Tag Archives: Gluten free

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars

Last weekend, I went berry picking with some friends.  I have never done so in Oregon, which is idiotic, because everyone knows Oregon has the best berries anywhere.  It is strawberry season in Oregon, and is starting to be blueberry and raspberry season.  Blueberries are easy to pick, because they are on trees at a normal, human height.  Strawberries, however, are low to the ground and apparently enjoy hiding in thickets of thorny nonsense.  You kind of squat down and scuttle along the rows looking for berries.  Collecting a big bucket of berries made me feel satisfied to have come from a long line of peasants on both sides of my family, which is contrary to my childhood feelings about the same subject, during which time I was sure I was descended from royalty.  Not so, I’m told.

In any case, I picked a shitload of berries.  Far more than one person can consume.  So, I froze a bunch of them, in that Martha Stewart-y method where you lay out the berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then gather them up into ziploc bags individually when they’re frozen, so you have pretty, individually frozen berries instead of a frozen gloppy mess.  It worked perfectly.

In the interest of using up some of my berries AND of making a gluten free dessert for a buddy, I landed on Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars.  (I wanted to make a blueberry tart, but I don’t have a tart pan and seeing as I DO have a bundt pan AND a springform pan, that seems like enough pans I use once per decade.)  If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know anything about celiac disease, wheat allergies or the general gluten free food thing, I’d like to introduce you to the internet.

I’ve never made anything gluten free on purpose.  You know, like roasted asparagus.  That is gluten free.  But something normally made with wheat not made with wheat?  No.  Turns out, though, that there is a plethora of gluten free choices.  Almond flour, amaranth flour (?  This seems like what lembas bread is probably made from, and if you get that reference, you’re a dork and we would get along famously), rice flour, oat flour, arrowroot flour, fava bean flour, chickpea flour, etc.  I opted for rice flour, because a dessert made out of fava beans is weird, and oat flour, because that is something I could make myself.

These bars were so easy.  So so easy and so very delicious.  I think with nuts in them, these bars would be easily good enough for you to have for breakfast, or you could have them for dessert with ice cream and they’d still be wonderful.

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust:

1 cup rice flour

1 1/4 cups oat flour (you can make your own by pulsing oats in a food processor until more or less fine, but they make a nice base when they’re a little rough)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup (1/2 a stick)  butter, softened

1 egg

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Blueberry compote:

2 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp corn starch

juice of half a lemon

Method:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a small saucepan, cook the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, then let it cool until you can touch it.  It should be relatively thick, like jam.

For the crust, mix together all the dry ingredients, then smush in the butter, egg and oil with your fingers until the crust is sandy but mostly holds together.  Into a greased square baking pan, press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom, pretty firmly and be sure to cover the pan completely, not leaving any holes.

tamara doing the actual work.

Pour the blueberry compote onto the dough, then drop the remaining 1/4 of dough onto the top of the berries.

notice in this picture that i have some extra Thai chiles from when i made stir fry last week.  they’ll just sit there.  forever, probably.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top dough is lightly browned.  Let cool completely before cutting.

These turned out perfectly. Taking the extra step of cooking the blueberries was my way of ensuring that they didn’t get too runny and create a cobbler instead of bars.  They turned out beautifully.  I even took them to the beach.  And!  No gluten!

– Cat

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Filed under Baked Goods, Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes

Gluten Free Pasta with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Sauce

AND broccoli, peppadew peppers, artichokes and grilled chicken.

Lately I have been trying to eat from my fridge, because so often I end up wasting things after forgetting about them. Such as using half a bunch of asparagus and leaving the rest in the drawer. It’s not always possible to create a meal around ingredients in your fridge- let alone more than one ingredient. This time, however, it managed to work…and work really well!

I had another challenge presented to me during my menu planning; one of my dinner guests was gluten free. Ten years ago this may have presented a bit of an issue, but today there are practically gluten free isles at the market. I had been planning on a pasta dish when I remembered my friend was gluten free. Cat told me she is not a fan of brown rice pasta, she said she thinks it’s too sticky*. I went to Whole Foods to see what other options they had. What they had (along with brown rice) was quinoa pasta.

It was absolutely wonderful…and what I actually mean by that, is it tasted just like regular old pasta. I was seriously impressed. Not to mention the added bonuses of having extra protein, low sodium, and no cholesterol. The price was not overly expensive either, it’s like buying the store brand pasta versus the fancier brand of boxed pasta. I liked this pasta so much I would consider buying this in place of regular pasta.

The plan for this pasta was asparagus,artichokes, peppadew peppers, chicken, and goat cheese cream sauce. As it turns out the boyfriend had already used  the asparagus (and I don’t mean eaten, because he doesn’t do that, he shared it with other friends who were over earlier in the week). Since I had already gone to the store to get the pasta, I looked at what else was available. Broccoli it was. I was not disappointed in the least, the broccoli was perfect (but asparagus would be good too and I would prepare it the same way).

Ingredients:

4 oz goat cheese

1 /4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

1/2 tsp salt

1 can artichokes in water (or frozen hearts)

1 medium head of broccoli

1 head garlic

6 peppadew peppers

1 lemon

3-4 chicken breasts

Salt and pepper, for chicken

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop off about ¼ inch off the top of the entire garlic clove; you want to just expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle heavily with olive oil, and twist into a little pouch. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic is soft and roasted and smells like heaven (in my world, heaven smells like roasted garlic). While the garlic roasts, make the rest of the dish.

Slice the peppadew peppers into thin strips (or whatever your desired shape is) and set aside. Try not to eat too many of them while you cook everything else.

You will also be roasting the broccoli but it doesn’t take as long as the garlic. To prepare the broccoli chop the head into small florets. Make a foil packet to put the broccoli in**. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. The broccoli will take from about 20 minutes depending on how crisp you like your broccoli.

Start a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove for the pasta. In a medium skillet, sauté the drained artichokes and the juice of one lemon over medium heat for about 3 minutes; remove from heat and cover, the steam will help the lemon juice flavor to penetrate.

For the cream sauce, in a small sauce pan over medium low heat combine the yogurt and goat cheese and melt until a thick sauce forms. Add a dash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. By this time the garlic should be roasted. Squeeze the softened cloves directly into the sauce, along with the 1 tsp of salt and whisk to combine. Keep the sauce on low heat while you complete the final steps.

Salt and pepper the chicken and grill. While the chicken is grilling, cook the pasta.  After the past is cooked, and drained, toss the pasta with the goat cheese sauce. Toss the broccoli and the artichokes with the pasta, and top each portion with the sliced chicken and the peppadew peppers.

Absolutely delicious, not to mention gluten free, and healthy. I will be making this often.

A few notes:

My gluten free friend tells me she quite likes rice pasta but apparently there is an art to making it, involving soaking, rinsing and things like that. I will find these things out and share them with you, but until then- I recommend the quinoa pasta.

You could also roast the broccoli in a roasting dish, but I like the foil packets because they lightly steam while they roast (and there is one less dish to wash). Whatever your preference is fine.

-Sue

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Filed under Pasta, Poultry, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian