Monday, September 17, 2012

Salted Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten Free)

I have not baked much over the past year. Especially not the kind of baking where I make random, super lazy guesses about how to adapt a recipe to be gluten free but still delicious.

Well, these cookies reminded me why that's worth doing. Chewy, chocolatey, and with just the right amount of sea salt sprinkled on type. And for all you gluten free bakers out there who are lazy like me, we're talking about just one flour. JUST ONE.

I started with this recipe posted on the Joy of Baking. No real reason, mainly because I am a lazy googler, too, and this came up right away.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut cream (I was trying to use this up. You could definitely substitute for another 1/4 cup butter, or some applesauce.)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
3/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups gluten free oats
1 high-quality milk (or dark or even white) chocolate bar broken into pieces
Sea salt for sprinkling

(Please note, I was out of vanilla. This didn't really matter but feel free to use some! Also, you could certainly add nuts or raisins but I am in the staunchly anti-nuts and anti-raisins camp so I'm not going to give you advice on how to do that.)

Preheat your oven to 350. Cream the butter, sugar, and coconut milk (if using) in your mixer. Add egg. Slowly beat in xantham gum, oat flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Fold in oats and chocolate by hand.

If you have time refrigerate your dough for 1 hour. P and I really wanted cookies, so we didn't do this with the first batch. They were a bit flatter than those that had been refrigerated, but still very delicious.

I used a rounded spoon to scoop out the dough. Form it with your hands a bit--it is a little crumbly when raw. Sprinkle sea salt on top, bake for about 14 minutes, and enjoy! Makes 2 dozen.

Considerations for food allergies and ethics: Well, we all know that being a vegetarian ain't so bad because you can eat all the cookies! These are no exception, however they are decidedly not vegan. Gluten free folks please enjoy, just make sure you are buying certified gluten free oats and oat flour.

**If you are NOT gluten free, just swap regular all-purpose flour in for the oat flour, omit the xantham gum, and use regular oats.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Polenta Pie with Beans & Rice

This post comes to you from one of our favorite Wyomingites! Abby is a serious gardener, a serious economist, a serious lover of historical fiction and romance novels, and a recent convert to mostly vegan eating (with some game meat thrown in for good measure--hey, we said she's from Wyoming). She was also the first person to ever successfully make a gluten-free pie for K, way back in 2007. < 3

Polenta Pie - vegan, gluten-free, serves 4

This recipe takes a little bit more doing than some...but it is worth it!  This is a really yummy and satisfying meal.  Essentially, you will be making a pie using polenta for the crust, a bean and rice mixture for the filling, and an avocado topping!

To start: Polenta crust

Bring 2 c. water to a boil and whisk in 3/4 c. polenta and 1/4 t. salt.  Stir constantly, for 10+ minutes, or until the polenta starts to goop together and pull away from the side of the pan.  Spoon the cooked polenta into a pie pan and spread it evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.  Set aside.

Next: Bean and rice filling

1 c. vegetable broth (K says use gluten-free broth if that is a concern, Pacific is a good brand)
1 c. water
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 small diced onion
1 c. short-grain brown rice
1 T. chile powder
1 can (15.5 oz.) or 2 cups drained/cooked black beans
1/2 c. salsa of your choice

Combine the broth, water, tomatoes, onion, rice, and chile powder in a saucepan and cook until the rice is done (all liquid is gone and the rice is tender).  This takes about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350* F.

Once the rice is cooked, stir in the black beans.  Dump the rice and beans mixture into the polenta crust.  Spread the salsa over the entire combination.  Bake the pie for 30 minutes.

Last step: Avocado topping

Once the pie is done baking, set it aside to cool and whip up the avocado topping in the meantime.  All this involves is mashing an avocado in a small bowl with 4 t. lemon juice and 1/2 t. garlic powder.  Of course, if you are like me and an avocado LOVER, you'll want to double or triple this!  

Dish out the pie, top with a dollop of avocado goo, and enjoy!

Considerations for food allergies and ethics: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, casein free if you use the right veggie broth.