Posts Tagged yeast-free

Ricki Heller’s ‘Good Morning!’ Breakfast eBook

    Several months ago when Ricki requested volunteers to test recipes for her breakfast ebook we jumped at the chance. Rita and I have been fans of Ricki’s nutrition philosophy and her delicious, nutritious recipes for quite a while. Even now, there is a double batch of her Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad  (we live in Texas where I serve it chilled with greens) in the refrigerator right now waiting to go to a potluck later today. The last time I brought this to a potluck I had to scrape the bowl to get a tiny amount to add to my lunch the next day!

Good Morning eBook

Good Morning eBook

Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN
Author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without
Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar
Twitter: @RickiHeller
–Honorable Mention, 2010 Cuisine Canada Culinary Awards
–one of only three cookbooks recommended on Ellen DeGeneres’ website!

For a full Table of Contents and photos of many of the recipes, see this post.

Every one of these recipes is:
low glycemic
refined sugar free
egg free
dairy free
gluten free

The recipes are all great for anyone following an anti-Candida diet (ACD); for vegans; those on a gluten free, refined sugar free, egg free or kosher diet; or Type II diabetics.

Gretchen (Mom) and Rita
PS – The Gluten Free Edge is moving to our own domain as soon as we sort out some of the technical tangles.


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Vegetarian Brittany-Style Savory Crêpes

    Back in December 2010, shortly before Christmas, Rita and I attended a book signing at Book People in Austin. Chef Alain Braux was signing his book Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food  and serving samples of his legendary Flourless Chocolate Cake.

    At that time Alain gave us permission to publish his recipe for Brittany-Style Savory Crêpes. Since then I have cooked up many, many of those crêpes. The batter holds up very well in the refrigerator so I can have crêpes for several mornings before all of the batter is gone. Initially the filling centered on variations of ham, egg, and cheese but as we move into spring my thoughts turn to lighter versions. This concoction of smothered sweet onions, mushrooms, and calabacitas* in coconut milk sauce passed the taste test with our neighbors Barb and Dona.

*Note: Calabacitas is Spanish for ‘little squash’. It looks like a first cousin to zucchini being shaped slightly different and having a lighter, mottled green color. The seeds are finer and disappear almost entirely when cooked.

    The recipe for the crêpe can be found -> HERE. BTW, I cook these crêpes using coconut oil because  1) it has exceptional browning qualities and 2) coconut oil is very healing to the digestive system.

Savory Vegetable Filling
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped 3/8”
1 medium calabacita or zucchini, chopped 3/8”
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
sea salt, pepper, garlic powder
coconut oil for sautéing
1-2 ounces coconut milk (from a can)

    Sauté each of the vegetables separately in coconut oil until lightly browned and season each batch with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside the mushrooms and squash as they finish. When the onions have caramelized add the mushrooms and squash back into the skillet with the onions. Add the coconut milk, cover with a lid, and place over low heat to ‘smother’ until you are ready to fill and serve the crêpes.
    Extra filling may be stored in the refrigerator as well as extra batter.

Sauteed Onion, Mushroom, and Calabacita

Sauteed Onion, Mushroom, and Calabacita

    I had one of these crêpes for dinner. I took a picture of it for the blog, and then I inadvertently deleted it before saving it to the hard drive . . . . Maybe because I was daydreaming about how it would be possible to add ‘smell-a-vision’ to the picture. It was that good!


Update 2011-03-21: Another Savory Crêpe – yummy as well as beautiful!

Crepe for Dinner!

Crepe for Dinner!

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ATX Austin Gluten-Free Pizza Fest

ATX Austin GF Pizza Fest

ATX Austin GF Pizza Fest

    Pizza celebrations have been going on for almost two weeks now. ATX Austin Gluten-Free Pizza Fest is sponsored by Jessica Meyer. She keeps us informed about all of the gluten-free options in this part of Texas. I missed the first part while out of town but Don and I finally had our home grown pizza fest.

    During the last year I have tried numerous recipes trying to come up with the optimum nutritious pizza recipe for gluten-free and otherwise allergic and digestive challenged family and friends.

    We had a crust that Don liked but it did not meet the allergy friendly criteria. In the interim he has gone back to making his own glutinous crust while I experiment with the gluten-free versions. For the sake of consistency Don then adds identical toppings to both pizza crusts.

    I think I finally have the amounts of flours and binders along with seasoning, oil, and leavening. It makes up into dough that handles well and is sturdy enough to support the toppings. But I am still tweaking the taste component of the flour blend. This time the texture was excellent but the coconut flour made it too sweet. So I am posting the amounts until such time as we together bake pizza and Don declares it a winner.

Hers (GF) and His (not GF) Pizzas

Hers (GF) and His (not GF) Pizzas

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
2 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon ground chia seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon oregano, marjoram, or basil (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 cups of water (will vary with the flour blend)

    Oil a 12” pizza pan and set it aside. Set the oven for 425*F.

    Measure the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. The seasonings are optional but some of the denser, high nutrition flours have stronger flavors that need a little help to bring the crust over to the Italian side.

    Add a cup of the water and then the oil to the flour mixture. Stir well for at least a minute to see how much of the flour does not blend into the dough. Add the remaining water a little at a time until all of the flour is incorporated and you have a lump of dough that is resilient and very hard to stir. Dump it out on your work space and knead it until all traces of flour blend in. Form it into a flattened ball and move it to your prepared pizza pan.

    Continue to flatten the dough while rotating the pan. The two cups of flour makes enough dough that it should generously cover the bottom of the pan and have plenty to build up a nice edge to hold your sauce and toppings. Slide the pan into the oven for a 6-7 minute pre-bake.

    At this point I turn the gluten-free pizza crust over to Don and he adds toppings to both pizzas, puts them in the oven to bake, and calls me when dinner is ready.


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Pumpkin Muffins – Finally!!

    Gluten-free pumpkin bread is a recipe that I have been working on ever since gluten awareness because it is such a family favorite. The recipe has wandered down many culinary alleys (some of them dark) with various flours, binders, sweeteners and never quite making it. Finally there is this recipe. It is receiving favorable comments from people accustomed to these experiments and some who have tasted them and just enjoyed them as pumpkin muffins without qualification.
    What has been really interesting is that the beginning versions that followed the original recipe exactly, except for flour, have been totally unsatisfactory. It was only after the versions using vegan binders did the texture start to become more satisfactory. This is something for future experimentation.
    My only disclaimer at this point is due to the fact that while the recipe has been in development it has only been baked in silicon cupcake forms. That allows for tasting fresh and warm, tasting the day after baking, and finally tasting after freezing and barely re-warming in the microwave plus having sample sizes ready-to-eat. So I have not tried loaf pans yet and do not know what baking-without-gluten issues may lay there – fair warning!

1.5 tbsp ground chia seed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
½ cup + 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cups quinoa flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan
1/2 tsp fruit pectin
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp water (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare for 20-24 cupcake size muffins or perhaps 12 large muffins.

In a large bowl:
Combine the ground chia with the applesauce. Add the agave nectar and pumpkin puree and stir until combined. I have previously added some drops of stevia to make them sweeter but they are very well received without it. Set aside for about 30 minutes or so to allow the chia to absorb some moisture. Add coconut oil and vanilla just before combining with the dry ingredients as coconut oil has a tendency to congeal at room temperature.

In a medium bowl:
Sift the flours, xanthan, pectin, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sea salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. If the batter is really stiff stir in one tablespoon of water at a time until the batter is a scoopable texture (dense and puffy).

Fill your prepared bake ware to the 2/3 level. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness with a tester or with a very thin knife.

Allow the muffins to cool in pan on a wire rack. Turn out after 10 minutes so they don’t get sweaty. After they have cooled wrap individual servings and store in an air-tight container on the counter for 3 days or keep in the freezer.

These have a very cake-like texture and I have also frosted them with a cashew cream frosting and served them as cupcakes.

Gretchen (Mom)

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Flax Bread with Variations

   Note: Jessica Meyer at ATX Gluten Free  is featuring Austin area gluten-free bloggers during the month of September. This week it is The Gluten-Free Edge  with Mom and Rita each telling the stories of our gluten-free journeys. As I mentioned back in April, Jessica provides an excellent service by highlighting gluten free options in Austin. In addition she is a personal chef who generously posts some of her tasty gluten-free recipes!

    Rita initially called this flax bread recipe to my attention. It is not the bread from your pre-gluten-free past because you probably never had anything exactly like this. But it is very tasty, satisfying and I keep baking some nearly every week. It goes together as fast as or maybe even faster than cornbread. You can find the original recipe by Kiva Rose at The Medicine Woman’s Roots.

Flax Bread Cooling

Flax Bread Cooling

    The ‘flours’ in this bread are ground flax seeds and nut meal so consequently it has a very coarse texture (fiber is good, right?). I have baked it in muffin top pans, extra-large muffin pans, a pie pan, and even a brownie pan. The batter spreads easily and bakes quickly. In the flat pans it can bake in 12 minutes.

Preparing Flat Flax Bread

Preparing Flat Flax Bread

    It tastes good toasted!

Flat Pieces Fit in the Toaster

Flat Pieces Fit in the Toaster

    The first time I made these with melted Earth Balance for the fat and a whole teaspoon of salt. They were so buttery tasting they brought to mind the old children’s story where the tigers chase each other around in circles for so long that they turn into a puddle of butter.

   So now I use less salt and substitute olive oil as the fat. You can improvise here with your own favorite herbs and spices. I keep thinking about making a sweet version but each time I go right for the savory. The garlic and oregano version reminds me of pre-gluten-free garlic bread. The sage and onion version are wonderful with soup and/or salad. Cumin and chili powder is another combination that I want to try.

    My current favorite is to make them in the Texas size muffin pans where they pop out like perfectly formed biscuits. Then I split one and fill it with a spoon of peanut butter or a small slice of cheddar. If I have time consuming errands on my to-do list I sometimes tuck one of these in my purse for a homemade version of ‘emergency food’.

Biscuit with Melting Cheese

Biscuit with Melting Cheese

Flax Bread with Variations – 6 servings
Dry Mixture:
2/3 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup nut meal (Bob’s Red Mill almond or hazelnut both give good results)
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2-1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water + 2 Tbsp.

Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add your choice of seasoning or leave plain.

Beat the 2 eggs together with the olive oil and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture in the mixing bowl.

Set the oven to 350*F.

Pour the batter into your choice of pan or divide into six muffins of about 1/4 cup batter each.

Bake for 12 minutes for muffins or 15-18 minutes for a small bread pan or pie plate. I usually have one biscuit warm and the rest go in the freezer to use throughout the week.

Remember to drink plenty of liquid!

Mom (Gretchen)

Happy Birthday to Rita’s Aunt Mandie aka my Baby Sister in Bryan, Texas!

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Italian Orange and Almond Cake

    Sometimes it’s just destiny – a recipe appears on your radar from several directions in a very short time. It was a very unusual recipe. Simple ingredients, all of them already in the house, a very traditional recipe it seems, there was no flour in it, never had been, and first, you boil oranges – intriguing! It immediately went on the make-it-soon list.
    Fresh fruit is about to overwhelm me. When a season hits here, it hits hard enough to overwhelm. You can’t just pass up those bargains at the grocery – blueberries for 88 cents a carton? Between the strawberries, blueberries, and figs I was already making and freezing fruit puree so why not oranges? Except that I would use those oranges to bake this cake.
    Just to make sure I wasn’t heading up a blind alley I did an internet search on the ingredients and came up with several variations on the same basic recipe. Here is the way it worked out and even as I write about it my taste testers are confirming that it is a winner.
    One very curious note though. Does anyone remember a couple of years ago when Starbuck’s introduced their gluten-free orange cupcake nationwide? And then within months it disappeared never to be mentioned again? This cake tastes something like that, cake with a definite orange tang, only WAY better.

Italian Orange and Almond Cake
2 oranges (about 12 ounces – oranges vary greatly in size)
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar (I used Lakanto, sugarless & no-cal, no-carb)
3 cups ground almonds (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp baking powder

Oil, spray and/or parchment to keep things from sticking

Prepare the oranges:
   This process takes several hours so I ended up doing it two days before putting together the cake. Wash the oranges really well. Place them in a pot and add enough water to cover them (but they will then float). Bring the water to a boil, turn it down to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the pot, and set the timer for two hours. One of my oranges split but the other one did not.
   After two hours drain the water off the oranges and set the pot with the oranges aside to cool. When they are cool enough to handle cut the peeling off across the top and bottom. Cut the oranges into about eight sections and remove any seeds. Also remove the white string down the center. The oranges are really mushy. Toss all of the orange pieces into the jar of your blender. Process briefly on ‘puree’ – it becomes smooth very quickly. The puree is now complete so either begin the cake or store the puree, covered, in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Prepare the cake:
   Set the eggs (and puree) on the counter to lose the refrigerator chill. If the almond meal has been frozen to keep it fresh (a really good idea) then set it out as well – it is horribly clumpy when frozen but un-clumps very nicely when defrosted. Choose your sweetener. You need the equivalent sweetness of one cup of sugar.
   Measure the almond meal into a prep bowl, whisk in the baking powder, and set aside. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in the larger bowl where you will mix the batter while the whites go into a smaller bowl.
   Prepare your pan(s). This recipe fits an 8” or 9” springform pan. I used the batter to fill a variety of smaller pans and silicone cupcake forms. Even with non-stick pans and oil spray some cake parts stuck. Next time I will also use parchment paper. The cupcake forms actually did the best. However, wait until the cake(s) have completely cooled before trying to pull them out. This is not a quick, in-a-hurry recipe. Set your oven to 350*F.
   Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until the yolks turn a slightly lighter shade of yellow. I added 6 drops of liquid stevia just to be sure that by using the no-cal stuff the cake would still come across sweet enough. Add the orange puree and continue beating. Add in the almond meal mixture and beat until completely incorporated. You may need a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
   Rinse off the beaters and use the mixer to whip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the whites to the almond batter and combine gently but completely – no stray bits of egg white!
   I used a large (50 ml) ice cream scoop to measure batter into the cupcake forms. A ripple-edged tart pan received about 1 1/2 inches of batter. And a 5 inch springform pan held the remainder.
The cupcakes and tart pan were both done in 30 minutes. The spring form pan held a thicker layer of batter so it baked for 45 minutes total. The cakes should be toasty brown on top.
   This cake is very moist and tasty. It does not require embellishment. However, these were several nice serving suggestions from various sources.
1) Sprinkle with powdered sugar
2) Brush with honey or syrup and garnish with toasted, sliced almonds
3) Top with plain whipped cream and garnish with dark chocolate shavings
4) Add poppy seeds to the batter; then serve with sour cream

Only a Few Cupcakes Remain

Only a Few Cupcakes Remain

    You would think that with Don being such an avid fan of Italian food that I would have come across this recipe long ago. Now I’m wondering how it would translate for my egg-allergic friends.

    When I stopped by The Caring Place and shared some of the cupcakes we had a discussion about how much the Lakanto costs. It certainly is a superior no-cal sweetener for baking but it works out to somewhere around $20 a pound including shipping charges.  And although it is a staple at our house I rationalize the expense by using it sparingly throughout the year. Treats are treats and not our daily bread. Instead I feed my notorious sweet tooth with a variety of densely nutritious carbohydrate foods to keep it under control.

Gretchen (Mom)

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His & Hers Pizzas

    Don and I both love pizza.  He has always been the pizza chef in this household.  For many years I would just scrape off and eat the toppings and sauce while leaving the crust.  And sometimes I succumbed to temptation and ate the crust; even after peeling it off.  Much education later I finally realized how destructive gluten was to my system.  It wasn’t just a couple of days of discomfort; there was lasting damage from small exposures.

    We tried to find a gluten-free pizza crust that both of us could/would eat.  That was Pizza Crust I.  Somehow I could not justify a double pizza crust that required a half dozen eggs.  We moved on to equal but separate pizzas.  He makes a crust, I make a crust.  Then he adds toppings, bakes the pizzas, and dinner is served.

    My gluten-free pizza crust is now on version V.  Eggs were eliminated and replaced by chia seed.  Yeast was eliminated and replaced by baking powder.  In this version all vestiges of the grass family (of the genus Poaceae) were eliminated and that includes any form of cane sugar – sugar cane is after all, a grass plant.  The small amount of sugar was replaced by agave syrup.  It helps with browning as well as flavor; sugar is not solely to make the yeast happy.  I have included several columns of my ‘pizza crust spreadsheet’ to illustrate the gradual recipe changes.  The changes made in each version are bolded.

Pizza Crust V – Gluten-free, Casein Free, Egg-free, Poaceae-free
Pizza Crust V - Gluten-free, Casein Free, Egg-free, Poaceae-free

Measure out the dry ingredients and whisk together until thoroughly blended.  Make a well in the flour for adding the wet ingredients.  Stir the water, olive oil and agave syrup into the flour mixture and work it with a spoon until all of the flour is absorbed.  It should form a sticky ball of dough that begins to hold together.

Dump the dough on a bread board or clean counter top and knead it with your hands for about a minute.  Spray or oil a 12” pizza pan.  Flatten the dough and place it on the pan.  Press all around until the crust is as even as possible.  Form a raised rim around the edge of the crust to help contain the toppings.  This step is so much like working with clay in art class.  If there are cracks just pinch it back together and try again.  Gluten free dough will not toughen up from handling it.   Sometimes a it helps to oil a spoon and use the back to push the dough around and form an edge to contain the toppings.

Bake the crust for 6-7 minutes at 425* F.  Remove it from the oven.  Add sauce, grilled onions, mushrooms, olives and optional other ingredients.  Cheese may be added if dairy is not a problem.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the edges are brown and the toppings are hot.  A crust made with buckwheat flour is significantly darker than other versions.  It may looked burnt in the picture but it is really just perfect with a firm base and a crispy edge.

His & Hers Pizzas

His & Hers Pizzas

When Don puts the pizzas together there is ground turkey and cheese in the toppings.  I am working on one with a pesto base and lots of sautéed veggies for toppings.  Summer produce is looking good for that kind of experimenting.


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