Thursday, December 31, 2009


Most recipes I find for peanut butter on gluten free sites seem to be about cookies, which is all well and good (I love peanut butter cookies!), except for the fact that it's when you don't sweeten peanut butter, as in the following recipe, that you really get the value of this high protein, high fiber food. 


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.


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.™


Chestnuts add starch to a dish, without all the gluten, so used in moderate quantities (they can be expensive if you're not willing to roast and shell them yourself--Trader Joe's sells vacuum-sealed packages) they contribute wonderful heartiness to a recipe.This dish is shown with festive yellow cauliflower, but of course it would work equally well with a white cauliflower. It is relatively low in fat, yet because of the chestnuts and cheese, has a pleasingly rich flavor.


2 lbs cauliflower, cut into small florets

3 oz chopped cooked chestnuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 T minced fresh parsley

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave cauliflower in a small amount of water until slightly softened. Mix herbs, cheese and breadcrumbs. Add 3/4 of mix to drained cauliflower. Spray baking pan with oil. Add cauliflower herb mix to pan. Top with remaining herb, cheese and crumb mix. Bake covered until cheese begins to melt (about 10 minutes) and then a few minutes more, uncovered, until top is browned.

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It's sometimes easy to forget the simplest solution to eating gluten free as a vegetarian: beans! One of my favorites is the black or turtle bean. I love it in this chili, and also with yams

The high protein and low fat per serving in this recipe also make it one of my diet choices. But the variety of textures-- the ground meat feel of the hydrated TVP, the chopped chuck feel of the cremini chunks, the differences between the nutty chickpeas, creamy kidney beans and slightly firmer black bean make it an all-around favorite whether you're watching your weight or not. 

Of course it's good over brown rice or with corn chips, sour cream, cheddar cheese and chopped raw onion, but if you want the slimmed-down version, I just steam some green beans and ladle the chili over them, top with fresh cilantro and chopped raw onion for a perfect meal-in-a-bowl!


Ten 2-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.


This burger is full of fiber, protein and iron, items not always found in such abundance in gluten-free vegetarian foods. Many of those benefits are due to lentils. Though not low in fat, the fat in this burger is not saturated. The secret to its amazing taste and texture is the rough pulsing of the lentils and nuts and the zing of the worcestershire/tamarind mix. They fry up crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside (no breading needed). The rich, tangy flavor is unforgettable! 

Makes 9 Burgers

2 1/4 cups cooked lentils

3/4 cup diced onion

1T minced garlic

2T olive oil

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

3 oz fat free milk

1 egg

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1T gluten free vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

1T tamarind paste

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup gluten free flour

2 oz canola oil for frying

Saute onions and garlic in 1T of the olive oil.

Process lentils and nuts until grainy (see below).

Mix eggs, milk, flavorings, olive oil, onion/garlic.
Slowly add flour, beating as you go.
Add lentil/nut mix and combine well.
Heat 1/2" canola oil in large pan on medium heat.
Use scant 1/3 cup of batter per burger.
Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags.

•Toast walnuts and cumin seeds.
•Lentils should be slightly undercooked.
•Suggested gluten free flours: Bob's All-Purpose, garfava, sorghum, or a mix of these.
•If batter is hard to handle, freeze for 15 minutes before forming burgers (or add a bit of flour).
•Turn burgers only when edges are dark brown.
•These freeze well. Microwave 90 seconds (no defrosting required).


Garfava flour is a blend of garbanzo (chick pea, besan) flour and flour made from fava beans. This combination of flours increases the protein content in many gluten free flour blends. The mix of flours used in this recipe is healthier because of the inclusion of garfava flour.


This gluten-free onion bread might look reserved, but it packs a real flavor punch. Try it with a bit of creamy goat cheese and a sprinkle of chopped dill.Gluten-free cocktail breads are a party-giver's secret weapon. Bake, slice and freeze to be ready for any holiday gathering.


2 T yeast

2 T sugar

12 oz 110 degree water

1c sorghum flour

1c brown rice flour

2/3 c garfava flour

1/3 c cornstarch

1T xanthan gum

1T onion powder

3T dried onion flakes

2 tsp salt

3 egg whites

1 tsp vinegar

2 T olive oil


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix sugar, water and yeast in small bowl.

Mix salt, xanthan gum, onion powder, onion flakes and flours on low, in mixer.

When yeast mixture is foamy, add to flours.

Mix egg whites, oil and vinegar in medium bowl.

Add to mixer bowl.

Mix on high for 4 minutes.

Oil and dust bread pans with cornmeal.

Ladle batter into pans.

Spray loaves with cooking spray.

With cool, wet spatula, smooth tops of loaves.

Cover and let rise to double in warm place.

Make angled cuts in loaves with razor blade.

Bake until internal temperature is 200 degrees, about 15 minutes.

Cool to room temp, out of pans, before slicing.

Note: Pans shown have 2x3.5 inch bottoms, this recipe makes 6 of these tiny loaves. Lower baking temp and lengthen baking time if using larger pans.

Here's the sweeter version, gluten free raisin walnut cocktail loaves.


Here's another recipe with beans, which are one of the easiest to prepare, most economical and heathlest gluten-free foods you can eat. This roasted vegetable and borlotti bean (also called Roman bean or cranberry bean) soup is so rich, it tastes as if it might be made with a meat base, but it's not--it's gluten free, vegetarian and vegan as well!

Borlotti Bean Soup

Heat oven to 400 degrees.


3T oil

1 lb carrots, washed and cut in 1" lengths

1 lb onions, peeled and cut in eighths

3 parsnips, washed and cut in 1" lengths

1/2 lb mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1/2 head garlic, peeled, cloves left whole

2T dried thyme

2T dried marjoram

2T dried rosemary



28oz can crushed tomatoes

8c cooked borlotti beans

8c raw shredded cabbage

8c water

Roast carrots, mushrooms, garlic, onions and parsnips, covered with oil, herbs, salt and pepper, for about an hour. Cool and puree all the vegetables except for half of the carrots. Cut reserved carrots into bite sized pieces. In large soup pot, combine water, vegetable puree, beans, cut carrots and cabbage. Bring to a boil and simmer until cabbage is slightly cooked but still crunchy. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Note: for a super-fast, but not quite as delicious version, use Better Than Bouillon soup base and mix with cabbage and beans.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Soy flour, which is simply finely ground soy beans, is very high in protein. Standard wheat flour, for example, contains 12.9 grams of protein by the cup. White rice flour runs about 8 grams per cup, and teff, usually considered a high protein flour, 16.9 grams. Soy is on another level, though. One cup of soy flour contains 41 grams of protein! Unfortunately, soy flour has a reputation for sometimes having an almost unpalatably "beany" taste, which is why most recipes suggest replacing one fourth of the flour with soy, too little to benefit from its amazing nutritional profile. The following recipe, however, is two parts soy flour to one part rice flour. High protein and delicious!


Heat oven to 325 degrees

6 T oil
2/3 c sugar
1 t lemon extract
l lemon's grated rind
1/4 c walnuts, chopped fine
1 1/3 c soy flour
2/3 c white rice flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Cream oil and sugar. Add lemon extract, water and lemon rind. Whisk together soy flour, white rice flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients slowly to creamed sugar, etc. When thoroughly blended, add chopped nuts. Make 3/4" balls, a dozen per oiled cookie sheet. Prepare two shallow dishes, one with oil, one with sugar. Dip bottom of large glass in oil, then in sugar. For thin wafer-like cookies (see above), press hard. For thicker cookies (see below), use a lighter touch.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Makes 4 dozen

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Buttermilk powder is a handy ingredient for those of us who normally don't buy buttermilk. Although you can make your own soured milk for baking (soured milk or yogurt works as part of the leavening process along with baking powder and baking soda) by adding vinegar or lemon juice (1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice per cup of milk), I find using buttermilk powder the most convenient.

Here are some buttermilk biscuits that can be customized with herbs, cheese or spices. They are great with sweet or savory spreads and don't take long 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

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk.
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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Looking for a gluten free cookie that's got a melt-in-your-mouth texture? That would be Nana's Ginger Spice, a gluten free cookie that is also vegan, made with no refined sugars, no GMOs and with zero cholesterol. Hard to beat those stats!

The flavor of the cookie is an interesting contrast to its texture: very punchy spice, very smooth, barely chewy consistency. The cookies come five to a box, individually wrapped, convenient for keeping in pocket, purse, office desk or school lunchbox. Unwrap and plate them festively and you've got spice cookies of the season as tasty and safe for your guests as if you'd made them yourself.  

If you'd like a more crispy version of the spice cookie, try Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps. Or for a truly non-partisan pantry, keep both on hand, some for cakey fans, some for fans of crunch, and let the electorate decide.


The folks at Mary's sent me a selection of their crackers: onion, herb, black pepper, original and caraway. They are nice crackers but VERY crunchy, so if melt-in-your-mouth is your thing, look elsewhere. Fans of crunch, however, will absolutely love these little gems.

They are covered in seeds, upping the fiber content considerably, a nice benefit. My two favorites were the onion and caraway. For me, those two had the most distinctive tastes of the group. All seem to work best with a creamy topping. I used whipped cottage cheese but a higher fat option like brie, or a tangy one, such as goat cheese, would also be a good pairing. 

Mary's also makes another product I'm fond of: Check out Mary's Sticks and Twigs here.


Of course vegetables can be roasted any time of year, but there is something about their earthy, deep flavor that enriches the comforting casseroles or soups that are served mainly in fall or winter. Beets, especially, are suited to this method of cooking, particularly at the time of year when so many appear in farmers' markets, just calling out to be roasted to bring their look and taste to another level of intensity.

 Even a light spray of olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan can result in beautifully caramelized like this one, so roasting is a healthy and nutrient-retaining way to cook vegetables.
When a head of garlic is roasted whole, and the paper-thin shell begins to brown like the one in this photo, the result is a series of pods filled with  luscious garlic cream, great to spread on bread or vegetables or to incorporate, as in this recipe, directly into a stew or soup.


4 cups roasted, peeled, and coarsely chopped beets

1 large onion, peeled and cut into eighths, roasted

1 head garlic, roasted

2 cups peeled sliced, steamed carrots

2 cups shredded, steamed cabbage

1/2 tsp thyme

2 tsp oregano

4 cups stock or bouillon 

salt and pepper to taste

Greek yogurt and walnuts to garnish


Set oven to 450 degrees. Spray roasting pan with olive oil. Place all vegetables in roasting pan.Cver loosely with aluminum foil. Roast until onions are caramelized, about one hour. Turn vegetables frequently. Cool vegetables. Remove skin from beets. In food processor, shred half of beets. In large bowl, combine chopped beets, shredded beets, cabbage, garlic puree, carrots and bouillon. Heat till steaming in microwave or on stovetop. Garnish with Greek yogurt and chopped walnuts.