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Sweet Potato Korma | Gluten-Free by FrannyCakes

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Korma

Oh lordy. It is winter outside. Complete with that white stuff that covers the ground.

Aside from that meaning that it is officially mitten weather, it also means that it is high season for hearty dinners. Spicy stews. And dishes to keep you warm. Not the shake off the cool edged wind of fall. But to warm you up from the cold that gets all the way to your bones.

To be honest, I am almost glad that pumpkin-filled everything is done for a while. Because it is high time for some cassoulet. And maybe some soup. And a curry or two.

I have been trying to make sure that I spend some time on Sundays making lunches for the week, and when it gets cold things like a dish that reheats and travels well. (I like to win at lunch). This dish is does just that. And if you pack a little fresh cilantro, you can look like you packed a fancy pants takeout meal that is both more delicious and healthier.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Korma | FrannyCakes

I fell in love with Indian food in college. It was part influenced by my best friend, Sid, and part because it is so easy to eat gluten-free. And these days, I do not get to eat it nearly enough. This sweet potato korma is easy to make thanks to purchased korma curry paste and is ready to go in 45 minutes which makes it perfect for weeknight dinners. It is vegetarian and can easily be vegan if you swap out the yogurt for a dairy-free variety or cashew cream.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Korma
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4
An easy, weeknight dinner, this vegetarian korma is perfect to make ahead and pack as work lunches. If you wish to make it vegan, you can swap a non-dairy yogurt or use cashew cream in place of the plain yogurt or sour cream.
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger*
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 1 fresh red jalapeño or fresno chili, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 heaped tablespoon korma curry paste**
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup of your favorite long grain rice, I prefer basmati
  1. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 1/2 inch chunks and place in a large frying pan over medium heat with a good glug of olive oil (2 tablespoons). Fry them for about 5 minutes, or until they start to turn golden.
  2. While the sweet potatoes cook, peel and finely slice the onion, garlic and ginger. Finely chop the cilantro stalks and mince the chili.
  3. Add all the veggies and the korma paste and cook for another 5-10 minutes and stirring occaisionally. You want to make sure that the onions have softened.
  4. Add the chickpeas, canning liquid and all, to the frying pan along with the boiling water.
  5. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. While the korma is cooking, prepare 1 cup of rice according to the package directions and drink a glass of wine (because you deserve it for cooking on a week night).
  7. When the korma has thickened, stir in the yogurt or sour cream and the lemon juice. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.


gluten-free kisir with sorghum from frannycakes

Gluten-Free Kisir with Sorghum

There are a couple of very awesome things about this blog post. First, it is pomegranate season and I can get my hands on the fruit at nearly every grocery store and they aren’t going to break the bank. Heck, even Walgreens has fresh pomegranate arils next to the Naked juices and RedBull.

Second, I finally found an excuse to make whole-grain sorghum. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some quinoa on the regular, and rice is a staple in these parts, but sometimes you really need to try something new.

gluten-free kisir with sorghum from frannycakes

When I went gluten-free 8 years ago, it was a nerve-wracking, difficult process. There were so many foods with crazy names – back then quinoa wasn’t a culinary buzzword and no one had any idea how to pronounce it. And if you didn’t have a Whole Foods or an ethnic grocery store nearby, you were not going to find it.

But those foods are now routine and ordinary in my diet. I eat buckwheat soba noodles and black bean spaghetti. I get annoyed when Whole Foods tells me they can’t find a local grower of kohlrabi.

Gah. Something happened to me. I became adventurous when it came to safe foods just so that things stay interesting. Which brings me to sorghum. I have used “sweet” sorghum in my gluten-free baking for a few years now. In flour form it isn’t gritty like rice flour or strongly flavored like teff, amaranth or quinoa flours. So, when I stumbled across this bag of whole grain sorghum when I was grocery shopping, I just had to buy it.

I am told the chewy texture is similar to wheat berries or faro, so it is great for salads. It has a mild nutty flavor but none of the bitterness of quinoa. It works well as a substitute for bulgur/cracked wheat in this recipe, and I suspect it would be equally as delicious in other similar dishes.

gluten-free kisir with sorghum from frannycakes

Combine the nutty sorghum with fresh herbs and pomegranates and you have a delightful salad that is delicious both warm and cold. A perfect dish for in-season pomegranates (yay!) and the wild roller coaster that is a Chicago fall…

Gluten-Free Kisir
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 6
Kisir is a Turkish dish typically made from bulgur or cracked wheat, parsley and pomegranate molasses. I made this salad gluten-free by using pearled whole-grain sorghum in place of the bulgur. Sorghum has a texture similar to wheat berries which makes it an excellent choice for this salad. The mild, slightly earthy flavor is the closest of the gluten-free grains in flavor to wheat. The salad can be eaten warm or cold and makes for an excellent alternative to a sandwich for lunch. The time on this recipe looks like a lot, but if you put the grain on to cook and leave the prepping of the rest of ingredients until just before the sorghum is done cooking, you really only have about 15 minutes of active time total. This recipe is adapted from the October 2013 issue of Jamie magazine.
  • 500 grams (3 cups) dry, pearled sorghum*
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 small, sweet pepper or 1/2 of a large sweet pepper, pureed or finely minced**
  • 1/2 red jalapeño pureed or finely minced**
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped (about 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 cucumber chopped in 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 bunch green onions finely sliced
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat combine the water and the sorghum. Generously salt the water (2 large pinches of sea salt is perfect) and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cover the pot leaving the lid slightly askew. Cook the grains for 55-60 minutes.
  2. About 15 minutes before your sorghum is cooked, chop your vegetables and herbs.
  3. When your sorghum is cooked and the water is mostly absorbed- it will be chewier than quinoa or rice – drain any excess water (if there is more than a couple of tablespoons).
  4. Add the pomegranate molasses, sweet pepper, jalapeño, tahini, cumin, black pepper and garlic to the cooked sorghum. Stir for about 10 minutes, making sure that everything is combined well and that the grain is absorbing the flavors.
  5. Now, add about 3/4 of each of the following: pomegranate seeds, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, mint and parsley. Stir until you have an even distribution.
  6. Use the remaining herbs and vegetables as a garnish when you transfer the salad to a serving dish.
* Bob’s Red Mill has recently started selling [url href=”http://www.bobsredmill.com/Gluten-Free-Sorghum-Grain.html”]whole grain sorghum[/url] as part of their Grains of Discovery line. I found it at my local whole foods, but you can also get it from a number of online stores such as Amazon and Vitacost.[br][br]** I just finely minced the peppers. It was easier than pureeing them and the dish works just fine that way.


gluten free margherita lasagna

Margherita Lasagna

gluten free margherita lasagnaI have been making pasta almost obsessively over the past 2 weeks. But really, I was getting bored with noodles and sauce. Also, it is summer and most lasagna recipes are too hearty and heavy for the warm months.

But I had fresh pasta dough. And I had 6 servings ready to freeze individually for those nights when cooking feels like a mountain I don’t want to climb. What was I going to do with the rest? Lasagna noodles! I hadn’t made lasagna since I made this butternut squash lasagna (just a picture – I wasn’t writing my recipes out last fall). Lasagna is easy & filling.

This one is great with Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce. It is tomato, onion and butter. If the sauce has too much seasoning, you won’t taste the flavors of the tomato, basil & mozzarella, so a simple sauce is best. You need to make sure that you are either using fresh pasta or boiled boxed noodles, even if they say they are no-boil, for this recipe they need to be cooked.

I made lasagna in a loaf pan, I know, not a traditional route. But it helps control the proportions and bakes up quite nicely. I will also share my fresh pasta recipe with you on Wednesday. And yes, it is worth the wait.

Margherita Lasagna
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Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 4
With minimal sauce and juicy, fresh tomatoes, this lasagna is a perfect way to use tomatoes & basil plucked fresh from your garden.
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 6-8 lasagna noodles (either fresh or halfway cooked)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 small tomatoes, sliced in 1/4″ rounds
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 package fresh mozzarella
  1. Grease a loaf pan with the olive oil.
  2. Put a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread it.
  3. Place a noodle, another spoonful or two of sauce, then add a thin layer of cheese, a sprinkling fresh basil and then a row of tomato slices.
  4. Repeat until the pan is full.

The goal is to avoid an overly saucy lasagna. The tomatoes will have plenty of moisture, the sauce is just to enhance the tomato flavor. I make large batches of Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce and keep it around.

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I am also on this kick to not buy anything that comes with a label, rather, nothing that comes prepared and ready to eat. I know there will be nights where

Socca Gluten Free Chickpea Crepe

Socca with sage brown butter

Socca Gluten Free Chickpea CrepeThis is winning. Crunchy & creamy. Smoky & herby. A giant plate of yum. And it is fairly healthy, naturally gluten free and French. Maybe it is good because it is French (call it Farinata or Popodum and it just isn’t going to be as delicious). And, it is healthy. The whole recipe has about 1200 calories (until you add the butter) and makes about 6 servings.

Somehow when I was in Nice I didn’t eat this. I didn’t learn what this was until last summer and I didn’t make it for the first time until February. And then I let the chickpea flour hide in the back of my cabinet until I found it during my spring cleaning.

Socca cut in squaresNow, I know some purists will tell you to eat it plain. And that is all fair and good. The flavor of the chickpeas stands out. Have a glass of white wine and munch on this on your porch while chatting away with an old friend. The next time you make it, have it for dinner with sage brown butter. Or hummus. Or feta and roasted peppers. If you can’t have beans (I’m looking at you, Dad), make it with quinoa or millet flour. Maybe even buckwheat. Skillet crepes. From the oven. Smoky. Crispy. Simple.

Oh, and make sure you use the French name, Socca. You will sound sophisticated that way.

Socca with sage brown butter
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Recipe Type: Side
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 6
This is a traditional Provencal (or Italian) dish. This is the result of experimenting with various methods and seasoning. I took a cue from David Lebovitz and added cumin.
  • 250g (2 cups) Chickpea (garbanzo/gram/besan) flour.
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt for topping
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  1. Whisk together chickpea flour, 2 cups of water, salt, cumin and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until smooth. If the batter is too thick, add more water.
  2. Heat oven to 500 degrees farenheit with rack as high as it will go.
  3. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a seasoned cast iron skillet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Once skillet is hot, remove it from the oven and pour in about 1 cup of the batter.
  5. Put it in the oven and turn the temperature to broil (high broil if your oven has it). After about 5 minutes, the socca will be dry around the edges and will have started to blister and get dark in places. Remove it from the oven, it should come right out. If it still stuck, give it a few more minutes.
  6. Repeat this step until each socca is cooked. Sprinkle cooked socca with sea salt.
  7. Once socca are cooked, melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add sage once melted. Cook until the butter is turning brown and smells fragrant and nutty.
  8. Drizzle over socca when served.

Your batter should be pretty thin, if it is too thick, add more water. You want it to be about the consistency of crepe batter, maybe a little thinner.

Be creative here, the gluten isn’t what holds these together, so any strongly flavored, whole grain flour should work. Also, you can add herbs directly to the batter if you would like.

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Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled Chees

Sweet Pepper Pesto

Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled CheesAfter the Gluten Free Expo, I went straight to Whole Foods and bought a loaf of Rudi’s Gluten Free Multigrain Bread. I really hate gluten free bread. And I mean, I really hate it. I refuse to eat sandwiches any more because of my intense dislike of it. I don’t even like the popcorn bread that my dad makes that every one raves about. Maybe it is all in my head, but I digress. I had a grilled cheese sample at the expo and I was sold.

There is this great little restaurant in town that makes an awesome grilled swiss with pesto sandwich that I remember from my glutinous days. It was simply delicious. I wanted to recreate that experience tonight. But, the basil plants that I have are not doing so well because it is too wet and I was out of roasted red peppers. So, a pesto recipe was born.

I then used it to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I have to say, this might be my favorite discovery from the Expo.

Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled Cheese
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Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2
Sweet peppers, sweet onion and italian herbs make this fresh pesto delectable.
  • 4 small sweet peppers or 1 large
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil or 10-12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices Rudi’s Gluten Free Multi-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 Tablespoons soft butter
  1. Chop onion into quarters. Peel garlic. Remove stem ends and seeds from peppers. Combine in food processor or manual chopper along with herbs. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Add olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached. I like mine chunky, but some people prefer theirs to have a finer dice.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and butter one side of each slice of bread. Put 2 slices butter side down in the heated skillet and sprinkle on enough cheese to cover the slice (I used about 1/8 cup per slice). Spread pesto on top of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with the second slice of bread, butter side up. Place a heavy frying pan on top and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove frying pan, flip sandwiches and put the frying pan back on top. After about 4 more minutes, the bread should be golden and toasted. The cheese should be melty and gooey. Remove from skillet, cut in half on the diagonal and enjoy.
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Spaetzle with Lentils

Spaetzle mit Linsen

Spaetzle and lentils in a white bowlI have been fascinated by spaetzle since my mom made with with a nifty device perched on a pot of boiling water. If you have never had spaetzle, you are living a life of deprivation. They are what I might consider a perfect food. Tender, noodly, carby goodness. And they go with everything. You can eat them with cheese (Kasespaetzle). You can eat them with schnitzle. You can eat them with a brat. Or, you can eat them all alone, pan fried with some herbs and salt.

Today, as this is a meatless Monday post, I am eating my spaetzle with lentils. Red lentils to be exact. Most of the recipes I saw on the internet called for brown lentils – but I think brown lentils are ugly. And, in my kitchen are red lentils.  This dinner includes the use of one of the few processed foods that I keep around – bouillon. You can use bouillon cubes or stock, but your water needs to be seasoned, or the lentils will taste flat.

Spaetzle with Linsen
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Recipe Type: Entree
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 2
Gluten free German dumplings with a lentil stew and crispy shallots, sage and brown butter.
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum (if not in your mix)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups stock or water and a bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Whisk flour and xantham gum together.
  2. Make a well in the flour and crack eggs into it.
  3. Pour in milk and mix.
  4. Cover and put in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
  5. When it is time to cook, cook the lentils in the stock as directed on the package. It should be thick, but still liquid. The lentils should have started to break down but should not be completely disintegrated.
  6. Now, if you don’t have a spaetzle maker use a colander and a spatula to push the batter through the holes into a pot of boiling water. Boil the dumplings in batches.
  7. Once the spaetzle is cooked, fry the sage and shallots in the butter.
  8. Remove the sage and shallots from the frying pan and drain the butter.
  9. Sautee the spaetzle in the greased frying pan.
  10. Top with cooked lentils, a drizzle of the browned butter and fried sage and crispy shallots.
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This actually made 3 servings for me, but I eat small, measured portions.

Meatless Monday: Onion Gallette

Let me qualify this recipe by saying that I really hate food that comes in packages, already mixed up. But, when you are sick, you just need easy. So, I cheated. I used a mix. I have a cold and I didn’t want to slave away over the stove. I wanted to assemble and toss in the oven. This recipe is the result of one of those I have nothing to eat but lots of food moments.

I am calling this a gallette because it sounds fancy. It could have been a flat bread, a pizza or a tart. By calling it a gallette, I elevated it into more than a 5 minute sick meal. It became French.

Caramelized Onion & Ricotta Gallette

[box]I find that my pantry tends to have some items that many people don’t keep around – I caramelize onions in large batches and keep them in the fridge, I happened to have made ricotta last week with my mom and I have some decent size herb plants that I picked up last weekend. But, let this recipe serve as an inspiration to you, let it be an outline for how to throw together an easy dinner.[/box]

  • 1 package Chebe Pizza Crust
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix eggs, Chebe mix and oil. Add water until the dough comes together into a ball. The dough will stand up to rolling and will no longer be crumbly. I used 1/8 cup. Roll the dough out on a greased baking sheet into 1/4″ thick sheet and a round-ish shape. Perfection is unnecessary, that is where this recipe gets its charm.

Spread the ricotta in a nice thick layer, leaving about 2-inches around the edge. Next, spread a nice thick layer of caramelized onions. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and herbs. To finish, fold up the edges so that they overlap the filling.

Bake 20-30 minutes. The crust doesn’t get too golden looking, so when the cheese looks good and done the crust is probably done too.