Monthly Archives: December 2011

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

The other day, I was ironing out holiday plans with my sister and parents. It was determined that the only time we could all get together for Christmas was in the morning, so we decided on a brunch. At the time, the only thing I knew I’d be serving would be a nice ham, and some sort of baked egg dish (I’ve since determined we’ll enjoy a variation on this frittata). When I called my mom to discuss plans and mentioned ham, she suggested scalloped potatoes.

It sounded delicious – ham with scalloped potatoes. But I felt a twinge of heartache as I envisioned the creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes I was accustomed to; after all, I wouldn’t be able to indulge. (Yes, that might be a touch self-centered, but I’m being honest here.) And those dairy-free cheeses (such as Daiya), while I enjoy them, don’t fool the rest of the cheese-eating members of my family. I started to go down the path to decide whether to make it and just not eat (after all, there would be plenty of other safe things for me to eat), or to make something else. Then, I thought, what if I could find another way to make dairy-free scalloped potatoes?

And just like that, I was researching.

I browsed what seemed to be a hearty handful of recipes, no two of which were alike. (Except for, you know, the potato part.) I considered the flavor combinations that were used, and started to formulate a recipe that was unique to my own tastes. I wanted creamy and decadent, but didn’t want it to taste like “fake” dairy. I wanted it to be so flavorful that no one would wonder where the cheese was.

I think I’ve accomplished that goal. These scalloped potatoes are decadent. Creamy. Golden brown on top. Rich and full of flavor. You might even think that they’re better than the traditional version, finding ways to sneak just one more bite. I hope so. I hope these potatoes steal the show at your next meal, as I’m afraid hoping they might just do that for me.

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

About 3 lbs gold potatoes (Yukon Gold works well) peeled and sliced thin ( I used a mandoline)

1 c coconut milk

1 c vegetable broth (chicken broth can be used)

2 T vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

2 T arrowroot starch

2 T sweet white rice flour

2 T nutritional yeast flakes

½ t onion powder

¼ t garlic powder

½ t dry mustard powder

¼ t white pepper

¼ t nutmeg

3 T mayonnaise (vegan mayonnaise to keep it vegan; regular can be substituted)

¼ c white wine

1 T lemon juice

Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish and set aside. (I used a dish that was 7X11 inches.)

Combine potatoes, coconut milk and broth in a saucepan. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving milk mixture. (Use a sieve and a bowl underneath to catch the milk.)

Clean out saucepan and add vegan butter. Melt over medium heat and add in arrowroot starch and sweet white rice flour, whisking for 30 seconds or so, to cook the flour. Add back the milk mixture, the nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, pepper, nutmeg, mayonnaise, and white wine. Continue to whisk until smooth. Continue heating
and whisking until thickened. Remove from heat.

Layer about half of the potatoes in the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over this layer. Press down the
potatoes to make sure the sauce covers them all around. Add the remaining potatoes and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Press again to ensure the sauce covers the potatoes.

Bake for an hour or until potatoes are browned on top and tender throughout. Serves 8.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.


Looking for other gluten-free holiday dish ideas? Check out this discussion over at the Udi’s Gluten-Free Community!

A Gluten-Free Holiday: Holiday Desserts (Chewy Apple Cider Blondies)

Welcome back for the final (and possibly the most important) week of A Gluten-Free Holiday! Why is this the most important week? Well, because we’re sharing desserts! After all, children didn’t dream of casseroles and green beans while they were nestled all snug in their beds, did they? Hardly. The holiday season conjures up visions of sugarplums, and candies, cookies, and possibly even chewy apple cider blondies. Yes, chewy apple cider blondies. But we’ll get to those in a minute.

First, I have to share with you the details about this week’s A Gluten-Free Holiday Event. Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake is hosting. She’s sharing a crave-worthy recipe for gingerbread cupcakes. In addition, she’s giving away some more awesome prizes – two, in fact. Maggie is giving away a copy of Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan, as well as a copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski.

I personally own a copy of Carol’s book and love it – there are all sorts of decadent desserts in there, including a recipe for this delicious mango sticky cake. Blackbird Bakery is on my wish list, so hopefully I’ll own a copy soon! Be sure to head on over to She Let Them Eat Cake to enter for your chance to win!

Back to these chewy apple cider blondies. These blondies are chewy like a good brownie, with caramel and apple notes, dotted with the occasional chocolate chip, just for fun. At first glance, you might think that they’re not nearly as festive as the average holiday treat. They’re unassuming and unadorned. No sprinkles, frosting, or decadent toppings here. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not deserving. Sometimes, it’s the rustic, homestyle treats that I cherish the most. These are an entirely new creation (for me, at least), but they taste like something that would come out of my grandmother’s kitchen. In my mind, anything that stirs up memories of Grandma’s kitchen is automatically worthy of holiday treat status.

Chewy Apple Cider Blondies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)

1 c almond butter (unsweetened)

1 c turbinado sugar (or other granulated sweetener)

3 eggs

1/3 c apple cider syrup (you can get the recipe to make it at Lexie’s Kitchen. Mine was thick, like molasses. You can substitute about 1/4 cup honey for a different flavor)

scant 1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t almond extract

1/4 c coconut flour

1/2 c dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper; grease the paper.

Put all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 1-2 minutes or until well-blended. The batter should be thicker than cake batter, but thinner than cookie dough. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of coconut flour and blend. Too thick, then add a tablespoon of water and blend. (Depending on your almond butter, the thickness of your batter may vary.) Stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Serves 16.

A Gluten-Free Holiday: Breakfast and Brunch (Zucchini and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata)

A Gluten-Free Holiday is being hosted this week over at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs by Ricki Heller, and the theme is Holiday Breakfast and Brunch. Ricki is giving away a copy of her book, Sweet Freedom, and a copy of Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays by Jennifer Katzinger, so be sure and head over there to check out the party!

Christmas is a time filled with lots of indulgences. Lots of cookies, tons of candy, and ever-so-special baked treats that make the season bright. Breakfasts are no exception, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fond of a Christmas stollen, donuts, or a coffee cake. But overindulgence in these treats, I’ve learned, comes at a price – my still-sensitive system still can’t handle a ton of sweets and grains, even gluten-free ones. So I pick and choose when and what I’m going to enjoy, even on the holidays. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for “special” meals – far from it! Special, in my mind, means something that’s a departure from the everyday (in a good way), and that doesn’t always have to equate to extra sugar. In fact, for breakfast, I know I prefer a protein-and-veggie-filled meal to a carb-heavy one.

Hence the reason for this frittata. It comes together relatively quickly. Of course, the most important part? It’s tasty, in a light and fresh sort of way. Yes, there is some bacon involved (which also ups the “special” factor a bit), but it’s definitely nowhere near as heavy as most baked egg dishes, which are full of cream and cheese. The bacon and sun-dried tomatoes are pleasant components here, providing some depth of flavor without being overwhelming. This frittata is a delicious way to start a special day, and is light enough to leave room for a bit of other Christmas breakfast goodies, such as those being shared over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs this week!

Zucchini and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata

2 slices bacon, cut in half to fit skillet

1/4 c thinly sliced onion

1 large zucchini, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

3 T sun-dried tomatoes (I used my dehydrated “tomato candy“)

1/4 c roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 eggs, whisked

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a small 8-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat and fry bacon until crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Remove bacon, leaving the grease in the pan. Once bacon is cool enough to touch, crumble. Add the onion to the pan and saute for 2 minutes, then add the zucchini. Saute until just tender and brown in a few spots, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and crumbled bacon. Toss together a bit, and remove from heat. Add the whisked eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables and bacon together with the eggs a bit to incorporate everything evenly. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until eggs are set in the center. Remove from oven, and place a plate upside-down over the skillet. Holding the bottom of the plate with one hand, and the handle of the skillet with the other, flip the pan and plate together so that the plate is now at the bottom and the skillet upside-down on top. The frittata should come free from the skillet and lay on the plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes enough for 2 as part of a breakfast or brunch. Can be doubled – just bake in a larger skillet, perhaps for a few extra minutes.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Book of Yum

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Kalinda at Wheat Free Meat Free. This month, I adopted the creator of this wonderful event – Seamaiden over at Book of Yum! Sea has been blogging for a lot longer than most of us (she is one of the pioneers in gluten-free blogging). I love that her recipes are decidedly different than what I would create, which I love. These recipes are often very globally-inspired, with lots of Japanese influence. Since I know little about Japanese cuisine beyond sushi, tempura, and otsu, I am intrigued and inspired by the flavors of the recipes at Book of Yum. Even more, the majority of her recipes are full of nutritious ingredients, making it easy for me to incorporate a dish or two into my dinner plans without compromising my goal to eat healthfully (most days, at least).

I opted to make two dishes – Asparagus with Walnut Dressing (pictured above), and Zucchini Crust Pizza. Both were full of veggie goodness, and were more than achievable on a weeknight.

First, the asparagus dish. I love asparagus. I love to eat the spears raw in salads, lightly steamed or blanched, or tossed in a little bit of lemon zest. Most days, I keep it simple – it’s easy to steam some asparagus, and since I love the taste, I want its vegetable-ness to shine through. However, this walnut dressing, made of little more than walnuts and tamari, doesn’t cover up the wonderful flavor of the asparagus. Instead, it compliments it.  It was perfect for not only the asparagus, but I even used a bit on a garden salad, and it was tasty on some salmon I’d also prepared that night for dinner as well. I could imagine finding lots of uses for a sauce such as this!

The zucchini crust pizza was also lovely. I did modify the recipe to make it dairy-free (using Daiya cheese), and I opted for coconut flour instead of rice flour (I was out). I only used about 2/3 of the amount of flour called for in the recipe as a result, because coconut flour is very absorbent. Otherwise, I kept the crust as true to the recipe as possible. I topped it with some mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, pepperoni and sausage. (and more Daiya) It was delicious, and I loved that instead of a bunch of empty calories, as most pizza tends to be, it was relatively nutrient-dense, and full of flavor. So much so, in fact, I had to force myself to stop eating it. I easily polished off half of the crust. Whoops. Guess that’s a sign of a successful dish!

There were more recipes I wanted to try, but there are only so many hours in the day! I have bookmarked her Vegan Detox Mint-Avocado Virgin Mojito and her Injera to try at one point in the (hopefully not-so-distant) future. I encourage you to check out her recipes – I’m sure there is more than just one or two to tempt your tastebuds!


A Gluten-Free Holiday: Savory Sweet Potato Pie

Today over at Daily Bites, we are sharing our favorite holiday entrees and side dishes in our continuation of A Gluten-Free Holiday. As always, there is a giveaway involved (Hallie will be giving away a copy of her new book, The Pure Kitchen) so be sure to head over there and check it out!

Our family has their fair share of holiday favorites. I’ve already shared the need for stuffing and gravy (as welcome at Christmas as it is at Thanksgiving, if there’s a turkey involved), broccoli cheese rice casserole, and tamales. But I’ve already blabbed about those favorites with you time and time again. I asked my husband to help me brainstorm on holiday dishes. He suggested gumbo (which has a cult following in our family this time of year), but the traditional recipe is a direct replica of Emeril Lagasse’s, so it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. So then I thought – why not create a new favorite?

But what? When I think of holiday food, many times, I can’t get desserts out of my head. (We’ll share desserts as part of A Gluten-Free Holiday too, on December 15, at She Let Them Eat Cake, but that’s another time, another day, another recipe.) I had to brainstorm. Savory. Side Dish. Holiday. Think! Think! What are foods eaten in fall and winter? Umm…root vegetables? Sweet Potatoes? I love sweet potatoes, but they’re not very special. How can I make sweet potatoes special? Hmm, I have some leftover pie crust dough in the fridge… And suddenly, the waters parted. I knew just what I would make, and this simple-but-special, savory, delicious pie was born.

What I love about this dish is that unlike so many other holiday foods, it’s not overly heavy or rich. In fact, paired with a nice side salad, it could easily be a welcome brunch for guests that stay at your home during the holiday season. (Or even just a good pre-holiday-shopping meal!) Truthfully, it’s not all that fussy. No more so than making a typical pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, truthfully, and if you wanted to go crustless, you could simply bake the filling in a greased pie dish (or heck, even individually-sized ramekins) and serve it that way. But if you have a bit of time to make a pie crust, go for it. In my mind, it elevates this pie to holiday status. It also provides a bit of contrasting texture. And the flavors? With a creamy, slightly sweet custard, touched with rosemary and smoked paprika, how could you go wrong?

Savory Sweet Potato Pie

1 recipe gluten-free pie crust (or your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe -  I haven’t tried this with a nut-based crust, but I bet it would work well.)

5 egg yolks

2 c cooked sweet potato puree (if using fresh sweet potatoes, simply prick with a fork, microwave until soft, scoop out flesh, and puree in food processor)

1 c coconut milk

1 t fresh rosemary, chopped

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

1/4 t smoked paprika

1/8 t nutmeg

1 T maple syrup

1 T sweet white rice flour (or your favorite gluten-free flour)

1 egg whisked with 1 T water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pie crust in between two sheets of parchment paper; transfer to 9-inch pie plate. Place egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor; process for about 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes, coconut milk, rosemary, salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, maple syrup, and rice flour and puree until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. (Note: you may want to use a pie shield or cover the edges of the crust with foil during the baking process to prevent excess browning.) Cool for 15-20 minutes. Serve.

Do you have a favorite holiday entree or side dish to share? Link it up over at Daily Bites!

Interested in some gluten-free edible gift ideas for the holidays? Check out my post and all of the links shared there! Want even more ideas or to chat a bit more about this topic? Over at the Udi’s Gluten-Free Community, we’ve shared some edible gift ideas!