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Gluten-Free Biscotti Recipe

What special treats does your family enjoy for your Christmas breakfast? I’m looking for ideas. I tried a recipe for gingerbread pancakes that was okay, but there are a few things I’ll be changing the next time I try it. Once it’s just right, it will be on here for you to enjoy.

In the meantime, still looking. Last night I baked this lovely biscotti to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. The recipe calls for chocolate and dried cranberries, but it occurs to me that you can add whatever you like to the basic dough. I went with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. It would also be beautiful for the holidays with white chocolate, slivered almonds, and dried cranberries.

Here’s what you need:

½ cup agave nectar or honey
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups almond flour (also called almond meal)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup chocolate chips or chunks
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

And, here’s what you do:

  1. In a large bowl combine agave, eggs and vanilla and blend with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together almond flour, salt and baking soda
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined then fold in chocolate, cranberries and chopped pecans
  4. Transfer dough to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and form a log about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide
  5. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes
  7. Transfer log to a cutting board and cut into ½ inch slices on the diagonal
  8. Place the biscotti on the parchment lined baking sheet
  9. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes, turn slices over and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Remove from oven, let cool until crunchy about 20 minutes and serve

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Source:  http://www.elanaspantry.com/cranberry-chocolate-biscotti/

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This Maple-Glazed Salmon recipe could make you love fish!

I like most kinds of seafood, and especially salmon. This recipe is super easy and quick to make. With a scoop of brown rice or quinoa and some nice steamed veggies, it makes a great gluten-free meal that everyone can enjoy – even those who do not usually care for fish!

Here’s what you need: 

1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably the real stuff
2 tablespoons soy sauce – I used San-J’s gluten-free
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt – I skipped this, since the soy sauce is fairly salty already
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon

and here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork (thicker pieces of salmon take a little longer).

maple salmon

Source:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/maple-salmon/

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Simple and Great: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Don’t you just crave a cookie sometimes, even if you are eating gluten-free?  Me too. I made this recipe to take to a dinner party with a few friends recently, and it is pretty awesome! There are only four ingredients for the classic cookie, and only 5 if you sprinkle coarse salt on top. It’s hard to tell these from “real” peanut-butter cookies.

Click here for the gluten-free peanut-butter cookie recipe!

Get the kids into the kitchen too. These are super-simple to make, and they taste like home. Enjoy!

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‘Tis the Season For Soup

Most of the US has been cold for the last week or so, with the exception of Florida. My friend Jan pointed that out in a Facebook post. If you happen to be reading this from the back deck of your house in Florida and you’re enjoying a sunny day, you are still welcome here – we love you anyway – but this particular post is intended for those of us who are freezing our assets off lately.

When it’s cold outside, the last thing in the world I feel like eating is a salad. Salads are good, salads can be really healthy, but this is the time of year for something hot. Soup warms a body from the belly out. A former co-worker of mine used to make soup in the microwave of our breakroom with leftovers she’d brought from home. It always smelled delicious, and I never quite figured out how she did it. A little hot water, soy sauce, leftover chunks of meat, rice, vegetables, and a big dose of magic, I think.

Around our house, the big guy makes the soup.  I asked him for the recipe so I could share it with you.  He said, just put it all in the pot. It really is about that simple! You can easily customize it to your taste, and to use what you already have in the house.

Here’s the basic recipe.  The vegetables can be cut up to whatever size you like in your soup, they don’t need to be in teeny little pieces unless that is your family’s preference:

1 leek, chopped – or you can use a medium mild onion, or a couple of shallots
about 3 ribs of celery, chopped
a handful of baby carrots, chopped – or one full-size carrot
2 or 3 potatoes, chopped – we use the little red potatoes
1 can (15-ounce size) beans, drained and rinsed – white beans, Great Northerns, black beans, whatever you like
1 cup or more of diced ham or Canadian bacon – this is optional

Put all the goodies into a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add chicken broth and water, roughly half and half, to cover the vegetables, plus a little. Salt and pepper to your taste. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are tender.

I love that this soup can be customized so every bowl you serve is different. Chunk up some leftover chicken or turkey and add it to one bowlful of soup for a little extra protein. We also like to add slices of leftover sausage, like Aidells chicken sausages. Sprinkle on some shredded cheese – we’ve used Cheddar, jack, and Parmesan and they are all good.

So, that’s it – put it all in the pot and within an hour you have a hot, filling, nourishing, and belly-warming soup. Bon appétit!

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Day 26 – Gluten-Free! Pumpkin Custard

I’ve found the perfect Thanksgiving Day dessert! There’s no crust, and with no crust there is no gluten. It reads almost the same as the classic pie recipe on the back of a can of Libby’s pumpkin. Bonus for us, it makes 4 servings. I love pumpkin pie for breakfast, but it does not love me back – so not having leftover pie in the fridge keeps me from eating it. Here’s the link to the recipe:

Pumpkin Custard – Easier than Pie and No Crust!

I’ll be making it with one cup of evaporated milk instead of the half-and-half, since it’s what I already have in the house. And, I will be skipping the topping. It is probably delicious, but I can do without the extra sugar and butter. After all, I would never put a topping like that on a pie. Just a little whipped topping, and I’m good to go.

This is the picture from the same webpage as the recipe. Now, imagine it without the nuts and crispy sugar topping (but keep the whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top). Imagine how your house smells when this is coming out of the oven. Can you imagine serving this to your family? I thought you could, it looks like a perfect finish to a holiday meal. Enjoy!

pumpkin custard

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Day 22 – Healthy Munchables

What makes a food into a great snack?  Are baby carrots and ranch dressing fun to munch on because the carrots are small, or because dipping them into the dressing is fun, or because we get to eat with our hands?  Let’s figure out some munch-worthy snacks to enjoy without guilt as we move through football games and holiday parties. How about . . .

Chips and salsa – I especially like Food Should Taste Good’s multi-grain tortilla chips.

Shrimp with cocktail sauce.  Lots of protein, delicious, not a big calorie load; what’s not to like?  We are talking about naked shrimp here, not the deep-fried varieties. They are good too, but your waistline will stay nice and slim without all that batter and grease.

Fresh fruit with a yogurt dip – Sweeten plain Greek yogurt with a little jam or honey and serve as a dip for fresh apple slices, strawberries, pineapple, and so on. Use plastic picks to ramp up the “fun, fancy, and festive” factors even more. Why Greek yogurt, you ask?  Why, because it’s thicker than regular yogurt.  Some of the liquid has already been drained out of it.  That makes for a nice thick dip that won’t dribble onto the floor – or the front of your shirt.

Nuts, still in the shell.  Nuts are good for you, but it’s too easy to eat loads of calories’ worth when they are already shelled.  Besides, don’t they just look more fun than a jar or can?  Pistachios and roasted peanuts in the shell are fun too, but a mix of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans are traditional around the holidays.

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So far these are all very simple and quick to make, and easy to serve. When you have the time, or want something that tastes decadent, try a slimmed-down version of a crowd-pleasing favorite.  It’s already lower in fat than most versions, and if you serve it with crunchy vegetables like baby carrots, celery sticks, colorful bell pepper strips, and jicama, it’s even better for you.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip Make-Under

I came across another post with 5 more recipes for healthy and different tidbits to share with you, too.  [The article is from New Zealand, but most of the measurements are in cups. In the French Onion dip,  1.1 kg onions is about 2.5 pounds, and 113 grams (cream cheese) is about 4 ounces.  Also, be aware that the 220-degree oven is Celsius rather than Fahrenheit.  Translate that to 425 degrees if you try out the recipes for Roasted Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas or Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries.]

Click here for 5 more tasty tidbits!

Happy snacking to you!

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Day 21 – Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe Ever

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My mom was not a very inspired cook (sorry, Mom). Vegetables mostly came from a can, or from a bag in the freezer. Spinach translated into my young mind as black slime – and I still cringe at the sight of a can of the stuff.

Now that I am allegedly a grown-up, I get to revisit some of the foods I detested as a child and decide if they really are awful or not.  After all, I learned to love spinach – fresh spinach, raw or sauteed, with sesame oil or fresh garlic, or sauteed with a couple of eggs and topped with a little goat cheese for a quick lunch.

On to the subject of Brussels sprouts.  I don’t remember these at all from my childhood, so there is no bad association to be overcome.  I have eaten them at various times over the years, and was never particularly passionate about them in either a positive or negative sense.  Didn’t love them; didn’t hate them.  It’s time to revisit them and see if we can become friends.

I bought a stalkful of the little guys at the local produce market, still all connected to their mother ship, and wondered how to cook them this time.  What did we ever do before there was the Internet to learn these things?  The web produced a plethora of ways to prepare the BS (Brussels sprouts), most of which sounded really good.  The one I made, though, produced by far the most excellent BS I’ve ever tried.

Yes, of course I will share the recipe with you!  Here it is the way I made it, and the link to the original is at the bottom of this post:

1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2 of a medium to large apple (I used a Gala apple, but use what you have), diced – peel it if you want, but I left the peel on the apple
2 Tbsp. apple juice or cider
1 Tbps. olive oil

1 tsp. thyme, or up to 1 Tbsp if using fresh  (the thyme I used came from a neighbor’s garden, dried but not commercially prepared, so I used about 2 tsps.)
1/2 tsp. Mediterranean sea salt (or 1/4 tsp. regular table salt)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Put the Brussels sprouts and the diced apple in a 13 x 9 size baking pan.  Add the apple cider, olive oil, and seasonings.  Use a spatula to toss it all together.  (You could also put everything into a big zip-lock bag, give it a good shake, and then pour it into the pan.)  Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and just starting to brown.

We ate them just the way they came out of the oven.  They were delicious, and not at all bitter.  Apparently the tartness of the apple mellows out that bitter taste you can get with sprouts.  They would also taste great with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, I think – but I have not tried that yet.

If you still harbor bad memories of Brussels sprouts from your childhood, this would be a great recipe for you to use to try them anew.  I, for one, will have to stop calling my new friends “BS”.  I’ll be cooking them again soon!

Original source for recipe:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-brussels-sprouts-apples-10000001932673/

 

 

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