Category Archives: Jewish holidays

Braidable Gluten-Free Challah

I am so happy with this braidable gluten-free challah that it even got me to update this dormant blog, so I could share the recipe. I haven’t posted here in five years. Mostly because work, life, and family have taken precedence over an unpaid blog. Plus, there are so many other gluten-free blogs out there these days that I didn’t feel the need.

But, through the years, one thing has remained true. It’s been almost impossible to find a braidable gluten-free challah recipe — until now! Most food can be cooked gluten-free with great results (try our amazing recipe for brownies!). But gluten-free bread is hard. And gluten-free braidable bread is almost impossible.

The gluten in wheat is responsible for the stretchiness of dough. Without gluten, you’re simply not going to get silky, stretchy, shapeable dough. Gluten-free bread dough, no matter what recipe you use, looks more like cake batter. It is thick and tacky and does not want to be prodded or braided.

So, during Covid, I’ve experimented and come up with a fluffy gluten-free challah recipe that you can actually braid. Mind you, it is not the yellow fluffy bread that you once knew as challah. But let go of the past and embrace the gluten-free present.

So, during Covid, I’ve experimented and come up with a fluffy gluten-free challah recipe that you can actually braid.

Special ingredients

In this recipe, I’ve used some ingredients that act as binders. These help the dough stick together more, so it is shapeable and braidable without being as sticky. I’ll explain why I’ve used these ingredients in case you’re curious, although don’t let this lengthy description scare you off. But most of the ingredients are pretty common, unlike the psyllium husk that some recipes call for.

Higher-protein gluten-free flours give bread dough more structure. In the old gluten-free days, we used to mix our own blends by using several different types of gluten-free flours (like sorghum or teff). But who wants to bother with that these days? I certainly don’t.

Gluten-free flour

I’ve used my favorite gluten-free flour blend, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. (I actually got to interview Bob once. I was so geeked about that!) Note that Bob’s 1-to-1 flour blend contains xanthan gum, so you don’t need to add more for this recipe. If you are using a gluten-free flour blend without xanthan gum, you’ll need to add 1 tablespoon xanthan gum.

Flax

To add more protein to the flour blend and give the dough more structure, I added flax meal. Flax is also a good binder. For instance, 1 tablespoon of flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water can be used as a vegan egg substitute. If you don’t have flax meal, you might be able to skip it and substitute more of the oat flour instead, but please note that I have not tested it this way. (If you buy flax meal, you can use it to add protein and fiber to smoothies.)

Oats

I included gluten-free oats in this recipe, because challah really should contain one of the five grains specified in the Bible — wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and oats. (OK, technically, I think this challah would need to contain more oats, but let’s not focus on that.) Oats also add protein to the dough. To make oat flour, I take regular gluten-free oats and grind them into a powder with a coffee grinder. (And you do know, don’t you, that you need to buy purity protocol oats that are certified gluten-free, because of a high chance of cross-contamination with gluten?)

Almond milk

Usually, to make bread, you proof the yeast in warm water. But one can proof yeast in warm milk. In this recipe, I proof the yeast in warm almond milk, so that the recipe is pareve and dairy-free. The protein in the almond milk also helps with the structure of the dough — at least that’s my unscientific theory.

Egg replacer

I also used 1 tablespoon of egg replacer in this recipe, in addition to the eggs. My theory is that in vegan baking, you’d use egg replacer to help with the binding and the rising. So I used 1 tablespoon of egg replacer to add lift here. Egg replacer powder helps provide lift without the stickiness of an extra egg. Two popular brands are Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill.

You could probably omit the egg replacer if you don’t have it, though I haven’t tested it that way yet. I bought the egg replacer at Target, so it isn’t as hard to find as you’d think. It’s good to have on hand if you do any vegan baking, want to make edible cookie dough, or if you run out of eggs one pandemic day.

Banana (don’t worry, you won’t taste it)

It might seem like an odd choice, but I also included a mashed banana. This is another vegan baking trick that I learned from a friend. Bananas can be used as an egg replacement in vegan baking, so I reasoned that it would help with the binding here. Plus, many gluten-free baked goods tend to be dry. The banana adds moistness and fluffiness to the challah. I 100% promise you that you will not taste the banana in the finished bread. If, nonetheless, you are totally averse to banana, you could use one of those 4-ounce kid cups of applesauce instead, but you’ll actually taste the applesauce more than you’d taste the banana. If you’re using a frozen banana here (I always freeze brown bananas), defrost it and mash it up with its liquid (don’t discard the liquid).

Working the dough

Despite all these tricks, the dough can still be a little sticky and hard to manipulate. When braiding, flour your work surface well. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the ropes of dough too, so they won’t be sticky. If you find that an area is still sticky, sprinkle more flour on it.

This recipe works best when used to make two smaller challah loaves, rather than one big loaf. It is easier to maneuver the dough for two smaller loaves.

This challah does not store well on the counter or in the refrigerator. It will dry out like a rock if left out overnight (sorry). But it freezes beautifully. So if you make the challah ahead of time or have leftovers, wrap the challah in plastic wrap, put it in a zip-top bag, and stick it in the freezer. Then defrost it in the microwave or in the oven when you want to eat it, and it will be fantastic.

Don’t be scared off by the extra steps and special ingredients. It’s worth it! The result is a braidable fluffy gluten-free challah that you’ve been craving for so long!

braidable gluten-free challah

Gluten-Free Braidable Challah

Printable recipe

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

A good recipe for braidable gluten-free challah is hard to find. Happily, this recipe makes a fluffy, braidable gluten-free challah that you will love. The dough requires a few special ingredients to help provide extra binding and lift while reducing the stickiness of the dough. If you don’t have these ingredients, see the notes in the story above.

This challah does not store well overnight on the counter or in the fridge, but it freezes beautifully. So if you make it ahead of time or have leftovers, freeze it and defrost when ready to eat.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup warm almond milk, 105°F-115°F
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) yeast
  • 3¼ cups gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour)
  • ½ cup gluten-free oat flour (grind oats in coffee grinder)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon egg replacer (yes, use this in addition to eggs, it is a binding agent; you could probably skip if you don’t have it, though I haven’t tested the recipe without it)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • Egg wash (1 beaten egg)

Method

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup almond milk that is heated to 105°F-115°F (use an instant read kitchen thermometer to test it). Stir in yeast with a fork until dissolved. Let mixture stand until yeast begins to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, oat flour, brown sugar, flax meal, egg replacer, baking powder, and salt. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  3. In a mixer with flat paddle attachment (no dough hook needed), beat eggs, yolks, oil, and vinegar, until combined. Beat in mashed banana. Mix in proofed yeast mixture.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually mix in the flour mixture. Mix the dough for 5 minutes on low. (It will be more like a batter, not stiff like regular bread dough.)
  5. Cover mixing bowl with a tea towel. Put bowl aside in a warm, undisturbed place for 45 minutes to 1 hour to rise.
  6. After the dough has risen, get ready to shape it. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Liberally sprinkle gluten-free flour on your work surface, such as a clean kitchen counter, silicone baking mat, or parchment paper, so that the whole area is floured.
  7. It is easier to make two smaller loaves, rather than to make one large loaf. To make two loaves of challah, you will need to divide the dough into six pieces. In the mixing bowl, divide the dough roughly in half. From one half, scoop three equal-sized lumps of dough onto your floured work surface.
  8. Lightly sprinkle some flour on top of each of the balls of dough. With a very light touch and not too much manipulation, roll each ball into a rope of dough. (If dough or surface gets sticky, sprinkle more flour.) Place the three ropes parallel to each other. Pinch the top together and carefully lift each log over the other to braid the dough. If your braid comes apart, just smush it together a bit — you won’t be able to tell once it’s baked. Repeat with the remaining dough to form a second loaf.
  9. Carefully transfer the braided loaves to a baking sheet. (Or if you braided the challah on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, transfer the mat or paper to the baking sheet.) Cover loaves with a tea towel and let rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush top of loaves with egg wash. Bake about 30 minutes until golden brown. (If you want, you can check the loaf’s internal temperature. It should reach 190°F.)
  11. If you have any leftover challah, you must freeze it. If you leave this challah out overnight, it will be like a rock. But the challah freezes and reheats beautifully, so just freeze leftovers and reheat later.

Yield

2 loaves of challah

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Filed under Jewish holidays, Shabbat

Tzimmes

IMG_5176

Tzimmes–a mixture of carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes–is a sweet start for the Jewish new year.

