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Review: Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs

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A few months ago, when Foster Farms asked me to review their new gluten free corn dogs, I was so excited. Trying new gluten free products is one of my favorite things! Seeing new GF products pop up always has me thinking about what yummy things could be next (Personally, I’m still holding out for a gluten free cheese crackers). I feel more and more normal with each new product that I can eat! Like, a real person who has more than half an aisle of options at the grocery store.

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When it came time to taste test the corn dogs, I have to say, I was having second thoughts. I just tend not to eat a lot of food from boxes. Why I would even consider touting a product on my blog that I wouldn’t realistically eat? Steve was excited, at least, and promptly ate 2 for breakfast the next morning, and *actually* liked them. He does not usually enjoy gluten free remakes of gluten containing food.

Well, it was around 3:00pm on a Saturday afternoon when I tried my first of the Foster Farm Corn Dogs. I’d woken up late enough that breakfast had basically become lunch. It was too soon for dinner, but I was worn out from doing gardening and getting hangry (you know, hungry + angry = hangry). After whining on the sofa for a few minutes about nothing to eat, blah blah blah, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to try a corn dog. I popped one in the toaster oven, sat down to write a blog post, and 20 minutes later it was ready.

My first bite was surprisingly good. I had another bite, and then another. The crust was so good – just slightly sweet, with a crunch. I after about half, then stuck my head outside to excitedly tell Steve (who was pulling overgrown vines off of a fence in the yard) that I was eating a corn dog! You better believe I went right back inside and ate the rest!

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One evening, when hosting a super casual party, we did a blind taste test and gave the Foster Farms Gluten Free Corns dogs to anyone who wanted one. No one knew they were gluten free! Almost everyone had seconds . . and then thirds!

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A few important details, before I get carried away. The box gives you a few cooking options, and I have only tested these by baking them, never in the microwave. We’ve used the oven and the toaster oven, both with the same great results.

Let me also take a minute to point out that these corn dogs are made from chicken that is NOT treated with hormones or steroids, so what you’re eating is actually a higher quality meat. It’s definitely not the “mystery meat” type of corn dogs they serve for school lunches!

Finally, because I was curious, and new GF products usually take a year to end up on shelves where I live, I checked a few local grocery stores to see if any had the Foster Farms GF corn dogs. Not only did the stores with gluten free sections have them in stock, but even a store I sometimes shop at that has no specialty gluten free products had these in the freezer section. This isn’t a “only in the big cities” product, it’s probably already at your nearest grocery store!

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So, yes, GF frozen corn dogs aren’t a typical meal for me, but I still have thoroughly enjoyed these, and everyone else who tried them did, too! What I really like most about this product though is the convenience, and that I don’t have to sacrifice taste to get it. There are not a lot of bake and eat, no effort required gluten free meals out there. I’ve eaten a few gluten free frozen burritos here and there, but they all have been cardboard-like in texture and taste. If I’m sick, short or time, or just not in the mood to cook, I’ll be glad to have a box of these corn dogs in my freezer for a quick, easy, and tasty meal!

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

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I told you that I would have at least one pumpkin recipe – here it is!

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I really do enjoy pumpkin! For as long as she made it, and I could eat it, I always loved my Grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie. It was nothing more than a store bought, gluten containing, crust and the pie directions on the back of the can of pumpkin puree, but it was pumpkin and it was good!

In my imagination I’ve had thoughts of making all sorts of pumpkin-pie-like desserts this fall, but the only thing that has come to fruition are these Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. See, dessert is not exactly a required meal of the day, so making a pie often seems less fun than, say, getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Breakfast, on the other hand, is totally needed before I go spend my day wrangling children and musical instruments. Putting pumpkin in my breakfast has been an easy way to enjoy the fall flavor without spending extra time baking something special.

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These pancakes are soft and melt-in-your-mouth, just like regular pumpkin pie. They are grain free, thanks to coconut flour, and easily dairy free if you use almond milk (which I do). I tried a few different sweeteners in these pancakes and maple syrup was the clear winner. It compliments the pumpkin perfectly! Of course, if you want to avoid refined sugar use 100% pure maple syrup (which is what I keep on hand and used each time I’ve made these pancakes).

I feel super cliche just mentioning this, but obviously I put pumpkin pie spice in these pancakes. As this awesome article from the Kitchn brings up, pumpkin and pumpkin spice are two different things. Us Americans have somehow been convinced to think that pumpkin tastes like pumpkin pie spices. It doesn’t.

I’m the I-do-what-I-want type of person and avoid cultural trends I don’t like or agree with. I don’t have a legit pair of skinny jeans or a personal facebook account. Proof enough right there. Pumpkin spice is not a trend I’m into. I’ve had zero pumpkin spice lattes, zero pumpkin spice oreos, and whatever other pumpkin spice this or thats are out there. I just like pumpkin pie. So, please, don’t think I’m trying to be all cool and trendy here, and come up with the greatest pumpkin spice recipe this year and be all Pinterest famous. No. I just like pumpkin pie, but don’t have time to make a pie, so I made pancakes instead.

Now that that is out of the way . . .

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With maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice I think these pancakes are perfectly flavored on their own – no syrup or toppings needed! This recipe serves 1 because I have a spouse that doesn’t like pumpkin. Bummer, I have to eat the whole batch of pancakes myself! Although I haven’t actually tried doubling (tripling, quadrupling, etc) the recipe I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work.

One important thing to note before you start making these pancakes – most of my pancake recipe cook kinda like normal pancakes but for whatever reason these don’t. Cook them on a lower temperature for longer. It works best for me when my burner is on medium low. By the time the pancakes are finally cooked through the fresh pie-like smell will probably be driving you crazy, in a good way!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 3 T almond milk (or other milk of choice)
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. The batter will be smooth, and a bit thick.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Pour about 2 T of batter per pancakes onto the skillet. Use the rounded bottom edge of a spoon to smooth the batter into a cicle.
  3. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pancakes have set an the top of the pancake is opaque, not shiny.
  4. Flip and cook for another minute or two on the second side, until golden brown.
  5. Repeat with remaining batter.

 

 

Gluten Free Weekly Meals (What I Ate Last Week) #22

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Welcome to this week’s post of Gluten Free Weekly Meals! Every week, I take photos of the gluten free recipes I make from all over the web and then share my thoughts. Throughout the week you can find pictures of what I’ve been eating on my Instagram (tastefullygf) and Twitter (@tastefullygf). Each Monday I post a list of my favorite gluten free meals from the last week. You’ll see my photos of the food, a link to the recipe, and any modifications I made. To see previous “Gluten Free Weekly Meals” posts, just use the search bar on the right side of the page. You can also find these recipes on my Pinterest boards. I hope these posts provide you with some gluten free cooking inspiration!

Breakfasts

First up this week is Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal. Whenever I have some extra coconut milk after not quite using a whole can in a recipe this is what I make! On this particular morning I topped my oatmeal with a few chocolate chips, which was a fun extra!

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I also made The Oatmeal Artist’s Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal this week, twice actually, and was very happy with it! One time I baked in some chocolate chips and the other time I didn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed it both ways!

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Lunches

As usually, lunches were strictly dinner leftovers. I always make more than I need at dinnertime so I don’t have to do more than grab a leftover container filled with my lunch the next day.

Dinners

Cauliflower Crust Pizza! I’d made one of these before and it tasted good but the crust was mush and had to be eaten with a fork. After reading through a whole bunch of different cauliflower crust recipes it seemed like the winning combination was grated, roasted, and drained cauliflower mixed with egg and cheese. I baked my crust for about 15 minutes on the first side, which was a bit too long, and then about 5 minutes on the second side. I put on my toppings – garlic and oil, mozzarella, black olives – and then cooked until the cheese melted. It was a bit more work than I had hoped, but the pizza was delicious. I will definitely make this again!

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Speaking of cauliflower, I also made this Cauliflower Poppers Skillet recipe from iFoodReal for dinner this week. Can you tell cauliflower had been on sale at the grocery store? I served the cauliflower over some zucchini noodles, and had quinoa patties on the side for a whole grain. The quinoa patties and zucchini noodles are favorites here, so I knew we would enjoy those. I was a bit nervous about serving cauliflower as the main dish, but once we smelled it cooking we were both sold! The onion and garlic are so fragrant and flavorful. I ate the leftovers for a snack that night!

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Off the subject of cauliflower, I did make one of all time favorite dinners, Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash. You’ve heard me go on about this before if you’ve read this blog before, I’m sure! It is so delicious, yet still manages to be healthy. The recipe makes lots so that you have plenty of leftovers!

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I tried a new stir-fryish recipe this week, from Minimalist Baker. I intended to make this peanut tofu exactly as written in the recipe, but I got sick, my meal plan got shifted, and I ended up preparing it on a day when I wasn’t going to be home for an hour and a half before dinner to drain tofu. So, I just dry fried it in a skillet, then added the sauce. The peanut sauce was a wonderful combination of flavors, and not too sweet like others I have tried. The kale made a great addition. I used regular white rice instead of cauliflower rice because it was just easier.

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If you’ve made it this far down the post, congratulations! These weekly meal posts get long! Before I sign off I just want to share that I’ll be a little bit off my regular posting schedule this week. Instead of Monday/Thursday I have three new posts this week, so check back on Wednesday and Friday this week! Or, just subscribe to the blog for email updates, and you wont have to worry about checking back for new recipes :)

 

 

 

Sage Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

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A quick & simple vegetable dish full of fall-inspired flavors!

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I’ll be honest, my vegetable recipes are often very boring. In fact, they are hardly recipes at all. While I do always love some simple, steamed broccoli, the same old vegetables cooked the same ways get boring. I tend to just roast or steam whatever vegetable I am making that night, give it a quick spray with the misto, and then sprinkle on a bit of salt.

Since it is fall and fresh asparagus is so easy to find in the grocery stores I’ve been doing some experimentation with it. I like the fall flavors going on with this simple side dish. And yes, I do also love the simplicity. I need more hands-off, tasty vegetable dishes like this one!

For the roasted asparagus you’ll just need asparagus (of course), olive oil spray, and a few sage leaves. Pop it in the oven and make the the balsamic reduction.

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We have a strange affection for balsamic reductions around here. I made one nearly a year ago (to go with some flank steaks) in a food stained calphalon skillet. It takes about 10 minutes or so for the balsamic vinegar to reduce down to about half it’s size. When the vinegar had reduced what appeared was a perfectly clean, sparkly skillet. Now, whenever a skillet has a pesky food stain we always say “time to make a balsamic reduction”. Food nerds.

So, yes, with this simple sauce you can simultaneously clean a tough stain and prepare dinner.

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Getting serious now . . .

Simple vegetable side dish. Healthy and tasty. On the table quickly. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough to serve guests!

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Sage Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

 
Asparagus, just like other vegetables, shrinks when it is roasted, so what looks like a big bunch will cook down quite a bit. If you are making this for more than 3 or 4 people you may want to double the recipe!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 12 sage leaves
  • cooking spray (I use misto)
  • salt, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Trim the tough, white ends off of the asparagus and discard (I highly suggest composting).
  3. Spread the trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray with a thin, even layer of cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and then crumble the sage leaves over the asparagus.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is just beginning to get brown, crispy spots. Feel free to cook longer for crispier asparagus, or shorter for softer asparagus.
  5. While the asparagus is cooking, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook for about 10 minutes, or until it has reduced to about half its size.
  6. To serve, place asparagus on a plate or in a shallow bowl and top with the balsamic reduction.

 

Serve this with:

Gluten Free Weekly Meals (What I Ate Last Week) #21

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Welcome to this week’s post of Gluten Free Weekly Meals! Every week, I take photos of the gluten free recipes I make from all over the web and then share my thoughts. Throughout the week you can find pictures of what I’ve been eating on my Instagram (tastefullygf) and Twitter (@tastefullygf). Each Monday I post a list of my favorite gluten free meals from the last week. You’ll see my photos of the food, a link to the recipe, and any modifications I made. To see previous “Gluten Free Weekly Meals” posts, just use the search bar on the right side of the page. You can also find these recipes on my Pinterest boards. I hope these posts provide you with some gluten free cooking inspiration!

Breakfasts

I did a much better job photographing my breakfasts this week! First up is what is turning into my busy day breakfast. I found that on those days where I hardly have a chance to eat more than three bites of lunch this keeps me fueled until I do finally have a chance to eat another real meal. I love the Udi’s Gluten Free MultiGrain bread. The texture is great when I toast in the my toaster oven and it tastes great with some mashed avocado on top. Along with some eggs, I eat this breakfast with a few hand fulls of GF Granola I found at Aldi.

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I tried a new oatmeal recipe this weekend via Oh She Glows. This chocolatey oatmeal has a not so secret ingredient: sweet potato! I had an extra half of a sweet potato so I thought it was the perfect time to try out my new oatmeal recipe find. The texture of the oatmeal was not the same as usual oats so the first few bites were a bit of a surprise. The only change I would make to this recipe would be adding the cocoa powder sooner, before the liquid was boiling, so it wouldn’t clump.

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This is a very simple, non-recipe breakfast. It’s kind of my go to breakfast and lunch when there is seriously no food in the house. Scramble egg + corn tortilla with toppings. This was Steve’s plate – if you remember from my last post I don’t really like bacon! We use pretty normal toppings for these egg breakfast wraps – cheese, hot sauce, etc.

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Dinners

I made a bunch of new things this week for the blog – one being Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni. I said to Steve “this is our unhealthy thing for the week”, but it really wasn’t all that bad on the unhealthy chart. I used lean ground turkey and turkey bacon, brown rice pasta, tomato sauce, and a few spices for the bulk of the dish. Yes, there is cheese, a good amount of cheese, but every once a while I enjoy something cheesy! This is a one pot 30 minute dinner. Some nights you just need that, cheesy or not.

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My other recipe for the blog this week was Taco Chili made in the crockpot. I don’t have nearly enough slow cooker recipes and this is one to add to the arsenal. The taco flavor comes from some homemade taco seasoning + taco sauce. This is one of the very few bottled, processed items I continue to buy at the grocery store. Add some of whatever heat level you like. I served this with Cilantro Lime Rice for a really flavorful combination.

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Then there was hummus crusted chicken with zucchini noodles. The hummus crusted chicken came from a recipe on Gimme Some Oven. Instead of baking over top of summer squash I served the chicken with zucchini noodles. Try it with the garlic zucchini noodles from this recipe for a great combination!

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Lastly was soup night! It was a cold, rainy weekend and I was in the mood for soup. This Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter is a favorite of mine. I love how filling this soup is, thanks to the lentils, and then wonderfully unexpected flavor from the curry powder!

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Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Breakfast Wraps

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A 15 minute, warm breakfast. Well rounded, tasty, and fast enough for a weekday morning.
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If you’re already tired of Pumpkin Spice everything recipes then you are in the right spot today! Here’s a totally non-seasonal, no pumpkin in sight recipe. Not to say I don’t love pumpkin, because I do! I’m just saving my pumpkin recipes for next month ;)

I’ve been going on and on about these wraps on so many of my Gluten Free Weekly Meals posts. I figured it was about time to bring you the recipe.

Really, this is hardly a recipe at all. There are so few ingredients and the prep is so minimal. I guess that makes it the perfect recipe for anyone who isn’t looking to spend hours in the kitchen! Yeah, this isn’t as quick as grabbing a bowl of cereal in the morning, but about 15 minutes to a warm, whole foods breakfast is a good deal.

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Now, confession time: I actually never eat this with bacon. I just find bacon, well . . . disgusting. I’ll eat turkey bacon every once in a while, as part of a recipe, but not on it’s own. Greasy foods are not my thing. For me, this breakfast becomes a tortilla spread with mashed avocado (seasoned with lime, of course), topped with an over-medium cooked egg. I’m telling you, that right there is a really satisfying, well rounded breakfast. I actually served it this way for a while, and one day it dawned on my that Steve may enjoy some bacon with his breakfast. Against my better judgement I got some of that *real* bacon at the grocery store. I cooked up a few slices the next morning to go with this breakfast and it was a big hit. Apparently, like out of this world good. Like, telling his best friend about it over video games that evening good.

Eh, I still prefer my breakfast wraps without bacon.

Of course, you can, and should, make yours however you’d like!

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Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Breakfast Wraps

Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bacon (turkey bacon, regular bacon, any type of bacon you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 – 2 T water
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 T lime juice (or more, to taste – sometimes I vary the amount depending on the size of the avocado)
  • salt, optional
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, preferably one that has a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat. (I don’t have the best bacon cooking technique BUT here’s how I do it: Turn my heat to medium and put the bacon in the skillet. Once the bacon starts sizzling I flip it every minute or so. Once the bacon starts “foaming” on both sides I transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels). Once the bacon has finished cooking drain out any excess fat from the pan.
  2. While the bacon is cooking mash the avocado in a small bowl. Stir in the lime juice. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  3. In the same skillet, still over medium heat, crack each of the eggs into the pan. Do your best to keep them separate, but if the eggs run into each other a bit it is okay. You can cook them in batches if all 4 eggs don’t fit into your skillet. Once you’ve cracker all the eggs into the pan add 1 T of water and cover. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes for over-medium eggs, or until you see the thin white layer from over top of the yolk. Watch the pan as you cook (I like to use a glass lid), and add the second tablespoon of water if the first cooks off. If you like your yolks cooked through, just add a couple minutes to the cooking time.
  4. Using a tortilla warmer, or just stacked on a plate, microwave the corn tortillas for 30 seconds.
  5. To serve, spread the mashed avocado on each tortilla. Add two slices of bacon and an egg to each tortilla. Fold or wrap up to eat. Or you can use a folk, I suppose.

 

 

Gluten Free Weekly Meals (What I Ate Last Week) #20

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Welcome to this week’s post of Gluten Free Weekly Meals! Every week, I take photos of the gluten free recipes I make from all over the web and then share my thoughts. Throughout the week you can find pictures of what I’ve been eating on my Instagram (tastefullygf) and Twitter (@tastefullygf). Each Monday I post a list of my favorite gluten free meals from the last week. You’ll see my photos of the food, a link to the recipe, and any modifications I made. To see previous “Gluten Free Weekly Meals” posts, just use the search bar on the right side of the page. You can also find these recipes on my Pinterest boards. I hope these posts provide you with some gluten free cooking inspiration!

Hey Everyone! It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. I have some new, cool gluten free dinner links to share with you, but my breakfasts are just going to be links today. See, now that it is fall and the days are getting shorter I am eating breakfast when it is dark. My pitch black breakfast photos just haven’t been blog worthy, or even Instagram worthy. Just click the links for pictures of each of the breakfasts!

Honestly, breakfasts have been pretty boring lately. I make baked oatmeal the night before (either this recipe or this one), add the oats in the morning and then bake it. Sometimes we have bacon and eggs. When I’m really tired and haven’t planned breakfast has been cereal or gluten free granola. Weekend breakfasts have been more exciting things like Banana Pancakes.

One interesting breakfast we had this week was this Sweet Potato Hash with Avocado Sauce from Cookin Canuk. My sister in law sent me the recipe a couple weeks ago, and I happened to have a half of a ziploc bag of black beans sitting in the refrigerator needing to be used. This seemed like a great use! I made a half recipe of the hash. It was filling. On it’s own it had a mild flavor, so the avocado sauce was a welcome addition. I think I added more than the 1 T suggested per serving. Oh well! The breakfast was good, but more work than I usually put into even weekend breakfast so I won’t be making it on a regular basis, but will definitely keep the recipe tucked away for the future!

Onto the dinners (which inevitably become lunches, too).
 

When fall hit and winter squash prices came down about 20 cents a pound one of the first things I made was this Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili from Cookie + Kate. It was the first recipe ever I’d made from her blog, and I was so pleased. Flavorful, filling, not overly spicy, this was a great chili recipe. What I especially loved about this was that it was so weeknight friendly. A bit of prep work was involved but then there was an inactive hour while the chili cooked. This will definitely be made again soon!

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Another fall-ish meal was this Thai Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup from the Wanderlust Kitchen. Now, get this: Steve hates creamy soups. When I spooned out his totally smooth soup into his bowl he was asking me if I had happened to save any before I pureed it with my immersion blender. Well, he tried it, and loved it. He ate three bowls! We went shopping at Target and Kohls, and he had more for snack when we got home. Yay for a winning creamy soup! If you’re wondering, like I was, this doesn’t taste like carrots. It’s sweet, with a bit of spicy fromt he red curry paste. We added lime juice to our bowls and didn’t notice a difference in flavor, but enjoyed both peanuts and cilantro for garnish.

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Then there was the carrot noodles and meatballs that I loved (technically called Carrot Ginger Meatballs), from Plaid and Paleo. I actually saw this recipe via The Paleo Partridge on Instagram and it looked so good. I made the meatballs and carrot noodle exactly as written in the recipe, but added a szechuan sauce. I just felt like meatballs needed a sauce! Well yum. These were really good with the sauce but had tons of flavor ever without the sauce!! I’m not usually a big fan of carrots, but these meatballs and noodles were so good I was chowing down!

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The other week, when it was still in the 80s (as opposed the the 70s we are having this week) I was grilling and made Basil Lime Chicken. I cannot tell you how long I had this recipe pinned before making it! Probably at least two years. Well, I have tons of basil in the garden and need to use some up, and figured it was finally time to try this. The only change I made to the recipe was adding less oil to the marinade (which I do with almost all marinades) and grilling the chicken as kebabs. It was so so. I mean, good food, but not out of this world good. I guess some recipes just have to be that way (or the great ones wouldn’t seem so great). I made roasted broccoli and grilled zucchini to go with the kebabs.

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Finally, to end on a silly note, here is a picture I took from dinner a few nights ago. The quiche I made ended up soggy, but I won the game of Agricola!

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Grain Free Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini Noodles

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A 30 minute, easy, healthy spin on chicken parmesan.

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A few months ago I posted this Grain Free Crispy Chicken. Many of the recipes I post are planned and thought out before I even test them, but this one was created somewhat accidentally! I was so thrilled with the moist, juicy chicken, crispy coating, and super easy preparation that I was brimming with all sorts of recipes ideas using the delicious chicken. Chicken Parmesan was one of those ideas!

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It took a few months, but I finally tried out this Chicken Parmesan and couldn’t have been happier with the results. It was so easy! I baked the chicken, then topped it with sauce and cheese and cooked it for just a few minutes more until the cheese was melted. The outside stayed crispy, which I was so happy about. Crispy chicken + smooth sauce and melty cheese is a perfect texture combination.

The real star of this meal, though, is the zucchini noodles. Garlic zucchini noodles. It is really amazing how a few cloves of garlic totally changes the the taste of zucchini noodles. I added a bit of crushed red pepper flakes, too, for a kick. Yum, yum, yum! I’m telling you, even without any chicken parmesan these noodles are amazing. Easily one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini, if not vegetables all together.

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And, although the garlic zucchini noodles are so good on their own, when you have some with a bite of crispy, cheesy, saucy chicken parmesan it is out of this world!

My directions for zucchini noodles are a bit more involved then other spiralized vegetable recipes. I have a whole post about zucchini noodles you can read here, but let me give you the cliff notes version: Spiralize the zucchini, let the noddles sit for 20 – 30 minutes, then drain them. It’s not a lot more hands on time and the difference in consistency and quality is gigantic. If you’ve made zucchini noodles before and found a bunch of water left on your plate, or had soggy noodles, these steps will take care of that.

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As for the chicken parmesan part of the dish, it couldn’t be simpler! Just two ingredients in the crispy coating and some bake time in the oven. This is definitely going to be a recipe I make over and over! We both enjoyed it so much, it made great leftovers, and it is filling and nutritious! I hope this is enjoyed in your family as much as it is in mine!

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Grain Free Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini Noodles

For a whole post on making perfect, un-soggy, zucchini noodles click here.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce, plus extra for serving (I used plain, canned tomato sauce, but you could use any tomato/pasta sauce you enjoy)
  • 1/4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Cut off (and discard) both ends of the zucchini, then make your zucchini noodles using either a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or other vegetable noodle maker.
  3. Put all the noodles into a strainer, sprinkle with salt, and let sit in the sink for about 30 minutes.
  4. While the zucchini noodles are sitting, combine the almond meal and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl.
  5. Spray each piece of chicken with cooking spray, then lay it in the bowl with the almond meal and parmesan mixture. Press each side of the chicken down, to get the coating to stick. Place the coated chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  6. Press any extra parmesan coating that is in the bowl onto the tops of the chicken pieces.
  7. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Thinner pieces of chicken may need less time to cook through than a thick chicken breast. When the chicken is done the outside will be golden and crispy, and the internal temperature should reach 165° F.
  8. When the chicken has about 5 minutes or so left of cooking, drain your zucchini noodles. Wrap a handful of noodles in either a paper towel, cheese cloth, or thin towel. Squeeze the noodles through the towel to get out any extra liquid (there will be lots). Repeat with all of the noodles
  9. Back to the chicken: Remove the chicken from the oven. Top each piece of chicken with 2 Tbs of tomato sauce and 1 Tbs of cheese. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes, approximately, or until the cheese is melted.
  10. Back to the noodles: heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the garlic. Stir frequently for 1 – 2 minutes, and then add the zucchini noodles and the crushed red pepper flakes (if adding). Stir for another minute or two, until all zucchini noodles are coated with oil and heated to desired temperature.
  11. To serve, place a serving of zucchini noodles on each plate, and top with 1 piece of the chicken parmesan. Top with extra tomato sauce, if desired.

This post is linked to the Gluten Free Wednesdays Carnival! Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures!

Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

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Light and airy citrus cookie with a hint of chocolate. These festive Hallowen cookies are naturally gluten free!

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It seems like people either love or hate meringues. If you’ve been one of my loyal blog followers then you may remember a post nearly a year ago about Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues. I shared a recipe I loved as a child and chronicled my attempts at recreating the recipe in a much higher humidity climate. Making meringues still feels a little bit daunting to me, but not enough to totally give up on them. I am one of those people that just loves meringue cookies!

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I had the idea for these chocolate orange Halloween meringues months and months ago. I finally gave in to making them in September. Steve convinced me into making a double batch, saying the cookies would be a “good snack”. I argued that they were full of sugar and a far cry from my usual healthy recipes. He said the cookies were mostly air, which is truthful, I suppose.

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We whipped up the double batch on a Saturday morning and let them sit in the oven all day (FYI I usually leave mergingues in the oven overnight, which is plenty of time for them to set. If you bake them during the day you need to leave them in the oven for 6 – 8 hours. They look done around the 4 hour mark, but the insides will still be gooey). The cookies were ready for a party in the evening. I had been a bit nervous that orange flavor and meringue might not be a good combination, but it met my expectations! Light and airy citrus flavored cookie with a hint of dark chocolate. When I put it that way, it sounds perfect and I wonder why I doubted the flavor in the first place!

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I’m not super into themed food, but yes, these are a nice gluten free Halloween dessert. It’s not the kind of gluten free cookie that has an unusual texture, unwelcome aftertaste, and you wouldn’t really want to serve to other people. These are real, edible, naturally gluten free, “normal person” cookies! You can easily switch these up from classy gluten free Halloween cookie to just regular classy cookie by skipping the food coloring, too. Pure white meringues with chocolate tips make a nice looking cookie tray any time of the year!

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Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

Beat the egg whites by hand using a beater or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. I have successfully used both methods.
 
I piped my cookies onto the baking sheet using a pastry tool (that I got at target for $9 in an after Christmas sale last year), but you can also spoon them onto the baking sheet for free form cookies, if you don’t have a tool to pipe the meringue.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites (separated from eggs or from the carton)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate would also work)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and cream of tartar at a medium low speed until stiff peaks form (warning: this takes a few minutes).
  3. Still beating at the same speed, add the sugar slowly mixing in just 1 tablespoon at a time (another warning: this takes a long while to do slowly. Don’t rush it or you may ruin the meringue).
  4. When all the sugar has been added, beat in the orange extract and food coloring.
  5. Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Using a pastry bag/tube, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each cookie.
  6. Turn the oven off, and place the cookie sheets in the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven overnight, or for 8 hours.
  7. When the cookies are cooked and cooled, melt the chocolate. I use chocolate chips for this, and follow the melting directions on the bag. If your package doesn’t have directions try microwaving for 1 minute, stirring, and then doing additional time as needed in 15 second increments.
  8. Drip bottoms, tops, or both ends of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet (still with wax paper on it). Put the cookie sheets in the freezer to let the chocolate harden.
  9. To keep chocolate firm store these cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays. Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures!

Gluten Free Weekly Meals (What I Ate Last Week) #19

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Welcome to this week’s post of Gluten Free Weekly Meals! Every week, I take photos of the gluten free recipes I make from all over the web and then share my thoughts. Throughout the week you can find pictures of what I’ve been eating on my Instagram (tastefullygf) and Twitter (@tastefullygf). Each Monday I post a list of my favorite gluten free meals from the last week. You’ll see my photos of the food, a link to the recipe, and any modifications I made. To see previous “Gluten Free Weekly Meals” posts, just use the search bar on the right side of the page. You can also find these recipes on my Pinterest boards. I hope these posts provide you with some gluten free cooking inspiration!

Breakfasts

I don’t really like carrots (weird, because I have a few carrot-heavy recipes on the blog here and here) but I’ve always enjoyed carrot cake. At least, I did the last time I had it, which was in my pre-gluten free days. I pinned this Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal recipe months ago and finally decided to try it. I’ve made a few things from the Nutritionist in the Kitch blog which have been good, and this recipe did not let me down, either! It was easy to throw together the night before. All I did in the morning was microwave it for about a minute. 1 Minute to a hot breakfast?! Yay! That’s almost better than my usual Cookie Baked Oatmeal!

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Another great breakfast I had this week was Italian Baked Eggs. I originally had no plans to make these eggs. I’ve actually had very little success with baking eggs and planned to just avoid it. But, it was Saturday morning, I was feeling lazy, and looking for ways to use up the random items in the refrigerator. So, I went on pinterest. Sure enough these baked eggs would use up the tiny bit of tomato sauce I had and some basil that was cut a few days earlier and about to go bad. I even had a half used block of gruyere cheese. Anyway, the baked eggs were delicious! Steve, who looked at them like it was some alien concoction, liked it, too! (Oh, and I added spinach to the recipe!)

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Lunch

I don’t usually post my lunch pics because it is leftovers almost always. Leftover rarely look pretty and would be a repeat of what I already wrote about. Not interesting. For whatever reason, I decided to make boxed mac and cheese for lunch on Sunday. It was the Annie’s brand. I have a pile of these hidden in my pantry for when I just need mac and cheese, I guess. I saw them on clearance at the grocery store, and it seemed silly to not get the cheap GF food. I ate a bit, maybe 1/3 c, and felt sick. I wasn’t gluten-ed people, so don’t even start thinking this is a terrible grocery mix up. Nope. I just felt sick because it’s been so long since I’ve eaten something so processed. It happens to me, and probably almost everybody who tends to eat “real” food for all of their meals. Although I felt sick I felt encouraged, because I knew I would not feel sick if my body was used to processed food. It was a good, but strange symbol that I am on the right track with putting good things into my body!

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Dinners

First up is my worst picture of the week, Rosemary Ranch Kebabs. Although the picture is not so great, the kebabs are that great. I know because I’ve actually had this recipe for a few years. Its so good. I marinate my chicken overnight for maximum flavor. To be honest, I’ve totally forgotten what I served this with!

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Next in the line of “bad pictures, good food” is this taco spaghetti squash. This was another creation out of what I had bits and pieces of leftover in the refrigerator. Beans, a green pepper, the only meat in the freezer was ground turkey, I like spaghetti squash . . . you see how this came together. I thought that maybe the sweetness of the spaghetti squash wouldn’t go well with the taco flavorings, but it all was perfect in the end!

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I also have to include this second picture of the taco spaghetti squash. The first was my plate and this is Steve’s plate. Take a moment to notice that he made a volcano. The cheese is the lava, and it somehow erupted avocado.

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I don’t do a lot of repeats, so you know when I repeat something must be really, really good. That is the case with this Honey Glazed Salmon with Brown Butter Lime Sauce. It’s very good. Fight over the leftovers kind of good. If you read about this in my post two weeks ago, and haven’t tried it yet, you really need to!

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Another crazy creation I made this week was Baked Ziti, except with zucchini noodles instead of pasta. I had qualms about making this. Would zucchini noodles hold up to baking? Would it be a pile of mush, not a casserole? Well, I followed my own directions for making perfect zucchini noodles and the worst did not happen. The casserole was good and tasty. It was not a pile of mush. There was some liquid left in the bottom of the casserole dish. So, not perfect perfect, but still a success!

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The last dinner on this list is Lemon Chicken and Rice. I stumbled upon this crockpot recipe recently, after things “I really need to utilize my slow cooker more”. So, I made a half batch because I have a small crockpot (3qt, I think) and after everything was in the pot it was too full to stir! Yikes! So, the consistency ended up being a little weird because things cooked unevenly. I’ll probably try this again sometime and make a quarter batch. The flavor was good, and the fresh parsley made the meal!

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