Recipes for Summer: Gluten Free Macaroni Salad Recipe

June 2nd, 2008 yum Posted in Party Food, Pasta, Summer, Vegetarian, leftovers 12 Comments »

Pasta Salad

This weekend I went to a really fun housewarming party hosted by a fellow graduate student. She had just moved to Berkeley with her sister, and wanted to show off their super-cool new city-style apartment. I was looking forward to the party, but wasn’t too sure if there would be anything I could eat or not. One of my cohorts was making cupcakes, so I thought maybe I’d make some gluten-free, vegan brownies to share with everyone. I followed Karina’s tips on using Pamela’s gluten-free brownie mix and baked up a batch. I had used almond milk to bake them, and I usually use either rice milk or soy milk. I was a little disappointed in the final results (probably because I don’t actually LIKE almond milk) and so at the last minute I decided not to bring them to the party. But, I had to bring something, right? As it happened, I had randomly decided to boil some eggs that afternoon. I rummaged in the cupboards looking for something I could make, and came across some Ener-g foods white rice pasta. I decided to make it, and then I had a sudden inspiration. I always used to love heavy American salads like potato and macaroni salad on special occasions when I was a kid. It had been years since I had macaroni salad- but it occurred to me that I could mix up a quick batch of the pasta salad using my noodles. Then I would have a main dish to enjoy at the party, and surely everybody would enjoy a nice macaroni salad. I did some internet browsing and was inspired to come up with the following recipe. I did a quick taste test and enlisted the DH to try some too. We both thought it was really yum, so it was settled. I threw the pasta salad in the car and went to the party. It turned out to be a pizza party (oops!). Luckily there was plenty of time before the party, so when we were at the store picking up some things for the hostess, I grabbed one of Amy’s Gluten-free, dairy free spinach pizzas. Luckily since the pizza was ordered in, no one needed the oven and it was fine if I used it to make my own pizza. To make sure there weren’t any CC issues, I lined their cookie sheet with aluminum foil and baked my pizza. Twenty minutes later, I had my own pizza to enjoy along with everybody else. :)

In case you’re wondering, to combat the possibility of CC, I waited until there was a lull in the gluten pizza chomping and then asked if people wanted macaroni salad, and then dished out everybody’s individual servings. There wasn’t any counter room anyway, so it worked great. I was really happy because it seemed like everyone loved the salad. My favorite comment was “Wow, it tastes like summer.” One of the guests’ family apparently always makes macaroni salad during family vacations in the summer, so it reminded her of that. I don’t know when I’ve ever heard a nicer compliment. Anyway, the next time YOU feel like an “all-American” summer classic, why not try this simple and satisfying pasta salad recipe?

*By the way, I was completely touched when we went to pick up my cupcake-making friend for the party. She had made tons of beautiful gluten-filled cupcakes, but also had a little white box for me decorated with stickers from Japan. Inside were two delicious-looking, individually wrapped and labeled Gluten-Free Brownies by Wow, a gluten-free company I’d never heard of before. She knows about my gluten-intolerance and had thoughtfully gone to a local gourmet grocery store and asked about gluten-free desserts. She even thought about CC, so carefully picked out a sealed product made by a gluten-free company. Even better- the brownie turned out to be absolutely delicious, and rivaled Mariposa’s finest. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? What cool stories do you have about thoughtful friends who make being gluten-free easier? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments…

Summery Macaroni Salad Recipe
Ingredients
4 cups cooked GF white rice or corn macaroni, slightly al dente, rinsed and drained (2 cups uncooked, half a 16 oz box of Ener-g Foods macaroni)
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced in half with yolks removed
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for at least 5 minutes, and drained
1/3 any of your favorite crunchy veggies (red pepper, green pepper, jicama, or cooked peas) minced *optional
1/2 cup prepared lowfat GF mayonnaise
1 or 2 tsp prepared GF mustard (I like Annie’s horseradish mustard)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Boil eggs, Prepare your pasta and other ingredients. Start the minced onion soaking in water to take off the edge. Meanwhile, stir all your dressing ingredients in a small bowl (mayo, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper if you like). Add your hard boiled egg yolks and mush them into the dressing. Chop the remaining white parts of the egg. Put your rinsed, drained pasta in a large bowl, and add your egg white bits, drained minced red onion (you can reduce amount if you want a milder salad), and crunchy veggie bits. Mix thoroughly. Drizzle dressing over the salad, folding the ingredients together until it is evenly covered. You can let sit in a refrigerator for a few hours if you want the flavors to develop, or enjoy right away. Mmm, tasty.
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Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffin Nostalgia

July 25th, 2007 yum Posted in Dessert, Party Food, Summer, Web Event, fruit 10 Comments »

biteoutofmuf21.jpg When I read about mm05_roundup.gifWonder Sophie’s Muffin Monday Round Up web event, I was a little surprised to find myself daydreaming about blueberry lemon muffins. To memory, I don’t think I even had blueberry lemon muffins as a child- but recently I’ve been thinking about lemon desserts a lot, and I think this somehow joined up with thoughts of childhood blueberry muffins to create a whole new muffin concept simmering in my brain. Sophie asked us to ” include ingredients of your childhood : favorite sweets and candies, small cakes of your playground, “Vache qui Rit”… and all others products who make you feel sweet nostalgia when remembering them.” bananachips.jpg Because my house was health oriented as a child, and my mother and I had various intolerances (she to dairy and soy, me to gluten), we didn’t really have candies around that would engender any kind of sweet, nostalgic yearning. But as a child, one of my favorite healthy sweet treats was frozen, sliced bananas. My mother would slice them into little wafers, put them in a pie tin that she got from the bakery she once worked at (Best Pies, in Seattle), and we would freeze them overnight. Although I didn’t really like fresh bananas, somehow when they were frozen they got this creamy, sweet texture that tasted like the mildest of ice creams- and I just loved them. I also loved frozen, not fresh, blueberries. To my taste buds, the flavor of frozen berries changed from the rather abrasive sweet or tart flavor of fresh into crystallized, sugary berry goodness. So, as a nod to those favorite childhood flavors, I created this playful muffin, which doubles as a cupcake with frosting. I hope Sophie doesn’t mind- but another not-quite-childish memory of my early college days revolved around a gluten free pumpkin bar recipe that I made with cream cheese frosting. Somehow I wanted to taste that again, stepped up a notch to be a little more adult with additional lemon zest and spices. You can leave it out and enjoy yummy muffins, or add just a little frosting for that little extra sugar rush that all kids (and adults) crave sometimes. Isn’t everything a little better with frosting? For the adult who doesn’t need to turn everything into a cupcake, here’s this recipe muffin style:

muffins.jpg

And here is the muffin gone BAD- in the best possible sense of the term- cupcake style

mufcup4.jpg muffromup.jpg bluemufcup3.jpg

*warning* This frosting is super sweet. Do not consume right before bed or you may find yourself bouncing on the bed, running in the house with scissors, or pulling your cat’s tail. (Just kidding, I would never do the latter! But the bed is fair game!)

Delightfully Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Blend flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup plain or vanilla GF yogurt (or soy milk yogurt)
1/3 cup milk (if needed) (or soy milk yogurt)
1 lg egg
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional frosting
1/4 cup lowfat cream cheese (not fat free) (you can use Toffuti if desired)
2 tbsp butter, softened (or dairy free margarine)
1 tsp grated lemon rind (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 banana, sliced and frozen overnight
a few fresh or frozen blueberries for garnish
freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of orange or lemon peel (optional)

Directions
Prepare bananas as instructed the night before or morning if you want to serve your muffin-cupcakes at night.

Muffins:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a muffin tin, preferably normal size or large (not minis).

Combine dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl, sifting flour if desired. Place liquid ingredients in a large bowl and beat until combined. If you like you can try whisking or beating the egg white separately and folding it into the flour, but I didn’t do this. Fold in wet ingredients into dry.

Pour batter into muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes or until a light golden brown and muffins are springy to the touch. Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes, then cool them on a cooling rack.

If you want to add frosting, which I realize is more of a cupcake thing than a muffin thing:

Combine cream cheese, butter, lemon rind, vanilla, and salt and whisk in mixer. Add your powdered sugar gradually until you have a creamy frosting. Add your lemon juice for added flavor, or lemon flavoring, and you have a delicious, relatively lowfat frosting.

To decorate:
Frost your muffins. Because the frosting is quite sweet, if you like you can put it in a ziploc bag and cut open a little hole in the corner, and then use it to pipe a swirly line on top of the muffin, rather than covering the whole muffin top. When ready to serve, take your banana slices from the freezer and (if desired) cut one into a flower shape and place it on the very top of the muffin. Add a blueberry to be the center of the flower. Pile frozen blueberry slices and fresh or frozen blueberries at the base of your muffin, sprinkle with nutmeg and dried lemon or orange peel (just a pinch) and serve! For a healthier topping, try topping your muffin with butter or margarine with a little swirl of honey, topping with fruit the same way.

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