Lamb kebabs with Gluten Free Pita


Oh, it truly is the little things that make my daughter happy. I’m glad for it, but as it’s something as simple as a flatbread it makes me sad, just a little. Nowadays with her gluten intolerance, many of her favorite foods are tough to come by or not available, unless mom gets creative and does her homework. 

One of our favorite dinner meals are lamb kebabs done Moroccan style with tzatziki sauce (i was inspired by alton browns version, using greek FAGE yogurt), tomatoes, cucumber, white onions and grilled peppers. It hits all the main food groups so it’s a variation of a ‘one pot’ meal for sure. Perfect for a sunday sabbath day, cold outside but sunny and cheery. Not a bad day to experiment.  

The current dilemma has been a homemade gluten free pita bread that doesn’t take all day or a lot of special ingredients. Over at Gluten-Free on a Shoestring they came up with a recipe I felt fit those constraints and worthy of giving a try.  (here is the link. ) Sunday is as good a day as any to get creative, so I headed down to my freezer and pulled out the last of my ground lamb from my farmer. (see Todd & a well stocked freezer) While it defrosted, I started the bread, mixing and putting in a warmed oven to rise. (My house is kept too cool for normal bread rising. I turn my gas pro-range on just long enough to warm the oven cavity, then turn it off and put my dough in, covering with a tea towel)

Meanwhile I got the meat ready, prepped the veggies and cracked open a lovely bottle of pinot noir to sip while cooking. For the meat I made a puree of cilantro, parsley and onion, then adding cumin, paprika and cayenne, salt and pepper. I gave the meat, all the spices along with the puree a quick whiz in the food processor, then formed in to patties and grilled along with an orange bell pepper. I sliced the bell pepper to serve with the other veggies on the wraps. (grilling mellows the flavor and adds another texture as well as contrast to the dish) 

While the grill was heating, I formed and baked up the pita. This time I used Pamela’s Bread Mix and Flour Blend and holy cow, did they turn out awesome. I think the photos will testify they certainly look the part. Here is a picture of them prior to baking. (sorry for the shadows, I have a pot rack that hangs below my light!) :


My only modification was to brush the top with some extra virgin olive oil and turn the convection fan on. I also flipped them at the 6 minute mark and let them go another 2 minutes. VOILA. AWESOME-Y GOODNESS! 


This pita recipe is designed to make pita pocket bread. That was not my goal, so I was not disappointed at all when only one puffed as it should. In our family, we don’t care for the pita pockets, as they always seem tough. No, we prefer the ‘flatbread’ style of pita, which this recipe produces wonderfully. I can already envision my famous hummus with fresh baked gluten free pita. My daughter will be in heaven! 


Gluten Free Cream of Tomato Soup

As I’ve said in a previous blog, I am going to feature other bloggers once in awhile. This time its my  dear friend Laurie over at The Frugal Farmer . I am posting the recipe for  a soup I made for her, which she recently requested. It honestly is one of the best tomato soups I’ve ever made, and the only recipe I now use.

Yes, it is a little putzy, but it is well worth the effort. I double the recipe and freeze half before adding the cream. It’s then easy to defrost, reheat and add the cream and brandy. (I use brandy, but you can use sherry if you prefer)

The original recipe is not gluten free, but I have modified it to be gluten free by using my gluten free Artisan Flour Blend by Pamela’s. If you are not gluten intolerant, just use all-purpose flour.

Cream of Tomato Soup- Gluten Free.

2 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained reserving 3 cups of the liquid. Put a strainer over a bowl to catch the seeds and keep the juice, and carefully open the tomatoes, pushing out the seeds and juice.

1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar

4 tbsp unsalted butter

4 shallots, minced

1 tbsp tomato paste

pinch of allspice

2 tbsp gluten free all-purpose flour

1.75 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp brandy or sherry

salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 425deg, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the seeded tomatoes in a single layer on it, sprinkle with the brown sugar and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until they are beginning to color and the juices have evaporated. Peel the tomatoes off the foil and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the shallots, tomato paste and allspice. Lower the heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until the shallots soften (about 5-10 min). Add the flour and stir to combine, cook about 30 sec. Whisking constantly, add the chicken broth, reserved tomato juice and the roasted tomatoes. Cover the pot, increase the heat to medium and simmer until the flavors marry, about 10 minutes.

Strain the soup in to a bowl. Place the solids in a blender, add about a cup of the liquid and puree until smooth. Add this back to the rest of the liquid, and put back in the sauce pan. (Rinse or wipe out to ensure no chunky bits are left behind)

[soup can be frozen at this point]

Add the cream and brandy, season to taste and enjoy! (do not boil the soup once you have added the cream. To reheat, bring to a simmer, then serve)

Below is a photo of the leftovers from a reunion Christmas cookie decorating party for my oldest and her high school friends. I have not made this soup in awhile, so I don’t have a current photo. My apologies.


Gluten Free Buffalo Style Chicken Finger Lettuce Wraps


Last week I was cleaning and reorganizing my cookbook library shelves. Some people collect dishes, spoons or other knick knacks, I collect cookbooks. Sure, I use the gift of the internet just as well as anyone for cooking recipes and inspiration, but I love the tactile feel of a cookbook. I love to read the recipes, flip through the pages and let my mouth water with the photographs. Let’s face it, even in this high technology world we live in, there will never be a replacement for the touch and feel of a cherished, worn, food stained and well loved cookbook. (This goes for all books in my opinion) 

I took the opportunity, while cleaning (all 140 of them, yes I have issues!) to check their condition, relevance, and thumb through the color pictures when I stumbled upon one of my more recent purchases that I’ve yet to make something from. It is The American Test Kitchens HEALTHY Family Cookbook. I have the regular version (see here) that I adore and use all the time. They both are the same format, ringed binder books that come with the tabs separating the sections. When you get the book, you have to place the tabs in between the pages. It’s a great concept actually, because it forces you to thumb through the pages and well, it’s hard not to be inspired not to cook SOMETHING after looking at all that great food! This particular book was still in it’s plastic wrap, so I took the time to put the tabs in place. While thumbing through, I noticed a cute section in the back labeled “Kid Friendly”. Curious, I looked through the section and found a recipe for chicken fingers. Nowadays, I always look at recipes through the lens of Gluten Free. How can I modify, what can I switch out, ect? This recipe is a baked chicken fingers which uses Panko bread crumbs to get that crunchy ‘fried’ texture/taste without having to deep fry them. Bummer. Panko is wheat, and so I moved on finishing my project for the day. 

Providentially, that next week while shopping at the little grocery I frequent, I was scanning the shelves as I walked the aisles. This is something I love to do. Some people window shop at the mall, I window shop at the grocery. There, next to the regular Panko was Gluten Free Panko!!! Those chicken fingers were still on my mind, so I snatched the last bag (I learned they cannot keep them in stock, they are THAT popular) and headed home to whip up a batch for my gluten intolerant daughter. 


That night for dinner we had, what I can best describe as a hybrid between buffalo wings and chicken lettuce wraps, and they were AMAZING. I served the chicken with side sauces of homemade honey mustard (gluten free), homemade low-fat ranch, Franks Red Hot Sauce, and gluten free BBQ sauce. I had Butter Lettuce leaves on hand, so that is what I used as a vehicle to get it in to our mouths! A side of carrots, celery and radishes, and it was really a fun and tasty meal. Below is the recipe which I have modified from the original to be gluten free. 

My daughter was tickled pink and remarked how she had not had a chicken finger for over a year, since she was diagnosed, and honestly it had never occurred to me to make them! I forget how much out there is breaded, floured or deep fried with wheat products. As an adult who doesn’t eat at fast food joints anyway, I hadn’t noticed on our new gluten free diet. But as a teenager who goes out with her friends to eat at places like that, she had missed being able to have something as simplistic as a breaded chicken finger. Well, no more. This recipe is a keeper. Now make a double batch and freeze the rest, so she can microwave them up and have chicken fingers anytime. 

Gluten Free Baked Chicken Fingers

2 cups gluten free Panko (if you are not gluten free, you can use regular)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (you could use olive oil but it will change the taste)

1/2 cup gluten free flour (i used Pamela’s Artisan Flour); 1 tsp garlic powder; 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (this is your dredge, combine them together)

3 large egg whites; 1 tbsp water; 1 tablespoon gluten free Dijon mustard; 1 tsp fresh minced Thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried.  (this is your wash, whisk these together)

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in to 3/4in wide strips

Preheat the oven to 475 deg. Line a low rimmed jelly roll pan with foil and put a metal (heat safe) cookie cooling rack inside or across the top. (this allows the airflow to cook the chicken evenly) Toss the Panko with the oil, and in a skillet, toast the Panko till it looks golden, stirring often. Remove to cool. Mix up your dredge and wash and put in shallow pans or bowls that you can easily toss the chicken pieces in. Cut your chicken breasts in to strips, season with salt and pepper. 

Spray your wire rack with Pam (or any vegetable oil spray). Working with a few pieces of chicken at a time, dredge in the flour, then the egg wash, then in the Panko and lay on the wire rack. When done with all the chicken, spray the tops of the chicken pieces with Pam and bake for about 10-12 minutes until cooked through. 

Serve with your favorite sauces, ranch, blue cheese (be careful with blue, most are not GF), BBQ sauce, honey mustard or even horseradish. 

Admit it. You want these, don’t you?!