Category Archives: vegetarian

I found the best GF pizza!

The good news is I finally found the best GF pizza out there and I didn’t have to make it. The bad news is that it’s in New York City and they don’t deliver this far. Last week in NY with my daughter, I ate my way through the gluten-free plates of the city and boy, are there a lot of them. If we lived in the city, my friends, we would be complaining a lot less about the quality, price, and taste of the gluten-free offerings out there. Seriously.

Yes, that’s gluten free. And yes, it was amazing!

Ok, that’s fine you say, but what about the pizza? I discovered Keste Pizza and Vino while searching the Internet for GF food. It’s a small place, so small you could miss it and walk right past it if you weren’t paying attention like we did. But it’s worth the walk, and worth the search, trust me. Mondays and Tuesdays are GF days for pizza, although they serve it all week. Mondays and Tuesdays, I was told, are exclusively GF to lessen the cross contamination. Sounded good to me, and since we happened to arrive in the city on a Tuesday, that was music to my ears. It was also egg-free, which made my daughter very happy.

The tiny storefront for Keste Pizza & Vino

The restaurant is tucked into a sweet part of Greenwich Village and conveniently right across the street from a gelato store. There are just a few tables, and I found out later that it can get crowded with a long wait, but we got there early and got lucky. The staff is wonderful, attentive and very friendly. We were seated and had menus and wine right away. Our friends had salads, which they said were very good. I was saving space for pizza.

We ordered a basic Margherita pizza to get the full, NY pizza experience and we were not disappointed. It was a full pizza size, not like the usual GF pizza which is so much smaller than regular pizzas (why is that anyway?) And at just $15 I was quite surprised, expecting NY to have a much higher starting price. After taking the first bite of the pizza, my daughter looked at me and said, “We’re gonna’ need another one.” She was right. I ordered two more…one for the table and one for the next day. The four of us devoured the pizzas much too quickly, but we had no control. The crust was chewy inside and crunchy on the outside, the sauce was slightly sweet the way it should be, and the mozzarella was fresh and melty. I’m still dreaming of it at night.

The cute store across the street, which I loved.

We opted out of the flourless chocolate cake to hit the market and gelato stand across the street. Now, I wish I’d had the cake, but I knew I couldn’t eat that much and I would have had no control. The saying, “Well, we’re only here for a short time,” seemed to give us carte blanche to eat anything we wanted, and as much as we wanted. I’m paying the price now, but it was worth it!

I highly recommend Keste Pizza & Vino and I know I’ll be back again and again, every time I have a chance to go to NY. I like to imagine I’m one of those super wealthy people who can order whatever they want and have it delivered, even if it’s cheesecake from Boston or bagels from New Jersey. I would order this, no question.

The pizza is just as good the next day, cold. We packed it in our bags and headed out to Central Park for a day in the sun. Perfect food to munch on in the city, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for the Mac & Cheese adventure in the East Village!

Perfection on a plate!

Cold pizza in Central Park. Just like the good old days, yum!

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Filed under cheese, crust, dinner, dough, mozzarella, pizza, Pizza Crust, restaurants, review, rice flour, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian, wine

Egg-free, gluten-free, white chocolate/chocolate chip slice-and-bake cookies

White chocolate/chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Welcome to the new/old blog. I’ve decided to make the move to WordPress to have all the blogs in one place. I’m still working out the kinks, so if you find something, let me know.

In honor of your visit, I made cookies. Have a seat, pour yourself some tea and look around. How do you like the new digs? Let me know, I’d love to hear your opinion and thanks for stopping by.

White chocolate/chocolate chip slice-and-bake cookies

1 box Gluten Free Pantry Vanilla Cake Mix

8 Tbs butter, room temp

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbs orange juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (GF, of course)

1 Tbs ground flax meal

1-2 Tbs warm water

1 handful chocolate chips (We use Enjoy Life)

1/2 handful white chocolate chips

1. Mix flax meal with warm water and put in fridge.

2. Mix cake mix, brown sugar, OJ, vanilla in a large bowl. Since my brown sugar was a little hard, I mixed the juice and vanilla with the sugar and let it soften, then added it to the mix. If your sugar is soft, skip that part.

3. Mix in flax, which should be the consistency of egg whites now. Stir well, even though this is a thick mixture.

4. Mix in chips and using a little muscle, mix it all in.

5. Pour out cookie mixture onto a sheet of wax paper. Fold over the paper and work the dough into a foot-long/ 2″ log. Wrap well and place in fridge for 3 hours to overnight to cool.

6. When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice as many cookies as you want and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown. I slice mine about 1/2-3/4-inch thick. Place at least 2 inches apart. (Optional-sprinkle with a bit of vanilla sugar if you have it.)

Crispy and light. Perfect with that afternoon cup of tea. Best part, you only have to bake a few at a time. Put the rest in the freezer or leave in the fridge and make fresh, warm cookies right before the kids get home from school (or finish with their homework).

Enjoy.

 

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Filed under allergies, baking, butter, celiac, chocolate, cookies, egg-free, Enjoy Life Chocolate, gluten free, snack, tea, vanilla, vegetarian

My GF Pizza Obsession Continues at Detours Tavern

(NOTE: Detour Tavern is now closed…)

White pizza with kale, broccoli and mushrooms…YUM!

OK, once again we are back on pizza. I know, I know, you’re sick of me harping on the GF pizza quest. It’s my obsession to find something that comes close to real pizza, as you know. But trust me on this, it’s working. Last night, I got closer than I’ve gotten in a long time.

A dear friend invited me to dinner and said, “I saw gluten free on the menu, so let’s go.” Of course, that made me nervous, who knows what’s there and how they make it, right? But I always figure I can have a salad, and I’m touched that she thought of me and I love that she wanted to go with me.

Cut to a few nights later as we sit in Detours Tavern in Scottsdale. Not too much ambiance, more of a sports bar feel,  but not bad and it is clean. It used to be a Chinese restaurant that was anything but clean. So nice to see that gone at least. I checked the menu and noticed a few things I could order, but then noticed they had pizzas and a little note saying they had gluten-free pizza. Hmmm, after checking with the server, who assured me that they put the gf pizzas on a separate pan to bake and use separate utensils, I ordered a white pizza with kale, mushrooms and broccoli. One word-Wow! Thin, crispy, light, chewy, amazing. And it’s huge, not the usual tiny GF pizza that costs a fortune and isn’t worth the money. This did cost about $12, but it was totally worth it.

Of course, that meant I had to grill the poor guy for all the particulars. He said they get it from Sysco and he thought it was made in AZ somewhere. The owner wasn’t there and he said he’d call me with the information. Of course, I couldn’t wait for that so I checked on my phone and found out that Sysco has three GF pizza crusts available- Schar, Ener-G, and Pane Riso/Kingsmill. It didn’t look like the Schar crusts, which I’ve seen before. But all the options have no eggs or gluten, which makes them work for EF/GF Daughter. Yay.

Quinoa salad over raw kale

My friend chose the quinoa salad over kale. It’s filled with black beans, corn and more. Yummy! There was a light vinaigrette over the salad and mixed in with the kale, which was raw on the bottom. The quinoa flavor wasn’t masked by the dressing, which is sometimes the case with most restaurants. I’m getting this next time, if I can resist not eating another pizza.

And one thing this restaurant does is serve big entrees. We shared both and were stuffed when we were done. You could easily have shared with another person, but I’m sure glad nobody else was there.

I highly recommend this place for a relaxed, casual dining experience. There aren’t a ton of GF items on the menu, but what they have looks and tastes wonderful. They have a full bar and flat screens all over, so I’m guessing on game night it’s The Place To Be. My friend said their sweet potato fries were wonderful, but unfortunately they are fried in contaminated oil with breaded food. Only bummer of the night.

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Filed under allergies, black beans, broccoli, cheese, gluten free, kale, pizza, Pizza Crust, quinoa, restaurants, salad, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian

Gluten-Free PB&J The Way The Big Girls Do It

Switch out fresh fruit for the jelly

My mom turned me on to this gourmet version of a PB&J. Simply toast your favorite gluten-free bread (I use Udi‘s) and top with a natural chunky peanut butter, sliced fresh strawberries and a drizzle of raw honey. It’s light, healthy, and a wonderful way to start the day. I had this with my coffee this morning and it was a real treat.

I’ve also used bananas and blueberries, and my daughter has used sliced grapes. Someone else suggested blueberries and I’m thinking even sliced peaches, apples, or pears would be great. The sky’s the limit when it comes to fresh, in-season fruit. Have fun.

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Filed under breakfast, dinner, gluten free, honey, peanut butter, strawberries, toast, Udi's, vegetarian

Gluten-free, vegan, buckwheat carrot muffins

I spent a glorious weekend in San Luis Obispo, CA with some dear friends and got back yesterday feeling like a child who had to leave Disney early. I wanted to stay and explore the farmers markets more, discover more hidden restaurants with lovely, knowledgeable servers and chefs who take care and creativity to new heights. These are just a few of the wonderful memories I have of this weekend, along with my dear friend who will now be the pastry chef at the Dolphin Bay Resort. (I know, pastry chef and me, go figure. She’s a fabulous chef and I’ve learned so much from her about cooking over the years.)

Spring Salad at Luna Red

We ate lunch at Luna Red in downtown San Luis Obispo and had a brilliant, light, crunchy salad that was perfect for a warm Spring day in California. With the Greekfest right next door, the music made our day even more festive. The salad was filled with pea shoots, blood orange segments, carrots, radish, mint, a light citrus vinaigrette and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. A glass of rose and a table full of good friends made the afternoon complete. I highly recommend the restaurant.

The amazing selection of veggies at the farmers marke

One booth at the farmers market caught my eye, of course, with their big Gluten Free Goodies sign. I couldn’t resist and bought a GF carrot cake muffin made with buckwheat and a delicious quinoa salad I’ll be recreating later this week. (attempting I should say). It was filling and had a beautiful mix of savory and sweet with roasted veggies (yummy roasted carrots) and pepitas. I ate it cold right out of the container. Oh yeah!

But first up, after eating what was the best carrot cake muffin I’ve ever had (including my gluten-eating days), I decided to try and make it at home. Since Daughter has now eliminated eggs from her diet, that makes things a little more difficult, but not impossible. I do have vegan friends who I know will enjoy these also. The muffins in CA were not vegan, so this is just a small change and more of a challenge. I searched the Internet and found this recipe at She Let Them Eat Cake.com for buckwheat carrot muffins. These are already vegan, which is a plus.

I modified the recipe a bit to my own tastes, but I would encourage you to try her recipe also. And if you can’t have some of the things I’ve added, feel free to eliminate what you want. I added the almond flour and GF oats for flavor, and added the splash of juice just because it looked a little thick. This may change based on your altitude and ingredients. If you add molasses, you may not need any more liquid. But I do like the oats for texture and flavor.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Buckwheat Carrot Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup GF oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups grated / shredded carrot (you could use zucchini too)

3/4 cup agave
1 mashed banana
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp ground flax combined with 9 tbsp hot water (or 3 eggs)
Splash of orange juice to loosen up the mixture if you need it.
1/2 cup golden raisins

Eating these at my desk while I write this makes me very happy

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with liners or grease with olive oil.

2. In a large bowl combine the first eight ingredients (dry).

3. Add shredded carrot to the dry ingredients and combine. In a medium-sized bowl combine agave, mashed banana, olive oil, and flax-hot water mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add raisins last.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to the touch.

These are quite good, and amazingly fluffy and not too dense, considering there is no egg in it. I’ve never used flax and hot water before and I was quite amused at the egg-white-like texture it creates. The mixture is quite thick and gummy before baking and that must be due to the flax mixture. What a find. I will certainly be trying this with other dishes and baked goods. This is my first attempt at gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free baking. So far, so good.

In retrospect, these could use just a little more sweetness so I think a bit of molasses and honey, or an orange glaze on top will make them just a touch sweeter and tasty. A bit of Tofutti cream cheese will make them sing for me in the morning with my tea. Try them and let me know what you think.

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Filed under baking, breakfast, buckwheat, carrots, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, muffins, raisins, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian

Summer Gluten-free Eggplant Pizzas

In the mood for something comforting, but not in the mood for a filling pizza or pasta? I was in the same frame of mind today when I spotted the beautiful eggplants in the market. My daughter was quick to point out that a little sauce and cheese would make a great “pizza” without all the fuss. Love that kid! A quick grill of the eggplant and dinner is served!

Gluten-free Eggplant Pizza

2 med. eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick round slices
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe’s organic)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or whatever cheese you like)
4-5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
salt/pepper/garlic powder

1. Grill sliced eggplant with a bit of olive oil and salt until softening and grill marks show, but be careful not to let it get too soft. It’s going in the oven for a few minutes, so don’t overcook.

2. Place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet. Top with a 1-2 teaspoons of marinara sauce and a bit of shredded cheese.

3. Sprinkle salt/pepper, basil, parsley and garlic powder.

4. Place pan under low broil until cheese is melted. Watch closely, you only need a few minutes.

Voila! These are tasty and so yummy. I don’t miss the crust at all. If you want to do the entire meal on the grill, just layer the slices on a sheet pan, put it back on the grill and close the door for a few moments to melt the cheese. That quick and no need to fire up the grill in the summer.

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Filed under cheese, eggplant, girlling, gluten free, marinara, pizza, vegetarian

A Quick and Lovely Breakfast-Lemon Crepes

Have guests for breakfast, or feel like treating yourself to something a little more fancy than toast and PB this morning? Whip up some lemon crepes, brew a cup of tea, and sit back to a lovely, refreshing treat. Armed with a bowl of fresh lemons from a friend in town, my morning hungries led me straight to the Sweet Rice Flour and tada…crepes. This recipe is quick and easy, and you probably have everything in the house.

Lemon Crepes

Quick and Easy Lemon Crepes
1 cup Sweet Rice Flour
1 cup milk (almond or regular)
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
butter (for cooking crepes)

1. Combine all of the above ingredients, but just use 1/2 a cup of milk to start. Then add milk little by little until you have a mixture that resembles very loose pancake batter.

2. Put a tsp of butter in the bottom of a flat frying pan and melt over medium heat. (I don’t have a crepe pan and this works perfectly for me.) Take about 1/2 cup of crepe mixture and pour into pan while tilting pan to coat the bottom of the pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need a little more or less. You want a thin, even coat over the bottom, but not too thick.

3. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the bottom looks slightly brown and the edges start to pull away. Then gently just slip a spatula under the crepe and flip it. Cook the other side for about a minute. Then slide it out onto a plate.

4. Use a little more butter for each crepe. This keeps it from sticking. Stack the crepes as you go, or fold them one by one.

5. Sprinkle each crepe with a little fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar. I have also spread these with Nutella (leave out the lemon), spread them with fresh strawberry jam, kumquat marmalade, or even just a little butter. Go crazy and put anything you want on them. My daughter loves hers simply with fresh strawberries.

Enjoy! These are refreshing and light, but sweet and comforting.

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Filed under breakfast, crepes, eggs, elegant, gluten free, lemon, rice flour, strawberries, vegetarian