I’m still getting used to this gluten-free lifestyle, and when you throw in that it’s an egg-free lifestyle too, many made-from-scratch recipes–even gluten-free ones–go right out the window. My mother has experienced this frustration, as well, as she works with me to try to come up with a Thanksgiving meal I can enjoy.
Fortunately (at least it’s fortunate in some senses), we live in a time of pre-made mixes, and, more significantly for me, we live in a time with a proliferation of pre-made gluten-free mixes, many of which I can at least experiment with leaving egg-free. Many people in my generation in the U.S. take for granted that of course there’s a mix for nearly anything you could want to make. But it wasn’t that long ago that people with celiac, or people who had to eschew gluten/wheat for other reasons, were stuck with trying to find unusual flours to make everything from scratch from the beginning of diagnosis. I’m grateful I don’t live in that time, because I would have rapidly, miserably lost much weight . . . or I would have had to quit my job to focus on figuring out what to eat.
One of the tastiest mixes that I have found is Pamela’s chocolate brownie mix. (If you’d like, you can look at the ingredients at the link.)
Wanting something with a little more panache than just plain brownies (not that they aren’t a perfect food already, if that’s what you’re craving), I decided to take the basic Pamela’s brownies to a whole new level by throwing in some orange. A valuable food tip I learned several years ago is that in chocolate-y (or other sweet) recipes that call for water, you can usually substitute orange juice to kick your flavor up a notch. I prefer to grate the peel of an organic orange to throw into the recipe and then use the juice from the same orange. Here’s my easy Pamela’s-mix-based gluten-free, egg-free, casein-free chocolate-orange brownie recipe. It would make an excellent picnic food or Valentine’s dessert for an allergic loved one, especially if you baked it in a heart-shaped pan or cut out the brownies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. (Oh, and the gluten eaters at my house said they would never have known it was gluten-free if I hadn’t told them.) It’s the kind of dessert where you close your eyes and savor each bite . . . or at least, that’s what I’ve been doing when I take one of these precious brownies out of the freezer and defrost it.
1 bag of Pamela’s chocolate brownie mix
1/4 c. oil
1/3 c. melted ghee/clarified butter (or use more oil)
grated rind of one organic orange (you don’t want the pesticides from the orange skin in your food)
juice from one orange (or two) plus water to equal 1/3 c. total
1 T Ener-G vegan egg replacer
2 T sparkling water
1 t olive oil (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the mix through the water in a mixing bowl. Using the measuring cup you’ve already dirtied to hold them, pour in the egg replacer, sparkling water, and oil. Whisk them with a fork until well-mixed. Pour into brownie mix, and stir well. Immediately pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out with very small crumbs.
Enjoy the sight, the taste, and the wonderful aroma.