of a Food Processor. 

Now, add Canola Oil.

Pulse a few times, then add Raspberries.

Blend until smooth and creamy,

and pour into serving jar.

If you wish to add Poppy Seeds, do so after pouring the dressing into your jar and just shake the jar to combine.  Likewise, if the dressing is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time, then shake until it reaches the desired consistency. 

Now, let’s build the beautiful salad that will wear this dressing! 

You’ll need:

Mixed Salad Greens (I used Romaine Lettuce tossed with Assorted Baby Greens)

Pecans or Walnuts (I wanted to use Walnuts, but found I was plum out so I used Pecans instead)

Fresh Rasberries, rinsed and drained

Red Onion, thinly sliced

Feta Cheese

What to do:

First, we need to toast the nuts. 

Place nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. 

Cook stirring and tossing occasionally, just until the nuts start to release their fragrance.  Now, remove from heat and cool. 

While the nuts are cooling, find a pretty plate. 

This one happens to be a hand-painted plate from my mother-in-law’s Aunt who passed away several years ago.  It seemed well-suited to this salad, so I took it off of it’s dusty shelf.  Don’t worry, I did wash the dust off!

Start with your greens, then add Onion, Nuts, Raspberries and Feta Cheese. 

Top with a couple grinds of fresh black pepper and drizzle with the dressing.

Dig in! 

Wouldn’t this be a pretty salad for a baby shower luncheon – especially if it’s a girl – or at a wedding shower?  It’s both delicate and flavorful, and topped with a sliced, grilled chicken breast it would make a good main dish.  You could even marinate the chicken in the dressing for added flavor.

I just love the combination of sweet/sour dressing, salty feta and crunchy nuts in this salad.  I’m sure I’ll be making this often, at least until my raspberry crop runs out.  After that, I suppose I can still use my frozen berries for the dressing, and just leave the fresh fruit off the salad as we go into the winter months. 

I can’t believe I’m even talking about the winter months.  Is it really September?  I refuse to believe it.

Baba Ghanoush

Or Baba Ganoush’.  Or Baba Ghannouj.  Or Baba Ghannoug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Anyway it’s spelled, this is my favorite amongst favorites of the Greek restaurant dishes.  Sure, Hummous rocks my world.  I’m very fond of Tabbouleh.  And of course, I love me some Greek Salad.  

But Baba Ghanoush holds a very special place in my heart.  It’s creamy.  It’s smokey.  It’s so satisfying and nutritious. 

And until now, I was never able to replicate the restaurant flavor at home.  I tried a few times, but each attempt was followed by a soupy, not-at-all-smoky-tasting bowl of mush which ended up in the trash.    Maybe my inability to recreate this dish well is why I held it at such high esteem among the other Mediterranean recipes.   Absense makes the heart grow fonder, they say.  (Who exactly are “they”, by the way?  Does anybody really know?)

I saw this recipe over at Tasty KitchenThe Parsley Thief had posted it, and even though I had tried to make Baba Ghanoush time and time again, the recipe caught my eye and I was inspired to give it one last chance.  I’m so glad I did, because this is the Baba Ghanoush of my dreams!

I’ve roughly doubled the recipe here, just ’cause I just can’t get enough of this stuff.

What you need:

2 Medium Eggplant (Mine were slightly overgrown fruits from my own garden)

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled

2 tsp Course Sea Salt

1/3 Cup Tahini (Sesame Paste)

4 Tbsp Lemon Juice (or the Juice of 1 Lemon)

Olive Oil

Chopped Fresh Parsley

What to do:

Prick eggplant (both the normal and mutant-looking one) with a fork in a few places and place on grill over medium heat. 

Cook, turning as needed, until nearly completely blackened all over.

Turn off grill, close cover and let cool for a couple hours.

Remove eggplants to dish, cover and chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cut into eggplant and scrape flesh from blackened skin.  Or vice-versa. 

Either way, it’s going to be a slimy job, but somebody has to do it.

It won’t look pretty either.

Place the “guts” in a colandar.

It’ll be worth it, I swear.

Discard the burned skins, unless you can think of something crafty to do with them.

If you can think of something crafty to do with these, well then….move over, Martha!

Let the pulp sit in the strainer for half an hour or so to drain off excess liquid.

Place Garlic, Salt, Tahini and Lemon Juice into the bowl of your Food Processor.

Add Eggplant pulp.

And pulse until smooth and creamy.

Remove to serving dish, and drizzle with olive oil and chopped fresh Parsley.

Serve with grilled pita wedges or fresh raw veggies.

It’s not even 7 a.m. yet and I’m thinking of tossing my granola and eating this for breakfast instead!  It’s so yummy!!

 
 

Super Savory Summer Salsa

No joke – this fresh and tasty salsa will have you slurping what’s left in the bowl after you’ve scooped up all the chunky stuff with your chips!   I’ve made this over several summers now, and we never tire of it.  In fact, it’s the first recipe I think of when my garden tomatoes start turning red!  We can’t keep this stuff in the house.  I made a big bowl a few evenings ago and it was finished by the next night.  I made another big bowl last night, and it’s nearly gone again!

 

You’ll need:

3 – 5 Tomatoes, to make 2-3 Cups Chopped (I used a mix of Roma and Slicing Tomatoes)

2 Slices Red Onion, quartered

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled

1/4 Green or Red Pepper

1-3 Jalapeno or Serrano Peppers, seeded (If you like it really spicy, leave in the seeds)

2 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Cumin

Juice of 1 Lime

1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

What to do:

Place Onion, Garlic, and Peppers into bowl of your Food Processor.

Pulse until minced fine, then set aside.

Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl.

Add Pepper mixture to bowl.

Add Sugar, Salt and Cumin.

Add Lime Juice,

and finally, Cilantro.

Mix together until well combined, and – if you can help yourself – wait at least a half an hour before serving.

Okay…maybe just one taste now!

For a special treat, warm up your tortilla chips for a few minutes in the oven (350 degrees) before serving.

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Restaurant Style Greek Salad & Dressing

We used to visit a local chain of Lebanese Restaurants on the very rare occasions we dined out.  With a wide-range of vegetarian options on the menu, and really fresh ingredients, we were never dissapointed.  Besides, there was to-die-for-fresh-stone-oven-baked pita breads which they would bring to the table basket after basket so we could dip to our heart’s content in garlic spread, olive salsa, Hummus and Baba Ghanoush.   A visit there now would be absolute torture for the Gluten-Free member of our family, who would formerly eat his weight in pita breads on our visits!  So, the  only solution, short of trading him in for a gluten-tolerant child, was to learn to recreate all our favorites from the restaurant at home.  

Let’s start with the Greek Salad. 

We would always order two gargantuan-sized salads at the restaurant and split them with the kids.  Doused in a lemony-dressing, the taste is drastically unlike your typical coney-island-style greek salad, which usually consists of a couple of beets and sprinkling of feta atop some tasteless iceberg lettuce.

Can we build it?  Yes, we can! 

First, start with lettuce.  Shun the Iceberg.  This job calls for fresh, cold, crunchy Romaine.

Top with Tomatoes and slivered Red Onion.

Now, add good quality Feta Cheese, Beets, and Kalamata Olives.

Now, for the special ingredient. 

If you don’t want to share this secret with your friends when they ask for your recipe, that’s okay. 

Your salad will always have that certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi”. 

You’ll make friends and influence people around the world.

Okay, not really. 

But your Greek Salad will be better than all your friend’s Greek Salads.

Chop up some fresh Parsley.  Just the leaves, not the stems.  Sprinkle it all over.

You have no idea as to the magnitude of what you’d just done.

For the final touch on the Salad, add a few Greek Pepperoncinis and chopped Cucumber.

Make the Dressing. 

You really should do this step ahead of making the salad so the flavors have at least a few minutes to blend together.  I’m a rebel though, who relishes in testing boundaries.

Place 1/3 Cup fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice in a jar.

Add 2 Tbsp Water, 2 cloves fresh minced garlic, 1 tsp Dried Oregano, 1/4 tsp Salt and 1/4 tsp Sugar.

Cover and shake well.  Now, add 6 Tbsp Olive Oil.

Cover, shake until well blended and creamy.

If you do make this ahead, be sure to give your jar a good shake before pouring the Dressing over your Salad

This is really an easy, satisfying Salad to make at home for dinner, especially served beside Greek Lemon Rice Soup.

Made in big bowl, this would also work well to feed a crowd at a potluck,  and I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe. 

Now, whether you decide to share the secret, that’s between you and your conscience. 

As for me, I’ll never tell!

A Camping Necessity – Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Tonight, we’ll be camping out for the first time this summer.  We’re not really going anywhere, since we rarely like to leave The Compound, so we’ll instead be setting up our tent right here in the yard. 

No camping experience would be complete without a bonfire, and no bonfire would be complete without S’mores!

So, today I’m making Gluten Free Grahams for our S’mores.  Would you like to join me?

You’ll need:

2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour*

1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

7 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Cold Water

3 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Sugar

*Note: I normally use a blend of 2/3 Cup Garbanzo Flour, 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch and 2/3 Cup Corn Starch, but I was out of the Garbanzo Flour so I substituted 2 Cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a Garbanzo based blend.  I didn’t notice any difference in the result!

 

What to do:

Line 2 Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper and spray the paper lightly with Cooking Spray.

Combine Flours, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Xantham Gum in a large bowl with a wire whisk.

Cut Butter into small pieces.

Using a Pastry Cutter, cut butter into flour mixture. 

I usually give up and start using my hands to combined the butter and flour mixture.  Then, I finish up by using a wire whisk again. 

When ready, it should look like this:

Now, pour in water, honey and vanilla and using a wooden spoon stir ingredients until the mixture is well combined and forms a ball. 

You may need to add a bit more Water, or more a bit more Brown Rice Flour if your dough is too dry or too sticky.

This is what you are going for:

Divide dough into two parts, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.  I actually skipped cooling the dough today, but it does make it a bit easier to work with.

You can form your Graham Crackers (my kids say they should really be called Graham Cookies!) a couple different ways. 

Using another lightly sprayed piece of Parchment, roll the dough into a large rectangle on the cookie sheet between the paper.

Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment, and using a knife, score the dough into squares. 

Remove the rough edges of the dough  (you can save the scraps to form more crackers).

Using a serving fork, prick a few rows of holes in each cracker.  Then sprinkle lightly all over with Sugar.

Alternatively, for round crackers, you can roll 1 inch balls of dough and place on lightly sprayed parchment. 

Using another sprayed piece of Parchment and a flat bottomed bowl, press each ball into a circle.

Prick with a fork and sprinkle with Sugar.

This is also a great way to use up those rough edges you removed from making the square crackers.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  The individual round cookies will take less time that the large sheet.

Remove from oven and re-score along your previously cut lines by pressing straight down with a knife.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The edges are going to be crisp, but the centers remain a little soft, which I actually really like, especially for the S’mores because they don’t crumble apart when you bite into them like traditional gluten-filled boxed cookies.   If you prefer a crispier cracker, you can roll them thinner and/or bake them a bit longer. 

My Gluten-Intolerant friend took some of these Grahams to her workplace to share and even the Gluten-eaters were asking for the recipe! 

If you  – by some miracle – have any of these Grahams leftover, you can throw them in the freezer to save for making Graham Cracker Pie Crusts.  I actually have a bag in my freezer from a previous batch which I am expecting to soon turn into a Gluten-Free version of  The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake .  Doesn’t that just look dreamy???

Love At First Bite: Walnut & Basil Pesto

I thought I wouldn’t like it. 

I had a somewhat vague recollection of trying Pesto years ago and from what I recalled, it was not a good experience.  But since I absolutely love Basil and Garlic, I figured it must have been the Pine Nuts that were the problem.  

As I’m sure you know, Pine Nuts are expensive!  I wasn’t willing to shell out the dough to give it another whirl when I thought there was a pretty darn good chance I would just be repeating the bad experience I’d remembered!  So, when I saw this recipe suggesting that Walnuts be used as a substitute for Pine Nuts, I figured I’d finally give it another go. 

This recipe comes from my friend Twinks over at Tasty Kitchen.  She was my first friend over at TK, and this is the first recipe I ever tried from that site. 

I am so glad I did.

You’ll need:

2 Cups Basil Leaves, washed and stems removed

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup shredded or grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Walnuts

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

What to do:

Place walnuts, garlic cloves and salt in bowl of food processor.

Pulse until finely chopped.  Then, add olive oil.

Add cheese and pulse slightly.

Now add basil and pulse a few times again.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Replace cover and finish pulsing until well combined and finely chopped. 

Remove to serving bowl and enjoy!

You can spread this on bread like we did tonight, or toss with hot pasta.  Either way, I doubt you’ll have any leftovers.  We sure didn’t!

Garden Abundance = Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

I’ve been trying to think of somthing new to do with all this Zucchini that is overtaking my kitchen.  We have made my Zucchini Au Gratin a few times over the past week, and although it IS tasty, we are ready for something new.  I gave away a big bag of Zucchini to a friend today, but I still have more than I can ever hope to use.  So, for the first time since going Gluten-Free, I tried Zucchini Bread. 

This recipe comes from The Gluten Free Homemaker.  I always have some trepidation when trying a new recipe, as I am not fond of failure.  Who is, right?  And when these loaves came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure how they’d be, because they seemed a little on the “short” side.  But I need not have worried.  Once I let the loaves cool a while, cut off a slice, slathered one of them in butter and took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised.  This is without a doubt, one of the best Zucchini Breads I’ve tasted.  It’s not super moist, but the crumb is just right and the crust has a caramelized quality that is enticing. 

Here’s the ingredient list as I found it on The Gluten Free Homemaker’s site:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. oil 
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini, packed (~1 large)
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. sorghum flour
  • 2/3 c. potato starch
  • 1/3 c. tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 Tb. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

You can also add 1 cup of nuts, if you want this to be even better.  I, unfortunately, have to bend to the taste of my children whom prefer that I make my quick breads without nuts.  It’s a woeful life that I lead.

The only change I made to the recipe (besides the omission of the nuts) was to add an extra teaspoon of vanilla, because in my book, you can never go wrong with extra vanilla! :-)

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil (or spray) 2 – 9″ x 5″ loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Grate Zucchini.  You’ll need 2 small Zucchinis, or 1 1/2 medium Zucchinis or 1 large Zucchini. 

I used my twenty-some year old food processor/blender attachment, which incidentally works much better than the new, and soon to be returned to Costo, Cuisinart Mini Food Processor my husband just bought me.

This is the texture you are going for.  You don’t want it wet, just grated.  A box type grater on the large side should work fine.

Measure out 2 cups (packed) of the Zucchini and set aside.  You can freeze any leftover for making this bread during the off-season.

Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then whisk together until combined.

Place all wet ingredients, except Zucchini, into a large mixing bowl.

Blend until well-combined.

Add Zucchini, then gradually add dry ingredients until just combined.

Batter will be thick and heavy. 

Add nuts now if you are not as swayed by your picky children as I am.

Divide into prepared pans.

Bake for 45- 50 minutes (45 minutes was the time that I pulled mine out) or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then loosen with knife and remove to a wire rack.

Let cool 10-15 minutes more before slicing and serving.

Be sure to spread a bit (or more than a bit!) of butter on your slice!  Enjoy!

So Berry Delicious! Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

I made these again tonight and asked my son, after he ate one of these muffins warm from the oven, what I should name this post.  He came up with the “So Berry Delicious” thing.  I guess that is endorsement enough!  These muffins rival any gluten-filled blueberry muffins out there.  It took all my willpower not to fire up a pot of coffee to go with one of these babies tonight!  Though no easy task, I’m forcing myself to at least wait until breakfast tomorrow!

As I post this photo, I have to admit that I’m reconsidering the “waiting until breakfast tomorrow” thing.

Whilst I struggle with my self-control, let me tell you how to make this. 

Before I do though, this recipe is not my own.  This is from “Gluten Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts, which is (as I’ve said before) the only Gluten Free cookbook I’ve ever purchased.  Her recipes are amazing!  Although I haven’t made more than a few recipes from this book, they’ve never failed me.  Each one proves to be more than I could hope for and each one rivals any traditional gluten-filled recipe of it’s kind. 

You’ll need:

2 Cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*

2/3 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 1/2 Cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 large Eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Struesel Topping – Recipe Follows

*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a (stained, but well-loved and much used) muffin pan using cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together Flour Mix, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Salt and Nutmeg.

Add blueberries and gently mix until incorporated.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine milk and oil.  At first it will look like a science experiment…kind of like the lava lamps from the 60’s.

But mix it together until it doesn’t look like that anymore.

Remove 1 Tbsp of the liquid. 

Pour into large mixing bowl then add Eggs and Vanilla.  Beat until combined.

Add liquids to blueberry/flour mixture and stir until just blended.

Fill the muffins pans 2/3 full.  I like to use a spring-release scoop. 

(Note how well that I’ve grown accustomed to using my left hand for tasks like this since I’ve been taking photos for this blog.   I’m ambidextrous now.)

The recipe says to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or Streusel Topping.  In other words, Streusel Topping is optional.

Let me be clear: In my world, Streusel Topping is NEVER optional!

Here’s how to make the Streusel Topping:

Combine 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour Mix*, 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum in a small bowl. 

Add 3 Tbsp melted Butter and mix until combined.

Spoon over muffin batter.

Bake for 18-25 minutes (It was about 22 minutes when I pulled mine out). 

Cool for about 5 minutes in pan, then remove to wire rack.  I used a soup spoon to gently lift each muffin from the pan onto the rack.  There was minimal breakage this way.  Watch out for the hot blueberries though…they are not pleasant to have come into contact with your bare flesh!

Let cool a bit before serving.

Oh, boy.  There I go again with the photo of oozing blueberry goodness. 

Time for bed.

That’s Amore! Gluten Free Pizza

Update 11/18/2011 – Here is a message I received from my good friend Julie about making this crust right on a sandstone:

“I made the delicious pizza crust the other day, and I wanted to post that I had no problems making it directly on my sandstone. This is a well-seasoned sandstone, and I drizzled olive oil on it, rubbed it, then sprinkled a generous amount of corn meal on it, and I didn’t even need a spatula to lift off the pieces! it was a beautiful thing! And I have a really big sandstone, so I got to make one XL pizza…yum! Thanks so much for this amazing crust recipe!!! ♥ ♥ ♥”

Glad the recipe worked for you, Julie! :-)

This pizza dough recipe is adapted from Annalise Robert’s Focaccia Bread recipe from  her cookbook “Gluten Free Baking Classics”.  This is the only Gluten Free Cookbook I have ever purchased so far and it is well worth the $13.  Although it doesn’t have pictures, which is a big  deterrent for me with cookbooks, it does contain awesome no-fail recipes for things like Blueberry Muffins and Chocolate Fudge Cake.  She actually does have a pizza crust recipe in the book, but I’ve never tried it since I’m a firm believer in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy and I already love this crust just the way I’ve been making it!

You’ll need:

Cooking Spray

Cornmeal (for dusting pans)

1Cup Millet Flour

1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour

1/2 Cup Cornstarch

1/2 Cup Tapioca Starch

1/2 Cup Potato Starch

(Note: The last time I made this, I omitted the Potato starch and used 1 cup Tapioca starch and the result was just as good as the original recipe)

2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 pkgs Instant Dry Yeast

1 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tbsp Warm Water (110 degrees is perfect to make the Yeast happy!)

2 tsp Olive Oil

What to do:

Lightly spray 2 -12″ pizza pans with cooking spray and dust with Cornmeal.

Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Add Water and Olive Oil and mix for one minute.  Then, scrape down sides of bowl.

Beat on high speed for two minutes.  When finished, dough will resemble thick cake batter.

Fill a large glass with hot water, and dip a metal spatula in.  This is going to be a BIG help to you in spreading the batter on the pans.

Divide dough between the two pans.

And, using the wettened spatula, spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.  Just pretend you are frosting a cake with really thick frosting!  You may need to clean and re-wet the spatula from time to time.

When you are done, it should look like this.  You can leave a little “ridge” on the edges which will help hold your toppings on.

Now, let rise for one hour.  I use an upside-down rubbermaid container as a “proofer” for my GF baking.  It works great!

The cover keeps the dough from drying out while rising, but doesn’t disturb the surface of the dough like plastic wrap would.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

(I also place baking stones in the oven to place the pans directly on.  This helps to crisp up the crust bottom.  Because of the consistency of the Gluten-free dough, you can’t bake directly on the stone.  However, if you want to go to the trouble, you can “finish” the pizza directly on the stone for the last few minutes of baking time by removing the whole pizza from the pan and sliding onto the stone.  I usually don’t bother with this step.)

Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread a light coating of olive oil over the crust, avoiding the edges.  Then, top with sauce, cheese and desired vegetables or other toppings.

This is our pizza, topped with mushrooms (I like canned better on pizza), green pepper, red onion and fresh torn basil!

This is my sometimes veggie-phobic children’s plain pizza.

Bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Let cool for just a couple minutes before slicing.

Buon Appetito!