FeaturesAug/Sep 2011 Issue

Allergy-Friendly Hawaiian-Style Barbeque

Aloha to an allergy-friendly meal from the islands

© Johner Images/Alamy

Can’t get to Hawaii this summer? Bring the best of the islands to your own backyard with these easy-to-make, gluten-free, dairy-free Hawaiian-style recipes. Transforming an ordinary barbeque into mouthwatering tropical cuisine is easier than you think. Start with a combination of fresh spices and simple marinades, add a few minutes of preparation and fire up the grill. You won’t miss the burgers.

Island spices and fruits are not only flavorful, allergy-friendly and easy on the wallet, they’re also packed with valuable nutrients. Ginger root, a natural digestive aid, is a good source of vitamin B and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Garlic, known for its distinctive flavor, is often called an herbal wonder drug. Super-fruit mango is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C and E. Papaya, which contains helpful enzymes, is rich in vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Even the ordinary lime provides dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper.

The secret to successful Pan Asian cooking is quite simple. It’s all about layering flavors. Start with a marinade—an easy spice rub of fresh ginger, sea salt and pepper—to infuse your meat with flavor. Next, throw the meat on the grill for quick searing. Then top it off with a tropical sauce made with fresh fruit juice and grated spices. Serve it with an appetizer, soup, salad, fresh bread and homemade cake for dessert, all prepared with the freshest ingredients—and there you have it. Hawaii in your backyard. All you need are the leis.


Photo by Thinkstock


Easy Appetizer

Bacon Wrapped Chicken


Here an irresistible way to enjoy chicken. This super-simple recipe can be cooked on the grill or in a wok. Serve it with gluten-free ranch dressing or pair it with rice and veggies for a full meal.


1 cup gluten-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider or rice wine vinegar)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch chives, chopped
1 pound chicken breast, cut into small pieces
¼ pound sliced bacon

1. Mix marinade ingredients in a medium-size bowl.

2. Add chicken and stir until coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.

3. Cut bacon into thirds. Wrap bacon around each chicken piece, securing it with a toothpick.

4. For the wok, add chicken pieces to 1 tablespoon hot vegetable oil; cook for 10 minutes, turning often until bacon is crispy and chicken is firm to the touch. For the grill, lightly grease a grill plate; add chicken and cook until meat is firm and bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes.

Each serving contains 267 calories, 14g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 84mg cholesterol, 543mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 30g protein.


Photo by Benko Photographics

Fruity and Creamy

Papaya Coconut Milk Soup


Cold soup is surprisingly delightful on a hot summer night. Easy to make and full of nutritious goodness, this recipe combines the bright taste of papaya with coconut milk and island spices.

2 medium papayas, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 can lite coconut milk
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1 lime, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
-Mint, for garnish

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree for 1 minute or until smooth.

2. Refrigerate soup for 1 hour to chill. To serve, pour cold soup into individual bowls and garnish with mint sprigs.

Each serving contains 99 calories, 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 17mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g protein.



Photo by Benko Photographics

Flavorful Spice-Rubbed Entree

Spiced Steak with Island Barbeque Sauce


Simple spices and a fruity sauce transform a less expensive cut of steak into a dish fit for royalty.

1½ pounds tri-tip steak
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
½ tablespoon pink or black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1. Pat meat dry with a paper towel.

2. Mix spices together in a bowl.

3. Rub spice mix onto both sides of the meat, pressing spices gently into the flesh. Refrigerate meat for at least 1 hour.

4. Remove meat from refrigerator and brush top side with Island Barbeque Sauce.

5. Place top side down on slightly greased hot grill. Brush barbeque sauce on reverse side.

6. Cook steak for 8 minutes per side for medium to medium-rare.

7. Remove meat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. For best results, cut meat in thin slices against the grain at a 45-degree angle.

Island Barbeque Sauce


½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dark blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
½ lime, juiced
-Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine ingredients together. Refrigerate until used.

Each serving of steak with barbeque sauce contains 340 calories, 15g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 109mg cholesterol, 1666mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 36g protein.



Photo by Benko Photographics


Delicious as French Toast

Hawaiian Sweet Bread


Similar to Portuguese Sweet Bread or pao doce, this bread has a rich texture and slightly sweet taste. It can be made with egg replacement with good results. (See instructions on this page.) Makes one 9x5-inch loaf or two 6-inch round boules.

½ cup warm water (105°-110° F)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) Red Star Active Dry Yeast
2 cups brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
3 large eggs
½ cup warm milk or milk of choice

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan or two 6-inch round cake pans.

2. In a small bowl, combine warm water, 2 teaspoons sugar and yeast. Stir just until dissolved. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area for 10 minutes. Mixture will form a foam head about an inch tall.*

3. Place rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch/flour, ½ cup sugar, xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a food processor or heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle attachment. Blend dry ingredients together, about 3 minutes. If mixing by hand, place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.

4. In a small bowl, whisk oil or melted butter, eggs and warm milk until blended.

5. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and combine. Add yeast mixture to dough and mix again until dough forms. If mixing with a heavy-duty stand mixer, this process takes about 5 minutes. With a food processor, about 2 to 3 minutes. By hand, about 10 minutes. Dough will be soft and sticky.

6. Transfer dough into prepared pan(s). Smooth top into desired shape with wet hands or a spatula dipped in water. Place in a warm area to rise for 40 minutes.

7. Score loaf top about ¼-inch deep with a sharp knife and if a shiny surface is desired, brush with an egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water.

8. Place pan(s) in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes for a loaf, 35 to 40 minutes for two boules. Bread is done when bottom sounds hollow when tapped and internal temperature reaches 195° to 200° F.

Each slice contains 168 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 164mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein.

*TIP If yeast mixture does not foam, either the yeast is not viable or your water is too hot or cold. Throw out the yeast mixture and start again with fresh yeast.

For Egg-Free Hawaiian Sweet Bread replace 2 eggs with flax gel (combine 2 tablespoons flaxmeal with 6 tablespoons hot water; let sit until thickened). Replace remaining 1 egg by combining 1½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer with 2 tablespoons warm water.


Photo by Thinkstock

Easy, Exotic Excellence

Green Papaya Salad


Green (unripened) papayas, available at most grocery stores and Asian markets, taste more like a vegetable than a fruit. To create long, wispy cuts, slice papayas and carrot with an inexpensive Japanese grater, sold at most cooking shops or use the smallest holes of a standard cheese grater.

Lime Vinaigrette
¼ cup vegetable oil of choice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
⅛-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to desired heat
-Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ pounds green papayas, peeled, seeded and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 ripe tomato, cut into wedges
¼ cup mung bean sprouts
4 bib or butter lettuce leaves, washed

1. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a large salad bowl until well blended.

2. Add papayas, carrot, tomato and bean sprouts and toss until evenly coated.

3. Arrange lettuce leaves, one to a salad plate. Divide papaya mixture and mound equal amounts on to each lettuce leaf. Serve chilled.

Each serving contains 189 calories, 14g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 31mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g protein.


Photo by Benko Photographics

Summer Mango Cake

A Memorable Dessert

Summer Mango Cake

SERVES 10 to 12 (16 SLICES)

Very easy to make, this gluten-free, dairy-free cake is remarkably moist and full of flavor. Spread middle layers with Lime Ginger Curd and frost with Lime Buttercream Frosting. Guaranteed to become a family favorite.

4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk or milk of choice
1 cup canola oil
½ cup mango juice
1 tablespoon lime zest (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon lime extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ cups Mary’s All-Purpose Flour Blend  or all-purpose blend of choice
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a heavy-duty stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil, mango juice, lime zest, lime extract and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.

5. At low speed, add wet mixtures to dry ingredients, a little at a time just until combined.

6. Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Place in preheated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake center springs back to touch. Cool layers on wire racks before removing from pans and frosting. To make a four-layer cake (as shown above), slice each cake layer horizontally. Spread Lime Ginger Curd over top of each layer and frost with Lime Buttercream Frosting.

For Egg-Free Summer Mango Cake, replace 4 eggs with 12 tablespoons applesauce + 4 teaspoons baking powder. Mix well before adding to other ingredients. Then reduce milk of choice to ½ cup.

Lime Buttercream Frosting


This zesty frosting brightens up any cake. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or butter alternative, softened
2 tablespoons milk or milk of choice
2 teaspoons lime extract

1. Blend all ingredients together until well combined. Spread over cooled cake.

Lime Ginger Curd


This richly flavored curd is surprisingly easy to make. Spread between cake layers for a special dessert. This recipe cannot be made without eggs. For an egg-free filling, use Lime Buttercream Frosting or frosting of your choice or an all-fruit spread.

4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
4 limes, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 tablespoons cold butter or butter alternative, chopped

1. In a small saucepan, mix egg yolks and sugar.

2. Whisk in lime juice, zest and ginger.

3. Add butter chunks and warm mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until curd thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let sauce boil.

4. Place in bowl and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Each slice with filling and frosting contains 599 calories, 31g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 145mg cholesterol, 286mg sodium, 78g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g protein.
Mary’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend


2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups white rice flour
1½ cups potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup tapioca starch/flour

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

Each cup contains 564 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium, 127 g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 7g protein.

Mary Capone, author of The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook and creator of Bella Gluten-Free (bellaglutenfree.com) allergy-friendly baking mixes, lives in Longmont, Colorado.

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