Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Focaccia Slice-- Gluten-Free and Vegan (Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free)

Gluten-Free and Vegan Italian Focaccia Slice with Balsamic Pearls on Tomato
Last week my friend Pauline and I went to a local "Oil and Vinegar tasting" shop.  We sampled a number of delicious fresh organic olive oil infusions and aged balsamic vinegars (I love the fig infusion!).  We've been eating a little more Mediterranean since then... and today's experiment with making Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread was the culmination (we also ate an Italian squash and lentil soup today).

I love a soft, delicious focaccia bread for sopping up olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Today's recipe is a convert of a recipe for "biscuits a la focaccia" in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.  Naturally they use unbleached white flour, butter and butter milk.  Some of the recipes I saw online used eggs as well.  I just subbed for what I had, Gluten-Free-wise, and added a cup of rolled oats, always sure to make GF baking a little softer I find (use GF oats if you are intolerant of the oat protein, avenin).


2 1/2 T. Olive Oil
2           Garlic Cloves, minced
1   tsp.  Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 T.       Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 C.      Gluten-Free Flour Blend (your fave)
1 C.      Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 tsp.    Baking Powder
1/2  tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 tsp.  Baking Soda
2 T.        Cold Earth Balance Margerine (or your choice)
3/4+ C.  Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
Juice of 1 Lemon
Extra Coconut Milk or Filtered Water

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Oil a baking sheet or use a silicone round cake pan or cut out a piece of parchment paper in a round.
  3. Heat 2 T. of oil in a small pan and add in the garlic, pepper, and rosemary.  Simmer for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, stir together the GF Flour blend, Rolled Oats, Baking Powder, Salt and Baking Soda.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Cut the margerine into the dry mix until evenly distributed throughout (use a pastry cutter or 2 knives, or you could probably do this up quickly in a food processor)
  6. Add in the seasoned oil (rosemary, pepper, and garlic) and mix well.
  7. Stir the Lemon Juice into the Coconut Milk to form faut Butter Milk.
  8. Add the 'Butter Milk' to the other mix and stir to form a soft, moist dough.  Add in tablespoon-increments of coconut milk or water until the dough is moist throughout, like regular biscuit dough.
  9. Pat into an 8" circle on a baking sheet or press lightly into a round cake pan.
  10. Brush the top with some olive oil (the other 1/2 T. left)
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the bread looks done.  Mine looks pretty pale in the picture above-- next time I might give it a blast of Broil to brown it up a bit.  But it tastes great and is soft and does a lovely job of mopping up the oil and vinegar, what I was looking for!
Here is the recipe for the Balsamic Pearls.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Soft Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cookies

  • 2 medium ripe Bananas
  • 2 chia seed eggs (2 T chiaseed, ground + 8 T. water)
  • 1/3 C. organic Tahini (or other nut butter of choice)
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 tsp Almond extract.
  • 3 T. Maple Syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats (or 1 3/4 C. Oatmeal Porridge)
  • 3/4 C. Almond Meal (ready-made OR pulse 1/2 C. raw almonds in your coffee bean grinder)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt (or to taste/health requirements)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 C. of dry fruit and nuts/seeds of your choosing (I chose Coconut shreds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Raisins, chopped Dates and 5 Almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 177 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large bowl combine chia seed and water and let rest for 5 minutes to achieve "eggy" effect
  3. Mash in the bananas until well integrated, and then add in Tahini, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, melted Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup, Salt, Vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add Rolled Oats, and Almond Meal and incorporate well
  5. Add in the 1/2 to 3/4 C. of mixed Fruits and Nuts, and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for a few minutes to firm up the batter
  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter on a lightly greased baking sheet or a sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silicone Baking Mat .  Make them the size you want them to be-- they don't expand much (a little puffy).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly toasted golden.
  8. Let the cookies sit in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling grill.  
These cookies are softy ones, like individual slices of banana bread, with a few munchy parts where you encounter a nut or seed, and maybe a little chewy too.  They are very tasty and I joked that I was on an oatmeal cookie diet when I baked them because after I consumed a number, I was NOT hungry for the rest of the day (unimaginable for anyone who knows me).  Caution: The chia seed has a slight, gentle cleansing effect so you may either not want to eat more than one or two at a go if you have outdoor engagements.  The chia might just be the cookie's protection against natural predators because I might eat the whole batch, one go, if it were not for those consequences! LOL... too much information, right?


Apparently Oatmeal is also good for the Brain... but make sure you get GF Oatmeal!

And speaking of "brain"-- here is Arlene Taylor, PhD, Brain Function Wiz talking about "The Physiology of Forgiveness"

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