Gluten-Free Girl


I have made many loaves of Gluten-Free bread over the last few years, a few flops and a few successes, though none have been spectactular. None have blown my socks off and given me the flavour and texture that I was really hoping for; the flavour and texture of delicious gluten that is.

Once I discovered the absolutely delicious potato bread from the 6th Ave Bread and Deli, I stopped making bread. I’m pretty sure I haven’t made gluten-free bread in close to a year; I just haven’t seen a recipe that sparked my interest enough to be worth making, when I could just eat the stockpile of Potato bread I regularly keep in my freezer.

This weekend, I found Shauna’s post on Gluten-Free Crusty Boule Bread, and it looks delicious and easy to make. This recipe is from the new book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” which apparently has an entire gluten-free section, all of which is touted to be delicious. The recipe can also be found on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Blog complete with pictures of each step (note that the recipe is doubled compared to Shauna’s on ABin5).  The recipe recommends a dutch oven (which I don’t have), so I am going to try the preheated pizza stone method (as described in Shauna’s post).

Now Shauna’s praise and pictures MAY have been enough to win me over, but the promise that the dough can be kept in the fridge for a week and can be used to make pizza crust, naan and even pitas. Now I had to try this bread.

I’m making a half batch (Shauna’s quantities), and am planning on a loaf of bread and some pizza. I do love my GF yeast free pizza crust, but the pictures (and comments) on the ABin5 blog practically made me drool with anticipation. I’m not sure what toppings will be going on the pizza, but at least I know I’ll have a week to make it, so there’s no need to rush (though I anticipate pizza on the menu for tomorrow!!).

For the record, I was able to throw this recipe together and wash up the dishes in about 10 minutes (seriously super fast), which is likely to be a very positive feature of this recipe if it lives up to the hype.  Mommy’s going back to work and time is going to become even more of a hot commodity.

The bread is rising as we speak – I’m so excited!
Happy Baking.

I have never been much for pasta, however I have always loved Lasagna.  As a child, on those special days when my family ordered out and my Mom wanted pizza, my Dad would always order lasagna – I always ate with Dad. 

When I started eating gluten-free, pasta was NOT one of the foods that I cried over losing; it was almost irrelevant.  Almost – I have tried corn pasta, which I don’t mind, however I much prefer Tinkyada and have since learned to give it a good rinse in cool water when I’m finished cooking it.

That being said, I do suffer the occasional craving for pasta and now that I eat the GF variety, I can even manage to eat an entire serving.

Inspired by a co-workers recent chickpea lasagna (sans tomato sauce), the delicious gluten-free lasagna my mother-in-law made Just For Me, and the enormous bowl of chickpea’s that Shauna inspired me to cook, I decided it was time to experiment.  I am suprisingly happy with this dish on it’s first try – if you are able to tweak the recipe and make it even better, be sure and leave a comment and let me know what worked.

Although my husband is agreeable with a fair amount of Gluten-Free eating, if it doesn’t pose too much trouble I will occasionally make two seperate dishes.  In the case of pasta, I have taken to baking in two loaf pans, using the same fillings, but different noodles to accomodate us both.  If the quantities below seem odd – keep this in mind. 

 

Gluten-Free Chickpea Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • Half a box of Tinkyada lasagna noodles
  • Half jar of tomato sauce
  • 1.5 cups cooked Chickpeas*
  • Half box of frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cottage cheese**
  • 1 tsp herbamere seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese***

*You can substitute canned chickpeas – you may not need the whole can
**Ricotta would have been delicious, but I didn’t have any on hand
***I used a mozzarella/edam mix

  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package – remove from water a few minutes early to avoid mushy noodles. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly grease a large loaf pan.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl, mix the chickpeas and pasta sauce.
  4. Drain spinach and place in a medium bowl with ricotta cheese and sprinkle with herbamere. Mix well.
  5. Once cooked, drain noodles and rinse with cool water.
  6. Cover bottom of loaf pan with cooked noodles.
  7. Spoon 2/3 of chickpea mixture onto noodles, sprinkle lightly with grated cheese.
  8. Cover with a layer of cooked noodles.
  9. Spoon 2/3 of spinach mixture over noodles, sprinkle lightly with grated cheese.
  10. Cover with a layer of cooked noodles.
  11. Spoon remaining chickpea mixture over noodles then layer remaining spinach mixture on top.  Sprinkle lightly with grated cheese.
  12. Cover with a layer of cooked noodles – if you have any remaining pasta sauce, spoon it on top
  13. Cover with remaining cheese and bake for about 30 minutes until is brown and bubbly.
  14. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving!

yield: 3 generous servings

I wouldn’t want you to think that in the midst of my hectic schedule, I had forgotten to feed myself. I continue eating the staples, rice, cereal, corn, chicken, vegetables and so on…

But I have been trying recipes too…especially Shuana’s Recipes and boy does that girl know how to cook?! Her recipes continually turn out delicious!

I made her Gingersnaps and my gluten-eating friends raved about how delicious they were…

I made her Potato Pancakes and my husband and I fought over the leftovers…

I made her Pancakes and my husband enjoyed them so much he had seconds…

I made her Oooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies and heard no complaints, but found an empty cookie jar…

I also made her crustless quiche cups, but I burnt them and found them a little boring and bland. I may try again adding an egg yolk or two.

I do peruse elsewhere for recipes, they just rarely perk me up quite the way Shauna’s do. I recently tried Pierogies from another GF bogger, but they didn’t turn out quite as expected. The filling was delicious, but the dough was too sticky, but when I left it in the fridge overnight it got kind of hard. Boiled up and cooked, it just looked like a pile of mush. A tasty pile of mush, but mush nonetheless…

I also got a great new book, Sweet Alternative that is full of delicious recipes that are Gluten, Dairy and Soy free. Of course, I’m not eating sugar these days, but just this week I needed to bake so bad, I baked some cupcakes out of this book and gave them to everyone at work…They all loved them.

Finally, I have been eating PIZZA like its nobodies business, I found a great recipe in Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy for Gluten-Free and Yeast-Free Bean Flour Pizza Crust and boy is it delicious. I fed it to a friend for supper the other day and she said “it just tastes like pizza”…can you ask for a better compliment on GF food? I don’t have time to post the recipe now, but I will…and if you want it, and I haven’t…email me.

I’ve begun to notice that I want to write more often, and I want to write about food. I want to write about what I’m eating, discovering and learning about a gluten-free life. It’s an interesting shift, but not surprising. I love to cook, I love to eat and I love to share my knowledge, so it seems only fitting that my on-again, off-again blog, should become the space for me to do so.

Like most people, I was overwhelmed at first. I felt sick from the residual gluten in my body, and I wanted to cry because it seemed impossible to feed myself. Four months later, and I’m no longer frustrated, instead I am inspired.

I have made friends with my local Galloways, have acquired some Gluten-Free cookbooks, and been inspired by Gluten-Free Bloggers immensely.

One of the first, GF bloggers I discovered was The Gluten-Free Girl, and inspiring she is. Her blog flows nicely and incorporates both life and food in an optimistic and realistic manner. Her recipes look delicious, I have some crustless quiche‘s in the oven, as we speak (I only hope mine are as delicious as hers look) AND the girl has managed to write a book and have it published.

Check out the sidebar, if your interested in GF blogs, I’ve only found a few I really like so far, but I bet the list will grow. I’m so happy to have found such a wonderful community.