Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tomato Basil Quinoa

I know it has been a while since I have made a post.  #1 - our lives were crazy so I took a break from life, & #2 - I have made a lot of simple summer recipes without a recipe and need to keep better track of what I use!  I love summer for that very reason.  This is the time of year we get to eat a lot of yummy salads and pastas with garden fresh vegies and herbs.  When I think of summer, I think of quinoa.  Quinoa with fresh vegetables, herbs, light, healthy, filling, and yummy.  Even my husband likes my quinoa salads.  I was trying to use up my garden vegies and this combo came to me.  I knew it would be good, like a twist on a caprese salad, or a tomato, cucumber salad, or something like that.  I tried to measure the best I could, but please adjust according to your taste buds.  Make this soon while everything is so fresh.   Hope you like it!  So simple, so fresh, so good!

Tomato Basil Quinoa
2 c. prepared quinoa(cooked in chicken/vegie broth)
I cook my quinoa in my rice cooker according to the white rice setting.  It always comes out perfect!
2 diced tomatoes
1 diced cucumber
2 T. olive oil
1/4c. + crumbled feta cheese(this takes it up a notch)
2-4 T. freshly chopped basil
salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare the quinoa according to whatever method you prefer.  In a medium bowl, place in tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Add the feta cheese and then add the warm quinoa(it tastes great when the warm quinoa slightly melts the cheese, infusing everything with flavor).  Sprinkle with fresh basil and toss.  Add any more salt, pepper, or whatever ingredients you feel like.   

This is linked to Linda's Gluten free Wednesdays and Tessa's Allergy Free Wednesdays.  Check out all the great recipes, they are great resources!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gluten Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies(Dairy Free Too!)

Sorry about the picture, I couldn't figure out how to turn it!

My daughter loves lemon, and one day as I was looking at a great food blog, I spotted this recipe and knew I had to try them.  I revamped the recipe to be gluten and dairy free and then put my daughter to work.  They were a hit.  Thanks to Mel's Kitchen Cafe for the great recipe.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
6 T. shortening(Organic Spectrum, it actually cooks better than the other stuff, plus it is healthier)
1 c. sugar

1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
1-2 t. freshly grated lemon zest
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1 t. xanthan gum
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 T. coconut flour
6 T. millet flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients(except powdered sugar) and add to mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Place powdered sugar in shallow bowl.  Roll balls of dough in powdered sugar and place on baking sheets(sprayed or silpat lined).  Bake at 350 for 9-11 min.  The cookies will not be browned but will have lost a bit of their shininess, don't overbake.  Cool and enjoy.  I usually like a warm cookie, but I think these ones might be better cool, try them both ways.  Makes 18.

These are linked to Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays and Laura's Allergy Free Wednesdays!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gluten Free Ambrosia Sunshine Cake with Strawberries

Hurry and go make this cake before your strawberries are gone, you won't be dissappointed.  This is one of our favorite versions of strawberry shortcake.  I grew up eating this cake, and of course decided to make it gluten free.  I was a little worried to make it dairy free because the original recipe has a lot of milk and butter, which gives it a great taste.  I made my substitutions and it came out great.  The cake is light and has a great texture.  You can use it however you like, but when we add our strawberries and cream(some of us use cream, others use powdered sugar), I usually slice each piece in 1/2 so there is less cake and more berries!  So the original cake is twice as thick as you are seeing.  Hope you like it!

Ambrosia Sunshine Cake
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 T. lite coconut milk + enough water to =1 cup (or 1c. milk)
½ c. butter(Earthbalance works great)
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 t. xanthan gum
2 T. coconut flour
½ c. potato starch
½ c. millet flour
¾ c. sorghum flour
Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl heat butter and milk mixture until boiling.  Meanwhile, combine remaining dry ingredients, and then add to egg mixture.  Mix in butter and milk and beat well.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake 350 for 30 min.

Check out all the strawberry recipes at Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays and the other allergy friendly recipes at Tessa's allergy free Wednesdays.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kitchari (quinoa/lentil/vegie stuff)

I know this doesn't look pretty, but it always makes me feel pretty inside.  I'm sure you've had those weeks/days/months with way too many parties and events and you eat just like a pig, and not a healthy pig.  You know when your body is just craving something healthy.  When you have a moment like that, this is the meal for you!  Or just when you need some feel good, immune boosting, detoxifying, quick, food.  A friend sent me a few recipes and I took what I wanted from each one.  I had never heard of kitchari before, but after looking into it, it really is a comfort and healing food.  This has really become one of our staples.  Don't let the long list scare you, it really is a quick meal to throw together.  If you are missing an ingredient, just leave it out.   Hope you like it!

5 c. chicken broth(I always use water and add my favorite Better than Bouillon organic chicken stuff)
3/4 c. quinoa
3/4 c. lentils
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. frozen spinach
1 t. curry powder
1 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 t. soy sauce, or liquid aminos
2 t. sesame oil
1 T. lime juice
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, minced
salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, add:  broth, quinoa and lentils.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer.  Add in garlic, onions, and carrots.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add in spinach and cook for another 5 min.  Add remaining ingredients and cook another 5 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary(it is more like stew than soup).  Serve warm and enjoy.  When I serve this with my teff muffins, I am really feeling healthy & ethnic!  Feel free to add the veggies or spices you like.  Like all my recipes this is just a framework to take off from.

I am linking this to Linda's Gluten-free Wednesdays and Tessa's Allergy-free Wednesdays.  Thanks for your recipe round ups!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gluten Free Snickers Cookies (healthy style)

We love cookies, we love peanut butter, and we love snickers, therefore, we love these cookies!  It seems you can get away with the healthier flours when cooking with peanut butter, so I threw out the starch and added in some healthy grains and seeds.  I usually make the cookie batter dairy free, and make a few plain peanut butter cookies for those who can't have dairy, but for those of us who can handle it, I wrap that yummy stuff around the mini snickers.

Snickers Cookies
1/4 c. butter(Earth Balance works great for those additional allergy needs)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 T. coconut flour
1 T. chia meal(I grind the seeds in a coffee grinder)
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. millet flour
2 T. teff flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 bag mini snickers
Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.  In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet stuff and mix until combined.  Preheat your oven to 375, unwrap your snickers(snitch one or two), and the fun begins.  Grab a small ball of dough and wrap it around the snickers and place it on a Silpat lined cookie sheet, or whatever works for you.  Bake for 9 min.  They will still look like balls when you pull them out of the oven, so take the back of something flat and give them a slight squish.  Enjoy!

*If you don't have chia or coconut flour, they don't substitute equally.  Replace them with twice as much flour.  Ie. 1 T. chia meal = 2 T. potato starch 

*These are part of Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays & Tessa's Allergy Free Wednesdays.  Thanks for all the great recipes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Naturally GF Chicken Taquitos(Baked)

 We moved, and thus the reason for not posting for so long.  I still don't have my computer up and running, and our house is chaos!  I should be back to real life soon so come back soon to visit!

Taquitos were one of the foods I was happy to buy at the grocery store.  A couple years ago we were in California and i picked up some homemade taquitos at Trader Joes.  They were so much better than the frozen ones and I wondered why I had never made them before!  We love taquitos and I think they are one of the better Mexican foods without dairy.  Of course you can add some cheese or some creaminess if you desire, but for the rest of us, they are naturally dairy, soy and gluten free.  In the beginning I fried mine, but then saw a recipe from "Our Best Bites," for a great baked version.  Either way you can't go wrong, but the baked version is healthier and easier.
Any meat will do, I like to cook mine in the crockpot with a bunch of spices, but leftover roast or pork would also work.   The steps are so simple:   put shredded meat in a tortilla, roll it up and bake/fry it.   Here is a recipe I use, but this is just a framework, get creative.  We like them dipped in salsa, cafe rio house dressing, or a mixture of the two.
Place 4 chicken breasts in a crock pot, cover with spice mixture, and cook on low until it shreds. Add a small amount of water during cooking if needed.
2 t. cumin
1 t. pepper
2 t. salt
2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
4 t. chili powder
2 T. lime juice
3 T. olive oil 
24 corn tortillas
cooking spray/oil
sea salt
1.  Wrap 4 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds so they are soft and pliable.  If they break, spray with cooking spray on both sides before heating.
2.  Place  2-3 T. of shredded meat on the lower third of each tortilla and roll tightly, secure with toothpick.
Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
3.  Place on a cookie sheet with a space between each one.  Spray with cooking spray, or use a mister or pastry brush and oil, and then sprinkle with salt.
4.  Bake 15-20 min. in 425 oven, until edges are golden brown.
5.  Serve hot with your favorite salsa, dressing, or sauce of choice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Gluten Free Hawaiian Chicken

Sorry it has been a while!  We went on a quick get a way for Spring Break, and now I am in the process of moving in the next couple weeks.  Life is a little chaotic around here.  Nevertheless, we still need to eat!  This is a staple at our house.  I usually cook a bunch of chicken breasts in the crockpot, then bag and freeze them to use in meals like this one.  You could use a rotisserie chicken or whatever works for you!

Hawaiian Chicken
6 T. gf soy sauce
¾ c. brown sugar(feel free to use less, it is pretty sweet)
2 T. honey
2 ¼ c. water
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 in. piece of fresh ginger
1 red pepper, cut into slices(I often use 2)
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
2-3 cups cooked chicken, in large chunks
1 T. potato/corn starch
1 T. cold water
Combine first 6 ingredients and bring to a boil in a large pan.  Add chicken and reduce to simmer.  Simmer 20 min.  Add red pepper and pineapple and simmer 10 min.  In a small bowl combine remaining starch and water.  Stir and add to mixture.  Boil for 1-2 min. until slightly thickened.  Remove piece of ginger and serve over rice.

This is linked to Linda's Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Tessa's Allergy Free Wednesdays, which both have a ton of great recipes. You definitely need to check them out!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gluten Free Teff Muffins

We eat a lot of muffins/sweetbreads at our house.  Most of them are on the sweet side, so I thought I needed to come up with a non-sweet muffin to complement soup, salad, or whatever.  I love the grain teff because it is packed with nutrients and tastes great, so I went in search for a teff muffin and this is what I came up with.  I would compare them to a bran muffin.  They are pretty plain, but great with some butter, jam, or whatever you like.  They have a great texture and went perfect with our favorite vegetable beef soup. 

Teff Muffins
adapted from Ginger Lemon Girl

1 1/2 c. teff flour
1/2 c. arrowroot flour/tapioca flour
1/4 c. flax meal
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. nonsweetened applesauce
1 c. milk(I used 3 T. lite coconut milk + water = 1 c.)
Whisk together dry ingredients.  In a blender, or another bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ones and stir until combined.  Pour into greased/lined muffin tins.  This batter is on the runnier side.  Makes 18.  Bake at 350 for 25 min. or until done.

This is linked to Linda's Gluten-Free Wednesdays & Allergy-free Wednesdays.  They both have a lot of great recipes to check out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tagging Who with The Liebster Blog Award?

Mary, at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, has tagged me with the Liebster Blog Award!   Thank you Mary!  I am definitely new to this blogging world and need all the help I can get!

Liebster is a German word for “Good Friend,” and I am so grateful that Mary would recognize me.  Each recipient is supposed to pass the award on to five of their favorite blogs.

First, the rules. To accept this award you must:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the word and love to other bloggers.
5. Have fun.

My top five blogs:

I love Meredith's blog because she eats all the basics that my family enjoys and likes to cook and share with the rest of us!
I love that Tessa tries to make everything as healthy as possible and uses many of the grains I do.
Laura has simple, healthy, recipes that even my kids would enjoy!

Eat, Live, Run 
I like how Jenna uses a lot of beans, lentils, and other naturally gluten free foods.

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom 
Heidi has great meal plans and a ton of information.

These are all great sites that you need to check out.  They all have a lot to offer!

Thanks again Mary for thinking of me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies - starch free

I saw this recipe on a blog the other day and knew they would be the perfect gluten free cookie.  Anything with peanut butter always turns out great, plus with chocolate - who can lose?  I also figured with the help of the peanut butter and chocolate,  I could throw in all my healthy flours for a delicious, starch free, "healthy" cookie.  I made these for a lunch at my house and everyone asked for the recipe.  I told them the original link so they could get the gluten filled version.  My neighbor told me a few days later that mine were better, and that always makes a gluten-free cook smile!  Easily dairy/soy free!  These will definitely satisfy your craving!

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 c. teff flour
1/2 c. millet flour
1 T. coconut flour
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. shortening(Spectrum Organic is awesome)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips(use Guitard semi-sweet for dairy free or Enjoy Life for soy free)
In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.  In your large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, shortening, and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, and  mix some more.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  The dough will be thick.  Place balls of dough on greased or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 min. at 350.  Do not overbake.  Delicious when warm out of the oven.  Makes 3 doz. delicious cookies!
These are linked to Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lentil Soup

I thought I would branch out and share a different recipe.  For those of you who have never had lentils, you should give them a try.  They are hearty, healthy and a great variation.  This soup is quick to fix and a great meatless option. Feel free to change up the spices to whatever you like! Check out Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays for some other great soups and stews this month.

Lentil Soup
1 sweet onion, finely diced
2-3 carrots, shredded or finedly diced
 2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. red lentils, rinsed
6 c. chicken/vegie broth
1 1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. coriander
1 t. sea salt
2-3 T. lemon juice
parsley or cilantro, chopped for topping
In a large soup pot, saute onion and carrot in the olive oil for 4-5 min.  Add lentils, broth and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer 20-25 min., stirring occasionally.  Stir in lemon juice.  Remove from heat and serve.  Top with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Orange Rice Pilaf

I am a breakfast girl, and I prefer breakfast foods for breakfast.  Having said that, I love this leftover rice for breakfast, or anytime of day!  A good friend made this for us and it has been a favorite since.  It is perfect to make in the winter when the oranges are so delicious.  It is a perfect side dish and is easily dairy/soy free.
Orange Rice Pilaf

3 T. butter, olive oil, or a mixture of both
¼ c. chopped green onions
½ c. chopped celery
1 c. wild rice/long grain
1 ½ c. orange juice
1 c. water
1 t. salt
¼ c. pine nuts/almonds
1 orange, cut into pieces

In a medium saucepan, on medium heat melt butter.  Add onions and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add rice and cook in butter for 2-3 minutes.  Pour into rice maker* - add juice, water and salt and press cook.  If you don't have a rice cooker, just add liquid to the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 45+ minutes.  Taste the wild rice prior to adding oranges and make necessary adjustments with more liquid or time.  While the rice is cooking, toast nuts, and peel and cut an orange into bite-size pieces.  Once the rice is tender, gently stir in oranges and nuts.

*The first few times I made wild rice it came out crunchy.  When I now make wild rice, I disregard the rice maker measurements and directions, use the ratio of 1c. rice/ 2 1/2 c. liquid and press cook.   If you make it on the stove, you may need more liquid and time.  It is worth trying again if at first you don't succeed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

These muffins are a staple in my book.  I can truly call them muffins because they are healthy.  They are packed full of whole grains with very minimal starch.  When my chocolate craving hits in the morning, or snack time, or whenever, these are perfect to pull out of the freezer, warm in the microwave and pop in my mouth.  If you aren't a chocoholic like me, you will still like them.  Plus they are dairy and soy free.

Chocolate Muffins
recipe adapted from the Gluten Free Goddess
¾ c. teff flour
½  c. sorghum flour
¼ c.  millet flour
1 ½ T. coconut flour
2 T. potato starch (not potato flour)
1 T. ground chia seeds(if you don’t have it, sub it with 2 T. ground flax or just omit it altogether + decrease milk by 1 T.)
½ c. cocoa powder
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. fine sea salt
 1 t.  xanthan gum
 1 c. brown sugar
 ¼ c. oil
 ¾ c. – 1 c. rice milk- start with less
 2 eggs
 ¼ t. light tasting rice vinegar
¾ c. - 1 c. chocolate chips(use Enjoy life chips for soy/dairy free)
Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth- it will be slightly sticky.   If the batter is too thick, add in a little rice milk at a time until it becomes smooth- like a thick version of cake batter.  Stir in chocolate chips.
    Spoon the batter into twelve lined muffin cups, or mini muffin pans.  Bake at 375 for 20 min.  Freeze extras and save for another day.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Enchilada Casserole - Vegetarian Style

I have wanted to post this recipe forever because we eat it all the time, the problem is that I don't follow a recipe, I just dump!  This is my best guess, so don't hold me to it.  We love these for several reasons - they are fast - they are easy - they can easily be made dairy free/full of dairy at the same time - they are full of protein & fiber without the meat, and it is a cheap meal.  I always made these with ground beef, cooked in taco seasoning, but one day I decided to branch out and try lentils cooked in taco seasoning instead.  I figured they would have the same flavor, they would add a similar texture and I love lentils.  I didn't tell my husband and decided to see if he noticed.  He didn't noticed and even when I told him, he loved it just the same.  So now we usually eat this vegetarian style, but if you love your meat, or hate lentils, throw some seasoned ground beef in instead.  Also, everything is dairy free except the cheese, so I just leave a corner without cheese for my kids who can't have any.  My other kids can handle a little dairy and love cheese, so this is a great option because there is no creamy sacue laden with milk, and the cheese makes everyone happy.
Enchilada Casserole - Vegetarian Style
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can red enchilada sauce(Make sure it is gluten free- stay tuned for an easy homemade version)
1 c. salsa, give or take
½ c.dry lentils cooked in 2 c. water + 1-2T. taco seasoning(depending if yours has fillers or not)
Cheddar cheese, grated, probably 2 cups
12 corn tortillas
2 eggs, beat very well

Before hand, bring 2 c. water and 1 T. taco seasoning to a boil, add ½ c. lentils, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 20-25 min. until tender.  In a large bowl, mix beans, lentils enchilada sauce and salsa.  Grate cheese.  Cut corn tortillas into bite size pieces.  Layer 1/3 tortillas, ½ bean mixture, 1/3 cheese mixture, tortillas, beans, cheese, tortillas, cheese.  Pour well beaten eggs evenly over the top.  Bake 350 for 30 min.
* If you are wondering about the eggs, they add extra protein, moisture, and a delicious crunchiness on top!
* If you love meat, throw it in and leave out the lentils, or leave in the lentils also.

**Check out other great recipes at Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lemon Muddy Buddies

I am always looking for a quick treat to take to social events, vacations, or on hikes.  We are known for "popcorn" or "Chex" desserts in our neighborhood, and so I offer  yet another great option that anyone can make.  For those of you who have gluten-free friends, whip this up and they will adore you.  Just make sure you buy the Gluten Free Chex from General Mills - other brands still contain gluten.  I got this recipe from the Chex web site.

Lemon Muddy Buddies
4 1/2 c. Rice/Corn Chex
1/2 c. + 2 T. white chocolate chips(Guittard are my favorite)
2 T. butter
2 t. lemon zest
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
In a microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Add cereal to mixture and stir until well coated.  Place powdered sugar in a large ziploc bag and  pour in Chex mixture.  Shake until well coated.  Spread on waxed paper or cookie sheet until cool.