Sunday, December 20, 2009

HypFoods Episode 001 >> In-House Gluten-Free Bread, Quick & Easy

If you are puzzling about the art of baking gluten-free bread, I have GREAT news for you! It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Watch the short video above to learn how to make DELICIOUS, fresh, gluten-free bread using the Breadman Pro and Pamela's Amazing bread mix.

I tried many recipes and techniques before I finally gave in to the wisdom of the group and went with Pamela's. I wanted to make a high-quality gluten-free bread from scratch so that I had complete control of the ingredients. After many disappointments and near misses, I was getting discouraged and Hubbers was growing rebellious.

I do love and respect fellow gluten-free blogger, Karina Allrich, and her post about Pamela's bread made in the Breadman Pro fairly glowed like a beacon from SoCal. I was seduced. I bought the goods and baked the bread. Oh, MAN! At last! Warm, fresh bread with butter and honey; toast with fresh eggs; corned beef sandwiches! Heaven! A bread that tasted GREAT and didn't hurt me at all!

It makes a tall loaf when fully risen and displays nice little air pockets throughout. The crust browns up perfectly and the bread is a gorgeous shade of off-white with a rich, nutty sort of smell to it. You know how most gluten-free bread has the mass of a concrete block? Not this one!  It slices nicely and stays fresh for several days. I store mine in a plastic lok-n-seal container with a loose wrap of waxed paper to separate the bread from the plastic surfaces that promote mold growth.

There are some tricks to achieving that perfect loaf, so be sure to play the video above and read the tips on Karina's page, as well.

Consider the Breadman Pro and a supply of Pamela's Amazing Gluten-Free Bread Mix as a gift for your favorite gluten-free peep!

Friday, November 20, 2009

HypFoods Champagne Brined Holiday Turkey

Ahh, Thanksgiving.  The crackle in the atmosphere as weather and landscapes all signal the change of seasons.  The fragrances of fallen leaves and woodsmoke.  The memories of happy holidays past and the comfort of having a routine to guide you into this particular season.

We pause to consider that not everyone has happy memories of family holidays and note that grocery shortfalls are climbing this year in many American households.  As you plan for your own celebration, will you also commit to make a food/support gift to someone of lesser means this Thanksgiving?

We serve a turkey every year because our grandparents have done so for every preceding American generation.  At my table, we also serve an alternate protein to honor the original American Thanksgiving bounty and the melding of cultures breaking bread together in peace.  Venison, salmon, buffalo; each has graced our table at times and if any of our guests are vegan, we accommodate them, as well.  

Guests often think they don't like turkey until they have tried this preparation. Once perfected, there is really no going back.  A chemical-free, organically raised turkey rested in a good champagne brine is truly something to look forward to.  Sound excessive?  Read on...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AgSec Vilsack gets the message from health-minded consumers:

I was happy to read in the Organic Consumers' Association newsletter that President Obama's chosen appointee for US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has put forward the following line-up of informed administrators to the National Organic Standards Board. This news was excerpted from the OCA newsletter directly:

It's clear that Tom Vilsack could feel the heat of OCA members looking over his shoulder as he made the Obama Administration's first appointments to the National Organic Standards Board. In past years, the OCA has had to protest NOSB appointees who represented big businesses with small stakes in organic. But Vilsack's are the best NOSB appointments in recent memory. The new members of the National Organic Standards Board include Jay Feldman of Beyond Pesticides (an OCA Advisory Board member), Joe Dickson of Whole Foods, Annette Riherd (a family farmer growing organic fruits and vegetables who is a long-time buy-local-and-organic advocate), Wendy Fulwider of Organic Valley and John Foster of Earthbound Farms.

Access the complete newsletter contents HERE.

Please help keep America's organic food free and clear of potentially harmful chemicals, treatments, nanotech and genetic modifications.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Making the Most of Buffalo Roast -- Dinner + Pizza

Now that certain members of the family have been told by a medical doctor to cut cholesterol intake, I am planning to use even more buffalo. I have been a fan of buffalo for many years, as a magnificent creature, symbolic of America's natural greatness (European conquerors aside) and as a holistic food source.

After the cholesterol report came in, I pondered pizza for several days. I had finally vanquished the gluten free bear in terms of finding a solution that works in our household: inexpensive, easy to prepare, nutritious and delicious to everyone. After some failed experiments, I located a good recipe for a quick and easy, pourable crust in a cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, pages 50 & 51.

Even Hubbers, otherwise known as Mr. GlutenBomb, likes it a LOT. I started using Applegate Farms pepperoni and salami as toppings to ensure that we get gluten free variety in our toppings. I found good, organic Fontina cheeses at Whole Foods and PCC locally. Used sparingly, this is a cheese that I can tolerate occasionally, although I am clinically allergic to cow's milk.

Most of these toppings went off the menu with the new finding, at least until the statins kick in. So now what?

Suddenly, it dawned on me. Very lean buffalo, if raised without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, etc, is one of the healthiest protein choices that omnivores can make. Our Thanksgiving Feast always includes an entree that honors Native American food traditions in appreciation for their expertise in helping white settlers to survive the wilderness conditions they encountered in the New World, so I have worked with buffalo for some time.

Click Read More (next line) for recipe solutions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

HypFoods Savory Salmon Chowder

Ahhh. The first day of standard time in America, complete with it's precious extra hour of leisure time. Today we enjoyed sunshine and warmer outdoor temperatures than we have in many days. I stepped outside early this morning to pull back the frontals of my tomato tent so that the sun could shine on my crop. The plants and the fruits are still growing large and beautiful; I'm still hoping they will ripen in time for Thanksgiving.

During the weeks just prior to this glorious day, all the rainfall and blustery winds, the falling leaves and the scent of wood smoke in the neighborhood brought on a craving for cold weather comfort food. This year, I became hyper-focused on perfecting a new Salmon Chowder, one that doesn't rely on milk or animal fats for it's flavor, one that pays homage to this gleaming gift from the sea by relying on the flavor profile of the fish to satisfy the palate.

It seems my new friend, the fishmonger, at Whole Foods/Interbay shared my reverence for this gorgeous food. We selected the perfect side and when I told him it was for chowder, he immediately asked, "Would you like me to skin the fillet and cut it up for you?" I still smile when I think about it. What a nice guy!

It just so happened that Wellshire Dry-Rubbed Pork Bacon was on BOGO sale that day, so I bought one for use in chowder and one to freeze for the future. This is a tasty bacon, leaner than most, free from gluten contamination and hormones, antibiotics, etc. Now home to craft a new base for the meal.

Click on "Read More" (next line) for recipe and prep details.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gluten Free Beer Batter Crepes ! ! !

Dear Shauna (@GlutenFreeGirl), props to you, the intrepid explorer of the gluten free foods domain. I’m so in love with Teff flour, which I only know about from your blog.

Last night was another of those, ”Lord, I’m so hungry and I don’t know what to eat” moments. Hubbers recently scratched red meat and cheese from his diet (we’ll see how long THAT lasts), so the chuck roast was off the menu because there was no time to slow roast all of the fat into a drip pan.

I started out thinking pancakes with chipped ham, but it began to look complicated in terms of proper gluten free recipes that mapped to our preferences. Along the way, I discovered a recipe for Injera from The Healthy Hedonist Holidays by Myra Kornfeld. This was published with permission online and showed up in several blogs.

Hmmm. Mr. Wonderful LOVES crepes and I’ve been longing for a recipe that we could share, one that doesn’t bump up against his “I don’t LIKE gluten-free” filter. With a couple of wee modifications, this could work! A fast and easy blender recipe that we might both enjoy! How exciting!

Read more to find out how I did it.

Thank God for Rosie’s organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, vacuum packed without Styrofoam (such an environmentally aware company). I had a package of these in the defrost tray of my fridge, so there was the basis for the filling in my dinner crepes. Wish I’d had some mushrooms but the frozen ones don’t work too well in food that is prepared quickly.

I pulled out the large cast iron Le Creuset skillet and set it over a medium flame to begin heating through. Meanwhile, I began assembling the crepe batter:


1 Cup Teff flour

¼ Cup Tapioca Starch

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 TBS melted Earth Balance non-hydrogenated shortening

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 egg

12 oz (one bottle) Redbridge gluten-free beer


Pour gluten-free beer into the blender first, then add the eggs and the vinegar. (I don’t enjoy Redbridge as a beverage, but it is a fine ingredient for cooking, so my introductory six-pack will not go to waste.) Next, layer in the dry ingredients and add the warm melted shortening (or butter if you prefer) last of all so that it will not pre-cook your eggs. Whirl the whole lot on medium speed for about 1.5 minutes.

While the batter is blending, add some oil to the skillet. When heated to almost smoking, pour the first crepe into the pan. This batter was very thin, as a good crepe should be, and it held together beautifully. I soon learned NOT to tilt the pan to spread the batter more thinly, as this caused the crepe to break apart in the middle.

I cooked each crepe about 2 minutes on the first side, about 1 minute on the second. I made 5 crepes successfully (and a couple of duds in the beginning), each about 10” in diameter. I covered them with a glass (see-through) vented cover while the first side cooked, but left them uncovered to finish the second side. They flipped perfectly, the edges were just a little crispy, and after the cooking part was completed, they were easy to fill and fold without breaking up.

I lined a pizza pan with foil and turned the oven on to 250 degrees to keep them warm, separating each with a sheet of sandwich paper which I bought at a restaurant supply to use as microwave splatter guards.

While the crepes were in process, I cubed one chicken breast and ground it in the food processor. I added some curry powder, some cumin, and some saffron, along with a ½ tsp of Kathy Casey’s French Seasoning Salt. I heated a small dutch oven and added some walnut oil and some olive oil, then tossed in 2 TBS of diced shallot. When the shallot was cooked through, I added the ground chicken and cooked it off over medium high heat, deglazing the pan with a wonderful organic Malbec Rose’. To this, I added about 1/2 Cup of organic tomato sauce and a small handful of fresh lemon thyme, then simmered without a cover to reduce the liquid.

We spooned the hot filling into our crepes and I added a tiny portion of shredded Fontina cheese to mine. These crepes were so good that they disappeared before I even had a chance to photograph them! The Vida Organica Malbec Rose’ was a purr-fect pairing with the meal.

Try it and let us know what YOU think!

Friday, September 11, 2009

ChaCha Chicken Tikka Masala

Mr. Wonderful loves Indian cuisine. LOVES it! I enjoy it, too, as long as it isn't overly hot/spicy. Since we've had numerous business contacts who are Indian, I spent some time a few years back learning to prepare authentic Indian food -- from scratch. It was a wildly successful experience which I thoroughly enjoyed, but the authentic style is extremely labor intensive.

One of hubber's favorite dishes is Chicken Tikka Masala, a gorgeous dish that is not difficult to prepare, but is generally constructed with generous portions of yogurt and heavy cream -- not foods that my body can enjoy nearly as much as my taste buds.

Last evening, I had about 40 minutes to prepare dinner before my next meeting and two plump organic chicken breasts to work with. We've had enough stir fry and gluten free barbeque for now and I didn't have enough skewer friendly foods on hand to do kebabs. Hubber had a road trip coming up, so I opted for a very quick preparation of Chicken Tikka Masala -- inspired by the desire to try out Chef Kathy Casey's ChaCha Chipotle Lime seasoning.

I have been dreaming in a background program about a possible milk substitute to use in cooking and baking. It seemed like the perfect time to try it out on a simple recipe.

The dish was absolute heaven! Mr. Wonderful was alarmed when he learned that I had modified the traditional approach, but after he had a couple of bites, he declared emphatically: "Next time you make this, double it -- and DON'T CHANGE A THING." Hey Mikey, he likes it!

Read More to learn my secret approach to this food homily.

ChaCha Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients for Marinade:

1 Cup "So Delicious" Coconut Milk Kefir, original flavor
1 TBS organic lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
2 large boneless organic chicken breasts, skinned and cubed

In a large bowl, combine kefir, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, ginger and salt. Stir in cubed chicken, cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Dish:

1 TBS organic butter (see below)
1 clove of garlic
1 small chipotle pepper, whole
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Kathy Casey's Cha Cha Chipotle Lime seasoning
1 tsp paprika
8 oz organic tomato SAUCE -- not paste
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
4 TBS organic Coconut Milk Fat (see below)

Heat the butter in a heavy pot. Ok, it's dairy, but it doesn't bother me; subs 1-2 TBS WALNUT oil if you can't use butter. (RIP, Julia Child) Walnut Oil is the BEST substitute for butter in stovetop recipes. It is heart-healthy AND it gives you that rich mouth feel that we all miss when we eliminate butter from our repertoire. It just happened that I was out of walnut oil on this occasion.

Add the garlic and whole chipotle. Saute until the garlic is clear and the fat is well-seasoned, 1 or 2 minutes. Add seasonings and stir. This is the great trick in Indian cooking: you basically fry or saute the seasonings until they begin to turn dark and release all of their oils and flavors into the dish. Over medium heat, this will take about 3 minutes. Add the almond milk, coconut milk fat and the organic tomato sauce.

Simplest way to get good coconut milk fat (not the same as coconut oil) is to open a can of organic coconut milk (full fat variety, not the lite version) and spoon the fat off the top. Do NOT shake the can before opening. The milk will be on the bottom of the can and the milkfat will be at the top.

Stir the liquids to combine with seasonings, then simmer (really a very slow boil, so just above simmer) for about 20 minutes. The sauce will thicken only slightly, so it becomes a sort of spicy tomato gravy.

MEANWHILE, heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, lift the chicken from the marinade and drop it into the skillet. It is not necessary to remove all of the marinade, but you want don't want a large pool of it in your skillet, either. Saute the chicken until cooked through, not too fast. Cooking time will depend upon the size of your cubes. I sauteed for about 7 minutes and my cubes were small enough to fit 2 or 3 in a regular cereal spoon.

Stir the sauce, make sure it isn't sticking. If it is beginning to thicken, then reduce the heat to low. DO NOT COVER the sauce, it will thin out from condensed steam.

Turn on your broiler and slide the skillet with the chicken into the oven. (Obviously, I used an ovenproof skillet and I trust you will do the same!) Broil the chicken just long enough to achieve a golden brown finish, stir/turn the cubes and broil for another couple of minutes to finish the other side.

Remove the skillet from the oven, add the chicken to the sauce and PRESTO! Quick and easy, dairy free Cha Cha Chicken Tikka Masala. Heaven!

You would think this dish would develop a sort of Thai flavor, but it didn't! It was thoroughly Indian in flavor, mild enough for me (add cayenne in the sauce if you need more heat). Serve with saffron rice and a side of fresh cantalope. The Cha Cha seasoning created the perfect balance of salt/spice/heat for my palate and I am certain that this dish will become a regular on our menu at Chez Croquet. Enjoy!

Ready to try this at home? Major ingredients available through, compiled for you right here:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Homemade Stock: Stretching our food dollars for good health

Today is soup day. My approach to homemade soup is a synthesis of things I learned from my grandmother, from Chef Bruce Naftaly at Le Gourmand/Seattle, and from health and wellness masters along the way.

Gran would make her famous Refrigerator Soup two or three times per month and it consisted of a wondrous array of everything that had been put back into the fridge since the last batch was made: grilled chicken backs and wings, ends of kielbasa, left over Spanish Rice, the remaining half a tomato from someone’s most recent sandwich, spinach or green beans that my brother had attempted to hide in the back of the fridge so he couldn’t be forced to finish them off, the bottom crusts of sandwich bread that I always cut off because I hated how they felt in my mouth.

It may sound like a nightmare, but it was never, ever that. I can’t say what magic she performed while no one was looking, but I know we always sat still for soup dinners, spoon in one hand and large hunks of bread in the other. Soup came to the table in a large, cast iron dutch oven and our family of six (more if the neighbor kids were eating with us) would generally empty the pot in one sitting. Gran was a child of the great depression and she knew how to get the most out of her groceries. It’s a mindset that was ingrained in me from an early age as I stood beside her and “helped” her cook through the years.

Chef Naftaly may be the most under-represented food genius in our very food-centric city of Seattle. He was serving all local and organic foods many long years before it was “trendy” to do so and his growing list of provisioners is truly breath-taking to an amateur food-a-phile like me.

Early in my Seattle residency, I attended some of his cooking classes. These are absolutely “must do” events. For the price of the class, you sit in his warm kitchen on a ladder-back chair with ten or twelve other newfound friends and watch him prepare a meal. You get recipes, dinner with dessert, wines paired to each course, AND you get the benefit of learning his kitchen efficient style and cooking techniques. He is a wonder to behold and his meals are divine. One of many things you can generally count on is that Bruce prepares his own fresh stock daily for use in his wonderful recipes.

My own treasured trinity for the stock pot is based on celery, carrots and French shallots – fresh, organic basics in our kitchen. I prefer baby carrots because they are so much easier to work with. Today, there were no carrots to be found at Chez Croquet but I found some fennel stalks and set to work.

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil and an equal portion of Earth Balance non-hydrogenated shortening went into the stock pot. While these were heating up, I whirled some celery stalks in the food processor, then dropped some chopped organic garlic into the hot pot. Since I was currently also short of fresh shallots, I added some dehydrated shallots to the pot and pulled it off the heat to prevent burning. I keep these on the shelf for just such a moment.

The fennel stalks and some leaves of rainbow chard joined the celery for a whirl about the food processor, then into the pot with all of the greenery. I also added the last of a portion of vegan cilantro pesto made at PCC/Fremont and the better part of an orange tomato that was never going to make it to a salad bowl. Sliding the pot back onto the medium heat, I popped the cover on and sweated the veggies, then added one cup of Orvieto and one half can of Ito En Sencha Shot. I simmered these for about ten minutes, then dropped in the magic basket.

Until now, everything that has gone into the pot will remain in the stock forever. The magic basket is for everything that would otherwise need to be sorted and strained after cooking. If you love to cook, but HATE to clean up afterwards, you want this.

Today’s magic includes the remains of the roast chicken from a previous dinner and half a small spaghetti squash, quartered. I also added two organic bay leaves and two sachets of Bija Cold Stop tea. This is a caffeine-free, immune-boosting blend of herbs that makes a fabulous addition to your stock during cold and flu season. Several stems of fresh lemon thyme, kosher salt, some cumin and some tumeric along with a helping of ground white pepper rounded out the profile. Then for the sake of my grandmother, I added a fatty end from a grass-fed beef steak which I had reserved for this purpose.

With the magic basket fully loaded and a couple of quarts of filtered water added in, it was time to let the simmer go to work. After a good 20 minutes, I added another two quarts of filtered water. (It’s important to let the stock pot boil gently for these long intervals of 20 – 30 minutes at a time to ensure that any micro-organisms are destroyed in the cooking process.)

Once the basket contents have fully rehydrated and the flavors have set, I like to use a stainless potato masher to press things and release these flavors into the stock. At around 50 minutes of cooking time, I will turn off the heat and just allow the ingredients to steep. Our climate is moderate to mild here. Don't try this in Tucson!

At dinnertime, simply lift the basket out of the stock pot and set it into a large bowl to drain. Use a stick blender to liquefy the vegetables that remain in the stock and boil gently for 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

I like to puree the spaghetti squash (minus the skin, of course) into my soup, but my husband loathes it. Instead, I save the squash for my own lunch fare and add a little tapioca starch to thicken the stock just slightly.

Served in large noodle bowls with freshly baked gluten-free bread (mine toasted), we enjoyed a delicious and nurturing meal with no downside.

And just now, it's raining outside as I head back to the kitchen to portion the remaining stock for freezing. It will be there, at the ready, any time we need a healthy flavor boost. Very hyp, indeed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

TWIST/Seattle -- Reviewed by HypFoods Host, Chantelle Maccarone

Recently, in search of somewhere Hyp to eat, I ventured into Belltown along with my dinner companions. A nifty little app on the iPhone pointed us to Twist and we decided to give it a go.

The first big joy at this Hyp little spot is that their Happy Hour on Sunday through Thursday goes from 4pm to 11pm. That means that for all you hard working folks out there, you can get off work, navigate the traffic and still have plenty of time to enjoy the wide range of wallet-friendly fare including cocktails at Twist.

Intrigued by this recession-busting invitation, we grabbed a table in the hall of this club-like restaurant and ordered a round of Belvedere cocktails that were each $6 or under. Those of you out there who know your vodka and even those who don’t should be as impressed as I was that a premium liquor could cost so little and it is not the only one on the menu.

As we perused past the “Bar fare” part of the menu and onto the “Light fare” section, we quickly discovered a large array of items ranging in price from $2.50 to $10 and including everything from a simple Chips and Salsa to a New York Strip. We decided to start off with some Hummus ($2.50), Seared Diver Scallops ($6), Chips and Salsa ($2.50), Crab Mac and Cheese – declared by Chef Turner as possibly the best ever ($5), and Chipotle Prawns ($10). You should know that there were 3 of us in this little party.

The drinks arrived, followed by the food shortly after and I have to say that I was more than impressed with what we got for the money. I am always looking for a good deal and now I know I have found it. Everything we ate was delicious to say the least and I was impressed with the size of the order in association with the cost.

The salsa that accompanied the chips was a little spicy but had a wonderful flavor to it. The Hummus was smooth with a hint of peanut which was a nice addition to the usual chickpea. The Scallops were a little overdone the first time, but were speedily replaced by a perfect batch and had a delicious sauce on top that really made the dish. The prawns we accompanied by a very tasty corn pancake. To quote another member of the party, the Crab Mac and Cheese was to die for and would definitely be added to his “Last Meal” list.

