I miss Abby’s Kitchen terribly. To be able to go for a special dinner knowing I could eat anything that crossed my plate was such a lovely gift. And to know that everything would be delicious, well, that was beyond icing on the gluten-free cake.
Abby has moved on to more exciting adventures including pop-up dinners, and her Cook-With cookbook. More about that later but for now she just self-published a cookbook that is 100% naturally gluten-free recipes called Essential Sides and Sauces. I haven’t gotten a copy yet (ahem, Abby, hint hint) but when I do I’ll be sure to post a review. Though I can already say I know it will be amazing.
I was able to ask the lovely Abby a few questions about the cookbook and she also agreed to let me post one of the recipes!
Dr Samantha: I’m so excited about this cookbook. Why did you focus on this topic?
Chef Abby: Vegetables, whether raw, panfried to a crisp in coconut oil, or perfectly roasted, are an essential part of life. However, not everyone lines up at the kitchen table for plain-Jane greens and unseasoned tubers. To make healthful ingredients work to support a vibrant lifestyle, it’s important to dress them up just right. I’ve chosen to focus this cookbook on what I truly think are the most important types of recipes to have in your kitchen “toolbox.” Meals come together in a pinch when you have on hand a couple of tasty toppings or dipping sauces that suddenly pull everything together into a cohesive meal. Roasted cauliflower shines alongside a slightly spicy romesco sauce; squash and sage, happy bedfellows, take a quick bath in hot coconut oil, then pair with the vegan lemon aioli to make for a pleasurable eating moment. It’s hard to eat saucy vegetables or main dishes standing up or driving in your car. I love them for this reason, among many others. The recipes in this cookbook should call you to the table, where you can sit and relish in the work you’ve done to create something sublime.
Dr Samantha: I know you’ve got so much on your plate, why did you decide to publish a cookbook now, in the middle of your other projects?
Chef Abby: In the midst of working on my dinner party cookbook menus and recipe testing, I realized that I had on hand so many versatile recipes that are both user friendly and deliciously simple. With the goal of always being accessible and inspiring to many types of eaters (and cooks!) I rallied around this sauce and sides cookbook project as a way to share with the world some of my most cherished and well-loved recipes for everyday cooking. I hope each one inspires someone in the kitchen, and that this cookbook becomes one of your favorites for bold flavored sauces and well-rounded sides that can make a meal shine!
Dr Samantha: I know all of your recipes are gluten-free, and I know your restaurant was also dairy and soy-free. What about this batch of recipes in the book?
Chef Abby: All of my recipes are naturally free of gluten, dairy, and soy (three of the most common food allergens) so that you can cook for every type of eater and enjoy good health through fresh foods.
Quinoa Sweet Potato Cakes
Serves 32 cakes (freezes well!)
These cakes are very versatile and a great grain side dish to pull together a meal that has a saucy entreé like a ragout, braised dish or chili. It serves as a great compliment to a simple meal of a main dish salad as well.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potato
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa*
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced onion or shallot
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (or 2/3 cup brown rice and 1/3 tapioca flour)
- coconut oil, for frying
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. Test cake in a pan: coat a frying pan with a thin layer of coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add cake (form batter into a tablespoon size ball) and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side; do not flip until edges are browned around the side.
- Use a metal spatula to flip. Cook on the second side for 2 minutes more. Rewarm in the oven if making ahead.
- Alternatively, grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil and bake in the oven on 425, flipping the cakes once to brown both sides (about 12 minutes total).
- To cook the quinoa: measure 1 1/2 cups quinoa and 3 cups water in a small pot, with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil uncovered, and when the water boils, turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 minutes more. Now your quinoa is cooked and ready to use!
There are several different sauce options she gives in her book…go get it!