Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rebecca's Friendly Quiche

I adapted this from my chef hubby's quiche recipe. His recipes always allow for a little flexibility, so I recommend reading the directions through before proceeding. Because the flavorings in the custard can vary, depending on the season, I am providing you with the custard base below. Feel free to add whatever flavoring goodies you like. Mine consisted of mild italian sausage, spinach, goat cheese, garlic, and mushrooms.

The interesting part is that I've used the gluten-free pie crust before in a pumpkin pie recipe, and I didn't like it very much. This time it was really great. I realize now that the pumpkin pie recipe needed longer to bake, so the crust was slightly overcooked and slightly bitter. In this recipe, it came out "buttery," flakey, and delicious.

An important note: Since my blog is about reviewing products and sharing good ideas, I tend to feature products instead of providing entire scratch recipes. So I have provided a link to a gluten-free pie crust below for the adventurous cook with a little more time on his/her hands.

Rebecca's Friendly Quiche:

Products used:

  • Barvaria Mills Gluten-free Pie Crust (ready made)
  • Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream (I don't recommend Tofutti, because it's too dry and dense compared to this product, which is very creamy. You could use silken tofu as an alternative, but it will not be as flavorful as the vegan sour cream. If you do use silken tofu, you should puree it first.)

(For an alternative to Bavaria Mills GF Pie Crust, check out this link to a Gluten-free Pie Crust Recipe.)

Custard Ingredients:

2                          Large Eggs (or 3 small)
1 1/2 C                Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 C cream)
1/2 tsp                  Salt
1/4 tsp                  Ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook off flavorings (see below.) Spread your flavorings over the crust, leaving enough room for the custard. Whisk together the custard ingredients (if you are using cheese, or dairy-free equivalent, mix into custard.*) Pour the custard over the flavorings and bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until custard is set. It will puff up during baking, but it will deflate while cooling.

*I stirred in about 1/2 C of goat cheese crumbles to the custard before pouring into the pan. Another excellent alternative is cheddar flavored Daiya Vegan Cheese.

Flavoring options:

Bacon, Spinach, Tomatos, Leeks, Artichoke Hearts, Crab, Sausage, Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, Roasted Red Peppers, etc. Most of your flavorings need to be cooked first, unless they come processed, like canned artichoke hearts or olives.

My entire mixture of sausage, mushrooms, garlic, and spinach equaled just under two cups. Because the spinach cooked down, I used about two bunches. I like to cook things in phases because I have more control over their outcomes. (Make sure you salt according to taste as you go.)

I cooked off about 1/4 lb of sausage and placed it into a bowl. I drained the grease into a clean pan, washed the sausage pan (it was pretty sticky), then I returned the grease to the original pan and added olive oil. I simmered my spinach leaves in the oil until they were tender, then I put them in a colander to drain*. I simmered about 1 C sliced cremini mushrooms in olive oil. Then I added two pealed, chopped garlic cloves to the mushrooms and took the pan off the burner once the garlic began emitting its aroma. I chopped the sausage into finer pieces, and I chopped the spinach, and then I mixed all the flavorings into one bowl before spreading them across the crust. Then I poured the custard over the top, made sure it was settled, and then tucked it into the oven.

*If you cook a wet or oily product, make sure you drain it before you spread it across the crust.

A recap, in approximate amounts:

1/4 lb sausage
2 bunches raw spinach leaves (about 4 C uncooked)
1 C mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Simmer, drain, chop when necessary, mix together, spread across crust. (If you wish to cook everything together, make sure you honor the delicate nature of certain ingredients, and their cooking times. So with my ingredients, I would start with the sausage and let brown a little, then add the mushrooms until they begin to sweat, then add the spinach until wilted, and then add the garlic, stir once or twice, and remove from burner. Then I would drain the ingredients before spreading across the crust.)

Be well, my friends. And enjoy Eating Friendly.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rebecca's Dairy-free Hot Chocolate Recipe

A satisfyingly, chocolatey, delicious hot beverage, and it's just in time for a lactose intolerant Santa!

Rebecca's Dairy-free Hot Chocolate:

2 C                     soy milk (or coconut milk, such as So Delicious or Silk)
1.5 Tbsp             cocoa powder
2 Tbsp                cane juice (or sugar, or honey, or agave nectar...syrups can be added to taste) (or 1 dropper full of liquid stevia)
Pinch                  salt
1/2 tsp                vanilla
1/4 C                  Silk French vanilla soy creamer (optional, but it adds depth without making it too rich.)


In a sauce pan, on medium-high, add the ingredients in the order you see above. Stir regularly to keep from scorching until steam is rising from the pan. [Do not boil.] Total time: about 5 minutes.

To check your consistency, temperature, and flavor, taste a spoonful before serving. If it's how you like it, serve it up! Feel free to make adjustments with any of the above ingredients, according to your tastes.


1. Stir in a couple dashes of cinnamon just before taking the pan off the burner.
2. Add a small scoop of coconut oil for richness. (It will separate and look oily, but it's good. I wouldn't suggest that you add it if you choose to use the soy creamer.)
3. Add one or two drops of food grade peppermint oil to your cup.

Brands of soy milk used for this recipe:

Silk vanilla soy milk, light
Silk French vanilla soy creamer

Enjoy :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Easy Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

I adapted this recipe from my chef hubby's restaurant version. It's so delicious, you'll want to eat it by the handful. I think the Olive Oil version of Earth Balance is superior to the original flavor, and it does very well in this recipe. The maple syrup adds depth to the flavor, giving it more of a caramel note. The honey version is cleaner, and will satisfy the tastebuds of any purist. Using coconut oil makes the recipe more rich. You can also do a blend of the Earth Balance and coconut oil.

Friendly Granola

1/2 C Earth Balance (or coconut oil or butter)
1/2 C Honey
1/8 - 1/4 C Maple Syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
4 C Uncooked Gluten-free Quick Oats (I like Bob's Red Mill: see below)
1 C Raw Almonds (or nuts or seeds of your preference)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.

Melt the Earth Balance, salt, honey (and maple syrup if desired) in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and fold in almonds and oats, making sure everything is coated by the sauce. Then spread out thinly over a sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir granola, spread out thinly again, and return to oven for 15 minutes. The last 15 minutes can go pretty quickly, and sometimes the granola will brown pretty fast, so keep your eye on the granola during the second half. You may need to stir it a couple more times before the 15 minutes is up.

Total baking time is 30 minutes.

The granola will be soft when you remove it from the oven. Let it sit and cool for about 30 minutes. The granola will harden as it cools. If you need to bake another batch using your sheet pan, just scoop the granola into a bowl or flat container, and allow the granola to cool while repeating the process above.

Feel free to add cinnamon, shredded coconut, or dried fruit as desired. Sesame and sunflower seeds are also a nice addition. Just make sure that whatever you add, you take away the same amount of almonds. You can replace some of the oats, but they will soak up the sauce, whereas the nuts and seeds won't.

Product used: Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats, 32 oz bag. This is my preferred gluten-free oat product for this recipe. Bob's GF quick cooking oats are perfect because they come out tender and crunchy, unlike rolled gluten-free oats, which tend to be more chewy and hard to break down. The economy size of the bag shown above yields many servings. I used it to make two batches of granola, and I still have nearly half a bag of uncooked oats left!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

In The Spotlight! Gluten-free Olive Rosemary Loaf From New Cascadia Traditional

Another Friendly Favorite!

This is one damn good hard loaf from New Cascadia Traditional, Portland's first gluten-free bakery. Soft, chewy center with juicy, whole black olives and hints of rosemary. Yummm. This bread is so good, it's hard to tell it's gluten-free.

New Cascadia only bakes their olive rosemary loaf on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and it's so good it practically flies off the shelves. They sell it at the Saturday Portland Farmer's Market, at New Seasons Markets, and at their bakery/cafe on the corner of SE Market and 6th.

It stays soft for 2-3 days, which is really great for gluten-free bread. It's excellent with soups and salads, dipped in olive oil, and served with cheese (goat and sheep for me.) It's a crowd pleaser at parties, even for gluten eaters.

I'm sorry that my readers living outside the Portland area can't also enjoy this product. But you will know where to go when you come for a visit.

For a complete list of the purveyors who sell New Cascadia's baked goods, click here.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In The Spotlight: Harvester Gluten-Free Pale Ale

Another Friendly Favorite! Enjoy a pint of crisp, bitter/sweet, well balanced pale ale from Harvester, Portland's only dedicated gluten-free brewing company.

Harvester is a relatively new, up and coming brewery. They can be a daringly experimental with their beers from time to time. For instance, I bought a bottle of their new IPA, and it was so bitter that I found it undrinkable. However, these guys are learning as they go, and in a few months, their IPA may be their best beer on the market.

But as far as their pale ale is concerned, they've got it figured out. It's consistently good and satisfyingly refreshing. Just remember to be careful when removing the cap. Some of them don't come off that easily.

In The Spotlight: Glutino Gluten-free Lemon Wafers

Another Friendly Favorite! Glutino Gluten-free Lemon Wafers. Crispy, sweet, tart, delicate, lemony wafters as light as air. Mmmmmm. Need I say more?

My only complaint is that I eat way more than I should in one sitting. Their wafers also come in chocolate and chocolate vanilla. I can't eat them because they're made with dairy. Glutino makes good products, so I bet they're good.

They usually cost just under $5, but right now (October 23, 2012) they are on sale at New Seasons Market for $3.99.

Go get your wafer on.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

During the holiday seasons of years past, I spent hours in the kitchen experimenting with gluten- and dairy-free recipes and dreaming of my delicious first bites. Many times, the actual results were utter disappointments, and I would be the only one at holiday parties chewing through my embarrassingly semi-edible breads and desserts while everyone (including me) pretended not to notice how bummed out I actually was.

But times have changed, and pumpkin pie not only tastes good again, it's delicious!

My entry here is also a review of two products: Bavaria Mills Pre-made Gluten-Free Pie Crust (Pair) and Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Evaporated Cane Juice

The evaporated cane juice was grainy, so I mixed the sugar blend with the eggs before I put the pumpkin in, giving the cane juice time to dissolve.

The gluten-free pie shell from Bavaria Mills was okay. Its texture was great, but the bare crust's flavor was slightly bitter, dry, and lacking in salt. Simply put, it's a vehicle for your filling and nothing more. Overall, I give it a B, because it comes in handy when you're in a hurry. I would use it again. 

Gluten-free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Filling

(EDIT: if you want to use regular sugar, you can substitute it for the cane syrup crystals. The original recipe called for 1/2 C brown sugar and 1/4 C white sugar. I'm sensitive to white sugar, so I went looking for an alternative.)
   3/4 Cup Evaporated Cane Juice
    1/2 Teaspoon Sea salt
  1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
   1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
   1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
   1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
   2 Eggs
   1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
   1 15-oz Can Pumpkin Puree
   1 Cup Coconut Milk 

Needed: 1 Unbaked Pie Shell. 
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Combine the cane juice, sea salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Beat in the sugar mixture until cane juice dissolves. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree, and mix until smooth. Fold in the coconut milk, making sure it is evenly distributed. 
Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean.
Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. 
I recommend refrigerating it over night, to let the spices mingle. 

Bavaria Mills Unbaked Gluten-Free Pie Crust

(EDIT: I don't provide a gluten-free pie crust recipe here, but if you're looking for one and you need a recommendation, comment in the box below. Also, look for my upcoming apple pie recipe, in which I review a gluten-free pie crust mix. That one will come out before Thanksgiving.)

For those of you who can't enjoy soy-based whipped cream with your pumpkin pie, try vanilla flavored Enlightened Creme from Enlighten Your Palate. See my previous article about Enlightened Creme for images and details. For a list of retailers who carry Enlightened Creme, click here