About Lisa's GFCF Cookbook

Welcome to the GFCF cookbook website! These are special recipes for people who want to avoid gluten and milk products (or casein). Please be advised that some of the recipes may contain other allergens such as eggs, nuts or soy. In many cases, these can be substituted or even omitted.

Being a person who loves to cook and bake -- and, of course, eating has always been one of my favorite pastimes! -- I was distressed when, about 2 1/2 years ago, I began feeling sick all the time and losing weight rapidly. Aside from being scared, I also realized that one of the joys of my life -- namely, eating and enjoying food -- was suddenly gone. I envied the people around me who could eat; I just wanted to be normal again! When I finally went on the gluten free diet, not only did the weight start to come back on, but I also felt better than I ever had in my life. I must have been a celiac all along, without realizing it. Of course, I wasn´t able to make any comparisons until going on the diet; one can´t really know what “good” feels like until one experiences it. (It is estimated by some that approximately 90% of the celiacs in America are still undiagnosed).

In any case, I was thrilled that I could eat and enjoy food again! I would just have to eat differently, that was all. Luckily, you don't have to give up good taste and quality to eat gluten and dairy free. This cookbook is a work of progress as I try out, adapt, and discover new recipes. Although many of these recipes are quick and easy to prepare, these are not “convenience recipes”. I like to cook from scratch, using pure, unprocessed ingredients. Not only is this healthier and tastier, but pure, whole foods are also less likely to be contaminated by gluten or casein. My rule is, when it comes to cooking, always go for high quality!

A Few Words About the Recipes

In place of butter, I like to use non-hydrogenated, all natural shortening. These are made with a blend of oils, like olive or palm oil. In my recipes I recommend Earth Balance shortening, because that is the brand I always use; however, there may be other brands that work as well. Earth Balance makes a series of different shortenings, like "Butter Flavored" or "Soy Garden", but they all seem to work equally well and be pretty much interchangeable in these recipes. Just check that everything you use, generally, really is gluten and dairy/casein free, as manufacturers can sometimes change the ingredients in their products without notice.

Some of these recipes call for maple sugar, as I find that maple sugar, maple syrup and brown sugar add a richness to baked goods, thereby compensating for the lack of butter and other milk products. Granulated maple sugar is available in some health food stores or Farmer´s Markets, or can be ordered online. For gluten free flours I like to use Bob´s Red Mill; they also make xanthan gum.

Some of thse recipes use plain, unsweetened soy yogurt; (meaning soy yogurt without cane juice added). Unfortunately, it seems to be getting more and more difficult to find unsweetened soy yogurt in America. The brand I use is Wildwood, which is available in some health food stores. If it´s not available in your area, it may be possible to ask a health food store to order it for you.

Finally, I also wanted to mention that as ovens may vary, you might want to check all of your baked goods before the minimum cooking time is through, just in case. If you have an oven that tends to brown too quickly, you may cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning. Some gluten free flours - in particular, soy flour - tend to brown more quickly than conventional flour.

Good luck with the recipes, and Happy Baking!


Lemon Bars

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 tablespoons Earth Balance shortening or buttery-flavored spread
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) dark brown sugar, packed

3 eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons
3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
Powdered sugar, to sprinkle over the top

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine rice flour,
cornstarch and xanthan gum; mix well. Cream the shortening with an electric mixer. Add the sugar as you continue beating. Turn mixer to low speed, and slowly add the flour mixture. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 8x8 inch square pan (preferably non-stick). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs until blended. Add all the filling ingredients (except the powdered sugar), and mix well. Pour over the shortbread crust, and return to the oven (still at 350 degrees). Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until the filling is set; (do not over bake; check before end time). Remove from oven and sift powdered sugar liberally over the top. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares. Store in a cool place, or in the refrigerator.

Light and Delicious Waffles

1 1/3 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
Dash of salt
½ cup (1 stick) Earth Balance shortening OR buttery flavored spread (dairy free)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4 eggs, (separated)
1 ½ cups plain, unsweetened soy milk (be sure it´s gluten and casein free)
4 teaspoons baking powder

Sift together the tapioca flour, brown rice flour and salt; put in a bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the shortening over low heat. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, separate the eggs. Stir the egg yolks and the maple syrup into the cooled shortening. With a whisk, beat in the soy milk alternatively with the flour mixture in 3 or 4 additions. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites and the baking powder into the batter. Bake on a pre-heated waffle iron until crispy (follow package directions). Serve with warmed maple syrup. (Makes 6 to 8 waffles, depending on size)

Avacado and Sweet Corn Salad

(TIP: Good as a midsummer salad, when the ingredients are fresh)

1 medium bag mesclun or mixed lettuce
1 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, or a mixture of each
6 radishes
1 medium avocado
1 ear of fresh, raw, sweet (white) corn
2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil

3 tablespoons high lignan flax oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 -1 clove pressed garlic (to taste)
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon style mustard (be sure it´s gluten free)
Salt, fresh ground pepper and dried oregano to taste

Wash, dry and tear lettuce into a salad bowl. Chop the pepper into ½ inch strips. Wash and thinly slice radishes. Peel and pit the avocado, and cut into chunks. Shuck and wash corn; with a knife, cut off the raw corn kernels and separate them, if necessary. Add all the vegetables to the salad.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad. Sprinkle with fresh basil. (Approximately 3-4 servings)

Brown Rice Salad with Raisins and Cashews

2/3 cup cooked cold brown rice
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
1/4 cup toasted cashews (unsalted), chopped
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Italian (flat leafed) parsley, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the brown rice with the carrots, pepper, raisins and cashews. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the olive oil. Pour over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Sprinkle the parsley over the top, mix lightly. Serve cold. (Approximately 3-4 servings)

Blueberry Pancakes

2/3 cup rice flour (brown or white)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup rice milk (be sure it´s gluten free)
¼ cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt (be sure it´s gluten and dairy free)
2 tablespoons melted Earth Balance shortening
½ cup blueberries (small ones work best)

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, soy yogurt, maple syrup and rice milk; (if you prefer a thick pancake, you may need to only add ¾ cup rice milk). Pour the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until blended. Add the melted shortening, stirring, and then fold in the blueberries. Heat an oiled skillet on the stove; when hot, cook the pancakes by tablespoons on medium-high heat. When they begin to set and batter bubbles slightly, turn over and cook other side, until lightly browned. Serve with warmed maple syrup. (Approximately 2-3 servings)

Buckwheat Pancakes

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons rice flour (brown or white)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon molasses
1 cup + 1 tablespoon plain, unsweetened soy milk (be sure it´s gluten and casein free)
¼ cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt (be sure it´s gluten and casein free)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance shortening

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; mix well. In a separate, larger bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir just until blended. Heat a greased non-stick (large) skillet over the stove (on high). Pour spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and cook on medium to medium-high heat; turn over when batter becomes “set” and starts to bubble. Serve with warmed maple syrup. (Serves 2 to 4 people; recipe is easily doubled)

Buckwheat-Coconut Cookies (or mock oatmeal cookies)

1 cup brown rice flour
6 tablespoons quinoa flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance shortening
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup raw demerarra sugar
¼ cup maple sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buckwheat flakes
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Combine the flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and mix well. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the shortening. Add the vanilla, demerarra and maple sugars, and mix well. Beat in the eggs. On low speed, add the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Stir in the buckwheat and coconut. Line cookie sheets with non-stick aluminum foil, and drop by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets; flatten slightly. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven approximately 15 minutes. They should be a mild golden-brown color, crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside; don´t overbake. (Makes about 50 cookies.)

Braised Endive

2 Belgian endives, washed and cut in half lengthwise (cut a bit off the bottom stalk)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Pinch of raw sugar and cinnamon to taste
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat olive in a skillet over the stove. Add the endive, skin side down, and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Turn over, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and raw sugar. Cook until brown, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Turn over, sprinkle once more with salt and pepper, and add the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Cook a few minutes, allowing time for the flavors to blend and soak in. Turn over once more, mixing slightly, so the flavors blend into the other side. Can be served warm or at room temperature, as a salad. (2 servings; recipe is easily doubled).