Jacqueline Mallorca, Gluten Free Expert

SOMETHING NEW TO SAVOR

 

Just right for holiday entertaining, this healthful appetizer is adapted from a recipe by renowned master chef Daniel Boulud. You’ll find za’aatar, a traditional Middle Eastern blend of thyme, sesame seeds and lemony-tasting sumac, in the spice section of many large supermarkets and at specialty grocers.

CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH

Cut the florets off 1 cauliflower and discard the stalks and stems.

Transfer to a food processor and pulse only until evenly chopped into “grains”. Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and sauté until soft, 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped cauliflower & season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes, until barely cooked. Add 1 T. za’atar spice blend and 1 minced garlic clove and cook until fragrant, 60 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Cover 1/2 cup dried currants with boiling water and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain. Add to the cauliflower, along with 1/4 cup golden raisins, the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, 2 T. chopped parsley and 1 T. chopped mint. Toss to mix well. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. Makes about 6 cups.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE…

According to a January, 2013 report from the NPD Group, a global information company that has tracked nutrition-related issues since 1976, one in every three American adults is now either avoiding gluten completely or making an effort to cut down.

Maybe they’re right. It’s claimed that the gluten-free market is going to balloon to a $6.6 billion industry by 2017. I do appreciate all the good stuff,  but really, we could do without the profusion of gluten-free junk food.

 

 

A GOOD READ

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING! Be sure to pick up the latest (December) issue of GLUTEN-FREE LIVING, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration for holiday feasting, from glorious Viennese desserts (I did enjoy making those!) to a  gluten-free cornbread-sausage stuffing created by Lena Kwak. You’ll also find constructions tips for making gingerbread houses, discover what’s new in gluten-free holiday gifts, get the benefit of a super-informative Q&A with celiac disease expert Joseph Murray, and make a virtual visit to some traditional German Christmas markets. For more information about the magazine, go to www.glutenfreeliving.com

THE QUICK GLUTEN-FREE COOK

GLUTEN FREE KITCHEN TIPS

  • Use glass jars (recycled, mason, whatever) for storing gluten-free flours, grains, xanthan gum, baking soda, and whatnot. Snip the label off the package and put it face down in the bottom of the jar before adding the contents, so you can identify the stuff later. Adding the date doesn’t hurt, either.
  • For something sweet after dinner, spread a few pecan halves, golden raisins and dark chocolate chips on a small plate and enjoy s-l-o-w-l-y. Much better for you than ice cream.
  • For instant fresh flavor to whatever you’re cooking, wash, dry and chop a whole bunch of parsley or green onions and freeze in a screw top glass jar. They don’t freeze solid, and are ready to use.
  • Keep a “dedicated” electric coffee mill for milling items other than coffee into flour, such as flax seeds (these simply whirl about in a food processor), sunflower seeds, or simply making rice flour or cornmeal finer.
  • Just a little bacon can perk up stir-fried veggies, scrambled eggs, or braised chicken without packing on the pounds. Keep the package in the freezer (it won’t become too hard to cut) and slice across the whole package to make little strips, aka lardons.
  • Cooked veggies are the new finger food. Putting out a platterful on the kitchen counter while prepping dinner keeps jaws busy and increases antioxidant intake.
  • Nip the tops off green beans (the tails are tender, leave them be), boil for 5 minutes until just tender-crisp, toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Good warm or cold.
  • Dust “coins” of zucchini with white rice flour and brown in a little olive oil, 2 minutes per side. Season with coarse salt and black pepper; serve warm.
  • Cut small Brussels sprouts in half and toss with a little olive oil. Roast in a single layer at 400°F. for 10 minutes, turn, and roast for another 6 minutes, until lightly browned and caramelized. Sprinkle with chopped salted peanuts. Serve warm.

BOOKSHELF

If you hanker after delicious Asian food but worry about ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce and/or noodles that contain gluten, rejoice. In The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, Laura Russell has done a fantastic, professional job of making Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese food accessible and inviting. Along with sharing approachable and delicious recipes, she demystifies Asian ingredients and provides a long list — from bean sauce to wasabi — that details their gluten status, a safe alternative, and brands to look for. Great photos, too. You can visit her website at www.theglutenfreeasiankitchen.com.