Monthly Archives: July 2013

Grilled Mango Ice Cream (Dairy-Free)

Friends, I apologize. I thought I’d shared this amazing little recipe with you about a year ago. But browsing through some things, I realized I hadn’t. That’s darn-near shameful. Keeping such a lovely little summer treat like this from you. It’s just not right.

So I figured I shouldn’t delay any longer. I mean, after all, summer won’t last forever. (Although where I live, it tends to feel like it does…) Grilled fruit is definitely something you ought to be enjoying now, and ice cream, well, ice cream never goes out of style. But to combine the two? That’s a newer, fresher approach, and something you should try right away.

This is another easy-peasy vegan ice cream that uses coconut milk as the base. What I particularly love in this recipe, though, is that the slight coconut flavor combines beautifully with the mango, giving a full-on tropical feel. Of course, I gave it a bit of an Indian edge, adding a bit of garam masala and ginger to the mix. The spices don’t overwhelm the flavor, but they add a lovely background note that compliments the sweet mango and creamy coconut. It makes this the perfect little treat to end a meal (preferably one cooked outdoors, so you didn’t heat up the house). I definitely hope you become a fan!

Print Recipe

Grilled Mango Ice Cream (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-free)

2 ripe mangoes, cut on either side of the pit, but not peeled

1 T coconut nectar (or honey or agave)

1 can coconut milk, chilled in refrigerator

½ c coconut nectar (or honey or agave)

1 t vanilla extract

¼ t salt

½ t ground ginger

½ t garam masala

 

Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, brush cut mango pieces with coconut nectar. Oil grates and grill mango pieces until well-marked with grill marks and starting to soften, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and allow to cool.

Peel and dice mangoes and reserve 1/3 cup. Place remaining mangoes, coconut milk, coconut nectar, salt, ginger, and garam masala in a blender or food processor and puree. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.

Follow your ice cream maker instructions and process the mango-ice cream puree in the ice cream maker. Stir in the reserved mango pieces in by hand. Store in freezer to firm up for at least 4 hours.

Newly Gluten-Free? LIVE CHAT – Tuesday, July 30, 2013 – 8PM Eastern

Are you new to a gluten-free diet? At a loss on how to begin? Or are you a seasoned veteran, and have some valuable tips to share? Join me next Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 8PM Eastern (7PM Central) for a free LIVE CHAT over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community. We will be sharing tips on how to navigate the gluten-free diet. There will also be gluten-free treats given away as prizes, courtesy of Udi’s. I hope to see you there!

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Those of you that are avid gluten-free bakers: have you ever noticed how much a brand change in a gluten-free flour affects your end result? I’ve heard this, but didn’t really experience it to a point where I thought “ugh, I really need to stick with this other brand” until I was making pie crust. You see, I’ve had this amazing pie crust under wraps for a while. I love it. It’s reasonably easy to roll out, and it’s light and crisp once baked. And until I switched flour brands, it wasn’t gritty or grainy in the least.

But the last time I was out of my Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour and Mochiko sweet white rice flour, I opted instead to buy a different brand, just because it was more convenient. Big mistake on my part – at least for this recipe. This time around, I purchased Bob’s Red Mill flours. They’re fine in most baked goods – especially the ones with plenty of moisture to “soften” the coarser grind of the flour. Pie crust is not one of those things. The crust with my usual flours is really great. It works with the Bob’s Red Mill flours as well, but it’s less pliable, and after baking, the mouthfeel is a bit grittier. I definitely could notice the difference, and while I like and use Bob’s Red Mill flours for a ton of things (in fact, they are the majority brand in my pantry), for this recipe in particular, I’m sticking to more finely ground flours.

That being said, I want to share this recipe with you all. It’s quite good – the best I’ve made or eaten so far. Like I mentioned above, it’s pliable, easy to roll out (as long as you roll between sheets of parchment), it tastes delicious, and it holds up to fruit fillings quite well. I won’t say that it behaves just like a gluten dough – I have yet to experience that in any gluten-free baking, really – but it’s easier to handle than most. It was excellent with this blueberry pie.

Blueberry season is coming to a close around here. I’m kind of mourning that fact. I love blueberries, and the local ones have so much more flavor than any I’ve found at the grocery. It’s a complex flavor, more than just sweet or tart. Almost perfumed, floral…it’s hard to describe, but I adore them. I’ve purchased a dozen pints from a nearby farm and have frozen them for yearlong use (which sadly, will in reality only last me until December or January). But I did have to sacrifice a good amount of the fresh berries for this pie. Although I wouldn’t really call it a sacrifice – because after all, who doesn’t like pie?

This pie isn’t overly sweet, but I found it the perfect way to end the day. A happy helping of this, and a scoop of vanilla (dairy-free) ice cream, and I’m definitely in heaven. But I won’t judge if you decide that you need a slice for breakfast too – it would be a perfect compliment to a cup of coffee.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Pie (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Pie Crust – this recipe makes enough for a double crust. Halve the recipe to make this blueberry pie, or save the remainder of the crust for another purpose:

1 ½ c sweet white rice flour (I prefer Mochiko)

¾ c superfine brown rice flour (I prefer Authentic Foods)

1/3 c tapioca starch

1 t kosher salt

¼ t guar gum 

12 T (1 1/2 stick) vegan buttery sticks (I like Earth Balance) or butter, if you can handle dairy

2 eggs, cold

1/4 c cold water 

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the vegan butter into smaller pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse until everything looks like a somewhat fine meal. Add the eggs and water. Process until it becomes thick dough. It should be pliable and hold together, but not overly sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a tablespoon of starch. Too dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon of water.

Place half of the dough (unless you’ve halved the recipe; in that case, use the entire amount) onto a large sheet of parchment paper and pat together into a circle. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and roll out dough using a rolling pin with the dough in between the two sheets. You can stop and pull up the top sheet and lay back down to reposition if you get wrinkles in the sheet. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Place a pie pan upside-down over the dough, and slide your hand underneath the dough and bottom sheet of parchment paper. With one hand on the bottom of the pie pan, and the other on the dough, flip everything at once, so that the pie pan is right-side-up with the dough laying over the top. Peel back the parchment and press the dough in. If it cracks, simply press back together.

Bake crust according to your pie recipe (or as I am doing below).

For the blueberry pie filling:

7 c blueberries

1/2 c maple sugar (can also use regular white sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/4 c tapioca starch

1 T lemon juice

1 T vegan butter, cut into small pieces

In a large bowl, place the blueberries, sugar, starch, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Using a potato masher, mash some of the berries. You don’t want them to look totally mashed – you just want to release some of the juices.

Transfer the blueberries to your pie pan with the crust, mounding towards the middle. Scatter the butter on top of the berries.

For the Crumble Topping:

1/4 c sweet white rice flour

1/4 c superfine brown rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

1/4 t guar gum

3 T maple sugar (can also use brown sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t kosher salt

1/3 c melted vegan butter, cooled slightly

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix with fingertips to blend and crumble.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crumble the crumble topping over the top of the blueberries. Place the pie in the oven on the center rack and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 45 minutes if it starts to brown too much.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8-10.

Do you have experiences with varied results when it comes to using different brands of gluten-free flours? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Review: Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes That Respect The Whole Hog

When Stacy and Matt of Paleo Parents contacted me about their latest book Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes That Respect The Whole Hog, I was excited. I’d already reviewed their first book, Eat Like A Dinosaur, and loved it. Stacey and Matt definitely take the time to really understand their stuff, and it shows. So for a while now, I’ve been chomping at the bit to see their newest creation, especially after following them on Instagram. They kept sharing amazing photos of their recipe testing. It was torturous, and yet exciting at the same time. I knew well in advance, for example, that there were some recipes in this book I would just HAVE to try. Head cheese. Porcetta. I mean, how could you not just already be in love?

Well the book arrived, and unfortunately, I was down to nearly nothing as far as my pork “stash” was concerned. I had purchased a quarter of a pig earlier in the year, and it was so tasty that we went through it all too quickly. All that was left was a package of pork chops. Don’t worry – I’ve placed another order with the farmer (who really isn’t more than a kid – he’s just graduated high school and is raising pastured pigs to help fund for college.) and will get it in September. At that time, you better believe that head cheese will be made. But in an effort to share the wonder that is this book with you in a more timely manner, I opted to go with the pork I had – some beautiful pastured bone-in chops.

 I opted to go for their Perfect Pork Chops, which were super-easy and not all that unlike my recipe for Perfect Lamb Chops. I love the way chops taste when cooked in a cast iron skillet, with their slightly crispy little bits and edges, the depth of flavor added by the browning, and the juiciness of the meat. I love that this is another simple, foolproof way to prepare them. With a bit of garlic and paprika and a nice little visit in my pan, these babies were full of flavor. Perfect was indeed the “perfect” name for them.

I can’t wait to make more from this book. I have some lard in my freezer that’s just waiting to be rendered (yep, they teach you how to do that too!) and then I’ll be making desserts. With lard. Pork knows no bounds, I tell you.

You can purchase a copy of Beyond Bacon either for Kindle or a hardcover. I have the hardcover copy, and it’s a truly gorgeous book. One that will grace my bookshelf (when it’s not on my kitchen counter) for years to come.

Black Plum Sorbet

Why, oh why, has it taken me so long to make sorbet? I mean, it would seem like an obvious first step once going dairy-free – that if I was to be making a frozen dessert, it would be sorbet. After all, sorbet is naturally dairy-free. But no – I dove headfirst into making ice “cream” that I could enjoy, as evidenced here, here, and here. I love making ice cream. But after scoring some huge, gorgeous black plums at the farmer’s market, I thought maybe I’d do something a bit different from my usual. I wanted something cool, sweet, and refreshing. This sorbet was just the thing.

It’s a simple sorbet, really, and comes together pretty quickly. One of my favorite components, however, is the bit of balsamic vinegar. It’s not overwhelmingly balsamic – it’s merely a background note that gives balance and interest to the sorbet. It keeps it from being cloying. Add that and the Cointreau, and it’s a perfect marriage of plummy sweet, slightly tart freshness that completes a perfect summer meal.

Print Recipe

Black Plum Sorbet (gluten-free, vegan)

2 lbs plums, pitted and sliced into eighths

1/2 c agave nectar

1 t pomegranate balsamic vinegar (can use regular balsamic)

pinch of salt

1 1/2 t Cointreau (or Grand Marnier)

Place the sliced plums, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to medium heat and cover, allowing to simmer, for about 8 minutes or until the plums become tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, add the Cointreau and puree in a blender until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and chill thoroughly. Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Live in the Dallas area? I’ll be speaking this Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Dallas! Come join us.

Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Before I went gluten-free, I would often treat myself to Vietnamese for lunch. A gigantic bowl of steaming pho and summer rolls could turn even the most difficult of days into a better one. There is something just so satisfying to me about the bold, in-your-face flavors of those two dishes. They’re addictive, but in a good way.

But after going gluten-free, I’ve had trouble finding a good pho shop. While many ingredients in both pho and summer rolls are gluten-free, there are still a lot of hurdles. The hoisin sauce often used in the pho is full of gluten. Who knows how they prepared the broth. And while most rice noodles are indeed made with just rice, some aren’t. So I usually opt to make my own.

Summer rolls, or salad rolls, are a fresh roll consisting of an assortment of vegetables, rice vermicelli, and possibly a meat or seafood, all wrapped up in rice paper, and served cold or at room temperature. They’re not deep fried like egg rolls. Not sure how they arrived at the name “summer roll”, but it fits – they are so perfect for a hot summer day. I could eat tons of them.  Like I said, they’re addictive.

These rolls take a bit of preparation, but once you have all of the ingredients ready, they’re fairly simple to assemble. And they keep well for a day or two, which is a nice bonus. They might keep longer, but I wouldn’t know – I’ve never had them last that long!

Print Recipe

Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free)

For the rolls:

1/2 t fish sauce (can use gluten-free soy sauce instead)

1/2 t fresh lemongrass (can use lime zest instead)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T olive oil

8 oz medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 oz dried rice vermicelli

16-18 round rice papers

1 head of green leaf lettuce, leaves separated and torn into 2-3 inch pieces

1 c julienned carrots

1 c julienned red bell pepper

1 c julienned cucumber

1 c julienned daikon radish

1 mango, cut into thin slivers

18-24 each mint leaves and basil leaves, or substitute with Thai basil, if you can find it

For the dipping sauce:

1 t olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced finely

3 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 T honey

1 T chili garlic sauce

1/4 c creamy peanut butter

1/4 c water

In a medium bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, grated lemongrass, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Marinate the shrimp for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water. Remove from heat, add the rice vermicelli and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil, swirling to coat. Cook the shrimp in a single layer on the skillet for about 2 minutes, flip, and cook until shrimp is cooked through and pink, another 3 minutes or so. Remove and allow to cool a bit. When cool enough to handle, slice the shrimp through down the middle of its back.

Place about 1 inch of room temperature water in a large baking dish. Get all of your ingredients ready for assembly. Dip a rice paper in the water for about 2 seconds. Lift and allow water to drip off. Place on a clean, dry work surface. Blot off the top with a paper towel. (You’ll want to blot your work surface in between rolls as well)

Lay 3-4 halves of the shrimp in a line near the bottom third of the rice paper. Top with a leaf of lettuce, vermicelli, and the veggies and mango, topping with a mint leaf and basil leaf or two. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the roll tight, tucking the sides in periodically as you go, stopping halfway to tug back on the roll to tighten. Once rolled up, the paper will seal onto itself. Transfer roll to a platter and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients.

For the dipping sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add oil and garlic. Saute for a minute or until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well, until warm. If the sauce is too thick, add more water.

Makes about 4 servings.

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

What do you do when you buy a dozen pints of blueberries at once?

What, you don’t buy a dozen pints of blueberries? I thought that was a normal thing. I’m actually worried that I need to buy more. I froze most of them so I can have blueberries throughout the year for smoothies and baked goods, but I also shoved as many as I could in my mouth. Both fresh and frozen. Frozen blueberries are amazing. Almost like chilly, refreshing candy. Something you must try at one point. But really, I must get more. Last year, I ran out months before the summertime came, and it was a sad, lonely, blueberry-less time for me.

But anyway, besides all of that storing and munching of blueberries, I managed to save enough to make a little breakfast bread. I wanted something tasty to go with coffee – a lightly sweet, delicious treat. This was just the thing. Slathered with a little vegan butter, it was perfect. I could barely wait the time it took to cool – and I still ate my slice when it was quite warm. Definitely warm enough to melt that butter. And then I had another slice. You know, for research purposes. I had to make sure it was good enough for all you wonderful people.

I highly suggest you “invest” in some blueberries before the season is over, and set aside a few for a breakfast bread like this. You won’t be sorry. It’s a great little pick-me-up.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Breakfast Bread (grain-free, refined sugar-free, paleo, dairy-free)

3 T canned full-fat coconut milk

1 T lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

2 T coconut oil, melted (but not hot)

1/4 c + 2 T coconut palm sugar

1 t lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

2 eggs, room temperature, whisked in a small bowl

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 c blanched almond flour

1/4 c coconut flour

3 T tapioca starch

3/4 t baking soda

1/2 t kosher salt

1 c fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a small loaf pan (mine is about 2 1/2″ X 5 1/2 “) and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice. Then add the coconut oil, coconut sugar, lemon zest, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until well-blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond and coconut flours, the tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until well-blended. Fold in the blueberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4.

Chocolate Protein “Frosty”

It’s getting warm outside, and you’ve just come inside from an afternoon of soccer games, a run, softball, or even just mowing the lawn. It’s hot, and you want a refreshing treat – something cool, creamy and delicious. But you want a healthier treat. Why not try a Chocolate Protein “Frosty“? It’s easy to whip up and definitely hits the spot. Check out my recipe (and learn about some good, healthy sources of protein) over at The Balanced Platter today!

Fire-Roasted Tomato Almond Dip

Sometimes, you just need a dip. Something to bring the crowd together. Something to munch on. Something to make your lunch a little more delightful. Whatever the reason, this dip might just be the answer. It’s smoky and creamy. It’s unique. It’s great with raw veggies, such as celery sticks or cucumber slices, but also delicious with tortilla chips or crackers.

What I also can appreciate about a recipe like this is that there is no cooking. Zero. Zilch. And when it’s hot outside, especially 100+ degrees hot, anything I can prepare without having to cook is a definite bonus. One could definitely make this part of a meal, along with some crackers, assorted pickles, and maybe something special like a terrine, and a glass of wine or a gluten-free beer. It also only takes a few minutes to whip up, so I would encourage you to do so at your first chance. It’s that good.

It’s safe to say, it’s my new favorite thing.

Well, as far as dips go, anyway. I’m sure I’ll have a new favorite next week. Until then, enjoy.

Print Recipe

Fire-Roasted Tomato Almond Dip (gluten-free, vegan)

1 c roasted, salted almonds

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes

Salt to taste (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 t smoked paprika

3-4 T extra virgin olive oil

Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground and starting to clump a bit. Add the garlic, tomatoes, salt and paprika and continue to process until everything is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Turn the processor back on and drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to process until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with crackers, raw vegetables, chips, or even gluten-free bread. Makes 6-8 servings.

Join us tonight, July 1, at 8PM Eastern Time for a free LIVE CHAT where we will be discussing how to travel on a gluten-free diet. There will be prizes, courtesy of Udi’s!