Gluten-free chocolate chocolate chip pecan cookies

gluten-free chocolate chocolate chip pecan cookies

I adapted this recipe from a recipe on Food52, which was itself adapted from a recipe that may no longer be available on another blog.

In the comments I could see that people were complaining that the cookies stuck to the pan. Also some complained they were too sweet. Since I knew if anybody thought they were too sweet, I would, and also since I know how to fix the “cookies sticking to the parchment” issue, I figured I’d start with that and probably go through several iterations before I finish. Another annoyance was that the recipe didn’t bother to give the reader a clue how many cookies the recipe was going to make, so I didn’t know how many pans to prepare (it ended up being 2 pans and 1 partial).

2.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups chocolate chips
1-1/4 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet(s)with parchment paper. Lightly butter parchment paper and dust with potato starch, cornstarch, or rice flour, shaking the pan or paper to make sure the excess shakes off.

Sift powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt into a mixer bowl. Add egg whites and stir or beat until the batter is well mixed. Stir in the vanilla extract, pecan halves, and chocolate chips by hand.

Using a small cookie scoop or spoon drop ~1 ounce blobs of batter onto the baking sheets, about an inch apart. They will spread a bit. Bake until the cookies are cracking on the surface, about 15 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes on the trays, then carefully remove to cooling rack by sliding the paper, cookies and all, out of the pan.

These will keep in covered container for three days.

Makes about 27 cookies.

They are still too sweet for me, even though I substituted pecans for half the chocolate chips. Next time I might cut back on the sugar in the batter, eliminate chocolate chips entirely and just go all-nuts, add a square of melted unsweetened chocolate to the mix, or even substitute 2 whole eggs for the egg whites. Or unsweetened coconut, or sliced almonds. This recipe has a lot of possibilities.

Gluten-free dinner on the road

salmon sashimi dinner

I recently took a little trip to Toronto, staying for a week at the Westin Prince hotel. There was a (rather pricey) Japanese restaurant in the hotel. Aside from that, there were lots of fast food, inexpensive, and Asian restaurants across the street. Unfortunately, none of them looked particularly safe for a gluten-free meal, so I didn’t really want to trust them. Besides that, they were, as most restaurants are, heavy on carbs, and I have been losing weight by minimizing my carbs lately.

So it came down to the supermarket behind that section, which it turned out is a Korean supermarket. I was able to buy sashimi-ready fish, kimchi by the gallon (okay, I didn’t buy a gallon), meat and poultry ready-to-cook, and fresh fruits and vegetables. I still didn’t trust most of the stuff, because apparently it is not required to list ingredients on the label. So most of the authentic Korean food was out, as I couldn’t tell if it had soy sauce in it. But besides eating (as in the photo above) sashimi with Japanese seaweed salad and kimchi, I also was able to buy and stew mushrooms, meat, and vegetables in my rice cooker. There was a little refrigerator in the room large enough to hold the pot from my rice cooker, so I could cook 2 meals at a time and just reheat later. I even made rice once, though the fact that I had access to proper ingredients meant the rice was less critical. Had I been in the middle of a safe food wasteland, I would have had rice at every meal.

I was also able to buy a travel rice cooker, which cooks 1 cup of dry rice (4 meals for me) while heating a portion of something else in a steamer container.

Finding food while on the road was less convenient. I think I will invest in an inverter so I can use my small appliances while driving.

The last day I was there I had to check out before lunch and eat in one of those hazardous-looking restaurants across the street. I ate at a bakery that had gluten-free pizza crusts, which had so much xanthan gum in it that it caused me digestive trouble 12 hours later. If only I had tried harder to find a steak.

Gluten-free breakfast: Fruit and cheese plate

gluten-free breakfast fruit and cheese plate
Here’s an example of a gluten-free breakfast I had a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was eating way too much cheese, the story of my life until quite recently. Since then I have cut back, but I still would have a cheese plate like this for an occasional meal. I no longer snack on cheese, so the cheese in the refrigerator is now safe from me. Have I permanently broken my addiction? We shall see…

I always have plain tea brewed from loose tea leaves in the morning. I buy a variety of different types from Upton Tea. Nowadays I prefer green tea to black, as the green tea doesn’t stain my teeth.

