Sunday, April 29, 2012

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins


So, I already have a chocolate muffin recipe (double chocolate banana muffins), and they're good, but the texture is a bit off for me. My little one loves them, but they weren't my favorite.  So, I had been bouncing around ideas in my head and was thinking of trying them out, when my little one came up to me and asked if I'd make some chocolate muffins...it was destiny calling. ;)  They turned out better than I hoped....they are the best muffins I've ever made!  How do I know?  Because my little one and I have already eaten 6 of them...SIX!!!!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup gluten-free flour blend
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease muffin tins (or line with muffin cups); set aside.

Beat sugars and margarine in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add zucchini, eggs, water and vanilla.

In separate bowl combine the flour blend, baking soda and salt; add to the zucchini mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and scoop into prepared muffin cups, smooth out tops with a wet spatula.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. 



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekly Menu (4/29/12-5/5/12)

Okay, I'm changing up the menu agian.  Each Saturday I get a Bountiful Basket (which I share with my awesome brother and his wife), so I'll give a summary of our basket contents, so you can then see in the menu below it how we utilize the produce.
This week in our Bountiful Basket we got: Broccoli, Green Cauliflower, Green Beans, tomatoes, a huge cucumber, strawberries, apples, bananas, and a small watermelon.

I also have baby carrots, zucchini, spinach, celery, brussel sprouts, red potatoes, a lemon, and kiwis.

This week for breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pancakes and Cereal for the kids, and Homemade Yogurt with sliced bananas, strawberries, and kiwi and/or Hard Boiled Eggs for me

This week for school lunch:  
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Fruit (bananas, apple slices, or strawberry slices)
  • Chips
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Milk
This week for dinner: 
Sunday
  • Chilean Sea Bass with Lemon and Capers (I'm converting this recipe)
  • GF Pasta
  • Breadsticks
  • Roasted Veggies (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, and Brussel Sprouts)
Monday
  • Chili
  • Fritos
  • Celery, Carrots, and Cucumber sticks
  • Fruit Salad (Strawberries, Kiwi, and Watermelon)
Tuesday:
  • Tamales
  • Black Beans and Rice
  • Nachos
  • Celery, Carrots, and Cucumber sticks
Wednesday:
  • Grilled Italian Turkey Sausages
  • Roasted Vegetables (red potatoes, brussel sprouts, and zucchini)
  • apple slices
Thursday:
  • One-eyed Sandwiches
  • Bacon
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bananas and apple slices
Friday
  • Barbecue Chicken
  • Steamed Green Beans
  • Carrots and Almond Butter
  • Roasted red potatoes
Saturday:
  • Tacos
  • Salad
  • Carrots and Almond Butter

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A to Z Muffins

I love zucchini bread (and muffins), but if I say the word zucchini my boys are automatically turned off to the idea of eating it. I still don't think they've knowingly eaten zucchini, I still try all the time, though.  Anyway, I wanted to make myself some zucchini muffins and decided to try subbing some fruits in place of the oil and it worked wonderfully.  I'm calling these A to Z muffins, in hopes that my boys will eat them, because I know if I called them Apple-Avocado-Zucchini Muffins they would end up in the trash. ;)  The applesauce and avocado worked great as an oil substitute, I even decreased the amount of sugar by half because of the natural sweetness the applesauce has. Yay, for healthy AND tasty muffins!


A to Z Muffins
1 1/2 cups GF flour blend
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup mashed avocado (make it as smooth as possible)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine the flour blend, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl combine eggs, sugar, zucchini, avocado, and applesauce. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Fill muffin cups to 3/4 full and cook at 350F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Menu (4/22/12-4/28/12)

This week for breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pancakes and Cereal for the kids, and Homemade Yogurt with sliced bananas or Hard Boiled Eggs and Oranges for me

This week for school lunch:  
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Fruit (bananas, apple slices, or Orange slices)
  • Chips
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Milk
 
This week for dinner: 
Sunday
Monday
  • Navajo Tacos (it was supposed to be Saturday's dinner this past week, but we went out of town instead)
  • Topped with: refried beans, ground beefs, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
Tuesday:
  • Tamales
  • Black Beans and Rice
  • Nachos
  • Celery and Peanut Butter
Wednesday:
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Roasted Vegetables (red potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower)
  • fruit salad
Thursday:
  • Pancakes
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bananas and Oranges
Friday
Saturday:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NOT Wheat Thins

My favorite cracker prior to my diet change was Wheat Thins.  I could eat them by the boxful...and right before my diet change, I'm pretty sure those boxfuls of crackers were making me pretty sick...but anyway I thought I would try to make my own version of these crackers and they turned out pretty good.


 NOT Wheat Thins
(inspired by this recipe)

1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
3 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I actually roll my crackers out on the parchment paper and then transfer my paper to the baking sheet).

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, paprika, salt).

With a pastry blender or fork, cut the margarine into the flour mixture until crumbly. Mix together the water and vanilla and pour into the flour mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together.

On a floured surface (once again, I floured parchment paper, which I then moved to the baking sheet), roll out the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever shape you desire. Using a spatula, place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet (or spread them out on the parchment paper and transfer the paper to the baking sheet). Sprinkle with more salt and sesame seeds if desired.

Bake for about 10 minutes at 400F. Half way through baking rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Cool completely. Makes about 36 crackers for this full recipe. Store in an air-tight container.

This post is featured on Allergy Friendly Friday and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekly Menu (4/15/12-4/21/12

This week for breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Cereal for the kids, and Homemade Yogurt with sliced bananas or Hard Boiled Eggs and Oranges for me

This week for school lunch:  
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Fruit (bananas, apple slices, or Orange slices)
  • Chips
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Milk
 
This week for dinner: 
Sunday:
Monday
Tuesday:
  • The local gluten-free support group is having a night out...so, we are going to eat out at Pizza Pie Cafe and enjoy gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free pizza, pasta, and salad!  They don't have dairy-free cheese there, but they are nice enough to let us bring our own, and they'll add it to the pizza.
Wednesday:
  • Spaghetti (I have sauce in the freezer)
  • Breadsticks
  • Roasted Veggies (zucchini and brussel sprouts)
  • Salad 
Thursday:
  • French Toast
  • Turkey Sausage
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bananas and Oranges
Friday
Saturday:
  • Navajo Tacos
  • Topped with: refried beans, ground beefs, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Waffles

I love making waffles, but they take so much more time than pancakes, it seems, so I don't make them as often as I would like.  But, I finally got around to testing my pancake recipe as waffles and it worked out quite well.  I did double the recipe...my family tends to eat more waffles than pancakes, probably because we don't have them as often.


Waffles
1 1/2 cups non-dairy yogurt (I use my homemade yogurt)*
1/2 cup non-dairy milk*
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all purpose gf flour blend 
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
In a small bowl mix together yogurt, milk, eggs and canola oil.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients.  Whisk together to remove any lumps.

Cook in a preheated waffle maker, until browned and crisp.  (Follow the manafacturers directions).

*Instead of 1 1/2 cups of yogurt and 1/2 cup of milk, you can use 2 cups of non-dairy milk with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice mixed in.

 This post is featured on Allergy Friendly Friday and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Broiled Grapefruit

I'm going to admit something...I'm not a fan of grapefruit.  The only time I get grapefruit is when it comes in my bountiful basket, and even then I really have to force myself to eat it.  I do better when I cook with it.  I love my Grapefruit Yogurt Cake, but eating the fruit itself, is just too much for me.  Well, that all changed this past week.  I decided to try broiling the grapefruit.  I'd seen quite a few recipes around for doing just that and thought I might as well give it a shot.  I loved it! And kept trying different variations, in fact, I've probably have eaten at least 4-5 grapefruit this week!  And it's so easy, the recipe below really isn't a recipe, it's just directions.

Broiled Grapefruit

1 large grapefruit
sweetener of choice*

Directions:
Preheat a broiler to high.

Cut grapefruit in half crosswise.

Using a paring knife, loosen the grapefruit segments, by cutting between the fruit and the peel and between the membranes. Place the halves upright on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with sweetener (if using sugar I found 1-2 tablespoons was plenty, for honey and agave it was just a nice drizzle, and for stevia, I use the NuNaturals packets...1 packet for each half).

Place under the broiler (about 4 inches from it) and broil for about 2 to 3 minutes.

*I tried white sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave syrup, and Stevia, all with great, but different taste results.  My favorites were the white sugar and the Stevia.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekly Menu (4/8/12-4/14/12)

This week for breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Cereal for the kids, and Homemade Yogurt and Broiled Grapefruit for me

This week for school lunch:  
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Fruit (bananas, apple slices, Orange slices, or clementines) 
  • Chips
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Milk
 
This week for dinner: 
Sunday:(Happy Easter!)
  • Steak for the hubby and a tuna steak for me (the boys will share with us)
  • Baked Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
  • Salad
  • Roasted Veggies (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and asparagus)
  • Strawberries
Monday
  • Grilled Pastrami Sandwiches
  • Tomato Soup (we use the Imagine Brand)
  • Grilled Pineapple and Zucchini spears
Tuesday:
  • Pork Tamales
  • Rice and Beans
  • Salad
  • Pineapple and Orange Slices
Wednesday:
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower
  • Salad 
  • Orange Slices and Clementines
Thursday:
  • Waffles
  • Bacon
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bananas and Oranges
Friday
  • Hamburgers
  • Fries
  • Salad 
  • Clementines
Saturday:
  • Chili Dogs using Chili made last week
  • Chips
  • Salad
  • Apple Slices

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Max's Earthworm Cake

I am so stinkin excited for this month's 'Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free' event...it's fictional food.  Z from Z's cup of tea is hosting it and I love her theme! So fictional food would basically be all the food we read about in books, specifically children's stories.  Oh, the possibilities are endless!


I decided I wanted to make something that would be special to my boys, so Harry Potter and the Hunger Games were out--they aren't old enough to care about those yet. There was really one book that stood out to me and I knew I had to use it as my inspiration: Bunny Cakes.


Now, for those of you that don't know Bunny Cakes, I'm sorry. :)  My boys have grown up on Max and Ruby books and this one is their favorite.  Max and Ruby make birthday cakes for their Grandma...Ruby's is an Angel Surprise Cake with Raspberry Fluff Frosting, and Max makes her an Earthworm cake with Caterpiller Icing, topped with Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters.  Now, I have boys, so you can guess which cake they wanted me to make, right?  So, obviously, we made an edible version of Max's cake...chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting, cookie crumbs, peppermint glaze and of course, gummy worms and for the marshmallow squirters we used fruit gushers. Enjoy!



Max's Earthworm Cake (i.e. chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and peppermint glaze)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups GF flour blend
1 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup dairy-free yogurt (I use my homemade yogurt)**
1/2 cup dairy-free milk**
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups hot water

1/2 package Kinnikinnick Chocolate Sandwich cookies
~6 gummy worms
1-2 individual packages of red fruit gushers

Chocolate Frosting:
Combine the following in a bowl and set aside:
1/2 C dairy-free margarine
1/4 C dairy-free milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 16 oz package powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Pepperimint Glaze:
Combine the following a bowl and set aside:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 T dairy-free milk
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease two 9-inch pans and lightly dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour blend, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in eggs, yogurt, milk, canola oil, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the hot water and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.

Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, before removing them from the pan.  Allow the cakes to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Place the bottom layer onto a large dish or covered cardboard cover the top with chocolate frosting and place the second layer on top.  Take a serrated knife and sculpt the cake to look more domed.  If need take the some of the cut pieces and place them on top to give the cake the domed look. Below is what mine looked like at this point.

 Frost the cake with the chocolate frosting (this is one time it's okay if you get crumbs all over your frosting).

Crush the sandwich cookies (or place them in a food processor and pulse it a few times) and cover the frosted cake with the cookie crumbs. Take about 6 or so gummy worms and roll them in cocoa (this is optional, but not in my house, my boys wanted the worms as realistic as possible!) and place them in various locations on the cake.

Drizzle the top with the peppermint glaze and top it off with the fruit gushers.


**I know that dairy-free yogurt can be expensive, so you can use 1 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice in place of the 3/4 cup yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk