Cooked Cauliflower Rice and Cauliflower Rice Salad

August 29, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Directions:

  1. Break cauliflower in florettes and cut off most of stalk. Stalk just doesn’t shred nicely.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, drain and pat dry.
  3. Put shredding blade into your food processor and shred cauliflower. It shreds into rice looking grains except for little pieces of stalk.
  4. Melt some butter and olive oil together in 9 inch skillet.
  5. Add finely chopped onion, half a red bell pepper deseeded and cut into small dice, 1-2 cloves garlic crushed. Cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until softening.
  6. Add cauliflower rice, cook for about another 5 minutes until cauliflower is as cooked as you like it.
  7. Add a knob of butter if you want, it really adds to taste, a handful of fresh herbs and serve as a side dish or top with some nuts, cheese for meatless Monday.

Add hot peppers, pepper flakes.

Cauliflower Raw Rice Salad

1.Break cauliflower in florets and cut off most of stalk.  Stalk just doesn’t shred nicely.
2.Rinse cauliflower, drain and pat dry.
3.Put shredding blade into your food processor and shred cauliflower. It shreds into rice looking grains except for pieces of stalk.
4.Add some maple herb vinaigrette (below) to lightly moisten cauliflower rice.
5.Add chopped, fresh tomatoes, including any juice, small diced cucumber, shredded carrot – really whatever you would normally add to a rice salad. Stir and serve.

Salad is crisp when freshly mixed, but cauli does soften if refrigerated overnight. But then you could stir fry it for fried rice. Lovely light crunch without the softness of rice. Stand over bowl eating before serving good.

Maple Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 tbsp gluten-free white wine or red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
good pinch of salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp gluten-free Dijon Mustard. You can also use honey Dijon, spicy for variation.
2 tbsp maple syrup – I use stronger tasting maple syrup – Grade A medium amber.(think of using honey if you don’t have maple syrup)
2 tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp avocado oil or sunflower oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley measured before chopping
green of 4 green onion/spring onion, scallion stalks
few celery leaves if you have them

Directions
1.Put vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and maple syrup in jug or 2 cup Tupperware style container or clean jam jar. Stir to dissolve salt etc.
2.Add oils and fresh herbs. Run immersion blender to finely chop herbs. If you don’t have immersion blender then chop herbs finely with scissors and add to dressing. If you do use immersion blender, dressing will thicken and go almost white/green in color.  On refrigeration, olive oil will solidify and then revert to liquid at room temperature.

This dressing mellows on standing so that no one ingredient overpowers the others.  Try it this way first and then experiment with different vinegars, other fresh herbs but try less total quantity of herbs, add different mustards etc. Remember your taste for salt or sugar can be different to mine.

With the scandal over olive oils, I find that most evo’s are far too bitter and overpowering in a vinaigrette/salad dressing.  This is my go-to dressing, easily made, loved by everyone.  Please don’t substitute fake sugar or agave nectar.  Maple syrup or honey add to taste, they’re not just a sweetener.

 

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TAGS: DINNER, LUNCH, SIDE DISHES

Coconut-Rum Chocolate Pie

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Gluten-Free Coconut-Rum Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup regular sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 2 c corn chex or honey nut chex (perhaps try chocolate chex) crushed to make one cup of crumbs. (Crush just in a Ziploc bag with rolling pin, but not to a powder)
  • ½ c sliced almonds
  • 6 Tbsp butter, earth balance or coconut oil

Filling:

  • ½ c cream or Asian style coconut milk or coconut coffee creamer. Check coconut milk ingredients.  Piña Colada style coconut milk is high in sugar, ‘lite’ coconut milks are thickened with ‘gums’ and other ingredients to make thick and creamy.  Dairy coffee creamer or coconut coffee creamer that you use for coffee is easier for a small quantity
  • 11-12 oz (~ 2 cups packet) gluten-free semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbsp rum or other liquor you can tolerate.  Remember that ordinary rum and brandy should be gluten free, it is normally the flavorings added that can contain gluten.  You don’t have to add alcohol but it does raise the flavor nicely.
  • Sliced bananas, fresh pineapple, mango,
  • Bought or home made caramel sauce.
  • Trader Joe’s make a jar of caramel sauce that is labeled gluten free, but not dairy free. Optional
  • Whipped real cream or coconut cream whipped. Optional
  • Some toasted coconut or sliced almonds to garnish. Optional.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Melt butter, earth balance or coconut oil. Mix together coconut, crushed chex and almonds and add melted butter or coconut oil to bind dry ingredients.
  2. Press into base and sides of 9” pie place and bake in preheated 350* oven for 10-20 minutes until looking more golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Heat cream in 4 cup microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Stir in chocolate and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Stir well, microwave a bit more, stir well, microwave until chocolate forms a smooth, thick, shiny mass. I tend to use my immersion blender to get mix smooth. Stir in alcohol.  Depending on cream and chocolate used and whether you added any alcohol, taste the chocolate mix and decide if it needs some sugar.  Remember you might be drizzling it with caramel sauce and adding fresh fruit, all adding to sweetness.
  4. Pour chocolate sauce into cool shell and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  5. Remove from fridge. You can arrange fruit on top and drizzle with caramel sauce, or cut into portions and add fruit and sauce to individual plates depending on what people can eat or tolerate.
  6. Whip cream with some sugar and rum, pile on top of chocolate or pipe. Scatter toasted coconut or almonds on top of cream.

Note: I read a recipe where the writer whipped cream with powdered hot chocolate mix.  It gives a light, sweet chocolatey taste.

 

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TAGS: DESSERT

Mardi Gras Dirty Rice

August 28, 2019

Recipe courtesy of ZATARAIN’S® 

Dirty Rice is a one-pot meal that starts with flavorful and easy-to-prepare Zatarain’s Dirty Rice, which can be customized to each guest’s unique tastes.

Gluten-Free Mardi Gras Dirty Rice
Prep 5 minutes/Cook Time: 35 minutes. Serves 7

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add bell peppers; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from skillet. Add sausage to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
  2. Stir in Rice Mix and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Return bell peppers to skillet. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until rice is tender.
  3. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Gluten-Free and Flavor-Full! A Quick Guide to Eating Gluten-Free from Zatarain’s

For those with celiac disease, or just choosing to follow a gluten-free diet, cooking and shopping for gluten-free meal ideas can be daunting. Zatarain’s, the brand serving up authentic New Orleans-Style foods for more than 120 years, offers a wide variety of flavorful gluten-free rice mix options to jazz up mealtime. With Zatarain’s, there’s no need to sacrifice flavor to suit dietary needs.

Zatarain’s offers 19 rice mixes – with more in development – that feature a gluten-free designation on the front of the product packaging, confirming that each rice mix has been formulated as gluten-free and the production systems and processes have been validated to ensure the finished rice mixes are free of gluten. These rice mixes – including favorites like jambalaya, dirty rice and yellow rice – are the same flavorful products people already know and love, but with a gluten-free seal now displayed on the package.

For a complete list of Zatarain’s gluten-free rice mixes, visit www.zatarains.com/glutenfree.

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TAGS: DINNER, SIDE DISHES

Master Almond Cake

July 29, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh

This is a variation of my English Bakewell Tart with shortbread pastry crust, raspberry preserves layer, almond cake and sliced almonds. One of my son’s most favorite desserts so the first one I made completely gluten-free. If you can only eat other nuts, then weigh (roughly eyeball from packet) nut you can eat, add sugar and process together in food processor until nuts are very finely ground. Sugar helps stop nuts from turning into a paste. 

This is what I make for those times we’re asked to bring something to a meeting. Throw it all in a bowl and beat. I get into trouble with friends at conferences if I don’t bring it with me. Including flying from Boston to Atlanta to speak at a GIG conference. I was on a four page cover wrap for Blue Diamond Almonds for National Food and Wine magazine.

Gluten-Free Almond Cake

makes 1 x 8×8 or 1 x8″ cake pan. About 1 “ deep.

