Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Morning - Easy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

When the weather gets cold, thoughts of sweets and cinnamon flows through my mind very often. Since being retired, I just have to let the thoughts flow on, because calories aren’t burned as quickly as they once were at thirty-something!

Of course, I make sweets, just not as often or as many servings.  I always justify having the sweets by adding a little more fiber or nutrition to the goodie.  Almost every baked item has either sorghum, coconut or millet flour added.  If it’s a baked chocolate item, then quinoa flour is included.  What a great way to eat your cake and have it be a bit more nutritious!

I like to have something baked for breakfast or a snack handy, like a dried-fruit scone or whole grain biscuit that I can just microwave a few seconds.  That way, I am not tempted to grab a bowl of chips or a candy bar when I need a snack or a quick meal and nothing is in the fridge.

When the year-end draws near, I believe most of us think about what is it that we haven’t made in a long time and go for that item. Cinnamon rolls are something that I do not make too often, because I would over-indulge.   I love cinnamon!  So with butter, frosting and cinnamon, I know my temptations!

When I could eat wheat, I would buy frozen bread dough, roll it out, SLATHER it with lots of butter, SPRINKLE brown sugar ALL OVER IT and ADD LOTS of CINNAMON.  I would either make cinnamon rolls or cinnamon bread.  Some of my co-workers thought I had worked all night to make those rolls and bread!   Do I miss those days of being able to eat those and THAT MUCH without gaining an ounce!

As you will see, gluten-free cinnamon rolls are basically the same as ones made with wheat flour... the  dough is handled a little differently.

Well, life goes on….. 

Cinnamon Rolls - Served II B

Cinnamon Rolls - Gluten-Free


Dry Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gluten-free self-rising biscuit mix (used Bob's Red Mill Biscuit Mix)
1/4 cup Millet flour (or additional biscuit mix)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 pkg. active dry yeast

Wet Ingredients
1/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
3 tbsp  butter, softened
2 Tbsp liquid egg product (or half an egg, if you can measure it)

Cinnamon Mixture and butter:
1 1/2 Tbsp   butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tbsp dried egg whites or meringue powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk ( or a drop or  two more, if needed)
1/2 tsp vanilla or orange or lemon extract


Cinnamon Rolls
1. Combine the flours with the sugar and spices, then whisk in the yeast in a mixing large enough to hold the dough.

2. Warm milk and water, to at least lukewarm ( 105 to 115 F, not hot). Combine all Wet Ingredients.

3. Dump the Wet Ingredients mixture into the bowl of Dry Ingredients and mix  with a wooden spoon, scraping down until the dough pulls together in a ball.  Beat and scrape for at least a minute after the dough is completely mixed to add in some air. This is simply needed for the lack of gluten in the flour.  Scrape  the dough together.

4. Spread a large piece of cellophane wrap or parchment paper on a flat surface.  Scrape the dough onto the surface in portions to make it easy to roll without too much pressing the dough.

5. Cut another large piece of wrap or paper the same size as the first and place over the first one.   press lightly to spread out the dough between the covers.  Using a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough out. Use as less pressure as possible in rolling out the dough.  Using the edges of the paper, turn the dough inward to make square corners as many times as needed.

6. Once the dough is the size needed, Remove the top paper(wrap) cover.

Cinnamon Rolls - ready for cinnamon and sugar B

7. Spread butter over the dough.

Cinnamon Rolls - buttered - ready for cinnamon and sugar B

8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the dough, omitting a 1/2 edge for sealing.

Cinnamon Rolls - ready to roll up B

9. Using the bottom paper(wrap), Begin rolling along the long, cinnamon-covered edge. Roll until complete, pressing the plain edge to complete the roll.  slice into 9 pieces with a sharp knife.

Cinnamon Rolls - starting to roll B

Cinnamon Rolls - rolled B

Cinnamon Rolls - rolled and cut B

10. Heavily grease a 9 to 10-inch square pan with shortening or butter.

11. Place each piece, cut side up, 3 across in the pan.   Press and shape a bit to bring each piece closer to each other.

