Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Gluten Free 4th of July

Hi Friends, I'm going to take a couple of weeks off for family and fun time, but wanted to leave you with a little something-something for the holiday weekend. Here are some of my favorite recipes from past posts that work great for our amazing and much-to-be-celebrated-about Independence Day!

Enjoy!

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Sweet Herb Lemonade is taken from Rachel's fantastic website, The Healthy Cooking Coach. I did the lemonade and the orangeade and enjoyed them both. Mine were slightly different than her recipe, which is below, as I made a larger portion for each and made them a bit sweeter. This is where you'll need to play around with them. Like she says, add a little stevia, taste, then add and taste as needed.
Sweet Herb Lemonade  

Prep: 10 minutes/ Yield: 1 quart + 1/3 to 1/2 cup

If you love––or once loved––lemonade but don’t want the sugar or artificial sweeteners found in conventional recipes and commercial products, try this. All the sweetness comes from the leaf of a South American herb that tastes 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. 

To avoid a bitter flavor, you need to measure carefully and use it in minuscule amounts. The biggest mistake people make is using too much. Brands may differ in flavor and concentration, so always start with less than you think you need, taste, and adjust in minuscule amounts as needed.

FYI: Look for pure stevia extract powder. For cooking, baking, and all of my recipes, I recommend against brands that contain fillers that dilute the stevia making it difficult to impossible to know how much to add, particularly in cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, frozen desserts, and sauces. Note: I avoid all stevia products that contain FOS, a pre-biotic that not only dilutes the herb but adds something to feed the friendly flora in your intestines. For many people FOS causes gas and bloating. See notes above for more on this!
Caveat: If you do use Nu Naturals stevia packets (these contain a filler to make the volume of the packet like that of a sugar packet), you will have to add, taste, add, and taste to get the right amount. You might need an entire envelope for each 1/2 to 1 quart of lemonade, depending on your tastes and sweetness preferences.
Ingredients:
4 cups filtered water  (1 quart)
1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly juiced organic lemons, seeds removed (about 3 medium lemons)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon clear stevia extract liquid (I like Nu Naturals stevia extract powder & liquids and Wisdom Naturals/Sweet Leaf stevia liquids)
    
  1. Combine water, lemon juice, lemon pulp, if desired, and stevia in a tall glass pitcher or quart jar. Whisk well. Taste and add additional stevia, 1/16th to 1/8th teaspoon at a time, if a sweeter taste is desired. If too lemony, dilute with additional water.
  2. Serve over ice if desired.  Cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week. 

Easy Crockpot Ribs
2.5 lbs of ribs (I use grass fed)
1 quart container of mushroom broth
1 quart container of beef broth - (I use Pacific Natural Foods for my broths)
1 diced onion
1/4 cup Stubs BBQ Sauce- Original Flavor or 1/4 cup Better BBQ Sauce



Sprinkle in the following herbs and spices:

  • Garlic Pepper (or you can dice up some garlic cloves)
  • Cardamom
  • Sea Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Ground Mustard
  • Chipotle
  • Dulse
  • Kelp
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Basil
The variety of herbs will not only make your ribs taste delicious, but they'll make you feel great as well. Each one does it's own special thing to help digestion, remove toxins, and promote better immune health.

1. Combine broths, spices and herbs, onion, and BBQ sauce in crockpot. Mix well, then add in ribs.
2. Cook ribs in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours, checking occasionally.
3. That's about it. I told you they were easy! Pull them out and eat, when ready.

If you like BBQ Sauce, I highly recommend using this Better BBQ Sauce recipe with these. Or with everything, it's that good. If you don't have time to make it, buy the version I mention, above. It's a healthy alternative to the homemade one.



WTF Sweet Potato Salad
Taken and modified from Tasting Table

Ingredients for Dressing:
1/4 cup plus two TBSP's veganaise 
1 TSP garlic seasoning
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TSP dijon mustard
1/8 TSP tabasco sauce
1/4 TSP paprika
1/4 TSP cumin
1/4 - 1/2 TSP black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 TSP sea salt
1 TSP soy sauce

Ingredients for the Salad:
2 large eggs
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup snap peas, ends trimmed
6 ounces ham, diced (GF of course, but also preferably nitrate free)
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
2 celery stalks thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
2 TSP's extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl whisk together the veganaise, garlic, lemon, mustard, Tabasco, paprika, cumin, black pepper, soy sauce, and sea salt. 
2. Hard boil your eggs in a medium saucepan over high heat for 15 mins. Immediately (this is the key to easy shell peeling) put them in ice cold water with ice. When they are cool enough to handle, roll them on the counter and crack the shell, the peel away, then dice them up.
3. Bring a large pot of water to boil on high heat. Add the potatoes and boil for 20-30 mins, or until tender. Use a fork to check them (it should easily puncture the potatoes). Turn off the heat and add the snap peas to the hot water to cook. Leave them in for 2 mins, then remove the potatoes and the peas. Cool them under cold running water. Cut the potatoes into small bites. I removed the skins, but do as you please with that. Chop up the snap peas.
4. Put the potatoes, eggs, snap peas, ham, bell pepper, celery, and dill pickles into a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well. Add a little more salt, pepper, and veganaise if you want a creamier salad. 


It doesn't just look pretty, it tastes pretty, too.
Corn and Bell Pepper Salad
Original Recipe taken from Just a Pinch Recipe Club

2 Cups Diced Red Bell Peppers 
2 1/2 cups Fresh Corn Kernels ( approx: 5 medium ears of corn)
1 Small Red Onion, diced
About 3 lettuce leaved to make the bowl pretty
Salt, pepper, and basil to sprinkle on top

1. In a large bowl, combine corn, peppers, and onion. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Stir in the dressing. 
2. Arrange lettuce leaves in cup shape inside bowl and fill with the salad. 
3. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Side note: The dressing really makes the recipe. I mean it really, really makes the recipe. You really can't go wrong with it, as it's sugar and gluten free- a good combination. This can also be found at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.


Mom's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie
Ingredients:
  • 1 can Eagle Brand milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cool whip
  • 1/4 TSP almond extract
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1 can cherries for pie filling
  • Gluten free graham crackers (individual or pre-made pie crust)
If you're using GF graham crackers and don't have a pie crust handy, crush the graham crackers and make sure you add in some butter (olive oil doesn't work as well in this case) to help form the crust. First start adding the butter to the crackers in a bowl until it beings to stick together, then transfer to a pie plate to form the crust. I needed about 1/2 a stick of butter, but start smaller with 1/4 a stick and work your way up as needed from there.

Mix milk, juice, cool whip, almond, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Pour this mixture into your graham cracker pie crust. Pour the can of cherries on top of that. Finish with cool whip around the edges. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but the longer the better. I like to make it the night before as the flavors really mix together and it seems to set better over night.


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