Gluten-free Dairy-free Egg-free Focaccia inspired by Amy’s Kitchen

March 6th, 2012 yum Posted in Amy's Kitchen, Bread, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Brown Rice, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Sugar free, Sunflower seed, Vegan 16 Comments »


I have a little addiction. It is to the Amy’s Kitchen kid’s meal with the ziti pasta with the fake cheese and a little bit of broccoli and focaccia and the apple cobbler serving. I know, I know, I’m not a kid, but it is relatively low in calories and I just can’t get enough of it. They also just came out with a new kid’s meal with gluten-free rice mac and cheese, broccoli, and that same apple cobbler. However, those frozen kids meals are an expensive little vice for a graduate student mommy with a mortgage. I was thinking about it, and although I do love the pasta, the real draw for me is that little bread square tucked in between the pasta and the apple pie. I just love the faintly nutty, brown rice flavor of the stuff and the fluffiness of it when I rescue it from the microwave and let the rest of the meal cook.

I am thrilled by Toddler Yum’s new school, and it seems to be really good for her. She has friends, learns fun things and gets to try all sorts of new activities. She comes home literally singing, and little tidbits that she has learned leak out in between her toddler chatter. Last month she learned the days of the week in a cheery little song. Last night at the dinner table, she started belting out the months. She told me buenas noches with no prompting, out of the blue. It seems like a great environment and fit for my active little social bunny.

Unfortunately that great environment comes with a silicon valley price tag. We have her at half days, but it still gives our budget pause. Add on to that property taxes, graduate school fees, and utility bills and it ends up hurting a little bit. So, I have sworn off pricey convenience meals for a bit, and that includes those tasty Amy’s Kitchen meals. I decided that a tight budget was no reason to go without my focaccia! I peered at the back of the Amy’s kitchen box for ingredients, consulted with some favorite vegan cookbooks like Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, and started baking up a storm. I made two versions of this recipe, and this one was my favorite. It was not quite as fluffy as the Amy’s version, but it still was strangely addictive. It also passed the DH test, who said that it was yummy and gobbled it down without any resistance. I loved it plain, with earth balance margarine, and used in sandwiches with a baba ghanoush, avocado and lettuce filling. By the way, the avocado came from the tree in our backyard. I just love free avocados! And the lettuce came straight out of our winter garden. California living has its perks!

I may be fooling around with this recipe some more, but I love the flavor. Honestly, I’m a rice girl at heart. I just love the nuttiness of brown rice flour tempered by a little white rice. And the sunflower meal is a very good alternative to the ever-popular almond flour. It gives great flavor, a little punch of protein, and does some good things to the texture too. I think I’ll be using it in more of my recipes in the future. Hope you enjoy!

Dairy-free Egg-free Focaccia Bread
Ingredients
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup corn flour (can substitute millet flour, sorghum, or brown rice flour)
1/4 cup ground roasted unsalted sunflower seed meal (i made it in my spice grinder)
1/4 cup potato starch flour (can sub arrowroot or cornstarch)
1/4 cup cornstarch (can sub arrowroot or potato starch)
1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp agave/maple syrup/honey
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp. yeast

for topping:
your favorite dairy-free milk or olive oil
Bouquet garni or onion flakes/ caramelized onions
coarse salt

Directions
Line a square cake pan with parchment paper and baste sides with palm oil shortening or other preferred oil. Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix together dry ingredients in your kitchenaid mixer. Note on the sunflower seed meal- I cleaned my spice grinder by running a batch of white rice through it before I made the sunflower seed meal. You could also try using the small section of your food processor for grinding the meal.

Put your tablespoon of liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup etc) in a small bowl. Add your warm water and your yeast. Combine gently and wait for it to foam. Add to your dry ingredients along with olive oil. Mix with the paddle for a few minutes, and then pour into your prepared pan. Baste top with a little olive oil or your favorite non-dairy plain milk. Sprinkle with bouquet garni herbs or onion topping.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes
Great for sandwiches when cut in half. Microwave individual servings for 10-15 seconds to refresh the next day.
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Gluten-free Dairy-free Persimmon Waffle Recipe

February 10th, 2012 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Brown Rice, Dairy Free, Eggs, JM friendly, Persimmon, Soy Free 8 Comments »

This morning when I thought about breakfast, I knew I had to bake something. But what? I was so turned off by the last batch of pancakes I made using Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix that I couldn’t quite make myself make pancakes, even if they would be a lot better made from scratch. I considered scones, but doubted Toddler Yum would deign to eat them. Next I thought about quiche. Pie crust sounded really good, and so did a potato hash brown crust. But quiche without dairy just doesn’t seem right. So next my thoughts turned to waffles. Toddler Yum has been known to nibble on the occasional waffle. So it was settled. I would make waffles.

Toddler Yum is highly suspicious of bananas, so banana waffles were out. But I did have some frozen persimmon puree left from the harvest from the persimmon tree in our yard, and I thought using it would allow me to use a little less oil and milk. It worked out beautifully. The persimmon flavor is subtle but does add a little mystery to the waffle and the cinnamon and nutmeg round it out nicely. And Toddler Yum’s reaction? She wasn’t satisfied with the sections of waffle on her plate and ran over to the rack to steal a whole waffle. She clutched it to her chest tightly and said “No, no, I wants it! I wants a whole one not a little one!” She devoured waffle for breakfast, snack at preschool, and even a pre-bedtime snack, which for my little carb-reluctant darling is quite an endorsement. My gluten-eating, dairy-addicted father commented about how good they smelled (And tasted), and even my low-carb mother enjoyed them. As for me, well, I’ll be making this recipe again, and not just because Toddler Yum was a fan. I hope you enjoy them!

Now, Toddler Yum loves jam on toast. But the problem is that she will simply lick off the jam and leave the toast behind, so I’m not a fan of spreading her food with jam. She also likes nut butter, but sometimes it takes her a bite or two to remember that she does. So, I made a high protein sweet almond butter sauce to accompany the waffles, sweetened with “honey bear” because the dear toddler loves the honey bear, and thinned so that grown-ups could pour it like syrup. Toddler Yum had hers on the side with a tiny, ornate silver spoon. And the magic of honey bear did convince her to actually eat some.
Just for fun here are some pictures of the dear toddler.
Here’s Toddler Yum, miraculously not suffering from a cold, ear infection or stomach bug… at least, for the next five minutes.
Shortly after these photos were taken Toddler Yum got a haircut and I broke her daddy and grandpa’s heart by having them cut off her curly locks. Bad mommy!


And this is what happens when a two and a half year old picks out her own outfit and you decide to let her because she’s just going on a walk with grandpa to feed the geese and the geese won’t care if she clashes. Unfortunately, then she took an uncharacteristic afternoon nap and I had to get a cranky, barely awake child ready to go to school and she was not about to permit any modifications to her stylish ensemble. I did get her to wear different shoes, but the overall effect was not much improved.


Did you know that I’m in the running for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Mom Blogger Award?
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You can vote once per blog every 24 hours until February 14th at 8pm EST. I’d love your votes!


Gluten-free Dairy-free Persimmon Waffle Recipe
Ingredients
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup almond flour (I use honeyville)
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite dairy-free milk)
1/2 cup persimmon puree (or other fruit puree like applesauce)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions
Combine the dry flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Stir together until combined. Take another medium-sized bowl and whisk your eggs a little. Then add dairy-free milk, persimmon puree, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk liquid ingredients until smooth. Pour into bowl with your dry ingredients and mix together using a large spoon (metal or wooden) until barely combined. Don’t worry if the batter isn’t entirely smooth.

Preheat your waffle iron and pour appropriate amount of batter on when it reaches the correct temperature. My waffle iron takes about 1/2 cup of batter for a full-sized waffle, but check your manual.
Don’t open the waffle until the waffle is done. Remove waffle from waffle iron with a fork and serve immediately. Repeat until all of your waffle batter has been cooked.

The waffles become soft rather quickly. I like my waffles crunchy, so I cool them on a cooling rack, not on a plate where moisture condenses. To re-crisp, just cut your waffle in half (or smaller pieces, depending on the size of your waffle iron) and toast in a toaster OR toast in a toaster oven. To save for another day, you can freeze them in ziploc gallon freezer bags with wax paper between each waffle.

Notes
Toddler Yum loved these!
Almond Butter Honey Sauce
Ingredients
1/4 cup almond butter (not raw)
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp hot water
Directions
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until you have a smooth sauce that you can pour over waffles or pancakes. Add more water if sauce thickens.
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