I wanted to post this before Thanksgiving, but I still needed to perfect the recipe. Well perfect it is, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Really, this stuffing easily could win in a contest with gluten filled competitors. Serve it with pride (maybe for Christmas), no apologies necessary. And, of course, if you like gluten, you can substitute the sorghum, tapioca and cornstarch for 1 C all purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum. Bake the cornbread the day before you plan to make the stuffing and let it dry out a bit overnight so that it will soak up the chicken stock the next day. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people – if you are serving a crowd, double the recipe, and consider cooking the stuffing in a large crock pot, 1 hour on high and 4 to 8 hours on low, to free up some oven space.

Cornbread

  • 1 C cornmeal
  • ½ C sorghum flour
  • ¼ C cornstarch
  • ¼ C tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 C melted, salted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Pour the batter into a greased square pan and bake for 20 to 23 minutes. Allow the cornbread to cool, then cut it into cubes. Spread the cubes out on a large baking sheet and allow them to dry out overnight.

Stuffing

  • Cubed cornbread
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green apples, diced or 1/2 C sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 T sage
  • 1 tsp thyme (or 1 1/2 T of poultry seasoning for sage and thyme)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • 1 C gluten-free chicken broth

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Saute the diced onion, celery, and carrot in the bacon drippings until everything is very soft. Add the sage and thyme, as well as a little salt and ground black pepper to taste. Add the green apple and cook for another couple of minutes. Toss the cubed corn bread, the sauteed vegetables and the reserved bacon, crumbled, in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Whisk together the egg, heavy cream and chicken broth. Pour the liquid over the cornbread mixture to soften. Cook the stuffing in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is brown on top. Alternatively, you can cook the stuffing in a small crockpot on high for 1 hour and then on low for another 4 to 8 hours.

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Grandma’s creamed corn

November 23, 2009

Grandma Emily

Growing up we had huge Thanksgiving feasts with my large Polish family, hosted by my funny, beautiful Grandma Emily. She and my Grandpa ran several food businesses with the help of their seven children, including a Polish deli and the Grain of Salt lounge in Chicago, and the Rincon Market in Tucson, Arizona. She passed away last year and she is terribly missed. Every year for Thanksgiving I make sure we have some of her famous creamed corn on the table (gluten-free). No, it’s not made from fresh corn…but some dishes from our childhood can’t be messed with. It’s delicious and easy!

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 16z packages frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 C whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter and the cornstarch together (either on the stove top or in the microwave). Stir in the corn, cream, salt and sugar and heat until the mixture has thickened. It will have to get hot enough either on the stove or microwave to bubble a little in order to thicken. Add the fresh ground pepper to taste and serve.

This breakfast casserole is much a like a huge dutch oven pancake, but without the dutch oven. So tasty! You can get creative with the fillings, but this is my favorite version by far. If you are not gluten-free, substitute 1 1/4 C all purpose flour for the sorghum, tapioca and cornstarch.

  • ¼ C salted butter, melted
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 green apples
  • ½ C chopped walnuts, pecans, or gluten-free granola
  • small handful of dried cranberries or golden raisins
  • 1 C milk
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ C granulated sugar
  • ¾ C sorghum flour
  • ¼ C tapioca flour
  • ¼ C cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • juice and zest of 1 small lemon

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease the sides of a 9 X 13 baking dish. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and pour the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Slice the green apples into thin wedges and toss them in the butter mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle the chopped nuts and dried fruit over the apples. Combine the milk, eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat and well combined. Add the flours, salt, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat until there are no lumps in the batter. Pour the batter over the apples. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake until the casserole is set and golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Black Beans and Brown Rice

November 17, 2009

We have a couple friends who spent some time in Kenya, and when they came back to the States they resolved to eat rice and beans once a week in an effort to simplify their lives and diets. This recipe is based on the delicious recipe those friends served to us on occasion. The bacon is optional – it adds great flavor, but you could replace it with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. You could also use a can of rinsed, drained black beans instead of the fresh beans – just stir them in with the green bell pepper 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

  • 1 C dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ½ C chicken broth (gluten-free)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large tomato or 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • handful of chopped cilantro or flat parsley

Cook the soaked black beans in enough water to cover by a couple of inches for about two hours. Drain beans in a colander.

In a large pot cook 4 strips of bacon over medium heat. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Crumble the bacon when it has cooled. Add the diced onion, garlic, cumin and celery to the remaining bacon grease and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the brown rice and cook for another minute. Add the cooked beans, salt, bay leaf and chicken broth. Cover and bring the beans and rice a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, then stir in the diced green bell pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Turn the heat off and let it steam for another 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, squeeze on the lime juice and mix in the diced tomato, crumbled bacon and the chopped cilantro or parsley.

Cinnamon rolls

November 14, 2009

I have very fond memories of my mom popping open a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on holidays or special occasions. If you have done much gluten free baking, you may have realized by now that you will never be able to mimic gluten free breads exactly. Unfortunately, those big fluffy cinnamon rolls really are only made possible by high gluten flours. But don’t despair! Tender, gooey “cinnamon rolls in a can” are definitely within your reach! Indulge in the recipe below, with full fat coconut milk. If you would rather use regular milk, you might want to up the butter to 6T and take the milk down to about 1/2 C, adding more warm milk if the dough is too stiff.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 envelope of rapid rise yeast
  • 1 C sorghum flour
  • ½ C tapioca flour
  • ½ C cornstarch
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 egg
  • 4 T softened butter
  • ¾ C coconut milk, warmed in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds (until 120-130 degrees)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Filling

  • 1 T cinnamon
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  • 2 T melted butter

Grease an 8” round cake pan. Mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the cinnamon roll dough in the order listed. Mix the ingredients for a few minutes with an electric mixer. You should end up with a very soft, sticky dough. Grease your hands liberally and gather the dough into a ball. Place the ball of dough back into the bowl and press it out into a large, oblong disk. Spread the filling over the dough. Roll the dough from one of the longer sides to the other. Grease a sharp knife and cut the dough into 6 to 8 slices. Lay the slices flat next to each other in the round cake pan (don’t worry if they squish a little during the transfer since they are so soft – they will still taste great!).

Place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and turn on the heat to 400 degrees. The cinnamon rolls will rise as the oven heats up (gluten-free breads do not have a long rise time). Once the oven reaches 400 degrees, bake the cinnamon rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are nicely browned on top. Serve while warm.

When butternut squash is in season, we try to eat as much as we can, and it definitely tastes best roasted in the oven! Here is an African inspired, hearty fall meal that will serve about 8 to 10 people. If you are serving some bread enthusiasts, you might want to make two loaves.

Butternut Beef Stew

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper or hot curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ lb beef stew meat
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 6z can of tomato paste
  • ½ C natural peanut butter
  • 4 C beef broth (gluten free)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • juice of a small lemon
  • optional: handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

Potato Bread

  • 1 microwaved baked potato
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 C sorghum flour
  • 1 C tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T melted butter, slightly cooled
  • ¾ C of warm water

Heat the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ground red pepper and salt and let the spices fry for 1 minute in the oil. Add the beef stew meat and the chopped garlic and brown the beef on all sides, in batches if necessary. Add the diced onion and stir, cooking for another minute or two while you open the can of tomato paste. Stir in the tomato paste thoroughly. Add the beef broth, peanut butter and the bay leaves. Simmer for 2 hours.

After you get the stew simmering, prepare the squash and potatoes for roasting. Cut them into 2 inch chunks and toss them with oil to coat and a sprinkle of salt on a large baking sheet or roasting pan.

Prepare the potato bread dough. Scrub the potato and pierce it several times with a fork. Wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it for about 5 minutes. Scoop out the flesh of the potato into a bowl, mash it and let it cool while you mix the dough. Microwave the 2 T of butter and let it cool while you measure out the other ingredients. Add the yeast, flours, salt, sugar, xanthan gum, egg, and melted butter to a mixing bowl. Add the warm water (check the back of the yeast package for directions on exact temperatures) and mix with an electric mixer for three minutes. There is no gluten to develop in this bread, so no intense kneading is required! Add the mashed potato and mix for another minute. Oil your hands generously and form a ball with the dough, placing it in an 8 inch non-stick round or square baking pan.

Place the bread dough on one rack of the oven and turn on the heat to 400 degrees. The bread will rise as the oven heats up (gluten-free bread doesn’t have a long rise time). When the oven reaches 400 degrees, place the veggies in the oven on the second rack and roast them for about 40 minutes, stirring once after twenty minutes to help keep the squash from sticking to the pan. The bread should also bake for about the same time, 35 to 40 minutes. Just don’t let it burn.

Take the bread and veggies out of the oven. Gently fold the roasted veggies into the stew after it has simmered about 2 hours and let it all simmer about 10 more minutes, then turn off the heat and squeeze in the juice of a lemon. You can serve the stew garnished with a little cilantro over steamed white rice or plain, with a chunk of potato bread.

Shortcut brownies

November 8, 2009

I am thankful for the many wonderful gluten-free mixes widely available at grocery stores. One of my favorite mixes is Trader Joe’s (16z) brownie baking mix. This mix has appealed to my pocketbook more than any other product on the market. But take my word for it, your brownies will taste heavenly only if you stray a bit from the directions printed on the back of the bag. Use the mix, but follow my directions below.

  • 16z gluten free brownie baking mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 C) of melted, salted butter
  • ¼ C milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square 8×8 inch baking pan. Mix all of the ingredients above thoroughly in a mixing bowl and pour the resulting batter into the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes on the top rack of the oven. Let the brownies cool at least 15 minutes before cutting them into squares and serving.

Spinach pumpkin pesto

November 5, 2009

This is my favorite pesto and it is wonderful to make this time of year when canned pumpkin is on sale. Toss with gluten-free pasta and top with grilled chicken. It also freezes wonderfully, so while you have the food processor out, you might want to make a large batch and save some for later.

  • ½ C cashews
  • ½ C grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ C dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 9z bag of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 T dried basil or a handful of fresh
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • ½ C pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

In a food processor, pulse the cashews, Parmesan cheese, cranberries, and garlic until the cashews and cranberries are well ground to a paste-like consistency. Add the spinach, basil, olive oil and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture is thoroughly pureed. Thoroughly combine the spinach puree with the pumpkin puree in a bowl.

I have not found a gluten-free green enchilada sauce in a can yet. But I have found that many green salsas, made with very similar ingredients, are free of gluten. So pick up a jar of, say, Herdez salsa verde and treat yourself to some enchiladas.

  • 1 yellow onion, halved and quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 T salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • few shakes of garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 small can of diced green chilies
  • ½ C sour cream
  • couple handfuls of chopped cilantro
  • 3 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 10 corn tortillas (gluten free)
  • 1 16z jar of Herdez green salsa
  • coconut oil and olive oil

Halve a yellow onion and cut each half into quarters. Place the onion into the bottom of a pot along with a bay leaf. Place the boneless chicken breasts on top of the onion and cover with water. Add the salt, sugar and garlic powder, and bring the pot to a simmer. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces). Drain the chicken and onion in a colander in the sink, rinsing the chicken with water to remove any excess salt. Discard the bay leaf. Place the chicken and onion in a bowl and shred with two forks. Add the cumin, chopped green chilies, sour cream, cilantro, and 1 1/2 C of the shredded cheese.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/2 C of the salsa verde into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Pour a little olive oil and a little coconut oil (or the oil of your choice) into a large skillet, so that it covers the bottom of the skillet by about an 1/8 inch. Heat the oil until you see a few bubbles rise to the surface and then turn the heat down to low. You want the oil just hot enough to soften the tortillas, but not hot enough to fry them. Place a tortilla into the skillet with some tongs, a few seconds on each side until it softens. Place the softened tortilla into the baking dish and fill the center with some of the chicken mixture. Roll the sides of the tortilla over the filling and turn it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat the process with the rest of the tortillas. I usually have about 8 enchiladas across the length of the pan and 2 lying the other direction at the bottom of the pan. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining salsa verde and cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is brown and the sauce is bubbly.