Tag Archives: gluten free recipes

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter – really affordable and SOY free!

sunbutter bread Manimal loves sunflower seed butter. If I put it in his oatmeal he giggles loudly with every bite, and he almost always steals his big brother’s sunbutter bread (He did this morning, and the day before that). Unfortunately, all the brands that are sold at the stores near my house are made on a shared line with soy, so they are a no-no. That leaves the Trader Joe’s brand, which is really good — except Trader Joe’s is 30 plus minutes from my house. A 30 minute drive to buy groceries when you don’t have small children is an annoyance.  A 30 minute drive when you have small children is like getting a root canal. My boys use up all their patience on the drive over and spend the next 45 minutes in the store making fools of themselves, while making the grocery store unpleasant for anyone in earshot (and Trader Joe’s is small, so that’s everybody). Whew.

With that said, I have not had a chance to make a trip out to Trader Joe’s in a while. But a few weeks ago, I realized I could probably easily make my own. So I did a quick Google search and found this recipe on the really cute blog, Life From the Roof. It was soooo easy to make, and it tastes as good as the main-stream brands.

I have always bought Dakota-Brand shelled sunflower seeds from Hy-Vee because they are affordable (around $3 for a 16 ounce bag) and they seem to have good allergy practices so their lines are soy, peanut and gluten free. This recipe took all of 5 minutes to make, and yielded about half a mason jar of sunbutter. Because the sunflower seeds I used were salted, I omitted the salt from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or use sunflower seeds that are salted).
  • 1-2 Tbl sp honey (I used 1 Tbl spoon, but I would have used another had I not run out)
  • 2-4 Tbl spoon oil (I used canola but coconut or olive oil would probably work really well, too).

Directions:

sunbutter processorIn your food processor (I’m sure a blender would work OK, too), pulse your sunflower seeds until they are a grainy mass that looks almost like wet sand. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides (turn the process off to do this, of course). Put the processor’s lid back on and while processing the seeds again, add a tablespoon of oil. Use the same tablespoon to add your honey (this way the honey just slips off the measuring spoon without sticking or having to scrape it off. Add the remaining number of tablespoons to the processor, while intermittently taking breaks to scrape the sides. Process until desired smoothness and consistency.

sunbutter manimal

Manimal enjoys his homemade sunbutter sandwich while giving the camera his newest weird “smile for the camera” face.

Sunbutter mason jar

Left-Over-Chicken Black Bean Soup

black bean soupThe Hubs hates “chicken on the bone,” as we call it at our house. Hates it. His dad doesn’t like it, so he never really had it growing up. Unfortunately, it is much cheaper than buying boneless chicken breasts, so with our ever-tightening budget, I figured out that if I make a bunch of chicken on the bone, he will eat it in other things (once it’s been de-boned, of course!).

I made this soup the other night and it will definitely be one I make again and again. It was fast, easy and delicious. I was actually excited to eat the leftovers the next day for lunch (and that’s saying a lot because I detest leftovers).

Black bean soup chickenIngredients (Please keep in mind I didn’t measure anything, I just eye-balled it):

  • 8 oz shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbl sp cilantro
  • 2 cans prepared black beans (I used the Aldi, “Dakota Brand”)
  • 1 can Mexican Tomatoes (i.e. Rot-Tel — I actually used the Hy-Vee generic brand)
  • 1 box chicken broth (I used the Aldi GF Broth)
  • the juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbl sp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red  pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Black bean soup saute veggiesPreparations:

Saute chopped celery, onion and crushed red pepper in olive oil until caramelized. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer until soup is hot and to your desired thickness. Serve with Fritos Corn Chips sprinkled on top for a nice added crunch.black bean soup with Fritos

Roasted Carrots – Another great, easy Top 8 Free side dish

roasted carrots 2The other day I made Crash Hot Potatoes and pork steak. But when I grabbed for a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer, I realized we were totally out. I had gone to the grocery store that day and had stocked up on regular, long carrots because The Hubs (a weirdo in my opinion) prefers them to the easy, sweeter-tasting baby carrots. I immediately Googled roasted-carrot recipes and I came across Ina Garten’s recipe on the Food Network Web site. I didn’t follow her directions exactly (I rarely do!), but they turned out well, just the same.

Ingredients

  • carrots
  • oil (Ina calls for olive; I did canola because I really don’t like the flavor of olive oil)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • parsley to taste (Ina also suggests dill – I just used only roasted carrots parsley)

Peel carrots and coat them in oil. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and parsley. Bake them in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until tender and brown.

Ham & Black Bean Lime Rice

cuban rice 2The Hubs made this dish last night in an effort to get rid of some of our leftover Easter Ham. At first he was calling it Cuban Sandwich Black Beans and Rice, but when we Googled recipes for Cuban Sandwiches, we realized the only ingredients that were similar were ham… so, he renamed it. I realize that this isn’t lime rice, but lime black beans, but well, “black bean lime rice” rolls off the tongue a little better!

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 5 oz chopped cooked ham
  • 1 can prepared black beans (16 oz)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 T cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 T oil (we used canola)

Sweat the garlic and onions in the oil on medium heat. Add the chopped ham, cilantro and cumin and cook at medium heat ’til it is warmed. Add the beans and cook on medium heat until fully heated. Mix the sugar and lime juice together and add at the end. Pour over prepared rice and enjoy!

 

FREE allergy-friendly cookbook!!!

enjoy life e-cookbookHey, I wanted to share this FREE cookbook that Enjoy Life Foods has put on their Web site. It is a free download that is full of Top-8 and Gluten-Free recipes that I am excited to try.

I already own Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone!: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities and it not only has great recipes but also tips on things like egg-replacer and how to stock an allergy-friendly kitchen. It is a must for anyone new to gluten-free and allergy-friendly cooking (as well, and anyone who wants good cookies…).

I really enjoy most of the products made my this company because I never EVER have to glance at the ingredients. And that’s a nice change…