Pizza Pizza

One of the things I miss most on my gluten-free diet is pizza. Fortunately, various restaurants are beginning to offer gluten-free pizza, but it is still a rare find. It doesn’t have to be rare at home though! Last night my mom and I experimented with 2 different crusts (and I will continue to do so). Both crusts are gluten-free, yeast-free, and vegan.

First, we made a polenta pizza crust using a recipe from:

http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/weekend-project-polenta-pizza-crust/

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What we did differently:

-Formed the dough into a rectangle instead of a circle

-Pre-baked the dough for 25 minutes without toppings

-After the dough was baked, we added homemade tomato sauce, goat mozzarella, goat feta, spinach, mushrooms, artichokes and yellow onions and baked for another 15 minutes.

Verdict:

The polenta crust tasted delicious, but was a bit too mushy. To achieve a firmer texture, I would cook the dough for a few minutes longer in addition to microwaving the cornmeal and water mixture a few extra minutes prior to baking.

The second crust we tried was a sweet potato crust from http://www.purefreshdaily.com/recipes/pasta/carne-asada-flat-bread-pizza.

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What we did differently:

-Substituted 2 chia eggs for the chicken eggs

-Used 1 ½ cups of spinach for the greens

-Topped with homemade pesto, goat chevre, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, and yellow onions.

Verdict:

This crust was not extremely aesthetically appealing (green crust), but the texture was excellent as well as the taste (was a bit sweet from the sweet potatoes).

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2014: Off to a Great Start

Happy 2014! What’s your New Year’s resolution? This year I want to continue to become the best version of myself and decided to tackle it one month at a time. Over the next 12 months I will make resolutions monthly to eventually improve all 5 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social. This month I am committing to another 30 day green smoothie challenge, abstaining from alcohol, and focusing on finding my inner peace through yoga.

This morning I started my day with an avocado, banana, and kale smoothie later followed by an hour of gentle restorative yoga. If you want to join me in the green smoothie challenge follow http://simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge. Better late than never!

Avocado, banana, and kale smoothie adapted from http://simplegreensmoothies.com/Recipes/avo-banana-kale:

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

IMG_31871/2 frozen avocado

1 cup frozen kale

1 cup water

1 tsp of honey

Directions:

1. Blend banana, kale, avocado, and water in VitaMix or other high-speed blender. Add more water if needed.

2. Serve in glass of choice (I prefer a mason jar :))

3. Drizzle with the honey.

4. Enjoy!

Vegan Bourbon Balls (using GF cookies)

Merry Christmas everyone! This time of year can be difficult when living with dietary restrictions. For weeks, dozens of cookies and other baked goods have filled my house and I have watched my family and friends indulge in them. However, having dietary restrictions does not mean you cannot enjoy alternative treats! My sister made bourbon balls for a company cookie exchange and I was inspired to make my own gluten-free version. I hope you can indulge in holiday treats, restricted or not.

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Bourbon balls

Makes about 40 balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups “cookie” crumbs (I used Honeygrams by Schar) pulverized in a food processor. Make sure to measure 2 1/2 cups after the cookies have been processed.)
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup Makers Mark (or other high quality bourbon)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a food processor, pulverize the cookie crumbs and measure out 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour the cookies crumbs back into the bowl of the food processor and pulse together with the pecans until the pecans are finely ground.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight. Letting the dough sit will dry it out a bit as needed.
  4. Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar. Store the balls in an airtight container (if you like them moist) or keep uncovered if you want them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

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Buckwheat Pancakes

This morning I was craving pancakes so I searched for a simple recipe to satisfy my craving ASAP! I stumbled across http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/breakfastbrunch/r/HodgsonPancake.htm and modified the recipe to my liking. Despite wheat being in the name, buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free. Additionally, buckwheat is rich in flavonoids, which are known to protect against disease. Win-win situation!

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Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp maple syrup

dash of salt

1 chia egg

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsps melted Earth Balance

Directions

1. Mix 3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds to make the chia egg. Let sit for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches an egg-like consistency.

2. Preheat skillet/griddle to 375 F.

2. While you’re waiting for your chia egg to form, combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add the chia egg when ready.

3. Using 1/4 cup, scoop pancakes onto the griddle, flipping when bubbles form.

4. Serve with maple syrup and toppings of choice.

*I tried a pancake plain and wasn’t too impressed with the flavor, but once I added maple syrup, bananas, and strawberries, they were delicious!

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A dairy-free, gluten-free, pescetarian Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day! My family and I started the day off with a 5k this morning, which got us in great moods as well as stimulated our appetites for a delicious feast. Since 3 out of 4 of us don’t eat meat and 2 of those 3 are on pretty strict diets, we certainly don’t have the typical Thanksgiving meal. Our Thanksgiving meal may be far from traditional, but it is certainly delicious!

This year we enjoyed fresh Scottish salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, kale salad, and roasted cauliflower. For dessert I made pumpkin fudge and apple crisp.

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The kale recipe can be found here: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=765609

The roasted cauliflower recipe: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/roasted-cauliflower-with-cranberries/

Mashed Sweet potatoes:

Ingredients

4 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp soy-free earth balance

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

¾ cup raw pecans

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes.
  2. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft and skin can be easily removed.
  3. Once potatoes are done baking, remove from oven and turn down the oven temperature to 350 F.
  4. Chop pecans and roast in oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove skin and mash potatoes in a large bowl. Add the salt, almond milk, and Earth Balance and combine. Top with cinnamon and chopped pecans.

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon:

Ingredients:

2.5 lb fresh salmon

1 cedar plank

1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat gas grill to medium.
  2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  3. With clean hands or a spatula, rub the mixture evenly throughout the top of the salmon filet.
  4. Place the prepared salmon onto the cedar plank (skin down).
  5. Grill for 30 minutes, or until salmon turns light pink and flaky.

The pumpkin fudge recipe can be found here: http://purelytwins.com/2012/10/15/how-make-healthy-fresh-pumpkin-pie-fudge-recipe/

The recipe for the apples was inspired by Detoxinista at http://detoxinista.com/2013/11/healthy-baked-cinnamon-apples/ and prior to baking the dish, I topped it with a crumb topping from http://greatist.com/health/gluten-free-apple-crisp-healthy-recipe using Earth Balance instead of butter.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

Gluten-Free Fiesta (recipes)

As I mentioned before, I was manager this past Friday for my quantity food preparation class, a senior level dietetics course. The role of manager entails modifying recipes to feed 50 people, creating production sheets, assigning roles, preparing the dining room, etc. My two co-managers and I decided on a Gluten-Free Fiesta, a South American inspired gluten-free clinical meal. Our menu included a jicama salad appetizer, enchiladas and a Spanish quinoa bake for the entrée, and a coconut pudding with homemade chocolate sauce for dessert. Sweet potato black bean enchildas were offered for vegans in place of the chicken enchiladas and the chocolate sauce was left off of the pudding for a vegan option as well. Everything else on our menu was vegan and gluten-free. We modified both our enchilada dishes and the quinoa bake from the fabulous Gluten Free Goddess: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/02/santa-fe-brown-rice-bake.html  http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/03/pineapple-salsa-chicken-enchiladas.html     http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/10/sweet-potato-black-bean-enchiladas.html

The original jiicama salad can be found here: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/strawberry-mango-jicama-salad-recipe/

The coconut pudding recipe was adapted from http://www.thelatinkitchen.com/recipe/wilo-benets-coconut-pudding-tembleque and the chocolate sauce from http://www.emerils.com/recipe/5579/Chocolate-Sauce.

Lastly, we created our own pineapple salsa recipe.

Below are our adapted recipes to serve 50 people:

Strawberry Mango Jicama Salad:

Yield: 50

Portion size: ½ cup (4 ounce) portions

Ingredients:

Strawberries-  13 lbs (~200 ounces)

Mangos- 9 lbs (~12 large mangos)

Jicama- 9 lbs (~12 large Jicamas)

Cilantro- 3.2 cups = 26 ounces= 1.6 lbs

Lime juice- 2.5 cups (Mostly from a bottle, but a little from fresh limes (3) to put on top)

Directions:

1. Wash the strawberries and mangos.

2. Wash the jicama separately from the fruits.

3. Remove the tops of the strawberries, be careful not to remove too much of the edible portion. Dice the strawberries into 4ths.

4. Peel the mangos with a paring knife, be careful not to remove too much of the edible portion (There will not be much waste). Find the pit of the mango, just off the center and cut the mango the whole way through into two pieces. After, dice the mangos into small sizes similar to that of the strawberries.

5. Peel the jicama. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the outer skin of the jicama. It will look similar to a potato once peeled. Dice into small sizes similar to that of the strawberries and mango.

6. Wash the cilantro and peel it into small pieces.

7. In a large bowl, stir together the strawberries, mango and jicama. Add in the cilantro and lime juice, use discretion when adding the cilantro (if there is too much then stop adding).

8. Stir until well mixed.  Cover with plastic wrap and if time allows, chill in the refrigerator.

Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 50 portions

Ingredients

Fresh pineapple- 3lb 12 oz EP

Red bell peppers- 1 lb 4 oz

Jalapeno peppers- 6 oz

Canned diced tomatoes- 2 lb

Red onions- 6 oz

Crushed red pepper-1 tsp

Fresh lime juice-1 cup

Fresh cilantro, chopped- 1oz (or ¾ cup)

Directions:

1. Cut pineapple into ¼-inch cubes and put in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Remove stem end and seed pod from bell pepper and cut into ¼-inch cubes. Slice jalapeno peppers into thin slices. Stir into pineapple.

3. Dice onions into ¼ inch cubes and add to the pineapple mixture.

4. Stir lime juice, crushed red pepper, and cilantro into mixture.

5. Open the cans of tomatoes and add to a food processor along with the pineapple mixture. Pulse for about 30 seconds.

6. Split salsa into two separate bowls: 4 lb for the sweet potato enchiladas and 10 lb for the chicken enchiladas. Cover and chill until enchilada chefs are ready for salsa.

Coconut Pudding:

Yield: 50

Portion Size: 1 cup

Ingredients:

Coconut milk (unsweetened, canned)- 3 qts and 1 cup (9 14oz cans if purchased that way)

Sugar- 4 lbs 3 oz

Cornstarch- 1 lb 3 oz

Salt- 2 teaspoons

Cinnamon- 3 tablespoons (sprinkling on top)

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk with the sugar and salt. Bring to a full boil and cook for about 6 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.

2. In a bowl, combine cornstarch with water (about 1.5 cups, add more if needed to make a slurry mixture) and whisk, mixing well.

3. Immediately pour slurry into saucepan and cook for 2 minutes, continually whisking until mixture thickens into a pudding.

4. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through a colander and transfer the strained pudding into a nonstick deep dish.

5. Smooth out the surface and cool. Refrigerate for 2 hours in the walk-in to completely set.

**More than likely will be using the tall parfait dishes, bring them to the dishwasher for a quick run through since they are probably dusty.

6. Begin making Chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce:

Ingredients:

Heavy cream- 1 quart and 1 cup

Chocolate chips- 1 lb 14 ounces

Vanilla extract- 1.65 ounces

1. In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a bare simmer over low heat.

2. Place the chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Whisk the cream slowly into the chocolate. 3. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until the chocolate melts and the sauce thickens.

4. Let the sauce cool to room temperature before pouring over the Coconut Pudding.

 

Spanish Quinoa Bake:

Yield: 50

Portion Size: (See manager once baked)

Ingredients:

Quinoa- 7 lbs

Olive Oil blend- ½ cup

White Onion – 8 each

Sweet bell pepper- Red and Orange 8 each

Diced, canned tomatoes- 8 each (reserve juice in case quinoa needs added moisture in the end)

Frozen Corn Kernels- 2 lbs

Lime Juice- 1 cup (bottled)

Sea salt- if needed add small amount (can wait to add)

Chili powder- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (start low, add to taste)

Cumin- 2 tbs and 2 teaspoons (start low, add to taste)

Cilantro- 1 cup

Directions:

1.  Cook quinoa in a covered pot according to directions.

2. In the meantime, wash and chop the onion, sweet bell peppers into small pieces.

3. Preheat oven to 450 (oven under stove). Place the corn in a colander and rinse with cool water to partially defrost. Drain well. Spread the corn in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat well and redistribute to a single layer. Place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the corn kernels start to brown.

4. Once the corn has been removed, turn down the oven temperature to 350.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil blend, leaving a small amount for end product. Add the chopped onion and sweet bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes.

6. Add the canned, diced tomatoes (reserve juice from can in case quinoa needs added moisture in the end), the corn kernels and the lime juice to the mixture. Stir-fry briefly until crisp-tender. Don’t overcook the vegetables because they will still be baked in the oven with the casserole.

7. Remove from heat and assemble casserole. Spoon the quinoa into a large casserole dish and add in salt, chili powder, cumin and fresh cilantro to taste (don’t overdo it, add sparingly).

8. Add the rest of the olive oil blend to moisten the quinoa. Stir.

9. Add the vegetable/corn kernels/lime juice mixture and toss to combine.

10. Cover and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the mixture is heated through. Checked to make sure internal temperature has reached.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas:

Yield: 15

Serving Size: 8 ounce serving

Ingredients:

For topping- 4 lbs of pineapple salsa (Corey will bring you the salsa after making it)

Black beans- 4lbs or 4 15-oz cans

Lime Juice- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (bottled)

Sweet potatoes- 6.25 lbs

Roasted green chiles- 2 cups or 1 lb

Cumin- 2 teaspoons (add to taste)

Chili powder- 2 teaspoons (add to taste)

Cilantro- 1 ounce (add up to this, can stop if too much)

Corn tortillas- 30 each- share with chicken enchiladas

Olive Oil blend- 4 tablespoons

Directions:

1. Preheat the Combi- oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Wash the outer surface of the potatoes. Get out a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and place face down on the parchment paper. Cook the sweet potatoes in the oven for about 30 or so minutes- until they feel soft. This will help the skins come off easily.

3. Using a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with the lime juice; toss to coat the beans and then set aside.

4. When the sweet potatoes are done, cube them and quickly mash them in a food processor. Add the chopped green chiles and the spices (to taste, not too much!).

5. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooking the enchiladas you will be sharing this with the pineapple salsa chicken enchiladas.

6. On a tortilla, add some of the sweet potato mixture, and add some of the black bean mixture. Wrap the tortilla and place it in a baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

7. When finished, top the tortillas with the rest of the pineapple salsa.

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the enchiladas are hot.

***Don’t forget to try mixture- but remember there are a limited amount of portions.

Pineapple Salsa Chicken Enchiladas:

Yield: 35

Portion size: 4 ounces

Ingredients:

Pineapple salsa- 1 gallon and 1 quart (10 lbs)

Raw chicken-chicken thighs (boneless)- 15 lbs

Lime Juice- 1 ¼ cup (bottled)

Olive oil- as needed

Corn tortillas- 70 (share with sweet potato enchiladas)

Pineapple tidbits- 10 cups (5 lbs)

Chopped green chiles, canned- 2.5 lbs

Shredded cheddar cheese- 3 lbs and 12 ounces

Directions:

1. Turn on steamer. Retrieve hotel pans and put chicken thighs in a single layer across the bottom. Put plastic wrap over the hotel pans and put them in the steamer for 10-15 min or until done.  (should be able to fit about 3 hotel pans in the steamer at a time.

2. Pour salsa in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking dish, just enough to cover the bottom. You will use multiple dishes.

3. Pour lime juice all over the cooked chicken; season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.

4. Place a tortilla in the salsa covered baking dish, fill with chicken (sparingly so that all enchiladas can be filled), roll the tortilla and keep it in the baking dish.

5. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas. Pour remaining salsa all over the rolled tortillas. Top with the pineapple tidbits and green chiles.

6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

7. Make sure the combi-oven is at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You will be sharing with the sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. Bake enchiladas in the oven until they are bubbling and heated through, about 30 minutes. Check internal temperature to ensure 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gluten-Free Fiesta

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since my last blog post! Shame on me. School work has been consuming me, but I’m happy to share with you something I have putting a lot of time into recently. One of my senior level Dietetics class is quantity food preparation in which we prepare a meal for 50 people. We are required to manage one of the meals and today was my special day. My two co-managers and I have been working all semester on planning a gluten-free clinical meal with South American inspiration. Below is the menu for our Gluten-free Fiesta:

Appetizer– Strawberry and Mango Jicama Salad

Main Dish-Pineapple Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

Vegan/Vegetarian option– Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Side Dish– Southwestern Quinoa Bake

Dessert– Coconut Pudding with Homemade Chocolate Sauce

 

Stay tuned for the recipes 🙂