So GoodApr/May 2014 Issue

Gluten-Free Mother’s Day Brunch

Indulge and delight Mom with a delicious do-ahead spread.

Here’s an elegant gluten-free breakfast that Mom (and the rest of the family) won’t soon forget. French toast stuffed with a lemon, raspberry and cream cheese filling, a hearty hash of sweet and red potatoes, and watermelon mint salad are the essence of the menu. Delicate lemon poppy seed muffins and smoked turkey wraps round out the meal for a memorable brunch that’s worthy of Mom.

Most of these recipes can be made before the big day. Gluten-free challah bread, the cornerstone ingredient of spectacular French toast, can be prepared way ahead. If there’s no time for homemade challah, purchase a loaf at a gluten-free bakery. Buy it unsliced so you can control the thickness of the slices. Assemble the ingredients for the gluten-free turkey wraps on a tray the night before and refrigerate. In the morning, let everyone make their own.

Repeat after me: Pamper Mom! These delicious gluten-free brunch fixings send this message loud and clear.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Raspberry Lemon Stuffed French Toast


This not-too-sweet French toast will make Mom feel like she’s queen for the day. You can prepare it a day ahead and reheat just before eating. This recipe can be made with egg replacement.

12 (½-inch thick) slices challah bread or other gluten-free bread
2 tablespoons butter or dairy-free alternative, melted
-Powdered sugar, for garnish
-Pure maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce

1¼ cups fresh or frozen raspberries, more for garnish
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounces low-fat cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

French Toast

1¼ cups milk of choice
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-Pinch of salt

Lemon Sugar

2 tablespoons sugar
-Zest of 1 lemon

1. Cut each slice of challah bread diagonally in evenly sized halves. Set aside.

2. To make Raspberry Sauce, combine raspberries, 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a slow simmer, stirring frequently. Cook until berries soften and create a sauce. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. To make Cream Cheese Filling, beat cream cheese with brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together milk, eggs, vanilla and salt. Beat to combine.

5. Arrange half the bread slices in a single layer in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread Cream Cheese Filling evenly over each slice. Top each with an equal amount of cooled Raspberry Sauce. Top with a second slice of bread. Gently pour milk mixture over the bread and let stand 15 minutes. Turn slices over. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 8 hours.

6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F.

7. Remove dish from the refrigerator and uncover. Turn sandwiches over one more time.

8. To make Lemon Sugar, combine sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Brush top of each sandwich with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle Lemon Sugar over the top.

9. Place dish in preheated oven and bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes or until edges are golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

10. Arrange stuffed French toast on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve warm with maple syrup.

For Egg-Free French Toast, omit 2 eggs. Heat 1¼ cups milk (in the recipe) and stir in 2 tablespoons golden flax meal. Let cool. Add 1 teaspoon baking powder, stirring to combine. Add vanilla and salt and combine. Use Egg-Free Challah Bread.

Each serving contains 588 calories, 22g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 222mg cholesterol, 487mg sodium, 85g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 20g sugars, 14g protein, 51Est GL.

gluten free challah bread

Challah Bread


Traditionally prepared during Jewish holidays, challah bread is delicious any time of year. Ideal for sandwiches and toast, it makes perfect French toast.

For Stuffed French Toast, prepare one round loaf; cut it into ½-inch thick slices, halving each to make French toast “sandwiches.” Alternatively, prepare two 4½ x 8½ -inch loaves, cutting one into 12 slices (½-inch thick) to equal 24 halves. Depending on loaf size, you may want to add more slices to fill the pan. Save the second loaf for another use. Challah freezes well. This recipe can be made with egg replacement.

5¾ cups Living Without’s high-protein flour blend
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 large eggs + 1 yolk
5 tablespoons olive oil
1¾ cups warm water (105°F-110°F)
-Egg wash (1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

1. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan or two 4½ x 8½-inch loaf pans.

2. Combine flour blend, brown sugar, xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

3. Add yeast and mix well.

4. In a separate bowl, combine 4 eggs and 1 yolk, olive oil and water. Add to dry ingredients.

5. Using the paddle or beater attachment, beat on low speed for 1 minute to blend. Increase to medium-high speed and beat 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and slightly shiny.

6. Scrape dough into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap that’s been sprayed with vegetable oil. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has reached the top of the pan.

7. Preheat oven to 375°F.

8. Set bread pan on a cookie sheet and brush top of loaf with egg wash.

9. Place loaf in preheated oven and bake 40 to 45 minutes until top is golden and a cake tester inserted nearly to the bottom of the bread comes out without sticky crumbs. If the top browns before the center is cooked, tent the loaf loosely with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time. If using 2 loaf pans, bake 30 to 35 minutes.

10. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

11. When cool, remove the sides of the pan or turn loaves onto a wire rack.

For Egg-Free Challah Bread, omit 4 eggs and 1 yolk. Combine 2 tablespoons golden flax meal and 6 tablespoons hot water. In a separate bowl, combine 3½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water. Let both mixtures cool. Then combine them and add to dry ingredients. If batter is too thick to mix, add additional warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Each slice contains 321 calories, 9g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 106mg cholesterol, 281mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 0g sugars, 7g protein, 35 Est GL.

Photo by Beth Hillson

Watermelon Mint Salad


Light and refreshing, this salad is a lovely addition to any meal. You can cube the watermelon and cheese (if using) the day before. The dressing (without the mint and pepper) can be prepared ahead, too. Assemble and dress the salad just before serving. Omit the feta if you’re avoiding dairy.

5 cups cubed fresh watermelon
8 ounces feta cheese, in small cubes, optional
¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3-4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large glass bowl, combine watermelon cubes and feta, if using, and toss gently.

2. To make dressing, place lime juice, 3 to 4 tablespoons honey (to taste) and olive oil in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour dressing over melon and toss gently to coat.

4. Add mint strips and black pepper and stir gently.

5. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

Each serving contains 210 calories, 13g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 33mg cholesterol, 419mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 18g sugars, 6g protein, 9 Est GL.

Confetti Sweet Potato-Red Potato Hash


Sweet potatoes and onion add a bit of sweetness to this hash and sausage delivers spicy notes. Finishing this dish in the oven on high temperature caramelizes the potatoes and peppers, making it brunch heaven. Top with fried eggs, if tolerated, just before serving. Vegetarians can omit the sausage. This hash can be made a day ahead.

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
2 chorizo or other spicy pre-cooked chicken sausage, coarsely chopped
½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½ -inch cubes (about 1 pound)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ -inch cubes (1-1¼ pounds)
½ cup water
4 large eggs, optional

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Add sausage and bell peppers and sauté until onions are tender and lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Place 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet and add red potatoes. Toss potatoes to coat with onion mixture. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, stirring to combine. Add ½ cup water. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally while they cook. Remove cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. At this point, hash can be refrigerated overnight.

3. To serve, preheat oven to 425°F. Oil a large casserole or individual ramekins.

4. Spoon hash into prepared dish(es). Place in preheated oven and bake 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat a skillet and coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, crack eggs and fry until whites become opaque.

6. Remove hash from oven. Using a spatula, gently set fried eggs on top of the hash. Serve warm.

Each serving contains 292 calories, 20g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 18mg cholesterol, 277mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 4g sugars, 7g protein, 9 Est GL.

Photo by Beth Hillson

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


These muffins are moist and delicious, with a vibrant flavor. They can be made ahead and frozen. Instructions to replace the eggs.

1¾ cups Living Without’s all-purpose flour blend
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free buttery spread, softened
? cup sugar, more for topping
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or milk of choice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour blend, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add poppy seeds and lemon zest and blend well. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating well.

4. On low speed, add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Add the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat just until smooth.

5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each ¾ full. Sprinkle sugar over muffin tops just before baking.

6. Place muffin tin in preheated oven and bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Each muffin contains 161 calories, 6g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 44mg cholesterol, 193mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 10g sugars, 2g protein, 16 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Lemon Poppy Muffins, omit 2 eggs. Combine 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water, mixing well. Add to creamed butter and sugar in Step 3.

TIP To make buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon vinegar in a measuring cup. Add milk of choice to measure 1 cup and let sit a minute or two.

Smoked Turkey and Red Pepper Wraps


Make these handheld treats with these ingredients or others of your choice. Spread them out on a platter and let Mom take her pick.

Red Pepper Spread

1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, well drained
1 tablespoon honey
8 tablespoons gluten-free mayon- naise of choice


1 pound gluten-free sliced smoked turkey
12 slices provolone cheese or dairy-free cheese of choice, optional
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh baby arugula
6 (6- or 8-inch) gluten-free tortilla wraps

1. To make Red Pepper Spread, puree roasted red peppers in a food processor. Add honey and mayonnaise and blend. Spoon spread into a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Fan out turkey, cheese, tomatoes and onion on a large serving platter. Set arugula in a serving bowl.

3. Warm the wraps until they are pliable.

4. To assemble each wrap, spread a generous spoonful of Red Pepper Spread over the surface. Place 2 to 3 slices of turkey, a slice of cheese, 2 to 3 tomato slices and an onion slice in the middle of each wrap. Top with several leaves of arugula and roll wrap tightly. Dip in additional pepper spread, if desired.

Each serving contains 189 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 21mg cholesterol, 616mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 9g protein, 10 Est GL.

Food editor Beth Hillson is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers (

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