Sunday, December 21, 2014

Feliz Januca


Once again it's that happy time of year, Chanukah, where the Jewish people celebrate the miraculous victory of the Maccabees over the Greek Army and the reclaiming of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 

We traditionally eat food fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of one tiny flask of pure oil, which was meant to last one night, but lasted for eight nights following the siege.  Ashkenazi Jews, those from Eastern Europe, traditionally eat potato latkes and applesauce--foods that were plentiful in their native region. For Sephardi Jews various fried dough dishes like Sfenj in Morocco and YoYos in Tunisia are popular.  The grandmother of all of these is likely Spanish bunuelos (pronounced boon-way-lows). These fried dough balls can be found in cuisines across North Africa all the way to Turkey and Latin America. In Mexico they take the form of fried tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and in Columbia a soft cheese is added to the batter (personally I think the latter is perfect for Chanukah, because we also eat dairy to commemorate the role of Yehudit (Judith) in the Chanukah victory).

I decided to play around with the bunuelo recipe to develop one my whole family could eat. This meant making one that was gluten free, non-dairy and egg-free. I had an idea to sub the egg with soy yogurt and it was a Chanukah worked!

Last month I met a hard working gal named Orly who has designed a line of gluten free flour blends (each complete with xanthan gum), that are specialized for different types of baked goods, i.e. cakes, cookies, breads, etc. I would like to suggest trying the Blends by Orly-Manhattan Blend for the bunuelos.  It is gluten, soy, corn and dairy free and optimally formulated by this pastry chef to produce the best taste and texture for each particular type of baked good.

If you do eat dairy you may wish to sub the soy yogurt with plain or vanilla flavored dairy yogurt. If you can't have soy or dairy there are a variety of options such as coconut milk and almond milk yogurt.

Vegan Cinnamon-Sugar Bunuelos

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick (or All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour blend with xanthan gum plus 1 Tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 ounces soy yogurt
1 cup plain seltzer
48 ounces canola or vegetable oil for frying
1/2 peeled carrot or 2 baby carrots (optional)
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (I used McCormick brand, but you can make your own by mixing together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)

Note: If you add a piece of carrot to the oil when frying, it absorbs the icky brown film that sometimes develops when doing several batches of fried items. 

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together Bisquick, sugar and nutmeg.  Stir in yogurt and seltzer until well combined.

Heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven to 375F degree (on my gas stove, that is about the 7 or 8 mark on the dial). Put a small piece of batter into the oil and see if small bubbles form around dough--you're oil is ready at this point. Add the carrots.

With slightly damp hands or a cookie scoop, form batter into walnut sized balls. Gently drop about 4 at a time into the hot oil.  When the submerged part begins to brown, after about 3-5 minutes, turn with tongs or a slotted spoon and fry on other side for the same amount of time, until golden brown. Remove from oil with tongs or slotted spoon, and place on a wire rack set on a cookie sheet or paper towel to drain off excess oil.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Place cinnamon-sugar in a clean paper bag or small bowl.  Toss several bunuelos at a time in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Best served warm. Store in airtight container for up to 2 days.

Yield: approximately 18 bunuelos

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer breeze drifting away...


One of the down sides of travelling on a special diet is that you can't just stop at any local cafe on the way for local specialties. You have to plan, plan, plan. Travel for celiacs, food allergic, or anyone else on a special diet, this usually involves a combination of  trolling the internet for gluten free/allergy free friendly restaurants, phone calls to confirm they can accommodate your needs, and a whopping big bag filled with your favorite travelling food to hold you over in between.

I try not to let this get me down when I travel, and instead focus on the place I'm visiting and enjoy the sites and experiences.  Nevertheless, sometimes you just want to try that pain au chocolat in Paris, or soft pretzel on a New York street cart--but you can't. What you can do is find a GF/allergy friendly alternative, or make one at home.

Some foods evoke a place with one bite. The quintessential lobster roll is a Maine summer in one bite. The classic Maine lobster roll consists of generous chunks of lobster mixed with a lightly seasoned mayonnaise sauce on a hoagie roll. Since I don't eat shellfish, and a glutenny roll is out, I created my own in my home kitchen with Dyna-Sea Lobster Bites (made from pollock) on an amazing Udi's baguette.

So the next time you're sitting on a cliff overlooking a lovely beach in Maine, don't let the smells wafting from the lobster roll stand behind you get you down.  Focus on the breeze and the rolling tide and enjoy the moment--you can make your own when you get home!

If you want to try some of the awesome Udi's products, and many other great gluten free products, head on over to the Gluten Free Expo in Secaucus (that's Seh-Caaaw-kus for those of you who don't live in Joisey) from September 6-7, 2014 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center.  Meet up with other GFers, see gluten free cooking demos, and meet some of the people who make the products that make our lives easier--not to mention yummy samples! Follow this link and enter the discount code EXPONJ20 to receive 20% off your ticket purchase. Read on for giveaway info...

I'm giving away 2 sets of 2 tickets free in a random drawing.  Enter by leaving a comment below. Tell me your favorite food you discovered on your travels that you just can't live without. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on 8/26/14.
Notta Lobsta' Roll
serves 4
1-16 ounce package Dyna-Sea Lobster Bites, thawed
1/3 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
sea salt and white or black pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise
2- Udi's baguettes, cut in half crosswise and lengthwise
4 lemon wedges
In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients except baguettes and lemon wedges. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Wrap baguettes in aluminum foil and heat in a 275F degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until warm.
Place baguette halves on individual plates, split side up, and fill with a generous amount of the salad mixture.  Serve garnished with a lemon wedge, and if you want to be really authentic, a bag of potato chips!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

On the road again


It seems like in the summer everyone is coming and going, whether it's vacations, camp, or visits to grandma. When you're on a special diet, travel is not as easy as throwing a few things in a suitcase. You have to plan out your meals and anticipate where you can buy provisions, if needed.

Certain standbys have helped me in the past, such as tuna in vacuum sealed packets, cheese sticks, and power bars.  KIND is the only brand I can think of that makes power bars with discernible ingredients. Now they've come out with some great new flavors, as well as a line of granola-- which they call Healthy Grain Clusters--that is gluten free and follows in the tradition of using healthy, real ingredients you can see. It comes in a variety of flavors from the traditional, like Oats and Honey to the temptingly gourmet like Vanilla Blueberry with Flax Seeds.

The Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seed has just the right balance of crunch and chew and is not overly sweet---a mistake many granolas make. One thing I like about the resealable bag the product comes in, is it's very packable, it's much more compact than a regular box of cereal, and it can serve double duty as a breakfast (or any other meal) and a filling snack.
There are new "savory" flavors that KIND is offering in their Strong and KIND bars, which boast a whopping 10 grams of protein, all from whole food sources like nuts and legumes. The bold flavors include Roasted Jalapeno, Honey Smoked BBQ and Honey Mustard. They are a welcome change from the sweet choices of most power bars. When I travel I find sometimes the most portable things are sweet, like power bars and dried fruit---so this is a nice change! The Hickory Smoked flavor tastes a bit like biting into a steak that has a crunchy element, if that makes sense.

I also have the opinion of a "guest blogger" on the new KIND products.

    Hi, it's Lillie.Now that it's summer and I have free time I get to write a post on my Mom's blog:-).
YAY! I'm going to write about KIND granola clusters. I had the rasberry chia clusters and they are good.Daisie and Posie even asked for more! I had the granola in milk and Daisie had granola in yogurt.You can also eat the clusters right out of the bag. And the chia adds healthy omega-3.
And if you like chocolate throw in some.Chocolate has healthy antioxidants.These tasty clusters contain 5 whole grains, are GF, and are low in sodium. And by the way KIND makes good bars.
Well enjoy!:-D                
 Here is a simple yogurt parfait, if you're travelling, it's easy enough to
just buy a container of yogurt and sprinkle the KIND granola on top for a simple breakfast or lunch:

The amounts vary depending on the size of your bowl or glass.

KINDly Crunchy Yogurt Parfaits

In a small dessert bowl or clear lowball style glass layer the following:

Fresh Berries
KIND Healthy Grain Clusters

Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Muffin Man


I am the muffin man, muffin man, and I live on Drury Lane, da, da....  

Ok, I remember my mom singing that to me as a child and I pictured a person that was made out of muffins--a la the gingerbread man. Now I know they mean the muffin baker. And why shouldn't there be a song about the person who creates those lovely, pillowy treats that range from the healthful to slightly sinful? Now Garden Lites, the people who brought us those flavorful little gluten free veggie souffles, have come out with a line of delicious frozen muffins (4 to a box), that my kids enjoy eating as a treat, and I enjoy eating because they're healthy and taste great.  I have one child who tends to run late, and grabs a gluten free muffin on her way out the door. Since I don't always have time to make them myself, I am grateful for the healthy options Garden Lites is offering, such as Zucchini Chocolate, Veggie Blueberry Oat and Carrot Berry Veggie muffins (just to name a few). My favorite are the vibrant carrot muffins. The veggies in question are well concealed, and the kids just think the muffins taste yummy. 

Like most other food "trends*", such as low fat and low carb, often the packaged offerings are nothing more than junk food with a "health halo". But the new muffins from Garden Lites, like their classic souffles, are products I really have confidence in for my family.  I had to scramble to get the last one from the box before my daughter got to it, but was happy to see it is stocked in my local supermarket!

*I'm sorry to lump gluten free in the category or a "trend" as whether it's in or not, celiacs need to eat gluten free. 

A new trend I've noticed is the  use of muffin pans for more than just, well muffins.   You can make mini quiches, crustless or otherwise, meatloaves (a favorite in our house), kugels, challah rolls and so much more. It is an especially useful tool for the food allergic/sensitive as you can keep batches of these foods in ziplocs in the freezer, and pull them out as needed. So if the individual on a special diet is eating somewhere they need to bring their own food, they can just pull it out or microwave the perfectly portion controlled item.

They also make neat ways to prevent old favorites, which I've found kids respond to especially well. For example the classic, huevos rancheros,  salsa, corn tortillas and eggs looks positively adorable made in a muffin pan, and you have the bonus of being able to make them for a crowd rather effortlessly.

For those dairy allergic sub soy or rice cheese in this recipe, or omit completely. For egg allergic, layer refried beans or a black bean and corn mixture under the salsa. Enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros Muffin Cups

12 cup non-stick muffin pan
cooking spray or favorite oil (about 1 Tbsp.)
8 small corn tortillas

1 1/4 cups chunky style salsa, divided
8 medium or small eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sour cream, optional
 Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees.  Spray 8 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Place tortillas in muffin pans, they will flute up like a flower. Lightly spray edges with cooking spray, or brush with oil (you may also lay them flat before putting in muffin cups and brush with oil).
Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of salsa into each tortilla. Crack each egg into a custard cup and carefully pour into muffin cups, keeping yolk whole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until yolk is firm, but still somewhat runny. 5 minutes into baking time, remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edges of muffin cups and carefully transfer to serving plate.  Serve warm, garnished with avocado, sour cream, if desired, and additional salsa.

Serves: 8


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Passover Prep


So I am in the throes of Passover and Planning and Prep (P3), that puts so many balabustas in a tizzy on  a yearly basis. I came across a very helpful book from my library to simplify my life, The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook. The author, Erin Chase, writes a blog  Not all of the recipes are gluten free or kosher, but I happened upon several that are good, not only during Passover, but also in those hectic days beforehand.  Some of the prices aren't in line with kosher items (like I pay $7.99 for skinless, boneless chicken breasts), but nevertheless, they are common ingredients and the dinners are just that--complete dinners--not just one dish.  So, as I'm very busy, less writing and more you go.

This appealed to me as a chol hamoed recipe, that is the days in between the first and last days of yomim tovim (celebratory days), when everyone is sick of meat, but no one knows what else to make.  Any non-Passover ingredients have been omitted from the original recipes.  To make egg free, whip together 1 heaping tablespoon potato or tapioca starch with 1/4 cup any type of milk.  If dairy free on passover, there isn't a cheese substitute, but you can top with grilled veggies or sliced mushrooms.

Potato Pizza Pie
The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook by Erin Chase, p. 248

6 large white potatoes
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon potato starch or tapioca starch
1 cup tomato sauce, jarred or homemade
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 carrots

Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees. Peel the potatoes and slice into quarters. Grate the potatoes in a food processor fitted with the grating blade. Place in a  mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs and add to the grated potatoes in the bowl.  Mix in the flour, salt, and pepper.

Spread the potato mixture in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the potatoes turn golden on top.

Remove the "potato crust" from the oven, and spread 1 cup of sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Add any additional toppings you like, such as mushrooms, sliced peppers or olives.

Return the pizza to the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Cut the potato pizza into squares for serving. 

Peel and cut the carrots int sticks. Serve alongside pizza.

I thought this was a nice idea to my repertoire for yom tov meals. It's easy, filling and nutritious.  You can substitute cubed chicken from any part of the doesn't have to be a skinless breast.

Ginger-Sweet Potato Chicken Bake

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook by Erin Chase, p. 107

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 sweet potatoes
1 can (8-ounces) pineapple tidbits, in 100 pineapple juice
 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
salt and pepper

Dice the chicken breasts in 1/2 to 1-inch cubes.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Drain the pineapple, reserving juice for another use.

Pre-heat oven to 250F degrees. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, combine the diced chicken breasts,  sweet potatoes and pineapple. Add the extra-virgin olive oil,spices, and salt and pepper to taste.  Gently toss the ingredients in the baking dish.

Bake the chicken and sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, uncovered. Remove the dish from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and bake another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through.  (Covering the dish will prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



In the past month and a half I watched chocolate filled velvet hearts give way to chocolate filled, pastel colored eggs in every pharmacy, supermarket and big box store I've walked into. We all know "those" holidays. But in between those two is another one-- Purim. Like the man holding a gallon of vodka behind me in the liquor store today chided at my pizza hat (not a pizza delivery person's hat but a hat that look's like a pizza from above), "is Halloween early (chuckle and snark)?". "No", I answered, "it's Purim...a Jewish holiday...we dress up." "come again" "purim", "P-U-R-I-M", "He mouthed along as I said it slowly, then it clicked in some vague way.  As an aside, why was I in a liquor store in a pizza hat? Well, long story but we needed more wine for our festive meal and the other people in the car were dressed as a clown in full regalia, Lady Liberty, 2 butterflies or a princess with a crown that said, "Birthday Girl", so a pizza head was actually the best choice in this situation.

Like all holidays, which are a battleground for those with food allergies and sensitivities, Purim is one of those holidays with a big food component. Besides the festive meal, we go door to door with baskets of sweets and treats (yes, it looks like Halloween, sounds like Halloween, but it's not at all like Halloween...except for the costumes and candy).  We actually knock on the door and "give" food door to door instead of "getting" food like on Halloween. But when you bring to others they tend to bring to you. There's always a sense of excitement when the kids peer into the multicolored bags and creatively designed baskets for the sweets they like. And what a twinge in my heart I feel when my allergic and Celiac children look and see nothing they can have. Not to mention that children are kind of let loose to forage in the candy from the crack of dawn till they pass out in a sugary stupor at night with a lollipop held loosely in their hand and a princess crown askew on their head like a prom queen past midnight.  As such there are children in their paths at parties and meals with allergens galore on their hands and faces, to be dodged by those allergic to the mere wisp of peanut breath.

Some considerate friends will pack special bags for those that are allergic, and some will not. The tempting booty will be passed on to a non-allergic sibling to be greedily added to their ever growing piles.  That is why it is so important to have things your allergic/sensitive child can have available which will make them feel included and able to take part in this special aspect of the day.  All the bags we packed to give out included items my kids could eat, so the packing included liberal snacking. Also a tempting dessert like those in Fran Costigan's new book, Vegan Chocolate hit the "sweet spot". These items are not only vegan, but use seriously healthy ingredients like maple syrup and coconut oil.  The author graciously included a number of gluten free baked goods, such as Gluten Free Chocolate Torte to Live For, Intensely Chocolate Trifle and Chocolate Chunk Cookies. As well as those that are naturally gluten free like Raw Chocolate Fudge and Mandarin Orange Tart, Chocolate Horchanta and Mocha Creme Brulee. And all of the recipes are free of dairy, eggs and animal products!
Costigan's book has very detailed recipes, so that even the novice can follow along to baking perfection. In addition, she goes into detail about vegan ingredients (which may be unfamiliar to some), types of chocolate and equipment needed to achieve culinary success. Desserts are divided into chapters by type, such as Truffles, Pies and Tarts, and Frozen Desserts--just to name a few. The gluten free and allergic amongst us will not be disappointed with this book.

So even if you aren't giving to people on special diets, you can make your baskets special. by allowing as broad a range of people to eat your treats, and maybe an allergic child can look in the basket you hand over and the smile will not fade from their face.

These little gems (literally did you know that muffin pans used to be called "gem pans'?) are real stunners and the perfect sweet bite. My neighbor stopped in while I was making them and commented that they look very impressive. So you don't always have to "go big or go home", for some reason miniature desserts look elegant and are sure to wow.

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour blend
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp. organic whole cane sugar (ground in blender until powdered)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum (unless it's already in your flour blend)
1/4 cup mild tasting extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup any nondairy milk
1/4 cup prune puree (can be found in baking aisle, or use baby food prunes, or make your own)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. chocolate extract (optional)
1/4 cup mini gluten-free vegan chocolate chips.

(I've condensed the instructions somewhat from the original)

1. Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees. Spray a 24 cup mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Sift together baking mix, cocoa powder, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to aerate.  Set aside. (A "cheat" on sifting is to just whisk all very well in a large bowl).

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, nondairy milk, prune puree, and extracts until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid in the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until all dry ingredients are incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Fill baking cups 2/3 full and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until brownies have risen and fell set when lightly tapped. A wooden toothpick inserted into the center should look sticky but not wet.

7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then gently transfer to a rack to cool completely. For the best flavor, refrigerate brownies for one hour before serving.  Serve plain, dusted with confectioner's sugar or frost as desired.

Yield: 24 mini brownies


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super snackin'...



Pre-Game Fun in the Sun Snow


Are you ready for some football?!!!  I'm not. The last time I watched the Super Bowl (I hope I don't have to pay the NFL a fee for using those two words together), I remember there was pizza involved, and the males of the family took over the family room-- so I kind of had no choice. As I explained to my daughter the other day when she queried how you play football, I explained it like this, "They throw the ball 20 feet, then stop for 20 minutes, repeat."  Tell me if that's not an accurate summation?  But living 10 minutes up the road from the site of Super Bowl 48 (why do they insist on using Roman numerals? No one can remember what they mean!), everyone is in a tizzy around here about the Big Game (a phrase you legally can use without paying the NFL an exorbitant fee).

Although I dislike football, I do like feeding people, and especially enjoy the whimsy of finger food. The Big Game is an opportunity to entertain in a casual fashion.  That brings a sigh of relief from not only the hostess but the guests as well. No need for pretense, formalities or polite conversation. Most people will be focused on the event on the screen.  Hearty, casual fare is the name of the game for this time of year. Given this isn't a sit down dinner party, but more of a balance you plate on your lap while sitting on the couch sort of thing, the food needs to be easy to eat as well.

Dips and chips are ubiquitous at these gatherings, but providing meal type of food that will nourish your guests is a good idea.  A buffet table allows your guests to graze at breaks in the game, as well as allowing for easy serving. A crock pot of chili will stay warm for hours, allowing your guests to replenish as needed, and for you to kick back on the BarcaLounger.  Scatter a variety of dips including healthy hummuses (see below), salsas and guacamole with a variety of gluten free chips around the room for easy access. Dips no longer have to be the sour cream and mayonnaise laden affairs of yesteryear. You can incorporate healthier options using veggies and legumes, pureeing all for a creamier texture without the fat. A large pitcher or beverage serving container filled with non-alcoholic punch, tea or lemonade, or an alcoholic version for the adults of a "signature drink", make a nice addition to your beverage service.  Trays of bite sized desserts are great for grabbing and returning to ones seat.  Don't forgot to use paper goods, in team colors,  so you can enjoy the kick off and the clean up equally well!

 This variation of a "frank-in-blanket", or corn dog, however you want to look at it, is healthier using a corn tortilla instead of fat laden puff pastry, and is baked instead of a traditional fried corn dog. Since I don't eat meat and milk together (and for allergy reasons), I used soy hot dogs and soy cheese. These can be served whole and picked up in hand, an especially popular option for kids, halved and stuck on lollipop or popsicle sticks, or cut in 1/4s and served as hors d'ouevres with toothpicks.  Serve with dippers such as mustard, ketchup and salsa.

Game Day Cheezy Doggy Dippers

8 small corn tortillas
1 pkg. Lightlife Smart Dogs
4 slices Tofutti American Cheese, halved,  (or dairy cheese if you can have it), or 4 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
vegetable oil spray
16 popsicle or lollipop sticks (purchase at craft store)
Ketchup and mustard

Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. Spray a baking non-stick 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Place tortillas on a flat surface. For each tortilla, place hot dog about a half-inch from the edge and a slice of cheese (or 1/2 Tbsp. shredded) next to it.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking pan.

 Lightly spray with cooking spray (you may use a Misto sprayer with your oil of choice if you prepare to avoid the store-bought spray).

Bake for 20-25 minutes in pre-heated oven, until cheese melts and tortillas are lightly browned around edges and crispy.

Let cool 5 minutes. Slice diagonally and insert a lollipop stick.  Serve with ketchup and mustard, or any dip you like!

Yield: 16 servings

This dip is a healthy,and spicy version of hummus from celebrity personal chef Olivia Dupin in her new book, Gluten-Free Entertaining. For a sesame free version omit the tahini. Serve with cut up veggies and tortilla chips.

Lentil Jalapeno Hummus
from Gluten-Free Entertaining by Oliva Dupin, p. 104

3 cups water
1 cup green lentils
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno
1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan.  Add the lentils and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Reserve about  1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the lentils in a colander.                            

Place the garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse to chop.  Add the lentils, jalapeno, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper along with 2 Tablespoons of the reserved cooking water.  Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more water, if needed, to get a smooth dip that isn't too thick. Season with more salt and pepper indeed, and serve.

Yield:  6 servings

Note: Not all recipes below are gluten or allergy free. They are part of a "link-up" of various bloggers.