At our house, when it is your birthday, you get to choose what we have for breakfast, dinner, and dessert. It is your special day. Our oldest child turns 8 years old on Sunday (how she grew so fast I don’t know), so I asked her what she wanted for her birthday meals. Breakfast was banana-blueberry pancakes and bacon. Dinner was smoked salmon (with an alternative of hot dogs for those who don’t like smoked salmon) and lays chips. So far so good, this is all easily manageable. Then we got to dessert. Her request was baked oatmeal with toffee sauce. The kind that goes on the Christmas Crack candy. “Umm. You’re sure that’s what you want, hon? You don’t want cake, or ice cream, or cookies?” Nope, this was what she wanted. Continue reading
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy kale, you have GOT to try this spicy, Indian-inspired kale recipe!
**This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure statement at bottom.**
If you’ve read my post on How to Have a Fit Pregnancy you know that I’m trying to eat healthier and especially that kale is a big deal while pregnant (dark leafy greens are packed with pregnancy-friendly nutrients). The thing is, this baby in me LOVES spicy food. I could eat spicy food at every single meal of the day, and routinely do. I have also found that I feel my best when I get veggies in at breakfast, so this spicy kale is the best breakfast dish ever for me. Combine it with some roasted yams for a quick-energy carb and some scrambled eggs to add in protein and you’ve got a completely balanced meal.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup diced apple (about 1/2 a medium apple)
- 1/4 teaspoon garam Masala
- 1/4 teaspoon mirchi (Indian chili powder)*
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, divided**
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pull kale leaves off of thick spine.
- Rinse kale leaves and dry in towels. Give these a good squeeze as you are drying them. Not only will it help get out the excess water, it will tenderize the kale a bit.
- Tear kale into bite-sized pieces.
- Melt coconut oil in a large Sauté pan (be sure you have a lid, or something you can cover it with to work as a lid).
- Sauté kale in coconut oil for a 2-3 minutes until it is slightly wilted. Use tongs to toss it around as it sautés so the kale gets coated with the coconut oil.***
- Turn heat down to medium.
- Add green onions (white parts only), ginger, and garlic, and sauté for another minute or so, until it is fragrant.
- Add diced apples to pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Sprinkle garam masala and mirchi (chili powder) over pan and stir well, sautéing for about one minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice and stir until liquid mostly evaporates. About 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Toss raisins in the pan and stir to combine.
- Pour chicken broth over kale, cover with lid, and let kale simmer/steam for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it to ensure you don't burn it (I plead the fifth on this one, lol).
- Return heat to medium-high. Remove lid, add remaining tablespoon of pomegranate juice and green parts of green onions. Stir frequently and cook until all liquid is absorbed. About 4-5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add salt.
- Makes four 1/2 cup servings
*Mirchi is an Indian chili powder. It is not quite the same thing as the standard chili powder you see in America. I found it at my Asian grocery store, and you can also find it here on Amazon. If you absolutely can’t get your hands on it, my research shows that the closest substitute would be half cayenne pepper and half paprika. I haven’t tried it myself, but the bulk of the sites I found said this was the closest substitute. Seriously, though, just get some mirchi. You can use it in a bunch of stuff and it has a great kick.
**Don’t get pomegranate ‘drinks’ pr ‘juice blends’ for this. You want 100% pomegranate juice. I was trying to research to see what vinegar is most commonly used in Indian cooking. What I found is that vinegar is not what is typically used to provide the acid/tangy component of recipes. Pomegranate juice is usually used instead of the vinegar that other cultures utilize.
***Keep the oil in this recipe, even if you are trying to watch what you eat. Kale is a good source of vitamin K, and vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. This means that without some fat for cooking or dressing, your body can’t make good use of this vital nutrient that kale provides. If you’d like to learn more, check out The Veggie Book- How to Pick, Prepare, and Plate. It is a great resource for finding out the tastiest, healthiest ways to prepare veggies of all sorts.
