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Sugar Free Lemon Bars

I discovered something about myself several months ago that I’m surprised I never knew; lemon is my favorite flavor. I always thought it was the obvious: chocolate, but honestly, lemon always wins. It’s tart and sweet all at the same time and offers a complexity of taste that largely one-note chocolate can’t match, imho. Since I was diagnosed with Candida, I found myself craving different things, but lemon bars have been at the top since summer began. The other day, gfJules posted a recipe for her lemon bars, and for once in my life, I mostly followed it. The butter can be replaced with Earth Balance sticks for dairy free, and I replaced the sugar with xylitol since I’m not allowed to eat much (read: any) sugar right now, even natural fruit sugars.

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Lemon Bars

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Crust:

Cream together 1/3 c butter or non-dairy alternative and 1/4 c xylitol or cane sugar.

Add in 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (You can use gfJules flour, I used Namaste AP flour, or you can use my cake flour blend) and beat until crumby, but don’t over mix. Press into the bottom of an UN-OILED 8×8 pan (I used a 9 inch round).

Bake for 15 minutes

Filling:

Add these ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly. If using xylitol, mix it a little extra.

2 eggs (or egg substitute such as 1/2 c. extra firm tofu blended with 1 tsp baking powder)

3/4 c. xylitol or cane sugar

2 Tbsp gluten free all purpose flour

2 tsp shredded lemon zest (I used a heaping Tbsp orange zest and it turned out amazing!)

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder

Pour over crust and bake 20 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack and cut only when completely cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want before you serve for a more traditional lemon bar look. To double, bake in a 9×13 pan!

 

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Gluten/Dairy/Sugar Free Chocolate Tart

I was diagnosed with Candida and leaky gut at the end of last year, and I took a hiatus from blogging to try and figure out my new restrictions. Coconut will now be used a lot more frequently, as the caprylic acid in coconut is a natural Candida killer! For Mother’s Day, I had less than an hour to whip up a dessert, so, of course, I did something totally new. That’s logical, right? Thankfully, it turned out to be FABULOUS, and I don’t use all caps very often, but this recipe deserves them. The original crust recipe, with just a few changes, can be found here, along with another recipe I’d like to try one day. The brownie recipe is a derivative of the common 35 calorie brownie recipe that’s circulating, that is disappointing as a brownie, but works wonderfully as a pie filling. Not only is it delicious, but it’s good for you! Give it a shot; you won’t be sorry.

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Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar Free Chocolate Tart

Crust:

In a food processor, combine until it forms a ball

2 c unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 c almond flour

1/4 c coconut oil, melted

2 eggs

2 Tbsp coconut flour

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 droppers of English Toffee flavored liquid stevia

Press into a 10 inch tart pan with pop-out bottom sprayed with coconut oil- make sure you press a little rim around the edges, as in the picture.

Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes (just slightly lighter than golden brown…it will continue baking with the filling)

Once out, turn the heat up to 400 F

Filling:

Throw everything in the blender and let go on high for 1 minute

3/4 c unsweetened vanilla coconut milk yogurt or (if you can handle dairy) non-fat plan greek yogurt

1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

1/2 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder (using dutch process makes the flavor much more rich!)

1/2 c old fashioned oats

1/2 c xylitol, Truvia, Swerve, or Sugarless Sugar

1/3 c unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

2 droppers chocolate flavored liquid stevia

Pour onto tart shell and bake for around 20 minutes, until set. Since this is low fat, you don’t want to overbake it or it’ll dry out.

Let cool and serve with coconut whipped cream; you can even get fancy and put some vegan chocolate shavings on top!

 

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Tiramisu (no bake, no eggs)

Tiramisu: the ultimate dairy and gluten filled treat. Luscious espresso soaked ladyfingers layered with creamy rum-touched mascarpone, dusted with dark chocolate. Sorry…drooling. Anyway, you’re in luck! Schar makes gluten free ladyfingers, like the great European company they are, and they’re tasty! Free of gluten, wheat, lactose, milk, and soy, it doesn’t get any better for us! Chocolate Covered Katie offers a cake base if that’s your cup of tea, but I’m all about easy and quick. I’m also not a fan of the raw eggs prevalent in many tiramisu recipes, since I react pretty badly to eggs. So here it is…easy, tasty, no bake, and it took me maybe 20 minutes to make. Swoon.

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Tiramisu

 Make a batch of super-strong coffee (flavored coffee will kick it up!)

Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap.

Mix together:

1 box Let’s Do Organic Creamed Coconut (run package under hot water to soften it up first)

3/4 c. vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp Rum extract (or a good splash of real rum)

1 Tbsp espresso or the strong coffee from above

5 Tbsp powdered sugar (or more, to taste)

Blend or mix until smooth (you won’t be able to do this by hand)

Put the strong coffee and a splash of rum or rum extract in a flat bottomed bowl.

Dip each ladyfinger (1 pkg Schar ladyfingers) into the coffee on both sides for a second or two, until it softens and soaks in, but be careful they don’t get soggy.

Arrange them in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, then spread half of the filling mixture on top (carefully!)

Grate dark chocolate (I used one infused with coffee and cardamom) generously on top, then add a second layer of ladyfingers and then filling.

Top with another generous layer of chocolate shavings.

Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving, but take it out and let it sit at room temp for 10 minutes before serving it to let the filling soften somewhat.

You can use the plastic wrap to lift the whole cake out of the pan to make serving easier (and prettier), but do that right when you take it out of the fridge, or it’ll smush.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Dessert

 

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Hummus Crusted Chicken

Honestly, this isn’t even really a “recipe” as recipes go, because this meal is stupid-easy. However, it’s also delicious, so you should try it. You can thank me later! The original recipe is here. Their pictures are a lot prettier than mine, but I’d rather just make the food, snap a pic, and dig in.

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Hummus Crusted Chicken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and spray a small baking dish with olive oil (or just line a pan with aluminum foil and give that a spritz, like I normally do)

Take 4 defrosted chicken breasts, patted dry and season with salt and pepper.

Cover with your favorite flavor of hummus so the entire top surface of the breast is covered.

You could take this almost anywhere with flavor; jalapeño cilantro hummus, garden veggie hummus, garlic hummus, roasted red pepper hummus…the possibilities are endless.

Sprinkle with a touch of lemon juice and paprika (smoked or sweet)

Bake 25-30 minutes

I like to serve mine over salad with a tomato dressing. Do what you want.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Entree

 

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Baked Honey Garlic Chicken

Chinese takeout without the gluten, grease, and MSG. Does it get any better than this? I took the original recipe and de-glutenized it, and, of course, changed it all around, since I’d rather read a quick sentence and get right to the goods, because let’s be honest…don’t we all just scroll down to the bottom right away to find the recipe? I’d rather my readers be happy than hAngry.

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Baked Honey Garlic Chicken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (spritz a little olive oil on it too, for good measure)

Cut 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (defrosted) into 1 inch pieces

Take 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs and season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and paprika.

Beat 2 large eggs in a bowl large enough to dip chicken pieces.

Working in batches, dredge the chicken pieces in egg, then breadcrumbs, then deposit onto baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes.

While it’s baking, whip up this sauce:

In a saucepan on the stove over med-high heat, combine:

1/3 c. honey

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp coconut aminos or tamari gluten free soy sauce

1 Tbsp Sriracha, if you so desire

In a separate small bowl, mix:

1 Tbsp corn or tapioca starch

1/3 c. water

Add to honey mixture in the pot and stir until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken to sauce, toss until coated, and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Serve immediately.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Entree

 

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Living NOW Gluten Free Mixes and All Purpose Flour Review

I’m sure you’ve heard of “NOW” brand things; protein powders, personal care, and especially vitamins, but did you know they’ve got a whole line of gluten free flours and mixes? Not only that, but they’re produced in a dedicated 8-allergen free facility, gluten free certified, kosher, packaged in 100% recycled material, and are vegetarian/vegan? That’s a whole lot of TLC going into their products. I was fortunate enough to have some sent to me to try! They also sent me some Sprouted Brown Rice Protein and Pea Protein to try. I preferred the brown rice protein for the lack of “protein flavor”, but the pea protein blends in really smoothly, which is great, plus it comes in a variety of flavors. They also offer egg-white protein, whey protein, and soy protein in various flavors. Check it out here!

These mixes are dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, and egg free!

LivingNow Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

One of the best tests of an all purpose flour is cake; it’s a recipe that easily shows if a flour is up to the task. It’s made with white and brown rice flours, tapioca flour, potato starch and flour, and cellulose (dietary fiber). They supply a chocolate cake and pizza crust recipe on the back, but I decided to use my own, and this flour did a fabulous job! Even non-allergic people were sneaking slices though there was a regular cake available! I also used the leftover flour to make a batch of Gluten Free PB Chocolate Chip cookies that were met with unbridled enthusiasm. Check out the recipe for those here! I used the very last of my flour to make some Gluten, Dairy and Refined Sugar Free Double Chocolate Banana Muffins, and I was sad to see the last of the flour go, but it made some delicious muffins (really cupcakes in disguise, but who’s checking?).

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LivingNow Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Mix-

If you’re like me and always have a couple of bananas go soft on you, this is the mix to have on hand. Two bananas and you’re on your way to a great breakfast/snack/dessert. Fresh out of the oven, this easy mix delivers great taste without the banana flavor blowing you away. The chocolate chips taste great, too! I had it out on the counter and half a loaf disappeared almost instantly. It even has chia and flax in it for an extra healthy boost!

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LivingNow Gluten Free Organic Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix-

This is a very dark chocolate brownie with good flavor, although it’s somewhat crumbly, although I was at a higher altitude when I baked it, and that may have contributed. It’s supposed to be baked in an 8×8 pan for 35 minutes, but I baked it in a 7×10 pan for 20 minutes and it was done. The place where we were vacationing had limited pans. It’s very easy to make, and includes a substitute option for the 1 egg it calls for. It was actually better the second day (we were up in the mountains and the air was super dry) once it sat overnight and got a little more moist. It uses non-gmo corn starch and it’s sweetened with organic turbinado sugar, which is a definite plus. It also lasted longer than a lot of gluten free brownies do without getting dry or moldy (in the fridge- I was hoarding it.).

LivingNow Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix-

Words cannot contain the rave review these cookies got, especially from the non-allergen crowd! I even had my cousin’s daughter steal two right from under my nose. They’re a little crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, hearty and chocolatey, just as they should be. I simply substituted the called-for stick of butter with an Earth Balance vegan buttery stick and they still turned out perfectly. You’ll definitely want to form little balls with it and then smoosh them down a bit to get a good cookie shape, as is typical of gluten free cookies. These were definitely a fan favorite!

I have a confession to make…these cookies were so popular, they were gone before I even had a chance to take a picture!

 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Tomato Garlic Spaghetti

One of the things about SoCal that I love is the culture of outdoor living. Every chance I get, I serve dinner out on the porch. Tonight, while trying to talk my husband into eating chicken by showing him tasty pictures of food. This meal was what the picture he picked looked like. There was no recipe, so I made it up, and it was a hit!

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Tomato Garlic Spaghetti

Heat up a pot of water large enough to cook 1 lb of gluten free spaghetti

Take 3 defrosted chicken breasts and cube them into bite sized pieces

Heat up 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan, and add 6 cloves of garlic, crushed

Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute

Add chicken and season with fresh basil, sprinkle liberally with an Italian herb seasoning and fresh ground pepper

Once the chicken is almost done cooking, add 12 oz grape tomatoes, quartered, and 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes

Once spaghetti is done, place on plates, add chicken and tomatoes with a scoop of the liquid in the pan, and grate some fresh parmesan on top

Serves about 4

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Entree

 

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