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How To: Cook Dry Beans

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How-To-Cook-Dry-Beans

Several months ago I started paying more attention to the labels on the canned goods I was buying. After hearing all sorts of bad things about ingredients like BPA and Carageenan I decided I needed to know more about what I was putting into my body.

Beans, which are generally considered a healthy food, had some shocking ingredients! I was amazed at the amount of added sugar and salt in just one can of beans. Maybe I was naive, but I’d always figured beans were just, well, beans. I was wrong!

Considering my options, I knew buying the organic, all natural, BPA free canned beans wasn’t an option for me. They are quite expensive and difficult to come by where I live.

So, I started investigating dry beans. They seemed to be cheap, and the only thing in the bag was beans. Every grocery store I shop at also has an ample selection of dried beans.

I started researching how to use dry beans in cooking and was shocked at how little information I found. In recipe ingredient lists beans are almost always measured by the can. I found a few recipes that referenced using your own cooked beans, but nothing much about actually cooking them. I tried following the package directions from a bag of black beans, but the beans were just too hard. I continued researching, picking up tidbits of information here and there, experimenting with different methods along the way, and finally came up with a consistent method for cooking beans. None of this is something special that I have come up with, rather, a compilation of information I have gleaned from many sources, all of which has been tested in my kitchen!

Aside from what I already mentioned (cost, food additives), I have not noticed a big difference in switching from canned to cooked beans. Beans that I have cooked seem to be a bit smaller than their canned counterparts. Many people talk about how amazing freshly cooked beans taste, compared to ones from a can. To be honest, I haven’t noticed a big difference, but I tend to add beans to dishes that already have a lot of flavor, like tacos and chili. If you are used to canned beans you may find home cooked beans need a bit of salt.

I’ve used this cooking method for a whole variety of beans with success. Cooking your own beans takes some planning, but the hands on effort is next to nothing. Much of the process happens while you sleep! After an initial soak there’s a cooking option for using the stove top or a slow cooker.

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Step 1:

Open the bag of beans and sort them. What does sorting mean? Simply, take out anything that isn’t a bean. Occasionally you’ll find a small stone, a bean of a different variety, or just a misshapen bean. Just throw these away (or compost them). You will find beans that look a bit dirty but don’t discard these. Part of the cooking process involves rinsing, so you don’t need to worry about ingesting the dirt. As you sort the beans, place all the good beans in a large bowl that you have a lid for.

Step 2:

Take the bowl of sort beans and fill it with water. You’ll need to add enough water to completely cover the beans, plus a few extra inches. Put the cover on the bowl of soaking beans and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 3:

After the beans have soaked overnight you’ll want to rinse them. Just dump the entire contents of the bowl into a large strainer. Run water over the beans until the liquid coming out of the bottom is clear.

Step 4: Stove Top Option

Add the rinsed beans to a large pot and fill this with water. Similar to the soaking, you’ll need enough water to cover the beans plus a few extra inches on top of the beans. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat so that it stays at a simmer. Watch during the cooking to make sure the water doesn’t run low. If you see beans sticking out above the water, just add more. You’ll probably notice some foam forming, you can use a spoon to scoop this out, if desired. Let cook until the beans are tender. I test by poking with a fork and seeing how easily it goes in, or with a taste test. Cook time is 1 to 2 hours, depending on the bean variety.

Step 4: Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Option

Add the rinsed beans to a slow cooked and fill the slow cooker with water. Similar to the soaking, you’ll need enough water to cover the beans plus a few extra inches on top of the beans. Turn the crock pot to high heat. As the beans cook, watch to make sure the water doesn’t run low. If you see beans sticking out above the water, just add more. You’ll probably notice some foam forming, you can use a spoon to scoop this out, if desired. Let cook until the beans are tender. I test by poking with a fork and seeing how easily it goes in, or with a taste test. Cook time is 1 to 2 hours, depending on the bean variety.

Using/Storing Cooked Beans

Once your beans are cooked, you can use them as you would any canned beans! Use about 2 cups of your cooked beans in place of one 15 oz can of beans. Cooked beans that you aren’t going to use within a few days can be frozen.

I plan to write another post with more of the specifics about using canned beans in recipes. For the time being, this should be enough to get you started on the path to replacing you canned beans with home cooked beans. If you have any questions about how to do this, please leave me comment for me to answer, or shoot me an email, facebook message, etc.

I hope you give this a try, and see for yourself how easy it is to cook your own beans at home! Keep an eye out next week for a new gluten free, vegetarian recipe you can use freshly cooked beans for!

New Feature: “Serve this with”

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Have you noticed the new “Serve this with” section appearing the the bottom of recipe posts lately?

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One of the best things about having a food blog is knowing exactly where to find all of your favorite recipes! I kid you not! When I am meal planning (usually on Monday mornings) I often pull up a few recipes from my own blog to make that week.

Having my recipes easily accesibile is great. I find the recipe I’m looking for, but then there’s this big looming question: What on earth did I make this with? I know I didn’t serve those Chipotle Chicken & Avocado Burgers (or insert any other recipe name here) by themselves!

Enter the “serve this with” section of the blog posts. For any recipes, aside from dessert or breakfast, I’ll have links to other recipes on the blog that would be a great pairing. Proteins will have complimentary grain and vegetable recipes, a recipe for a quinoa side dish will have serving suggestions for a meat and vegetable, etc. You get the idea! You may also find links here to simple recipe variations (like the “serve this with” for Spicy Meat Sauce, pictured above, which suggests trying it with homemade Spinach and Garlic Noodles). Sometimes the “serve this with” suggestions may not be a recipe. For example, we eat tons of summer meals with plain, steamed corn on the cob – no recipe required. If a particular meal is a one skillet dinner, casserole, or something that doesn’t really require a side dish I will make a note of that, as well.

In the future, I hope to go back and add “serve this with” suggestions for past posts, but that may take a while, so no guarantees. I hope this new feature will help you (and me!) with meal and menu planning!

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Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

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I kid you not, I have been trying to get a good picture of these burgers for a year now. There’s something about taking a picture of a burger without a bun that makes it non-photogenic. In the gluten free world, burgers without buns are just a reality, photogenic or not. I managed to get few good photos of these Pizza Burgers, but they had fancy toppings to make them look good. Dousing a burger in hot sauce isn’t exactly food styling. I’ve finally given up on the idea of getting a good photo of these burgers. I could wait until I somehow managed the perfect photo, but I’d rather just post the recipe already!

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By now I’m sure you know that I love grilling in the summer. I make turkey burgers often. They are a quick and tasty homemade meal, what’s not to love? Burgers are a blank slate for so many flavors. Think the creativity of the Red Robin menu + homemade, real ingredients. Steve loves these Sweet Thai Chili Burgers, but these Buffalo Ranch Burgers are my favorite. I often split a pound of lean ground turkey in half and make us each a few burgers of our flavor choice.

I promise you that this one “secret ingredient” will make your turkey burgers moist and juicy. Lean turkey + caramelized onions creates nearly an identical burgers to much fattier ground beef. Really, it’s hardly a secret and hardly difficult to add caramelized onions to your turkey burgers. It does take a bit of time, but most of that is inactive; just occasional stirring. I just caramelize the onions on the stove top while I prepare the rest of the burger ingredients.

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For the ranch flavor in these burgers I use dried ranch seasoning mix. If you’re using the store bought ranch mix in the packets you’ll want to make sure that you find a gluten free variety. The Hidden Valley ranch packets will all list if they are gluten free on the package. Just look under the ingredient label. If it’s gluten free it will say “gluten free” right there! Lately, I’ve been using homemade ranch seasoning mix with great success. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven has given me good results. In my last batch, I left out the onion flakes and dried chives (I didn’t have either in my pantry) and still had great results!

I use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for the buffalo flavor. The sauce gets added while the burgers are cooking, and then I give it a drizzle before serving. If you drench the burgers in hot sauce it will be difficult to taste the ranch flavor. With that warning in mind, add as much hot sauce as you’d like!

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Cheese is optional. I’ve had these burgers with and without cheese, and find them to be delicious and satisfying either way. Sometimes I simply don’t want to mess with trying to perfectly top the burgers with cheese, but there’s also something about melted cheese that takes any hamburger to a new level!

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Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

Ingredients (makes 4 -6 hamburgers)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 small/medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 – 2 Tbs milk (water also works)
  • 1/4 c Frank’s Red Hot, divided (feel free use more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Hamburger buns (optional)
Directions
  1. Add the olive oil to a small skillet and turn heat to medium. When the oil is warm, add the onion to the skillet and stir to coat with oil (If you happen to have used a large-ish onion and the oil doesn’t seem to be coating everything, just drizzle in a bit more oil). Continue cooking the onion, stirring frequently, until it softens and turns light brown in color. This takes any where from 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how much onion is in the pan, different stovetops, etc. When the onion is cooked, move it to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ground turkey, ranch dressing mix, and milk to the mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients together.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 to 6 even sections, and form each section into a patty (I prefer 6 smaller patties, but make whatever size you’d like).
  4. Put each of the hamburger patties onto a grill, over medium/high, direct heat. Grill for about 12 – 15 minutes.  About halfway through the cooking time flip the burgers and drizzle each with about 2 tsp of the hot sauce (it’s okay to approximate here, you can even just shake it on from the bottle). Continue to let the burgers cook for the remainder of the cooking time, or until the internal temperature of each hamburger reaches 165° F.
  5. If adding cheese, when the burgers have cooked through, sprinkle about 1 Tbs of cheddar cheese onto the top of each patty and leave them on the grill for another minute or two, to let the cheese melt.
  6. To serve, top each hamburger with approximately another 2 tsp of the hot sauce. Place on a hamburger bun if desired. If serving GF and regular hamburgers, be sure to make ALL GF burgers before making any burgers using wheat buns, to avoid cross contamination.
 Serve this with

A Personal Note + Blog Changes

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I don’t talk much about my personal life on this blog. I’ve never been one to freely share a lot about myself in the first place, and I think pretty much everyone tries to be careful about what personal information they put online. Our family is no different. Mostly, though, I just like to keep things about the food. This is a food blog after all, not a personal website!

Today, my personal life and this blog are intersecting more than usual, and I’m here today to tell you why!

I’ve always been the work-a-holic type. I once worked every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That ended with me crashing on Christmas day. Around 4pm I was so tired I just started crying. My Mom made me a bowl of mac and cheese to eat and then I went home and feel asleep around 8pm. You’d have thought I learned my lesson, but less than a year later I had three part time jobs and was working 20 self employed hours a week.

And then I moved.

I have a very specialized work skill set. Smaller cities and towns (like where we live) just don’t have the market for such a thing. I tried seeking clients when I first moved, but found that commuting 45 min to 1 hour each way just wasn’t practical. I was bored. I like to cook. So I started a food blog (probably obvious, but that’s Tastefully GF, which you are reading right now!).

I’ve had a blast writing this blog and watching it grow! I want to do more, though. I started seeking work that was “close enough” to what I really want to do. Maybe I did a good job seeking, or maybe I am a good candidate (or both?!), but I am now the proud owner of TWO jobs. It’s the work-a-holic in me coming out, I suppose, that made me take both jobs One is just a contracting position a few hours, twice a week, but during the week I will be a school teacher.

I’ve never been a school teacher before! Lesson Plans? PTA? Classroom decorations? What is that stuff?! Actually, I’ve already started orientation and have an absolutely wonderful mentor teacher, so I am sure everything will be fine. I will be busy though, especially with working during after school hours, too.

Which brings me to why this is all related to Tastefully GF. I’m not going to have a lot of time these next few weeks and I need some time to transition with as little stress as possible. So, I’ll be cutting back on how often I post. I’m not ending the blog, or even thinking of it. My plan is to just cut back from writing 3 posts a week to 2 posts a week. The “What I Ate Last Week” Posts will not be so inclusive, but just list the meals that were the highlights from the previous week.

A big thanks to those of you who have been reading this blog! I so enjoy writing it, and everytime I get a comment from someone who tried a recipe and like it my heart warms. Even comments with suggestions of how I can improve the blog make me happy, because you are giving my recipes a chance and I appreciate the feedback. I hope you continue stopping by Tastefully GF, even while I’m posting a bit less often!

 

If you are a busy school teacher, any survival tips you have are welcome!

Sweet Potato Noodles, Grilled Corn, and Green Onions in Brown Butter Sage Sauce

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This side dish is a bit more indulgent than your usual vegetable side dish. Sweet potato noodles, grilled corn, and grilled green onions provide tons of nutrients in each mouthful. The brown butter sage sauce amps up the flavor!

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I found this recipe (Pan Toasted Brown Butter Gnocchi with Grilled Corn + Scallions) on Pinterest a while ago. It’s not a gluten free recipe. In fact, it calls for premade gnocchi which I have NEVER seen a gluten free version of (if you live in a bigger city than me, you may have that available). But I wanted to try the recipe, and figured any gluten free pasta would be an easy substitute for the gnocchi.

Of course, the pasta was delicious (as is everything I have ever tried from How Sweet It Is), but the preparation was hectic. In typical me-style, I made a serving of GF pasta for myself and a serving of regular pasta for Steve, so that was two separate pots of pasta to look after. Then there was the corn and scallions to grill, the butter to brown, and finally putting everything together in a skillet to toast.  It was one of those “every burner on the stove is being used right now” kind of meals. I’m not fond of that.

After making butternut squash noodles with a brown butter sauce a few weeks ago, I remembered this recipe. I realized that using vegetable noodles in place of the gnocchi would take out a lot of the work. Sweet Potato seemed like the natural choice to make the noodles out of.  I whipped up a batch for dinner one night and it was just wonderful.

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I switched up a few other things, too. I added sage leaves to the brown butter. Cooking the sage in the butter makes it nice and crispy, and adds just another delicious flavor to this side dish. I also left out the parmesan cheese. In making this a few times I noticed that I kept forgetting to add the cheese. I figured it wasn’t that important.

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For what it’s worth, I consider this a moderation food. It’s mostly made out of vegetables, but the butter makes it high in calories. I love the brown butter/sage combination, so whenever I eat something that involves that sauce I am just careful to only eat a serving at a time. That inevitably means there will be leftovers. That means you get to enjoy this more than once! That is, as long as you are the lucky person to get to the leftovers first!

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P.S. I made these beautiful sweet potato noodles with a spiralizer, which I looovvvee.  Don’t feel like you need a spiralizer to make this recipe though. A plain, old vegetable peeler will do the trick. You’ll just end up with thin, wide noodles.

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Sweet Potato Noodles, Grilled Corn and Green Onions in Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 4 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 Tbs fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
Directions
  1. Turn on the grill and let it preheat. When it is hot, lay the corn and green onions onto the grill. Cook the green onions for about a minute, flip, and cook for another minute. Let the corn cook for about 10 minutes, turning it every few minutes until each side has some brown on it.
  2. Slice the grilled green onions, and cut the kernals off of the corn cob.
  3. Add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat.
  4. While the butter is melting, spiralize your sweet potato into noodles (you’ll at least have a few minutes to work on this. If the butter has melted, move onto the next and come back to the sweet potato noodles later).
  5. Immediately, once the butter has melted, start whisking it with a small whisk or fork. When white foam appears in the butter, add the sage leaves. Keep whisking, continuously, until you start to see brown bits forming in the butter (usually on the bottom on the skillet). Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. If you need to, finish making the sweet potato noodles do that now!
  7. Once the sweet potato noodles are ready, add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium high.
  8. When the oil is warm, add the sweet potato noodles. Stir to coat them in the oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft and tender.
  9. Stir in the brown butter/sage sauce, corn, green onions. If desired, cook for another minute or two until everything is heated through.

Serve this with:

Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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Oatmeal Fan? Coconut Fan? You’ll love this clean eating, sugar free Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal.

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If you’ve been around this blog for a while you’ve heard me go on and on about this Baked Cookie Oatmeal. We consistently have it for breakfast once or twice a week and no one is sick of it yet! I got to thinking that it would be fun to have some other flavors of baked oatmeal, that we loved equally, so I could switch things up a bit. Enter my first flavor variation of what I’m sure will be many: Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal.

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I worked on this recipe for quite a while before it was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted it to clearly taste of coconut, but only be lightly sweetened. It wanted it to taste “summer-y”. The texture needed to be light and airy, and it needed to look pretty.

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The taste test: I was pretty sure the oatmeal tasted like coconut, and not a bowl of sugar, but I needed a second opinion. I let my husband try a bite one morning. He hates the taste of coconut. When he nearly spit out his mouthful of coconut oatmeal I knew the flavor was a success!

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The texture test: I messed around with a few options here, and finally found a combination that works. Coconut flour is naturally dense, and is usually used in conjunction with eggs. Something about putting an egg into my oatmeal just didn’t seem quite right. I found a bit of baking powder helped keep the oatmeal light. It ends up having a texture similar to cake. I’m cool with breakfast cake.

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After lots of testing and messing with the recipe I love this oatmeal. It is everything I wanted in a bowl of coconut oatmeal. I don’t find myself tired of the taste by the time I reach for the last few bites, but rather wishing I had more to eat!

So, what other flavor of baked oatmeal should I try next?

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Toasted Coconut Baked Oatmeal

 Ingredients (makes 1 serving)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 c coconut milk (I use the canned variety, and stored the extra milk from the can in the refrigerator)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour
  • 2 Tbs coconut flakes, divided (sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a small ramekin (I use a 2 cup pyrex bowl) combine the applesauce, coconut milk, and honey.
  3. Add the oats, coconut flour, baking powder, and half of the coconut flakes and stir.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining half of the coconut flakes.
  5. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal/coconut is golden brown and just a bit crispy.

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 Meals Weekly (What I Ate Last Week) #14

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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 all my 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!

Monday
Breakfast was Baked Cookie Oatmeal. Nothing better to start off the week with than this!
For dinner I made this BLT Frittata from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, sort of. I’ve found I like it better with more eggs, and sun dried tomatos are delicious in place of regular tomatoes. The sweet potatoes make this more filling than a normal frittata, which is always important for me!

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Tuesday
I’ve been working on a hashbrown/egg/bacon breakfast skillet, so I made a new version of that for breakfast. While everything didn’t turn out looking exactly as I wanted, the flavors were spot on. The hashbrowns are a combination of  regular and sweet potatoes. I cook the eggs so the yolks are soft, but of course you could cook the eggs longer so the yolks are cooked through.

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I didn’t get a photo of dinner, but it was meatballs with zucchini noodles + green beans. Can you tell we’ve been getting a lot of produce from the garden? A bunch of zucchinis this week as well as the green beans!

Wednesday
Trying to make the most of all my zucchini, I made zucchini pancakes. I used my Lemon Poppy seed pancake recipe, but left out the poppy seeds and replaced the lemon juice with milk. The pancakes are delicious and a good way to use up that summer zucchini!

For dinner I made this White Chicken Enchilada Casserole I just recently saw on Gimme Some Oven. The casserole was good, but not as flavorful as I would have wished. I think if I made it again I would double the amount of green chilis. We added taco sauce, and that helped with the flavor, too. I had a friend over for dinner that night, and I must say the casserole was so nice looking and perfect for company!

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Thursday
I made this Sweet Potato & Egg Breakfast Skillet, with a bit of Al Fresco Andouille Chicken Sausage added in. I had a bit of extra sausage in the refrigerator that needed to be used up. It adds a different flavor and texture to the breakfast!

For dinner I made Pizza Spaghetti Squash. I sort of used a recipe I’ve posted before, but I cut a bunch of corners this time because I was short on time. It was just as good. Basically, I cooked the spaghetti squash, and the meat mixture, then just threw them together on the plate. Like I said, it was just as good, and I definitely claimed the leftovers!

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Friday
I made banana sweetened oatmeal for breakfast. My oatmeal was Coconut Mocha flavored. I added some coffee extract to chocolate oatmeal to get the mocha flavor, and then topped the oatmeal with shredded coconut. Yum!

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For dinner I made this Salmon, Quinoa, and Avocado Salad. I was being lazy, as you can see, because I didn’t actually mix everything up like I salad. I made all the parts separately and then we just combined it on our plates. I guess I was just cutting corners all over the place this week! If it still tastes good, presentation shouldn’t matter too much, right?

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Saturday
We left home early on Saturday morning to drive to the nearest REI (just under an hour and a half away) for their used gear sale. That meant breakfast to go! I prepped this oatmeal the night before so all we had to do was stick in in the oven for 15 minutes before heading on the door.

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After getting some good deals at the REI Garage Sale (I got a backpack and Steve got a campstove – it was an exciting day) we were hungry and headed to a Mediterranean restaurant down the road that had gluten free falafels. I got a curry chicken dish that came with a side of falafel. I know falafels are supposed to gluten free, but why are they so often not?! Everytime I find falafels I can eat I make sure I eat plenty :)

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Sunday
I made some Banana Pancakes on Sunday morning. If you follow me on Instagram/Twitter you may have seen my post of a whole bunch of skillets on the stovetop. My non-stick skilet, which is less than a year old, has teflon flaking off. So, I got out every other skillet I have to test and see which made the easiest, best pancakes. My husband has this old, cast iron skillet we call his “family heritage”.  I use it often for things like brown butter, or caramelized onion but never tried it for pancakes before. Loved it. I’m going to replace my nonstick skillet with some nice cast iron, I think.

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Guys, it was a long week. I planned to grill on Sunday night, and then it turned out the grill was broken. I was hungry, feeling light headed, so it took all the energy I had to cook these burgers in a pan on the stove. I actually finished the first few and started eating while Steve finished the rest. Anyway, the burgers were bacon and avocado and they were good. I’d probably have more raving reviews if I hadn’t been feeling ill when eating!

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See you all later this week for the recipe posts. I promise some good stuff is coming! My laziness in cooking won’t be reflected too much in the blog ;)

Grilled Margherita Pizza

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So, pizza. Grilled Pizza.

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As much as I enjoy eating healthy foods there seems to be a soft spot in my heart for pizza. Homemade pizza was a Sunday tradition when I was growing up. There’s still something about eating pizza on a Sunday that just feels so comforting!

To keep things homemade, I spent months and months of Sundays testing out gluten free pizza dough recipes until I found one I was happy with (you can find that recipe here). A bit more testing later, I was able to easily adapt this recipe for grilled pizza.

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Many people have heard of grilled pizza before, but if you haven’t tried it you are in for a treat! It is actually much quicker to grill pizza than to bake it in the oven, but your grilled pizza still has all the same elements of a good pizza:  crispy crust, melty cheese, and loads of your favorite toppings. Grilled pizzas tend to be more free form in shape, too. The cooking technique is obviously a bit different for making pizza on the grill versus in the oven. Since the whole cooking process happens so fast on the grill I’ve noticed that less complex pizzas with fewer toppings are easier to manage. With only a couple toppings, a margherita pizza is perfect for grilling, especially if you are new to the process.

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Even though we have been grilling pizzas for a while now, the simple toppings on a margherita pizza always hit the spot. Tomato sauce and cheese are nearly a requirement for any pizza (except white pizzas, but that will have to be another post for another day). The fresh basil steals the show here. I tend to add about 2 tablespoons per pizza, but if your garden is overflowing with basil like ours is than you may want to add even more. For an extra bit of flavor I season the pizza dough with garlic. Tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella? So many delicious flavors in that short list!

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As far as actually grilling the pizza, the process is simple. The one and only important key to grilling pizza with this particular dough is to start with chilled dough. I like to shape my dough onto a silpat mat and then stick it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. The dough is naturally sticky, but it becomes much, much easier to work with when it is cold. Spray the chilled dough with olive oil spray (or other cooking spray) and lay it on the hot grill.

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Cover the grill and let the pizza sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Just a few. Then, check the underside of the dough to see if it is done. You want the dough to be crisp on the bottom, with grill lines, but not burnt (Unless you are one of those people, like my mom, who enjoys somewhat burnt food)! When the bottom is done, just flip the dough over.

Checking-Pizza-Doneness

Now is that part where you will need to work fast. Add the toppings. I like to do tomato sauce, followed by a sprinkling of cheese and then topped with fresh basil. As you can see from these photos, my husband choose to add his toppings in a very unique order.

Adding-Pizza-Toppings

Topping order, your choice. Like I said, the most important thing is to do this quickly. You don’t want to take so long adding your toppings that the bottom of the pizza burns before you’ve finished! Once the toppings are on cover the grill again, just for a moment. When the cheese has melted the pizza is ready to cut and serve!

Gluten-Free-Grilled-Pizza-Square

Gluten Free Grilled Margherita Pizza

This recipes will make one medium sized pizza that will serve two people. You can also split the pizza dough in half to make two personal sized pizzas.
 
Pizza Dough Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 c hot tap water
  • 1 Tbs dry active yeast
  • 1/2 c white rice flour
  • 1/4 c brown rice flour
  • 1/4 c tapioca starch
  • 1/4 c potato starch
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp gelatin powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Other Ingredients
  • cooking spray (I use olive oil spray)
  • garlic powder
  • 1/4 c pizza sauce (the generic kind at my grocery store is GF, read the label to be sure yours is, too!)
  • 2/3 c to 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
Directions
  1. Stir the sugar and yeast into the tap water. Let the mixture sit for 5 – 10 to proof. It will get bubbly and expand.
  2. While the yeast is proofing, combine all of the remaining dough ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Add in the yeast and mix until the dough forms a ball. If using a stand mixer, use medium speed.
  4. Put the pizza dough on a silpat, mat, piece of parchment paper, or wax paper, and use your hands to shape into a circle, about half an inch thick. If the dough is sticky run your hands under cold water and then go back to shaping it without drying your hands completely. Lay the shaped dough in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. While the dough is chilling, light the grill and let it get to a high heat level. Take some time to bring all of your toppings, and any plates or utensils you will be using out to the grill.
  6. Gently loosen the pizza dough off of the silpat/parchment paper/wax paper. It may be a bit sticky and not come off in exactly the shape you pressed it into, but will be close enough. Spray one side of the pizza dough with the cooking spray, and sprinkle on some garlic salt (I shake it on directly from the bottle). Spray the grilling surface with cooking spray, and lay the oiled side of the pizza onto the just oiled grilled. The un-oiled side should now be facing up on the grill. Give this a quick spray with the cooking spray, and another shake of garlic powder.
  7. Shut the grill lid. Check on the pizza every minute or so by gently lifting up a side to see if the bottom is cooked.
  8. When the bottom of the pizza is crisp and has brown grill lines flip the pizza using a spatula.
  9. Now add the toppings, somewhat quickly. Spread the pizza sauce evenly across the pizza. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top of that, followed the by the fresh basil. Shut the grill lid once you are done.
  10. Again, check the pizza every minute or so. The pizza is done once the cheese has melted and the bottom has dark grill lines.
  11. Cut into slices and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops

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These quick and easy Vanilla Chocolate Chips Yogurt Pops are a yummy frozen treat!

Vanilla-Chocolate-Chip-Yogurt-Pops-Front

I call these popsicles. It’s a frozen treat on a stick, what else would it be called? But I’m told by my husband that these are NOT popsicles. Apparently “popsicle” is a technical term that involves fruit juice and sugar. Oh, my mistake. So I called this recipe Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops. Hopefully that gets the message across without offending any die hard popsicle fans.

Vanilla-Chocolate-Chip-Yogurt-Pops-Tall

I’m not going to go on and on telling you that these yogurt pops are healthy. It’s vanilla yogurt and chocolate chips – there is plenty of sugar and processed foods in there. It’s better than eating a store bought equivalent, and certainly a better choice than grabbing a bowl of ice cream for your frozen dessert. I find these just as satisfying as other less healthy desserts. Crunchy chocolate chips, frozen yogurt, lots of vanilla flavor. Sub this in for a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream and you will not be disappointed!

Vanilla-Chocolate-Chip-Yogurt-Pops-Square-2

These are so, so easy to make. Whip them together in just a couple of minutes or make them with your kids. They’ll love stirring in the chocolate chips! Fill your popsicles molds with the yogurt mix, and then put in the freezer. A few hours later your popsicles will be ready to eat. In the meantime, grab a spoon and eat any leftover yogurt/chocolate chips!

Vanilla-Chocolate-Chip-Yogurt-Pops-Square

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops

This ratio of yogurt to chocolate chips make 4 yogurt pops using the molds I have. If you happen to have extra mixture, just eat it with a spoon or store it in the refrigerator like you would any yogurt product. If you run out of mixture, just whip up another batch!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 c vanilla yogurt (I prefer regular yogurt over greek yogurt here)
  • 4 Tbs chocolate chips
Directions
  1. In a bowl, stir the yogurt and chocolate chips.
  2. Spoon mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about half an inch of empty space at the top of the mold (since freezing will make the popsicles expand).
  3. Put the popsicles in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours, or until ready to eat.
  4. To remove popsicles from the container, run it under hot water until the popsicles loosen.

 

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays – a great place to see and find GF recipes. Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

Gluten Free Weekly Meals (What I Ate Last Week) #13

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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 all my 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!

Monday
Oh, Monday mornings. One of the few things that makes waking up to the alarm clock on Mondays is this Baked Cookie Oatmeal.  Today’s photo of this breakfast is of the “oatmeal volcano” Steve always makes. Apparently, if you’re not fond of eating your oatmeal piping hot this helps it cool down quickly.

Baked-Cookie-Oatmeal-Gluten-Free-WIALW13

For dinner I made a new taco recipe. Embracing Meatless Monday, the taco “meat” is black beans. I mashed them a bit with some seasoning, and added some grilled corn, red cabbage, avocado and a bit of cheese. These vegetarian tacos were as good as any other taco!

Black-Bean-Vegetable-Tacos-WIALW13

Tuesday
For breakfast I made Banana Sweetened Oatmeal. I tried making a Mint Chocolate Chip variety, using mint extract and chocolate chips. Eh, it wasn’t the best oatmeal but wasn’t the worst. I think I would have been more convinced to enjoy this oatmeal if it had been mint green colored!

Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal-WIALW13

I intended to grill some chicken kebabs for dinner, but it turns out the grill was out of propane. No problem, I just cooked the chicken in a frying pan. We topped it with some leftover peanut sauce from a few weeks ago. I also sauteed some kale and cabbage.

Chicken-Peanut-Sauce-Kale-Cabbage-WIALW13

Wednesday
So, I tried making gluten free granola. It looked fine, but didn’t taste that good. I used the granola recipe from the VB6 Cookbook. It sounded amazing, and I mean really amazing, but just didn’t taste at all like what I expected. To be honest, I’ve never eaten granola I’ve liked, so maybe the problem lies with me! The cereal in the picture was Steve’s breakfast; he wasn’t a huge fan of the granola, either.

Gluten-Free-Granola-WIALW13
I had fun making an experimental dinner. I saw this recipe when my sis pinned in and wanted to make it right then. Reading the recipe, I felt that the chicken needed to be jazzed up a bit, so I used this recipe (just the chicken). The combination of the two recipes was excellent. We ate the chicken & zucchini noodles with corn on the cob.

Zucchini-Noodles-Chipotle-Chicken-Avocado-Cream-Sauce-WIALW13

Thursday
I woke up pretty late on Thursday and only ate a small breakfast, just a packet of grits.

By dinner I was starving, and luckily dinner was sushi. Homemade sushi! It was especially exciting because we used cucumber from our garden.

Friday
More baked oatmeal for breakfast, see the picture from Monday!

I made this Spiralized Beef Stroganoff for dinner. I’m a stroganoff fan, and this filled that void in a healthier way. I love how this recipe is cooked entirely in one pan, too!

Paleo-Beef-Stroganoff-Green-Beans-WIALW13

Saturday
Remember my new found sweet potato pancake recipe from last week? I very excitedly made it again. Yup, it was just as good the second time. And I have some leftover sweet potato to use again for another breakfast. Yum!

Sweet-Potato-Pancakes-WIALW13

Dinner was an old, loved recipe; Ginger Scented Tilapia and Snap Peas with Quinoa Pilaf. You can find the quinoa recipe right on this blog, but I have no link for the tilapia. I’ve pulled this recipe out of a Wegman’s magazine a few years ago and have carefully saved it ever since! I did a quick google search, and this recipe seems to be nearly identical to my beloved version.

Ginger-Scented-Tialpia-Quinoa-Pilaf-WAILW13

Sunday
We had a busy day on Sunday, and I managed to wake up super early even though the alarm clock wasn’t on (why can’t easily wake up early on weekdays and sleep in on the weekends?!). Bad news, less sleep, good news, time to make pancakes. I attempted to make a chocolate version of the two ingredient pancakes. It wasn’t that great, I didn’t take a picture.

I’d planned to make burgers for dinner but it was pouring rain, so I improvised. Since I had a few zucchinis and lots of basil in the garden I made this amazing soup. I used this recipe from Inspiralized for inspiration for some sweet potato noodles. I used bacon instead of pancetta, since that’s what I had around, and somehow managed to add the right spices to give the dish a bit of a kick. It was good, though, and I’m sure the original recipe is delicious, too!

Zucchini-Soup-Sweet-Potato-Noodles-WIALW13

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