The Gluten-Free Italian Vegetarian Kitchen: More Than 225 Meat-Free, Wheat-Free, and Gluten-Free Recipes for Delicious and N utricious Italian Dishes

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9780399166167: The Gluten-Free Italian Vegetarian Kitchen: More Than 225 Meat-Free, Wheat-Free, and Gluten-Free Recipes for Delicious and N utricious Italian Dishes

From tantalizing appetizers to delicious desserts, The Gluten-Free Italian Vegetarian Kitchen is a collection of authentic Italian dishes with a vegetarian and gluten-free twist. More than 225 recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, breads, pizzas, panini, gnocchi, risotto, polenta, and other main dishes, brunch, and dessert. Dishes are specified as dairy-free, egg-free, lacto-ovo, dairy-and-egg-free, vegan, and/or low-carb and the book gives tips and information on eating gluten-free, as well as a nutritional analysis of calories, protein, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and dietary fibre for every recipe. Also includes a glossary of gluten-free specialty ingredients

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About the Author:

Donna Klein is the author of Supermarket Vegan, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, The PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook, Vegan Italiano, The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen, The Tropical Vegan Kitchen, and The Chinese Vegan Kitchen. She is a food writer who has contributed to the Washington Post, Vegetarian Gourmet, Veggie Life, the Herb Companion, and Yoga Journal.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PROVIDENCE IS PROLOGUE

When I put my seventh book to bed, I presumed it would be my last. After all, there are seven days in the week, the seventh being the day of rest; seven deadly sins, the seventh sometimes listed as the sin of gluttony (These are all cookbooks, mind you, with a combined total of more than 1,600 recipes!); and seven sacraments, the seventh known in my childhood as the Last Rites—all signs forecasting retirement at the very least. But before the ink on The Chinese Vegan Kitchen was barely dry, Providence began hinting “not so fast . . .” On the first Sunday of November 2012, I was received as a novice oblate of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, DC. Before my blessing, I was handed a copy of The Rule of St. Benedict and noted with delight our shared publisher, Penguin. An individual familiar with the acknowledgment of St. Francis in one of my previous books, Vegan Italiano, blithely suggested that, for the sake of Benedictine balance, I write a new cookbook and dedicate it to my “other” favorite Italian saint. I replied that I had no chance—my publisher would never consider another Italian cookbook written by the same author, especially an author who is not even Italian. Besides, one was enough. Three days later, I opened an email from my publisher asking if I would be interested in writing an Italian cookbook for my gluten-free readers who were missing their pasta and pizza. On November 1, 2013, the Feast of All Saints, I submitted the manuscript for The Gluten-Free Italian Vegetarian Kitchen, dedicated to Sts. Benedict and Anselm and the Monastic Community of St. Anselm’s Abbey. With number eight—a numeral associated with resurrection and renewal—officially published, I am pleased to proclaim with a bow to Providence that number seven was, blessedly, not my last.

I would like to think that St. Benedict approves of this cookbook. Though not explicitly vegetarian, The Rule is intrinsically peaceful and forbids monks (other than the sick) to eat the meat of “four-footed animals” and, in some stricter traditions, fowl and fish. Though uniformity in diet is desirable, St. Benedict allows for individual weaknesses by providing his monks with two kinds of cooked food from which to choose, and adding a third dish of fruit and fresh vegetables when available. In further demonstration of The Rule’s flexibility, particularly where nourishment of the body is concerned, St. Benedict essentially gives the abbot the authority, when deemed necessary, to change the diet. Back in the day of St. Benedict, the menu was hardly gluten-free—far from it. According to The Rule, a generous pound of bread was assigned to each monk to accompany his meals throughout the day. Though celiac disease was first described in the second century, before St. Benedict’s time, it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that dietary changes were used as a medical treatment. In any case, had St. Benedict been cognizant of the disease and its treatment, I can easily envision the saint rising before dawn to bake a gluten-free loaf in a designated gluten-free oven to provide an afflicted brother with his dose of daily bread.

The same loving-kindness St. Benedict displays toward his fellow monks is extended to those outside the monastery in the form of hospitality, a pillar of The Rule. In chapter 53, St. Benedict stipulates that all guests “should be received as if they were Christ” and directs his monks to set aside a separate kitchen for the abbot and his guests. Moreover, he assigns two monks each year who are competent cooks to oversee the kitchen to ensure that guests are well served. This Benedictine open-door policy is actually a direct act of obedience to the command from Scripture, which exhorts us to practice hospitality, as there are some who have “entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). Indeed, in Genesis, chapter 18, Abraham and Sarah share their finest food and drink with three supernatural beings in the guise of men—but not before Abraham has duly provided water for washing their feet. Ultimately, the visitors not only confirm that Sarah (at age eighty-nine!) would soon become the mother of Isaac and that Abraham (at age ninety-nine!) would soon become the father of Israel, but affirm that, in the fullness of time, Abraham would become no less than the father in faith of the whole world. Clearly, a good host is blessed by the guests.

As my guest throughout this cookbook, may you be blessed with good gluten-free recipes. May we each be blessed moment to moment with food ever new from the Host of the eternal banquet.

Pax,
DONNA MARIE MICHAELA KLEIN, oblate OSB

INTRODUCTION

The Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-free diets are continuing to make headlines these days. Approximately one in 130 Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that causes gluten intake to damage the small intestine and interfere with the absorption of vital nutrients—completely eliminating gluten from their diet will heal existing intestinal damage, restore nutrient absorption, and prevent further damage. An additional 6 percent (about 18 million people) are classified with gluten-intolerance, experiencing symptoms such as bloated stomachs, intestinal problems, and headaches when eating gluten-containing foods, while not displaying damage to their small intestines—going gluten-free will eliminate these unpleasant effects almost immediately. It’s been estimated that up to one-third of the population has milder forms of gluten-intolerance, while many people who can physically tolerate gluten report increased energy after a meal when the gluten has been cut out or reduced—they often report decreased waistlines to boot. Not surprisingly, according to marketing statistics, about 25 percent of the U.S. population at any given time are either trying to limit or completely omit gluten from their diets.

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Eating, Italian Style

For lovers of Italian cuisine—and who doesn’t love pizza or pasta?—the good news is that saying good-bye to gluten doesn’t have to mean saying good-bye to your favorite Italian foods. While you will have to give up traditionally prepared wheat-based breads and pastas, thanks to the burgeoning gluten-free market, there is a treasure trove of delicious gluten-free flour substitutes available for making outstanding homemade breads, pizzas, and focaccia. Happily, most major supermarkets now carry packaged gluten-free pastas—whole-grain brown rice fusilli and quinoa linguine, to name a few—that taste remarkably like the original. Moreover, wheat is not king throughout all of Italy; rather, in northern Italian kitchens, rice and corn reign supreme, triumphant in an impressive array of creamy risotto and hearty polenta dishes, which are naturally gluten-free. For vegetarians on a gluten-free diet, eggs, cheeses, and other dairy products can be an excellent means of adding extra protein; these ingredients find their way into frittatas, stratas, tortas, casseroles, breads, cakes, and other culinary delights. Most promising of all, especially for those following a plant-based, or vegan, diet, is the wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes that are incorporated into just about every Italian meal, from appetizers to desserts, each offering testimony to the intrinsic healthfulness of the world-acclaimed Mediterranean diet and gluten-free eating.

The Lowdown on Gluten

Gluten is a protein composite of gliadin and glutenin that is commonly found in many grass-related grains—namely, wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. By several accounts, Buddhist vegetarian monks discovered gluten in seventh-century China. While kneading wheat flour with water to make a dough, they noticed that the starch washed off and all that remained was an elastic, rubbery mass—gluten. Indeed, it is gluten that gives elasticity to breads and bounce to cakes—without it, baked products often lose their chewy texture as well. Fortunately, while there are glutens in rice, corn, and other grains, they lack the lethal combo of gliadin and glutenin and are blessedly benign. Oats, unfortunately, are typically treated as an exception—though technically gluten-free, due to their high risk of cross-contamination with grains containing harmful glutens, they are generally not recommended for those with celiac disease.

Cereals and Grains That Contain Gluten

Barley

Oats* (due to cross-contamination)

Rye

Spelt

Wheat

Gluten-Free “Safe” Grains, Flours, Starches, and Related Foods

Almond flour/meal (and all nut flours/meals)

Amaranth flour

Arrowroot powder

Buckwheat flour and buckwheat groats/kasha

Carob flour

Cassava flour and starch (see tapioca and yucca flour)

Chestnut flour (and all nut flours)

Chickpea flour/garbanzo bean flour/besan flour/gram flour (and all bean flours and starches)

Cornmeal, corn flour, corn grits, polenta, masa, and cornstarch

Finger millet (Ragi)

Flaxseed and flaxseed flour/meal (see linseed)

Job’s tears/Chinese pearl barley and flour

Linseed and linseed flour/meal

Millet and millet flour

Montina (Indian rice grass)

Potato flour and starch

Quinoa and quinoa flour

Rice flour

Sago flour and starch

Sorghum flour

Soy flour (and all bean flours and starches)

Tapioca flour and starch (see cassava and yucca flour)

Taro flour and powder

Teff and Teff flour

Wild rice

Yucca flour and starch (see cassava and tapioca flour)

Xanthan gum

Yeast (fresh and dried)

“Unsafe” Grains, Starches, and Related Products

All of the foods and food labeling terms below refer to wheat, barley, malt, rye, spelt, oats (due to cross-contamination), and related products that indicate or strongly suggest the presence of gluten and must be avoided by those on a gluten-free diet.

