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Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp-Crumble

Gluten free strawberry rhubarb crumble


A beautiful strawberry crisp.

Cherry blossoms are snowing pink. Love is in the air. House finches are singing. Magnolias are unfolding their velvet petals. Trees are budding lacy greens and pale sun-yellows.

In other words, Spring has sprung. And I've been craving crisp and crumble desserts. The easiest of baked fresh fruit sweets... lovely for springtime picnic, or summer backyard get-together. A perfect ending to a grill-side supper on the deck, al fresco.

Although I have featured a strawberry rhubarb crisp in the past (kissed with a hint of balsamic vinegar) I decided to play around with an alternative topping to the classic pairing of tart rhubarb and sweet ripe strawberries. And I grabbed a secret ingredient from my pantry.

Can you guess what it is?

The secret ingredient in this old fashioned crumble dessert is an ingredient your grandmother probably never heard of.

Quinoa flakes. Gluten-free quinoa cereal flakes add a distinct, delicate flavor to this fruit crumble's sweet and nutty topping. The texture is light and lovely- and far less chewy than oats.

We thought it was spectacular.

And as a bonus?

This gluten-free dessert is xanthan gum free, by the way.

xox


Karina's Detox Soup Recipe with Coconut Milk

Gluten free creamy detox soup made with coconut milk is vegan and dairy free delicious


I'm Goin' to Detox Mansion...


It's hard not to feel anxious these days. So much barking and blinking and chest thumping. So much posing and strutting, and grinding, voracious greed. It's mighty tough for a sensitive soul (prone to itchy bouts of worry) to cope with all the mishegas and mayhem of our overheated plugged-in 24/7 culture. 

Finding a little grace and respite amidst the noise can be hard.

That is why I am sharing (another favorite) soup recipe. Just in case there is a kindred spirit out there in need of a bowl of creamy veggie comfort. A gluten-free vegan detox soup worthy of Peter Rabbit's sneaky excursions into Mr. McGregor's garden (that mischievous little rabbit- or as we like to say in my house... BUNNY!- close to my own greens adoring heart).

Bunnies aren't known for twerking on YouTube, or tweeting out criticism, or bullying, or, in general, wreaking havoc. Unless you count Peter's root vegetable stealing. Or (my sons' childhood favorite) mischievous Max and his devouring love of chocolate chickens (have you read the Max books?).

Bunnies are (ostensibly, anyway) devoted to a milder temperament.

And qualities like extreme cuteness. Shyness. And dare I say, gentleness.

Traits easily trampled in our thundering, gun worshipping, zombie killing 3-D pyrotechnics fed culture.

So it seemed only fitting I cook up a batch of bunny loving vegan soup today as fresh and non-toxic as could be.

Creamy, green, good-for-you soul food. And body food.

Ask any bunny.


Orange Creme Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Goddess Orange Creme Cupcakes - Vegan + Dairy-Free #glutenfree


Fresh. Vegan. Gluten-free.


On my To-Do List for nearly forever has been creating a gluten-free vegan recipe for my favorite childhood birthday treat- a fresh and fragrant orange cake with orange creme frosting. Since it isn't my birthday until June, I decided to experiment with making cupcakes instead of a traditional layer cake. 

You know. Strictly for taste testing. Research. And well.

Orange cupcakes just sounded refreshing.

Sunny and sweet.

I had such a good time in the kitchen this week making these sweet little gems. In fact, I'll be working on more recipes for vegan cupcakes in the near future, including basic vanilla cupcakes, and a few other tasty flavor combos.

Now that I know how easy it is to bake delicious gluten-free vegan cupcakes, the sky's the limit.


Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Warm from the oven, beautiful loaf of Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread


Banana bread for us. No apologies needed.


Out there in the cold cruel world, Darling, some folks apparently (still) view our gluten-free lifestyle through a jaded foodie lens, believing, first of all, that gluten-free anything is never going to taste anything but awful, and second, that this whole gluten-free trend (their word not mine) is a fad not worthy of serious consideration and compassion. Apart from the standard (and always brief) lip service that non-afflicted food writers, non-GF bloggers and journalists pay to celiac disease, adhering to the medical treatment that is a gluten-free diet is degraded- for that sexy topical hook- to a "bandwagon". An eating disorder.

A diet by choice.

They dub it a controversy.

As my seventeenth (!) year of living gluten-free begins in earnest, I find myself reflecting not upon the decade plus years living gluten-free, but upon the ten long years prior to shunning gluten- the decade it took me (no thanks to the medical profession) to determine that gluten was the culprit behind my early onset autoimmune cataracts, mysterious low ferritin levels, skin rashes, migraines, fat malabsorption and impressive marathon stints in the loo- I feel the slow, sad burn of anger those of us who are dismissed experience.

Two bloggers referenced the gluten-free diet on a social networking site recently, bragging about their "iron stomachs" and their ability to chow down on everything (this implies that those of us unable to ingest gluten merely have "sensitive" digestion). I was reminded of a previous post I wrote in response to a (famous) blogger's remark that gluten-free is "too precious".

Ignorance is bliss, indeed.


Here's the thing. It's not a sensitive vs iron stomach issue. It's not an I-can-eat-anything-so-bring-on-the-butter-and-bacon-and-haggis issue. It's not about macho appetite. Or virtue. Or squeamishness.

It's not philosophical.

It's not emotional.

It's not about preciousness.

Or garnering attention.

Or skinny jeans.

It's about a cruel quirk in genetics.

If you won the luck of the draw in the genetic lottery and escaped- by no effort of your own- inheriting HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8, the two genetic haplotypes that predispose you to an autoimmune disease that triggers your body's defense system to attack itself, destroying the nutrient-grabbing lining of your small intestine, be humble. Be thankful. Your body works. You do not have to be vigilant about every crumb that goes into your mouth. In your world gluten does not increase your risk for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A bagel is not dangerous. You can eat what you crave when you are hungry. You can wing it when you travel, feeling carefree and adventurous. You can sample new cuisine on a whim- without asking about the ingredients. Food for you is fun. Romantic. Perhaps, even a passion.

Thank your small intestine.

And while you're at it, thank your pancreas, too.

Because those with Type 1 diabetes (another genetic autoimmune disease, one that destroys the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas) must also be vigilant about their diet. Along with injecting insulin, Type 1 diabetics must also limit (if not shun) certain foods to protect their health, making careful, low glycemic choices day after day.

But maybe that's a fad, too. Maybe their pancreases are just sensitive. Maybe a diabetic child is merely craving attention, just like her celiac cousin. Maybe a mother learning how to cook a meal with low glucose is coddling her child, too. Maybe all autoimmune diseases are just a silly trend. 
The Fad Du Jour.

I hear celiacs and diabetics are wicked sexy.

Well, that part may be true.


Irish Cottage Pie | Shepherd's Pie

Gluten free cottage pie and shepherds pie recipe with mashed potato topping

Old School Comfort.


A classic recipe I conjured a few years ago, living in Northern New Mexico.

From the archives: I have been craving comfort food and shepherd's pie- even though it's been a warm and breezy week here by the Chama River north of Santa Fe. The promise of Spring is tugging at our sluggish winter bodies, cracking and stiff and a tad thicker than one would care to admit. We are itchy to walk- just as the junipers are shedding pollen in curtains of dirty yellow. We walked and sneezed and rubbed gritty eyes. The coyotes are laughing on the rim of the mesa. I listen and note they are closer than usual, emboldened by our wintery hibernation. The land belongs to them now. We're simply tourists. As it should be, I murmur.

Meeting your soul mate (did I just write the words soul mate?) after mid-life will humble you. An autumn meeting of kindred spirits inspires a sharp thirst for more time. More juice. Looking ahead- down the road of your life- can be alarming. It's shorter and rutted and slightly curving downhill, not so far and away anymore. Carpe diem as the wise ones say.

And though (in theory) we should all embrace each day as if it might, indeed, be our last, this effort gains a deeper poignancy at 54. My knuckles are so bumpy with arthritis now I can no longer wear my wedding ring. I twisted it off with pain and dish soap. I didn't want to have it sawed off. Just the thought of the saw buzz made me shiver with separation anxiety.

When I was lying on the gurney outside the operating room, awaiting hip surgery- after ten hours in the ER playing our Movie Game with said soul mate (to play the game you start with A and take turns naming a movie title until you run out of A's; then you move on to the B's) the pony-tailed anesthesiologist told me to remove my wedding ring.

I can't, I said. It won't come off, don't worry.

It's hospital policy, she explained. To remove jewelry before surgery.

You'll need a saw, I said. She smiled. I'll get some surgical tape- we'll tape it, she whispered.

I tilted my face toward my husband. He stood there, stoic and brave, betrayed by a gleam of wetness obscuring his usual clear and steady blue gaze. We both knew the risks of breaking a hip, and undergoing emergency hip surgery. The odds aren't kind. But my age was in my favor. I was twenty years younger than the average woman who falls and breaks a hip. You're a spring chicken, the surgeon had said.

I love you, I told my husband. Tell the boys I love them. I felt the nurse tape my wedding ring. Ready? she asked.

Yup. Carpe diem, I answered.


Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Crumb Topping

Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake #glutenfree #cake



Apple Cake to the Rescue. Again.

I decided to bake a cake. Because trying to wrestle gluten-free pie dough for an apple pie just seemed too fussy. Too complicated. Though in all honesty, that isn't the whole, unvarnished truth. The whole, unvarnished truth is, Yours Truly is more of a cake person than a pie person. It's true- pies have their charm. I've been known to inhale a slice or two of apple pie in my day. But here's the thing. And I'm going to be blunt.

Gluten-free pastry crust is simply not as flaky and tender and melt-in-your-mouth wonderful as wheat pastry crust. There. I said it. Fighting words, to some. And if you are among those true believers feel free to disagree. And go eat your gluten-free pie. I bless you with a thousand sprinkles of pie fairy dust. With love. And kisses. And pink ponies.

Respectfully.

Gluten, you see, is more than a pesky protein with a bad rep. Gluten is what makes pastry dough soft, flaky and tender. Gluten is what inspired bakers to bake all those years ago, firing up their hand-hewn brick-lined ovens. Gluten was their muse. Their seductive mistress. Gluten took them beyond three ingredient pancakes and palm-tossed flatbreads. Gluten fed their imagination. Inspired tarts, baklava, cupcakes. Napoleons. And yes. Apple pie. Because gluten is a magical ingredient (despite its bad press these days). We have to admit it. She's not an easy paramour to replace.

Perhaps some day soon I'll be tempted to experiment with a gluten-free wheat-free pastry dough. I'll be lured into believing I can recreate such delicate, fragile beauty. But not today. I'll bake this 'no apology necessary' Apple Crisp or this amazing Pumpkin Pie with Coconut-Pecan Crust.

For breakfast, I'll eat applesauce cake.

Right now, I can live with that.


Irish Potato & Cabbage Soup with Soda Bread

A loaf of Irish Soda Bread warm from the oven. Serve with potato cabbage soup.



Soda Bread + A Hearty, Rustic Potato Sausage Soup


Put on some Celtic music and grab your apron, Darlin'. Here's a recipe pairing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day- whether you're a dyed in the wool Celtic lass, a sassy Scott-Irish blend, or only mostly Irish in spirit. 


Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup and gluten-free Irish Soda Bread.

Slainte!


Easy Chicken Chili with Sweet Potato + Lime



Easy Chicken Chili Time- or in other words- this is the Football Season May Be Officially Over, Babycakes, But Chili Season is Definitely Not post.

So even after watching every episode of Friday Night Lights, football retains a certain mystery to yours truly. A few things I know. Tight ends tighten. Running backs are amazing athletes. Quarterbacks have eagle eyes. And special teams kickers pray to the football gods when called in for a tie breaker with 6 seconds to spare in the final quarter. Do I sound like I know what I am talking about? I don't. I just overheard some manly sporty banter over gluten-free tuna melts. To which I smiled politely. And reached for a pickle.

Back fields in motion. Quarterback interference. Off sides. Snap. Blitz. I love the lingo. It's a language alluringly foreign to me. Like, say, algebra. Or for some, postmodern neo abstract expressionism. Visual chaos executed in angles and arcs and bursts of focus, drive and energy.

Thing is, I get the practiced dance of propulsion. Designing motion from multiple points of view. I get it. In my bones. This is my territory. You're talkin' my language. Value verses tone. Light bumping up against dark. Sharp contrast dissolving into blur. And I appreciate the power of practice, focus, and intention. Negative space divided by a perfect spiral.
Think of the interplay of icing thick paint and oceanic viscosity.  The quickening beauty of a layered surface, vibrating with complementary colors. Transparency and opacity. Cool against warm. Unprimed and primed. Lost and found edges. The seduction of action's evidence. The painter's hand. Rugged tooth and clean, smooth paper.

Though it's not all yin yang, a wrestle of opposites. 

As in football- and life- painting is a locus of expression, sometimes true and authentic, and sometimes disappointingly off the mark. Like a short field goal. Or an incomplete pass. We try. We sometimes miss. But what matters is- we make the effort. And that is all we can do. We kick the ball. We brush wet paint. We string words into a lyric. We stitch a quilt. We photograph a child's curiosity.

We make chili.

And sometimes?

We get a winner.

And if not?

Tomorrow is another day.



Rustic Kale Soup with Sausage and Sweet Potato

Spicy kale soup for Spring with chicken sausage, sweet potatoes and gold potatoes. #glutenfree



A bowl of comfort with a kick.

Created during one gnarly week in the Northeast, on the cusp of a March snowstorm. A soup recipe too good to ignore. Too tasty to keep to myself. So here it is- from The Gluten-Free Goddess Recipe Archives...

The word wicked does not even begin to cover it. Epic... might be a start. Massive... might be an understatement. The snow, you see, is record breaking. One might even say, crazzzzzy. It's enough to make a big dog weep.

In (previously) typical fashion, one might be tempted to throw up one's hands in defeat and shout, Let the carb cravings begin! But I might actually be in the mood to defy such cravings, yipping and gnawing inside my belly like so many tiny, quivering chihuahuas. Tugging my attention to mocha frosted vanilla cupcakes.

I might actually choose, instead, to grab a big pot. And start a batch of hearty, soul mending soup.

And living- as we did for three decades- on Cape Cod, you might guess I rustled up some classic clam chowdah. Or lobstah bisque. Nope. Instead, my inspiration comes via Wellfleet village. A gluten-free, cooking lighter take on a New England Portuguese mainstay.

Kale soup. With andouille.

It's the perfect, spicy soup to brave this stuff called SNOW.

And in the meantime, keep those fairy lights lit. Gather some candles. And know I'm counting with you the lengthening days till Spring.

That'd be 25.

Or 175 in dog years.

Woof.



Irish Soda Bread Buns

Gluten-Free Goddess Irish-Inspired Soda Bread Rolls with Raisins





Irish Soda Bread Inspired Rolls- er Buns. Or whatever.


Spring is poised to sprout. I just know it. Despite the frigid fingers of wind that unwrap your scarf and creep-sneak down your spine. Despite the tawny, snow beaten grass that twists between wind blown twigs and scattered patches of silvered ice to the edge of the winter weary woods. Despite the wild and wooly roar of the coming March lion--- you can feel it. Right?

Green is coming.

Happy (almost- it's coming- hold on) Spring!

And here is an Irish soda bread inspired bun-roll recipe to celebrate. Whatever you call these babies, one thing is for sure. They're delicious.




Gluten-Free Goddess Irish-Inspired Soda Bread Rolls with Raisins