Tamale Pie Riff: Low Fodmap and Gluten Free

Darling Sister:

Last night’s dinner was headed for disaster. We were supposed to have tacos, but SOMEONE had eaten the tortillas. Enter Tamale Pie to save us! This gluten-free cornbread baked up tender and fluffy over a bed of ground beef seasoned taco-style. Topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro, dinner was filling, low fodmap, and delicious. Win!

I used a cast iron skillet for this entire dish, but you could make this in a pie pan or 8×8 cake pan just as easily.

We ended up with an enormously puffy delicious cornbread that took over our dish  here, I half the recipe, but if you’re big on cornbread (or want to just make a great GF cornbread) double the recipe.

Here’s rundown:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Barely brown 2 pounds of hamburger seasoned with your favorite seasoning mix. I prefer 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, a little cayenne, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of vinegar at the finish. Remember that the meat will continue to brown in the oven. Drain most of the fat, and stir in some corn kernels (frozen or canned works fine!).

For the cornbread:

Melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of bacon grease (if you have it, if not just use 4T butter) and set it aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, stir together 3/4c gluten free all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur brand here) with 1/2c corn flour and 1/4c cornmeal.

Add 1/4c sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients, stir it’s a fork to combine.

Use your fork to whisk 1 egg and 3/4c almond milk together, then stir in the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just to combine. The batter will be lumpy. Spread the batter over the ground beef, smoothing the top.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until the cornbread is golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with shredded lettuce, tomato, and cilantro.

Bon appetit,




Gluten Free (but GOOD) Low Fodmap Bread

Gluten Free (but GOOD) Low Fodmap Bread

Darling Sister,

My poor husband has been put on an exclusion diet for twenty weeks that includes no gluten and restricts certain kinds of sugars. I quickly realized I cannot go that long without something bread-ish in my life. After trying the selections at Whole Foods, and being generally underwhelmed by those stiff, mealy offerings, I stumbled across a recipe from Saveur that saved us. While the ingredients require a trip to a natural foods store or other well-stocked grocer, the tougher to find ingredients (looking at you, xanthan gum!) will last me through many loaves. This recipe requires exact measurements, so I used my kitchen scale and pre-weighed the dry ingredients for six loaves at the ready in my pantry. On Saturdays, I add the eggs, oil, and carbonated water to the dry mix and I’m halfway to bread before I have even finished my coffee. The resulting loaf is a little sweet, tender, and best sliced thin and toasted – fortunately it is sturdy enough that even a 1/4 in slice can hold up to a sandwich just fine!

Today’s fresh loaf! I left the top unspilt for a nice, high crown.

I followed the recipe posted at this site, with just a couple of modifications. First, I do not have seltzer water in my house. I do, however, have a case of tonic in the bar. I have been using tonic in lieu of seltzer for six weeks now with no noticeable problems. Second, I find that this dough takes longer to develop a nice rise than the recipe indicates. I turn on the oven while I’m mixing the dough, and turn it off when I’m putting the oiled dough in the pan. This serves as a nice, warm incubator for the loaf, and I give it a good 2-hour rise there. Third, it’s hard to get a nice loaf-y shape out of this sticky batter. I find that scraping the dough into a rough ball with my spatula and spritzing the ball on all sides with a little canola oil means that I can shape the dough into a cylinder the size of my loaf pan using my hands – a much more uniform result than just scraping, dropping, and hoping (as the recipe would have you do).

Looking forward to when we can have onions again, but not missing bread,


I spent all the time measuring and fiddling with dry ingredients up front, so I feel like a total boss dropping this bad boy into the mixer on Saturday mornings.


Fresh from the mixer, the dough has a very disconcerting clay-like texture. Take heart!


After a couple of hours, the dough will peek over the top of your loaf pan – which means it’s time to warm the oven and get baking!

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