Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN
The Bloated Belly Whisperer
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Recipes Index

I like to cook. And I'm undaunted by the challenge of cooking for folks with restricted diets for reasons of celiac disease, digestive intolerances or allergies. Some of my favorite recipes are housed here-- feel free to poke around and see what looks good!

Posts in Breakfast & Brunch
Butternut Squash Souffle
 
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If you thought that the children of dietitians spring forth from the womb with a congenital love of orange vegetables, you would be mistaken.  I've been cooking for my littles for almost seven years, and they've yet to embrace winter squash... with the exception of this recipe for Butternut Squash Souffle, which we call "squash cake" at home for marketing purposes. Yes, it's got added sugar in it, which makes it less righteous than, say, a kale salad. But I surrendered my moral high ground when I traded in my Prius for a minivan. So my kids eat a vegetable that's been enhanced with sugar. Judge me all you want. I think they deserve at least half credit.

Squash souffle a great fall side dish recipe for your Thanksgiving table and holiday potlucks. Leftovers make a lovely brunch base: top with eggs, melted cheese, leftover grilled asparagus spears or anything else you can think of. 

Butternut Squash Souffle

Ingredients: 

  • 20oz cubed butternut squash, steamed until very soft and mashed (or two 10-oz packages of frozen pureed winter squash)
  • 1/2 cup flour of your choice (I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-free baking flour; almond flour also works great)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP sugar (separated)
  • 1/4 cup oil (olive or canola)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk of your choice (conventional or lactose-free cow's milk and almond work equally well)
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Prepare your squash (steam your raw cubes and them mash them into a puree... or defrost the packages of frozen puree) and set aside
  3. Mix together the cinnamon with the 1 TBSP sugar you set aside
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add in flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, oil and milk.  Beat until well combined.
  5. Add squash to the egg mixture and stir to combine well
  6. Spray a 9 x 13" OR 9" round baking dish with non-stick spray, and pour mixture into baking dish 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven to sprinkle top with cinnamon/sugar mixture. 
  8. Put back in oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the souffle is set. (It should be firm to the touch in the center; baking time will vary based on size of the baking dish you use)
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.  

NOTE: If you serve it still warm, the souffle will be yummy but have an un-formed souffle/spoonbread type consistency. If you serve it fully cooled (or refrigerate overnight and reheat the next day), you can cut it into squares or wedges and they will hold their shape like a cake; hence the nickname "squash cake."

Serve warm, room temperature or cold.

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Allergen Free Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
 
Allergen Free Latkes (Potato Pancakes)  (image T. Freuman)

Allergen Free Latkes (Potato Pancakes) (image T. Freuman)

This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve brought my latke-making show on the road to my children’s school, staking out a corner in their classroom to fry up a seasonal storm of potato pancakes.  My trusted sidekick is en electric skillet that’s over a half century old–it once belonged to a great aunt– which I break out precisely once per year.  The electric skillet is my absolute favorite way to make latkes, as it keeps the oil temperature constant for evenly-cooked pancakes, and allows me to set up my frying station in any corner of the kitchen (or classroom) where there’s an outlet.

While I’ve toyed with a variety of latke recipes over the years, my forray into classroom cooking required me to depart from the typical cannon: potatoes, onions, egg and flour or starch.  That’s because my children’s former preschool was vegan, so I needed to find some sort of way to bind my batter without egg.  I did experiment with some online eggless recipes that called for potato starch as the only binder, but I found that as the batter sat around in the mixing bowl waiting to be fried, potato liquid began pooling at the bottom, making the batter watery and necessitating ongoing attention with more and more starch to sop it up. Too much maintenance.

