October 19, 2016

Quick Gluten Free Lasagna

A chill in the air means I break out the comfort food and lasagna is one of our favorites.  My daughter only recently started liking lasagna, and after 8 years of not eating it she requests it often.  I'm only too happy to oblige of course.  I mean, how could I say no? This recipe is very simple to throw together on a busy week night and tastes amazing.

Everything is already cooked when you throw the layers together so it's just a matter of melting the cheese.  Gluten free is such a big deal right now that it's not problem at all finding Rotini noodles. And most pasta sauce is gluten free but just check the label to make sure.

I have used both sliced mozzarella and shredded for this recipe but the slices to tend to be a bit stringier (which I like) so that's what I use mostly. Feel free to substitute your favorite meat sauce for the jarred sauce and meat, since you're making this you can add whatever your family likes best.  I love this recipe and my family does too.

Quick Gluten Free Lasagna
Recipe from FlippenDelicious

  • 1 pound gluten free rotini
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 (32 oz) jar pasta sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 (24 oz) container cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Follow the package instructions to cook the pasta. Set aside.
  3. Brown the ground beef, drain off the excess fat.
  4. In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
  5. Pour just enough pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish to cover the bottom.
  6. Pour the cooked pasta on top of that, followed by the cooked hamburger.
  7. Top all that with the remaining pasta sauce.
  8. Spoon the cheese mixture over the top of all that and spread around evenly and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

October 13, 2016

3-Ingredient Brownies

So, in my flourless dessert obsession continues.  I just can't help it!  Ok, so this recipe intrigued me because it's "healthy".  Well, in fact, it really is healthy.  I was leery, but still opted to give them a chance. 

My conclusion? 

They are surprisingly good.  I didn't add mashed banana which is one option to give them a sweeter flavor, and I used mashed sweet potato and not pumpkin so they weren't very sweet.  The frosting obviously kicks up the sweet factor and I'm anxious to try it with the banana just to see how sweet they can get and still be healthy.  

The texture is very dense and heavy.  The flavor is chocolatey, smooth texture and the sweetness comes from the frosting.  Very good.  I even shared some with my neighbor and she loved them.  It's kind of hard to believe they only have three ingredients and are actually healthy. 

3-Ingredient Brownies
Recipe from The Big Mans World

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree or mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup drippy almond butter or any nut butter
  • 1/4 - 2/3 cup cocoa powder
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Coat a small 4x6 or 6x6 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor or in a bowl and blend until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes and then begin checking for doneness. Mine took more like 30 minutes to get done. Test with a toothpick inserted in the middle, when it comes out clean they're ready.
  5. **1/2 cup mashed banana's in place of 1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato will make a sweeter brownie.
  6. Frost with whatever frosting you like best. 

October 3, 2016

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian beef is a fast, easy item to make for dinner.  It takes no time at all and yet tastes like you spent all night making it.  

The beef is cut in pretty thin slices so it's easy to chew and has great flavor.  The sauce is yummy yet not overly strong. The onions add a nice crunch and a bit of color.  I served mine over rice to keep it gluten free but it would also be delicious over egg noodles.

Perfect dinner for a busy week night.  

Mongolian Beef
Recipe from My Recipes

  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili paste with garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut against the grain
  • 16 medium green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  2. Over medium high heat, heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic and meat. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the green onion pieces and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for 1 minute or until thick. Serve hot.

September 28, 2016

Kiwano or Horned Melon

Ok, I know.  Not a recipe.  But every once in a while my daughter and I spot some new fruit at the grocery store to try.  This time it was this (slightly dangerous) melon called a "horned melon" for obvious reasons. Yes, those little spikes are sharp. This fruit is also called "Blowfish Fruit", and you can see why. 

Originally from Africa it is now grown in California and Mississippi as well as other countries. The fruit can be eaten raw as a snack, in which some people with suck out the pulp and spit out the seeds. When I tried the fruit I used a spoon and ate the seeds which I did not enjoy and now wish I had spit them out. Apparently you can eat the peel also as it is high in vitamin C. The inside is jelly like.  I've seen recipes for drinks made out of this that might be good.  

The flavor is hard to describe, it was sweet but not overly.  It is described as a cross between a banana, cucumber, lemon on Wikipedia.  You can add some salt or sugar, which I didn't know either until after I'd eaten it. It is also fairly pricy, I think we paid $4 and some change.   Overall, I'm glad we tried it.  It wasn't bad but the price combined with the fact that it wasn't totally delicious makes it highly unlikely we'll be buying it again.  

September 21, 2016

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Continuing my flourless obsession, meet the flourless brownie.  I'd like to just add that I had to make two pans of these back to back because the first pan of them disappeared so fast I couldn't photograph them.  With the second pan, I had to threaten lives not to touch them before I could take a picture. That worked but they didn't last long after that.

So, flourless desserts are yummy, easy to make, and gluten free.  I'd eat these even if they weren't gluten free.  The outside is very much like a normal flour type brownie but the middle is much softer. Sort of like eating a cookie straight out of the oven (but without all that pain).

This, being the third flourless recipe I've tried is not going to be the last.  I just love them.  Don't get me wrong, they aren't any healthier for you.  There is still sugar and butter in them.  But, sugar and butter mixed with chocolate equals deliciousness. :)

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from Life Made Simple

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan with tin foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, over low heat melt the butter and then add the sugar. After the sugar is incorporated add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth and then remove from the heat and beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla extract.
  5. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Use a mesh sieve to add the cocoa powder and cornstarch into the mixture. Then add the salt. Use a hand mixer to beat for another 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 22-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle to check for doneness. Do not overtake.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
  9. Use the tin foil to lift out of the pan and cut.

September 12, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cake

You're looking at the reason my diet isn't going well.   My husband had a hankering for a piece of chocolate cake, so I indulged him and made this.  The great thing is that it's gluten free because it's completely flourless.  The bad thing is that it tastes amazing.  Like, thank goodness it's pretty rich or I would have eaten the whole thing myself, amazing. 

Don't confuse Gluten Free with healthy.  Just because there isn't any flour doesn't make this health food. 

It's obviously a different texture than cake.  But, because you're not substituting other flours for the wheat flour you already sort of have the expectation of a texture difference.  Instead, it's creamy all over.  It's smooth, chocolaty, and rich.  It's sort of like eating a big chocolate chip. 

Then, you add the chocolate ganashe on top (which I topped with mini chocolate chips) and it takes you into a chocolate induced coma. 

My family LOVED this cake.  In fact, I sent a piece over to my neighbor, so she made it, and her family loved it too. I'm loving all the flourless recipes I've found on Pinterest.
Grab a big glass of your favorite milk and a little piece of this heaven on a plate and enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Melanie Cooks

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Use a 9 inch round cake pan. Spray with non-stick spray, then line with a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Then spray the top of the parchment paper.
  3. Put the butter and the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stir and keep heating in 30 second increments until smooth. This can also be done over low heat in a saucepan.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder and espresso powder if using. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen, then put a plate on the top of the cake pan and flip the cake over quickly.
  8. Peel off and discard the parchment paper.
  9. Now make the ganache. Heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until smooth.
  10. Pour over the still warm cake and use a knife to cover it completely.
  11. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before cutting.

September 6, 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies

I'm totally digging flourless recipes.  I can't tell you how much easier they are to make, and they taste amazing, and they are gluten free. I've recently jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon (not 100%, but I'm about 95% there) and I'm loving how much less bloated I feel.  The only hard part for me has been the comparisons to standard bread products and gluten free since they are different flour flavors and textures. I just need to get used to it.  That's why I'm loving the flourless recipes.  There isn't anything to "get used to" because the flavor of whatever you're baking are just more intense.

For example, this peanut butter chocolate chip cookie has great peanut butter flavor.  You don't get the chewy cookie that you might with a regular flour recipe but they're still moist with a tiny bit of chewiness around the edge.  I love them.

This is the second recipe I've made that was flourless.  I'll post the first one I made soon but I have loved them both so much.  Don't get me wrong, just because they don't have any flour doesn't make them healthy.  But if you're gluten free, sometimes you just want a great tasting treat.

I'd eat these flourless desserts even if I wasn't trying to avoid gluten, they are that good.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Recipe from Southern Living

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Mix the peanut butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or two spoons to dollop dough onto the cookie sheet about 2" apart.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.