Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gluten/Dairy Free Corn Dog Muffins (with hidden veggies)

Corn dog muffins have always been a go to for me. I freeze them for lunches and they're a crowd pleaser. I am pleasantly surprised that my first attempt at gluten/dairy/refined sugar free corn dog muffins are delicious and easy. 

  • 1/2 cup cooking oil (canola works fine)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup homemade non-dairy buttermilk substitute (1 cup almond milk with 1 tsp cream of tartar OR 1tbsp lemon juice OR white vinegar. Let sit 5-8 minutes stirring once)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Biscuit/Baking Mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Oscar Mayer Selects Hotdogs (No nitrates or preservatives) cut into bite sized pieces. Smaller seems to be easier
  • 1/2-3/4 cup steamed SEASONED pureed/very finely chopped broccoli (mine was seasoned with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper

Preheat oven to 375

  1. Whisk wet ingredients together. (first four ingredients)
  2. Separately whisk dry ingredients together (next four ingredients)
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet.
  4. Fold in hot dogs and broccoli
  5. Use 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill approximately 16 muffin cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes depending on your oven. 

I am very pleased with the results of these! My 21 month old taste-tester approves too!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten/Dairy/Egg Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Photo property of Melissa Terebessy

These are good. REALLY good.

Our daughter had a birthday party today and my husband looked at me and said, "What are you going to send her with?" Sunday afternoon, two hours before the party, and I'm a newbie to gluten free cooking. The new gluten free market near us is closed on Sundays and I looked at him like a deer in headlights.


I asked her if peanut butter cookies were okay. I have that one down. She said she wanted cake if the other kids were having cake...Ugh. Okay - here goes nothing.

So after tasting the batter of the recipe I followed, I altered the batch and was PLEASED with the results. Texture and taste were EXACTLY like a chocolate cupcake. I need to work on the icing, but it worked.

Here's what I did.

1 1/4 cup Bob's GF Biscuit/Baking Mix (I will try Pamela's next time)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup (or a little less) sugar 
3/4 cup (or a little less) cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup almond milk
1tsp baking soda

1/2 cup of mini dairy free chocolate chips added to dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. (Haven't tried this yet!

Mix your dry ingredients and then fold in the (mixed) wet ingredients with a rubber spatula.

Add to greased or paper-lined muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes based on your oven.

When cooled, add icing. I will post an icing recipe when I have one I'm confident in. For this recipe, I used coconut oil, powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond milk for consistency. I wasn't thrilled with it, but it was okay.

ENJOY! You won't miss flour in this recipe!

Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Meal Plan Monday

I recently posted my first monthly meal plan and some of you are interested in how it's been going, how I do it, and recipes I might share.

I don't know that I'm at my clearest at 3am, but here goes.

Things I love about planning meals for a month:

  • I am in the kitchen a THIRD of the time I was before.
  • We're not eating out HALF as much because if I don't follow the meal plan, food will go to waste.
  • I never stand at the freezer at 3pm wondering what's for dinner.
  • Lunches are fast, varied, and easy.
  • I found that I'm able to plan multiple meals at the same time knowing what we'll be having in the future. For instance, I was making tacos right alongside sloppy joes. I froze the sloppy joes and it literally took no extra time. I did the same thing with my mini turkey meatloaves and teriyaki turkey meatballs.
  • I am able to plan EXACTLY enough food for two dinners without trying to make to little or too much food last an extra day.
Road blocks:
  • Halfway through doing this, we decided to try a gluten free diet for our daughter. That has put stress on me, the budget and our meal plan, but we've been able to adapt well. I'm looking forward to planning next month gluten/diary free from the beginning.
  • If one of the kids is unhappy with something I've planned, they're stuck with it for the week. 
  • I think Matt is getting tired of eating certain foods that I prepare with the girls in mind, i.e. everything in my quiche cups was chopped so small in the processor for the girls you could barely distinguish the texture as separate from the eggs.
How I do it:
  • Have a master meal list. I generally will search meals I've saved on,, and here on my blog for things we like and normally eat.
  • Print a blank calendar (I just googled and formatted in word) and select one breakfast and one (or two) lunch ideas for each week. I select one dinner for every two days as we will eat leftovers around here.
  • As you're making your meal plan on your calendar, start a shopping list, keeping track of how many pounds of everything that you'll need for the month. YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED BY THE AMOUNT YOU SPEND ON GROCERIES THAT FIRST WEEK!
  • Have freezer paper, ziplock backs, and glass containers available to freeze when you're able to bulk-cook.
  • On Sunday afternoons, I will grill chicken, pack individual oatmeal bags, etc to prepare for the week.
  • I don't go based on what's on sale. I'll go to Sam's Club to buy in bulk and Aldi for produce during subsequent weeks. I coupon when I'm able to do so based on what I've planned.
  • As I mentioned, I do have to shop weekly for produce. I just haven't found a way around that!
This has freed up SO much time and eliminated SO MUCH STRESS! It is also better for the budget and portion control!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gluten/Dairy Free Baked Mac & Cheese

Photo property of Melissa Terebessy

I am new to gluten free cooking as we're very recently trying this diet with my daughter - so when I was making mac & cheese for a family gathering, I couldn't leave her out. 

While, you definitely can taste a slight, nutty aftertaste from the cheese-substitute, the texture and taste of this dish is decidedly good and my seven-year-old said it was the best she's ever eaten. It'll do the trick for you!

Please note that when I made this, I was guessing, so I didn't write the recipe down - so the amounts (I'm sorry) are approximate but I'm confident they are close. When I make it again, I will tweak it if need be! Mac & Cheese is flexible anyway!

  • 1.5 cups dried brown rice fusilli pasta (cooked with salt and a little olive oil added to prevent sticking). Then set aside
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds (can be found locally at Giant Eagle, Gluten free markets, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 cup original almond milk (or any dairy free milk you choose)
  • 1 slice brown rice bread (or any gluten free bread)
  • Small handful Daiya Cheddar shreds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Pulse topping ingredients together in blender or food processor and set aside.

Most important tool: A WHISK 

  • Heat olive oil, salt, and corn starch in a small sauce pan on the stove until thickened  WHISK CONSTANTLY. You have to babysit this dish for the best consistency of the sauce!
  • Slowly add almond milk and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 2 minutes while whisking. Turn heat down and let simmer for 5 more minutes WHILE STILL WHISKING. You can walk away from this for a minute, but come back quickly to stir. Mixture should thicken.
  • Slowly add cheese and whisk  until thick and smooth. Feel free to taste to see if you want to add more cheese or spice.
  • Add your previously cooked rice noodles and fold cheese mixture in until noodles are coated. 
  • I poured my mixture into 3 individual ramekins and topped with bread crumb topping. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden on top.

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