Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flourless Double Chocolate Torte

This quote from my hubby sums up this dessert perfectly - "MMMM, this is aMAZing!!" This is seriously THE BEST dessert I've ever made! I'm in chocolate heaven; this dessert is very rich and moist - melts in your mouth! However, it is not as good as gluten - it's BETTER! In my gluten days, I never had a gluten dessert this FANTASTIC! Seriously.

·1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (plus more for the pan)
·¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for the pan)
·¼ cup half-and-half
·4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
·4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
·5 eggs
·1 cup sugar
·Powdered sugar and whipped cream, optional toppings

Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and half-and-half over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder; whisk in the chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before removing sides of pan.

To serve: dust with powdered sugar and whipped cream. Cake can be refrigerated up to 2 days in advance of serving – just bring to room temperature before serving then dust with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Pasta Primavera

I adapted a 30-minute meal recipe from "Every Day with Rachael Ray" today for lunch. It was quick and easy to put together, but Mike and I thought it was a little bland. My only guess why would be that I used dried basil instead of freshly chopped. So, use fresh if you're going to try this recipe and let me know how it turns out!
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • 12 oz. GF spaghetti pasta
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 10-15 baby carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup half 'n half
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS dried basil (I used dried basil, but recommend fresh)
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli until bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a colander, reserving the water in the pot. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente; drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a wok (or large skillet) over high heat. Swirl in 1 TBS EVOO. Add the onion and stir-fry until it is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Swirl in remaining 1 TBS EVOO. Add broccoli and carrots and stir-fry until the carrots begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Swirl in the cream, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and basil.

Add the pasta and reserved cooking water to the pan and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Friday, February 18, 2011

Corn Risotto (Crockpot)

I thought this corn risotto didn't have enough flavor and wasn't creamy enough (I even added extra cayenne). Mike, on the other hand, thought it was too spicy (too much cayenne). We did agree that it was still a pretty decent side dish if paired with the right meal.
  • 1 1/4 cup brown rice (use arborio rice to make authentic risotto)
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 16 oz. package of frozen corn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, add more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup fat free half & half
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Use a 4-6 quart crockpot, or cut the recipe in half (I did) and use a 2-quart crockpot.

Put EVOO in bottom of crockpot and swirl the rice and onion in it. Add garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, frozen corn, and broth. Stir well and drop in butter.  Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, checking every 45 minutes or so. This dish is done with the liquid has absorbed and the rice is tender.

Unplug and add the cream and Parmesan cheese. Cover for 5 minutes or until cheese melts completely.

Recipe adapted from Crockpot 365

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Pantry - Kinnikinnick Chocolate Dipped Donuts

A few weeks ago, one of my friends posted a picture of these donuts on Facebook. She said she wasn't expecting much but they were SO good and worth a dollar a donut! (Thanks Jenn for bringing donuts back into my life)! I was shopping at Whole Foods over the weekend and was so happy to find these donuts in the frozen food aisle. I spent the weekend with my family and those of us with celiac/gluten intolerance ate the entire box of donuts as soon as we opened the box!

I have to agree that Kinnikinnick's Chocolate Dipped Donuts live up to the claim on the box "gluten free has never tasted so good." These donuts are SO SO SO good! They taste exactly like a regular cake donut - sweet and chocolaty with the perfect cake donut texture. They are totally worth the dollar per donut cost!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

We had Eggplant Parmesan with spaghetti marinara (I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Noodles) for our Valentine's Day dinner. And, it was WONDERFUL! The eggplant was cooked perfectly and had great flavor with this recipe. This is definitely one of my new favorite and flavorful vegetarian dishes!

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBS EVOO
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt water
Preheat oven to 400˚. Wash and peel eggplant; cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Soak eggplant in salt water for about 5 minutes to remove the bitterness. Combine egg and 1 TBS regular water; dip eggplant slices into egg mixture, then into flour, turning to coat both sides. Heat EVOO in a large skillet then add eggplant and cook 4-6 minutes or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with spaghetti sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Monday, February 14, 2011

Clean Out Your Pantry Risotto

This is one of my new favorite recipes because it's fast (30 minutes start to finish) and the possibilities are endless (hence, the Clean Out Your Pantry name)! I know this recipe isn't technically Risotto since I used brown rice, but that's all I had in my pantry! :)

·2 TBS butter
·½ medium onion, chopped
·1 ⅓ rice (I used Minute Brown Rice)
·4 cups water
·1 tsp chicken bouillon
·Freshly cracked pepper to taste
·½ cup Parmesan cheese
·1 cup steamed veggies (I used peas this time)
·Additional spices to taste (I added Parsley)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add rice, stir, and toast for a few minutes. Add water, chicken bouillon, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Leave covered and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir in cheese and veggies.

Lately I've been looking for more vegetarian meals (anyone else see Oprah's Vegan episode?!). Even though this recipe is a side dish, I've been eating it as a meal. I used to be a vegetarian about 10-12 years ago and I've really never been that big of a meat fan. I definitely could not be Vegan (I love dairy and work for an ice cream company!), but I do want to incorporate a few meatless meals into my weekly dinner plans.

What are some of your favorite meatless meals that I could try?

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday's

Friday, February 11, 2011

Super Nachos with Butternut Queso

Mike and I made this Rachael Ray recipe for a Super Bowl Party and these nachos are SO SO SO GOOD! You can't really taste the butternut squash and don't even miss the extra cheese you're used too in regular nachos.

The recipe makes a ton! We only brought a portion of it to the party since we weren't sure how well a nacho recipe with butternut squash would turn out. We definitely enjoyed the leftovers this week! It's so easy to make a little dish of nachos and stick it in the broiler if you prepare the queso and toppings all at once.

Butternut Queso Ingredients:
·1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
·EVOO, for drizzling                                             
·1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
·1 small onion, finely chopped
·2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
·1 tsp ground cumin
·1 tsp ground coriander
·1 TBS seeded pureéd chipotle in adobo (Seed and puree the entire can of chipotle in adobe then freeze the rest. Next time a recipe calls for this you can break off a piece from the freezer)

·1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
·3 tablespoons butter
·2 tablespoons flour (I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend)

·1½ cups milk
·Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
·1½ cups shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese
Nacho Ingredients:

·1 can spicy vegetarian refried beans
·1 bag good-quality tortilla chips, such as blue corn, multi-grain or flax seed
·1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (14 ounces)
·Drained pickled jalapeño slices
·Diced seeded tomatoes
·Finely chopped red onion
·Chopped cilantro
·Diced avocado, dressed with lemon or lime juice

Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle the squash with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tender.

While the squash roasts, in a medium size pot, sauté the carrot, onion and garlic in a little EVOO over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, cumin and coriander. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Scrape into a food processor and add the chipotle puree and the roast squash along with the stock. Puree until very smooth and reserve. Return the pot to stove and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg; melt in the cheese. Stir in the reserved vegetable puree and adjust the heat level and seasoning, to taste.

Switch on the broiler. Heat the vegetarian refried beans with about 1/3 cup water to them out a little. Arrange the chips in a casserole dish and dot with the thinned refried beans. Sprinkle with black beans and top with the butternut queso. Broil until brown at the edges and the chips are crisp. Top with pickled jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and avocado.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Cravings, Seasonal Sundays, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pesto Spinach Lasagna (Crockpot)

This dish is really good; I didn't even miss the meat!

Lasagna is one of my favorite dishes and since I've decided to eat more meatless meals, I was searching for a good vegetarian lasagna recipe. Leave it to one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie O'Dea a.k.a. the GF crockpot queen, to have the recipe I needed. I adapted this recipe slightly and cut it in half, so you can see the original recipe here.

·1 ½ cup pasta sauce                                          ·½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
·1 cup pesto (I used Dried Basil Pesto)          ·1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
·1 cup cottage cheese                                       ·1/8 cup water
·5 oz. (½ bag) organic spinach                         ·1 tsp Italian seasoning
·5 oz. (½ box) no-boil GF lasagna noodles

Use a 2.5-4 quart crockpot.  In a bowl, combine 1 ¼ cup of the pasta sauce (reserve remaining ¼ cup), pesto, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese (reserving remaining ½ cup).  

In the bottom of your crockpot, layer a spoonful of pasta sauce (about 1/8 cup). Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you’ll have to break the noodles to make a layer). Top with a layer of the pesto sauce mixture and a handful of spinach. The spinach is fluffy, so you’ll have to squish it down to make it all fit. Repeat the layers until you’ve run out of ingredients (be sure your top layer is a layer of noodles). Poor the remaining pasta sauce on top the final layer of noodles, then add remaining mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning.

Before closing the crockpot, put 1/8 cup water into the empty pasta sauce jar, close the lid and shake. Pour this saucy water around the edges of the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

You’ll know the lasagna is done when the top layer begins to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It will also pull a bit away from the sides. Taste-test a noodle to check the texture. Uncover, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dried Basil Pesto

I put together this pesto recipe to use in a Pesto Spinach Lasagna (Crockpot) dish. What I like most about this pesto recipe is that it uses dried basil (a staple I already have on hand), it only makes a single-serving, and it's super easy to prepare. The flavor profile is standard of a pesto and I typically use whatever chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts) I have in the pantry.

·¼ cup EVOO
·¼ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts
·3 TBS dried basil
·¼ cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
·½ tsp minced garlic
·Dash of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Cover and process until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary.

Makes about 1 cup of Pesto.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cranberry Relish Muffins - New and Improved Recipe!

At the end of 2010 you may remember I concocted my own Cranberry Relish Muffin recipe (click here for original recipe). The muffins were great the first day, but after they set overnight they became dry and crumbly. (Looking back, how dry they look in the picture should have been a sign!) I tweaked the recipe a bit before I posted it on my blog, but I still wasn't completely satisfied.

This morning I tweaked the recipe again, and I think I finally have the perfect Cranberry Relish Muffin recipe! They are SO moist and have the perfect muffin texture. Definitely better than Udi's GF Muffins! I love the flavor profile in this batch of muffins, but I'm still crossing my fingers that I won't wake up tomorrow with dry and crumbly muffins. I'll keep you posted.

·1¼ cups GF all-purpose flour
·1 tsp xanthan gum
·½ cup sugar
·½ tsp salt
·1½ tsp baking powder
·½ cup canola oil
·¼ cup milk
·2 eggs
·1½ tsp cinnamon
·¼ tsp nutmeg
·1 TBS orange zest (use less if your cranberry relish already has a good orange flavor)
·1 cup homemade cranberry relish or sauce (Click here for my Grandma's Cranberry Relish recipe)
·A few pinches of brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚. Line 12 muffin cups with liners or coat with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except cranberry relish until well-blended. Fold in cranberry relish. Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a little bit of brown sugar. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

UPDATE: 2 and 3 days later, the muffins are NOT dry and crumbly!! Finally a successful recipe! :)

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Garlic Chicken to Die For

This is one of my favorite dishes from my mom. It's fairly quick to make and has great flavor. We served with my Low Cal Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. It's also very good as Chicken Parmesan with a marina sauce!

·2 boneless, skinless chicken breast – cut each in half
·2 heaping tsp minced garlic
·1 egg yolk

Put above in Ziploc – squish yolk to break and coat chicken. Refrigerate up to 3 days. (You can also make this right away and not marinate chicken).

·¼ cup GF all-purpose flour
·1 slice of GF bread, chopped into crumbs
·2 TBS Italian seasoning
·1 tsp onion powder
·Salt & pepper

Heat a small amount of EVOO in a skillet. Dip chicken into crumbs to coat. Place in heated skillet and fry until golden in color & juices run clear.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ham and Potatoes (Crockpot)

Mike and I made this over the weekend for dinner guests. It turned out pretty well and was a super easy way to prepare a ham. The potatoes absorb the flavor of the ham, brown sugar, and honey while cooking - yum!

·6-8 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
·3-6 lb. boneless ham
·½ cup plus 1 TBS brown sugar
·1 tsp dry mustard
·Honey, to drizzle

Place ham in the bottom of a 6 quart crockpot. Add potatoes around the top and sides of the ham. Sprinkle brown sugar and dry mustard over the ham, then drizzle ham with honey.

Cover and cook on low for about 10 hours, until potatoes are tender. Pour juices over ham and potatoes to serve.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday's