Welcome! I'm Karina- sharing my best gluten-free recipes since 2005. Find delicious banana bread, baked donuts, scones, muffins and pizza crust, pasta dishes and soups, cookies, crumbles and flourless chocolate cake- my homemade seasonal recipes are created with love.
Yesterday was summery here in Southern California. In a Meg Ryan breezy kind of way- not in a sultry no air peel off your jeans, cowboy boots and socks Jennifer Lopez in U Turn kind of way. Nope. Sunny and warm it was- but not hot like New Mexico.
We've moved into our sublet (above one of Santa Monica's most famous vegan restos). The Honda is Cuisinart and bread machine and wooden spoon free again- after lugging armloads of bags and boxes (via elevator, thank goddess) up to our cozy fourth floor cutie. Yesterday we walked to the ocean, inhaling deep. In truth? I am exhausted. Running on gluten-free fumes. Too tired to shop or cook or make even the tiniest decision, never mind attempt to be clever and insightful and entertaining in a recipe post.
And so, faithful reader, I hope you'll forgive me for reprising a recipe from my abundant archives. It's a good one. I promise. A delightful roasted eggplant tapenade. Serve it as a spread on wedges of gluten-free focaccia. Slather on your favorite pizza shell. Or add it to hot cooked pasta.
Roasted Eggplant Tapenade and Pasta Sauce Recipe
By Karina Allrich
My decades-long mainstay appetizer hummus is currently on my off-limits list (due to the whole legume/bean issue I suddenly seem to be experiencing). So I needed an alternative dip. Something besides salsa). Something garlicky. I decided to whip up a tapenade. And by the way, this makes a fabulous quick pasta sauce.
2 smallish eggplants- you know, just right, not too big (or you'll be eating tapenade for breakfast lunch and dinner)
1/2 red onion
5 cloves of garlic (what can I say?)
4 plum or Roma tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar- or use lemon juice if you like
Dried or fresh Italian herbs- oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, parsley
1/2 cup ripe olives
1-2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 heaping tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon or so chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Peel the eggplants and cut them lengthwise into four pieces each. Lay them in a roasting pan and sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with sea salt. Set them aside to let the salt do its thing (salting the eggplant draws out the moisture and bitterness; at least that's what they tell me).
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion and garlic. Halve the tomatoes.
When the eggplant is weeping- about 10 to 15 minutes- blot with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Cut up the slices a bit. Add the onion pieces, garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle it all with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat.
Face the tomatoes cut side up. Sprinkle the whole shebang with dried herbs (no need to waste fresh herbs for this roasting process).
Roast in the oven for an hour or more, as needed. The eggplant should be very tender. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool a bit.
Spoon the eggplant mixture into a food processor bowl; add the olives and agave nectar; cover and pulse until the mixture is finely diced- or you can make it less chunky and puree it. I like mine with some texture.
Scoop it out into a bowl and add the capers and chopped fresh parsley. Taste test for seasoning adjustments- more salt? Vinegar? Olive oil? Some pepper? Cover and chill until serving.
I like this tapenade best at room temperature; so I took it out of the fridge about fifteen minutes before serving.
Muffin Cake Madness My partner in (culinary) crime- the infamous and ever-up-for-baking husband Steve- informed me our bananas were mucho ripe. In fact, to be completely accurate, he poked his head into my cozy little studio the other day and declared, Our bananas are ripe. I should bake something. I looked up from my iMac and murmured Hmmm, in assent. But what, exactly? Ripe bananas were calling. Begging to be a part of some grander life affirming tastebud tingling scheme. But do readers really need another banana cake recipe? I pondered, slurping cold coffee.
Don't cook. Go RAW. Go FRESH. The older I get the more I crave simple. The sweet, relaxed comfort of home cooking. An impromptu picnic on the patio with family-style classics like horseradish spiked potato salad. Instead of growing worldly and sophisticated and dabbling with truffle oil, each new gray silver hair spins my taste hula hooping into simplicity faster than Lady Gaga can waggle. Well, maybe not that fast. She is pretty nimble. But you get my drift. I'm whipping up ten-minute rice stir-fries, not Coq au Vin. I’m blending up pomegranate smoothies, not roasting Duck a l'Orange.
And lucky me, the summer season is all about simplicity. Who needs complicated and fussy when the farmers’ markets are abundant with glorious, fresh ingredients? Vegetables in every color. Ripe and voluptuous fruits. And every one of them gluten-free. And dairy-free. That’s the beauty of it. No imitation here. No game of let’s pretend. This is nature’s bounty, pure and raw and bea…
Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours:
Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture).
Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch.
Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorghum flour, certif…
Why bake a gluten-free brownie from scratch and not a mix?
Chocolate Brownie Love. While baking mixes are perfectly acceptable in a pinch, and no doubt a boon to busy cooks on a gluten-free diet (well, honestly, who isn't busy these days, I ask you?), your taste buds will tell you why. In a heart beat, Darling.
A dark chocolate brownie made from scratch is deeply delicious and decadent. Impressive, even. Company worthy. Dare I say, date night worthy. I'm not kidding. This brownie recipe is swoon inducing.
You know what they say about chocolate. But here's the best part. Throwing this recipe together takes only a few minutes longer than opening up a box. You can whip up these luscious gooey babies in a mere ten minutes. In less time than it takes you to scan your Pinterest feed. Or catch up on Facebook. Seriously.
So what is more rewarding? Watching kittens on YouTube or stirring together this rich, tender, dark chocolate brownie recipe, one of the most loved recipes here on Glut…
Man shall not live by bread alone, so the famous saying goes. In other words, we need ideas to feed us, too. We need awareness. Conscious action. An expression and celebration of the spirit. And yet (here's the sticky part, folks) almost every spiritual tradition includes the bread we shall not solely live by, whether it be a hand-torn loaf, a paper thin wafer, a piece of matzoh, a curve of naan, or a sprinkle of cornmeal. Breaking bread and sharing grain is a cherished and beloved symbol for community, celebration and tribal nourishment. From Holy Communion to the Super Bowl gatherings around an elevating principle or a family milestone (from birth to marriage to funerals) include the simple but connecting gesture of sharing food. Because cooking makes us human.
Everyone loves a good old fashioned barbecue. The easy conviviality of a family backyard picnic. The smoky summer scent of charred goodies grilling. Lemonade chilling. Badminton birdies sailing. The crack of croquet balls. The last pink of June daylight. Punching lids on firefly jars. It's the stuff of a midsummer night's dream.
But if you need to be on a gluten-free diet- or if you happen to be vegan- or allergic to wheat- barbecues can be a tad less than convivial. Those mysterious grilling sauces and marinades (so often containing wheat-laced soy sauce). Those gluten-rich fluffy hot dog buns. All those meaty manly burgers and boiled egg dotted salads.
How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Granola (pssst- it's easy!)
You're going to think this is silly. What I have to confess. And it is. Quite silly. It's one of those sticky, pesky truths that clings to you and won't let go, wreaking not anything dramatic, like pure havoc (or worse). No, nothing life threatening, or socially isolating, or disturbing, or even controversial, for that matter. So I'll just say it.
I've been too scared to make my own granola. Well, maybe scared is too strong a word. Color scared with a hint of lazy and you might have a more accurate hue of where my head's at, granola-wise. And making your own granola always seemed a trifle precious. A tad earthy-crunchy (duh). Slightly over the top. And rather unnecessary. It's not like granola isn't widely available- in an array of flavors- since Jesus was in Hebrew school. It's a serious, bonafide hit. A blockbuster cereal. For, like, evah.