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February 2015

Artisan Breads to Equal Any with Gluten -- New Cascadia Traditional Gluten Free Bakery

Bread from new Cascadiasml

Let me repeat myself.  Here in Portland, I've found gluten free artisan breads that equal any of the delicious country and artisan breads made with gluten.  Where?  New Cascadia Traditional Bakery.  I first heard of them at the Ground Breaker gastropub, then went searching online.  First I purchased one of their Rustic Baguettes (pictured above from my visit to their cafe) at Whole Foods.  It was delicious -- just the thing to pile high with pastured butter and serve with a healthy warming soup.  The crust was crisp and chewy and the bread light and airy.  

A couple days ago my friend Charlotte and I visited their cafe for lunch.  I had ham and grilled cheese on their Honey Gold bread with vegetable soup on the side.  The soup came with two wonderful slices of their baguette.  I was in heaven.   We also had a sampling of their deserts, a fabulous cookie with a cream filing, chocolate chip expresso cookie, an a peanut butter cream confection.  The peanut butter cream was Charlotte's favorite and mine was the chocolate chip espresso cookie.   We are going for a second visit before I leave. The owner, Chris, was kind enough to take time from a clearly busy schedule to speak with me.  He also gave me one of their bagels -- amazing.  If you are visiiting Portland or better yet, live in Portland, visit New Cascadia cafe or get their awesome breads at Whole Foods or New Seasons.

One warning, they are addicting.

There is Wonderful Beer Drinking Enjoyment Without Gluten

When I say Gluten Free Beer in California, most die-hard beer drinkers look at me as if I'm crazy.  When I googled gluten free beer in Portland, Or, I found a whole brewery dedicated to it -- so dedicated that they've opened a 100% gluten free Gastropub right next to their brewery.  Ground Breaker Brewing (recently changing their name from Harvester) proudly proclaims that no gluten or gluten containing ingredients have darkened their door. The beers are delicious -- to my way of tasting. What I sampled of thei food was tasty and inviting enough to entice me for a second visit.  

Ground Breaker Brewing is located at Lincoln and 7th street SE.  The gastropub is small and unassuming.  They have 5 year-round offerings and 3 temporary pours.  The best part is that if you are a Libra like me and can't make up your mind what you want, they have a tasting flight that gives you 4 choices all lined up in tasting glasses and equaling a pint. 

Of course, I ordered the flight.  Every one of them was delicious and my favorite of the year-round offerings was the Dark Ale (38 IBU, 5.5% ABV) roasted chestnuts and lentils give this beer a roast flavor and aroma with hints of chocolate and dark fruits.  It is a 2014 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner. 

Of the seasonal offerings one caught my eye as what I call a healing beer.  When I was taking home beer brewing classes, I found and read a book called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harold Buhner.  I used to pore through that book wanting to create so many of the ancient beers.  For several months it was one of those books I kept near me, opening and reading at different points, having fun with the element of surprise as where I'd landed in the moment.

When I ordered a second flight, I ordered two of that one -- Cancellation Turmeric (30IBU, 5.6% ABV) Ale brewed with meyer lemon juice, milk thistle, goji berries roasted dandelion root, burdock root, and turmeric.  OMG is was delicious and I'm hopeful we are going back there for dinner and more of that wonderful beer.  While this was my favorite of the seasonal beers, there was not one I didn't like.  Each had a distinctive flavor and I found the taste descriptions were accurate.

Having had just eaten before I arrived, I only ordered an appetizer of Scallops and Pork Belly (ocean scallops, pork belly braised in Dark Ale, fennel salad). It made me want to come back for dinner.  There were so many things on their menu that sounded delicious.  But the one I have to try is the Chicken and Cheddar Dumplings soup.  One of my favorites from childhood was chicken and dumplings.  Now that I am gluten free, that's one of the recipes I want to re-create for the cookbook I'm writing.    The Cubano sandwich, and the roasted lamb sandwich also attracted my attention.  They have a Burger night on Tuesday nights, and there's a grass-fed burger on the regular menu.  For Vegetarians there's the roasted delicata squash sandwich which cranberry-red onion marmalade.  Just writing this makes my mouth water. 

I realize that being in Portland is like a renewal of my passion for real food, for creating gluten free, and uncorrupted real food and traditional recipes that everyone can follow.  And, yes, I'm writing on my cookbook -- Enjoy Fun Food Again.  Thank you Portland, Oregon.

In Portland, Or. -- a Food Haven and/or Heaven

I arrived in Portland, on Saturday around 11.  I'm visiting my best friend, Charlotte, helping her celebrate signing with Folio Lit for her new novel.  To me Portland is a mecca for real food.  One of the things I love to do is go out for lunch or dinner. Because I refuse to eat highly processed food, MSG, wheat, canola oil, soy tainted eggs, commercially farmed meats and mono-farmed vegetables (organic or not) it's very difficult to find a place to eat in Los Angeles and especially in Pasadena. Most restaurants corrupt their food with canola oil or gluten filled condiments as well as having limited or no gluten-free, grain free options. I'll talk more about the problems and dangers of canola oil, but for now, I'm in too much ecstasy for that. 

We had a late lunch at Dick's Kitchen.  Their special was Wild Boar burgers and OMG they were delicious.  That's what Charlotte and I both had, but she had hers with air-baked Yam fries and I had air baked traditional potato fries. When I asked if there were any gluten additives in the aioli the waitress said no, and immediately picked up on my gluten free interest and asked me if I wanted a gluten free bun with my burger.  The whole focus of Dick's is on healthy and humanely raised food.  On his web site he says, When you eat with us, you’re eating a naturally anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense meal of high quality proteins and plenty of vegetables, which helps reverse the impact of our modern diet and helps control many conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other metabolic disorders.

Richard Satnick (AKA Dick), I salute you.. I've eaten in two of his locations (in this and 2 earlier visits) a total of 3 times (this was my second visit to the Belmont location) and never been disappointed.  I actually met Dick at the Alphabet location on my last visit.  Even if he hadn't commented so favorably on my Honey Grahams, I'd be writing about his refreshing, innovative and healthy approach to delicious dining. After many searches for something I'd be willing to eat when I go out in SOCAL, sometimes annoying my friends to the point they'd rather leave me home, it is such a pleasure to be able to order somewhat freely from a menu.

Of course, there are so many more options in the Portland area.  Huffington Post recently put it at the top of their 5 cities to visit in 2015 and called it a Foodie Haven.  I'll be continuing to write about my Portland Food Adventures. 


Gluten Free/Grain Free Hamburgers and Sandwiches

Hambuger buns small

I love hamburgers, cheese burgers, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, toast with butter.  There was a time in my food explorations that I thought I'd have to give them up.  Then I discovered that what was unhealthy about the beef and bacon was how the animals were raised -- who wants to eat meat pumped up with antibiotics, hormones and steroids?  This was in 2010, so for a while I was a happy camper. 

Then I read Wheat Belly and Grain Brain, and realized how toxic commercial wheat was and that I wanted that out of my diet.  The difference it's made will probably be the subject of another blog.  I even started a business making gluten and grain free delicious baked products -- called Enjoy Grain Free. So for a while now I've been attempting to make what I felt was a delicious and workable (meaning not falling apart) sandwich and hamburger bun.  Yes, I've seen the recipe in Against All Grain made with soaked cashews, almond and coconut flour.  It is a delicious alternative. But I have a lot of clients who have problems with nuts.  So my goal was to create a bun that had no nuts in it.  And, in addition to eggs, I needed something to hold it together.  I've searched the internet for binders -- ruling out the obvious flax and chia seeds because of the levels of phytic acid. 

Then one day I stumbled across a recipe for butternut squash flatbread at the Empowered Sustenance blog and she was using Great Lakes grassfed gelatin for a binder.  Immediately I knew it would work in my recipe too.  Thank you Lauren.  By the way, the recipe for the butternut squash flatbread is delicious. 

Okay, I admit it I stopped writing this post to devour one of the buns as it came out of the oven -- with pastured butter, and bacon.  OMG, they are amazing! 

Because if the same phytic acid issue, I use only sprouted flours from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company.  They grind your flours when you order, so they are always fresh.  You can find them in whole foods, but I always prefer to order directly from their web site -- as there is much more variety available.  You can order here.

Lentil Flour Hamburger and Sandwich Buns

Dry Ingredients: 

2 cups sprouted lentil flour    Buy Here.

1/3 cup coconut flour sifted   Buy Here.

2 teaspoons powdered or crushed rosemary   1 TBL 

2 teaspoons granulated garlic     1 TBL  

2 TBL gelatin   4 TBL  from Great Lakes Gelatin

1.5 tbl Himalayan crystal salt   3 TBL  San Francisco Salt company

1.5 tea soda   3 teaspoons

Wet Ingredients:

1/3 cup coconut oil 

6 eggs  

1.5 tbl apple cider vinegar 

2  cups riced and steamed cauliflower   


Step 1:  Preheat Oven to 350.

Step 2:  Combine Lentil flour, sifted coconut flour, rosemary, garlic, gelatin, salt and soda together  (Note: you can use a food processor, or whisk them together in a mixing bowl)

Step 3:  Beat eggs, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar together in stand mixer on low.

Step 4:  Add in cauliflower and mix. 

Step 5:  Add in dry ingredients, still on low speed until everything is mixed.  Then put on medium high for about 30 seconds or until fully combined.

Step 6:  Prepare a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so the buns don't stick.

Step 7:  Wet your hands and take out enough dough to form a tennis ball sized ball.  Put it on the baking sheet and pat it out.

Step 8:  This should make 6 buns.  Put in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Step 9:  Let cool and enjoy.