Tag Archives: sesame seeds

Best Ever Gluten-free Dairy-free Crackers (not Paleo)

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve

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Do you love Wheat Thins®? Do you miss Wheat Thins®?   As a well known cracker-aholic, switching to gluten-free crackers was probably even harder for me than giving up bread (because with the exception of my gluten-free cornbread, I have yet to find a bread I like).  I buy every gluten-free cracker that comes out and none of them have the right consistency for me.  Some are certainly fine, but delicious like Wheat Thins®? Not.  These crackers are remarkably easy to make and are exactly what I was hoping for when I started working on the recipe.

As written, the recipe makes savory, crispy crackers with just a hint of sweetness and no starchiness at all.  You can easily alter the recipe to your tastes:  low sodium?  leave out the salt.  Don’t have zatar aka za’atar?  Use poultry seasoning or any herbs you like – or none at all for a plain cracker.  Want a neutral tasting cracker?  leave out the garlic powder and herbs.  Don’t like seeds?  omit the egg and toppings.  I could go on forever with the possibilities.  You can also vary the shapes, once you’ve rolled out the dough, you can cut them into assorted shapes using cookie cutters or you can make them into larger crackers by just cutting them into rectangles or you can cut the rectangles into squares or diamonds.  I’ve also thought about, but have yet to try, rolling the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and flattening them in a tortilla press, then cutting the resulting circle into wedges.  If you try that, let me know how it works : )
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Tahini Dip and Dressing

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve

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Today is the first day of my CSA (community sponsored agriculture).  For anyone not familiar with the term, it is an arrangement where you join (for lack of a better word) or buy shares from a farm early in the year then during the summer you get free produce from that farm.  It works for the farmers who get funds to buy seeds, equipment, pay employees and for the members, fresh vegetables (usually organic) at reasonable prices.  My farm is called Roxbury Farm, they are in New York State and have been operating for twenty something years.  Each week during the summer I get a newsletter and on Thursdays I pick up the produce at a local church (I’ll take pictures soon).  The amount of produce is very generous and I have friends who share my share with me.  So what you see here is really only 1/3 of a share – since it is early in the summer, lettuce and greens make up a majority of the share.  Look for lots of recipes using my CSA produce.

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On Tuesday I promised you a use for pickled onions – here is one:  add it to salads to add texture, color and a contrasting flavor.  This is just the first of many times you will see them here.

Tahini is the name of a product made of ground sesame seeds (and sometimes oil) and is similar to, but thinner than, almond butter.  You can find it in any store that sells Middle Eastern products or in any health food store.  It’s also available in some supermarkets. Like almond butter, it will separate into solids on the bottom with oil on the top.  Stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and without lumps before using in recipes.

The name tahini is also used to describe a dip/dressing made with tahini plus lemon juice, garlic, water, and other seasonings.  I always associate tahini with hummos or falafel because that’s how I first encountered it on a trip to Israel – about a million years ago.  Now when I have it in my refrigerator I find lots of other things to do with it, especially since going dairy free.  It has a creaminess that is somewhat like sour cream.  I serve it as a dip with crudities; a sauce with lamb burgers or shish kebobs; and as a dressing for salads.

If I were a really ambitious blogger I would also give you a recipe for your own homemade tahini; but since I’m not that ambitious I will simply refer you to sites where you can get the recipe: http://thesimpleveganista.blogspot.com/2012/10/homemade-tahini.html, http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-tahini-73859, http://www.yumsugar.com/Homemade-Tahini-Recipe-25190494.  The first site uses only sesame seeds, the other two use oil in addition to the sesame seeds.  Having never made it myself, I can’t advise you on that.  Having eaten it I can assure it is yummy.
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