Archive for May, 2010
The Gluten Free Lab has a day job. Some of you already know that, but it bears mentioning again because we recently moved our graphic design studio up to the food & wine mecca of Healdsburg. And, boy, are we ever meeting some fabulous folks up here! Take last week, for instance. In walks this vibrant woman and in her hands is an offering. A goat cheesecake offering.
Speechless Cakes is a dessert company featuring a goat’s milk cheese of sophisticated, complex flavors and a long finish. The cake is made with mild sweet goat’s milk cheese, a unique pistachio crust and garnished with kiwi coulis. You can request a gluten-free and/or lactose-free version of the cheesecake, just make sure to do so when you place your order on her website.
Take the time to read Kathy’s bio and get the background behind her business name. She is an incredible woman with an incredible story.
You’ve probably seen Van’s products in your grocer’s freezer aisle for a while now. Ho-hum, just another toaster waffle, right?
With their new packaging (which we, as official Design Geeks, fully approve of…and get a load of their website! We heart that, too) and a fresh take on the foods in their product line, we’re seriously in favor of picking up a box of these gluten-free waffles to keep on hand. Aly’s in favor of smoothing on a layer of fresh, whipped cream cheese and topping it off with a delicate smear of marmalade, while Heather opts for a classic combo updated: almond butter drizzled with local honey.
And if you thought Van’s only did waffles, think again. New this season are Van’s French Toast Sticks. This is a product we tried at Expo West, the food show we attended in LA earlier this year, and color us wowed. It’s a healthy, portable update on a classic breakfast, and we’d wager our bets that all kids would love these. We’d also wager that both kids and adults will clamor for this simple bread pudding recipe, which we spotted on Van’s blog.
. . .
Dark chocolate bread pudding
adapted from The Joy of Cooking, as found on vansfoods.com
Gluten-free eaters can snag a handful of almonds instead of snacking on a few crackers or have quinoa and veggies instead of pasta primavera. But with dessert – pies, cakes, cookies – avoiding gluten can be more difficult, especially if you’re not an experienced baker. We’ve put together an easy recipe for bread pudding that celiacs and non-celiacs can enjoy. As for the gluten? We won’t tell anyone it’s missing if you don’t.
3 cups milk or cream
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 ounces good quality dark chocolate
3 ½ cups (8 to 10) gluten-free waffles1. Toast the waffles per package directions for the oven, and then remove them from the oven to cool.
2. Adjust oven temperature to preheat oven to 350 degrees, if needed.
3. As the waffles cool, gently warm the milk over medium-low heat. Dice the waffles, and place 3 ½ cups, measured lightly, not packed, into a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk over the waffles. Stir gently with a fork to cover all the waffle pieces with liquid and let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Dice the chocolate and set aside.
5. Lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Pour mixture and chocolate pieces over the soaked bread and stir gently until well blended.
6. Bake the pudding in a baking dish set in a pan of hot water for about 45 minutes.
Our local readers probably know a thing or two about the Union Hotel. The establishment holds a legendary spot in downtown Occidental, and its roots as a family-fun restaurant are five generations deep. It’s been awhile since we’ve enjoyed what the Union Hotel has to offer (that whole Italian pasta & bread & pizza thing gets in the way for us GF folks), but today we’re reporting some new & exciting news. Starting today, look for a gluten-free pasta option at the Mission Boulevard location. Hooray! Now we can twist & slurp our noodles with the rest of ‘em.
Union Hotel Restaurant
280 Mission Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA
Serving original family recipes for lunch & dinner; full bar; morning café
It may not seem the most natural thing, incorporating bean flour into your everyday GF cooking and baking. Enter Gluten Free Cooking School! Here you’ll find a laundry list of ideas for incorporating the oft-overlooked legume into your diet in its multiple forms. The article starts out thusly:
“I broach this topic knowing three things:
“1. Most Americans would shudder at the idea of eating beans on a regular basis and thus, do not know how to cook beans.
“2. Beans have a bad reputation and are oft involved in third-grade humor.
“3. Beans can taste really good and are really good for us.
In my mind, the third fact outweighs the first two so I will proceed.”
OMG! We just spotted these in our grocer’s ice cream aisle. We’re thinking we’ll wait until they go on sale to try them (six bucks for four ice cream sandwiches was difficult to justify at the time) or until our craving for a GF ice cream sandwich gets so uncontrollable we don’t care about the money any more. But in the meantime, can somebody tell us if you’ve tried these and whether they’re any good?
The ubiquitous green pea is way more versatile than we give it credit for. Now when you tell your kids to eat their peas, they’ll smile extra wide when you hand them a green chocolate chip cookie made primarily from green pea flour, available at some natural foods markets or through Bob’s Red Mill. Or if your looking for something a little colder, try making some minty pea pops from The Toddler Café by Jennifer Carden.
Green pea flour chocolate chip cookies
from giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010
3/4 cup green pea flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup organic shortening
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt; whisk until combined. Sift into another bowl, set aside. Combine shortening and sugar in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer on medium high speed until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until creamy. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Roll dough into one-inch balls, and drop 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes, or until edges just barely start turning brown. Cool on a wire rack.
The cookies that will not be eaten in one day need to be frozen. Just stack them in a freezer bag, get out as much air as you can, and freeze. When you are ready for a treat, thaw on the counter for about 15 minutes.
. . .
Minty pea pops
from The Toddler Café, Jennifer Carden
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
scant 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
scant 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
6 popsicle sticks or wooden craft sticks
Place the cream cheese, peas and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 20-second intervals until the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
Using a stick blender or standing blender, purée the ingredients into a smooth paste. Add the extract and mix again, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
Place the mixture in a large zip-top bag and cut about 1/2-inch off a bottom corner. Squeeze into a clean ice cube tray or mini muffin tin, place 1 popsicle stick in each, and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. Once the pops are frozen, remove them from the molds by twisting just like ice cubes and seal in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
What is it we love so about these Sun Flour Baking Co. Cinnamon cookies? They’re moist, yes. And they’re also incredibly delicious. They’re a treat we like to think we could pull out of our oven because they taste so fresh and homemade. But this month what we most appreciate about these cookies is that they’re made from pinto bean flour and white rice flour.
Ex-squeeze me? PINTO BEAN FLOUR?!
We won’t waste a whole lot of breath on how to use and where to find this flour because it’s not very easy to find at the consumer level (e.g. in your neighborhood grocery store). But a quick description is this: Pinto Bean Flour is ground from whole pinto beans, but the grinding process inactivates some of the enzymes in order to extend shelf stability. The grinding process also reduces the beany flavor while still maintaining functional properties including soluble proteins.
Which explains why the Sun Flour Baking Co.’s Cinnamon cookie is decidedly moist and decidedly un-beany.
We Lab ladies are doing the cupcake dance over here at the GFL headquarters. Said dance should probably look more like a series of abdominal crunches but a jig feels much more celebratory.
Sift Cupcakery, who now has locations in Santa Rosa, Cotati and Napa, last week declared regular old Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday!!! Oh yeah, you can now just saunter into any of their shops, on a Wednesday, and eat GF cupcake to your heart’s content. Can you imagine?! What an amazing way to make that mid-week mark something to look forward to…
Thank you Sift Cupcakery for acknowledging that gluten-free folk need cupcakes too. And don’t forget you can pre-order GF cupcakes from them any day of the week.
We’ve been waiting with bated breath to introduce this month’s flour…because since January, we’ve been in love with a certain product from a certain grocery store. And since there’s lots more to say about the legume, we thought we’d dedicate a whole month to the celebration the bean. This month, look forward to discussions about black bean flour, fava flour, garbanzo flour, green pea flour, lentil flour, soy flour and white bean flour.
But for now, get ready to fall in love with Trader Joes’ Crunchy Curls, “a tasty lentil & potato snack” made from lentil flour and potato starch. Pick up a bag at your local TJs and prepare to be stunned. These curls crunch marvelously in the mouth and dip fantastically into a side of hummus. Our love for them? Boundless.
It’s been a short month of quinoa recipes, but it’s time to bid this power-grain adieu. Just one final recipe from our kitchen to yours.
3/4 cup quinoa (we used a blend of red & white)
1 1/3 cups water
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 red pepper, diced finely
1 1/2 cups young English peas cut diagonally into 1/8-inch slices (or use English cucumber)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a small pot, combine quinoa and water. Add a little salt and a drizzle of olive oil, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook 20 minutes. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare Italian parsley through cashews, and combine in large bowl. Add cooked, cooled quinoa, stir, then add lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
Set aside for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, to allow flavors to combine.