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gfcf_croutons

Croutons…definitely one of those little “treats” that I miss from my days of eating gluten! However, here’s a super easy way to make your own at home.  I guarantee these are even better than the ones in the store and you won’t have to worry about eating any gluten. My son has stopped eating the crusts on his gluten-free bread sandwiches, so when I cut them off (prior to putting anything on the bread), I’ve been saving them and putting them in Ziploc bags in the fridge. Then, I repurpose them to be gluten-free croutons; a much better solution than wasting all that expensive gluten-free bread! And, ironically, Nicholas thinks these croutons are fantastic! He gave them 100 Thumbs Up.

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Croutons (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up)

4 slices gluten-free bread, cut into 1/2-inch size cubes (or the equivalent of leftover crusts)

1/4 cup melted ghee

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, then add onion powder and Italian Seasoning and stir well.

Add bread cubes, stirring until all cubes are well-coated with butter mixture. Spread cubes on shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes about 2 cups of croutons.

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gfcf_choc_chip_cookies

I did it! I converted my all-time favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe into a gluten-free, casein-free delight! A non-GFCF friend of mine tried one and asked me for the recipe after she raved about it! (That’s true success!) Nicholas and I enjoyed baking these together on the morning of July 4th. Hope you will enjoy eating them as much as we did! Nicholas gave them 1000 Thumbs Up!

A great tip, if you want to keep your homemade cookies fresher for a longer time – freeze about 6-9 at a time in Ziploc bags or containers. Then, simply defrost as you need them; although, I also enjoy them a little frozen too!

Gluten-Free Casein-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (Nicholas Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up)

2 1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup organic vegetable shortening

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 package dairy-free chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, xantham gum, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl.
  3. Add vegetable shortening, sugars, vanilla, and eggs; mix well after each addition.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop from teaspoon, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Yield = about 6 dozen cookies.

Chicken_Taco_Soup
After my success with the tortilla soup, I thought I’d try another soup recipe for my son.  He generally refuses to eat soup, but once again – he liked this one a lot! We can’t eat tortillas right now, so this was a good substitute that included all the ingredients on his “approved” list. It was inspired by “Tricky Taco Soup” in The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine.

Chicken Taco Soup (Nicholas Rating = 300 Thumbs Up!)

 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 medium onion, pureed or very finely chopped

(2) 6-oz cans of Tomato Paste

(2) 14-oz cans of reduced-sodium Chicken Broth

½ cup water

½ cup butternut squash puree*

½ cup roasted red peppers, pureed

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

2 tsp fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole, dairy-free cheese, dairy-free sour cream for garnish

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Cook onions until they are slightly translucent, and then add tomato paste, red pepper puree, butternut squash puree. Stir to combine.
  3. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add chicken and simmer for another few minutes.
  5. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle into individual bowls.
  7. Garnish as you choose!

*Directions for making purees –

  • Butternut Squash: cut off the stem, cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Roast halves on cookie sheet, flesh-side down, at 400 for 45-50 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and puree in food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.
  • NOTE: I often make large batches of purees and package them in Ziploc quart freezer bags in 1/4 or 1/2 cup size amounts. Then, you can simply thaw them out for a recipe and snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze the puree out of the hole into a bowl. Very easy and efficient!

gfcf_meatballs

We have had to refine our diet even further to try to resolve some gut issues my son has been having.  So, now we are following more of a GFCF, Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  I went searching for a meatball recipe, since Nicholas really likes meatballs.  This is an adaptation of the Garden-Fresh Meatballs recipe in the Everyday Paleo cookbook. Another plus about this recipe is that you can sneak in a lot of vegetables; which is great if you have a child like mine who refuses to eat them! It works well with a marinara recipe, and for those who can enjoy it, you could also add some gluten-free pasta too!

Tasty Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Meatballs (Nicholas Rating = 8 Thumbs Up!)

1.5 lbs organic ground beef

3 celery stalks, diced

1 zucchini, grated

½ cup butternut squash puree*

2 cups roasted red peppers

2 eggs

1/4-1/2 cup almond meal

1 Tbsp granulated onion

Preheat onion to 375.

Grate zucchini into mixing bowl; add butternut squash puree.

In food processor, puree the celery and roasted red peppers, and add to zucchini and butternut squash.

Add meat and remaining ingredients to bowl and hand-mix together.

Form into meatballs, about the size of a large golf-ball.

Bake in a large glass baking dish, tightly covered with foil, for 40-45 minutes.

Yield: Makes 20-25 meatballs.

*Directions for making purees –

  • Butternut Squash: cut off the stem, cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Roast halves on cookie sheet, flesh-side down, at 400 for 45-50 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and puree in food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.
  • NOTE: I often make large batches of purees and package them in Ziploc quart freezer bags in 1/4 or 1/2 cup size amounts. Then, you can simply thaw them out for a recipe and snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze the puree out of the hole into a bowl. Very easy and efficient!

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