August 1, 2012

Baked Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Baked Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Alexis is a big fan of chicken tenders and as you know many that are available commercially are made out of that stuff they swipe up off the bottom of the floor at the chicken factory. Who wants to eat that? Not me! And I most definitely do not want to feed that to my child, so I went with simple, and gluten free so Jamison could eat them too, and voila...Homemade, gluten free, baked chicken fingers! Much better than the commercial variety!

These chicken tenders make a great main course; pair it with a salad, or roasted vegetables and you've got a kid friendly meal, that is much better than the alternative and that my friends is a good thing!

What You'll Need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into tenders
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of corn starch
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 cups of gluten free corn flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon of season salt (Note: You can use Lawry's or Old Bay or Tony Chachere's, etc. Whatever you like, go with it!)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut the chicken breasts in to strips or you can buy the tenders already cut if you prefer. Set aside.

Stir together corn starch and salt until incorporated. Set aside.

Beat eggs in a pie dish and set aside.

Crush the corn flakes until they're fine. I like to do this in a large bag and roll the heck out of them with a rolling pin. Place crushed corn flakes in a bowl and add seasoning. Stir to mix.

Dip each chicken strip in the beaten egg. Next dredge the chicken strip in the corn starch mixture. Dip the strip back in to the egg mixture and then dredge completely with the corn flake mixture. Place prepared strip on a baking sheet lined with a silicone making sheet or parchment paper. Repeat process until all of the chicken is coated.

Once all of the chicken is prepared bake for 25-20 minutes until golden and done through. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: No notes for this one.

Posted by Dianne at 2:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 9, 2010

Tater Tots (And Guess What? They're Gluten Free Too!)

Gluten Free Tater Tots

When I saw these tater (I hate that word!) tots a while back on Vanilla Sugar I immediately thought it would be fun to come up with a gluten free version for Jamison! Of course it seems to take me a while to get around to anything these days, so they sat there taunting me for a while until I finally got around to trying out my theories.

I've lately discovered potato flour, and let me tell you even if gluten isn't really an issue for you, you need to experiment with this versatile little flour! It's the perfect thickener for soups or macaroni and cheese, it just adds a little punch of flavor that is subtle, yet such a savory little bite. It also helps baked goods stay moist and things of that nature. It's really an all purpose little work horse in the kitchen!

Overall these tater tots might not be exactly what you would think of when you picture a tater tot from your youth, but they are really, really good! I still hate the word tater, but trust me you want to try these!

What You'll Need:
4 potatoes, peeled & cut into rounds
1 egg , beaten
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/3 cup of potato flour
Sea salt
Finely ground black pepper
1-2 cups of gluten free bread crumbs (Note: I made my own with some gluten free bread, but you can purchase them if you like. I may or may not have set off the fire alarm during this step...That's up to you to figure out! ;oP)

Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender.

Heat oil to 375 F.

While potatoes are cooking gather your other ingredients and have them ready to go. Place bread crumbs into a shallow baking dish:

Gluten Free Tater Tots: Gluten Free Bread Crumbs

I find a pie dish works very well for this.

When potatoes are fork tender drain and place into a glass bowl with butter, salt and pepper and then mash:

Gluten Free Tater Tots: Mashed Potatoes

You can mash to whatever consistency you like.

Next add potato flour and egg and stir until incorporated:

Gluten Free Tater Tots: Ready to Shape

It will kind of look like a dough ball.

Shape 1 tablespoon of dough into a rough rounds:

Gluten Free Tater Tots: Ready to Roll

Repeat until you round out of potatoes.

Roll each round in bread crumbs and then fry 3 or 4 at a time for 2-3 minutes until golden brown:

Gluten Free Tater Tots

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with paper towels to cool. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Repeat process until you run out of tots.

Gluten Free Tater Tots: The Inside

Notes: Jamison actually liked these, which really surprised me, but he would have preferred that they have more of the consistency of store bought tater tots. I on the other hand thought these were a thousand times better!

Posted by Dianne at 9:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 15, 2010

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread

So yes we still have snow:

The View From The Front Porch

We still have A LOT of snow!

My Patio

It has melted a little, but not much. I'd say we might have had 1 or 2 inches of melting at most.

The roads are relatively clear, though in some places it's more like a lane and a half instead of two lanes:

Snowy Road

But hey that works!

And you're going to drive by a lot of really big piles of snow!

Big Old Pile of Snow

We're supposed to get up to 7 more inches today in to tonight and then possibly a bit more on Wednesday. While 7 inches does make me want to cry hysterically, I'm still not thrilled about it. BUT at least 7 inches of snow can be driven over easily. The path to the backdoor will have to be cleared again, but clearing 7 inches of snow, versus 27, well I'll take 7!

Now let's talk some cornbread!

This isn't a cornbread that Jamison would eat, but I've found that I really like the addition of the corn flour to cornbread in place of regular flour. It really just helps the over all corn flavor, so I've started making all of my cornbreads this way. The Parmesan gives the bread a nice savory punch and this is just perfect with a big bowl of soup or chili.

Sounds perfect for this kind of weather don't you think?

What You'll Need:
2 cups of stone ground yellow cornmeal (Note: Look for a variety that is certified gluten free.)
1 cup of corn flour (Note: Corn Flour is NOT corn starch. Again look for a variety that is certified gluten free.)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese (Note: You want to shred or chop this yourself. The stuff that comes in a bottle won't work. I like to use my food processor to do this.)
2 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large glass bowl stir together corn meal, corn flour, baking powder, sea salt and Parmesan until incorporated:

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread: Dry Ingredients

Add milk and eggs:

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread: Eggs and Buttermilk

Stir until batter forms and all the ingredients are well mixed:

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread: Batter

Place batter in a 9 X 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread: Ready to Bake

Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown:

Gluten Free Parmesan Cornbread: Baked

Let sit for 5 minutes and then cut and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Notes: You could add in a cup of corn kernels too if you liked.

Posted by Dianne at 10:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 15, 2009

Triple Chocolate Fudge

Triple Chocolate Fudge

Since we discovered that Jamison has Celiac Disease many of his favorite things have been yanked away from him. If you've been around Dianne's Dishes for a while you know he's a super duper picky eater and having one of his major food sources (gluten) taken away from him was a huge blow. It's been a tough road for him and it continues to be so.

Before Celiac reared it's ugly head one of Jamison's favorite desserts was chocolate pie. I've tried to make gluten free versions, but he's never been that interested. Did I mention the picky part? ;oP

For thanksgiving this year I really wanted fudge. I'm not sure why, but I had fudge on the brain, and I decided to see if I couldn't make something that Jamison would enjoy too and low and behold I made it, had him taste it and he liked the fudge! Score for me! It's the perfect mellow blend of chocolate. What's not to like about that?

What You'll Need:
4 tablespoons of butter
2/3 cups of evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 - 7.5 ounce jar of marshmallow cream (Note: Look for a variety with no high fructose corn syrup.)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup of white chocolate chips
Butter to coat the dish

Butter a 13 X 9 inch dish generously and set aside.

Melt butter, evaporated milk, sugar and sea salt until smooth. Bring to a boil and let boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. (Note: Fudge is one of the few things that I make that I ever stir constantly, but you really need to. You don't want it to scorch.)

After five minutes remove from heat. (Note: If you want to do the soft ball test, i.e. dropping a bit of the hot mixture into cold water to see if it forms a soft ball you can, but I usually don't.) Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips and stir quickly until chips melt.

Spread mixture into the prepared dish. (Note: It will be VERY hot so be careful!) Let sit until fudge cools and firms up. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes: You can use any type of chocolate that you like. Go for dark if you prefer. Or use all of one kind.

Posted by Dianne at 8:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 24, 2009

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

A few days ago I stumbled across this recipe and knew that I wanted to make something similar for Jamison. I also knew he probably wouldn't be completely thrilled and in fact he said they were "too chocolatey". Too chocolatey? As a friend of mine and I discussed on FaceBook there is no such thing!

I decided to add some peanut butter powder to the cookies to try and cut a little of the chocolate taste. I think perhaps the addition of some peanut butter chips would be good too! Or how about some buttercream in the middle? Or a marshmallow cream mixture? Or how about a peanut butter center? Or leave out the peanut butter powder and put some of Rachel's Blueberry Vanilla Frosting in the middle? However you make them though these are divine!

Now let's get to the recipe because today is Miss G's 6th birthday and I have some pancakes to fix for the birthday girl! ;oP

What You'll Need:
2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup cocoa powder
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add dry ingredients to a glass bowl:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Dry Ingredients

Add wet ingredients and stir until "dough" is shiny:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: "Dough"

Using a measuring spoon spoon by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet AND sprayed with non-stick spray and then place in the oven:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Baking

When you scoop it out the batter will be slightly ball like, but it will begin to spread almost immediately and will continue to do so as the cookies bake.

Bake for 8 minutes and remove the pan from the oven:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Let cool completely on the pan and then store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: The Inside

Makes 16-18 cookies.

Notes: You could add in chocolate chips if you liked.

Posted by Dianne at 6:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2009

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Who says you can't have fried chicken even if you can't have gluten? This version is amazing and trust me, you'll never miss the gluten! ;oP

What You'll Need:
1 chicken, cut into pieces (Note: You can cut it yourself or get your butcher to do it for you.)
1 quart of buttermilk
1 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs (Note: I like Gillian's version.)
2 1/2 cups of corn flour, divided (Note: Corn flour is NOT corn starch. They are made from different parts of the kernel and very different.)
3 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (Note: I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning.)
Sea salt
2 eggs, beaten

Place chicken in a large glass dish or bowl. Cover completely with the buttermilk and then cover the dish or bowl. Place in the fridge and let "marinate" for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.

When ready to cook the chicken preheat oil to 375 F. (Note: I like to do this in a large stockpot on the stove top.) You want several inches of oil in the bottom of your pan. I usually use one small bottle of oil. This go around I used an Omega-3 version.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

While oil and oven are heating get the chicken and "breading" ready.

In a small dish place 1 cup of corn flour. Set aside.

In a large dish mix 1 1/2 cups of corn flour with the bread crumbs. Stir in Creole seasoning until incorporated. Set aside.

Beat two eggs and pour into a flat dish like a pie plate. Set aside.

Remove chicken from the fridge and drain off most of the buttermilk. You want a little coat of buttermilk to help the first coat and salt stick. Place on a plate.

Now set up an assembly line. First you want the chicken. The next step is the corn flour. Next up is the egg and finally the corn flour/breadcrumb mixture.

Now let's start the assembly line! Once the oil is heated first sprinkle the piece of chicken with a little sea salt all over. Then coat with the plain corn flour.

Next dip them in the beaten egg.

After the egg give them a nice roll in the corn flour/breadcrumb mixture and then fry each piece for roughly 7 minutes or until a very nice golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels and then place in a baking dish.

Once all the chicken is fried place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. I like to do this to make sure the chicken is done all the way through. After baking serve immediately.

Notes: You could spice up your breadcrumb/cornflour mixture any way you liked. Cayenne pepper would be good. You could do simple salt and pepper. Paprika would be really good or Old Bay Seasoning would even work! Make it your own!

Posted by Dianne at 8:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 25, 2009

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those ultimate comfort foods and the base usually uses flour to thicken the sauce. When I made a homemade macaroni and cheese at Christmas (linked in the sentence before) Jamison was very interested in it, but of course couldn't eat it since it had flour in it and regular noodles. I decided to try my hand at making a gluten free version, but just never got around to actually making one. That changed yesterday.

Overall I was extremely pleased with how this turned out. At first Jamison wasn't too sure about the dish, but in the end he said he'd give it 4 stars out of 5. That's saying something for him! ;oP I think for him he might have enjoyed it more with all cheddar or possibly even a bit of Colby instead of Swiss. I may play around with it a bit more, but this version suited me just fine! This is just perfect if you're looking for a familiar favorite, all while being gluten free. What's better than that?

What You'll Need:
1 - 12 ounce package of gluten free macaroni noodles (Note: I like Mrs. Leepers corn pasta.)
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup of corn flour (Note: Corn flour is NOT corn starch. They are made from different parts of the kernel.)
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
5 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese (Note: You want to shred and weigh the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has weird stabilizers in it so it won't mold as fast and it doesn't work as well. You could use it if you wanted, but your results won't be quite the same.)
8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (Note: Ditto to the note above for Swiss.)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Extra shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

While pasta is cooking melt butter in a large sauce pan. Once butter is melted add, a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a generous pinch of cayenne pepper, corn flour and tapioca flour and stir until thick. It will thicken fast! Remove from heat and stir in cheese until mostly melted. Pour in the hot, drained macaroni noodles and stir until mixed.

Pour mixture into a a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top the dish with more shredded cheddar and bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove casserole dish from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Notes: You could omit the cayenne if you liked.

Posted by Dianne at 8:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2009

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Sometimes simple is best and what's more simple than peanut butter and milk chocolate? These cups makes the perfect little treat pairing the traditional combo, all while being gluten free! What's better than that?

What You'll Need:
1 cup of heavy cream
1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of super fine sugar
6 ounces of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of heavy cream
Whipped cream

In the bowl of your mixer whip heavy cream on medium to high until whipped cream forms and then scrape out into another bowl.

In the bowl of your mixer (no need to wash it or anything) cream together creamed cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar. (Note: It might seem a bit grainy at first, but it will come together.) Once the sugar is mixed in add whipped cream back to the bowl and mix until smooth.

Once peanut butter mixture is mixed pipe or spoon into a glass or bowl:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Chill covered for at least 3 hours.

Once cheesecake cups are chilled melt your milk chocolate chips with heavy cream over low heat until smooth. Then drizzle or scoop on to the top of your cups:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Then top with a little whipped cream and another drizzle of chocolate:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

And then serve!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Makes 4 servings.

Notes: These are really rich so a little goes a long way. You can store leftovers in the fridge. You could use chocolates other than milk chocolate if you preferred, but there is something about the milk chocolate/peanut butter combo that just can't be beat!

Posted by Dianne at 10:30 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 12, 2009

Better Bites: Vegetable "Lasagna"

Vegetable "Lasagna"

First of let me just say that I'm not a fan of "low carb" anything and in fact I didn't take the noodles out of this dish to make it that. To be completely honest when I hear the term "low-carb" I cringe. Any "diet" (also another word I'm not that fond of...Focus on healthy eating not starving yourself to death on some "diet"!) that tells you it's ok to eat a slice of fatty bacon over an apple has more than a few issues! All things in moderation and if you want a piece of bacon, then plan for it, but all of that to say I can't tell you the carb content of the dish...I could figure it out if I wanted to, but I won't. I can however tell you my way of thinking...I believe in good carbs (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) versus bad carbs (refined sugars, flours, etc.). In fact you can make a perfectly healthy pasta dish using whole grain pastas just as easily, but I thought it would be fun to shake things up a bit.

Second, let's touch on the subject of dairy. Most fat free dairy is just nasty. It tastes like cardboard. The exceptions to this are skim milk, ricotta and some cottage cheeses. Low-fat dairy on the other hand isn't half bad and in some cases you can't even tell the difference. It's still something you want to use in moderation, but then again the key to these sort of things to begin with is moderation.

This dish pairs low-fat dairy, with zucchini to take lasagna to a whole new level. Who says you can't have "lasagna" when you're trying to eat right? This is just the dish for you!


What You'll Need:
1 - 16 or 18 ounce jar of marinara sauce (Note: Read the label. You want something that is made of tomatoes, perhaps some garlic and some herbs. If it has sugar, or god forbid high fructose corn syrup, put it back!)
3-4 large zucchini, cut in half and then cut into long slices roughly 1/4 of an inch thick
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of sliced mushrooms (Note: I usually slice them myself, but you can buy them sliced if you like.)
1 red onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 a small container of fat-free ricotta
8 ounces of part skim mozzarella, shredded or sliced thing (Note: I buy a 16 ounce package and cut it in half and then shred or slice thin. Lately I've been slicing it.)
6 ounces of freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Vegetable "Lasagna": Vegetables

In a large skillet sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

(Note: This next step you can follow as written, BUT the next time I make this I am going to roast the zucchini FIRST. When you cook zucchini, as with most vegetables, they let off moisture, so it made the dish a bit most overall. It won't affect taste, but for presentation value it would be nice to roast it first. To do that you would simply pan "fry" or roast in the oven until tender and then cut the cooking time for the "lasagna" to 15-20 minute to just heat through and cheese is melted.)

Now to assemble the "lasagna"...

Spray an 8 X 8 inch dish with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. Layer it with a single layer of zucchini slices:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Ricotta

Next add some ricotta:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Marinara

Then a layer of marinara:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Vegetables

Next add the sautéed vegetables:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Cheese

Next add a little mozzarella and Parmesan:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for the Next Layer

Repeat this process two more times and the top the top of the "lasagna" with the remaining cheese:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready to Bake

(Note: I like to go sparingly on the Parmesan on the in between layers and put the majority of it on the top.)

Bake covered for 35-40 minutes if you didn't cook the zucchini first or 15-20 if you did. In the last five minutes of cooking take off the cover so it can brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes: You could add in herbs if you like, but the marinara sauce that I used was nicely herbed to start with. You could also make your own sauce. As with anything, even though this is lighter than the original dish, it's still something to be eaten in moderation, but it's much lighter than other versions! This is also gluten free.

Posted by Dianne at 1:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 7, 2009

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

I made this for Thanksgiving because Jamison normally has chocolate pie for dessert, but his usual pie I knew wouldn't cut the muster now that he can't have gluten. This really is such a cheating sort of pie, but who cares? The end result is fabulous and all with no gluten, because it is "crustless". I don't think Jamison even ended up eating any of this since I made also made him a gluten free cake so he'd have something to eat if he didn't care for this. He's not in the least a "Let's try new things!" kind of guy so I don't remember him tasting it, but Alexis loved it and so did I! If you like fudge, then this is the "pie" for you!

What You'll Need:
2 - 11.5 ounce bags of chocolate chips (Note: I used milk chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet, bittersweet or even white if you like!)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla (optional)

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

In a double boiler melt chocolate chips with the heavy cream until smooth. Turn off heat and slowly stir in sweetened condensed milk and sea salt and stir until completely mixed. Next add vanilla and stir to incorporate.

Pour chocolate mixture into a pie plate that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let sit at room temperature until firm (this could take thirty minutes to several hours depending on temperature and humidity and such) and then serve.

Notes: You could use peppermint extract instead of vanilla to make a minty pie. Or how about a little Irish Cream instead? You could also add in nuts if you liked.

Posted by Dianne at 8:16 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 25, 2008

Bread Week: Gluten Free Cornbread

Gluten Free Cornbread

What would bread week around here without a gluten free entry? My first thought was to make some gluten free cinnamon rolls, but I still haven't come up with anything that passes the test. I had high hopes with the Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuit dough, but it didn't really work out as I had hoped. I'll keep looking and trying a recipe for cinnamon rolls, but for now my next thought was cornbread.

I'll tell you upfront that Jamison isn't a huge fan of cornbread, but that didn't stop me from trying a gluten free version anyway. I knew though if I was going to get him to try it that it had to be a sweet version and this is what resulted. I thought it was fabulous and Jamison even thought it was ok and ate a couple of slices.

This is one of those breads that no one would even know was gluten free unless you just pointed it out. You could easily pass this one off to gluten eaters with no complaint! It would be just perfect for a picnic or a potluck, especially if you needed something sans gluten that would satisfy a crowd.


What You'll Need:
2 cups of stone ground yellow corn meal
1 cup of corn flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar (Note: The only way Jamison will eat cornbread is if it is sweet. If you like cornbread that isn't sweet then feel free to omit this.)
4 eggs
2 cups of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl stir together corn meal, corn flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar until incorporated. Next add eggs and buttermilk and stir until completely mixed.

Pour into a 13 X 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and done through. Slice and serve immediately.

Gluten Free Cornbread

Notes: If you wanted to make a Mexican cornbread you could add in 1 cup of sautéed onion, 1 cup of chopped, seeded tomato and 1/3 cup of chopped jalepeno or sautéed bell pepper. You could also add in corn kernels.

Posted by Dianne at 8:16 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

October 13, 2008

Dianne's Guest Blog Week: Allie's Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan with Tofu

Allie's Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan with Tofu

Allie and I met in Internetland over a the blog CelebCause, where we both contributed. Since CelebCause closed its doors we've kept up with each other and are frequent visitors to each other's blog. As strange as it may seem to some we've become friends, even though we have never met in person, but I guess that is how it works here in Internetland. But for now let's talk some Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan with Tofu!

Allie blogs about everything green over at Allie's Answers.

We get a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) bag every week from June through November. We pay up front for the whole season, and get to pick up a bag of 12-18 pounds of organic vegetables at our drop off location every Saturday morning. It averages out to about 16 dollars a week. It is fantastic. The majority of the veggies are picked on Friday, and everything tastes so fresh. It's a great way to try new things and support local farming.

What's in the bag every week is something of a mystery, since it's completely dependent on what's ready to be picked. This makes planning out meals a little more of a challenge. In the winter, I pick my recipes and shop for the ingredients to make them, but during the growing season, I have to form recipes to fit my ingredients.

When the contents of a recent bag included two beautiful eggplants and I had leftover ingredients from Friday night pizza, I decided it was a good time to make eggplant parm.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and since I only had half of a 1 lb. tub of ricotta in the fridge, I decided to add some tofu. My husband was actually surprised when I mentioned (after dinner) that there was tofu in the eggplant parm, so this might be a good way to get an adament non-tofu eater to give tofu a try.

