Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chocolate Sponge Cake

This recipe requires folding. Folding means cutting through the batter with a large rubber-type spatula to gently mix one ingredient into another, usually whipped egg whites or whipped cream. You have to be very careful when you do this or it will deflate the batter and you end up with something quite flat and uncake-like. If you are too timid though, and don't fold in the dry ingredients completely, you get big gross chunks of unsweetened cocoa powder, which, I know from experience, is not very enjoyable. Take the time and care and it really makes a delicious naturally leavened cake.  And yes, it really does cook completely in 10-12 minutes!

When preparing a pan with parchment, you can spray the pan lightly with non-stick spray to make the parchment cling to the pan. Take care not to get any of the spray on the top side of the parchment as the cake needs the be able to hold on to the paper to bake correctly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Sample

I was in our local Giant Discount Shopping Warehouse today, and while my mom and nephew happily tasted samples of everything from the stands these sorts of places have, I was standing to the side reading ingredients before trying anything.  I've come to a point, after almost a year of following this diet, that the word YEAST jumps out at me like a terrifying capuchin monkey the moment I look at an ingredient list.  It takes me split seconds to find it usually, and then I set the product down with a "Meh, can't have it..."
Today, however, after walking over and checking the label on the amazing looking Belgian waffles that were being sampled and performing the... "Ug, yeast, phooey!" ritual, the sample woman just kept on hassling me to try them while my family stood there munching them. I have to wonder if she was getting some amazing commission for selling some. Maybe they were having a contest for Superbowl week off, because she was REALLY trying to sell some.
Anyway, I politely, as I always do, expressed that they looked delicious but that I couldn't try them because they had yeast, to which I was allergic.  Now, I know I am not allergic in the medical sense of the word, but since I can never put it in my body again because my body won't tolerate it, and it makes people stop trying to force things on me, I use "allergic." Sue me.
And then she looks at me and says "The waffles I MAKE don't have yeast..."
"Well, they're Belgian... maybe that is where the deliciousness comes from.."
And she proceeds to get very snooty towards me and haughtily picks up the package and narrows her eyes and says, "I don't see yeast in the ingredients!" What the hell am I supposed to say to that?  Like I am trying to trick her so I don't have to eat something delicious?
And so I said, "Really, it is there, at the bottom," and she glared at me as I turned and walked away leaving her to look for the yeast, annoyed that she was trying to get me eat something I wanted but couldn't have, and was being a butt about it too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Basic Yeast- Free Pizza

The recipe below is the general methodology for plain yeast-free pizza, it is meant to be a base for customization.  This is in NO way low-calorie, but it is great when the craving for pizza overtakes you and you can't take one more pizza delivery commercial without losing your mind. The pizza pictured above was a sausage and bacon with provolone, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  The toppings are only limited  by your imagination, and your food intolerances.

Since pizzas are such a fun and personal thing, all toppings are estimated for this recipe instead of using specific measurements. Cater it to your tastes.  Just remember, a well covered pizza is good, but adding too many topping can interfere with baking all the way through.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Product Recommendation- SerraGold

SerraGold made by Enzymedica consists of  an enzyme called serrapeptase, which was originally found in the stomach of the silk worm and was the enzyme that helped it to get out of its cocoon unharmed. The capsule also contains several other vitamins.  

Serrapeptase is supposed to digest non-living tissue in the body and is said to be beneficial to those with high cholesterol, arterial plaque, and scar tissue. It also, supposedly, digests yeast.  Now, I don't know if it actually works in these ways, but I find that I am able to eat some fast food (like one Taco Bell burrito) with autolyzed yeast while taking SerraGold and it does not cause pain or other IBS/IBD symptoms. It also seems to work like fiber is described as working, at least on me.  I've tried other brands and they did nothing.  Point is, while taking this, I feel even more healthy, and as such I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Caramel Fudgy Brownies

This is a basic leavening-free brownie recipe.  It is very rich and fudge-like.  Of course, you can add toasted nut, candy bits, or different flavored chips in these.  I've made them with white chocolate chips, with heath bar pieces, and with a vanilla coffee frosting.  The yeast content of your additions is the only thing that should limit the many ways this can be personalized to your taste!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Product Recommendation- Mini Croccantini

Made by La Panzanella (, I first found these delicious gourmet unleavened crackers while visiting in Spokane, WA.  I bought the large size croccantini and carefully portioned them to make them last until my next visit, though they didn't quite make it.

I was thrilled to find them in the deli area of our Super Walmart in their mini version. They cost $3.98, which is slightly expensive for crackers, but they really are convenient and delicious.  I use them for all sorts of mini open face sandwiches, from smoked turkey, bacon, and cheddar, to brie and fruit.

I've also found their large rosemary croccantini at Costco for about 8 dollars for 3 packages.  All the varieties I have tried are wonderful, and as an added bonus, they can be ground to use as breadcrumbs for meatballs and meatloafs, as well as for coating chicken or pork for pan frying or baking.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Seafood Pot Pie

The meat in this can be substituted with lobster, or any of your other favorite seafood.  This can also be made with chicken if you don't like seafood! Simply replace the called for seafood with an equal amount of cooked cubed chicken. To make it family style use a large oven proof dish instead of separate bowls and place the four single portions of puff pastry over the top to make serving easier- cooking time may need to be increased. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Product Recommendation- Pretzel Crisps

One of my favorite snacks before discovering my yeast intolerance was pretzels.  I knew there were flat pretzels on the market (remember Mr. Phipp's Pretzel Chips from the early 90s?) and so I went on the search for ones that truly had no yeast and no additional ingredients that would make me sick.

I found Snack Factory's Pretzel Crisps.  They come in several different flavors but several have powdered flavors with yeast extract (darn you delicious sounding but so unsafe Buffalo Wing Pretzels, darn you! *shakes fist*) so check the ingredients (that will quickly become a mantra for anyone with food issues).

And then, with the recent holidays, I found these:

I actually found the White Chocolate and Peppermint before Christmas and sat out a bowl of them for my guests, but today at Walmart, I found these two additional varieties, Peanut Butter Crunch and Dark Chocolate Crunch. They were $2.78 each, for a 5 oz bag, which isn't the greatest value ever, but they are quite delicious (I popped open the peanut butter crunch to snack on and they are really quite nice, the white chocolate and peppermint are just divine! Haven't gotten to the dark chocolate yet, but I an not the greatest fan of dark chocolate-- I have to be in the mood).

So if you like your salty with some sweet, look around for these delicious safe treats.

You can see more at:

*This recommendation was not sponsored or paid for.  If that is ever the case, I will most certainly make it very clear in the review. I just want to share things I find that make life easier and more delicious for my fellow yeast-free brethren!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Simple Cheesecake

I like to make the crust with a sweetened cocoa rice cereal, but you can use any type you like (or have on hand) for your crust, just check labels to make sure there is no cornstarch.  Vanilla powder can be found in specialty cooking stores or online and is used to avoid the alcohol in extracts which often times contain yeast.  It can be replaced with vanilla bean paste or “safe” vanilla extract made without ethyl alcohol.
If you wish to cut the recipe in half for a mini cheesecake, use a 6-7 inch springform and lower baking time to  about 30 minutes.  (see information on safe products here)