So GoodAug/Sep 2009 Issue

Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids

Tie on an apron. Turn on the oven. It’s time for culinary home school

Children cooking Gluten-Free Meals

I often teach cooking classes designed specifically for children on special diets. For newbies, I start with a recipe that’s totally hands-on, usually make-your-own pasta. Kids love noodles and they have a lot of fun hand-cranking the pasta machine (this equipment is very affordable) and tasting their creations. Try this easy instruction at your house and chances are your child’s friends will be joining in.

Bread is another great teaching food. Kids get a kick out of making the dough and watching it rise. With help from you, your children can master breadmaking in a short time. With a little practice, they can concoct pizza dough, soft pretzels and tasty morning pastries similar to Pop-Tarts®.

Teaching your youngster to cook imparts a can-do attitude about living on a modified diet. It’s empowering to be able to prepare foods that deliciously meet your dietary needs. In addition, homemade versions are less expensive than their store-bought counterparts and they taste better. Made with fresh ingredients from your own pantry—no hidden allergens, no chemical additives —you know exactly what’s in them.

Children should know that preparing favorite foods can be as much fun as eating them. These gluten-free, dairy-free recipes are easy ways to show them how. 

Pizza Crust

MAKES 2 CRUSTS (8 slices per pie)

You can prebake this crust and freeze it (before toppings are added) so that you always have pizza crust on hand. The thicker you shape the crust, the longer it should prebake.

3 cups Rebecca’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1½ teaspoons xanthan gum

¾ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons rapid yeast

1-1½ cups warm water, divided

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil two large pizza pans or cookie sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.

2. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

3. Add 1 cup water, eggs, oil and vinegar.

4. Beat ingredients with beater or paddle attachment (not the whisk) on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, adding more water until mixture is smooth but not soupy.

5. Spoon dough on to prepared pans. With oiled hands, press crust to desired shape and thickness.

6. Place in preheated oven and prebake for 10 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and lightly spread with tomato sauce of your choice and your favorite toppings.

8. Return to preheated oven and bake until cheese is melted and bottom crust is golden.

Each slice contains 124 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 26mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein.

TIP To make crust with a pizza stone, heat the stone in a 400-degree oven. Sprinkle a pizza paddle or the back of a cookie sheet with cornmeal and spoon pizza dough onto it. Shape dough into a flat round, using the back of an oiled soup spoon. Slide crust onto the hot stone and prebake for 10 minutes. Add sauce and toppings and return to oven until cheese or dairy-free cheese alternative is melted and crust is golden.

Handmade Pasta


Lee Tobin of Whole Foods Market shared this secret with me: Gluten-free pasta needs extra xanthan gum in order to roll smoothly through a hand-crank pasta machine. Thank you, Lee. The extra xanthan gum also gives this pasta a nice firm texture.

½ cup tapioca flour or sweet rice flour

½ cup cornstarch

1/3 cup potato starch or arrowroot

1/3 cup fine brown rice flour, more for rolling out

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons xanthan gum

4 eggs or 1 cup flax gel

2 tablespoons oil of choice

1. Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend using the paddle.

2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs (or flax gel) and oil.

3. While the mixer is on, slowly add eggs and oil mixture to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Dough will be soft like play dough. If it’s not, add water, one tablespoon at a time.

4. Lightly dust your counter with cornstarch. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and cover 7 with a tea towel or plastic wrap.

5. Lightly dust a piece of dough with rice flour and flatten. Roll through the widest setting of the machine. Continue to roll it through, folding it in half each time and lightly dusting with rice flour if the dough is tacky. Do this until the dough begins to hold together and seems smooth. It may take 5 to 6 times. Then decrease the thickness one notch at a time and roll through until desired thickness is achieved. Cut into desired shapes or leave as sheets. Place flat on a cookie sheet. If layering the pasta or cutting it into shapes, dust it with rice flour. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

6. To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt. Drop pasta into boiling water and stir. Cook until al dente. Fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes. When the pasta is done, drain and rinse it under hot water. Toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for later use.

Each serving contains 220 calories, 8g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 141mg cholesterol, 633mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 5g protein.

TIP To make quick lasagna, layer sheets of pasta with gluten-free meat sauce and grated cheese or dairy-free cheese alternative. No need to cook lasagna noodles before assembling.


MAKES 2 BAGUETTES (8 servings each)

This recipe makes marvelous gluten-free bread in just two hours. Slice and feast! Use baguettes for garlic bread, crostini, submarine sandwiches, baguette pizza and even French toast.

3 cups Gluten-Free, High-Protein Flour Blend (page 62)

1 tablespoon cornmeal, more for dusting

2 teaspoons sugar of choice

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

2 packages (4½ teaspoons) rapid yeast

¾ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups warm water

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

2 eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a double baguette form with foil, extending foil up the sides by 2 inches. Lightly grease foil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Alternatively, make two baguette-shaped forms (each measuring 2 inches wide, 4 inches high, 14-16 inches long), using a double thickness of heavy-duty foil, dull side out; lightly grease and sprinkle each with gluten-free flour or cornmeal and place on a cookie sheet.

2. Mix dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, eggs and oil. Add to dry ingredients.

4. Using the beater or paddle of your mixer (not the whisk), beat mixture on low speed until well blended. Then turn the speed up and beat for 5 minutes on medium-high speed.

5. With oiled hands or oiled plastic wrap, divide dough in half and shape into 2 baguettes. Place in prepared pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Spritz dough with water. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Bread is done when internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Each serving contains 154 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 128mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g protein.

Rebecca’s Flour Blend

1¼ cups chickpea or garbanzo bean flour

1 cup fine brown rice flour or

sorghum flour

1 cup tapioca flour/starch

½ cup potato flour

¼ cup potato starch

1. Mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Coconut Chicken Tenders


If you don’t like coconut, replace the coconut flour with rice flour and the shredded coconut with gluten-free breadcrumbs.


1/2 cup coconut flour or rice flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 grinds fresh black pepper

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 egg

1 tablespoon oil of choice

11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch strips

1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, butter or margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.

3. Put both shredded coconuts in a bowl.

4. Lightly beat an egg with the tablespoon of oil.

5. Dip chicken pieces in flour to coat evenly. Dip chicken into egg mixture and then coat with coconut mixture.

6. Place chicken in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with melted coconut oil, butter or margarine.

7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven or until chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once.

Each serving contains 405 calories, 24g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 236mg cholesterol, 352mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 33g protein.

Morning Pastries


Kids love this fruit-filled treat, a gluten-free version of ever-popular Pop-Tarts®.

2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

¼ cup sweet rice flour

¼ cup coconut flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar of choice

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter

2 tablespoons coconut butter

2 eggs or ½ cup flax gel (page 62)

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 egg, separated, white reserved and yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons milk of choice

❧ Any flavor jam, preserves or fruit butter, for filling (heat briefly in microwave for easier spreading)

❧ Sugar, for sprinkling, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

2. Mix together flour blend, sweet rice flour, coconut flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and shortening, beating until light.

4. Beat in 2 eggs until creamy. Add vinegar and blend. Then stir in the dry ingredients to make soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

5. To prepare filling, beat egg white. Stir in jam until combined. Set aside.

6. Roll dough into a rectangle about 1/16-inch thick. (For easy rolling, cut a large ziplock plastic bag in half along the seams and roll dough out between the two pieces.) Even out the edges of the dough and cut it into 3x5-inch rectangles.

7. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon of filling evenly over each dough rectangle, leaving a generous margin. Brush margins with egg-yolk wash (egg yolk mixed with milk of choice).

8. Fold dough rectangles in half, leaving jam inside. Press edges together and crimp with the tines of a fork. Place pastry on prepared cookie sheet, pricking top with a fork. For a shiny finish and golden color, brush tops with egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

9. Place pastries in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, just until edges are browned. During baking, prick them again one time to help keep them flat.

10. Remove from oven and cool. Wrap and store at room temperature or refrigerate.

Each serving contains 203 calories, 10g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 68mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein.

TIP For frosted pastries, mix 2 cups powdered sugar with enough water to make an icing. Drizzle over top.

Gluten-Free Pretzals


Soft Pretzels


These gluten-free pretzels are soft and chewy, like the real thing. Dip them into some yellow mustard and have fun.

32/3 cups Gluten-Free High-Protein Flour Blend

1/3 cup potato flour

2 tablespoons rapid yeast

2½ teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons melted butter or nondairy replacement (page 62)

1½-2 cups warm water, divided

2/3 cups baking soda

10 cups water

1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 table- spoons water

❧ Salt, for sprinkling

1. Mix together flour blend, potato flour, yeast, xanthan gum and salt.

2. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat ingredients together on medium speed, adding melted butter and 11/4 cup warm water. Add enough water to make a soft but not wet dough. Beat for 5 minutes. Then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Uncover and beat an additional 4 minutes. Oil dough lightly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes.

4. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends, cross them over each other and press them onto the top of the rope to form a pretzel. Transfer to parchment-lined pan. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside

6. Bring baking soda and 10 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower to simmer and cover.

7. Place pretzels into boiling water, one at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from water with a slotted spoon.

8. Return boiled pretzels to the sheet pan. Brush each with egg yolk and water mixture. Sprinkle with salt.

9. Place in preheated oven and bake until dark golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. LW

Each pretzel contains 241 calories, 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 28mg cholesterol, 412mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein.

TIP For an authentic look and taste, sprinkle pretzels with coarse sea salt or pretzel salt.

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