Monthly Archives: November 2012

Live Chat: Virtual Gluten-Free Cookie Swap!

one of my favorite gluten-free holiday treats, chocolate-dipped dates!

Join us next Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 8PM EST for a Live Chat, where we will be hosting a gluten-free cookie swap! We will be sharing our favorite gluten-free (and more-free!) cookie and treat recipes. Of course, there will also be delicious gluten-free prizes, courtesy of Udi’s.

Be there to help us get into the holiday season!

Hosting a Holiday PARTY? (Breville Giveaway!)


photo credit: Laenulfean

Hosting holiday parties can be great fun and is a wonderful way to gather your friends and family to enjoy time together. But how do you help ensure your efforts pay off and your guests enjoy themselves (and get plenty of good food to eat)? I’ve come up with five tips (not coincidentally, using PARTY as an acronym!) to help you on your way to hosting a successful party, gluten-free or otherwise!

P lan. As the years go by and I host more and more parties, I do this more and more. In order to save sanity, planning is essential. Write it all down. Start a grocery list, and make a schedule. Write down all preparation tasks – everything from making tasty appetizers, to ironing tablecloths, and putting up decorations. A good, written plan will keep you from running around panicked.

A sk for assistance. My family and friends often know I tend to want to do it all, and when it comes to food, make it all from scratch, especially since food allergies are front-and-center in my home. News flash: you don’t have to do it all! Ask others to help by bringing something or coming over early to help you set up. If there are a few ready-made items that fit into your plan, such as gluten-free crackers for hors d’oeuvres, then take advantage of them. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull off a unique and successful party! And if you have a Breville Smart Oven (I’d love it if Santa brought me one this Christmas), you can relax knowing your timing spaced out perfectly – and things will be done faster! I can’t think of better assistance than that!

R emember how much space you have. If you are hosting in your home, and you don’t have but about 100 square feet of space for the party, you can’t invite everyone you know. Keep it to 20-25 people. You don’t want everyone rubbing elbows. Also, there is no rule that says everyone must sit down to a formal dinner in order to have a good time at your holiday party. If you have more guests than places at the table, why not instead lay out lots of hors d’oeuvres on the table and make it a standing-room party?

T hink about the needs of your guests. People have different tastes and different needs when it comes to food. Check with guests about food allergies and preferences, and then plan a well-rounded menu that ensures there is a little something for everyone – gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, carnivore, etc. This needn’t be complicated. Check out the list of recipes at the end of this post for ideas.

Y ou don’t have to go all out. There’s no need for the most expensive champagne, a full bar, and high-end treats for everyone. Make a reasonable budget and stick to it. Often times, sticking to ingredients in your dishes that are easy to find, mainstream, and naturally gluten-free can keep you from emptying your pocketbook at the grocery. Dips are always a hit and can stretch your dollar. Spice things up with interesting dippers, such as a variety of colorful and nicely sliced vegetables, or even scoop it onto endive leaves for a pretty presentation. A successful party doesn’t have to put you in the poorhouse!

No matter what type of holiday party you host, keeping these tips in mind can put you well on your way to cooking up a beautiful time! I’m curious – what’s your favorite holiday hosting tip? Share in the comments for a chance to win your choice of amazing Breville products. See below for more details.

Need more holiday recipes and cooking inspiration? Check out these dishes, perfect for your holiday party. There’s something for everyone!

Teriyaki Mushroom Pate

Easy No-Bean Hummus

No Mayo Deviled Eggs

Vegan Tomato Queso Dip

Macadamia “Ricotta”

Vegan Cheese Ball

Garlic-Herb Crackers

Spicy Roasted Cashews

Grilled Eggplant Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

Mochi Garlic Roll Puffs

Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

Sweet Potato Falafel

Tomato and Arugula Pizza

Elegant and Easy Party Puffs

Guaco Tacos

Swedish Meatballs

Sweet Potato Pie Truffles

Dairy-Free Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Covered Marshmallows

Chocolate Fondue

Breville has released new, time saving products such as the Smart Oven, just in time for the holidays! Take the guess work our of holiday cooking with the Smart Oven, the oven that does the thinking for you. Check out their website for more information on this product and other great gift ideas.

And don’t forget to reply below for two chances to win your choice of amazing Breville products either for yourself or as a gift to a loved one: YouBrew, Tea Maker and Smart Oven products ($250 ARV)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Breville. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules

The WHOLE Gang 2013 Desk Calendar Giveaway!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Karen, our winner! Karen, I will be emailing you shortly for your mailing address!

For those of you that still want a calendar, Diane at The WHOLE Gang is selling them here, so don’t miss out!

Looking for a little gift to surprise your favorite host or hostess, or are you looking for a great stocking stuffer? Check out Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang’s newest creation – this amazing cookbook desk calendar!

Measuring 4 5/8″ by 5 3/8″ (the size of a CD case), this calendar is the perfect size to display on your desk or countertop without taking up too much space. There are 12 gorgeous photographs, one for each month, of healthy, gluten, and dairy-free delicious dishes, with recipes on the back of each. In addition, there are vegetarian, vegan, and paleo directions for each recipe, so these can fit just about any diet!

And of course, there is a bonus – a secret access code for a hidden page full of insider tips, tools and resources, plus 28 additional recipes, on The W.H.O.L.E Gang website!

To order: To order: Visit http://www.thewholegang.org/2013-cookbook-desk-calendar/  Cost is $14.95 each plus shipping.  Discounts for orders of 10 or more.

But today I am giving away one of these amazing calendars! To enter, just leave me a comment below telling me who you would like to give this beautiful gift. One lucky winner will be chosen by random at the close of this giveaway, which ends on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:59PM CST.

Best of luck!

Want another chance to win? Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily is giving away another copy of this calendar! Also, if you purchase today (Monday, November 26), there is a Cyber Monday special going on – free shipping!

Maple-Pecan Rice Crispy Treats

Maybe these should be called “Thanksgiving” Rice Crispy Treats? They’re kind of a lighter, kid-friendly version of a pecan pie in rice crispy treat form. They’re far easier to make than pecan pie, however. If you’re looking for a last-minute, no-bake, tasty treat for the holiday (or anytime, really), these might just be the perfect thing.

And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m in a bit of a maple and pecan rut. I made donuts with maple and pecans on top, and I also shared a maple pecan freezer fudge on The Balanced Platter in the past few weeks. What can I say? It’s a good combo, and it’s that time of year. Why not celebrate two of my most favorite ingredients as often as possible?

Print Recipe

Maple-Pecan Rice Crispy Treats (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

3 c gluten-free brown rice crispies (I used Erewhon)

1/3 c pecan butter (make the pecan butter according to the instructions in this recipe)

1/3 c maple syrup (Grade B, preferably)

1/4 c creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate*

pinch of salt

Place rice crispies in a large bowl. Set aside. Grease an 8X8 inch baking dish and set it aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add pecan butter, maple syrup, creamed coconut, and salt. Stir together until everything melts and mixes completely, and starts to bubble. Continue to stir constantly while bubbling for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir mixture into bowl with rice crispies, stirring well until evenly distributed throughout. Scoop into greased dish and press down evenly. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into 9 squares.

*about creamed coconut/coconut butter/coconut cream concentrate: It’s all the same thing; it just depends who makes it. Let’s Do Organic calls it creamed coconut , Artisana calls it coconut butter, Nutiva calls it coconut manna , and Tropical Traditions calls it coconut cream concentrate. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen made some from scratch. I have used several of these brands with success, and have even made my own. Any of those will work just fine in this recipe.

Have any unique twists to traditional Thanksgiving recipes? Share them at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Made Easy

Yes, folks, you read that right. Thanksgiving can be easy, even when cooking gluten-free. Wondering how to make a stuffing that’s gluten-free but appealing to everyone at your table? Need a recipe for pie? How about some gluten-free bread (you know, the stuff that isn’t as dense as a rock)? And how to pull it all off?

Well, friends, I’m here to share some of the best, latest, and greatest recipes to help you make everyone happy. Grab a snack and open up Pinterest, because I’m sure you’ll need to pin some of these babies. And once you’ve gathered your recipes and made a menu, be sure you set up a schedule (especially if you’re hosting – I’ve made a schedule for years now, making many things in advance, to save time and sanity). That way, you can be sure your Thanksgiving holiday will go as smoothly as possible. I can’t promise that old Aunt Pam won’t tie one on that evening, or that your brother Phil won’t throw things across the living room when the quarterback for (insert favorite football team here) throws an interception, but at least you’ll have good gluten-free eats.

 

Appetizers:

Savory Sweet Potato Pie

Raw Cultured Cashew “Cheese”

Savory Gluten-Free and Vegan Crackers

Main Dishes:

Cider-Glazed Brined Turkey with Apple Brandy Gravy

How To Cook a Pastured Turkey

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

Side Dishes and Salads:

Rutabaga Gratin

Vegan Broccoli “Cheese” Rice Casserole

Vegan Butternut Macaroni & “Cheese”

Green Beans with Smoky Pecans

Broccoli-Walnut Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Make-Ahead Stuffing and Gravy

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Piccata

Maple Sweet Potato Puree

Classic Kale Salad, Fully Loaded

Dijon Brussels Sprouts with Proscuitto

Baked Goods:

Mochi Garlic Roll Puffs

Top 20 Gluten-Free Bread Recipes

Gluten-Free Soft Dinner Rolls

Desserts:

Kumquat Crostata

Best Pumpkin Pie Ever – Crustless, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Pumpkin Caramel Cups

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Freezer Fudge

 

Looking for more Thanksgiving round-ups, full of amazing recipes? Check these out:

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips

The Biggest Gathering of Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Recipes (many gluten-free too)

Last-Minute Canadian Thanksgiving Recipe Suggestions

50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Maple Pecan Freezer Fudge at The Balanced Platter

Who loves pecan pie? I certainly do, and even more when maple is used. I’m sharing a decadent (and yet good-for-you) freezer fudge over at The Balanced Platter today that is reminiscent of pecan pie, but without the tons of sugar and corn syrup. It’s the perfect little bite of heaven anytime you’re interested in treating yourself without the guilt. Head on over to The Balanced Platter and check it out!

Swedish Meatballs for Clean Eating Cocktail Party

Holidays are generally the worst when it comes to sticking with healthy eats, what with all the party food and treats. But what if we could all incorporate healthier foods instead of the same ol’ holiday fare?

Well, that’s exactly what Cara of Cara’s Cravings was thinking, and is the reason behind this year’s Clean Eating Cocktail Party!

Today I’m sharing a healthier gluten-free, dairy-free version of a holiday favorite – Swedish Meatballs! Head on over to Cara’s Cravings and check them out – and while you’re there, browse around at all of the other Cocktail Party recipes for some delicious holiday inspiration!

Quinoa Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Pecan Glaze

I know it’s been pumpkin-mania around the internet. We can’t help ourselves. After all, who can resist that creamy goodness, especially when it’s only in season for a few months out of the year? Personally, I love to put it into anything and everything right now. I’ve snuck pumpkin into enchilada fillings, chili, soup, shepherd’s pie, and even cookies. But why stop there? After all, as far as I’m concerned, the months of October and November were made just so we could eat pumpkin.

And not just pumpkin. Other winter squashes are just as welcome. Butternut, acorn, kabocha, delicata, turban…I could just keep on going. I love them all, and this time of year, I hoard them, buying way more than I need, and squirreling them away in my pantry. They all get used, of course, in due time. With the latest squash roasting, I decided to use the puree for a new breakfast treat – donuts.

Because if there’s one thing that can top pumpkins this time of year, it’s donuts. Pumpkin donuts.

These are on the healthier side, however, as they’re baked, gluten and dairy-free, and are made with quinoa flour, which is packed with fiber and protein. But don’t let all those “healthy” things make you think they’re not delicious. With warming fall spices, the pumpkin, and the maple syrup glaze, they certainly score points in the “yum” department.

Print Recipe

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze and Pecans

For the donuts:

1 c pumpkin puree

¼ c melted coconut oil

½ c maple syrup

2 eggs

2 t vanilla extract

¼ t vanilla stevia extract

¼ t apple cider vinegar

1 c quinoa flour

½ c tapioca starch

1 t guar gum

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

2 ½ t cinnamon

¼ t nutmeg

¼ t cloves

¼ t allspice

1/8 t salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease donut pans and set aside.

In a stand mixer or food processor combine pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, egg, apple cider vinegar and stevia. Beat or process until smooth and fully combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients . Add to wet ingredients and beat or process until batter is nice and smooth.

Spoon batter into donut pans. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and remove the donuts from the pan and set on a cooling rack.

While the donuts are baking, make the glaze:

2 T maple syrup

¼ t cinnamon

½ c organic powdered sugar

1-2 T almond milk

Whisk together in a small bowl until a thick glaze is formed.

Chop about ½ cup pecans and set aside.

While still warm, dip each donut halfway into the glaze, and then sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Place on a cooling rack with a paper towel underneath to catch drips.

Makes 9 donuts.