Sunday, June 19, 2011

Morel Mushroom Parmesan Pizza

This recipe I'm sharing with you today is quite possibly the best gluten free recipe on this blog to date. I mean, it's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! My husband and I created this together, based off a suggestion from the morel mushroom guy at our local farmer's market a few weeks back. After talking with the guy, who not surprisingly was doting on the wonderful, one-of-a-kind flavor of the morel mushrooms he was selling, we decided to buy a few (and I mean a few, as in no more than 4 ounces, which still ended up costing us $11!). He promised we would not regret it (and for $11 mushrooms, he'd better not be lying). His serving suggestion was to toast some parmesan topped french bread in the oven for a few minutes and top them with sauteed morel mushrooms. It sounded simply enough, and yes, delicious. The only problem is that we don't eat french bread in our house, or any bread that contains gluten for that matter. So it got me thinking... what about a morel mushroom topped parmesan pizza? I knew I had a few Udi's pizza crusts in my freezer that I could pull out...

So that's exactly what we did that night for dinner. And spent the entire dinner oohing and ahhing over this darn good pizza. My husband (who does not abstain from gluten completely) said it was the absolute best pizza he's ever eaten, gluten free or otherwise. And I agreed. In fact, it was so good that we made the same pizza a few nights later, trying it with portabellas instead (since we were out of those $11 morels the same day we bought them). The result of the second time around? Almost as good, the morel version was just slightly better in our opinion, but both versions delish.

So my recommendation is that if morels are in season in your area, and you can afford it, go for the gusto. If not, try some portabellas. Either way, you'll be floating up to heaven on a dreamy pizza cloud for the few minutes it will take you to scarf down this delectable pizza.

And please, let me know your thoughts if you try this recipe. (And you should try this recipe!)

Morel Mushroom Parmesan Pizza (AKA the best pizza known to man)

1 Udi's gluten free pizza crust
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
3/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces (approx. 1 1/2 cups whole) morel mushrooms or 2 portabella mushrooms
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the top and add garlic. Spread both evenly over crust with the back of a spoon. Spread parmesan in a even layer over oil and garlic. Bake for 7-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan. Slice mushrooms and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms are soft.

When crust is done, pull out of oven and spread sauteed mushrooms over crust in an even layer. Slice and enjoy.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Herb & Olive Quinoa (gluten free, sugar free, dairy free)

Doesn't this dish just look happy? Like a quinoa confetti of sorts. It's such a great dish to serve in the summer because it tastes great at room temperature and does not need to be refrigerated. Not to mention (as I do in all of my posts about quinoa), it has amazing health benefits. The protein and amino acids alone! I love it because it is so full of protein and yet so light on the tummy. I always end up going back for seconds.

This dish is super versatile. Use any kind of olives and herbs you have on hand. For the herbs, I just plucked a variety from my new garden. I really like the purple basil in here because provides a beautiful contrast in color from the green of the other herbs. I purposely made this dairy free, but I think a handful of feta cheese would also be tasty.

Herb & Olive Quinoa

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
pinch salt
1 cup mixed green and kalamata olives, chopped
1 cup loosely packed mixed herbs (I used green and purple basil, cilantro, and mint), chopped
1/2 toasted almond slivers or chopped almonds

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over med-low heat. Chop onion and garlic and add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add quinoa and cook and additional minute. Add water, bring quinoa to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.

Once quinoa has cooked, transfer to a serving bowl and add olives, herbs, and toasted almonds. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pear Cranberry Coleslaw (gluten free, sugar free, vegan)

I have really been on a coleslaw kick these days. I know it's the weather. Coleslaw screams summer to me, and we've been having warm, sunny days for a few weeks now, which means summer is here (at least we hope). Last weekend I made two separate batches of coleslaw, one with a creamy mayonnaise dressing and one with a vinaigrette dressing, such as with this recipe. I much preferred the vinaigrette version and decided to play with it a little more until I got it just right. I love the addition of the fruit here too. If you're not a pear/cranberry fan, you can definitely sub apple for pear and raisins for cranberries and it would be just as delicious.

I love to serve this raw, colorful, super healthy salad with some grilled, grass fed burgers and homemade lemonade (sweetened only with stevia- that recipe to come...). It's the perfect addition to your backyard BBQ.

Pear Cranberry Coleslaw

1 medium head green cabbage
2 medium carrots
1 pear
1/2 cup dried cranberries

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten free brown rice syrup, agave, or honey
10 drops liquid stevia
pinch of each: salt, ground ginger, and nutmeg
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Shred cabbage and carrots in food processor fitted with shredding blade. Add to a large bowl. Dice pear and add bowl, along with cranberries.

In a separate, smaller bowl, add apple cider vinegar through spices and whisk to combine. Continue whisking and add olive oil in a slow stream.

Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to combine.

Serves a lot. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Applesauce Rhubarb Muffins (gluten free, sugar free)

My mom just gave me some rhubarb from her garden and I've been anxious to make something with it. This morning I had the hankering for muffins and thought the rhubarb would be a great fit. The problem was, when searching online for a gluten free, sugar free rhubarb muffin recipe, I was hard pressed to find one. So I scoured my cookbooks, and low and behold, I found this recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Baking Cookbook. Of course, I had to make some changes to make this fit my dietary needs (sans gluten and sugar), but I would venture to guess that these are every bit as good as the original gluten and sugar laden recipe. These will definitely make an annual appearance at my house whenever rhubarb season comes upon us.

The flour blend I used here is a new one to me. I've been searching for a pre-mixed flour blend that makes gluten free baking a snap. I decided to try Bob's Red Mill brand of all purpose gluten free flour blend to see what I thought. I chose this brand because I love the combo of flours he uses: garbanzo and fava beans, potato and tapioca starches, and sorghum, making this blend rather high on the protein and fiber scale (which I love), with 3 grams of each in a 1/4 cup serving. I'd read all sorts of reviews that people thought the "beany" flavor was too strong, but I chanced it anyway. And I have to say that I do not detect a hint of "bean-y-ness" in this flour blend at all. In fact, it has produced the most wonderful baked goods to date. The other morning I made Belgian waffles with this blend and my husband says the waffles were the best I've made to date (quite the high complement from him!). So I give this flour blend a five star rating; it's that good.

Applesauce Rhubarb Muffins

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Xylosweet (xylitol)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup chopped rhubarb

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Xylosweet (xylitol)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 9 muffin tins with paper or silicone liners.

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour blend through salt. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, applesauce, and coconut oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine (batter may be a little lumpy). Fold in rhubarb.

Scoop batter into muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way up. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the tops of muffins. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest 5-10 minutes before enjoying.

Makes 9 muffins.