Gluten-free Allergen-free Baking: Baked Amaranth Meal Cracker Flatbread Recipe

December 20th, 2009 yum Posted in Amaranth, Baked Goods, Bread, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Easy, Egg Free, Flatbread, Gluten Free Crackers, JM friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, potato allergy 12 Comments »

amaranthpizza

Picture a little round seed that looks like it belongs in a bird feeder or could be the start of a Chia pet. Imagine this seed surrounded by a million of its friends in a plastic clear bag from Bob’s Red Mill labeled “Amaranth Grain.” On my allergy rotation diet, this seed has become a staple, but not one that particularly thrills me. In the morning I’ve been having it boiled into a porridge with lemon olive oil, honey, nutmeg and raisins. I add all these things to mask the earthy, savory nature of the seed. Boiling it creates this gel-like stuff that seems only appropriate for an astronaut meal.

After eating this gloppy porridge one too many times, I started daydreaming about things I could do to give it a better texture. Somehow I came up with the idea of spreading it out like a pizza on parchment paper and baking it into a tasty flatbread that could be used as a pizza base or crackers. And- miracle of miracles, this technique worked and transformed my martian-gel porridge into this amazing cracker bread that rivals flax crackers for crunch and has amazing flavor too! So lately, I eat my morning glop but leave half of the stuff plain, chill it and bake it later. When I enjoy this gluten-free crunchy, salty cracker flatbread with tasty veggies, it’s hard to remember that it is the same stuff that I eat for breakfast, transformed thanks to the magic of the kitchen.

The baked seed pops in your mouth a little and the high protein count means you don’t even miss t he missing dairy, egg or soy in the recipe- it is simply fabulous, and fabulously easy. I hope the next time you find yourself facing a big bowl of amaranth gruel that you will consider transforming it into some lovely salty flatbread.

And, if like me you need to avoid nuts and dairy, you may enjoy topping it with a lovely pumpkin seed basil pesto and roasted red peppers and calling it pizza. I’ve been experimenting with both pumpkin seed and sunflower seeds… as rare allergens they seemed like a good bet, and they don’t seem to bother Baby Yum. To my delight, pumpkin seed pesto is just as tasty as I could have hoped- and I don’t miss the dairy or nuts in the slightest! What are your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds? Share in the comments and you just might inspire my dinner!

Gluten-free Amaranth cracker recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup whole amaranth grain (not flour)- i use Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste

flavored olive oil (lemon or basil)

fresh basil, torn into pieces to garnish (optional)

Directions
Boil amaranth with water for 20-30 minutes, or until you have a thick porridge like consistency. Cool and place in refrigerator and thoroughly chill.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Line pizza pan with parchment paper and baste with olive oil.

Remove chilled amaranth and spoon onto your parchment paper into a thin, round disk, much like a pizza. Baste top with olive oil (flavored olive oil is ideal) and sprinkle with plenty of salt.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bottom of crust dries out and edges start to get crisp like a cracker. Carefully peel off parchment paper and turn crust over, basting with olive oil if desired.

Bake until you get desired crispiness on both sides of cracker. Remove from oven, slice into pizza shapes and use as flatbread, cut into crackers (if you get it really crispy), or top and bake a little more in oven.

Vegan Dairy-free Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
olive oil (start with 1 tbsp. and add more as needed to form paste)
1 small bunch fresh basil (or more, to taste)
salt
Directions
Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on low heat, turning as needed. Combine pumpkin seed with olive oil and basil in a small food processor and blend. Stir as needed and add more olive oil as necessary until you get a nice texture. Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepita

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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
Ingredients
*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

Directions
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!

Notes
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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