Like Jamison, I can't eat wheat, so I used my friend Michele's trick of making a "breading" for the eggplant out of rice flour and dried herbs. I used homemade sauce, but I also like Amy's Kitchen Organic Tomato Sauces, or Classico Tomato & Basil Sauce. Both are free of High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Here's the full ingredient list.

* 1 large eggplant, or two medium ones, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
* 1 jar of tomato pasta sauce
* 1/2 lb ricotta cheese (half of a small container)
* 1/2 brick (8 ounces of a 16 oz brick) of extra firm tofu
* 1lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
* Olive oil
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1/2 cup rice flour
* 2 tablespoons dried parsley
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and spread with a spatula so the entire sheet is covered.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix rice flour, salt, pepper, and herbs together. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together until the mixture starts to foam. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, coating completely, then dip in the rice flour mixture, again, coating completely.

Arrange the coated eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake at 420 degrees until browned (about 12 minutes). Flip eggplant slices over half-way through. Be careful not to let them burn. When you're done baking the eggplant (I had to do this in two batches), turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

While the eggplant is baking, purée the tofu until it's the consistency of cream cheese. Mix in the ricotta until blended evenly.

Coat a 3 quart baking dish with olive oil, and begin the layering process with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

Allie's Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan with Tofu

Line the dish with eggplant slices. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta/tofu mixture on top of the slices and smooth over. Add another layer of sauce, then a layer of cheese. Repeat, eggplant, ricotta/tofu, sauce, cheese, ending with a layer of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until the top layer of cheese is lightly browned and bubbling (about 20-30 minutes). Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

This is a great dish to freeze in single serving sizes so you can pop it in the microwave for a quick meal later in the season.

Thanks for letting me "visit" with you over here while Dianne's away!

Posted by Dianne at 7:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 6, 2008

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

Jamison loves bread. While I can go days without even touching a single piece of bread, Jamison has always liked bread, in some shape or form, with every meal. When we discovered that he could not have gluten this changed.

The first weekend that we were dealing with the Celiac bomb as I like to call it, we tried out several pre-made gluten free baked goods and I have to say the results were not that stellar. Then we tried a few bread mixes in the bread machine that were ok and ultimately I ended up coming up with my own gluten free bread that I bake every week or so for Jamison's lunches. I've tried some gluten free roll type concoctions here and there, but they were ok, but not quite what either of expected and then came this gluten free buttermilk biscuit!

The first thing I was really surprised by was how easily it came together and how well the dough formed. I've never made a gluten free dough that was anywhere near comparable to a gluten dough in texture, but this one was pretty close and it even was able to be rolled! The most fabulous thing was that the texture held when baked! By simply starting with a dry gluten free base (which is simply the dry base for Jamison's gluten free sandwich bread) you open up infinite possibilities!

What You'll Need for the Gluten Free Baking Mix:
2 cups of sweet rice flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of sorghum flour
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
2 teaspoons of sea salt

Mix together ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuit

What You'll Need for the Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits:
2 cups gluten free baking mix (see above)
3 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
Tapioca flour for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl add gluten free baking mix, sugar and baking powder and stir to mix. Add olive oil, eggs and buttermilk to the dry mixture and stir to form dough. Turn dough out onto a surface that has been dusted with tapioca flour and knead briefly to form ball (roughly 1 minute).

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits: Dough

Roll dough out to about an inch thick and dust a glass or cutter with tapioca flour and cut biscuits until dough runs out. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits: Read to Bake

Place in baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 8-15 minutes until biscuits are slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits: The Insides

Notes: Look at that inside texture in the picture above! How's that for fabulous? Next time I make these I think I am going to try to brush the tops with melted butter. They also kept for several days in an airtight container without drying out.

P.S. Don't forget to take this link and sign up for your chance to help me celebrate my birthday and win a $50 Williams Sonoma gift card!

Posted by Dianne at 8:54 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 18, 2008

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

As we progress on Jamison's gluten free journey we often come back to pre-Celiac favorites such as pasta. We finally found some spaghetti noodles that are very good in terms of gluten free products, but at first I wasn't able to find any gluten free lasagna noodles in stores locally. Finally however My Organic Market started carrying a rice lasagna noodle from DeBoles that really is comparable to a version made with wheat! With this discovery lasagna was back on the menu!

Jamison and Alexis LOVE pasta. Seriously, they could eat it at every meal! While I like pasta too, I would tend to be this way more with Mexican food than Italian, but that is neither here nor there. This past weekend Alexis and Jamison both had asked for lasagna and I had fully intended to make it for them, but we had a crazy/busy weekend (which I might add hasn't seemed to stop!) so it just never happened.

On Saturday the day slowly got away from us as we did things that needed to be done and ran errands. Soon it was time for dinner and there wasn't time to put together lasagna so I bumped it to Sunday. On Sunday I ended up spending the majority of the day lesson planning and getting things ready for this week's classes. Dinner time rolled around and again no time for lasagna. On Monday I was determined we were actually going to have lasagna for dinner even if I had to get creative!

For a while now I've wanted to try to make lasagna in the slow cooker, but I just had never gotten around to actually trying it out. When Alexis and I ventured back down stairs from the school room for lunch on Monday I decided this would be the perfect time to test out my theory!

What I ended up making was gluten and dairy free, but given it was for Jamison it did have ground beef, but you could just as easily make it a vegetable version as well. The lasagna turned out perfectly! If you haven't tried this method I highly recommend giving it a whirl...I think you'd be impressed!

What You'll Need:
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Note: You can use any type of lasagna noodle that you want if gluten is not an issue for you. If I were making this for Alexis and I alone I would use whole wheat.)
A large jar of spaghetti sauce (Note: Again this is up to you. Jamison is extremely picky as I've mentioned before so I use Ragu Traditional Organic sauce, but any type of sauce will work. I like some of the other organic sauces that are heavy on garlic and/or mushrooms.)
Rice mozzarella, shredded (Note: I used a block of this type of cheese. Again had I been making this for Alexis and I would have used regular mozzarella, some Parmesan and perhaps some goat cheese. What you use is up to you.)
1 pound beef, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. I didn't do this, but next time I will. It wasn't a huge issue, but there was some sticking.

Next you use your basic layering process that you would use for regular lasagna. I didn't get a picture of the layering of the noodles, but just put a layer of noodles in the bottom of your slow cooker. Don't worry if they aren't whole or anything, just make sure the bottom is covered and if you have to break them up that's ok too!

Next add a layer of ground beef:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Second Layer

(Note: You could also use ground turkey or if you wanted a completely meat free option you could add in textured vegetable or soy protein. You could also add onions, mushrooms and peppers if you liked.)

Next add a layer of sauce:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Third Layer

If you wanted to get really creative you could make your own sauce using tomato sauce, some garlic, oregano, basil, etc.

Next top with a little cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Fourth Layer

Now keep repeating that process until you run out of sauce.

Next completely cover the top generously with cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Ready to Cook

Now place the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours on low and voilà you have lasagna for dinner!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Dinner is served!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Notes: I was really surprised how fast this cooked on low so watch it and make sure it doesn't go too far!

Posted by Dianne at 7:09 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

August 15, 2008

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate...What's not to like? I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much chocolate. Jamison on the other hand...Well let's just say that he's a firm believer in chocolate in small doses.

Yes I know...How is that possible? ;oP

He does however like chocolate pie (though I'll have to gluten free-ize it before Thanksgiving...And yes I did just make that up!) so I thought it might be fun to play around with some pudding and see what I could come up with and let me tell you Alexis and I were highly impressed!

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to tell you that Jamison wasn't as big of a fan of this as Lex and I. He thought it was too rich, which rich it was, but again it's all a matter of perspective. I also was out of milk chocolate so that made it a bit richer than it might have been otherwise and I'll definitely try it again in the future using milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet to see if it would be a bit more to his liking. Overall however I was very pleased and if you're a chocolate lover I think you would be too!

P.S. I enjoyed taking last weekend off so much I've decided to make it an every week thing for the most part unless something just really inspires me and I can't wait to share it with you all! Check back this afternoon for "What's For Dinner?" and then I'll see you happy readers on Monday!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of chocolate chips (Note: Milk, semi-sweet or dark will work fine. Or you could do a mix of them or even go nuts and throw in some white chocolate chips too!)
1 1/2 cups of sugar (Note: Jamison likes things very sweet!)
1 1/2 cups of half and half (Note: Fat-free or regular is fine.)
1 cup of corn starch
1/2 a stick of butter, softened

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Melt

In a large pot, over low to medium heat, melt chocolate chips and sugar in half and half, stirring often, until smooth. Once melted bring to a quick boil and slowly add corn starch, stirring constantly. Once mixture is slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes) remove from heat, add softened butter and stir for an additional minute or until butter is completely melted and incorporated. Chill for 1 hour and serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Chill

Notes: Because of the chocolate chips this is a make and serve sort of dish. The longer it sits, the more firm it becomes. If needed you can whip the mixture with a mixer or hand mixer just before serving if you feel it's too firm.

Posted by Dianne at 7:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 3, 2008

Operation Baking GALS: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies and Trail Mix Too!


So as I mentioned the other day when Susan of She's Becoming Doughmesstic asked me to help out with Operation Baking GALS and send a care package to her cousin stationed overseas I said yes at once and I knew exactly what I wanted to send...Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies, that trust me if I didn't tell you they didn't have flour in them you'd never know! I knew they would ship well and while I was at it I also decided to whip up a big batch of Trail Mix! I put together the trail mix the next day and baked up the cookies on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning Alexis and I made our way to the post office and off the package went with a little note to Susan's cousin as to who I was and why I was sending him stuff and now I'm going to share both recipes with you!

Let's start first with the peanut butter cookies...

As I've mentioned before we recently discovered Jamison can not have gluten and that has been a big adjustment and many time gluten free baked goods leave a lot to be desired and I mean A LOT! The other day I wanted to make Jamison some peanut butter cookies and a friend of mine told me a simple recipe that was gluten free and mentioned that you would never know that there wasn't any gluten present...

In all honesty my first reaction was "Yeah right!" quickly followed after I saw the recipe by "There is no way that is going to work and make cookies!"

I dubiously mixed up the "dough" and was extremely surprised that it actually looked like cookie dough. I was equally as surprised that it came together at all, but hey it did! So I scooped out balls of "dough", placed them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven and low and behold cookies did come out! And when I let them cool for a minute and actually tasted one I was shocked. I mean taste wise I expected them to be OK...The ingredients weren't all that out there and were good in and of themselves, but I was most shocked by the texture...You would never know there wasn't flour in these cookies! They were amazing! The version I made for Jamison was a bit different than the one I made to send...I'll talk more about that in the notes below, but for now let's get started!

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

What You'll Need:
3 cups of organic sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chopped peanuts
3 tablespoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs and peanut butters until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts to incorporate and then add vanilla and stir to mix. (Note: These cookies don't "spread" out when they bake so you can put them rather close together as seen above. Be sure to leave a little room for the next step.) Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Once cookies are baked take the back of a fork and gently press down to flatten slightly. Let cook and then store in an air tight container.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Variation for Jamison:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using the same instructions as above mix 2 cups of creamy peanut butter, 2 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 1 package of milk chocolate chips and bake the same way. Once baked take the back of spatula and flatten the cookies slightly. Let cookies cool and store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Note: I didn't send the variation with chocolate chips because I was afraid it would be too hot for the chocolate chips to survive the journey and they would just melt into a big old mess. According to Susan I don't think it mattered as they enjoyed the regular peanut butter version just fine. :o)

Now let's talk a little trail mix!

Trail Mix

Trail mix is basically just a mix of dried fruits and nuts as you well know. You can add anything you like. This is my version, though I did add in one ingredient that many like that I'm not a fan of as you'll see below.

What You'll need for the Trail Mix:
1/2 a pound of roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 a pound of raisins
1/2 a pound of sultanas
1/2 a pound of dried cranberries (Note: If this had been for me I would have omitted the cranberries...I'm not a fan. Though it you can always pick around what you don't like too! ;oP)
1/2 a pound of roasted peanuts
1/2 a pound of roasted cashews
1/2 a pound of sliced almonds
1/2 a pound of Brazil nuts
1 cup of cocoa nibs
1 - 2.5 ounce container of Just Cherries (Note: These are just dried cherries. If you can't find the brand then any dried cherry will work.)
1 2.5 ounce container of Just Bananas (Note: Again any dried banana chip will work.)

Mix together ingredients in a large bowl until incorporated. Store in an airtight container.

Trail Mix

How easy is that? And the trail mix is gluten free too!

So there you have my additions to this round of Operation Baking GALS! Until next time.

Posted by Dianne at 12:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 3, 2008

Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry

Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry

I'm back! It would appear that they have ironed out the issues that were occurring that left me unable to access Dianne's Dishes Tuesday afternoon and the better part of yesterday...Now watch, I probably just went and jinxed myself! ;oP

Anyway, let's get started with some food shall we?

The other day when I made the Vegetable Stir Fry for me, I also made a Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry for Jamison. You marinate it much the same way, but the "sauce" is much more simple than that of the Vegetable Stir Fry. The result is a tender, slightly sweet/carmalized and slightly salty dish that really hits the spot. Unlike Jamison you can throw in some steamed broccoli or a few sautéd vegetables and really round out the dish. Pair the stir fry with some brown rice and you've got a lovely, healthy meal that you can throw together in the morning or the night before, put in the fridge and then quickly cook in the evening. What's better than that?

What You'll Need:
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1/4 cup of gluten-free soy sauce
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 scallion, chopped (green and white section)
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 pound of steak, cut into cubes and all visible fat trimmed
1 cup of cooked brown rice per person (Note: Remember that most brown rice takes about 50 minutes to an hour to cook. The stir fry itself takes about 20-30 minutes.)

Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry: Marinating

In a bowl or a canning jar mix together sesame oil, gluten-free soy sauce and rice vinegar until incorporated. Stir or shake in scallions and garlic to mix. Add steak and toss or shake to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour to overnight covered tightly in the fridge.

Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry: Beginning To Cook

Dump the contents of your bowl or jar into a large skillet and over medium heat bring to a boil. Cook the beef until the liquid evaporates, the mixture thickens slightly and the beef is tender:

Gluten-Free Beef Stir Fry: Cooking

Serve with rice and/or steamed or sautéd vegetables.

Notes: You could do this with chicken or sea food as well.

Posted by Dianne at 8:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Dinner Muffins

Gluten Free Dinner Muffins

Still on my quest to find a dinner "roll" for Jamison that is gluten-free. I've tried some of the recipes out there that are supposed to be to "die" for, but so far no dice. This recipe makes a quick, yeast free muffin and they are really quite good, however you would want to eat these the day you bake them or the next because after that they get kind of gummy and/or chewy.

What You'll Need:
2/3 cup of tapioca flour
3/4 cup of sweet rice flour
1 1/2 cups of sorghum flour
2 tablespoons of xanthan gum
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
1 2/3 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of safflower oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl mix tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, organic cane sugar, sea salt and baking powder and stir until incorporated. Dump eggs, buttermilk and safflower oil into the dry mixture and stir until a sticky dough forms:

Gluten Free Dinner Muffins: Dough

Next spoon the "dough" into a muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:

Gluten Free Dinner Muffins: Ready To Bake

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes roughly 2 dozen muffins.

Notes: No notes for this one...Gluten-free baking is a pretty exact thing. If you tweak it you end up with a mess.

Posted by Dianne at 1:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 13, 2008

Gluten Free "Granola" Squares

Peanut Butter "Granola" Squares

When we discovered that Jamison had Celiacs we immediately tried out some gluten free products. Many of them didn't make the cut, but one of the ones that did were EnviroKidz Panda Peanut Butter Crispy Bars and the quickly became a regular on our grocery list. The only problem with that is that depending on when you catch them they run from $4-5 for 6 bars. That adds up fast! So I decided to try and make something along those lines at home and I kept putting it off and putting it off, but earlier this week I finally got around to playing around with some ingredients.

I knew right off the bat I'd be using puffed rice and some form of peanut butter, but I felt like it needed just a little something else. I debated milk chocolate chips, but I didn't have any on hand. I also thought about raisins, but while Jamison likes raisins on their own, he's not a big fan when they are in something. I also thought about nuts, but we have much the same situation as the raisins with those too, so I decided to skip those as well. I finally decided on some unsulphured coconut, because it's so small it doesn't really show up in the bar, but it helps sort of bind things together and it gave a faint hint of coconut, without being overpowering.

The result was very good. I even liked them and this is coming from a person who doesn't care for Rice Krispee squares! Jamison liked them too so I'll be whipping these up to take place of the "Panda Bars" as Alexis calls them so he'll have some to take in his lunch. Yeah me! ;oP

What You'll Need:
4 cups of puffed rice cereal
1 cup of unsulphured coconut
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cups of peanut butter powder
1/4 cup natural brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix rice cereal and coconut in a large bowl and set aside.

Peanut Butter "Granola" Squares: Puffed Rice and Coconut

Add maple syrup through natural brown sugar into a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Boil 3 minutes and remove from heat.

Peanut Butter "Granola" Squares: Boiling

Quickly pour hot liquid mixture into the bowl with the rice/coconut. Be extremely careful as the liquid is VERY hot! Stir quickly to coat rice/coconut completely.

Peanut Butter "Granola" Squares: Ready to Spread

Pour mixture onto a baking dish that has been lined with a silicone mat and spread out into a rectangle. (Note: You can shape with your fingers, but be very careful as it is still warm/hot!)

Peanut Butter "Granola" Squares: Ready to Bake

Bake 5-6 minutes at 350 F and then let cool. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes: This should work with puffed corn as well. You can add in other things as mentioned above including raisins, nuts and/or chocolate chips.

Posted by Dianne at 12:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Waffles

Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

A few times a month we like to have breakfast for dinner. When we discovered that Jamison couldn't have gluten anymore this became infinitely more complicated since that breakfast for dinner was often pancakes or waffles. So far we haven't experimented with pancakes since the gluten discovery, but we have played around with waffles.

Our first journeys into waffledom used Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix and they were pretty good, but you know me, I'd rather make something from scratch. So one night last week I decided to play around with the alternative flours I had on hand and see what I could come up with and this is what resulted.

These waffles could easily fool a gluten eater. They would have no idea they were eating something that was gluten free. The waffles are tender and fluffy. Pair them with some fruit and/or maple syrup and you're set! We'll definitely make these again.

What You'll Need:
1 cup of sweet potato flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup of safflower oil
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk

Pre-heat waffle maker.

In a large bowl sift or whisk together sweet potato flour through organic cane sugar. Set aside.

Separate eggs and whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Add egg yolks, safflower oil and buttermilk to dry mixture and stir until mixed. Gently fold in egg white until incorporated.

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Place a dollop of batter in the middle of each square (or iron makes 4 square waffles) and lower the lid. Cook for 4-6 minutes until waffles are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 8-10 waffles

Notes: These kept well and Alexis enjoyed some the next few days. Something during the cooking process caused the waffle iron to pop open. This happened on each batch, but it happened right before they were done so it didn't make a mess, but it was odd. We joked that they were explosive waffles! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 9:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 7, 2008

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Before the gluten had to go Blueberry Muffins were one of Jamison's favorites. Of course his version came out of a box, but that's neither here nor there! ;oP So now it was time to come up with a gluten free version that Jamison could enjoy and this happened to fill that bill.

One nice thing about these muffins is that they stay moist, even days later. The consistency is very good as well. There is no residual graininess or anything of that nature either that sometimes happens with gluten free baked goods. This is one you could definitely take and serve to gluten eaters without them really noticing and sometimes that is just what you need.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

What You'll Need:
2 cups of sweet potato flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar
4 tablespoons of powdered milk
3 tablespoons of xanthum gum
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1 cup of plain yogurt (Note: I used fat free.)
4 eggs
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 - 10 ounce package of frozen blueberries (Note: If you can't find a 10 ounce package then 12 or 14 ounces will work fine.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl mix or sift together sweet potato flour through baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together through buttermilk until smooth. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until dough forms.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins: The Dough

Stir in blueberries until incorporated and place dough in muffin pan that has been lined with cupcake liners. Each liner should be 3/4ths of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

Makes roughly 30 muffins. Store in an airtight container to retain moistness.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Notes: In theory this should work with any frozen berry. I say in theory, because as I've learned since this gluten free adventure began, theories that might work with regular flour sometimes go astray when you're dealing with no gluten.

Posted by Dianne at 1:29 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

April 30, 2008

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: The Inside

Gluten free bread, whether commercially made, or made from scratch is largely hit or miss, especially when you are used to eating the glutenized equivalents. I've talked to several people who no longer can eat gluten and their reactions are largely hit and miss too. One person told me after not having gluten for years they still hadn't found a gluten free bread that was to their liking. Another told me that they had no problem switching over to gluten free breads and actually enjoyed their bread of choice. Jamison would squarely fall in the former category and not the latter and given he's a very picky eater (yeah I know) this bread journey has been an adventure in and of itself! I have to admit though he's been a very good sport.

Right after we found out that Jamison couldn't eat gluten we purchased a bread machine that has a gluten free setting and ironically the bread I ended up coming up with works better on the basic setting, than the gluten free one. What can you do? You do what works and in this case the basic setting is the one to go with.

