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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN MAC & “CHEESE” aka MAC & CARROT

Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     This dairy free take on Mac & Cheese is just as satisfying a comfort food as the original cheese version, but healthier and lighter.  I wish I could take credit for inventing this recipe, but that honor goes to Laura of the Petite Allergy Treats.
     My son was coming over and I wanted a side dish that would satisfy the vegan, gluten free and soy free crowd as well as the ‘can eat everything’ folks. Usually I would never have tried a veggie version of a melted cheese food, but I was intrigued (and motivated to make one dish instead of two for dinner).
     I love this dish.  Delicious on its own merits it does have a flavor that is reminiscent of the cheese version.  In some ways I like it even more than traditional mac and cheese.  I’m just talking taste and texture here, not to ignore the easy way to sneak vegetables into a toddler.  My two year old grandson fed himself a large helping with a fork and he is a finicky eater. 
     It was a huge hit so I made it again for dinner with friends and they raved about it too.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.



GLUTEN FREE VEGAN MAC & “CHEESE” AKA 
MAC & CARROT

Ingredients
1 lb.
Organic Carrots - washed and peeled
3 Tbs.
White Rice Flour
3 Tbs.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ cup
Plain Unsweetened Non Dairy Milk of choice - I used Almond
1 tsp.
Onion Powder
1/2 tsp.
Dry Mustard
¼ tsp.
Sweet Paprika
1/2 tsp.
Himalayan Sea Salt
¼ tsp.
Black Pepper
1 lb.
Gluten Free Pasta - I used brown rice spirals, but
elbows or small shells will also work as they hold the sauce well.  (My favorite brand is Tinkayada Pasta Joy.)
1 tsp.
Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Tbs.
Oil

Directions
1)   To prepare the pasta: Bring a large pot of hot water to a boil.  Add a tsp of sea salt and a tablespoon of oil to the pasta pot.
2)   When the water comes to a boil cook the pasta per package directions.  I like the pasta a little al dente so I cook it 2 minutes less than the package states or until the pasta is soft but still a little firm.  The paste will absorb some of the sauce and become softer so do not cook it too long or let it get too mushy.  Drain the pasta when done cooking.
3)   To prepare the sauce: Wash and peel the carrots.  Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer basket over boiling water.  Cover the pot tightly and steam until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
Carrots in the steamer basket after cooking.
4)   Purée the cooked carrots with an emersion blender or a food processor.  Set aside.
Puréed carrots.
5)   In a saucepan, heat the 3 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil. 
6)   Add the flour and whisk into the oil.
Oil and flour cooking.
7)   Stir constantly over medium heat until the four is cooked, about 2-3 minutes.  When done it will emit a nutty aroma.
8)   Add the 1 ½ cup of dairy free milk and whisk together well. Add the seasonings and mix well. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until thickened.
Milk added to flour mixture.
9)   When thickened, add the carrots purée and mix well. Continue to heat over medium heat until the mixture is hot.
The sauce has thickened after cooking.


Adding the carrots to the sauce.

The sauce after the carrots have been blended in well.
10)         Add the carrot sauce to the cooked and drained pasta and stir until well mixed.
Pasta and carrot sauce mixed together.

11)         Serve warm.  Reheat leftovers.

Monday, March 14, 2016

GLUTEN FREE MEXICAN PASTA BAKE

Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     This casserole is easy and makes a delicious, filling and very satisfying meal.  It has become one of our favorite quick meals.  I love the seasonings and the melted cheese.
     This recipe is made from a combination of recipes I found on-line while looking for a quick dinner to make.  It can be made with pieces of chicken, ground turkey or beef, tofu cubes, tempeh cubes, vegetarian ground ‘meat’ or any other protein you would like, except maybe fish. I’m sure you can make it dairy free by using dairy free cheese shreds. The home made taco seasoning mix is based on a great recipe by Kittencal that I found on food.com. 



GLUTEN FREE MEXICAN PASTA BAKE

Ingredients
1 lb.
Protein of choice: Cubed chicken or turkey, ground turkey or beef, cubed tofu, vegetarian ground ‘meat’, etc.
8 oz.
Tomato Sauce
1 large
Onion - chopped
2 large
Garlic cloves - minced or crushed
1 fresh
Red Pepper - cored and diced
1-2 Tbs.
Oil - for sautéing the onion and pepper
1 lb.
Gluten Free Pasta - spirals work best
Corn pasta tastes really good in this recipe.
1 cup
Corn kernels - frozen, fresh or canned
8 oz.
Shredded Cheese - Mexican Blend or Cheddar
1 recipe or 1 packet
Taco Seasoning

TACO SEASONING
Ingredients
1-2 Tbs.
Mild Chili Powder
3 tsp.
Ground Cumin
¾ tsp.
Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tsp.
Black Pepper
¼ tsp.
Oregano
½ tsp.
Onion Powder
1 tsp.
Garlic Powder
½ tsp.
Paprika
to taste
Cayenne Pepper  (I did not use any because I do not like spicy hot food.)
         
Directions
1)    In a small bowl add all the taco seasoning ingredients and mix well.  Set aside.
Homemade taco seasoning.
2)    Bring to a boil a large pot of well salted water for cooking the pasta.  Add a Tbs. of oil to the water to keep the pasta from sticking together after cooking (optional).
3)    While the water is boiling, chop and sauté the onion and peppers until the onions are translucent.
Cooking the chopped onions and peppers.
4)    Add the meat or vegetarian ‘meat’ alternatives to the sautéd onions and peppers.  If using raw meats sauté until cooked, breaking up the ground meat in to smaller pieces.  If using cooked meat or vegetarian alternatives heat and stir until hot.  Add the garlic and the taco seasoning as the proteins are cooking.
Adding the meat (or meat alternative), garlic and taco seasoning.
5)    Add the tomato sauce and corn and bring to a simmer.
After adding the tomato sauce.

Adding frozen corn.
6)    Meanwhile, when the water comes to a boil cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Do not overcook the pasta, al dente is preferred, as the pasta will get a little mushier when the onion and meat mixture is added.  Drain and rinse the cooked pasta and then put it back into the pot.
7)    Add the cooked onion and meat mixture to the cooked pasta and mix in.
Tomatoes mixture with the pasta and half of the cheese mixed together.
8)    Add half of the shredded cheese and mix into the pasta.
9)    Put the pasta mixture into an oven safe pan.  My pasta pot has metal handles so I just keep it in the pot.  Cover the mixture with the remaining shredded cheese.
Covering the top with the other half of the cheese.
10) Place the pan or pot into the oven and broil on low about 3-5 minutes or until the cheese melts and bubbles.  Watch it carefully, so it does not burn!
The Mexican Pasta Bake out of the oven with the cheese melted.  Yum!

11) Serve and enjoy.  Corn bread goes really well with this dish.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

GLUTEN FREE CARROT, GINGER & PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD

Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     This is the first new recipe I have tried since moving for the second time in six months.  This  recipe was one that Paul Newman’s mother used to make.  What’s Cooking America posted the recipe a few months ago and it caught my eye.  It is very delicious, delicately spiced, moist and unique.  Kudos to his mom!
     You need to grate the carrots two ways, one coarse and one finer.  I used my 4 sided box grater. 
Large grater side for coarser ground carrots.

Small grating side for finer grated carrots.
The recipe calls for crushed pineapple.  I only had tidbits on hand so I ran the whole can (contents only, no metal) through the food processor a few pulses.  I may have done too much pulsing as I almost got pineapple juice with thick pulp.  I used it anyway (after straining the juice out through a sieve) and the results were great.
     Everyone loved this cake.  I will definitely be making it again and again.

    
GLUTEN FREE CARROT, GINGER & PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf

Ingredients
8 oz.
Carrots
4 oz.
Crushed Pineapple - juice drained
1 oz.
Crystallized Ginger - finely diced
1 Tbs.
Fresh Lemon Juice - I used Orange Juice
1 cup
Sugar - I used evaporated cane juice crystals
½ cup
Vegetable Oil - neutral tasting such as canola
1 Tbs.
Orange Zest (from about two medium oranges)
½ tsp.
Vanilla Extract
¾ cups
Sorghum Flour
¼ cup + 2 Tbs.
Chickpea Flour
¼ cup + 2 Tbs.
Tapioca Flour
¾ tsp.
Xanthan Gum
1 ½ tsp.
Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp.
Baking Powder
¼ tsp.
Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tsp.
Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp.
Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp.
Ground Allspice
½ cup
GF Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not instant)
¼ cup
Pecans - chopped

Directions:
1)    Preheat oven to 350℉.  Oil a 9x5-inch loaf pan.  Place the baking rack in the center of the oven.
2)    Peel the carrots.  Grate half of the carrots finely and half coarsely.
On the left top the finely grated carrots, on the left bottom the coarser grated carrots.
On the right one whole piece of crystalized ginger and one ounce of finely diced ginger.
3)    Finely dice the candied ginger.
4)    In a medium bowl add the carrots, ginger, pineapple and lemon or orange juice.  Mix well and set aside.
Carrots, pineapple and a tablespoon of juice.

After mixing the carrots and pineapple together.

5)    In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sugar and oil.  Add the eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract and mix together.
Eggs and orange zest added to the oil and sugar mixture.
6)   Add the carrot mixture to the egg and oil mixture and mix well.  Set aside.
7)   In a medium bowl add all the flours, salt, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon,
      nutmeg & allspice.  Whisk together well.
Dry ingredients in the bowl before whisking together well.
8)   Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture and combine well.
9)   Mix in the GF oats & chopped nuts.
Finished batter with the oats and nuts.

10) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Raw batter in the loaf pan.
11) Place into the center of the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the center is cooked and springs back slightly when pressed with a finger.  It took more than an hour in my oven, so I loosely covered the top of the loaf with foil after the first 50 minutes of baking to prevent the loaf from getting too brown.
12) Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
The baked cake cooling in the pan for 10 minutes.

The cake cooling completely on a wire rack.

13) Do not slice the loaf when still hot or it will crumble apart.  Cutting the cake while still slightly warm is OK.
14) It will keep 3 days at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.   It keeps moister when kept in a plastic bag or airtight container.