Monthly Archives: February 2013

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

Who here remembers Ding Dongs? Those delicious little chocolate cakes with a creamy white marshmallow-y center, coated in a thin shell of chocolate were one of the only Hostess treats I enjoyed. Twinkies? Nah, I’ll pass. Cupcakes? Meh. But Ding Dongs? I was definitely game. I wasn’t much for cake as a child (I know, what was wrong with me?), but I could go for one of these treats.

Of course, even before I went gluten-free, it’d been years upon years since I’d had one. And now, with Hostess in bankruptcy, there currently aren’t Ding Dongs to be found. Not that I would want to eat one today anyway – they’re full of gluten, dairy, tons of sugar, and processed chemicals. That’s not really my thing. I’d much rather just grab a square of dark chocolate and call it a day.

But a few weeks ago, the idea of making my own Ding Dongs popped into my head. While I’m typically a fan of speedy, simple desserts (cookies are my forte), I decided this just simply must happen in my kitchen.

And so it did.

I started out playing with the cake recipe. Not having a fresh memory of a Ding Dong in my head, I did the best I could, remembering a somewhat dense (but not so much that it could be confused with a brownie) cake with as much chocolate in it as you could possibly add. I opted for coconut flour, as I’ve loved it in other cake and cupcake recipes. Coconut flour is tricky – it soaks up so much more moisture at first than other flours – but once you get used to it, it can provide a tight, tender crumb in a cake. It worked perfectly, and my cake was tasty and held together when cut perfectly.

In a real Ding Dong, I honestly have no idea what is in the filling they use. It’s freakishly white and likely has multiple chemicals that allow it to stay marshmallow-y forever. My filling was a version of a 7-minute frosting – simply egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla. Now, this means that it won’t stay marshmallow-y for all eternity, but it’s good. Darn good, if I do say so myself.

The exterior coating couldn’t be simpler - I merely melted chocolate and brushed it over. It worked perfectly. Who needs weird waxy stuff when you’ve got good ol’ chocolate?

Now, because these cakes are lacking in preservatives and chemicals, they won’t last forever. They’re best served the same day they are made, as it seems the marshmallow center gets absorbed a little into the cake over time. But chances are, you won’t have to worry about that, as they’re quite the perfect treat, and won’t last long around a crowd of teenagers, kids, or nostalgic adults. But if for some reason you actually do have some left over, they’ll still taste delicious.

Print Recipe

Grain-Free, Dairy-Free “Ding Dongs”

For the chocolate cake:

5 large eggs

¼ c coconut oil, melted

1 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 T brewed coffee

1/3 c maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract

¼ c + 2 T coconut flour

¼ c cacao powder (I used a raw cacao powder, you can use regular cocoa powder, as long as it isn’t dutched)

¼ t salt

½ t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside; grease the parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the coconut oil, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, beating on medium speed, until well blended.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread out evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, use an offset spatula to go around the edges of the cake and release it from the pan.

(This can be done one day ahead – just wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.)

For the fluffy white filling:

½ c maple syrup (or agave nectar – I haven’t tried honey, but I have a feeling it would work)

¼ c water

2 egg whites, room temperature

1 t vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and water to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until foamy. With the mixer still beating the eggs at high speed, slowly pour in the hot syrup along the side of the bowl. Continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add in vanilla and continue to beat for another minute.

For the chocolate ganache:

Melt 6 oz bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler (or in a large bowl set over a smaller pot of simmering water).

 

To make the cakes:

To assemble the cakes, cut the cakes using a small round cutter – I used one about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. (You can save the scraps for snacking or for cake balls.)

Using a small knife or an apple corer, turn the cut cakes over, and cut out the center three-quarters of the way through and remove the small cut out. Set it aside.

Fill each cake with your fluffy frosting. Replace the cut out. Repeat with remaining cakes. (You’ll probably have leftover fluffy frosting. I won’t tell if you eat it.)

Then, once your ganache is melted and ready to go, use a brush and brush it over the bottoms of the cakes. Place these cakes in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. Then turn over the cakes, and brush with chocolate on the tops and sides. Place back in the fridge or freezer to harden the rest of the chocolate.

Serve. Refrigerate if storing any leftovers.

I managed to get 11 ding dongs out of this recipe – you might manage 12 if you are better at cutting out the cakes than I!

Do you have old favorites that you’ve converted to gluten-free? Share them at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

 

Broccoli Leaves, and a Green Juice with Celery, Apple, Ginger, and Parsley

Have you ever had broccoli leaves? I don’t mean the tiny little one-inch leaves that are typically on the broccoli stems you get at the average grocery. I’m talking about a full, big leaf – the leaves that surround the broccoli plant. Up until recently, I’d never given a thought to whether these leaves were edible, nor had I the opportunity to find out. Like I mentioned, they’re not found at the grocery, and I’ve only tried to grow broccoli once, and it didn’t turn out so well. (I am trying again – we’ll see how it goes!)

But as I saw in my weekly local box from Greenling, I was to receive broccoli leaves. Hmm, I thought. What will I do with those? I imagined they would be similar to collard greens, and when they arrived, I wasn’t far off. They are hardy and have a similar texture. But I didn’t quite receive enough to make a pot of greens. What to do, what to do?

Then I started looking into the nutritional punch these greens could provide. Turns out, broccoli leaves provide protein, thiamin, pantothenic acid, niacin, calcium, selenium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, riboflavin, manganese, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The leaves, it turns out, are a richer source of beta-carotene than the stalks or florets. I figured that the best way to enjoy these was to take them for all their nutritional worth and juice them!

I love to juice. I have a green juice almost every morning, often consisting of some leafy green, some cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon, and often parsley. I actually make little packs for the week so I can quickly throw my juice concoctions into the juicer before I head off to work. My fresh green juice gives me a burst of energy and really revitalizes. I think I’m addicted, truth be told.

This time around, I opted to utilize those broccoli leaves for a change of pace.

A few minutes later, I had a refreshing, energizing juice. The broccoli leaves were mild – even milder than my typical kale that I most frequently use in my juice. I opted for some apple for a change of pace, but just a tad - I don’t like my juices too sweet. The result was a clean, green juice that I adored. So if you’re at a farmer’s market, see if you can seek out broccoli leaves, or ask your farmer to bring them. Or grow your own!

While juicing doesn’t really need a “recipe” per se, here’s what I used:

Print Recipe

Broccoli Leaf Green Juice (gluten-free, raw, vegan)

5 large broccoli leaves

2-3 stalks celery

1/2 inch knob of ginger

1/3 of a green apple

large handful of parsley

Wash and cut all produce to fit into your juicer. Following your juicer instructions, juice all produce. Enjoy juice as soon as possible for maximum benefit!

Makes 1 serving.

Do you juice? Share your thoughts and recipes about juicing at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

 

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

 

Turnip “No Potato” Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon, and Pickled Red Onions

Potato salad is a staple side dish in just about any household. I’ve had many versions – salads heavy on the mayonnaise, versions with a ton of pickles and yellow mustard (like my Mom’s recipe), German-style potato salad, and I’ve even made a dill and caper salad for a Daring Cooks’ challenge. I imagine that there are as many recipes for potato salad as there are summer barbecues in the United States.

But what if you are trying to stay away from potatoes? Many people on gluten-free diets also steer clear of nightshades as well in order to keep inflammation down. Many people following a paleo diet also stay away from potatoes. In those cases, how do you satisfy that potato salad craving? If you’re like me and a) have several turnips lying around from your local box and b) are looking for a unique twist on this traditional comfort food, this might just be the answer to a “no potato/faux-tato” salad!

I’ve used turnips before as stand-ins for traditional potato dishes, like in this turnip-rutabaga mash. They’re a great budget-friendly root vegetable, and one that stands up to longer-term storage quite well. They’re tasty in pickles and are lovely roasted. But I do believe that this salad has become my new favorite way to enjoy them.