This bread is really good for gluten free. It doesn't dry out after a day or two after some gluten free baked goods do. It has a very nice texture and a nice crumb too. The taste is also mild and it doesn't overpower what you're putting on your sandwich. We've been really pleased with this concoction and I bake a loaf every week or so so that Jamison has bread for his lunch to take to work. I have not tried it out in a conventional oven, though I intend to do that one day soon. So far we've just stuck to the bread machine because it's simple and I don't have to hover over the process. You just set it and go. If one of you gets adventurous and tries the conventional oven before I post anything about what might have occurred then let me know how your results turn out.

What You'll Need:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of warm water
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons of powdered milk
1 tablespoon or organic cane sugar
2 cups of sweet rice flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of sorghum flour
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
2 teaspoons of sea salt
4 teaspoons of yeast

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Bread Machine

Into the well of your bread machine dump eggs through organic cane sugar. The machine will do the mixing for you so don't worry about stirring.

In a large bowl whisk or sift together sweet rice flour through sea salt until well incorporated. Once mixed dump the dry mixture on top of the wet ingredients. The machine will mix these together too. Dump yeast on top of the dry mixture and set the machine on the Basic 2 pound setting.

My machine also has a setting for light, medium or dark crust. If yours has this setting too then set it for medium. Start the machine and go back in and take a look between five and ten minutes to make sure that all the flour is incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the well to make sure everything incorporates. I'm not sure why this is the case with gluten free breads, but I've had to do this with every loaf I've made even the mix I purchased. When the cycle is through and the bread has baked let it sit for 10 minutes in the machine and then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

After the first mix and when you've scraped down the sides the dough will look like this:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Rising

The dough is very shaggy and makes a very rustic loaf.

After it has risen it will look like this:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Risen

Still shaggy, but roughly doubled in size.

The top and sides turn a lovely brown:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

And thus your have your finished loaf. It's moist and holds up well and is easily sliced with a bread knife. It's just perfect for sandwiches.

Notes: Make sure that you use sweet rice flour and not just plain brown or white rice flour. It really adds to the texture and taste of the bread. Also the tapioca flour helps retain the moisture and give you the tender crumb. You could most likely use all honey or all organic cane sugar and it should work fine. The olive oil also lends to the crumb and flavor. You could substitute safflower oil or something if you wanted, but I wouldn't recommend that substitution.

Posted by Dianne at 9:21 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 21, 2008

Gluten Free Yellow Cupcakes

Gluten Free Cupcakes

On the continuing quest to develop some good gluten free alternatives to old standbys our next stop is Gluten Free Yellow Cupcakes!

These cupcakes are very good. Alexis and I enjoyed them and Jamison even liked them. The crumb was very nice, although as with many gluten free baked goods you'll want to eat these the day they are made or the next day at the latest, because they dry out quickly. For the full batch it would be perfect for a party, but if you're just making them for yourself I'd half the recipe and make a smaller batch. I topped them with my version of Wilton's Buttercream icing and Alexis insisted they be blue. Overall we were quite pleased!

Gluten Free Cupcakes

What You'll Need:
2 cups of sweet potato flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of buttermilk
4 eggs
1/4 cup of safflower oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Preheat Oven to 350 F.

Sift or stir together sweet potato flour, buckwheat flour, sea salt and baking powder until well incorporated. Stir sugar into the flour mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, safflower oil and vanilla until well mixed and then add to the flour/sugar mixture. Stir until the two mixtures are incorporated fully.

Line a muffin pan with silicone baking cups or cupcake liners. (Note: If you use the silicone cups then give them a spray of non-stick spray before baking and they are a breeze to clean up afterward.) Spoon batter into each cup or liner 3/4ths of the way up. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until they stick clean. Remove from the oven and let cool, then frost as you like. (Note: To make sure they are completely gluten-free make sure you pick an icing or frosting that is gluten-free as well.)

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes give or take a few depending on how you fill your cups.

Notes: No notes for this one. What you see is what you get! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 9:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 16, 2008

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten free baked goods are tricky and they are largely hit and miss. As I've been experimenting I have discovered that buckwheat flour is nice in that it usually doesn't give baked goods such a grainy (and by that I mean sandy, not whole grain) texture. If you add in a variety of potato flour and/or tapioca flour you end up with a nice tender crumb that resembles wheat products more closely. These flours also tend not to have such a green taste.

These muffins would easily fool your average gluten eater. They would never know they were eating an alternative flour unless you told them. I also think that the batter would make an amazing sheet cake, but I'll have to test out that theory another time. These muffins are just perfect for a snack or even for a breakfast on the go and trust me you'll never miss the gluten!

In honor of full disclosure Jamison didn't actually like these muffins, but Alexis and I loved them! And I took some over to my sister right after Grant was born and they liked them too! I think it was just a little too much chocolate (is that possible??!?!?) for Jamison though. I'm going to play around with it without the chocolate and see if I can't come up with a good cupcake or blueberry muffin using a similar base. The sweet potato flour is really good utilized along these lines.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins: The Inside Goodness

What You'll Need:
1 cup of sweet potato flour
1 1/2 cups of sorghum flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 heaping tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 - 11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1/4 cups safflower oil
2 tablespoons chocolate extract (Note: I used chocolate extract from Flavorganics, which is gluten free. Check the label of the chocolate extract to make sure it's gluten free if you don't use Flavorganics.)
3/4 cup of rice milk
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl whisk together sweet potato flour, buckwheat flour, sea salt, cocoa, baking powder and sugar until completely incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips until incorporated in the dry mixture. Add safflower oil, chocolate extract, rice milk and eggs and stir until smooth. Place batter in muffins pans that have been lined with liners. Fill each liner 3/4ths of the way full and bake for 20 -25 minutes until done through.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 14-16 muffins.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins: Ready to Take Out of the Oven

Notes: You could add in a cup of nuts too if you wanted or even leave out the chocolate chips.

Posted by Dianne at 7:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 9, 2008

Gluten Free Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Squares

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Squares

When the gluten monster reared it's ugly little head we had to totally rethink Jamison's lunch. His normal lunch was a peanut butter sandwich, chips of some sort, a piece of fruit and/or some carrots or raisins along with some cookies or a granola bar or something along those lines. We've been able to adapt the lunch somewhat, peanut butter on gluten free bread (which I'm still working on), corn tortilla chips in place of those that had wheat (including many of the baked potato chips), the fruit/veggies stayed the same, but the treat portion had to have a major makeover. We found some gluten free granola bars that were good, but they only have five in the box and they aren't the cheapest option so I set out to make something at home and this is what transpired.

These squares are something along the lines of a Rice Krispee square, yet different. I actually liked these and I'm not a fan of RK squares so that says a lot. But regardless these squares are a nice fix for a gluten free treat option. I'm going to play around with making some actual gluten free granola bars, but we'll get back to that later. For now enjoy the Chewy Peanut Butter Rice Squares!

What You'll Need:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (Note: I used one from Wholesome Sweeteners that a hint of vanilla. Read the back of your bottle and make sure it does not have high fructose corn syrup in the syrup itself.)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
6 cups puffed rice cereal
1 - 11.5 ounce package of milk chocolate chips
Butter to coat your dish

(Note: Your first step is to basically make peanut butter marshmallows. In fact if you spread this mixture out in a buttered dish and let it sit for a bit that is exactly what you'd end up with, but in this case you're going to use it for the "glue" to hold your bars together.)

Combine the gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water in your mixer and let sit while you complete the other steps.

Chewy Chocolate PeanutButter Rice Squares: Almost to Soft Boil Stage

In a medium sized pot mix sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter powder and water over low to medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolves raise the heat and cook until the mixture reaches 240 F (or in other words roughly soft ball stage). Remove from the heat and pour slowly into your gelatin mixture while the mixer is on low. Once the sugar liquid is all added turn your mixer slowly to high and beat for 6-8 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Squares: Puffed Rice and Chocolate Chips

While the marshmallow mixture is beating in a very large bowl mix together rice cereal and chocolate chips. Once the marshmallow mixture is ready pour the mixture over the rice cereal and chocolate chips and stir to incorporate. (Note: It will be very sticky. Mix quickly!) Spread the mixture into a 13 X 9 inch dish that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray. (Note: If you have trouble spreading the mixture then slightly wet your hands and help push it into place.) Let the mixture sit for and hour or so and then cut into squares.

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Squares: Setting Up

Notes: You could stir in peanuts too if you wanted, or even leave out the chocolate chips and use raisins or something along those lines instead. It's an easily mixed and match sort of recipe to play around with.

Posted by Dianne at 7:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 3, 2008

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Drops

Chocolate Peanut Drops

Before the attack of the gluten monster one of Jamison's all time favorite cookies were Oatmeal Peanut Butter Drops, or "Cow Drop" cookies as we always called them as kids. There is some debate within the Celiac community as to whether or not Oats are Celiac friendly or not. Apparently there is some evidence that says that oats are often contaminated with wheat and some Celiacs can't eat oats to begin with so therefore the Celiac Sprue Association lists oats as a no-no grain. So that kind of put a damper on the "Cow Drop" cookies needless to say.

When I first set about retooling this recipe in my head I immediately thought of cashews to replace the oats, but then again I'm all about the cashews, but I realized I didn't have any cashew butter on hand, but I did have peanuts and peanut butter so I went that route instead. I'll most likely get back to the cashew version another time, but this time it was chocolate and peanut butter all the way! I ended up taking a big bunch of them to my sister on the day Grant was born and they have enjoyed them a lot from what I've been told.

This cookie is a gluten free dream! It's also a chocolate/peanut butter lovers dream! It's a go to recipe that is easy to make and it will satisfy the gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters alike and sometimes that is just what you need to feed a crowd.

What You'll Need:
1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar (Note: Sometimes I use organic cane sugar and sometimes I use brown. The brown sugar gives it a deeper flavor note that really compliments the peanut butter and chocolate.)
2 tablespoons of cocoa
2/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of roasted peanuts (Note: Go with a lightly or no salted version.)
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Melt butter, sugar, cocoa and cream until smooth. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Remove pot from the heat and stir in peanut butter until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and stir to mix. Stir in peanuts and drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone mat or wax paper. Let set for a couple of hours an then serve or store cookies in an airtight container.

Notes: This method should work with any nut and butter combo (i.e, cashews and cashew butter, almonds and almond butter, etc. I plan to experiment with it more in the future.)

Posted by Dianne at 9:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 28, 2008

Gluten Free Beef with Broccoli

Beef with Broccoli

As I mentioned in passing a while back on the banana pudding post we recently discovered that Jamison can't eat gluten (or in more technical terms he has Celiac Disease). While that sounds dire, in reality it just means he has a gluten intolerance and needs to avoid it entirely. Needless to say for a person who had a diet largely made up of wheat in some form or another this has been a huge adjustment, but I must say he's done very well, if not for a grumble here or there, cutting the gluten out of his diet. (Note: The banana pudding recipe is NOT gluten free as it was made before we found out he couldn't have gluten. the pudding itself and the bananas are gluten free, but the vanilla wafers are not.)

As this journey begins you are startled by how many things have gluten in them that you wouldn't expect (various medicines/vitamins, almost anything that is a pre-packaged food which Jamison was a fan of, candy, and of course any breads/crackers and I even discovered that the brand of garlic salt I used had wheat in it! What's that about?) Once you know you can't gave gluten you have to start reading labels even closer than you did before and let me tell you I'm a label reader to begin with! You quickly learn what is and what isn't gluten free and you regularly visit the Celiac Sprue Association's Grain Page. I'm still learning, but I'm becoming more and more comfortable every day saying what is and what isn't gluten free.

One of those things that you wouldn't suspect to have wheat is soy sauce and because of that a lot of Chinese foods, especially those with brown sauces, are now off the market if you can't have gluten. Unfortunately Jamison loves Chinese and all of the dishes he eats are cooked in that soy filled brown sauce and this is how this recipe came about. If you can't have gluten then you just have to start adapting recipes of the things you love. In some cases it isn't easy, but it is doable and in this case it was a quite easy fix.

Chinese cuisine has an aura about it that makes a lot of people think it's hard to cook, but don't worry it's not! If you can steam some veggies, stir fry and make rice, you're golden! It also doesn't take a long time to prepare. It's a quick, easy and healthy option for when you want take out, but can't necessarily have it for health reasons or any other issue.

You'll also notice we have a new "Gluten Free" category on the side bar and I'll be adding to it as I adapt Jamison's favorites to gluten free equivalents. So far it's been hit and miss and I've yet to find a bread recipe that isn't grainy in texture and green in taste, so that's an adventure in and of itself, but I have been able to adapt some other things, so stay tuned! Oh and I will conquer that bread too! I'm anything if not determined! ;o)

What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
4 tablespoons of gluten free soy sauce (Note: La Choy soy sauces are wheat free according to their label. I always use the version that has less salt. If in doubt read the label! Wheat should be readily labeled and if it says something along the lines of "food starch" in most cases that means wheat so steer clear!)
2 tablespoons of corn starch
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds of beef, cut into bite sized chunks
1 pound of broccoli, steamed
1 cup of cooked brown rice, per person

In a medium sized bowl mix water, rice vinegar, cane sugar, soy sauce and corn starch and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add meat and stir to ensure that all the meat is covered. Cover the bowl tightly and then refrigerate to let the mixture marinate for at least an hour to overnight.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and take it out of the sauce. Do not discard the sauce as you will need some of it for the recipe.

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the meat in a little olive oil until the outsides are slightly browned. (Note: Don't go overboard with the oil. You want enough to just coat the pan, roughly 1 tablespoon max.) Once the meat is browned add 1 cup of the marinating liquid and cook until the mixture thickens and the beef is done through. If you like a lot of sauce add more of the marinating liquid.

While the meat is cooking steam the broccoli until just tender and set aside.

Most varieties of brown rice take around 1 hour to cook. The Beef with Broccoli takes about 20-30 minutes to cook depending on how big your chunks of meat are so make sure you give enough time for the rice to be done. You want 1 cup of cooked brown rice per person.

To serve place some rice on a plate and top with the cooked beef mixture. Next add 6-8 broccoli florets and serve.

Notes: You could add in different types of steamed vegetables (i.e. carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, etc.) to make a Mixed Vegetable version. You could also substitute chicken or shrimp for the beef if you're not a beef fan. If you wanted to make a completely vegeterian/vegan version you could use tofu or mushrooms in place of the meat. The possibilities are endless!

Posted by Dianne at 7:12 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack