Rawtella “Cheesecake” Brownies {37Cooks}

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I love being a part of 37Cooks – even with my beyond busy schedule this year and turning a few submissions in late (sorry guys!), challenges like this help keep me on my toes and my creativity flowing. This challenge wasn’t for a sponsor but instead a fun little “Surprise Food Exchange” between the bloggers. We were asked to some something(s) from our state…I was chosen to send items from RI (or close by) to Donna of Cookistry. Sadly however her first box is M.I.A. so I sent her a second one which I hope was equally as good. I received some awesome gluten-free goodies from Linda…seriously these items were perfect and right up my alley. I received two bottles of Ginger People Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce and a jar of Rawtella.

Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce

(Image: ]http://gingerpeople.com/gluten-free-products/hot-ginger-jalapeno-spicy-dip.html)                                                        (Image:https://www.facebook.com/Rawtella/photos_stream)

Our challenge was to come up with a recipe using at least one of the products we received. At first I was pretty torn on which one to use. I had made a delicious burger with a bit of the Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce mixed into the meat, and topped with a Hot Ginger Jalapeno Aoli and avocado, and don’t get me wrong…it was delicious, however I forgot to actually get a good picture of it. Seeing as money is, lets say…tight right now I couldn’t actually recreate the recipe just yet so I went through my pantry to see what I had on hand. Turns out I had everything to make some delicious brownies…using a box mix of course. I have a great recipe for homemade brownies but I had a box of the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, which I LOVE. It has such a great flavor (which is thanks to the coffee that is in it!). I’m not a huge chocolate person…I like it a lot better when it is mixed with something else, like nuts. I knew that I was going to use the Rawtella (obviously!) in this recipe but I was trying to think of something to break up all the chocolate. When walking through the grocery store this morning I saw some beautiful brownies with cream cheese swirls running through them and a light bulb went off, “I have that at home too!!”.

I have to say these are pretty easy and quick to make, especially if you are using a box mix. However, you do not have to…use whatever your favorite recipe is and even though the Rawtell is vegan, this recipe is not. I couldn’t afford to buy the alternative ingredients to make it that way so if you want to make it vegan, simply follow your favorite vegan brownie recipe, use the Rawtella and then use a vegan cream cheese. If anyone tries this…please let me know how it turns out.

Thank you Linda for the awesome, delicious ingredients to play around with. Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Rawtella “Cheesecake” Brownies

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Brownies

  • 1 package of gluten-free brownie mix, prepared according to package or your favorite homemade gluten-free brownie recipe

Topping

  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg (separated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup Rawtella

Method of Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven according to package or recipe
  2. Prepare brownie mix according to package or recipe
  3. Pour prepared brownie batter into an 8×8 baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper or to make individual brownies use the Good Cook Dessert Bar Pan
  4. In a small bowl add the softened 1/3 fat cream cheese and the yolk from the egg.
  5. Mix with a spoon until completely incorporated and there are no lumps.
  6. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix well.
  7. In a second small bowl combine the Rawtella and egg white, mix until evenly incorporated.
  8. Place 1-2 teaspoons each of the cream cheese mixture and the Rawtella mixture of top of each brownie (if using the dessert pan) or evenly distribute globs of each on top of the brownie mixture in the 8×8 pan.
  9. With either a toothpick or knife, swirl the cream cheese and Rawtella mixtures together.
  10. Bake according to package or recipe.
  11. Cool completely, remove from pan and serve with fresh strawberries.

 

 

 

 

Coconut Thai Shrimp w/ Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0058This time of year is perfect for fresh seafood – especially in New England. Lately I have been consuming about a 75/35 diet…the 75 being vegetable/plant-based meals and the 35 being meat based meals. I am working towards consuming the recommended 8-12oz of fish/seafood per week according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however my budget does not always allow it, especially when trying to consume wild caught fish/seafood. Living below the poverty line, trying to make ends meet, and living on a tight budget can make things a difficult and frustrating when trying to eat healthy and buy fresh ingredients all the time. I have been living this way for quite a while now, and for the next year, that tight budget of mine just got even tighter! So here are a few little tips and tricks that I have found helpful and put to use:

  • When I find a good deal on wild caught seafood, I buy a little extra and freeze it into appropriate portion sizes.
  • Search the frozen section – some times you can find wild caught pre-frozen shrimp, tuna, or salmon – pick up a piece or two and save it for a raining day.
  • Shop local – small independent grocery stores and farmers markets usually have some great deals.
  • Eat Seasonally – the best prices for items are when they are in season, that should be no surprise.
  • Coupon Clipping – I kid you not, this has helped me so much. I do not clip coupons for items that I can not eat or that I do not use, that would be a waste of money and time. Sign up for coupons from Mambo Sprouts – usually they have lots of great gluten-free related coupons.
  • Frozen Veggies and Canned Goods – I know it is not “gourmet” but you can make one heck of a meal with these items…if buying canned goods, buy them with no or low sodium, and be sure to rinse them well. I buy my beans canned because it is quick and easy and they are full of nutrients.
  • Think of side of the box – instead of spending loads of money on meat proteins, I use a lot of alternative proteins like tofu, tempeh, and beans
  • Whole grains – they fill you up and are very versatile.

Below is a simple, yet flavorful shrimp recipe that can be prepared inside or on the grill and is perfect for this beautiful weather. You can serve it with our without the rice, in taco shells, or however you choose.

I found the Coconut Thai Seasoning at The Spice and Tea Exchange in Newport…I have no idea how I never realized this little gem was so close to me, but it was probably a good thing for me (not them) that I didn’t! I walked into the shop and instantly was in heaven. It’s a small shop, packed with spices, teas, salts, etc. The staff was very helpful and friendly as well, especially when helping me with gluten-free blend options. I picked up a few different spice blends but had to try the Coconut Thai one first.

