Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NEW GLUTEN FREE VEGAN CRANSHEW™ ENERGY BAR RECIPE


Here is the newest member of the Dashew™ family of economical, gluten-free vegetarian energy bars. As true of this bar as of the original Dashew™, or the newer Prashew™, this recipe is short and sweet.

makes 8 Cranshew bites, 6 bites and a bar, or 4 bars: 

2oz dates
2T dried cranberries
2oz cashews
1T frozen orange juice concentrate
Mix all in food processor until not quite smooth.
Form into bars or bites.
Wrap individually in waxed paper for easy transportation.
Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GLUTEN-FREE CUPCAKES EVERY TUESDAY AT NYC'S CUPCAKE STOP


Every Tuesday, the Cupcake Stop truck is at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street with Everybody Eats cupcakes for gluten free diners in the area. 


Despite the predictable disparity between the number of flavors available to those who eat gluten and those who do not, it is still worth standing in line for these little gems.




The flavors are: yellow cake with vanilla icing, yellow cake with chocolate icing, yellow cake with vanilla icing and chocolate chips. 




To reduce gluten free self-pity, it is advised to disregard the long list of wonderful glutenous options. Be that as it may, the gluten-free cupcake was delicious.


On a hot day, air conditioning might be advised for the (chocolate, it was) icing, but there were no complaints about it since it was a creamy and sweet as it should have been. 



In fact, there were no complaints whatsoever, which hopefully will encourage others to try these cupcakes, and Cupcake Stop to carry more gluten-free flavors. 

Perhaps chocolate cake with chocolate icing with chocolate chips to begin with?

Just a suggestion.

Monday, September 14, 2009

GLUTEN FREE BISCUITS: FAST AND EASY


These biscuits are versatile, great with sweet or savory spreads. This simple recipe can be customized with herbs or spices or grated cheese (variations are listed below). And the best part is, they're a snap to make! 


Begin by setting your oven to 425 degrees.


2 egg whites, beaten slightly

1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup water and 1 envelope buttermilk powder

1 5/8 cups white rice flour (not glutinous, just white)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
4T butter


Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut in butter till the size of peas.
Mix eggs and water or buttermilk, if using.
Add to bowl of dry ingredients and butter.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with oil or use lightly sprayed parchment on a sheet.
Drop biscuits onto sheet.
Makes about ten 2-inch biscuits.
Bake 15-20 minutes.


Variations:

Parmesan, basil, oregano.

Cheddar, cayenne.

Dill and chive.



DON'T MISS A GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE OR REVIEW--SUBSCRIBE!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

THE GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN JAKARTA BEASTLESSBURGER™

If necessity is the mother of invention, then sometimes excess is, too.


I had so much peanut butter and millet around that after the millet and chili, the millet pilaf, and the peanut butter and rice cakes, and peanut butter and celery, I had to make something that combined the two in great enough quantity that I would get a jump on the mass of those two ingredients that I was dealing with!


So here is the solution (well,part--I still have more to cook up) to too much millet and too much peanut butter: the Jakarta Beastless Burger™ 


Makes 8 burgers


2 c cooked millet

1/2 c peanut butter

1c chopped red onion

1c chopped cubanelle pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 egg whites

1 tsp sambal olek powder

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

approx 3T peanut oil for frying


Saute onion, pepper and spices in 1T peanut oil until softened.

Beat egg whites till foamy, then whisk in the peanut butter. 

Combine the millet, egg mixture and onion/pepper mix.

Process until creamy but with some texture remaining.

Use 1/3 cup measure of batter to form and flatten burgers.

Fry in peanut oil. 

Turn when edges are brown.

These freeze well and don't need to be defrosted before microwaving 1-2 minutes.


Notes: 


Sambal Olek is an Indonesian chile powder, and is available through Kalustyan, either at their New York store or website.


If you can't find cubanelles, the sweet and mild Italian frying peppers, use another mild pepper rather than a green bell.


The Jakarta is shown here with steamed broccoli and with shredded cabbage sauteed in oil with turmeric, salt, black mustard seed, and diced onion.


If you like this burger you might enjoy other Beastless Burgers™:The Original™, The Southwest,™ or the Bombay.™

Thursday, September 10, 2009

FOR GLUTEN FREE ITALIAN FOOD: RISOTTERIA IN NYC



A stop most gluten-free travellers to New York Ciy is Risotteria on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, known for its pizza, wine or beer, risotto (of course!) and desserts, all available for gluten-free folks to enjoy, and they do, with gusto. It's not unusual for diners to share with strangers seated next to them exactly how long it's been since they've had fresh pizza, or even, pizza at all. It's quite a gathering place for gluten-free diners from all over the country, and, I wouldn't be surprised, from overseas as well.


Ironically, in a place known for its pizza, I had risotto the first time I ate there. Mainly because I'd never been in a place where I'd seen so many choices of vegetarian risotto (I've been vegetarian for years). The complimentary breadsticks were impressive, too. And my dessert, the irrestible and nostalgic (for a New York celiac, at least) black and white cookies. I was happy with my meal until I saw the lunch of the diner beside me. The sight of that pizza let me know I'd be a return customer!

On my next visit I ordered a salad, a mozzarella and tomato pizza, and, once again, the black and white. Heavenly. A nice crunch to the pizza, excellent sauce. Another home run.

But as a vegetarian celiac, things are not always so simple. After closer inspection of Risotteria's online menu, it appears that none of the gluten-free pizzas are listed as vegetarian. A friend had mentioned there was gelatin in their dough. I phoned the restaurant, asked, and was told, yes, that there was animal-source gelatin in the breadsticks and pizza. 

Tuesdays are gluten-free pasta days, though, so you could have the fusilli with pesto or spaghetti marinara, the choices for gluten-free vegetarians along with several vegetarian risottos, of course. And if you are not vegetarian, enjoy the full gluten-free menu, because this is absolutely one of the best places in town for gluten-free food!


Risotteria: open noon-11pm seven days, 212 924 6664 

NEW GLUTEN FREE VEGAN PRASHEW™ ENERGY BAR RECIPE

Here is the newest member of the Dashew™ family of economical, gluten-free vegetarian energy bars. As true of this bar as of the original Dashew™, this recipe is short and sweet.

makes 8 Prashew bites, 6 bites and a bar, or 4 bars: 

2oz prunes
2oz cashews
1T frozen orange juice concentrate
Mix all in food processor until not quite smooth.
Form into bars or bites.
Wrap individually in waxed paper for easy transportation.
Store in refrigerator or freezer.


Monday, September 7, 2009

WHICH GLUTEN FREE TORTILLA FOR WRAPS?

Here's the way I was happily going about making myself a long-missed burrito with the large-sized Trader Joe Brown Rice Tortillas and my favorite, Frontera salsa. As you can see in the last frame, there was more than a bit of a cracking problem. It was suggested I try Food for Life as a better source for gluten-free wraps.
I sought and eventually found the Food for Life tortillas, and was surprised to discover an eery similarity between the packaging of the two brands, even down to the nutritional analysis on each. The calories, fiber, protein, in fact, each item listed was the same amount on both, despite the difference in diameter of the two brands of tortilla (see below). And this, though the thickness and texture of each was identical.
The mystery of the nutritional info and of the packaging itself being identical remains, but more importantly, they are identical in another way: NEITHER folds the way a flour tortilla does, I'm sorry to report. 
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, though. When I was at the Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York City this past June, the people at Maria and Ricardo's tortillas told me they would be coming out with a gluten free wrap sized corn tortilla at some point in the future. They said they were close and the only thing holding them up was final certification for being gluten free. Since I've had no problem with the flexibility of the little corn tortillas I use, this was great news. Keep an eye out for them!

GLUTEN FREE SHOPPING IN NYC: HAN AH RHEUM


The next time you're in NY scouring 34th Street for bargains at Macys, The Gap, Old Navy and H&M, remember that some of the best shopping in Manhattan is not always easy to find, especially if we're talking about the gluten free kind. On 32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, otherwise known as Koreatown, is a large supermarket called Han Ah Rheum. Look carefully for the sign, in royal blue on the north side of the street, because any English, as with many signs on the block, is way above eye level, if existing at all.
For a gluten-free shopper, there is the delight of every conceivable form of rice, and in every color from white to black. 
And kimchi, the spicy Korean cabbage, in many varieties. Tofu, an entire refrigerator section of types. Shirataki, tofu and yam noodles which are gluten free, in widths from angel hair to fettucine. 
Rice candies and rice cakes perfect for the gluten-free diet. Pictured is a large, slightly sweet, thin and crunchy variety called Mammos and compared to an American rice cake, it certainly is mammoth.
The real surprise, though, is the produce department, which, at first glance, is small and unimpressive. But look closely and you will find, depending on the day, perfectly fresh endive at half your local market's price, or seedless cucumbers, romaine lettuce, red peppers, shitake and other wild mushrooms, all for considerably less than you'd pay elsewhere. 
Unless you speak Korean, though, this store is best explored slowly, taking time to carefully read the nutritional labels (in English) attached to all imported goods. The condiment section, alone, merits a half hour’s investigation. 
Han Ah Rheum is one of Manhattan’s most valuable gluten-free shopping sites, worth the time spent investigating its treasures. If you live here, make it a regular shopping stop, and if you're visiting, this is definitely something to tell your gluten-free friends at home about! 

25 West 32nd Street, 212-695-3283, 9am-midnight every day, Credit cards accepted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES, BUT NOT FOR BREAKFAST!



Well, OK, maybe for breakfast, too. But waffles are perfect in so many other situations that it's a crime to confine them to morning meals. They saved my life when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease. I hated (or hated spending money on) storebought breads and my initial efforts at breadmaking resulted in excellent building materials. But I COULD make waffles successfully, so I did. And that led to my using them for more than what I'd grown up on. I'm happy to share these my new ways with waffles.


First, a basic recipe:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2c nonfat milk
2 eggs, separated
2T oil
Mix yolks, oil and milk.
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.
Add yolk mix to flour mix.
Beat egg whites till soft peaks form.
Very gently fold egg whites into other ingredients.
Follow waffle maker instructions for amount to use for waffles.

Freeze unused waffles for future use.

Now, exactly why have you been buying waffles when they're so easy to make?


Second, minor adjustments to the basic, sweet:

Add chopped apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, walnuts, currants.

Add blueberries , chopped pecans.

Third, minor adjustments to the basic, savory:

Add grated cheddar and cayenne, great with bean salad.
Add grated parmesan, oregano, basil, garlic, with mozzarella tomato salad.
Add crushed cumin, powdered coriander, ginger, with curried tempeh salad.

Fourth, further beyond maple syrup and butter:

WBLT: BLT on waffles
WTLT: waffle tomato lettuce and tempeh (barbecued, faux bacon style) sandwich
Grilled cheese on waffles.
Fried egg and cheese on waffles.
Cube savory waffles for salad croutons.
Slice into sticks, toast in oven, use for dips.
Shortcake: stacked waffles with whipped cream or sweetened yogurt, berries.
Caramel crunch: plain or nut waffles with caramel sauce, whipped cream, nuts.


And this is just the beginning of all the waffling you can do!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

GLUTEN FREE PIZZA THROWDOWN: HAMPTONS vs NYC


L'ASSO,IN THE HEART OF LITTLE ITALY vs
VILLA ITALIAN SPECIALTIES,IN THE HEART OF EAST HAMPTON
THEY BOTH USE THE SAME CRUST, A PREPARED ONE PRODUCED BY STILL RIDING, 
YET THE TWO PIZZAS THEY BAKE COULD NOT BE MORE DIFFERENT. 
EVEN BOBBY FLAY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO PREDICT THE WINNER!

The Still Riding crust used on each of these pizzas is oddly reminiscent of the Bisquick pizza my mom tried once, to the dismay of her family. Those of us who make or are planning to make gluten free pizza crusts of our own might learn from how these pros managed to overcome the shortcomings of the crust, or didn't. I will say one thing about Still Riding which is important to vegetarians. Gelatin, an animal product unless otherwise described, is often used in gluten free pizza crusts, and the Still Riding website does not list it among the ingredients of this crust.
The pie above was served with a lovely salad (see the slide show). It is clearly made with quality ingredients. Fresh mozzarella. Fresh basil. The last-minute sprinkle of oregano over the sauce (and a great sauce it was)--this pie is stylin'! But just when the crust needed some serious help, it was abandoned. Somewhat underdone, pale, dry. A bad dress, beautifully accessorized.

At Villa, in East Hampton,I think the mushrooms were canned. If they weren't, then they sure tasted canned. The sauce was fine, nicely acidic (not a fan of sweet sauce, here). The cheese seemed to be that nondenominational pizza cheese, kinda mozzarella, kinda not. No fresh basil or gentle sprinkle of oregano. The crust: still not that chewy, oily, glutenous crust of my Bronx childhood, the kind that resulted in oily elbows never helped by the three tiny napkins provided, but some effort was made here. Or maybe it was just habit, or good training. This crust was tended to, babied, even. It was oiled, and, importantly, left to bake long enough. And on second thought, scratch my negative comments re the cheese. True, there was no fresh taste to speak of, but when it melted, it added oil to the sauce and ultimately to the crust. Remove the mushrooms, and readers, you have the winner.

I wonder, would Bobby Flay, king of culinary throwdowns be able to guess which establishment created which pie? Could you? Let's see...the fresh cheese? The chefly touch of fresh basil? The last minute thoughtfulness of oregano?  Sounds pretty fancy, definitely the high-priced spread. 

Or might the winner be the pizza resulting from a nothing-special, somewhat slapdash approach that miraculously produced the best taste and definitely the best crust? Yes. And therefore, the champ is: Villa Italian! So drop your prejudices about the overpriced froufrou food of the Hamptons, and head for Villa Italian Specialties for down home Italian Specialties, even if you're gluten free and vegetarian.

I won't dismiss L'Asso, though. They just need to bring the crust up to the level of those other top-notch ingredients! As for Still Riding? It's gluten free, it's vegetarian, so I'm grateful, if not 100% enthusiastic.

GLUTEN FREE SEMI-HOMEMADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

Here are two takes on gluten-free ice cream sandwiches that in the words of the Food Channel, are semi-homemade. All that's required are ice cream and cookies. But given we're talking about gluten free cookies, the right choices make for success or failure.
This sandwich is made with Food Should Taste Good non-GMO and gluten free chocolate tortilla chips. If you like sweetness with an undertone of salt, this is the bite-sized (about 1.5x2 inch) ice cream sandwich for you! Next time I'll try to make them in advance and freeze them so they're easier to handle (but given their size, this isn't a necessity).


These egg-free, gluten-free cookies are by Jo-sef, and are called Chocolate Graham Crackers, though seem more of a chocolate shortbread. I've Breyer's vanilla or both sandwiches, and here, especially, is where a good vanilla as a foil for all this chocolate taste really shines. These thicker cookies are harder to eat than the chips, so a bowl might be needed as a back-up.

Both sandwiches are good, quick end-of-summer snacks!