Tikka Masala with Cauliflower

curry3This meal is vegan and gluten free. If you’re looking for a way to either reduce meat or dairy consumption – this is perfect. It’s packed full of flavor and the cauliflower gives it texture. You can make it quite spicy – I kept it on the mild side since I’m the only one in the family that likes really spicy food.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed loose
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces

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In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle the oil and place the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in all the spices and mix together well, coating the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Place the onions and spices in a blender with about a half cup of tomato sauce, enough to give them some liquid.

Blend together until smooth, and carefully slow back into the pan. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro in the pan and stir until everything is mixed.

Add the cauliflower into the pan, and reduce the heat to low -high. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

curry4To make hotter, adding both diced jalapenos to the onions, and increasing the cayenne will work well.

Gluten Free and Dairy free Rice Crispy Treats

fall2I saw treats at the store the other day, and I was craving them. I actually thought about them several times. My mom made them for us when we were kids, and even with how simple it is – I enjoy a good Rice Crispy treat now and then.

Now with my mom being a diabetic, she can’t chow down on these – but she did have a small treat. I had a slightly larger one, since I also watch the sugar and carbs. It was good. It was really good. I got the recipe here: Coconut Oil Rice Crispy Treats I used gluten free Rice Krispies, and a different brand oil.

I could not taste the coconut oil at all, I had wondered if it would give it a different taste. It was a great substitute for butter. Also, the marshmallows did not stick to the pot. Marshmallow can be horrible to clean up.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Coconut oil
10 oz marshmallows (small sized will work better)
5 cups Gluten Free rice krispy cereal

In a large pot over medium heat pour the marshmallows and the coconut oil. Stirring frequently, cook until the marshmallows have melted down. Pour in the cereal and mix together well.

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 9×9 pan. Pour the cereal mixture into it, and gently press into place.

Eat and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Carving

I’d seen some really cute pumpkin ideas on Pintrest a week or so ago. I haven’t decorated a pumpkin in ages, and I was feeling a bit festive. I made this one, with a large pumpkin scooped out, and three white pumpkins made into cat heads. I used hard felt for the ears and whiskers, and a Sharpie for the face. I bought some cute ribbon at Michael’s Crafts, where I also work part time.

Instead of tossing the seeds out, I roasted them. This is very easy to do, and I’ve been snacking on them since. They are also great on salad.

pumpkin2Preheat the oven to 350F.

While scooping the seeds from the pumpkin, remove as much of the stringy pieces of pumpkin as you can. Spread them across a baking pan, as evenly as you can.

Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle some salt. I also tossed a pinch of garlic salt on them.

Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. At about the 15 minute mark, give them a good stir.

Pepper and cayenne also taste great on them! Feel free to mix up the spices to your liking.

Place on a sheet of paper towel and allow it to soak up the excess olive oil. Then, snack away!

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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.

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!