Tag Archives: lactose-free

blackberry and endive salad

blackberry-and-endive-salad-webSometimes it’s the simple things that are best.

Like something bitter with something sweet, something crunchy with something soft, something healthy with something full of flavor.

endive

In summer, all I want is things that are hydrating and things that give me energy.  Since compromising taste is simply something that cannot be had, that’s just a given.  This salad was a pleasant surprise of things in my fridge and a tender summer moment in the kitchen.  Endives are rather bitter and I find them difficult to eat at times, but combined with the sweetness of the berries and the musk of either the cheese and/or the pumpkin seeds, you’re lookin’ scrumptious.

blackberries-webBlackberry and Endive Salad

Ingredients: 1 endive (cut into thin slices), 1 small box of blackberries (cut into fourths), 1/4 cup soft goat cheese and/or ground pumpkin seeds, 1 1/2 tbs. high quality balsamic or sherry vinegar, 2 tbs. grapeseed or olive oil, a large pinch sea salt, a large pinch paprika

Method: If using goat cheese, put it on the edge of a mixing bowl.  Add endive and (optional) seeds, olive oil and vinegar.  Mix with a knife, scraping up the edges of the cheese, so that all is coated.  Slowly mix in blackberries.  Salt and paprika to taste.  Serve alongside your favorite tartine in a little mound topped with a few leaves of baby basil for something charming.

 

 

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inverted oreo cake

interted oreo cake gluten freeIt’s like a dream, an inverted, chocolate-laced, cheesecake flavored twisted reverie of a treat loved past.

If I were a professional nature show host, I might say that what we’ve got here, mate, is a very rare breed.  “It seems to resemble oreo, yes, that’s sure.  Only that it’s a little more like a brownie, and makes me feel good when I eat it.  It seems to be a little short on the gluten, and, oddly, instead of having an overly sweet filling, it tastes like cheesecake.  I reckon we better let this lil bugga into the wild for all to enjoy.”

piping frosting

This is why I don’t host a nature show?  –amongst many reasons… um yeah.

I’ll stick to the kitchen: It’s also nut, corn, and egg-free, and can be vegan if you want it to be.  Lactose is either minimal or very optional.  ahhh, makes more sense.  ;)

flax seed blender

adding flax seed goo to dry ingredients

This recipe came about when I was playing with ways to combine blended flax seeds and cocoa powder.  I really wanted something sweet, and did not want to intake a ton of sugar.  Egg whites don’t sit well with me, so the flax seeds and I have been spending lots of time together in pastry land.  The result was unexpected and beautiful inside and out.  (Inside and out of me and the cake itself.)

So, without further adieu, here’s our little shining star.

plated oreo cakeinverted oreo cake

gluten, butter, egg, corn, soy, nut – free

vegan options!

cake:
7 tbs. flax seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs. agave nectar
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar (1/2 cup sugar for those who like it sweet)
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. rice flour
1 tbs. arrowroot starch (flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbs. neutral oil (grapeseed ideal)

frosting:
1/2 cup mascarpone or vegan cream cheese
2 tsp. rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
4 tsp. powdered sugar (this is not too sweet, but just right for me.  if you’d like it more sweet add another ~2 tbs. powdered sugar to taste.)

soak time: 6 hours (or overnight)
preparation time: 15 minutes
cook time: ~30 minutes
yields one large/two small inverted oreo cake (serves 6-8 depending on serving size)

1. Prepare cake: soak flax seeds in water in a covered container for 6 hours room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).  Blend both water and flax seeds with vanilla, agave nectar, and sea salt until white and few traces of seed shells remain.
3. In separate large bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add flax seed mixture and oil.  Combine until homogenous.

dry ingredients cocoa powder flours

batter oreo cake
4. Prepare one large brownie pan or two small cake pans with a thin layer of oil/cooking spray and a dusting of rice flour.  (You want the batter to spread out to be about an inch thick, no more.)
5. Spoon batter into prepared cake molds and bake for about 30 minutes, until center is solid and top is crusted.  Remove from heat, let cool entirely before frosting.

oreo cake pre-frostingmascarpone frosting in bowl
6. Prepare frosting: mix all ingredients until homogenous.  Transfer entirety of frosting into a piping bag with a large circular tip.
7. Finish cake: pipe parallel and equal rows of oreo-filling size circles onto the top of your cake as shown in the photos.  Cut into a square or rectangle for something classy, and serve, ideally, in a square or rectangle shape with a few strawberries and perhaps a glass of bubbly?

