FeaturesFeb/Mar 2015 Issue

Bloggers' Best: 5 Favorite Gluten-Free Recipes

Try out these top recipes from 5 experts known for their blogs on gluten-free, allergy-friendly foods.


[Updated Dec. 7, 2015]

Do you follow a few favorite food bloggers online? Do they influence the way you grocery-shop and cook? Do they play a role in your restaurant selections or your cookbook purchases?

If so, you’re not alone. Many of us gain support and advice from favorite online buddies whose personal challenges, overall philosophies and dietary needs match our own. When it comes to special-diet bloggers, the Internet offers a growing number of interesting sites to explore and appetizing recipes to try. Bloggers provide windows into their daily lives, sharing lessons learned and the “why” behind the momentous decision to change their diet.

We asked five gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly food bloggers to give us their most popular recipe. Each is living well on her special diet, a lifestyle she chose out of medical necessity. All agree that their gluten-free, allergy-friendly diets—initially a challenge—have brought them multiple benefits, including restored health and terrific eating.


Laurie’s Gooey Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

MAKES 8 ROLLS

“One bite of these delicious, bready, ooey-gooey, pull-apart rolls and people say, ‘I can’t believe they’re gluten-free!’ I think this is my most popular recipe because finding a gluten-free cinnamon roll that’s comparable to what we used to eat is difficult. This recipe is the perfect substitute,” says Laurie Barrie. “Even my non-allergic friends and family love them.” This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

Laurie’s Gooey Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Laurie’s Gooey Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls: Sweet! (Photography by Oksana Charla)

Photography by Oksana Charla

Laurie Barrie
Online Hangout:
GlutenFreeYummy.com
Her Motto: Life's too short to eat bad food.

Diagnosed with celiac disease when she was just two years old, Laurie Barrie has lived and thrived on the gluten-free diet for 50 years. "There was nothing available back then," says Barrie, who describes her early attempts at bread as "inedible loaves, like bricks." Through the years, her family members have served as willing guinea pigs for her cooking. "They're not gluten-free, so when I create something I'm proud of, like these cinnamon rolls, they're the first to say they're terrific."

Topping

½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or dairy-free alternative
1 tablespoon whipping cream or canned coconut cream
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Dough

1½ cups superfine brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour, more for dusting
¼ cup almond flour or sorghum flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup water
¾ cup milk of choice
1½ tablespoons rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Filling

¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened, or dairy-free alternative
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1. To make the topping, place brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, maple syrup and pecans (if using) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour mixture into an 8x12-inch pan.

2. Place brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch/flour, almond flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, blend until well incorporated.

3. Place water and milk in a saucepan and gently heat to 105°F. (Do not overheat as it will “kill” the yeast.) Remove from heat and add yeast and sugar. Set aside 10 minutes until yeast proofs (bubbles). Once yeast has proofed, add egg, vinegar, vanilla and oil, stirring to combine.

4. Add liquid ingredients to dry flour mixture and blend with the paddle attachment on mixer for 3 minutes to form the dough.

5. To make the filling, place brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Cream together.

6. Place plastic wrap on a cutting board and lightly dust it with tapioca starch/flour. Put the dough on the floured plastic wrap and gently press or roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Sprinkle filling evenly over rolled dough, leaving the outer edges free. Gently roll the dough up lengthwise into a log by pulling up on the plastic wrap. Pinch the edges of the dough to seal.

7. Gently slide a string of dental floss under the cinnamon roll log and slice through the dough by crossing the string. Make each segment about 2½ inches wide, cutting a total of 8 rolls.

8. Place the rolls in the pan on the topping. Put the pan in a warm, draft-free area so rolls can rise, about 30 minutes.

9. Preheat oven to 350°F.

10. Place rolls in preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

11. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before tipping upside down onto a large platter. Serve rolls warm from the oven. To reheat, place rolls in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Each roll contains 543 calories, 23g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 73mg cholesterol, 192mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 39g sugars, 6g protein, 50 Est GL.

To make Heart-Shape Cinnamon Rolls, see see below.

For Egg-Free Cinnamon Rolls, omit 1 egg. Combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons warm unsweetened applesauce. Let cool. Add the ingredients in step 3 to replace 1 egg.

TIP Superfine brown rice flour is available from Authentic Foods (authenticfoods.com). To make your own, process brown rice flour in a food processor, blender or clean coffee grinder until finely ground.

