All posts in Gluten Free

Seasonal Fruit Cobbler

Peach and Raspberry (this time)

Peeling the peaches is a little time consuming, but well worth it!

I really recommend blanching the peaches (nectarines, apricots, whatever) in boiling water for about 30 seconds. This will make peeling them SO much easier!

Peel 4-5 lbs of fruit
Fruit Filling:
4-5 lbs of seasonal fruit (rhubarb in Spring, apricots in Summer, berries in Fall, apple and pear in the Winter)
1 orange zest
1/2 cup sugar (brown, coconut, raw, mix and match)
2 T cornstarch
pint of berries (if using stone fruit)
Crumble Topping:
1 1/2 cups flour (I use gluten free)
1 cup sugar (brown works nicely)
1/4 t salt
1 cup oats
1/2 lb cold butter, cubed (I use vegan Earth Balance)
Preheat 350
bring a large pot of water to a boil
Butter casserole dish
Immerse the fruit into the boiling water for 30 seconds (can do this in batches, let cool before peeling)
Meanwhile make the crumble topping by combing all ingredients into a mixer and pulsing until it forms a thick/crumbly/pea consistency. Set aside.
Back to the fruit…
Peel and chop the fruit
Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl
Mix well and let sit for a few minutes
Pour into a greased baking pan
Evenly sprinkle the topping over the fruit
Bake for about 1 hour
allow to cool and set a bit before digging in

ready for the best part- the buttery crumble!
LOOK- even enough left to make a little guy for someone special :)

Cornmeal Crust Pizza

I have always loved cornmeal crust pizzas and finally realized it was time I learn to make one. If you have never tried one, it’s time to indulge.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re all aware nothing beats a traditional Italian thin crust pizza, nothing, but, a cornmeal crust does put up a pretty good fight.
Not only are cornmeal crusts hearty and filling, they can also be made gluten free!
Since going gluten free, this has been in the top 5 on my “Gotta Make GF” list!
Not to mention, it has less than 10 ingredients and you don’t have to wait for it to rise like pizza dough, this is a gotta make for sure recipe!
I encourage you to get creative with your toppings. Use whatever vegetable is in season, eggplant, tomatoes, arugula, artichokes butternut squash… have fun with it!
I also decided to throw dried rosemary and thyme into the crust for a little extra flavor.
I made the pesto, I’ll post the recipe one of these days, but store bought can be just as tasty.
I used almond milk and walnut oil in place of milk and vegetable oil. Either works fine.

Yields 2 crusts

1 ¾ cups cornmeal
2 cups GF flour
1 T baking powder
2 t sugar
1 t salt
2 t dried thyme
2 t dried rosemary
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup walnut oil

Goat Cheese
1 Summer squash
2 Small zucchini
Fresh Thyme
2 cloves of roasted garlic (optional)

Preheat 325
Whisk the dry ingredients
Add the wet ingredients, stirring well
Divide into 2 equal portions for 2 pizza crusts (even 3 thinner crusts if you want)
Press one portion into a pie pan with a removable bottom
Bake for 15 minutes

Meanwhile, thinly slice your squash and zucchini

Remove your crust from the oven and spread goat cheese over the warm crust, this makes spreading easier.
Add you pesto
Fan the slices of squash and zucchini
Garnish with thyme and garlic
Continue baking for 12 minutes

This recipe was not taking from this book, but it has been out for a couple of days now and must have been what inspired me

