Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb Cake, the gluten-free, dairy-free version

Rhubarb Cake

The original version of this recipe was thought to be a “DeWitt Family Recipe”; but turned out to be an “extended-family recipe”. It was written down by Ruth Smith, my Uncle Dick Dailey’s mother and then passed from my Aunt Rosemary (DeWitt) Dailey to my mother Dolores (Chioccarello) DeWitt. To make it truly inter-generational, I added a touch of my own—walnuts in the topping. Now I’ve revised it to be gluten-free / dairy-free / corn-free. The original made a 9″ x 13″ cake, which is usually too much for just me, so I’ve listed the ingredients for a 9″x9″ version as well.


9″x13″ pan Ingredient 9″x9″ pan
2 cups gluten-free flour blend (see below) 1-1/2 cups
2 teaspoons guar gum 1-1/2 teaspoons
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon
1-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1 cup
1/2 cup shortening 6 Tablespoons
2 eggs 1
1 cup coconut milk (diluted 1/2 coconut milk 1/2 water) 3/4 cup
2-3 cups raw rhubarb cut in small pieces 1-1/2 to 2 cups
1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend 6 Tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon guar gum 1/4 teaspoon
1/3 cup brown sugar 4 Tablespoons
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon
2 Tablespoons shortening (softened) 1-1/2 Tablespoons
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1/3 cup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease pan. (I also add some parchment paper and then grease that, but it’s not essential.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, guar gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt). Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together topping ingredients (flour, guar gum, brown sugar, cinnamon, shortening & nuts). Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and brown sugar. Add egg(s).
  5. Measure out the coconut milk.
  6. To the shortening/sugar mixture, gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the coconut milk. Mix on low until combined, then for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
  7. Fold in the rhubarb.
  8. Spread batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the batter.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F. Cool on a rack.



The Gluten-Free Flour Blend I use most often is from Authentic Foods. It is a blend of superfine brown rice flour (which you can buy separately from Authentic Foods), potato starch, and tapioca starch. If you want to blend your own, the proportions (to make 3 cups) are:

  • 2 cups superfine brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch

Copyright © 2014, Lucinda DeWitt



Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Arroz Verde (aka Green Rice)

Green Rice

adapted from
http://www.penzeys.com/images/B14.pdf (p. 53)

Being gluten-free I eat massive quantities of rice . . . long grain brown rice mostly, but also basmati rice, Thai sweet rice, Arborio rice, short grain brown rice, and even plain old long grain white rice. Needless to say, I keep my eye out for ways to make rice more interesting. Here’s one I really enjoy.  (When I’ve posted about it on Facebook people asked for the recipe . . . so here’s what I actually did.)


  • 2-3 oz. (1-1/2 – 2 cups) bulk spinach, divided (see below)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Serrano pepper, stem removed (Serranos are the little thin green ones usually sold near the jalapeños; if you can’t find one, use 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and stem removed; I don’t bother removing the seeds from the Serrano)
  • approximately 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water, divided (see below)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup long grain or basmati rice, rinsed
  • Salt to taste (I use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)


  1. Wash and thinly slice 1-1/2 to 2 cups of the spinach. Set aside approximately 1/2 cup to be mixed into the rice AFTER it cooks. Combine the rest of the sliced spinach (1 to 1-1/2 cups) with the cilantro, the Serrano pepper, and 1/2 cup of the broth or water in a food processor, blender, or mini-chopper. Blend until smooth (or well-minced, depending on how you like it). Pour into a liquid measuring cup (or use the markings on the blender) and add broth/water to make 2-1/4 cups total liquid.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan with a well-fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté until transparent (approx. 5 minutes). Add the garlic and the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is lightly golden.
  3. Add the broth/vegetable mixture (spinach/cilantro/pepper) and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and replace the lid until you are ready to serve. (This rice is easy to burn to the bottom of the pan, so check it at 20 minutes to see how it is cooking.  If it is getting stuck, just turn off the heat and put the lid back on.  It will continue to cook.
  5. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sliced spinach.


NOTE: Updated on May 6, 2015 to correct inconsistencies and modify Preparation instructions.  After a few times I found a better way.  The old way worked (if you have that version), but this worked better.

©2014 Lucinda DeWitt


Steamed Collard Green Wraps

Catching up on some recipe-posting while enjoying Baseball Opening Day.

Steamed Collard Greens

Steamed Collard Wraps

made on March 11, 2014
adapted from Steamed Collard Wraps in The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker

My local coop has had the most fabulous greens this winter (chard, kale, collards).  Recently I bought two bunches of collards and then needed to use them.  Here’s what I did with most of them.


1-2 bunches of collard greens (as many leaves as you want wraps); I made 10 wraps

Protein (choose one or more)

  • 8 oz. hummus (homemade or store bought)
  • one 2-oz bundle of bean thread vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, then drained
  • shredded chicken


  • 1 cucumber, julienned or sliced thin with a mandolin
  • 1/2 red onion, julienned
  • 2-3 carrots, grated (use some for dipping sauce below)*
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced*
  • 2/3 cup chopped cilantro*

for Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2-4 Tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2-4 Tablespoons grated carrots*
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro*
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped scallions*


  1. Remove the stems from the collard greens by slicing along each side of the stems so that each leaf is cut in half lengthwise and each half remains intact.
  2. In a large pot with a steamer basket and 1″ of water in the bottom, steam the collard greens for 60-90 seconds each or until just  softened and pliable enough to work with.  Transfer collard greens to a separate bowl or colander.
  3. Create an assembly line with the remaining ingredients, having all in easy reach.
  4. Place 2 collard leaf halves lengthwise on top of each other overlapping a couple of inches along the center.
  5. Place 1-2 heaping tablespoons of your chosen protein at one end.  Top with a few of each of the vegetables.
  6. Carefully fold the end of the collard leaves over the filling and roll like a burrito, folding in the sides as you go.
  7. Secure the wrap with a toothpick to keep it from unrolling.

Make Dipping Sauce*

In a small saucepan combine sugar and water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and red chili peppers.  Pour sauce into serving bowl.  Chill, then top with peanuts, carrots, cilantro, and scallions.

Serve collard wraps with the dipping sauce or a creamy cucumber dressing.



  • You might want to put some sort of sauce inside the wraps, rather than dipping (or to make the wraps more “portable”.  Just remember that there’s nothing in these wraps to absorb excess moisture.
  • I was hoping for larger wraps, but these are more appetizer size . . . but if you eat 2-3 of them, they can be a meal 🙂

©2014, Lucinda DeWitt

*The dipping sauce recipe was adapted from the Spring Roll Sauce recipe in Keo’s Thai Cusine cookbook by Keo Sananikone


Life Begins on Opening Day!

Cubs Twins Caps

Another Opening Day of the Baseball Season means a renewed sense of hope and possibility.  On this day, everyone starts at the same place.  On this day, everyone has a chance for a perfect record, a winning season, going to the playoffs, taking the World Series away from those teams that always win (Cardinals, Yankees).

I’ve got the Cubs/Pirates game on the internet radio.  My picnic lunch is almost ready: GF hot dog buns baked, coleslaw made and chilling, baked beans in the oven.  Later this afternoon the Twins will play the White Sox.

So who cares if outside my window there are still huge piles of snow?  Eventually, they will melt.  It’s a long season and you’ve got to trust it.



Eggplant Rollups (aka Rollatini)

Eggplant Rollups (aka Rollatini)

Eggplant Rollups Final

When I heard my family out on the East Coast was having Eggplant Parmesan (aka parmigiana di melanzane, or melanzane alla parmigiana) for Christmas dinner, I got a taste for eggplant . . . only I needed a gluten-free, dairy-free option.  So I searched for “Vegan Eggplant Rollups,” then melded what I found into the following recipe.  For a first try it was amazing!!

Here are the recipes I started with:


And here’s what I actually ended up doing:

Eggplant Rollups


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 ounces sliced olives (half a 4-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Herb Seasoning (I use Penzey‘s brand which is a blend of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 batch cashew cream cheese (see recipe below)
  • 5 ounces Vegan “Mozzarella” Cheese, shredded (I used “Follow Your Heart” brand)
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce (you can find my recipe at http://www.lucindadewitt.com/lucidia/tomato-sauce/ )


  1. Prepare the mushroom/spinach filling: Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic and stir until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and sauté until they release their moisture and start to brown.  Add spinach and olives and cook until heated, stirring frequently.  Add Italian Herb Seasoning and  salt and pepper to taste.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, prepare the Cashew Cream Cheese and heat the tomato sauce.
  3. Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise.  The slices should be approximately 1/4″ thick.  I used my OXO mandoline slicer set at 1/4″ (though the slices seemed thinner than that).  I ended up with 19 slices from my two eggplants.
  4. Line two cookie sheets with paper towels.  Spread out eggplant on the cookie sheets (it’s okay if they overlap a bit).  Sprinkle both sides of each piece with salt.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes to release moisture (and bitterness).  Pat dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Arrange eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 8-10 minutes until tender and pliable, but NOT fully cooked.
  6. Gather all your prepped ingredients at your assembly area: Eggplant Rollups Prep
  7. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish (glass or ceramic, not metal).
  8. Spread each slice of eggplant with a thin layer of cashew cheese.  Then spread a small amount (approximately 1 Tablespoon) of spinach mixture over the cheese.  Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish. Eggplant Rollups #2

NOTE: I ran out of spinach filling after 15 rollups, so the last four (on the bottom right in the picture) are filled only with cashew cheese & vegan mozzarella.

  1. Once all the rollups are in the dish, top with the remaining tomato sauce and the vegan mozzarella cheese.  Cover tightly with foil. Eggplant Rollups #3
  2. Bake until tender, about 60 minutes.  (I removed the foil for the last 10 minutes to get them nice and browned.)  Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Eggplant Rollups Final

Cashew Cream Cheese
(based on http://www.vivaciousdish.com/recipes/cashew-creme-cheese/ )

Cashew Cream Cheese

NOTE: this is not exactly what I did for Christmas.  I made this recipe again later (to use on pizza!) and liked the second version better, so that is what I’ve written down here.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2-4 hours, then drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • pepper and/or herbs (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or mini-chopper.  Blend until smooth and thickened.  You may need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the processor.  These proportions worked well as a spread.  If you want to use this as a “dip,” add more water or some coconut milk (or other non-dairy liquid) until it is the consistency you like.

©2014 Lucinda DeWitt