Almond Crepes with Peaches and Cream: A GLUTEN FREE Recipe!!

A rare and tasty treat for my readers today! Below, you’ll find a delight offered and created for Gluten Free Fearlessly by the scrumptiously talented, Sean Sullivan of Spectacularly Delicious.

In case you aren’t familiar, Sean (aka Jedi Master Foodie and Chef Extraordinaire) is known for developing tantalizing cuisine from the “elegant, unexpected, unusual and extraordinary.”  For example, Sean routinely grapples and tames such culinary fare as sea urchins, pummelos, or turducken sausage, whilst coaxing out delectable dishes. Even the lowly onion, is elevated to new prestige under Sullivan’s tutelage, when it becomes the impressive, “Onion Charlotte.”

Spectacularly Delicious website is both a palate pleasing wonder, as well as a visual masterpiece and culinary treasure trove of facts and historical tidbits sprinkled with Sullivan’s humor.  And unlike most “foodie” websites, Spectacularly Delicious is a readable spot– like a multi-volume, skillfully written Smithsonian of food– where one can get lost discovering new items or reinventing familiar staples with flair.

I appealed to Sean’s culinary prowess to invent a recipe for those gluten-free– something original, delicious and beautiful to behold. As Sean put it, “The goal: flavor and flair without a hint of deprivation or sacrifice.”

Being the consummate master and food daredevil, Sean rose to the challenge—creating for Gluten Free Fearlessly, “Almond-flour Crêpes with White Peaches and Candied Almonds,”—(be still my heart).

The crepes as described by Sean are, “A delicious sweet crêpe made with almond flour, pliant yet slightly crisp, evocative of the all-the-rage Vietnamese bahn xeo.  Filled with luscious fruit, whipped cream and caramelized nuts, there’s nothing sad-sack going on here.”

(It’s really okay to smack your lips and drool freely at this point)….

And let me tell you, these crepes are every bit the gourmet dining you’d find in a 5-star restaurant, but are remarkably easy to make, given Sean’s attention to detail when crafting the recipe. Sullivan also includes tips, (such as keeping peaches in a 7-Up bath while preparing the crepes to avoid darkening and for added zing), which you’ll find here. To see the complete recipe on Sean’s site, click here.

You’ll find the crepes are wonderfully pliable with a gluten-like texture and due to the almond flour are also tasty treats (even without the equally luscious filling).

THANK YOU so much to Sean Sullivan!!! After savoring these in your own kitchen, please leave a comment for Sean thanking him for his efforts on our behalf and remember to follow Spectacularly Delicious!

RECIPE: ALMOND CREPES WITH PEACHES AND CREAM: A GLUTEN FREE RECIPE: An original recipe by Sean Sullivan

4 eggs

1 egg white mixed with enough water to make 1 c. of liquid. 

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. almond flour

1 c. rice flour

1/4 c. potato starch

4 T. melted butter

 Whisk [all ingredients together] until fully blended and slightly foamy.

Prepare in the standard manner.  Brush a preheated crêpe pan with butter, pour in 1/4 c. or so of batter and swirl around to make a thin coating all around the pan. Cook the first side for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip and cook the second side another 30 seconds.

 Candied almonds:

1/2 c. sliced almonds

3 T. sugar

 Stir together in a non-stick pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring all the while. The sugar will melt, then cling to the nuts. As soon as you see the sugar start to brown, pour out of the pan onto waxed paper. Let it sit for a couple of minutes then break apart into little clumps.

 This batter recipe makes 16 crêpes.  Three big ripe white peaches provided more than enough to fill them. Peeled and sliced thin and held in a bowl filled with Seven-Up until ready to serve. The soda sweetens the fruit, keeps it from turning brown and adds a bit of fizz.

 Fill each crêpe with a spoonful of fruit, fold into a triangle. Lay them in a shallow baking dish. Use a pretty one since it’s going to go straight to the table when you serve them.

Put the pan under a hot broiler. Keep a close watch. You want the edges to crisp and give the tops a warm-up. Burning, charring, overcooking are to be avoided.

 Top with unsweetened whipped cream and the candied almonds. [Use whipped coconut cream and substitute a margarine that is allergen free if you are milk/dairy intolerant]

Friday Breakast Dash

Not every day is full of home crafted breakfasts. I’m a realist. Some mornings it’s a quickly scarfed bowl of cereal and a dash for the door. Of my five kids, the two still at home are teenage GIRLS, which implies countless hours of wardrobe revisiting and last-minute hair tweaking. Mundane things like properly fueling your body before school and nutrition, pale in comparison to the smallest strand of bangs that isn’t cooperating. Cereal is our breakfast staple on days such as these.  Use the “milk” product of your choice and have on hand peeled hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, raisins or juice to accompany the cereal, and you’ve at least shoved some fast nutrition down the gang.

