Category Archives: Gluten Free

End of Summer Tomato Pie & Homemade Pie Crust

Are you ready for this? No seriously, are you ready for this? You’re going to go nuts over this pie. First, pie crust. Buttery, flakey, a tiny pinch of salt for flavor. Topped with tomatoes, basil and an unearthly mixture of cheese, melted and golden brown, fresh from the oven. Two words, my friends, tomato pie.

IMG_2758

This recipe has been in my family for years. My mom cut it out of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s food section ages ago – the original clipping is still tucked away in her personalized recipe file. Every summer, just as the tomatoes in our garden turned from green to a yellowish red, they were picked and this pie was made. My sister and I would beg my mom for this pie at the first sign of tomato growth, prod her to make the plants grow more quickly, but this pie was always (and I mean always) worth the wait.

The great thing about this pie is that it makes a hearty vegetarian dinner that yields plenty of leftovers. There are, thankfully, gluten free adaptions for the recipe to, though you may want to use a store-bought crust rather than a homemade one…it’s a bit easier to deal with that sort of dough.

Tomato Pie (With Homemade Crust)
Free of peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish. Gluten free adaptations below

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
7 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Pie:
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (NOT FRESH)
1 handful fresh basil, cut in ribbons (about a cup)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Begin with the crust: combine the flour in salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening until the dough resembles tiny peas. Add the tablespoons of water one at a time, working them into the dough as you go.
3. Once the dough forms one large ball – and is not too sticky – spread flour on a flat surface and roll out until the crust is larger than your 10×10 pie plate. Fold the crust in half, then in half again to transfer it to the pie plate. Unfold.
4. Put the crust in the oven for eight to 10 minutes, until it’s slightly brown. Take the crust out of the oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
5. While the pie crust rests, cut the tomatoes into discs, then dry using paper towels. Arrange the discs on top of the melted cheese on the crust.
6. Next, sprinkle the julienned basil on top of the tomatoes.
7. Combine the mayonnaise with the remaining cheese in a small bowl. Spread this mixture on top of the basil and tomatoes.
8. Sprinkle the pie with the Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
9. Put it in the oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Sub a gluten free pie crust (store bought) for the homemade crust and follow the instructions the same way!

Tagged , , , , ,

Vegetarian Migas

This is quite possible the best “easy” dinner I’ve ever made. Best because it’s nutritional – eggs act as a protein and fat, bread fills in the carbohydrate category and it’s chock full of my favorite vegetables. Best also because it’s adaptable – you can make it gluten free and it tastes just as good. You can modify the recipe to include what vegetables you like. And it’s quick and easy to make!

IMG_2206

Migas is a traditionally Spanish dish made using bread (often soaked in milk, but not in this dairy free recipe!), spinach and eggs. Sometimes, chorizo is added, which you’re more than welcome to do, though as this recipe is vegetarian, I will not be adding any.


Migas in pan

I’ve talked about all the nutritional benefits, but what about the taste? The bread soaks up the egg and becomes almost a savory french toast, while stir fried mushrooms, spinach and yellow bell peppers fill out the flavors. So yummy!

So how does one make migas? It truly isn’t difficult – it just takes a frying pan and a little confidence 🙂

IMG_2208

Vegetarian Migas
Gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free, soy free, dairy free, shellfish free, fish free, sesame free

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
Three slices of bread (gluten free), torn into chunks
2 cups of uncooked spinach
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
6 mushrooms, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

1. On a medium high heat, prime the pan with olive oil and garlic. Stir fry the garlic until brown and then remove the clove from the pan.
2. Once the clove is removed, add the bread, mushrooms and bell pepper. Stir fry until the bread gets a little brown on the edges and the peppers begin to give  a little if you stick a fork in them.
3. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the eggs into the pan and sort of scramble them around the rest of the ingredients. Make sure they are cooked fully, even when soaked into the bread.
6. Enjoy with a small side salad. Dinner is served! 🙂

Tagged , , , ,

Gluten Free Birthday Cupcakes

So my baby sister turned 17 the other day. This is big guys. She can drive without adult supervision, and she’s going to enter her senior year of high school in the fall. Damn when did that girl get so old? (cue my big sister waterfall of tears) I mentioned before that the little nugget found out she had Celiac disease this year, in addition to having peanut allergies. While already having allergies made her ready to check labels and made saying no easy, finding gluten free food she actually enjoys eating is really hard still. She used to love baking as much as I do, but the passion fell off a bit because it seemed no fun to her to make cakes she didn’t love to eat.

544875_512901308773534_1002286054_n

Our more formative years…..

IMG_2030

And today!

This year I decided to take charge of the birthday cake and created some gluten free birthday cupcakes. Yes, I used a mix to make the base – Better Batter does a much better job of making gluten free yellow cake than any of the recipes we’ve tried so far. And it’s one of the gluten free mixes that doesn’t have nut or chickpea flours. If you have a recipe/flour suggestion, though, I’m all ears!

Cupcakes

I did make some frosting for the recipe, and damn it was good! The chocolate was dark and rich and played well on the cake-iness of the yellow cupcakes. It probably helped that I smeared the icing ALL OVER the cupcakes, but my sister and I are icing girls – it was a must!

IMG_2156

Lets get baking!

Chocolate Frosting
Peanut free, nut free, egg free, soy free, shellfish free, sesame free

Ingredients:
2 and 3/4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. Half and Half
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Cream the butter with your mixer.
2. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa alternating with the half and half and vanilla extract.
3. Beat on a medium speed until it reaches the desired texture. It should be thick and smooth.
4. Spread on your favorite cupcake and enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,