Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fire Roasted Mock Lasagna

A yummy casserole on a chilly night!

1 TB olive oil
1 red pepper, roasted, seeded and sliced*
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4-1 lb ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce(1-8 oz can)
1-14.5 oz  can fire roasted tomatoes(make your own if you have the time!!)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
seasoning salt and pepper to taste

16 oz pasta(usually I make my own but this time I used Sam Mills Gluten Free Rotini)
1 cup cottage cheese
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream

1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

* roasted red pepper....
Place whole red pepper on a foil lined baking pan. Place about 3 inches under your broiler(set to high if you have the option)
When it has blackened , turn 1/4 turn....blacken each side well.
Remove from the oven and cover with a towel until cool enough to handle. Remove top, seeds and skin. It should all slip off rather easily, don't rinse! Some seeds and skin is fine. Slice up into bite sized pieces.

In a skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onion, red peppers and garlic. Cook until onion is soft and translucent. Add beef and cook until there is no pink left.
Add tomato sauce, tomatoes and seasonings, cover and simmer.

Preheat oven to 350
Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain well.

Mix cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream, mix well.

Pour pasta into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and toss with cottage cheese mixture.

Pour tomato mixture over the top, sprinkle cheese over the top of that.
(Can be made to this point and refrigerated, take out about 30-45 minutes before you intend to cook)

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, uncover and bake 15 minutes more until hot and bubbly.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Banana Berry Salad

I served this as a side to Zucchini Bread French Toast.

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2 bananas, sliced

1/3 cup sour cream
1 TB sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

In a bowl mix the berries and sliced bananas. In another bowl mix sour cream sugar and lemon juice, pour over fruit mixture and toss gently.

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread(non-GF version too)

I decided to give Zucchini Bread French Toast a try tonight so I set out to make a gluten free Zucchini bread. It turned out delicious. See ** for non-gluten free version

Make sure your ingredients are room temp.

2/3 cup coconut flour(you can use white rice flour if you dont have coconut)*
2/3 cup tapioca starch*
1/2 cup sorghum flour*
1/4 cup masa harnia*
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquefied(you can sub vegetable oil if you wish)
3/4 - 1 cup sugar(sweeten to your preference, I use about 3/4 cup raw sugar)
1 tsp vanilla

1 medium zucchini , shredded....I would say about 2 cups or so

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 - 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Mix together your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl beat eggs, applesauce, oil and sugar until well combined, add in vanilla.

Mix in dry ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
Fold in shredded zucchini.

Divide batter into the 2 prepared pans.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

* you can sub 2 cups of your favorite gluten free baking mix if you like....
** you can sub 2 cups white flour for the * ingredients and omit xanthan gum for a delicious non-gluten free bread too.

Gluten Free Cheese Crackers

These are a hit with my GF son! My friend sent me this recipe and I modified it to our liking!

6 oz shredded sharp cheddar(actually you can use just about any kind of hard cheese you like!)
4 TB butter
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup cornstarch(plus more for rolling if need be)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 TB water (plus or minus)

In a food processor combine everything but the water

process until you get fine crumbs.

Slowly add water until the dough holds together, you dont really want it over-moistened!

Take it out of the processor and hand knead into a smooth ball.

preheat oven to 400

I cut the ball into quarters and rolled it out with my Kitchenaid pasta roller, you can roll it out by hand to 1/8 inch or so.

Cut into desired shapes. I just did squares with my pizza cutter but I do have tiny little animal shape cutters. I might do that next time LOL.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and poke each one with a fork or toothpick.

Bake for 5- 7 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake an additional 3-5 minutes until crisp.

They will crisp a bit more as they cool.
Cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coconut Banana Chicken with Pineapple

This was just something that sparked in my imagination. I had coconut milk on hand and wanted to try something different. I went in search of ideas but of course nothing seemed just right. So I had to strike out on my own.
I made it with a side of coconut rice and some steamed broccoli

4-5 chicken breasts
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice

salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes

1/4 cup coconut milk
2 bananas, sliced

2 cups pineapple, cut into chunks

1/4 cup melted butter

Place chicken breasts in a dish and cover with mixture of coconut milk and pineapple juice. Allow to marinate several hours.

Preheat oven to 350
Place pineapple in the bottom of baking dish.

Place 1 1/2 cups of the corn flakes in a shallow dish, add salt and pepper to taste.

Take each piece of chicken and place in the corn flakes, turning to coat well and place on top of the pineapple and drizzle with 2 TB melted butter

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

While the chicken in baking
In another dish place 1/4 cup coconut milk and dip the banana slices

Place remaining cornflakes in a bag and add dipped banana slices. I blow a little air into the bag, hold tight and shake gently to coat them all.

Place banana slices over the chicken pieces, drizzle remaining 2 TB of butter. Sprinkle with a bit of flaked coconut if desired.  Bake 15-20  more minutes until chicken reaches at least 165.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Taco Meatloaf

Just a change from a standard meatloaf! Ground meat is not generally an "all day" in the slow cooker, it is obviously longer than in the oven but not a "put it on in the AM and leave for work" one. It is nice to get dinner all done in the afternoon though!
I served with a side of cilantro lime carrots and jalapeno corn muffins.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef(90% lean) or ground turkey
4-6 corn tortillas*
(olive oil for brushing , sea salt as desired)
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese(Monterrey or Colby Jack if you don't want the kick)
1/2 cup salsa
1 egg
2 tsp chili powder**
1 tsp cumin**
1 tsp oregano**
1 tsp paprika**
1/2 tsp garlic powder**
1/2 tsp onion powder**
1/2 tsp sea salt**
1/2 tsp black pepper**

1/3 cup ketchup
1 TB taco sauce(mild or hot , your preference!)

Preheat oven to 350

Tortilla Chips:

You will need 4-6 depending on the size, mine were "large" size so 4 was sufficient, you may need more if yours are small, you will want 1 to 1 1/2 cups after crushing

On each corn tortilla brush a bit of olive oil on each side, then cut into 8 sections. Place in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet and salt as desired.

Bake for  about 10 minutes watching CAREFULLY, you want them to crisp but not get over brown.  They will crisp further as they cool.

Cool completely and crush well.

In a bowl mix seasonings.

Add in meat, egg, salsa, cheese and chips.
Mix until just combined.

Form into a round loaf.

I use slow cooker liners so it is easy to lift out. If you dont want to use that  take 4 long strips of heavy duty foil(about 3 inches by 18 inches) and place them across the bottom and up the sides crossing in the middle like a bike wheel. This will leave you a "handle" to pull the meat up.

If you are using the foil method, spray it well with cooking spray. Place loaf into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours until a meat thermometer reads 165.

 In the last hour of cooking, combine the ketchup and taco sauce and spread over the top.

Remove it to a platter and allow to set for 10 minutes.

Slice and top as desired (we like dressing it just like a taco... shredded greens(we prefer baby spinach to the standard iceberg lettuce) some cheddar, more salsa and a dollop of sour cream.

* you can use commercial tortilla chips, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups crushed
**you can replace the double starred ingredients with about 3/4 of a packet of taco seasonings if you wish

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Hero Valentines - Caped Cru-Suckers

So CUTE!! I didn't want to do mainstream cartoon Valentines with my kids for their classes this year and I am not super creative when it comes to crafts. So I looked around and found these. They turned out AWESOME!!!

-Construction Paper of your color preference(I used the rainbow: red, orange, yellow , green, blue, purple and pink) Number of sheets depends on how many you need of course, I folded each paper sheet into quarters for 4 valentines per sheet, if you want to cut out individually you can probably get plenty more per sheet....I just went the "lazy" route LOL
-glue stick
-tootise pops
-hole punch
-black marker

Here is the template for the capes and masks, I would suggest printing it out on card stock, makes it MUCH easier to trace, but I did it with regular paper.

Trace and cut your number of capes and masks.
Punch a hole at the top of each cape

Draw eye holes on the masks with the black marker.

You can write a message on each cape but I chose(again a "lazy" route) to use a template from Avery labels.
You can customize with whatever message and even Valentine Icons(go to "Images from Avery Gallery" and select Valentine) and print them out(on regular paper or construction paper if you like). Then just cut them out and paste them on!

LINK to the Avery template that I used.

I actually put the "Love Marshall" on my youngest sons label, I still had him sign them but his handwriting leaves something to be desired LOL I had my older sons fill out the to and from on the backs of the cape.

Take the masks and place them around the tootise pop, securing at the back with a small piece of tape.

Insert pops into the capes pressing up over the wrapper and securing with a bit of tape.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I am using  this for Banana Bread French Toast tonight!

Make sure all your ingredients are room temp!

2/3 cup brown rice flour*
2/3 cup tapioca starch*
1/2 cup sorghum flour*
1/4 cup masa harina*
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

2 cups mashed bananas(about 4-5 medium)
1/3 cup coconut oil(liquefied)
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
3/4 - 1 cup sugar(sweetness is to your taste preference)
1 tsp vanilla

Grease 2-9 x 5 loaf pans
Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl mix dry ingredients until well combined.

In another bowl beat bananas, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, sugar and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients until just moistened.

Divide batter between two pans and place in the center of preheated oven.

Bake 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes , remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

* you can use 2  cups of any gluten free flour mix you like in place of those 4 ingredients

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Easy and Tasty Spanish Rice

A fantastic side to a Mexican meal!

1 cup white rice
1 TB olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 3/4 cups water
1-6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tsps chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
(I add chipotle powder too, if you have it I recommend it!)
salt to taste
Optional: 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed well.

In a large deep  skillet heat oil over medium high heat.

add rice garlic, and onions and cook, stirring often until the onion is tender and the rice is golden brown.

Add in peppers and cook until they are soft.

Add water, tomato paste and seasoning. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover

cook for 25-30 minutes until the rice is tender, stirring gently on occasion.

If using black beans, add them in in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.