Nonna’s Biscotti

Gluten/Sugar Free and Vegan Almond Biscotti
My Italian grandmother would be disappointed to see what I have done to the family biscotti recipe. But, in my defense, it’s 20-10 and with new research coming out showing the negative effects wheat and sugar have on our bodies, I felt the need to make a few adjustments.
I have recently cut gluten and sugar (except from fruit) from my diet, and I feel great. I have more energy and I’m not bloated and gassy anymore (symptoms of having a wheat allergy).
80% of people are sensitive to wheat, to some degree. I recommend you try just a week with no gluten (and sugar if you really want to take the challenge). I guarantee you will be amazed with how great you feel. Don’t be discourage, there are plenty of things you can still eat (check them out).
I saved some for myself and put the rest in a jar for my brother!
What’s a girl to do with a studio full of cookies anyway?
2 sticks of vegan butter
1 t almond extract
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 Amaretto
3 1/2 cups of G.F. Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1 t salt
1 cup slivered almonds
Preheat 325
In a mixer, cream the butter
Add the extract
While the mixer is on, slowly add the applesauce and liquor
It will not blend together completely, no worries
Sift the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.
You may want to add a little flour if your dough seems too sticky
On a floured surface, roll the dough into logs the size of a broom handle
Bake for 30-33 minutes
Remove from the oven and cut them at a diagonal, about a half inch thick
Turn cut side up and return to the oven to continue baking for about 10 minutes
Cool on a rack
Yields about 30 Biscotti.
I calculated about 55 calories per cookie, and 2 grams of fat! Woohoo!

MexiCali Quinoa Soup

Everything you love about guacamole… in a hearty healthy soup!

This is just a simple quinoa and black bean soup with a little mexican spizzaz to it.
The fresh avocado, cilantro and lime are the key ingredients here…you’re gonna love it!
Refreshing and not too heavy, you can enjoy this soup on a warm summer night
Yields soup for 2 hungry bellies, or 4 small appetizers
Drizzle of Walnut Oil (I recommend using nut oils for cooking)
1/2 onion chopped
Clove of garlic chopped
1 cup of Quinoa
Organic Vegetable Broth
Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Black Beans (I used a can of organic)
1 Tomato chopped
Lime Wedges
Organic Sour Cream
(sprinkled pumpkin seeds would be nice too- get creative)
In a heavy sauce pan heat the oil
Sauté the onion until almost translucent
Add the garlic and quinoa, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds
Pour in Broth and bring to a boil- reduce to a simmer
Add jalapeno, beans and chopped tomato
Simmer, partial cover, until the quinoa is cooked. About 12 minutes
Garnish with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!
Buen Provecho!


A-HA! Tuna TarTare

Ahi Tuna is the tastiest fish in the ocean!

I prefer raw fish over cooked fish- raw is so much more flavorful, and fresh tasting and just melts in my mouth!

For this dish I chose to pair the tuna with avocado and mango because the “theme” I was cooking for was a Summer Seafood dish, but this tuna is fabulous just on its own.
Sushi Grade Tuna
Crushed ginger
Oyster sauce
Soy sauce
Sesame oil, just a couple drops
Chopped cilantro
Cut the tuna into nicely even little cubes
Mix gently with the remaining ingredients
Wonton Crackers:
24 Store bought wanton wrappers
2 T Honey/Agave
1 t Soy Sauce
Sesame seeds
Flax seeds (optional, I thought they looked pretty)
Preheat over to 375
Cut the crackers diagonally and place them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Combine the agave and soy sauce in a bowl.
Brush the mixture onto the wantons.
Sprinkle with seeds
Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
Optional Garnish:
Micro Sprouts
Balsamic Reduction on the plate
Cucumber would be nice too

Simone’s Amazing Rice Medley

My cousin Simone has a big heart and an even bigger appreciation for healthy cooking and living!

Not only does she maintain a healthy lifestyle while living in the states, but also while she travels the world!  She recently spent 3 months traveling in Croatia, Bosnia, Italy, Spain and Portugal, all while continuing to stay fit and eat vegan.  Even I fell off the Vegan Wagon while in Paris- the CHEESE was calling me!  But Simone always stands her ground and isn’t tempted by a country’s cuisine.
Simone staying veg in Spain!
Simone’s Amazing Rice Medley was inspired by Julia Child.  This year for Christmas everyone had to make something from a Julia Child cookbook.  For the many vegetarians and health conscious members in my family this was not an ideal Christmas!  
As many of you probably know, Julia Child’s motto is the more butter, cream and fat the better! 
Really? Ok, if you don’t mind high cholesterol, clogged arteries and high blood pressure, fine.
Simone knew that some changes would definitely have to be made to Julia’s recipe- sorry Julia.
Healthy Change #1: Simone used a mixture of rices like brown, wild and even red.  
Healthy Change #2: Instead of 2 cups of milk, use 2 cups of vegetable stock (no salt added).  
Two simple changes with such big health benefits!
3 types of rice
This recipe makes a ton and lasts a few days in the fridge.  Since Christmas I’ve made a batch ever week!  It goes so well with steamed veggies for a healthy, hearty vegetarian filling dinner!
In French this is called, Puree Freneuse!
(Puree of Rice and Turnips with herbs and garlic)
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup of rice (mix it up! Be creative!)
1 T butter (Earth Balance if making vegan) 
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 t salt
1/4 t Italian seasoning
3-4 white turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
In a heavy- bottomed pot bring the vegetable stock to a simmer.
Add the rice, salt, butter, garlic and seasonings.
Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.
Add the turnips and more stock if necessary (vegetable should be covered with liquid)
Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
And there you have it! So simple and so delicious!

Amaretto Persimmon Bundt Cake

O My Gosh- I have never eaten the batter of anything like I did this! Maybe it was all the liquor that had me licking the bowl clean!

The first time I had a Persimmon Bundt Cake was when my brother Chad (a P.E. teacher at an elementary school) was given one as a Holiday present by a student’s mom.
By the time I finished the cake there was still one more week left of Chad’s Winter Break- which meant I had to wait an entire week before getting the recipe from “The persimmon cake mom”!
During the first week back to school Chad brought me a bag of persimmons and a note that read: “Google Fuyu Bundt Cake”
Ah, yeah!
Thank you Mrs. Persimmon Mom!

The “Fuyu Persimmon Bundt Cake” recipe is everywhere on the internet, and was orignally published in Sunset Magazine in Oct 1978!
Wow, It’s been around for quite awhile- which is why I decided it definitely needed a facelift!

I changed the recipe around a bit to make it healthier and amaretto infused.
My version is Gluten Free and vegan.
I used Gluten Free Flour made from potatoes, which I find can taste a little too starchy. So I went extra heavy on the spices and liquor to cover the starchy taste.
Bob’s Red Mill is a fantastic brand that carries wonderful whole grains, oats, TVP, and all the baking ingredients you could possibley need.

Recipe somewhat adapted:

Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.

Combine and set aside:
3 cups of chopped Persimmons
2 t Baking soda
1/2 cup Amaretto Liquore (optional)

Beat until smooth
1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs – Egg Replacers
2 t lemon juice
3 t vanilla
Mix into the persimmon mixture.

2 cups of Gluten Free Baking Flour (optional, can use regular flour)
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t ground cloves
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
Stir into the persimmon mixture

(chopped walnuts or raisins are a nice optional addition, 1 1/2 cups total)

Pour into prepared bundt pan.
Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack

I thought the Bundt looked a little, well, boring.
So I made a glaze to drizzle on top

1 cup powdered sugar
Add Agave (or maple syrup) and Amaretto A LITTLE BIT at a time until you get the right consistency- not too runny or it’ll run right off your cake!

I like Big Bundts!


Erin’s Persimmon Caprese Salad

Erin? How should I start? We’ve been friends since elementary school and we’re now roomies.
She’s witty and sassy and most importantly has a true appreciation for healthy, local, organic food.  Erin is sure to know how the cow in her bun was raised or if the cheese on her cracker came from a happy goat.  When it comes to big farms, little farms, corporate and family farms Erin knows it all.  If you are willing to listen, she’s sure to make any meat eater think twice before ordering a BigMac. The Truth.

While taking our stroll through San Francisco’s beautiful farmer’s market and seeing all the wonderful produce it was hard to decide on just one dish to make.  Erin spotted the persimmons and knew she could whip up something creative with them.
Erin decided to put a twist on the tradition caprese salad (Italian salad of tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella) and added persimmons!
While at the market Erin stopped at Cowgirl Creamery, a store specializing in organic and local cheese, to grab the freshest mozzarella they had.

The sweet flavor of the fruit really mixes well with the tomatoes, 
mozzarella and balsamic vinagar- well done ErBear!

Yields 6 servings
3 persimmons
2 beefsteak tomatoes- I hate the name :)
1 Ball of fresh mozzarella (buffalo if you can find it)
A handful of chopped fresh basil.
3 T olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar
2 cups of arugula 
Slice the persimmons and tomatoes- discarding any extra watery seeds you’d like.
slice the mozzarella.
Toss well with the chopped basil, sea salt and fresh pepper.
Line a serving dish with the arugula.
Spoon the persimmons onto the arugula and drizzle with good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
emem good…


Cacik is a Turkish yogurt dip that can be eaten with any meal in the day.  To Greeks, and most Westerners, this dish is most commonly know as Tzatziki.  Cacik’s mild, refreshing tastes makes it especially nice paired with hot, heavier foods, like a lamb dish.  Cacik is perfect for dipping vegetable or simply eating alone.

good quality plain yogurt (nice and thick)
one medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
dill, roughly chopped
olive oil
I’m not too worried about measuring for this recipy.  It’d be hard to mess up, it’s so easy.
Chop the Cucumber
Juice the Lemon
Pour in the yogurt
Mix in S&P, dill, 2 T lemon juice and a little olive oil
I enjoy the Cacik on healthy crackers with a salad for lunch


Mom’s Birthday Brunch!

September in San Francisco could not be more perfect, the weather is warm and so many fruits and vegetables are in season, so you can imagine how excited I was to surprise my mom with a birthday brunch party.

The Menu:
Heirloom Tomato & fresh buffalo Mozzarella stacks
BBQ Shrimp on Rosemary skewers
Spanish Style Potato & Zucchini Torte 
Baked Peach Puff Pastry for dessert: recipe
Heirloom Tomato & Buffalo mozzarella stacks:
Yields 6
3 Heirloom tomatoes (different colors if possible)
3 balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
quality extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper 
Slice the tomatoes horizontally into sixths 
Slice the mozzarella into sixths
layer the tomato, mozzarella slices and basil leaves beginning with tomato and ending with the end piece of mozzarella.
garish with basil
drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with corse salt and fresh pepper
BBQ Shrimp on Rosemary skewers:
Yields 6 
about 24 shrimp prepared
fresh rosemary
olive oil
Prepare 12 rosemary skewers:  remove the leaves off the bottom 2/3 of the rosemary branch.
In a food processor combine the removed roesmary leaves, some parsley, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and S&P
Marinate the shrimp in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Skew the marinated shrimp onto the prepared rosemary skewers
BBQ or heat an ungreased frying pan and cook on the stove for about 7 minutes, turning once
Spanish Style Potato & Zucchini Torte:
about 3 potatoes, sliced
about 3 green zucchini, sliced 
one yellow onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 T of any fresh herbs chopped (optional)
6 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil 
preheat 350 degrees F
cook the potato slices in the olive oil- about 20 minutes
transfer and drain the potatoes on a plate lined with paper towels
In an oven proof frying pan…
cook the onion for a couple minutes 
add the garlic
add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes
add the potato and arrange evenly in the pan
In a bowl combine the eggs with 2 T of water, S&P and wisk.
Pour the eggs over the potatoes and zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes moving the eggs around to insure even cooking.  Be sure you’re lifting the bottom of the eggs ensuring that they’re not sticking to the pan.  Be gentle.  Try and keep eggs in the firm shape as the pan. 
Sprinkle on your herbs and cover with a lid.
Bake for 10 minutes
Remove from the oven
Slide your spatula under all edges of the torte ensuring it’s not stuck to the pan anywhere.
Slide your torte onto a platter.