Two quick cereal options for gluten-free kiddos (and adults):

Kix: Newly reformulated without oats, Kix seem to be well tolerated by most GF individuals. Although not made specifically in a dedicated gluten-free environment, which means cross contamination is always a possibility– the ingredients themselves are appropriate for gluten and dairy free diets. As with anything, if you’ve not tried these before, use caution and read the label to be sure you’ve not picked up an older product before the oat-free revamping.  Kix, while not organic, is  vitamin fortified, and fairly low in sugar compared to many other mainstream cereals, so I can comfort myself it’s not a total wash when we eat this item.  (1  1/4th cup serving has 45 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron and 50 percent of folic acid. )

Option 2 is our new favorite- Bakery on Main  Gluten-Free Granola. Reaching a corporate milestone this summer by satisfying their 100,000th  satisfied customer, it’s easy to understand when you peer at the labels. Rainforest Granola (my personal favorite) as well as the other flavorful options are all made with ingredients from reputable suppliers, contain superior products and are as natural as you can get.

 I’m not sure why non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil tastes better (or even why it is better period)…but this granola possesses an impressive array of ingredients that when combined, are pure yumminess…:) Other GF flavors include, Apple Raisin Walnut, Nutty Maple Cranberry, Extreme Fruit and Nut, Cranberry Orange Cashew.  Says Bakery on Main, “We use corn and rice to create a hearty breakfast cereal that is free of gluten and also makes a great snack by itself or on yogurt or ice cream.” And it’s true! 

Although some ingredients do warn, “Manufactured on equipment that also processes milk proteins, eggs, and peanuts” — we’ve not had a problem with any of their products. (I believe that warning is only on the Tropical variety, not the other granola varieties) Again, use caution and read labels and test out in small quantities. But these are seriously the best granola products I’ve ever stuffed in my face.  The company also makes “grab and go” gluten-free bars and snack sized packages. I’ve written and asked for samples, since these aren’t available here in my local stores. When/if I get these, I’ll add a review post-consuming. I live in the Midwest and actually found the cereal in my natural food section of the supermarket, so it’s likely you can find this product in most mainstream grocers and health food stores.  However, you can also find Bakery on Main products on Amazon and through the Gluten-Free Mall, as well as direct through the manufacturer.  With a philosophy that, “food that’s good for you, should taste good, too” –Bakery on Main does deliver on their promise. No unnatural items, no refined sugar and no trans-fat, and 100 delicious.

Rainforest Granola Product Description: Real dried bananas and roasted sliced brazil nuts with coconut flavor. Made with unrefined sugar and Non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil.  Ingredients: Corn flour, water, evaporated cane juice, rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, honey, salt, non-gmo canola oil, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, banana, sesame seed, flax seed, natural vanilla flavor, natural coconut flavor, natural brown sugar flavor, sea salt.

GF Bisquick For Breakfast Sanity

Need boundless breakfast choices on the fly for gluten-free eating?  New options from Bisquick can be your salvation.

I’m somewhat non-creative in the morning. It takes my brain a few hours and at least 2 pots of coffee to engage properly. And frankly, one of my pet peeves is beginning the day with a giant mess in the kitchen, even though I love a home cooked breakfast. If there is anything worse than crawling out of a warm bed, it might be the thought  of creating catastrophic kitchen destruction within minutes of waking. Ewww. I’d be willing to offer room and board to a stranger  just for this very reason, but sadly, haven’t located a homeless waffle chef yet in my county.

In the meantime, Betty Crocker’s newest addition to their specialty product line, “Gluten-Free Bisquick” is just the ticket.  Gluten AND dairy free, it brings the same comforting feeling  of the traditional Bisquick yellow box that was a pantry staple of our moms and grandmas. I call it, “creativity in a box.”  Yeah, I know- Bob’s Red Mill and a host of other companies offer GF pancake mixes. But few, in my opinion, do the thinking for you like Betty Crocker.  Savory banana nut waffles, blueberry sour cream pancakes (along with old dinner favorites, like “Cheeseburger pie”) await you.  Hop on Betty Crocker’s GF website and you’ll find a nice assortment of recipe ideas that unleash culinary genius with minimal thought and limited mess. Total cook time- 20 minutes and 5-6 ingredients on average. Even I can do this in the morning

If you are casien free, simply substitute dairy-free, soy items for the sour cream, butter or cream cheese in these recipes. (We like the Willow Run Soy Margarine for a great tasting butter substitute btw.) You can also make your own dairy-free sour cream to have on hand for mornings such as this with this recipe.

