Food is a huge part of my life, and I get so much joy from creating a meal that everyone will enjoy, which is why it’s disappointing that I’ve never really been good with gluten free options for my friends. If you’re like me, there are a handful of gluten-free friends or family members in your life. When I get together with these friends, I want to be able to create something they (and everyone else) can enjoy without thinking it’s just boring gluten-free food. Which is why I was so thrilled when the opportunity to review The Cooking Light Gluten Free Cookbook came along!
I, like so many people, have always thought that cooking gluten-free is a daunting task, and forget about the possibility of me baking anything gluten free! Well, I did it! Below is a baking recipe from The Cooking Light Gluten Free Cookbook but in addition to my gluten free baking experience, I also did a little cooking, too. I tried out the Chicken Tandoori recipe and might I say, this one is a keeper! The recipe uses a handful of great spices and calls for chicken thighs to marinade in the spices overnight so when it’s time to grill it up the next day, they are super packed with flavor! Paprika, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, red pepper…talk about delicious! The recipe also creates a yogurt sauce using some of the same spices to accompany the chicken, and I served it with a sauteed veggie mixture and naan bread. It was a perfect, delicious, and super simple meal that I will be making again (and will even pull out for my gluten free friends)!
The rest of the cookbook provides other flavor-filled combinations, each unique and different from the others. There are recipes for risotto, enchiladas, onion rings, smoothies, pancakes, main dishes, sides dishes and even desserts! I have always been convinced that gluten-free baking is impossible, but I am amazed and happy that it’s something I can actually do. I admit, it was a bit pricey to get all the start up ingredients to begin GF (aka gluten free) baking for the first time, but now that I have the staples it’ll be easy and less expensive to keep my pantry stocked. Possibly my favorite aspect about this cookbook is that the baking recipes provide “by weight” measurements (ounces, grams) in addition to “by volume” measurements (cups, tablespoons). Also, even though I am a strict no-box-mix person, there are a number of cake, brownie, or other dessert recipes that call for GF box mixes. This is perfect for quick and easy baking, or someone who finds baking itself a daunting task. But for those who are more comfortable with baking, this cookbook also provides quite a few from-scrath cake and dessert recipes for you to use. In the recipes that call for box mixes, you can easily flip through to find a from scratch recipe to swap it out with.
As promised, here’s a great example of a gluten-free baking recipe that is hard to tell it’s gluten free at all! I made these muffins and they are not only extremely delicious, but I had other people conviced they were regular ‘ol gluten-filled muffins. Nobody knew any different! My only comment is that I may have added a touch too much xanthan gum, because my muffins came out a tad bit too chewy. So my recommendation to you is to make sure you precisely measure all the “by volume” ingredients (I’m so used to “by weight” measurements). Give these a try yourself and let us know how they turned out, this recipe is courtesy of The Cooking Light Gluten Free Cookbook:
Cinnamon-Raisin Muffins with Streusel Topping
1?4 cup chopped walnuts
1?4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons brown rice flour(such as Bob’s Red Mill)
1?2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11?2 tablespoons canola oil or butter
3.3 ounces brown rice flour (about3?4 cup; such as Bob’s Red Mill)
4.1 ounces potato starch (about3?4 cup)
2.1 ounces tapioca flour (about1?2 cup)
3?4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
11?2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1?2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1?2 teaspoon salt
3?4 cup raisins
1?4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1?3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup plain soy milk (note from Megan: you can use regular milk here if you don’t have soy or almond milk on hand)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl with a fork until mixture resembles small peas.
3. To prepare muffins, place 18 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Coat liners with cooking spray; set aside.
4. Weigh or lightly spoon brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, granulated sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in raisins and walnuts; make a well in center of mixture. Combine oil, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in soy milk; add to rice flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with streusel topping.
5. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.
Yield: 18 servings (serving size: 1 muffin).
CALORIES 201; FAT 8.5g (sat 0.8g, mono 3.9g, poly 3.2g); PROTEIN 2.3g; CARB 31g; FIBER 1g;CHOL 24mg; IRON 0.6mg; SODIUM 149mg; CALC 57mg
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