Peanut Butter Frosting

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Now that I can’t make buttercream frosting (yum!!) I normally just buy the stuff in the can.  Pillsbury has a vanilla frosting that is dairy free, so that’s my go to.  I know it’s nasty and loaded with chemicals, but we can eat it.

Now, I love peanut butter.  I also love chocolate.  Why not put them together in a form of a cupcake?  I found this frosting recipe on Joy Food Sunshine and didn’t make any changes except the type of peanut butter used.  Now, I ruined the first batch of this frosting.  I whipped it on high in my stand up mixer, like you would making buttercream frosting.  Don’t do that!!  It was fluffy looking then separated and I couldn’t fix it.  So make sure to keep the mixer on low.  My frosting also did not turn out as thick as hers so I didn’t add the almond milk to mine.  After decorating my cupcakes, I needed to put it in the fridge to get the icing to set up.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup almond milk

Instructions:

Melt coconut oil and peanut butter together, stirring until completely combined.  Let mixture cool completely.

Pour the cooled mixture into the bowl of a stand alone mixer.  Add vanilla, powdered sugar and salt.  Beat (with the shield in place, otherwise you’ll have powdered sugar flying everywhere!) until well combined, scraping the sides.

Again, I didn’t add the almond milk because my icing was too runny.  I brought these to a party so my daughter and I could have a gluten and dairy free dessert to eat.  I sort of hid them and when I went to get my daughter’s dinner, I noticed 5 were missing already!  Guests were scarfing them down and they had no idea they were dairy/gluten free.  Definitely a keeper!

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Mueller’s Pasta

When I first started this gluten free journey, I thought I was never going to eat good pasta again. Most gluten free pastas are gross. They have a sticky consistency, bad aftertaste or they turn to mush. After over 2 years of being gluten free, I feel like I have tried almost every brand of gluten free pasta out there. My absolute favorite is by Mueller’s. It’s a mixture of corn and rice, which is what makes all the difference in the world. I have made pasta dishes for company and they couldn’t tell if it was gluten free or not.   They couldn’t tell! And I know they weren’t just being polite, because they are gluten free themselves. Now that’s saying something!

Our local grocery store usually carries Mueller’s gluten free pasta, although they haven’t been carrying the spaghetti noodles in a long time.

Do you have a favorite gluten free pasta?

 

 

BLT Macaroni Salad

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We decided to have a fun Fall cook out this week at our house. We cooked hot dogs and sausages over the fire pit and ate dinner around the fire.  I don’t typically make a lot of salads with a mayo base because my children won’t often eat it. But I had a hankering for a macaroni salad and set out to search for recipe that had a different kind of twist to the classic recipe. I stumbled across She Wears Many Hats BLT Macaroni salad recipe and had everything to make this already at home. Score!  Her version is not dairy/gluten free but easily adaptable.

I halved her recipe because I thought my children wouldn’t eat this. My oldest daughter says, I want to try some of that yummy looking salad. She loved it and had two huge helpings!!

Here’s my adapted version to serve 4-6:

Ingredients:

8 ounces gluten free macaroni noodles, cooked

1/3 cup mayonnaise (plus 3-4 Tablespoons)

1.5 T rice vinegar

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp pepper

4 pieces of bacon, crumbled

½ cup chopped tomato, I used cherry tomatoes quartered

½ cup chopped baby spinach

3-4 Tablespoons coconut milk

Instructions:

Cook macaroni, drain and set aside.

Mix together the remaining ingredients, except the 3 Tablespoons of mayo and coconut milk, while the macaroni is cooking. Toss with the macaroni. I added a tablespoon of coconut milk and mayo at first then put in the refrigerator until we were ready to eat. When I pulled the salad out of the refrigerator, it needed another tablespoon of each before serving. So add a little extra mayo and coconut milk until you get the consistency you like.

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Enjoy!

Pot Roast

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This ain’t your mama’s pot roast.  Seriously.  If you make this, I swear you’ll never make another pot roast again.  This pot roast is by far one of my favorite meals.  A good friend of ours made this one night when we were at their house for dinner.  I had never had pot roast served over mashed potatoes before, always had it with the potatoes cooked in with everything else.  This here, is a game changer.  I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this meal is.  And the best part, naturally gluten free!

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. beef cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 rib celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
12 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
10.5 oz can beef broth (make sure to read ingredients to ensure gluten free)
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
2.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca

Instructions:

Toss all ingredients into slow cooker, mix well. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5. Pull meat out of the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add back to the slow cooker and put on warm until you are ready to serve.

Serve over mashed potatoes. I make my mashed potatoes with coconut milk, vegan butter, salt and garlic powder, all to taste. A nice crusty gluten free garlic bread is nice with this meal, but not needed.

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Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Chili

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Once we get close to Fall, it seems all the food in the stores start showing up as pumpkin this and pumpkin that.  I am going to jump on that bandwagon too, but I want REAL pumpkin in the food I’m eating.  Not just flavored to taste like pumpkin.  Pumpkin is really healthy for you.  It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin C and beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in our bodies.  If you are using a canned pumpkin, just make sure to not grab the canned pumpkin pie filling as that has a ton of added sugar.

My friend Maureen told me about this recipe from Wellness Mama and it has become a family favorite.  It is such a yummy recipe.  I doubled the recipe this time otherwise my family of 4 eats it all in one night with nothing leftover.  My oldest daughter has requested this in her lunch at school for the past two days.  She loves it and it keeps her fuller longer, plus I know it’s packed full of veggies and nutrients her body needs!

Ingredients: (doubled version)
2 pounds ground beef (we use grass fed)
4 onions (I felt like this was too many onions.  Husband and daughter thought it was fine but if you’re not a big onion fan keep it to 2)
2 cans diced tomatoes (16oz each)
2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz each)
2 cans pureed pumpkin (15 oz each)
2 cups beef broth (read labels for gluten if you want this to be gluten free)
2 tbsp chili powder
4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 avocado (garnish)
cheese and sour cream (garnish and use vegan to keep dairy free)

Directions:
Brown the beef in a large pot.  While beef is browning dice your onions.  Add onions to the pot and cook until soft.  Add the pumpkin, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock and spices.  Stir to combine.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.  I usually keep on low for 30 minutes to really give the flavors some time to meld together.  Served topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced avocados.

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Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Cake Mix

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Homemade cakes are great and typically I prefer them to a boxed cake mix.  But let’s face it, sometimes we need something quick and reaching for a box mix in the pantry is all we have time for.  I have tried a lot of different gluten free cake mixes and most of them are okay, not bad but nothing to write home about either.

Simple Mills Chocolate Cake Mix, is in a different category though.  This is a cake mix to write home about!  I always have a box in my pantry and it is by far my favorite cake mix to date – gluten free or not!  And the best part, it’s completely grain free!  So if you follow the paleo diet, this mix works for you too!

My kids love this cake mix and I usually make cupcakes with it.  Great to have in the freezer so if my daughter needs a treat for a birthday party I can just pull one out, put some icing on it and she’s good to go.

Do you have a favorite gluten free cake mix?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My family gave me a gluten free cook book for Christmas and my girls were really wanting to try a recipe from it.  We found a chocolate chip cookie recipe and decided to give it a go.  I made a few changes, one being using a gluten free baking flour mix.  My favorite that I have found so far is from Pillsbury.  If you use a gluten free flour that is not a mix you will need to add 1 tsp xanthan gum.

So the girls loved these.  I thought it was a good base recipe but needed work.  They were very sugary – almost like a sugar cookie with chocolate chips.  The girls thought that because they were gluten free that they were healthy.  No, with all that sugar, definitely not healthy but cookies that mommy can eat!

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening (next time I will try bacon grease)

1 cup granulated sugar (Would cut back to 1/2 cup next time)

1/2 brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons flour mixture

1/2 tsp salt

12 oz chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheet or use a silpat baking mat.

Beat shortening and sugars with an electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add dry ingredients, mix until combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir.

Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden brown.  I had to cook for 10 minutes in my oven.  Cool cookies on tray for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.