Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A happy gluten-free Thanksgiving to you!

Are you looking for last-minute gluten-free thanksgiving recipes? If so, click here to view all the recipes I've tagged under my "Thanksgiving recipes" tag.

In particular, check out my delicious Gluten-Free Stuffing with Dried Fruit, a kosher gluten-free adaptation of a family recipe.

And here are some links to other blogs' gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes:

Gluten-Free Cooking School
Karina's Kitchen (Egg-free, Dairy-Free)
A Gluten-Free Guide
Elana's Pantry (flour-free, alternative sweeteners)

Have a happy and healthy one, everybody!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Creamy Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup [Vegan & Pareve]

Here I am to apologize for yet another long absence from blogging, dear loyal readers. Being a full-time dietetics student is taking a lot out of me, combined with chronic health issues that have been wearing me down. I miss blogging regularly, I really do. I miss having a real back-and-forth with my readers and the excitement of trying and posting new recipes and photos all the time. Fortunately, I'm finally starting to feel way better. It's also autumn, which always makes me want to cook and bake. I made an amibitious and wonderful feast for Shabbos last week. I was recovering from a root canal (what fun) so I focused on soft, easy-to-chew foods. We had butter beans sauteed with fresh rosemary, white wine, red pepper flakes and onions (a perennial favorite of ours)... mashed potatoes... spinach sauteed with lemon zest and garlic... and though I rarely make dessert, I actually made two! We had baked apples... and a crumb cake made from Gluten-Free Pantry's Coffee Cake Mix, which was out of this world!

But the highlight of the meal wasn't the decadent dessert, it was the homeade Creamy Butternut Squash & Parsnip Soup. We are both big fans of Pacific Natural Foods' Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and Imagine Foods' Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, which are both kosher (pareve), vegan and gluten-free. We always keep a few containers in the house and eat this otherwise dairy-free soup with a little low-fat sour cream (or my vegan cashew sour cream) and some spicy toasted pumpkin seeds on top - I find it's a healthy and easy way to make a salad or other light fare into a real meal. Soup is also great to fill up on when you're watching your caloric intake, as it's very filling. It is often low in calories, especially if you avoid cream-based or meat-based soups.

I decided to try making butternut squash from scratch for the first time ever, this time around. I wanted to do something a little different, and at the market the parsnips looked fat and wonderful so I decided to give them a shot. The soup turned out to be fantastic, with a perfect swirl of sweet and savory flavors, and I hope some of you will try it out and let me know if you agree. It's got a little kick to it, so reduce the cayenne if you're not into that. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving. It has a thick and creamy consistency but if you like yours a bit thinner, just add more broth, rice milk or water. I haven't frozen it yet but from my experience freezing soups, this one should freeze quite nicely.

Though homemade is always the best, there are times when we can't cook soup from scratch. For those occasions, there happens to be a promotion right now where if you order Imagine Foods' Creamy Butternut Squash Soup through the link I provided you can save 15% if you enter the code HAINGF25 at checkout. [Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 30%. Offer valid through October 31, 2009].

Happy fall!

[Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free / Soy-Free / Vegan / Pareve ]

Yield: About 10 servings

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 lbs of cleaned, trimmed butternut squash (approx. 2 medium squash)
2 large parsnips, peeled
2 medium onions, peeled & roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cups vegetable broth (if I don't have homemade I use this kind)
2" piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup amber agave nectar (or other sweetener)
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 1/2 cup rice milk

Cut cleaned, trimmed butternut squash into chunks or slices (about 1 1/2" in size, maximum). Slice peeled parsnips into 1/2" slices. Remove thyme leaves from woody stalks. Discard all but the leaves.

Heat large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add onion and sautee until it begins to brown. Add garlic, squash, parsnip and thyme. Stir and sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, ginger and all spices and herbs. Vegetables should be almost covered by vegetable broth, but it's fine if they're not completely covered. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on medium heat until the squash and parsnips are soft.

Once the vegetables are soft, turn off heat, mix in rice milk, and allow to cool a bit (I transfered the soup to a bowl to allow it to cool more quickly). Once it's cool enough to blend safely, either use an immersion blender to puree or carefully blend in a regular blender. If you use a regular blender and the soup is still warm or hot, do not fill more than half way - Blend in batches, and as you blend each batch return it to the pot on the stove. You can reheat the soup over low or medium-low heat before serving, if necessary. Add more rice milk or vegetable broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.
This soup reheats well after freezing or refrigeration. Using a double-boiler or a heat diffuser, or adding a little extra liquid, will help avoid scorching when you reheat.