To make Heart-Shape Cinnamon Rolls, use a 12-inch round pan. Follow instructions through step 5. In step 6, when rolling the dough lengthwise, roll each end equally toward the center until they meet. Using a string, cut the rolled dough into segments about 2½ inches wide. With fingers, pinch the narrow end of each rolled dough segment to form the tip of the heart. Place heart-shaped segments into pan on top of the topping, arranged with narrow tips facing the center of the pan (see photo above). Put the pan in a warm, draft-free area so rolls can rise, about 30 minutes. Continue with recipe as instructed.


Photography by Kirstin Boncher

Photo by Kendra Alexis

Kirstin Boncher
Online Hangouts:
MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com & ourGFfamily.com
Her Motto: All science begins with anecdote.

Kirstin Boncher's young son and daughter both had chronic health issues. She suspected their ill health was somehow food-related but the many doctors she consulted assured her that neither child had food allergies. "My son had colic and stomach issues since birth and profound weight loss, which started when he turned one. But it wasn't until he fell off a developmental cliff at 18 months that I started searching for answers," Boncher says. "Unfortunately, the doctors weren't helping. He was getting worse and I needed to do something."

She researched his symptoms and found the gluten-free, dairy-free diet. The next day, she switched his diet and began watching him get better. "He is thriving now," she says.

Kirstin’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

MAKES 48

These thin, crisp cookies have a rich toffee flavor. If cashews are tolerated, add them for a hint of buttery taste. “This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. Whenever I go to potlucks, people ask me, ‘Did you bring your chocolate chip cookies?’” This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

1¾ cups Garbanzo & Fava Flour (see Shopping List, on right) or gluten- free flour blend of choice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup organic non-hydrogenated shortening
1½ cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips
½ cup finely ground cashews, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum together in a small bowl.

3. In a mixer, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.

4. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat well until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Fold in cashews, if using.

5. Scoop batter in 1 tablespoon amounts into balls and place them on a baking sheet about 3 inches apart, allowing space for cookies to spread.

6. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 8 to 9 minutes or until light brown around the edges. (Cookies baked the shorter time will be softer and chewy; cookies baked longer will be crunchy.)

Each cookie contains 145 calories, 8g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 9mg cholesterol, 83mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 12g sugars, 2g protein, 10 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, omit 2 eggs. Reduce shortening to ½ cup. Add 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder to dry ingredients in step 2. Combine 2 tablespoons flaxmeal with 6 tablespoons hot water. Let cool. Use this mixture to replace the eggs in step 3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

TIP If using cashews, watch the cookies carefully while they bake. They brown very quickly due to the oil in the nuts.


Photography by Oksana Charla

Photography by Oksana Charla

Jessica Glick
Online Hangout: FromJessicasKitchen.com
Her Motto: Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free food can taste delicious!

Jessica Glick has lived without gluten, dairy and soy since 2007 when her twin boys were diagnosed with autism. Learning that eliminating gluten, casein and soy from their diet might improve their symptoms, she immediately changed their diet, not just for the twins but her entire family. "This was harsh on the boys, who were extremely picky eaters. They refused to eat for five days," she says. Finally, hunger prevailed, they tried her chicken soup—and the rest is history.

Glick, who has no known allergies, says she feels better on the diet. Her husband, who is allergic to dairy, truly benefits. As for the twins, their behavior and overall health are much improved. "They now happily eat all the dishes I create, especially this favorite macaroni and cheese," she says.

Jessica’s Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

SERVES 6

“Mac and cheese is one of the foods everyone misses most when they go without gluten and dairy, my children included. I was determined to come up with a recipe that they would love,” says Jessica Glick. And she did. This simple and delicious dish has all the creaminess, cheesy flavor and mouth-feel you expect. “Shortly after posting this recipe on my blog, it became a hit. Two leading dairy-free companies featured it on their sites. Even friends who eat gluten and dairy ask me to prepare this when they come over!”

6 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound gluten-free pasta shells
2 slices vegan bread or gluten-free bread, toasted

Sauce

4 tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free buttery spread, more for greasing pan
2 cups unflavored coconut milk beverage (in a carton)
½ cup coconut creamer (see Shopping List, on right)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon millet flour
2 tablespoons water, room temperature
2 heaping cups dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese
1 heaping cup dairy-free shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x12-inch casserole dish.

2. Fill a large stockpot with water and heat to boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water. Add pasta shells and stir frequently to prevent clumping. Cook 5 to 7 minutes until softened. Turn off heat and let pasta sit in water 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a mini food processor, pulse toasted bread into breadcrumbs. Set aside.

4. To make the sauce, melt buttery spread in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Immediately add coconut milk beverage, coconut creamer, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Stir mixture frequently until it just begins to boil; watch carefully so that it doesn’t come to a full boil.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, millet flour and water.

6. Pour cornstarch mixture into the sauce and increase heat to medium-high. Whisk or stir vigorously for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir frequently for 3 to 5 minutes as sauce thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Once thickened, add dairy-free cheddar and mozzarella cheese, stirring to blend until sauce is thick and creamy.

7. Add drained pasta to the sauce, mixing gently until pasta is evenly coated.

8. Spoon pasta into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the top.

9. Place in preheated oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling along the edges. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Each serving contains 704 calories, 38g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2mg cholesterol, 1480mg sodium, 82g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 3g sugars, 15g protein, 50 Est GL.

Photography by Jamie Eppenauer

Jamie’s Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Nuggets

Photography by Jamie Eppenauer

Jamie Eppenauer
Her Hangouts:
MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com & GlutenFreeMom.com
Her Motto: Life, Gluten Free

Jamie Eppenauer is allergic to dairy and she gave up gluten nine years ago when her daughter, Alex, was diagnosed with celiac disease. Switching the entire family to the gluten-free diet was challenging, recalls Eppenauer, a former attorney. "At first, it took me hours to figure out what I could make for dinner." In two years, Alex grew five inches and was "more spontaneous and happier."

A few years after that, second daughter Alyssa was diagnosed with a milk allergy and gluten sensitivity.

"Bonding with my daughters in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and preparing tasty dishes generously compensates for the initial challenges of going gluten-free," she says.

SERVES 4 TO 6

“These chicken nuggets are delicious. No one will ever guess that they’re gluten-free,” says Jamie Eppenauer. “People want to enjoy the same food they ate before going gluten-free and this recipe lets them do it with simple steps and easy ingredients.”

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup canola oil or olive oil, more for drizzling
2 teaspoons salt, divided, more to taste
2 cups gluten-free flour of choice, gluten-free breadcrumbs, crushed quinoa flakes or crushed potato chips
-Pepper, to taste
-Garlic salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Place chicken breasts in a zip-top gallon plastic bag and pound them until they are thin. Remove breasts from the bag and slice each breast into 1 to 2-inch strips.

3. Place chicken strips in a bowl. Add ¼ cup oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir to evenly coat all chicken strips.

4. To make coating, combine flour, additional salt (to taste), pepper and garlic salt in a separate bowl. Dredge strips in flour mixture.

5. Put coated chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, turn nuggets over and drizzle a little oil over any dry spots in the coating. When done, chicken pieces are cooked through and have a nice, crispy crust.

Each serving contains 444 calories, 16g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 68mg cholesterol, 1241mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 29g protein, 30 Est GL.

TIP For Southwest flavor, add chili powder and ground cayenne pepper (to taste) to the coating mixture. If serving chicken nuggets with pasta and red sauce, add oregano and thyme (to taste).


 

Photo by Holly Yzquierdo

 

Holly’s Gluten-Free Rice-and-Bean Casserole

 

Holly Yzquierdo
Online Hangout:
MyPlantBasedFamily.com
Her Favorite Quote:

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
—Mother Teresa

Holly Yzquierdo lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and a house full of kids. She started blogging in 2012 after she switched to a vegetarian diet to overcome her health issues. When her youngest son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies, she became a passionate advocate for those with food issues and began creating allergy-friendly, budget-friendly recipes, like this popular casserole.

"Food allergies aren't a choice and I'd give anything for a cure," she says. "The good news is that more and more manufacturers are rising to the occasion and creating foods that are safe."

MAKES 4

“The savory aroma of this easy gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free recipe is matched only by its delicious flavor,” says Holly Yzquierdo. “It’s made with basic, inexpensive ingredients found in most pantries and it cooks effortlessly in the oven, an ideal dish for someone learning to cook.” Serve this versatile casserole as an entree or a side. You can also spoon it on a bed of fresh greens with guacamole and pico de gallo, wrap it in a tortilla or enjoy it with a handful of corn chips and guacamole. “The leftovers taste even better the next day,” Yzquierdo says.

1 cup uncooked brown rice
3 cups water
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, optional
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x15-inch casserole dish.

2. Place all ingredients in prepared casserole dish. Stir gently to combine.

3. Bake in preheated oven 1 to 1½ hours until rice is tender and water is absorbed.

Each serving contains 314 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 599mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, 4g sugars

Thei Zervaki (fullybooked.biz) is a food and travel writer.


 

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