Monday, July 26, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN WEIGHT LOSS: STAR PATTYPAN FRITTATA



Some tried and true tactics for weight-loss, whether you are gluten-free or not are

EAT MANY VEGETABLES
IF YOU EAT EGGS, DITCH THE YOLKS
IF YOU EAT CHEESE, TRY LOW FAT
USE OIL SPRAY RATHER THAN OIL OR BUTTER

This delicious and beautiful (well, at least until you attempt to fold it in half, which is difficult to do because the star pattypan slices really are too big for that) frittata adheres to all the above suggestions, so is the perfect dish to learn to make. 



Here's how:

Ingredients

olive oil spray
half of one star pattypan squash, about 3 inches in diameter, sliced horizontally as thin as possible on a mandoline. reserve unused part for a second frittata, or ratatouille.
one medium onion, minced
1/2 cup minced sweet pepper
1T dry oregano
1T smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 egg whites, beaten till foamy
1T bacon-flavored soy bits
2T Daiya vegan cheddar-flavored bits


Instructions:

spray an eight or ten inch pan with olive oil spray.
saute onions and peppers, sprinkled with herbs and spices, on very low heat until soft.
add squash and cover tightly.
when squash is steamed through, add egg whites.
tilt and rotate pan so vegetables are covered.
cook until whites are opaque.
sprinkle with Daiya and soy bits.
cover until Daiya melts.
remove from pan in slices or folded in half.

Serves one hungry dieter.

Note: 

Daiya vegan cheddar-flavored bits have less fat than conventional cheese, so even if you are not a vegan, you might want to give them a try. 

The soy bits will most likely contain enough salt for most tastes, so do not automatically salt the eggs for this dish.

If you cannot find a star-shaped pattypan squash, use a scalloped one, and if you cannot find one of those, slices of zucchini will do just fine.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE BAKER SCHAR PLANS U.S. FACILITY

At a New York City luncheon on July 21, Schar, the European manufacturer of a large variety of gluten-free baked goods, announced plans for the opening of a manufacturing facility in the United States.
Above is the delicious tiramisu, the perfect ending to a lovely meal by chef Jason Munger

How rare for a gluten-free vegetarian to be able to enjoy so many of the exquisite antipasti made with Schar pizza crusts baguettes, crisp breads and crackers: mixed mezze, bruschette and the extraordinary miniature pizzas (goat cheese and pesto, roasted artichoke with manchego, and margherita con mozzarella di bufala). The main course selections, made with Schar breadcrumbs and pastas, were herb-crusted skate, breast of chicken stuffed with ricotta and red peppers, and fusilli or penne for the vegetarians.


Hannes Berger, President and CEO of Schar USA and Donna George, VP Schar USA, spoke about the planned expansion of Schar's manufacturing facilities (currently located in Germany and Italy) into the US, specifically, New Jersey, which is expected to be completed within the next 15 months. There are currently 30 products distributed within the US, and with this facility in place, there will be more to come.

Ann Roland Lee, Director of Nutritional Services, Schar USA, spoke about Schar's commitment to creating gluten-free products which are not only harmless to celiacs but healthy for them as well, by adding fiber and protein to often nutritionally-weak gluten-free flours, and by choosing flours which naturally are higher in protein and fiber, such as millet and buckwheat.

Colin Leslie, a young man who was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of twelve, and who, since that age (he is now eighteen) has organized the Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease which has raised $230,000 for celiac research.

Alessio Fasano MD, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine gave a fascinating talk about the history and current methods of diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. 

Guests were a diverse group, and it was wonderful to meet Diane D Holtaway and George Sansiveri of the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, Catherine Oddenino of Cooking Light and A Gluten Free Guide, Brian Todd, CEO of the Food Institute, Lorna Shafir of Kettle Cuisine, Rachel Begun, the Gluten Free RD, and Melissa Gibson CEO of New In Town.


Monday, July 12, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE MINI MINT ICE CREAM TORTE


Here's an intense indulgence that won't induce a hangover. No ill effects predicted, except, depending on your self-control in front of these tasty morsels, a slight movement on the needle of your bathroom scale--but it's worth it, so enjoy! Note: the play of salt and sweet in this dessert might not be to everyone's taste. A more conservative choice would be to use chocolate cookie crumbs instead of the tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

Miniature pie plates, tart shells or any dishes with a volume of about a half cup.

