Monday, December 30, 2013

Blueberry Banana Pie Smoothie {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

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Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!  They're everywhere!  And really, do you need a recipe for a smoothie?  Probably not.  But smoothies are such an excellent way to get all that good stuff into your diet and make it taste good too!  And a recipe can be used more as a guide and less of a precise list of instructions.

This is my latest and favorite smoothie.  It tastes just like this terribly bad-for-you pie I used to make (and love)  around the holidays.  It was made by layering sliced bananas, canned blueberry pie filling and a whipped cream/cream cheese/sugar mixture into a pie crust - served cold.  Now I can enjoy the same flavors, but instead of giving myself a sugar-high I'm feeding my body some really healthful nutrients.  Plus it really fills me up and keeps me feeling full for a long time.

Besides flavor, here are some good reasons to include these foods in your diet:

  • Spinach - Super source of vitamins K and A as well as maganese and folate.  It also has a good amount of iron and vitamin C
  • Banana - Known for high amounts of potassium, bananas also boast fiber, manganese, vitamins B6 and C.
  • Blueberries - One word - antioxidants!
  • Avocado - Good source of good fats, as well as protein and potassium

Blueberry Banana Pie Smoothie

1/2 cup (packed) spinach (about a handful)
1 frozen banana
3/4 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup water (to get the consistency right, add more or less water)
1 tsp raw honey (optional)

Into blender, (I use and love my Blendtec), add the above ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Asian Chicken Slaw Salad {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

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Hi there!  It's been waaaaayyyy too long since I posted - sorry 'bout that - but I'm still here and still cooking and still desiring to share recipes for families with food allergies.  Its just that life got in the way.  Homeschooling this year is requiring much more time than in past years.  I'm not sure why that is, except that I've added a kindergartener to the mix.  Anyway . . . .

I have to admit this recipe is overdue as it is a great summertime dinner.  But since it's so good and so easy, I'm not going to hold onto it until warm weather returns.  It's warm somewhere, right?  Plus, my family is enjoying this dish tonight - even in October - so don't hold back!  This is a great way to get some veggies into your kiddos (and you!).  As I was making this dinner, my daughter ran through the kitchen and exclaimed, "Yah!  I love it when you make something I like for dinner!"  That's a compliment, right?

Asian Chicken Slaw Salad 
serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 oz package (about 4 cups) of broccoli slaw or shredded red or green cabbage (or a combo of any of these totaling about 4 cups)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBSP gluten-free soy sauce (We use this one)
1 TBSP minced garlic

  • Cut chicken into thin strips and cook in a skillet with a tiny bit of oil.  (Alternately, you can bake the chicken breasts and then slice.)  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • To make dressing, add garlic to heated skillet and toast (don't burn!) for just a minute.  Add oil, lemon juice and gluten-free soy sauce.  Whisk together and heat through, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cooked chicken strips back into skillet and stir to coat with dressing.
  • Put broccoli slaw or shredded cabbage into a large serving dish.  Top with chicken and dressing and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.
This recipe is being shared at Foodtastic FridayGluten Free FridayTGIF Link PartyFood on FridaysFreedom FridaysFriday Food FrenzyInspire Me MondayMake Your Own MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayBetter Mom MondayMotivation MondayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayMusings of a HousewifeWednesday ExtravaganzaCast Party WednesdayWhat's Cooking WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdayReal Food WednesdayWednesday Fresh FoodsThriving On ThursdayTasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdayPennywise Platter

Monday, July 8, 2013

Eight Hot Weather Allergy-Friendly Dinners {gluten, dairy, and egg-free}

Pin It Summer is in full swing in my neck of the woods.  We've just gone through a very hot and humid spell with more hot weather to come.  I must say I greatly prefer the heat over the cold chill of winter, but I always have a hard time answering the question of what to serve for dinner when it's 90-plus degrees out.  All I really want to eat is ice cream, which might be fine now and again, but I can't serve it to my family for dinner on a regular basis.  So to help with summertime meal planning I've compiled a list of eight allergy-friendly, hot weather dinner ideas.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, I present to you our favorite gluten, dairy and egg-free summertime dinners.

1.  Summertime Chicken Salad - This is a favorite of mine for making ahead and bringing along on a picnic or an evening at the pool.  I usually cook and shred the chicken the night before.  If shredding by hand, be sure to do this while the chicken is still warm - its much easier!

2.  Honey Mustard Chicken Salad - Quick and easy.  Cool and refreshing.  And so many possible variations to try!

3.  Tuna Cakes - Pair these with a garden salad and you've got a nice light dinner.  And they're made on the stovetop, so you don't have to turn on your oven.

4.  Pasta Salad - Gluten-free pasta salad, you say?  Yes, I say!  The secret is in choosing the right gluten-free noodles and using the right amount of dressing.  Very cool and very good!

5.  Marinated Grilled Steak - You can't go wrong grilling a wonderfully marinated steak on a hot summer evening.  Serve with corn on the cob, salad and maybe some oven-fried potatoes.  Yum!

6.  Shrimp Scampi - What's more summertime than seafood?  We also enjoy grilling shrimp in the shell on kabobs - can I just say I'm drooling a bit thinking of it.

7.  Quinoa Summer Salad (aka Gluten-Free Tabouli) - Love, love, love this on a hot summer evening (or for lunch the next day)!

8.  Broccoli Salad - So this one might not qualify as a full meal, but with all that bacon it comes close.  Serve this alongside that grilled steak and you'll know its summertime!

So now I want to know what are some of your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free summertime dinners?  Please share!

This post is being shared at Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayCast Party WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaWednesday Fresh FoodsReal Food WednesdayWhat's Cooking WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdayTasty TraditionsFrugal Food ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayThriving on ThursdayGluten Free FridayFoodie FridayFood on FridayFreedom FridayFriday Food Frenzie

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Red Curry Chicken Noodles {gluten, dairy and egg-free}

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So I'm going through the buffet line at a church fellowship meal when I see this wonderful looking noodle and chicken dish.  I help myself to a portion and continue gathering other tasty options along the table.  Once seated, I start sampling the variety on my plate and am so taken with this noodle dish that I end up going back for seconds.  Lucky for me, I was able to find the person who made it and . . . 

     . . . ooohhhh, teaser!  For the rest of the story and the recipe, please come visit me at  Not Your Ordinary Recipes where I'm guest posting today!  And while you're there, be sure to browse through her other great looking recipes.

See you there!

Update:  It seems that the above link is no longer available, so you can now find the recipe right here!

Red Curry Chicken Noodles {gluten, dairy and egg-free version}

12 oz box of gluten-free noodles (I like Schar's Tagliatelle Pasta for this recipe)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
juice from 1 lime (about 2 TBSP)
2 TBSP red curry paste (look for this in the grocery store's Asian section)
14-ounce can coconut milk (We use Goya because it tastes good and is usually cheaper than other brands.)
salt and pepper to taste

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add diced onion and pepper.  Saute until tender, or about 10 minutes.
  • To the skillet, add chicken pieces and cook through.
  • Add lime juice, red curry paste and coconut milk.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer, cooking for a few minutes more.  Sauce will be smooth but not thick.
  • Either combine noodles with chicken/sauce mixture or serve individual portions of noodles topped with chicken/sauce.  (This allows for serving some with gluten-free noodles and others with "regular" noodles, if desired.  My whole family enjoys the Shar noodles, so we just mix it all together and enjoy.

This recipe is being shared at Musings of a HousewifeMake Your Own MondayMelt in Your Mouth MondayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaWednesday Fresh FoodsReal Food WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWhat's Cooking WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayAllergy Free Wednesday

Friday, June 21, 2013

Strawberry Ice Cream - Dairy Free, Egg-Free!

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Last week my kids and I, along with some friends, spent a delightful morning picking strawberries at our local pick-your-own farm.  Its amazing how quickly 3 kids and 1 mom can fill a large box with strawberries!  We had a great time, but we weren't done yet!  With all those strawberries we made 5 pints of strawberry freezer jam and, in the process decorated our kitchen pink (lots of help from the kids made the job go quickly, but the clean-up was quite the job!)

With the rest of the strawberries, we made homemade dairy-free strawberry ice cream.  And man, was it good!  Very easy, too!  I love that we are eating all-natural ingredients while enjoying this summertime treat.  For this recipe I used more strawberries than many traditional recipes call for because I wanted it to be really flavorful and naturally pink (no food coloring, please!).  Because of the extra strawberries, this recipe was almost too much for my 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker, but it fit - just be warned it will completely fill this size ice cream maker.  Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream (gluten and egg-free, too!)

