Wednesday, March 17, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY PISTACHIO LIME SUGAR COOKIES


Have a St Patrick's Day cup of Irish Breakfast Tea and pair it with several of these pistachio lime sugar cookies.

Pistachio Lime Cookies
Heat oven to 325 degrees


2/3 c sugar

6T oil

1 t lemon extract

2T lime juice

1T lemon zest

1/4 c pistachios, chopped fine

1 1/3 c soy flour

2/3 c white rice flour

4 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

6T water, if needed

Instructions:

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. If dough is not coming together in a ball, add water by tablespoonful as needed. Make 3/4" balls, a dozen per oiled cookie sheet or Silpat 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.

GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY POTATOES AND CABBAGE 2

Gluten free dishes for St Patrick's Day are not that hard to come by, but ones you haven't seen a million times before sometimes are. Once again, in the spirit of the holiday, but not necessarily following in tradition's footsteps, are two recipes, one for potatoes and one for cabbage. The photo above depicts the beginning stages of a delicious mushroom potato parmesan pie. You could easily switch from parmesan to a gooier cheese like mozzarella, and you would still enjoy this. The fresh thyme sprinkled through the layers adds something special to the recipe.
Here's a cabbage recipe that's well off the beaten path for St Patrick's Day, but it's included because it goes so well with corned beef. It is what it appears to be, Indian curried cabbage straight out of the subcontinent's culinary tradition. It's great warm. room temperature, or chilled, so it's the perfect dish to contribute to a St Patrick's pot luck, since there's no worry about reheating or keeping chilled. Freezes well, too, in case you'd like to prepare a large amount in advance.

Despite its ruby look, this soup contains a large amount of green cabbage. In fact, the cabbage is a big part of what provides its delightfully crunchy texture. A mix of roasted beets, onions and garlic and steamed carrots in a vegetable bouillon spiked with oregano and thyme are the other ingredients. The topping: Greek yogurt with chopped walnuts. Food for the gods, or Saint, as the case may be.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY POTATOES AND CABBAGE 1



If you'd like your meals to tip a hat to St Patty's without having to repeat the ancient dishes ad infinitum, here are some ideas. Above, a very cabbage-y hot dish, but with some south of the border excitement. The Fiesta Casserole

This is a real country style soup, great for Lent and all year round when you want some non-meat stick-to-the-ribs food, which is, by the way, no oxymoron.

Here are some ideas on how to make your roasted potatoes particularly tasty. This is one of those flexible, fantastic "recipes" where your own creativity is the central player. Begin by heating the oven to 375 degrees, then washing and cubing some potatoes, any kind. They can be fancy heirloom fingerlings that you cut in half, big old russets or even eastern potatoes that you found on sale and cut into 1-2" chunks.

Oil a roasting pan by spraying it with olive oil or cooking oil, or if you have neither spray, then coat the bottom of the pan with sprinkles of oil, or if you're out of oil, bits of butter or margarine. Add salt, pepper, and if you've got fresh thyme or rosemary, add that, too. If there's nothing fresh around, use dried thyme and rosemary, and maybe add some oregano as well. Some uncut, but peeled, garlic cloves, or if you're out of fresh, garlic powder. How about some diced onions and green or red peppers added to the mix?  And if you've ever tasted smoked Spanish paprika, you know that's a great addition to a pan of roasted potatoes (just remember to omit the black pepper if you do decide to include it)! You get the picture: whatever you've got around that you feel might work. Toss the potatoes to coat well with herbs and roast until browned and cooked through. (Rotate pan and toss potatoes at least once after the first fifteen minutes.)

Using naturally gluten-free foods is one of the best ways to trim a grocery budget. Anything that doesn't require a "gluten-free" printed label attached to it is going to save you cash, and in this case, delight your taste buds as well.


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GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY WITH GREEN FOODS


Edamame hummus is a gluten-free naturally green food, which, like so many others, is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. There are probably more foods omitted from this list than are included. There are just so many possibilities. What are your own favorites? Sometimes we get caught up in a heavy-handed use of green food coloring around this time of year, but there are other ways to celebrate other than green beer. Above are tomatoes, filled with edamame hummus and then sliced. Here is the recipe.



Olives

Capers

Pesto

Cubanelles

Edamame

Green Tea

Mint

Scallions

Cabbage

Celery

Jalapenos

Grapes

Limes

Sapsago

Dill

Cilantro

Sage

Thyme

Peas

Asparagus

Parsley

Lettuce

Spinach

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Pistachios

Avocados


Here are some unconventional St Patrick's Day dishes.


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GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY WITH SHAMROCK SALAD



St Patrick's Day foods don't have to be high-calorie, high-fat or high carb. Those who are in festive mood, but don't feel like wrecking their health or diet might consider a salad, but not just any salad. An all-green holiday salad like the one pictured above. It contains green leaf lettuce, English-style seedless cucumbers, artichoke hearts, celery, Spanish green olives, chopped fresh parsley, and cubanelle (sweet) green pepper shamrocks. The salad is dressed with an equally green vinaigrette made of two parts olive oil to one part lime juice, with salt and pepper added to taste.

GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY WITH DILLED ASPARAGUS SOUP

Herbs and vegetables are great starting points for Saint Patrick's Day meals and this fresh green asparagus soup is no exception. Here's the recipe:


Ingredients:

3/4 lb asparagus

4 cups vegetable bouillon

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2T fresh dill, chopped

1T olive oil

juice of one lemon

 

Instructions:

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.

Steam asparagus, chopping all but tips. (Reserve for garnish.)

Blend onions, garlic, dill, lemon juice, broth and asparagus in blender.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with asparagus tips.




GLUTEN-FREE ST PATRICK'S DAY WITH KIWI LIME JEL


Here's a simple green food for St Patrick's Day and every day. It's an old favorite with a twist.
 It's made with Kojel, a Kosher substitute for gelatin desserts made mostly of carrageenan, which is a thickener derived from seaweed. 
Composed of sliced kiwi fruit (green grapes would also be beautiful in this dish) suspended in a lime-flavored jel, this dessert is totally vegetarian as well as gluten free. 
Served with a bit of whipped cream on a pretty dish and you're as festive as can be!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE 3-WAY BAGEL THROWDOWN

Against the Grain gluten-free bagels, above,  have one of the most fascinating ingredient lists you'll come across for a gluten-free bread product. Here it is: Tapioca starch, milk, eggs, mozzarella cheese, canola oil, sesame seeds, salt, sesame oil. What, you may ask, is mozzarella cheese doing IN a bagel? Now, this might lead you to believe that something definitely unusual might lie within the standard-issue plastic bag of frozen bagels, and you would be correct in that assumption.

Although this product is clearly the correct shape for being a bagel, its texture is nothing like the conventional middle-European baked good. The outside is slick (common) and slightly crackled (unusual). When instructions are followed to slightly defrost it in the microwave (common) it deflates considerably (unusual), thereby becoming somewhat sticky, flat, delicate and difficult to slice open.

This is, however, a tasty baked good. The mistake is calling it a bagel, which it resembles solely in its shape. It is, rather, a cheese and egg roll, soft till heavily toasted, and delightfully flavored. Ignore the hole in the middle. Consider it an unusual structural choice for a cheese roll and enjoy!

If the taste of the bagel is overly sweetened or strangely so, it can throw off the taste of anything you apply to your bready donut. As in the case of Enjoy Life, above, which tasted strongly of apple juice it was present even under the melted cheddar. The Enjoy Life bagel is also more dense and smaller than a tradtional bagel.

The Glutino bagel, above, toasts up with an almost identical texture to the bagels you probably remember. It has no unusual ingredients, no odd, intrusive flavors. it is, simply, bagelesque, and that holds true for the plain, sesame or raisin varieties. The winner!

GLUTEN-FREE CHEDDAR TORTILLA CHIP VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

Easy to put together for a crowd, and even better heated up the second day. An old family favorite with a twist.

Makes one 9x9" casserole

4 oz pepper jack cheese
2 cups tortilla chips
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 bell pepper, cut in 1/2 inch squares
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano or epazote (Mexican oregano)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1 tsp Pimenton de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)

Saute onion, garlic and pepper in oil.
Break up tomatoes with your hands in large bowl.
Add onion, garlic and pepper to tomatoes.
Process cheese to small bits.
Crush tortilla chips to 3/4" pieces.
Mix cheese and chips.
Start with tomato pepper mix layer.
Next layer is cabbage and olives.
Last is cheese and chips.
Repeat until casserole is filled.
End with cheese and chips. 
Sprinkle with smoked paprika.