When someone in the family is diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it becomes clear how much our food, from home to restaurant, is drenched with gluten. Families are forced to decide whether to prepare two kinds of meals — with and without gluten — or whether to take the whole family gluten-free.
One of the risks of trying to eat both ways is that of cross-contamination. Even as fractional an amount as a shared knife in a peanut butter jar can make the affected person very ill.
Gluten intolerance is difficult enough for adults who are in charge of their own food preparation. When the condition affects a teen, add to that the challenges of eating at school, at friends’ houses, or at restaurants where even servers may not be sure whether or not menu items contain gluten.
Teens also want to eat the foods they love, the foods their friends eat.
When Carlyn Berghoff’s daughter, Sarah, then 12, was diagnosed with celiac disease, she put her expertise as a chef and restaurant owner to work to develop gluten-free dishes that the whole family could enjoy. The result is “Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love.”
The book contains the family’s story of dealing with celiac disease, information about gluten-intolerance and 100 recipes developed by Berghoff, including teen and family favorites such as pizza, doughnuts, nachos, cookies, cake, tacos, brownies, banana bread, as well as casseroles, soups, dips, sandwiches and more. She also offers a gluten-free flour blend to use in a myriad of ways to make breads and crusts.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups white rice flour
2 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
2 cups tapioca starch or tapioca flour
5 tablespoons xanthan gum
2 cups white sorghum flour or quinoa flour
2 cups cornstarch
— Measure each flour and starch by scooping or pouring into a 1-cup measuring cup, then leveling the cup with a straight-edged knife or spatula. Scoop, measure and level the xanthan gum by the tablespoon.
Place all the ingredients one by one in the order listed in a 4-quart container with a tight-fitting lid. After each addition, stir well from the bottom with a large whisk to mix. After adding the cornstarch, mix well from the bottom. Place the lid securely on the container. Shake and rotate the container to mix.
Store at room temperature for one month, or divide into three batches and place in self-sealing plastic bags. Label, date and freeze.
Yellow Cake and Vanilla Frosting
Makes 2 (9-inch round) layers or 24 cupcakes.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (see above) or flour of choice with xanthan gum in the mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vanilla Frosting and Filling (see below)
— Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round metal cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray the parchment lightly.
In a medium, bowl, beat the eggs until light and lemon-colored. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and beat until light and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar. Beat to mix.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, beating well to form a smooth batter. If the batter becomes too thick for the mixer, scrape down the blades and finish mixing with a large spoon or silicone spatula.
Divide the batter evenly, spoonful by spoonful, between the 2 cake pans. Smooth and level the top with a spatula that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove the pans from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, run a spatula around the edges of each cake layer and invert onto a plate. Turn, right side up, onto a wire rack.
Frost the cake and cut into wedges.
Vanilla Frosting and Filling
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk or nondairy alternative (almond, rice or soy)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or nondairy alternative, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
— Sift the sugar and salt into a 3-quart bowl. Add the milk, butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Using a hand-held mixer, beat on low to combine. Increase the speed and beat until the frosting is smooth. If needed, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. The frosting will thicken when refrigerated.
Makes one 12-inch round pizza
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (see recipe above) or flour of choice with xanthan gum in the mix
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm (about 110 degrees) water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella, Soyrella, or casein-free nondairy alternative
Toppings of choice
— To make the pizza sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, honey and oregano until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
To make the pizza crust: Place the flour, milk powder, Parmesan cheese, sugar, dried egg whites, yeast, baking powder and salt in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Mix on low.
(Alternatively, place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix on low with a sturdy handheld mixer. Add the water and olive oil and mix on low until a dough forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed and beat for 5 minutes.)
With the beater paddle still attached, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour. If using a handheld mixer, remove and scrape down the beater blades, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Mix on low to deflate.
Spray a 12-inch round pizza pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the dough onto the pan. Spray the palms of both your hands with nonstick cooking spray, or oil your palms by rubbing them on a plate containing 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Using your hands, press the dough outward to fill the edges of the pan, smoothing the dough as level as possible. Let the dough rise in the pan in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Bake the dough for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. For each 12-inch round pizza crust, use 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce to spread over the top. Spring with the cheese or nondairy alternative and other toppings of choice. Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is browned around the rim, the cheese if bubbling, and the pizza is heated through, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then slide out of the pan with a spatula and cut into 8 wedges.
(“Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love,” Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013)