Naturally gluten-free, easily dairy-free, paleo, can be made egg-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick (2oz) very soft butter 
  • ½ c (4 oz) ordinary sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1+1/4 cup (4 oz, 115g) of almond meal/flour slightly rounded 
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder – I use Rumford’s, labeled gluten-free
  • 2 tsp gluten-free almond extract – I use Penzey’s that they say is gluten-free. Optional but adds to flavor.
  • Topping: powdered sugar, ¼ – ½ c sliced almonds

Note: Different brands of almond flour or almond meal will often give a different weight to volume measure. For best results weigh.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F/ 170*C.
  2. Place all ingredients in 4 c (1 ltr) mixing bowl and beat until well blended and fluffy- 2 minutes.  Mix will go lighter in color as you beat it.
  3. Spread mix in greased and gf floured 8×8, or one 8” cake pan. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  4. Bake in 350* oven for about 25-30 minutes until well risen, golden brown and set but still soft in the middle. The texture should be similar to rolls of almond paste when cut, but cooked throughout.
  5. Remove from oven, serve warm or cold,  sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Variations:

  • Cut into wedges and serve with raspberry sauce.  
  • Cook in 8×8 pan and cut into tiny squares for a buffet table. 
  • Cook in 8×8 and cut into large squares and then cut large squares into 4 triangles or 2 larger triangles.
  • Divide mixture between 2 holes of Wilton Giant Whoopie pie pan or 2 x 8 inch cake pans to make thin layer cake.
  • Divide mixture in 12 holes of Wilton mini whoopie pie pan,  watch for temperature as dark lined pan browns rapidly underneath. Use as base for individual Baked Alaska, different strawberry shortcake, ice cream sandwiches.
  • Top with chocolate ganache, raspberry, mango couli, fresh berries.
  • Spread cooled cooked cake with Nutella and top with more almonds, make a chocolate ganache with either equal quantities of heavy cream and semi sweet chocolate or with Sodelicious vanilla or hazelnut creamer mixed with gf, cf chocolate.  Serve in puddle of raspberry sauce or with a mix of fresh berries slightly sweetened, add some Amaretto. 
  • Whip 1 cup cream until nearly stiff, whip in 1/2 c Nutella and chill to stiffen. Use as filling or topping.
  • If you don’t use almond extract, you really do need to add the zest of 1-2 lemons or 1-2 oranges if you eat the cake plain. You can also add 1-2 tbsp poppy seeds and make a melted lemon juice/sugar glaze to drizzle on top of baked cake.
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TAGS: DAIRY-FREE, DESSERT

Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh

I typically make a basic cucumber salad with oil, vinegar, sugar and raw garlic. Then I saw a post with a new recipe, and as usual tried it and did my own thing. You can alter the heat factor of this recipe to your family’s taste. You do need to use salt. Salt crisps up the cucumbers, draws juice from the cucumbers into the vinaigrette and also shrinks the cucumber. 

When you first make this cucumber salad, you look at a huge amount of cucumber and think that’s not enough vinaigrette/dressing. Yes, it is. I like both thinly sliced cucumber and small cubes. Don’t keep it more than a couple of days in the fridge. 

Gluten-Free Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 English/European cucumber, rinsed (aka seedless cucumber even though it does have seeds, just less than regular American cucumber). Remove from plastic wrap when you buy it as it can go moldy rapidly if left in plastic. Or equivalent of small Persian cucumbers, they look really cute sliced or cubed, but are more expensive. 
  • 2 Tbsp HOT pepper jelly. Sweet pepper jelly doesn’t add heat. I buy Trappist hot pepper jelly at my local grocery store. I’ve also made this with Maesri Spring roll dipping sauce from an Asian market. Do not buy Maesri sweet chili sauce, far far spicier hot – nearly killed my husband. 
  • Zest of a lime 
  • Juice of a lime 
  • 1/4 c (60 ml, 2 fl oz) mild oil. I use avocado oil
  • Green of 2 green onions 
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt (3-5 ml) – make it with half teaspoon and add more after refrigeration if you like more salt. 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cilantro to taste. Start with only 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro. You can also use Thai basil. Or even lime basil, so good. 

Directions:

  1. Melt pepper jelly in a 4 cup microwave safe bowl in microwave, add lime, oil, salt, herbs.
  2. Cut ends off cucumber then I thinly slice the cucumber on a mandolin or cut into small cubes, like a sugar cube.
  3. Stir cucumber into vinaigrette, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Stir, taste and serve. Some recipes like to add sesame oil, but sesame oil is a very strong oil and easily overpowers. 

 

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TAGS: APPETIZERS/SNACKS, SIDE DISHES

Tomato-Free Corn Salsa

July 10, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh 

A girlfriend, without celiac disease, recommended Trader Joe’s corn chili salsa.  The ingredients listed are gluten free. I posted the corn chili salsa online and followers at my Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB say they’ve eaten it with no problems. 

My girlfriend mixes it with sour cream to her taste, another follower does the same.  Another layers it with crumbled goat cheese and avocado.  The corn in the jar looked a bit shrunken so I made my own version and it was eaten and approved by wheat-eaters at a neighborhood BBQ recently. I prefer to use a hot pepper jelly in lots of recipes.  I don’t like biting a piece of raw jalapeño, it’s cooked in a pepper jelly, and the sugar mellows the heat.

Ingredients:

~5 medium corn cobs, cooked and kernels cut off. Grilled, simmered – your choice, but don’t overcook, I like the crunch of corn. Approximately 1 lb cooked kernels, 3 cups.

1/2c hot pepper jelly melted in microwave.  Sweet pepper doesn’t normally have any heat. I use Trappist brand made by monks in Massachussetts.

about 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped

zest and juice of 2 limes for nicely tangy, reduce to 1 lime if you’re not sure.

green of a bunch of green onions scissored into small slices and finely sliced white of 2 green onions.  I am not a lover of raw onion.

1/2 c fresh parsley chopped

1/4 -1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped – or to your taste – my husband is not a cilantro lover.

Some salt and pepper

Original recipe included mustard seeds and coriander (cilantro) seed, some vinegar and some guar gum, which like xanthan gum will thicken juices.  These gums are used and have been used for years in recipes for thickening, not just for gluten free products.

Directions:

  1. Microwave pepper jelly in 6-8 cup microwave safe container.
  2. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, chopped red bell pepper, chopped herbs.
  3. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Stir in cooked corn kernels, cover and refrigerate. Flavors develop and mellow. Taste before serving. We eat this with tortilla chips as a salsa and with grilled meat as a side salad. It lasts several days, covered in the fridge.

Try mixing it with some sour cream and layering it with crumbles of goat cheese and diced avocado.

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Cold Cherry Soup – Vyšnių Sriuba

June 26, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh 

Makes about 4 cups, or 8 x ½ cup dinner party servings.

This is one of the recipes I make for my Lithuanian armchair travels presentation with a tasting buffet. 

The original soup used only water and didn’t puree the mix.  I personally found it tasteless. Cherry soup is mainly an Eastern European recipe, served as either appetizer or dessert.  Normally made with tart or sour cherries with lemon juice and sour cream added. I remember from studying in Lithuania that they don’t have as sweet a tooth as here. Some of the recipes quote using jars of Trader Joe’s Morello cherries (tart) in light syrup, or frozen tart cherries or fresh Bing cherries. Cherries would have been preserved in syrup or made into jam.  I have made cherry soup with both frozen sweet cherries and jar of Morello cherries. It really depends on level of sweetness you like and both frozen and jars are far more convenient. 

Ingredients: 

1 x 24 oz jar of Trader Joe’s Morello cherries in light syrup ($2.99) or 12 oz frozen sweet cherries (my favorite and $2.99 in my local grocery store) or 2lbs tart cherries pitted.

1 x 3” cinnamon stick

pinch of salt 

zest of ¼ lemon 

¼ c sugar – add more to taste after chilling overnight 

1 tbsp honey for sweetness and flavor

¼ c sour cream – I use lite 

1/3 c heavy cream 

1 tsp almond extract – optional 

wine – optional

cherry jam – optional for sweetness and more cherry

Directions:

  1. Empty jar of Morello cherries and syrup into 8 cup pan.
  2. Add salt, sugar, honey, lemon zest and cinnamon stick.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for abut 10 minutes until cherries are soft.
  4. Remove from heat and leave to cool in pan.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick, puree with immersion blender and stir in sour cream and cream. I then put cinnamon stick back in pan.
  6. Preferably chill overnight.  I found flavor developed and mellowed after refrigeration.
  7. Taste soup before serving to adjust sugar or add lemon juice, thickness with more water or cream.

