Sunday, August 23, 2009

GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN TREATS AT WHOLE FOODS GLUTEN FREE TASTING


This past Wednesday night, August 19, Whole Foods Union Square in New York City held a gluten free tasting from 5pm to 7pm. This is the second gluten free tasting I've been to at Whole Foods and I really enjoy them, since the products, both gluten free and otherwise, are so numerous at a store of this size that it's easy, without this sort of focussing on one type of item, to overlook something that could really be of value to you. 
Like, for example, these energy bars by Amazing Grass. I don't think I'd be drawn to something just because it's called a green super-food. In fact, it might even deter me from a purchase (the "probably tastes as bad as it is good for me" response). But that's the value of tasting nights--they bring you out of your culinary shell. These were delicious, fudgey, and if they're good for you, which, by all accounts they seem to be, eating them was a nonetheless delightful experience.
I love macaroons so I had two servings of these. (Found at the bakery section). One came from the middle of the tray, so I thought it was a bit underdone. Then I had this one, from a corner. Wonderful. If you've got a range of tastes for macaroons in your family (well done to less so) a tray of these would be fine. If not, stick to individually baked macaroons with lots of crusty parts. 
Although I lived in Italy for two years, I must admit that I never loved gnocchi. Especially unflavored white potato ones, like this. This is from Nuovo, who also make a basil and roasted sweet potato version, which sounds a bit more interesting than the plain jane gal pictured above.
Ah, Glutino. source of the only gluten free bagel I can eat without feeling sorry for my celiac self. And now this unforgettably Proustian moment, these childhood cookies revisited, only gluten free. At left, the chocolate covered vanilla wafer, and on the right, the lemon filled vanilla wafer. They are light and sweet and absolute perfection. Don't forget your milk!

CLICK THE *GF VEG SHOPPING* AND SNACK LABELS BELOW FOR OTHER SNACK IDEAS


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN STEAKY PORTABELLO DINNER


several garlic cloves, minced or crushed
half or whole large onion, sliced
fresh parsley chopped
fresh pepper
olive oil for all
mix of tamari and balsamic vinegar
turn mushroom slices once or twice
cook until liquids almost evaporate and mushrooms are glazed
no real measurement because all is to taste
try it with a green vegetable and mashed potatoes, as shown


CLICK BELOW ON THE PROTEIN MAIN DISH LABEL  FOR OTHER  MEAL IDEAS

Monday, August 17, 2009

TRADER JOE'S GLUTEN FREE BROWN RICE LARGE TORTILLAS


Thanks to all the helpful tweeps who guided me in my search for large gluten free tortillas that I could use for wraps. Didn't see any at the Union Square Whole Foods but found them at TJ and I'm so embarrassed, I got them home and gobbled up the two burritos I made before photographing them, so....more tomorrow!
I sliced this burrito because the sides cracked a bit, but this was still a great package of tastiness. No side dishes but steamed broccoli. Once again, couldn't wait to dig in!

Here's a picture of the chili NOT as a burrito. The recipe is below:

Twenty 1-cup servings


1 cup TVP

1c boiling vegetable broth

2T oil

2T wheat free tamari

2 c chopped onions

2T chopped garlic

1c chopped green bell pepper

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms cut in quarters

1T cumin

1T ancho chile powder

1 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder

1T salt 

2T oregano (epazote if possible)

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped

1c chopped cilantro

1/2 lb dry chickpeas, cooked, about 4c

1/2 lb dry kidney beans, cooked, about 3 1/2 c

1/2 lb dry black beans, cooked, about 3 1/2 c


Note: for mild chili, cut chile powders by half.


Mix TVP and broth. Let sit until liquid is absorbed.

In large pot sprayed with cooking spray, add TVP and all but tomatoes, cilantro, beans.

When onions are translucent, add beans.

After stirring well, add tomatoes and cilantro.

Cook on medium 30 mins or low 2 hours (preferred), stirring every 15 mins.

For thicker gravy, blend part of beans and pour back into chili.


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Sunday, August 16, 2009

NEW KIND OF GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN GRANOLA

Though from this photo I suppose this doesn't look like a new kind of granola, I still think it is. The newness is in the way you buy it.This bowl is custom granola, made to order for you each time you buy. Which means you can try out ingredients and see if you like them, you can switch the mix of your granola on a whim without having to stock, say, a pound of walnuts from Trader Joe and be stuck with them forever. 

