Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gluten Free Linguine

This has got to be the easiest summer meal of all time.
I remember my mom making this for us when my siblings and I were playing Little League t-ball/baseball/softball and we would eat this while watching the others' game.  
(Yes, great parents.  Willing to sign all 5 of us up for Little League and sacrifice their own time to come to a game every. single. night. of. the. week.)  
So we would eat this often.  And even though we don't have a Little League game to go to, I still like making it often.

Gluten Free Linguine

1 serving of Gluten Free Linguine per person

Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
When noodles are done, drain and put on individual plates.

Now the rest of the ingredients are to taste.  (If you don't want to taste them, don't add 'em):
Dried Basil
Bacon Bits
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Chopped tomato

And that's it!  Enjoy with a salad, corn on the cob, or anything else that's quick and easy.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

You know the sweet taste of late summer peaches
with a warm biscuit topping
and a scoop of cool vanilla ice cream?

Yep, you know it.
Gluten Free Peach Cobbler.
One of my favorite desserts.

I think that this would work with any fruit, or combination of fruits, but with peach season here it's hard to pass the beauties at the grocery store.

Do not get this confused with a "crisp".
This cobbler definitely has a soft topping, nothing crunchy here.
You can use Gluten Free Bisquick instead of making everything from scratch.  I prefer the scratch method, but it's up to you.

Happy summer!

See the melty ice cream?  
It makes the cobbler delicious!

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

6 fresh peaches
1 T. cornstarch or arrowroot flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. lemon juice

1 1/2  cups GF Mix
2 t. xanthan gum
1/3 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
(If using the Gluten Free Bisquick, only use 1 1/2 cups mix plus 1/3 cup sugar.  You don't have to add the xanthan gum, baking powder or salt.  Hence, the beauty of the mix.)
4 1/2 T. shortening 
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Blanch the peaches. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add peaches (Be sure that the peaches are covered with water).  Boil for exactly 1 minute.  Do not over cook.  You only want the outside to be cooked, not the entire peach, it would result in a mushy mess, and that would be a sad ending to the beautiful cobbler.
When peaches have boiled for only 1 minute, drain peaches and place in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.  This will stop the peaches from cooking.  Then just pinch the skin of peach with your fingers and the skin should just peel off.  Make it your personal goal to get the skin off in one piece, a fun game to keep things interesting.

When peaches have been blanched and peeled, cut into chunks.  Not too small, they will shrink when cooked.
In a medium saucepan, mix the peaches, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar together.  Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thick.  Boil for 1 minute. (A good tip to remember:  Everything in this recipe is for one minute.  Except the baking time, darn.)

Pour the peach mixture into a greased 8x8 pan.

In your food processor (or you can mix by hand) mix together the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  
Add in the shortening and process until the shortening is pea-sized balls.  (Without a food processor?  Use a fork or cut the shortening with 2 knives.)
Add the milk and process until moist.
Then using 2 spoons, drop dough balls all over the peaches until the top is covered.  
I like starting in the middle and working my way out.  
(The dough balls don't have to be uniform, don't spend too much time on this step).

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the peaches are bubbly and the top is golden.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes to thicken.  (Good luck, that step is hard.)

During those 5 minutes of waiting, get out the vanilla ice cream to soften.  Serve cobbler in heaping scoops with a BIG dollop of ice cream.  Let it melt all over the hot peaches for one minute and then devour.  

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Gluten Free Stir Fry Tips

There are many things I love about stir fry's.
They are fast,
use up leftover veggies and rice,
and generally pretty healthy.

Here are a few tips about making tasty stir-frys that I have picked up along the way.

1. Instead of using oil to stir fry, I like to use Zesty Italian salad dressing.  
It has oil in it and adds flavor to the stir fry.
It must, must, must be the regular Italian dressing, no fat free here.  I have tried it and it's been a disaster.  To make the dressing fat free, the makers of salad dressings, whoever they may be, they replace the oil with high fructose corn syrup, which doesn't fry well.

2. Pre cut your meat into cubes when you have extra time and store in the freezer until needed.  Same with veggies.

3. Always cook the meat first and then remove from the pan.  Next add the veggies.  It will give the veggies a little more flavor.  When veggies are done, add back in the meat, pour in the sauce and you are ready to serve.

4.  I like to add in the rice into the skillet so the rice will be nice and warm and will be coated in the stir fry sauce.

5. Add nuts or fruit at the very end, or at the time of serving to add a crunch or some sweetness to the overall dish.

6. Most importantly, run hog wild with what ingredients you have!  Experiment and enjoy!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gluten Free Granola

Oh how I love granola.
Perfect breakfast, snack, ingredient, 
and it makes you seem healthy right?
Granola does have a lot of oil in it.  This is to make it crunchy.  So if you want true granola, don't skimp on the oil.
Toast the coconut by spreading it evenly over a 9x13 cookie sheet and bake at 350 stirring about every 5 or so minutes.  You don't want it to burn or get to dark, very unappetizing.
I was given this recipe by some friends I knew in college.  I was an assistant tennis coach for the local high school and I became friends with one of the girls and her mom, who is a phenomenal cook.  They took me under their culinary wing and would make this yummy granola for the tennis road-trip over the state tournament.  This recipe reminds me of melting under the hot sun, stressing about the score of our little team, laughing at high school jokes, and just enjoying the spirit of competition.

Gluten Free Granola
(Feel free to half this recipe, it makes a ton!)

10 cups Gluten Free Oats
3 cups toasted coconut
Mix together in a large bowl and set aside.
2/3 cup honey
1 t. nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 cubes butter 
 1 cup canola oil
Add together and cook on low until sugar is melted.  Pour over oats, stir to coat well.  Spread on two large cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes.
When done stir in dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, chopped apricots, bananas, mangos, whatever and how much you like) and nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, again whatever and how much you like.)

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gluten Free Breakfast Burritos

This is one of those go-to fast meals.
Actually, to let you in on a secret, I just heat up the tortillas in the frying pan and my husband does the egg making.
Amazing, right? 

The best thing about these breakfast burritos is they are not fancy.  Anything goes.  I know there are many recipes for Breakfast Burritos out there, but these are quick, easy, and delicious.  

Remember, the best way to eat your corn tortillas is to heat them up in a frying pan over medium heat until they are "bend-y".  It only takes about a minute on both sides, so watch them they burn and will make your house smell like a burned tortilla for the rest of the night.  
(I don't know which is worst, burned tortillas or burned popcorn...)

There aren't any measurements because:
1. there is no recipe
2. we just decide what we are feeling like that night, more eggs? more cheese?  more salsa?  Throw it in the pan!
3. depends on how hungry we are.  We're usually starving on nights that we have these because we have been out and about. 


Gluten Free Breakfast Burritos:

(I usually do 1.5-2 eggs per person.  Our family of 3 usually eats 5 eggs)
(we love the fresh salsa, the kind you buy in the refrigerated section by the cheese)
(your favorite kind, we like to taste the cheese, so we lean towards medium cheddar)
A little milk
Salt and Pepper
That's the basic recipe.  Here are some good add-ins:
Green or red peppers, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Bacon bits, for a smoky flavor
Hot sauce
Run hog wild with this recipe.

Scramble up the eggs and add-ins and cook until the eggs are done.  Heat up corn tortillas over the stove until they are bend-y and enjoy your fast easy meal!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gluten Free Holiday Popcorn

I know that it's not the holidays yet,
but I don't know why this recipe is called Holiday Popcorn because it is good all the time, not just at Holiday time!

So make up a batch of this sweet, crunchy popcorn mix and enjoy!
And it makes a ton so I really hope you like it.

Gluten Free Holiday Popcorn

5-6 quarts popped corn (this is about 1 1/4 cups of kernals)
1 1/3 cups chopped pecans
2/3 cups chopped almonds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 t vanilla

Mix the popped corn, nuts, coconut and cranberries in a large bowl.  
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil the corn syrup, sugar, and butter.  Stir constantly to avoid scorching.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  
Pour over popcorn and let dry.  Break and store in an airtight container.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gluten Free Lil' Meatloafs

What could be cuter than a gluten-free Lil' Meatloaf?
Not much...
(I could list a few things, but let's get with the cooking right?)

I love this non-traditional meatloaf.
It doesn't seem so "meatloaf-y".

You can use ground turkey in place of the hamburger, but it will turn out a little dry.  I prefer to just use lean (93%) hamburger, and they turn out great.  
My three year old likes to eat them cheeseburger style on a bun, or you can serve with mashed potatoes and reminisce about dinners at your grandma's house.  I love dinners like that.

These lil' meatloafs freeze really well, just before baking wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze.  When ready to use, thaw, top with the sauce and bake.  Easy-peasy.

I learned from Giada on the Food Network, when making anything with hamburger it's important to mix all the other ingredients together first and then add the hamburger so the meat doesn't get tough.  It's a great tip.

Gluten Free Lil' Meatloaf

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 t. salt
1 lb lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 t. mustard

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and milk.  Stir in the cheese, oats, onions, and salt.  Add ground beef and mix well.  (I usually use my hands, scrub up!)  Shape into 8 small loaves; place side-by-side in a greased 8x8 baking dish.  
Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard; spoon over loaves.  Bake, uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160.

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