Sunday, April 20, 2014

Baked Lasagna Boats with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes

                       

Baked Lasagna Boats are easier than preparing lasagna and taste amazing. A crisp gluten free baguette is filled with the meaty sauce and cheesy layers typically found in lasagna. YUM!

I made this recipe with Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes, which crisp up in the oven. They have good flavor and texture of a real baguette.

Baked Lasagna BoatsAdapted from Taste of Home, 2014

Ingredients:
·1 gluten free baguette
·1 lb lean ground beef
·1 TBS garlic powder
·1 TBS Italian seasoning
·Salt and pepper
·1 cup homemade marinara sauce (see below)
·1 cup small curd cottage cheese
·½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
·¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated
·¾ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut baguette half lengthwise in the center to within 1-inch of the bottom. Pull baguette sides apart to make a bread boat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat; season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, breaking up until no longer pink. Drain grease. Stir in marinara sauce.

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and half of mozzarella cheese.

Spoon meat sauce into baguette; top with cheese mixture. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer.


Homemade Marinara Sauce (Crockpot)
                               

After making this Homemade Marinara Sauce, I am never, ever going back to jarred marinara sauce. Homemade Marinara is healthier than jarred. It's slightly sweet and tastes delicious. It's rather effortless to make, since the crockpot does most of the work, and it freezes well.

 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scallops and Grits

                      

A few Lenten Friday nights ago, my husband and I had a cooking date night. We went to the store to get fresh seafood (scallops for me, shrimp for him) and came home to prepare it our favorite ways. I made a pot of grits to go along with both of our dishes, and also snagged a piece of Mike's shrimp to top my plate of Scallops and Grits.

The scallops were seasoned and cooked perfectly. Don't cook for too long, or you may overcook the scallops and they'll be chewy. The grits were phenomenal - creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor.


Scallops and Grits

Ingredients:
·1 cup water
·3/4 cup grits
·6 oz. chive and onion cream cheese
·Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
·1 lb scallops
·Half of a lemon
·Salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste

Directions:
For the grits, combine water and grits in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until creamy. Remove from heat, stir in cream cheese until melted. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

For the scallops, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add scallops, season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and squeeze juice from half a lemon over the scallops. Serve over a large spoonful of grits.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

I was recently asked what food I miss the most since becoming gluten free over 4 years ago. It took me awhile to answer because I have found so many delicious gluten free products and recipes. I no longer feel like the gluten free foods I eat are replacements for my old, favorite gluten foods. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice because I've found great food that tastes As Good As Gluten and doesn't make me sick.
 
As I was thinking of what food I could possibly miss, I went through my mental checklist to see if I had a gluten free option. Pasta, check. Bread/buns, check. Cakes/cupcakes, check. I could go on and on listing foods and most of them were check, check, check. Then I thought about donuts, and there was my answer. I miss donuts.
 
I've tried frozen store-bought gluten-free donuts and they are just okay. The texture is dry and the flavor left a lot to be desired. I've tried gluten-free donuts when I've found them traveling to other cities, but they are few and far between to come by. I've been craving donuts since thinking about them and my mental gluten free checklist a few weeks ago.
 
Last Sunday, I finally got around to making a recipe I pinned two years ago. The recipe looked amazing and had my mouthwatering when I pinned it, but I put off making them because baking homemade donuts seemed too complex and time-consuming. I should have known better. This recipe is one of Jeanine's recipes. She's an amazing gluten free blogger. Her recipes aren't complex, and I know they will always turn out perfectly. These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts are no exception. In full disclosure, however, this recipe comes with warnings:
  1. They magically disappear. Make a double triple batch.
  2. You will be tortured starring at the donuts waiting for them to cool. Don't worry, it'll be over soon.
  3. It's a dangerous recipe to have since they're relatively easy and quick to prepare.
  4. Eating one two of these donuts may invoke feelings of gluttony.
  5. After one bite, you may rejoice in song or dance.

