Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

Even my husband, who doesn’t really care for avocados, was helping me lick the bowl after this one.  We served it over a southwest salad.

 

Ingredients:

2 small avocados

2 T. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise so it would be egg free)

1 c. cilantro, washed

2 green onions, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime (about 1 T.)

3 T. milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk)

4 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp white vinegar

 

Directions:

Scoop out the avocados and save the pits for storing in the dressing. Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container with the avocado pits in the dressing to help keep it fresh.  Could also be used as a dip.

 

Inspired by:

http://www.food.com/recipe/creamy-cilantro-avocado-dressing-449407

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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!

Glutino-Stuffed Brownie

We recently had our 6-month anniversary.  In celebration, I attempted brownies with my chocolate cookie recipe as previously promised.  I also had a package of Glutino’s open that I wanted to use up.  I googled it and apparently a bunch of people already beat me to the punch.  It’s already a thing.  However, I didn’t see any gluten free vegan versions, so here you go!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 to 1/2 c. chocolate chips

9 Glutino Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (or Oreos if you aren’t gluten free)

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick. Stir in chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, grease an 8×8 pan.  Add a very thin layer of brownie batter, then place a layer of Glutinos in the bottom (about 9 cookies).  Top with remaining batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

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Adapted from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/vegan-chocolate-almond-cookies/?m

Green Bean Casserole

My sister introduced this to me.  It is starting to become a staple of our holiday dinners.  I can’t exactly say it’s good for you, but it’s yummy nonetheless.  The original name is Sweet and Sour Green Beans, but we have started calling it Green Bean Casserole.

Layer in 9×13 casserole dish in this order:

2 large cans of French cut green beans, drained

1 large can of sliced mushrooms (optional)

1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (save the grease)

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 large can Rotel (original)

 

Mix and bring to a boil, stirring constantly:

12 T sugar

12 T. red wine vinegar

all of the bacon grease from frying the bacon earlier (about 12 T.)

Pour boiled sauce over the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (or until bubbling and onions are done).

Notes:

Can be baked anywhere 300-450 degrees for up to 60 minutes, so you can cook it in the oven with other parts of the holiday meal.  We usually leave out the mushrooms and sometimes add an extra onion.  We never measure the bacon grease and just add it all.  If you don’t eat pork, turkey bacon may work. You may have to add a little extra grease if your turkey bacon isn’t very greasy.  Hope you enjoy this casserole as much as we do!

Recipe is compliments of Alberta Denham.

 

Pineapple Fried Rice

My husband loves pineapple fried rice.  He orders it almost every time it’s on the menu.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a gluten free one in a restaurant yet, hence this recipe.  If you want it to be vegetarian, just skip the chicken.  You could add scrambled eggs in too if you can eat eggs.

 

Ingredients:

1 T. coconut oil

1-1.5 pounds chicken, cubed

1 1/2 c. pineapple chunks

1 red pepper, diced in 1/2-inch pieces

2 T. brown sugar

1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. cashews

4 c. cooked rice

1/2 c. raisins

1 lime

1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce

2 T gluten free soy sauce

 

 

Directions:

Warm 1 T. coconut oil in a large wok.  Add chicken and cook until cooked through.  Set chicken aside in a bowl.  Leave 1 T. of the liquid in the pan.  Add pineapple, red peppers, and brown sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the green onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Add pineapple mixture into the bowl with the chicken.

Toast cashews in the pan for 30 seconds and then add in the cooked rice and cook for 2 minutes.  Add raisins and return the chicken and pineapple mixture to the pan and continue cooking until it is all warm again.  Add in the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and lime and stir.

I used to make this with three pounds of chicken and it was way too meat-centric.  I have now cut the meat down to 1-1.5 pounds which will help the other flavors shine.

Adapted from: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/thai-pineapple-fried-rice-recipe/

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I actually made this dish twice.  The main picture has cilantro in it, but I decided it was better without cilantro.  This is the second rendition and tasted much better.

Cilantro Lime Rice in Rice Cooker

This evening I started rice in my rice cooker and about 10 minutes later realized what I really wanted was cilantro lime rice.  I googled for inspiration and didn’t find a recipe that exactly fit my needs.  My mother-in-law makes wonderful cilantro rice, but hers is stovetop and I was already past that point and I didn’t have all the ingredients.  I decided to try my hand at makeshift rice.  As suspected, I was able to just add the desired ingredients to the rice once it was cooked, so I didn’t have to mess with stovetop rice.  Yay!  If you don’t have a rice cooker, you could just do this on the stovetop.

Ingredients:

2 c. uncooked brown rice

water (the amount your rice cooker says to use for 2 cups of rice)

2 T. non-dairy butter

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

 

Directions:

Cook rice according to rice cooker directions.  Once it is cooked, add the butter, lime, salt, and chopped cilantro.  Stir well and serve as a side.  Pairs well with my enchiladas.

 

Adapted from: http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2015/04/copycat-chipotle-cilantro-lime-rice.html

 

Quick Sweet Potato Mash

I have a habit of buying potatoes and then letting them sit around for a really long time.  I know I should use them quicker, but sometimes they seem like they take forever to make and that effort seems wasted if it’s just on one potato.  When I recently had oral surgery, I was on a soft food diet for several days.  I quickly tired of guacamole, yogurt, and applesauce.  That’s when I saw my poor lonely sweet potato sitting on the counter.  I figured I could make a mash in the microwave pretty easily.  This is the result!

 

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, washed and pierced with a fork all over

3-4 T. non-dairy butter (SmartBalance)

1 T. non-dairy milk (cashew milk)

 

Directions:
Wash sweet potato and pierce it with a fork all over.  Microwave on one side for 3 minutes.  Turn over and microwave for another 3 minutes or until you can easily pierce all the way through the potato with a fork.  Carefully peel with a fork or knife, scraping excess potato off of the skin and onto your plate.  Mash with a fork.  Add in 3-4 T. butter to hot potato and mash in.  Add 1 T. cashew milk to make it fluffier (you may need more or less depending on the size of your potato).

This works well as a quick side for one or two people or as a snack.

Rolls

Gluten free rolls?  Yes!  I served these to guests one time and no rolls survived the night.  These are really easy!  Buy Pamela’s Bread Mix and follow the egg free bread recipe using flax eggs, except instead of putting it in a bread pan, put the dough in an oiled muffin tin.  Allow to rise for an hour as the recipe says and then bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until the tops are browned and they sound kind of hollow when you thump them.  Allow to rest in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes and then use a knife to loosen the edges.  I gently pulled them out and they regained their shape quickly.

I used them as bread for my Chick-Fil-A copycat recipe.  You can also bake the bread in spring-form bun pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Happy sandwich making!

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Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken

I love Chick-Fil-A.  They have many gluten free options.  Unfortunately, none of their fried chicken is currently gluten free.  Therefore, we have to resort to more labor-intensive means to meet our craving for Chick-Fil-A fried chicken.

This is based on a copycat recipe I used while overseas.  I wrote it on a notecard and now have no idea what the source was.  I was wondering if I could adapt it to meet dietary restrictions.  The answer is yes!

Ingredients:

1 Ener-G egg

1 cup non-dairy milk

1.5 to 2 pounds chicken tenders (skinless, boneless)

1 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 1/2 tsp to 1 T. salt

2 1/2 tsp powdered sugar

1/2 tsp pepper

oil for frying

 

Directions:

Make Ener-G egg.  Combine with milk.  Soak raw chicken in egg/milk mixture for at least an hour.  Mix flour, salt, sugar, and pepper.  After chicken has soaked, coat it with the flour mixture and press the mixture on.  Let air dry a few minutes, and then quickly dip the chicken in the milk mixture (one piece at a time) and quickly remove and coat in flour a second time.  Do this until you run out of flour.  It’s ok if they don’t all get coated twice- it just adds extra flavor and crunch :-).

Heat oil in a frying pan (about 1/2 inch deep).  When it seems hot, drop in one drop of water and stand back.  If it pops, then the oil is hot enough.  Put chicken in the hot oil and allow to cook on one side for about 7-8 minutes or until the outer sides of the top side are starting to look white.  Carefully turn the pieces over and allow to cook for another 5-7 minutes.  When you think it is done, take out the thickest piece of meat and cut into it to make sure it is done (no pink, it looks like it would be easy to shred, etc.)  Remove each piece of chicken and allow oil to run off it into the pan.  Place on a plate, oily side up so it won’t get soggy on the plate.  After removing all of the cooked chicken, cook your second round of chicken until all the chicken is cooked.

 

To serve, I made Pamela’s Bread Mix bread and added pickles to my sandwich to make it authentic.  My husband added a tomato to his to make it more colorful.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any lettuce around, so we put asparagus on the plate to make it colorful.

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