Monday, March 7, 2016

Almond Flour Cookies (Orange Chocolate)

This is my new obsession.  It's bad.  Really really bad.  When I'm down to the last cookie, I mix more dough.  It's bordering on sad...

The original recipe is from blog.  He's gluten-free, too, and I pop over there more than I should.  I'm eyeing the g-free Lemon Crinkles.  I will do more than that soon enough!

Anyway...I wanted to get away from butter, subbing coconut oil where ever possible, and it works here.  I upped the flavor profile, because I could!  I used the zest from an organic Valencia orange.  WOW!  Pure magic with dark chocolate...

(I've been playing with evaporated cane juice in lieu of sugar.  The crystals are larger and incorporating them takes a bit more elbow grease than does mixing regular cane sugar.  I allow a little "soak" time before continuing...)


1/4 C coconut oil, soft                    Mix sugar into coconut oil until smooth, as non-
1/4 C sugar                                    gritty as you like.
1 large egg                                     Add egg til blended.
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange                         Add vanilla and zest.  Blend well.

6 ounces almond flour                   Combine dry ingredients.  Add to wet mixture.
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C dark chocolate bits               Mix in chocolate bits.  (I use good quality dark 
                                                      chocolate and chop it into the size I like.)

Divide into 13 (roughly) dough blobs.  I use a parchment-lined jelly roll pan; the size accommodates a bakers' dozen nicely.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  (I pull mine just before 13 minutes.)  They will cool and become firm but soften again after you box them up.  IF you manage to box them up...!!

Gild the Lily:  Drizzle melted dark chocolate over the tops; eat!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gluten-Free Pork Chops (Shake & Bake style)

I acquired the original recipe for this nearly two decades ago and have zero recall as to where I found it.  From the local newspaper, if I had to guess.  Of course, it called for regular flour but we dealt with that along the way!  Feel free to increase the spices to suit your taste.  I think using smoked paprika and a bit more of it is a really good idea!  Bonus:  It takes less than 15 minutes to throw together!

G-FREE SHAKE & BAKE STYLE PORK CHOPS         Set oven:  425 F

4-6 Rib or Loin Chops, 1/2"-3/4" thick (I love using boneless!)

Place all dry ingredients in a plastic bag, shaking to mix well.
3 T yellow cornmeal
3 T sorghum flour
1 1/2 tsp ground sage
3/4 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp paprika (Spanish smoked paprika is fantastic!)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Dip chops in milk (I use cashew milk.)  Coat as thoroughly as possible.  Placing one chop in the bag at a time, press dry mixture onto all sides of each chop. Place chops on a rack in a shallow pan.  If any mixture remains, I press a little more onto each chopBake for 30-35 minutes.  (I have a silly habit of turning them over for the last five minutes or so; there are usually a few spots of the flour mixture that I want the juices to work on!)  Use an instant read thermometer if you have any doubts about doneness.  I've never let them bake beyond 40 minutes.  They cross the line into too-dry very quickly so checking is better than not!

I'm sorry it took me so long to remember to post this one.....

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Oat Flour Pancakes

The title is long but I wanted you to know exactly what this recipe is all about!  I got this in my head one morning and couldn't shake it out; I had no choice but to try it.  I did a quick search but wasn't satisfied, as usual, with what I found so off to the kitchen I went.  I apologize for using extra large eggs here but they were only two cents more per dozen than large that's what I bought.  You could adjust the moisture slightly if you have only large eggs.  Also, I usually have buttermilk on hand but made do with what I had.  I'm sure you could substitute 1 C for the yogurt/water and come out with the same result.

If you make the pumpkin oat bites, you'll have the perfect amount of pumpkin left from a 15-oz can to use for these!

The original recipe was found on


1 1/2 C oat flour (g-free, of course!)      Mix all dry ingredients together.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 extra-large eggs, whisk til yolks are completely mixed with whites
1/2 C pumpkin puree, slightly rounded
1/2 C Greek yogurt                               Whisk in remaining 'wet' ingredients to the
1/2 C water                                             whisked eggs.  Whisk in dry ingredients.
1 T pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

I use my 10" Calphalon Unison pan, adding a dot of butter for good measure.

Heat pan on low until ready.  Add batter to make three or four small pancakes, less than the size of your palm, no more than about four inches in diameter each.  Cook for approximately three minutes; the glossy tops will turn dull.  Flip.  It will take another three minutes for the second side, maybe slightly more.  

These are quite filling!  I swirl pure maple syrup over each one as I make my short stack and am happy for hours!  You can always up the spices or change them to suit.  DO try them, no matter what!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Quick Oat Bites (Banana or Pumpkin)

The original recipe can be found on, #483231, Healthy Oatmeal Banana Cookies.  I didn't change anything except to use melted coconut oil, at first.  They seem rather anti-screw-up so I keep making changes!  I'm posting the first two favorite combos with a few notes.  I'll add another version if I find one I really like! 


Banana Oat Bites                                                         Oven to 350F

a loaded C of ripe mashed banana
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
2 C quick oats (g-free, of course)
1/2 C small dice low-sugar dried pineapple (OR mini chocolate chips, original...)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
(I needed no extra moisture but original says to add a little "milk" if too dry)

I used a medium scoop (~2 tsp) per cookie blob, plopped them on parchment, and shaped them into evenly rounded discs (just under a half-inch thick?!)  I have large sheets and can get the entire batch on one.  They don't spread so you can place them less than an inch apart.  

Bake 15-20 minutes, depending on how soft you want them.  I let them go at least 18 minutes.  (Seriously, I always taste the raw dough, since there is no reason not to, so it doesn't matter how long you bake them; I prefer non-crumbling bites so I bake them until they're quite firm.)

I tend to keep them in the frig because they age too quickly otherwise.  (It's not like I couldn't eat the whole batch in two days.....I just don't need to eat that many that fast!!)

Pumpkin Oat Bites                                                    Oven to 350F

a loaded C of canned pure pumpkin
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
1 3/4 C quick oats (g-free)
3/4 C dried cranberries (mine are sweetened)
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/4 tsp orange oil

Follow the instructions above.  Same, same, same.

UPDATE:  I kept changing the pumpkin version and now prefer my latest routineIt is as follows...

a loaded C of canned pumpkin
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
2 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 C quick oats (g-free)
4 large dates, small dice
1/3-1/2 C raw walnuts, chopped
a loaded tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg

These crazy little bites are incredibly filling!  They are NOT sweet cookies, mind you, but they keep me from reaching for several other choices I don't need to be making right now.  I want to try them with applesauce but.....I probably won't.  It's kinda boring compared to banana or pumpkin!  I think an attempt using Greek yogurt is in order though.  We.shall.see....

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ground Chicken Meatloaf

"The girls" requested this post.  It's nothing fancy but they really like it...and it isn't beef so I can eat it, too!  Win-win!!

GROUND CHICKEN MEATLOAF - divide in half, make 2 loaves (I use a Pyrex 7x11)

1 medium onion, small dice                     Mix everything except the ground chicken
1 small/medium red pepper, small dice         til well combined.  Mix in ground
1 large carrot, shredded                                chicken.  Divide in pan. Round
2 eggs                                                    tops to make smooth loaves.  Cover with
1 C gluten-free quick oats                     foil (tent it slightly) and bake for one hour.  
1/2 C (or more) ketchup                        Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more.       
2 tsp g-free Worcestershire sauce              Allow to rest about 10 minutes.
1/2 tsp salt (or more, if feel it's necessary)                        
~1/2 tsp granulated garlic                                               Dig in!!
1/4 tsp celery seed                      
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds ground chicken (I do not use extra lean)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

This has taken too long to post.  Many apologies for anyone waiting...

This is so easy.  If you like quinoa and you could eat Mexican flavors nearly everyday, PLEASE try this!  The original recipe is on, #304705.  I switched it up so it wouldn't be quite as spicy; I wanted others here to eat it, too.  Anyone who wanted could then dust it with chipotle powder and/or hot salsa for that extra kick! 

MEXICAN QUINOA CASSEROLE - 2 quart baking dish (7x11 works for me)

14-15 ounce can of Mexican (stewed) tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes
15 (+/-) ounce can of black beans, drained
1/2 of a red pepper, chopped                                             Set oven to 400F.
1/4 C jalapeno, sliced - optional               Mix all ingredients together. Place in baking
1 C frozen corn - optional                      dish.  Cover with foil.  Bake 35 minutes.
1 1/2 C broth (I use chicken)                        Uncover; stir.  Without foil, return to
3/4 C quinoa (I always rinse well, drain)       oven.  Bake 25 minutes more, stirring
1/2 tsp granulated garlic                             after 15 minutes to get the uncooked
1/2 tsp cumin (or more!)                         quinoa mixed in.  Mix again with 5 minutes
1/4 tsp coriander                                    to go, if needed.  Remove from oven.  Add
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper      cheese, if using, and either return dish to
                                                              oven to melt OR tent foil over top and wait
1 C grated cheese (Mexican blend)        5 minutes.                    Garnish as desired.

If you use a can of broth, save what's left and refrigerate.  Nice to add when reheating in the next day or two. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quinoa Casserole - Flavored like stuffing!

I found a recipe for Mexican Quinoa Casserole.  I made it, not following the original recipe completely, of course.  I made it again.  Then I made it with an Italian bent.  It continued to play to different flavor profiles in my head until I finally got it to where you see it here.  It can be made vegan if you use vegetable broth...or you can add some shredded cooked chicken and call it a complete meal.  If you really like chicken and want to make a big dinner of it, roast some and make gravy; use this casserole as a 'side' along with a veggie offering.  

I'm keeping the can of beans the original recipe calls for (I will post that one eventually) but I'm sure it won't matter if you leave the beans out.  I like beans so I'll always add them.   I'm happy without the corn here though.  It works in the original.  I think it dries out a bit too much here.  The beans do a little, too, but not enough to bother me.  Do with it as you like.


1 yellow onion, diced (~1/2 cup)
2-3 carrots, grated (~3/4 cup)
2 ribs celery, minced (~3/4 cup)
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well, drained (I use white here)
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp (or more, to taste) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (or more) ground sage
a good pinch of ground rosemary
1/8-1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
OPT:  1 cup frozen corn
OPT:  1 can (15 oz) light beans, cannellini or pinto

I mix all the ingredients directly in my Pyrex 7x11 casserole dish.  Use any dish you have that will hold 2 quarts.  Level the top.  Cover/tent with foil.  Bake for 35 minutes before removing foil; stir.  Make sure you get the top bits of uncooked quinoa toward the bottom of the pan after stirring.  Level the top again and bake for about 20 minutes more, checking at the 10 minute mark to stir one more time.....  DONE is when all the quinoa "pops" and is no longer white.  If you see any that don't have the little spirals popping out to indicate doneness, just stir them down and let the casserole rest for 10 minutes.  That's all it takes to encourage them to finish cooking.

I'll get back to the Mexican version now.....