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.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gluten Free Minestrone Soup

It is soup season at our house.  I especially love soups I can put together in the morning and only have to add a finishing touch(pasta) before eating.  My life is chaotic, especially right before dinner!  This soup is easy to put together and good to eat.  Last year when I had surgery, a good friend brought me this delicious soup and it has been a favorite ever since.  I like "vegetarian style" - it really isn't vegetarian because I add lots of beef bouillon, but I don't love ground meat in my soups.  Either way you like it, is just fine.  For those of you who have used gluten free pasta, you know it will go mushy over time if it just sits in broth.  When I make this soup I take out 1/2 of it before I add the pasta, and freeze it in a gallon freezer bag.  When I go to use it, all I have to do is boil some pasta and we are set with a hearty soup.  I say this with just about every recipe, but use whatever ingredients/spices you like or don't like, make it is thick or brothy, let your imagination run wild!  This soup is naturally dairy and soy free!
Minestrone Soup

6 c. water
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks, celery, chopped
2 sm onions, chopped
1-12 oz. can tomato sauce
1 qt. tomatoes, blended
1 ½ T. parsley
2 t. oregano
1 t. basil
1 T. sugar
2 T. beef bouillon, 3T. if using no meat(I like the Better than Bouillon Organic Beef)
½ lb. browned and drained sausage or ground beef(optional)
1 can green beans, drained (I usually use a handful of frozen)
1 can red beans, drained
½ pkg. Tinkyada gluten free pasta, cooked 2 min. less

In a large pot mix everything but green beans, red beans and pasta.  Simmer several hours(about 2) until vegies are tender.  Add beans and cook an additional 15 min.  Cook pasta according to pkg. directions, drain, and add right before serving.  This goes awesome with my dinner rolls.
*This is linked to Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays, check it out for some great recipes!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gluten Free "Flatbread" or aka - "bready thing"

At our house, these are referred to as "bready things."  The first time my kids asked what they were, this was my reply because I didn't know what they really were called.  The name stuck, although I think they are similar to some type of middle eastern flat bread - who knows!  Anyway, whenever I make a soup that my kids don't love, I always make these.  Tonight we had these with my favorite chicken lime soup.  They know if they want more than one "bready thing," they have to eat their soup, of course it is their choice and they never complain.  Their favorite way to eat them is sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  They are a little dense and I don't know if they are an acquired taste, but we like them.
Bready Thing
1/2 c. teff flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. millet flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
3 T. coconut flour
1 1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. salt
2 T. oil
1 1/4 -1 1 /2 c. warm water
butter for cooking
Combine all the dry ingredients, add the oil and most of the water and stir.  You want the dough to be a little sticky but dry enough to pinch into balls.  If you don't have coconut flour, and want to substitute it with another flour, you need to use 1/2 c. of a different flour for the 3T. of coconut flour. The coconut flour soaks up a lot of water and helps it form a great dough. Or if you use a flour mix, use 3 c. total.    You can also add any spices or herbs(I have done chopped cilantro and love it)  If the dough is too stiff, and more water, 1 t. at a time.  If it is too wet, add more flour, 1 t. at a time.  You really can't mess it up, you just have to get the dough the right consistancy.   Divide the dough into 12 balls and now the fun begins.  I use a gallon Ziploc bag and cut down the sides, spray it with Pam and place the ball inside.  Use a tortilla press, rolling pin, or heavy flat object and press or roll the ball into about a 6" circle, about 1/4" thick.  Thicker than a tortilla, thinner  than a pancake.  Heat a frying pan on medium and add 1 T. butter.  Make sure it is hot before you add the dough.  Toss in the circle of dough and let it cook until it starts to bubble and the edges look done, flip and cook 1 more minute on the other side.  You should have golden brown bubbles.  Remove the bread, add a little more butter and repeat 12 times.  I usually have 2 pans going at once.  Between the cooking I have time to roll out the next one and the process goes pretty quick.  You will then have 12 yummy bready things to go with your lovely dinner.  Be creative and use them as you wish, the possibilities are endless.  Let me know how you use yours!

This might sound harder than it really is, once you get the hang of it, it is really pretty easy.