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New friends and family have steered my culinary interests toward gluten and dairy free recipes. For health and wellbeing, some folks must avoid certain ingredients or ingredient properties. Until recently, those avoiding gluten had to make everything from scratch and scrutinize package labels to avoid accidentally ingesting hidden gluten. Dairy is a little easier to spot but sometimes hides in the trace ingredients.

Preparing meals for several group events gave me opportunity to experiment with several gluten/dairy free recipes and ingredients. Just in time for fall and Thanksgiving menu desserts, Baked Pumpkin Spice Pudding turned out favorably.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Pudding

4 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, or fresh cooked pumpkin

3/4 cup oat milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat egg whites until thick and stiff peaks form.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored, 4-5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, oat milk, vanilla and spices. Mix thoroughly until blended. Use lowest speed to prevent splattering. Fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Serve warm or cold with dairy/gluten free whipped topping. Yield: 6-9 servings, depending on size.

In my recent experimenting I have found oat milk works best in recipes calling for a liquid dairy free milk and it is nut free as well to accommodate other allergies.

One group meal was made a bit more special with the inclusion of Non-Alcohol Mimosas. The recipe I found from SimpleJoy.com called for Perrier L’Orange but a search in several stores did not locate this item. I substituted Sprite soda.



1 bottle (64 ounces) orange juice

1 bottle (64 ounces) pineapple juice

1 bottle (2 liters) Sprite soda

Chill all ingredients well. Just before serving combine all ingredients. Serve in mimosa stemware or other pretty glasses. Yield: About 1 1/2 gallons.

There are many gluten free mixes for baked goods, main dishes and sauce mixes, meeting with varying degrees for acceptability. Relying on number of stars given and purchaser comments, I selected a variety of sauce mixes to try.

Casserole preparation can be problematic when gluten and dairy must be eliminated. Gluten/dairy free sauce mixes can be very helpful in adapting favorite recipes. Simply Organic is the brand I am currently trying.

Simply Organic dairy free/gluten free Mixes come in several flavors. I used the cheddar sauce mix in my favorite scalloped potato recipe. I originally got the recipe for Buffet Scalloped Potatoes from the now late Helen Kloster of Marysville. The original recipe was designed to bake at various temperatures alongside another dish or roast as low as 300 degrees or as high as 400 degrees.

Gluten free products seem to turn out better at lower temperature cooking, so the lower baking temperature and the step of parboiling (partially cooking) the potatoes influenced my choice of this recipe. One packet of sauce mix made the 1 1/2 cups of sauce called for in the original recipe.

Helen would be pleased to know her recipe could be adjusted to accommodate special diets so in honor of her, this recipe shall be known as Helen’s Special Scalloped Potatoes.

Helen’s Special

Scalloped Potatoes

1 small onion, peeled and sliced thin

6-8 cups peeled and thin sliced potatoes

About 3 cups water, or enough to just barely cover potatoes.

1 tsp salt

1 packet (.85 ounce) Simply Organic, Dairy-free cheddar sauce mix

1 1/2 cups plant-based milk, unflavored or sweetened

2 Tbsp plant-based butter

Ground paprika for garnish

Place onions and potatoes in a large kettle and add water to just barely cover. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until potatoes just begin to soften.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce mix according to the packet instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly and measure carefully. Sauce will take about 10 minutes to thicken.

Drain cooked potatoes well when done cooking. Stir in prepared sauce and mix gently. Turn into a 3-quart casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake about 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Yield: 8 side servings.

The person with the restricted diet loved this recipe, and the rest of the group wasn’t aware they were eating gluten free, one even asking for the recipe.

Note: for regular sauce, make a white sauce from 3 Tbsp margarine, 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 1/2 cups milk. Proceed with recipe above.

Several observations about cooking gluten free. Lower and slower temperatures are best. Measure carefully, gluten free does not allow for wiggle room in consistency. Pay attention to preparation instructions, use the utensils, pan sizes and methods called for. Lastly, when converting a recipe to use mixes, wait and taste before adding salt in addition to the mix as most rely heavily on salt to produce the desired flavor.

Thanksgiving and The Record-Times print date that week are the same day. Holiday meal leftovers, or planned overs, will be the focus of our next column. When you have tired of the turkey and ham sandwiches, what are your favorite recipes and tips for not letting a morsel of the meal go to waste?

Share your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers, holiday baking and gluten free cooking with your fellow readers by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Record-Times, P.O. Box 458, Odessa WA, email [email protected] or drop them in the mail tin in The Odessa Record office. If you are not planning to cook your Halloween pumpkins, consider donating them to folks raising chickens. The hens will be happy.


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