Hoppin’ John and Jalapeno Corn Muffins

It’s supposedly good luck to eat hoppin’ john on New Year’s day (in fact, the legend goes for the best luck, you should try to eat at least 365 black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year).  I had never heard of this tradition until last year, and this is the second year in a row that we’ve observed the practice. Hoppin’ john goes well with corn muffins, so I also tried out a jalapeno corn muffin recipe.

I used the hoppin’ john recipe from our latest Cooking Light magazine, with a few modifications:

olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of salt, to taste
3/4 tsp paprika (smoked is best)
1/2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
3/4-1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup brown rice

Rinse the black-eyed peas, cover with 6 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour (if you ever need to know how much water and time you need to cook dried grains and beans, this is a helpful chart).

Rinse the brown rice and cover with 2 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 30 minutes (you don’t want the rice to be completely done, as you’ll be adding it to the hoppin’ john to finish cooking).

Heat a large pot over medium high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot, and add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cooked black-eyed peas, along with the salt, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and ground red pepper and stir well. Drain any extra water off the cooking rice and add the rice to the black-eyed peas mixture and stir well.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the rice is done (up to 10 more minutes or so). Be sure to keep stirring to avoid burning the bottom of the pan, and feel free to add more liquid (water or more diced tomatoes) if needed.

Hoppin' John copyright Sarah Bhimani

I found the recipe for the jalapeno cornbread muffins here.  Overall, the recipe is a good one.  The muffins are best fresh with Earth Balance butter and honey. The ones we saved in the refrigerator got a tiny bit slimy, as gluten-free baked goods tend to do, but when we microwaved them, they still tasted great.  If you don’t like too much spice, omit the second jalapeno and don’t put any jalapeno slices on top.

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Happy New Year!


Millet Bread

Note to self: remove plastic bag from shot before taking picture. This recipe is an adaptation from 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes. Millet is rich in B vitamins along with a variety of other nutrients. I’ve had to adjust the amount of water (or milk) from the original recipe, because if the batter is too dry it will not rise correctly.


  • 1 packet (2 1/4 t) active dry yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup warm milk (or substitute) or water
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup flour blend or all purpose gluten-free mix
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 1/2 t xanthan gum
  • 1 t guar gum
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 cup butter substitute (e.g. Earth Balance) or canola oil (cheaper)
  • 1 T EnerG Egg Replacer (2 eggs worth) and 4 T room temp water
  • 1 t cider vinegar


  • Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water (stir to combine). Set aside while preparing other ingredients (5 minutes).
  • Combine dry ingredients in bowl of heavy duty stand mixer (Kitchen Aid). Whisk ingredients together.
  • In separate bowl, combine Egg Replacer and water.
  • In another separate bowl, combine other wet ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix for 5 minutes using porcelain whisk attachment.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a 4 by 8 inch loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray (If using glass, lower oven temperature by 25 degrees). Also, fill a bowl with water and microwave for ~3 minutes until water is boiling.
  • Use rubber spatula to transfer batter to loaf pan and place in microwave with steaming bowl for 1 hour (steam keeps the top from getting crusty and provides warmth).
  • When 1 hour is almost up, preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 if using a glass pan). Bake bread for 1 hour or until center is 205 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  • Remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack and cool completely before bagging.


French Yogurt Bread

This recipe comes from the back of the package for Mama’s Almond Blend flour mix. The flour could be substituted for another gluten-free all purpose mix, such as the mix listed on this blog. I made some modifications in regards to the preparation steps.


2/3 cup warm water
1 T yeast
1 T sugar
3 cups Mama’s Almond Blend
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 T butter, melted (I used canola oil, it’s cheaper and dairy free)
8 oz (1 cup) vanilla or plain yogurt (I used soy yogurt)
2 T honey
1 egg and 1 egg white
1 tsp cider vinegar


Spray 4×8 loaf pan with cooking spray. Stir together water, yeast and sugar. Set aside 5 minutes until foamy.

Using a stand mixer (kitchen aid, if you have one), combine flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix very well. Beat eggs in separate bowl. In another bowl, add eggs to butter, yogurt, honey, and vinegar. Add to flour mix. Beat on high (starting slow, of course) for 3-10 minutes. While mixer is beating, microwave a bowl of water until it begins boiling. Use spatula to transfer dough to prepared pan. Scrape dough off spatula with spoon into pan. Wet spatula and smooth out top of dough for presentation (see additional tip below).

Allow bread dough to rise in microwave with steaming bowl of water (this prevents the top from drying out) for 1-1.5 hours. The dough should rise to top of bread pan or slightly higher. Prehead oven to 400 degrees (375 if using a glass pan). Place bread just below center rack in oven. Bake 1 hour, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Allow bread to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Tip from Gluten Free Mama, “For a great presentation on the top of bread: After rising, gently take your knife and make a slash through the top of the bread lengthwise, then make four slashes across the width.”


I used two different recipes to create this concoction to accompany our dal soup tonight. One is from Gluten Free on a Shoestring and the other is from the book, 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes.

Ingredients and tools:

1 packet (2 1/4 t) instant dry yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (cow, rice, soy, nut)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 t salt
1/2 t onion powder or flakes
1/2 t xanthan gum
1/2 t guar gum
1/4 cup plain yogurt or soy yogurt
1/4 cup unsalted butter or buttery spread (I used Earth Balance sticks)
White rice flour for dusting
Cooking spray, bacon grease, or ghee
Parchment paper
Rolling pin


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk (can use microwave set to under 1 minute). Set aside to foam for ~5 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine white rice flour, potato starch, salt, onion powder, xanthan gum, and guar gum. Use a whisk to mix these ingredients well.
  3. Add dry ingredients and yogurt and butter to a food processor or kitchen aid mixer. Process. Add yeast-milk mixture and process until mixed well.
  4. Prepare cast iron frying pan, grease with grease of choice, and preheat.
  5. Make 6 even piles on a sheet of parchment paper (about 1/4 cup each). Set out two other pieces of parchment paper (these two will be used to sandwich a dough ball and roll with the rolling pin). Dust one of the unused pieces of parchment paper with flour, set dough ball on the parchment paper and dust with flour. Place other piece of paper on top and roll flat.
  6. Fry naan one at a time in pan, making sure the heat is hot enough to create bubbles, but not too hot to evaporate all of the grease.
  7. Serve hot with dinner.
  8. These may be reheated by placing on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for a couple minutes.

White Sandwich Yeast Bread

I can’t take credit for this one. I’m merely sharing the love with others. Sarah always makes the bread and has perfected the technique. We have been experimenting with different flour and found that Bob’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour actually helps things rise better than others. The original recipe comes from 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes. We mostly compared this to a sorghum blend suggested in the book. We plan on ordering 25 pounds of Bob’s flour through our local Food Coop for 20% markup above wholesale. It’s a deal!

Instructions for 1 loaf (double the batch to save time!):

  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • 2 T sugar (white refined – works better with yeast than raw sugar)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup sorghum blend (1 1/2 cups sorghum, 1 1/2 cups potato starch, 1 cup tapioca flour) or Bob’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 2 t xanthan gum
  • 1 t guar gum
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 cup butter or canola oil (canola oil is cheaper than Earth Balance)

Crack egg whites in bowl and let come to room temperature. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water and let foam. Grease small bread pan, dust with flour. In large bowl of mixer, add sorghum blend or Bob’s, potato starch, millet, xanthan and guar gum, salt, butter/oil, and yeast mix. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add to mixing bowl. Beat on low speed, then increase to medium for 30 seconds. Transfer to pan and let rise to at least level with top of pan. Bake at 375 degrees for ~1 hour. Remove from pan and bake another 5-10 minutes.