Must-Try Anti-Inflammatory and Gluten Free Recipes from Jennifer's Way Kitchen

November 6, 2017

Jennifer's Way Kitchen Book Cover

Do you believe in serendipity? Shortly after my celiac diagnosis my mother told me about a new cookbook by the actress Jennifer Esposito, who also has celiac disease. I’d been buying lots of books on the subject, but at the time they were mostly books about the disease and how to recover. I had tofirst  learn the nuts and bolts of this disease I had unknowingly been living with for quite some time. I hadn’t yet made the leap to buying a whole new set of cookbooks. But, I went on Amazon and added JENNIFER’S WAY KITCHEN to my Shopping Cart, promising myself I’d buy it later.

When I arrived at my office the next morning, there, among the pile of other books begging to have their spines cracked, was a copy of JENNIFER’S WAY KITCHEN waiting for me. That was four weeks ago. I’m done reading the medical books, and I instantly gave up gluten upon my diagnosis, but it took a while to really want to feed myself again. Not just erase something completely from my diet, but to add to it and nourish it. I’m still in the healing phase, and probably will be for a long time, but JENNIFER’S WAY KITCHEN made me want to get in the kitchen again. There are many great books out there on anti-inflammatory, allergen-free, and gluten free diets, but what I like most is her chapters are laid out by where you are in the healing process: PURE contains recipes to soothe your gut and help you heal, CLEAN has recipes for when your inflammation is down and you’re eating to maintain your health, and INDULGENT includes recipes for living it up (within reason, of course)!  What I also love about Jennifer’s book is her recipes are not only healing but delicious, and most are super easy. My 7-year-old daughter begs to make the Hand Pies (recipe below) - I’m not a baker and even I can master these babies! We double the batch and fill them with different ingredients, then freeze them for lunches.

Like many (if not most) who suffer from an auto-immune disease, the ailments often come in pairs (or more). I also have one of celiac’s BFFs - gastritis - and it’s chronic, which means the lining of my stomach has been burning like a raging inferno for a long time. The good news is it will heal. The bad news is that many of us, even those without an auto-immune disease, have poor gut health thanks to the Western diet. It’s the buzz word of today - microbiome - your gut. Even a round of antibiotics is enough to throw your microbiome off kilter and cause imbalance in your body. And all this imbalance, over time, can create inflammation or worse. Getting back on track with healthy foods and recipes that help heal your gut and eliminate inflammation, or at least bring it down to a simmer, is easy. It may take time, patience, and diligence when it comes to what you feed yourself, but it can be achieved. I’ve always been a healthy eater, but I was eating the wrong things for my body. If you’re a healthy eater, too, but find you’re just not feeling right, it’s worth switching up your diet. Try eating from the PURE chapter for a week and see how you feel. (Note: be sure to discuss this with your physician first and, whatever you do, never self-diagnose any disease).

Below are three delicious recipes courtesy of JENNIFER'S WAY KITCHEN, one from each chapter. Other recipes to tantalize you include:

Grain-Free Vanilla Banana Muffins (PURE)
The Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Dessert Pumpkin Pie (PURE) *Perfect for the holidays, people!!
Raw Cacao Pudding in Mason Jars (PURE) *This is made with avocado! It’s my go-to treat and is so soothing!
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Mint Oil (PURE) *Seriously, I keep a jug of this in my fridge. Here’s proof >>
Anti-Inflammatory Mega Soup (PURE) This is chock full of goodness, so everyone reading should make a batch: coconut oil, olive oil, sweet potato, garlic and ginger, cloves, turmeric, salt and pepper, and bone broth.
Jen’s Cauliflower Knishes (PURE)
Amazing Grain-Free Artisan Bread (PURE) You should see the beautiful crust on this loaf!
Roasted Lemon-Hern Chicken with Root Vegetables (PURE)
And, yes!, there are desserts in PURE, like:
Apple Honey Cake
Pear Galette
Banana-Soaked French Toast, Gluten Free or Grain Free
Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Chutney (CLEAN)
Filet Mignon with Arugula and Fresh Tomato Salad (CLEAN)
Butternutty Pasta (CLEAN) Gluten-free pasta that’s loaded with butternut squash and peppered with fresh spinach and hazelnuts
Chocolate Chip-Banana-Hazelnut Cookies (CLEAN)
Golden Raisin-Fennel Bread (INDULGENT)
Pear-Cardamom Muffins (INDULGENT)
Chocolate Pistachio Muffins (INDULGENT)
Jennifer’s Famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs (INDULGENT)
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Pecans, Coconut, and Himalayan Salt (INDULGENT)

Let’s start feeling great together!

Gluten free hand pies

HAND PIES 
MAKES 4 HAND PIES, BUT THIS RECIPE CAN BE DOUBLED, TRIPLED, AND SO ON FOR LARGER GROUPS

"Something I like to do with piecrust, either grain free or gluten free, is to make hand pies. Hand pies are so much fun to make for a crowd, and kids in particular think it’s fun to make and eat them. Pass them around at a party, or make them for holidays with seasonal fillings (like dark chocolate or pumpkin on Halloween, leftover turkey and gravy after Thanksgiving, or baby vegetables and sweet potatoes, or fresh strawberries with mint sprigs in the spring). Your only limit is your creativity. I’ve tried these lots of different ways, and they are always incredibly delicious. At first you may think hand pies are difficult to make, but the more you work with the dough, the more you will get used to how the dough responds and what works and tastes best—hand pies are an art form so don’t worry if they don’t look perfect the first few times. They will still taste great." ~Jennifer Esposito

INGREDIENTS
1 recipe Old-Fashioned Gluten-Free Piecrust (see below) (omit added sweetener for savory recipes)
½ cup (or a little more) of your Hand favorite savory or sweet filling**

* This recipe can be made with either piecrust, but the Old-Fashioned Gluten-
Free Piecrust is easier to work with.

** Savory options include cooked butternut squash and peas, meat and sweet
potatoes, or any other vegetable/meat filling you have left over from a
previous meal. Sweet options could include chunky fruit purée, peach or
apple slices, or pumpkin pie filling.

METHOD
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and press out into approximately 6-inch rounds on a baking sheet. They don’t have to be perfect. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on one side of each round, fold the dough over, and pinch the edges together. Or make 8 (3-inch) rounds, put 2 tablespoons of filling on 4 of the rounds, cover with the other 4 rounds, and pinch closed.

Bake at 350°F for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the dough is firm. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

OLD-FASHIONED GLUTEN-FREE PIECRUST

"This recipe includes both the piecrust flour, which you can make in bulk and have at-the-ready, as well as a basic piecrust recipe that uses this flour." ~Jennifer Esposito

PIECRUST FLOUR
MAKES 3 CUPS (DOUBLE THE RECIPE FOR A DOUBLE PIECRUST OR TO MAKE IN BULK TO STORE)

INGREDIENTS
1¼ cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
½ cup arrowroot starch
4 cup tapioca starch
¼ cup quinoa flour

METHOD
Mix everything together in a bowl, whisking until well blended. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

PIECRUST
MAKES 1 PIECRUST

INGREDIENTS
3 cups piecrust flour
¼ cup maple sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice (omit for savory recipes)
6 tablespoons millet flour
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1¼ cups cold Earth Balance nondairy butter
¾ cup cold rice milk

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the piecrust flour, sugar, millet, xanthan gum, and salt and mix on low speed to smooth out any lumps. Add the Earth Balance in small chunks and continue to mix. When the dough starts to look like a crumble, add the rice milk. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix until the dough starts to stick together. Scoop the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before using in any recipe calling for piecrust.

To prebake this crust, preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out or just press the dough into the pie plate. Bake the crust for about 12 minutes or until firm and just beginning to turn a very light golden color.

Gluten Free Savory Butternut Suash and Sage Galette

SAVORY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAGE GALETTE
SERVES 6

"A galette is like a very informal pie, sometimes made with fruit and sometimes made with vegetables. The sage and butternut squash mixed with the sweetness of the peas is a beautiful combination of flavors—very fall friendly, and perfect for brunch or dinner when served with a salad. The galette can be adapted into mini versions—bake individual portions in smaller tart pans, or use mini tart pans to make appetizers for passing around at a party. These smaller versions should bake in 15 to 20 minutes, until golden-brown." ~Jennifer Esposito

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil, or nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
1 butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then cut into thin squares
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dough from Old-Fashioned Gluten-Free Piecrust (see below), sweetener omitted, chilled, and ready to press out
1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Coat a large skillet with the ghee (or alternative) and heat over medium heat until it warms and spreads easily around the pan. Add the onion, peas, sage, and maple syrup and stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the squash, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook until slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Spread out a sheet of parchment and press the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch circle, about ¼ inch thick. Use the flat of your hand and pinch holes back together with your fingers as well as you can. It’s supposed to look rustic so don’t worry about perfection here. Transfer to the parchment-lined sheet. Add the filling to the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border of bare crust. Fold the edges of the crust over the filling, leaving the filling in the center visible. Brush the edges with the olive oil.

Bake the galette for 35 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes. Serve warm. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

OLD-FASHIONED GLUTEN-FREE PIECRUST

PIECRUST FLOUR
MAKES 3 CUPS (DOUBLE THE RECIPE FOR A DOUBLE PIECRUST OR TO MAKE IN BULK TO STORE)

INGREDIENTS
1¼ cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
½ cup arrowroot starch
4 cup tapioca starch
¼ cup quinoa flour

METHOD
Mix everything together in a bowl, whisking until well blended. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

PIECRUST
MAKES 1 PIECRUST

INGREDIENTS
3 cups piecrust flour
¼ cup maple sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice (omit for savory recipes)
6 tablespoons millet flour
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1¼ cups cold Earth Balance nondairy butter
¾ cup cold rice milk

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the piecrust flour, sugar, millet, xanthan gum, and salt and mix on low speed to smooth out any lumps. Add the Earth Balance in small chunks and continue to mix. When the dough starts to look like a crumble, add the rice milk. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix until the dough starts to stick together. Scoop the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before using in any recipe calling for piecrust.

To prebake this crust, preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out or just press the dough into the pie plate. Bake the crust for about 12 minutes or until firm and just beginning to turn a very light golden color.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Soake Figs and Vegan Buttercream

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH RED WINE–SOAKED FIGS AND VEGAN BUTTERCREAM
MAKES ONE 6-INCH CAKE

"I made this cake for a wedding, and guests said it was the best food there. The idea for the unusual combination of flavors came to my mind one evening when I was sharing an amazing bottle of Brunello Italian wine with friends, along with some figs and chocolate. The flavor of the three together was incredible and I thought, “Well, that should be a cake!” I had never tried to add wine to a dessert before, but why not? The cake is rich and decadent without being too heavy, and the vegan buttercream gives it an extra lightness that transforms the dessert into something otherworldly. Nobody would ever guess it is gluten free and vegan." ~Jennifer Esposito

INGREDIENTS
5 fresh figs
½ cup good red wine
1 tablespoon palm shortening, nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance), or coconut oil, for greasing the pans
2½ cups Jennifer’s Way Bakery All-Purpose Flour (purchased or see below)
1½ cups organic unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract)
Pinch of espresso powder
2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
1 very ripe banana
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1½ cups rice milk, coconut milk, or any other additive-free, unsweetened nondairy milk
1 cup maple sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, or evaporated cane juice
1 cup real maple syrup
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup warm water
¼ cup melted chocolate (melt any nondairy naturally sweetened chocolate you like in the microwave, stirring after every 15 seconds so it doesn’t burn)
Vegan Buttercream (recipe follows)

TO DECORATE
3 tablespoons dairy-free, naturally sweetened chocolate chips
1 tablespoon nondairy butter (such as Earth Balance) or palm shortening
2 or 3 whole fresh figs

METHOD
The night before, soak the figs in the red wine in the refrigerator. Be sure they soak for at least 5 hours, or up to 12. Before making the cake, drain the figs and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Discard any remaining wine.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 6-inch cake pans pan with the shortening.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, espresso, and salt and whisk out any lumps.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the banana, applesauce, milk, sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on low speed as you go. Add the warm water and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix again. Fold in the sliced drained figs.

Pour the batter into the pans, dividing it evenly, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Once totally cool, put one layer on a plate and cover with buttercream. Top with the Second layer and frost the top and sides.

To decorate with chocolate-covered figs, melt the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 15 seconds until smooth. Dip the whole figs in the chocolate, fully or halfway, and put them on parchment paper to cool and harden. Place them on top of the cake.

VEGAN BUTTERCREAM
MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS BUTTERCREAM

Use to frost the Chocolate Cake with Red Wine–Soaked Figs here or the Carrot Cake on page 289. You can also double the recipe to frost any larger cake, and it’s good on cupcakes
 
INGREDIENTS
1 cup palm shortening
¾ cup Homemade Powdered Sugar (see below)
2 tablespoons rice milk, coconut milk, or any other additive-free, unsweetened nondairy milk
½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on high speed until fluffy (you could also do this in a stand mixer). The buttercream will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

JENNIFER’S WAY BAKERY ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR MIX
MAKES 4 CUPS

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup quinoa flour
½ cup amaranth flour
¾ cup arrowroot starch
¼ cup potato starch
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum

METHOD
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients with a whisk. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

HOMEMADE POWDERED SUGAR
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS

INGREDIENTS
2 cups organic evaporated cane juice
1 cup tapioca starch

METHOD
Mix the sugar and starch together in a food processor, pulsing until you have a fine powder.

Recipes excerpted from the book JENNIFER’S WAY KITCHEN by Jennifer Esposito with Eve Adamson. Copyright © 2017 by Bern Productions, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.  This post includes associates links to Amazon.

 

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