Monday, May 30, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I love this Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe. The salty pretzel layer combined with the sweet cream cheese layer and sweet fruit layer make for a delicious dish!

One of my relatives frequently brought this delicious Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe to family gatherings. I love it and hadn't had it since going gluten-free. I adapted the original recipe to be gluten-free and made a few other modifications, and it still tastes as good as I remember it tasting (and, of course, As Good As Gluten). I was on a baking/cooking spree this weekend; I cut the recipe in fourths and made a small dish for Mike and I to share.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
·2½ cups crushed gluten-free pretzels (I used Glutino's GF Pretzels)
·1 cup plus 3 TBS sugar, divided
·¾ cup butter, melted
·1 - 8oz. package Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
·1 - 8oz. tub light whipped topping, thawed
·1 large-size package Strawberry Jello
·2½ cups boiling water
·1½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced (The original recipe calls for 1 - 16oz. bag of sliced frozen strawberries with juice. I used fresh strawberries that I sliced and let sit overnight. If you sprinkle the sliced fresh strawberries with a little bit of sugar and let sit overnight, there will be some natural juices the next day you can use in this recipe.)
·1 cup crushed canned pineapple, drained (Optional) (I tried substituting fresh pineapple and learned the hard way that fresh pineapple (unlike canned pineapple) will prevent the Jello from setting up completely.)

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a small bowl, mix crushed pretzels, 3 TBS sugar, and melted butter. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

Cream remaining 1 cup sugar and cream cheese; add whipped topping and mix well. Spread mixture over cooled pretzel layer. Make sure cream cheese mixture is touching all sides of the pan. Refrigerate.

Dissolve jello in boiling water and stir well. When jello has partially set, add the strawberries with juice, and if desired, the pineapple. Stir well. Pour this mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill until set.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawberry Glaze Pie

Strawberry Glaze Pie is my all-time favorite pie recipe! It only takes a few simple ingredients to prepare this delicious and fresh pie. 

Growing up, my mom made the best pie ever - Strawberry Glaze Pie. My entire family loved it, and we were always able to quickly devourer it. Mike bought 4 or 5 pounds of fresh strawberries at the store a few days ago, which presented me with the perfect opportunity to make a gluten-free version of my mom's famous pie. This Strawberry Glaze Pie tastes As Good As Gluten, and, most importantly, as good as moms! This pie stays at it's best for about 1-2 days, so you'll want to eat it quickly (which shouldn't be a problem at all!).

Strawberry Glaze Pie
·6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
·½ cup sugar
·2½-3 TBS cornstarch
·1 – 9” baked gluten-free pastry shell (I used my GF Super Easy Pie Crust recipe - prepare pie crust according to directions and bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes.)

For the glaze, mash 1 cup of soft strawberries in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then strain liquid. Reserve liquid and discard mashed strawberries.

In the same saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in reserved liquid and cook until thick and bubbly. Set glaze aside to cool.

When glaze is cool, spread a scant of glaze on the bottom of the baked GF pie crust. Add sliced strawberries and then cover with remaining glaze. Chill for 2-3 hours.

Yield: one 9" pie

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday, This Week's Cravings, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes

These Sloppy Joes are tasty, easy to prepare, and healthier with turkey instead of beef. I love the different spices in this recipe; they definitely left my husband wondering what spices I added to make such a delicious flavor!

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes

·1 lb ground turkey
·1 medium onion, chopped
·6-8 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
·2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed in a garlic press
·1 tsp chili powder
·1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
·1 tsp paprika
·½ tsp allspice
·¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
·¾ cup ketchup
·1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
·1 ½ TBS brown sugar

In a large skillet, brown ground turkey. Once brown, add onion, jalapeno, and garlic; cook until onions are tender. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, paprika, allspice, and pepper. Stir together and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Stir over medium heat until sauce is heated through, about 2-4 minutes.

Serve in a baked potato, or gluten-free rolls.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Monday, May 23, 2011

Broccoli & Cheese Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is a great side dish that combines two all-time favorites - broccoli & cheese and mashed potatoes! We really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, and the fun way to enjoy a serving of veggies.

