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Sarah Lawrence

Christmas Menu - a Gluten Free Vegan Feast

Christmas is such a wonderful holiday... celebrating the gifts of love and friendship... enjoying time with our family and friends.  For me, it's a joyful time.  In the kitchen, I want comfort and cozy... and I want tasty, healthy food that doesn't take all day to make!  I confess that I usually try new recipes at holiday time.  This year is no exception.  I'd love to share the inspiration for my 2 favorite dishes with you and hope that they can be a spark for you too! Okay, the ladies over at PPK are simply brilliant.  With a few modifications of the PPK vegan Macaroon recipe my Gluten Free Vegan version was born.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy coconut and the macaroon is just one of those things that’s eluded me… but no longer!  Now you can enjoy them too!   I played with these a little and my favorite variation was pressing a whole almond into the top of the mound of dough, baking and then drizzling with chocolate instead of dipping the bottom... kind of like an Almond Joy if you're into that!  GFV Macaroons GFV Macaroons 3 oz extra firm silken tofu ¼ cup coconut oil 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons almond extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup sorghum flour or ¼ sorghum + ¼ cocoa powder (for a chocolicious version) ¼ cup almond meal ¼ cup arrowroot starch ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½  cups unsweetened shredded coconut whole almonds, optional ½ cup chocolate chips, melted using a double boiler Variations recommended by PPK: Chipper: Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter Touch of Orange: Add 2 tsp orange zest and omit almond extract Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheets with parchment. Puree tofu, oil and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Scrape the sides to get everything back into the mix.  Add the remaining ingredients except the coconut.  Pulse to combine.  Tip out into a large bowl and mix in the coconut.  The dough will be stiff. Scoop tablespoons of dough out of the bowl and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I use my nifty Pampered Chef medium ice cream scooper to get uniform balls of dough.  These cookies don’t spread, so you can get a TON onto a baking sheet.  But, don’t overcrowd them or they will take longer to bake. 15 minutes in your preheated 350 degree oven should do the trick… golden bottoms and lightly toasted tops. Transfer to a cooling rack while you melt the chocolate (I like the double boiler method where you place your bowl with the chocolate over a pot with a bit of boiling water on the stove… the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water, rather it should be big enough that it rests on the rim of the water pot so the steam and heat from the boiling water will gently melt the chocolate as you stir.) Once the chocolate is melted dip the cooled cookies in and coat their bottoms.  Then set them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet to set. Pop them in the fridge if you need them quickly, otherwise, a while at room temp will also set them up just fine.   The other super stars of our holiday feast were these chickpea almond tart shells.  Green Kitchen Stories is a new blog to me, but I am already in love!  David and Luise created a stellar GFV menu for Bon Appetit and their filled version of these shells was totally inspiring!  The recipe posted here includes my modifications based on our tastes.  I found the original recipe to be a bit too salty so I've cut the salt.  Also, the coconut oil I use is raw and tastes very coconutty, so for our tastes and with the pantry items we use I prefer to use Earth Balance to play off the nuttiness of the almond and chickpea flour without giving the added coconut note (even though I love coconut... it just didn't work for me here).  I added flaxseed meal to bump the nutritive value of the shell and loved the extra nuttiness that the flax gave.  So, try the original version and try my version... then make your own!  The beauty of cooking is that you have the freedom to create things that suite your tastes.    I spread a thin layer of garlicky roasted eggplant puree on the bottom of each baked shell, then added a layer of braised kale (chopped kale, garlic, shallot, parsley, veg broth), and topped with a dollop of herbed mashed potato. GFV Christmas Feast 2011 Served these alongside Quinoa studded with cranberries, pecans and roasted yams; mesculin greens with raspberries; steamed carrots seasoned with cardamon... and the meal was divine. Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Makes 6-8 tart shells depending on the size of your pans Tart shells 1 cup chickpea flour (besan) 1/4 cup flaxseed meal ¾  cup almond flour or almond meal 1/3 cup potato starch, tapioca starch, or cornstarch 1/8 tsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp fresh herbs of your choice or 1 ½ Tbsp dried 6 Tbsp Earth Balance + 6-9 Tbsp cold water special equipment: small tart pans Preheat oven to 375°. Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulse until a nice dough forms. Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface (using either the chickpea or almond flour).  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and press into your tart shells.  If your pans are non stick there shouldn’t be a need to oil them, but if they’re not then definitely give the pans a quick coating. Take a piece of dough and press it evenly onto the bottom of the 1st tart pan, then work it up the sides.  Use your thumbs to keep the dough from going over the edges while forming a nice uniform thickness on the sides.  Since I don’t know the size of your tart pans, you may need more of less dough to make this work.  The shells that we liked the best had less than ¼ inch thickness to the sides and bottom.  They bake up crisp and are not dense. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and pop into the preheated oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the shells cool before filling them.  The bottoms will get soggy if you leave a filling in for too long, so be prepared to serve within about 45 minutes from the time you fill these little beauties.