I don’t know how the idea struck me back then, but I decided to see whether a bit of cooked oatmeal (from quick-cooking, gluten-free oats) might stand in as a batter binder instead. It worked like an absolute charm, and I’ve been making my latkes with oatmeal ever since. Using cooked oatmeal as a secret latke ingredient has other benefits besides binding, too.  It keeps the recipe vegan and gluten free, which allows even diet restricted friends to partake of the deliciousness.  The oatmeal coats the grated potatoes in a manner that seems to prevent them from browning, and it soaks up any liquid the potatoes may weep, as well; this means you can make the batter at home and transport it to a second location for cooking a little while later without a loss of quality or cohesiveness even as it sits.

The following is my base recipe and technique. You can double it to feed larger crowds.

Gluten Free, Vegan Latkes

Serves 6-8 as a side

Equipment:

  • 1-2 absorbent dishtowels, preferably darker colors
  • Electric skillet
  • Box grater
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Thin, slotted spatula

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium to large Russet potatoes, peeled (keep in bowl of cold water before grating to prevent browning)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and grated (this can be done the night before to save time)
  • 1/4 cup dry, quick cooking, gluten free oats
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying (canola, grapeseed, avocado all work well for high heat)
  • Optional to serve: Applesauce, Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche (I like Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream).

Directions:

  1. Prepare oatmeal according to package directions, using slightly less water than it calls for to ensure a dense, thick oatmeal. Set aside.
  2. Squeeze grated onion over the sink to remove as much excess water as possible. Place onion in large mixing bowl when done.
  3. Grate potatoes one at a time.  After finishing each potato, squeeze the gratings with both hands over the sink to remove excess water. Next, place the squeezed-out gratings in a horizontal line across the center of a spread out clean dishtowel.   Fold the towel over to cover the gratings while you work on the rest of the potatoes. Repeat the grating-squeezing process with each of the remaining potatoes.
  4. When all 4 potatoes are grated and piled across the center of your dishtowel, roll up the towel lengthwise and twist the edges as tight as you can to squeeze out as much extra water from potatoes as humanly possible. (It will look like a long piece of taffy or a tootsie roll.) The towel should start feeling moist as the liquid soaks through.  Keep squeezing and twisting for about a minute.
  5. Once all 4 potatoes are squeezed as dry as possible, place the shreds into the large mixing bowl, along with the onion.  Add 1 tsp salt and the cooked oatmeal. Using your hands, combine the batter very well until fully blended.
  6. Heat oil in the electric skillet to 375 degrees until it is starting to shimmer.
  7. As oil heats, line a serving tray or large plate with paper towels.

8.  Drop batter into the skillet in ~2 TBSP mounds, flattening them a bit to ensure they cook through.  When edges are golden brown and latkes release easily from the pan, they’re ready to flip.  Cook the second side until golden brown.  Remove from skillet when done and place on paper towel lined plate, layering more paper towels as the plate fills.

Add oil to the skillet as needed to ensure surface is well slicked as you continue to fry additional batches.

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Pink Stuff (Beet & Sunflower Seed Spread)
 
Pink Stuff (Beet & Sunflower Seed Spread)  (image T. Freuman)

Pink Stuff (Beet & Sunflower Seed Spread) (image T. Freuman)

I’ve always found vegetarian sandwiches to be a bit uninspired.  It can be hard to come up with enough substance to make the sandwich satiating– a pile of vegetables just doesn’t do it for me. To be sure, the vegetarian sandwich pantheon has some pretty great occupants: a good egg and cheese; a well-seasoned roasted vegetable with goat cheese; an avocado and cilantro with lime juice and sea salt; pesto grilled cheese; hummus and cukes.  But this rotation gets old after awhile, and variety is indeed the spice of life.

Of course, I’d eat peanut butter sandwiches happily until the day I die.  But nowadays you can’t always pack a PB&J to bring into public spaces, particularly if you’re making a picnic for your kids that will be eaten in public shared spaces, as nut-free zones abound.

So you can imagine how revolutionary it was to discover an entirely new sandwich condiment– a nutrient-packed, vegan and densely-flavored one at that– which would serve as the basis for a whole new category of vegetarian sandwiches I could add to my repertoire.  This condiment–which hails from Germany and is called simply “streichcreme” (rote Bete-meerrettich)– has been dubbed “pink stuff” by my kids.