Mine came out exactly as I imagined it, very nutty, slightly sweet from a few dried fruits (currants and cranberries) I included and without overwhelming amounts of flakes. I included nuts too expensive for me to ever have bought a bag of (macadamias, brazils) and my favorite, coconut. This doesn't come cheap, though. The container you see below weighed a couple of ounces shy of two pounds, and with shipping cost about $25. Spiffy packaging and a note from the packer saying this was made just for you. Could be a nice weekend guest gift.  

Though not certified gluten free, you can easily order the mix without any gluten-containing items and great care is taken to avoid cross-contamination. I wrote to the manufacturer about this, since the box says "may contain wheat." Here's the answer I received:
About the gluten-free part, we use separate mixing processes for each mix. This means that each cereal is mixed individually rather than in a batch. We can therefore avoid cross contamination. For the gluten-free mixes specifically, we always start the day with mixing these before any other mixes are made. They are mixed first since warehouse has been meticulously cleaned (twice - once in the evening and once, first thing in the morning) so that no traces of previous ingredients should exist.
 
The gluten-flakes are produced in a gluten free environment. We have had a lot of people with high gluten-intolerences try the flakes and have not received anything but positive feedback thus far. That said, it is important to mention that we store everything in the same warehouse and we are legally obliged to inform the customer that there may be traces of gluten in the cereal. Once again, out of the thousands of customers we have sold to, we have not received a single case where someone was dissatisfied with their gluten-free mix. 

This is a fun product, and though I myself am not just gluten intolerant, but a full celiac, I was able to eat these with no negative symptoms whatsoever, so for me, it's a great item. But of course, you and your doctor should make this decision for you. For vegetarians without gluten intolerance, it's a great way to make granola, all the ingredients, none of the storage or mess issues, and huge variety!

FOR OTHER GF VEG PRODUCT REVIEWS CLICK THE *GF VEG SHOPPING* LABEL BELOW

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN BOMBAY BEASTLESSBURGER™


These burgers are a lot lighter than the original BeastlessBurger™ or the Southwest BeastlessBurger™. I developed it for those meals where you don't want to overdo the calories (or have overdone them earlier in the day!), yet want a tasty main dish to go with a salad or vegetables (see the coconut curry cabbage under VEGETABLE SIDES). Of course you can ignore its potential for a light meal and give yourself a double BB as in the photo. That's a homemade hamburger bun, made from my Italian bread recipe, in BREAD RECIPES at the column to the right.


Although the Bombay is great with traditional fixings, be adventurous and pair it with TraderJoe's Mango Ginger Chutney, one of my favorite TJ condiments. Note: you don't have to cook these burgers till they're as dark as the ones in the photos--I just happen to love really well-done food! 

Makes 20 small burgers 

(10-20 servings, freezes well)


3 cups cooked lentils

1 1/2 cups baked eggplant flesh without skin

2 cups chopped onion

1T cumin

1T coriander

1T tamarind paste

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1 egg

2oz milk

3 egg whites

1/2 c gluten free all-purpose flour

1T salt

6T oil for frying


Puncture the skin of an approximately 10x4 inch eggplant in several places.

Bake eggplant till soft on pan sprayed with oil.

When cool, cut eggplant in half and scrape out flesh, measuring out 1 1/2 cups.

Saute onions and garlic in 1T of oil.

Process lentils and nuts until grainy with some larger bits.

Beat eggs, milk, flavorings

Add onion/garlic mix.

Slowly add flour, beating as you go.

Add lentil/nut mix and eggplant, combining well.

Heat 2T oil in large pan on medium flame.

Use 1/4 cup of batter to form a burger (flatten with fork to thin out).

Add more oil as needed.

Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags.


TIPS


Use freshly toasted and freshly ground spices if possible. 

For gluten free flour, you could use Bob's Red Mill all-purpose mix. 

Or mix your own: 3/4 c sorghum, 3/4 c cornstarch, 1/2 c tapioca, 1/4 c chickpea. 

Lentils should be slightly undercooked for this recipe.

This will be a batter consistency and will spread a bit in the pan.

Turn the burgers only when the edges are dark brown.

These freeze well with no defrosting needed: ready to eat after microwaved 1-2 minutes.