Of course, part of what makes this salad so bright and fresh (even when it’s still winter, and bright and fresh aren’t descriptors for much of our food this time of year) are the pickled red onions. Many times, I forget how a simple pickle can transform a creamy, heavier dish into something that really pops. The tart, sour taste of the pickle balances out the fat in a creamy sauce so perfectly. Such is the case with these simple pickled red onions. They’re not just good for this salad, though – I enjoyed them on top of some pork carnitas the other day, and I can imagine they’d be wonderful on a burger or to garnish a pot roast. The recipe makes plenty, so you’ll have some for enjoyment on all sorts of dishes.

But back to this salad. It’s a relatively simple mix of some of my favorites – a good, grainy mustard, homemade mayonnaise, bacon, and the red onions. You get a mouthful of creamy, salty, piquant, sweet and sour, all in one bite. Pair this with some barbecue, with roast beef, or with a good soup, and you have a delicious, simple comfort food. In fact, this is my contribution to this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! – Comfort Foods. (It’s not too late to join us, either! Just check out how to participate here.) This salad will definitely show up at a future barbecue around these parts, as I gear up for spring and break out my smoker!

Print Recipe

Turnip Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon and Pickled Red Onions (gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly)

4 c diced turnips

3 slices bacon, diced

¼ c mayonnaise (I used homemade, based on this recipe)

¼ c coarse/grainy mustard

½ t freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

3 T diced pickled red onions (recipe below)

¼ c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add turnips and reduce to medium-high heat. Boil until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain turnips and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium heat and add bacon. Cook bacon, stirring every minute or so, until crisp. Remove and set on paper towels to drain.

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, and black pepper. Add the turnips and bacon and toss well to combine. Add salt if needed and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours.

Once chilled, add the pickled red onions and parsley and toss again. Serve.

Serves 4-6.

 

(This recipe makes a lot more pickled onions than are needed for this salad. Enjoy these onions on burgers, in other salads, on tacos, or as a garnish on top of rich, heavier dishes such as pot roast or chili.)

Pickled Red Onions (gluten-free, vegan)

¾ c apple cider vinegar

¼ c red wine vinegar

2 T lime juice

1 T natural cane sugar (for vegan) or honey

1 T kosher salt

1 bay leaf

½ t black peppercorns

½ t cumin seed

½ t coriander seeds

½ t whole allspice

1 large or 2 medium red onions, sliced thinly

Combine everything but the onions in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Add the onions and bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. (It’s okay if the onions aren’t covered by the liquid at first. They’ll cook down.) Reduce to low and partially cover. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not falling apart. Transfer the onions and liquid to a glass lidded container or a jar and allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

Book Review and Giveaway: The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Michelle Senst, who won the copy of The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free!

 

Need a one-stop shop for all your gluten-free needs? The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free by Jeanine Friesen might be just the thing.

As you probably have seen, there are quite a few gluten-free books showing up on the market. (I own a great many of them!) How do you decipher what’s worth your money? Personally, I look to see what the author knows about gluten-free living. Secondly, I like to know whether they can actually cook. As much as I’d like to think those two qualifications were required for all books like this, a quick browse through the bookstore seems to reveal that is not always the case.

But when it comes to Jeanine, she’s more than qualified! Jeanine has been gluten-free since 2008 after being diagnosed with celiac disease, so she lives the gluten-free lifestyle day in and day out. What’s more, she’s always been one to play around in the kitchen. Her blog, The Baking Beauties, chronicles a multitude of amazing gluten-free baked goods, as well as other dishes. You’d never know they were gluten-free. I’ve browsed through and even made some of Jeanine’s recipes over the years. She was instrumental in helping me satisfy those baked goods cravings I had early in my gluten-free life. Her style is very approachable, and she makes a ton of crowd-pleasers. In short, this girl can cook.

