Saturday, April 30, 2011

Adopt a GF Blogger: Simply...Gluten-Free's Cherry Cola Ribs

When I came across Carol's recipe for Cherry Cola Ribs in January, I bookmarked the recipe and immediately challenged my mom to another Cooking Showdown (you can check out the outcome of our Ultimate Rib Cooking Showdown here). We decided to wait until Easter to have the official Rib Showdown, and the timing worked out perfectly for the April Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger Event hosted by Sea at Book of Yum.

If you haven't already, you must visit Carol's blog - Simply...Gluten-Free. Carol's recipes are delicious and her photography is beyond phenomenal. Her photos alone will have you drooling! I love Carol's recipes because they are semi-gourmet, yet simple and budget-friendly enough for the everyday person to make.

Cherry Cola Ribs
click here for recipe 
Carol's Cherry Cola Ribs are truly phenomenal! These ribs didn't last more than a few minutes with my large family - we all absolutely loved them. And, this recipe even beat my mom's awesome rib recipe in our Rib Cooking Showdown (sorry, Mom!). The flavor profile is sweet and the cherry cola flavor comes through quite well, and there is even a bit of a kick to it. It's only been a few days since I made these ribs, but my family is craving them again. This award-winning recipe is most definitely a keeper!

I followed Carol's recipe as closely as I could, but I did make a few modifications. First, I used boneless ribs because it's what I prefer. Second, I searched 3 grocery stores in 2 different states for garlic chili sauce, but I could not find it. For a substitution, I added tomato paste, chili powder, and minced garlic to the glaze. I didn't keep track of how much of each substitute ingredient I added, but I kept checking the flavor and adjusted the ingredients to taste. The outcome was fantastic!

In previous Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger events I've made:
Kelly at 18 Hour Kitchen's Black Bean Cupcakes
Shirley at Gluten Free Easily's Flourless Pizza Crust AND Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rib Cooking Showdown

Last summer, my family started a tradition of Cooking Showdowns or Cook-Offs. So far, we've had a Buffalo Chicken Showdown and a Pumpkin Pie Showdown. When I came across this recipe for Cherry Cola Ribs in January, I bookmarked it and immediately challenged my mom to another cooking showdown.

When I challenged my mom, I knew it would be a difficult challenge because her Honey-Mustard Rib recipe is phenomenal. While the Cherry Cola Rib recipe I found looked delicious, I never tried the recipe before the cooking showdown. The Rib Cooking Showdown was intense and close; however, with the final vote of 5-4, the winning recipe was...

My Cherry Cola Ribs!

The cherry cola flavor really comes through in this fantastic rib recipe, Overall, the flavor profile is sweet; however, there is a bit of a kick to it. It's only been a few days since I made these ribs, but my family is craving them again. This award-winning recipe is most definitely a keeper!

My mom's Honey-Mustard Rib recipe is definitely still a keeper. Her ribs truly are phenomenal because they have a tremendous flavor that is sweet and savory! Both of our recipes are good, and my mom very easily could have won!

Mom's Honey-Mustard Ribs

For our rib recipes, you can click here for the Cherry Cola Rib recipe. And, my mom's recipe is below.

Mom's Honey-Mustard Ribs Recipe

·2 full racks of ribs                                            
Rib Rub Ingredients:                                       
·¼ cup paprika                                                    
·1-3 TBS dry mustard                                        
·1 TBS Italian seasoning                                  
·1 tsp salt                                                            
·1 tsp pepper                                                      
·1 TBS sugar
Sauce Ingredients:
·¾ cup honey
·½ - ¾ cup cider vinegar
·1 tsp mustard
·1 TBS water
·1 tsp cornstarch
·Plus 3 TBS rib rub

Preheat oven to 425˚. Combine rub ingredients. Rinse ribs, cut thin white membrane from boney side and discard (you can also use boneless ribs and remove any excess membrane or fat). Pat ribs dry with paper towels. Use ½ of rub mixture and press into ribs. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place rack, meat side up, on foil – cover with more foil and seal all edges to form a foil bag. Bake for 1 hour.

Combine sauce ingredients, bring to a boil in a saucepan and simmer until thickened. Carefully remove ribs from bag and broil, basting with sauce.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Mini Frittatas

With a taste profile reminiscent of Spinach Artichoke Dip, this recipe turns my favorite dip into a new form.