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It’s that time of year to be picking out gifts. I know it’s getting awfully close to the deadline for Christmas, but there is still time to either a) order from Amazon and get it before Christmas or b) head down to your local stores and pick things up. If you’re looking for gluten-free gifts for someone in your life, whether they are Celiac, or intolerant, here are the top 5 BEST gifts you can get them.
**This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure statement at bottom.**
- One of my new favorite cookbooks is Gluten-Free Wishlist by Jeanne Sauvage. This is an AWESOME cookbook packed with all of those things that you likely miss from pre gluten-free days like sourdough bread, beignets, calzones, and baklava. Jeanne recognizes that we shouldn’t have to live without our favorites or settle for second best simply because we need to eat gluten-free, so she has put together a book full of high quality recipes that are guaranteed to please. We have personally tried the fried doughnuts, calzones, deep-dish pizza, and churros and every last one of them was a resounding win, even amongst those who don’t need to be GF in the house! Buy this for the person who misses the trips to Krispy Kreme or the pizza shop down the street.
- While you’re browsing Jeanne’s cookbooks, check out her book Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays. This is book is page after page of classic holiday dishes like panettone, stollen, rugelach, cannoli, and even king cake! Her cinnamon roll recipe is even what I am using to try to make gluten-free elephant ears (those of you from the Northwest will know what those are). If there is a childhood holiday favorite that you miss, there is a good chance this book will have it. I got to meet Jeanne in person a few months ago and we discussed why she wrote this book. Her reasoning was very similar to what I talked about in Thanksgiving Dinner, It IS About the Food. There are emotional connections to the foods we grew up with, especially those tied to holidays. These are connections to our past and to family members who have come before us. Jeanne wants to make sure we can all keep up our traditions while maintaining our gluten-free diet. Get it for anyone who wants to reconnect with their pre-GF traditions.
- Calling all bread bakers! The perfect gluten-free gift for the bread baker in your life is the cookbook Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. When you bake the bread from this book it smells like REGULAR BREAD! The best part about the book is that you make the dough ahead of time and it can sit in the fridge for a week or more (depending on the recipe) and then with 5 minutes or less you can use that to get FRESH bread into the oven! So, let’s say you want fresh baked rolls each night at dinner, you make a big batch of the dough on Saturday or Sunday when you have extra time and then you can quickly get rolls ready to go into the oven that can bake while your meal cooks. The Challah is now our go-to for holiday meals and I even successfully made the soft pretzels on my own (I am NOT a bread baker)! The cookbook even includes ‘fancier’ options like baguettes, braided/stuffed breads, and gourmet flatbreads. This is a must-have for the artisan baker in your life!
- Baking all of these treats and gluten-free gifts for others is going to be immeasurably easier with a sturdy stand mixer like the KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer. Gluten-free batters and doughs are heavier than non-GF ones, so they can easily burn out the motor on hand-mixers (don’t ask how I know that). To make life easiest and achieve the most consistently successful results, a stand mixer is key. The best feature about KitchenAid mixers is that they last just about forever. I have known of people who have inherited mixers from their grandmothers that are still going strong! This is probably the best gift possible for someone new to gluten-free living. If they don’t have one they will need one and if they do have one it needs to be replaced to prevent cross-contamination.
- Without a doubt, Better Batter flour is THE best GF all purpose flour on the market. No question about it. It is the flour I used in my Gluten-Free Ham and Cheese Pinwheels that have been such a big hit. This is a ‘cup for cup’ product that you can substitute for ‘regular’ flour into almost any recipe (I have turned many non-GF recipes gluten-free by using this flour). Not only is their product FABULOUS, but so is their company. They use part of their company profits to donate to worthy causes like clean water initiatives and Autism advocacy. They also offer ‘financial assistance’ in the form of reduced prices to people who a) have a child with an Autism diagnosis, b) have financial difficulties enough to qualify for food aid (food stamps, WIC, etc.), c) are full-time college students, or d) are experiencing sudden and extreme financial problems. A gift certificate to Better Batter would be fantastic for anyone from the newly diagnosed to the serious and experienced baker. Alternatively, you could order the flour itself as a gift through either the Better Batter site or Amazon.com. Yes, there are other ‘all purpose’ GF flour blends on the market, but they just don’t compare. They make food that is edible, but Better Batter flour makes food that is DELICIOUS! Which would you rather your food be?
Even once Christmas passes, there are plenty of other times to be shopping for gifts. All of these would work equally well for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, and even a ‘welcome to the GF world’! So, even if your Christmas shopping is done, tuck this post away on Pinterest or print it off and keep it in your wallet so you know exactly what to get when the next occasion arises.
Disclosure Statement: Fearful to Fearless is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Gluten-free eggnog is a treasured commodity around these parts. Not only have we found gluten-free Eggnog, we’ve even found a lactose-free version! We have used it in everything from milkshakes to fudge to caramel. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for Eggnog Eclair Cake from Six Sisters’ Stuff. Having had success with their recipes in the past, I wanted to give it a try.
The original recipe called for graham crackers and vanilla instant pudding, both of which would need to be tweaked a bit to make the recipe gluten-free and lactose-free. Since I’m working on being fearless, I decided to jump in and modify the recipe to fit our needs as a family.
Step one, figuring out the graham crackers. No problem. The Kinnickinnick gluten-free graham crackers are perfect for this dish (with a few minor notes that we’ll talk about later).
Next I needed to figure out the pudding. Not only is lactose-free pudding mix a bit trickier to find, I don’t particularly care for it. I just don’t like the taste, though I LOVE pudding. That means I make pudding from scratch. Since it was vanilla pudding mix in the recipe, I did a quick Pinterest search for vanilla pudding recipes. I found this recipe and with a few small tweaks was able to turn it into the eggnog pudding needed in the Six Sisters’ Stuff cake.
Another hurdle was the Cool Whip. While I know it is gluten-free, I’m a little unclear on whether or not it is lactose-free. Either way, I also don’t care for the taste of it. You may have figured out that I’m a little particular about dessert ingredients. Anything ‘artificial’ tasting feels like a waste to me. If I’m going to use calories on dessert, I want them to be worth the while! I can’t quite remember where we learned it, but you can make ‘whipped cream’ out of sour cream. So, that’s what I used in place of the Cool Whip in my cake. You can see here that you just whip it up with your mixer (handheld or stand) with some powdered sugar until it reaches stiff peaks. We use Green Valley Organics Lactose-free Sour Cream.
Phew! That’s all the modifications needed to make the Eggnog Eclair Cake gluten-free and lactose-free. Here are just a few more tips to make your life easier while you make the cake.
Tip #1: Should you happen to leave your eggnog pudding in the fridge to long and it sets up REALLY well, it will be hard to fold in the whipped cream. It’s going to start to look like you will have a lumpy mess instead of the smooth filling you want. Have no fear (because, hello, we’re being fearless). There is a fix. Use your electric mixer with the whisk attachment and whip them up together until they are fully mixed and creamy. Don’t ask how I know this.
Tip #2: Drop the filling onto the graham crackers by small spoonfuls (like you see in the picture below) rather than a few large globs. It will make spreading the filling much easier and keep the graham crackers from shifting wildly. Again, don’t ask how I know this.
Tip #3: Spreading the frosting for the top layer is going to go much like the filling did. The difference is, there is a way to make it even easier here. In the original recipe they suggest microwaving it for 30 seconds to soften the frosting, but I took it a step further. Microwave the tub of frosting for 30 seconds (remove the lid and the foil first), stir it, then microwave it again for 15 seconds. The frosting will basically be liquid at this point. Pour it over the top layer of graham crackers and then gently even it out.
- 3 boxes Kinnikinnick graham crackers
- 1 batch eggnog pudding
- 1 batch whipped cream
- 1 can of chocolate frosting
- 2 cups Lactaid eggnog
- 1 cup lactose-free whole milk, divided
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces lactose-free sour cream
- 3 ounces powdered sugar
- Start by making your pudding. Combine the eggnog, 2/3 cup of the milk, and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves.
- Mix remaining 1/3 cup of milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until they are fully combined.
- Bring eggnog mixture to a boil.
- Once eggnog mixture is boiling, add cornstarch mixture and begin to whisk. Whisk continuously over heat until the pudding thickens. You'll know it is ready when it no longer 'drips' off of the whisk.
- Remove pudding from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
- Pour pudding into a bowl and cover with a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of pudding. Set it aside to cool.
- While pudding is cooling and setting up, make the whipped cream. Begin by mixing the sour cream on high speed with the whisk attachment.
- Once the sour cream has started to 'fluff', stop mixer and add powdered sugar. SLOWLY turn mixer back on and build speed back up to high. Mix until stiff peaks form.
- Once pudding has fully cooled, fold in the whipped cream.
- Grease a 9x13 pan (cooking spray, oil, butter, whichever you prefer)
- Cover the bottom of the pan with graham crackers. When using the GF graham crackers, it will not perfectly fit in the way regular ones do. Whatever you do, don't break them down in to quarters to try to fill in the side. It will become a pain when spreading the filling.
- Spread half the pudding mixture on the crackers.
- Add a new layer of graham crackers on top of the eggnog pudding filling, then spread the other half of the pudding mixture on top of that.
- Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Microwave can of frosting for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for another 15 seconds.
- Pour melted frosting over the top layer of graham crackers, trying your best to cover the whole thing.
- Use a clean spatula to even out the frosting.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours. For best results, refrigerate for a full day.
I don’t know about you, but I love deviled eggs.
I really, REALLY love them.
I’ve tried some great deviled eggs in my time, but I’ve also tried some very bland, boring deviled eggs. You know the kind, where the filling is basically just eggs yolks, mayo, and maybe a hint of mustard. If, like me, that’s not your cup of tea, you MUST try this recipe for Kicked Up Deviled Eggs! I thought they were pretty good, then I tok them to a potluck last weekend and they were a HUGE hit. One lady asked for the recipe. I sent her what I had scribbled down, but now you folks can have the completed recipe. Enjoy them at your next potluck, holiday meal, or random Tuesday night dinner.
- 12 eggs
- 2 T butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup plus 1T mayonnaise
- 2 T yellow mustard
- 1/4 t liquid smoke
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/4 t chili powder
- 1/8 t turmeric
- 3/4 t dried oregano
- 3/4 t dried basil
- 1/2 t dried parsley
- 1/2 t paprika
- Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
- When the water is boiling, add the eggs and set timer for exactly 13 minutes. I know this is
- contrary to what many have been taught about boiling eggs, but this is a FANTASTIC kitchen
- science trick for making eggs that peel easily without being destroyed.
- When the time is done pour out the hot water and fill the pot with cold water and ice. When
- eggs are cool, remove them from the water and peel.
- Slice eggs in half, lengthwise. Put the yolks in a bowl and place the whites on your serving
- platter/plate. Set the whites aside.
- Mash egg yolks with a fork until there are no large pieces left.
- Add melted butter or margarine, mayonnaise, mustard, and liquid smoke to egg yolks and stir to
- Add spices and herbs to egg yolk mixture and stir to combine. Taste to make sure no added
- salt is needed. I’m a salt junkie and I find that between the mustard and liquid smoke these
- don’t need anything extra.
- Add the finished egg yolk mixture to a piping bag or ziplock baggie. Cut the tip off and ‘pipe’ the
- filling into the egg whites. You will likely have a bit of extra filling. Think of that as a bonus
- reward for your efforts!
I’ve started watching The Chew during nap time. It’s relaxing because I don’t have to ‘think’ hard to follow a story line and I’ve been getting some good inspiration for new dishes. In the true fashion of this blog I’ve decided to *somewhat* fearlessly attempt to make a few of their gluten-laden dishes gluten-free. Last night’s adventure was a gluten-free, lactose-free take on Carla Hall’s Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pinwheels and oh my were they good!
These pinwheels took some guts on my part to make. I was only about 50% confident, at best, that these might turn out. Truthfully, part of me was sure they were going to be an epic fail! But, I powered through, determined to at least give it a valiant attempt. The original recipe from The Chew called for pre-made puff pastry. Obviously that is out for gluten-free baking, so I had to figure out how to get pliable, flaky dough to use in its place. Thankfully, Nicole from Gluten Free on a Shoestring has many biscuit recipes that could fit the bill. It also called for cream cheese and swiss cheese, which aren’t naturally lactose-free. I definitely had my work in store for me with adaptations to make this a dish my whole family could enjoy!
Here is how I did it.
- Start by preparing the filling from The Chew’s Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pinwheels and setting it aside until your biscuit dough is ready. Be sure to get your butter and cream cheese fully softened or this won’t mix right. In place of the butter use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. For cream cheese we use the lactose-free, real cow’s milk cream cheese from Green Valley Organics. This stuff is fabulous! If that isn’t available near you, there are several brands of dairy-free cream cheese on the market. You’re probably not going to be able to find lactose-free gruyere, so go with your favorite lactose-free cheese. We commonly use Cabot extra sharp white cheddar, but I wanted something different here so I used a sheep’s milk manchego I found at Trader Joe’s. Did you know that many, if not most, people who are lactose intolerant (not allergic to dairy, but lactose-intolerant) can handle cheese made from sheep’s milk and goat’s milk just fine? As a bonus tip, should you maybe have forgotten to get fresh thyme at the store, one batch of this filling would call for 1/2 tablespoon of dried thyme. Don’t ask how I know. 🙂
- Make one batch of Nicole’s Gluten-Free Biscuits: Cinnamon Bun Style. Don’t worry, you’ll be skipping the cinnamon bun topping. This is just my favorite biscuit recipe on her blog so I make it whenever I want flaky cut-out biscuits. I’ve used it for regular biscuits and breakfast sandwiches in the past. To make the biscuit dough lactose-free use your favorite ‘safe’ milk. We use lactose-free real cow’s milk, but I would imagine you could use unflavored/unsweetened soy or almond milk here, too. Instead of regular butter, use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. I promise it really does work!
- Go through the recipe, including the folding and rolling out into a long rectangle. Stop here. DO NOT cut these into biscuits! At this point, spread the cream cheese mixture on the biscuit dough. Since I made a double batch I got to do some experimenting. The best method seemed to be placing little dollops all over the sheet of dough and then spreading it (somewhat gently so you don’t murder your beautiful dough) with a rubber spatula.
- Lay about 4 ounces of ham lunchmeat across your dough sheet, on top of the cream cheese mix. Basically it should be enough to do a single layer of ham all the way across the dough sheet. I used Land O’Frost ham, but you can use whatever GF ham you prefer. The key is to be sure it is VERY thinly sliced so that it doesn’t interfere with rolling.
- Here is the step I was MOST nervous about. I was fairly certain it was at this point everything would turn into a swirling disaster as I attempted to roll the dough. I was wrong! There are a few keys here. First, go SLOW! This isn’t a moment to try to rush through and get things done quickly. Second, be GENTLE. You don’t want to roll this up super tight, because our gluten-free dough isn’t as stretchy and forgiving in this situation. The gluten protein, once activated, gives elasticity to dough. Gluten-free dough obviously lacks the gluten protein, so it is more prone to tearing when bakers attempt to stretch it. So, roll your dough tight enough that it’s not totally floppy, but not into a tight, skinny roll.
- Use a LARGE knife to cut through this. You want it to be able to fit all the way across the width of your roll easily so that you aren’t having to ‘saw’ back and forth to cur through it. After some tinkering, I believe cutting them into slices about 2-3 inches thick seemed to work best for baking purposes. Be sure to put them on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking pan. There can be some leaks from the cream cheese filling.
- We chose to skip the green olive topping for ourselves since most of the family dislikes olives (I love them in spite of this quirk).
When these come out of the oven you will be so happy! Imagine a cinnamon roll’s savory cousin. For those of us that need a bit of protein in the morning, pre-baking these and having them ready for a grab-and-go breakfast would be perfect!
Thanks to help from our awesome exchange student making our side dish we had delicious German fried potatoes and bacon with these for dinner last night (and leftovers for today). I promise, you will love these pinwheels. Now that I know the method works I can’t wait to try these pinwheels out with other fillings. What should I try next?
Over the last 3-4 months I have had several friends begin to realize they need to go gluten-free. Since I have been gluten-free for over a decade now, they have all asked me questions at some point in the process. Great! It’s always good to seek advice from someone in the ‘been there, done that’ camp. I began to realize, though, that there were two key issues going on. First, they were getting a LOT of misinformation from people. Second, they needed more than I could explain in a quick couple of minutes after church or MOPs. They needed a crash-course in gluten-free living! After a lot of thinking and praying, I felt like God was calling me to offer this up for anyone interested. So, this morning I taught my first ever Gluten-Free 101 class!
As I was preparing for the class and planning out the menu of things to taste and cook I checked with my guests about other food allergies and intolerances so I could ensure they could all happily eat (because what’s the fun in food sampling if you can’t sample it, right). Two of the ladies couldn’t handle cow’s milk. Since I was planning on making breakfast pizza, that could have easily interfered with my plans for a creamy Alfredo sauce. Thanks to my stubborn nature not wanting to change my plans, I decided I would just make a dairy-free Alfredo sauce. I mean, people who can’t handle cow’s milk like cream sauces, too! And so my quest for gluten-free, dairy-free Alfredo sauce began. My key problems were going to be that flour is used in a roux to thicken cream sauces, and, well, CREAM is used in cream sauces. Flour and cream were going to be a big NO since this needed to be gluten-free and dairy-free I knew it needed to be soy-free as well, because another guest couldn’t eat soy. Hmm, this was getting tricky. Thanks to The Chew I knew that a roux just needed to be equal parts fat and flour, so I just decided to substitute Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour for regular flour. For the fat? Well, you don’t get much tastier than bacon fat, and since I needed to cook up bacon pieces to use for a pizza topping anyway, I could just use the rendered fat for the roux.
Now the trickiest part, what to use for the for the cream? I could use milk, but it’s not as thick as cream. That makes it hard to get a good, thick, CREAMY sauce. Normally I would use the lactose-free half and half by Organic Valley, but that isn’t free of cow’s milk. As I wandered through New Seasons I stumbled upon this creamer.
Perfect! So Delicious Coconut Creamer is gluten-free, dairy-free, AND soy-free! BINGO! Once I had that I had everything I needed to make some rockin’ sauce. If you’re thinking to yourself, “but I don’t like coconut”, have no fear. This doesn’t taste like coconut at all. I HATE coconut. Like, really, truly, deeply dislike it and I loved this sauce. I couldn’t taste the coconut at all. Since you have been kind enough to read through my ramblings, now you get to have the recipe, too!
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (liquid) bacon grease, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 quart coconut creamer (be sure to get original flavor, vanilla Alfredo would be weird)
- Cook up bacon pieces so that you have bacon fat to use for this. Enjoy your bacon in/on whatever you please and save the bacon fat!
- Heat 2 tablespoons of (liquid) bacon grease on medium-high in a large sauce pot.
- Add chopped onion and sauté until onions are soft and beginning to get some color.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and stir to evenly distribute. The smoked paprika serves to a) give it a wonderful earthiness and b) help balance out the slightly sweet nature of coconut milk.
- Add minced garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Pour onions and garlic into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1/4 cup (liquid) bacon grease in the sauce pan.
