Before anything, I want to get one thing off my chest. I have not posted on this blog in OVER A YEAR. I can’t rightly keep blogger in my bio anymore. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it, or wanting to. It just means, I am plum out of time. (Shame, embarrassment, guilt, and imposter syndrome slightly expunged). So now, onto the good stuff! The stuff that’s bringing me back to post. Bread. That’s right, BREAD! There are very few things in life that I love as much or more than bread. My kids, my husband, my dog, my cat… well, maybe not my cat. Don’t tell her. She’ll develop a bread complex.
However, finding gluten-free bread has been quite a challenge over the years, and finding allergy-friendly, gluten-free bread has been like seeking the Holy Grail. There is some good bread out there (Canyon Bakehouse), but it’s not easy to find and it’s expensive. There is a good Gluten-free bakery in LA, Rising Hearts Bakery, but I have to get in my car and drive there specifically for bread. Because the bread at my local grocery store just doesn’t cut it. You KNOW what I’m talking about. Dense, rocks, dry, too much yeast, bread that’s like foam or worse, styrofoam. Bread with too much xanthan gum or guar gum, that has a slimy gummy finish. It’s often been, well, just not worth it to bother. And I do have bread recipes of my own, (see my Pita), and I like some of the bread mixes out there (Luce’s bread is divine and crusty), but I am a very busy working mom and making bread from scratch or even from a mix is not in the cards most days of the week. Plus, I don’t own a bread machine. (First World Problems).
For many years, I thought I’d tackle this frontier. I’d launch bread products. Rolls, sandwich bread, pita, tortillas, maybe even bagels. However, my Cybele’s Free-to-Eat cookies have kept me occupied for more years than I ever anticipated and more years than I like to admit. Additionally, the challenges of bread and its short shelf life were daunting to me.
I’d all but given up on good bread and had settled on the passible gluten-free bread at Trader Joe’s.
I didn’t even know there was anything else out there. Until a pot of gold from the end of the rainbow in Ireland landed on my doorstep. Say what? A heaven-sent basket of bread. (Okay, it came in a cool shipper packed in dry ice, but to me it looked like it had angels singing and the wafting steam of fresh baked bread rising out of a homey tea towel.) I really said “Score!” as I opened it. There was sandwich bread, multigrain sandwich bread, hot dog rolls, dinner rolls, bagels, wraps in two flavors, and pita bread. To a bread starved free-from eater, this is truly manna from Heaven.
And I have eaten all of it. Yup, I ate it all. I shared a little bit with my family, but I hid some of it in the back of the freezer for myself. And by the way, the freezer is where they recommend you store their products if they aren’t being eaten immediately.
My takeaway? My favorite were the dinner rolls, crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, without any weird aftertaste or gumminess. Second favorite, the sandwich bread, both white and multigrain. And third, the Pita bread, which is the perfect size for a sandwich. Usually, one needs to cut the pita in half for the sandwich, and it breaks and splits and is hard to stuff. Not so with theirs – it’s the perfect size to begin with. Bravo, BFree!
For more info:
About BFree Foods
Based out of Dublin, Ireland and manufacturing for the U.S. market in Montebello, California, BFree Foods is an innovator in the wheat and gluten-free bread product category. Passionately dedicated to providing exceptional taste, nutrition profiles and performance, BFree’s wraps, rolls, bread loaves, bagels and pita breads maintain the texture of traditional bread products but are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, nuts and soy. All BFree products are allergen and vegan-friendly, low-fat and high- fiber, making them ideal for health-conscious consumers across the globe. For additional information, visit US.BFreeFoods.com or find the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Hungarian Goulash with Buttery No Egg Noodles
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
Hungarian Goulash is a cool weather favorite, hailing from Eastern Europe. The key ingredient is sweet Hungarian paprika, which has a warm exotic flavor. This dish usually contains gluten, dairy and eggs, but there’s no need for any of that here.
2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch chunks, generously seasoned with salt and pepper
6 tbsp superfine brown rice flour
3 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
2 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 cups low-sodium beef broth (look for allergen-free brands)
3 tbsp tomato paste
Big pinch salt
½ cup vegan plain yogurt (preferably “Greek” style So Delicious coconut milk yogurt)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Buttery No Egg Noodles (recipe follows)
Chopped dill, for garnish
Dredge seasoned beef in flour, shaking off extra.
Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add half of the beef to the pan, and brown on all sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer cooked beef to a plate. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil and repeat the process with remaining half of beef.
Add onion, paprika and garlic to the pan, and cook while stirring for 30 seconds. Add broth, and deglaze, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.
Add tomato paste, stir well, and add back beef and big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook at a low simmer until meat is fork tender, about 2 to 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, stir in yogurt, vinegar and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over Buttery No Egg Noodles and garnish with dill.
Buttery No Egg Noodles
8 ounces gluten-free fusilli or spiral pasta
½ cup frozen peas
2 tbsp dairy-free, soy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread)
1 tbsp chopped dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook noodles according to instruction on package. In last minute of cooking, add peas. Drain.
Toss cooked pasta and peas with margarine and dill, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Hungarian Goulash with Buttery No Egg Noodles © 2013 by Cybele Pascal
This recipe first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine
Sugar ‘n Spice Cookies
The warmth of cardamom and nutmeg escalates these classic delights from ordinary to extraordinary. Carry them through the seasons with a diverse set of cookie cutters, from gingerbread men to Valentine hearts.
Makes 36 3-inch cookies
Free From: gluten and all top allergens
2½ cups + 2 tbsp my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, plus additional for rolling
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp ground cardamom
⅝ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dairy-free soy-free vegetable shortening
1½ tsp Ener-egg replacer mixed with 2 tbsp plain rice milk
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain rice milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tbsp plain rice milk alternative
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking soda, cardamom, xanthan gum, nutmeg and salt.
2. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar and shortening on medium speed for 1 minute. Add egg replacer and vanilla extract and beat for 20 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk alternative (1 tablespoon at a time), beginning and ending with flour mix, until all cookie ingredients are fully combined and begin to form a ball in center of bowl.
3. Lay out two sheets of wax paper. Divide the dough evenly between the two sheets and shape into two disks. Wrap each disk in wax paper and chill 2 hours in refrigerator; if chilled much longer the dough will become brittle.
4. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour blend. Place one dough disk on work surface (leave other disk in the refrigerator) and dust with flour blend. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness, sprinkling on more flour blend as needed to avoid sticking. Cut dough into desired shapes with 3-inch cookie cutters. Transfer cut dough to baking sheets. Gather up remaining scraps, roll out and cut until all dough is used up. Repeat process with second disk of dough.
6. Bake cookies in center of oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk alternative in a small bowl until smooth. Use a pastry brush to paint cookies with glaze and dry, glaze side up, on wire rack for 1 hour.
Allergy-Friendly Sugar ‘n Spice Cookies © 2013 by Cybele Pascal
This recipe first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine