Sunday, December 6, 2015

Quick and Easy Magic Bars (GF and Vegan)

I've taken quite a break from blogging, but now I'm back. I have a ton of new recipes that I need to transfer from the backs of envelopes to a more permanent form. So to start, here's an updated version of my Gluten and Nut Free Magic Bars

I was shopping at the local health store yesterday and saw a can of sweetened condensed coconut milk. Oh man, it tastes amazing! I'm going to have to go back and pick up a few more cans to have on hand. The use of the sweetened condensed coconut milk really makes my magic bars easy. It's one whole less pan to wash too. 

You do need to make them a bit in advance so they have time to fully cool before you cut them, but the active prep time is super quick. By the time my oven was preheated, these bars were ready to go. 

If you don't have quick oats, you can run rolled oats through a blender or food processor to break them down a bit. 

Quick and Easy Magic Bars

2 cups gluten free quick oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth's Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
2 Tbsp SunButter or soynut butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
11.25 oz can Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
10 oz bag Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the Earth's Balance, SunButter and sugar until the butter is melted. (Microwave in 20 sec increments, stirring each time).
3. Stir in the oats, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Press the oat mixture into the baking dish using the back of a cup measure. 
5. Spread the chocolate chips into a layer on top of the oat mixture. Repeat with the shredded coconut. 
6. Carefully pour the sweetened condensed coconut milk over the top. Spread gently with a spatula. 7. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Cool and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Then cut into squares.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Ben and I bought ourselves a Vitamix Blender for our birthdays. It's awesome. We used to occasionally make smoothies in our old blender, but I had to puree any greens with liquid first before adding the rest of the ingredients. They took way longer to make and never tasted as good as the ones we can make now. Here are some smoothie recipes we've made so far. 

The Silk strawberry soy yogurt is Tommy safe, but he won't eat it plain. But put it in a smoothie and he'll eat just about anything!

For all of the smoothies, layer ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Start blender on low, turn to high and process just until blended. 

Strawberry Banana Soynut Butter Smoothie
Makes 3 servings

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 medium banana
1/4 cup creamy soynut butter
2.5 cups frozen strawberries
1.5 cups ice

Berry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 cup coconut milk
5.3 oz container soy strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Blueberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
Makes 2 Servings

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen spinach
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
Note: This smoothie turns sort of a weird gray/green color, but it tastes delicious

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie
Makes 1 Serving

5.3 oz container strawberry soy yogurt
4-5 frozen strawberries
1/2 banana

Very Berry Smoothie
Makes 3-4 Servings

1 cup fruit juice
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 bananas
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cups frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 cup ice cubes

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Shredded Pork Taquitos (Gluten, Corn and Dairy Free)

Welcome to the new year! We had a great holiday season filled with lots of time with friends and family, so I haven't gotten around to posting recipes in a while.

Here's a new one I made tonight. I had a lot of leftover Carolina BBQ Pork and I can only eat so many sandwiches before I'm ready for something different. I decided to make baked pork taquitos. And Tommy LOVED it! It's been a while since I tried a new recipe that Tommy actually ate without any hesitation. I think different varieties of taquitos ("mini burritos") will be coming to our menu soon. These are tasty, relatively easy to make and easy for a toddler to pick up.

If you can use store bought tortillas this would make the dinner super easy. Since I've only found one that Tommy can eat and they're burrito sized and all the way at one specific grocery store I decided to make my own again. I guess I'm just determined to finally master making tortillas. The online pictures and instructions always make them look easy. 

I made a double batch of Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas with 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch and 1/2 cup potato starch for the 2 cups of gluten-free all purpose flour blend. I cooked the tortillas two at a time on a non-stick electric griddle set to 350°F and brushed with a little oil. I made a total of 16 tortillas but only 14 fit on my baking sheet. 

I rolled the tortillas out between layers of parchment paper and transferred the parchment paper to the griddle.  These tortillas were by far the easiest I've ever attempted! They actually rolled out and weren't a sticky frustrating mess. I piled all the cooked tortillas up and covered them with a paper towel and they stayed soft and pliable. I was able to roll these into taquitos without having them crack. Super success! Although my belly did get in the way as I was adding the starch to the stand mixer. Oops!  

I used the same nondairy cheese sauce that I used for the Bison Cheeseburger Helper. This time I tried making it in the Vitamix on speed 10 for 5 minutes. But it didn't really thicken as well as when I've made it on the stove-top. At least the cleanup was super easy. I've included the stove-top directions below. 

Shredded Pork Taquitos

14 soft taco sized tortillas
2 cups cooked shredded pork
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Tbsp potato starch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 Tbsp oil

Serve with salsa and guacamole

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line one large or two medium rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly brush with oil.

2. In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, Frank's and potato starch. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until thickened. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the pork, cabbage, cheese sauce, and seasonings. Mix well.

4. Fill each tortilla with a 1/4 cup of pork mixture and roll tightly. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat until you've used all the fixings. Brush the tops with a little bit of oil.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until crispy. Serve with salsa and guacamole. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bison Salisbury Steak Dinner

The past couple weeks have been cold here. So warm comforting foods have been on the menu. A while ago I clipped a Salisbury Steak recipe from a magazine. I finally got around to making it, but when I looked at the recipe again I just wasn't feeling it. So I decided to make my own with ground bison and a nice full flavored sauce. This recipe would also work well with ground beef.

I served the Bison Salisbury Steaks with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Ben and I love Brussels sprouts, so next time I make this I will double the sprouts. 

This is dinner is going to be a winter staple in our house. You would never know that it is a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, food allergy friendly dinner. 

Bison Salisbury Steaks

Patty Ingredients
20 oz ground bison
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp canola or olive oil

Gravy Ingredients
3 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 onion, diced
1 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all the patty ingredients except oil in a large bowl. Form into 5 patties.
2. Heat the 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook 3 of the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Set the cooked patties aside. I kept my patties warm on a cookie sheet in warm but off oven. Add the remaining oil and cook the last 2 patties. Set those aside when done.
3. Add the vegan butter, salt and onions to the skillet. Saute until the onions are almost clear. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they're browned but not soft. 
4. Whisk in the beef broth, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring up all the browned bits. 
5. In a small bowl, combine the potato starch and cold water. Add to the beef broth mixture, whisking constantly. Stir until thickened. Serve the gravy over the patties.

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

2.5 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1. Peel and chop the potatoes. Add to a large pot filled with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to the pot.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and mash until smooth.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

1.25 lb Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Set cooked bacon aside and save the grease.
3. Cut the bottoms off the Brussels sprouts, remove any discolored outer leaves and slice in half or in quarters depending on the size of the sprout.
4. Combine the Brussels sprouts, bacon grease and seasonings in a 9 x 9 glass baking dish.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chicken Carbonara

One of our favorite indulgent dishes at a local restaurant is their Chicken Carbonara. I thought I'd try and make a much modified healthier version at home that Tommy can eat too. For any purists out there, this definitely isn't a "real" carbonara, but it was a satisfying bowl of comfort food. Now if we can just get Tommy to eat any sort of pasta...

I used a package of GF angel hair pasta. I'm still trying to get the hang of cooking with rice pasta. It seems to instantly go from hard to mushy. I've had trouble finding the sweet spot where it's cooked through but holds together.

Chicken Carbonara

8 oz gluten free pasta
2 cups cooked diced chicken
3 small or 2 large heads of broccoli
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp potato starch
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Cut the broccoli into bite sized florets. Peel the stalk and slice into rings. 
3. Cook the broccoli with the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
4. In a dutch oven sized pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave the fat.
5. Saute the onion in the bacon fat until clear. 
6. Add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Whisk together and bring to a gentle boil.
7. In a small bowl, whisk together the potato starch and chicken broth. Add the slurry to the coconut milk. Whisk together so lumps don't form.
8. Add in the chicken and continue to simmer until the chicken is warmed. 
9. Toss the pasta and broccoli with the sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

A while back we were going to a BBQ and I wanted to bring some sort of savory sweet appetizer. I was going to do bacon wrapped dates, but the dates had spoiled. Looking around my kitchen, I saw I had dried pineapple rings. And thus, Bacon Wrapped Pineapple was born. These taste like little bites of bacon candy. So easy and delicious. 

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

4 dried pineapple rings
8 slices of bacon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Cut each pineapple ring into 6 pieces and each bacon slice into 3 pieces.
3. Wrap a piece of pineapple with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
4. Back for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You Can't Win Them All (Bison Cheeseburger Helper)

We just got back from a great weekend in Denver to celebrate a friend's wedding. Now we're back home and I didn't feel like going grocery shopping. So tonight I made a gluten and dairy free Bison Cheeseburger Helper. I saw a delicious looking recipe for Cheeseburger Macaroni by Kevin and Amanda on Pinterest and decided to make that tonight, with several modifications.

I used ground bison since I had some on hand and all of our ground beef is frozen. Last time I looked I couldn't find a packet of taco seasonings that were safe for Tommy. So I made my own seasoning blend. I'm still perfecting my vegan cheese sauce, but this version is way better than my last attempt. I also doubled the sauce and pasta. This is the first time I have correctly cooked gluten free pasta. It wasn't chewy or mushy. It actually tasted just like regular cooked macaroni. I used a white rice macaroni that I can buy in bulk at the local Winco.

I'm pretty excited about how this whole recipe turned out. It's delicious, hearty and full of flavor. Everything you would want in a bowl of hamburger helper, except made from scratch with no preservatives or questionable ingredients. I'm not thrilled about Tommy's reaction. As soon as I set the bowl in front of him he burst into tears. It's incredibly frustrating when he starts sobbing without actually trying the food. He eventually ate one bite of the meat and one piece of pasta. That was definitely a let down. This recipe is so delicious and easy to make that I was really hoping to add it to our regular rotation. For now I'll just file this recipe away to try again later when hopefully his tastes have matured a bit.

Bison Cheeseburger Helper

20 oz ground bison
2 cups dry gluten free macaroni
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup water
4 oz can diced chili peppers, undrained
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Tbsp potato starch
1 taco seasonings (see below)

1. Brown the bison in a dutch oven sized pot over medium heat. 
2. When the meat is done, add the tomato paste and taco seasoning and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, diced chili peppers, and water. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the macaroni and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. While the pasta cooks, in a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, Frank's and potato starch. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until thickened. 
6. After the 7 minutes are done, add the "cheese" sauce to the pasta dish. Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Take the pot off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Taco Seasoning

2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp granulated onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl