Posts filed under ‘ingredients’
Kelp noodles, huh?
Before you dawg us and declare us hopeless California hippies, imagine this: a noodle that is cool & refreshing, crispy like a mouthful of sprouts and neutral in flavor. It could very easily be an alternative noodle in your run-of-the-mill Vietnamese Bún, or it could just be a member of the supporting cast in soups and stir frys.
So in preparation for the weather warming up, and in favor of not having to cook these noodles over a hot stove (score!), we introduce our Kelp noodle salad with baked tofu recipe.
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Kelp noodle salad with baked tofu
1 12-oz package Sea Tangle Noodle Company Kelp Noodles
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon wheat-free tamari
chili garlic sauce (optional)
1 16-oz block extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup wheat-free tamari
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
a few handfuls of mixed baby greens or shredded leaf lettuce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix ingredients, tamari through chili garlic sauce, in 7×11-inch oven-proof glass casserole pan. Set aside and slice block of tofu horizontally into 8 pieces. Place into tamari mixture, turn to coat each slice, then bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn tofu over and crank heat up to 450°. The remaining liquid should evaporate and tofu should become very dark in color in the next 15 minutes of baking. Remove tofu from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare kelp noodles. Rinse noodles per package directions, place in a large bowl, then add remaining ingredients, cilantro through chili garlic sauce. Mix well (fingers are best!) and let rest in fridge until tofu is cooled to room temperature or overnight. Feel free to add more mix-ins that appeal to you. Cucumber cut in julienne and/or shredded carrots would be delicious and would also add some nice color to the mix.
To serve, place a handful of marinated noodles and a handful of mixed greens in a bowl. Top with 2 slices baked tofu.
Heads up my GF tea drinking friends because it is true: gluten can lurk where we least expect it: in our cups of tea. Tea nerd alert: tea is actually camellia sinensis, a specific shrub, and herbal teas are typically infusions and do not contain any actual tea. If you stick with straight up tea, you know you are getting a cup of camellia sinensis, whether that tea is black, green, white or oolong. But what if you want a comforting caffeine-free beverage made of an infusion of herbs, flowers, bark and leaves? What could possibly contain gluten in herbal tea?
Cue the scary music: Barley malt is considered unsafe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity and is used as a sweetener in some herbal teas, such as Yogi Tea’s Stomach Ease. From Valerie Crowley at Yogi Tea: “Barley malt is in only 5 of our 56 flavors of tea. It is in the Calming Tea, Stomach Ease Tea, Fasting Tea, Kava Stress Relief Tea and the Decaf Roast Tea.”
Another tea to look out for is Tazo tea, which is served at Starbucks. Phone calls to two locations in Sonoma County revealed that the baristas were not aware of any gluten in their teas. My super sleuthing led me to learn that Green Ginger filterbags, Tazo Honeybush filterbags, Lemon Ginger juiced tea and Tea Lemonade juiced tea are not gluten free.
Be careful out there and be a gluten detective! Or at least bring your gluten-sniffing dog with you everywhere. Don’t expect your hard working baristas to know; go online, contact companies, and be aware of every ingredient in your cup of herbal tea. Let’s make sure our next cup of tea is gluten free!
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Guest blogging by Janine Acevedo M.E.C.S.E. Janine is a GF mom of a GF kid and works as an early intervention special educator. She is also the San Francisco Early Intervention writer for examiner.com.
Oh, Bon Appétit, how you surprise us! The latest issue of your magazine is crammed with Thanksgiving recipes, and among them is a recipe for gluten-free sweet potato biscuits. Rejoice and praise the test cooks & editors who have realized that gluten-free has gone mainstream! GFers, they’ve thrown us a bone by way of this one little recipe. Woo!
Nary a day went by before we put this recipe to the test. We appreciated its seeming speediness and its simplicity of ingredients (it calls for GF baking mix rather than a whole slew of flours, so there’s a good chance even those very confused-by-your-food-”allergies” family members of yours might even give it a go on your behalf). But while following the recipe, we discovered the preparation instructions really could have used some additional directions and guidance. We want to help; here is the original version the recipe along with notes we would have found helpful in following this recipe…although even without these notes (and a few missteps along the way) the biscuits were beyond delicious.
Gluten-free sweet potato biscuits
from Bon Appétit, November 2010
1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam; about 1 1/4 pounds), pierced with fork [you only use half of the yam for the biscuits]
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour plus additional [Bon Appétit suggests King Arthur's Gluten-Free Multipurpose Flour, and we agree, although Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix would be a great stand-in]
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal [the finer the better, as far as we're concerned]
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped [we omitted the pecans out of preference]
[Transfer dough to a surface dusted with flour.] Sprinkle dough with flour. [Using floured hands,] pat into 8 1/2- inch square. [Dough will be about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting into 16 biscuits.] Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.
First you carve your pumpkin. Scary, happy, artsy…that’s just between you & your pumpkin. And as you’re putting the final touches on your jack-o-lantern you try to avert your eyes from the big pile of yuk that you carved out from inside the pumpkin. Compost? Garbage disposal? Dare you separate the flesh from the seeds and roast yet another batch of mediocre, overly chewy pumpkin seeds?
With a few extra steps, the process of roasting pumpkin seeds — also known as pepitas — doesn’t have to be problematic! Here’s how we made ours:
The Gluten Free Lab’s roasted pepitas
2 cups freshly harvested pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
1/2 teaspoon Zatarain’s Concentrated Crab & Shrimp Boil
sea salt to taste
Rinse the seeds in a fine mesh sieve and remove any stringy bits or pieces of pumpkin flesh. Spread seeds on a large baking sheet in a single layer and allow them to sit at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight. This will remove any extra moisture from the seeds, thereby allowing them to crisp up nicely in the oven.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together olive oil, tamari and crab & shrimp boil seasoning in a small bowl until well blended. Drizzle evenly over seeds on cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, then toss with hands to until evenly coated. Place baking sheet in middle rack in oven, and allow to roast 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until evenly brown. Seeds will crisp as they cool. Cool completely, then store in airtight bag or container for up to 2 weeks.
It was a great weekend here in Sonoma County, which began with a meal at The Farmhouse on Friday night and ended with an exciting Sunday afternoon at the Handcar Regatta, where handmade contraptions raced for bragging rights along the abandoned railroad tracks in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. There was simply no way to top off the roller-coaster of flavors that entered our mouths – from Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit to a round-the-world cheese course, to gluten-free garbanzo bread with spicy mint chutney. So Sunday supper had to be simple, it had to be fresh, and it had to be fast.
With a fridge full of sweet, cubanelle and Italian peppers from Eastside Farm, the plot of land that Zin Restaurant uses to grow a good chunk of their produce (plus more to spare, hence the peppers in the fridge!), we couldn’t help but be inspired by this simple recipe. The chicken comes out tender and incredibly flavorful, the peppers and onions sweet with little sections of char adding flavor & texture to the party, and the hummus is an earthy underpinning. Where has this recipe been all my life? It definitely fits in among our regular Easy Weeknight recipe rotation.
Chicken with peppers & hummus
adapted from Epicurious.com
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 2 1/2 -inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 Italian frying or Cubanelle pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 (8- to 10-ounce) container prepared hummus (we used Trader Joe’s classic hummus)
Preheat broiler. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil.
Stir together oil, salt, cumin, pepper, and oregano in a large bowl, then toss with chicken and vegetables. Arrange in baking pan without crowding and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat, stirring once, until chicken is just cooked through and vegetables are lightly charred, about 8 minutes. Divide hummus among plates and top with chicken and vegetables.
We know, we know. You want to know what the heck dukka is, right? It’s easy to describe what it is, but it’s oh so hard to describe just how good it is.
Dukka is a finely chopped nut and seed blend. It’s commonly used in Middle-Eastern cultures on salads & soups, or it’s mixed with olive oil to create a spread for flatbreads & pizzas.
Sonoma Spice and Seed Co., based in Healdsburg, Calif. created their own version inspired by the wild fennel and almonds of South Australia. Chef Victoria Blumenstein says, “When I settled in Healdsburg and looked around at all the wild fennel I started making my Dukka, and sharing it with new friends and family. Their excited response made me think this was something I could share with all Californians and so Sonoma Spice and Seed Co. was born!”
In The Lab’s own love affair with this nut and seed product (the varities of which, btw, range wildly, from sesame seed and pistachio to macadamia nut and coriander), we put it to the test with some gluten-free flours, and viola! The shrimp with dukka was born…although it is fairly certain we are not the first to pair shrimp with dukka.
Shrimp with dukka
24 large shrimp, with tails on
1/3 cup dukka
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a small bowl, mix together dukka, brown rice flour, potato starch, parsley and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Drop shrimp into dukka mixture, turning to coat. Meanwhile, heat your heaviest, largest nonstick skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add coated shrimp to pan, then reduce heat to medium-high. Allow shrimp to cook until breading is golden brown and tails turn pink, about 3 minutes per side.
Serve as hors d’oeuvres or as part of a Mediterranean-inspired salad of fresh greens, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese and kalamata olives.
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Make your own dukka or buy some of Sonoma Spice and Seed Co.’s dukka online.
Welcome to Back to School. It’s not always the easiest transition to make, going from lazy summer mornings to rushed get-out-the-door mornings where your kid may or may not have somehow (HOW?!) gotten her hair stuck in bathroom door hinge. But with a little advance preparation, like making these gluten-free instant oats in your own kitchen ahead of time, you’ll remember the school morning routine and have it down pat in no time.
The best part of making instant oatmeal yourself is that you can flavor it however you or your kids like, whether that’s a whole lotta sugar and a scattering of golden raisins, or a nutty combo of pepitas, sunflower seeds and pecans, or just a bit of dry milk powder and honey crystals.
Instant GF oats
12 sandwich baggies
8 c old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1.5 tsp salt
Combine the oats and salt in a food processor or blender and grind them (in 2 batches if necessary) to the consistency of wheat germ. Scoop ½ cup portions into the separate resealable baggies. Flavor each baggie (try some of the mix-ins that follow) then seal the bags and shake to mix them well. When it’s time to eat them, simply put the contents of one bag into a bowl and stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and let it sit for 3 minutes. Stir again and add a splash of milk if desired.
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon raisins
dash of cinnamon
Brown Sugar Spice
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
dash of each: cinnamon, nutmeg and clove
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon each: chopped dried cherries and apples
Over the weekend we had a sweet tooth. Now wait a minute! Before you get all cocky thinking that you have The Gluten Free Lab pegged as a bunch of over-sugared girls, just remember that we’re coming down off of our Sweets cookbook and we have to keep at least a base-level of sugar in our systems lest we perish.
Or something like that.
So we dug in to The Pure Pantry’s gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-free chocolate chip cookie mix. Except that we made ours with real butter and real eggs, but if you’re a vegan, this mix actually calls for dairy-free shortening and egg replacer, so our guess is that you’d be pleased.
On mixing the dough:
Super simple. In one giant bowl we were able to cream together the butter, egg and vanilla, then we dumped in the mix. Viola! Cookie dough!
On forming the cookies:
This mix calls for a decent amount of fat (e.g. butter, shortening or butter substitute), so it’s wonderful to handle. Doesn’t stick, has a real cookiedough-like consistency, and is easily scooped by the spoonful, formed into balls, and flattened slightly on the cookie sheet.
On baking the cookies:
12 minutes in the oven. ‘Nuff said.
On eating the cookies:
Get ready for a rich, dense and almost caramelly flavor when you bite into one of these bad boys. The Lab’s first man, who is NOT gluten-free, enjoyed eating these because they reminded him of his grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies (aww!). Our professional opinion? The Pure Pantry uses JUST the right amount of brown sugar thus the soft, caramelly success of the cookie.
Buy these at your local grocer (locally, we’ve seen these mixes at Shelton’s, Andy’s, Pacific Markets, and Oliver’s Markets, but try out The Pure Pantry’s store finder to find out who in your area carries their mixes), or order online.
We just love that gluten-free eating has become mainstream. It means that great strides are being made in the flavor, texture and overall deliciousness of off-the-shelf gluten-free products. And it also means that the clients who visit us at our day job headquarters can easily find something to bring us when the mood strikes! Yesterday, Maria brought us banana muffins made from a mix we had yet to try: Breads from Anna‘s Banana Bread mix.
This post is really only a comment on taste & texture since we didn’t actually prepare the muffins ourselves, but we definitely liked what we tasted. The muffins are airy and spongy, with more elasticity than any GF product we can remember having. Barely sweet, they have a whole-grain vibe that is softened by the added mashed banana, and Maria opted to throw in a handful of chopped walnuts, which added a nice crunch to an otherwise soft and spongy bite. Minimal though this taste-test was, we’ll be looking to try all the mix flavors, ranging from Cranberry Pancake & Muffin Mix to Piecrust Mix to Herb Bread Mix. Better yet, these mixes are corn, nut, dairy, soy and rice free.
Buy online directly from Breads from Anna.
photo by Jessamyn Harris
We’re a couple of busy lab techs over here at The Gluten Free Lab. Tomorrow we’re off to Camp Celiac to peddle our newly-arrived cookbook (which looks a-MAZ-ing, by the way. Seriously. You need this in your life.). But to send potato month out with a bang, we’re going to leave you with a very, VERY special recipe – from the cookbook – that is a treat for the tastebuds AND makes use of that leftover baked potato lurking in the back of your fridge. Turning a potato into a donut? That’s my kind of magic.
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These donuts have a rich golden exterior crust with a doughy, cakey interior, similar to an old-fashioned donut and ideal for dunking. You can freeze the cooked donuts in a zip-top bag and reheat them in the toaster oven for a snack. For variation, try coating the donuts with melted chocolate or butterscotch chips and sprinkle with sweetened, shredded coconut. Next time you bake potatoes, set aside half a potato for this recipe. Or better yet, set aside a whole potato and double the recipe.
makes 3 dozen donut holes
½ cup plus 1 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 cups brown rice flour
1 cup mashed potato, at room temperature (or 1 cup prepared instant potato flakes)
1 cup sugar
½ cup potato starch
5½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ cups whole milk
canola oil for frying
Combine ½ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with paper towel or newspaper and set a wire rack on top.
Whisk brown rice flour, potato, remaining 1 cup sugar, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, milk, and eggs in a medium bowl. The batter should be slightly stiffer than cake batter. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, attach a deep-fat thermometer to the side of a deep-fryer or Dutch oven and heat at least 4 inches of oil to 375°F. Carefully drop batter by tablespoonfuls, a few at a time, into hot oil, turning often with chopsticks or a wooden spoon, until donuts are deep brown.
Drain donuts on prepared wire rack, then roll still-warm donuts in cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.