Monday, June 27, 2011

Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice

Up until this year, I had never heard of Hawaiian meatballs and rice.  It's not something my mother had ever made and not something I had ever tried.  However, several months back I had seen it listed on a meal-train for a new mom, and it intrigued me.  I LOVE meatballs, but prior to going gluten-free, I would never have dreamed of pairing meatballs with anything other than pasta.  Going gluten-free can change all that.   At that time, I kinda put the recipe out my mind, but recently came back to it and decided to give it a whirl.   In fact, I had such a hankering to try this recipe that I even did one of those "oh, I forgot an item, let me run back and get it" dashes in line at the checkout counter when I realized I didn't have any canned pineapple on hand.

It was super yummy, so I thought that I just had to share it!

Plus, it uses turmeric, which is my new favorite spice!  If you weren't aware, turmeric is an extremely beneficial spice and can even help prevent cancer.  You can learn more about turmeric benefits

Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
1 egg
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I just save the crumbs from my gluten-free bread and keep a bag in the freezer)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
dried minced onion to taste

Mix all ingredients.  Shape into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minute or until done.


1 cup jasmine rice
2  1/2 cups chicken broth (I make my own from chicken bones and freeze it)
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste

Cook rice according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water and adding salt and turmeric in with the chicken broth.  Be careful you don't add too much salt, if your both is already pretty salted.

Hawaiian Sauce:

1 can crushed pineapple.  (Use pineapple in its own juice..stay away from the heavy syrup).
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until thickened.   Pour over meatballs, coating the meatballs with the sauce well.  Serve over rice!

Enjoy these delicious gluten free Hawaiian Meatballs and Rice!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Decadant Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Brownies

I was experimenting with different brownie recipes and came up with this!  These are extra chocolatey!    And, soooooo good! Not really a health food, but a real TREAT to have.  Warning:  These are very addictive!  Be sure to make them for someone you can share with, otherwise you run the risk of eating them all yourself!

Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt.

Melt coconut oil and chocolate over medium heat in a saucepan until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Spread in a greased 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.  These brownies will be soft, moist and delicious.  Do NOT over bake them.  There is nothing worse than over-baked brownies, and everyone knows they are better when slightly gooey!

These are really good when kept chilled or even frozen!  Yum..nothing like a nice, chocoately, frozen treat!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Bars

These gluten free molasses cookies bars are delicious.  You can also make them into cookies, but I'm lazy, and well sometimes I just want a quick, easy, healthy and delicious recipe I can whip up fast.  These fit the bill.  I managed to make them in between making bread and making pizza for dinner.  Today was an extremely busy day for me, spending more time out of the house than in.  Yet, I needed a healthy snack for tomorrow.  These came out perfectly.

Gluten Free Molasses Cookie Bars

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup of sugar (I used sucanat)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream coconut oil and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and molasses.   Stir in dry ingredients.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Spread dough into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting.  Enjoy your gluten free molasses cookie bars.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Lemon Cake

I made this for the Pater Familias today for Father's Day.   It turned out pretty well.   It's not super lemony, just a little hint of lemon.  If you like, you can add lemon zest to it, but we don't really like super strong lemon flavors, just a hint.

This cake doesn't rise super high, and you do need to make sure the pan is greased and floured really well, otherwise it will stick and be hard to get out.  It's tasty though, just a bit denser than other cakes.

The cake part is actually pretty sugar added, just honey.  Of course, the frosting is another story, but..oh well.

1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil if you don't have coconut oil)
6 eggs
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
juice of 1 lemon

Grease an 8 x 8 cake pan with coconut oil.  Dust with a gluten-free flour (any type, I used coconut flour).  Make sure it is greased and floured well, otherwise the cake will stick.

If your coconut oil is solid, then melt it in the microwave.  Add rest of ingredients and mix well, combining everything.
Pour into your prepared ban and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Lemon Frosting
1/2 stick butter..softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice of 1 lemon

Beat butter and sugar.  Add in vanilla and lemon juice and beat until creamy and soft.  Add in more sugar or lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency.  Spread over cooled cake.

Enjoy your gluten free, coconut flour lemon cake!!  It's delicious!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I LOVE pizza. I mean, absolutely LOVE pizza. So, when we went gluten free, one of the first things I looked for was a GOOD pizza crust.  I think we found a winner!  My kids like this just as much as glutinous pizza crust, and it is very easy to make.   And, delicious!

You can top it with pretty much anything. We usually do tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and chopped onions.  

Or, we do a Greek white pizza....which is another favorite.  Spread the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and top with chopped onions, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese and olives.  Yummy!!

I apologize for not posting a picture.  I can never remember to grab a photo before we devour this!

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup hot water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup hot water (about 110-115 degrees)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon yeast.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until yeast become frothy.

In another bowl mix eggs, yogurt, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup hot water.
In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring well.  Give it about 50 stirs by hand.   Dump the frothy yeast mixture into the bowl and gently stir in, being sure to incorporate the yeast throughout the entire dough.

This dough will be thin and sticky.  It's NOT like a traditional pizza dough.  But, on the bright side, it is MUCH easier to spread out.

Grease your pizza pan.  Wet your fingers with either olive oil or water and spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.   I use a 16" pizza pan and it makes about a 15" pizza.

Allow the dough to rise for around 30 minutes.  If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step and it still comes out good.

Pre-bake the dough in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  It will puff up and rise a bit more while baking.  

Add your toppings and turn the oven temperature up to 450 degrees and bake another 10 minutes.  Be careful, do watch for burning! I use aluminum pizza pans with holes in the bottom, so they tend to take a bit longer.  If you are using a regular cookie sheet, it will probably cook faster.

Enjoy your delicious, homemade gluten free pizza!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gluten Free Lentil Rice Nachos

Sometimes I feel like I spend all my time in the kitchen.   Which is a crying shame, because my kitchen is super small, has no windows and is actually pretty depressing.  Did I mention that it's small?  As in, it's a pain to fit two people in it at the same time, even if one of those people is less than 4 feet tall.

As a homeschooling mother, we're home a lot, we eat all our meals at home, and consequently I'm always in the kitchen. Not to mention, all the gluten-free baking and experimenting I do.

This weekend, I tried a recipe for gluten free doughnuts.  I don't have a doughnut pan, and don't believe in deep frying food, so I spent some time looking for a good, gluten free baked doughnut recipe.  I found one, and made them in my muffins tins.  They turned out okay.  They're good, but not spectacular, and to tell you the truth, they basically aren't all that different from muffins.   So, I'll save blogging about that recipe until I perfect it a bit more.  I also made 3 loaves of bread, tried making my own corn tortillas from masa harina (another kitchen failure) and cooked a big pot of beans. 

By now, I don't feel up to any more cooking (or new recipes that might fail) this weekend, so we're going to have my easy, stand-by recipe for dinner tonight.   Lentil-Rice Nachos.  It's cheap, naturally gluten-free, easy, and I love it!

Did you know that lentils are super healthy, a real power food and something many people could benefit from incorporating more of into our diet. Lentils are high in protein, fiber, folate, B vitamins and iron.

Lentil/Rice Nachos    

2 cups lentils (if you think of it, soak these the night before in water, but if you forget, no biggie, it's not as necessary as with other beans).
1 cup brown or wild rice
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder

shredded cheddar cheese
corn chips (preferably organic, as that is the only way to get non-GMO corn)
chopped tomatoes
shredded lettuce.
chopped avocado
sour cream
salsa (preferably fermented salsa).

Throw the lentils and rice in a pot with enough water to cook them (follow the specific amounts for your rice and lentils).  Or you can just eyeball it, which is what I do.  I stick my finger in the the pot and put in enough water until it comes up to my knuckle.  

Add onion, garlic, salt and spices. Let simmer for 45 minutes or so until done. 

Serve with corn chips, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, chopped avocado, whatever you like.

Yum!  We love this!  It is total comfort food to us, quick and super easy!

Enjoy this vegetarian, gluten-free, cheap and delicious lentil rice recipe!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stocking Your Gluten Free Pantry

As you read though these recipes, you might find lots of ingredients which seem unusual or that you haven't heard of before.  I thought I would devote a post to explaining about ingredients commonly found in gluten free recipes, what to always have on hand, and where I like to buy those ingredients.

Let's talk flours first.  There are probably about a million different gluten free flours out one can stock them all.  If you read different bloggers and recipes you will find that everyone seems to have different favorites.

I picked my favorite flours based on price, nutrition and universality in different recipes.

Let's start with my my favorite!

Coconut Flour:  is awesome because it is grain free, high fiber, low carb and high protein.  This makes it perfect for people who may be on special diets.  When you cook with coconut flour, you typically need to add extra eggs to hold the baked good together so keep this in mind when using coconut flour.  I usually buy coconut flour on  I love the bulk prices and generally just peruse all the offerings until I find the lowest price/oz (being sure to take shipping into account) and then snatch up several cases.  The last time I bought it, Azukar Organics was the cheapest price.

Brown Rice Flour: This is the universal gluten free flour.  It is found in a large percentage of gluten free recipes, so something to always have on hand.  Again, I use my Amazon technique to find the cheapest price.   You can do that too to find brown rice flour on

White Rice Flour or Sweet Rice Flour:  These are not the same thing, but I find that I can use these interchangeably in most recipes without any issues.  The exemption might be in things like pie crusts, which I haven't tried yet.  I usually buy white rice flour directly from the grocery store.  My supermarkets stock it as it is frequently used in Asian cooking.  Our grocery story carries it with the other flours, but other stores might carry it in the International Foods section.

Tapioca Flour: I have found that the cheapest way to get tapioca flour is to buy tapioca pearl and then grind yourself.  If you have a coffee bean grinder, you can grind small amounts of tapioca pearl into tapioca flour at a time.  Just do be careful, that if you use a coffee grinder that has been used for coffee, you could impart a coffee taste to the tapioca.  Some people buy a separate coffee grinder just for this.  Of course, you could buy an entire grain mill, but those are very expensive.  I buy my tapioca pearls in bulk.

Arrowroot Powder: This is a bit less common than tapioca flour, but still used in enough recipes that I find it helpful to stock.  Again, I buy arrowroot powder in bulk, looking for the lowest price.

Millet Flour: I like millet powder because it is so nutritious.  It's a great addition to muffins, breads, pizza crusts.  If you have a grain mill, grinding your own millet is probably the cheapest, but if not, then just buy millet flour in bulk.  Currently, this is a great price.

Sorghum Flour: Sorghum flour is a frequent player in many sweet recipes I have found...muffins, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, coffee cakes, etc.  If you are planning on making sweet treats, I would keep some sorghum flour on hand.   I found this flour to be cheapest from

Xanthum Gum:  This can be bought online or found in your regular grocery store.  While it is pretty expensive, you don't use much of it per recipe, so a bag lasts a long while.  This probably isn't something to buy in bulk, just buy a bag when you need it. Here is a decent price.

Masa Harina:  This is a made from corn, and has lime added.  I have been able to buy this very inexpensively from our regular grocery store.  I'm not sure if all stores carry it, but I happen to be currently living in Southwest Florida which has a large Hispanic population.  I like to use this for thickening sauces (as it is cheaper than using other gluten free flours). It is most commonly used to make corn tortillas.  I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to soon. Homemade tortillas are vastly superior to store-bought in taste, and I'm not a big fan of corn tortillas...always preferred the flour ones.

 Apple Cider Vinegar: No, this isn't a flour, but it seems to show up in a lot of recipes anyway.  So, we always have it on hand.  Plus, there are a lot of health benefits of apple cider vinegar.  You can learn more about apple cider vinegar and honey.

I'm sure that seems like a large list, but it really isn't compared to all the other possibilities out there. 

That's basically it, other than your other basic items, honey, molasses, sugars, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc....just things all cooks usually have on hand.  There are many other gluten free flours out on the market, but I can't afford to buy them all or try them all.

Some of the more common ones are soy flour (I try to avoid soy), potato starch (this is less nutritious than other flours and you can easily find recipes without it), bean flours (these are pretty healthy, but not as well tolerated by some people, digestive-ly speaking), teff flour (good, but I wouldn't use it enough to be worth stocking), quinoa flour (healthy, and when someone gave us a bag of quinoa, I did grind it up in my blender and use it), amaranth (not used enough to make it worth my money).  I'm sure there are others too.  

Everyone seems to find different flours and items they like, but these are the ones I am currently using and will probably be featured on this blog and in my recipes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

We love cookies.  My husband especially is a big fan!  Cookies are a staple around here for snacks for hubby, so because of that, I'm always on the quest for healthier, better cookies.  In fact my husband likes to tease me that he still married me despite the fact that while we were dating I made him cookies with dates instead of chocolate chips!  Little did he know, that my cookie concoctions would get healthier and healthier as time went on and the kids arrived, and started eating cookies themselves.

I experimented a bit to get the perfect recipe here.  These aren't super sweet, they have just a hint of sweetness.  If you like a really sweet cookie you might want to add some brown sugar in as well.


Gluten Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
8 eggs
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts*
1 1/2 cups gluten free chocolate chips

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in cinnamon, flour and salt.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten each ball slightly (these have no leavening agent, so they don't spread out at all on the can put them closer together than regular cookies). Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.  

*My secret to chopping/crushing nuts easily. My kids LOVE doing this.  I place the nuts in little plastic baggies, then wrap in another plastic bag or two, place on the floor and crush them with my feet. Gets the nuts nice and crushed, really easily.  Plus it's fun, and a great way to work out your frustrations.   Just don't tell my mom I do this please, I'm sure she would be aghast. ;)

Yes, these do have A LOT of eggs in them...but that just makes them healthier...more protein!!!  Cookies are a great way to get your eggs in, no?  Actually, these do have sugar in them, so they're not perfect, but if we're going to eat treats, why not make them as healthy as possible?  I like to use coconut flour in a lot of my baked goods due to the high fiber and high protein content.  Coconut flour has 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per compared to just over 2 grams of protein and fiber in brown rice flour.  I love these cookies, since despite the sugar, they do have a lot of good stuff in them too!  I generally use Azukar Organics Natural Coconut Flour, as I was able to get it inexpensively in bulk and it seems to be a bit less processed than other brands.  This flour is a bit brownish, as compared to other brands where the flour is totally white.
I hope you enjoy these gluten free coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gluten Free Crustless Quiche

Gluten Free Crustless Quiche is one of my all-tine favorite recipes.  It is easy, inexpensive, and tastes elegant and delicious.  You can serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, potlucks...whatever.  The items you put in it are only limited by your imagination.

Making a crustless quiche is actually easier than making a quiche with crust.  For one thing, you don't need a crust..(duh!).  But, for the second thing, the amount of filling you use is more forgiving.  I can't even tell you how many crust-ed quiches I have overflowed because I had too much filling and not enough to space to put it all.  With a crustless quiche you can put a lot more filling into each quiche, thereby giving each slice more protein and vegetables (since none of space on the slice is taken up with nutrient-poor crust).

Note: For the add-ins, everything (vegetables or meat) needs to be cooked and chopped. If you do use vegetables with a lot of water like spinach or zucchini. DO be sure to drain them WELL and pat dry; pressing down hard with a paper towel to get all the water out.  Too much water in your vegetables will prevent your quiche from setting and make it too runny.  There is nothing worse than runny quiche.  It is the number one difficulty people have with making quiche...too much water in vegetables making the quiche runny.

Chicken Quiche

Here is my basic recipe for gluten free crustless quiche!  Enjoy and have fun experimenting.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup gluten-free flour (I use corn flour, simply because I can get quite cheaply at the local store.)
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 chopped onion
1 cup grated cheese (swiss, cheddar, feta, whatever you like...experiment!)
1 1/2 cups of add-ins..cooked and chopped (bacon, ham, sausage, cooked spinach,  zucchini, chicken, tuna, crab, lobster, broccoli, mushrooms etc.)

Grease you pie plate.  Put the chopped onion, grated cheese and add-ins at the bottom of the pan.  Combine eggs, milk. salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour in a bowl.  Mix well.  Pour egg mixture over cheese/onion/add-ins.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until done.

Enjoy your crustless gluten free quiche!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gluten Free Millet Flax Bread

I went about 3 weeks gluten-free, before I frantically missed bread and started my quest for the perfect gluten-free bread.  No only did the bread have to be gluten-free and delicious, but it had to be EASY.  I love bread, and bread with peanut butter is our family's fall-back, easy, go-to food for breakfast and lunch.  We were floundering without a good gluten-free bread.  The store-bought ones are too expensive...and let's face, they taste like cardboard.  When it comes to bread, home-made is vastly superior to store-bought, whether you are talking about gluten-free bread or regular wheat bread.

Doesn't it look lovely?.  Those brown specks you are see from the flax seed. 

I found one delicious recipe that required a million steps and making sure your water and eggs were exactly the right temperature.  While the finished product was quite tasty, I don't have time for all those steps.  So I combined several different recipes and came up with my own.

Let me let you in on a little secret.  Making gluten-free bread is EASIER than making wheat bread.  Yes, that's it is right easier!  Why?  Because you don't have to knead gluten-free bread.  The whole purpose of kneading bread dough is to develop the need to knead.  Hallelujah!

So without further is my recipe!  This recipe is moist, tasty, holds together well for sandwich and is just all together delicious.  Even the non-gluten free members of my family prefer it to glutinous bread!

Gluten Free Millet Flax Bread
2 eggs
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups warm milk (warm until the milk starts to "steam" but is NOT scalded or boiling.  You should be able to comfortably stick your finger in the milk, but it will feel warm/slightly hot to the touch.)
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup millet flour
1 cup white rice flour (I found this is cheapest to buy right in my grocery store.  They carry it next to the corn meal).
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

Combine wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.   Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (I just use a hand mixer as that is all I have) add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat for about 2-3 minutes, or until well mixed.  The more air you incorporate into the batter, the slightly higher it will rise.  Dough will be very shaggy and wet.  It will NOT be dry like typical bread dough.

Grease a 9 or 10 inch bread loaf pan.  Use wet fingers to spread the dough out and smooth the top of it in the loaf pan.   Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.  The dough should rise up to the top of the loaf pan (or just a bit above). 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until done.

Enjoy your gluten free millet flax bread!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Coconut Flour Carrot Muffins

These are a delicious, moist, healthy gluten-free coconut flour muffin.  I altered a basic recipe I found on Elena's Pantry, changing a few ingredients and quantities to suit our tastes and the ingredients we have on hand.    They only use a little bit of coconut flour, so the coconut flavor is very subtle, they don't taste very "coconut-y" (is that a word?).  They are bit moist, and did stick slightly to the muffin tin, despite greasing it well, but their taste and texture is absolutely superb.  I'm sure I'll keep working on this recipe to perfect it, but I thought I would share it now anyway.

1/3 cup cocont flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla (no, this is not a typo, you really do use that it awesome flavor!)
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil (whatever oil you typically use...coconut, grapeseed, etc,.  I typically use coconut oil.)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup of add-ins (chopped nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, shredded coconut..whatever you like). 

Grease a 12- muffin tin. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add honey, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Mix well.  Fold in shredded carrots and whatever add-in you choose.  (In the picture, I used a combination of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips that I wanted to use up.)  Spoon equal amounts of batter into each tin and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool in tin before removing.

Enjoy these yummy, gluten-free coconut flour muffins!