Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Vegetarian GF Rosh Hashana


Can a gluten free vegetarian celebrate Rosh Hashanah with traditional tasting foods. I assembled some recipes that make a delicious vegetarian and gluten free holiday dinner.

When I first became a vegetarian and then later gluten free, I was overwhelmed with the thought of what I would cook for the holidays. Since my home had always been a hub for relatives to get together during the holidays, I wondered if they ( and I) would miss the traditional  foods I used to make.

It turns out they were ok about it , and I learned to make some really wonderful meals. I even get requests for the recipes. This year for the Jewish New Year, I am making dinner for 15 people and will be serving some of my previously posted  recipes. I gathered them on this page to put them together for a meal.

My menu for lunch could look like this: 

Carrot Ginger Soup- with the best ever .gluten free  Matzo Balls

Vegetarian Chopped Liver - with ripe tomato wedges

Arugala Cashew Salad

Asparagus Quiche and Mushroom Quiche

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Chocolate and ground hazelnuts Dipped  figs and Strawberries

Apple Cake in the Crock Pot ( can be made in oven as well)

Scroll down for the recipes

Vegetarian Chopped Liver -
This is so good, even meat eaters beg for it.
( the rolls were for company and not gluten free)


Carrot Ginger Soup-
A wonderful broth to eat with the matzo balls.


How To Make Matzo Balls


Quiches  I double the recipe and cook them in a pie type pan

Baked Sweet Potato Fries




Zucchini Biscuit Quiche

Wendy's Crunchy Vegetable Balls



Chocolate Dipped Figs in ground hazelnuts


Apple Cake in the Crock Pot

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Cake GF



Jewish apple cake made in the crock pot

You can bake a cake in the crock pot!
Can you imagine?
I just did it ,and it came out moist and extra delicious.

It started yesterday when I noticed a few crock pot cake recipes online. I was intrigued and said , " Judee you have to get out that crock pot and give this a try." This was a first for me, and I have to say the results were great!



It was right up my alley because I love making anything and everything in the crock pot. I use crock pots, not just for cooking , but also for serving.  When I am having company, I use my crock pot to heat up the soup, keep it warm , and I serve right from it..

The crock pot I used today is unusual. It is a two sided crock pot.
 I can actually make two things at once, and that is exactly what I did. I made two gluten free cakes at once. On one side, I made an apple cake using almond flour and oats. On the other side I made an applesauce spice cake with coconut flour. (Now if you are not gluten free and don't want to use the extra healthy ingredients, you can make this with regular flour and regular sugar. See my variations at the bottom of the post/

I used organic palm sugar for the extra nutrition and low glycemic effect.. It was also my first time trying palm sugar

 I bought the palm sugar at the health food store. I've read about palm sugar on other blogs, but I never actually tried it. The packaging says, " palm sugar is a healthy alternative sweetener that has a lower glycemic index than agave, honey, or cane sugar."  It goes on to explain that it also is a good source of minerals and B vitamins. The original recipe called for brown sugar.

This is my recipe for Crock Pot Apple Cake adapted from a great blog,  Finding Joy In My Kitchen

Ingredients:
3-4 large organic apples, sliced ( I used delicious)
1 and 1/3 cup almond meal ( you can use GF flour or regular flour if you are not gluten free)
2/3 cup gluten free oats ( oatmeal)
3/4 cup palm sugar  + 1 TSBP for the apples ( if you don't care, you can use sugar)
2 tsp baking powder ( I use aluminum free)
1 + 1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

DirectionsPeel and cut up apples. Toss with 1 TBSP palm sugar, 3 TBSP almond meal, 1 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix almond meal, oats, baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon.
In a small bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, applesauce.

Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and blended. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix completely.

Pour batter into a well greased crock pot.
Cover and turn onto high and bake for about 2 hours. ( check after 1 and half hours that it is not too dry.)

Turn of the heat and remove lid. Take a rubber spatula and pry sides loose. Allow to cool off . When cool turn over and release cake.

Step by Step


Assemble Ingredients

Cut up apples and then toss with 1 TBSP palm sugar, 3 TBSP almond meal, 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl ( forgot to take a pic)
Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Mix dry into the wet and pour over the
apple mixture until well blended.




Pour into a well greased crock pot. ( I sprayed with cooking oil)  Turn on high and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
check it with a toothpick. Turn off heat and allow to sit with lid off. Take a knife and cut around
the sides to loosen. Remove the container from the heat and allow to cool and then remove the cake.
http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/  

Why would you use a crock pot? To free up your oven if you have a lot of things to make. Since a cake usually has to go in alone, it creates oven time. Also, in the summer, if you don't turn on the oven, you don't need to heat up your kitchen. I'm sure you can think of lots of reasons making the cake in the slow cooker could work out well. Personally, it just looked like fun, and I wanted to try it. I have to say, both cakes were moist and delicious.
If anyone is interested in the coconut flour recipe, it is egg and dairy free.
Leave the request in the comments by scrolling down to the green box at the end of this post. I you are reading this in your email, click the top of the post where it says click her to go to the blog. Leave a request and  I'll send it to you.

May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Make Matzo Balls GF




What is a Jewish holiday without Matzo Balls? These delicious delicacies are so easy to make and will make your holiday meal festive and traditional . After years of experimenting to make a gluten free version, I finally learned that all you have to do is change one simple ingredient to get a fabulous authentic matzo ball that everyone will love.

Matzo balls were always one of my favorite foods, so I really missed them when I stopped eating gluten.Until now, I couldn't find a recipe that reminded me of the old days when I could dive into a nice hot bowl of piping hot broth boasting one of two of  these tasty plump over sized  dumplings.

If you have never had matzo balls, you are really missing something. They are very popular on the east coast in a bowl of chicken soup. Kids of all ages love them, and they are really easy to make. They really hit the spot on a cold winter night.

How I finally learned to make them gluten free

For years, my friend Paula ,who cooks for two gluten free family members ( her husband and son) , had been telling me how good her gluten free matzo balls are. I never thought much about them until I was invited to her house for dinner and actually tasted them. OMG
Her gluten free matzo balls tasted amazing: totally authentic and delicious. I was hooked.

Today, I'm sharing Paula's simple recipe, and I'm sharing it just in time for Rosh Hashanah ( The Jewish New Year)


Enjoy these matzo balls in your favorite soup. ( Vegetarian/vegan Broth for Matzo Balls) 
They freeze well too.. see my notes below

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of oil ( I use olive oil)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs ( or for Passover use 1/2 cup  GF Matzo meal)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 T seltzer ( optional- makes the matzo balls softer )


Directions

Step One: 

Put up an 8 qt pot of water and bring it to a boil with just a little salt if you like

Step Two:

In the meantime
In a small bowl beat eggs and oil and set aside
In a separate bowl mix bread crumbs and salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend well with fork.
Add seltzer
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes ( this step is important)

Step Three :  

Remove batter from refrigerator. Divide batter into just slightly smaller than golf ball size balls ( should make about 8-10 .When water comes to a boil, drop in balls one at a time into the boiling water
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes.
Add to warm soup and serve.
*** see my notes below on how to freeze matzo balls if you want to make them in advance- 


Assemble Ingredients
Beat eggs and oil


Mix in GF bread crumbs or GF Matzo Meal and salt . When mixed add seltzer.
Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes ( don't skip this)
Wet your hands and form into golf size balls ( makes about 12-13)
Drop  in boiling water
Boil for about 35 minutes until center is soft

Use a slotted spoon to remove from water. Add to soup and serve.

My Notes
Matzo balls also freeze well, so you can make them in advance.
Once the matzo balls have cooked, drain them, and place on a cookie sheet and allow to cool. When cool, place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove from the cookie sheet and store in baggies until ready to use. You can use a few or all whenever you want them.. Do Not Defrost- keep the balls frozen. Drop into rapidly boiling soup for about 15-20 minutes until the balls and soup are hot once again. .  Serve within the hour as the matzo balls absorb the soup!

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to come up with easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.






Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers


                          

These beautiful red peppers are stuffed with quinoa, black beans and sauteed vegetables. They not only look pretty, but they are filling, satisfying, and nutritious. Did I mention that they tate really good? Served with soup or salad, they are a meal.
I like to serve the outside of the pepper raw to preserve the vitamins and antioxidants, but I also provided a variation where you can cook the pepper, if you prefer. Either way they are delicious, hearty, gluten free and vegan.

                           
Ingredients

6 large red peppers
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 can of black beans, drained well
1 large onion , chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 more large can of diced tomatoes ( optional for cooking peppers)
2 carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 bag of frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Olive Oil Spray
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil spray for about 2 minutes. Add can of diced tomatoes and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add  diced carrots and zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and continue cooking for about another minute. Add spinach and cook until all is tender but not mushy.Stir frequently. Add quinoa and beans and stir until everything is blended well. Season and set aside .



Cut the top off of the washed peppers and clean out the insides. If you like the pepper raw, stuff it and it's ready to eat.

If you prefer the pepper cooked, then stuff the peppers and arrange them in a dutch oven pan. Add another can of diced tomatoes and some more lemon juice around the peppers. Cover and cook until peppers are soft, basting the peppers with the tomato sauce as they cook. Serve immediately.

These peppers can also be frozen .





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

I use a small steamer in a large pot and steam about 6 at a time.


Fresh whole artichokes
This is artichoke season and those big beautiful globes are in all of the supermarkets. You may have looked at them and wondered how you cook and eat them. Since, my husband's family is Mediterranean and artichokes are a big part of their diet, the family has the method down pat. Last night we ate dinner at my mother in laws house, and we had a simple, but delicious treat--- Her whole artichokes and lemon.

Now, I can't say its really a recipe, but it is an experience. My mother in law brought a bowl of steamed artichokes to the table whole . Each person took one and put it on his/her plate, and then the fun began.
artichokes in a bowl on Gluten Free A-Z blog
Steamed artichokes ready to eat!


We all sat for about a full 5-10 minutes peeling and eating layer after layer of our artichoke. Artichokes have about 20 or more layers! You have to peel each petal, leaf by leaf , and only eat the tip after its been dipped in fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice! I shouldn't have made these pretty petal arrangements because in reality we just eat each petal tip, on by one, and toss it onto a plate and then discard. The pretty arrangement is just for affect. When it comes to eating an artichoke , each eater is on their own.

                            

When you are all finished taking off the layers, you get to the artichoke heart which is the prize. ( first you have to dig out the little hairs from the center ( don;t eat the hair, you won't like it) A fresh artichoke heart  is so delicious and nutritious , it is worth all the peeling and trouble to get to it!

Yum! The middle is the best part; it's the heart of the artichoke
A whole unpeeled steamed artichoke is fun to eat, tastes good, and is nutritious too. 
I like them because they are very low in calories, very low in fat, high in fiber, and nutrient dense.
They are the perfect diet food. They take a long time to eat, taste great, and help you not overeat.

What could be faster to make and more fun to eat?
Just steam up a batch and everyone is on their own to dissect and eat their own artichoke. Even kids love them!
It's Fast, simple, fun, delicious nutritious, and low calorie! Now, we are talking!

How to steam the artichokes.
Place artichokes on a simple vegetable steamer rack ( available in  any kitchenware dept of stores lke TJ Max, Homegoods, maybe even the dollar store.) Put water in a pot , place steamer at the bottom fill with artichokes and add about 2 cups of water. Cover with lid, bring to a boil, simmer for about 20 minutes( check that water doesn't evaporate) until artichokes feel limp. Test by pulling out 1 or 1 petals which should come out without tugging.
 
To see the many other healthy gluten free recipes, healthy living tips, kitchen and blogging ideas that I pin each day, follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Monday, September 12, 2011

Black Bean Portabella Mushroom Burgers-SRC




Dont these look like real hamburgers? They are totally vegan and fabulous. There is something really tasty and meaty about Portabella mushrooms. Coupled with black beans, these filling mushrooms make a fabulous vegetarian burger that is of course gluten free. I made this for dinner yesterday and boy was it ever good!

You can be as creative as you like with the burger by adding toppings as well. Try sliced red onion, caramelized onions, corn salsa, sour cream , a thick slice of summer tomato , etc. Any of them will make this burger extra sensational.

                                                                
This recipe is adapted from the blog,  A Fit and Spicy Life ,

I made a few personal preferences changes ( and gluten free changes) in the recipe.
I used Portabella mushrooms instead of a variety of mushroom types
I used Bragg's amino acids instead of the Worcestershire sauce
I substituted gluten free breadcrumbs for the Panko bread crumbs.
I left out the hot stuff
I marinated my mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and grilled them before chopping.

Ingredients

10 ounces of Portabella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in chunks
2 cups of cooked black beans ( about 1 large can), drained and slightly mashed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped ( optional)
1 egg ( optional) I left it out and the burgers were great
1 TBSP cumin
3/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1/4 cup each chopped red onion and parsley,
salt and pepper to taste ( or I used 21 Salute ( from Trader Joe's)  salt free seasoning mix)

Directions

Marinate sliced portabella mushrooms in balsamic vinegar for about 10 minutes. Grill mushrooms on a Forman Grill if desired. Otherwise, just chop and add to mixture.

Mix cooked black beans, 1 egg if desired,  jalapeno,cumin and salt/pepper, Add breadcrumbs and eggs and mix. add chopped portobello mushrooms, parsley and red onion until combined.Form mixture into 4-6 patties. Put into the refrigerator for about an hour so they will hold together better,
Spray a non stick pan with olive oil spray and cook for 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat.


Assemble Ingredients


Mix drained black beans with seasoning and gluten free breadcrumbs

marinate mushrooms in Balsamic Vinegar for 10 minutes and grill on Forman grill if desired ( or don't)

Form into patties, and sautee burgers for 5 minutes on each side

Serve immediately on gluten free buns or on a plate; freezes well too.
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May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
Like my recipes? I post lots more ; Follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Super Moist Buttermilk Cornbread


gluten free cornbread in pan

I bought a cute little cornbread pan, so I had to make cornbread.

It was my first time making cornbread, but not my first time eating cornbread.
Sometimes, cornbread can be too dry, that's why I usually shy away from it.
When I found this recipe, I was delighted because it is not only exceptionally easy to make and gluten free,  it is also very tasty and moist.

You can make a sweet version or a savory version, or divide the batter in half and make both. The recipe also freezes well.

Eat the cornbread warm out of the oven, or toasted the next day with a nice pat of organic butter.
There are only 5 ingredients in the recipe, and it only requires hand mixing.
We enjoyed our savory cornbread with  homemade tomato soup.

Ingredients

3 cups  buttermilk
3 cups organic non- GMO cornmeal
5 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup OR 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil

Directions
Mix together the buttermilk and cornmeal. Let soak in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. ( overnight or all day)

In the morning  ( or after work), preheat oven to 450°
Mix the eggs, olive oil, and either maple syrup or sun dried tomatoes to the soaked cornmeal/buttermilk mixture.  Pour mixture into a well greased rectangular dish and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with fresh creamy sweet butter.


***  Don't have buttermilk?  Use milk, kefir or yogurt instead.











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