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Sarah Lawrence

Gluten Free Sorghum and Socca Pizza Crust

Gluten free warriors, good pizza crusts are not a thing of the past! The 3 superstars here are powerhouses of fiber, protein and iron… and this stuff is not only nutritious, but also tasty!  If you haven’t tried chickpea flour (also called besan), you are in for a treat! Bob’s RedMill chickpea flour is available in my local market, but if you can’t find it you can order it online or try your local Indian Market.  Ask for besan, which is what chickpea flour is called in Indian cuisine.  Sorghum flour adds a level of sweetness to balance the earthiness of the chickpea flour.  Sorghum is also a fiber rich, protein packed and iron filled grain.  Rounding out the triumvirate is Golden Flax.  Blend it into a meal and it won’t be noticeable; if you prefer a bit of a seed bite for an artisan style crust, try leaving the flax seed whole. Put your cast iron skillet to use here and you won't believe how easy it is to have great gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan friendly pizza! Gluten Free Sorghum and Socca Pizza Crust 2 cups chickpea flour ¾ cup sorghum flour ¼ cup golden flaxmeal ¼ cup lemon juice 2 cups water 1 tsp salt 1 tsp onion powder ½ tsp grated lemon zest 1-2 tsp seasoning mix of your choice 1 Tbsp oil, for your pan Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  If you have pizza stones, put them in to get nice and hot. Mix flours, salt, zest and spices in a bowl. Add lemon juice and water and whisk to combine. The batter should be thick but not stiff; think pancake batter consistency.  Adjust your liquid if necessary.  Thinner batter will yield a thinner, crispier crust.  Thicker batter will yield a more dense, toothsome crust.  You really can't go wrong, so experiment! Coat a cast iron pan with oil and heat oil to medium high heat. Pour batter into pan as you would pancake batter… this is quite like making pancakes, actually! Tip the pan if you need to get the batter out to the edges. You can make your crust thicker or thinner depending on how much batter you put in your pan. Your pan may not be the same size as my pan, so the amount of batter you use will also likely be different than mine. I use a 12 inch cast iron pan and was able to pour 1.5 cups of batter in to cover the bottom, twice, for 2 beautiful crusts.  Definitely can squeak 3 crusts out of this recipe if you use closer to 1 cup per pour for 3 moderately thin, crispy crusts. So, the bottom of the crust will get crispy and the top will start to look a little bubbly and set like a pancake. You can take a peak at the bottom by lifting an edge with a spatula to see if it’s getting golden. The fun part comes next, so grab a spatula or two and get ready to flip the crust. I use two spatulas that are meant for use on an outdoor grill. They are long and flat and are perfect for this sort of thing! [caption id="attachment_493" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Top of crust, bubbly and set"]Top of crust, bubbly and set[/caption] When you’re confident, slide the spatulas under the crust and flip it over. Let this side get crisp for a minute and then transfer the crust to a hot pizza stone in your preheated oven. [caption id="attachment_494" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Flipped and golden"]Flipped and golden [/caption] Ladle on the tomato sauce of your choice and any other toppings that work for you. I made a quick sauce by blending a carton of Pomi crushed tomatoes with 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes. Topped ours with a light sprinkling of Daiya Cheddar. In a few minutes everything is hot and ready to take out, slice and eat! Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_495" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Finished Pizza"]Finished Pizza[/caption]

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