Less sugar with sweet cherries and use 1+1/4 c water if you use frozen sweet cherries

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB or web. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies.  Remember most real food is naturally gluten free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it. Real food is now being called clean eating. Contact Oonagh for cooking classes, demos, help with gfd, talks and cooking demos on Eating Clean in 2019 plus Power of Food – best medicine, worst poison, where I talk about FDA nutritional labeling, gmo’s, how much sugar is too much sugar, transfats, food allergens, Great Grains – what are they, how to cook so the family will eat. 

Chef Oonagh will be giving presentations on her trip to Lithuania, talks, photos, videos, history, culture, food plus buffet of dishes at: 

Griffin Pl Wednesday 25 September
Nashua NH Sunday 6 October,
Candia 9 October.

My Lithuanian cooking demos continue at Rodgers Library Hudson, from September 2019 to May 2020.These are all sponsored by Charles Žylonis Trust and other libraries will be added to list.Talk on ‘Gluten free and other food allergies, fact or fad’ for Lyndeborough Library 21 October.

Oonagh can be reached at 603-424-6412 or [email protected]

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Mango Cream Pie

May 28, 2019

 

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh 

I love ripe sweet mangoes, but unfortunately in NH you rarely get mangoes that are sweet and ripe when you buy them.  Too much of our grocery store fruit looks ripe, smells ripe but doesn’t taste ripe.  I’ve also decided that frozen mango, canned mango in syrup or glass jars of mango just don’t compare to flavor of fresh mango.

I saw a recipe for mango cream pie and had some mangoes.  The recipe was the regular milk, sugar, corn starch and eggs plus mango. I made it, didn’t taste enough of mangoes and who wants to heat up a kitchen and have to wait for custard to cool in the heat.  I was going to make cream and mango set with gelatin then remembered another summer dessert recipe we enjoy.  Our local Indian restaurant had a dessert on the buffet that was commercial, ready made banana pudding mixed with canned fruit. I used instant vanilla jello pudding, mango juice/nectar and fresh fruit.  Made in a few minutes and everyone loves it.  That’s my quick version #2, I also make a variation of my dirt pie #1, we think is even more delicious but dirties more bowls and higher calories. We also prefer this mango cream on its own, not in a cookie crumb crust, so it’s smooth and velvety – except if you finish with some toasted almonds or madacamia nuts.

Note: I buy ‘Best’ mango juice, 32 oz bottle, $2.99, 50% juice, with water and sugar and nothing else.  imported seasonally from Egypt. The bottle I bought last week in my regular grocery store, had a 12 month shelf life, unopened.  You can buy a 12 oz small bottle or can of juice, but many brands are much lower quantities of mango, less flavor plus additives. (www.aitco-best.com)

Directions:

Mango Cream #1

2 ripe, sweet ataulfo/champagne/alphonso mangoes or other mangoes that are sweet and ripe. Cut either side of mango to get 2 ‘cheeks’. Place ‘cheek’ on chopping board, skin side down, cut a tic-tac-toe pattern in flesh, push skin so mango flesh sticks out and carefully cut the cubes away from the skin. Carefully cut off side skin and remove flesh, then carefully cut off flesh left on mango stone.  Do all of this on chopping board, not in your hand.

In large bowl mix:

1 box instant vanilla pudding (normal 4 oz box) with 1+1/2 c mango juice/nectar using electric mixer or whisk. NOT the 2 cups of milk you normally use for an instant vanilla jello pudding, it won’t thicken as much.

Then while still runny add 1/2 cup of heavy cream whisked with 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/8 tsp xanthan gum until stiff. I find adding xanthan gum helps mango cream to stay thicker.  Omit xanthan gum if you want.

In another bowl mix:

4 oz (half a normal packet) softened cream cheese (I use lite) with

1/4 c, 2 oz, 1/2 stick soft butter

then mix in

1/2 c powdered sugar

Then mix both bowls together using electric mixer until totally blended and no visible streaks.  Try and do this while vanilla pudding mix is still quite soft. Stir in mango pieces. Turn into 6 c pretty bowl for serving. Mixture will set reasonably firm, but spoonable not sliceable. Refrigerate so flavors blend. I like to finish bowl with more whipped cream, toasted almonds, more mango.

 

Mango Cream #2.

This is the quick lazy version. One mixing bowl.

2 ripe, sweet ataulfo/champagne/alphonso mangoes or other mangoes that are sweet and ripe. Cut either side of mango to get 2 ‘cheeks’. Place ‘cheek’ on chopping board, skin side down, cut a tic-tac-toe pattern in  flesh, push skin so mango flesh sticks out and carefully cut the cubes from the skin. Carefully cut off side skin and remove flesh, then carefully cut off flesh left on mango stone.  Do all of this on chopping board, not in your hand.

In large bowl mix:

1 box instant vanilla pudding (normal 4 oz box) with

1+1/2 c mango juice/nectar using electric mixer or whisk. NOT the 2 cups of milk you normally use for an instant vanilla jello pudding, it won’t thicken as much.

Stir in mango and chill.  that’s it. Add the same whipped cream to mix if you want.

Try other fruits with other fruit juices. I made a bowl to take for a girl’s RV camping weekend and it vanished. It’s even good for breakfast. Put into individual bowls with lids for packed lunch or beach picnic. Fresh bananas, strawberries and blueberries.

 

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TAGS: DESSERT

HONEY CINNAMON GRAHAM CRACKERS

May 25, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

After Christmas this year I wanted gluten-free grahams or shortbreads for a Lithuanian cooking demo I was giving. Below is the recipe for my own gluten-free version of honey cinnamon graham crackers.

Gluten-Free Honey Cinnamon Graham Crackers 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c (3oz) my gluten-free flour mix – see below
  • ¼ c (1oz)  almond meal/flour – Trader Joe’s at $5/lb, Costco 3 lbs for $12, Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur $10-12/lb.  All labeled gluten free.
  • ½ tsp (3ml) xanthan gum
  • ¼-1/2 tsp salt – decide on how much you want after first time of baking
  • 1+1/2 tsp (8ml) gf baking powder
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon – or more after first baking (2 tsp of ground ginger for ginger snaps.)
  • 2 oz (60 ml)  half a stick of really soft butter – (Earth Balance instead of butter, coconut oil has so little flavor for this cookie, but up to you)
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) honey or 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp corn syrup if honey flavor is too strong.
  • 1 tsp (5ml) gf vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp (1+1/4 oz, 45 ml)  light brown sugar – 4 tbsp (1/4 c, 60 ml)  was too sweet for me, so I reduced light brown sugar but kept honey for flavor and liquid content in making dough.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Always mix dry ingredients (gluten-free flour, almond, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, cinnamon) together first and whisk or stir to get rid of any lumps.

2. Beat really soft butter, honey, vanilla and light brown sugar together until light and creamy. 1-2 minutes.

3. Add dry ingredients and slowly mix until it becomes a soft dough that is only scoopable not rollable.

4. I used a #60, 1 tbsp scoop (mine is pampered chef-Home Goods often carry stainless steel scoops at good price) to evenly scoop out dough onto lined baking sheet.  Don’t use black pan. Don’t have dough over flowing in scoop. Place scoops of dough at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Sprinkle scoops of dough with sugar. Use the bottom of a glass or similar flat surface (decorative cookie mold might also leave a nice impression) to flatten scoops to a little over 2” across. I used the white plastic food pusher tube insert from my food processor. If your kitchen is very warm you will have to ‘peel’ dough off glass. They will spread to about 2+1/2” on baking.

5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes to start.  I cooked mine for 15 minutes total and they were just starting to over brown and taste burnt.  They will still be softly firm to the touch as they crisp up on cooling, they will have barely changed color due to cinnamon coloring dough.  Lift up a cookie to see if base is over browned and therefore nasty tasting. You will have to adjust times according to your oven, the pan -stoneware tends not to burn on the bottom, and size of scoop. Grahams that I flattened cool to crisp, if you don’t flatten they are chewier.

