Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger: Reviews of Millet Sorghum Recipes by Karina the Gluten-free Goddess

February 2nd, 2010 yum Posted in Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger, Baked Goods, Blog Event, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Cooking for Karina, Fellow Food Bloggers, Gluten Free Blogs, Karina Friendly 9 Comments »

irishsoda9It has been quite a few months since I had the courage to participate in my Adopt-a-gluten-free-Blogger event. I have always been quite devoted to the idea of following my fellow bloggers’ recipes as written the first time around, and my limited ingredient options during the past few months made this difficult to say the least. However, being top eight-allergen free and rice shy at the moment, it occurred to me that the one blogger who might have options for me was our own Allergic goddess, Karina. I’ve always been inordinately fond of rice and rice blends in baking. And, barring that, I like to use bean flour blends. What to do when both are (temporarily) off the menu? Find someone who relishes the challenges of dairy and egg-free baking like Karina, and luxuriates in the stretchy, wholesome goodness of sorghum and millet, or course! Before I began this whole experiment, I had to make sure Baby Yum could tolerate a few fundamental ingredients, largely Hemp Milk, Ener-g Foods Egg Replacer, Sorghum, and baking powder. Happily, all ingredients seemed to work well with her delicate tummy. Because I’m doing potato starch and corn “light” at the moment, I did substitute arrowroot starch for the potato starch in Karina’s recipes, and alternated between coconut milk and hemp milk.

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irishsoda3One of the first recipes I tried was Karina’s Vegan Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread recipe. I have never been that appreciative of Irish Soda bread (sorry Bette Hagman), but the Millet-sorghum base in this recipe intrigued me, as well as the inclusion of caraway seed. I never met a caraway seed bread recipe I didn’t like… and this recipe was no exception. I used coconut milk instead of the alternative, and arrowroot starch instead of potato starch. I shaped it, baked it, let it cool (as much as I could bear to wait) and sliced it. Heaven! One of the best quick breads I’ve ever had. It is sweet, yet savory, and each bite is crunchy when toasted yet melts in your mouth at the same time. This will go into my regular rotation!

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kengmuf3I also tried Karina’s Vegan Gluten-free English Muffin Recipe. I’m a big fan of any round, yeasty bread product, whether it be Crumpets, English Muffins or buns, and I had high hopes for this recipe. Bette Hagman has spectacular recipes for gluten-free crumpets that I’ve enjoyed for years, and I was hoping Karina could help me make one using sorghum flour as the tasty base. Happily, this recipe did not disappoint in the slightest, even with the substitution of arrowroot starch for the starch flour. The dough was elastic and light, and I knew before I even poured them into the molds that this recipe was going to be a winner. I did make one error when I took them out of the oven- greedily sawing one out of the mold and trying to cut it in half and drizzle it with olive oil right away. Perhaps due to the arrowroot starch, they are delicate and if you rush these beauties by threatening them with a knife right away they may deflate and you may miss out on the optimal light-hole riddled english muffin experience. I found out that if you let them cool entirely and THEN delicately remove them, you can gently saw them in half with no damage to the structure of the muffin. Or if you just can’t wait (understandable, when you smell these lovelies in the oven), you can gently rip them apart (in half, horizontally) without entirely destroying them. These english muffins made me realize I’ve been giving sorghum a bum rap all these years. Just because there are some bad recipes using sorghum doesn’t mean the grain is bad… and these wonderful, faintly nutty, whole-grain flavored muffins are proof. I forced myself to freeze half of the first batch, but happily made another batch the next time sorghum day rolled around. And I’m sorry to say, none of those made it to the freezer. They made an excellent base for a sunbutter and jelly sandwich when I went out for a bachelorette party… and were just as good when i gobbled them with some no-soy margarine and dill. Karina should get a medal for these English Muffins. They are that good. *I also found that if you are greedy like me, you can squeeze 8 muffins out of the recipe. Just be slightly stingy when pouring the batter into your molds.

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kbreakbarsI also tried one of Karina’s quinoa-based recipes for what she calls a Vegan Breakfast Brownie. I love eating dessert for breakfast, but it is usually a guilty pleasure I don’t share with others. Who, me, eat half a gluten-free apple pie for breakfast? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Honest. But our decadent gluten-free goddess has no such compunctions, brazenly throwing out recipes for brownies that you are SUPPOSED to eat at breakfast time. My heroine. Who could feel guilty about a high protein treat stuffed with quinoa, anyway? I’m sure all that healthy goodness cancels out the chocolate chips, although not in flavor! These breakfast brownies are worthy of the name, and they travel gloriously well. You can also individually wrap them and freeze them. Brilliant! *I take them out of the plastic wrap and either defrost by leaving them out at room temperature or microwave on half-power. Perfect with a steaming Americano!

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Of all the recipes I tried from Karina’s site, the only one that didn’t quite work for me was her Vegan gluten-free Herbed Flatbread Recipe. Perhaps the temperature of my liquids was off… but it just didn’t rise and look as lovely as her images. However, since I actually have a vegan gluten-free pizza crust recipe that works for me, I wasn’t too worried about it, especially since every other recipe was a keeper.

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The one thing this little experiment taught me is that Karina’s title of “gluten-free goddess” is well deserved. All of us with gluten-intolerance and multiple intolerances can find yummy recipes, inspiration, and a bit of magic over at the Gluten-free Goddess’s Blogspot. What’s your favorite Gluten-free Goddess recipe? Share in the comments!

