Gluten Free Baking with Amaranth: dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free Vegan Crepe recipe

December 9th, 2009 yum Posted in Amaranth, Baked Goods, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Crepes, Dairy Free, Egg Free, JM friendly, Rice Free, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, Vegetarian, tapioca starch free 6 Comments »

amaranthcrepeflg2As you may know, we’ve been struggling with allergies at my house these days- it turns out that our darling Baby Yum has a very sensitive tummy and so I’ve had to go on a rather extreme elimination diet in order to breastfeed her. The good news is that she is doing much better (yay probiotics!)- and the other good news is that while I had to turn my diet upside down, I’m starting to come up with some recipes that rock, limited ingredients or no. This recipe is amazing because it doesn’t contain any of the top allergens (no dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, animal products, potatoes, corn etc) and yet still has fantastic texture and flavor. As I was bemoaning the loss of Ener-g foods egg replacer (which contains a corn derivative AND potato, both of which I’m currently avoiding), it occurred to me that the french crepe/flatbread recipe socca doesn’t contain any eggs at all, and still tastes lovely. It is based in high protein chickpea flour but I thought, what if I used another high protein flour like amaranth, which is one of my current staples? And so, a lovely recipe was born. Obviously I wasn’t going to be able to top it with hummus (no sesame at the moment, sigh) but I raided my admittedly limited fridge and came up with an easy veggie saute that tasted surprisingly savory and delicious. I’ve made this recipe many times since its first inception, and it comes out beautifully every time.

For those of you new to amaranth, you can find gluten-free certified flour through Bob’s Red Mill, sold on Amazon or directly through the company. Amaranth is a traditional food plant in Africa, and only now beginning to be cultivated for use in the United States. It has a long and interesting history with the Aztecs and with the native people of Mexico. “To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate to make a treat called alegría.” (Recipe for Alegría using whole grain amaranth )

Most interestingly for our purposes, Amaranth contains “large amounts of protein and essential amino acids, such as lysine . . . [and is] reported to have a 30% higher protein value than cereals, such as rice, wheat flour, oats, and rye.” That sounds good to me, especially since Baby Yum is currently sensitive to so many of my vegetarian protein staples. Further, “Amaranth and quinoa are called pseudograins because of their flavor and cooking similarities to grains. These are dicot plant seeds, and both contain exceptionally complete protein for plant sources. Besides protein, amaranth grain provides a good source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and especially manganese.” (Source: Wikipedia) Nutritional value aside, this recipe is worth trying based on flavor alone. I think you’ll agree that in this case, a simple whole grain (or whole pseudograin) recipe is amazingly tasty- and easy, too!

Gluten Free Amaranth Flatbread Crepe Recipe
1/2 cup GF amaranth flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup water + 2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
Generous sprinkle of dried rosemary
olive oil for oiling cast iron pan
cast iron or other oven safe skillet

*Makes two crepes- double for larger recipe

Allergen-free filling:
1 thinly sliced apple
2 carrots, cut into horizontal thin pieces similar in size to the apple (cut like a very wide matchstick)
1/2 or 1 zucchini, cut into tiny cubes(optional)
olive oil to taste

Whisk together flour, water, salt, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Set on counter and leave for 30 minutes, whisking as needed. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F and place seasoned cast iron pan in oven, heating. Add rosemary after batter has set. Brush pan with small amount of olive oil and let cool slightly. Pour half of your batter into the pan and swirl to make a round crepe in the pan. Place in oven and let bake for at least 8 minutes or until it starts to brown and lift off the edge of the pan. Take out of oven and carefully peel off flatbread and turn over, letting it brown for a minute or so on the other side if you like it crispy.

While you are making your second flatbread, heat a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick or second cast iron pan and saute apples and carrots until apple starts to brown. Season generously and turn. Add a little more olive oil and heat in the center of pan. Sprinkle oil lightly with salt and add zucchini cubes, sauteeing until lightly browned, turning as needed. When done to your desired texture, remove from pan.

Fill or top flatbread with your sauteed veggies and enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Cornmeal Savory Crepe with Goat Cheese Vegetarian Filling Recipe

August 11th, 2009 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Corn, Crepes, Eggs, Goat Cheese, Mushrooms, Vegetarian, cheese 1 Comment »

cornmealcrepes4I haven’t had much time to cook lately, but I still have my supply of lovely cooking magazines. Vegetarian Times and Cooking Light are my two current favorites. I also have a subscription to Gourmet, which I like slightly less but still find inspiration from at times. When i miraculously had a few minutes free, a few days ago I was flipping through the September issue of Vegetarian Times and stumbled across an article on crepes. I love crepes, as they are easy to make gluten free with simple substitutions and usually have plenty of protein in the form of eggs and/or milk that makes them easy to handle. You can also make them sweet or savory. I was inspired by a sweet recipe for cornmeal-blueberry crepes to come up with my own savory cornmeal crepe using some of Bob’s Red Mill new gluten-free cornmeal. I think a more finely ground cornmeal, or even corn flour might be an interesting variation on this recipe, but the flavor of a faintly sweet cornmeal crepe with tangy goats cheese and tasty veggies is not to be missed. It was difficult to find time to make the entire recipe with a fussy newborn clamoring for her own lunch, but it was nice to have a meal that didn’t come out of my freezer. The DH enjoyed this dish for lunch, and no worries, Baby Yum had her gobble fest in the end, so everyone was happy.

Gluten Free Savory Cornmeal Crepe Recipe
1 cup GF flour mix (I used Bette hagman’s featherlight blend)
1 cup GF milled cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp dried lemon zest (or 2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest)
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups 1% milk

3 tbsp. fresh herbs, diced (I used chives, lemon thyme, oregano, and basil)
goat cheese

filling one:
1/2 lb mushrooms (or as desired), cleaned and sliced
olive oil
1/4 roasted red pepper, diced

filling two:
1/4 roasted red pepper,diced
1 small yellow heirloom tomato, diced

Whisk together crepe ingredients in medium or large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. Heat nonstick pan on medium and take 1/4 cup batter in one hand. Take nonstick pan off the burner and pour batter into pan, swirling pan so that the batter covers the bottom forming a round shape. Heat until crepe becomes golden brown on bottom (1 or 2 minutes). Turn crepe over and heat other side for one more minute or so. You can keep them warm in an 200 degree or warm oven while you prepare the rest.

Meanwhile heat a cast iron pan and add a little olive oil to the pan, swirling it to cover the bottom in a thin layer. Add your mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Leave mushrooms alone and turn when they seem nicely done on one side. saute the mushrooms on the other side and then remove from pan and reserve.

To assemble crepe version one, spread a small amount of goat cheese in the center of the crepe and add sliced mushrooms and red pepper. Roll up crepe and enjoy.

To assemble crepe version two, spread a small amount of goat cheese in the center of the crepe and add diced red pepper and diced tomato, sprinkled lightly with salt.

Serve and enjoy!

Bette Hagman’s Featherlight Mix bulk recipe:
1 c. Rice flour
1 c. cornstarch
1 c. tapioca starch
1 Tbs. potato flour (NOT potato starch)
Mix well.
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