A Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day

by Ankur Garg
A Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day

For me, a gluten-free Valentine’s Day has always been better spent in the comfort of my own home with a homemade meal. Sharing food and building memories with my loved ones. But with such a hectic and busy work schedule it is difficult for me to prepare a large, extensive meal. That is exactly why I stick to the basics. I’ve created a quick and simple, gluten-free Valentine’s inspired meal to share with anyone special in your life. [Plus, these recipes are so easy to double or triple to accommodate a full Valentine’s day party feast!] 

For an entree course I’m making my famous gluten-free and dairy-free “Penne Alla Vodka-Less” recipe, which is featured in my cookbook “Gluten Free My Recipe: A gluten-free cookbook and conversion guide“. (Email me directly at mcnav@glutenfreemyrecipe.com to receive a free gift with any book purchase.) The perfect savory accompaniment for the thick vodka-less sauce is my herb focaccia bread. Prep the bread first and bake it while preparing the pasta so both dishes are ready and hot to serve together. In all honesty, is there anything better than dipping bread into the leftover pasta sauce on your plate? 

For dessert I’ve created something that’s perfect to make ahead of time and leave in the fridge until it’s time to eat. My chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for sharing with your loved ones. Pick out your favorite gluten-free snacks for dipping! You can even make a huge batch of this recipe and use it for a dessert dip at your next party. It’s made with About Time’s Vanilla Whey Protein for a healthy alternative to gluten-free flours and makes it safe for raw consumption. My recipe yields 8 servings but no one will judge you if you polish this whole thing off on your own!

So this holiday, skip the reservations and long waits at an expensive restaurant. Forget about slaving over a hot stove to prepare a complicated dinner. Instead, spend your time enjoying the company of the people you love. Remember, simple is always best and sharing love is all that really matters. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Herb Focaccia Bread (yields 6 servings)


Herb Focaccia Bread - hot from the oven!

Herb Focaccia Bread – hot from the oven!

  • 1 tsp. gelatine
  • 1 Tbsp. dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill potato starch 
  • 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary (or 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary), separated 
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme (or 1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme)
  • ​A pinch of salt and sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Nutritional Information (per serving):
83 Calories, 5g total fat, 8g carbohydrates and 2g protein.


1. In a small mixing bowl add the gelatine, salt and sugar to cold water.  Let stand for 1 minute and then heat until the gelatine dissolves.  Add the yeast and let stand for an additional 10 minutes to allow to yeast to activate. 
2. After 10 minutes add in the egg, most of the olive oil (leaving some to brush the top with) and the flour.  Beat together until well combined. Stir in 1/2 Tbsp of dried rosemary and 1/2 Tbsp of dried thyme.  Spray a 13×9 rectangular baking pan with non-stick spray. Pour in the batter and let sit for an additional 20-25 minutes.     
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Optional: Press the batter down into the pan and with your thumb press down gently along the dough creating dimples on the entire top.  Spread the remaining olive oil, minced garlic and herbs overtop.  
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into 12 even squares and place on a cooling rack.  Serve hot and using additional “vodka-less” sauce for dipping. 
Penne Alla Vodka-Less (yields 4 servings)


Penne Alla Vodka-Less - the best bowl of comfort food

Penne Alla Vodka-Less – the best bowl of comfort food

  • 1 (8 oz.) box gluten-free penne pasta (I prefer quinoa penne)
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar gluten-free marinara sauce or appox. 3 cups of homemade sauce
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free grated Parmesan topping, separated
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free coconut creamer
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsps. vegan butter
Nutritional Information (per serving):
355 calories, 11g total fat, 60g carbohydrates and 7g protein. 


1. Cook the penne pasta according to the package’s directions. 
2. While the penne is cooking, melt the butter and coconut oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Be careful to not brown the butter and oil or it will result in a bitter taste. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a slow boil. 
3. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add in the coconut creamer and Parmesan topping (saving some Parmesan topping for garnish). Stir well to combine. Let simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. 
4. Add the drained penne to the sauce and coat well with the sauce. Cover and simmer for an additional 4-5 to thicken the sauce. For an e ben thicker sauce, ass a ladle full of starchy pasta water and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 
5. Serve hot, topped with the remaining grated Parmesan topping. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (yields 8 servings) 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - need we say more?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – need we say more?

  • 1 stick vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup organic brown cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free pure vanilla extract
  • 2 scoops About Time vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free chocolate chips
Nutritional Information (per serving):
273 calories, 16g total fat, 27g carbohydrates and 7g protein.


1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together softened butter with brown sugar. Stir in protein powder and vanilla extract.
2. Fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour before serving. Serve with gluten-free treats for dipping and sharing; gluten-free pretzel sticks, gluten-free rice cakes, gluten-free graham crackers, apple slices, crushed gluten-free ice cream sugar cones.


The post A Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day appeared first on About Time.

by Ankur Garg


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