Serve plain or garnish with sour cream, vegan sour cream substitute and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Un-Cooking: Strawberry-Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

I just posted one of my partner Rochel's recipes and I thought I'd share another. I feel silly posting this as a recipe because it is is less of a recipe than a list of ingredients, but it's so addictively tasty that I wanted to share it with you all. We make this with inexpensive kosher goat cheese we buy a huge log of for around $4 at Costco.


[ Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Soy-Free ]

Romaine lettuce, chopped or Boston lettuce, torn
Ripe pear, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Goat cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, a little dijon mustard and some raspberry jam or pomegranate juice to sweeten it a bit)
Optional: Pecans

On each plate put a generous amount of romaine lettuce, then arrange strawberries, pear slices and slices of goat cheese in an attractive way. Sprinkle with pecans (optional) and drizzle with dressing right before serving.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Un-Cooking: Rochel's Purple & Orange Cabbage Salad

On this blog's Facebook fan page I mentioned that I was writing a blog post about a dish that's purple and orange, and I gave people a chance to guess. Mary Frances got it right on the first try, but I loved some of the other ideas - My mom picked "sweet potatoes and eggplant" and another fan picked "blueberry, orange and almond pie," both of which sound quite delicious.

But Mary Frances was right because she knew that since it's almost summer, I must be blogging a cabbage salad... yet again! Summer also means that it's time for more "un-cooking" - Recipes that can be made during hot weather without making your kitchen any hotter than it already is. I've posted before (a million times) about the cabbage salads that we live on all summer long, which are wonderful and crisp when freshly made but just get better and better the longer they sit in the refrigerator absorbing their dressing. The difference with this salad is how beautiful it is to look at - Bright orange and deep purple (my dad's favorite color combination). It brings a splash of color to an otherwise neutral-looking plate. In this case dinner was bean tacos and plantains. I hope the colors will appeal to some of my readers' vegetable-hesitant children.

But this is not my recipe, folks! Nope, I had no part in it. This is the foodblog debut of my wonderful partner Rochel's mad cooking (or in this case un-cooking) skillz. That's her picture over on the right hand side of this post. I made the tacos and fried the plantains, but Rochel insisted on making the cabbage salad herself so this recipe is 100% hers. The only change I made is to mention some optional alterations to the recipe. The spices don't have measurements because you'll need to spice this to suit your own tastes and your family's. Just be sure to make the cumin flavor strong... and don't skimp on the salt, either.

Rochel, you officially win the Prettiest Cabbage Salad Award for 2009. Your reward is flatulence my appreciation for how much of the cooking you've been taking on lately, plus some extra effort on my part to stop being such a kitchen dominatrix. Thanks for gently pushing me to learn how to let someone else into "my" kitchen.

For more easy "un-cooking" recipes for hot weather click here.


[ Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free / Pareve / Vegan / Soy-Free ]

1/2 of a large head of purple cabbage
1 orange bell pepper
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 to 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Optional: Canned mandarin orange segments or chopped pieces of fresh orange
Optional: Small amount of agave nectar, honey or other sweetener

With a sharp knife, cut 1/2 a purple cabbage into several wedges, then slice thinly across the wedges width-wise. Alternately, if you have a food processor, you can use its shredder function to shred the cabbage. Remove stem and seeds from the orange bell pepper and cut into long, thin slices. Combine cabbage, carrots, pepper and cilantro into a large bowl. Combine spices, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl and then pour over the salad. Stir gently, making sure all of the vegetables are coated in the dressing.

Serve at room temperature. Stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and increases in flavor over time. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.

