Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


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Quinoa pudding in the rice cooker!

You may sense a trend here.

I’m having a season of stomach problems, and frankly all I want is to eat things that make me happy. Rice pudding makes me happy. 😉  However, when I posted my last rice pudding post, a friend who can’t eat rice asked me if it could be made with quinoa… so last night I tried it. I tried it in the rice cooker, because a couple of the quinoa pudding recipes I sought out used the words “bain marie”, and nothing makes me run faster than those two words. Shudder. I thought to myself, I bet it would work using the rice cooker, and so it did. Life is good, my friends. I BANNED THE BAIN MARIE!

It tastes good, although quinoa doesn’t soak up as much liquid as rice, so it was a little sloppier. However, I wanted to try the recipe with only one substitution, so I was prepared for that, and frankly, I don’t mind a bit. This morning it’s solidified and is properly “puddingy”.

If you’d like to make your own, follow the directions from the last post (linked above in the text) and just substitute 1 cup of well-rinsed quinoa. (In the interests of full disclosure, I did a typically crummy job of rinsing it, frankly: just swished it around in a colander lined with paper towel for a few rinses, then plopped it in the cooker. Just to be honest.) It doesn’t taste exactly the same as rice pudding, because the quinoa will contribute its own nutty taste (I often think of it as green), but it’s a very nice substitute if you’re looking to get more nutritional value out of your desserts or if you can’t eat rice.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Another variant of rice pudding

Because seriously, who ever gets enough rice pudding? Sometimes, you’re just sitting around in the evening, and you think: “screw it. I need some rice pudding. Stat.” But who wants to stand around in front of the stove for 20 minutes? Sometimes, OK, me. But not this evening. So I made the hinkiest, quickest, and yet still yummy version of rice pudding ever. Ready?

  1. I put 1 cup of rice (all I had was Basmati, although I prefer a short or medium grain) in the rice cooker, with 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and two tablespoons of butter. Put that sucker on to cook, and waited for it to be done.
  2. As soon as it was finished (so while still hot), I moved it over into a large bowl.
  3. I added another cup of liquids, this time almond milk/coconut milk mixed. (It’s what I had)
  4. Stirred in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, added cinnamon and ground cardamom.
  5. Chopped in 3 dates.

BOOM. Rice pudding.

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What’s In The Oven: Baked Pears With Cinnamon Honey

I’ve started trying some recipes for the holiday season, and I happened to pick up two beautiful Bartlett pears (seriously. They taste like champagne. It’s kind of a shame to bake them) at the market the other day, so I looked up some pear recipes. I’m also trying to stay away from sugar when I can (without making myself feel denied), so this recipe fit the bill perfectly.
https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/baked-pears-with-cinnamon-honey/

I just peeled, cut up, and cored my pears, then added two small Gala apples I had sitting by just for good measure. Simmered the butter, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon on the stove as requested (for this I used cassia, not ceylon, because I have more of it) and added about a half teaspoon of ginger for good measure. I spooned the sauce over the fruit in a baking pan and put it in a 400 degree oven and it’s in there now. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Before cooking


UPDATE: Just came out of the oven and oooooommmmmggggg

It’s good

It’s really good

Did I mention it’s good?

Sorry, I can’t type any more because I’m eating now.

 

mmmnf

 

(sexy music plays)

 


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Kinda-veg rice pudding. Somewhat healthy. Ish.

😀 So I have a baby shower tomorrow, and I’d like to bring a dessert. But I’d like to make it with just things I have in the house, so it’s going to be mostly dairy-free and stuff. I’m starting with this recipe:

http://greatist.com/eat/recipes/healthier-rice-pudding

And going to add a couple things as I go. Eggnog, for one, because I’m making a double +  batch and I don’t have enough coconut milk. I bet that won’t suck. More after I’m done!!

Original Recipe:

4 Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk (about 1/2 can)
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • Dash cinnamon

Directions

  1. Pour coconut milk into a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add agave and stir to combine. Add rice and continue to stir until evenly distributed.
  2. Let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Liquids should boil off and mixture will become thicker. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon.

More to come when I finish it!

What I really did:

I made a double batch of rice, which means about 8 cups of cooked rice. So obviously, there’s plenty of rice. To get 8 cups of liquid, I combined the following:

4 cups coconut milk (light)

2 cups eggnog

2 cups water

2+ Tbsp cinnamon (cassia, not Ceylon) – I like cinnamon a lot.

Ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom to taste

1/2 cup brown sugar

If you’ve ever wondered what this much rice pudding looks like, this is it.

 
Simmer the cooked rice in this mixture (probably in your largest pan) until it thickens up. Then try to find enough containers for that much delicious, delicious rice pudding. 😀

 

About this many!

 
Oh my gosh, is this good. And not *quite* as naughty as my normal recipe.

yusssss


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And, oops, no. Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies, instead!! Hooray!

So I started to get out the ingredients for the almond bon-bon cookies, and found I was missing some important ones: sugar, almond essence, and milk. Oops. So, quick change of plan here.

I had a can of sweetened condensed milk in the cupboard, and thought: “there’s got to be a way to use this instead of the sugar. Maybe even the milk, who knows? DREAM BIG.” 5 minutes of research later, and I found this recipe, on jensfavoritecookies.com:
Ta-da!! Cookies.

I had everything for this recipe, so I made it. And they’re delicious, like little not-too-sweet shortbread bites. Of course, I am always sloppy creative with my measuring, so the final recipe ended up like this on my end:

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened (I only had about 3/4)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I added an extra 1/4 c to make up for less butter)
2 cups all-purpose flour (I did 1 c Krustease all-purpose, 1 c white rice flour)
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup chocolate chips (not for me)
Cardamom
Cinnamon

Instructions
Mix butter and condensed milk. Add salt, baking powder, spices, and flour, and mix just until combined. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes (I went 15, because I wanted them a little brown).

They’re really good, and soooo easy to make. I might make a glaze next time, but probably not today, as I’m running short on time.

**Note: if you’re sensitive to saltiness, you might want to cut the salt, and use unsalted butter. This almost tastes a little salty, but not too much for me. Some people might find it too salty. MWAH!

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Bon-Bon Cookies! (Mom’s recipe, but not quite)

My mom used to make amazing bon-bon cookies for Christmas, and in my turn I made them as well. They were buttery and almondy and had a chocolate chip in the center, and a delicious hard pink glaze over the top…they were wonderful. I’ve been missing them, and recently I had some gluten-free almond cookies (which I found out, too late, were not actually as gluten-free as they were advertised. Really, people, if you’re going to sell your food as gluten-free, please make sure you know what you’re talking about. My swollen tongue and messed-up insides would thank you.) and they intensified my yen, so — here’s my latest try at making the bon-bons, but gluten free.

You can assume from the word “latest” that I’ve tried to make gluten free versions of these before, without success. My first attempt, on Tuesday, was ok… but lacked cohesiveness – the dough was crumbly and not sufficiently dough-like – too dry – the cookies were mildly bitter – the glaze wasn’t right – oh, a host of things. I’ve made a good start at fixing the problems with the latest batch, and I look forward to getting better yet at this. 😀

I used “Krusteaz” gluten-free flour, which touts itself as being a “1 for 1” substitution for wheat flour, which is kind of the holy grail of gluten-free baking – something I can use in my old recipes without other substitution? Sign me up! Unfortunately, I find that these rarely work as straight 1 for 1 replacements; the way the different flours deal with liquids, and the way they taste, often leaves the final result too runny, too dry, too gritty, tasting bitter or beany or just off somehow. I mean, the baked goods are still usually ok… but most flours are not the panacea they claim to be.

The first batch I used only Krusteaz, and the texture was a bit too dry and the flavor a tad bitter for me. This second batch, I used a combination of Krusteaz and rice flour, and it worked much better. I also increased the butter (because why would one not?) and doubled the milk. These were the scientific substitutions; unfortunately, I also got all the way into the process before I discovered that I had no powdered sugar. Did I let that stop me? Did I whip out the food processor and make my own blinking powdered sugar? NO to both questions (I’ve tried to make my own before, and the results were spotty at best). I just used regular sugar in the same amount, and all was well.

I regret to say that I also lacked three ingredients for the heavenly glaze, so I made a plain old donut glaze and put it on. It’s ok, but I’m going to give you the real glaze recipe instead, that you may enjoy its shiny sticky glazey beauty.

INGREDIENTS FOR MOM’S BON-BON COOKIES

(sans chocolate chips; if you’d like chocolate chips in the center, and oh my god are they good, then simply form the dough balls around a chocolate chip or two, then bake as per the recipe. It’s also been suggested – by Betty Crocker, that minx – that almond paste in the center would be good, and I’m going to try that next; because the world simply can never contain enough ways for me to eat almond paste. But I digress.)

1 3/4 c flour (I used 1 cup Krusteaz and 3/4 cup white rice flour)
1/2 c confectioner’s sugar (I used regular sugar because I am a renegade)
1/2 c butter (I used 3/4 because butter is the essence of life)
2 T milk (I used 4)
1 t almond extract (I used 2 because I always want more almond flavor)
1/2 t salt (all I had was kosher, so hey… it adds zing)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. Make sure your butter’s really nice and soft, or you’ll be fighting to combine your ingredients. Plop ’em all in the bowl and use a beater (if you’ve got it) to combine. When your dough is making a ball (or at least sticking together like a semi-functional sitcom family), form into small (1-inch) balls and put on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. I hate cleaning, so I use parchment paper. Am I supposed to? No. Does that stop me? Also no.

Once you’re all balled up, put the sheets in the oven for about 15 minutes. Don’t wait for these to brown up, or you may wait too long. I like to make sure the bottoms are nice and brown, and when I left these in for a minute or two too long, they got beautifully crunchy, so for whatever that’s worth. :}

Take the cookies out and let them cool while you make the glaze – if you have a wire rack, you can transfer them to it for glazing. I like to put some more paper under the racks so I’m not scraping hardened glaze off the counter for an age after I make these. It always makes me feel a little too much like Sisyphus, except, you know, with pink frosting.

GLAZE

1 c confectioner’s sugar
1 T H20
a little less than a T lite corn syrup
1/2 t salad (vegetable) oil
1/4 t almond extract (I always use more because I am in love with the almond)
(optional) 1 drop red food coloring

This makes a nice, stiff glaze that, once dribbled over the cookies, will become a hard, candylike shell. It’s pretty much the best part. Make sure you give it enough time to set before you pack your cookies away, though, or you’ll have a sticky pink mess. Not that I know this, because I’ve totally never done it. No, wait, I almost always do it. So yeah, I know whereof I speak. (shame)

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Easiest Fudge Ever (modified for white chocolate)

So today’s been a cooking sort of day; I made a new batch of roasted root vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrots, turnip, and Brussels sprouts, with onion, garlic and ginger – roasted in olive oil with salt, pepper, and turmeric) and also roasted an eggplant (brushed with olive oil, and with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on). The vegetables were cooked at 400F until the eggplant was done (about 25 – 30 min), then I stirred the root veggies and put them back in for another 10 minutes. That was lunch! Yum.

Afterwards I had a craving for something sweet, so I whipped up this fudge recipe. It’s meant to be made with chocolate chips, but I used white chocolate instead.

3 C chocolate chips (I used white chocolate)
1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp butter

Melt all of the above in the microwave and stir until smooth. I then added:
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Toffee chips (Heath brand are GF)

Stir until all is smooth and well-incorporated.

Pour into a prepared pan (lined with foil that has been coated lightly in cooking spray, or rubbed with butter instead of cooking spray), let cool and firm up in fridge for 2 hours or more, then take out of the pan and cut into cubes.

(Photos will be coming, once it’s set up)