At this point, we were “all in” for this amazing food! We finished our dining experience with an order of Chipotle Beef tacos ($3.50) and Crispy Skin Salmon ($10). The Tacos came out amazingly fast and had a tantalizing salsa on top that really made them complete. The salmon may have been one of the best things we had all night, although it is hard to say so when everything was so temptingly memorable. The skin was crisp and the Salmon was moist. It was accompanied by a corn salsa that was sweet and buttery. This dish was every bit as heavenly as the Crab Mac and Cheese, yet totally unique and gluten free.

Concerning Twist’s attitude toward food allergies in our party, the very helpful server simply disappeared into the kitchen with a smile and returned with a paper copy of the menu which had been reviewed by the Chef. Anything that wasn’t safe for us to eat was simply marked off the menu and we were left with plenty of Hyp choices.

When the bill finally came, I was impressed that it totaled under $60! Wow! Three patrons, three premium cocktails, plus all the food we wanted with the added bonus that the whole affair was cost effective, too! That is totally Hyp!

If you are looking to hold a quiet business dinner, then Twist may not be for you as the atmosphere is lively and loud. However; if you are looking to go out and have a good time, a few drinks and some great food on a budget, then this is definitely the place for you. Twist also has a large dining room overlooking Elliott Bay that can be rented out for parties or gatherings and would be a fun and fairly cost effective place to have that yearly office party or surprise birthday for a friend.

It is not often that I like to eat at the same place more then once in a week but I could be very happy if I went to Twist again tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So what's the deal with Coconut Water?

Haven't you heard about this natural wonder? I first became interested in coconut water when I was battling insulin resistance and experiencing chronic dehydration/thirst. I had heard on a PBS documentary that it was used as a substitute for emergency blood plasma during the Second World War, Pacific theater.

That reminded me of how much I loved coconut water as a child in South Florida. We had coconut palms on our property and it was an afternoon of entertainment with Gran to husk the fruit, crack the nut and drink the juice stored within.

CLICK here for the SCOOP. What all this means if you are into mixology is this: if you ignore coconut water, you squander a chance to be GOOD to your patrons!

There are those who say you can kick a hangover to the curb with coconut water, too. HypFoods advocates for responsible use of mixology & consumption, avoiding the hangover punishment altogether!

Friday, August 14, 2009

GF Pasta Making with Chef Sabrina Tinsley of Osteria La Spiga on Seattle's First Hill

Earlier this summer, HypFoods was thrilled to participate in La Spiga's gluten free cooking class. Learning with Chef Sabrina is a real treat! She's friendly, fun, and practical, as well as skillful in the kitchen. We captured some video to show you just how rewarding it is to learn at La Spiga! Yes, class includes lunch & wine! Plus: proof that it can be done! We CAN make our own gluten free pasta!

CLICK Read More link (below the video display) to view recipes!

Gluten Free Pasta from Croquet Creative on Vimeo.

The machine-formed pasta featured in this video was made from a recipe that was shared with Chef Sabrina by GlutenFreeGirl, Shauna Ahern.

Tagliatelle di Mais

For the pasta dough:

2/3 Cup Corn Flour
2/3 Cup Potato STARCH (not Potato Flour)
2/3 Cup Sweet Rice Flour (I found mine in the Asian Foods section of my grocery)
3 TBS Xanthan Gum
4 Eggs (room temp)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 TBS Olive Oil

> Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl
> Make a well in the flour mixture and drop in the eggs
> Whisk eggs with a fork, gradually pulling in the flour mixture from the borders
> Continue whisking with a fork until dough is stiff enough to work with your hands
> Knead the dough and gradually work into a ball
> NOTE: dough will be quite stiff, unlike softer products containing gluten
> Let the dough rest for 10 min before proceeding
> Roll out dough using a rolling pin or your pasta machine
> Cut the pasta with tagliatelle blade on your machine or with a sharp knife
> Drop into gently boiling water and simmer for about 3 minutes
> Fresh pasta will NOT be al dente
> Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Twisted GF Lasagna

Let's say your best friend phoned this afternoon to confirm that she's coming to your place for dinner this weekend -- and she's bringing along a very hot date! How exciting! She needs just one small favor, though. Her date is gluten free. Can you cover that?

Of course you can. It's not that difficult anymore.

Lasagna is one of those dishes that nearly everyone loves and gluten free folks have longed for, even dreamed about. It looks impressive and is actually very easy to prepare. Over the course of the next twelve months, HypFoods is featuring a specialty lasagna each month. We're kicking off the series with a video covering two lasagnas prepared for one meal: a traditional dish and a small gluten free Twisted GF Lasagna, entirely gluten free with a tangy twist imparted by a goat's milk yogurt modification. The webisode illustrates how easy it is make a family size portion of lasagna with a smaller gluten free preparation for a guest or a single family member who is gluten free. We'll tweet about it when it comes out of post.

First things first. Does your gluten free dinner guest eat cheese? Many people who are clinically allergic to gluten also have trouble with dairy products. If this is the case for your guest, then cancel the whole lasagna plan and switch to steaks or fish and a side salad.

If you get the green light on dairy, then here's what you need for the Twisted GF Lasagna:

1/2 lb ground chemical free beef chuck
1/3 lb ground sausage
(Wellshire sausage products are gluten free & chemical free, available at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 slices Boar's Head Mozzarella cheese (Boar's Head meats & cheeses are all gluten free)
1 cup of premium organic goat's milk yogurt
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
6-8 leaves of sweet basil, chopped
1 qt gluten free seasoned tomato sauce (Annie's Naturals, Mezzetta's Napa Valley Bistro, etc -- the label will be printed to indicate a gluten free product)
1 pkg of Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles

Begin by bringing a large quantity of water to a boil. Add a little olive oil and some salt, then drop in your lasagna noodles. Cook according to package directions. If you are preparing a small portion to fit into a loaf pan, you will only need 3 or 4 noodles. At HypFoods, we have tried many, many gluten free noodle products and Tinkyada Brown Rice products are by far the best in taste, texture and versatility. They also provide a lower glycemic load than other pasta products because brown rice has a dramatically lower call than other grains upon the insulin response.

Brown the meats in a skillet over medium heat with a little salt. Meat is actually optional in lasagna, but we like it. We try to have one or two meatless dinners per week, but not on lasagna night. When browned to your preference, remove the ground meats to a stainless colander and set aside.

By the time your meats are browned, the noodles will likely be finished as well. When your meat has drained, remove it to a plate or bowl and drain the noodles in the same stainless colander. NOTE: This emphasis on stainless is important because people who are clinically allergic to gluten may suffer a reaction to specks of gluten that have infiltrated plastic or wooden utensils like spoons, colanders, etc. Stainless presents the best option for a home kitchen.

As your noodles are cooling to the point that you can handle them, beat the egg in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add the goat's milk yogurt, xanthan gum and chopped basil. Stir to blend. This will replace the ricotta in your lasagna. It will look thin in the bowl, but will cook up into a sort of custard that resembles ricotta in appearance, but provides the delicious, tangy twist to this dish.

Now you're ready to begin layering. Lay out the noodles on a cookie sheet and coat one side with a shmear of olive oil. This will simply make them easier to handle. Tinkyada's Brown Rice pasta is firm and handles very well in this construction phase, unlike many traditional pastas that want to shred as you handle them.

Place a layer of noodle on the bottom of your baking dish or loaf pan. We like the disposable aluminum pans because there is no laborious clean-up after dinner. Add a layer of sauce, a layer of browned meat, a layer of the yogurt blend, a layer of mozzarella and repeat until you have nearly reached the top of the pan. Finish with a layer of cheese, then cover your pan with a lid or a foil cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese on top has browned, then remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and service.

This recipe serves 2-4 people, depending on appetite. Double or triple the recipe to serve more people OR to include a freezer portion for a future mealtime. Serve with a side salad of mixed greens and mandarin orange segments. Pair with a Sangiovese or a Pinot Rose. Offer plenty of sparkling water and lemon wedges. Make dessert a simple lemon-lime ice or sorbet

Lasagna photo credit: Susan McKee

Friday, August 7, 2009

HypFoods Big Tip: Cutting Food Costs with

If you've been on the hypoallergenic food scene for any length of time, you already know that we are entering a most exciting period as food advocates and businesses come to terms with the realities of a large consumer population with special needs arising from numerous food allergies.

If you're new to this scene, rejoice! It's much easier these days to find convenience foods that accomodate your requirements than ever before. As consumers become more outspoken about their needs and more willing to purchase the new product offerings, the market will grow. Prices will reach a favorable range and job growth will be stimulated by consumer demand.

Nearly gone are the days when your only option was to bake your gluten free goods from scratch and to spend many hours and dollars in painstaking experiments with the various alternate flours and starches to find a combination that serves your nutrition needs and tastes good to your family.

Evidence of the new bounty arrived in my inbox this week in the form of an announcement that Amazon is now offering gluten free groceries in their subscribe and save program.

I have been a regular subscriber of foods that work for us for years. It just makes good sense for me and for the planet. Most of the staple foods that keep our household running smoothly are available from Amazon and often for a better price than general retail. If an item costs more, or if there is an exorbitant shipping cost attached to the purchase, then I won't buy online. However, if the price is appropriate, I will buy my "hypfoods" from Amazon and have them delivered to my doorstep.

With an Amazon Prime membership, most items are available for second day delivery at no additional cost. The UPS truck is going to be on the route anyway, so I save fuel and time while reducing my carbon footprint by managing food needs in this way.

Additionally, using "subscribe and save" through Amazon, the food choices are available as case lots at additional savings averaging 5-15% discount over shelf prices and they come straight to my door on scheduled intervals that I specify for each item.

The carousel leading this article shows a mixed variety of the staple gluten free foods available now from this rich source. These include the Kind bars currently being offered by Starbucks and the new Betty Crocker gluten free mixes.

You can buy Annie's Rice Pasta Mac & Cheese or Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice noodle products. Keep in mind that Brown Rice is often a better choice for those who must also manage their blood sugar closely. Tinkyada is my personal favorite, but I've also included Bionaturae noodles. I love Bionaturae products and their noodles are fabulous. They cook very nicely and provide a level of culinary satisfaction that is unexpected in gluten free products, but the flour blend used includes soy, so it is not well tolerated by those with soy allergies.

There is a selection of pre-made gluten free cookies and crackers, as well as a wide variety of bread mix products and certified gluten free oats. There is no better therapy than preparing your own meals from scratch, giving thought to and thanks for the labor and goodness that brought the food to your kitchen, but the truth is we don't always have the time or energy to do everything from scratch. I like to make my own bread and feel the very literal connection to a vast rainbow of men and women who have shared this simple and essential task, but I am also thankful to know that we have choices that will not do us harm.

Remember that most prices are for bulk purchases, not single items, and that each food product on Amazon displays a page of nutritional data (including the list of individual ingredients). You will find the link to this data at the top of each food product page, just beneath the product name.

Whether you work from scratch or from convenience, explore the Amazon website for grocery supplies and share the joy of having good choices.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sustainable Sushi -- the latest HypFood

As consumers and foodies become more aware of the challenges to marine organisms and the questionable practices of fish farming, SUSTAINABILITY of sushi sources is becoming a consideration for owners and consumers alike.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the new certifying body for sushi and seafood restaurants. HypFood'ies get familiar with their logo/seal of approval:

Christian Science Monitor featured a gorgeous two-page spread last week on the subject of guilt-free sushi. Read their excellent coverage here.

Access the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list online for real time guidance when choosing sushi or seafood.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption In Middle Age Can Lower Cardiac Risk, Study Shows

Human study published in American Journal of Medicine yields surprising findings. Bottom line = cardiac health is only one component of your midlife wellness profile; consider all factors carefully. Study indicates wine is better than other forms of alcohol. Moderate defined as one drink per day or less for women; not more than 2 per day for men.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption In Middle Age Can Lower Cardiac Risk, Study Shows

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HypFoods Iced Tea Chiller (a HypFoods original concoction)

Staying cool when the ambient temperature soars into the triple digits? That's a critical path to survival, not to mention basic comfort. More than attention to temperature alone, it's also important to maintain superior hydration. Drinking tap water is better than nothing, but you really need to keep your electrolytes up, too. Remember that caffeine (i.e., tea or coffee beverage) is dehydrating, so you need to pump it up a little to counteract that effect.

Here's my current convenience favorite:

6 oz Ito En Lemongrass Tea, poured into a snack baggie and frozen solid, then placed into a stainless steel insulated cup.

8 - 10 oz Ito En Lemongrass Tea
1.5 oz (a shot) of VitaCoco 100% Coconut WATER (not coconut milk)
2 oz of R. W. Knudsen ORGANIC Lemon ReCharge

Stir and consume with pleasure. Repeat.

My second favorite fully charged "beat the heat" beverage: FIJI water

Black Tea May Fight Diabetes

HypFoods notation: Whenever possible, select ORGANIC black tea to limit the possibility of pesticides and other chemical process contaminants in your brew.

Black Tea May Fight Diabetes

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