Cinnamon Rolls - ready to rise B

12. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, 30 minutes to an hour. Do not rush the dough, allow it to rise.

13. When the dough has doubled, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
If not sure if done, check with tooth pick.

14. Remove from oven and spread rolls with Glaze, while warm. Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Rolls - Just out of oven - starting to frost B

Cinnamon Rolls - Just Frosted II B

Cinnamon Rolls - yum B

15. Once frosting is set, allow to cool, then cover any left-overs tightly with cellophane wrap

1. Mix powdered sugar, Meringue powder, milk and extract until glaze is smooth.  Add additional milk by drops to get consistency you desire.

Servings: 9

Yield: 9 Cinnamon Rolls

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 220 calories, 5.5g total fat, 1.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 3g saturated fat, 12.6mg cholesterol, 37.9g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 34.4g net carbohydrates, 18.4g sugar, 0mg stigmasterol, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, 4.3g sucrose, <1g maltose, 288.7mg sodium, 40.2mg potassium, 4.5g protein, 21.1mg calcium, 156.9IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, 4IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, <1mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, <1mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.


  • Not concerned with calories? Feel free to double the frosting. Of course, calories per roll will increase.
  • For more layers of cinnamon-y sugar, roll the dough thinner.
  • As with all gluten-free dough, gently handle it after it has been formed. Do not press down too hard on the dough. Press gently when shaping or rolling it out.
  • These can be prepared at night, left on counter overnight for breakfast the next morning. Microwave about 6 seconds to warm.
  • A large roll of cellophane works best for rolling out gluten free dough. The value is worth the purchase.
  • If a larger roll is desired, increase ingredients by 1/4th or reduce number or rolls.
  • Adjust cinnamon to taste, I like a lot of cinnamon!
  • Feel free to use all Bob's Red Mill Biscuit Mix, instead of the millet flour.

Baloons  Happy New Year 2012 B

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrapping up Year 2011 - Brown Sugar Pecan Sweet potato Bread

Yesterday, I was thinking zucchini bread, banana bread and pecan sweet potato biscuits.  So this started out as Pecan Sweet Potato Biscuits and I took a left turn and ended up with bread!

This was an add a little of this and that to a modified zucchini bread. Usually all I need is a gluten-free flour mix suitable for quick breads to get started. Then the most undecided item is which fat to use. For baking, I have coconut oil, palm shortening, butter and buttery spread.

I love coconut oil because it sometimes gives that little extra flavor to mild flavored foods.
I decided to use the same method used in the Apple Pie Pecan Muffins , sauté the sweet potatoes with the nuts about 3  to 5 minutes just to soften them a bit. They will still be a bit crisp.

This is a half-sized recipe, suitable for a small family.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Bread sliced II B

Brown Sugar Pecan Sweet potato Bread


1 1/2 cups  gluten free all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum, if not included in mix)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp Turbinado sugar
1/2 cup butter -  softened, divided
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups finely shredded sweet potatoes
1/4 cup Finely Chopped  Pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 3 small 5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray (or 1 8-inch pan).

2. Place 2 tbsp butter in a non stick skillet and heat until butter is melted.  Add sweet potatoes and 2 tbsp Turbinado sugar.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, just until potatoes slightly soften.  Add in nuts. remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. Combine  flour mix, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt, set aside.

4. In a mixing bowl,   beat sugar and butter until creamy, then beat in  the eggs  until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the shredded cooked sweet potatoes mix. Using a wooden spoon mix in the dry ingredients, mixing well.

5. Spread the batter into the prepared pans, filling about half full. Smooth out the batter, if necessary with a damp spatula(shake the water off).  Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool. Watch carefully after 40 minutes as the bread could become overcooked!

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Bread - ready for oven B

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Bread - oven B

6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight bread bag.  Do not refrigerate as it will cause it to dry out.
Actually, It is better the second day, because moisture from the potatoes softened it a bit.

Servings: 12
Yield: 3 5-inch Loaves or 1 8-inch loaf

Nutrition (per serving): 238 calories, 11.4g total fat, 3.9g monounsaturated fat, 1.2g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 5.4g saturated fat, 56mg cholesterol, 32.2g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 30.5g net carbohydrates, 16.6g sugar, <1mg stigmasterol, 1.8g starch, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, 13.5g sucrose, <1g maltose, 173.8mg sodium, 141.7mg potassium, 2.9g protein, 56.7mg calcium, 2253.9IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, 5.1IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, 1.1mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, 3.3mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

Notes and Tips

My all-purpose flour mix includes 1/4 cup millet flour for added fiber. Omit leavening, if using a packaged mix which includes it..

©RetiredWithNoRegrets 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cooking for One or Two - Quick Lunch or Dinner - in Less Than 45 Minutes

With the holidays coming up, there hasn’t been much time to think about meals.  Pizza has been in the planning for two weeks, yet no pizza!

I am beginning to hate left-overs, so I try to cook accordingly.  Today, I needed to quickly fix something to eat that would not give me that over-stuffed feeling as I am trying to eat lightly before the holidays (yes holidays! Christmas and New Years).

Don't you just love those small (8-inch)plates?

Quick Pasta Dish - Served B

The meal today consists of the following with  shaved Parmesan cheese

Mediterranean "Style" Tomatoes

I love fresh tomatoes, but are a bit timid about eating them raw out of season.  So, I have a quick way to drop them in olive oil with basil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, etc. and sauté on high heat until the skin just begins to pop. A little spray of Balsamic vinegar finishes off the dish.

These were left a little too long as the skins are wrinkling a bit.  They are still good, even if not as pretty!

Mediterranean Style Sauted Tomatoes B

Veggie Topping

1/4 cup each: cooked baby bellas, cooked eggplant,  diced red peppers, jarred artichokes and spices sautéed in garlic-infused olive oil

Veggie Pasta Topping B

Cooked Pasta
- rinsed and tossed in olive oil

There is also a similar post
World Pasta Day - Pasta topped with Tomato Sauce and a medley of vegetables, Olives and Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Over-ripe Bananas! Bake Something…..

This is a recipe about using whatever gluten-free ingredients that you may have on hand.

I believe in adding fiber to anything that will benefit from it. It will be either rice bran, millet flour or Hi-Maize fiber.

Today was no different….. banana bread, uh, uh, banana coffee cake.

I decided to modify one of my banana bread recipes to use Pamela’s Gluten-free Bread Mix. This isn’t necessarily the best mix for banana bread, but with a little tweaking and watching how much liquid is used, it will work.

It started out as banana bread, but as I was mixing up the Wet Ingredients, I veered off course to add orange.   I thought orange would complement the banana.  As I was chopping the nuts, I remembered that I also have some Heath chips.  Instead of adding them to the batter, I thought it would be best as a topping.   So banana bread became coffee cake!

The coffee cake has lots of flavor.

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - served B

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake


Dry Ingredients
1 cup  Pamela's Products Amazing Wheat Free and Gluten-free Bread Mix **
1 tbsp Potato Flour (or potato flakes)*
2 tbsp Millet flour
1 tbsp rice bran
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/8 tsp Ginger, Ground
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder, reduced sodium

Wet ingredients
1 1/2  tbsp Honey
11 packets Pure Via Stevia (or about 1/2 cup sugar)
1 medium ripe bananas, diced
1 egg
1/2 tsp orange extract
3 tbsp Buttery Spread  (used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup % Fat-free Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp banana extract or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, including pulp (equals one small orange)

Add Ins1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Topping 2 tbsp Heath English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8-inch baking dish with oil spray or shortening.
Mix together the dry ingredients, set aside.
Mix together the wet ingredients. Using a hand mixer,  or wire whisk, blend the wet ingredients for about a minute.  Fold in  nuts.

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - whisking bananas B

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - add sweetener B

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour  only until mixed.
Spread the batter into the pan.   Use wet spatula to smooth top.
Sprinkle Toffee bits evenly over top

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - ready for oven B

Bake for 30 - 35  minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - just out of oven B

Serve warm

Toffee Banana  Orange Coffee Cake - slice out B

Servings: 9
Yield: 1 8-inch square coffee cake

Nutrition FactsNutrition (per serving): 177 calories, 8.1g total fat, 2.2g monounsaturated fat, 2.5g polyunsaturated fat, 1.8g saturated fat, 24.6mg cholesterol, 25.4g carbohydrates, 3.1g fiber, 22.3g net carbohydrates, 12.1g sugar,, 259mg sodium, 125.1mg potassium, 2.9g protein, 44.9mg calcium, 60.4IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 7.3mg vitamin c, 1.9IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, <1mcg vitamin k, 1.3mg iron, <1g lysine, 2.2mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

Tips* If using potato flakes, whisk them together with the Wet Ingredients. This recipe is not recommended for a loaf.
If your orange juice wasn’t squeezed properly with large pieces of orange, put it in a small blender or food processor and pulse to finish breaking up the orange.  It should look like thick orange juice or orange juice concentrate.

Notes** Pamela's Products Amazing Wheat Free & Gluten-free Bread Mix ingredients: Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Chicory Root, Millet Flour, Molasses & Honey Rice Bran, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum.     Yeast Not Included.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Gluten Free

Most of the conversation I hear from someone newly gluten-free is about  Gluten- Free Biscuits.  Well, let’s try to make them a little more nutritious than simply using cornstarch or tapioca flour!

I remember home-made biscuits and keep trying to make them like I was used to.  Most of the commercial biscuit mixes tend to have more starch than wheat flour, so I mix flours.
My flour blend tend to include sorghum, chickpea, potato(flour), millet and brown rice flours, and of course tapioca and or potato starch, to smooth it out.

There are two  pre-mixed whole grain mixes that I am aware of: King Arthur Gluten-free Whole Grain Flour Blend (Whole Grain Flours (sorghum, Brown Rice, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Teff), Tapioca Flour.) and Hodgson Mill, Multi Purpose, Gluten Free Baking Mix(Whole Grain Millet, Garbanzo, Soy, And Brown Rice Flours)

I would use the KAF mix for cookies or part of a bread mix, because I tend not to add Teff or Quinoa flours to biscuits. I purchased the Hodgson Mill mix in the past, but no longer will due to the soy flour it contains.  I have since gone soy-free also for health reasons.  It is a very good mix, if one does not have issues with soy beans.

So, I always start out with 1 1/4 cups of my whole grain mix and then add additional starch or an additional 1/4 cup of the whole grain mix, depending on what the end product will be.  For Biscuits, its 1/4 cup of another starch or less dense fiber flour.

Since I tend to have brunch rather than breakfast, I made biscuits suitable for either.
Actually, I saw a recipe for Elsie’s  Biscuits in a cookbook by Southern Living Homestyle Cooking, chapter Taste of the South that gave me the nudging to make biscuits.   That recipe uses sour cream instead of yogurt.  The yogurt I used was not on the market when the cookbook was published.  Over all the cookbook recipe is a really good one.

I had decided to make an omelet (liquid egg product).  I discovered that I only had liquid egg whites and no liquid egg product, so a little substitution has to be done.  Egg white with cumin and turmeric to change the color a bit.

After mixing up the biscuits, and dividing the dough into 6 balls, I added  a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese to three of them.  So there are 3 plain and 3 with a little cheese.

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Served Up B

Breakfast N Brunch Biscuits


Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 cups Self-rising Whole Grain  Baking Mix
3 tbsp tapioca flour or starch
2 tbsp potato flour (not potato starch)
1 tsp sugar

4 Tbsp Buttery Spread  (used Earth Balance) ( or butter or shortening)

2 tbsp 0% Greek Yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pinch Vanilla extract or cinnamon
Optional Add Ins

3 tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Combine all of your Dry Ingredients. With a pastry blender or wire whisk, cut in Fats  into Dry Ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Dry Ingredients - with fats B

Combine Liquids  and add all at once to the Dry Ingredients; stir with a wooden spoon until moistened.
Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Combining B

Stir the dough about 15 more seconds as it pulls together.

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Finishing the dough B

Optionally divide the dough in half and add cheese to one half.
Divide the dough into 6 portions, using food service gloves and a biscuit cutter to help shape it. Place biscuits at least 1-inch apart on a lightly greased or parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Shaping using food gloves B

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - ready for oven B

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve hot

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - Served Up B

Breakfast and Brunch Biscuits - served B

Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 213 calories, 8.8g total fat, 3.7g monounsaturated fat, 1.9g polyunsaturated fat, 2.2g saturated fat, 2.9mg cholesterol, 29g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 26.7g net carbohydrates, 4g sugar, <1g starch, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 215.6mg sodium, 127mg potassium, 4.5g protein, 129.7mg calcium, 47.2IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, 0IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, <1mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, 1.4mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cooking for One or Two - A Quick Meal in Less Than One Hour

I prefer baking  to making meals, so I am always looking for quick meals that are nutritious. Today was one of those days; I baked cookies instead of cooking a meal. Of course, they were chocolate!

There are always food in the pantry, fridge or freezer, I just have to decide how to ‘mix it up’ to make a meal.  My preference is a vegetarian meal.

I attended a class at the Celiac Center of Minnesota on Monday night and came away with a better understanding  between fat and carbohydrates.  At least, I accept the explanation. The impression I came away with was that in order to digest carbohydrates without all of it going to sugar, was to be sure to add fat.  Normally, I try to go low-fat.  Future meals will include added EVOO where necessary.

Sweet potatoes are one of those vegetables, we used to eat raw when growing up.  My mother had this garden where she always had sweet potatoes.  When it was time to harvest, we always had to eat a few pieces raw.  They were really sweet even raw. We always had the pink fleshed ones.

There were no left-overs in the refrigerator, so I either had to open a can, microwave a bag or pare and cut something up.

Now back to the sweet potatoes, I picked up one and decided I would be having it for dinner, but had to think quick about what to make with it.  Stir-fries are the quickest way to make a meal with little fuss.  Out of the fridge came a red pepper, baby bellas and eggplant.  I hadn’t decided at that time whether to make rice or use beans.  Well the rice had to be cooked, so I chose the beans.

This is basically a simple way to get a meal real quick…..
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry B

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry

1 small sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 small eggplant, diced ( about 1 cup)
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup baby bellas, sliced (cooked)
1 15-oz can  black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp ginger(squeeze tube) or 2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp Mrs Dash original spice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp low-sodium Cajun spice
2 tsp chili oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

ProcedurePrepare all of the vegetables
Heat a large iron skillet with the olive and chili oils.
Cook the peppers, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and eggplant until eggplant is tender.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  - starting cooking B

Rinse and drain the beans.  Add to the skillet. 

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  - starting cooking adding beans B

Cook on high for about a minute, reduce to low, stirring to mix.  Cover on low heat for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to merge.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry - finished B

Serve, topped with 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  served wo chips B

and/or optionally with chips

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry B

Servings: 2
Yield: 2 meals or about 6 sides

Nutrition FactsNutrition (per serving - 1/2 half of recipe): 486 calories, 21.9g total fat, 13.2g monounsaturated fat, 3g polyunsaturated fat, &lt;1g linoleic acid, 3.2g saturated fat, 3.6mg cholesterol, 59.2g carbohydrates, 18.5g fiber, 40.7g net carbohydrates, 11.8g sugar, &lt;1mg stigmasterol, 9.4g starch, 1.3g fructose, 0g galactose, 1.3g glucose, 1.9g sucrose, 0g maltose, 879.8mg sodium, 2208.1mg potassium, 19.1g protein, 161mg calcium, 10437.6IU vitamin a, &lt;1mg vitamin b6, &lt;1mcg vitamin b12, 51.7mg vitamin c, 3.8mg vitamin e, 30.1mcg vitamin k, 5mg iron, &lt;1g lysine, 27.6mcg selenium, &lt;1mg thiamin, 4.4mg zinc.