Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Skinny Queso Dip


This Skinny Queso Dip is zesty and creamy. It tastes delicious, so you won't be able to tell that it's "skinny."

I made two modifications to this recipe. I used pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar, for a zestier flavor. I also didn't have access to poblano peppers, so I omitted.

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Double Chocolate Reese's Cake

I celebrated my birthday last month and had a great month of celebrating. The festivities included two delicious gluten free cakes. The first cake was a phenomenal Thin Mint gluten free cake made by my mom. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. But, I'm still dreaming of the fudge frosting on top of a perfectly cooked and flavored vanilla cake with crème de menthe.

The second cake was a decadent Double Chocolate Reese’s gluten free cake my husband (who hates baking) made. He’s made me a few cakes throughout the years for my birthday, but this one topped the cake (pun intended). J Just take a look…

While I don't have a recipe to share, I just had to share photos of this decadent cake with you. All I know about making this cake is that it took him 4 hours to prepare, is full of butter, and is made with a gluten free chocolate boxed cake mix, gluten free chocolate buttercream icing, mini Reese’s cups, and my favorite Reese’s – Reese’s Eggs. It tastes even better than it looks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oatmeal Breakfast Cupcakes


These Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes are perfect for breakfast – at home or on-the-go.  A little bit of easy work in the kitchen to prepare these breakfast cupcakes on the weekend will result in a few weeks of breakfast ready for you and your family.

There are so many things I love about this breakfast recipe. Not only are they almost effortless to prepare, but the flavor possibilities are endless and they taste delicious. I made Banana-Walnut-Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal Cupcakes and “frosted” them with peanut butter. I ate for breakfast every day for two weeks with a glass of skim milk, which energized me for the day. It’s rare that I don’t need a mid-morning snack, but these Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes fueled me until lunch time.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast food?


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Baked Lasagna Boats with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes


Baked Lasagna Boats are easier than preparing lasagna and taste amazing. A crisp gluten free baguette is filled with the meaty sauce and cheesy layers typically found in lasagna. YUM!

I made this recipe with Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes, which crisp up in the oven. They have good flavor and texture of a real baguette.

Baked Lasagna BoatsAdapted from Taste of Home, 2014

·1 gluten free baguette
·1 lb lean ground beef
·1 TBS garlic powder
·1 TBS Italian seasoning
·Salt and pepper
·1 cup homemade marinara sauce (see below)
·1 cup small curd cottage cheese
·½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
·¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated
·¾ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut baguette half lengthwise in the center to within 1-inch of the bottom. Pull baguette sides apart to make a bread boat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat; season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, breaking up until no longer pink. Drain grease. Stir in marinara sauce.

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and half of mozzarella cheese.

Spoon meat sauce into baguette; top with cheese mixture. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer.

Homemade Marinara Sauce (Crockpot)

After making this Homemade Marinara Sauce, I am never, ever going back to jarred marinara sauce. Homemade Marinara is healthier than jarred. It's slightly sweet and tastes delicious. It's rather effortless to make, since the crockpot does most of the work, and it freezes well.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scallops and Grits


A few Lenten Friday nights ago, my husband and I had a cooking date night. We went to the store to get fresh seafood (scallops for me, shrimp for him) and came home to prepare it our favorite ways. I made a pot of grits to go along with both of our dishes, and also snagged a piece of Mike's shrimp to top my plate of Scallops and Grits.

The scallops were seasoned and cooked perfectly. Don't cook for too long, or you may overcook the scallops and they'll be chewy. The grits were phenomenal - creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor.

Scallops and Grits

·1 cup water
·3/4 cup grits
·6 oz. chive and onion cream cheese
·Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
·1 lb scallops
·Half of a lemon
·Salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste

For the grits, combine water and grits in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until creamy. Remove from heat, stir in cream cheese until melted. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

For the scallops, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add scallops, season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and squeeze juice from half a lemon over the scallops. Serve over a large spoonful of grits.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

I was recently asked what food I miss the most since becoming gluten free over 4 years ago. It took me awhile to answer because I have found so many delicious gluten free products and recipes. I no longer feel like the gluten free foods I eat are replacements for my old, favorite gluten foods. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice because I've found great food that tastes As Good As Gluten and doesn't make me sick.
As I was thinking of what food I could possibly miss, I went through my mental checklist to see if I had a gluten free option. Pasta, check. Bread/buns, check. Cakes/cupcakes, check. I could go on and on listing foods and most of them were check, check, check. Then I thought about donuts, and there was my answer. I miss donuts.
I've tried frozen store-bought gluten-free donuts and they are just okay. The texture is dry and the flavor left a lot to be desired. I've tried gluten-free donuts when I've found them traveling to other cities, but they are few and far between to come by. I've been craving donuts since thinking about them and my mental gluten free checklist a few weeks ago.
Last Sunday, I finally got around to making a recipe I pinned two years ago. The recipe looked amazing and had my mouthwatering when I pinned it, but I put off making them because baking homemade donuts seemed too complex and time-consuming. I should have known better. This recipe is one of Jeanine's recipes. She's an amazing gluten free blogger. Her recipes aren't complex, and I know they will always turn out perfectly. These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts are no exception. In full disclosure, however, this recipe comes with warnings:
  1. They magically disappear. Make a double triple batch.
  2. You will be tortured starring at the donuts waiting for them to cool. Don't worry, it'll be over soon.
  3. It's a dangerous recipe to have since they're relatively easy and quick to prepare.
  4. Eating one two of these donuts may invoke feelings of gluttony.
  5. After one bite, you may rejoice in song or dance.


These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts taste As Good As Gluten. If you've forgotten what that's like, they taste just like a cake donut. The donut is sweet with a perfectly dense and cakey texture. Don't be afraid by my description of dense. It's dense AND cakey. Dense is a bad word in the gluten free baking world, since it usually means that it feels like a brick in your stomach. No brick-like dense trauma with these donuts. It's cakey-dense that's slightly moist and spongey. The chocolate glaze is the icing on the cake donut, pun intended. It pulls everything together into a mouth-watering, chocolatey, sweet, delicious, amazing donut.

I'm over the moon with how perfect these deliciously gluten free chocolate donuts turned out. I can't wait to try even more flavor varieties. Donuts, welcome back to my life!!

Click here for the recipe from The Baking Beauties

Note: I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of the flours and starches Jeanine outlined in her recipe. It's a homemade blend I helped my mom perfect. We've tried it in so many recipes and it's perfect. One day we'll be ready to share the recipe with the world. But for now, follow Jeanine's recipe or use your own blend of all-purpose gluten-free flour.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

Spring has finally arrived…YAYAYA!!! This Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry dish is a light and fresh meal perfect for a busy weeknight. Lightly coated chicken is paired with crisp asparagus and tangy lemon. We used gluten free soy sauce and served with brown rice.

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Red Thai Curry

I'm obsessed with the local Thai restaurants in my area. I finally tried spicy green and red Thai curry dishes earlier this year, and I'm hooked. I decided I had to learn how to make it at home so I can enjoy it more often.
This dish is less spicy than what I order in the restaurants, so let me know if you have any tips on how I could make it spicier. Nonetheless, this Red Thai Curry dish is a healthy and naturally gluten-free meal that comes together in just 30 minutes.
Red Thai Curry
·2 TBS coconut oil
·1 onion, chopped
·2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp ginger
·3 TBS Thai red curry paste
·1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
·1 tsp gluten free soy sauce
·1 can light coconut milk
·1 medium eggplant, diced
·4-5 mini bell peppers, chopped (red, orange, or yellow)
·1 small head of broccoli, chopped into florets
·Handful of fresh spinach
·1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
·Cooked brown rice to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. When the coconut oil is warm, saute the onions until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, and broccoli and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, fish sauce, and gluten free soy sauce. Cook for 3 more minutes then pour in the coconut milk; stir in the spinach and cooked chicken. Cover and simmer under low heat until vegetables have cooked until tender. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta


Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta is easy to prepare, comes together quickly, and tastes incredibly flavorful. I love the base pasta recipe for this dish, Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe, which I've made into quite a few different flavor varieties over the years.
This time, I added chickpeas for more protein. The chickpeas surprisingly pulled together the flavors in this dish together well by adding depth and texture. I also started using cottage cheese instead of Parmesan and adding no cream or milk. I found the dish to be creamy enough without additional cream. One time I didn't have any cheese, only cottage cheese, in the fridge. It worked great and I think it's healthier than regular cheese.

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta
Inspired by my favorite Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe

·2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·1 TBS minced garlic
·5-10 mushrooms, sliced
·3 TBS butter, divided
·¼ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper
·1½ cups homemade chicken stock
·2 cups water
·½ lb gluten free spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada)
·1 cup cooked chickpeas
·1 cup fresh spinach
·½ cup cottage cheese
·Up to ¼ cup skim milk, if needed
·2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add 2 TBS 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. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in 1 TBS of melted butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove from heat and mix in the cottage cheese until melted. If pasta needs more liquid, add up to ¼ cup skim milk. Stir in the spinach, mushrooms, chickpeas, and parsley. Stir until spinach is wilted.