Frosted Graham Crackers

We loved this treat as kids.  It was super easy for mom and we were super happy, so everyone was a winner!  As kids we used a jar of frosting and a package of just regular graham crackers.  As an adult eating gluten free, it hadn’t occurred to me to resurrect this easy treat.  One day I wanted something sweet but didn’t want to make a big recipe that I would have to work on for days to finish.  We are trying to eat less sugar and that just wouldn’t do.  I started scrounging in my pantry and freezer.  I came across one lonely graham cracker (Kinnikinnick brand), and in my freezer I had some frozen cream cheese frosting leftover from my carrot cake.  You better believe I set that frosting out on the counter immediately to let it start defrosting :-).  As soon as it was spreadable, I spread it on that graham cracker and relived my childhood.  I invite you to enjoy such an easy treat.  There’s actually a lot of canned frosting that is gluten free and dairy free if you want to make it even easier on yourself.  I have gotten spoiled in my old age and prefer homemade, but as a kid, the canned stuff was just fine by me :-).

 

Ingredients:

leftover frosting (about 1-3 T. depending on the size of your graham cracker)

1 graham cracker (I used Kinnikinnick brand- may contain eggs although it’s not listed in the ingredients.)

 

Directions:

Break the graham cracker in half.  Put frosting in between the two pieces of graham cracker.  Now you have a frosting sandwich.  Enjoy!

 

Other frosting ideas: chocolate frosting, oreo buttercream frosting

Vegetable Beef Soup

We received a dutch oven for our wedding and I finally initiated it with this dish!  I have been wanting to make vegetable soup for awhile, but in my mind it was this super long and hard task, so I avoided it.  I finally broke down and made it, and much to my surprise, it wasn’t that hard at all. I hope you find a nice new dish for your repertoire in this soup.  It filled my dutch oven to the brim, so make sure you are using a large pot!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 c. chopped onions

2 c. peeled and chopped carrots

1 1/4 c. chopped celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 cans chicken broth (I think I used Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 cups diced potatoes (1/2 in, skins on)

1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 c. frozen green beans

1 1/4 c. frozen corn

1 c. frozen peas

2 c. cooked ground beef (optional)- omit for vegetarian

Optional: add cooked noodles (I added Schar Bonta d’Italia gluten free anellini)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Add onions, celery and carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes, add garlic, and cook for another minute.  Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Allow it to begin to boil and then add green beans.  Reduce heat and cook on medium-low for 30 minutes or  until potatoes are soft.  Add beef and frozen vegetables.  Cook 5-10 minutes or until beef and vegetables are heated through.  Add cooked noodles if desired.  For best yumminess, serve on a cold night :-).

 

Original recipe:

Vegetable Soup

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I was shocked to find out I hadn’t yet posted this recipe on my blog.  It’s the recipe I’ve used for holidays over the past few years.  Actually, as soon as I finish this post, I plan to go make two of them for our Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow.  A photo will be posted when I am finished :-).  As for toppings, there’s a new product called CocoWhip put out by SoDelicious which I have been using in place of CoolWhip.  I found it at Sprouts in the frozen section.  If you can’t find it, you can always make your own coconut whipped cream (see below or google it.)

 

Ingredients and Directions:

Crust:

Combine:

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. potato starch

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1-2 T. sugar (use only in sweet pies such as this one)

Add in 1/2 c. oil and stir just until incorporated.

Add 3-4 T. cold water and stir gently until incorporated.

 

Press into 9-inch pie shell (don’t bother trying to roll it out- just use your fingers and press it gently until there are no gaps.)

 

Filling:

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 heaping* teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 heaping* teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 heaping* teaspoon cloves

1/4 heaping* teaspoon nutmeg

3 T. arrowroot powder

 

Stir together.

 

Add:

2 T. golden flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. warm coconut milk (from a carton)

2 tsp vanilla

15 oz. canned pumpkin puree

13.5 oz. canned coconut milk (the higher fat content, the better)

 

Combine all filling ingredients and pour into pie crust.

Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Normally, you could stick a knife in the middle to tell if the pumpkin pie was cooked.  However, because this one relies heavily on coconut milk, it will still look a little gelatinous when you take it out.  Allow it cool for two hours and then stick it in the fridge overnight.  In the morning it should be normal pumpkin pie consistency.

Top with whipped coconut cream or SoDelicious CocoWhip.

Coconut whipped cream ingredients:

Solid part of a can of coconut milk (shake the can in the store to see if it sounds like pure liquid or like there’s some solid coconut in there).  Refrigerate the can for 4 hours and then just scoop out the solid part for use.  Whip it with powdered sugar (start with 1 T. and taste and add from there) and dash salt.

 

*If you want the pie to be a little less spiced, you can level off the teaspoons instead of using heaping portions.

Note:  There is always some extra filling left when I make this recipe.  When I doubled this, I actually had enough extra filling for an extra pie, so now I have 3 pies.  Another option is to bake it in ramekins or a pie shell without a crust as a treat for the kids if they want to try it but the pie is being saved for an event later…

This is a conglomeration of several recipe ideas.  I have modified the ideas significantly since then.  As to what the original sources were, I’m not really sure…

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These taste just like Thanksgiving.  What does Thanksgiving taste like?  Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.  I don’t have much to say about these.  Just try them if you are jealous of everyone else’s Thanksgiving sweets :-).

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. butter (I used SmartBalance)

1 c. white sugar

1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs (I used 2 flax eggs which means 2 T. golden flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. water)

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. canned pumpkin puree

3 c. flour (I used: 1 c. oat flour, 1 c. brown rice flour, 1/2 c. potato starch, 1/4 c. tapioca starch, 1/4 c. millet, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 c. mini-chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pre-mix flax eggs.  In a large bowl, blend coconut oil and butter.  Add in sugars and stir well.   Stir in flax eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and stir well.  In a medium bowl, combine flours together and add all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.  Add chocolate chips at the end and stir in.  I refrigerated my dough for about 10-15 minutes.  An hour would have been better but I was in a hurry :-).  I would do so especially if your house is warm.  Drop batter by Tablespoons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  You really do want to bake it that long.  I thought mine looked fine at 12 minutes this time so I took them out early.  They were fine that day, but the next day they were super duper moist and were acting a little underbaked.  Don’t take them out too early and you’ll be fine :-).

Original recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.html

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

What to do with leftover pumpkin?  So many recipes call for part of a can of pumpkin, but what do you do with the rest?  We tried our hand at pumpkin smoothies.  We were having such a good time that we forgot to take a picture :-/.  You’ll just have to imagine it.  Or, you can click on the original recipe below and imagine what it would look like if it just had the pumpkin part without any of the whipped cream.  This is quite a hearty smoothie.  Happy Holidays to you!

 

Ingredients:

2/3 c. pumpkin puree (Refrigerate first to make your drink colder.)

1 banana (Can use a frozen one to make the drink colder.)

1/3 c. walnuts

3/4 tsp cinnamon

scant 1/8 tsp ginger

scant 1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

3/4 c. unsweetened cashew milk (coconut milk may be even better)

3 T. maple syrup

2 tsp molasses

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!  This made plenty for two people.

Original recipe:

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Parfait w/ Coconut Whip

Tomato Basil Chicken in Butter Sauce

So much basil.  I have been trying to find new recipes in order to use up the basil in my garden.  I am best at growing basil and cherry tomatoes.  We have one cherry tomato plant that has continued to produce throughout the summer and through the fall.  It looks like it won’t last much longer, but we’re enjoying it while we have it.  The basil, on the other hand, has been doing fabulously.  My sweet basil has begun to die off, but I bought this new one called Ajaka and it seems to be quite hardy.  I made this recipe with some of the last of my sweet basil.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c. olive oil

5-6 roma tomatoes, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

two handfuls of fresh basil, cut in strips

1/4 c. butter (I used SmartBalance but I think it would have been ok to replace it with more olive oil and some salt)

 

Serve over spaghetti squash or pasta

 

Directions:

Heat the oil in a pan on medium high and rub the chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook the chicken in the oil until cooked (maybe 10 minutes?) and set aside the chicken, leaving the oil in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool slightly so your tomatoes won’t splatter everywhere.  Add the tomatoes and cover with a splatter shield if necessary. Please be careful!  Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes cook down some.  Add the garlic and butter and allow to cook for a few minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan and add the basil a minute or two before serving.  I served mine over spaghetti squash.

 

Original recipe:

Garlic Basil Chicken with Tomato Butter Sauce

 

Easy Crockpot Beef Brisket

I have had this recipe printed off for a long time and I finally got around to trying it.  It was SO easy.  The best part is, the brisket I bought was so big that I have more of it in the freezer.  I cut it into sections that would fit in my crockpot and froze the rest in crockpot-size parts.

 

Ingredients:

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 lbs beef brisket (not corned)

2 T. ketchup

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

4 cloves minced garlic

water to cover bottom of pot

 

Directions:

Strew onions in bottom of crockpot.  Place brisket on top of the onions with the fatty part on the top.  Stir together the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Rub onto the brisket.  Sprinkle garlic on top of the brisket.  Pour in just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I served this by itself first and poured some of the juice and onions on my plate with it.  I also made brisket sandwiches and put the onions from the bottom of the pan on the sandwich.  So delicious!

When it is done, it will shred like this:

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Fish tacos

A lot of places serve tacos near where we live.  However, it is hard to get a gluten free taco that has breaded fish on it, so I created this recipe in a continued effort to expand the types of meat in our diet.  It’s quick and simple and toppings can be adjusted according to your taste.  Right now we have lots of yellow tomatoes in our garden, so we used those (see picture below).  Measurements are approximate.

Ingredients:

Oil for pan-frying

3-4 pieces of fish (I used mahi mahi.)  Maybe 6-8 oz. (If frozen, defrost in water in the fridge.)

2-3 T. white or brown rice flour (I actually liked it better with white rice flour this time.)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Corn tortillas*

Topping options: diced red peppers, diced red onion, spinach, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese,  etc.

 

Directions:

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a shallow dish.  Dredge fish through flour mixture.  It will be a thin breading.  Pour oil in skillet until entire bottom of pan is covered with a thin layer.  Heat oil until a drop of water makes a spattering sound when dropped in it.  I used a splatter shield to help protect me from flying hot oil.  When oil is hot, add breaded fish to pan.  Cook on one side for maybe 3-4 minutes until the sides of the fish are looking cooked.  Flip fish over carefully and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  To test doneness, break a piece of fish in the middle with a fork.  It should flake easily.  Serve over warm tortillas and top with desired toppings.

 

*I have started getting a big bag of corn tortillas and freezing them in quart-sized bags.  I put waxed paper between each 5-6 tortillas and fill up the quart bag.  When I am ready to use the tortillas, I take them directly out of the freezer and toast them in a skillet on the stovetop, flipping them once.  My freezer tends to get ice crystals pretty quickly, so this added moisture helps keep the tortillas flexible as they cook.  Try it and see if it works for you!

I know this picture is sideways.  I have tried to convince my computer that it is not facing the correct direction, but it won’t believe me…

img_6309

 

Spaghetti Squash

When I saw this recipe, I thought it would never work.  Baking squash without water?  It’s sure to be dry.  However, I saw it on the blog of someone who has not let me down before, so I decided to try it.  It worked very well!

 

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Directions:

Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.  I added a little butter and some salt to add more flavor or you can use it as an alternative to spaghetti noodles or rice (the taste WILL be different than regular noodles).

Original recipe:

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

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