Gluten-free Corn Dogs

DSC_1152  My kids like corn dogs…. and I always did as a kid too…. so it isn’t a huge surprise that I would find myself needing to find a way to make some. Today is my youngest son’s 3rd birthday! And he wants corn dogs for dinner…

So, let’s make this simple. The “dog” part of these is just “smart dogs” 8 in a pack for $3…. reasonable.. but if you aren’t into faux meats, just use your favorite turkey or all beef hotdog. Leaving only the batter and the oil for frying!

Here is my recipe for the cornbread I used: DSC_1150

1/2 C sorghum flour
1/4 C rice flour
1/4 C tapioca starch
3/4 C cornmeal
3TBLS raw sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TBLS ground flax
1 1/4 C soy milk
1/2 C cooking oil

mix the dry ingredients together first.  Then add in the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.

Using a wok, heat oil on a medium heat… you can test to see if it’s ready by dropping in a small amount of batter.

Then, with a bowl of clean water (and clean hands) take one of your dogs of choice, get your hands wet, and then grab roughly a 1/2 C of batter… and using your hands work the batter around the dog so it’s completely encased. Gently roll/ drop it into the hot oil and let it sit for a minute or two before turning…. it should have a nice color to it, but you don’t want it burnt. using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove from the oil and allow to cool/ dry on a cooling rack over a towel.

repeat for the rest of the dogs! Once they’re all cooled enough to handle, skewer them with a stick and voila! Corn dogs that are gluten, dairy, and egg free.

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As an extra bonus, if you have left over batter (and I’m pretty sure you will!) You can drop 1″ sized circles into the oil and fry it up and make some super yummy hush puppies!!

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Gluten-free Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

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Oh. my. This recipe makes the yummiest peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had, and I insist…. of all the recipes on here, this be the one you try. (Unless you have a peanut allergy, and then…. well…not you.)

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Gluten-free and Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies: (makes about 60)
preheat oven to 375*

1 C Peanut butter
1 C chopped cashews
1/2 C Earthbalance (vegan margarine)
1 C Raw Sugar
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 C sorghum flour
2/3 C Rice flour
2/3 C tapioca starch
2 TBLS ground flax
1/3 C Vegetable oil
1/6-1/3 C water

Extra raw sugar for rolling.

Preheat oven to 375* and in a stand mixer, mix peanut butter, cashews, softened earthbalance, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix til nice and creamy. Then, add in baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, flours (1/3 cup at a time), flax and oil. Lastly add in the water. Add enough to get the dough to clump together easily, but not so much that it gets too soft. (You want it stiffer)

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Roll 1″ balls into the raw sugar and place on baking sheet. After the sheet is full, press down with a fork in a criss cross pattern. Bake for 7mins. Cool on pan, use a spatula to remove when cooled. EAT!!! The textures…. especially with a warmed middle…. are indescribably magnificent. The large Raw sugar granules…. the saltiness of the cashews…. the melty peanut butteriness…. it’s just delicious! The only think you will want is a glass of your favorite cold non-dairy milk.
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Fall Apple Salad

Ever have those days when lunch time sneaks up on you…. and suddenly you find yourself lunchless with a rapidly crashing blood sugar level? Yeah, well…. that sort of happens to me every day…. and then in some sort of rabid hunt for food to stabilize myself I feel like time has slowed down and the idea of waiting 20-30mins to put something together makes me panic. It’s also what causes a lot of people to pick up and hit some sort of “fast food” option (despite the fact that it takes just as much time….)

The only tip I know of…. PLAN for this by keeping easy to assemble items around your house (or pack your lunch if you work out of the home….. and then try not to forget it.)

This….. this beautiful healthy creation came together in about 3mins…. this IS fast food! (and no, that is NOT real chicken…. it’s Gardein’s gluten-free Chick’n Scallopini)
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So, what does one do in a rabid state? Toss about 2 cups of spinach into a bowl… drizzle with dressing (recipe below). Sprinkle on some craisins, some cashews, and some ground flax. Toss a “chick’n” into the microwave for 25 seconds, flip 25 more seconds. (Sure, the directions say to fry in oil… and that definitely gives it a more dense “meaty” feel…. and I do if serving it as an entree… or shredding…. but for this? Nah.)

If you are on the “microwaves are the devil” wagon, then you probably are a much better planner than I and have not allowed yourself to grow rabid before seeking out food… and have that extra 10 mins to fry up your chick’n….. go for it.

Next, slice up an apple (and by that I mean, push the little thingy over the apple…)

lay them on, and top with a little more dressing…. and EAT!!!! It’s very filling, satisfying…. has just about every flavor one could crave…. AND it doesn’t just have to be a lunch, it could be a quick dinner too! (You could even get crazy and serve some soup and muffins with it…. but let’s not over reach our boundaries of expectation…)

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Apple Salad Dressing:
(Make ahead and keep this on hand, always, because it’s yummy.)

1/2 C Raw Sugar (or less)
1/2 C Lemon Juice
1 TBLS Mustard Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBLS Poppy seeds
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 C Vegetable Oil (I tend not to use Olive oil for this…. it’s too strong of a flavor.)
1 tsp Onion Powder
several turns on a pepper mill

Throw it all in a food processor and blend it up!

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Pumpkins, the most beloved squash.

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Growing up….. I pretty much thought pumpkins sole purpose was for carving on Halloween. That was the only time I ever saw them…. if we were lucky my mom would bake the pumpkin seeds. I laugh now…. my mom doesn’t read this so i can make fun of her here, lol. But she didn’t do anything to those pumpkin seeds except wash them off and throw them on a pan and put it in the oven, yet every stinkin year she’d make it seem like the most time consuming task and we were REALLY asking for a lot to get pumpkin seeds out of the carving process. The same goes with my dad and putting Christmas lights on the tree. You’d think you were requesting him to solve the gordian knot.

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Well, being now a grown up myself… several things are quite different. I try to grow pumpkins every year. Some years they happen, some years they don’t…. this year I was lucky enough to get some! And they aren’t for Halloween…. they’re for me! You always hear of people eating acorn squash as a side dish, sometimes a soup, sometimes it makes it as a yummy entree star….. but you never, NEVER hear of someone eating pumpkin as a side. And yet you totally could and you’d never know the difference. (Pumpkin was my third child’s first food!) I love it… the rich orange-y goodness is loaded with vitamins and cancer fighting goodies, so it loves me too. I have a theory that most of the veggies that are especially good at developing the immune system are ready to be eaten August-October…. just in time for everyone to be hit with the flu. I guess we’ll find out. It’s hit our house this week… Elliott, husband and I had it last week, my daughter came down with it last night and spiked a 103* temp today. But I would bet my left leg nobody will end up with bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, pnumonia, or other because of what we’ve been eating on for the past few months. It’s okay to be sick once in a while, it forces you to slow down and rest a little… contemplate how nice it is to get up and work! 😉

Well, my pumpkins have all been picked. Generally I wait for the stems to start drying up and the “stalk” to die, then just twist off the dry portion of the stem and they just pop off.

Preheat your oven to 350*. Wash off the exterior of the pumpkin… Cut them down the middle, scoop out the seedy guts and put them in a bowl.  Place the pumpkin half cut side down on a jelly roll pan. Bake for 50 mins.

MEANWHILE: Dig through those guts and collect your seeds. Wash them off and toss them into a bowl. Douse them with some olive oil, salt, ground pepper, and paprika (generously with the salt and paprika). Mix it all up and spread out on a pan so it’s ready to go in the oven when the pumpkin comes out. 15mins at 350*, mix, another 15mins, done.

Pull the pumpkin out of the oven and allow to cool for 30mins while the seeds are baking.
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You will probably notice that the pumpkins quickly collapse when you pull them out of the oven, and there will be water on the pan. This is good…. but don’t get overly ambitious and try to skip the cooling off step. You will probably burn yourself if you do.

Once the pumpkins have cooled, the seeds are done, and your blender is ready to go….. flip them over and scoop them out! Plop the pumpkin meat into a blender…. and blend on high until nice and smooth. (Don’t add water…. this is 100% pumpkin!)

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Voila! Your very own, organically grown, pumpkin puree. This wonderful stuff can become pumpkin chili, a pumpkin side dish, pumpkin bread or muffins, pumpkin coconut spice ice cream, OR…….
a Soy milk pumpkin spice latte!!!

Kale Wrappers

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This is just experimental… I have an abundance of Kale at the moment and I’m kind of sick of eating it in salads…. we’ve dehydrated lots of it and ground it up into a powder. I add it to jut about everything these days….. but it keeps putting up new leaves faster than I can get around to dehydrating. So, I wondered if I could make it into something like a fruit leather…. or like we call them “Fruit rolla” only it’d be Kale…. which I could basically use as a wrap for things like eggless salad or chickenless  salad…. or hummus and tomatoes…. or rice and veggies…. maybe sushi?

The first thing I did is look on pinterest. I found a lot of spinach wraps…. mostly as a “raw” recipe…. but everything I found looked like it would probably tear easily (like paper)…. and in general probably not be super easy to spread, dehydrate evenly, or remove….

So…. I just did this on a whim, making it up…. and after I eat more and more of it up, I’ll share how things went. I loaded up a soup kettle with about 20 cups of Kale (removed from the stems) added about 1 cup of applesauce…. added maybe 1 cup of water…. some salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder…. a little dill…. and cooked it til it was all mushed and boiling. Then I dumped it into the blender, blended it up…. and poured it and spread it onto parchment lined dehydrator trays. I set it for 135* and dehydrated for 8 hours, turning the trays 180* half way through. Peeled them off, and cut them (with kitchen shears) into fourths. (I had 4 trays, so all in all I have 16 “wraps” I was going to keep them larger…. but decided… smaller might be a little better since they’ll be filled… plus I don’t want to have too much of the wrap, that might be kind of…. chewy? So, I employed more of a sushi concept with the size. Less is more.

Anyway, it’s yummy, it’s Kale, and it’s just one more way to eat it up!
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I’m back!! Here’s what I did with these for lunch. Unbelievably good….. and really…. perfect! It’s a garden veggie sushi…. I grew the kale that made the wraps, the carrots and zucchini that went inside seriously so cool!!  I didn’t actually have small grain rice, so I just used basmati. Just added a little apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and salt while it was cooking…. cooked a little longer to get it more “starchy”…. I’m so excited about this!! Yay for backyard gardens and dehydrators! (and gluten-free soy sauce…. and sriracha, our favorite condiment.)

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Cantaloupe Seeds.

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Seriously….. I have never ever thought about this before today…. but I was cutting up a cantaloupe for our lunch and scraping the seeds out and plopping them into a bowl totally planning to put them in the compost when…. I stopped. We eat pumpkins seeds…..and cantaloupe are part of the same family… could it be that we could do the same thing to cantaloupe seeds and eat those too?

So, I dropped what I was doing and immediately googled it. (Do you ever look back and wonder how you figured things out before google?) And sure enough…. not only is it possible…. but they’re HEALTHY! They are loaded with protein. Looking at the fat content and the protein level…. they look quite comparable to nuts… except they aren’t nuts…. and if you’re already eating the fruit, well then it’s like FREE protein.

Here’s what you do, using your hands gently “slough” off the seeds from the gooey stuff…. and then toss them in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika… and just cook them on med-high heat until you hear them starting to pop. And if you’re worried it’s going to be too time consuming… I had all my seeds separated, and cooked within 10 minutes…. so…. it’s a lot easier then separating pumpkin seeds. (and a LOT less slippery)

So…. now you too know….. unless you already did…. in which case…. maybe I’m just not very observant and totally missed the cantaloupe seed memo, lol. Either way…..I hope give it a try!!!

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