Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy Home Made Pasta Sauce + Baked Mini Turkey Meatballs - Dairy/Soy/Egg/Wheat Free

 We signed up for a food Co-op! We pay $15 every two weeks to get a laundry basket full of assorted fresh in-season fruits and vegetables! (You can find out if there's one in your area here

 Anyway, with that said, we've ended up with some produce that we normally would not purchase, namely tomatoes. I hate tomatoes (HATE them!!), but I can eat them once processed, like in pasta sauce. Pasta sauce is so cheap that I usually just buy it in a jar, but since we a. are trying to get away from pre-packaged and processed foods and b. have a bunch of tomatoes to get rid of, I decided to try to make my own. It turned out to be surprisingly easy and so much tastier than purchased sauce. I think I may try to make some in a larger batch and can it. Hmmm...

Easy Pasta Sauce

1 tsp  olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
7 medium tomatoes, coarsely shopped and juices retained

In a medium sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients, including tomato juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes.

Baked Mini Turkey Meatballs

16 oz 85% ground turkey (you can use leaner meat but you will have drier meatballs)
2/3 cup quick cooking oats (use GF oats if you choose)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until just mixed. Do not over work the meat mixture or your meatballs may get tough!
Spread about 1 cup pasta sauce on a baking sheet.
Form the meat into balls about the size of large grapes (about 1 Tbsp meat each), to form about 30 meatballs, and place them evenly on the sauced baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

You can then either serve this with your pasta sauce and pasta, or once cooled, place the entire cookie sheet in the freezer. After the meatballs are frozen you can place them in a freezer bag and reheat them in the oven, in boiling pasta sauce, or in the microwave!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Turkey Wellington - Dairy Free, Egg Free

  My husband and I are suckers for all things Gordon Ramsay. We love Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, and Hell's Kitchen. We loved Gordon Ramsay's F-Word and we recently watched a docu-series of Gordon in India on Netflix. It seems that in almost every show you see Gordon on though, Beef Wellington is mentioned if not prepared. Beef Wellington is a traditional British dish made from beef fillet coated in pate and mushroom puree, wrapped in puff pastry and then baked. I've never had it, but it looks great!

  Well, Chris requested I try to make a Jack friendly version for Father's Day and, well, I think we were pretty successful! In fact, this was one of my favorite things I've ever made. My ONLY qualm with it, and it's a small qualm, is that it was soggy on the bottom. But it reminded me so much in flavor of a beef french dip sandwich that the sogginess actually seemed perfect. I searched "Turkey Wellington" and actually found lots and lots of recipes, but they were all very different from Beef Wellington, even some that included cranberry sauce in place of the pate. My recipe set out to mimic as closely as possible the ingredients used in traditional Beef Wellington.

  This was adapted from Gordon Ramsay's own recipe and actually only required a few substitutions to fit our needs.

Turkey Wellington

2 Boneless skinless turkey breast fillets 
3 tsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
16 oz package baby bella mushrooms
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli oven roasted turkey breast
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 can Pillsbury Big Flaky Crescent roll dough
1/2 cup melted Earth Balance buttery spread

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Rub turkey breasts with salt and pepper, being sure to really push the seasonings into the meat. Sear each side of turkey breasts until golden brown, about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. This is only for color and texture, you are not trying to cook the meat at this point. Remove from heat. Brush turkey with mustard on all sides and set aside.
Coarsely chop mushroom caps and stems. Using a food processor or blender, puree mushrooms. You can also mash them with a fork, but the results won't be as smooth. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute mushrooms until moisture is released (the puree will become more wet looking). Season with a pinch of each salt and pepper and set aside.
 Lay an 18 inch piece of cling wrap on your work surface. Overlapping slightly, lay half of the sliced turkey breast out. You will be wrapping the whole turkey breast in the sliced breast, so when laying out the slices be mindful the how long and big around your whole breast is and try to make the area covered large enough. I'm sorry if that is hard to understand, but once you are doing it you should understand. Spread half of the mushroom puree evenly over sliced turkey. Lay one whole turkey breast on the slices and wrap the slices around it. Wrap tightly with the cling wrap. Repeat with other breast and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
 On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough. Pinch the perforated seams together along the diagonal lines to form four rectangles. Set two rectangles aside. Pinch the seams between the two rectangles to close the perforations and spread it out large enough to cover the turkey breast. Remove the cling wrap from one turkey breast and wrap it in the dough. Place it folded side down on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with second breast.
Bake 35 minutes, covering lightly with foil partway through once dough becomes a nice dark golden brown.
Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with roasted potatoes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vegan Deviled Eggs - Egg, Dairy, Soy, Wheat/Gluten Free

  I haven't been posting on here much lately because I've been really sick. I had strep throat that lasted almost a month and a sinus infection thrown in for good measure. My awesome husband stepped up to take care of the boys, keep the house clean, and make sure no one starved while I lay about in a fever stupor, but it turns out he's not a very good cook (sorry, Chris!).
  So now that I'm feeling better, I thought I'd try out an experiment. This recipe came about because, while in the very worst stages of strep, I could not swallow almost anything and only eating popsicles and vegetable broth for weeks was really starting to wear me down. I needed some calories! I'd read that turmeric and garlic both had anti-inflammatory properties, so I thought I'd make some bland mashed potatoes with a dash of each. Well the resulting potatoes were light yellow and tasted just like hard boiled egg yolks. This got my wheels turning. Could I make deviled eggs?? I love love love deviled eggs but haven't had any for years and because of Jack's allergies, how sad that he would never know the joy of a good deviled egg?
  So I set out to find if it could be done. I found a few recipes here and here, which were good starting points but as both contained soy and Vegenaise (which contains rice), I really just used them for reference. The results came out fantastic. I was really shocked by the flavor and texture of the whites! They are so mush like the real thing! I only wish the edges had come out a little smoother from the mold but if I was really looking to impress I could probably clean them up with a sharp knife.

For this recipe, you really must have 3 important things:
  • Black Salt (NOT black sea salt, but Indian black salt also called Kala Namak, which has a sulfurous, egg-y flavor)
  • Agar agar powder
  • a half egg shaped mold, unless you don't care if they are egg shaped or not. (My mold made eight 2 1/2 inch eggs)

So without further ado, here's the recipe!

Vegan Deviled Eggs 

1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
1 tsp agar powder
1/8 tsp black salt

1 medium potatoes, skinned, cooked, and mashed (or 1 cup instant mashed potatoes made with just water)
1/3 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
1 Tbs prepared mustard
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs dill relish (if desired)

Paprika to garnish

In a small saucepan, bring egg white ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently. Try not to create too many bubbles while stirring, as it will just create more work for you later. Remove from heat, pour mixture into egg molds. Using a spoon, scrape any bubbles off of the top. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all yolk ingredients together, set aside.

Once eggs whites are set, using a melon baller or small spoon, scrape out half sphere holes near the middle of each.
Pop the whites out of the mold by inserting a butter knife or similar object in between one side.
Scoop egg yolk mixture into a zippered plastic bag and cut off just the tip on one bottom corner.  Pipe mixture into holes scraped in egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve or keep refrigerated up to 3 days. These are suitable for an outside picnic as they do not need to be kept cool to retain their shape (something I was worried about) and they won't spoil as easily as their actual egg counterparts.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Creamy Enchilada Casserole - Dairy, Soy, and Wheat/Gluten Free

 I actually already have a recipe for enchilada casserole on this blog, and it is really yummy. However, this recipe is so different that it almost seems like a totally different food than the other, so I wanted to include it. While the first recipe calls for ground turkey, this uses cubed turkey breast. It also includes black beans and corn which give the recipe some texture, while the other is much smoother. And perhaps my most favorite part about this recipe, it calls for the 'sour cream' to be baked right in and something magical happens to cashew sour cream when it's baked; it becomes almost like a cheese sauce... it just totally made this recipe fantastic.

 I adapted this recipe from this post on, although I had to make many changes to make this recipe fit our needs.

Creamy Enchilada Casserole

2 turkey breast tenderloins, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can whole corn kernels, drained
4 medium flour tortillas (or corn tortillas, if gluten free)
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella shreds
1 cup Daiya Cheddar shreds
1 Tbs Mexican seasoning blend (optional)
1 recipe cashew sour cream (see below)
1 recipe enchilada sauce (see below) OR 1 10 oz can prepared enchilada sauce of choice

Cashew Sour Cream
1/2 cup raw chasews
1/4 cup coconut milk + 1/4 cup water OR 1/2 cup water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
 Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth

Enchilada Sauce
1 5oz can tomato sauce
half can of water
1/2 Tbs chili powder
 Place all ingredients in small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 375.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook turkey with cumin,coriander, salt and pepper until turkey is fully cooked through, about 6-10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, beans, and corn. Stir occasionally for 1-2 minutes, until beans and corn are heated. Meanwhile, mix Daiya cheeses and Mexican seasonings together in a bowl and set aside.
Spoon 4 Tbs enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Place two tortillas over the sauce to make your bottom layer. Spread the turkey/bean mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the turkey. Drizzle a little more than half of the sour cream over the cheese. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese. Cover with the remaining two tortillas. Top with the rest of the cheese, and drizzle with the remaining sour cream.
Cover dish with foil wrap and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baked Penne and Roasted Vegetables with Smokey Cheese Sauce - Dairy, Soy, Gluten Free, Vegan

  Last week I bought a zucchini, a yellow squash, and an eggplant simply because I liked the colors. I figured I could find something to do with them but inspiration never hit me. This morning I decided to try to do something with them tonight or they were going to end up in the trash; the eggplant was becoming soft and not so bright purple. So then as I was browsing Facebook and saw this recipe from and it was perfect! I used eggplant instead of mushrooms (we didn't have any mushrooms), and really had to scale down this recipe as it was originally made for 12 full grown men. So this is my version, but you can find the original recipe here. This was really yummy, though Chris and I both agreed when we make it again we will probably add some ground turkey.

Baked Penne and Roasted Vegetables

1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 medium eggplant
1 yellow onion
1 bell pepper
1 Tbs olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Herbs De Provence
1 package GF penne pasta (or regular)
1 cup marinara sauce

Smokey Cheese Sauce:
1 Tbs Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
1 Tbs GF all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 cup plain unsweetened coconut milk or other plain unsweetened non dairy milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
dash of Tabasco
1 tsp malt vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese shreds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Chop zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper, being careful to keep them all roughly the same size so they will roast evenly. Toss with oil, salt and pepper, and Herbs De Provence. Roast on large baking sheet until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and flour together over medium heat. Whisk in the coconut milk. Add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients except Daiya, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese shreds, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, but remove from heat and drain while pasta is still slightly firm as it will continue to cook in the oven.

Spray a large casserole dish with olive oil. Add drained pasta, roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, and cheese sauce to casserole dish and stir until incorporated.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Cracker Crusted Turkey Breast - Dairy, Soy, Egg Free

  I've read every magazine in the waiting room of my son's speech and occupational therapy office. Recently I found myself waiting without my book, Jack's iPad, and without my phone; essentially without anything to do but re-read a Ladies Home Journal from last September. This time around I read this recipe called Mrs. Potter's Chicken that I had previously skipped right over and it seemed so simple but sounded so good, I decided to try it that night. Of course we had to make adjustments; I used Daiya Mozzarella instead of Parmesan, turkey breast rather than chicken, and Earth Balance soy free buttery spread rather than butter. But this, like the original recipe, still only calls for 5 ingredients, was really easy, and very tasty.

  Cracker Crusted Turkey Breast 

1 lbs turkey breast cutlets
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (we used the whole wheat ones), crushed
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese shreds, crumbled*
2 Tbs Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread, melted
1/8 tsp black pepper
optional: 1/8 tsp salt

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a pie pan or shallow bowl, combine crushed crackers, pepper (and salt if using) and cheese shreds.
Pound turkey cutlets between plastic wrap until about 1/4 inch thick. Coat the turkey with melted butter, then dredge through the crumb mixture, pressing crumbs firmly onto turkey. Place turkey on prepared baking sheet, continue with remaining pieces.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through.

* Take a handful of cheese shreds and rub them between your hands to crumble.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Creamy Spinach Dip - Dairy, Wheat/Gluten, Soy Free

 Spinach dip has always been my favorite party treat, especially on crusty french bread. I haven't even considered trying to make some dairy free until my husband asked me before heading out the grocery store this morning if I wanted any particular snacks for the Super Bowl today. I decided to give it shot and this came out pretty darned good!

Creamy Spinach Dip 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour and drained
1 Tbl water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more, if desired)
1 1/2-2 cups baby spinach
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 Tsp plain unsweetened coconut coffee creamer or other non dairy milk of your choice
1 Tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1/4 cup water chopped water chesnuts (optional)

In a blender, puree cashew, water, lemon juice, and salt until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate while continuing with the next step.
In a small sauce pan, boil baby spinach until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain into a wire mesh strainer if possible and then use kitchen scissors to snip spinach into small pieces. You could also cut the drained spinach up on a cutting board. Set aside until cool, about 5 minutes.
Stir cashew puree, spinach, and rest of ingredients together. Taste and add more salt if desired. Refrigerate an hour or so before serving if time allows, and serve with french bread or even Ruffles.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Gravy - Dairy, Soy Free with Wheat Free Option

  I've done a few different breakfast gravy recipes that were decent, but after a recent trip to Penzeys Spices and finding this breakfast sausage seasoning, our lives have been changed for the better! I now can make turkey breakfast sausage anytime with the ground turkey of my choosing rather than having to use the ultra watery Jenni-O tube of ground turkey sausage we had been relying on. I HIGHLY recommend you pick yourself up some of this seasoning mix. Seriously. Also, using coconut milk instead of almond milk really improved the flavor and made the gravy whiter than the previous versions. To boot, this recipe is a lot simpler in that you make it all in the same skillet without having to remove the meat. This is really good stuff, we had it for breakfast one day and then for dinner two days later because we loved it so much!

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Gravy 
1.25 lb lean ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbl Penzeys Breakfast Sausage Seasoning*
2 Tbl Bisquick, GF Bisquick, or other GF flour of your choice
1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few cracks of fresh ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add turkey and sausage seasoning. Break meat up with wooden spoon and stir until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Push all of the turkey meat to the back of the skillet, allowing the juices to come to the front. Add the flour to the juices and stir quickly to form a paste. Whisk the coconut milk into the flour paste until there are no lumps, then incorporate the turkey into the flour/milk mixture. If it is very thick, add more coconut milk. Remember that the gravy will thicken slightly as it cools so try to get it just slightly thinner than you'd like. Stir in salt and pepper and taste, adjust seasonings as desired. (For spicier gravy, add a pinch more of sausage seasoning). Serve over hot biscuits or toast.

 * The ingredients are:  salt, sugar, paprika, black pepper, dextrose (a simple sugar), nutmeg, cayenne pepper, sage, and thyme. I do not know the exact amounts of each, but you could try to make your own seasoning (and store in a small mason jar or other air tight container). Here is my best guess at the measurements for an 4-6oz jar:

