Being gluten-free on the road can be difficult, unless you happen to be traveling to some area like Portland, Oregon that has unexpected numbers of health food stores and gluten free bakeries. Luckily, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s brilliant solution to the self-contained meal: gluten free chebe knishes. She took a package of chebe and used the manioc based mix to create a brilliant, pliable dough that can be used for pastries, knish, perogies, and even calzones. The possibilities are endless. My favorite thing is how easy this dough is to roll out and handle- I never thought of pastry as a “weekday meal” option before I discovered Chebe as pastry, but now I don’t hesitate to make baked samosas, spinach tartlets and even calzones as a last minute meal solution. Cool, right? As you can tell, By the Bay’s recipes have really inspired me. But you know what’s better than being inspired by ONE By the Bay recipe? Being inspired by TWO of By the Bay’s recipes at the same time! As part of her un-cooking series, By the Bay featured a recipe for Balsamic Tuna Salad. Maybe I’ve become entirely too obsessed with these chebe meal packets, because as soon as I saw this unconventional tuna salad recipe, I thought that it would undoubtedly taste great baked into a knish! So, some time ago when DH and I planned a road trip to Sacramento and intended to start our trip in the evening, I baked up a big batch of knishes to take with us. Half of the recipe was filled with By the Bay’s potato knish filling, and the other half was filled with balsamic tuna salad! It was absolutely delicious, and very satisfying. The only thing about chebe knishes is that the day after you make them, they really need to be baked in the oven for 10 minutes or so to achieve crispiness, and they’re not very good microwaved. But, since we were chomping in the car relatively soon after I baked them, they were perfect little self contained meals. But, as you know, although I occasionally indulge in seafood, my meal focus is really vegetarian. As soon as I tasted the Balsamic knish, I immediately started thinking of how I could make a vegetarian version. The recipe below is actually my second attempt. The first time I used little white beans, and I was not at all happy with the results. Although usually home baked slow cooked beans are preferable to store bought, in this case the soft mushiness and the bland sweetness of the white beans couldn’t stand up to the vigor of the balsamic sauce. I started thinking about a veggie bean salad I make sometimes, inspired by a trip to Florida, and decided that, since kidney beans hold their own in that vegetable salad recipe with raspberry vinaigrette, they just might stand up to this kind of balsamic vinaigrette. I tried it, and success!(small photo, right) I was very happy with the results, although I think DH preferred the tuna version. By the way, the main photo for this post is of my version of By the Bay’s potato knish- virtually identical to her recipe except this time I sauteed some pressed garlic with the onions, and I added some turmeric to the dough for color. I’ve also tried her potato knish recipe with portobello mushrooms added to the onion mixture.(small photo, left) It is delicious, but I think I prefer the original recipe (with garlic).
My second Chebe culinary quest that has taken me some time to complete, is that of using the cinnamon chebe mix for making a lowfat apple turnover. I only wish that I’d made it sooner, because as soon as I tasted this recipe, I knew I had a winner. It is fabulous with or without ice cream, and the crunchiness of the dough, while not the traditional buttery pastry usually found with such things, is extremely satisfying. The flavor is great, and without ice cream, you can even enjoy this turnover for breakfast without going into sugar shock. If I’d known this recipe would be THIS addicting, I would have ordered a whole box of cinnamon chebe mix, darn it. Oh well… next time I know what’s on my shopping list! These also travel well, with the caveat that like all chebe pastries, they should be eaten soon after baking OR reheated in an oven to freshen and crisp the dough.
For other By the Bay Chebe recipe, try her Jamaican-style spicy turkey knishes
*a sad note* By the Bay recently posted the sad news that Chebe is no longer certified kosher. She calls for those who are Gluten-free and keep kosher to contact the company and encourage them to re-certify their products. If this change affects you (or even if it doesn’t) I would encourage you to vocalize your feelings to the company in the interest of more gluten-free options for all. Let’s hear it for solidarity, yeah!
Balsalmic Vegetable and Bean Knish Recipe
1 7.5 oz package Chebe All Purpose Gluten Free Bread Mix (Dairy free)
2 large eggs (try 1 egg and one Ener-g foods egg replacer egg to lighten calories, but I haven’t tried it yet)
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp water or milk substitute
2 tsp pasta seasoning mix (trader joe’s)
1 tsp garlic powder
Nonstick cooking spray
Prepare filling- mostly involved chopping, except for the onion and corn. I chopped a whole red onion and sauteed it in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter until caramelized. Then I removed 1/4 cup of the onion and used it in my filling. (I used the rest in BytheBay’s recipe for Potato knish, adding 2 pressed garlic cloves and frying a bit longer after the onion for this recipe was removed from the pan.)Mix all ingredient thoroughly, keeping the beans intact. Then add the dressing and mustard, folding evenly through the salad.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine ingredients for dough and knead until fully combined. Roll out dough inside a gallon ziploc bag with the sides cut open. (This makes it easier to roll out the dough, as it doesn’t stick to the bag as badly as it would stick to the rolling pin.) There should be enough dough to do this several times. If you have one, use a dough press and lay one layer of dough lightly over the press, place filling evenly on one half of the press. Fold over press and press lightly to seal edges. Take a sharp knife and cut the excess dough outside the crimping edges. Open press and carefully peel samosa off, being careful not to handle the pretty, crimped edges. Place on baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
There will be about twice as much of the filling as you need for this recipe. Serve the remainder as a vegetable bean salad the next day!
Chebe Apple Turnover Recipe
1 pkg. Chebe Cinnamon Mix
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp. applesauce
3 tbsp milk
1 egg *edited*
1 egg, mixed, for egg wash optional
Combine dough ingredients in a bowl and knead until you have a firm ball of dough. Reserve.
Put sliced apple in water with lemon juice. Melt butter in cast iron pan and toss drain apple slices into pan and saute for two minutes. Add seasonings, and brown sugar and heat for two more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vanilla. Mix cornstarch and water together completely and then add to pan. Let thicken and remove from pan.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Take half of chebe dough and roll out between a gallon size cut open ziploc bag with the sides cut out. Cut out squares of dough and use ravioli press to make turnovers with crimped edges. I line my press with saran wrap or a cut open sandwich bag. For variety you can cut out some squares of dough and put filling in the middle and fold each corners of the dough in so they meet in the middle, forming packages.
Spray cookie sheet with butter flavored cooking spray and place turnovers on the sheet. Baste them with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired. YUM YUM YUM!