Archive: Gluten Free

Meeting the Flourless Chocolate Cookie Fairy

Friday afternoon and I'm thoroughly enjoying the current above-average April temperatures that make it feel more like June. It had been a long week and I'm catching up with some magazines, a few new cookbooks and a glass of white wine. Phone rings, and it's Mister MA, who's decided to invite our friends, the Fonzes, over for dinner without much of a pre-invite spousal consultation. Flourless chocolate cookies. (Kim O'Donnel) The cook is really not in the mood for dinner party prep, but Mister MA, now obligated to play host, announces that he will prepare supper but wants to know if the culinary hotline is open for occasional troubleshooting. I step aside and watch him go, go, go, proud of him as he makes marinade for chicken, washes greens for salad ("Yeah, Dude, I know how to make a vinaigrette") and lights the chimney for the grill. I know he...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 21, 2008; 08:43 AM ET | Comments (21)

Not the Same Old Flourless Chocolate Cake

While in pursuit of a new twist on a Passover-possible dessert, I stumbled upon something really cool: a chocolate loaf cake made with amaranth and quinoa flours. Quinoa (KEEN-WAH), a leafy plant (chenopodium quinoa) that is native to Andes mountainous regions in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, has become very trendy in U.S. culinary circles as a versatile, gluten-free, high- protein "grain" which isn't a grain at all. In fact, the seeds are more like a cereal, which can be boiled in water like rice and dried and ground into flour. Not only is it high in protein, it's a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. For celiacs, quinoa flour is a gluten-free dream come true, and in the course of my research, have learned that it's considered acceptable Kosher for Passover fare. Chocolate-quinoa-amaranth cake. (Kim O'Donnel) The very savvy Bea Peltre, the blog mistress at La Tartine...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 14, 2008; 11:46 AM ET | Comments (13)

A Merry - and Gluten-Free - Cookie For All

Psst! Hey, come here. Yeah, I'm talking to you, over in the corner with the food allergies, running far and clear from the cookie tray that inevitably shows up at every dang holiday party. I've got something I like to call a cookie miracle -- a gingerbread cut out that has not a drop of gluten, eggs or dairy -- and it tastes so good no gluten, egg and dairy cookie monster would ever know the difference. I'm serious, y'all! This recipe, which comes from the brilliant gluten-free kitchen of Maryland cookbook author Jules Shepard, is a stroke of sheer near-allergy-free genius. (Last month, I shared a few of her recipes for GF Thanksgiving treats). A holiday cookie miracle: no eggs, dairy or gluten. (Kim O'Donnel) In spite of all its ingredient omissions, this recipe is packed with a spicy punch and a crackery crunch that feels as festive and...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 17, 2007; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (12)

A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

When I interviewed cookbook author Jules Shepard earlier this year for my Food section story on her gluten-free journey, I gained an appreciation for the constant dietary vigilance of someone living with celiac disease. Jules Shepard's apple pie with a gluten-free lattice crust. (Kevin Clark) Shepard, who refused to give up a life of enjoying baked goods, developed an all-purpose gluten-free flour mixture, a blend of five grains (plus xanthan gum as a binder) that makes carb-heavy faves such as pizza, cookies and scones not only possible but culinarily respectable. (I tested three recipes this summer using her flour mix and was duly impressed by the results.) I tried to imagine what life would be like without gluten -- as 1 in 100 Americans do -- but sure enough, as soon as the story was published, I moved on to the next topic on my to-do list. Flash forward three...

 

By Kim ODonnel | November 9, 2007; 09:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Gluten-Free Adventuring

Today's Food section includes my profile of Jules Shepard and her gluten-free journey. Shepard, who lives in Catonsville, Md., has celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder that makes eating gluten a living nightmare. Shepard shares the ins and outs of her adventures in perfecting a gluten-free flour mix and a few recipes from her book, "Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating." Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. (Kim O'Donnel) While writing the story, I tested Shepard's recipes for gluten-free scones, chocolate chip cookies and pizza dough. All of the linked recipes include how-to details for Shepard's trademarked "All Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Flour Mix," a combination of softer starches and flours that mimic the taste and texture of whole-wheat flour. The chocolate chip cookies are undetectable in their gluten-free qualities - you'd never know the difference. The scones are fluffier than their whole wheat-based counterparts, but as Shepard promised, they are packed...

 

By Kim ODonnel | August 8, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Comments (31)

A Passover Cake That Works

The Jewish holiday of Pesach (aka Passover) begins at sundown this coming Monday, April 2. The home cooks I've talked to over the years brag about their passed-down recipes for brisket, tzimmes or their own version of charoset, but it is rare to hear a veteran Seder chef boast about dessert. Not just for Passover: An apple-flavored almond cake. (Kim O'Donnel) The key to pulling off a successful Seder is the omission of chametz -- any food that's leavened and/or allowed to ferment or rise. That means the obvious like no yeast, baking soda or powder, but also stuff made of wheat, spelt, oats, rye and barley, such as pasta, cereal and beer (unless, of course, it's matzoh), and lots of other foodstuffs we take for granted in our daily lives. Translated in the dessert world, that means lots of eggs to overcompensate for the lack of leavening and the...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 27, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Vegan Brownies for Everyone

As many of my longtime readers know, I am a meat-eater who also swings meat-free. I'm hardly a vegetarian in the true sense of the word, but I do without meat, on average, in half of my weekly meals. Some may say I'm an omnivore, but the newfangled term is "flexatarian," referring to someone who eats a semi meat-free diet. Vegan, gluten-free brownies that will blow your mind. (Kim O'Donnel) As evidenced by five years of my monthly vegetarian chat, readers know that I'm hip to new and different ways of cooking traditional dishes, particularly if the revisions are undetectable to our fat-conditioned palates. To wit: Last year during the holidays, I made the discovery of pumpkin pie made with tofu, an amazing, more healthful tweak on a Thanksgiving staple. In keeping with this theme of delicious food that also happens to be free of animal products, I've got to...

 

By Kim ODonnel | August 15, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (22)

Gluten-Free True-Blue Breakfast

Always on the lookout for new cookbooks, I was eager to crack open my newly arrived copy of "World Vegetarian Classics" by American-Brit cook Celia Brooks Brown. In addition to penning cookbooks, Brown appears on BBC's food channel and is a private chef, whose celeb client list includes Chrissie Hynde and Stella McCartney. When shopping for a new veggie title, I was particularly drawn to Brown's assertion (stated on her Web site) that "Vegetarian food still has a boring, brown, 'socks and sandals' stigma" which she has endeavored to reverse. If photos are an important ingredients in your cookbooks, this title will appeal; they are big and beautiful and dotted throughout the book. Brown has compiled 220 recipes from around the world, neatly organized by continent. Although keen to try the Pacha Rice (Egypt) and the Akara with Pilipili (black eye pea cakes from Nigeria), I made a beeline for...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 17, 2006; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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