                          
 

These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts taste As Good As Gluten. If you've forgotten what that's like, they taste just like a cake donut. The donut is sweet with a perfectly dense and cakey texture. Don't be afraid by my description of dense. It's dense AND cakey. Dense is a bad word in the gluten free baking world, since it usually means that it feels like a brick in your stomach. No brick-like dense trauma with these donuts. It's cakey-dense that's slightly moist and spongey. The chocolate glaze is the icing on the cake donut, pun intended. It pulls everything together into a mouth-watering, chocolatey, sweet, delicious, amazing donut.
 
                         

I'm over the moon with how perfect these deliciously gluten free chocolate donuts turned out. I can't wait to try even more flavor varieties. Donuts, welcome back to my life!!



Click here for the recipe from The Baking Beauties


Note: I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of the flours and starches Jeanine outlined in her recipe. It's a homemade blend I helped my mom perfect. We've tried it in so many recipes and it's perfect. One day we'll be ready to share the recipe with the world. But for now, follow Jeanine's recipe or use your own blend of all-purpose gluten-free flour.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry


Spring has finally arrived…YAYAYA!!! This Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry dish is a light and fresh meal perfect for a busy weeknight. Lightly coated chicken is paired with crisp asparagus and tangy lemon. We used gluten free soy sauce and served with brown rice.
 

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Red Thai Curry

                          
 
 
I'm obsessed with the local Thai restaurants in my area. I finally tried spicy green and red Thai curry dishes earlier this year, and I'm hooked. I decided I had to learn how to make it at home so I can enjoy it more often.
 
This dish is less spicy than what I order in the restaurants, so let me know if you have any tips on how I could make it spicier. Nonetheless, this Red Thai Curry dish is a healthy and naturally gluten-free meal that comes together in just 30 minutes.
 
Red Thai Curry
 
Ingredients:
·2 TBS coconut oil
·1 onion, chopped
·2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp ginger
·3 TBS Thai red curry paste
·1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
·1 tsp gluten free soy sauce
·1 can light coconut milk
·1 medium eggplant, diced
·4-5 mini bell peppers, chopped (red, orange, or yellow)
·1 small head of broccoli, chopped into florets
·Handful of fresh spinach
·1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
·Cooked brown rice to serve
 
Directions:
Heat the oil in a large pan. When the coconut oil is warm, saute the onions until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, and broccoli and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, fish sauce, and gluten free soy sauce. Cook for 3 more minutes then pour in the coconut milk; stir in the spinach and cooked chicken. Cover and simmer under low heat until vegetables have cooked until tender. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta

 
                        

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta is easy to prepare, comes together quickly, and tastes incredibly flavorful. I love the base pasta recipe for this dish, Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe, which I've made into quite a few different flavor varieties over the years.
 
This time, I added chickpeas for more protein. The chickpeas surprisingly pulled together the flavors in this dish together well by adding depth and texture. I also started using cottage cheese instead of Parmesan and adding no cream or milk. I found the dish to be creamy enough without additional cream. One time I didn't have any cheese, only cottage cheese, in the fridge. It worked great and I think it's healthier than regular cheese.

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta
Inspired by my favorite Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe

Ingredients:
·2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·1 TBS minced garlic
·5-10 mushrooms, sliced
·3 TBS butter, divided
·¼ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper
·1½ cups homemade chicken stock
·2 cups water
·½ lb gluten free spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada)
·1 cup cooked chickpeas
·1 cup fresh spinach
·½ cup cottage cheese
·Up to ¼ cup skim milk, if needed
·2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add 2 TBS butter, heat until melted. Add salt, pepper, chicken stock, and water. Raise the heat to medium-high and let it come to a boil.

Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in 1 TBS of melted butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove from heat and mix in the cottage cheese until melted. If pasta needs more liquid, add up to ¼ cup skim milk. Stir in the spinach, mushrooms, chickpeas, and parsley. Stir until spinach is wilted.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

                                     
 
These Cookie Dough Cupcakes look amazing and taste even better than they look. They also pack a sweet surprise...
 
