Grab one of these snack bars for your next on-the-go breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. Do you want to know the best thing about making your own snack bars? You know exactly what ingredients you put in them. You also know just how healthy you can […]
Back when Isaiah was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance more than 10 years ago, people didn’t even know what “gluten” was. Do you remember the era of the crumble-into-a-million-pieces, dry-as-sandpaper gluten-free bread? Okay, so what does that have to do with potstickers? Oh, that’s right, […]
It’s nearly the end of October and I’m finally getting into the pumpkin mood. It’s been such a mild fall on the East Coast—I’m talking in the 80s—so turning on the oven has been a slow start. Now that we’re in the steady 50s, I’m ready to go all in with my favorite season full of pumpkin picking and decorating, baking hearty loaf cakes and, yes, even sipping on steamy hot pumpkin spice lattes (made with frothy unsweetened almond milk).
A couple weekends ago, my daughter Chiara and I went to Elwood Pumpkin Farm in Huntington, New York, to pick out a pumpkin she could decorate for Halloween. As city folk, we were surprised to see that all of the pumpkins stems were still attached and rooted in the ground. We were incredibly selective to choose our one special pumpkin.
I’ve gathered some of my most popular pumpkin-filled recipes for this sun-kissed, crisp autumn week. Here’s the recipe lineup, including the Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cups above (perfect as a Halloween treat!) and Isaiah’s all-time favorite pumpkin muffins. I’ll be adding recipe links throughout the week (or you can join me on Instagram or Facebook) so you can find all of the recipes in one place:
- Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cups
- Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Loaf Cake with Streusel Swirl
- Pumpkin Pie Cannoli
- Turkey & Pumpkin Seed Chili (something savory!)
These coconut cups prove that Halloween can be sinfully good and good for you. Extra dark 91% chocolate—the darker the healthier—enrobes the pumpkin filling with its rich, complex flavor. Plus, I use coconut butter (a healthy fat) and maple syrup (unrefined sugar). One bite into these chocolates and you’ll know there are no tricks, just real treats!
Serving Size: 12
1 cup extra dark chocolate, preferably for coating, chopped
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup coconut butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
- Line a 12-cup mini cupcake pan with 12 liners. Bring water to a low simmer in a double boiler. Place 2/3 of the chocolate in the double boiler and melt to 115 degrees. Stir in the remaining 1/3 chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let the chocolate cool down to 90 degrees. Pour about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate into each liner and use a butter knife to coat the bottom and sides. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Reheat the chocolate to 90 degrees. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, coconut butter, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and flatten slightly; place each in the chocolate shells. Top each with melted chocolate to cover completely. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or refrigerate.
This loaf cake is a take on a dessert I devoured in Brooklyn years ago. Al di La is one of those restaurants where you feel instantly as if you’re eating in your grandma’s dining room. There’s an incredibly warm, welcoming vibe that just feels like home. That’s true […]
I’ll be celebrating the unsung hero of cakes—The Loaf Cake—with recipes on my blog all week long. Sure, loaf cakes don’t exactly deliver the glory of a beautifully-decorated, three-layer cake or even the cuteness of a cupcake. In my kitchen, they’re my low-maintenance cake loves. Let me explain: You stir the ingredients […]
It’s definitely no thanks to me that my kids love broccoli. Maybe I can blame my mom for only feeding me broccoli rabe and romanesco growing up. Somehow, broccoli just seemed, well, boring. These days, I only enjoy broccoli two ways—blended into a creamy soup and roasted until incredibly crispy.
Recently, we traveled to Fink’s Farm in Manorville, New York. There was a whole table stacked high with incredible bouquets of broccoli—their outer leaves hugging those sweet florets tight. I just knew I had to bring some home with me.
We were all hungry for lunch when we walked in the door so I made my quick and easy broccoli bisque. It’s also easy on the wallet. I used to buy quarts and quarts of boxed vegetable broth from the supermarket, but I wasn’t a fan of the flavor it gave all my soups. Then, I realized that especially when I make vegetable soups, using the water I blanch the veggies in along with some sautéed aromatics, like the onion and garlic I use in this recipe, is all I really need.
I like a little texture in my soup, so for this bisque I reserve some of the cooked florets to stir in at the end.
Serving Size: Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper
4 cups (about 1 large head) broccoli florets
1/2 cup dairy-free or regular shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the florets until just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the broccoli, reserving the cooking water. Transfer about 1 cup of the florets to a cutting board and chop into small pieces.
- Working in 2 batches, add half of the remaining cooked broccoli florets, half of the onion mixture and 1 cup of the broccoli cooking water to a blender or food processor. Secure the lid and carefully blend on a high speed until creamy, about 1 minute; transfer to a soup pot. Repeat with the remaining broccoli, onion mixture, the cheese (if using) and another 1 cup of the broccoli cooking water. Stir into the soup pot to combine along with the reserved chopped florets; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cheesecake used to intimidate me. So many baking rules—and so many cheesecake flavors to choose from! I had a few ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter and instead of making the usual banana bread, I decided to try something new and go beyond my comfort zone. The result? This incredibly decadent, light and airy cheesecake. It’s super fancy-looking with its decorative design of dulce de leche, but don’t let that intimidate you—it’s really easy to make!
Muffin tops are making a comeback… at least in my house! Here’s my logic: They’re easy to make, take half the time to bake, are perfect for grab-and-go and the kids (and I) love them! So what’s my favorite part of this recipe besides the fact that it undoubtedly yields the best part of a muffin? It’s incredibly flexible—flavor-wise—so go ahead and swap in ingredients you already have in your fridge or pantry.
I didn’t grow up in a household famous for its perfectly crisp fried chicken, made from a great great grandmother’s recipe passed down from generation to generation.
My reality of fried chicken was years stalled by a fear of frying and worse even—greasy, soggy chicken. This recipe for crispy fried chicken was my reawakening. It was born out of necessity as most things this delicious do. When Isaiah was diagnosed with his gluten and dairy intolerances, fried chicken was off the menu—literally—since we’d often get our fill of fried chicken, a popular menu item at Brooklyn restaurants, only when we dined out.
I started reading about frying. What was the easiest way? What’s the difference between shallow and deep frying? Did I need a special fryer? A splatter screen? How much oil? What kind?!
Then, of course, I needed the perfect fried chicken recipe: One that would yield an undeniably crispy shell that kept all of the chicken juices locked in, making for super moist chicken. Many attempts later, I landed on coconut milk—my secret ingredient. Let me start by saying that I don’t love the flavor of coconut unless I’m eating Indian or Thai or maybe the occasional Mounds bar when trick-or-treating on Halloween.
I can promise that at the end of this recipe, when you sit down, close your eyes and bite into a piece of fried chicken, you’ll be thinking many tasty thoughts and none will be about coconut. Sure, coconut milk isn’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when marinating chicken for frying, but much like regular buttermilk, it yields meat that’s moist and tender.
As for deep-frying, don’t sweat the technique or the deep-fry thermometer. To test if your oil is hot enough, just add a pinch of gluten-free flour to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, you’re ready to start frying.
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at Gluten-Free 101.
Let’s get frying,
Serving Size: 4
One 13-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
One 3½-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 3½-pounds chicken pieces, patted dry
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon baking powder
Canola oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, Old Bay and baking powder. Drain the chicken and dredge in the flour mixture. Place on the baking sheet.
- In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 inch of oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer measures 360ºF.
- Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 20 minutes; drain on a paper towel–lined wire rack. The chicken is fully cooked when an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone measures 170°F. (The fried chicken can be kept warm in a 250ºF oven for up to 1 hour or served at room temperature.)
Recipe excerpted from SILVANA’S GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE KITCHEN ©2014 by Silvana Nardone. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photograph by ©John Kernick.
I may not be Irish, but I can definitely enjoy a great shortbread cookie! Yes, shortbread is traditionally associated with and did, in fact, originate in Scotland, but its popularity spread into Ireland, especially given the quality of their butter. If you’re dairy-free like Isaiah was when he was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance, go ahead and swap in non-hydrogenated shortening or dairy-free buttery spread or sticks. The trick to these ultra flaky, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies isn’t the butter you’re thinking. It’s peanut butter.
There’s a reason I used to own a bakery… I love sweets! This is the ultimate chocolate loaf cake. I’ve always loved the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, leave the frosting off completely and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if you like.
During the long, cold winter months, my kids know all too well that I could happily subsist on soup alone. I find it both comforting and nourishing. Even better, it’s an easy going dish—or meal, if you’re me. I love that soup doesn’t have to be complicated and allows for improvisation.
