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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Gluten-Free

PASSOVER: Start New Traditions With These Recipes

Passover begins at sunset on Monday, March 25th and continues for seven days. Observant Jews celebrate the first two nights with seders, featuring recipes that have been in their families for generations.

But how about some 21st-century Passover recipes—if not for a seder, then for the other five days? There are more than 60 modern, creative Passover recipes in a new cookbook, Passover Made Easy. Some of the recipes that are calling out to us:

  • Brisket Eggrolls
  • Citrus Beet Salad with Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken
  • Espresso Macarons with Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream
  • French Roast with Fresh Spice Rub
  • Frozen Lemon Wafer Cake
  • Jalapeño Lime and Ginger Salmon
  • Pecan Pie with Cookie Crust
  • Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
  • Schnitzel Nuggets with Apricot Dipping Sauce
  • Spaghetti Squash Kugel
  • Tortillas with Tomato-Mint Salsa and Guacamole
  • Vegetable Lo Mein
  •  

    There’s plenty of time to pick up a copy and plan for Passover. Photo courtesy Passover Made Easy.

     

    The easy to prepare, sure to please original recipes were developed and tested by best-selling cookbook author Leah Schapira (Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking) and co-founder of CookKosher.com, an online kosher recipe exchange; with Victoria Dwek, managing editor of Whisk, a kosher food magazine.

    Pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift: it’s just $10.87 on Amazon.com. There are fascinating culinary tidbits, useful preparation tips, full-color photos for each dish, step-by-step plating and food styling secrets, and a wine pairings and Seder wine guide.

    As a bonus, all but four of the 60 recipes in the book are gluten-free. And of course, the recipes can be enjoyed all year long. Here’s one recipes from Passover Made Easy to start you off; next week, we’ll publish Matzaroni, the mac-and-cheese alternative:

     

    Eggplant-wrapped chicken, one of the
    modern recipe alternatives. Photo courtesy
    Passover Made Easy.

     

    RECIPE: EGGPLANT WRAPPED CHICKEN

    Ingredients

    Eggplant

  • 1 tall eggplant
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch coarse black pepper
  •  
    Meat Mixture

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound ground meat of choice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •  
    Chiken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch course black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to broil. Grease a baking sheet. Cut eggplant lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick, to get 6 or 7 slices. Reserve remaining eggplant scraps. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes per side, until second side is beginning to brown. The slices should appear as if they were fried. Remove and set aside.

    2. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Peel and finely dice remaining eggplant to obtain ½ cup diced eggplant. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and diced eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

    3. COMBINE onion mixture with ground meat in a small bowl. Season with salt and garlic powder.

    4. SEASON chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into each thigh and roll up to close. Roll an eggplant slice around each stuffed chicken thigh. Place, seam side down and close together, in a baking pan. Cover and bake for 2½ hours.

    Serve with mashed potatoes or your favorite Passover-approved grain,* and your favorite green vegetable, steamed or sauteed lightly with garlic.

    *Grains forbidden during passover include barley and all types of wheat. Grains such as quinoa and rice were not known during biblical times so are not forbidden. Extremely religious people will avoid any grain.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Gourmet Gluten Free Cookies & Truffles

    Gluten-free glory. Photo courtesy Cake |
    Chicago.

     

    While it may not be easy being green, it’s even worse to be gluten-free. When everyone else is enjoying cake and cookies, you’ve got to show restraint.

    Unless you’ve received a box of “defloured” cookies from Cake, an artisan bakery in Chicago.

    A gift box of three delicious cookies will make your gluten-free friend or family member very happy:

  • Chubby Wubby cookies, a delicious sandwich cookie: two bittersweet chocolate cookies studded with bittersweet chocolate chips, filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache
  • Choosy Chocolate Chip Cookies, crisp and buttery and
  • Square None Brownies, studded with bittersweet chocolate chips beneath a crispy, crackly top
  •  

    Glutophobes will grinning from ear to ear.
     
    The deluxe gift box includes:

  • 9 piece against the grain chocolate truffle assortment
  • 6 Choosy Chocolate Chip cookies
  • 4 Chubby Wubby Chocolate Cookies
  • 4 Square None Brownies
  • 10-pieces Square None Loose Ends (chewy brownie edges)
  •  
    Order at Cake-Chicago.com.

    The company also makes delicious cookies with conventional flour.

    See more of our favorite gluten free gourmet foods.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Omission Gluten Free Beer

    Omission beer is gluten-free and delicious. Photo courtesy Omission Beer.

     

    Beer drinkers with gluten sensitivities—or anyone looking to cut back on gluten—have an early holiday gift: Omission Beer.

    Gluten is found in many common cereal grains including barley and wheat—typical beer ingredients.

    On a mission to make a great-tasting beer without the gluten, the Omission team used traditional beer ingredients to handcraft the brew. They also developed a proprietary process that removes all the gluten.

    Unlike some earlier gluten-free beers, it contains all of the standard beer ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast. And the aroma and taste will should please just about everyone.

     

  • Omission Lager, brewed in the traditional lager style, is refreshing and crisp, with an ABV of 4.6%.
  • Omission Pale Ale is bold and hoppy American Pale Ale, amber and redolent of Cascade hops. The floral aroma is complimented by caramel malt body, with an ABV of 5.8%.
  •  
    At a recent NIBBLE editorial tasting, it was all thumbs-up for Omission Beer.

    A six-pack or two would make a great gift for a gluten-averse pal.

    Here’s the store locator. Learn more about Omission beer on the company website.

    Brush up on your beer vocabulary in our Beer Glossary.

    Find more of our favorite beers in our Beer Section.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Inka Corn Snack

    Where would we be without Peru, birthplace of corn (maize) [also, the birthplace of peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes]?

    While summer corn has faded from markets, you can get plenty of Inka Corn: a roasted Peruvian corn snack.

    According to the manufacturer, this is the same “imperial snack” that Inka rulers used to reward their warrior heroes.

    If you’ve had CornNuts, the Inka Corn kernels are much larger and less hard on the teeth. And much better tasting.

    The Inka Corn kernels are also much larger than Half Pops—a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week that is air-popped rather than roasted in oil.

    When we first saw Inka Corn at a trade show, an ear of the giant white corn variety (called choclo, Cuzco corn or Peruvian corn) from which it is made was displayed. Peruvian corn looks like a musclebound body builder compared with the relatively slender, small-kerneled ears of the sweet corn grown for America’s tables.

    Made in Peru, Inka Corn kernels are roasted in oil for a delicious light crunch. It is made simply from corn kernels, palm olein* and salt. The ingredients are all natural; there are no trans fats or hydrogenated oils or GMOs.

    Inka Corn is available in Original, Salt & Vinegar and Chile Picante.

     

    Inka Corn: very crunchy and good for you. Note the difference in size of the small ear of Indian corn at the top. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    NUTRITION BONUS

    Corn is a whole grain food. Inka Corn is also dairy free, gluten free, wheat free and vegan.

    Crunch away!

    *Palm olein is the liquid component of palm kernel oil obtained from fractionation, a process used with coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil to produce oils of different viscosities for different purposes.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Angel Food Cake Day

     

    Calling all cake lovers: October 10th is National Angel Food Cake.

    An angel food cake is a light, flourless affair made with sugar, a dozen or so egg whites, cream of tartar (which increases the heat tolerance and volume of the egg whites) plus vanilla or almond extract and salt.

    It is also a gluten-free cake.

    Angel food cake is generally made in a tube pan and served with berries and whipped cream. But Martha Stewart makes a much more elaborate creation, perhaps the best angel food cake recipe concept.

    Watch her prepare it in this video: a two-layer angel food cake filled and iced with whipped cream and berries.

    For a variation, you can substitute banana slices or pineapple for the berries. For a lemony angel food cake, substitute lemon extract for the vanilla/almond extract and add lemon zest to the whipped cream.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite cakes and recipes.

    See all the different cake types in our Cake Glossary.

    Try this recipe for grilled angel food cake.

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Make Homemade Crackers

     

    Impress your family and friends with these homemade crackers.

    This easy recipe produces a gourmet cracker, fragrant with rosemary. Made with almond flour instead of wheat flour, the crackers are also gluten free.

    Serve them with cheese, hummus or other favorite dip or spread, salad or soup.

    Most people don’t think of baking their own crackers. But these tasty bites may just be the start of a creative cracker-baking hobby.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite crackers and bread recipes.

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Garden Lites Vegetable Soufflés

    It’s always exciting to discover a new “favorite food” that’s good for you. When we received a generous shipment of Garden Lites frozen vegetable soufflés from the manufacturer, we liked them.

    But as we ate soufflé after veggie soufflé, we grew to really like them. We became so accustomed to eating one a day as a snack or as part of a light lunch, that we laid in a new supply when the original shipment was exhausted.

    While we relish the vegetable soufflés as casual fare, we wouldn’t hesitate to serve them as a first course at a fancy dinner. Assuming, of course, that we’d be willing to share our stash.

    The soufflés are made in nine varieties: broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, cauliflower, pizza (cauliflower topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella), roasted vegetable (mixed veggies), southwestern (mixed veggies with southwestern seasonings), spinach and zucchini.

    There are also two julienned vegetable dishes that satisfy: zucchini marinara and zucchini portabella.

     

    Our new favorite snack, first course or light lunch. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Each single serve is equivalent to two portions of vegetables. Look in your grocer’s freezer case and bring them home: You’re in for a treat!

    The line is certified kosher.
     
    Read the full review.

    Find more of our favorite vegetable products and recipes.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Thousand Layer Cake

    Do Euforia thousand layer cakes really have 1,000 layers? No, but that doesn’t take away the enchantment of these twelve-layer cakes.

    Each thin, delicious, gluten-free layer is individually baked by artisans in Tucson, delivering moist texture and excellent lemon, spice or vanilla flavor.

    This is “anytime” cake: Enjoy a slice with coffee, tea, Madeira, Port, Sherry or a favorite dessert wine. To make a more elaborate dessert, add custard sauce, whipped cream or ice cream, berries or berry purée.

    The cakes are made in three formats:

  • Party Cake, a large, 60-ounce cake that makes a great impression.
  • Cake Roll, a 15-ounce log.
  • Individually-Wrapped Slices for portioning out daily treats.
  •  

    A thousand layer cake delivers an exciting visual presentation. Photo courtesy Euforia Confections.

     

    Treat yourself or give them as gifts: You’ll be euphoric over Euforia.
     
    Read the full review.

    Or, buy some now.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones

    We’ve been enjoying more than a few ice cream cones this month, National Ice Cream Month.

    But what if you have gluten sensitivities. Where’s your cone?

    Goldbaum’s, a natural food company based in Brooklyn, New York, is at the ready with two different cones that crunch as nicely as the “real thing.”

    In the shape of waffle/cake cones, their texture is more like the lighter style wafer/cake cones (here’s the difference between the two types).

    So what’s in a gluten-free cone? Instead of wheat, there’s a mix of potato starch and tapioca starch, plus other ingredients including sugar, salt and vanilla.

    The gluten-free cones don’t have the flavor of wheat-based cones, but when ice cream is added, you won’t notice the difference—you’ll just enjoy the crunch.

    The regular Goldbaum’s cones have just 11 calories apiece, so they’re a boon for calorie counters as well. The sugar cones have 41 calories, are an inch or so taller, and weigh in at 41 calories. Conventional ice cream cones have up to 20% more calories.

    The line is certified kosher by OU. Find out more at Goldbaums.com.

     

    Gluten-free fun. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Ice cream was invented many centuries before the ice cream cone. Check out the history of ice cream cones.

      

     

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Try Flavored Kefir Instead Of A Smoothie

    You can blend your own smoothie or pour it
    ready-to-drink from a bottle of flavored
    kefir. Photo courtesy RevivalSoy.com.

     

    Many people think that kefir is the same as drinkable yogurt. That’s close, but not exact. Kefir is even healthier than yogurt. In fact, kefir is often called a “super yogurt,” since it is up to 36 times more probiotic than yogurt.

    While the recipes are similar, kefie has even more live and active cultures (naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts) and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It contains easily digestible, complete proteins, and is recommended for those with digestive issues, including colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS and lactose intolerance.

    The once-exotic drink is now available in supermarkets nationwide. It’s available in luscious fruit flavors in addition to plain.

    The addition of fruit creates what we think of as a kefir smoothie (to differentiate it from a conventional yogurt smoothie). It’s just as delicious and better for you. And it’s more drinkable—less thick—than smoothies made with non-drinkable yogurt.

     

    Our favorite flavored kefir, from Green Valley Organics, is made with lactose-free milk that is Certified Humane® plus a probiotic-rich combination of 10 live and active cultures. A blend of strawberry, pomegranate and açaí, It has less added sugar than many flavored kefirs. Also available in plain, the kefir is kosher-certified, organic and gluten free.

    It is so delicious, an eight-ounce serving (150 calories, 20 from fat) satisfies our craving for ice cream or frozen yogurt, which has more than twice the calories and typically, none of the healthy components.

    Another brand, Lifeway Kefir, makes Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pomegranate/Açaí, Raspberry and Strawberry kefir flavors, in addition to plain.

     

    You can make your own kefir smoothie by blending two cups of kefir with a cup of fruit (frozen fruit is just fine) and 2 tablespoons of sweetener (you can use noncaloric sweetener or lower-glycemic such as agave nectar, honey or maple syrup).

    More Kefir Magic

  • The health benefits of kefir.
  • Another way to enjoy kefir: frozen kefir, like frozen yogurt.
  • Check out all the different types of yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary.
  •  

    Just remove cap and pour yourself a delicious strawberry-pomegranate-açaí “smoothie.” Photo courtesy GreenValleyOrganics.com.

     

      

    Comments

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