Here are three easy options from the Betty Crocker website for making breakfast on the fly– without trashing a kitchen too horribly and without engaging your brain too much.  If you try these, leave a comment and let me know how you like them. While you can’t substitute cup for cup with GF Bisquick in all recipes (it’s a bit dry in some recipes) it’s pretty close. Make sure you use level cups of Bisquick and are accurate in your measurements. I sift mine quickly and then measure to lighten the mix a bit. Yeah for Betty Crocker!

Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake (Gluten Free)

Prep Time 20 Minutes

Total Time 55 Minutes

Makes 12 servings

1 package (16 oz) bulk pork sausage (make sure it’s GF label)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (Ore-Ida are gluten-free)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz) (or use soy cheese)
3/4 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
2 cups milk (or milk substitute, soy or almond)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 eggs

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, bell pepper and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Mix sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish.
  2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour over sausage mixture in baking dish.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake about 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

Banana-Pecan Waffles (Gluten Free)

Prep Time 10 Minutes

Total Time 35 Minutes

Makes 5 waffles

1 1/3 cups Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 ripe medium banana, mashed
1/3 cup chopped pecans
  Maple syrup, if desired
  Sliced bananas, if desired
  Chopped pecans, if desired
 
  1. Heat waffle maker. (Waffle makers without a nonstick coating may need to be brushed with vegetable oil or sprayed with cooking spray.)
  2. In large bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, oil and egg with whisk or fork until blended. Gently fold in banana and pecans.
  3. Pour about 1/2 cup batter onto center of hot waffle maker. (Check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle maker. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with syrup, bananas and pecans.

 

Blueberry-Sour Cream Pancakes (Gluten Free)

 

Total Time 20 Minutes

Makes 4  servings

Top these gluten free pancakes with butter and pure maple syrup.
1 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream (use substitute if dairy free)
1 cup fresh blueberries
  Butter, if desired

In large bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, oil and egg until well blended. Stir in sour cream; gently fold in blueberries.

  1. Heat griddle to 375°F or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.) Grease griddle with vegetable oil if necessary (or spray with cooking spray before heating).
  2. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until dry around edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown. Serve with butter.
Bisquick Ingredients: Click here.

Wake up to Orange Poppy Seed Goodness

I’m convinced the key to living gluten-free isn’t as much changing your lifestyle, as much as it’s about adapting.  While I have some great gluten-free cookbooks and often use specialty diet products, I rely for the most part on mainstream recipes and “tweak” them to our dietary needs. The benefits of this approach are many.

For one, you’ll quickly see that a gluten-free diet isn’t about doing without. We eat sandwiches and pasta, bake cookies and consume pizza. I use the same family favorite recipes on a gluten-free diet.  If you are going to live GF for more than a few weeks, you need to adapt and evolve your baking and cooking so you don’t feel limited. You can still gobble your grandma’s coffee cake recipe. All you need to do is learn to  alter or substitute a few items.  You’ll enjoy life without wheat if you can evolve.

Another benefit is saving cash. It’s a lot cheaper to eat gluten-free if you can temper buying mixes and pre-made items. Yeah, we love Shabtai Bakery’s GF and dairy free devil’s food cake, creme filled Ring Tings, which are remarkably “Ding Dong-esque” and yummy. Shabtai’s creation might be better than the real Hostess item, I believe.  And I order boxes of the confection to fulfill our cravings here. And we do use prepared items for “on the fly” cooking here, which I regularly review. But if you know that you can make at least most of your gluten-free daily diet  delicious in your own kitchen,  you’ll be able to limit spending for the items that are truly worthwhile or  necessary.

Modeling the adaptive lifestyle rubs off on GF kids and helps them understand how to tweak recipes and make lifestyle choices that fit their diet. Someday they will grow up and have to make choices to fit in a wheat-based world. While GF is more mainstream, it’s a far cry from the “norm” in many parts of the country.  Your kids will have to adapt, watch pennies while on a GF diet and enjoy eating. 

Pull out those old tried and true recipes and start revising for your GF diet. You might have to tweak a bit and it might take a few attempts for real success, but you’ll quickly learn the ropes.

