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No Worries Chocolate Chippers

Chocolate Chip Cookies are the quintessentially classic cookie. Can you imagine life without them? Well, if you’re reading this you probably have—even if only for a short while.

It doesn’t take long after finding out you can no longer eat gluten (and eggs and most dairy) for reality to sink in. All of a sudden you think—no pizza, no pasta, no sandwiches? No cookies? Well, that’s not really how it is but that’s how it seems at the time.

Gotta tell you when I found out about my food sensitivities I immediately started an online researching jag (that continues to this day). The internet saved my life. Well, actually my naturopath and all the organizations and bloggers who shared information about restricted diets did. I am thankful to all the people out there who have made their food journeys public and shared their recipes, tips, stories. Without this amazing celiac, allergic, food sensitive community I would never have eaten a satisfying chocolate chip cookie again! (And, they supplied so much more than cookies!)

So, here’s my take on that wonderful classic and it’s based off the age old Tollhouse recipe. There’s a few more ingredients but it’s just as good.

As I was licking the spoon I thought “No need to worry - no eggs.” Hence, the name. If you don’t use gluten, eggs, or dairy this is a great recipe for you. Go ahead … eat them. No worries.

This is a soft, light cookie on the inside with a bit of crunch on the outside.

No Worries Chocolate Chippers

1 flax egg
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
1/4 cup GF oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375℉. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or silpat.

Make the flax egg: 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water. Stir well and set aside.

Blend softened Earth Balance Buttery Spread, sugars, flax egg, applesauce and vanilla in the bottom of a stand mixer and mix for a minute or two until all ingredients are blended together.

Add flours, potato starch, almond meal, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt to a separate medium sized bowl and whisk until all the dry ingredients are mixed well.

Turn on the mixer and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheets leaving room between each cookies (mine did not spread). Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven. Let them sit for a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.



Lemon Artichoke Chicken & Penne

Last week my son ended his freshman year of college. Yay! I drove out to get him and we loaded up the truck and made the long drive home. I’m so happy he’s home but even more importantly that he had a great year.

OK, I’m pretty sure it was great except for the college food which leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, he’s doesn’t have food restrictions so it was easier for him than the kids who have food sensitivities, allergies or other conditions that require special diets.

Now that he’s home I’ll be cooking everything he missed while he was away. I’m going to have to work on converting more than a few of my old recipes to accommodate my food sensitivities but that will be half the fun and I’ll get to share them here.

This dish is one that is easily converted and it’s also one of my son’s favorites so it’s what we had last night.

It’s a little bit of work but worth it — if you like artichokes. (And, that’s not a problem because we love them!)

PS - I ate way too much!

Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Penne

1 pound chicken breasts
3 tablespoons GF flour (sorghum)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup white wine
2 cups GF chicken broth
juice of half a lemon
1 jar capers, drained and rinsed
1 jar pitted kalimata olives, drained
1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 pound of GF penne
Locatelli Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Feta cheese (sheep’s milk)
GF breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the chicken — about 2 large breasts — into 2 x 1/2 inch strips. Dredge in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and basil.

Pour the grapeseed oil in a deep, heavy frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Working in batches fry the chicken until fully cooked and browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine scraping up all the browned bits. Reduce the liquid by half.

Add the chicken stock and simmer until it is reduced by about a third. Add the juice from 1/2 lemon and season with salt and pepper.

Make the penne while you’re waiting for the sauce to reduce. Boil it a few minutes short of being done (so if it is supposed to boil for 9 minutes reduce the time to 6 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Add the penne to the sauce and mix in. Add the artichokes (cut into quarters). Simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. If the sauce boils down add some of the pasta water about ¼ cup at a time to keep things moist. Add the chicken pieces and heat another minute.

Pour the mixture into a large ovenproof serving dish. Stir in the drained olives and capers.

Sprinkle the pasta with a few tablespoons each of Locatelli Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese and Feta. Top with the GF breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is golden brown.

Note: this recipe can be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese. I use Locatelli Pecorino Romano because it is made with sheep’s milk and find I can tolerate it. And, I’ve found feta cheese made with sheep and/or goat’s milk at both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

I happen to like Bionaturae GF pasta. It’s made with rice, potato, and soy flours.