Coconut Thai Shrimp with Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0061Coconut Thai Shrimp – Ingredients

  • Shrimp                                                         1/2 pound
  • Coconut Thai Seasoning                         2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil                                                       1 teaspoon

Mango Salsa – Ingredients

  • Lime Juice                                                  2 tablespoons
  • Lime Zest                                                    1 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                               1/4 teaspoon
  • Cayenne Pepper                                       1/8 teaspoon
  • Mango                                                         1 – fine dice
  • Red Onion                                                  2-3 tablespoons, fine dice
  • Avocado                                                      1 – fine dice
  • Bell Pepper, Orange,Yellow, etc.            1/4 cup, fine dice

Spinach Lime Rice – Ingredients

  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice                        1 cup – uncooked
  • Water or stock                                             2 cups
  • Spinach, Baby                                             1 1/2 cups
  • Lime Zest                                                     1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro                                                         1 tablespoon, fine chop

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel and devein shrimp
  2. Mango Avocado Salsa – In a medium bowl add lime juice, lime zest, salt, and cayenne pepper – mix well.
  3. Add diced mango, red onion, avocado, and bell pepper, mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  5. Coconut Thai Shrimp – In a medium bowl add, Coconut Thai Seasoning and Olive oil, mix well
  6. Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly, set aside in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  7. Spinach Lime Rice – In a small stock pot bring two cups of water or stock to a boil and add rice. Stir and cook until done (usually about 15-20 minutes depending on rice)
  8. During the last two minutes of cooking, stir in spinach and stir to wilt the spinach leaves. Set aside.
  9. Right before serving add lime zest and freshly chopped cilantro into the spinach rice and toss to evenly incorporate.
  10. To cook the shrimp – either heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook 2-4 minutes per side or place on a hot grill for the same amount of time.
  11. Serve with spinach lime rice, and mango salsa – top with fresh cilantro and lime wedges if desired.

Enjoy!

 

 

One-Pot Meal: Spring Time Mushroom Risotto {Good Cook Kitchen Drawer Contest}

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I have really enjoyed working with Good Cook and getting to participate in their challenges and using their products. If you are anything like me, you get rather excited about kitchen gadgets, and trust me, Good Cook has some great ones. Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from goodcook.com, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on GoodCook.com are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

To begin this awesome “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” event bloggers were given five tools/gadgets to work with and create a one-pot meal with. We had to use at least two of the five tools provided us and create a delicious dish…not too hard right? Ha, I beg to differ…I got stuck on “one-pot meal”, thinking to myself “I could make a soup”, “Nah, its spring time”, or “chili…that’s always a one-pot meal”, “No, I don’t really want chili right now either”. So my next thought was fried rice, because, you know me, I LOVE Asian food, but when walking through the grocery store I came across this mix of mushrooms; it had baby bellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and decided to make a spring risotto with mushrooms and green onions, and of course some white wine. There are so many “one-pot” meals, and this one can be used as an entrée or as a side dish…you can even bake it, or roll them into balls and make fried risotto balls – endless possibilities!

The five items that we were provided are  SMART Ice Cream Scoop, Flip Measuring Spoon, Safe-Cut Can Opener, Egg Separator, and the Pot Clip Holder. All of these products are great – I did not use all of them to make this dish but I did try to test them out at least once so I could share them with you. The only item I did not use for this recipe was the Safe-cut Can Opener, but let’s start with the items I used…

  • SMART Ice Cream Scoop – LOVE this ice cream scoop…it has a split back to help release the contents, and can be used for many different things such as scooping the risotto out of the pan into my bowl, mashed potatoes, and obviously ice cream, you can read more about the SMART Scoop here – (hand wash only).
  • Flip Measuring Spoon – this is perfect for people who do not want a cluttered drawer, or are just starting out, it is four measuring spoons in 1, it doesn’t get much better than that. I used this to measure out the red pepper flakes and salt for the recipe below, you can read more about it here.
  • Egg Separator – is a pretty handy tool especially if you need only to use the egg whites or yolks in a recipe – I did not NEED to use that for this recipe, but I tested it out anyway…it just makes life a little easier, read more about it here.
  • Pot Clip Holder – How I have lived with out this, I’m not sure just yet. This is the perfect little kitchen gadget that I think everyone should own, maybe even several of them. This helps keep your stove top and counters nice and clean. It clips on to the side of the pot and holds your spoon when you aren’t using it. Read more about it here.
  • Safe-cut Can Opener – The one and only item I did not use, only because I had no can to open, but this can opener, as its name states is a “safe-cut” which means it leaves no sharp edges to get injured on! So this tool is perfect for having your younger ones help out in the kitchen, you can read more about it here.

 

photo 1(9)Here is what I made…

Spring Time Mushroom Risotto

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Ingredients

  • Olive Oil                                               1 tablespoon
  • Butter                                                   1 tablespoon
  • Scallions, sliced                               1/4 cup
  • Mushrooms, sliced                           1 cup
  • Red Pepper Flakes                          1/4-1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                        1/4 teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice                                       1 cup
  • White Wine                                         1/2 cup
  • Chicken Stock, low sodium            4 cups
  • Egg, whole                                         1 large
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated            1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2. In a small stock pot add four cups of chicken stock and heat over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer
  3.  In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  4.  Add sliced scallions and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add mushrooms, and cook for an addition 2 minutes.
  6. Add white wine and cook for an additional minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. If the pan is a little dry add an additional teaspoon of either oil or butter, then add the rice and stir to evenly coat.
  9. Stir in 1 cup of stock – just enough to cover the rice.
  10. Stir well and continue to stir until the rice has almost completely absorbed the stock.
  11. Continue this process until all stock has been added to rice and absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
  12. Push the risotto to the outer edges of the pan and add the egg.
  13. Fry egg, and carefully flip over to not break the yolk – you want it to be runny over the risotto when plating.
  14. Gently remove the egg and set aside.
  15. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  16. To serve top with fried egg and sliced scallions.