This sandwich spread is ubiquitous in Germany, and my sister in law always brings us a jar when she visits from Hamburg, where she now lives.  It’s a silky-smooth, magenta colored spread whose primary ingredients are roasted beets, sunflower seeds and horseradish.  It tastes more of mild horseradish than beets or sunflower seeds, in my humble opinion, and is positively addictive.  My kids like to dip mini Triscuits in it as if it’s hummus.  I’ve found it most appealing as the basis for a savory breakfast sandwich, paired with cheddar cheese and a handful of peppery arugula leaves (pictured above). I've turned many of my patients on to this breakfast sandwich, and they're as obsessed as I am. 

Since German ingredient labels list ingredients by percentage, I decided to try to reverse-engineer this product.  After a few attempts, I came up with this recipe as the closest approximation to the real deal.  My homemade version is more rose colored than magenta, owing to the fact that I don’t have the benefit of “roasted beet concentrate” in my pantry, but the flavor is similar enough. Of course, if you happen to know someone traveling over there for any reason, ask them to pick up a jar for you as a souvenir so you can compare this homemade version to the original.

Pink Stuff (Roasted Beet & Horseradish Spread)

Yield: ~1/2 pint plastic deli container’s worth

Ingredients:

  • 3 small roasted beets, about 5-5.5 ounces (I lazily used pre-cooked ones from Love Beets; homemade roasted beets would probably have an even better flavor)
  • 3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp Gold’s prepared horseradish (sold in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, near the cream cheeses, butter and eggs)
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended and very creamy textured.  You may need to stop a few times to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Store in refrigerator.

To make Pink Stuff Sandwiches:

  1. Spread pink stuff on both sides of your favorite toasted bread, regular or gluten free
  2. Top each side with 1/2-1 slice of orange-colored cheddar cheese (for visual effect)
  3. Top one side with a handful of washed baby arugula leaves
  4. Cover sandwich and serve.

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Sweet Potato Pignoli Picnic Quiches (FODMAP friendly)
 
Sweet Potato Picnic Quiches (FODMAP friendly)  (image T. Freuman)

Sweet Potato Picnic Quiches (FODMAP friendly) (image T. Freuman)

This tasty little recipe comes to us from Israel, via my cousin Shelly, who brought it to a family retreat over Memorial Day weekend.  It’s a great portable, vegetarian “entree” for summer picnics–as it can be served warm, room temperature or cold.

A digestive aside: while this recipe does feature dairy prominently, most of the cheeses used are low (or negligible) in lactose.  You can swap in Green Valley Organics Lactose Free sour cream* for the Greek yogurt to help keep lactose content to a minimum.  Once the lactose situation is sorted, you’ll notice that there are no other fermentable carb (FODMAP) ingredients in the mix– no onions, garlic, wheat, flour of any kind or gassy veggies.  So file this one away in the event you’re ever invited to a potluck attended by a digestively diverse crowd.

Sweet Potato Pignoli Picnic Quiches

Yield: ~16 mini quiches

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz sweet potatoes, grated
  • 6 oz mozzarella, grated
  • 3.5 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 7 oz 0% plain Greek yogurt OR Green Valley Lactose Free Sour Cream*
  • 2 TBSP canola oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
  • 4 eggs
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using non stick pan, toast pine nuts on stove top until just starting to turn golden brown and fragrant.  Remove from heat immediately and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine grated sweet potato, mozzarella, Parmesan and feta.  Mix to combine.
  4. Add Greek yogurt or sour cream, canola oil, chives, toasted pine nuts and eggs.  Season with black pepper to taste.  (No need to add salt… these are well salted from the cheese already.)  Stir until all ingredients well combined.
  5. Spray standard-sized muffin tin with non-stick spray
  6. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 35-40 minutes until firm and turning golden.

* FTC disclosure: I am a paid consultant for Green Valley Organics Lactose Free

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