Food Should Taste Good Chocolate tortilla chips.

Baking spray,

2-4 oz pistachios, unsalted

ice cream

whipped cream

 

Instructions:

Crush chips by placing them in a plastic bag and rolling a rolling pin or heavy can over the bag. Spray the tart shells. Sprinkle sides and top with chocolate crumbs.

Pack ice cream firmly into pans. Chill for at least an hour. Remove tarts from pans using a sharp warm knife.

Shell pistachios and crush as with chips. Decorate with whipped cream and nuts.

 

GLUTEN-FREE ROSEMARY OLIVE COCKTAIL BREAD


Try this gluten-free rosemary olive bread with red pepper hummus. Gluten-free cocktail breads are a party-giver's secret weapon. Bake, slice and freeze to be ready for any holiday gathering. And if you feel like going all out, make a selection of breads: sun-dried tomato, plain, caraway, onion or raisin walnut. 

Ingredients:

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

2T rosemary (dried and crushed or 1/2 T fresh and minced)

1T xanthan gum

2 tsp salt

3T well-drained black or green olives, minced

3 egg whites

1 tsp vinegar

2 T olive oil


Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Mix sugar, water and yeast in small bowl. 

Mix salt, xanthan gum, rosemary and flours on low, in mixer.

When yeast mixture is foamy, add to flours.

Mix egg whites, oil, olives 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.

 

Friday, July 9, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN WEIGHT LOSS: CILANTRO LIME ASPARAGUS PATTYPAN SQUASH OYSTER MUSHROOM VEGETABLE SOUP


If you're watching your weight, you probably know that one of the easiest ways to control your appetite is to begin a meal with soup, preferably one full of vegetables, containing protein and low in fat. This fresh and light vegetable soup fits the bill on all counts. 
It is full of all the best the greenmarket offers the gluten-free vegetarian: sweet carrots and red peppers, two varieties of oyster mushrooms, young asparagus, sliced miniature pattypan squash, among other vegetables (as well as chopped fresh herbs), and even contains protein in the form of smooth and creamy cannellini beans. 

Makes two generous servings

Ingredients:

1T olive oil
3/4 lb sliced yellow and white oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans, or other white bean
1T chopped chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tiny pattypan squash, sliced
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 cup steamed asparagus tips
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (see note) 
juice of one lime

Instructions:

In a medium soup pot, cook onions and peppers in oil until soft.
Add parsley, mushrooms and garlic and cook two minutes.
Add carrots, squash and beans and cook another two minutes.
Add broth, bring to a boil and then simmer until carrots are soft.
Add asparagus, cilantro, chives and lime juice.
Serve immediately.


Note: If you don't have homemade vegetable broth, a replacement would be to use one teaspoon of Better than Bouillon vegetable concentrate in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN WEIGHT LOSS: KING OYSTER MUSHROOM CEVICHE

Pictured at the end of this post is a King Oyster mushroom, which, as you can see, is mostly stem. Here is a recipe which takes advantage of the cut stem's similarity in shape to a scallop and of what some feel is its hint-of the-sea flavor. This faux ceviche is really delicious! 

Clean and slice two mushrooms.
Whisk one teaspoon olive olive with the juice of 2 limes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp Bay seasoning and 1 tablespoon shredded nori. (Nori is the blackish sea vegetable used in the making of sushi. It is available at Whole Foods and most health stores, as well as, of course, Asian markets.) Place mushrooms in microwave safe bowl with cover. Pour vinaigrette over mushrooms. Cover tightly and microwave until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold. This recipe is for two appetizer servings.
 
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GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN WEIGHT LOSS: PATRIOTIC BERRIES

If you're gluten-free, vegetarian and watching your weight when everyone is digging into the cheesecake with berries on top, here's something akin to the Virgin Mary for non-drinkers. It's pretty, it's festive, and you make no compromises to your commitments while you enjoy it. 
Find a dish you feel is really attractive, and fill it with either purchased pre-whipped cottage cheese (in the NYC area, that would be the Friendship brand) or gently whip some to achieve a creamier consistency than regular, large curd cheese. Sprinkle the cheese with sugar or sugar substitute (if you like), decorate with berries and you're done--easy as, but healthier than, pie!