Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Party Appetizer Ideas - Gluten free!

So, since it's entertaining season, I thought I'd post a few of the gluten-free appetizer recipes that have been a big hit with my friends. This one is one I've mentioned before, prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with marcona almonds and goat cheese:

Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Dates


· 1/4 lb. thinly-sliced gluten-free prosciutto (Italian ham)--about 6-8 slices

· 15 large whole dates (Medjools work best)

· 1/3 cup marcona almonds (I use ones that are roasted in olive oil and salt)

· 4oz semi-soft cheese--fresh goat cheese works best, but fresh ricotta also works well


1. With a paring knife, slice the date lengthwise, open the date, and remove the pit.

2. In each date, depending on the size, spread or pipe 1/2 -1 tsp. of the cheese.

3. Press 1-2 almonds into the cheese where the pit used to be, and then re-close the date as mush as possible.

4. Wrap each stuffed date with about 1-in. width of the prosciutto so that the cheese and almonds are covered.

5. Place the wrapped, stuffed dates on a foil-lined sheet pan, about 1-2 inches apart.

6. Broil the dates under the top broiler in the oven for about 2-3 minutes a side, or until the am starts to crisp and the dates begin to smoke a bit, then flip and brown the other side.

7. Remove and cool a few minutes (the cheese can get hot), and then enjoy with maybe a drizzle of a balsamic reduction. Also great cold as a snack.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Okay, a real gluten-free delicata squash crustless pie recipe

This recipe is adapted from the two recipes mentioned in the previous post. I was really happy with the flavor, texture (like a real pumpkin custard pie!) and the performance of this recipe!!

Roasted Delicata Squash Crustless Custard Pie


· 1 whole delicate squash halved with the seeds removed

· 1/2 cup brown sugar

· 1 1/4 cup milk

· 2 large eggs

· 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)

· maple syrup (optional)

· oil (canola, safflower, or the like)

· 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt (or equivalent) and toasted pecans or toffee for crumbling


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and cover a baking sheet with foil.

2. Place squash halves, face up, on the baking sheet, rub with oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and drizzle with maple syrup.

3. Roast squash for 20-30 minutes or until soft and just starting to darken, then remove and allow to cool.

4. Scoop squash flesh out of the skins and into a food processor, add the brown sugar and blend until smooth.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until blended, then add the squash puree and mix until uniform.

6. In a medium sauce pan, bring milk to a low boil with the vanilla bean piece and simmer for 10-15 minutes until milk just starts to caramelize.

7. While continuously stirring, slowly pour the scalded milk to temper the squash and egg mixture, then pour into ramekins and bake at 350 until set, around 30-40 minutes. Custards are done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Remove from oven and cool for several hours in the refrigerator before serving. At the last minute, crush your toasted sweet pecans or toffee and sprinkle on top. Add whipped cream if you can have it (you lucky guys!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Satisfying your pumpkin pie cravings...with no crust...and no pumpkin?

So, you say the one thing you really missed about Thanksgiving was the pumpkin pie? How about trying a crustless "pie" with a crumble topping? And how about trying an alternative to pumpkin...say, a delicata squash maple pie? I tried this recipe:
Sans the crust with fairly good results! I made mine in individual ramekins instead of a pie plate and cooked for a slightly shorter time...then crumpled toffee pieces over the top for crunch! (If you are not nut-allergic, crushed toasted hazelnuts or pecans work well too...and, of course, add more nutrition than toffee!)
There's an alternative delicata squash recipe up at Wegman's, again, of course, you can skip the crust or use a pre-made gluten free one (I prefer the former to the latter...)

What about you? Gluten-free pie crust or crustless? Pumpkin, sweet potato, delicata squash...or do you have alternative ideas?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Menus Without Wheat...or Poultry?

I'm trying to plan a Thanksgiving meal around my allergies, which include wheat and all poultry (I know, bummer!) The biggest obstacle is a substitute for the turkey, and the other is the lack of stuffing...which used to be one of my favorite things, along with pie crust. I've seen stuffings made with polenta...have any of you had success with that or a recipe to share? The important thing to me is to get the idea of the flavors of Thanksgiving, so we don't feel too deprived.

Here's what I'm thinking about, but I am open to suggestions!
--delicata squash stuffed with roasted grapes and cranberries
--roasted baby potatoes
--roasted asparagus
--maybe an attempt at osso bucco? or roast beef?
--hot grape-juice-and-cranberry cider to drink

--maple creme brulee with sugared cranberries on top
--cranberry-chocolate-chip muffins
(I tried and failed to make a delicata-squash cheesecake, but let's just say the texture of delicata squash does not equal pumpkin.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Delicious fall-friendly foods - the gluten-free edition!

Wanted to post a couple of recipes that might seem extra-satisfying now that it's getting a little colder.
One is the delicious butterscotch budino from Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza. It is, in fact, the most delicious pudding I have ever tasted. I didn't think I liked puddings or butterscotch, but this recipe changed my mind:

The other is a variation on a creation I've seen on a lot of gluten-free menus, the broiled stuffed date. Sometimes wrapped in bacon, sometimes with blue cheese favorite variation is the following:
--Procure the following: some fresh soft goat cheese, some big dates that are pre-seeded for easier stuffing, marcona almonds, and some thin slices of prosciutto. (A little good balsamic reduction at the end is optional...)
--Slice the date horizontally, nestle the marcona almond inside, pipe a little goat cheese next to the almond, and close it back up.
--wrap the date in a slice of prosciutto.
--Broil on each side for about three minutes.
Yum! Then drizzle with your reduced balsamic vinegar...perfect, hot, satisfying snacks for your gluten-free guests!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Suggestions for peaches, and Betty Crocker gluten-free mix reviews

What to do with peaches...

If you're anything like me, you're enjoying the natural (and naturally gluten-free) abundance of summertime produce. One fruit at its best this time of year is the peach. Right now, you can find white-fleshed nectarines (my favorite!) and donut peaches as well as more mundane varieties, and they all smell like perfume and taste divine, nothing like frozen or canned. So how to take advantage of them? Here are a couple of ideas:
--Peach salsa: chop peaches just as you would tomatoes, and mix in a little jalepeno, cilantro, red onion (I like to saute or blanch them to keep them from getting too sulfur-y) and maybe whatever else you have lying around - chop a red pepper, cucumber. Serve fresh and immediately with corn chips or (even more deliciously) on top of pork or chicken.
--Grilled peach dessert: Pretty simple. Clean your grill (lest you leave steak-flavoring on it) and then briefly, over the cooler part of the grill, put down your peaches long enough to get grill marks, maybe two minutes on each side. (Leave the skin on and split in half for best grilling.) Serve with honey, maybe some creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of balsamic.
--Peach caprese salad: Slices of fresh nectarine or peach go fantastically well with slices of fresh mozzarella, leaves of fresh basil, used exactly as you would tomatoes in a caprese salad. Stack. Drizzle with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (I've also seen variants of this with fresh small mozzarella balls and chunks of peach, served on skewers. Kind of a fun picnic idea!)

Betty Crocker Cookie Mix and Cake Mix Reviews
(Disclaimer: Betty Crocker or related companies have not paid me or given me any free product.)
I've been trying out the Betty Crocker mixes, searching for the tastes of the desserts of my 1970's childhood without gluten. Some of the mixes (including, sadly, the chocolate cake gluten-free mix) include flours I'm allergic to, like tapioca. Here are two I have tried and liked:
--Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix (Gluten-Free.) Terrific. Almost like the real thing, except these cookies stick in your throat a bit more because of the drier rice flour. Doesn't contain tapioca, but does include xanthan gum (for those who are sensitive.) We added crushed up Heath bars (about a half a cup) and substituted gluten-free Guittard chocolate chips (dark) because we are chocolate snobs and the crushed toffee makes the cookies a little more texturally satisfying. (I crave crunch!)
--Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix (yellow) - a bit mealy, more like a muffin texture than a true cupcake feel, but terrific if you throw in some blueberries and call them blueberry muffins and very tolerable with my (cream-cheese-butter-confectioner's-sugar-with-a-dash-of-cranberry-juice-for-color) signature icing. Come to think of it, these are at least as good as most cupcakes I've had at gluten-free bakeries. Does have xantham gum, no tapioca flour.

Monday, July 4, 2011

red, white and blue: gluten-free on the 4th of July

Hey everyone! I thought this 4th of July holiday we would celebrate by trying out some new recipes in red, white, and blue. And, they both use ricotta cheese - make sure you pick up a gluten-free brand - I like Calabro.

The first amazing recipe is a homeade gelato that's super simple and easy to make with any kind of cheap ice-cream-making home device that contains basically gelatin, your fruit of choice (blueberries for us!) and ricotta cheese and cream.

Recipe: Blueberry Ricotta Gelato


·1 packet (1/4 oz) powdered gelatin

· 1 cup ripe blueberries

· 3/4 cup sugar

· 16 oz ricotta cheese (drained)

· 1 cup heavy whipping cream


1. Bloom the gelatin in 3 Tablespoons of cold water for 5 minutes.

2. Stir 1/2 of this gelatin mixture into 1/4 cup hot water (or heat gently over a double boiler or carefully in the microwave) until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Discard the remaining gelatin.

3. In the food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until smooth, and then add the blueberries, sugar, and gelatin, blending after each addition until creamy.

4. Beat the cream until thick (not stiff), and then fold in the blueberry mixture.

5. Churn in an ice cream maker to the desired consistency (check the manufacturer’s directions).

Note: I had to 1/2 this recipe because I have a small ice cream maker--the kind with the container that you pre-freeze.)

6. Serve when set, or place in a chilled container and freeze (this gelato freezes pretty hard, so you will need to thaw slightly before serving.) But I recommend eating it right away - soooo good on a hot day, and not too sweet!

The second is a simple salad that I thought I had been so original when I made up - yet this week three different cooking and health magazines featured variations of it!

Recipe: Grilled Watermelon and Ricotta Salata Salad (Red and White!)

It involves quickly grilling slices of watermelon (yes, that's right, I grill my watermelon - gives it a whole new flavor!) throwing some slices of riccota salata cheese (you can try feta or mozzarella as well) on top of them with whatever greens you have handy (a little arugula works well.) Then, a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar - so delicious! If you're like me and grow herbs in the summertime, mint or basil both work well on top. Eat while the watermelon is still hot!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Seattle Times Does a Gluten-Free Feature

The Seattle Times ran an article (with a couple of recipes) on gluten-free baking today. Check it out here!

Also, as the husband and I were driving back from Golden Gardens park yesterday in a blinding sudden day of sunshine, we ran across this place, Veraci Pizzeria, that was advertising that they now have gluten-free dough! Anyone tried it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flying Apron Bakery Review - Redmond Branch

Vegan and gluten-free bakery Flying Apron opened an East-side location in Redmond after a couple of years of success with their other Seattle locations. They've also started supplying the local Whole Foods with cupcakes and other goodies.
So I had to stop in and check it out for myself. The staff was friendly enough, and though some items did have their ingredients listed, not all of them did, and the staff did not seem to know the ingredients (yikes! Not knowing the flours used in the cupcakes is kind of dangerous is you're dealing with people with food allergies.) We tried a cinnamon roll, a corn-berry muffin, and a cupcake. The cupcake's frosting melted before we got to it, but Glenn pronounced the cupcake cake itself moist, dense, and chocolatey, but the frosting was sort of "meh." That was the best of the three - the cinnamon roll was too dry and grainy, and the corn-berry muffin was tough to get through (and Glenn also remarked it caused him, um, tummy trouble later in the day. Maybe the flax?) So, not a slam-dunk, but on the East-side, beggars cannot be choosers! The prices are a little on the high side (around $5 for each item.)
We'll try them again for their pizza dough (gluten-free pizza doughs are really tough - we haven't found one yet we could manage to actually eat more than a few bites of) and maybe a cookie or another type of muffin? Maybe a scone? We think every gluten-free bakery deserves at least two visits!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NY Times gluten-free Easter treats and a CNN article

So, you're hankering for some Easter candy, but you're not sure which candy is safe to eat? Why not try and make your own!
This is a "homeade peeps" recipe from the NY Times:
I would try it with pink (cranberry juice maybe?) instead of the saffron and do bunny shapes.

And: Will a gluten-free diet improve your health?
CNN did a kind of half-lame, half-useful article on gluten-free diets and gluten intolerance and celiac. I mean, most science articles in mainstream news are like that, I suppose, so I can't be too upset.
I would venture to guess that I am not the only person in the world who benefited tremendously from not eating wheat - and bread was about my favorite thing on earth, so if I can skip it, I know you can, too. I encourage my family and friends to try going two weeks completely gluten-free, and seeing if they don't see a difference in their skin, digestion, energy levels, etc. It's not always waking up one day, like I did, with anaphylaxis when you eat a cookie. Sometimes it's more subtle. I have a feeling I was having stomach problems for years that were connected to eating wheat, a low-level building-up problem that eventually went into crisis mode. Anyway, you have nothing to lose and possibly better health to gain, so why not try it?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Cooking Channel My Life in Food

Ironically, since I was diagnosed with food allergies, I have become a bit addicted to watching The Food Network and The Cooking Channel; I watch things like Cupcake Wars and Iron Chef and the occasional Ina Garten show. Sometimes I even pick up tips on the side - for instance, watching Iron Chef Morimoto and Bobby Flay in the big old kitchen stadium taught me techniques like tempura battering, no joke! This weekend I chanced in a viewing of a show called "My Life in Food," and this particular episode dealt with celiac disease and food allergies. Jennifer Esposito, an actress, talks about her celiac diagnosis, and Sloane Miller, whose "Allergic Girl" blog Please Don't Pass the Nuts was one of the first to try to raise awareness for food allergies, talks about going to restaurants and dealing with food allergies there. It was really nice to have something like this on a food network, giving some guidance as to shopping, eating out, etc. I wished they had regular programming that addressed needs like wheat-free eating and allergy-free recipes!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Snacks! What do you eat?

One of the toughest things when I went to my current diet is figuring out what to eat when I want a snack. A lot of my go-to snacking stuff used to be wheat-based: crackers, cookies, cereal with milk. I can't drink milk any more, most gluten-free cereals have something in them that bother me, and I haven't been happy with many gluten-free ready-made products such as cookies and crackers (that's a nice way of saying they're mostly really bad.)
My husband is a bit of a kitchen wizard, and he's started to whip up simple things in the kitchen to help my snack attacks.
Here are some of the things I snack on now, and I'd love to hear from you on the "quick snack" solutions you've come up with.
--grapes cut in half, broiled, and drizzled with honey
--banana slices frozen and then whipped in the food processor to become ice-cream-like in texture. (Thanks to friend Michaela Eaves for that tip!)
--gluten-free cereals: Nature's Path Crispy Rice and the Nature's Path Honey'd Corn Flakes are the two best-tasting with the simplest ingredient lists
--Glenn's homemade vanilla marshmallows (Sometimes dipped in melted Sharffenberger chocolate, dairy and gluten-free) (occasionally combined with that crispy rice cereal!) Glenn says he uses Thomas Keller's marshmallow recipe, which was reproduced here. Try it out!
--Glenn's vanilla meringue cookies. He doesn't even use tartaric acid, he just whips egg whites with confectioner's sugar and a little salt in the food processor and then uses a pastry bag to pipe them onto parchment paper. 2 hours at 200 degrees.
It's not as tricky as you think to make your own food. That's what I keep realizing. Well, especially when your husband does the hard parts and the cleaning up!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gluten-free Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake

One of the regular desserts that I am still able to eat after going wheat-free is cheesecake, which we usually make crust-free (I can crumble cornflakes or heath bars over the top if I want crunch factor.)
This is one of our new regular rotations. All glory and credit to my husband Glenn, who wrote and tested this recipe all by himself! The hardest thing about this cheesecake is waiting for it to set up and chill! (Sometimes I stick one in the freezer to cheat and eat in within the hour.) We decided to go for a ricotta-cream cheese combination, because ricotta is a little healthier and gives the cheesecake more tartness and texture, and for someone like me, who is a little sensitive to casein proteins, whey-based ricotta is a little easier on my stomach. (I can't drink a glass of milk, but I cook with milk all the time, and am learning which cheeses are easier to eat.)

Gluten-Free Crust-less Chocolate Ricotta Cheese Cake


· 16 oz. (one tub) fresh whole milk ricotta (drained)

· 8 oz. (one package) cream cheese (regular--not reduced fat)

· 1 cup sugar

· 4 large eggs

· 1 tsp. vanilla extract

· Pinch of salt

· 4 oz. dark chocolate (60-70%) (We've been using Scharffenberger)


1. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with two layers of heavy-duty foil.

2. Preheat oven to 300°F and heavily grease the inside of the pan with cooking spray or shortening.

3. In a food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until creamy, then add the cream cheese and sugar and blend until smooth.

4. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth.

5. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate by 20 second increments until just melted.

6. Blend the chocolate until smooth, then add 1/3 of the cheese mixture to the chocolate and mix until smooth.

7. Add the chocolate mixture back into the remaining cheese mixture and blend until smooth and uniform.

8. Pour mixture into the pan (not above one-half inch from the top) and place the pan in a large shallow oven-save dish.

9. Fill the dish with water so that the water level comes half way up the side of the cheesecake pan.

10. Back until the cheesecake is firm to the touch, but not cracking, at least 1 hour and 20 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least one hour, and then refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours until very firm.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Portland's Gluten-Free Pizza choices; now where are Seattle's?

I was cheered to see a gluten-free pizza joint mentioned in the March Portland Monthly's feature of pizza in Portland:
(Under "Clever Crusts:" Sellwood Pizza Kitchen)
Then, another blog highlighted yet another gluten-free pizza option:
at Portobello's, which also does Vegan pizza.

And I started to think, I'm a little jealous. Where are Seattle's gluten-free pizza options? Where is Seattle Magazine's feature on gluten-free pizza? Are you listening, Seattle Met? Or 425 Magazine? We need info on pizza! It is the one flour-based craving I still continually get. The only one I know about for sure is Garlic Jim's. Anyone?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wall Street Journal Article

A fascinating Wall Street Journal Article on the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and how a non-celiac immune response to wheat might cause a variety of odd symptoms.
My own allergy developed in my mid-thirties, and is a full-on anaphylaxis response. Imagine my surprise the first time that happened! I also lost about forty pounds in the four months after I stopped eating wheat. I just throw that out there because I think that was part of my inflammation response to wheat, which I was eating every day (to calm down stomach problems! which were probably also caused by wheat!)
Anyway, responses to wheat can be varied and strange. I now encourage my family and friends to try stopping gluten for a couple of weeks, and see if they don't feel better overall. It doesn't help everyone, but you never know!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Meeting for Happy Hour in Downtown Seattle - Tango

Ever wish you could meet your girlfriends downtown for Happy Hour like a "normal" person? One of my great discoveries over the past years of eating gluten-free are the South American, Cuban, and Spanish cuisines, often naturally wheat-less. One of my favorite places to eat in Napa Valley while I lived there was a Venezuelan restaurant called "Pica Pica," a completely gluten-free place, filled with delicious options and no wrong choices - corn-based grilled-cheese sandwiches called the "maizewich" and arepas, soups and salads. (If you're ever in Napa, be sure to stop by - they have an outpost in San Francisco, now, too.)

Anyway, one of my favorite Happy Hours in downtown Seattle even before I went gluten-free was Tango, a restaurant with a melange of Cuban, Argentian, and Spanish menu items. Parking is a bit tough (valet parking at a nearby hotel is your best option)and the location, between downtown and Capital Hill, is a bit further out, but check out this gluten-free menu:
The desserts are often gluten free, though they're not all listed here - and the appetizers, particularly the carnitas, are so tasty! I've never tried their paellas - it's hard to get past the appetizers - but I'm really looking for it. This is for when you're up for eating spices and a bit more adventurously, but the service has always been lovely and, like I said, a special gluten-free menu! The drinks are terrific as well, especially the variations on the mojito, which makes it ideal for a get-together right after work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wheatless in Seattle...A gluten-free bakery I can't try...Plus the best gluten-free Banana Bread

Dear readers,
Well, sometimes there are gluten-free places that sound fantastic, but for whatever reason, I'm not going to be able to taste the food for you. (In this case, it's because the baked goods all include tapioca flour, which I'm mildly allergic to.) But just because I can't doesn't mean you should deprive yourself! If you're in Seattle and you're looking for a gluten-free fix on the run, be sure to check out Wheatless in Seattle. Their rep for good-tasting gluten-free treats is pretty great, the owner seems really friendly, and their web site even includes helpful links for other gluten-free stuff going on in Seattle.
So, this is a cannot-taste-but-sounds-great affirmation from me. Go and visit and tell me what you think!

Because I can't leave you hanging, here's my tried-and-tested recipe for gluten-free banana bread (no xantham gum, no tapioca flour - just rice and potato flour and banana! It's pretty simple!) People who can eat wheat ate it and liked it,, more than once! Always a good sign for a recipe.

Gluten free banana bread that even people who can eat wheat will like!

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup oil (We used canola.)
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses (for color - the bread stays very light colored without it)
1 and 1/3 cups ripe banana, smashed
3/4 Cup potato starch
2 Tablespoon potato flour
1 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup white rice flour
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and put butter/put cooking spray on a loaf pan.
Beat eggs and sugar until frothy, and then add oil, water and molasses. Add the well-mashed banana and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the two rice flours, potato starch, potato flour, baking powder and salt.
Gently mix the dry ingredients into the banana and egg liquid until just combined (do not over mix).
Spread the batter evenly into the pan, and bake for about 60 minutes, or until middle is firm and the top has turned a golden brown. Let set for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Tastes great grilled and served with ice cream, yogurt, or cream cheese. Also good with coffee and brunch.

You may notice many of my gluten-free recipes are sweets. Because many of the things I miss with wheat are dessert-oriented. (And pizza. And brunch options.) But I promise I'll do some savory recipes soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Back in Seattle and Ready to Report

Hi there! I'm recently diagnosed with a wheat allergy and just moved back to my "hometown" of Seattle - well, I lived there for ten years before two years of living in California, so I consider it my hometown.
I risk anaphylaxis every time I eat anything contaminated with wheat - a condition that's new to me, only been around for a year or two - so I've had to change my diet in a hurry, and my poor husband has to contend with trying to create gluten-free recipes on the fly. I'm also allergic to buckwheat, teff, and tapioca, which makes most ready-made gluten-free baked goods a problem too. Fun!
So I'm hoping to talk here about places in Seattle and surroundings (Portland, La Conner, Bainbridge Island, etc) about places where you can buy gluten-free products and restaurants that offer gluten-free options.
The Northwest is pretty friendly to gluten-free needs but I have been "surprised" by reactions in restaurants that accidentally put on a beurre blanc with flour in it, for instance and cross-contamination type of stuff, so I'll keep track and let you know!
If you have suggestions, please let me know!
For my first gluten-free recipe, here's my husband's custard that has a regular rotation in our dessert menu. It's a slightly healthier version of creme brulee, with whole eggs instead of just the yolks, and lactose-free milk instead of cream. I promise you, it's still delicious, and if you have a little brulee torch (or know how to use the broiler) you can put that crisp sugar crust on it, and no one will know it's not the full-fat version.

Jeannine's faux creme-brulee custard
(contains milk and eggs)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup 2 percent lactose-free milk (scalded: involves heating it to 190 and then letting it cool.)
1/2 of a vanilla bean's scraping
4 eggs, lightly beaten
a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other flavorings as desired

Lightly beat eggs and add sugar, salt and scalded milk to egg mixture. Mix. Pour into individual ramekins (if you own them - we make four from this recipe) and sprinkle with desired spices. Set ramekins in a shallow pan filled half-way up with water (make sure the water level is not higher than your ramekin dishes - you don't want water inside your custard dishes!) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean - overbaking makes the custard too loose, so check your oven the first time you do it for times. Cool in the fridge to set for an hour or so. For a brulee crust, sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar and hit it briefly with your brulee torch. Extra fancy! Put some berries or mint on top for color.