4 Tbsp salt
4 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Turkey Fried Orzo - Soy, Rice, Egg Free

 The first Saturday of every month, Chris and I leave the kids at Parents Night Out and go to a Chinese buffet. The place we go to isn't extravagant or anything, but I love going because I can get my fill of fried rice that otherwise is totally off limits to us. We've done fried quinoa at home and while it's good, it just doesn't hit the spot the same way.
  Maybe I'm the last person on earth to know about orzo, but I had no idea what it was until I was walking down a grocery store isle this morning and noticed a box of what looked like rice in well known pasta brand box. Intrigued, I bought a box and then went home and Googled "What to do with orzo" and found that most people used it in place of rice in recipes. (For those like me who don't know, orzo is tiny rice shaped pasta. The brand I found was made entirely out of wheat, no eggs or other ingredients.)
 I decided to try to make fried 'rice' with the orzo and it was great! Of course, with no real traditional soy sauce and without the egg, it still isn't spot on, but it's much closer than fried quinoa!

Turkey Fried Orzo

1 package turkey cutlets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
several cracks of fresh ground black pepper
1 Tb olive oil
half white onion, diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked orzo, drained
2 Tbl coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
3 stalks green onion, diced

In a wok or large skillet, 1/2 Tbl heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey to wok, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir fry until completely cooked. Remove from wok and set aside.
Add 1 Tbl olive oil and fry onions until transparent. Pour vegetable broth into wok and cook until it is reduced by about half. Add in cooked orzo and stir constantly, scraping the bottom to avoid sticking, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add coconut aminos, peas and carrots, and stir rapidly, about 5 minutes. Return turkey to wok and stir until heated through. Stir green onions is just before serving.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Apple Sage Turkey Chops

  Turkey breast cutlets. I wish there was something nice I could say about them, but I can't. They are dry, filled with gristle, and generally awful. Around here it's very easy to find turkey breast cutlets, but finding their delicious cousins, turkey breast tenderloins, is a whole different thing. We have to go 40 miles into Fort Worth and even then the only place we can find them is the Joint Reserve Military Base which has limited to no access to the general public, especially not for grocery shopping. Needless to say, we don't get a hold of them often,so I'm trying to find more things to make with the dreaded cutlets.
  In the past, we've always tried to use cutlets in the place of chicken breast in recipes, but I mentioned to my husband that they seem more like a pork chop than a chicken breast when *LIGHT BULB* it hit me! What if I prepare them like pork chops? Maybe I could find a way to make them more edible and to be honest, I do miss pork chops. So I tried my favorite pork chop recipe and it came out really great. My husband even said if we fed them to someone who didn't know, they wouldn't be able to tell they weren't pork chops. The meat was moist and juicy and I did not notice much gristle, at least in my piece. I'd like to try breading them at some point, but for now, here is my recipe!

Apple Sage Turkey Chops

1 package turkey breast cutlets (usually 3 large 'chops')
1 1/2  tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl GF all purpose flour OR whole wheat flour
2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 red apples, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbl brown sugar

Mix flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of each cutlet with seasoning mix, retaining about 1/2 for later in the recipe.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use a skillet you have a lid for) over medium high heat. Once just barely smoking, add chops and brown, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove cutlets and set aside. (Turkey will still be uncooked in the middle.) Add onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add apple slices and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in vegetable broth, brown sugar, and remaining flour mixture. Bring to a boil. Return cutlets to the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 6-8 minutes.

Serve cutlets with apples and onion on the side and sauce from the pan drizzled over the top.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Always look on the bright side of life.

Have you ever seen Monty Python's The Life of Brian? It's great. I've been singing the song "Always look on the bright side of life" all day today.  When dealing with a serious and life long condition as in the case of multiple food allergies and EoE, it's obviously very important to take it seriously and always be on alert. But with that said, I think it's equally as important to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at the situation just a little, or you will spend your life in a miserable state. I found this video about dealing with multiple food allergies that had my husband and I cracking up that I just have to share. Being a big fan of Les Miserables since I saw the play as a teenager and since I own or have owned every single product shown, this video is right up my alley! I hope you all enjoy it and no one gets offended. Remember, it's not making fun of people with food allergies, just poking fun at all the hoops we must jump through to prepare safe versions of foods.