Vegetarian Gluten Free White Chili Mac

I’m going to be honest, this recipe was kind of made up on the fly. Because I tend to feel really awful when I’ve eaten tomatoes. I’m really sensitive to certain nightshade vegetables. So I was planning to make a chili mac dish for lunch but I needed one that doesn’t require tomatoes. Which made me think of white chicken chili with a vegetarian spin.

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Vegetarian White Chili Mac

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms stems removed and sliced
  • 2 15oz Cans White Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 4oz Can Diced Green Chiles
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 8.8oz Box Gluten Free Pasta cooked to package instructions

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook an additional three to four minutes.
  • Add the beans, green chiles, spices, lime juice, and vegetable stock. Simmer about 15 minutes.
  • Add the cooked gluten free pasta. If preparing for meal prep, divide between meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Great for lunch or a quick snack

Chicken salad is a great go to as a sandwich, with greens for a salad, or as a protein-packed snack with crackers. This salad has a little different twist with the addition of sweet, dried blueberries, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Both add great flavor and extra fiber.

This recipe can dressed in two ways. I used a jarred olive oil based mayonnaise. You can also substitute vegan-aise.

Or blend your own dressing using an avocado, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a table spoon of avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.

However you choose to dress this salad, it makes a great grab-and-go lunch. Save yourself some time and use leftover chicken or even a cooled rotisserie chicken from your local market.

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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chicken cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cups Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
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Gluten Free Classic Black and White Cookies

This classic, dare I say iconic, cookie traces its roots back to Glaser’s Bake Shop, established in Manhattan in 1905. Fluffy and moist, these light, delicious cake-like pillows will have you craving more. The name comes from the classic black and white icing, applied to the flat side of the cookie. They’ve also been called half-and-halfs or half-moons. In more recent pop culture, they’ve been referenced as a metaphor for race relations. Barack Obama even referred to them as Unity Cookies, on a visit to a deli in Hollywood, Florida in 2008. The two colors of icing are equal, as we all should be.

This recipe has a few adaptations made to it to make it gluten-free and to minimize the dairy ingredients involved. This makes them a little more friendly to specialty diets. For starters, I’m using a gluten-free flour. In this case, I went with Cup 4 Cup. If you are completely, dairy free, I recommend trying another blend as this one does have dairy in it. I’m limiting the dairy in this recipe through other substitutions so I decided the small amount in the flour blend would be okay, but do what fits your diet.

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Next, I swapped out the usual dairy butter for a plant based butter. My blend has avocado oil, which is great for the anti-inflammatory diet. There are a variety of these products available these days. Use whichever fits your diet best. You can also use an unsalted butter.

Finally, a word on swaps for buttermilk. Buttermilk is common ingredient in cakes, pancakes, waffles, and cookies. The acid in buttermilk helps these types of baked goods stay tender and fluffy because of the chemical reaction it creates when mixing with baking soda (or powder). But again, for some of us, the extra dairy is not welcome. Fortunately, there are lots of swaps:

                Tofu – tofu also contains the right amount of acid to blend with the baking soda in this recipe.

Simply puree it in the blender with a little water.

                Yogurt – And by yogurt, I mean plant-based versions. Although, if you would ordinarily use buttermilk and just need a swap, thinning down a little regular yogurt would work just fine. In this case, use your favorite unflavored, plant-based yogurt, thinned with plant-based milk or even water.

                Plant-based milk – This was the substitution I used. Simply use your favorite plant-based milk, like almond, cashew, or soy, and add about a tablespoon of acid. I recommend using lemon juice but white vinegar also works just fine. Allow the mixture to stand about 5 to 10 minutes so it curdles and use it as you would regular buttermilk, curds and all.

Now, let’s get to the cookies.

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For the Cookies

Start off by lining your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

If you’re using a buttermilk substitute, prepare that right away so it has time to sit, if needed.

In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Set this aside.

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Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix on a low speed, just loosen it. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Cream the butter for about five minutes until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs to the mixer, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next egg. After adding the first two eggs. I stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next egg. This prevents any hidden lumps of the butter and sugar mixture. After the fourth egg has been incorporated, add the vanilla.

Next, add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Start with one third of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, followed by another third of the flour, the remaining buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour mixture.

It’s very important not to over mix the batter. So I stop the mixer before the flour is completely incorporated and gently stir any remaining flour into the batter by hand. This ensures your cookies will stay tender and fluffy. I use this same technique with cakes and they always come out perfectly.

To bake, use a large cookie scoop to portion out the batter on the lined baking sheets. Leave three to four inches between mounds of batter because these will puff and spread. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until puffed and the edges are golden brown.

Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet about five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they’re cooling, let’s make the glazes.

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For the Glazes

For these cookies, we make two glazes, chocolate and vanilla.

Starting with the chocolate, add the chocolate and butter to a bowl and microwave, 45 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted. You can also use a double boiler but I prefer the faster method.

To the melted chocolate, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and corn syrup. Whisk the mix until smooth and the consistency of a thick glaze. If the glaze is too thick, add a splash of boiling water. The water must be boiling or the chocolate will seize up and you’ll have to start over. There will be no saving it.

For the vanilla glaze, in a large bowl, add the powdered sugar. Add the salt, vanilla, corn syrup and a splash of hot plant-based milk. Whisk to combine. Add a little more milk if it is too thick but in very small quantities at a time. The glaze should be thick but spreadable.

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To Glaze the Cookies

These cookies get glazed on the flat side. So start by turning them all puffy side down. Using a pallet knife, spread one half of each cookie with vanilla glaze. This will allow the glaze to set slightly before adding the chocolate. Then repeat the process with the chocolate glaze. Allow them to dry before enjoying. If you can wait that long.

This recipe will make about 2 and a half dozen cookies. I like to divide the batch and freeze about half. When the glaze has dried completely, place the cookies in a freezer bag to store in the freezer up to three months.

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Gluten Free Classic Black and White Cookies

Course Dessert, Snack

Equipment

  • Large Cookie Scoop
  • Half-sheet Baking Pans
  • Silicone Baking Mats
  • Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

For the Cookies

  • 3 3/4 cups Gluten Free Flour mix
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/4 sticks Plant-based Butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 3/4 cups Non-dairy Buttermilk Substitute

For the Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 oz Unsweetened Chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Boiling Water
  • 1 tbsp Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions
 

For the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two half-sheet baking pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • To a measuring up, add 1 tbsp lemon juice. Add your preferred non-dairy milk to make 3/4 cup of liquid. Allow to sit five to ten minutes until curdled. This will be the non-dairy buttermilk substitute.
  • In a large bowl, combine the gluten free flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the plant-based butter. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Cream the butter and sugar for about five minutes, until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs to the mixer, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate between additions.
  • Next add the flour mixture and buttermilk substitute, alternating between dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry. To avoid overmixing the batter, stop the mixture before the final addition of flour mixture is fully incorporated and gently stir by hand to finish the batter.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, place scoops of the batter about three to four inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until puffed and the edges are golden brown.
  • Allow baked cookies to cool on the baking sheet about five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate and vanilla glazes. To glaze, turn the cookies puffed side down. Add one of the glazes to half of each cookie. Allow to set slightly. Then add the second glaze to the other half of the cookie. Allow the glaze to set before serving or storing. Extra cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate and butter. Microwave for 45 seconds. Gently stir until smooth. Microwave an additional 10 to 15 seconds, if needed to completely melt the chocolate.
  • To the bowl, add the remaining glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth. It may be necessary to add additional boiling water to achieve a thick glaze consistency.

For the Vanilla Glaze

  • Combine the glaze ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add additional non-dairy milk
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Charoset Briks

A sweet twist on a Middle Eastern classic

Charoset: A sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits and nuts, eaten at Passover seder. The Ashkenazi version is traditionally made with apples while the Sephardic version contains dried fruits like dates and figs.

What am I going to do with my leftover charoset? That’s how this recipe came about. I made a large batch of Sephardic-style charoset and had some left after Passover. I also remembered a recipe for an Israeli version of Tuna Briks I made a while back. These were a mixture of tuna, harissa, capers and spices wrapped in phyllo dough and baked. So I decided to combine the jam-like charoset with freshly purchased phyllo dough to create sweet briks.

Phyllo dough can be a tricky product to work with. It’s important to work quickly and to keep unused sheets covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. For the purpose of this recipe, I made sure my charoset was at room temperature. The finished product was like an elevated fig cookie. Yum!

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Folding Your Charoset Briks

Once you have layered your phyllo dough, cut it into thirds.

Place one tablespoon of the charoset filling at the end of each strip. You’ll need to work quickly to keep the phyllo from drying out.

Fold from the corner of the phyllo, bringing the dough up over the filling to create triangle.

Brush the end of the phyllo with egg wash to help seal the briks.

Place the completed briks on a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray. Brush the outsides with egg wash prior to baking.


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Charoset Briks

A sweet twist on a savory favorite
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Baking Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Israeli, Jewish

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkg Phyllo Dough defrosted
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten
  • Cooking Spray

For the Charoset

  • 1/2 lb Mejool Dates pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb Turkish (Calimyrna) Figs coarsely chopped
  • Zest and Juice of One Orange
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 1 cup Water

Instructions
 

  • Start by making the charoset and allowing it to cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a large cutting surface. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Layer one sheet of phyllo over and coat light with cooking spray. Repeat until you have layered five sheets of phyllo.
  • Starting at the short end, cut the phyllo sheets into three strips.
  • Place one tablespoon of the charoset at the end of each strip. Bring the corner up over the charoset to create a triangle. Continue to fold the phyllo around the filling until you reach the end. Dab the end with the beaten egg to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling.
  • Place the completed briks on a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray. Brush the outside of the briks with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the phyllo is a golden brown.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy.

For the Charoset

  • Place the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the fruit has broken down.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend to a chunky texture.
  • Allow the charoset to cool to room temperature before making the briks.
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