Tag Archives: gluten-free

Fudgy Cream Cheese Brownies and Three-Cheese Eggplant Roll-Ups

fudgy cream cheese brownies

Fudgy, flourless cream cheese brownies, gluten-free

eggplant rollatini

Three-cheese eggplant roll-ups, gluten-free

While the rest of the community whines about giving up wheat on Passover, we gluten-free cooks have it pretty easy. We’re used to cooking without wheat and looking for creative alternatives to grains. While others try to make food with matzo meal, we stay away from the tasteless stuff. This frees us to be more creative with grain-free recipes that taste great during Passover and year-round, like these gluten-free flourless, fudgy cream-cheese brownies and three-cheese eggplant roll-ups.

On Passover, one of my favorite products is Temp Tee Whipped Cream Cheese — it’s airy, fluffy and spreads easily on matzo, especially on fragile gluten-free matzo that crumbles easily. I usually buy several containers (so does my neighbor Dani, who buys 10 Temp Tee tubs to last well after Passover). So when Temp Tee and Joy of Kosher asked bloggers to create recipes with Temp Tee cream cheese, I jumped at the chance. (Check out all the recipes at Joy of Kosher’s “matzah fatigue” page.)

I recently created fudgy, flourless brownies that not only are gluten-free but also are kosher for Passover. I ramped up the “wow” factor by adding a rich cream cheese swirl, using fluffy Temp Tee Whipped Cream Cheese.

To counter the sweets, I came up with gluten-free eggplant rollups (or eggplant rollatini, if you want to sound fancy) with a three-cheese filling of cream cheese, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese.

But let’s start with the sweets, since that’s the best part.

choc chips and butter

First some prep: Place 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 6 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on half-power for 1 minute, or until melted. Stir until well-combined and set aside to cool a bit.

Then line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, extending up the sides of the pan. This will come in handy later, when you lift the brownies out of the pan to cut them. (One of my favorite baking tips.)

brownie ingredients

With your mixer (or by hand), beat 2 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar until combined. Slowly mix in melted chocolate. Then add 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, because don’t you think we need more chocolate? And then spread the batter into the baking pan.

Now it’s time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s heating, wash out your mixing bowl and make the cream cheese topping. Beat 8 ounces whipped cream cheese with a mixer. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and mix until it’s all smooth and creamy, with nary a lump.

cream cheese swirl

Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Drag a knife through the batter several times to create a marbled design. (You may need to dredge up some thick brownie batter from the bottom to get a good marbled effect.)

Bake for 35 minutes until the brownies feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan (or refrigerate) so they’ll be easier to cut. When cool, lift the brownies out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper. Place the parchment paper on a cutting board and cut the brownies into 25 squares.

Now on to the three-cheese eggplant roll-ups. Wasn’t it fun to have dessert before dinner?

eggplant

For the eggplant roll-ups, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cut 2 medium eggplants into thin slices. Trim the top and lop off the bottom of the eggplant, so it can stand up on the cutting board without wobbling. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into slices that are 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Now we’ll need to soften the eggplant, so put the eggplant on baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. Brush the eggplant with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the eggplant is soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix 1 egg, 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese, 1/2 cup small-curd cottage cheese (low-fat is fine), 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until well-blended.

rollups

Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place a spoonful of the cheese filling at the bottom edge of each eggplant slice and roll up. Lay rolls seam side down in the baking dish, placing the rolls close to each other. Pour 1 cup marinara sauce over top of the rolls and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella. (If you like a little spice, you can sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes over the top.) Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.

For the complete printable recipes see the Joy of Kosher website:

Fudgy cream-cheese brownies

Three-cheese eggplant roll-ups

This post is sponsored by Temp Tee and Joy of Kosher.

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Gluten-Free Matzo for Passover-Part 2

gf matzos

Recently, I wrote a post about gluten-free oat matzo for Passover. Fortunately, there’s also a different kind of gluten-free matzo on the block. These gluten-free “matzo-style squares” are matzo alternatives that taste better than regular wheat matzo or gluten-free oat matzo. With a crisp, cracker consistency, these gluten-free matzos are good enough to be eaten year-round (really!).

Made primarily from potato starch and tapioca starch, and lightly salted, the matzos have a delicate taste, unlike regular dry matzo that leaves you parched and scrambling for water. Yehuda Gluten-Free Matzo-Style Squares have been on the market for the past two years. Not to be left out, Manischewitz came out with its own “Gluten-Free Matzo-Style Squares” this year. (How odd that they have the same name.)

Now, these matzos don’t technically meet the seder requirements of matzo — that’s why you’ll notice a disclaimer on the box that says “not a replacement for seder matzo” or “not for sacramental purposes.” At the seder the Hamotzi blessing is supposed to be said over matzo made from one of five grains: wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats. That’s why some people turn to gluten-free oat matzo, though the oat matzo tastes like cardboard and is much more expensive, because of the supervision involved in ensuring that it’s both gluten-free and kosher for Passover.

The Manischewitz and Yehuda gluten-free matzo-style squares are very similar — with a crisp, flatbread consistency. Manischewitz is cheaper, which is always a plus, though I like Yehuda’s flavor slightly better. Both are certified gluten-free, and both do not contain oats (doctors now say that most celiacs can tolerate pure, uncontaminated gluten-free oats, but some celiacs still have reactions from oats). Yehuda and Manischewitz also make smaller gluten-free matzo crackers, too.

Last year, Yehuda added a toasted onion flavor, and this year adds a fiber-enriched version. The fiber-enriched version has 3 grams of dietary fiber, compared to 1.2 grams in the regular matzo squares. The additional fiber comes in the form of “apple fiber” and “plant fiber.” The fiber-enriched version is dry, though. If you want fiber, you’d probably be better off eating a fresh apple, which has 4 grams of fiber, instead of eating apple fiber in your matzo.

Depending on where you live, these matzos can be hard to find. I’ve found them at a local Jewel that has a good kosher selection. Some Whole Foods stores (at least in Chicago) carry the Yehuda Gluten-Free Matzo-Style Squares, too. You can also order them online, or ask if your local grocery store can order them for you.

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Filed under celiac, Jewish holidays

Gluten-Free Oat Matzo 2013

oat matza2

Gluten-free oat matzo for Passover

This Passover brings more gluten-free matzo choices than ever, which is a welcome relief from a few short years ago when you had to hunt to find any gluten-free options.

Gluten-free matzo falls into two categories. The first is gluten-free oat matzo, which is expensive and tastes like cardboard, but is the ritually correct type of matzo to include in a Passover seder. During the Passover seder, the Hamotzi blessing should be recited over matzo made from one of five grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats), so gluten-free oat matzo qualifies.

The other type of gluten-free matzo is much more tasty (good enough to eat year-round as a crispy flatbread cracker) and much cheaper, but is made primarily from potato starch and tapioca starch. These “matzo-style squares” don’t meet ritual requirements, because they don’t contain wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats, so the box states “not a replacement for seder matzo” or “not for sacramental purposes.”  Yehuda has produced matzo-style squares since 2011, and Manischewitz has come out with its own version this year. (For more information, Tablet magazine published an interesting discussion of the merits of gluten-free matzo.)

Gluten-Free Oat Matzo

In this post, I focus on gluten-free oat matzo. Stay tuned for my post later this week about “matzo-style squares.” (Update: Posted 3/8. “Gluten-Free Matzo for Passover Part 2.”)

A few years ago, oat matzo was the only kind of gluten-free matzo on the market, and it cost about $35-$40/box. Now, prices have come down to about $20-$25/box. There are two versions: machine-made matzas, which are square, and handmade matzas, which are round and are kneaded and baked by hand.

Lakewood Matzah uses certified gluten-free oats that are grown, cleaned and ground in a gluten-free environment. The oat matzo is certified gluten-free by the GFCO, making it a safe choice for celiacs. Their matzo comes in two versions: Gluten Free Oat Machine (Square) Matzoh, $25.99 per lb, with nine matzos per pound, and Gluten Free Oat Hand (Round) Matzoh, $25.99 for three hand matzohs (at least half a pound).

Gluten-Free Oat Matzos. Rabbi Kestenbaum’s gluten-free oat matzos were the first, and for many years the only, gluten-free matzos on the market. Based in London, Kestenbaum has been making them for more than 20 years. This year, for the first time, his Gluten-Free Oat Matzos are certified by the GFCO, making them a safe choice for celiacs. They cost about $29.99 per pound.

Click to read our Q&A interview with Lakewood Matzoh

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Brown Sugar Blondies, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

blondies

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

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Beef and Broccoli, Gluten-Free

beef and broccoli

Beef and broccoli, gluten-free

While we wish all our readers and friends the joy of the season, for our Jewish friends, Christmas Eve often means eating Chinese food and going to see a movie. Eating at a Chinese restaurant is somewhat difficult on a gluten-free diet, because of the prevalence of soy sauce. Also, language barriers can make communication difficult, which is why I love Triumph Dining’s gluten-free dining cards that are customized to different cuisines.

If you avoid dining out gluten-free and want to have Chinese food and a movie at home, try this gluten-free version of Chinese beef and broccoli.

Beef and Broccoli

(gluten-free)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Print this recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds pepper steak or ribeye steak, cut against the grain into 1/8-inch thick strips
  • 3 tablespoons high heat cooking oil, divided
  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Method:

  1. Combine orange juice, tamari, ginger, rice wine vinegar and honey in a bowl. Mix in cornstarch and set aside.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook meat, stirring often, until mostly cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.
  4. Drain fat from skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet along with broccoli and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until broccoli is bright green and tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Return meat to skillet, pour in the sauce and add red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

For other kosher Chinese recipes, see the links below by clicking on the frog icon. Please note, though, that the recipes are not all gluten-free.


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Chicago Gluten-Free Restaurants

Chicago is a true melting pot, with tempting food contributed by the city’s many ethnicities. I love the range of restaurants — from cutting-edge restaurants with celebrity chefs to corner cafes with tasty fare. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of gluten-free dining options in Chicago, with more restaurants offering gluten-free menus or otherwise accommodating gluten-free diners.

Everyone has to make their own choices about how safe they feel eating out gluten-free. Personally, I favor restaurants that offer gluten-free menus, as I feel that means the establishment has put thought into its gluten-free options and training its staff on safe handling of gluten-free food. Some restaurants (Maggiano’s comes to mind) don’t offer gluten-free menus but still are very careful about preparing meals that are gluten-free and allergy-free.

Some safe gluten-free and allergy-free dining-out tips:

  • When dining out on a special diet, try to avoid peak times. Dine earlier in the evening, when you can more easily get the attention of restaurant staff.
  • Before you dine, call the restaurant and ask to speak to a chef or a manager about your gluten-free or allergy-free requests. Review the menu online and ask questions about one or two dishes that you are likely to order.
  • At the restaurant, be sure to speak to the chef or manager again, not just your server. Ask questions about menu ingredients, preparation and dedicated equipment to be certain a dish is safe for you.
  • If you feel that the staff doesn’t understand your special diet concerns, or if you are served food that looks questionable, don’t hesitate to leave. Pick another restaurant.
  • If you’ve had a great experience, make sure to thank the restaurant staff and tip accordingly. It requires a lot of extra work to prepare meals for diners on special diets, so please be sure to thank the staff so they will continue to offer safe gluten-free or allergy-free meals.

I have put together a list of gluten-free restaurants on the “Restaurants” tab on the top of this site. I would love to add your suggestions too. Please feel free to email me at editor@glutenfreenosh.com or leave a comment with your gluten-free restaurant suggestions.

Foie Gras at Senza

Foie Gras at Senza

New updates to my Chicago gluten-free dining list:

Senza, a gourmet gluten-free restaurant that offers truly sensational food, is offering a gluten-free six-course New Year’s Eve dinner for $100 per person, or $175 with wine, including parsnip and apple soup, barramundi, tagliatelle with duck confit, foie gras with caramel corn brulee, lamb loin and coconut pound cake.

Cassava, which offers gluten-free empanadas and rolls, let me know that they offer free delivery of their frozen empanadas and mini rolls in the Chicago metro area, so they can be baked fresh at home.

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Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies

gluten-free sugar cookies

Cut-out gluten-free sugar cookies are fun to make, and to frost, for any holiday.

After a heavy meal of potato latkes for Hanukkah, it’s nice to have a lighter dessert, like these gluten-free cut-out sugar cookies — perfect for any holiday. For our family Hanukkah celebration this year, I contributed a big batch of unfrosted gluten-free cookies, along with bowls of colored icing for frosting the cookies. The kids frosted the festively shaped cookies at the party, providing lots of fun entertainment and only minimal mess.

This recipe makes about four dozen gluten-free cookies — good for a large crowd. The dough holds together well when rolled out, and the cut-out cookies retain their shape nicely. (I wish I could say the same for my shape.) The cookies have a delicate shortbread flavor that is nicely balanced by the smooth, sweet frosting.

Hanukkah Blog Party logo

I’m very excited to participate in the first-ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook, who have put together a fabulous array of Hanukkah-themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world!

Scroll down for links to delicious Hanukkah treats from other bloggers, and for information on a cookbook giveaway – which you can enter by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post!
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