Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun Food Find Friday!!

Today the fun food is SUN-RYPE's All Natural Fruitsource fruit bars. My kids love love LOVE these!! They would eat them like candy if I let them. These are just fruit, shaped into a bar. No added anything! They are great to put into school lunches, for picnics, after school snacks, in your 72 hour kits, car kits, and I keep them in my purse too. When I need something or I'm craving something sweet these satisfy me and they're good for you! They are gluten free.
The best place to buy these is at Costco, though I sure the Health Food stores carry them as well.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chunky Chicken Chili

When you have Cornbread you need to have chili to go with it. I can't eat any red meats right now, so a chicken chili it was for our family. I found the original recipe here. I really loved this recipe and it's a great way to use those pinto beans you might have and don't use that much.
Chunky Chicken Chili
1 teaspoon olive oil (ICBINB spray)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter (ICBINB spray)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried chopped garlic
1 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15oz can pinto beans, rinsed and undrained
1 15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14oz can chicken broth
In a large sauce pan cook chicken in hot oil until brown. Remove chicken. Add butter, garlic, and onion to saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in beans, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and heat through. Serve with cornbread.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday!!

The other day I had a friend ask me how I cook Quinoa. So today that is what our topic will be on. I'm not an expert on Quinoa (say it like kee-n-wha). I've only been using it for a little while. I was introduced to Quinoa by my very healthy mother-in-law. She was using it as a rice substitute. That is what I mostly do with it too. My family, yes even my children, really like it. It cooks a lot like rice. First and most important you must rinse it and rinse it well. Even if the package says pre rinsed, Still rinse it!! Then you double the amount of liquid to quinoa, boil for 15 minutes uncovered, then remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, fluff and you're done. I do like to put some "better than bullion" in it or substitute some of the water with chicken stock or broth. It gives it a little more flavor that my kids like. I have ground it and made it into flour. I didn't do it right so it had a very strong flavor. I used it in my cornbread recipe from yesterday. So we just put a lot of honey on the bread and it was fine. I didn't rinse it before I ground it, rinsing is very important! I really think that rinsing would have made it better. I've seen lots of recipes that use Quinoa. My mother-in-law has used it in cookies and other things that I'm excited to try.
So that is what I've done with Quinoa. This is what I know about it.
It is Gluten Free.
It is a low glycemic index food.
It is an alkaline food, which is so good for you especially if you use it instead of white rice which is acidic. Anything alkaline you should add lots of it to your diet!
Quinoa is a whole grain and for me the first reason I use it is because it is a complete protein all on it's own. You don't have to add beans to it! I love that!
Quinoa has all 8 essential amino acids.
It has lots of iron so your brain gets more oxygen.
It has tons of fiber,
and it's low in fat.
You can find Quinoa at the Health Food stores. This picture is of the Quinoa that I buy from Costco. It is so much cheaper there. I haven't looked for it in normal grocery stores so I'm not sure if it is there or not.
Have fun experimenting with Quinoa!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


When I was in 1st grade we had a writing assignment, I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was Thanksgiving time and we had to copy a cornbread recipe that was written down on the chalk board. I took it home to my mom. She has used it ever since, and now I use it too with my changes. It is yummy, my kids love it so much I have to tell them they only can have two helpings so they will eat the rest of their soup or chili. The left overs we have with hard boiled eggs the next morning for breakfast. That is how my mom did it for me when I was little, so that is how I do it with my kids too. Good things really do last. :]
1 3/4 cups corn flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rice milk, warmed to room temperature*
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 400*F. Combine first 5 ingredients, set aside. Mix next 3 ingredients. Beat well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix. Pour into a greased 9"x13" pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve with honey butter.
*The rice milk needs to be warmed so the coconut oil won't solidify. Coconut oil can change from liquid to solid very quickly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Smore Crispy Squares

Sorry about the picture. My nice camera is broken and this picture turned out a little blurry with my old camera.
After we roasted the homemade marshmallows and made smores, I had a thought, "What if I could make rice crispy squares out of my homemade marshmallows?" Then I saw my gluten free Chocolate brown rice crisps and thought, "What if I could make them taste like smores?" I got so excited I started experimenting! The end product is very yummy. They didn't turn out quite like I expected. They don't taste exactly like a smore, but what does unless it's a smore right? My kids and I still like these very much and they got put on the 'make it again' list.
Smore Crispy Squares
4 cups brown rice coco crisps
1 1/4 cups smashed graham crackers (make sure the pieces are not very big)
2 cups melted homemade marshmallows
Mix brown rice coco crisps and smashed graham crackers in a large bowl. Melt marshmallows in microwave for a few seconds then stir, repeating until marshmallows are liquid. Or heat over low on the stove top. Then add marshmallows to crisps/cracker mixture. Stir well making sure to coat all of the crisps. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Wet hands to smash. Put in fridge to set up. Once set, cut into squares and enjoy! These are also yummy when you drizzle melted carob on top.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fun Food Find Friday!!

Now that we have made homemade marshmallows all we need is graham crackers to make smores! I love graham crackers, growing up we had crackers and milk for a bed time snack all the time. So when I found these Gluten Free Graham Style Crackers, Smoreables, I was a little more than just excited!! And to top it off they make great smores and wonderful crusts for pies!
I've found these on the Internet and the Health Food stores.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Soy-Glazed Squash

If you haven't noticed yet, I love squash. I am always looking for new ways to cook it. When I found the original recipe here, I thought it looked yummy and reallya different way to cook it. I'd never had squash in this way before. It was very yummy and I like the changes I made to it. I hope you do too, happy cooking!
Soy-Glazed Squash
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
Orange juice from one orange
3 tablespoons all natural bragg liquid aminos
1 tablespoon organic brown evaporated cane juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 425*F. Place squash in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking pan.
In a small bowl combine orange peel, orange juice, braggs, brown evaporated cane juice, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Drizzle over squash, tossing to coat.
Roast, uncovered, in oven for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring twice. Stir cubes again before serving. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday!

Sugar answer 'B', what are some refined sugar substitutes?

The refined sugar substitute I use the most is Evaporated Cane Juice. It is the same sugar, at the beginning, as refined sugar. It just isn't sent to a refining factory after the first 24 hours of processing. So it only goes through the first 3 steps (see post here for more info). It is still sugar and should be used in moderation, but a much healthier form of sugar. There are a lot of sugars out there that say 'Organic sugar', and I'm not sure what that means. I've heard some say that it is just refined sugar with a little molasses added to it after it has gone through the entire refining process. Because I don't know for sure I stick with Evaporated Cane Juice. When you are buying organic sugar just look at the ingredients listed on the back of the package to make sure. If it says organic sugar and molasses as the only ingredients then I would personally stay away from it. And that is just because I don't know any more information about it. Study it out before you commit to buying a lot of anything.

You can buy Evaporated Cane Juice at Health Food stores, some grocery stores, and at Costco (it's MUCH cheaper at Costco). Evaporated cane juice also comes in a brown sugar form and powered sugar form, though I usually just like to make my own powered sugar from my evaporated cane juice at home.

The next substitute I like to use is Honey. Honey has been around for ever. My kids love honey! We go through it pretty quickly so I buy it in these huge 60 pound buckets. I mostly use honey in my breads, some muffins, and pancake syrup. There are some things that you can't use honey in place of sugar. It really depends on the recipe.

The next substitute I'll talk to you about is, Agave. It is a wonderful replacement for Corn Syrup, sugar, and honey. Agave is a plant. It is grown in hot climates. There are several different types of Agave plants. The most popular is Blue Agave. Agave nectar or syrup is made from the sap of a 7-10 year old plant. There are both light and dark nectar's. Agave is a low glycemic index sweetener, which means it doesn't raise and lower your blood sugar like sugar and honey will. And the blue agave plant is the most stable on the glycemic index. The taste is a little like honey but not as sweet as honey is. I've heard it said that if you don't like honey you'll like Agave. I think their both fine, thought I do like honey a little more if you're eating it straight from the bottle.

Some bloggers have said that it doesn't have the same properties of corn syrup so you can't make hard candies out of it. I'm not a scientist but I'm here to tell you you can!!! We make tons of home made suckers in my home and we do it with agave. It is slightly different with temperature and things that I'll get into in another post when I tell you how you can make your own suckers at home too. So for now just take it from me it works!

You can buy Agave pretty much everywhere. I've seen it in most grocery stores I've been in (sometimes it's hard to find), the Health Food Stores of course, and now Costco is carrying it too and again it is much cheaper there.

Hope that helps, Happy Substituting!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows

Well it's that time of year again, Fire roasting time!! If you are anything like my family you love the spring and summer for the fire building, tinfoil/dutch oven cooking, roasting marshmallows fun that can be had. I don't like how much sugar and chemicals that are in marshmallows. So only on special occasions would I let my kids eat some. Well not any more! These were so much fun to make!! I was able to cut the sugar down, they still taste good, and they don't have all of the chemicals in them. Besides it is so fun to tell people that I can and have made my own marshmallows. :] I tested them out on a bunch of neighborhood kids. They all liked these better than the store bought ones, which I had there for their tasting comparisons. I got the original recipe from a friend here.
Homemade Marshmallows
About 1 cup organic powdered sugar*
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup cold water, divided
1 3/4 cups evaporated cane juice
1/2 cup agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 table spoons vanilla
Grease bottom and sides of a 13x9 in rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with organic powdered sugar.
In a bowl of a standing electric mixer sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water, and let stand to soften.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook evaporated cane juice, agave, second 1/2 cup cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Cover and increase heat to moderate and boil. Once the mixture starts to boil uncover and keep boiling, without stirring, until a Candy or digital thermometer registers 240* F (soft ball stage). Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Turn on electric mixer to high speed and mix until mixture turns white, thick, and nearly triples in volume, about 6 minutes.
In a separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sift 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar evenly over top. Chill, uncovered, until firm at least three hours, and up to one day.
When firm, run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with finger or plastic scraper, loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes (a pizza cutter works well). Sift remaining organic powdered sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows thought it to prevent sticking.
Build a fire to cook them over. Add them to hot carob, or just eat them as they are. The possibilities are out there! Store in fridge.
*I make my own organic powdered sugar.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup evaporated cane juice
Put in blender and blend until powdered sugar consistency
yep it's that easy! and soo much cheaper!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

When I saw the original recipe here, I was so excited! I knew that I could make some healthy changes to it. I love sweet and sour chicken, orange chicken, all of those types of chicken. The thing that I didn't realize was that before they put the yummy sauces on the chicken they fry the chicken! Talk about calories besides the fact that I can't have the grease. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did. Yummy!!!
Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons rice milk
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix from here
1 20oz can pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup all natural Bragg liquid aminos
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil (ICBINB spray)
1 large green sweet pepper, cut lengthwise into strips*
1/4 medium onion, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 large Roma tomato diced
Cooked Quiona
Preheat oven to 375*F. Cut Chicken into 1 in. pieces. In a medium bowl combine egg and milk. In another bowl put pancake mix. Dip pieces of chicken in egg/milk mixture then coat with pancake mix. Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
For sauce, drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to make 1 3/4 cups. In a bowl combine sugar, braggs, vinegar, cornstarch, and paprika. Add pineapple juice mixture and set aside.
Add oil to wok or 12 in. skillet. Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry green sweet pepper and onion for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok. Stir sauce and add to center of wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cooked vegetables, pineapple chunks, and tomatoes to wok. Cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until heated through. Add chicken. The chicken will still have some loose flour on it. Just shake it off before adding, do not rub or brush it off. The flour will help absorb some of the sauce. Stir to coat chicken. Serve immediately over cooked quinoa.
*I didn't have a green sweet pepper as you can see from my picture. I just used red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers. You can add peas, cut carrots, and any other veggie you like to eat with sweet and sour chicken just cook them in the oil when you cook the onion and green sweet pepper.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun Food Find Friday!!

Today it's the Odwalla Bar. These are wonderful! The superfood flavored one doesn't look appetizing, it's really green. But you will be surprised by the taste! The banana nut flavored one tastes like banana bread, and the strawberry pomegranate flavored one is also very yummy. Those are the three that I buy. These are very healthy for you. I eat one every morning for breakfast. I put these is several places. In our 72 hour kits, yes you can have healthy food in those too. In my purse, kids always seem to get hungry while at stores and this way I don't have to give in and buy them a sugar filled treat. I also keep these in my car kit. If we get hungry while we are out or if we get stuck somewhere we always have a good nutritious snack and don't have to get fast food. These are pretty much gluten free, though they are manufactured on equipment used to produced products that contain wheat.
You can buy these at the Health Food stores and also Grocery stores. In the Grocery stores they are located by the protein bars. The cheapest I've found them is at Macey's in the gluten free section. There are rumours that they are cheaper at WinCo. I'll have to wait to find out when they finish the one they are building off of 8oo north in North Orem. If you live in SLC there is one up there. Happy snacking!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meat Lasagna

I have always loved this lasagna. After all it is the Lasagna that I grew up on. I really didn't have to change it hardly at all. Once you try this you'll see why my mother is still the best cook I know.
Meat Lasagna
1 package whole wheat or rice lasagna noodles
1 lb. hormone free ground beef
6- 8oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon evaporated cane juice
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 375* F. Cook noodles according to package directions.
In large sauce pan simmer tomato sauce, basil, parsley, onion flakes, oregano, garlic, salt, and evaporated cane juice until desired thickness. Stir occasionally (I like to leave a lid on and let it bubble a little more than just a simmer. This makes it get thicker more quickly remembering to stir it so it won't burn the bottom of your pan).
Fry hamburger until no longer pink in middle and drain off access grease.
To assemble, pour sauce to cover bottom of 9x13 in. pan. Place noodles on top of sauce and cover with more sauce. Sprinkle meat and drop cottage cheese on top of noodle. Place more noodles down and more sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle meat and Parmesan cheese on top, then place another layer of noodles. Repeat alternating cottage and Parmesan cheeses until all noodles are used.
If you cooked your noodles then top with either Mozzarella or cheddar cheese and cook uncover in oven until cheese is nice and melted . If your noodles do not need precooking (most rice noodles don't have you cook them first) then cover and bake according to package directions. Add cheese and uncover 10 minutes before cooking time is finished.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wisdom Wednesdays!!

Wednesdays are now dedicated to Wisdom. Knowledge is Power. The more you know the healthier you can become. I am not saying I am all knowing, but with my health issues I have researched and found some things to help me and my family become more healthy. And I would like to share them with you. I will also address any questions you might have, so feel free to ask away. I'm not saying I'll know the answer but I will do as much research as I can to help you with your question. Happy Learning!

Today I will address the subject people talk to me about all of the time, refined sugar. What is so bad about refined sugar and what are the substitutions for it? I will have to take up two Wednesdays to really address these questions on refined sugar. So before I really dive into this post 'A' on refined sugar, I want to say that 'moderation in all things' is the most important. No matter what kind of sweetener you use you shouldn't consume large portions of it, or even have it every day. You shouldn't let your children eat it constantly. Even with the Panda licorice I posted about last Friday, I only let my children have it every once in a while. It is not an everyday treat by any means.

Okay now that that is out of the way, and before we really get into the many reasons that refined sugar is bad for you, let's talk about how sugar is made. There are two types of plants that sugar comes from, cane and beet. Once these two plants are refined to the point of white refined sugar we see in the store, there is no difference in taste or texture. 70% of the worlds sugar come from the cane plant. There are many stages and processes that the cane plant goes through to get to refined sugar. It is important that you understand how many steps in the process there are to see and really understand why refined sugar is bad for you.
Brazil exports 7 million tons of sugar each year. The first set of steps only takes 24 hours from the time the cane is harvested.
So here we go, step one. The cane is cut it is taken to the factory where extraction of the cane juice is the first step is the process. A series of roller mills crush the cane and the juice comes out. The juice gets dirty because dirt and other parts of the plant fall with the juice. Slaked lime is used to get the dirt out. It helps the dirt settle so it can be picked up and then it's sent back out to the field. Once that is done it is on to step two, evaporation. The juice is thickened into syrup by boiling so the water will evaporate out. Then on to step three, boiling. The syrup is then taken to big pans where there is more boiling to get more water out so crystallization can occur. After that the crystals are washed and dried. That is all that Brazil and other countries will do to the now "raw" sugar. Then it is shipped to refining plants around the world where more steps are made to make refined sugar.
The first stage, which is really step four, of the raw sugar is Affination. The raw sugar is softened and then they remove the layer of 'mother liquor' that surrounds the crystals. Then on to their step one, really step five, carbonation. It happens by adding milk of lime (calcium hydroxide) to the liquor and bubbling carbon dioxide though the mixture. The gas reacts with the lime to form fine crystalline particles of calcium carbonate which separates the solids. After that the liquor is filtered through leaf filters. The liquor is pumped from the outside of the leaf to the middle where the clear liquor is collected. Now it is ready for step six, Decolourisation. This is where they take all the color out of the liquor. They pump the liquor though columns of medium. There are two different mediums they use. Either activated carbon or an ion exchange resin. Both remove any color so the liquor is now crystal clear and ready for step seven, boiling. They boil any access water off so that crystals can form, and they have refined sugar. But that is not all! Sometimes there is liquor left after crystals are formed and they take that liquor and put it through the process all over again to make more refined sugar. But that's really refined refined sugar isn't it?!
So you see there really isn't anything left after seven steps. You just have sweetness. In fact, because they have taken pretty much everything out it is harder for your body to break down the refined sugar. It actually leaches out vitamins and minerals from your body just so it can be digested!
To put it simply, refined Sugar is not good for you. One of the more important things it does is attack your immune system. It weakens your body so it will not be able to fight off diseases. It aides in cancer growth. It cuts off oxygen to your brain. It causes hyperactivity in children. It causes learning disabilities. And so on and so on. Here is a simple list of other things sugar does to your body. Go check it out.

Something I don't think people know about sugar is the affect that it has on your brain. It causes a chemical reaction. When you eat sweets it tigers an increase in release of the hormone serotonin and endorphins. Serotonin is a mood elevating hormone. When you have lots of refined sugar your brain and your body get used to this. Your body will start to have more and more cravings for it. Cravings in a healthy person are the body's way of saying it needs or is lacking something. But not in the case of someone who eats a lot of refined sugar. There is no way you can tell the difference between a 'good craving'- something your body is needing, or a 'bad craving'- your body wanting higher serotonin levels. If you give in to your bad cravings you keep depleting your body of vitamins and minerals. Endorphins, are the Brain's natural narcotics helping you to relax when you're stressed. There are other ways of getting or releasing endorphins without causing harm to your body. Exercise is one of those ways. So that is a much better thing to do instead of grabbing a candy bar when you're not feeling the best.
There are many more things I could go into about refined sugar and it's dangers. I hope this opened your eyes a little bit about some of those dangers. Next week I'll talk about the more healthy substitutions for refined sugar and other unhealthy sugars that are out there. In the mean time look in your kitchen and see what you can start to cut out of your diet that has a lot of refined sugar in it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Banana Bread French Toast

A few weeks ago I made the Low Gluten Banana Bread I posted yesterday. I forgot to add the rice milk so it turned out very dry. I didn't think that any one would eat the bread until my oldest son suggested we make french toast out of it. I thought it sounded a little crazy. But that is what I do all the time, experiment. And he agreed to eat it no matter what it tasted like. Boy was I surprised at how delicious it was!! Instantly it became a family favorite! I usually make the small loafs of bread. They are prefect for dipping in the syrup, so that makes this breakfast extra fun to eat too.
Banana Bread French Toast
4 eggs
1/2 cup rice milk
3 teaspoons nutmeg
Sliced Banana Bread
Heat griddle to 375*. Whip eggs, rice milk, and nutmeg in a flat bottomed bowl. Dip both sides of banana bread in mixture and place on griddle. Flip over after a minute or two. The bottom should be browned, if not cook for a little longer before flipping. After both sides are cooked, dip in syrup and enjoy!
If your banana bread turned out great and not dry, cut slices the night before and leave out on the counter. This will help them dry out a little. You don't have to do that if you don't mind the bread being a little more moist.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Banana Bread

This banana bread is very easy to make and tastes oh so good! I got original the recipe from Kathy Bray (a Lady who works with my mom) and she said this was L. Tom Perry's Banana Bread. I haven't been able to find it anywhere. But at least you know where I got the original from. This bread freezes really well. Just make sure you slice it up before you freeze it. It will thaw quicker for those times when your kids need a quick snack!
Banana Bread
1 cup evaporated cane juice
1/2 cup solid coconut oil
5 large very ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
3 cups barley flour, or whole wheat flour
1 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350* F. Cream coconut oil and sugar together in mixing bowl, make sure there are no large balls. Then add eggs and bananas and mix. Be sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl so the cream mixture will incorporate well into the bananas and eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into 2 greased large loaf pans, bake for 50-60 minutes, or 6 mini pans, bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick pulls out clean.

Low Gluten Banana Bread

This banana bread tastes pretty close to the other banana bread, but it's low gluten! I've used the same original recipe as the other Banana Bread posted. This bread also freezes well. Cut into slices before freezing.
Gluten Free Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
5 large ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
3 cups LG flour Mix*
1 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Preheat oven to 350*F. Cream sugar and coconut oil together in a mixing bowl, make sure there are no large balls. Add bananas and eggs, be sure to scrape the bottom of bowl so the cream mixture will incorporate well into the bananas and eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into 2 large greased loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes, or 6 small greased loaf pans for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick pulls out clean.

*I use Brandon's Mix: 6 cups spelt, 2 cups kamut, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup oat groats. I grind them separately at home, measure them out and mix well. Then use what the specific recipe calls for. You can buy most of the flours already ground at the Health Food store, it's just more expensive and as soon as you grind something it starts to loose some of the nutrients.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fun Food Find Friday!!!

Each Friday I will post about a treat that I've found. There is no reason why the treats that we eat can't be healthier too. These treats are ones that I give to my children since we don't do refined sugar in our home. I am not trying to promote these companies or stores for money. I just want to share my knowledge with you on the healthier alternatives that are out there, whether you buy or make them. I hope you find Friday's useful! :]

First to make my list is Panda ALL NATURAL Licorice. If you like licorice and you haven't tried Panda you are missing out! The flavor is amazing. It is the best black licorice out there. I would know because I have always love love LOVED black licorice, and I've tried them all. They do have wheat in them, all licorices do. So if you have ciliactic's I'm sorry that you can't have these. I am gluten intolerant and I do just fine with eating a little bit, but it's hard to eat just a little. :]

You can buy Panda at the Health food stores, Good Earth and Sunflower Market, and most grocery stores. The grocery stores will either have it in their healthy section or over by their pharmacy where the protein bars are.

If you find some healthier treats, fill free to share them with me. I always like a good find!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

This recipe is so easy, a little time consuming, but oh so worth it!! For the original recipe click here. I really didn't have to change it that much. And if you're thinking, "Will my kids like this?" The answer is a huge YES! My 6 year old down to my 2 year old love this dish almost as much as I do.

Chicken Parmigiana

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup finely crushed ritz crackers, or plain gluten free crackers
3 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons rice milk
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter (ICBINB spray)
2 cans garlic and onion diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons evaporated cane juice
1/8 teaspoons salt
Dash black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons dried basil leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese (I only had cheddar and it was good)
Preheat oven to 400* F.
With a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-1/2 inch in thickness. Then cut into 1 inch strips and cut those in half.
In a shallow dish stir together cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, and oregano. In another bowl whisk together the eggs and rice milk. Take a piece of chicken, dip it into the egg mixture and then into the cracker mixture to coat. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Continue for the rest of the chicken Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken in cooked through.
While Chicken is cooking,
For sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in butter/ICBINB until onion is tender. Carefully stir in the undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Add dried basil and parmesan cheese. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. I like the sauce to be really chunky so I simmered it until the chicken was cooked. Plate chicken, pour sauce over chicken, top with shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan cheeses.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Pancakes

My mom is an amazing cook!! Growing up we always had a day during the week where we ate her 'experiments'. Some were oh so good, others...lets just say we didn't see them again. Now don't get me wrong her 'oh so good' ones way out numbered the ones we didn't see again. There are several that I am going to share with you. Today it is her whole wheat pancakes and whole wheat pancakes mix. I love this mix because it has the same conveniences as the mix you get from the store; it's quick, easy, but so much more healthy for you.

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
9 cups whole wheat flour
9 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix all of ingredients in large bowl very well. Store in #10 can. That's it, yep it's that easy!!
Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup rice milk (or regular milk)
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla, optional
Mix all ingredients well. Pour onto a 375* griddle. Turn when bubbles begin to pop and edges begin to dry. Serve and enjoy!
Whole Wheat Waffles
For waffles you can use the same mix, just add a little more oil.
From the Kitchen of Diane VanDyke

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rice Crispy Treats

At Easter time and Thanksgiving I have an Aunt that always makes tons of rice crispy treats. This year I was excited to make these. A couple of weeks ago Alicia Silverstone was on Oparh. She has written a new cook book all about healthy food, after making these I would love to get a copy! I down loaded this recipe from that Alicia gave to viewers. I don't have a link to it because now I can't find it. :] I didn't really change anything. I added butterscotch chips. It made these taste so much like Scotcheroos, a rice crispy treat I loved growing up. So next time I'll put more of both carob and butterscotch chips in it. So yummy!

Alicia Silverstone's Crispy Peanut Butter Treats with Chocolate Chips
1 box brown rice crisps cereal
1 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
Fine sea salt
3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
Pour rice cereal into a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquefies, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips. Make sure the mixture is cool, or you will end up with melted chocolate instead of chocolate chips in your treats.
Turn the mixture out into an 8x8" or 9x13" baking dish. Wet your wooden spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool for 1 hour- if you can- before cutting into squares or bars.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

Winter is over, well at least the calender says it is even though there is still snowing, and I've been craving more and more of the fall harvest foods. So I've been eating a lot of squash! When I read about spaghetti squash there were so many negative things about it. I've had it before, it had been a really long time, and I didn't remember it tasting that bad. And really it doesn't taste bad at all. It doesn't have that much flavor to it, but it does absorb flavor really well! I've cooked it a few different ways. It's really good in stir fry! Other say it is a great noodle replacement. But I haven't tried it in spaghetti or alfredo yet. This way is my favorite so far. I didn't write down a recipe for it, I'll just tell you what I did for this time, for this picture. You can always add or take away any veggie you want to. Really the possibilities are endless! Be creative!!
Spaghetti Squash Chicken and Veggies
2-3 T butter (ICBINB* spray)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup cut up zucchini
Fist sized group of broccoli, cut up
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 yellow bell pepper sliced thin
1/2 orange bell pepper sliced
3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1 1/2 cup cooked carrots**
1-2 already cooked chicken breasts, cubed
Onion Salt
Saute butter and garlic in sauce pan on medium until garlic is tender. Add zucchini and broccoli and cover, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. If veggies start to stick too much to the bottom of pan reduce heat to medium low. Add Spaghetti squash and stir, then put peppers on top of squash and cover for another 4 minutes. Add chicken and carrots and stir all together. If it seems a little dry then add a little more butter and stir in. Finish off with a little onion salt for extra flavor. Ready to serve when chicken is heated through and veggies are done to your liking. Top of with parmesan cheese if desired.
*ICBINB -'I can't Believe it's Not Butter' spray
**I cooked the carrots before I added them because they take so long to cook. If you have the time I would add them with the zucchini and broccoli. It will add more nutrients to the dish. When you boil or steam veggies, some of the nutrients leaches out into the water.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hummingbird Nests

Now these are not what I would call healthy, just fun for the holiday.
In our family we do most of our Easter activities tomorrow, Saturday. So I made these bird no bake cookies today. I thought they looked cute and there wasn't much to change so my family could eat them. I thought they turned out just like the picture from (that is where I got the recipe). These were very easy to do and my kids were so excited to eat them. If you like coconut you'll like these.
Hummingbird Nests Cookies
1 cup carob chips
1 cup shredded coconut
Evaporated cane juice jelly beans
Melt carob chips, following the directions on the bag. When the carob is smooth, stir in the coconut, then drop the mixture by the heaping tablespoon onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets. While the nest are still warm, use your thumbs to poke an impression into the middle of each. If they are too sticky slightly wet you thumb first. Cool, then fill with jelly beans for the eggs.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are so yummy! You can't even tell that they have added fiber in them! They are very chewy and have a cake like texture so they are wonderful to make homemade oreo's out of too. I got the original recipe from my Aunt Becky Oldham.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1/8 cup coconut oil, solid form
1/2 cup black bean puree * (you can use applesauce too**)
1 cup evaporated cane juice
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup LG flour mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa

Heat oven to 350*F. Cream coconut oil and Evaporated cane juice in mixing bowl. Make sure there are no large balls of coconut oil. Then add bean puree and mix well scraping the sides of the bowl. Add egg and vanilla and mix again. In a separate bowl combine LG flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and powder, salt, and cocoa. Add to wet mix a little at a time scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. The mix will be very thick and sticky more like a brownie mixture. Drop by spoonful onto a greased cookies sheet. If the batter is too sticky, cool in fridge for a few minutes, or wet spoon to prevent sticking too much to the spoon. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Do not over bake! Cookies will be soft. They rise during baking and flatten upon cooling. Cool on a cookie sheet until set 1-2 minutes then remove and enjoy!

*When making a black bean puree use the liquid from the can. If you don't you won't be able to puree the beans.

**Applesauce works just fine but you will need to put dough in fridge for a few hours before baking. If you don't then the cookies will not puff up like cookies, they will just go flat! Most cookie recipes made with low gluten or gluten free flour suggest putting the dough in the fridge first.