Chef Notes:You can use any short grain rice instead of the arborio rice, as risotto is a style of cooking, not a type of rice.

 Be sure to check out more delicious recipes from the other Good Cook Bloggers and Kitchen Experts at the link below!


This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes {37 Cooks & Good Cook}

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I love being a part of both 37 Cooks and Good Cook Blogger/Kitchen Experts – and I love that they have combined forces for this event. Each of the 37 Cooks received the following items from Good Cook as part of the recipe challenge: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Mixing Bowl, Spatula, and Chopping Mats. We then had a choice of one of the following items to play around with: Nonstick Round 9″ Cake Pan (Set of 2 for layer cakes), 13″ x 9″ Nonstick Covered Cake Pan, Dessert Bar Pan, or 4-Cup Loaf Pan. I ended up choosing the dessert bar pan because I thought that would be pretty versatile.

This was no ordinary challenge though – this was the Good Cook Potluck Pantry Challenge. The key word in that name is PANTRY, meaning we had to cook or bake with whatever we had in our pantry (including fridge) and not buy anything at the store. Thankfully my pantry is pretty well stocked and happened to have a fresh pineapple on hand! We had to use two of the Good Cook items – one from the core items received and the second item was whichever pan we choose.

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I knew right away that I wanted to make pineapple upside down cakes – this was my favorite cake growing up because it did not have frosting on it! I kid you not…to this day I still do not really like frosting unless it’s my own frosting which I do not sweeten much. My sweet tooth is not that strong I guess. This goes perfectly with a little dollop of lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream. Even though I chose to do a sweet recipe, this pan can be used for so much more than desserts – you can bake cornbread, risotto (yes risotto squares!), meatloaf, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless – you just need to be creative.

I used the following items to create my Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Spatula, Chopping Mats, and Dessert Bar Pan – I loved using the pineapple corer/slicer – super easy to use, say good-bye to canned pineapple rings!

The recipe is below however, here are a few substitutions that can be made:

  • If you are not gluten-free feel free to use a “regular” cake mix
  • The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free – the picture does show whipped cream but you can omit that.
  • Don’t like pineapple? Use a different fruit…raspberries, cherries, etc.
  • I used earth balance sticks – feel free to use whatever butter or butter alternative you want…I haven’t tried anything besides this and butter so I can not guarantee any results

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

photo(10)Ingredients

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions (use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often if using a stand mixer)
  3. Evenly divide up the 2-3 tablespoons of earth balance into the 12 wells of the dessert pan
  4. Place pan in preheated oven to melt the butter – once melted remove from oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the wells of the pan
  5. Top the brown sugar and melted butter with one 1/2 chunk of pineapple and 1 natural maraschino cherry (halved or whole is fine)
  6. Pour in prepared cake batter evenly into wells of pan – leave about 1/4 inch room to let the cake rise in the oven
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and using a heatproof serving plate or cutting board upside down onto pan,  turn plate and pan over.
  9. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
  10. Cool 30 minutes.
  11. Can be served either warm or cool with either ice cream (dairy free alternatives available), or whipped cream (or coconut cream)
  12. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Good Cook provided us with these products free of charge – all opinions are 100% my own.

Cheesecake Cups {Good Cook: Sweet Creations Bake-A-Bowl}

photo 2(6)Spring has officially sprung! I love this time of year for all the beautiful flowers blooming and the fresh fruits and vegetables, I can’t wait for the farmer’s markets to really pick up. Spring time also means it’s time for lots of celebrations…graduations, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. So if you are looking for an easy and super delicious treat to share at any one of these occasions look no further. I was originally going to make a salad for this recipe, but Bryan said it was “too simple” and I should do something sweet instead. I didn’t want to do anything with brownies so I though of the cheesecake that I make Bryan for his birthday that has a chocolate chip cookie crust that he loves and decided to make some adjustments; turning this into a lovely spring treat. I kept the cookie crust but decided that since the bowls were already baked, why not do a no-bake cheesecake filling, make it bright with some lemon juice and lemon zest and then top with fresh berries. I love the tangy flavor of the 1/3 fat cream cheese and always use that in my cheesecakes.

Good Cook has done it again with their Bake-A-Bowl pan – it is a 6 cup pan with two pieces that you fill, top, and bake to create the perfect little bowls! You can pretty much make anything with this pan…brownie bowls, cookie bowls, pancake bowls, tortilla bowls, cornbread bowls, etc. Much to Bryans dismay I have an obsession with kitchen equipment, but my defense is I use everything I have! So if you are like me, and love playing around with fun with new kitchen goodies, you have to check this out.

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Check out my recipe for Cheesecake Cups using a cookie crust and a no bake cheesecake filling topped with delicious fresh strawberries, perfect for Mother’s day – I promise she will love these!

Cheesecake Cups

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  • 1 package of cookie mix (chocolate chip, sugar cookie, etc. – follow directions on package to prepare)
  • 1 – 8oz package of 1/3 fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh berries (strawberries – sliced thin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare cookie mix as directed on package
  2. Spray both the bottom and top pan lightly with non-stick spray
  3. Evenly divide prepared cookie mix into six portions and place into the bottom of the Bake-A-Bowl pan, be sure to not fill past the “fill line”
  4. Take the top part of the pan and press it in to place
  5. Bake according to package instructions (you made need a little bit of additional time, these baked for 22 minutes)
  6. Remove from oven and let cool – do not remove top of pan until completely cooled.
  7. Once cooled, remove bowls from pan and set aside.
  8. Using either a stand mixer or electric mixer beat together the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest until soft and smooth.
  9. Add in whipping cream and mix on low until incorporated and then turn it to medium-low and mix until it becomes thickened.
  10. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated
  11. Poor into chilled bowls and refrigerate for several hours (or over night if making this ahead of time).
  12. Wash and then slice strawberries thinly and place in a bowl
  13. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat. This will help the natural juices release.
  14. To assemble the cheesecakes, remove from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Top with fresh berries or your favorite cheesecake topping.
  15. Enjoy!

photo 4(3)Again there are so many great ways to use this pan:

  • Sweet treats: brownies, cookie, etc.
  • Bake in the top part of the bowls as well – can be used as fillings inside the bottom of the bowl
  • If making bread bowls – but a baking sheet over the top of the pan to weigh it down…this will help with the bread from rising too much.
  • Non-sweet treats: cornbread bowls for chili, Tortilla bowls for tacos or salad, Bacon bowls etc.
  • Breakfast: Bacon bowls filled with scrambled eggs, pancake bowls, hashbrown nests, etc.
  • Have fun, and be creative!

You can buy Sweet Creations products online from Good Cook and get a 25% discount with the code BAKEBOWL.
Check out more great recipes and ideas here!

#goodcook #goodcookkitchenexpert #sweetcreations

Beef & Broccoli {Take-Out-At-Home}

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I need a wok. Seriously. With the amount of Asian food that I make it amazes me that I do not own one. Someday.

My dad however has one, so we put it to use one night and made some gluten-free beef and broccoli. My dad is awesome for many reasons, but I love how good he is about gluten-free awareness and cross contamination. He even has a separate peanut butter jar just for me so I don’t get sick when I am there. He keeps gluten-free bread and goodies in his freezer for me as well. Like I said, he is pretty awesome.

Who doesn’t love a quick easy version of one of your take-out favorites?! I know not all of the ingredients below are traditionally what is found in beef & broccoli but it tastes pretty darn good. There are a bunch of other beef & broccoli recipes out there on the web, and I really wanted to make something simple yet flavorful. Hope you all give it a shot and enjoy it.

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Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 pound beef – tenderloin cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1-2 medium heads of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 inches of ginger peeled and sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Boiling Water (for broccoli)
  • Bowl of ice water

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (Marukan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Dynasty Brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (white or brown)
  • 2 teaspoons of potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust as needed or omit)

Method of Preparation

  • Slice beef and set aside
  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients in the marinade and add beef. Marinade for 30 minutes.
  • In a large stock pot bring water to boil, and blanch the broccoli florets – about 10-15 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Immediately place blanched broccoli in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Repeat with remaining broccoli. Once all broccoli is blanched and then placed in an ice bath, strain and pat dry. Set aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add half o the beef and cooking until about 75-80% cooked throughout (this will be quick at high heat).
  • Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and steak.
  • Add ginger and red pepper flakes, stir-fry for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  • Return the beef to the pan to finish cooking. Add broccoli and stir fry for 1 minute
  • Add sauce and toss to coat – as soon as the sauce begins to thicken remove from the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice – white or brown.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

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Every once in a while I crave pizza, but it isn’t very often. To me pizza has always been kind of a snack food, not a meal. It needs to have a lot of amazing toppings on it or at least have a salad with it for it to be a meal. I know this sounds weird, but it just is not a meal in my world. However, I think I have come up with a substantial enough of a pizza to make it a meal with. Below is my Southwestern Chicken Pizza loaded with chicken breast, black beans, corn, and lots of delicious veggies. You can feel free to customize the toppings and spice level to your likings. If you are vegetarian omit the chicken and load up on some extra veggies and beans.

I don’t know how busy you all are, but if you are anything like myself, you are pretty darn busy. Most days I’m up at 4:00am and I’m home anywhere between 2:30pm – 10:00pm, all depending on that day’s schedule. Some nights are loaded up with homework and I don’t always have the time to make myself a fancy dinner so this comes in very handy. It is loaded up protein and nutrients. If you use a pre-made crust, this makes for a very quick and easy weeknight meal.

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

Crust

Topping

  • Sauce: Homemade or Jarred (all depends on how much and how big your pizza is
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast (boneless/skinless), cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peppers: red, yellow, and orange, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1/2 cup corn: fresh, frozen, canned (unsalted and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup black beans: rinsed and drained well
  • 1/4 cup red onion: sliced thin
  • 1 cup baby spinach: packed and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add peppers and corn and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add black beans and red onions, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the baby spinach to the pan and cook until wilted.
  5. After the spinach has wilted, add diced chicken and season with cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, and salt.
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Top pizza crush with sauce, cheese, and chicken and vegetable mixture…top with a little additional cheese if you so desire.
  8. Bake according to directions of the pizza crust you are using.
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

Savory Rolls {Dorot & 37 Cooks}

IMG_9625Have you heard of Dorot before? I’ve been using them for years. They are awesome little cubes of tasty goodness. So easy to use and perfect for a quick meal loaded with flavor. We over at 37 Cooks had the privilege of them being our latest sponsor. They sent us each a few coupons to pick up a variety of their products to work with and create a recipe. As with all sponsored posts and reviews these opinions are 100% my own.

I was able to find their items at a few stores around me, especially the one that I work at! Talk about convenience – so I picked up their Chili, Garlic, and Ginger cubes. In the recipe below however I ended up just using the chili and the garlic – the garlic actually was put to use in both recipes: Savory Rolls and Feta Spread. Visit their website to see all of their great options including rice mixes and sauces (I have not tried either of these and not 100% sure if they are all gluten-free) and also where to find these great products. These are perfect for saving time in the kitchen chopping garlic and herbs.

Below is my recipe for savory rolls (think cinnamon rolls, but not) with a feta spread. These are great and very versatile – please feel free to change the filling ingredients to whatever your taste buds prefer. You can roll them thinner and make mini ones as well – they work perfectly for an appetizer. The recipe below is gluten-free and vegetarian but again, feel free to change it up…add some cooked ground hot sausage or some crispy pancetta.

Savory Rolls & Feta Spread

Simple, versatile, rustic, and delicious.

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter (add more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 3 cubes of Dorot Crushed Garlic
  • 3 cubes of Dorot Crushed Chili
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Dough

  • 3 tablespoons butter – melted
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend of your choice (I used Cup4Cup) – **if there is no xanthan gum in your mix add 1 tablespoon.
  • 1 tablespoon of instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk  (I used SoDelicious Coconut Milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – divided
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt – optional
  • Red pepper flakes – optional

Method of Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Filling:

  1. If using, grate Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. In a large French pan add two tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil with the sliced onions and heat over medium heat.
  3. Do not stir until the bottom layer begins to brown.
  4. When the bottom begins to brown gently stir the onions around. Continue to stir occasionally.
  5. Once onions are evenly golden brown add in sliced mushrooms.
  6. Add more butter or olive oil if needed.
  7. Cook mushrooms and onions for five minutes.
  8. Add in the Dorot Garlic and Chili cubes, stir until well combined.
  9. Stir in chopped olives and the spinach.
  10. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the spinach has completed wilted and everything has come together.
  11. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  12. Set aside and prepare the dough.

Dough:

  1. In a stand mixer add the gluten-free flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. Mix on low until combined.
  3. In a glass measuring cup measure out the milk and add in the melted (slightly cooled) butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and large egg.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Slowly add to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer.
  6. Mix on medium-low for 2 minutes until well combined.
  7. Dough will be a little sticky – that is okay.
  8. Line a large surface with plastic wrap and dust lightly with a little extra flour.
  9. Gently shape dough into a rectangle and roll until your dough is about 6″x14″ or about 1/4″ thick.
  10. Season the dough by brushing on one tablespoon of olive oil, a little bit of sea salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes – this is optional but it adds to the flavor.
  11. Gently add the filling on top of the dough leaving 1/2″ border on all sides.
  12. If using the Parmesan cheese – add on top of the filling.
  13. Using the plastic wrap, gently lift it and begin to roll the dough (this helps with any sticking that would normally occur with out the plastic wrap and also helps prevent any tears in the dough.
  14. Once completely rolled up, gently cut the dough into six even pieces.
  15. Lightly grease (with cooking spray, olive oil, butter, etc.) a six cup muffin tin.
  16. Gently place each roll into a greased muffin cup – it is okay if they are not perfect. These are rustic savory rolls.
  17. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
  18. Cool in pan for five minutes and serve warm with Feta Spread (see recipe below).

Feta Spread

This recipe is so simple – it has three (yes three!) ingredients and you can use it on so many things but I love it on a nice, fresh out of the oven, gluten-free roll.

There is no real set amounts for this spread, it’s all about personal preference – do you like it more spreadable? Then add more olive oil…need more garlic? Add in another cube, etc.

Simply combine the ingredients above in a small bowl until you reach your desired consistency and flavor profile. I like my with a bit more of feta flavor and a thick consistency so I add in a bit of feta (4 ounces or so), a cube of the crushed garlic, and about a tablespoon of olive oil…again this is all personal preference but it goes oh so well with these rolls!

Thank you to the lovely people over at Dorot! I greatly enjoyed working with your products.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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I just completed my winter term of school and about to begin my spring term which also happens to be my last term of academics before graduating! I can’t believe that in 78 days (yes I am counting) I will walk across the stage at graduation and receive my degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. This is a dream come true. All of the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication during these last three years will be worth that moment. This is a day I never thought I would see, especially at the age of 32! Even though this journey has been difficult and I have missed out on many things, I know it is all worth it. Without the support of my family and friends I know I wouldn’t be here and to them, I am truly thankful.

In my last post I mentioned that I have been MIA from here for a while because I have been applying to Dietetic Internship programs. This is a pretty competitive process and I have given my all in these applications and the three years leading up to them. I will be notified on April 6th if I have been selected or not. Until then, it is a waiting game that is completely out of my control. I am hoping for the best and if selected I will give this program my all. If I am not selected, I will continue to work hard and apply again next year.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and for being faithful followers and readers of Creative Cooking Gluten Free over these last six years. Thank you for understanding that I am only one person and cannot post daily on here. Between school, work, homework, and volunteering, I just do not always have the time. I hope to be better about it this term however, and provide you all with some new delicious gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes.

Below is a recipe I created this past term at school – it is originally designed for an athlete on a heavy training day so I had to adjust the amounts to work for everyone. Please feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking and you can always switch out the shrimp and chicken for more veggies if you prefer.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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Ingredients:

Amount                                   Ingredient

  • 1 pound                                     Shrimp, large, cleaned, deveined, shells removed and set aside
  • 6 cups                                       Stock, seafood, chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 pound                                     Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/3 cup                                      Mushrooms, crimini, shitake, etc., sliced
  • 1/4 cup                                     Carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 cup                                     Zucchini, julienned
  • 2 cans                                      Coconut Milk, full fat
  • 1/2 cup                                     Rice, White or Basmati, uncooked
  • 2 inches                                   Ginger, cut in half
  • 3 cloves                                    Garlic, smashed
  • 2 small                                     Lime, juice and zest (save one lime for garnish)
  • 6  medium                                Thai Chili Peppers, cut 3-4 in half (for less spice remove seeds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons                        Cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2 tablespoons                           Scallions, sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons                             Salt, Kosher (more to taste if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons                          Oil of your choice (Olive, Canola, etc.)

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2.  Clean, devein shrimp, and save shells. Set aside cleaned shrimp
  3.  Slice chicken breast into thin strips and set aside.
  4.  Clean mushrooms, and slice thin and set aside.
  5.  Wash carrots and zucchini, julienne, and set aside.
  6.  In a high sided sauté pan heat oil over medium heat.
  7.  Add shrimp shells and cook for five minutes.
  8. Add in ginger, garlic, lime, and Thai chili pepper(s) and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  10. Strain stock and discard any solids.
  11. Return stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  12. Add mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini and cook for one minute, remove and set aside
  13. Add rice, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
  14. Stir in coconut milk and mix until incorporated and all solids have dissolved.
  15. Turn heat to medium low, add in chicken, and shrimp. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until proteins are cooked throughout.
  16. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir well.
  17. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  18. Serve in a bowl with a slice of lime fresh Thai chili pepper(s), and chopped cilantro.
  19. Hold at 135° or warmer.

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies {Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange}

The awesome bloggers and kitchen experts at Good Cook are hosting a Sweet Creations Virtual Cookie Exchange. Each of us that participated received a huge box filled with two cookie sheets, a cookie turner, sweet mixing bowls, cookie dropper/scoop, high temp rubber spatula, and a set of 12 cookie cutters pretty much everything you need to bake some delicious cookies. We were asked to use at least one of the items listed above in our recipe…I chose to use the cookie turner, cookie dropper, and cookie sheet…all of which were awesome! these sheet trays are some of my favorites and that cookie scoop is perfect – so easy to use, nothing got stuck to it, and the cookies came out pretty uniform.

964334_10151833454178848_1596390271_oI’m not going to lie…I am not the best baker due to the fact that measurements really do have to be precise, hence why I cook. I find that my creativity comes out more in cooking rather than baking and I utilize my other senses of smell, sight, and touch with cooking if I can’t taste something (basically in school if something isn’t gluten-free). When it comes to come up with an original recipe without looking at others for inspiration. I have to say thought I think I did rather well with this recipe. I just looked at some “regular” cookie recipes just to see what the ratios are and these came out pretty darn good.

As part of our virtual cookie exchange our readers are entitled to receive 5% off goodcook.com for any sweet creations products by entering the code: COOKIES during check out. Also be sure to check out the Good Cook to like these cookies (or any others) and be entered to be one of 10 lucky winners that will receive a great gift prize from Sweet Creations/Good Cook! Be sure to head to Good Cook on December 18th to vote for your favorite cookie(s) and be entered to win one of 25 Sweet Creations Cooking Making Kits! Contests ends on December 31, 2013!

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies

(Think of all the delicious goodies you put into hot chocolate – chocolate, peppermint, marshmallows and wrap those up into one delicious cookie)

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Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Sugar (granulated)
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup/stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Four
  • 1 cup Gluten-free All Purpose Flour (Cup4Cup) (if your mix does not have xanthan gum in it add 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Marshmallows (or mini ones, cut in half)
  • 1 cup Chopped Peppermint Chocolate (I used Chocolove, you can always add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract instead)
  • 2 Candy Canes – crushed

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add granulated sugar, brown, sugar, butter, and egg. Mix on low-medium until creamed together.
  3. While the sugar, butter, and eggs are creaming together, add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix until there are no lumps (a fork works just fine for this).
  4. Turn mixer to low and gently add dry ingredients. The dough will be a bit stiff.
  5. Add chopped marshmallows and chocolate chunks, mix until incorporated.
  6. Place unwrapped candy canes into a zip lock back and using a rolling pin, crush the candy canes until they are in small bits.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using the cookie dropper scoop 6 cookies on to each tray, gently press down each cookie.
  9. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of candy cane bits
  10. Bake for 12 minutes – turning half way through.
  11. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Serve warm with a glass of soy milk (or which ever milk you prefer).

Chef’s Note: the addition of the almond flour and marshmallow gives these cookies a nice little chew to them…they are a great mixture of crunchy and chewy cookies with a delicate peppermint flavor.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

#goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexpert #goodcookblogger #sweetcreations

Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine {Sweet Creations}

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I’m loving the Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan from Good Cook! You can do so much with this pan, and I know this will come in handy next Easter as I continue to work on converting my Grandmother’s Easter bread recipe (it is not Easter without this bread!). For now however I was asked to “Be a Sweetie” and make a Sweet Creation with this pan. I was a bit indecisive on what to make because there are so many options…did I want to make meatloaf? Something sweet? Savory?  I finally decided on a combination of sweet and savory…a take on an Italian classic; Olio d’oliva Pagnotta – Olive Oil Loaf. Most recipes I have seen or made in the past are made with lemons, however substituted organic Valencia oranges instead and added a nice little crunch of pine nuts (another Italian classic).

The pan is great – you can make four mini loaves of whatever your heart desires which is perfect for any holiday because these little loaves make awesome presents! I’ll be bringing my extra loves into work to share.

 Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine  (Gluten Free Olive Oil Loaf)

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Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Zest of 1 large Valencia Orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil (make sure its a good one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400•F
  2. In a large bowl add eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar – beat with a wire whisk until pale and you see a bit of foam.
  3. Add orange zest, , salt, orange juice, and olive oil.
  4. Beat with wire whisk until well combined.
  5. Add baking powder and gluten-free flour, mix with a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients well.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the four wells of the pan.
  7. Top each loaf well with even amounts of sugar and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even browning.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. If using a glaze – prepare it now: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and orange juice, mix until well combined and drizzle over warm loaves.
  11. Enjoy!

IMG_8295_7876(Check out the super cute White Snow Flake parchment paper – also included in the giveaway below!)

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind. Good Cook has kindly offered one Creative Cooking Gluten Free reader the chance to win one Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan and Decorate Parchment Paper (great for wrapping up the loaves!). Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, another winner will be chosen.

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin & A Good Cook Twitter Party!

I am loving being a kitchen expert and blogger for Good Cook. I have the pleasure of playing with lots of great items and reviewing them. Recently we were sent a box filled with all of these amazing tools to help us get through the Thanksgiving holiday with items like a roasting pan, turkey platter, turkey injector, brine bag, and SO much more! Are you interested in winning this and more? If so keep on reading.

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Come Join Me, Good Cook, TheFrugalMom and other Good Cook Kitchen Experts! The Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party, Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm to 7:00pm EST On Twitter with hashtag #Thanksgivingtips.

Join in as we talk about everything Thanksgiving from turkey prep to decorating the table.  Plus get a chance to win a special gift and one of three $200 Thanksgiving Baskets that will arrive in time for your dinner. Be among the first 500 to RSVP by November 23, 2013 and receive a free set of Turkey Lifters. Click here RSVP.

All of the experts were asked to create a delicious pumpkin dish to share with everyone. I’m not the biggest sweets fan so I went for a savory dish and really…it could be two dishes in one.  I work at a natural foods store here in Rhode Island – it is an awesome little shop owned by and amazing couple who have become like family. All produce is organic – and as often as it can be, local. There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, HFCS, or GMO’s anywhere in the store! We also have (in my opinion) the best selection of gluten-free and allergen friendly items on the island. Needless to say I get a bit spoiled working here, and I hope wherever I end up next I can find a place like this. One of the items that we brought in for the holiday season was ginger curd. When walking past it yesterday I knew I had to incorporate it some how…I could have easily done a pie with this but again, I wanted savory. So I bought that and a pumpkin and headed home after my shift to create a delicious side dish that is suitable for vegetarians as well. I cut up the pumpkin using the Pumpkin Scoop (available at walmart) and the Good Cook Brownie Pan roasted it off with a delicious glaze made from the ginger curd, and the house smelt amazing! Best part is – you can puree this up with a little bit of stock (vegetable or chicken) and it makes a delicious soup as well…like I said, two recipes in one!

The Pumpkin Scoop is awesome – Its round with one edge being smooth and another edge that is serrated, and the handle has a serrated knife it in. The scoop is also great for removing the seeds and cleaning out other various squashes as well, and of course for pumpkin carving. The Brownie Pan is non stick and is just wonderful…nothing and I mean nothing stuck to this thing (as with most non-stick items wash by hand, it is not dishwasher safe. This helps maintain the quality and longevity of the pan).  Check out the recipe below

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin

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Ingredients
  • 1 2-3 pound Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Ginger Curd
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (all depends on your spice level)
Method of Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut pumpkin in half
  3. Using the pumpkin scoop, remove the seeds (roast or discard)
  4. Cut pumpkin into quarters and peel skin off and discard
  5. Dice pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and set aside
  6. In a large bowl mix together the ginger curd, olive oil, slat, cumin, and cayenne pepper (adjust seasoning to taste), mix until well combined
  7. Add diced pumpkin and toss to evenly coat.
  8. Add the pumpkin to the brownie pan and roast for 25 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and gently toss pumpkin
  10. Return to oven and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes or until browned.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

Chai Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I know that pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere right now but I received some amazing spices from The Spice House for a 37 Cooks challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make another pumpkin recipe. This one combines two of my favorite fall beverages…a Tazo Chai Tea and Pumpkin Spice Latte. All I did was take my pumpkin cheesecake recipe and added a little bit of the The Spice House Chai seasoning – perfect combination. Great fall recipe and if made in the cupcake format (see below) they are a suitable portion size! Try these out instead of your traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Chai Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

2 cups of gluten free gingersnap crumbs

6 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 8oz packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese – softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 15oz can of organic pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1  teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon chai spice

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tins with paper liners. I only have one regular cupcake tin and an mini cupcake tin, so I used both.

Crust:

Crumble the ginger snaps either in a plastic ziplock back with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and butter to the crumbled ginger snaps in a medium bowl and mix until all crumbs are moist.

Scoop about one table spoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down (I used the bottom of one of my spice jars…it fits perfectly for the regular tins, for the mini tin I used the back of my coffee scoop).

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, let cool in pan on wire rack.

Filling:

In a stand mixer, cream the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth, add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin spice, chai seasoning, and salt. Mix well. Add one egg at a time. Continue to mix until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners. I used the same coffee scoop that I used to press the crust into the bottom to do this. It was the perfect size – three scoops for the regular tin and 1 1/2 – 2 for the mini ones.

For the regular tins bake for 40 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through. For the mini tins bake for 30 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through.Cool in the pan on a wire rack until completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce or candied pecans if you wish. I hope you enjoy these tasty little treats!

Strawberry Chia Scones {Product Spotlight}

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I’m going to attempt a new feature on CCGF – I’m not 100% set on the details just yet but here is what I am thinking.

  • Either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly I am going to do a product spotlight.
  • I do a bunch of reviews on the blog already but I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite thing.
  • These products are not necessarily going to be a food item, they may be kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, etc.
  • I plant to talk about the item, the pros, cons, how to utilize it, etc.
  • I just want to have fun with this and share with all of you my favorite items.
  • I started working at a natural foods store with tons of gluten-free options, many of which I have never tried so I thought I would incorporate some of those items as well.

What do you all think?

Below is my first product spotlight…

Pamela’s Biscuit & Scone Mix

By: Pamela’s Products

I love Pamela’s Products – it is one of my favorite packaged gluten-free goods. Lately I have been making my own flour blend to use but this is one that I would definitely go out and buy, especially her pancake mix (I’ll be taking that with me next week when we are fly fishing in Maine for a week). Below is a little bit of information about Pamela’s Products:

Here are some of the reasons why Pamela’s stands out from the crowd:

  • High quality sugars including, fruit juice, agave, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup and molasses create better tasting, decadent food.
  • The palm shortening is made from the most healthful part of the palm and is sourced from companies with fair trade and environmental stewardship track records.
  • Our nuts are from American suppliers to ensure freshness and quality.
  • Minimally processed grains like certified gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet and sorghum are used whenever possible to provide the benefits of whole grains they offer.
  • Sweet creamery butter (non-rBGH of course) and the highest quality monounsaturated safflower oil are used. Pamela’s does not use low quality oils.
  • The cardboard used in our packaging is made from recycled materials and are recyclable. Soy ink is used in all cardboard printing. We continue to seek additional sources of recycled materials.
  • We are in the process of changing our plastic trays to 100% recycled material.

What we leave out is as important as what we put in:

  • We never use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives.
  • We never use high fructose corn syrup.
  • We have statements from all suppliers verifying our ingredients are non-GMO.  We are currently preparing to join the non-GMO Project, and are working closely with our vendors to assure the quality and source of all our ingredients

Biscuit and Scone Mix Ingredients: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Sorghum Flour, White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Grainless & Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch), Natural Evaporated Sugar, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Soda.

Allergy Information: Free of gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy*, nuts*, soy*, corn,

*=depends on if you use butter or a butter alternative, and if you use almond or soy milk.

Pros: easy to follow directions with several recipes listed on the package itself. No sugar in the mix so you can add as much or as little as you want (I didn’t use much). You can use whatever ingredients you wish making your biscuits or scones either savory or sweet.

Cons: Can’t find it in a store near me but will contacting them to carry it.

How I used it: After reading the recipe options on the packaged (which all sounded delicious) I wanted to try my own thing. B went to the store yesterday and picked up two packages of strawberries that were out of this world delicious. So I thought of making a fresh strawberry and chia seed drop scone.

Strawberries are a good source of folate and potassium, and very good sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and manganese. Chia seeds are amazing little things. In just one tablespoon they pack 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids! These are also great in smoothies, yogurt, and other baked goods.

These are delicious! I can however see why they say to use dried fruits in the recipe on the package…the fresh fruit makes it a bit sticky and uneasy to cut so I just made them into drop scones…don’t know if that is a real thing but it is now!

Strawberry Chia Scones

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1 Package of Pamela’s Products Biscuit & Scone Mix

8 Tablespoons of Butter or Butter Alternative (Earth Balance), Cold

1/3 Cup Wholesome Sweetener Organic Sugar

1 Cup Almond Milk

3/4 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds

Follow directions on package – however when mixing in the fresh fruit mix by hand to prevent the fruit from becoming over mixed.

Place rack in top third of oven and pre-heat oven to 375°.

Combine dry mix and sugar. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Add milk. Add strawberries and chia seeds, mix until well incorporated. Take two large spoons and scoop scones onto a prepared baking sheet (either greased or parchment lined.You can sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar before baking if you wish. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool slightly and enjoy.

These came out moist and delicious! Hope you enjoy this recipes and give this mix a try. So versatile…you can make savory scones or biscuits as well!

*I was sent this mix from Pamela’s Products for a review – I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Crust-less Quiche {37 Cooks}

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The second entry into the 37 Cooks and Sciabica Olive Oil challenge is a crust-less and veggie filled quiche. This can easily be made in a large baking dish, pie dish, or individual ramekins. Quiche is another one of those “blank canvases” that I love because you can add any ingredient that you want.  Quiche is perfect for large groups of people especially for brunch or a “make you own” quiche breakfast with your family. Just have prep bowls of different ingredients (mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cheese, ham, spinach, kale, zucchini, etc.) and let each person make their own with their favorite ingredients.

Crust-less Quiche – Serves 4-8

Ingredients:

  • Manzanillo Variety Fall Harvest Olive Oil               2 Tablespoons
  • Garlic, minced                                                        1 Tablespoon
  • Baby Spinach, Chiffonade                                      1 Cup
  • Zucchini, 1/4 inch dice                                            1/2 Cup
  • Onion, White 1/4 inch dice                                      1/4 Cup
  • Bell Pepper, Orange, 1/4 inch dice                          1/4 Cup
  • Salt, Kosher                                                             1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pepper, freshly ground                                             1/4 Teaspoon
  • Cilantro, fine chop                                                    1 Tablespoon
  • Low-fat Mozzarella Cheese                                     1 Cup
  • Egg Beaters                                                             2 Cups

Method of Preparation:

  1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  4. Add garlic and spinach and sautee until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. Continue to sautee for an additional 2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Either divide vegetable mixture evenly into 4 ramekins or into a large 9 inch round baking dish (pie dish, cake pan, etc.)
  8. In a medium bowl add eggs and remaining salt and pepper, mix well (if using whole eggs, if not proceed to step 9)
  9. Top vegetables evenly with cilantro, mozzarella cheese and egg beaters. Season with remaining salt and pepper if desired.
  10. Bake  until eggs have set in the center (about 25-30 minutes for the ramekins depending on their size or 45-60 minutes for a 9 inch pan).
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle lightly with Manzanillo Variety Fall Harvest Olive Oil

Chef Notes:

  1. You can add this to a crust as well and you can use whatever fillings you choose: mushrooms, ham, kale, etc.
  2. You can substitute the egg beaters for whole eggs and use 6-8 eggs.

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