Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Milanese Casserole

This casserole does take some time to prepare to wash and chop so many fresh veggies, but it's worth it. It's a very hearty and delicious vegetarian casserole! I recommend switching up the vegetables depending on what you have on hand and what your family prefers.

When I told Mike I was making this vegetarian casserole for dinner, he was skeptical. As we were eating Milanese Casserole at the dinner table, he told me that he was anxious about it all day and wasn't looking forward to dinner. But once he tried it, he said it was pretty incredible for a vegetarian meal! I can't convince him to eat meatless meals too often, so this recipe is a winner!

Milanese Casserole
Polenta Ingredients:
·6 cups water
·2 cups yellow cornmeal
·3 TBS butter
·Salt and pepper
·2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Casserole Ingredients:
·4 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·4 cloves garlic, minced
·2 onions, chopped
·3 celery ribs, diced
·½ cup mix of oregano, basil, and parsley; loosely packed then chopped
·Salt and pepper
·1 eggplant, diced (soak in salt water for 15 minutes before sautéing, drain)·1 zucchini, diced
·1 green bell pepper, diced
·2 tomatoes, diced
·3 TBS tomato paste
·½ cup red wine
·½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Polenta: Bring water to a boil and gradually add cornmeal, stirring rapidly. While stirring, add butter and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. When the polenta has thickened, stir in Parmesan cheese. Spread polenta in a greased 13x9 casserole dish.

Casserole: Preheat oven to 350˚. In a large Dutch oven, sauté garlic and onion in EVOO until translucent. Add celery, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add eggplant and sauté for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and bell pepper, cooking until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Spoon casserole filling evenly over Polenta and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.

Yield: 8 servings

This recipe is adapted from Feast Magazine's Feb. 2011 Caserola Milanese recipe.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lemon Puppy Chow

This recipe is a refreshing dessert for summer; it's lighter than the original peanut butter and chocolate Puppy Chow. Mike absolutely devoured this and is begging me to make it again (he's a huge lemon fan)! I thought it was really good as well; however, as a chocaholic and a peanut butter lover, I still prefer traditional Puppy Chow.

Lemon Puppy Chow
·2 cups Rice Chex cereal
·¼ cup white vanilla baking chips
·1 TBS butter
·1 tsp grated lemon peel
·½ TBS fresh lemon juice
·½ cup powdered sugar

Measure cereal into a large bowl and set aside. In a microwavable bowl, microwave vanilla baking chips, butter, lemon peel, and juice on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave about 30 seconds longer (or until mixture can be stirred smooth).

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Add powdered sugar and stir until well coated. Allow mixture to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Recipe slightly modified from Chex®

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Pantry - Thai Kitchen's Thai Curry Instant Rice Noodle Soup

I've had this individual packet of Thai Curry Instant Rice Noodle Soup in my pantry for awhile, waiting for the day when I needed a quick meal solution. As the package said, the noodles really did cook in about 3 minutes. I thought the texture and flavor might be reminiscent of Ramen noodles, but the flavor and texture was terrific! I mixed in shredded chicken, sweet bell pepper, and green onion for a delicious, well-rounded meal.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grandma's Peach Cobbler

This is my grandma's peach cobbler recipe, which was easily adapted to be gluten free. It's simply amazing with bite after bite proving to be pure ooey, gooey deliciousness! This recipe is, without a doubt, the best Peach Cobbler I've ever had!

Before baking, I sprinkled cinnamon over the top which added a nice touch of flavor. This peach cobbler isn't only As Good As Gluten, it's As Good As Grandma's! 

I fed Mike a bite while he was cooking dinner, here's his remarks. "MMMMM! I'll pound that." (Insert Mike giving me a fist pound here.) "That's f*$%ing delicious!" He later mentioned that this would be a recipe I'd pass onto our grandkids someday, which made me smile knowing this recipe was passed down from my grandma to my mom to me!

Peach Cobbler
Cobbler Ingredients:
·7-8 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
·¾ cup sugar
Topping Ingredients:
·¾ cup sugar
·¾ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
·1 egg
·1 stick butter
·1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl, combine peaches and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients. Lightly grease a 9x9 pan. Layer peaches in the bottom of the pan and top with crust topping. Bake 400˚ in a metal pan or 375˚ in a glass pan for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Note: I made separate, smaller dishes so the Peach Cobbler in my picture isn't in a 9x9 dish. However, the baking time remained the same when using smaller baking dishes.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving, Seasonal Sunday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesday

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ratatouille Zucchini Pasta

When I was creating this recipe, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I'm happy to say that it is delicious! Even my meat-loving husband said this vegetarian dish is "surprisingly, not so bad." I, on the other hand, absolutely loved it!

I made my zucchini "noodles" by removing the skin from a large zucchini, and then using a potato peeler to essentially peel the zucchini into large noodles. Since I was creating this recipe as I cooked in the kitchen, I used my best guess for the liquid measurements. You want enough liquid to gently coat the zucchini pasta in sauce, but not turn the dish into soup-like consistency. If you accidentally add too much liquid, you can strain some out or soak it up with gluten-free garlic bread.

Ratatouille Zucchini Pasta
·1 large zucchini, peeled
·1 small eggplant, diced
·2 tomatoes, diced
·1 onion, chopped
·3 cloves of garlic, chopped
·Handful of fresh oregano, chopped
·Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
·3 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·2 TBS dry sherry
·1 TBS lemon juice
·Salt and pepper
·½ cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Using a potato peeler, peel zucchini into “noodles” until you get to the core with the seeds. Set zucchini noodles aside.

In a large skillet, add EVOO, sherry, and lemon juice. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add half of the diced tomatoes, smashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to release the flavor into the sauce. Stir in chopped spices, eggplant, the remainder of the diced tomatoes, and zucchini noodles. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently until zucchini pasta is well combined. If necessary, slowly add more sherry or lemon juice if more sauce is needed.

Remove from heat, and stir in shredded cheese.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Seasonal Sunday

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Pantry - Kellogg's Gluten-Free Rice Krispies

A few months ago I heard that Kellogg's was coming out with a Gluten-Free version of Rice Krispies Cereal. I was excited because I've tried other brands of gluten-free rice crisp cereal and none of them tasted like Rice Krispies. When I finally saw this box of gluten-free Rice Krispies on the shelf a few weeks ago, I immediately bought a box to try.

Like a kid, I was excited that the gluten-free version still snaps, crackles, and pops! The flavor and texture are great and very, very similar to how I remember the regular version tasting. I think the gluten-free Rice Krispies taste a little more wholesome, which is likely due to using whole grain brown rice only. I'll definitely be buying this again, because it's As Good As Gluten!

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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Gluten-Free Quick Bread

The flavor in this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread is amazing! It tastes just like zucchini bread should taste with a hint of cinnamon and delicious chocolate chips. The texture is moist and As Good As Gluten. 

You may remember back in May I found the best Gluten-Free Quick Bread Base Recipe from Brittany at Real Sustenance. I've been wanting to try other flavor varieties, but haven't found the time since May. Last week, I bought a HUGE home-grown zucchini for 50 cents from a local stand. When my husband recommended I make zucchini bread, I knew this was the recipe I was going to use. It turned out perfectly, and I love that I can make any quick bread variety with one simple recipe!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Gluten-Free Quick Bread
Recipe from: Real Sustenance

·2 cups GF all-purpose flour
·1 tsp xanthan gum
·1 tsp baking powder
·1 tsp baking soda
·½ tsp salt
·¾ cup granulated sugar
·1 tsp cinnamon
·⅓ cup melted butter
·¾ cup milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
·1¼ cup grated zucchini
·¼ - ½ cup chocolate chips 

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

Prepare grated zucchini. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Mix well; the batter should be fairly thick. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

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: Seasonal Sunday

Friday, August 12, 2011

Eggplant Pizza

O.M.G.!!! This is honestly the BEST pizza, meal, recipe ever! That is no exaggeration; my family is hooked on this dish. The eggplant "pizza crust" is slightly crispy from the breading but still retains the great eggplant texture. And, the pizza toppings on top are delicious and pair surprisingly well with eggplant!

I first tried this recipe about a month ago when I was home visiting my parents. My mom got the idea for this recipe from a lady at her farmer's market. I love eggplant, so I knew I was going to love her recipe before I even tried it. My picky husband was skeptical, but he gave it a try. The three of us could have eaten the entire eggplant in one sitting! We almost did, except we politely forced ourselves to stop and save some for the rest of the family.

When my mom was visiting us over the past week, we made Eggplant Pizza twice. We really, really love this delectable meal! We enjoyed eating this outside on our deck with some locally grown watermelon. On a side note, can you believe my husband tried watermelon for the first time this past weekend? He thought he didn't like watermelon, so he never tried it before. He's now hooked to watermelon too!

The recipe below doesn't have a lot of measurements, but I think that's the joy of finding recipe ideas at a farmer's market and recreating it at home. Plus, I really don't think you can mess this up as long as you season and top to your preferences.

Eggplant Pizza
·1 medium eggplant
·Bowl of water, salted
·2 slices of gluten-free bread, chopped into crumbs
·Onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
·1 egg, beaten
·EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·Pizza toppings - pizza sauce, cheese, spices, and toppings of choice

Wash eggplant and slice into 1-inch thick slices. Place eggplant in a bowl of salted water, and soak for 20 minutes. Drain eggplant and soak up extra water with a towel.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine bread crumbs and seasonings in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, lightly beat an egg. Coat eggplant slices by dipping them into the beaten egg and then into the bread crumb mixture.

In two large skillets, heat a tablespoon of EVOO in each skillet. Lightly brown/pan fry breaded eggplant slices on each side.

Place browned eggplant on a baking sheet and top with the pizza toppings of your choice. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip

I love this delicious appetizer! It's as healthy as it can get while maintaining the delicious flavor in tact. This dip is so excellent that Mike and I can't share a bowl together. We honestly have to scoop ourselves separate bowls to ensure we each get our "fair share" of dip!

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip
·1 - 8oz. package Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
·½ cup peppercorn ranch fat-free dressing
·⅓ cup cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot Sauce)
·1½ cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
·1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
·4 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Beat in ranch dressing and cayenne pepper sauce until well blended. Stir in cooked chicken and cheese.

Spread in an ungreased 8x8 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until warm and bubbly. Stir and top with green onions. Serve with tortilla chips, gluten-free crackers, or vegetables.

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

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fresh Peach Crisp

YUM!! This Fresh Peach Crisp recipe is simple to put together and oh, so delicious!

I needed to bring a dessert to a get-together tonight and decided to make Fresh Peach Crisp. Mike's always hestitant when I try something new to serve other people (even if it's an old recipe of mine I'm converting to gluten-free). This Fresh Peach Crisp smelled amazing as it was baking in the oven. But, we of course had to sample it before leaving the house with it. Here's a glimpse into our sampling:

Lauren: "How is it?"
Mike: "We need to go buy more peaches now!"
(Silence) We each dig into the plate pictured above with our spoons to get our fair share. I'm literally licking the plate as I walk into the kitchen and find Mike with a spoon in the baking dish and a mouth full of more peach crisp! We're lucky I decided to make two separate dishes, one for us and one to share!

Fresh Peach Crisp

·6 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
·1 tsp lemon juice
·¼ cup sugar
·2 TBS GF all-purpose flour
Topping Ingredients:
·3 TBS butter
·⅓ cup GF all-purpose flour
·4 TBS sugar
·1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400˚. Toss sliced peaches with lemon juice, sugar, and flour. Place into a buttered baking dish.

To prepare the topping, cut butter into flour, sugar, and cinnamon until mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle topping over peaches and bake for 30 minutes.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Mojitos

This spin on a traditional mojito is perfect for summer weather. I love this light and refreshing mint-flavored drink. The cranberry juice adds some sweet and tart flavor notes that makes for a very thirst quinching drink!

Red Mojitos
·1 TBS sugar
·Handful of fresh spearmint leaves
·1 or 2 squeezes of bottled lime juice
·2 oz. light rum
·3 oz. cranberry juice
·2 oz. tonic

Muddle sugar, mint, and lime juice in a highball glass. Fill with ice and add rum, cranberry juice, and tonic. Stir and enjoy!

This recipe is slightly modified from the August 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray