Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Popcorn Bars

With the upcoming holidays, I thought I should add some of my kid friendly and allergy friendly recipes!  Here is the first one.

6 oz package dark chocolate pieces, dairy free
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil
6 cups popped corn (about 1/3 cup kernels) 
1/4 cup light corn syrup or coconut nectar
1/2 cup shredded coconut (Optional)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

About 45 minutes before serving, combine chocolate pieces, butter and corn syrup in sauce pan. Stir in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract. Add popped corn and coconut to chocolate mixture, stirring gently until coated evenly. With back of spoon, press mixture evenly into greased 8" square baking dish.

Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut into 2" squares. Makes 16 bars.

To ensure that this meets dairy free needs, chose dairy free chocolate chips. We like to use dark chocolate.

For butter we use Earth Balance that is dairy free, gluten free, nut free and soy free.

For gluten free needs, just check the vanilla used to make sure it is gluten free.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pistachio Pesto

3 Tbsp shelled pistachios
2 c packed fresh basil leaves or arugula
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 pinches sea salt
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Combine pistachios, basil, garlic and salt in a stone mortar.  Grind with the pestle until fine.  Drizzle in olive oil.  Continuously grind while adding cheese one tablespoon at a time.  Store in a jar topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil.  Will keep in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Note:  Pecorino Romano is a cheese made from sheep's milk and is thus dairy free as our family defines it.

Note:  This can also be done in a food processor.

Leftover Candy Cane Brownies

So here we are in July and much to Dacia Grace's delight, I found a large stash of candy canes leftover from Christmas.  I know they keep a long time but I also know that after awhile them become gummy when you eat them.  (YUCK!).

What to do?

They are too pretty to throw out.  Besides it would break my daughter's heart to throw out these pretties.

Throwing them out would also break my frugal heart!  ;)


Why not experiment?  I have nothing to lose!

The result is yummy brownies that are sooooo good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Don't get upset with me if you no longer have any candy canes leftover.  (In a pinch I think that the star burst peppermints that you get at the bulk hard candy section of Winco will work just as well.)

So without further ado.........

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup shortening or coconut oil
2 eggs - (I use duck eggs)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A few drops peppermint oil (optional)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crushed candy canes, divided
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

(1)  In a small food processor grind/chop between 8 to 10 candy canes to fine powder.  Set aside.

(2) In small saucepan, put the unsweetened chocolate and the shortening.  Allow to melt while working with the eggs and sugar.  Be careful not to over melt as the chocolate will taste burnt.  I take it off the heat when the four lumps are very soft and then stir it until everything melts together.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

(3) Beat eggs and sugar.  Add vanilla and peppermint oil.

(4) Slowly add the chocolate mixture.

(5) Mix in flour and salt using a wooden spoon.  If you have been using a mixer, you will need to move to a wooden spoon now.  Mix only until the ingredients are all incorporated.  Do NOT over mix.

(6)  Add in the semi-sweet chocolate mini chips and 1/2 cup of the crushed candy cane.

(7)  Press batter into greased AND floured 8 inch square pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 c of the crushed candy cane.  Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.  This will allow the brownies to "firm up" before you cut them. 

(8) Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

Notes:  We use Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening which is 100% soy free!

Coconut Rice #2

2 14 oz. cans coconut milk
2 c. water
1 t. salt
2 c. uncooked long grain rice

Combine coconut milk, water and salt.  Bring to boil.  Stir in rice.  Reduce heat.  Cook covered for about 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Polynesian Meatballs

Meatball ingredients:
5 ounces rice milk
1/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup leftover rice or quinoa
1 tsp season salt
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

Sauce ingredients:
1 20 ounce can of pineapple tidbits OR mandarin oranges
2 Tbsp. corn starch or arrow root
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid  Aminos 
2 Tbsp. frozen pineapple guava concentrate
1/2 c turbinado sugar

In a bowl, combine the milk, onion, rice or quinoa and seasoned salt. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. With wet hands, shape into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs in small batches, turning often. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Drain skillet.
Drain fruit reserving juice; set fruit aside. Add enough water to juice to measure 1 cup. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, fruit juice mixture, vinegar, Bragg's , pineapple guava juice and sugar until smooth. Add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add meatballs. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the fruit and heat through.
Yield about 6 dozen.
Note: These meatballs can also be made and frozen with the sauce.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Braised Cabbage

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 small to medium head of cabbage, sliced or shredded but not too finely
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water or broth
1-2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 medium apple, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
salt to taste
4 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute equivalent

Heat oil.  Add onions and brown.  Add cabbage and brown.  Add apple cider vinegar, water, caraway seeds.  Heat for about 10 minutes.  Add apple slices.  Cook until tender.  Salt to taste.  Cook an additional 15 minutes.  Add sugar and serve.


You can use green or red cabbage for this.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Coconut Curry Sauce

1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 c chicken stock
1 14 oz can coconut milk

In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and ginger.  Saute until translucent.  Add curry powder and red pepper.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock.  Cook until  reduced by one half.  Add coconut milk.  Cook until thickened.  Keep warm until your meat or veggies are ready.  Pour sauce over veggies or meat and rice.  Enjoy!