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Friday, October 29, 2010

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies...

I have blogged about gluten free chocolate chip cookies before. A recipe given to me by a dear friend. But, I am always trying to find ways to add nutrients that is meaniful to foods that I eat, yes—even the indulgent foods. These are the same chocolate chip ones I love, but "nutritionized" just a bit.

They do have sugar, so I do not recommend these every day, however the addition of oatmeal to these cookies adds a relevant dose of fiber and protein to a really good treat. The oatmeal is great, because it gives them a rustic, bumpy-crackly texture, plus the oatmeal also keeps them soft, and adds a satisfying chewiness to the cookie.

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • ¾ cup softened butter (1.5 sticks)
  • 1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup Tom Sawyer GF Flour (or your own gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 bag (about 11.5 oz chocolate chips, 60% cacao.)
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)

Heat oven to 375-degrees F. Cream butter and sugars till smooth. Add eggs, salt and vanilla. Blend till smooth. Add flour and baking soda and beat until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and oats and fold into batter.

Drop onto a lined baking sheet (I use parchment paper) in 1 tbs. drops. These spread, so don't put them too close together. Bake for 10-minutes until edges are light brown. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, them move to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gluten free weeknight "Risotto"...

I came home last night and decided I needed a bit of Fall in my kitchen. With record temperatures (still soaring) here in sunny AZ, I just needed to embrace the coming of the season. So, what does one do with a big, round, beautiful butternut squash from the Farmshare sitting on one's counter?—Well, one makes a butternut squash risotto (of course!).
Don't fear, this is not your daunting 40-minute risotto. Oh, no—this is your one pot, 15-minutes risotto, and who doesn't have fifteen minutes?
This is a great dish for vegetarian night at your house, or, if those don't occur at your house, add diced leftover chicken or meat, or shimp to this at the end (also great with scallops!)
This dish is delicious. The risotto is creamy, so you don't miss the butter and cream a traditional recipe has. The goat cheese add a delicious tang, and richness, so you still feel satisfied without any meat in the dish. Plus goat cheese is a healthy cheese, you can feel good about it! The squash retains just enough bite to be satisfying, but melts away as you eat it. And sage, well that just is fall, isn't it?
Here is how it goes:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 2 cups or so)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tbs fresh sage (or 1 tbs of dried)
  • 4 oz. of goat cheese*
  • 2 tbs of evaporated milk (or regular milk, or soy or rice milk, use what you have.)
  • 1.5 cups of rice (use a short cooking rice, like Jasmine)
  • 3 cups liquid (this can be broth, water, or combo).
  • Salt and pepper
In a large, heavy-bottom saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbs olive oil and saute the onion and squash, about 8 minutes until it starts to become tender. Salt and pepper as you go. Then add rice. Stir. Add liquid, stir again and cover with a lid. Cook for another 8 minutes or so, stirring a few times until the liquid is gone and rice is tender. Remove pan from heat and add the goat cheese. Stir it in as it melts. Add the 2 tbs of milk at the end, and stir in the sage. Taste, then season with salt if needed.

*If going dairy-free, omit goat cheese, but add 1 tbs white vinegar to add the tangy-roundness it provides.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Gluten-Free Brownies

I had a hankering for a brownie the last night. Homemade brownies really are very simple. Many people don't think so however. So I began to ponder, "What are the barriers to any level cook whipping up a homemade thing when they get a taste for it?" I came up with these barriers: ingredients, time, skill, and recipes.
Well—I have to say, all of those barriers can be swiftly and delightfully broken down—leaving no excuse to not fulfill a homemade brownie craving on a random Saturday night a 8:46 pm. Now, I am not all about junk food, and these brownie have a ton of cocoa powder, which provides antioxidants, fiber and protein. So they have intent—even if being a sweet treat.
Let's tackle those barriers now, shall we?

Ingredients: we all have butter (no need for it to be softened) it can come right from the freezer (where I keep mine.) We all have chocolate chips, in some capacity, we have eggs and cocoa. Other than sugar, you don't even need leavening, its all things you have in the pantry...I bet if you looked, you would have what you need to make these right now! And time, well, start to finish into the oven was 11 minutes. Ok people, that is 2 sets of TV commercials! Skill: none needed, if you can read a recipe, you can do this. And finally I come to recipe. With the good old Internet, there are a million recipes to be Googled in a moment's notice! However my preference is this gal, Donna Hay. Buy her books used on Amazon very inexpensivly. I love her recipes because they are simple, fast, and they all convert beautifully to gluten free. Invest in some of her books.  She gets credit for this brownie. I just made it GF.

Rich Chocolate Brownies-Inspired by Donna Hay's Recipe
  • 6 oz. butter
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (I use 60% chips. Use what you like. The higher the %, the better for you).
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup gluten free flour (I use Tom Sawyer's, use what you have)*
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • Additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

*Non-gluten free folks, use white or whole wheat flour to make these.

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees F. Melt the butter and the 6 oz. chocolate chips in a sauce pan over low heat. When melted take off heat to cool. While its cooling, place eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat on high until fluffy and creamy. Turn the mixture to low, and slowly drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the cocoa and the GF flour, mix in on slow until blended. Then stir in the 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into a 9-inch square pan (I don't even line the pan, these are for eats and not show, so make it easier on yourself.)
Bake for 35-40 minutes until set. Allow to cool, then cut.

Warm from the oven, these are light as air, with a soft crumb and moist texture. Place in the fridge, and when cooled—becomesa dense rich brownie that is chewy and fudge-like.