Monday, October 25, 2010

Dairy and Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

It snowed here today.  These cookies remind me of miniature snowballs and seemed the perfect thing to enjoy with our first snow of the season.  I don't know where this recipe comes from anymore as I have made them for what feels like my whole life.  I did adapt them to be both dairy & gluten free.  I hope that you enjoy!

Dairy & Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

1 cup pecan halves or pieces
1 1/2 sticks vegan buttery alternative
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar (for coating baked cookies)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Using a food processor, chop the nuts until a fine texture is achieved.
Cream together the buttery alternative, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
Sift the salt and gluten free flour blend into the wet mixture.
Add the chopped pecans and stir until a uniform dough develops.
Use the dough to make 1" balls and place them on a baking sheet 1" apart.
If the dough is too crumbly to stick together as balls then mix in water 1 tsp at a time just until it holds together.
Bake at 325 F until the bottoms just begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
Place the remaining powdered sugar into a brown paper bag or a bowl with lid.
As the cookies come out of the oven place a few in the powdered sugar at a time and lightly shake to coat.
Set the powdered sugar cookies in a single layer without touching to cool completely.
When completely cooled store in an air tight container.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gluten Free Goat's Milk Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

This Mac 'N Cheese will make you swoon.  Rich and deliciously decadent it is not for the faint of heart.  The bold flavors marry to take Mac 'N Cheese from ordinary to extraordinary.  I use goat's milk in this recipe as I tolerate this well; however, to make this completely dairy free use the unsweetened dairy free milk alternative of your choice in an equal amount to the goat's milk and water combined in the recipe.

Gluten Free Goat's Milk Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 stick vegan buttery alternative (I used Blue Bonnet Light)
1 tsp California Blend Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1/3 cup rice flour
1 12 oz can evaporated goat's milk
1/2 cup water
1 10 oz block Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese Alternative - Mozzarella, shredded
1 12 oz package Tinkyada Rice Pasta - Elbows

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Put the pasta on to cook; however, do not fully cook the pasta now to ensure that it is not overcooked in the casserole.
In a deep skillet over medium to medium high heat begin to saute the bacon and onions in the buttery alternative.
Continue to cook until the bacon is crispy and the onions are lightly caramelized.
Add the garlic salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and rice flour.
Cook for a minute then add the goat's milk, water, and mozzarella cheese alternative.
Continue to cook on low until the mozzarella cheese alternative melts and the sauce is thick.
Stir in the cooked pasta taking care to ensure that it is evenly coated with the sauce.
Place into a 9 by 13 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375 F or until lightly browned.
If the Mac 'N Cheese is not crispy on top place under the broiler for a minute or two.

Note - I was poking around the web and realized that this recipe is similar to Fancy Macaroni by The Pioneer Woman and since I do love her blog and probably read about her version of Mac 'N Cheese way back when I do want to credit her with inspiration for this version.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dairy and Gluten Free Tapioca Pudding with Caramel Spice Apples

I was in the mood for something creamy that screamed fall.  Since I can't have pumpkin I wasn't sure what could combine these two elements.  Then the idea struck... Fall is apple season and apples go so well with caramel and spice!  Now what to do to add that element of creaminess that I so desired... Tapioca pudding of course!  And that my friends is how Tapioca Pudding with Caramel Spice Apples was born.

Tapioca Pudding with Caramel Spice Apples

Dairy Free Quick Tapioca Pudding
(Adapted from the recipe on the box of Minute Tapioca)

3 tbs minute tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 13.5 oz of coconut milk
water to equal a total liquid volume of 2 1/2 cups
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a saucepan combine everything except the vanilla.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a rolling boil (a boil which can not be stirred down).
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled.

Caramel Spice Apples

4 medium apples
1/2 cup water
4 tbs dairy free buttery alternative
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbs sugar (optional, depending on the sweetness of your apples)

Begin by peeling, coring and chopping the apples.
Combine the apples, water, buttery alternative, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugars in a saucepan.
Heat over medium heat adding more water if necessary until the apples begin to soften.
Continue cooking until the sauce reduces into a light caramel.
May be served warm or chilled.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicken & Rice Soup with Tex-Mex Flavors

This soup is another of those curl up and enjoy on a cold day types of foods.  You will not believe how amazing the house smells while it is cooking either!

