QUICK: World’s worst place for a gluten-free veghead to park his butt for dinner? Think fast… mmm…KFCArbie’sPizzaHutWeber’sOutbackSteakhouseFogoDeChao…. That’s it! One of those ubiquitous Brazilian BBQ joints that seem to have become so popular in the last few years. Have you ever been? I went as a gluten-eating carnivore a long time ago and it’s quite the scene. Waiters walking around with huge skewers of meat, meat, meat. Pork sausage, chicken boob, beef butt, you name it – all sizzling hot, pulled from the fires of Mordor. Unlimited, all-you-can-gorge-yourself-on meat. It’s a lion’s dream and a vegetarian’s personal hell. Butt, butt, butt… there is one little unassuming gem that comes to your table which made quite an impression back then. Tasty little cheese breads that you just couldn’t get enough of (in case the brontosaurus burger they just slapped on your plate wasn’t filling you up). Little did I know how significant those cheesy goodballs would become after becoming gf…

Naturally GF: Tapioca Cheese Bread

Naturally GF: Tapioca Cheese Bread

I don’t know how I found it out, but those dang cheeseballs are GLUTEN FREE! NATURALLY! No substitutions necessary! It’s astonishing, I know, but dang it, it’s true. So spill the beans – Gimme the recipe, you say! Certainly. (And if anyone can tell me their proper name, I’d be much obliged.) Here it be:

Tapioca Cheese Bread

  • 1 1/2 c. tapioca flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk (soy milk works too)
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. cheese of your choice (try cheddar, parm, asiago)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Bring the milk and oil to a boil in a small pot. Turn the heat off and immediately add the tapioca flour, stirring until it’s all incorporated. It makes a sticky, messy mess, but let it cool and it’s easier to handle. When somewhat cool, transfer to a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the dough is somewhat smooth (it won’t ever be very smooth) and pulls up from the sides of the food processor. Form into golfballs and bake at 375F for 20 minutes. Try not to overeat. Ha! AS IF.

Fun variations to try:

  • For the glutton: stuff a cube of cheese in each golfball before baking.
  • For the adrenaline junkie: add fresh hot chilis to the dough
  • For the sophisticate: try using feta as your cheese and add chopped kalamata olives to the dough