cutting cake

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gluten-free teff BAGUETTE

cooked baguetteswhen the goin’ gets teff… (first and last bad joke, I promise)

brushing oil teff breadoh baby

teff milkTeff flour has been one of my favorite substitutes for wheat flour for a while now.  Teff milk was a new discovery today: I’m not sure that rice milk is the best thing to consume out of the lactose-free milks as it’s basically just sugar.  It’s not bad, but it’s not rich, either.  Teff milk has now been my favorite dairy-free milk for one day.  A whole day.  And now night.

It’s real here: baguette is something that surpasses stereotype.  It surrounds the daily function of the Parisian, clings to the backs of those dedicated enough to leave an opening in their backpacks for the long strand of yeast-risen staple, breaks beneath the fingers of the eager who cannot make it home without finding the tip missing.  Yup, baguette’s a thing.  And today I wanted one real bad.  That’s when I found teff flour for the first time in grocery stores here.  Sha buy yah roll call

teff bread demi baguetteI think you’ve gotta be a bit of a geek to make it in this world.  Tech-y stuff is all over, and what’s slightly paradoxical is that I’ve found the more I give up my old ways of traditional-is-better-because-it’s-more-human, unless I actually want to go Neanderthal, it’s hit me that these new advances in images and sound and things with computers and wires can actually make the human things we do more interesting.

shaping baguetteIt’s not like the computer made the baguette.

I say this because you may notice that these pictures look slightly better than the past.  That’s because technically they are.  I’ve succumbed to, with the greatest pleasure, an actual camera.  It’s manual, I control things like aperture and shutter speed, and photoshop is now something taking up space in my hard drive.  In between washing off the teff flour and gluten-free yeast from my hands,  I spent my first day with my new ally in the kitchen.  And then ate some baguette so I’d have something pretty to share with you.  Of course, that was the only impetus to construct a plate like this.

plated breadExcuses are lovely sometimes.

Teff Baguette

-vegan-

-gluten, nut, soy, dairy, egg, and corn free-

ingredients: 2 tbs (21 g) flax seeds, 3 tbs (41 g) hot water, 1/4 cup (50 g) + 1/3 cup (75 g) teff milk [can substitute water], 3/4 cup (90g) teff flour, 3/4 cup (100 g) brown rice flour, 2 tbs (16 g) arrowroot starch/flour, 8 g yeast, 1/4 tsp (a large pinch) sea salt, 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar

method: In small bowl, pour hot water over flax seeds.  Let soak 20 minutes.  Combine flax seed mixture with 1/4 cup teff milk (or alternative dairy-free milk or water) until puréed.  Set aside.

flax seed mixCombine all dry ingredients in large bowl, adding salt at the very last second before you add liquid.  (Salt will kill the yeast if left too long without the sugar to feed on.)

dry ingredientsAdd flax seed mixture and half of the teff milk.  Knead with hands.  Add honey/agave nectar and remainder of milk and more if needed to get a moist dough that is not sticky.  If too dry, add more milk or a bit water.  If sticky, add a bit of rice flour.  Knead for about 5 minutes, form into a ball, and let rise in bowl covered with wet towel.

kneading doughcovered rising doughKnead again for 5 minutes, separate into three balls for mini baguettes, two balls for demi baguettes, or keep whole for a large baguette.  Roll into a cylinder, then taper out the edges.  Place on a prepared baking sheet (silicon mat and a light oiling will do quite well) and flatten a bit in the middle, and then fold in both edges (see photo at beginning of post).  You’ll make a bit of a smushed taco.  Flip over (the smush is the bottom of the baguette) and make lines with a small knife on the top.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise about 1 1/2-2 hours minimum.*  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake bread for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with a fine layer of oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place back in oven turned the other way, for even cooking, and bake another 10 minutes.  If the inside or bottom is not cooked through, reduce heat to 375 F (185 degrees C) and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  This really varies upon the size of your baguette and your oven.  Remove from heat, let cool to touch, and consume within a day for freshness.  To keep longer, keep it in the freezer until use.

*If preparing the night before, keep covered in the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours the next day.

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inspiration: HEALTHY BANANA CREAM PARFAIT

banana cream parfaitLeftovers, I love you so.

