Thursday, May 31, 2012

LUNA GLUTEN-FREE PROTEIN BARS

If, as I am, you are a gluten-free vegetarian, you may find it almost a necessity to carry a snack with you for those moments when suitable food is just not available. I usually try to make that fruit, but chomping on an apple in a crowded NYC subway car can be awkward, so bars are my only-now-and-then difficult-setting solution. All three of these taste great. They're pretty sweet, so if you don't like candy bars (even those high in protein, as these are), then you'd better pass them by. However, the chocolate peanut butter flavor is one to consider before you dismiss the idea of snacking on a candy bar rather than a banana. It really tastes like peanut butter. So, for that reason, and its high protein count (all the bars have an amazing 12 grams of protein), I strongly recommend it! 

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AMY'S GLUTEN FREE BLACK BEAN VEGETABLE SOUP

It's usually only when I'm ill that I depend on convenience foods, and the cough and sleepless nights I've been struggling with over the past two weeks justified, with no exception, the purchase of this can of soup.

But even when I'm too sick to make something from scratch, I can't seem to prevent myself from tweaking the prepared stuff. Here, in order to make the black bean soup more of a one-dish meal, I've added frozen broccoli and Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn kernels. Kind of livened up the bowl, visually. I like Amy's black bean vegetable soup. Spicy but not very. Thick but not too much so. Not cheap, but reliable. Just what you need when you're not feeling your best.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SCHAR'S GLUTEN-FREE MULTIGRAIN BREAD

If you don't eat soy, this isn't the bread for you (it contains two versions of the ingredient) but if you don't mind, or don't eat much of soy normally and want to treat yourself to a delicious whole-grain-tasting sliced bread, this is the one. Yes, I think it's got more of a whole grain flavor than Udi's, my previous favorite. I toasted a couple of slices of this bread, but then realized it was just as good straight out of the bag. It was unfrozen in the supermarket and remained unfrozen in  my kitchen until the very few days passed when it was gone. Good bread!

Monday, May 28, 2012

AMY'S GLUTEN FREE SHORTBREAD ALMOND COOKIES



I seem to be eating a lot of packaged cookies lately since my local market opened a new gluten-free section. It even has its own little refrigerator, so I'll be trying the frozen donuts soon.I want to show them there's a market for their new gluten-free products. (Civic duty is motivating me, not my sweet tooth!) 
These are my fave of Amy's shortbreads. Incredibly buttery taste and no distracting chocolate chips. The package kept them whole. They are just sweet enough and melt in your mouth.  
What else can I say to describe how much I enjoyed them? If you have no time to bake, set these out and no one should be disappointed!

Monday, May 21, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN KALE POTATO SAUSAGE SOUP


The more I read about the health benefits of kale, the more I try to include it in dishes I make. I'm not a natural kale-lover, as I believe I've said here before. Not the way I love broccoli, for example. Kale, well, despite its good-for-you qualities, has often seemed bitter to me, or just more than I can handle for some reason. Then I realized that juiced, amazingly, I love it, and combined with certain other foods, there is just nothing better than a bunch of kale! 

Here, the spicy vegan sausage almost needs kale to prevent it from overtaking the soup, and the big hunks of potato are a perfectly bland connector for the two strong flavors. So, yes, in the end, it worked beautifully, and the soup disappeared rapidly. My only advice: make it once this way, and if it appeals to you as much as it does to me, make a double batch next time, which I plan to do this weekend. 

1 Idaho-type (russet) potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 tsp crushed caraway seeds
1 package spicy gluten-free vegan sausage (I use Trader Joe Soy Chorizo)
1 Idaho-type (russet) potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
6 cups shredded kale (center ribs removed)
1 15oz can coconut milk

Boil and drain the peeled and sliced potato until it is just soft, a hair beyond par-boiled.
Heat olive oil in large soup pot. 
Add onions, caraway seeds and sausage which has been broken into small pieces.
Stir onions and sausage pieces, making sure they brown.
Add broth, potatoes and kale. 
Cook on medium heat until kale and potatoes are softened.
Change heat to low and add coconut milk slowly, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and serve.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

GLUTEN FREE CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD BY CANYON BAKEHOUSE

I make my own gluten-free bread, and sometimes I throw some raisins or cinnamon into the mix for a change, but I've never attempted a real fruity bread like the ones I remember eating as a kid. Pepperidge Farm raisin cinnamon, or Chock Full O' Nuts date nut come to mind. We had mainly had two kinds of breads in my house: sour ryes or onion breads, and sweet breads like those I've just mentioned.