“If I were to boil soup down to its very essence, it really is whatever you make of it. That’s true for so many choices we all consciously make in life—both in and out of the kitchen.”
The flavors in this soup remind me of the Italian countryside, and they only get better overnight—that is, if you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers. The cannellini beans give a creamy texture. Garlic chips add a welcome crunch. I learned how to make them from watching my mom, Penny, cook up her spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes. If you prefer your soup a little thinner, just add water and a pinch of salt. Looking to make a one-pot meal out of this recipe? Add sliced cooked Italian sausages, cooked meatballs or even cubed extra-firm tofu.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and parsley
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups homemade or store-bought vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 pound kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves finely chopped
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, crushed garlic, herbs and red pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add about half of the beans and 1 cup of the broth. Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher. Add the remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining half of the beans, kale, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until the kale is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring often, until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.
- Divide the soup among four bowls, top each serving with garlic chips and serve.
Excerpted from SILVANA’S GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE KITCHEN by Silvana Nardone. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
WHO: Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François, Artisan Bread in 5
BOOK: Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours
RECIPE: Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Icing
These thumbprint cookies are a filled version of ultra-tender, not-too-sweet Russian tea cakes, which are remarkably similar to Mexican wedding cakes or those divine crescent-shaped Austrian cookies made with almonds or hazelnuts instead of walnuts or pecans. The combination of rice and oat flours makes these especially tender and flavorful.
In my family, the holidays have always been about festivities, family and really great food. It’s also a time for sharing and in that spirit, I wanted to share my favorite cookbooks of 2014 with you from some of my food friends. Given the holiday season, they’ve decided to generously give away a copy of their cookbooks (or app) along with a recipe (see below)!
Now, I’d like to introduce my second guest and her new e-cookbook!
To enter for your chance to win, just share a favorite cinnamon treat in the comments below.*
Yield: 14 to 16 cookies
126 grams coconut flour (about ¾ cup)
99 grams tapioca starch (about ¾ cup)
205 grams granulated maple sugar or coconut palm sugar (about 1¼ cups)
2 teaspoons double-acting, aluminum-free baking powder
¼ teaspoons kosher salt
216 grams Spectrum vegetable shortening (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons melted salted butter or mild-flavored oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated maple sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons milk (dairy or nondairy) or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the cookie dough: Mix together the coconut flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the shortening and thoroughly mix into the flour mixture.
- Add the applesauce, vanilla, and egg to the flour and shortening mixture and mix well with your hands until a dough forms. Roll the dough into a large ball, place it in a bowl, and set aside.
- Make the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a square that is about ¼ inch thick. Occasionally remove the top sheet of parchment and using your hands or the rolling pin, straighten the sides of the dough to form a square. Return the top sheet of parchment and continue gently rolling the dough.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment and spread the cinnamon filling from edge to edge across the entire surface of the dough. Replace the top sheet of parchment and very gently roll the rolling pin over the surface to work the cinnamon filling into the dough.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment and, grabbing one end of the dough with the bottom layer of parchment, begin to tightly roll the dough into a log, peeling back the parchment as you go. Take your time with this step—you want to roll the dough tightly, as this will be what keeps everything intact when you make your slices!
- Once the cookie log is formed, use unflavored dental floss to slice it into ½- to ¾-inch-thick cookies.
- Place the cookies about ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. If you take them off too soon, they will crumble!
- While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze: Place the sugar in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind until it is a powder. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix it with the milk and vanilla. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.
*The winner will be selected at random on Monday, January 5, 2014, and books will be mailed out to each winner shortly thereafter. Please note: This giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.
This year even I can’t keep track of all of the Thanksgiving recipes I’ve made through the years so I’ve compiled the most popular ones here in a single, easy-to-find menu. Happy Turkey Day to you and your family!
I’ve been busy baking up gluten-free, dairy-free Thanksgiving desserts for you (and the Food Network)! Here’s hoping you have a sweet Thanksgiving. These desserts are healthy, too, but I swear you’d never know it!
Before I ever even came close to conquering yeasted cinnamon buns, I made these pancakes to satisfy that craving. They actually resemble cinnamon buns, too, down to their cinnamon swirl and sugary icing. My family and I have always been fans of Bisquick, but after trying the gluten-free version from the supermarket, we weren’t convinced that it was a perfect substitute. So I studied the ingredients on the original mix and replicated its taste and texture.
One bite of a hot-off-the-griddle pancake instantly made Isaiah want to open up a chain of gluten-free IHOPs—a regular breakfast spot for us before his gluten-free intolerance diagnosis. Perfect pancakes (and crisp waffles and fluffy biscuits) followed. Here’s my Bisquick knockoff pancake mix that you’ll need to make the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes recipe:
SILVANA’S GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE PANCAKE, WAFFLE AND BISCUIT MIX
Makes: About 16 cups
Prep Time: 8 minutes
10 cups (1572 g) Silvana’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (212 g) sugar
6 tablespoons (72 g) baking powder
4 teaspoons (12 g) salt
1 cup (172 g) shortening
In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and pulse until uniform in texture. Transfer to an airtight storage container. (The mix keeps in a cool, dry place or refrigerated for up to 6 months.)
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes with Maple Icing
- For the cinnamon swirl filling:
- ½ cup shortening, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- For the icing:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- *For the pancakes: *
- 2 cups gluten-free pancake mix
- 1½ cups dairy-free milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Canola oil, for greasing
- Step 1 Make the cinnamon swirl filling: Place the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large resealable plastic bag and seal. Using your hands, mash together until combined. Snip off a corner to make a 1/8-inch wide hole.
- Step 2 Make the maple icing: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and water.
- Step 3 Make the pancakes: Place the pancake mix in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to the pancake mix and stir to combine. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Using a paper towel, lightly grease with oil. Pour the batter about 1?4 cup at a time onto the pan and squeeze the cinnamon sugar filling in a circular pattern to make a swirl. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Between batches, clean your skillet by running it under hot water, dry, then lightly grease.
- Step 4 Drizzle the icing over the pancakes and serve hot.
My friends Peter and Kelli Bronski of the popular blog, No Gluten, No Problem, have just released their new cookbook, Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need to Feed Kids and Adults All Day, Every Day—a great collection of easy, foolproof recipes for those of us who would like to get dinner (and maybe even dessert!) on the table as often as possible.
Just last month I had a chance to join George Bryant of Civilized Caveman Cooking and Juli Bauer of PaleOMG along with my longtime friend Brittany Angell for a paleo dinner in NYC. Of course, we went to Hu Kitchen, a known paleo- and gluten-free friendly restaurant and juice bar. We left well fed—and completely satisfied. I even took their famous chocolate bars home with me (my favorite flavor is the Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa).
Cream puffs can be intimidating—gluten-free or not. But when gluten-free pioneer Carol Fenster is teaching you how to make them, you know you’re in good hands! I first meet Carol when I was in Chicago doing a doughnut cooking demonstration (I made these Maple-Glazed Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Doughnuts) at the Gluten-Free & Allergen-Free Expo. I watched as she taught an audience full of people how to make gluten-free baguettes. Her calmness and baking expertise made me feel like it was possible to make any of Isaiah’s favorite foods gluten-free.
I’m excited to support her new cookbook, Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking and share her recipe for Gluten-Free Mini Cream Puffs. Here are some of Carol’s tips and confidence-builders for cream puff–making:
1. Cream puffs may look hard to make, but in reality, they are really quite simple.
2. Serve these dainty little gems filled with whipped topping and dusted with powdered sugar.
3. Or drizzle with chocolate for a French touch.
4. Stir cocoa powder into the whipped topping for a chocolate filling.
5. Larger cream puffs (made with a larger ice cream scoop or spoon) make great sandwiches with savory fillings such as chicken salad, egg salad, or ham salad. Drop a dozen 2-inch mounds of dough on the baking sheet and bake as directed in Step 5, then slice in half just like a hamburger bun.
Yield: 24 cream puffs
1/2 cup white or brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
3/4 cup water
5 tablespoons butter or buttery spread
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
1/2 cup gluten-free chocolate syrup
Powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a 9x13-inch baking sheet (not nonstick) with parchment paper. Whisk together the rice flour and potato starch and have it ready by the stovetop.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until the flour is no longer visible. Return the pan to the heat and continue stirring until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Beat in the eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed, one at a time, mixing well after each addition until smooth before adding the next egg. (Or, use a food processor to blend everything together.)
- Using a 11?4-inch-diameter spring-action metal ice cream scoop or a small spoon, drop 24 mounds of dough (11?4 inches each) onto the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. With a wet finger, press in protruding bits of dough so the top is smooth and the puffs will brown more evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes (20 minutes for large cream puffs), then reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and continue baking until the cream puffs are deep golden brown, about another 10 minutes (another 15 minutes for large cream puffs). Remove the cream puffs from the oven. Immediately cut a 1-inch horizontal slit in the side of each cream puff, right where you will eventually cut them completely in half. Cool the cream puffs on the baking sheet on the wire rack. When completely cool, cut in half horizontally along the slit and fill with whipped cream or topping, about 2 teaspoons per cream puff. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, © 2014). Photo credit: Jason Wyche
I’d love to introduce you to one of my old Food & Wine magazine colleagues and longtime friend, Laura B. Russell. These days, we travel in the same gluten-free circles, doing cooking demos around the country. Today, I’m excited to support her new cookbook, Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables and share her recipe for Gluten-Free White Pizza with Arugula and Prosciutto.
It’s not every day that Isaiah, now a junior in high school, comes home with a homework assignment that involves baking. Of course, he sprung it on me last minute, but luckily I had all of the ingredients on hand. Isaiah chose the recipe, which comes from the website, Que Rica Vida, and I adapted it to be gluten-free.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Crispy Bacon and Toasted Hazelnuts
Airplane food and I have not had the best relationship since my first flight as a baby. So these days, I know better than to hope that the transcontinental meal doesn’t turn my stomach or that I’ll find something at the airport to take with me on a 6-hour flight. Instead, I make food that I know will keep me satisfied all around!
I made this quinoa recipe earlier this year when I was whisked away on a beautiful escape to Italy. One requirement of the trip: I was to bring snacks and dinner for our airplane ride. Besides the quinoa, I made a simple herb-crusted pork tenderloin for dinner, my grain-free granola with chocolate chunks for breakfast before we land and my KIND bar knockoff Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate-Dipped Coconut-Almond Bars for snacking. Mission accomplished. I’d say I got the deal of a lifetime…Im truly one lucky girl!
Please come say “hi” and let me know what you think of this recipe over in my online community, Silvana’s Kitchen. Thanks for reading and sharing!
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at GLUTEN-FREE 101.
Let’s get cooking,
Yield: 4 to 6
1½ cups quinoa
Salt and pepper
2 sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups shredded kale
4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, add the quinoa and 2 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until all of the water is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then spread out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until cooled completely, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil and vinegar. On the baking sheet with the quinoa or in a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, sweet potatoes, kale, bacon, hazelnuts, cranberries, parsley and vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
I owe everything I know about cooking and all of my kitchen curiosity to my mom, Penny, and my grandfather, or Nonno as I used to call him. Growing up, the day’s events were always focused around mealtime—from talking, shopping, prepping and cooking—food was by far the means to happiness. This is common in Italy, where I was lucky enough to spend every other summer with my Neapolitan grandfather.
Growing up with an Italian father and American mother, I’ve eaten my fair share of risotto, which happens to be naturally gluten-free and can happily be made dairy-free. But, the one ingredient I lacked in my risotto was patience. While my mom might have the patience of a cooking saint, I was not born with this trait. My stubbornness to find an easier way led me to choose the oven over the stovetop and I’ve never gone back.
I am a self-confessed snacker. Some may even call me an all-day grazer. Ever since I first laid my eyes on a KIND bar at Starbucks, it became my afternoon addiction along with coffee. Eventually, I ordered them online by the box. I’d toss them in my canvas bag just in case I got hungry on the subway or lying on the grass in the park. My kids gradually caught on, tasted the bars and there we were fighting for the last bar in the 12-count box. That’s when I knew I needed to make them myself.
Plus, I like a good recipe challenge! After all, that’s how I started re-building Isaiah’s repertoire of pancakes, cookies, pasta, bread and so much more—all gluten-free and dairy-free. My technique is straightforward: First, I study the ingredients on the label (for this recipe, I looked at the coconut-almond bars, which are Isaiah’s favorite flavor). Then, comes the often painstaking trial-and-error process—the only way to truly achieve the desired taste and texture.
At one point I thought I nailed the recipe only to be disappointed when the bars cooled completely and they were still gooey on the bottom—a fatal recipe flaw. Luckily, my professional baking experiences brought me my solution: I cut the bars into rectangles and just like you would double-bake biscotti, I placed the cut bars gooey-side up on a wire rack set on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and baked them in a low temperature oven. It was a nut bar miracle made in the oven and I’m forever hooked.
Please come say “hi” and let me know what you think of this recipe over in my online community, Silvana’s Kitchen. Thanks for reading and sharing!
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at GLUTEN-FREE 101.
Let’s get cooking,
Serving Size: 1½-inch bars
¾ cup sliced raw almonds
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup coarsely chopped raw whole almonds
1/3 cup gluten-free rice cereal, such as Erewhon
¼ cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons honey
Dairy-free semisweet chocolate, tempered
- Preheat the oven to 325º and grease a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with gluten-free cooking spray. Line the pan with overhanging parchment paper to easily remove the bars.
- Add the sliced almonds, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, rice cereal, brown rice syrup and honey to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and evenly coat.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and using a greased piece of parchment paper, press down firmly to spread evenly. Bake for 12 minutes; let completely cool.
- Preheat the oven to 250º. Remove from the pan and cut evenly into
- 8 bars. Place, gooey-side up, on a wire rack set over a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake until almost dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.
- Slightly dip each bar bottom into the tempered chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Place on parchment paper, chocolate-side down; let set, at least 1 hour.
Happy Celiac Awareness Month!
Today is the first day in May that we celebrate being gluten-free. It’s been seven years since Isaiah was diagnosed as gluten and dairy intolerant. I can honestly say that his diagnosis changed not only his life, but mine. As a food professional—food magazine editor, bakery owner or recipe columnist—I couldn’t imagine having to re-think everything I did in the kitchen and at the supermarket. Just like you, I had to start from scratch.
Valentine’s Day or not, these pantry-friendly treats will sweeten your day. Plus, you can make them in 3 simple steps. For the complete recipe, check out my post over on the Food Network’s FN Dish!
Countdown to 2014 Cookbook Giveaway: Day 4
This year I wanted to share my favorite cookbooks and health-focused books of 2013 with you from some of my friends. Since it’s the holiday season, they’ve decided to generously give away a copy of their books along with a recipe (see below!) starting today until the new year! Thanks to all of you for participating! To enter for your chance to win a book, just leave a comment below. The winner will be selected at random on January 2, 2014 and books will be mailed out to each winner shortly thereafter. Please note: This giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.
1/2/14: Please note that this giveaway ended on 1/1/14. All comments are now closed. Thanks for visiting!
Now, I’d like to introduce my fourth guest and her book!
WHO: Kyra Bussanich, KYRA’S BAKE SHOP
BOOK: SWEET CRAVINGS: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press, 2013)
RECIPE: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Truffle Crispy Rice Bars
Yield: 18 bars
Crispy Rice Layer
1/4 cup / 57 g butter
1 (10-ounce) bag / 283 g jumbo marshmallows (I like Kraft ?Jet-Puffed)
2 teaspoons / 10 g vanilla extract
8 cups / 283 g gluten-free crispy rice cereal (such as Erewhon)
Peanut Butter Layer
2 cups / 284 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup / 269 g creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup / 113 g butter
1 teaspoon / 5 g vanilla extract
2 cups / 352 g dark chocolate
1/4 cup / 57 g butter
- Spray an 8 by 11-inch baking pan with gluten-free cooking spray and set aside.
- To make the crispy rice layer, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ?butter browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the marshmallows and vanilla and stir continuously until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Pour entire contents into the baking pan. Wet or grease your hands and pat down the cereal so it is level and compact. Freeze for ?15 minutes to cool and set.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients for the peanut butter layer and blend on low speed. Remove the crispy rice layer from the freezer and spread the peanut butter filling evenly over it. Freeze until firm to the touch, 30 to 60 minutes.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter for the chocolate layer and stir together until smooth. If using the microwave, heat at 30-second intervals, stirring well in between each interval. Working quickly, spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer. If the peanut butter is cold, the chocolate will set quickly.
- Freeze the pan again, 15 to 30 minutes, as it will be much easier to cut if the peanut butter layer is firm. Cut into bars and serve cold or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Leela Cyd