Oatmeal Bars (Gluten/Dairy Free)

I know it is not even mid August yet but it is already starting to feel like fall around here. The winds have changed and the need to bake begins!

I have been torn however since I have not done much baking since going gluten free. Baking without flour (I refuse to buy anything labeled “gluten free”) seems tricky!

So I started playing around with oats! Let me tell you, these oatmeal bars are delicious and just as satisfying as anything else laced with wheat! I made them for a pot luck party and they went over so well that I had to make another whole batch for myself!


OATMEAL BARS

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350c and grease a 9×9 pan. Mix all ingredients together (try microwaving the peanut butter first to make it easier) and bake for 20 minutes.


It really couldn’t be easier and I love this recipe since I always have the ingredients on hand. Perfect for a fast dessert, healthy enough for breakfast and delicious enough for a party!

Good Morning Muffins (Sugar Free / Gluten Free)

I am not a breakfast lover. Well not until around 11am, then I could eat just about everything! But when I get up, it’s all about the coffee and that’s about it! Mmmm…coffee!

I know eating breakfast is important and the healthy and responsible choice, but I just don’t think about it.  About once a month, I make a pact with myself that I am going to eat breakfast everyday from now on. This pact lasts about 2 days and I forget again!

So I came up with a little healthy little breakfast muffin that goes so well with coffee, I look forward to them just as much or more than my coffee! The Good Morning Muffin!

img_2283

Sugar free, gluten free goodness! It is so healthy, I don’t feel so bad about putting sugar and cream in my coffee! I like to make them bite size so I can eat more of them!!

GOOD MORNING MUFFINS

Makes 12 regular or 24 bite sized muffins

  • 1 large yellow plantain
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Cinnamon to taste

Make sure your plantain is yellow, even with some black spots. When plantains ripped, they get sweeter! Chop up the plantain in the food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Scrap the edges of the processor to make sure there is no chunks of plantain in there.

I always use muffin liners (mainly because I hate scrubbing anything and muffin tins are THE WORST!) Bake at 325c. for 18-20 minutes for bite size or 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins. You can test by lightly pressing with your finger for a slight spongy feeling.

I like to sprinkle extra cinnamon on top! They have a slight banana taste and are perfect with your morning coffee!

Now I wake up saying Mmmmm….muffins! I feel good about eating breakfast. Like a healthy, responsible person!

img_2287

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

When I crave comfort food, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind and Lasagna is the pasta of all pasta’s in my opinion!

It has been 3 days since we had to put our oldest border collie down and the pain still runs strong through the house. It is hard to try and feel normal with so many triggers. There is just so many memories from the past 13 years. Damn you cancer….damn you!

I thought I would make some “comfort food” tonight for my husband and I, but didn’t want to give in and buy pasta (or look in the back of the cupboard since I am sure there is still some penne back there I am trying to forget about!)

Zucchini is coming out fast and furious in the garden, and although I have diced and frozen quite a bit for future stir fry’s and zucchini meatballs, I also want to eat as many fresh garden veggies as possible. Hence…..the Lasagna Zucchini.

Zucchini is a really watery vegetable, so I halved, oiled and salted a fairly large zucchini and stuck it on the grill for 5-10 minutes a side on medium low heat. If you don’t have a BBQ or just want to use the oven, I would suggest 20-25 minutes on 350 c. This will soften it up nicely and give it some flavour. When it is done, let cool a little and scoop out the seeds and make a nice hole for your filling! My zucchini was quite large so the seeds were pretty big, but if you have smaller zucchini’s, I would put the “scoopings” back in with the meat!

The meat filling was nice lean turkey, seasoned with onion, garlic, italian seasoning and red wine vinegar. Stuff meat into the zucchini, top with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese and pop right back on the BBQ or in the oven for another 10 minutes or until heated all the way through. I topped with ricotta and basil to complete the beautiful lasagna flavoring!

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1 large zucchini or 3 small zucchinis halved, oiled and salted, grilled or baked for 20-25 minutes
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheddar cheese (low fat)
  • Ricotta Cheese (low fat)
  • Fresh basil for serving.

 

There isn’t an exact science to this recipe. Just grill a zucchini, stuff a zucchini and bake a zucchini. The of course, eat a zucchini!

This was perfect as a comfort dish and really had all the goodness of lasagna without the pasta. It is a great healthy, low carb, gluten free option when you just need to stress eat!

img_2232

 

Coconut Shrimp Curry

It was a really hard weekend at our house. Friday we had to put our little 13 year old Border Collie down because of cancer, and both of us just walked around in a cloudy haze all weekend not sure what to do with ourselves. By Sunday night, I figured we needed something to get our minds off of the pain and we decided to make a nice dinner together! 

It was nothing romantic, we actually ate in front of the TV, but just the act of slicing, dicing and frying together in the kitchen brought some “normal” back into our house.

A couple weeks ago I had picked up some authentic Indian curry powder from the market and I was just itching to try it! I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer and the snow peas are in full harvest right now, so coconut shrimp curry was a no brainer!


Jack shelled and deveined the shrimp while I chopped the veggies, and once that curry powder hit the hot oil, the house seemed to come alive! It is amazing how food can do that, change your mood with just one smell!

The curry  turned out amazing and made enough for leftovers today! 

COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

  • 16-24 Raw shrimp, deveined and shelled 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp diced fresh ginger
  • Carrots, sliced 
  • Snow peas
  • Red and yellow pepper, sliced
  • White or brown rice (optional)

Prepare rice as per the package. Devein and shell thawed shrimp and cut veggies. I never add amounts for veggies to a recipe. I figure everyone has a different opinion of how much they want and “too many” vegetables isn’t usually a problem! I used 3 small carrots, 2 cups of peas and 2 peppers, but more or less can be used!

With any curry, you want the spices to hit the oil, so heat oil and add onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add spices and let cook for another couple of minutes. Your kitchen will immediately smell incredible!

Add shrimp and carrots until shrimp is no long translucent, then turn down heat, add peas, carrots and coconut milk. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. It will thicken slightly, but this recipe is thin so it can make its way through the rice and veggies!! 

The flavours were beautiful, the aroma was lovely and the feeling of being “normal” again was priceless! 



Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites

Raw, gluten free and vegan…how can you go wrong? These Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites only have 4 ingredients and take about 4 minutes to make and 30 minutes to chill before you can dive in and start eating them!

img_2032
I often get super carb cravings that I used to satisfy with cookies or bread. Since going gluten free, I have been looking for something healthy curb that craving! This recipe is perfect for lunches, snacks or for breakfast. I keep a container of them in the fridge at all times!


Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites

Makes approximately 12 x 2 inch balls.

Mix everything together. If it is too wet, add more oats, too dry, more peanut butter.


Once rolled, put in the fridge for 30 minutes to set! That’s it! No seriously, that is all there is to it!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

img_2037

Fresh Garden Cucumber Salad

I have been really excited about all of the cucumbers that have been coming out of the garden lately! Fresh, beautiful little green cylinders that make great pickles, relishes, eye masks and of course, salads! 


If you are like me, lettuce salads are great, but sometimes you just crave something different! Something fresh, juicy and light. May I offer you a simple recipe for cucumber salad to curb that craving?


Now let me start by saying one thing right away….the longer it sits the better. So if you are having a dinner party and want a side dish that you can prepare ahead of time, this is your recipe! It pairs well with anything off of the BBQ for amazing summer entertaining!


Fresh Cucumber Salad

This recipe serves 3-4 as a side dish, but feel free to double (or triple it) because remember, the longer it sits the better! Also makes a great lunch the next day.

  • 3 small or 1 large cucumber
  • Handful of fresh dill (big handful)
  • 1tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1tbsp sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste ( my taster likes lots!)


Just mix everything together and let sit in the refrigerator.

Like I mentioned, let sit for at least 4 hours. Overnight is so much better though! 

I have seen a lot of people say cucumber salad doesn’t have much flavour, but my guess is they didn’t let it sit long enough! 

So if you are like me and have lots of cucumbers and dill in your garden, you might be serving a lot of this recipe! It tastes like summer, it is perfect to prepare ahead and perfect for hot summer days! 

Gluten Free Pulled Pork Tacos

I love pulled pork!! I love tacos!!! Do you see where I am going here? 

Trying to eat healthier doesn’t mean you have to eat boring! Portion control, good balance and listening to what your body tells you are key to healthy eating. My body (and my mental health) doesn’t like wheat. Some peoples bodies don’t like meat, or dairy. Eating healthy will mean something different to everyone! 

So just because my body doesn’t like wheat, that isn’t going to stop me from eating tacos! Or stuffing tacos with pulled pork! 

Making homemade corn tortillas is pretty simple and cost efficient. I wrote an article that may help you make the perfect tortillas for your pulled pork tacos. Read the article Tricks to Making Homemade Corn Tortillas


Now that you have your warm, homemade tortillas, we can stuff them with delicious and savoury pulled pork! I like to buy pork shoulders when they go on sale and make pulled pork using this recipe – Savoury Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker. It freezes really well, so I usually portion it into freezer bags for a quick dinner. You can even drop the frozen pulled pork right back into the slow cooker to reheat.


Now all you have to do it put the pulled pork on the corn tortillas, top with tomato, lettuce, avocado, cheese or whatever you crave!

I topped mine with lettuce, tomato and low fat blue cheese!! 


Follow Friendly Food for more recipes!