Barley starch

Binder

Bran

Bromated flour

Bulgur (cracked wheat)

Cereal protein

Couscous

Dextrin (unless derived from corn, potato, arrowroot, rice, or tapioca)

Durum wheat/durum wheat flour

Einkorn

Emmer

Emulsifier

Enriched flour

Farina

Flour (unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, or soy flour)

Gluten flour

Graham flour (not to be confused with gram flour, made from gluten-free chickpeas)

Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) (unless derived from soy or corn)

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) (unless derived from soy or corn)

Kamut

Malt or malt flavoring (unless derived from corn)

Malted barley

Maltose

Matzoh/matzo

Modified food starch (unless arrowroot, corn, potato, or tapioca)

Natural flavoring

Oat bran

Oat germ

Oatmeal (rolled oats)

Pearl barley (not to be confused with Chinese pearl barley, a term for gluten-free Job’s tears)

Phosphated flour

Plain flour

Rusk

Rye starch

Self-rising flour

Semolina

Stabilizer

Starch (unless arrowroot, corn, potato, or tapioca)

Thickener

Triticale (a grain crossbred from wheat and rye)

Vegetable gum (except carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, or xanthan gum)

Vegetable starch

Wheat bran

Wheat germ

Wheat meal

Wheat rusk

Wheat starch

White flour

“Sneaky” Sources of Gluten

Baking powder (may contain wheat starch as a moisture-absorption agent)

Beer, lager, stout, and ale (all made from grains; some gluten-free beers, made using sorghum, are available)

Bouillon cubes and powder, canned broths and soups (especially creamed varieties)

Breakfast beverages (such as Ovaltine)

Cereals (including cornflakes)

Cheese: cream, cottage, and ricotta cheeses (especially reduced-fat varieties); shredded and crumbled (may contain flour to prevent clumping); veined cheese such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and blue cheese

Cheese spreads and processed cheese foods

Chili powder (may contain flour to prevent clumping)

Coffees, flavored

Communion wafers

Corn tortillas (may also contain wheat flour)

Curry powder (may contain flour to prevent clumping)

Dried fruits (may be dusted with flour to prevent sticking)

French fries, frozen (flour may be present to keep them white)

Hard candy

Ice cream and frozen yogurt (especially reduced-fat varieties)

Jelly beans

Licorice

Margarine and butter spreads

Mustard powder

Mustard, prepared, and ketchup

Nondairy creamers

Nuts, dry-roasted

Potato and tortilla chips, flavored

Salad dressings and mayonnaise (especially reduced-fat or light varieties)

Seasoning mixes

Sour cream (especially reduced-fat or light varieties)

Soy sauce

Tamari sauce (while many brands are gluten-free, some may contain small amounts of wheat)

Teriyaki sauce

Vanilla extract and other flavorings

White pepper (may be bulked with flour)

Yogurt (especially reduced-fat or flavored varieties)

Note: The labels on all processed and canned foods should be checked carefully before each use. What might be safe one time might not be the next, as manufacturers tend to change their products periodically. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer directly.

Glossary of Gluten-Free Specialty Ingredients

While most of the ingredients called for in this book’s recipes are readily found in traditional supermarkets, cooking (baking, in particular) without wheat requires alternative grains, flours, starches, and related products, several of which are available primarily in health food and specialty stores. For the recipes in this book, you will need the following gluten-free specialty ingredients, some of which are also available in well-stocked supermarkets.

ALMOND FLOUR (ALMOND MEAL): Ground from sweet almonds, almond flour is generally made with blanched almonds (no skin) and has a finer consistency than almond meal, which is often made with unblanched almonds; interchangeable in most recipes.

AMARANTH FLOUR: Ground from the seed of the ancient amaranth plant, with a high moisture content and slightly sweet, nut-like flavor.

BROWN ARBORIO RICE: Short-grain rice used for risotto from which only the hull has been removed; has a creamy, slightly chewy, nut-like flavor.

BROWN RICE FLOUR: Ground form of long-grain brown rice, with a slightly nut-like flavor.

BUCKWHEAT GROATS (KASHA): The triangular seeds of a flowering plant related to rhubarb; in roasted or toasted form, the groats are typically known as kasha.

CHESTNUT FLOUR: A sweet, mellow flour ground from chestnuts, with a comparatively low fat content and light texture as a nut flour; expensive.

CHICKPEA FLOUR (GARBANZO BEAN, BESAN, OR GRAM FLOUR): Ground from dried chickpeas, with an earthy, bean-like flavor; very nutritious and high in protein. Flour ground from roasted dried chickpeas known as besan or gram flour in Asian markets.

JOB’S TEARS (COIXSEED, JOBI, YI YI REN, CHINESE PEARL BARLEY): Seed of ancient annual grass native to southeast Asia, with a taste and texture similar to barley, but unrelated; unhulled wild seeds used as beads for making rosaries and jewelry; available in Asian markets.

MILLET: One of the earliest cultivated grains, originating ...

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