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BBQ Chex Mix

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A few months ago I made an awesome find at the grocery store. Clearance, gluten free, corn chex cereal. It was $1 a box. Awesome deal! I put all of the 6 or so boxes on the grocery store shelf in my cart and when I was checking out the cashier commented on how I must eat a lot of cereal. I’m actually really not a huge fan of eating cold cereal so I’ve been putting my boxes of corn chex to use in chex mix.

The idea for this recipe came from the back of a box of Crispix from the 1990’s. My sister and I used to make it. I vividly remember us tossing a plastic bag full of chex mix across the kitchen to “make sure it was fully mixed.” I still have that back of the box cut out and hole punched in my recipe binder. I made some modifications to the recipe.

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First, I doubled the spices. Great chex mix just needs a lot of spices. In making Crispix’s recipe more flavorful I also replaced most of the oil with significantly more flavorful worchestershire sauce and liquid smoke. It’s a great trade off because it cuts out some calories, too! Finally, I baked the chex mix. The originally recipe was just mixed and served. The end result was, well, a little soggy. Tasty, yes, but a strange consistency for a snack mix.

Baked, this chex mix is identical in consistency to usual chex mix, but the flavor is a fun alternative. While you’re baking it your whole house will begin to smell like BBQ. After an hour+ of smelling a BBQ aroma, when you finally get a bite of the finished chex mix it will hit the spot. Everyone who has tried this has loved it!

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A few ingredients notes for this recipe:

First, I like to break up the pretzels into small pieces. It just absorbs the flavor better. It’s not necessary, and does take a bit of time, but I suggest doing it for maximum flavor.

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Second, I’ve tested this recipe with regular sugar and a stevia blend and both have worked great. I haven’t been able to tell the difference in flavor.

Remember to read all of the spice labels, especially the worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke to make sure they are gluten free before you start baking!

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BBQ Chex Mix

Based off a a recipe on the back of a Crispix box from the 1990’s.
 
Ingredients
  • 8 c corn chex
  • 1 1/2 c GF pretzels
  • 1 1/2 c peanuts
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs hickory flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Combine chex, pretzels, and peanuts in a baking pan with high edges.
  3. In a small bowl combine the oil, worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Combine remaining  dry ingredients (sugar, garlic and onion powders, dry mustard powder, cayenne pepper, salt) in another small bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the baking dish and stir well, until the chex, pretzels, and peanuts are coated. Next, add the dry ingredients and stir again until the mixture has an even coating.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature. Store in an air tight container.
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Turkey & Sweet Potato Meatballs (aka Turtle Balls)

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These yummy little appetizer meatballs actually started off as a meatloaf recipe. I found the original meatloaf recipe on the whole foods website. And really, you should try it. You make these little meatloaves and bake them in the oven. Halfway through the baking time you add some green beans to the pan and 20 minutes later you have your whole meal right there on the baking sheet. Not only is there very little hands-on cooking time, but cleanup is a breeze, too!

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Meatloaf often has a bad reputation for being dry and tasteless, and keeping lean turkey moist can also be a challenge, but these meatloaves were none of that. They were soft and moist and full of flavor. The meatloaves quickly became a favorite dinner here and earned the nickname of “Turtles”, since each individual meatloaf resembled  the shape and size of a small turtle shell.

Turning the “turtles” into meatballs was as simple as just rolling the turkey mixture into a bite sized ball instead of forming it into a small meatloaf. I’ve served these at a number of parties and potlucks and they are always disappear quickly. After baking the meatballs on the baking sheet I transfer them to a large casserole dish with a lid to keep some of the heat in and place toothpicks and tongs nearby for serving and eating. Don’t be surprised when your guests ask you how you made them and what the flavors are!

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The original recipes contains only a handful of ingredients and I’ve made very few modifications, simply because it doesn’t need it. The flavor will come from the sweet potato and BBQ sauce, mainly. Be sure to read the label on any BBQ sauce before you use it to make sure it is GF. I’ve dabbled in making my own BBQ sauce (lots of fun!), but when I buy it at the store I usually get Weber’s brand, which is all natural. If you’re aiming to make this a healthy meal be sure to scrutinize the ingredients of the BBQ sauce further than just looking for gluten. Its remarkable how many BBQ sauces out there list high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient. Avoid those sauces, if possible!

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P.S. My photos of these meatballs just don’t do them justice. Don’t let my beginning photographer skills keep you from trying these!

Turkey & Sweet Potato Meatballs

Adapted from this Whole Foods recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 c grated sweet potato (peel before grating, and use a coarse grater)
  • 2/3 c BBQ sauce (read label to make sure if it GF)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. I’ve found that the easiest way to mix this is with my hands.
  3. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture and roll into into a ball. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture, placing balls close together on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 165° F.
  5. Let the meatballs rest for about 5 minutes once removed from the oven. Transfer to a large casserole dish with a lid to keep warm.

 

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