Sunday, January 18, 2009

1000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster

I know I keep raving about the great new recipes I've found in this book. But it really is awesome! First of all, there's a thousand of them! That's like 4x as many as a normal cookbook. Second, a lot of her recipes are vegan, so I can do the dairy free thing easily, and know what's best to sub in a recipe. Yeah, it's a kickass book! I love it! I'd take it with me everywhere to share with people if it weren't so heavy! It's literally the size of a dictionary (or maybe a textbook). I'd need a bigger purse for that...

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing
from "1000 GF Recipes"
by Carol Fenster

I've tried a few recipes to try and recreate a good ranch-like salad dressing. Luke's fave place to eat is Red Robin, and the only thing I can really eat there is the Cobb Salad. For awhile, I was ok eating it with Italian dressing, but that got really old after awhile, since I had to forgo half the ingredients (bacon and Italian dressing don't really mix...neither do avocados).
This dressing is the closest I've come to Hidden Valley. It's pretty dang good. I'm thinking about keeping the spices mixed in a small tupperware, and just measuring out enough for a serving to mix with the liquid ingredients when I need it.

Ranch Dressing

Dry ingredients:
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried savory
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Wet ingredients:
1/2 c mayo (I've also used Tofutti sour cream, which has worked well, if a bit sourer)
1/4 c DF milk (The recipe calls for 1/2 c, but it's a bit runny w/ that much)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I use cider vinegar, b/c that's what I have)

In a blender, process the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until smooth. Let stand one hour to allow flavors to blend. Store, tightly covered, in the fridge, for up to a week.

Makes about 3 servings

You can also just pour everything into a small tupperware, and shake it up. Which is what I did to the batch I photographed above. Which is why it looks like there's dressing all over the sides of the container. Because there is :)

The recipe doesn't specify, but I've always let the dressing sit in the fridge to blend the flavors. Anyone know if you're supposed to leave it at room temperature?

Blackberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

These muffins are simply delectable. I found fresh blackberries on sale at the health food store the other day, and bought up a few. I made some muffins a couple summers ago with fresh blackberries, and remember loving them, but couldn't remember what recipe I had used. So, I rummaged through all my cookbooks and came up with this one. It's from my new favorite "1000 Gluten Free Recipes" by Carol Fenster, and the original recipe calls for raspberries and lemon zest. I subbed the blackberries in, and used lemon juice instead of zest (since I didn't have any lemons).
I brought these in to share w/ everyone at work, and the girls asked me for the recipe. Now I have to figure out how it would be converted to a gluten-full recipe :P

Blackberry Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

2 large eggs, at room temp
1/2 c milk
1/3 c canola oil (I just used applesauce)
2 tsp grated lemon zest (I used lemon juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c sorghum flour blend*
1/4 c tapioca starch or sorghum flour blend (I used almond meal instead to give texture)
3/4 c packed brown sugar (I didn't have any brown, so used white sugar instead)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c (6 oz) fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry

Streusel Topping:
1/4 c sorghum flour blend*
1/4 c GF cereal (the recipe suggests Perky's nutty flax/rice cereals, which are a lot like grapenuts, and I like, but I only had rice chex on hand, so I crushed that up and used instead)
1/4 c packed brown sugar (again, I used white, as I was out of brown)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 c (1/4 stick) unsalted butter/buttery spread (I used Earth Balance)

To make muffins:
Place a rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 375 F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, oil, lemon, and vanilla, and beat until batter is smooth and thickened slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, except the berries. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until batter is smooth. Gently stir in the berries. I left my berries whole, but I really like having some berry in every bite, so next time, I might cut my berries in half (they were really big). Spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp streusel topping onto each muffin, and press into batter gently.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffin tops are firm. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Best when served warm. Reheat wonderfully in the microwave or toaster oven.

To make the topping:
In a medium bowl, mix together the first five ingredients until blended. Cut in the butter, and using your fingers, blend until well mixed and butter is in pea-sized pieces.

*Sorghum flour blend
1 1/2 c sorghum flour
1 1/2 c potato starch/cornstarch
1 c tapioca flour

Makes 12-15 muffins, depending on size (the picture below is of mini-muffins).

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So, it is our good friend's birthday today, and we are going to hang out later. For his birthday, he requested some GF goodies (his wife is trying the GF diet). So, I whipped these bad boys up. They turned out great! It was hard not to eat them all. I was very excited to post them right away!

Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
(from "1000 GF Recipes" by Carol Fenster)

1/4 c butter/buttery spread, at room temperature (I used 1/8 c Earth Balance spread, and 1/8 c applesauce)
1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar (I ran out of brown sugar, so subbed 1/2 c regular sugar)
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c Sorghum blend*
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch or alkali)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp acacia fiber (optional, I use this for my IBS diet)
3/4 c chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
1/2 c dried sweetened cranberries (I used fresh, chopped berries)
1/4 c finely chopped walnuts (I bet pecans/almonds would work great as well)

Place oven racks in the two middle slots in the oven, right on top of each other. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on low speed for about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients, and beat on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chips, cranberries and walnuts. Mix well to make sure the chips, berries and nuts are thoroughly incorporated.
Use a wet tablespoon to scoop 1-1 1/2 inch balls of dough onto baking sheets, about an inch apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass (dipped in water) to press cookies down. Place one sheet on the lower rack, and the other on the upper.
Bake for 6 minutes, then switch the baking sheets between racks. Bake for 5 minutes more, until cookies are firm. Cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

*Sorghum blend:
1 1/2 c sorghum flour
1 1/2 c potato starch/cornstarch (I use cornstarch b/c my tummy can't handle potatoes)
1 c tapioca flour

I am also pleased to announce that the dough from the sugar cookies I made last month freezes wonderfully! Here are the cookies I made w/ that dough:

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gluten and Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

These rock! I found the recipe on Karina's site.

I made the recipe mostly the same, just reduced the oil to 1/4 c (and used EVOO rather than light), and I used Martinelli's sparkling apple cider in place of apple juice (Luke drank it for dinner before I could claim it). The buckwheat was not very noticeable to me. They tasted similar to what I remember of a bran muffin, but lighter and airier. I was very tired last night when I pulled out the last batch, so I put some of them away when not completely cooled >< They were a bit soggy this morning, but 15 seconds in the microwave, followed by 3-4 minutes in the toaster oven, and they were good as new!

Gluten/Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Egg replacer for 2 large eggs
4 tbsp apple juice (or sparkling cider)
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp Acacia fiber (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1/2 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat wet ingredients plus sugar together in a mixing bowl.
Pour dry ingredients on top of wet, then mix until well combined.
Stir in apples and nuts.
Spoon into greased/lined muffin cups
Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine needed 24 minutes), until firm and dark golden. Test w/ a knife to see if done.
Remove from pan, and cool on a wire rack.

The original recipe says this makes 12 muffins. I didn't know how full to fill the pan, so I ended up getting 18 muffins out of this. It might help if I had a full 12-cup muffin pan...


Gluten/Dairy Free Sugar Cookies

Here's an awesome recipe thanks to Lauren at Daring to Thrive!

I modified it a bit, based on ingredients I had on hand. Very impressed! I tried making GF sugar cookies after I was first diagnosed, 2 Christmases ago. They failed miserably. Since then, I have craved a great sugar cookie that also cuts well. This is it! Even my gluten eating husband gave them the thumbs up. He said they were totally "company-worthy" (meaning, ok to share w/ other gluten-eaters). I definitely agree!

Gluten/Dairy Free Sugar Cookies

1/4 c Spectrum shortening
1/4 c applesauce
3/4 c sugar
1 egg (or 1/4 c egg white substitute)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (for some reason I thought this recipe called for almond, and so I added it at the last second)
2 tbsp milk substitute, divided (I used silk soy milk)
2 cups Featherlight flour mix
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Cream shortening, applesauce and sugar in mixer.
Add egg, vanilla, almond, and 1 tbsp milk. Mix well.
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add slowly to wet ingredients, mixing as you go.
Add extra milk if needed to moisten the mixture. Mine didn't need it.
Cover bowl, and refrigerate (or set out on the back porch) for at least 1 hr.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Dust counter with flour (use a lot!), then roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters.
Place cookies on baking sheet covered w/ parchment paper (I am now a HUGE fan of parchment paper - used it for this recipe, and was amazed by it!). The cookies don't spread out much when baking, so you can put them pretty close together (at least, mine didn't).
Bake for 7-10 minutes (mine only needed 7 minutes). Cookies are done when edges are firm, and bottoms are golden (not brown).
Let cool completely, then frost and decorate.

I used Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting, and some colored sugar sprinkles.

They tasted delicious, but I must admit, trying to frost stars and trees was a bit of a challenge for me. My desire to make Christmas cut cookies has been satiated, and next time, I think I will just use a glass to cut circular cookies for easier frosting.