I bought a loaf of the bread pictured above because I'd heard such good things about Canyon Bakehouse and had never tried their products, and also because I found myself dreaming of a cream cheese on date nut bread sandwich. Nowadays, cream cheese is something I'd never buy, but I'm always well-stocked with whipped cottage cheese (a local specialty of the Friendship brand), so I toasted up a couple of slices of this raisin bread and made a lower-fat, lower-calorie version of my dream sandwich. And it was, yes, pretty dreamy. The bread is rich, cinnamony, generously studded with raisins and absolutely divine.


This bread is so delicious that if I ever buy it again, it's going straight in to the freezer. I ate the entire loaf in two days! Every time I poured a cup of tea, it just seemed like the right time for a slice, and I drink a lot of tea. Given the amount of sugar and fat I use in my own bread, it's more like a dessert and I guess I've got to start treating it like one or I'll be in a serious poundage predicament pretty soon. Ah....the trials and tribulations of the gluten-free carboholic... 


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Sunday, May 6, 2012

A GLUTEN FREE COOKIE SELECTION FOR MOM

Gluten-free homemade cookies like those pictured here are really something special. They show you've taken the time to gather safe ingredients and to learn how to bake in a different way. Or so it may look to the recipient of the thoughtful gift of a dozen cookies she can fearlessly enjoy, because, really, whipping up these sweets is easy as can be. The flours which might not be found in a standard pantry are easy to buy on line and the best part is that these cookies taste so wonderful that every family member, gluten-free or not, will be smiling.
A delicate, melt-in-your-mouth lemon sugar cookieperfect with a tall glass of iced tea.

Pistachio lime cookies are perfect for Christmas, St Patrick's or how about a celebration of the green-ness of spring? 

Sugar-crusted, light and crunchy lemon walnut wafers

Nutty, rustic cookies are a perfect way to show your love  on Mother's Day, birthdays, Valentine's Day or any day.

Oatmeal cookies are a delicious old favorite.


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

BACK TO LILLI AND LOO FOR GLUTEN-FREE CHINESE FOOD

As a vegetarian for many years, and strangely, perhaps, one not particularly fond of tofu, I would still always order General Tsao's Tofu almost every time I'd go to a Chinese restaurant, the crunchy crust would win me over every time! 
As you can see, this tofu is hardly crispy. The triangles are large, not bite-sized as I was used to finding in my pre-gluten-free days. However, the sauce and vegetables were very flavorful. I can only imagine that they are lightly floured and quickly pan-fried because there is no dedicated fryer for this gluten-free dish since it like no General Tsao's I've ever eaten. A more enthusiastic fan of tofu than I am would probably be happy. Oh well, next time I'll try the tofu skin wrapped in bok choy, and a plate of vegetables in garlic sauce. The gluten-free menu is extensive, even for a vegetarian!
It's clear to me that this restaurant takes its visuals seriously. There's always something new. This time, some new large photos, like the one up top. Check out this previous post to see more details of the restaurant's decor. 
This blueberry pound cake, topped with sliced almonds, was as delicious as I remembered from my first visit, although the swirl of whipped cream present then had disappeared this time around. Hope it returns. Great cake though--had to fight over it with my non-gluten-free lunch date!



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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE: CABBAGE CURRY, OLD FAVE



This is a great side dish for my beastless burger. Sometimes I add a handful of frozen peas to the boiling cabbage. Wonderful color!

Serves 4

2c boiling water
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
4 tsp salt
1/4 c unsweetened grated coconut
1T oil
1/2 c chopped onion
1T chopped garlic
1/2 tsp powdered fenugreek
1/2 tsp mustard seed

Boil cabbage, turmeric, salt, cumin, covered, 4 mins.
Drain and add coconut.
Heat oil and remaining ingredients in small pan.
When onion mix is crisp, add to cabbage.
Serve hot, cold, or room temp.

PS:

This is a very flexible dish. If you don't have fenugreek, leave it out or use 1/4 tsp (not 1/2) cardamom instead. If you only have powdered mustard, not the seeds, use the powdered (1/4 tsp, not 1/2).

Sometimes I make salted steamed broccoli and just use this as a colorful flavoring.
Add some browned tempeh or tofu cubes and make a whole meal of it!



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