Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today I decided to try my hand at making granola. I spent hours looking at recipes but none of them seemed just right. In the end I came up with two different versions. I think that both of them are delicious!

Of course with both variations feel free to add any assortment of dried fruits you like after the granola has cooled. We like our granola fruitless mostly so I bagged it up plain. However, sometimes I love golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried apples, and/or dried mango in granola.

Maple Vanilla Nut Granola

8 cups of rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together the oats, sugar, and nuts.
Mix together the oil, maple syrup. vanilla, and salt.
Combine both together.
Spread out onto 2 cookie sheets, lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown; stirring every 15 minutes.

Honey Nutmeg Nut Granola

8 cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 of a nutmeg, freshly grated (or to taste)

Mix together the oats, sugar, and nuts.
Mix together the oil, honey. vanilla, salt, and nutmeg.
Combine both together.
Spread out onto 2 cookie sheets, lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown; stirring every 15 minutes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bayou Chili

This chili/sauce is wonderful over rice... It is a mix of Creole and Tex Mex flavors but it really works. It is good as a vegetarian option or served with grilled chicken or steak as a side.

2 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tbs seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn
2 15 oz cans of beans either black beans or kidney beans

In a large skillet with a lid heat the olive oil.
Add the chopped onions, chopped poblano pepper, minced garlic, and Creole seasoning cook over medium heat until the onions are softened.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, whole kernel corn, beans and the remaining seasonings.
Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Partially cover and simmer about 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chocolate Love

One of the hardest things for me to find when I first found out that I couldn't eat dairy and wheat/gluten any more was really good chocolate. I thought that today I would share a few of my favorite sweet chocolaty candy treats with you.

1.) Chocolate Decadence - Chocolate Coconut Buttons. Just one of these little buttons can completely satisfy my need for chocolate. So delicious!

2.) Chocolate Decadence - Chocolate Espresso Bar. For when you need that intense coffee and chocolate taste together. Just melts in your mouth for perfection.

3.) Chocolate Decadence - Pure Dark Chocolate Bar. This is for the true dark chocolate lover yet still has a little bit of sweetness to it.

4.) Tropical Source by Sunspire - Rice Crisp Dark Chocolate. I love the crispy rice in this chocolaty treat. Sometimes you just need the crisp and smooth contrast.

5.) Ghirardelli - Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao. You have to love a super intense in your face chocolate explosion to really enjoy this chocolate. A real dark chocolate lovers chocolate.

6.) Enjoy Life - Boom Choco Boom Rice Milk Bar. This is the most like milk chocolate that I have found.

7.) Enjoy Live - Boom Choco Boom Dark Chocolate Bar. A wonderful mix of dark chocolate taste and the creaminess of milk chocolate.

8.) Sjaaks Organic Chocolate Bites. Tempting little bites of dark chocolate surrounding yummy fillings such as almond butter, peanut butter, caramel, acai berry, ginger, mint, and orange.

I am sure that there are many other delicious dairy and wheat/gluten free chocolate candy treats out there that I haven't gotten to try yet. I hope that if you have some suggestions you will share them too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dairy & Gluten Free Lasagna!

Yes, it is possible to make a delicious and hearty dairy and gluten free lasagna.
If you like Italian sausage feel free to add sliced precooked pieces into your layers as you build the lasagna.
Also feel free to add whatever herbs and seasonings you like to the sauce. This is just a basic recipe to get you started... We especially enjoy adding a healthy pinch of dried cilantro and a few shakes of hot sauce to the sauce for variety.

1 box Tinkyada Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
1 package Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese Alternative - Mozzarella, shredded
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper blend
1/2 tbs marjoram, dried
1 tbs basil, dried
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 can Hunts Spaghetti sauce

Precook the lasagna noodles per package directions.
In a large skillet begin to saute the onions and bell peppers in the olive oil about 10 minutes until they begin to soften.
To the skillet add the garlic, ground beef, seasoning salt, pepper blend, marjoram, and basil.
Continue to cook until the beef is cooked through and browned and and the vegetables are softened.
Add the tomato paste and mix in well.
Cook for about 2 minutes then add the diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.
Reduce heat and simmer partially covered about 20 minutes until the sauce is thick.
Taste the sauce and if not spiced enough for you then add more herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, or whatever you feel it needs.
Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Begin to build the lasagna by adding a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of the baking pan.
Next add a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a thick layer of sauce.
Evenly sprinkle a light layer of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
Repeat the layers until either the pan is full or all the noodles are used up.
Finish with a layer of sauce and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350.
Uncover and place under broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top.
Allow to cool at least 15 minutes to get nice serving pieces out of your lasagna.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bourbon Chicken and Forbidden Rice

The combination of sweet Bourbon Chicken with nutty Forbidden Rice is fantastic!!

Bourbon Chicken

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple juice
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tbs ketchup
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup gluten free soy sauce
1 cup water
2 tbs corn starch plus a little water to dissolve it in

In a large skillet heat the olive oil.
Add the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned but not cooked through.
In a medium bowl dissolve all the remaining ingredients except the corn starch.
Pour the sauce over the chicken.
Bring the sauce up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the corn starch dissolved in a little water and cook until just thickened.

Forbidden Rice

1 cup forbidden rice
2 cups water

Rinse the forbidden rice until the water runs clear.
In a medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid bring the water up to a boil.
Add the forbidden rice and bring back up to the boil.
Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to set 10 minutes more without removing the lid.
Fluff with a fork and serve.