All Posts In Gluten-Free

Going With Gluten-Free Whole Grains

by in Gluten-Free, July 8, 2012

breakfast casserole
When I transitioned my household to gluten free, a funny thing happened along the way. My gluten-intolerant son, Isaiah, had been the classic white foods eater—pasta, pizza, potatoes, pie. You name it, the only food he would eat on his plate was white and lots of it was bread.

So when he was diagnosed five years ago, it was slim pickings at the supermarket for a white bread substitute. Needless to say we tried them all, but they all fell short of his expectations. Turns out that the answer was easier than I would have ever guessed. He was no longer looking at color, but texture and flavor. I was still feeding into his white foods cravings when he was clearly over them. Slowly, Isaiah’s food choices opened up and to my surprise, he ventured beyond the white and into healthier, whole-grain choices.

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Q&A With Gluten-Free Cookbook Author Elizabeth Kaplan

by in Gluten-Free, May 30, 2012
elizabeth kaplan
Elizabeth Kaplan, founder of The Pure Pantry and author of Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

 Q: What inspired you to start your business, The Pure Pantry, and later develop a cookbook?

A: When I was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago there were very few good-tasting gluten-free products on the market. Since my children and I are also allergic to dairy and my son is allergic to nuts, nut flours, beans and bean flours, it was difficult to find products, such as pancake mixes, cake mixes and cookies mixes, that were free of all allergens. So I began creating my own at home and that’s where it all started.

The cookbook, Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes for Healthy, Delicious Meals, was born out of my true love and passion for cooking and baking. Ever since I was a little girl I have been experimenting in the kitchen, creating my own recipes and collecting cookbooks. Many of the recipes in the book are re-vamped childhood favorites that I used to bake for my family and for the many baking contests I entered as a girl. I wanted to share my collection of recipes with others who may need some inspiration in the kitchen since gluten-free cooking and baking can be a challenge.

Q: Can foods be gluten-free and still taste good? 

A: Of course! Developing good-tasting gluten-free recipes has been my focus for the last 10 years.

The fun part of this challenge is doing recipe “make-overs” and serving them to people who don’t have to eat gluten-free to see if they notice that the gluten is missing. For example, I often make homemade cakes or cupcakes and serve them at birthday parties and office parties. I usually do not disclose they are gluten free. They disappear in seconds and no one knows the difference!

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Serve Up Your Next Gluten-Free Dinner by Hitting Your Supermarket’s Breakfast Cereal Aisle

by in Gluten-Free, May 16, 2012
chicken vegetable braciola
Chicken Vegetable Braciola photo by: Stephen Scott Gross

Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This was the case for an unsuspecting box of rice cereal I had ready and waiting in the cupboard for my son Isaiah’s morning breakfast routine. I had been thinking about a gluten-free replacement for breadcrumbs without the prep of toasting gluten-free bread at a low temperature for at least an hour, letting it cool completely and finally grinding it into crumbs in my food processor.

Then it struck me that cereal absorbs liquid just like breadcrumbs. I took the cereal box out of the cupboard, filled a Ziploc bag with rice cereal, took my rolling pin and crushed it into crumbs in just seconds. Even though I can now find gluten-free breadcrumbs at the supermarket, it’s cheaper and faster to still make my own.

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Can Gluten-Free Be Healthy? The Choice Is Yours

by in Gluten-Free, April 28, 2012
scones
Strawberries-and-Cream Scones

Since my son Isaiah was diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerances more than five years ago, I’ve learned to adapt my kitchen—especially for baking. After all, it was just six years ago that I was lifting 50 pounds bags of gluten-full unbleached white pastry flour at my old bakery in Brooklyn.

Now, if you look in my pantry, you’ll see dozens of gluten-free flours like rice flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, quinoa flour, mesquite flour, chestnut flour, corn flour, oat flour, coconut flour and, possibly my new all-around favorite, millet flour.

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Taste Test: Gluten-Free Breads

by in Gluten-Free, Taste Test, April 6, 2012
gluten-free bread
Is your favorite gluten-free bread on our list?

The gluten-free phenomenon has lead to dozens of new products on store shelves. Breads and baked goods are some of the hardest foods to make tasty and sans gluten. We polled our readers and took their favorite brands for a test drive.

The Criteria
For this taste test, we rated breads based on taste, texture, nutrition and cost. Each variety was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Gluten-free breads are famously higher in calories so we tried hard to find some smart and tasty options. Most of the brands recommended toasting for best taste –this was definitely the preferable way for just about all of the options.

Food for Life – Millet Bread
Rating: 3.5
Cost: $5.99
Nutrition Info (per slice): 100 calories; 21 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber
Our Take: The millet gave this bread a pleasant nutty and sweet flavor. While many GF breads are dry and crumbly, this was almost too chewy. The slices are tiny and overall, not worth the price.

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One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice

by in Gluten-Free, March 21, 2012
chicken parm rice
One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice -- photo by Stephen Scott Gross for Easy Eats

If you’re a working parent, you already know that dinner is not the easiest meal to get on the table. Even if you manage to cook up a complete meal, the last thing you want to be left with at the end of the night is a big pile of dishes in the sink.

Through the years, I’ve tried prepping all the ingredients ahead, partially cooking the recipes and making the entire meal and freezing all or half for later. These methods don’t quite fit with my spontaneous cooking personality type.

What cooking personality type are you?

This three-step chicken recipe makes perfect sense to me and it just happens to be gluten free. All I do is brown the chicken to give it some flavor then I layer the ingredients—and flavor—into one pot and the recipe pretty much cooks itself.

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Gluten-Free Spiced Matcha Crunch Truffles

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, February 19, 2012
gluten-free matcha truffles
Gluten-and-Dairy-Free Matcha Truffles -- Photo by Silvana Nardone

The one thing that matters to me, even after Valentine’s Day is that there is chocolate in the house—really, any kind will do. By nature, chocolate is gluten free. But chocolate treats are often full of dairy—and other added ingredients that aren’t exactly good for you. After a little playing around in the kitchen, I realized that there was no reason to pigeonhole myself in traditional truffle-making technique.

Instead, I relied on the properties of individual ingredients to give me the texture I wanted. In place of heavy cream, which adds silkiness, I used tempered egg yolks to emulsify the chocolate truffle mixture. To hold the truffles together, I swapped coconut oil (I prefer the flavorless kind, but you can use either) for the usual butter.

Then came the fun part: Adding immune-supporting spices and teas, like turmeric root and green tea. In these truffles, which are infinitely adaptable to any flavor combination, there also just happens to be some feel-good, aphrodisiac ingredients, like chocolate and vanilla.

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Meet This Grain: Amaranth

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, February 17, 2012
amaranth
Have you tried amaranth?

This under-appreciated grain is a perfect way to get in your whole grains, plus it’s gluten-free. Get tips on cooking it and creative recipes to try this tiny grain.

What is Amaranth?
Also called pigweed or Chinese spinach, amaranth was a staple crop of the Aztecs who used to make idols from amaranth, honey and human blood. This outraged Cortes who burned the amaranth fields and decreed that anyone growing the crop would be killed.

Amaranth was rediscovered centuries later and about 60 varieties are available today. Although amaranth is categorized as a grain, it’s really a seed (just like quinoa). The tiny seeds are about the size of sesame seeds and have a yellowish color. The seeds can be used whole or ground into flour. They have a sweet and nutty flavor and are a bit crunchy when cooked. The greens of the plant are also edible and have a sweet flavor.

Today China is the biggest producer of the grain, but it’s also cultivated in Mexico, Central America and some areas in the U.S.

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Gluten-Free Meatball-Kale Subs

by in Gluten-Free, January 25, 2012

meatball_oven

Forget everything you’ve ever learned about how to make a good meatball. There’s absolutely no reason meatballs shouldn’t naturally be gluten-free—and dairy-free. Trust me. Even growing up with a Roman father and Neapolitan grandfather didn’t arm me with enough explanation as to why you have to first soak bread in milk before you could even think of forming a meatball.

Why do meatballs have to be so complicated? When you think of what the soaked bread is technically there to do—give the meatball a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness—there are easier, healthier ways.

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Holiday Brunch for Everyone

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, Kid-Friendly, Vegan, December 20, 2011


With family and friends visiting during the holidays, you’re bound to have a few folks who need a special meal. There’s no need to stress, we’ve got you covered with brunch recipes for special diets.

Gluten-Free
Bake a batch of gluten-free muffins a day or two before your guests arrive so you’ll have something on hand for them to munch on.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins (above)

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