Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

April 11, 2014

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Chocolate cupcakes made with quinoa? Yes. They are really good: moist, fluffy and intensely chocolate.

This is an adaption of a recipe from a 2009 cookbook called Quinoa 365, by Patrica Green and Carolyn Hemming. It also appears on the authors’ website, Patricia & Carolyn. This recipe has been making the rounds on the internet, appearing on quite a number of food blogs, all with rave reviews.

Cake on the Brain had the idea of making the batter into cupcakes to make the cake more sturdy and less squidgy. I thought this was an excellent idea and copied it. I don’t have the jumbo muffin pan that Cake on the Brain apparently possesses, so instead of getting 12 large cupcakes, I got 15 normal cupcakes.

I made very few changes to the original recipe. To make the recipe pareve, I replaced the butter with oil and the milk with coffee.

The recipe calls for either 2 cups of cooked quinoa or 2/3 cup dry quinoa cooked with 1 1/3 cups water. If you are making quinoa pilaf or salad, just make extra quinoa. I made a whole 12 ounce bag of quinoa (2 cups dried), which, when cooked, was enough for a quinoa salad plus this recipe.

Bonus: Patricia & Carolyn also have a recipe for Quinoa Lasagna that looks fantastic and would be great for Pesach.

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Coconut Macaroon Tuiles

April 10, 2014

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Imagine a cookie with the flavor of a coconut macaroon, with a undertone of salted caramel. Sort of like the flavor of Girl Scout Samoa/Caramel deLite cookies. Now imagine that this cookie has the crisp texture of a potato chip. That is what these tuiles taste like.

The original recipe comes from a Seattle-based pastry chef, Laurie Pfalzer. When she baked for the bistro at the Salish Lodge and Spa, she used the tuiles as a garnish for creme brulee and layered them with strawberries and whipped mascarpone.

I haven’t decided what to do with these cookies yet. Layer them with lemon curd/whipped cream/strawberries? Drizzle them with chocolate or sandwich them with chocolate (like Brussels cookies or lace cookies)?

The batter is extremely easy to mix up. The tricky part is shaping. The sticky batter must be patted out into thin rounds. This is fiddly work.

The original recipe called for baking the tuiles at 350 for 8-10 minutes, but my tuiles did not bake evenly that way. I had better luck baking them at 250 for a half hour.

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Han Solo Cup and Chewie Wookie Cookie

February 27, 2014

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I was very amused by this t-shirt of Han Solo and Chewie as a Solo cup and cookie. So, I equipped a Solo cup with a cardboard Solo Blaster and made some Wookie Cookies. Actually, the cookies are just my favorite Pesach cookies with some white and dark chocolate chips used to make eyes, a nose and some teeth.

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Multi-Grain Spinach Balls

January 20, 2014

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Everyone loves spinach balls. I thought this classic appetizer could use a little makeover to be a little more healthful, though. The usual spinach ball recipe calls for spinach to be bound together with butter, cheese, eggs and either stuffing mix or seasoned bread crumbs.

Here are my substitutions:
1/4 cup olive oil instead of lots of butter;
quinoa and brown rice instead of stuffing mix/seasoned bread crumbs;
ground flax instead of eggs; and
ground seeds or nuts and nutritional yeast instead of cheese.

Ground flax seeds combine with the excess moisture in drained spinach to make an egg substitute. As you mix the flax seeds and spinach, you can see the moisture around the spinach turn slightly viscous, as if the spinach were bound together with egg whites. When the spinach/flax mixture is combined with cooked whole grains, the mixture becomes firm enough to shape into balls. Lots of well cooked onion and garlic, plus generous seasoning give the spinach balls the flavor boost that they need in the absence of lots of butter and cheese.

With all the changes, the spinach balls are also gluten-free and dairy-free.

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Levana’s Almond Clusters

December 2, 2013

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Sometimes simple things can be a bit tricky.

My parents raved about my sister’s macheteniste’s nut cookies. “The best cookies I ever ate,” my dad insisted. “And Levana says the recipe is very simple: just sugar, nuts and egg whites stirred together.”

Naturally, I had to pin down the exact recipe. Turns out, Levana’s almond clusters are close cousins to Carine Goren’s almond thins, but with a few crucial twists: (1) the nuts are slivered instead of sliced; (2) the nuts are piled high into little haystacks instead of being spread into a super thin layer; and (3) the sugar is brown instead of white.

These few changes make the difference between a recipe my dad really liked (the almond thins) and one he was crazy about (Levana’s almond clusters). The brown sugar gives huge uptick in flavor, making the sweetness of the nut cookies more interesting, less flat. I think that adding vanilla and almond extract ramps up the flavor even more, but that is an optional addition.

The difficulty was that Levana is the sort of cook who makes everything by instinct instead of a precise recipe. The recipe I started with was “mix together 3 egg whites, a scant cup brown sugar and enough nuts so that the nuts are just coated.” About a pound of nuts? “Yes, about . . . at least!”

I had to experiment a bit to figure out the right ratio of nuts to sugar syrup. The first few batches of cookies had sugar syrup seeping out of them. The sugar syrup  that seeped out on the baking sheet puffed up as the nut clusters baked, making strange looking, crunchy protrusions from the cookies.

Also, the baking time was originally “until brown.” That took figuring out, too. Some batches of cookies came out a bit chewy instead of crunchy. It took me a while to figure out that the solution was drying out the nut clusters in a turned off oven.

With these issues ironed out, these addictive cookies are indeed extremely simple to make.

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Five Grain Three Seed Gluten-Free Sesame Sticks

June 9, 2013

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These sesame sticks started out as a copycat version of Mary’s Gone Crackers. I found the cracker shaping process tedious, so I took Hindy’s lead and made pretzel sticks instead. Much, much easier.

I looked at quite a few copycat recipes and and decided to  simplify the ingredient list and cooking method. Most recipes call for cooking quinoa and brown rice in separate pots. I cooked the grains in one pot. Instead of adding lots of different seeds, I used just poppy seeds and sesame seeds (two seeds I almost always have on hand for challah baking).

I added in a little twist that has nothing to do with the original cracker. My grandmother, A”H, used to make onion poppy seeds crackers. I added in some minced shallot because I love the flavor combination of onion or shallot with poppy seeds.

The flavor of these pretzels remind me of the sesame sticks that come in some bags of mixed nuts. Of course, these are more nutritious.

Wholesome, tasty and easy to make–these addictive sesame sticks have got it all.

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Gooey Pesach Blondies

March 28, 2013

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These were a huge hit. I underbaked these so that the center was gooey. The edges could be cut and served in squares, but the center had to be served warm, in scoops like a runny chip cake. Someone said that it reminded him of pecan pie.

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Passover Dessert: Chocolate Mistakes

March 28, 2013

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This cookies were an accident. I was making a cookie recipe which called for just cocoa, powdered sugar and egg whites, with some chopped nuts folded in. I must have gotten distracted when measuring out the powdered sugar because the batter was just too dry. So, I added in the yolks that I had separated out from the whites. Then the batter was too runny. So added in a packet of ground nuts.

I baked the cookies, but most of them ran into each other, so I had to cut them into squares. The whole thing looked a bit like a mess, but tasted almost just like boxed chometz brownies. They had that chewy texture, with the thin  crackly top. So, all in all, this is a mistake I would make again, but I would either bake them as bar cookies, or space the cookies further apart so they wouldn’t run into each other.

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Wordless Wednesday: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse Cake for Tamar’s Graduation

June 20, 2012

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Tempeh Quinoa Burgers and Stuffed Eggplant

May 30, 2012

The recipe from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health for tempeh-quinoa burgers (which you can see here at The Golden Yolk) sounds more complicated to make than it is. You need cooked quinoa, cooked sweet potato and a sauteed mixture of tempeh and vegetables. I was putting off making them, and then realized that I usually make quinoa and roast sweet potatoes anyway.

Here is what you do: combine cooked quinoa (1/2 cup raw cooked with 1 cup water) and cooked sweet potato (1/2-2/3 large, roasted or boiled with the quinoa) with a sauteed mixture of 1 cup diced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic,  1 cup minced red pepper and 8 ounces diced tempeh, plus some seasonings. In terms of the seasonings, I thought that the mixture tasted delicious with just the 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 4 tsp. soy sauce added. The 2 Tbl. ketchup (or tomato paste or salsa) and 2 tsp. Dijon mustard made the mixture more burger-ish, but wasn’t crucial. I skipped the cilantro, sesame oil and sesame seeds. For the burgers, shape about 8 patties and bake them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for about a half hour.

I had a eggplant I needed to use and I had the idea of roasting it and stuffing it with some of the burger mixture. I halved the eggplant, rubbed it with olive oil and roasting it at 375 for a half hour. Then I mashed the roasted eggplant (scraped out of the skin)  into about half the burger mixture. Then I roasted the eggplant again with the stuffing inside the eggplant skins (375 degrees for a half hour). It was an excellent combination.