Broccoli & Cheese Mashed Potatoes
·1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
·1 medium-sized head of broccoli
·½ cup skim milk
·2 TBS butter
·1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
·1½ tsp onion powder
·1 tsp garlic powder
·Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are boiling, lower the heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into ½-inch pieces. When the potatoes are about 5 minutes from being done, add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and broccoli and return to the pot. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mash. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spicy Tomato Spaghetti

Wow! This tasty Spicy Tomato Spaghetti recipe packs the heat and wakes up your taste buds!

I really like this spicy twist on a traditional tomato spaghetti dish. Due to the heat level, I wouldn't recommend this recipe for kids. If you or your family prefer a milder flavor, reduce the red pepper by half.

Spicy Tomato Spaghetti
·12 oz. GF spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada's Brown Rice Spaghetti)
·2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp ground red pepper
·1 tsp dried oregano
·1 – 14oz. can diced tomatoes
·Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and spaghetti noodles; cook according to package directions. In a large skillet, heat EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper, and oregano, and cook for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, and crush with the back of a spoon (leave the sauce slightly chunky). Simmer until warm, about 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce to the pasta, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.

I adapted this recipe from the May 2011 Glamour issue.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Banana Chai Easy Gluten-Free Quick Bread

This Banana Chai GF Quick Bread is perfect; yes, perfect! The aroma is mouthwatering, the texture is moist, and the flavor is delicious!

When Brittany at Real Sustenance posted her recipe for Easy Gluten-Free/Vegan Quick Bread Base with Endless Flavor Possibilities yesterday, I had to try it immediately. I was ecstatic when I saw her flavor option for Banana Chai bread, because I had two rotting bananas on the counter and a box of Chai tea bags that didn't have the right tea flavor I was looking for.

I am so incredibly grateful that Brittany made 10 loaves in 24 hours in order to perfect the Easy Gluten-Free/Vegan Quick Bread Base recipe. I am also overjoyed with the endless flavor possibilities that are easy to make and don't require me to experiment to get the right ratio. I can't wait to get back in the kitchen and try more flavor varieties!

Banana Chai Easy Gluten-Free Quick Bread
Recipe from: Real Sustenance

*Note: You really need to visit Real Sustenance for Brittany's recipe for Easy Gluten-Free/Vegan Quick Bread Base with Endless Flavor Possibilities. Her post explains all of the hard work that went in to creating this fantastic recipe, and she also has many different options for the liquid ingredients below (including Vegan options). Not only will her post give you the complete "base recipe," but it also has some flavor possibilities to create delicious loaves of GF bread. In the recipe below, I'm simply posting the ingredients I used to make the Banana Chai GF Bread. At Real Sustenance, there are more options to make this version and other flavor varieties.

·2 cups GF all-purpose flour (I also used Bob's Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Mix)
·1 tsp xanthan gum
·1 tsp baking powder
·1 tsp baking soda
·½ tsp salt
·¾ cup granulated sugar
·2 bags of Chai tea (cut tea bags open and add contents to the dry ingredients)
·⅓ cup melted butter
·¾ cup milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
·1¼ cup banana puree

Preheat oven to 330˚. Grease loaf pan and set aside.

Prepare banana puree. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Mix well; the batter should be fairly thick.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wedges

I love the flavors and the freshness of this healthy, Thai dish. I think the secret to this recipe's delicious sweet and spicy flavor is simmering the spices and liquid with the ground turkey.

My husband cannot stand ground turkey because of what it looks like raw. When he tries some of my recipes with ground turkey, he's been known to spit it out before he even gets a chance to really taste it. I know this recipe is fantastic because Mike said "You can cook ground turkey anytime you want, as long as you make it like this and I don't have to see it (when it's raw)!"

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wedges
·1 lb ground turkey
·Salt and pepper
·2 cloves garlic, minced
·1 tsp ground ginger
·1 tsp ground red pepper
·1 TBS honey
·⅓ cup water
·1 tsp chili powder
·½ tsp cornstarch
·1 bell pepper, cut into strips
·3 green onions, sliced
·¼ cup peanuts, chopped
·1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges

In a large skillet, brown turkey with salt and pepper until it is no longer pink. Drain any grease; then add garlic, red pepper, soy sauce, honey, water, chili powder, and cornstarch to the pan with the turkey. Bring liquid to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes as the sauce slightly reduces. Stir in bell pepper, green onions, and peanuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve on top of lettuce wedges.

Yield: 4 servings

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Better than Sex" GF Cake

I made this cake for my husband's birthday, and he loved it!

Mike and I have been to a few celebrations over the past few months that have served "Better than Sex" Cake. Since the cake at these celebrations were not gluten-free, I've been unable to enjoy it. Mike has benefited as he has no problem eating my slice of cake. At a seated dinner last month, he even had me request a piece of "Better than Sex" Cake for dessert (despite requesting a gluten-free meal) so he could enjoy two slices! 

The gluten-free version of this cake is really good, and the only "word" Mike could use to describe his birthday cake as he was eating it was "mmmmmm!" However, I'm a perfectionist and am not completly satisfied with the GF cake texture. I made some adjustments to the cake recipe below that I think will improve the texture and result in an even better "Better than Sex" GF Cake.

"Better than Sex" GF Cake
Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Ingredients:
·2 eggs, separated
·6 TBS canola oil (I prefer a variety fortified with omega-3)
·½ cup plus 2 TBS sugar
·1 cup hot coffee (add gradually to get the right texture for the GF flour blend you're using)
·1 cup all-purpose GF flour blend (add 1 tsp of xanthan gum if your mix doesn't already include it)
·1 tsp baking soda
·½ tsp salt
·6 TBS cocoa powder
·1 TBS pure Mexican vanilla

Topping Ingredients:
·½ of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
·6 oz. caramel syrup topping
·½ of an 8 oz. container of fat free whipped topping, thawed
·1 Heath candy bar, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter an 8" or 9" round cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.

Separate egg yolks from egg whites. In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 2 egg whites until white and fluffy, and peaks begin to form (about 2-4 minutes). Set bowl aside. In a large bowl, beat together 2 egg yolks, oil, and sugar until well combined. Gradually add in coffee, GF flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix until well combined. Fold in egg whites and vanilla until well combined, being careful not to over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Let cake cool completely before adding the toppings. If you are going to remove the cake from the pan to a cake stand, let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes then move it to a cake stand to finish cooling.

When cake is completely cooled, use a kitchen skewer to poke 15-20 holes in the cake. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake. Then, pour the caramel topping over the cake. Frost the cake with whipped topping and top with crushed Heath bar pieces.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously, I can't decide what is better - the cookie dough or the baked cookie! This is the ultimate treat for chocolate peanut butter lovers.

These cookies are delectable! Using a banana instead of an egg makes the scrumptious cookie dough safe to eat. The baked cookies also taste amazing - moist, peanut buttery and chocolaty, with only a small hint of banana flavor. The cookie dough freezes well so you can enjoy cookie dough anytime or quickly bake a batch of warm cookies.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
·1 ¼ cup peanut butter
·¾ cup brown sugar
·1 medium banana, mashed
·1 tsp baking soda
·1 tsp vanilla extract
·½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients with an electric mixer; fold in chocolate chips. Roll into small balls and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Yield: Makes 24 cookies (if you can resist eating a good portion of the cookie dough!)

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Chilaquiles

This quick and easy Mexican-inspired recipe is a great way to use up leftovers. It's packed full of a delicious smoky and spicy flavor.

Mike and I LOVED this recipe! You can change up the flavor a bit by adding different cheese varieties (i.e., queso fresco or feta). You can also adjust the level of heat to you or your family's preference by adding or reducing the amount of chipotle chiles in adobo puree.

Chicken Chilaquiles
·1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·2 tsp minced garlic
·1 - 16oz. can tomato sauce
·½ cup water
·1-2 tsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce puree (see note below)
·2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (or about 3 cups of cooked rotisserie chicken)
·1 bag tortilla chips
·¼ cup light sour cream
·¼ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
·Bunch of fresh cilantro leaves

Combine the oil and garlic in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo puree, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken, stirring until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Divide the chips among 4 shallow bowls; top with the chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.

Serves: 4

*Note: For the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce puree, you need to buy a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from the grocery store (it's usually found with other Mexican-inspired sauces). In the can is whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Seed the chipotle chiles and then puree the entire can of adobe sauce and chipotle chile together. Use the amount need for the recipe, then freeze the rest in a marked plastic bag. Next time a recipe calls for chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, you can break off a piece from the freezer. I have to credit Rachael Ray for this great tip!

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

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black Bean Fiesta Dip

This Black Bean Fiesta Dip is a super healthy and great tasting recipe packed with tremendous Southwest-inspired flavor! 

By this point, it's no secret that one of my favorite ingredients is Black Beans. Black Beans are a healthy superfood packed full of good nutrients from protein to fiber to antioxidants. They are also versatile and can be used in recipes including soups and salads, main dishes, and even dessert! I recently came across a great recipe at Gluten Free Cat for Black Bean Fiesta Dip.

My recipe below includes a few modifications from the original, so I could achieve the flavor profile I was looking for. I do completely agree with Heather that this dip is versatile and can be used as a dip with veggies or tortilla chips, as a vegetarian burrito or quesadilla, and as nachos. Mike was hesitant to try this dip, but it passes his test and even he agrees that it is As Good As Gluten!

Black Bean Fiesta Dip
·1 tsp minced garlic
·¼ cup red onion, chopped
·¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
·4-6 slices of pickled jalapenos
·1 TBS jalapeno juice
·1 TBS lime juice
·1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
·½ tsp ground cumin
·½ tsp chili powder
·½ tsp sea salt

In a blender or food processor, pulse garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, and jalapeno juice. Once ingredients stick to the sides, add the remaining ingredients and pulse until dip is creamy with only a few bean chunks.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

I finally found a way to prepare veggies that Mike and I both like - roast them! Mike likes his veggies steamed and mushy. I like my veggies flash-steamed so they retain some crunchiness. We both liked this roasted cauliflower recipe because it has great flavors and retains some crunchiness while still being slightly soft to eat.

The possibilities of roasted veggies are endless by using different combinations of raw veggies and spices. We served with Mike's Orange Fish Fillets and Rice - which I, the non-seafood lover, actually enjoyed!
Roasted Cauliflower
·1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets
·EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·Seasonings and spices of your choice (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder)

Preheat oven to 425˚. Spread the cauliflower onto a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle with spices and roast for 25-30 minutes. The cauliflower will be tender but still have a crunch to it.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mexican Sausage Casserole

Mike won't stop raving about this breakfast casserole. I completely agree with him it is SO incredibly good!

You really have to try this casserole to understand how obsessed Mike and I are with it. It didn't take long to prepare, and we love the Mexican inspired flavors! Mike was "mmmm"-ing and giving me the thumbs-up as he ate it for breakfast today. This delicious casserole also reheats well, so you can make it the day or night before serving.

Mexican Sausage Casserole
·3 corn tortillas, cut into halves           
·½ lb. spicy ground sausage                
·1 small onion, chopped                        
·½ green bell pepper, chopped           
·½ jalapeño, chopped                            
·1 tsp minced garlic
·Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
·5 eggs
·¼ cup milk
·1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
·2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a greased 8x8 baking dish, line the bottom with corn tortillas. Brown the ground sausage in a skillet. Drain grease; then add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro; sauté for a few minutes.

In a bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk together. Add beaten eggs to the skillet, and stir constantly to combine. Stir until eggs are slightly set, about 1-2 minutes. Pour egg and sausage mixture into the baking dish over the tortillas. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with cheese, and bake for 25 minutes, or until eggs are completely set. Serve with green onions.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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