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postheadericon Spinach Pie

Once upon a time, when asked “What’s the best restaurant in Boston?”, Spenser (Robert B. Parker’s detective) answered, “The best restaurant in Boston isn’t in Boston, it’s Rosalie’s in Marblehead.” Rosalie’s is now out of business, but the building is very close to my house. This is my family’s memory of Rosalie’s Spinach Pie. We love this recipe, and it is completely open to many variations – vegetarian or not, lots of vegetables or not… It doesn’t work without dairy and eggs, however.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

This is a really fun recipe to play with – add and subtract veggies and meat options. Just don’t change the spinach, amount of cheeses, and eggs. Sometimes we don’t have zucchini, so we add extra mushrooms. Sometimes we have a picky person who doesn’t like mushrooms, so we just leave them out. I’ve frequently made 2 of these at a time – one vegetarian and one for the omnivores. It’s incredibly easy and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 10oz baby spinach
  • 1lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 2 TB coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, or your favorite spice mix
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 lb (that’s 4oz) fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked sausage (optional)
  • 4 strips bacon (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a deep pie plate or a glass baking dish no larger than 8″x11″. A 9×13 is too big.

In a large sautée pan with a lid, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and bell pepper and sautée until the vegetables are tender. Add the baby spinach to the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cover. Lift the lid after a minute to stir, then repeat. After a couple minutes, the spinach should be bright green and wilted.

Take the cooked veggies off the heat, pour into a colander, and drain well.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, cheese, and seasoning. Mix in spinach mixture, then add in the sausage and/or bacon, if using. Mix just well enough to combine, then pour into the baking dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center is clearly set. Let sit for 5 minutes after baking, then cut and serve. Yum!

 

postheadericon A Wonderfully Creamy Kale Smoothie

Kale smoothieWhen my cousin offered to make me a kale smoothie, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. But it was pretty good! Then I went home and tweaked it over a few months. Now I make it for breakfast every morning. I don’t even feel guilty when I eat a cider donut with it, it makes me feel that virtuous!

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:celery

    • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
    • 3 cups kale, packed
    • 1/2-1 inch ginger paste, or 1/2-1 tsp grated ginger
    • 4oz frozen pineapple chunks (I like to get the 4 pack of pineapple tidbits that are prepackaged. I then freeze them in their containers. However, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple or 1/2 cup pineapple chunks & juice that has been frozen works well)Kale
    • 1 TBS Chia seed (I prefer to buy my chia seeds via Amazon’s subscribe and save, but Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods often have good deals as well)
    • 1 heaping TBS protein powder (I’ve really liked the vanilla Designer Whey protein powder, there’s no grit or aftertaste, but it’s obviously not dairy-free)
    • 1 1/2 cups milk (I prefer soy or almond, but any milk or milk substitute will work)Ginger pastePineapple tidbits

 

Method: 

Kale smoothie ingredients

Put the above ingredients into the blender. I do it in the order listed above. Turn your blender on low and start blending. You may need to stop and stir the ingredients as the blender gets going, depending on the strength of your blender. (A Vitamix will finish this off in the blink of an eye, but the average blender, like the one I own, will take a bit longer.)

Pour into a glass and enjoy! This will serve 1 or 2 people depending on how hungry/thirsty they are.

 

postheadericon Gluten-Free mini Donut Muffins

We’ve made these in 3 variations – cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, and powdered sugar. All 3 work well using the basic recipe below. I’ll put the variations on the bottom. Using a silicone mini-muffin pan or mini-donut pan makes this very easy. And using the donut pan makes kids so happy!Chocolate donuts

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.With two eggs in the recipe, it should work well with an egg replacer, but I haven’t personally attempted that as of yet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups GF flour – brown rice or millet works well, with a little bit of bean flour or amaranth added.
  • 1 cup starch – white rice flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch work well.
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 TBS room temperature milk or milk substitute
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 TBS unsalted butter, softened. (dairy-free margarine also works well, or coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease the silicone mini-muffin or mini-donut pans. We prefer the Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray, but any light greasing/oiling will work.

In one bowl, whisk together flour through xanthan gum (insert additional ingredients per the below variations). In a large measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, and vanilla.

