Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dairy Free 6 Layer Taco Dip

Just like tacos, only without the fats of dairy and the carbs of tortillas. Full of fiber and protein!
A quiche dish works best but any pie plate or small casserole works too!
Layered in the dish starting at bottom:

1 can fat free refried beans
1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 lb lean beef - cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning and red pepper flakes
2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 can black olives - chopped
Guacamole - i use 2 large avocados and season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion & chili powder

Spicy extras: sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped fresh cilantro and hot sauce

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Healthy Carrot Oat Cookies

These are fluffy, yummy and on the healthier side of cookies!

1/2 cup smart balance or coconut oil - softened
1 1/2 cup shredded fresh carrot (food processor works best)
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk of your choice
1 cup coconut
*1/2-1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1 cup Gluten Free flour
1 cup quick oats (uncooked)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix together butter/oil, carrot, eggs, honey, milk, coconut and cranberries. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the carrot mixture.

Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake in oven 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My Saturday morning favorite! Very versatile to suit most tastes!
You will need a blender or food processor and a good non-stick pan.

2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar

Beat eggs in blender. Add salt and milk; beat. Add flour and sugar and just blend. It should be a fairly thin consistency.

Heat your pan over medium heat, spray with non stick spray. Pour a half cup to a cup of batter into pan at a time and swirl the pan to make a thin layer of batter. Cook about 1 minute or until small bubbles begin to form. Flip and cook another minute.

Fill with anything you can think of; yogurt, jam, sugar and cinnamon, scrambled eggs and sausage!

**Allergy free substitutions:
Eggs - EnerG egg replacer
Flour - All purpose Gluten-free flour
Milk - Non-dairy milk of your choice

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chickpea Hummus

A tasty, healthy snack! Pair with veggies, crackers or chips!
You will need a food processor.

1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic - peeled
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup water or milk
*cayenne (optional)

In a food processor combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic and olive oil. Cover and process, adding the water or milk until you reach desired consistency.
Try topping with a little sea salt, cayenne, chopped cherry tomatoes or chives. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Carrot Tomato Soup

You will need a food processor.

2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion - chopped
5-7 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1-2 tsp curry powder
7 large ripe plum tomatoes - skin removed and roughly chopped
3-4 cups chicken broth
6 TBSP basil
salt and pepper to taste
*2 TBSP brown sugar (optional)

To remove skin from tomatoes; heat a pot of water to boiling. Add tomatoes and let boil about 3 minutes or until skin starts to split. Remove to bowl of ice water. Skin should slide right off!

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes. Add carrots and curry powder, cover and cook 20 minutes until tender, stirring often.
Add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Add basil, salt and pepper.

Transfer soup 1/3 at a time to food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer back to pot and heat through.
Add a little milk for creaminess. Spice it up with extra curry or a little chili powder. Make a sweeter soup by adding the brown sugar.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whiskey Pecan Cake

First time making this and loved it! I prefer gluten free cake mixes because they are denser and seem more moist.

1 package white cake mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup + Whiskey

Mix the cake batter as directed. Stir in nuts and bake also as directed.
Combine butter, sugar and whiskey in a pot and boil for 5 minutes. When cake is done baking-pour mixture (carefully) over cake and bake 5 to 10 more minutes. Let cool.
I also poured a little more whiskey on after it was cooled and made a Whiskey frosting by combining 2 cups powdered sugar, 1-2 TBSP whiskey and 1 TBSP corn starch. Then I topped with coconut because I like coconut.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Black Bean Chili with Italian Sausage

olive oil
1 large onion - chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 can black beans - drained
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
2-3 large italian sausages - chopped into small rounds
1 jar salsa
salt & pepper to taste
1 small can tomato juice

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until barely soft. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook all day on low. Leftover taco meat? Throw that in too! I also add a few chopped jalapenos. Top with avocado and sour cream. I serve mine with twice baked potatoes for a nice comfort food meal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hawaiian Stir-Fry

So easy. You have to be willing to give spam a try though!

2 cups cooked short grain rice
1 can chunk pineapple
1 can Lite Spam - cut into small squares and browned
3 scrambled eggs
*chopped olives (optional)
Shredded cheese

Combine everything while hot and season with pepper.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Potato Cake

I've only made the allergy free version but I'll give both. I suspect the original will deliver a more fluffy, soft cake. However, the allergy free, I thought, was delicious and not too sweet.
You will need a Bundt pan. I bought my first one just for this recipe!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk mixed with 2 cups cooked, mashed potatoes
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
*1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour Bundt pan. (Take some shortening on a paper towel and coat inside of pan. Add flour and swirl around to coat, shake out excess). In a medium bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add cups of flour mix alternately with potato mix. Stir in nuts and raisins.
Pour into Bundt pan and bake 90 to 120 minutes. Until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For topping: mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 TBSP milk and 1 drop green food coloring.

**Allergy-free Substitutions:
Flour - all purpose gluten free flour
Eggs - egg replacer or 6 TBSP ground chia mixed with 1/2 cup water
Milk - non dairy milk of your choice

For a grown up treat, add a little Baileys and ice cream :)

Spicy Tomato Bean Soup

This is a quick and spicy soup I just love!

Olive oil
2 large carrots - peeled and chopped
1 small-medium onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 (26 oz) jar marinara sauce (i use organic with no added sugar)
2 (14 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can cannellini (white) beans - drained and rinsed
red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp for just a hint of spice, or 1 TBSP for a good kick)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2-1 cup small pasta

Heat the olive oil in a big covered pan or soup pot. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and a bit of salt (the carrots help to absorb the acidity from the marinara sauce). Saute about 2 minutes until soft. Add the marinara, chicken broth, beans, red pepper. Salt and pepper to your taste. Simmer 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

*For a heartier soup, add a pound of ground cooked sausage or seasoned lean beef.

**Allergy-free Substitutions:
Replace the pasta with your favorite Gluten free pasta.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lemon Shrimp Linguini

Super silky and light. Easy and quick!

1 box linguini or fettucini pasta - cooked
1 bag frozen, uncooked large shrimp (i used cooked small shrimp and they cooked to fast!)
1 cup chopped *Italian parsley
2 lemons
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 shallots or half an onion - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
2-3 cups fresh arugula

Zest one lemon into the 1/3 cup olive oil and set aside.

Saute onion, garlic and 1/4 tsp sea salt in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When they start to soften add the frozen shrimp, then zest and juice 2nd lemon into pan. I would recommend just half of the lemons' juice unless you want a good bite to the dish. Saute until the shrimp turn pink. Add the cooked linguini, parsley, arugula, lemon oil and bit more salt. When the lettuce begins to wilt, remove from heat.

**Allergy free substitutions:
Replace the past with a gluten free variety. If you cant do garlic, up the shallot and maybe add a 1/3 cup chopped green onions with the parsley and arugula.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Allergy Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Super hearty, heart healthy and allergy free!
Makes 2 large pancakes or 3-4 small/medium pancakes.

1 cup quick oats
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP egg replacer or ground chia seeds mixed with 3 TBSP water
3/4-1 cup non dairy milk of your choice
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

In a small bowl whisk together milk, vinegar and egg replacer. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients. Pour the milk mix into the dry mix and stir. It will be thick so spread it out with a spoon in greased fry pan over medium heat. Cook about a minute on each side until golden. To ensure its cooked all the way through, finish in the microwave (about a minute). Unless you like the outside burned!
For a slightly healthier topping than syrup, try raw honey or sugar free preserves. If your not lactose intolerant try fat free yogurt!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

A traditional Irish daily bread.
Preheat oven to 375.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP butter or margarine
1 egg white, slightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda/powder, salt. Cut in butter with a pastry knife to resemble coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl mix together buttermilk and egg white, pour into dry ingredients. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough 10-12 times. Press into a greased round cake pan and crisscross cut the dough. Bake for about 30 minutes. For a crispier, more golden crust, brush the top of the dough with beaten egg white.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemade Chili

1 lb each of cooked ground pork & beef sausage (or cooked shredded pork roast)
1 can chili or black beans-drained
1 large onion-chopped & sauteed
2-3 cloves garlic - chopped & sauteed
1 can tomato sauce
1 bottle amber or stout beer
1 large can Spicy V8
3-4 TBSP tomato paste
1 can green chilies

mustard powder - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 or 2 tsp
chili powder - 2 TBSP
cumin - 1 tsp
cayenne - 1 tsp
savory - 1 tsp
*red pepper flakes - 2 tsp (optional)
salt to taste
Tabasco - a few splashes

*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (optional)

Combine meat, beer, beans, V8, tomato paste, onion and garlic in slow cooker. In a large bowl mix together the tomato sauce, green chilies, seasonings and Tabasco - stir into meat mixture. A few hours into cooking, add the peanut butter and stir well - it gives the chili an nice creamy and thicker texture.

