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Gluten Free Hamburger Buns and ‘Spaghetti’ Recipes

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By: Arthur Anderson

Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat. By a fluke it was discovered at the end of World War II that wheat was a main contributor to Celiac Disease. Reported Celiac Disease cases dropped dramatically because of lack of access to wheat flour during the war. There’s your bit of trivia for the day.

Since then much research has been done on gluten and has been shown that most people have some sensitivity to gluten. It’s no wonder since wheat is in almost every aspect of our eating from the muffin in the morning, to the sandwich for lunch, to the breaded chicken for dinner. But removing gluten/wheat from our diets can be a challenge because it forms some of our favorite foods like hamburgers and spaghetti.

Our good friend Leo Fontana introduced Vikki and I to one of his favorite snacks, Brazil Cheese Bread, or Brazi Bites as they are marketed at the store. They are made from tapioca flour, eggs, oil and cheese and they are delicious. You can find them in the frozen aisle at Whole Foods. But here’s the fun part they are VERY EASY to make at home, all you need is a muffin pan, or mini muffin pan. I decided to go big and use a mini round cake pan to make hamburger buns! Below is the recipe for making Brazilian Cheese Bread Hamburger Buns.

Quick Brazilian Burger Buns {Pao de Queijo}
Yields 6
Ingredients:
1. 2 large eggs
2. 1 cup milk (can substitute unsweetened coconut milk)
3. 1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil
4. 2 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
5. 1 tsp kosher salt
6. 1 tsp baking powder
7. 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
8. 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
9. Optional: extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add. Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!

Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400ºF
Step 2: Combine flour, salt and baking powder in bowl
Step 3: Put eggs, milk and avocado oil in blender
Step 4: When oven is almost to temperature pour dry ingredients into blender and blend until well mixed
Step 5: Add cheese to blender and pulse to mix in cheese
Step 6: Add ½ cup of batter to each bun cavity (about ½ full)
Step 7: Place pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes

Notes:
If you want to use a regular or mini muffin tin reduce the back time to 20-25 minutes.
You don’t need to use cheese if you prefer not to.

And my last gluten free recommendation are Zoodles. I first experienced these at a local restaurant on Plumb and McCarran called BFF Café. They are simply zucchini spiral cut into noodles. They go great with a marinara sauce or any other sauce you like to use with spaghetti. They also have the added benefit of being low in carbohydrates and high in Vitamin C. The only difference when cooking Zoodles is you pan fry them. I like to fry them in butter until the water is mostly gone and then add the sauce. You can find a variety of Zoodle makers on Amazon and elsewhere for under $30.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.