Gluten Free Foodies


Aspiring young chefs explore special-diet cooking

This special section brings together four young chefs, all enrolled in Johnson & Wales University’s renowned College of Culinary Arts, and five fantastic gluten-free, allergy-friendly products. The result is these fresh and innovative recipes.

Johnson & Wales’ College of Culinary Arts is a recognized world leader in culinary education. Located at four campuses across the nation, the college now offers a degree in culinary nutrition, a fitting addition to a school that has a notable mission of using food to improve the nation’s health.

The student chefs who developed these recipes are in various stages of their culinary education. They took on this assignment to learn more about gluten-free, allergy-friendly products and to hone their gluten-free culinary skills. When it comes to cooking for those with special dietary needs, they aim to please.

Gluten-Free Sunflower Nougats


Canola oil, for greasing pan
1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
Pinch of kosher salt, more to taste
½ cup sugar
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon agave syrup, divided
2½ tablespoons SunButter Sunflower Butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with canola oil.

2. In a small bowl, toss sunflower seeds with salt and spread on prepared pan. Place in preheated oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine sugar and ¼ cup agave syrup until syrup is dissolved. Do not let mixture boil.

4. Fold toasted seeds into syrup and continue to heat 2 minutes. Seeds will start to release their oils.

5. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon agave syrup and SunButter.

6. Scrape hot mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until batter comes together.

7. Quickly dump hot batter onto prepared pan and spread to edges. Let cool before cutting into ½-inch squares. (For straighter edges, cut with a hot knife.)

8. Wrap nougats in pieces of waxed paper and twist the ends to seal.

Each nougat contains 36 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein, 2Est GL.

Recipe by Alexander Ahearn ‘17, Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management, Johnson & Wales University

Gluten-Free Vanilla Island Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches


1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil of choice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ice Cream Filling

2 pints dairy-free Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island Ice Cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together sorghum flour, white rice flour, oat flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined.

3. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and vanilla.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and blend about 3 minutes until smooth.

5. Using a 1.5-ounce scoop (3 tablespoons), place mounds of dough on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

6. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake until slightly golden around the edges and spongy in the center, about 15 to 18 minutes.

7. Let cool and enjoy as cookies.

8. Assemble ice cream sandwiches by sandwiching 1.5-ounce scoops of Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island Ice Cream between 2 cookies. Garnish edges of ice cream with pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Each cookie contains 212 calories, 10g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 167mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 1g protein, 18Est GL.
Each ice cream sandwich contains 549 calories, 29g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 377mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 35g sugars, 4g protein, 41Est GL.

Recipe by Chef Dean Lavornia, Department Chair, and Elizabeth DiNicola ‘17, Baking & Pastry Arts, Johnson & Wales University

Gluten-Free Chili with Green Chili Crema


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
½ cup Hatch Green Chile Sauce
5 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
6 Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burgers, defrosted, crumbled into bite-size pieces

1. In a medium pot, cover sweet potatoes with water and boil until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt coconut oil. Add onion, red pepper and tomato and sauté 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

3. Using a garlic press, press garlic cloves and add to tomato mixture. Add black beans and kidney beans. Stir in chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and green chili sauce. Add vegetable broth, cooked sweet potatoes and crumbled burgers and stir to combine.

4. Simmer chili 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with Green Chili Crema.

Each serving with crema contains 375 calories, 8g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 499mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate, 14g fiber, 7g sugars, 25g protein, 15Est GL.

Green Chili Crema

1 block extra silken tofu
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Hatch Green Chile Sauce

Salt, to taste

1. Place tofu, cumin, lime juice and chili sauce in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve as a garnish on chili.

Each tablespoon contains 9 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 9mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 1g protein, 0Est GL.

Recipes by Kelsey Leonard ‘16, Culinary Nutrition, Johnson & Wales University

Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins


1½ cups brown rice flour
½ cup gluten-free cornmeal
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
⅓ cup Coconut Infusions Organic Non- Dairy Butter Flavor Coconut Oil, melted
½ cup roasted corn kernels

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, coconut milk and vinegar and let sit several minutes. Pour mixture over dry ingredients, along with melted coconut oil and roasted corn. Stir until just combined.

4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each of 12 cups almost to the top.

5. Place in preheated oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

6. Remove from oven and place muffins on a cooling rack. Best when served warm.

Each muffin contains 209 calories, 8g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g sugars, 4g protein, 19Est GL.

For Egg-Free Cornbread Muffins, omit 2 eggs. Combine 2 tablespoons golden flax meal with 6 tablespoons hot unsweetened applesauce. Let cool. Add this mixture to wet ingredients in step 3.

Recipe by Thomas Sanders ‘16, Culinary Nutrition, Johnson & Wales University