Sunday, May 30, 2010


This whole gluten-free business has thrown me into a tizzy cooking-wise. Here's the scoop:

a) Unlike going vegetarian, going gluten-free is not going to result in dramatically improved health and well-being UNLESS you have a sensitivity to gluten.

b) It's not as much of a tragedy problem as I expected. Do I miss bread? You bet. I've got some brown rice flour "bread" that, well, it'll do, but it for darn sure isn't fluffy sourdough. That said, it also doesn't make me ill.

So there's that.

c) Once I found good cereal and good (quinoa) pasta, things fell into place reasonably well.

d) Gluten-free goodies include tortilla chips, chocolate, ice cream (unless there are mixed-in yummies like, say, Oreos), and wine. Yes, one can be just as un-virtuous on a gluten-free diet as if they had access to pie.

e) Crushed corn flakes make excellent breading for fish and chicken.

For Sunday dinner we had fish & chips, and I had brownies (happy, happy, joy, joy!) for dessert. "Brownies" is what the cookbook ("The Fitness Kitchen") calls them - "chocolate cheesecake filling" is what I call it and I absolutely adore it. They're chocolate and yummy and rich and, seriously, I would make these even if I could have regular brownies. Probably not instead of brownies, mind you, but...

I roasted some Yukon Gold potato wedges at 450 degrees for half an hour, with regular stirring and a good drizzle of oil. Actually, I put the garlic-infused oil, then the potato wedges, in a large Ziploc bag and tossed to coat. For the last 10 minutes I turned the oven down to 425 degrees so that I could put the fish in as well.

The fish was regular, inexpensive frozen cod from Trader Joe's. It's not a big deal if your pieces of fish are different length/width as long a they're reasonably close to the same thickness. I used a very sharp knife and cut a few pieces in half.

The source recipe is here: My changes (baking instead of frying, corn flakes instead of bread crumbs) are below.


1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 codfish fillets
2 large eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet (line with foil if you wish) with wire racks. Mist racks with cooking spray.

Lightly beat two whole eggs with a fork; place in a shallow dish.

Place crushed cornflakes, cornmeal, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a separate shallow dish and mix well.

Dip one fish fillet in egg, making sure both sides are covered. Dredge both sides of filet in cornflake mixture, and place on wire rack.

Follow with other pieces of fish; do not allow pieces of fish to touch on the rack, or they won't crisp properly.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

The Fitness Kitchen, by Shelly Sinton

1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dark chocolate cocoa)
2 TBSP cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup semisweet chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment or waxed paper.

Blend cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and eggs. Blend until smooth, scraping down the ides of the bowl a needed. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake until just set, 35 - 40 minutes, then let cool 20 - 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least one hour (I just keep them in the fridge).