Tag Archives: gluten-free

Cajun Beans + Rice, and Fish If Ya Want It

In this house, we do SPICE.

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Sometimes, we enjoy a good tongue-burning experience, and I ain’t lying.

We do flavor.  This is not a surprise if you’ve followed for awhile… chilisloppy joesBBQ saucechicken wings… even pumpkin pie oatmeal.  All of this oozes flavor.

This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite “I need something quick and easy” meals.  It’s quick and easy because beans are already cooked, rice takes so little time to prep, and fish cooks QUICKLY. You don’t have to add the fish to make it enjoyable, but it helps us move towards the “one meal in one pan” kind of thing.  (It’s not an entire meal in one skillet though. Eat your veggies!  You could always saute some green peppers and onions to throw in!)

I do cook a large pot of beans regularly, and then freeze it into smaller portions.  This is WAY WAY WAY cheaper than canned beans, and healthier too.  When you soak and cook them, you reduce the phytic acid (which prevents you from absorbing nutrition), and consequently you are less gassy. :)  (You’re welcome!)

I do this in a crockpot.  If you’d like more information on my process, you can read about it here in this post from Deep Roots at Home.  (Or just google it.  There’s LOTS of info out there on soaking beans.)

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Personally, it’s better to do it in large amounts, which is why I go with the crockpot.  It’s not labor intensive, just takes time (as does all good/real food!).

My finished beans:

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Here are the basic ingredients:

Fish filet (This pictures 4 small Cod filet)
butter for frying (go grass-fed! it’s the healthy butter!)
1 cup prepared rice
1/2 cup prepared beans (pictured are kidney beans)
1/2 to 1 tbl favorite cajun spice blend (depending on your favored level of spice! we do 1 tbl and it’s pretty hot)

Fry up your fish in the butter.

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Throw in your rice and beans.

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Mix them together (the fish will likely fall apart, but that’s ok!), and sprinkle your spice mix, and mix until well combined.

You may have to add more butter as you go to prevent sticking.  I definitely had to as I was using stainless steel, not cast iron.

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And voila! Yes, it’s that easy.

We served ours with some of my much loved roasted tomatoes with cheese. (And I really wish I had thought of green peppers and onions before writing this post! That would be a phenomenal add!)

Do you do spice? Flavor?  What’s your favorite flavor explosion?

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Changes and Biscuits

This recipe was created out of a desire to make a gluten-free goody for a special occasion where the person honored is on a strict no-gluten diet.

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And then real life happened, and I find myself cutting gluten to deal with an ongoing issue that COULD be chronic if I don’t nip it now.

So now… this recipe is for me, too.

Let’s be real, here:  gluten-free flours are expensive.  If you’re accustomed to a food budget that uses conventional flour, switching that out can really take a chunk out of what you eat/make.  Some people increase what they’re willing to spend on food when needing to go gluten-free, others cut most carbs out entirely.  And I know that there’s that whole logic, “you pay for it now with more expensive food OR you pay for it later with increased health issues and medical bills”… but y’all, that just doesn’t work for people who REALLY don’t have the extra money.  If you have $400 leftover in a month to spend on groceries for two people, then you ONLY HAVE $400.  I have to tell you, $400 for two people to eat real food is not impossible, but it can definitely be tricky.  Telling someone with only an extra $400 to “pay for it now or pay for it later” is just simply faulty logic.  We can’t certainly expect to advise people to go into debt in order to eat.

(Insert a thoughtful pause.  I understand that the last statement could be construed to be political.  I don’t think so.  It’s called stewardship.  Read my rant on that here.)

So, here I am, trying to go gluten-free.  Rest assured, it’s a legitimate health issue.  I’m not doing this on a self-diagnosed (aka hypochondriac’s introspection) logic.  I’m doing this from a place where a doctor told me my body is NOT doing what it’s supposed to.

It’s not a “new” topic to discuss how I manage a strict food budget that consumes 90% real food (no processed, additives, GMO-free, etc.).  I don’t expect I’ll make these often… because again, pound for pound, gluten-free flour is expensive.

Needless to say… it was a FABULOUS treat.  They freeze AND thaw well! This was about as close to a “real” biscuit as it gets!  And if you’re wondering if it’s possible to have a gluten-free biscuit that tastes like a “real” one… ask my taste-testers… a.k.a. my biggest picky eaters. (Yes. They cleaned the bowl afterwards.)

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INGREDIENTS:

2c gluten free flour, plus extra for dusting your hands
4tbl salted grass-fed butter (this version is HEALTHY. Please don’t get me all wound up about dairy fat.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 plain whole milk yogurt
3/4 c whole milk

DIRECTIONS:

Mix your flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda in one bowl.  With a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the butter.

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Mix in your yogurt and milk.

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Grease your cookie sheet.  I used butter.  What isn’t improved with butter?

Dust your hands with flour, and make a 2″ ball of dough, then flatten it out a little bit.

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Space them well on your greased baking sheet.

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Bake at 425* for 10 minutes.  And VOILA! Biscuits.

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Guiltless Cheesecake (Gluten-Free, Egg-Free)

I was recently posed with a recipe challenge for a birthday: this person has allergies/issues with gluten, eggs, and chocolate… and I needed to figure out dessert.

For those that are gluten-free, you know the following statement to be true: gluten-free recipes are often higher in eggs than conventional as they often contain coconut flour.  Coconut flour is an incredibly dense flour and requires the revising of the whole recipe for it to work.  So, I had to find something that didn’t have eggs, which more than likely meant no coconut flour.

I found a great almond-flour based tart crust from Deliciously Organic, but couldn’t do the cocoa ingredient.  (Find the recipe here for her chocolate berry tart.)  I used her recipe just for the crust, and it DOES have coconut flour in it, but no eggs! I modified it slightly – I omitted the cocoa powder, substituted rapadura for coconut sugar, used salted butter and reduced the salt to 1/4 tsp.

It came out beautifully – I couldn’t say better things about her crust recipe!

Now … what to do on that filling!

Back in the day, I used to regularly make cheesecake. Full of white sugar, sweetened condensed milk (let’s not go there, ok?), etc.  Making a cheesecake filling that was egg-free and CLEAN, whole foods was tricky… but it can be done!

Here’s how it goes —

INGREDIENTS:

Deliciously Organic’s Tart Crust, prepared and cooled (or some other type of healthy crust!)

2 bars of organic cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I recommend this brand)

4 tablespoons of heavy cream

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

With a hand or stand mixer, whip the cream cheese on high speed until it starts to fluff look more like whipped cream.

Slowly add the heavy cream and maple syrup, with the mixer on medium speed.

Once the cream and syrup are completed incorporated, increase speed back to high.

The amount of time this takes will vary, but it needs to be whipped, not runny or stiff.  I let this go for nearly five minutes.  The consistency you’re looking for is something akin to conventional premade cake frosting.

Guiltless Cheesecake - Foodies Gone Real

Once its mixed and fluffy again, carefully plop spoonfuls onto the cooled crust.

Guiltless Cheesecake - Foodies Gone Real

With a rubber spatula or icing spatula, slowing and gently smooth cream cheese mixtzure over the tart.  *THIS IS IMPORTANT: You need to work slowly and doing this too fast or rough will cause the crust to rip or crumble.

Guiltless Cheesecake - Foodies Gone Real

Once smoothed over, put the cheesecake tart in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours, the longer the better.

Right before serving, top with fresh fruit. (Don’t do this too far in advance as the juice will run all over the cake, and make a mushy mess.)  The guest-of-honor loved it!

Guiltless Cheesecake - Foodies Gone Real

And enjoy! Guiltlessly!
(Yes. I know that’s not a word. But it works.)

 

A little bit of Italian and Alfredo

I am working Mom that L-O-V-E-S to cook. For me, it’s not a chore. In fact, I feel all out of sorts when I have to take a break (sick, weird work schedules, etc.) from my kitchen. It’s my little space of the house, and there is such a satisfaction I get from making, mostly from scratch, meals for my family. Not to mention, good-tasting food is SUCH a weakness! I would pick savory over sweet most days, and I am positively in love with flavor.

Cooking has been a love long before it was a necessity, but with my increasing health issues (and increasing weight!) I did a major overhaul of my eating habits. One of the biggest changes we instituted was over breads and bread-products. We are not definitively gluten-free, but we are pursuing bread options that are actually good for us versus empty calories. This might sound fine and good until you are introduced to a little bit of our food dynamic. Husband = 1⁄2 Italian = lots of pasta and bread = lots of changes and conversions to make. Combine this food culture, our commitment to purposeful eating, and my absolute adoration (or demand?) of good-tasting food … and I have my work cut-out for me!

That is why I am proud to share a recipe for gluten-free alfredo sauce, and I hope it helps your family, too!

Alfredo in the making!

More often than not, to make a sauce thicken, you need a flour. And if you’re trying to avoid white flour, this can sometimes be a challenge. This recipe’s success was a HUGE win for us! It has been a long time since we’ve been able to enjoy alfredo!

INGREDIENTS:

4 tbl butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1⁄4 c. rice flour

1 1⁄2 + c milk

1 tsp dried parsley

dash of onion powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once butter is melted, add minced garlic.
  2. Stir minced garlic, and slowly cook garlic. Stir occasionally as it cooks. You want it to be fragrant and light brown, but not burnt!
  3. Turn heat off, and stir rice flour into butter/garlic mixture. (This is making a “roux”.) Stir until combined; it will look like a flour/butter mass – the mix will come together.
  4. With a whisk, stir in 1 1⁄2 cups of milk. Turn the heat back on medium-low. Continue to whisk until milk is well mixed, and use the whisk to break up any clumps.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, and let it boil for 5 minutes. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan –  you don’t want to bottom to burn.
  6. Turn heat down to a low, and add parsley and salt. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes.
  7. As it simmers (and cools) it will thicken. Some people like alfredo sauce that’s very thick, some like it thin. You can slowly add milk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time until sauce is at a desired consistency.
  8. Mix in with desired stuff – I used about 1⁄2 pound of sprouted flour pasta (more on that someday!) and 1 grilled chicken breast, and 2 cups of broccoli.

Presto! Alfredo that's not too bad for you!

I hope this helps you on your journey to help your body with your food!

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