- When bacon grease is hot, add 1/4 cup gluten-free flour. Whisk continuously until roux (that is the fat-flour mixture in your pan) takes on a light brown color. You don’t want this white, but you also don’t want it dark brown.
- Add the full quart of coconut creamer, whisking continuously as you pour. This will sizzle.
- Add the other 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Keep stirring your sauce until it begins to thicken. It’s going to take several minutes, so be patient.
- When your sauce begins to thicken, add the onion-garlic mixture back to the pan and stir it in.
- Once your sauce begins to simmer turn the heat down a little to keep it right at the edge of simmering and keep stirring to prevent scalding.
- Cook sauce until it has reduced by about 1/3 and can coat the back of a spoon. You’ll know it’s done when you can run your finger through the sauce on the back of a spoon and the line stays there.
A few months ago I started down the road to getting healthy. I wanted to lose the weight that had piled on with the babies, but I also wanted to rebuild my strength an energy. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s actually pretty easy to manage losing the weight without actually getting healthy, and that wasn’t what I wanted. After a good amount of research I decided that I really liked what the 21 Day Fix program had to offer. Not only would it help with weight loss, and with toning some of those more ‘jiggly’ spots, it really worked to focus on learning to eat healthier as a whole. That’s my favorite part is that it teaches you to be more intentional with what you are eating.
In the 21 Day Fix program Autumn helps to shift your focus to thinking about the kids and amounts of foods your body needs to be healthy, like vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, etc. I’ll do a full review in a few weeks (when I finish my second round), but I can say that things have gone really well. I am losing weight, losing inches, gaining strength, and gaining energy. Oh, and we’re eating a whole lot healthier. I’m cooking more and getting creative in the kitchen.
Many people who do 21 Day Fix choose to basically do one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner for the week and prep a week’s worth of that. That doesn’t work for us. As a family we crave variety. That variety tends to bring with it leftovers. Bits of this and that left from lunch and dinner. In our house the problems with this are that a) there is usually not enough left for a whole meal and b) the family tends to get bored with leftovers. That means I need to creatively repurpose what we have sitting in the fridge. And thus ‘Spaghetti Pie’ was born!
For those who are following 21 Day Fix, the container count for each slice of this is 1/2 yellow, 1/8 purple (so really if you have one slice I wouldn’t even count it), 1/4 green, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/2 blue, and 1/2 red. You know what that means? Go ahead and have a second slice!
21 Day Fix Approved Spaghetti Pie
Makes 8 slices
- 4 yellow containers (approximately 2 cups) leftover spaghetti* (I used GF Barilla)
- 1 purple container (approximately 1 cup) of pasta sauce
- a little more than 2 green containers (approximately 2 cups) of mixed vegetables
- 4 teaspoons coconut or olive oil, divided*
- 4 blue containers (approximately 4 ounces) shredded cheese
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 375*
- Spray/grease a pie pan.
- Chope vegetables.
- Sautee veggies with 1 tablespoon oil until soft. I used a combination of onions, peppers, and asparagus. If you use onions, I would suggest starting with them alone with 1/2 T of oil and then adding the other veggies with another 1/2 T oil once the onions are somewhat soft. This allows your onions to cook thoroughly without your other veggies getting overcooked.
- When vegetables are almost done cooking, add 1/2 T Italian seasoning, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t smoked paprika. Mix until well combined and finish cooking.
- Slightly reheat spaghetti with sauce. Just enough to ensure that the pasta is soft and loose enough to toss around in the pan.
- Combine spaghetti/sauce with 2 green containers of cooked vegetables in pie pan. Mix them around a bit so that they are evenly distributed, then spread across the bottom of the pan.
- In a separate bowl, beat 8 eggs with 1/4 t salt and 1/2 T Italian seasoning. Pour egg mixture over spaghetti and vegetables. You may need to stir things around a bit to make sure your eggs spread evenly.
- Top with 4 blue containers of cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until fully set and lightly browned on top.
*To make your life easier, 4 yellow containers is the same as 2 green or purple containers.
*I know what you’re thinking, the directions only include 1 tablespoon oil. The extra teaspoon is to take into account tossing your spaghetti with a bit of oil after cooking. If you don’t do this already, you should start. It makes a big difference!
Gluten-Free Breakfast Pizza Bites
My husband and I have discovered recently that we’re in a bit of a breakfast rut. We keep having the same few things over and over again. Pancakes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and hash browns or bacon, and cereal. That’s four meals to rotate through every day of the month, which gets pretty old pretty fast. Maybe some people are cool with eating the same thing every day, but I crave variety. I’m sure my mom is laughing, or rolling her eyes, or saying something about my ‘wonderful childhood right now, because variety was NOT what I wanted as a child. I had a few foods that I liked and that was it! Isn’t life ironic sometimes? Anyway, back to the breakfast rut. My husband and I took some time one day and wandered the aisles of the grocery store looking for any inspiration we could find for new and different breakfast ideas.
As we were wandering through the meat department we saw this yummy looking smoked chorizo. As luck would have it they happened to be sampling it that day and it was GOOD! As I pondered what could be done with it my awesome hubby suggested a breakfast pizza. Hmm…why not! I’d never tried breakfast pizza before, but in the interest of going from fearful to fearless and trying new things, I figured it was worth a try.
The thing is, my husband has to leave pretty early for school or work most days, and I’m just not good enough to get up and cook a hot breakfast before he has to go. To be honest, he’s usually getting ready at the last minute, anyway, so what would be most useful would be something he could heat up and take with him. Then it hit, breakfast pizza bites! All of the fun of breakfast pizza, but portable. Turns out they were a hit so I thought I’d share them here with you guys.
As always, get all of your ingredients together before you get started. This saves you the fun of getting halfway through a recipe only to find you are missing something.
Shred the cheese. You’ll want to do this first because you need it for topping the pizza and the cheese sauce.
Chop the meat into small pieces. I found that leaving the smoked chorizo sliced meant that it all came off in one bite and then I had no chorizo left for the rest of that pizza bite. Sadness.
Make the cheese sauce. It’s easier to make it ahead of time and then just give it a quick stir before topping the pizzas. FYI, it will take a bit of time for the sauce to thicken. Be patient. Beat the eggs while the sauce cooks.
Make pizza dough. I found that I needed to add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid to my dough while using this recipe.
Roll out the dough and cut into small circles. I found that a biscuit cutter that was about 2.5 inches across was the perfect size.
Grease a mini muffin pan and sprinkle a little cornmeal in each spot.
Press a dough circle into each space and bake for about five minutes.
While the crusts are baking, scramble the eggs.
Pull the crusts from the oven. Spread a little cheese sauce in each crust, then top with a bit of scrambled eggs, a bit of meat, and then a bit of cheese. I’ve found it works best with these to finish with the cheese.
Put the pizza bites back in the oven for about 8-10 minutes and you’re done!
GF Breakfast Pizza Bites
- GF pizza dough (I used this recipe)
- GF Cheese Sauce (I used this recipe)
- 5 large eggs
- Meat of your choice (I used this chorizo and some ham)
- Shredded cheese
- Coconut oil or cooking spray
- Shred the cheese. About 2-3 cups should be good for the cheese sauce and pizza topping.
- Chop the meat into small pieces.
- Make the cheese sauce.
- Make pizza dough. I found that I needed to add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid to my dough.
- Roll out the dough about 1/8″ thick and cut into small circles.
- Grease a mini muffin pan and sprinkle a little cornmeal in each spot.
- Press a dough circle into each space and bake for about five minutes.
- While the crusts are baking, scramble the eggs. Pull them off the heat when they are slightly underdone since they will be going into the oven.
- Pull the crusts from the oven. Spread a little cheese sauce in each crust, then top.
- Put the pizza bites back in the oven for about 8-10 minutes and you’re done!