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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Wheatless Wednesday’

Wheatless Wednesday: Holiday Party Snack Mix

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014



The bowl of mixed nuts at holiday parties always intrigues me. I love the possibility of crunchy, chewy, savory and sweet, all in one bite – not to mention anything roasted in butter and sugar. But eating gluten-free means I usually keep my hands out of the snack bowl, fearful of hidden crackers or other glutinous ingredients.

My party snack mix relies on naturally gluten-free morsels that are rich in various textures: crunchy curried pecans, toasted coconut chips, dried cranberries … and chocolate-covered bacon. Have a batch on hand for upcoming holiday gatherings and make an extra one just for you.


Party Snack Mix
Makes 4 to 5 cups

2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups raw unsalted pecans
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 slices natural bacon, roughly chopped
4 oz. 70-80 percent chocolate
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2.5 oz. chopped crystallized ginger
1 3.2-oz. bag toasted coconut chips*
1 cup pomegranate-infused dried cranberries or plain dried cranberries

• In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pecans and toast, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the brown sugar and curry powder and continue stirring until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with pepper and let cool.
• Wipe the skillet clean and return to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
• Meanwhile, prepare a double boiler by bringing a few inches of water to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. Place glass bowl over the bowl, add the chocolate and stir until completely melted.
• Remove from heat and add the bacon to the bowl, stirring to coat completely. Scrape the mixture onto a parchment-lined plate and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate until hardened, about 20 minutes.
• Break the chocolate into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the curried pecans, crystallized ginger, coconut chips and dried cranberries and toss to combine. The nut mix will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

*I used Dang Original Toasted Coconut Chips, available at Dierbergs.

Wheatless Wednesday: Thumbprint Cookies

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014



In winter, I’m drawn to tactile recipes that let me slow down and bake nourishing, delicious treats. This thumbprint cookie lets me get my hands right into the dough, stamping my signature into each one. Plus, it’s the perfect way to clean out those almost-empty jam jars taking up space in the fridge.

This recipe allows for a lot of variation. Choose any combination of raw or roasted nuts to achieve your desired flavor. For example, raw cashews and almonds will be a touch sweeter than, say, walnuts. You can also use any gluten-free baking mix; I used Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix, which includes a bit of leavening, but isn’t required. Experiment with liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave syrup, too, to find the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 3 dozen

1½ cup roasted cashews
½ cup raw almonds
4 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats or gluten-free oat groats
¼ tsp. sea salt
1½ cups gluten-free baking mix, such as Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix
1 cup coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup hemp seeds*
Assorted jams for filling

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cashews and almonds until coarsely ground and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
• Pulse the oats and sea salt in the bowl of the food processor until coarsely ground, stopping before it becomes flour. Add the ground oats and the baking mix to the ground nuts and stir to combine. Add the coconut oil, honey, molasses and vanilla extract, mixing to thoroughly combine. Stir in the hemp seeds.
• Roll the dough into 1- to 2-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. If the dough feels too sticky, refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
• Indent the center of each cookie with your thumb, then fill each space with a bit of jam. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until lightly browned.
• Let the cookies rest 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

*Hemp seeds are available at Whole Foods.

Extra Sauce: 6 Thanksgiving recipes for gluten-free guests

Monday, November 24th, 2014



The turkey usually isn’t a problem for your gluten-free guys and gals, but stuffing and rolls are definite no-gos. Welcome them with a starter of Apple Cheese Pleasers and make sure to have at least two sides they can enjoy with their bird.




Dishes like Beet and Carrot Salad, Roasted Sweet Brussels Sprouts and Grapes or Butternut Squash Stew will satisfy all your guests with any dietary needs.




And why pumpkin pie is a must on Thanksgiving, make sure your GF guests end on a sweet note, too, with Hold-the-Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

-photo by Greg Rannells

Wheatless Wednesday: Healthy Chinese Almond Cookies

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014



The holiday season is a dangerous time for me. When confronted with a tray of sweets, I’ve been known to channel Cookie Monster (“C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me!”). Those overly processed, sugary treats are addictive, and I quickly learned that I would need a healthier alternative to stave off the cookie massacre.

Everyone can use a recipe for those times we crave a treat without spiking our blood sugar levels. I find when I bake with higher protein flours, less sugar and minimally processed ingredients, I am more satisfied with just a couple cookies rather than the whole tray. These almond flour cookies are a healthy, simplified version of the traditional Chinese dessert, sweetened with just enough honey and almond extract to make the taste buds tingle. This dough is easy to work with and doesn’t contain raw eggs, so lick the that spoon guilt-free. For holiday flair, replace the vanilla and almond extracts with peppermint extract and swap whole almonds with crushed peppermint candies.


Healthy Chinese Almond Cookies
Makes 18 to 20

¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1⅓ cups (135 g.) almond flour*
2 Tbsp. (15 g.) coconut flour
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
18 to 20 whole raw almonds

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and almond extract until well combined. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda and stir until a firm dough comes together. It should be able to roll into a ball. If not, refrigerate up to 30 minutes.
• Roll the dough into 18 to 20 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Press 1 almond into the center of each cookie. Bake 10 minutes, until edges start to lightly brown. Let the cookies cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*I advise weighing any nut flours to prevent inaccurate measurements.


Wheatless Wednesday: Brown Butter-Apple-Ginger-Carrot Muffins

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014



True, this recipe title does sound a bit overwhelming. I considered calling these “Refrigerator Muffins” or “Kitchen Sink Muffins,” but those names conjured up mental images of old fruit and veggies, expired flours and honey jars dotted with stale breadcrumbs – not what I picture when I imagine a complex, gluten-free muffin.

Instead, this recipe – despite its lengthy moniker – exudes fall. Ginger and honey balance and lighten the crisp fall flavors of apples and carrots. Add hints of fresh herbs, and this exquisite muffin is perfect for breakfast or a sweet-savory snack.

These muffins are very moist and a bit gooey in the center, unlike cake-y, glutinous muffins. Be sure to let the muffins cool before serving, which allows the inside to set, then slather with your favorite fall jam or butter.

Baking gluten-free muffins is just as simple as the standard variety, especially with the plethora of gluten-free baking mixes on the shelves today. I used Andrea’s Gluten-Free super-fine grind flour blend, but any gluten-free flour blend will work.


Brown Butter-Apple-Ginger-Carrot Muffins
12 servings

5 oz. butter
1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. plain full-fat yogurt
1 cup gluten-free flour blend
½ cup almond flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
• In a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, brown the butter over medium-high heat until the solids start to turn dark gold and the butter smells nutty, shaking the skillet often to keep it from burning, 7 to 8 minutes.
• Add the grated apple and ginger and saute 5 to 7 minutes, until light brown and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, vanilla and yogurt. Add the cooked apples and ginger, using a rubber spatula to scrape all the browned butter into the mixture. Stir to combine and set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Fold in the carrots, rosemary and sage.
• Fill each cup in the muffin tin two-thirds high with batter. Bake 30 minutes.
• Remove from the oven and let rest in the muffin pan 3 to 5 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with jam and butter.

Wheatless Wednesdays: Pumpkin Amaranth Porridge

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014



Naturally gluten-free amaranth is more nutritional that its gluten-containing counterparts like wheat, barley and rye, though technically it’s not a grain at all. Like quinoa, millet, teff and buckwheat, amaranth is actually a pseudo-cereal – a seed. Amaranth is easily digested, even more so when soaked several hours to breakdown inherent substances found in most grains and pseudo-grains that inhibit digestion and nutrient absorption.

Amaranth is the quintessential ingredient for easy gluten-free porridge. It becomes somewhat gelatinous as it cooks, and its nutty flavor practically shouts for pumpkin pie spices. This pot of nutty, delicate porridge is full of spiced goodness thanks to cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cardamom and whole cloves – perfect for a slow autumn weekend morning as you watch the leaves change and reflect on the year.

Pumpkin Amaranth Porridge
3 to 4 servings

1 cup amaranth, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed well
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree, plus more to finish
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. cardamom powder
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. sea salt
Toppings like chopped pecans, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cacao nibs, honey or maple syrup (optional)

• In a large saucepan, bring the amaranth, coconut milk, water, 1 cup pumpkin puree, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, vanilla extract, cardamom powder, nutmeg and salt to a boil over high heat, stirring 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and more frequently in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 10 to 15 minutes to thicken.
• Divide the porridge evenly between bowls. Stir in a dollop of pumpkin puree to taste and garnish with toppings, if desired.

Wheatless Wednesday: Caramelized Fennel, Leek and Cauliflower Salad

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014



During the shift from summer to fall, we start to incorporate foods with more density, complexity and nutrition into our diets as we prepare our bodies for winter. This complex vegetable-based salad was created with a friend as we prepared for a birthday celebration. The result was warm, comforting and made me feel grounded as I approach the slower, cooler autumnal days.

This complex salad tosses together fall vegetables like cauliflower and fennel with mellow leeks. Roasting the vegetables deepens their flavor, while crunchy black walnuts, protein-packed quinoa and bright pomegranate seeds add heft and color to the salad. It’s coated in a simple, tangy dressing made with tart pomegranate molasses, honey and lemon juice and studded with that most quintessential fall spice, sage.

Caramelized Fennel, Leek and Cauliflower Salad
6 servings

1 large cauliflower, cut into large florets
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. sea salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
2 large leeks, trimmed and cut into 1-to-2-inch pieces
2 large fennel bulbs, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
2 tsp. honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup black walnut pieces
½ cup pomegranate seeds
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, the red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon sea salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the cauliflower onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
• In the same bowl, toss the leeks, fennel, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon sea salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the leeks and fennel onto a second baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the two trays of vegetables 30 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally until caramelized.
• Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ½ cup olive oil, pomegranate molasses, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside.
• Toss the roasted vegetables, cooked quinoa, black walnuts, pomegranate seeds and sage together in a large mixing bowl. Toss with salad dressing to taste and serve.

Jill Duncan is the owner of Wellness by Jill and follows a gluten-free diet.

Wheatless Wednesday: Raw Carrot Pie

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014



Food has always been an inspiration for me, a means to a beautiful conversation and a way to express creativity and passion. This raw carrot pie inspired me to gather some of my closest friends to share food, wine, stories, laughter and tears. And, after we devoured every last crumb from the pie pan, we all wanted more: dessert, hugs, smiles, and friendship.

The nuances of the pie remind me of that evening; it’s raw, sweet, complex, surprising, spicy, healthy and pure. Prepare this pie for your loved ones as an example of your sincere desire to share from your heart.

Raw Carrot Pie
8 to 12 servings

2 cups raw pecans, soaked 4 to 6 hours, plus more for garnish
½ cup dates, pitted and halved
3 Tbsp. shredded coconut
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. plus a pinch sea salt, divided
Pinch nutmeg
1½ cups raw cashews, soaked 4 to 6 hours, plus more for garnish
4 cups shredded carrots, plus more to garnish
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. raw agave nectar
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and halved
1½ Tbsp. white chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
½ tsp. allspice
Dash ground cloves

• Drain the pecans. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pecans, dates, shredded coconuts, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground ginger, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of nutmeg until them mixture forms into a ball. Press the mixture evenly in the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
• Drain the cashews. In the bowl of a food processor, puree the cashews, shredded carrots, agave nectar, ginger, chia seeds, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice, allspice, remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ground cloves until the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling into the pie crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
• Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Garnish with pecans, shredded coconut and/or shredded carrot, if desired, and serve.

Wheatless Wednesday: Raw Zucchini ‘Pad Thai’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014



Traditional pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes and is also a mainstay in many countries outside Southeast Asia. This rice noodle dish commonly features eggs and tofu, sometimes meat, and a variety of saucy, often processed ingredients

As I mentioned in my most recent post, the last two weeks have seen me feasting on only raw, plant-based food. This could seem limiting to many people, but it’s been a great catalyst for creativity in my kitchen. I’ve swapped my toaster oven, microwave and oven for a dehydrator, and my recent Blendtec purchase has changed my perspective on smoothies, whole juices and sauces. If you’re really dedicated, you could even purchase a high-powered juicer to equip the kitchen for a variety of raw food meals and treats (think raw “ice cream”).

This recipe is my attempt to “raw-itize” a universally loved sweet-and-sour dish that could entice any street food-lover in Thailand. I used my Spiralizer to make simple zucchini noodles quickly, but if you don’t have one you can shred them with a food processor or box grater.

In place of soy sauce, I use coconut aminos, a gluten-free substitute made from the sap of a coconut tree. It is much higher in nutritional content than soy sauce, and since it’s a raw product, it contains active enzymes that aid in digestion. You can find coconut aminos at Whole Foods.

Raw Zucchini “Pad Thai”
4 servings

2 extra large zucchinis
½ cup chopped broccoli florets
1 large carrot, shredded
Half a red pepper, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, chopped
5 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
5 Tbsp. raw almond butter
1 large garlic clove
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos*
4 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. raw honey
½-inch piece peeled ginger
1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
½ cup sunflower sprouts (or bean sprouts), for garnish
½ cup chopped raw cashews, for garnish
Mint for garnish
4 lime wedges for garnish

• Use a Spiralizer to make zucchini noodles or shred the zucchini with box grater or food processor. If shredding, let the zucchini sit in a colander to drain excess water 1 to 2 hours.
• In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, broccoli, carrot, red pepper and green onion. Set aside.
• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the basil, almond butter, garlic, lime, coconut aminos, water, honey, ginger and coconut oil until it becomes a very smooth sauce. Pour it over the vegetables and toss.
• Divide the pad Thai evenly among 4 plates. Garnish each with sprouts, cashews, mint, basil and a lime wedge.

*Coconut aminos are available at Whole Foods.

Wheatless Wednesday: Strawberry Brioche Loaf

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


Brioche has always seemed to be a rather highfalutin bread to me; spring strawberries, on the other hand, are a simple treat for the senses. I set out to combine the fancy French loaf and the unpretentious fruit into a snack that takes just minutes to whip up with minimal ingredients.

This is a great recipe to experiment with. Just make sure to stick to light, finely ground, gluten-free flours. Brown sugar or Sucanat (dried cane sugar) are perfect substitutes for the coconut crystals and any chopped, seasonal fruit will suffice.

Strawberry Brioche
12 slices

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for pan
1/3 cup amaranth flour
3 eggs
1½ cup sorghum flour
2 Tbsp. coconut crystals*
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 cup sliced strawberries

• Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Lightly coat a bread pan with olive oil.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, amaranth flour and eggs until well blended.
• Add the sorghum flour and baking powder and mix well, then add the coconut crystals and almond extract and mix again until well combined. Gently fold in the strawberries.
• Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 minutes.
• Slide a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool, then slice and serve with jam or butter.

 *Coconut crystals are available at Golden Grocer.


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