Cauliflower Fried Rice

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My husband is now pretty strictly eating Paleo, which is tough for me because I like rice and corn! I have heard about how you can use cauliflower as a sub for rice for a while now but haven’t really bought into the idea, until last night when I made it for the first time. It was sooo good! My oldest daughter was gobbling it up – and she hates cauliflower! She was choosing to eat the “rice” over spaghetti, which is saying something!

I found already ground up cauliflower at our local grocery store, Harris Teeter. You can always use a food processor with the grating attachment. I found the recipe on pinterest, and didn’t have everything she called for, but it was still delicious!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon +1 tsp sesame oil

2 eggs

1 small head cauliflower, grated

½ cup frozen mixed vegetables

2 green onions

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

3 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

Directions:

Combine 1 tsp sesame oil with eggs in a bowl, whisk to combine.

Heat 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Add 4 cups cauliflower, green onions and frozen mixed vegetables. Stir fry until cauliflower is becoming tender.  My wok is old so I had to keep adding more sesame oil so it wouldn’t burn.   Add garlic, season with salt and pepper and continue to stir fry for another minute or so.

Push the mixture to the sides to create a hole in the center then add the eggs and scramble. Toss the mixture to combine, then drizzle in gluten free soy sauce, mix to combine.

Enjoy!

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Triple Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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Trying to find a dessert that is gluten/dairy free that everyone in the family likes and that is good, is no easy feat.  In fact, most gluten free cakes that I have tried, aren’t that great.  Actually, they’ve been kind of gross.  This is the exception.  Oh my goodness, this was good.  Decadent would be a good word to describe this cake.  I will definitely be making this one again and again!  I found this recipe on the Enjoy Life website, they are the company that makes the dairy free chocolate that we like.  It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegan and nut free!  A completely allergy friendly recipe!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten free flour (I used King Arthur’s)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Cocoa plus 1-2 Tablespoons to prepare pan

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if you are using a flour blend that already has it)

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 Tablespoons

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup water  (room temperature)

1/2 cup prepared coffee (room temperature)

1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life Foods Mini Semi-Sweet Baking Chips

1/2 cup coconut milk

6 ounce carton of raspberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch round cake pan.  Spoon 1 Tablespoon of cocoa into the pan and rotate the pan, covering all of the greased surfaces.  Tap over a sink to remove any excess cocoa.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, salt and xanthan gum.  I stirred this mixture into a bowl and then put into the prepared baking pan.

Make 3 wells into the flour mixture, one large and two small.  Add the oil to the largest well.  The vanilla in one of the small wells and the apple cider vinegar in the other small well.  Pour the water and coffee over the entire mixture and mix together with a fork.  Stir in a 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake is done.  Mine took about 35 minutes.  The sides will pull away from a pan a bit and a toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.  Turn out on the rack to finish cooling completely.

While the cake is cooling you can start making the ganache.  I used a double boiler to do this but if you don’t have one you can put a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water.  Combine 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips with the 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Stir until melted and combined.  Then whisk for a few minutes to fully combine.  Remove from heat and place into a larger bowl with ice in it and put into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Whisk the ganache together before pouring on the cooled cake.

Once the cake is cooled, which should be by the time your ganache has been in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, place the baking rack on top of a cookie sheet.  Pour the ganache on top of the cake, letting it pour and coat the sides.  I took a spatula and spread the ganache all over the top of the cake and sides as mine didn’t cover it completely by pouring.  Any access can drip onto the baking sheet.

Place the raspberries on top of the ganache.  Leave at room temperature until you are ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Bites

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Trying to find gluten/dairy free appetizers can sometimes be a challenge.  So many dips have cream cheese or sour cream and while there are dairy free versions of those, sometimes the taste is off.  I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest when I was looking for a Paleo appetizer as someone who was coming over to our house doesn’t eat grains of any kind.  The original recipe does call for dairy and I just omitted those ingredients.

I actually loved these.  Like, really loved them.  Could have eaten the whole platter by myself loved them.  Want to make them tomorrow so I can have more loved them.  But I am a sweet potato fanatic.  Love guacamole and bacon makes everything good.  How can combining them can go wrong?

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes, cleaned, skins on

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 ripe avocados

Lime juice

Salt and Pepper

4 slices of bacon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Brush 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil on the aluminum foil.

Slice potatoes into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices.  You can use a mandolin but I just eye balled it and used a sharp kitchen knife.  Arrange slices on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush tops with remaining olive oil.  I think I used another 3 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, then flip.  Roast an additional 8 minutes.

While your potatoes are roasting in the oven, make your guacamole.  I just mash up the avocado, add lime juice/salt to taste.

Fry up your bacon slices – I started cooking the bacon after I popped the potatoes into the oven.  Drain slices and chop once cooled.

Once your potatoes have finished roasting, put them on the plate you are serving them with.  Place a dollop of guacamole and sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.  Serve.

Enjoy!

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Pasta E Fagioli

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My family loves this recipe and it is in regular rotation at our house. If my oldest daughter is sick, this is one of the recipes she asks me to make for her. Once, she asked for it 4 nights in a row! I found this recipe on Farm Girl in the Suburbs and made a few changes so it’s not so thick and so it becomes gluten/dairy free.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1 large carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can red kidney beans

1 15 oz can great northern beans

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 cup beef broth

2 cups tomato juice

1 T white vinegar

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp thyme

½ pound gluten free elbow pasta

Instructions:

Brown the ground beef in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often.

Cook your gluten free noodles according to the package. With regular wheat noodles, you could toss the cooked noodles right into the pot with the other ingredients. Gluten free noodles would turn to mush the next day for your left overs. I recommend adding the noodles to each individual bowl, as needed.

I like to serve this along with a salad and garlic bread, on gluten free bread of course.  🙂

Enjoy!

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One-Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes

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This is a family favorite.  The potatoes of this dish are really the star of the show.  They are so flavorful and a nice combination of crunchy and soft.  I cheated a little bit this time and put some more potatoes on the top layer.  I also like to add brussel sprouts to this dish so you are getting protein, starch and veggie in one dish, all cooking at one time!  Pop it into the oven, and forget about it!  😉

Feel free to play around with the seasonings for the chicken.  I do it differently every time based on what I have on hand.

Ingredients:

3 T olive oil

2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

salt and pepper

1 whole chicken, giblets discarded

3 potatoes, peeled, and sliced into 1 inch thick rounds

Bag of brussel sprouts, bottoms trimmed, halved (if you want)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, paprika, lemon zest, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl.  Rinse chicken, and pat dry with paper towels.  Carefully separate the skin from the breast.  Rub oil mixture all over the chicken and underneath the skin.  Now, it says to tie legs together with kitchen twin and tuck wingtips behind the back.  I never do this.  My friend who told me about this recipe teases me that my chicken doesn’t look pretty when it cooks because I don’t tie the legs back.  So if you want a pretty chicken while cooking, tie the legs.  🙂

Toss potatoes with 1 Tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Arrange potatoes flat side down, in a single layer in an oven safe skillet.  I use my cast iron skillet.  Place skillet over medium heat and cook potatoes, without moving them, until brown on the bottom, 7-9 minutes.  Don’t flip!

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Sometimes I take my brussel sprouts and boil them for 5 minutes to help them soften.  Then toss in about 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper – or to your tastes.

Once your potatoes are brown on the bottom, remove from heat.  Place chicken on top of the potatoes and sprinkle brussel sprouts around the edges of the chicken.

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Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours.  My chicken is typically done around 1 hour but check yours with a meat thermometer.  The chicken breast should read 165 and the legs 175 degrees.  Remove chicken from skillet and allow to rest tented in aluminum foil for 10 minutes.  If your potatoes need more cooking you can place back into oven.  Mine are usually done by now, so I turn the oven off but place skillet back into the oven to keep them warm.

Carve the chicken and serve with potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Enjoy!

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Menchie’s

Being able to eat ice cream out with the family doesn’t seem like a big deal, and for an adult it’s not.  But my daughter likes to feel like a normal kid and going out to get ice cream is something children like to do.  For a long time we didn’t think she’d be able to go to an ice cream store and get dairy free ice cream.  Then we discovered that Menchie’s always has 2 flavors that are dairy/gluten free!  They do change the “ice cream” out every few months so we get to have different flavors and they have some toppings that work too.

We have mostly seen sorbet’s but have heard that they are starting to offer vegan ice creams, which would be fabulous.  Haven’t seen that offered at our local Menchie’s yet, but would be thrilled to see it there!

Here’s the dairy/gluten free sorbet’s they offer.  http://www.menchies.com/frozen-yogurt-flavors#sorbet

Do you have a favorite dairy free ice cream place you like to visit?

Fresh Levant Bistro

This little hidden gem in Raleigh is absolutely a gluten free dream.  Everything is gluten free and many items are dairy free, vegan and nut free.  I have only been here once with friends for lunch and I can’t wait to go back for brunch on a Sunday.

They have salads, soup, pita’s, sandwiches with gluten free breads and desserts.  I was able to order a pumpkin spice latte, dairy free. Mmmm, so good.  Worth going back for that alone!

And of course the dessert case was divine.  We ordered a vegan chocolate cupcake and it was so good, I ordered one to go as well.  My youngest can’t eat dairy or gluten and for her to be able to eat a beautiful bakery type of cupcake is a big deal.  Her eyes were as big as saucers when I showed her the cupcake.

If you go check this place out, let me know your thoughts!  I just might try to convince my family to go for brunch this Sunday.  That pumpkin spice latte is calling to me.  🙂

http://freshlevant.com/