                              

A cookie dough stuffed center! These Cookie Dough Cupcakes are double the cookie dough - stuffed with cookie dough in the middle and then topped with cookie dough frosting. Sinfully sweet and delicious!

I made these in February to celebrate my brother's birthday. They were loved and devoured by everyone.

There are no health safety risks eating these cupcakes, as the cookie dough is eggless. I'd recommend making extra and keeping it in the freezer when you need a sweet tooth fix.

Enjoy!
 

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Ingredients:
·1 box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
·1 1/2 cups brown sugar
·1/2 cup butter, softened
·1/2 tsp vanilla
·2 cups gluten free flour
·Pinch of salt
·1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions:
To prepare cookie dough, mix together the brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in vanilla, milk, gluten free flour, and salt until well blended. Remove half of the cookie dough into a separate bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into one bowl of cookie dough only. Chill both bowls of cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare gluten free cake batter according to package directions. Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. *Do not bake yet.

Remove both bowls of cookie dough from the fridge. Using the bowl of cookie dough with chocolate chips mixed in, roll the cookie dough into 18-24 one-inch balls. Drop one ball of cookie dough into the center of the cake batter in each cupcake liner.

Bake cookie dough stuffed cupcakes according to package directions. Meanwhile, let the other bowl of cookie dough begin to soften. When cupcakes are finished baking, remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

To prepare the cookie dough icing, stir the cookie dough that's been softening on the counter. Do not stir in the chocolate chips. If you do, the cookie dough frosting will be harder to work with. Add a few splashes of milk, if needed, to thin the cookie dough out enough for frosting. Frost each cooled cupcake with the cookie dough frosting, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips on top.

Serve, enjoy, and celebrate!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chops

                           

Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chips are the epitome of a sweet and spicy dish. I'm not a huge fan of pork chops, but the way these pork chops are prepared is delicious! Not only is it tasty, but it's a fast and simple dish that comes together with a few ingredients. The outcome is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.


Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chops
Slightly adapated from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
·1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
·1 TBS chipotle chiles in adobe sauce puree* (see note below)
·Salt to taste
·6 boneless pork chops

Directions:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook raspberry preserves and chipotle puree until heated through, stirring occasionally. Set 1/4 cup aside to use for serving.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or a grill pan on the stovetop to medium heat.

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt then brush with remaining chipotle-raspberry sauce. Cook the pork chops on the grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved chipotle-raspberry sauce on top.


*Note: For the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce puree, you need to buy a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from the grocery store (it's usually found in the Hispanic foods section). In the can is whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Seed the chipotle chiles and then puree the entire can of adobe sauce and chipotle chile together. Use the amount need for the recipe, then freeze the rest in a marked plastic bag. Next time a recipe calls for chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, all you have to do is break off a piece from the bag in the freezer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice

                           

Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice is sweet, savory, and flavorful.

While I prefer quick and easy dinner recipes, this dish does take some time and effort to prepare but it is worth it. The aroma that fills your house while cooking will have your mouth watering, which pays off in the first, flavor-rich bite.


Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice
Slightly adapted from Carol Fenster

Ingredients:
·1 recipe coconut rice, see below
·4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·1 tsp salt
·1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
·1 TBS cornstarch
·3 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·2 large onions, chopped
·1 tsp each - ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika
·1 TBS brown sugar
·2 cups chicken broth
·1/2 - 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, including juice
·2 TBS lemon juice
·2 TBS honey
·1 TBS minced garlic

Directions:
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 TBS of EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring constantly until onions are caramelized. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 TBS of EVOO to the skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1 TBS of cornstarch. Cook chicken until golden brown and the inside is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, tomatoes, lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Bring to a boil, hen reduce heat to  medium-low. Cook uncovered until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. Return chicken and onions to the skillet. Simmer until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over prepared coconut rice.


Coconut Rice

Ingredients:
·1 cup coconut milk
·1 1/2 cups water
·1 cup brown rice

Directions:
Combine coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes without stirring. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

                       
 
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas are the perfect vegetarian dish for meatless Mondays or Lenten Fridays. It's also a great way to enjoy butternut squash before it's out of season, which is sadly too soon.
 
A ton of great flavors simmer together to make the stuffing for the enchiladas, including butternut squash, black beans, tomatoes, green chillies, cilantro, and jalapeno.
 
There is one simple change to make this recipe gluten free. Use soft corn tortillas instead of the whole wheat tortillas called for in the recipe linked below.


Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Healthy Monster Cookie Dough Dip

                           

I promise that no one you serve this Healthy Monster Cookie Dough Dip to will know A) it's healthy and B) what the secret ingredient is. I took this dip to a party and took some to my family; everyone loved it and devoured it.

A made a few revisions to the recipe linked below. First, I used dry chickpeas. I soaked the beans overnight, rinsed them, and then cooked according to the package directions. FYI - if you don't let the beans cool completely before stirring in the chocolate chips and M&Ms, they will melt. The dip still tastes great, but looks less appetizing. Luckily, I learned from experience for you, and my friends and family don't judge appearances when it comes to dessert!

I used peanut butter and stirred in 1/3 cup of M&M's for a true Monster Cookie taste. I served with Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers, but it's also good eaten straight from the bowl with a spoon.

Enjoy!


Click here for recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cheesy Pepper Jack Potato Chowder

                        

Cheesy Pepper Jack Potato Chowder is a spicy twist on traditional potato soup. Spring is almost here (Hallelujah!), but this thick and creamy chowder will be a great dinner on any cold winter nights we have left.

There are three things I love about this dish. First, it's made with southern style hashbrowns so no potato peeling or chopping involved. Two, it's a chowder recipe not a soup recipe, so no blending required. Easy, easy! Third, it's made with spicy pepper jack cheese. How have I not had potato soup with pepper jack cheese before? It's amazing, and I don't think I can go back to traditional cheddar in my cheesy potato soup recipes ever again.


What's your favorite potato soup recipe?

 
Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Mac & Cheese

                                  

This recipe combines my favorite dip with my childhood (well, and adult) favorite dish. This grown up version of Mac & Cheese tastes like sinful comfort food, but it is packed with veggies. This dish makes eating veggies fun for kids and adults, who are still kids at heart.

Spinach and Artichoke Mac & Cheese
Inspired by Rachael Ray
 
Ingredients:
·Salt
·1 lb gluten free pasta (I used Target's Simply Balanced Fuselli)
·2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
·1 TBS butter
·1 medium onion, finely chopped
·2 tsp minced garlic
·1 1/2 TBS cornstarch
·1/2 cup white wine
·2 cups skim milk
·1/4 tsp nutmeg
·1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
·1 - 6.5 oz jar artichokes, chopped
·Generous salt and Black pepper
·1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, and provolone blend)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with olive oil and butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until soft, about 5-10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the cornstarch into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to deglaze the pan. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 more minutes. Add cheese to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash and Peanut Soup (Crockpot)

                         
 
I've mentioned many times before my love of butternut squash. The sweet flavor is versatile in so many different dishes, including this Thai-inspired twist on Butternut Squash Soup.
 
I've been on a Thai food kick lately, and this soup satisfied my taste buds with a slightly spicy take on a typically sweet Butternut Squash Soup.
 
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

5-Vegetable Fried Rice with 5-Spice Pork

                              
 
5-Vegetable Fried Rice with 5-Spice Pork is an incredibly diverse and flavorful dish. It's packed full of 5 different vegetables that are complemented with pork loin. The Chinese 5-Spice adds the perfect balance of flavor to the dish that really ties everything together.
 
I made two slight changes to the recipe linked below. I used brown rice instead of white rice - personal preference for a higher nutritional content. I used gluten free soy sauce instead of tamari to easily convert this recipe to gluten free.