Revisiting Bisquick GF Margherita Pizza

Revisiting Bisquick GF Margherita Pizza

This is quickly becoming a go to meal for me.  Perhaps the fact that I had stayed away from  pizza for nearly two years is part of the reason.  I have made a couple tweaks since I first posted.  The first is I now make all mini pizzas using my new King Arthur  Flour Individual Pie and Burger Bun Pan, plus 2 to 4 old mini pie plates.  IMG_8460

Secondly, I have switched up a few of the ingredients:

  • instead of 1 ounce fresh chives I now substitute 2 TBs of freeze-dried chives — because it is milder this way and because I have a lifetime supply on hand from when I once ordered them from Penzeys having no idea how large a bag I would receive
  • I have reduced the 1 + 1/3 cups Bisquick Gluten Free mix to just 1 cup, and have added 1/3 cup of  King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Ancient Grains Blend – made of 30% each amaranth**, millet, and sorghum flours and 10% quinoa flour.  This makes the crust less puffy, gives it a more golden color and adds  a little more  protein & fiber.
  • I use mostly dried oregano in the crust for the same reason that I use the freeze-dried chives.
  • I have reduced the 1/3 cup oil called for in the crust to 4 TBs which saves about 10 calories per mini pizza

Update — May 7, 2016  The Ancient Grains Flour Blend from King Arthur Flour does contain 30% Amaranth flour, which  Ash Jones,  an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, of Off-Duty Dietitian, has on her list of high FODMAP flours to avoid.  I am going to finish off the bag I purchased and will probably not buy it in the future.

Revised recipe:

Low FODMAP friendly Bisquick Gluten Free Margherita Pizza

Ingredients:

‘pesto’

  • ½ ounce fresh basil
  • ½ ounce fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 ounce fresh chives
  • 2 TBs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TB olive oil

other topping ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato
  • shredded mozzarella cheese, to taste / or use fresh mozzarella slices

crust (modified from the recipe found on side of box)

  • 1  cup Bisquick Gluten Free mix
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Ancient Grains Blend
  • ½ to 2 tsps Italian seasoning, dried oregano, or other dried herbs
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 TBs cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Method:

  • Prepare ‘pesto’ by de-stemming and coarsely hand shredding basil and spinach leaves, then placing them into the bowl of a food processor, along with the chives.  Pulse briefly.  Add Parmesan cheese, pulse again.  Add olive oil and pulse to reach desired consistency.  (Yields  about 6 TBs)
  • Halve slice and dice tomato.
  • Heat oven to 425 F. Line pans with parchment paper.
  • Stir dry mix with dried herbs. Add liquids and keep stirring until well combined. Spread crusts in prepared pans.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Crusts may appear cracked.
  • Spread ‘pesto’ over hot crusts, arrange tomato pieces, and top with cheese, then return pans to oven.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

I tend to eat 2 mini pizzas, fresh out of the oven, wrap 2 more to put in the fridge for a second meal, then wrap and freeze the remaining.  I have a nicely stocked freezer with homemade gluten-free options.  This wonderful for “flare up” days or anytime one is rushed.

Disaster Day # 2 – Buckwheat “crepes”

Disaster Day # 2 – Buckwheat “crepes”

Last night I was surfing the web looking for ways to use my new pure stevia powder and I got sidetracked.  I saw a simple recipe for Buckwheat Pancakes that looked like crepes, or even wraps.  It only called for buckwheat flour (2 cups), salt (2 tsp), water (3 + 1/3 cups) and an egg.  It did however talk about soaking the flour overnight with a touch of acid (vinegar or lemon juice.)  That intrigued me and decided to give it a go.   I measure the water, removed 1 Tablespoon and replaced it with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar.  My 2 Qt Dough Doubler from King Arthur Flour was the perfect vessel for whisking the water and flour together,

then covering to place in the fridge.

This morning whiles the “polenta fries” were in the oven I took the buckwheat out, gave it a whisk or two, or three, as the flour had settled some, and added the egg.  I forgot all about the salt, maybe someone distracted me.

I have a Nordic Wear Swedish Platte Panne that I thought would be nice to use as it would yield perfect little round mini crepes.

I oiled and heated the pan.  Then I spooned in some batter.  It did not look great.  It tasted worse.  I have this mass of “stuff” and with so much water what can I convert it into without ending up with food for an army.  The wonderful Buckwheat Bread I made but still have a good supply of in the freezer.  No way can I get those proportions right.   Gosh, but the batter is bitter and rubbery.  Needs leavening as well as some other flour to balance the taste and texture.  Light bulb, it will not be too wasteful if I add the end of a box of Gluten Free Bisquick that is in my cupboard.  I measure, merely because if I post I will want to say.  There is just about 1 full cup of Bisquick.  In it goes.  I taste, still bitter.  Well, this all began with looking for a way to use pure stevia powder.  My smallest measuring spoon is 1/8ths, while I have read stevia is measured in 1/32nds.  Heck, go for an eighth cause this stuff is bitter.  Retaste, getting better, another eighth of stevia seems like a good idea. Good decision.  I cook up another pan of little silver dollar pancakes (and now they really are becoming pancakes.)  Almost there, but they still lack something in taste and they are a devil to turn as they want to stick.  Back to the cupboard.  This time I pull out a jar of ghee.  I put a couple of spoons full in a little glass bowl and pop it into the microwave to melt.  Once again, just because I’ll be posting, I weigh the melted ghee, 5/8ths of an ounce.  Into the batter and stir.  (Now the oven timer is going off and I have quite the messy kitchen.)  I decide my multi-tasking is not going to turn out too well so time to pack up the pancake project.  The batter goes back to the fridge while I rescue the “polenta project.”  A few hours rest will make the batter easier to work with in all likelihood.IMG_8430

Some other things accomplished, a clean kitchen, and no one else in the house.  Time to find out what I have created from disaster #2.   Thinking about it the grapeseed oil I used on the pan this morning might be part of the flavor problem. Back in the 1960s & 70s, everyone in my family cooked pancakes and fritters in melted Crisco.  I could use the ghee but it is going to be fussy to get into the little wells of my pan.  There is the tail end of an Earth Balance stick in the fridge.  I can just pat the end of it into each circle while holding onto the foil wrapper.  Here we go.  And it goes well. IMG_8432 Once the batter bowl is empty I have 40 little buckwheat silver dollar pancakes that taste nice.  20 go into the freezer.  A good number go into the fridge.  And a few get topped with a dab of plain yogurt and homemade raspberry chia jam and devoured by the hungry but now happy cook.  Two disasters turned around.

 

Day of Disaster #1 – “polenta fries”

Day of Disaster #1 – “polenta fries”

It all started well enough yesterday.  I had a recipe card from my local Natural Foods Co-Op, and me being me, I fiddled with the ingredients a little: from 2 + 3/4 cups organic cornmeal, 6 cups water, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup of butter, chopped fresh sage or rosemary, salt to taste, and olive oil for baking sheet,  I used–

  • 2 + 3/4  cups organic cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Cabot unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Cabot cheddar powder
  • 1/2 t dried chives
  • 1/4 t each oregano, ground celery seed, paprika, and salt

 

IMG_8374The water and cornmeal went into a saucepan over medium heat.  I put the frozen chicken stock into the microwave to defrost as I whisked away. Bubble, bubble, when fully defrosted into the pot goes the chicken stock.  Whisk, whisk, turn down the heat when it bubbles too violently.  Spattering cornmeal could burn!  About 15 to 20 minutes in I add chunks of butter.  Once that is melted off goes the heat and in goes the cheeses.

Oh, that looks pretty, and it smells good too.

IMG_8376

I tasted and decide on the seasonings listed above. I use a cooking spray, followed by fingers on a scrap of parchment paper to grease a 12″ x 8″ glass pan.   In goes the polenta mix and I level it off with a spatula.

