Coconut Flour Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re like me and have been experimenting with baking, you may find yourself with way too much coconut flour on hand.  So many of the coconut flour recipes call for eggs but this one doesn’t!  At first I was disappointed because these were a little gritty, but then I froze them and found them quite addicting in their mostly frozen state.  Forewarning that these taste a little “healthy”, but if you like that taste, you might love these.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. vegan butter

1/3 c. coconut milk

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

2 T. potato starch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. Enjoy Life chocolate chips

1/4 c. chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Cream butter and sugars.  Add milk and vanilla and stir well.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Set the dough aside for 20 minutes so it can rest (maybe this is because of the coconut flour?)  Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  May be frozen for longer storage.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2014/05/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Chicken Salad

This is one of my go-to’s for camping, picnics, etc.  It is so simple and versatile.  It’s hard to find a sandwich bread on a store shelf that is gluten, dairy, and egg free and that won’t crumble apart around your sandwich and baking bread takes awhile, so this is my normal solution.  If you are really in a hurry, you can use canned chicken.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked and shredded chicken.

~1/4 c. regular or vegan mayonnaise (Vegannaise and EarthBalance have vegan mayos and I think there are more brands out now)

1/4 c. craisins

salt and pepper to taste

dash of onion powder

1-2 tsp celery seed

Optional:  add-ins such as chopped celery, onion, green onion, etc.

 

Directions:

Shred chicken.  Add mayonnaise until it is the moistness you like in your chicken salad. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as onion powder and celery seed if desired. Add in mix-ins such as craisins, celery, etc.  May be eaten with crackers, inside half an avocado, on a sandwich, or just by itself.

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Blueberry Banana Smoothie

I bought a lot of bananas for a campout.  They didn’t travel very well and were desperately in need of being eaten when I arrived home.  I have been brainstorming ways to use them up and this is one of them.  Blueberries and bananas.  What could be better?! (Don’t answer that 🙂

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 very ripe bananas

1/4 c. frozen blueberries (I think a 1/2 cup might be better)

1/2 c. coconut milk from a carton

1/4 c. crushed ice

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Drink immediately.

 

Notes:

This was very good, but a little heavy on the banana.  I think the additional blueberries will balance out the banana taste.  We are going to experiment some more and let you know.

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Simple Peanut Butter Banana Frozen No-Bakes

The name is longer than the ingredient list.

One of my friends told me about these.  It is her husband’s dessert that he makes.  She didn’t, however, give me the exact recipe, so this is my experiment.  It is very simple and oh so good!  I think I am going to try it as popsicles sometime and I’ll let you know if they turn out.  This is a good, cheap, and healthy snack for kids too.

 

Ingredients:

1 large, very ripe banana, mashed

2 T. peanut butter

 

Directions:

Mash banana.  Add peanut butter and stir well.  Place onto wax paper and freeze for at least an hour.  I froze mine overnight.

 

Notes:

I tried adding additional ingredients, but it actually made them less tasty.  The only down side is that your fingers get kind of messy as the heat from them melts the “cookie” which is why I want to try them as popsicles.

 

Homegrown Garden Salad

This is the first year I’ve ever had a real garden.  My parents had them while we were growing up and I helped some, but I wasn’t responsible for it.  We have just started harvesting things from our garden.  It is so exciting!  Some of the sugar snaps are ready and we were able to harvest a few leaves of rainbow swiss chard as well as some basil.  The rest of the ingredients were from the store.  You can mix and match with whatever you have in your garden or your store, but here’s some ideas for starters!

Ingredients:

1 handful of spinach

1 handful of chopped leaf lettuce

1 leaf of yellow stem swiss chard

1 leaf of red stem swiss chard

1 orange pepper, chopped

tops of green onions, chopped

2-3 sugar snap peas

Handful of broccoli, chopped

Small handful of basil (I used sweet basil, ajaka, and red leaf)

Optional: Mild white cheddar cheese (obviously not dairy free)

Dressing of your choice (we used Ken Martin’s Sweet Vidalia Onion)

Optional: Add in baked chicken

 

Directions:

Harvest whatever you can from your garden that would go in a salad.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Top with dressing of your choice and cheese if you can eat it.  Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken

You know those days where you’re down to little bits of leftovers that aren’t really a meal?  This was one of those days.  I had about a cup of cooked rice as well as a tiny bit of baked chicken leftover and I was not looking forward to lunch.  However, I remembered that I had a coupon for San-J sauce and I needed to go to the store anyway.  My meal was rescued and here is the result!  As mine was just one serving size, I am guessing as to the amount of ingredients you need.  The good news is that this is a very forgiving recipe and you can adjust it to your preferences.  I did mine in the microwave since it was just one serving, but you could do it on the stovetop also.

 

Ingredients:

3-4 cups cooked brown or white rice

1 pound baked chicken, cut into pieces

1 small bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables

1 bottle or less of San-J gluten free teriyaki sauce

 

Speedy Directions:

Cook rice according to directions on the bag or in a rice cooker.  You can cook your chicken now or use chicken you have pre-cooked and frozen.  Microwave frozen vegetables and warm up chicken.  Add all ingredients together in a bowl and serve.

Stovetop Directions:

Cook rice according to directions on the bag or in a rice cooker.  Cook chicken in a pan.  Add stir-fry veggies and stir until cooked.  Add cooked rice and sauce and stir until warm.

Notes:

For my single serving, these are the ingredient proportions I used:

1 c. cooked rice, handful of cooked chicken, 1 c. microwaved stir-fry veggies, 3-5 T. San-J teriyaki sauce.  I microwaved all the ingredients separately except for the sauce.  Then I combined all the ingredients and added the sauce and microwaved it just enough to warm up the sauce.

Cranberry Almond Salad

I recently went camping with some friends.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of time preparing meals, so I tossed together this salad.  My husband and I ate the same salad at home and had the opportunity to warm up the meat, so you could do the meat hot or cold.

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

2 leaves of leaf lettuce, chopped

2 T. craisins

1 T. sunflower seeds

1 T. slivered almonds

1 handful of broccoli, chopped

3-4 chunks of baked chicken

Dressing of your choice

 

Directions:

Wash spinach, lettuce, and broccoli.  Place in bowl and add craisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds.  Add chicken (either hot or cold).  Add dressing of your choice and eat!

 

Notes:

I oftentimes make the chicken ahead and freeze it. Then I can pull out small amounts as needed.  If you are taking this salad on a campout, I suggest storing the dressing separate from everything else.  I also put the craisins, almonds and sunflower seeds in a separate container so they wouldn’t get soggy.  Happy camping!

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Dressing shown is Ken Martin’s Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing.  It looks creamy but it has no gluten, dairy, or eggs.  I don’t know what magic is in it to make it look creamy.  Sometimes it’s best not to ask :-).

Herbed Spaghetti Meatsauce

Spaghetti is one of my easy meals, but sometimes I want to make it just a little bit fancier without adding a lot more work.  We have fresh herbs growing in our garden and I am trying to get them into as many of our meals as possible.  You could add in any Italian herbs, but I added basil and rosemary because that is what I had.  Oregano would go well also.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 red pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 jar of Classico spaghetti sauce (I think this was the Fire Roasted Garlic one, but any of the non meat or cheese ones will work)

Handful of basil, chopped

1 stem of rosemary, chopped

 

Directions:

Cook ground beef with pepper and onion.  Add the jar of spaghetti sauce along with herbs and cook until hot.  Serve over gluten free noodles.  The noodles shown are HEB’s gluten free spiral noodles.

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This is the meat sauce cooking.  The steam is fogging up my camera lens :-).

 

Thumbprint Cookies

My mother-in-law and brother-in-law make a delicious Mustang Grape jelly.  We made rolls and used the jelly, but we still had a lot left, so I decided to try these cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance)

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 flax egg (1 T. ground golden flaxseed, 3 T. water)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

1/3 c. jam of any flavor, approximately

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Make flax egg and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add flax egg and vanilla and stir.  Add flour and stir well.  Add chopped walnuts.

Roll into balls a Tablespoon at a time and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and make an indent with your thumb in each cookie.  Fill each indent with jam and then return to the oven for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before eating.  I made the mistake of trying to eat one too soon and the jelly was way too hot!

The first time I made these I rolled the walnuts on the outside as seen in the picture, and the walnuts kept falling off.  They will work much better if the walnuts are included in the dough as I directed in the instructions.

Inspired by: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9618/thumbprint-cookies-i/

Hamburgers

I love hamburgers.  There is just something about chargrilled meat that reminds me of summers around a picnic table.  There are many complicated hamburger recipes out there, but personally I like when it is just beef.  That’s all.  It’s so ridiculously simple.  You can spice it up with your toppings.  You can always add more to your meat, but if you want a really simple recipe, this is it.

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

Directions:

Shape meat into round patties.  You can do 4-6 patties with this amount of meat.  Put a small dent in the middle with your thumb.  This helps the center to cook evenly.

Turn on your grill (I used gas).  Get the temperature up to 450 degrees (higher temperature seals in juices and makes a juicy burger).  Place the burgers on the grill being careful not to get licked by the flames if it flares.  Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes or until the edges are browning and the center no longer looks bright red (should still be a little pink).  Flip burgers over carefully.  There will be a lot of juice on top so it may flare up.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Check one of the larger burgers to make sure it is cooked inside.  Serve on a bun or in a lettuce wrap.  Add whatever toppings you desire.  I enjoy pickles, ketchup, bacon, lettuce and tomato.  Guacamole or avocado adds a nice touch.

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