Have you noticed all the chain restaurants releasing their fried fish sandwiches and fish & chips platters to boost sales on the meatless Fridays during Lent? Since I cannot eat them myself, I decided to try my hand at my own fried fish platter. I thought I would share this recipe for the GF Catholics or for anyone who just happens to love fish and chips. I am still on the starch-less Body Ecology diet, so please excuse the broccoli replacing the fries in the photo.
I noticed most recipes online use rice flour, but I find that quinoa and coconut blend well together to make an excellent breading (more soft than crunchy). There is a fluffiness to quinoa flour that you don’t get with rice and the coconut adds a little natural sweetness. As a bonus, they both are nutritionally better for you than rice flour. The club soda adds to the fluffiness too, as it creates air bubbles in the batter to mimic beer-batter style fish.
Gluten Free Pan Fried Fish
Oil for frying (Avocado works well)
2 c quinoa flour, split
1 c coconut flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 ea whole eggs
1 can (12 oz) seltzer water or club soda
2 fillets cod or other white fish
Warm oil in fry pan to medium heat.
Reserve 1 cup of quinoa flour in a separate dish.
Mix the other cup of quinoa flour, the coconut flour, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper together.
Cut fish into smaller pieces, if desired.
When oil is hot, mix eggs and seltzer water into the coconut flour blend (it will fizz up) to make a batter.
Coat each piece of fish in the reserved quinoa flour, then dredge it in the batter. Immediately place in oil.
Cook each piece for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined dish.
Ever try baking a gluten free cake, only to have it fall flat? Maybe even bread or cookies too? It isn’t your fault! Bread, cake and cookies are staples in our lives and you shouldn’t have to give them up when you go gluten free. Even though it is becoming increasingly easy to find pre-baked GF alternatives in grocery stores and at bakeries, it is still much more expensive than making your own. They also aren’t always made the best way with the best ingredients. However, when the GF foodie ventures into making their own baked goods, they often fail at first and give up. No one tells you that the rules of GF baking are different. Not even the online or cookbook recipes. Here the top 5 reasons why your recipe fell flat:
- You opened the oven to check on it before it was done baking.
- The most common mistake that no one tells you to avoid is opening the oven to check on it before it is fully cooked. I grew up opening the oven to check on goods and had to break my self of this terrible habit. GF products are naturally less stable. The missing gluten is what holds up the bread or cake during baking. Even the slightest temperature change when baking GF goods will cause the fragile structure to breakdown and your bread/cake/etc will collapse.
- You didn’t let it bake long enough.
- GF baked goods generally take longer to bake through. If your cake or bread has a gummy center, chances are you took it out of the oven too soon. For example, my glutinous bread recipes took around 25 minutes to bake, but my gf bread of similar size takes 45-60 minutes to bake through. This is why several brands of store bought GF bread have dark burnt-tasting crusts. Cooking GF items low and slow always yields a better result.
- Your oven temperature is off or you baked it at the wrong temperature.
- Again cooking at a low temperature for longer is better. You cannot get away with rushing GF items by cooking them at a higher temperature, like you can with glutinous ones. If you are cooking at the suggested temperature, but still have issues, your oven may need to be re-calibrated. When I first went GF, it blew my mind that my cakes took 1 1/2 hours to bake. I found out my oven was FIFTY degrees lower than indicated. You can buy a simple oven thermometer like this at any grocery store. Hang it from the rack you plan to cook on and watch it through the oven window to see if the temperature matches what your oven tells you.
- You used old ingredients. Especially baking powder/soda.
- Because the GF flours lack the elasticity of gluten, you usually need stronger or more leavening products to create those lovely air bubbles you see in bread and cake that makes them so light and fluffy. Old or expired leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda have lost some of their leavening power, so you won’t see the product rise as well.
- The altitude or weather was different when the recipe was created.
- I know this sounds bizarre, but it was one huge takeaway I got from culinary school. Altitude and weather affect your baking. Even more so for GF products. Ever try baking macarons on a rainy day? What about proofing bread on a cold one? It never turns out right. Heat, humidity, and distance from sea level are huge factors in baking. Some factors cannot be controlled, but often you simply need to adjust your recipe to the weather. Most often it is an issue with liquids. On a wet day, reduce liquids, but on a hot day add more.
With this knowledge under your belt, you will be baking GF goodies like a pro! Please comment below or email me if you have any further questions or would like advice on a certain situation. I would be happy to help!
So, the Body Ecology Diet is still rough. As a pastry chef, it is hard to avoid sugar, wheat, dairy and vanilla extract! I was about a month in before the cravings started. It also doesn’t help that Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us. I couldn’t fine any recipes for sweets on the body ecology diet, so I adapted a recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies to suit. Unfortunately the attempt at peanutless/flourless/sugarless cookies didn’t work so well! It took a couple of attempts, but the end result is worth it. I really like the salty/sweet taste. You can adjust the salt and stevia to suit your palette. For those of you on the BED, you will need to make your own almond butter from sprouted almonds, use alcohol free vanilla, and use ground flax seed instead of almond flour in the early stages of the diet.
Almond Butter Cookies
Yield: 12-15 cookies (depends on size)
1 cup Almond Butter
1 Whole Egg
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
Stevia or monkfruit powder , to taste (I only did 1/2 a packet)
- Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer or a fork.
- Roll into 1-inch balls.
- lightly press with a fork to flatten.
- Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool (will crumble when warm), then eat!
Unfortunately, there are few breads allowed in the beginning stage of the BED. The only approved bread seller sells only locally in California and online ($10 per loaf + S&H!). Because of this, I have been going through bread withdrawal. Therefore, I decided to make my own. The following bread recipe is my adaptation of the Stage 1 Body Ecology bread. I am still working on making it more sandwich bread-like, but for now, it is a better option than what is offered on the body ecology website. If you have several days, you can opt to both soak and sprout the grains before using them. I didn’t think that far ahead, so they are simply soaked overnight in this recipe.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup millet
- ½ cup amaranth
- ½ cup buckwheat
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds or psyllium
- 1 tbsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
-Soak quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds in just enough water to cover them. Let sit at least 8 hours or overnight.
-Carefully drain off excess water.
– Blend them in a food processor, gradually adding in each of the other ingredients. Make sure to separate baking soda and vinegar, so you avoid the foam. Blend until you have a loose paste. Add more water if paste is too thick.
– Pour into a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (8×4 will work too, but will be a tight fit). Top with seeds, if desired.
-Bake at 325°F for 60-90 minutes, until top springs back when pressed.
-Allow to cool 10 minutes, before removing from pan.
-Allow to cool entirely before slicing.