Gluten-Free Dairy-Free: Green Goddess Buckwheat Fries and Vegan Onion or Basil Pizza Recipe

buckfries2.jpggoddessfries.jpgSometimes all a gluten-free girl wants is pizza and fries. Is that supposed to be a burger and fries? Well, veggie burgers are good, too. But in this case, I wanted my pizza and to have fries too. But not any old potato fry would do! Lately I’ve been absolutely obsessed with finding new, interesting ways to use my Pocono Organic Cream of Buckwheat Cereal. I love it plain, as is, or topped with some kind of fresh veggie vinaigrette bit or roasted veggies- but it can be almost more fun to use it in other, more standardly corn or semolina grit recipes. I made some really tasty buckwheat gnocchi, and that was good, but I have recently been inspired by Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked to make fries out of polenta. One day when I made a little too much buckwheat cereal and had some leftover vegan pesto, it occurred to me- why not make “polenta” fries out of buckwheat cereal instead of corn grits? And a new dish was born! I stirred in some pesto into the mash, cooled it, cut it into fries and browned it in the oven until all crispy and crunchy. The texture of buckwheat is a bit different than corn- Buckwheat mash has a larger flakes so the fries have more texture, almost like tempeh, but nevertheless, it makes a darned tasty fry, and if any bits crumble off, you can just gobble them up before anyone is the wiser. Not that, ahem, I did any such thing. Cough. Cough. I had some leftover tomato juice from stewed tomatoes as well, so I reduced that into a nice, sweet sauce and dipped my tasty little fries in that and had a very nice mid-afternoon snack.

doublepizzas.jpgredyellowonion.jpgAdmittedly NOT on the same day (a day or so before in fact) I’d played with an onion marmalade recipe I’d found in this Amazing Soy cookbook (the recipe actually contained no soy whatsoever, so take heart if you are soy intolerant) and made up a very yummy mini pizza with caramelized onion topping, thyme and pecans. Vegan pizzas, including ones I’ve made, often try to recreate “cheesiness” and can succeed or fail based on the palatability of that cheese substitute. However, another way to go is to forgo any attempt at “cheese” and just celebrate the merits of vegetables on their own. Caramelizing onions until gewy and intensely sweet is one way to do that- and the fresh thyme brightened the flavor notes while the pecan added just the right nutty “meat” to the dish. I also made an old favorite- a simple vegan basil pesto topping that can be as simple or complex as you like, depending on what you pile on top of it. I was in the mood for simple food, so we just had our pizza with straight pesto. DH proclaimed them both a success on the Chebe crusts, but his favorite was definitely the onion. Unfortunately we liked them so much I didn’t have any to photograph the next morning in good light, so I’m afraid you’re stuck with my nighttime shots. Both were oh-so-good and perfect for vegan diners as well as dairy-intolerant gluten-free folk. (If you want to make your pizza from scratch, I recommend Carol Fenster’s pizza recipe SANS gelatin, a totally unnecessary ingredient.)

The next time you’re in the mood for pizza and/or fries, why not try one of my gloriously vegan pizzas? Less calories than cheese and just as flavorful, if not more so, than their dairy friends. And the fries, well, those are definite crowd pleasers- although when I ate mine, it was a banquet for one at our sunny dining room table. I warn you- this recipe is addicting, so if you have to share, you might want to double or even triple the recipe. And I couldn’t resist naming them Goddess Fries, because I felt like a green goddess stirring that bright green pesto into the buckwheat grits!

If you love buckwheat cereal as I do, you might enjoy my
Buckwheat Gnocchi Recipe (not vegan as written, but adaptable)

*If it’s not in your local store, you can get a good price on your Wheat-free, Gluten-free Pocono Organic Cereal, Cream of Buckwheatfrom Amazon. :)

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Green Goddess Baked Basil Pesto Buckwheat Fries Recipe
2-1/2 Cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt (optional)
1/2 cup to 1 cup Cream of Buckwheat (Pocono)*
1 tbsp olive oil

1 or 2 tbsp. dairy free (or your favorite) basil pesto recipe

Small Bread pan lined with aluminum foil
Baking sheet

Sweet homemade ketchup:
leftover tomato liquid from jar of seasoned, stewed tomatoes- maybe a cup or so
two swigs of organic white wine
capful of balsalmic vinegar
1/2 tsp cornstarch

*One tester had trouble with only 1/2 cup not creating a firm enough grit for the fries… This may be a typo but I don’t have any more boxes of the buckwheat grits to check. You may want to try 1 cup of grits….

Bring water and salt to a boil and add your cream of buckwheat in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously. When cereal is completely distributed, add your olive oil. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring or whisking frequently so you don’t have any lumps. At the end, add your basil pesto and mix completely throughout your buckwheat grits.

Pour your basil pesto grits into your small bread pan lined with aluminum foil and let cool COMPLETELY. When the mixture has set and is cool to the touch, carefully remove the block of grits (with aluminum intact) and then peel the aluminum foil off. Slice into french fry shapes and then place in single layer on a baking sheet. You can line it with aluminum foil if you like.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and bake your fries for twenty minutes or so and then turn over and bake until your fries have reached the ultimate golden coating (maybe another 15 minutes). You can turn multiple times until each side is browned to your satisfaction. Sprinkle with coarse grain kosher or black salt. Enjoy!

To make sauce, reduce your tomato liquid in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat, adding swigs of white wine and balsalmic vinegar to taste. Let reduce until it has thickened. If you want a really thick sauce, remove a tablespoon or so of the tomato liquid, let it cool slightly, and whisk in the tsp. of cornstarch. Add the cornstarch tomato slurry to the sauce after it has reduced to your heart’s content, let the sauce thicken, and then remove from heat and serve with your fries.

Vegan Caramelized Onion Thyme Pecan Pizza Recipe
1 large yellow onion
1 large red onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth (from bullion or freshly made)
fresh cracked pepper

Your favorite GF Pizza crust (Carol Fenster, Chebe, or other)

sprigs fresh thyme
A few tablespoons of pecans

Slice and chop your onion so you have consistently sized pieces.

Heat your oil in a cast iron or dutch oven pan to medium-high and add your onions. Mix the onions into the oil until covered and saute until onions are quite translucent (10 minutes or so). Cover, lower heat and let the onions cook on a low heat for about half an hour, stirring a few times. Try not to let the onions brown excessively. Add your broth and let come to a boil before you cover it and lower the heat, letting the onions get increasingly soft. Remove the lid and let the liquid reduce until onions are no longer liquidy. Stir as needed and don’t let any bits burn on the bottom. Season with pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

Prepare your favorite gluten-free pizza crust (from mix, from scratch, or pre-cooked) and generously spread your onion marmalade on the pizza. Sprinkle with some fresh, chopped thyme (including one or two sprigs in the center of the pizza) and add pecans to taste.

Bake according to your pizza instructions and enjoy!

This deceptively simple recipe made for a very satisfying vegan pizza- if desired add grilled mushroom strips, spinach, or any other veggies that sound good to you!
Dairy Free Basil Pesto Recipe for Pizza or Pasta
2 cups basil leaves, destemmed, and packed tightly
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (*Edited to have more nuts)
1/6 cup rice wine or cider vinegar
1/8 cup water
1/6 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
2 cloves roasted garlic (bake with other dishes in the oven or use raw if you like)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Your favorite gluten-free pizza recipe (from mix, scratch (carol fenster) or pre-made)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender through the garlic, and pulse until ingredients are combined and chopped. Add olive oil in a steady stream with the machine on until you form a nice pesto paste. Scrape out pesto into a bowl and reserve.

Reserve one or two tablespoons of pesto for other recipes like my buckwheat grit pesto fries! You can use it for pizza:

Prepare your gluten-free pizza according to recipe and top with pesto. Add any other ingredients you like (olives? artichoke hearts? portabella mushroom slices?) and bake according to instructions. (Usually 10-15 minutes). Slice and enjoy!

Or for pasta:
Combine with gluten-free pasta, grilled veggies and plenty of pesto. Yum!

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7 Responses to “Gluten-Free Dairy-Free: Green Goddess Buckwheat Fries and Vegan Onion or Basil Pizza Recipe”

  1. [...] week I posted Vegan Green Goddess Buckwheat Fries and a Vegan Onion or Pesto Pizza The Roundup for our First Adopt-a-GF-Blogger-Event: February Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut [...]

  2. Oh..yum! This is a great idea, Sea! I LOVE your recipes – yet another to the list of recipes to “adopt”…. dang, I’d better get cooking -my list of your recipes is getting LONG!

  3. I love your buckwheat fries! What a great idea, I will definitely try them. Thanks for the recipe & thought! I don’t like regular potato fries at all, but I like sweet potato baked/grilled fries and zucchini or eggplant “fries.” Mmm, you have my mouth watering :)

    I’m working on that coconut for you, the gf df probiotic is taking forever to ship, errr. Sorry, apparently there are things that move slower than me for that post :) Thanks for the support, the prelim went really well which is a good thing since I already had my celebration lunch picked out, hehe.


  4. What an ingeniuos idea with the buckwheat fries. I’ll have to try this!

  5. These are very, very good! Not to mention super easy, and that’s always a plus.

  6. * I tested this recipe and it worked fine for me with 1/2 cup of buckwheat grits. If you find your grits are not thick enough, cook them longer or at a higher temperature

  7. The buckwheat fries re cooling now, and soon will get baked in the oven and served with leftover marinara sauce and mozzarella. But I couldn’t help think that a sweet variation would be delicious too…maybe add a bit of sweetener and cinnamon/pie spice (and omit pesto) and serve with a homemade applesauce (not ketchup). Like a French toast stick! :)

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