MORE BEASTLESS BURGERS™  TO LOVE! CLICK PROTEIN BURGER RECIPE LABEL BELOW:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN WEIGHTWATCHING TIPS

Sorry--yet another frittata foto. Just wanted to point out the luxurious caramelization of it all, with no oil used except a spritz of Trader Joe's olive oil spray. And patience. I usually make the salad as the frittata cooks, and since I eat huge salads, that times things pretty well. For a luscious large version, click on pic.
FOR MORE FAST AND FRUGAL GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN MAIN DISH MEALS, BE SURE TO CLICK ON PROTEIN MAINDISH RECIPE LABEL BELOW:

Monday, August 10, 2009

PINK AND PURPLE GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN FOOD

I could have done the research before, but that's not how I shop, so when these bright borlotti bean pods faded to the dullest lavender, I was shocked and saddened. There were only these few, so I put them in a salad in which they countered all the acidity I usually like with something sweeter and smoother.

On the other hand, when I bought these potatoes, I wasn't expecting much, because I could see beyond the dust that the outside was deeply purple and I knew about red cabbage fading and red bliss potatoes fading so I foresaw major fading. Wrong again. 
Used half for this frittata, to which I added thyme and some rosemary,(to remind me of Italy). Think I'll have the remaining three, pictured, as a garlicky mash.
Ah, the mysteries of colorful foods! 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

STUFFED HOLLOW TOMATOES: 3 GLUTEN FREE VEGAN DIPS/FILLINGS


I was buying these tomatoes because of their beautifully patterned skin. The cashier asked, "You know they're hollow, right?" I hadn't known, and became even more interested in them!
Cut in half, they really are almost hollow. With hardly any waste, they're quick to fill. 

This is the recipe for the edamame pate:

2c shelled, cooked edamame beans
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp horseradish paste
4 tsp oil olive
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 c cilantro

Process, scraping down sides till all is smooth.
Fill the tomatoes , chill 30 minutes, then slice.


2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 /2 tsp tahini
1 tsp salt
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz lime juice

Blend/process all till smooth, adding more liquid if desired. 

In the endive leaves is roasted red pepper hummus:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 c roasted red peppers (I used part of a jar of Trader Joe's)
1 1/2 tsp tahini
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
6 oz lime juice
2 tsp salt

Blend/process all till smooth, adding more liquid if desired. 

These recipes, together, would be enough for five trays like the one shown.


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Saturday, August 8, 2009

GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN SUMMER SQUASH FRITTATA 3

I was particularly happy with this frittata, so I thought I'd add some more notes on the frittata process that I've been posting about this week. 
This time, I actually DID beat the egg whites, and this led to, I must admit, greater veg to egg adhesion: less stuff fell out/broke off when I folded the frittata. By the way, I know you're technically not supposed to fold a frittata, but then I like my fillings frittata style. So is this a frittalette? An omelatta? Anyway, I'll be beating the whites in the future.

Another thing I did differently was to put the squash slices down first and dice the green peppers and slice the onions and set them aside while the squash cooked, to give the slices a chance to brown undisturbed. 

And the third thing I did that's a change from what I usually do is to use the "crack the pan" technique, but only towards the end. That still let moisture escape while heating the eggs more quickly but the moisture of vegetables escaped more quickly at the beginning when the lid was off. Will have to try this with mushrooms to see which way I like it.

This frittata's ingredients (in a 10" pan sprayed with olive oil) were:

3 egg whites 
1c sliced summer squash
1/c sliced onions
1/3c diced green pepper
salt, pepper, oregano, basil

TODAY'S GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN SALAD & OMELETTE

They are a variety of pattypan squash, and though I've read a lot about stuffing them, these were so small, only about three inches or so in diameter, that I just julienned them, sauteed them with onions, mushrooms, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper  before I threw in the egg whites. Their color stayed bright and beautiful even though the omelette was perfectly burned, just as I like it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF KATHARINE HEPBURN, A BEAUTIFUL GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN LUNCH


Here's a salad made of ingredients bought at the farmers' market and used the same day--red oak leaf lettuce, low-acid yellow tomatoes, yellow kirby cumbers, roughly chopped fresh parsley and one red radish. No dressing. Not necessary with this freshness and flavor!
The real lesson was with the beans I bought. See the uncooked snips of beans in the tiny pink bowl? The eggplant colored beans are in the mix of cooked ones. Can you find them? I barely could. They are the beans that look slightly greyish next to the other green beans. Nope, it's not the lighting, but the beans which, after a brief steaming, lost all their purple except for the muddiness. What frauds those little beans turned out to be! (Delicious, though.)