This recipe has been posted as part of Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly blog event hosted this week by Eat This.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To-Die-For Passover Banana Nut Cake, and a Review of A Kosher Gluten-Free Passover Cookbook

I couldn't have been more excited when I received a copy of Tamar Ansh's new cookbook from Targum Press. They were kind enough to ship me Pesach - Anything's Possible: Over 450 Non-Gebrochts, Gluten-Free & Wheat Free Recipes because they know this blog focuses on cuisine that is both kosher and gluten-free. This big, thick, hardcover book is the first widely distributed cookbook that I've seen that has advertised itself directly to the gluten-free community as well as to any Jewish cook looking for Passover fare. Unlike much Passover cooking, all of the recipes are gluten-free and non-gebrokts, meaning the book does not include recipes such as matzo balls or matzo meal cakes which involve exposing matzo to water. Some Ashkenazi Jews, mostly Hasidim, observe a tradition of only eating dry matzo during Pesach so their other Pesach food is all gluten-free.

Pesach - Anything's Possible is a kosher gluten-free cookbook full of beautiful, glossy full-color photographs. One of my pet peeves is cookbooks without photographs - And this cookbook does not disappoint in that department! It even has step-by-step instructional photos for some of the recipes. I don't like reviewing cookbooks without trying a recipe. I never give positive reviews to books or products unless I feel like they deserve it. So I chose a recipe to make for last shabbos: Banana Nut Cake.

Those who tried the cake could not believe what they were tasting - It was perfectly moist, even the next day. It was golden brown on top, with no burned spots. It had a tender, fine crumb. It wasn't crumbly, but instead held together quite well. It had just the right amount of sweetness, just the right amount of banana flavor, and the perfect amount of nuttiness. It had a consistency more like a rich, moist, fluffy cake than the wetter, more dense traditional banana bread. I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best gluten-free cakes I have ever eaten! Not the best Passover cake, or the best pareve cake, or the best banana bread... But one of the best cakes, period. If you make this for friends or family they won't believe it's gluten-free, let alone a pareve Pesach cake. Pareve (dairy-free) Pesach cakes are notorious for being dry. This cake puts them all to shame.

Other recipes in the book include Orange Sponge Cake, "Breaded" Cutlets, Chicken Blintzes, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Mexican Pepper Bake, Creamsicle Roll, Best Gefilte Fish Ever, Crepes, Butternut Squash Kugel, Sweet Potato Puffs, Shepherd's Pie, Zucchini Cheese Potato Latkes, Kneidlach, Lukshen (noodles) and more... 350 recipes in total.

Targum Press has been kind enough to give me permission to post the fabulous Banana Cake recipe here on my blog, so that my readers can enjoy this recipe for Passover ... or any time. To order the cookbook click here.


from "Pesach - Anything's Possible" by Tamar Ansh
Posted with permission from Targum Press.

[Gluten-Free / Pareve / Dairy-Free / Soy-Free ]

10 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups sugar
3-4 ripe bananas*
3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts or pecans**
3/4 cup potato starch

Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. In a bowl, beat the yolks together with the sugar, bananas, nuts and potato starch. Carefully fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until it is well blended. Pour the batter into a greased tube pan***. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges start to spring away slightly from the side of the pan. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cook completely. Remove the cake from the pan. If it seems moist to you, let it sit uncovered for an hour or so before you wrap it up.

*I used 4 ripe bananas that had been frozen in their skins. I defrosted them and then they slid right out of their skins, already soft enough to blended in with the batter.

**I actually used 1/2 cup walnut meal (finely ground walnuts) and about 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts, and I'll probably do that again next time I make this recipe

***I recommend using a silicone pan if you have one. I didn't have a tube pan so I used an 8x8 silicone brownie pan and a standard-sized tin bread ban.

Other books by Targum Press include:

The Kids Kosher Cookbook

Classic Kosher Cooking: Simply Delicious

Guidelines to Candlelighting and Separating Challah

Guidelines to Pesach

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to Order Gluten-Free Matzo for Passover 2009

"This is the (gluten-free) bread of oppression that
our ancestors would have eaten in the land of Egypt
if they had been celiacs."

I've been getting so many e-mails about ordering gluten-free matzo that I realized it was high time I make a post about how to get your hands on some gluten-free matzo for Pesach (Passover) 2009.

Keep in mind that for matzo to be considered matzo by halacha (Jewish law) it needs to be made of one of the five grains. The only one of those grains that is (or can be) gluten-free is oats. Historically oats have been unsafe for celiacs due to being cross-contaminated with wheat. Fortunately, today we have certified gluten-free oats, which are grown and processed separately from wheat to eliminate cross-contamination, and then tested by food allergy testing labs to confirm their gluten-free status. So a truly gluten-free oat matzo is now possible. That said, there are some people with celiac disease who simply cannot digest oats, even gluten-free ones. If you are one of those people who has celiac disease and cannot digest oats I strongly suggest you speak with a competent rabbi. In fact, if you're an observant Jew it wouldn't hurt to consult with a rabbi regardless... Since I hear that there are some rabbis who don't accept oat matzo for celiacs. But for the rest of us, there's a great (if very pricy) option out there.

Starting last year, there are actually two sources for gluten-free matzo, not just one! I posted last year about Lakewood Matzoh Bakery which had begun making certified gluten-free oat matzo for the first time. They were kind enough to send me some of this year's batch to sample. It's true that it tastes nothing like the matzo I grew up eating and I'll personally never be a big fan of the burnt taste of shmura matzo (regardless of its gluten status). However, I'm excited because Lakewood Matzoh Bakery's matzo is quite improved from last year, due to being rolled out more thinly. This will make it more enjoyable for a lot of people, myself included. I also like supporting local-ish businesses when I can. In addition, Lakewood's price is significantly lower than the price offered by and other vendors for the imported UK brand Gluten-Free Oat Matzo. That makes Lakewood the winner in my home.

The one item that the other company, Gluten-Free Oat Matzos, sells that Lakewood doesn't is gluten-free matzo meal. It's ridiculously expensive but makes killer matzo balls using my dad's recipe! When I bought it a few years ago I called the matzo balls I made "million-dollar matzo balls" because I figured out they cost a couple of bucks a peace. A link to buying gluten-free matzo meal can be found below.

Did I mention that oat matzo is totally delicious turned into matzo pizza? Just spread tomato sauce and mozzarella on it and bake until the cheese is melted and edges of the matzo are crisp. Mmm... just call it "Bread of Oppression Pizza."


Here are links for ordering gluten-free matzo online or finding out where it's retailed locally near you. It's popping up in more and more local kosher groceries these days, but many places find they are sold out quickly so be sure to inquire about it at your local grocery now.

Gluten-Free Matzo from Lakewood Matzoh Bakery

Gluten-free oat matzo made in Lakewood, NJ. Shmura (handmade). $23 a box. Shipping available. Order online at the link above or inquire about where it's sold near you. I've seen it at shops in the NY/NJ area.

Gluten-Free Matzo from Rabbi Kestenbaum's Gluten Free Oat Matzos

Gluten-free oat matzo made in the UK. To buy online, go to They offer machine-made matzo at $39.95 a box, handmade matzo for $39.95 a box and gluten-free matzo meal for $19.99 per box. Find out where to buy it locally here. (Available internationally).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's Time for Another Gluten-Free Purim! Hamantaschen, Mishloach Manos and More...

As usual, I am posting a holiday roundup just a day or two before the holiday. Oy, I am such a procrastinator. Hopefully this will still come in handy for some of you. I notice I'm getting a huge number of hits for "gluten-free hamentaschen" / hamentashen, hamantashen, etc. So I thought I'd make it easier for you to find my Purim-related postings as well as some postings by some other blogs.

If you're looking for gluten-free hamantashen recipes:

My recipe for Gluten-Free Hamantaschen made with no-refined sugar. I love this recipe and am sad I haven't had the chance to make it this year. I've gotten very good feedback on this recipe - If you try it please let me know how it works for you!

Elana's Pantry has a vegan, refined-sugar-free, grain-free recipe for Gluten-Free Raspberry Hamantaschen that you might be interested in if you have multiple food restrictions.

Or maybe you'd like to try an Adaptation of a Chabad Recipe for Gluten-Free Hamantaschen. also offers a recipe.

If you'd like to order gluten-free hamantaschen online:

Heaven's Mills Gluten-Free Hamantashen

Katz Gluten-Free Raspberry Hamantaschen (I ate these today!)

If you're looking for ideas for gluten-free mishloach manos:

My list of ideas for creative gluten-free mishloach manos can be found here. Think outside the box!

If you're a Jew with food allergies or intolerances and/or celiac disease:

Consider joining the AllergicJews listserv, on which other Jewish (kosher and non-kosher) folks with food restrictions share recipes, ideas and resources.