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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Gluten-free Vegan TACO PIZZA!!

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I have fond childhood memories of times at the beach in gulf shores Alabama with relatives and family….. long days on the beach making sand castles, jumping waves….. showering off and peeling seaweed out of my swimsuit…. followed by Godfather’s taco pizza before another late night swim session in the pool. Good times.

The other day my husband said, “I think you should make a taco pizza…. I really like taco pizza.” and I said, “Yeah…. but I don’t know how I’d make a vegan taco pizza that’s still gluten-free.” And the conversation ended there.
DSC_1119 And THEN…. I discovered that at a different grocery store I usually don’t shop at…. Gardein sells a gluten-free beefless ground. (And I found it on a buy one get one free sale for the extra win.)

We tried it hot, we tried it cold, we tried it with sauce, without, with dairy-free sour cream, without….. and while my husband’s favorite way was with dairy-free sour cream while it was hot….. I really liked it best cold no sour cream. I think I just like cold left over pizza though, the flavors have time to meld better or something. Anyway, he gives it two thumbs up, It was close enough to the real deal that it brought up my memories of the beach and the smell of salty sea water….

so here goes: DSC_1116

Crust:
Follow the recipe here, but in place of oregano and basil, add in chilli powder and cumin…. and go ahead and add in a 1tsp of xanthan…. it gets pretty heavy with all the toppings on there!

Sauce:

TACO PIZZA SAUCE:

3/4 C pizza sauce (recipe below)
3/4 C taco sauce
1/4 C refried beans
1 tsp cumin
1 TBLS Chili powder
1 TBLS paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Mix it all up!!

***This is my recipe for a base pizza sauce: enough for two 14″ pizzas

12 oz tomato paste
1 1/4 cup water
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1-2 TBLS raw sugar
2 TBLS ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

MIX TOGETHER!

Prepare the beefless ground by heating up in a skillet with about a 1/4 cup of water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 TBLS chili powder, and 1 TBLS paprika.

On your baked pizza crust, generously spread the taco pizza sauce, then a layer of daiya cheddar cheeze, a layer of the beefless ground, and another layer of daiya cheeze. Bake for 12mins at 400*.

After baking, top with some shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and peppers, sliced olives, and a little more cheese…. and if you like it extra spicy, drizzle more taco sauce on the top! (and there is always the option of adding some dairy-free sour cream!)

DSC_1120Hope you give it a try and enjoy it!!

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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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Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte.

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Deliciousness.

So now…. how about we get straight to making that super yummy pumpkin spice latte: Recipe Makes 2…so you can share or…. not…

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Cups soy milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • couple turns on the pepper mill
  • 2 TBLS raw sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional, shot of espresso…. if making for kids, not so much.

Add all the ingredients minus the vanilla (and espresso) into a sauce pan. Put on a burner on med-high heat and using a stick blender, keep it blending while it heats up. Once you see steam rising, continue for about 30-40 more seconds. Then, pull off the stove, stir in vanilla, and pour over top of espresso in a mug, or just pour it into a mug all by itself! Top with a little sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy! It is SOOOO YUMMY and easy and cheap to make. So your kiddos can have one too!

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What are you waiting for?…. invite some friends over for dessert and lattes and impress them with your ability to make Starbucks (and $5/ drink) a thing of the past!
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Kale Powder

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So….. who doesn’t know that Kale has been coined one of the healthiest vegetables around? I think everyone by now should be familiar with all the benefits of Kale. BUT, not everyone enjoys eating it like a salad… and really… it offers more to one’s body if it’s been cooked first.

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I grow Kale in my garden and truthfully it’s one of the easiest things to do…. plant the seeds early in the spring, they grow, you break off leaves and eat them, they put up more leaves…. and this process continues well into Fall. Continual harvest. At first, everyone is excited about eating Kale fresh…. we use those first big leaves like a wrap for tofu salad…. then our big leafy green salads…. then by August the apetite for more kale has briskly dwindled.

So, that’s when I start making Kale powder…. 1 tsp of this magic green powder is equivalent to 1 cup of leaves, otherwise known as a serving. So, for a family of 6, I can toss in 2TBLS to any soup, chili, rice, sauce, etc and we get more than our fair share of Kaleness.

It’s extra easy, we like easy…. pick, de-stem, dehydrate, blitz, cook.

DSC_1097  DSC_1099Pick the leaves far down on the stem where the leaves stop. Make sure to leave a few leaves on each plant so it can feed itself.

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After picking the fresh leaves, de-stem them. Fold them towards eachother in their natural direction and just tear off the stem. Place the leaves on a dehydrator tray, and compost the stems.

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Load up your dehydrator as full as you can get it. I have a 9 tray dehydrator, but due to the bulkiness of the plants, I usually only get 4-5 trays. Dehydrate around 120* for 3-4 hours.

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Once the leaves are done, load them up into a blender…. you can squish them in to fit. Then blitz away on high speed until a nice powder is formed. You may have to manually remove any left over stems that didn’t feel like cooperating.
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Voila! Kale powder…. add it to virtually anything to boost nutritional content.

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!!!