This week, I’ve been spotlighting  breakfast ideas and items. The recipe below is our family favorite that I’ve made for nearly 25 years frequently. Just a few changes made it as moist, flavorful and delicious as it’s always been. You wouldn’t know it’s gluten and dairy free. While it’s not a “low-calorie” option, it makes a great way to start the day. I use almond extract in lieu of vanilla often, by the way, as it’s more flavorful and blends nicely with gluten-free flours, but you can substitute vanilla if you’d like with good results. Make this the night before, as it’s best the next day. Keep all gluten-free items tightly wrapped to prevent drying.

Good morning!!!

Gluten-Free Poppy Seed Bread with Orange Glaze

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups GF  flour mixture ( see below)

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon xanthen gum

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk (or substitute almond milk or soy milk)

1 1/2 cup oil

3 teaspoons poppy seed

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 tablespoon almond flavoring

***GLAZE***

1/4 cup orange juice

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1-2 teaspoons almond flavoring

Grated orange peel

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat granulated sugar, eggs, oil and milk/milk substitute in large bowl.

Combine GF flour mixture, salt, baking powder and xanthen gum. (I use a wisk to mix well)

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture. Beat well with mixer till combined, while scraping bowl. (GF flour is heavy and sinks to the bottom, so you’ll want to keep stirring well)

Stir in poppy seeds, orange  and almond extract.

Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For Glaze:

Blend glaze ingredients in bowl.  Brush onto baked loaves while warm.

Using all of the glaze will keep the loaves moist and extra flavorful, and avoid the dried out effect you often get with gluten-free baked goods.

Flour Mixture:

1 part brown rice flour
1 part sorghum flour
1 part tapioca starch

Or you can try these options for flour mixtures.

Break-the-Fast With Van’s Waffles

As part of my spotlight on breakfast this week, I’m selecting family favorite products and tossing in a few recipes to beat the morning “blahs.” Stay tuned as we go through a week of GF options to recharge your diet and your appetite.

A great reason  to get up and face the world comes from Van’s Natural Foods. You’ll love Van’s gluten AND dairy-free frozen waffles in a variety of truly scrumpteous flavors- Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Totally Natural, Flax, and Buckwheat. BTW, don’t let the Buckwheat variety scare you off.  Buckwheat, in spite of the name, is a  fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and is 100 percent gluten-free. (whew) Packed with hearty flavor, buckwheat also is nutrition-dense and full of flavonoids and magnesium, so it makes a perfect choice to start your day.

Our family favorite is  blueberry, but each of Van’s waffle varieties are consumed en masse here with much enjoyment.  You’ll also find in some stores, the Van’s “Minis” – which like most small items–are favored by kiddos and make a nice snack. All of Van’s GF Waffles are  made with whole grain brown rice flour and are  fruit juice sweetened. Van’s regular sized frozen waffles are readily available in most mainstream grocery store chains and in health food stores, but you might have to hunt a bit in some areas for the minis.

 

Quick Breakfast Ideas: Gluten-Free Frozen Burritos

It’s Monday and no doubt you’re scrambling around for a way to jump-start your week.  If you’d like a delicious “quick and easy” gluten-free morning, grab one of these items from our friends at Glutenfreeda Foods. The newest addition to their product line are  Glutenfreeda’s Burritos- which score a home run with my family for taste and ease. Not only are they the first gluten-free breakfast burrito on the market, they also have amazing flavor and actually possess the same texture as a “real” wheat flour burrito.  Glutenfreeda’s Burritos are honestly so good, you might enjoy waking up a little more– even if it’s Monday.

 According to  Glutenfreeda Foods, “Our burritos are made from all natural ingredients, contain no  trans fats, no hydrogenated oils and are a cinch to prepare.  Simply take the frozen burrito, tear off the top strip and microwave in the bag (eliminating any possibility of cross contamination) for about 1 minute per side – the cooking time will depend on the strength of the microwave, but this is a fair approximation.  Burritos come in 4 flavors – Breakfast Beef, Chicken & Cheese, Bean & Cheese and Vegetarian & Dairy Free.”

The “Vegetarian & Dairy Free” burrito is the only one of these that isn’t laden with cheese or dairy, so if you’re watching caseins opt for that variety. However, with ingredients like “vine-ripened fresh peeled tomatoes” and Serrano peppers, you won’t miss the meat or the dairy in this veggie burrito. Top with a little salsa and you’ll be on your way out the door, doing the macarena all the way to work.  Pick these up from your local health food store or order online from the Gluten-Free Mall. You can also pop a frozen burrito in your lunch and heat up at school or work, which provides a nice option for kiddos who need a change of lunchtime pace.

Note: Check with retail stores for discounts on case lots. While not pricey compared to many other GF foods, you’ll usually save a bit on bulk purchases.

Rise and Shine!!!!

 

 

,

Easy & Healthy Snacking with Iron-Rich Brownie Balls from Snack-Girl

Finding healthy, delicious AND quick snacks that appeal to everyone in the family isn’t always an easy task. When you add “gluten and casein free” to the list of snack requirements, the choices can seem pretty scanty, especially if you are just getting started on the path of gluten-free living. Many gluten-free sweet snacks require baking or a bit of effort in the kitchen and time. At least for me– time is pretty minimal most days. While in my mind, I envision meeting my kids at the door with a plate of warm cookies (sans wheat and dairy, of course) and a completely clean, peaceful house – the reality is often a few frantic minutes scratching my head, peering into the  cluttered fridge, wondering how to concoct something edible in five minutes before the children come clamoring in. 

I turned to Lisa Cain, my new friend, who is a culinary scientist and nutrititional guru, for advice.

Some of you might know Lisa  from her amazing and inspirational website, “Snack-Girl.com,”  - the mecca of spots on the net for healthy, believable and easy-to-do snack foods. What sets Snack-Girl apart, is the combination of  Lisa’s professional background as a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology and her down-to-earth personality. Her yummy food stuff is the product of the science of nutrition, and  is overflowing with warm, upbeat details. Cain describes herself as “an avid snacker” and her zeal for nutritious snack-food stuff shines through with each blog post.

Lisa regards snacks as “mini-meals,” hence her recipes aren’t the typical, “chips and dip” or “Twinkie” fare most American’s regard as snacking.  Conceivably, you could consume a diet solely of Snack-Girl food and be healthier than average. Don’t forget after reading this post to sign up for the Snack-Girl newsletter and let the reinventing of “snacks-as-healthy-foodstuff” continue in your life daily.  While not a “gluten-free” website per se, Snack-Girl has an ample amount of items you can glean or make simple substitutions to incorporate into a GF and dairy-free diet.

The recipe below, takes (seriously) 10 minutes to throw together, doesn’t require baking and is low-calorie, as well as chock full of goodness for gluten-free folk. Many gluten-free individuals are low on iron due to malabsorption problems and a diet without enriched grains. Dates — the  key ingredient in Snack-Girls’s  “Brownie Balls”– are chock full of iron, topping even the iron content of a 3.5 ounce serving of beef. (A cup of dates has 5.3 mg of iron, compared to 2.6 mg in the average cut of beef)  Brownie balls add a healthy dose of iron, and by taking most of their sweetness from dates, only contain a scant amount of added sweetening.

My kids went through 2 batches the first day we made these. With a mere 5 healthy ingredients, you can easily feel like “Mother of the Year” every day. (PS, also a VEGAN recipe with an easy substitution)

Brownie Balls? What’s not to love with a name like that? Here’s what Lisa Cain– AKA Snack-Girl– has to say:

Is it possible to create a gluten-free healthy brownie? A regular brownie contains oodles of butter, sugar, eggs, and chocolate. They are a confection of MEGA calorific proportions and should be eaten as a treat. But, if you have a food processor, you can whip something up in minutes that tastes delicious. The key is to use healthy replacements for the butter, eggs, flour, and sugar. In this recipe, which I created in my test kitchen (ahem, my kitchen), I used dates and almonds. You can find dates next to the raisins in most grocery stores (I bet you haven’t even noticed them).

Roasted almonds are just one choice for this recipe. You could use raw nuts or any kind of nut that you like. I used roasted because roasting makes the almond taste stronger. I rolled these balls in confectioner’s sugar and cocoa. My tasters (friends) thought that the cocoa ones were too bitter. I actually liked them better, so give them both a try. You can add more honey if you find these lacking in sweetness. These would be a great party snack too! You can make them ahead and just artfully arrange them on a plate. Or do what I did, and just put them on a plate :) Kids will also love  making these as they get to use their hands in making them. They come out of the food processor the same consistency as play dough. To make these brownie balls vegan – use maple syrup or agave syrup.

Gluten Free Brownie Balls

(15 balls)
15 pitted dates
2/3 cup cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
1 cup roasted almonds (no salt added)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Add almonds to food processor and pulse until ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, honey, and water. Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency). Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner’s sugar on a plate. Roll balls in your hand and then roll in sugar or cocoa (or both). Eat! These can be store in the fridge for a week.

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