Gluten-Free American Comfort Foods: Goat Cheese Vegetable Pot Pie Recipe

October 15th, 2008 yum Posted in American Homestyle Cooking, Gluten Free Product Review, Goat Cheese 1 Comment »

Some time back I was delighted to be approached by the Ile De France Cheese company with an offer to try one of their goat cheeses and potentially participate in a recipe contest. Now, I would never consider writing a paid review (and I was not paid to write this!!!), but I always love trying new gourmet ingredients so I thought why not? After all, I love goat cheese, especially if it is local like Harley goat cheese from Half Moon Bay. The cheese arrived as promised, and I was eager to try it. But somehow, I found opening that lovely package of goat cheese a little intimidating with all the possibilities it represented. I’ve done experiments with goat cheese from Apple Onion Feta Socca Pizza to tasty Goat Cheese Quesadillas. But this time, I didn’t know quite what to do, and so I hoarded it in my refrigerator for weeks on end. Good thing goat cheese has a nice long shelf life! When I finally started cooking with it, I surprised myself by making a hearty and homey American one-dish meal. Just a portion of my precious stash of Ile De France goat cheese added glamor and richness to the dish, and the recipe ended up being exactly what I wanted on this cool Fall evening. It also went over very well with my sleepy DH, so I consider the whole experiment a success.

*Ile De France Goat Cheese is 100% gluten-free. In fact, on my request my contact researched the status of all their cheeses and proclaimed them gluten-free (yay!). Just so you know, though, they do contain non-vegetarian rennet (something I didn’t know before the cheese arrived).

Vegetarian Goat Cheese Vegetable Pot Pie Recipe
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 potatoes, cleaned chopped
Trader Joe’s pasta seasoning (or other favorite spice blend)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 GF bouillon cube and enough water to cover ingredients
broccoli florets from 1/2 of a medium stalk of broccoli, trimmed into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. white rice flour (or other flour of your choice)
1 cup lowfat milk
3 oz. soft, spreadable goat cheese
freshly grated pepper
smoked paprika

GF biscuit type crust*:
Chebe all-purpose mix
2 eggs
2 tbsp. all natural spectrum shortening
5 tbsp. water or milk
handful of fresh grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 F and prepare casserole dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven and add your chopped onion. Let it cook until partly translucent and add your minced garlic clove. Combine ingredients. As garlic starts to release its fragrance add your chopped potatoes and stir. Season with your Trader Joe’s or other spice blend. Let the potatoes brown a little, turning occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes or so, and then add your chopped carrot. Heat some water and then add your bouillon cube, mashed to the center of the pot, pouring enough hot water over it to barely cover your vegetables. Let them simmer until the potato is cooked through and the liquid has mostly reduced. Add your small broccoli florets and cook for another minute. Then make a well in the center of the pot and melt butter in it. Add your rice flour to the well and let it thicken. Slowly add milk, stirring gently. As milk sauce thickens, add your goat cheese and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with smoked paprika.

Prepare your biscuit topping by mixing ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl, kneading if necessary. If using Chebe mix, shape biscuits into little balls. Then take each ball of dough and flatten into a disc, placing on top of the filling so that you have rows of mini biscuits covering the filling. You can also use your favorite biscuit mix (such as Pamela’s biscuit mix*) and simply drop the dough onto the filling.

Bake for 35-35 minutes, or until biscuit topping is baked to your satisfaction. Enjoy this homey, tasty one dish meal!

*You can use your favorite biscuit recipe in place of the Chebe mix. For gluten-free options, try

Pamela’s lowfat biscuit mix topping found here:

or a Mashed Potato Shepard’s pie type topping

For those not following a gluten-free diet, try your favorite prepared biscuit mix as a topping.

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Gluten-Free Baked Onion Ring Recipe and Pinto-Rice-Peanut Veggie Burger Recipe

August 26th, 2008 yum Posted in American Homestyle Cooking, Brown Rice, Diner Food, Easy, Gluten Free Crackers, Lowfat, Onions, beans 7 Comments »

The other night DH and I settled down to a deceptively simple feast of homemade vegetarian pinto bean burgers, corn tortillas, lettuce, and baked onion rings. And yes, I just said BAKED onion rings. Of course, they were totally GLUTEN-FREE. But the real secret… they weren’t even that hard to make! I had been thinking about baked onion rings for some time when I stumbled across an intriguing recipe at Cooking for Engineers. It used a nice buttermilk batter (alas, not gluten-free) and a crispy coating of potato chips and (non gf) saltine crackers. I just happened to have some buttermilk in the fridge so I converted the batter to be gluten-free, and then reworked the coating. I was reluctant to use FRIED chips for a BAKED dish and cancel out all that healthfulness, so I decided to use the newly gluten-free and crunchy Rice Chex instead of potato chips. DH and I had recently discovered a new type of Glutino Cheese crackers at the local New Leaf health food store, and I decided to use them as a substitute for the saltine crackers. The result was cheesy and flavorful with less fat than the gluten-based-recipe that inspired me. To accompany this traditional American fast-food restaurant treat, I took some homemade slow-cooked organic pinto beans and sauteed them with some caramelized onions and garlic, adding peanut butter, tomato paste, green pepper, and fresh cilantro for flavor. Then I added some freshly cooked brown rice and shaped the mixture into patties and floured them with pure GF buckwheat. I pan fried them in a little peanut oil in a cast iron pan and then sprayed them with nonstick cooking spray and baked them until they were firm and perfectly brown. We enjoyed them in a non-traditional corn tortilla with mayo and ketchup (and a little chipotle salsa) and they were the ideal accompaniment for golden, perfectly baked onion rings. Onion rings have always been a rare treat, due to all the trouble (and guilt) of all that oil and deep frying, but with this recipe, they can be on our regular menu. In fact, DH has insisted that we have them again… soon!

*I know, I know, the pinto bean burgers don’t have exact proportions. This is one of those recipes that I created as I went along, tasting and adjusting as I liked. That’s the fun thing about veggie burgers- you can make them up as you go along, just making sure they will shape into a croquette at the end of your kitchen witchery. Enjoy- and tell me all about your version!

Question of the day:
What is your favorite gluten-free breading, either homemade or purchased? Tell me in the comments!

Baked GF Onion Rings
*3/4 cup GF Glutino Original OR Cheese flavored crackers (or substitute)
*1 1/4 cup GF Rice Chex (check the box) or similar unsweetened GF cereal

1 large onion (cut into wide 1/2 inch rings and separated)

3 tbsp. white rice flour
1 tbsp. potato starch
1/4 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

1/4 cup fine brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place large NOT oiled cookie sheet or baking tin in oven.

Grind Glutino Crackers and Rice Chex in your food processor until you have smooth, even crumbs a similar texture to coarse corn meal.

Whisk together your white rice flour, potato starch and spices with buttermilk and the egg in a medium bowl.

Put the onion in a plastic bag with the brown rice flour and shake until onion slices are coated with flour. Bring over your buttermilk mixture and shake the ground cracker and cereal onto a flat plate. Dip the floured rings into the white rice flour-buttermilk batter and then place each ring in the ground cracker-cereal mixture, covering both sides. Try not to get extra liquid into the cracker meal.

Take the hot pan out of the oven and baste it with a small amount of your favorite oil OR use a nonstick cooking spray. Place each coated onion ring (flour, batter, cracker meal) on the cooking sheet not touching each other and place in preheated oven. Bake for eight minutes and then turn and put back in the oven for 5 to 8 more minutes, checking after five minutes. Take out of oven and enjoy with ketchup or plain. Yummy!

DH loved these more than those made with a conventional breading mix. In fact, we both thought they were delicious and WILL be making these again- soon.

Amount of chex and glutino crackers is approximate. Use more chex than glutino, but cut down proportions to suit your taste and cracker supply.

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