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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Sauteed Beet Greens

I have never been so pleased to be wrong about a vegetable in my life.  Beet greens - the green, leafy tops of fresh beets are delicious! (Beet greens are best eaten within a day or two of picking, but are okay in the refrigerator up to a week in a plastic bag).  I'm not really a fan of beets.  I enjoy them in small quantities grated in a salad.  I will eat a piece or two if roasted, and the occasional pickled beet is a nice addition to a summer BBQ.  But beet greens are their own vegetable entirely.  They remind me of collard greens but without all the cooking time.  Delicious, easy, a nice side dish to add to a wide variety of meals.  The following is based on the recipe posted by Heartbeet Organics, where we get our tasty summer vegetables.  Enjoy!

Sauteed Beet Greens

Over medium heat cook for 1-2 minutes:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced

Add and cook until greens are nicely softened:
1 bunch beet greens, torn into 2-3" pieces (don't worry about them being even, they shrink up nicely)

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve alongside your meal as a healthy, hearty side.

- I served it as a side with bagels with lox and cream cheese.  It was delicious piled on top of the bagel alongside fresh arugula and dill.
- Any BBQ-style meal would be nicely enhanced with freshly sauteed beet greens.
- Rice & beet greens would be nice to accompany pan-fried pork or a similar dish.

Enjoy! 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Tasty Chicken Saag

We just love Indian food around here.  I love that it's always packed with vegetables, and leftovers are fun to use on top of things like pizza or in sandwiches.  We get creative.  This dish has several steps, though many are short and easy.  I've written it out so directions and ingredients are interspersed.  All ingredients are in bold, making it easy to skim through and make sure you have all you need to prepare this tasty dish.  Every time I've whipped this together, I get cheers - which I find entertaining coming from a 2, 5 and 10 year old (plus my husband).  I'll be posting a fun pizza recipe to make with leftovers soon, too.  Enjoy!
GF Chicken Saag served with basmati rice!  

Tasty Chicken Saag
Based off a recipe from "Best Ever Indian" by Baljekar, Fernandeze, Husain & Kanani 
Serves 4-6

Mix together in a small bowl, set aside:
250 g/8 oz frozen spinach, thawed (OR fresh spinach,  diced and wilted in a pot with lid w/ no extra water)
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp minced or grated garlic
1 finely minced chili OR dried, finely chopped chili ~1 tsp

In a large, low side frying pan with lid cook over medium to medium-high heat for 2 minutes:
1 Tbsp oil (olive oil or similar will work)
1/4 tsp peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves (REMOVE before serving, but leave in while cooking)

Add and cook 5 minutes:
1 onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
Nicely sauteed, just browning mushrooms and onions
Add and cook 2 minutes:
2 cups diced canned tomatoes
2-4 tsp curry powder (this adjusts the spice level, depending on your curry powder)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder

Stir in spinach mixture from above, lower heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.
Ready to add yogurt, milk and broth
Add the following and continue simmering, covered for 15 minutes:
3 Tbsp plain yogurt
3 Tbsp milk or cream
1/2 - 3/4 cup GF chicken broth or stock OR water + 2 tsp Asian Mushroom seasoning

Add the following and then simmer an additional 5 minutes, uncovered if you'd like to thicken it up a bit:
1 - 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
OR
1-2 cups diced paneer (an Indian cheese)
Fresh Chicken Saag, ready to eat! 
Serve the tasty chicken saag over fresh brown or white basmati rice.   Enjoy!
Delicious chicken saag, served with basmati and a lentil, potato, rice dish I'd whipped up, too.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Our Favorite Fried Noodles with Vegetables (and shrimp or chicken)

This is a dish I experimented with many times until I came up with a version I was really happy with.   You can use white or brown rice vermicelli noodles (although the white noodles tend to hold together better during frying).  We always loved getting fried noodles at the farmer's market, but I wanted a way to make them gluten-free and with more vegetables.  You can throw in any sort of meat you like, but I tend to use either shrimp or chicken when I whip this up.  The fried noodles have gotten rave reviews (and requests) since I first served them up.  It's a great summer dish when a wide variety of fresh vegetables are in season.  Enjoy!
Fried Noodles with Veggies - you can serve as-is or add shrimp or chicken! 

Fried Noodles with Vegetables (and Shrimp)

Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
Add:
1/2 - 1 package white or brown rice vermicelli noodles (depending on how many you want to serve. I make 1/2 package to serve ~4)
Let noodles boil for 1 minute at a rolling boil.  Remove from heat.  Drain and rinse well with water to remove starch.

Place noodles in a large bowl and mix with:
4 Tbsp avocado oil (or similar oil good for high-heat cooking)
4 Tbsp GF soy sauce (liquid Bragg's soy seasoning)

Set noodles aside while you cook the vegetables.

In a wok or similar large frying pan, saute over medium-high to high heat for 2-3 minutes:
2-3 Tbsp avocado oil (or similar oil good for high-heat cooking)
1/2 - 1 onion, sliced
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced

Add, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes:
1/2 celery root, thinly sliced & chopped to bite size pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 - 1 cup mushrooms, finely diced

Add and cook 1 minute:
1 cup broccoli, chopped to bite-sized pieces.

Place vegetables in a large serving dish.

In small batches, fry noodles in additional oil 2-3 minutes.  Once fried, place noodles on top of hot vegetables.
Once all noodles are fried, in pan heat 1-2 minutes:
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced 
OR
1-2 cups cooked shrimp (thawed, deveined, no shell)

Put shrimp or chicken on top of noodles.  Toss together.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Kristin's Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies

These are one of my all-time favorite cookies!  I love them. My kids love them. My friends love them.  They're an all-time favorite.  I even whipped some up for my brother's big GF wedding dessert reception I did 18 months ago (my how time flies).  I have to make these tasty mint triple chocolate cookies sparingly, so I don't inhale them all.  Use high quality cocoa powder and chips.   Leftovers freeze perfectly, so you can definitely make ahead if you have a summer event to attend.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies
Gluten Free Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies! 
Kristin's Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies
Makes ~36

Heat oven to 350F
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mat.

Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder (there are some extra dark cocoa powders, which have a different taste b/c of how they’re processed. I prefer the dark cocoa powder in this recipe to a normal cocoa powder)
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
2/3 + 1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar

Add, and beat in:
1 egg
1.5 tsp vanilla

Add flour/cocoa mixture and mix, just until combined.

Add, and mix:
¼ - ½ cup milk chocolate chips
¼ - ½ cup semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
½ cup mint chips

Spoon by small cookie scoop (1 Tbsp-sized) onto baking sheets.  You can leave as-is, or flatten slightly, depending on your preference.

Bake 7-8 minutes.  It’s difficult to tell when chocolate cookies are done, but it should be clear that the cookie is cooked and no longer gooey in the center. Avoid over-baking!

Let rest a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then use spatula to remove from baking sheets to wire racks to cool.
Enjoy!
Gluten Free Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies
Gluten Free Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies!!! 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Christina's Fabulous Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake!

This is my friend Christina's wonderful, fabulous, delicious chocolate Texas Sheet Cake recipe!  She is a fabulous cook who's husband was diagnosed with Celiac, so she's been working to whip up delicious recipes ever since.  Christina put together this awesome recipe and kindly said she'd be happy for me to share it on my blog.  Thank you Christina!!! This is a great cake to add to your family favorites list! Enjoy!

I have written the recipe with ingredients incorporated alongside the directions, but I'll provide a full list of ingredients at the end of this recipe for those that prefer that.  

A delicious slice of Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake! 

Christina's Fabulous Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake! 
Serves ~15-20 (depending on how you slice it, can be more or less)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then butter edges (OR butter entire cookie sheet).

Melt in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat:
1 cup butter

Add, then bring to a boil and let boil for 30 seconds, stirring til very smooth:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

Remove chocolate mixture from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together: (It's important to mix dry ingredients first in GF cooking to avoid lumps)
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch OR arrowroot starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar

Mix chocolate mixture into flour.

In a small bowl, combine:
1/2 cup buttermilk (OR 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar plus milk to equal 1/2 cup, let rest a few minutes to thicken)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Mix buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour/chocolate mixture above.

Pour onto your prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly.
Texas sheet cake - ready to pop in the oven. 

Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Immediately begin preparing frosting so you can pour it on while the cake is still warm.
Fresh cake out of the oven. 

Frosting
In a small saucepan, melt over medium to medium-high heat:
3/4 cup butter

Add and let bubble/boil for 30 seconds:
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Remove from heat and add:
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

In a larger bowl, mix until smooth:
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
chocolate/milk/butter mixture from above

You want your frosting to be a consistency that it can be easily poured.   Pour evenly over warm cake, smoothly gently, if necessary.
Texas Sheet Cake with shiny sheen of delicious frosting on top.
Let cool, then slice and enjoy!!!
A slice of cake, ready to inhale! 

Full ingredient list for cake: 
1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch OR arrowroot starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (OR 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar plus milk to equal 1/2 cup, let rest a few minutes to thicken)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Frosting ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar