Tag Archives: gluten free

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Earlier this year I decided to start making two loaves of homemade, gluten free bread at the beginning of each month so I could enjoy sandwiches and french toast as often as I liked. One to keep in the fridge for the first two weeks, and the second to freeze until the first loaf had run its course.

I thought I was brilliant.

Two loaves of bread! I’ll eat that in no time! I should make FOUR loaves of bread, because two will never be enough, said my overzealous brain. (Don’t worry, I had a long talk with myself and kept to two loaves.)

Then 60+ hour work weeks entered the picture. And trips to the gym. And errands. And endless meetings. Suddenly, I found myself inundated with loaves of bread I didn’t even have time to eat. (Yes, that’s right. Didn’t even have time to eat.)

I started panicking about what to do with this bread that was occupying my fridge and freezer. It just stared at me, wanting to be used, demanding to be eaten. But you can only consume so many PB&J sandwiches before you start being unable to button your jeans in the morning.

So I took to the internet to search for new ideas and came upon recipes for bread pudding. A while back, I remembered America’s Test Kitchen doing a slow cooker bread pudding recipe that fascinated me. The chefs had dried the bread in the oven to reduce the moisture, which I thought was brilliant. Armed with some other ingredients, I took to my own “test kitchen” to see what kind of magic I could make with these loaves of bread (sans slow cooker).

The result- a gooey yet remarkably light and satisfying bread pudding! And it’s super quick and easy too!

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


7 slices of gluten free bread, cubed and oven dried (see directions below)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nutella spread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bread into cubes and lay flat on a nonstick baking tray. Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the bread starts to dry.Do not let it brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. In a bowl, mix the eggs, skim milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Slowly fold in the nutella spread until fully immersed in the egg mixture.

3. When the bread cubes have cooled, place them in one layer in an 8×8 inch pan. Pour the butter evenly over the bread, followed by the egg mixture. If you like, you can sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.

4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the bread springs back when tested with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and fruit.


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A Gluten-Free, Sugar Free Yellow Cake for the Healthy Mom

I know what you’re thinking. Gluten-free AND sugar free? For Mother’s day? Blech, no way! That can’t possibly taste good.

I’ll admit, when I began the task of making a gluten free and diabetic-friendly cake for my mom (who is trying to reduce her sugar intake), I was skeptical. I spent a month researching sugar replacements and asking my mom what she wanted in a cake that was slightly out of my realm of expertise. To the rest of the world, most people would throw in the towel, make some fruit salad and call it a day. But not me. I was determined to make this cake work. And as luck (and lots of testing!) would have it–it did!

My ‘test’ cupcakes

To begin my testing, I started with one of my favorite gluten free yellow cake recipes as my base. I first replaced the granulated sugar with raw agave (1 cup granulated sugar= 3/4 cup agave) and used coconut milk instead of regular milk to add some silkiness, and a bit of sweet. Then, to reduce the amount of white carbs (which are very unhealthy), I split the white rice flour with brown rice flour. The recipe took less than ten minutes to prepare!

You may think that in doing this I took out everything that makes a cake fluffy and sweet, moist and delicious. But even I, the queen of all sweet teeth, was surprised to find that this cake not only retained it’s fluffiness, but tasted better than a normal gluten free cake, with a lovely sweet flavor that lingered at the end of every bite. I didn’t miss the sugar! And it smelled good, too! How can you beat that?

Stay tuned for Sunday’s post, when I reveal the final product with all the icing :)

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Yellow Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth Barbone

Dry ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup raw agave
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13-inch pan, or line 20 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and agave until creamy, about a minute. Add the eggs and beat for 15 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Finally, stir in the milk and vanilla. Batter should be fluffy and light.

Pour batter evenly into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (round cake pans/cupcakes) or 30 minutes (9×13-inch pan). Insert a cake tester into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Place on wire racks to cool and decorate as you please!

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Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait

It is not often that I crave dessert that isn’t chocolate-infused, but today was one of those days (see the Pastry Affair’s wonderful, related post about mascarpone cheese ). When I’m not in the mood for chocolate, my dessert has to be rich and creamy. I am all about texture and flavor, and I particularly like mixing salty and tangy with sweet.

Two of my favorite flavors (ever) are ginger and coconut. I’m not sure how many of you have tried this combination, but if you haven’t yet–you should. It’s divine. I love how the sweetness of the coconut cools the zing of ginger. It makes me feel like I am sitting on some faraway island, relaxing and listening to the sounds of waves crash on the shore. Ahhh. Bliss.

Today I decided to take my quirky love of ginger and coconut and blend it into a well-loved dessert: the parfait. Parfait, which literally means perfect in french, is typically a layered dessert of cream and berries (or, if you are Rachel Green from Friends, you make it with cream and beef).

For my version, I chose to use four ingredients: vanilla pudding, gluten free gingersnap cookies, bananas and shredded coconut. The dessert is light, creamy and just sweet and cool enough for a summer or spring day. It can also be made in large batches, perfect for a party. Enjoy!

Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait
by Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC

Serves 3

2 cups vanilla pudding (see below for recipe)
2 medium bananas, sliced into coin-size pieces
30 gluten free gingersnap cookies
1 tablespoon shredded coconut

For the pudding:

This recipe is adapted from Fresh and Fast by Marie Simmons.

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and then add the hot milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar in fully dissolved and the mixture starts to boil and thicken. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. When the pudding has thickened, add the salt and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Let the pudding cool completely before making the parfait, about an hour. Make sure to stir the pudding from time to time so it doesn’t become too thick. When the pudding has cooled, alternate spreading layers of the ingredients in this order: pudding, gingersnap cookies, pudding, bananas, pudding, gingersnap cookies. When it is finished, sprinkle coconut on top. (If you really love coconut, you may add it to the pudding as you layer.)

Refrigerate for an hour and serve at almost room temperature.

One Year Ago: Matzoh Brei

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Dine-In Brooklyn: The Bogota Experience

Brooklynites, get excited—our restaurant week (also known as Dine-In Brooklyn) is here! Until March 29, you can eat on the (relatively) cheap at some of your favorite restaurants, for $20.12 (lunch)  or $25 (dinner) per person.

Brooklyn is becoming known as one of the hottest spots for dining–from mom and pop traditional shops to upscale, modern restaurants spilling over from Manhattan’s uptown streets. In full disclosure, I spend most of my life eating out in Brooklyn. I love the little streets, the friendly people and the “suburban” feel you only get in the outer boroughs, especially in my native Park Slope.

For this week’s Dine-In Brooklyn, my sister and I hit up our favorite Park Slope restaurant, Bogota Latin Bistro, now offering (clearly labeled) gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. Ah, Bogota, how much do I love you? Let me count the ways…

Plantain chips with Bogota’s own aji sauce

Bogota opened in 2005, the lovechild of two passionate rising entrepreneurs, George Constantinou and Farid Ali, who had some experience in the restaurant business and none in the business of business. The two men came together in 2001 with the idea of opening a Pan-Latin restaurant and mojito bar, honoring the food of their Latin American heritage, with a specific focus on Colombian cuisine. They enrolled in business classes and, after a competition in Citigroup’s Power Up! won them $20,000, they were all set to open the restaurant of my dreams.

I mean, their dreams. Right.

Shrimp Ceviche

You may wonder what separates Colombian food from the rest of the Latin American food market. This can be hard to define, if only because of its melting pot culture.  Not as spicy as Mexican food and not as rich and sweet as Cuban cuisine, Colombian dishes are a unique flavor of their own, influenced by their European settlers, indigenous groups and Caribbean neighbors. When you sit down to eat at a restaurant like Bogota, you can be overwhelmed by a multitude of differing aromas, tastes and textures–from a spicy ceviche, to a soft cornbread called an arepa to a creamy flan de coco, you can have it all. It is truly a cuisine that in its lack of a clear taste definition, creates one that is all its own.

Garlic Rotisserie Chicken with rice, beans and sweet plantains (maduros)

Last night, I was more than thrilled to indulge in a feast at Bogota. Their staff is always friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. Like the owners, they are passionate and believe in their food, which makes the entire dining experience more enjoyable.

Arepa with fresh avocado

For my meal, I ordered the shrimp ceviche (which came with six HUGE pieces of fish), the garlic rotisserie chicken and the flan de coco, all gluten free except for the flan. (Yes, I cheated. Sometimes I can be extremely weak when presented with my coconut and a creamy custard.) My sister chose the arepa with avocado, the salmon (which arrived complete with salad) and the tres leches cake. Her first choice for dessert, the banana caramel bread pudding (which my dad enjoyed nights earlier), was too popular and already gone by the time we arrived.

Flan de Coco (Coconut Custard)

As we sat eating, we became completely silent, except for the occasional “mmm” and “oh my god this is heaven.” We intended to devour the entire three-course menu, but when our stomachs lacked the ability to compete with our giant plates of food, we were ‘forced’ to bring home our leftovers. Even now, as I sit here at my table, finishing off my Garlic Rotisserie Chicken, I have been reduced to picking up the bone and fishing out all the hidden pieces of meat left to nibble. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It tastes too good, and I just never want it to end.

Bogota Latin Bistro is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn on 5th Ave on St John’s. You can reserve a table online (highly suggested, especially for restaurant week) here. For the full version of how this restaurant came to be, visit this site.

Bogotá Latin Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Sweet Strawberry Bread

I may or may not have purchased two boxes of strawberries the other day at the grocery store. ‘Why?’, you ask. To be honest, I’m not too sure. Could it have been the woman standing next to me, praising the bright, red color of strawberries that looked ‘shockingly good for a New York winter’? Perhaps. Might it have been the creepy grocer staring me down the aisle, willing me to place something in my basket? Quizás. Or maybe it was the low, inviting price of two boxes for $5.

Yes, that sounds more like it.

But then I arrived home…with two boxes of strawberries…and the reality hit me. What was I going to do with all those berries? I started flipping through my recipe books for gluten free baked goods with strawberries and found nothing. Nada. Zilch. How could that be? All I had to go off of were directions for making a banana bread. So I did what I do when I have no recipe: I made up my own. And because I really love sweet breads, I added extra berries to the batter. Yum.

Within minutes of entering the oven, the house was filled with the smells of strawberries and sugar. Amazing. And it tasted delicious too! I ate this cake tonight for dessert, but I would eat it for breakfast as french toast as well! Enjoy!

Sweet Strawberry Bread

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 ¼ cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup or 1 stick softened butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Mix sugars and strawberries in a bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a third bowl, cream butter and then add eggs. Add dry mix slowly and blend until smooth. Blend in milk. Lastly, fold in the strawberry mixture carefully.

Pour mixture into loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and serve warm, with butter.


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Pan con Tomate for New Year’s

Need a really simple, really quick appetizer to make for a New Year’s Eve party? Look no further! I ate this dish in Spain all the time and love it because it’s extremely rich and flavorful and requires very few ingredients. My host parents used to eat these for snack and it was a regular fixture at our dinner table as well. Now that I’m home, I make it whenever I have the time to make a homemade bread which fortunately was this week!

Enjoy–and happy new year!!!

Pan Con Tomate

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


Gluten Free Baguette or French Bread (I use Gluten Free Pantry mix)
Ripe tomatoes, pureed with skin
Fresh garlic cloves, peeled
Olive Oil

Begin by slicing the bread into small rectangles or ovals, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think. Toast on both sides until light brown. Be careful not to burn the bread!

Spread about 1/8 teaspoon of olive oil on each piece of bread and sprinkle lightly with salt. Rub some fresh garlic on the olive oil side of the bread–not too much, but enough for the toast to pick up some light garlic flavor. Place a dollop of the tomato puree on each piece of bread and serve warm. Buen provecho!

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Gluten Free 7 Layer Bars

I made these 7 layer bars over the weekend to bring to my friend’s house for Christmas. They are an ooey-gooey mess of sugary delight–layers of butter, chocolate and coconut blend together to make an irresistable combination. (I personally had a hard time resisting the urge to take another…and another…and another)

Though they are sinfully bad for you (I don’t even want to know the calorie count!), they are a huge crowd pleaser and quick and easy to make. They sure won’t help your resolution to ‘eat healthfully’ but hey, the new year hasn’t arrived yet! So go on, make a batch…betcha can’t eat just one :)

7 Layer Bars

Original recipe by Bernadette

Serving Size:       16


1/4 pound sweet butter
1 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut, shredded
6 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
15 oz. condensed milk, sweetened
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I use a mixture of pecans and walnuts)
sea salt

Spread melted butter in 9×13 pan. In this order, spread layers of: graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, condensed milk and chopped nuts. For an ‘8th layer’, sprinkle some sea salt on top to give them some extra flair.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool and cut into squares.

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Houses

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Sesame Soba Noodles

While the food blogosphere is abuzz with the sounds and smells of the winter holidays (pie, peppermint bar, egg nog), I had something a little different in mind for today’s post.

Back when I could eat gluten, this was one of my FAVORITE dishes. Until I found a replacement for gluten free soba noodles I was left only to dream about its’ deliciousness. Now, all of that has changed. I am now continuing to find brands of soba noodles made JUST from buckwheat (ie, that aren’t processed in facilities that also process wheat and that don’t have flours with gluten added to them). These brands include King Soba and Eden Organic.

In one sitting, I could eat three or four bowls of this dish. I won’t say I’m proud of that but…I kind of really am. I’m really a big fan of the sesame seeds and how nicely they compliment the sauce and the noodles, adding that extra crunch. I highly suggest making sure the noodles are low-sodium, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by a salty flavor that doesn’t compliment the sauce. (Though if that’s what you enjoy, go for it!)

If cooking for many people and planning to have leftovers, consider making extra batches, though one recipe is often enough to serve 3-4 people for a few days.

Sesame Soba Noodles

Adapted from a recipe by Eileen Weinberger


¾ cup light vegetable oil
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
1/8 cup sesame seeds
¾ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pound soba noodles (no salt or low-sodium)
¼ cup oyster sauce
baby spinach
cooked chicken, shredded
**any vegetables you like (mushrooms, shredded carrots, etc)

In a high sided sauce pan, over medium heat, heat vegetable oil, sesame oil and sesame seeds until lightly toasted. While oil is hot, slowly add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and cilantro. Be very careful as the mixture may splatter.

In the meantime, boil the soba noodles in a pot of water. The noodles cook quickly, so watch them closely (about 3-4 minutes). Drain and return to pot to cool.

Add the sesame dressing and vegetables/protein to the soba noodles and mix well. Sprinkle with additional cilantro. Serve warm or cold.

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NYTimes and the Gluten Free World

A few days ago, the New York Times posted a fascinating article about the growth of ‘Gluten Free America’. The article raised the question as to whether or not gluten free is becoming a ‘fad diet’; not for those who actually suffer from the allergy, but for those subscribing to the lifestyle because they believe it will make them healthier.

Additionally, interesting points were raised about how awareness of celiac disease is affecting major corporations and their efforts to develop gluten free products. The article suggests that as companies seek methods of tapping into this currently profitable ‘market’, greater attention should be paid to the validity of brands that advertise themselves as gluten free. Though there is a widespread amount of knowledge on the subject, cross-contamination is still an issue which not all manufacturers may be completely aware of yet, or able to fully accommodate. That said, you should always make sure to do your research and read all labels before buying and trying gluten free products.

With any luck, the importance of gluten free living (for the sake of those with the allergy) will become more prevalent in our society, and we will be able to regularly find decent gluten-free products that resemble those we once ate when gluten was not a problem.

For now, I encourage you all to read the article here and share your thoughts:

Is living gluten free becoming a fad? Is it a viable ‘diet’ option for those without the allergy? And how do you feel about companies looking to get involved in the gluten free market? What would you say to them if you could?

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Last-minute Gluten Free Gingersnap Pie Crust!

Are you rushing around to get everything done in time for Thanksgiving? Heading off to a party and want to make something quick and homemade, instead of buying pre-made food from the grocery store?

Well, look no further! Today I present to you a quick and easy gluten free gingersnap pie crust that can be made in about 30 minutes and used as the base for any number of delicious pies. (I prefer it with pumpkin!)

Last-minute Gluten Free Gingersnap Pie Crust

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


2 cups gluten-free gingersnap cookie crumbs (If you’re in the NYC area, use Duane Reade ‘Delish’ Gluten Free Gingersnap cookies)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tbsp sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9″ pie pan. Process gingersnap cookies until they become crumbs. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and press into the pie pan. Bake for about 13 minutes until the pie crust is set. Cool completely before filling.


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