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Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook









Inside Out California Roll

Making sushi at home is easier than you think and this Inside Out California Roll is sure to impress. The Yard House California Roll was the inspiration for this edible work of art. Making sushi at home costs far less than ordering out. I think a lot of people shy away from making it because it appears labor intensive and difficult. Well, no worries here. With this version of the California Roll there is no rolling involved. Just pack it all in, invert and voila, you've got sushi!

Inside Out California Roll

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Assembly Time: 30-45 minutes
Common Allergens: Soy, Shellfish, Sesame (all may be omitted)

Ingredients You Need:

Sushi Rice
Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Crab (fresh or canned)
Sushi Nori
Sesame Seed (black and/or white)
Pickled Ginger
Gluten-free Teriyaki Sauce
Wasabi Powder


In medium saucepan, bring to boil then reduce to low, cover and cook 20 minutes (rice should be tender and all water absorbed, see Notes):

2 cups uncooked white SUSHI RICE (rinse and strain until water runs clear)
3 cups filtered WATER

Heat until well combined:

3 tablespoons HONEY
1 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
1-1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT (or to taste)

Allow rice and the vinegar mixture to cool a bit. Spread warm rice out on large jelly roll pan. Sprinkle vinegar mixture over rice. Gently, but briskly, toss until liquid is absorbed and rice has cooled. For optimal results and a glossy sheen, use a small fan to blow air over the rice as it's being tossed. Cover and set aside.

Prepare and set aside:

2 medium CUCUMBERS peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes
2 medium CARROTS peeled and spiralized (see Notes) or finely shredded
2 small ripe AVOCADOS cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes (see Notes for how-to video)
3 sheets SUSHI NORI cut into 1x1/8" shreds using kitchen shears
1-1/2 cups fresh CRAB MEAT shredded (use canned in a pinch)

Mix and set aside:

1 tablespoon prepared WASABI (if using wasabi powder, prepare as directed on packaging)
1/4-1/2 cup gluten-free TERIYAKI SAUCE (adjust to taste)

Assemble and serve:

1. Line a deep, straight-sided ramekin or souffle dish (approximately 4-5" wide) with plastic wrap.
2. Spoon in a layer of avocado to completely cover bottom of dish.
3. With moistened hands, make a lightly-packed rice ball that is 1" smaller in width than the dish.
4. Place rice ball on avocado layer and pack crab around edges of rice ball.
5. Spoon on a layer of cucumber.
6. Use a flat-bottomed glass to gently pack down cucumber, crab, rice and avocado.
7. Invert onto a plate and gently remove plastic wrap.
8. Press sushi nori around edges and sprinkle over top of sushi.
9. Top with carrot and pickled ginger.
10. Drizzle with Wasabi Teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
11. Serve immediately.


• For perfect rice every time you can use this no-measuring-cup technique I learned from my dad. Simply add desired amount of rice to pot (rice doubles in volume when cooked). Rinse and drain until water runs clear. Add enough water to pot so that it measures one knuckle above the level of the rice (pointer finger). Place in rice cooker. If cooking on stove top, bring to a full boil, cover, turn to low heat and cook for 20 minutes. No peeking.

• The technique for spiralizing carrots is the same as described in my "Zucchini Noodles" post. Spiralized veggies really dress up a dish. You could julienne as well.

• Asian markets should have most of what you need.

• And finally, a little how-to for cubing avocados. I like the tip on "squishing it out" for guacamole:



Vegan German Chocolate Frosting

Egg-free and not-to-sweet German Chocolate Frosting.
I did it, too! I cheated. I admit it.

A while back my friend, Nancy, at The Sensitive Pantry admitted to trying a Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix. Go Nancy! This week I followed in her footsteps. August is birthday month in our family. Lots of birthdays, lots of cakes. By the time my husband's birthday rolled around I wanted something quick and easy and totally illegal!

Let me post the disclaimer right now: The cake featured in this post is made with refined sugar (probably sugar beet) and eggs. So there.

The LEGAL part of this post is the frosting I globbed on TOP. It's a tasty little number that can transform any chocolate cake (not just Betty Crocker's) into the German version.

Thanks, Nancy, for admitting that we all fall (or intentionally jump) off the wagon once in a while and that it's OOOOKAY!

Alright, truth be told, this was my SECOND trial of a Betty Crocker gluten-free product. The first was the Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, which I made sans-eggs. Just substituted flax gel for the eggs (1 T flax meal + 3 T water = one egg) and made mini-cupcakes. They turned out great, too! But enough about Betty's cakes, here is the recipe for the frosting.

Vegan German Chocolate Frosting
Makes enough to cover one layer of a 9" round cake.

Gently heat until runny:

3/4 cup gluten-free BROWN RICE SYRUP
1 tablespoon HONEY (or AGAVE SYRUP for the vegan diets)
2 tablespoons COCONUT OIL
15 drops SweetLeaf® Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA

Add to food processor and whiz until almost smooth:

1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS (soak 4 hours, rinse well and drain)
2 teaspoons COCONUT FLOUR (if you don't have it it's probably fine without)
Heated syrup mixture

Add and pulse until incorporated:

1/2 cup chopped raw WALNUTS or PECANS
1/2 cup unsweetened COCONUT FLAKES
1 tablespoon NON-DAIRY MILK, if needed, to thin icing (how to make Almond Milk)

Pour over cake and gently spread.


International Food Bloggers Conference

I'm in Seattle. LOVE LOVE LOVE this city that I once called home. It's great to be back.

This morning the International Food Bloggers Conference is in full swing. 250+ food bloggers and foodies are here eager to learn AND eat. Here are some tasty bites from the event.

OPENING NIGHT PARTY WITH MORGAN SPURLOCK we heard from Morgan Spurlock. Morgan’s debut film Super Size Me was a massive success and earned Spurlock a 2004 Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary. The question was posed "how can we make people CARE" about eating right. What are your thoughts? He encouraged the room full of bloggers to be "transparent" ... be who you are, true to yourself, true to your followers. I liked that.

Lexie and Academy Award Nominee Morgan Spurlock

THEO CHOCOLATE:  Making chocolate from the bean! Theo Chocolate is the only organic, fair trade,bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the United States (pretty impressive, huh?). This fine company's production facility was the primary venue for the 2010 IFBC. Thank you Theo Chocolate for hosting us! Check them out. Their products are DIVINE. You chocolate lovers better check out their Single Origin bars.

THE MODERNIST CUISINE: The Art and Science of Cooking I think this soon-to-release 6-volume book set will blow many minds. These lavishly illustrated books use thousands of original images to make the science and technology clear and engaging. Some facts: 2400 total pages, 3500 stunning photos, 6.6 miles of text, 43 lbs, 1522 recipes. The set will retail for around $500. Pre-order now ... and start saving your pennies. Ha!

© Copyright Modernist Cuisine. Cover of Volume II.


Toasted Pancakes | Gluten-, Casein- & Egg-free

Happy back-to-school everyone! I don’t know about you, but I'm struggling with saying goodbye to our leisure summer mornings and hello to a more hurried start to our days. In hopes of making the transition easier, I have been giving some thought to quick breakfasts. One I will turn to often will be frozen Saturday Pancakes (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free). Just pop 'em in the toaster and serve them up with some almond butter, fruit and non-dairy yogurt (make your own). Voila, done!

For a handful of great allergen-free school lunch ideas, check out my friend’s recent post Allergy Lunchbox with Brain Power. I’ve printed it and taped it to my fridge. Thanks Kim!

Saturday Pancakes (A Lexie’s Kitchen previous post)
Serves: 3-4

In blender, blend on medium for 30 seconds:

2 tablespoons FLAX MEAL
6 tablespoons WATER

Add to blender in the following order:

2 tablespoons light OLIVE OIL
1/4 cup liquefied HONEY
1 tablespoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
3/4 cup WATER
1-1/2 cups BOB’S RED MILL ALL-PURPOSE GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR (can't find it? try this flour mix)
1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA

Blend at medium speed until combined. Pour batter onto a griddle heated to 275-300˚F. When bubbles appear and begin bursting on surface, flip pancakes and cook until undersides are golden. Serve immediately. Freeze any leftovers and reheat in toaster.


Pomegranate and Red Beet Smoothie

Move over green smoothie! Sip this fuchsia blended beverage and know you're getting a good dose of B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, antioxidants (three different types of polyphenols) and more. Give it a whirl!

And yes, it really is THAT pink ... Pepto-Bismol pink. My kiddos think this smoothie is the coolest!

Pomegranate & Red Beet Smoothie
Serves: 2-4

In a high-powered blender, blend until super smooth:

1/2 cup POM Wonderful® 100% PURE POMEGRANATE JUICE
1 cup NON-DAIRY MILK (how to make Almond Milk)
1/4-1/2 of a medium steamed and peeled RED BEET (how to steam a beet)
One generous handful of frozen STRAWBERRIES
One small handful of raw WALNUTS
20 drops SweetLeaf® Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA
1 teaspoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
Sweeten to taste, if needed, with runny HONEY or sweetener of choice

Add and blend until smooth:

1/2 cup ICE