This month Wendy of Celiacs in the House is hosting Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger. Thank you, Wendy! The July edition sign-ups will be open here at the Book of Yum in the next couple of days. I hope to see you here! I first met Bernice of Wheatless and Meatless at a Blogher Food Blogger’s conference, but of course I’d known her through her fantastic gluten-free and vegetarian blog for ages before that. Bernice’s site has a lovely mix of healthy, hearty vegetarian fare and New York gluten-free restaurant or menu reviews, and I love it! The one disadvantage of being a busy food blogger is that I rarely have time to experiment with other people’s recipes- which is exactly why I started the Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger Event. In all this time, I’d never made one of Bernice’s great recipes. This month, I made two, and found tons more that I’d like to try.
Worried by the above photo that this blog has dipped off the vegetarian wagon? Never fear! You are eying one of Bernice’s many Gluten-free brilliant meatless burger recipes on a Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-free Bun with organic lettuce from our garden and some tiny heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market. Looks pretty tasty, doesn’t it, and amazingly like the “real” thing. It was difficult to choose just one recipe, but I ended up making her Gluten-free Vegetarian Bombay Beastless Burger, which has a lentil and roasted eggplant base with egg whites for binding and walnuts for extra protein and texture. The indian spices (cumin, coriander) and tangy indian tamarind really take this burger into international territory, and amp up the yum factor.
One note: Whatever you do, DO poke holes in the eggplant before roasting, as Bernice recommends. I recently tried roasting an eggplant the night before our big trip to Arizona. I made the mistake of cooking it on a low temperature and not poking any holes in the flesh. Usually when I roast them on a high heat the skin cracks open and the steam comes out naturally. However, this time the eggplant swelled up without cracking the skin. When I reached in and poked it with a spatula to see if it was done, it exploded with a massive boom and hot eggplant flesh shrapnel showered all over me, leaving burns on my face, neck, and worst of all, on my arm that was closest. Oh man, that hurt. We used a folk remedy of egg whites whisked with a little baking soda to coat the burns, which seemed to help somewhat, but it still hurt like crazy and it was hard to sleep that night. I had to pick up some long sleeve cover ups for our Arizona vacation specially, but otherwise it worked out. This is probably the worst kitchen injury I’ve ever had, though, and I hope it never happens again. When I roasted the eggplant for Bernice’s recipe I have to admit that I cringed at the idea of taking it out of the oven. It all worked out though, and I vowed to never again skip the puncturing of eggplant in roasted eggplant recipes.
The second recipe I tried by Bernice was a tasty little number with cauliflower, chestnuts and a parmesan breadcrumb herb crumble. I made the minor change of roasting the cauliflower for ten minutes before mixing it up with the breading. I used Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bread for the crumbs, since I had some on hand from a recent Whole Foods trip. I really enjoyed it, and so did Baby Yum. The DH apparently prefers the texture of raw (yuck) cauliflower or simmered cauliflower in an Indian gravy. Who knew?!!! I could eat this stuff by the pound, though.
As usual, adopting a gluten-free blogger friend was a tremendously rewarding experience and I got to know Bernice’s culinary style better than ever before. The woman is a master of the gluten-free homemade veggie burger, and has inspired me to stock my cupboards with lentils. I always have a huge variety of indian dal, but have been somewhat indifferent to the more pedestrian American lentil since I hadn’t found any recipes that really got my pulse racing. Bernice’s veggie burgers frequently have a lentil base, and it gives them an amazingly realistic appearance and they taste great with her tamarind-vegan worcestershire sauce seasoning. Love that! And I think once you meet this spicy, vibrant gluten-free New Yorker and her blog, you’ll love them too.
Bernice also runs an online gluten-free bakery, housed at Etsy. If you don’t have time to try one of her recipes, why not order some of her baked goods?
Recipes on my “to try” list:
Vegetarian Borlotti Burger
Southwest Black Bean Burger Recipe
Rosemary Olive Cocktail Bread
Gluten-free Whole Grain Hamburger Bun
Gluten-free St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cookies
Gluten-free soy walnut wafers
Gluten-free Cherry Red Velvet Valentine Cake