Allergy Friendly Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons

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PASTA E FAGIOLI WITH “CHEESY” GARLIC CROUTONS

Serves 8

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

Pasta e Fagioli is about as comforting as a bowl of soup can get. The hearty combo of vegetables, beans, and pasta make a complete meal, perfect for any chilly fall night, or wonderful for lunch the next day. The “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons are an added bonus. Store them tightly covered at room temp… but don’t expect them to last, as kids devour them like candy.

This recipe makes enough for a hearty meal for 4, plus leftovers. I’ve swapped out the traditional allergens of gluten/wheat, anchovies (fish), egg, and dairy usually present in this dish, with olive oil, gluten-free pasta, dairy and soy-free “cheese”, and allergy-friendly bread. To make this vegan, swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and omit the prosciutto.

 

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces nitrite-free prosciutto, chopped (½ cup)

2 cups diced yellow onion

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

1 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary

½ tsp crushed red pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

Big pinch salt

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup gluten-free pasta shells (I like Tinkyada brown rice pasta for this)

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and pepper, to taste

‘Cheesy’ Garlic Croutons (recipe follows)

 

1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook 3 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

2. Add onion, celery and carrot to the pot and cook 7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and salt, and cook while stirring to deglaze bottom of pan, until almost all wine has evaporated. Incorporate chicken broth, diced tomatoes and pasta with a gentle stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Mash half of the beans. Stir the mashed beans and whole beans into the pot and cook 5 minutes more. Add more chicken broth as necessary if the soup is too thick.

4. Remove from heat, stir in reserved prosciutto, parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.

 

‘Cheesy’ Gluten-Free Garlic Croutons

Makes 3 cups

These crunchy croutons can be stored tightly covered at room temperature, but don’t expect them to last as kids devour them like candy.

 

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

½ tsp Kosher salt

½ tsp dried oregano, crushed between your fingers

5 heaping cups gluten-free* bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 6 slices, preferably stale)

1 cup dairy-free cheese alternative shreds (such as Daiya or Go Veggie!)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine oil, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.

3. Put bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, tossing gently with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.

4. Transfer bread cubes to a baking tray, spaced into a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with cheese alternative.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden and dry. The cheese may seem goopy at first but it will become crunchy.

6. Transfer the crouton tray to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.

7. Break apart any croutons that have clumped together.

 

* For allergy-friendly bread that’s gluten-free and free of the top-8 allergens, seek Ener-G brand.

Allergy-Friendly Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

 

 

 

 

Allergy Friendly Butterscotch Bars

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Allergy-Friendly Butterscotch Bars

 

With a lack of allergy-friendly butterscotch chips on the market, I decided to create a homemade butterscotch base that would fulfill our sweet cravings. If you can use butter, feel free to substitute, but Earth Balance Buttery Spread makes darn good butterscotch for these moist and chewy bars. Please note that shortening isn’t a suitable replacement, since it doesn’t emulsify when heated.

Make these gluten-free, top 8 allergen-free, vegan bars of heaven for your end of summer picnics, or to send along to school for parties for a treat that will truly “wow”  the whole class!

 

Makes 16 2-inch bars

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

2 cups packed light brown sugar

½ cup dairy-free, soy-free margarine / buttery spread

1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with ¼ cup canned coconut milk (shaken to distribute coconut cream)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend

2 tsp double-acting baking powder

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

 

1. Combine brown sugar and margarine in a heavy pot over very low heat. Cook while stirring continuously until melted and just starting to bubble, about 10 minutes. Don’t rush or you risk burning the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from setting up. It will become thick, like caramel.

2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8×8-inch pan.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat in egg replacer until creamy. Mix in vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Add dry ingredients to pot with butterscotch and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Add coconut and mix until well-distributed.

5. Transfer dough to the prepared pan. Press dough to edges of pan and smooth into an even layer; it will be very sticky and dense.

6. Bake 30 minutes in center of oven, or until the dough has a rich golden hue, glossy top and is just beginning to pull away from edges of pan. Set on a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

 

Allergy Friendly Butterscotch Bars © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Holiday 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Crunchy Cucumber Salad

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Crunchy Cucumber Salad

 

Serves 4 to 6

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

Cucumber salad is a perfect crisp and refreshing picnic side, but it can often get soggy fast. The following recipe employs several chef secrets to keep your cucumbers crunchy and delish.

 

2 English cucumbers, peel on

¾ tsp salt

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp lemon zest

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup finely minced red onion

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Freshly ground pepper

 

1. Cut cucumbers into halves lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Put into a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Place colander over a large bowl and let the cucumbers drain for 30 minutes, tossing a few times. Transfer cucumbers to paper towels and thoroughly blot dry.

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2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, zest and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Drizzle in oil a little at a time while whisking, to emulsify.

3. Place drained cucumbers in a large salad bowl and toss with onions and fresh herbs. Add dressing and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

Crunchy Cucumber Salad © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine