Monday, November 29, 2010

Blueberry Cornbread (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Optional)


It's been over a week since my last post. In truth, I actually thought it had been more like four days, and I suppose that tells you something, doesn't it? Time no longer moves like it used to. I suppose we all know that, so I won't bemoan the fact. But I find myself savoring the days, my attention flitting like a butterfly from one stevia-sweetened vine to the next. I want to relish this time in Seattle, to soak up the knowledge I came to Bastyr to learn. But my days are more often a montage of moments in which school has little priority. When I voiced my concern to my older sister that I was not focusing on school to the extent that I normally do, she simply shrugged and said, "Perhaps that wasn't the only reason you came to Seattle."

Perhaps not. Maybe I came to do yoga, to paint trees on my wall, to take walks in the woods and linger at the water's edge. Maybe I came to find kindred souls, women who have stolen my heart the same way our dog steals my food. Which is to say, quickly and unbidden. Perhaps I came in search of a cure for my neverending plague of headaches, a cure that has more to do with food than I thought. But also less. Perhaps I came to find a part of myself long tucked away, and perhaps, just perhaps, I came to daydream. To rediscover a world not quite true, yet somehow very real.

Perhaps I came to bake blueberry cornbread. And wouldn't that be a perfectly good reason to move across the country?


Blueberry Cornbread 
Print-Friendly Option


Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg (for vegans: 1 Tbsp. flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
20 drops liquid stevia
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 small apple, peeled and grated

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8 in. pan.  
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg (or flaxseed mixture), stevia, water, and olive oil. 
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, adding the apple and blueberries once mixed. 
  5. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
For those of you who like to know what others think before trying a recipe - I always read the comments before I try a recipe - my awesome new friend, Debi, kindly agreed to test this recipe out before I posted it. I've decided to include her response verbatim so you have someone else's opinion to go on. The first time I baked this, I wasn't so sure about it, which is why I asked Debi to try it. But my housemates liked it, so I gave it a second go, and made a few simple changes. Now, I love it, and I'm depserately wishing I had a piece right now. Alas, I don't. And I have to second Debi's note that it actually tastes better the second day, which I think is pretty rare for gluten-free. 

"I love it!  

I accidentally added the blueberries to the wet ingredients so the cornbread turned out a golden brown color.  I also used raw honey instead of liquid Stevia.  The texture didn't look at all like the picture you posted of it, but I knew when I was putting it in the pan it would be good because the batter smelled good.  At first I didn't think the batter was wet enough.  It was almost like playdough that dried out a little.  However, when I sliced it up and took a piece out, it stayed together.  It was a bit dense texture-wise, but still had some great flavor.  I warmed up a piece this morning to have with breakfast and it was even better.  The texture was more cornbread-like after warming up than it was last night.  

My husband attempted to try a piece after dinner last night.  He didn't even get to the sofa before I heard him say, "I can't eat this."  Apparently he picked a crumb up off the plate as he was walking to the sofa.  He is not used to gluten-free baked goods at all.  It was rather funny.  He doesn't have the mindset yet that gluten-free baked goods will not taste the same as gluten-full baked goods since he still buys cookies and whatnot for himself.  

I would DEFINITELY make it again!"
Thanks, Debi! We'll convert your husband yet, right? And readers, don't let that long list of ingredients fool you. This cornbread could not be easier to make. Also, the above photos were of my vegan version, so I can attest that it tasted just as good (if not better) than the egg version.


This post is linked to Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays, Mouthwatering Monday and  Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Have you heard that Amy's cookbook is available for pre-order now? Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free Meals in 20 Minutes. A great gift for anyone in your life who wants to learn to cook a bit healthier.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes


















With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I've been in awe of all the amazing recipes my fellow bloggers have come up with. Last year, I cooked my first ever Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, and I was grateful for all of the gluten-free recipes I was able to find. This year, I'll be going to a friend's for dinner, so I haven't been thinking much about Thanksgiving cooking. But I wanted to have a resource for all of us who need gluten-free recipes. There are those of us who eat this way regularly and have all our gluten-free flour blends at hand. For you, I have recipes that call for special gluten-free ingredients. And for those of you who might be cooking gluten-free for the first time, I have simpler recipes that won't require buying ten new ingredients. They might require buying something like gluten-free bread, but nothing that you'll have to make from scratch. Some of these are recipes I've tried; others are recipes I want to try. They all look amazing.

And I apologize for waiting so long to post this. I've been thinking about it for days, but I wasn't able to sit down and look for all my favorite recipes until today. If you've already planned your Thanksgiving dishes, come back for your next holiday meal!

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
Bread and Rolls:
Cranberry Walnut Bread
Cornbread 
Brazilian Cheese Bread 
Herbed Bread Sticks
French Bread Rolls
Pumpkin Molasses Bread
Garlic Cheese Biscuits
Dinner Rolls

Sides:
Most sides are naturally gluten-free or easily made that way, so there's a longer list below.
Gravy
Vegan Gravy

Dessert:  

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust 
Cranberry Chestnut Cookies
Coconut Flour Gingerbread Cake
Apple Pumpkin Crumble Bars

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes That Don't Require Gluten-Free Flours
Bread and Rolls:
Pecan and Apple Bread
While you can't usually make rolls or bread without purchasing special ingredients, there are a lot of good mixes out there so you can still have that "fresh from the oven taste." Here's a link to a list of some of the top brands: gluten-free bread mixes

Sides:
Cranberry Apple Stuffing
Acorn Squash and Mashed Potato Stuffing
Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussel Sprouts
Mushroom Stuffing 
Autumn Squash Soup
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Shrimp with Wasabi Cocktail Sauce
Sweet Potato Quiche
Roasted Tahini Baby Carrots
Green Beans with Balsamic Onions
Maple Roasted Yams with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Dessert:
You can make any pie by purchasing a pre-made gluten-free crust and then just making the topping. Or here are some other ideas:
Raw Pumpkin Cheese Pie
No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie 
Crustless Pecan Pie
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Drinks:
Spicy Mulled Apple Cider
Reindeer Antlers
Egg Nogg Latte

And because there are so many more wonderful recipes and I can't link to them all, here are links to some other gluten-free bloggers' Thanksgiving recipe roundups.

Thanksgiving at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Thanksgiving at Affairs of Living
Thanksgiving at Gluten-Free Goddess
Thanksgiving at Gluten-Free Easily
Thanksgiving at Celiac Teen
Thanksgiving at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
Thanksgiving at Fire and Salt

I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgivings, and please come back and share with us if you have any special gluten-free recipes that deserve mention.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Squash Fest: Acorn Squash Stuffing

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! Today, I'm sharing my recipe for Acorn Squash Stuffing at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. Linda has been hosting a wonderful fall series on squash recipes, so you can check out all the posts here. Linda also has the best pie crust and pumpkin pie recipe! I made her pumpkin pie for Christmas last year, and I was in heaven. If you're looking for gluten-free recipes for the holidays that taste like traditional Thanksgiving meals, definitely take a look around The Gluten-Free Homemaker.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bakery On Main Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who commented and let me know your opinion. It was helpful to know that you like reviews; I still won't be doing a ton of them, but I'll enjoy them a lot more knowing you actually read them!

As for the Bakery On Main giveaway, I used that lovely little site called random.org and the winner is...

#11: Melissa
(Melissa, I don't have contact info. for you, so please e-mail me at iris@thedailydietribe.com to let me know where to send the goodies.)

I haven't had much time to play around in the kitchen, so no recipes this week, but I've got a whole list of ideas just waiting to be explored. Hopefully, I can be back in a few days with something for you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bakery On Main: A Review And A Giveaway



















(What follows is my rambling thoughts about product reviews. If you have some time on your hands, feel free to read on. If you just want to win a gift bag of Bakery On Main goodies, scroll to the bottom.)

As a food blogger, I get the occasional offer of free food or cookbooks. I can still recall the first time someone offered to send me cupcakes as a thank you for giving her a positive review. I wasn't looking to get anything out of it. I simply thought her cookies and brownies were amazing, and wanted to share that with my readers. Nonetheless, when I found out she was going to send me free cupcakes, I started jumping up and down. Free gluten-free cupcakes? Are you kidding me!? Life just got 10,000 times better!

After a year and a half of blogging, I am still excited to get anything free. Who isn't? But I'm also more cautious. My blog is important to me, and I'm careful about who and what I promote. There's something inherently uncomfortable to me about accepting anything for free. While I know that I'll only give a positive review to a product I like, the people pleaser in me is hesitant to accept products on the off chance that I might not like them. What do I do then? Choose not to review the product at all? Give it a bad review? Conveniently forget about the review until months later and then decide it's too late to bother? I can tell you that I have done the former and the latter of these. But I've never written a bad review simply because it makes me feel icky. Then again, so would writing a positive review for a product I did not actually enjoy. It is for this reason that I turn down many of the offers that come my way. (If I'm giving you the impression that I get offers left and right, that's really not the case. But I do receive more offers than I used to, and I've had to turn down a few lately.)

Why am I telling you this? Well, I guess simply because I like to be truthful and I like to share my thought process with you all. And because I want you to know that if I review a product, I will be honest. If I don't review one, well, that speaks for itself.

With all this said, I accepted an offer to try Bakery On Main's granola bars and cereal. Bakery On Main began in Glastonbury, CT, which is where my mom grew up and my grandma still lives. So I feel partial to them and excited that there's a prominent gluten-free bakery right in my grandma's own town. Of course, this is where I interject that I was given the products for free, but am under no obligation to review them or say anything positive. There are some rules and regulations that I know very little about, but thankfully hear about from other bloggers who pay more attention than I do. So, with that obligatory stuff out of the way and my own ramblings done with, here's what I'll say about Bakery On Main. And I'll keep it brief because another truth is that I really don't enjoy writing product reviews. Even when I like the product. 

  • The granola is good, but not my favorite. My housemate buys it regularly and loves it with soy yogurt. I also ate it with yogurt, but find that it doesn't stand up well on its own. 
  • The granola bars are much better. If I hadn't realized I'm sensitive to peanuts, I would definitely be buying the peanut butter chocolate granola bars as a sweet treat. 
  • I consider these all treats. While I can see myself buying them, it would be for an after dinner snack rather than breakfast. They're a bit too sweet to start my day off with. But that's just me.  
And that's all I've got for you. Now, onto the giveaway. Because that's why you're really here, right? Bakery on Main is kindly sending a lucky reader a gift bag of their cereal and granola bars. To enter, leave a comment below. I'll give you two entries if you let me know what you think about product reviews (as a reader, a blogger, or both). And if you want more entries, get creative and just let me know what you did. Tweet it, facebook it, blog about it, make up a song, whatever makes you happy.

(Update: 11/17/10 This giveaway is now closed)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Acorn Squash Muffins (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan)


















Acorn squash muffins. With no gluten. No sugar. No dairy or eggs. Are they any good? I sincerely hope so. I say this with chagrined honesty because I can't lie to you, my dear readers. I made these a while ago and can't remember what they taste like. I recall liking them enough that I saved the recipe. I have a memory of my housemates saying they were good. However, as my cognitive psychology professor liked to tell us, "Brains are funny things. Just because you have a memory of something doesn't mean it actually happened." Good point. Nonetheless, my memory is telling me these were good muffins. Not the kind of good you take to a party, but rather the kind of good you eat for breakfast. You know, the healthy kind.



My intention was to bake these again so I could be sure they were tasty. It makes me nervous to put up a recipe when I've only made it once. But my ND has me on a low-amine diet (more on that to come soon), which means no bananas. And since I don't know how long I'll be avoiding that most convenient of fruits, I decided to share the recipe rather than let it languish in blogger draft limbo. Who wants to wallow in limbo? Not these muffins. They have a destiny, and deserve to be given the chance to shine.


Now I'm imagining my little muffins singing and dancing on Broadway. Like a proud mama, I'll watch them from the front seats, tearing up as they take their final bow. They may not be the prettiest muffins on stage, but bless their hearts, they can dance.

Right. As this post just took a u-turn into crazyville, I think it's bedtime for me. If I stay up too late, this is what happens. My food starts talking to me. And dancing. So goodnight all. If you try these (and I imagine after that stellar introduction, you're really dying to right now), please leave us all a comment and let us know what you think. Honestly. Not only do other readers want to know if they're any good...so do I. I promise if you don't like them, I'll be a good mother and shield my babies from the truth.





















Acorn Squash Muffins
Print-Friendly Option


Ingredients:
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. flax seed meal
3-4 Tbsp. water
2 small/medium ripe bananas
3/4 cup mashed acorn squash
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, spice, and sea salt. Set aside. 
  3. In another bowl, stir together the flax seed meal and 3 Tbsp. of water. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the bananas, acorn squash, and grapeseed oil. 
  4. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients. Add 1 more Tbsp. of water if needed. 
  5. Fill greased mini-muffin tins and bake 20 minutes. 
Makes 18-20 mini-muffins


This post is sheepishly linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

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