1 quart (about 4 cups) whole, fresh strawberries (for reference, this will be about 3 cups sliced berries or about 2 cups pureed berries)
2 (14 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk (about 3 cups)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

Start by washing, coring and halving strawberries.  Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.  I like mine smooth, but if you prefer to include some strawberry pieces, process the berries for a shorter about of time.  If your blender is large enough, you can do the rest of the steps all in the blender.  If not, transfer your berry puree to a large mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar).  Using a hand or stand mixer, mix to incorporate all the ingredients.  Transfer to an ice cream maker, following instructions for your ice cream maker.  Mine churned for about 30 minutes and came out creamy but soft.  I recommend transferring to the freezer until it is firm, but you may not be able to wait that long!

You might also want to try our Mint Chip Ice Cream - very refreshing!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Meal Plan Monday - June 3rd, 2013

Pin It Its official!  We have completed our homeschool year and are ready to enjoy the summer break.  In fact, our good friends have also finished homeschooling for the year, so we are having an end of year party together to celebrate.  There will be field games, homemade (dairy-free) ice cream, fruit salad and burgers on the grill.  There was even talk of a piƱata.  Now if we can just hold off the rain!

So here's our meal plan for the first week of summer vacation . . .

MONDAY - Burgers on the grill with fruit salad and french fries

TUESDAY - At the request of my daughter, I'm going to try my hand at gluten-free chicken crepes!  I plan on using the filling from creamy chicken pie as the crepe filling.

WEDNESDAY - Grilled Sausages with Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers with Rice

THURSDAY - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad  My daughter and I are going to make dinner together!

FRIDAY - Tacos (always a favorite on summer evenings)

SATURDAY - Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Oven Fries and Salad

SUNDAY - Crockpot Chili for a meal to share at church (I just realized I haven't shared this recipe yet!  I'll try to remedy that shortly.)

I'd love to hear some of your hot weather dinner ideas!  Please share!

This plan is being shared at Menu Plan MondayGluten Free Menu SwapMusings of a Housewife

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Steak Marinade {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

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It's getting to be grilling weather (yaaahh!), so I thought I'd share with you our favorite, and very simple, steak marinade recipe.  But before I could share this with you, I had to look up the proper use of the words 'marinade' and marinate', because I certainly don't want to be caught using the wrong word (gasp)!  It turns out I am not alone in my confusion.  According to the Grammarist, these two words have been misused for so long, they have become irreparably tangled together.  But to set the record straight, 'marinade' is a noun referring to the liquid in which a meat is soaked.  'Marinate' is the verb form, referring to the action of soaking meat in marinade.  Got it?  Good.

Now a bit about allergy-friendly cooking.  Of course steak, along with the green salad, oven fries, and veggies that often share a plate, are all naturally gluten-free.  But you do have to watch ingredients in store-bought marinades, as they often include soy sauce which usually has wheat in it.  So I prefer to skip the allergens along with the other questionable ingredients, and make my marinade at home.

Here is our ultra-simple, flavorful steak marinade.  Use it with any cut of beef you like.

Steak Marinade {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

1/2 cup oil (I usually use canola or safflower, but I'm sure any cooking oil would do)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar*
2 TBSP gluten-free soy sauce such as Bragg's Liquid Aminos or coconut aminos**
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or squeezed through garlic press

Mix ingredients together and let steak marinate for several hours or all day.  This is especially nice for marinating a london broil or other lesser quality steaks.

*In case you are concerned about vinegar and the gluten-free diet, this article may clear things up a bit.
**Here's a link to a nice list of gluten-free soy sauce options.

This recipe is being shared at Tasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdayThriving on ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayPennywise PlatterGluten Free FridayFoodtastic FridayAllergy Friendly FridayFriday Food FrenzyFreedom FridayFood on FridaysFresh Bites FridayTGIF Link PartyMotivation MondayMusings of a HousewifeInspire Me MondayMake Your Own MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayBetter Mom MondayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayTraditional TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaWednesday Fresh FoodsReal Food WednesdayWhat's Cooking WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayHealthy 2day Wednesday