On Rosh Hashanah, we eat sweet foods to signify a sweet start to the new year. A traditional dish is tzimmes, a mixture of vegetables sweetened with honey. Carrots sliced into coins are usually included, to symbolize prosperity. In Yiddish, the word tzimmes means “a big fuss” (as in, “Don’t make such a big tzimmes over it”), but it can also mean something that’s mixed up. But there’s no fuss involved in making this easy vegetarian side dish that’s good for Rosh Hashanah, Passover or even Thanksgiving. And it’s naturally gluten-free.

Tzimmes

By Gluten-Free Nosh
(gluten-free, dairy or pareve)
printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots, cut in 1-inch rounds
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 3/4 cup pitted prunes, cut in half
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Butter or margarine

Method:

  1. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large pot, cover carrots with water and boil 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and boil an additional 10 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place drained carrots and sweet potatoes in prepared baking dish. Stir in prunes.
  5. Combine orange juice, honey, cinnamon and salt. Pour mixture over carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes. Dot with butter or margarine. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Yields: 8 servings

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Filed under Jewish holidays, Passover, Rosh Hashanah

Bruce’s Brisket

brisket

Serve this brisket with potatoes and carrots for a Rosh Hashanah dinner

When my husband was younger, he had a brisket blockade. He and a family friend fiercely enforced a no-brisket zone at family dinners. He has gone in and out of the brisket blockade since then, but he still makes us this slightly sweet brisket that’s always a winner, especially for Rosh Hashanah or Passover. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free.

This recipe makes a small brisket, using a three-pound kosher brisket sold at Trader Joe’s. You might want to double the ingredients for a bigger piece of meat.

Bruce’s Brisket

(gluten-free)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds brisket
  • 6 carrots, cut in half
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1-2 pounds fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes, scrubbed and left whole
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, left whole
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces chili sauce (we use Heinz)
  • 8 ounces Coca-Cola

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place brisket, fat side down, in baking pan. Add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Add chili sauce and Coca-Cola. Meat should be surrounded by liquid, but not quite submerged.
  4. Flip brisket. (We want to cook the brisket fat side up; this gives it a nice coating.)
  5. Put a sheet of parchment paper over the baking pan and then cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Place in preheated oven and cook for 2.5 hours.
  7. Take out of the oven, slice the brisket (thin slices against the grain), return the meat to the sauce, and cook covered for one more hour.
  8. Put meat in the middle of a serving dish and flank with cooked carrots and potatoes.

Yield: 8 servings

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Filed under entrees, Passover, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah

Matzo Toffee, aka ‘Matzo Crack’

matzo toffee

Matzo Toffee — so addictive, it’s called Matzo Crack.

“Please, Mom, can I have another piece?” “Just one more piece.” “Really, just one more? Please!!” There’s a reason that this matzo toffee is nicknamed “Matzo Crack.” It is dangerously addictive.

Matzo toffee is made with my three favorite food groups: chocolate, butter and sugar. So right away, you know it’s going to be amazing. Plus, you can make it in minutes for an easy treat for Passover or any time of the year. And it’s simple to make gluten-free by using gluten-free matzo, which actually tastes better than regular matzo. (See my earlier post on gluten-free matzo.)

I first had this addictive treat when my sister-in-law Jonna brought it for Passover one year. (Thanks, Jonna!) We’ve been craving it ever since.

Matzo Toffee, aka “Matzo Crack”

(gluten-free, dairy or pareve, Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
printable recipe

Instructions:

  • 5 pieces gluten-free matzo
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or Passover margarine
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed 18×13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange matzo pieces in a single layer in the pan, filling the entire pan and leaving as few gaps as possible.
  3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until mixture comes to a boil, whisking frequently. Continue cooking and whisking for another 3 minutes until foamy. Carefully, pour toffee over the matzo and evenly spread into a thin layer with a spatula.
  4. Put pan into preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling. Remove pan and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let the chocolate sit and melt for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to spread chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.
  5. Lift parchment paper with matzo onto a large cutting board. Cut or break into 2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 10-12 servings

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Filed under desserts, Jewish holidays

Gluten-Free Matzo Balls

Gluten-free matzo balls

Gluten-free matzo balls

Gluten-free matzo balls

 

Matzo balls are a favorite at Passover and any time of the year. But what to do if you are gluten-free and can’t have regular matzo or matzo meal, let alone matzo balls? While some gluten-free matzo ball mixes are available for Passover (my favorite is Lieber’s knaidel mix), they can be hard to find.

Inspired by German potato dumplings, this recipe uses potatoes, potato starch and almond meal to make fluffy matzo balls — without the matzo. The result is gluten-free, non-gebrokts knaidlach that are fluffy on the outside, while slightly dense on the inside.

Make sure to plan out this recipe in advance, as you’ll need to refrigerate the boiled potatoes ahead of time. A potato ricer works well here to finely shred the cooked potatoes, but you can mash them well by hand instead. When boiling the matzo balls, do so at a light boil, so vigorous bubbling won’t break up the delicate matzo balls. While you can make the batter ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, the matzo balls are best cooked close to serving time.

This gluten-free matzo ball recipe is also featured on Joy of Kosher, a great resource for kosher recipes.

For more Passover recipes and products, check out these related Passover blogs from Gluten-Free Nosh:
Gluten-free Passover foods 2014
Gluten-free Passover meringues
Fudgy cream cheese Passover brownies
Strawberry vanilla tart in macaroon shell
Colorful quinoa salad
Chicken baked with babaganoush

Gluten-Free Matzo Balls

(gluten-free, dairy-free, pareve, Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup ground almond meal
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender and a fork can pierce the potatoes easily, about 20 minutes. Drain, return to the warm pot (no longer on the heat) and steam off any extra moisture for about 5 minutes. Peel potatoes and refrigerate for at least two hours in an open bowl.
  2. Press potatoes through a potato ricer or mash them well, so there are no lumps. Measure 1 cup (packed) riced potatoes and place in a large bowl (save the remainder for another use). Add eggs, almond meal, potato starch, oil, dill, salt, baking soda, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Wet hands well with water to gently form walnut-sized balls of dough. Gently drop balls in water and cover the pot. Cook in lightly boiling water (not too vigorous, or it will break up the matzo balls) for about 35 minutes. Remove matzo balls with a slotted spoon.

Yield: About 16-20 matzo balls

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Filed under Jewish holidays, Passover, Recipes, soups/chili

Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

pomegranate chicken

Chicken glazed with a pomegranate sauce, spiced with ginger and cinnamon

Well, hello, blog. I haven’t posted in quite a while. As I get busier editing for the indispensable Gluten Free & More magazine (formerly titled Living Without) and with life in general, I have had less time for this blog.

As always, it helps to have a kick in the pants, which comes as part of the Kosher Connection challenge to post a pomegranate recipe.

I have an awesome Dark and White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark recipe that I posted as the first recipe on this blog in 2010. That’s still one of my favorites, an easy, elegant gluten-free dessert. But onto new recipes, for the new year.

I associate pomegranates with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. First of all, pomegranates pop into the stores in fall, around the same time as Rosh Hashanah (although of course the Jewel didn’t have any pomegranates this weekend, so I couldn’t garnish the chicken with fresh pomegranate seeds). Also, pomegranates are said to contain 613 seeds, which is the same number of commandments in the Torah. On Rosh Hashanah, we want to be as full of good deeds in the coming year as the pomegranate has seeds.

Also on Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat sweet foods for a sweet new year. This pomegranate-glazed chicken delivers in that category, with a fruity but not overpowering sauce spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cumin. When the chicken is cooked, the pomegranate sauce loses its magenta hue. So, prior to pouring the glaze on the chicken, set some sauce aside and drizzle it on the cooked chicken to brighten the dish. Pomegranate-glazed chicken makes a great, naturally gluten-free entree for Rosh Hashanah or Shabbat.

For tips on getting the seeds out of a pomegranate without staining everything in your entire kitchen, read my Dark and White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark post.

Find more pomegranate recipes (not necessarily gluten-free) from other Kosher Connection bloggers by clicking the frog icon below.

Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

(gluten-free, dairy-free, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds cut-up, bone-in chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  • Thinly sliced orange pieces, for garnish

Method:

  1. To prepare glaze, combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a small nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until juice is thick, syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken, making sure skillet isn’t too crowded, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Place browned chicken pieces in  9×13-inch roasting pan. Stir ginger, cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg into glaze. Pour most of glaze over chicken, reserving a few spoonfuls to use as a garnish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. To serve, arrange chicken pieces on a serving platter. Drizzle with reserved glaze, and garnish with orange slices and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Yield: 6 servings

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Filed under entrees, Jewish holidays, Recipes

Mini Gluten-Free Cheesecakes

mini gluten-free cheesecakes

With gluten-free ginger snap cookies as their base, these mini cheesecakes are easy and delicious.

 
A classic cheesecake is creamy, smooth and slightly dense without cloying sweetness. The simple ingredients have integrity: cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. An honest cheesecake wouldn’t disgrace itself by being smothered in a sickeningly sweet strawberry sauce.

Preparation of these mini gluten-free cheesecakes — adapted from Bette Hagman’s Gluten-Free Gourmet cookbook — is as simple as the ingredients. Gluten-free ginger snap cookies serve as the base. (I usually use Mi-Del gluten-free ginger snaps or Trader Joe’s gluten-free ginger snaps.) A light creamy topping conveniently hides any cracks in the top of the cheesecakes.

These cute-as-a-cupcake treats are a perfect dairy dessert for Shavuot. On Shavuot, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah, dairy foods traditionally are eaten.

For other dairy Shavuot recipes, check out the Kosher Connection bloggers by clicking on the icon below. Please note that not all of the recipes are gluten-free.

Mini Gluten-Free Cheesecakes

(gluten-free, dairy)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Mini cheesecakes:

  • 12 gluten-free ginger snap cookies (or other small, round gluten-free cookies)
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Topping:

  • 1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or other garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Place a ginger snap cookie, flat side down, into the bottom of each cup.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until well-combined, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating just until each egg is incorporated and there are no lumps (you don’t want the batter to be too airy). Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  3. Pour batter into lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the centers are mostly firm; remove from the oven.
  4. Prepare the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon of yogurt mixture onto the top of each mini cheesecake. Return pan to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes until topping is set.
  5. Immediately garnish the mini cheesecakes with fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries or any other topping that hits your fancy. Refrigerate mini cheesecakes for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

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Filed under Jewish holidays, Recipes

Gluten-Free Passover Foods 2014

passover 2014

Gluten-free Passover foods

Passover is a prime time for gluten-free food, since foods that are kosher for Passover do not contain wheat, rye, barley, spelt or oats — although the big exception is that wheat is used in regular matzah and in products using matzah meal or cake meal.

While many Passover products have always been gluten-free, in the past they have used the Yiddish term “non-gebrokts,” which indicates that no matzah (i.e. wheat) was used in the product. But now many Passover brands are recognizing the gluten-free appeal and specifically labeling their products as gluten-free.

Kedem Food Products began introducing products specifically labeled as certified gluten free five years ago, when it introduced Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares (a great gluten-free matzah). Now, many of Yehuda’s products are certified gluten-free, bearing the GIG’s “Certified GF” logo, meaning they’ve been tested to contain less than 10 ppm of gluten. I’m always more confident in buying a food when I see the certified GF logo.

“It started with Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo Style Squares, and grew from there,” notes Harold Weiss, Kedem vice president of sales, in a press release. “Fast forward five years, and we have a complete offering of gluten free items under various brands including cereals, candies, cake mixes and ingredients all certified GF and many now available year round.”

This year, Kedem introduced a number of new certified gluten free items including Yehuda Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Crackers, Yehuda Gluten Free Soup Crackers, Crispy-Os Gluten Free Cereal, Kedem Tilapia Gefilte Fish (exclusively available at Whole Foods) and Shefa Sweet Goodies.

Kedem Gourmet Passover gefilte fish and Kedem Israeli Style gefilte fish, as well as Rokeach Gourmet Sweet and Heimeshe Sweet gefilte fish, do not contain matzah meal and are gluten-free. (Most other brands contain matza meal and therefore gluten.)

All Manischewitz macaroons are certified gluten-free, too. (I’d take a pass on their new pistachio orange flavor, though.)

Some of my favorite returning gluten-free Passover products are Yehuda Gluten-Free Matzo-Style Squares, Lieber’s Knaidel Mix (ie matzo ball mix), Frankel’s frozen Matzo-Free Balls, Jeff Nathan’s Seasoned Panko Flakes, Spring Valley chicken nuggets and blintzes and Gefen tapioca starch in a reclosable canister.

Do yourself a favor and pass over (get it: Passover, ha-ha) any of the gluten-free Passover boxed cake mixes or Passover noodles. They are rarely good.

Find some of my old Passover posts here:
Gluten-free Passover foods 2013
Gluten-free oat matzo 2013
Gluten-free matzo for Passover 2013
Gluten-free Passover foods 2012
Gluten-free Passover foods 2010

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Filed under Jewish holidays, Passover

Gluten-Free Passover Meringues

meringues

I’ve posted a couple of variants on meringues, but these were our prettiest yet, deserving of their own post. Plus, these meringue cookies make for a quick and easy gluten-free, dairy-free Passover dessert, requiring no special equipment or ingredients — pretty much just eggs, sugar and a mixer.

When I first started this blog in 2010, I posted a recipe for chocolate-chip and double chocolate meringues, with a really ugly photo, before I learned that you never, ever want to use a flash for food photography. And I also previously posted a recipe for cute ghost meringues for Halloween.

Piping these meringues seemed like a pain, so my daughter and I originally started by scooping spoonfuls of meringue and flinging the sticky meringue onto a baking sheet. But we found out that piping actually was so much easier and prettier. All you need are disposable pastry bags and a large star tip — OK, and some practice piping, because it does take a while to perfect the skill. (I highly recommend taking a cake decorating class if you foresee making a lot of gluten-free birthday cakes or desserts in your future.)

Meringues are true sugar cookies because the main ingredient is, well, sugar. My youngest daughter is crazy for them.

My oldest daughter is trying a low-FODMAP diet to help with her non-celiac stomach issues, so these meringues are a good low-FODMAP dessert. (FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that are sometimes poorly digested by the small intestine, causing irritable bowel symptoms like pain, bloating and gas when they pass into the large intestine. … Sorry if I just killed your meringue sugar buzz, but it’s good to know about FODMAPs because they will be increasingly in the health news.)

Gluten-Free Passover Meringues

(gluten-free, dairy-free, pareve, Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, and beat until stiff. Gradually add sugar and continue beating. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Put a large star tip on a disposable pastry bag. Fill the bag with the meringue mixture and twist the top to close. Pipe the meringues onto the lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for one hour. Allow meringues to cool and store in an airtight container.

Yield: About 24 meringue cookies

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Filed under desserts, Jewish holidays, Passover, Recipes

Chicken Baked with Babaganoush

chicken baked with babaganoush

Chicken baked with babaganoush, gluten-free

 

“Chicken, again?!” is a refrain I hear a lot in my house, especially from my oldest daughter … not that I’m pointing fingers or anything.

Let’s face it — unless you are a vegetarian — chicken makes for a good dinner: It’s easy, high in protein, filling and most people like it, so it’s good for guests. But sometimes, it can be rather run of the mill.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will elevate your weeknight chicken dish with a burst of flavor: chicken breasts baked with babganoush. The Mediterranean eggplant spread lends its slightly garlicky and smoky flavor to enhance chicken. Plus, the coating of babaganoush helps seal in juices, making for a more moist, flavorful chicken breast.

The awesome folks at Joy of Kosher asked me to develop a recipe using one of Sabra’s Mediterranean salads, for their #ShareSabra campaign. I was happy to, since all of Sabra’s products are gluten-free. Sabra’s babaganoush does not contain sesame, which is a bit untraditional but good with our family, since my father is severely allergic to sesame and I tend to stay away from it out of habit.

 

chicken and babaganoush

To make the chicken, spoon babaganoush on top of each chicken breast, so the top of each breast is evenly covered with a thick layer of babaganoush. Sprinkle the tops with paprika and some fresh parsley, and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. (You can try this same technique using hummus instead of babaganoush.)

With babaganoush that is labeled kosher for Passover, this dish becomes a quick way to brighten up the Passover table with a burst of flavor. You can’t beat that for ease and convenience.

Please see my full recipe for Chicken Baked with Babaganoush on the Joy of Kosher site.

This post is sponsored by Sabra, but all opinions are my own. With Joy of Kosher’s #ShareSabra contest, you could win $200 just by sharing photos of your food, your family and your friends (and it does not need to be with a Sabra product).

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Filed under entrees, Passover, Recipes