So it’s no surprise she’s now the author of such a guide as The Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free. In this guide, she takes you from the beginning steps of gluten-free living, describing what gluten is (even including primitive versions of wheat, such as einkorn and emmer, which I found interesting), what celiac disease is, other related disorders and diseases, and other reasons one might go gluten-free. There are beginning steps describing how to eliminate gluten from your diet, including probably the most daunting task to someone new to a gluten-free diet – how to reading labels. Jeanine gives detailed tips that make this process as easy as possible. She also discusses cross-contamination on various tools in your kitchen – a very often overlooked, but important topic. There are also travel tips, and even a section dedicated to gluten-free kids.

Of course, the recipe section is always my favorite part. This book covers all of the favorites – muffins, pancakes, soups, salads, macaroni and cheese, pizza, nachos, lasagna, meatloaf, pot roast, bagels, bread, biscuits, and of course, desserts such as cream puffs, banana cake, and cookies.

What did I decide to make?

 

You guessed it – cookies. For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve always been a cookie monster. They’re my dessert of choice. I opted to make her Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, substituting palm shortening for the butter (and I used dairy-free chocolate chips).

Just look at those babies. Chewy and yet still a touch soft, these were definitely a treat. For one that rarely eats regular sugar, these were sweet to me, but my soccer team gladly added them to their (most definitely not gluten-free) homebrewed beer and pizza party weekend before last – and nobody could tell they were gluten or dairy-free. That’s the tell-tale sign of a good recipe – when the regular gluten-eaters are happy to chow down! Jeanine definitely wins with this one.

Want to win a copy of this soon-to-be-released book?

Here’s how you can enter to win – each one of these steps will earn you an entry:

1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite treat you’d love to see made gluten-free.

2. Like Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment here telling me you did so.

3. Follow Tasty Eats At Home on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4. Like The Baking Beauties on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

5. Follow Baking Beauties on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

6. Share this giveaway on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

 

That’s it! Lots of chances to win! This giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years of age and older. The giveaway will end on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at 11:59PM CST.

Best of luck to you all! If you don’t win, or you just can’t wait, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

 

Chocolate Chip Brown Rice Crispy Cookies

Here’s a Valentine’s Day thought: What if a rice crispy treat and a chocolate chip cookie met, fell in love, and had children?

My bet would be that these treats would be the offspring.

The other day, I was in my pantry and the Erewhon box of Crispy Brown Rice cereal was staring back at me. You’ve forgotten me, it seemed to exclaim. Oh no, I replied, I just…wanted to make something special with you. That’s all!

(What, you don’t have conversations with your cereal boxes?)

Anyway, I determined that now was the time to make that “something special”. I didn’t want another rice crispy treat (although I adored making these peanut butter ones, as well as these maple pecan ones!). I wanted to take this cereal in a different direction. So why not attempt to combine two iconic treats into one?

The result was a chewy, delicious chocolate chip cookie with the lovely, crisp texture of the crisp rice cereal. I was smarter this time around than most – I had plenty of kids around to whom I pawned off these addictive treats. No one seemed to mind. I definitely had my fair share, especially with tastes of the cookie dough (which admittedly tastes more like a rice crispy treat, much to my delight – oh, the pains the baker must go through!).

I dare you to eat just one!

[recipe-link]

Chocolate Chip Brown Rice Crispy Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1/3 c coconut oil, softened slightly

2/3 c coconut palm sugar

2 t vanilla extract

4 T maple syrup

1 egg

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/2 c gluten-free oat flour

2 T tapioca flour

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/4 t xanthan or guar gum

1 1/2 c gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal

1 c chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life minis)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil and coconut palm sugar. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup, and egg and continue to beat on medium speed until incorporated well. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, the oat flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and the xanthan or guar gum. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined well. Add in the crispy brown rice cereal and chocolate chips and stir in.

Scoop small balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons-sized) and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

 

Fall In Love With Beets

beets harvested from my garden

Do you love beets? Wish you loved beets? Today over at The Balanced Platter, I’m sharing some reasons to love these beauties, as well as a collection of delicious beet-ful recipes, guaranteed to turn even the beet-averse into beet-lovers. Head on over and check it out!

Italian Herb Crackers (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

On a day-to-day basis, I am a simple eater. It’s partially by choice, but very much driven by necessity. Trying to eat a whole foods-based, mostly grain-free, dairy-free diet with a full schedule means you often choose the fastest option. Snacks are often simply a handful of nuts or some fruit and vegetables. In fact, it’s rare when you can’t find some nuts in my desk drawer at work – right now, there are macadamia nuts. These kinds of things are my “fast foods”.

But when I do have a bit of time, I try to make up something that’s a bit different. Something that feels a bit more special. Like beef jerky, (although most of that goes to my husband, as it’s his favorite snack.) or a trail mix. This time, however, I wanted something a bit different. Savory and satisfying. I was drawn to crackers.

I’ve made crackers before (they’re really pretty easy!) using almond flour. Only this time around, I wanted to challenge myself and make some crackers that are even more allergen-free and omitting the nuts. So I reached for the stash of pumpkin and sunflower seeds in my fridge.

Both of these seeds can do wonders for grain-free, nut-free baking. I’ve played with pumpkin seeds before (making some pretty awesome chocolate cherry cookies!), and so I figured I could try the same with sunflower seeds. Little did I know that simultaneously, Matt from Paleo Parents was playing around with sunflower seed flour! It’s one of those little wonders of the universe. Maybe it’s a sign of a new revolution in grain-free baking? Who knows. In any case, it seems sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are making quite the splash.

I can see why. In just a few moments, I was able to throw together some incredibly satisfying crackers. These crackers have the mouthfeel and look of a rustic “multi-grain” cracker, with a wonderful herbed punch. They’d be a great base for a bruschetta or a tapenade, a macadamia nut “ricotta” cheese, or alongside tomato soup. For me, as most of these things are, it’ll be most likely that they will be in my snack stash, eaten out of hand as a quick snack. They’ll be a welcome change from the usual!

Print Recipe

Italian Herb Crackers (grain-free, nut-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

1 c raw, hulled pumpkin seeds

1 c raw, hulled sunflower seeds, divided

1/4 c ground flaxseed meal

2 t Italian seasoning

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t onion powder

1/2 t paprika

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 t salt

1 T coconut palm sugar

1 T coconut oil, melted

3 T water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pumpkin seeds, half of the sunflower seeds, the flaxseed meal, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper, and salt. Process until ground and no chunks of nuts remain. Add the remaining sunflower seeds, coconut oil, water and coconut palm sugar and process again until the dough comes together and the sunflower seeds are in smaller chunks.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and transfer the cracker dough to the paper, “smooshing” it together with your hands to form a flattened ball. Cut another sheet of parchment paper and place on top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper, lifting and repositioning the paper as needed, until the dough is about 1/8 inch or less and is as rectangular in shape as you can get it. Peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using a pizza cutter, cut a grid of 1-inch squares.

Carefully transfer the entire sheet of parchment to your baking sheet, keeping the grid of crackers in tact. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Remove from oven and run the pizza cutter along the cut lines again. Allow to cool, then separate and serve.

Makes about 30 crackers.

 

Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream

Need a Valentine’s Day breakfast idea? Or just want to sneak some healthy vegetables into your unsuspecting child’s diet? Moist, fluffy, and bright pink-red, these little darlings are sure to please.

Personally, I love sneaking healthy ingredients into foods. My favorite meatloaf recipe is one that hides some carrot, celery, and ground chia or flaxseed. I’ve made spaghetti sauces with simmered and pureed carrots in addition to the usual tomato. I’m always a fan of tossing spinach in my smoothies (although most of the time, the green color doesn’t ”hide” so well…) And I’ve hidden beets before in chocolate truffles. So why not hide beets in pancakes in plain sight?

These days, most red velvet cake recipes obtain their bright-red color from artificial food dye. I’m not a fan of artificial dyes, so I opted to go the old-fashioned way – get my red color from beets! As long as you take care to keep the batter as acidic as possible, the beets should retain their red color in the batter even after cooking. So rather than using lots of baking soda (too alkaline), I used baking powder and eggs for lift. I also only used a touch of cocoa powder (not dutched – again, dutched is too alkaline) to keep the pancakes bright. The result?

Beet-red pancakes – literally! Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet, barely chocolate-y pancakes that tasted marvelous. Of course, they were even more marvelous with a drizzle of homemade maple cashew cream sauce, and a little more maple syrup on top as well. While they’ll be sure to bring smiles to the faces of any little ones, I will admit they made excellent fuel for a good run in some cool, drizzly weather afterwards.

Print Recipe

Red Velvet Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1/2 c chopped roasted beets (I peeled and cut 2 large beets into 1-inch chunks and roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes)

3/4 c coconut milk

2 T water

2 eggs

1/4 c coconut palm sugar

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 c tapioca starch

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/2 t salt

2 t baking powder

1 T cocoa powder (not dutched)

1/4 t guar gum

Place the chopped beets, and coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the water, eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla extract and puree until well-blended and smooth.

In a medium bowl, add the tapioca starch, brown rice flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and guar gum. Whisk together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and process again until smooth.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease with a little coconut oil if desired. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and spread out to about a 4-inch circle with the back of a spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges look like they’re starting to dry. Carefully flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream and maple syrup.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

Maple Cashew Cream (gluten-free, vegan)

1 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours

1/3 c water

juice of 1 lemon

2 T maple syrup

about 1/2 t salt

2 T maple syrup

Drain the soaked cashews and place in a high-powered blender along with the water, the lemon juice, maple syrup, and the salt. Blend on a medium-low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides, until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thin the cream if needed. Store remainder, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.

This post has been linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! Comfort Foods

It’s my first time hosting the famous blog event, a brainchild of Naomi of Straight Into Bed, Cakefree and Dried, called Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free. I’ve admired it for a long while, but only participated once. I love the idea – every month, the host/hostess shares a theme, and participants create a recipe around that theme, share it, and then there’s a roundup at the end of the month. Last month, Naomi encouraged everyone to create some amazing pickles! I love pickling – in fact, I have some sauerkraut that’s working on my countertop at home right now. Check out her roundup of pickles – there are some colorful ones! It’s always fun to be given a theme to focus on. Sometimes, it gives me just the little push I need to be creative.

February weather often brings so much chill and gray that I thought that focusing on comfort foods as a theme was most appropriate. Since going gluten-free and dairy-free (and mostly grain-free), rarely do we have comfort foods around the house. But when it’s cold outside, this is what we crave, right? But save my good ol’ standby, the slow cooker pot roast (I still follow this recipe, only now I use much less liquid, and I puree the onions, garlic, and mushrooms with the juices and starch to make a velvety gravy. It’s so satisfying.), there hasn’t been much in the way of traditional comfort food around. It’s time to change that!

So if you’re interested in playing along, we’d love to see your favorite gluten-free comfort food! This is what you do:

- Post a new recipe on your blog that is comfort food to you, and indicate in the post that it is your submission for February 2013′s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free. You are welcome to use the GAHIGF logo at the top of the page, but it isn’t required. You must link back to this post to be included in the roundup. Please also make sure the recipe is gluten-free.

- The deadline to submit your recipe for Comfort Foods is Thursday February 28th Tuesday, March 5th. Email the link to your blog post (to alta (at) tastyeatsathome (dot) com) with “GAHIGF” in the subject line and a photo of your recipe included as an attachment. You can also send a private message through my Facebook Page.

- Don’t worry if you’re not a blogger! You can still participate by emailing me and following the same instructions as above. Just include the recipe and photo as an attachment or typed in the email body.

I can’t wait to see what you’ll bring!