Friday

GF Brownies

I had a chocolate craving today and have been wanting to try this brownie recipe from Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess. And let me just say, these brownies are spectacular!


Rich, moist and oh so chocolaty!!! I decided to cut the recipe in half (because I figured there would be less temptation that way...) and they came out perfectly (I baked them in a small glass pan for only 35 minutes.)


I had (notice the word "had" instead of "have" used here...) six extra large fugdy and delicious brownies. Oh my! So, so very good :)


So the next time you get a chocolate craving, go ahead and give these a try! You'll be in chocolate heaven! Here's the recipe.

GF DF White Bread

I have finally, finally found a decent delicious gluten free "white" bread. I'm totally speechless!
Just look at this squishy white deliciousness!
Basic gf white bread is usually not very good - inevitably, it is usually heavy, dry, and grainy in texture.
Lookin' good - yum!


But this tasty white bread is delicious! Completely worthy of taking on any regular gluten-laden sandwich bread on the market.

This is the real deal folks :)

And don't let the "Coconut" in the recipe fool you here - this bread has just the faintest taste of coconut. All you really taste her is lovely bread. Yummmm :)

GF DF Coconut White Bread

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 package instant dry yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup oil (coconut oil - melted, or canola)
1 cup sorghum flour (or superfine brown rice flour)
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch (or flour)
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup ground toasted coconut
2 tsp. xanthan gum

Grease bread pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, then turn oven off.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until mixture foams.

Place flour, starches, coconut and xanthan gum in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Add the eggs and oil to the mixer and blend on medium speed for 1 minute. On low, slowly add the flou mixture in four or five additions, letting it mix well after each addition. Once the dough begins to thicken, mix on high for 1 minute.

Place dough into prepared bread pan, smoothing top of dough. Sprinkle with extra ground coconut, if you like. Place in oven and let raise until top is just above edge of bread pan, about 30 minutes.

Remove bread from oven and let it preheat to 350 degrees. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until top is brown. Turn oven off and leave door open slightly. Let bread cool for about 30 minutes, then remove from oven. Let cool for another 30 minutes. *Makes: 1 loaf

 

Thursday

Greek Quinoa Salad

It's a tradition in our family to have Easter at my brother and sister-in-law's house. Everyone gets together to have lunch and brings a dish or two. There's usually the ham, Freeport Bakery breads, fresh fruit, roasted veggies and (of course) there's dessert! But we tend to bring a variety of salads. We are salad people but not necessarily the traditional types of salad - we like to have fun and experiment with new salads and flavors.
My beautiful niece holding the salad.

This is where being GF is easy! It's so simple to create great tasting and easy gluten free salads. And because I kind of threw this dish together at the spur of the moment, I didn't do any exact measuring. But, actually, I don't think it's really necessary anyway - just go by the taste - add/delete what works for you! This Greek Quinoa Salad can be easily modified to be 100% vegan by omitting the feta and chicken. With all of the wonderful flavors in this salad, you really wouldn't miss them and the quinoa has all the protein you need!

Greek Quinoa Salad

-Chicken Marinade-
4 organic & hormone-free (boneless/skinless) chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping tbsp. each: chopped fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme and garlic
salt and pepper

-Slice each of the breasts in half to form a steak. Blend all of the marinade ingredients together in a large plastic baggie; add the chicken and seal. Place in a bowl in the fridge and let marinate at least 4 hours but not longer than 8 hours (otherwise the acid in the lemon juice will start to cook the chicken resulting in a mushy mess.)
-You can either grill the chicken or bake on a sheet at 350 and 45-55 minutes. Let cool and chop.

-Quinoa-
2 cups golden quinoa, rinsed well
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or water)

While the chicken is marinating, you can make the quinoa. Place the rinsed quinoa in a rice cooker with the stock or water. Set it and forget it! Once it's done, remove the pot from the cooker and fluff. SO easy!

-Salad-
1 large cucumber, peeled/seeded/large dice
1 smallish jar roasted red bell peppers, drained/diced
1/2 of a large jar of capers, rinsed
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained/chopped
1/2 jar kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (I forgot to add these but I know they'd be awesome!)
1/2 cup good Feta, crumbled
1 cup toasted pine nuts or roasted cashews, chopped (I used the cashews-it's what I had)

-Once the chicken and quinoa are cooked, blend together with the above ingredients (you may want to leave out the nuts until just before serving so that they're still crunchy.)

-Dressing-
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or you could use the oil from the artichoke hearts)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
2 tsp. each: chopped fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme 
about 3 cloves garlic, minced

-Blend the dressing together and pour over the salad; toss together. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Finish the salad by adding:

about 8 large mint leaves, chopped

-Blend in. You can chill this for several hours or eat right away. Amazingly delicious either way!

Tuesday

Lunch with Mom at Il Fornaio

Mom outside Il Fornaio on the Capitol Mall

Today, my Mom and I enjoyed a delicious, leisurely lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Il Fornaio. 


Spinach Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Champagne Vinaigrette

We love it because the food is incredible and they're always willing to accommodate our gluten allergy (they make their own GF pasta daily too!) 


GF Salmon & Asparagus Pasta in a Brandy Cream Sauce


They use fresh, wholesome ingredients and cook everything to order.


GF Chicken with a Lemon-Celery Sauce and Tuscan Salad

And the staff is just amazing - so friendly and helpful! 


My Mom with C├ęsar - best waiter ever!

I love the feeling whenever I go there - it's special, you know? 


Zabligone with Peach Sorbet and Fresh Berries

And everyone deserves something special every now and then, right?


Vanilla Bean Gelato with Dark Chocolate Sauce

 Go treat yourself to a delicious GF evening out - you deserve it!


Monday

GF Fresh Fruit Tart

Easter was just beautiful - what could be better than spending time with family and enjoying wonderful food! I made a delicious Greek Quinoa Salad (I'll be posting the recipe soon!), Tiramisu and this yummy Fresh Fruit Tart. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Fresh Fruit Tart

-Crust-
1 pkg. Schar shortbread cookies
2 tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup finely shredded coconut
1/3 cup softened butter

-Pulse/process cookies in food processor until ground. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined and starting to hold together. Press into a 10'' tart pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool.


-Filling-
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar (vanilla sugar would be terrific here)
2 tsp. lemon, lime, or orange juice OR use 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or more to taste)
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
assorted fresh fruit 


-Blend the cream cheese, sugar and juice (or vanilla extract) with mixer until very creamy and smooth. Add the chilled cream and beat on high until light and fluffy. Spread into cooled crust. Top with fresh fruit. *Optional: you can mix 1/4 cup apple jelly with 1 tbsp. water and brush over tart to give it a shiny sheen (it will last longer this way too - keeping the fruit looking fresher longer.) Garnish with fresh mint. Keep chilled until ready to serve.


*Serves: 8-10