Gluten-free Menu Swap: Casein and Soy-Free Almond Coconut Milk Spinach Pie Recipe

September 13th, 2009 yum Posted in Almonds, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, coconut 10 Comments »

babyyum Today Sunday the 13th was Baby Yum’s 2 month birthday, so Happy Birthday to her. I can’t believe how big she has gotten. And… Here’s my menu for the week!

Sunday: Southern
Cornbread vegetarian stuffing
pressure cooker tarragon white bean soup
slow cooked greens

Monday: Italian (vegan)
Carol Fenster pizza with heirloom tomatoes and pine nut “cheese” marguerita topping

Tuesday: Thai
Green Vegetable Curry
Jasmine Rice

Friday: Vegan
Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin with cashew “ricotta” OR ratatouille
Quinoa mint salad

This week the gluten-free menu swap is hosted at La Cocina de Michelle, aka Cooking and Uncooking with quinoa as the theme. The menu headquarters are hosted by Cheryl at GF Goodness. Don’t forget to check out more menus at Org Junkie.

This week I thought I would share a truly unique recipe I came up with using So Delicious’ coconut drinking milk. I have been making a cheesy spinach pie for years and wanted to see what it would be like to make a “cheesy” pie with coconut milk and almond butter as the base. No, it really isn’t cheesy, but it did oddly enough evoke the original recipe. I think it was the garlic. Anyway, this probably isn’t a recipe that will suit die hard cheese-a-holics or those used to more typical American fare, but I rather enjoyed it. I hope that other vegans or those used to creative substitutions for dairy might as well. In any case, it was a fun experiment.

This isn’t the first time I tried making a dairy-free allergen friendly spinach pie. Check out this earlier attempt with a southern-style roux and nutritional yeast base.

Vegan Dairy free soy-free Coconut Milk Almond Butter Spinach Pie Recipe
1 large package fresh spinach (or 2 bunches)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. brown rice flour
garlic powder
toasted onion powder (optional, mine is from Penzeys)
1 cup or more original coconut milk (I used drinking coconut milk from So Delicious- NON VANILLA FLAVOR)
1/4 cup almond butter
salt to taste

1 gluten-free pie crust, baked for 10 minutes sprinkled with garlic and/or onion powder
(I used Bette Hagman’s vinegar pastry recipe substituting 1 cup of superfine brown rice flour for 1 cup of the featherlight mix- this pastry recipe is not vegan as written)

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook spinach in large pot with small amount of water, rinse in cold water and cut into bitesized pieces. Drain and reserve.

Heat olive oil to medium in a nonstick fry pan. Add your brown rice flour and let it toast, combining thoroughly with the oil. Add garlic powder to taste and onion powder. Add your coconut milk slowly, whisking into the roux. When roux has dissolved into the milk, let thicken. If you think you want more liquid for your sauce, add more coconut milk slowly. When sauce has thickened satisfactorily, taste. Adjust seasoning. Then mix in your almond butter into sauce. Add salt, taste, and adjust seasonings. Fold spinach into sauce.

Pour spinach and sauce into pie crust and bake for 20 minutes or until crust is done.

Interesting. I liked it better the second day, cold, when the garlic had permeated the flavor and it actually started to taste like cheesy spinach pie.
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Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Gluten-Free: Allergen-friendly Polenta based Green-Chili Corn Quiche Recipe

March 24th, 2009 yum Posted in Almonds, Corn, Dairy Free, Eggs, Garlic-free, JM friendly, Nut Free, Party Food, Party Menu, Soy Free, Support Groups, Vegetarian No Comments »

