Zucchini Muffins

 

 

gluten-free ~ dairy free ~ refined sugar-free ~ vegan option

I don’t know about ya’ll but back to school pandemonium is still in full swing at my house. A prime example, would be this blog post and how ungodly late I am in posting it. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to get of a routine and how fucking hard (pardon my french) it is to get back into one! And again….borrowing from the French…..I say c’est la vie! 

Now, let’s get down to business and talk muffins! More specifically, zucchini muffins! My mom is a master gardener and always has a plethora of zuchinni. And if she lets them go long enough on the vine, they are HUGE! Those are the ones we want to make these muffins. This recipe is so simple that you can make two batches in no time.

The best part about this recipe is that there is no zucchini shredding involved! Just peel off the skin, scoop out the seeds and you are ready to go! I like to make one pan of muffins, which are great for school snacks and two mini loaves to either gift or snack on at the house. This recipe also freezes great so i can pull out as many muffins as I need and keep the rest fresh! Now, go find that monster zuchinni and get to baking! Your kids will love you and you can secretly smirk that they are eating veggies. Enjoy! nom nom

I made a few minor tweeks to a recipe I discovered on  There Is Life After Wheat blog  

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oil; I like avocado or canola
  • 3 large eggs or flaxseed eggs if making vegan
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  •  3 cups of peeled and largely chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups coconut sugar; or sub 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce for 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour mix; I like Cup4Cup or Bob’s 1:1 GF flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup of chopped nuts; I like pecans or walnuts (optional)

 

  1. Grease or place muffin liners in tins. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In your blender, add oil, eggs and vanilla and blend until incorporated.
  3. Add in zucchini and blend until completely smooth. You should end up with 4 cups of liquid.
  4. Add in sugar and blend.
  5. Add in remaining ingredients, except the nuts and blend. If you are using nuts, remove the blade and stir them in at this point.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.

*If you would rather make mini loaves, bake for 22-28 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

Spaghetti Pie

gluten-free ~ dairy free ~ vegan option

I am currently basking in the sun in Florida, contemplating all the amazing seafood I could eat at one of the great, local restaurants. I can imagine the cocktail I will have while I wait for my dinner, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the ocean view. And just as my food comes out from the kitchen….I am ripped from my foodie fairytale and am promptly thrown back into reality. I am welcomed by the decibel crushing screeching of my two kids; age five and two. They are passionately screaming at each other over a plastic dragonfly while simultaneously trying to eat each other puffs and chase a deranged crab that has been bizarrely stalking us all morning. My daughter looks like the energizer bunny on steroids and my son is eerily reminiscent of Stewie from Family Guy. And at that exact moment, as my kids begin to meltdown from a full day at the beach, I also realize that I am NEVER going to have that meal.

So, instead of ordering the food I am now making the food. And I know three things. One, I’m sun stupid so I really don’t want to put in a lot of effort. Two, it needs to be “family friendly” aka satisfy the grandparents. And three, it needs to be simple enough to make in my limited kitchen at the condo.

Enter, Spaghetti pie stage left.

I found this recipe via the Cooking Light September issue. I made a few minor changes to make this gluten and dairy free, and added in the minced garlic for a little extra flavor. The original recipe also called for chicken sausage but I was unable to find any at my local grocer that didn’t have cheese in them. This would also be a great meal to make vegan. Simply switch out the sausage for crumbled seitan. Serve this with a simple salad and garlic bread and I promise you will have a happy family and maybe even find the time to have that cocktail (or two) you dreamed about. Enjoy!! nom nom

Ingredients

8 ounces of gluten-free spaghetti, I prefer the  Tinkyada brand pasta

2 large eggs, lightly beaten; or  vegan egg substitute

1 tsp olive oil

6 ounces of mild sausage, chicken sausage or seitan, casings removed if applicable. *30 day substitution below*

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of tomatoes, chopped

1 cup of onion, chopped

1 (9oz) bag of spinach

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 oz shredded cheese or cheese substitute, I used shredded Daiya Cheddar

Cooking spray or oil

*to make this Arbonne 30 day compatible substitute with ground turkey and season with 1/2-1 tsp of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Directions

  1. Place an 8-9 inch cake pan or pie dish in oven. Preheat oven to 500F (leave pan in oven as it preheats).
  2. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to boil over high heat. Add pasta; cook 6-7 minutes or until almost done; drain.
  3. Place eggs in a large bowl. Add hot pasta; toss to coat.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato, onion, and spinach; cook 7 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add sausage mixture to pasta mixture. Stir in pepper, salt and 2 ounces of cheese.
  5. Carefully remove pan from oven; coat pan with cooking spray or oil. Add pasta mixture to pan; sprinkle with remaining 1 ounce of cheese. Bake at 500F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, cut into wedges.

Creamy Potato Soup

gluten free / dairy free / vegan option

MAKE THIS IMMEDIATELY. That is honestly all I have to say about this recipe. One of the hardest things for me to give up in this crazy food journey of mine was dairy. Because let’s all be honest….recipes that are meant to be laden with dairy usually never turn out as well once you remove it. And being a farm girl from Kansas and growing up in Wisconsin, I am predisposed to LOVE cheese. You can keep your cold glass of milk but I will damn well eat the whole block of cheddar cheese. But over the last few months, as it became more apparent that dairy was also a trigger for me I have started to experiment more and more with dairy alternatives. And I am beginning to have some successes!

Let’s talk creamy potato soup for a sec, and yes, I lied about not having anything to say. First, this soup is made almost entirely in the slow cooker, there are two small stove steps; cooking the bacon and making the roux (simple I promise). Second, and most important, this soup tastes like it is made with whole milk and aged sharp cheddar cheese. I have used both soy creamer and coconut creamer to make this soup, and they both worked well. This soup is so hearty and rich that I made a only needed a simple salad and some Biscuits to complete the meal! Enjoy!! nom nom

Ingredients

10 slices cooked bacon or bacon substitute, diced and divided**

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled (if desired) and diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 tablespoons bacon grease, butter or butter alternative

1/3 cup all-purpose GF flour

12-ounces of soy creamer (coconut creamer works as well)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, I used Daiya vegan shredded cheddar

1/2 cup dairy free plain yogurt or sour cream, I used Tofutti sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, or more to taste

1 teaspoon  black pepper

optional toppings: thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese, extra bacon, sour cream

**Quick and easy way to cook bacon: Preheat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with two sheets of aluminum foil. Place bacon on sheet and bake in the oven, turning once mid way through for approximately 20 minutes, or until crispy. No fuss, no mess!!!!

Directions

  1. Dice 8 slices of bacon, and add chicken stock, potatoes and onion to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
  2. Once the soup is about ready to serve, melt the bacon grease/butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the flour until it is completely combined, cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually whisk in the soy creamer and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth.  Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
  3. Immediately pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker with the potatoes, and stir until combined.  Add in the cheddar cheese, yogurt/sour cream), salt and pepper, and stir until combined.  I like the soup to be thicker, so I use a potato masher (or a large spoon) to mash about half of the potatoes (keep the soup in the slow cooker while you do this).  If you would like the soup to be thinner, add in an extra cup of warmed stock.  Stir to combine, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Serve warm, with desired toppings.  As always, if you can do gluten and dairy feel free to put them right back in this recipe! But, I think you will be super surprised at just how yummy the dairy free version is!!

Buttermilk Pancakes

gluten-free – dairy free option – refined sugar free

Pancakes. Most definitely in my top 5 of all time favorite foods. They are (or should be) little golden mounds of fluffy, slightly sweet heaven. Which you can then drown in maple syrup, slather with jam or just throw on an ungodly amount of butter and eat until euphoria sets in.  I told you I like pancakes….. and without fail at every breakfast outing I would go on, no matter what else I might order, you were guaranteed to see a single pancake next to me. That is until I had to give up gluten (which can make eating pancakes out almost impossible). So, I had to put on my big girl panties and learn how to go without my beloved pancake. Sometimes I am lucky and the restaurant will have a GF option and I will literally have to fight myself not to get up from my chair, kiss the server and do a little pancake jig.