Store in air tight tin.


My Gluten-Free Flour Mix

  • ½ cup potato starch or arrowroot starch for those with nightshade problems
  • ¼ c tapioca starch – note there is a difference in tapioca starch from different brands
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill
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Sicilian Sausage Soup

May 22, 2019

A hearty and warming gluten-free soup, perfect for pre-trick or treating.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I had this soup at a local restaurant, thought about making my own even better and checked on line what people thought Sicilian sausage soup should be. Most used pasta. And I felt rough the day after having this supposedly gluten free soup.

Feel free to play with the recipe. The more you add the thicker, less is thinner. Note that I ask for the vegetables to be finely chopped.  That’s because I like to have a selection of vegetables etc on my spoon. However, if you decide to chop your vegetables in the food processor, take care or your vegetables will be far too finely chopped. There is a difference in taste from different tomatoes, pasta sauces, Italian sausage, nothing bad, just different. I made this first time with quinoa as I’d run out of arborio rice.  Both go really soft when cooked in soup.  Cook arborio rice separately if you want rice to be firmer.

Remember that quinoa plus spinach or kale and veg etc are all high in fiber and can put your body into overdrive.  You have not been cross contaminated.  When you cook rice, quinoa or pasta in soup, you need more water as they all absorb water as they cook.  If you have leftover cooked rice etc to add at the end, then use 2 cups less stock. Remember that left in the fridge the rice etc will absorb more liquid and soup will be thicker.

Gluten-Free Sicilian Sausage Soup 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 lb (500g) bulk gluten-free Italian sausage, sweet, hot, with fennel or turkey. They all taste different. You can also buy raw sausages, slice open and peel like a banana
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ribs/stalk of celery, washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into small slices.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1″ squares
  • 2 cups (16 fl oz, 480 ml) gluten-free marinara/pasta sauce. Both Paesana, Classico and Barilla sell 24 oz jars labeled gluten-free. I like Paesana low sodium Marinara as the salt doesn’t catch the back of my throat, but Classico or Barilla are much cheaper, or you can use homemade marinara. Some recipes use just canned tomatoes.
  • 1/2 c arborio rice, quinoa or small gluten-free pasta
  • 6 c (48 fl oz, 1440 ml), gluten-free chicken stock, or beef stock for deeper flavor
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Italian herb seasoning, or fresh basil and parsley added at the end of cooking, or spoonful of basil or sundried tomato pesto stirred in at end
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) smoked paprika or Arizona dreaming spice (from Penzeys), they add just a bite of heat, increase if you like spicy or use hot Italian
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 c (4 oz, 112g) fresh spinach, or same quantity by weight of chopped frozen spinach. I keep 1lb bag of loose, chopped frozen spinach in the freezer and can add it by the handful. Or kale or Swiss chard, your choice. This is a good time to use up the fresh spinach that’s not nice enough for salad.

Note: I don’t normally add extra salt as sausage, stock, marinara sauce already contain salt. But I am a low salt person. Feel free to add salt if you feel it’s necessary. 

 Directions:

 1.  Heat olive oil over gentle heat in large pan, add sausage crumbling it in your fingers, and frying until sausage starts browning.

2. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until softening.

3. Add marinara sauce, stock, arborio rice (or substitute), freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes until veg is soft, (5 minutes in my electric pressure cooker).

4. Add spinach and cook for a few minutes. Spinach wilts almost instantly.

5. I like to add fresh chopped basil and parsley, or some basil pesto or sun dried tomato pesto for boost of flavor.

5. Taste and adjust seasoning. If too thick for you, add more stock or milk.

6. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese on each bowl, crusty gluten-free bread, or gluten-free homemade croutons (see note below on croutons).

Note: I like to heat a skillet, add olive oil and small dices of whatever gluten-free bread/bagel/roll I have on hand, dust with garlic powder and fry until crispy. Fresh garlic in oil is great, but burns too easily if you pan fry. You can also oven roast croutons. My husband eats these croutons like candy.

PERMALINK
TAGS: HOLIDAY, SOUPS/STEWS


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