Chicken & Rice Soup with Tex-Mex Flavors

1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
3 quarts chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large pot over medium heat saute the onions, celery, and carrot until they begin to soften.
Add the chicken breast and continue to saute until the chicken is almost completely cooked.
Add the garlic and jalapeno peppers and continue to saute for a few minutes longer.
Add the chicken broth, cumin,coriander, black pepper and 1/2 of the cilantro.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
Cook, covered for 1 hour.
Add the brown rice and bring back to the boil,
Reduce heat and continue to cook for 1 hour.
This long slow cooking will allow the rice to lend an element of creaminess to the soup.
Just before serving stir in the remaining cilantro.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Duo of Hot Pepper Recipes

Today was the day that those hot long peppers from the farm became more than just ordinary!  I made two different kinds of pepper sauces.  Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce and Hot Pepper Ketchup both are simple and delicious!

Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce

9 oz of cleaned and chopped hot chili peppers (remove seeds if you can't take the heat)
7 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tbs sugar
2 1/2 tbs white vinegar

In a food processor combine everything and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Place into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce no longer tastes raw.
Place into a container with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator.

Hot Pepper Ketchup

1 lb onions, chopped
1 lb hot peppers, chopped (remove seeds if you can't take the heat)
5 tbs fresh chopped garlic
1 8 oz can tomato paste
3 cups prepared ketchup
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor combine onions, peppers, and garlic.
Pulse until a smooth although you do still want some texture.
Place the mixture into a pot and cook over medium heat until most of the moisture has cooked out.
Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for a few minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the ketchup, sugar, and salt.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Place into containers with tight fitting lids and store in the refrigerator.
May also be canned as you would any ketchup if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

French Onion Soup

There is something so comforting on a cold day about a steaming bowl of soup.  The temperature was around 25 F when I woke up this morning which of course put me into a soup frame of mind.

This soup is satisfying and hearty with bold yet mellow onion flavor.

French Onion Soup

3 softball size onions, cut into half moons - about 8 cups
4 tbs vegan buttery alternative
2 tbs fresh thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
6 to 8 cups beef broth (dairy & gluten free) - depending on how thin you like your soup
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (gluten free)

In a large pot saute the onions with buttery alternative, thyme, pepper and garlic salt until caramelized.
The best way to do this is to begin over moderate heat then reduce heat to low and stir every 5 minutes or so.
Once the onions are caramelized, deglaze the pan with the red wine.
Be sure to scrape all the yummy pits off the bottom of the pot!
Next add in the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.
Bring everything up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Allow to simmer partially covered for at least 30 minutes but longer is better.

If desired ladle into oven safe individual bowls and top with a dairy & gluten free crouton then smother the top with either dairy free or goat's milk cheese.  Broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dairy and Gluten Free Taco Seasoning Mix and Tex-Mex Rice

I love Tex-Mex flavors!  They are so bold and vibrant!  I am sharing 2 recipes with you today :)  One for the taco seasoning mix and one for the Tex-Mex Rice that you can make with it.

Taco Seasoning Mix

2 tbs cayenne pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup onion powder
1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup cumin
1 cup chili powder

Whisk together and store in an air tight container.
For 1 lb ground meat add 3 tbs and 1/3 cup water.

Tex-Mex Rice

1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs taco seasoning
1 tbs dried cilantro
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce

In a pot with a tight fitting lid saute the onion in the olive oil.
When the onions begin to turn transluscent add the garlic and rice, sauteing for about 1 minute.
Add the taco seasoning, cilantro, corn, and water.
Bring to a boil.
Place the lid on the pot and reduce heat as low as possible.
Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
Stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

A Take on Cincinnati Chili - Gluten and Dairy Free

I am in no way saying that this is anything close to the real Cincinnati Chili that you can get at say Skyline.  However, it is yummy and very different than regular chili.  There are many versions of how to serve Cincinnati chili.  I like mine served over Tinkyada pasta then topped with Daiya Cheddar and fresh chopped onions.

A Take on Cincinnati Chili

6 cups water
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely minced or grated
2 - 8 oz cans tomato paste
4 tbs ketchup
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tbs cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp allspice, ground
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tbs salt (adjust as you like)

2 lbs hot cooked Tinkyada Spaghetti Noodles (or gluten free pasta of your choice)
1 large sweet onion, chopped (optional)
1 package of Daiya Cheddar (optional)
1 can kidney beans, drained and warmed (optional)

Place the ground beef and onions in a large pot along with the water.
Bring to a boil.
Stir or even whisk to break the meat up into a very fine consistancy.
Add the tomato paste and remaining ingredients to the pot.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for at least 30 minutes; however, longer is better as with most chili.  You may need to partially cover the pot if you plan to simmer for over an hour.
Serve as desired with the toppings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Roasted Red Beet and Potato Soup

This soup takes me back to my roots.  I grew up eating authentic Polish Red Beet Soup cooked lovingly by my Polish Grandmother.  While this soup is nowhere near authentic the flavor is wonderful!  It takes me back to sitting at her kitchen table...

Roasted Red Beet and Potato Soup
(loosely based on Beet Soup by Sophies Foodfiles)

10 medium red beets
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
6 medium potatoes, roughly chopped
8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt & pepper
10 cups beef broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Prepare the beets by rubbing with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper.
Wrap the beets in a double thickness of aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour.
Meanwhile place the leek, carrot, potatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet.
Coat the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the vegetables for 1 hour.
Once the beets are cooled enough to handle remove the skins and roughly chop.
Place the beets and roasted vegetables into a pot with a lid.
Add enough beef broth to cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot.
Allow to simmer gently for about 1 hour.
Puree the soup either with an immersion blender, blender, or food processor depending on your preference.
Add more warmed beef broth as needed to puree the soup.
The soup should be smooth and not too thick.
Serve warm soup with a sprinkling of fresh goat cheese if desired.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simple "Fried" Rice

This fried rice is great as a simple side or can be added to in order to make a full meal.  When we have this fried rice as a meal I often add scrambled eggs, smoked sausage, cooked chicken, and additional vegetables.  Really this "recipe" is just a starting point feel free to add whatever you love.  Growing up my Dad was a master at turning leftovers and odds and ends into a wonderful meal - Those meals and his technique for fried rice are where this dish comes from. 

Simple "Fried" Rice

4 to 6 cups of cooked and cooked rice (jasmine, brown, long grain - really any kind is fine)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 to 3 tbs olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free)
1/4 to 1/3 sweet chili sauce
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

In a large skillet heat the oil almost to the smoking point.  You want it to be VERY hot!
Add in the onions and cook until well browned.  The onions should look dark don't be afraid!
Toss in the garlic and the rice.
Continue frying until the rice begins to brown.
Add the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and frozen peas.
Continue to cook until the peas are heated through.

Optional Ingredients (Choose as many or as few as you like):
3 scrambled eggs  (Add in fully cooked eggs just before serving)
1/2 to 1 1lb smoked sausage, chopped into 1/2" pieces (Add in with the onions to brown)
1/2 to 1 lb fully cooked chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces (Add in with the peas)
1/2 to 1 lb pressed tofu, chopped into bite sized pieces (Great if marinated - Add in with the onions to brown)
Various vegetables such as bok choy, diced carrots, nappa cabbage, celery, etc really anything you like (Add in according to length of cooking time)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dairy and Gluten Free Brownies

I searched high and low yesterday for a brownie recipe yesterday that would work with the ingredients that I had on hand.  You all know how it is when you get that chocolate craving!!  It just has to be done!  When I was unable to find a recipe with ingredients that worked, I decided to play and come up with my own based on the best parts of a few recipes.  I think that they turned out really well!  Or at least the brownies did even if the photograph didn't!  

Diva Dairy & Gluten Free Brownies

1 stick vegan buttery substitute, melted (I used Blue Bonnet Light Stick)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 to 2 cups dairy & gluten free chocolate chips (I only used 1 cup as that was how much I had) - optional
1 cup chopped walnuts or nuts of choice - optional

Combine the melted buttery alternative, apple sauce, cocoa powder, sugar, instant coffee, eggs, and vanilla.
Stir in the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, sea salt, and baking soda.
Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts if using.
Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Bake at 350 F for 30 to 45 minutes or until done.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chorizo Pasta Toss

This is a throw together kind of meal that is so satisfying!  If you want a creamy sauce instead just add in 1/2 cup evaporated goat's milk just before tossing the pasta with the sauce.

12 oz gluten free penne pasta (I used Tinkyada)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 lb chorizo (I used Boulder Chorizo which is a lean pork Mexican style)
4 tbs tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp Tabasco sauce (omit if you don't like a spicy kick)
2 tbs vegan buttery alternative
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta per package directions.  Be sure to slightly under cook as the pasta will finish in the sauce.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid saute the onions, peppers, and garlic until tender.
Remove the casing from the chorizo and break into bite sized pieces.
Add the chorizo to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth, Tabasco sauce, buttery alternative, paprika, pepper and salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
Cook for 5 minutes covered.
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and continue to simmer covered until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Stir in the cilantro or parsley just before serving.