I used to drink coffee with heavy cream in it, used to love coffee so much that I roasted my own in a little home roaster that I roasted about 3 days’ worth of coffee in. No more, but perhaps I will write about that sometime soon, for old time’s sake.

Peanut butter cookies

My favorite gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe for all time I got from a local newspaper long before I found I needed to go gluten-free. It’s pretty simple:

  • 1 cup natural-style peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Mix, shape into small balls, and bake. These hold their shape well.

Reducing the sugar will make it less sweet, which is okay, as these are rather sweet. Increasing the sugar or decreasing the peanut butter will make them spread more, which I found out while using crunchy peanut butter, which apparently has so many chunk that there was less peanut butter. I thought the cookies were great, thin and crispy. My boyfriend wanted soft rather than crispy cookies. So I developed the following for him:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour

These cook up chewy.

I am still playing with cooking with nuts, so expect more nut cookie recipes soon.

Is Going Gluten-Free the Next Fad Diet?

I discovered by accident about 10 years ago that I was gluten-int­olerant. I just stopped eating anything that contained it and never looked back. If you are accustomed to doing most of your own cooking from scratch, it is not hard. If you eat mostly processed food and eat out a lot, it can be almost impossible­. And if you want to continue to eat lots of bread-type products and wheat substitute­s, it can be hideously expensive.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Is wheat MURDER or SUICIDE?

A week or so ago, somebody in the letters section of a Salon article linked to a post in this blog. I spent most of a day reading it from (raw vegan) start to finish in order to get the background for the technical posts on the China Study, something I had actually never heard of, due to the fact that I have zero interest in pseudo-scientific fad diets. Being raised by a mother who was religious about crazy nutritional theories, I had had enough of it. I also no longer consume foods that taste like medicine, nor foods which would not be considered edible were it not for magical supposedly medicinal properties.

I don’t even take vitamins anymore. In fact, scientific evidence is mounting that the concept of “vitamins as harmless insurance” is incorrect. There are indeed harmful side-effects from dosing yourself with them. If there’s something wrong with your diet, you need to fix it, not take pills.

I do not see foods from the perspective that they are “good” or “evil”. I do not believe in the concept of “superfoods”. I do not believe that there really is all that much difference between whole grains and refined grains. White rice and brown rice are primarily both rice.

So when my mother looked in my cupboard and saw that I had both brown and white rice, she was mortified, as though somehow the evil white rice was going to suck all the goodness out of the brown rice, just by occupying the same shelf.

I have always had an academic interest in raw veganism after reading about it on Barry Groves’ website. Unfortunately the section I read no longer seems to exist, though there is quite a good section on vegetarianism. (Hint: he’s opposed.)

Getting back to the blog, The China Study is a book written based on data gathered in a broad nutritional and health survey in China. Since different regions have different traditional diets, and a person born in a region would likely eat the same sort of diet his whole life, the data could be used to compare diet and health in different regions. The book seeks to prove that vegan diets are good and animal protein is bad, though actually the data suggests nothing of the sort. However, not having done the research, a great many gullible readers have been impressed by the book.

Anyway, that’s as far as I want to describe it. Read the China Study articles to get the scoop on what correlates, what has been misinterpreted, and what you might want to know.

Since you’re reading this, you are probably interested in a gluten-free diet. In fact, you are likely already on such a diet, and you have found it helpful. The data from the China Project suggests that eating wheat is bad not only for your heart, but it makes you fat, as does polyunsaturated fat. So there. And eat your green vegetables while you are at it.

Is wheat MURDER?

Is love of wheat the root of all evil?

Gluten-free dinner: fruit and cheese plate

I was out ambulating, as I am wont to do. This takes a bit of time, given to thought. I got the urge to do something with some of that cheap brie I sometimes buy at the Asian grocery I walk by.

I bought some Danish blue cheese and some brie. I split the brie wedge, mixed blue cheese with butter, and spread it between like a sandwich. Serve with grapes and crackers or bread.



Gluten-free breakfast: cereal, bananas, and cashew milk

As part of my continuing series about what a gluten-free person can eat for breakfast…

I just felt like making cashew milk last night and having cereal with those ripe bananas this morning. It feels so good in my tummy.

I was never much of a milk-drinker nor a cereal-eater, but sometimes you just get a craving.

Yes, that’s a ceramic bowl that looks like half a cantaloupe. Food tastes better when you present it attractively.