Monday, July 25, 2016

Review of Thai Kitchen {Gluten Free} Instant Rice Noodle Soup

This very simple soup is becoming a favorite of mine. Some times you just want a little noodles and soup. I used to eat Ramen when I was a kid, more often than I'd like to admit!  I have missed those easy quick gluten-filled noodles. This has been my little alternative. It is gluten free and ready in 3 minutes.  You can cook it on the stove top or in the microwave. It comes with a seasoning packet and an oil packet. The noodles are really thin, unlike Ramen noodles. It does contain soy, which is something that I only eat occasionally.  The noodles are savory with a little sweetness. There is no meat, or veggies in the packet, but adding a little chicken, chopped spinach, frozen peas and carrots could turn this into a simple lunch. I would top it with chopped onions and cilantro. Ok. And maybe some sriracha to give it some kick! If you can have egg, some scrambled eggs would go nicely in this as well.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken

Lauren's Latest has this great make ahead recipe for chicken in the crockpot. You can double this, throw one in the freezer and then next time dinner is a snap!   Another idea is to do a swap with a friend. You make one for you, one for them and they do the same of another dish. I made it dairy free in the parenthesis.
photo from Lauren's Latest

Sweet, slightly tangy, buttery and addicting, with one taste this crock-pot honey mustard chicken will be your new favorite dinner ever. This slow cooked chicken is sure to rock your socks.
yield: 4 SERVINGS

prep time: 20 MINUTES

cook time: 4 HOURS

total time: 4 HOURS 20 MINUTES


2 chicken breasts {about 1 lb.}
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dijon mustard
3/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons salted butter (I would use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
salt & pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried chives {for garnish; optional}


Place all ingredients into plastic freezer bag. Seal and freeze.
To make, defrost bag, place contents into crockpot and cook covered 3-4 hours on high or until chicken is fully cooked. Discard rosemary sprig. Remove chicken, shred and place back into sauce. Stir in a few chives for color if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve over rice.

Friday, July 22, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Buns

These tender, zesty blueberry breakfast buns are a tasty twist on traditional cinnamon rolls complete with lemony icing. Dairy-free recipe.
photo from Go Dairy Free
These buns look heavenly. I am going to try it with applesauce instead of egg (see below).  Go Dairy Free held a contest and this is the winner. Check out her wonderful site here. I have adapted it to make it gluten free.

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian. Just be sure to use a buttery spread that meets your dietary needs.
For egg-free and vegan blueberry breakfast buns, substitute your favorite powdered egg replacer or about a scant 1/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana for the egg.
For nut-free blueberry breakfast buns, substitute coconut milk beverage for the almond milk beverage.
Iced Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Note that you will need about 2 medium lemons for the juice and zest used throughout this recipe. Also, these buns come together relatively quickly, but the Prep time does not include rising time. This is a great recipe to bake while puttering around the house.
Serves: 12 blueberry breakfast buns
For the Dough:
  • ⅔ cup So Delicious Dairy Free Original Almond Plus Milk Beverage
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ⅓ cup + ½ teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or sticks, softened
  • 1 egg (see post above for vegan option)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 gluten free  flour, divided (plus more for kneading) ( I would use 1 and 1/2 cups brown rice, 2/3 cup tapioca starch and 1/3 cup potato starch)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum if not included in flour mix
For the Filling:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks, softened
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
For the Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or sticks, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
To Make the Dough:
  1. Warm the milk beverage to 115°F in a small saucepan. Stir in the yeast and ½ teaspoon sugar and let sit 5 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ⅓ cup sugar, buttery spread, egg, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir well for 1 minute. Add 1½ cups of the flour and mix for 1 minute. Add the remaining flour and stir to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let set in a warm place for 1 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
To Make the Filling:
  1. Stir together the sugar, buttery spread, flour and lemon zest until it forms a paste.
To Make the Rolls:
  1. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle measuring 12x16-inch. Spread the filling over the rectangle and distribute the fresh blueberries on top.
  2. Roll the dough up tightly from the long end. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Place the rolls, cut sides up into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. 
  3. Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 24 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let cool while you make the frosting.
To Make the Icing:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, buttery spread, and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.Sprinkle the lemon zest garnish atop the iced blueberry breakfast buns.

What's for Dinner Tonight? Vegan Caesar Salad

photo from Vegan Home's site
I love, love this dressing!  We are having it again with dinner tonight (with homemade croutons). Yum!

Eggless Caesar Dressing

Makes 1 cup
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup lemon juice 
1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp GF worcestersire sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup Veganaise
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar 
1/8 cup water

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Way to Save on Quality Meat/Fish

Main Product Image
photo from Zayon's website
Main Product Image
photo from Zaycon's website.
Looking for a way to cut down the food budget? My friend told me about Zaycon foods, and so I gave it a shot. They have "events" where they are distributing a certain item at different locations all over the US. I ended up buying the chicken and splitting it with my neighbor. They come in wholesale packages, so it's not a small quantity. However, my family ate it up so fast, I think I would do a whole batch next time. So you go here to find out what the event is and what the locations are. You create an account and then commit to buy the meat, fish etc and where you will pick it up (paying securely on-line). When the time/date comes you just arrive at the location and pick it up. Honestly, it felt mysterious going to a random location to get some meat. When I arrived at a church parking lot it was set up like clockwork. They have employees there telling you where to go. They have you get in a line of cars, and put the number of cases you are going to pick up on your car. When you get to the pick up spot, people have you open up your trunk, then they put down plastic bags to protect your car from leakage and load the meat for you.  It was as smooth as can be. Since you have already paid and they have record of your payment, no money switches hand on site. You don't have to get out of your car or anything. Since I have kids, this made it extra desirable. If there is a way to get cheap, quality food without even getting out of my car, I'm all ears. I had not one problem along the way. Judging by my experience I would highly recommend it. Just make sure you have plenty of freezer space or an army coming over for dinner!

They have beef, bacon, chicken, cod, salmon, and honey. 
Zaycon Foods is
— high quality meats and fruits (& more)
— fresh from the best farms in America
— delivered direct by refrigerated truck
— sold in quantity only by the case
— at exceptional wholesale prices
— with secure online ordering
— and convenient local pickup
— at one of our scheduled savings event

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Help for Those Switching the Diet of Their Little Ones

So where do you begin changing your diet? Especially for finicky little eaters?  My friend is going gluten, dairy and egg free for 3 weeks as an elmination to see if it helps her daughter. Her little ones aren't fans of veggies and eat what sounds like typical kid friendly foods. Your kids may be like mine, and are more adventurous eaters. However,  if you are starting and want some ideas, especially if they have a tough time choking down veggies, this is for you.  I like to have a fruit or vegetable (or two) at every meal and snack. I have included suggestions of ways to do that after the meal ideas. If you have picky little eaters or adventurous eaters I hope this gives you some ideas. It's not easy switching the diet of a child. I think it's best to start with things they are familiar with. Later, when they are more adventurous, you can try other things.  

My first tip is to have 5 or so meal ideas for each breakfast, lunch and dinner and just repeat the five in cycles for 3 weeks. So every five days you start over. It's probably the simplest way to go and limits groceries. So you would do 5 things for breakfast (one each day) and then repeat the next five days. Do the same for lunch and the same for dinner. If you are just doing an elimination diet you are in survival mode and this will get you through! If you are doing this for the long haul, you can add a variety after you get the hang of it. I like to add a new dish two times a week, because I go a little crazy eating the same thing. But everyone is different! Another idea is to try to go naturally gluten, dairy, etc free first. For example, eating salmon, broccoli and rice for dinner (with no gluten free baked items) Then later try making a recipe for muffins, or other baking. I double a batch, freeze it and try baking one thing a week. That way you aren't baking constantly and get your freezer stocked. My last suggestion is to get a menu plan and shop before you begin. If your cupboards are packed with things you CAN eat,  and you have a plan, you won't feel like you are starving to death. Keep in mind that to start it may cost a lot of money. You may have to try products, or buy things instead of making everything from scratch. But eventually you can cut cost by making something from scratch here or something from scratch there. Also, keep in mind it will get easier! If you do this for the long term this will become the new normal.  It's hard to believe when you start, but I promise it will! It may not be "easy", but it will be doable!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietician, but am just suggesting things based on my experience going gluten,dairy,soy and egg free. Please don't take my word for it, but feel free to check out for yourself if these items are free of allergens.

Below is a sample menu plan for the little picky eater. Click on the colored words for links to recipes.

Muffins and smoothies
Cereal (GF) (I'd suggest rice chex, Erewhon rice crispies, or Nature's path's GF cereal)
Breakfast cookies here or here
Granola and raisins
French toast
Yogurt parfaits

Hot dogs (Oscar Meyer all beef classic, or Applegate Farms)
Mac and cheese: Amy's Kitchen Ready Made or Cheese Sauce on Brown Rice Pasta
Chicken nuggets (Applegate Farms or Ians), and sweet potato fries (Alexia) or make your own by putting Gluten Free flour patted on Chicken pieces with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil
Veggies and hummus w/nut thins CORRECTION: I'm sorry, I didn't realize nut thins have dairy!

Baked potato, Stagg's classic chili and bacon (I use farmland brand)
Hamburgers w/ lettuce or gluten free bread for a bun
Fish sticks and oven fries
Pb and Js on English muffins or Sunbutter!
Amy's dairy free burritos, or Food for Life tortillas with refried beans, and Pace Picante Sauce

To these meals can be added grilled broccoli or cauliflower (I put either in the oven at 400F for 15-10 min, rolled in extra virgin olive oil and salt. Delish!), fruit, veggies and cheese sauce, veggies and Heinz ketchup, veggies and hummus to round it out. Or a smoothie with some spinach or kale snuck in :0)

Veggies and dip (Kraft Italian or Annie's Roasted Red Pepper)
Fritos and fruit
GF pretzels and raisins
Ruffles with Ridges and hummus
Enjoy Life granola bars
Chips (Que Pasa or Tostitos restaurant style natural yellow corn) and salsa (like Pace Picante or a fresh Pico de gallo)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy-Free} Quiche

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes plus 35 minutes for whole Pie
16-18 minutes for mini quiches
Makes one whole Quiche or 36 small ones
I have been craving quiche for years. It seems like I can tolerate duck eggs way better than chicken eggs. So . . . at long last, we decided to make this a night we will remember by making it for dinner. This pie is filled with really great veggies that make you feel good about eating it. It is gluten, dairy, soy, nut, peanut, sugar, citrus, and chicken egg free.  If you have been wanting to satisfy a hankering for quiche, without dairy or gluten, this ones for you, my friend! I am posting this on a bunch of blogs featuring Allergy-free Wednesdays here. Check it out for some fun ideas!

Quiche Filling
5 duck eggs (or 8 chicken)
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/4 cup green onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup kale chopped
1 cup spinach chopped
2/3 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
1/2 cup rice milk

5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (if you omit the bacon, slightly increase the salt to 3/4 tsp)

Quiche crust (adapted from several recipes)
1 and 1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch (not flour!)
2 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/3 cup Earth's balance shortening
2/3 cup ice water

To make the crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add the earth's balance and pulse until it's a crumb consistency. Add the ice water and pulse until mixed through and it's a dough. Divide into two. Freeze until firm (about 15 minutes) .

For a pie: Roll out the crust, fold in fourths, and move to the greased pan. Lay in the pan and press the edges into a wave pattern. Cook empty crusts at 400 degrees for 15 minutes before you add the filling (below). After you add the filling return to a 350F oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (or looks solid when you take out a small piece with a fork).

For Mini Quiches: Roll out in 2 inch circles. Put in greased mini muffin tins. Remove excess from edges. Flute the edges with a fork. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork.There is no need to pre-cook the mini quiche crusts.  Add the filling. Cook at 350F (cooking the crusts and filling together) until cooked through and a fork comes out clean 16-18 minutes.

To make the filling:
Chop veggies. Combine the veggies, Daiya, salt, pepper, milk substitute, eggs, and bacon in a blender. Blend until veggies are fine and it is mixed thoroughly. Pour into prepared crust (partially cooked if one large pie, no need to pre-cook mini-quiche crusts). I am posting this at  Waste Not Want Not Wednesday.