Pancakes are also a big deal in my house. They are pretty much a weekly occurrence since breakfast for dinner is one of the kids most requested meals. I won’t lie, it has been an uphill battle to find a gluten-free pancake recipe that my crew approved of.  I pinned and googled a ridiculous amount of recipes and we began our search. Unfortunately, we had many disappointing dinners where the pancakes were either to dense, to mushy, or simply not the pancakes of days gone by. So after a few failures, the lightbulb finally went off (sometimes it takes a bit ya’ know??) and I pulled out our pancake recipe from the days before allergies and sensitivities and we started to tinker around with it. We had a few false starts but pretty quickly we had the recipe you see now, and they were ok.

HA! Just kidding…but wouldn’t that be some shit???!!! If after reading this whole thing about my weird obsession with pancakes I just said they were “ok”?? They were better than ok, they were actually fantastic!!! Light, fluffy, slightly sweet and the perfect dessert for any breakfast. Enjoy!! nom nom

 

3 TBS butter or vegan butter; melted and cooled to room temp

2 cups of gluten-free flour; I use Cup4Cup brand

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or other unrefined sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups buttermilk or non-dairy buttermilk* (see note below)

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla

mini chocolate chips (optional) I used Enjoy Life brand mini vegan chocolate chips

**If you want to make a dairy free buttermilk here is how you do it. This will make enough buttermilk for the pancakes. In a liquid measuring cup put in 2 TBS of apple cider vinegar. Add enough dairy free milk to the apple cider vinegar to equal 2 cups total liquid. Let stand for 5 minutes and whisk before using as the mixture will separate a little.

  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly
  2. In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients together.
  3. Pour wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients.Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before batter is evenly moistened.
  4. Add the cooled melted butter and mix until evenly moistened.
  5. Let the batter rest while the pan heats up.
  6. Lighlty oil the pan and pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the pan.

*Not everyone in my fam wants chocolate chips in their pancakes (my hubby is a purist). So, I add the chocolate chips to some of the pancakes right after I put the batter in the pan!

 

 

 

Zucchini Patties

gluten free / dairy free option / vegan option

There are two words I would use to describe zucchini. The first is Prolific.. The other would be Huge. I assume you see where this is going and that it goes without saying…. I have a ton of zucchini in my house. Between my mom’s garden and a few friends I find myself staring at the zuchinni wondering how many different recipes I can create or find with zuchinni as the main ingredient. And since zuchinni bread is the poster child of Zucchiniville, and I like to walk off the beaten path whenever possible…. I decided to start off with a savory dish like the patties you see above.

These zucchini patties are crazy good!! And minus the shredding which can be a bit annoying, they are a breeze to make. Both my kids devour them and will even eat them multiple times in a week!!! I mean…that NEVER happens in my house…. not unless its chicken tenders or dessert. And they are super versatile. My hubby and I make BLT  or BELT stacks with them…..ridiculously good. We take one patty and give it a swipe of Veganaisse, top that with mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes and an occasional fried egg and you would give up sex for a month to get another one. I promise. They are also superb topped with a slow cooked pulled pork and creamy slaw or make them mini and use them as a base for your own version of salmon latkes.

I ALWAYS double the recipe so I can make one batch with regular cheese and one with vegan cheese….I live in a divided household when it comes to cheese. For true vegans….I have never made these completely vegan and removed the egg, But I assume a flax-seed egg or other egg alternative would work just fine.

Enjoy!! nom nom

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini**

1 small onion shredded (grated)**

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, I use Daiya shredded cheese

1 egg or flaxseed egg

1/2 cup gluten-free bisquick (or regular bisquick if you are GF friendly)

salt and pepper to taste

**The quickest and easiest way to shred the zucchini and onion is with a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Make sure you scoop out the seeds from the zuchinni before shredding. Once they are shredded, squeeze all the excess water from both the zucchini and the onion.

Instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until completely mixed together
  2. Heat enough oil to coat your skillet (I use grapeseed or canola) to medium heat.
  3. Drop mixture by the spoonful to make approximately 6 patties
  4. Let them cook on each side until brown, appx 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil

 

Would love to hear of any awesome zucchini patty concoctions you come up with!

Biscuits

Take it from a girl from Kansas, where biscuits are pretty much a daily occurrence, these gluten-free biscuits are the bomb!!!!!! Warm out of the oven with a little butter and honey (or jam) and you will be in heaven.  They are flaky and moist with a beautiful golden brown top thanks to the melted butter you brush the tops with both before and after baking. These biscuits have also become a weekly staple in our house so that we can make breakfast sandwiches. They are a breeze to whip up taking only 20 minutes from start to finish. If you want to warm them up from room temp, just pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds or in the toaster on the lightest setting. Enjoy!!! nom nom
2 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour; I use the Cup4Cup brand
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon raw cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons cold salted butter  or vegan butter
2 tablespoons melted butter; divided
1 cup buttermilk or non-dairy buttermilk substitute
flour for rolling out dough; I use rice flour as the GF flour is more expensive
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet
Stir together the dry ingredients. Cut butter into small cubes and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Work in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk by hand.
Dust clean surface with rice flour. Roll out dough into a disk that is about 3/4-1 in thick. Cut out dough with a 2-in round cookie/biscuit cutter and place rounds on prepared baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the unbaked biscuits with about half the melterd butter, reserving the rest to use once they are removed from the oven. And sprinkle with salt.
Bake biscuits about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

gluten-free / refined sugar-free / dairy free option

Words cannot begin to express how AMAZING this pie is. So to honor that this is going to be a blissfully short post. The key to making this pie unforgettable is very simple. All you need are local, freshly picked strawberries, some rhubarb which grows rampant in most areas, and a bit of orange zest to tie it all together! There is no doubt in my mind that this pie would still be good in the dead of winter with store-bought produce but it would definitely be the ugly step child in comparison. So much so, that now that I have had the real deal I would NEVER be able to make it otherwise. And because I hate depriving myself of anything this good, I’ve decided I will just have to pick enough berries this season that I can freeze a bunch and make this pie year round!!!

If you are local to the Milwaukee area and want to go pick I highly recommend going to Barthel Fruit Farm. They are located near Mequon, WI and are hands down the best farm in the area!! In addition to strawberries, they also offer a variety of plants and herbs to buy, sugar snap peas which are available now, and apples and pumpkins coming in fall!!

Rhubarb is naturally a bit bitter to taste so the sweetness of these strawberries balances out that flavor profile with ease. And because these berries are SO sweet you can literally cut the sugar down by at least half without even blinking an eye, which appeals to the healthy side of my brain! The orange zest I added to the filling gives you just a hint of that citrus tang through the sweetness of the berries. It definitely gives your taste buds a little zing and gives the pie a more elegant finish.

The only other advice I can offer is to make two pies, because one is definitely not enough!!

Enjoy! nom nom

P.S. AS always, if you do not need to be GF feel free to just sub in your eveyday all purpose flour!!!!

Ingredients

2 cups fresh rhubarb; cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2-3/4 cup raw organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

1/3 cup GF all purpose flour

2 TBS butter

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 recipe for Gluten Free Pie Crust; makes (2) 9 inch crusts

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare the pie crust by following the link above!
  2. Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange peel, flour and nutmeg in a large bowl. Turn into prepared pie shell.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the filling with them.
  4. Place the second pie crust over the filling. Cut 3 slits in the center to allow for ventilation. Seal and crimp the edges.
  5. Brush with milk or egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Cover the pie’s edge with 2-3 inch of aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning. Remove for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.