Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GIVEAWAY: KIND BARS



If you love these fiber and antioxidant-rich guilt-free bars as much as I do, you will be in heaven when you receive this "KIND Cube".


All you need to do to be entered is to write a comment below telling me you've LIKEd our sister Facebook page. That's it!  


Winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries received through August 3, 2012, and will be notified by email (don't forget to include yours, either in your comment here, or in an email to glutenfreeveg@gmail.com).


One entry per household, please. Void where prohibited. Shipping only to continental US, excluding Alaska. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

All the opinions expressed are strictly my own and the samples I received did not influence those opinions. (I was a fan long before!). Thanks to the folks at KIND for its gift to you!

GLUTEN FREE FALAFEL CHIPS FROM TRADER JOE

These gluten free falafel chips (called that, I suppose, since they are partly made of garbanzo bean flour and spices) are shown above with the plainest of accompaniments: whipped cottage cheese, unflavored. Why?

Monday, July 30, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN KITCHEN

Have you ever wondered how a gluten-free cook and recipe developer manages to fit all the flours and miscellaneous items needed into a normal or less-than-normal-sized kitchen? Well, this tour of my typically tiny NYC should leave you feeling almost anything is possible! 






The neighborhood in which my gluten-free vegetarian midtown Manhattan kitchen is located, when photographed, can look like a bit of a tour guide to New York City, but I really do pass the Flatiron, Chrysler, United Nations and Empire State Buildings on my morning fast-walk to and from my apartment. Named after a sister ship of the Titanic, my building, the Megantic, was built about 100 years ago. It has an elevator, but the staircase is much prettier, and was used in many NYU film school movies when I was a student there.

The 85-square-foot kitchen in my top-floor inexpensive rental apartment was, I think, renovated no more recently than a half century ago, and came with very little storage and no counter space. That's New York for you--and I'm considered lucky because I have what's called an eat-in kitchen and a large double sink. Many are just "galley kitchens" with appliances, a small sink, and no more. The counter top and the storage units I have were either found, bought or built by me or my friends. The wall unit that runs from the ceiling halfway down the main wall was an unusual collaboration between me and a carpenter pal. It's where I store vintage kitchen items I don't really use much. 

 

I've tried to take advantage of the relatively (once again, by New York City standards only, most likely) high ceiling by having my storage and decorations run above eye level, if useful.

Because, with rare exceptions,  I bake all my own bread, cookies and crackers, my Kitchenaid is always out, and is one of my most useful tools. More hidden storage under the Kitchenaid:

I also love this seemingly indestructible 2-inch brush I bought in Japan, ideal for cleaning my juicer.
Another favorite is the rolling pin which was my mother's, and for which I have a little wrapper she sewed for it out of one of my dad's old undershirts. Kept the wood from drying for decades. I use this new 12" non-stick Cuisinart pan nightly for my omelettes. No evil toxins and works like a charm.

Back to the storage issue. (It's always on my mind in this tiny room.) The fact that I am gluten-free, vegetarian and part-hoarder doesn't help things, either! Friends say my cabinets look as if I'm ready for the end of the world, but I just think, "better safe than sorry" so I tend to be a bit overstocked. I think I've improved, though. Most of what you see below is my range of gluten-free flours, grains, seeds and flakes. I love roasted peppers and always have several jars around, but otherwise, it doesn't seem too overstocked, or am I just fooling myself??

   
Spices are mostly in the drawers of the tall turquoise wall unit.

Because there is so little built-in storage in my kitchen I've worked out other solutions. Here are the plastic boxes of my small baking forms, cupcake liners, flavorings, cake decorations, decorative toothpicks, spatulas and the like. 


I keep these boxes on the small shelves on which I store the mini food processor and blender duo by Cuisinart and larger tools in a vase I made (there are many ceramic pieces--I used to be a potter).

Above those shelves are narrow shelves a friend built, lined with mugs by me or potter friends, and the commercial or hand-blown glassware I like. Above those shelves, the less-attractive, obsessively-collected plastic containers and glass jars. For that rainy day that's yet to arrive, of course! 
 
 
Many mugs hold tiny tools. Various things, like the food processor's motor, must do double duty here!
Here's the closet I use for storing props. I don't think it will hold any more, but I will probably try. I store bowls I've made on these shelves I had built for the living room, just down the hall.

I can't seem to stop buying baking forms of all materials and sizes. I tell myself it's because gluten-free batters tend to be more delicate than conventional ones, but I wonder if it's just an excuse. The great thing about silicone pans is that they can be rolled to fit into tight spaces, of which I have many! What looks like a piece of aluminum siding, to the left is a very useful breadstick pan. I carried that square black cast-iron pan with small hemispherical wells all the way from Japan. Heavy!


Here are some of my favorite decorative items, most given to me by friends. Click on photos to enlarge.
below, on the left, is a witty comment on pre-feminist advice for a woman desiring personal fulfillment of all kinds: hilarious! The frame on the right welcomes you to my strictly vegetarian kitchen and holds layers of Thanksgiving New Yorker covers. Each year, the cover depicts a turkey trying to hide from his holiday fate. Here, on a building ledge, he tries to pass for one of the nearby pigeons. 

 

The bowl below is made entirely of twisted paper, and is about 20 inches in diameter. Amazing!


Other items in my kitchen, apart from the New Yorker covers, refer directly to my vegetarianism. I may collect tools to manipulate the shapes of vegetables more than most people do. Below, a spiralizer, two sizes of mandolines and several peeler/shredder tools. And of course, the slicing/shredding blade of my food processor and one or two standard hand graters, all of which I forgot to photograph. Of course, I always have plenty of beans and grains stashed away in one of my ever-present boxes! 


Now that friends know I decorate my kitchen with many round things, that's what I tend to receive (and buy, myself) when they or I go away. Below, items from New Zealand, England, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Japan, China, India and Senegal. I like woven objects of many shapes and materials, too.


More of my useful or is it decorative items. The line blurs for me, and I suppose that's how I like it..

.

Thanks for coming along for the tour!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE SWEETS FROM LAS DELICIAS


The first time I had a Las Delicias treat was at Crespella, where I tasted the delicious muffin pictured above. Very moist, perfectly spiced, not overly sweet. I was at Crespella for one of their amazing crepes, so the dessert was a complete and wonderful surprise!



The second time I tasted a product from Las Delicias had another element of surprise to it as well. It was a rainy afternoon,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

LATE FOR THE ANTIOXIDANT TRAIN, AS USUAL!



First it was antioxidant juicing, and now chocolate! Is there anything else I'll be last in line for? Probably lots. So, chocolate. Who doesn't love it, right? Some are addicted to it. Me: after childhood, it was a take it or leave it sort of thing. Not that I want to minimize my childhood chocolate feasts. 


Mom loved Nestle's Crunch and we always had a pound bar in the house for family snacking. Bittersweet chocolate? Don't remember seeing it. Oh, there was unsweetened chocolate, but that was for baking. When I lived in Europe ages ago I expanded my taste beyond Crunch to the local commercial brands: Droste, Cadbury and Toblerone. Nothing high-end, for sure. 


And then years passed with chocolate totally out of the picture, replaced by rice cakes, popcorn and pretzels for snacking, until now, when, funnily enough, chocolate has returned, but  I am treating it like a vitamin pill! Nothing much taste-wise, but super-good for you. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN CURRIED ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, GREEN PEA, CASHEW AND FINGERLING POTATO STIRFRY


This recipe is easy. But don't let that have you thinking it's not worth preparing for your family. First, of course, it's purely gluten-free. Second, it is composed of several of Trader Joe's inexpensive and convenient frozen foods. But most importantly, it's so hearty you'll forget it's totally free of animal products. Here's how to create this great main dish:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

QUICK & EASY GLUTEN FREE VEG PIZZA-STYLE CAULIFLOWER

This one of those fast-food health-food meals you can throw together in minutes. Apart from herbs and spices you've probably got in your cupboard right now, there are only three ingredients for this main dish. Make a green salad while it cooks, and you're done. Here's how:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN YOGURT REVIEWS


Have I mentioned that I'm trying to see if I can be both gluten-free and vegan? It's something I've thought about for a long time, and a movie I saw recently, Vegucated, gave me a bit of a push in that direction. I've been vegetarian for decades, but it was the cottage cheese, omelettes and yes, even yogurt, though not as much as the other two, that have kept me ovo-lacto since, I think it was 1989!! Well, no promises yet, but I definitely am giving it my best shot. Here, for example, my yogurt research project. I'm sure there are options other than these, but I wanted to start somewhere. Below, the results. This is one of those posts where I would LOVE suggestions from the audience, since I am a real beginner in the gluten-free vegan world, and VERY open to suggestions!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

QUICK AND EASY GLUTEN-FREE TOMATO BROCCOLI PASTA



I threw this together today for lunch and it looked so bright and fresh I thought I'd post about it. It's made of microwaved Trader Joe's organic broccoli florets, my high-protein phony bolognese sauce and these wonderful gluten-free shells, which I cooked up before assembling the rest. I'd been staying away from pasta for quite a while and then had a great lunch at my niece's (she's cooked some wonderful gluten-free vegan dishes for me before: here, here, here and here) and she served some rice pasta with the stir-fry and I thought, "why have I been depriving myself?" In the last week or so I've been eating some form of pasta once a day and I find it's had me cut back on snacking. Hmnn....wish I'd known that before!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FRUGAL TIP FOR GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIANS




    


I love parchment paper and use it as a nonstick surface to roll dough on, or to line baking dishes, but sometimes when I've finished with it, it seems hardly used.