Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole gluten-free & dairy-free

This is a delicious and simple side dish that goes great with roasted chicken!

4 or 5 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Preheat the oven 350. Place the whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until soft.
2. Let the potatoes cool and remove skins and cube into a casserole dish.
3. Drizzle the maple syrup and sprinkle the cinnamon over the potatoes. Layer the marshmallows over the top of the casserole, and put a lid on the dish.

4. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for another 20-30 or until the marshmallows are melted.
5. Serve warm and enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore gluten-free

This is a great gluten-free meal the whole family will love!

4-6 chicken breasts cut into strips
1 cup rice flour
4 tsp Italian seasoning - divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
3 garlic cloves - minced
2 bell peppers ( any color) - diced
1 large onion - diced
2 carrots shredded
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock

1. In a baking dish combine rice flour, 2 tsp of Italian season, and garlic powder and combine. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture coating both sides.
2. In a large deep skillet or electric skillet on medium high heat brown both sides of the chicken in 2 tbsp. of olive oil. The rice flour will not brown as much as traditional flour. The browned chicken should be a light brown. The chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through because it will finish cooking later.
3. After you remove the chicken from the pan cook the onions, peppers, garlic, and carrots over medium high heat until softened. Add more oil if necessary.
4. After the vegetables have cooked and softened add tomatoes, 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
5. Return the chicken to the simmering sauce to complete cooking. The rice coating on the chicken will thicken the sauce.
6. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, and serve warm over gluten-free pasta or rice. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Cinnamon Iced Coffee - sugar-free

I must admit, I am an iced coffee addict. I wanted a way to make it at home, because running into the coffee shop all the time can be hard on your wallet. You can find liquid stevia at your local natural grocery store. The small dropper bottle lasts a LONG time and you can sweeten dozens of sugar-free coffee's with it. I also like to use the liquid stevia to sweeten my homemade whipped cream, iced tea, and smoothies.

coffee -brewed strong and chilled in the fridge
half and half - or creamer of your choice
whip cream - optional
vanilla liquid stevia or cinnamon liquid stevia

Start with a glass full of ice. Pour your chilled coffee over the ice, then add the creamer and stevia to you liking. Top with whipped cream and/or cinnamon. It's simple, inexpensive and quicker than the drive-thru. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie gluten-free & dairy-free

Our family loves all things pumpkin, and we enjoy it throughout the year. Pumpkin pie is not just for Thanksgiving! You can whip up this delicious pumpkin pie any day of the week, and enjoy a yummy gluten and dairy free dessert.


1 pkg. gluten-free ginger snaps or cinnamon cookies
1/3 cup melted earth balance spread
1 15oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs

1. In a food processor grind cookies into a fine crumble. With the processor running drizzle in all of the melted spread. The mixture should resemble wet sand.
2. Place all of the cookie mixture into a pie pan. Using a plastic bag or plastic wrap around your hand press the cookie mixture into the pie pan to make an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Refrigerate until ready to use this crust.
3. In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, spice, and eggs. Using a whisk mix thoroughly.
4. Pour the contents of the mixing bowl into the pie crust.
5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes.
6. Let pie cool completely before serving. To keep this recipe dairy free use a soy whipped topping. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pesto Risotto

This is a yummy Italian side dish that pairs great with grilled chicken or fish.

1 cup arborio rice
1 large onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 quart chicken stock
4 Tbsp. fresh pesto
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1. In a medium pot warm chicken stock on medium high heat.
2. In a separate deep skillet cook onions and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil and cook until softened. Add rice to onions and garlic and toast for 1 minute while stirring. '
3. Using a large ladle, spoon a small amount (about a cup) into the rice onion mixture and stir until absorbed - then add another ladle full of stock and stir. Repeat this until all of the stock is used, and the rice is soft and cooked - this takes about 20 mintues. It is important to warm the stock until hot so that you do not cool down your rice while you are cooking it by adding stock.
4. Once all the stock is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked remove the pot from the heat.
5. Stir in the pesto and cherry tomatoes while the risotto is still warm just before serving.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banana Bread gluten-free & dairy-free

This is a delicious banana bread, and it's gluten and dairy free. I like to make two loaves of this bread at once because it goes fast! If you happen to have any leftover (which is unlikely) you can freeze individual slices for later. Delicious as is or topped with honey, butter, or cream cheese.


1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- I used Bob's Red Mill
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas mashed
1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside
3. In a separate bowl cream together brown sugar and oil until smooth.
4. Add in one egg at a time and mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and mix.
5. Add flour mixture into wet ingredients alternating with mashed bananas.
6. Once all ingredients are incorporated mix in chopped walnuts.
7. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 baking pan
8. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

White Chicken Chili

Chili is a staple dinner at our house because it's a filling gluten-free food. This is the best white chicken chili. We usually eat our chili with tortilla chips instead of corn bread. Everyone who has tried it loves it, including my two-year-old. My mom calls me nearly every week to ask "How do you make that white chicken chili?" Now I'll be able to say "It's on the blog, mom"

3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large onion
3 jalapeno peppers
1 can pinto beans drained
1 can cannellini beans drained
1 can great northern beans drained
2 quarts chicken stock
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Let the chicken cool then shred with two forks.
2. Chop all peppers and onion. Saute with tsp. olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until softened.

3. Add seasonings: garlic, Mexican oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
4. Add drained and rinsed beans
5. Add shredded chicken
6. Add chicken stock until contents are covered.
7. Bring to a boil and let chili simmer uncovered stirring periodically. Some of the smaller beans will break apart into the chili making the consistency thicker, while the larger beans will remain intact.
8. Let the chili simmer until you are ready to serve. Top with cheese, sour cream, or cilantro.

This chili is great from the freezer. I often make two pots of this chili, eat one for dinner and put the extra into meal size servings in the freezer for another night. This makes a great gluten-free and dairy-free meal if you leave off the toppings and just eat as is.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies gluten-free


8 ounces salted butter
2 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp. tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts


Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Once melted, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.

In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, and baking soda. Set aside.

Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the butter and using the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, approximately 1 hour. Shape the dough into 2-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before eating and store in airtight container

These cookies are excellent from the freezer as well. After the dough has chilled in the refrigerator form into 2" balls and place in freezer bag. Keep the dough balls in the freezer until you want to bake them. Take dough balls straight from the freezer and place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 12 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Broccoli Calzones gluten-free

These calzones are so GOOD! Since going gluten-free I've really been craving something pizza-like. This is by far the best recipe I've tried for an Italian dough. The end result is flavorful and chewy. Not crumbly and cake-like the way so many gluten-free recipes turn out. Give it a try! You can also experiment with different fillings: sausage mozzarella and marinara, or ham and cheese.

2 cups gluten-free Bisquick
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup cooked chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Ricotta
salt and pepper

Eggwash: 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. milk whisked together.

Preheat oven to 375

1. Combine all dough ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Using a rubber spatula fold all ingredients together thoroughly until a dough ball forms. The dough should be moist, but still stick together when pressed.
3. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Form into balls.
4. Between two pieces of plastic wrap pres each ball separately into a circle form. The circle should be about 8" across.

5. Mix together all of the filling ingredients.
6. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the dough circles, but leave the layer underneath. This will help to seal the calzone and move it to the baking sheet.
7. Next layer the filling ingredients onto one half of the circle being careful to leave room around the edge for sealing the calzone. Divide the filing equally between the four calzones, being careful not to overstuff.
8. Using the bottom layer of plastic wrap fold the calzone in half lifting the empty side. Press the dough pocket closed around the edges using the plastic wrap.
9. Unwrap the calzone while placing it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
10. Brush egg wash onto the top of the calzone

11. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Have you been gluten-ed?

I have a gluten intolerance. When I eat gluten I get terribly congested and suffer from a strange brain fog and what feels like pressure in my face. Sometimes this happens right away. Sometimes it happens the next day. I do not know if I have Celiac Disease because I have never been tested all I know is that I can't have gluten. Hence....this gluten free cooking blog.

I am continuously surprised at the unusual places I come across gluten. The more I meticulously pay attention to what I eat the more I am surprised by the ingredients. In the beginning of going gluten-free I would often feel bad from what I had eaten...but I would not know why. This was so frustrating, and it still happens to me sometimes. Going gluten-free involves so much more than just giving up bread.

For informational purposes here is a short list of "surprise gluten" I have come across in my daily life. If you have been on a gluten-free diet for some time, this is probably information you already know. I hope this information helps those who need to stay gluten-free avoid being accidentally gluten-ed.

McDonald's Fries - there is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic. Some say they are gluten free some say they are not. Basically I was surprised to learn that anything cooked in a fryer that once had something else with gluten in it can be contaminated. Bottom line - if McDonald's cooks nuggets and then your fries you have been gluten-ed. For this reason I avoid McDonald's completely. Plus the fries lead to the aforementioned symptoms.

Soy Sauce - this one may seem obvious but not everyone knows that "soy" sauce is actually made from wheat. To avoid this replace soy sauce with tamari in your recipes. This means fried rice, and a lot of other Asain dishes are off limits if you are eating out.

Sauces and Marinades - I put a packet of grill seasoning marinade in my grocery cart thinking "hey, its just spices". Upon checking out I scanned the ingredients and there is was in bold letters "wheat gluten". I am still shocked about this. This is just another reason why its better to make everything yourself from scratch.

Chocolate Truffles - Most popular chocolate brands such as Godiva and Lindt have "barley malt" on the ingredients list. It wasn't until recently I started reading the labels on my chocolate candies.

I am trying harder to be certain of all of my foods ingredients, we do cook at home a lot more now then we used to. I try to stick to my tried and true restaurants that I know are safe. And I am getting better at explaining what I can and can not eat to my waiter.  But every now and then it still happens, I'm gluten-ed.

What are some places that you have come across "surprise gluten"? Please share them in the comments so that we can all learn more about living a gluten-free life.