Caesar salad tossed with grilled chicken, homemade croutons, hardboiled egg and dressing.
Homemade gluten-free croutons are toasted in a skillet with olive oil and garlic.
For a light spring supper, here’s a good choice: grilled chicken Caesar salad with gluten-free croutons. I’ve never been a huge crouton fan. Dried-out cubes of tasteless bread never did a lot for me. But these fresh, homemade croutons — made from gluten-free crusty hot dog rolls toasted in a skillet with olive oil and garlic — are tasty and tender.
Making the chicken Caesar salad took more time (and more pots) than I had anticipated. I needed to toast the croutons, blend the dressing, boil the eggs, grill the chicken and assemble the salad. Thankfully, my hero husband stepped in to help with the prep and to wash the multitude of pots. With some advance planning (not my forte), it would be easy to prepare most of the recipe in advance next time.
Caesar salad dressing usually is made with raw egg yolk. But I get skittish about that, so I made a dressing without raw eggs. I also did not use parmesan cheese to make the Caesar salad dairy-free.
My 11-year-old daughter recently had been asking me to make croutons (I’m totally serious). Oddly enough, the theme for the Kosher Connection linkup this month is croutons. Check out the link below for more recipes with croutons, though please note that most of the recipes in the linkup are not gluten-free.
Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
and Gluten-Free Croutons
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 gluten-free hot dog rolls, cut into cubes
- Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Toss in the bread cubes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat with olive oil and saute croutons until golden, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Caesar Salad Dressing:
- 4 anchovy fillets (or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Place the anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce in a blender, and blend well.
- While the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified.
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
- Caesar salad dressing
- 2 hardboiled eggs, each cut into 4 wedges
- Gluten-free croutons
- In a large, wide bowl, arrange some whole spears of romaine lettuce, so they fan out of the sides of the bowl. Tear remaining romaine spears into strips and place in the bottom of the bowl.
- Add grilled chicken strips and drizzle Caesar dressing over lettuce and chicken. Top with wedges of hardboiled eggs and gluten-free croutons. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
Yield: 4 servings
Filed under Recipes, salads
Strawberry-vanilla tart in macaroon shell, gluten-free
Here’s a simple dessert that’s gluten-free and kosher for Passover. Use macaroons to make a crisp tart shell, top with a quick vanilla pudding and layer with sliced strawberries. With only a little bit of effort you’ll have an elegant strawberry-vanilla tart in a macaroon shell — perfect for this month’s Kosher Connection challenge to create a Passover dessert.
I strongly recommend making the dessert in a tart pan, not a pie dish. When I first made it in a pie dish, it didn’t cut into pretty slices. With a tart pan, you can remove the sides and keep the tart on the pan’s metal base, or you can slide a knife under the tart and transfer it to a serving plate. One other caveat: After it’s been cut into, this tart does not keep well because the pudding seeps out. So once you start it, it’s best to finish it that day.
The recipe is gluten-free and kosher for Passover. If you want to make a dairy-free strawberry macaroon tart, omit the pudding, pile the macaroon crust full of sliced strawberries and brush the top with melted strawberry jam.
Strawberry-Vanilla Tart in Macaroon Shell
(gluten-free, kosher for Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Print this recipe
- 1 (10-ounce) can macaroons
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides.
- Chop macaroons finely in a food processor. Pour in melted butter and process until crumbs start to come together. Press macaroon crumbs into bottom and sides of the tart pan. Put the tart shell on a baking sheet, slide into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until firm.
- For the vanilla pudding, mix together sugar, potato starch and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour in a small amount of the milk (about 1/4 cup) and whisk to form a smooth paste. Pour in the rest of the milk and stir well.
- Cook pudding over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it thickens and bubbles around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Let pudding cool for 5 minutes, then pour it into macaroon tart shell while still warm. Top with sliced strawberries arranged in concentric circles and refrigerate.
Yield: 8 servings
For more Passover desserts, check out this month’s Kosher Connection link-up. Please be aware that not all desserts listed are gluten-free. Click on the frog icon for links to other great blogs:
Gluten-free, dairy-free blondies, with dark chocolate chips
A confirmed chocoholic, I always figured, why have a blondie, when you can have a brownie (especially my recipe for the best gluten-free brownies ever)? But these gluten-free, dairy-free brown sugar blondies tossed that theory out the window.
These blondies taste like chocolate chip cookies, but they are more moist and more cakey. Studded with dark chocolate chips, the blondies still deliver a strong chocolate dose, proving that maybe blondes do have more fun.
I made the blondies dairy-free by using coconut oil and applesauce, instead of a stick of butter. Be aware that the chocolate chips sink to the bottom forming a chocolatey crust; next time I will try mini chocolate chips to see if I have better luck keeping the chips afloat.
This month’s Kosher Connection challenge (see links to other blog posts below) was to make treats for mishloach manot baskets for Purim. On Purim, we have a tradition that’s the opposite of trick-or-treat: Instead of emphasizing getting food, we give friends and family gifts of food — usually a basket with at least two different kinds of foods. I thought the blondies would make a good Purim treat — dairy-free, nut-free and studded with a chocolate surprise. Also, check out my tasty, tender gluten-free, dairy-free hamantaschen recipe.
Click for Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Blondies recipe
Honey-roasted butternut squash soup, gluten-free
Today, a fall rainfall brought down a cascade of leaves from the maple tree in front of our house. In shades of gold, bronze, ocher and amber, the leaves fell, thickly carpeting the sidewalk. In weather like this, I crave the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. And what better soup than a perennial fall favorite: butternut squash soup, made gluten-free and dairy-free.
For a while, I was turned off by butternut squash soup, with its one-note sweet taste and pablum texture. But that’s certainly not the case with this complex honey-roasted butternut squash soup, laced with the smoky spice of chipotle chile pepper and the slightly exotic taste of cumin.
What’s even better is that this butternut squash soup is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian, making it well-suited for a variety of people (except for my kids; shall I admit that they don’t like this grown-up soup?). For a vegan version, use maple syrup instead of honey.
Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Gluten-Free
(gluten-free, dairy-free, pareve, vegetarian)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray the aluminum foil with cooking oil. Place butternut squash, carrots and red onion on the baking sheet, and toss with honey, olive oil, cumin, chipotle chile pepper and salt until well coated. Bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Place roasted vegetables in a large soup pot and add vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In batches, carefully pour soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Do not fill blender to the top, and hold down the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent spattering. Transfer blended soup back to pot and heat before serving.
Yield: 10 servings
Following is a collection of root vegetable recipes from The Kosher Connection link-up. Please note that not all the recipes in the collection are gluten-free.
Homemade peanut butter cups -- naturally gluten-free!
Recently, I made gluten-free Girl Scouts Tagalong cookies, or peanut butter pattties. We had leftover peanut butter filling, so my daughters and I decided to make homemade peanut butter cups, like miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups — naturally gluten-free and naturally delicious!
My friend Chris had sent me a recipe for homemade chocolate candy cups, with a choice of either a peanut butter or peppermint filling, and I realized we could adapt her recipe using our leftovers. I had previously bought some mini baking cups (like miniature cupcake liners) at the dollar store, so we had all the ingredients on hand for this easy gluten-free chocolate candy.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups, Gluten-Free
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used processed peanut butter, not natural peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, powdered sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips or dairy-free chocolate chips
- mini baking cups or candy cup liners, about 1.25-inches in diameter
- Place mini baking cups in a mini muffin tin. (Note: It is fine if the mini baking cups are smaller than the muffin tin compartments.)
- In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt until well combined. Use your hands to roll peanut butter mixture into 1/2-inch balls; roll balls quickly so your hands don’t get sticky. Set balls aside on a plate.
- Place chocolate chips in a large bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute on half-power (such as power level 5). Stir chocolate thoroughly. If not melted, pop bowl in the microwave for subsequent 30-second intervals, stirring until chocolate is melted.
- Place a dollop of melted chocolate in the bottom of the mini baking cups, so the chocolate covers the bottom of the cup. Drop peanut butter balls in the middle of the mini baking cups. Spoon dollops of melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter balls. The melted chocolate should surround the sides and top of the peanut butter balls, evenly covering the peanut butter and leaving a smooth chocolate top.
- Stick the mini muffin tin in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, so the chocolate hardens. Enjoy your homemade candy!
Yield: I’m sorry — I forgot to note the yield, but it probably makes around 20 to 24 mini peanut butter cups.
Gluten-free honey cake provides a sweet start to the new year.
For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we greet each other with “Shana Tovah Umetukah” – wishes for a happy and sweet new year. To symbolize sweetness, many families serve honey cake, a traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert. Which, as usual, leaves me searching for a great-tasting gluten-free alternative.
Fortunately, this year I made a moist gluten-free, dairy-free honey cake spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for my honey-child. (Cue Martha & The Vandellas’ “Honey Chile” and Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.”)
For inspiration, I started with Marcy Goldman’s vaunted “Majestic and Moist New Year’s Honey Cake” from “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.” I used gluten-free flour, subbed some applesauce and increased the orange juice to keep the cake moist and sweet. Buckwheat flour — a dark, strong gluten-free flour that’s high in protein, fiber and magnesium — works well here, complementing the complex flavors in the cake. Interestingly, buckwheat is not related to wheat but is a member of the rhubarb family.
Have a sweet new year!
Click for Gluten-Free Honey Cake recipe
A traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert: Jewish apple cake.
I love this photo, taken in my living room!
Shanah Tovah! Best wishes for a happy Rosh Hashanah and a sweet new year. We’re getting this new year off to a tasty start, with a gluten-free version of traditional Jewish apple cake.
My mother is famous for her Jewish apple cake, laced with apples that she plucks from the trees in her back yard. I’ve always wondered, though, what makes the apple cake “Jewish.” Really, I didn’t know that cakes could have a religion. The answer seems to be that the cake is made with vegetable oil and orange juice, instead of butter and milk, thus making it pareve (neither dairy nor meat). Apple cake is also a favorite dessert for Rosh Hashanah, when we eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize hopes for a sweet new year.
Mom’s recipe worked surprisingly well in its gluten-free version. I substituted gluten-free flours, added xanthan gum (a binder for GF baking) and left the rest of the recipe intact. The cake is moist and bursts with the flavors of apples and cinnamon.
Click for the recipe for Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble: Even Easier Than Pie
One of the best parts of summer is fruit that bursts with juice, dripping with sunshine. Or a fresh pie, with fruit that becomes even sweeter and more fragrant with baking. But, to tell you the truth, I’ve always been intimidated by pie crust, let alone gluten-free pie crust. So this summer I took a classic strawberry rhubarb pie and turned it into a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crumble, with no crust and a sweet crisp topping that everyone loves. Plus, if you substitute margarine (I like Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks) instead of butter, it easily becomes a delicious, would-never-believe-it vegan, gluten-free dessert.
The crumble topping uses pure gluten-free oats. For a discussion on gluten-free oats, please see a story I wrote, Feel Your Oats, for Living Without magazine, a great magazine for people who are gluten-free or have food sensitivities.
Click for the recipe for Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Gluten-free, dairy-free hamantaschen
Name a Jewish holiday, and there’s usually a special food associated with it. That’s certainly the case with Purim, which is coming up this weekend. I made gluten-free, dairy-free hamantaschen – triangular, jelly-filled cookies — using the recipe I posted last year.
I found the recipe so easy to work with last year, but a bit more difficult to cut out the circles this year. It helped when I chilled the dough in the freezer then liberally sprinkled rice flour on the wax paper when I was rolling out the dough. Go figure. There is so much that goes into baking — the smallest changes in ingredients, temperature, etc., end up making a big difference.
My kids love shaping the hamantaschen and doing a “magic” trick: taking the circles of dough and turning them into triangular cookies. They also love thinking of crazy fillings to put in the hamantaschen. This year we tried marshmallows, white chocolate chips, Nutella and mint M&Ms, along with apricot and raspberry jam. I actually like the traditional prune and poppy seed fillings, but I did not have the ingredients on hand.
Check out this cute, short video of my older daughter shaping hamantaschen, and turning circles into triangles. Yes, she really does say to “gently, carefully, tenderly” fold up the dough!
The full recipe is posted here.