Since making Mini Quiches last month, I've been wanting to try more flavor varieties. Mini Frittatas freeze well so I can quickly reheat a few for breakfast or a Friday lunch during Lent.

·4 large eggs
·⅓ cup milk
·⅔ cup cooked chopped spinach
·½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
·2 TBS artichoke hearts, chopped
·2 tsp minced garlic
·½ tsp dried parsley
·½ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 12 muffin cup tins with olive oil. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk well. Spoon mixture into muffin cup tins, dividing evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center of the frittata is set.

Yield: Makes 12 mini frittatas.

I've also shared this recipe on: Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten Free, Seasonal Sundays, This Week's Craving

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cashew Chicken

The flavors and textures in this dish are simply amazing! Crunchy cashews, crisp green onions, tender and juicy chicken, and fluffy rice come together nicely with spices to create a flavorful and delicious Asian-inspired dish.

This recipe makes enough for 4 adult portions, but I wouldn't count on having leftovers. Mike and I LOVE this dish so much that we couldn't help ourselves from each eating a double serving! This recipe is definitely a keeper.

·1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
·1 TBS cornstarch
·Salt and pepper
·2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·3 tsp minced garlic
·8-10 green onions, white and green parts separated, cut into 1-inch pieces
·2 TBS rice vinegar
·3 TBS GF Soy Sauce Substitute
·1 tsp chili powder
·1 tsp garlic powder
·¼ cup water
·¾ cup lightly salted cashew halves

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the cornstarch until coated. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 TBS EVOO over medium-high heat. Cook half of the chicken, tossing often, until browned (about 3 minutes). Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining EVOO and chicken to the skillet along with the garlic and white parts of the scallions. Cook, tossing often, until the chicken is browned (about 3 minutes). Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Add the vinegar and cook until evaporated (about 30 seconds).

In a small bowl, stir together GF Soy Sauce Substitute, chili powder, garlic powder, and water. Add sauce mixture to the pan, tossing until the chicken is cooked through (about 1 minute). Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over brown rice.

This recipe is modified from the cookbook "Everyday Food - Great Food Fast."

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, This Week's Craving

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mexican Chicken Salad

I LOVE Mexican food and this Mexican Chicken Salad recipe is packed full of delicious Southwest flavor. Even my chicken-salad-hating husband said, "MMM, this is a keeper!"

Since I created my Apple-Chicken Salad recipe, I've been looking for another good Chicken Salad recipe. I came across a recipe in my "Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook" for a lettuce salad with taco-ranch dressing topped with cooked chicken breasts and veggies. I thought the concept behind the salad recipe would be perfect to turn into a Mexican Chicken Salad recipe (as opposed to a Mexican salad topped with grilled chicken).

·⅓ cup light mayonaise
·⅓ cup milk
·1 tsp lemon juice
·1 tsp lime juice
·2 tsp taco seasoning
·1 tsp onion powder
·2 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped plus an extra handful
·1 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
·½ can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
·3 green onions, chopped
·2 cups lettuce
·1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
·1 small tomato, chopped

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, lime juice, taco seasoning, onion powder, and 2 TBS of the cilantro. When dressing is well-mixed, stir in chicken, black beans, and green onions. Serve chicken salad mixture on top of a bed of lettuce topped with avocado, tomato, and fresh cilantro.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Crockpot)

I absolutely LOVE all of the flavors and textures in this dish! It is healthier than the traditional fried Chinese dish, and the chicken soaks up all of the delicious flavor!

Since Mike and I have been craving Chinese food lately, I've been working on recreating some of our favorites. Sweet & Sour Chicken was one of my favorite Chinese dishes from my pre-GF days. I am so happy I was able to create a GF version of my favorite dish and use my crockpot to do it.

·1 green pepper, chopped
·1 medium onion, chopped
·¾ cup pineapple, cut into chunks plus ½ cup freshly squeezed pineapple juice (alternatively, you can use an 8-oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice - just add water or orange juice to get a ½ cup of juice)
·2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· cup brown sugar
· cup rice vinegar
·1 TBS soy sauce substitute (or GF soy sauce)
·½ tsp chicken bouillon

·1½ TBS cornstarch
·¼ tsp garlic powder
·¼ tsp ground ginger
·1 tsp salt

Place green pepper, onion, and pineapple in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top of the veggies and fruit.

In a separate bowl, combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chicken bouillon, cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger, and salt. Mix until cornstarch dissolves. Pour mixture over chicken.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from crockpot and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken back to the
crockpot and mix well to combine all of the flavors. Serve over cooked brown rice.

Yield: 6-8 servings

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turkey Burger

I love this flavorful and healthy burger recipe. Not only does the cauliflower puree add to the nutritional content, but it also helps make a perfectly moist burger.

I am so excited that a friend is lending me Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook! I have flagged a few recipes to try, and I am learning tips to incorporate veggies into some of my favorite dishes. I took my favorite turkey burger recipe and used Jessica's tip for incorporating cauliflower puree. The outcome was fantastic - a flavorful, moist, and healthy Turkey Burger!

·1 lb. ground turkey
·1 cup cauliflower puree
·1 cup Rice Chex, crushed
·4 green onions, thinly sliced
·2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
·Salt and pepper

Heat the grill. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly and form 6-8 patties. Oil the grill with olive oil cooking spray. Place the burgers on the grill and grill until one side is brown, then flip and grill the other side until done.

Burgers can also be cooked on a hot skillet and then transferred to a hot oven to finish cooking all of the way through.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mexican Ice Cream Sundae

I realized today that I'm a food blogger and have failed to blog about my favorite food - ICE CREAM!! I love ice cream so much that I found a job I love (in the marketing research field) for a great ice cream company that makes amazing ice cream!

I recieved this month's issue of "Every Day with Rachael Ray" today and saw her recipe for Mexican Ice Cream Sundaes. Since I just happened to have a container of Blue Bunny Dulce de Leche ice cream in the freezer, I immediately went to the kitchen to prepare my evening treat. This Mexican Ice Cream Sundae is a flavor explosion in each and every bite! Each flavor combines together nicely to make a delicious, indulgent treat.

·A few scoops of Dulce de Leche ice cream
·Chocolate sauce, warmed
·A pinch of cinnamon
·A handful of salted cashews

Drizzle chocolate sauce over ice cream and top with cinnamon and cashews.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? This is a tough question to ask an ice cream lover, but if I had to pick only one flavor to eat forever, it would be Mint Chocolate Chip.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I recently posted a Brown Rice and Flaxseed Pizza Crust recipe that has quickly become one of my new favorite recipes. The crust is thick and fluffy, crisp yet soft. I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza which has a phenomenal combination of flavors. It's sweet and savory with a combination of a slightly sweet BBQ sauce, organic chicken, red onion, triple cheddar cheese blend, and fresh cilantro. This recipe makes 6-8 slices, but it didn't last too long between Mike and I! We just finished the leftovers and are ready to make this BBQ Chicken Pizza again!

·1 Brown Rice and Flaxseed Pizza Crust recipe
·1 tsp chili powder
·½ cup plus 1 TBS GF barbecue sauce
·1 cooked and chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast
·1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a Triple Cheddar blend of Vermont White, Mild, and Sharp Cheddars)
·½ medium red onion, finely chopped
·2-3 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped

Prepare pizza crust according to directions. For added flavor, mix 1 tsp of chili powder into the dry ingredients of the pizza crust. Once the crust has been cooked at 425˚ for 15 minutes, remove from the oven.

In a small bowl, mix together chicken and 1 TBS of barbecue sauce. Spread the remaining ½ cup of barbecue sauce on the hot pizza crust. Top with shredded cheese, chicken, and red onion. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until pizza crust is crisp. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Apple-Chicken Salad

Can you believe that I had chicken salad for the first time in my adult life only a few months ago? I can be a picky eater, and I've always been hesitant to try any type of non-lettuce salad (egg, chicken, tuna, ham, etc.). Ever since I tried chicken salad a few months ago, I've been waiting for the weather to warm up so I could create my own go-to chicken salad recipe.

I'm SO happy with the outcome of this recipe. It's a fresh recipe packed full of flavor. I know I'll be quickly making this recipe a lot this spring!


·¼ cup light real mayonnaise (I use Kraft, it's GF)
·1/8 cup light sour cream
·½ tsp each – dried parsley, black pepper, garlic powder, celery seed
·1 cup cooked chicken breast, chopped
·¼ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
·1/8 cup red onion, chopped
·1 small apple, chopped (use a good quality apple such as Fuji, Pink Lady, Braeburn, or Honey Crisp)

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together mayo, sour cream, and spices. Then stir in chicken, nuts, onion, and apple until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with your favorite gluten-free bread or with a big leaf of romaine lettuce.

Prep: 10 minutes; Yield: 2-4 servings.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brown Rice and Flaxseed Pizza Crust

I received a great book for Christmas - Easy Gluten-Free by Tricia Thompson and Marlisa Brown. This past weekend, I adapted the Brown Rice and Flaxseed Pizza Crust recipe from the book. Since following the GF diet, I've had a variety of GF pizzas including Udi's GF Pizza Crust, Pizza Fusion's GF Pizza, Chebe Pizza Crust Mix, and Flourless Pizza Crust. However, until now I haven't attempted to make a GF flour-based pizza crust from scratch.

This pizza crust recipe is hearty, healthy, and versatile. The texture is unlike any GF pizza crust I've had before - thick and fluffy, crisp yet soft. This new pizza crust recipe is As Good As Gluten and could easily make a deep dish pizza by cooking in a smaller pan or doubling the recipe. Because the pizza crust is made with hearty ingredients (brown rice and flaxseed), it does taste a little different than a non-GF white flour pizza crust. I think it still tastes delicious and reminds me of a whole wheat pizza crust I used to make in my pre-GF days.

I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza (recipe coming soon). I'll give you a sneak peak at the final outcome because you have to see how thick this pizza crust is! Seriously, does it even look like GF pizza?! I'm SO glad I tried this recipe. I like thin crust pizza (which is a good thing because so far the only GF pizza crusts I've had have been very thin and crispy), but I also like thick crust pizza (which is one food I miss from my pre-GF days).

·½ cup organic whole grain brown rice flour (I use Bob's Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour)
·½ cup ground flaxseed meal (I use Bob's Ground Flaxseed Meal)
·1 tsp baking powder
·¼ tsp salt
·1½ tsp garlic powder
·1½ tsp onion powder
·1 - 3 tsp of additional seasonings of your choice (see Notes section below)
·¼ cup water
·3 eggs
·3 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·½ cup cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 425˚. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, from the flour to the onion powder. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients, from the water to the EVOO. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Let sit for 2-3 minutes then stir in the brown rice until well combined.

Using a spatula, spread the pizza dough on the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove pizza dough from oven and add the pizza toppings of your choice and cook for 15 additional minutes (or until crisp).

Yield: 6-8 slices

Notes: You can add spices to the dry ingredients to flavor the crust. For an Italian pizza, add 1 tsp of basil and 1 tsp of oregano, or 1½ tsp Italian seasoning. For a Mexican pizza, add 1 tsp dried cilantro. For a BBQ chicken pizza, add 1½ tsp chili powder.

I've also shared this recipe on: Create a GF Pizza Challenge, Seasonal Sunday

Black Bean Brownies with Creme de Menthe Frosting

These healthy brownies are moist with a rich, fudgy chocolate flavor and definitely taste As Good As Gluten. I don't think anyone will be able to guess they are made with black beans as the secret ingredient! The brownies taste amazing without the frosting. However, the frosting adds an additional flavor if you are looking for something different than a standard chocolate brownie.

I came across this recipe from Joy in My Kitchen at This Week's Craving Event and immediately wanted to try it. There are two things I love about the recipe - it is flourless and uses black beans (one of my new favorite ingredients). I modified the original recipe slightly, based on the ingredients I had in my pantry, and added a delicious Creme de Menthe frosting. I also think this recipe would be delicious with any flavor of chocolate chips and/or frosting (mint, peanut butter, vanilla, etc.).

Black Bean Brownies
·1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
·2 eggs
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·2 TBS applesauce
·¼ cup cocoa powder
·½ tsp baking powder
·1 tsp vanilla
·¾ cup white sugar
·Pinch of salt
·½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch glass pan. Drain and rinse black beans. In a blender, puree beans, eggs, EVOO, and applesauce. Then, add cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Puree until smooth. Using a spoon or spatula, mix the chocolate chips into the batter.

Pour the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. As the brownies bake, they will pull away from the edge of the pan. Let brownies cool in the pan before frosting.
Store on the counter for 2 days or in the fridge for a few additional days.

Creme de Menthe Frosting
·2 TBS butter, softened
·1 cup powdered sugar
·1 TBS milk
·1/8 tsp Creme de Menthe Flavor (I used LorAnn Oils. You can also use 1/2 tsp of mint flavored extract instead of the oil)

Cream butter and gradually add powdered sugar. Blend in milk and Creme de Menthe flavor. Frost brownies once they are cool.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays