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Tag Archives: gluten-free

Creamy Mushroom-Parmesan Chicken

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Would you like to know the recipe I use from my blog more than any other?  You might be surprised.  It’s Breadless Breading, a gluten-free alternative to breading for meats.  It has such incredible flavor (click the link to check out the recipe and you’ll see why it’s so flavorful) that I use it all the time, usually coating tilapia with it before cooking it in olive oil on the stove top for a 5-minute dinner alongside some microwaved veggies.  This coating is also fabulous on chicken!

This is a super simple recipe but oh so delicious!  The breading does all the flavoring for you–when you have a batch of it in the fridge, you can use it in so many ways and you will always have a delicious meal.  I’m also going to give the “recipe” for the corn in the photo that is my husband’s creation, which is only two ingredients and so incredible!  The heat and flavor of the sriracha is a nice contrast to the sweetness in the corn.

Creamy Mushroom-Parmesan Chicken

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Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Breadless Breading
Olive oil
1 can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a skillet, enough to coat the bottom. Lightly coat the chicken chunks with Breadless Breading and add to the heated pan, cooking on all sides until cooked through. Add the cream of mushroom soup, stir, then stir in enough Breadless Breading to thicken and flavor the sauce. Serve hot.

For the Sriracha Corn: add a touch of sriracha (start with a little and add more to taste) to a can of corn and stir together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until hot and serve immediately.

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Chocolate-Glazed Honey Macaroons

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Once upon a time I entered some honey macaroons into the Kansas state fair and won a  blue ribbon for them.  Then I promised you I would share the recipe.  Well I may be a bit slow, but a promise is a promise!  I thought this was the perfect time since I’m giving away a gallon of coconut oil and this recipe has some in it.  I figured one of you guys would need a lot of ways to use up that coconut oil once the giveaway was over.  (I’m still packing just in case the winner agrees to let me move in until the oil is gone. hehehe)

We have a special honey class in our state fair baking competition and I won for the cookies last year.  I had never entered the honey cookies category before, but knew from looking at past year’s cookies what I wasn’t going to do, which was a flour-based cookie.  I wanted to do something different that the other bakers hadn’t.  I did lots of brainstorming and finally decided that a honey coconut macaroon might be nice.  Luckily I found a great recipe at Gourmande in the Kitchen and all I had to do was create a glaze for them.

Less heavy than a normal macaroon, these are light, sweet, tender, and very moist.  And the coconut-flavored chocolate just puts them over the top.  I love these cookies because not only are they tasty, they also are allergy friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free) and healthy (good fat & naturally sweetened).  I do hope you enjoy them!

For more coconut oil recipes, check out my Coconut Oil Coffee, Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake, Dairy-Free White Cupcakes, Homemade Magic Shell, and Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake Pops.

Honey Coconut Macaroons

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Cookies
2 ¼ cups (180 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
¼ cup (60 g) raw local honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt

Honey & Coconut Chocolate Glaze
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon local raw honey

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Process the coconut in a food processor until very fine.  Whisk together egg whites, honey, vanilla, and salt until combined, then stir in the coconut until completely moistened.  Using a small cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until pale golden in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze: Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power.  Stir, then repeat. Stir until residual heats melts the chocolate completely, then stir in the coconut oil and honey. Drizzle over the cooled macaroons and serve immediately, or allow to set before storing.  It takes this glaze several hours to set up, but the cookies are so moist they will  not suffer for being left out.

Recipe source: adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

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You may have noticed I’m no longer posting regularly.  I have a feeling that’s how VC will be from now on, with periodic posts when I have the time.  While I hope my sporadic posting doesn’t bother any of my readers, I likely wouldn’t begin to post regularly for your sake at the expense of my own, so it would help my conscience out a lot if you would just be OK with it.  Thanks. :)

Onto the pudding.  I know it sounds weird, but you just have to try this to believe it how good it is.  Even my avocado-hating husband loves this pudding!  Basically it’s just avocado blended up with cocoa powder and agave nectar to create a sweet, silky, perfectly chocolate-y pudding.  No dairy, no refined sugar, no gluten, no cooking, just blending and eating of the most delicious & wholesome dessert ever…refrigeration totally optional.  We couldn’t wait and ate ours as soon as it was blended and it was fabulous.  But I bet it would be even better cold.

Chovocado Pudding

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1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel and quarter the avocado. Put all the ingredients in a Magic Bullet or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe source: Forgiving Martha

Kumquat & Coconut Cookies {Grain & Sugar-Free}

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Whew, two recipe contests in the same week!  I don’t know what’s come over me.  It must be all that state fair competitive spirit leaking over into my everyday baking life!  This one is for Baker Bettie’s Cookie Wars, in which she charged us with a mission to invent a cookie using at least two of the following ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Basil
  • Beer
  • Coffee
  • Cranberries
  • Cream Cheese
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Dried Chilies
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Fennel Bulb
  • Garlic
  • Goat Cheese
  • Grapefruit
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Hazelnut
  • Honey
  • Kumquat
  • Maple Syrup
  • Marshmallows
  • Mint
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peach
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Sour Cherries
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomato

I’m really curious to see how many people are daring and creative enough to use tomato, vinegar (wait, I’ve done that and it’s fabulous! lol), beer, rosemary, etc.  I’m thinking there are going to be a few savory cookies in the mix!

But me, well, you know my affinity for sweets, so that’s what I went for.  I didn’t intend to make a wholesome cookie, it kinda just happened in the evolution of my creative process.  Here’s how it went.

My first inclination was to create a yogurt and honey spice cookie, which I knew would be a cake-like cookie because of the honey, and since I don’t like cakey cookies unless they’re part of a whoopie pie, I figured I’d also make a yogurt and honey filing for them.

Then I remembered the bag of coconut flour in my refrigerator that I won from Nutmeg Nanny’s giveaway several months ago, and thought it would work well here since the honey and yogurt would add a lot of liquid that usually isn’t in cookies, and you need more wet ingredients in any coconut flour recipe–it’s very thirsty and absorbs lots of moisture.  (I know this from a previous failure.)

I scanned the list again, trying to see if any other ingredients would pair well with the flavor of coconut and pondered over the kumquats.  I’d never had them but had seen them at the grocery store from time to time and always assumed they were miniature oranges.  I remember asking Dennis, “What is the point of these?  It would take forever to peel enough of these to make them worth eating!”  But I Googled kumquats anyway, to see if they might work for me in my cookies.

I found out that the skin is the part that is sweet and delicious, and the inside is very sour.  Most people eat them whole to savor the contrast of sweet and sour.  (I tried this after buying them, and whoo-ey, even the sweet peel wasn’t enough for me to dig the sour explosion on the inside.  But the flavor is very good-very similar to an orange.)  I also found a recipe for kumquat chocolate chip cookies that described the kumquat peels as being great after baking because they get chewy like pieces of candy.  OK, I was sold.  I had to find me some kumquats.

Find them I did, and then I went to work.  I’m pretty happy with my creation!  These cookies have an exotic flavor profile, with a semi-tropical feel.  The honey wasn’t quite enough to balance the sour yogurt and and kumquats (yes, I totally tasted the raw dough. I always do. :) ), but the stevia made them nicely sweet like any good cookie should be.  I love the kumquat flavor, it is a perfect match with the coconut.  I added the spices because a recipe I have from my friend, Marina, called “Cream Cheese Cookies” uses them, but I honestly can’t say they really pronounce themselves on the palate.  They sort of just add a layer of mystery in the background to the overall exotic flavor.

The texture is soft and moist and very tender, which isn’t my usual choice for a cookie (I’m in the crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside camp), but these are so unique that it doesn’t strike me as “wrong.”  These cookies are supposed to be different, and it’s actually a nice texture…not unlike shortbread.  The one downside is that coconut flour makes them a bit grainy and while they’re not a dry cookie, the flour makes you thirsty after eating one.

All in all, these aren’t the typical American cookie, but I think they’d be perfect with tea.  In fact, I think I’m going to enjoy a few with a hot cup right now…

Kumquat & Coconut Cookies

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½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup raw, local honey
½ cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut flour
5 packets NuNaturals stevia powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon mace
¼ teaspoon salt
½ lb. kumquats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk the butter and honey together in a small bowl until combined, then whisk in the yogurt until combined, then the eggs and vanilla. Doing it in this way emulsifies the butter so that it doesn’t harden and get clotted when you add the cold yogurt and eggs.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut flour to get any clumps out, then whisk in the coriander, ginger, mace, and salt. Add the honey & yogurt mixture, and stir with a spoon until mixed. The dough will be thick and will get thicker upon standing. Set aside.

Pick off the small stems from the kumquats, then roughly chop them, removing seeds as you go. I don’t have a great knife, so I sliced each kumquat into four slices, then quartered each slice, otherwise I just would have gone nuts chopping like I do with nuts. Add the chopped kumquats into the cookie dough along with the coconut and mix well with your clean hands.

Scoop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets with a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop. You can place them fairly close together as they will not spread. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Notes: coconut oil can be substituted for the butter to make these dairy-free. If you are using a different brand or form of stevia, add it in to taste. There is no gluten to toughen the cookies, so you can mix and re-mix to your heart’s content as you add ingredients to get the right balance to suit your tastes.

Breadless Breading

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Pictured: Chicken in Basil Cream, using Breadless Breading

This is a fabulous low-carb, gluten-free substitute for breading that can be used as a coating for things you’re either going to be baking or frying.  I use it on both chicken and fish (it’s best for mild white fish, though it’s pretty good on salmon too) and have even added it to meatloaf*.  I prefer this tremendously over any other coating I’ve used, as it has so much flavor in comparison to even seasoned breadcrumbs.  The first time I used it on fish, my husband said, “this is like…onion ring-fried fish!!”  While this breading isn’t overly onion-y (in my opinion, it is perfectly seasoned), I will say that if you like onion rings, you’re going to love it as it does lend a similar flavor and texture experience to your meal.  I hope you enjoy!

Breadless Breading

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2 (3.75 oz) jars (2 cups) dehydrated minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Place dehydrated onion in food processor bowl and process for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except the cheese and process 30 seconds. Add Parmesan and pulse to blend. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Recipe source: adapted from Suzanne Somers’ Fast & Easy Bake & Fry Mix

*This doesn’t replace bread crumbs in meatloaf because there is nothing in it to absorb moisture the way real bread can, but it does add great flavor!  For a gluten-free meatloaf, you can add in quick-cooking oats along with some of this breadless breading.  You will not need to add onions to your meatloaf if you use this breading because it adds plenty of flavor, but I added a red pepper to mine and it was really good!

A quick and easy meal: coat one side of fish (this is swai) with breadless breading and fry in olive oil until golden.  Flip and cook until the fish flakes easily.  Enjoy your Onion Rings-Fried Fish!

Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce & Fried Garlic {gluten-free}

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Growing up, my Mom made an eggplant dish about once a year that was basically chopped up eggplant mixed with homemade marinara sauce, garnished with Parmesan cheese.  The only way I could swallow the evil stuff was to absolutely drown it in Parmesan–I’m pretty sure I used half a bottle of the grated cheese every time she made it.  It’s not that the taste was terrible, the marinara was always good, as was the Parmesan, but the eggplant itself was spongy and a bit bitter, so I had to distract myself by making it super cheesy in order eat it.

Despite never fully enjoying this dish, I was convinced that I would enjoy eggplant if prepared differently.  I really wanted to try making eggplant Parmesan, sensing that frying eggplant and making it crispy could be the key.  But for some reason, I just never got around to it.  Probably because I had been tainted by a long history of a dish with similar elements that was always abhorrent to me.  I finally tried eggplant on a pizza (click here for the recipe: Eggplant & Olive Pizza) and then in baba ghanoush (a Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip) and discovered I was right, I did like eggplant!

Well, finally, in a lower-carbohydrate phase of our diet last month, I decided to try my hand at eggplant parmesan, using only cheese for “breading” before frying it.  It. was. fabulous.  I’m sure I’d love it with the breading as well, but this was truly delicious and in my opinion, need not be changed.  I seriously can not wait to make this again. I’m now a full-fledged eggplant convert.  They key, it seems, is not so much in the frying, which obviously doesn’t hurt, but in the salting and draining prior to cooking.  This takes away the bitterness and makes the eggplant flavor much more enjoyable.

I also want to take a moment to mention the tomato sauce, which I snagged from Jenna’s blog and kicked up a notch with fire-roasted tomatoes, and a touch of fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.  This is my most favorite marinara sauce I’ve made to date, very flavorful and a great compliment to the eggplant.  It makes a large batch, so you’ll have enough leftover to freeze for future eggplant Parmesan meals, or to ladle over pasta. It gives me such a heady feeling to know this delicious sauce is waiting for me in pre-portioned bags in the freezer, and all I have to do is defrost it in order to enjoy it again. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Jenna!

One last note: the fried garlic is totally optional but I highly recommend you throw some cloves into the oil while you’re frying your eggplant.  I discovered that frying garlic gives the same flavor as roasting it, sweetening it and making it so delicious you can just pop the whole thing into your mouth without any of the sulphurous burning that usually accompanies such an act with raw garlic.  It is so delicious, I’ve found it to be addictive!  I ended up keeping this part of the recipe secret from my husband, who arrived after I’d eaten an entire bulb of fried garlic because I couldn’t keep my hands off of it after I popped the first clove into my mouth.  What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. :)

I’m submitting this recipe to Renee for this week’s BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient contest): Parmesan.

Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan with Fried Garlic

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1 medium eggplant, peeled
Salt
2 eggs
¼ cup water
1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Garlic powder
½ cup olive or canola oil
1 bulb of garlic, peeled
1 ½ cups Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce, warmed
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Peel and slice eggplant into ¼” thick slices. Sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and place in a colander set over a bowl. Allow the eggplant to drain for 30-45 minutes or until 2 tablespoons of water have been drawn out from the eggplant. Tear off three sets of two sheets of paper towels (each set of two still connected), stack together, then lay out eggplant slices on top of it. Tear off another three sets of two paper towels, lay on top of the eggplant, and press down firmly on each slice to draw out excess moisture.

In a flat-bottomed bowl large enough in diameter to fit the largest eggplant slices, whisk the eggs and water together until foamy. Put the Parmesan cheese on a plate and have your garlic powder nearby. Line a baking sheet with foil, sprinkle evenly with garlic powder, and set nearby.

Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture, shake off, then sprinkle both sides with Parmesan. Lay the slices on the prepared baking sheet as you finish them. Once all slices are coated, sprinkle garlic powder on top.

Heat a cast iron or other heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom well and come up about 1/8”. Place as many eggplant slices in the skillet as will fit, and tuck as many of the cloves of garlic in between them as you can. Fry the eggplant until the first side is golden brown, about 2 minutes, then flip. Flip the garlic cloves when then skin is golden brown and bubbled. Once the second side is golden brown, remove to a cooling rack lined with paper towels to drain. Remove the garlic as it is finished cooking as well. Continue cooking eggplant in batches until all is fried. If the first batch of eggplant has cooled too much by the time you are finished frying it all, pour out the oil in the skillet and add them back in to reheat for a minute. Alternately, as the eggplant is drained, you can add them to a foil-lined baking sheet and keep them in a warm oven until ready to serve.

To serve, arrange eggplant slices on plates with fried garlic scattered around. Scoop tomato sauce over the top and garnish with Parmesan and parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

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1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the celery, carrot, and some salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, basil, oregano, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, and cover the pot with a splatter screen. Turn down the heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour.

Remove the bay leaves and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool completely and, if not using immediately, pour it into freezer bags in 1-2 cup portions. It will keep frozen for about 6 months.

Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake

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I made this cake the same day I made the chocolate peanut butter cake because the latter was for a friend’s birthday and I wanted to bring something that her son with food allergies could enjoy as well.  It was so good, however, that we all had some (yes, on top of the chocolate peanut butter cake!) and she served the leftovers to her entire family later on.  They all loved it, which makes me so proud because producing a palatable vegan and gluten-free cake was a challenge.

Dennis and I took a single piece home with us, which we regretted the next day when we split it and it was gone all too quickly. We both love Mounds candy bars and this cake really does capture that flavor. I would make this cake for any one, not just those with food allergies.

I’m submitting this cake to Sophia’s “You are What You Cook” challenge because I feel the recipe really defines me.  I do not personally have food allergies, but I love the challenge of creating a palatable dish when there are obstacles to overcome (in this case, no dairy and strange flours!).  I do commiserate with those who are vegan because they love animals, and I’m enthusiastic about recipes that are meat & dairy-free for that reason.  This recipe is the love I have for baking, the heartache I feel for those who can’t enjoy the treats most of us do, my determination not to sacrifice flavor & texture due to the restrictions, and my triumph in creating something that made a ten-year-old boy give a huge grin after his first bite and declare, “This is awesome!”

If you do not have an allergy to gluten, you can substitute all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum, but there’s no need to change anything else, even if you aren’t vegan.   The recipe is perfect the way it is!

Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake

Really Wacky Cake
Wacky Cake was popular during the depression when eggs and butter were rationed and harder to come by. Taking this dairy and egg-free cake and making it gluten-free makes it really wacky!

3 c gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 t Xanthan Gum
2 c granulated sugar
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
½ c cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed for a deeper color & chocolate flavor)
¾ c vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 T distilled white vinegar
2 c cold water

Coconut Filling
2 T coconut oil
¾ c coconut milk
1 c granulated sugar
20 large vegan marshmallows
10 oz unsweetened coconut

Coconut Ganache
½ c coconut milk (not light)
8 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Sift all dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make three wells and put the oil in one, the vanilla in another and the vinegar in the last. Pour water over it all and mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes (mine took 40) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool or mostly cool, prepare the filling. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts, then add the coconut milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the marshmallows until dissolved. Stir in the coconut and spread over the cake. Allow to cool before preparing the ganache.

Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside. Heat the coconut milk until it bubbles around the edges and steam rises off the surface. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for several minutes. Stir until smooth and shiny—this will probably take two minutes. If necessary, place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water & stir constantly to melt the chocolate completely.

Pour the ganache over the cake and spread to the edges. Allow to set for at least an hour before serving.

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