Saturday, October 29, 2011

Go Ahead Honey it's Gluten Free October: Spiced Desserts!

I am so excited to share this month's 'Go ahead honey, it's Gluten Free!' roundup!!  Created by the lovely Naomi, this monthly theme event features amazing gluten-free treats from a variety of bloggers.

For the month of October, I chose the theme "Spiced Desserts" in honor of autumn, warmth, and creativity. 

The recipes submitted did not disappoint, and I am pleased to share with you the following:

I hope you brought with you a warm drink as we step into our autumnal lineup!

Rustic Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Biscotti by Valerie at City Life Eats features Pumpkin Pie Spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) in this creative fall delight!

Cardamom Chocolate Bark by Naomi at Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried elevates chocolate to another level by including cardamom alongside toasted almonds.

 Stuffed Poached Pears by Kalinda at Wheat Free Meat Free feature both cinnamon and cloves in this unique and visually appealing dessert.

 GF Pumpkin Snickerdoodles by Lauren at As Good as Gluten have cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg in these soft and chewy pumpkin treats.

Healthy Pumpkin Donuts by Tessa the Domestic Diva are highlighted by aromatic cinnamon on this new take on an American classic.

Kaju (Cashew) Ladoos by Sonia at Flip Cookbool brings the aromatic cardamom to center stage in this beautifully presented dessert.

High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins from Iris at the Daily Dietribe bring us cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger- perfect for anytime of day!

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily was especially creative in incorporating pumpkin butter that was made with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, nutmeg.

Finally my own- Baklava Cake by Noosh at For the Love of Food! This cake includes  cardamom, saffron, and fragrant rose water, a taste of Persian desserts made simple and gluten free.

Thank you to all of our wonderful contributors for this month - I can't wait to try some of these new recipes!

Make sure you check out the November 2011 Go Ahead Honey hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance bringing her fantastic real food approach to - "Thanksgiving" Pin It Now!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baklava Cake (paleo, grain free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free)

I've been dreaming about making this cake formonths now... I love Persian Baklava - the aromatic flavors of cardamom androsewater, mixed with the crunch of almonds and pistachios. Delicious. Afew months ago my aunt made what she called Baklava Cake, something I hadn't seen before. My husband of course ate it and loved it, and I watched patiently as he devoured a plate full of it. On two occasions.

My original idea was actually just to make a cake called "Honey Almond Cake" but then I thought I could go ahead and add in the extra spices and flavors and see how the Baklava Cake would turnout. Success! Now I totally understand that these flavors are notfor everyone- especially the American palate. So if you want to leavethem out, it's up to you, and you can just have the Honey Almond Cake and callit a day. Or you can just add less. The first time I made this I actually made it with Persian Saffron as well (my idea was actually "Saffron HoneyAlmond Cake!") which I appreciated, but I'll also leave that up to you ifyou're adventurous and want to add it in (it's also an expensive spice toacquire.)
The best news about this cake is that it’s reallysimple and easy to make. Because it is egg free I added in the Chia seed meal, and the Apple sauce adds sweetness and replaces butter. I used almond flourfrom Trader Joe’s in this recipe- it’s inexpensive which is helpful, but I also added the weight if you want to weigh and use your own almond flour. I’m sure blanched almond flour will be even lighter and more delicious.

This is my submission to October’s ‘Go ahead honey,it’s gluten free’ – Spiced Desserts that I’m hosting here on For the Love ofFood!

Baklava Cake
(gluten, soy, dairy, egg, grain free, and paleo)

½ cup organic applesauce(unsweetened-just apples)
1/3 cup - ½ cup honey(depending on your taste)**
½ Tbsp Rose Water
2 cups almond flour(Trader Joe’s)/7 ¾ oz/220 g
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp of prepared saffron(optional)

**If you like it sweeter, you can also add in 1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar

Slivered almonds
Ground pistachios

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease either an 8” glass pyrex or an 8” parchment-lined pan.
If using saffron prepare: take ¼ tsp saffron threads and grind in a mortar and pestle. Add ½ Tbsp boiling water and let sit while you go on to the next step.
In mixer bowl, beat applesauce with chia meal onhigh for one minute stopping once to scrape down the sides and bottom.
Add honey, rosewater, and saffron (if using) andbeat until combined.
In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients:almond flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and baking powder. Add to mixer bowl and beat just untilincorporated. Stir once or twice with spatula/spoonula
just to make sure the bottom was mixed in.
Pour into preparedpan and bake for 30 minutes.
In glass pyrex

In parchment-lined pan

Top of cake should be golden and toothpick comesout clean.

Cool on cooling rack untilcool, slice in diamonds, and top with crushed pistachios and slivered almonds.

Enjoy with a nice hot cup of tea!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blogiversary Giveaway Results!

Congratulations to Melanie!! You're the winner of the Blogiversary package! Please email me at nooshins [at] with your mailing address and I will put the package in the mail for you.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for entering the giveaway.  If you didn't win, stay tuned- I have *two more* giveaways coming up in November from some great companies.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Egg & Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins - Gluten free/Egg Free/Dairy Free/Soy Free

Since I have gone egg free, I've reallynoticed how difficult it is to find good baked recipes without eggs in it. Ithink the flavor is still quite good in eggless desserts, but most of the timethey lack the fluffy texture that an egg can provide. I'm actuallyquite happy with the way that these pumpkin muffins turned out - they have agood texture and were easy to make. The cashew-date frosting is totallyoptional, but adds a nice bonus and can move the muffin from breakfast todessert :)

I ground my own almond flour for thisrecipe, so it had some larger bits of almond in it which I like- you can alwaysadd some nuts into yours if you like the extra crunch.

I am also submitting this recipe to the"OurSpunky Holiday" roundup.

Egg Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins
(gluten free, dairy free, soy free, grainfree, egg free)

2 Tbsp ground Organic Chia Seed meal
2 Tbsp Organic Flaxseed Meal
5 Tbsp boiling water

1 can organic pumpkin puree (15 oz/425g)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour
1/2 cup almond flour (I ground my ownhere)
1/2 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease your muffin pans (I made 12 large and 12 mini with this recipe)
  2. In your mixing bowl add the boiled water to the flax and chia meals (grind your chia first and then measure). Mix well then allow to gel for about 5 minutes while you assemble your dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Add the coconut oil and vanilla to the flax/chia combo and blend well (the heat of the water should melt it if your coconut oil is still solid)
  5. Add in your dry ingredients and blend just until incorporated, stopping once to scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula
  6. Pour into your muffin tins and bake for approximately 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven when the muffins are dark and look firm. Test with a toothpick, but it will still be a bit gooey.

**Allow yourMuffins to cool on a wire rack! I enjoyed them warm, but they will stillseem like they're not cooked if you don't let them fully cool. Store onthe counter for up to 2 days or in the fridge- it will get a little harder ifrefrigerated. Top with cashew-date frosting if you like once cooled (seebelow).

Cashew-Date Frosting

1 cup raw cashews
3 dates
3 Tbsp coconut oil
Soak your cashews over night or in boilingwater (covered) for an hour or two. In another small bowl, your foodprocessor or blender bowl cover your halved dates with boiling water. Let soakuntil soft. Pour out the soaking water and reserve for later ifneeded. Blend the dates, cashews, and coconut oil until creamy. If youneed a bit more water to blend, add some of the date water. Place inrefrigerator just until chilled and then pipe or spread onto muffins.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Four Year Blogiversary + A Giveaway!

It's hard to believe that it's been four years since I started this blog! Four years ago I was overwhelmed, excited, determined, and a bit nervous about this new gluten free thing that I had started.  It had been only about a month or two and I felt like I was being proactive in the process of my healing and support by starting his site... and I definitely was.  I couldn't come up with a name for my site, but all I could think of was how much I love food and didn't want to feel deprived- I wanted to celebrate, so that's how I became "For the Love of Food!" :)

I have learned a lot and gained so much through the gf and food blogging community and I am so grateful for having this as my home base and place to chart my progress and keep track of ideas and recipes as they come to me.

Up until now I have had thousands of visitors from over 50 countries- from Denmark to Armenia, Brunei to Singapore. I love hearing from you- whether by comment or email.

So in honor of my fourth blogiversary, I have created a new Facebook page that you can "like" and hear more from me on, as well as share your own thoughts, ideas, and questions on.

So click on "For the Love of Food" and "like" the site and hopefully this community can continue to expand in great ways.

I have also decided to have a giveaway in honor of this event because who doesn't love free things?! 

 Here are the items that I'm giving away:

This little package I'm putting together includes a great cookbook "Sweet Alternative" by Ariana Bundy, a Cherrybrook Kitchens GF Pancake and Waffle Mix, and a Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix.

Receive one entry for each of the following:
(leave a separate comment for each)

  1.  "Like" For the Love of Food on Facebook and let me know in the comments on this post.
  2. Leave a separate comment letting me know what type of dish you would like to see a recipe for.
  3. Share via your blog or FB about the giveaway and let me know.
The winner will be chosen using a random generator. I can only ship to U.S. addresses at this time. The giveaway will close on October 26th, and I will announce the results shortly thereafter, so make sure you check back to see if you won!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Achiote Black Bean and Collard Green Soup

Tonight I was in the mood for a quick and savory fall soup! I love black bean soups, so tonight I thought I would put a bit of a different twist on it with a different spice and veggie blend. I made the whole dish in probably 30 minutes and loved it.  You can of course let it simmer longer for a deeper flavor, but the less it cooks the more fresh the veggies are, so I don't recommend it.
Achiote, also called Annato is a great, rich and flavorful spice that I've really enjoyed using in my cooking. It can be found in most international sections of grocery stores under either name in powder or seed form.  I used the powder in this recipe- already ground.  The good news: it's pretty inexpensive too!  If you don't have it, you could probably sub a smoked paprika for a similar quality.
For the beans, if you plan in advance definitely use dry, but I love the Eden brand canned onesbecause the cans are BPA free, and they use Kombu seaweed instead of salt! Amazon has a great subscribe and save deal as well.

Quick Achiote Black Bean and Collard Green Soup
(gluten free, soy free, dairy free/vegan, grain free)

1 small onion or 2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp achiote powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano or Mexican oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

3 carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper
1 red pepper (mine was a skinny long one, but bell will do)
4 large collard green leaves, chopped

4 cups organic broth (chicken or veggie)

1 can Eden Organic Black Beans

Avocado, sliced - optional 

Heat your coconut oil. Add the onion and saute until soft.  Add the garlic and spices and stir for about a minute over medium heat, letting the spices release, but careful not to burn them.  Add the carrots and stir for a few minutes, letting them soften a bit (you can chop your peppers and greens while these cook). Add the peppers and greens and stir for a minute or two. Add the broth and beans, stir, and bring to boil with the lid on.  Once boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes, taste, and serve garnished with avocado if desired.
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