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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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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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Sausage pepper noodle simmer

Gotta love the one-pan meal. I read a similar recipe on budget bytes that inspired this one, but I lacked some ingredients and had other leftovers on hand, so I improvised, and made it gluten and dairy free, as always. It’s delicious. First comment out of my husband’s mouth was “is there more?”.

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Sausage Pepper Noodle Simmer

4 bratwurst (Klement’s original flavor- gluten free, no nitrites, etc)- diced

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

Throw them in a high-sided, flat bottom skillet and brown with a little olive oil

1/4 each of yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, diced

1 large roma tomato, diced

3 T sun-dried tomatoes, diced

Add these as you get them chopped and stir the pan a bit

Add a shake of garlic powder or some fresh garlic (I was out), and some fresh or dried Basil (I used my dried Penzey’s stuff because everything in my garden is now dead)

6 T organic tomato paste (Trader Joe’s) in 1 1/4 c. hot water

1 1/2 t Penzey’s Vegetable soup base in 2 c. boiling water

a few shakes of Cholula Chili Lime hot sauce

Once all this is in the pan, add an 8 oz pkg of Gluten Free Penne. Make sure it’s mostly covered by the liquid. 

I used Viviana’s Italian Blend Penne (Basil, Tomato, and Garlic flavored) that I recently got in my TasteGuru box. Delish!

Put the lid on, bring to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, turn it all the way to low and leave it alone for 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes, remove the lid and add 1 c. grated Pepper Jack goat cheese and 1/2 c. grated goat Parmesan. Put the lid back on for a few minutes to let it melt. 

Fin!

I served it with a little more Parm grated on top, for extra yums.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Entree

 

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Quinoa Taco Filling – 3 key ingredients!

As we used to say in Canada when I was a kid “Eat my shorts” Rachel Ray…I cut the 30 minute meal in HALF! 🙂 The other day, I was exhausted and had about 15 minutes to make dinner, so before I left work, I called my sweet husband and had him take a pound of lean ground beef out of the freezer and stick it in a sink of hot water to defrost. What resulted was an absolutely delicious, healthy meal that really doesn’t need to be in a tortilla to be delicious, and won’t have you rummaging in the depths of your cupboards for some outlandish spice. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE outlandish spices…they’re just not convenient.)

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Quinoa Taco Filling

1 lb lean ground beef, defrosted

1 bag frozen “Southwest” mixed veggies (corn, black beans, peppers, etc) (I used the Archer Farms frozen blend that comes in a steam bag)

1/3 c. quinoa, rinsed

2/3 c. water

a few Tbsp of taco seasoning (I use Trader Joe’s because it doesn’t have whey powder in it)

Cilantro (or basil or oregano)- dried…about 2 teaspoons

Throw rinsed quinoa in the bottom of a small pot with some olive oil and toast for a minute, then add 2/3 cup water and about 2 tsp of green herb of choice, as well as a generous sprinkle of taco seasoning, bring to a boil. Turn down to low and cover. Leave it alone for 15 minutes.

While that’s cooking, throw the frozen veggies in the microwave to steam for 5 minutes (may take longer depending on wattage of your microwave).

While THAT’S cooking, put the thawed beef into a pan and brown with some taco seasoning. Once the veggies are done, drain and add to the beef. Put on the lid and turn off the heat. There should be a couple more minutes left on the quinoa.

Once the quinoa’s done, combine it all and enjoy with some salsa or guac.

Mmmm….guac.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Entree

 

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