Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sausage & Grits Casserole

This Sausage and Grits Casserole is amazing! My brother also gave it a raving review claiming it’s the best casserole he’s ever had! One bite of this creamy and decadent casserole and I’m sure you would also agree. This flavorful casserole is fairly easy to prepare, can be made in advance, reheats well, and is versatile – can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mango & Avocado Spring Salad

I’m not a huge salad fan, but lately I’m getting hooked on amazingly delicious salads. This spring salad is uber flavorful, fresh, and light – perfect for a warm, spring day. I didn’t buy any oranges at the store the week I made this salad, so I compensated with extra mango and avocado. It still tasted delicious.

The “icing on the cake” for this salad is the Homemade Vinaigrette. I just started eating salad dressing the past 4-5 years. Would you believe that I ate plain salads with no dressing until only recently? My condiment-loving husband who drenches all foods in any sauce he can find (ketchup, barbeque, salad dressing, hot sauce) has called me a rabbit for eating plain-Jane salads. J I’m still not a huge salad dressing fan, so I typically only use a teaspoon or two for my salads or order dressing on the side to barely dip my lettuce into it. This Homemade Vinaigrette is the exception – I followed my husband’s lead and drenched my salad in it! The Vinaigrette is light, slightly tangy from the apple cider vinegar and lemon, and slightly sweet from the honey. It’s amazing; seriously, it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  

Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Creamy Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pasta

This Creamy Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pasta recipe was inspired by my Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta recipe and my love for Spinach Artichoke Dip. My Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta has been my go-to pasta recipe for months. It’s quick and easy to make, super flavorful, and the possibilities are endless for what I find in my fridge/pantry to toss in.

This Chicken Spinach Artichoke variety was just as delicious as the original. I made a double batch to share with my family, and we all enjoyed it!

Creamy Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pasta
·2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·1 TBS minced garlic
·1½ TBS butter, divided
·¼ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper
·1½ cups homemade chicken stock
·2 cups water
·½ lb gluten free spaghetti noodles
·1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
·¾ cup skim milk
·1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
·1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves
·¼ cup chopped artichoke hearts

In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add butter, heat until melted. Add salt, pepper, chicken stock, and water. Raise the heat to medium-high and let it come to a boil.

Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, reduce the heat to medium and mix in the mozzarella cheese until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the milk, chicken, spinach leaves, and artichoke hearts. Stir until spinach is wilted. Serve.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Blondies (Flourless)

My husband made these Peanut Butter Blondies for us, so you know they are easy to prepare if he’s baking! These blondies are rich and very peanut buttery, which definitely helps even this sweet tooth not over-indulge. We found that they are best served warm and gooey out of the oven.

As a chocoaholic sweet tooth, I prefer brownies over blondies. What’s your favorite – blondie or brownie? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

Click here for recipe from The Detoxinista

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In My Pantry: Kinnikinnick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

When I don’t feel like baking Homemade Gluten Free Oreo Cookies, I pick up a pack of Kinnikinnick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. They taste very similar to Oreos and are delicious dunked in glass of milk!

If you’re gluten free, what gluten cookies do you miss the most? Have you found a store-bought or homemade recipe for your old favorite cookie?

Oreos were my favorite, specifically the white chocolate dipped Oreos available around Christmas. Luckily, I’ve found both store-bought and homemade recipes for gluten free Oreos. I just need to get around to dipping them in white chocolate one of these days.

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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creamy Garlic Shells with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

This is a garlic lovers pasta dish. It's creamy with amazing garlic flavor. The spinach adds a nice crunch and the cherry tomatoes add some sweetness to counteract the garlic. Yum!

Creamy Garlic Shells with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

·1 cup gluten free pasta shells (I use Tinkyada)
·1 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·1 TBS butter
·2½ tsp minced garlic
·1 TBS cornstarch
·¾ cup chicken broth
·¾ cup skim milk
·Salt and pepper
·¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
·½ tsp garlic powder
·2 tsp parsley flakes
·8oz cherry tomatoes, halved
·1 cup spinach leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Heat butter and EVOO in a small saucepan until butter melts. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Sprinkle in cornstarch and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk, whisking until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly – about 5 minutes.

Take pot off heat and stir in cheese, garlic powder, and parsley until smooth. Add cooked pasta, tomatoes, and spinach; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spicy Roasted Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese

This mac 'n cheese recipe is full of spicy flavor. It's packed full of roasted veggies and doesn't use butter, so it's healthier than other recipes.

My husband claims to dislike homemade mac 'n cheese, he prefers the blue box. I, on the other hand, love homemade mac 'n cheese. It's my mom's specialty, a childhood favorite that she still makes frequently for us. I told Mike this was a veggie alfredo recipe and he actually liked it. He never caught on that it was mac 'n cheese, despite the fact it clearly tasted like mac 'n cheese to me. His vendetta against homemade mac 'n cheese is all in his head, just don't tell him I duped him! :)

Spicy Roasted Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese
Adapted from Comfort of Cooking

·1 – 16oz bag frozen broccoli florets
·1 red pepper, diced
·1 yellow pepper, diced
·20 baby carrots, sliced thinly
·1½ cups gluten free pasta shells
·Olive oil cooking spray
·1 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·1 tsp minced garlic
·1½ TBS cornstarch
·1½ cups milk
·2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
·¾ tsp each – crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper
·Salt and pepper to taste

 Preheat the oven to 425˚. Prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking to al dente. Cover a large baking sheet with foil, coating with cooking spray. Toss prepared veggies onto the sheet, spraying the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and have begun to roast. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Add red pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir in cooked macaroni shells and roasted vegetables. Serve.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Horseradish Mashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie

The secret to this dish is horseradish sauce. It adds an amazing, spicy flavor the the mashed potato layer that pulls the entire dish together.

I've officially discovered horseradish sauce with this new recipe. Its spicy flavor is amazing. I don't know why it's taken me this long to discover it. I need more horseradish recipes in my recipe book; what are your favorite horseradish recipes?

Horseradish Mashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Rachael Ray

·5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
·Salt and pepper
·½ cup skim milk
·2 TBS horseradish sauce
·2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·5 carrots, peeled and chopped
·1 onion, chopped
·1 bay leaf
·1 lb lean ground beef
·1 TBS cornstarch
·2 TBS butter
·2 TBS chives

Place potatoes into a large pot of water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, then mash with milk until smooth. Stir in horseradish and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO. Add the carrots, onion, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 8-10 minutes.

Crumble the beef into the pan and cook, stirring often. Sprinkle in cornstarch and add butter. Cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper: discard the bay leaf.

Preheat the oven to 450˚. Grease a shallow, medium casserole dish. Add the meat mixture and top with the horseradish potatoes. Bake until golden, 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle the chives on top.