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.

IMG_4890

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!

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!

IMG_5587
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 :-).

Greek Salad

After I made skewers, I had leftover chicken and vegetables.  I searched the internet and found inspiration for this recipe.  It was, once again, a hit with the guys.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. olive oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1/2 c. red wine vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 T. minced onions

1 yellow pepper, diced

3 roma tomatoes, diced

7-8 mushrooms, diced

2-3 cups of cubed, cooked chicken (lightly salted and peppered) (omit chicken for vegetarian option)

1-2 handfuls of fresh basil (optional)

Optional add-ins that I didn’t use:

Feta cheese

Black olives

Cooked pasta

Green onions

 

Directions:

 

Cook chicken and allow to cool.  In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, and minced onions.  Dice the vegetables and add to the olive oil mixture.  Add cooled chicken.  Stir in some torn basil leaves and garnish with a sprig of basil.  Store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before eating.

 

Recipe adapted from:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11689/greek-pasta-salad-i/

 

Lavender Lemonade

We had lavender tossed at our wedding.  Our venue had a long list of restrictions of what could be tossed and our photographer voted for lavender.  We found someone local who had some lavender buds they wanted to sell, so we bought it.  The photos turned out great and we found lavender buds everywhere for awhile.  When we came back from our honeymoon, family had delivered our leftover items from the wedding, including the satchels of lavender that hadn’t been tossed.  Now I am on a quest to use it up in the kitchen.  For this lemonade, you first make a simple syrup and then steep lavender in it.  The lemons are also special- they came from my sister’s lemon tree!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c. sugar

1 cup water

3 T. lavender buds

1 1/2 cups lemon juice

7 cups of water

 

Directions:

Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring.  Boil until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the lavender buds.  Cover and let sit for 10 minutes (or longer if you want a stronger lavender taste).  Strain out the lavender buds and allow the syrup to come to room temperature.

Chill the syrup.  Once chilled, add the lemon juice and the remaining 7 cups of water.  Stir well and continue to chill until ready.  Slice extra lemons and put them in the pitcher to serve.

IMG_4922
I served the lemonade in this, but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture with the lemonade in the bowl!

Adapted from this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/32385/best-lemonade-ever/ and http://www.thecookierookie.com/lavender-lemonade/

9 Day Slaw- Grandmother’s Recipe

I recently married and as I was flipping through a homemade cookbook, I said to my husband, “I found your grandmother’s coleslaw recipe.”  I brought the coleslaw to our Christmas gathering and it was a hit!  The best part is I didn’t have to change anything.  This is a no-mayo coleslaw.  It’s easy to make and keeps for awhile.

 

Ingredients:

Slaw:

1 head of cabbage (about 3 pounds), grated or finely sliced

1-2 onions, chopped (I used one)

1-2 green peppers, chopped (I used one)

1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl and stir.

 

Dressing:

2 T sugar

1 cup salad oil (I used canola)

1 cup vinegar (I used regular white vinegar)

1 T salt

1 T celery seed

Stir the dressing ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the slaw and stir well.  Keep refrigerated and it just keeps getting better as the days go by.  Supposedly it keeps for 9 days, but I have not tested that part.  🙂 This makes a large bowl of coleslaw, so share with your friends!

Simple popcorn

I have tried making kettle corn several times and have had several mishaps.  Once was when I tried to cook it on a plug in burner with a hard-to-regulate temperature.  It burned quite thoroughly and my students were not very impressed :-).  Of course, neither was I.  Then I found out my husband doesn’t really like kettle corn, so I am off the hook.  For now, I am sticking to simple, lightly salted popcorn.  This recipe worked wonderfully and left very few unpopped kernels.  For this recipe, the size of your pan actually does matter.  Use a 3-quart saucepan with a lid.

 

Ingredients:

3 T oil (I used canola but you could use coconut, peanut, etc.)

1/3 c. popcorn kernels

salt to taste

1 T butter (optional)

 

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the 3 T. oil over medium high heat.

Add 3-4 kernels, and cover with the lid.  As soon as those kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn kernels and make sure they are all touching the bottom of the pan (no dogpiles).  Sprinkle in the salt.  Put the lid on the pan and remove it from the heat for exactly 30 seconds (this reduces burning and helps more of your kernels to pop).

Put the saucepan back on the heat.  Not long after that, the kernels will start popping.  When you finally hear the glorious sound of popping kernels, start to gently shake the pan so that the kernels don’t burn.  My lid has a small hole to release steam, but if yours doesn’t, you may want to leave the lid a little tilted to let the steam out so your popcorn is crispier.

When the glorious sound slows down, take the pan off the stove and dump the popcorn into a bowl for serving. You may stir in some melted butter if you would like.

This was the perfect amount for two people.

Original recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/

Glutino Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

A.k.a. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies but without gluten, dairy, or eggs

I first ran across this recipe a few months before I went gluten free.  It was a hit and I was sad when I found out I needed to go gluten free.  To me, that meant I would never eat these delicious cookies again.  However, I finally found some chocolate sandwich cookies that tasted pretty close and decided to try my hand at the recipe again.  This is the result.  Enjoy!

 

1 c. coconut oil (I used LouAna brand)

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

1 c. granulated sugar

2 Ener-G eggs (or 2 real eggs- for 2 Ener-G eggs, mix 3 tsp. Ener-G powder with 4 T. water and let it sit for a few minutes)

1 T. vanilla extract (use the real stuff!)

2 c. brown rice flour

1 c. potato starch (not potato flour!)

1/2 c. tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (this is essential if you want your cookie to stay together)

1 tsp salt (a little less)

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips.)

1 package Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (caution:  If you are cooking for someone with an egg allergy, you may want to choose a different brand of cookies.  These say they may contain eggs.  I have never had an issue but I also don’t get really sick.  Check with the person you are cooking for to make sure these cookies work for them.)

 

Directions: Make Ener-G eggs.  Mix together coconut oil and sugars.  Add Ener-G eggs and vanilla and stir well.

Stir together flours (brown rice, potato starch, tapioca starch), xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.

Add flour mixture into wet mixture in thirds and stirring after each addition.  Stir in chocolate chips.

(If you stop at this point, you have a versatile cookie dough that you can put in ice cream or use as a crust.)

*Do not skip this step!*  Refrigerate dough for an hour.   Coconut oil melts at a lower temperature, so you will get cookie brittle if you put it in the oven without chilling it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Once dough is chilled, put about a tablespoon of dough on one side of the Glutino and about a tablespoon on the other side.  Squish it together until you have completely sealed in the Glutino.  Put the prepared cookies back in the fridge while you are waiting for the oven to preheat.

Place cookies on cookie sheet and put in preheated oven for 13 minutes or until they start to brown.  They will harden some while cooling, so do not over bake.  Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

These freeze well.

If your cookies are spreading, you need to re-chill your dough before cooking anymore of them.  Or, you can just eat cookie dough :-).

IMG_4550.JPG
This is how they should look coming out of the oven if you have chilled the dough beforehand.

Adapted from the original recipe:

http://picky-palate.com/2011/01/06/oreo-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Hamburger Buns

If you have to eat egg free in addition to gluten and dairy free, good luck finding bread in a store that works well.  Maybe your store has it and that’s great.  I, however, have resorted to making my own buns, which is not nearly so scary as you would think.  I found a GF vegan bread recipe online and then put it in my bun pans and cooked it for less time, and then enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches and hamburger  ON A BUN!

They held up really well for about 2-3 days and then they started to break a little more on the last day, so just eat them quickly! 🙂

I followed this lady’s directions, including the flour mixture that she used:

http://www.hopeskitchen.info/2012/06/best-gluten-free-vegan-bread.html

 

Some uses for the bun:

Golden Sweet Cornbread

Here is a cornbread recipe that tastes delicious and yet has several replacements.  Don’t be scared!  It’s easy.  I usually serve it with my mom’s chili.

 

Golden Sweet Cornbread

 

Ingredients:

1 c. brown rice flour (if you don’t need to be gluten free, just use regular       all-purpose flour)

1/4 tsp xanthan gum (essential if making this gluten free- prevents crumbling)

1 c. yellow cornmeal

2/3 c. sugar (just regular, white granulated sugar. I recently tried it with just 1/3 c. sugar and thought it was even better.)

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 flax egg (mix 1 T. golden flax seed with 3 T. water and let sit for 5-10           minutes- or you can just use one regular egg)

1 c. milk (I usually use original coconut milk from the carton.  You could also use almond milk, soy milk, etc. or just regular milk.)

1/3 c. oil (I usually use canola or vegetable but you can use something fancier if you want.)

Directions:

Make the flax egg and set aside for 5-10 minutes).  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add the wet ingredients including the flax egg.  Stir well.  Bake in a greased 8×8 pan at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  It is finished when a toothpick comes out clean or when you tap the top and it doesn’t leave an imprint.  It should spring back to the touch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
See how beautifully the top cracked in the pan?