Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

I found a recipe for no sugar added pancakes that use yogurt on Pinterest, and I thought they would be a perfect recipe for Genevieve.  I am always looking for great food ideas for Genevieve, because I dont want her to have any added sugars and I really watch her sodium intake.  I try to avoid processed foods for her as much as possible.  We live in a very rural town, so non-processed foods are really hard to find and healthy pre-packaged toddler foods are just not available very often.  It amazes me that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no added sugar or salt under the age of 2, yet almost all the baby food products are full of it!

The original Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancake recipe I founds was from Ambitious Kitchen.

I did make a few tweaks to the recipe.

My version:

  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • 1 cup Stoneyfield Organic Whole Fat Plain Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cups Organic Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • Raspberries, broken into pieces (optional)
  • Coconut Oil for frying

Add all ingredients to the blender, except the coconut oil and berries.  Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes so that it will thicken.  Cook in a medium temperature skillet or on a griddle with the coconut oil.  If desired, add a few bits of berries to the tops of your pancakes when the batter is still soft.  Cook until golden on each side.

Notes: This made aprox. 9 small pancakes for me.  It is important to let the batter sit and thicken.  The first 2 pancakes I made were still gummy in the middle, even though the exteriors were cooked perfectly.  This stopped happening after I let the batter sit and thicken. Initially the batter had the thickness of a watery milkshake, but thickened to a pretty dense batter.  The thickness of this can be adjusted by adding more oats or thinned with a tiny bit of milk, if needed.

These are gluten free.

image

PS. My husband normally hates the food I fix for Genevieve because it is too bland or the texture is off-putting to him.  He said these were yummy!

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chop

Tonight I tried something new.  I created a gluten free Parmesan crusted pork chop (boneless).  It was super delicious, although I think the pork was a little tough for Genevieve (she normally loves meat, but wasnt a big fan tonight)!

I served this with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac and Cheese (the frozen kind) and sauteed zucchini.

I think the only thing I would change about this dish is that next time I will use a thinner pork chop.  The pork chops I bought were really thick and they were hard to cook on the stove without burning the breading.

image

image

Recipe for Gluten Free Parmesan Crusted Pork Chop (boneless):

Ingredients:

Ian’s Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs

4 Pork Chops

2 eggs – beaten

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Pepper, and Salt to taste

Peanut Oil

 

Directions:

Put the breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg into separate bowls.  Add seasoning as desired to both sides of the meat and into the breadcrumbs. I added salt and pepper directly to the meat and added the garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning to the breadcrumbs. Dredge and press the meat into the cheese, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs.  Make sure that during each step the meat is well covered.  Heat oil in a skillet and then fry the meat until brown and then flip.  Cook it until it reaches 160 degrees in the thickest portion of the meat.   Let cool and then serve.

Cheerios goes Gluten Free!

Cheerios (the plain variety) are one of my all time favorite foods and since going to a gluten free diet, I have sorely missed them.  I was thrilled when I found out earlier this year that Cheerios were becoming gluten free starting in July and I have been stalking the cereal aisle waiting for the new gluten free version to arrive.

On Sunday September 13th, I was trilled to find a box of gluten free Cheerios on the shelf at Target!  I celebrated my new discovery with 2 bowls of Cheerios for dinner.

image

image

Note: at this time not all boxes of Cheerios are gluten free.  The boxes that are gluten free are clearly labeled.  I mention this because on the same shelf as my new box of gluten free Cheerios, there were several boxes of the original kind still in stock.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of our family’s favorite vegetables.  It makes a TON of food, its easy  to cook, its very versatile, and its so yummy!  It does however, take a while to cook, especially if you are doing something with it like making a casserole.  There are tons of dishes you can make with it.  My favorites are pesto shrimp “pasta” and mexican casserole. I have included the recipe for the mexican casserole below.

Basic Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Some olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375
  2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise.  This is fairly difficult because the squash is kind of hard.
  3. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
  4. Rub with olive oil (all over!)
  5. Place face down on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour
  6. Use a fork to “shread” the inside of the squash.  The result should look like angel hair pasta.

*note: my picture below only shows one half of the squash, but cook both halves.

imageimageimage

Recipe:

Spaghetti Squash Mexican Casserole

Ingrediants:

  • 1 Cooked and shredded spaghetti squash
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cups or 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup re-fried beans (I prefer re-fried black beans)
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 shredded mozzarella

Directions

  1. Cook the meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and cook for a few minutes
  3. Toss in both types of beans. Cook and stir until well mixed.
  4. Put the spaghetti squash in a large casserole dish
  5. Top with meat/bean mixture
  6. Top with  salsa
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
  8. Top with both cheeses and bake until melted.

imageimage

Fried Cabbage with Sausage

We love fried cabbage so much that it is part of our regular menu.  I hope you love it too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Head Purple Cabbage
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pkg Smoked Sausage (we prefer Simple Truth)
  • Chicken stock
  • A few  Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 slices of bacon (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Core and chop the cabbage.  Separate the sections.
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onion, garlic, and the bacon for a few minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and toss with the onion, garlic, and bacon.
  5. Cook until cabbage starts to soften.
  6. Slice sausage and add to the skillet, tossing it with the cabbage mixture.  Cook for a 10 or 15 minutes.
  7. Add chicken stock (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and cover.  
  8. Stir occasionally and cook until desired softness.  (we like ours very soft). Add more chicken stock as needed.

Gluten Free Goodness is Trial and Error #2

Gluten free products are hit and miss for tasre and texture and living in a small town makes finding good gluten free products even harder.

Hodgson Mills Muffins: I tried the apple cinnamon version.  They have a good texture and are pretty goid, but denser than non-gf brands. I did add extra cinnamon to my muffins.

Glutino White Bread: good, but better toasted. In fact, toasted I couldnt tell it was any different from non-gf bread.

Schar White Bread, Hamburger buns, and Hot Dogs: Really good bread. Hot dog and hamburger buns are some of the best gluten free options I have found. 

Zena’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies: I did not like these at all. The texture is good, but they have an odd aftertaste.

Enjoylife  Sunbutter Chewy Crunch bars: terrible texture and flavor. I couldnt even choke down a second bite.

King Arthur Muffin Mix: I added blueberries.  I think these would have been great,  but I used too many berries and I think it threw the texture off. I bought anotger box and I expect my 2nd attempt will have better results.

Glutino Table Crackers: amazing substitute for saltines! Love these crackers!

The Most Amazing French Toast Ever…According to my husband

Amazing Gluten Free French Toast


Ingredients

6 slices of your favorite gluten free bread (we use Hearty Italian from the Dempsey Bakery)
1/2 stick of butter
Batter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 beaten large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
1.) lay bread out in a large casserole dish and pour 1/2 the batter over the bread.  Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Flip the bread over and soak for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
2.) heat a couple of pads of butter in a flat skillet on Medium heat and cook bread until brown on one side.  Flip bread and brown on second side.
3.) continue with steps 1 and 2 until all bread is cooked.
Enjoy with syrup 
The Hearty Italian bread soaks up the mixture without getting gummy and cooks firm on the outside and soft in the middle.  I have not tried this recipe with other gluten free breads, but I suspect that the denser nature of gluten free bread is what allows this french toast to have such a great texture after it is cooked.

Gluten Free Mini Pies

I was craving pie the other day and so I decided to try my hand at making a gluten free version.  I had also been concerned about whether or not I would get to eat dessert at Thanksgiving or not.  I decided to go for a mini version of a pie for 2 reasons: 1.) higher crust ration and 2.) ease of eating and storing.

This recipe makes 9 to 12 mini pies using a muffin pan.  I used a drinking glass to cut the pie shells.  The pie shown here is peach.

Gluten Free Mini Pie Recipe:

Filling:

Any of your favorite gluten free pie filling.  Many brands are gluten free, so just read the label.  A couple of examples are Comstock and Musselmans.

Crust:

1 cup almond flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup butter – chunked
2 Tablespoons of cold water (you may need to add more, just watch your dough and see – add a Tablespoon at a time until the correct consistency)
Cinnamon and brown sugar, to taste (optional)

Directions:

1.) Add dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse to mix
2.) Add in butter and pulse until the texture is crumbly.
3.) Add water to bind the dough together
4.) Sprinkle flour on flat surface and roll out dough.
5.) Use a drinking class that is floured or greased to cut circles.  You may need to re-roll scraps until you get the right number of crusts.
6.) Grease muffin pan and place crusts in the bottom of each section.  You want the crusts to go up the sides a little bit to hold the filling.  The dough is really forgiving, so if you need to patch holes, cracks, or thin spots go ahead and use scraps to patch the crusts.  This will not make the crust tough.
7.) Bake in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes until it starts getting golden brown (but not quite done)
8.) Remove muffin pan from the oven and add filling to the crusts.  If you are using a pie filling with large pieces of fruit (ie. peaches), put them in the food processor for a few pulses first.  You want the filling to fit in the crusts, but not be mush.
9.) I sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar at the point, but its optional.
10.) Bake the final product for an additional 10 to 15 minutes (10 is normally enough)

These pies should slide right out of the molds, or you should be able to scoop them out with a spoon.  These are best served fresh, but do hold up well for later.

This recipe was developed by using this recipe from the All day I Dream About Food blog.

Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy for the Gluten Free Crowd

Last night I made Breakfast for Dinner.  Our normal “go-to” breakfast is pancakes/waffles, bacon, and eggs, but I wanted something different.  Tonight I wanted to try biscuits and gravy.  My husband was skeptical.  In fact, he told me to cook him something separate because he didnt think they would be edible.  Boy did I surprise him!

*Sorry there are no pictures in this post.  I was too hungry to think about taking pictures.

Biscuits (This is very similar to the recipe provided by the Betty Crocker Website)

2 Cups gluten free Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

Add the salt to the Bisquick. Using a fork, work the shortening into the Bisquick mix until the texture of the Bisquick changes.  Stir in the milk and eggs.  This makes 10 nice sized biscuits.  Separate the dough out onto a greased cookie sheet.  I recommend using surgical gloves that you have sprayed with PAM as the dough is very sticky.  Bake at 400 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden on top.

Gravy

2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup of oil or bacon/sausage grease (use however much you want.  I just used all the drippings from my bacon)
Milk (I eyeball this so I dont really know how much – probably 2 to 3 cups)
Pepper and salt to taste

Toast the flour in a skillet.  Be careful because I found that the GF flour burns more quickly than standard flour.  Add in your grease and stir until combined.  Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.  Add in the milk.  Stir until combined.  Add in salt and pepper.  Cook until thickened.  (adjust thickness by adding more milk if needed)  This yielded enough for 5 or 6 biscuits (if you like to slather on the gravy like I do).

*Notes: These biscuits are really good, but dont expect them to taste like homemade buttermilk biscuits, because they aren’t.  My next foray into biscuits will be to try a buttermilk version.  The gravy needs work, but is very good.  I think this gravy would be awesome with sausage crumbles in it.  Next time I will also add more salt and pepper than I did this time.

Gluten Free: a beginner’s guide

I started my Gluten Free journey in June of this year, after educating myself about my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and ways I could reduce my symptoms and make myself healthier.

I wont go into a lot about my illness, because I have posted about it before, but I will say that since going gluten free, I have been healthier.  Prior to changing my diet, I was sick a lot and when I had a cold or something similar it hung around for weeks.  Since my change in diet, I have not been sick once.  My headaches have mostly disappeared and I have not had a cold or sinus infection.  The one exception to this was the one time I ate macaroni and cheese (even though I knew better).

Enough of that.  This post is not about my health.  This post is about the resources I have found that make eating gluten free easier.

Before going gluten free myself, I had heard a little about the diet, but I really hadn’t paid that much attention.  Therefore making the change was a huge task.  I educated myself about how my body reacted to gluten (mine is an immune response), what gluten actually was, what types of foods I was going to have to give up, and where I could find information about gluten free alternatives.

This post is what I wish I had found on day 1.  No its not a fancy list with eloquent reasons why or introductions to each link, but you know what? I’m not a fancy person.  I like facts, and I dont like fluff.  So here is a list.  A simple (and by not means all inclusive) list of websites, blogs, etc. that I have found useful in the last several months of my gluten free journey.  I hope it helps.

Informational Resources about Gluten and Hashimoto’s :

Discussion Boards about Gluten and/or Hashimoto’s:

Websites and Web Resources:

Gluten Free Blogs (My favorites):

Other Resources:
  • Living Gluten-Free for Dummies (Book)
  • Gluten-Free Made Easy As 1, 2, 3 (Book)
  • The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide (Book)
  • 2012/2013 Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide (Book)
  • Find Me Gluten Free (App)
  • Is That Gluten Free? (App)