Easy Applesauce

016.JPGI received a box of apples a few days ago and they were a bit tart. There was also a lot of them. I decided that I would turn them into applesauce. Applesauce is not a real picky recipe to make. There are so many different ways to go about it, even the cooking style. If I had more, I would have done canning as well, which leads into that process. However, you can make applesauce out of just a couple of pounds of apples. This is in a 16 oz container. It’ll make some great snacks! Since I love cinnamon I went a bit heavy there. I was told it tasted like apple pie filling, and left it a bit chunky, instead of running it with the immersion blender.

011Ingredients:
2-3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Once you are done peeling, coring, and cutting the apples into smaller pieces, place them into a pot with the water. Set the temp on medium heat. Squirt the lemon juice on top and give them a stir. Add in the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Allow them to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring on occasion. Once they start to soften and break apart, turn the heat down to low. You can use a spoon to break up the pieces of apple more. If you like it pureed, use an immersion blender at the end, or scoop cups out and pour into a blender.

Mine is a bit darker from coconut sugar. I have skipped the sugar in it before, however since these apples were quite tart, they needed it. You can use apple juice instead of water, and the cinnamon and sugar ratios are more to taste. This is very flexible and it makes your house smell great! Give it a try next time you have a surplus of apples on hand.

Beef with Cabbage (1 pan meal)

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This is a meal that is easy to make, easy to clean up. It’s healthy and not heavy on the carbs. It reheats well, which is just another bonus. It reminds me in a way of almost a deconstructed egg roll. It’s warm and fills your stomach.

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1/2 head fresh green cabbage, sliced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

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Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions, turmeric and beef. While the beef cooks, cut the cabbage into large strips. Add the cabbage and both cans of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*I like to add a bit of cayenne pepper as well, depends on who is over for dinner. I like spicier food, where my family often wants mild.

Fresh Mushroom Soup for Two

I love soups! They make me think of fall, the beautiful leaves, and the cooler weather. It’s not exactly cool here, but I got these lovely Crimini mushrooms at the farmer’s market. I’m a huge mushroom fan, when I make pork chops and steak, I love a big pile of sauteed mushrooms on top. They’re almost better than the main course for me! Anyways, the soup takes about a half hour to make. Since I bought a pound of mushrooms, I can make another batch of this. Cooking for two people can be tough. As much as I like leftovers, I can’t always eat all of them and need something fresh.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white rice flour (pretty much any gf flour will work)
2 cups diced mushrooms (Crimini or Baby bella will work the best)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and allow the onions to soften. Add the flour and stir it in well with the onion and garlic. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften. Stir in the broth, heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*The vegetable broth can be replaced with a chicken broth, or even water.

*The heavy cream can be replaced with milk, but I would suggest adding a bit more flour to thicken up the soup.

This will make 2 larger bowls, or 4 small bowls. You can easily multiply the recipe to make more.

Good Morning Egg Bake

Breakfast on the weekend can be a real mess. Sometimes I’m wanting to sleep in, sometimes I’m rushing to the farmer’s market. Other times, I’m working. Besides being easy to put together, it’s a great way to clean out your fridge of any veggies that need to get used up, or you have too small a quantity to use elsewhere. Either way, I like eggs. I’ll also say that even though I do love cooking – I don’t always like to buy ingredients for one dish. If you are missing something, use something else!

eggbake3Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup diced ham
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar

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Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix together the eggs, milk and spices, and pour into a baking pan, or pie pan. Pour the eggs in, then add all the cut vegetables and meat. Top with cheese and a bit more pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, makes 4 servings.

Bacon and Cheese Dip

I went away for the weekend and wanted to take along a few great snacks. This dip was one of them. I served it with some good corn tortilla chips. It’s not a heavy dip, and you get hints of all the great flavors in each bite. I made this portion size for two people to snack on over a weekend, however you can easily double the recipe.

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Ingredients:
6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped

Start by cooking your bacon. Once it is cooling off, place the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl and stir together. Add in the paprika and cayenne, and stir. Finally add the bacon, cheddar cheese, and parsley. Top off with the green onions.

Easy and delicious!

Over the weekend I also served this watermelon and pomegranate salad. It’s fresh, fun, and anywhere I bring it, the bowl ends up empty! Outings are so much more fun when there is delicious gluten free food available. Just bring plenty to share!

Kale and Quinoa Soup

Kale and Quinoa Soup

Today I made a pot of soup. I wanted to use some of the delicious fresh vegetables that I had available. I wanted it to be hearty and filling. I also wanted it to be healthy, and I wanted something that make good leftovers. It’s not a difficult soup to make, there’s time involved in preparing the vegetables and then you just allow it to cook.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 zucchini quartered and sliced
2 cups green beans
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
3 cups kale
salt and pepper, to taste

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Over medium high heat put the olive oil in a dutch oven or larger pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Allow them to sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the green beans, zucchini, rosemary and paprika. Next, add the vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce. Add in the rinsed quinoa and black beans. Lower the heat to a medium low and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. Finally add in the salt, pepper, and kale. Allow to cook another 5-7 minutes stirring all the kale in and allowing it to wilt.

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This will serve 6-8. Serve hot, and enjoy.

A few notes: You can use fresh or frozen beans. The quinoa is uncooked and just rinsed before going into the soup. I do remove the ribs from the kale, and shred it a bit with my hands. I added a bit of cheese on top of mine since I love cheese. I’m looking forward to enjoying it again for lunch tomorrow.

I Tried It. Baking your Hard Boiled Eggs

When I was on Facebook the other day I saw a video in my feed from the Food Network. They were showing how to cook your hard boiled eggs in the oven. I cook my bacon in the oven (less mess, no splatter), so I figured I’d give this a try. I rarely post anything that isn’t a recipe, but I found this interesting.

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I make hard boiled eggs a couple times a month. I have days where I am in such a rush that I don’t have time for much of a breakfast, or I want them for a salad. They’re fairly portable, and then I won’t have a growling tummy or the cravings for junk food.

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So what did I think about baking the eggs? Well you cook them at 350F for 30 minutes in a cupcake pan, instead of the 12-ish minutes in boiling water. If you’re my mom, you let the water boil over. I put the oven timer, placed the muffin tin in, and went about my business while they did theirs. They tasted the same, as I had to test one with a bit of pepper right away. I thought it worked out well. Have you ever tried it?

Chicken stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach and Cheese

We’ve had to change how we eat a bit here at home. Not only do we have to be careful with the gluten, my mother is diabetic, so we watch the carbs. Tonight I made this flavorful chicken along with a salad. This made 4 servings, and I’ll have leftovers for my lunch tomorrow. The actual prep does not take long, and I was able to do other things around the house while it was in the oven.

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Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices prosciutto
1/4 cup cream cheese (whipped works best for spreading)
1 handful fresh spinach with ends cut off
dried basil (sprinkle on top of the cheese)
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat a skillet on medium high heat with the olive oil while you prepare the chicken, and preheat the oven to 350F.

Flatten out the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. 1/4 inch works well. Lay the prosciutto on top (I had to cut the pieces in half.) Spread the cream cheese on top of the chicken breasts and prosciutto, and sprinkle the basil on top. Lay out the fresh spinach on top of that. Carefully roll them from one end to the other. I use toothpicks to hold them together.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them.

stuffedchicken3Place the chicken rolls in the hot pan with the oil and brown them on the top and bottom. Brown the seam side first. If you need to adjust the toothpicks, feel free. This will just take a couple of minutes. Then, if you have a oven safe pan, you can place it right in the oven. Otherwise you will need to transfer them to a baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until they are fully cooked. Remove from the oven, remove the toothpicks and serve.

stuffedchicken2Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Coffee Brownies

coffeebrownies1 I’ve been refining my cooking skills a bit lately, and not only cooking gluten free, but making my food friendly for a family member who is a type 2 diabetic. Since we generally ate pretty healthy, there weren’t a lot of major changes going on, but there’s been a lot of education, and me playing around in the kitchen to make things that taste great and that everyone can eat. I’m not a short order cook.

Treats have been a harder thing for me to tackle, Gluten free baking is it’s own beast and measurements need to be precise. My stomach is very finicky about a lot of the diabetic approved sugar substitutes, and in the end, a treat needs to taste like a treat.

This turned out very good. My picky stomach was happy, the Diabetic enjoyed it and blood sugar was happy. Ingredients:
For the brownies:
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1-2 tablespoons stevia (this is optional depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup strong coffee, cooled
3-4 tablespoons powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

coffeebrownies3Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, stevia if desired, salt, and cocoa power, and baking powder. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together in a small pan on the stove, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Add to the flour, then add in the coffee, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until fully combined, then carefully pour into your greased pan.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, which will give them a more cake-like texture. If you prefer them more soft and fudgey, cook them a bit less. (This would work and can always skip the frosting, they are delicious on their own.)

For the frosting beat the butter and the confectioner’s sugar together until combined and slowly add in the coffee. Keep mixing as you add the coffee, and let it soak in.

Frost when the brownies have cooled off, and enjoy having a delicious treat!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

asparagus soupDo you have a garden full of asparagus? This recipe is great if you do, and still great if you need to make a run over to the local farmer’s market or to the store. It’s creamy, healthy, and delicious! I’m a soup fan and enjoy it year round, so a wonderful vegetarian and gluten free lunch like this is perfect. It goes great with a salad or sandwich, it’s very versatile.

asparagussoup2Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1-2″ pieces
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
juice from 1 medium lemon
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk

-Optional toppings: cheese, gluten free crackers or croutons.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, start the shallot and garlic in the olive oil. Allow the shallot to soften up for a couple of minutes, then add the asparagus. Season with the salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and milk, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally – bringing the soup to a low simmer. If you have an immersion blender carefully puree until the soup is completely smooth. If not, you can use a blender by scooping out a few cups at a time, blending and pouring back into the pot. If so, allow the soup to cool a bit, and be careful to not burn yourself.

Serve hot, and add any topping of choice. Enjoy.

I will note, that the asparagus got a bit “stringy” around the blades of my immersion blender, and was a bit difficult to clean. However – it was quite worth it!