Eggplant Parmesan

I received a bounty of eggplants from my CSA share last summer, so I had ample opportunity to perfect this recipe.

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 2 cups gluten free bread crumbs (I use Udi’s bread, which is truly the best.  My trick: Cut off the crusts from my son’s bread before I make his PB&J, grind the crusts into fine crumbs using a coffee grinder, and keep them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Gotta be frugal when a small loaf of GF bread costs $5, right?)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (check labels)
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • small jar of marinara sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (check labels)

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick spray or a light rub of olive oil.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a pie plate or other wide shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.  In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the olive oil.  Dip an eggplant slice into the egg/olive oil and place it in the crumb mixture.  Use a spoon to scoop crumbs onto the top of the eggplant and press down gently across the top of the slice to help the coating to stick.  Gently shake off excess crumbs and place coated eggplant on the cookie sheet.  Repeat with the rest of the eggplant slices and arrange in a single layer on the cookie sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Remove the eggplant from the oven and spoon some marinara sauce over each slice.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Put back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with gluten free penne pasta and extra marinara sauce, if you like.  Wonderful as leftovers, too.  Mm-mmmm!

DeBoles Rice Lasagna

Think you need to give up lasagna, now that you’re cooking gluten-free?  Not so!  DeBoles makes these great rice lasagna noodles.  Even better?  You don’t need to boil them first!  Just assemble your favorite lasagna recipe, pop your dish in the oven, and let your family enjoy some comfort food.  I’ve found these available at most grocery stores or “natural foods” markets.  Buon appetito!

Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal

So glad to see more convenience foods entering the gluten free world!  Glutenfreeda makes this fantastic instant oatmeal with certified gluten free oats.  The price on Amazon is about the same per box as Quaker instant oatmeal.  Plus it’s made with only natural ingredients, including flax, and healthier for you.  This instant oatmeal comes in four flavors: natural, apple cinnamon, maple raisin, and banana maple.  Go enjoy quick oatmeal again.  You’re welcome.

Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti

Tinkyada makes our favorite gluten free spaghetti noodles.  They have a wonderful not-mushy texture, great taste, and are made with brown rice and rice bran, so they have extra fiber.  Makes me not miss “regular” spaghetti noodles at all.  If you can’t find this in your local grocery store, you can order it from Amazon.

Bob’s Red Mill Brownie Mix

The same sweet friend made us gluten free brownies too!  She used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix.  Rich and fudge-y.  Very good.  My son was delighted to have a treat made special for him.  One note: My friend was thrown off by the instructions calling for “gluten free vanilla” and left it out to be safe.  According to our Children’s Hospital nutritionist, vanilla flavoring used to be considered iffy because it is often extracted using grain-based alcohol.  Now they know that any distilled alcohol is gluten free, regardless of the grain source… so all vanilla extract should be naturally gluten free.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Another sweet friend brought us dinner a few weeks ago (we’ve had an army of very sweet friends helping us out lately) and she made us a wonderful homemade pizza using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust.  Nice texture, light and crispy.  Flavor was not very strong, but it complemented sauce and toppings well.  No funny after-taste like lots of gluten free products can have.  Made with whole grains including brown rice, millet, and sorghum.  High in fiber (4 grams per serving).  My friend reports it was really easy to make.  My son loved it too.  I’m happy to know it will be worth the effort for me to make this for our family again.

UPDATE: Today my son asked for the pizza [his friend's] mom made, so I tried this out for myself.  As advertised, it was very simple to make.  Not quite as simple as pulling out a ready-made crust, but still pretty easy (even for someone with a serious yeast-anxiety).  This time I split the dough in two and saved half in the fridge for later.  Then I coated the bottom of a round cake pan with oil and made a sort of deep-dish pizza crust in that.  Turned out really great.  Both kids loved it.  Between the two of them, they literally ate the whole thing!  Will definitely make this again.

Meatloaf

A classic comfort food and a favorite at our house… made with gluten free oats and a few hidden veggies.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup ketchup and/or BBQ sauce (check labels)
  • 1 packet onion soup mix (check labels)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded veggies like zucchini, spinach, or carrots (optional)
  • 1 egg

Mix ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl (you might have to use your hands).  Pack into a bread pan and cook at 350 degrees for 60 – 90 minutes.  Drain fat midway if necessary.  Enjoy with mashed potatoes and  your favorite green veggie.

Bûche de Noel

One of my husband’s family traditions for Christmas is serving a “Bûche de Noel” or yule log for dessert.  Since my wonderful mother-in-law was visiting us for the holidays this year, I enlisted her help to teach me how to do it.

I just substituted an all-purpose gluten free flour and it turned out great.  Still a lot of work for me to commit to making it every Christmas, but it was fun anyhow.  Could easily be changed around with different flavorings or colors.  Happy Holidays!

Grease a cookie sheet 10” x 15” x 1/2” and cut a piece of brown wrapping paper or parchment paper to fit.  Grease paper well.

Cake

  • 6 TBSP gluten free cake flour (I used Jules Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour)
  • 6 TBSP cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs – separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Sift together first four ingredients three times.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Gradually beat in half of the sugar.  Reserve.  Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored.  Add remaining sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy.  Gradually mix in dry ingredients, and mix until batter is smooth.  Add a small amount of egg whites if batter is too thick to stir.  Gently fold in egg whites.  Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (Do not overbake – chocolate scorches easily).

Sprinkle clean dish towel generously with powdered sugar.  Loosen cake from pan and invert onto towel.  Remove paper.  Roll up cake in cloth to a roll 10” long.  (The towel will be inside the cake).  Cool on rack for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove towel.  Fill and decorate.

Filling

  • 1 cup whipping cream whipped with sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp mint flavoring
  • green food coloring

Mix together and use to fill roll.  Cut ends of bûche on diagonal.

Icing

  • 1 cup whipping cream whipped and sweetened to taste

Put 3 TBSP cream in individual spoonfuls on bûche to represent knots.  Color the rest of the icing with cocoa powder to a light brown.  Spread cream icing on and comb lightly with a fork to represent bark.  Dust with cocoa if desired.  Decorate with cherries and leaves of holly.

Gluten Free Corn Muffins

Just made some key adjustments to the basic corn bread recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  The sweet potato puree (my addition) is critical for making the muffins moist instead of dry.

  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour with xanthan gum (I use Jules’ Nearly Normal flour mix)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6 oz jar sweet potato puree (stage 3 baby food)

Lightly grease muffin pan, or use muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt) together in one bowl, and all the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, oil, sweet potato puree)  in another bowl.  Then pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix until well blended.  Pour batter into muffin cups and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  My family all LOVED these.  Wonderful served with chili.

Easy Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

When I was preparing some side dishes for Thanksgiving last year, I researched how to make a traditional green bean casserole that’s gluten free.  I found lots of recipes that involved making your own cream of mushroom sauce, and your own fried onions (like this one here from Gluten Free Mommy, which looks delicious)… but the idea that I found the most liberating was using a few convenient substitutions to the classic recipe on the back of the Campbell’s soup can.

Just mix the green beans with a can or two of Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup (depending on how big a casserole you are making) and stir in some crushed Funyuns, and whatever other special seasonings you like (pepper, soy sauce, etc. – check labels).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.  Add more Funyuns as a topping and bake another 5 minutes, until golden.

This turned out great and was super easy.  I feel like gluten free issues complicate Thanksgiving enough, so I appreciate any “shortcuts” that can alleviate part of the holiday cooking stress.