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

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Mongolian Beef

This is a version of P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef.  Mine has extra vegetables :-).

 

Sauce Ingredients:

2 tsp oil (I used canola.)

1/2 tsp minced ginger

1 T. minced garlic

1/2 c. soy sauce (I use Kikkoman’s Gluten Free Soy Sauce)

1/2 c. water

3/4 c. brown sugar

 

Beef Ingredients:

1 c. oil

1 pound steak (I used whatever was a good price at the store.), cut into 1/4-inch thick strips.

1/4 c. cornstarch

2 large green onions, chopped (I think I may have used the whole bunch)

1-3 c. frozen Asian veggie mix- allow to thaw while you are cooking

 

Directions:

Heat the 2 tsp. oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat.  Carefully add the ginger and garlic and then immediately add the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  After sugar is dissolved, boil for 2-3 minutes and then set it aside.

Heat 1 c. oil in a wok or large skillet.  Coat the steak in the cornstarch and allow it to rest for 10 minutes so the coating will stay on.  Cook beef briefly until all sides are browned, but meat should not be cooked through.

Remove meat from the pan and dump out the oil.  Return the meat to the pan and add the sauce and green onion and frozen veggies.  Serve over rice.

Adapted from: http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/pf-changs-mongolian-beef-copycat-recipe.html

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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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

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

 

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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Gluten Free Vegan Hot Dog Bun or Pita Bread

I had a really hard time getting a good picture of this.  It was dark outside so the lighting was good.  The bread worked really nicely as a wrap, but it wouldn’t stay around the hot dog without me holding it.  Plus, hot dogs just aren’t very photogenic.  Nevertheless, I am posting this recipe because it is the first everything free hot dog “bun” that I’ve ever had that didn’t disintegrate in my hand.  It worked really well hot out of the oven and then the next day it wrapped well after I briefly microwaved it.  The advantages to this recipe include it’s brevity, its ease, and its versatility.  I imagine you could use it as you would pita bread or flatbread- as a panini, pizza crust, pita, sandwich bread, bratwurst wrap, etc.  Also, in case you don’t know, there are tons of hot dogs out there that are gluten free.  This happens to be a Ball Park Frank.

Ingredients:

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. corn starch

2 T. sugar

2 tsp xanthan gum (put the full amount in)

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

 

3/4 c. water

1 tsp cider vinegar

2 T. oil (I used canola)

2 eggs (I used 2 flax eggs)

White or brown rice flour for dusting

 

Directions:

Make the two flax eggs (2 T. ground golden flax seed and 6 T. water).  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and stir well, eliminating any clumps.  Add all the wet ingredients including the flax eggs and stir well.  Use oil to grease two 8×8 pans.  Dust them well with white or brown rice flour.

Divide the batter between the two pans and use a wet spatula to spread it out until smooth on top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until the bread starts to separate from the side of the pan and the top springs back to touch.

You may be able to substitute tapioca starch or potato starch for the cornstarch, but I haven’t tried that yet.

 

Original recipe:

http://2beglutenfree.com/gluten-free-recipes/gluten-free-flat-bread/

 

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This is how it looked when it was finished baking.

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Grilled Skewers

What to do with a lonely red pepper that you bought intending to use it in tacos but you forgot?  Buy lots of other colorful companions with it and make kabobs!  My siblings were coming over for dinner and I couldn’t think of what to make, but then I ran across this recipe.  It has been labeled a keeper by all three guys eating it.  You can mix and match the veggies as you please.  I intended to add tomatoes and mushrooms, but I ran out of room in my marinade bag, so I made a chicken salad with them instead!

 

Ingredients:

8-12 skewers, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (omit for vegetarian option)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 zucchini, sliced in coins

1 onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 orange bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces

Marinade:

1/4 c. canola oil

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. soy sauce (I used Kikkoman’s gluten free soy sauce)

2 minced cloves of garlic

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Begin soaking your skewers in water.  Cut all vegetables and chicken.  Combine marinade in small bowl and stir well.  Pour into a gall0n-sized bag.  Add cut vegetables and chicken.  Seal bag and turn several times until all pieces are coated with marinade.  Store in refrigerator 2-8 hours (I put the bag in a bowl to prevent leaks), turning several times to marinate all pieces.

Heat grill to medium heat.  Put vegetables and chicken on the soaked skewers.  Grill for 12-15 minutes.  At the very end we turned the heat up a little higher to give it that charred taste.  Make sure chicken is cooked (we cut a piece to see if it looked cooked).  If not, return it to the grill and continue cooking until it is cooked.  No salmonella, please!

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IMG_5155Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8626/yummy-honey-chicken-kabobs/

Sugar Cookies

You know those grocery store cookies- the big cakey sugary cookies that are decorated differently for each season?  Here is how to make them gluten free and vegan!  These still tasted good when they were several days old!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used original cashew milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened flax milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  I managed to get some hearts out and then decided to go back to circles.  See below for details.*  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  I found that it spread by itself, so I just needed to put a big spoonful in the middle of the cookie.

*To make the hearts, I grabbed a handful of dough and put it on parchment paper dusted with white rice flour.  Then I dusted the top of the dough and put a piece of wax paper on top to help me press it down.  I then stuck it in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, take it out and remove the wax paper.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape you want, but instead of scooping up the cookie and putting it onto a pan, remove the excess dough and leave the cookie where it is.  This would be a fairly tedious process to cut them all into shapes which is why most of mine became circles.  I will experiment another time with ways to make cookie cutter cookies.

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One of the hard-earned hearts!
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The inside looks just like it’s supposed to!
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This is how they looked right after being frosted.
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This is how they looked after the frosting had dried.

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a