Delight's Gluten-Free Blogger of the Week: Beth Manos Brickey

Here at Delight, we love nothing more than scrolling through a beautifully presented blog full of great gluten-free recipes and cooking tips. So we've started featuring one of our favorite gluten-free bloggers each week! Have a blog you'd like to see featured? Email alexandra@delightglutenfree.com.

After turning to the gluten-free lifestyle ten years ago, Beth Manos Brickey discovered gluten-free processed foods. At the beginning of her journey, she clung to the foods she missed most that she didn’t know could so easily be made gluten-free and healthy. Soon she started having chronic migraines, gaining weight, and a multitude of other issues. These problems were a blessing in disguise as she discovered how to cook and bake healthy, gluten-free foods using the freshest possible ingredients in season. Tasty Yummies is her online cookbook for all gluten-free individuals out there looking for ways to utilize all that nature has to offer.

Why did you first start baking or cooking?

I have always loved cooking, for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house where a fresh, home cooked meal was made for dinner every single night and we ate together as a family. Always. My dad did all of the cooking, my mom, all of the baking. I started cooking when I still lived at home. As I got older and my tastes started to change, I found myself wanting to create my own dishes to suit my own tastes and cravings. Once I moved out on my own, I was so excited to grocery shop and get creative in the kitchen.

What is the inspiration for your blog?

Tasty Yummies was created from the concept that I wanted to share my love of food and cooking and hopefully inspire others to start getting creative in their kitchens, no matter what their eating preferences or restrictions. After losing 30 pounds and completely changing my health through the foods I was eating, I couldn’t wait to share all of this with anyone that would listen. Additionally, I have a habit of never repeating a meal twice; I love constantly creating new dishes, though many times I forget some of our most favorite meals. My husband liked the idea of a recipe blog as an online menu of sorts, for us to choose from when I would meal plan each week.

What is one thing that is always in your refrigerator or pantry?

Olive oil.

One tip that all gluten-free cooks must learn.

To not rely on all of the horrible gluten-free processed foods being marketed to us as a way to eat. Though they may be safe in that they are gluten-free, and they are OK for once in a while, they are certainly not healthy. Instead, learn to create your favorite foods yourself, from fresh, whole ingredients. It is far easier than you think.

Something you wish someone had told you when you started your gluten-free lifestyle?

I wish someone would have told me just how bad all of the processed and packaged gluten-free foods were for me. About 5 years ago, after already being gluten-free over 5 years, I found myself indulging in more and more processed foods, out of convenience and for the pure fact that I missed so many of these foods. As packaged gluten-free foods become more and more available, I found myself indulging, slowly feeling sick, gaining weight, having chronic migraines and so much more. I wish I had known then what I know now and I am on a mission to share with others - no matter what restrictions they have on their diet - instead of focusing on things you can no longer eat, focus your energy on all of the many amazing, fresh whole foods, that you can eat! The possibilities are endless and soon as you discover more and more amazing foods you never even knew existed; you won’t even miss the others.

Where do you find the inspiration for your recipes?

Everywhere. From my garden or the local farmers market to our weekly organic CSA (community supported agriculture) delivery. Plus of course, cookbooks, magazines, food blogs, Pinterest - you name it.

I noticed that you have separate sections for the seasons on your website. Why did you decide to feature recipes that way?

I am constantly being inspired by all that is most fresh and in season. My dishes and the meals I plan are always dictated by what I am pulling from my own garden and what is showing up in our weekly CSA box. To me, when you are eating what is most in-season and local, when possible, you can be sure you are getting the freshest most-nutrient dense food available to you.

You also sell artwork on Etsy. Where does the inspiration for those pieces come from?

My husband and I have owned and run our own design studio and print shop for over 10 years now. As my interests and energy have shifted towards food, yoga and overall wellness - I am constantly finding myself inspired to incorporate all my many passions into one. Rather than only making posters and prints, my excitement has shifted to creating more goods that can celebrate and decorate my favorite room in the house - the kitchen.

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Mini Tarts with Whipped Coconut Cream

For the tartlets

2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners (you could also use greased mini tart pans). In a large bowl, add all of the crust ingredients and mix very well. Really get your hands in there to get it all together and work it into a nice dough. Add the crust mixture to the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cup using your knuckles, going up the sides a tad bit. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

For the roasted balsamic strawberries

2 pints baskets of strawberries, hulled and sliced (it’ll look like a lot of berries, but they cook down a lot)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple sugar (or palm/coconut sugar, raw sugar, etc)

Raise the oven to 400º F. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes while your oven preheats. Pour all of the strawberries and their juices onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or any other overproof dish or pan. Roast for about 10 to 12 minutes until the strawberries are hot but not too overly mushy. You can separate the berries and pour off some of the juices if you want to use it for drizzling, or you can just keep it all together. I kept some of the juice aside to add to some sparkling water for a refreshing drink.

For the whipped coconut cream

2 cans organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tablespoon maple syrup (use more or less or none at all, or whatever your favorite sweetener is)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Make sure that your cans of coconut milk are well chilled. I recommend leaving item in the fridge overnight. Open the cans of coconut milk carefully, keeping them level. There will be a firm, waxy layer of coconut cream that solidified on top. Carefully scoop this off into a chilled glass bowl. Keep the leftover coconut water, it is great for smoothies.

Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks. Mix in your maple syrup and vanilla, if you are using. Place the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until you are ready to use. This may be more than what you need for all 12 tarts, but that’s ok, it keeps for several days, covered in the fridge.

ASSEMBLING THE TARTS

Remove the paper liner off of the tart shells. Top each of the tart shells with a spoonful of the roasted balsamic strawberries and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Serve immediately.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Christina wrote:
So happy to see Beth featured here! I love all her recipes and photography, even though I am not on a GF diet. I am SO going to try the coconut whipped cream; it sounds incredible!

Sun, July 6, 2014 @ 3:50 PM

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