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Happy, Healthy New Year!

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Happy New Year, Everyone!

How did you celebrate the New Year? Do you have any resolutions?

I don’t usually make New Years Resolutions, but I do have a few goals I’ve been working on. Mainly, keeping the kitchen, living room, and my desk more tidy on a daily basis. Now that the holiday season is coming to an end we are both trying to get back on track with eating nutritional meals, too. After lots of cookies, snack food, and eating out while traveling it feels so good to get back to eating “real” food!

To celebrate healthy eating in the New Year I have a ton of new recipes lined up. For the month of January I’ll be featuring my favorite quick, healthy, and gluten free recipes from all over the web. These are tried and true recipes that I make over and over. All of the recipes are quick and easy meals that I make on weeknights. I’m super excited to share all these favorites with you!

Come back on Monday for the first of my healthy favorites! In the meantime, here a few quick and healthy weeknight dinners right on this site:

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!

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!

Back to Blogging

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Hi All,

To be completely honest with you, I’ve been totally lazy about blogging this last month. There’s been a lot going on outside of my blogging life that has taken up extra time. I started my garden, took a few road trips, had family visiting, started down a new path in my professional life, and was part of a large musical production. I haven’t totally forgotten about this blog, though. I have a list of new recipe I’m excited to make and post! Including a cookie recipe using leftover Easter candy!

I’ve also been working on some new ideas and features for the blog. My biggest addition to the blog will be a weekly post of what I ate – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll include links to recipes I try, modifications I made to turn a normal recipe into something gluten free, reviews, and pictures. You can expect to see that weekly post on Sundays/Mondays (if you have a day preference that would help you with meal planning, let me know in the comments). Throughout the week I’ll be posting pictures of what I’m cooking and eating on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to follow @tastefullygf for tons of recipe inspiration!

 

Follow me on Twitter – @ tastefullygf

Instagram

 

If you find a great or create a great GF recipe be sure to tag @tastefullygf on Twitter or Pinterest so I can try it out and share it, too!

Happy gluten free eating, everyone!

P.S.

If you’re looking for some GF recipe ideas right now check out my Pinterest boards and the recipe index.

Gluten Free Daniel Fasting

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Welcome to a very unusual Saturday post on Tastefully Gluten Free!

Today is kind of a big day. Steve and I are starting a Daniel Fast!

If you’re not familiar, fasting is a Christian practice of limiting food combined with prayer that brings you closer to God. A Daniel Fast, in particular, comes from the bible in the book of Daniel. We see Daniel eat certain foods and avoid others for a three week time period. An over simplified way to think of the Daniel Fast is that it is a vegan, sugar free, bread free diet.

This is both daunting and exciting! Since I already have limitations with food I have not done much fasting in the past. It’s a bit nerve wracking to take an already limited diet and cut even more out!

For the duration of our fast I’m going to post what I eat on a daily basis. Hopefully this can give other celiacs help and confidence if they want to do a similar fast. Minimally, at least it will help me remember which meals were successes and which were not, and be a compiliation of fresh, whole, food ideas.

I’ll be back tomorrow with how the first day of the fast went! If the coffee detox isn’t too bad I’ll post some recipes like usual, too!

GF Daniel Fast Days 1 & 2

GF Daniel Fast Days 3 & 4

GF Daniel Fast Days 5 & 6

No Recipe Today

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Today I’d planned to post a GF pancake recipe that is totally rocking our worlds, but life got in the way.

I was traveling this past weekend. In terms of blogging, I thought I was totally prepared since I scheduled my posts ahead of time. What I missed was the complications of traveling home. Two flights over a 4.5 hour time span turned into nearly a 24 hour trip. Needless to say, I got home yesterday exhausted and hungry and now I am just a little bit behind!

 

I’m sorry about this post’s lack of anything to do with GF food! Keep watching for the pancake recipe which will be coming soon (and probably a post about surviving in an airport as a celiac, too)!

Favorites Recipes of 2013

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It’s the last day of 2013!

Tastefully Gluten Free was a new, exciting project for me this year! It was last year around this time of year that I first thought of starting a food blog. To be honest, some days it is tons of fun and other days I’m still struggling to figure out how this whole blogging thing works!

In the months that this blog has been live I have been so pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have read this blog! I am so honored that you are trying my recipes and enjoying them! It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to know that I may be helping so people navigate being gluten free and bringing them tasty food in the process.

Here’s a list of this blog’s top 10 most viewed recipes from this year. Then, I’ve listed my personal top 5 from the year.

Top 10 Recipes of 2013

#1: Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes

Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes

#2: Chicken, Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole

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#3: Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

#4: Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans Almondine

#5: GF Sausage Stuffing

GF Sausage Stuffing

#6: Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

#7: Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

#8: Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues

#9: Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal

#10: Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower 1

Kristin’s Favorites from 2013

#1: PGF Naan Bread

PGF Naan Bread

#2: Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

#3: Bangers & Mash Casserole

Bangers & Mash Casserole

#4: Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

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#5: Lemony Quinoa & Spinach

Lemony Quinoa & Spinach

Black Bean Quesadillas with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

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These tasty quesadillas are easy to transport, very filling, and totally appetizing hot or cold. They are perfect for an on-the-go snack or lunch, and a quick vegetarian dinner option, too!

This is a really busy time of year for everyone. It seems to be parties, church events, and travel keeping me busy this year. A couple years ago I was on the road for work every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is not so simple for people on a gluten free diet to stop by the drive thru for lunch in the midst of shopping for Christmas gifts or eat your fills worth at a holiday party. There is more planning required.

I love these quesadillas for busy days. Once you’ve made the black bean mixture and the sauce it takes just a couple of minutes to cook them. Since they are self contained, kind of like a tortilla sandwich, they travel so easily. You don’t need to remember to bring a fork with you, or even need to heat these up in the microwave. Sometimes I cook the whole batch of these all at one time and keep them on hand in the fridge for a really quick and easy meal to bring with me when I will be out all day. Other times, I make the bean mixture ahead of time and then cook 3 or 4 tortillas worth of quesadillas at a time.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Have I mentioned how filling these are? Something about black beans always fills me up really quickly – anyone else experience that? I find that feeling full is GREAT when I am at a party or somewhere else with tons of food that I cannot eat. It helps me not feel so bad about missing out on all of that great food!

The quesadillas are good on their own, but even more excellent with this spicy dipping sauce. As a former Taco Bell employee I am very familiar with the different sauce. The Baja sauce is my favorite, but their quesadilla sauce is a close second. When I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. I made a few modifications (mainly swapping out the sour cream for greek yogurt), and ended up with a healthier version of that yummy Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce. Yum!

Next time you need to bring a meal with you give this a try! A few of these quesadillas packed up with a dollop of this spicy sauce will keep you full and satisfied!

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P.S. My eBook is now available on Kindle! You can also purchase it for $1 off the Kindle price here. Check it out for your holiday baking!

Black Bean Quesadilla with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients (makes 12 quesadillas and 1/2 c of sauce)

 

For the Spicy Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs jalapeno, roughly chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 shakes cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Quesadillas

  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)
  • 1/3 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 c shredded mexican cheese blend
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt
 
  1. In a blender or food processor combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the first eight quesadilla ingredients.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, spray with cooking spray and place a tortilla flat in the pan. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Flip the tortillas over using a spatula. Scoop about two tablespoons of the bean mixture onto on half of the tortilla. The amount of mixture you use for each tortilla may be more or less, depending on how large your tortillas are. Using the spatula, fold the tortilla in half over top of the bean mixture and preww the top down with a spatula.
  4. Let the quesadilla cook for a minute or two, until the bottom is brown (just light the edge up a little bit with a spatula to check), then flip and let the other side brown.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining tortillas.
  6. Serve with the spicy yogurt sauce.

The eBook is Here! (Sample Recipe + A Giveaway)

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I’m very excited to announce that the Portionally Gluten Free Cookies eBook is here! Click here to purchase now or scroll down for a preview recipe.

This eBook is different than the usual gluten free cookbook.  Rather than only giving you gluten free recipes I’ve included measurements to split your holiday baking into partial batches. Each cookie recipe has directions to make either a quarter, half, or entire batch gluten free. The rest of the batch will be made with regular wheat flour. I call this “Portionally Gluten Free” (You can find more info about Portionally Gluten Free here and a list of PGF and a list of PGF recipes at the bottom of this page).

To give you an idea of what the cookbook is like, here is the recipe for Cranberry & Pecan Biscotti with White Chocolate. Click on the images to expand the recipe.

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This cookbook features:

  • 8 cookie recipes that will make a portion of the batch GF and a portion of the batch with wheat flour.
  • Step by step instructions on how to split each cookie batch safely.
  • 4 size options for what portion of the batch will be made GF.
  • Thorough directions on how to safely prepare GF and gluten containing foods in the same kitchen.
  • 2 naturally GF cookie recipes.

The Portionally Gluten Free Cookies eBook is a great baking tool for both the seasoned GF chef or anyone brand new to GF baking. Anyone in a family with only some family members on a GF diet will appreciate this baking technique. Hosts and hostesses trying to accommodate friends and family on a GF diet will also enjoy having both the recipes and safe preparation techniques at their fingertips for holiday entertaining.

To enter the giveaway to win a copy of the eBook leave a comment sharing what types of Christmas cookies you are baking this year. I’ll choose the winner at random and announce who it is next week. (If you’re already purchased the eBook, I will issue you a refund via PayPal).

Use the eBook for your own holiday baking or purchase as a gift for a friend. Through December eBook will be on sale for $1.99 so be sure to get your copy before the price goes up! Click here to purchase, or use the link below.

Buy Now – $1.99

Pumpkin Oatmeal & Big News!

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I’ve been working on a big project. It’s an eBook! Specifically, a GF Christmas cookie eBook!

I’ve been baking dozens and dozen of cookies, taking lots of photos, and learning to use iBooks Author. The eBook will have a couple of naturally GF, flourless cookie recipes along with a collection of traditional Christmas cookie recipes reworked to make a portion of the batch with GF flour and portion with wheat flour.

I still have some work to do on the eBook, but it will be completed in December, in time for your holiday baking, or to give to a GF friend as a holiday gift! If you’d like to receive a few email updates about the eBook (when I launch it, when it is available on the Kindle and iBooks Store, etc) click here to sign up for the updates. Everyone who signs up for the email updates will also be entered in a contest to receive a free copy of the eBook! So, sign up for those emails here! I promise I won’t spam you in any way!

Now, onto today’s recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal!

I LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice drinks, I’ll take them all! I was pretty excited to add some pumpkin to my oatmeal and see what kind of delicious, pumpkin flavored breakfast I could get. It took a few tries, but I did eventually come up with something I was happy with.IMG_6303

This oatmeal is sweetened with honey. I use a teaspoon, but you may have to adjust according to your tastes. This is yummy plain, topped with chopped nuts, or chocolate chips. Really, try the chocolate chips, even if you like it plain. Pumpkin + chocolate is a winning combination!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal

Ingredients
  • 1/3 c Gluten free oats
  • 1/3 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 Tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Optional: Chopped nuts for topping
  • Optional: Chocolate chips for topping
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan bring oats, almond milk, and water to a boil.
  2. As soon as the liquid begins boiling stir and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  3. As the oats are cooking stir every once in a while to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. When most of the liquid has absorbed stir in the pumpkin puree, followed by the honey.
  4. Continue cooking until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency.
  5. Eat plain, or top with chopped nuts or chocolate chips.
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