glutenfreebymarriage

August 31, 2013

Can You Say Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs?

Filed under: gluten-free — Tags: — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:30

gluten-free bread heels

Am I really talking about breadcrumbs? Yes, I am.

If it was just bread heels we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but my freezer is full of bread bags with one or two slices of very expensive gluten-free bread.

The problem is that gluten-free bread is small, like barely larger than cocktail bread and by the time you get past the middle you are folding your lunch meat into quarters to make it fit in the sandwich.

There was no way I was going to throw away perfectly good bread just because it was too small, so I saved them.

Week after week I pushed the runts of the loaves to the back of the freezer until one day Mr. GF noticed that the freezer was filled with sad looking bread bags and asked what I was going to do with them.

“I’m saving them to make breadcrumbs,”  I said as if that had been the plan all along.

It was pure genius.   Why hadn’t I thought of it earlier?

So here I am six months later and I can’t believe I am actually posting directions for making gluten-free bread crumbs.

Ingredients:

Makes about 3 cups of bread crumbs

  • 12 – 15 slices of GF bread or heels (It usually takes me a couple months to save enough)
  • cooking spray
  • misc. spices (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3250
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Thaw bread if frozen.
  4. Place bread heels on prepared cookie sheets
  5. Spritz bread with cooking spray then season.  I used onion powder, garlic powder and ground sage this morning, but seasoning is optional.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 3250 or until all the bread is browned.  You definitely want the bread crispy like melba toast.

    soft toast = doughy bread crumbs.

  7. Cool toast on a wire rack.
  8. Using a food processor, grind cooled toast into fine crumbs.   Store in a zip top bag or air tight container.

Warning: This is a fairly messy process and no matter how careful you think you are you will end up with bread crumbs all over the counter.

Final Note: I know that making breadcrumbs isn’t for everybody, but If you need a budget friendly classic breadcrumb flavor for making meatloaf or topping a casserole, save all those pitiful little pieces of gluten-free bread and give it a try.

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July 29, 2013

This Week’s Menu – We’re Still Here…

Filed under: gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 19:04

I wish my tomatoes looked like this.  Between the excessive rain and aggressive bees I haven’t been near my plants for a couple weeks.   The few plants that haven’t been trapped behind the bee line (a couple rows of plants that the bees seem to swarm to and get really testy if you get too close) lost all their blossoms in the last series of storms.  Oh well, I haven’t had time to work in the garden anyway.  At least the bees and squirrels should be happy.

Menu 7/2813 – 8/3/13

Sunday: Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Monday: Ham & Potato Salad

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: GF Pizza Rolls (love, love, love this recipe!!!)

Thursday: Chicken & Avocado Wraps

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

April 10, 2013

Southwest American Chop Suey

Filed under: dinner, freezer friendly, gluten-free, lunch — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 12:38

Southwest style American Chop Suey

Improvisation can be a good thing

Sometimes, no matter how organized you think you are, not everything gets on the shopping list.

Case in point, the plan was to make American Chop Suey for Mr. GF’s lunches and a double batch of spaghetti so that I could freeze half for later, but somehow I only bought enough tomatoes for the spaghetti.

I really didn’t want to go back to the store for one can of tomatoes so I looked in the cupboard for something I could substitute, but the only thing I saw was one lone jar of emergency salsa.  Why not?

Southwest American Chop Suey

Ingredients:

Makes about 5 2-cup servings

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 24-ounce jar Southwest Style Salsa
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar*
  • 3 cups uncooked brown rice penne pasta (about 6 servings)
  • chile powder
  • ground cumin
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

*I usually add a bit of brown sugar to help cut the acidity when I make a dish with a lot of tomatoes.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Brown ground turkey in a large pan, add onions, garlic and green peppers cooking until onions are translucent.

    Note: I used 94% lean ground turkey because it was on sale.  If you are using beef or meat with a higher fat content you may need to drain excess grease from the pan.

  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, brown sugar and spices.
  4. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated.  (Between the canned tomatoes, salsa and tomato sauce there is a lot of liquid, it took me about 45 minutes to cook it down to the point where it was still moist but not completely soupy.)
  5. Add cooked pasta and stir until well blended.

This turned out really well.  Very spicy (I added a lot of chile powder) with a depth of flavor.   I think the salsa with the corn and black beans took this cafeteria staple to a new level and I will definitely make it again.

If you leave out the pasta, this would be a nice freezer friendly meal.

March 15, 2013

GF Chunky Monkey Cookies

Filed under: baking, cookies, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:11

chunky monkey cookies with cookie dough

I think I mentioned before, but I have a cookie problem.

I have plenty of self-control when it comes to cake, brownies or any other baked good, but put a plate of cookies in front of me and poof!  They will disappear.

Like a true addict, I can’t eat just one and instead of confronting my problem, I had the bright idea that if I made healthier cookies I could justify my cookie eating ways.

I’m not delusional enough to believe that it’s okay to eat a dozen cookies in one sitting, even if they are healthy, but I do think that the resulting recipe is a good way to sneak in some extra nutrition.

Fair warning, like a lot of my experimental recipes, this one ended up with a variety of unexpected ingredients in strange quantities.  I haven’t had any complaints and the cookies disappear pretty quickly even when I’m not in the room, but I’ll let you decide.

Ingredients:

Makes about 42 cookies

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

*I used butter and vanilla because I started from my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but am not really sure that it adds anything to the flavor.  I think the peanut butter adds enough flavor and fat that the cookies would probably work without them.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 4000
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In another bowl cream peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat in egg.
  5. Add GF flour mix, oats and baking soda, mix until combined.
  6. Stir in shredded apple and carrot.  Add raisins, chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on lined baking sheets and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 4000 or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

One important thing to note about these cookies is that the dough is pretty dark and it’s hard to judge their doneness based on color.  The cookies in the picture look burned, but are really almost the same color as the raw dough.  If they look like the edges are done but still feel a little too soft just leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes.  Just like a steak, they will continue cooking until the pan cools.

Note: I did try adding ground flax in early versions, but it just made the cookies too dry.


So what do you think?  Now that you’ve seen the ingredients and tried the recipe, could these cookies count as a vegetable serving?

February 28, 2013

GF Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute #1

Filed under: gluten-free, recipe makeover, Uncategorized — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 02:42

condesned cream of chicken soup

1st Attempt at an easy gluten-free condensed soup substitute

The first thing people think about when I say that my husband can’t eat gluten is bread.

I get it.  The brain goes from wheat to flour to bread.  It’s the most obvious observation, but the truth is that in today’s gluten-free world, bread is the least of my problems.

No, my biggest gf  headache isn’t bread, pasta, cookies or any baked good.  My number one gut-wrenching challenge with gf cooking is the lack of gluten-free condensed soups.

I admit it.  I used to be a Casserole Queen.

Back in the day I relied heavily on casseroles and one pot meals for weeknight dinners.  Bake some chicken mix it with vegetables or stuffing.  Add soup  and voilà.  When you are pressed for time there is nothing better than a casserole.  Unfortunately, the tastiest casseroles all seem to require a can or two of condensed soup.  Cream of chicken, mushroom or celery, the one commonality in those weeknight dishes was that salty, gelatinous goop in the bright red Campbell’s can.

You know the one I mean.  The canned paste euphemistically labeled soup, chock full of wheat and a day’s supply of sodium in every serving.   The stuff of kitchen legends, a perfect blend of moisture and binding agent that magically melds pretty much any meat and vegetable in a way that even the most finicky eater will pass their plate for seconds.   The magic that is condensed soup.

Now that I’ve mastered the fine art of gluten-free gravy, it’s time to take on the condensed soups.

GF Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute #1

Ingredients:

makes about 2 cups

  • 8 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces lactose free 1% milk*
  • 1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
  • salt to taste

*lactose free 1% milk: Mr. GF is also lactose intolerant so I used lactose free milk for this.  You could also use regular milk or pretty much any other milk substitute.  (Soy, almond, etc…)

Directions:

  1. Add chicken broth and milk to a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until liquid comes to a boil.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in potato flakes and salt.

Yes, that really is all there is to it.  Not quite as easy as opening a can and pouring, but almost.

Notes:  This was my first attempt at a gluten-free condensed cream of chicken soup substitute and I am pretty pleased.  I used it in place of  condensed cream of chicken soup in my regular chicken and biscuit recipe and the texture was spot on.  I should have used a lot more salt, but  otherwise it worked fine.

I have a couple other ideas I’d like to try, but this is definitely an easy to make substitute that closely resembles the original canned version in taste and texture and is well worth the effort if you need a gf alternative for your favorite casserole.

February 11, 2013

Chicken & Rice and Everything Nice – Making Soup When the Cupboard is Bare

Filed under: chicken, cooking, gluten-free, lunch, soup/stew, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:15

chicken and rice soup with spinach and mushrooms

I love soup for lunch!

One of the benefits of cooking gluten free is that it gives me an excuse to break away from the same old sandwich for lunch and in the winter there is nothing better than opening your lunch bag and finding a cup of soup.

I’m still getting over a cold and Mr. GF just caught one, so the plan was to make chicken soup for this week’s lunches.  Sadly I’m pretty much out of fresh veg and the supermarket shelves were bare so I had to get creative.  Not to worry, it all came out fine in the end.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

makes 12 servings

  • 2 – 3 pounds  cooked chicken, diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cup water
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 16 oz package frozen spinach
  • a handful of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups rice

Directions:

  1. Normally I would be a purist and boil a chicken and use homemade stock, but I’m still sick and kind of tired after all that shoveling so I cheated and roasted some chicken.   You could buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket, but you have to be very careful.  Many of the precooked store chickens have coatings which typically contain flour or bread crumbs.  Honestly, it’s no big deal to cook chicken while you’re watching tv, doing laundry or surfing the web.  Just brush on a little flavored vinegar or olive oil, add a few spices and pop it in the oven at 3750 for an hour.
  2. Assuming you already have your cooked chicken, the next step is to make the rice.  Mix 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is gone.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot.  Add sliced carrots, onions and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are tender.  Add chicken broth, water, chicken and spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer 30 minutes until carrots are tender.
  5. Add spinach, rice and mushrooms, continue cooking until heated through.
  6. Ladle into containers.  Cover when cooled.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, let me ask you this.  How much does a bowl of soup cost at the take out place and how sure are you that it’s really gluten free?

A little time in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll save time and money all week long.  To put it another way, twelve lunches for less than $1 a serving and no gluten.  Not too shabby.

Note: We both have lingering colds so we thought we would boost the decongestant benefits of chicken soup by adding some spice.  I thought I had jalapeños at home, but was out so I ad libbed with chili powder.  We like spicy, but it’s not for everybody.  If you prefer a more sedate flavor I would probably just use 1 teaspoon of thyme in place of the chili powder, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.

One More Thought: After I ladled out the soup I kept thinking that a teaspoon of feta might make a nice garnish.  I didn’t buy any, and Mr. GF tries to avoid dairy whenever possible, but if I had it on hand I would probably give it a try.

January 29, 2013

Chunky Split Pea Soup (It ain’t pretty but it sure is good!)

Filed under: dairy free, dinner, gluten-free, soup/stew — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:26

chunky split pea soup

Close your eyes and the gently bubbling soup with its wafting smokey aroma will lure you down the hall towards the stove top but whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!!

Don’t worry, lifting the lid will not affect the soup, but the muddy looking green mush will likely turn your stomach, or at the very least make you wrinkle your nose and say “Ewwww.”

There is no getting around it.  Split Pea Soup falls into the same category as oatmeal and a few other mushy, unattractive foods.  It smells great, tastes great, is extremely good for you, but boy is it ugly.

If you can get past its appearance, this recipe has a wonderful thickness that belies its lack of meat and a hint of smokiness that is just the right touch to warm your winter blues.   Setting aside the unseemly color,  it’s an easy recipe that packs a lot of flavor and is well worth trying.  And yes, the picture is accurate.  The color of the soup is exactly how it looked when we ate it last night.

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Split Pea Soup (What’s For Dinner? 365 Lean & Natural Dinners, p. 28)

ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

  • 1lb dried green or yellow split peas
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soft margarine
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small potato, unpeeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced cook chicken (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Changes:

2 tablespoons soft margarine: I didn’t see the point of the margarine so I skipped it.

1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped: The leaves on the celery I had left in the fridge were looking a little limp so I just went with the stalk.

1 cup diced cooked chicken: It was optional and I didn’t have time to thaw frozen chicken and cook it so I opted out.

grated Parmesan cheese: Dairy, need I say more?

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard and cinnamon to the pot.

Other Changes:

I used boxed chicken broth and didn’t want to leave 1/2 a box open in the fridge so I increased the broth from six to eight cups and to make up for the extra liquid I also doubled the celery, carrots and potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Wash and sort the peas.  Put in a 6-quart soup pot with the remaining ingredients except the chicken.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.    All the vegetables should be very soft and begin to fall apart.  The thicker part of the soup will tend to sink to the bottom of the pan and should be stirred in before serving.
  3. Stir in the chicken or turkey about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with the cheese.

That was pretty much it.  Another of those not so pretty, but oh so tasty meals.  I’m not a big pea fan, but this was an easy meal on a cold and snowy day and made a nice change from my usual lentils or black beans  You could take an immersion blender and puree the whole thing, but the idea of a muddy green puddle in my soup bowl wasn’t too appetizing so I left it chunky.  (It’s much easier to overlook the color when you can make out the potatoes and carrots.)

Also, the stirring really needed some more emphasis in the original recipe.  I got side tracked with work and found that the peas sank to the bottom and stuck to the pot.  I managed to incorporate them back into the soup with some aggressive scraping/stirring, but it was a gunky, clumpy mess.

Note: This is something that could be put in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours.  It could also be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  If you can get past the appearance it’s an inexpensive hearty meal with a surprising amount of flavor and I strongly recommend that you give it a try.

January 23, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Stew

Filed under: chicken, dinner, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:27

chicken and mushroom stew over white rice

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Chicken and Mushroom Stew (Prevention Guide Slow Cooker Recipes 2006, p.9)

ingredients:

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Additions:

  • 2 cups uncooked brown or white rice

Changes:

1 10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup + half a soup can of water: The only gf cream of mushroom soup that I can find locally is Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup.  The Progresso is a much larger can, 18 oz, and is not condensed so I just used the soup and skipped the additional 1/2 can of water.

Note: Progresso’s Creamy Mushroom soup is not a great substitute when you need a thick condensed cream of mushroom soup but does work in this recipe because the directions call for half a can of water to dilute.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves:  I probably would have spent the extra money on boneless, skinless chicken breasts if they were going to be served as chicken breasts, but I’m too cheap poor to spend $3.99 a pound for something that is going to be chopped up.  I used about 1 3/4 pounds of boneless thighs and didn’t bother to cut them into bite size pieces.  (They fell apart into smaller pieces during the cooking process.)

1 cup baby carrots: Really?  Yes, baby carrots are cute on an appetizer tray, but I can’t rationalize the extra cost just so it looks cute in a stew.  I used the carrots I had on hand and chopped them into three inch pieces.  I would much rather spend the extra money on organic carrots.  There is a noticeable enough taste difference between organic and non-organic carrots that it’s worth the extra money.  (It also makes me wonder what other veg taste like when they are not covered in pesticides, etc…)

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary and sage to the pot.

Directions:

  1. Combine soup and water in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Place in slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic powder.  Stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6 – 8 hours.
  5. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  6. Serve chicken stew over cooked rice.

This isn’t the prettiest looking meal I’ve ever put on the table, but most things that come out of a slow cooker aren’t.   It was easy, convenient and tasted pretty good.  The only change I would make would be to add a little more salt next time.

Thoughts on Creamy Condensed Soups

One of the problems with trying to cook gluten free is that many of the fast & easy casseroles rely on condensed soup for structure (glue) and moisture and there are no gluten free condensed soups.

There are quite a few excellent recipes online for making a homemade condensed soup base that you can whip out to make your own gluten free condensed soup, but they are mostly dairy based and as Mr. GF is also Mr. Lactose Intolerant it’s not really a great improvement.  I could substitute soy powder for the powdered milk called for in most of the recipes, but Mr. GF’s grandmother died of breast cancer and I am leery of putting too much soy in his diet.

Since condensed soups seem to be more about consistency than taste (a salty gelatinous flour and water paste) I’m thinking that mashed potatoes or cauliflower with a smidgeon of broth might do the trick.  It could always be thickened with potato or corn starch.    Even better, I’m wondering if I could make a mix from mashed potato flakes, powdered bouillon and potato starch.   What do you think?

I’m thinking that it sounds really easy and that I should probably give it a try.

January 18, 2013

New Year’s Brunch – dairy & gluten free

Filed under: baking, breakfast/brunch, dairy free, fruit, gluten-free, recipe makeover — Tags: , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:01

gluten/dairy free coffee cake with fresh fruit and piña colada dip

Fresh fruit, tropical piña colada dip and coffee cake, can you think of a better way to greet the new year?   Did I mention that it is gluten and dairy free?

The coffee cake is based on a fruit-filled coffee cake recipe that I found in an old Kraft Foods magazine and the dip from a very old Pillsbury brunch cookbook.

As usual,  the recipes shown below are as they were originally written and the items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake  (Food & Family, Spring 2009, p.41)

Ingredients:

Makes 24 servings

  • 1 pkg (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 21-oz can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk

Changes:

1 pkg white cake mix: I couldn’t find a gf box mix so I substituted my usual recipe for gf yellow (1 1/2 cups white rice flour, 3/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon xanthan, and 1 1/4 cup sugar)

1 cup sour cream: To minimize the dairy, I substituted 1 cup tofu sour cream

1 21-oz can cherry pie filling: I used apple pie filling

1/2 cup almonds: I didn’t have any almonds on hand so I skipped them

1 1/2 tablespoon milk: Again, to minimize the day’s dairy intake I substituted almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Beat cake mix, cinnamon, sour cream, eggs and water until well blended and spread into a greased and floured 9″ X 13″ pan.  I usually use white rice flour to coat the pan.  I found the batter to be very firm with a consistency more like dough than batter and had to use a spatula to spread it evenly in the pan.
  3. Spoon the fruit filling on top of the cake batter.
  4. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Note: I’m not sure if it was because of the many substitutions, but this took much longer than 35 minutes to bake.  In the end, it baked for 60 minutes.  (I’m pretty sure that it’s not a problem with my oven as meats cook perfectly within the expected time.)
  5. Sprinkle with nuts and cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix powdered sugar and milk to make glaze; drizzle over cake.

Cool completely before serving.

This was a nice recipe that I would make again.  It’s a lot for two people to eat in a week, but if I was doing a pot luck or other activity where there were going to be a lot of people, it is definitely worth the effort.

Piña Colada Dip (Pillsbury All New Brunch Cookbook #112, June 1990, p.13)

Ingredients:

Makes 2 1/2 cups (serving size is 1 tablespoon)

  • 8-oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice, un-drained
  • 3 1/2-oz package instant coconut pudding and pie filling
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Changes:

3/4 cup milk: As usual, I substituted almond milk for regular.  Note: Almond milk cannot normally be substituted for regular milk in pudding as it will not set.  The only reason this worked for the dip was because the sour cream and crushed pineapples provide enough thickening to get the pudding to dip consistency.

1/2 cup sour cream: To minimize the day’s dairy intake I substituted tofu sour cream.

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor, blender or immersion blender, combine all ingredients and process about 30 seconds until almost smooth.
  2. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight to set.

Both recipes are really easy to make, especially if you have a box of gf cake mix on hand.  The piña colada dip is a particular favorite of ours and I was really pleased that it didn’t lose any flavor or texture by making it dairy free.  If you need a quick dip or a coffee cake that will feed a lot of people these are definitely recipes worth trying.

November 14, 2012

Mocha Crumb Cake (another Cooking Light makeover)

Filed under: baking, Cooking Light, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 14:55

GF Mocha Crumb Cake

The thing I’ve always liked about Cooking Light is that most of their recipes can be done quickly with ingredients I usually have on hand, which is particularly handy when you want a quick snack.  I know the picture makes the cake look a little moist, but my gluten-free version is just as light and crumbly as the original.  A perfect snack to go with your coffee or a light weeknight dessert.  Even better, it only takes about 10-minutes to gather and mix the ingredients.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 108 of the May 1998 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Changes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour: Substituted 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan.

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules: I ran out of instant coffee so I substituted an equal amount cinnamon.  Not quite the same, but it did lend a nice flavor.

1/3 cup low-fat milk: Mr. GF is also lactose intolerant so I try to substitute regular milk with almond or soy milk whenever possible.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Combine flour (GF substitute) and next 4 ingredients (flour/blend through salt) in a mixing bowl and cut in *butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal.  (Trust me on this, a pastry blender is less than $5 and well worth the cost, even if you only use it once a year.)  Reserve 1/2 cup of the the flour mixture for topping and set aside.
  3. Combine remaining flour mixture, baking powder and baking soda; add milk, vanilla and egg.  Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended.  Spoon batter into an 8″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine reserved 1/2 of flour mixture and water; stir with a fork then sprinkle over batter.  (It will look like a lot of dry crumbs on top of the cake batter.)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 3500 or until the cake springs back when touched.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

* I can’t stress enough that the butter needs to be cold.  If it’s a hot, humid day you might want to firm it up in the freezer for a few minutes after you cut it into small pieces.


So that’s it.  A very fast and delicious Cooking Light recipe made gluten-free.  The flour substitute above works quite well with any of the crumb cakes featured in the May 1998 issue.  If you want something a little different give the lemon-rosemary or banana-coconut versions a try.    (They’re both great!) Let me know if you have a problem finding the recipe and I will post it.

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