I guess this is bizarre that I consider cookies still left uneaten in a package of store-bought pastry “leftovers”.  You see, I have been working hard lately, and brought a package of gluten-free vanilla shortbreads (amazing ones, by the way… check them here) to give me and my comrade some energy.  Somehow, somehow, we did not eat all of them.  They are, thus, leftovers.

sables vanille victor vanille

As it will be, with the working hard comes the hunger, the hard hunger, the hunger that wants to devour things like leftovers the day after the hard work has a taken a brief pause.  With a banana, some vanilla, and a probiotic yogurt I found in my fridge, I found a cure to that hunger.  And an inspiration for a healthy and digestible version of the classic banana cream pie.

banana cream parfaitingredients: 1 serving plain yogurt of choice (dairy or non-dairy); 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla; 1/2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (or more for sweet tooths); 4 small gluten-free cookies (vanilla flavor recommended, chocolate works, too); 1/2 banana cut into thin slices

method: Mix together the yogurt, vanilla, and honey or agave nectar in a bowl.  Set aside.  Crumble 3 of the cookies into crumbs, break the last into 1 cm cubed pieces.  Set aside.  In a glass verrine or narrow glass, add 1/3 of the yogurt, 1/2 of the bananas, and 1/2 of the cookie crumbs.  Repeat with another layer of yogurt and add the larger chunks of cookies atop this layer.  Cover with the final layer of yogurt and top with crumbs in the center.

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5-minute pizza bread and herb salad dinner

pizza bread and herb saladThere are days when you (I) want to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, tasting every bit of seasoning, perfectly brunois-ing that shallot until it disappears into thin flavor air, geeking out on how amazing it would be if I could infuse smoked rose into something.

And then there are days like today, when after driving 4 and a half hours in rush hour traffic to return home from a weekend in Burgundy (not bad, not bad), I want to do nothing more than have a few slices, a glass of wine, and a Kubrick film I’ve not seen yet.

Bourgogne drive homeThis is France’s version of a rest stop.

There’s really something I miss about living in New York, or Portland, or even LA (gasp!) for this reason: gluten-free “fast” food is so available and us Americans have gotten really creative in making it taste good.  Tonight, I had no PIE by the Pound or Mississippi St. Pizza to call upon.  I have a local organic store down the street that sells gluten-free bread, and some organic Italian tomato paste in my fridge.  And garlic.  But saying I have garlic in my kitchen is like saying I have a kitchen.

I skipped down the street, more like trotted as my ankle is killing me, to the organic store and found some gluten-free buckwheat loaf, and meanwhile found the aroma of the fresh mint in the produce section to be an irrevocable calling for purchase.  Pizza and mint are not my usual idea of a dinner combination, but I’m gonna follow the old nose tonight.

gluten free pizza bread

mint, parsley, and tomato paste

Bless you naval cavities, you did good.  Within 5 minutes of arriving home, I diced up some garlic, put the extra vegetables I had in my fridge through both sorts of Japanese mandolins I have at home, and popped a combination of Italian flavors topping the gluten-free bread in the oven on broil.  What developed was nothing short of a delicious and surprising combination of flavors!

There are nights you want to spend hours dancing with your ingredients.  There are nights like tonight where I think I could now dance for hours after only spending minutes with them.

gooey pizza bread gluten freePIZZA BREAD (serves 1 as dinner, 2 as appetizer)

ingredients: 3 slices your favorite gluten-free bread; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tbs. tomato paste (organic if possible); 1/2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (dried works, too); a large pinch dried oregano; 1 tbs. olive oil; a large pinch sea salt or pecorino or parmesan cheese (low in lactose) or vegan parmesan shreds (both optional but good additions if possible)

method: Pre-heat oven to broil preset.  Top with garlic, olive oil, parsley, and oregano.  Top with tomato paste.  Spread with spatula or finger until evenly distributed.  Top with cheese or vegan cheese or sea salt.  Broil for about 5 minutes, until top has browned and caramelized a bit.

HERB SALAD (serves 2 as a side)

ingredients: 6 red radishes, cut into thin spheres; 3 tbs. fresh parsley leaves; 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves; 1 carrot or 1/4 jicama cut into thin julienne (optional); 2 cups baby lettuce leaves of choice; 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar; 2 tbs. high quality olive oil; a pinch sea salt; a dash paprika

method: mix all ingredients in salad bowl and serve.

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