 

Today, after the polenta has had a good long time to set up,  I turn the oven on for convention bake 400 F and  take the pan of polenta out and slice the “fries”  while the oven pre-heats.   I space the polenta “fries”  out on two baking sheets.

Into the oven they go.  All seems well.  But disaster strikes. After baking for 23 minutes I am going to turn the “fries” and I open the oven door.  I do not see “fries” anymore.  They have spread and run together.  I chop them apart, grab a third baking tray so I can give them more space.  Back into the oven they go to crisp up for another 15 minutes.  The result is not pretty, but they sure are tasty.  Guess I’ll just have to call them “Polenta Bites.”

 All’s well that tastes good, but I wish they looked like fries.

IMG_8415

Week 4, Live and Learn, Erythirtol in Truvia

Week 4, Live and Learn, Erythirtol in Truvia

Last Thursday I had nasty symptoms which have lingered, but they are starting to subside today.  So I have wondered, as I am not officially diagnosed as IBS, if the low FODMAP approach will really be the answer.  And of course your mind can go to all the more serious health problems that have similar symptoms.  Then I went to move my container of Truvia, I noticed that the first ingredient is not stevia but erythirtol.  Bingo, brain engaged, I remember from the handout I received at the doctor’s office (prepared by Kate Scarlata that sweeteners ending in -ol are no-nos, icky sugar alcohols.   So I go to look it up.  On Kate’s eliminate  list, under polyols and under sweeteners are the following: “sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), isomalt (953), maltitol (965), xylitol (967)” but no erythirtol.  Still it has that -ol ending.   I have known for ages that sugar alcohols and my digestive system are a match made in h-e-double toothpicks (sugarfree chocolates, sugarfree gum, no way.)

Time to Google (or Bing). Right there at the top is this wiki excerpt:

Erythritol ((2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol) is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States and throughout much of the world. In general, erythritol is free of side effects in regular use

Ah, time to search erythiritol and FODMAP.   I click  Sacha Walsh‘s Aug 17, 2014 blog entry “Is erythritol a Fodmap?”  I learned that  she had tried Natvia, the name for Truvia outside the U.S., in baking and beverages having read the same wiki info, but she experienced “digestive dramas – nausea, cramps, and constipation.”  OK — maybe we are on to something. Let’s keep clicking.  Another blog post, this time with the title “Is Erythritol Low FODMAP?‘  It is authored by

Looking at Alana’s footnotes, I see Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD, sited, with a link.  Onward go I… Patsy writes in an Oct 31, 2014 post:

I used to think that erythritol was OK for low-FODMAP diets because it is well absorbed compared to other sugar alcohols. But recent studies have shown it interferes with fructose absorption, so I no longer recommend it for the elimination phase of the diet.

Bye, bye to that strawberry sauce/jam I put Truvia into.

Let me add that I had already thrown out the SweetLeaf  Stevia Packets from my local Co-Op, Natural Foods store, as they contain inulin  (a fructan, clearly mentioned on the “eliminate foods” list) just in case you run across that brand and think “stevia” A-OK.  Because, as we have read so many, many times — always, always read the label and the full ingredient list.

Always, always double-check the label and the ingredients list.

Chocolate Chunk & Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Chunk & Pecan Cookies

I used Suzanne Perazzini’s recipe for CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES from her blog Strands of My Life as a jumping off point.  She wrote that

“Cinnamon … is an anti-inflammatory so it will be going into all my baking from now on. “

I kept her teaspoon of cinnamon in my version and would not consider leaving it out when I tweak this recipe as I think it added a nice flavor given that the GF flour(s) taste different from the all purpose wheat or white whole wheat flours I baked with in my pre low FODMAP life. Suzanne’s recipe also included a ½ teaspoon vanilla, which I absent-mindedly forgot to include.  I do not think, given the cinnamon, that the vanilla would have added much to the overall taste. What I will want to play with in the future is the flour(s) I use as my cookies came out with a grainy/gritty texture that my husband found unpleasant. I noticed it too,  and understand his preference for a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.  But, if like me, commercial wheat flour based cookies are off your menu, then these are not that dreadful.

 Chocolate Chunk & Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

Method

  1. Break the chocolate bar into squares, and chop squares into quarters. Set chocolate aside in a bowl with the chopped pecans.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add 2 TBs of the sifted flour mixture to chocolate and nuts.
  4. Use a stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and beat until well combined
  6. Take the wet ingredients and using a spatula, add the flour mixture.
  7. Fold chopped chocolate and nuts into the dough.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I used 3 trays)
  10. Scoop or spoon dough (I used a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop.) into equal sized portions and place on baking sheets. Flatten cookies a little because they will not spread much while baking.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating trays after 6 minutes.

My batch yielded 23 (yes 23, not 24) cookies.

low FODMAP Buckwheat Bread

low FODMAP Buckwheat Bread

I used the recipe on the back of the Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour bag as a guide for creating this bread recipe.  I was also inspired the Buckwheat Dinner Roll post made by Low FODMAP Foodie.

Buckwheat FODMAP Friendly Bread

  • 1 ¼ Cups Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 ¼ Cups GF All Purpose Flour Mix
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 TBsp active dry yeast (not instant)
  • 1 ¼ Cups warm water (120 F – 130 F)
  • 3 TBsp maple syrup
  • 1 TBsp oil
  • 1 TBsp white vinegar
  • 3 eggs

Pour warm water and maple syrup into large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and allow to sit while working on the rest of the recipe.  Sift or whisk together the first 5 dry ingredients.  Check on yeast, it should be slightly bubbly.  Combine oil, vinegar, and eggs in a small bowl before adding them to the yeast and water mixture.  Beat wet ingredients briefly before adding all the dry ingredients.  Mix until batter is smooth.  It will be wet and sticky.  Scrape down sides and fold batter from bottom of bowl before covering with cling wrap.  If your kitchen is not hot, warm a wet dish in your microwave for a minute and then drape it over the batter bowl to assist the rising process.  Let batter double for about 40 – 60 minutes.  Use a spatula to “punch” down batter.  Scrape batter into a greased glass loaf pan or oven safe bowl.  Allow to rise again, and then bake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes, or until dark brown and internal temperature is between 190F – 210F.   After about 10 – 15 minutes of cooling in pan, turn the baked bread out onto a rack to finishing cooling

I covered my loaf with sesame seeds prior to baking, but a lot of them fell off before I sliced the bread.  Still, they added a nice look and an extra bit of crunch. I was very pleased with the result of this recipe and will make it again.  This was only my second attempt at gluten-free bread and vastly better than the first loaf I made with only a GF All Purpose Flour Mix.  I confess to reading a lot of different recipes and “how-to” posts before this retry.

LOW FODMAP GRANOLA

LOW FODMAP GRANOLA

Make this anytime you want your house to smell like heaven. My inspiration came from the Crunchy Granola recipe  at everythinglowfodmap.com 

Low Fodmap GRANOLA

 

4 cups  quick oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2  tablespoons oil,
2  tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 – 3 tablespoons water if needed to coat dry ingredients

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine liquids in a measuring cup.  Add liquids to dry mixture with a spatula until well coated.  Transfer mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake  for 45 – 50 minutes, stirring every 10–12 minutes. Yields  20   ¼ Cup servings

The above recipes just screams for some dried fruit, most of which are high FODMAP.  I had 10 dried apricots hanging around from before starting this elimination diet.  I could not resist chopping them, which resulted in about 3 TBs worth, and tossing them into my dry mix.  If you can find unsweetened dried cranberries they would be a safer addition.  Chopped banana chips are another option.  I am also thinking pecans or walnuts could be used in place of the almonds.