Monthly Archives: March 2013

Gluten-Free (and More-Free) Easter Recipe Roundup

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs photo credit: Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Still stumped on what to make for your Easter meal? (Don’t be afraid to admit it – my menu is just now mostly finalized!) Well, look no further! Here are some delicious gluten-free (and many dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free besides!) recipes to help you in planning your menu.

I hope that you and your family enjoy your holiday!

Brunch

Lemon Rosemary Teacakes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Build Your Own Crepe Bar (grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Simple Berry Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cinnamon Swirl Scones (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free, soy-free)

Appetizers, Salads, and Sides

Mom’s Deviled Eggs (grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

“Wine” and “Cheese” Charlotte (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Mom’s Mashed Potatoes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Shaved Asparagus Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Lavender Roasted Potatoes (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Green Pea and Radish Salad (grain-free, dairy-free, vegan option, refined sugar-free)

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Garlic Pesto (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Main Dishes

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Rosemary Roast Chicken (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Easter Lamb and Mint Meatballs (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Maple Ham (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Perfect Lamb Chops (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Desserts

Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Lemon Earl Grey Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Carrot Cake (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Maple Carrot Custard (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cheesecake-Filled Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Easter Angel Food Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Lemon Blueberry Bars with Coconut Crust (gluten-free, soy-free)

Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

 

 

LIVE CHAT April 3 – 8 PM ET – Dining Out Gluten-Free

photo credit: Flickr harry harris

New to gluten-free? Struggling with how to navigate restaurants on a gluten-free diet? Mark your calendars, for next week on April 3 at 8 PM Eastern (7 PM Central) time, we will be hosting a free LIVE CHAT over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community, where we will be discussing tips on how to deal with a gluten-free diet in restaurants. Be sure to bring your questions and your tips! Also, there will be prizes given away, courtesy of Udi’s!

Until then, feel free to read my thoughts on this post about dining out gluten-free. Restaurants can be tricky, but and there’s always some risk, but hopefully, armed with knowledge and some tools, you can successfully navigate the most difficult of situations.

Be sure to join us next week!

 

Balsamic Lamb Heart Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette

Hold on, hold on…hear me out. I know that titling a blog post with “lamb heart” is likely to instill fear in many readers, or at the very least, cause them to leave and hope that more Ding Dong recipes come their way soon. I promise, I’ll be sure to share more desserts again shortly. I can’t stay away from them for long.

But for now, let’s talk about lamb heart.

Still with me?

Okay.

Heart, along with many other offal (organ) meats, are quite nutritious. Over at Mark’s Daily Apple, he discusses the benefits of eating all sorts of offal. Heart in particular is an excellent source of lean protein, thiamin, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, CoQ10, and several B vitamins. I’m no stranger to offal, and I’ve posted about making barbacoa and liver and onions before. We eat liver and onions fairly often at our home, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes. Lamb heart (or the more easy-to-find beef heart) is not as common, but after this salad, it very will could be.

As far as the flavor of heart is concerned, it’s definitely more approachable than many other cuts of offal. Many newbies to organ meats try it by grinding it along with ground beef and serving it in hamburgers, thus “disguising” it. I promise you, heart is so mild, if you wanted to start by taking that route (use a 1:4 ratio of heart to ground beef), you’d never notice you were eating it. To me, though, eating heart even in this salad isn’t too “weird”. Heart is tender when cooked quickly and left at a medium or medium-rare temperature, and nearly has the taste and texture of a super-lean steak. There is no “livery” taste or texture to it, which is what tends to turn people off to much offal. And when combined with some strongly flavored greens, spicy radishes, and a creamy vinaigrette, it’s simply heaven. This is the kind of thing I could eat every day – no joke.

I opted for lamb hearts because that was what was easy for me to obtain from my local farmer, and honestly, I find lamb heart and lamb liver to be milder in flavor when compared to beef. You could certainly substitute beef for the lamb in this recipe and it would be delicious as well.

The list of ingredients might seem a tad long on this recipe, as you’re making a marinade, a dressing, and a salad, but in all honesty, it doesn’t take long to come together. The marinade takes moments to make, as does the dressing and the salad. The last time I made this, it was on a weeknight and I served it with sweet potato and rosemary flatbread. It was an easy and delicious dinner. In fact, as we were starting to eat, my husband confided to me that he’d been looking forward to it ever since the previous time I’d made it. (He also mentioned that he preferred this vinaigrette over ranch dressing, which in my book is a definite WIN.) I think it’s time to order more lamb heart, so we can experience it one more time.

Print Recipe

Balsamic Lamb Heart Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, sugar-free)

For the lamb:

1 lb lamb hearts, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (can substitute beef heart)

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t ground black pepper

1 t freshly picked thyme leaves

Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic zip-top bag and toss to coat evenly. Allow to marinate, refrigerated for at least 8 hours.

For the dressing:

1/2 c mayonnaise (I love to make my own using this recipe)

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 t honey

1 t sherry vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)

1 1/2 t Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.

For the salad:

1 head of green leaf lettuce

1 bunch watercress

1 c flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

1 c celery leaves

A handful or two of alfalfa sprouts (or your favorite sprout)

1 bunch red radishes, sliced

Tear the lettuce leaves into small pieces and divide among 3-4 salad plates. Top each plate with watercress, parsley leaves, celery leaves, sprouts, and radishes.

When the dressing and salads are ready, remove the lamb from the marinade, lay it out on a plate, and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and add a bit of coconut oil, rendered lard, or your favorite cooking oil and swirl about. Add the lamb, spreading out into a single layer, and allow to brown for a minute or two. Toss and allow to brown on the other sides for another minute, and then remove. Divide among the plated salads and drizzle with dressing. Serves 3-4.

Do you eat offal/organ meats? Chime in on this topic (and more) at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread

I know it’s not really the height of sweet potato season. That being said, it’s sweet potato season around our house for much of the cooler months. Plain and simple – they’re healthy, easy, and we love them. Most often, we enjoy them in the form of a sweet potato puree. Of course, as evidenced by this recipe, we often end up with leftovers. That’s when I get creative.

In fact, I was so excited by the crust from that quiche that I’ve since been playing with the recipe, coming up with various ideas based on the same theme. In fact, I made sweet potato puree just so I could have “leftovers” for this flatbread. I highly suggest you do the same. This flatbread is that good. It’s perfect with a salad, but really shines alongside a soup, or even roast chicken with some gravy or au jus, so you can use it to mop up the soup or some sauce. You could definitely use it as a pizza crust. Whatever you do, you’ve gotta try it out.

Print Recipe

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Flatbread (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 T psyllium husk powder

1 T ground flaxseed

1 c sweet potato puree (follow instructions on how to make sweet potato puree here, omitting maple syrup)

2 T coconut butter* (also called creamed coconut or coconut cream concentrate)

1/2 c white rice flour

1/2 c blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville)

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t baking powder

1 T chopped fresh rosemary needles

Additional coarse salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the psyllium husk powder, flaxseed, sweet potato puree and coconut butter (warm this a bit if it is too hard) and stir until well-blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well-blended. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press out evenly into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. If the dough sticks to your fingers, oil them with a little olive oil before pressing. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the bottom is browned and the middle springs back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and cut into 8 pieces. (I found using a pizza cutter to be the easiest way to do this.)

Enjoy!

*NOTE 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.

 

Three Easy, Healthy Ways to Create Flavor in Your Recipes

curried kabocha squash with rosemary

 Sometimes, it seems I get stuck in a rut. Particularly this time of year, when there isn’t something new popping up in the garden or at the farmer’s market every week. I feel like I can only do so much with the same ol’ stuff (potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, repeat). Ever feel that way?

Today over at The Balanced Platter, I’m sharing some tips on how to get out of the “same ol’, same ol’” rut in the kitchen. They’re easy, and they’re healthy. Head on over to check them out!

Roast Chicken Adobo

It’s no secret that I have a thing for bold, spicy flavors. I blame my Native Texan roots. I mean, when you have access to just about every variety of chile around all the time, how can you not love the punch and character they bring? Especially in big chile-centric dishes such as mole, a big bowl of Texas Red, or even enchiladas. But now, I have added another chile-ful dish to our menu: a Mexican adobo.

Adobo takes on a lot of different personalities depending on the origination of the dish. Simply put, adobo is a marinade that has roots in Spanish cuisine, originally consisting of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic and vinegar. However, there are variations – Filipino adobo, for example, is vastly different than Puerto Rican adobo, and both are different than a Mexican adobo. In the latter version, a combination of chiles are used. The key here is that the sauce created is used as a marinade.

I was craving some comfort food in a major way, and while even a simple roast chicken is comforting to me, dishes with heat seem to be on the top of the list in terms of that comfort factor. This dish definitely fit the bill. The sauce wasn’t overly spicy, but gave enough heat to warm the body (and the soul). The chicken was succulent and full of flavor. I opted to serve it with rice and refried pinto beans, but some gluten-free tortillas would certainly have been welcome to help sop up the sauce.

The beauty of this adobo lies in the ability to customize it to your liking. Not a big fan of heat? Lower or omit the number of chipotle and ancho chiles and sub with milder chiles, such as guajillo. Want more burn? Just up the chipotles, or even add in a fresh jalapeno or two. It’s all up to you, but really, you must try an adobo for yourself!

Print Recipe

Roast Chicken Adobo (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

6 dried ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed

2-3 dried chipotle chiles, seeds and stems removed

6 cloves garlic

1 ½ c chicken stock

½ c chopped green onions – white and green parts

2 t honey

¼ c red wine vinegar

1 orange, peeled and seeded

2 T fresh lime juice

1 t ground cumin

2 t fresh thyme leaves

1 T fresh oregano leaves

1 t kosher salt, plus more for seasoning chicken

One 4 lb chicken, backbone removed and cut in half

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Place the chiles in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, making sure the chiles are submerged, until they are thoroughly softened.

Place soaked chiles, garlic, chicken stock, onions, honey, red wine vinegar, orange, lime juice, cumin, thyme, oregano and salt in a blender. Puree, scraping down sides as needed, until completely smooth. Place the chicken halves and the marinade in either a large Ziploc bag or other large dish and coat the chicken completely with the marinade, making sure to massage the marinade under the skin of the chicken. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, at least 6 hours, turning once or twice.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken halves from the marinade and place breast-side up in a cast iron skillet. Season with a bit of additional salt. Pour at least another cup or two of the marinade (enough to come up around the meat about an inch or so) around the chicken. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Roast for an additional 30-40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes or so with the sauce surrounding the chicken, until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free: Comfort Foods Round-Up

Are you ready for some tasty comfort foods?

Of course you are – everyone is always up for comfort foods, right?

This month’s theme for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free was Comfort Foods. We had a small but mighty group of participants that definitely brought some comfort to our meals. I’m definitely going to try to incorporate one or two of these into my future meal plans.

If you missed out on this month’s event, check out Michelle over at Bakeshop 360 for April’s theme. She will be announcing soon!

Without further adieu, here they are!

Naomi of Straight Into Bed, Cakefree and Dried made these swoon-worthy Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes. I can’t wait to try out that frosting, as it sounds divine!

Kate of Eat, Recycle, Repeat made Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples. This is such a unique spin on scalloped potatoes, and a combination I think would be lovely on a cold day!

Linda of The Gluten-Free Homemaker made a wonderful slow cooker version of Beans and Bacon. This is definitely something you could have simmering away all day while you’re out and about, only to come home to an amazing aroma.

Cam of Wheat-Free Mom made Chicken Pot Pie. Let me tell you, I strongly considered making a pot pie for this theme as well, but it looks like Cam really nailed it. That sauce bubbling over just a bit in her photos makes me hungry!

Michelle of Bakeshop 360 made a Chilly Day Chili full of peppers and butternut squash. I love squash in chili – it definitely ups the comfort factor, and in a healthy manner!

And lastly, I made a Turnip “No Potato” Salad with Grainy Mustard and Pickled Red Onions. I think if Linda made the beans, and I made this salad, and we volunteered someone to make barbecue, we’d have a Southern-style comfort food party for sure!

Thanks to all the participants! If you’re interested in participating in April, check out Michelle over at Bakeshop 360, as she will be announcing the theme!

 

 

Chorizo and Chard Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust

So here I was, on a Friday night, with no plan for dinner. Apparently my usual meal planning ways had failed me. Hubby and I had no plans, and I didn’t have a soccer game that night. Still, there was some food in the house, so I nixed the idea of grabbing something on my way home, and instead decided to do what seemed the best plan of all:

I winged it.

With some leftover sweet potato puree (sans maple syrup) that needed to be used, along with some eggs and a bit of fresh Mexican chorizo, I started to develop a plan. I grabbed random ingredients in hopes of making a pie crust of sorts with the mashed sweet potato, with little-to-no idea whether it would actually work.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how well it actually did work! (This isn’t something that usually happens with experimental gluten-free baking – typically you have to tweak, tweak, and tweak some more to get something just right.) This crust isn’t a typical flaky pie crust. In fact, it’s rather bread-like, almost akin to a pizza crust in texture. (which ought to be my next experiment – sweet potato pizza crust!) It baked up well, so I proceeded with filling it with eggs, cooked chorizo, and swiss chard. Back into the oven it went, and what emerged was quite lovely indeed.

This quiche is perfect for a brunch or weekend breakfast, or alongside a salad for a light dinner. Personally I just ate two slices and called it dinner that night. What I was particularly fond of, however, was how well the leftovers were. I could reheat a slice for breakfast the following morning and it was delicious – the crust didn’t suffer in the least. This was a pleasant surprise, and ensured none of this quiche went to waste.

As we typically end up with leftover sweet potato puree, I’m sure this crust will reappear in some form again in the near future. Of course, I’ll be certain to share with you the successes. Until then, I hope you enjoy this simple quiche.

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Chorizo and Chard Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free)

For the crust:

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 T psyllium husk powder

1 T ground flaxseed

1 c sweet potato puree (follow instructions on how to make sweet potato puree here, omitting maple syrup)

2 T coconut butter* (also called creamed coconut or coconut cream concentrate)

1/2 c white rice flour

1/2 c blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville)

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a glass or ceramic pie pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the psyllium husk powder, flaxseed, sweet potato puree and coconut butter (warm this a bit if it is too hard) and stir until well-blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well-blended. Transfer the dough to the pie pan and press out evenly. If the dough sticks to your fingers, oil them with a little olive oil before pressing.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before filling.

For the filling:

6 oz fresh Mexican chorizo (not dried/Spanish chorizo - and check labels. I find that the chorizo purchased at the butcher’s counter is gluten-free; the cheap stuff found in the prepared deli meats section usually isn’t.)

4 large leaves Swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped

6 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Meanwhile, while the crust bakes, heat a large skillet to medium heat and add crumbled chorizo. Brown until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the stems of the Swiss chard and sauté for a minute, and then add the leaves, sautéing for another minute. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Once the pie crust is cooled, add the chorizo-chard mixture to the crust, spreading out evenly. Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the chorizo-chard mixture evenly.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are completely firm and no longer wobbly in the center. If the edges of the crust begin to brown too much, you can cover the edges with foil. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then slice to serve.

Serves 6-8.

*NOTE 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.