Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

I found this little snack in a magazine and thought it would be a good snack for all of us - but lo and behold when checking out ingredients - rice krispies are NOT gluten free! They have barley malt and barley has gluten. Looks like some of the health food brands might have one that is gluten free - will have to research this a little further. Anyway, even though they are not gluten free they make a great snack for the kids - and they love them! If you find a gf rice krispie cereal you can easily make them gluten free by using gf oats as well.
I did find gluten free rice krispies and made these and they were yummy

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

1/3 cup honey (I use local, raw honey)

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (I use Adams)

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup crisp rice cereal

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) and if you are making it gluten free be sure and use gluten free oats

1/4 cup dried fruit (I use cranberries)

Place rice cereal, rolled oats and dried fruit in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium, heat honey, peanut butter, and butter. Stir until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over cereal mixture.

Drop mixture by tablespoon (I use my smallest pampered chef scoop) into mini cupcake liners placed in a mini muffin pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes until set. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week (if they last that long)

Makes about 24

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade Lara*Bars and other Healthy Snacks

In my attempt to cut out all "white" sugar from my diet I looked for a healthy, gluten free bar that I could grab when I needed something to tide me over or something to grab before I go walking in the morning or when I don't have time to make my breakfast first thing. The bar that I found and love is the Lara*bar. It is made totally of fruit and nuts - there is nothing else added except the occasional spice like cinnamon in the Apple Pie version.
Last time my sister was visiting I offered her one and she told me she had bought an e-book on a blog that had 14 recipes for variations of the bar. I immediately looked it up and bought the ebook. It was only $6.95 and worth every penny to me as the bars in the store can add up quite quickly. The ebook is available at Kitchen Stewardship . Right now there is a link near the top of her page but the link can always be found in the right hand column. There are also many other healthy recipes and some of them are gluten free. All are well marked and she gives suggestions on how to make some of the non-gluten free ones, gluten free. She also has another book about real food for camping that looks like a great book for any serious campers that still want to eat healthy away from home.
Some of the ingredients that are called for are dates, peanuts, cashews, raisins and chocolate :-). Not all of these are in the same bars but these are the kind of ingredients that are used. Buying all the ingredients can be a little spendy to start with but most will do several batches of the bars. Each batch makes about 5 bars. She gives different ideas for forming them but the way I have found and really like is to put regular cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, roll the dough into 5 even balls and then press them into the liner. After they are formed I take them out and wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and put each kind in a separate bag with the name and ingredients listed on the outside and then refrigerate. If I am making more than one kind or double batches I reuse the same liners over again.
I got a Kindle for my birthday and I was able to email the PDF to my Kindle so I have it right there with me in the kitchen in a handy form and don't have to worry about printing it out. (I keep my kindle in a quart size ziploc bag when I have it in the kitchen to protect it)

Soooo - bottom line - if you are looking for some frugal, healthy snacks I highly recommend this e-book!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flourless Pumpkin Pecan Cookies - Fruit Sweetened

I am so excited about this blog, Daily Bites, my sister found recently. Today they posted this recipe for Flourless Pumpkin Pecan Cookies. We just made them during our break from school and they are soooo yummy. I did put the chocolate chips in instead of the raisins so mine are not totally fruit sweetened but still very good for you. I found the quinoa flakes at Fred Meyer in the gluten free section. You can order them online as well. I was thinking about my wonderful pumkin gingerbread recipe that I will miss so much this year but these make up for it and are almost just as tasty! Enjoy!
**** Update ***** I was not to thrilled with the quinoa flakes - they tend to make it a little bitter so I used gluten free oats the next time I made them and they were really good! Even my non gluten free friends liked them :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shepherd's Pie (Gluten and Dairy Free)

One of Troy's absolute favorite dishes is Shepherd's Pie. With all of our eating restrictions it is one dish that I had avoided making. I have been thinking about it for a few days and decided to try it tonight. Since I last blogged Troy and Anna have gone off of dairy. So now most things I make are gluten, dairy, egg and bean free :-)

I have been using a lot of coconut oil and coconut milk in my recipes. I use virgin coconut oil as opposed to the hydrogenated kind. I order it here.