Recipe Recap:
Gluten-free English Muffins
Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread
Gluten-free Quinoa Breakfast Brownies
Gluten-free Herbed Flatbread

This isn’t the first time I adopted Karina! I also adopted her in 2008 and made her tasty gluten-free Mac-n-Uncheese Recipe.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Challenge #4: DF CF Cheezy Pine Nut Pizza Recipe

December 19th, 2008 yum Posted in Cooking for Karina, Dairy Free, Garlic-free, Italian, JM friendly, Mushrooms, Nuts, Pizza, Soy Free, Sweet Potato, Tomato-free, Vegan, portobello mushrooms, soy-free challenges, walnut 7 Comments »


Thin gluten-free crust with pine nut “cheese”, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh basil, roasted mushrooms and roasted red pepper, prior to baking.

One big challenge to the dairy-free, soy-free lifestyle is that of a cheesy pizza. Sure, you can make a tomato sauce and just skip the cheese, but it doesn’t have that rich mouth feel or decadence. I’ve played with a variety of solutions to this problem. There are a number of lactose free or dairy free cheeses on the market, including almond, rice, and soy cheeses that are also gluten-free. However, finding a commercial w”cheese” that is truly 100% dairy-free as well as soy-free can be another story. Besides, if you’ve ever tried these cheese “substitutes” you know that they taste almost nothing like real cheese, and often don’t seem to add anything good to a recipe besides the idea of cheese. Luckily vegan cookbooks such as The Uncheese Cookbook have more creative alternatives using a variety of “real” foods as the base for their un-cheese recipes. Some of these recipes use soy (frequently) or gluten (less frequently), but there are many options that do work for a gluten,dairy, and soy-free diet.

However, interestingly one of the most successful soy and dairy-free cheese substitutes I found was not in a vegan cookbook, exactly, but on a related raw foods cookbook. Raw foodists might find it sacrilege, but I used it in a baked lasagna to wonderful effect. This recipe for soy and dairy-free lasagna has been one of the most popular recipes at the Book of Yum because it answers a real need in the food-sensitive community for TASTY cheese substitutes. This recipe came to mind when Mother was visiting us this week. She can eat gluten, but is allergic to soy and dairy, so she doesn’t often have the chance to have “cheesy” dishes. She is also allergic to garlic and avoids tomatoes due to RA. When I decided to make a dairy-free pizza, I thought immediately that I should try using the yummy pine nut sauce on it as the “cheese” base. I was also inspired by the season to roast sweet potato cubes and mushrooms for toppings. I decided to simplify the pine nut recipe a bit and found it was just as good, if not better than the original. It was a big hit with my allergy-sensitive Mom, and the DH and I enjoyed it as well. The combination of pine nut sauce, fresh basil, and roasted vegetables was absolutely addicting. Because I had extra pizza crusts I decided to also make a dairy-free walnut pesto and top it with roasted vegetables as well. Yum! And nobody missed the cheese (or soy) at all.

Looking for a gluten-free pizza crust recipe?
Here’s a fun thin-crust recipe- it doesn’t rise much but makes enough for 6 pizzas that you can enjoy over a week’s time.
And, here’s my personal favorite crust- Carol Fenster’s classic gluten-free Pizza recipe with allergen-free pizza topping recipes

Dairy-Free Soy-Free Pine Nut Cheesy Pizza
Ingredients
1 gluten-free pizza crust

Pine Nut “Cheese” (new version)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp or less salt
1/8 cup water or more

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed
handful fresh basil leaves, julienned
4 baby portabella mushrooms (between crimini and portabella)
1 red pepper for roasting
olive oil
salt, pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Soak 1/2 cup pine nuts in enough water to cover for an hour. Then drain, rinse, and blend in food processor with dash of salt, vinegar and water until you have a creamy consistency. Put in small container and reserve, refrigerating.

Prepare toppings:
Toss sweet potato cubes with dash of olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. Place on baking sheet. Remove stems from mushrooms and rub with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper if you like. Place whole red pepper on baking sheet or on oven rack along with rest of your veggies. Roast for 15 minutes and check your mushrooms. If they seem done, remove mushrooms from oven, dribbling juices over them and letting rest. If not, check mushrooms again in another 5 minutes. After they have rested, you can slice them. Roast sweet potatoes until they are fork tender but not mushy. Roast red pepper (turning occasionally) until sides are all slightly charred. When you take red pepper out of oven, place in freezer safe ziploc bag, seal, and let steam for 10 minutes on counter before removing. Rub off skin with paper or cloth towel, cut in half and de-seed. Slice and/or cut into bite sized pieces and reserve.

To assemble your pizza, top with even coating of your pine nut “cheese”. If you have some, you could rub the crust first with a bit of blended sundried tomato and olive oil to give the crust a more attractive golden color that will stand out from the pine nut “cheese”. (I didn’t do that this time, Mom is also sensitive to tomatoes). Sprinkle with julienned basil, roasted sweet potato, mushroom slices and red pepper pieces. Bake following pizza crust instructions. The thin-crust pizza recipe I used requires a short bake time (12 min or less) and so is ideal. For a long baking recipe, you might bake the crust halfway before topping the pizza.

Notes
My dairy-free, soy-free Mom loved this pizza, and loved the pine nut sauce.
Walnut Dairy Free Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
sprinkle salt
1/8 cup roasted fresh onions
1/4 cup olive oil
Directions
Combine ingredients in blender or food processor, drizzling in olive oil as you blend it. Taste and season with more salt or other spices if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
I used this pesto on a gluten-free pizza crust topped with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, roasted red pepper, roasted onion, and even half roasted chard. Yum yum yum!
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