In the bowl for the stand mixer cream the sugar and butter, beating with the paddle attachment for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, alternate adding 1/3 of the dry ingredients with 1/3 of the wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides a couple times, and mix until just combined. It’s not good to overmix muffin batter!

Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to add the mix to the pans. fill just below the top of the muffin cup.

Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, until the donut bounces back a bit when you poke it with your finger. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan to a cooling rack.Many donuts

After the donuts have cooled, follow the below variations for coating. In one shallow bowl, melt 1 stick butter. In a second shallow bowl, mix the coating ingredients. Dip all sides of the donut in the butter, then in the coating. Return to the cooling rack, then place in a container until they’re devoured.

Powdered sugar variation:

Add to the flour mixture:

  • 1 additional tsp vanilla

For the powdered sugar coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s, or powdered sugar (this contains corn)
  • 8 TBS unsalted butter, slightly cooled. (dairy-free margarine also works well)

Cinnamon-sugar variation:

Add to the flour mixture:

  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS ground cinnamon
  • 8 TBS unsalted butter, slightly cooled. (dairy-free margarine also works well)

Chocolate variation:

Add to the flour mixture:

  • 2 TBS cocoa

For the chocolate-sugar coating:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS cocoa
  • 8 TBS unsalted butter, slightly cooled. (dairy-free margarine also works well)

Alternate fudgy icing coating:

  • 2 TBS butter (dairy-free margarine or coconut oil also works well)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocoate chips
  • 1 – 2 TBS milk or milk substitute
  • 1 cup confectioner’s or powdered sugar (this contains corn)

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat. Add 1 TBS milk, then whisk in powdered sugar.

You want this to be a very thick icing. If the fudgy icing is too stiff, add a bit more milk. If it’s too thin, add a TBS of powdered sugar at a time. Frost donuts or muffins lightly. This is a rich topping, so a little goes a long way.

postheadericon Fudgy Frosting

Harry Potter lunchThis is now one of my two go-to frostings. If a cupcake is going to have chocolate frosting, it’ll have this fudgy frosting. If it’s going to have a vanilla frosting, it’ll be buttercream. My dear chocoholics love this, and find chocolate buttercream less satisfying.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoylife are dairy, soy, gluten, nut, peanut, and mostly allergen-free, almost all chocolate chips are gluten-free)
  • 2 TBS butter or dairy-free margarine
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 TBS milk or milk substitute (soy, rice, coconut, etc)

Method:

Kitten lunchIn a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate and butter/margarine. When it’s melted, whisk in the milk and confectioner’s sugar. The result should be a thick, fudgy frosting. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon or two of confectioner’s sugar. If it’s a little too thick, add a teaspoon or two of milk.

Frost any cupcake with this frosting – chocoholics will approve! You can also add a simple fondant decoration to go along with a lunchbox theme.

 

postheadericon Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts

Sadly, I’ve never had an apple cider donut with gluten, but these taste the way I imagine the originals taste. They also taste the way the cider donuts at the fair smell. Yum!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe. As there are only 2 eggs in this recipe, they should be easy to replace, though I haven’t done it personally.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour (brown rice or millet work well)Cider Donuts
  • 2/3 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, or white rice flour)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup milk (cow, soy, rice, almond, or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS butter (or dairy-free margarine), melted

Cinnamon Sugar topping

  • 1 stick (8 TBS butter or dairy-free margarine), melted
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBS cinnamon

Method:

Grease a doughnut pan and/or a mini-doughnut pan. If you don’t have either one, you can make mini-muffins as “donut holes”. Preheat oven to 325F.More cider donuts

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine everything from flour through salt. Mix it for a moment to make sure it’s well combined.

Add in each of the liquid ingredients (cider, milk, eggs, vanilla, butter), allowing them to become well combined after each addition.

Fill the donut pan a bit below full. Bake 12-15 minutes. Doughnuts are ready when you touch them and you can feel it spring back. Let them cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

After the doughnuts have cooled, combine sugars and cinnamon in one shallow bowl, and melt butter in another shallow bowl. Dip both sides of the donut in the butter, then put in the cinnamon-sugar bowl until they’re coated.

Yum!

postheadericon Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers (goldfish-style)

This is inspired by the Smitten Kitchen Whole Wheat Goldfish recipe.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.Goldfish

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, ideally an orange cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I’ve used brown rice with a bit of amaranth. I wouldn’t suggest a bean flour, as it’s too heavy for a cracker)
  • 1/4 cup starch (I’ve used white rice flour and tapioca starch – both worked well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • (optional: add 2 drops orange gel food coloring if your cheese isn’t orange)

Goldfish ingredientsMethod:

Using a food processor, combine all the ingredients. Let run for around 2 minutes, until it all comes together in a ball.  I have a small Cuisinart, and it’s still large enough for this.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, or put it in a plastic bag, and place in the fridge. Let it chill for 30+ minutes, until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F when you take the dough out of the fridge.Chilled dough

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on your counter or other surface. Plop the dough in the middle of the plastic wrap. Put another sheet of plastic wrap on top, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8th of an inch. Gluten-free dough requires slightly different handling for rolling out, and the technique that’s worked the best for me has been rolling out between layers of plastic wrap.

Use cookie cutters to cut shapes and transfer to cookie sheets that are either lined with parchment paper or Silpat (I occasionally sprayed my cutters with Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray, but another spray would also work). When laying them out, leave about 1/2 inch between crackers so they can spread. Use a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to poke eyes into the crackers. I also used the toothpick to make mouths on the fishies, but I’ve left the other critters mouthless. (I found my mini-fishie cookie cutter on eBay)Lots of goldfish

Let bake for 10 minutes, then check for done-ness every 2 minutes. Crackers are done when there’s just the slightest browning on the edges. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and let cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to an airtight container. Serve as a side in lunchboxes or as a snack any time.

Elephants

postheadericon New favorite GF Bread

Sliced breadThis recipe is based on the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Sandwich bread, tweaked for what works best our family.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe. Unfortunately, with 4 1/2 eggs in the recipe, I would not recommend trying it with an egg replacer.

This recipe requires 2 1-hour rise times, plus a 40 minute baking time, so keep an eye on the clock! I’ve stupidly started this recipe at 9pm, then had to stay up until midnight.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk or milk substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS instant yeast
  • 3 cups GF Flour (we use 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour and 1/2 cup amaranth or millet)
  • 1 1/2 cups starch (we frequently use white rice flour as a starch, but arrowroot or tapioca starches also work well. Potato starch is not ideal, and often leads to the bread falling)
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum if corn-free)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds (optional, but it doesn’t change the flavor, and it adds protein and other benefits)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TBS softened butter or dairy-free margarine (we’ve used Fleishmann’s unsalted)
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg white

Yeast

In a large measuring cup mix the warmed (not hot) milk and the sugar. Add the yeast and let sit for a few minutes.

While mixing, add the milk/yeast mixture slowly. Once it’s well combined, add the eggs one at a time (when my daughters help they crack each egg into a ramekin first – it’s a lot easier to get shell pieces out of a ramekin than a mixing bowl!).

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer add the flours, starch, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix using the paddle attachment for a moment to make sure it’s well mixed. Add the softened butter and mix until combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then let beat for 2-3 minutes.Mixing the dough

Cover with a warm, damp towel, then let rise in a warmish place for 1 hour.

Prepare a 9″x4″ loaf pan. If silicone, then lightly grease (we use TJ’s coconut oil spray). If the loaf pan is metal, cover with parchment paper, then lightly grease the parchment paper.

Rising breadAfter the first rising cycle, move the dough to the 9×4 loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap that has been greased/oiled on the side that touches the dough. Cover the wrap with a warm, damp towel again and let rise for 45 minutes to another hour. You want the dough to be just above the rim of the loaf pan.

Near the end of the 2nd rising cycle, preheat the oven to 350F. Insert the loaf pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until it’s golden brown and delicious.

I recommend immediately taking the bread out of the pan and let cool while laying on its side. This seems to minimize the top of the loaf falling, and also minimizes excess moisture pooling at the bottom of the pan.Bread

Let cool and slice into individual pieces (I’ve been very happy with this Bread Slicer
for uniform slices)
. I then store the loaf in the fridge, but you could also slide a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between each slice and freeze the sliced loaf. This tastes great with or without toasting. It holds up very well in sandwiches, too. Yum!

postheadericon Decadent Chocolate Cake

This is an amazing chocolate cake recipe, with a deep chocolate flavor. These are some of the best cupcakes/cakes I’ve ever had. This has become my go-to cake recipe, and as a bonus, when I’ve served these to people without allergies, they gobbled them up without realizing they were “special”. This is a great example of serving great food, not just food that’s good for people with Celiac and/or allergies.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

Mackenzie's Birthday Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour, or another flour like sorghum or millet
  • 1/4 cup pea or bean flour
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour, or a starch such as arrowroot or tapioca
  • 1 cup good quality baking cocoa – we like Rodelle Dark Baking Cocoa and Frontier Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine (Fleishmann’s unsalted is dairy free) or butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (dairy, rice, soy) plus 1 1/2 tsp vinegar to mimic buttermilk
Ready for the oven

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

This makes 2 dozen cupcakes or 2 9″ round cakes. Lightly grease the bottom of the baking pans, then dust with a little cocoa powder, or line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Whisk the three flours together. Add cocoa, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda to the flours and whisk together in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, with your mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Slowly add the brown sugar and the granulated sugar. Whip this mixture until fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, then add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk.

Decadent chocolate cupcakes

Pour into the prepared pans – if making cupcakes, use an ice cream scoop to measure an equal amount of batter into each cupcake liner. For cakes, bake for 25-30 minutes; for cupcakes 12-15 minutes, until the cake/cup cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool, then serve as is or frost with a “butter”cream or faux-cream cheese frosting. Yum!

postheadericon Cornbread Biscuits

We love our delicious cornbread, but recently we started playing around with the recipe a bit, and found that a few tweaks made the cornbread even better. One variation includes dairy, and the Cheesy Cornbread Biscuits are delicious, but the Cornbread Biscuits without cheese are yummy, too!

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy-free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, vegetarian, vegan, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Cornbread biscuits ready for the table

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cups fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup millet, brown rice, or other pale flour
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • (if not gluten-free, just use 1 cup flour and omit the xanthan gum)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder (1 TBS if not using eggs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (or 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can creamed corn (14-15 oz)
  • Variation: If you can eat dairy add 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method:

Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with Silpat or Reynold’s Release foil. Preheat oven to 350.

Cornbread biscuits straight from the oven

Whisk together ingredients from cornmeal to salt in a medium bowl

Add wet ingredients to the bowl, and mix until just blended. It will look something like brownie batter.

If you can eat dairy, add the cheese at this point. Mix for just a moment, until the cheese is mixed through the batter

Using a small cookie scoop/ice cream scoop, scoop balls of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Leave at least 1″ between each biscuit to allow for them to expand while baking.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly brown. Serve warm with some butter or butter substitute.

This goes great with ham, bbq ribs, chili, bbq chicken, ham and bean soup, or anything with a Southern flavor. This is a wonderfully moist cornbread biscuit that gets devoured in our house and tastes equally good without eggs.

postheadericon Banana mini-chocolate chip muffins

We have had a very good, dependable, easy banana muffin recipe, but sometimes you want a little something different. This new recipe makes incredibly easy and delicious muffins, and we’re really enjoying them! The girls are eating them for breakfast, snacks, and dessert, so they don’t last long.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, vegetarian, vegan, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Inside a banana muffin

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup GF flour (I like 1c brown rice, 1/4c pea flour)
  • 1/2 cup starch (arrowroot starch, white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • if not gluten-free, just use 1 3/4 cups flour and omit xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 brown, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup dairy/soy/rice milk mixed with 1/4 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips (we like the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
    , which are gluten/dairy/soy/nut free)
Before they are devoured -

Method
Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray or grease muffin pan or insert paper muffin cups.

Whisk flour through salt together in a medium bowl. In your mixer’s bowl, beat bananas through eggs. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the banana mixture, until it’s completely combined. Add the mini-chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Add 1 ice cream scoop of batter into each muffin cup and bake at 350*F for 18-20 minutes.

This recipe makes 18-20 muffins. But don’t expect them to last very long! Ours rarely last a day!

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