Add or eliminate any ingredients to suit your own tastes. Chili is a very personal thing, so make it to make YOU happy!

Corned Beef with Cabbage

Let's celebrate the Irish all month!! Though some skeptics say Corned Beef is not actually known to have originated in Ireland, most of us think of it as a traditional Irish family staple. And don't be put off by the word "cabbage". I'm definitely not a cabbage lover myself, but it works in this dish deliciously!
You will need a large crock pot.

1 packaged corned beef brisket from the meat section at your grocery
5-6 small red potatoes, cut into thirds or quarters
1/2-1 head cabbage-cut into medium wedges
1-2 carrots cut into small rounds
1 large onion-chopped
1 beer
pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, 4 bay leaves

First spray the crock pot down with pam to cut down on scrubbing time after dinner.
Place the brisket, fatty side down, in pot surrounded by carrots, onions and potatoes. Pour in beer and fill with water almost to top of meat. Season and cook on high for 1-2 hours. Then either continue cooking on high for 4-6 hours (basting occasionally with a spoon) or cook on low 10-12 hours. In the last hour add cabbage.

**Use leftovers for brisket sandwiches with mayo and dijon mustard on a hoagie roll!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sausage & Risotto Stuffed Peppers

1 lb cooked ground pork sausage
3 large peppers - your choice in color
8-10 large button mushrooms-chopped and sauteed
6 slices swiss cheese

1 cup rice
1 cup water
1 1/3 cup milk
2-3 cloves garlic - pressed

Mix dry ingredients together and then add to water with milk-season to your personal taste (make sure its warmed - not cold water/milk). My suggestion:
2 TBSP flour
onion powder/flakes
parmesan or asiago cheese

Cut the peppers in half long way (or just remove the tops) and remove seeds and ribs. Place open side down on a foil lined cooking sheet and bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes. Just until peppers begin to wrinkle and get soft. Remove from oven a place in a greased casserole dish.

For Risotto:
Heat 3 TBSP butter in a pot over medium heat, add garlic and saute about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in water, milk, seasoning mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Simmer and stir until the water is mostly absorbed and then add the next 1/2 cup and so on. When all the liquid is incorporated and you like the consistency, add mushrooms and remove from heat.
Layer swiss slices, sausage and risotto into pepper halves. Top with a little grated parmesan and bake in 400 oven for about 15-20. Until peppers begin to get squishy (or to your liking).

Get your finicky kids to eat by calling them Stuffed Monkey Heads! Then they'll have a story to tell their friends at school!

**Allergy-free Substitutions:
Butter - bacon fat or coconut oil
Milk - So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk or Original Unsweetened Almond Milk
Flour - Gluten Free all-purpose flour
Swiss Cheese - If you can tolerate Soy, try the soy single cheese slices or use Tofutti better than Cream Cheese
Parmesan - Omit and use a little more salt and flour to create creaminess
**If you don't like mushrooms, try chopping up and sauteing some peppers and onions to mix into the Risotto

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes for 2

2 large russet potatoes
3 strips bacon-cooked and chopped
sour cream
salt, pepper, chili powder
green onions - chopped
grated cheddar cheese

Wash potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Cook in the oven or microwave until tender. Cut long ways a third off the tops of the potatoes and scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Making a boat out of the skins.
Mix milk and butter into the potato guts to make a creamy texture. Then add 1/4-1/2 cup sour cream, bacon pieces, salt, pepper and chili powder-mix well.
Place a tablespoon of butter in the bottoms of each potato boat and wrap with foil, leaving the top open. Fill with mixture and top with grated cheese.

Bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes until warmed and cheese is melted.
Serve with green onions and sour cream or ranch dressing!
For a heartier version, cook up some sausage links - breaking into small pieces. Then mix in with the bacon bits!
**Allergy-free substitutions:
Butter - Smart Balance or coconut oil
Milk - So Delicious Unsweetened coconut milk
Sour Cream - Tofutti Sour Supreme
Cheese - omit or use less processed cheese like Asiago or Parmesan
*Try topping with BBQ sauce instead of sour cream