DINNER FOR MARY COOKBOOK REVIEW: STROMBOLI
Ben Ceccarelli, the man behind the popular real food Instagram account, Dinner for Mary, is out with his debut cookbook by the same name!
Dinner for Mary is not just another healthy eating cookbook. It contains 40 recipes made with unconventional ingredients and unique kitchen gadgets – some of which I’m sure you’ve never heard of – that will up level your cooking game and open the door to a new world of gluten free, dairy free, real food recipes!
And the best part? With these nom-tastic recipes, won’t even realize you’re *gasp* eating healthy.
The cookbook itself looks very professional, especially when you consider it’s self published. Seriously, Ben put this whole book together on his own and he knocked it out of the park! First, there’s the bold new Dinner for Mary logo accompanied by clean, easy-t0-read graphics throughout. And then, there’s the all-important, drool inducing, full page, color photos of each recipe in the close up photography style that Dinner for Mary followers on Instagram know and love. The mouth watering images will make you want to cook!
But what’s even better than the look of this book is what’s inside!
Have you every wondered how Ben manages to make paleo/ gluten free burger buns that look like the real deal?! Or chicken tenders with the perfectly crispy “bread” coating? Or those cinnamon rolls?! It’s all here!
Almost all the recipes are paleo and each recipe is clearly labelled with corresponding dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and corn free symbols at the top of each page so you can easily choose what’s in line with your dietary needs.
So what’s the secret?! Well, that’s what makes this cookbook so unique! It’s the uncommon ingredients like Chebe Flour (I hadn’t even heard of that one), Cassava Flour, Tiger Nut Flour, Pork Dust (finely ground pork rinds), and unusual kitchen tools like the Airfryer, Sous Video Precision Cooker, and Baking Steel. Do you have ANY of these items in your kitchen?! If not, it’s time to add these tools to your arsenal because when used with the recipes in Dinner for Mary, they will easily take your healthy cooking game to a whole new level of deliciousness.
It was difficult to pick a recipe to share with you because every single one looks so damn tasty, but I chose the Dinner for Mary Stromboli so I could pop my Chebe Flour cherry and determine if achieving the perfect gluten-free bread really is as easy as Ben makes it look.
The answer? Yes, it is easy! Honestly, the biggest challenge was sourcing the ingredients. I started with a location search on Chebe.com to find a local grocer that stocked Chebe flour, but when I arrived at the store, they didn’t even have it. Thankfully, however, the second grocery store had both the Chebe Flour and the Daiya Foods Mozzarella Shreds (a vegan, dairy free “cheese” used in the recipe) so it was smooth sailing from there!
Pro Tip: Chebe Flour is not something you’re going to find on the shelf of your average grocery store so set yourself up for success before you go. Either use the location search on Chebe’s website to find a nearby natural foods store that carries Chebe Flour, or if you have a few days to spare, use this link to order off Amazon.
From making the dough and tomato sauce from scratch, to filling with toppings, to rolling and baking, this Stromboli took only 40 minutes. Ben’s instructions were clear and concise, making it easy to follow along, and he gives you creative license to customize this recipe by adding whatever toppings you love! For my Stromboli, I used pepperoni slices, crumbled sausage (which I cooked separately on the stove top before adding), and chopped red and yellow peppers. The result was a beautiful (albeit slightly overstuffed, due to my over enthusiasm adding these optional toppings), flavorful, perfectly-crispy-on-the-outside, warm-and-gooey-on-the-inside, gluten free, dairy free Stromboli!
Its been years since I’ve eaten Stromboli, mostly because they’re aren’t many appetizing gluten free, dairy free recipes out there on the interwebs, but no more – now I’ll be eating Stromboli a lot more often! Not only did this recipe totally hit the spot for paleo me, but it also received glowing reviews from my dinner companion who still has a taste for Standard America Diet (aka regular ‘ole gluten and cheese loaded) pizza!
This is just one of 40 delicious, real food recipes in the new Dinner for Mary Cookbook. With these healthy alternatives to your favorite bread-centric recipes that are sure to please whoever you’re serving and keep you feeling great, why would you cook anything else?!
DINNER FOR MARY: STROMBOLI
Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegetarian (if you steer clear of the meat toppings)
– Parchment Paper
– Dough From Stovetop Bread Sticks (see below)
– 1 6oz. Can of Tomato Paste
– 1 bag Daiya Foods Mozzarella Shreds
– 1 Egg (beaten)
– 1 1/2 tsp Salt
– 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
– 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
– 1 tbsp Onion Powder
– 1 tbsp Dried Basil
– 1 tsp Pepper
– OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Pepperoni, Sausage…etc
STOVETOP BREAD STICKS INGREDIENTS:
– 1 1/4 cups Chebe Flour
– 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
– 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
– 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
– 2 tbsp Olive Oil
– 2 Eggs
– 1/4 cup Hot Water
TO MAKE THE DOUGH FROM STOVE TOP BREAD STICKS:
1. Combine the flours, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
2. Add the olive oil and eggs (unbeaten) and continue to combine well.
3. Add the hot water and fold into the mix until a dough starts to form.
4. Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle in small amounts of tapioca flour until it doesn’t stick anymore.
TO MAKE THE STROMBOLI:
1. Pre-Heat the oven to 400*F. Make the dough from Ben’s bread sticks recipe. (see above)
2. Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to make a big rectangle.
3. In a bowl, empty the can of tomato paste and then use the empty can to add a can-full of water. Mix together until it forms a sauce, adding the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, onion and garlic powders.
4. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough (making sure to leave about 2 inches uncovered on one of the long sides for when we roll it) and add whatever toppings you like, finishing by covering the toppings with Daiya mozzarella shreds.
5. Brush the beaten egg on the empty 2 inch edge, and fold up the short sides about an inch, brushing egg on the tops of the flaps you just made too.
6. Roll the Stomboli up as tight as you can, making sure you end up with the egg-covered 2 inch strip on the bottom at the end. Then, brush egg on top of the rolled Stromboli. With a sharp knife, cut some small slits in the top and sprinkle with parsley flakes.
7. Transfer the Stromboli and parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Set it on the top rack of the 400*F oven and let it cook for 20 minutes. (You can transfer the Stromboli easily with a pizza peel or you can just slide it onto the cookie sheet. If you have the Baking Steel already in your oven or a pizza stone, transfer the Stromboli and parchment paper directly onto it. If not, the cookie sheet will suffice). After 20 minutes, remove, slice into segments, and enjoy!
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