Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moist Gluten-Free Yeasty Bread

Since I was diagnosed gluten-intolerant 3 years ago, I've gone through multiple battles to replace bread in my life only to find myself stuffing my face with fresh delicious wheat bread products, which led to days of loud rumbling and tummy aches. I decided that I had to find a true replacement that satisfied these cravings or be forever inundated with pain (ouch!).

After many many mistakes with recipes I've found online, I learned a few things and after tweaking a few recipes, I've settled on this one. You will absolutely love it, and I hope you find it just as amazing as I do.


  • 2 cups brown rice flour (I use brown for the nutritional value, but white can be used as well)
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt (1 1/2 teaspoons regular or sea salt) 
  • 2 tablespoons pure coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (Red star is Gluten Free)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance works well)
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter (Earth Balance works!) for brushing
Step 1
In a heavy duty mixer (highly recommended) combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, xantham gum and salt. Turn the mixer on low and blend until fully incorporated. (Congratulations! You just made Gluten Free Flour)
Step 2
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, dissolve the coconut sugar and yeast in the water (I used hot tap water). Stir the mixture together and wait. The mixture should begin to foam, alerting you that your yeast is active and you may continue. (Red Star has never failed me, so I tend to skip this step - but some people prefer to do this!)

Pour the yeast mixture into your dry ingredients and blend together.

Step 3:
Add the melted butter, vinegar and eggs and beat on high for 3 minutes. This will result in a smooth yet sticky batter. Do not add anymore flour, sticky and slightly wet is perfect! 

Step 4:
Prepare a bread pan, I used the standard 9x5 pan. You can prepare your pan with your choice of oil or butter (substitutes are fine). If you like, you can also dust your pan with cornmeal.

Pour your batter into your pan and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area in your kitchen and let it rise for about 25 minutes. I usually place my pan into my oven and check back every 10 minutes - removing the cover when the rising threatens to stick to it. 

After you're dough has risen, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and brush the top of your loaf with melted butter (or substitute). Bake for 40 minutes and cool to just above room temperature before slicing. 

The aroma of this bread will beg you to cut into it, and taste, but because this is rice flour - you will want to wait a bit to allow the bread to settle. When the bread is completely cool, you can cover it with your favorite storage wrap or bag right on your counter-top.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wonton's Unwrapped Soup - Gluten Free Low Carb

The best thing about having an Asian background is healthy cabinets filled with Asian ingredients ready to become an amazing dish. In this recipe, I've re-created the synonymous Wonton Soup sans the wrapper then made a very easy and quick soup base that can be easily transformed with your own personal favorite ingredients. 

I have this soup multiple times during the cold Pacific Northwest Winter Months and it's a big hit with my very picky boyfriend! After you get the hang of the simplicity of this soup, you'll be able to add whatever it is you want, ingredient wise, and you'll end up with amazing flavors all the time.


Soup Base
3 Cups Chicken Broth (Homemade or Gluten Free Canned)
1/4 cup Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
1-2 Tbsp Chili Bean Sauce* or Sriracha

Wontons Unwrapped
1 lb Ground Pork
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
1 tsp sesame oil, dark preferred
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
salt & pepper to taste

Pour the broth into a stockpot and bring to a boil on high add soy chili sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer while you make the wontons.

For the Wontons, put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. I use my hands* to do this as I want to make sure that the pork has been broken apart and the oil massaged into every part. When done mixing your ingredients, uncover your stock pot and bring your broth to a full boil.

Create your wontons by rolling a tablespoon or more, depending on the size of wontons you prefer - keep them about the size of small meatballs for easier cooking. They will be quite soft when raw - so make sure to roll them between your hands* to smooth them out and gently combine them into a nice round ball. Drop each into the hot boiling broth, at this point the broth will stop it's boil - continue to keep at high until all your wontons have been added to the pot. You can cook enough wontons for your serving requirments, and keep the rest of the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 days - the broth can also be stored in the refrigerator and reused later.

Bring the soup base back to a full boil then down to medium and cover. Cook for 10 minutes (15 for larger wontons). If you would like to add fresh vegetables such as broccoli and/or bokchoy you may do so about 2 minutes prior to full cooking. Serve hot and garnish with more green onions if you desire.

I use this broth as my main base for many Asian soups - by simply adding your choice of fresh vegetables or meats you can create multiple flavors without much work. Ginger can be added to this soup for another twist - some rice wine vinegar or white vinegar turns it into a hot and sour soup base. You can add longer cooking vegetables such as carrots into the broth as it is simmering. Experiment and have fun!

* I purchased a large box of disposable gloves for when I work in the kitchen - using gloves allow you to work without worry about all that food between your fingers and under your nails.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Stuffing Gluten & Dairy Free

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing has always been my go to favorite during the Holiday Season, it's one of those must haves on everyone's table. In order to make this stuffing taste amazing you'll need to follow a few basic chef practices, like browning meats and de-glazing pans. Follow the simple steps below and you'll have amazing flavor and texture and it will taste just a wonderful as it's breaded predecessor! I prefer to use Organic produce and ingredients - but you may opt out of this at your discretion


1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
2 Cups Fresh Homemade Turkey Broth (I used the neck bones and giblets from my turkey - to make a simple broth - you may use chicken broth as well)

1 lb uncased Italian Sausage (Your choice of sausage is fine here chicken will work well too!)
1 tsp Olive Oil (for sausage)
1 tbsp Olive Oil (for vegetable)
3-4 large stalks of celery diced
1/2 lb baby carrot diced or 1 large carrot diced
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 cup broth (same as above)
(You can add more vegetables - it is completely up to you, bell peppers are encouraged, diced garlic as well and shallots, go with flavors you love!)
1 tsp dried sage (if using fresh - 1 tbsp chopped) I like to rub the sage between my fingers before putting it in
1 tsp poultry seasoning 
1 cup dried cranberries - I used pomegranate juice sweetened organic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Step 1:
Cook the Quinoa! Put the Quinoa and Broth into a shallow pot. Bring to a boil then a low simmer for up to 25 minutes or until Quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside. (Quinoa can be cooked up to 48 hours before and stored in the refrigerator)

Step 2: 
Heat up a deep skillet or large pot on medium heat. Once the pan has heated, add a teaspoon olive oil - it is important that you do not put your stove on high, medium high is okay - but remember that olive oil can burn at high temperatures. Add the sausage and let it cook at medium without messing with it (STEP AWAY FROM YOUR PAN!).

By following this Chef Step alone - you will increase the flavor of your stuffing by infinite percentages! 

This is a very important step - you want to allow the sausage to brown and in some cases it might blacken just a bit - this is perfectly fine - and highly encouraged!  Once you've allowed your sausage to fully brown, go ahead and break it up with a spoon and continue until the sausage is fully cooked all the way through. (This is the same process you will use for chicken sausages - only that you will cube the sausage prior to cooking). Pour sausage and grease into a colander and set aside to drain.

Step 3:
In the same skillet used above reheat to medium - add 1 tbsp Olive Oil and toss your onions into the pot. Again step away! Let the onions cook about 2-3 minutes, this will give you some nice crusty onion bits,  go ahead and stir them up - add in all your vegetables and continue to cook them - take your time here, allow the veggies to get some color and their flavor enhances as they cook together on top that yummy sausage crust below it. 

Step 4:
Add 1/2 cup stock to the cooked veggies and use your spoon / spatula to scrape the brown left at the bottom of your pot, this is a quick and easy step! Once you have de-glazed your pan - toss in your Quinoa and cranberries - heat thoroughly - add salt and pepper and taste - if you need more flavor add more salt and pepper - taste / repeat... Then serve!!

Adding Salt & Pepper at the end allows you to adjust the stuffing to your preference. Quinoa and Broth can be salty without your adding salt to it - so waiting til the end will allow you to make a really yummy dish - that is perfect for you and your families. 

Sometimes - I take 2 large potatoes diced and fried in olive oil to add more texture to my stuffing - this version does not require the extra texture - as the Quinoa is not stale and soggy!