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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Valentine’s Day Allergen-free Sunflower Seed Un-Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

February 14th, 2010 yum Posted in Chocolate, Dairy Free, Dessert, Egg Free, Holiday, JM friendly, Nut Free, Soy Free, Sunflower seed, Valentine Day 7 Comments »

sunbuttercups2
This is a Valentine’s Day that I may never forget. After all, it is the first Valentine’s Day I get to celebrate with the new love of my life, Baby Yum, and the first and last love of my life, the DH. I thought that a day like this deserved a treat that was equally special. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one of my favorite gluten-free candies, and I was recently inspired in a visit to Boulder, Colorado by a new company and their gluten-free (but not dairy-free) sunflower seed butter cups. So, this holiday I decided to make my own, completely free of soy, dairy, gluten, peanuts and of course eggs. (Luckily I’ve not yet seen peanut butter cups with eggs, but you never know what some maniac might decide to do..) I made the sunflower seed butter from scratch, combining about a cup of sunflower seeds (some raw, some roasted, all unsalted) with 3 tbsp. canola oil, a tablespoon of honey and a dash of salt in my mini food processor. It was a darned tasty treat already, but when I used it in my non-peanut butter cups, it was even better. Feel free to adjust sweetness and saltiness to taste- this recipe is all about pleasing your own palate while avoiding some not-so-pleasing allergens. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

*This recipe is easily vegan if you substitute vegan sugar and use agave nectar instead of honey. Go for it!
chocolatesuncup

Homemade Dairy, Soy and Nut Free Sunflower Butter Chocolate Cup Recipe
Ingredients
1 cup Enjoy Life DF SF chocolate chips
1 tablespoons palm oil shortening (Spectrum or Whole Foods)

1/3 cup Earth Balance No Soy margarine
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp. crunchy homemade sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Shaped paper cups (for confectionery or mini muffin tin liners)

Directions
Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave on half power for 1 minute, stirring and then heating in 30 second intervals, stirring after each cycle. It only takes me one or two 30 second cycles. Baste your paper cups with a layer of melted chocolate on the bottom and sides. Put in refrigerator to cool and harden. Reserve enough chocolate to cover the top of your cups.

Meanwhile, combine margarine, sunflower seed butter, sweetener and salt in a pan and heat on medium-low, stirring frequently. When smooth and tasty, remove from burner and let cool.

To assemble fill each cup with your cooled sunbutter filling and then drizzle chocolate on top, using a spoon to spread it and smooth around the edges. let cool and then enjoy as desired. Freezes well!

Notes
*I had 6 tini heart-tins and six about the size of a regular 12 count muffin liner, but had to be slightly skimpy with the chocolate. Recipe makes extra nut butter filling- try it in a “nut butter chocolate pie”
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