So here is the recipe:

4 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 1/2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
dash of garlic and onion powder
splash of gluten free soy sauce
1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey breast)
Peas or other veggies (about a cup)

4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
coconut oil
coconut milk

Wash and cut up potatoes (I leave the skins on). Place in cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash with beaters adding a little oil and milk until they are the consistency you like.

While the potatoes are boiling make a white sauce. Melt the oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When it is melted added the rice flour and whisk together. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly. Slowly add coconut milk and whisk together. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add the cooked ground beef and the veggies you desire. I used to use green beans but they are on my don't eat list so I substituted peas. You could use frozen mixed veggies as well. Heat through and then put in a 9x11 baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly (about 20 minutes) If you are not dairy free a little cheese on top is very good.

Next time I would probably add some onion as well if I was cooking the beef as I was making it. I had already cooked meat and it was in the freezer so didn't think about the onion.

We all enjoyed it and there is some left for the kids lunch tomorrow.

Check out my sister's dairy free Mounds Bar Ice Cream recipe on her blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Strawberry Pie - Gluten, Egg and Dairy Free (and Good!)

I found this recipe this week and decided to try it. On our way home from grocery shopping we passed a strawberry stand and bought a couple pints. We got home and I washed them and ate a couple and put the kids back in the car and drove back for a half flat! They are soooo good! Oregon strawberries must love the rain because these are some of the best I have tasted!
Anyway, on to the pie. I will give you the recipe as I found it and then note my changes:

Strawberry Pie

3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, crushed
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp vanilla extract (no, that is not a typo)
1/2 cup raw honey
1 pinch salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted

Grind crust ingredients in food processor and press into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan building up the sides slightly.
Place all filling ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Carefully pour on top of crust and refrigerate 3 hours.

Serve and enjoy!

This pie really was very good. I used walnuts in the crust because that is what I had and I am not a big walnut fan. Next time I make it I will use pecans. The crust tasted bitter to me.

I did not have honey so I used agave nectar (I am trying to get away from agave but have a couple of bottles left so used it in this) I used the expeller pressed coconut oil as it does not have the coconut taste. I am not sure what the creator of this pie intended but I used the one that did not taste like coconut. I buy my coconut oil from here. This is also where this recipe came from.
I need to do some more investigating on this site as it looks like a lot of good recipes!

So, my take on this pie is it is really good and worth the little time and effort to make it! It is also one that everyone at our house can eat! Yeah!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Menu Planning

I used to be pretty good about menu planning - (when I had only one little girl who took long naps and went to bed really early) but since my life has gotten busier and our eating has changed so much I have fallen out of the habit. I need to menu plan - I know it would make my life less stressful and I would not be sitting here at 5pm wondering what in the world I am going to fix for dinner (I usually manage to come up with something but it is stressful)
I like paper and fun things so when I saw this tonight I had to print them out and hopefully they will help me begin to get back on track - check out these fun summer menu planners and grocery lists and print some for yourself or give them to a friend - they're free!

I found a recipe for a no bake, gluten free, egg free and dairy free strawberry pie. I am going to get the ingredients this weekend and try it and if it turns out I will share the recipe :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pizza - Gluten Free and Low Carb (but not egg and dairy free)

On this journey of reinventing my eating I love that I have friends and family who look out for recipes I may like to try. This is one such recipe that a friend saw posted by another friend and passed on to me. I made it for dinner tonight and everyone liked it. Troy was not home when I was making it and I pulled it out of the oven and served it to him hot - he could not tell what the crust was made from. It really was quite tasty. I will give you the recipe as is and then talk about what I did differently to accomodate my eating.

This would be a great recipe to try if you are looking for a low carb way to enjoy your favorite pizza toppings even if you don't need to eat gluten free.

I don't really have a name for it - but here is the recipe

1 cup of grated, raw cauliflower
2 egg whites (or 1/8 cup of egg beaters)
1/2 cup grated cheese (mexican blend or whatever you like)
dash of italian seasoning

Mix together and pat flat on parchment paper

Bake in 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes until edges are brown

remove from oven and put on sauce and any toppings you like. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted

Eat and enjoy!

For my pizza I used my EngerG egg replacement. It did not hold together quite as well as the egg ones but it was still good. I am finding more things that I can sub for eggs so I may try it again with something different.

It is a good recipe but honestly one that I will probably not make too often because of the amount of cheese it uses and trying to go dairy free with the kids.

In all the changes you have to decide what things you want to substitute and what you want to just do without. Cheese is one thing that I am trying to decide about - I am not really excited about to many of the cheese "substitutes" so so far have just gone pretty much cheese free with the kids.
However, it does make me think of the different ways I can continue to find to use cauliflower. I am finding it is very versatile!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rhubarb Recipes (not gluten free)

With my offer to give away some rhubarb from my garden tonight I thought I would post a couple of REALLY good rhubarb recipes. I am sad I cannot eat them this year but my body will thank me in the long run. Besides these recipes not being gluten free it takes a lot of sugar for rhubarb to not be too sour (unless you are my husband and eat it straight from the garden) But - if you can eat them - it is totally worth the sugar in this case!!

This first recipe for Rhubarb Crunch is awesome! It is a family favorite. When I make this and any of my nieces and nephews are around I can count on it not lasting to long. If they are going to be around I double it because it only makes a 9x9 pan. Ok - enough of the chatter. It is actually my sister's recipe but I checked her blog and she hasn't posted it so here goes: (and don't forget to have some vanilla ice cream on hand when it comes out of the oven!!)

Rhubarb Crunch

Crumb Topping

1 cup sifted flour

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup melted butter

1 tsp cinnamon

Fruit Mixture:

4 cups diced rhubarb

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

Mix crumb topping together and press half the mixture into a 9x9 inch greased layer pan. Cover bottom layer with rhubarb. Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla in small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until thick and clear. Pour over rhubarb. Top with remaining crumb topping. Bake at 350 (325 for glass pan) for 1 hour. Cut in squares and serve warm, plain or with whipped cream or ice cream! Makes 8 servings.

This next recipe is from my sister's mother-in-law and she says even rhubarb haters will like this one!

Rhubarb Cake

1/2 cup margarine

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced

1 tsp vanilla


1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp butter

Cream together margarine, brown sugar and egg. Combine buttermilk, soda and salt in 2cup measure. Add flour alternately with buttermilk to sugar mixture. Mix in rhubarb and vanilla. Pour into greased and floured pan (9x13 inches) Combine topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of cake. Bake at 350 (325 for glass pan) for 40 minutes.

For apple cake, substitute 2 cups apples and only 1 cup brown sugar.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a very versatile veggie. Back when I began to watch my carb/gluten intake my sister told me about a friend that used cauliflower in place of spaghetti. I began to use it for my "rice" and other pasta dishes as well. Last year I did a cooking class with some vegetarian meals using garbanzo beans as a base and made a yummy Indian Cauliflower Stew (the recipe is here) I have played around with roasting cauliflower before but finally got a recipe we love! I usually do a whole head of cauliflower with a meat and that is our meal. The kids love it and ask for seconds even before they eat their meat. Did you ever wonder how to cut cauliflower so there are not little while shavings everywhere? I did - so before I taught the class I did some investigation on the internet and found a video on how to cut cauliflower :-) Basically you start with your whole cauliflower and put your knife into the stem part and split it rather than cutting through. You continue to do this until you have the flowerets the size you want them. If you are confused do a search for how to cut cauliflower :-)

This really has nothing to do with cauliflower but I just have to show you one of my favorite pans in all the world. We bought this 25 years ago in Germany and it is the best. It cleans up like a dream - so I never worry about making something in it that may be messy in the pan because I know it will clean up without any effort - besides being so cleanable I think it is darling!

So here is the finished product and the recipe - I made this last week and a friend came by for a meeting after dinner and we were still eating - she finished off the pan and asked me to post the recipe so here it is T.

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower split into flowerets

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

2-3 cloves of garlic

Parmesan cheese

Put the cauliflower in the pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Crush garlic and stir all together. Bake at 450 for 25 minutes - stirring occasionally (1 or 2 times) Grate parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the cauliflower. Place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

As promised in my last post here is the recipe for the Chicken Salad. My brother found this recipe and we made it at my PC party. I have made it several times before and since, including this morning for our playgroup. As usual it was polished off very quickly. So here it is - I will give it to you as it is written and then I will tell you my revisions:


1/2 cup canola oil

3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup juice from 3-4 limes

2 Tbsp water

Table salt

3 small garlic coves, minced or pressed

2 tsps very finely grated ginger

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps hot red pepper flakes


1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch by 1/4 inch matchsticks

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

4 scallions, white and green parts sliced thin

3 Tbsps minced fresh cilantro leaves

5 cups shredded roast chicken, room temperature

1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

1. Puree oil, peanut butter, lime juice, water, 1/4 tsp salt, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in blender until combined. Transfer to large bowl.

2. Add cucumber, carrot, scallions, and cilantro to vinaigrette, toss to combine. Add chicken and toss gently to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve immediately.

Now for my changes:

I used a little over 1/3 cup of olive or grapeseed oil

juice from 2 limes seemed to be plenty of lime

I used palm sugar instead of brown sugar

I have not used the red pepper flakes as I serve it to my children but imagine it would be very good if you like a little spice

I use a whole English cucumber or equivalant and 2 carrots. We decided we like it with more veggies and a little less chicken. I probably only use 2 cups of chicken.

The dressing makes way more than you need - I use about half the dressing even with revisions and then save the rest for a regular lunch salad the next day.

Today I knew that our hostess did not care for cilantro so I left it on the side for people to add if they liked.

You can roast your own chicken or a store bought roasted chicken for an even faster meal. I have done it both ways.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

This is the yummy salad we had for dinner tonight! I have a couple of really great main dish chicken salad recipes I want to share with you but you will have to wait :-)
This is a teaser post. My brother will be demonstrating this and another great salad at my Pampered Chef party this Thursday night (April 15th - 7 pm - if you live in the area and would like to attend, leave a comment with your email and I will send you the address etc) so.......... you'll have to wait for the recipe - either at the party or when I decide to post it here :-) Let me just tell you - it is really good - even my kids loved it! and it is gluten/egg free of course :-)
Check back for the recipes :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Breakfast - Gluten/Egg Free

So you might wonder what one eats for breakfast when they cannot eat anything with gluten or eggs? I wondered that at first, too! But slowly I have found some great alternatives. Here is one of my favorites. I used to make this with eggs - so now I just leave out the eggs and add a little cheese for a little more protein. Here is my

Eggless Breakfast Omelet

First I julienne a small zucchini
and prepare any other yummy veggies I may have - today I had asparagus and I almost always have a bag of chopped green onions prepared to throw into a recipe

I stir fry that all in my little pan and add some turkey bacon (I chop up and fry a whole package at a time and then just have it ready to add to recipes)

When that is all cooked I add a very generous handful of baby spinach

Once the spinach is cooked down, I lay a few slices of swiss cheese over the top and cover the pan to allow it to melt.

Here is my yummy breakfast with a half slice of my gluten free, egg free bread, toasted.

(I use this bread mix from Bob's Red Mill and the egg replacement from here )

Monday, March 29, 2010

Almond J*oy! - Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almonds! Currently my favorite nut as evidenced by a slight sensitivity showing up on my food test. Sometimes if you eat to much of something it can cause a sensitivity and this is apparently what has happened with me and almonds. I am supposed to only eat almonds every 4th day - this is difficult as I bake with almond flour, use almond milk (daughter is off dairy), eat almond butter and LOVE dry roasted almonds. I will continue to use all of these things but try and use them in moderation - I won't have almonds for mid afternoon snack every day :-) They are kind of like potato chips are to some people - once I start snacking on them it is hard to stop.
I love baking with almond flour! I get my almond flour from here and I get most of my recipes from this site, Elana's Pantry and her cookbook which is available on Ama*zon The Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook Almond flour is very easy to bake with and does not require a lot of ingredients (just my type of baking) Also the results are very tasty! I will share one of my favorite recipes with you from Elana's cookbook. I have taken these to a few gatherings and they get eaten up by everyone - not just those that are gluten free. This particular recipe is egg free as well so I can make them without having to substitute anything else. (I just bought some egg replacment but haven't tried it yet in my baking)

So without any further ado here is the recipe for the cookies with a few minor change from the original:

Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted over very low heat
1/2 cup of palm sugar (recipe calls for agave but I think they taste even better with palm sugar)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini semi dark chocolate chips (her recipe calls for coarsley chopped dark chocolate (73 % cacao)
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt and baking soda. (if using palm sugar in place of agave)Measure 1/2 cup of palm sugar and put in a marked measuring cup. Add hot water to make 1/2 cup (as the sugar disolves you will add more water) or use agave if desired. In a medium bowl combine sweetener (palm sugar mixture or agave), coconut oil and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate, cashews and coconut. Spoon the dough 1 heaping tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheets (I use my smallest pampered chef scoop - perfect size). Press the cookies down with the palm of your hand to flatten, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes and then remove. Don't overbake - I bake mine for 9 minutes and they are perfect. Everyone's oven is a little different so test it. They will look a little underbaked when done. If you overbake they really do not taste good.
These freeze great as well. I put a few in a sandwich bag and then place them all in a freezer bag. Troy can pull a bag out for his lunch or the kids and I can have a mid afternoon treat.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Changes, again!

I have not blogged for quite some time and it has been mainly because I have been frustrated by the fact that I cannot cook like I used to and switching my whole way of thinking and cooking has been hard. I have some definite answers now about what I can and cannot eat so now I feel like I at least have a jumping off place.
A few posts back I blogged about changes in my diet and what I was eating etc. That has all changed once again so here goes again!
I have suspected for some time that I was gluten intolerant and have been eating somewhat accordingly. I knew when I was eating strictly this way I felt better. My back has improved so much since September when I quit eating most gluten. Last month at the urging of my doctor I had a food sensitivity test done. I was not surprised to find that I was very sensitive to gluten and grains associated - wheat, spelt, barley, and rye. The thing I was not at all prepared for and really shocked by is that it showed I was extremely sensitive to eggs! That is just about the worst news I could have gotten (as far as eating goes) I was an avid egg eater and was counting on eggs in my next undertaking which was to find out what my carb threshold is (more about that later) Anyway, I also showed some moderate senistivity to most beans, including green beans and dungeness crab and oysters (neither of which are part of my diet)

I will post a recipe that I had for dinner and as time goes on I will try and post more about what I am eating - so if you know anyone who cannot eat gluten or eggs - send them my way and I will try and put up some great recipes as I discover them :-) They will be great healthy recipes as well if you are just looking for some healthier things to eat.

My sister told me about this salad she had had at a restaurant so today I got the ingredients and made it for dinner - it was soooo yummy and so nice for a change as I have been eating basically the same thing for my meals since I found out about my sensitivities.

I don't have a name for this salad but here goes:
Now have a name:

Yardhouse Chopped Salad
1 cucumber or 2 small persian cucumbers (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 cup of frozen corn (defrosted)
green onion (to taste)
1 stalk of celery (chopped small)
cilantro (a few leaves chopped)
1 avacado, sliced or diced
***add bacon*** (see note)
Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

I chopped this all up and tossed with a little of the dressing. Next time I would probably put the avacado on the side if I was eating it by myself so I could put some in the fridge and eat it later. I meant to add a little feta cheese on top and forgot to but a little bit of cheese would be wonderful with it as well.
I grilled a chicken breast and ate it with the salad and savored every bite - it was so yummy!
You could vary the ingredients to your taste - I am not a celery person but am learning to eat it.

*****Note - so my sister says it needs bacon as well - my choice of bacon these days is Trader Joes Turkey bacon - it is really good and I like it better than regular bacon. It has no added nitrites or nitrates and is minimally processed.*****