Sweet & Savoury Freedom: Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger

by Maggie on October 1, 2010

Sweet or savoury?  What’s your pleasure?

I’m feeling a little sweet-toothed out this week.  Is that even possible?

I’ve been baking a new banana bread for a local café and it’s pretty irresistible (if I do say so myself).  It sits on my kitchen counter calling my name.  Begging for attention.  Pleading to join me and my morning green tea.

It totally deserves my attention.  It deserves to be cradled in my hand.  But it’s full of sugar.  And I’m just not used to that much cane sugary goodness anymore.

So I’m trying to dry myself out with a little bit of savoury.  And thank goodness one of my favourite bloggers is really good at the savoury thing!

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger

You’ll recall my review of Ricki Heller’s baking book Sweet Freedom.  Pete and I sampled a few of her delightfully delicious and sweet recipes.  They’re free of refined sugars so while they’re not AS crazy sweet, they still totally satisfy my really aggressive (and sometimes quite rude) sweet tooth.

I thought it would be cool to adopt Ricki for this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, hosted by Sea from the Book of Yum.  I really wanted to try out some of Ricki’s savoury vegan recipes from her amazing blog Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. And not only is Ricki a recipe maven, she’s also a great storyteller.

Savoury Freedom

First up I made Ricki’s Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad.  It was so good.  I was totally intrigued by the dressing for the salad because you have to cook the garlic, lemon juice, and oil before whipping it all into a dressing.  I’ve never cooked a salad dressing before!  Which tells you that I’ve never made a warm salad.  But I can tell you that I have since made this dressing two more times!  You can enjoy this salad warm or cold.  It’s delightful and I plan on taking it to our Thanksgiving celebrations next weekend.

I found this recipe really easy to put together, especially because I could do it in steps.  I cooked the quinoa in the morning, roasted the beets in the afternoon, and put the salad together for dinner (I know, the bonuses of being at home all day with the kiddies).  The only changes I made was to use maple syrup instead of stevia (I’m just not there yet) and to use kale instead of cilantro (I didn’t have any in my crisper).

When I was living in Vancouver, I used to frequent an amazing restaurant called The Na’am. They made the best vegetarian meals on the West Coast!  They’re famous for their miso gravy, in fact you can purchase it in grocery stores on the West Coast.  Lucky for me, one of my girlies buys me some whenever she visits Vancouver.

When I saw that Ricki had a recipe for Miso Gravy, I knew I had to try it.  I served the Miso Gravy with Sweet Potato Fries and the Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad.

Pete and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  It was like eating at a yummy vegetarian restaurant (minus the pile of dishes sitting in OUR kitchen).  We cook sweet potato fries all the time but Pete and I both loved the addition of the sesame seeds.  And I always cook mine at about 405 degrees, whereas Ricki suggests 425 degrees.  We’ll definitely stick with her temp!

Next up I tried one of Ricki’s kale salads.  We’ve been eating kale for about a year now and we love it.  But we’d never made a salad entirely from kale.  We usually mix it into our green salads, throw it in our smoothies, or make kale chips.  It was so good and it felt great to be enjoying something that was so good for us!

One more thing – Ricki has a gluten-free index on her blog.  She hasn’t always blogged gluten-free so this is a really handy index if you want to try one of her many gluten-free recipes.

Make sure you hop over to Ricki’s blog, or catch her on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll announce the winner of my Sweet Freedom giveaway next week.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers who were adopted this month (I was adopted by my good friend Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free!).  The post should be up in a few days, so check out Sea’s blog.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Zoe October 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Oh I was just trying to think what to make with beetroot today! I have three that need some lovin’. This will be perfect! I make a roast cauliflower and quinoa salad too, maybe I will combine the two salads.

I totally have a sweet tooth, generally Matt makes dinner and I make dessert. I should probably start working refined sugar out of our diets before all our teeth fall out…


Maggie October 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

@Zoe – I would love to see your quinoa salad. Is it on your blog? I love love love quinoa salads of all sorts. I have a couple of summery ones but I want some winter ones (Ricki’s is perfect) and a roasted cauliflower one sounds amazing! Nice that Matt makes your dinner! I love a man who can cook.


Ricki October 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Thank you so much for “adopting” me–and I am so glad you liked the recipes! I do eat the salad cold all the time (and flavors blend by the next day–even better!). And did you love the kale salad? I actually think I like raw kale better than cooked, now!

I just saw Amy’s post about you, too–those crackers look to die for. I am SO making them this weekend! 🙂


Maggie October 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Hi Ricki – You are so welcome! I love making your recipes because I don’t have to do a thing. They are already friendly for our tummies and they are so darn good! We LOVED the kale salad. We’ll definitely be having that on a regular rotation. Thanks for working so hard to give us great recipes.


Chelsey October 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

Wow, that cooked dressing and salad sound great. Every year before Halloween I like to go sugar free for a month (becaus deep down I never grew up and LOVE candy!). It really cuts out sugar cravings and gets me baking healthy treats (lame right? But no, they are good). I will definetly have to try some of Riki’s recipes. Thanks for sharing Maggie!


Maggie October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Chelsey that is such a good idea! Then you can justifiably gorge at Hallowe’en! I love it!


Mom (Gretchen) at The Gluten-Free Edge October 2, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Many of Ricki’s pre-gluten-free recipes in Sweet Freedom adapt very nicely to gluten-free. The Chocolate Mystery Cupcakes please everyone, no exceptions and no questions. My collection of cat-themed bookmarks didn’t seem to fit Ricki’s cookbook so it now has its own special marker featuring sweet faced puppies – you cannot ignore the inspiration of Elsie and Chaser!


Celiacs in the House October 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

So glad you chose her savory recipes. I haven’t checked out her recipes because I thought it was all desserts. Boy have I been missing out. Heading over there now to see what she has for my favorites:beets and kale.


Maggie October 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Wendy – I’m sure you found more amazing recipes at Ricki’s blog! Thanks for stopping by mine.


Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free October 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I also contributed to the Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger 2010 September Edition. I made Kale Chips – betcha just can’t eat one! http://iamglutenfree.blogspot.com/2010/10/salt-vinegar-roasted-kale-chips.html


megs October 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

I want to try both salads! mmm.
I’ve got kale and beets in the house, perfect timing for the post!

There may be some Na’am coming your way sooner than you think too!


Maggie October 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Megs you need to try both salads (maybe wait on the avocado one – heehee). One can never have enough Na’am in the house! xo


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free October 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Maggie, that cooked salad dressing sounds delicious! I roasted some golden beets tonight for me to snack on tomorrow. i am thinking I should make the quinoa and the dressing for dinner tomorrow night. I love that you picked all savory recipes, too. I have not been much in a baking mode lately either!! Love your pictures, by the way!


Maggie October 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Kim I’m so glad to hear that you snack on beets. I adore beets and love to pop them in my mouth when I’m preparing them. They’re like candy! Thanks for the compliment on my pics! I can’t wait to get together with you for some food styling and photography tips!


Lexie October 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Maggie Mae — “May” I add “Mae”. Either you hate that or it’s your real middle name, ha! 🙂

Great post. I always love reading your posts. Cheers to you and Ricki for helping me figure out what to do with the 3 bunches of kale I got today 🙂


Maggie October 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Hey Lex – Great to see you on here! Mae is just fine, thank goddess it’s not my middle name though. Did you know Rod Stewart named the song after me? 3 bunches of kale? Wow, lucky you guys.


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