Sunday, July 31, 2011

Patty Melts

My gluten-free Patty Melts recipe reminds me of Steak 'n Shake Frisco Melts I used to love in college, without the heart-attack nutritional statement! The homemade Frisco sauce with simple ingredients pulls together all of the flavors perfectly.

Patty Melts
Sautéed Onion Ingredients:
·1 medium onion, sliced in ¼ inch thick slices
·1 TBS butter
·1 tsp garlic powder
Meat Patty Ingredients:
·1 lb. ground meat of choice (Mike made the burger patties and used ground venison - I'm just as surprised as he is that I'm actually eating deer and enjoying it.)
·1 TBS garlic powder
·1 TBS onion powder
·1 tsp paprika
·A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Frisco Sauce Ingredients:
·½ cup real mayonnaise
·¼ cup ketchup
·½ cup sweet pickle relish
·Salt and pepper
Additional Ingredients:
·Gluten-Free sandwich bread (I used Udi's Whole Grain GF Bread)
·Cheddar cheese slices

For the sautéed onions, melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic powder and sauté onions until soft.

For the meat patties, combine all meat patty ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties and grill over medium-high heat until patties are cooked all of the way through.

For the Frisco sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To assemble patty melts, butter bread slices and layer with cheese, meat patties, sautéed onions, and Frisco sauce. Grill sandwich in a hot pan over the stovetop (like a grilled cheese), or in a George Foreman Grill or panini press.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chili and Lime Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes, but I normally only eat them around the holidays smoothered with brown sugar and butter. This simple recipe makes a light and refreshing sweet potato, with just a hint of heat, that is perfect for warm weather!

Chili and Lime Sweet Potatoes
·1 medium sweet potato
·2 tsp butter
·Dash of salt
·3-4 squirts of bottled lime juice
·A few dashes of chili powder
·A few sprigs of fresh cilantro

Cook sweet potato in the microwave as you would a baked potato. Top with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adopt a GF Blogger: Real Sustenance

I love Brittany's Blog Real Sustenance and frequently participate in her Seasonal Sundays recipe link-up. Seasonal Sundays is my favorite recipe link-up; I've tried a lot of great recipes that are featured. What I love about Real Sustenance is that Brittany writes and posts delicious and trustworthy recipes. Trustworthy may sound like an odd word to describe recipes, but I know that Brittany puts a lot of effort into the recipes she writes, trials, and posts.

Case in point - Brittany's recipe for Easy Gluten-Free/Vegan Quick Bread Base with Endless Flavor Possibilities. She made 10 loaves in 24 hours in order to perfect the recipe! Once she posted it, I immediately went into my kitchen and made Brittany's Banana Chai GF Quick Bread. And, it was perfect - the aroma was mouthwatering, the texture was moist, and the flavor was delicious.

When the July Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event opened up, I was excited to finally get a chance to adopt Real Sustenance and try some of Brittany's recipes I've had bookmarked for awhile. All three recipes I tried were fantastic!

Chana Masala (Chickpea-Tomato Indian Curry)
Click here for recipe
All I can say about this recipe is WOW!! It's incredibly healthy and packed full of wonderful, delicious Indian-inspired flavor. I served over brown rice, and it's a new meal I frequently crave.

In May's Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event, Kalina at Wheat Free Meat Free adopted Brittany at Real Sustenance and made Chana Masala (Chickpea-Tomato Indian Curry). It looked absolutely delicious, despite the fact that I haven't eaten a lot of Indian food before and had no idea what flavor to expect. I was so intrigued by the recipe that I immediately bought the ingredients and made Chana Masala (Chickpea-Tomato Indian Curry) for dinner the next night. WOW!! This recipe is so incredibly good and packed full of wonderful flavor and spice.

Orange Lemon-Zested Carrot "Fries"
Click here for recipe
Mike didn't care for this recipe as his exact words were "Carrots aren't meant to be French Fries." I, however, think this recipe has great potential if you follow the recipe completely (oops!). I forgot to broil the carrot fries at the end of the baking time, so some of my carrot "fries" were chewy. But, the flavor was excellent and reminded me of sweet potato fries! I made two substitutions - I used lemon zest instead of orange zest and extra virgin olive oil instead of coconut oil.

Thai Peanut Noodles
Click here for recipe
A-MAZ-ING!! I had to pull myself away from the pan to prevent myself from eating the entire batch in one sitting. I love the sweetness from the peanut butter, crunchiness from the peanuts, and the hint of heat from the chili sauce. I added sliced green onions on top that complemented the dish well. Next time I make this, which will be very soon, I'm going to try mixing in shredded chicken and diced bell peppers or zucchini. If you try this, I promise you'll absolutely love it. As an added bonus, it only took 15 minutes top to prepare!

In previous Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger events I've made:
·Kelly at 18 Hour Kitchen - Black Bean Cupcakes
·Shirley at Gluten Free Easily - Flourless Pizza Crust AND Garlic Cheese Biscuits
·Carol at Simply...Gluten Free - Cherry Cola Ribs
·Lynn at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures - Homemade Vanilla Pudding, Mexican Chicken Lasagna, and Green Chili and Cheese Cornbread
·Elana at Elana's Pantry - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Choc-o-conut Peanut Butter Banana Boats

Welcome to my newest concoction and addiction - Choc-o-conut Peanut Butter Banana Boats. I sometimes come up with seemingly odd snack food pairings (like Caramel Apple S'mores), but they taste great and curb my cravings.

You're really going to have to trust me on this and try it. I LOVE the flavor combinations, and the tasty way to get in a serving of fruit. I love peanut butter and bananas; I love peanut butter and chocolate; I love chocolate and coconut. In essence, to me, Choc-o-conut Peanut Butter Banana Boats is a logical (and don't forget, delicious) snack food concotion!

Choc-o-conut Peanut Butter Banana Boats
·1 banana
·1-2 spoonfuls creamy peanut butter
·A few pinches of shredded sweetened coconut
·A handful of chocolate chips

Cut the banana in half lengthwise and layer with peanut butter. Top with coconut and chocolate chips and enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies

Wow; I could eat the whole tray of these Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies! I never knew peanut butter and chocolate cookies could get better; but they absolutely do when you add a warm, gooey marshmallow to the mix!

I had leftover cookie dough in the freezer from when I made Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and I'm so glad I thought to make Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies with it!  These cookies are best served warm straight out of the oven, but they are also good at room temperature.

Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies
·1 recipe Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
·6-10 regular-sized marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking mat. Prepare Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough according to recipe. Form the cookie dough around each marshmallow, shaping into a ball. Any size will work; however, the marshmallows will expand when baking. Therefore, the more cookie dough that surrounds the marshmallow, the less the marshmallow will expand outside of the cookie dough when baking.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lemon White Bean Cake with Pistachio Lemon Topping (Flourless)

O.M.G. this cake is delectable! It's light, refreshing, moist, and incredibly flavorful. This may very well be the best cake I've ever made!

After having so much success baking with black beans, I wanted to try baking with white beans. I searched the internet, but could not find any flourless white bean cake recipes. I took a chance and created my own white bean cake recipe. And, my first attempt was beyond successful!

The lemon flavor does an excellent job of masking the bean flavor. I let the cake sit overnight before frosting and serving, and there was not a single hint of bean flavor. Not only is the flavor delicious, but the texture is perfect - spongy and very moist.

Mike calls this recipe my "most amazing lemon cake!" He really thinks I'm "on to something" and insists that I should sell this recipe. And, he wants half of the profits since the lemon flavor was partly his idea! :) When Mike starts talking about making money with gluten-free recipes, I know without a doubt that this recipe is phenomenal and As Good As Gluten!

Lemon White Bean Cake with Pistachio Lemon Topping
Cake Ingredients:
·2 cups cooked white beans (I soaked ½ cup of dried Great Northern Beans overnight, cooked them the next day, and allowed them to cool completely before pureeing.)
·3 eggs, separated
·2 TBS applesauce
·1 TBS pure vanilla
·2 TBS fresh lemon juice
·Pinch of sea salt
·6 TBS butter, softened
·¾ cup sugar
·1 TBS potato starch
·1½ TBS lemon zest
·1 tsp double acting baking powder
·½ tsp baking soda
Topping Ingredients:
·1 container fat-free whipped topping, thawed
·1 TBS fresh lemon juice
·1 TBS lemon zest
·1 oz. pistachios, chopped in a food processor

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line the bottom of a 9” cake pan with a parchment paper round and grease pan with butter. In a blender, puree white beans, egg yolks, applesauce, vanilla, lemon juice, and sea salt until completely smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks begin to form. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add bean puree to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in potato starch, lemon zest, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are completely combined. Fold in egg whites by hand until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake is finished when the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then remove.

When the cake is completely cool, prepare frosting by mixing one container of thawed whipped topping with lemon juice and lemon zest. Frost cake and then top with chopped pistachios.

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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seasoned Black Beans with Cilantro Lime Rice

To continue my Mexican food obsession/addiction, I made the most amazing Seasoned Black Beans with Cilantro Lime Rice for dinner! Not surprisingly, I served with Pico and Guac. I L-O-V-E this recipe and the intense, delicious flavors!

Since I've been sharing so many Mexican-inspired recipes, I will also share a few pictures from our wonderful vacation to Riviera Maya for my best friend's wedding. We had the most amazing time!

Seasoned Black Beans with Cilantro Lime Rice
·1 cup brown rice
·Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
·A few squeezes of bottled lime juice
·2 cloves garlic, minced
·1 tsp cumin
·½ tsp cayenne pepper
·½ tsp onion powder
·1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
·Salt and pepper

Prepare rice according to package directions. When rice is done cooking, stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Heat EVOO in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne, and onion powder. Sauté for a minute, then add black beans. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until beans are heated. Serve over rice.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I may have developed an addiction to Mexican food during our Mexican vacation. When I was cooking this past weekend, I couldn't just leave it at Pico; I had to make guac too! I'm a very picky guacamole eater, but I absolutely love the flavor in this simple and delicious recipe. 

·2 avocados
·¼ red onion, chopped
·1 small tomato, chopped
·A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
·A few squeezes of bottled lime juice

Pit avocados and remove skin. Smash avocados in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients with a spoon. Enjoy!

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pico de Gallo

Even after spending the best vaca week in Mexico for my best friend's wedding, I'm still hooked on Mexican food. Mike gave me two thumbs up as he was shoving pico and chips into his face. He agrees that this pico is as good as the traditional pico we enjoyed in Mexico!

Pico de Gallo
·3 tomatoes, chopped
·½ red onion, chopped
·1 jalapeno, chopped
·1 clove garlic, minced
·A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
·A few squeezes of bottled lime juice

Prepare ingredients and combine in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients/seasonings if necessary. Enjoy!

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gluten-Free Dining in D.C.

United States Capitol
At the beginning of June, I had a business trip in Washington, D.C. Since my husband and I had never been to D.C. before, Mike came along with me and we flew in a few days early to see the sights. We both absolutely loved the area and were able to visit a lot of the sights in the short amount of time we had. However, there is definitely a lot left for us to see on another visit or two.

The White House - South Facade

We also enjoyed a lot of really, really delicious food in addition to visiting the sights and me working! I took tons of pictures of the sights, but unfortunately only took a few food pictures. It was incredibly easy for me to eat gluten-free every single place we went. A few of our favorites were:
  • Jaleo - the first critically-acclaimed tapas restaurant of renowned chef, José Andrés. Jaleo has an extensive gluten-free menu, in addition to a very knowledgeable waitstaff and chef who assured us every single tapas plate brought to our table was gluten-free. We had delicious appetizers, drinks, and main courses. But, the most delicious dish I had was dessert! Olive oil sorbet with grapefruit ice and candied grapefruit rind. I'll definitely be in my kitchen trying to recreate this amazing dessert!
  • Oyamel - this is another restaurant by chef José Andrés that features antojitos — Mexican small plates. The restaurant also has a dedicated gluten-free menu. Everything we ordered was also delicious (including tequila sorbet for dessert), but my favorite was the seared house cured pork belly taco with tomatoes, chiles, pineapple, onion, and cilantro.
  • The Liberty Tavern - we had a great dinner here with two of my relatives that live in Arlington. I loved the comfortable atmosphere, historic building, and the delicious Amish chicken I had for dinner.
  • Open City - we ate here quite a few times because of the convenient location by our hotel, great food, and vast gluten-free menu. They also serve gluten-free pizza, and Wednesday is their GF Pizza Party - half off GF pizzas! I had two gluten-free pizzas - Big Valley (pulled BBQ chicken, smoked gouda, and scallions) and Calvert Street (roasted corn, bacon, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and jalepeño cream). The crust was fantastic and the pizza toppings were delicious. I also had an amazing gluten-free dessert - Flourless Chocolate Cake layered with sweet Marscapone cheese. I managed to take a few food pictures at Open City:
Calvert Street Gluten-Free Pizza at Open City

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Marscapone at Open City
  • Red Velvet Cupcakery - a quality cupcakery with delicious cupcakes, good business morals, and vegan/gluten-free cupcake. I had the Black Velvet Cupcake - the vegan/gluten-free chocolate cupcake was delicious, light, and very moist!
Black Velvet Vegan/Gluten-Free Cupcake at Red Velvet Cupcakery

Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery

All opinions expressed in this blog post are mine. We paid for all of our meals/desserts; this is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best of As Good As Gluten Thus Far in 2011

My Best of As Good As Gluten Thus Far in 2011 list below was really, really hard for me to write. I originally planned on limiting myself to 1 recipe a month or 11 recipes (for 2011), but I just couldn't bring myself to eliminate any of my new favorite recipes (thus far in 2011, of course)! I am completely okay with this "dilemma" because before I went gluten-free, I never cooked or baked as many diverse and amazingly delicious recipes in 6 months (let's be honest, probably in my life).

Lazy Baked Greek Chicken - Mike and I (as well as a lot of friends who have tried this recipe) love it! We've made this a few times since January, and I am now realizing it's been a few months since we've had it. I need to change that quickly!

Four Cheese Lasagna - This is one of my all-time favorite recipes that I have been making since I was a teenager. Everyone loves it, and I was so happy it easily converted into a delicious gluten-free recipe. Not only does my Dad love my lasagna, but my husband claims this is my signature dish!

Flourless Double Chocolate Torte - Decadent and rich are the words that immediately come to mind when I remember this recipe. I'm a chocaholic and LOVE it (as well as many chocolate loving family and friends of mine)!

Super Nachos with Butternut Queso - The butternut queso is what really makes these nachos stand out as a top recipe. Mike and I were just talking to my family about this recipe last weekend. Mike said the butternut queso is delicious and adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out this recipe. And, it's healthier than tons of real queso sauce (and we don't even miss it)!

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes - These flavorful, citrus-y, light and refreshing cupcakes are perfect for Spring. I never knew a chocaholic like me would enjoy this recipe so much, and develop the recipe from scratch perfectly the first time!

Santa Fe Chicken (Crockpot) - Mike and I seriously have this dish at least once a month; we fight over the leftovers! We absolutely love it and have come up with a variety of ways to alter it based on ingredients we have at home, or new flavor profiles we want to try.

GF Thin Mint Cookies - This cookie recipe may be my all-time favorite recipe of the year thus far. I am so overjoyed I could recreate my favorite Girl Scout cookie into a delicious gluten-free Thin Mint Cookie. Which reminds me, I think I still have a few cookies hidden in the freezer!

Cashew Chicken - This is another meal that Mike and I have had quite a few times since I first made it in April. We absolutely love it, and I'm honored my friend Jamie also loves it!

Apple-Chicken Salad - My first introduction to chicken salad was delicious. This is my go-to chicken salad recipe that I've also made a LOT since April. My husband, Mike, "thinks" he doesn't like chicken salad. I'm going to let him keep thinking that so I can enjoy this all by myself each time I make it!

Brown Rice and Flaxseed Pizza Crust - I've made this hearty and delicious pizza crust recipe numerous times with a variety of toppings for both my large GF family and Mike and I. Each time, it keeps getting better and better!

Black Bean Brownies with Creme de Menthe Frosting - I know if you've never baked with black beans before or tried a delicious dessert baked with black beans that this sounds disgusting. But, these brownies are the BEST brownies I've ever had. And, since I'm a chocaholic that has had more than my fair share of gluten-free and regular gluten brownies, I'm a good judge!

Strawberry Glaze Pie - This is my all-time favorite recipe from my childhood. My mom would make it for us multiple times during strawberry season. I am so happy that this was easily converted to a delicious gluten-free recipe!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - I still haven't decided if I like the raw (safe to eat) cookie dough better or the baked cookies - they're both delicious! I've also made these recipes with one of my younger cousins, and this is definitely a kid-friendly recipe (for kids to help bake and eat)!

Mexican Sausage Casserole - Even though I only wrote this recipe a month ago, it is our go-to weekend breakfast recipe. We LOVE it and have made it at least 3 times since May!

GF Calzones - Even though I was traveling during most of the month of June (to D.C., to Mexico, and back home to see our family), I was able to finally perfect my GF Calzone recipe. I've been obsessed with gluten-free pizza lately, and LOVE the sweet flavor of this homemade pizza crust recipe! I've made it into delicious pizzas and calzones with a variety of different toppings.

Better than Sex GF Cake - I've made this cake once with a Devil's Food Cake and once with a
Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake. Mike claims this is the B-E-S-T cake he's ever had. Surprisingly, he thinks it's the best with the Black Bean Chocolate Cake. I couldn't agree more!

I can't wait to see what other recipes I come up with and come across during the second half of 2011!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Black Bean Chocolate Cake (Flourless)

This healthy and flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake is delectable. I topped with Better than Sex GF Cake toppings and it was heavenly! My husband even said it's the best cake he has ever had!!

Mike gave me a great compliment while he was eating this cake. He looked at me seriously and said, "I have something serious to tell you, this is quite possibly the best cake I've ever had!" Until I had a slice of this cake, I would not have believed a Black Bean Chocolate Cake with Better than Sex GF Cake toppings would top all of the gluten and gluten-free cakes my husband has ever had, but it does!

Since I've been gluten-free, the neatest cooking/baking tip I've learned is that you can bake delicious treats using beans! So far, I've made Black Bean Cupcakes, Peanut Butter & Jelly Black Bean Cupcakes, and Black Bean Brownies with Creme de Menthe Frosting - all three were As Good As Gluten and delicious! I'm truly amazed by the versatility and healthiness of black beans. There is no black bean aftertaste to any of the dessert recipe I've made with black beans!

Black Bean Chocolate Cake (Flourless)
·1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
·3 eggs, separated
·2 TBS applesauce
·1 TBS pure vanilla
·Pinch of sea salt
·6 TBS butter, softened
·¾ cup sugar
·¼ cup cocoa powder
·1 tsp double acting baking powder
·½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 9" cake pan and dust with cocoa powder. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and grease. In a blender, puree black beans, egg yolks, applesauce, vanilla, and sea salt until completely smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add bean puree to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are completely combined. Fold in egg whites by hand until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is finished when firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let the cake cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting/cake toppings and serve.

Yield: one 9" cake

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