Monday, November 29, 2010

Creative Crostini

Even though Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is right around the corner and many of us are only beginning to entertain for the holidays. This week, we're featuring a lot of different options for one of our favorite appetizers: crostini. Crostini, Italian for "little toasts" are toasted slices white bread, topped with fruits, vegetables, cheeses and/or nuts to create a sweet & savory appetizer. Also known as bruschetta, crostini are traditionally prepared by first toasting the bread slices and then topping with fresh vegetables or fruits, etc. however, another great way to prepare these perfect hors d'oeuvres can also be topped and then baked or broiled for a warmer alternative.

Crostini or bruschetta has always been one of my favorite appetizers. And I’ve had success making gluten-free French bread to then make gluten-free crostini, however, the problem is it is time-intensive and requires a lot of prior planning. Often, when I’m entertaining, I’m focusing most of my attention on the main entrée and want just some yummy appetizers that can be easily and quickly thrown together. Prior to being gluten-free crostini was just that – quick and easy. Just buy a baguette, toast and top with a delicious topping. But as you probably know, there aren’t that many, if any, good gluten-free baguettes readily available at the grocery store. So what was once an easy appetizer then became kind of a more difficult challenge…until now.

This past month I had a dinner party and really wanted to make crostini and I had an idea that I thought might work to once again make crostini easy and delicious, gluten-free. I have had great success with Udi’s gluten-free bread for sandwiches and toast, but since it’s sold as sandwich bread that is really as far as I had taken it. Then I thought, why wouldn’t it work to use it as crostini? So I cut off outer crust of each slice and cut each piece on the diagonal to give me cute little bread triangles. I then lightly coated each slice with oil (in this case I used walnut oil) with a pastry brush and toasted them in the oven. Then I topped them with my topping and voila – what resulted was perfect, delicious crostini appetizers that were beautiful in presentation!

Not only was the crostini great but the topping I used was spectacular as well. This is a great recipe for the holidays and now only takes just a few minutes to pull together
-Chef Yvonne

Here are some of our favorite crostini & bruschetta recipes from over the years. Although most recipes officially call for gluten-free french bread or a baguette, we have had such great luck using Udi's that we recommend you give it a try!

Don't forget - crostini and bruschetta can easily be gluten-free/dairy-free - just omit the cheese! The most basic and traditional Italian recipe calls for lightly toasted bread slices topped with freshly diced tomatoes, minced basil, a little bit of minced garlic or onion, and a sprinkle of olive oil.

Bruschetta with Tomato, Smoked Salmon & Herbs
Kalamata Olive Pate with Roasted Garlic & Basil Crostini
Lemon Basil Crostini
Warm Goat Cheese Crostini with Honey, Rosemary & Walnuts
Bruschetta with Gorgonzola & Apples
Bruschetta with Honeyed Tomatoes & Mascarpone
Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta (seen above)
Roasted Pepper Bruschetta

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble gobble

Happy Thanksgiving! May today be as stress-free as possible, filled with food, family and friends. May your turkey be golden, your stuffing spongy, your pie perfectly done and your football team victorious!

Happy turkey-day from Glutenfreeda Foods =)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

After the tryptophan-induced food-coma has worn off and you have exhausted your quota for turkey sandwiches, what do you do with all of those delicious leftovers? While Turkey Tetrazzini is a traditional standby, why not mix things up this year with some creative leftover solutions?

After the big feast of Thanksgiving is over, often you are left with extra turkey. Perhaps in the days before you were diagnosed with gluten intolerance, you would use the leftovers for turkey sandwiches (or perhaps you still do with gluten-free bread), but there is so much more that can be done with the delicious already wonderfully roasted turkey meat. Over the years we have amassed a large selection of amazing recipes utilizing already cooked turkey meat. Below you will find a large selection of recipes categorized by lunch, dinner or soup/chili -- which can be enjoyed as a lunch or main course dinner!

LunchChilis/SoupsDinner**Turkey Photograph copyright National Wild Turkey Federation // Joe Blake**

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Showstopping Stuffings

I don't know about you, but Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing just isn't Thanksgiving. Whether you prefer wild rice, cornbread or a traditional stuffing, we have a whole recipe box dedicated to sensational ideas for your turkey's favorite sidedish sidekick!

Recreating traditional stuffing, gluten free, can be a challenge. Over the years, we have tried using everything from store-bought gluten-free breads to baking mixes to baking from scratch - with some really great results. But given that Thanksgiving dinner is already an all-day (or two day) event, trying to add bread-baking to the process is not always the easiest (or least-stressful!) idea. Instead, we have had unbelievable results with both Van's Gluten Free Waffles and Udi's Gluten Free Bread. For both, simply defrost, cube and you're ready to go!

Whether you prefer to ‘stuff’ your turkey or bake the stuffing separately, the following recipes will steal the show at your holiday table. Each of the following recipes have received a five star rating from our readers and we agree, stuffing never tasted so good!
-Chef Yvonne

Herbed Bread Stuffing

2 boxes (12 waffles) Van’s gluten-free/wheat-free frozen waffles, toasted and cut into 1/2" cubes
3 medium onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
1-1/2 teaspoons herbs de provence
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1-1/2 cups gluten free chicken stock
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toast the frozen waffles 1-1/2 times, until crispy but not burned. Let cool, then cut into 1/2" cubes. Set aside. (Alternately, defrost, cube and toast in the over on a baking sheet until golden brown.)

Cook onions, celery and herbs in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, toss together bread cubes, vegetables and stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the stuffing to a large baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Cornbread, Bacon, Spinach & Cashew Stuffing


For the cornbread (see Notes, below)

1 cup gluten free flour
1 cup corn meal
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil

For the stuffing
2 onions, chopped
1 lb. sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch wide pieces
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
9 oz. baby spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup gf Chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the cornbread
(Cornbread can be made a day ahead of time.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine gf flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs and canola oil. Pour liquid ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into an 13x9-inch greased baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack. Cut the cornbread into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Lay out on a baking sheet. Preheat the broiler. Broil cornbread cubes, turning halfway through, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cook the bacon in 2 batches in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Add the chopped onion and celery to the skillet; sauté until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers; sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic; sauté for about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the spinach, cashews and cornbread cubes. Add the butter, stock and bacon. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the stuffing to a large baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Notes: In the past, we have also used Pamela's Cornbread Mix which is super quick and easy, available in most grocery stores.

Apricot Wild Rice Stuffing


3/4 cups wild rice
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Cook the wild rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine apricots, white wine and water. Heat in the microwave on high 1 to 2 minuts or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes; drain.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole. Drain apricots and discard the soaking liquid; place apricots in a large bowl. Add cooked wild rice, cherries, pine nuts, parsley, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add celery; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add scallions, cook another 30 seconds. Add to wild rice mixture; mix well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon into casserole.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until hot.

Pear & Pine Nut Stuffing

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1/3 cup gf cornbread
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup gluten-free Chicken Stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and cook until heated through. Add melted butter and stock and toss to blend.

Transfer to baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

For more recipe ideas, visit!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tradition? Tradition!

While we love coming up with new and innovative gluten free recipes and menus for Thanksgiving (and the rest of the year!), sometimes you just want traditional comfort food! So here it is, our most traditional gluten-free Thanksgiving menu - featuring old favorites, new flavors and our best recipes yet!

Our Traditional (Gluten-Free) Thanksgiving Menu
While you won't find any candied yams or cream of (vegetable) soup anywhere in this menu, this collection of recipes features our favorite, most well-cherished memories. Maybe one day these recipes will become some of your favorites, too.

StartersMain Course Dessert

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Game Plan

This month, in addition to featuring a gluten-free Thanksgiving menu which serves 10-12 guests, we also have an amazing menu on a smaller scale -- serving 4-6 people. Although the recipes from our first menu are initially scaled to serve 4-6, the number of dishes in this menu -- and the different blend of flavors! -- are better suited to a more intimate dinner party.

A holiday message from our chef and founder:
Although the “day of” preparations may seem exhausting, keep in mind that since you have already done a lot of the prep work in the days before, the actual “to-do” items on Thanksgiving day are not at all hard, but actually rather easy, because you are just assembling or re-warming, for the most part. One final suggestion is to make time in the middle of Thanksgiving day to relax and enjoy the day. This is time for you to take a shower, put your feet up and enjoy the wonderful aroma’s floating through your home.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
-Chef Jessica

Main Course Dessert Game Plan & Timeline 1 week before Thanksgiving
  • Read through all recipes in menu
  • Make grocery list
  • Go shopping
3 Days before Thanksgiving
  • Thaw the turkey breast in the refrigerator
  • Make cranberry sauce
2 Days before Thanksgiving
  • Toast bread for stuffing and cube
1 Day before Thanksgiving
  • Make the stuffing
  • Butterfly turkey breast
  • Make candied walnuts for the salad
  • Caramelize the onions for the mashed potatoes
  • Make Pumpkin Brulee
  • Make gluten-free baguette
Day of Thanksgiving (assume dinner is served at 3pm)
  • 9am Wash greens for salad; chill. Make dressing for salad
  • 9:45am Remove the cranberry sauce from the refrigerator
  • 10am Stuff the turkey breast and roll into roulade; cover and set aside
  • 10:30am-12:30pm RELAX
  • 12:30pm Toast baguette slices for appetizer
  • 12:45pm Make Honeyed Tomatoes
  • 1pm Start roasting turkey roulade
  • 2pm Make mashed potatoes, re-warm the caramelized onions
  • 2:30 Serve Bruschetta
  • 2:45 Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest; while resting make gravy
  • 3pm Serve Main Course
  • 5-6pm Serve Pumpkin Brulee

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Pies

With the holidays fast approaching, gluten free chefs everywhere are already beginning to plan and test their dessert menu. From pie crusts to cake batter, cheesecakes and tarts, creating elegant and delicious gluten free confections is a challenge to be faced and overcome each holiday season. With all of the amazing recipes available at, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite recipes and techniques.

While this recipe calls for creating pie crust from scratch, we have recently discovered (and fallen in love with!)Gluten Free Mama's Pie Crust Mix, making this recipe Gluten-free/Dairy-free (or GF/CF) is, well, easy as pie! Even easier, her pie crust can also be egg-free by substituting honey for an equally delicious option. Using this pie crust, not only can you make a delicious, easy and impressive gluten free dessert, but it can just as easily be
dairy free/casein free and egg free as well. (For more information, check out our product review of Mama's Pie Crust!)

A message from our head chef:
This holiday season, if you’d like to enjoy your favorite fruit pies without all the construction work, we have a beautiful and delicious option; free form pies. A free form pie is simply a pie without the pie dish. The steps are easy and the result is a gorgeous dessert that we think is much more beautiful than a traditional pie.

Free form pies are best suited to fruit pies, such as apple, peach or cherry; fillings made of mostly fruit because they do not have the pie dish to hold in a great deal of liquid.

The chilled dough is rolled out the same as a traditional pie and cut into the largest even circle you can make. Transfer the dough disk to a parchment lined baking sheet and fill the center with sugared fruit. Gently fold an edge of the dough about 3” over the filling then lift another section of the edge and fold it up over the filling, laying it on top of the last fold. This process is continued around the pie until all edges are folded over. The end result will leave the center of the ‘pie’ uncovered with the fruit exposed.

This is a beautiful dessert that is simple to make and eliminates any of the typical difficulties associated with making gluten-free crust. Try this recipe and you may never need a pie dish again!
-Chef Yvonne

Apple & Cranberry Free Form Pie
Be sure to thoroughly chill the dough and this recipe will be as easy as pie!

Makes 2 pies/Serves 10

2-1/2 cups gluten free flour mix
1/2 cup sugar (extra for sprinkling)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” pieces and chilled
1/2-3/4 cup ice water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 egg white, beaten

Add gluten free flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl of a electric stand mixer. Add chilled butter and mix with a paddle at low speed until the mixture resembles the size of small peas. With the machine running gradually add the ice water, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is evenly moistened and looks like it will hold together when kneaded into a ball. (We used about ¾ cup water to get to this stage) Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and form into two balls. Form each ball into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly (gluten free) floured surface, roll out a disk into a large round, dough should be about 1/8” thick. Loosen the dough from the surface with a spatula and carefully transfer it to the baking sheet. Repeat with other disk.

In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add apples, cranberries and lemon juice and toss well. Arrange apple mixture in the center of each dough round, leaving a 3” border all around. You can decoratively arrange the apples so they make a design when baked. Brush the overlapped top of the crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Place pie in oven and bake for 55 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a plate and cut into wedges to serve.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Give Thanks with a Gluten Free Feast!

Thanksgiving dinner is a challenge for even the most seasoned chefs, and being gluten-free does not make things easier. This year, in addition to sharing our thousands of gluten-free (and dairy-free!) recipes, we also have several menu plans that we have tried over the years to great success. As you know, we at Glutenfreeda pride ourselves on producing both recipes and food products that stand up against non-gluten-free foods and taste-testers. This means that you can serve your gluten-free Thanksgiving with confidence to the gluten-intolerant/celiac and not-so-much alike - to smashing success!

Here is one of our favorite menu plans, featured in the November 2008 edition of the magazine, including a timeline (beginning the week before!) to help make this meal as stress-free as possible!

What we're serving... (10-12 people)

Starter Main Course Dessert 1 week before Thanksgiving
  • Read through all recipes in menu
  • Make grocery list
  • Go shopping
5 days before Thanksgiving
  • Make Spiced Walnuts (store in an airtight container)
  • Make sausage for Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (if making homemade sausage)
3 days before Thanksgiving
  • Make Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup
  • Make Roasted Tomato Soup
  • Make Jalapeno Crème Fraiche for soup
  • Thaw turkey in refrigerator
1 Day before Thanksgiving
  • Make Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Make Cumin-Chive Stuffed Devilled Eggs
  • Clean turkey and Inject with solution in recipe
  • Prepare the stuffing for turkey up to the point of adding shrimp
  • Make Pumpkin Pecan Pie
  • Make Chocolate Mousse Cake (prepare the Cinnamon Cream Day of)
  • Clean green beans
  • Set Table
Day of Thanksgiving (assume dinner is served at 3:15-3:30pm)
  • 8am remove the turkey from the refrigerator – let come to close to room temperature
  • 9am hydrate the chipotle pepper for the Sweet Potatoes. Make chipotle glaze. Peel and cut
  • potatoes, cook and rinse under cold water, toss with prepared chipotle glaze. Place on
  • baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • 9:30am Finish stuffing.
  • 10am Stuff turkey and begin roasting (assuming your bird will take about 4 hours, size will dictate)
  • 10am prepare the onions up to the point of glazing. Place on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • 10:30 prepare the Cinnamon Cream for the Chocolate Mousse Cake, cover and refrigerate
  • 11-1pm RELAX
  • 1pm Start warming soups over medium low heat, remove jalapeno crème fraiche so it’s not “cold”
  • 1pm Bake Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 1:45 Serve Appetizers
  • 2pm Plate and serve soup
  • 2:30 Remove turkey from oven (check internal temperature and make sure it’s done – meaty part of thigh should be 180°
  • 2:30 Put onions in oven
  • 2:35 Start Green Beans
  • 2:45 Put the Sweet Potatoes in oven.
  • 3:00 Carve turkey
  • 3:15 Serve Main Course
  • 5-6pm Serve Dessert
Notes This menu is based on having 2 ovens. If you don’t have two ovens then omit the Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. You also may need to double or quadruple some of the recipes, like the onions (double and only serve quarters), soup, green beans and sweet potatoes (these should all scale without problems)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving is fast approaching!

Well, with Halloween officially behind us, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning your feast! The biggest meal of the year for most, Thanksgiving dinner is often a time for reviving old favorites - but it can also be the ideal venue for experimenting with new recipes. So this year, in addition to offering dozens of tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipes and menu ideas, we also have a menu plan for a Mexican-themed Thanksgiving feast. This year, be adventurous and try out these new recipes from your favorite gluten free recipe source!

In addition to offering traditional favorites - and traditions reinterpreted - our Thanksgiving Dinner menus offer a complete timeline from grocery shopping to carving the turkey! Everything you need to execute an elegant, effortless Thanksgiving feast is available at your fingertips through Stay tuned throughout the month for menu plans and some of our favorite recipes.

For a preview of our Mexican-inspired Thanksgiving Feast, check out our featured article in this month's magazine.