Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten free, nut free, soy free

Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten free, nut free, soy free

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This past week was Snowmaggedon 2017 for Virginia Beach and so it was a great time to bake!  I’ve been craving oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for a long time and haven’t made them! I don’t think my body likes oats (even gluten free ones), but I was too tempted and had to try again!20170107_184932

Since I was already snowed in, I didn’t have the ability to get additional ingredients, so I searched the internet for an easy recipe using what I had on hand. Many called for addition xanthan gum, which I didn’t have.  So, I modified a few of the recipes and combined them for a winner:

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0.5 cup butter, melted
2.5 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
1 cup Betty Crocker Gluten Free all-purpose rice flour blend
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
1.5 cups chocolate chips*
*(I mostly used Enjoy Life mini chips and threw in some No Whey NoNos for a monster cookie taste, both of which are top 8 allergen free)

1. Melt butter.
2. In medium bowl, mix oats, flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (These are the ingredients in blue and underlined above, to make it easier.)
3. In large bowl, mix brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add melted butter. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Stir in oat mixture (from medium bowl) until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Let dough stand 15 minutes.
4. On parchment paper-line cookie sheet, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.
5. Bake 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Store tightly covered.

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Now these cookies do spread out a lot and end up fairly thin, but they stay soft, which is amazing!  They also feel like an even bigger treat per cookie because they’re so big, but it’s because they are quite thin, so don’t feel too bad!

This does make quite a lot of cookies (35-40), so feel free to share some with a neighbor or co-workers (they’ll never know they’re gluten free)!

I think you could easily sub raisins for chocolate chips, if you prefer. You could also half the amount of chocolate chips and add nuts, if you don’t have a nut allergy.

Additional Allergen adjustments:
I think you could make this dairy-free easily with non dairy butter substitute.
I’m not sure how egg-free would work, but let me know if you try it!

Enjoy!

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4 ingredient Lava Cakes – gluten, soy, & nut free

Easy Lava Cakes – gluten, soy, & nut free

I apologize this post wasn’t up for Valentine’s Day, but my husband found and tweaked this recipe for me and it is absolutely DELICIOUS! So, naturally, I had to type it up and share it with you all! Now you have it for whatever your next special occasion is (your birthday, Easter, or Saturday–you know, we don’t judge around here!)

My husband says thankfully they’re not hard to make, because I have asked for him to make them again tonight, so I had fresh photos, of course! 😉

Lava Cake GF finished with powdered sugar

  • 8 TBSP butter (or non-dairy alternative for dairy free)
  • ¾ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (Top 8 free)
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks (ideally free-range, just sayin’)
  • 2 TBSP sugar (I prefer Woodstock Organic unbleached)
    Lava Cake GF ingredients
    INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a muffin pan. (I prefer the “If You Care” brand of muffin liners, they are are not bleached. Can be found on Vitacost.com or Whole Foods.)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together over low heat until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture until well combined.
  4. Divide among 9 standard muffin cups and bake until cakes are puffed up, but still jiggly in the center – about 6 to 8 minutes. Lava Cakes GF in oven
  5. Turn out upside down onto a plate, garnish, and serve immediately.
    Lava Cakes GF finished

*This could also easily be made dairy free by using a non dairy butter substitute.

**These can be topped with fruit, powdered sugar, or a Free2B Suncup–that makes it taste like there is a peanut butter sauce on top (but they are peanut & nut free, soy free, shellfish/fish free, gluten free, egg free, and working on dairy free).
Lava Cake GF gooeyness
OR you can take them with you to Outback and have them with their amazing ice cream and homemade fudge sauce (it’s gluten free, as is the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under–but that brownie has nuts, so normally I just have the ice cream and chocolate sauce).
Outback sundae with lava cake GF

Squash Lasagna – gluten free, low carb, and yummy!

Summer Squash Lasagna GF

Squash Lasagna

*Not the prettiest picture. I was too excited and ate a bunch before taking a picture. This was after I sliced it and put it i the fridge, but you get the idea.

I love lasagna, but finding gluten free noodles isn’t always easy and this is a way to make it lower carb and get some veggies in!

Ingredients

1/2 jar Prego spaghetti sauce (gluten free–I like the Three Cheese variety)
2-3 medium yellow summer squash
16 oz. container of cottage cheese (I like Daisy–very few ingredients, creamy, and gluten free)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (separated into two 1 cup servings)
1/2 pound cooked ground beef
1 egg

*This is for an 8×8 square pan, double the recipe for a 9×13 casserole dish.

Slice squash into thin rounds
Toss lightly in some olive oil and bake in the oven about 10 minutes (or microwave) until soft.
Mix together cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, ground beef, and as much spaghetti sauce as desired. (I like to layer them separate as seen below, but for simplicity you can mix it all in one bowl.)
Squash Lasagna cheeses egg      Squash Lasagna beef and sauce

Spread a thin layer of sauce on bottom of square pan.
Layer spaghetti squash over the sauce.
Spoon cheese/beef mixture over squash slices.
Over the cheese, lay another layer of squash.
Spoon cheese/beef mixture over squash slices.
Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil.
Cook at 375 for about 40 minutes, broil for 3-5 minutes to brown the top, if desired.

Squash Lasagna building GF

*I prefer yellow summer squash because it doesn’t have a bitter taste like zucchini can and it’s not as overbearing as other kinds of squash, but this could work with other squash varieties, if you desire.

Safe, Raw Cookie Dough: Top 8 Allergen Free

Egg-less gluten free Cookie dough

Eggless Cookie Dough GF

I love a good, raw cookie dough but my mother was far too overprotective to ever let us eat it. Her facts about salmonella take all the enjoyment out of eating it. Until now! Simply make egg-less cookie dough so it’s safe to eat in its dough form.

The recipe I use is below.  The only modification from the recipe I use in order for it to be top 8 free would be a butter substitute for dairy free. (Recipe modified from FlippinDelicious: http://flippindelicious.com/2015/07/gluten-free-edible-cookie-dough-egg-less.html):

  • 1/4 cup butter (or butter substitute for dairy free), melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk alternative or water (yes, I was out of milk and used water–it worked!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Cup4Cup gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (gluten free, nut free, dairy free, soy free)*
    *another option is Equal Exchange–they don’t have mini chocolate chips, but they are fair trade and gluten/soy/nut/dairy/egg free and made in a facility free of those)

The result is a delicious cookie dough that is safe to eat. I’m not sure how this would turn out if you baked it–I just eat it as dough. I have also mixed it with ice cream for a gluten free cookie dough ice cream (pictured below)–YUM!

Eggless Cookie Dough Ice Cream GF

Wednesday Review: Banana Pudding with gluten free Vanilla Wafers

I’m going to try to stick to a bit more of a system. Mid-week (Wednesday-ish) I’ll post a review of a gluten free item.  Then on the weekend (Sunday-ish), I’ll post a review of a restaurant.  Hopefully this will bring balance and consistency to my blog.  Sometimes I post a ton of restaurant reviews right after a trip, but then I have nothing to post for a while.  Let me know what posts mean more to you and if you like the new schedule!

Our first Wednesday Review is a 2 for 1.  European Gourmet banana pudding and Kinnikinnick gluten free Vanilla Wafers.

Banana Pudding GF

While the European Gourmet organic banana pudding doesn’t specify gluten free, I contacted the company and they said it is.  I wanted a dye-free, natural or organic pudding (that was also gluten free, nut free, soy free, and carrageenan free–quite the tall order) so this was perfect!  I used Lactaid milk, as I can handle dairy but lactose is hard on me.  I haven’t tried it with a dairy-free milk alternative, but it might work.  This is a pudding you have to cook instead of instant, but it’s worth it to me to have the good ingredients!

The Gluten free vanilla Kinnikinnick wafers are just like you remember vanilla wafers–these are gluten free, nut free, peanut free, dairy free, and soy free (they use sunflower lecithin instead of soy–yay! but it is made in the same facility as some soy).

The only thing that would make this better is some whipped cream!

*As always, these opinions are my own and I haven’t been compensated for the reviews.

Goat-cheese Stuffed Sweet & Spicy Peppers

Goat-cheese Stuffed Sweet & Spicy Peppers (like Macaroni Grill)
Many years ago, before I was gluten free, I had these at Macaroni Grill and they were amazing. I was out to recreate them.
Stuffed peppadew peppers 1
10 organic orange Doe Hill Golden Mini Bell (from our CSA)
4 red Peppadew brand Peppers (from olive bar at  our grocery store)
soft goat cheese (4oz.)
whipping cream or milk (about 3 TBSP)
basil, oregano, garlic, salt, & pepper (dash of each)
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar
GF panko bread crumbs
Bake the peppers (if using Peppadews, no need to bake).
Mix herbs, goat cheese, and whipping cream (we didn’t have whipping cream, so used some milk and that worked fine) and stuff the peppers.
Top lightly with some GF panko bread crumbs
Bake at 375 for about 6 minutes, broil for 2 more.
Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar Glaze.
I made the balsamic vinegar glaze by boiling 1 cup Bertolli balsamic vinegar with 3 TBSP of brown sugar.  It was delicious, but it did stink up house though!
Stuffed peppadew peppers 3

Chebe Gluten Free, Soy Free Cinnamon Rolls

I apologize for no new posts recently, life got busy! Hopefully this makes it up to you…

If you don’t know Chebe, they are a traditional Brazilian recipe of allergy friendly foods…my favorite of their products is their cinnamon roll mix.

Seriously, this mix is amazing for taste and the entire allergy community: gluten free, soy free, corn free, rice free, potato free, yeast free, peanut and tree nut free, lactose/casein free (shared processing with good protocols), iodine free, non GMO, Kosher certified, and can be egg free! Phew, isn’t that amazing??

So what is in them? Just Manioc (tapioca) flour, evaporated cane juice, modified manioc starch, cinnamon, iodine-free sea salt.

Chebe Cinnamon Rolls GF box

They are also easy to make–just add a little oil, 2 eggs, and mix cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter for the filling.

Chebe Cinnamon Rolls GF

These don’t fluff large like a batch with yeast or traditional gluten rolls, but the ooey-gooey yummy flavor is every bit as good as you can imagine!

Be sure to follow the directions on the box about baking them in cupcake liners (I prefer the If You Care brand that’s unbleached) and turning them upside down when you take them out–it ensures ideal coverage of the cinnamon-sugar-butter icing/filling.

The only catch with this great product might be finding it: while your local store may carry it (I have seen it in Whole Foods and Kroger), I buy it from Vitacost.com. They have many gluten free products and free shipping over $49.

*This is only my own personal opinion, the companies have not compensated me in any way.