Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Easy GF, DF Pizza in 30 Minutes

I try to test recipes at least 3 times before p:osting to make sure you all get the best results. Recently I've tried this GF recipe from Living Without magazine with nice results. Super easy to make, no kneading or rolling just pour out of the bowl onto your baking sheet, top then bake. Pizza from start to finish is about 30 minutes. I did modify their recipe a tad which involved rolling and turning which did not have any advantages in my experience. Also I used brown rice flour and guar gum for a healthier alternative.

Makes one round pizza or one rectangular pizza.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine together in mixing bowl.
1/4 C arrowroot flour
1/4 C tapioca starch
1/2 cup chickpea or garbanzo flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1.5 tsp guar gum
1 T coconut sugar or agave
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp dry yeast

Mix in a bowl
3/4 C warm water
1 egg or for an egg free alternative 1/2 T flax meal with 1.5 T hot water
1.5 T olive oil
1/4 tsp cider vinegar

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and beat till smooth.

Coat a pizza pan with some olive oil. I use a parchment paper sheet brushed with oil.

Pour dough on to pan and shape with spatula. Brush with olive oil and your choice of sauce. I like to use carmelized onions and mushrooms with pesto sauce.  Bake for 14-16 minutes or till crust is crispy and brown.

In the photo, I added fresh veges and a line of Miso Mayo (a favorite at the house).

Monday, February 25, 2013

1st Annual San Francisco 2013 Gluten and Allergy Free Expo

This year we were privileged to have the GF expo held in San Francisco. There were several informative sessions on different approaches to dealing with gluten intolerance like using Enzymes; the Paleo Diet; How to Eat Out When Traveling; How Celiac and the GF Diet affect your Health. There were numerous cooking demos like Using Super Foods in Baking, GF Gourmet Desserts and Identifying Gluten in Asian Ingredients. The vendor fair was packed with both familiar and new GF products. For those of us with allergies it was heaven. Imagine having a room filled with food you CAN eat- Chips, ice cream, cakes, pastas, corndogs, pizzas, bread, bread and more bread!

One of my favorite was Purely Elizabeth, a woman from NY State making wonderful granola with superfoods like organic chia, amaranth, quinoa, all free of refined sugar. Sweetened with low glycemic coconut or palm sugar, I had to buy a few bags. I hope they market it in the West Coast soon but for those of you who are in the East head out to your nearest store and ask for it.

I tasted the world's first ice cream and cheese made from GF whole grains by Wayfare.  Non GMO and low glycemic, this ice cream was creamy, smooth, not too sweet and absolutely delicious. They had Lemon, Blueberry, Chocolate, Maple and Vanilla flavors. Can't wait for them to be sold at our local Northern California markets. I was skeptical about the cheese but it turned out to be a rather nice tasting cheese for nachos.

Second Helping served plump and juicy Corn Puppies, a GF corn dog with no nitrites, colors, fillers or preservatives that was really quite delicious.

It was inspiring to see these food entrepreneurs presenting their creations. Their offerings were fresh and unique. Some of them taking years to create the perfect mix. We all benefit from their labor of love. There was the South American couple who packaged the roadside treat, Pao de Queijo (recipe which I have featured in one of my previous blogs)  but their company, P*DE*Q has made it easy - keep frozen and bake when ready.

There were several GF flour mixes from companies like ThePurePantry which are sold in many WholeFoods and Blackbird Bakery (yes, the same bakery from the cookbook) who have packaged their flours into professional grade baking products which include a Choux pastry blend and a Bread blend. Review of these mixes will be forthcoming.

Overall, it was much fun in GF heaven. There are several more GF expos this year in different parts of the country, check out their site for the upcoming events.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More GF Bakeries in Portland

A reader brought to my attention that there are many other dedicated GF bakeries in Portland worth mentioning Petunia's Pies and Pastries, Tula, Cravin Ravin and Queen of Hearts to name a few. Unfortunately I did not have time to check it out for all of you but promise to on the next trip. With all those offerings, it sounds like Portland is up there with my hometown of San Francisco with a lot of offerings for those of us on the road. Thank you for those listings! Let's support these bakeries who make a difference for all of us!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mmm Australian Pavlova

I was first introduced to pavlova at a party in Melbourne. Imagine whipped cream cuddled in a large meringue shell that is crispy on the outside with a soft marshmallow-like center topped with kiwi and passion fruit seeds. Wow!

In my search to make this a GF, DF dessert, I tried a variety of low glycemic sugars - agave and coconut but could not get the results perfect. I was able to get good results lessening the sugar by a third yet still get the firm glossy stiff consistency for the shell. Less sugar, same yummy results.

I have tried replacing the whipped cream with soy cream, a cream made by blending a block of firm tofu with agave. It was pretty good however, the best results were from using the product "Mimic Creme" (see my earlier blog on this delicious whipped cream alternative) made with cashews and almond oil. You can try either depending on your allergies with nice results. The key to this is the meringue shell. Here is the perfect recipe for you to try:

4 egg whites, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar (Baker's Sugar gives nice results)
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup Mimic Creme
Fruit of your choice - kiwis, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, rasberries - wash well

Preheat oven to 280.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Slowly add in sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Beat till still glossy peaks form. Your meringue should be stiff enough to form.
Sprinkle vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla over meringue and fold with a spatula.
Spread the meringue on the baking sheet. Shape into a large circle with an indented center similar to making a bowl. This center or well will allow your cream to sit in the middle.
Bake for about an hour until the meringue is light brown.
Turn off oven and leave door slightly ajar and let meringue cool. As it cools it may crack slightly.
When ready to serve, remove from oven, place on a plate
Whip Mimic Creme for about 3 minutes.
 Fill meringue with cream and top with fruit.
Serve immediately.
Note: Do not assemble till ready to eat or the meringue will get soggy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

San Francisco's GF stars

Always progressive, the San Francisco Bay Area has a huge selection of GF finds.

Draeger's grocery has the largest selection of GF foods in the Bay Area. Shown here are their refrigerated section, not shown is an equally impressive selection of dry goods. They hold a regular GF food faire to introduce their new GF DF products. It is a personal crusade for Draeger's as there is a family history of GF sensitivity.

The local Whole Foods are also wonderful about promoting GF products from the area resulting in an impressive selection of GF, DF offerings like ice creams made of everything from cashews, coconuts, soy and goat milk as well as kale, rice and quinoa chips. If you can't find a restaurant that serves your GF needs, head to your local Whole Foods.

For bakeries, there are two in the Bay Area that are exclusively dedicated GF bakeries, the Zest Bakery in the SF Peninsula and Mariposa in the East Bay. It's at the Zest Bakery in San Carlos where I had the most delicious turkey sandwich stuffed with cranberries and vegetables. The bread was possibly the best anywhere - soft but firm enough to hold a 2 inch sandwich together. Wow! The bakery also has an assortment of GF goodies from cupcakes to breads. I took home a bag of fresh ravioli which cooked up perfectly for dinner. It's nice to have an alternative so close to home.

Mariposa Bakery has an extensive selection of non wheat alternatives. They are sold at their bakery in Oakland and a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. In addition, their products are sold at local Whole Foods in the area. Their "Peguins", a cream stuffed chocolate cupcake, are one of their best sellers. A few friends swear by their crisp and tasty pizza crusts. They carry cinnamon rolls (unfortunately, the two times I bought them they were raw in the center, I almost thought they were a cookie dough??), cakes, a variety of breads. They have recently expanded from a little kiosk in the San Francisco Ferry building to a storefront there. They're market is surely growing as fast as their product line. 

Other places to enjoy GF DF meals are restaurants like Cafe Gratitude in SF and Marin County, Loving Hut and Lyfe Kitchen in Palo Alto and of course, Lydia's in Fairfax. Cafe Gratitude and Lydia's are raw food restaurants so by nature they are wheat, dairy and egg free. Pictured here is a raw cheesecake made with a date nut crust and cashew cream with strawberries - a perfect GF, DF dessert!

Loving Hut is vegan but you can ask for their GF substitutes like the burrito made with a teff wrap which is divine. The new sustainable healthy Lyfe Kitchen offers a dedicated GF menu for their patrons.

If you're craving for Italian food, restaurants like Amici's Pizza and Osteria Coppa in San Mateo have GF Pizza and pasta alternatives. Now the dairy is always a problem in Italian restaurants for me, so cheese on the side for the pasta or if all else fails, a salad with a poultry entree is my fallback.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Cascadia Traditional Bakery - Portland, Oregon

This is a must destination when visiting Portland. It currently is the only dedicated GF bakery in Portland. (On March 2012,chef Leila Elliott, was recently competing on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network episode with 3 other vegan bakers.)The bakery is warm and inviting. A perfect spot for breakfast. I left there with a suitcase full of different breads and pastries which I handcarried back to San Francisco.

Here's my breakfast of Apple Pie, an Apple Galette and a soy hot chocolate. Wow! This was as close to a perfect start to the day as I can think of. OK, a picture is worth a thousand words, need I say more???!! Check out their offerings! When in Portland, make this your first stop.