Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saucy Asian Meatballs

So I was going to a party and wanted to make a snack.  I didn't want normal BBQ meatballs so I found this awesome recipe online and traded it out for gluten free ingredients.
Orignal recipe is courtesy of Gimme Some Oven :  Saucy Asian Meatballs

The Goods:
2 lbs ground pork or ground beef (or mix)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup gluten free Panko or gluten free breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 eggs
3 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Optional Garnish of toasted sesame seeds or sliced scallions

Asian Sauce:
2/3 cup gluten free hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger

What to do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and put foil in the bottom of a baking sheet or 9x13 baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients until well combined.  Shape into balls (mine were about 1-1.5 inches giving me around 35 meatballs).  Place in the baking dish/pan and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are golden outside and no longer pink inside.

While the balls are baking, whisk together all of the above listed sauce ingredients.  You can either dip each ball or gently pour the sauce over them and toss.  I put my meatballs right in the crockpot with tongs, and poured the sauce in on top.  Then I tossed them lightly.

THEY ARE SO GOOD!!!!  You get the satisfaction of a small snack/appetizer, that is easy to eat, but is a little bit different in taste.
If you are looking for some gluten free products, below are some of the ones that I like to use.

Corn Chip Sloppy Joes

Ok, this isn't particularly hard to figure out I know....

When I make sloppy joes for the family, they all use buns and I use a bed of either Fritos or Tostito's chips depending on what I have on hand.  Sprinkle some green onion on top and it is pretty tasty.  I know it's not the same satisfaction as a large mushy sandwich, but then it is one normal meal I don't have to adjust for anyone but me.

The Goods: For the sloppy joe meat:
1 lb ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 small can tomato sauce (I never use the full can, even the half size can)
BBQ sauce of choice 

What to do:
Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic over med-high heat until the meat is done.  Drain the grease out, then coat with BBQ (to get wet) and some tomato sauce.   Stir thoroughly and keep on low heat.  Depending on how you like your sauce, add more/less of the BBQ and tomato sauce.

The family gets it in buns and I pour it over some Fritos corn chips and add some green onion on top.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Onion Dip

I am a complete sap for a good chip vegetable dip.  My husband wandered home from the store one Sunday with chips and dip for part of his football watching snacks.  Dang it, I wanted some dip too!  Just because I can't eat that one doesn't mean I should miss out.  So, following probably another no surprise recipe, I made dairy free dip that was better than the store dip.  I know this will be really complex, so I hope y'all can follow along.

The Goods:
1 cup lite or fat free mayo
1 small container (12oz) dairy free sour cream
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix

I know, tough right?

What to Do:

Mix it all together then dip stuff in it. I like Wavy Lays...I mean carrots and celery. Yah, that's it.

Wild Rice Casserole

Growing up in Minnesota in the almost too distant past, we ate a lot of casseroles.  Someone died, there were casseroles, there was a wedding or baby shower, there were casseroles.  If there was a wedding reception in the church basement, yup...there were casseroles. And cake.  So growing up my mom always made this wild rice casserole and we always had two casseroles.  One was chicken and one was tuna.  My dad and brother hated the tuna, leaving it for me and my mom. It worked out great, since she only needed half a can of cream of something soup for one casserole, now she could use the whole can!!   Because I am feeling particularly nice today, you get two for the price of one. I'll post my mom's version and my version.  My version is the dairy free/gluten free one y'all, incase you didn't figure that out yet.  

The Goods for My Version: (I usually double the recipe so I can have left overs for lunch during the week).

1.5 cups of meat, shredded (I like to use chicken, but I'll used canned chicken or the sealed package of tuna if I don't have anything fresh)
1 package Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice-Original Recipe
6 oz of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream (1/2 a small container) I tend to find this in the organic dairy section at my local Kroger, and in with the regular dairy at Market Street.  

Handful of potato chips, crushed to smithereens
And one batch of Mushoom Sauce to replace cream of anything soup.

What to Do:
Cook the rice according to the directions on the package, using extra virgin olive oil in place of butter.

Whilst the rice is cooking, whip up a batch of the mushroom sauce to use in the casserole and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When everything is done cooking, mix the rice, meat, and mushroom sauce together either in a bowl or in your baking dish.  Then add 1/2 of a 12oz non dairy sour cream, and the crushed chips.  Stir it until incorporated, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take it out, give it a stir and bake for another 10-15  minutes.  You can also microwave it on high for 10 minutes, then stir, then microwave for 10 more minutes.

The Goods for the 1970's Full Dairy Version:
1.5 cups of meat, shredded (if you were my mom it was 2 casseroles you were making so one was a can of chicken and the other a can of tuna)
1 package (per casserole) of Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice Original  Recipe
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can or jar of mushrooms, drained (you can choose large or small depending on how much mushroom you like)
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, plus some for topping
1/2 can cream of something soup (mushroom, chicken etc.)
handful of breadcrumbs, ritz crackers (crushed up) or potato chips, crushed

What to Do 70's Style:
Cook the rice according to the package, using butter.  In a casserole dish mix everything together.  The 70's version is to use the oven at 350 degrees, cooking for 15 minutes, stirring and then another 15 minutes.   The 80's brought us a microwave, so cook it on high for 10 minutes and stir, microwaving another 10 minutes.  Top with a fresh sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

I am totally cool with this as a main dish.  My husband likes it as as side to a real meat.  We've had it with steak or roasted chicken.  Either way is fine by me.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Enchilada Filling and Casserole

The Goods:

1 1/2 cups chopped red onion ( or  yellow, I use what I have on hand) 
2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and chopped 
1 16oz can refried beans 
1 cup enchilada sauce (I prefer red)   **buy 2 8-10oz cans of sauce if making the casserole and save out  1 cup for this step**
1 envelope taco seasoning mix 
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked meat(chicken or pork) 
1 cup green onions 
2 TBSP olive oil 
Green and/red peppers optional 

What to do:
 In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add peppers and green onions to the pan, cooking an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the meat, refried beans, taco seasoning and enchilada sauce, stirring to mix well until heated through, about 5 minutes.

I like this as a filler for enchiladas (no cheese) using white corn tortillas or soft corn shells.  I also use this to make a yummy casserole.

Make the filling as above and set aside.  Use 1 box of gluten free pasta ( like the Ancient Harvest quinoa and corn pasta shells that I find in the organic section at my local grocery).
dAncient Harvest Pasta Shells Gluten Free

Cook the pasta shells according the box and drain.  Mix with the enchilada filling.   In a glass baking dish, coat the bottom with some enchilada sauce.  Place the mixture in the pan, then cover with all of the remaining sauce.  Bake covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Upon serving, I use some taco sauce on the top, some crushed corn chips and a dab of dairy free sour cream to mix in.
You could use dairy free cheese in here, if trying to keep truer to the original, however my family likes it better without. I kind of do too, I am not used to the texture of dairy free cheese. 

Original Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Click Here

Mushroom Sauce

I like this sauce for a lot of things. For a base for beef stroganoff, on my mashed taters, all over my steak...there are a lot of options. It was an easy conversion to make this one dairy free. Keep in mind if you want a thicker sauce, then use more of the slurry. If you aren't gluten free, you can also use Wondra gravy powder to thicken it up instead. If we pan fry steaks in the house, I like to sear them in a cast iron pan then finish them off in the oven. After they come out, while they are resting, I like to use the meat drippings in my sauce, so I make the sauce right in the cast iron, while the steaks smile at me from a plate.

The Goods: 

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced 
  • 4 TBSP butter (split into 2&2). I use Earth Balance dairy free butter 
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 TBSP white wine 
  • 3 cups of mushrooms, sliced or chopped (personal preference) 
  • 1/2 cup soy milk 
  • Salt and pepper to season


  • 1 TBSP cornstarch 
  • 1 TBSP water  

What to do:
Place 2 TBSP of butter in the pan to melt, over medium heat, then add onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms. Add another 2 TBSP of butter to the pan on top of the mushrooms, add salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and dark, stirring often. When the mushrooms are done, add the wine and balsamic, cooking for another 3-5 minute to cook off the wine, which will help deglaze yummy meat bits from the pan. Add the soy milk, and then half the slurry. Bring to a boil to let the slurry thicken. If you like a thicker sauce, continue to add slurry mix and stir, letting it bubble/boil to thicken. After it is the right thickness, cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes to cook out the cornstarch flavor.

I hope you find this as yummy as I do!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Hello and welcome! Let me start by saying I am not a nutritionist, a chef or even an expert. I found out in the last year that I am allergic to dairy and gluten. Gluten is a much smaller reaction for me, almost more of an intolerance. Once in a while gluten sneaks it's way into my diet in the form of soy sauce or a special treat I just can't give up. After spending more than 20 years of cooking with pasta, cheese, cream and breads,I have really had to re-adjust. As a child of the 70's and 80's, in Minnesota, I grew up with pastas, casseroles, and heavier food. At first I went straight to salads as I was completely overwhelmed. Now I am finding new recipes and, using my own, and modifying others to meet my dietary needs. I hope you find something useful here,and I look forward to learning more as I go. When I can find a source to a recipe or an author (?) I will definitely give them their credit. Whether you have dietary restrictions or are limiting intake for weight loss I hope you find something useful. Thank you!