Some time ago I started going to a local gluten-free support group. I went not because I necessarily thought I needed help figuring out the gluten-free diet (although I’ve learned a lot from my fellow members), but because I thought it would be fun to get together and socialize with other people that shared the same gluten-free lifestyle. It turned out to be a great idea, and a social event that I thoroughly enjoy. We generally have a big potluck at someone’s house- usually with a theme- and talk and stuff ourselves silly. This last meeting had a “luncheon” theme and I decided to make quiche. That was well and good, but a traditional quiche contains dairy and a fair number of our members have multiple intolerances including dairy. I decided to make allergen-friendly alternatives for those who could have egg, but couldn’t have dairy or soy. (Unfortunately those who can’t have egg also can’t have soy, or I might have made a tofu-vegan quiche as well.) The pie crust I used for the traditional quiche recipe contained dairy and potato starch (another allergen for some members), so that was out. I considered making my standard dairy-free chebe crust, but I wanted to have a base that contributed a flavor element as well as a texture. I ended up deciding to do a creative riff on my green chili crustless quiche, using South American inspired flavors of chili and tomato- and thus, a corn polenta crust, almost like an open tamale, came to mind.

I made one quiche with a vegan (dairy-free) sundried tomato pesto topping inspired by Vegan with a Vengeance, and then in case the nuts in the pesto made the quiche off limits for anyone, I also topped some of my quiche with simple but beautiful slow-roasted tomatoes and/or fresh cilantro leaves. The results were lovely, tasty, and allergen-friendly, and my friends with multiple intolerances seemed to thoroughly enjoy them. Trying to cook for these friends has really taught me a lot about creative baking with limited ingredients- and I enjoy the challenge as well as the results! Enjoy! And if you haven’t looked into joining a support group in your area- I highly recommend it.

Here’s one of the nut-free quiche, topped with lovely slow-roasted grape tomatoes, corn, and garnished with oregano.

Vegetarian Dairy free green chili quiche recipe
1 onion, diced
2 tsp. olive oil

Grits/ Polenta Base:
1 cup rice milk
1 to 2 cups water*
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (I use arrowhead mills)
1/2 (7-ounce) can ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles
6 ounces sweet corn
2 tbsp. fresh, chopped cilantro
oregano, smoked paprika, epazote (optional) to taste
1/4 tsp salt (or less, to taste)

Quiche Base:
4 eggs
1/2 cup rice milk
10 ounces sweet corn
1/2 (7-ounce) can Diced Green Chiles
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
oregano and any other herbs you like

A) Sundried Tomato Cilantro Pesto
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (either reconstituted dried or in oil, rinsed)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup almonds
no oil if using tomatoes in oil, otherwise small amounts to taste
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

B) Slow Roasted baby tomatoes
Large handful of small tomatoes
olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
salt, pepper

C) Fresh Cilantro in Olive oil
Enough sprigs of cilantro to decorate 12 muffin size quiche
olive oil
salt, pepper

Prepare a muffin tin with (or without) liners, greasing with spectrum shortening or your favorite dairy-free margarine if you are not using liners.

Sautee 1 diced onion in a nonstick pan in olive oil until translucent and remove from burner, reserving in two parts for base and quiche.

Polenta Base:
1. Combine rice milk, water, cornmeal in a large saucepan and heat until you get a gentle boil. Lower temperature slightly if needed and keep stirring for 10 minutes or longer until you get a nice thick consistency. Add corn, half of your sauteed onions, and chilies and cook a few minutes longer. Season with herbs and seasonings and remove from burner. Fill prepared muffin tins 1/4 to 1/3 with polenta and let cool until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Puree eggs, 1 cup of corn, salt and pepper in a blender. Add remaining corn, chilies and sauteed onion to puree and mix well with a spoon. Season. Pour into muffin containers on top of the polenta base. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until center is almost set. Top with options a, b, or c and bake until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Topping Directions:
A) Sundried Tomato Almond Pesto
Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Spread on top of quiche when half baked and return to oven.

B) Slow Roasted grape tomatoes, halved, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh cilantro and roasted for an hour or two on 325. Garnish quiche when half baked and return to oven.

C) Fresh cilantro leaves, drizzled with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and let steep until oil is infused. Garnish quiche when half baked and return to oven.

After done, cool COMPLETELY before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Made to accommodate complex allergies of friends at local GF potluck.

*Polenta note: I used 2 cups water, but the polenta was softer than I would have liked. I would experiment and try this with 1 cup water instead and add more as needed.

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